Click to enlarge food photos, don't be shy.Household work party this weekend with some of the hunting gang. I've got just a few tools, a hammer being one of the few I can be trusted with, but I'm learning more and more all of the time. This weekend - some better insulation in the room that faces the cold winds, and drywall to cover, a new back door and later, blowing some insulation in the attic. I made a whole bunch of bacon-rich Range Chili , which is in the crockpot, a simple recipe which won the "chili cook off" at work. The secret, among other things than bacon, Penzey's Chili 9000 seasoning and two small small squares of dark unsweetened baking chocolate, finely chopped and mixed in. For dessert of course, a fresh baked crumb-topped apple pie. (recipe towards the end of the comments).The conversations ranged from framing to whether Darth Vadar was framed, the morphology of neurons, to what our porn star name would be (the name of your first pet followed by the name of the first street you lived on). I was Pepper Maryland, Rangebuddy was Max Wood (I am SO not going to go there). We all laughed, put a bunch of screws in the new drywall, a nail or two up around the new door. We paused only to enjoy some good homemade chow, looking around at a room refinished, with the men's hands, numb with wear and full of splinters, myself cleaning up and putting the tools away. As the sun went low in the sky, we looked around at the work done with the sharp, spent astonishment of people having done so much in so little time, and without a contractor, stimulus, or a government instruction guide. My friends, with few exceptions, are in the medical field, engineering or law enforcement. Our favorite Geek Goddess. someone I'm proud to just hang out with sometimes, Roberta X , often amazes me with her talent and the stories of the work that she does. (By the way, she just finished"Another Day" at her "I Work On A Starship" blog, and she has organized the links of the various installments so you can enjoy reading it straight through. To read, go here.) These friends are a small knit group but we are all very much alike in our interests, we all read sci-fi and history, and play just as hard as adults as we did as children. We all have learned to take care of ourselves and we continue to learn. And we all still have toys. Today, there is no starship to fix around here, however there was a gaming computer that needed to be fed. Two radiators, more power than you can shake your joystick at, and all cooled by what looks like Mr. Spock's blood but is actually secret squirrel coolant.
People laugh at me because I have this simple cell phone that does nothing but ring, no blackberry but there are some things that just beg to be built by hand and I just marvel at stuff like this.
In high school I was the shy, geeky kid that skipped a few grades, and not a lot has changed. I'll never be the "it" girl of either the prom or the blogosphere, and I don't care to be. With these people that are my family, with toys we all share and the ability to work and laugh hard and well, I think I will survive most anything. Even selling a big old house and soon, building my own cabin, with a little help from my friends.