when life hands you pumpkins


i know it’s easier to just go buy a can of festal and use that for all your pumpkin baking needs, but let me tell you: making your own pumpkin puree to use in bars, breads, PIES, is probably the best thing you can do for your baked goods. want to actually taste PUMPKIN instead of all the spices? make fresh pumpkin puree.

firs off, plant some pie pumpkins in the spring. have a bumper crop due to all the rain. if that doesn’t work, your local food vendor should sell pie pumpkins.

cut them in half, scoop out the seeds, put them in a pan (glass or a jelly roll pan works – something with edgess), and bake them at 350 for an hour-hour and a half or so. until you poke a fork in them and it slides in easily.



look at that carmelization! anyway, let these cool for a bit, then scoop out the insides into a food processor and whip it up. scoop that mess into a colandar/sieve/strainer lined with a dishtowel. 

screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-10-08-15-pm screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-10-07-55-pm

let this sit overnight at least and drain all the liquid out. i am saving my pumpkin juice to make a festive drink!

put these in whatever container and stick them in the fridge for soon use and the freezer for use down the road (like in a month for thanksgiving).

how a bernie supporter decided hillary wasn’t so bad after all*


bernie sanders was the progressive i’d been waiting for. everything he stood for, i stood for. 

but the cartoon above is right. liz and i went to see him early in his campaign on his first stop in rochester. the best part of his entire speech was at the end when he finished with “i can’t do this alone. if you want to change to happen, you will need to stand up and effect that change with me.” he was HONEST about it. none of this “i’m going to do this for you and this for you and this.” it was a “we” all along. 

after DT’s comments on women, i had hit the last straw with my dilly dallying over who to vote for. i finished off my absentee ballot by filling in the circle next to clinton/kaine. i didn’t feel good about it. i didn’t seal the envelope, just in case. i felt kind of dirty. 


this weekend, jane and i went to nerdcon, where we sat in at a live recording of “unattended consequences,” a podcast by author pat rothfuss and cards against humanity creator max temkin. they talked for an hour, and limited their political talk to three points each (otherwise, they said, they would talk about politics the entire hour). 

at this point, i’m still not feeling 100% about my vote for hillary – maybe 75% ok with it. but they talked about hillary, and what they said really made me come around for HC. 

in comparing DT to hillary, pat said that he wants a president who can make a deal. who can compromise and make stuff happen. hillary is that person – moreso that bernie even, i believe. (absolutely moreso than DT) she’s the most qualified person to run for president in a long time (martin van buren was apparently pretty well qualified). 

then, in example, max laid out all hillary had done to secure the nomination, things that i’d considered shady: she paid for services from companies who would print campaign items, even if they never printed a shirt, so that the competition couldn’t. she was the first to get to certain sponsors, clinching them so no one else could. ultimately, that’s good politics and securing a deal before anyone else could get to it. 

considering the above, it’s absolutely FANTASTIC how well bernie did in primaries. i’m really sad he lost, but looking at how hillary secured everything she needed to become the democratic nominee, i’d say that’s a pretty well-prepared person. and would know how to do that sort of thing when she’s president and representing the US. 

after that, i jumped from 75% ok with hillary to about 95%. i will never be at 100% because of bernie. his hopefulness for the future and for the country will always be there, hanging on to that 5%.

or maybe it’s my 5%. thank you, bernie.

*and still maintains that your third-party vote is not a throw away. IT IS NOT A THROW AWAY VOTE. it is yours; you do with it what you will. don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

not much going

i’ve got to admit, for a self-proclaimed writer, i haven’t been doing a lot of writing lately. 

nerdcon: stories is this weekend, which should hopefully get me fired up to do some sort of writing, whether it’s just kablpomo or actually attempting nanowrimo. last year’s nerdcon was great, so this year’s should be equally as fun. they got better spaces, too, so there shouldn’t be any problems with getting a seat at some of the sessions.

in the meantime, the temperature has dropped and fall has jumped on us full swing. goodbye summer: i barely knew you (for real – what a dumb summer). october is generally my scary movie month, and i’ve only watched two movies and two episodes of ash vs. evil dead. that’s pretty pathetic for being halfway through the month. it doesn’t bode well for christmas movie month!

it’s pretty quiet at my job. i’ve got to say, my coworkers at roch were top notch, and i miss being in that environment every day 🙁

well, that’s the sort of update. 

houseblog update!

here’s a politiblog break! (i am ready to be done with this election, but i am also REALLY looking forward to the next debate OMG)

  1. pained the kitchen today! it was a really dark purple, so i had to get some primer to cover up the overwhelming purple color before painting it. it looks so much better, and you actually notice the backsplash now.
  2. i got some peach paint for the entryway, which i’m now kind of regretting since the door, trim, and flooring in front of the door is all kind of peachy. oh well. i’ll paint and see what happens. 
  3. HAMMOCK TIME (srsly, that hammock was worth it)
  4. hung some pictures! that’s exciting. 
  5. installed a ceiling fan in the bedroom to help air circulation. that’s always such a pain to do, but it was worth it.
  6. READY FOR FALL DECOR (gonna happen this week)


no. the worst thing you can do for democracy is not vote.


i am getting bombarded on twitter. because i was feeling the bern, i am pretty disenchanted with hillary. bernie was everything i was looking for in a candidate: open, candid, fired up and pretty consistent on the issues i care about. hillary is a little cagey, a little waffle-ish, and part of a weird, orchestrated DFL primary campaign. i would have proudly voted for bernie. now i’m weary AND wary and not sure what i should do.

i have my absentee ballot on my kitchen table, all the ovals filled in next to state campaigns’ DFL candidates, judges chosen, amendment oval decided, ready to go into the three levels of envelope security, except for that crucial top decision: vote for one presidential candidate. 

i really don’t know what i’m going to do. i know i’m not voting for trump. morally, conscientiously, and as a person who cares about the planet and other people, voting for trump is not even an option. but everyone is throwing tweets, articles, opinion pieces into my feed with the old rhetoric: “a vote for a third party candidate is a vote for trump.” 


you can argue all you want about nader in 2000, how gary johnson is incompetent, what jill stein’s views on vaccinations are, the fact that bernie’s out there stumping for hillary.

when it comes down to it, if i wanted to vote for trump, i would fill in that oval next to his name, and the idea of doing that makes me want to vomit. 

today was the final straw on twitter when i read an article named:

Dear Millennials: Voting for a third party candidate in this election is the worst thing you can do for American democracy

now i’m no millennial. i’m an optimistic, cynical, disillusioned, tail-end genXer. i have done a lot of research on law, i know the members of SCOTUS, and i feel like i know more about the political climate than your average person. and you know what’s democratically worse than voting for a third party?

being so bullied and vote-shamed that you don’t vote at all.

my vote is my vote, and i am an american who has a right to vote for whom she wants. whether that’s donald trump, hillary clinton, write-in bernie sanders, or vote for the marijuana now party, i can do that. the stranglehold the two-party system has on our country is really holding us back from some people who might actually make a difference in leading this country.

i remember the 2000 election; i was at st. ben’s, and there were arguments in classes about how if enough people voted for nader and he got 5% of the popular vote, it would open up federal funding for the green party in 2004 and give the american people a more diverse field of leaders to choose from. the argument was that it was a forward-looking vote. unfortunately, the george bush fiasco has overwhelmed that initial reasoning, and al gore’s loss was blamed on nader supporters. at the same time, nader only got 2% of the popular vote. 

i am not one of those people who stays home on major elections; i will always vote. but there are people out there who might plan on voting, then get so overwhelmed by the vitriol out there that they stay home. i know people who aren’t voting because neither of the major party presidential candidates are appealing, and therefore none of the state campaigns get a vote either.

instead of discouraging people from voting for someone or using scare tactics, we should be encouraging everyone to get out and vote for WHATEVER CANDIDATE THEY WANT. that’s what democracy is. that’s how it works. i’m sorry if you don’t like it. 

and here’s the kicker: at the end of the day, i’ll probably end up voting for hillary clinton. the idea of trump as president is scary and gets me to the “literally can’t even” white girl disgusting level. even though i’m in a relatively blue state when it comes to presidential elections, and the state would probably go blue even if i voted for someone else, i will, most likely, vote for hillary. 

but that’s my decision, and being bullied into it is not the way to get people, especially millennials who are voting for the first or second time, to take part in the democratic process. 

politiblog yeesh

i registered to vote. 

and tomorrow’s the first presidential debate. i am at two extremes on this: one the one hand, i am a little excited to see how this is going to turn out. bring out the popcorn; on the other, i am ready to facepalm my way through this whole. omg.

oh, and i’m going to vote absentee! because (hopefully) i’ll be in california at harry potter world!!!

well hello there!

there was a week wait list to get internet at our new house *eyeroll*

i feel like i’ve been away too long, but not much has happened. of course we moved, and of course i like to unpack everything all at once, so now all the boxes are unpacked. i think the only thing left to put together is the table, which might end up looking a little awkward in its space. oh well. 

BUT, here’s what’s been done so far:

  1. hardware replaced in kitchen and bathroom. i actually feel halfway decent about the cupboards now.
  2. fridge ordered and arriving on saturday!
  3. stove ordered and arriving mid october!
  4. new grill
  5. ceiling fan purchased for bedroom
  6. new toilet seat (ugh the old one was too pointy)
  7. hammock hung! (WOO!)
  8. a couple apples eaten
  9. and of course, internet finally installed

gotta install that fan and replace the hideous ceiling fan in the dining/office with something (anything) else. the trees are nice. the isolation is nice. i like it!


i’ve come to the realization that any house nate and i buy will have issues attached. (or, so far). 

when we bought our house in st. joe, it was bank owned and they required a bank quote through them before we put together a purchase agreement. (which, looking back, is that legal?) we didn’t have to go through the bank, but we did need to meet with them and go through the process again. 

when we purchased our house in st. charles, there was a government shutdown, and our rural development loan took an extra three weeks to process. thanks to this, we couldn’t technically close on the house until the government opened again, which was about two-three weeks after our original close date. thankfully, the house was contractor owned and he let us move in early (we had to be out of our apartment). 

this time, my goodness. everything is good on our end as far as our loan and ready to go. the house we’re selling though, omg. the lender didn’t send in the rural development loan until the day before scheduled closing (normally they like a couple weeks). thankfully it came back the next day, but it was selected for a random audit! then that went through about 5 hours before MY scheduled house closing up here, but the lender needed it to go through quality control first. if this were a local bank instead of a national bank, it might’ve made it. but it was a national bank and they don’t like to do things out of order.

so, now, we’re waiting on the lender of the st. charles house buyer to get the money to the title company so they can close so we can get our loan and we can close. 

hopefully this will be the last time we do this for a while, so i guess i’ll deal for now.

where did summer go?

my house in st. charles is almost empty, and on wednesday, we pack up the uhaul and head north. today, nate and i each drove up a vehicle full of stuff to drop in the storage unit. 

it’s been a long four months, and i’d like to know: where did my summer go?

it’s hard to ignore the fields of corn on my drive. when i left in may, they were barely shoots of green out of the earth. today the leaves were starting to tinge yellow, a message that harvest season will be here soon. 

the trees were just budding out in may, turning the brilliant shades of green, yellow, and light-orange that springtime trees do before heading into the dark, full green of summertime. today, they were starting to pull back from summertime green, starting to once again showing their true colors. if you’d asked me if the trees were spring of fall based on color alone, i mightn’t’ve been able to tell you. 

there is just a hint of fall in the air, though you wouldn’t know it from today’s weather. generally though, the nights are a bit cooler and the next week’s forecast looks set to be truly septemberish.

i’m sad i missed summer, in a way. but i’m looking forward to being in one place for fall, and especially a place resplendent in yellow aspen and trees reflecting off the lakes. and in my backyard 😀