Thursday, May 31, 2007

Photogenica- Or that which eludes me

I am not classicly photogenic. Well, I am not modernly photogenic either. Sometimes I can take a nice picture, but it just doesn’t come easy. Well, I never take a great picture when I am really trying to take a great picture because I don’t understand the whole “my best side” thing I guess. Anyway, my main problem is I have this condition that my husband and I refer to as “side chin”. Side chin is this thing that happens where when I take a photograph from almost all of the angles that exist, I get this odd, double chin-on-the-side-of-my-face, fat head thing. It ain’t pretty. I think it is because I have a very square jaw or something. But when I take a picture my husband will often say, “You aren’t going to like this, you better move around.” And I try to move into the appropriate position and then I am stressed out by the knowledge that the picture will probably be bad. I am told this makes the picture bad by some “very helpful” people. Those people are probably photogenic.

So really what this blog is about is that it seems like every time I take a great picture, the person in the picture with me either closes their eyes, looks away, or sprouts devil horns and begins frothing at the mouth. The few times I actually take a picture I would display with pride, I can’t because the person with me looks like an idiot and then it would be clear that my only motive in displaying such a picture would be to showcase my own beauty, while mocking the misfortune of my friends and family.

Or, there is the picture where I look good, but I took a picture with some people that I don’t really know at all, I was just with a this party so we were all friends for five minutes. Can’t display that either because I don’t want to display photos of my five minute friends.

Now these folks are very nice and in fact the older gentlemen in the picture is apparently famous for being in a horror film franchise called Phantasm. But I don’t watch scary movies, because they are SCARY. And the lady was really nice too, but I will probably never see her again. Pooh.

And then, there are the pictures that my mother in law takes. I love my mother in law. She is actually one of the nicest people I have ever met. But everytime she takes a picture, I have to tell her that she may take the picture, but she may not frame the picture and display it in her home. Because she likes to take pictures of me with no make up on and my hair not done and blow them up to 8X10 and frame them in some really nice frame and put them up on the bookcase in the living room. I guess this is sort of the opposite of the other problems because someone else thinks I look great when I think I look like the aforementioned horned frothy mouthed guy.

I only mention this because I really liked the first two pictures of me. And also because by writing this blog, I get to display them anyway without any of the stigma attached to doing so. Because what happens in blog, stays in blog. Or something equally stupid and vaguely punny (perhaps pun-ish).

I win!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Good Clean Amish Fun

So I have been out of the blogosphere for a few days. I just haven’t been inspired by the random or horrifying. Plus I have been all pissy and headachy and taking care of the many logistics associated with Zelda starting pre-school. So there’s the poop.

Today I was amused by the fact that my sister and her children decided to make butter- for fun. She asked me out of the blue if I had ever made butter. My reply was, “No, because I am not Amish.” Of course this is coming from the maker of the KoolAid pickles (and I swear I really will take pictures of them and post them). But I am not Amish, so I was merely telling the truth in addition to being sassy.

Needless to say, making butter apparently consists of placing heavy whipping cream in a jar and allowing your children to shake said jar into buttery goodness. Lisa (the aforementioned sister) said it was taking a long time (duh, we are talking about Amish fun here) so I suggested she try the blender or a mixer, to which my sister replied, “But they are having fun.” Which made me laugh. You see, my sister lives out in the country. I mean, the country. She is surrounded by cotton fields and not much else. So I could just imagine this family in the middle of nowhere, where shaking a jar is a hoppin night. “Hey Mama, can we shake the jar?” “No Shane, it’s the Lord’s day and you know we can’t have no jar shakin on Sunday.” “Aw Mama, we ain’t shook the jar in nigh up ta’ a month.” “Don’t matter son, maybe you can shake that jar tomorrow.”

Eventually my sister had to add a marble to the jar for extra friction (I’m sure this raised the Amish fun quotient considerably), but butter was indeed made. I have the pictures to prove it. Well, I saw the pictures to prove it. My sister Im’d them to me and has not posted them on her blog yet, so instead of pictures of the actual butter my sister and her kids made, you get this:

This is apparently actual Amish butter. I cannot attest as to whether it was made in a jar, or if it is any fun.

This is the first thing that came up on Google Images when I put in Amish fun. Need I say more about just how fun Amish fun is?

I believe this came up under "jar shaking butter" This is what one kindergarten class is learning about Amish fun. I wonder if you can get any of those butter making books on Amazon?

Now I just realized that my little vignette about jar shaking actually starred an Appalachian family. Here is a re-write with an Amish family instead.

“Mother, thee wouldst liketh to shaketh the jar.” “No Jebediah, though knowest it doth be the day of our Lord. There shalt be no shakething of the jar.” “But Mother, we hath not shooketh the jars for a fortnight.” “It matterth not, you mayest shaketh the jar on the morrow.”

And just for educational purposes (for never let it be said that this blog is not educational), here is a link to an article titled “Amish Fun” (I am not kidding).

Happy Thursday! And don't forget to have some fun (even if it isn't Amish).

Monday, May 21, 2007

Cozy as an apple in a sweater...

I know that some of you out there get uncomfortable when people “get Jesus with it”, but on this day before I get random, I must give props to my God because I just got a miracle. Up until now I have been blessed to bring my daughter to work with me. It has been incredibly challenging and rewarding at the same time. On Friday, I found out I need to find childcare for her. It is really for the best because she is blossoming socially and needs to be around other kids, but I have been avoiding it because of the stress of finding the right place, etc. Well, over the course of ONE weekend, and through the support, commitment and flexibility of my bosses and friends, I think I have worked out a situation that is going to be awesome for Zelda and William and I. I am so lucky to have such a great village to help me raise my child. For someone who lives thousands of miles away from any family, I have A LOT of family. And for this I am truly thankful. So I want to share it with the world (or the three people who read this blog). Thanks God!

Now onto random matters. Speaking of family, my sister sent me a link to something so wrong and yet so right. Here is the picture:

Why I ask do we need this? With all the cold little um…whatever, who am I kidding? This is cool. I mean it is utterly useless and how did someone think of this, but I am kinda jealous I didn’t. And I want one. Don’t you? That is the thing about true crap. True crap almost cycles back around the circle of importance back to “I must have one of these or I will die”. Almost. I won’t die without it. But what I imagine is this crazy woman who has knitted a cozy for EVERYTHING in her house. Cozies for all her cups, the feet of her furniture, the lamps, door knobs, one for each of her hair rollers (cuz you know this old lady rolls old school), her bread, of course the toilet paper, not to mention the toilet seat and then…I see this crisper in her refrigerator filled with a dozen individually hand-knit cozied apples. But my favorite part of this story is my mental picture of the hand knit outfit the cat is wearing. I’ll let each of you imagine your own outfit, and really there is a different outfit for every day of the week. Maybe the year. Oh, and the holiday outfits. What a lucky kitty. Not sure the kitty appreciates how lucky he is, but do we ever truly appreciate our blessings? Just look how happy these cats are to be in costume.

And when I call the apple cozy crap, please don’t let me be mistaken as taking a poop on the hard work of others. First of all- I don’t have the skills to knit the apple cozy, second of all- it’s cute (for shizzle), third of all- I really do want one (don’t you?). So I say crap with a kind of reverence reserved for only the things which truly fascinate me.

Oh, and by the way, KOOL-AID PICKLE UPDATE:
I have tried a kool-aid pickle. It tasted exactly like I would have expected. Just mix the flavor of dill pickle with the flavor of tropical kool-aid. If you can’t imagine that, you will have to make your own. I haven’t had a chance to take pictures yet, but I will post as soon as I do. And might I say…I actually enjoy them. But that is a flavor that sticks with you. I recommend you tape a pack of gum to the pickle jar.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, May 17, 2007


So today I have decided to share a recipe with you. I make this recipe at least once every week and even my daughter (who won’t eat anything more than once except bananas) begs for it the whole time I am cooking. It is a delicious lemon pasta with steamed broccoli. Now I guess I should have used the term recipe loosely. I don’t so much truck with recipes. I have nothing against recipes. I look at them all the time, in fact I love to read them but when it comes down to actually making something, I find that I rarely have everything called for, or I want to change something. Eventually I guess any cook will make a treasured recipe “her (or his) own”. So this is actually less of a recipe and more of what I do to make this without really measuring anything, blah blah blah.

Lemon Pasta

Put on water to boil for the pasta (I use brown rice spaghetti. It is yummy and healthy and all. I feel better about eating roughly my body weight in pasta because of all that delicious fiber content.). I use one of those pasta pots that has the steamer you can set into it (more on that later). Then get out a big bowl and add:

Juice of 4 lemons (that’s right, I said it- 4)
Chopped fresh basil to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste
Garlic powder to taste
A good couple of glugs of olive oil (think salad dressing, but on the oily side)
Then add enough parmesan to make the whole mess into sort of a paste.

When the water is boiling, add the pasta. At this point I also put my broccoli in the steamer basket over the pasta (multitasking-ooohhhh). If I have my druthers, I use a bag of pre-cut, pre-washed broccoli and just dump it in. Otherwise, I use a couple of stalks and just cut off the “little trees” at the top.

The broccoli is usually done a little bit before the pasta. But anyway, dump the broccoli in the bowl with the paste. Drain the pasta and add. Stir up (Stir it good to really get the pasta to soak up all the lemony goodness). Voila! You have lemon pasta. For kicks, I sometimes like to add red chili flakes, but then I feel like I have to pick around them for my daughter and that is complicated while she is screaming for more pasta in her perfect pterodactyl toddler manner.

If you like lemon, you will love this pasta. It is even better the second day.

My gift to you.

I have no picture of my lemon pasta, so here is something for visual interest.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

New things for the folks to try at home

So today’s blog is truly random. I am going to blog about something that is near and dear to my heart- 1960’s Mod Posing. What is this you ask? Well you see, in the mid to late 1960’s apparently there was some kind of artistic movement in the catalog world whereby models were asked to pose as if in some kind of stop action moment. Only if they were stopping an action, it was no kind of action that ever actually occurs on earth. Here are some examples:

Notice how uncomfortable she appears to be, yet with an air of supreme causalness.

She appears to be wiping her hands of the blood of her victim as she skulks away from the scene of the crime, but by the look of that shiny metallic bangle- it is in the future.

There are many examples on this page of the standard "slight knee bend". Very important for Mod posing. A straight leg is so 50's.

Once again, casually uncomfortable, but if you take the time to look, there is a lot going on here. We have slightly bent "Mod" knees, leaning for no reason, and the girl in the yellow is displaying the all important arm slightly akimbo. The arm must be only slightly akimbo because we are CASUAL.

I think this one is my favorite. It has so much to say. The standing girl is exhibiting the slightly bent knee, a twist, arms slightly raised as if to suggest, "I may say stop, but not yet." Or maybe just to give the illusion of speed. Look at the one sitting down. She is sort of bent over and looks ill or maybe constipated. This is good in Mod posing. And notice how both of them refuse to look at the camera in a way that suggests they know the camera is there, but they are pretending it is not. BRILLIANT!

If you want to try your own Mod posing, here is what I suggest:

1. Remember slight bending of any joint is appropriate
2. Consider appearing as though you might vomit but (and this is a very important but) you are feeling CASUAL about it
4. Might I suggest touching something (say a pillar) and leaning over, but not really appearing to use the pillar to lean on so much as you are using the pillar to touch and lean over for photographic purposes.
5. Twist at the waist. But only say, half way around. And not as if you are doing it with a sense of purpose (like say, to look behind you) more like you just like to stand kind of half twisted around.
6. Whatever you do, don’t look at the camera. DON’T DO IT!
7. When in doubt, BE CASUAL.

I have searched for a picture of my best friend and I doing our own Mod posing. I think there is only one in existence and it is not in a digital format. And it is not in my possession. Will try to get a scan of that for a future blog.

Hope this has been informative for you all.

Have a MOD MOD day.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Weekend Update with Casie Tabanou

Well, it was a good weekend. I will get you up to speed by hitting the high points. Put husband and baby to bed by 9:30pm on Friday night and stayed up till 1:00am! (very late for these days, I mean practically insane) watching HGTV (joy) and finishing the felt doll I started working on this week (rapture- not the biblical kind where people disappear, but the so much fun I could do a jig kind). I didn’t actually finish the doll till Sunday, but here are the results.

I had to take roughly 1,875, 206 pictures to get this picture of Dolly and Zelda. The photo session consisted mainly of me holding the camera and trying to get Zelda to look up while my husband placed the doll in the chair at the last second and then Zelda (in the instant between me pressing the button and the actual flash) flinging Dolly across the room and then me trying to grab Dolly before Palmer (my Chihuahua with a penchant for the stuffed and cuddly) decided this was his new favorite toy for general evisceration fun. Getting this picture involved a clever application of the classic tune Itsy Bitsy Spider.
Saturday was generally domestic and boring. Sunday on the other hand was Mother’s Day. I must hereby absolve my husband of all Mother’s Day crimes because he was awesome! I got the most beautiful card and I got to go jewelry shopping. Jewelry tends to cleanse my mind of all past transgressions for months while I am lost in fit of sparkly bliss. I once again blame my mother (who also loves jewelry and passed this love onto me through years of me stealing hers). Here is a picture of my Mother’s Day booty.

And my hubby kept calling me Supermom all day long and telling the people in every jewelry store (because he was also sweet enough to let me try on every bit of jewelry in the mall although he hates shopping) how much I deserved jewels. I love that man. Even when I think he really doesn’t get me, He sooooooo gets me.

Let’s cap off Sunday with the news that the Kool-Aid pickles have been started. I will get back to you all (well all two of you who seem to read this blog- Thank you sister and Renee) within a week or so when they are ready. I promise pictures, of course.

Lastly, here is a picture of me and little Z for Mother’s Day 2007. Please disregard my giant looking pale legs (but I am too lazy to crop the picture).

Here we go, another week. I think I like this new blogging thing.

Friday, May 11, 2007

What the heck is wrong with me

Today I did one of those things you say you won’t do and then you do it anyway. I am so bad about that. And I was so proud of myself for sticking to my guns and not doing what I said I wouldn’t do. What did I do you ask…Well, I kind of have this thing about getting gifts. I blame my mother (don’t we all), she always brought us some little something from anywhere she went and suddenly gifts=love. So no gifts=no love. My husband has a father who goes Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve afternoon and waltzes into the house carrying the present in the bag for the store he bought it from (right in front of my mother-in-law). Not so much thought goes into the gift. You get what is there and is not inappropriate. My husband picked up some of this, coupled with a total lack of need for gifts on his own part. Needless to say, I often have this total Casie-style (and anyone who knows me can feature this) melt down right before a holiday or special occasion when I can just tell he has bought no gift, nor has he made any plans. I just freak on him. So he says I never give him a chance. So for Mother’s Day I was going to be so adult and not freak out on him. And I swore I wasn’t waiting things out just to give him enough rope to hang himself with and then today…My best friend invited us over for dinner on Mother’s Day. And I told her I had to check with William first in case he had made any of these wonderful plans that I just knew he had made. When I asked him if he wanted to go to her house, he said he was really tired because we have all been sick, but if I want to go I can and he will just stay home with Zelda. I snapped. I was mad. Not only had he clearly made no plans, but he didn’t even know Sunday was Mother’s Day and he thought I should just toddle off by myself while he stays home with the very little precious girl that makes me a mother. So I said (as calmly as I could), “Do you know what day Sunday is?” and he said, “Oh, it’s Mother’s Day.” And I said, “And clearly you have made no plans as usual.” And then I was quiet a lot and he said we could do whatever I wanted and that he had thought we would go to lunch at some place I like and I just said I have to go and bye. Whoops, I did exactly what I said I wouldn’t do. And now I feel bad because once again, I will never know if he would have surprised me with his thoughtfulness. Bah. My uterus produces a chemical that is trying to get me fired from humanity.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Kool-Aid Pickles

So today I am going to be obsessed with Kool-Aid pickles. I read something about them online and now I really want to make them. Who thinks of these things? Thank goodness they do because then I can be alternately horrified and yet drawn to them. This is apparently how you make them. “To make a Kool-Aid pickle, dump out half of the brine in the pickle jar and refill it with your favorite flavor of Kool-Aid (preferably Jamaica, because it makes them nice and red.) Wait a few days. Enjoy” Here is a picture of what it is supposed to look like when finished

I guess this blog must be listed as to be continued…because I probably won’t get to the store for the Kool-Aid and pickles till Saturday and then I have to wait for DAYS for the pickles to be truly Kool-Aid-A-Licious. I envision myself discovering a new taste sensation and handing out jars of primary colored pickles to my friends for Christmas with matching gingham fabric covers on the lid so they look like they came from a state fair or something.

Beware my friends. It could be a Kool-Aid Christmas.

But until then...

This is for Renee

I wanted to post this in the comment I made on my friend Renee's awesome yarn blog, but I don't know if you can put pictures in comments (at least I couldn't figure it out). So Renee, here is a picture of the kick butt Viking baby hats I knitted. Hearts, Me. P.S. I guess this doesn't count as a blog, but I will try to do another one later today. And this is a random roundup after all.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

You just can't argue with good cheese

I would like to spend a little time today talking about Hickory Farms. Now as a child (growing up as a Texas country girl and all), Hickory Farms was the height of sophistication. Whenever some rare occasion came along when someone in my family received one of those fabulous card board boxes full of Easter grass and tiny exotic cheeses (exotic being flavors such as “smoked” or “potted”), not to mention the possibility of some kind of summer sausage and those ridiculously delicious strawberry candies (you know the ones with the liquid center wrapped in the paper that made it actually look like a REAL strawberry), I could only hope some of the exotic cheese would be bestowed upon little me. What a treat. So now, even though I am grown and have married a Frenchman, and so have been exposed to even the stinkiest and most European of artisan, sold at an open market in a tiny French village cheeses, I still love good ole Hickory Farms. A couple of years ago I mail ordered my father some Hickory Farms cheese as a Christmas gift (what a good daughter am I?), so now I get emails from Hickory Farms on a regular basis. I get the Hickory Farms Newsletter. You see, apparently there is enough new and exciting work going on in the laboratories of Hickory Farms to necessitate the regular mailing of such news to the masses. Today I found out that Hickory Farms has a Mother’s Day collection. Darn it all to heck! I already purchased Mother’s Day gifts, but I might as well pass the information on to you. There are the NEW Mother’s Love Tower, Mother’s Day Fruitful Wishes Gift Box and the Ultimate Mother’s Day Basket. However, none of these seem to contain any exotic cheese. So I did some research- and here is why. I am a mother myself now. This will be my second Mother’s Day (last year I got a fabulous pair of cowboy boots). And if anyone asks you what kind of exotic Hickory Farms gift box I want for my special day, you can tell them to go to the Hickory Farms website and click on the Beef & Cheese link (don’t you just love a link called Beef & Cheese?) and if I had to pick it just by the name, I would go for the Just Snacky Gift Box
which contains:

- 7 oz Beef Stick® Summer Sausage- 2 oz Cheddar Chub- 1.75 oz Chedam- 1.75 oz Mission Jack®- 1.3 oz Old Fashioned Crackers- 1.25 oz Sweet Hot Mustard - 1.5 oz Blueberry Jelly- Strawberry Bon Bons

By the way, what the heck is a cheddar chub? But I think I really would want what Hickory Farms describes as a classic gift of the Tempting Twosome Gift Box (which I also like because it sounds a little bit naughty).

This set contains:
- 2/7 oz Beef Stick® Summer Sausages- 2/2 oz Hot Pepper Triangles- 1.75 oz Smokey Bar - 1.75 oz Mission Jack®- 3 oz Apple Pie Cheddar- 2/1.25. oz Sweet Hot Mustards- .5 oz Cracked Wheat Wafers- Strawberry Bon Bons

I mean that really has it all. You get sausages, cheese that tastes like pie and the all important smokey bar (because it ain’t Hickory Farms for me without smokey cheese). And also by the way, every Hickory Farms order does come with the Hickory Farms © Farmer’s Handshake and Shipping guarantee (which according to the newsletter is “As solid and simple as a farmer’s handshake.”) Thank heavens for the simple farmer folk. I do miss the cheddar chub but I guess you can’t have everything. I strongly suggest you spend some of your hard earned crapping around time looking through the Hickory Farms website. It’s cool to be cheesy.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Blackberries and the testicles they almost cost my husband...

I have a few things in the fridge every week that I think of as MINE. I try to inform my husband of what these things are. He is one of those people for whom a hot dog is two bites at most. I savor things. And sometimes the thing in the fridge that is mine may need to sit there for weeks before it is called up for duty, but when I want it, I want it. Currently, I am a big fan of blackberries. I buy one tub of blackberries for myself every week. They ain't cheap and I spread their berry deliciousness over the week. This morning when I went down to make my lunch, my almost full tub of blackberries had three left. I was furious. I went tearing through his lunch and found my blackberries tucked away. I yelled up the stairs at him, "Did you take my blackberries?" He said "Yes, all the tomatoes were gone (now that he has found out tomatoes can help protect against prostate cancer, he must eat them every day- I guess he thought blackberries were in the same food color family or something)." I went back to the kitchen and began a full tilt, Yosemite Sam, rassa frassa super cussword rant. I slammed doors and drawers AND THEN...I looked in the fridge...and there were totally tomatoes. They just weren't on the very front of the shelf and heaven forbid something be moved around. If it isn't immediately accesible, it does not exist. So I gave him tomatoes and took back my blackberries and yelled this up the stairs at him and then I was mad for like hours. And believe it or not, my husband is wonderful. I only want to take his testicles sometimes.