Wednesday, July 30, 2008

On the blackboard

I will stop being whiny.
I will stop being whiny.
I will stop being whiny.
I will...

It's just whine, whine, whine here lately, isn't it? Thank you to everyone for your kind comments. It's a bit of a tough time, but I think there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Not to mention so many good things that I could focus on. My car wouldn't start because the crunched-up trunk was preventing a light from being turned off, so once we figured that out, it was easy to disconnect it. I also am able to drive my husband's car, so I don't need a rental (it turns out driving stick is like riding a bicycle. Although I'm not sure I remember how to ride a bicycle...). Our insurance company is awesome and will reimburse us for the deductible for getting the car fixed--it's in the shop now. String Bean, cookies aren't necessary, but always appreciated :) Amy, I wish there was ice cream delivery. When I lived in Chicago, there was a restaurant that delivered that had Ben & Jerry's on the menu. I can't even remember what cuisine it was, but I remember they had ice cream!

Lilah is a terrific source of entertainment. Here is a little piece of artwork I call "Dog Chauffeurs a Penguin (in Little People toys and plush)":

Knitting: I've gone back and forth on the Knitting Olympics. I participated in the official Knitting Olympics during the last Winter Games and really enjoyed it. I chose a difficult (for me) pattern, and I actually finished within the allotted time. However. I now have a toddler and not much free time. I haven't been as into challenging myself recently, and my priorities are different--I can't just tell Lilah to wait a couple of weeks for whatever she needs. I may choose something simple and try just to finish it, but I'm not sure that fits the Olympic spirit, so I may just cheer others on. I have a sock yarn inventory to conduct so I can pick a new sock project. I'll post a picture when I get to it. It was overcast all day, so I didn't have good light. I've decided I don't have to finish the tiger sock before starting a new pair. Knitting is supposed to be fun and relaxing for me, and not add to my stress. Hmmm...maybe I should make "finish tiger sock" an Olympic goal (though it won't follow the rules, which require starting and finishing during the Olympics). Still, it would be a challenge for me, and maybe I could use the Olympics to get that finished so it's not hanging over my head.

Reading: Lots of good reading. I'm going to send you to On My Bookshelf for reviews again. Is that okay? I figure anyone interested in my reviews can see them all there, and the rest of you never need know they exist. It just seems silly to cut-and-paste them, and they take up so much room. I just finished a wonderful little book, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, an epistolary novel set just after World War !!, in which a writer begins corresponding (by chance) with several residents of Guernsey, which was occupied by Germany and completely cut off from the rest of the world. The unlikely group forms a literary society to get out of punishment for a curfew violation, and the book reflects on what reading means to people and how a chance encounter can change your life. I found it deeply moving, but also very funny. I knew nothing about the Guernsey occupation, so the history was very interesting (parts heartbreaking, parts uplifting). I will write a full review on On My Bookshelf, but I wanted to mention it now so that you can all order it immediately :) I should also mention The Joy of Spooking by P. J. Bracegirdle, which I did review on On My Bookshelf--it's a delightful children's book in the tradition of classic horror, from the Tim Burton-ish cover design to its delightfully devilish villain. I had a blast reading it.

Writing: Not a thing. I'm trying not to give up hope.

Cooking: Not much. It's been hot and we've had all these things to deal with lately. The night after my car wouldn't start, I threw together an impromptu pasta sauce with some squash from a friend's garden, and it was really nice. If I had gone to the store earlier in the day (instead of being trapped by the lack of a car), I never would have come up with it! If I were to make it again, I think I'd kick up the lemon and skip the tomatoes. And if I'd had it, a splash of cream would have been very nice. And some fresh herbs.

Summer Squash Pasta

2 TBL olive oil
1 medium onion, trimmed and sliced vertically
2 medium to large summer squash (I used yellow)
1 can diced tomatoes, drained (14.5 oz.)
1 cup green peas, fresh or frozen (thawed)
Juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound fettuccine, cooked according to package directions

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion; cook until translucent. Add the squash and cook until it begins to brown. Add tomatoes, peas, and lemon. Reduce heat to low and cook until vegetables are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss with fettuccine and serve with parmesan cheese.


YarnThrower said...

I love the "art," but especially the title for it!

It's okay to whine sometimes. In the thick of it, you were still able to invent a new meal, so your clear problem solving skills are coming through big and bold in the midst of adversity. (This is something I'm constantly challenging my kids to do, with somewhat limited, though growing, success....)

There are times I just wish my mom was on the premises with me to handle all of the stressful stuff, just like she did when I was growing up. The first time my oldest son threw up all over his room, I took one look at the mess and then realized that my mom doesn't live here, so it was up to me to take care of it. I think I'm digressing... In any case, it's okay to whine once in a while!!

Good luck with your Olympics decision. I am also tempted by it, though I agree about the whole stress thing, and if I sign up for the Olympics, my bathrooms will never get cleaned...

Amy said...

First: great recipe. I'm trying to be more inventive with the fresh veggie recipes, since I've gone veggie and cut out the meat. This is inspiring. I'll pretend my car conked out and see what I can come up with from my cupboards (and whatever's left from the last trip to the farmer's market).

Hmmmm. Knitting Olympics - I'd thought about this before but it had fallen off the radar again. Never done it - maybe I should forget about cleaning the bathrooms for a few weeks and just go for it. To plunge or not to plunge...must decide soon!

Stefaneener said...

Not whining is a good thing, but being really compassionate with yourself is also good. Even in my worst days here, it's not like the early days with just one kid. It was intense and hard and just turned me inside out.

Knitting is supposed to be fun, our lives will come back to us some day, and all will be well. It's just hard. Fall is coming!