Thursday, November 30, 2006

Morning fright

I'm sorry, but I have to divert from the normal baking, crafting, diy-ing to cover a topic that has been filling my mornings with fright and confusion for nearly a full year now.

I think some of you remember my reacquaintance with the gym earlier this year. It's been fine, you know, being back on my morning regimen of QT with the tready and pre-dawn wrestling matches with vicious sports bras. I've even gotten Bubba used to the routine to the point where he swears he doesn't even hear the alarm go off five times before I haul my ass from the bed. (He lies so sweetly.) So overall, it's been a merry little experience.

Except one thing.

Ok, there's probably more than one thing I can kvetch about (this is me we're talking about here), but this one thing gets me every single morning - men in spandex.

Or, more specifically MAN in spandex.

And halvsey tops.

And fanny pack.

And socks pulled up just below his knees.

And if you're thinking to yourself, "I don't know why she thinks her gym is so special, all gyms have these freakshows parading around in plum smugglers. What's the biggie?", I'll tell you what really gets me.

This dude is in the most amazing shape. He's probably in his early 40's, sort of tallish, pleasant-faced and friendly (he chats up the gym bunnies regularly) and is in incredible shape. Seriously, if it weren't for a receding hairline and obvious ignorance of acceptable athletic attire, I'd guess this dude was in his twenties. And maybe a baseball player or something.

Which is why the spandex and belly-shirts totally bug! Plus, oh I didn't even tell you yet, halvsey tank tops. Those kind like the dudes wear in the Strong Man contests that have the skinny straps and the gigantor armholes that are all baggy. The fact that these tops are then cut off at the midriff and paired with spandex man-pris and a strategically placed fanny pack just gets my goat.

I do not know what to make of this guy.

My first thought was that he was gay. But then I dismissed that for multiple reasons, one of which being that of all my gay friends I'd never known a single one to be caught dead wearing spandex of any variety or participating in any similarly horrifying fashion faux pas. Second being, that this Man of Spandex enjoys chatting it up with the ladies while he struts away on the stair machine (Not the stair master, but one of those machines with the actual stairs you climb. I don't know why making that distinction is important here.) and has been overheard making overt flirting gestures to said ladies while sweating up his yellow belly-top.

Plus, it seems that he doesn't feel the least bit out of place parading around the weight room, amongst other less conspicuously dressed members, as though his shiny navy blue shorties were the most normal things a man could pull from his dresser.

My second thought was that he is just your average dude, wildly out of touch with modern workout society, and going about his merry life dressed totally normal outside of the gym where no one he works with realizes that mere hours before their morning conference call this oddball was swaggering around the free weights section in his stretch-pants showing off his (admittedly honed) breadbasket for all the world to see. I bet some of the women in his office even think he's a "hunk".

The final straw was seeing him leaving the gym one day, dressed all friggen normal just like I'd hypothesized; in jeans, running shoes, t-shirt and ball cap. And he did look cute! Like a normal cute guy. Actually, he sort of reminded me of my friend's dad who all the high school girls used to lust after. And who, I should note, DID NOT wear spandex. This guy however, he is the Spandex Superman of the gym! He goes into the booth (locker room) normal and comes out fully clad in primary-colored spandex (substitute fanny pack for the cape). Then, after he has conquered the evil-doers (Calories? Flabby thighs?) he races back into his booth and changes back into Clark "I'm so normal" Kent and walks away like nothing happened.

What kills me is knowing that one day he'll meet that special woman (he doesn't wear a ring, so I assume he is not married) and she'll think he's all normal in his jeans, ball cap and shapely physique and then she'll stay the night and see him leave for the gym in his stretchy pants and babydoll tee and realize that she's been conned by his Normal Man by Day/Man of Spandex by Dawn double lifestyle.

And it is this continuing mystery that keeps me entertained while I bound away on the tready, whittling down my 30 minutes so that I can go over to the free weights and embarrass myself with the 10 lb barbells or try to sneak onto the lat machine before Mr. and Mrs. We Wear Weight Belts Even Though We Spend 90% of Our Time at the Gym Talking to Our Other Oldish Friends and Being Blissfully Ignorant of our Cellulite commandeer the upper body machines.

I'll get into those hammerheads another time.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Exactly what I want

I can't be the only one sad to be back at work after the long four day weekend. Although everyone around here acts like there's nowhere else they'd rather be than behind their laptops, clicking away at email and listening to their cubemates cell phones going unanswered.

Not that I don't have a big red heart for my job, but my long weekend was so blissfully full of exactly what I wanted to be doing that the jolt of being back in the office is startling and its making me already miss everything I did over the last four days. I *KNEW* it was going to fly by, and it did.

I love how I act like I was changing the world or making vast personal improvements or something.

Not exactly...

In fact, at this time yesterday I was padding around in my kitchen putting a pork shoulder into the crockpot for a pulled pork dinner and thinking, "Gee, at this time tomorrow, I'll be at work."

Now I'm sitting at work thinking, "Gee, I should have been spending more time trying to invent my time machine instead of wrestling with pork shoulder."


So, instead of doing exactly what I want to be doing right now (Taking a long walk? Howling with laughter as Bubba puts pretzel rods up his nose? Knitting a ski hat in front of my fireplace? Who can say?) I'm elsewhere thinking about all the sweet shit I did over the long weekend.

Sweet = baking a lot of loaves. 30 to be exact:

Pumpkin chocolate chip bread, lemon poppyseed cake, lemon pound cake, fresh orange cake - all personally taste tested for deliciousness by Bubba himself (see pre-porno photo of him above with the Lemon Poppyseed.)

And then I made some pulled pork sandwiches with pickled cabbage, fresh rolls and fries for dinner. You know, because we didn't eat enough at Thanksgiving. And because my oven was bored from disuse.

Sweet also = wrapping all my holiday gifts. Oh yes, all of them. I won't go into detail, but I will say that there is a very impressive stack of gifts wrapped up in un-Christmasish paper on a shelf in my newly organized closet.


It is so swell in there.

Another sweet thing = This new Bryson book started getting funnier toward the end, so I'm almost done with it. Although I'm having a hard time thinking of the next book. Ideas?

Yet another sweet thing = The latest live Foo Fighters album.



It is so [better word for fucking awesome].

I am become the Foo.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

News flash : I'm not an evil wench! Technically speaking.

Yes, yes, the news is true. As long as you interpret it in the loosest way possible and by way of my own definition, which is as follows:

Will not craft a handmade stocking for goddaughter = Evil Wench

And since I have now finished The Stocking of a Hundred Ridiculous Techniques and it actually doesn't look like complete crap, I can officially say that I am not an evil wench. At least not by these standards. But, I'll have to ask you not to delve too deeply into my personal affairs as they *may* indicate otherwise.

With the stocking done, and my evilness yet still under wraps, I am going to set out on another ill-conceived knitting project.

This time it's for Bubba, and like last year, it's a hat. I realize it's a redundant gift, in theory, but these are two different style hats, for two very specific ski-related occasions. Yes, we are gear-dorks (well, one of us is) and we are handymen (again, one of us is) and we like to have the right tool for the job. And so, we must have proprietary hats!

Last year, the hat was more of an apres-ski type of garment. Good for warming your walnut while you rebirth your hooves from baneful ski boots, looking dashing during the lodge wine and cheese reception or while driving white-knuckled down the mountain while your fair bride snoozes away in the passenger seat.

This year's hat is an on-mountain affair. Designed to fit perfectly under a helmet (which we MUST wear due to our walnut-crushing adventures in the trees) to keep noggin, neck and flapping ears warm and protected from the elements. No dumb roll-brim to bind up around your face or dorky earflap strings to accidently zip into your jacket (gah!) The only part about this design that I don't love long time is that the genius design itself will end up thwarting my snowy-tree-branch-in-your-face trick that I've been trying to perfect over the last few seasons. The fact that the payload won't strike any naked neck skin sort of takes the shine off the ingenuity of the design for me. Oh well. I see this small concession as proof that I do love this man even though I may spend all of my waking hours giving him reasons to avoid me.

And on a separate, Thanksgiving-themed, note, I would like to clarify that while I may be at the office, typing on my laptop and attending a few (poorly timed) meetings, NO WORK should actually be taking place in the office today. So people need to quit stirring shit up and think instead about all the pie they'll be eating tomorrow. Gah! Fuckers.


And, now we've come full circle. I'm evil again.


Happy Pie Day!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A lot of loaves

If the preliminary stacks of pumpkin chocolate chip loaves in my freezer are any indication, it looks like I'm well on my way to making up for last years Holiday Season Without a Kitchen.

I'll admit, it was something of a relief knowing that even if I wanted to, I couldn't bake or cook a single thing last December since an enormous hole in the kitchen floor and lack of appliances prevented me from doing so.

Oops, so sorry, can't bring a homemade pie to Hanukkah this year - guess I'll have to go to the bakery and pickie one up! Fresh orange cake you loved so much last year? Sorry, not this year - no kitchen! Mashed potatoes? No stove. Smoked turkey? No oven. Borrow a platter? Packed in a box in the garage.

Best I could do was babysit the couch with my ass. It was a joyous time.

This year, however, we have a fully functioning kitchen and doesn't everyone just know it. I have on deck for the coming long weekend, a baking schedule to rival most patisseries. There will be citrus pound cake. And chocolate chip loaf. And fresh orange cake. And maybe some more pumpkin chocolate chip bread. Oh, and lemon poppyseed cake. All in mini-loaf form and headed for our neighbors doorsteps or my coworkers desks.

This here is about as merry as I get during the holidays since it is the holiday activity I can do while wearing my fugly librarian sweater, ratty jeans and comfy slippers. Plus, since the oven is on, the house is NOT freezing and I don't have to be bundled on the couch wearing everything I own.

Extra bonus, chimney man came for the third and final time (how do they always find something extra wrong and end up having to make multiple return visits?) this morning so I can put the fireplace to work on the half cord of firewood sitting outside the back door.

So, I'll crank up the heater, light the fireplace, fire up the oven and by Sunday I should be doing my baking in a bikini.

And now I'm thankful for my daily visits to the gym.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Old tricks

I know I alude to the activity known as knitting with the blog title, and I also know that I haven't really posted a lot of evidence to support the fact that Finny actually Knits. Which is the main reason for this post. And also to share with you a story of sheer terror.

Story of knitting:

Once upon a time two weeks ago I was standing, mostly upright, in the tasting room at Gary Farrell with two of my best friends sharing some girlish banter and sips of the 04 Pinot. At some point Linda, mother of the aforementioned angelic goddaughter, siddled up to me, with a devlish look in her eye and started in on her sales pitch with the intent of "getting me" to craft a Christmas stocking for her offspring, my goddaughter, Emma.

It was really a ridiculous moment. Especially when she admitted that she had aimed to get me drunk so that I would agree.

Let's stop here so that you can join me in wondering when I became such an evil wench that one of my best friends would think that:

a.) I wouldn't throw down everything I was doing to craft ANYTHING for my goddaughter.


b.) That she'd have to "get me drunk" to convince me to do it.

And also,

c.) When did my life become so mundane that "getting me drunk" had nothing to do with getting me to take off my top and dance on the bar?

What if I start saying things like, "In my day..." and "When I was your age..." and shit like that?

Must not grow up. Must not grow up.

Anyway, at the end of our little drunken arm-twisting match I, of course, agreed (with unrestrained excitement) to craft the best stocking in the whole wide world with my very own hands in time for Ms. Emma's first Christmas. And to be used ever after.

What do you think so far? (It's not finished and it's in the process of being blocked here, so be gentle with your comments. I'm a tad fragile after the whole Wrap & Turn incident.)

I indulged in some Manos del Uruguay yarn and have set my fear of the unknown aside to contend with the beautiful pattern in Holiday Knits. So far I've had to learn at least two new techniques and sort out a lot of unecessarily complicated instructions, but I'm sure it'll be worth it. Otherwise I'm chucking this book through their front window.

Story of sheer terror:

At one point in our drunken meanderings between wineries Linda mentioned something about Emma coming to stay with Bubba and I when she was older.

Blank stare.

You know, during the summer for a week or so. So we could, like, bond and stuff.

Blank stare. Beads of sweat above upper lip.

As in, she intends for her innocent child to be in my house, under my care, without her there to intercede when I hand her my car keys and ask her to run to the store for some beer.

Blood comes out of ears.

I think I mumbled something to the affirmative into my wine glass, but it's hard to say since I was drinking the wine as quickly as possible to numb the terror gripping my very being. Not so little known fact - Finny is not so good with children. Or people under the age of, say, 21. The thought of being in charge of a childs life for more than the duration of her mother's stay in the bathroom strikes fear into my soul.

All I can say is that I better fill that stocking with a LOT of good stuff. That way she might forgive me one day when we're sitting in my living room and I start swearing at the TV. Or in the car when I start flipping the bird. Or when she finds Bubba and I playing grabass in the hallway.

It could be said that House of Finny and Bubba is not an appropriate environment for kids. I'm just saying. Either way though, she'll have a fancy ass Christmas stocking to remind her of the trauma.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Quarantine lifted

I might have mentioned that it's started raining. And that the garden is empty of everything except recooperating soil (Thank you Steven, it's gotten its neem oil treatment and should be cootie-free for next summers cucurbits. Wuv you.) And that I've given in to the changing of seasons thanks to the numbing effects of good gin, wine and the momentus turning on of the heater.

So, the next thing to up-end for the winter is our Household Project List. In the summer, this list is full of sunshiney outdoor activities that involve a lot of dirt, hauling, sweating, digging, planting, pruning, remember.

The winter projects are a little different.

All the projects come inside. We drag extension cords from our kitchen window to the garage for the power tools (Reminder: Our place is going on 100 years old, we're lucky there's power in the house.) I make long lists of all the inside stuff that bugged me as I was traipsing back and forth from the fridge to the yard during the summer. I buy a lot of furniture and soft goods with which to cradle my shivering body against the cold. I organize everything. Bubba hides.

Sounds merry, no?

This past weekend, I started the list. And before Bubba could run and hide, I talked him into helping me with Winter Organization Project #1: Fix the office closet.

See, we have precious little space in our lovely, but extremely wee, home and my feeling is that every square inch should be used as efficiently as possible. So, when I know that we have a closet filled haphazardly with random bits of closet/garage/office/household cast-off, it just plain haunts me. And the fact that I can look down the hall and see this closet as I lay in my bed, awake at 3 am and unable to think of anything else, it doesn't help matters.

So, after much hypothesizing with (at) Bubba, we decided this closet could use a good stout knocking down. Or, on a gentler note, a 100% reorg with a side of ripping some shit down. All of this in the name of the much grander Office Makeover project which will be carried out in phases as I'm able to lure Bubba into our office with promises of winter blackberry pie, an Aeron chair, erotic activities- whatever works.

Phase 1 required a batch of snickerdoodles and approximately 73 trips to OSH, but it's complete and I couldn't be more pleased, especially because I remembered to take pictures before and after. Genius. Also, because I got to use my weapon of choice: the laser level. Seen here helping me be as Type-A as possible.

Please note the tiny shelves which were a previous half-assed attempt to organize. Failure. Oh, and my other failure, too; organize my fabric in four different bags. Bad. And, yes, that is my wedding dress peaking out of the corner there from behind five bridesmaid dresses and a handful of wool coats that I've never seen on my husbands body.

Oh, it was so time.

Small closet or highly efficient office and craft supply annex? I choose the latter. Especially close to my heart here is the craft shelf with four clear containers organized to the Nth degree with my fabric and yarn. Notice the lack of bags? Yes, that too gives the warm fuzzy feeling. Best of all was watching Bubba open the closet door the next morning and just stare at it with joyous wonder.

Even better was hitting the print button from the office and hearing the printer start in the closet. Kick ass. And for those of you keeping note, Even Better is, in fact, better than Best of All. Got that?

After all that work, and all those trips to OSH (god help us, they know our names) we went on a bleary-eyed date at Dasaprakash - one of our favorite Indian restaurants. I am still too exhausted to go into detail, but know that a raging bull could not have kept me from my oothapam.

Regarding the quarantine - we sat down with the 49er game (victorious!!!) and the laptop on Sunday morning and did all, I repeat ALL, of our Christmas shopping.

I love the Internets.

Friday, November 10, 2006


Every year I devise a new way to manage Holiday Panic.

And each year I think I've come up with the once-and-for-all way to handle the holiday mayhem so that I won't spend the latter months of the year writhing with festive agony.

And, each year I somehow it worse with my meddling.

Like the year I thought I'd knit gifts for EVERYONE on my list. I started in June and skidded into our family Hanukkah party with claws for hands and gifts freshly wrapped in the car because I was still working on them when we left for the party. Not a good plan.

Or the year I did all the shopping in October and then effectively drew out the holiday season a lot longer than is palatable for Bubba and I. Confirmed by the fact that Bubba wore his scrooge face a full month longer than usual, coming out of Holiday Gloom just in time for Valentines Day which is a none so revered holiday for us anyway. There was not a lot of extra joy around the Finny house that year. Too soon with the shopping, it seems.

And despite my history of utter failure in the Holiday Panic management department, I'm trying out yet another new once-in-for-all method. I call this the "People don't need anymore crap" method paired with the "I think people need to read more" method to create the "You all get a book with a nice bookmark denoting the recent donation to a worthy cause of my choosing in your blessed name and you'll like it" method.


And I'm planning to make this festive holiday wish come true this weekend as I quarantine Bubba in the living room and make him decide with me which of the three books we've chosen will go to which of the faraway and slightly forgotten relatives on our list. And then there's the list itself that will have to be revived from last year as we decide who we now hate and doesn't deserve the joy of the written word in the New Year.

It's a wondrous process as you can see.

Normally I really like choosing special gifts for people and wrapping them up all fine with a card I make myself (or at least choose specially when I'm at Target buying soap), but there's something about bulk holiday gift giving that invokes nausea and the jingly music and inflatable lawn ornaments don't help any.

So, to counter the nausea, get me in the holiday spirit AND revive my recently invented holiday tradition, I'm happy to announce the return of;

Which House is the Ugliest?

Because there's really nothing like making fun of people and they're freakishly decorated houses to get me in the mood to spend months listening to Jingle Bells burst forth from every retail establishment, television and jostling SUV.

Please join in and send over any gems you capture in your travels. I'm sure your neighborhood has some beauts, too.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I'm just saying

We just did one of those cooking school things at the work conference.

You know, one of those things where you and your big group go to a cooking store with a foreign name that people always pronounce wrong, so you can all cook your own dinner instead of going to a real restaurant where you can get drunk and point haphazardly at a menu.

I believe we were doing this under the guise of team bonding, but with the underlying purpose of legitimizing the drinking we really wanted to be doing.

So we all went and immediately made a bee-line for the wine and too-small plate of cheese, and then got yelled at for talking while the "chef" instructed us on how to properly tie an apron.

I don't think these were really chefs. They acted more like elementary school teachers run amok with their weekend hobbies. I don't think I heard anyone describe any of the ingredients with anything more scintillating than, "It's really good." And even me, and my non-professional chefness, can find something better to say about a fine looking piece of sushi grade tuna than, "It's really good."

Whatever, there was a lot of wine (thanks to our enthusiastic team who provided it) and we weren't sitting around conference tables in a beige room, so I was content to people watch and snack on the occasional passed appetizer. And then get yelled at because I wasn't, like, helping a station, or something similarly naggish. My thought was that rolling up some rice and crab in an old beach mat was helping because it looked nice on the plate and looked remotely like a California roll.

I ended up staying close to the Sushi Station since the dude running it was the most un-tool-ish of all the "chefs" and he let me eat crab right from the bowl instead of having to go through the tedium of rolling it up with the beach mat first. Don't worry, I had my own bowl and didn't funk up anything actually going into the apps.

I believe that throughout the evening the sum of my dinner included a lot of crab meat, a couple of small stuffed peppers, a stray shrimp, a molten lava falafel and two gallons of Napa Cabernet. Me thinks that going the route of a cooking store vs a real cooking school for one of these events (having done both) isn't ideal if you actually want to, say, get schooled on cooking, eat a decent meal or be treated like an adult.

I'm not sure what the moral of my story is here. But at the end of the day, I've made it through another work conference and am at home where I can now cook and eat in peace. Amen.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Worst case, we get real drunk

So I was all whining about winter and how cold it was getting, even though I live in NorCal where it barely gets cold enough to frost more than a handful of times in the winter. I realize I exaggerate. It's my way. I also realize that there are other parts of the world, US-even, where temps drop to ridiculously low levels and require people to wear many woolen coats, special boots, big hats made of wild animals, etc and that I have it way easy. No need to remind me. I realize I live in my own special bubble.

But before you get all, "What a fucking baby" on me, let me explain my reasoning. Basically, I am AOK with the cold as long as it makes sense. Like, if I'm in the woods in January, hollowing out a snow cave for winter camping, I get it. I wear my winter clothes, keep my extremities covered, sleep all mummied up in my sleeping bag with it zipped over my head, etc. But what I don't get is having to take the same measures in my own living room while I'm watching TV. I think you see what I'm saying.

But, until the snow flies, I'm not super interested in the cold, and so it is a matter of keeping me occupied until it arrives. And so sometimes we drink.

Like last weekend weekend, for instance.

My warm weather friends from AZ came to town and we cruised up to the wine country to take in some lovely autumn color, some decent food and a lot of wine. I would like it to be noted that I did not freak out upon conception of this trip and immediately grab the reigns and begin planning.

No. I was going to be mature. I was not going to be a control freak. I was going to let someone else handle the arrangements. And I did. Go ahead and say you're proud because this was a big moment for me.

And then while contemplating the insanity of this decision with Bubba on the way up to the Russian River Valley, we decided that, worst case, we can just get real drunk. You know, in the event that our hotel is a dump, all the restaurants vanish and we can't find food, our friends never show up, the wineries catch fire and can't offer us tastings, we get hopelessly lost. You know, the usual control-freak brand of panicking.

But, like most times when I freak out for no good reason, everything went swimmingly. Aside from us hijacking the wrong limo and taking a small tour of Korbel on someone elses dime, it was pretty close to perfection.

We stayed at the West Sonoma Inn, which is the site of the recently completely renovated Brookside Inn. It was fab. Very new. Nicely done. Set back amongst the redwoods. Run by a very friendly group that we ended up chatting with by the fire after our day spent face down in the wineglass. I'd go back. In fact, I think we might. Turns out this is a really nice time of year in Guerneville and the Russian River Valley.

Oh, pronounce that for me: Guerneville.

It appears that I've lived something of a sheltered existence since I nearly peed myself listening to one of my AZ friends say this city name out loud. Granted, I grew up in Sonoma County, and had all of these names said before me at one time or another, but when it came out: G-weiner-ville, I'll admit, I didn't even try not to laugh out loud.

As for the part of the weekend spent outside of a tasting room:

Sum up: Even when it's cold, things don't have to suck.

For now, I'm off to conference my ass off for work, which I'm sure will be something of a suckfest. But, if all of our past conferences are any guide, there will be a fair amount of drinking, too. I can see this new motto taking on a whole new significance.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Officially winter

I've come to the conclusion that summer *may* be over.

Me: Bubba, can we please turn on the heater?

Bubba: Really? You're cold?

Me: No, I'm buried under all these layers of clothes because I think it makes me look skinny.

Bubba: Oh. Maybe tomorrow. We're going to bed soon anyway.

Me: Dude. It's 8. I'll die of frostbite before we ever make it to bed.

Bubba: *Sad face* Tomorrow night. I promise.

Me: *Pout* I'm pouting over here, but you can't see me because my face is obscured by ALL THESE CLOTHES.

I was seen on the couch Wednesday night wearing no less than my slippers, leg warmers, jeans, long grey "Old Librarian" sweater, Bubba's Royals Santa hat and fingerless gloves. All tucked shiveringly underneath my poofy red blanket. Which was pulled up over my nose.

I get a touch dramatic when I'm cold. More so when I know the solution to my problems lies only a few feet away and a swift turn of the heater key (our house is mucho old) to the left. But, for some reason, I need agreement from Bubba that we should, indeed, turn on the heater and start the irreversible season we call Winter. I guess I could get up and walk over to the heater and turn it on myself, but then it will turn 80 degrees outside overnight and I'll feel like a retard with no one to blame but my own self. At least if we both agree to turn it on and a heat wave rolls through town, we can both quietly ignore the fact that jumped the gun and tried to start winter early. Idiots!

This is a big issue for me because it means a lot of things that I really like are about to officially change for a bunch of long months. Things like wearing slippers instead of flip flops, the aforementioned not-hot librarian sweater instead of tank tops and fingerless gloves at all times. And I'll have to come up with some new reasons why we have to keep the cotton sheets on the bed instead of getting flannel ones. (I LOATHE flannel sheets. They are gnarly and remind me of dirty sleeping bags.)

So, I try to wait out the Turning On of the Heater for as long as possible to avoid the inevitable changing of the seasons. This year I barely made it out of October before my pitiful bleating began.

Finally there was agreement on heater status and, I am not lying, the second we fired that bitch up, it started to rain. And it's been raining ever since.

So, it's raining. And it appears to be winterish. And to console myself and heat up the house at the same time, I'm baking. I made sweet potato pie. I baked some random snicker doodle cookie dough that was languishing in our freezer. I have two soup recipes ready to roll. I'm currently drinking tea by the pot. I thawed dough and baked bread. There are remnant pie crusts waiting to be filled with whatever makes itself available.

And someone will have to come in springtime and extract me from my house with a flatbed truck. Hooray for winters gluttony.