Dream Weaver

Hey There!

Do you ever have a dream so realistic it sticks with you after you wake up? Like somehow bits of it clung to you as you made your way back to reality and haven’t quite faded away yet – just lingering around you making you question if you’re really awake?

I get dreams like that from time to time, and it always throws me off.

Dream worlds can be absolutely amazing or terrifying. When I have a hyper-realistic dream, it tends to be more of a nightmare. They are never the wake-up screaming type, but definitely the wake up with a cold sweat and adrenaline rushing type.

Now, this doesn’t happen often (anymore), but when I was in high school I would often have dreams that were so detailed and frightening that if I could’ve plugged a USB cord into my brain and downloaded them they could’ve been sent straight to the big screen as a horror film.

Often the subject of my dreams would be friends or family and some strangers cast into some type of life-threatening situation from which I had to save them, andway too many times that danger was Zombies. I would constantly find myself walking into the path of danger to help someone else avoid it, and if I died (which I know you’re not supposed to be able to do in dreams, but, hey, my mind is weird), I’d pop back up in a new location and continue on.

I have spent a lot of time reading into interpretations of dreams, and it’s interesting how many people have the same dreams or who have similar dreams. Enough that folklore has assigned meanings to situations and figures that occur in our dreams in order to help us make sense of what our sleeping brains may be trying to tell our waking selves.

Thankfully, those scary dreams have become less of a nightly occurrence for me now and are more or less limited to stressful periods in my life, weird food combinations, or a full moon, but every now and again I still get a real doozy of a dream.

What type of dreams do you often have? Do you dream in color or black and white? Are you yourself when you dream or someone else? Share your dream world with me in the comments!


Umbrella Academy

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Considering how far behind the Fellow and I are on all of the superhero movies out there, you’d never guess that we actually enjoy a good comic book movie.

We hadn’t been watching many things together lately. It’s hard to find something that we both want to watch. I’m not a fan of straight out space movies, and he doesn’t like British dramas or crime shows. But we do have good luck on most Netflix Originals.

That is why I was SO excited to see The Umbrella Academy pop up on the “Recommended for You” tab.

The Umbrella Academy follows the stories of 7 children who are adopted by an eccentric billionaire and raised in his private academy where he trains them in their “powers.” Now that they are adults they have to overcome things from their childhoods, stop the oncoming apocalypse, and save the world.

I love the diversity of the characters, and the actors really do an amazing job (especially Klaus). I will say it’s a tiny bit predictable, but as with most superhero stories, you don’t really need to be surprised by the identity of the villains. You just have to know that the hero will defeat them.

One fun thing to watch out for is the show’s logo during the opening scenes. Maybe I have a soft spot for umbrella imagery after Gilmore Girls, but I LOVE the little surprise each episode. I won’t say more. You’ll have to check it out for yourself!

Our Deepest Fear

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February is Black History Month, and I’ve been active in its activities at work. During our rehearsals, I’ve gotten the opportunity to hear a reading of Marianne Williamson’s poem, “Our Deepest Fear.” Somehow this is the first time I’ve heard this beautiful piece. I think this is something we all need to hear, so I decided to share it with you.

Our Deepest Fear

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking,

So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest

The glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,

We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we’re liberated from our own fear,

Our presence automatically liberates others.

What is your favorite inspirational poem or quote? Let me know!

Making Glass Beads

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Whew! Winter is still going strong. I was wondering if we were going to get another good snow-in before moving towards spring, and it looks like we are.

Thankfully, last weekend there was a brief break in the weather, and we actually ventured out of the house to enjoy it. The Fellow and I went to visit my laurel (the woman I am apprenticed to in the SCA).

Her home is always stocked with the most delicious treats. This time she served us yummy Italian wedding soup and yeast rolls. I brought scones, and we sat, sipped tea, ate, and chatted. It’s always such an enjoyable day when I get to visit awesome, crafty Medieval friends. I love to be able to focus on passion projects and not the real world for a bit. We discussed our current projects, some event plans, and research. I also got to love on her amazing Savannah cats all afternoon. (Seriously, her cat, Layla, is the most lovely kitten ever!)

We also got to check out the work in her studio. She’s been lampworking for a while now and has a pretty nifty little set-up in her garage. If you remember from my Tamarack post, I have an obsession with glass work, so any chance to play with it, I’m all in.

This was my second time making glass beads and the Fellow’s first. I think at some point I’m going to have to invest in a little set-up. You can get started with a pretty basic kit fairly cheap.

Per Wikipedia: “Lampworking is a type of glasswork where a torch or lamp is primarily used to melt the glass. Once in a molten state, the glass is formed by blowing and shaping with tools and hand movement. It is also known as flameworking or torchworking, as the modern practice no longer uses oil-fueled lamps.”

So you’re basically using a propane torch. Using propane always freaks me out a bit as I remember a particular chemistry class that nearly went very badly. My lab partner wouldn’t listen to me and wouldn’t turn off the gas after not being able to get the lighter to strike more than a few times. She almost blew the lab up!

Anyway, making glass beads this way is pretty easy. You dip a mandrel (a small, stainless steel rod) in a release (basically a slip that breaks off of the rod easily) and bake it onto the mandrel. While keeping the mandrel hot and continually rotating it, you carefully warm up the end of a rod of glass until it starts to melt, then you wrap the melted glass around the mandrel forming a bead. Once you’ve got the desired amount of glass on the mandrel, you set the glass rod aside, continue to rotate the mandrel, and keep the glass in the torch flame to even out the bead.

When you’ve got it where you want it, you pull it out of the flame, wait for the bead to cool to put it into a ceramic fiber blanket, and then let it anneal or drop in temperature slowly to harden.

I was pretty proud of my second attempt! She also gave me some research about existent bead finds from the Viking age, so I could keep my colors in period. I’m hoping to have enough handmade beads for a small strand to hang from my apron dress at Pennsic.

What hobby have you tried that you would like to be more skilled in? Let me know so I can encourage you!

Valentines Day Festivities

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Guys, game changer for next year: Papa John’s and Domino’s both offer Valentine’s Day pizza specials! And they come heart shaped!!

For V-Day this year, I had a cute little surprise for the Fellow all planned out. I bought him a fancy, rocking pizza cutter he’d been wanting and planned to order him the heart-shaped Valentine’s pizza with a note that said, “You’ve got a pizza my heart!”

You know I love me some cheese, and not just on my pizza!

Unfortunately, with Amazon packages coming and going for both of us so frequently, . . . he accidentally opened the pizza cutter and ruined the surprise. But he still loved the gift.

The Fellow got me a Valentine’s gift as well, and he really picked out a neat one – a realistic heart key chain and a single red rose. So sweet!

We rarely get pizza, so it was a real treat to spend a night in snuggled up on the couch, watching a movie, and eating some yummy pizza!

What did you do for Valentine’s Day?

Winter Storm Maya

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Want to know a secret? I haven’t changed my mantle decorations over to Valentine’s Day yet! In fact, I think I’m going to skip it. I’ll switch to St. Patrick’s Day in March.

So right now my mantel is full of glitter-frost covered pine, rustic lanterns, a snowman lamp, and a small painting of snow-covered pine trees. Frankly, with the weather we’re having, I think it’s perfect! We’re toddling between rain and freezing rain with a potential for snow tomorrow.

As scary as it is to drive in, ice-covered trees are one of my favorite things! I’ve been enjoying all of the beautiful winter scenes.

I wandered out for a bit to snap a few pictures I thought I’d share with you.

What are your favorite bits about winter weather? Let me know!

Poorly Prepared

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Ooh, my, y’all. I try. I really try to keep it all together. I make lists on lists. I keep a blanket in my car and always have a toothbrush stashed “just in case,” and then sometimes I miss the mark entirely. Best of intentions, right?

As you know, each month we get together with our camping friends and have a potluck. We usually go out and sit around a campfire, hang out, sing, and generally have a good time.

Well, a year or so ago, the host got a propane fire pit, and we’ve been using it pretty heavily when the weather is icky.

Considering it had been snowing and raining and gross for weeks, I just figured that the back field would  be mush, the wood would be wet, and we’d stick to the fire pit when we met this month.

I was wrong.

So there I am in my little cloth flats, the Fellow in his crocs, all our friends outside and us stuck inside.

I decided that I wasn’t missing out on the fun, so we tied some Walmart bags over our shoes and off we shuffled!

They really did a good job of keeping us warm, but they were slick! I was a bit concerned I was going to fall one or twice.

What’s that saying? “Necessity is the mother of invention.”

What are your poorly prepared for the weather stories? Let me know!

My Grandmother, the Prankster

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Oh, friends. When will I ever learn?

As you know, the Fellow and I are working to get the house finished and organized. I’m also trying to get some routines established and incorporate some time-savers into my schedule to make the work week go a bit smoother.

Well, I heard the price of stamps was going up. I decided I would purchase two books of stamps before the price increase, so that I had them on hand especially since I never like to run to the post office and can never find a stamp when I need one.

The next day I’m in Costco, and I see a sign on the aisle that said they sold stamps. Perfect! That saved me a trip across town. I asked the cashier for two books, swiped my card, and headed out to the car.

When I got home, I looked at the receipt. The store was so loud on a Saturday afternoon that I guess I didn’t hear the total and was too preoccupied with getting the giant cart out of the way that I didn’t take notice to the screen. Come to find out, Costco doesn’t sell books of stamps. It sells packages of stamps – 100 to a package!

I had bought 200 stamps.

Of course, the Fellow teased me about it, and I had to tell on myself to my mother. She got a good chuckle and sweetly offered to buy half of the stamps.

Fast forward a few days, and this text message hits my phone:

Oh. My. Gosh. Now being a child of the days of chain mail and spam messages, I knew better than to believe it. The main give away was that the phone number was a PA area code. I did start to respond back with “Nice try, but this is not a DC number.” However, I decided it’s usually best not to engage with a spammer.

Despite not responding to the messenger, I couldn’t resist screenshotting it and sending it to my mother who was in a car with my father, aunt, and uncle on their way to the Groundhog’s Day festivities in Punxsutawney (that’s another story) and asked that she visit me in jail.

Apparently her reaction had them laughing for miles. (She gets a bit excited at things.) Despite my reassurances that it was just an incredibly coincidental hoax message, she was still a bit concerned she’d gotten me into trouble with the Feds.

I didn’t really give it much more thought until my grandmother called me and mentioned it. My mother and she talk every day so she had filled her in. She asked me if I thought it was funny, and I said that it was uncanny how well-timed the message was. Well, as it turns out, it was so well-timed because my grandmother was the prankster!

She thought up the prank and had her landlord send me the text from his PA number, so I wouldn’t recognize it!

Grammy said that she wished she could’ve timed it closer to April Fool’s Day, but she couldn’t keep it going that long.

What do you think about Gram’s trickery? Has anyone played an awesome prank on you? Let me know in the comments below!

Dinner Party Advice

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Oh, friends. As I write this, I am standing in my kitchen with two pots boiling behind me, sauce dripped across my sweater, a burn on my arm, and guests arriving for dinner in 10 minutes.

I know I should know this by now, but sometimes . . . Pinterest is. a. LIE.

It’s hard to entertain on the weekend. Sometimes we have so many plans, so some friends and I tend to gather on weekdays. This time it was my turn to host, so I turned to Pinterest – a quick and easy 3-cheese sausage toratlini in the crock pot. How perfect!

Except . . . 6 hours on low, and my sauce was still uncombined ingredients. No worries. I’ll transfer it to a pot and turn it to high and let it cook down. I reached over the crockpot to grab a ladle and burned my arm on its edge.

That’s OK. I can still make this work. I think I’ll put it into a pot and stir. Only the more I stirred, the more I realized my cream cheese was NOT incorporating (or cooperating)!

Frantic with only 40 minutes until my guests arrival, I thought, “I know! I’ll use the giant food processor that the Fellow insisted we needed!”

I tried to pour the sauce into the processor only to realize that it all wouldn’t fit. No worries – two batches! I went to dump the one batch into a holding pot, and the entire processor fell apart into the pot!

After fishing the pieces out of my sauce, I got it back into its pot and the dishes done.

However, the sauce still just wasn’t thickening! I tried adding cheese – no luck. A quick Google search told me to add cornstarch and that started to do the trick.

10 minutes till 7. I was going to make it!

Little J stirred the sauce, while I finished up last details, like the garlic bread. I opened the oven and stopped. I’d completely forgotten to make the asparagus!

What. A. Mess.

A comedy of errors in my kitchen.

At the end of it all, I’m sure we’ll have had a wonderful evening, but it did remind me of some sage advice I’d been given in the past: When you have company, make a comfortable favorite recipe you’re familiar with!