Monthly Archives: June 2005

June 2005 Books

More books this month than last!

43. Cordelia Underwood by Van Reid
44. The Spring of the Tiger by Victoria Holt
45. Mollie Peer by Van Reid
46. Daniel Plainway by Van Reid
47. Mrs. Roberto by Van Reid
48. Fiddlers Green by Van Reid

The Van Reid books were a grab off the shelf thing from my local library.

CSA Wk 3

CSA Week 3

one head of lettuce, a head of cabbage, a bag of spinach, some very small radishes and greens, a bag of chard, a few beets, some red potatoes,

Holy cow, but I was a cooking machine last night. I feel like I cooked for 3 hours straight, but it might have been mostly doing dishes.

first I had to use up the kale from week 1. there were a couple of pieces of moldy, but I threw those out and steamed the rest. Then I coarsely chopped it and made the most delicious baked quesadilla. it was like this: tortilla, cheese, kale, tortilla, cheese, sauteed mushrooms, kale, cheese, chopped jalapenos, tortilla. And, I used cabot chedder with jalapenos in it so it was really tasty and spicy.

that was dinner.


Mmm, cheesy kale

while I ate dinner, I boiled some beets.

after I ate dinner, I made pesto, using up the basil from week 2.

then I enjoyed a slice of tang pie.

all in all, a very excellent food night. Tonight I may have tortellini and pesto, and I have some more arugala type greens (wk 2) and radish greens (this week) that I should saute or wilt and toss with something. tonight I was going to get started on a cabbage and white bean soup but I forgot to soak the beans, so I’ll have to do the “quick start” method, which involves boiling something for 2 hours and which I’m not really thrilled about (so I may not make soup tonight, which lets me off of the ‘must find smoked ham hocks’ hook.) I packed salad for lunch with left over quesadilla, but there’s a lunch meeting, I think, so I may have free food. I didn’t bring any beets with me though, sadly. nothing says yum like beets, even if I can’t convince myself that they’re dessert.

week so far.

I had a great weekend, full of visitors and debauchery and weddings and hot weather.

and today I’m trying to consolidate my student loans so as to get a superduper low interest rate. Apparently, I owe 25K. Thanks CMU! I forgot it was THAT high, I guess I was hung up on 18K for some non-reason. I have to get my Dept. of Education Pin number from home before I can do any of this financial finaglry, and it’s impossible to contact anyone by phone because EVERYONE IN AMERICA is trying to refinance their loans before 6/30, at which time interest rates will go up a whopping 1.9%.

it’s a little disorienting to realize I’ll be back to paying a wholelotta cash out each month for 10 years.
I don’t rembember having to pay this much the last time around, and I thought I had comparable loans after Cooper!
Or maybe it was 1/2 as much, which would make more sense. Plus, through the brilliance of CU for some reason my last year loans had to be taken out through another lender – something about high default rates, I think – and I was paying 2 loans at the same time. Which really did work out well in the whole greater “paying off loans” scheme of things. Hrm.

I secretly love budgeting, but I secretly hate it too. It can be fun to figure out how much money you have and to square away everything neatly, and to even use a spreadsheet to figure it all out easily. But then you reach a point where it’s not fun anymore because you realize you have more bills and expenses than you thought you did. I had conveniently forgotten about this student loan thing, and I’m not looking forward to updating my spreadsheet. But I will, because sometimes even updating a painful financial spreadsheet is a welcome break from trying to figure out why an invoice doesn’t match the project reconsiliation spreadsheet. You know.

CSA week 2, consensus on week 1.


This week we got 2 different kinds of lettuce and a head of cabbage! also, dill, arugala, beets, and most excitingly, BASIL!

The share was bigger than last week, probably because of all the lettuce. I’m still finishing the heads I bought last week so I hopefully will get to them soon. I’m eating a Loooot of lettuce, y’all.

Here’s my status from last week:

kale: haven’t eaten yet.
beets: boiled on wednesday, eating last of today.
radishes: have been eating in salads all week, have 2 left.
small head of butterleaf (something) lettuce: ate last week. Still working on the 2 heads I bought though…
dill: haven’t used much — I put in my salad a couple of times, but mostly it’s in the fridge.
cilantro: put some into guacamole. Michelle and I used to buy these indian food seasoning packets and I really wish I had one of those now, because they’re so good with fresh cilantro.
thyme: used some in my risotto this week.
small bag of mixed greens: finishing last of today. Also, yellow squash that I bought.
kohlrabi!: put in my risotto with fennel. it was ok, but I think kohlrabi might be best raw and sliced thin. Maybe in a slaw.
arugala: cooked last night with some of this week’s arugala. I wilted it in olive oil and tossed with whole wheat linguini, parm. cheese, and toasted pine nuts. It’s very good, but I could stand more arugala in it. I think I’ll wilt the rest of it and put it into my leftovers.

not too shabby! I’m getting back into the swing of cooking at home. It’s so frustrating to be in the car on the way home and starving, but to have to tell myself “you can’t stop and pick up a burrito for dinner because you have food you HAVE to eat at home.” I’ve been tiding myself with homemade guacamole, it’s so fast and easy and absolutely 100% gratifying.

How to Store Your Share

when michelle and I were members of the west village csa, we were given a priceless instruction sheet for vegetable storage. I think michelle may have gotten that in the break up, so I asked Aurora to send me a copy (we shared it with her last season) and I think some of you CSA/vegetable lovers may appreciate it also:

Following is a list of the produce types, how to store them, and the maximum recommended storage time. It is generally best not to wash produce until you are ready to use it.

Beans: Refrigerate in plastic bag, 3 days.
Beets: Refrigerate in plastic bag, 3 weeks.
Broccoli: Plastic bag in refrigerator drawer, 3 days.
Brussel Sprouts: Refrigerate in plastic bag, 3 days.
Cabbage: Refrigerator drawer, 2 months.
Carrots: Refrigerate in plastic bag, 4 weeks.
Cauliflower: Refrigerate in plastic bag, 1 week.
Celeriac: Refrigerate in plastic bag, 1 month.
Celery: Plastic bag in refrigerator drawer, 2 weeks.
Chinese Cabbage: Refrigerator drawer, 2 weeks.
Corn: Refrigerate immediately and use right away.
Cucumbers: Refrigerator drawer, 1 week.
Eggplant: Refrigerator drawer, 1 week.
Garlic: Cool, dark, dry place, several months.
Greens: Plastic bag in refrigerator drawer, 2 days. Keep moist.
Herbs: Wrap in damp towel in plastic bag in refrigerator, 2 days.
Kohlrabi: Refrigerate in plastic bag, 1 month.
Leeks: Refrigerate, 2 weeks.
Lettuce: Plastic bag in refrigerator drawer, 4 days.
Melon: Room temperature, 3 days.
Onions: Cool, dry place, several months.
Peppers: Refrigerator drawer, 2 weeks.
Popcorn: Dry for 6 weeks before popping.
Potatoes: Dark, room temperature place, 2 weeks.
Pumpkin: Cool, dry place, several weeks.
Radishes: Refrigerate in plastic bag, 2 weeks.
Rhubarb: Refrigerate in plastic bag, 1 week.
Rutabaga: Room temperature, 1 week OR refrigerate in plastic bag, 1 month.
Summer Squash: Plastic bag in refrigerator drawer, 1 week.
Swiss Chard: Plastic bag in refrigerator drawer, 4 days.
Tomatoes: Room temperature, 1 week.
Tomatillos: Refrigerate in paper bag, 2 weeks.
Turnips: Refrigerate in plastic bag, 2 weeks.
Winter Squash: Room temperature, at least 1 month.
Zucchini: Refrigerator drawer, 4 days.

in the present

I showed a very good friend and thoughtful person the pictures from father’s day, and she said my family looked like we were full of life. I thought about this for a while, and replied that something my family really has going for it is a focus on living in the present. It’s true, what with the health problems and various financial debts to be paid off and the difficulty in planning activities when you’ve got (at latest count) ten households that need to be coordinated in order to spend portions of holidays together, well, somehow that has translated into relishing the time together we do have, and a general flying by the seat of our pants. sure, we make plans, but it ends up often being a vague coming together when we can instead of a regularly scheduled event to which people are expected to attend. We are flexible with each other, generous, and try to make things work for everyone. And we all show up. Even though there are groups of people who traditionally are expected to have animosity towards each other (aka, divorce in various forms) there really isn’t, and we all manage to work it out in the end.

my friend said “what a difference that must make in a family (let alone in a single person)” and she’s right. I’ve never thought about it before, but we’re doing quite well for a family of ‘broken homes.’ aw, my heartful family.

oh, my heart.

heart dishcloth closeup

I haven’t posted about my father’s poor health for the last few weeks. Probably because this forum is so public, and I was too scared/neurotic/superstitious that something bad would happen. I’m still nervous, but I’m about 10zillion times better than I was. And, well, so is he.

three and one half weeks ago my dad was having a reguarly scheduled stress test on a week in which he’d had some chest pains and they emergency ambulanced him to the hospital for immediate artery rotorootering. He’d had another heart attack, 6 years after the one he had in the spring of 1998. I drove to albany to see him that friday night in order to reassure myself he was really and truely ok. The next day I then went to PGH to help michelle move, leaving at 5:30 in the morning to be sure to get there before our just ducky tour. He did very well in the hospital, and they sent him home on saturday.

Tuesday morning he woke up in the wee hours with pains again, and maggie took him back to the hospital. and he stayed there for another week and a half while they tried to figure out what was going on. he had these pains every few days, and one time it might have been another heart attack, but they didn’t know how to treat the other ones except to give him morphine for the pain. It was incredibly stressful. While I was in florida for paulina and nestor’s wedding I found out how frequent the “episodes” were and how lacking the long term plans for treatment were. I was very upset. we all were.

And then… the pains stopped. They think maybe after his myocardial infarction and the rotorootering the debris could be bothering the smaller arteries around his heart and causing pain. They weren’t heart attacks, which is excellent, but because they didn’t know WHAT they were and they felt like heart attacks, well, it was a scary week or so, and the only good side to him being in the hospital was that there, at least someone would be able to tell if he WAS having another heart attack. They sent daddy home last weekend, and he’s spent a relaxing time convelesing.

So for father’s day I made dad a gift of marginally questionable taste: an embroidered anatomical heart dish towel. I would have made a tshirt, but couldn’t find one in his size in time. I am so thankful I was able to spend another father’s day with my daddy. Oh, my heart, indeed.

father’s day

I had a really good time in albany this weekend for father’s day. I arrived sat. evening and played games with sarah, kevin, and dan aaron (after making collage cards with daniel and eating dinner and having some sweet ryan time).

the next day we had a super time with breakfast and gifts and then all cruised down to the baseball game, starring the unintiminable daniel james!

kari + daniel 3

I absolutely enjoyed seeing the sarah+kevin+ryan family
ryan, kevin, and sarah

enjoyed seeing daddy, and even though I’m tall, he’s still a whole foot taller and we had a hard time catching the top of his head:
dad and kari 2

dad and kari 3

dad and kari 4

we did see some disturbing things that day.
athletic supporter!

yuck! cup!

but dan aaron
dan aaron

and mom and I
kari + mom

shook it off went to lkens for milkshakes and cheesey fries.

thank you, jimmy hoffa, for making wonderful day at the ball park possible.
jimmy hoffa

First CSA week

I picked up my first share of vegetables last night:
CSA Wk 1

Poorly pictured are: kale, beets, radishes, small head of butterleaf (something) lettuce, dill, cilantro, thyme, small bag of mixed greens, kohlrabi! and arugala.

I was a little surprised at how small the share was. The CSA is $600 for mid June through October, which is already shorter than I’m used to. My other CSAs have been around/less than $500, also, but I figured the NJ cost of living is what’s driving the cost up on this. I don’t know, maybe I just built it up in my head — I was anticipating a truck-load of food, because when I checked with the farmer she told me that it would serve 2 adults/2 children.

Oh, I just went back and checked the email:



IN THE HEIGHT OF THE SEASON A SHARE COULD CONTAIN 2-3 EGGPLANT, 4-6 ASSORTED PEPPERS,4-6 ASSORTED ZUKES, 3-6 LBS ASST TOMATOES. HERBS CUKES, TOMATILLOS, FLOWERS ETC.” — that seems a lot more like what I’m looking for. 3-6 lbs tomatos! how great. I bought ONE tomato last night at whole foods and it cost $0.86! It was the prettiest tomato there, but it may have come from HOLLAND. Dutch tomatos.

Here’s info on the CSA. It was surprisingly hard to find a local group here in the Garden State, but I found this webpage very helpful, as well as the tremendous CSA Center database.

Anyway, after I got my share, I went to whole foods (/whole paycheck) and spent 60 bucks on more lettuce, yellow squash, avocados, onion, one tomato, and fennel. there was other stuff, like risotto rice, misc. spelt pastas, yogurt, parm cheese, etc., but I mainly went there b/c I was in the neighborhood and I felt like I didn’t have enough vegetables. I was using the CSA week as my deadline to start preparing my lunch every day, and I needed more food! Man, whole foods consistently overwhelms me. I spent a long time just staring at chocolate bars, cheese, and pesto, and I didn’t even buy any of that stuff. I’m lucky I escaped!

CSA season

Today is my first CSA pickup! I am totally excited.

I anticipate kohlrabi, kale, and arugala. I also expect lots of lettuces, and I hope I’m right! my last CSA did a really fantastic job of providing lettuce pretty much non-stop through the season, I hope it’s comparable here in NJ.

a neuuuuuuuu CAR!

I just put my name on the order list for the 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid. It’s been totally redesigned (both body AND hybrid technology, I hear) and looks very awesome. I don’t know if the hybrid will be a 2 door or a 4 door, but that’s fine. 2 door is HOTTER but hybrid is hybrid.

My stepsis has a friend/excoworker who works at honda in albany and I called him and told him it HAD to be a manual transmission (these NJ highways really beg that extra boost, plus it’s more efficient than CVT/automatic technology, and more fun to drive too…), and it could be any color except red but white was preferred. He’ll call back with the tech specs, including how great the hybrid engine is. I wasn’t super impressed with the efficiency of the last version, so am really hoping they managed to find a happy medium between the efficiency of the old version and the superefficiency of the honda insight.

the official page is here.

I’ve never bought a new car before! I’ve never bought a CAR before, always having been gifted with free hand-me-down automobiles. I guess I’m old enough…

feeling hot, hot hot!

it’s HOT outside. it’s been in the 90s for the last 4 or 5 days, or something, and I think my apartment thermal mass can only fight the first 3 days before it gets too totally roasty. Last night the temperature only dropped to about 75, so it was a warm night for me. I didn’t sleep that great.

Of course, the A/C at work is too cold for me: I walked up the big hill to get lunch with my sweater on and didn’t really warm up until I got to the top of the hill. So, you know, it’s all relative. I do try to stay out of air conditioning because I don’t have it in my car or my home, but those 9-10 hours a day I spend at work have the potential to screw things up! plus, I’ll pretend it’s the A/C and not the job that’s giving me my current headache.

ALL THAT SAID, I’m (grossly, yo! it’s a heat wave!) not using even deoderant anymore. That storebought stuff is for the birds. I’ve been primo happy for the last 3 days using only baking soda on my underarms, and I dare say my friends and neighbors have been happy too.

weekend fun

I was unable to bring my nephew to the renn faire, so instead I had to buy him an ice cream cone on the hottest day of the year:
mmm, ice cream

disaster scene

and here’s gabbi all dressed up!
gabbi in garb!

odds and ends

you can download beethoven’s symphonies from the BBC (all 9 of them!) after they’re performed. Five of them are up now. They take a looong time to download but I anticipate it will be worth it.

I’m getting my hairs cut today, at 6:30. I picked the shee-shee-ist place in my town and waltzed in last night to make an appointment. I noticed while I was there that there were only mens having their hairs cut, but there was a price on the wall for ladies cuts, so I should be fine.

I’ve been going to bed between 9:30 and 10 every night this week (except sunday, ok, for the last 2 nights), because I am apparently burnt out and stressed beyond belief. The sleep seems to be serving me well, althouh it’s really getting in the way of unpacking, which is important b/c my brother and my nephew may be joining me this weekend for some family time and for some good friend’s renn faire exploration. I want to buy my nephew a giant turkey leg! and take pictures of him eating it!

the wedding of the paulina and the nestor

The wedding was great: friday night I met michelle at the airport in fort lauderdale, and aurora and gibson fetched us. then the next day we were up early for wedding fun!

gibson and I were accidentally dressed like a couple
gibson and kari

I had a fun time with selfphotos:
kari and michelle

aurora and kari

johanna and kari

gibson and kari

kari and deanna!

and scott, pretending he’s looking down my dress, and I TOTALLY told him I’d be posting this on the internets:
yikes! kari and scott

we made friends with the photographers:
the photographers

enjoyed the fish:
fish with tomatoes

and got beautiful original art from the bride’s aunt as favors:
favors and centerpiece

after the early reception (wherein we made gibson dance with all of us) we drove to paulina’s parents house in a gated community
rico suave

and michelle fell asleep on an ottomam.
sleepy michelle

by all accounts, the bride and groom had a wonderful time:
bride and groom, post events!

after the reception and the parent’s house afterparty, we went out dancing at a mediocre club in ft lauderdale. the next day we went to the beach! and the sun came out! and my shoulders got red! but it was worth it!

michelle and I had super coordinating flights, and both left the airport at 7:15ish.

the weekend was magnificent. there’s more pics here.


I finished the dress last night! it came out really nicely, though if I had more time I’d tailor the bodice in a little more. BUT it’s done, and it matches my shoes exactly , and the trim looks really great with the dress. AND IT’S DONE!

this sewing clothes thing is probably easier when I don’t have a 2 day window/deadline, but on the whole it’s still pretty sweetl.

here’s a picture of the dress fabric, to tide you over until I get some really fancy pics of me in the dress:

fabric of dress + trim

sewing project

I’m going to miami for a wedding this weekend, and I could not find a single thing to wear. OK, I only checked one store. But it was demoralizing, and it reminded me of this other time I couldn’t find anything to wear, and so I foolhardedly said I’d make my own dress thank-you-very-much. See, the problem is that my chest won’t fit into clothes right now. And no, I *DON’T* know where strippers shop, so I am NOT sure where to buy clothes. /response-to-wise-acres.

I picked up a pattern (simplicity #4531) and some home decor fabric that matches my dansko arabella’s which I foolishly bought first in a hard to match (turquoise) color. Well, it sort of matches, the fabric is all muted greens and blues and browns on a cream colored background, and my shoes are kind of bright, so I’m going to liven it up with some shoe-matching trim. If that isn’t too twee.

Of course, I’ll post pictures. Unless it’s a disaster scene! last night I partied kathy lee gifford style and hunched over my sewing machine until nearly 1AM. it’s going pretty nicely. I have to finish it tonight so I can pack and fly out tomorrow afternoon!

poker? I hardly know her!

last night I started a big sewing project and put on the radio. On Point had a program about poker in america (“what exactly is a merica??). Even though it was a very interesting show, I am NOT excited to learn that these poker spammers have got a multimillion dollar industry. I don’t know if I believe it — why would they spam blogs if they had so much lucre?