‘Twas the night before Christmas

December 26th, 2016 | Posted by Mush in Admissions | Family | Love - (0 Comments)

In which we each opened a present on Christmas Eve.

I got a ring!

Oooh! Pretty!
Terrible picture brought to you by low light and my cell phone.

According to the listing, it’s a “created Alexandrite pear ring, set in .925 sterling silver with rhodium finish.” I have no idea what rhodium is.

When my grandfather came home from WWII, he brought back a small collection of unset gem stones. When each of his kids, including my mother, graduated from high school, they got to choose a stone and have it set into a ring.

So they’ve all got these rings set in white gold with giant pink stones (pink sapphires? I’m really not sure what they are, but they’re HUGE and they’re PINK) that are unique, and yet still sort of part of a matching set. They’re all different shapes: square, round, rectangular, etc. And my aunts all wear their rings to this day.

When I graduated high school, I got a small Alexandrite — there were no huge pink rocks left, after all five of his kids — and my grandmother had it set in white gold for me. It was so cool and I loved it! A custom-made ring, just for me! And it was a color-changing stone, with tones of purple and aqua. It was my first piece of ‘real’ jewelry and I should still fucking have it.

Buuuuut I don’t. It got stolen out of my bathroom during a party in junior college. (I’ve always been bummed about that. It should have become a fucking heirloom, but my dumb ass lost it. God only knows where the ring is now.)

Then I saw this ring and it reminded me both of my own ring and the rings of my aunts and uncle, so I put it on my wishlist and GOT IT FOR CHRISTMAS! Yay!

He got fuzzy plaid lounge pants.

In which there are a variety of reversible, seasonally appropriate motherfucking handmade placemats!!!

When your mom is psychic:


You buy a table and you think, damn, some placemats sure would be great.


Place mats

They’re like little blankets for your table, really.

Old Fashioned Frosting

August 29th, 2015 | Posted by Mush in Family | Food | Recipes - (0 Comments)

In which there’s a recipe from my grandma.

I came across the image below from a few years ago, remembered how really delicious that frosting was, and realized that I have no idea how to make old fashioned frosting.

So I googled it. Weird results.

(I mean, I’m off carbs right now, but it’s unlikely that I’ll never eat another cupcake. A girl never knows when she might be called upon to produce, you know, delicious treats for some event or another. Best remedy this lack of knowledge!)

Low tea

So I emailed my G’ma and asked her for the recipe. This is what she said:

Somewhere out there there is probably a recipe for that frosting with accurate measurments but this is my way.

You will need powdered sugar, butter, or if you want white frosting use shortening, and some liquid.

I melt about two tablespoons of butter, add about equal amount of cream, and slowly add powdered sugar. A little liquid absorbs a lot of sugar, so add slowly mix until spreadable.

Then the fun begins, add any flavoring you like or spice, food coloring for fun. Powdered cocoa if you want chocolate. A tiny touch of mint is good in choc. Orange juice or lemon juice can be used instead of cream. Top with whatever.

I have used molasses in place of cream when frosting a spice cake. The more sugar used and liquid the more frosting you get till finally you can frost dozens, so that is why you add sugar slowly. After a few times you will have it perfect for your project.

Basically a procedure for making delicious frosting in any flavor in any quantity! And much better than that crap in a tub from the grocery store, in my opinion, although I have been known to eat that stuff by the spoonful on occasion.

In which many exciting changes — a move, a job change, and not one but two opportunities for travel — are afoot!

The lease is up here, and while this apartment has some incredible amenities — such as southern exposure, a gas range, amazing cross-ventilation, and a wonderful view of a park with a pond in it — it also happens to be located in a rather industrial-sized, non-walkable bedroom suburb, so we’ve recently signed a new lease for an apartment in or very near Uptown.

“Uptown” is the neighborhood directly south of downtown Minneapolis, and it’s eminently walkable as well as featuring access to Eat Street, the Midtown greenway, and lots of groceries and bars and venues.

The new place has off-street parking for Scott and a storage locker for my bike (I’m hoping), wood floors, a larger kitchen, a bathroom practically identical to the one we have here, A GAS RANGE, a residential neighborhood that will probably be quiet, and a killer location for walking and biking to stores and bars and restaurants. (Well, during the nice months of the year, anyway.)

We’re still waiting on a move-in date from the new landlord (the current tenant hasn’t moved out yet), but it should be within the next few weeks.

I gave notice at Home Depot a couple of days ago. It’s been… interesting employment for me, and required a lot of comfort zone-stretching (sharing a desk, never sitting down, limited online access, steady physical exertion, etc). I can’t say I haven’t enjoyed any of it nor that the physical component hasn’t been good for me, but I’m incredibly happy to have a concrete end date in sight (since knowing it was temporary was sometimes the only thing that kept me sane).

The very day after giving notice I got a call back from a credit union two blocks — 600 feet from door to door, as the crow flies — from the new apartment! After signing the lease I’d used Google Maps to reconnoiter the area looking for work, and lo and behold there was a job posting for a part-time teller! In the neighborhood!

How great would that be? A two-block commute to a part-time job in a quiet environment? No nights or weekends or holidays? To work when Scott’s at work? (They’re open 9-6 on weekdays and 9-12 on Saturdays. I’d never have to work two solid months of 8-hour weekend shifts again! Even if I have to work every Saturday morning forever, it would still be a thousand thousand times better than the insanity that is the home improvement warehouse retail schedule.) Had a lovely pre-interview by phone today with the credit union’s HR; I have an in-person interview at the branch next Tuesday. So excited!

If it doesn’t work out — which it might not, of course, because they don’t post the pay range even in the job description and it might be minimum wage, which I’d probably pass on even with the ideal location and nearly-ideal schedule — I think I’ll just take a couple months off and get back into some semblance of a routine.

After a year of being scheduled anywhere from 6 AM to 10 PM, seven days a week, 363 days a year, I now have nothing like regular mealtimes and am usually not hungry when I have to eat or am starving when I can’t. Sleep schedules are utterly blown, and I’ve nearly lost my ability to sleep when I have to because I’m either inappropriately not tired or totally exhausted for whatever my schedule requires of me. I’ve never really considered myself a routine-oriented person, but that might be because I always had much more of one than I’ve had this past year. Random scheduling fucking blows and I feel deep sympathy for all those who are trapped in it.

Anecdotally, the new place is two blocks — normal city blocks, not the monstrosities here in the old apartment’s neighborhood — from a 30-year old breakfast joint called The Egg and I. HOW COOL IS THAT. There is nothing that close to this apartment but grass, trees, other apartments, roads, and weeds. Oh, and a pond.

So, the Employment Of Misery is basically over, a new lease is signed, I’ve started packing, and I already have an interview for a highly desirable position in the new neighborhood. On top of that, we’re going to see Amma in Chicago in a couple of weeks, and we have plans to visit Walla Walla in mid-August for a Morgan family reunion/get-together!

Totally stoked. Now I just need to put more stuff in boxes and find something nice to wear to next week’s interview!

Family everywhere!

September 17th, 2012 | Posted by Mush in Family - (1 Comments)

In which I’m glad to be back at work where it’s quiet.

On Friday, my maternal grandmother turned 90. The entire family descended upon the house to celebrate. This is many, but by no means all, of them:


(I appear to be related to a bunch of white people.) (This never ceases to surprise me, for some reason, even though I’ve always been related to them.)

Friday night I drank heavily with my brother. (What.) (It’s a Morgan family tradition.) Saturday there was a 4-hour party at the museum and I think there must have been 80 guests. Saturday night there was a family-only function at the house; I declined the champagne and went to bed as early as I could. Sunday morning there was a brunch and family picture shoot.

By Sunday afternoon I was so exhausted I retreated to my room and knit quietly in between taking out garbage, doing dishes, cooking, and in general trying to be helpful while not getting sucked into any even remotely political discussion (most of my relatives are conservatives).


All that aside, I know a lot of people who don’t have much family. I’m blessed and I know it, although I was pretty grateful to bail out of there this morning and come to work where it’s quiet!

Christmas Day

December 25th, 2011 | Posted by administratrix in Family - (1 Comments)

In which I hope yours was lovely.

Christmas Day

In which there’s a little travel, and some work and school.

Toni agreed to drive me to Portland if I paid for gas. Since there was no bus service and the train was full, I was grateful she did so. We rolled out of Walla Walla on Saturday just before noon.

She dropped me off at Leila’s just after dark. (I went to high school with Leila. We lost touch for years, but found each other back when I was married and lived on a farm in Iowa. I’ve seen her a couple times since then.) (more…)

The Family

September 17th, 2009 | Posted by administratrix in Family - (0 Comments)

In which I’ve seen in the past week both of my parents and all of their siblings and nearly all of their siblings’ spouses and children.

For no particular reason, both of my parents came to town to visit this week. They’ve been divorced for twenty-seven years, so it’s strange that they should both have shown up at the same time. Made my week pretty busy, actually.

My dad rolled into town in his RV with his brother on board, and we all went to see my aunt, their sister, for dinner. There was a large feast at my house with my mom and all of her siblings. My dad took me out to lunch on Tuesday and out to dinner last night. There was ice cream cake at the house for G’ma’s birthday. Suffice it to say, the diet suffered this week.

Hanging out with family is informative. I know from having looked at a bunch of my female relatives exactly where my tits are going to be in twenty years. I have learned that my dad and I are extroverts and my mother and brother are introverts. I listened to the Hall women tell me most emphatically that I’m not pudgy. I rediscovered that Morgans will drink until the bar closes.

Pretty cool, really, to be back around family. In the 15 years I spent in the Midwest, I saw my mom twice and my dad maybe five times, and the rest of my family only once: the weekend I got married. I didn’t really have anyone around to bug me about birthdays, holidays, family events, grave sites, and the like.

I was an island. I liked it.

But I also like being back in the middle of my family again. Walla Walla is where my parents are from; this is where my relatives come to come home.

Of course, this relative-fest in the middle of September probably means that no one will be around for the holidays, but that’s okay. G’ma and I will eat cookies and drink mugs of tea without them.

Yet Another Weekend in Review

September 14th, 2009 | Posted by administratrix in Family - (1 Comments)

In which this is a very special OMG SO MUCH FAMILY edition.

Friday after work I jogged home and took a 3-minute shower. The boys picked me up in the band van at 6:30 and we drove to an RV park in Wallula to play the opening night of a biker rally.

When we arrived, there was no one there but the band, the sound guy, and the dozen employees of the rally.

Rally in the Valley setup

We set up. Darkness fell. The only lights on the whole property were the two on the bandstand. A biker chick took her top off on stage, and a biker dude ran around with a giant latex cock hanging out of his fly. By the end of our last set, there were probably 80 people there.

I heard there were about 800 people the next night. Sigh.

Saturday, MY WHOLE ENTIRE FREAKING FAMILY SHOWED UP IN TOWN OMGWTFBBQ. Moms, dads, aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, oh my! After dinner with the maternal side, my brother and I went out with our uncle Dangerous Dan (our dad’s brother) and painted the town about fifty shades of red. There are no pictures yet because my cell phone was dead and the other pictures are on digital cameras at home.

Sunday I was pretty useless and laid around nursing a hangover when I wasn’t chatting with my mom or my aunt at the house.

Today I’m sitting at work talking on the phone and doing my job, but am mostly waiting for PAY DAY. Gonna buy a plane ticket to NEW YORK CITY tomorrow, oh yes I am.

New York! I’m comin’ to visit you!

In which I love them but they’re totally exhausting.

When I got home from work last night, the house had been verily overrun by persons sharing my genetic material. It was insane: aunts, uncles, cousins, even a brother – they were all over the place.

Dinner 08/12/09

We ate on the patio. There was a bucket of KFC (I avoided it), sweet corn, and potato salad. There were three half-gallons of ice cream (I avoided them, too). I wasn’t hungry but I ate anyway because G’ma told me to and I know better than to argue.

I dutifully brought out three cameras to take the Four Generation photo below (an Argus C3, the Polaroid Land 103, and my cell phone):

Dinner 08/12/09

It was already too dark out for the C3, but I shot a frame anyway. The Polaroid came out technically nice (I LOVE HAVING A BAG FULL OF FLASH BULBS!!!) but only one of my subjects was actually looking at the camera at the time. (Several other family members took the same picture, so I’m sure at least one of them came out.)

I did the dishes afterward (for which my uncle Blue gave me a quarter and told me I was “a good kid”). I tidied up the kitchen. I took out the trash.

Later I escaped into my room, but my aunt came and found me. We talked until a quarter to twelve, yawning and blinking. I finally had to tell her I had to get some sleep. I crashed out so hard that seven o’clock arrived pretty much instantly.

This morning I had girl-cousins on the living room couches, an aunt in the front room, and a G’ma about to leave town for a week giving me lists of things to do while she’s gone. Apparently I’ll be watering the plant on the front porch daily, bringing in the mail, getting my brother to mow the back yard once it stops raining, and eating two large tomatoes and half a loaf of bread. You know, before they go bad.

Dinner 08/12/09

But all chores aside, I have the whole house to myself for an entire week! Ah, blessed solitude, I shall bask in your silence. And run around nekkid.