Thursday, May 31, 2012

Meatballs

What I made yesterday (with spaghetti, of course). I always make a half batch because I forget to thaw 2 pounds of beef. And I have a small family.

Meatballs

2 lb hamburger
4 eggs
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Italian seasoning
¾ cup Italian bread crumbs

Combine well. Shape into medium-sized balls (about 40), place on cookie sheet, and bake
at 350ยบ for about 20 minutes.

Makes 12 servings

If you don't have Italian bread crumbs, use plain and then add an extra teaspoon or two of Italian seasoning.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

In which I pay $0 for sanity

Remember when I posted about how having to handwash the dishes was ruining my life?

On Sunday, we noticed that the drain on one side of the sink was clogged up. After some experimentation, we realized that we could use the right side of the sink but not the left side (where the garbage disposal is) or the dishwasher. WOE.

Our poor landlord apparently came back from vacation yesterday evening to find that he had a long list of plumbing issues from his various rental properties. Since we didn't have a main sewer line flooding our apartment like some people, we kind of got bumped down the list.

Tonight, though, the landlord was able to come by and unclog the drain.

I never thought listening to my obnoxiously loud dishwasher would be so soothing.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Seven Quick Saturday Takes


--- 1 ---
I always think it'll work better to start a Quick Takes post on Tuesday or so, because then I will be able to write down random things as I think of them rather than having to cudgel my brain for 7 of them all at the same time.

Turns out, you have to actually WRITE THE THINGS DOWN as you think of them. Otherwise you find yourself on Saturday morning trying to write a Quick Takes post so you can be part of the club and you think, "Man, I KNOW I came up with at least 7 super-awesome takes but now I can't remember any of them! All that work for nothing!"
--- 2 ---
I think these mints look like they would quite possibly be the most delicious things of all time. Scott is skeptical.
--- 3 ---
Did you know that Monday is Memorial Day? I didn't know until I read it on a blog somewhere on Thursday. And then Scott came home on Friday and mentioned offhandedly that he had Monday off work.

So now I am SO EXCITED. I like my husband.

Plus, the bathroom needs cleaning.
--- 4 ---
Scott and I have been married six months as of TODAY. I feel like I used up my daily allowance of capital letters on Take #3, but that's worthy of a few capitals. SIX MONTHS, and I have not yet murdered him for that annoying humming thing he does! (Have I mentioned that I'm really easy to live with? Just full of sunshine and light and patience, I am.)
--- 5 ---
I have either had a stomach virus or too-much-frosting-itis the last couple days (NOT PREGNANT) and I have therefore been Drinking The 7-Up.

See, Scott has this ongoing Weird Stomach Thing, so we keep some 7-Up on hand so he can, like, function as a human being.

I, on the other hand, have the stomach of a goat and also insanely high pain tolerance, so I have just had to pine sadly for the delicious carbonated sugary goodness that lives in our fridge.

(Actually, my insanely high pain tolerance is kind of irrelevant; I drink 7-Up so that I don't throw up because throwing up is the worst thing that could ever happen to you. If it was just that my stomach hurt I wouldn't care.)

(And don't tell me, "Oh, you'll have to get used to throwing up when you are actually pregnant." My mother was pregnant TWICE and threw up ZERO TIMES. So my illusions cannot be shattered.)

This is where I would make a joke about eating more frosting just to see if I can make myself sick so I can drink the 7-Up, but even I am not that addled by my love of excessive quantities of sugar.
--- 6 ---
There is this Schola of which Scott and his dad and two of his younger siblings are members. They are having an end-of-year swimming party (I think some family has their very own pool? So the tenors and basses don't have to wear blindfolds because of all the bikinis?) and potluck thing.

Thought the first: How much food does one bring to a potluck when you're instructed to bring "a dessert and a side?" Can I make a strategic alliance with my mother-in-law so that I can make and bring only one thing without feeling so guilty over rule-breaking that I can't enjoy myself?

Thought the second: If I bring a really good dessert, can I get away with NOT bringing a swimsuit?
--- 7 ---
I can't think of anything for #7. I'm just going to hit "Publish" so I can be free to read Pride and Prejudice fanfiction in my pajamas.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

In which I pay about $25 for sanity

We ran out of dishwasher soap last week. We really don't have any money left in our "non-food items bought at the grocery store" budget category, but I bought more dishwasher soap because having to handwash all the dishes was literally reducing me to tears on an almost daily basis. I can't believe I did that for the first 4 months of my marriage. The dishwasher doesn't always get everything clean, see, so I was all, "What's the point?" And I blamed the stress and tears on being newly married and not knowing how to do ANYTHING. Well, I'm not saying it was only doing the dishes that was causing me stress, but it can consistently push me over the edge and $3.50 is totally worth a week of not being consistently pushed over the edge, budget or no budget.

Also, I went about $20 overbudget buying groceries this month, despite my husband's mad meal planning skillz. I fully intend to make up the difference next month, but I am NOT beating myself up about it. Really. Am not.

This is where all the sane people are like, "Um, yeah, no big deal, why are you even telling us this?" Well, sticking to the grocery budget has become my Thing. For about 16 years getting good grades in school was my Thing. Then I graduated, so first I obsessed about sticking to my wedding budget (which I did, mostly because we scheduled it for a holiday weekend and less than 1/3 of the invitees came--please note I didn't schedule it for a holiday weekend because that would make people not come, it was just how things worked out for many reasons) and now I'm obsessing about my grocery budget and setting up increasingly hard rules for myself and being reduced to tears when I don't live up to my own inhuman expectations. I've actually fallen into the habit of asking Scott for permission to spend money, not because he's super strict (I wouldn't stand for that) but because he's way less strict with me than I am with myself and injects a tiny bit of sanity into the whole thing.

It's really fun being married to me, I'm sure.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Rosemary Pork

Adapted from a recipe my mom uses, which is itself adapted from...somewhere else. I'm not even sure.

Ingredients:
2 to 2 1/2 pound pork roast
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tsp garlic powder

1. Put the pork roast in a crockpot or stockpot.

2. Drizzle the olive oil artfully over the pork. Sprinkle the various spices artfully over the pork. No, really, this works better than just dumping them in piles on top.

3. If you are using a crockpot, set it to "high" for approximately 4 hours.

If you are using a stockpot, put it in the oven at 300 degrees for approximately 4 hours. (My pots are oven safe to 350. Don't melt your pots and blame me.) 

You know it is done when the pork is whitish instead of dark pink. Use your brain and eyeballs.

4. I generally serve this with garlic butter rice (I don't think I've ever posted that recipe; I will soon) and green beans and bacon. (You can never have too much dead pig.) It goes well with just about anything, however.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

In which I find out that my husband knows how to meal plan

Part 1: It's the end of the month, which means that meals are not "Whatever you feel like eating" but "Whatever you can make with the things that are left in the kitchen, plus maybe one or two cheap additions."

I came up with chicken noodle soup (only need to purchase egg noodles) and spaghetti with meatballs (only need to purchase tomato sauce). I wasn't feeling inspired for the third meal, though. Scott took one look at the email in which I explain it all and said, "Hamburgers?"

We have everything we need to make hamburgers on hand already.

Part 2: I am making ham and bean soup tomorrow, and was dithering aloud about how I had to simmer the hambone all day AND boil potatoes AND cook beans and I only have two large pots.

Scott: "Can any of those things be cooked in the crockpot?"

Yes, actually. The ham can simmer perfectly well in the crockpot.

Apparently at some point in the last 6 months my husband magically osmosed the ability to plan meals.

I'll take it. I need all the help I can get.

Monday, May 21, 2012

FLOWERS!

I took these pictures on Saturday, but didn't get a chance to post about them until today.

Behold!


Since I'm not that good of a photographer, my camera focused very prettily on that leaf in the background instead of on THE VERY EXCITING FLOWER! But you can still see it!


Here's a wide shot. You may or may not be able to see the other blossoms scattered throughout the plants.

Also, since I failed to give them trellises, they've started climbing the balcony railing. I think I'm okay with that.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Apparently this is actually a thing. When did it become a thing?

About a week and a half ago, Scott and I made a late-night Wal-Mart run to buy cards. It was the day before Youngest Younger Brother's birthday, so it was kind of urgent. (We were seeing him in person, so fortunately we didn't have to mail it.) It was also four days until Mother's Day and six days until Younger Elder Brother's birthday. (We did have to mail his card.)

Anyway, I sent Scott to the birthday card aisle while I puttered around the Mother's Day card aisle. He knows his brothers better than I do, especially YEB. He ended up getting a Star Trek card for YEB, which I happily signed because I'm always in favor of wishing somebody long life and prosperity. :) Then he got a sort of generic nice card for YYB, which I signed because I love that kid. My rule on signing cards: Parse the meaning of the card and decide if it makes sense. So: "Dear YYB, Happy birthday. Love, Scott" is a sentiment to which I can happily add "and Megan." (Scott signed YEB's card "Love" too, and while I don't have the deep and abiding affection for him that I have for YYB--mostly just since I don't know him very well, since he'd already moved out of the house by the time I started dating Scott--I figured I can extend some sister-in-law-ly regard. Plus, I couldn't resist the Star Trek card.) This point is important later on.

When Scott got over to the Mother's Day card aisle, I pointed out to him all of the accidentally hilarious cards. (And some of the intentionally hilarious cards.) You could wish a happy mother's day to your mother and your grandmother, which I think is pretty normal, though neither of us got a grandmother card for our surviving grandmother. I don't remember why. Probably because I'm a cheapskate. I will remember to send my grandmother a card for her birthday next week to make it better. And Scott's grandmother has 16 children and 30-ish grandchildren; I doubt she was lonely.

Anyway. In addition to the "normal" cards, you could wish a happy mother's day to your daughter, your aunt, your sister, your godmother, your mother-in-law, your daughter-in-law, your sister-in-law and of course your wife. The last one I already knew about, but I want to comment on it more extensively so I put it last.

Now, I'm all about husbands appreciating their wives, but Mother's Day is Mother's Day, not Valentine's Day. (Which is an overblown holiday anyway.) The Mother's Day adds should not be for jewelry and chocolates. I'm not sure what they should be for, but not that. Mother's Day is the kind of day when your husband lets your toddler scribble on a piece of paper and then signs it "Love, Teresa" and gives it to you. Or the kind of day when your 8-year-old brings you breakfast in bed that they made all by themselves. Or when your slacker of a 22-year-old doesn't do anything because she forgot to mail your card until Saturday so you're going to get it on Tuesday.

Again, if you and your husband find it mutually agreeable for him to pamper you excessively on Mother's Day, more power to you. I'm just saying it's an even huger leap than making Valentine's Day what it is, because Valentine's Day is at least sort of about honoring your significant other, whereas Mother's Day is about honoring your mother. So people shouldn't get worked up if not every single person they've ever met sends them a card or something.

I wouldn't have written this little rant based solely on an aisle in Wal-Mart. Hallmark exists to make cards for every conceivable occasion and some inconceivable ones. I laughed and moved on with my life.

Then I was surfing the internet randomly and came across this post at Ask Moxie. I think the letter-writer is reading way too much into it, and I think Moxie is feeding the flames instead of encouraging a) letting it go or b) getting to the root of whatever underlying issue causes the daughter-in-law to be so angry about this particular thing. I know about getting mad over nothing. I do it to lots of people, not just my mother-in-law. But once I've cooled off a little bit I realize that either a) I was hormonal at the time and nothing I felt had any bearing on reality or b) I'm taking a small thing and making it emblematic of a larger problem which does need to be addressed, but which can't be addressed if all I'm doing is throwing hissy-fits over tiny annoyances.

 Now, if your mother-in-law wants to send you a Happy Mother's Day card, that's cool. My paternal grandmother (she's the one who's still alive and who didn't get a Mother's Day card from me this year) sends my mother cards on her birthday, often with money, but she's never send my mother a card for Mother's Day. (I asked my mom.) My maternal grandmother (who died many years ago and therefore definitely did not get a card from me this year) apparently never sent one either. And Grandma M. was one of those people who keeps Hallmark in business. She had this quirk of sending everyone she knew cards for St. Patrick's Day, Halloween, and Thanksgiving, among others. Some people like to send "Thinking of you" cards; my grandmother preferred to find a holiday, any holiday, and hope you had a happy one even if you never knew it existed before you got that card.

(About 2 weeks after they started dating, my mom got my dad a St. Patrick's Day card. He thought it was the weirdest thing ever. Scott and I started dating in early April, so when I sent him a card honoring our first St. Patrick's Day together he already knew I was weird.)

It never would have occurred to me to get a "Happy Mother's Day to my Mother-in-Law" card and send it to my mother-in-law. I doubt it has occurred to her to wonder why I didn't. I don't have children, so of course I wasn't expecting anything from her, but I doubt I would have even if I had children. If I write a weepy post in a couple of years about how my mother-in-law doesn't love me because she doesn't send me a card, feel free to point me back here and also slap me with a dead trout.

I didn't even sign the card that Scott got for her. I did find it for him. (And he compared it to two or three others he'd found himself and decided it was the best. So he put effort into the finding; I just happened to spot it first while he was distracted with birthday cards.) It goes back to the thing I said way up near the top of the post about how I think about what I'm signing before I sign it. "Dear Mom, Thank you for all the effort you put into raising me. Happy Mother's Day. Love, Scott" is not something I'm going to add my name to. She's not my mom and she didn't put any effort into raising me. Now, I am happy that she gave birth to and raised my husband. That happiness extends to writing a Facebook post in which I tag both her and my own mother and wish them and all my other Facebook friends a Happy Mother's Day. (And when Facebook informed my mother that she'd been tagged in a post she accidentally marked it as spam. It was kind of hilarious.) It doesn't extend to getting her a separate card which includes a mushy poem. (I hate mushy poems, and Hallmark hasn't yet come up with "Mother's Day to my Mother-in-Law--Humorous". Probably they're afraid the first person to get one of those would take it the wrong way and blow up in a big fiery ball visible from space.)

Meanwhile, my husband didn't sign the card to my mother and didn't even wish her a happy Mother's Day on Facebook or anything. There is an untapped "Happy Mother's Day to My Mother-in-Law (from Son-in-Law)" market! Somebody needs to get on that!

I don't have a conclusion to this post. Except maybe: Don't be a drama queen. Really. There are enough things to get worked up about in life already without creating them. If you're getting that worked up about Mother's Day, go buy yourself some on-sale chocolates and eat them until you calm down.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Seven quick takes mostly about Scott's new job


--- 1 ---
Lesson 1: There is NEVER enough meat.

This is something I have been trying to figure out since Scott and I got married, with little success. No matter how much I cook, it seems the leftovers just disappear like magic.

But surely Scott working would fix that, I thought. See, usually I cook about every other day. So we'd have "fresh" food on Monday night, leftovers for lunch Tuesday, leftovers for dinner Tuesday and leftovers for lunch Wednesday. Then I'd cook something new for dinner Wednesday. Kinda monotonous, but we didn't mind. Also, I would tend to eat toast and eggs or whatever for breakfast. Breakfasty foods. Scott tended not to eat breakfast, though he'd sometimes have toast or something as a bedtime snack. This worked often enough that I didn't bother finding a new system. Times when we ran short of leftovers, we ate baked potatoes with cheese or something.

He could take leftovers to work, but it's easier to send him with a sandwich and he doesn't mind.

So the conclusion should be that in a two-day rotation there would be two extra servings of food left over at the end, right? Or in situations where I would have run short before, the food will last until next time I cook.

Well, my darling husband decided to start EATING BREAKFAST. And I can't even be mad at him, because he has a BMI of 19 on a good day. (He is a naturally wiry sort of person, I think, but even naturally wiry guys should have a little more meat on their bones.) Eating breakfast is probably a good idea. So I'll heat up leftovers while he's getting ready, and he'll take the plate/bowl/whatever in the car with him as I drive him to the bus stop and start his day with real food like he ought to.

This is really messing up my plans.
--- 2 ---
Not about Scott's job: Since most of my friends are Catholic (and the ones that aren't are almost all Christian) people periodically post, "Please pray for me" statuses. Sometimes with details ("Pray for me because I am spending all day tomorrow in interviews with the Jesuits to see if they'll let me in." [And if they let this guy in, it proves they aren't all bad, because he's awesome.]), sometimes without.

Of course, the only comment you can leave on such a post is something about how you will pray for them. So I would, and then I would forget, and then the person would post a "Thanks for all the prayers, the interview went well, I hear back in 2 weeks" kind of status. And I'd feel really guilty for not actually praying.

So a couple years ago, I hit upon a plan: Every time I saw one of those statuses, I would stop right there (not even reading on in my news feed) and say a Memorare. Later that turned into a Hail Mary, because I have the attention span of a fruit fly and I don't know the Memorare as well. Sometimes if I'm really tired or scatterbrained it turns into, "Hey Jesus, help [her/him] with that thing." But I pray.

This is not meant to make me sound especially virtuous. If I was virtuous, I'd tell you about how I write them down and remember them in my daily rosary or something. (Ha ha ha.) Nope. If you're my Facebook friend and you post a prayer request, that on-the-fly Hail Mary is probably all you're gonna get.

But at least it's something, right?
--- 3 ---
Scott's job is downtown, and we live in the suburbs. We figured out early on that him taking the bus was the best thing for several reasons. For one, I did ACTUAL MATH and determined that buying gas would be twice as expensive as buying a monthly bus pass. For two, there's the wear and tear on the car separate from that. For three, there's the stress and lost time of me sitting in traffic for 2 hours a day. (Because Scott can't drive, and even if he could I'd want the car some days so I could run errands and whatnot.)

The first week, he took the 7:45 bus, which got him downtown in time for him to clock in at 8:30. Last week and this week, he's been taking the 7:20 bus, which gets him downtown in time to clock in at 8:00 and therefore gets him home at about 5:20 in the evenings rather than 5:50, which is nice considering that evenings are now our only time together. Except that we live right near a couple of access points to a major highway, so traffic around here nearly unnavigable at 5:20. I manage, though.

It is kind of amazing how efficient we're able to be in the mornings. I mean, I consider myself a morning person, and at school I'd often be up at 6 and out the door at 6:20 so I could go to the 6:30 a.m. Mass. But I still like to sit and have a leisurely breakfast in my pajamas (usually while surfing the internet) and then putter around getting ready for the day whenever possible. My ability to be productive peaks around 10 a.m. Meanwhile, Scott's ability to be productive peaks around...10 p.m.? I don't even know, because my brain is shutting down for the night by then. Yet he's been consistently getting up, getting ready, and getting out the door by about 7:10. He's kinda awesome.
--- 4 ---
During the first few days, when Scott was catching the 7:45 bus, I would drop him off and then drive to St. OneMileAway for daily Mass. (And I remembered why we go to St. TenMilesAway for Sunday Mass. 8:15 is way too early for Marty Haugen, people.) Then Scott started taking the earlier bus, so the convenience factor went down. I hate having 30-minute blocks of free time because I can't do anything. (If I'm going to waste time on the internet, I'd like to do it in longer stretches. ;)) Plus, I noticed that even though St. OneMileAway is hardly even out of my way, the tank of gas I got at the beginning of the month went away alarmingly fast. So this week I'm not going to Mass and seeing what that does to my gas tank. Maybe I'll settle into going to Mass once a week or something.
--- 5 ---
We interrupt Scott Work Updates to bring you a Matthew Update. He had his half-birthday on Wednesday (that's totally a thing, especially when you're The Last Baby) and then his six-month well-child checkup on Thursday. Anyway, stats: He quadrupled (!) his birthweight, from 3 lbs. 15 oz. (not even on the charts) to 15 lbs. 12 oz. (15th percentile; not bad for a preemie). He went from 17 inches long at birth to 27 inches long, which is the SIXTIETH percentile for 6-month-old babies. It's apparently impossible to find clothes for him.

The moral of this story is that my family knows how to grow babies.

Since I don't want my post to be sad and pictureless, here's a picture from a few weeks ago. Bonus: You get my cute sister (one of them, anyway) in this picture too!


--- 6 ---
Scott is part of a schola that has a big concert thing on Sunday. So he had his normal practice on Monday--I took him straight from the bus stop to his parents' house (because I hate half-hour intervals of free time, remember?) and we hung out there until 6:30, when everybody piled in the car and left. Scott got back at like 10:30, which was expected, but which still made me sad because we didn't get to spend any time together.

Then on Thursday I took him up to his parents house after we ate dinner and relaxed a little, so they could leave at 7:30 for a special pre-concert practice (practice was at 8:00 instead of 7:00). Scott didn't get back until 11:30, which I guess made sense but which still made me miss him horribly.

As I write this, it is about 1 hour and 20 minutes until I get to see him again. I'm counting down. And I'm really glad it'll be the weekend. (Of course, we're going to have to spend several hours of that weekend at this concert. But that will be nice, right?)
--- 7 ---
Scott's family got two new puppies on Tuesday. They're apparently half Miniature Poodle and half Lhasa Apso. (Scott calls them "The Fa la la la la dogs.") They're supposed to be hypoallergenic, which was appealing because at least one of my brothers-in-law is allergic to the poor beagle they got last year. So right now they have a 1-year-old dog and two 2-month-old dogs scurrying around the house. The idea is for the beagle to get a new home eventually, but of course they're taking the time to make sure she gets a good one. It's not her fault she's not a hypoallergenic Fa la la la la dog. 

As I was cuddling the puppies and squeaking over them yesterday (while dropping Scott off for schola; see the segue there?) it occurred to me that while I don't like dogs, I really love puppies. This is problematic, of course, since puppies have this alarming tendency to turn into dogs. Anyway, how that all came out in the wash is that now I want a kitten. A lot. Somebody tell me I can't get a kitten, not even a funny-looking hypoallergenic one. (Mom, you should tell me this. Because if in 5 or 10 years one of my kids ends up allergic to the hypothetical ugly hypoallergenic cat, she's coming to live with you. See why it's bad to expose me to small fluffy things?)

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Strawberry Muffins

I have no idea where this recipe comes from either. When I made it, Scott said they tasted better than jelly donuts. Your mileage may vary.

4 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
4 cups strawberries pureed

Mix together dry ingredients.
Mix in wet ingredients.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Makes 2 dozen.

My mom just sent me a list of ingredients, so I mixed things together in an order that seemed logical to me and then used the Universal Muffin Cooking Temperature and Time. It worked great.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The plants, Week 8

They continue to be not dead. They are looking a bit yellow around the edges this week, which makes no sense at all considering it has been raining a ton. There are still no flowers.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Crazy fun weekend

This is about the last weekend in April. I have been too busy to finish it until now.

First things first: On Friday afternoon, Scott got a call telling him that he got a job!

Obviously, I cannot go into any great detail, but he is quite happy about the job and I am quite happy that we will have money again. I am less happy that he is going to be gone most of the day, but most couples don't get 5 month honeymoons so I can't complain.

Shortly thereafter Scott and I went to run errands, stopping by the gas station and then stopping by Bed Bath and Beyond to get Liza Jane a wedding present. Fortunately, the thing we planned to buy was on a display right smack in front of the main entrance. Bed Bath and Beyond is very large and scary. Also fortunately, we were able to get complimentary gift wrapping. So we did not become losers who fail to get wedding presents for our friends.

On Friday evening Grace arrived, and we had a very good time eating pizza and cake, both of which I made from scratch. The cake didn't turn out right at all--it has this weird dense texture--but it still tasted okay so we all ate it anyway.

On Saturday morning we all woke up very early. I made sausage cheddar biscuits for breakfast, which Grace and Scott both loved. (Actually, I mixed up the "dough" on Friday and on Saturday just had to plop it on the pan and bake it, which was nice because my brain had not totally come online yet.) Then we all got dressed in our nice clothes and piled in Grace's car (taking care to retrieve the wedding gift from my car) and drove off to Liza Jane's wedding.

It was a very lovely wedding, though I don't remember much in particular from the wedding itself. Apparently I was too busy trying to follow along in the missal booklet. (It was in the Extraordinary Form, which is why I had to work to follow along.)

Then we stood around outside the church having deep theological discussions with various college friends. (Well, mostly Scott had the theological discussions. At one point Grace and I had a deep conversation about grocery shopping.) Then we finally dragged Scott away from the discussion circle and drove off to the reception.

The receptions was LOVELY. I think I must have woken up at that point or something. There were some appetizers, including these really delicious grapes. I think we mainly hung out and ate appetizers and drank wine the first little while. (I didn't drink any wine because I didn't feel like it and also because I was super thirsty and had a feeling you aren't supposed to toss back a glass of wine in one gulp. I don't think Scott had any either. We're the most boring 22-year-olds ever.)

Then the wedding party arrived, and then there was some entertainment. One of Liza's friends is part of a dance troupe that does...historical dancing. I'm not sure what to call it. Anyway, they were wearing awesome fancy costumes and danced very well and it was pretty amazing. (One of the guys kept making me think of Nathan Fillion in the Firefly episode "Shindig"--a little bit of the way he looked and a little bit of the way he was dressed, I think.)

Then came the food, if memory serves. I gave my salad to Scott (I don't like dressing) and just ate 2 or 3 rolls. (We were at an 8-seater table with only 2 other people. There were lots of extra.) Then we got the main course. There was this absolutely amazing chicken alfredo (though Scott stoutly maintained that it tastes better when I make it) and roast beef and some sides that must have been unmemorable. But I seriously loved that chicken alfredo. Oh, and Scott got some lasagna. I don't know how that tasted.

There was more dancing from the troupe and some toasts and cake-cutting and first-dancing and such. Then at some point they FINALLY announced that we could go help ourselves to cake. (I really like cake, can you tell?) I ended up having two pieces, but Scott had none at all so it was perfectly fair. (He was still full from eating real food.) The vanilla cake was quite good, but it was the chocolate that really made an impression on me. There was FUDGE FILLING in between the layers!

Also, Elizabeth's cake looked very pretty before they cut it up. Much prettier than mine. And tastier. (I console myself with the thought that it was probably more expensive than mine.)

Then Elizabeth's friend (the one who was part of the dance troupe) started teaching everybody how to do the Virginia Reel. Grace had learned it previously somewhere or another, so she joined in the first time. Then she badgered me until I joined in the second time. At first I was opposite our friend Daniel, but then it turned out we were short a man so Daniel called across the room, "Scott! Come dance with your wife!" So Scott came and Daniel partnered with Grace and we all had a great deal of fun.

A little while later they had an "anniversary dance", wherein all the married couples dance and the DJ says, "Everybody who has been married less than [amount of time] please leave the dance floor." He started with "one day", which disqualified Liza and James, and then one year, which disqualified Scott and me, and then five years, which disqualified almost everyone. (Most of the couples there were about 25 years old with 1 or 2 children.) At any rate, I enjoyed getting to slow dance a little bit with Scott without having too much attention called to us.

Afterward Scott and I were talking to our friend Joe, who asked when our first anniversary would be. He was shocked when we reminded him it would not be until November. (Joe was even at our wedding, so he really oughtn't have been quite so surprised.) He remarked that it seemed like we had been married for a very long time. Scott and I agreed. It's funny, because usually when I look back I'm simultaneously surprised by how long a time it's been and how short a time it's been. You know, on the one hand: "That was five years ago? It seems like it was only yesterday!" and on the other "Only five years? It seems like it's been a lifetime." But I don't feel the first reaction when I think about being married to Scott. It just seems like we've always been married, and I can't believe it's only been five months.

Then we said goodbye to Liza and James and ended up standing around in the lobby talking. (Me, Scott, Joe, and Grace.) Somehow or other I ended up mentioning that I had baked a cake specifically because Grace was coming and I wanted to be hospitable. (I did not mention that the cake turned out weirdly.) Joe apparently thought this was amazing, since he proceeded to recite the entirety of Proverbs 31 from memory in honor of my womanly virtues. It was about one part flattering, one part embarrassing, one part hilarious, and one part just plain amazing.

Eventually I pointed out that we should let Joe drive home (I think he had a 6 or 7 hour drive ahead of him and it was about 5 p.m. at this point.) After much delay because we were still busy talking, all four of us got out the door and then Joe went his separate way and the other three of us returned to the apartment.

Somehow between the three of us we managed to muster enough energy to make chicken noodle soup. (Again, I had cooked the chicken and cut up the chicken and all the vegetables beforehand, so it was just a matter of throwing it all in the pot and letting it simmer a bit.) There had been some talk of going to see a movie or something, but we were all very tired. Grace ended up falling asleep on the couch at about 7 p.m. while Scott and I sat in the two chairs and had an extensive conversation about bus schedules during which we made no attempt to whisper. Grace did not wake up.

On Sunday we all got up at various times and ate leftover sausage cheddar biscuits. (Grace got up first; she was wide awake when I wandered out to the living room at 7:30-ish. Then again, she fell asleep first.) Then we wandered around vaguely and somehow managed to get ready for church. (We were all still tired.) We went to our usual 12:30 Mass. I drove because I know the way and the road is very tricky (you have to change lanes like 3 or 4 times each way just to keep going straight) and anyway Grace had done all the driving around the day before.

When we got back to the apartment we all ate leftover soup and then Grace packed up her things and I forced her to take food as presents and then she went away and we were all sad. :(

It was a very good weekend, but it seriously took till Thursday before Scott and I recovered. (He gets his introvert card back as a result.) More on that in my next rambly update post.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

In which I continue to neglect my plants and they continue to live

I think peas are a good choice for the lazy and inattentive gardener. Exhibit A:


They have not developed any flowers yet. They are supposed to mature in 70 days; I will have to look back and see how old they are. Maybe they are duds. Or maybe they are just late bloomers because I never pay them any attention.

Edited to add: They are still only 7 weeks old by my count. Goodness, I have a short attention span. I've been neglecting them for at least a month already. That's more than half their poor little lives.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Sausage cheddar biscuits

My mother made up this recipe because she thinks sausage pinwheels are too much work.

1 lb sausage raw
2 cups cheese
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400°.
Mix together sausage cheese and dry ingredients before adding
milk.
Drop onto greased cookie sheet.
Bake for about 15 minutes. (Mine took 21 minutes for some reason. You know they're done when you stab them with a knife and there's no pink inside.)
Makes 16 (8 Servings).