Monday, October 27, 2008

6 Random Things

Last week my sister, Alaina, tagged me to write 6 random things about myself. I'm just now getting around to fulfilling it.

1. I highly dislike Feta cheese. Even the smell kind of turns my stomach. There are a few dishes with small portions of feta in them that I like, but overall, I could do without it.

2. I love ribbon. I have since I was a little girl--I'd suck my thumb and stroke the ribbon edge of my blanket (once when I was a toddler, I even substituted the silk flower arrangement in the middle of our dining room table...Dad managed to get a photograph). I still find stroking ribbon to be soothing.

3. When I was a little I wanted to be a nurse when I grew up. When I grew up, I went into literature instead. While I actually love science, I've never had interest in pursuing a career in it.

4. One job I think I'd like doing, but have no idea how to get into, is being a professional organizer. It's a real job! Even Anne Tyler's book, Saint Maybe, has a character who is an organizer.

5. I know that ladybugs are good bugs, but I can't stand how they get into the house--sometimes lots at a time--and they crunch if you squash them.

6. I've always wanted to visit Australia and Israel.

That's it from me. I tag, Margaret J., Heather L., and Rebecca S. to list 6 Random Things about themselves. Have fun!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Keeping Creative Kitchens

As requested by my dear older sister, I am participating in her weekly Keeping Creative Kitchens. I don't actually think I keep a creative kitchen because I pull many of my recipes from people's blogs and I'm actually new to having my own kitchen to maintain; however, I'm here to share a recipe with you from the cookbook, Muffins Galore. I tried them out yesterday and they were a hit.

Honey & Cinnamon Muffins

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
Generous 1/3 c. oatmeal
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 egg, lightly beaten
2/3 c. skim milk
1 c. plain yogurt
1/4 c. butter, melted
4 Tbsp honey

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease muffin tin.
2. Mix the flour, oatmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the egg, milk, yogurt, butter, and honey. Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients and mix briefly until just combined.
3. Spoon the batter into the muffin tin, then sprinkle the tops with a little oatmeal. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until well risen and golden. Cool in the pan 5 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack. Makes 10 muffins.

Hope you enjoy!

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Promised Story

If you're a girl and you get married and you want to take your husband's last name, well then, you have to fill out forms and go to Social Security and BMV and in the process you have to make sure you have all the correct documents.  It's kind of a pain in the you know what.

Last week I decided I needed to get that legal stuff over with, especially since I'm slowly looking for a job.

First stop, social security office.  I had a mental picture of the waiting area being filled with vagrants, but I went anyway.  
I pulled into the parking lot around 10, with a book in hand and an envelope containing all the documents I needed (I'd read over the website several times trying to make sure I arrive with everything I needed).  When I walked into the building, arrows directed me to a machine where I had to input the number that corresponds to my reason for being there.  I pushed '1' and a receipt printed with my number--109.  The waiting room was packed with vagrant looking people.  I settled in next to a line of Spanish speaking women.  The first number I heard called was 175--I glanced at my number wondering where it fell in the line up.  About 15 minutes into my wait, the woman sitting a chair away from me received a phone call from her mother.  For the next many minutes, I tried to read and tune out the woman.  She was going through a divorce after 15 years of marriage and she's pretty sure that her ex is bi-polar.  It was an emotional phone call and the woman was obviously on the edge of falling apart.  Not far from her sat two early 20s guys.  Punks from observation.  They were very antsy from waiting and started mouthing off  and singing inappropriate songs/ditties--total noise pollution.   So, I kept reading, trying desperately to ignore everyone, but also listening closely to the numbers being called.  The divorcing woman got another phone call--this one from the ex-husband.  A minute after she hung up, one of the young guys looked at her and said, "You call me an idiot?"
Lady: "What?"
Guy: "You call me an idiot?"
L: "No.  Don't talk to me.  You don't know me."
G: "You called me an idiot."
L: "No I didn't.  Stop talking to me.  I was talking to my husband."
Okay, I have to take an interlude here because I don't feel it's correct to write the words that followed.  They start throwing words back and forth.  The guy mimics every nasty phrase the lady says.  She starts getting hysterical.
L: "You know what?  I don't have to deal with this!"  She storms past the guy to the security desk.  "Excuse me sir, this fellow here is harassing me.  That one, the fourth chair down."
Then more yelling back and forth ensues and the security officer kind of just stands there.  The crowning moment was something like this.
L: "You have no idea what's going on in my life.  I don't have time for men right now!"
I thought there might be an all out brawl on the floor, but the guy was ordered to leave and the crying lady was escorted to the back by a manager.  After another 5 or so minutes, the tension in the room dissipated and people returned to their sitting and waiting.  By 11:15, I'd been called to the window and transacted my business.
It was a ridiculous episode and not a pretty picture of humanity.  It made for a good story.  I kind of wish someone had been there with me to see it. 

Friday, Jer and I made the trek to the BMV.  It went much smoother, but I was annoyed by the woman.  She asked for my marriage license and I hand her the official record of our marriage.  She looks at it and walks away and comes back and says, "This doesn't work."  I look at her with annoyance, "What?  This is the only other document I have."  (The Marion County Clerk's Office gives you two documents--the official record and the application for the marriage license.)  She accepts the application as proof of our marriage.  Doesn't it seem strange that the document that shows we got married doesn't work, but the document that shows we're just applying to get married does work.  Weird world, huh?

Well, I think my stories tell better in person, but this is my outlet to tell them.  

So, now I legally share my husband's last name. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Going to the gym

So, I'm at the gym last week combing out my hair in the bathroom. I'm not particularly fond of showering there, but some days it's a necessity. I'm minding my own business when two older ladies walk in (think early 70s). They're holding rain-bonnets in their hands and have blueish eyeshadow on.

Lady:"So you have to bring your own padlock?" (I realize the woman is talking to me.)
Me:"Oh, yea, if you want one on your locker."
L:"How long have you been a member?"
M:"About two weeks."
L (a little surprised):"Oh, well, do you like it?"
M:"My husband's been a member for a long time and he really likes it. It seems to have all the basic things."
L:"Yes, and there's a place for refreshments around the corner." (We all laugh thinking about the pastry shop just at the other end of the shopping strip.)

We part ways and I smile to myself because these ladies don't look at all like they'd frequent a gym.

So I'm at the gym this morning after I dropped Jeremy at work. And who should be there? Those two ladies. One using a weight machine, the other one standing by observing. Kind of cute!

Monday, October 13, 2008


Well, the Bible study was okay. Eight women came. Quite a variety of ages--I'm definitely one of the young ones and the only one without any children. It will be good for me to get to know the women. We will be going through the book called A Quest for More, by Tripp.
Also, Jer and I are getting involved with a shepherding group from church. It meets every week at the pastor's house. Basically, it's a small group and we're studying the Westminster Shorter Catechism. Here again, J and I are on the young end. The pastor's family is really the other ones. There are younger families in the church, but apparently it's difficult for them to get out for weekly commitments. Oh well, it will be another opportunity for us to socialize with a variety of people.
I'm off to have coffee with one of the girls from church tomorrow morning--she's the one that hosts the Bible study. She has a 1-year-old, so I'm just going over to their place.

On a completely different note, this weekend was my brother's wedding. It was a lovely celebration. They both looked amazing! And, I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief that this wedding season is complete!

We had a family dinner yesterday at my parents. So many of us! It was fun, though. We drew names for Christmas. With the additional people every year, we keep having alter how we do the Christmas exchange and this also means it gets a bit complicated to make sure that spouses don't draw each other, etc. I think we only had to toss in a couple times. Not too bad.

Jer and I received a bit of bad news this morning. His car started making awful noises last week, so we took it into the Honda dealership here in town before we left for our weekend festivities. Well, it's going to cost more to repair it than he paid for it back in June. So, it's kaput. Thankfully we still have another car. Now we're trying to decide whether or not to make it work with just one car, or whether we should start looking again.

Sometime this week, I'm going to post a most astonishing moment in society that I encountered last week. But for now, I figured an update was good enough. Plus, I've got some things to do around here before my husband returns from work. It's our one-month anniversary, so I'm trying to prepare a special dinner.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Further adventures for this shy girl.

Tonight I'm venturing out to the first meeting of a women's Bible study through church. I've never been particularly fond of attending meetings where I don't really know anyone; however, it is being hosted in the home of the one woman in the church I actually do kind of know (she and her husband had Jer and I over for Sunday dinner earlier in the summer), so I'm going. Plus, it would be good to get to know some people and socialize a bit. And, my husband has been gently encouraging me to go. It will no doubt be a good time.

Monday, October 6, 2008

On Turning 27

It sounds so much older than 26; I'm sure it's partly because of the march towards 30.
With my wedding just 3 weeks ago, there's been much celebration in my life. I didn't feel a strong need to celebrate in a big way; however, I did want my birthday remembered. Last year Jeremy did my birthday up in a big way (dinner at an amazing Italian restaurant, wine and poetry at Butler, and an iPod shuffle) and he felt intimidated by that. I assured him I didn't need him to top that. But honestly, I think he did.
Friday night he brought me home three red roses with an anticipatory birthday note. Saturday he surprised me with a mystery trip to a pumpkin patch. It was the perfect October evening and we enjoyed walking around the farm, sipping coffee, and admiring the many varieties of pumpkins. Dinges' Fall Harvest does autumn up! We brought home a peck of apples, a pie pumpkin, a carving pumpkin, a few gourds, and a small bottle of raw MI wildflower honey. It was the epitome of fall for me--my favorite season. Yesterday was my actual birthday. We went to church and then J had to work until 5. He'd promised me yet another mystery trip. This one for dinner. He took me to a most impressive restaurant in a massive home built in the 1880s--Tippecanoe Place Restaurant. We were seated in what was once the nursery on the third floor of the house. There are 7 floors and according to the waitress, 8 tunnels that lead out from one of the basements to various points around the area. These tunnels are wide enough for a horse and wagon! The food was tasty and filling (I had a herb-roasted chicken breast with roasted red potatoes and mixed vegetables). Our one complaint was the extraordinarily noisy people at the table in the room. Seriously, I think they took up all the talking air. The other 4 tables were much quieter in comparison and I think partly because of the ridiculousness at the largest table (the noisiest guest never made more than $21k at a job, almost married the wrong man this summer, knew a dog who would take care of his business while walking, you get the idea). Despite this, we enjoyed each other's company. Jer also completed my Bill Bryson collection by giving me Bryson's Dictionary for Writers and Editors.
Wouldn't you say that was a pretty good 27th birthday? So, I guess I'll enjoy being 27 for this year and not look back on being 26.
Happy fall everyone!

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Wish Granted

My husband returned home from work last night around 8:30 and he brought me a surprise...At Large and At Small. He read my blog post just before leaving work and the library had a copy of the book. So, guess what I've been doing? READING!!! I'm about 80 pages in and I'm loving it. It's a good, if not better, than I imagined it would be. (Someone else needs to read her books so I have someone to talk to about them.) To keep myself from only reading today, though, I'm making myself stop periodically and do things like write a job cover letter, write thank-yous, etc. However, I'm always eager to return to my book with a cup of Irish breakfast tea in hand.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Currently I'm reading Inkheart and I'm finding it quite fascinating. My dad told me he'd heard that people said it seemed like a rip off of Harry Potter books and Eragon, but I'm not seeing that at all--I'm halfway through and there aren't any witches or wizards or dragons. All fantasy books have some of the same elements, but so far this one has some uniqueness to it that I'm appreciating. Any of you read it?

Awhile back I posted about Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman. It's a great little book of essays about reading. Later I picked up a book she edited called Rereadings and I enjoyed that very much as well. She has a new book out now I really want to read. I waited impatiently for it to come into the bookstore, but a used copy never showed its face. At Large and At Small is another book of essays. I think I'm going to have to go against my usual habits and buy a copy at Barnes and Noble. Otherwise, how am I going to get to read it?

I really shouldn't buy any more books that I haven't read. I have five cubby shelves on our newest bookcase filled with the books I haven't read yet. Don't you think I should probably confine myself to that reading for the time being?

What are you reading right now? Any good recommendations?

What is it exactly that I do?

My days are very different here.
I was used to full days of work, family, sometimes church, friends, etc. There was always something filling my time and there were days I felt exhausted by it. Well, I think I really felt drained when I added wedding planning into the mix.
For a month now I haven't been working. Of course the two weeks before the wedding were consumed with all those final details. Now in the almost three weeks since the wedding, I've been setting up house here. It's quiet. Jeremy's gone at least 9 hours a day, 5 days a week. So, I do laundry and cook (he's particularly enjoying that!), clean (he's not much on cleaning and when I told him it's good to clean 2-3 times a week he looked rather shocked), organize, scrapbook, and read. Technically I want to use some time to write as well. I talk on the phone a bit, but unless I go out and shop or something, it's just me at home. I think a lot, not surprising is it? This week I realized how much I enjoy doing all these homemaker "things". This change in life isn't without its lonelinesses and challenges, but truly, I'm enjoying being Jeremy's wife.
I am looking for a job now. But nothing so far. I'm not even sure where to look. I'm not too worried about it yet. I've only been in this city for 2 weeks.
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