Cooking

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Slippers


It is no exaggeration to say that I have a terrible case of buyer's remorse. It could be attributed to our childhood of never really spending a lot on unnecessary things (for which I am very grateful, this mad shopping season leaves a very sour taste in my mouth every year) or possibly that I work very hard at whatever job(s) I may have so spending what I earn always looks like hours spent or tips earned that I'll never get back. Therefore, the decision to buy winter boots and the very comfy pair of slippers pictured above was about an hours decision undoubtedly exhausting my dear sister that sold them to me. However, upon returning home from the gym, first time this week due to a wonderful bout of the stomach flu, I showered and tucked my toesies into them and the buyer's remorse vanished instantly. I will enjoy these and they were well worth the money. A light and continuous dusting of snow reminds me Christmas is coming ever closer. Goal for the evening: buy twinkly lights to wrap around the loft railing and stairs. I may not buy a tree but I think our spiral staircase can be a stand-in. Maybe I'll line a few trinkets up the stairs...

Hope you all have a fuzzy and lovely weekend!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Happy Winter Break!

Man, I was like a kid in a candy store today. Went to the gym and saw our trainer, he kicked our butts so I suppose it could be attributed to endorphins. Either way, after sliding those 15 pages under my professor's door, I've never felt freer! I went to the mall, got a few gifts, replacement product I needed and then a vegetarian NO RICE sushi roll later...I ended up on the couch, relaxing and allowing my mind to recover. A quick shower and now I'm waiting for my brussel sprouts and sweet potato to cook as I dry rub a chicken breast with seasonings from Saugatuck to put on the Forman! Excellent evening.

Early, 6am run/workout with sis. Encouraging and support her plan to do a mud run in the spring. I'd just like to get the work out in! Then work tomorrow night and another day Thursday off. Taking the boy to the airport, sad, but I'll love the apartment to clean and decorate for the holidays. I plan on Bridget Jones-ing it up! Creativity is something I would like to also explore on this blessed break. Writing and possibly trying my hand at other things. We'll see.

Happy break - I am SO looking forward to it!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

New Chapter

December will be lovely, but January will be wonderful.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Quiet Morning

I awoke this morning around 7:30, my body now used to getting up before 8, but I told it that it needn't get up that early today and we went back to sleep until 9. Now, more than rested, I stumbled out of bed, happy to feel my legs were no longer as stiff and sore as they had been for the last 2 days post-training session. It is my morning ritual to walk to the living room and look out our window to see what type of weather it will be for the day, warm or cold, rain or dry, blowy or still. And this morning, I was pleasantly surprised to see a blanket of snow had come in the night to rest on our quiet city. Not a dusting, not a frost, but a few inches making up a blanket. It made everything muffled, quieter, calm. As I write this I'm watching the small unique flakes continue to fall and add to the weight of their predecessors. I have every intention of staying home today, writing and studying, perfecting a paper that I'm eager to turn it and be rid of. Yoga or the gym tonight perhaps, but perhaps not. I might consider hibernating all day and night. Comforting myself with my tea and soft music. I hope you all had lovely starts as well. Enjoy the change.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sore but smiling

Good and glorious morning to you all! I feel invigorated and fresh with the prospect of a new, healthful lifestyle! Sis and I started seeing a personal trainer yesterday and have signed up for the next 10 weeks...oh man are we sore today but the diet he has us on and the no-games work outs are really going to push us to the next level. So, as I sit here eating my oatmeal and drinking black coffee - I think, this isn't so bad. What really needs to be a priority for the next week is school - the end of the semester LITERALLY came out of nowhere and I can't believe this time next week I will be done with classes. And then a blissful, rejuvenating 3 weeks off until the next (and final might I add) round starts.

So for now, I'm going to peruse some of my favorite blogs, check bills and bank accounts and perhaps dive right into studying. A quick jaunt to the mall and work for a minute and I'll be homebound for the rest of the day/evening. See you soon!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

New Addictions

Sometimes I find myself exhibiting signs of a highly addictive personality. While living in England, I would drink, without fail, a venti peppermint mocha frappucino every day (sometimes twice a day depending on my mood). Seriously, I don't even want to do the math but I was there 3 months or roughly 90 days making that (low-balling) about 90 beverages at around $7.50 a pop...ugggh
Recently, I have been craving all things banana, whole grain and nutty and this recipe from Bake or Break is right up my alley. Can't wait until Saturday morning (or possibly Friday night as I am a double and could potentially go home early) to make these gems. As you can see in my previous post, the oatmeal only fueled my obsession even more.

If only I could become obsessed with working out...start seeing a personal trainer next Tuesday...gulp!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mid-Week ugh

So, mid-week and I'm frustrated because my time doesn't feel like my own again. Yesterday was great - did so many fun things like sleep in, get groceries, meet Mom for coffee, get a massage, study and make yummy dinner and guess what?! Work wasn't part of any of it! But because of the difficulty of the "job" I agreed to go in for 3 more days of training this week. Only a couple hours but nevertheless it frustrates me. Oh well, I'll just look at it as a couple more bucks to save towards not having to go in there again.

And to improve my mood mid-post, I decided to use some of the yummy groceries I got yesterday and juice and make a great breakfast (see pictures below). That is homemade oatmeal with banana and brown sugar and a kale-celery-spinach-apple-lemon juice. So good and so good for you!




So while I may not be excited to go to work on a usual days off - at least I am going in later and have the time in the morning to make a wonderful, keep-me-going breakfast. Hopefully to the gym after and some real sit-down studying. Em wanted to go out again tonight - we'll see...spent quite a bit on groceries last night...

Oh, how I wish I could create something!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 2 (and part of last night....)

Well, I went slightly over my one-glass-max of wine at dinner. We made wise choices with food, sampling and sharing and not finishing appetizers because we were having simply too much fun catching up, laughing, discussing futures and pasts and current events. It's so important to have friends in your life - that's something that I've only recently learned.

It looks like snow and drear out there today. Only more incentive for me to stay indoors cleaning and studying. Downloaded fun music last night too so looking forward to hearing that!

Gym after a quick coffee...hope you all have lovely people in your lives to laugh and talk with!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Day One

Hello all! It's been a very successful start to my new attempt at healthful living! Did not get up early to go to the gym but because of inadequate sleep I chose the rest and plans for later instead. Doc at 9 then work from 10-1:30 to be finished up at the gym for a challenging cardio workout. The trainer called today and we set up two sessions for next Tuesday and Thursday (gulp) and I've been keeping a food diary. Ate good and healthy food all day as well. Little tired but bought a coffee to help with that. Allowing myself my one glass of wine tonight with Em and hopefully home not too late. I've got some serious grocery plans tomorrow and perhaps some cooking as well. I would LOVE to write and organize my thoughts for travels next year but I have decided to take things one step at a time. No rushing for this girl and no pressure to be perfect.
V

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Can't Wait for Monday

Alright - tomorrow is a new day and a fresh start. Too much food, too little exercise, unfair meds making me unable to lose weight have turned this girl into something she would rather not be...unhealthy. So, I will change meds tomorrow, attempt an early bedtime, short day at work to get a workout in before class. I am going to try and cut out junk food and replace it with as many fruits and veggies as I can - I would like to juice every morning for breakfast...haven't done that in a while and it's soooo good. I'm also only going allow myself $10 per week at Starbucks, so I'll load a GC tonight for the week... once it's gone, that's all I get. I also, am going to stop eating so much at the restaurant...and if I do eat - egg whites and a chopped salad. The end. Ok, I'm excited now! I'll check in every day here and try to keep myself accountable. Oh ya, only one alcoholic beverage per week (if that). Ok friends, have a beautiful, healthy, wonderful week!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My evening

Just a few shots of the deliciousness that occurred last night.








Happy Turkey.

Monday, November 21, 2011

So close and yet so far

The semester is winding down, I'm whiling away the 46 minutes until class starts - I'm giving a presentation tonight (gulp) really hate those but I'm going in not really worried about it. I've done my research, I have an outline. It's going to be fine.

I am, however, wanting so badly to go away somewhere. We have a trip planned in February for a family vacation - but I do so want to head out on the road somewhere sooner than that. It's not like I haven't done my fair share of traveling this year - we did go to Vegas in August and I've made several trips up north as well as Chicago a time or two. But - I want to do Seattle again. I want very much to go to Europe...Paris, London, anywhere there really. It's just so hard sometimes to justify the money, the time away, and figuring out what I would do if I went? It's hard for me to think like a tourist now - I just want to have the time to be somewhere like Seattle or Paris and not feel like every day needs to be PACKED with activities and sight-seeing. If I were to LIVE somewhere like that or even spend more than a week at one of those places I feel like I could get to know the neighborhoods, enjoy sleeping in one day, or doing nothing but stay in the same cafe all day and write or surf the web. But, all of those options require a great deal of money and an even bigger absence of responsibilities - such as school, work, family, boyfriend, etc.

Oh well. I suppose I should do what I really should do - hole up at home, save, write, and hope for the day when I don't lock myself into a semester of studying and jobs that require me to be paid only when I am physically there. Come on best-selling novel...show yourself!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Bright Clear Morning




Hello all! This bright, clear morning reminds me of England all of the sudden. My recent habits include waking around 9 - crawling out of bed around 930 and venturing out for coffee by 10. This was much like my routine in England except for one small difference...I would walk into town. I stayed there September-December, arguably the most beautiful time of year and my walks from the flat into downtown were some of my favorite 20 minutes I ever spent during those days. I would pass people heading to work, mothers pushing their infants, men walking dogs, Indian grocery stores, gas (or rather petrol) stations, restaurants and schools.



I loved how the seasons changed under my feet ranging between the magnificently green shrubbery and grass glistening after a morning rain to the yellow leaves crunching as I walked down the hill from Bentham Gardens to Kingston. I never minded when I had to carry an umbrella or stop mid-way to take off my sweater because the sun was too warm. I miss those walks because it gave me time to think, plan my day, or simply be quiet as I noticed everything around me. Here, it's more difficult to take time and just be when you're in the car, focused on driving, looking for music or checking the mirror to see if you need another coat of lipstick before work. It was a healthier way of life then, how better than to count on 20 minutes of exercise first thing in the morning and if one walks into town then surely you must walk back...another 20 minutes, and this time, uphill...

It was lovely and while I would never live in Kingston again, that was a time for change and youth and experience, I would love to find a town that allowed me a simpler commute. One that didn't require a car, or gas, or an absence of time spent walking or biking. Was it Walden or Emerson that said how important it was to take an hour a day and walk in nature (probably Walden) and how beneficial it was to one's creativity and health. Here's to the pursuit.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Crazy Writer Lady

My mother and I attended a poetry reading tonight at Notre Dame. The person introducing her left much to be desired - too much enthusiasm and too little tweezing in the eye brow department. The poet though, was exactly what I imagined she would be. Unkempt, frizzy gray hair, gold rimmed coke-bottle glasses, native american turquoise jewelry and you could easily imagine her living somewhere in an adobe or a loft above a busy Parisian cafe. She was funny and very talented in her genre but clearly recognized herself as an artist refusing to talk about or introduce her material.

All of this got me thinking about how much I would like to live the life of a writer. I want to be that obscure woman, wandering around her ranch, debating on whether or not she should allow her main character's love interest to live or die. I would travel and read constantly for inspiration, draft and re-draft. Revise (moderately as I hate revising) but I would just love that life. So here's to the goal of writing tomorrow. At least an hour, dedicated to pure creativity. Good night all.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Soon, little bear, soon.

44 minutes to go and I'll be done with work for the weekend. It was an interesting one for sure, not at all my usual routine at the restaurant but back to the spa this Monday, gazing out at the stormy, green clouds, wishing I was doing more than writing schedules and manuals. I did sneak in a few minutes here to write a new poem...two actually, let me know what you think...
I am looking forward to this week quite a lot actually - hair and nails done tomorrow with sis, many days off of any obligations again, hoping they are used for studies and writing...we'll see how that goes. I do wish you all a lovely week. Talk to you soon!


Mimosa Reflections



Wishing you were here and there and
Nothing is like the sun when you need it

To be.

Concern for the black and the yellow
Cook, clean, work, cry, sleep and scream

Repeat.

Life is nothing like a box of whatever.
It’s more like a chant, a prayer, an anthem of

Ghosts.

I see you drift between the sand and kitchen knives.
Your wings were clipped a long time ago, making

Your horizons smaller.

The glass reflects my face as I look at the frame of you
Frozen in youth and happiness (lies), the second daughter.


Our parents turned the world into a game show.

Textbook worm and just as nocturnal.
I thought you were the only one with the looks.

But we’re not exceptional.
We’re just as normal as they were.


Finger Painting the Sky


It’s as if the sun is wearing tinted glasses.
The bleakness and hazy nature of the air

Alludes to his laziness and exhaustion.
Robert cannot bring himself to change

Out of his thin robe into faded jeans
And flannel. It takes all that is in him

To bring the cup of coffee close enough
To his lips to take a sip. The black liquid swirls

And reminds him of his childhood by the sea.
He wishes he could return, skipping and tumbling

Through the shells and foggy glass on the beach.
The sun was bolder then, it never hid behind clouds

When he was a child. It shone proudly with rays
That warmed his fuzzy arms and legs, pimpled by the breeze.

Breaking the surface of the diamond lake he blinked
The water out of his coffee eyes to see birds circling in the blue.

They cawed and crowed above him waiting
For his offering of the mackerel held between his teeth.

***
She brought him flowers today, two bouquets,
One white and one red birthing orange.

The first reminds him of death, the bleach and blankness
Of nothing and the loss of who he once was.

The second mocks him with images of sunsets and
Mango-flesh he’ll never taste again, the juice running down his

Sandpaper chin.

Their faces laugh at him, jovial in their memories and foreshadowing.
He is old now, grey and shriveled, sick.

Too weak to lift the vase to put them by his window (or throw them across the room).
She brings him soup, a milky yellow broth that brings

To mind urine and he cannot eat it. He knows he should,
She tells him he must. But he cannot. He pours it into the

Vases when she isn’t looking. Ha, he thinks to himself
Let’s see who’s better now. The flowers do not laugh anymore.

His grin creases the petal-thin flesh, no not flesh
It’s too worn and transparent to be flesh, skin, no

Not skin because it does not protect him anymore
It’s failed and she can’t make him eat. She pauses

Longer in the kitchen than she should. She’s waiting for him
To be better, to smile again. How can he tell her that she’s waiting

For nothing.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Grey Skies 2

These have been quite a few productive days...the only problem is keeping it up. Gym every morning so far (3 days), absolutely spotless apartment and baking done. More homework needs to be done as well as some budgeting and research in all manner of future things. I wish I have been doing a great deal of writing during these gifted days off but it would seem I can't bring myself around to it. Dishes and research and coffee continue to distract. I should make it a goal, like the gym, to devote an hour a day to writing. Honestly, there are 24 of them, one shouldn't be that difficult to set aside for something I truly enjoy and hope to become better at. How do I do this one might ask? Practice, silly rabbit. So off I go. I will workshop some poems written by classmates then an hour for writing. There should be no better inspiration than these grey skies and howling winds...

Monday, November 7, 2011

Happy Monday!

The long and weary work week is finally through. I made it. I survived. I am waiting for homemade meatballs to finish cooking so that the boy and I can enjoy a nice, relaxed, worry-free dinner. I was in a generally mediocre mood today but now, once home and showered and free of any type of obligation - I feel so much happier and free. Tie this girl down too long and I start to lose some of myself - some of my spark. Now, I can look forward to the next 4, non-working days of rejuvenation and rest, (with the daily exhausting workouts of course).

Starting the day early tomorrow with an 8am workout with Em. Then, off to the store to get lots of healthy, whole, yummy food so that I am not in the same place I was last week where I was forced to get food elsewhere instead of use what was at home...because there was nothing at home. Just a few things I'm going to make this week (or hope to) include Chocolate Filled Sweet Potato Cupcakes, Ginger Cake Squares and perhaps some Oatmeal Date cookies...I would love to do some whitefish picatta as well....just excited to have some free time. Hopefully pictures and reviews to come...Happy Monday everyone - I hope you're looking forward to what this week brings just as much as I am!
V

Friday, November 4, 2011

Dear Tuesday

Dear Tuesday,
Why are you so hard to reach? I feel like it's been ages since we've had time to be together, without any distractions or worries. I know it's mainly my fault working again so much but I wish you would hurry up and get here already. Is the traffic bad where you're coming from? The sun is out, I hope it stays long enough to see you. I have so many plans for our reunion! First I would like to spend the first part of your visit early enough that the middle part doesn't creep up on us...I intend to go to the gym and work out so that I'm fresh and energized for the playing later. I hope you're alright if I spend some of the time cleaning...I would hate it if when you left again the apartment was a wreck and we didn't get to spend anytime enjoying the great space free of clutter and dishes. Then, I would like to go to the market and the store for good, healthy food to eat for the week. It might be fun, Tuesday, to try cooking some recipes or packaging some foods together so the rest of the week is easier! Then, if you don't mind, I would like to try writing/studying for a great while, perhaps even for the rest of the night. Tuesday will be just for us, no boys, no family, no work, no anything but you and me, spending time together and catching up on all the things that the rest of the selfish days have taken over.

It's only a short three and a half days and you'll be here. You in all your relaxed, non-committed, work-less ways makes me so excited to see you!

Sincerely,
Veronica

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dark Morning

It was a rough day yesterday - overly exhausted, tired of working all the time again and generally worried about school and future and life...But then, the boy made me smile and I got to working on my paper even though I didn't think I had the mental capacity to do anything productive, I actually made some progress. Then, begrudgingly I got up this morning at 6:35am and went to the gym. Was supposed to meet sis but she understandably chose her warm bed over the cold, dark morning. I had a moment where I considered crawling back in, gym clothes and all, but thought that it would at most grant me another 40 minutes of sleep before I had to get up to go to work. SO I chose the gym. And it was hard, and I haven't been in forever, but it was worth it. I feel great, energized, focused and ready to tackle this paper! I'm hoping to focus most of the evening/afternoon on it. It's the first of the month so that also means bills, and rent and bank is to be paid and visited. But that's ok. It won't take long. Early dinner with Mom and a meeting at 2 should set me up for a great evening. IF I get enough done, I may even try to attend yoga...that would be so nice - I know my body needs it - it really needs it every week but pushing myself to go is sometimes for difficult than you could imagine.
So, about 40 minutes left at work, then errands and lunch. I am HUNGRY!

Hope you all have an absolutely beautiful day - it's gorgeous out there.

V

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Back on Track

I may not have found my purpose or the point in the grand scheme of things but I certainly have a goal for today and that is to write this paper! Found a good study spot after arriving on campus ill-prepared without my parking permit or student id to check out any books I instead downloaded articles and printed them and now am at a hipster cafe invigorated with a looming deadline.
It's a gloomy, cold and rainy day. The perfect day to stare at articles and a computer screen, sipping hot tea and eating this delicious artichoke chicken sandwich. There are hard-knocks every day but its how we handle them that makes the difference. I intend to wear a smile at the gloom. Hope you all enjoy whatever moments of happiness find you today!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Point?

We used to give my dad a hard time for taking too long when it came to telling a story or anecdote. We would inevitably say the word "Point?" somewhere in the string of words that seemed to be nowhere nearer a conclusion than at his opening sentence. He would grin, and "aw, shucks" his way into a summed up version of the story he was trying to convey. I feel a bit like that almost every day now. I feel like my life is this long string of a story that really doesn't have any kind of end or grand goal in sight. I feel like I should be working towards something, saving for something, learning FOR something. But I have absolutely no idea what that SOMETHING is. Do I open a cafe? Do I write? Do I teach? Do I throw myself back into school and learn how to be a veterinarian? (The first three options are real options, the last is simply for laughs) I just want a reason. I want a place. I want a purpose.

And I know this is probably some watered-down version of a quarter life crisis, Garden State of mind and all that shit but really, honestly, it could very well be this stupid weather. Whatever it is, it's unsettling and oddly, it doesn't make me want to run away - because I'm not so sure wherever I go will have the answer I'm looking for. But I do know, the answer is not here. Not in this place. God help me, making matters no better, the holidays are coming. Blech.

I promise to have a more upbeat post soon, at least when the sun comes out again.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Empty Home

It was so quiet and dark when I got home last night I found myself turning on every light, television and laptop, just to be surrounded with noise instead of silently alone. This morning's cool sun and cawing birds brings more comfort to my week of solitude. I intend to be productive, go to farmers market for fresh vegetables and maybe get to write a little. I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday. It's lovely out there.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sonnet for the Sun

The sun has been out every single day this week. It has warmed the air, widened smiles, and shocked the colors of the changing leaves to a vibrancy we don't normally get to see during cold and dreary days of quick falls and too early winters. It has been an interesting week. Changes, like the leaves and seasons, are causing me to be somewhat unsettled. School is going well, work is mediocre and slow, and my writing has all but dried up. I feel like I need a reawakening of creativity. I wish for the dedication and cheer that an artist such as Sark has. It can't be that hard to dedicate an hour a day to writing, can it?
Here's to a new week. I hope you all have a lovely, inspired and restful weekend.
V

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Oh Hoorah for Productivity!

I cannot ever express to you how happy being productive makes me. Not necessarily in work but if I am able to clean/clean out/reorganize/write/finish an assignment or simply check off a list I become the happiest girl you'll meet. Today was no exception - I wrote out a brand new list, prioritized and time managed and have steadily check off one by one and made efforts towards completing the others. SO nice. And the blue skies and bright sun helps all the more! Delicious food brought to me magically from mother and friend. Just a lovely day. I hope the night turns out to be just as wonderful!
V

Friday, September 30, 2011

Don't let it get to you.


It's really hard sometimes to not take things personally. Someone doesn't quite live up to your expectations, you think someone will change, become more mature, do what they say they're going to do or just generally be a good person. I have found myself struggling with this recently and just try to tell myself it's all going to work out and that while I don't have to completely stop doing favors, putting myself last or working so hard that I begin living for the moments I have off the clock - it is ok for me to say no. It's ok to not act like a doormat. It's ok that I'm not going to be that person who makes you feel like your behavior is acceptable and that of a mature person. Because it isn't.

What I am focusing on today is that I am blessed to be able to pay my bills. I am so much stronger and fitter than I have been in a long time. I graduate next year. I can almost always see the sun straining through the fog. Fall is coming. A change in season. A continued changed perspective on all those things that I can control. I will travel again before the year is over. Even if it's Chicago, Grand Rapids, St Louis or Louisville. I hope you can all see the sun today through the rain and cold!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Never take it for granted.



Sometimes I gripe, sometimes I vent, sometimes I storm and whine and pout and stomp my foot like the most spoiled of children. However, I believe that I have found the perfect balance. While I still work and am fully aware that it comes with drama and frustrations and not everything being perfect, I do love the simplicity and rewards (both monetary and otherwise) that come from my job (my one, main job. I still have the other...it's just a one-day-a-week-er). And the biggest beauty of it all is that I can leave it there - I no longer have to bring work home with me! And where I've found this balance, this ability to be happy is that I don't start any kind of obligation until 5pm at the earliest! I have my mornings and afternoons all to myself! For example: I had the freedom to stay up until 3am and catch up on Grey's Anatomy and then sleep until 10am! Love that! Then I went for a run enjoying the beauty of the changing seasons and the strength and stamina I am gaining as I continue to run 4 days a week. After returning home sweaty and invigorated I went out for brunch - so good - read a book, drank delicious coffee and again, enjoyed the day. Grocery shopping with the boy's money and now home smelling the delicious banana bread baking in the oven while I write this post. This is what it's all about. This entire morning/afternoon has been moments of happiness. I am happy when my time is my own - or at least some of the time. I will probably never stop working but having this opportunity to enjoy freedom from waking until 5pm at least 4 days a week I will never take for granted. Especially when I produce yummy things like this...


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Day Off

They never quite go the way you want them to - sometimes they turn out better, sometimes worse, sometimes just different. Today was different. I wanted to drive up to Grand Rapids last night thinking how nice it would be to get groceries at the local market (the bridge between Martins and Whole Foods - not quite as expensive but still cool stuff), get a cup of coffee and read in my favorite college cafe. But, thoughts of bills, saving money and the fact that I would be driving 4 hours for a total of (at most) 5 hours of time spent there wasn't quite what I was willing to do. SO I slept in and got a great cup of coffee in town instead. Got quite a bit of reading done, hung out with my fella and got rid of A LOT of excess things I've just been collecting and unwilling to let go. I am now 10 pairs of shoes, multiple items of clothing, outdated and unused product from lotions to hair products to masques, broken and never worn jewelry, and dozens of magazines lighter. I will bring it to my sister to see if she would like to add anything to her collections - if not - to Goodwill it goes. Delicious and half-off wings wrapped up the day.
I don't work until 5 tomorrow and my goals for the day are to write, study, run, and cook a Cream Cheese Banana Bread after grocery shopping. However, I am open to changes, moments of happiness and opportunities that present themselves. All in all, very happy girl here. Hope your day was wonderful too!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Crisp Morning


Today is already starting out better than the last! A dear friend shared a surprisingly delicious Earl Grey tea latte (normally I hate Earl Grey...but this was just lovely). Made it out of bed early enough to grab breakfast on the way into work and am loving being surrounded by windows and able to see the bright sunshine on this crisp, fall morning! I even chose this day to enjoy my very last Sake Lemon Candle from Voluspa - shame they discontinued it but we must enjoy things when we can! Goals for the day include finishing homework and beginning my response journal for poetry (blech) but excited about this new piece I've been working on...let's see if it goes anywhere. Happy weekend all! I hope there are many wonderful things that bring a smile to your face today...like this adorable sheep scarf I've been wanting to go back and buy now for days!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Little Bit of Happy

When asked this morning if I was working by my Mother, I responded somewhat despondently "Unfortunately" to which she replied: "I wish you had a bit of happiness to carry around and get you through every day...right where you are." Now, upon first read, the last thing I wanted to think about was what I could do to be happy. I was at a job that I no longer wanted to be at, received another text letting me know that someone ELSE was very unhappy and considering their place here and I (as I so often do) continued to think about everything else in life that I had a gripe with. So for my mother to tell me that she wished I was happier actually catapulted me into being even less happy so as I sit here wondering what it is that makes this little girl tick I felt like writing it out - that does always make me feel better.

I love to travel and yes, sometimes it may seem like I'm running away, but genuinely, deep down, it really, truly is about wanting to take a trip. Who honestly does not love taking a vacation and once done, looks back and says they wish they could do that more? I work really, really hard. And have worked really, really hard for the last ten years of my life. I've never known more than a month without employment (with the exception of living in England but even then I was still in school!)
I love to cook. I love to feed people and hear their groans of delight and know that I am giving them something to enjoy and turning something that is meant to be simply fuel and energy into something that is fun and a pleasure.
I love to enjoy the weather. If it is beautiful out, you can't stop me from finding a park bench, a dry patch of lawn or a picnic table and sitting down with some iced tea and reading, journaling or listening to music. What I love most of all about beautiful days is the opportunity to enjoy them - they are so rare here in the Midwest and are forever seemingly fleeting.
I do love being good at what I do. I wish for a world that wherever we found our niche, we could exist in a drama-free zone and make enough to be comfortable. Silly thought though that may be, I do wish for it.
I love the frustrations and struggles of writing. I love the joy of being transported by and through a story.

My happy today is knowing that I have finished my homework ahead of schedule. I got a great night's sleep. All our bills are paid. I will have time to work on this blog today because I remembered to bring my laptop to work (hah!). I have stuck faithfully to working out 6 days a week for the last 4 1/2 weeks (no weight lost but I feel great!) Hope you all have some happy today and those in your life to remind you to find it.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cooking again!











Having free time means I cook more. In the past few days I've made Chai Morning Glory Muffins, Vegan Poppyseed Muffins, Andes Mint Chocolate Cookies, Sage and Wild Mushroom White Pizza, homemade chicken and bean tacos, and a summer vegetable quiche. I continue to forget to take pictures and it's all the more difficult to do so before the boy gets a hold of a fork and within reach of a still 400 degree something. If I had it my way I would cook every meal. Perhaps this fall I'll try my very best to do just that. Any suggestions? Requests?


Hope your day was as beautiful and as wonderful as mine was. Not only did I get to cook but I got to talk about books, go for a run, enjoy the cool, rainy, Seattle-esque weather and have breakfast with ma mere. Many, many happy moments today.


(Funny how much happier my posts are when I don't have to go to the spa...)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Good Day

So after a weekend where I was seemingly being taken advantage of by everyone I knew, Monday brought with it a fresh start and a fresh perspective. I was impressively lazy, dozing on the couch until noon, woke up craving donuts and coffee with ma mere and later a 60minute run/walk followed by a headache kept me indoors for the rest of the night. I washed newly bought towels and enjoyed their warm fluffiness. Then I made this incredible pizza and watched tv all night.



Today has been just as good if not better. Woke early, had a productive work meeting, went to the gym and after 30minutes light cardio I did a wonderful yoga-inspired strength training routine. An egg white omelet at the restaurant and hot green tea to top it off and here I am writing you!




Hoping for good news today for the boy. Please dear God let it be good news. Then a MASSAGE at 5 and yoga at 7:30. What a great day! Must fit some homework in here somewhere....maybe tomorrow :)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Bad day


Don't you just hate those? Doesn't it always just make everyone and everything irritating? I literally pointed and said "That needs to stop" at an INFANT who was babbling and goo-goo ga-ing. I felt an explosion welling up inside of me and that is simply NOT ok. It's time to take a step back and realize the things that ARE going right in my life.

-more than halfway through my M.A. (somewhat mediocre classes but maybe they'll get better as time goes on)
-almost 4 weeks into a great running program and tomorrow is a rest day!
-a mom who knows when I need a frozen yogurt and a vent-session
-a boyfriend who is so close to something that will make EVERYTHING better.
-two jobs where essentially I could get away with murder (even so, this privilege comes with the cost of being everyone's bitch.)
-Monday is Labor Day, I intend to take my recently repaired car (for the small, small sum of $3,000) to either Chicago or Grand Rapids. My flight, never fight instinct is kicking in strong and while I can't yet move I can certainly get outta town for 12-24 hours or so. I think I might go alone. I need some time that's entirely devoted to myself and no one else's hang ups or happiness.
-the (hot) sun is shining.
-a recent gift from above-mentioned boyfriend makes it possible to listen to great music in the car from my iPod instead of suffering through either U93 or the multitude of country channels our dear town boasts of.
-it's a home game tomorrow, join us at the restaurant and sit at my table ready to spend some money all you locals and visitors alike.
-fountains

There really are many more wonderful things that make my life and time here in the Midwest worth getting out of bed for. I just need to remind myself from time to time and in the mean time - I need to learn to say "no".

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cherry Picking


Alex’s father worked for the man that owned the farm they were driving towards one late morning. It had rained the night before and the mist was still heavy in the air, foggy enough for her mother to drive about twenty miles an hour. She was reading Anna Karenina. Anna had just had an affair and was reliving how it had made her feel. Alex wished she was in Russia. She wished could speak Russian and knew a Leon. She wished she was anywhere but in the back seat of a beaten and rusty red van heading towards a farm in Indiana.
They passed the driveway and had to turn around to enter the gravel entrance towards the farm. Several dogs ran in front of the van causing her mother to slam on her brakes skidding through the wet grass until they came to a sudden stop.

“Aw, sorry ‘bout that. They know better than to get under the wheels. They’ll get real near ‘em but they’re smart enough to keep their distance.”
He came jogging up towards the van and opened the door for her mother. He offered his hand and helped her out of the car.

“Oh, I’m fine. Thank you. I’m Kelly, Troy’s wife. These are my two daughters, Cory and Alex. Sorry, I mean Alexandra.” She corrected herself as the girls came around the front of the van. Alex was glaring as she used her nickname. Ever since she started working at the café, she introduced herself using her full name. She wanted to be Alexandra, not Alex. She thought it sounded older, more sophisticated, less boy-ish.
Cory, her younger sister had already taken off, running towards the horses penned a few yards away.

“Hey, they don’t like when you rush up on ‘em, you might want to slow down! They get a bit skittish with strangers. I’m Dean. My father had some unexpected work thing come up, he told me to welcome ya’ll in. Would you like to talk a walk around? See the farm?”

“Sure, sounds great!” Her mother let out a tinkling giggle that she had never heard before. She sounded so much younger and so unlike a mother.

Dean was what Alex’s young mind had imagined a real cowboy would look like. He even had a southern accent and the way he drew out his vowels and the “aw, shucks” quality of his gait attracted me instantly. Who needed to travel to Russia to meet a Leon when someone such as Dean existed a few miles down the road? He was tall and slim, his faded Levi’s hanging off of his hips meeting the thin, work-worn white shirt barely concealing the smooth muscle beneath. His denim shirt was left opened and the sleeves pushed up past his elbows. Naturally, he was wearing a once white ten-gallon. His hair needed to be cut but Alex mused that she wouldn’t dare wish those dark, curly locks to be changed in any way. His skin was olive, tanned from being out in the sun every day. His eyes were green and the lashes that rimmed them were so thick and full that they were the only indication that this was not the manliest of men – but close. He couldn’t have been more than seventeen but made them all believe they were in the presence of a much older man.

He led the woman and girls around for nearly an hour, showing them the barns and livestock, recounting the names of the tire hungry dogs they had met on their way in. He told them that soon the corn would be ready to be picked and sold to local farmers markets. It was their chief income.
“This here though, this is my favorite part of the place. I usually walk up and down these rows a couple of times a day. Sometimes I just sit under one of these trees and just sit and think for hours.” They made a sudden turn and came upon rows and rows of cherry trees. Their leaves were so thick and the trees grew so close together that you could only see down one row but were blinded to what lay to your left and right. “I suppose this is what ya’ll came here for wasn’t it? Sorry, I just love this place so much I show it off any chance I get.”
“Oh, I don’t think we minded at all, the girls grew up on a farm years ago, nothing like this but they like the outdoors don’t you girls?” their mother asked without looking at them. She too seemed to be drawn in by this cowboy’s love the cherry trees.
Alex and Cory grabbed the bright yellow pails and began picking cherries from the trees. Their mother wanted to make some pies and jam for the holidays and their father wanted them to make a good impression on the man he was working for.

The morning had remained overcast. The clouds did not allow the sun to dry the moisture that caused Alex’s shoes and pants to be soaked. She could see her sister a couple hundred feet ahead in the same row, easy to spot in her bright pink rain coat. The white ribbon tied around her dishwater hair was slipping and Alex knew at any moment it would fall and the delicate, thin blonde strands would hang loose around her cherub face. She was feverishly picking every cherry she laid her eyes on zigzagging from tree to tree.
“Cory! You’ve got to pick the biggest ones! The other ones will be too sour to eat!” Cory flashed her blue eyes up at her sister. She smiled and the rosy glow of her exertion truly did make her look angelic. She turned quickly, whipping her hair behind her. The ribbon dropped and fell on the dewy grass. She started running towards the bed of the truck ahead holding the cherries they had already collected. Alex slowly began walking towards the ribbon to collect what her sister had left.


“Alex is thirteen, Cory eleven. Alex is so smart, we had her tested and she is far past the level of the other children her age. Of course, Cory got the looks in the family, blonde hair, blue eyes. No idea where those came from!” Alex heard her mother giggle again. Alex stopped walking realizing Dean and her mother were just a row over. She wanted to remain invisible for this conversation. They couldn’t see her and she couldn’t see them. But she could hear.
“Aw, well they’re both pretty. You should be proud. My mother always hoped for a girl. She wasn’t so lucky and got me, I guess.”
“Oh, I think you’re just fine.” Their voices began to fade. Alex began walking towards the truck wondering if that’s really how her mother felt.

“Look! I got four pails!” Cory displayed her hard work and Dean tipped his hat to her.
“Well done, lil’ lady. Now let’s see if you can find the feed in the barn for the horses. I’m bettin’ their mighty hungry right about now.” And with that Cory was off like a dart, cherry stains covering her sleeves and her tiny perfect teeth glinting as she smiled running towards the barn.
“Cory! Remember what he said! Don’t run at the horses!” Their mother ran off after Cory, probably worried she would be trampled or attempt to feed the horses herself.
“How many pails did you get?” Alex jumped. She had begun to walk towards the barn as well and didn’t expect him to address her. She was so used to being intelligent but invisible.
“Um…one. I guess I didn’t do as well, huh?”
“Nah, I think you did just fine. Look at these rubies, I bet you cleaned us out of the best cherries we had in the whole farm.”
“I’m sorry! You can keep the pail, I’m sure we have more than enough to make Mom’s pies. Really, I didn’t mean to take all of them!”
“Darlin’, calm down! We’ll never be able to eat all these cherries! You did us a favor. Just means you’re choosy, that’s all. Hey, can you drive?”
“No, I’m only 13.”
“Heck, I started driving at 10. Wanna learn? My feet sure are tired from all that walkin’ today. Come on, we’ll meet ‘em on the other side of the barn.”
“Um, I guess that will be ok. Where are the dogs? I really don’t want me first time driving to involve canine murder.”
He laughed so hard he had to hold onto the open door of his beaten white Chevy. “Whew! You are somethin’! Come on, get in!”

The cab was enormous but warmer than it had been outside. Alex didn’t realize that she was shivering until she sat down on the worn leather seat. “You cold?” He asked and before waiting for an answer he pulled a heavy, thick Carhart from the back of the cab and set it around her shoulders.
“Th-th-thanks.” She wasn’t entirely sure it was the cold that was making her shiver. “Ok, what now?”
“Well, first, you have to put the key in the ignition. When you do, push down on the far left peddle and the middle one. That’s the clutch and the one in the middle is the brake.”
“Wait, this is a stick shift? Oh, I don’t know if this is such a good idea, maybe we should have just walked, it isn’t that far.”
“Now don’t you worry your pretty little head, this’ll be fun! Now turn the ignition.”
She did as she was told. It made a roar and rumble beneath her like nothing she had ever felt before. It was like an animal was growling beneath the hood. She couldn’t remember when she had been more nervous. This was His truck. She did not want to wreck His truck.
“Ok, now what?” she asked quickly and in a pitch higher than her normal tone. She couldn’t bring herself to look at him. She needed to stay focused. Her knuckles were beginning to turn white from gripping the steering wheel so tightly.
“Well….first you need to relax. Fun, remember? Ok, very slowly I need to you put some pressure on the far right peddle and slowly release the left peddle. Kind of at the same time, do you think you can do that?”
“I think so,” and with those simple instructions her right foot slowly went down but her left jerked up suddenly causing the car to lurch forward and come to an instant stop. She inhaled quickly and he scooted, or rather was thrown closer to her and grabbed the wheel. They had come dangerously close to one of the cherry trees and luckily had missed it by inches.
“Ok, good. Not a bad start.” Her heart was pounding and his encouragement only made her feel more like a failure. That is not how trucks are supposed to drive. “Now, this time take it a little bit slower and turn the wheel to the right. We’re gonna circle these trees here to give you a little bit more practice.”
“What?! I thought you said we were going to go to the barn? I think you should drive, thank you for this but I don’t think I can do it.”
“I don’t think so, this is your ride, and you’re gettin’ us to that barn.”
The next ten minutes were spent equally lurching forward and coming to a screeching halt but eventually, they had made it around the entire cherry orchard. Her leg was beginning to cramp because she thought at one point she heard him say to not take her foot entirely off the clutch so she spent the entire time driving with her foot pressing the clutch an inch in.
“Ok, that was great, thanks so much, we should probably get to the barn, ok?” Alex mumbled quickly as she leapt out of the car barely remember to turn the truck off.

“You did great, lil’ lady, really great.”

Alex turned quickly and met his eyes long enough that she shot him a smile. He gave her a small smile in return and touched the brim of his hat. She was so grateful that “the one with the brains” was chosen to take that ride. She’ll always remember wanting to reach out and grab his hand even with her terror at letting go of the shifter. The regret would always be with her. She knew it was probably all in her head and that had she touched the tanned and calloused hand he would have been kind but straightened her out and let her know he wasn’t interested in her “like that”. But he did choose her. He asked her. And every time Alexandra eats fresh cherries, she thinks of that ride and the day that she wasn’t only the smart one in the family, but the one who was chosen. The one who was given a chance first.

10am

There's nothing quite like waking up late, making yourself some coffee and taking your time. I was not built to get up before the sun. I wish I had been, I really do. There have been many moments preparing for a long trip, going into work earlier than normal or a brief attempt at trying to reset my fitness clock to begin at 6am. I enjoy the quiet, the gray haze where night and sunrise meet.

But...when I have slept as long as my body would like and I feel truly rested I wouldn't trade it for 6am haze any day.

I feel lucky this morning, blessed and inspired. I wrote nearly 4 pages of a new short story that came to me suddenly yesterday afternoon. The images, words, characters and setting was as clear in my mind as a memory from yesterday. I can't wait to share it. Just a little girl's experience in a cherry field...

I hope your day is beautiful as well.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Left Behind Pt. 2

We are the left behind. We're the people that have too many credits to stop going to school but not enough to earn a degree. Some of us have one though and some of us are even working on new letters to put behind our name if only to put off paying back loans or figuring out how to be a grown up. We're the people who know about Shakespeare and Charlie Sheen. We know how to not only use iPod's and iPad's but we can control the temperature of our homes and volume of our Pandora station with them. We also could cite some of the major tenants of Marxism. We're told to vote but usually we don't because the local VFW is somewhere we haven't visited since Brownies or Boyscouts nearly two decades ago. We're still driving our 2005 Ford Taurus and 1999 Jetta. We would rather take the train to Chicago, get a cool new tattoo and know more about Belgium beer and organic chocolate than show up to some office at 9 and stay until 5. We love reading books. We love drinking coffee. We love wearing retro glasses and dying our hair many different colors. We live paycheck to paycheck and often jump from job to job all in the same town following friends or promises of more money and opportunity to have a better schedule or better manager. The jobs usually turn out to be the same as the last. We are the educated low-lifes. We're the offspring of Justin Timberlake, Bill Clinton, Stephen Hawkings and Bill Gates. We pump one fist at corporate America while slurping from the signature green straw in a Starbucks frapp clutched in the other. We consume more soy and hummus and supplements than any generation or culture has before. We are left behind because we're floating. We're uncertain of the economy so we don't get a real job. We've seen too many of our fathers, cousins and big brothers and sisters laid off, let go, "rearranged". Our place in this torn country and waring world is now to remain under the radar. We earn our keep but do not invest. How do we invest in something that looks like it's about to self destruct at any moment? No, it's better for us, the left behind, to remain behind. Let others venture forth and make babies and mortgages and hope that tomorrow isn't worse than today. We'll pour their coffee and sell them shoes. We'll arrange the shelves at Barnes and Noble and take your car to its parking space. We'll live without the worry that we'll need to lead someone someday. We'll be fine. We'll figure it out. We'll hope that someday we have a job that's more important than your waitress. But then again, who will serve your food? Who will serve our food?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My own two feet.



I wish for a place where I can walk and ride my bike everywhere.

Suggestions?





Monday, August 15, 2011

Still Picture-less

I still haven't brought myself to go through the couple hundred pictures we brought back with us from Vegas. It was a wonderful trip, just hot enough, amazing shows and food and time together. We each only had one meltdown but what is a trip without a family freakout? It's a beautiful day here in the Midwest and my goal for the day has been to figure out how to be as happy as possible with where I am now. It looks like with surgeries and school we're grounded here for at least another year. Sad face. But I'm sure it's for the best. I'm sure its going to allow us to save and prepare and travel to the potential places of our new home. I can't picture myself anywhere new anymore. I feel stuck again. I need school to start for some order. I need the spa to be finished for good for some sanity. I need to sit back, sip my tea, and continue dreaming up new stories to write about. Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Unmotivated

I'm not sure whether it's jet lag, too much sleep, too little exercise or too much free time but I can't seem to get motivated to do anything productive. I had every intention of spending this afternoon and evening writing and here I am, having eaten too much food (delicious), napped in and out of Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring and now it's 9pm. I suppose I can write now. Isn't that what I'm doing? All I have to do tomorrow besides work at 3pm is to take my car in - stupid transmission. So here's hoping I'll at the very least try. What are you going to try to do this week?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Leaving

We are leaving today - in about 10 hours or so we'll be on a plane towards the middle of this country's desert. And at this point, I wouldn't care if it was nothing BUT desert because at least it would be several hundred miles away from here. I have a horrible escape complex and this weekend and day especially is draggin me down like none has before. Much of it I bring upon myself but a lot of it is also people taking advantage of me and my time. I hope to escape these next four days. I have to go back to work on Friday, a full 5 days sooner than I had originally hoped to return to work but it must be done. Can't wait to fill this with pictures and writing from my travels. And fuck, (excuse the profanity) but if I can't get out of the spa completely and continue to get wrangled into shifts I didn't want then who's to stop me from spending that extra and unnecessary money for Christmas in Paris or a week in the fall in Venice. I ask you: who will stop me?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Me Time

I woke up early to run an errand and on my way home from the errand I was trying to decide what to do - I had a free morning and with the exception of needing to finish a schedule at the spa my biggest concern was what kind of coffee I wanted. Then, much to my chagrin, I received a text from my boss: "Hey V, where are you?? You were scheduled at 9am?!?". Son of a bitch. Now normally, I would have quickly apologized, hurried home and prepared myself to go in just a little late. But no, I made an arrangement that I don't work doubles on Saturdays anymore because I close the restaurant Friday and Saturday night often keeping me there past midnight. Scheduling misunderstanding but I declined going in. He knew I don't work Saturday mornings and I'll be damned if this one is taken from me. So here I sit, in bed, with my selected coffee and blogs. All these beautiful pages and voices keeping me company and hopeful that someday very soon I will have my mornings just like this one to write posts, just like this one...

Cherish your "you-time". I am just now coming to realize its importance.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Time to Travel!




Like my dear mother said in her blog yesterday, I have been infected with her wanderlust since I was a very small child. I remember reading the book and seeing the movie "A Little Princess" and wishing that I could grow up in India (with affluent British parents and a lavish houseboat, of course).



However, I grew up floating from place to place in the south and Midwest with a brief but beautiful 3 months in England my sophomore year of college. I always have the itch to hop on a plane or fill my tank and head off in a new direction. I believe traveling helps us grow, mature, broaden our thinking and horizons and exposure to new places, people, and cultures. Our newest planned (or rather unplanned and spontaneous) trip will be to Las Vegas in about 10 days. I took the week off and have always wanted to go back since my first visit there 2 years ago. I had gone with an old love, one I'd hoped to rekindle but soon found it to be as dead as the barren dessert surrounding America's playland.



I am excited to return with someone that does love me, possibly more than anyone else on this earth. I'm excited to see the bright lights with eyes not worried about anything but enjoying myself. It will be a freedom that I hope will bring us even closer and our wanderlust can be satiated for even a brief time. However, I am sure it will return soon...

p.s. apologies for having to use other's photo's - while all are credited to their source - I hope to have plenty of my own material soon and after this trip!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Good goals

Hello everyone! Sorry it's been so long since I've posted. It's funny, I've had a great deal of time off from one or the other jobs and I would have assumed that with more time I would have posted more...but the opposite is true. I found myself busy with very important things like napping, eating, cooking, napping, and a little bit of writing. It has been great and with the schedule as I've just made it, I will only be at one of my jobs ONE day a week! Giving me Mondays and Tuesdays completely off, and every morning Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday! Saturday and Sundays will be long, doubles Saturday and mornings Sunday but that schedule can definitely work!

So I plan on being very good, exercise most days, eat vegan or vegetarian as much as possible, cook at home whenever I can and save most of what I make. What are your goals today?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Squeaky Clean

I have just picked up my laptop from being cleaned and repaired and a brand new hard drive installed. Now I have the freedom to download Photoshop (yay!) and upload Word 2010. I think I'll try that tonight. Can't wait to start blogging everyday this week. That's my goal anyway seeing as I have the entire week off from the spa. Oh joy!
Hope you all have a wonderful week! See you soon!
V

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"Friends" Moment

Hello all - it has been nearly 2 weeks since my last post and I promise I have good reasons! Moving, transitioning, and many other -ing's have dominated all of my free time. I must, however, share a seriously cute story of my latest dating story.

As of yesterday, I am officially cohabiting. I don't normally talk about the boy here but this story truly is too good to keep all to myself. On the day of the move, it was a challenge to say the least to figure out where to tell the movers to put our things - each of us having a TOTALLY different idea about the purpose we had for each room. I wanted an office. He wanted a game room. I wanted the second bedroom to have my old bed so I could take naps and escape when I wanted to write. He wanted to turn it into a space for all of his actions figure, football cards, and posters. I wanted to unpack the kitchen alone because I know I will be doing the majority of the cooking. He simply wanted to clear the fastest path through the boxes to get to the fridge without doing a series of hurdles.

After much bickering (in our quiet voices because apparently we wanted to let the movers know we knew what we were doing - hah!) everything was finally unloaded. A mere hour later I had to be at work allowing no time whatsoever to unpack anything whatsoever. I left him with clear instructions to leave the kitchen alone and to set up the living room/entertainment center first. After a long seven hours at work, wishing every minute I could be home unpacking and organizing, I ended up in my car driving the new route to our new apartment. Over and over in my head did I hear the infamous line from "Friends" after Monica and Rachel decide Monica and Chandler can keep the apartment and Rachel will move out. It's a great, bonding moment for them but Monica's shrill voice ends the episode by saying: "But I've got to live with a boy!" obviously dreading the mess, immaturity, and sometimes irritating male presence. Trying to banish these thoughts, I found myself sitting in the arranged and clean living room having been put together perfect by the dear boy. He had spent the previous 15 minutes explaining to me how he had arranged each box in the rooms he thought I would want them and where I could find everything I would need for work the next day. Once we returned to the couch and started watching "Kill Bill: Vol 1", he leaned over and said "Have you found Blade yet?" My thoughts instantly went to the Wesley Snipes movie and forgot that he had a small action figure from some obscure film or comic book. "Um...no" He looked excited and exasperated at the same time and pointed to the shelf of DVD's. This is what I saw when I looked:

After telling him that I don't think we had that DVD, he pointed to the stereo and asked who was behind it. This is what I found:





This visual had me laughing until my sides hurt. I giggle even as I write this. The image of the boy taking even a few seconds to strategically place this grinning ghoul so as to appear to be hiding behind our speaker is one of the reasons why I'm so excited to be sharing this space with this someone. He makes me laugh in a side-splitting manner. I look forward to many smiles and do hope this little post brought you one as well.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Moment by moment

Oh what a day. Always and forever so much going on. I hope you all have a chance to have several moments of happiness this week!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Another Year





Happy birthday to me! Lovely bloody mary to get things going...thanks dad! 24 today and excited to see what's going to happen before I turn 25...travel, cooking,writing and blogging,moving (where to?). I am so blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life. Here's to another year. Every one is always filled with hills and valley's but it's climbing to the top and seeing the view that makes it all worth it!
(p.s. can't wait to share yummy sprouted rice and spinach salad!)
All my love,
V

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Oh what a day

Day 2 of 4 days off. Love love love having time off!
Today began with a ridiculously unhealthy breakfast with the parents. Fun, haven't seen Dad in a while. Aren't they cute?


With no idea what to do with all this free time, I wandered around the mall for two hours. I wanted to buy myself a birthday present (or two) and try to find a new pair of jeans but my emotional eating, baking, and apathy towards exercise made it impossible to find anything that didn't dash my self-esteem to smithereens. So, I bought this cute necklace and denim shirt for the low, low price of $18.63.



Then, to improve my situation instead of wallow in it, I went the gym. 63 sweaty minutes later I was finishing up a strength training set when another regular at my gym stopped by and said, "Hey, whatever you're doing, it's working. I've seen you around, good job." Of all days, this compliment was needed the most.

Thrilled to have someone notice SOME progress, (even if the scale said otherwise, in fact it says I've fallen way off the wagon) I headed to Martin's to buy some groceries - just a few, nothing major, but healthy things to have on hand instead of eating out every meal. I ended up with over $100 worth of items - all healthy, organic and just what I needed.


The way in which I spent my money today speaks volumes about where my passions lie at the moment. Glad for it.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Farmers Market






Avoiding yet another long wait with few answers at the hospital I decided to go to the farmers market this morning. I've been dreaming about the freedom to wake up when I was ready and venture out to find some fresh fruits, vegetables and eggs. So I used the possibility of surgery today for Jamie as an excuse to take off another day of work.
There weren't many vendors but we talked to an interesting soap lady and bought some great eggs and bread to make french toast with bacon and strawberries. Still no answer from the doctors as I write within the hospital.

At least breakfast was delicious! Looking forward to apple pie bread grilled cheese sandwiches...

Friday, June 3, 2011

My Moment of Happy Today


Knowing that this is not where I will always be.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lazy Day and Empty Houses



First day off in 35...slept in late. Ate a deliciously unhealthy breakfast with Mom and went antiquing. It's been months - possibly a year since I've wandered through the trinkets of ages past. With my renewed passion for cooking my eye was mostly drawn to kitchen ware of all kinds. We also saw many other things repeated in nearly every booth: small planters of varying hues, salt and pepper shakers (of course), flower frogs and tons of enamel cookware (some of which I took for my own). We mused that we should buy a house simply to furnish with all of the amazing things we saw. What an idea to start all over in a bare and ready house. What things would one choose to make it a home? Maybe someday I can try? Until then I'll dream in my coke-bottle glasses...