Sunday, September 22, 2013

A list of stuff.

Apparently I have a habit of making lists to clear out my brain when I haven't blogged for a week or more. I've had time to blog, but nothing to say. I know, it shocked me too.

  • The weather cooled off, finally. Saturday morning I hit a new personal best for a run. It was only 59 degrees here when I left the house, and I got a wild hair to run for an hour and see how far I could go. The result: 

Not setting any speed records, but LOOK at that distance!
I was ridiculously excited about this. Also, sweaty and parched! I didn't start this running thing with any distance ultimately in mind -- not a marathon, or a half-marathon, or anything like that -- but knowing I CAN run almost five miles at once if I want to is huge. And I might survive the zombie apocalypse.

  • RDub was gone for about 5 days on a men-only camping trip. I had grand intentions of having a girls' weekend here, but plans, timing, blah blah, didn't work out. Instead, I did stuff like this:
It's hard to take pictures of candles!
I had most of this stuff already - new this year are the napkins ($10 for 8) and the bronze chargers ($16 for 8 at Hobby Lobby). I had misplaced half of my burlap, so a little more for that, but you can never have too much burlap stuck in a closet. Here's another view:
I just hope we don't actually need to EAT at this table.
  • I posted recently that I was starting the Divergent book series. Holy crap, the first book was good. Bug read it right after me and we're trying to figure out when we can get the rest of them. I think an Amazon order may be happening in a day or so. The second (Insurgent) is already published and third (Allegiant - which must be a made up word) is coming out next week. But I want them in paperback so I'm not sure how long we'll have to wait. We don't do well with delayed gratification. It's a sickness.
  • Last week, I made a very short list of items that I needed from Costco - which I realized when I used the next-to-last boiled egg in Bug's lunch. Costco is about 30 minutes from us, and RDub usually goes there on his lunch hour from work (see above - he was off camping). Fruit, paper plates, stuff like that - seriously, about 5 items. Bug and I went on Thursday evening (perfect time because the place was empty). Friday morning, while making her lunch, I realized that I'd forgotten...the eggs. I think I've got a touch of Alzheimer's. Or I'm just disorganized. And I'm still out of eggs.
  • I finally saw this:

As much as I love to sing, and LOVE a capella singing specifically, I can't believe it's taken me this long to see this movie. The final push came a few weeks ago when I saw my brother and he sheepishly confessed that he has watched this movie over and over. My. Older. Brother. Now that I've seen it, I am a little concerned about him, but let's move on. I really, really liked it and sang along! See it if you haven't!

What would you do with five days to yourself?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Grilling Asparagus

Wow, a Tasty Tuesday post ON a Tuesday! Miraculous.

I've got an easy one for you today. It's my attempt to prove that even vegetables you don't really like are yummy when they're grilled!

Let's take asparagus. NOT my thing. They are shaped funny (although I liked the ones on Veggie Tales), they're green, and they make your pee smell weird (TMI, but it's true). All in all, not a food I'm going to seek out. 

But this summer, in my attempt to expand my food horizons, and to make my hubby happy - he'll eat anything - I ventured into asparagus land, mostly due to a grilling recipe I read. After a few times, I tweaked it and now it's in regular rotation. 

Start with the basics: Olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Oh and the asparagus. I recently discovered frozen asparagus spears that work great - you take out as many as you want. If you buy the fresh bundles, you need to break off the "less fresh" part -- just bend the stalk and it will snap in two at some point. Discard the tough (larger) end. 

Lay the stalks on a pan and brush them lightly with the olive oil. Sprinkle the garlic powder, salt, and pepper evenly and on both sides. You could stop there...

...but in this house, everything's better with bacon!

I usually work in sets of three, but there's no rule that says you have to. Take one slice of raw bacon and wrap it around the stalks. I don't stick a toothpick in to hold it and it will stay on just fine. If you're doing fewer stalks, or just feel like it, you can strip the bacon slice down the middle, giving you two wraps for the price of one. I don't know why you would use less bacon, but there you go. 

Total grilling time over medium high heat is about 10-12 minutes - the asparagus gets tender and the bacon gets crispy. Just lay the little bundles across the grill grate and turn them a couple of times. You'll end up with something like this:

Yes, I had already started eating before I took the picture.
But that's a nice pork chop in the background, right?
If you're going bacon-free, you might add a little paprika or even chili pepper flakes to give them a little pop.

That's it! Now, go grill an adult vegetable!

As an adult, have you started eating something you never liked before?

Monday, September 9, 2013

On my mind.

I came across this quote in the lovely notebook I told you about here. I'm not sure how much time I've spent cherishing my visions and ideals -- maybe sometimes I do a bit more cherishing of other people's visions and ideals for me. Something I need to think about.

Have you seen this video yet? [Maybe someday I'll figure out how to actually embed it...]

Talk about convicting. I'm still trying to find the right balance of all the things I should do and all the things I want to do...oh, and all the things I should want to do. Thoughtful week ahead. 

Do you find yourself on certain days just becoming more introspective? Mondays seem to be that day for me.

Saturday, September 7, 2013


End of summer, start of school. Books. The Walking Dead. Goals for fall. Cooking. Eating. Trip to Seattle. Unplugging. Decorating. Movies. Consistency. Blogging.

Just a random sampling of the million things floating around in my head at any given moment. I have half-formed blogs, plans, notes on all of them -- and then the paralysis. 

Let's just grab one (or four) and go.

  • My baby girl is a senior in high school. A. Senior. How in the name of all that's holy did that HAPPEN? We're dealing with college apps, financial aid, 6 AP classes, and figuring out her future. No pressure or stress there.

Bug's senior ring

  • I've been working to find the fine line between "doing stuff online" and just "wasting my life online" - harder than you might think. At any given moment, I might be listening to a movie or show on one laptop, checking Facebook on another, and playing that stupidly addicting Candy Crush on my phone. THAT, I believe, is over some line of sanity. So I took a week and just stopped.. I'd had a set of books I wanted to read, so I stayed (for the most part) off Facebook, put down my phone, and tried to limit the multi-playing. (I'd call it multitasking, but there was no tasking.) I was moderately successful, but mostly, I became VERY aware of what I was doing. Now I've got to figure out what to do with that information.
This is where Satan spends his time, too.It's the only explanation.
  • Speaking of books, the series I just read was one of the most frustrating and irritating I've read in a while! How's that for a book review? It was a trilogy (I don't think there are any more) and the first one was very good. It sucked me into the characters and by the end I was breathlessly paging to finish. Loved it. The second one continued the characters -- the next generation, introduced in the first book -- and started out pretty well. By the end, I had never wished so desperately for a character to die. Mostly just one of them, but I realized I wasn't liking very many of the players at this point. On to book three...about 30 pages in, I finally realized what it was -- the author was telling the exact same story three different times: Girl meets boy, who will either be a jerk or too sweet to be real. Girl may or may not marry boy, but will sleep with him. Girl gets pregnant - boy is either the father and hates the idea, or not the father and loves the idea. Throw in a war, or a financial crisis, and then somebody dies. The end. Looking back, all three followed this formula, which I suppose is a proven fictional device. The problem is that this was the same family in all three books -- can't anyone learn from others' mistakes? It became hugely irritating to me, but maybe I was just having online withdrawal and was cranky. Well-written, which I appreciate, but honestly. 
The setting is a family-owned publishing company in England, starting in 1910.
But I'm about to jump into this...
It better be as good as I've heard!
Whew. Getting that stuff off my brain feels great! Now I'm going to unplug and go work on paper for a while, setting up some new fall plans and schedules. 

What's your biggest challenge these days? Time? Prioritizing? Something else?