someday sunday: GREECE

since two of my etymology posts were greek related, you may have ascertained that i am interested in greece and greek mythology. i even took a greek language class in college (รณ dikaeopolis!)


i want to go see all the ruins, learn about the history, catch up on all my mythology. and who wouldn’t want to go see this?


so my favorite youtube yoga teacher, lesley fightmaster, hosts a yoga retreat in greece every year. i would LOVE to go to that. there’s a yoga shala D:


some day! 


happy caturday!


poor ralf has some respiratory problems. he has asthma to being with, and i was reading that stress can axacerbate asthma. well, he’s been having these issues since stan arrived, and stan’s awfully stressful. he might also have a cold on top of that, so his wheezing sounds pretty horrible. he seems to be ok the rest of the time, but he doens’t sound great. i think i’ll give it another week and see if he gets a little better. stan gets fixed on wednesday, so maybe he’ll calm down a little it.

foodie friday: a christmas cookie catastrophe

i’ve written about my nose issues. they haven’t really resolved themselves. i’ve taken a round of antibiotics for sinus problems that i got from my dentist, and since then, i feel like my sniffer comes back for a nanosecond, then it’s gone. perhaps the future bodes well in the olfactory department. 

until then, there are a lot food-centric holidays approaching, and my taste buds are crying. i should be relatively ok through thanksgiving, as savory foods seem to be ok for the most part. i’m not worried about the turkey, slightly worried about the dressing, but mashed potatoes and squash should be ok. pumpkin pie will be…ok…sort of. at least it’s not chocolate, which seems to be the worst of the worst, along with vanilla cake. 

but christmas? that has me worried.


i looove making christmas cookies. and EATING them. they are delicious! 


and why would i go through all the work of making cookies if they taste like a compost heap? disgusting. and i’m not making loads of cookies just to give them all away and not be able to eat any. what’s the point?


i’m especially worried about crack balls (photo above). these little guys are delicious. i might give them a try and coat them in something other than chocolate – i don’t know if almond bark would work; i’d have to give it a good ol’ sniff to see how it makes me feel.

so, i think i’m going to try some of my faves that i think might be ok: eggnog snickerdoodles and ginger molasses cookies. i know i can’t make the peanut butter blossom cookies. they’ll be gross. perhaps some spritzes might be ok. i’ll just have to make a half batch at a time and see how it goes. 

this nose blows.

ps: i deliberately did not post yesterday’s post to twitter. if you want to read it, feel free to click through to the homepage and check it out. i didn’t need it to be “discovered.”

deviating from the script

today is supposed to be throwback thursday, but due to some recent news, you get a politiblog.

first, i am furious at al franken. second, i am furious that suddenly NOW, finally, people are listening to victims (like, why did it take this long). and third i am furious at myself because i’m struggling with al’s work in the senate being a priority to his actions prior. 

furious at al

in case you haven’t heard, today al franken (mn senator and political superstar for various reasons, which will be touched on below) was accused of sexual misconduct by leeann tweeden. she and al were on a USO tour in 2006 and were rehearsing when he suggested they rehearse a kiss. she said ok despite reservations, and it made her uncomfortable. there is also a photo where he is grabbing at her chest (but not touching) and smiling at the camera. 

i expect some dumb stuff from my jr. senator because of his SNL days. i think it’s to expected that when you have a background that includes a raunchy comedy show in the 80s, there’s going to be some weird stuff and drugs you did. 

but to abuse the consent of a woman to this extent is pretty awful. (YES, i feel like trying to pick up 15-yr-olds in a mall is more awful, but that’s another politiblog). so, i am furious that he did this. 

furious at … now

why has it taken so long in the history of people for men to finally be held accountable for their actions like we have seen in the past couple months? victims of assault and harassment are finally being believed and the perpetrators shunned. there’ve been MILLENNIA of this kind of abuse, and it’s just now that we’re seeing some resemblance of accountability. 

while this is happening on a very visible, celebrity stage, it makes me wonder what will happen at a local, personal level. will victims of domestic abuse see what can happen if they speak up and demand repercussions? will women stop staying with men who call them names and emotionally degrade them? will MEN stop the violence? (ultimately, it’s up to the abusers to stop abuse.)

i’m lucky in that i haven’t been in any sort of abusive relationship, but i’d like to think that if abuse would happen, i would be the sort of person to step away from that, no excuses or second chances. any sort of touching or groping that’s happened to me has been a) invited or b) consent by previous grope. so in my early 20s, this happened quite a bit, both from males and females, because it turned into a running joke. i didn’t see myself as assaulted; it was a joke i was in on AND perpetuated. others from the outside may view this as harassment, but i do not. if i were in my 20s now? i probably would not let this happen. (i know i wouldn’t let it happen as a 38-r-old!)

furious at myself

what i’ve been grappling with are my feelings surrounding all this. i voted for al. i’ve been a huge cheerleader of his in the senate. he champions net neutrality. i’ve watched him grilling people and getting answers. i’ve been proud to call him my senator. (seriously – the only thing i’ve disagreed with him on is his superdelegate vote for hillary, not bernie.)

and when i saw the news today, my gut just dropped. then clenched. i was disgusted by it and irritated and mad. and then i sit here and weigh what he did in 2006 against all the work he’s done in the senate. i feel like he’s a true asset to the senate from what i’ve read, sharp-witted, and dedicated to paul wellstone’s legacy. and i cannot discount that i feel like the work he’s done is bigger than the assault he committed, which is a HORRIBLE thing to think.

my mind keeps skipping back and forth: as a woman i know it’s important to believe victims and hold offenders accountable; as a minnesotan who voted for him, i think he’s done a fantastic job in the senate. are there other minnesotans out there who would do just as great a job? absolutely. but i still cannot discount the work he’s done. 

so i’m mad at myself for not immediately calling for his resignation. i’m very glad he fully supports the ethics committee hearing. i will be very interested to see what that will find. 

and as the next few days progress, i think my anger will diffuse, and the only thing left will be disappointment in al, all for the sake of a few yuks and his wanting to kiss a model*.

*so after i finished my post, i looked up to see what leeann tweeden is known for. she’s currently a radio anchor/personality, but in the past she’s modeled for the covers of playboy, maxim, and FHM. while this does not discount her allegations or excuse al’s behavior, my perspective of her has changed 180ยบ because of her involvement in the “women as objects” industry. 

word wednesday: sycophant

today’s word of the day probably needs a definition for some people as well.

sycophant: a person who acts obsequiously toward someone important in order to gain advantage.

aka, a brown-noser. 

we have another greek background word today (like clew’s greek myth background).

it comes from the greek word sykophantes, which is a false accuser or slanderer, but is literally translated as someone who shows the fig.

showing a fig was probably akin to doing the ol’ ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿ‘Œ emoji combination (or in real-life combination, as i remember witnessing for the first time on the dance floor at first street station on 18+ night in 1998. someone was trying to get lucky.) (yes, liz, that emoji combination is inappropriate. ๐Ÿ™„ ) showing a fig was sticking your thumb between two fingers (think “got your nose”), which resembles a fig. a fig in those days was symbolic of the female nether regions (for help, sykon also meant vulva).

of course the politicians of the day were too good for such gestures (if only DT held himself to such standards) but lustily urged their followers to taunt their opponents with them (well, that’s something DT would obviously do). so in modern day french and greek, it means just slanderer, but in english it means an insincere flatterer. this shift happened over time, mostly because it’s portrayed as a kind of parasite, speaking untrue things or accusing for the gain of the approval of another. 



review tuesday: netflix

i was planning on reviewing stranger things today, but i felt like i should’ve watched season 1 again on top of season 2 to really review it, and i haven’t done that. i’ll say this about stranger things: steve kind of redeemed himself at the end of season one when he came in swinging with his nail-laden bat, but he REALLY nailed it this season. i think i’m a little in love with season 2 steve.

but i want to review netflix in general. i’ve been using netflix since 2003 when i got my subscription for dvds in the mail. oooh, it was fun getting my dvd in the mail! that red envelope in the mailbox was quite the excitement. this was, of course, back when i had the attention span to watch a movie in one sitting. 

when netflix announced that it was going to launch streaming, i hopped right on board. i always do like jumping on the new technology bandwagon. then when the plugin came for my ps3, that was even better. now i could watch it on my tv!

then when netflix came out with its own tv series (shame, kevin spacey, but HoC was fun at the beginning).

and while netflix has slowly been decreasing its library of offerings, and if you really want to watch a new release or somethign specific, you have to rent it from amazon or vudu, netflix is a great time waster. there are tons of documentaries, and generally if you’re looking for something to watch while you’re wondering what to do with life, they’ve got it.

occasionally there’s a new release, and sometimes you find what you’re looking for. and there is always the great time waster: spending hours just browsing netflix. 

right now i’m watching the latest season of great british baking show that just came available. 

i think about watching tv like i used to – watching an episode and having to wait a week for the next episode to come out. and then there were the reruns in the middle of the season before the second half of the season’s new episodes came out. ahhh! although that has its merits as well: there is something to the anticipation of waiting for your show to come on.

but, the instant gratification child in me is happy that i can binge watch everything.

so, with that, i’ve got to get back to watching GBBS.

meme monday: keepin’ it old school

i was thinking to myself, hmm, it’d be really great if i could find one of those old-style memes from the early oughts that were a list of questions about yourself. everyone on Livejournal did them. OH! and maybe find one of those memes where you took the quiz and posted it on your LJ – like the actual CODE. none of this facebook sharing that happens these days. (really – we’ve gotten a lot dumber in our style of sharing life information.)

so i poked around on the internet like, aaahhh, where do i FIND these anymore, when i thought HEY, MY DUMB BLOG’S 13 YEARS OLD I SHOULD JUST LOOK IN MY ARCHIVES.


so here we go, a 2005 classic, with updated answers. i’ll boldify things that have stayed the same.

Two Names You Go By
1. kate
2. catherine (very few people call me that. i can think of four. five when i get snooty with my brother.)

Two Parts of Your Heritage
1. german (ALTHOUGH i did the thing and it says that my german heritage is actually british isles. it makes me wonder about the conquering and pillaging that happened in that area.)
2. irish (6% according to ancestry)

Two Things That Scare You
1. a spider
2. another spider (can you blame a person for keeping these.)

Two of Your Everyday Essentials
1. kitty pets
2. time for reading

Two Things You Are Wearing Right Now
1. wool argyle pink socks (seriously, i am wearing wool pink socks. not argyle, but i think they’re close enough, and that is WEIRD.)
2. yoga pants

Two of Your Favorite Bands or Musical Artists (at the moment)
1. everclear
2. old-school liz phair (doens’t even have to be old school.)

Two Things You Want in a Relationship (other than Real Love)
1. fellow cat lover
2. comfortableness

Two Truths
1. cat poo increases exponentially with the number of cats using the box
2. life happens

Two Physical Things that Appeal to You
1. trees
2. lakes

Two of Your Favorite Hobbies
1. reading
2. gardening

Two Things You Want Really Badly
1. a cabin!
2. i guess no debt would be nice…

Two Places You want to go on Vacation
1. machu picchu
2. mesa verde (i kept this one because i’m going there in february!!!)

Two Things You Want to Do Before You Die
1. retire
2. travel more (maybe before my knees give out)

Two Ways that you are stereotypically a Chick/Guy
1. stereotypes are weird. i don’t feel “womanly” really. i’m just me.
2. i wear mascara pretty regularly i guess. 

Two Things You Normally Wouldnโ€™t Admit
1. i eat a lot more than i should. even with running. if i ate like a normal person, i’d probably weigh 30-40 lbs. less. that’s kind of annoying. but i like food!! and my willpower is crap.
2. i really get annoyed when people ask me if i have kids. because it means as soon as i give my answer (no), our conversation stalls because that’s the topic the other person wants to talk about. sorry, society in general. i’m going against your grain with this no kids thing. we can talk about things other than the small people who rule your lives.

Two Things You Are Thinking About Now
1. how i should run more and eat less.
2. the short week next week! i’m really excited for a short week and hosting thanksgiving. also, work has been unstressful as of late, which is REALLY nice. i’m NOT thinking about that all the time like i normally do.

Two Stores You Shop At
1. the grande depot (i window shop.)
2. target

Two people I would like to see take this quiz
1. myself in another 12 years
2. liz (!)

Two people I havenโ€™t talked to in a while
1. define a while, and define talk. does a facebook convo count? is a while 2 months? 2 weeks? 2 days? SO MANY QUESTIONS.
2. melissa, but i should call her. she’s one of those friends who i can call after not speaking to for six months and pick up right where we left off! (and like i said before, it’s always so soothing talking to her.)

someday sunday: chickens!

my next step in self sufficiency would be chickens! we finally have enough space that i would feel comfortable getting a couple chickens, so at this point i need to convince nate that we could probably leave chickens alone for a couple days if needed. that’s always his problem when we talk about getting chickens. 

another thing that would probably work a lot better for my not-really transient lifestyle that nate’s so worried about is getting some honeybees. we’ve got this huge field behind our house that’s in CRP that would be great for bees. 

weirdly enough, both these thing would come via mail… funny thing, eh? i just looked up chickens, and i can get a 4-week-old bird for $17. if i were so inclined, i could get a pair of breeding trumpeter swans for $5200, but i don’t think i want to go that route right now. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

i think what’s holding me back is the start-up work, learning, and money. i know i have a lot of things that i deal with as far as this goes, but these two things seem daunting for some reason. i can’t imagine that these would be any more work or cost than dealing with 3 cats, but chickens and bees aren’t as snuggly.


foodie friday! squash-potato soup

Squash Potato Soup
mmmm soup
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
  1. 2 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  2. 4-5 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  3. 2 medium onions, roughly diced
  4. 2 celery stalks, roughly diced
  5. 3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  6. 2 bay leaves
  7. Chicken stock to cover vegetables (about 9 cups)
  8. 1 pint cream/milk
Spices to taste
  1. salt
  2. pepper
  3. fresh thyme
  4. parsley flakes
  5. balsamic vinegar
  6. powdered mustard
  1. Take all your veggies, garlic, and bay leaves, and put them in a pot and use chicken stock to just cover. put over medium-low heat and let it cook until all the veggies are really soggy and mushy. Take out the bay leaves and use a stick blender to blend it til smooth. Or you can run it through a blender or food processor in batches. It should be really thick - mix in your cream/milk. If you want a looser soup, add more milk.
  2. Spice it up! I used fresh thyme, salt, pepper, ground mustard, and parsley flakes. For this batch, I ended up using about 2-3 tablespoons (yes, tablespoons) of salt. Don't sell yourself short on the salt. I shook a couple shakes of balsamic vinegar in there as well. If you know you like a certain spice in soup, give it a try. Taste your soup and spice it til you like it.
  3. Another tip: cook up some bacon really crisp, crumble it and put it in the soup. I might do that tomorrow.
  1. I like cheese on my soup. I used feta this time, but I would also recommend some shredded parmesan. Cheddar might also work. Can also crumble some bacon on top.
Life in the Cheese Drawer

once a year i give a go at squash potato soup. it’s always sweeter than i remember it (that squash is sweet!), but i really like it. so here’s your foodie friday post! unlike most food bloggers, i put the recipe at the top so you don’t have to scroll for days through someone’s life story before you find the recipe. (i hate that.)


i had a bunch of butternut squash from my garden this year, so i had to do something with it. hello soup!


I also have some thyme growing in the giant flower garden that was here when i moved in. the gift that keeps on giving! now it’s just like it’s freeze-dried (haha. stupid cold weather.)



after the stick blender. best $15 i ever spent. seriously, it’s worth it if you do a lot of soups or sauces.


mmmm, topped with feta cheese and leftover thyme leaves.