Sunday, October 28, 2012


Okay.... In order to write more posts, I've decided that I'll write a post for each new recipe, craft, decorating endeavor, or other project I do. No, this does not include every picture I color with my kindergartners. Just stuff that takes some effort and has potential to a) inspire others or b) provide a lesson from which others can learn.

Tonight I tried a new recipe, lentil and ham soup, found on
(I tried to make it link, but when I use the "link" option on Blogger it just shows a blank space where the text is. If anybody can help me fix this, let me know.)

This is what it ended up looking like:

Here's a close-up:

If you want the recipe, check out the above link, but a quick summary is chopped ham, carrots, onion, celery, garlic, some lentils, chicken broth, tomato sauce, and spices, dump it in a slow cooker and leave it the hell alone. I cooked mine on high because I didn't have the specified 11 hours to leave it on low, as we didn't drag ourselves out of bed until after noon today. It can easily be doubled, halved, what have you for whatever quantity you need.

It turned out okay. I have NO experience with lentils--never even bought them before. The soup tasted alright, not my favorite and perhaps a little too strong with some of the herbs. The lentils were perhaps cooked too long because the interior mush slipped right out of the skin once it hits your tongue, but everything else seemed perfect, including the consistency. If the lentils were added later, I'm guessing it would be more liquidy, but the lentils would perhaps be firmer. I don't know what they're supposed to be like, so I can't say whether that would be good or bad.

Bob seems to like it okay--we had it with cornbread (Aunt Jemima corn meal and recipe--a little too sweet for me), and he likes to dip the cornbread in his soup. His typical response when I ask how he likes something is, "It's not too bad." That can mean anything from toxic tar-like substance to what you would request as your last meal before your execution. Well, actually he usually tells me if there is something really wrong, but you get what I mean. He's eating it, so whatever.

I have to add for anybody who suffers from GERD (acid reflux) that I'm not feeling too hot at the moment--of course I'm also drinking Dr. Pepper, so that could be part of the problem.

Ooh, Bob just found the bay leaf, which means he wins the prize! I don't have a prize, but if there was one, he'd get it.

Coming up: I'm looking forward to baking some pumpkin snickerdoodles for Halloween at school on Wednesday--I'll post with pictures after that adventure.

Happy fall cooking!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Quarter-Life Crisis

Hello, friends. In less than a month I will be 25. While this is just an arbitrary number that does nothing more than save us some money on rental cars and insurance, many of you who are similar to me in age and career progress can certainly understand why it can seem so a) significant and b) depressing.

It is significant for several reasons. One of those reasons is that when you're a kid, 25 is "old." Most people this age who are not trying to be doctors are finished with school and have a career. I have friends who have had/are having babies, or getting ready to buy houses. Well let me tell you, me and Bob are not having babies anytime soon. In fact, I sent my mother a text the other day that I'm seriously considering animals instead of tiny humans. They are cheaper, you can leave them alone when necessary, they love you unconditionally, they don't go to college, and they don't wreak havoc on your lady parts.
Now, as far as buying a house goes, we aren't ready for that either. This one doesn't bother me so much (or at all, really)--we don't know where we are going to be in 2 years, we don't know what sort of house we will need, and we are already paying off a mortgage worth of student loans. I don't care really--renting is fine.
Now, the career thing is frustrating. It's not like I don't know what I want to do. I even know exactly what I want to get my master's degree in. But I can't go back to school until I get a job doing what I trained for (ironic, I know.) The way we live for the next 9 months depends entirely on what happens during the summer, and another summer has come and gone and I'm still on my "stepping stone." Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my job. It's why I want to go back to school for special ed. But I won't get anywhere until I get off this stepping stone, and my chance is pretty much gone until next summer. That really stinks.

I'm one of those people that feels lost without a plan. Having a plan doesn't mean I'll follow it, or that I'm organized, but it means I know what to expect. So I'm making a plan for the next year of my life.

1. Writing. Since I was in first grade I have been a writer. I love words--they are my medium for art. I don't paint or sculpt, because I'm terrible at it, but I am GOOD at writing. And I've started writing a book. I have a concrete idea and a solid storyline--the first I've ever had. This one actually might go somewhere, so I'm going to take my time and keep working at it until I'm done.

2. Plants. For the past several years me and Bob have tried to plant stuff and make it grow with limited success. I think a big part of the problem is that we usually don't plan ahead. It's like, oh, we should have planted carrots a month ago. Not this year. I'm getting started now. I'm figuring out what to plant and what we'll need to do it, I'm putting it on my Google calendar with reminders and this year we are going to grow some food!

That's all I have for now. I like these goals. They will have tangible results, with measurable progress, and they are things I really WANT to finish. I want this year to mean something, to be one I can look back on with pride instead of, "What happened that year?" I want it to count.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Dead Tigers

This post is concerning a lovely conversation I had with my mother around this time last year, "this time" meaning Football Season.

We were walking companionably along in a parking lot, possibly Hobby Lobby, and we saw an image similar to this:

My mom pointed to it and commented, "Now I don't understand that. I just don't see how that is showing support for Auburn. Do you get it?"

I was (understandably) confused by this, so I gave her a quizzical look and asked her what she meant. She elaborated: "Well, it's supposed to show support for Auburn, right?" I confirmed. "Well then, how is it supportive to act like you're driving around with a dead tiger in the trunk?"

I stared at her for a minute or two. Then, after I finished laughing, I explained to her that the point of the tail is to make it seem as if the CAR ITSELF actually is a tiger, what with the tail hanging off the back of the car just as it does the back of a tiger.

And now I am proud to say she knows and is no longer walking around with the idea that people are trying to pretend they have dead tigers in the trunks of their cars. Happy birthday, Mama, I love you!