Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Watermelon Jelly Time!

I wrote that to the tune of Peanut Butter Jelly Time, but now that I re-read it, it makes me wonder about making watermelon jelly.  Not sure if its possible, but I like the idea of it.  Mmm... it would be refreshing, sweet, and thicker than I can think of how to make it.  Guess it'll stay in make-believe land for now.  But I do want to share something with you on this How Tue(sday).  Hehe... I like it, but I don't think I made it up.  Pretty sure I stole it from The Lettered Cottage.

So, what is today's How To?  Today, on this first Tuesday after the unofficial start of Summer, we're appropriately going to cover ...

How To Cube A Watermelon
An ancient technique taught to me by SandraDarling, a sweet friend-o-mine!

Its going to be a little picture heavy, but all the better to instruct you with, my dear.

And we're off.

Monday, May 30, 2011


Now, I would like to acknowledge the fact that it is Memorial Day.

Unfortunately, I have no words for this.

I have feelings, like gratitude and thankfulness and sorrow and pride.

I have tears and a runny nose from thinking about those who give that I may be free.

I have a moment, taken from the day, to say a prayer for those who have yet to come home.

But I have no words.

Here's a link to a photography assignment put on by The Pioneer Woman last year, entitled "Coming Home". I'd suggest getting the tissues before venturing forth.  I know I should have issued myself the same warning before embarking.

To all who serve, have served, or will,

Thank You.
Gratefully yours,

Thoughts from the early morning garden

Today I got up with the sun.  Well, nearly.  And after sending Handsome packing, I decided to take care of those pesky bugs out in my garden once and for all.  So Duke-a-loop and I set out armed with gloves, spray, a mini cultivator, an iron will (one of my favorite movies, but not what I meant here), and a ridiculous ability to slobber (that ones all Duke).

While we were fighting the pesky foes, I realized something about myself that I probably should have known before: I trash talk inanimate objects.  More specifically, bugs.  I do.  I don't know if the fact that they're so small makes me feel strong and tough or if its something deeper, but here's how it went:

Me: Oh, I see you're hiding up under that leaf.  You'd better hide.  Thats right I'm coming for you
Bugs: ...
Me: Yeah, you thought you could get away with eating my tomato leaves, well think again!
Bugs: ...
Me: You ought to be ashamed of yourself, freeloading like that.  I'll bet you never worked a day 
      in your life.  You're an embarrassment.  
Bugs: ...
Me: You heard me.  An embarrassment.  And you know what else?  *pulling out the big guns* YOUR 
Bugs: ...

And it goes on.  Perhaps this is not a healthy practice, but honestly, I enjoy it and I'm not going to stop.  I do the same thing to bugs I find in my house.  For example, after watching the glorious Pittsburgh Steelers tromp the Browns two seasons ago during Monday (Thursday?) night football, I saw a cockroach palmetto bug crawling across my wall. 
DISCLAIMER: They're everywhere down here.  The presence of them has naught to do with the cleanliness of your home.  They're just a fact.  Its one of the only things that make me want to move back to cold weather.
Now, normally, this situation is cause for extreme alarm and emotional distress, but I was so pumped up about the Steelers game and so I grabbed a nearby shoe and in true Braveheart style went leaping from the couch shouting "NOT IN MY HOUSE!!" and boom.  Dead. 

So, now you know that about me.  And if you ever come up to my door and hear me really going to town bashing someone's mom, its probably a bug.  Or it might be a brother of mine.  Because for some reason, I also find it funny to throw a "your mom" into conversation when talking to my brothers.  I know, then I'm talking about my mom too.  Thats why its funny, duh...

Now I'm heading out to go shopping for some business casual wear, so that tomorrow when the clock strikes way-too-early o'clock, I can head out into the world of grown-ups and real jobs looking like business.  I also plan to have my hair in curlers during my commute; because its efficient.  

Putting insects in their place,

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The best cakes & Amazon Associates

I'm trying out a new thing I signed up for, Amazon Associates.  I'm not sure if I like it or if I'm going to keep using it, or where this might lead.  But I wanted to warn you that I'm going to be putting some extra links in this post, and they're all going to amazon.com.  Feel warned.  Because you have been.  So there.

So, I love cake.  Its true.  I also feel very strongly that everyone should have a birthday cake.  And heck, I'd go so far as to make a cake for any situation, should it be requested.  Or at least not turned down.  Truth be told, I would cook/bake for most anyone, if they would supply the ingredients (or not) and clean up afterwards (definitely).  

The other week, before classes let out, I had the chance to make a cake for someone's comprehensive exam (where a graduate student presents their planned dissertation research and gets either "the go-ahead" or the "get more work done" nod).  Not only did I get to prepare a cake for this student, I did it for pay.  Yeah, thats right, I said it.  I'm a professional baker (check the first criteria in the definition).  Of course, making the cake cost me more than I was paid for it, not even counting the time it took me, or the overhead.  But I was paid for it.  Made me happy.  I felt a little twinge of unhappiness later when I found out that one of the people the cake was fed to turned out to be allergic (don't worry, she didn't eat it).  Mostly, I was pleased.  Part of me wanted to frame the $10, but I really needed it for gas money so... practicality wins.

This cake.
It changes lives.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Since the Dawn of Time... (part 2)

So, back to the story I wanted to tell you...

Handsome and I had been dating for oh, about... forever 4 1/2 years.  I had started the not-so-subtle hinting that I'd be willing to marry the guy about 3 1/2 years earlier... what can I say, I know what I want.  But Handsome was a little longer in figuring out what he wanted, and so I waited.  And hinted.  Obviously.  Not that I wanted to manipulate him into marrying me, but I wanted him to understand that if he were to ask, I would say yes.  I also wanted him to understand that eventually I would be graduating and moving, that planning a wedding would take a fair amount of time, and that the time was fast approaching to crap or get off the pot (per the 5 year deadline I had given him).  

So, as the summer before my senior year of college approached, I gave a few final hints, by now aware that I would be heading off to SC in a year, and then I tried not to dwell.  Figured I'd just enjoy what was and trust God for the future.  

Set the scene: June, 2007, at a birthday part for my Momma.

Handsome and I went together to get my mom some tickets to a local amusement park, Cedar Point Kennywood.  I had just discovered that my mom of 21 years loved roller coasters.  I never knew.  So we got 4 tickets to the amusement park, and after confirming that she was ready to leave this world if necessary, we extracted a promise from her that she would try the *dun dah da dunnn* Sky Coaster!

Taken from a page in my scrapbook.
I seem to have lost the original.

The problem with a knapsack

The problem with a knapsack is that its only got so much room in it.

On my final day in Reno (I think it was Wednesday... but I'm not sure what today is... Friday? Saturday?), I arrived at the airport around 10 AM and was scheduled to board my flight about 45 minutes later.  I had a limited amount of time, and considering that I would, best case scenario, have 25 minutes between my two flights, I needed to get myself enough food to last the day.  (fyi: turned out I only had 7 minutes from touchdown to boarding.  What a rush.) 

There were certain criteria this amount of food needed to satisfy:

  • moderately healthy
  • able to travel/unlikely to spoil
  • not ├╝ber expensive
  • small enough to fit in my knapsack backpack
  • yummy and delicious
Here's what I had to work with

With only 8 minutes to make the decision, my gut instinct kicked in and I started picking.

I tried to pick enough food to fill me up, while satisfying my taste buds, staying within a budget, and only buying as much as will fit in my backpack.  Obviously some foods were more appealing to me than others.  Like the drinks; I don't really like diet coke, but I do like vitamin water, so one is more appealing to me than another.  I don't like black licorice and it has no nutritional value, so its appeal is very low.  Its all pretty much instinct.  Don't lie, you do it too.  You do it when you grocery shop and when you pack for a trip and even when you choose which friends to take with you on a car trip.  Different friends have different appeal, and you can only have so many of them.

This type of decision making process is actually near the heart of my Masters studies.  I know, I'm sorry, I tricked you.  Slid an operations research lesson right in here, in between my quilting and recipe tinkering and bicycling adventures.  It was rude of me and I apologize.  But in case you're not totally ticked off and through with me, here's a link to the classic problem.  Just in case you want to know more.  I won't judge you if you don't, as long as you don't judge me for being unable to stop my brain from working this way.

My final choices: 

Yes, I spent an embarrassing amount at the airport newsstand.  And yes, I shoved this all in my backpack, but barely.  But really, it did work pretty successfully; I didn't go hungry, I didn't get sick, and I hit all most some of the food groups.  I mean, starbursts count as fruits, right?

I'm a tricky little nerd,

Little Firsts

I could hardly believe it today!  This morning, at the not-so-bright and definitely early hour of 6 AM, the unthinkable happened: we used the next-to-last coffee filter.  We've had these coffee filters since we moved to South Carolina in our very own little apartment and went on our very first shopping trip.  Gets me all sentimental and whatnot.  As news for other firsts, it took me our entire first year of marriage to fill up my first vacuum bag. Considering the amount of carpet we had, this fact should gross you out.  Handsome was a glorified house husband, and I'm going to blame it on him, since he liked to joke that I didn't know how to run the thing.

Since I'm waxing sentimental (or is it wanning?), I'll go along with this theme and tell you about when we first brought our puppy home, and he was so small and fit on the floor of the car at my feet.  We kept track of his height on the wall.  I use the term "we" very loosely, as Handsome couldn't condone what he considered to be akin to graffiti.

See those big gaps at the bottom?
They're only one or two weeks apart.
He grew so fast at first!

I miss our baby dog, and want another puppy.  However, if I keep going at this rate, I'll have more dogs than I know what to do with.  And I'd likely have one less husband.

Speaking of Handsome, our first date, after we officially started dating, was to get chapstick at walmart.  He was also my first boyfriend, stole my first kiss, and became my first husband (he has introduced me as his first wife, so its only fair).  I told this story once, and the person listening claimed that he didn't believe in that.  He didn't believe in my story, didn't believe it was right or good, didn't believe it happened... I'm really not sure how a person can argue with that, but an argument is what I got.  Personally, I think it just shows that we're two people who know what we want. 

I do what I want,

Oh Today...

Today was not the day that I thought it might be.  It was not bad, not really in any way at all; it just wasn't what I thought I was getting when I pulled the "May 26th" straw.  I didn't get as much time with Handsome as I would have liked, due to an excessive accumulation of crap stuff in my Math office and a freak accident with my computer.  

I am sad to say that I am writing to you from somewhere I have never written to you from before.  Also, as the other side to that coin, I will never again write to you from my old computer.  The math dept computer dude doctor said that it was most likely an aneurysm and it went quickly in the night (last night to be exact).  However, the "doctor" was also a transplant specialist and right there, without a sheet over it or any type of anesthesia, he removed the old hard drive and memory card (stick? piece? magicness?) and transplanted it into an even older but more mobile computer.  Apparently my old computer was the universal donor, because despite a sizable difference in years and generations, the transplant was a success and the recipient of the new parts got to go home the same day.  The old computer went to the place where computers go to die (note: linked movie is not recommended unless reader enjoys playing Mystery Science Theater 3000).

Yesterday, riding on my high of moisture-rich air and a sweet tea smell you can taste, I arrived home to find out, quite to my pleasure (remember, I was on a high) that although my home and its inhabitants can survive without me, they do not thrive as well as when I am there.  Today I tried my darndest to get the dog smell out of my house, swept and did laundry, and thought about grocery shopping.  I thought about taking the covers off of the couch cushions to wash them, but I'm pretty sure that zipper is just there as a selling point; one would never be able to fandangle that cushion back inside that cover in a million years.  So tomorrow, when I think more intensely about grocery shopping, I'm going to pick up some febreeze too, and pretend that its the same as cleaning.

Last week, I had another day that did not go as I had thought it might; it went much better.  Handsome and I took el Duke-o and went mountain biking.  We actually did this two days in a row, although the second day went considerably better than the first.  It helped that we actually found the trail the second day.  Here's some pictures with narrations from myself.  Feel free to add your own narrations if you don't like mine; its called creative license.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

H.O.M.E. Home, Home!

I made it home last night.

And it is lovely.

But I'll have to tell you about it another time, because I'm in the Mathematics Department computer lab (for what may likely be my last time) and I'm about to leave to turn in my key and kiss this place goodbye.  And my computer is broken (it is 3 years old, which is like 60 in computer years), so I don't know when I'll be back to chat with you.  But believe you me, I've got some stories to tell.  And we're going to have a lesson on packing at some point too.  I know, you're brimming with excitement.
So know that I'm back in the EST, and that once I do get my computer back (from where ever I find to fix it, and fix it good), we will have so much to talk about, you won't be able to get any work done.  But for now, I leave you with this thought.

South Carolina should change its marketing strategy.  I mean, yes, there are some palm trees, but not in most of the state.  But what the state does have, across the board, is humidity.  And some may feel this is a bad thing, but I disagree.  Think about it: South Carolina.  The Moistureful State.   New state motto: Leave your lotion at home.  Really, when I was in Reno, my skin dried out and my hair got staticky.  Which was something, since I can't remember the last time that happened, and I realized that its all due to the lovely moisturizing abilities of good 'ole SC.  So yes, it is insanely humid today, and yes, I do run for the cover of AC whenever possible.  But its great here.  So warm, so humid, such sweet air its like breathing sweet tea (also the new state drink of choice, under my reign).  Its good to be back.

I <3 Home,

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Jonesing for home

Its true, I'm missing home in the worst way.

I miss its laugh, I miss its musk... when this is all over, I think maybe home & I should get an apartment together...

And not only do I miss home, I miss Handsome, and The Duke too.

And I miss baking.  Honestly, I've been sitting here making this pinterest page, fixated on baking chocolate chip something.  I can almost taste it.  I think I'm out of butter.  I'll pick some up on the way home from the airport.  I want to go grocery shopping.  I know, its weird, but true.  Take me as I am.

I want to bake real bad.  When I get back (tomorrow night), I'm going to change into sweatpants and a long sleeve T-shirt (the perfect outfit) and I'm not changing for 4 days.  I'm not going anywhere or meeting anyone or doing anything.  Unless someone asks me to, but I mean, I'm talking in general.  I've been getting up relatively early, dressing up like business, and meeting people for the last 3 days straight.  I've been punishing my feet with some awful little black shoes, and fueling myself with coffee and free reception food.  Add in the fact that here in Reno (and this resort), no one really goes outside at all, and you get the simple truth that I'm pretty much over it.  I want to be home and make dinner for Handsome and play with my puppy dog and vacuum and bake a lot.

Now, I don't want it to seem like I haven't enjoyed myself here; I definitely have.  I've gotten to see my brudder, enjoyed Tahoe, made some new friends, and even learned a thing or two.  Like the fact that "creme de la creme" sounds waaaay better than "cream of the cream", and that "cogitate" is not a real word, even though it sounds like one.  Really, this has been a productive and enjoyable trip (and mostly free, too.  Thanks Clemson!).  

But anyhow, I'm kind of over this.  My conference partner and I have been getting to the conference later and later ever day, and I think we're sorta worn out.  I mean, thats a lot of walking and learning to do.  And I think I read a study once that learning can really wear a person out.  I'm ready to get back to Handsome, my own bed, and washing my own towels (just kidding on that last one.  I could totally do room service for the rest of my life).  

There are some drawbacks to flying home tomorrow, however.  At the top of my list is the 4 1/2 hour flight to Chicago before I can catch the 2 1/2 hour flight back to GVegas.  Also, I only brought one NetFlix DVD, and I watched it all on the way over.  I'm debating between sticking it in the mail here (so I can get the next one sooner) or taking it with me to watch again.  Its TV episodes, which don't really lend themselves to re-watching within a week (unless its How I Met Your Mother, which I'm currently in love with) (Its not.).

The plus side is that even if you have an early flight, when returning to the East from the West, it doesn't really feel like getting up early.  And then, when you get back, you've lost 3 hours in the air and no one really expect much from you.  "Oh, its late, you must be tired," is what I'm expecting to hear.  If you go the other way, its "Whats up with you?  Its still early!"  I don't like that.  Too much pressure.    I avoid pressure.  Don't pressure me.

So, to make a long story short, (hahahaha... heh) I'm heading home tomorrow and I'm pumped.  On the way here I had a great seat partner (him & his wife own a restaurant near Clemson and are sending me a gift certificate) on the first flight and then an ok seat partner (talked a lot and took my arm rest, but was congenial) on the second flight.  It nearly feels like I'm due for a terrible seat partner, which frightens me.  Also, I'm not feeling as aggressively friendly as usual and I fear I might be all friended out.  We're going to have to see how this plays out.  It might be nearly as dangerous as roulette (which I haven't played this time around, but I've got about 15 hours left to make it happen).

Crossing my fingers for a good airplane neighbor,

Monday, May 23, 2011

Banana Bread Showdown

Last week, the night before leaving town, I decided it would be a good time to...


What?  Did you think I would say pack?  Clean the house?  Oh, puhlease.

Why would I want to do any of those things?

So, I took the 6 rotting  ripened bananas sitting on top of my refrigerator and went to the interwebs to find some contenders for the banana bread showdown.  Here's what I came up with, along with the links to their recipes (all of which I got from tastykitchen.com).

I would like to note that I did not follow these recipes to the letter.  I did not put any add-ins into the bread (such as blueberries or chocolate chips), nor did I follow through with any sort of topping (like struesel or crunchy sugar).  Finally, I did only make a half-batch of one of the breads (although I dont' remember which one), in keeping with 2 bananas per batch.

I mixed together the batter and made 3 small loaves of each, then poured the remaining batter into a large loaf pan, mixing all 3 types together.  What?  I didn't know what else to do with it.  Here's the pictoral representations:

*Announcer voice*
In the top left corner, weighing in at 1/4 C of oil and containing no vanilla, #3!
In the bottom right corner, weighing in with the thickest batter and thickest ankles, #2!
Finally, from the top right, hailing from the land of most butter eva, #1!
Let the games begin!
While these guys baked up (about 50 minutes), I compiled my thoughts on how this was going to play out and chose the crowd favorite (I was the crowd, fyi).

  • Brown Butter, the definite favorite.  It will have the extra layer of flavor, and it incorporates buttermilk.  I LOVE buttermilk recipes.
  • Cinnamon Sugar, the dark horse.  No vanilla, no butter, not an excessive amount of cinnamon and no brown sugar.  Really, this longshot didn't really belong in this race.
  • Brown Sugar, nothing fancy.  Nothing to write home about.  In a word, "Meh."

The results:  We have an upset!

After the fight baking round, no one was any the worse for wear.
#3 (top left corner) seems to be overly browned, but I reckon that has more to do with the oil v. butter issue rather than what went on in the oven.

After making the sacrifice and tasting all 3 loaves (Handsome weighed in too, and agreed), we have, in order of best outcome,
First Place - Brown Sugar
Runner Up - Brown Butter
Honorable Mention - Cinnamon Sugar

where Brown Sugar was a clear winner.  It was very, very good.  The Brown Butter tasted like... butter.  Which is weird that it didn't taste like bananas, but hey, baking can be weird sometimes.  
The Cinnamon sugar was clearly hurting from the issues I listed previously.  

So there you have it.  I've done the hard work, now you can reap the rewards.  My next step is to try and make my own recipe (I'm thinking buttermilk, ground oatmeal, and maybe a little more butter), and then find the best topping.  So we're not done yet, but we're getting closer.

Wondering why I don't do this for my dissertation,

Much ado about Tahoe

I've always wondered about people who love Tahoe.  I've heard a lot about it.  Everyone wants to go skiing at Lake Tahoe, everyone wants to vacation on the lake at Tahoe...  You've heard it too.
Heck, maybe you've even said it, "Gee, I wish I could go to Tahoe..."

So I've always wondered but I've never known.  This was remedied this weekend, thanks to my (not so) little brother and his go-cart of a truck.  Now, although I firmly believe that Reno is nothing more than Vegas's slower, slightly smelly younger brother, Tahoe is a different story entirely.  In case you're curious and unsure about your vacation plans for this summer, let me spell it out for you.

Tahoe is worth the trip.
Reno is not.

Hopefully, this has been helpful to you.

Now, for those of you who can't make it to Tahoe, but want to see the proof, I've got just the thing for you; Photographs!  Its a picture heavy post, but I've kept the commenting to a minimum in order for you to really be able to experience the beauty of this place. (By now, you know I'm lying, right?  I just can't resist.)

Before we begin, may I reveal even more of my ignorance, please?  I learned something this weekend, even before the conference started.  I learned that Tahoe is partly in California!

Who Knew?!
Also, I need to acknowledge that without my broseph, none of this would have been possible.


Brudder Jonah

Sunday, May 22, 2011

SYKE! p.s.- I'm mercurial

I got you guys real good.

Whats that?  You never believed me?  You knew you were irresistible and I would be unable to stay away from you?  You're so smart.

Ok.  Enough about you.  You don't come here to hear about yourself.  You come here to hear about me, right?


Is this thing on?

I am mercurial, easily shifted and prone to change.  One of my favorite hymns (Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing) ends like this:

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

While I'm away

I'm out of office until Wednesday.

Not that I have an office.

I have a spare room that is unable to be classified as a bedroom, due to its lack of 2 exits.

But its not really an office either.

But I digress.

I'm at IERC in Reno, NV.  Basically, back to where this whole blog thing started up.

Trying to impress some peoples, make new friends, etc.

And while I'm here, visiting with my brother and friends and doing more exploring than last time (I've already seen Tahoe!  Awesome!), I'm not going to be on the computer a whole lot.  So consider this a notice that we're going to have some alone time for a while.  You, reader, and I.  Its not you.  Its me.  But I'll be back, probably around Weds.

So there you have it.

See you in 5 days, or sooner.

Regretfully declining to interact,

Friday, May 20, 2011

Gardening: Mistaken Identity & Intruders

The dear garden and I have had some difficulties this week.  There have been presumptions made that later turned out to be untrue (you know what they say about assuming...).  I've found some intruders, and unwelcome ones at that.  Don't worry, I dealt with them appropriately.  At least, I thought I did.  The stern talking to and finger waggling seems to have done nothing to expedite their departure.  Perhaps you can help figure out a way to move them along.

Here's the latest.

Our humble abode.  You'll notice that the gangs still here.
We've had a few disagreements, but they've been resolved without forced departure.
However, if the onions don't stop making the zucchini cry, we're going to have problems.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The night in review

Dang.  I think I did it again.  

I used a great title for a less-than-amazing post.

I wish I could stop myself.  I wish I could think of these awesome titles when it comes time to write an awesome blog post.  I wish I had a snowcone machine and many many leather bound books.  I wish all cockroaches everywhere would drop dead.

However, all of that is neither here nor there.  What has hit my mind and is thus flowing out my fingers is this:  I think it would be fun to review cookbooks.  I think that would be something I could be good at.  Here's my argument:
I am a regular person, and cookbooks need to be able to be used by regular people.  Ergo, I would be a good person to test out a cookbook.  I have fancy writing skills and can include words like "ergo" at appropriate moments to make a review sound sophisticated and intelligent.  I am nothing if not literate, and can therefore follow directions well.  I have years of mathematics skills just begging for an outlet, and cookbooks often contain fractions and possibly pesky scaling problems.  I can pass those tests with flying colors.  I like to cook and I like to read.  I'm pretty much smelling a match-made-in-heaven right here.  Aren't you smelling that, book publicists?  Don't you want to send me some books to review?


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Nothing can ruin tonight.

I was preparing to type this post, with that title, when a palmetto bug flew down and landed on my arm.  And you know what?  (a) I killed it dead and didn't scream, and (b) I'm still super happy and (c) yes I am a little freaked out and will be ordering a pesticide spray, as is required every 3 months down here to control the bug population.  But I'm still happy.

Do you know why?  Of course you don't.  I'm happy for a number of reasons.  Today I made a new friend (we were made for each other, it was easy), and I got to welcome an old friend back to the lovely South, and I'm celebrating with another about her recent (aka: 2 hours, 35 minutes old) engagement.  Its like I'm finally hitting my stride down here.  And it feels really nice.

The whole palmetto bug thing is still freaking me out, and I saw a cicada a little too up-close-and-personal today, but overall, it was wonderful.

On epiphanies and reminiscing

Its true.  I've got things to do.  Like, mad stuff to do.  And thats "mad" as in "lots and big and important, too", not "mad" as in Crazy Harry or "mad" as in Angry Birds.  Like, LOTS.

But I'm not really feeling the pull of those things, as much as I am feeling the need to share with  you!  I'm drinking coffee mocha my own version of what "mocha" should be, which is 1/2 hot chocolate, 1/2 coffee.  Yum.  So its as though we're having coffee together!  Hello friend!  How are you doing?

Today I'm thinking about yesterday, which I suppose is common enough.  Yesterday evening, Dukas and I went for a yog, in the evening during a lull in the rainstorm.  It felt... good.  Now, there's a pause there because running has never felt good to me before.  Lets discuss my years in high school track, as an overview, shall we?

I was never a real runner, although I have this sweatshirt that seems to disagree.  
ASIDE: I don't think I'm actually supposed to have this sweatshirt, as we were a poor school and weren't allowed to keep things like this.  However, my aunt who went to the same high school as I did a ... few years previous to my attendance stole this when she was in track, and she gave it to me.  So the school never technically issued it to me... I don't know, its a moral dilemma every time I get it out to wear it.  Whew.  Thanks for hearing me out.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Foray into Pins & Needles

On this blog, we've got a little bit of everything.

Fire-related things
General Life-snooping

And you've put up with a lot from me.  I appreciate that.

Now, we're going to go where some of you may never have gone before: The land of pins & needles
(aka: quilting)

I quilt.  I know, kind of grandma-esque, especially when you factor in all of the other things I find enjoyable, such as baking and cooking and making little villages out of plastic mesh & yarn (jk on that last one... as of yet...)

But I do it and I like it and I won't apologize.  However, if you want to skip ahead to something with less mothballs and false teeth, I understand.  Skip away.

I like to quilt.  I like to make most things.  In my life, I've created in nearly every way possible.  Let me count them.
1. Spinning Pottery   2. Jewelry Making    3. Chocolate Molding
4. Cake Decorating  5. Velvet Embossing    6. Candle Pouring    7. Soap Making
8. Bead Loom-ing    9. Crocheting    10. Baking    11. Paint-by-number    
12. Charcoal Drawing    13. Paper Mache    14. Acrylic Painting    15. Mixed Media Creating

This is just a brief listing.  As you can see, my mother indulged my creative side a bit.  And we are thankful.

But I got into quilting a few years ago.  I remember it well.  It was winter.  Cold.  Very cold.  And I wanted to be warm.  So I thought to myself, "A quilt would keep me warm.  I want a quilt.  I shall make one."  Fast forward 22 months, I was cold again, and finally finished my first quilt.  I did not do it correctly, OH no.  Some people might decide to take a class or ask someone for help or at least youtube it.  Apparently not me.  I blame this trait of mine to plunge headlong into a previously untried experience on an excessive amount of unearned praise received as a young girl; I really believe I can do nearly anything.


And I'm pretty excited about it.

Truth be told, I don't even really know what I won.  Its a book... ?

I like to win, and I enter to win anything I can.  I put my name in a drawing this weekend while at the art festival. No call on that one yet.

But, I did enter to win on Pam Anderson's (not that Pam Anderson) blog, three many cooks.  I didn't really know what the prize was, but I saw the word "giveaway" pop up on my feed reader, and I clicked, scanned for what to enter to be eligible, and entered away.  Imagine my surprise yesterday when I got an email titled "You Won".

All I had to do with send them my address and bank account number and social security number... KIDDING!

I should be getting the book in the mail sometime in the next week or so (I'm assuming here), and I'll let you know what its about!  I am 89% sure its a cookbook.  I LOVE cookbooks.  And Pam is a great judge of all things to do with cooking, so I'm sure its quality.

Super excited and pleased with myself,

Monday, May 16, 2011

SC is a show-off (Picture Heavy)

And I do love that about her.

Our relatives came down from the cold frigid (comparatively) North, and we took them around to show all that the sweet South had to offer.  This is not merely because we are wonderful hosts, but really we're trying to lure as many people as we know and love to come down here and be near us so we don't have to miss them.

So, while they were here, we made a list of things to do:  Farmers Market, Waterfall Hiking, Lake Swimming, BBQ Eating, etc.  We didn't get to everything on our list, but we did most of them, and I'm going to take you on a tour through pictures.

In This House Challenge

I've been wanting to share things with you, and I've got a lot to say (as I've been claiming for the past 3 days) but I just can't seem to get motivated enough to do it.  Now that I've actually started writing a post that is more than just a list (incognito or unabashed), I seem to have gotten back into my grove and have a million things to say again.  So I may put up multiple posts tonight.  Consider this your warning.

I was snooping on a gazillion blogs, as is my habit now, and I came across this challenge that multiple bloggers had done called "My Other Self".  In it, you go through this site called Pintrest which has a tetrillion pictures on it, and you can make pages of things you like and stuff (I sound knowledgable, no?).  I haven't really gotten into it, only because I can smell an addiction a mile away, and I'm still working through my BubbleMint problem.  

Anyhow, for "My Other Self", you go through Pintrest and pick out a bunch of pictures that your other self would do/have/see/be/know/think/care about, etc.  While this is a long description, its not even to the heart of the party yet.  Please bear with me.

SO, in looking around, I saw a sign.  This sign.  Well, not this sign, but a sign similar to it.  The sign I saw was copywrite protected, and I couldn't steal borrow it from the internet to show you.

I have seen other signs like this.  They don't all say the same things.  But it made me wonder, if I were to make a sign of things we "do" in this home, this house, what would it say?  So I'm going to make one.  Perhaps in real life, but at least in Paint or MS Word, tonight.

And I'm putting a challenge out there to you, to make one too!  Think about it, it might be fun.  Heck, if people actually do it, maybe I'll have a giveaway and pick one.  What do you think about that?

So here is my "In This House".  If you want to leave one, too, comment below and either just leave your list of things you "do", or put it on your blog (if you have one) and leave the link!  Try it out, I think it will be fun.

And in case you can't read it, I put
  • Laughter
  • Mistakes
  • Loud
  • Ice Cream
  • Real
  • Adventures
  • Trust
  • God's Love
  • Generosity
  • Firearms
  • Friendships
  • Hugs
  • Grace
We may do other things, but I just took those off the top of my head.  What do you "do"?

Oh, and apparently we "do" dog sock bandages as well.

Its nothing serious.  I think he's doing it for the attention.
Like a little kid who thinks he needs a bandaid for every boo-boo.

Forever amazed by her dumb dog and wonderful life,

So many things to say...

I hate to bombard you with lists, because, more often than not, lists are a form of sloppy blogging.  I just decided that the moment before I typed it.  I can even substantiate it.   But that doesn't make it untrue!

Anyhow, I'm kinda pooped, you know, tuckered out.  I've been entertaining company all week, and will be giving you a recap of all the different ways SC really showed off this last weekend.  But I'm not doing it today.  Cause I'm 'bushed.

And I have more thoughts to discuss with you about the bakery.

And I have more Handsome stories to tell.

And I'd like to throw in a little ditty about my constant struggle to up & quit WW because I've only lost 1 POINT 5 lbs in 6 weeks.

I've even got some big-movin-God-stuff to share.

But right now I'm just feeling a little bit piqued.

So I'm going to sit right here and rest for a moment longer, then start thinking about some way to fix chicken for dinner tonight.  Something thats not too spicy and not too unhealthy, but still quite tasty.

What are you doing/what have you done on this Monday?

p.s.- did you notice this is a list in disguise?

It is Monday, right?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

My Big Mouth

It always seems to get me in trouble.

You would think that the number of ways that my mouth gets me in trouble would be limited by either time or space or both, but I'm beginning to believe that is just not the case.

Yesterday, my big mouth (MBM) got me in trouble when I thought that fried rice was worth 4 points per cup.  Its worth 10 points per cup.  And I shoveled 2 cups into mbm.  Whoops.

Later in the evening, MBM got me in trouble when my sweet and caring husband made a practical suggestion that bristled my common sense and rubbed my independent streak the wrong way.

Often times MBM gets me into trouble when someone asks for a favor or a commitment, and MBM opens up and shouts "Yes!" before MSB (my slow brain) has a chance to think through the ramifications and other previous engagements.

If MBM would stay closed more often, I'm pretty sure the trouble would lessen and the number of happy people around me would increase dramatically.

Today I'm going to the farmers market in greenville, and I'm sure the opportunities for MBM to get me into trouble will abound.  But perhaps MBM can curl itself into a smile and make someone's day brighter.  I know that there will be some vendors there trying to make MBM water with their delicious wares and say "Yes, I'll have 5 thankyouverymuch," and I just might let it, if its delicious enough...

Always an adventure when MBM is around,

Friday, May 13, 2011


Our company is in 'da house as of yesterday afternoon (hence my unusual absence; I've been socializing with actual people.  Weird, I know).  They arrived a little early which meant that Handsome & I spent the AM in cleaning mode (which any MIL worth her salt inspires).  It also means that we all get to spend more time together, which, when you've got 600+ miles separating you from your nearest emergency contacts, is SUPER AWESOME. 

Jemma Star (aka: the difficult one)
We chilled at first, then tried to go to this swimming hole place  called "The Quarry".  It is a new discovery to me (thanks LL!) in the greater metropolitan Clemson area.  Unfortunately, everyone in the surrounding 3 counties seemed to have the same idea, and since some of our guests require environments with limited stimulation, we decided to forgo the swimming hole for a leisurely stroll along the dike.  

Fortunately, we had the top off of the Jeep, we were all together, and we were loving life, regardless of a small change of plans.

Bella Bean (aka: the easy one)
Unfortunately (anyone ever read those books?) a thunderstorm had the same idea as we did, and when taking a leisurely stroll along a dike, a thunderstorm is not good company.  He's loud and spits when he talks, and always seems to have a static problem; you know those people who always seem to shock you when they shake your hand?  He's like that.  No lie, our hair looked like we rubbed a balloon on our heads.

So we ran for the car, rode through the rain in the Jeep (a new experience and semi-adventurous) and returned home for a mostly quiet night.  The puppies played and ran and barked and wore themselves out.

Sorry neighbors!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hey there cupcake!

So, I've been thinking about this bakery-business (which if you've been here any amount of time, you know), and as part of my research, I've been looking at other peoples bakery's.   And they all have one thing in common: cupcakes.

Everyone who's anyone seems to specialize in cupcakes.

And, well, I have this thing about cupcakes; they suck.

Here, let me demonstrate this problem with some wonderful paint sketches of vanilla cupcakes & chocolate icing.  Really, they're just fabulous.

Example 1: Typical Cupcake
See, in this typical cupcake, you've got a good amount of cake, topped by some amount of icing.  Now, the amount of icing can vary from a thin glaze to a towering pile of whipped goodness.  Sounds like a great plan, right?  You've got a little piece of cake you can hold in your hand, nice and portable, nearly genius.


See, there's way too much cake under the icing, and you get all the icing up in your teeth when you bite into it, and then all you have is a mouthful of cake without adequate icing... what a mess.

So, I've been exploring some alternatives to the typical cupcake.  Come, explore this with me. I've basically written a research paper on the subject.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Brief Confessions

I've heard it said that its best to get things out in the open.  So here I go, to clear the air.

Confession Time.

  • I just found a suspicious stain on my couch (melted chocolate perhaps?) and so I turned the cushion over and called it done.
  • I gave my husband high cholesterol within 9 months of getting married.
  • I like to tie my dogs toys to his feet and watch him try and run with the toy in his mouth.
  • I sometimes run the dryer twice, just to have the background noise while I'm falling asleep.
  • I'm frightened of ticks, roaches, earwigs, and these guys
This picture gives me nightmares, but I can't stop staring at it.
This guy was literally the length and diameter of my index finger.
Ruined my tomatoes.  Not this year, grossness.  I'm out to get you.
You've been warned.

And that is all for now.
Feeling better already,

All I've got in me today

Good morning.

I've had a good morning already, have you?

Sure hope so.

If not, you've still got the rest of the day to make up for it.

Handsome is back, which is F-A-N-tastic.  I say this even though he brought wet stanky laundry back with him, and even though it means I have to get up at 6 AM and even though he brought his snoring back with him.

All I've got for you this morning is a short list.  I may come back to it this evening, give you something actually worthwhile, but for now, its a list.  Remember, its the thought that matters (which is really only true for Mom's, and even then its shaky reasoning).

  1. Previously mentioned "short" final project not due until Sunday night took me 5 hours yesterday.  And that wasn't quite... top quality.  Due at 12 AM, I turned it in at 11:32 PM.
  2. As of 11:33PM yesterday, I was officially done with the semester and unofficially done with the math department.
  3. I'm going to the city today.  Might do some window shopping.
  4. Dukas and I took a nice walk this morning, although we had a tag-along dog, I might have mentioned him before, BoBo.  Makes me feel stupid to say his name when I talk to him.  Try it.  Give BoBo a command, see if you don't feel dumb.
  5. My house still needs to be cleaned.  I AM going to do that today.
  6. I like to have a friend over to watch me clean.  Like maybe I want credit for it, or maybe I just like company to keep me distracted from the boring chores.  Want to come watch me clean my house in a totally non-stalkerish way?  I can't imagine that anyone would not jump at that chance.
  7. The previous sentence is probably a double negative, but I couldn't think of any other way to say it.  I'm sure my resident english-major sista-in-law will take care of it for me.
  8. I played butcher with 27 lbs of chicken breasts yesterday.  I might get some more today.  I might give you a tutorial on "How to turn on-sale-bone-in-skin-on chicken breasts into boneless skinless chicken breasts you actually want to use".
  9. I got that 27 lbs of chicken breasts for $26.50.  Bi-Lo in Seneca, in case you're local and want to know.
  10. While at Bi-Lo, I ran my cart into some things that carts should not be run into, dropped threw all of my change on floor, and forgot one item so I had to go back.  The check-out kid told me that it could be worse, like if I had just told the Salvation Army person that I didn't have any money, and then threw all of my change on the floor.  He's right.
  11. H.'s sista is coming to visit, and she's gonna want to eat icecream, a lot.  So I'm going to have to go yogging, a lot.  Nothing bad about that, just stating things for the list.
  12. I feel that icecream should be one word.  Maybe highschool.  I'm not decided on that one.
I think thats enough for now.  I've gotta get a move on cleaning this house.  I'm gonna turn up some music, set some timers (really helps with efficiency), and get moving.  

Oh, and while I'm at it, I have a question.  I'm not a decorator (not a question, a declarative statement what-what!?), and so my house is sort of... bare.  Lack-luster.  But I don't like clutter, so I don't want to go and buy a bunch of things I'll just have to dust (thanks, Mom) and so my house stays bare, because I don't know what to do with it.  I've been thinking more pictures, perhaps.  Maybe some paintings?  Maybe some on-the-wall shelves?  Not sure.  Anyone have suggestions?  I was apparently born without this gene, and my home feels less cozy for it.
Ready to take on the world sans knick-knacks,

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Dinner Plans

After no small amount of research, I've gotten my dinner plans for the next week or two nailed down.

You may notice a distinct "lightening" of the recipes listed here.  Since Handsome and I are doing WW, we're trying to keep things healthy and what not.

Also, I ran yesterday.  Just want some credit here.  Ran for a whole 28 minutes.  Ok, I walked for about 2 in the middle, but other than that.  It might be a personal best for me.  Aren't you proud??

Ok, below are the recipes and the links.

I know this stuff is about as boring as salt, but I was wondering if there was anything that would make this more exciting for you?  I maybe could post pictures of how the meals turn out.  Or... I don't even know.  Probably not.

And on to the excitement.

Growing Unseen

The only thing Handsome asked me to plant in our garden this year was potatoes.  I guess he used to grow them with his grandparents, and he really liked it.  Something about them growing unseen under the earth and then its like a treasure hunt to find them.

Until today, I had been unable to fulfill his one wish.  Until Today.  Yep.  I planted this morning.  My garden is finally complete!  Nothing left to plant until something dies and/or I get bored and replace it.  Thats how we ended up with cucumbers last year, the watermelons we're doing well so I pulled them out and planted cucumbers instead.  And, in case you were wondering, this is a cucumber plant.

Mystery Solved.
So, here's how the potato thing went down:

First, let me say that I went to a fruit stand and bought some sprouted potatoes to plant.  Then I came home and looked on top of my fridge, and there was a forgotten bag of potatoes that were way sprouted, and so I used those instead.  Which was a waste of exactly $0.59, since I got the potatoes for $0.39/lb.  I love fruit stands.

Anyhow, you take the potato and cut it into chunks with two or three sprouty eyes on each chunk.  Then I let them sit out all night to "scab" which sounds disgusting but supposedly helps prevent rot.  I've gathered all of this information I know from watching youtube videos, FTR.  And on those youtube videos, it said to dig a ditch and plant in that ditch, because apparently, as potatoes grow, you have to mound dirt over them.  And if they're in a ditch already, its pretty easy to mound dirt over them.  So i did.

potato ditches

Then I took the little scabby suckers (GROSS!) and placed them in the dirt, covered them up with a little bit of dirt, and watered them.

sprouty scabby sucker
I'll keep you posted on how this goes.  I've never planted these before, so I'm not 100% sure what I'm doing, youtube videos aside.  Hopefully in 1 1/2 weeks I'll see little plants bursting through the surface, and then I'll know that its O.K.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Since the Dawn of Time...

Alright.  I have a story I want to share with you, about how Handsome proposed and things around that time.  But I feel like thats jumping in the middle.  And while I'm cool with it, you may not be.  If I went ahead with it anyhow, you may feel lost and forlorn, like someone who has the picture on the box, but not all the pieces of the puzzle.  And I'd hate to do that to you.

So I'm going to fill in some of the beginning so that I can tell you about the middle another day.  Also, there's a video I'm going to need to include, and its on my hard drive in my office.  See?  I'm not all altruistic and junk.  I'm also scattered.

 So as I've already mentioned, I met Handsome in high school.  I actually heard about him when I was in 7th grade.  I was at a different school, and hanging out at the county fair with some friends.  One of my friends squealed and got all excited; Geraldo Magagnotti (names have been changed to protect the delightful.) was there!  Of course, he was with his cousin, who would turn out to be Handsome, but I didn't know either of them.  My friend wanted to follow the two of them around and work up the nerve to talk to Geraldo.  I mocked my friend, and Geraldo and Handsome's last name.  "Magagnotti?  Pshaw.  What kind of crazy name is that?  Mag-ag-ag-a-nooooti?  Weird."  Oh, how ironic...

Oh Yeah.

Oh yeah, baby.  Thats right.

Its Friday night and its about time.  This has been finals week, and its been a long week.  I'm still procrastinating on my one project, so I'm not quite done.  But hey, its Friday!  Time for you know what...

Oh yeah.  Thats right.  The perfect outfit: my soccer champs longsleve T from high school, and Handsome's over-sized sweat pants.  Yep.  I'm staying in.  Don't try to dissuade me; I'll just ignore you.  Don't try to tempt me; you won't win.  Puppy-dog eyes?  Never gonna move me.  I've been moderately social today, I've yogged (like jogging, but with a soft "j"), I'm done.

I might clean up a little.  I might not.  I might finally finish procrastinating and get all of my finals done and over with.  I might not.  I might use all of the oil in my house and deep-fry something.  I'd use a deep-fryer, but someone *coughHandsomecoughcough* won't let me have one.  That someone is under the idea that if I had one in the house, I would deep fry everything in sight, and then I'd be so large I wouldn't be able to leave the house.  In which case I'd just stay home and deep fry some more.  That someone might also be right, so I'm not going to push the matter.  I might also eat 2 lbs of strawberries and cantaloupe.

Really, just about anything could happen tonight.  Unless it involves me leaving the house.  In which case, let me say "Nada Chance!".  Seriously, I am legitimately excited about that perfect outfit.  Its... I don't know, wonderfully worn it, comfy without being overly warm... perfection.

So, since I'm not doing anything, why don't you tell me what you're doing tonight?  Or what you did last night, if you have something better to do tonight instead of read blogs, and you're reading this on Saturday morning. Or if you live in Sri Lanka and its already Saturday over there (I'm not 100% on my time zones, so I'm not guaranteeing that it is in fact that far ahead) (and as a p.s.- did you know that FL has 2 timezones???!?!  I did not.  This changes things for me.  I'm not sure what, but it changes things.)

For the record, Duke fully endorses my Friday night plans.

Housebound & Loving it,

Thursday, May 5, 2011


I've got a bunch of thoughts swirling around.  I'm about to unload them here.  So if you'd rather escape the mess and wait for a post about something funny and inappropriate, I'm gonna suggest you leave off here and come back another day.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Proctor Doctor

I'm proctoring (fancy word for "overseeing test-takers to make sure they don't cheat on...") my last exam as a Mathematical Sciences Teaching Assistant right now.  Yep.  RIGHT NOW.  Its happening, in the very room where I sit.  While these young'uns sweat and scratch their heads and chew their pencils, they have the melodious sound of my typing (which, according to Mavis Beacon, is around 78 wpm) to lull them into mathematical understanding.

This semester has really been a joy.  They've been funny kids, hard-working kids, reasonably-intelligent kids.  Heck, I'd even call some of them smart.  They've been polite and inquisitive.  
Really, its just been a joy.

Last semester, not so much.  
But thats sad, and possibly incriminating, so I'm going to gloss over it.

Its weird to think that I've taught these kids what they're currently being tested on.  
About 4 semesters ago, it really hit me the first time my first class walked into their first test: I'm the only one who taught them, and now their academic careers depend on my words.  
I'd "assisted" with teaching before, but never had my own class.  Its kind of shocking, that I would be allowed to have so much sway over the future of these students.  

Teaching has been a real experience.  I feel as though I've gotten a pretty good feel for what it is to teach at the college level.  And that is part of my maybe-someday-plan; I might become a professor.  I'm not 100% sold on the idea, because I've seen how much time goes into it, and I've had the students who don't want to learn and all that jazz.  But overall, I think I like it.  Maybe.

This summer, I've taken an internship with a large company in Greenville, SC.  Its a real job, like, fo reals, its a job.  Its got everything that a real job has: long hours, a long commute, rush-hour, a water cooler, name badges, and files.  I think I might even earn a little paid vacation time, which I've never had in my life.

Can we take a moment to examine that?  I'm 25 years old.  Thats definitely adult age.  And I've never had a real job.  I've had summer jobs serving opportunities with Americorps, I've had work-study jobs at my undergrad, I've worked for my grandparents, I've babysat and cut lawns.  But a real job, a more-than-minimum-wage-job, nope.  Never.  I get paid right now while I'm in school, but its basically a work-study position, and when you factor out the time spent vs. the bi-weekly pay stubs, its just depressing.

This summer, though, I am taking the world by storm.  I'm gonna have me a real job.  The goal of this job (other than to make money money make money money ay!) is to experience a real job.  Everyone wants to know what I want to do when I get growed up.  Seriously, the guy who interviewed me for the internship asked me that and I told him the truth; last week, I wanted to run a fruit stand, and this week I wanted to open a bakery.  Honestly, I think he thought both were good ideas.

Hopefully though, this job gives me some perspective on what life is like outside of a college campus.  I'm a little concerned with needing to leave my house looking like business at 6:30 in the AM but I figure people do it every day and live to tell about it; so can I, too.  And I'm a little nervous about the usual things: will they like me, who will I sit with at lunch, what if I choke on water while talking to someone (not that I did that at my interview or anything... nope, 'cause I'm a cook cat, yep.), etc.  You know, the usuals.  But overall, I'm hopeful for the epiphanies it may bring with regards to my future.  And if not, at least I'll earn vacation time and make more than minimum wage.  Which is not too shabby either.

So, as I end (as soon as I turn in my last project, or Sunday night, whichever comes first) my final year in the Mathematical Sciences Department and head out into a summer of uncomfortable shoes and new experiences, do you have any suggestions?  Should I take baked goods into the office, thereby buying new friends with sugar and butter?  I mean, its really worked for me so far... Or should I get some special music for my commute (45 min on a good day)?  Or should I be sure to not wear stripes with floral (neither of which I think I own...)?  Any wisdom you've got is much appreciated.

Oh, and I need a dog-sitter for 2-3 days a week, end of June through early August.  
Any takers?

Growing up, just a little,

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I think its a Haiku...

So I'm sitting here and...

its just rained (again)
its dark
Handsome is on his way out of town
the windows in my house are open
the smell of fresh rain and damaged basil and mint plants is wafting in my windows
I'm sad about the potential damage to my herbs
I'm absolutely loving this smell right now
my dog is lying beside me in such a way that one small input from him could ruin it
I'm going to enjoy this as long as it lasts
I'm not sure how to do my finals project
its due tomorrow
the "care" button deep down inside of me must be damaged
my Mom will be ticked at me if she reads that
did I mention it smells wonderful outside
I want to bake things and then eat it all
I can't because I didn't even exercise a little today
I might be procrastinating a little bit
its just rained (again)
its lovely outside.

I hope you are having a wonderful night.  If you're not, might I suggest opening a window to the darkness, and crushing up some basil and mint right under your nose.  Its done wonders for me.  Oh, and stay away from your dog's backside; but thats a usual suggestion.

Basically done with school,

Monday, May 2, 2011

Cliff Hangers No Mo.

I've left a few things hanging over the past couple of weeks.  I'd like to take this time now to wrap them up.  

But first, speaking of cliff hangers, can I confess to you a phobia that I have?  Perhaps its not a phobia, but it is most certainly a distorted way of thinking.  Whenever I'm waaaay up high and there's a ledge of some sort, I have to keep myself faaaar back from it.  Not from fear of falling.  And (ha ha) not from fear of landing, either.  Nope, its from fear of flinging; myself, that is.  I have this unnatural compulsion-type-need to picture myself jumping off of said cliff.  I don't think I'd ever do it, its just something I always picture, and it requires me to stay further back than I really need to.  Whew.  Glad I could share that with you and not be judged.  You're not judging, right?  Oh, okay, good.  Back to the wrap-up.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

I should get activity points for this...

So, WW has these things called activity points.  And activity points are earned by doing activities (duh), and you can use them to track the points (aka- food amount) that you eat. 

To give some perspective to those of you oblivious of this whole system, walking briskly for 30 minutes will give me 2 points.  Eating 16 Wheat Thins, Low Fat, will cost me 4 points. 

So anyhow, I like to eat, as you may have noticed.  This motivates me to get Activity points for myself as much as I can.  Cooking? Goes under "Light Housework", 1 point per 15 minutes.  Walking to class?  Yep, I count that.  This system has gotten Dukas quite a bit more exercise, as I try to get more walks in.  Handsome thinks I'm over-reaching, but I say I'm just sticking with the plan...

Lately, I've been struggling with... I guess you'd call it Wifery.  People always tell you (or at least they should) that "marriage is hard work".  And the young lovers in love shake their heads and say "Oh, yes, we know, we're ready for it".  I especially thought this.  See, handsome and I had dated for nearly 5 years (per an ultimatum)  before getting engaged.  
We had gotten to know each other slowly, as friends first.  Spent a lot of time with each others families, built upon a foundation of mutual respect and shared interests... blah blah blah.  

When it came down to it, all of that still adds up to woefully unprepared.  Because, I've found, that marriage, if you're doing it right, requires a person to put the needs of the other above their own.  "AND WHO THE CRAP WANTS TO DO THAT?" is my reaction, most of the time.  Its a weird *warning: mathy term* inverse  relationship, where the more you give, the more you end up getting.  Which is fine as a rule, and risky-feeling in practice.

Anyhow, I've been feeling kind of mouthy lately.  Which is bad even when coupled with my general emotions, and lately I've been feeling sleep-deprived-emotions.  Finally, to make it the perfect storm, I've got to watch what I'm eating because of those stupid points I talked about above.  I'm being honest here; I've got a bag full of no-bakes sitting on my counter, and all I want to do is Go To Town on that.  Warm them in the microwave, get a nice tall glass of milk... s'cuse me, I'll be right back after I GORGE myself...

~ Time Passes ~

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