Hello interwebs friends.
It's that time. I've enjoyed this blog - meeting some new people and keeping in touch with some of those who are nearest and dearest to me. But its time has come to an end. I've always been a little bit ambivalent about keeping this blog - evidenced by the occasional long hiatuses. There may be another blog in my future, but I'm leaving that to the future. Right now other things are drawing me away, and I'm following.
For some of you, hopefully that will mean more time for phone calls and emails.
For others, I'll see you around the interwebs!
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Hello interwebs friends.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Yesterday I tried to reformat my blog. I feel like I've outgrown my current template, and I was seeing so many other lovely blogs out there. I just wanted to try something new. Three hours; many dysfunctional incarnations of the blog including over-sized headers, overlapping text, and random "flickr" images across the screen; and one vanished blog roll later, I'm back to my same template. I did figure out how to stretch it a little, but before I threw my computer out the window, the babe suggested that I step away for a bit. I did. I came very close to stopping the blog altogether, so I think it's a sign of good things that I was able to open the page and look at it today.
I should be creating a new blog roll soon, so if you would like to be added, please let me know.
Also, if you know something brilliant about changing blog templates, you could let me know about that too. I was trying to use a cool 3-column template from Our Blog Templates. I've seen other blogs with it, so I know that someone knows how to make it work, but it caused me problems, including the random "flickr" image across the back - like behind the posting area.
Anyway, I figure at this point, I should just let it rest for a bit - the cutesy flowers will remain for the meantime.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
My new favorite thing: Breakfast smoothies.
The babe and I have been loving them - introducing all sorts of fun ingredients but sticking with that same basic recipe. We've added in frozen raspberries, ginger, spinach (you can't taste it!), unsweetened apple juice, blueberries, peaches. Yum yum yum.
Second favorite thing: Homemade granola. (Recipe at the bottom!)
The "detox" in general has been going well, though my mom laughed at me today when I told her what we've been eating - You're not really doing a cleanse, are you? Well, perhaps not in the traditional sense, but I'm not going to spend 7 days eating just cabbage soup. I'm still sticking to the goals I set for myself, and I think I'm doing a pretty good job of it, if I do say so myself.
I had a wicked caffeine/sugar withdrawal headache the first night and into the second day, but I just kept drinking more water, and eventually it went away - thank goodness because at one point I did think that my head was actually going to explode. Just goes to show how much my body's gotten used to the caffeine and sugar. While I can't see myself going cold turkey for any extended length of time, I hope this will help me change the balance a little - more water, less caffeine.
I've been loving all the time in the kitchen cooking up yummy healthy vegetarian meals, though I did buy some chicken today at the farmers market for when I'm back to eating meat. We had friends over last night, and I made some delicious whole wheat crust for our veggie pizzas. While the lack of cheese made it difficult for my veggies to hang on to the pizza, it was quite delicious.
Drinking more water has been shockingly challenging - I just forget! But I'm working on it. And I've got plenty of energy for cooking, playing the wii, doing yoga, and bathing the Jamster.
And now, for the homemade granola recipe!
Easy granola recipe
Adapted (ever so slightly) from our dear Vermont ladies' granola
7 cups rolled oats
1 cup each:
toasted unsweetened coconut (I toast it myself)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup oil (I use olive oil)
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Mix all of the ingredients in a pan (maybe two pans) and bake for 3-4 hours, stirring once every hour.
Your house will smell amazing.
Friday, May 21, 2010
In the last month, I have gotten into bed several nights and realized that the only water I consumed that day had been infused with coffee grounds. I've basically been living on caffeine, sugar, cheese, and alcohol. I've been feeling gross and sluggish...and cranky. So I decided that I needed to gently but firmly pull my hand out of the Lucky Charms box and pry my fingers from my coffee mug to get myself back into some good healthy eating.
I wanted a little kick-start - I think in part to accentuate the end of the law school life and the beginning of the not-law school life, whatever that may be. I started by browsing the web for "detox diets," but I had a really hard time finding one that was focused on health and not on weight loss. After struggling with an eating disorder for many years, juice fasts and super calorie restriction plans just don't work for me. So I was delighted to land on a recent (never home) maker post where she made reference to a detox diet that she did earlier in the year. She based her gentle plan loosely on Gwyneth Paltrow's, but with more food - which sounded just right for me!
Using Ashley's and Gwyneth's diets, I created a plan for my own 7-day "detox." The major goal for me is just to reintroduce my body to healthy eating and get rid of some of the junkier stuff that I've been feeding myself. So, first things first: More. Water. I'm trying for the old standard eight glasses per day. Second, more fruit and vegetables. I'm making yummy smoothies for breakfast in the morning (and I'm including the recipe for the first one below), and incorporating more salads and fruits and veggies as snacks. Finally, I'm cutting out some of my....less healthy habits. That means no alcohol, no sugar, no dairy* (except yogurt), no processed foods - including processed grains, and no caffeine (yikes!). Because I'm being very gentle about this, I am going to use natural sweeteners like agave nectar, honey, and maple syrup sparingly.
Those who do real detoxes would likely scoff at mine, but I'm pretty excited about it. After feeling blah for the last few weeks, I'm looking forward to getting back to a happier, healthier me. Starting with some really good food. Add yoga, sleep, crocheting, and novels - I should be as good as new in no time at all.
I loved the smoothie this morning - perfect for summer. The oatmeal in the recipe threw me off at first, but it turned out really great. I just made the oatmeal last night and then threw it in from the fridge this morning. It would also be a nice substitute for bananas in a smoothie if bananas don't work for you.
From Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health
2 cups chopped strawberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup cooked oatmeal
1 cup almond milk (I used unsweetened soy milk because it had fewer additives)
1 tablespoon sweetener (It's optional - I used agave nectar but probably could've done without)
Blend all ingredients until smooth.
Makes 2 servings.
*I don't actually think that dairy is unhealthy - just that it's a good thing to cut out every now and then for a little system cleanse.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Oh interwebs, I have missed you. I would like to say that I was kidnapped and held for ransom, and that's why I haven't been writing. But that would be a lie. The reasons for my absence are no less exciting, though.
1. I FINISHED LAW SCHOOL.
2. After #1, I didn't want to look at my computer anymore.
3. I went to North Carolina, just like last year, and had a ridiculously wonderful time. I tie-dyed. I learned new card games. I engaged in sing-alongs. I drank. I played wiffle ball. I ran through a sprinkler. I played in a pond. I ate tons of yummy food.
4. I also pulled ticks off myself, my beloved, and the Jamster.
5. I worked on my bar application.
6. I GRADUATED.
7. I GRADUATED. (In case you missed it the first time.)
8. I played with my family.
9. I worked on my bar application.
10. I cursed my bar application.
11. I worked on my bar application some more.
12. I MAILED MY BAR APPLICATION.
So now I can breath again and return to the computer and catch up on all of you and possibly clean my apartment.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
After 8 years in DC, I finally made it down to the National Arboretum. All I can say is that I'm ashamed and saddened that I never went before. It was absolutely lovely and incredibly peaceful.
I was tickled by the azalea garden. In the south, EVERYONE has azaleas in their front yard. They're everywhere, and I have never really been a fan at all. They're just sort of messy. The bushes don't have a shape, and when they're not flowering, they're ugly. And the white flowers turn brown really quickly, so there were lots of yards with ugly-shaped bushes with brown flowers on them. Gross.
So I thought it was weird that the National Arboretum had a whole garden devoted to them. But it turns out that the azaleas were in bloom and actually very beautiful. I saw some varieties that I had never seen before, which people in Georgia should maybe think about substituting for the white ones in their collections.
And we loved the dogwood garden - so peaceful. I didn't get very many good pictures, but we thought these two trees had very interesting blooms.
And I enjoyed relaxing on the grass and staring up into the sky.
Then I fell in love with this man.
Probably okay for the babe because I don't actually know who he is. And he's a man. But painting out among the trees? Awesome!
But what was most wonderful, you ask?
The fiddleheads in Fern Valley. I just adore the little whimsical things. A whole frond curled up into those tiny little heads. Love them.
All in all, a completely delightful day in DC.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Tomorrow morning I take my last law school exam ever.*
I'm so deep in my own crankiness that I can't even imagine what it might feel like when I walk away, but here's hoping that it's something good.
*A little anti-climactic because it's pass/fail, but hey, I still have to pass.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
I grew up adoring old movies and television shoes. There were evenings you would have thought that we hadn't moved up to a color television yet, with all of the black and white Lucille Ball and Ginger Rogers and Bing Crosby all over the screen. I loved the shows themselves, but what really drew me in were the clothes. The women were so classy and gorgeous, even the comedians. I longed for that hourglass figure - oh, just give me hips and boobs and please, dear god, a waist! ran through my little 10-year old brain.
My love for splendid clothes expanded - Fanny Brice's gorgeous clothes in Funny Girl, Jane Austen dresses, the bonnets of the Ingalls girls, the voluminous skirts of Deborah Kerr in the King and I, the cleaving bosom of Scarlett O'Hara - oh, how I longed for a cleaving bosom.
No matter what's in fashion at the time, I've always felt that they used to do it better. When I tried out for The King and I my senior year of high school, I wanted to be on stage and sing, but what I really longed for was a good excuse to follow in Deborah Kerr's footsteps and wear one of those awesome dresses. It turned out that I was better suited for the role of Lady Thiang (as well as a white 17-year old can be, I suppose), but no worries - the moment I stepped into the costume shop, I was done for. I got to have 5 costume changes during that show. I was in heaven.
So imagine my delight when I recently discovered some amazing vintage shops while
I should be clear - I'm fashion shy in the day to day. I wear the clothes that happen to be in style at the moment - nothing too fancy or interesting. I'm not the sort of gal who can pull off a 1940s sailor dress while I'm out getting the groceries - hence, the draw of the theatre.
So, here's a request to anyone out there looking to direct a show and set it in the 1940s or 50s*, please cast me in it (preferably as the lead) and let me wear this:
Or this (it's a bathing suit!):
Or please please please, for the love of god, this:
Am I wrong? They just don't make clothes like this anymore, do they?
* In the alternative, someone could host a Halloween party where all of the girls are specifically commanded not to dress like hookers. But that's a whole other post for another day.
Monday, April 26, 2010
The babe and I have a recurring conversation about death - or life - depending on how you look at it. The babe wants to die in her 80s, and I would like someone to come interview me when I'm 110 because I'm the oldest person around. The babe's reasons make sense - she doesn't want to live long enough to see all of her loved ones die, and she doesn't want to be alive when she can't really live anymore.
It's not that I want those things to happen - it's just that I need the time. I cling to stories of people who are bopping around, mowing the lawn and gardening when they're in their 90s. There are so many things that I want to do, and I need all those years if I'm going to get to them all.
There are days when I feel just desperate about the fact that I don't have a garden, not even some herb pots by the window. I wonder how I can dream of having land and a vegetable garden, how I can delightedly buy myself a copy of The Backyard Homestead when I didn't even make it a priority to rent an apartment with a south-facing window.
I'm daily traumatized by the fact that I don't write regularly, that I haven't acted in years, that I'm not in a choir, that I haven't
But then I try to calm myself by remembering back to this post I read a couple of years ago. I don't have to do everything right now - in fact, I can't. Asking myself to start a backyard homestead while starting a job at a large law firm would be like asking the universe to make it snow while it's 95 degrees outside. We can't ask for all four seasons at the same time, but just because it's spring now doesn't mean it will be spring forever.
This is my legal season and realizing that it will not go on forever will allow me to really appreciate it for what it is. Believing that there will be many, many years and many seasons in the future for me to do all of those things that pull on my heart strings helps me in those moments where I feel panicked about the things I'm not doing.
So I'm holding on to all of my dreams and desires and counting on the fact that I'll be around here long enough for their seasons to come.
Friday, April 23, 2010
We are so very close to the end here. The babe's last final is today, and I have one more next Friday - pass/fail, though, so I'm feeling pretty relaxed about it.
As we spend our final days in law school, there's much talk of jobs - who has one, who doesn't, who has decided to forgo legal employment entirely. I feel very very lucky to have a legal job for the coming year (even if I don't know the actual date I will begin), but so many of my friends do not have jobs and are struggling with the fact that everything after the bar seems to be a complete unknown.
When the law school rankings came out last week, the babe and I were shocked by the employment numbers. With the financial meltdown and rampant layoffs and deferred hiring and law firm closings of last year, we were shocked to see such high employment numbers. Something just seems...off. I don't know how the numbers are crunched, but I'm skeptical.
I was glad to read this article about two students who are creating a non-profit organization - and website - to address the lack of detailed, reliable employment information for legal students. I think what they're doing is so incredibly important. For most students, law school involves a huge amount of debt. In the past, many students have gone into law school under the assumption that they would leave with a "good-paying" job that would help them pay off that debt. Students choosing to enter law school now need to understand what their real chances are of finding employment and what types of employment are available and probable out there. Hopefully these numbers will help encourage more students to think carefully about the financial decision that they're making.
The recommendation that I see so often for students to go to the best school that they can get into isn't always the smart financial choice, particularly in a job market where there may not be a salary after graduation to pay off all that debt. Sometimes the smarter choice is to go to a lower-ranked school where they can get a scholarship, or go part-time and work, or it might even be to decide that law school actually isn't the best choice in the end.
I'm excited to see some people addressing the issue, and I'm hopeful for this new crop of would-be lawyers.