Thankful for Pie 2017 Edition

Here we are, at the end of another year. This year in particular was a challenge, mostly due to the fact that it seemed like every other day that the world as we know it was crashing down around our ears. That’s why doing a year-end round-up thing is usually so pleasing to me. Even if nobody’s reading/listening, it gives me an opportunity to look back on everything that happened and pick out all of the good parts. Especially the stuff that might not have made it onto the blog. It makes you remember the good things, even when everything else is still pretty terrible.

First up, in January, Dan and I went to the Women’s March here in New Orleans.

IMG_20170121_135810_135

We hung out with some of the coolest, nicest people ever and got to see some truly hilarious protest signs.

IMG_20170121_151012_616

It really felt good to walk amongst so many people who felt like they just needed to do something. Who are doing things and working hard to make things better. I had a coworker ask me, very sincerely, the day afterwards, “But what is everyone marching for? What’s made them so angry?” My answer: “Everything.” I knitted quite a few Pussyhats for friends and for myself, and Dan and I will definitely be wearing them when we march again this year.

In January, I also finished a vest for Dan, a project that still fills me with pride.

20170129_152835

20170129_152221(0)

Speaking of Grow Dat (the little farm that Dan’s running through all joyfully), in February, Dan and I really got the ball rolling on getting creative and cooking with our weekly CSA haul.

20170203_190944

20170204_110327

IMG_20170428_112140_086

IMG_20170209_124504_599

20170316_160117

Every week there was more and more kale, and we rose to the challenge. Seriously, I have never eaten so many greens in my life.

20170214_183014

20170306_115101

20170502_180535

20170714_103114

I pickled beets and carrots and daikon and peppers and okra and anything else I could get my hands on. And that’s just a tiny sampling of all of our homecooking. We unfortunately did not sign up for the Grow Dat CSA this year, mostly due to the fact that my time’s going to be even more limited because of school, but it’s definitely helped us to eat better and for me to step up my cooking skills. Do go check out Grow Dat and the Hollygrove Market if you’re here in New Orleans. You’ll be glad you did.

20170208_110023

Studying was a huge part of my life this year, having started grad school in January after graduating from nursing school in May of 2015. I did not take many pictures of it, because it is not particularly visually exciting, but school really ran my life this year. I kept working full-time as well, until the summer, because I am a crazy person and thought that I could handle it. Now I’m down to two days a week (but it’s still night shift and still a crazy-busy job), but at least now I can breathe.

In March, I had to go to “intensives” for school, and I got to see what is possibly the greatest billboard advertisement of all time.

IMG_20170328_084221_461

You might think that a busy highway is no place for Sir Mix-a-lot jokes. You are wrong.

In April, Dan and I found my doppelganger in the New Orleans Museum of Art.

20170408_140329

IMG_20170408_141337_215

And we went to a Hootenanny!

20170421_194117

Grow Dat hosted this huge party for all of its subscribers and donors this year, complete with bluegrass music and square-dancing lessons, and all kinds of amazing food and cocktails from all around the city. I may have had a whole lot of strawberry punch and donated a large amount of money to buy a tractor, but those kids were so excited that it was impossible to not get super excited about tractors right along with them.

In May, I made some dice bags.

20170517_135506

Want to make your own? Here’s the pattern, and here’s the chart for your very own LOTR-inspired monogram on the front.

Then, Bailee and I drove ourselves down to Austin in order to personally hand them to the McElroy brothers.

20170520_214810

20170520_200647

20170520_200637

20170521_230001

It was amazing, plus I made an extra-special awful face in that picture, so that’s how I get to remember it for the rest of time.

IMG_6214

We got to hang out with my brother and sister-in-law, and I got to meet some wonderful Twitter people in real life and eat brunch with them, which is why I think the Internet was really invented: to eat brunch with cool people in different parts of the country.

In June, I went to San Francisco to visit my best friend, Jonathan, and his wife, Rebecca, who are two of the best people, just hands-down.

20170602_164010

20170602_183425

IMG_20170602_200211_688

We went to a Japanese mall.

20170602_232329

We saw Justin Townes Earle.

20170603_110933

We saw the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Bay Model.

20170603_122156

20170604_135555

20170604_135652

20170604_141050

We saw beautiful water and gardens.

IMG_20170603_131237_799

We ate at In-N-Out Burger.

20170603_200816

20170603_205850

We saw Elvis Costello at the Greek Theatre. (My third time seeing him, and a wonderful birthday treat.)

20170605_103156

We saw so much modern art at SFMOMA that I’d previously only seen in textbooks, which blew my mind a little bit.

20170605_103307

20170605_103541

20170605_103648

20170605_115314

20170605_115423

20170605_115539

20170605_115806

20170605_120008

Warhol, Chuck Close, George Segal, Robert Rauschenberg, Lichtenstein, Rothko, Duchamp, Josef Albers…I didn’t want to leave.

20170604_153657

20170604_181002

20170604_195410

We also watched a lot of the new season of Twin Peaks, so it seemed only fitting that I baked us a cherry pie to enjoy.

What a wonderful trip.

During July, I was deep into the throes of knitting for the Summer of Socks, but I figured that this would be a good opportunity to post some pictures of the baking I did this year. Nothing ended up on the blog, but dang there was some good baking coming out of my kitchen.

IMG_20170202_222727_471

IMG_20170427_213327_652

20170713_163058

20171017_181514

20171213_115613

20171214_111349

IMG_20170629_165017_493

And I haven’t posted any pictures of the cats yet!

20171031_090622

20170208_170255

Bowie and Trip make every year better.

In August, I made a lovely baby blanket for a lovely lady.

20170709_151242

20170713_195441

And a very cute bunny.

IMG_20170821_144245_855

Dan and I also enjoyed the eclipse with Dan’s custom made shadowbox viewer, and a giant welding helmet. Everyone loved science for a whole day. It was great.

20170902_123551

In September, Dan and I finished up a masterpiece.

20170903_173622

And then we just couldn’t stop doing puzzles. We have three now that need to be framed and hung before we’re allowed to do any more.

IMG_20170921_192044_323

Dan also took this nice picture of me in the courtyard of Le Petit Theatre before we saw a show.

In October, we showed some friends from out-of-town around the city for Halloween, which always includes some above-ground cemetery action.

20171031_161141

Yep, that’s right, that’s a human jawbone just hanging out. Every day is Halloween here.

I took those same friends to the National World War II Museum, and we had a great, although sobering, time.

20171101_105940

20171101_113717

20171101_133638

The production value of this museum is downright astounding. I highly recommend it, even though I’m not really a huge wartime-history buff, just because everything was so detailed and interactive. Just make sure you plan to spend the whole day there so you can see everything. The place is massive, and the four hours we spent were simply not enough.

20171101_105045

This was my favorite fun fact.

20171029_135222

I also posted about some awesome socks in November.

20171120_103618

20171120_155437

And I visited Bailee in Mississippi for her birthday!

20171120_182915

We ate all kinds of fried chicken and fancy pastries, listened to Taylor Swift and did our Tarot. A really, really good day.

20171109_094149

I surprised myself and made a beautiful rainbow baby blanket in December.

20171109_094106

Complete with turtle friend.

And then I made another one.

20171218_150308

With elephant to match.

20171218_150441

All of these pregnant ladies in my life have such good taste, so I really had to step up my game to give them some beautiful things.

20171207_163509

20171207_163825

20171207_164651

20171207_174409

20171207_214803

Dan requested apple pie for his birthday (as per usual), so I got my buttermilk crust game-face on.

20171207_161718

He also had an extra request this year, and that was that a make peach cobbler for one of his coworkers, a widower whose wife used to love to bake. He’s a good egg, that Dan.

20171218_135139

Then, the Summer of Socks was upon us, and I posted all about my super-secret sock knitting escapades, in three installments (1, 2, and 3!).

20171224_213842

Then, just a few days ago, Dan and I welcomed a new family member into our lives.

20171227_182058

Her name is Turbovicki, and she’s very red and half-electric. We love her.

I have never had a new car ever in my entire life, so I’m having a complicated mix of feelings about it. On the one hand, I feel like I really don’t deserve something so nice. I’m bad about treating myself and doing nice things for myself, because I just don’t ever feel like I’ve done anything special for it. It was a very big decision to even allow myself to think about having a new car.
On the other hand, oh my god if this isn’t the coolest car ever. I’m trying to get over myself and enjoy it.

So, all in all, a pretty good year, full of baking and knitting and schoolwork and love. Speaking of baking…

20171225_200511

First thing for the new year will be a new pie recipe, so you can enjoy all kinds of chocolate and cherries to start 2018.

I can’t even express how good it feels to look over all of this and to be able to share it with all of you. I’m always glad to have the outlet of blogging and to be able to share my (albeit small) accomplishments with a tiny corner of the world. I hope that you all had a good year, despite the ongoing garbage fire of a world, and that we can share the upcoming goodness of 2018 together.

Advertisements

Austin Recap, plus the Good, Good Dice Bags pattern!

First things first, I know that everyone was chomping at the bit to get the pattern for these good, good dice bags, and I did not want to disappoint, so here it is! (At least, I’m hoping that a few people wanted it, right?)

20170517_135506

Click right here for the dice bag pattern in an easily-printable PDF format, and then go here for your very own LOTR-inspired monogram letter to stitch on the front.

I did some extensive reverse-image-searching to find out the designer of this gorgeous Hobbit-y font, and found out that it’s the free font Hobbiton Brushhand designed by Nancy Lorenz, and you can download it right here if you want everything on your computer to look like Bilbo wrote it.

20170525_123924

After the image search, I went ahead and hand charted all of the letters out for you guys for no other reason than that I love you. And that I want you to have such wonderful dice bags.

20170526_124629

Please go knit some and get your duplicate stitch on.

Now, let’s get down to the Austin recap. Last time you joined us here at jingersnaps, we were getting ready to head out to Austin to see the freaking McElroy brothers perform The Adventure Zone and My Brother, My Brother, and Me live.

I know. I had to catch my breath, too.

Bailee and I drove 10 hours from New Orleans, being sure to stop along the way to look at a roadside gas station live tiger.

20170519_105747

Don’t worry, Tony had a lot of toys and space to roam, it seemed. He’s also the source of quite a bit of controversy, as evidenced here. But yes, you’re right, it’s real weird, even for a tiny Louisiana town.

If I broke the whole trip down into timeline-based increments, I think everyone would stop reading right here, so let me just tell you my favorite bits. Austin’s got a lot of really good food, and I’m all kinds of snobby about this stuff.

20170519_220504     20170519_220922Amy’s Ice Creams is a wonderful place. They have quite a surprising photo booth machine that will confuse the crap out of you, but produce some hilarious results.

20170519_222607

20170520_094930

20170520_095059

Hayley Cakes & Cookies is also a goddamn treasure. They sell cookies on Etsy and ship all over the place!

20170520_234154

IMG_6202

I was quite enamored with these chicken and waffles from 24 Diner as well.

20170521_114856

IMG_6214

20170521_121926

Mother’s Cafe is all vegetarian and fabulous for brunch, especially if you get this ridiculously large slice of chocolate cake to finish. It certainly doesn’t hurt if you meet all kinds of new fandom friends there and they turn out to be the nicest people you’ll ever meet. You guys are awesome.

20170521_182803

Ramen Tatsuya has freaking delicious ramen, plus the funniest bit of bathroom graffiti ever. Bailee made sure to tell me to get in there to see this, and it was definitely worth it.

20170521_184408

Stay classy, Austin.

The other thing that Austin has a lot of is amazing cosplayers.

20170520_214810

The Adventure Zone is a D&D podcast, of course, so we were expecting to see some costumes, of course, but the Austin crowd went big. All of these cosplayer pictures were taken by Bailee, just so you know, because she is much cooler than me and knows better how to talk to equally cool strangers.

IMG_6185     IMG_6186IMG_6187     IMG_6193IMG_6194     IMG_6195IMG_6196     IMG_6199

All of those fantastic Taakos and Anguses and Magnuses and Loups…sometimes the only thing we could do was squeal and clap.

20170520_200510

The McElroys themselves also didn’t disappoint. How cute is it that they came out in their character costumes?  And how amazing are our seats?!  Row D!

20170520_200647

20170520_200846

The live episode will be out soon, for your listening pleasure. I won’t ruin anything by posting details, but I will tell you that Space Jam is involved.

Another thing Austin has a lot of is McElroy references just out in the real world.

20170521_140226

20170521_141145

20170521_141210

When we saw these in Toy Joy, we knew we were amongst our people.

20170521_230210

As if things couldn’t get any better, there was a special surprise opening show on the second night by Sawbones! If you’ve never heard it, Sawbones is a medical history podcast that reveals all of the horrible things that “medical professionals” used to do to their patients before anyone had any idea what medicine or science really was, and it’s fantastic. My little nursing heart loves it, and seeing Sydnee and Justin onstage together for this show, talking about gonorrhea, made me so, so happy. That episode’s already out now, so do go listen.

20170521_230435

Bailee got her King Rancho on for the MBMBaM show, and people loved it. We had to run in the rain with giant umbrellas to keep that spider webbing semi-safe, but it was worth it to watch everyone’s faces light up when they saw her.

This live show is already also out, as well, and I just can’t bring myself to listen to it yet because hearing it live the first time made me laugh so much my face hurt. I just don’t understand how three people can be so damn funny in front of so many adoring fans. It’s so, so good, you guys. Go listen.

After the show, we got wrangled into an excessively nonsensical line in order to take pictures and do the fastest meet-and-greet ever. The boys declared that they loved Bailee’s costume (actually Griffin said it was “fresh,” but I could never say that word for real and not sound like an insane person).

Then…

20170521_230001

In my defense, the flash that they yelled at us to put on was super bright, and my face is just horrible. But look at their happy faces!  Griffin is holding his bag!  When I put the dice bags in front of them, Travis and Griffin were just the nicest people ever. Griffin said that he saw them on Twitter, and when I told Travis that I was also the person who made the Candlenights stockings for their kids, I got the warmest response possible (jovial arm punching and quite possibly the best manly handshake in history) when an angry theatre employee is yelling at you to move out of the way. What good guys.

20170522_101010

20170522_101029

On our way home, we took Griffin’s advice and stopped at Mrs. Johnson’s Bakery to get some delicious donuts. Listen to the episode, and you’ll find it impossible to resist going there, too, I promise.

What a good trip surrounded by good food, good silliness, and such good, good people. We’ll be back soon, Austin, especially if the McElroys are involved. Keep the donuts warm for us.

Squirrel Updates? Well…

005

First things first. A boy, and a girl, and a squirrel went on a road trip from New Orleans to Austin.

2014-07-02 220

2014-07-02 225

The squirrel, we’ll affectionately call him Jeff (because that is his name), was a little confused.

He didn’t know that he was being transported over to his new future owner, the amazingly funny Mr. Eddie Izzard.

2014-07-02 230

2014-07-02 228

“Who’s this guy?”…he seemed to say. He was about to find out.

2014-07-02 234

My brother and his fiancée gave us a wonderful experience to celebrate my birthday this year: tickets to see Eddie Izzard’s new show, Force Majeure. Jeff was packed up into a lavender tote bag and carted off to the show, where he got a fantastic seat.

169

The squirrel’s perspective might leave a little too much to the imagination. Here:

165

Just imagine a fabulous man in a fancy suit, complete with top hat and umbrella standing right in front of that and being incredibly funny. That’s what it was like. (We are good little rule-abiding audience members, and we didn’t do any illegal picture-taking or recording during the show, so this is as good as it gets.) Make sure you add in the fact that I was smiling so hard that my face hurt. And clapping. And giggling like a lunatic. And really appreciating how many times the name Jeff got dropped.

Now, we need to back up just a little bit. Upon arriving at the venue, I made sure to find a responsible- and kind-looking usher-type security person so that I could ask them the best way to make sure that Jeff the Squirrel got to Eddie Izzard. All of the ladies I spoke to were extremely kind as I got sent higher and higher up the ladder of responsibility. My final conversation took place with a lovely woman who told us that he would be conducting a Q&A session in the lobby about 15 minutes after the show, and that she figured that the best time to see if I could get it to him would be then. We thanked her profusely and then walked into the theatre to enjoy the show.

And enjoy it we did. The man does not disappoint. He even threw out a bunch of callbacks to older bits, particularly lots of references to the Death Star Canteen (click it up for Lego interpretation hilarity), much to my happiness. He is, quite possibly, the only man in the world who can make a whole theatre full of people laugh while talking about human sacrifice. And for that, I adore him.

After the show ended, the audience began to travel to the lobby and condensed around the stairs, much to my chagrin because I am a very short person. Everyone was extremely eager to get photos and videos of the Q&A session, probably because documentation was not allowed during the actual show.

172

I was a little bit closer than this (Dan stayed off to the side in order to avoid the crush), but when you are not much taller than five feet, it’s very hard to make yourself noticed, even if you have a squirrel.

I had done my best on the days preceding the show to alert Mr. Izzard to the fact that I would be bringing him a handmade gift to the Austin show, but I didn’t receive any response, not really to my surprise.

squirreltweet

I am aware that most famous people with social media, especially extremely busy touring comedians who are also training for a marathon and preparing for a political career (Seriously. He is amazing.) probably do not do much of this for themselves. Either that, or they might not think that I am all that amusing, but I’d rather not think about that too much. All the same, I was hoping that he got the message and that it might have been slightly memorable enough to get through.

Unfortunately, it did not. I attempted to hold up Jeff in his lavender tote bag at every opportunity for question-asking, but was not really noticed, as far as I could tell. After the session was over, he was out of there fairly quickly, and I found my way over to the same super nice security-lady that I had spoken to before. However, this time, she handed Jeff the Squirrel off to a rather unsmiling man with an official-looking security headset. Even though he assured me that he would definitely pass him along, I got the feeling that there was yet another man in Austin who was not terribly amused by me or my handknit-animal shenanigans.

So Jeff went off into the ether, and I, ridiculously, had not enclosed any information with him as to my name or the name of my blog.

I know. I am terrible at self-promotion, apparently. I did send out another message into the Internet and directly to Eddie Izzard about Jeff’s fate, but I have not yet received any sort of response.

Cue the sad trombone.

That’s not to say that the whole trip ended up on such a blah note. Dan and I had a really great time, mostly stuffing all of Austin’s various food offerings into our faces, if my iPhone photos are any indication.

2014-07-02 226

Mexican food.

2014-07-02 231

Italian food. (I am such a sucker for anything with a completely obvious label, especially if it’s edible.)

2014-07-02 239

Argentinian food.

2014-07-02 240

Ice cream food. (I just typed ‘ice cream good’ on accident. This is the truth. Amy’s double chocolate chip with Reese’s peanut butter cups. I didn’t want to leave this place.)

2014-07-02 244

And some of the most delicious sushi ever set in front of me.

Plus, I made rice pudding for my brother and his fiancée…

2014-07-02 242

176

And assisted in harvesting some okra, which are now sitting in my fridge, waiting for me to pickle them. I am so excited.

179

Can we talk for a second about how beautiful okra flowers are? I had no idea. I want to fill my whole backyard with this stuff.

2014-07-02 238

I also received another amazing present, my very first manicure and deluxe pedicure experience, from my brother’s fiancée. I had only ever gotten a manicure once before, during my freshman year in college, and the lady doing it pretty much spent the entire time yelling at me about the state of my cuticles, so we’re just going to say that it doesn’t count. I had such a wonderful time being pampered, because it is certainly not something that I would ever have thought to do for myself. Anyone else in the healthcare field knows how much nursing can tear up your hands, and I felt (and still do even later!) super special and suddenly very ladylike. I took the opportunity to show it off and admire the teal against my newest pair of socks (details to come later).

—–

So? The final verdict? I can only hope that Jeff made it to his final destination safe and sound with Eddie Izzard. If not, I hope he ended up with someone who thought he was cute and will take care of him and that he didn’t get thrown in the trash. I’m going to try my best to not let the uncertainty get to me, because it was such a lovely trip and a wonderful present to receive.

2014-06-22 156

I will definitely not let any of this experience change my mind about knitting tiny animals for people who mean a great deal to me, especially if they are famous people. I am aware that it is a strange thing to do, but I feel that there are way weirder things to be known for on the Internet. I can only hope that they get to their owners eventually.

Maybe next time.