25 June 2013

tuesday things

1. I've had more blackberries in the past three days than the past year. J's aunt picked about 4 pints for us. They're delicious. Some are sweet; some are tart. Other than eating them plain, they're wonderful in a bowl with a bit of milk or cream splashed over them and a drizzle of maple syrup. Tonight, I'm making a blackberry buckle. It's possibly the easiest dessert recipe in the world and makes me break my no-baking policy.

2. I have been such a slacker this summer. I started off strong with grand plans of organizing and purging and working out and cooking and reading, but those have gone by the wayside. J is working on classes to become a CPA (only the credentials, not the job), and this is his first semester/summer in two years to be free. This fall will be a challenge as he'll have two really intense classes, so we've spent every evening together doing nothing except watching Community, Once Upon a Time, and Veronica Mars and playing Candy Crush on our phones. It's fabulous.

3. After I practically yanked Candy Crush from J last night, we booked tickets to New York City. I kind wanted to scream slash throw-up when we did it. Let the planning begin! I have a list of restaurants a mile long, so I should probably stop eating now to balance what we'll eat in the city.

4. I have some thoughts about the Paula Deen thing. I plan to write about it this week. Two of my favorite posts cover controversial topics. Nativity removal or presidential election, anyone? I'm still mulling it over. Check back tomorrow.

5. Have you seen the video series Conversations With My 2 Year Old? If not, you need to watch it. They're actual conversations replayed by a dad and a grown man, impersonating the 2 year old daughter. They are so funny!

04 June 2013

tuesday things

1. I am lucky enough to have a job that I really enjoy. But in the summer, I love it even more. Although our office is open during the summer, our school follows summer hours. So, it's really like a part-time job for 10 weeks (three of which I have off). Not a bad gig for a non-teacher.

2. I've been much more motivated to cook since I only work 6 hours a day (minus a bit for lunch). Right now, I'm cooking my first brisket. If this things tastes as good as it smells, it will be a success. You should know that my brother makes mighty fine brisket. In fact, this spring he was invited with the rest of The Cherry Laurel to cook barbecue for Rick Perry, the Texas governor. So I decided that I'd try his method. Just 2.5 more hours.

3. Along with brisket, I'm going to make this recipe for esquites. My sister-in-law made it for Mother's Day, and I could have eaten just this. I think it will go well with brisket. (And if the brisket doesn't turn out, this will be good on it's own!)

4. We had the eaves of our house cleaned this weekend. We had a slight mildew issue thanks to humidity and the pine trees behind our house. The eaves look great. Unfortunately, whatever cleaning solution he used burned our newly planted vegetables and my pretty hydrangeas. I think I can trim back the burned hydrangea blossoms, but I think we have to replant all of our veggies. It makes me sick!

5. I'm in a major purging mode. I'm hopeful that my free afternoons will enable me to get our extra room unpacked this summer. If you're keeping track: we moved in over two years. Two-thirds of the room is boxes of stuff. At this point, I'm tempted to just donate the unopened boxes. I mean, if we don't know what's in them, will we miss it? Within an hour, our garage will be less one couch and two over-sized chairs. Yea!

01 June 2013

may in review + june goals

Summer is here. And I couldn't be happier. For the most part, I love Texas in the summer. I love getting into my hot car and blasting the air conditioner. I love warm, breezy nights. Mostly, I love the slower pace of summer.

It's such a nice treat that after the busyness of May, I'm rewarded with the calm of June. My goal to blog daily (only accomplished here, here, and here) were thwarted by needing sleep or downtime or working in the yard on the weekends. Likewise, the goals I'd set for May were only partially completed. They were: 

1. Take Crickett for a walk three times a week. 
We spent more time outside, but poor Crickett was only walked a handful of times. 
By my husband. Bless him.

2. Organize one hallway closet.
OK, it wasn't a hallway closet, but it got organized. 

3. Make one new recipe.
I met this goal again and again. I read Bread and Wine in April. (You can see my Book List here.) I really enjoyed it and decided to actually cook the recipes in it. Novel idea, huh? I made: Breakfast Cookies, Brannon's Caesar Salad, Annette's Enchiladas, Basic Risotto, Blueberry Crisp (twice) and Nigella's Flourless Chocolate Brownies. 

4. Workout four times per week.
So, I joined a gym. And the next day, I had buyer's remorse because the gym has approximately two classes per week. Plus one that costs an extra $80 per month. I like classes. Thankfully, I read my contract and figured out that I could cancel it within 72 hours via certified letter. Done. Still on the hunt for a gym. 

5. Develop a prayer calendar to use with J.
And make praying with him a priority.
We have a printed calendar and have talked about a plan of attack. This remains on the list. 

6. No fast food.
I ate at Subway twice. I'm choosing not to count it as fast food since I could have made the sandwich at home. But there was not Whataburger, Taco Bell or Chicken Express. Success.

7. Buy new athletic shoes.

8. Finish reading Freefall to Fly.

For June, I want to continue what I'd started in May, but didn't complete. I also plan to add some items from my 101 in 1001 list. Here's what I'd like to do in June:

1. Walk Crickett three times per week.

2. Workout three times per week.

3. Develop a prayer calendar to use with J.
And make praying with him a priority.

4. Make homemade mozzarella cheese. 

5. Change light fixtures in hallways.