Nov. 19th, 2014 12:49 pm
rowangolightly: (Rowan!)
Stress stress stress stress

November often sucks; this one is no different although last year was. Last year I had the wonderful job of the Ecclesiastical robes that Central Pres hired me to make for Heidi Peterson. That *totally* made my November and December last year.

This year, not so much. Everyone is thinking about the holidays, and not about getting stuff sewn. I'd hoped to avoid this stress this year, but no. Everybody's "after Thanksgiving, is that ok?" And what am I supposed to say, "NO, interrupt your comfy Thanksgiving and holiday and vacation plans, please." That'd go over like a ton of bricks.

But other than this one cloak I'll deliver on Monday, I have NO other jobs paying off during November. I have $200 or so in the bank toward rent and it's after the 15th. I'm trying unsuccessfully not to freak the fuck out. I have no money to get holiday groceries nor the mood to make them to eat by myself.

I hate November. I hate being single and having no family, no safety-net and scared about my financial security all the time. I fucking hate it. And now Thanksgiving plans have fallen through so I either stay at home alone or I finagle my way into someone else's celebration which I also fucking hate. Being a 5th wheel for a holiday dinner is a major depression trigger for me but staying home alone is worse.

EDIT: I bit the bullet and accepted an invitation. We'll see. It's at a Chorus friends home but I swear if the dining table conversation goes to conservative politics, I will leave.

I have no idea what Chip's holiday plans are but I hope to see him on Saturday so we'll see.
rowangolightly: (Christmas Penny)
This Saturday, December 11, at 8pm and Sunday, December 12, at 4pm will be the Holiday Concert for the Kansas City Women's Chorus. Our conductor, Dr. Joe, has selected a really great program of fun, beautiful, funny, and gorgeous songs (seriously, we crack up in rehearsals!) for this concert. You won't want to miss it!

Tickets are $15 for Adults, $10 for Seniors and Students and are available at the web-site and at the door. (I believe they are still looking for several ushers who then get in free to the concert, but I'd need to know about that today, if you're interested!)

It will be at Congregation Beth Torah in Overland Park, which is a gorgeous venue.

Please come and join us! We've worked really hard (all music is memorized *gulp*) and we'd love to share it with you.
rowangolightly: (Yule)
The days come in a variety of good, not so good, cheerful, chipper and downright gloomy; today is "eh", somewhere in the middle of all those. Let me 'splain, if I can.

And let me begin by wishing us all WELL!

Today is Yule and while it's not the beginning of the year, I can see it from here. Perhaps I'm weird but I've never been able to look at the Sabbats like everyone else does. A lot of things are ending but more are beginning. I'm trying to look at it as more of the beginning than an ending or maybe the end of the ending and beginning of the beginning of a new life. That made sense in my head.

this will get rambly, please bear with me )

Happy, blessed Yule to you all.

And yes, I made this post public on purpose; it's time the cards were all laid on the table. I'm screening comments so everyone can be as candid as they like. If you wish for me to NOT unscreen what you've said, please make that clear.
rowangolightly: (Default)
Credit this brilliance to both [ profile] apocalypticbob and to [ profile] motherpockets, Mom for reminding us all yesterday that this is a wonderful way to give and not feel mopey about not having money this year to spend, and to ABob for making it so easy and explaining it so well.

I will be doing this because a) I'm going through all my stuff anyway and b) I also have WAY too much stuff. I'm also going to add an aspect to it which will help people to regift wisely; add what YOU WANT in the form of gifts; you never know what another person has in excess that you might be wanting more than anything else.


5) It costs nothing. - Look, the economy is crap, people are losing jobs right and left, jobs are cutting back hours, killing bonuses, and eliminating pay raises. No one has any money. If you are one of the few people who has money, I urge you to support local independent business and crafters, but if you have no money, look around your home and see what you might have that someone you love would enjoy. I love used books. I love used DVDs. What cooler gift for someone than to hand or mail them a book or DVD that you enjoyed with a note inside about what you thought of it? It allows them to share something personal, which is far more meaningful than a new copy.

4) It really is the thought that counts. - We all have that well meant gift that Aunt Edna gave us stashed in the back of our closet. Actually, for me, it was my Uncle Lamar, and it was a country styled duck. It was, honestly, hideous, but I kept it because he gave it to me, and it was "the thought that counted". Unfortunately, all those "thoughts" were filling my home with things that weren't me and that I didn't love. You know who did love the duck? My mom, when I gave it to her shortly after my uncle passed away. He was her only brother, and it meant something to her. I still have the "thought", without retaining the ugly duck. Everyone wins!

3) Your friends/ family shouldn't have to wait for you to die to get cool things. - We all have that mental list (and some are even smart enough to write it down!) of things we'd like certain people to have when we die. Take a hard look at those things. Are they things you use or wear often? Are they just cluttering up your house? If you aren't using them, maybe it is time to pass them on, now, while you are still alive to enjoy doing so! Arrange time to meet with the recipient, give them the gift, and tell them that you didn't want to wait to leave it in a will. Be prepared for strange looks and inquiries to your health. This way, you get to see the joy on their faces, receive their thanks, and maybe even stick around a few years to watch them enjoy it.

2) Empty out your clutter and keep you home up to date with your interests. - Now I'm not suggesting that you denude your home and lead a stark barren existence, although some people find that quite Zen. I'm just suggesting that if you have collected, say, elephant figurines, for 20 years, and your house is so full of elephant figurines that you can't finish dusting them all before you have to start back at the beginning, it might be time to let some go. Or maybe your tastes have changed, and you'd really rather collect moose. Maybe you have a friend who collects something that crosses over with your collection who would appreciate them. African art collector? Jade collector? Pass them on and watch them be loved.

1) It's the gift that keeps giving. - I used to feel a twinge of guilt passing on something that someone had given to me, but recently I've realized that it's actually like they are giving me a gift twice. Gift one is the joy of opening the gift, thanking them, and enjoying what they have given me and the thought behind it. Gift two is the joy I get from giving it to someone else, watching them enjoy it, and still retaining the memory of my opening it. It's double dipping, but in a good way!

I encourage you, now and throughout the year, to look around your home and see what might be the perfect gift for someone if buying a gift isn't in the cards for whatever reason, or even as an alternative to buying a gift. Giving feels awesome! Receiving maxed out credit card bills in January doesn't.

(Feel free to regift this post by linking or reposting...I just ask that you give credit to [ profile] apocalypticbob if you do. Thanks!)

Rowan adds:

Please add in what you'd like to receive, you never know, right? Please DO post this and post what you'd like to wild, whimsical; dream big, think outside of the box. You never know what somebody else might have that they don't want or need and would love to re-gift you!

What do I need? Well, since a few folk have been asking (and not right NOW, since I'm packing to move, but LATER, after I've moved into my own place...except for the camera; I could use that right now!) I've started to fill out an Amazon wish list oh-so-originally called, "Stuff needed for Move." Here:

And I'll be asking advice on one thing on that list; the camera. I need a good camera, easy to use (but not stupid easy, I want to be able to make some adjustments) not TOO expensive, that takes good pictures indoors, as in products for my web-site and Etsy shop. I have two listed on the Amazon list but not sure either is exactly what I want.

Other than that and help when I move, I do NOT need more stuff, thanks!
rowangolightly: (QESantaReindeer)
Ok Tulsa V.U.R.D,

I need help. The past several years we've gotten lovely Christmas trees at the lots at 41st and Peoria(?), we think, from the Optimist Club. Nice folk and gorgeous trees at not outrageous prices. Last year they had a sign up saying they were moving 'cause the lot had been sold.

Neither of us remembers *where* it was moving to and I can't find anything by googling it. I *HATE*
buying one from a store and want to benefit a charity but doggoned if I can find it anywhere.

Help? Anybody know where this might have moved to or where some Boy Scout troop might be selling some? This is the last Christmas/Yule in this house, at least for me and I'd like it to be nice.
rowangolightly: (Yule Image)
Ok, I'm sure everybody but me has already heard this true story. )


And I know damned well that there are many equally warm-hearted people on my flist and amongst my friends and family of choice.


Dec. 24th, 2008 09:11 am
rowangolightly: (Queen Santa)
So when I said "I'm NOT GOING OUT TO THE STORES ANY MORE THIS WEEK!" you all knew that was laughable, right?

Have half-dozen things we must have today, so here I go.

Wish me luck. *gulp*


Dec. 17th, 2008 04:48 pm
rowangolightly: (Yule Image)
Jethro Tull has put out a Christmas album!

It's awesome!

Take a listen...



Dec. 8th, 2008 10:25 pm
rowangolightly: ("God Save the Queen")
And it didn't even ask my birth date!

You Look Like a Leo

It's likely that you have great hair. No matter what the style is, it's the first thing people notice about you.

Your hair tends to be a great color naturally, and it's likely you even get highlights from the sun.

Overall, your body is slim and graceful. You seem comfortable in your skin.

Your body is well proportioned. No part of you is unusually big or smile.

Like most Leo people, you are probably lively, interesting, and fun loving.

You are a good friend. You are naturally generous and hospitable.

On another note, FINALLY got the address labels merged and printed and the return labels printed. MUCH easier way to do 150+ holiday cards! Hopefully, I'll be able to get them out in the next couple of days!
rowangolightly: (Yule Image)
Yes, Rowan's somewhat opinionated about Christmas )

Real post later or tomorrow or something.

I'm back home and it was a GREAT trip.


Nov. 30th, 2008 10:55 pm
rowangolightly: (Brusi wedding close-up)
WONDERFUL Orphan's Thanksgiving!

Thanks to each and everyone of you who were here and much love to those of you who couldn't be. It was a spectacular day (even with Vesuvius and the Flaming Yams!)

I'm sure others will go in to details but let me say without a shadow of a doubt that the Magnificent Dinner would not have occurred without my faithful Sous Chefs, [ profile] mistressniniane, [ profile] okgirlnextdoor and [ profile] esme7777! I've never seen four women work in one small kitchen together with such good humor and cohesiveness. Many kudos also to my Darling Hubby for coming a-running when needed, for set up and meat carving and all that stuff and to everyone else who helped and brought such nummy stuff. Good will, laughter, love abounding, good humoured ribbing and great positive energy all around make for a wonderful gathering!

Thanks to Bruce and Amber for pitching right in to clean up so that now you can barely tell there was a party here except for the remaining happy vibes.

Now I just hope everyone gets home safely; it's sleeting outside.

What a ONDERFUL kick-off to a fabulous set of holidays. As Becky smilingly said, "this is what family get-togethers are spozed to be like!"

I'm dragging my hubby off to bed now...
rowangolightly: (Coming Out)
Bruce's Candied Yams

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

3-4 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced 2" thick
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp China cassia cinnamon (Penzey's, of course!)
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground mace
scant 1/4 cup water
1 stick butter
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1 lemon, sliced (grate the peel and then slice the lemon)
1 orange, sliced
1 tbsp flour
1 lg. bag miniature marshmallows

Spray oil on 9" x 16" baking dish. Arrange slices in one layer covering bottom of pan (cutting chunks into fairly similar sizes for even cooking.)
In a bowl, stir together the flour, sugars and spices. Sprinkle this over the potatoes. Slice thinly the stick of butter and distribute over the top of the sweet potato chunks. Sprinkle zest over top. Place orange and lemon slices over top. Add just enough water around the edge of the pan to barely cover bottom of dish, NO MORE than 1/4 cup. Cover with aluminum foil and bake about two hours, until potatoes are done.

Remove fruit slices, re-heat oven to 450 degrees. Top casserole solidly with marshmallows. Place cookie sheet under pan for drips. Put casserole back in hot oven CAREFULLY and watch consistently until marshmallows are puffed and golden brown. Note: it's only a scant seconds' difference between 'golden brown' and 'burned.'

Note: this is a recipe my beloved hubby invented a couple years ago based on Paul Prudhome's classic yam recipe and another recipe from an old cookbook from his mother's. It turned me into a yam lover; the citrus tang perfectly compliments the sweet potatoes and cuts into the sugary sweetness delightfully.

Bonus: Slightly less sweet Pecan Pie Recipe

Pecan Pie Recipe

2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp molasses
2 Tbsp melted butter
2 Tbsp flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups pecans, coarsely chopped
1 9-inch pie shell, chilled for an hour if freshly made, defrosted for 10 minutes if frozen.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spread pecans along the bottom of the pie shell. Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over pecans. The pecans will rise to the surface of the pie.

Bake at 375°F for 45-50 minutes until the filling has set. About 20 minutes into the cooking you may want to use a pie crust protector, or tent the edges of the pie crust with aluminum foil to prevent the pie crust edges from burning. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

And a supposedly fool-proof Pie Crust....we'll see!

4 Cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 Cup butter (not margarine)
1-1/4 Cup shortening
In a large bowl, using a pastry blender, blend above ingredients until it holds together
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp vinegar
Mix last three ingredients together and add, mix well with fork
Place dough in plastic wrap and chill several hours. If needed, right away, place in freezer for a short time.

Note: You can use 1-3/4 cup of shortening and omit the butter, but the butter gives it a better flavor; if you do this use butter flavored shortening

Makes enough crust for 2 double crust pies
rowangolightly: (Brusi wedding close-up)
Yeah, I'm not ready to hear Christmas music in the stores yet either, but there it is, after Halloween and all the holiday stuff has been up in Hobby Lobby for several weeks now.

So you know the drill; if you want a Christmas/Yule card from us....but with a twist. IF you got a wedding invitation and you haven't moved since then, I don't need your address. But if you weren't on the wedding invitation list (and I don't know why not since it was a "y'all come" sort of occasion) and you want to be on our list (the nice one!) then I need your address.

And yes, all comments are screened so it's safe to leave your info...or as safe as such things ever are.

EDIT: Because I'm dyscalculic, please also leave names as you want the card addressed....I SO suck at names even if I love you dearly. You all know that if I were introducing a circle of my closest friends and family, I'd still get stuck for the names halfway around, right?


Nov. 2nd, 2008 01:50 pm
rowangolightly: (Default)
Here's a timely idea!

Leftover Halloween candy? Make a cake!

Posted Oct 31st 2006 7:54PM by Bob Sassone
Filed under: Dessert, Recipes, Candy, On the Blogs, Comfort Food

Halloween candyIf you're trick or treating with the kids tonight, chances are you're going to have either a.) your kids eating a ton of candy and getting sick or hyper, or b.) enough candy to last the next 38 days. Besides eating the candy bar by bar, piece by piece, what else can you do with it?

How about a Leftover Candy Cake? This recipe from CDKitchen takes all of your leftover candy, whether it's chocolate or hard candies and makes it into a bundt cake. Check out the ingredients and the instructions after the jump.

2 cups coarsely chopped candy
2 3/4 cups sifted flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
8 oz unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 cup sour cream

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Butter a bundt pan and dust with fine bread crumbs (wait...I don't even see bread crumbs on the ingredients list...hmmm). Shake out excess. In another bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking soda. In another bowl, cream butter until soft, then alternate adding dry ingredients with sour cream. Place 1 1/2 cups of this mixture into pan. Add candies to the rest of the batter (folding in). Pour over plain batter. Bake for about an hour. Cool for 15 minutes. Cover pan with rack, flip over, and remove cake. Let it cool a little while longer. You can then add confectioner's sugar on top if you want.

Note: I bought WAAAY too much candy; I'm still accustomed to the number of houlligans, er kids, that I had come trick or treating in KC.
rowangolightly: (QG 07)
...and NON political!

I loves me some Christmas music!

In other news, Queen's Gambit WILL be producing a 6th and 7th CD. The 6th one will be stuff that we've started doing since Nikki and Becky joined us, including Nikki's beautiful original and featuring the 4-part harmonies that our friends seem to love so much, Hell, that WE love so much.

Recording on that will be starting soon, soon as Bruce gets over his bronchitis and feels better. The guitar tracks come first, of course, and then we hope to do a lot of recording the weekend of Boare's Heat Feast and the Firefly/Serenity Shindig since Nikki and Becky will be here.

But we're also going to be doing a Christmas/Yule CD; the three gals love the idea and kinda ambushed Bruce with it. It started with AmberBob and I getting wonderful hand-knitted socks made by [ profile] tensegrity and then Nikki and Becky getting some too. We gals hatched up the idea that the album cover should be all of us with our socks on, which meant of course that Bruce needs some socks of his own. Dear Sam was so obliging as to agree to make him a pair (green, of course!) We'll be in Victorian holiday get up, of course, (new costumes, woohoo!) with our stockinged feet in the focus of the camera ....I think it'll be a blast! It won't be out by this Christmas, of course, with all that we have to do currently. But it will be by next Christmas!

[EDIT: What I forgot to mention is that we need TITLES for the new keeping with our Chess theme, of course.

Let me list what we have so far:
1) Opening Move-Take Two (cause take 1 sucked but there are still some out there)
2) Pawn to King Four (the one we cut in the studio)
3) Off the Board (the bawdy one)
4) En Passant
5) Fianchetto

So, six needs to be a logical chess move in line with what's gone on so far. And then for the Christmas one...I have no clue.

And in the meantime, I'm going to get a "Straight No Chaser" Christmas album!

These guys re-define a capella!

And the QG schedule is updated on our web-site:
rowangolightly: (Default)
ganked from Brother William:

Ganked from a fine lady - Thanks, Nurianna;

"My Wish for You in 2008

May peace break into your house and may thieves come to steal your debts.
May the pockets of your jeans become a magnet of $100 bills.
May love stick to your face like Vaseline and may laughter assault your lips!
May your clothes smell of success like smoking tires,
may happiness slap you across the face,
and may your tears be that of joy.
May the problems you had forget your home address! In simple words ............

May 2008 be the best year of your life!!!"
rowangolightly: (Default)
Has everybody caught this amazing bit of a capella brilliance?

If not, turn your sound up and ENJOY! These guys are GOOD; why didn't I know of them before now?
rowangolightly: (Default)
From the party, the first entry in the "cute Christmas cat" contest.

Thanks to [ profile] brotherwilliam! Yes, it has been uploated to the LOLCats site.

I know there are some other pics of it and there were some other great suggestions for slogans. I also took a couple of poor stupid Nell in the window behind the tree.

Great stuff...
rowangolightly: (Yule Icon)
Beautiful story.... (and doesn't matter what your spirituality is, far as I'm concerned!)

The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn, arrived in early October excited about their opportunities. When they saw their church, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas eve. They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, etc., and on December 18 were ahead of schedule and just about finished. On December 19 a terrible tempest, a driving rainstorm, hit the area and lasted for two days.

On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church. His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster about 20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high. The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do but postpone the Christmas Eve service, headed home.

On the way he noticed that a local business was having a flea market type sale for charity so he stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colors and a cross embroidered right in the center. It was just the right size to cover up the hole in the front wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.

By this time it had started to snow. He observed an older woman running from the opposite direction, trying to catch the bus. She missed it. The pastor called out and invited her to wait in the warm church for the next bus, 45 minutes later. She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor while he got a ladder, hammer and nails to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looke; it covered up the entire problem area.

Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle. Her face was white as a sheet. "Pastor," she asked, "where did you get that tablecloth?" The pastor explained. The woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials, EBG were crocheted into it there. They were. These were the initials of the woman, and she had made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Astria. The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told how he had just gotten the tablecloth. The woman explained that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria. When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week. He was captured, sent to prison and never saw her husband or her home again. The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth, but she made the pastor keep it for the church.

The pastor insisted on driving her home, thinking that it was the least he could do. She lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day for a housecleaning job.
What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve. The church was almost full. The music
and the spirit were great. At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door and many said that they would return.

One older man, whom the pastor recognized from the neighborhood continued to sit in one of the pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he wasn't leaving. The man asked him where he had gotten the tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to one that his wife
had made years ago when they lived in Austria before the war and how could there be two tablecloths so much alike. He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety and he was supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and put in a prison. He never saw his wife or his home again all the 35 years in between.

The pastor asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride. They drove to
Staten Island and to the same house where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier.

He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman's apartment, knocked on the door and he saw the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine.

True Story - submitted by Pastor Rob Reid
who believes that God does work in mysterious ways.
rowangolightly: (Default)
This one is ganked from AmberBob:

Go to this link:

before December 31st 2007, and leave a comment. Preferably a nice one. Can be as simple as hello and thank you.

If the gentleman who owns the blog gets 500 comments from 500 different people by the end of December, he will donate $1000.00 to the Children's Cancer Research Fund.

Thank you for reading this and considering doing so, and please pass the link on to as many people as possible.

I did it, lovely if a lot of others would too...

And this one I ganked from the delightful Marrus, true story which is sure to make you grab for a henkie.

Happy Yule, indeed...


rowangolightly: (Default)
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