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Posts posted by LadyWordsmith

  1. The job sounds awesome, Lily! 

    The Con was definitely a blast. Lots of work, but a good time. Which is nice, because I'm going to be spending a lot of the summer working on developing new curriculum for work for next year. At least we'll be getting paid for the additional time since it's outside of our regular teacher contracts, so the extra income will be appreciated. 

  2. Awesome! We are finally done with the school year.

    I spent Memorial Day weekend in Kansas helping a friend with her department at Naka-Kon. 😸 She runs the Cultural Events department that handles more traditional Japanese activities, as well as the opening and closing skits (the Con mascot has an actual ongoing storyline and cast of characters to interact with). 

  3. Glad you're feeling better Ryrin!

    You could say hobbies ate my life for a couple of months really. lol. (The SCA tends to do that). I taught my A&S Classes, did my big scribal display for the Laurels, and we've had a bunch going on with the kingdom scribal college (still running that for another year), and I am Event Stewarding for our local Baronial event in April (training a new co-event steward as I go), and we're doing a Robin Hood theme which should be pretty fabulous. We've got a few folks cast as various characters and a bunch of activities themed to fit the event. Should be fun! 

    Work has been an ongoing drama of looking for new curriculum for next year. The curriculum we have is very old and won't be supported after this year we are told (contract ends, company is getting rid of it....  we're online so it's not like we can just keep working from existing stuff when it will literally not be online anymore). The school is totally with on this so we're looking at a variety of alternatives but don't know yet what we'll be teaching specifically next year yet for High School English. (The default offering from the parent company is horrible and we have flat out refused to teach it. The other schools in the system that have been using it in its beta years all hate it so far). 

    At this point I'm looking forward to Spring Break. 

  4. We invited a few friends over for New Years and had a quiet game night with food. 🙂

    Then the winter SCA season kicked in crazy here and I've been teaching piles of classes and getting ready for some A&S displays. All good stuff, just busy! 

  5. Oh those do look delicious! 

    I did molasses peanut butter earlier this season, and before that Snickerdoodles (my son's request during his college finals week). Last week it was mint-chocolate chip cookies. Since we still have some of both, I will probably make the peppermint snowballs next week. There's only three of us in the house so I spread out the cookies. 🙂

  6. Those all look delicious! 

    I just finished making these cookies (I call them 'C4' they are Cream cheese cinnamon clove) for a friend. I invented the recipe last February. I also love using this little cat cookie mold I have. 

    May be an image of gingerbread cookie

  7. I'm glad you had a good Hanukkah! 

    We are finally on Winter Break both at work, and my son has finished his first college semester successfully.

    The Indian Food feast for our local Yule Revel went off today smashingly well. I'm very relieved and happy that everyone enjoyed it. 

    Now I can just relax and enjoy the holidays. 

  8. I like Dr. Pepper Zero (it's much tastier than the original Diet DP, and comes in four flavors), and the Caffeine Free Coke Zero is, so far, the tastiest Coke. I'm not a huge fan of Coke (for a small number of years pre-Covid they had Splenda Coke, and that was tastier than aspartame coke. But it seems to have disappeared completely along with many varieties of things that didn't survive those years).   

    I liked the diet Pepsi products better for the couple of years where they had swapped from aspartame to Splenda, but apparently those didn't sell as well because they went back a few years ago. The mango and cherry diet flavors are still pretty good, though not my favorites. 

    Most of what I drink though is tea. lol 

  9. It's amazing how many there are. 

    At this point when I'm baking for other people I just ask everyone who will be coming what their sweetener preferences and what they can/can't have are because I know people who can't have regular sugar, but also plenty who can't have any number of the other alternatives for a wide variety of health reasons. (And a few who just can't stand the taste of some of the artificial alternatives, which is also valid). Then I alter recipes accordingly. (Aspartame actually causes near-homicidal rage as their body's reaction for one friend's mother. Medically verified. She's forbidden from touching it by her whole family). So far I think I haven't yet met someone who can't have honey (but I'm sure there are people who can't). 

    I can have most of them, (Stevia's the weird one out which is a shame since it tastes better than most of the others to me), so I just figure if I'm cooking for people I want them to be able to eat and enjoy it. 🙂 It's not hard to swap them out. 

  10. On 11/22/2023 at 10:45 PM, Ryrin said:

    Splenda is an artificial sweetener. Stevia is another name. Maybe I could use just a bit or use very sweet apple like Fuji. 

    You could probably use an artificial sweetener in applesauce without issue! I bet there are recipes online to recommend how much. I know both of these can be cooked safely into food.  (A point of clarification: the non-brand name for Splenda is sucralose. Stevia is natural and comes from a plant. I can have Splenda, but I can't have Stevia for medical reasons, so I make a point of not mixing them up! They put Stevia in a lot of pre-blended tea flavors these days which I find frustrating.)

    I suspect the Stevia would go better with the flavor profile of the applesauce though. 🙂

    I really enjoy unsweetened applesauce. I like the idea of just starting with a nicely balanced apple. (We got some fabulous McIntosh's at Sprouts that I used for our apple pie today and they were delightful. They're a favorite of mine but they almost never seem to have them at grocery stores in the center of the country.) 

  11. The version we have has almonds in it, and we use the red sauce. 🙂

    I don't actually have the cookbook this came out of (a friend scanned me the image). You can use any modern pie dough recipe for the tarts. Though I can ask for the specific dough recipe if needed.

    There's a variety of recipes for candying citrus peels. https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/simple-candied-orange-peel-350798 

    Admittedly, I've also bought candied citrus peel on Amazon to save time (last year we made tarts for 100 people and I did not want to candy that much orange!). I've been ordering OliveNation Candied Orange Peel Slices (for specific brand). There may be others but theirs are very close to how it would come out home-made and so I've been happy with them. 

  12. Homemade applesauce is wonderful! That's fabulous. 

    Funny enough, one of our family's traditional Thanksgiving dishes is apparently a Norwegian Christmas traditional dish. When I was a kid we always had Thanksgiving with the family of one of my Dad's college friends, the Nordviks. Her father came over to Canada from Norway during WWII, and then married and eventually ended up here in the US. So every year she would make riskrem since we were together for Thanksgiving, but always had other things going on at Christmas. She shared the recipe with us, and I still make it. 🙂 

    I can't say most of what we make at my house is "traditional" in the sense of what most Americans make. Turkey is probably my least favorite bird, so we have taken to making different meats almost every Thanksgiving and Christmas for years now (rotating back to favorites, but maybe trying different recipes). This year we are roasting duck, and grilling fish. We've also done venison in the past. One year I pulled out my Colonial cookbook and tried a clam-and-lobster pie that was common in taverns during the colonial period (when clams and lobsters were considered peasant food because they were plentiful and cheap). 

    We do green beans in the Southern style (which is to say they are slow cooked for hours with onions and bacon). We usually skip the "stuffing/dressing" because I either find them dry if baked in a pan, or weirdly too wet if cooked inside a bird. 

    For bread this year I'm making bialys instead of any particular type of rolls. Just because we all really love them (and I can't buy them where I live because there isn't a Kosher deli or bakery anywhere in the state), and we can eat them for days. 

    Also playing with pie (we try all sorts of pies on top of the traditional ones), and this year I'm using an apple tart recipe I used in a medieval feast last year, but just turning it into one large pie instead of trying to make a bunch of little tarts. The recipe includes candied orange peels, honey, rose water, and it matches very nicely with the flavor of the apples. Including the tart recipe in case anyone is interested.  image.thumb.png.cb53e8732713168ba116f330335fe983.png

  13. Yes! I've wanted to go to Chincoteague since I was 6? The first time I read "Misty of Chincoteague" by Marguerite Henry. (They made a movie of it called "Misty" in 1961.) There's a whole series of those, plus some fictionalized histories of other famous real horses that she also wrote (Disney made "Justin Morgan had a Horse" in '72 based on her book by the same name). 

    The irony is I grew up in Virginia, but it was still over a 6 hour drive to get there because of how round-about you have to go to get to the islands, and I never managed to talk my parents into taking us on a trip there. So it's on my 'romantic trips once my son is out of college and my husband and I can afford it' list. 

    Oh yes, Ireland, Iceland, and Israel would also be awesome! For Israel I'd probably want to talk my cousin into going with me as a tour guide. She went to college there. 

  14. Congrats! 

    If money were no object I'd recommend traveling to places you've always wanted to go. 
    (For me those would include a long wandering trip through England and Scotland where I could poke my nose into every first hand experience and historical location and library I could get myself into. 😉 And a trip to Japan as well.) Then I'd probably go back to places I love that are not close by and I could never live there (I would totally zip back to NYC for short trips if I could afford it. I love Manhattan, but it requires a constant state of 'awareness' in public I just can't maintain. And of course, then there's the cost. lol). 

    In the case of Manhattan in particular (on the 'do in the place' which I can recommend having actually been there bunches) category I always recommend The Cloisters, seeing a show or twelve on Broadway because I love live theatre (watching and doing and they have so many different types), the museums, and then there's a bunch of little places down in the East Village and historical little restaurants and stores and Italian bakeries and the like that the locals know and love that I always recommend because "real Manhattan" in the decent areas is so much better than just "Tourist Manhattan." 

    My 'close' dream vacation is Chincoteague and Assateague islands. I want to camp on a beach in a park full of 'wild' ponies, and explore the nature preserve. (I used to want to go for the Pony Penning like in the books, but I watched it live online last year and you have to book months in advance and now it's 'super' crowded during the big event. So I'd rather go at a quieter time of year). :bela:

    Where 'would' you love to go? 🙂

  15. That soup looks delicious! I'll have to dig up a few of my recipes. 

    Glad everyone is doing well! 

    Well after I finished my Wheel of Time re-read I jumped in and read the first three Mistborn Novels (since Sanderson deserved a read after all this time. Found them quite delightful. 🙂 ). Also read Gryphon in Light (Mercedes Lackey) and, because my son and I still enjoy them, I picked up the new Percy Jackson novel and giggled through that because I just needed a light fun read, and the idea of needing divine college recommendation letters appeals to me as a teacher of high school seniors. 😉 Planning to finish off the Mistborn books in the near future and I need to read The Ruin of Kings (and the rest of that series) by Jenn Lyons. It's been on my list for a couple of years. But I usually manage to read maybe 2-3 chapters in an evening before bed most nights, so I am just enjoying reading through things at a slow pace. 



  16. Pretty good! Things are going well, just a bit hectic. SCA-wise in particular as I'm currently the head of our College of Scribes, and we have our first Queen-Only reign in our kingdom's history, which requires a lot of new calligraphy and artwork as most of our pre-existing work for commonly given accolades say 'King and Queen' on them. So I've been doing a lot of artisan wrangling and coordinating. 

    Though the Eclipse was during our Royal Coronation event and we were in San Angelo, Texas so the ring of fire happened right overhead! 

    My son is doing very well and has survived the first half of his first college semester, so that's a relief as he's settled into the routine and figured things out. 

    Today is nice because it's pouring rain for the first time in weeks, and it's just RAIN. No hail. No floods (yet, might happen), No big winds, no tornadoes just.... a good autumn downpour. 

    How're you? 

  17. Hope all is well with everyone. How was your trip Lily? 

    How are things with you, Ryrin? Did you enjoy the rest of your time in Kentucky? 

    We are deep into school year here and I really don't think my life got any less complicated when my son started college! lol. Not with him living at home. Though he's made the transition from online student to in-person college student very well. His classes are going well, but a lot of that work comes home and I've been showing him how to organize his planning and homework schedule around having to actually physically be in classes 'and' he has his first job (on campus, thankfully easy and enjoyable. He works in the campus Arcade where the Esports team practices and it's open for game free-play when they don't. So he mostly keeps computers updated, deconned between users, and refills the drink machine). 

    But this last couple of weeks have been a bit like living in a novel for all the overlapping chaos. I'd like some words with my writer. lol. 

    Thanks to some... controversial choices, our Crown Prince got himself removed, and our Crown Princess will be stepping up to reign as a solo monarch. As the head of our college of scribes this means a whole bunch of new phrasing and artwork and projects to get together on short notice before Coronation in October. 

    Meanwhile, Monday night after SCA I got home to find a text from friends I had 'just' seen saying "Do you know anything about kittens?" A mama cat freaked out over the sudden cold and rain after it being hot and dry for months, and panicked and left her babies in a puddle in their yard. So I went over and we tried to reunite them (we also went out at 10pm to get baby kitten supplies and I taught them how to bottle feed and stimulate kittens to pee, and all those other things you do with 3-week-old babies), but after mama returned, sniffed them, and decided not to take them with her the next day when she came back after the rain stopped, I brought them to my house, and contacted the Neonatal Kitten Rescue I used to volunteer for before I moved (it's about an hour and a half from here). So we had a night of two more kitties in my house (we have 6 adults who were very curious about the newcomers), and me feeding kittens every 4 hours (which is a 30-45 minute process sometimes lol), until yesterday morning when I got a reply that yes, they could take the babies. So I took a chunk of Wednesday and drove back up to our old town and dropped off the sweet darlings at the kitten rescue. They will be well taken cared for, adored, vetted, spayed, and adopted out to loving homes in several weeks when they're old enough. They will become pampered indoor cats and live happy lives. (And after a day and a half with them I still miss them. But we do not have the room or time or money for more cats). They are darling girls. I will be keeping an eye out for their adoption notices when they're posted to Facebook so I can share them with everyone I know and maybe I'll get lucky and a friend will adopt them. 

    All of this on top of my students (High School Seniors) being much less on top of things than I was led to believe by their previous two English teachers. lol. 

    I DID finish the Wheel of Time reread over the summer. Let myself breathe for a few days, and then decided it was time to finally get around to reading Brandon Sanderson's other works. So I've read the first Mistborn trilogy now, and I very much enjoyed that. Currently debating continuing on in that world or jumping over to something else new for a bit. 

    What's everyone else reading/watching lately? 

  18. They were fun! Then our local Barony hosted King's College (our SCA Kingdom's big annual classes event. We had 65 different classes yesterday!), and that turned out great. 🙂

    It was a long re-read. But I hadn't done it since the series finished the first time (I had tried to start a re-read years ago but work life was stressful and ate my time when I first started teaching and I stalled out after like, Book 3.... so of course I started over January of 2022 entirely with a goal of just 'reading through it all'). I enjoyed not rushing through it and getting to experience and really think bout each chapter and finally read them all through without the big gaps between them. It was almost as good as reading them the first time (though I think I sobbed through most of A Memory of Light.... and actually finished the last half of the last book in maybe 4 days of necessary binging in June). Whenever I re-read it again (which I expect will be a few years) I may let myself read a little faster instead of trying to carefully catch every word. My original reads I binged each book on release day and that was the only time I had time to read Books 9-14 because life was busy. 

    July is mostly focused on house chores now, and making sure everything is ready for heading back to school/work in the fall. I go back to work in 3 weeks (not enough summer!) and my son starts college in 5 (starting with Orientation Week which promises to be very busy, and includes several sessions and activities that will also include parents, right in the middle of my back-to-school work prep). I have some continued organization/sorting/getting rid of stuff to do from boxes that have been sitting in neat piles in my room since my last unpacking/organization binge LAST summer. I need uninterrupted stretches of time to really organize. 

    I hope everyone else is having a good summer! What's everyone up to?

  19. Hi! Have a good time! We drive through Kentucky every time we go East to visit family. It's beautiful country. 

    This month has been insanely busy. We had college Pre-Orientation day for my son, and had to get a bunch of paperwork ready for that. But it was an excellent and very well put together informational day. 🙂

    Then we had both our (SCA) kingdom's Crown tournament, and our Principality's coronet tournament back-to-back weekends. So much new incoming royalty! 

    I have been re-reading the Wheel of Time since January of LAST year (yeah my time to read has been a few chapters a night at most lol)  and I am now in the last half of A Memory of Light and almost to the Last Battle (chapter) and I don't want it to end! (I mean, I do because I haven't read another novel in over a year and a half save ONE brief break for Mercedes Lackey's most recent Valdemar, but that took like, two days to read). But it's such a bittersweet feeling to come to the end of my first FULL reread since the series ended. 

  20. Totally understood! I wouldn't want to drop them off at a kill shelter either. Unfortunately it is kitten season, so most rescues are full this time of year. (The Neonatal rescue I volunteer for takes them from all over the entire state. We get several hundred kittens a year, and babies all year long. 😞

  21. Oh goodness! Well, depending on how much you want them attached to you/your yard, providing water (at the last) and shade is the primary importance in the heat. Cats are pretty good at handling heat as long as they have shade and water. If it looks like they're getting enough food awesome (if not supplying just dry food is great, though they will probably never leave if you do). How old are the babies? (roughly. walking/running/weaned?) 

    Have you asked your local vets about cat rescues that might take them in that aren't animal control/the local animal welfare? Rescue organizations might be able to place them all in a foster space and see about getting momma spayed. 

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