Tangled Yarns

Tangled Yarns

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Till Death Do Us Part?

Dear John,
                I know I said I couldn’t live without you. I know I was the one to find the voudoun priestess. But really, I think it was the shock and grief talking. Honestly, I couldn’t stand picking up your dirty underwear and wet towels. How did I possibly think I could handle the bits of body parts that you leave all over the place? I’d happily deal with the smell of those nasty cigars over the rotten, reeking stench that permeates the house now. I actually miss slaving over the deplorably greasy food you insisted on eating. I can’t cook for you anymore. It’s not even cooking! I’m sure the neighbors have begun to realize their juvenile delinquents didn’t all just run away. We haven't had a decent conversation since you lost your tongue. And our sex life...
You’re not the man  I married.
It’s over.
I'm sorry.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Eat your dinner

“But Mooommm, I hate eating the skin. Can’t you peel it off for me?”
I ignore the puppy dog eyes my daughter sends my way. “No. All the best nutrients are in the skin. Just eat it along with the rest.”
Petulant stomping toward the table tells me how well my declaration is received. I smile indulgently at her muttering, and finish filling our plates. Swallowing my smile, I shuffle to the table with our dinner.
“Just eat the skin with the flesh, love. If you eat it all, there’s fresh brains for dessert.”

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Adventures in Science

I've been waiting to go to the Museum of Science and Industry for months. It's a fun place to go at any time, but over the summer I got wind of a Jim Henson exhibit coming to town. (Excuse the child-like skip in my step. I love all things Muppets.) I have spent the last few months talking this exhibit up to friends and family, regardless of where they live. (Seriously, come to Chicago. We have the Muppets,for pete's sake!) My husband has been mocking me for weeks. Because we were not going to the Museum to have a fun day, we were going to see the Muppets. It's the only important thing, really. Unfortunately, the above photo is the only one I was allowed to take. No photography inside the actual exhibit. *sigh* But it is a fantastic exhibit, and I will be going back before it leaves in January. Probably without my Philistine husband, who shook his head as I sang the theme song to Fraggle Rock, and my unappreciative children, who looked at me like I was crazy as I oohed and aahed over the props from Dark Crystal. The Philistine was kind enough to take the children as I marveled over sketches and read through the handwritten notes. And then it was off to new sights.
The lobby of the main floor

Our next adventure was in the Science of Storms exhibit.Two stories of high tech wonder that lets children of all ages explore how some of the more intimidating natural events work. Avalanches, tornados, tsunamis, lightening, fires...this place lets you play with them all and more. It was a struggle sometimes to reign in my own inner voice that was screaming, "But it's my turn to try!" Which was, of course, the theme of my children's conversations for the day. It's hard to find that annoying when they are arguing over which hypothesis to test first, and actually using that term correctly. *Proud Mama Moment*

Tornado Alley

We really spent a lot of time in that exhibit. Prisms, rainbows, wavelengths, and water experiments are endlessly entertaining. Yes, I am that big of a dork. I love this stuff. Science discerns the Laws of Nature, but takes none of the wonder away. It is as amazing to see a tornado in miniature through experiments as it is to experience it in real life. Less fearful, but still amazing.

Finally, a pic where they weren't trying to 'shoot' one another with the balls.

We also got to visit the Smart Home, another exhibit that you can't take pics in. Not as exciting as the interactive exhibits, but very interesting all the same. There are some great strides being made in ecofriendly living, if only they could find a way to merge them with existing homes. There's just no easy way for our 1950's cookie cutter house to take advantage of some of the technology used in that house. Some of the other fun things to see, but a pain in the ass to photograph are the Fairy Castle - a gorgeous miniature with painstaking detail and a lovely story. Yesterday's Main Street gives you a short walk to a simpler time. And it has the added benefit of an old fashioned ice cream parlor. There is so much to see it's impossible to enjoy it all in one day. If we hadn't all been so exhausted, ok, if I hadn't been so exhausted, we would have hopped on the train again the next day to finish exploring it all. As it stands, we've promised the kids to go next weekend to see the Baby Chicks in the genetics exhibit. And to learn how to make a whisper travel through a room, and how to make toys, and...yeah, you get the picture.

I had fun going to see the Muppets. Next time, I'm going to see the Museum. The thought of it puts a child-like skip in my step.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


White hot heat pulses through my veins.
Blinding light obscures all thoughts.
I move on instinct alone.
Threats growling through clenched teeth, words I won’t recall after the fury subsides.

Head pounding, hands shaking, muscles aching, stomach clenching, the supernova recedes.

All that remains is a black hole of regret.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Book Review: Firelight

Marked as special, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. When she breaks the most sacred tenet of her kind, she nearly pays with her life, only to  be spared by a beautiful stranger sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki - a descendant of dragons whose ability to shift into human form is her best defense.

Forced to flee into the mortal world, Jacinda struggles to adapt. The one bright light is Will; Jacinda knows she should avoid him at all costs - Will and his family are hunters - but the passion he stirs within her can't be ignored, even if it means risking her life... With this provocative tale of supernatural desire and danger, Sophie Jordan introduces readers to an exciting world that will appeal to fans of Twilight, Fallen and Evernight.

Ok, I'll admit that when I saw the Twilight comment, I almost handed the book back to my friend. I'm not a huge fan of the series. But this friend has never given me a book that disappoints, and her unblemished record still stands.

Faced with starting over in a new town, against her will, it would be easy for Jacinda to fall into the whiny aspect of teen angst. Instead, we have a character who can see her own place in her family's difficult situation and makes the attempt to be a team player. The eternal struggle of a teen trying to find themselves and what's best for themselves without stomping all over the ones they love. Pursued by two bad boys that pose different threats to her, she's got tough choices to make, family to consider, as well as her own safety and happiness. And she does it without being a washed out, self-centered wuss. This girl has, forgive my choice of words, fire.

I'm looking forward to the next book, which should be coming out next fall.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

An Apple a day

Sugar & Corn syrup...it starts out looking so rough.

Ok, so I've been a bad, bad blogger. But it's been a bit crazy. Exams, Halloween prep, family drama, and a lovely day with a friend I haven't seen in too long. Once upon a time, we lived in the same town. And had Fabulous cooking sprees. Between her moving away, job and school schedules, we haven't gotten to indulge in a while. But yesterday we managed to sneak in a day of fun. On the menu: upside down caramel apple cake. Ok, that's not all we made, but that was the main dish for the day. I give much thanks to Food Network for publishing this gooey slice of heaven.

After some heat, butter and cream, it just looks so damn lovely

I love trying out new recipes, especially when there's a step like "Make Caramel." Because, really, I will use this information often, I'd be out of my mind not too. It was incredibly simple, and the whole time I kept thinking about all the other things I could make. Caramel corn, Candy apples, Caramel & Cream candies (those are actually in the works)

Silly me forgot to get pics of setting up the pan, but if we hadn't gotten it in the oven quick I would have eaten the batter and the caramel before we got it baked. They were both so good. So to take my mind off the deliciousness baking away, we decided to have some cheese dip with chips. Except we had forgotten to get chips, and no one really wanted to go back to the store. What's a girl to do? Grab some stale tortillas, some olive oil and make some! Best snack ever.

So much better than store bought!

And while they were frying up - we cleaned the caramel pan. The fun way. Just as good as getting the beaters after making cookie dough. We still had time to kill until the cake was done, so I whipped another batch of the caramel for other purposes. It's still hardening so I can cut it, or there's be pics. Messy ones. This stuff is sticky. Imagine that.
Apples slices are a great way to clean up extra caramel. :)

I had to make more. There will be candies ready soon.

The springform pan was the right size, but caramel leaked everywhere.

And the finished masterpiece.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


The cats contemplate my frustrated visage, heads cocked to one side.
 Muttered curses escape my mouth, captivating the lurking felines.
One wends its way around the shiny onyx divide to see the source of my frustration.
Confused and concerned, the beastie lounges upon the offending item, to shield me from its presence.
Purring, its cold nose nudges my hands, seeking to distract me from my misery.

“Dammit, Kitten! This does not help me write!”