the following have improved my life by roughly 10,000%:
last night I bought a fan for my kitchen window and it is amazing. usually my kitchen is a sweat house when I cook, and last night with the exhaust on it only got up to about 85 degrees and slightly humid (instead of sweat pouring down the back of my neck rain forest conditions). Honestly, Wednesday night Nick and Elly stopped by and I had my kitchen door closed and the windows were all steamed up b/c I was foolishly boiling beets and rice at the same time. I wanted to show off my can-o-worms but we could only spend maybe 2 minutes in there before we were redfaced and hot as heck!
I am a tiny bit worried about it falling out of the window while I’m at work and either killing an innocent bystander on the sidewalk below (like the superintendent’s child) or smashing the gorgeous and amazing geranium I’ve got going like gangbusters below it. Especially as I installed it upside down so I could get it into the TOP of the window (the plants need the windowsill!). And by installed, I mean: lodged it between the window and windowsill and extended the sides until it fit exactly into the window. there are no brackets or such holding it in place. I bought the one that was almost 2x as much $ as the cheapest version (and still, it was just $30) because it’s got an air filter/bug screen built in and it has a very fancy temperature gauge and a self on/off so I can make it come on automatically if the kitchen gets up to 90 degrees (not uncommon, sadly).
the fan is responsible for about 9,975% of the improvement. the other 25% is due to:
this amazing beet salad I made night before last:
beets! granny smith apples! balsamic vinegar! drunken goat cheese! a touch of olive oil! I had a cousin of it at aurora and jesse’s house and LOVED the idea. it’s amazing.
and look who showed up at my office today: WORMS!
which means: yay! can-o-worms photos for you all next week!
I got swiss chard, potatoes, radishes, sage, cilantro, lettuce, purple cabbage, arugula, and some incredibly big beets.
last night I cooked all the (wk 2 and wk 1) beets and made a salad ala aurora and jesse with granny smith apples, drunken goat cheese, and some balsamic vinegar/tiny bit of olive oil. I have an incredibly huge container of this beet salad in my fridge. I also made some indian food so I could put chopped cilantro onto it. yum. and I picked up the pine nuts, so tonight I’ll try the same arugula dish only it will be potentially 10,000x better.
so many veggies to eat up!
week 1: some radishes, cabbage, dill.
I am going to use the cabbage from last week and this week up this weekend (need to find a good non-coleslawy cabbage salad recipe). best case is a salad that includes the dill or potentially sage. I need to also find something to do with the chard that I can also do with the beet greens – the radish greens from last week went to my worm food stash, and I’d like to actually cook the beet and radish greens this week. they’re pretty healthy but not hugely flavorful, sadly.
because I firmly believe that chiropractors (like any other doctor) can swing wildly between quack and miracle worker, I tried so hard to find one who was recommended. sadly, my insurance might be kind of lame, because every single recommended chiro is not included on my plan.
So I took a leap of faith and picked the nearest one off of the insurance webpage and am going today at 3PM to get fixed up. I told the story about falling off of the toilet to the receptionist and she said there was another patient who had the same problem! I guess it’s more common a situation than I had thought. even if it is a pedestrian occurance, it is still HILARIOUS. so silly. (y’all know, there was a period of, like, 1 hour when I thought about not telling anyone what had happened re: the toilet. but it is TOO FUNNY not to tell everyone I meet.)
after my “spinal adjustment” I’m going to head straight up to get my veggies for the csa and then will return home and attempt to get some work done to make up for my wild afternoon. oh, it’s so great to be a consultant: the only white collar professional that has to fill out a time sheet weekly. snort.
Today there is an office moving fiasco: last night the rental guys came and took their furniture, and this morning the “new” desks were supposed to arrive and they were going to take my perfectly fine, comfortable, well used desk to another office and bring me an old ratty nasty old desk left over from the OTHER nj office (which moved over the weekend). which in itself is an inconvenience, b/c I had to empty my desk and pack everything away last night. but! but! the building FORGOT to tell us that we’re not allowed to move things during daylight today, so they’ve taken my desk and left me with NOTHING. Nothing!
Normally this would be a nonissue – I’d pick up my laptop and cheerfully move somewhere else in the office and work away happily. But today I am SO inconvenienced b/c my neck and shoulder (the one I jammed between the wall and the toilet when I was laid up b/c of my knee surgery) hurt so badly. something terrible happened night before last and during the day and by last night I was sitting in my mary kay meeting grimacing as my neck spasmed. which means that if I need my giant boxes of papers that are not in my desk, I can’t move them because I’m Really Trying to be good about not lifting things or being unergonomic. maybe I should move to australia.
this morning is a gold mine for neat links. mostly from treehugger, which is a fabulous ecoissues+design blog.
article on red hook farmer’s markets and CSAs made me googlemaps how far my commute would be if I lived in brooklyn (about an hour, but I would have to go over the verrazano bridge every day which is $4 each way (spendy!). and also, drive for an hour every day. in traffic. yuck.
I really love eco-salvage/reuse, so was thrilled to find out about the hudson valley materials exchange. PLUS they are looking for a manager, and while the pay and benefits cut would be substantial, it is SO TEMPTING. plus, I drove through newburgh a week before last and while I don’t know a thing about it, it looks like the kind of struggling urban area that I am so fond of. lots of houses were for sale, at least!
If I had a house I would use small scale wind power. this blog is very very very interesting and great. note to self: seriously consider purchasing a small turbine for dad and maggie for christmas.
Also of note: the instructions for building your own wind turbine. If only I had my own house. The two adjacent empty lots down the street from me are selling for $425,000, y’all. Can you imagine? I want so badly to buy them and put up a straw bale house, but $425K? gracious.
THIS is so awesome: a fuel consumption meter made in Finland that you can install on any car with installed “electric liquid fuel sprayer” (fuel injectors?). Since getting the insight I have noticed that the instantaneous mpg reading really affects how I drive the car, and I think that if car manufacturers are going to continue to make distilled hybrids that are more of a show of “good faith” than actual innovation and conservation, at very least they should install instantaneous mpg meters in all vehicles to change driving habits and to educate consumers. Seriously, (Ford Motor Company, Toyota), you can’t be all talk about being a green company and then blame american buying habits for the lack of hybrid sales or lack of demand for more efficient vehicles without at least trying to EDUCATE people a little!
I will end with this collection of containers that have been reused as structures. Containers are very cool, and being someone who grew up thinking about the smallest area that I could live in comfortably (is this parking space large enough? this very large handicapped accessible public bathroom? it already has running water… where should I hole up if there is armageddon? [not even kidding, I might have been what is known as a “weird kid.”])
csa dinner last night: I steamed the chard and ate it on corn tortillas with salsa and spreadable laughing cow cheese. yum.
today I also have the roasted wee potatoes for lunch, but I have to eat after my dentists appointment b/c they are full of garlic.
also, tiny little sneak peak for tonight’s festivities:
I had the first pick up of the CSA season yesterday:
radishes (with greens), beets, lettuce, cabbage, chard, dill, small potatoes, arugula.
I ate all the arugula for dinner and lunch today:
I tossed spelt pasta with wilted arugula (in garlic and olive oil), some romano cheese, and nate’s “meat” balls. I really wished I had pine nuts, but I guess I’m all out.
The CSA is on the other side of my house from work now that we’ve moved offices, so it takes about an hour to get there. which is a huge bummer. I might work from the other office on wednesday but I don’t really want to! Anyway, I’m hugely excited that the season has started.
a couple of weeks ago I attended a Mary Kay training weekend featuring our dynamic national sales director from Louisiana. I knew there would be people wearing suits there (the MK directors receive suits, and senior consultants get red jackets) so I wanted to wear something I felt comfortable and classy in. So what’s my (common) response to a dress occasion? make something within 48 hours of attending, natch!
I used the same pattern as my birthday skirt
here’s a close-up, so you can see how brilliant I am at pleats.
(hee! seriously, patterns are MY FRIEND. they might not be as punk-rock as seeing something, going home, and whipping something up, but they help make your clothing so beautifully and the sewing goes so much faster. and with much less cussing. not NO cussing, but much less.)
the skirt took about 2 1/2 hours to make, and I worked on it Thursday night after work (I drove up to albany on Friday night and hemmed the skirt, and we were out the door on Sat. AM for the event by 8AM).
in the buy vs. make: I’ve got the new skirt, but I also stopped by target and purchased 4 new plain tees and 2 tank tops. but that’s all acceptable things to buy, I think.
after a conversation with my love-hate dealer metro honda that went something like this:
dealer: what kind of car again?
me: it’s the hybrid insight.
dealer: oh, wait, you say it’s a hybrid?
me: yes, the insight *hybrid.*
dealer: you mean the civic hybrid?
me: [eyes rolling, veins popping] um, no, there’s another hybrid: the INSIGHT HYBRID.
I decided to give another dealer a shot. Today I went to garden state honda for my 15,000 maintenance (can you believe I’m at 15,000 miles already? I feel like I just got the car!). It was a lot better than metro honda in two respects: they knew what a hybrid was (when I asked if they had any insights in regular service they said maybe one other, but 10-20 hybrids total – compared to metro honda’s answer of “oh, yeah, we got some”) and also, they actually LISTENED to me. like, the guy brought the honda standard torque wrench out to show me and reassure me that metro honda couldn’t have messed up the very expensive magnesium alloy oil pan by over-torquing. So, that’s in their favor.
not in their favor is how they realized after finishing the oil change that they didn’t have the correct air filter so they THEN drove out to get one, making my visit in the very comfortably appointed waiting room last from 7:30 AM to 11AM. at least there were freshly baked cookies, and also, the internets for email checking. the experience was slightly mitigated by a slight discount on the bill and also their extreme embarassment. well! I guess that’s that.
I hope they start to send me coupons, because I’m for sure getting my engine work done there from now on. they’re closer, they open 30 minutes earlier in the morning, and they don’t treat me like a girl who doesn’t know anything about her car. and cookies. and internets. did I mention?
so, after almost exactly a month of thinking and sad and clarity and sad and etc., I’m back. I wasn’t sure what to do with this space – while I’ve always had pretty clear boundaries as to what content I would post, I have never felt inhibited like I did this last month. But, well. Life goes on, and it has been.
Besides, this wednesday is my first CSA pickup. I sure as heck can’t ignore that! I even though my farmer has a blog now, I don’t want to stop documenting the vegetables and what I do with them. and with their remains…
So, I’ve been not-posting on purpose. You might like to know, perhaps, that matt and I have broken up. For the last two weeks I’ve been getting back onto my feet and I’m doing ok, but am, of course, very very very sad. Anyway, radio silence, for now.