Moving RIGHT along.
I don't know what's going on here, but my classified ads for various kitchenwares are finally taking off. To the same person. True story, this lady took my cake and tart pans, my oval bakers of varying sizes, and my pie plate. All at different times. It's possible I'm on speed dial at this point as "EX Crazy Pampered Chef Hoarder." Anyway, she seems thrilled, and I certainly am because it's always heartening to see things move out the door. Eric's office looks normal again (that is to say, cluttered with only his home-brewing gear) and my reading retreat looks almost inviting. Almost. I've been bad about letting general clutter get the best of me again. (Like: What am I supposed to do with the bath salts Johanna gave me for Mother's Day as part of a class project? I appreciate the thought, and she's so excited about me taking a "relaxing bath," but... I don't fit in our bathtub. I'm 6' tall, people! I don't fit anywhere! But I can't toss these things for obvious reasons. And that's only one small part of the whole ordeal... Getting overwhelmed again, thinking happy thoughts, happy thoughts are stupid, where's the coffee?)
Anyway, between the rummage sale (sorry, last time I'll mention it) and the ads, my mental health has greatly improved. I can see the finish line. Except it keeps moving, which seems reasonable, actually, so that's cool. We're getting there is what I'm saying.
Also: 19 days and counting until the big 4-1. I am in no way as emotionally distressed as I was last year at this time. It's like, 41? BRING IT. So that's an improvement. I feel like maybe I should have something else to say about this, but I really don't.
Pointless list time!
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. True story, I read this as a REAL book and not on my beloved Kindle because my brother-in-law lent it to me and I was like, well, I guess I should read it, then. Real books are weird. Anyway, great book, easy read, Enzo the Dog is awesome--he's the narrator, as it were. It's not exactly light reading, and bad things happen all over the place, but Enzo just does what he needs to do and helps his people as best he can. Recommend!
The lettuce and spinach are completely overwhelming at this point, which is kind of awesome. We're eating a lot of salad is what I'm saying. The basil is doing okay, and I've managed to make a couple recipes of pesto (although, disclaimer, one was because I broke down and bought basil at the farmers' market). Eric had us all out in the garden weeding as a "family activity," and the good news is that my pessimism went unrewarded and we didn't get killed by lightening*. Also: The onions, carrots, zucchini, tomatoes and cilantro are looking good, the blackberry bushes are loaded, we've picked three huge bowls of raspberries so far and have barely been able to stay on top of that situation. Time for jam.
So that's been fun. Um, except for the weeding, but I do what I can to set a good example. Sometimes. Plus, I really want the carrots to grow.
Check this out:
My Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler Daughter. Quinoa and her friends might be imaginary, but they are fabulous.
Things I've learned:
When you start making iced coffee and vanilla syrup at home, you tend to get a little spoiled. Because what I put together in my kitchen tastes way better than what I buy at the coffee shop. I have not quite figured out my iced coffee limit, however, which may or may not explain why I'm fairly jittery these days. Also, I'm on my eighth batch of each. (Just kidding. I'm only on number seven.)
P.S. Abby is a big fan of fancy-pants peppermint mochas. Let's just say that with my coffee base, a quart of organic chocolate milk (which is apparently made with pure gold and the blood of innocents for the price of the thing), and a homemade mint extract (more on that next month), she's been a very happy camper. Unforeseen benefit: For the price of the chocolate milk, she can have a week's worth of mochas instead of one drink at the coffee shop. My wallet thanks her.
Also, wow, you guys liked the Minimalist Christmas post. My husband's family has been doing something similar to this for years--we call it the Christmas House--with all 24 (soon to be 25) of us pooling our funds and renting a house and pretty much just hanging out together for like three straight days. It's awesome. And a good alternative for those who don't care for excessive driving, which my side of the family is generally immune to.
*FINE, there wasn't any lightening at all. Who cares, it's totally a threat, I've seen 20/20!