Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Who knew how easy it is to make granola?

Catherine Newman changed her blog around to be about food, and I wasn't sure I was going to be on board, but it turns out I am. I keep checking back for new recipes. It's funny because I feel like I'm checking back MORE now that it's about food.

I don't want to be the fat lady who is more interested in food blogs than human blogs, but in this one case I might be.

Tuesday I checked it and there was a recipe for granola. Scott really misses the granola he got from the Olympia Food Co-op back when he used to live in Olympia, so much so that his friend Mer (remember when her dog ate my underpants?) sometimes mails it to him. For realz.

As a result, I've been thinking of making granola for kind of a while now. I like to keep The Count happy with tasty foodstuffs, after all. I suggested it to Scott a while back and he said, and I quote, "Don't bother."

(Aside: If this were Taste of Home magazine, I would say, "I like to fix my man a heaping healthy helping of homemade granola. It really makes a difference when it's made with love." Which it does. And that magazine generally has excellent recipes. But sometimes it gags me because they say these things without a hint of irony. Where do they find these women? And when they have a recipe from a man, they make a whole page about a man who cooks. A man who cooks? Who ever heard of that?!)

Well, brother, he's singing a different tune now, since I made Catherine's granola recipe. It was really weird. I had just gotten home from work, started dinner and was reading blogs when I saw the granola recipe, read the ingredients list and thought, "I have all of these things. I will do this right now."

It was so easy. I got it ready to go in the oven while dinner was cooking. I put it in and it cooked while we ate dinner. Then it was over, I let it cool and put it in a giant container. And it's delicious! I can't imagine why people buy granola from the store (and until Tuesday, that's exactly what I did).

All I had was flax seeds, so I skipped the others in the recipe. And I was out of butter, so I used Smart Balance (which is probably for the best since butter is basically poison - delicious, delicious poison).

The result is a big hit. I have eaten it myself for about five meals since. I brought it in a container to work and picked up a milk in the cafeteria and had it for my can't-get-it-together-to-eat-breakfast-before-work breakfast this morning. I had it for breakfast yesterday and snack last night. I ate some of it fresh out of the oven.

Okay, that's just four times and only two meals. Still! I would like to recommend the recipe to you is all I'm saying.

(Aside: Yes, I made this in the oven. Yes, the oven still makes a little bit of a smell like an H.R.V. But it's not terrible any more. I think the smell is nearly gone. I think maybe untrained noses can't smell it at all, though mine can. It's attuned to the H.R.V. aroma. I use "aroma" ironically here. It's funny because I can smell it most in the pantry. It seems that the pantry is the place for cooking smells to collect in this house. In my Springfield apartment, it was the hall. In the Holyoke apartment it was the bathroom. Here, it's the pantry. Fine. I accept. And pretty much we'll live happily ever after.)

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Saving the day

I was just reading Catherine Newman's Dalai Mama blog. I love Catherine's writing, and how well she captures, well, everything.

This latest blog is about dreams. Read until the end, the part about Birdy's dreams about her dad. I'm weeping openly now.

Have you read the Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood? It's really badly written - I was rewriting it in my head the whole time I was reading it - but it's a good story. There's this part where the main character whose name I can't remember (I would go get the book, but it's in a box somewhere in the basement; I would look it up on the Internet, but I guess I don't care that much.) talks about having one childhood moment she could look back on and say, "In that moment, I knew my mother loved me." It was really powerful.

My parents were very affectionate and told us they loved us all the time, so it's not like I have to go back and find a moment where I knew my parents loved me or anything.


Shortly after I learned how to ride a bike, I was riding my bike on Dorothy Lane in Terryville, Connecticut. We lived on Town Line Road in Bristol, which was, indeed, on the town line. Dorothy Lane ran perpendicular to our street. Our house faced it. We were on the top of Fall Mountain, so it was pretty hilly.

I wasn't allowed to ride on Town Line Road because people drove like assholes on it, so I rode up and down Dorothy Lane, which had a little bit of a hill.

I had one of those bikes that you have to pedal backwards to stop. As I was riding down the hill, I started going so fast that my feet came off the pedals. I started yelping. Just that fast, my father was there. He caught me and my bike just before I crossed onto Town Line Road.

I asked him a year or so ago if he remembered that moment. Of course, he did. I asked him how he got over to me that fast. He had been working on some project in the driveway, heard me yelp, dropped what he was doing and ran over and caught me. He said there was no time to stop and think.

I asked him if he got hurt. Turns out he was sore for days. He basically got hit by a hurtling bike and an accompanying child. It was a giant, metal punch in the entire body.

In the moment, I didn't think this was remarkable at all. Dads swoop in to save the day. That's what dads do. I certainly didn't feel like it was a demonstration of love.

But now, looking back, it's all I can think of. It was a powerful moment I'll remember my whole life.

I love my dad.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Moving on up, to the east side to our deluxe house on Saint James

Our official move date is Sunday. Holy hell. It seems like we've had the house for months and months, what with all the work we've done. But it's only been three weeks since our closing!

We met a very nice man thanks to craigslist* who sanded our floors and basically made them totally beautiful. Joe (that's his name) told us that our floors are not pine, which is what everyone else said they were. Of course, he became intimately acquainted with them in a fashion that no one else did. But it turns out that our floors are hemlock. How about that?

Anyway, our floors will be done tomorrow, and then will need a couple days to mellow, so we're moving in on Sunday.

I'm really pleased about this turn of events because I am about 100% ready for this moving process to be over. I reached a fevered pitch of heart-pounding anxiety tonight. Sunday can't come soon enough.

Today, Scott got a U-Haul and moved a bunch of stuff he can move by himself. I'm gathering a small band of ladies on Saturday to help me with the final packing while Scott is at work. Then Sunday, we'll have a small band of helpers to help with the final big stuff. Then it will be over.

Oh! Hear this excellent news! I found an awesome, awesome dining room set on craigslist for a low price. It's extra fancy and the table extends to eight feet long! Scott and I had just been talking about what we were going to do in our big new dining room. Now we will dine there!

I'm hoping that once we're done with the madness that I will return to blogging about hilarious things. I hope you will bear with me as we get through this crazy time.

Thank you.

* If you're looking for someone to sand your floors, consider Joe. He came in with the best quote and he was just about the nicest person ever. We met a couple total shysters -- one that quoted us fully twice as much as this guy and bellyached about how hard it would be to sand our floors. Joe definitely knew they were hard floors, but he didn't bellyache or try to separate us from any more of our money than his original quote. I can't recommend him highly enough.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Jennifer Myszkowski, home owner

Everyone told me there would be a bunch of signing, that my hand was going to hurt, that it was going to go on and on. Turns out it wasn't so bad. Maybe it's because everyone prepared me so well that it was like a breeze.

Now the real work begins.

You may be interested to know that I didn't cry at all at the closing. I did cry a little bit at the walk-through, but that's because I'm a human. On our way to the walk-through, I had to rush to a nearby Dunkin Donuts to avoid soiling myself from the nerves.

All in all, though, we made it through with flying colors over here. Now we just have to wait for the deed to be filed this afternoon, then we can go pick up our keys (the seller's lawyer is crazy old-school and wouldn't let us have the keys until the filing).

If anyone wants any recommendations for such things as mortgage broker or real estate lawyer, please e-mail me. I'll be glad to pass some names on to you.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Compassion where I least expected it

Scott and I watched American Experience: George H.W. Bush last night and tonight.

To be more precise, Scott watched last night's program while I slept through about ¾ of it. We watched the second and final episode tonight.

I always welcome an opportunity to develop compassion for someone, particularly when it's a person I don't like. I don't often turn up liking them, but I enjoy understanding their point of view a little better.

This program was so well done that I wrote an e-mail to the producers telling them so the moment it was over (about 10 minutes ago) and I'd like to encourage you to see it if you haven't already. Check your local PBS listing for a rebroadcast date.

Of course they glossed over some serious problems with the Bush 41 presidency, and that's to be expected in a piece like this, but they showed him in a very human light -- a light I don't think he ever showed himself in. It was a refreshing change of scenery.

Also, in my head, I've lumped the George Bushes together, but George H.W. was no moron. I have a decidedly different world view, by and large, from him, but he made every move with deep thought and he acted with the courage of his convictions.

Old Dubya acts with the courage of his convictions too, but I don't think he's had a deep thought in his life. They actually showed a photo of Dubya and H.W. together in the oval office and Dubya was smirking and acting a fool and H.W. was super classy.

I suppose this will be no surprise to you, but I was weeping openly at the end of this program, so much so that the Count had to do a little mocking. I can't say I blame him.

Anyway, I recommend you watch this program if you can catch it.

Thank you and good night.

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