plum texan: adventures in being me.

December 24, 2009

The spirit

Filed under: Uncategorized — by plumtexan @ 10:50 pm

If you didn’t believe in Christmas miracles before, perhaps you will now: Hello! I’m out of hiding and only mildly insane from the season.

It’s been a far nuttier year than I would have expected, sturdily punctuated by a November largely lost to illness, doctors, hospitals, and recovery. While I’ll do my best to avoid TMI, I have a few conditions that have played off each other and created a perfect storm – nothing life-threatening, but certainly leaving me low on quality of life. Round 1: get the top-level, potentially dangerous things in line; round 2: a procedure to take care of a major root problem.*



August 14, 2009

What’s cookin’

Filed under: Uncategorized — by plumtexan @ 10:30 pm

…is not as much as I’d hoped. It’s been a hell of a month, you see; the health stuff is not so bad, but there has been a LOT of work insanity, and the big work thing is still to come. As such…and to no one’s surprise, I’m sure…the weekliness of my weekly projects went off the rails.

Not to say that I’ve given up, mind you. Just last Sunday, I turned out a chocolate cake with dulce de leche filling and whipped ganache icing. (I’m not sure if it was an excuse to use my new Williams-Sonoma 8″ round pans, or the other way around.) If you’re keeping score: both gooey things were utterly fabulous, but the cake itself needed some work. Not to worry…it will happen.


June 27, 2009


Filed under: Uncategorized — by plumtexan @ 11:58 pm

When I told you, nearly two weeks ago, that there were big things on the horizon for me…well, I couldn’t have imagined what all of them were. And sure enough, a lot of really great things have already happened.

What’s not so great is that many of them have happened despite, or because of, what is best called an unfortunate discovery. I’m suddenly looking at some medical issues – not life-threatening, but definitely serious – and (for reasons I shouldn’t go into) I am finding myself in search of a doctor.

But back to the good – I have, as ever, a fabulous husband, fantastic parents, amazing friends, and a really great job. All of this plays into the situation quite thoroughly, in ways I should have expected. I have referrals and appointments, I have insurance…and most importantly, I have support.

I’m not yet sure if I’ll be fully disclosing my issue on the internets, and even if I do, I will most likely not give a play-by-play. What I do know is that if such a thing were going to come up, I’m one of the most fortunate people in the world to whom it could happen. When I come up with a way to pay it forward to others who don’t, I may be letting y’all (all four of you, now) know.

June 15, 2009

A square triangular number

Filed under: Uncategorized — by plumtexan @ 10:44 pm

In the most shameless of self-promotions, I’m telling the world here and now that today was the 36th anniversary of my birth. (In case you missed the broad hints – or, as Caety would put it, “hint with a doorframe.”) This is for no sort of grabby purpose, mind you. It’s just a frame for the sharing of mighty big stuff:

1/52: touched by 36

1 of 52, no foolin’ this time.

There is, quite naturally, more…much more than I’m going to voice over the Intarwebs. In my 36th year (which is what preceded today, after all), there was more examining, shifting, and revealing than I’d previously thought possible. I discovered many things I’d forgotten, and many things I never before realized I knew.

I continue to be thoroughly stunned, but this little amble of mine is far from over, so I owe the universe a heap of gratitude, actively expressed.

Or, put more simply: if you were thinking about giving me a birthday gift – or even if the thought never crossed your mind – give your funds to one of these:

San Jacinto Girl Scouts – the Houston-area council in which I was a Junior and Cadette.
Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation – because my husband (and many other people I know) could use a cure.
Knitters Without Borders – because knitters (and all order of fiber artists) really know how to rally to a cause.
Houston SPCA – because if you’ve ever seen Animal Cops Houston, you know how far those amazing people will go to help animals.

Remember that something nice to share that I promised? Make a donation of ANY amount (you don’t have to tell me what that amount is) by this time next week, and tell me about it via e-mail (blog title no punctuation at earthlink) or commentation – and I’ll give one contributor* a $50 online gift certificate of their choice. Yes, really!

Many thanks, and a happy June 15th to everyone. It wasn’t all what I’d expected…but then, what about this whole year has been?

* chosen randomly

June 12, 2009

Quite false

Filed under: Uncategorized — by plumtexan @ 10:15 pm

I know, I know…overpromised, again. But I made an Executive Decision not to bore you with too many gory details about the DFW portion of the trip. Here’s a quickie:

– The Yarn Harlot’s Church of Knitting, and the attendant knitters, were quite fabulous.
– Non-blood Nephew Thomas continues to be the cutest four-year-old on two legs ever.
– Yarn crawling with Amy is still a hell of a lot of fun.
– Four-day weekends are a really, really nice refresh.

Tally for the weekend:

– Approximate miles driven: 900
– Books signed by the Yarn Harlot: 2
– Gifts given to the Yarn Harlot: 1
– Cones of Habu laceweight bamboo acquired: 2
– Skeins of Comfort Sock: 2
– Swatches begun and pulled out: 3
– Yarn stores visited: 3
– Best friends hugged: 2
– Free room and board appreciated: you betcha (thanks, Genghis)
– Cats missed: 2
– Husband missed: 1


Realizing that I am already a bit off-kilter with them, and also that I have a very hip Significant Start Date at the ready, both the Photo 52 and the Baking 52 will reset (again), to resume on Monday. By then, my ducks should be much more row-like and my day…far more birthy. :)

And speaking of Monday…I’m going to do my damndest to have a good favor to ask y’all, and something nice to share in gratitude. In the meantime, have an unbelievably stellar weekend, and do something good for yourself!

* Of course I knew this before. I lived up there for 10 years.

June 8, 2009


Filed under: Uncategorized — by plumtexan @ 10:07 pm

Me and the overpromising, I swear. Here, only a day late, are sneak preview photos of the DFW adventure (click for story bits):

Amy's gift

Amy gifts the Harlot with a private beer.


Thomas reacts to the promise of sugar.

And I develop camnesia on a yarn crawl with Amy.


In other news:

Baking 52, week 2: cranberry muffins

These little dears are week 2 of a project I mentioned in passing, now receiving full airtime. Close on the heels of beginning the 52 Weeks self-portrait project, I hit upon another way to bring more Motivation into my life…and enter 52 Weeks of Baking (or Baking 52 for short).

Week 1 were the goodies for the Harlot, as mentioned in the previous post. The cranberry cookies are a standby, adapted from Bryan’s mom’s oatmeal chocolate chip recipe, and rarely go awry.

The brown sugar shortbread came from this book, which is lovely and has a ton of recipes I’m looking forward to trying…but either my oven, or their typing, was off, and the shortbread came close to burning. So: should you aim to use this recipe yourself, definitely keep an eye on it.

This interlude reminded me just how important one of my baking rules can be: set the timer for half or less of the indicated baking time, and go check and rotate when it goes off. In my oven, this was slightly overbaked at 30 minutes, and would have been inedible by 35…so just imagine if I’d tried to go the full 60 the recipe calls for.

I realized that I was about to miss Week 2 after 8 pm Saturday, so I adapted a muffin recipe from Betty Crocker for cranberry goodness. Alas, I overestimated the sweetening power of cranberry-pomegranate juice and ended up with a tart-to-bland concoction. Fortunately, it was edible enough that I’ll try again, with added sugar.

Irons in the fire, I haz them. Endeavors and potential are flying fast and furious around here. More on the DFW trip…soon!

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