Thursday, January 29, 2009

Christmas All Year Round

It had been a while since we'd gone for sushi, so we were happy to be back at Yoki in Medford, our new favorite place. We ordered a buncha different rolls and some edamame, as is our tradition- but then Tom came by our table with the Christmas Roll.
Tom is the owner/manager of Yoki, and a lovely guy- he's also a parishioner at our parish, and comes to the 5:00 Mass every week if he can get out of the restaurant for an hour. He is a big supporter of the Youth Ministry and always has great things to say about the church and about the young people. He also is a big fan of the Youth Minister, who we happened to be dining with that night.
Tom came by and said "since you didn't come at Christmas time, I want you to try our Christmas Roll, it's my gift to you."
We have gone back 4 more times since then, in the last week and a half.
Now, I don't know what's in the Christmas roll, but that there is at least avocado, cream cheese, and some sort of fish, and that it has some kind of stuff on top, and that the colors of red and green are prominent, and that it is surrounded by a delicious sauce and tiny crunchy rice balls. it is exactly the size of my mouth, which is to say that I can fit one piece of the roll in my mouth at one time- and from there it is a delicious explosion of flavors and consistencies.
I can't stop thinking about the Christmas Roll. Do go and try it- tell 'em you heard about them at church. And if you need company, give me a call!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Good bye Dunkin' Donuts at 108 Newbury St. Peabody MA...

... I'm breaking up with you.
I'm sorry to do this, because you, 108 Newbury, could have been perfect for me. Just far enough away from home that the toothpaste taste is gone, but close enough so I could have coffee for the trip to work. You're right on my way.
But the drive-through is slower than death, staffed with people who don't seem to speak or understand english, and who seem baffled by the cash register. I am not one of those people who hate people with accents, I don't want to scream "this is America, learn English!!!" into the speaker when I order, but I do think that to be qualified for the Dunkin' Donuts drive-through job, one should understand such english phrases as "iced coffee, cream, no sugar" and "multigrain bagel, not toasted, plain cream cheese."
The last time I tried this store, I went inside, hoping that would work better. I was given my coffee, and sent to the opening down the counter, where no one looked at me, or gave me a bagel. Finally a guy who was cleaning up the straws and napkins yelled at the woman who kept walking by me on the other side of the counter. He said "Mama! Say 'What you waiting for?'" and the woman turned to me and said "What you waiting for?" I gave her my order, again, and waited.
It was then that I swore that I'd never be back.
I had a weak moment the other day and swung into the parking lot- but the line was backed all the way around the building, and I didn't bother. Instead, I went to the nice new store at 7 Post Office Square in Lynnfield. There was no line in the drive through, the voice over the speaker was cheery, and when I got to the window, she gave me my order (correct) and a free bumper sticker!
So goodbye Peabody DuDo's and welcome to my life, Lynnfield DuDo's!! I think we're going to be very happy together.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

He looked fuzzy in my glasses

Yesterday was my first time in class with my new reading glasses. I was seated at the back of a large room (next to my former campus minister from freshman year in college, as it turned out!) so I was looking at the professor from pretty far away, and then looking down at my reading and notes.
I've always wanted glasses. I always thought people looked really cool in glasses, and love the accessory-ness of them. When I was in college, someone had a fake pair that we passed around, and I did my homework wearing them once or twice- I felt bona-fide smarter when I read with those things on (although now that I think about it, since it was the late 80's/early 90's, they were probably gargantuan and red...). I knew the day would come that I'd need glasses- there's precedent in my family- in fact, I think I'm the last to go over to the shiny side. I always thought I'd look pretty good in glasses, and looked forward to the day that I'd have a ready headband at my nose-tips. I love the look of glasses-as-headband.
But now I see that this is going to be trickier than I had thought. When I had my glasses on, my professor looked fuzzy (as opposed to him looking fuzzy with my glasses on... oh, never mind...) but with them off, I couldn't read very well. I ended up either peering out over them like a scary old lady or pushing my notebook arm's length away from me on the table.
I probably should go to an actual eyeglasses place, and see an actual eye doctor... wasn't that one of my "9 for '09?" Maybe being back in class will inspire me.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I hear it's warm in Alaska... (two new posts)

We were due for a "dusting" last night, but we got quite a bit more than that. It was a day of actual shoveling, and I had to bring out the push broom to get the car cleared- no puny snow brush was going to do this job.

Our sun-catchers became snow-catchers!

This glowing snowpile contains the tiny tree that served as our Christmas card photo...

Our summer scene, covered in snow. Only 60 days till Spring!

worst part: I burned the inside of my cheek on this!

A couple of weeks ago, my aunt sent out a recipe for acake that could be made in five minutes, by combining all the ingredients in a coffee mug and cooking it up in the microwave. I haven't been able to get it off my mind since then. So tonight, while Scott went off to the gym (way to go honey! Keep up the good work!) I made a cake in my microwave.
It's such a good idea, and we have all had nights when a five minute cake could keep us from doing much, much worse... so it pains me to tell you that this is NOT what we had all hoped it would be. It comes out as some kind of a cake, but rather than moist, fluffy goodness, it's a quivering, spongy kind of a mass. It was chocolaty, and the choc. chips in there helped, but in no way does it redeem this recipe for the massive PMS-letdown that it is. I guess, if I were on a stranded island with all the ingredients to bake a real cake but only five minutes and a microwave (and what are the odds of either of those on a stranded island?) I'd suffer through it. But until then I guess it's back to break-and-bake chocolate chip cookie dough. I wish I had summa that right now...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Saga Continues

At 4:45 I woke to the sound of chewing. I tried to lean over Scott and grope for the flashlight he keeps on his night stand (I know that sounds dirty but it's not, this time, I promise). He woke up and I said "I think the mouse is at the foot of the bed." We sat up in the pitch-black darkness and listened to the little critter munching away at our walls.
Pip was lying in a fluffy curl at my feet. I hissed at her "PIP! Wake up!! Get the MOOUUUSSSSE!" Pip does not like to be awakened. Scott started to poke her and as soon as she was awake enough to, she fought back, swatting at his hands every time he poked. Finally we urged her up and she jumped down to stare at the wall wherein the mouse continued to chew.
After turning our light on to be sure that the mouse was at least on the other side of a wall from us, we settled back in to sleep, serenaded by the chewing sounds and the purring of cats.
This Is Not Over.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Great Hunt

We have been sitting peacefully in our living room, trying to decide whether or not to go out into the freezing cold for dinner. But a few minutes ago, we heard a tousle in the dining room, and I jumped up to see if the cats were wrestling.
Well, one cat was wrestling, but she was wrestling not with a cat but with a MOUSE!!! I got up just in time to find Pip with a mouthful of mouse in the dining room.
Which she dropped, and then chased into the bedroom.
Which she then caught, and brought up onto the bed and dropped onto Scott's pillow.
Which then ran under the bed, followed by Pip.
Scott then got down on all fours to move the bins and other crap out of the way, so Pip could hunt better (while we were debating our options... let Pip finish? She didn't seem all that intent on the actual KILLING of the mouse, and anyway, what if she DID kill it, what are the odds it would be a neat kill? If you know what I mean?) and I stood on a chair.
Yes, I stood on a chair. But it's not what you think, it was really so I could get a good shot at the scene with my camera, which I had run to the kitchen to get. So, you know, there.
Then, the mouse ran out from under the bed, and UNDER SCOTT. He actually brushed against Scott's knee on his way by. Oh Man.
Now, the mouse has disappeared, somewhere in our dining room, and Pip is still under the bed trying to rout out the mouse, which, you know, is not in the bedroom, which we tried to tell her but she is just ignoring us.
So, yeah, we're going out to dinner. Remind me to change Scott's pillowcase before we go to bed tonight!

Where did he go???!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

This one's for the Ladieeeees!

Did you know they don't make mini pads anymore? It used to be Maxi, Mini, Pantiliner. Now there's Maxi, Thin (or ULTRAthin) Maxi, and Pantiliner.
Also, did you know that pads (at whatever thickness) make excellent wound dressings? It's true. I am not making that up, people use them for that. How about that!

web-based mornings

My morning web use is pretty ritualized- and I'm afraid it makes me look desperate.
I surf in Safari (Woah.... think that's why they called it Safari, so people would say "surfin' safari?") and have tabs that I just go across to make my daily site visits. They go in this order, across the top of my page:
I start at the Farmer's Almanac, where I check the weather and "of-the-day"s. Good stuff there, that's where I learned that this was going to be such a snowy winter.
Next up: Universal Hub, kind of a collection of Boston area news and blogs.
Next comes Twitter- I follow 17 twitter-ers, and have 10 followers although I have no idea why, as I never say anything important or interesting on there.
IGoogle gives me two min-games to play and the morning news, along with a CS Lewis quote every day.
Facebook next, say no more, say no more. is Dinosaur Comics, which makes me laugh out loud every day.
A Hole In The Head is a blog I found one day randomly, and stayed- he collects and displays great ephemera and all the best videos.
Royal Thoughts of Her Majesty is next, and from there I check Her Halequin's.
Now here's where I fear I seem a little needy- next up are Tyson's blog from Alaska, and his sister-in law's, Stef's. They don't post very often (although Stef posts just enough to make you think a new one might be up soon), but since they are both in my tabs, I check every day and sometimes a couple of times. They must think I am desperate for details on their lives. But I swear, it's just the line they're in. Plus, Stef's baby is IMPOSSIBLY cute.
Next comes Not Martha, which has great recipes, crafts, and links. There's always something cool there.
Her Bad Mother is a blog I'm following now, I probably won't forever but for some reason I'm hooked. I do go through blog phases... I have a bookmark folder called "usedtabe on the bar" where I put my past phase-blogs, like Scrutinies, which I love but doesn't get updated very often, sadly.
Next up I check my BC email... no class on MLK day! Woo!
Then comes Woot Shirt, a place recommended to me by Popple, they have unique t-shirts, one a day, for 10 bucks. I haven't bought one yet.
Finding My Other Half comes next.
Tastespotting is a new fave, with luscious pictures of food, glorious food- clickable for blogs or recipes. Yum.
Knitting Journey's next, my sister's knitting blog. I know nothing about knitting, but I like reading what my sister has to say.
And finally, Passive Agressive Notes.
So, this is all to say, it's RITUAL, Tyson and Stef, and Cathy and Kate, I'm not stalking you. It's just the way my mornings roll out. No pressure to post more! Love your work!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook with Nary a Thing to Say.

FOR TODAY 01/13/09...
Outside My Window... one can practically hear the cold air creeping in. By the end of the week, we're supposed to be at 0 degrees or thereabouts. And that's 32 degrees below freezing!
I am thinking... about what to say I'm thinking about, because I'm not thinking about anything deep or impressive.
I am thankful for... the good healing that's going on and the progress I've made so far.
From the kitchen... I am fighting the urge to try the recipe for MINUTE CHOCOLATE MUG CAKE, which is just what it sounds, a cake cooked in a coffee mug, in 5 minutes, in the microwave. Dangerous!!
I am wearing... Jeans, and the zip-up sweatshirt that has been my constant companion since surgery.
I am creating... Okay, also not much. I really did not use my recuperation time usefully at all, outside of the little yellow hat I crocheted for the Flanagan baby. I don't know how to make a hat, but there you go. It's got some bumps and lumps, but I think it'll work, stretched over a wee head.
I am going... to bed, even while Scott goes off to the gym. He's been leaving for the gym after 9pm, a time at which I positively could not work up a sweat- but he seems to be liking it a lot.
I am reading... WELL. I just finished The Shack. Would you read it, please, and let me know what you think?
I am hoping... that my girls will be ready for exercise soon. Because I'm really going to start, soon.
I am hearing... Black Adder Goes Forth on my teev. Now this is the kind of television Hugh Laurie was created for.
Around the house... cats are snuggling up to radiators.
One of my favorite things... is a NO-weekend. It's an expanded NO-Day, which is a day with NO plans, NO place to be, and NO things to do. This is our first NO weekend for... weeks, and I can't wait!!
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: you know, it's just about time for a pilgrimage to IKEA. We need some storage containers, iced tea spoon/straws, and various other things. But then again, it's going to be really cold...
Here is picture thought I am sharing...
A bad shot of some very cool socks, made by my ever-so-crafty sister:

Monday, January 12, 2009

Random Thoughts

January is so much better than December (I never thought I'd say that)! Welcome back Scrubs, LOST (they have to go BACK!) and first-run How I Met Your Mother's!

Don't cha just hate that when you go out to clear the snow off your car, you start the engine and crank the heat, and then when you get in you're all overheated from the snow-removal workout? It's so HOT in there!!!

I'm feeling so much better. I did remove the tapes, all the tapes in one brave moment. I think things heal better without them, actually. Today I went in to the surgeon's office, I was having (as Scott calls it) an "issue." The doc found and removed two big dissolving (yet, undissolved) stitches. But I can ride in the car without hugging myself, and wear pullover shirts, and SLEEP ON MY SIIIIIIIIIIIIIDES. It's heaven. Thank you January!

It's mid-Winter! Every day Spring comes a little closer. Lent will be here BEFORE WE KNOW IT, seriously!! And I can tell Lent is gonna be good this year.

I'm taking two classes this Semester, which, can I just say, starts on a HOLIDAY. Heckuva start! And, this semester is generously funded by the Luce Foundation. Thank you Luces!! I'm taking Christology with a Weston professor, who I hear is handsome! My other class is The Adult Learner in a Postmodern World, with my fave professor (of all the two I've had so far). I'm looking forward to this semester...

...and by the time the Semester's over, it'll be late SPRING! How about that??

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

theme unveiled

I've been wracking my brain about this whole yearly theme thing, and the thought of resolution-making... and all the words that rhyme with 9 just weren't hitting me. So last night I made a list:
9 for 09
1) 5 lbs off by April
2) Ride my bike this Summer
3) visit my parents more
4) redo my Mom's photo albums
5) blog at least 2x a week
6) make an eye appointment
7) 10 pounds off by June
8) Start saving some money...
9) Stay Childless.

But heck, as easy as it is to roll these out, who knows what I'll really do with this year? I don't really do well with goal-setting, actually- it's the same reaction I get when anyone tells me what to do. I want to be oppositional, even if the person telling me what to do is ME.
I thought, then, that I should go back to the kind of resolutions I used to make in college, and in my 20's. In college one year I decided to "Be Brave." That was the year that I prepared for a vocal recital, and worked on the college maintenance crew for the summer. One other year, I resolved to Look Up More. I did, and noticed a lot, including the different way I carried myself physically when my gaze was shifted upward.
So, what? Be Less Frumpy? Don't Be Lazy? Self-Promote? I was coming up empty.
But this morning it hit me. Walk, then Run, to 41.
I'll be 41 this year! And the walk/run refers to not just wanting to get fit physically, but to wanting to walk my faith, walk my talk, but not just walk it, run. So there you have it fans, Walk, then Run, to 41.
I'm going to start really soon. :)

Friday, January 02, 2009

slowly I peel- inch by inch, tape by tape...

I am in a deadlocked battle with surgical tape. At my post-op, they took off the steri-strips that has been applied after the surgery, and replaced them with wide, brown surgical tape. They told me I could take them off in a week, which was a week ago. I was so not ready for that a week ago, and now I'm in a standoff.
I googled "remove surgical tape" and found that I'm not alone- a lot of post-oppers engage in this battle, reluctant to pull off the tapes because 1) they worry it'll pull their incisions open, and 2) because they'll have to look at the scars full-on for the first time, and forever. I can relate to both of those fears! Many people talked about their tape as "security blankets."
So, a lot of people recommended just leaving them on, until they fall off- or clipping off the ends as they come loose. I want to be ready, I want to believe that everything's lovely under there, I want to move on to the next phase of healing, but I like the incremental option. I am the girl that edges into the pool, allowing each inch to warm up and acclimate to the water before moving on... until I get about hip-deep, then I plunge. I imagine this process will be similar for me.