Friday, June 26, 2009
i spy with my little eye...
...PEAS!



I'm getting it a tizzy of anticipation for the sugar snap peas that have appeared in the last day or so. Yes, I am easily excited. No, that is not as embarrassing as it should be.

The tomatoes are starting to turn red, and I have little tiny infant bell peppers. I want a home-grown stir fry!



Oh, and salsa!

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Monday, June 22, 2009
after much fruitlessness...
...I finally have a job interview! Part of me really wants this job, and part of me just really likes the fact that after a few months of sending out dozens and dozens (hundreds?) of resumes, someone has finally caught on to the fact that I might be a useful member of their company, and is giving me a chance to show it.

In all honesty, it was about two weeks ago that I began to really feel like I am ready to go back to work. It seems kind of indulgent to say that after the past year and a half of craziness and stress, I needed a few months off to get back my oomph. But I think it's true, and it's something that we usually don't let ourselves do, because it feels lazy. But really, there's no use in going into another job with a lot of baggage that doesn't relate to it, especially if you have the chance to shed some of it beforehand. I know that I've lost a bit of steam in the process, but I'm starting to feel more refreshed about my prospects. Things have a way of coming along at the right time for me (not necessarily when I WANT them...but certainly when I need them), and I'm feeling very ready for the next thing right now. And so the impatience begins!
Saturday, June 20, 2009
visitors...


These house finches seem to think that mi casa es su casa. They've been flying back and forth across the sunroom all afternoon. Apparently the fairy lights make quite a good perch. After leaving the door open for a while, the male finally found his way out, but the female sat chirping away for quite a while. Maybe she thought he would come back for her...
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
finally...
...those snap pea plants of mine that have been rocketing towards the sky have finally put out a few flowers! The promise of tasty stir fries is in the air...



(Please note that these plants are nearly 5 feet tall...in a pot!)

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stormy weather...
After a late night of dancing, I woke up this morning to a fantastic thunderstorm (which has since turned into a tornado warning) and a cool breeze running through the flat. Such a nice change from the June hot and humid stillness that has marked the week so far! So I've been wearing a cardi and knitting away at my new project: a pair of cabled knee socks. I had a favorite pair that acquired holes too numerous to fix, and haven't found any similar since. So this will be my version of a basic. (For other knitters out there, it'll be a toe-up sock with a cable and rib pattern in knitpicks palette marbled heather. Pattern to follow...)

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009
dinner tonight...
Veggie Feta Pasta

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doing battle...
The garden is flourishing (literally) lately with all the sun and rain. My snap peas are nearly 4 ft. tall, and the basil crop is really taking off. Plus, this is the first year that I've had dill actually survive to flower!



I've got the beginnings of hot peppers, and a nice crop of lettuces. And if you look closely, you'll see nearly a dozen tomatoes ready to start ripening...



But earlier this week, to my dismay, I noticed a few buggies hanging out on my bell pepper plant...APHIDS!!!



I admit I had way too much fun picking them off with scotch tape. There weren't too many, only a few dozen, and I know they won't do too much damage to the peppers, but I worry about some of the other plants. So after a bit of research, I've made a bug brew of steeped rosemary, basil, and sage that I'll be spritzing the plants with occasionally.



Why exactly the infusion will help more than the presence of actual rosemary, sage and basil plants, I'm not exactly sure. Adding a dash of dishsoap is suggested...I'll try a bit of Dr. Bronner's peppermint, since it seems a bit safer for edibles (hey, if you can technically brush your teeth with it...).

Meanwhile, I've started the second batch of lettuces in an old mixing bowl on the kitchen table. Hopefully keeping it out of the direct heat of the day will help it not bolt as quickly. I planted these guys on Sunday, and they're already sprouting like mad!

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Tuesday, June 09, 2009
I love toast...

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Sunday, June 07, 2009
variations on a theme...
...of cookies.

I made my favorite cookies the other day (the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe from the Quaker Oats box, except I use dried cranberries and chocolate chips instead of raisins), and got to thinking about spice variations. With the cinnamon in there already, making a few changes to incorporate chai spices seemed almost natural. I love the way the clove and black pepper kind of show up halfway through the cookie. Yum! (I also love that Paul is cooking up a beautiful Spag Bolognaise while I've got my feet up...)

Oatmeal Chai Chocolate Chip Cookies



Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups old fashioned oats, uncooked
1 cup chocolate chips

1. Heat oven to 350F.
2. Cream sugar and butter together in large bowl. Then add eggs and vanilla and beat well.
3. Combine flour, baking soda, and spices, then add to wet ingredients; beat well.
4. Stir in oat and chocolate chips until thoroughly mixed.
5. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet
6. Bake 10 minutes or until golden brown.
7. Cool on cookie sheet, then transfer to wire rack...or just eat them all right away.

Makes about 4 dozen

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Wednesday, June 03, 2009
all knit up...
...and ready to go.

My submission for the Master Knitter Program Level 1 is nearly ready to go:



I have just have to finish off a report on blocking and proofread all my questions, and then she's ready to be mailed off! I had originally viewed level 1 and just a step I needed to get through to start levels 2 and 3, but I actually learned quite a bit more than I expected. Especially about small details...things I was doing correctly, but with slight changes I could improve upon. Let's just hope that everything gets accepted in the first round so I can get on to level 2...i'm insanely excited about argyle socks!

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