Chattering Magpie Past Web Log
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November 2001
November 25 2001
The cookie battle is OVAH.
I have made all my Christmas cookies in one weekend. I am done. No more cookie making. Except krumkake, a crispy rolled cookie that I'll need to make fresh.

I had a little trouble with the spritz. I tried to be careful about the amount of flour. Too little and the cookies don't hold their shape. Too much and the dough is too stiff to force through the cookie press. The dough was easy to handle, but inexplicably, the cookies just melted in the oven. Then I figured out I forgot to double the amount of flour. By that time I had lost track of how much flour I had added. So I just threw in another couple cups and they came out perfectly.

November 23 2001
T + 1.
Today marks the start of the holiday shopping season, a commercial-induced mania of rampant consumerism. I hate shopping. I love the internet. Expect gifts delivered by UPS.

Today also marks the beginning of my own personal cookie-making mania. Already I've made 6 batches of bourbon balls and chilled a double batch of wagon wheel dough. Tomorrow or Sunday we'll make spritz. I think I make the best bourbon balls. My secret? 101-proof Wild Turkey. Also making them in advance so they can age.

November 22 2001
Happy Thanksgiving.
Well, you can just call me "Peg-leg Pete". Last night at kung fu class I popped a calf muscle. So I'm gimping around a bit. Actually, it's not too bad, after a hot bath and some ibuprofen. Ibuprofen - the martial artist's friend.

E is busy in the kitchen preparing turkey for this evening's feast over at his brother's house. I am staying out of his way. Pies I made are thawing. Cats are alternately annoying and snoozing. Depends on the cat.

November 18 2001
Time is upon us.
Just got back from Thanksgiving shopping at our local Fred Meyer's. It wasn't as crowded as I expected, on a Sunday before Thanksgiving. We also picked up ingredients I need to start baking Christmas cookies this next weekend. Problem is, I never remember from one year to the next how many bactches of each I make.

We didn't quite win the turkey lottery, either. If you spent over $100 at Freddie's, then you could get a free turkey. Unfortunately, alcohol didn't count toward the total, so we didn't quite make it.

November 15 2001
Flitter flutter little butterfly.
I don't know about you, but my social calendar is filling up fast. I've got a two parties and a concert this weekend, Thanksgiving with the family, another dinner the following Saturday, then to New York a couple weeks after that. Christmas will be upon us before you know it and I haven't even begun to address holiday cards. Heavens to Betsy!

Did a system clean up and hard disk defragmentation last night. Computer seems to be running faster. Of course, I accidently deleted a few necessary files in the process, but no worries, a quick reinstall took care of it.

November 13 2001
To everthing there is a season.
An interesting turn of events in Afghanistan. Perhaps the question of bombing during Ramadan will be a moot one.

I think we can reasonably expect a Northern Alliance-dominated government to be slightly less repressive than a Taliban government. Meet the new boss, just the same as the old boss.

I am softening somewhat my stance on bombing during Ramadan. After all, we are all together in this world and we will have to live together for a long time. Any position the U.S. takes must be a carefully considered one, taking long-term ramifications into account. And it must be clearly explained to our allies and friends in the Middle East.

November 7 2001
Time for a frosty one.
Just this morning I was thinking of talking to E about putting bulbs, but it looks like we're too late. This morning there was frost on the ground. Oh well.

Another thing that comes around this time of year is Ramadan, when observant Muslims fast during daylight hours for a month. Muslim nations are calling upon the U.S. to refrain from carrying on bombing attacks during the holy month. Like hell we should stop bombing during Ramadan. No one better than Osama bin Laden knew Ramadan was only a couple months away when the World Trade Centers were attacked. Did he seriously think that A) we wouldn't respond or B) his forces would defeat us in that time? This is the political equivalent of a guy with glasses taking a swing at you then saying, hey you wouldn't hit a guy with glasses, would you?

To all Arab nations who want the U.S. to respect Islam by not waging war during Ramadan, I got three words:
Yom Kippur War.


November 4 2001
Touchy feely.
I have a touch of something and I feel "off". Not bad, just a little off: sickly taste in my mouth, sore throat, run down. Just about everybody's had some kind of bad cold, it's a wonder I've escaped so successfully so far.

We just got back from a weekend at the coast, visiting my dad. I delivered the lavender-grey cabled cardigan, the project that hung around my neck like an albatross. It was very well received and appreciated and I am done with it. On to more and different projects.

November 2 2001
I like winter.
I do like winter (though it's really fall now). Winter means sweaters, cozy evenings with a nice fire, knitting, mulled wine. Did I mention knitting?

We're planning a trip to New York in another month which poses a personal problem. Due to increased security at airports, sharp pointy objects are not allowed. That means knitting needles. Remember "The Shining"? All flying and no knitting makes Tracy a dull girl.