kitchen_kink: (Default)
Folks, maybe you can help me out.  I've been trying to get a hold of about 100 yards of clean fill for our swimming pool, which we want to make into a garden bed.  The trick?  A ten-wheeler dump truck simply will not fit up our driveway.  (Trust me: we tried.)  Anyone have connections, wisdom, or anything else to offer about getting free (or free-ish) dirt?
kitchen_kink: (hawaii sign)
So, our household got a hive in May this year. We started with a nucleus hive, but we have a theory that the queen died at some point early on, and they had to build up an establish a new one. Or something. Point is, they didn't build up as strong and in as much force as we expected in this first season. We had put a super on; we ended up taking it off again as they weren't using it at all, and the hive body still isn't completely full, though there are many more bees than when we started.

My question is: what tips do you have for wintering them over, particularly if they have no storage honey? I know they'll need to be fed, but how much, and pollen as well as sugar? And how can we be sure they're fed and safe through the months where we won't want to open the hive at all lest they lose precious heat?

We have a hive-top feeder, a styrofoam box shaped like the hive itself into which they can climb without leaving the hive, though refilling it means taking the lid off.
kitchen_kink: (Default)
Hey all -

Anyone in need of a nifty apartment right in Harvard Square, on Dana St? [ profile] neuroliz's condo is up for rent again!

This is a beautiful little studio with high ceilings, a working fireplace, laundry in the building, and a storage unit included. $1100 a month, negotiable.

Let me know!
kitchen_kink: (treehouse)
Our household is disbanding, and we're getting rid of some stuff! Let me know if you want it:

HUGE bookcase, solid blond wood


Small rolling desk, with pullout keyboard shelf and top of desk shelf


Elliptical machine, slightly broken, needs just a little love to be made to work

Kitchen table, light wood, seats 6. Some staining but overall good condition. 3'x5'.

Old microwave, still works just fine, turntable doesn't turn.

Assorted books and other stuff.
kitchen_kink: (Default)
I slept. Slept and slept until about noon. Ohhhhh yay.

I tooled around the house, organizing things, then tooled around the neighborhood, looking for Halloween supplies. My housemates are busily organizing all the books in the house, which is awesome. I'm making fresh mint chocolate chip ice cream, with six freakin' egg yolks in it. I may die, but I'll die happy.

Not a hell of a lot going on today. But I'm liking keeping to my promise to write daily, just about the little things I'm doing in life.
kitchen_kink: (mercenary)
My new house needs a second fridge. There are plenty to be had on Craigslist, but none of us has a vehicle sized to pick it up.

Anyone have a truck or van they'd be willing to lend or drive us in to pick it up? We live in Arlington and are looking locally. Compensation/barter can be arranged.


Sep. 1st, 2009 11:47 pm
kitchen_kink: (Default)
[ profile] primalpastry did an awesome job cleaning our old place once it was emptied out. [ profile] imlad did the finishing touches while I was rehearsing, and talked to our crazy landlady today to let her know we'd gone and to see about our security deposit. Three of my four new housemates helped with some massive furniture arrangement and other unpacking, and made me laugh a lot.

I am so fried at this point that sleep is what's waiting for me now, not more writing. But I'm grateful: for amazing people, for an absolutely gorgeous day, for a beautiful new home, and for being out, finally, of a place that never quite felt like home. Pulling my energy back from it, in the brief house-closing ritual [ profile] imlad and I did, felt easy and swift and strengthening.
kitchen_kink: (mercenary)
Okay! So here's the final furniture disposal plan!

We're going to salvage the living room furniture, which most likely isn't infested anyway, using high-heat steam and heavy-duty pesticide.

We're still going to get rid of the bedroom stuff, though, and to do it, we need your help! ([ profile] muffyjo, I'm looking at you!)

On Saturday night, we'd love it if some of y'all came over with power tools and helped us saw apart our bedroom furniture, then haul it downstairs in contractor bags. If someone has the chutzpah to bring a burn barrel, we can go with the original burn plan, but chopping it up should at least keep people from taking it.

The usual pizza and beer clauses apply. :)

Please let me know if you can help us accomplish this! (We don't have a saw!)
kitchen_kink: (mercenary)
I'm trying to unload a few things. Listed here are said items with prices; prices are negotiable. Lemme know if you're innerested!

TV - 24" Hitachi, about 7 years old, in great condition. Great picture. No remote control. $75, negotiable.

Blender - Cuisinart Dual Action. Blender in great condition, food Processor attachment is broken but might be able to be replaced cheaply (unit less than 2 years old). $20.

Table and chairs - Oak top table with green legs, 4 wooden chairs. One chair has a broken leg that is reparable with simple woodworking that I don't currently have the spoons to do myself. $50.
kitchen_kink: (snow)
Last year's Yule celebration was raucous and crowded - kids running everywhere, adults playing instruments and telling stories in front of the fire. Our ritual was disrupted a thousand times by the needs and tired behaviors of children. I was exhausted and getting sick, and didn't have a particularly good time tripping over people and feeling a general sense of holiday overwhelm.

In ritual I managed to make a number of commitments, and going over them this year, I found that I'd done rather well at several of them, and abjectly failed at certain others. The lessons of the ones I failed in, however, led me to wiser commitments this year - or so I hope.

There was also the setting of the ritual to guide me. This year, Tapestry Coven decided to have its ritual at our house, hours before the vigil began. We gathered around the living room, by the Christmas tree. There I commited to take more consistent care of my body, to fully engage in whatever creative pursuit I was passionate about at the moment rather than beat myself up for not writing enough, to find the right home for my family, and to step forward more in my spiritual work.

It is enough, and it feels right. They are quiet and humble goals, but good ones.

Last night's vigil, or what I experienced of it, was a quiet and humble vigil, but a good one. Many fewer people than last year. Children less wound up and wandering toward sleep. A steady fire, knitting, reading, telling stories. And [ profile] imlad and I left a little after 2 am, ready to sleep in our own beds and let other witches mind the waking of the sun.

As if to put an exclamation point on our observances, the Solstice weekend arrived with a major winter storm, ensconcing everything in snow. I performed two Christmas concerts, divorced from the specific spiritual observance of the season but moved to soft tears by the power of the music, and the voice of our incredible soloist. The weather pulled in the die-hards, to experience great music in fellowship against the cold and the dark.

Tonight I write this, snug by my Christmas tree on Yule night, cuddling a creature in my lap who is close to death. We huddle together for warmth, for love, for beauty. The specifics, the prayers, the gods, don't matter as much. In the gathering dark, we all reach for the light.

Warmth, light, love and beauty to you all this holiday season.
kitchen_kink: (Default)
So imagine you have a room. A room that used to be a porch. It's supposedly a four-season room at this point, except that it has very little insulation and is equipped only with a single baseboard electric heater. It also has ten-foot ceilings.

On one side of this long, narrow room, you have a little office. On the other, a guest bed. In the middle and to the right of the door, there's a beam in the ceiling that would be perfect for hanging a curtain from to separate the room in two. Which is my plan: separate the room, and get another space heater for the other side.

Question: what material would you use to make this curtain out of?
kitchen_kink: (Default)
While I'm still grateful for my [ profile] imlad, who often does do the dishes in the morning, on the morning I wrote that post it was actually [ profile] queen_of_wands who'd done it.

Gratitude for my housemate, who does all kinds of neat things in the kitchen when I'm not looking. Wait...that sounded dirtier than I meant...

But there are wreaths of drying herbs and flowers in my kitchen! And pickled green tomatoes, for which I should also thank [ profile] motive_nuance! And before we gobbled them all up, there were fresh figs.


Yay for housemate and almost-housemate. :)


Jul. 6th, 2008 08:23 pm
kitchen_kink: (love)
Today has been a very good day.

I woke up slowly after a good party, and [ profile] imlad made breakfast. I polished and hung up the spice-rackish thing I trash-picked last week, and it looks beautiful and holds all our spices. We finally took Guernica off the kitchen wall, where it was frankly being a bit of a drag, and hung a picture of a squash blossom there instead.

I turned on the oven and nearly smoked us all to death, but in the end I had seared chicken and ribs, which I then put in the crockpot and stewed for many hours with homemade barbecue sauce.

I went to the gym.

I wrote a bunch of work emails and took a bunch of work phone calls.

I hung pictures of me and [ profile] imlad around the mirror in our room; I hung more pictures of our loved ones in our hallway. I made a big pot of collard greens and kale with a fat hamhock.

I cleaned off my night table, fachrissakes.

Just finished dinner, and will watch a movie with my sweetie while drinking wine and maybe having ice cream.

Sometimes, the simplest days are the best. (Oh and also: now there's an air conditioner in our living room. Score.)
kitchen_kink: (foreboding)
One thing I kind of hate about moving is the way it brings up old stuff, all the memorabilia I'd shoved into drawers, old love letters and cards, sentiments no longer true but so true once, once.

By some brilliant stroke of irony I also dug the below poem out of my desk drawer in the course of packing, and it seemed appropriate to reproduce it here.


I've decided to waste my life again,
Like I used to: get drunk
On the light in the leaves, find a wall
Against which something can happen,

Whatever may have happened
Long ago - let a bullet hole echoing
The will of an executioner, a crevice
In which a note was hidden,

Be a crag where a struggling tendril
Utters a few spare syllables at dawn.
I've decided to waste my life
In a new way, to forget whoever

Touched a hair on my head, because
It doesn't matter what came to pass,
Only that it passed, because we repeat
Ourselves, we repeat ourselves.

I've decided to walk a long way
Out of the way, to allow something
Dreaded to waken for no good reason,
Let it go without saying,

Let it go as it will to the place
It will go without saying: a wall
Against which a body was pressed
For no good reason, other than this.

-Phillis Levin
kitchen_kink: (Default)
Hi, all,

[ profile] imlad and I are looking to move into a place with [ profile] queen_of_wands. Below is was we're lookin' for; let me know if y'all know of anything!

The following criteria are necessities:
-3 bedrooms, or 2 bedrooms with extra common space of some kind
-Laundry in building, or laundry hookups
-Some outdoor space - deck or yard
-Reasonable walking distance (15-20 minutes or less) to Davis, Porter, Harvard, Alewife, or Kendall T

These things would be excellent plusses:
-Hardwood floors
-Offstreet parking
-Pantry space
-Storage space
-First floor or first/second floor
-Pets okay (we currently have no pets)

Please contact us if you have anything to show! Thanks!
kitchen_kink: (mercenary)
...both for defying gender stereotypes and for being randomly handy.

Just now, the toilet wouldn't flush. The handle just flipped up and down. So, instead of just calling the landlord (after midnight) or waking up [ profile] imlad, I opened the tank. Mind you, I've never fixed a toilet in my life. But that chain with the plug on the end of it looked like it'd do something if I pulled it. Sure enough, that flushed the toilet. Handle still didn't work though. Oh hey, look at that - the handle connects to a lever, and the chain I pulled has a loop on the end. Connect loop to lever. Toilet fixed.

Even if that's just silly and obvious, still: go me.
kitchen_kink: (mercenary)
Last year, some of you may recall, I had grain moths in my house. These creatures disgusted me no end, and I was filled with the fiery hatred of a thousand light bulbs for these pestilent little buggers.

Many of you gave me excellent advice, and I have had what looks like 100% success in stopping the infestation from recurring this year, in the hot weather. I know some of you have also suffered from this problem, so I thought I'd let you know what I did - and how I did it without using any poison or toxic stuff at all.

1. Clean out the pantry. If you open a bag or box of rice, pasta, cereal, flour, or whatever and see a single moth, throw it away. If you see any little pin holes in a plastic bag that's holding bulk goods, throw it away. Basically, anything that's already infested or shows the slightest sign of it: get rid of it.

Next, empty out and scrub down the places you keep food. I used baking soda and water.

2. Change your storage habits. Get plastic or metal containers with airtight lids for keeping any dry starchy goods outside of the refrigerator: pasta, rice, flour, oatmeal, cereal, bread crumbs, grains, legumes, and so on. Some people who commented on my original post have had problems with sugar, nuts, tea, cocoa and dried fruit, and other more sweet items, but I had no such problems - these particular guys were interested in grains and grains only, especially rice and whole flours. I also have had success keeping pasta in its bag, inside another strong Ziploc freezer bag.

3. Kill any you bring home. You may not want to think about it, but when you buy in bulk from the bins in the store, there are sometimes going to be critters or eggs hiding in the food. When you bring home your grains, put them in the freezer or cold refrigerator overnight. The bugs can't survive the cold. Then put them in your containers for storage.

4. Consolidate. If you can have all of your not-in-the-fridge food stored in one area of your kitchen, do so - it will limit the blast radius of any infestation.

5. Discourage from the area. Cedar blocks thrown in dresser drawers help to keep moths away from your clothes; they do the same thing in food storage drawers, and don't affect the flavor of things at all. You can buy cedar blocks, drawer liners, or balls in many places, usually in the clothing storage area rather than food storage areas. Throw a couple in your cabinets and drawers and replenish them every 6 months or so with cedar spray.

6. Pheromone traps. When the warmer weather came around again, you can bet that whatever moths were left from last year woke up or hatched or whatever those wretched bastards do, and I would see them in the house, one and two at a time. Whole Foods and health food stores carry pheromone traps for pantry pests, and they are brilliant. Basically, they're a triangle of light cardboard with sticky stuff on the inside surfaces, and a lure. The lure attracts the males, and they stick to the sticky stuff and die die die. I have mine on top of my fridge, which is a good height for them to fly into it; it currently has about 20 dead moths in it, most of which I never saw before they bit it. You may wind up with some females left over, but they can't make more little assholes without the menfolk.

7. Integrated pest management. It's important that you do all of these things together to destroy or prevent an infestation, or it won't work.

Thanks, everyone, for your fantastic advice.
kitchen_kink: (Curious)
There are folks trying to knock our house down this week.

Well, that's what it feels like, anyway.

This morning and yesterday morning, promptly at 7:30, people starting banging and scraping and prying and making all sorts of other noises outside our house that made the house shake at times. (Sound familiar at all?) In any case, the roof is being replaced.

The happy upshot of it, though, is that we're getting two (not one, but TWO) skylights in our apartment - one in our kitchen, and one in my study!

The skylight in the kitchen is in, and just has to be finished around the inside. So that's yay.

What's not yay is the early morning house-shaking.

What simply weird is the way I'm able to sleep through it. The banging and scraping (and did I mention the prying, and also the banging?) is very loud, but all low-pitched and fairly constant. And, unlike yesterday, not directly above my head when I'm in bed.

So I stayed in bed and buried myself in the warm covers, and slept through it.

Except those times when I woke up immediately, because the alarm clock was softly and gently chiming its high-pitched noise.

I'm weird.
kitchen_kink: (elated)
Zephyr, Cat of Tomorrow, has been lonely for a while. Wandering about Menage, no other cats to play with or lie in wait for, he yowled at the top of his lungs daily at around 11 am and 6 pm, and at various points in between. He especially loved coming into our room at six am, meowing loudly, and clawing vigorously at my hair. Sometimes, he would wander into a room and get lost.

The poor guy was just bored.

So we decided to get a new cat, as a friend for him. The original idea was to get a young female, so that they wouldn't be aggressive and alpha-like toward each other; rather, Zephyr would spend his time trying to impress her. [ profile] redheadedmuse might well remember the relationship between her tanklike tabby male and Zephyr back at Versailles: Zephyr spent much of his free time (which, in cat terms, is all time spent neither sleeping nor eating) stalking, then attacking him, intending to play, which her cat took as fighting and responded accordingly.

This did not go well for either of them.

Nevertheless, at the MASPCA we fell in love with Rick, a skinny 3 1/2 year old grey-and-white-patched male who meowed at us in a low voice and made sinuous lovey-movements when we petted him. We brought him home, and for a day or so, kept him alone in the living room with some food and water and litter.

He was skittish, though still lovey, and getting over a cold. We gave him the antibiotics sent home with him, spent time in the room and cuddled him a lot.

Then we introduced him to Zephyr.

Zephyr puffed up, put his ears back, stood defensively, yowled loudly and hissed. Rick didn't react so much, except by backing up. Eventually, he started approaching Zephyr, no matter how loudly he yowled, and sniffing his nose and/or his butt. This went on for a night and a day, until they seemed to reach an uneasy truce: Rick would sleep on [ profile] ert's bed, while Zephyr lay on the floor nearby, sleeping with one eye open.

Sometime during this, Rick (whose name is obviously entirely inappropriate) went through several name permutations: [ profile] ert wanted Cat or Astro-Cat? (to be shortened to Astro, which I insisted was a dog, or to Asscat (thanks, [ profile] amber_phoenix), which is just wrong, if amusing), [ profile] quinnclub suggested Bogart (Rick from Casablanca, y'see), and I wanted Rasputin. Somewhere along the line I noticed I wanted him named something Russian, at which point [ profile] amber_phoenix helpfully pointed out that he seems part Russian Blue, which could be why.

I also noticed that he acts kind of like a meerkat, sitting up very tall suddenly and looking around in watchful alarm.

So I wanted to name him Mir.

We found out that Mir means "peace," which fit, since when asked "who's winning" during the Zephyr/Rick melees, Ert would often answer, "It's leaning toward the forces of peace."

Ert wanted him to have a long silly name, however. Preferably named after an 80s band, apparently, since his next suggestion was Mir (Not Mir).

Eventually, though, it came to be that our new cat is called Bluegrass Mir, the Wide-Faced Bard.

Or Mir, for short.

At this moment, the two cats are scampering around the house, play-wrestling, occasionally licking each other and/or biting each others' necks, and otherwise causing a good-natured ruckus.

I think Zephyr has a friend.
kitchen_kink: (hat)
1. My mood seems significantly better during the first couple weeks of my cycle, before/during ovulation, than it does in the latter half. As in, feeling really good and happy as opposed to dragged out and despairing, with the same life circumstances in place. (Ah, chemicals.)

2. 'Kill your babies' is really good writerly advice. (For those who don't know, it's the adage that if you write a passage that you feel you absolutely can't live without, strike it out immediately. Something better is waiting behind it.) I learned this by accident when writing the 'love' entry you all liked so much. (Thanks.) I had it almost finished when I hit some mysterious combination of keys which caused it to be erased. I sat at my desk, hitting 'paste' and 'undo' and trying to figure out what the hell I'd done, then nearly burst into tears of frustration, right here at the front desk of a law firm. Clenched my jaw and quietly hit my fist against the desk for a minute, then breathed deeply and started again. What came out the second time was ten times better.

3. New England weather is a stone cold bitch. (Actually, I already knew that, but it seems I have to relearn it every year I'm here.)

4. Being helpful, I mean really helpful, to a friend, especially one who has trouble letting people in, is one of the great rewards of my life. (Hi, Enneagram Type 2.) The trick for an empath is to keep the positive energy flowing and not let the other person's problems drag me down to a place where I become unhelpful and useless. I think that's the great balancing act for me: being intuitive, listening, and helping people heal is one of my greatest pleasures. But this week I think I've managed to step back a bit and keep an objective eye.

5. I got a $10,000 per year scholarship to Northeastern Law. Go me!


kitchen_kink: (Default)

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