Friday, September 30, 2005

Photo Friday: Darkness

Lights in the darkness

This was taken this summer in the Notre Dame, Paris. They are lit prayer candles and I love how they contrast to the utter darkness in the background.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 10:17 AM

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Dog Update

I just spoke to the foster mom and Buddy is ours! :)
They'll drop him off to us tomorrow when I get off of work, so Huz and I will go out tonight and get him all of his stuff (food, bed, toys, brush, etc.). We're going to rename him - he doesn't really answer to "Buddy" anyway because they've only had him for 2 months. We considered Oxford, but that sounded like we were freakin' anglophiles, so we were going through ideas last night and Huz suggested Guinness (he's a beer guy, you know). I suggested Black and Tan, but Buddy is black and white. Then Huz shouted, "What about Porter?" What a great name, I thought. So, Porter it is and I'll post pictures of him this weekend. Until then, wish us happy cat and dog bonding! :)

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:59 AM

Crazy Sleeping Positions

Which one is crazier? You decide.

Strangest sleeping position #2

Strangest Sleeping Position in the World - Courtesy of Huz

For the record, I was neither drunk or high during either of these sleeping positions. Thank you.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 7:56 AM

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Amazing Race

Ok, all I have to say is that the whiny-ass family from Brooklyn HAS GOT to go next time. They are AWFUL!!!

[Ok, since no one commented, I guess I'm the only one who watched it! If you did, you would totally agree with me.]

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:59 PM

Doggie House Call

We're thinking of adopting Buddy. What do you think? Cute, huh? We had him visit us at our house on Saturday to see how he'd do with Cambridge. It was ADORABLE to see them together.

First we played with Buddy outside while we talked to his foster parents. He was found by Charlie, a police officer, who saw him following a homeless man who he knew didn't own a dog. So he took Buddy from him and put him up for adoption. He was covered in ticks because he was lost/neglected/something, so they cleaned him up, took him to the vet and got him fixed and checked out. His health is A-ok. He's really sweet and gentle, so we brought him inside to meet our baby girl. I brought her out of the bedroom and she leaned out as far as she could from my arms to sniff Buddy. I slowly put her down on the floor and she made a wide circle around Buddy, who was just standing there - tail wagging and mouth panting. She made her way to the couch, greeted the foster mom and dad, then jumped up on the coffee table. She sat down and watched Buddy for a while, then she laid down on her side and reached out her little paw to touch his back. It was SO cute! She touched him over and over and he eventually put his face up to hers and they touched noses! hahhahhahaha! It was great. He was really gentle and cautious with her and she was really curious and unafraid with him. It went really well. Now we are just waiting to make sure that the landlord will let us adopt a dog before moving on.

[UPDATE: We got permission, so now I'm just waiting for the foster mom to call me back!]

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 3:18 PM

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Happy One Year Adoption, Cambridge!

We're jumping for joy around here as we celebrate having our wonderful cat for a year. We love you, Cambie!!

Cat Dancer Frenzy

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 1:15 PM

Grown Up Mac n' Cheese

Here's a recipe from Bon Appetit (Nov. 2004) that I've made twice now and really like. If you like macaroni and cheese, but want to try it at a different level (it's much more high brow than throwing milk, butter, and a package of orange-colored "cheese" in a pan), then you should try this. You won't be sorry.

Mac and Cheese with Bacon, Shiitake Mushrooms, and Corn

12 oz. elbow macaroni
6 thick-cut bacon slices, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup thinly sliced stemmed shiitake mushrooms
2 large shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/4 cups whipping cream
1 cup frozen white corn kernels, thawed
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 TBS chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 cups coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese

Cook macaroni in boiling water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain.

Preheat broiler. Butter 13x9x2 inch baking dish. Cook bacon in large skillet over med-high heat untl crisp. Transfer to paper towels using a slotted spoon. Add mushrooms to skillet and saute until golden, about 6 minutes. Add shallots and garlic; saute until shallots are golden, about 4 minutes. Ad macaroni, cream, and corn. Toss until sauce coats macaroni, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan, parsley, and bacon. Transfer to baking dish. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and remaining Parmesan. Broil until brown, about 3 minutes.

I serve this with a green salad. Yum!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 12:36 PM

Friday, September 23, 2005


I know that you’ve all been waiting on pins and needles for me to tell you the cross-dressing story, so here ya go.

When Huz was packing for our trip Thursday night, he asked what I thought he should wear – the wedding was in the afternoon, in the mountains, and likely pretty casual, so I told him that a suit would be too much. I suggested a dress shirt and slacks. So, he agreed and packed his bag quickly, then went on to do what Huz does – blog or do Ph.D. work. The next day we got up and left the house at 6:00 because we had a 5 hour drive ahead of us and the wedding started at 1:00. We tried to check into the hotel early so that we’d have a place to change into our nice clothes before rushing off to the wedding, but the hotel dude wouldn’t let us, so we used the facilities in the lobby. I changed and went to the car to wait for Huz. He came out all frazzled because he forgot to pack his belt. He was pretty upset about it because he hated how he looked without one, but we only had about 20 minutes until the wedding started. We didn’t want to be late because the last wedding we went to we were so late that when we got seated in the church, the minister was pronouncing the couple man and wife! I did not want to repeat that, so we were on the lookout for a clothing store on the drive from the hotel to the chapel, but no such luck. It was a very small mountain town in North Carolina – what did we expect? We did, however, spot a thrift store on the way, so Huz zoomed into the tiny parking lot that had no open parking left and double-parked while he ran in to find a suitable belt. I anxiously waited in the car, looking behind me to make sure people could still get out of the lot and worried about the time. During my eternal-like wait, we got blocked into the lot by two other cars who were unloading all of their crap to donate to the thrift store. Oh man. We were going to be late and I wasn’t happy. Huz FINALLY came out of the store and we had to wait for the 2 cars to unload their junk (which was a lot!) and carry it into the store before they made room for us to leave. When on the road again, I took a look at the belt Huz bought and I burst out laughing. Not only was it hideous and worn to hell, but it was clearly a woman’s belt. The metal buckle was just a bit too curvy to be a man’s belt, plus it should have clued him in that it was a women's belt when it barely fit on the first hole. I couldn’t stop laughing and then he did too, flinging it off and throwing it into the backseat. I guess that twelve cents is down the drain!

I’m afraid the belt wasn’t on him long enough for me to take a picture, but I do have one of the belt itself and one of him without one (to which he said to me as I took the picture, “that BETTER be taken from above the waist!” – sorry, Huz, it wasn’t!).

Forgot his belt!

12 cent WOMAN'S belt

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 10:33 PM

To our friends Ryan and Heather

From this:

Heather and Ryan

To this:


Congratulations Mr. and Mrs.! :)

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 10:05 AM

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Dog Debate

Okay, now I know that Huz and I have offended some of you dog lovers out there with our blatant breedist prejudice and I apologize. But, the truth remains, we are right. I mean, come on, take a look at these pictures and tell me honestly which dog is cuter. On the one hand, you have an adorable, soft and cuddly yellow lab, like ths one:

cute lab2

And this one:

cute lab3

And this one:

cute lab

Point taken? I mean, they are so cute I think I need some barbecue sauce to dip them in as I eat them up with kisses!

Now, on the other side is the ugly, alien-like, eye-popping pug:

eye pop

YIKES! Get that dog to the hospital before his eyes roll out onto my rug!

If this were a beauty contest, I'd say it's obvious.

:) Tee Hee.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 7:12 AM

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

While I Wait for Flickr To Upload...

We're thinking about adding to our family. That's right, we're considering adopting a dog. It will be fun to have a companion on walks and runs, as well as when we go hiking and camping when the weather gets cooler. I've tossed around the idea of leash-training Cambridge, but the fact is she's a cat, not a dog, and probably would not like the idea very much. Plus, she's got no claws for protection, so she's safest indoors. The only stipulation to getting a dog is that it be really nice to Camby. This is a MUST or the doggie can go bye bye. We're having a foster dog parent bring a dog to us sometime this week to see how he does with her and how we like him...I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, dog owners, tell me about having a dog. What's involved? How much does food cost? Is a fenced back yard necessary (probably - we need to get this arranged because part of ours isn't fenced)? How much time and energy do they take?

[Added Later: We're looking for a medium-sized golden retreiver or lab because they are good, gentle dogs. Also, we don't want a puppy, even though they're sinkin' cute, because they take a lot of energy and training. We're looking at a young dog, maybe a year old.]

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 7:22 AM

Monday, September 19, 2005

Monday Monday

Huz and I went out of town this weekend for a wedding of some friends. I've never been to North Carolina before and I was pleasantly surprised by the Smoky Mountains which were very pretty, plus I was cold for the first time since we've been in the south!

We had some fun adventures during our trip, including cross-dressing and getting stuck in a 2 hour traffic jam in the middle of nowhere surrounded by kitsch.

I'll fill you in later (with pictures of course)!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 11:00 AM

Thursday, September 15, 2005

End of Lost

Wow! Was I into my Lost DVD last night. Huz went to a pub with a friend, but I continued on with our plans as if he was still there - Huz or no Huz, I was gonna watch Lost! Unbeknownst to me, it was the finale (it was disc 6 out of 7, so I thought I had one more to go - I guess the last one's all commentary or deleted scenes).

It was so intense and long that now I'm tired today because I didn't get my 8 hours of sleep (yes, I actually get 8 hours every night). Oh well, it was worth it.

Here are my thoughts:
1. I hope, hope, hope that Charlie grabbed a broken and empty statue of Mary (he's Catholic, so this makes sense) and that he's not getting back on heroine. He's got Claire and the baby to look after now, so I hope this bypasses his temptation.


2. He was shot, but I don't think that Sawyer is dead. Of course, this could just be wishful thinking. Yes, I like bad boys with long hair, what can I say?


3. I think that the hatch contains some sort of generator or energy source that powers the island and the "security system." I may be totally off on this one, but during that last scene when Locke is dragged off by the "security system," it sounds very mechanical - plus the light that shined through the hatch window needed electricity, right?

I don't get Locke's character yet (or why he's named John Locke - I need to look into that more), but I sure like his smile.


4. Maybe the "others" (talk about othering!) took Walt in order to build up their army. ? This is totally a guess. *shrug*

I'm looking forward to next week to find some answers!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 7:07 AM

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Soap-Making 101

I started making soap back in 1997 when I went home to Colorado for Christmas and saw some French soap balls in my Mom's bathroom. "Hmm," I thought, "I could make that." So, I went back home (Baton Rouge at the time) and checked out some books on soap-making. I was hooked. Other than some shower gels used by gift certificates, I haven't bought soap since.

Very generally, here is how you do it.

You take oils of your choice (vegetable or animal, or a combination of both) and heat them up to about 110 degrees. Here, I used palm oil, olive oil, cocoa butter, castor oil, and shea butter.

Heating Soaping Oils

You have to measure these oils out and figure out how much sodium hydroxide is needed for the type and weight of each oil used (the lye calculator at Majestic Mountain Sage is what I use). While the oils are heating up, you combine sodium hydroxide (also called lye) and water (1/3 of the total oil weight). This solution is caustic, so you have to wear goggles and gloves (no I didn't take a picture of myself, sorry). It gets very hot, very fast after mixed with water. You have to wait for this mixture to come down from about 250 degrees to 110 degrees (to be about the same as the oils).

Once these temperatures are reached, you combine the oils and lye solution. Using a stick blender, you have to stir until "trace" is reached. This is when the soap is thicker than liquid, but not as thick as pudding. Basically, if you lift up the blender and dribble some soap onto the surface of the rest of the soap, a line should appear. Once this happens, you have to move quickly. Add any fragrance oils or colorants, stir, and immediately pour into soap molds.

Wooden Soap Mold

Pudding-Like Consistancy

Once the soap is hard, you unmold it and cut it. Let it air-dry, or cure, for about a month.

Cut and Air Drying

Unfortunately, the colorants that I used didn't make it. This happens with both fragrance and colors because the lye is so strong. Soap-Making can be very hit or miss until you have a tried-and-true recipe. I do have such a recipe because I was selling soap to friends and co-workers a few years back, but I'm out of tallow and coconut oil, which where a major part of my recipe. I also have nicer molds in different shapes, but for my first attempt at making soap again (after a 2 year hiatus), I wanted it to be easy.

If you want to try your hand at soap-making, I suggest reading more at Kathy Miller's Soap Page.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 6:05 PM

Saturday, September 10, 2005


Ok, maybe not. Come to find out, the course I registered for has to be followed by yet another math course just to get into physics, which is what I need for grad school. Forgetabouit! I need the pre-calc that is compacted into one class, not two (the less math classes the better!). I guess I'll have to wait until next semester (which doesn't disappoint me as much as you'd think - I hate math, folks). I just better get the money I paid for the class back. Ugh. Sometimes I make a last minute decision and all hell breaks loose.

Huz and I are currently addicted to watching the Lost dvds. We never got to see it on tv last season, so we're getting caught up so we can see the next season that starts in a week or so. Our week consisted of pretty much the same thing: at night after work and class, we came home, ate dinner, and plopped on the couch watching as many Lost episodes as we could before midnight. It's really good - much like 24 with all it's suspense and character development.

I finally made soap last week. This is one of my hobbies, but I've neglected it for 2 years since I went back to school full-time and didn't have the time or energy for it. I spent about 4 hours last Saturday going through my oil inventory and making up a recipe (I had to re-learn how to do it all). I think it came out well - I just unmolded it and need to slice it into bars and then let it cure. I took a few pictures during the process and will post them once I've got them cut, so you can see the whole process. I made two kinds: grapefruit and sage/cedar/grass.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 2:03 PM

Thursday, September 8, 2005

Crazy Me

I must truly be mad. Not only am I adjusting to a new state and a new job and a new state of marriage (that would be the flip-flopped roles of me now working full-time and Huz now being a full-time student)....but now I've enrolled myself in a frickin' pre-calculus class. What am I, nuts!? (Don't answer that!)

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 11:17 PM

Tuesday, September 6, 2005


I'd like to dedicate the day to the egg.

I love eggs. Eating eggs for breakfast makes me happy.
That is all.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 7:13 AM

Saturday, September 3, 2005

Inner Alarm Clock

I hate getting up early, I really do. In part, that is why I've been so...eh for the past few weeks. (It's more than not being an early bird though that has caused me to be a bit down lately. It's more because I've been adjusting to being back in an 8-5 office job which, I'm realizing, is just NOT what I want to do for the rest of my life. In a way this fatigue and down feeling is a good thing because it makes me that much more motivated to push toward my career goal of physical therapy. I just need to find the time to take 5 undergraduate science courses and the GRE before I can apply to grad school.)

Anyway, it's been really tough getting up at 6:20 a.m. in order to be at work at 8:00a.m. I typically am still dreaming when the alarm blasts its obnoxious rock n' roll radio station noise at me and I get up and push the snooze button once before forcing myself up and into a hot shower. Why then, why, if I am so NOT a morning person, did I get up this morning (on a SATURDAY) at 6:30a.m. and go on a run!? I'll tell you. It's her fault.

Roly Poly

Comma Cat

Now I know she looks all sweet and innocent, but don't fall for it. She's naughty. She came bounding into the bedroom at exactly 6:19 this morning and leapt up onto my chest to wake me up. (Apparently she has an internal alarm clock and is used to me getting up at 6:20 every weekday morning. Saturday is no exception, I guess. Maybe she got me up a minute early this morning because she hasn't liked my hair lately and thinks I need to spend more time on it, I don't know.) I was fully awake after this (and coincidentally not dreaming this time - ug! why can't this happen on the weekdays!?) and got myself out of bed, deciding to go on a run since it was only 6:30 and likely cool outside. So, I ran (not very long - probably a mile and a half, but hey! at least I did it!) and then came back and did stretching and situps.

Then guess what I did? More yardwork. That's right, I cut that bush some MORE! But only because it's growing back from the last time, so I know that I can do it and that it will fill itself in. I raked the entire front of the house, pulling out many things. What things? you ask. I'll tell you. I pulled out weeds, annoying ivy vines, dead leaves and trash. Lots of trash. Whoever lived in this house before us didn't care about it at all. I threw away a beer can, an old rope, miscellaneous bricks, an old fire pit in the back yard, a leaky gas container (with gas in it), a bone, and an old rotten Welcome! sign. It was quite a workout, let me tell you. I did all of this while Huz was still peacefully sleeping in on a Saturday morning. Must be nice.

- - - -

I know that my petty little problems, if you can even call them that, pale in comparison to what's going on to people to the south of me. I watched CNN the other night and was simply horrified at what I was seeing. Once again, it's the poor minorities that suffer the most and our country, as great as it's supposed to be, is doing a pathetic job of helping them. If we had the U.S. military in the U.S., instead of fighting in Iraq, New Orleans residents would have received help that much sooner. My thoughts and prayers are with those stranded and hungry right now. I'll be donating to a food drive that my workplace is having - it's not much, but it's what I can do to help.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 3:32 PM

Friday, September 2, 2005


Wow. Gas rose like 60 cents last night - it's now around $3.38!!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:10 AM

My Food Blog

Quesadillas and Drinks


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