Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Are you all doing your let-it-snow-lots-and-lots-so-school-or-work-gets-cancelled-dance? I'm bargaining with fate already. If I make it through this stop light, we'll have a snow day. If someone says f*** in the hallway in the next couple of minutes, we'll have a snow day. If I don't eat any junk food today, we'll have a snow day. So far, I'm winning.

I wish I had some cool pictures to post today. I'm taking a quilting class with my friend Rebecca, so maybe I'll take some pictures of our quilts this weekend. The class is at Crafty Planet, which is also called Crafty Ways of Getting All of Julie's Spending Money. I really do love that place. I wondered if I was crossing a boundary during the last class when I asked if it was alright for me to bring wine to the next class. I'm making a quilt for our baby. It feels wonderful to not worry about planning too much because I might "jinx" it. We just need to worry about finishing the paperwork, at right now we're just barely crawling through it. It's so hard because it's filled with questions that we haven't even thought of yet! Who gets your baby if you unexpectedly die? Exactly how will you work out day care? Tell us all about your childhood...

This is probably a boring thing to write about, but I just rediscovered the public library. I love it. It feels like I'm stealing books and then bringing them back when I don't need them anymore. Here's what I've got checked out:
A love like no other : stories from adoptive parents
/ edited by Pamela Kruger and Jill Smolowe.
By the way, I hate the title of this book. It feels so gushy and superior.
Traveling mercies: some thoughts on faith/ / Anne Lamott.
I'm not religious, but a friend mentioned that she Loves Anne Lamott and it peaked my interest. I did really like Crooked Little Heart and liked the one that was something about a Blue Shoe. It was slightly churchy though.
All new people : a novel / by Anne Lamott.
Simply pottery : a practical course in basic pottery techniques / Sara Pearch ; with text by Geraldi
Fodor's France. Have I mentioned that we're going to Provence in July? I'm incredibly excited.
Fodor's Paris.
Sew vintage : new creations from found fabrics / Jennie Archer Atwood
This is the worst sewing book ever. Boring and ugly. Barf.
Gee's Bend : the architecture of the quilt / contributions by William Arnett
This book, however, makes we quiver.

Well, today is the last day of February. Can you guess where I'm going tomorrow? Target. I haven't even looked at their Sunday circulars, much less set foot in the stores. I'm very excited to stop at our local Super Target tomorrow. (Lame, I know) March's challenge: No sugar whatsoever. Youch.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I call this painting "Scary Bonnet Girl". I picked it up at the northeast Unique Thrift store for under $2. You're thinking I was robbed, aren't you? I purchased it for the glamorous frame, but I'm starting to like the scary little girl. It's like I want to get to know her. She's so cute, and yet she looks like she could turn on you at any moment. Maybe she has fangs beneath that closed mouth grin. And why is she wearing those black little things on her wrists? My dark side assumes that she's a cutter. Zander thinks it's a tribute to those who have suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome. IF, and that's a big IF, we get rid of the picture (and keep the frame) who would like to be the first to claim it as their very own?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

Life at the all-American high school where I work, on a romantic day like this is predominantly one of two things... 1)The bliss one feels when love is eternal. Of course it's eternal, you dumb old person, and here's a bouquet of carnations to prove it. 2)The crushing pain one feels when there are no carnations. Who cares if carnations are ugly? Who cares if there's not really anyone worth being interested in. I need a carnation. At least one. Please. Not everyone here fits into my two very neat emotional states. The sweetest red-haired boy came to my class early this morning to see if we'd like to hear some acoustic guitar while we were painting. Sure his girlfriend was in the classroom at the time, but while he was playing I got a little weepy thinking about how sweet life can be. How lucky we all are to have a lifetime ahead of us, how lucky we are to have people who love us, and how lucky I was to start my day thinking about it. Speaking of lucky, how lucky is it when you find someone that you love, and like, and think is funny, and creative, and kind? Very. Thank you lucky stars.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

This weekend we met the Deets. He introduced me to the concept of a monthly challenge. This month my challenge will be not going to Target. You might think I'm setting my sights a bit low on this one. Not so. I have a bit of a Target obsession. You never know when you might need a new sports bra, or possibly a lip gloss. Oh, and spring shoes might be in and you just can never be too prepared. But to omit Target in February is especially tough. Every year I eagerly wait for their Valentine stuff to arrive, and every year I buy up a bunch of heart themed chotchkies (you get what I'm saying, but how do you spell that word? Even spell-check doesn't know!). This year I'll have to get a smidge more creative, because Target is out until March 1. Maybe they'll still have some Valentine clearance left. Sniff, right guys? What's your February challenge?

Look Who's Turning 1 Today!

Our little nephew Joey is turning 1 year old today. We had his birthday party on Superbowl Sunday, mostly to irritate his Grandpa Mike. Joey ate the cake with his fingers, walked around a lot, tried to bite the cat's tail, said "da-da," "clock," and "quack." He smiles and laughs and is SO ticklish. We love you Joey!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Power of Broccoli

Despite the fact that I never wear aprons when I cook, I have several really cute ones. I put one on the other night while I was making dinner, and it instantly made me feel domestically competent. (Never mind that the toilet has had cat hair stuck to it for as long as I can remember) While I can't remember what I made for dinner that night with the apron on, it undoubtedly contained broccoli.

When we lived in Japan, I could eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted it because I had no choice but to bike everywhere I went. When we moved back here, I continued to eat whatever/whenever with almost no biking involved and my body has puffed out considerably. In all directions. So I started Weight Watchers online, and after a few weeks I figured something out. I can eat as many vegetables as I want and it won't make me gain weight. Also, I can add vegetables to anything and that'll make me feel fuller and less likely to reach for the tube of cookie dough in my fridge. I've quit paying the monthly fee for the program, but still stick with the veggies. So broccoli mixes in with my eggs in the morning. It also gets stirred into my microwave lunches. Yes, our dinners almost always have broccoli stirred in. It's working. I'm losing weight pretty slowly, but the scale is going down way more than it's going up. I'm half way to my goal. My last real weight loss was almost immediate: 20 pounds in a little over a month just by wrapping bacon around cheese and sausage. This way feels healthier. It feels like it's something I can do for years and not worry about clogging my arteries. It also feels slow and frustrating and quite honestly I think it's harder to lose weight in my thirties. Anyway, here's a recipe I haven't made in a while, but is REALLY good hot or cold:

Weight Watchers Broccoli and Bulgar in Spicy Peanut Sauce
1 cup of bulgar, cooked according to the directions on the box
3 cups of steamed broccoli
peanut sauce: 1/2 cup of cilantro, 3 tablespoons of peanut butter, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar, 1 packet of splenda, and some cayenne pepper.