Red Twilight

Life is beautiful.

Save the Sweet Potatoes!

Posted by Avra-Sha Faohla on April 2, 2014

If you are obsessive about not throwing out what you might call “perfectly good food” (but what others would have designated for the dumpster weeks ago), here is the way to salvage that sweet potato that you just never got around to eating:

Simply cut away all the bad bits before baking!


Looks appetizing, no?

P.S. It was a fail. Even with the visibly rotten parts removed, only some of it cooked normally; the rest was oddly spongy. I ate what was normal and had to toss the rest in sad defeat. It was quite unfortunate. (But you can’t say I didn’t do my best. ;) )

Posted in Food, How-Tos, Pictures | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How does my brain even come up with crazy things like this?

Posted by Avra-Sha Faohla on February 27, 2014

I had a dream that Jacob (as in the Biblical Jacob) was a frozen pair of pajama pants located in some unidentified snowy location.

People often go to the graves of great men, so in Jacob’s case, people would go see the pants. The pants were somehow him.

We’ve all had strange dreams, but that’s just bizarre.

Posted in Interesting Happenings | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

What Dog Owners Don’t Know

Posted by Avra-Sha Faohla on February 21, 2014


I’ve been living in a dog-obsessed city for half a year now. As one who’s spent her life afraid of dogs and now daily passes many dogs and their owners on the streets, I’ve come to realize that dog owners don’t understand some things about dog fearers. Let’s rectify that.

(Although . . . despite generally fearing dogs, when I spotted this heterochromic dog, I asked the owner if I could take a picture of it. First time I’ve ever asked that. What is this dog-loving city doing to me?)

                      5 Things Dog Fearers Want to Tell Dog Owners

  1. Please keep your dog’s leash very short. It’s quite terrifying and unpleasant for us to see an approaching canine that is not clearly bound to its owner at a reassuring proximity.
  2. We are not trying to insult your dog when we oh-so-conspicuously move as far away from it as the sidewalk allows. It’s just instinct and a result of your failure to comply with #5.
  3. Dog-fearers are used to derision by non-dog-fearers, so if you are amused by our behavior and must laugh, we can handle it. But we would be amazed and appreciative if you could give us the rare pleasure of having our fears actually recognized and apologized for.*
  4. Keep your dog ahead of you, not beside you. When we come across you and your dog taking up the whole sidewalk, we kind of just freeze in horror. It’s not fun for us.
  5. Saying “Don’t worry, he’s friendly!” does not help, never has helped, and never will help.

*I’m still waiting for this to happen. Edit: It happened! Yesterday I was walking through one of those narrow walkway tunnels where they are doing construction, and a woman was coming toward me with a dog on a too-long leash. I had nowhere to go, so I just stopped walking and stood there, growing more and more nervous the closer the dog got. She saw the panicked look on my face, said “Sorry,” and pulled in the leash! Yay! (Then I also said sorry because I always feel a strange need to apologize for my fear. ;) )

Posted in Don't Take This Post Too Seriously, Pictures | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Sometimes People Think I’m Even Shorter Than I Really Am.

Posted by Avra-Sha Faohla on January 23, 2014

I was in the dorm elevator on my way up to my floor when it stopped and our resident handyman* walked in. As the doors closed and the elevator resumed its ascent, he looked at me and said, “You know, one time in my day we had four feet of snow. You would’ve been in trouble.”

He was actually surprised when I informed him that I was only a couple inches short of five feet. I might’ve been indignant had I not been so amused. ;)

*That is not his official job title. (But if you know the official title, do tell me, because I am curious!)

Posted in Interesting Happenings | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

One Lovely Blog Award

Posted by Avra-Sha Faohla on January 2, 2014

One Lovely Blog Award

Elana awarded me this One Lovely Blog Award quite a bit ago. It’s about time I accepted it already. Thank you, Elana! It comes with the standard set of rules:

  1. Thank the one that nominated you.
  2. Put up the picture for the One Lovely Blog Award.
  3. Tell everyone seven things about yourself.
  4. Nominate seven other people and tell them in their blogs that you nominated them.

Steps 1 & 2 are done already. On to step 3!

Step 3

  1. I like to eat pancakes without syrup. (This doesn’t mean I don’t like sweet things. Most people use less sugar in their pancakes because they’ll be serving them with syrup; I use more sugar because I won’t be.)
  2. When I was a young child, I used to think that photocopiers had tiny men inside them scribbling out the copies by hand. I didn’t really believe this because I knew it couldn’t be, but at the same time I really did.
  3. I still haven’t outgrown I Spy books. I don’t know if I ever will.
  4. I love the smell of yeast. I also like to eat raw bread dough. It’s deliciously yeasty and really addictive.
  5. I don’t understand how those fierce-flushing, water-sprays-onto-the-seat-every-time toilets are allowed to be produced. We have toilets like this in my college. Having to always wipe down the seat before use just from the flush? It’s really not right.*
  6. Whenever my soap bar gets too small to lather efficiently, I take a new one and squash the old one into it so that I don’t have to throw it out. I think that says a lot about me.
  7. I am one of those people who likes to sit in the front of the classroom. In one of my classes, the entire front row is empty except for me, almost. It looks something like the table below. I think that says a lot about me, too.
student me**
student student student student student student
student student student student student student
student student student student student student

Step 4

This is always the hardest part. I wish I could always award people I’ve never awarded before, but I don’t follow enough blogs to do that. So I’ll just award seven lovely blogs, and hopefully most of them are ones I haven’t awarded.

  • Eccentric Owl. I’ve been following Mara for what seems like forever. Which might explain why I can’t make myself not think of her as Mara. (She’s actually been going by her real name, Kristina, for quite a while now.) She is truly a sweet and adorable person with a charming sense of style. Oh, and if you’re interested, she is also an amazing writer. Go check out her stuff. ;)
  • Butter, Sugar, Flowers. Um, can we say yum? Butter, Sugar, Flowers is an unconventional baker who uses things like flowers and vegetables in her baked treats, yet I still want to make every single thing she posts. She takes amazing photos and describes her treats in such beautiful writing that I’m convinced everything she makes is truly heavenly.
  • HASH. Yep, again I’m awarding Beth. What can I say? She’s lovely. (Don’t feel obligated to reaccept. I know you’ve gotten this already.)
  • Needs Salt. A fairly new food blog (started in July) which I’ve been following since pretty much the beginning. Abbie’s blog is full of fabulous photos, delicious food, and snappy writing. It’s lots of fun!
  • Sherrie’s Scriptorium. In which Sherrie shares her small thoughts about writing and nature. She’s positive and upbeat and always a pleasure to read.
  • The Spotted Mushroom. Ri reviews books! She summarizes each book’s plot and then goes through all of the story’s flaws so that if I ever spot the book on a shelf, I’ll know exactly why I shouldn’t read it. :D
  • Averie Cooks. Averie creates delicious sweet treats and shares the recipes along with stunning photography and descriptive writing that makes you want to eat your screen. Despite her blog’s tremendous popularity, the devoted Averie takes the time to respond to every comment and comment on other blogs, which I find very impressive. I do not expect such a popular blogger to accept this award from little ol’ me, but I’m awarding her anyway!

*These toilets also happen to be automatic flushers, which, as we all know, sometimes flush when you’re still sitting on them. So they flush fiercely and automatically. Not a good combination for reasons I’m sure you can understand.

**This seat is right in front of the teacher’s desk. The one other student in the front row is, unlike me, far away from the teacher’s desk.

Posted in All About Avra, Blog Awards | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

The Chemistry of Pomegranate Juice

Posted by Avra-Sha Faohla on November 17, 2013

Did you know that if you spray kitchen Lysol directly on pomegranate juice, it turns blue?

(I was a little messy when cutting my pomegranate. This is what I learned today.)

Posted in Did You Know? | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How to Donate Blood Like a Pro

Posted by Avra-Sha Faohla on November 2, 2013

IMG_346 (v2)

Step 1: Obtain a form and fill it out. Thank God that you are so healthy as you check off “no” by all the diseases and medications.

Step 2: Go to the medical history person who will look over your form and write various numbers on it. Don’t be alarmed when she is doubtful that you weigh enough—and you could feel very uncomfortable if you don’t—for she reassures you that you can stop at any time.

Be reassured by this.

Step 3: Allow her to prick your finger and squeeze out your blood into a tiny tube. Don’t stare because it’s kind of gross that she’s squeezing out the blood. Fear not because it doesn’t hurt.

Step 4: Obediently place the disposable thermometer that she gives you under your tongue. Fear not, for it is tasteless.

Step 5: Go to the blood donation area and sit on the chair to which you are directed. Ask the nurse to take from your left arm because you need to have use of your right arm.

Unless, of course, you are left-handed, in which case you should obviously do it on your right arm.

Step 6: Allow the nurse to clean your arm and stick the needle in. It hurts a tiny bit, but not very much. Squeeze with your hand as directed, which will also hurt a little, but not very much either.

Step 7: Begin to feel weird as one tenth of your life is slowly removed from you. Do not look at the blood coming out through the tube because then you will feel nauseous.

Ask the nurse if this is normal. Be reassured when she says yes.

“Do you want me to take it out?” she will ask, seeing your discomfort. Say no or your blood will not be enough to be of use.

Step 8: Allow the nurse to lower you down into a horizontal position. This should not be hard for you as you will feel weak and will most definitely not object to lying down.

Step 9: Do not be alarmed when your arm begins to tingle and feel very odd.

Ask the nurse if this normal. Be reassured once more when she says yes.

When she asks if you want to stop, say no again so it is not all in vain.

Step 10: She will ask if you feel warm. Respond “maybe a little,” and allow the nurse to put an ice pack under your neck. Remove it after a few minutes because there is no reason to suffer the discomfort of ice against skin. Do not be confused that she thought you’d want that because some strange people actually would.

Step 11: Wonder when it will be over. Remind yourself that you are saving a life. Keep saying no when the nurse offers to stop.

Step 12: Finish. Let the nurse remove the needle. Keep your arm upright and press the wound as instructed to prevent bruising. Allow the nurse to slowly prop you up after a minute or two and wrap a bandage around your arm. Do not be alarmed that it is extremely tight.

Accept the juice that she offers you.

Step 13: After several minutes, stand and walk over to the refreshments table. Eat sugary things and drink a lot. Yay! Take it easy and leave when you feel ready.

Step 14: Ignore the intense pressure from the bandage throughout the rest of the day.

Step 15: After the required six hours, gleefully cut off the bandage and peel it away with care. Do not be bothered by the pain because you are a strong woman and you have saved a life today.

IMG_3468 (v2)

I was aiming for a more humorous tone, but I don’t know if it came across quite that way.

People told me I’d feel a little weak afterwards for several minutes and then I’d be totally fine, but they didn’t mention that the actual process, though not really painful, was still uncomfortable (probably my own fault, for not asking the right questions, I suppose). I don’t regret doing it one bit and would definitely do it again, but I do think people should be aware of exactly what will happen. Hence this post.

And it really wasn’t so horrific at all. It just sounds like that because I’m trying to be totally honest and not leave anything out.

Posted in Don't Take This Post Too Seriously, How-Tos | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »


Posted by Avra-Sha Faohla on October 20, 2013

Just an update to say that I’ve removed the password from my Alaska posts. If you’d like to look at some pictures of gorgeous nature and read about my adventures, go check them out!

Alaska Post 1
Alaska Post 2
Alaska Post 3
Alaska Post 4
Alaska Post 5
Alaska Post 6
Alaska Post 7
Alaska Post 8
Alaska Post 9
Alaska Post 10
Alaska Post 11
Alaska Post 12

Posted in The Alaska Trip | Leave a Comment »

Liebster Award Take Two

Posted by Avra-Sha Faohla on October 11, 2013

Sherrie nominated me for the Liebster Award. Thank you, Sherrie! It happens to be that I have already received that one and followed the rules; therefore, I shall do whatever I want with this one.


The rules have changed a bit. Now they seem to be more like the rules for that tagging game in which I was tagged, with a slight resemblance to the rules for the Liebster Award I received:

1. Share 5 to 11 facts about yourself.
2. Answer Sherrie’s questions.
3. Nominate 5 to 11 other bloggers who have fewer than 300 followers and ask them 11 questions.

NUMBER ONE: Share 5 to 11 facts about yourself

Since I did the Liebster Award already, I feel no guilt copying and pasting my facts from the tagging game, with slight adjustments where they no longer apply.

1. I dislike rhythmic, catchy beats, the kind in pop or rap or hip-hop songs. They sound too . . . I don’t know, trashy. I prefer strong, solid, heavy beats.
2. I love skirts that sweep the ground. I only have a few simple black ones because I totally wouldn’t be able to pull off any colorful ones. But I like them on other people!
3. Actually, that’s pretty much my whole style situation. A lot of clothing I like on other people. For me, it’s got to be simple and low-key. You’d be surprised how hard it is for me to find clothing!
4. My ideal temperature is as hot as it can be without making me sweat. In summer, where I live, that’s something like 80 degrees when air conditioned (air conditioning takes out the humidity; 80 degrees naturally is probably too hot for me). I’m not sure what it is in the winter.
5. I like to snack on raw oats. They’re quite dry, yes, but I drink lots of water with them. I think they’re slightly addictive.
6. Until the summer after graduating elementary school, I had never been on an airplane in my life. Until I traveled abroad after graduating high school, I had only been on an airplane once.
7. Possibly the strangest question I’ve ever gotten on a test is this. (My eleventh grade physics teacher was an interesting person.)
8. I got my braces out a little over a year ago. It’s still absolutely wonderful to go to bed and not have to worry about waking up with the inside of my lips plastered painfully against my teeth.
9. I’m not very picky about food, and if I would refuse to eat something it would most likely be because it’s unhealthy (like hot dogs or store-bought cake or the like), not because I dislike the taste. One of the few foods whose taste I really dislike is mustard. I wish I liked it, but I’ll only eat it if it’s mixed into things!
10. Also, I am one of those people who always cleans her plate. I can’t stand when food is wasted.
11. I never had any of the electronics—cell phone, iPod, laptop, or digital camera—that everyone else seems to have until the summer after graduating high school, when my father bought me a camera. It was a going-away gift for the next year, when I would be abroad and would want to take lots and lots of pictures!

NUMBER TWO: Answer Sherrie’s Questions

1) What do you enjoy reading?

Fantasy! As far as I know, fantasy has been my favorite genre for as long as I’ve loved reading. Which is always (since I’ve known how, anyway).

2) What is your favorite season?

I love summer. Except the mosquitoes. But they’re worth it for the glorious warmth that summer brings!

3) Who is the person who makes you laugh?

My blunt roommate makes me laugh. My adorable niece makes me laugh. Brian Regan makes me laugh too.

4) Which do you prefer, mountains or ocean?

I love the ocean, but I’d have to say mountains because they’re a whole package deal of glorious scenery, beautiful flowers and trees and berries and fungus, and of course hikes. Whereas the ocean is just one basic view, albeit a gorgeous one. Also, mountains usually provide more privacy than oceans do.

5) Do you have any pets?


6) What is your favorite meal of the day?

Huh, I never though to have a favorite meal! Probably breakfast.

7) Why do you blog?

Because I like to write and share things that, I hope, others might find interesting. This isn’t my personal journal, so I usually don’t post general updates about my life. I try to keep it interesting. Usually the most I talk about myself is in these tagging games and blog award things. I do hope they don’t bore any of my readers too much!

8) What is your favorite color?

I have two: bright, happy yellow and warm, delicious brown. And green! At some point when I was a young child, although I don’t remember when exactly, green was my favorite color, and I’ve decided right now to add green back to my “favorite colors” list because it’s really so lovely. Yay!

9) Do you prefer coffee or tea?

I’m not such a coffee OR tea person! Water is pretty much all I drink.

10) What famous person, living or dead would you like to have lunch with?

I don’t know! I’d like to say Moses, the greatest man who ever lived, but I wouldn’t feel worthy and would just feel guilty wasting his time!

11) What is your favorite blog?

Ooh, hard one! I’m actually quite fond of Mara’s old blog, before she evolved into almost purely fashion blogging. She’s a great fashion blogger and has lots of loyal fans, and I still read every post of hers, but I actually prefer a randomness blog (if it’s well done, that is) to a themed one. I think I’m in the minority there.  So, other than Mara’s old blog? HASH is pretty good. So is CCW. I also really like a variety of food blogs. I don’t know if I can say that I have a favorite.

NUMBER THREE: Nominate 5 to 11 other bloggers who have fewer than 300 followers and ask them 11 questions.

As I did this already, I shall instead copy and paste my 11 questions from the tagging game and direct them not at new nominees but at Sherrie, who gave me this award. Also, anyone who reads this may answer any of these questions that he or she wishes to answer in the comment section below.

1. If you could get a lifetime supply of any one food, what would it be?
2. What experience or person had a great or life-changing impact on your way of thinking? (Have I been doing too many college applications?)
3. What are some of your pet peeves?
4. Tell me a funny or embarrassing (or otherwise interesting) anecdote of yours.
5. What is your favorite thing about your character?
6. What is your weirdest relative like?
7. What superpower would you like to have?
8. Favorite sandwich? Worst sandwich you’ve ever tasted?
9. If clothes could talk, what would yours say? (I’m looking for a nice long answer here! Everything you’re wearing, even your hair accessories, ought to have their say.)
10. What qualities do you value most in a person?
11. Why is a raven like a writing desk?

P.S. If I tagged you last time and you never answered, you could still answer now. Hint hint.

Posted in All About Avra, Blog Awards | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Book = Pillow?

Posted by Avra-Sha Faohla on October 8, 2013


I finally am getting settled in my dorm and in college. I also finally got the last of my textbooks, and I found it funny that the package looked like a ruffled-edge pillow.

I don’t know about you, but I see a resemblance.

Posted in Pictures, Thoughts and Musings | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »


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