Thursday, January 31, 2008

I've had my buns in the kitchen

I know I haven't blogged much this month. My excuse is that we're working on getting the internet back up at the house and work has been ridiculous/crazy busy, so I haven't had time to snatch a few moments from The Man to blog. Lots has happened though, so I'll break it down for you:

* I was in the grocery store one Saturday (like most Saturdays, unfortunately) with Dave (again, unfortunately) when he ran up to me from spending what seemed like eternity in the chip department. "Guess what I found?!" he asked breathlessly. I was rather impatient and huffed, "WHAT?!" He slowly presented the most beautiful item I could ever imagine: Curry flavored low-fat potato crisps! (It's OK to be envious, Matt. It's the same store that has carrot cake cookies.)

* Dave found out about a job opening in Seattle earlier this month. We had talked about possibly living in the Pacific Northwest sometime in the future. So when Dave heard about this job opening within his company he emailed me like he thought the world would end: "THERE'S A JOB IN SEATTLE!!!!! THESE NEVER COME OPEN!!!!!"

We seriously discussed the move (I've learned to take all of Dave's whims seriously because to him, they aren't whims). I cruised Craigslist for job openings with non-profits and media (of which there are few). I did find a couple I wouldn't mind applying for. Then we found out that if we were to move to Seattle and live as close to downtown as we do now to Dallas we would be looking at paying more than $1,500 a month for a two-bedroom. Nu-uh.

We re-evaluated it. I mean, we just bought a frickin' house for crissakes! We haven't lived there for a year yet! There's no way we'd be able to sell in that amount of time and make a decent profit. And we have four animals, which are all very particular about moving. And we'd have to sell one of our cars, much of our furniture and about half of Dave's clothes. It just wasn't going to happen.

If we were still renting, I might have gone for it. I mean, it's Seattle, which is at least 20 times better than Dallas, and you're so close to Canada, and the ocean, and legitimate culture. I could go on about how much better Seattle is than Dallas, but you get the point.

We've also talked about moving to St. Louis, but that's like trading in a 1987 Cadillac for a 2002 Buick: it's better, but not by enough to make me really excited about it.

Anyway, if a position opens up in Seattle (or St. Louis) maybe 4 or 5 years from now, we'll probably take it a lot more seriously.

* I finished the fingerless mittens I was going on and on about. They are awesome! I love the pattern: Fetching, by Cheryl Niamath in the Summer 2006 issue of Knitty. The pattern calls for Debbie Bliss Cashmerino aran, but the fine ladies at The Shabby Sheep said that Berroco Pure Merino aran would substitute just fine. And boy did it! I'll be making a second pair for my sister Kara, also in the Ensign Blue colorway:


* Fitzgerald has been quite neurotic lately. He used to love car rides, but now when Dave brings the dogs when he picks me up from the station some nights, Fitzy freaks out. He's so nervous that he pants like crazy and shakes all the way home. Poor little baby!


* We had Ikea madness earlier this month. We bought two wall-mounted Billy book cases; the medium brown one for the bedroom and the black/brown one for the living room. They each have two glass doors and blend perfectly with the existing furniture. We also bought a laundry organization system.

None of this seems really remarkable until I tell you that Dave put all of this together almost completely by himself. That's right. The completely un-handy Dave we all know and love. And yes, they work and have not fallen apart (yet). These caused him a lot of stress, and I'm really proud of the work he did. Now, I bet you're wondering how I got him to assemble all this stuff, and I'll tell you, it was easy. I was cooking. Dave doesn't interrupt my time in the kitchen because he loves to eat. So if something needs to get done while I'm cooking, he does it himself, though he does come through the galley to ask questions like, "Where's this confounded piece?!" and "What the hell kind of screws do you use to make this stick to the wall?" God love him!

* We hung out with a couple of our friends last Friday evening. They are really cool people, but they are going through a really complicated time in their marriage. They have two excellent kids, both of which I'd be ridiculously proud to have squeezed from between my legs. But, as much as I really love their parents, it's almost unbearably awkward to be around the two of them. It's just a really tense dynamic and it's like, there are two sides, and you don't want to take one, but it's like they both want to make sure that you're on their side. Ugh. I know this sounds like a common problem, but I've never been through it. I just hope all turns out well for them, because, like I said, I love them both and I don't like to see things so complicated.

* Last Sunday I nearly baked myself to death. I had been looking forward to getting some sewing done last week but it got pushed aside in favor of relaxation (!), cleaning (!) and cooking. I was going to originally bake one chocolate angel food cake, two different kinds of muffins and bread. I started to make the angel food cake, knowing that I only had enough sugar and eggs for one, but I was reading the wrong recipe and I started making plain angel food cake!!! So I had a choice to make: peel my jammies off and put on a bra to go fetch eggs and sugar, or just live with plain ol' angle food cake. I ran to the store, of course. Here are the products of my labors:


The chocolate one is almost gone now. We are still plugging away at the plain one. It's a tough task to dispose of cake, but I measure we're up to the challenge.


No mixes here! Lovely little lemon poppyseed muffins from scratch! I'm thinking about buying one of those muffin pans that makes them shaped like muffin tops! Perfect!


I know what you're thinking: "How can I get excited about stinking bran muffins?" Well, they are really quite good, expecially since they've got a little orange zest in them and some finely chopped walnuts! Very rich and tasty with big ol' mushroom tops!


And a beautiful little plain loaf of bread. I kneaded this by hand, which I swear to never do again. Next time I'm going to make it whole wheat. Awesome.

Hope you enjoyed this insanely long post. I promise to blog more often to spare you guys!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Revelry unraveled

Dave and I usually don't go to wild and crazy parties. In fact, we never go to wild and crazy anything because most of our friends have kids, many of which are still in that weird, parasitic stage where they have to take them everywhere with them. So, on NYE we hung out with Dave and Christine at their nearby home, thus cutting the distance we would have to transverse in a less than optimal state (a few blocks, not driving thankyouverymuch). It was a good time, as is any party with gratuitous karaoke and lotsa booze.



We brought some crusty Italian bread, some good cheese and some prosciutto with us, and of course, a bottle of Asti. Christine is an amazing cook, and there were lots of great munchies, like fondue, stuffed mushrooms, stuffed endives, and other stuff containing beef that looked tasty but is off limits for me and my husband.

So, in between glasses of wine and champagne we chatted, sang, rang in the new year and generally got boozed up crazy-like.





If you couldn't already tell, I look like either a fish or a moron in all of the pictures we took that night. I have a tendency to do that when inebriated. Though, the best picture is child exploitation at its finest:


Cute baby holding a package of ... cock soup.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Lowe's: Our home away from home

If I haven't been knitting or yoga-ing or cooking lately, I've been working on the house. We've had a rash of home improvements lately, including new blinds:

Our bamboo shades in our three bedroom windows,

Top-down, bottom-up linen shades in the yoga room

and top-down, bottom-up linen shades for the living room.

We've also put in new lights:

New track lighting (awesome!) in the dining room,

new fixture for the baseball room,

fabulous new lights for the yoga room

and a new pot rack/island fixture for the kitchen. (The fixture is awesome, but now it's too dark in the kitchen at night. We're going to have to find a solution for this, fast.)

Also notable: I finished my first fingerless mitten (Fetching by Cheryl Niamath in Pure Merino by Berroco in the Ensign Blue colorway) and I've started on the second! I'm making two pairs; one for me and one for my awesome sister Kara.


I know I haven't blogged about my New Year's Eve escapades, but, yanno, it's TK.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Let's review...

Last year I was busy catching up while the kitties were busy breaking in their condo. Too bad I didn't record my resolutions.

In 2007 I was to:

1) Get into bikini shape before my Key West vacation. (check!)

2) Work on inversions, especially scorpion pose. (check!)


3) Run the 5k Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving. (miss!)

Two out of three ain't bad.

This year I'll:

1) Stay in bikini shape and make more trips to the beach this summer to motivate me.

2) Take my inversions off of the wall. (eek!)

3) Run the 5k Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving.

4) Keep up with my knitting.

5) Make a genuine effort to simplify and organize.


Christmas with the family was pretty freakin' awesome! Check out everyone in their cool hats!






(note: the hat on the left was just finished before it was handed over to the rightful owner!)

Hope y'all had a great Christmas and a fabulous New Year's Eve! We'll talk party later!