Monthly Archives: December 2008

Year-End Review/New Year Preview

I’m not a resolutions type person, but on the first day of 2008, I took stock and thought about what I wanted out of the year.

Here is that list with comments in bold:

  • Buy a house. I’m sick of apartments. Fortunately, my cigarette- and pot-smoking, loud-talking, door-banging downstairs landlady and her loud-and-constantly yawning and spitting boyfriend have kicked my need-to-buy-a-house ass into gear. CHECK! DONE!
  • Cook at least one meal a week that uses only locally produced food items. This will be easier when I can grow my own little garden, which means I need a house. CHECK. With Fair Shares, we have many all – or nearly all – local meals.
  • Recommit to recycling at home. Since St. Louis doesn’t have curbside recycling pick up for everyone, I’ve become lazy about recycling. This is my dirty little secret. Fortunately, when it’s just me living here, I don’t have much recycling waste. But, anyway, we bought a recycling receptacle yesterday, and I looked up the guidelines for the drop-off recycling locations. My biggest waste is vegetable and fruit matter. When I buy a house, I’ll be able to start composting. RECYCLING – CHECK! COMPOSTING – NEARLY CHECK. I hate to admit it, but I fell off the worm bin composting. BUT, we will set up an outside compost thingie in the next couple of months.
  • Replace current cleaning products with ecologically sound ones once current products are gone. GOOD PROGRESS. Our laundry detergent is always biodegradable now. In terms of cleaning supplies, we’ve switched to “greener” ones, but I really want to buy some of the locally made, non-toxic cleaning supplies available at Local Harvest. Sometimes I use borax and a lemon to clean, but not nearly enough. Porkchop didn’t like the biodegradable dishwasher detergent, so now we’re using one that doesn’t contain phosphates (good, but I think it’s still bad).
  • Knit garments beyond hats and scarves and hand mitts. On my way with the Tilted Duster. CHECK! Tilted Duster done, and I’m nearly finished with my February Lady Sweater.

These are my ideas for 2009:

  • Plant my own vegetable garden! I shared a garden last year, and while it was fun, I wasn’t able to tend it very well and my tomatoes didn’t do so hot. But we did have lots of chard. Too much chard. Porkchop and I made a list of plants (no chard) and supplies for our backyard garden, and I’m quite excited.
  • Can my own food! A friend of ours in Massachusetts (yes, you E Buz) has inspired me with her canning. For Christmas, I received the Ball Book of Home Preserving, and I can’t wait to start.
  • Figure out my career. Really, I need to formulate some sort of plan for growth.
  • House maintenance: paint inside, paint the foundation, finish the drylocking in the basement, put up that additional downspout, fix up the backyard….this list could get quite long.
  • Learn how to knit Fair Isle-style. It is so time to do this.
  • Do more baking! I’ve fallen behind this past year sadly.
  • Secret project with Porkchop. Maybe more details later.

My motto for the coming year is “2009: Making it Mine.” You can use this, too, if you like.

Happy New Year’s Eve!

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My Favorite Thing Today

I am back at work and bored out of my mind.

Oh, there’s a lot to be done with building out our new website, but I don’t feel in the mood to write queries.

So I’m distracting myself with the green raisins in Trader Joe’s Trekking the Himalayas nut mix.

I don’t know how on earth these green raisins are so freaking good, but they are one of the best things ever.

All for now…

It’s a Time to be Thankful, But…

I don’t want to complain about Christmas presents, but someone has to stop my sister.

For the past five years or so, our routine has been that my sister buys used clothing for us from a consignment or Goodwill shop (or simply plucks them from her closet), gives them to us as presents, and then we return them to our local Goodwill.

I’m tired of it for real.

This year featured a leather shirt with ruffles. Not only is it absolutely diametric from my personal clothing style, but it’s a size or two too small.


I also received this snakeskin-print Guess shirt:


Unfortunately, I’m not into snakeskin-printed clothing.

There was more clothing, including this Western-inspired shirt given to both Porkchop and me. Size it’s a Size One, neither of us can squeeze into it. Otherwise, I’d be sure to rock it around town.


Moving on…every couple of years, my parents like to give hats to me and Porkchop. Unlike other years, the ones we received this year are not twins. They are, however, in a similar style. Because we like to coordinate all the time, obviously.


Ah well, we did receive some lovely gifts. Maybe I’ll write about those tomorrow.

Hope you are enjoying the holidays!

FU UO

Isn’t it weird that a store selling Jesus action figures and loads of stuff about doing drugs and drinking and having sex draws the line at selling pro same-sex marriage t-shirts?

While the right-wing owner of Urban Outfitters has no qualms about selling all sorts of useless and tasteless crap, apparently making a profit while supporting the queers is just too much.

I’ve purchased a few things from Urban Outfitters in the past…but no more!

Oh, and keep in mind that the same guy owns Anthropologie…so don’t shop there either.

With Legs Afire

Oh my gosh, I broke out some step aerobics this weekend after not touching my step for about six months.

And my calves HURT…hurt as in I wake up in pain. When I was in down dog last night, my heels weren’t even close to the floor, and pedaling them out was an ordeal.

It wouldn’t be so bad, but I don’t really have time to hobble around. Things are BUSY!

Besides injuring myself, this weekend was full of cleaning, cooking, knitting, and socializing. Sunday night, Porkchop and I made a super tasty dinner for Suzi and her boyfriend. We cooked up porkchops with black walnuts and apples, buttermilk mashed potatoes, and caramelized butternut squash. Yum!

After dinner, we convened a meeting of the Unofficial Gatlinburg Activities Committee. We and a few others leave on a little trip Thursday night! We’re going to hang out in a cabin outside of Gatlinburg for a few days. And when I say “cabin,” I mean a 3-story affair with fireplaces, a hot tub, and a pool table. We might take a trip to an aquarium, go snow tubing, and perhaps hiking, but hopefully there will be lots of lounging about in the cabin knitting and playing Scrabble.

I just have to decide what to take for knitting. I don’t want to haul along my February Lady (which is just missing one sleeve) because it’s too big, and what if the airport security people are asses and take away my knitting? I recently started a Spring Beret (Ravelry link), but I imagine I’ll finish it before the trip. Hmmm…what to take, what to take.

Have a great Tuesday!

What was He THINKING?

I had my hair cut last night after a month of forgetting to make an appointment (and when I did make one, I felt like crap on the day of the appointment and canceled).

Things looked okay at the salon, but when I looked in the mirror a few hours after arriving home, I exclaimed to Porkchop that it looks like my hair was cut with a bike chain.

It looks like my hair got caught in something, resulting in one of those bad emergency haircuts with a pair of dull scissors.

Blech.

So, anyway, back to finding a different stylist. This was only my second session with this guy, so I don’t feel bad at all about ditching him.

My Thanksgiving Break

The long weekend ended with this:

Snow! Today! (Yes, that’s our house. And yes, we have two front doors. And yep, the neighbor’s house is just like ours.)

The long weekend began Wednesday night when we drove down to Jonesboro and stayed with my dad. The next day, we three drove down to Little Rock to my brother’s apartment. There, we met up with my mom and sister, who had driven down the day before. Since my brother was on call (tech support) on Thanksgiving, we stayed around his apartment and had a Honeybaked Ham Thanksgiving. Not bad, but not the best thing ever.

After lunch, we explored the area around his apartment a bit. He lives near downtown Little Rock and is quite close to the Arkansas River. A short walk beyond his apartment complex led us down to the river bank.

I walked along the river with a bamboo stick for a while. Because that’s how I like to have fun. You can see downtown Little Rock in this photo:

Porkchop and me by the river:


Later in the afternoon, we went down to a lock and dam and walked across the river via a pedestrian bridge. Here’s Porkchop at the midway point:


Thursday night, Porkchop and I shared a hotel room with my sister, who drove us a bit crazy. (And kept me awake until 2 am with her restless activity and midnight texting. Seriously.)

So, Friday morning we were tired heads, but we persevered and made chocolate gravy. After a breakfast of sugar and bread, we went to the Clinton library and an art museum. The library is very well done, and I wish I could have stayed there the whole day. Visiting the library of course reminded me of how well things were going at the end of the Clinton administration (job creation! a balanced budget!) and how the current administration made things into a dung heap. [Then, when I became depressed, I remembered how excited I’ve been feeling about the upcoming administration change. I can’t wait to feel like an American again! I’ve been so disillusioned and disheartened for the past 8 years, I can’t remember what it’s like to say with pride that I’m from the US. Anyway…end tangent.]

Porkchop and I were both impressed with Little Rock – with the downtown, anyway. There are lots of little restaurants and shops, and it seems so friendly and accessible. And there’s a trolley! And bike trails and at least two pedestrian bridges.

Friday night, we dined at Cajun’s Wharf. Unfortunately, I wasn’t hungry enough for a big dinner, but the gumbo was good. Next time, the grouper is mine!

My dad, Porkchop, and I returned to Jonesboro Friday night. Porkchop and I had to hit the road early to meet Porkchop’s parents in St. Louis Saturday afternoon. Why did we have to meet them? Because of this little guy:

Oliver!

Oliver spent the night with us Saturday night, and Porkchop was beside herself with excitement.

Sunday evening came too early for Porkchop, as that’s when we returned Oliver to his people.

Also on Sunday evening, we had an awesome dinner cooked by Porkchop’s brother and sister-in-law. We had the juiciest, pomegranate-glazed turkey; sweet potato casserole; Swiss chard with pecans; a stuffing of pancetta, cherries, and goat cheese; mashed potatoes; and fruit tarts for dessert. We also played a lot of SingStar (well, I only participated in 3 songs…I listened to many more!).

And that brings us back to today! I had a dental appointment in the morning (yay! no cavities!), and I went to a chocolate tasting in the evening. My CSA sponsored a tasting with the owner of Kakao. The owner explained various processes to us, and we tasted a few truffles (a vanilla-dark chocolate one, a chai flavored one, and one made with Maker’s Mark bourbon), caramels, dragees, and toffee. I also purchased some spicy hot chocolate, which I can’t wait to taste.

Have a good week!

A Sad Trend

Independent restaurants in St. Louis are slowly starting to shutter due to the “economic downturn.”

The latest one is the Pitted Olive on Hampton.

The Pitted Olive was damn good, and I’m sad to see it close. Obviously, we didn’t eat there enough (apparently, thinking about their food doesn’t cut it…I was just recently thinking about their yummy pommes frites).

So much sadness for these independent restaurant owners…