Category Archives: all posts

This cat is so pretty. 

Also I spent 30 minutes reading about journaling apps to help me write more regularly and had to snap out of it because dude. I HAVE A BLOG.

What it’s like to be married to me

This is the wall at Lorelei’s. I was staring at this amazing tiger head girl when she asked Mike what it was like to be married to me. “Like this?” I suggested. Yes. Just like it. 

Only the 6th day of the year and it’s cat photos galore.

Hard to believe this is the same cat who bit me on the shoulder this week and huffed off in a snit. She’s a sweetheart mostly, but still very opinionated. Mike, now, always a sweetheart – he suggested that Ella is getting sweeter because I’m rubbing off on her. Aw! Romance! 

Wearing a cat scarf

It’s just that Ella Olga Babygoat Torturekitty Murderclaws sat down right on my neck to snuggle. That’s all.   

Carcasses everywhere. 

I covered for our field team today and woke up at 425 to drive 100 miles to my regular construction site. Which is not to complain – it’s a thing that lots of people do. 

I love construction sites for the weird stuff you can find. Today took the prize, though. Not sure who is responsible — coyote or vulture. 


Somebody’s gonna have to clean this up, you know. You can’t just leave your carcasses everywhere!

Checking crossword answers

Crosswords are something I feel like I ought to be able to do – I know a lot of things, and a lot of weird words! But they are definitely a skill set that I haven’t developed. We started taking the local weekly paper of record, and it’s got crossword puzzles in it – so I am practicing. Tonight Mike helped me finish, and we needed to check all the answers that relied on sports personalities. The closest I’ve ever gotten!


Happy Birthday

Woke up in PGH and drove home. Photo spotted in Altoona. Note the red on red suspenders/shirt combo.   

Hello, 2016

Some feel that the things you do on January First set the stage for the rest of the year. I’m not really that kind of superstitious but I do appreciate that we start the year kissing extended family in Ohio and then driving to stop at a dear friends on the way home. Mike, Twelve, Sixteen and I are great at road trips and I’m hoping for some good ones in the year ahead. And really what are hours on the road if you have an evening of laughter ahead of you? 


I’m not calling this a resolution but I plan to work on my social media this year. I have several places I’m present and I feel like I’m not at quite the right level of engagement for any of them. This is one space I value for me, and I was shocked to find it’s just all tweets for several years. I try to restart this writing thing a lot, but one thing that have a reasonable track record with with is posting a photo a day. So! here goes. Hello, 2016. 

Easter Sunday

Took the boys out and made them try running in the morning. Thirteen is in love with Lacrosse but we are trying to work with him on his stamina so he’s amazing.

Then there was a playground.


Made a cake to bring to dinner at my in-laws house! This Nigella Lawson flourless chocolate cake is consistently more delicious than I think it will be.


We dropped the boys off with their mom and came home to gorge on cookies and last season Doctor Who. Too late to bed, now struggling to get up. Sigh!

2013 Recipe 2: Garlic Soba Noodles

Last night we didn’t have the little dudes, so I was free to make whatever I wanted, aka, weird foods I know they won’t eat. This tortures me, y’all. I wish they were interested in eating the weird foods I like to cook. I even wish they were interested in trying weird foods and then having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner. For that matter I wish they were interested in JELLY. What kind of kid doesn’t like jam or jelly? It is SO HARD to figure out what these dudes will eat!

Sans children, last night I made Garlic Soba Noodles.


So super good, y’all!

This recipe probably took about 30 min. start to finish, but I say probably because there was a bunch of puttering and interim dishes washing. Also I didn’t have bread crumbs, so I substituted smashed saltine crackers, and I didn’t have fresh greens, so I substituted frozen curly kale from my winter CSA. Also no green onions, so I diced half of an onion that was languishing on the counter and cooked it up before throwing in the frozen kale. We will probably cook tofu like this a lot in the future – it was really super good.

Also, I don’t usually use much (any) salt in the cooking so last night I took a chance and followed the recipe and it had a LOT of salt in it (like, a couple of teaspoons, probably – all pinches and dashes) and darn it if it wasn’t delicious. There is, you know, a strong folk tradition of tales admonishing people to put salt in their food. It involves princesses, and sometimes kings full of needles, and sometimes pomegranates full of diamonds. I think they’re on to something.

This is a #35in36 post, and I’m already a day behind. Darn it! two posts today it is!

Science project

Mister Nine has a science project due this week so we’ve been discussing hypotheses and experimentation procedure for a few days now. He has an exciting idea about electricity and what materials may or may not conduct it, and we are developing an experiment to prove his hypothesis to the entire fourth grade.

Turns out it can be pretty helpful to have a mad scientist for a dad and stepmom who writes up scientific methodology and results at her day job.

Notes from London

No pictures of the wedding just yet, nor of anything we’ve been looking at.

  • rye is so neat. I could probably spend a good while there relaxing and walking around.
  • wedding = fabulous! It was beautiful. The bride and groom were beautiful.
  • I’m so envious of all the people on motorcycles. Mike and I have a secret plan to come back and spend a few days in London, a few days on motorcycles, and the Paris.
  • Tomorrow we are going to the Victoria and Albert museum, having cream tea, and possibly also eating at a pub in the evening.
  • Jet lag went ok – we powered through.
  • English breakfast! Poached eggs on toast with grilled tomato, mushroom, and bacon. And so much tea. Lovely.
  • We are visiting with peeps tonight before the bride and groom jet off on their honeymoon.

    Oh! And I finished a hat. It didn’t come out at ALL how I thought it was, but it’s cute none-the-less.




    Originally uploaded by karinajean.

    My sweet gramma in 1999. She just passed away this week at 93. I love her dearly.

    That time we made the boys wear ties


    Originally uploaded by karinajean.

    We got all dressed up for my cousin Sara’s wedding. It was the first time the boys met my whole paternal extended family and we looked pretty sharp, if I do say so. I asked my dad to snap this photo before we went in to the wedding for a minimum of rumple-ability.

    now that we have such sets of dress clothes for the boys – purchased at some economic premium and at very last minute – I am brainstorming for ways we can dress up more over the summer. they will be tortured, but we will look SO GOOD.

    we went hiking yesterday with the boys…


    Originally uploaded by karinajean.

    Found this heart on the trail. aw! perfect for father’s day. even tough guy Thirteen took a photo of it when we wandered past. d’awwww…

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    Retirement Plans

    karinajean: hey if I retire at age 62 I will qualify for $x,xxx/mo social security benefits.

    Mike: I’m somewhere in there too, we should be ok, with the paid-for house, tax discount, massive garden, chickens, goats and cow.

    karinajean: all we need cash money for is to pay dem durn revenuers. we can make, grow, and steal everything else we need, sweetheart!



    well, balls. I totally deleted my header image and I can’t even REMEMBER if there was a background image, but if there was, it’s gone now too. yet another reason to phone it in this afternoon and head home. garumph.

    It’s just a weekend trip!

    It’s hard to tell but my hatchback is full of poorly packed bags for our whirlwind trip to Pittsburgh. It IS a costume party occasion, so we need extra gear. And I always bring a giant sack of knitting with me and rarely knit much at all. Can you believe that michelle and I comfortably packed for a week of camping in this car?