Saturday, October 31, 2009

A NaNoWriMo "Vacation"

If you consider cranking out a 50,000 word novel in 30 days a vacation, then, woohoo, break out the sunscreen and bring on the cabana boys! For those of us who like to bang our heads against the wall and suffer the pain of a taunting blank screen (or a piece of paper), National Novel Writing Month is, indeed, a "vacation" to remember. Care to join me? I'm "writer64" at NaNo, and would love for you to buddy me there. =)

Before I neglect my crops on Lil Farm Life (cursed FB and its time-sucking games), and my blog, and my bloggy friends' blogs for an entire month, I thought I'd share some chapters from my life...which is not quite an open book. I apologize for my writing-related jokes.

Chapter 1: My experimental life
...in which we extract DNA...bwahahahaha! Who says biology is boring? Incidentally, would you believe "bored" and "boring" are two words my kids have never uttered in their lives? Seriously. Dh and I must be doing something right.

So, the kids in the biology lab class got to extract DNA from split peas. If you'd like to follow along, and I know you do, see these directions.

Well, they're not quite the strands the directions make them sound like they'd be. Here's ds#1 trying to "pull" them out:Kind of a murky mess. But after letting the test tubes sit for about an hour, the DNA stuff separated themselves out. Here they are, the infamous DNA clouds! Heh. So, what do you think? Cumulo-nimbus? Alto-stratus?Chapter 2: We'll have fun, fun, fun 'til our daddy takes the clay away
I'd like to see him try to stop us from having fun. More ceramics joy from our previous workout...here's a beautiful sycamore leaf by ds#2. I love the glaze on this one:Ds#1 made a sassafras imprint trivet, which can also be used as a wall hanging:
And I made a set of 5 little condiment dishes:I'm trying to decide whether to list them on our Artfire site, or start an Etsy store..

Chapter 3: Nerds R Us.
...or "why I think my kids are space aliens in disguise". Then, again, maybe it's just indicative of our wacky homeschooling lifestyle.

This is what's under my 13 year old son's bed. I think he has half the library's collection there.
I'd think that pre-teen and teen boys would have posters of rock stars, athletes, or, gack!, pretty models on their walls, but here're the walls over ds#1's bed. There's a poster of Vancouver, Newberry (children's fiction) winners, an Escher print, a Magritte print, a Toko print, a little poster of The Story of the Stars and Stripes, a small poster of some eagle (not the rock band) festival, the cover of a Harry Potter LEGO set, and a small print of some ancient sea creature (elasmosaurus or something).
And over ds#2's bed, we have...well, you can probably see this one pretty well yourself. The Parts of a Cell poster really rocks!
A model of the solar system hangs from the ceiling in this photo, and a how-to art poster and Geologic Time Scale poster adorn the wall.
I've asked the kids if they want some different (read: non-educational) posters up, and they said, "mmm, no". Okay then.

Chapter 4: Food, glorious food
I made another couple of pie crust a la Mark Bittman, and this time, I used the acorn squash that friends gave us to make "pumpkin" pie. Pre-mixing:After pouring into the crust:I used the pumpkin pie recipe by Jackie Clay who writes a column for Backwoods Home magazine.

Because we have a carpet of cilantro in our greenhouse (no exaggeration), dh bought some haddock and trout yesterday and cooked them with a creamy cilantro sauce, accompanied by green beans with sun-dried tomato paste (yup, both homegrown). It was totally divine; I'm drooling again just thinking about it:I've been baking today, in between loads of laundry. My friend Jennifer is having a food drive for the winter homeless shelter here in town, and needed donations of food. (Neither the Shalom Center (which normally serves breakfast and lunch) nor the Community Kitchen (which normally serves dinner) is open on Sunday.) I made a dessert - chocolate chunk blondies (a King Arthur Flour recipe, and, yes, I will post the recipe some time this month):and a couple of loaves of the 5 minute artisan bread:If other townies are reading this and would like to help, Jennifer will still need food for December 6, January 3, February 7, and March 7. Contact me and I'll get you in touch with her.

Chapter 5: Odds 'n ends...a happy doggie end
I saw this book advertised somewhere and am intrigued by it. It hasn't come out yet, but if anyone reads it before I do, please let me know if it's worth buying!
I have one of the One Skein Wonders book and really like it. :)

And here is the doggie end, just as I promised. A bit stinky, but happy, nonetheless.I hope to be able to visit your blogs a few times during the month, but if I don't get around to that, I promise I will be back with a vengeance in December. ;) Wish me luck with NaNo, please!

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." ~ Douglas Adams

12 comments:

Under the Willow gifts... said...

Very very cool post! Wishing you luck with NaNo~ love it!

To say the least you & your husband have done an amazing jobs with your tadpoles...I LOVE what they have displayed in their rooms, & they are SUPER well rounded too ( great stuff for college applications).

And best yet- they are NOT bored- wonderful to hear this- their minds are always turned, learning, exploring, & creating.

My hats off to you! Job well done~ and darn you all even cook, & bake too.

Michelle said...

Man you are a busy, busy family but you and Dh are definitely doing everything right raising your boys. You expose them to all the right things (who am I to say I don't have kids, lol). I only know how my mother raised us and that's how you're doing it. Lol!

Happy Halloween.

Oh yea...and I'm on Farmville and yes it IS a CURSE!! I'm on Farmville, Fish World, Happy Aquarium. My food has spoiled on Cafe World. I can't do them all! Lol!

xoxo

Burnt Mill Candles and Soap said...

that bread looks great! and love all those books under the bed :)

TeresaR said...

Carrie, thanks - you are so sweet and encouraging! The boys can drive us nuts sometimes, but I need to remember that they are pretty special kids. :)

Michelle, thank you! Your mom did a wonderful job raising you guys; I hope my kids will turn out as well. Yes, evil, evil Facebook! ;D

Misty, that artisan bread recipe is so easy, and usually looks great! The books under the bed is pretty much like what I had when I was his age. :}

Tea Time With Melody said...

5 minute bread, really? No way....lol What's the secret or am I just to tired tonight not to read that correctly. I need 5 minute bread.

Wendy Hawksley said...

So we miss all this awesomeness that you just blogged? *tsk* It ain't right.

That said, enjoy NaNoWriMo. It's my first and I hope to use it to get my rear in gear on my book (nonfiction and already started, so not strictly within the guidelines; but I'm utilizing NaNoWriMo as motivation to finish - not to win the event or anything).

Good luck! See you around December 1 or so.

Good Monica said...

I think you are very dedicated with NaNoWriMo. And you have lot of talent doing it.

egassner said...

I will SO be buying that One Yard Wonders book! I have so many single yards of pretty fabrics...maybe I'll finally use some! Lol!

TeresaR said...

Melody, it's true! It's from the book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. It's a touch more than 5 minutes, but is super easy.

Wendy, have fun with your first NaNo! Being the prolific writer you are, you'll have no trouble winning it. I so bombed the first year I did it.

Monica, thanks for coming by my blog, and the compliment!

Egassner, oooh, could you please give me a review after you buy the book? =)

Teri said...

I always feel in good company with you (here in bloggieland, as it were). hehe Your man cooks up a delish storm, my man does the same...and thinks it is fun. Go for it, men. You like to bake, I wish we could live on pies and cakes that I bake. You have a gigantic, spectacular garden, um, okay, my garden is teeny.

Love this stuff.

cake said...

I love getting glimpses into your home schooling, and it sounds to me like you are raising some wonderful young men. i am taking notes. i was tickled to see the library books so tidy, tucked under the bed in neat rows.

i, too have a bunch of cilantro, both in and out of the cold frame, would love that cilantro sauce recipe.
and, your bread is GORGEOUS!

i am grateful to be your nano buddy

TeresaR said...

Teri, aren't we the luckiest to have men who love to cook and cook well? =)

Cake, you're so sweet. As for the cilantro sauce, it's simply heavy cream, seasoned with Jane's Crazy Mixed Up Salt, and then huge bunches of cilantro tossed in and cooked down a bit. But it is soooo good...as anything cooked in cream would be. ;)