Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Back to the Dreams

This is the last post Zoe and I will ever do in 2009.

We'll try to make it good.

This particular dream that I'll tell you about today is extra timely due to the circumstances currently happening in the Pad.

You see, over the last few weeks, our little Rosie the Cat (pictured below on her Red Stool) has been feeling a bit under the weather. A little bit of a sniffly nose. A tiny bit of a cough.

Sweet, Gray Rosie

And in the week, this has passed onto our sweet Miss Emmie (a.k.a. "The Lamb") as well. Same thing-- sniffly nose, sneezing, a bit of a cough.

Apparently, they somehow caught a cold.

(Both of them are feeling much better at this point, by the way. And The Chick has assured me that Zoe will not catch the cold. Interspecies blah blah blah. No worries.)

The point of telling you about the cat cold is to say that "the Whites" (being comprised of the White Cats, Miss Emmie, and Mr. F. Scott Fitzgerald) normally sleep in the basement.

"The Whites"

"Why do they have to sleep in the basement?" you may ask. "How is that fair, when the rest of the Animals, including a certain RABBIT have the run of the house all night long?" (Actually, I'm sure you wouldn't dis the Rabbit in such a way, so maybe that went a little far. Sorry. I take it back.) But you may still ask why the Whites sleep in the basement, mightn't you?

And I might say this: Because when they sleep upstairs, THEY KEEP EVERYONE AWAKE!!!

It's true. They used to sleep upstairs, and for many years, we simply never slept. At least, not through the night. We slept in fits and spurts only, and we adjusted to that. Eventually, we figured out that we could make the Whites a Lair in the basement, and since that revelation they have scored their own bedroom.

Pre-revelation, however, on a morning after a a night of not-sleep, when I was completely delirious and in and out of that weird dream state, I had a dream.

This the dream I want to discuss today.

In this dream-- which I had after a night of being kept awake by the melodious singing of our Dear Scottie Cat-- in this dream, I concocted the best idea I have EVER HAD!!! At least that's how it felt at the time. You know what I mean, right?

My idea? I'll tell you.

My idea was that I would write a letter to Scottie the Cat, and in this letter I would ask him to simply refrain from meowing until a decent hour of the morning, like, say, 7 AM.

I wouldn't ask for much, I thought. It will be a simple letter. One he will read quickly and understand thoroughly.

It was PERFECT!!!

Of course later on, when I woke up, I realized that Scottie, well, he can't exactly read.


Well, it seemed like a good idea.

"Can we PLEASE stop talking about cats??
I'm bored!!"

Have you ever gotten the BEST IDEA IN THE WORLD from a dream???

If so, let's hear it!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Culinary Adventures of Christmas

Action Rabbit's Warning:

For many people, Holidays are a time for baking.

I don't normally do too much baking, simply because we're not normally home at Christmastime. But this year was different. We stayed home. We were relaxed and didn't go anywhere.

And so I baked.

It started last week with a Sweet Potato Gallette. A gallette is a rustic French dish, which is essentially a really, really easy (and extremely buttery!!!) tart crust filled with whatever you want to fill it with. We usually use acorn or butternut squash, but when I decided to make it last week, we had sweet potatoes, so that's what I used. The perfect compliment to the sweet potato was some Monchego cheese that we received as a gift. YUM YUM YUM!!!

MMMMMMmmmmm... Sweet Potato Gallette

On Christmas Eve day, I made two fun things I'd never made before. Number 1: Eggnog! It was totally easy and completely delish!!! As the Blisschick said, "It was like a custard party in your mouth!"

Yes, well, whatever.

For anyone who is nervy about the idea of eating/ drinking "raw eggs" as my mother said to me when I told her that I had made eggnog ("You mean you made it with real eggs??? Raw eggs???" she said and then proceeded to tell me about a recipe she saw that somehow involved vanilla pudding and not eggs at all , and I was left wondering how it was called "eggnog" without actually containing eggs....?), the eggs are actually cooked. They are not raw. It really is like making custard. So, no worries.

Besides, there was probably enough rum in it to kill any stray whatevers.

Number 2 new thing I made on Christmas Eve day: Stickybuns!! It was a lot of pressure for me to make stickybuns, because I was secretly competing with the Chick's Nana's stickybuns! PRESSURE!!!

My stickybuns, however, were declared Nana equivalent! I was SO PLEASED!!! :)

Mmmmmmmmmm... Stickybuns...

The last new thing I made involved one of my new Christmas gifts: RAMEKINS!! Whoo-hoo! I got two that are about a two cup size, and four that are about a half cup size. Perfect! So, I decided to make the Chick Macaroni and Cheese, the perfect Winter comfort food. I used three cheeses that we had in the house: a simple Farmer's cheese, a Sharp White Cheddar, and a Smoked Pepper Jack. It was a great combo!

Tomorrow, I have to go back to work, but there's still time to make some bread!

I'd better go get busy on that actually.

What did you make that was delish? Did you try any new recipes?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Flip Friday, Christmas Edition!!

Today is Christmas!!!!


Of course, it is also Friday, which means.... ANIMAL MOVIES!!!

We had the best Christmas morning. We brought down blankets and pillows and just spread out in front of the tree with Kittens and Bunnies and espresso and sticky buns. And we all opened presents.

Culled form the events of our morning, then, Zoe and I have three movies for you. One starring Her new kittens, and two starring Herself, the Rabbit, and all Her Christmas Glory!

To come on Monday: reports of my Christmas Culinary Adventures. For now, let's get on with the movies and then more playing under the tree with some eggnog, shall we?

Kittens' Christmas Toys from marcy hall on Vimeo.

Christmas Bunny from marcy hall on Vimeo.

Zoe's Christmas Toy from marcy hall on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Second Dreamless Wednesday

"Dreamless?? Again?? What the...???"

Last Wednesday, even though I was smack in the middle of telling about my top ten favorite dreams, I decided to take a break and talk about something else. I can't even remember what it was. Hmmm.... guess I'll have to look.

This week, the plan was to get back to the dreamscape, but, you know, it's practically Christmas Eve, so it seems like I should offer up something a little better.

Something a little more in the holiday spirit, if you will.

Even if you won't.

So, on this Wednesday, I offer a different kind of dream. A Holiday kind of dream. A dream that is a noun and not a verb.

Now, maybe this isn't your Dream. I imagine that everyone has a different Dream to offer up. It's what makes us unique and important in that individual way.

But this is my Dream. Well, part of it.

Animals. Dressed up.

My gift to you, this holiday season.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Snowy Day

That title, SADLY, is for the rest of the country except us, it seems.

By now, we usually have TONS of snow! TONS of it!!

By now, in most normal years, I would have made a snow cat or a snow bunny in the yard. I also would have talked incessantly of my (I think, BRILLIANT) idea to buy a used mail truck and drive around to all the sledding hot spots selling hot chocolate to the kiddies and espresso drinks to the parents. In order to carry out my ingenious plan, though, there must be SNOW!!!

We have a little. And I'm not necessarily complaining. But while the rest of the country has feet, we have a couple of measly inches.

It's enough snow to feel like Christmas, though, which of course is coming fast.

We have the most beautiful tree this year.

At first, when we got it home, however, the Chick was not very pleased. "LOOK AT IT!" she yelled as we turned it and turned it trying to find the "good side," and as we had to cut off more and more of the bottom branches to get it to fit in the tree stand.

Admittedly, it did have a homliness as opposed to a hominess about it. Very Charlie Brown.

Miss Zoe wouldn't even come down to look at it. That tells you a lot, right there.

Now that it's decorated, though, the lights put on secretly by the Chick when I was at work (which also meant I avoided the tapestry of obscenities that would hang in space over Lake Erie for years to come , to paraphrase A Christmas Story) and the balls hung as I looked on and handed the balls to the Chick (who just moves them if I put them on!), it looks BEAUTIFUL!

Exhibits A- D:

Also, while decorating, we found this strange box of something that we must have had tucked away since last year. We don't know where it came from!!

Do you know anyone who could use such a thing?

No? OK. We'll keep it, then. :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Flip Friday with a Sprinkle of Kitten

Welcome to Friday!

More specifically, Welcome to Flip Friday, where you get to watch what animals in the Lilypad do on a daily basis.

This week has been a special week. If you read on Wednesday, or if you are a reader of Blisschick's Blog, then you know what made this week special: Mr. Toby

"Actually, I made the week special,
but I won't make a big fat hairy deal about it."

Yes, Zoe, we know. But, you know, Mr. Toby is new.

We went through many names for this new kitten. You know how that can be. We really thought his name was going to be Tuppy. Tuppy is our favorite character from P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster stories. We've always thought Tuppy was such an excellent name.

It is an excellent name. It just doesn't quite fit this new kitten.

We've been through numerous monkikers, trying to find one that really fit.

Toby is the closest we've gotten so far. Don't be surprised though, if someday, you are reading about an orange striped tabby at the Lilypad, and his name has been changed.

It doesn't (necessarily) meant hat he is undercover in the Witness Protection program. It probably just means that we've decided to change his name on a whim. Though, we probably won't. We're getting used to "Toby" now and we don't want the little guy to get too confused!

So, this week's offering is a Rabbit movie with added Kitten. Zoe wasn't completely pleased with the lighting in these videos or with the photography. She doesn't think these movies will win any Academy Awards. However, she is letting them slide so that you, Dear Viewer, may see the Kitten in action.

For the record, Miss Zoe seems to like Kitten Toby as well as She like s anyone else of the Feline Persuasion.

"That's not saying much," she offers in explanation.

So true.

Without further delay, then, we give you, "Zoe and Toby."

Zoe and Toby from marcy hall on Vimeo.

And also, "Zoe's Kitten."

Zoe's Kitten, Toby from marcy hall on Vimeo.

Here's hoping for a weekend of Kittens and Bunnies for YOU!!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

We Interrupt This Program...

Oh, Wise Rabbit!!!!
(Remember this exclamation
as foreshadowing for later...)

For 5 or 6 weeks now, Zoe and I have been sharing dreams on Wednesdays.

Well, I have, anyway. Zoe doesn't share Her Dreams. It is Her impression that that would be Too Personal.

However, due to other things going on at the Lilypad at the present time, Zoe and I thought it pertinent to take a break from our dream sharing posts to share a couple of other Informational-type Tidbits.

For one thing, it has been ages since I have posted any art that I've worked on. The reason for this? Well.... I haven't been making a whole lot. A commission here or there, yes, but as far as actual painting? Not so much.

Instead, I have been concentrating on writing. I am working my way through my second novel (no, the first one has not been published, but if you know anyone who knows anyone, as the saying goes, you could enter Miss Zoe's good graces for at least a few weeks!).

A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting in the Rabbit Room trying to write and I was having a Very Hard Time.

I said to Zoe, "Oh, Wise Rabbit! What is my freaking problem? I LOVE to write and usually, it just comes out. But lately....sigh."

Miss Zoe, being Who She Is, hopped over under the Writing Chair and sat on my foot. Then, She hopped over to the easel and sat there, looking, as usual, pretty darn coy.

That was it!!! I hadn't been painting in a long time! In fact, I had done no art whatsoever in quite some time!


Thank goodness for Smart Lagomorphic Companions!

I said to the Chick, "I need to do some Art. Do you mind if i just start drawing on the walls?"

To which she answered (as is often her response when I ask silly questions), "DUH! Of course not!"

And so, while the Chick was gone, I set to work again in the kitchen. Here is some of what happened:

And, now, with an element of Conversational Whiplash, but still in the Spirit of New Things Happening at the Lilypad, I would like to present a picture of Someone New. For those of you who read Blisschick, this will come as no surprise, but just in case...


Monday, December 14, 2009

Holiday Traditions: In Which the Chick Swears & Miss Emmie Has Too Much Whiskey

Bella Foxglove at Memoirs of a Crazy Witch tagged me to do a fun Holiday survey about the Yule Traditions here at the Lilypad. I gathered all the animals round, poured the eggnog (Miss Emmie wanted extra whiskey in hers!), and we thought through our answers.

(Of course, Miss Zoe would like you to know that Bunnies have much different Holiday and Yule traditions, so She sat mostly in the corner with her back to us. She did, however, make us add some carrot to Her eggnog, so She was a little in the spirit!)

Here it goes!

1. Have you started Yule shopping yet? YES!! DONE!!! Cats, Bunny, and the Chick!! All done!! (With lots of help Rumi.)

2. Tell me about one of your special holiday traditions? Let's see. We do enjoy putting the pickle ornament on the tree. We have tried to develop our own traditions over the years. They get better and better all the time. One of my personally favorite Holiday Traditions is listening to the flow of obscenities that emanates from a BlissChick stringing the lights on the Tree! Classic!!

3. When do you put up your tree? The earlier the better, but we don't like it to get dry. The cats are obsessed with drinking the Tree water, so it doesn't stay properly hydrated! This year, we are waiting a little longer than usual since the Chick's been out of town. Sigh.

4. Are you a Black Friday Shopper? NOPE! Went a couple of times though. Great people watching opportunities if you can stand the traffic and such.

5. Do you travel at Yule or stay at home? We have ALWAYS traveled. This year, for the very first time in our 15 years together, we will be AT HOME on Christmas morning. WOW!

6. What is your funniest Yule memory? Christine putting blue, shiny ball ornaments in her ears and yelling: "Look at my big blue balls!!" She slapped them back and forth against her neck, while we all looked on in awe and amazement. A little too much eggnog that night? Perhaps.

7. What is your favorite Yule movie of all times? A Charlie Brown Christmas. Meaningful, poignant, and full of Snoopiosity!! I love the Snoop! We also enjoy Elf.

8. Do you do any Yule baking and what's your favorite treat? I LOVE to bake, so yes. But not too much baking, or we eat it all. The Chick has a favorite family fudge recipe that I like to make. Simple. This year, I think i'm going to make the stickiest sweet rolls ever, too.

9. Fake or real tree? Real. Sometimes I feel badly about that, but they are already chopped down, so then I feel like they need to be cared for anyway. Also, we put the Tree out in the backyard post-season and fill it with birdseed and stuff. The OutdoorBunnies use it as a shelter, and birdies seem to like it, too.

10. What day does the actual panic set in to get it all done? No panic. Just fun!

11. Are you still wrapping presents on Yule Eve? Uh-huh! And cats and bunnies love to "help" so it takes awhile.

12. What is your favorite family fun time at Yule? All of them! I guess I like relaxing evenings with music and the candles and Tree lights on. It feels magical to me. It's really fun to put the Rabbit under the tree!

13. What Yule craft do you like best? Craft? Not very crafty I'm afraid. I wish I had something cool, like knitting a gingerbread house or constructing a chocolate nativity set (Mmmmmm... sacrilicious!), but I got nothin' on this one.

14. Yule music? Yes or No, and if yes, what is your favorite song? Yes. I love holiday music. I love Harry Connick Jr.'s "The Happy Elf." Also, in sticking with the favorite Holiday movie theme, I greatly enjoy the Charlie Brown Christmas. John Denver and the Muppets is always a favorite (who doesn't love Muppets???), and then there's the Rat Pack Christmas-- OK, I guess i just like everything.

15. Do you plan to finish all your shopping? Ummm... I thnk I answered this at the top. Full Circle!!

Here are my picks, and if you do not want to do it, then of course you do not have to!

Carly at Peeling a Pomegranate

Mrs. B at Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom

Lisa at Nerdy Renegade News

Linnea at Playing Connect the Dots

Bethany at Bloom

Friday, December 11, 2009

Flip Friday

YAY!! It's Friday!!

Normally, Im excited when it's Friday anyway. I mean, you're supposed to be excited, right? Traditionally, Friday is the end of the work week, which, whether you like your job or not, is always welcome. Of course, when you work for a 7 day a week operation (such as...say... the Library) the weekend is sort of a "concept" as opposed to a real thing.

(And by that, I mean that I work on Sunday. Sigh.)

But that's OK. I've had a wonderful week on vacation.

And more importantly...

Lots of preparation will need to commence later today. For one thing, I promised The Chick chili and cornbread. Zoe and Miss Emmie and I looked through the cupboards yesterday, and there was nery a bean to be found. Also, no tomatoey goodness. Guess we're up for a trip to the Whole Foods Co-op!!

I did do some arting this past week, which I will show soon. One of the things I painted was a dog portrait that will be a Christmas gift, so I can't post that just in case someone might see it too early!

Also, we did some wall painting, as I mentioned a couple of days ago, in the kitchen. I will post pictures next week, as the Chick has the camera! Taking a picture at this point would involve me dragging the desktop computer downstairs to use the camera perched atop the monitor.

This is all you can get for now. Too bad!!

So, then, on to this week's Rabbit Movies.

We thought you might like to see what Zoe has been doing this week. The weather was extra bad and windy on Tuesday night! Zoe and I were up in the middle of the night snuggling because it was so noisy and windy! Gusts here were into the 50-60mph range! YIKES! The next day, then, we were all a little sleepy.


Sleepy Zoe from marcy hall on Vimeo.

And then later on that day, Miss Zoe let one of Her Cats into the room:

Zoe and Her Cat from marcy hall on Vimeo.

OK, I guess I'd better start... preparing (NOTE! That is foreshadowing for next week's dream! That's all I'm saying!)

Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Dream A Fifth Dream


It is already Wednesday. I will make it through this crazy Chickless week!! I WILL!!

This isn't easy.

I realized partway through the day on Tuesday that I am just never ever alone. When I am at work, I am surrounded by people from the moment I get there until the moment I go home. When I am at home, the Chick is always there. She entertains me! Constantly!

My life is about constant entertainment.

I mean, look! How entertaining is this??

It seems like having some alone time would be exciting-- even thrilling for me. And in many respects, that is true. But you see, I have this idea in my head: I have time ALONE! I should be writing! I should be painting! I should be buckling down and working!! And then, I end up being distracted and walking around looking at the sleeping cats and bunny who are all ignoring me.

But then, I guess, there is also a lot of merit to the idea of balance, yes?

OK, you're right. (Did you even know you were in this conversation? Well, you are.)

Thanks for your help. (See-- you are even helpful!)

On to the dream, then.
"Please! I would like to get to my nap...SOMEDAY!!"

This week's dream involves that state you get to right before you fall asleep. That sort of awake- sort of asleep place where anything can happen.

It also involves...well.. you'll see.

When I was little, we had chickens in our yard. They lived in the cutest yellow chicken coop. I loved those chickens!!!! My sister always tells me that I loved the chickens so much because I didn't have to clean up after them (which apparently became her job-- who knew?). I just got to go out to the coop and pet them and collect their warm, brown eggs.

I thought the chickens were positively dreamy!

Good times.

So the dream was about them. Actually, I wouldn't call it so much of a dream as a vision. Like the Cat in the Coffee Aisle, this dream consisted mainly of a visiony flashy sort of thing.

As I was drifting off to sleep, I saw a vision of the chickens. Beautiful chickens!

Out loud (in real life) I said "OH! THE CHICKENS!"

The Chick, who was sitting next to me reading, woke me up. "What about the chickens?" she asked.

But it was no use. There was no explanation. It was nothing about the chickens. It was simply, "Oh, the chickens!" They were just there. That was all.

"Nothing...." I answered and went back to sleep.


Tune in next week, when the dream is about...

Well, I can't actually tell you. It would spoil everything!!

Monday, December 7, 2009



Lonely Monday.

So, for anyone who doesn't know, the Chick is gone to Massachusetts to Kripalu for YogaDance teacher training, Part II.


Miss Lilly sums up how we feel about this in the following picture:

Do you see? We are listless. Positively listless.

I mean, we will be fine. So far, we have baked bread. Also, we have worked on painting in the kitchen again. For anyone who missed the Chick's last trip for Part I of the Yoga Dance teacher training, while she was gone we painted the kitchen. Now we are taking it one step further, and decorating the painting. Does that make sense? If not, you'll see more on Wednesday. No worries.

Other than that, we are just sort of walking around. Looking at things. Emailing friends.

Noticing cuteness:

Not much that's cuter that THAT, you know?

I mean-- WOW!

We will be arting and writing. You'll hear all about it.

For now, if you can muster it, imagine some cuteness on our behalf. It will help us all make it through the week. I think.

What will you imagine?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Flip Friday (with a side salad)

Zoe is a Very Busy Rabbit.

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Well, you know, I've seen a lot of pictures of Miss Zoe, and in many of those pictures, She looks pretty darn relaxed. She doesn't seem overworked."

You might think back to this:
Or, perhaps, you even reflect on this:
Let me tell you: to you, it may appear as though She's lounging around a lot of the time. But that would be a Major Misconception.

Your belief in that kind of thing only shows a complete misunderstanding on your part of a Rabbit's True Role in the household.

Here at the Lilypad, Miss Zoe is Responsible. There's no two ways about it.

She corrals cats:

She hangs Her own Christmas stocking for Santa Bunny:
And, every day, She must eat. And eat. AND EAT!!!

Yesterday, She got a Special Treat. Someone I work with at Ye Old Erie County Public Library was out in her garden and thought fondly of Miss Zoe, and because of that, Miss Zoe got some Fresh Arugula!!!

When I got home, it simply meant She had more work to do!! Observe, the Arugula Monster!!

The Arugula Monster from marcy hall on Vimeo.

All hail the Monster!!

The moral of this story? Don't underestimate the Responsibilities of Rabbits.

They are Many.

They are waaaaaaaaaaay more important than the things you do.

You can count on that.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dream a Fifth Dream

We're halfway through the list of ten dreams!!

Here we are at Number 5 already!! Wow!!

So far, we've had a Cat Looking at Coffee.

We've had Me Kicking the Wall while Playing Dream Kickball and Breaking My Freaking Toe.

We've had Waylon Jennings Birthday.

Last week? The ever-popular Elephant Panda Dog (I will paint him eventually, by the way)

"So, what's it going to be this week? Sigh!"

OK, Zoe, I know. All this dream stuff takes away from you. We'll be done with it soon enough. I promise.

Up this week is a dream I had about marching band.

Raise your hands out there!!! Who was in marching band??? YAY!! Go you!!

What did you play? For me, it was the Alto Sax.

A side note: I was not a total band geek in high school. Sure, it's true. I was in marching band, concert band, pep band, and choir. BUT, I also played basketball, ran track, and played a fair amount of softball. Of course I warmed the bench a lot, but that's what happens when you're a little short, you know?

Here's the dream.
"Yes, please get on with it."

I am on a football field. I am alone, on the field, marching my routine and playing my sax. I think to myself, "Well, it IS a little weird that I'm the only one out here, but, I guess it's OK since that's just what is happeneing. Whatever." I just keep on marching.

(I know, I know. I'm a good little Band Geek.)

Suddenly, from above me, I hear music. I look up and there is the rest of the marching band spread out amongst about 6 hot air balloons. They are just leisurely floating down from the sky (while I'm doing all the work, I might add!).

The hot air balloons land in precisely the right locations for the routine. The balloon baskets open and instrumentalists march out (like clowns out of a clown car-- in this sort of never-ending stream that leaves you wondering how they all fit in there in the first place!). They all march out into PERFECT FORMATION!!! And they continue the routine as if nothing were weird about this at all.

That's all. No major anxiety. I wasn't naked. I didn't forget my locker combination or lose my shoes or forget to grab my algebra book or miss my bus. Nope. The marching band just came out of the sky and then marched the routine.

Maybe that was the routine? It would be kind of cool.

I mean, if you were a Major Band Geek who would think up such a routine.

Which, of course, I am NOT!

OK, who am I kidding? Maybe I am. But, I'm not the only one.

Let me see that show of hands again....