Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Apparently I have a thing for doors. Last week I repainted the door to our balcony.

Back Door

It had been a gray-blue that I wasn’t a fan of, and to top it off I’m pretty sure an indoor paint had been used on it, because it was chipped and peeling like nobody’s business. It took me two days to strip the paint, fill in the cracks, sand, fill in again, sand once again, and then put on three coats. It still didn’t turn out as good as I’d have liked, but I used an entire quart of paint. I wasn’t buying another.


I’ve also decided to do something to the door to my bedroom. I’m sorry about the horrible picture quality, but it was late, and there was very little light. It’s a Swedish Proverb. “Fear less, hope more. Eat less, chew more. Whine less, breathe more. Talk less, say more. Love more, and all good things will be yours.” Now I just need to find some paint, which is proving harder than I’d like. Just means a trip to WalMart is in order. Alas, today is far to hot for that bike ride.

-Cheers folks!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Halloween in August

I apparently had a fit of planning ahead this week. I decided on Sunday that I wanted to be a Star Fleet officer from Star Trek. The original series none the less. That meant finding a short red dress, buying a Star Trek costume, or making one. Buying a red dress seemed to be way too much hassle, and would end up being more expensive than I would like. Buying a Star Trek costume was practically impossible last year (even though I did leave it fairly late… October 30th anyone?), not to mention expensive. No way I would spent nearly $70 on a costume. So that left me with making one. I’ve made clothing and costumes before, there was no sweat there. The only problem is that I don’t have a sewing machine. Still, no huge problem, I’m a decent hand sewer, it just takes so long to do it. I set about searching to find a pattern. In doing so, I stumbled upon this awesome idea. I was sold.

Monday I went to WalMart to find a 2XL men’s shirt. I didn’t really care whether I was Command gold, Sciences/Medical blue, or Engineering red. I just wanted a colour that looked like the Star Trek colour. I ended up with a red shirt. I know, I know, say it with me, “Expendable”. But there were no good blues, and no yellows to be seen.

Step 1, get the outline right.

Halloween Costume

Unlike the girl in the video, I have hips. So I had to make sure to leave room for them. I also didn’t want it to hug my behind like hers did. But that’s the great thing about making your own clothes, you can make them how YOU want them. This step would have been much easier if I had had a friend to help me, but alas, I was all alone and impatient.

Step 2, Cut, sew.

Halloween Costume-2

Magically a 2XL tshirt has turned into a cute little dress. I found using safety pins rather than straight pins made it easier to try on the dress as I went.

Step 3, try it on. Prance around like a fool. Smile for days.

Halloween Costume-7

I was insanely giggly when I got it this far.

Step 4, Sew on rank bands.

(No picture, I was too excited)

I researched a fair bit to make sure I got the rank bands right. Not sure if I could do two bands, or just still with one. In the end I went with just one band, signifying that I am a Lieutenant. This site was really helpful.

Step 5, cut off centre V neck, sew in black band.

(No picture, really way too excited at this point)

Instead of going out to buy black fabric, I decided to sacrifice one of my man black shirts. An old work shirt did the trick. I sewed it in fairly easily, basically just making a large funnel neck, but it stood up too much, so I sewed down the V so it laid a fair bit flatter in the front.

Step 6, try it on for the umpteenth time, do a little dance, take quick picture in the mirror.

Halloween Costume-10

I had first thought I’d wear it bare legs. I do have a pair of bike shorts (as seen in Step 3), but they were too long. Getting a shorter pair would be no problem. There was just no way I’d go sans shorts. Then I watched a bit of TOS (The Original Series), and noticed that a number of the girls wore tights. I have tights! Not only do I have tights, I have two weights of tights so I can either be really warm, or just covered. I brought the boots back from Halifax after my last trip there. I’ve had them since… probably grade 9 or so.

I still need the insignia. I’m going to try to see if any of the comic book shops have any patches (I want a patch, but I’d take a pin too). If not I know I can get them online.

All in all, this cost me under $10 for the things I needed to buy. Plus, I now have a spool of gold ribbon, who knows how that will come in handy.

-Cheers folks!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Chicken Fajitas

I decided yesterday that I wanted something spicy. Now considering that when I was growing up the most commonly used spices in my house were pepper and salt, I don’t do your typical Mexican or Indian spicy. Fajitas sounded good to me. Not only are they easy, but you can make them as spicy or as not spicy as you want.

First off, the chicken. I bought two small chicken breasts, and sliced them up. I then let them marinade in the juice of one lime and about a tablespoon of chili powder. Only for about 30 minutes, but if I had had more time (and patience) I would have let them go for longer.


Next I had to slice/chop up all the veggies. My quick knife skills aren’t really the greatest (I haven’t sliced a finger yet, so that’s a good sign right?), but what I lack in speed, I think I make up for with precision. But then again, even that’s not the greatest. I had a red pepper, a green pepper, two garlic cloves, a jalapeno pepper, and a red onion. Funny thing is, One year ago the only thing on this cutting board I would have eaten was the garlic.


Once everything was all chopped up (remember the speed thing, I knew I had to chop everything up before I even started cooking), I tossed the chicken in a hot pan with a bit of oil. Cook until… cooked. 


Once done, transfer the chicken to a plate, and add the red onions, red and green peppers into the pan. I added a touch of butter just to help things caramelize a bit. I don’t like my veggies to be crispy, I like them cooked to a beautiful tenderness.


Add the garlic, the jalapeno pepper, and the chicken. Heat through.


Enjoy on pitas with cheese. If I had sour cream I probably would have added that in the mix too, but I didn’t have any.


The best part of this meal was the price. Here’s the breakdown: 

Chicken 3.56
Tortillas 2.50
Green Pepper 0.86
Red Pepper 1.35
Jalapeno 0.18
Red Onion 1.27
Total $9.27

So not bad. I omitted the price of the garlic (really, what’s 1/10th of a $0.45 clove of garlic?), as well as the price of the cheese (I have no idea how much of the block I used, but it was $3.99 and I used very little). It made me the one meal right away, as well as three containers of fixings for future meals. Just over $2 a serving? I think I did quite well.

-Cheers folks!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Chili and Rice

Around 7:30 tonight I began to wonder how long ago it was that I had bought a can of red kidney beans and put them in the back of my cupboard. I figured it was time to do something with it. A quick trip to the grocers and I was about the embark on an effort of making chili, but not just any chili, chili and rice.


Not pictured is garlic, oil, and rice. Chop up some garlic, the onion, and the peppers. Add to a hot thick bottomed pot with a bit of oil (and scare the bejeppers out of your housemate who thinks something is on fire when the steam is kind of crazy… my fault).


Saute until tender. Add the beef and the can of tomatoes. Cook through. Add 2 cups of rice. Stir really well to coat all the rice. Chop up as many (or a few) mushrooms as you want, add to the pot. Also add a the can of beans.


Add 2 or so cups of water, if it still seems sort of thick, add more (add more than you think you’ll need, the rice soaks it all up, you’ll probably end up having to add more during the next little while).


Cover and lower the heat. Stirring, until the rice is cooked and most of the water has been soaked up.


Dish into bowls, top with cheese, enjoy with beer. So good. My foray today gave me 9 portions, and those are fairly good sized portions too.

What have you been cooking lately?

-Cheers! gkd