Sunday, December 13, 2009

A day in the life . . .fun and games

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.

32 comments:

Hat Trick said...

So that would make my porn name "Sam Green". Don't think that would work. :-)

Good post, when you feed your volunteers like that I'm sure you have a surplus of helpers.

Now, you wrote "I'll never be the "it" girl of either the prom or the blogosphere". There are some of us who already consider you the "it" girl of the blogosphere. You're too modest. Have you looked at your sitemeter lately?

Murphyfish said...

Hi Brigid,
Great post, one that I can really identify with. An old saying runs through my family: - you’ll know all manner of people through this life but you’ll be able to count your true friends upon the fingers of one hand (barring digit amputation that is!). It seems to me that you are one of the lucky ones who has great and true friends.
Best regards, John.
Ps by the way do have the recipe for that fresh baked crumb-topped apple pie? it looks sublime!

Murphyfish said...

Thank you Brigid, may the sauce be with you!

Roscoe said...

What are the specs on the gaming machine? Mrs. Roscoe plays 3D shooters, and I build all the machines at our house except for the Mac laptops.

"Was Darth Vader framed?" reminds me of the all time classic "Think the average Stormtrooper knows how to install a toilet main?"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6lzEhoXads

Journal the arguments about Vader for the day you make your independent film. :)

0g said...

"Lucky Johnson"

Andy said...

I don't think "Cookie County Road 12" is going to work. And if in some niche it does.... I don't wanna know.

HermitJim said...

Man, that picture of the chili looks good enough to make my tongue reach up and slap my brains out!

I'd hurt somebody for a piece of that pie, as well!

I think I just gained about two pounds looking at those pics! Thanks...!

Matt said...

Brigid,

Sounds like a great weekend. You are truly blessed and rich beyond imagination!

TrueBlueSam said...

My first pet was a little terrier named Sally, and I lived on a Rural Route, but True Blue Sam doesn't need another name. Last summer Mrs. TBS and I saw roadside vendor with a homemade sign that said simply, "Peaches Calhoun." I'm not sure if he was selling peaches or looking for a girlfriend.

Old NFO said...

A day well spent! :-) Sorry I missed helping out and the food...

Brigid said...

Matt - I know how lucky I am. These people know me, everything there is, good bad and otherwise, and I'm accepted, I'm their friend and they are my family.

Heaven forbid, were we all judged by simply our blogs, snippets of emails and what our ex's might say about us. The people that know us are those that spend these long hours of work and play with us, those that cry real tears when one of us is hurt. We are fortunate for their knowing.

Clark Kent said...

Frisky Prairie. Hmmmm. Maybe shorten that last name to an initial? OK, forget it!

Intrigued by the chili recipe. I'm hoping that Penzey's seasoning can be found online. Looks like you put some sausage in there, too. As you didn't include a recipe, I'm assuming it's already posted somewhere here. I'll go look...

Warrior Knitter said...

"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."

Well said as always. Thank you for taking the nebulous thoughts from my head and putting them into the words I could never find.

Thomasina Terrace

Borepatch said...

"Max Wood"? Srlsy?

Someone must already have used that in a real flick.

And I'm sorry, but no porn star ever had the handle "Augie" ...

Anthony said...

That computer looked AWESOME! I need a good gaming computer.

Also, I have two secrets for you. The geeky girls were always the "it" girls, at least in the book of us cool guys. And your blog is definitely the "it" blog, again for those of us who enjoy coherent and beautiful writing.

The chili looks amazing. I may just have to make some very soon.

embycil said...

Don't know if "Princess Kirkland" works for me or not... I do agree that the best way to find out who your friends are is; "Hey, I've got a room full of drywall to hang this weekend." On the other hand, from the looks of the stew and the pie, I'm surprised you had room to swing a hammer. You are a lucky lady.

Loneviking said...

Brigid, I certainly hope you weren't using a shingling hatchet on those drywall screws!!

Just be glad your old farmhouse cooperated. I had to drywall the living room of a little house I bought back in Ohio. I didn't know it, but the house was built from lumber out of an old barn. The 2x4's were seasoned red oak! Have you ever tried driving screws into red oak that has cured for about 70 years? I snapped so many drywall screws before that project was over that I swore I was going to never do this again!

Gosh, that chili sure looks good. I make a really good one with Pineapple and bacon in it. I'm going to have to try this recipe!

Rev. Paul said...

It's great to hear that you're surrounded by such good friends, and also making such progress on readying the homestead for sale. You are indeed a fortunate person.

Bear Lakeshore

John B said...

I always considered you the "it" girl. Well the company you keep being people I admire greatly.

My porn name would be George Spruce.
(understudy for Max Wood?)

D.W. Drang said...

"I'll never be the "it" girl of either the prom or the blogosphere..."
The devil you say. Wanna bet? (Granted the competition is fierce, what with Tamara, Roberta, Breda, Phlegmmie...)

Tiger Braille.

Loneviking said...

Yeah, I should have known. After all, you're a redhead like me!

A baked bean dish with pineapple? Is it in the recipe section somewhere?

Roscoe said...

Latest and greatest? Naw. The fastest machine in the house is a first-generation Intel quad CPU on a motherboard with integrated NVIDIA graphics. The box started as a home brew Mac project but ended up as Mrs. Roscoe's game machine when we found that it would run Quake IV and Doom III well while generating a lot less heat than her Athlon 64.

id Software has a new game in the works so I'm gathering ideas for a build.

Legal copies of the new "Red Dwarf" episodes are now available in the US and BBC America has greatly improved the lag time for new "Doctor Who" episodes coming into the country. Ironically, the Bittorrent activity around both programs probably motivated the decisions on North American DVDs.

BBC America will have the big "Doctor Who" Christmas and New Years event programs on Boxing Day and Jan. 2, respectively. Of course, at our house, we don't wait. :)

reflectoscope said...

That you would up tools and replace drywall doesn't surprise me.

The computer does, although it probably shouldn't! Aside from a (very) non-ATX case, mine looks substantially similar, plumbing and all.

My independent cinema name: Max Windsor. I always thought it had a nice ring to it, really.

Jim

Did it MY way said...

With friends, and toys like you have.....Priceless. You are a lucky woman.

God Bless.

See Ya

Sven said...

Tigris High Court...(WTH?)...not going anywhere near exploring the widgit monkeys take on that one.

Dad Anthony was a hospital engineer. He could run electrical, plumb a whole house, including the well and septic, set a stud wall, insulate and drywall it. He kept the apple trees healthy, had a magnificent rose and vege garden. He approached all manner of life with the engineer's sense:

"If its worth building, its worth OVER-building...."

I was his right hand helper and learned by watching. He was my first true friend.

After his first major stroke, he quit driving and climbing the ladder to check on the swamp cooler / HVAC. However, he carried his car keys in his pocket for a year or so...hoping.

Finally, on one of his visits, my brother John drove him to an abandoned supermarket parking lot, placed Dad behind the steering wheel and handed him the keys. He sat there, unable to recall the process. John did not say one word, simply drove Dad home. He never picked up his car keys again.

We are diminished by years and fears, the crushing weight of the world and the relentless march of Saturn and Chronos. True friends are God's gift and guardians of our being. Without them and memories held in common, there would be naught, a zero sum game.

LauraB said...

Butter my butt and call me a Biscuit - that's a floppy drive in that unit! I could have used one of those not long ago...sigh...

As for my name?
"Pete-zah Whipple"

I won't quit my day job.

Brigid said...

Sven - I could not have said better than your last sentence.

Aanoosh - I think I hit the wrong button on your comment, but thank you so very much. You are too kind.

DiditmyWay - hope the road is treating you well on your adventure.

Murphyfish - I've learned the hard way which are friends and which are just out for themselves. A painful lesson, but a necessary one.

John B - understudy, now there's a trooper!

Laura B - hey girl! Sorry I wasn't in Texas long enough to say hello. Hopefully one of these days soon. Barkley's friend is loving the collar you sent. She's a bit smaller than he and that worked. Thank you so much.

Aanoosh said...

Don't sweat it. I've never met you, but your blog suggests that you're a pretty special person. Don't ever forget that fact, especially when you run across someone rude on the web.

Chris

The Duck said...

Let me throw one hint at you "Cordless Drill"
Never thought I needed one but once I had it I'll not let go.
They may those home improvement projects so much easier

Sven said...

Brigid,
Thank you.

Your writing cranks up my own. Like John Geirach, Gene Amole, Thomas Hornsby Ferril (names not many will recognize)...Like flint and steel, you light a spark. It speaks directly to my own writer's soul.

You've a gift. Whether its the combination of the Scots /Irish and Scandinavian, the Celt, I have not a clue. Might be that you've a Colorado connection.
Might be all of the above or none.

Heh.

BTW...working on putting new figured walnut grips on my Ruger Super Blackhawk hogleg .44 Mag.

Pics will follow on Elegant Dust, after Christmas.

reloader said...

You are my idea of an "iT" girl in my opinion.. Merry Chriastmas.

Brigid said...

Apple Crumb Pie - sorry for the delay, it's been a very hectic week at work.

1 (9 inch) pie crusts, unbaked

FILLING

* 2 teaspoons lemon juice
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (I used Penzey's Vietnamese Cinnamon).
* 5 cups apples, cored and sliced (about 6 small, I used Honey Crisp)


TOPPING

* 3/4 cup flour
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/3 cup butter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and set butter out so it will be at room temperature.

Line 9" pie pan with unbaked crust.

Core and slice apples.

Sprinkle the apples with the lemon juice.

Mix in the sugar & cinnamon.

Fill pie shell with apple mixture.

In a small bowl, mix the topping's flour, sugar and cinnamon.

Mix the topping ingredients and butter together with a fork until the mixture is crumbly.

Sprinkle topping over pie.

Bake 10 minutes at 425 degrees then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake until crumb topping is browned and apples are soft, approximately 50 minutes.