Yesterday was a day of productivity in the morning and not so much in the evening.

In the morning, I mowed the very tall backyard grass. It was so tall, the mower was struggling and I had to go over each spot twice. Near the end, I was exhausted. At one point, the mower slid back on a hill and trapped me against the fence. It was not a proud moment. But it is done and I refuse to let it get that tall ever again.

After a short lunch break to recover, I went back out and finally transplanted all my summer veggies into the ground. In the main garden, I've got one long row of tomatoes (of various types), a short row of zucchini, and a square of cucumbers. Oh, and one line okra plant in the back. This is in addition to the kale, collards, and garlic that were already growing there.

On the deck, I have pots of rosemary, sage, and thyme. The rosemary pot could use more dirt though. I also planted okra in the center of the pots filled with peas. I figure the peas can use the okra for support once their support sticks are no longer tall enough. The long pots have kale, collards, and bush-type cucumbers.

Hopefully I will have a decent harvest this year. I always feel like I never have enough to eat AND can. But ben said we couldn't do the csa this year....

Anyway, after that, a shower was in order. Then I had to start making dinner. It pretty much destroyed any hope of getting anything else done that day. I was making gumbo, which takes me hours. But when I was done, I had a huge pot of the stuff! We'll be eating that for days.

I went to bed pretty early after dinner and had dreams about being stuck at that job I hated. I woke up wanting to cry. But it's nice to remember I don't have to be there any more. :)
Thanksgiving was fairly stressful this year. Mainly because I was unable to pre-make anything the day before. I got a terrible migraine on wednesday and spent much of the day in bed. That was time I was supposed to be using to make PIE!!!

So instead I made everything yesterday. It was crazy madness and at one point ben had to come downstairs and calm me. Everything got done though, so yay!

I made stuffed turkey breasts (roulade), mashed potatoes, caramelized carrots, cheddar bay biscuits, chocolate chip cookies, and pumpkin pie (made from a real pumpkin!). We have plenty of leftovers.

After eating, I completely passed out. Not from too much food, but from all that work! And today, I woke up with very sore feet from standing all day. Sadness!

Ben has to work today, which is poopy. I guess I'll spend the day cleaning the kitchen. It looks like a disaster zone.
I feel like I should have to roll in order to move. Tooooo much food.

This year's CSA has been ridiculously plentiful, to the point where I've had to can and freeze a lot of stuff to keep it from going bad. I haven't even started on this week's veggies.

For dinner we had the broccoli and green beans from last week. Stir fried broccoli with ginger and sesame and ginger lime green beans as a side salad. And then a small slice of zucchini bread for dessert. I mixed the mint with some green iced tea to wash it all down. Oof so full.

Last night I felt clever because I grated a ton of zucchini and squash in order to make zucchini bread. Now I can just scoop out what I need for each loaf. My goal is to make one loaf a day and freeze them. I found 3 recipes to keep me busy: Classic zucchini bread, chocolate zucchini bread, and chocolate chip zucchini bread.

I am planning a short trip to NY in the upcoming weeks, so I can bring some up for anyone who wants it.

I will be bringing the dogs for this trip too, so everyone can meet Maggie. She is disgustingly charming.

Current tentative plan:
Thursday - Drive to NY
Friday - No daytime plans. Possibly pirate dinner with HS friends.
Saturday - BBQ in afternoon at parents' house.
Sunday - Take Maggie out on the boat. (Assuming the life jacket I ordered ever arrives.)
Monday - Drive home

All plans subject to change.
Thanksgiving was spent all day in bed. I slept nearly the whole day.

Friday was also spent mostly in bed. Ben forced me out to dinner in the evening even though I was loaded up on cold medicine. I had barely eaten that day, so I was surprisingly hungry. Then we walked off dinner in the mall, where the nyquil dizziness made straight lines difficult. At least it wasn't very crowded.

Today I felt much better. I wasn't at 100%, but I was functional again.

Because I lack any sense of moderation, I decided today would be make-up Thanksgiving. I spent the entire day cooking.
Recipe verdicts:
- Wild rice stuffed squash - Ok, but would have been better without the squash. The rice mixture smelled nice and tasted good though. Luckily I have plenty of rice leftovers.
- Quino skillet bread - Still on the fence about this. Taste-wise, it was good. It tasted like cornbread but had a much dense texture that I'm not sure I liked. Plus the center had a weird thick cream portion that freaks me out a little. I wouldn't recommend this for anyone with food texture issues.
- Vegetarian Stuffing - Bland and dry. Hopefully I can come up with creative ways to use this stuff up. Even halving the recipe, I ended up with a ton.
- Baked asparagus with balsamic butter sauce - This one is an old tried and true for me. Double the balsamic vinegar though, or the soy sauce overwhelms the dish. I'm doing my best to leave the leftovers for ben, but I don't think I'm going to be able to hold out.
- Apple galette - Somewhere between a fruit tart and a pie, galettes are awesome because they are so easy and tasty. This was the highlight of the dinner, I think. I did reduce the walnuts slightly, because I am not a huge walnut fan. But ben had two slices after saying he would only have a little bit because he was full. (And later came back for a third.)

I skipped both the salad and the mashed potatoes. I can always make them another night as we work on the leftovers.

After dinner, ben ran out for mead to go with his third slice of apple galette and evening of skyrim. I will probably go to bed soon. I don't want to push myself too hard and get sick again.
The parental units visited for the weekend. Managed to not kill them despite my cramps and headaches and their insane ignorance.

In return, they fixed many things in the house for me.
- Put insulation and moldings around the back door
- Installed a garage door opener
- Cut down a bush and tree that were growing next to the mailbox
- Fixed a pipe in the ac closet
- Minor painting touch ups
- A couple lights repaired

In the past when they have visited, my mother has attempted to cook. It has been so awful, ben was nearly in pain. She boils vegetables until they are completely free of taste and she cooks meat until they are dry as ash. So this time, I insisted in doing the cooking. I made a cinnamon apple chicken which was really really good.
Chicken with cinnamon and apples served with saffron rice pilaf
The chicken was super moist and sweet from the apples dripping down while it baked. No one even touched the gravy. There was no need for it. (Compared to the last time my mother made turkey and I taught ben the trick of using gravy to rehydrate the corpse.) Oh, and I used 3 different types of apples, so there was a lot of variety in the flavors.

My dogs enjoyed the company. They got tons of extra attention. Since my parents left, things have calmed down back to normal and the dogs are bored.

I took them for a long walk yesterday. Poor noname had to be carried home. Maggie is still having trouble with cars. She's terrified of them. But I have been taking her down quieter streets to help her get used to cars a little slower and easier. After the walk, both dogs were too tired to cause trouble. It was so nice.
Maggie after a long walk Noname after a long walk

I wanted to take them for another long walk today, but there is construction going on down the block. There's no way maggie is going to handle that well. Even inside the house she's freaking out a little. I hope the construction is a one-day thing.
I was industrious yesterday.

I got up early and went to the farmers market in order to obtain fresh peaches for making jam. I survived the very difficult task of tasting each sample offered to find the best peaches in the market. Unfortunately for me, the best tasting ones were also the smallest ones. This would lead to difficulty later.

Before I left the market, I also picked up an apple turnover and a jar of peach butter. I now want to put peach butter on everything. It is ridiculously good.

After that, I ran some errands and picked up essentials for a day of baking/cooking madness.

First I made homemade frosty paws. I used this recipe as a starting point but reduced the amount of yogurt and honey. The dogs tried some later after it had chilled. They absolutely loved them. Yay!

After dinner, I started the long crazy process of making peach jam. I sorta winged the recipe based on a couple recipes online. It gelled properly, so at least I processed it correctly! Now I need to taste test a jar. (But not until I finish my jar of peach butter!)

I had a hard time getting the skin off some of the peaches. To make things even worse, I had to use a ton of peaches because they were so tiny. It took me an hour to peel them all. And I misjudged how many peaches I needed, so I was about a cup short and had to recalculate sugar and pectin amounts. What a bother.

Everything was going fine after that though, until I had to spoon the hot jam into the jars. Now I see why so many people suggest a canning funnel. I can't believe how badly I burned myself. Hot jam is MOLTEN. Next time I make jam, I'm getting a funnel. That was horribly painful. And scarring.

This morning I continue my industrious madness by making biscuits to eat with my peach butter. They are rising right now. Should be ready to pop into the oven very soon. (Which is good because I have to leave at 11:30 for an appointment.)

This afternoon, I intend on making chocolate marshmallow cookies. And for dinner I will make sloppy lentils. I really hope it works. Since ben and I only eat meat 2 times a week at most, we never cook meat at home anymore. Which means we never have sloppy joes.
A couple nights ago I made a fancy dinner. Provincal Baked Chicken Quorn. The prep time was a little time heavy, but the steps were super easy and the dish came out delicious. I didn't have to make any modifications from the recipe to use the quorn, which was a extra bonus.

Provincal Baked Quorn - After
Wednesday night after attempting to give blood, ben made burgers for dinner. He made some sous vide and some on the grill. My dog now thinks the grill is a magical box that will occasionally bless her with meat. She runs up to it every time I let her outside. I worry she is building a religion around it.

Sous vide was strange and interesting. The burgers were fully cooked and tasted fine, but I had difficulty with the idea of boiled ground beef. Perhaps I will be able to handle ben's steaks better.

Yesterday my donation arm was incredibly sore. I had trouble moving it from a 90 degree angle. I spent much of the day wondering how people with only one arm do anything day to day. Even going to the bathroom was an extreme challenge.

Work in general was not helping my mood. Everything needs to be finished before I go on vacation because stupid assistant can't handle anything important. I really really wish I could trust her with stuff because at this point it looks like I won't be able to approve everything before I go. I am worried.

But I will try not to dwell on it. Tomorrow is puppy day! I will just try to remind myself of all the fun I'll be having next week cleaning up puppy poop.
Work yesterday was mostly dull, up until the point it got stupid. I was asked, "What are our aluminum water bottles made of?" When I told her "aluminum," she then asked, "What kind?" I eventually got her to go away by reassuring her that there was no lead in the aluminum water bottles.

In the afternoon, we had a mandatory "fun committee" happy hour. I managed to evade it by standing firm and insisting I was uncomfortable going to a drinking even when I don't drink. And really, who has a mandatory ALCOHOLIC event for team building? For all they know, someone might be an alcoholic and they just made it one bit harder for that person to stay sober.

I was feeling bizarrely sad about it. Not about not going, but about how I don't like to do things that most people like and as a result I am always off on my own. It's lonely.

I was probably not in the best state of mind when I got to the bus stop after work. Which was not a good thing because ben fell asleep at work and forgot to pick me up. I waited at the station for nearly an hour. I had to use every trick I had to avoid crying. When ben finally arrived and I was safely in the car, I broke down into sobs. I hate being alone and I hate being forgotten.

Ben kept me company while I cooked, which was probably a smart move because I was feeling really down. We had tortellini and baked asparagus. I gave my dog a little bit of asparagus. She thought it was the best thing ever.

I spent the rest of the evening sitting alone on the couch feeling sorry for myself until it was time for bed. I really didn't want to get up again this morning. I don't think it helps my mood that it has been rainy and gray for the entire week.

Today there are workers just outside the window behind me. They are repairing the windows, which involves a lot of loud scraping and, oddly, saws. It's giving me a headache. I wonder if I can use that as an excuse to go home and continue my pity party.
So after my massively long nap yesterday, I was feeling much better. And kinda upset over losing an entire day. So I did the laundry. And washed dishes. And sorted all my cookie cutters. (Fun fact: I filled two gallon sized bags with halloween shapes. Christmas, easter, and thanksgiving fit together in one bag.) And sorted the tupperware. And cleaned the entire kitchen. Right down to polishing the stovetop.

In the morning, I managed to sleep until 8:30, which I guess means there was still a tiny bit of recovery needed. I built a menu for the week so that I could make a shopping list. Then I went to the grocery store and did battle with the soccer moms and church crowds.

Soccer moms are the more aggressive variety. They will ram you with their wagons if you happen to be standing in front of something they want. On the other hand, the church crowd has alllll the tiiiiime in the worlllllld. They clog all the aisles with their slow sunday morning stroll. I managed to acquire food though, and put both groups to shame by buying absolutely no prepared foods.

When I got home, I put groceries away. Then ben helped me clean out the guest room/library. My parents are visiting soon, so we need to buy a bed and set it up. While we cleaned, we set roomba to vacuum. The whole set up was highly efficient.

After that, we went out for lunch. Because I was starving and was too dumb to remember to buy lunch foods at the food store. So we had burritos. And there was a free taco on my burrito elito card! Woo!

Once I had been sufficiently refueled, I mowed the lawn. When I was about halfway done, ben came out and took over. I think cause I looked near-death. While he finished up, I dragged out the edge trimmer and took care of the rest. Now our lawn looks pretty and presentable!

I took a short break to drink some water, then went out back to work on my garden. All of my tomatoes had been eaten by birds and squirrels and all of the black tarps had blown away. So the first thing I did was lock those tarps down solid with wooden skewers. Then I replanted everything, plus planted my cucumber and my cantaloupe seeds, and put clear plastic cups over everyone. They have holes in them for air and water, so hopefully they will baffle the various pests in the yard while also letting my plants grow. I finished everything up just as it was starting to rain.

After all that work, I badly needed a shower. I felt like a new person once I was clean. Then I did some more laundry so that the grass stains would not set into my clothes. I also carried roomba upstairs so he could vacuum up there. He hasn't been on the second floor for over a month and it shows.

While roomba worked, I made dinner. I finally used our fancy induction cooktop for the first time. After fighting so long with our stupid slow electric cooktop, I was caught unprepared by how quickly food can heat up! I also didn't believe the pan would become instantly hot and touched it to test. Luckily my hands were wet, otherwise I would have had a nasty burn.

I made cashew stir fried veggies. It was a good, well balanced dinner after such a busy day. And I have plenty of leftovers for the next few days at work. Yay!

I guess I will get my parental phone call over with next. And then I think I might sit down and knit for a while. And attempt that thing called relaxing.
Last night I came home cranky again. Ben commented on it. I need to find a new job so I can come home cheerful.

Ben and I ate dinner together. It was sweet of him to spend time with me even though I am not good company these days.Then he went upstairs to play some video games.

I decided I wanted rice pudding for dessert. A normal person would go out to the store and buy some rice pudding. I pulled out my pots and pans and cooked up a batch. Took me an hour. And even then, the pudding was too warm to enjoy. I ended up unhappily eating warm pudding. It should be better today though now that it has had time to cool.

Ben was already in bed when I finally went to bed. And he had to leave soon after that for his awful midnight shift. I slept poorly, as I always do on his midnight shifts.

My dog was acting strange this morning. She didn't want to potty in the yard and she didn't want a cookie. Hopefully she got some rest today and feels better by the time I get home.

On the way to work, I saw four presidents and a person walking around in moon shoes.

Work has been less frustrating than usual today. Because our marketing agency hasn't sent me many emails and nothing is due today.
Work left me close to screaming and crying yesterday. I spent all morning fighting with our marketing agency to get the complete art for a package we are mailing out. They finally sent it over in the afternoon and the first thing I noticed was that the packages were missing our state registration disclaimers. When I pointed that out to them, they responded, "Oh, that's going to print on the inside of the envelope."

Ok....What part of "Send me all of the art for the entire package" is so very confusing???

So by the time I left the office, I was completely infuriated. And still hadn't seen all the art.

The ride home was also infuriating. Everyone was in such a hurry. For example, as I walked onto the train at a normal pace, a man behind me started shouting "Move move move MOVE!" until he could push by me. I am baffled at what he was in such a hurry to get to since the train goes at its own schedule. And then when ben was driving me home, he flicked his left turn signal on in order to change lanes. The woman in that lane but behind ben sped up to try to block him. When that didn't work, she honked at him. People around here need to realize they have to share the roads.

I was tired and cranky and depressed by the time we got home. And then I had to make dinner. I made that sun dried tomato and artichoke pasta that ben likes. At least that way one of us was happy.

I grumbled around the house for a bit, then took a shower and went to bed. I woke up in the early morning to the terrifying sounds of shuffling and banging downstairs. I woke ben up, thinking we were being robbed. Only after a few more minutes did I figure out what was really happening. Ben had accidentally set roomba to clean at 5 AM instead of PM.

When I finally went downstairs around 6:30, I found roomba wedged and stuck under the dishwasher. Poor roomba. Once I set him free, he finished his job and returned to his charger. I gave his a little "Good job!" shout to make him feel better about the whole getting stuck deal.

Work this morning continued to be frustrating. As you can probably guess, once the regs and disclaimers were sent over, they were wrong. It's a good thing I had them checked. Our agency was pushing me super hard all morning to approve the art without a proper review. I explained that I would absolutely not do that. Ever.

Psycho boss mentioned that they are pushing to put an amendment into our contract that says if they make a print error or miss a mail date, we don't have to pay them. I am baffled as to why this was never in the contract from the start. Does anyone review these things???

On a complete side note, I have become a master at killing fruit flies. Psycho boss brought in a houseplant infested with them. I can now grab a fly one-handed and smash it down on the table.
Yesterday was another insanely productive day.

In the morning, I carried the new hose outside and hooked it up to the house. Then I figured out how to turn the water back on to the outside.

With my newfound watery powers, I was able to hose down an old rusted fire pit that the former owners left in the backyard. There was a colony of ants living in it. I laughed as they escaped the floods, carrying their eggs. (When they stop living in my mailbox, I'll stop delighting in their suffering.) Once everything was clean, I left the fire pit to dry in the sun. It was already hot and sunny, so that only took a few minutes. Just long enough to dig up a screwdriver and head back out. I then tightened all of the screws on the fire pit. I was a little worried they'd snap from all the rust, but they seem ok. The plan was to give the pit a new coat of paint, but I ended up not having enough time. Sad...

When I was done, I got dressed and drove down to another local farmer's market. I had never been to this one before. I had a hard time finding it. It was much smaller than saturday's market too. But they had eggs, which is what I was there for, so it all worked out.

After I got home, ben woke up and we went to the movie theater to see Thor. I quite enjoyed it. It didn't really feel like a blockbuster film, but had plenty of humor and action. And it definitely had the feel of Thor the Mighty Avenger, which made me very happy.

I kept arguing with ben that it was totally a girl movie.
1. Passed the Bechdel test.
2. Nearly naked Thor.
3. All the women wear reasonable clothes.
4. Complex reasons for villainy.
5. Smooching.

It was a most excellent girl movie.

We saved some money and saw it in 2D. I don't feel like I missed out on anything, with the bonus of not having a headache when it was over. And we had free tickets that ben's boss had given us. Unfortunately they can only be used 12 days after a movie comes out, so we had to pay an additional $1.50 a ticket to get in. I still think it was a good deal.

Ben hungered once the film was over, so we stopped for lunch. I didn't want anything, so ben got to enjoy a rare opportunity for fried chicken. I hate fried chicken.

Then we stopped at the hardware store and picked up a ridiculous amount of dirt for my garden. (This to go on top of the ridiculous amount of mulch I put in the garden yesterday.) We got four bags, which managed to just barely cover the entire area 1/2 an inch. Note to self: Build smaller gardens.

I planted:
- 1 sun gold hybrid cherry tomato (plant)
- 1 heritage tomato (plant)
- 1 pink pounder tomato (plant)
- 1 orange slice tomato (plant)
- 1 sunny boy tomato (plant)
- 2 burpee's hybrid zucchinis (seeds)

I have two more of each of the tomato plants inside just in case some horrible bird or squirrel eats the ones I set outside. Hopefully I won't need them.

Next weekend, my cantaloup and cucumber seeds go in the ground. I am hoping for a very delicious summer.

I cooled down a bit after that before heading out once again. This time to the fabric store to pick up some thread to hem a pair of pants for a coworker. I got there about 15 minutes before closing and they were nice enough to let me grab what I needed. (Though they did tell me no fabric. The cutting table was closed. Fair enough.)

When I got home, I started on dinner. I made artichokes stuffed with quinoa. It was good, but I'm not sure it was worth all the effort to make. It took nearly 2 hours.

In between steps for that recipe, I also threw together the ingredients for slow cooker bean and spinach soup. That way this morning, all I needed to do was put the pot in the slow cooker and plug it in. I saved myself a lot of time.

Ben and I watched supernatural as we ate dinner. Then I made a 5-minute-cake for dessert. After dinner, I was too tired to function. My day had once again been far too productive. I need a vacation from my weekends.
It seems like the week was extra long and friday was doing its best to make it feel even longer. Add onto that a cold windy rain storm. Yuck.

To try to warm us up, I made spinach enchiladas for dinner. Followed the recipe nearly exact except I used fresh spinach instead of frozen. It was pretty good. And surprisingly filling. I couldn't finish one. Ben ate only two. If I ever make it again, I think I'll try making my own enchilada sauce. The canned stuff was a bit salty.

Ben didn't sleep well that night, so he ended up sleeping really late once he did fall asleep. That left me plenty of time to go crazy. I was dwelling on a long dream I had which was a combination of several real memories and several fake ones. I spent the morning crying about how people only invite me to stuff because they pity me.

When ben woke up, we had to following conversation.
Ben: What's wrong?
Me: The only reason anyone is nice to me and invites me to stuff is because they felt bad and pitied me.
Ben: I don't pity you.
Me: Not even when we first met?
Ben: Ok. Maybe I pitied you then.
Me: Seeeeeeeee????

Ben eventually did manage to cheer me up. Then we went together to the comic book store. I got lots of good stuff, including two new d&d issues, new fables, and new cinderella: fables are forever. Cinderella is killing me. It's moving much too slowly. I am going to die of old age before I find out why dorothy turned out so mean.

We also stopped for lunch and food shopping. Then went home for a nap. I am going to spend the rest of the afternoon doing battle against my mountain of dirty clothes in the hamper. And in between loads, I think I'll go through all the old high school clothes my mother sent me. It's mostly shirts, which I'm fairly certain won't fit me anymore at all. (Boobs didn't show up until college.) Anything I don't plan to keep, I'll bring to goodwill. I love having that place just a few blocks away.
My curry bread ended up a complete disaster. I made the dough saturday night in the breadmaker, but was too tired to finish so I left it in there overnight. Too much fermentation! It stunk like bad alcohol. And like an idiot, I thought I could bake the smell out. I ended up with foul-tasting curry bread and a stinky house.

After that miserable failure, I went back to my swatch knitting. Swatch ended up being just about the right size wide, but half an inch short. Am now re-knitting a switch on a bigger needle size. Hopefully this works. Otherwise this yarn I bought may be useless.

When ben woke up, we watched ponies. I love pinkie pie's back story. She corrupted her entire puritan pony family! For a cutie mark episode, this one was quite fun.

A bit after lunch time, ben and I went food shopping. Large quantities of food were bought. Now I can make tasty things all week.

Since passover starts tomorrow, I made matzo ball soup for dinner.
Vegetarian Matzo Ball Soup
I attempted to make a vegetarian version so it wouldn't count towards our two meats a week rule. It was edible, but I really wouldn't call it matzo ball soup. You really notice the lack of chicken fat. I tried putting a little bit of butter in (totally making it not kosher! ha!), but it didn't help at all.

For some reason the matzo balls came out super dense. That has never happened before. Normally they are wonderfully light and fluffy. I wonder if it's because I used really old mix.

After dinner, ben and I took a food coma nap. I got up around 10 to prepare the ingredients for ben's dinner tomorrow. He has to work tomorrow and then go in again tomorrow night, so he needs to eat and sleep as soon as he gets home. I'm making slow cooker chili so that dinner will be ready as soon as he walks through the door.
Yesterday morning was absolutely frustrating. So much so, I am contemplating writing a second entry just devoted to it. But to summarize, our marketing agency is full of idiots. Full-blown incompetence.

It really took me all morning to deal with them. At the same time, I was attempting to write up a summary of the thing I went to the other day. My boss asked for it, which I think is weird because he doesn't actually care about the topic. I guess it was to make sure I actually went. Like back in grade school when you had to write book reports to prove you actually read the book.

By afternoon, I gave up on the marketing agency and let them do whatever they want. I hate them so much. Then I set to work on an out of office memo.

I'm going to be out ONE DAY next week. Just monday. My boss' assistant is going to cover for me. Unfortunately she's not the fastest at learning new things. So despite several months of teaching her how to do my job and having her ghost me a few times, she needs very explicit directions on what to do while I'm out. The level of detail here even included a list of things she's not supposed to touch. (Because while I was out for half days last week, she managed to totally mess up stuff she wasn't supposed to touch at all.)

Typing that up took me much of the afternoon. Every time I revised it, I would add more steps between the steps until the memo was gigantic. Then I sent the draft off to her and asked her if anything needed to be clarified. After that, I added more steps and directions. It is an epic out of office memo. For one day out of the office. I need to find a new job before I go on vacation. Otherwise I'll have to plan a month in advance for the novel I'll have to write for her.

In the evening, I did some knitting practice. I had noticed that my knitting style had strayed over the years and was extremely nonstandard now. I have no clue how that happened. So I looked up some youtube videos and practiced knitting for an hour or so before bed. I did a few practice runs with some scrap yarn. Once I felt confident I was back to standard continental style, I started the swatch for my next knitting project to practice some more.

I had a nightmare while I slept, so I felt it would be best for my mood this morning if I went out and did something productive. I drove out to super h, one of our local asian groceries, to stock up on essentials. I think in the future I'll go to lotte. While it's not as nice as super h, it is significantly closer to my new home.

Super h always makes me want to play tourist and take pictures. I was polite though and did not. The giant display of squid was really tempting...

I was good and barely bought any junk food. I stuck mostly to my shopping list of short grain rice, onions, instant curry, and curry sauce cubes. I find it crazy that my regular grocery store will charge $10 for a bag of rice ($4 at super h), $3 for instant curry ($1.50 at super h), and $4 for curry sauce ($2 at super h). The onions were pretty cheap too. Despite the long drive, it was significantly worth it for what I saved.

After that, I drove to michaels to get some nice-looking baskets to hold things in my pantry. My onions and garlic are constantly rolling away. And my bags of beans were sliding off the shelves. Problem solved now that they are safely contained.

I was starving when I got home, so I made curry rice. It made sense since I just got back from buying it, right? (Fun fact: Curry is so popular in japan, the average person eats it 125 times a year.) I use the curry sauce and then add my own spices to make it super tasty.

After dinner, I made curry onigiri with the leftovers. Unfortunately I made more curry than rice, so now I'm making some bread dough for curry pan. I will be having curry all this week for lunch.... (Good thing it is tasty, I guess. At this rate, looks like maybe I could achieve that 125 times a year number easily.)
Vanilla Chai Ice Cream
The vanilla chai ice cream I created through experimentation. I really like how it came out. If anyone else wants to make it, I can type up the recipe.

Potato Soup
Used this recipe (warning, autoplay video in the sidebar) substituting the chicken broth for veggie broth and using fresh garlic instead of the jar stuff. It tasted good, but definitely should not be in the crock pot section since it says to be cooked in a regular pot. That was an annoying surprise wednesday morning as I was attempting to prepare a crock pot dinner.
Why so many ddos attacks on lj? Seems like a waste of time to me.

Anyway, stuff goes on. On Sunday, I put stakes in the ground to rope off area for my garden. I'm glad I did that because I realized 4'x8' would be much too small. I increased it to 4'x16'. I hope that's not too big. Now I just need to buy the wood and dirt.

Yesterday was unseasonably warm (we broke records) but I was trapped indoors at work. Too cruel! In the evening, I ran around with my dog in the yard. So at least I got to enjoy a little bit of the weather. And my dog appreciated the exercise. Through she got a little sad because she thought I was trying to avoid her. She cheered up once I started to chase her.

For dinner, I made Quinoa Chili in our slow cooker. I was disappointed by it. The quinoa was mainly used to thicken the sauce. You could barely taste the quinoa flavor. And that stuff is far too expensive to use just as a sauce thickener.

It was very hot on the second floor when we went to bed, so I turned on our ceiling fan for the first time. I was a little scared it would fall on us. Once I figured out how to lower the speed, it was less scary and I was able to fall asleep.

Ben had another late night shift, which was sad. Luckily it was a short one so he returned to me after only a few hours. Which was good because I had a nightmare where a debt collector kidnapped us and locked us up in a debtors prison where we were charged for everything, including the toilet paper we used. It seemed very stupid to me because if we were kept in prison, how were we going to work and earn money to pay off the debt?

Today is cold again. And rainy. And full of meetings. Yuck.
For the rest of this month and the next, ben has to work Monday and Wednesday nights. He's still expected to work during the day on Monday and Wednesday, which doesn't leave him a lot of time for sleep between the two shifts.

To help out, I have been trying to make meals that can be ready as soon as he gets home. That way he can walk through the door, shovel food in his face, and take a nap.

Most of these foods are crock pot based. Unfortunately there are very few good vegetarian meals for slow cookers. I am trying my best though. We had some good veggie chili last week.

Tonight we had marinated mushrooms which were absolutely awful. I had to throw them out. They were very bad. I hate wasting food but these were just not edible.



January 2015

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