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 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'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