Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tabulation #4 - Food Rulz! Food Rules!

Photograph by Vanessa V. Kilmer © March 31, 2009

1. Bombay Sapphire Gin and Vintage Tonic with Lime - This is my favorite alcoholic beverage. I will drink it without the lime if they are out of season or something stupid like that and I will suffer with some other brand of tonic if I absolutely must as long as it is not the disgusting diet variety but I will go without the drink entirely if my gin is not available. I really dislike the taste of Tanqueray.

2. Diet Coke - I used to drink lots of this but gave it up for the most part last year because of the sodium (I am old after all and have to watch these sorts of things) but I will not drink Diet Pepsi. I can tell the difference. I will go thirsty rather than drink DP.

3. Real Vanilla - I am one of the few women in the world who doesn't care for chocolate. Vanilla is my endorphin booster. Does that mean I am not a real woman, like when dust doesn't bother me?

4. Campbell's Cream of Tomato Soup - I could live on this especially over rice and with hot dogs sliced in. I want some now.

5. Miracle Whip has flavor. Mayonnaise is just grease.

6. Sauerkraut. No way. I don't care if my Austrian ancestors are turning over in their urns, I ain't eatin' rotten cabbage. Fresh, uncooked cabbage tossed in oil and vinegar is yummy though. Caraway seeds are evil taste bud invaders.

7. Cooked celery - It is very important to add celery to your cooking but make sure you cut the pieces very large so I can fish them out of the food or push them to the side of the dish. Cooked celery, with the flavor leached out is just disgusting.

8. Alaskan King Crab legs are the food of the gods. You get to play with your food and make a mess and it melts in your mouth. One doesn't need anything else except maybe some melted butter. Lobster on the other hand smells like a fish market.

9. Childhood favorites: Cornmeal mush topped with melted butter and Nesquik powder; cooked spaghetti noodles tossed in brown butter bread crumbs sprinkled with sugar; potato dumplings stuffed with plums tossed in brown butter bread crumbs topped with sugar; blueberry German style pancakes (between a pancake and a crepe) with sugar. Carbs rule!

10. When we were young (me around ten, my brother around seven) my father would bring home coconuts. He would drive a nail in one of the eyes and empty out the milk. Then he would wack them with a hammer and we would feast on the white, sweet flesh. Better than candy.

Milestone: For the first time since I began blogging, I have posted at least once each day of a month. All say, "Whoo, hoo!"

Monday, March 30, 2009

New Day, New Beginning

Photograph by Vanessa V. Kilmer © April 13, 2008

We take a deep breath and start anew, hoping for the blossoms to come again.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Thank You and an Explanation

Thank you all for your concern. The picture in the previous post is an aloe plant that was sitting in the backyard in the rain.

So here's my rambling, whining explanation of my poem.

I don't handle stress well and most of my stress is self inflicted. I am really very shy. I require tons of alone time to function properly. I have a tendency to worry situations like a loose tooth. I used to run from things I didn't like and now I have a hard time deciding when to walk away. I have been at my current job for over twelve years and I am mad at myself for not wanting to be there any more but the fact is the place is killing me. While I am more than capable of the work, it is not what I want to do. I feel guilty for not being more grateful and accepting of what I have but I feel chained by these things. I am mad because I feel like I am not appreciated and yet I am always asked to give more because I can. I have begun more new projects this past week which I know are in essence a great waste of my time because they won't make much difference in the grand scheme of things and yet they will eat up the energy I need to work on the plans I have made for the changes I want before my thirteenth anniversary and I never have enough recovery time so I was very miserable and cranky by the time Friday rolled around. None of the things I do to help manage stress (journaling, walking, meditation, deep breathing, praying, art, etc.) help with the tension. They just help to highlight how miserable the work/job makes me and that I need to get out because the cons are big and many and far outweigh the pros.

Aren't you glad you asked?

Poetry #3 - Tension

Photograph by Vanessa V. Kilmer © March 27, 2009







p r e s s i n g
r e p r e s s i n g
c r u s h i n g
e x h a u s t i n g
o p p r e s s i n g
d e p r e s s i n g

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Wordzzle #56

Photograph by Vanessa V. Kilmer © March 22, 2009

To see the directions and other players, visit Raven.

Ten word challenge: partition, imagination, salvation, mirror image, green power, highway, roasting marshmallows, serial killer, autograph, cartography

Sean the Vampire, part two (the story continues from here)

It must have been his imagination, but Sean smelled roasting marshmallows. Ghosts rarely ate sweets, so maybe fresh blood could be had behind the partition of the next building.

Green Power sounded like a store catering to the newest fad to come down the highway. Instead of seeing recycled products behind his mirror image in the shop window, Sean saw the autograph of a famous serial killer.

Next to the John Hancock, a sign read,

"We specialize in the cartography showing where this butcher lives."

Sean entered the establishment searching for a map. Maybe feeding on evil men could solve his dilemma and be his salvation...

Mini Challenge: cell phone, Big Mac, panther, legendary, poets corner

Talking on his cell phone
feeling very much alone
with a drive through Big Mac
as an afternoon snack
no longer a sleek panther
just a stodgy old banker
dreams of being legendary
gone on a wisp so airy
his own hope's mourner
to be in Poets Corner.

Mega Challenge: partition, imagination, salvation, mirror image, green power, highway, roasting marshmallows, serial killer, autograph, cartography, cell phone, Big Mac, panther, legendary, poets corner (written with the words in the order presented.)

The partition of Juniper's imagination prevented her from going insane. Salvation came in many forms and the thoughts in her head were the mirror image of what went on in her daily life.

She worked for a company called Green Power. Her job consisted of walking down the highway near her home looking for people roasting marshmallows. A sure sign of a serial killer, burnt puffed sugar was like an autograph of guilt.

Juniper's cartography abilities allowed her to send directions via cell phone to the office, where her boss, Big Mac, took notes. He used her information to stalk his victims like a panther, a legendary hunter.

Or this was just an hallucination in her brain's poets corner.

All 15 words in one sentence:

The legendary Big Mac sat behind the partition in The Poets Corner, talking on his cell phone to his mirror image, Serial Killer, in the band, Green Power, about the salvation of running down the cartography highway of his imagination regarding their new song A Panther Roasting Marshmallows which would surely lead to someone wanting his autograph.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

TWT #7 - Liberation

Photograph by Vanessa V. Kilmer © March 24, 2009

Quilly has a weekly game called Three Word Thursday. This is Week 7. Learn how to play and learn some new-old words.

These are the three words this week -

bacchante: a priestess or female votary of Bacchus; a drunken reveler.
queachy: yielding or trembling under the feet, as moist or boggy ground; shaking; moving.
jibber: to balk at doing something; defer action; procrastinate.


Tall, lithe, slightly effeminate and with a leopard skin riding low on his hips, Bacchus, tossed his golden curls over his right shoulder and sauntered out of his father's presence.

Jupiter liked his wine well enough, but now he complained about the celebrations.

Bacchus, as the god of liberation, helped his followers free themselves from the confines of their daily lives with wine. For a brief while, the humans could be as gods. Unfortunately, this year, a bacchante had stumbled her way over to Jupiter's temple, thinking she had found the public latrines.

Mercury, always in search of an advantage, tried blackmailing Bacchus for his Thyrsus.

Mercury had trouble getting girls, what with his flitting here and flitting there and never spending much time in one place. When Bacchus refused to give up his staff, Mercury flew to Jupiter's throne room to beg an audience with the king of the gods.

Jupiter had not noticed the desecration to his shrine. No one else wanted to be the bearer of bad news and make Jupiter grumpy.

Mercury gave Jupiter the message that Bacchus' follower had soiled Jupiter's sacred confines. Jupiter tossed thunderbolts in his anger, causing the floor of his royal residence to become queachy like a stormy sky. Mercury decided to flap his little wings and hot foot it out of there.

Bacchus did not jibber his the time away. He sent Jupiter a spicy little libation and a flagon of his best red. Father and son made up. People would continue the bacchanal every March 17.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

First Baby Pictures

My grandchild's first pictures. We do not know the sex yet and yes we will be finding out because my daughter would never be able to wait another six months. As it is, the next 4 weeks will be torture for her, right Babykins?

From My Sketchbook #4 - Saw

This is the saw on which I will paint scenes per my Father's request. It is primed and ready for the sketches.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Changes and Not

I was going to change my avitar again but this one is growing on me, so I think I will keep it. I made it last night instead of going to sleep and now I am exhausted. So, instead of some original writing today, I give you a poem from my great-great-great uncle.

"The air is like a butterfly
With frail blue wings.
The happy earth looks at the sky
And sings."
- Joyce Kilmer, Spring

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Rhyme and Reason

* * * Special Update: Quilly and Doug are two of my most favoritest people and they only ever entice me to try new things. I luvs them lots!

Because Quilly and Doug asked why I didn't have more butterflies on my blog, I no longer have my flapping butterfly profile picture. Blogger won't let me upload any animated gifs and I still haven't figured out how to put pictures in the background and that's why I haven't responded to all of your wonderful comments but i have read them. Thank-you!

But I did get to hear my grandchild's heartbeat Wednesday night, so all things considered I should quit my bitching, don't you agree?

***Update: I have figured out how to put an animated picture back in my profile. Now if someone will tell me how to put pictures in the background...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Wordzzle #55

Photograph by Vanessa V. Kilmer © February 27, 2008

The Wordzzle #55 game is brought to you by Raven.

Ten Word Challenge: humanity, shadow, ricochet, wrong, pluralism, mathematics, personhood, printing press, ink spot, choral society

Mini Challenge:
kingdom, take names, best seller, three times, inner demons

Mega Challenge - all words in story

Sentence Challenge
- all words in one sentence

Ten Word Challenge:

Sean the Vampire, part one

A shadow stumbled across the courtyard only to ricochet back to its owner when it passed the mirrored surface of the glass stagedoor to The Choral Society.

It was not true that a vampire cast no shadow or that he could not see himself reflected in a mirror. These were just fancies some fool with a printing press distributed to the ignorant masses.

It was true, however, that a vampire had no soul. Upon being inducted into the Great Undead, all humanity was lost and the pluralism of craving what one could no longer have warred with the need to feed on that which was forever lost.

Sean needed to feed.

While his long gone but not forgotten personhood knew it was wrong to suck a human dry, the mathematics of counting simple calories told him he needed human blood. He could live on rodents or larger animals, like dogs and cats, but human blood was more compatible with his demonic DNA and the calories were far richer. He even fancied on occasion that he could get some residual sense memories from a person's venous fluids.

Unfortunately, he found himself in a ghost town and ethereal bodies were not known for containing viscous substances and with no human trash around not even a rat scurried through the alleyways. . . . .


I take names from my personal kingdom and write stories that have meaning for me. They usually reflect my own inner demons, worries and fears that plague me at least three times in my dreams because it takes that long for my subconscious to get a word in edgewise. One day I will have a best seller for all of my angst.

Mega Challenge:

Sara’s life felt wrong to her. The hours she spent working at the printing press cast a shadow over her spirit. Dangerous and dirty, at least one ink spot on each flowered, cotton jumper she owned, her humanity fed the machine and crushed her mind.

Sara belonged to the choral society of the small town where she grew up and lived these past forty two years. Her personhood, her very vision of her true self, depended on her membership in this group.

She craved the singing. When she wasn’t practicing or performing in a show, she organized fund raisers, collected costumes and researched music for the director.

The pluralism of her meaningless day job and the all consuming passion she had for the group contrasted like day and night.

Stan, the director of the singing group called Sara to his office one night after practice. His office was really a refurbished broom closet, dim and dank and cramped. Sara was holding a Chinese auction to have his office redecorated as a surprise for the opening season in two months.

“Sara,” he said, “we have too many contraltos right now.”

He looked passed Sara’s right ear as he spoke.

“It is a matter of mathematics, you see.” Stan’s chair squeaked as he shifted his weight. His gaze slid over to the door behind her.

“You are the weakest singer we have, so I must ask you to turn in your songbook.”

Sara’s breathing became rapid and shallow. The ricochet of Stan’s words in her mind caused her a splitting headache.

Stan held out his hand to receive the entrance card to the only kingdom Sara ever wanted.

Stan asked for the sheet music three times but Sara’s inner demons drowned out all of his words. She no longer heard his voice, just a buzzing and high pitched squeal.

Sara felt ill.

“Here,” said Stan, “you can take names and phone numbers of the members so you can still help with the productions.” He reached to take the music book from her.

It was worth more to her than any best seller could be.

Stan pulled on the bound music to pry it from Sara’s hands.

She vomited on him as he got the book free.

All 15 in One Sentence:

In this kingdom, called The Choral Society, we take names of the humanity who have shadows on their hearts and inner demons marring their personhoods, people who do wrong at least three times (this is the mathematics of evil and none of that silly pluralism of good and bad in each us,) slap the list on a printing press and create a best seller called “Ink Spot on the Soul” and let the gold coins ricochet into our bank account.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Thursday, March 19, 2009

TWT #6 - Carrion

"Turkey Buzzard"
Photograph by Vanessa V. Kilmer © July 4, 2008

Quilly has a weekly game called Three Word Thursday. This is Week 6. Learn how to play and learn some new-old words.


Everyone is a zoilist nowadays. Critics are like sternutation without a tissue at hand.

I don't mind when people point out problems as long as they are willing to put forth solutions or put effort into changing things.

Complaining without attempting to correct is like the wasted paper in an anopisthograph or a scavenger waiting for something to die.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

From My Sketchbook #3 - Paper Tile

"Celestial Butterfly"
Paper tile by Vanessa V. Kilmer © February 27, 2008
Glitter glue, stickers, acyrillic paints and collage medium on poster board

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig

If you cheat, may you cheat death.
If you steal, may you steal a woman's heart.
If you fight, may you fight for a brother.
And if you drink, may you drink with me.

- Irish Proverb

Tabulation #3 - More About Me

Photograph by Vanessa V. Kilmer © February 5, 2009

1. What is your occupation right now? HRM

2. What color are your socks right now? Green and blue, stripped, fuzzy, warm

3. What are you listening to right now? Blessed silence

4. What was the last thing that you ate? Salsa and chips

5. Can you drive a stick shift? Yes. Everyday: a 5-speed.

6. Last person you spoke to on the phone? Honeybunches of Oats

7. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Yes, since I stole it from Dr. John via Quilly

8. How old are you today? 18,426 days or 442,224 hrs or 26,533,440 mins or 1,592,006,400 secs

9. What is your favorite sport to watch on TV? I don't really watch. I am only in the room to annoy by asking questions.

10. What is your favorite drink? Bombay Sapphire Gin & Vantage Tonic with a splash of lime

11. Have you ever dyed your hair? Have I ever not?

12. Favorite food? Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

13. What is the last movie you watched? Penelope

14. Favorite day of the year? Any day I am not working

15. How do you vent anger? Usually with smartass and sarcastic comments and as I have told, with "A look that could kill."

16. What was your favorite toy as a child? mud

17. What is your favorite season? Fall - because of the relief from summer

18. Cherries or Blueberries? Gosh, I like them all, fresh, without seeds

19. Do you want your friends to e-mail you back? If I asked them a question

20. Who is the most likely to respond? Anyone, like me, who has writers' block

21. Who is least likely to respond? Anyone who has an idea of their own

22. Living arrangements? Me, QV and the Codes

23. When was the last time you cried? Doesn't happen often except over bad commercials

24. What is on the floor of your closet? A bin of yarn, an archery bow and dress purses

25. What did you do last night? Drank wine, watched Leverage, visited with The Snoogs and Her Pyrate and read a book

26. What are you most afraid of? Not accomplishing my dreams

27. Favorite day of the week? Any day I am not working (see a pattern?)

28. How many states have you lived in? Only NJ but other countries

29. Diamonds or pearls? Emeralds

30. What is your favorite flower? Big, shaggy Spider Mums

Monday, March 16, 2009

PoW #7 - Dream Dentition

Jeff from A Word in Edgewise has a monthly project called Portrait of Words. He gives you several pictures as prompts so you can write a story. Go to his site to see how it works if you want to play and to see his story and others who join in the fun.

Dream Dentition

Stefan hoped for a modeling career. His friend, Deter, took a picture of him. He used this photograph as his “head shot” when he went to various auditions and agents’ offices.

He tried to get work in his dream field. Interviewers told him his teeth were too hitonious for glossy magazine covers. He needed dental work before anyone would even consider him for shoots.
He sold his car. He rode the bus to the three jobs he worked at different fast food joints. With overtime, it wasn’t long before he had enough money saved to go to the best dentist in town.
Dr. Ronnie, “Dentist to the Stars,” took x-rays, pictures and measurements of Stefan’s mouth for his “Before and After” album.
He told Stefan his teeth were worse than a bucket of old rusted screws. Dr. Ronnie pulled all of Stefan’s teeth and replaced them with beautiful, white and straight implants.
Dr. Ronnie sold Stefan’s teeth to a Llama farm for Llama dentures because Llama choppers are even worse than Stefan’s teeth.

With the proceeds from the sale of his dentition, Stefan got new photographs, nailed his auditions and now he is a very famous man with big fake teeth who expresses himself by jumping on couches.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Quivel Me This

"Hunting Blind"
Photograph by Vanessa V. Kilmer © July 7, 2007

Quivel is the term coined by Dr. John for the poetry based on Quilly's Three Word Thursday words.

Here is my one and only ever attempt because now my headache is worse after this mess.

Quivel Most Evil

Jhonas spelled his name with a digraph
which he explained in a long paragraph
in a journaled anopisthograph.

His decided apanthropinization
allowed for lengthy reflection,
mental and spiritual organization.

The choice of aloneness was not a mystery
Based on reasoning most paultry
And the use of much casuistry.

With a father who was tyrannical
And a mother who was autocratical
He had too much experience with the cynicocratical.

So he behaved quite raucous
And caused a huge fracas
When he his teacher did percuss.

The scene was very horrendous
The injury he inflicted very hideous
The screams and crying very hitonious.

He was sent where they practiced the Angelus
Hoping he would become more isangelous
Instead he ended up just isagelous.

Trying to be harmonious
He spoke and acted mellifluous
Being sort of symphonious.

He hung out with fanatics
That searched for relics
Priced by hungry numismatics.

Their comments about him were contumelious
Their thoughts of him scurrilous
Their behavior and treatment opprobrious.

Their scorn affected him plenty
So much so that he felt empty
His list of friends showing a definite paucity.

For once in his life he was perspicacious
When normally he was not sagacious
This once his thinking efficacious.

Deciding to scram
From an upsetting engram
His existence would become quondam.

Beyond a mere sternutation
Or even a simple evacuation
This called for complete detonation

With a past teterrimous
A present most malodorous
And a future looking poisonous

He did not want to be just another ant
He was tired of being volgivagant
And part of the proletariat

So gathering his cither
Packing up his zither
Off he did slither

To become some sort of satirist,
A critical, carping caricaturist
And spoiling, soiling, zoilist.

Name That Famous Dead Person Quotes

"Who is wise? He that learns from everyone. Who is powerful? He that governs his passions. Who is rich? He who is content. Who is that? Nobody." – Benjamin Franklin

"What is moral is what you feel good after, and what is immoral is what you feel bad after." – Ernest Hemingway

"Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information." – T. S. Eliot

"When angry, count four; when very angry, swear." – Mark Twain

"Why not whip the teacher when the pupil misbehaves?" – Diogenes of Sinope

“Which way did he go, George? Which way did he go?” - Willoughby, the hunting dog from the cartoon The Heckling Hare

"How you think when you lose determines how long it will be until you win." – G. K. Chesterton

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Name That Famous Dead Person (NTFDP) #1 - Quotes

Paint image by Vanessa V. Kilmer © March 13, 2009

1. "Who is wise? He that learns from everyone. Who is powerful? He that governs his passions. Who is rich? He who is content. Who is that? Nobody."

2. "What is moral is what you feel good after, and what is immoral is what you feel bad after."

3. "Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information."

4. "When angry, count four; when very angry, swear."

5. "Why not whip the teacher when the pupil misbehaves?"

6. “Which way did he go, George? Which way did he go?”

7. "How you think when you lose determines how long it will be until you win."

(Answers tomorrow, unless you cheat and Google™ them.)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

TWT #5 - Hitonious in the Extreme

Photograph by Vanessa V. Kilmer © July 7, 2007

Quilly has a weekly game called Three Word Thursday. This is Week 5. Learn how to play and learn some new-old words.

Hitonious in the Extreme

Something teterrimous has happened that affects us all in ways that are beyond our mundane imaginations. Once you become aware of this most horrendous of circumstances you may lose your sanity. I saw a grown man sob when he viewed the hideous news on the wires. The horrid situation must be rectified and each of us must do our part or we will all be responsible for the hitonious results.

Join the campaign wagon or trail or footpath at JD's blog and help her in her crusade. I am suggesting she go to "wikitionary" and try to add an entry of her own. There, I have done my part to further her cause. What about you?

I believe her word, mellifluous in its pronounability, has been used often enough now by some very clever communicators to qualify as a bonafide word.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Smartass Child

Photograph by Vanessa V. Kilmer © Sep. 16, 2007

Email from my loving child:

"excuse me Vanessa is grounded from blogging until her daughter being me Erika gets her German and ASL homework...we're suppose to be learning each of these and I haven't gotten a homework assignment in a long time...maybe if she blogs our homework she'd do it more often...so thats a better idea instead of giving me my German and ASL homework...BLOG IT!!

Love your daughter,
Honey Bunches of Oats"

The Bucket List - Part Two

Photograph by Vanessa V. Kilmer © July 7, 2007


51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud - still do
54. Gone to a drive-in theater — Oh, yeah. Lots of fun.

55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business - Working on it now
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia — Known some Russians
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving - no way in hell
66. Visited a Nazi concentration camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy - books, of course
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar — yup
72. Pieced a quilt — I love quilting, especially by hand
73. Stood in Times Square — yup
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job — more a mutual quit/fire sort of thing
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person - the one in Pennsylvania
80. Published a book - not yet, but soon
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car - only once, I hate car payments
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating - prepared one someone else killed
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury - a mock jury in high school
91. Met someone famous — a few sports players
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby — The Snuggle Doodle Lumps
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Ridden an elephant

Monday, March 09, 2009

The Bucket List - Part One

Photograph by Vanessa V. Kilmer © July 7, 2007


1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world - prefer Seaworld
8. Climbed a mountain - hiking not mountaineering
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo - in sixth grade
11. Bungee jumped - ah, no way, never
12. Visited Paris — one place I am not interested in
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea - from shore though
14. Taught myself an art from scratch — several
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight - still do
22. Hitchhiked — was picked up many times by kind strangers when my cars broke down
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill — duh!
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person — many times, lived there briefly
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community – but no more now that I know their feelings on animals
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied - but not enough for others
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant - does a drink count?
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing - other kinds though
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Poetry #2 - Eleutherios

"Stone Hearted"
Photograph by Vanessa V. Kilmer © February 8, 2009


There once was a man named Bart,
struck by the wee archer's dart.
Feeling exquisite pain
from Cupid's good aim -
empassioned his cold, dead heart.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Recipe #1 - Meaty Balls: The Best You Ever Eated

"Meaty Balls"
Photograph by Vanessa V. Kilmer © March 6, 2009

Meaty Balls Recipe

These Meaty Balls are the best party food you will ever serve. From reading this recipe, I know you won't believe me and who could blame you. As a writer, I am born to lie. But I'm not fibbing here. Let's just say I am working on my non-fiction.

I make these for every backyard picky-net we have; I make them every year for our company Christmas party. When I don't make them people want to know where they are. A friend took the recipe and makes them as fund raisers for her daughter's cheer-leading group each year.

I'm feeling cranky this week, so I did a double 666 theme in writing up the recipe, but the amounts are correct.

6 quart slow cooker (Turn it on high to heat that sucker up.)

6 pounds, fully cooked, frozen, Italian style, cocktail size meatballs (I think they are 5/8 of an ounce.) You can call them hors d'oeuvres size if you are the snooty type. My aunt, who originally gave me this recipe, made the meatballs from scratch and you can do that if you are an over achiever, but your efforts will not make them taste any better.

60 ounces ketchup (Use Heinz because I own stock in the company. No, see there I lied. Sorry.)

6 times 4 ounces of beer (QV likes Rolling Rock, so I use that so he can get mad that I am "wasting" his beer.)

6 dashes of garlic powder (I like garlic, so I add lots and since everyone will eat it, the kissing later won't be too awful. Oh, you know you have those kinds of parties.)

6 shakes of onion powder (Make sure you are not using garlic salt or onion salt. You will get plenty of salt in the ketchup and blowing up like a water filled balloon is not attractive at parties.)

Start this as early in the morning as possible. I usually begin them around 6am.

Open the bag of frozen meaty balls. Dump them in the slow cooker. Put the lid on.

In a big sauce pot, empty the entire contents of the ketchup bottle. Pop open a beer. (Drink it if you have relatives coming over during the day. If you do this step, you'll need extra beer.)

Open another bottle of beer. Pour some in the ketchup bottle, put the lid on and shake the bottle. This is so much fun. When you open the bottle, ketchup will explode all over the kitchen. I guess I should have warned you, huh? Pour the fizzy beer from the ketchup bottle into the sauce pot. Add the rest of the beer from the can. (We use both bottled and canned beer in our house, at the same time.) Add a second bottle of beer to the ketchup in the pot.

If you like things on the milder side don't add the garlic and onion powders. Otherwise, shake in however much you like. I do about a good heaping tablespoon of each. Use a whisk and swirl it around.

Turn on the flame and boil it for a few minutes, mostly just to make it hot. You don't want to cook out all of the alcohol. You'll need to calm the children down later. Oh, and watch out for the lava like bubbles that can erupt on the surface.

Pour the hot sauce over the meaty balls. Ooops, I forgot to tell you to uncover the slow cooker first. That's what beer at the crack of dawn does to you. Cover the slow cooker back up when you have the sauce in there.

Leave it on high for a couple of hours, then turn it down to low for another six. They will then be ready to eat at 2pm, which is perfect for me, because I am usually napping by then and my guests can take care of themselves.

The longer they cook, the better they taste. I would try to describe the flavor but it can't be done. They do not taste like ketchup and they do not taste Italian. They are truly different.

Eat them on club rolls or by themselves, so you can eat more of them.

They freeze well too but you really won't have any left. People will take them home if they haven't eaten them all.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Thursday, March 05, 2009

TWT #4 - 2012

"Creation and Destruction"
Photograph by Vanessa V. Kilmer © July 26, 2008

Quilly has a weekly game called Three Word Thursday. This is Week 4. Learn how to play and learn some new-old words.


The zither remained untouched by mortal hands. A breeze vibrated its strings, teasing a memory of its former glory from the instrument. A paucity of humans caused the music to die. Apanthropinization struck every item that had once been in and of and from man.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

From My Sketchbook #2 - Duality

Original Art by Vanessa V. Kilmer © Junel 1994
magic markers on paper

I had to show the art instructor a portfolio to join her studio on Wednesday nights. I hadn't shown since college. I was nervous. This was one of the pieces I included. She's the founder of our county artists' guild and very well known in our area. I was pleasantly surprised by her comments.
I am working on the sketches for the saw for my father. I'll post them next week.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Tabulation #2 - DVR

"DVR TV & Wii™"
Photograph by Vanessa V. Kilmer © March 1, 2009

TV Shows I DVR

1. Burn Notice
2. Leverage
3. Lie to Me
4. Moonlight
5. Mystery!
6. Masterpiece Classic
8. The Mentalist
9. In Plain Sight
10. Dollhouse

Photo question #1: Can you see the pink Wii™ controller reflected in the black glass of the TV stand?

Photo question #2: What movie from 1993 is on the TV screen?

Photo question #3: What time did I take the picture?

Monday, March 02, 2009

One Hundred Words #2 - Frosted Folioles

"Frosted Folioles"
Photograph by Vanessa V. Kilmer © February 3, 2009

Frosted Folioles

White wind whipped around the bamboo. The narrow, evergreen leaves lifted in the frozen tempest despite the thick glove of snow.

Sparrows and squirrels hid from the blowing weather in the pavilion made by the frosted stalks and folioles.

Jenny sheltered along with the other frightened summer creatures during the storm. She snuck in the back garden during the night. She stayed into the daylight hours, warded within the womb of the weald.

She hugged her gravid belly. It rumbled in hungry response. The vagaries of life had brought her to this venue but she vowed to survive Winter's worst.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Poetry #1 - Bare Naked Lady

Original Art by Vanessa V. Kilmer © April 1995
pen and watercolor on watercolor paper

Bare Naked Lady

grainy liquid
over my tongue
coats my throat
stomach full
filled filling
feeling cocoa

(an ode to Godiva™ hot chocolate)

update: Rabbit, rabbit!