ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
If I were Supermom, I'd have arranged a lavish birthday party for Guppy this weekend, and I'd be bringing luscious home-baked (but healthy!) treats to preschool tomorrow.

But I am not Supermom, I am Okaymom (TM), and I bought storemade (not at all healthy) cupcakes at Safeway and figure this is probably the last year I can skate by without an actual birthday party. (I did ask her if she had any friends she'd like to invite to a party, but she's still very lukewarm on the idea of friends and kids her age and her teacher says that's normal at this stage.)



I parent aide tomorrow, which I had not exactly planned to coincide with her birthday class, but it should be fun. Wish me luck! These are usually stressful days, if fun.

The most critical tax things are finished and mailed via certified mail. (Due at the end of the month, so I made it, yay!) I've got 8500 words on my second novella. I just got a few hours of freelance programming done for a client. I need to get inking on my coloring book pages. (Submissions close March 15th, ya'll! http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/submissions.php )

Really I just want to watch Gotham and eat ice cream from the container now, but it's time to go wake up the child so I can get her to sleep early and up early tomorrow. *sighs*

Off to be Okaymom! Provider of snacks and enforcer of naps!
ellenmillion: (Mmm..)
This has been the week of cooking All The Things.

Monday, I made bread, two kinds of pesto, pizza (combining parts of those first two...), boiled up our last farm beets, and baked granola. I only didn't make muffins because I knew the husband was bringing home Cinnabon from the Anchorage airport the following evening. Guppy was very 'helpful.' Wednesday, I made rosemary pineapple lamb chops and green tomato salsa. We'd gotten a bag of green tomatoes from the preschool, and I had no idea what to do with them. It was SO SO SO good. It was fresh, no cooking, so mostly just chopping up a lot of tiny ingredients and mixing them together, but just amazingly delicious. I made two little jars that are basically gone already, and two quart bags for the freezer. I picked up our last CSA farm share yesterday and helped myself to more of the 'please take' green tomatoes there, too, so I WILL be making more.

Here's Guppy lining up the tomato parts on a butter knife.



Today, I went shopping for spray paint and then sat at the tea shop and wrote nearly 1500 words on my novella. Big climactic section - the writing is fast and I know (almost) exactly what's happening from here. I'm over 18k on it now, and I'm not sure it will stretch to 25k. I'm guessing 22k, right now.

I'm getting my display bits and bobs all fixed up in anticipation of shows coming up - in part because we are rapidly running out of time I can spray paint things outside (Every year, I swear I'm going to spray paint my display and NEVER DO. This year? DONE.). We may get 5 inches of snow tonight. CRAZINESS.

Off to create. And watch some Agents of Shield because my brain is melting down my face.
ellenmillion: (Kativa2)
I have a miniature pumpkin in the oven, scraped of seeds and filled with butter, brown sugar, and spices. We got a big pumpkin, too, but it molded to the counter within a week of Halloween. Alaska 'fresh' at its best. I have never tried this, but I'm very curious to see how it tastes. My luck with various squashes is not the greatest, but it's very cute and the house smells nice.

Yesterday I made an oven roast, which I thin-sliced today. Some of it is in the freezer, and some of it is going to go into stroganof (spell-check suggests gastronomy, which I find hilarious) tonight. I made roasted potatoes, carrots, and turnips, too, and nommed (no, spell-check, not Nome...) the leftovers for lunch.

We went outside for a little while today:



And yesterday, we painted for the first time:


She loves it. :) (I'm trying not to freak over what she's doing to that poor brush.)

There's a new flashfiction story for subscribers up at Torn World: Smaller may be sponsored for $5.

"Can you make one that's smaller?" Kireg asked hesitantly.

"Smaller than this?" Jila knit her brows at the ranger. The little blank book she held, neatly stitched and wrapped in a leather cover dyed teal, was barely the size of her hand and her hand was as small as the rest of her was. For a moment, Kireg thought she was going to take offense at the idea, or think that he was insulting her height.


(later)

Pumpkin was good, but not great. I'd do it again if I had one leftover, but I'm not sure I would buy pumpkin for this express purpose.

Baby has been down for a nap about 30 minutes and is babbling, with occasional exclamations of 'Oh, WOW!' and 'I FOUND YOU!' Plus, something about Robin Hood.

She might need a little reminder that it's quiet time...

Mondaily!

Dec. 2nd, 2013 08:27 am
ellenmillion: (working hard)
Oh my goodness, it's been so long since I blogged, I'm not sure where to start.

Wednesday was the adventure of the car - I spent several hours at the dealer with an angelic toddler, right through her naptime, and AFTER a turf time romp. That disrupted my plans for the day, but wasn't otherwise a terrible thing. I have the best baby ever, and she absolutely charmed the staff at the dealer.

Thanksgiving was absolutely lovely. I took Norway for a long walk, ate sublime food, and had a delightful dessert with my sister and nephews. I am never eating turkey for thanksgiving again, if I can help it. We had this incredible pork tenderloin wrap, stuffed with cream cheese and chiritzo, wrapped in bacon and glazed with apricot-chipotle sauce. NOM. The leftovers were just as good with a fried egg on top the next morning.

Friday, I buckled down on Kickstarter and 20 Days things while husband and toddler romped overhead, and made a big, huge dent in it. I may even get the rest of it wrapped up today!  (But not if I spend all morning blogging!)

Saturday, more Kickstarter. Sunday, CLEANED MY OFFICE (because it was a mid-Kickstarter disaster and the workflow was suffering) and went to gaming, ate more delicious food and hung out with actual adults (and make-believe teenage demon-hunters), got most of my Kickstarter custom artwork done, finished the first season of Arrow after Monster went to sleep, and now it's Monday and I have a lot to do!

In business news!

Keep coloring books on your radar as you are shopping this season - they make fabulous gifts, and support small business. http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/coloringbooks.php

A facepalmingly late announcement that there is a Sketch Fest THIS WEEKEND! The poll I ran at Facebook was a dead heat, and people who requested this weekend made the good point that they'd like to be able to ship sales in time for Christmas. So, here we are!

I also realized I was supposed to run a Muse Fusion last weekend... and totally forgot. I don't think anyone noticed, which speaks volumes.

Okay, sorting through ACEOs now, and finishing these last Kickstarter/20days packages. I still haven't figured out how I'm going to get this mail into the post office with toddler in tow. They are labeled and just need dropped off, but it's going to be 800 trips in and out if I have to hold a little hand. The handcart takes both hands, and I don't want the small one bolting out into the parking lot. Maybe I can strap her on top of it...

Oh! And Portrait Adoption artists, there's a great submitted description in the queue right now - I'd love to see some sign-ups for it. 

Worth it.

Nov. 16th, 2013 05:14 pm
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
Guppy woke me up at 6 this morning with a cry that made me think, desperately, "I would give a part of my SOUL for her to go back to sleep for two hours." And she did even better, and went right back to sleep until NINE.

BLISS. Utter, complete bliss.

Worth that little soul bit. I probably won't even miss it!

Her latest word is 'hug!' It's a little more like 'hAAAAAHHHHHHHg,' and always followed by a big, sweet hug of whatever she can reach (knees, necks...), complete with a little patpatpat of her hands at the end. SO adorable.

Speaking of losing my soul: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/incubot/firefly-serenity-usb-flash-drive-sci-fi-collectibl SHINY! But I can't personally justify $45 for a flash drive right now; I have spent all my fun money, and Christmas is coming. Alas.

Off to make chicken-havarti-somethings.
ellenmillion: (EMG)
My coffee is cold! I'm drinking it anyway, interspersed with sending Sketch Fest payments and throwing a ball for the baby, who is doing a giggly imitation of a dog and is getting very good at fetch. Today's word is beeeeee, which is beans today, though it sounds exactly like beets from last week. We're working on word endings, still.

She is starting to anticipate words in songs - there's one we listen to that has a refrain of 'uh-oh!' that she will say a beat early now! She adores music, will dance around when it comes on, applaud when there is crowd noise, and if a song ends, she will run across the room and stare accusingly at whatever is making music until the next song starts.

The giant zucchini I posted a photo of is finally gone! It made: 6 loaves of zucchini bread with chocolate chips (2 of them went to gaming with me and I refused to take any home), 3 giant Turkish Zucchini pancakes, zucchini crumble (which I would not have guessed was not apple crumble if I had not actually made it myself!) and an oven pancake that was the only real flop. We have four zucchinis left, which are SIGNIFICANTLY smaller. One is destined for zucchini boats tonight, stuffed with sausage and marinara, then broiled with cheese on top.

Got art and other-adult-interaction time this weekend, both of which were much needed. I made good progress on Adopted:



I need to move laundry around now, and my coffee is long gone. Sketch Fest payments are all off, most of my immediate emails taken care of. Writing time today? I would REALLY like to finish another TW installment. I set my goal for August at 5, but have only finished 3 so far. :(

Maybe a guppy photo later?
ellenmillion: (dreamstate)
What's your favorite zucchini recipe? I made a lovely bread with chocolate chips that I will do again, and I'm planning to try Turkish Zucchini Pancakes - what else have you got for me? Savory, sweet, anything! We aren't lacking in zucchini to experiment with!

Progress has been made on my last Fantastrix piece - I erased the three dragons in the foreground entirely and scaled them up to give the piece more of a sense of depth, and I like it a lot more now. Some experimentation with dragonscales, but I think that's a blind alley - I'm not really happy with the results and will probably fall back on stuff I know works better.

There's a blizzard in Atigun pass and it's raining like crazy here today. Thank HEAVENS for driveway rock. Also, the signs of fall are making me pouty. On my walk last night, I spotted several branches with leaves turning colors already. The raspberries that are left on the plants are getting well past ideal, and the cranberries are turning brilliant red.

Our garage is underway! The slab is nearly ready for concrete, though the rain is keeping the contractors away today. I should take photos, but it's raining and I'm warm inside.

Okay, I need more food and it's time to get more done.
ellenmillion: (baby kitty)
A much happier day, all around. The house grows more house-like; the floor almost feels normal now. Much delicious food was consumed - clearing out the last of the leftovers for the weekend cooking and farm share is not exactly a chore. Some running around was done: I have TWO nosepieces on my glasses once more, bills were paid, the post office was visited, and some minor shopping accomplished (how were we out of milk again?!). I also hooked the heater back up and got it running (all by myself!) and ironed shirts (also all by myself, but that's much less impressive). None of the entertainment center is back together yet, but I haven't actually missed it.

Last night's dinner is worth noting: creamy baked halibut with a sour cream and (local!) chives dressing, and a green salad with 8 items from our farm share: arugula, lettuce, baby chard, radishes, carrots, salad turnips, cherry tomatoes, and snap peas. SO good. Jake, in fact, said it might have been the best halibut he'd ever had, and that's saying a LOT. Especially since he doesn't tend to favor the creamy foods. I was very chuffed with myself.

Tonight we're having hot dogs, so I doubt I will top that, but I am also making kohlrabi au gratin, so it will probably still be good. I forgot to make bread early enough to have it done for dinner, but I remembered that I'd forgotten while I was still at the grocery store and could buy some buns, at least.

... several hours later, after farm pickup, dinner, and baby bath, and bedtime, and a complete load of laundry that included the Very Important Blanket...

Happier day, but not much less busy. The small monster woke up 30 minutes earlier than usual, which is a far cry better than 3 hours, and did take a delicious 3 hour nap in the afternoon. She went to bed a little late (owing in part to the Very Important laundry), and I am finally sitting back down with my laptop. Have a picture of one of the zucchinis from our farm share, with a baby for scale:



I... think I will go to BED now.
ellenmillion: (thud)
My living space is weird. The upstairs is painfully crowded, the downstairs is echoingly empty. Literally, it echos. A few last things to move out to the tent tonight, and we'll be camping out upstairs in exile through most of tomorrow. I have, like a genius, managed to pack my most vital art supplies in a drawer that is completely blocked in by other furniture. I did not discover this until I went to draw, of course. Now I've got art withdrawal pangs and I am ITCHING to finish Fantastrix. I didn't get my computer out all weekend, either - it's tucked away on my desk in the basement, so harder to pull out than it usually is. So, no art from me until Wednesday at the absolute earliest. I am going to try to get some writing done, but chances are... I won't.

I DID get the next Torn World installment up, hallelujah! You can read it at the site or at our Livejournal page.

Guppy and I went to the park and the grocery store, but I forgot to make bread in time. Our upstairs camp-out tomorrow may be a little odd. Lots of fresh veggies to eat, at least.

Today's photo is not a baby. It is a photo of 'romanesco,' or what Jake and I have been calling 'fractal broccoli*.' For obvious reasons!



That's all the time I've got! Probably won't blog again until I have a floor and my house is back in order, so I'll see you on the other side!


*Fractal Broccoli would be an AWESOME band name.
ellenmillion: (aahhhhhh)
In line with my pesto blending, I made a delicious batch of hummus today. NOM. Guppy loves it, too. I tried a refrigerater pickle that I'd made a few days ago, and that turned out well, too. Guppy also adores green beans. That's my girl!

We discovered a wonderful little park that had been recommended to us a few days ago, and she enjoyed the swings for the first time (the last time we tried them, there were tears!). Many rocks were picked up and dropped. We had a little picnic in the shade from some trees. Dried mango strips travel more easily than watermelon - and she likes them nearly as much!



It's super smoky in town today or we might go have another picnic.

Today, I have also trimmed the dog's nails and brushed him, done a load of laundry, cut up chicken and broccoli in preparation for dinner, washed a ridiculous number of dishes, and I've got a crumb cake ready to go in the oven. (It's out of a box. Don't get too excited.) I've done a token amount of coding, looked at the calendar in dismay a few times, and done nothing creative.

How's your day going? I hope everyone has a great weekend!
ellenmillion: (fairysquash)
This is the coolest thing ever: A 'frozen debris lobe' that is advancing on the highway at an inch per day! One of those hazards of the north they just never talk about...

Took Guppy to storytime at the library and met some very nice moms and their charming children. Guppy tried to hang out in my armpit for the first little bit, then relaxed and actually toddled off during toy time to investigate some of the Things and People. She tried to hoard all the red balls, despite being unable to hold more than one of them at a time. (I convinced her to share.)

Then we went shopping and bought All The Things. We're on a strict budget right now, so it seemed like a lot, but there were a bunch of buy-one-get-one items at very good prices to begin with, so I stocked up on several things that we go through regularly. I also got a Giant piece of pork which will be smoked and grilled and thrown in the pressure cooker. (All three. It is AMAZING.) There is more than enough to freeze a bunch of packages of pre-smoked pork for easy defrosting in the future. I also made pesto for the first time, because my CSA gave us a pound of basil in the last share, I hadn't used up the PREVIOUS batch, and we're getting another share tomorrow! It turned out lovely, and was super easy, so I'm less afraid of drowning in basil now. There's a tub in the freezer, and we'll have some tonight. I want to try making it with cashews or walnuts, because pine nuts are holyballs expensive.

And, I'll leave you with a photo:

Tuesdaily

Aug. 6th, 2013 02:46 pm
ellenmillion: (Kativa2)
Jake's comment last night: Why are raspberries ever served in any other fashion?

I blended them with about 1/3 c coconut milk leftover from a curry, a little honey (not enough, but it was easy to drizzle more on top) and just a squirt of lemon juice, then froze it. NOM.

Also, Guppy is more clever than she likes to let on.

I was out walking the dog last night and she brought Jake a book.

"You want me to read this to you?"

Guppy shook her head, pressed the book on Jake, and signed 'read.' More specifically, deliberately, "YOU read."

Jake, a good sport, put down his iPad, opened the book, and began to read it. Guppy eyed him for only a moment to make sure he was reading, then siddled around his chair and reached for the unguarded iPad.

Little minx!


Who, me?

Finally finished the TW installment that had me beating my head against a wall... and have nearly finished another story that goes before it but isn't really a vital part of the arc. The webpage I'm working on right now makes me want to draw cats. Dangerous! It was giving me fits yesterday, but I think I've solved all the problems today, crossing fingers. I HATE doing server switches. They NEVER go smoothly.

Okay, knuckling under on some things that look like work. Also, craving sweets like mad.
ellenmillion: (baby kitty)
What kinds of foods do you like to give toddlers to encourage them to feed themselves? Preferably things that do not result in Yogurtbeard, Scourge of the Kitchen:



She clearly hasn't mastered that spoon yet!

A nice weekend. I let Jake be Dad for a good chunk of time, put on my headphones, and dove into some programming for clients that had stacked up on my to-do list. I haven't had such a long block of time without distraction for a while, and made excellent progress. I also leveled up in Wordpress and like it much better than I used to. Oh, plugins, you are so delightfully user-friendly! The weather was gorgeous, so we spent some time outdoors, and there was much playing and giggling and lots of music and amazing food (fresh everything-slaw, grilled steaks, grilled chicken tarragon salad, everything-fruit pie that included cherries, pineapple, pear, coconut, walnuts, rhubarb and raisins!...), plus a long walk with the dog. I got just a little bit of art time this evening (despite a baby who INSISTED she was not ready for bed and got a late second dinner after wailing from her crib for a long while), and did manage to weave out three short poems for the Muse Fusion and start another! Sadly, I did NOT get a new installment for Torn World finished. I have decided I need to completely scrap what I've got written and start again. Two weeks in a row without updates! I'm sorry to my three or four loyal readers!

Today I must try to get bear photos for Guppy's 17-month birthday (yesterday!) and make bread, write, program, be Mom, and take over the world. Getting right on that.
ellenmillion: (elsa's tongue)
Jake (to Guppy): Uh-oh. I filled up one of your nostrils with applesauce.

...

Tonight for dinner: half a can of home-smoked salmon and a quarter of a peach pie. YUM.
ellenmillion: (elsa's tongue)
The bacon smells amazing. We are trading some of it for moose meat, and the rest has been vacuum sealed and put in the freezer for eating over the next year-ish. Here's a photo of the apparatus with smoke (after MOST of the smoke has cleared enough that you can see into the box):



(Should you desire to do your own smoking, we have had excellent dealings with this company and it's a lot easier than I realized... start with something safe and little like cheese, and you too can graduate to a computer box full of bacon! We have the 5x8 pellet smoker.)

The day would have been perfect, but for one minor inconvenience: Guppy decided to sprout not one, but two teeth today, and was miserably unhappy about it. In retribution, she produced two of the grossest diapers I've ever had the displeasure of dealing with. I think she is feeling better now, after a prodigious day of alternating fussing with sleeping, and is on the floor taunting the cat with her superior toys and trying to figure out this crawling thing that I have no desire for her to learn.


I wish this photo (from yesterday) had been taken in better light - it came out way too dark and lightening it makes it blurry. *sadface*

In the background is her certificate for 'successfully completing' the Parent and Tot swim class. I guess 'successful' just requires not drowning her.
ellenmillion: (Mmm..)
Jake took the day off of work, and we're doing this:



That's about 25 lbs of skinned, cured pork belly, about to be smoked... in an old computer box, slung on an extra curtain rod held up over two porch chairs, because we're fancy like that. Duct tape will be used to hold the box shut, because no job is well done without duct tape.

Soaking and rinsing and drying have already occurred, and a pile of towels are in the (shiny, shiny!) washer testing out the 'sanitize' cycle.
ellenmillion: (Mmm..)
We've been iced in for three days, so we couldn't go Thanksgiving Day shopping*. Thus, we've been making do... and how!

We were looking forward to sausage gravy and biscuits this morning, but had forgotten we were completely out of flour. So, I smooshed the biscuits that hadn't gone into the oven yet into single-serving casserole dishes and concocted little individual quiches instead - with sausage, cheese, corn and onion. Jake's had jalapeƱos and chili powder, too. It took longer to cook that we thought (a LOT longer!), but was absolutely amazing, topped with sour cream.

The dinner meal, still cooking, centers around a pork roast, since that's what we had in the freezer, all encrusted with herbs and making the house smell amazing. We're having homemade stuffing from scratch - even the spicing is from scratch, since most recipes I can find call for 'poultry seasoning,' which we've concocted from what we've got. No celery, but the last of our mushrooms, onion, sage sausage and yellow squash. We had no bread cubes, so it's made from three cornbread muffins, one old biscuit and an old cinnamon raisin English muffin. I'll report as to its actual quality, but it smells good! We're also making garlic mashed potatoes, gravy from bouillon (we have no drippings!) and cornstarch. A bag of cranberries out of the freezer (picked right off our land!) was boiled with sugar and Jamaican allspice, though it's not setting up quite right... I'm worried that the lack of orange juice will prove fatal to its texture, though it tastes incredibly good.

I hope you have all had as much culinary delight on your thanksgiving days, and that you have much to be thankful for, even if you aren't celebrating the day.


*To be completely fair, we COULD have made it into town today - we got the driveway cleared and roughed yesterday, and the temperature has dropped enough that it's freezed with texture. The roads are still bad but not awful anymore. But who wants to go shopping on Thanksgiving day? There were good football games on, and we had power and heat and had taken inventory and decided we had plenty of food...

Tuesdaily

Nov. 17th, 2009 10:49 am
ellenmillion: (Default)
Business as Usual

I will be out of the office November 25-December 7!! No orders will be shipped during this time, and though I should have time to get domestic orders out for Christmas when I get back, International orders may be too late.

So, International orders - place 'em before November 24. Place domestic (US) orders by December 11!

Art and Authoring

I have a very strong start on 'Paper Butterflies,' which is a story that 'doesn't exist' that I'm liking VERY MUCH so far. I'm loving my characters.

Home and Health

I'm chilly at work today. It's only about -15, but it's a drafty office and I'm on the opposite side from the heater near the windows. *shivers* I need to start storing a sweater here.

Last night was supposed to be halibut supreme night, but the sour cream got left at Jake's work, so no surpeme for us! Instead, we ended up with a can of tomatoes with fresh onions, sausage and mushrooms, perfectly spiced, simmered and served with a toasted parmesan roll. For an 'oh crap, what will we have instead' meal, it was amazing. Better than amazing.

Our new bed is fabulous. I don't know how we managed without it. I sleep like a log and wake up in no pain, in exactly the position I went to sleep in. This morning, I woke up 5 minutes before the alarm went off. I used to do that every morning, but that went away a year or so ago. It would be nice to have that back.

Linking

http://www.wisebread.com/calling-all-artists-be-your-own-cheerleader-and-find-that-room-of-your-own-free - good words of wisdom about taking control of your own destiny.

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