Sunday, June 26, 2011

Homeward Bound

The past few days have been exhausting.

Last Wednesday night I had to throw away any remaining food in my house because the electricity was going to be shut off and it would not be a nice gesture for the new tenant to smell a rotting stench. I felt bad as I threw away each item, knowing my Gramma must have been tossing and turning in her sleep. I think the worst was throwing the fresh garlic cloves away. I guess I could have taken them but if I had to pack one more thing, my mind was going to explode. Adieu ajo, adieu.

Thursday - The big day. We had cleverly decided to just sleep in our empty house, on our laminate floor complete with 1 queen sized comforter. I think Baby Sagittarius was the only one who caught some real z's and I was glad. I think it was the worst night ever; we went to bed at 10pm and woke up at 3. Even if it was the worst, it was only for 5 hours. After loading the very last item into our U-haul, I wanted to scan the house and look for any remaining items. In reality though, I think I wanted to stall so I decided not to. My little house, how I miss you and your faulty foundation.

We hit the road in high spirits. We drove past the halfway mark and stayed the night in a tiny town which would make the next day's travel loads easier. By day two, Baby Sagittarius hated the car seat. Poor girl. I am very happy that I convinced Mechanic Hubby to buy the portable DVD player. Yup, we can watch Tangled again and again as long as baby is happy and not screaming her head off. Once we got to the hotel, we ordered a pizza and it was lights out. Other than the screaming drunk lady convincing her friends that she was okay to drive; demanding her license, it was a restful night. I hope that poor drunk girl slept it off in her car.

Friday - We were up by 4am and left the hotel by 5. We made a quick stop for breakfast and then we made it to our destination by 10:30 am. I found myself making suggestions on how to improve our trip back home, my mind had not wrapped around the fact that this trip was one way only.

It's been nice to see my in-laws but its been so busy, I haven't seen my side of the family yet. I'm sure it'll be a series of late nights and laughter. Can't wait.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

True Nerd, Even In My Dreams

So last night I had a cool dream that turned into a nightmare.

I guess I'm pretty excited about the last Harry Potter film, or my subconscious is anyway. I dreamed that I was at a modern day high school and there were flyers everywhere warning us about the return of Lord Voldemort. The pictures on the flyers moved, just like they would in the movie. I thought myself super awesome once I realized I was a witch with a super cool wand.

Then it turned dark. Literally, the clouds came in and hung over the school.

I felt a strong sense of fear. Then chaos hit. Buildings were exploding and people were running around injured and screaming. There were muggles, witches, wizards, squibs, and even goblins running for their lives. There was a guy dressed up as Voldermort but then I saw the real him in disguise. I wanted to take him out but I couldn't think of a single spell. It's like when you're in a dream and you want to run but you can't.

I was suddenly at my tiny house and my husband is boarding up the windows and I brace myself as I see Voldemort appear after the last nail goes in to board up the last window.

Then I wake up.

I had to laugh because as silly as the dream was, I remember being scared of this fictional wizard as my dream progressed.

As I go to bed tonight, I wonder "what dreams may come."

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Labor of Love

As most of you who read my blog know, I love to cook. I wish I had more time to experiment with flavors and new ingredients but I would also like to refine what I know. I've tinkered with the idea of going to school for it but its too pricey for something I don't want as a career. I just want to pick up skills.

Within the last month, I've been given the opportunity to provide a dinner for some of the families at church. I'm pretty sure all of the dinners I made were Mexican-esque dishes with slow simmering sauces or fresh fried tostadas or homemade salsas. Each of them were a little different but mostly using the same ingredients. After we came home from delivering the meals, I could smell rich flavors wafting in the air, coming from my kitchen. Sometimes I feel like I'm under pressure (great song) because once I contact the family, letting them know I'll be making them dinner, they express how excited they are. I'm not trying to toot my own horn here, I get stressed out and start over-thinking and over-tasting every single element. Is the salsa too hot? Maybe I should have used just one jalapeno (it's hard to tell if one is super spicy until it's used). I guess I'll have to whip that avocado with sour cream using the stick blender because its not ripe yet. Oh yes, avocado cream with cilantro and lime juice and a dash of salt. Why doesn't my grocery store carry tomatillos all the time?!? Did I strain the sauce enough? How did the rice not cook? How is that possible? I hope they're not allergic to chorizo for some reason.

Once it's all done and I take the dinner to a smiling face though, the stress is gone. Mechanic Hubby notices the hard work and says, "Let's pick up dinner tonight." I relax, leave the dishes for the next day and enjoy watching a kid movie. These opportunities help me grow as a home cook. It helps me test my cooking ability and look for improvement. I have to say though, when cooking for someone else, it always comes out the best.

Can't wait to go home and cook for my family back home, I've learned a lot!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Kind Of Like Dark Chocolate

I have to admit I feel kind of silly about writing this post now.

Back in January I wrote a post about how the only constant was change and that I hated change and then nothing happened. Nothing changed at all. Didn't I feel like a dork.

So now there are changes but not really. My little family and I relocated 1,000 miles away from our immediate families a little over 2 years ago. I told myself before we left that I would not make friends and I would hate this place because we're only going to be here for two years anyway. I pretty much reprized my role from my early teen years called, "Raven's going to hate anyone her mother dates because no one can replace her father." I was a bratty little snot.

What I did not factor in my "I hate everyone and this place" campaign was that the people here made it really hard to hate them. People smile, wave, genuinely care about how you are and invite you over for dinner. Middle America, who knew? Middle Americans probably. My crusade of hate ended as soon as we got here. If I had stayed with that mindset it would have made living here miserable and that's not fair for my husband or my daughter.

I let myself make friends.....which turned out to be really good friends. Friends that might know a little too much about yourself. Friends that can sense how you are doing, not needing to ask. Leaving is going to suck.

I'm having mixed emotions about going back "home." We've had a fun adventure being away with a lot of high points and some not so fun low points but we made it okay. Maybe I'm having a hard time because we made our family life out here on our own. I like our early evening strolls down our quiet street, the local farmer's market, hearing the faint sound of jazz occasionally from the jazz bar down the street, and getting to know our neighbors. Okay so maybe living in a metropolitan area will bring more concerts, art walks and other things that interest my husband and I but I have really enjoyed this slower paced lifestyle. I am very happy to have experienced living in a town whose motto is "A great place to grow."

So leaving this magical little place that is full of nature, good people, bugs I've never seen and erratic weather is kind of like dark chocolate - bittersweet.

21 more days to go.