Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


One Month to Alaska

We've passed the one month mark! On May 9th my mother, Kate, and I will be heading off on a class trip with her school. We're taking about 80 people (kids and chaperons) on an Alaskan cruise, organized through an outfit called Educator Cruises. As I understand it, this is the first time Holland America has had one of these educational cruises and we're kind of a pilot program that could really blossom into something with them.

Last week I met with Kate's teacher and went over the basic schedule and what kind of curriculum we're going to have for the kids. Since it's an educational cruise there will be lectures, reading, writing in journals. The field trips and outings are meant to be educational. In one stop our school will be hosted by the local 8th grade class who are intimately involved in the salmon hatchery and wildlife center, echoing some of the environmental curriculum (like hatching salmon eggs) that the ORCA students have done over the years. There's a lot we can cover in lessons and I feel really good about that aspect of the trip.

Of course, we can't spend all seven days doing nothing but school work and field trips. There will be chances for the kids to go shopping and buy souvenirs when we're off the ship but there's a lot for the kids to do on the ship, too. Apparently teens on cruise ships are well taken care of. There will be a couple of receptions/parties for the group on the ship plus the teachers plan to have a fitness "club", a walking "club", swimming groups. The ship itself has a Teen Center with a teen's only arcade and a dance club. There's also a basketball court that I know some of our boys will be eager to visit. There will be two formal dinners where the kids will get to dress up and try foods they have probably never seen before. Can't wait to see that, heh.

Anyway, the cruise isn't for another few weeks so in the meantime I've been puttering away at my to do list, knocking off minor things here and there as I have the opportunity. I put some spring flowers in the planters on the front porch, ordered some garden supplies and seedlings, replaced the cheap plastic handle on the powder room toilet with something in brushed nickel (which matches the toilet seat I replaced last year), put a medicine chest in the guest bathroom, bought a proper display shelf for some figurines I received as birthday gifts when I was a girl. Nothing important (except maybe the gardening order) but small things that let me feel like I'm accomplishing something. I have a few wish list items that I'm hoping to find, like a fire pit or a chiminea to add to the patio, and a new fixture for the kitchen that has a pull out faucet.

My parents are coming out for a visit at the end of May, when my brother graduates from medical school at OHSU. Kate and I will be back from the cruise for about two weeks before they come but I'm trying to get some cleaning, organizing, and rearranging done before the cruise so I don't feel too much pressure about the state of our affairs before they arrive.

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When a night out turns into a night in...

Today was a day that really did not go as planned. It started in the wee hours of the morning when I was unable to sleep and gave up after four hours of restless dozing. The wind howled and threw sheets of pelting rain against the house, punctuating the mess with rumbles of thunder. It kept up with this weather all day occasionally letting up so a momentary patch of sun or blue sky could peek through just long enough to be remarked upon... then back to the windy and spluttering.

I was pretty crushed with fatigue before my day even started. I drove south this morning to drop Pramas at Norwescon for his panels then turned right around and went pick Kate up to take her to drop her off with her dad. Our usual selection of Zipcars were unavailable. I had to go out of my way to pick up the Zipcar and took a wrong turn, got lost, and wasted about 45 minutes with that whole mess. Even so, I was only about 30 minutes late arriving at the meeting spot but then Kate's dad let me know that there was a huge back-up at the border crossing. He arrived three hours later. I was very lucky to be able to extend the Zipcar rental as long as I needed it I ran up against another's reservation and couldn't have extended it any further.

The weather made for difficult driving conditions, I could really feel the wind buffeting the car around on the wet freeway. I felt utterly drained when I got home and realized the day was gone. As I had plans to go out I got myself cleaned up and changed but with the rain and wind still beating down I touched base with my friend, who was of the same mind: it would be nice to see each other but the thought of venturing out again was, well, daunting. Being in agreement, we called it off and stayed in. Off came the "going out clothes" and on came the pajama pants. I had a little lie down and accidentally had a three hour nap. Leftovers for dinner and what remained of the day I spent with Netflix and my sweetie.

Not exactly what I thought the day would be. I think tomorrow is going to be low key.



The Recipe Project

In the interest of saving space, I've embarked upon a project. The first step of this new project has been to sit down with years worth of cooking magazines and cut out individual pages of recipes that I like or still want to try. I currently have a four-inch pile of these pages and I've only gone through about half of the Cooking Light issues (with the issues of Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Saveur, Eating Well, Vegetarian Times, or any of the other half dozen titles I've bought over the years).

My next step is a little ways off yet but eventually I'll have to DO something with all these sheets or they'll be no use to me. Originally I thought I might just put the sheets in binders but I'm going to have inches and inches (feet?) of these recipes from magazines and I can't even begin to think of how to organize them all. One of the big problems with saving recipes out of magazines is that there are often recipes that run for more than one page, or recipes on opposite sides of the page that don't go together organizationally (main dish on one side, dessert on the other, frex).

Now I'm reconsidering this plan I'm a bit at sea about what to do. I've been pondering several options for a re-design of Nikchick.com for a year or so. I could try to put all these recipes into a format where they could be saved and searched-for on my recipes page. My feeling is that would be a LOT of manual data entry but I'd probably be happy in the end. I could just put them into some sort of recipe organization program for use on my computer but not as part of my webpage. I have at least three of those programs (each with their own benefits and drawbacks).

I still have a while to go on step one so I have a while to figure out step two. Pasting all these recipes to note cards like I did in high school is not among the options I'm considering.

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