Sunday, May 6, 2012

In the Merry Month of May

Today is my kitten's Birthday. Belly Fiona is now two! When I found her, she was such a sad looking little thing, but now she is healthy and very happy. She loves playing with the old ladies, and with Jeremiah's kittens. I love her very much.
She LOVES to play in shopping bags!

Friday was my Space Ghost's birthday! We have a large contingent of May birthdays in this house.  Spike is now 12, that's 68 in cat years. She mostly likes sleeping in the sun, sleeping on the bed, eating, and cuddling me. She does play occasionally. It's awfully cute, she brings me her 'kill' after tossing & chasing a toy around for a little while, usually in the late evening. She is my true love, and always will be.

Waiting for dinner!

Also, I have had a birthday! I am now 37! I haven't decided yet if I like that or not. But I do like presents! So my fellow TA's gave me one question to grade on the exam we gave on Friday. They each had two.  Also, one bought my lunch for me, broccoli-cheese soup and raspberry fruit drink! Jeremiah's mom sent money, so I've ordered a copy of the Septuagint and the Dead Sea Scrolls, both translated into English, though the LXX has the Greek also. I am pretty excited! The website says 4-14 days til delivery. I'm really hoping it's closer to 4! I also got phone calls and cards from family members. There is even a package on the way from my eldest sister! Finally, Jeremiah was sweet, and here is all he got for me:

This is everything! Notice the peacock pictures in the background, I found them at Hobby Lobby & he got them for me. Once I find frames I like they will be on our couch wall.

Close-up of the plates!

I am truly a crazy cat lady!

This is my princess, Spike!

And Belly, my crazy kitten!

Also, this lovely pitcher with a good wooden spoon! I've been wanting a good wooden spoon!

Oh, I almost forgot! For Cinco de Mayo, Jeremiah made a delicious dinner, Chicken Enchilada Casserole. He makes a special enchilada sauce, with fresh jalapenos and tomatoes, Spanish rice, black beans, and seasoned grilled chicken breasts shredded and layered with everything and corn tortillas. And don't forget the cheese! It is heavenly, especially with a bit of sour cream on the side. See how yummy?

He puts extra cilantro on top, because it is my favorite.

So all in all, May has begun well for us. I love all my kitties, and my sweet Jeremiah. Once my hangover goes away, I'll be right as rain!  (No tequila shots ever again!)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Nudity: Beware! And Easter, too!

Let me begin by explaining my recent lack of posts. I have been busy with school and Easter. It is the end of the semester, and everything is coming due for me and my students, so not only do I have my own work, I have grading to complete. Please forgive and bear with me. 

Now, as for Easter, there was a lot happening! Since I am Catholic, I had lots of Church and prayer time. Also, I attend the Easter Vigil mass at my parish, since this Easter marks six years since I entered the Church at the Vigil. Not only do I enjoy the memory of my Confirmation and First Communion, but I love to see the new people who have decided that the Catholic faith is where they are supposed to be. I get teary, if not cry outright. There were five baptized this year and several more confirmed. It was beautiful, as always.

During the week, we had some people over to visit. One was a lovely lady, a bit more conservative than we are, who commented on the art in our guest bathroom. Photos follow. They are all taken from an art catalog, since I am a poor graduate student and can't afford real art yet. I have them framed in small inexpensive frames from Target (thank you, Ingrid!) I have a few more that I want to put up, but need to get frames for them.
The arrangement on the wall across from the toilet and sink.

I like this one because the model isn't skinny.

This looks like they are on a ship, and that would be very neat to do  one day! 

Do her breasts look strange?
The very lovely, conservative lady commented that some people might find my choice of artwork offensive. I replied that most of our friends wouldn't, and if anyone did, I really didn't care, because I like having naked people in the bathroom with me when I am naked in there.  Then I thought about it later, and I think maybe she was offended. So, I am warning all of you out there in the world, If you are offended by the above artwork, don't expect to pee in my house. Or, know that you will be offended if you need to pee in my house.  That is all. 
Flowers Jeremiah gave me for Easter.

One of our Easter breakfast eggs had a double yolk! What luck!

Space Ghost doesn't want to ride in the basket! She wants to drive!

But she can't figure out how to do it! Poor Kitty!

Belly waits patiently while Spike tries to drive, she wants to run along behind on her leash!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Who am I? An introduction

Hi! I realized that I have not given a proper introduction for all of you! For Shame!!!! My mamma would have my hide! 

So, I'm Amberly! And you are?     So glad to meet you! My mamma would be upset if I didn't curtsey and say, "Charmed, I'm sure!"  (She'd also beat me for calling her mamma, but she's not gonna read this, is she? Ha!)

I'm pushing 40, and quite looking forward to it, but the last few years before it are vexing me! I had the same problem with 30, I loved 30, but HATED 29. Anyway, I grew up in Forest Park, Georgia. It was nicer when I was little, but has gotten less nice through the years. I had a simple childhood, though being the youngest of seven children spoiled me a little. Not as much as some of my older siblings seem to think, though.  I went to Georgia College in Milledgeville for a couple years, then got married at 20. Not wise. I should have waited til I was older, but you couldn't tell me that at the time. I also left college, another silly decision. We moved to South Carolina for him to go to graduate school.

Daddy died just before I turned 21. I miss him, and I always will. I moved to Ohio with my ex, then back to Georgia, where I went to beauty school after Mother died. I'll always miss her, too. We then to Seattle, a wonderful city, I hope to go back someday. It was beautiful and the people were quite lovely.  Back to South Carolina, then to Athens, Georgia, where I am today .In 2005, I went to Martha Pullen's School of Art Fashion and learned to do heirloom sewing. I also took her course in teaching sewing to beginners. I taught at a few local shops, and loved teaching people something I enjoyed so much.  My ex left me in August 2007, and our divorce was final in December. I have finally lived in one place for more than two years. I just celebrated 4 years in the same apartment. Of course, Jeremiah and I are planning on moving across town in August, to a bigger place, but it's still the same town, the same school, the same job, the same friends. Only those who have moved frequently will really understand how incredibly wonderful that feels.

I got my Bachelor's degree in May 2010, seventeen years after I began college. That was one of the proudest days of my life. I wish my parents had been there to see it, they both wanted me to finish. My eldest sister was there, as their representative. She traveled from out west, where she lives with her two critters. I was so glad she could make it. I'm hoping she'll be able to come for my graduation when I get my Master's degree, sometime next year. I study Hebrew Bible at UGA, and I love my school!  I am a TA right now, I lead two discussion sections for a large lecture class. I love my students, and helping them wrestle with the beliefs of religions other than their own. I can hardly wait til I get my own classes! That's what I want to be when I grow up, a college instructor/professor.I'd like to teach Intro classes, such as Monotheisms: Judaism, Christianity, Islam; Intro to Judaism; and Intro to Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. I'm sure other classes will come to mind as I go through my career, but that's what I've been thinking about the last couple of years. I'm excited about my future!

So, that's the short version of my biography. I suppose I'll reveal more if I keep this blog up for any real length of time. I started it for a class I'm currently taking on teaching with technology. The blogging portion has ended, and I think I've posted more in the last two weeks than I did in almost 2 months of class. That's kinda bad. Poop. But it's so much more fun blathering on about my cats, my garden, foods, etc. than as a requirement for a class. 

Well, it's late here. I'm gonna plant some petunias and go to bed! Goodnight!

Monday, March 26, 2012

I have worms!!!!!!!!! Yay!!!!!!!!

As you can tell by the title, I have worms and I'm really excited about it!  They are red wigglers, and they now have a home in my little compost bin.  Miah and I went to Winder yesterday to visit friends and his sister, and there was a bait shop!!  I have been wanting to go to one for several weeks so I could get some pretty worms for my compost bin. So we turned around and I got twenty beautiful worms!
They came in a lovely little container. (I recycled it.)

See the pretty worms!

Such pretty babies.

Wiggle! Wiggle!

Oh, no! He's trying to escape!
So now I have 25 critters in my house! Well, the worms are technically outside, so I guess they don't exactly count. The other five are the kitties, and they now have their own page which you can access on the right sidebar.

I put my sweet worms in their box last night, after adding some nice newspaper bedding for them to live in. I counted them as I put them in, and encouraged them to eat up and grow strong! Also to reproduce! The more worms, the faster my kitchen scraps become fabulous compost!

Also, I have lots of pictures of my garden so far this year. Here they are!

The closer box has zucchini, the far box has yellow squash. They are growing nicely!

Here are the plants out under the tree in the yard. It's a nice sunny spot. I started all my seeds here, and so far, they're doing well!

Mesclun - a mix for salads.

Bachelor Buttons - I can hardly wait til they bloom!

Zinnia, they're gonna be so pretty!

Starting from the top right - thyme, oregano, cilantro, and basil. All will add deliciousness to my cooking!

Carrots! Orange, purple, yellow, red and white!

Bell and jalapeno peppers. They will be transplanted to their regular pots before too long!

Marigolds will look pretty next to the tomatoes!

Rosemary - the only surviving one from last year!

A ladybug visiting.

Peaches on my tree! The tree was a gift two years ago for my college graduation from the most fabulous roommate ever, Frances!
Another baby peach!

I love my peach tree, can you tell?

My new blueberry bush!

Asparagus! And my new variegated ivy right behind it.  I admit, I got it at Wal-Mart, but it's twice the size of when I got it. I put it in a bigger pot, and gave it lots of love!

The two on the right are cherry tomatoes, the two on the left are beefsteak tomatoes! Salad & salsa!

These are Roma tomatoes!

More Romas! I'll use these for spaghetti, pizza, and roasting! Also, you can see the green container, it is for my compost. I still need to drill air holes in it. But I've left the lid off for now for the worms. In the box in front of the green one there are broccoli plants, but they look kinda pitiful, so I'm gonna give them extra love before I post pictures.

Well, I hope you've had as much fun as I have today! I still get to go to class & discuss Levinas! I am a very lucky girl! Enjoy today!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Pad Thai

Can I just say that it was quick & easy? And very yummy!  I took a little to my neighbor, and she said it was amazing! I don't quite agree, I think I'll get better with practice, but it was nothing to turn the nose up at.  I used a recipe I found online at Chez Pim. The Recipe is long, but detailed and easy sounding.  I say the most difficult part was soaking the noodles. I used cool water as another site suggested, but that took forever, so I heated the pot I had them in. Next time I'll use very warm water. I also used cilantro instead of garlic chives, because I LOVE cilantro. The leftovers were good for lunch today!  Jeremiah grilled a bit of salmon, and brushed it with some of the Pad Thai sauce I'd mixed with honey. It was Delicious!
I served it in big bowls I got inexpensively at an asian market in Atlanta, I should get pics of them, they're kinda cool. Jeremiah likes the yellow one with dragons on it!

Okay, I took pictures!

I like the lotus flower in the red one!

Here they are in their home on top of the fridge with the bread, cereal, and cast iron cookware!  (Do you like my magnet? I do!)
I had hoped to get bowls like I had gotten several years ago in Seattle, but I couldn't find any at the store I was at, but I'll keep looking. They were blue & white and had an interesting texture to them. Someday, I'll have a place where I can actually keep all my stuff in the kitchen area! (preferably cupboards of some sort!)

Now to go back to school work, sad, because I enjoy playing here with you!  

In a few days, or next weekend, I'll take some garden photos, and show off all the yumminess we will enjoy this summer!

Hugs & such!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Puppy Kisses

He died sixteen years ago today. It won't be long now til I will have lived as long without him as I did with him.
I need to scan in more pictures of him.

Last night, our neighbors had a St Patty's party, and we went! It was fun! I played beer pong for the first time! I only got one in, but it was the last one, so I guess it was okay. Jeremiah was pretty happy with me. The neighbor's dogs, Leighton and Maui (beautiful pit bulls, and very loving), ran around and played underfoot. I got lots of sweet puppy kisses, and even nibbles! Leighton is my new boyfriend, and a very handsome one!  (I'll get pictures in the next few weeks & post so ya'll can see how beautiful a boy he is!) Emme & Brandon will be moving back west at the end of May, and we will miss them, they're good people.

I'm going to try my hand at Pad Thai this evening. I'll let you know how it goes...

Friday, March 16, 2012

An intellectual game

For my  first non-class blog, I am following the rules a friend posted. 

1. Post these rules.
2. Post a photo of yourself and 11 random things.
3. Answer the questions set for you in the original post.
4. Create 11 new questions and tag people to answer them.

A kinda old picture, but one I like. I felt very optimistic that day.

1. That day was July 1, 2008. It would have been my thirteenth wedding anniversary, but I had been divorced almost seven months by then. I knew I would sulk and cry if I stayed home, so I emailed my friends and acquaintances that I would be going to the local Olive Garden that evening to treat myself to dinner, and I would prefer not to be alone. Some wonderful ladies and gentlemen came to support me that evening. I felt loved and taken care of. Though I don't get to see many of these wonderful folks as much as I'd like, I know that I am still in their prayers, as they are in mine.

2. I miss my parents. Every day. I wish Daddy could have seen me finally get my college degree, and I wish he were going to be there when I get my Master's. He was a wonderful man, and no one will ever be as wonderful as he was, in my mind. I did not get anywhere near enough time with him. But I am glad I started trying to get to know him a little better when I did in junior high, or I would regret the lost years. I love you, Lewis Ellsworth Emery, Sr.
This is him in his garden, his shop is behind him. A great man.

3. I am a crazy cat lady. I love my cats more than is natural. I think my kitten (almost two years old now) thinks I birthed her. I don't try to dissuade her. Sometimes, I think I really did birth her. Space Ghost is a bit jealous, but I keep telling her that I love her the most (which is true), so she has no reason to worry. Hannah is a different story. I love her and would do anything I could for her, but we aren't intimate (in a mother-daughter way) like I am with Spike and Belly.  Jeremiah's cats are also quite wonderful, and I suspect he sometimes feels about his kittens the way I feel about Spike and Belly (though not the birthing part).

4. My everyday dishes don't match, and I like it that way. Though they do kinda go together, if you look at them as a whole, because they all look like some part of me. I buy a plate or two when I see one I like. I think I have 7or 8 different designs in my cupboard.

5. Kitchens should always be yellow, with red accents. It's cheerful.

6. I am inordinately proud of my garden. Daddy had one as I grew up that took up a big portion of our backyard. This year, I have cherry, roma, and beefsteak tomatoes, jalapeno and bell peppers, yellow and zucchini squash, broccoli, carrots, a blueberry bush, a peach tree, asparagus, thyme, rosemary, cilantro, basil, oregano, and I plan to  plant mesclun greens this weekend. I also have marigolds, bachelor buttons,  zinnia, and a variegated ivy. I keep thinking about gardenias, but I killed the one I got last year (though it was halfway there when I bought it half-price). I go out and talk to my plants each day. They seem to like it, because they are growing!

7. I am technically obese. I hate to say it, but it's true. I was getting into shape, a bit, then the damned medical crap hit again. Kidney stones, and now a cold. I WILL get back into it after Spring Break (two days left!)!

8. I like to watch Murder, She Wrote, Poirot, and Colombo. They remind me of Mother.

9. I am learning to cook more healthfully. It is not easy, because I love fried and fatty foods. I also have a sweet tooth. But making sweet things usually gets me in trouble, as I tend to eat them all at once. I have ordered and eaten a whole large pizza in one sitting on more than one occasion. 

10. I have a fairly well stocked liquor cabinet. I also have lots of beer in the closet (Jeremiah makes it), but I often have to make myself drink it. My goal is to have one drink per day, for my health, but I don't quite make that. 2-4 per week is about average.

11. I also have a lot of tea in my cabinet, but don't drink that nearly as much as I should. A cup or two a day would be nice, but I often forget til bedtime. I used to have several lovely teapots, but all but one are gone now. It's sad, really.

Now for the questions I am supposed to answer.

1. What is love? (Baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me, no more....)
   Love is the most important thing. It makes us human. Without love we are mere beasts. I say this knowing that animals are capable of love, which gives them the human qualities we see in our beloved pets. Loving is essential, but so is being loved. There needs to be a balance between the two for good mental and emotional health. Loving, or being loved, is not holding on to something so it can't get away, but being grateful for the time you have with the ones you love. Also, all kinds of love are necessary for a balanced life. The love of a friend, of a companion, a lover, and more. These should be filled by as many different people as possible, as one person, or a few people, are not enough to fill all the holes in one's soul.

2. Favorite poem? Why?
     Home Burial by Robert Frost. It's long, and it's about the loss of a child in infancy. I found it as a teenager, and it still speaks to me. But I can't quite explain it.

3. Favorite composer? Why?
    I don't have a favorite. I like Ravel, I like Pachobel, and a bit of Vivaldi. There are many others, but since I don't care as much about composers/artists as others, I don't really have a favorite. Ida Maria is one of my favorite bands. I also like the Puppini Sisters.

 4. Most traumatic experience yet?
    My divorce. Not that I would go back to being married to him. But it was so difficult. And I felt quite alone much of the time, even with the wonderful friends I had. I missed my parents terribly during that time. I think not having them around made it worse.

5. Did you know that children don't have ossified knee caps until they're nearly two?
    I did not, but I have seen the inside of my knee. I had surgery when I was 17, and got a copy of the tape. I think I still have it.

6. Favorite pre-historic epoch?
    Duh. Genesis.

7. God or No-God?
    Yes. Both. All at once. There is the Creator, who is purity, happiness, sadness, good and (what we call) evil all together. We humans see this as a single (or triune, if you're Christian) deity, but it is really not a singularity as we conceive it. It is Everything, and Nothing. Of course, as a Catholic, I experience this in a Catholic way, because it is the way I am wired. Then again, if this deity is my Creator, then that is the Reality, because that is what I experience, according to my wiring, which this deity has created.  (Was that circular enough?)

8. Would you live on the moon?
    No. But I'd like to visit. I'm too much in love with the Creation here to leave it for very long.

9. Dinosaurs - Dragons/Jesus Ponies/Elaborate hoax?
    Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. No. 

10. Evolution - Myth or fiction? ;)

      I say myth. Myth is, in part, our telling of origins in a way we can understand, so I think evolution fits within those parameters. Fiction would be a completely made up story that we knew to be incorrect, or false. I think at least part of the theory is true, even if it doesn't all seem quite right to me.

11. What would you do/Where would you go WHEN the Zombie Apocalypse occurs?
      Why do you think Jeremiah brews beer?  Two of my brothers have guns, So we'll probably all go to the one's hunting property with our beer. Good times.

Now for my questions for those of you who want to answer. Please give me a link if you answer them, I'd like to try to read them.

1. What was your first pet?
2. What author or book has changed you the most?
3. What do you want to be when you grow up?
4. Lipstick - red or natural?
5. Do you practice the faith you were taught as you were growing up? Why or why not?
6. How do you feel about mustaches?
7. Clint Eastwood or Sean Connery?
8. Is technical school as good as a college degree? Is it better? Why do some look down upon tradespeople? Should they?
9. What is your favorite eye color? What is your eye color?
10. Is health insurance necessary?
11. Is The Princess Bride one of the best movies ever?

This has taken longer than I thought, but I'm glad I've done it. I've had fun!