January 22, 2009

Who Are You Wearing?!?

I hit a major writing block this week, but luckily RA of definitelyra.com agreed to interview me! It's meme time!

1. Why did you start blogging?

In the fall of 2005, I interned on Capitol Hill for a senator. There wasn't a whole lot to do, so after I had seen an article about her in The Washingtonian, I began reading amalah.com. It was the week after her son Noah was born, and I got hooked on reading her archives at work. Soon, I made my way over to misszoot and joyunexpected. Eventually, I wanted to start commenting on their posts, but it seemed a little creepy to me to become a regular commenter without them knowing anything about me. So, I started up this here blog in 2006, let it languish for about a year, then started it back up again. I think I started it back up as a way to be able to look back later at my early years with my husband, to keep everything in perspective, and, since my job sometimes requires a lot of travel, to keep him updated with my day to day life. Also, I love to talk, and I like to think people are listening.

2. What makes up a great weekend?

Well, it would have to be a weekend in the summer, because I hate the cold. A great weekend would probably entail my husband bringing some sushi home on Friday, a Saturday spent picking actual vegetables from my garden and cooking up some Italian, and a Sunday afternoon in the kiddie pool in the back yard, drinking a cold beer, and playing gin with waterproof cards with David.

3. What was the best gift you received recently?

I'm not going to include what I'll be getting for my birthday (tomorrow!) because I technically haven't gotten it yet. I'll say the cookbook my sister-in-law gave me for Christmas (Williams-Sonoma Classic, it's huge and has so many recipes I'm not supposed to be eating right now) and the vegetable bed that David built on Monday. Finished size: 16'x3'x15". I think I'll be able to fill it up.

4. If you could hire a personal servant, who would you choose?

I'm going to take this as type of personal servant, instead of a name of a person I want to work for me. It would probably have to be a washer-person. I absolutely hate laundry and will let it pile up until I'm reduced to going commando to work. And even when I get around to cleaning it, I will leave the clean clothes in the hamper basically until the clean hamper is empty and the dirty hamper is full again. David is meticulous about his laundry, though, so I try to do laundry at the same time as him so I have someone to motivate me to fold my clothes.

5. Which occupation would you try for a week?

I would love to try to be a teacher. I love kids and love science, but didn't want to commit to an Education major because I didn't know if I love kids that much. I get to talk to classrooms every now and again in my current job, and it is so much fun to expose children to new things. Through these guest talks, though, I learned could never teach junior high. I wanted to throttle those kids.

January 13, 2009


- I'm down to 147!! Progress is being made. This is the first time I've been under 150 in at least a year. I've been working out here and there, but I wanted to see the number go down before it plateaued or came back up.

- Garden planning is still spinning around in my head. I need to measure how large I want the bed to be in order to make lumber or seedling determinations. Also, in order to see some harvest before June, I'm going to try an early crop of lettuce and spinach until planting the less cold hardy things in April.

- I've also got a few starter ideas for the yard/flower beds. We're going to put in edger blocks to keep the mulch in and, hopefully, the dogs out. Then I'd like to pull out the bedraggled mini boxwoods that are in there and put in some creeping phlox (which is evergreen in this area and blooms at least twice a year) in the front and something mid-size in the middle, maybe some azalea bushes or something. I would like to put a shrub that blooms through the summer, though, so maybe I'll mix and match (I don't really care for Encores). Also, the next few weeks are prime tree planting time, and I am so looking foward to putting in a Japanese Magnolia in the front yard. It will take some precision, though, as we have to judge the right distance from both the field lines of the septic system and the power lines.

- Is anybody that drops by here from the Great Plains area? I am going to training the first week in February and have absolutely no idea what to expect or what to pack. I don't have a parka, I don't own a scarf or snow boots, and I've never driven in snow. Am I completely up a creek?

January 09, 2009

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Yes, I am feeling very contrary this morning. It was cold, this has been a long week, and I stayed up way past my bedtime to watch the BCS Championship game (GO SEC!). Plus, I am tired of salads. I had some very filling and tasty salads this week, with homemade dressing, but I feel like a rabbit. Tonight: steak! I haven't weighed myself since Monday (153), so I'm not sure how much progress I've made. I'm stepping on the Wii Fit tonight, and I swear I'll scream if I'm not down a few pounds. But, back to the actual topic of this post...

This year I am starting an honest-to-goodness garden. I had a bucket garden last year that I started way late in the season, but with the moderate success I had (4 huge bell peppers, 3 tomatoes, and a sage and thyme plant that made it through the winter), I am very excited about this growing season. Between our local farmer's market, my coworker's fantastically abundant garden, and our own garden, we should be more than set for this summer/fall.

My hubby has finally found the perfect Valentine's Day present for me: build my raised bed. Since we only have about 1/3 third of an acre of arable land right now and no real hard-core gardening tools (greenhouse, tiller, etc.), we decided to build a raised bed in a pretty unusable strip of ground between the driveway and the house. It's going to be right outside the kitchen door and will be bookended by gardenia bushes, so, hopefully, lots of pollinating going on.

So far, the list of plants to be included is as follows:
- peppers
- tomatoes
- spinach
- lettuce
- broccoli
- kale
- squash
- assorted herbs: thyme, oregano, basil, sage, parsley, chives, and dill

If I have room (doubtful), I'd like to include tomatillos and zucchini. In the buckets from last year, I want to grow mint, garlic, rosemary, and onions.

These are all very lofty goals, and once space is considered, I'll probably be cutting back on something, but I can't decide what. But, hey, dream big. And of homemade spaghetti sauce.

January 05, 2009

Getting All Resolution-ed Up

So, last year, I said, "No resolutions, I never keep them, it's something I should be doing anyway," etc, etc, ad nauseum (sp? Google doesn't do Latin). And what did I accomplish last year in the way of personal betterment? Zip. Yes, I cooked, but I always cook. Yes, I bought a Wii Fit, but, much like always, it has been languishing under the sofa.

So, this year, I'm going to write them here where I can see them and come back to them at the end of the year. On with the listing!

1. Get in better shape. I've only lost about five pounds so far, and I'm pretty sure the holidays destroyed that progress. Yesterday, I started the South Beach Diet, which my parents accomplished and lost a combined total of 70 pounds, so I know it works. I've already found a pretty awesome cooking website that puts together a whole bunch of recipes broken down by phase.

2. Be better with money. We have some lofty goals for this summer, and even with the 2.5% competitiveness raise I'm getting, it's going to take some work. But, with Dave Ramsey and Quicken's power combined, we shall freaking rock the savings account. Also, the closet. With all the clothes I'm going to buy.

3. Freaking learn how to decorate a house already. My husband and I have realized that we actually have to start watching HGTV this weekend. The horror.

4. Do laundry in a more timely manner. I have a tendency to let it pile up, both clean and dirty. Of course, as I say this there are 2 hampers of clean clothes waiting for me at home. Ugh.

5. Start cooking vegetarian-ly once or twice a week. This should help with both items #1 and #2.

6. Conquer homemade hollandaise sauce. It always comes out funny. Though this may be in direct contradiction to item #1.

7. Use locally grown vegetables when they're in season. They just taste so much better and are usually cheaper than the grocery store. I'm attempting to accomplish this by starting my own vegetable garden and utilizing the two local farmer's markets. (Damn, now the only day I get to sleep past 6 am is Sunday. It ain't the day of rest for nothing.)

8. Finish my two sewing projects. I'm about 1/32 through both of them. I need another writer's strike or something. (SAG, I didn't mean it! You can work it out!)
Keep up writing on this here blog.

God, I sound so old, don't I? Sewing, gardening, cooking, laundry... Gag me with a spoon. Oh, I've got a non-old resolution: Get my good-ass jeans back from my aunt and wear them and heels more often. Because I totally don't have a workplace where that is inappropriate work attire. Nope.

Happy Freakin' New Year!