Home - is where I want to be / But I guess I'm already there /I come home -
she lifted up her wings /
Guess that this must be the place...
- Talking Heads, "Naive Melody"

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Goal Roundup: June

Well, that went by in a blur--as expected. It was a busy month, to say the very least.
  • Financial: The savings account is expected to suffer as we put the initial payment on the new apartment, replace some furniture, and prepare for Baby. On the other hand, we may be credit card-free by the end of the year, which would be pretty awesome.
  • Health: Travel and illness interfered in the first two weeks. Since then, back to walking in the morning when I'm in the office.
  • Food: See above. Too busy and/or exhausted to do any real planning or much cooking worthy of the name. All of my bakeware is now packed. It will be August before things settle back down in that realm. Not expecting much from myself until after Baby.
  • Reading: Interesting Times, Lords and Ladies (both while sick); All Things Bright and Beautiful (reread from a long long time ago). Nearly all of our books are packed, but I left out a few just in case.
  • Writing: Have added a few lines of dialog to the current scene, but otherwise this has been sorely neglected as I try to get things done at work.
  • Birthdays: Missed my grandmother's. Bad. :( 
So not great, but not unexpected; moving and baby-growing are tiring activities. We'll be spending July packing and then doing the move, so I may not even bother with the tracking.

Right now, I really want to lie down and take a nap somewhere. If only.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Chicken with Kale and Wild Mushrooms

Yesterday we packed up the cookbooks, and most of the metal bakeware (the cookie cutter collection may need its own box...). It was a long, tiring day, fraught with annoyance over the past week's unreliable--meaning mostly absent--hot water supply and our landlord's efforts to get it fixed. The kids are watching a lot of TV these days while we pack. I was happy to get out for an hour by myself and visit the grocery store, where I bought a bunch of veggies and things pretty randomly. I already had chard from the Thursday market, and I was thinking vaguely of mushrooms. I came home and plugged search terms into Google and came up with this:

Chicken with Kale and Wild Mushroms

One thing about getting more experienced is that I rely a lot less on recipes than I used to. Which is not to say that I don't use them, but rather that I am better now at identifying the places where it's possible to go a slightly different route and still get to an acceptable place. I wasn't about to blanch my greens separately (for one thing, we were running out of clean pans) when I could throw them on the mushrooms for a minute. We don't have any decent wine right now, but a sauce of all chicken broth would do all right.

The one thing I forgot was the lemon juice, which probably would have helped; I found the flavor a little dull. Next time I might try throwing in some herbs, too. It wasn't a particularly ambitious meal, but it's the first we've had in a while that wasn't takeout or put together in a state of advanced exhaustion after a bad commute.

Come Tuesday I'll be 25 weeks along with Baby To Be Named Later, who has already developed a nice strong kick. Three of those weeks will be consumed by preparing to move, much of the next month by settling in to the new place, and then school for our newly minted first grader. October will be here before we know it.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Big Step

The first major item on the summer checklist has been resolved: We have a new apartment! Signed the lease last night on a lovely place in Medford. We'll be moving next month, and I hope we'll be happy there.

Regardless, it's a major load off my mind to have it reduced to the relatively simple logistical problems of the actual move. This is much better than the major strategic decisions--not to mention the physically exhausting process of tracking down agents, locking down appointments, and driving hither and yon to see the places. It's exciting to be able to look at a calendar and say, "In X days I will be free of this commute." We told our current landlord that we're going to be leaving; a little sad after all these years, but our family is about to outgrow the place--it could be argued that we already have--and I'm more than ready to be done with the drive.

The farmers markets are open here at last, but my company's policy on working at home has changed somewhat, so I'm not sure if or when I'll make it to the Worcester market, in between everything else. I have been stopping by the one near the office, but there's a limit to what I can buy there without going into serious advance prep with coolers and such. I look forward to learning more about the markets in our new town!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Trials and Tribulations

This has been one of those periods in which the good things arrived sandwiched between the really unpleasant.

It started nearly two weeks ago, on Sunday, when we were supposed to drive into the city to look at a few apartments. Every single appointment ended up canceled or postponed until Tuesday. On Tuesday I went to the office early so I could head out and see the two places I had managed to reschedule. After spending twenty minutes stuck in an inexplicable traffic stoppage, I found that the first was in appalling condition and the second, despite being a duplex, was actually smaller than our current apartment.

Then I got lost trying to get to the highway. Did I mention that it was raining? I found myself thinking that maybe we should just stay put after all, forget the whole idea of moving.

The following morning we set out to visit my family in Pennsylvania. The trip itself went fine; everything was lovely and the kids behaved themselves to an astonishing degree. On Thursday we went to Presque Isle in the morning, then out for dinner with my grandparents (Olive Garden--Erie doesn't offer a lot of options). It was at about 2:30 the following morning that things really and truly went south, as I woke up with a vague feeling of all not being well. By 5:00 it was unequivocally established that I was ill (I blamed the restaurant, but later events seem to have cleared them). I spent the day on the couch with a can of ginger ale, package of saltines, and a Terry Pratchett novel while D* and my mom took the kids out.

Saturday I seemed to be improved, so we headed down to our college reunion. Had a lovely time, though I was very tired; it was nice to see people, to gripe about the changes made to the campus (and those that should have happened, but haven't). Around 9 that night I either relapsed or went into a delayed Stage 2 of the bug. Bad night. Sunday I was still a mess, and we had to drive down to Butler to see my seldom-visited paternal grandmother. I sat in the living room with my Gatorade while everyone else ate lunch, unable to contemplate the smell of anything edible. Then we continued on to Pittsburgh.

On arriving in the hotel parking lot, JJ threw up. The temptation was strong to turn around and head back to my mother's place and thence home, but having tossed his milk he seemed chipper enough, so we decided to see how the night went. D* took them out to a nearby park while I rested. JJ threw up once more, and so did I, before bedtime, but the night passed uneventfully after that, and in the morning everyone seemed to be doing okay. We went to the zoo as planned and had a fine old time of it, started our homeward trip that afternoon, enjoyed a lovely night's stay in Buffalo (and how often do you hear that?), and enjoyed an uneventful drive on Tuesday. I kept exclaiming delightedly about feeling more or less normal again.

Wednesday, JJ vomited again, but again it seemed to be an isolated incident, and it was hard to say whether he was really sick or just having some aftereffect of all the travel and excitement. Then our remaining cat, Jasper, was acting a little odd in the afternoon, and seemed to be having some trouble walking when he got up from a nap, so I made an appointment for him and blew a bunch of money on blood tests that showed nothing wrong that we didn't know about.

Thursday, JJ seemed to be more clearly under the weather. The cat seemed to be fine. I went to my OB/GYN appointment; I haven't gained much weight with this pregnancy yet, but I started off with some to spare, and the baby appears to have weathered my little gastro-intestinal adventure handily.

Friday, 4:30 a.m., L asked for a drink of water, and two minutes later was heaving.

Needless to say, I hope, I haven't been doing much cooking, and indeed food of any kind has not played much of a role for most of us in the past week. Still, the farmer's markets are opening, and in a fit of optimism, I am nevertheless making appointments for more apartment viewings this weekend. Sooner or later, things have to start going better.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Goal Roundup: May

Not the best month for this stuff--way too much going on. Still, here's the progress: 
  • Financial: Lost some ground, think we're back on track now. 
  • Health: Missed a couple due to schedule problems.. Walking outside when the weather is nice, walking on the treadmill. Only gained 2 pounds at my OB checkup, so must be doing okay there 
  • Food: Sans inspiration, sans energy. The few new recipes I've tried haven't turned out well. It's been a T&T month for us.  
  • Reading: The Great Divorce (new), Before They Are Hanged (new), The Truth (reread), Going Postal (reread), Making Money (reread). Literary comfort food to go with the literal. 
  • Writing: Done through Chap 13, I think. Got some more crits on the first four chapters, mostly minor stuff. Struggling with lack of time/energy as work is really heating up. 
  • Birthdays: One birthday observed
Apartment-hunting is consuming a lot of time and energy and so far has produced absolutely nothing. Still, I started packing anyway. Being 21 weeks pregnant is taking up the rest of the energy.