Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Why, oh why am I crazy?

I'm supposed to be getting ready for the big anniversary party this Saturday. You had better be coming, or I will hold a grudge against you for the better part of a day (OK, if you have a good excuse I've forgiven you already). We have mostly cleared the side yard (thank you Stephen!), where the dancing part of the hootenanny will take place. I am struggling with how to light the side yard, but I think a combination of solar LED pathlights, a few borrowed propane lanterns, a bright moon and some white Christmas lights should hopefully do the trick. I still need to figure out where I'm putting the empty water storage barrels that STILL have not been picked up by my forgetful friends. We'll need to borrow a truck and steal tables & chairs from church.

Party eco-ethics are tricky. I want to just make a big ol' pot of cheater posole, but I do not have reusable bowls. I have several dozen reusable plastic plates, but no bowls. I do not want to generate a bunch of trash, so I may have to come up with another idea. Too bad I already bought two 6-lb cans of hominy. Guests will drink out of as many Mason jars as I can drum up, but I will probably have to resort to plastic cups as well. We'll have international sodas & lemonade & water and maybe, just maybe a big batch of sweetened Mugicha (a Japanese drink brewed from roasted barley, WAY tasty). D wants to order samosas as well, but I'm leaving that up to him. Some wonderful people from church are also bringing food, but I have no idea what so it will be a surprise smorgasbord.

And since I tend to cram way too many things into way too little time, we're going to the Grand Canyon next week. We'll need to clean up after the party AND pack before we leave on Wednesday. Plus we're packing extra for our friends that are coming with us. And we need to line up a chicken-sitter.

I bought myself a "new" guitar to take into the canyon. It's an original-model Martin Backpacker. It looks like this:

Even I can't believe how little I paid for it! It's a steel string but it sounded awful so I switched to high-tension nylon strings. You are NOT supposed to put nylons on a steel string because the neck is adjusted for a particular tension, but since the neck and body are all one solid piece on this type of guitar I'm taking my chances. It sounds much nicer now, a quiet guitar sound but with a slight banjo twang. I'm still getting used to it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Kibosh

I told D to stop telling me work rumours. I can't take them anymore.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I'm Chill Again

I did yard work yesterday and that helped to calm me down. We have a bunch of volunteer sunflowers that just popped up wherever they pleased, and I relocated most of them yesterday. They are all rather large and I hope they survive the transplanting.

This week is crazy busy so I hope that will help keep my mind off of the instability. Annemarie's rental house was nice in many ways but I think we will just choose patience. AGAIN.

Hey, you all know about the anniversary party, right? April 24th? If you don't, then I'm a jerk who forgets her friends. If I haven't bothered to invite you let me know in the comments.

Monday, April 12, 2010

What the H-ll should I do?

Annemarie called last night; her tenant has given her notice. We are going to look at the house tonight. D is still deeply reluctant to make any commitments until he knows what is going on with his job; I am sick to death of this limbo and since I have no way of knowing when or if it will ever end (even if the parent company sells, they could always spin off D's division), I am in favor of just living as if it isn't happening. If he gets laid off, he WILL find another job - on Dice, there are two pages of job listings for firmware engineers within 25 miles of where we live.

The pros: $400 less in rent every month. Modjeska is beautiful and quiet.

The cons: Massively inconvenient. We'd have to drive the boys down the hill to school every day - 9.5 miles each way. New church ward, but we'd probably see if we can still attend our current ward.

If I could come up with an idea to bring in about $300 a month, I would feel OK about staying. Our gasoline expenses would probably increase by at least $100 a month if we moved uphill.

D wonders if getting laid off might be the kicker in getting us launched out of southern California. But if we leave, where do we go? We're trapped by D's career - San Jose, San Francisco, Seattle - none of these are any more affordable than where we are. Texas is so very far away, and so very flat. Florida is even worse on both of those counts. Phoenix... I love you Stephanie, but we'd have to be desperate before I would even consider it. Salt Lake City? Ohhhhh no.

It kind of deflates my heart to realize that not all of our dreams will come true. I have to keep working hard to keep gratitude first and foremost in my heart. I *am* grateful. Bitterness is not my friend, though she sure tries to be.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Optimism

I finally put some vegetable plants in the ground, which could be interpreted as a sign of hopefulness. One of the front yard raised beds now has 6 Beefsteak tomato plants. I have about 9 Anaheim chile plants waiting to go in, two "Big Daddy" bell pepper plants, two different eggplants (Millionaire and Baby Blush), 3 Stevia bushes and a bunch of onions.

More than half of the seeds I planted did not sprout, so I'm starting again. I over-watered; some of the beans rotted. Why the chile seeds didn't sprout is a mystery to me, as the tomatoes were very happy to sprout under the same watering conditions.

On to D's work. We have yet another promise of more information coming next week. I hate this.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

HAPPY EASTER

First of all, have a glorious Easter. I am not one for sentiment, but this is my favorite holiday because of the hopefulness of the message of the resurrection. And just typing that took more out of me than you can know. Now, on to lighter fare:

The Menu:

Braised Lamb Shanks with Fennel and Baby Potatoes

Minted Fava Bean, Almond and Parmesan Salad
Green Salad with Cucumbers and Homemade Croutons
Grilled Asparagus
Brown Rice
Silly Molded Raspberry Pudding with fresh fruit

My sister is bringing scalloped potatoes, green bean casserole, fruit salad, and Bixby Salad, which is a jello concoction that has pecans, cottage cheese, pineapple, celery and who knows what else in it (a nod to our shamefully caloric and jello-based mid-century Mormon culinary heritage). My in-laws are bringing a Honeybaked ham, because for them it is just not a holiday without a Honeybaked ham. I am a food snob, I freely admit it, but all I can do is smile and sigh inside.

(Sigh)


We made cascarones - confetti-filled eggshells that kids get to crack on each others' heads. Those are for when the cousins come over later - we'll have two egg hunst today. I tricked the boys into staying up late last night so I could hide eggs in the yard at leisure this morning. So I'd better get to work on that and start braising the lamb. Yummers.

Anybody else hosting or cooking a lot? Whatcha cookin'?

Saturday, April 03, 2010

98%

74 points possible, but he graded based on 70. I earned 69 points, mainly because I blanked out on how to graph an unusual set of equations.

Yes, I'm bragging. Now on to Easter preparations. I'm hosting this year and of course the house looks like a hurricane hit. Happy Easter!