7/28/13

0 No Plans

So my whole deal about this weekend was that I wanted it to be a weekend with no plans. None. Not a single one. Because that's rare in my world. And I know, I know, that sounds like a pretty good problem to have--it sounds all, oh, my life is so full and busy that I always have wonderful weekend plans--but that's not what I mean. At all. Because--and I don't think I'm going out on a limb here--I bet that a weekend with no plans (none. not a single one.) is pretty rare in your world, too. And I honestly think that a weekend with no plans (none. not a single one.) is one of the most underrated things in all of modern society. 

And just to show you how serious I was about this whole weekend-with-no-plans-thing, when Tod offered to take me on a Sunday sailing adventure, I turned him down. (What? I know. But don't worry; we're going to do it in a few weeks.) 

So yes, I really, really meant it when I said I wanted a weekend with no plans. None. Not a single one.

Here's the deal though. A weekend with no plans does not mean a weekend of nothing. Far from it, in fact. A weekend with no plans simply means that you do what you feel like doing when you feel like doing it. And if you don't feel like doing it, well, then you don't do it. Like I said, it's a rare thing--a unicorn perhaps--in a world of deadlines and due dates and don't forgets. 

I think it's divine. (Literally, in a day-of-rest sort of way.)

So what did I do during my weekend with no plans? That's simple. I nested. And not in the expectant mother way, just in the I-love-making-our-home-feel-like-home way. (Tod's still working on understanding this whole phenomenon, but isn't that the case with every man? To be quite honest, I think Tod's understanding in this area has grown by leaps and bounds, and for that, I feel quite blessed. He gives me room and time to nest, and what more could I want?)

Now back to what I did this weekend--this weekend with no plans:

I cleaned--bathrooms, floors, closets--that type of thing. I did loads (both meanings) of laundry. I ironed shirt after shirt. I gave Tod a haircut on the front stoop. I watered plants. (Because I'm still trying to grow thirteen edible plants for Project Thirteen. The sweet basil and the jalapenos are doing great--everything else, well, not so much.) I changed our bedspread to something more August-y. I cooked. And then I cooked some more. I Furminated the girls. And then I gave Zelda a much-needed bath. I slept. I ate. I realized (sadly) that we'd killed our sourdough starter. So I learned how to start it again. I painted my toenails. I did not, however, wash the car, sew, or write thank you notes. (Maybe that's what next weekend is for.) But the best part of my weekend with no plans: I spent nary a dime aside from what I spent on our weekly Sunday grocery run. And that feels good.

Anyway, because these things--these things I did on my weekend with no plans--don't really translate to photos, I didn't take very many. 

The only ones I did take have to do with the cooking, but that really shouldn't come as a surprise.

Like this pic of our Rosebank Farms CSA cherry tomatoes (pre-roasting) from Friday night's cappellini with garden tomatoes. (Recipe from Family Table: Favorite Staff Meals from Our Restaurants to Your Home by Michael Romano & Karen Stabiner)  


Or the photos from my #2 magazine recipe of the year for Project Thirteen--a total guilty pleasure: Robert Irvine's bacon-and-egg potato salad from the July/August issue of Food Network Magazine.


For the sauce: think mayonnaise, whole ground mustard, red wine vinegar, scallions, red onion, a dash of sugar, salt, and pepper.


And the bacon, oh the bacon! (Zelda could hardly control herself, pork-lover that she is.) I, on the other hand, was sort of shocked by the amount of bacon. So shocked, in fact, that I needed a big sip of my greyhound to fully recover, as you can tell from the picture below. The funny thing is that the recipe called for even more bacon than I used, if you can possibly believe that. 

The recipe suggested cooking the bacon in a skillet, but Tod and I like to cook our bacon on a rack in the oven (with the rack placed inside an aluminum-foil-lined baking sheet for quick clean-up). That way, the grease falls away from the meat, and you'll end up with with crispy strips, my favorite. 

Yum.


So like I said, I nested this weekend, in the I-love-making-our-home-feel-like-home way. And because I firmly believe that one of the best ways to make a place feel like home is to fill up the fridge with whatever feels most like home, our fridge now looks like this.

Cucumbers, yellow squash, spaghetti squash, and three cartons of eggs from Rosebank Farms; a refrigerator dish full of bacon-and-egg potato salad (see above); leftover bacon grease; black bean, corn, and sweet pepper salsa from Saturday night's tacos; leftover capellini with garden tomatoes for tonight's supper; a pulled Rotisserie chicken for Monday night's tacos and Tuesday/Wednesday nights' okra stew; leftover, odd bits of chicken for the girls' food; Tod's homemade chicken stock (because, yes, we get the full value out of a rotisserie chicken); homemade egg salad for the week's sandwiches; apples; milk; beer; hummus; and a carton of figs for who knows what (perhaps I'll cook them in honey and serve them over vanilla ice cream?). Yes, we may look like food hoarders, but here's what I have to say about that: when you watch your bucks, like I do ours, they go much, much further when you stay home and cook it yourself. The added benefit: when you skip the restaurant and cook it yourself, it just feels like home. Plus, what else are you going to do on a weekend with no plans? 

7/23/13

0 "Is that from Paris?"

That's what Tod said when I showed him this picture. 

I agree: this could be Paris.

But it's not. It's New York City--Suffolk Street to be exact. 

"The cities of the world are concentric, isomorphic, synchronic. Only one exists and you are always in the same one. It’s the effect of their permanent revolution, their intense circulation, their instantaneous magnetism.”
---Jean Baudrillard
[And there you have my next two new words of 2013: isomorphic and synchronic.  Isomorphic means "being of identical shape, form, or structure"  Synchronic means "concerned with events existing in a limited time period and ignoring historical antecedents" or "concerned with something, especially a language, as it exists at one point in time."]


7/10/13

0 Reflections

They say the first step to solving a problem is admitting that one exists.

I think one exists. 

Because if I'm armed with a camera and I see something reflective, then I pretty much cannot resist taking a picture. And I'm not just talking about mirrors here, although that is often the obvious choice. 

Here I am in our dining room, bringing a whole new view to our brass chandelier and popcorn ceilings.


And the rest of the pics are from our recent trip to New York. (When spring was sliding into summer--in other words, during my month-long break from the blog--Tod and I were lucky enough to spend a long weekend in the big city for his cousin's wedding; we had a blast.)











 Why I get such a kick out of reflections is anybody's guess.

7/9/13

0 Changes


Is anyone still out there after my month away?

(Or maybe the proper question is whether anyone was out there before?)

Well, if you've missed me, then you'll know that I took a little break from this place. A month-long break--for no particular reason really, other than my desire to watch spring turn to summer without too many digital distractions. Because what is better than watching spring turn to summer? I look forward to it every year. (The same goes for watching summer turn to fall and winter to spring, but not so much for fall to winter. What can I say? Winter just doesn't do much for me.) 

So, despite the fact that I often feel daunted by change (not so much the moving-stuff-around kind of change--rather, the I'm-an-adult-now-and-life-is-kind-of-scary kind of change), I do love three out of four of the season changes. I guess my glass is three-quarters full, right?

Anyway, in honor of my return to this place after the slide from spring to summer, I thought I'd spruce it up a bit, you know, make a few changes and move some stuff around, digitally of course. So I took some new header photos this afternoon, and then I promptly spent the next three hours trying to figure out how to resize just one of them to fit across the entire header space. (Is it just me, or has Blogger's HTML gotten more difficult?) I know learning is good, but man can it be frustrating. Very frustrating.  

So although the new header isn't exactly what I had in mind for my springing-into-summer blog revamp, it's honestly the first photo that I could properly stretch across the 940 pixels of this blog's width. So there you go. I'll take it for now. 

Once my blog building frustration wears off, I think I'll try to rework some of the fonts and other design elements, but I've built enough today. Blog building is back breaking work. Literally--I've been hunched over the computer for hours. 

But let's go back to the subject of change. Because I made a big one last week. 

Remember Project Thirteen? Well, item number 8 was to lop off 13 inches of my hair! Done and done. (I've never understood the second "done" there, but I say that all the time.) 

Last Friday, I made a last minute appointment with a fellow at a downtown salon, and I'm happy to say that this mane (or tail?) . . . 



is NO MORE!


Yes, it apparently takes me two hands to take a selfie. Go figure.


My new 'do feels so great. So, so great.

I will say, however--sort of like how my attempt at revamping the blog fell a little flat tonight--my initial attempt at revamping my hair fell a little flat, too. The guy who cut my hair was timid--I think he thought I'd be upset by losing so much hair even though I told him this was my third time doing Locks of Love--so anyway, he did not go as short as I'd intended, and he kept the back of my hair particularly long, sort of like a mullet. After I got home, I was pretty bummed about it so I actually called him back and told him I'd like a bit more off the back. I've never before called a hairdresser and asked to have a cut fixed so I felt pretty bratty about it, but I'm glad I did because he was happy to take a bit more off, so All's Well that Ends Well.

As for my last Locks of Love experience, which was approximately four years ago, my mane (or tail?) went through a similar transformation.



So here's to changes. Big and small. Because, in the "famous" words of Vertical Horizon: "The only thing for certain is that nothing stays the same." 

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