Life

It’s what happens when you’re making other plans, according to John Lennon.

Several things have conspired to delay my planned post on the cost, sustainability and practicality of a Real Food Diet – now The Official Designation For How I Eat – so I’m thinking Friday (tomorrow you get Tuna Casserole.  Or Rabbit in Mustard Sauce.  I’m not sure yet, and am open to any and all suggestions).

Things Conspiring Against Me:

Menopausal Brain Fuzz.  *sigh*

I am transitioning out of a position in our company that I have held for 8 years.  Yes, you can congratulate me – I never enjoyed it, and was never very good at it.  The person taking over the job is FAR more suited to it than I could ever be.  I could not be happier about this.

I am still trying to decide if I want to remain an “official” employee in our company and take over a new product/service we are offering, or if I want to contract myself for the job so I can pursue other side jobs, as well.  There are a lot of pros and cons to both sides, and a lot of things to take into consideration, so we’ll see.

I am trying to decide if I want to be killed by my husband spend $195 for a 4-week, online “photography for food bloggers” course by the Perfect Picture School of Photography.  It’s tempting…very, very tempting.

I am in the process of implementing a new feature here that will be quite beneficial for my readers.  Trust me, you’ll be the first to know when it is finished.

This college thing with The Young One.  All of the other kids spared us this by either not attending college, taking care of themselves or having another parent handle it all.  I had no idea how much it would consume not only my son, who is stressed to the max by his senior year in high school, but me as well.

Beloved is planning not one, not two, not three, but FOUR raised bed gardens in our back yard – he wants to move away from a CSA for the 2014 season (we’ve already committed ourselves this year).  Construction has begun, and my Home Depot credit card is already sending up little tendrils of smoke.

I know…my life is so exciting, isn’t it? I bet all you young’uns out there just can’t wait for middle age.

Anyhoo, that’s why I have no post today about the cost, sustainability and practicality of a Real Food Diet.  I’m still unsure about tomorrow’s recipe, so let me know what you’d like to see:  Tuna Casserole, or Rabbit in Mustard Sauce?

See you tomorrow!

‘Tis The Season To Be Crazy

Remember how I said I wasn’t fond of plain glass ball Christmas ornaments?  They’re scarce on the “formal” tree, too.

I have at least three good recipes and a guest post to share, but they’re going to have to wait.  Darling Daughter arrived last night and we stayed up till 1 a.m. talking.  It should be illegal for work to be hectic at this time of year – and until this year, this was our slow time – but I, at least, am absolutely swamped.  Our  office is closed Friday, which is when Oldest Son gets here, but I want to take some time off before then which doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for blogging and Facebook.  I’ll try to get around to visit everyone today and have my guest post up tomorrow, but I make no promises.

Have a lovely Tuesday, y’all, and I’ll see you around the blogosphere.

Hopefully.

Monday, Monday – Can’t Trust That Day

Monday, Monday – sometimes it just turns out that way.

I was going to post a recipe for the from-scratch green bean casserole today (which is, by the way, specfantabutaculous – yes, that is totally a word) but our dishwasher died last night and it became apparent that our vacuum cleaner was wheezing it’s last gasps of life, too.

Now all we need is for the washer, dryer and refrigerator to crap out by the end of the year, and we will literally have replaced every major appliance in the house in 2010 (since we replaced the furnace, hot water heater and air conditioner earlier this year).  Have I mentioned we replaced our mattress, as well?

TempurPedic, folks.  The only way to go.

At any rate, I have spent this morning in a frenzy of shopping for the new dishwasher, which won’t be here until December 1st, so now I’m the proud owner of a brand-spanking new dish drainer.  And of a Dyson vacuum – thanks, Home Depot, for your lovely sales!  Not The Ball, unfortunately, for 1) they were sold out and B) the one I got was $200 cheaper and has so many attachments I could vacuum the ceiling, if I ever bothered to look up there.

So you get the green bean casserole tomorrow.  Hush – you’ll still have time to shop for the ingredients before Thursday (although if you’re smart, you make it on Wednesday and just slap it in the oven on Thursday.  Yes, it’s a little more involved than opening cans, but you know that’s the way I roll).

Have a lovely Monday, y’all.

Dinner At The Sushi Bar

Ack – I’m late posting today.  Couldn’t be helped, though – I didn’t have an opportunity to finish this last night and I had an appointment with an endocrinologist this morning (I may rant write about that tomorrow).  Anyhoo.

This week’s Spin Cycle is “collage.”  Jen says:

Your assignment is to come up with a collage. You can use pictures or even posts, maybe you have an ongoing situation that you’ve been posting on during the months or years, cut and paste and put it into one post! Or maybe you’ve been wanting to post pictures of your son’s last birthday party and just didn’t have the time or energy or even inclination until a forum prompt came along and you were thinking it would be nice to phone one in for once.

Really, it can be any way you interpret a collage.

Jen has given us two weeks to complete this assignment, but me being me – I’m going to do one this week, and next as well.  I am a very visual person, so to me a collage will always mean pictures.  For these two Spin Cycles, you’re going to get two of my favorite things – lets start with cooking, shall we?

Last night I made three dishes I’d never made before – a vintage Cream of Chicken Soup (using real cream and thickened with egg yolks instead of flour or starch), a Roasted Beet and Basil Salad, and a Rustic Almond Honey Cake.  All three need tweaking (although I may post the cake recipe as is), but were still delicious, and I took a few pictures in the process.

Roasted Beets
Fresh Basil
Peeled and Cubed Beets
Roasted Beet and Basil Salad
Sauteed Vegetables
Cream
Cream of Chicken Soup
Rustic Honey Almond Cake

A typical dinner at the Sushi Bar?  Well, sort of.  It’s full of lovely, healthy fats (although I still cannot find cream that has not been ultra-pasteurized), meat from a pastured animal and colorful, tasty vegetables.  It’s not, however, typical for every dish to be something untested – the things my poor family puts up with.  Nor is dessert common, but this just sounded so intriguing and contained no refined sugars or grains (it has, in fact, only 3 ingredients).  But you get an idea of what goes on here every evening.

We’re heading to Cincinnati this weekend, so next week’s collage will focus on another of my favorite things – a certain young man near and dear to our hearts.

Have a lovely Thursday, y’all.

Project 365

I’ve been involved in Project365 – taking a picture every day and publishing it on Flickr – for 28 days.  I’m pretty proud of myself; they say most people fizzle out around the 3 week mark.  But I’m determined to see this through, and am having a good time with it.

The point of the project is to make you a better photographer, and I believe it is.  I know I desperately need to work on my portrait photography, but my landscape photography is improving (although it’s nowhere near as good as Twenty Four at Heart‘s), my food photography is definitely improving and I’ve simply become fascinated with macro photography.  To that end, I cannot WAIT until Spring when the flowers begin to bloom and all the interesting little buggies come out to play on them.  Especially considering that Beloved planted literally hundreds of bulbs this fall around the house – crocus, daffodils, tulips and a couple of others I don’t recall; it’s going to be beautiful.

I’ve been so super busy lately – I promise to get around to visit you all and leave comments this weekend – that I thought I’d end this week’s posting with a sample of some the photos I’ve taken for Project 365.  I’d love to know what you all think of them – which ones you like and which ones could be improved (I know that several of my readers are very talented photographers).  I really do value and appreciate all of your opinions.

And have a lovely weekend, y’all.

Vases and My Wine Hutch Needs Dusting

This the the trio of vases that sit on top of our wine hutch; they fit so well into our green and gold dining room and we liked them so well that we more or less decorated around them.  I was at a loss for what to photograph one day, so I took this and was quite pleased with it.  It was taken with the prime lens, I believe, but don’t hold me to it.

Fluffy Snow on the Hemlock

We have several large evergreens in our backyard – several hemlocks and two huge, beautiful blue spruce trees; they are lovely and picturesque covered with snow.  This is the tip of a hemlock branch.   Taken with the macro lens during a recent snowfall, that bright white spot in the foreground is a falling snowflake.

Steamboat Willie

I have a large collection of Jim Shore figurines, and my favorites are a series of “black and white” retro Mickey and Minnie Mouses.  The Jiminy Cricket I posted a couple of weeks ago is another.  I have quite a few, so I’m sure you’ll see more in the coming weeks and months.

Wintry Street

It was snowing quite hard the other day, so I went outside to see if I could capture it.  This was taken from our driveway, looking down the lane of trees in the yards of our street to the corner.  The gray sky, dark, bare trees and white snow made a wonderful contrast that translated well into black and white.  And I think I did a decent job capturing the falling snow.

Flamin’!

The Young One requested pad thai for his birthday dinner.  So while I was preheating my cast iron wok, which is a lovely, shiny black, I turned down all the lights and really cranked up the gas flame underneath.  Again, this was taken with the macro lens, and I am VERY happy with how it came out – the colors, the composition, the angle, the lighting and the reflection in the black ceramic stove top.  Hands down my favorite of this set.