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May 2016

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May. 28th, 2016

curiosity

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May. 26th, 2016

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affection

Jude and Becky Came to Visit Me!!!

I thought Jude told me they would be here Monday and Tuesday. But Sunday at 6:24pm Jude called me from outside my front door. I was sleeping. But I quickly got dressed. I have known Jude for about a year but it feels like I have known him forever. I don't have as much contact with Becky, I'm friends with her on Facebook but this is the first time I met her in person. She feels familiar. Maybe I knew her in a past life, or maybe she reminds me of my cousin-in-law Karen Wald. They are both intelligent cheerful women with quick wits. That would explain why I called her Karen at one point.

We went out to dinner at Spicy Asian, my favorite Chinese restaurant. I told them to order from the Szechuan menu. They ignored my advice and Becky ordered the Chef's Special Shrimp w. Walnut. I had never seen that before. It was giant shrimp in a cream sauce with candied walnuts. Jude ordered some kind of tofu and vegetables in a brown sauce. I ordered the Fish Filet w. Special Tofu In Hot Pot. Which is my favorite.

Looking at this picture, Becky looks like she could be one of my Corcoran relatives.

After dinner we went to Wegmans for coffee. Unfortunately the coffee shop was closed! We hung out in the cafe for a while until we were kicked out. I'm going to write to Wegmans about that. There is no reason to close the cafe or close the coffee shop. The store is open 24hrs and if they sold hot coffee people would come in sit in the cafe, and buy food out of the coolers.

We retreated to their hotel room and hung out some more and looked over tarot cards. Then Jude took me home. I had a hard time falling asleep I was so stoked from hanging out with them.

Monday we went to lunch at Istanbul Turkish Kitchen. I ordered the Adana Kebab. Becky ordered the Urfa Kebab. And Jude ordered the Sebze Kebab. Jude doesn't like lamb, because of a bad experience. And every restaurant I took them to had lamb on the menu. There are only three entrees on the menu that don't include lamb. Jude chose the vegetarian option. I also ordered a Turkish Coffee. Where else can you get real Turkish coffee! Jude tried to order the Turkish coffee with artificial sweetener but they didn't have any artificial sweetener. Which became a theme of the visit. LOL. Jude and I split some homemade Baklava, and Becky had the Sutlac (rice pudding).

Then we went to the Foundation of Light to see the Stone Circle and the Labyrinth. We could not find the Labyrinth. I think they have not mowed it yet this year. But we saw some chickens at the little red school house.

After that we went to Phoenix Book Store, only to find they were closed and going out of business. :( We hung out on the porch and picked up some free books.

Then we went back to my house and they broke down some boxes for me so we could take them to the recycling center. I had been meaning to do that for a while. But it is hard for me to handle the big sheets of cardboard. They took care of it in a couple of minutes. After the recycling center we went to Wegmans for coffee and so I could pick up some medications. Then they took me home so I could take a nap.

For dinner we went to Tamarind. They were very crowded. In fact traffic was very heavy all day. Becky ordered the BBQ Pork over wonton and egg noodle soup. Jude had the Green Curry with firm tofu. And I had the BBQ Pork over rice and I got to have my Thai Tea. Jude tried to get a plain tea with artificial sweetener. But they didn't have any artificial sweetener. His Green Curry was so hot he ended up ordering a sweet tea, they brought him a Thai Iced Tea.

For dessert we had the Roti with Sweet Condensed Milk. Which is exactly what it says it is two flat pancakes with a drizzle of condensed milk. We also had the coconut custards, six tiny cups of hot coconut custard. Jude and Becky had never had it before. They were surprised when I told them they could keep the little ceramic cups because the restaurant would just throw them out. But the waitress agreed with me and brought us a container to take them in.

Then we tried to go to a bookstore but everything was closed so they took me home.

Tuesday we went to Hawi Ethiopian Cuisine for lunch. I had never been there before. It is on the Commons and parking is difficult for me. Jude dropped me off in front of the restaurant and parked the car in the parking garage. Which is all I really needed in order to go there.

Becky wasn't very hungry so she ordered the Avocado Salad. I ordered the Yebeg Alicha, which is a lamb dish. And Jude ordered the Doro Wat which is a chicken dish. I also tried the Sesame drink and the mint lemonade. The sesame drink tasted like halva, which I enjoy. A bit bitter, but since I'm used to halva it didn't bother me. The mint lemonade was green. I think they just put fresh mint in a blender. It was very good. They don't give you silverware at Ethiopian restaurants. The food is served on a giant sourdough pancake with a basket of extra pancakes cut into bits to use to scoop up the food. I had no problem with it. Jude asked for a fork. My dish came with Shiro, mashed chickpeas with Berbere spice. It was hot. And Yater Kik Alicha a mild dish of yellow split peas. Jude's dish came with Misir Wat, a lentil dish with red peppers. And Yatakilt Alicha, fresh carrots, potatoes and cabbage cooked with garlic and ginger. I also ordered the sweetened cream cheese wrapped in fillo dough and fried. Jude tried to get tea with artificial sweetener again, which they did not have.

We went around the corner to Autumn Leaves Used Books. Jude finally found one of the books he was looking for. He also found an anthropology book that had was very influential for him, and gifted it to me. I sat on the couch in the children's section and Becky read me a Dr Seuss book, "You're Only Old Once!: A Book for Obsolete Children". It is one of her favorite books. I considered buying it for my dad, but it might be to on-the-nose for him.

Then I took them to Taughannock Falls, and The Ithaca Children's Garden. They took pictures of themselves sitting on Gaia the Turtle. Then we took a drive around the new Namgyal Monastery: Institute of Buddhist Studies. It's not finished yet so we just drove around and waved at some monks.

Inside Ithaca's new Tibetan Buddhist monastery (pictures)
Buddhist Monastery rises on Ithaca's South Hill (text)

Then they took me home and left to return to Texas.

I was totally exhausted and I'm still sore. But they were very kind and considerate of my needs. If Becky hadn't been opening doors and taking care of my cane and hat the whole time I would be much worse off. I would not have been physically or emotionally able to do everything we did if they hadn't been so kind and helpful to me.

It was a great visit. I hope I was a good host and showed them a good time.

I swear Ithaca should hire me for the tourism board. I really love this town.

Now I need to sleep for another 24 hours to recover.

I hope Jude posts his pictures. He took some really fun pictures.

May. 20th, 2016

curiosity

Mostly OK

I have a cold. I think I got it from Song. Mostly runny nose and coughing up flem. So the only difference from allergies is the cough.

A maintenance guy came over today to fix my constantly running toilet. I was a bit anxious as usual. But he was only here for a few minutes.

I wanted to go shopping today. I was dressed to go out and everything. But I kept putting it off. I finally realized that my body (or possibly my unconscious) just didn't want to leave the house today. The last time I left the house over its objections things did not go well. I will try again tomorrow.

It was a beautiful day I did have open windows.
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May. 17th, 2016

curiosity

A Cool Spring.

Things are going fine for me. Not much is happening.

I went down to Vestal for Mother's day I brought her some Thai food from Ithaca, and a bouquet. I also gave her some fabric samples I got from Sew Green that will make nice placemats and napkins.

I visited Song over this weekend and baked a cake. I've been crocheting. It was a bit cold over the weekend, but in general the weather has been pleasant. I've been opening windows. It's spring and I feel like cleaning.

My allergies have been bothering me. I've been sneezing a lot, and my eyes have been irritated. The congestion makes it dificult for me to sleep. And it plugs up my ears making it hard for me to hear people.

May. 7th, 2016

sorrow

My Friend Pat Died

I just found out that my friend Pat died. She suffered a stroke several weeks ago while she was vacationing with her family in Texas, and fell into a coma. They were not able to bring her home because of her condition. It has been very hard on her family taking care of her so far from home.

Pat was a friend of my mother. She had two sons, Max and Paul, who are around the same age as me and my sister Maria. She taught me that it is possible to befriend a child and keep that friendship when the child becomes an adult.

She was a very supportive and helpful friend.

She encouraged me in my art.

She was an amazing artist herself. She was a photographer and documented most of the major events in our family. She took several portraits of me. Such as this one


She had a distinctive style and a quirky sense of humor. I wish she had posted her work on the internet. I think she would have developed a cult following. I still have all the birthday cards she made for me. And the trophy she gave me when I got my driver's licence. I also have a safe sex poster she made.

My mother has a couple of her prints from a cookbook Pat illustrated. One was of a "vegetable oyster" which she illustrated with an oyster shell peeking out of a corn stalk. Another was for "alpine eggs" that consisted of three hard boiled eggs carved to look like mountain peaks.

She taught me about hand painting black and white photographs.

She was a good friend to me and she will be missed.

Pat's Obituary in the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin
breasts not bombs

Why would anyone support Trump?

I am a Bernie supporter. I knew who he was before this election and I'm glad I had a chance to vote for him.

I don't like Hillary. But I don't hate or despise her. If she were president I don't think anything too terrible would happen. She is a competent politician and would keep things as they currently are.

I think Trump is disgusting troll. He is racist, sexist, and a bully. And I don't think he is too bright.

And yet, late last night I was thinking if I had to choose between Hillary and Trump I might choose Trump. His supporters are correct that he is controlled by no one. He isn't part of the political machine that maintains the way things are.

Supporting Bernie means trying to create change from within the system. Supporting Hillary means staying the course and keeping things as they are. Supporting Trump means saying "F#$% it!" just burn the system down and see if that changes anything.

The traditional Republican elites (who have renounced Trump and say they will vote for Hillary) have never cared about the poor and disenfranchised. They are the ones who create the poverty and do the disenfranchising. They want that to stay. And they are afraid of Trump, because he might rock the boat and cost them all their power and money.

The traditional Democrats have become so entrenched and complacent they are no longer really working for the poor, or the disenfranchised. They are just working to maintain their positions, which are more and more conservative.

What we have now is unacceptable. Voting for Hillary means nothing changes. Voting for Trump will definitely change things. I can understand why people want to vote for Trump. When I put it like that I want to vote for Trump.

What keeps me from doing it is the lives it will cost. Trump's attitude will lead to wars and poverty and death. I imagine many of the good people who voted for Hitler initially just wanted change from their untenable situation, of hyperinflation and poverty. Like the Trump supporters today, they didn't take his anti-semitic threats seriously. And that cost thousands of lives. Trump probably won't get *me* killed. But you never know. And I would hate for other people to die because of my vote.

I haven't been this concerned about our future since 12 years ago.
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May. 6th, 2016

curiosity

Disability Products

This month I ordered some things to help me around the house. I already have 3 grabbers.

I got a stool for the shower. This is a very nice stool. It is sturdy and I might order another one for the kitchen. Although I don't think they thought through the "rotating seat". It has stops under it, so it won't rotate when you don't want it too. That is a designed safety feature. But in order to disengage the stop you have to lift the seat about half an inch. Which means I can't possibly turn it while I'm sitting on it. Since it is a stool (with no back or sides) the only purpose of a rotating seat is to turn without standing up, which I can't do because of the stops. So basically it isn't a rotating stool. Well, It's a good thing I don't really need to rotate in the shower.

The other item I ordered was a cushion for my seat on the couch. I am hoping it will help me get up from the couch with less pain. It arrived today. I feel very tall now. But also my chest hurts. It's like sitting taller has taken all my back support. Or maybe it's because I have to look down at my computer now.

I'll see how that works.
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May. 5th, 2016

meat

Meat! Meat! Meat!

The local P&C Fresh had a one day sale today. The meat prices were so low I had to go and buy some. I have enough steak, hamburger, bacon, and sausage to last me two months at least. Most of what I bought was just meat.

They also had some veggies on sale. I got vine ripened tomatoes and cucumbers.

I tried to be smart about this I wrote down everything I wanted from the flier with prices to make sure I got the deals I thought I was going to get.

When I got there I found out they had tasting tables every few feet and live music! It's a party! The cashier told me they do this every year.

I got to taste cheese from a new local cheese manufacturer. (Unfortunately I lost the business card for that company.) Tumino Cheese Company They have a couple of fresh young cheeses that were very interesting.

There were a lot of beer samples. I tried a new Yuengling Summer Wheat that was quite nice. And there was a Hazlitt's Cider Tree Hard Cider that I liked. I could easily have gotten drunk.

There were also a lot of spicy foods. I accidently got the really spicy sushi. There were a couple of salsa tables. A jam table with spicy pineapple jam, and hot pepper jam. And a jarred Jambalaya with sausage, just add rice. Some people from Goya were there with chocolate coconut milk and a shelf stable gazpacho that you can use to make Bloody Marys. And there was a table from Grainful a new company that makes entrees and sides with steel cut oats instead of rice or wheat. I liked their Unstuffed cabbage.

And when I got home I made a healthy chickpea and black bean salad for dinner. I think it was a good day.

Now I just need to process all that meat so it doesn't go bad before I can eat it. My freezer is very full.
Gardening

Bonsai Tree Project

So, Song had this Bonsai tree kit that Craig gave her. It had been sitting around for a while so I decided to follow the instructions and see if I could grow us some Bonsai trees.

The kit comes with three kinds of seeds: Silver Birch (Betchula Pendula), Red Maple (Acer Rubrum) & Mountain Pine (Pinus Mugo Pumilio). The kit comes with 6 Growing Pots, 6 Peat Blocks, 6 Plant Markers & 6 Sealable Propagator Bags.

I soaked the seeds and planted them in the pots. Then I let them sit for two weeks. The instructions say follow this with 4 weeks of refrigeration before they sprout. The Pine sprouted after just the two weeks. I put the Maple and the Birch in Song's Fridge for the 4 week "stratification" period, and brought the Pine sprouts home to watch them until they are strong enough to pot.


I just hope I can keep them alive. According to the internet the Dwarf Mugo Pine is hardy and works well for this. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

May. 1st, 2016

Make Magic

May Day! First of the Month Grocery Shopping Day!

Happy Beltain! I'll be celebrating with friends later in the month when it is warmer.

It is cold again. I had to close the windows.

I went grocery shopping today and picked up some fresh fruit, and some yogurt so I can take my pills.

For some reason when I shop at P&C Fresh I end up buying fresh cow liver. I had fried liver and onions for dinner. With fresh tomato salad.

Apr. 30th, 2016

curiosity

Back Home for a While

I spent some time with my dad while mom took a day trip to NYC to visit the new Whitney Museum and walk along the High Line Park.

Dad is well and cheerful. We had a quiet day. I finished my Nålebinding project. I got to meet two of his home health care aids. Very tall sturdy women.

Now I'm home again.

I have some aspirations of doing spring cleaning. ALthough that has not begun yet.

Apr. 26th, 2016

curiosity

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Apr. 25th, 2016

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TV

"The Nightly Show"

Ever since Colbert left I have been watching "The Nightly Show" with Larry Wilmore. I still don't like the panel discussion format because it frequently ends up just being a bunch of comedians sitting around joking. I prefer the scripted bits.

I feel that I'm learning a lot about the black perspective from this show.

Last Thursday's episode the panel talked about Prince.


I used to be really into Prince, until his Christianity got a bit much for me. I think "Diamonds and Pearls" was the last album I bought"

He was very sexy, and sensual. I can see why people compare him to Bowie, with the androgyny and the glam. Although Prince was always very heterosexual.

But I always thought he was bringing something to the white mainstream that the black community had already known, like jazz or the blues. I thought his genius was in his ability to crossover. But apparently I was wrong, he was just as novel to them as he was to me. Huh, I did not know that. And I wouldn't have found out if I didn't watch "The Nightly Show".
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Cogito Ergo Nom

Pizza, Bacon, Black Beans, and Kebabs!

I spend the weekend in Binghamton with The Boy. So Song could go to Brooklyn and hang out with NightFall. The Cuteness stayed with her Grandma.

Friday, The Boy came home early from school because he had a headache. Song gets migraines so he might be getting them. When I arrived I started some dough rising for Pizza and went shopping. The Boy insisted on accompanying me. Probably to ensure that he got his soda and chips. I told him that caffeine is bad for headaches so he got rootbeer.

When we got home I made pizza for dinner and we hung out on the couch. The boy went to bed around 8pm. I crocheted and puttered around all night, doing laundry and thinking about what I wanted to cook.

Saturday morning I baked bacon, and scrambled eggs. I also boiled up a big pot of black beans and rice. And I cooked a bunch of chicken tenders that I found in the fridge so we could have chicken quesadillas for dinner.

The Boy got me to watch all three of the Sharknado! movies. They are hilarious. Good campy fun. Although, Ann Coulter as the Vice President of the United States in the third move was truly terrifying.

Sunday The Boy was feeling better and I declared a work day. He did his laundry and helped me wash dishes. I wanted him to cook with me. But he wasn't in the mood.

I kept thinking that I should go to the store to buy some eggs so I could bake Song a cake, and get more spices to make Kofta Kebabs. (I would have made Moussaka but I needed white wine and eggplant for that) I ended up making peanutbutter and chocolate chip cookies instead of cake. And I made the Kebabs without the parsley, coriander, or allspice.

This was my first time making proper kebabs. I've never cooked ground meat on a skewer before. I've also never mashed garlic into a paste in a mortar before. Despite the missing spices the Kebabs tasted very authentic to me. I would love to make them again with all the spices.

Except for the dearth of eggs, I feel I left Song's kitchen well stocked. She should not have to go shopping or cook for several days. There is Juice, milk, cereal, bread, cheese, and sandwich meat for the kids. And Kebobs, black beans, and rice for her. I also left her half a seedless watermelon.

Apr. 24th, 2016

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Apr. 10th, 2016

curiosity

A bit of a fiasco, but not a bad weekend.

I had planned to stay home this weekend. But Mom called and wanted to know what I was doing for my birthday. Since the family is having a big party in July I wasn't planning anything for my actual birthday, tomorrow. I have book group. But Mom invited me down for dinner on Sunday.

I called Song and asked her if I could come down on Friday and stay til Sunday. I have a standing invitation, but it's always best to make sure nothing else is going on and communicate.

Friday I couldn't find my keys when I was trying to get out of the house to meet B for lunch. It turned out I had left them in my car on Wednesday, with the running lights and the fan on. So the battery was totally dead. B came and jumped it for me. And we had lunch. After lunch I had some errands I wanted to run, but the car started stalling every time I came to a stop. So I decided to drive directly to Binghamton, (Which is probably why I forgot to call Song and let her know I was on my way. I usually do that so that if I don't show up in a reasonable amount of time she will know to worry about me.) When I got to Binghamton the car was still stalling so I called Hunts and made an appointment for Monday.

I got to Song's house minuted before The Cuteness and her grandmother arrived. They let me know that The Cuteness was spending the weekend with her grandmother. And The Teenager was spending the night at a friend's house. So I hung out and waited for Song to get home, and waited, and waited. At about 6:30 I called her to let her know I was hungry and ordering dinner. Her phone went to voicemail and I left a message. She called back an hour later to let me know that she had tattally forgotten I was coming down and had gone out for dinner and shopping. She got home just as the Chinese food arrived.

We spent the evening on the couch watching TV. I worked on some craft projects: I finished my nalbinding hat, and worked on a crocheted plastic bag mat that The Teenager had started. I got Song to start her Bonsai tree seeds soaking, and soak the chia seeds for my chia seed cake.

Saturday, Song went grocery shopping in the morning. When she got back she helped me get the Bonsai seeds potted and we made the chia seed cake. I have a family recipe for poppyseed cake and I wanted to see if it would work with chia seeds. It did.

In the evening Song went out to pick up The Teenager. She went out at 5 and didn't get back til 8:30. Since I was expecting her sooner I had made dinner: fried chicken and Broccoli Tots. The Teenager was full of pizza, and Song was not hungry.

Sunday morning Song had to drive to Horseheads for an appointment so I was home with The Teenager. I helped him wash the dishes. And nudged him to do his laundry. I also took pictures of my alternate way of making Plarn

Around 3:30 The Cuteness came home, Song came home, And I left to pick up Indian Food for dinner with my parents.

We ordered from Royal Indian Bar and Grill in Vestal. We had: Plain Paratha, Aloo Paratha (spicy), Vegetable Pakora,
Butter Chicken, Lamb Kashmiri, Goat Saagwala, and I got a Mango Lassi. It was all good. The Goat had bones in it. I don't know why you can't get goat without bones in it around here. The lamb and the chicken didn't have any bones.

I had a nice visit with my parents and set up Mom with Amazon Prime. She has a Roku box so she can watch Prime videos on her TV.

Now I'm home again. Tomorrow is my birthday. I turn 50. I may be having dinner with B and Jenn, and I will be going to Book Group to discuss "The Three Body Problem". (I hope I have finished it by then.) I still don't plan on doing much because there will be a party in July.
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Apr. 9th, 2016

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Apr. 3rd, 2016

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Apr. 2nd, 2016

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Apr. 1st, 2016

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Mar. 31st, 2016

Cogito Ergo Nom

Linguine with Clam Sauce

Linguine with clam sauce is a thing. I like clams so I gave it a try. I looked at several recipes on the internet and just wrote down the ingredient with no quantities. So this is my recipe.

I have heard that you are not supposed to use a chunky sauce with a pasta like Linguine because the chucks don't stick to the pasta. You have to eat the clams with a spoon after you finish the pasta. Maybe a thicker, cream, sauce would have stuck better. My pepper flakes are very fresh and hot. I regret adding them. They really overshadow the other flavors.

Ingredients
1 lb Linguine
1 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 med Onions, finely diced
3 cloves of Garlic, finely diced
1 Tbsp dried Parsley
1 tsp Basil
1/2 tsp Thyme Leaves
1/8 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup White Wine
10 oz can of fancy minced Clams with juice
Parmesan Cheese to serve.

Prepare the linguine according to instructions.
Start the onions and garlic sauteing in the butter and olive oil.
Add the spices, wine and clams with juice.
Simmer the sauce until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add a little of the water from the pasta. and reduce some more.
Drain the pasta and toss with the clam mixture.
Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

You can also add fresh mushrooms.
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Mar. 30th, 2016

curiosity

Therapy Day

I didn't have much to say in therapy today. I can usually talk for the full hour but today I was out of things to talk about after 20 minutes. Things are going pretty well. My anxiety has been under control. I didn't do any comfort eating the two weekend I was out. I feel pretty good. I couldn't think of anything to talk about.

Mar. 27th, 2016

flan

Really Good Vanilla Cake

The Cuteness wanted a vanilla cake in the shape of a bunny for her birthday.
Bunny Cake

I don't generally go for vanilla cakes but this one tasted particularly good. So I want to record the recipe so I can do it again.

Vanilla Cake

4 eggs, separated
1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
1/4 cup sugar (plain granulated)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar (plain granulated)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 2/3 cups flour
1 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 350F
Grease and line two 9 inch cake pans.
Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites.
Add the Cream of Tartar to the whites and beat them to soft peaks. Gradually beat in the 1/4 cup of sugar. Then set aside.
In another bowl cream the butter with the 1 1/2 cup sugar. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time. Beat in the vanilla, baking powder, and salt.
Beat in the flour and milk in three parts, alternating flour and milk.
Fold in half the beaten egg whites. Then fold in the rest.
Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for 25-35 minutes.

I got this recipe from "The Joy of Cooking" 2006 edition. They call it a Four Egg Yellow Cake. It was amazingly white even though I used very yellow organic eggs.
I was just surprised with how good this cake tasted. A lot of vanilla cakes are just not good. But this was delicious.

I also made Hot Cross Buns.
Hot Crossed Buns
I sort of winged that recipe.
I started out with 1 pkg of yeast and 1/2 cup of warm water and let that sit to proof. Then I added 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 tsp salt.
Then I melted 1 stick of butter in 1 1/2 cups of milk, in the microwave.
I added about 3 cups flour to the yeast sponge, alternating with the milk and butter mixture. I also mixed in 4 eggs. When the dough was well kneaded I put it in the oven (a warm draft free box) for 1 hour to proof. Until it had just doubled in size. I was a bit worried that the yeast didn't seem as active as it usually is with my leaner doughs. But it did rise.
Then I cut the dough into 15 pieces and formed buns. I put them in a greased 9x13 pan. and put them back in the oven for their second rise. After half an hour they had only risen a little bit but I was in a hurry so I pre heated the oven to 350F and baked them for 30 min. They rose beautifully!

I made the crosses with lemon sugar glaze. But Song suggested that I could have nipped crosses into the tops before I baked them.

Mar. 22nd, 2016

BBW

REAF 2016

So, this past weekend was the Rochester Erotic Arts Festival. I have attended every one of these because one of the organizers is my friend Rauncie.

The first year I attended I sat down behind the information table and stayed there for most of the festival. I really prefer to enjoy festivals from behind a table. It's a habit I picked up from working festivals for Magi Crafts. And it makes me feel like I "belong". When you are sitting at a table eventually everyone walks by.

After the first year I started actually being assigned a volunteer shift at the info booth. The organizers like how friendly and welcoming I am. A couple of years ago they combined the info booth with the coat check. Since that involves standing and hanging up people's coats I couldn't do it. So they put me at the Erotic Playground Party and Raffle ticket table. I sell tickets and explain things to people. It works for me.

The shifts are usually in 1 or 2 hour blocks but since I'm there all weekend, and I just sit behind the table, I signed up for 5 to 8 on Friday and 1 to 6 on Saturday.

I've gotten used to the Radisson Hotel. It is a nice hotel. The rooms are clean. The beds are big. They have free wifi. They have lots of towels. But for my anxiety just being familiar and knowing what to expect helps.

This year the hotel had rearranged the furniture in the lobby, which was problematic for me. But Rauncie and her new boyfriend came down and helped me. She checked me in and he took my stuff up to my room for me. So I could go right to my volunteer shift.

The Erotic Playground Party had a Pirate theme this year so I wore my pirate hat and my beard.



I really have to make some new shirts I think I have worn the same shirt several years in a row.

I had a nice evening and then went to find my room. Unfortunately I misremembered the number and was looking for room 824 instead of 823. There is no room 824. I've had a problem with missing rooms at the Radisson before. I think have figured out why they do it but it's still confusing when I'm trying to find my room and I'm in pain. Room 823 was very close to the elevators so that was good. I had brought crackers, peanut butter, and jelly with me so that is what I had for dinner. Along with a cup of applesauce for my pills. The Radisson does not have refrigerators or microwaves in the rooms so I knew I had to bring shelf stable food.

In the morning I had the cup of coffee that comes with the little coffee maker in the room. I should try to bring some kind of cup-o-noodle next year since there is hot water. My Saturday work shift was 1-6 but I went down at noon to use the food voucher REAF gave the volunteers. The food vouchers got me two cheese burgers. But they didn't start serving food until 1 so Patrick, another friend of mine from Rochester, was kind enough to get my food for me and bring it to me at the table.

Saturday was the big day at the festival. There were a lot of people and I was busy all day. It helps that I call out to people and greet them and welcome them to the festival. It is an odd coping mechanism I have for my social anxiety. If I have to be around people I talk a lot, loudly, and quickly. I also encouraged people to buy items from the vendors if they didn't want to risk not winning the raffle. The woman who was the "stranded mermaid" for the party dropped by my booth and spoke to me. After I met her I kept telling people that the mermaid for the party had been "ethically harvested". She seemed pretty happy to me.

I saw lots of cool outfits and lots of friendly people. Some of the outfits looked comfortable and well worn. Others looked crisp and striking. There was one couple dressed in shiny black latex who were quite striking. And many people in furry ears and tails. I felt comfortable and safe. Toward the end of the day I had pulled down my beard (it was a bit hot) and a woman came over and told me to keep it off because my face was so pretty, and how I represented what this festival was all about. I think she meant body acceptance by that. There were a lot of BBWs at the festival in sexy outfits. There were also a lot of people of all other kinds of body shapes, sizes, and ages as well. Although I didn't see too much body modification beyond tattoos and the usual piercings.

The festival closed at 6pm and my shift ended. But a lot of people waited til the last minute to come buy their tickets to the party so I stayed until all the guests had cleared out and the staff was getting ready to move the tables for the party.

J had come down for the festival and he was staying in my room. I'm glad he was there because I like him and we got to hang out for a while. But also because I wasn't looking forward to peanut butter and jelly crackers for dinner. J bought us Chinese food delivered to our room. I got to try Plum Bubble tea. It was interesting. I would try it again. It tasted like very dark smoky tea with plums.

People had encouraged me to come to the Erotic Playground party and I had considered it. But sitting in a hard chair for six hours had cause shooting pains in my hips and I chose not to over extend myself. J went though.

The next morning J invited me to breakfast with him at Denny's. I had planned on driving home and eating when I got there. But a hearty breakfast made by someone else, before a long drive, was too good to pass up. We had a nice breakfast and then I came home. Denny's does a good Egg in a Hat.


I think if I had an electric mobility cart I would have been able to go to the party because I would not have done as much walking and I wouldn't have been as tired. When I got home, and today, my right knee has been twanging painfully. And I'm already at the limit of my prescription painkillers. If I take more they will probably kill my liver or my kidneys. I did take prophylactic anti-anxiety meds for the weekend, and I think that helped. I really enjoyed myself aside from the physical pain. I didn't want to run away and hide. So I call that a good weekend.

The REAF organizers really had it all together and the volunteers knew their stuff.
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Mar. 17th, 2016

dorodango

Nålebinding and other projects

I've been keeping busy. Last weekend I went to Binghamton and made a chocolate coffee roll cake for Song.

Chocolate Coffee Roll

Tuesday I went to Anne's and we learned how to do Nålebinding. Anne provided the yarn. Nålebinding requires single ply wool because you have to splice every couple of yards.

Nålebinding

Since Anne provided the yarn I needed to buy wool yarn to continue. Before my therapy appointment I dropped by Sew Green and picked up a skein of single ply wool. I was hoping for red, but this teal green is nice and goes with the cream edging.
It's going to be a hat.
Nålebinding

This morning I got up at 6:30am to get my car down to Hunts and get inspected at 7:30. So that is done. And Yay! It passed without needing any work done.

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