the future of a case of the crafties

The future is uncertain.

I may post considerably less often. Or nothing may change at all. At this point, I really have no idea just how much of my life will be changing, but the comments I made about postponing house updates or making much cheaper decisions, are all related to this:

I am accepted into a graduate program in a city roughly 2 hours away from home to gain a
Master of Science in anthropology, studying bioarchaeology.
W00t!

Boy and my kitties will stay here, and I will be staying with my gracious mother-in-law during the week. (That may scare the heebie jeebies out of some of you, but I tell you, she is a good friend of mine:) I will commute home each weekend when possible, or Boy will come visit me. It will be hard, make no mistake about it. At least this time, cellphones and the internet is in abundance (we started out as a long distance relationship basically at the brink of those things becoming common household items).

Things I will miss:

Boy, Maya and Sasha, the friends I see every day at work, freedom of my paychecks (good bye great job of over 10 years), not having to go to a bank to make a deposit, my craft room, my huge amount of free time, freedom of living nightshift hours and never using a damn alarm clock, my kitchen, my 10 minute commute, getting gas once a month or less, kitties, kitties, kitties, boy, boy boy.

Things to make up for it:

Education and enlightenment and fulfillment, partaking in real research, pursuing a career that I actually enjoy, opening doors to the future, meeting new friends, hanging out with MIL, a pool and gym and bike trail, stepping outside of my comfort zone, having no regrets about something I never did and should have.

About bioarchaeology:

This article at wikipedia explains what bioarchaeology is. I learned it first hand on my field school to Peru in 2007. It is not archaeology – archaeologist do the digging part and mostly work with artifacts – the things that people made. Instead, it is essentially studying the skeletal remains of past populations to put together a picture of how they lived, what activities and diets and pathologies they had, and how they died. Most of you have probably seen Bones, and that is not it either – she is a forensic anthropologist who’s purpose is to identify an individual for the purposes of law. The two fields are similar in my mind, except I will be working outside of the realm of crime and generalizing to populations.

About the program:

The program itself is brand-new, and I will be among its first students so my cohort will be very small – this is good: lots of individual attention from the specialists in the field. It will take two years so I will be finished around May of 2013. Over next summer, I am required to do another field school, which I am looking forward to. My main advisor seemed really passionate about the work and the program so I feel I will be in very good hands. There are a couple projects that we talked about that I am interested in and can begin research on day one. In the lab is a technology that only exists in one other place in the states, and one other place in another country. That has created a global network of anthropologists for this budding program already.

I hope to start a blog for my academic life, and if you are interested in following it, be sure to email me for the link (I will not be making it public here). calynn ((at)) thecrafties ((dot)) com.

Do you have anything that you could ask yourself “If I don’t do this now, when will I?” ?

Chez Moi: Hot Cereal and French Toast Souffle

Week 6.1: Crockpot (whole, multi-grain) Cereal with Applesauce

Before:
Crockpot (whole, multi-grain) cereal with applesauceI got this recipe from my cooking pal Angela. She found it here, at Monkeys on the Bed. A lot more things on my list that have never been in my kitchen before: pearl barley, steel cut oats, wheat bran, and ginger spice. Boy keeps flaxseed around, so that I had on hand, but we’ve never used it for cooking. We opted against putting any dried fruit in it (raisons completely disgust me and the other kinds of dried fruit just didn’t seem like it would fit in the recipe – mostly because I am a texture gal and think chunks would create a roadblock for me).

I think perhaps because of the lack of fruit, or maybe my overly-heaping heaping teaspoons of cinnamon, or maybe just my crave for sugar, I did find it tastier when I sprinkled a bit of sugar over it. I know, I know, that defeats the whole aspect of it being so super good for you, but Boy and I both liked it and we would eat it again! (Tofer missed out this week since he is in another state.)

I would love to mix the dry ingredients together to make little packets – just add vanilla, applesauce, and water! Super easy. Thank you Monkeys on the Bed commenter Amy for the superb idea!

After:
Crockpot (whole, multi-grain) cereal with applesauce

Week 6.2: French Toast Souffle

Before:
LHJ French Toast Souffle I’ve had this recipe torn out of a Ladies Home Journal magazine for years and never made it. Can you believe that? I totally can. But anyway, so I finally made it! It may seem odd that I would choose two breakfast recipes in a single setting, and I am still not quite sure what I was thinking, but it turned out okay. Not as fabulous as I was expecting (I really really really love French toast), but definitely good. If it wasn’t just me in this house who eats French toast, I would make it again. It has just the right amount of sweetness to it. Since the recipe is really old, I could not find it on the Ladies Home Journal website, but I did find it re-printed here. I used the original recipe, not the lower fat one printed at the bottom (the article itself made-over someone’s family recipe to be more healthy).

After:
LHJ French Toast Souffle

Felt Keeley progress

She is coming along quite fantastically! I tried my hand at a few different methods to “ink” her outline. I settled on couching black yarn with black thread. Originally, the yarn I bought was way too thick so I had to trade that in for something thinner. I wish now that I went with more of a rope than yarn because of the fuzzies up close, but from far away (as she will be hanging on a wall) she definitely kicks butt like the superhero she is.

Felt Keeley Comic practice

Good news, Keith will be in town in August so I have a solid deadline to get her finished. Sometimes I need that, you know? And thanks to my “step-grandmother-in-law” Ruth for the giant embroidery hoop!

Felt Keeley Comic practice

Felt Keeley Comic

Felt Keeley Comic practice

This type of embroidery is new to me. Usually, my left hand is under the fabric and I can feel when my thread gets caught. Couching the yarn, however, means my left hand stays on top to guide the yarn as my right hand works the thread around it. As such, the back of this piece is horribly embarrassing – but to allay any doubt in your mind that I am making the awesomeness that this is and not faking it somehow through photoshop, I thought I’d share:

Felt Keeley Comic practice