Friday, July 31, 2009

I'm not an insomniac...

But I am what I call a chronic dreamer. One of two scenarios occurs: either I sleep on the edge of consciousness with the knowledge that I'm doing just that while I'm dreaming or I sleep deeply and dream. Each night as I close my eyes and drift off to sleep I seem to grab a mental stack of stories/books and proceed to skim read them throughout the night, meshing unrelated events together and before the story is concluded I'm on to the next book and another series of unrelated bits of my day and other who-knows-where-it-comes-from thoughts all mixed into bizarre scenes. It's rather unrestful. I wish I could just stop thinking (because I definitely take my serious thoughts of the day into my sleep) for a few hours and completely relax.
I do like to tell Jeremy the parts of my dreams I can remember before the cobwebs of sleep are whisked away and the last particles of dreams gone with it. His frequent response to my dreams is, "What have you been smoking?"

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I know, it's been awhile.

I had every intention of maintaining my blogging momentum, but was waylaid by my sudden inspiration for a birthday gift for Jeremy.
Last Friday was Jeremy's birthday. I'd contemplated the perfect gift (last year I bought him a bike, that was a big deal and not something I could live up to) and my burst of inspiration came the Friday night before Jeremy's birthday--a quilt. He loves the quilts I brought into the marriage and at one point expressed in interest in having one. So, Saturday morning directly after Jeremy left for work, I set out to make a secret quilt in a week. Every minute that Jeremy was gone, I'd pull out my sewing machine and the hidden quilt pieces and my ironing board and I'd work like a crazy woman until I had to put it all away before he came home in the evening. I was having fun, but I was stressed. Each day I set a mental goal to reach before clean-up time came. As you can imagine, the household chores fell by the wayside. However, I completed the quilt with just thirty minutes to spare (the finishing details were not up to my standard at all! But it was done!) and J was surprised. So, I guess it was a success!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Finally after 17 years...

Back in the days when birthdays were eagerly anticipated and cards appeared regularly in the mailbox for a few days prior to the celebration, Mom allowed us to take the day off school. It was purely a fun day. We rarely had parties, but sometimes a friend was invited over.
The October I turned 10, my best friend lived 40 minutes away (consequently two of my sisters had best friends in their family as well). They came for the afternoon, Mrs. L and their 4 kids. I still remember the gift they gave me, a Dover Publications address book. The bright, blue cover pictured a standing dog slipping a letter in a mailbox for the post-bird to pick up--cute, huh?! I filled it with the names of my few friends and my grandparents.
Throughout my teens, I was an avid letter writer (I still enjoy the process of writing a letter) and despite that fact, I continued to use my Dover address book. Somehow I couldn't bring myself to copy the addresses into a more suitable book.
Well, after 17 going on 18 years, I finally did it! The binding to my first address book is cracked and the spine is fraying. I think it's time for it to be laid to rest. Last night, I copied the names and addresses into a new address book--this one spiral bound.
For the record, the friend that gave me the book, is still one of my dearest friends. Although now she lives like 4-hours away.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

mid-week company and industrious behavior

It's been a wonderfully unusual Wednesday up here in my neck of the woods. I had the day off and Mom drove up to pick blueberries. About 10 minutes from my apartment is an organic blueberry farm with incredible prices. So, not only did I get to visit with my mom, I also was able to freeze blueberries for the winter. In about 3 hours, Mom and I picked 57 lbs of berries. I kept 12. As of this afternoon, I have 8 bags of blueberries, 3 bags of strawberries, 1 bag of cherries in my freezer. Fruit for the winter!
After our industrious picking, we ran some errands. I found a pair of low, black heals to wear in my sister's wedding in about a month. Mom bought a gift for an upcoming wedding.
And together we enjoyed some delicious, homemade meatball sandwiches! I've eaten 3 Italian meals this week, which in my book is pretty amazing since I married a man who doesn't enjoy such foods.
Now I think I might clean my kitchen and work on sorting and organizing my extremely messy desk.
Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Word picture

I have a soft spot in my heart for the movie You've Got Mail. I suppose most of it is because I love the Shop Around the Corner. And I love that Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan's character) knows Noel Streatfeild (the Shoe books) and Maud Hart Lovelace (Betsy & Tacy books), two authors that I read and loved growing up; now no one seems to be familiar with those authors.
However, the reason I even started this post was because I was remembering in the car yesterday this line from the movie when Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) says of his then girlfriend, "Patrica makes coffee nervous." I just love the mental picture of a woman making coffee jumpy.
Ahh well, it might just be me being easily entertained. :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Recent Kitchen Successes

I feel like I'm constantly in a rut with food. Make the same things. My fridge perpetually low on food. So, I try and read cookbooks and cooking magazines and force myself to experiment. In the last couple weeks, I've tried three new dishes. I'm one for tinkering with recipes and ideas and sometimes they are great and sometimes, I still think they need work.
Citrus-herbed Zucchini (idea from a Taste of Home mag)
julienne 2-3 zucchini
2tsp olive oil
2tsp lemon juice
pepper, salt, herb de provence
Saute the zucchini in olive oil and lemon juice until tender. Sprinkle liberally with pepper and herb de provence.

This was a real success. Jeremy loved it. The lemon juice gives a pleasant zing to the dish.
Meatball Pitas
Turkey meatballs (made with onion, cheese, salt, pepper, egg, oats)
sauteed peppers and onions (I spiced mine up)
flat pitas
fresh lettuce and plain yogurt
Put everything in a pita, drizzle the yogurt over top.

This was good, but I thought would have benefited from a little cheese and maybe something a little more saucy over it (maybe make Tzatsiki or something).
Lentils with split peas (basic recipe from friend Cathy, with my additions)
1c ea lentils and split peas
4c broth or water
clove garlic
chopped fresh parsley and basil
Simmer beans in broth/water with onion, garlic, parsley, basil, until cooked. May require more water to keep moist. Serve alone or over rice with a sprinkling of pepper and drizzle of olive oil.

We used a little cheese and plain yogurt. I also made a mushroom curry rice for this. I really liked the flavor of the beans. It got a little thicker than I intended, but can be remedied with more water.
Hope you all are having successes in the kitchen as well. I'd love to hear about them and get more ideas!

Monday, July 6, 2009

green thumb

This morning I tended to my plants (that would be only four, but hey, it's a start). Back in May I planted parsley, basil, and chives in a long planter on my deck railing. I added two more pots, one with oregano and one with sage (a friend gave me starts from her hearty plants). I feared that my herbs wouldn't get enough sunlight, but decided to try anyway. Let me tell you, my basil plant is very sturdy and growing like crazy. The parsley is not far behind. I'm thrilled to have a little fresh herbs to add to my cooking. The oregano didn't make the cut, but the sage is limping along. As for the chives, they're doing fine, but nothing like that basil!
I look forward to one day having more space to garden. For now, I'm content with my green plants on the deck.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

mental malfunction

In the past few weeks I've done the following:

Used salt to make cinnamon sugar.
Washed a load of laundry without using detergent.
Began to apply body wash to my hair in place of shampoo.

Maybe I'm going crazy...

In my defense, the canister of salt is identical except in height to the canister of sugar; I'd already put fabric softener in and forgot there was a step 2; my body wash and shampoo sit next to each other in the shower.


Tomorrow Jer and I leave town for the weekend. But I'll be back and I'm hoping to write a short historical post about Book Ladies. So, my few readers, stay tuned.

Have a wonderful 4th of July!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Maybe my world is a little small...

Yesterday when I walked out to my car, my back passenger tire looked quite low. However, I hadn't allowed myself adequate time (because I didn't know to) to find a gas station and air up the tire. Have you ever tried to find air? It's not at all gas stations. On my way home, I stopped and filled up the tire and I was pleased to find a gas station that has free air! Jeremy thought I was silly for being excited about that, but I was was. Normally it's like $.75.
Is free air a silly thing to get excited about?

a Healthy Morning Start

6:30-7 prepare husband's lunch, eat breakfast with husband (homemade granola with organic berries and yogurt!)
7:05 leave for gym
7:15-8 workout with hubby
8:10 back home to shower and get ready for work

I hope I'm ready to take on the day, because I have to whether I'm ready or not. :)
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