Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bean Griddle Cakes

Kristen started a great collaborative cooking blog and I totally crashed it and begged her to let me talk about beans. She said yes. Read my bean and cookbook rave here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I recently discovered the barter section of Craigslist. In that section I found a non-drinking family who was given a bottle of 1998 Dom Perignon as a gift. Who doles out once in a lifetime champagne without researching whether or not the recipients are teetotalers? A strange situation that I believe one encounters only in classes above my own. Lucky break for me though, I offered a family portrait session and they accepted. It was not exactly a fair trade since my services are not even remotely worth the $175 + that the champagne is. On the other hand, they did cram 3 families into one session so maybe it evened out. At any rate I'm not arguing. And I'm not saving it for years for the perfect occasion as I usually do. A 3 year anniversary seems to me to be the perfect occasion and that's coming up this spring.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Filing... always, always an issue. It's crucial to organization and living life smoothy and basically being an adult since that state somehow comes with loads of important paperwork. Yet it's a total drag. Paying the bills is exhausting enough, the last thing we want to do is unearth the file boxes from the dark front hall closet and cram endless pieces of paper into their slots. So the papers pile up and we forget what's in the pile and then I respond late to my jury summons and it's a mess and I don't just mean the pile of paper (on the bright side, when we finally sorted this stack, we discovered a hefty check we didn't even know our escrow account, whatever that is, refunded us!)

I've thought long and hard about how to make filing if not fun at least easier. I thought if we had some kind of file cabinet/furniture out around the house we might be more inclined to pull open a drawer and deal with stuff as it comes. But if you've ever tried shopping for file cabinets you know the beautiful ones cost two months worth of grocery budget, and the ugly ones are so ugly they're only fit to be shoved in a closet and then we're back in the original predicament. But something had to be done about the stacks of paper around our house. So we improvised.

An antique dairy crate was $10, casters were $10, matchy green file folders were $4 and we have a new file box.

It sits out in the open, because it's cute, and right by Zeb's chair where the finances and 'dealing with stuff' happens.

The mundane made beautiful. We have no excuse to put off filing now, may we never deal with cluttery stacks of paper again.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The New Year's Goals Post

Well boy howdy did I need that break. Three weeks ago I was contemplating giving up on this whole graduate school endeavor so battered I was by the end of the first semester. I felt out of touch with friends and myself, exhausted and discouraged. And here a few wonderful weeks later I'm refreshed, regrouped and ready to start again. I cooked incessantly from my favorite new cookbook (thanks Ax!) and organized and entertained and sold clothes and bought new clothes and got a haircut (11 inches!) and went on some wonderful dates and celebrated holidays and read novels (see above) and played with new Christmas toys (Photoshop!) and held babies for hours. My sister asked, a few days ago, if I'd gotten ahead on my reading over the break and I realized I had never even considered spending my break on advance homework. All I wanted to do was rest and have fun. And I did. I soaked up rest and fun. Tonight, facing the prospect of school starting tomorrow, I'm not panicked, I'm ready and even excited.
I took a lot of time to think, in the last few weeks about why I'm doing all this and what I want out of life and run through alternate scenarios in my head to test out whether or not I'd be happier with something else. Aside from realizing happiness is mostly something I choose rather than something that happens to me, I've pretty much decided I'm right where I want to be. That's a funny thing to decide at the beginning of a year where I'm supposed to be cataloguing a list of changes to implement starting January 1. I've done that in the past, but this year I didn't feel the need for the fresh start that I have in the past. I feel the need to persevere in the goals I've already set, to keep working toward them with a cheerful attitude and diligence. Aside from small things such as learn to sail and really truly this time start doing yoga, I set goals instead of resolutions. Actually, the boy and I set goals together because it's all a team effort anyway. They're things like paying off debt by June and then rebuild our savings, by the end of the year be living on one income, and get me degreed. They're big picture goals but they've got us so excited for the possibilities ahead, and where we might be one year from now. We're ready to hunker down, eat lentils, work hard and relish it all with our goals in mind. So there you go, two diary-like entries in a row. I'll post something more characteristically trite tomorrow.