winnar…and continued

i won nanowrimo and almost won kablpomo. good enough!

my kitties get along well enough. good enough!

then onto the real deal.

continued from the anxiety-setting bwca trip my parents sprang on me last minute… [link no worky due to great blog migration of 2012]

i was going to the bwca. i was so excited for it. most of us had never been in a canoe, so on a saturday before we left, everyone convened at east side lake in austin (which was no great lake, let me tell you) to try out canoeing. we paired up and got in the boats, then paddled around for a bit. it was a perfect day, so everyone caught on fairly quickly.

the night before we left, we gathered in the cafeteria of Queens where we packed. two people shared a voyageur’s pack lined with large black plastic bags. into the pack went everything of yours, including sleeping bag and pillow, so each pack had two pillows, two sleeping bags, and two sets of clothes. i shared a pack with mandy i-can’t-remember-her-name. then all we had to do was sleep.

i don’t remember much about the next morning. there was a trailer, and lot of driving. we drove from austin to two harbors, i believe, where we spent the night at one of the chaperone’s friend’s large, large house. we went to church because we were good catholics. i tried hanging out with people i didn’t necessarily like because a dude i was into was there, but left, disgusted, after he made a pass at one of the girls. i spent the night sleeping on a window seat, looking out the window at trees and dark.

the next morning was glum. the whole trip was glum. i’m not sure how many days we spent in the bwca, but i would bet that it rained 9/10 of the time. one of the required items on the shopping list was a rainsuit that you wore, obviously, when it rained. my parents, being of limited means, purchased the least expensive one, hoping maybe the sun would shine the entire time?

the rainsuit lasted me maybe two days. after the first day, i gave up and just wore the coat until that started tearing, then just dealt with the wet. (years later, when i would go on another canoe trip down the missouri with my dad et. al., i made sure to get a heavy duty rainsuit that would stand up to rigorous use. i still have it.)

there were portages. hoisting a canoe over your head and walking it up and down a bumpy dirt path for half a mile. there were shortcuts to the portages, through marshy wetlands and a short waterfall where we got out of the canoe and lowered it down to the river below.

there was weather. a lot of it. one day was so foggy that a compass and map were absolute musts. the trees and lake appearing out of a mist were creepy enough, then to think that we were miles from anything on top of it? another day, or the same day, the wind was up and the water was choppy beyond belief. our time at east side lake had not prepared us for this, and in my head i can still hear my mantra of “vertical to the waves, vertical to the waves”.

at some point, somewhere along the line, someone began singing “cat’s in the cradle” by ugly kid joe, and then “man on the moon” by REM and to this day, whenever i hear those songs, i think of the bwca.

our group camped on an island, safe from bears. another group camped at a spot where a large outcropping of round rock welcomed visitors.  i never saw where the third group camped.

some people went fishing. some people paddled around the lake. i think i brought a camera, but i don’t remember if i took any pictures. if i did, i didn’t have the film developed. and then we all went cliff jumping.

on one of the few sunny afternoons, somehow we all got the word to paddle out to a sheer cliff maybe 30′ in the air. i chose not to partake, but others did, climbing up the side of the island up to the top and jumping off. mandy and i sat in our canoe, on the lookout for any bwca rangers because there were definitely more than 10 of us in one spot. ellie jumped and we all held our breath because she was underwater for longer than the others.

but more than anything, i was homesick. the rain certainly didn’t help, but my overwhelming thoughts were that i wished i could be home and why did i come. i envied beth, whose dad was along on the trip.

but then all too soon, it was over. the rain cleared for our final day and the sun shone brightly down on us as we were packing up. we got in to austin, and my mom was there to pick me up, with devastating news.

we were moving to new london.

this trip was the last time i saw many of these people. after that, a few went different ways, some to the public school, some to rochester, some (me) completely out of the area altogether. and that was it, the culminating point of the great Queens’ 8th grade class of ’93. here’s to you and the bwca. “It’s been sure nice talkin’ to you”

BFF!

black friday forever!

ok, so i know we live in a consumer-driven society, save the planet, save your soul, don’t shop on black friday, blah blah blah, but OMG it’s so fun!!!

i’d perused the bf ads and saw a $200 dishwasher at sears, as well as a snowblower that nate wanted, so i lined up a truck with jen at work, and decided to do bf again. as you’ll recall, last year was successful, so why not have lightning strike twice?

thanksgiving night, nate left for work at 6:30. poo. so, after cleaning up, i took a nap at 7:30 and got up at 11. watched the pixar story, some futurama, and then dinked around on the internet. i decided to leave early to stop at kohl’s. i wanted to pick up a gift for nate, and after seeing it cheap online, thought, why not? i had a 15% off coupon and a $10 off in-store only coupon.

drove in, turned the corner, and YUCK! $10 was not worth me dealing with that mob. so, i forewent kohl’s and drove to sears. while i waited, i ordered the thing i wanted online (it’s his xmas present, can never be too careful), then stepped into target to have a look around. the crowds weren’t so bad, except by electronics, but the line for the checkouts was outrageous!! it wound its way through about 10 aisles!! good thing i didn’t get anything there.

went back to my car, then watched “iron giant” while waiting for sears to open. 4 am rolls around, and i go in around 4:10. cruised back to appliances, and turns out there are no dishwashers in stock. ????? how does that even make sense. so i did not get a dishwasher on bf. boo. the appliance guy said i could try the snowblower, but that he thought they were hot sellers and would be sold out. so, didn’t even try.

go home, wait til nate gets home to say hi (he got in at 5:30 or so), then went to sleep. woke up at noon and prepared myself for more shopping.

here’s the thing: i’m pretty much done christmas shopping by the time black friday rolls around, so bf is all about finding stuff for me, as selfish as that sounds. i like finding deals and getting a steal. so boo on you if you think that’s weird.

first went to old navy and got some lounge pants and socks. then off to the east side target because i didn’t want to deal with mall parking. found seasons of dexter for $13 each, board games for my giving tree thing at work, and parchment paper for cookies.

stopped at pier one and decided to get a tea mug and tea strainer for my grandma for christmas instead of the gift to charity (i don’t know if that’s bad or not, lol), salt and pepper shakers for my dad, and something for my sister liz that i won’t mention here.

and just for the heck of it, i stopped at menard’s to see what they had.

a snowblower?

a better one than the one i was going to get at sears for the same price?

yes please.

snapped that baby up, called the truck contact, and had it home by 6 p.m. nate is happy. not a bad deal day after all.

turkey!!!

a very nice thing about only having to cook for yourself is that i could take pictures of the food as it was cooking without worrying about getting in someone’s way or holding up any process but my own. woo!

centerpiece

centerpiece

 

new kitty at the time ralph.

new kitty at the time ralph.

my turkey recipe is long and messy. even thought i have it almost memorized, i tape it to the microwave above the stove and it makes it easy to read and find.

my turkey recipe is long and messy. even thought i have it almost memorized, i tape it to the microwave above the stove and it makes it easy to read and find.

out of the brine and into the roasting pan!

out of the brine and into the roasting pan!

this all gets shoved up the turkey's butt. mmmm. see how having a rosemary plant pays for itself?

this all gets shoved up the turkey’s butt. mmmm. see how having a rosemary plant pays for itself?

all trussed up and nowhere to go. expect the oven.

all trussed up and nowhere to go. expect the oven.

mushroom porn. 1 lb. of mushies. i got crimini and oyster mushrooms this year.

mushroom porn. 1 lb. of mushies. i got crimini and oyster mushrooms this year.

and why not use a whole stick of butter in the mashed potatoes?

and why not use a whole stick of butter in the mashed potatoes?

EASY rolls. buy frozen loaves of bread, thaw two loaves, then cut into 10 pieces. roll into oblong shapes and place in a row down a 9x13. let rise and bake for 1/2 hour at 350. take out and brush with butter. so yummy!

EASY rolls. buy frozen loaves of bread, thaw two loaves, then cut into 10 pieces. roll into oblong shapes and place in a row down a 9×13. let rise and bake for 1/2 hour at 350. take out and brush with butter. so yummy!

green beans added to mushies. also includes shallots and porcinis and lots of butter. thanksgiving: brought to you by butter.

green beans added to mushies. also includes shallots and porcinis and lots of butter. thanksgiving: brought to you by butter.

gravy! i had 3 pints leftover. also includes butter. ha.

gravy! i had 3 pints leftover. also includes butter. ha.

and the piéce de resistance, finally out of the over. i am brining my turkey every year.

and the piéce de resistance, finally out of the over. i am brining my turkey every year.