Monday, August 31, 2009

Photo of the Day

August 31

I love tomatoes probably more than the average person. However, I have to be honest...I can't eat another one of those little ones. These were pulled off a few days ago and there are 4 bushes that are still full of them.

Remind me not to plant so many next year.

Things I'm looking forward to:
Apple Cider
Apple Butter
Sweaters and jackets
Pies of all sorts, cakes too
Lattes, especially those pumpkin spice ones
Candy apples
Salted caramels
Leaves changing colors
Fall Festivals
Friday Night Lights
Grey's Anatomy
Finding new shows to love
Soups and stews

Not looking forward to:

But you know: you take the good, you take the bad.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Great Procrastinator

My major requires that I take a foreign language.

1. Because I was dumb and didn't think to choose a major that didn't require one.
2. Because I once was a major that didn't require one.
3. Because I thought I could put it off and put it off until it magically disappeared. why I'm spending this last year of school slaving over Italian.

I really don't have an interest in learning Italian. But Spanish or any other language would cause me to have to drive to Lexington five days a week. And I don't have the money nor the stamina required to do such a thing.

So that's how my first day of classes went. Me in Italian learning how to say what my name is and what my hobbies are.


I also may or may not have put off my math requirement until this year.


I know! My procrastination skills are EPIC...let me just tell you.

But thankfully I'm in the dumb math that doesn't care if you are going on to take calculus. Which means I wasn't terribly bored by voting theory yesterday.

Other notes of interest: my history professor is a total NUT. I mean this lady is crazy. In a I'm kinda terrified yet also amused and it's weirding me out kind of way. However I love the heck out of my English professor, who I've now had for 3 semesters in a row, I hope she doesn't think I'm stalking her.

I'm also on the verge of being very broke and running the balance way up on my credit cards. But that's another story for another day.

Bright light at the end of the day? My car. My gloriously fun to drive car. I'm in love.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Quote of the Day

Love is fundamental. It’s more important than being right. It’s more important than having all our theological ducks in a row. It’s more important than any commitment to absolute truth or a particular hermeneutic or a “high view” (read: “my view”) of sovereignty or the Bible or faith or the Church.

Writes Greg Boyd, “For the church to lack love is for the church to lack everything. No heresy could conceivably be worse! Until the culture at large instinctively identifies us as loving, humble servants, and until the tax collectors and prostitutes of our day are beating down our doors to hang out with us as they did with Jesus, we have every reason to accept our culture’s judgment of us as correct. We are indeed more pharisaic than we are Christlike.” (The Myth of a Christian Nation, p. 134-135)

What’s wrong with the church when folks like Shane Claiborne who have reputations for loving their enemies, giving without expecting anything in return, and withholding judgment can’t get speaking gigs because of their “questionable” theological positions? What’s wrong with evangelicals when surveys show that people perceive us as gay-hating, judgmental, hypocritical, and closed minded? What’s wrong when people can get kicked out of churches for getting pregnant or being gay, but not for being unloving or prejudiced? What’s wrong when folks in theological societies scream and yell at each other over a disagreement about divine foreknowledge?
We’ve labeled all kinds of things fundamental…but we’ve left out love, which is why I think it’s time for a new kind of fundamentalism.

-Rachel Held Evans, A New Kind of Fundamentalist

Read the whole thing. Read her entire blog. Amazing.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Photo of the Day

In the epic Tumblr Sharks vs. Cats battle (don't worry if you don't get it, you'd have to be there) I uncovered one of my favorite photos ever that I've personally taken.

the calico

I simply don't revisit the early days of my Flickr page often enough. There were so many fun pictures to recall. Are we to that point in the digital age when reminiscing about old photos involves perusing online archives instead of old boxes? I think so.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Grey Blur

I own a brand new car. I just keep repeating that over and over to myself. If you follow me on Twitter or we're friends on Facebook then you already know, and I assume if you're reading this you do one of those things. So I'll skip straight to the story of how I came to acquire the 'Grey Blur', Jon's nickname for the Nissan Versa...but we'll do this photo essay style because I'm not terribly good with words this week.

2009 Nissan Versa
At the dealership.

My mother while our deal was being made
I love this one of my Mom. It was just her and I at the dealership working on the deal. She was totally cool, calm, collected and...assertive.

view from the very back
The view from the very back. The Versa is suprisingly roomy. More so than the Aveo and bigger than most in its class from what I've read.

2009 Nissan Versa
I have cruise control for the first time in my life! Words don't express how excited this makes me.

Goodbye White Lightning 011
Not cool? Saying goodbye to my Dad's old truck. That thing got us through many a doctor trip and honestly never had anything go wrong with it (although it was on the verge of blowing a motor and needing a transmission.)

Goodbye White Lightning 012
I'll never forget the day he put this sticker on the back window. He was so proud to be a UK Dad. *sniff, sniff*

Goodbye White Lightning 019
Jon was super bummed.

Goodbye White Lightning 037
We were a family of 5 vehicles for a brief moment. And then it was time to downsize. We also apparently don't like color, 2 whites and 3 silver/greys? Wow. It's an accident, I swear.

Goodbye White Lightning 048
And then it was done.

Our Nissan experience was awesome. I have no complaints about Neil Huffman on Shelbyville Road at all. Our interest rate is fantastic and the payments are exactly where I need them. And they processed the Aveo and the clunker with no trouble at all. I'm anxious to see how the Versa holds up. First impressions are it reminds me more of the Toyotas we've owned, more substantial and less plastic-y than the Aveo. It seems sportier, which isn't surprising since we've long referred to the Aveo as a mini-minivan. The 1.8 liter engine is a nice pick me up over the Aveo's 1.6 and definitetly adds horsepower than is noticable. The handling is smooth. I'm adjusting to the steering wheel and seat placement, but initial thoughts are I'm having more 'fun' driving it than I was with the Chevy.

My parents are rockstars to help me like this. Oh my gosh, words just do not express how thankful I am for them. At one point I was on the phone with my Dad at the dealership crying to him over how much I appreciated his support. All he asks is that I remember them in a few years and take us all to Hawaii or something. Haha. I love it and will definitely do.

But, in all seriousness, he tells me this is just what parents do and that as a family unit, the four of us will always have each other's backs in times of need. I adore our foursome! Jon figures this puts him in a good position in the near car future, which makes me laugh. Who knows, perhaps I'll pay it forward one day and help him get a deal at a car lot on something he needs and loves.

Now my focus shifts to less pleasant things: securing a job and starting school. One more year is the phrase I keep chanting silently to myself. I can do this.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie

I woke up planning to make Ina Garten's chicken pot pie, which I've heard from many credible sources is amazing.

But sometime this afternoon I found another recipe, from an old Marshall Field's cookbook. It seemed a little less intense, so ended up kind of merging the two basic ideas in my brain and coming up with a version of my own.

*a refrigerated pie crust (because I do not own a food processor and I'm not about to cut butter into flour by myself unless forced to)
*mixed veggies of your choosing (I'm not picky, if you like a can use a can, if you like frozen use frozen, if you like fresh, go with that. I used a mixture of can and fresh.)
*1 whole stick of butter
*1 small onion, chopped pretty fine
*1/2 cup of flour
*1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
*2 1/2 cups of chicken stock/broth (I added 4 bullion cubes to the water I pressure cooked my chicken in)
*1 pound of chicken (you could roast like Ina does, or pressure cook as I did, or pull some off of a store bought rotisserie)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Melt stick of butter in a deep saute pan, add onions and cook until translucent. Add flour, wisk together and allow to cook for at least 1 minute (must cook off the taste of flour), then add chicken stock/broth, stir. Add cream and allow mixture to thicken. Turn heat to low, stir in chicken and veggies of your choosing. Pour this mixture into an unbaked pie crust, top with another crust and bake at 425 for 35-40 minutes, until bubbly.

Pot Pie 001

This is not light cooking, and in retrospect I feel somewhat guilty about the butter and cream. But it was seriously perfect, easy and comforting.

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Themed Linkage

A glorious Lake Lure wedding. Makes me wish we'd had more time and a better situation in which to explore around Asheville a bit more. If I ever get the opportunity to hone my photog skills with a real camera, I want to learn how to be as good as this lady. Delicious is her entire website.

365 Photos About 365 Kinds of Diapers. I'm in total awe of the dedication some people have. And November 4th made me tear up, exactly 44 seconds in and you'll see what I mean.

Thriller and Interconnection. But mostly, Thriller. I love stuff like this.

Squirrel in Focus. If you all click no other link I ever post on my blog ever again for as long as we all shall live, you'll click this one and we'll all die happy.

How Twins Are Made
. If ever there were a case for having two at once, this is it.

Candy Coloured Cuteness
. Pink chuck taylors and a white wedding dress is a combo I can thoroughly get behind.

Your Camera Takes Great Pictures
. Yes, yes, yes! I hate this backhanded compliment. "...The camera does not make the photograph. It records the image that the photographer tells it to and shows the vision of the artist behind the camera."

10 Photography Quotes That You Should Know. A nice awakening. I need to stop being inhibited by my lack of equipment and instead focus on thinking outside of the box with what I do have. This summer I've taken less photos than I have in at least 5 years. I should do better.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Why I Do All of the Grocery Shopping

I send him to Valumarket for a gallon of milk and a bag of Meow Mix (our picky indoor cat won't eat any other kind.)

He returns with 10 pounds of sugar that he paid $5.89 for, when I just bought 10 pounds for $3.97 at Sam's Club.

Two containers of Miracle Whip for $6 when my normal price point is $2.50 per container and below (ideally $2.00).

A bag of cat food that our cats won't even touch.

Three bags of pork rinds that I don't ever let him consume (heart attacks...hello).

Peanut butter that I normally get elsewhere for much cheaper than the $3 for a small container that he paid.

A gallon of vinegar when I'd just bought a gallon on Sunday -- $2.99

I know it's not technically my money, but it irks me so much. I've taken care of their finances for the most part since I was 15 or 16 years old. My mom works such long hours and Dad just can't handle that kind of stuff. So each month I make out the bills, do the grocery shopping, allocate the money.

And I don't let him grocery shop. I think we all see why.

Just throwing cash away. Sigh.

He's told me I can take it all back. Right, because that sounds like such a fun thing to do. "Hi, my Dad bought a bunch of stuff we don't need, can I return it...please?"

Instead, I'll put a smile on my face and practice forgiveness.

Anybody need any vinegar?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Insert Witty Title

Summer has ruined me for food. All I want is fresh, fresh, fresh. Case in point: the number of peaches I've consumed this week. I'm in the midst of a full blown peach binge. I suspect at some point I'm going to turn into one.

The car search is going. Last weekend was a little rough since every dealership was freaking out and afraid to actually do the Cash for Clunker thing. We went this afternoon and I had a love affair going on with the new version of the car I own. Yes, the new version of the car I own...the one that doesn't actually work anymore. I KNOW, it's nuts. But I like to believe what's wrong with my car is the fault of other people, not the car itself. I've always loved the car. Especially its delicious gas mileage.

But I don't know. The senate passed the extension money tonight so I suppose I'm good to shop at will over the weekend. I've got time, and I'm refusing to stress over this thing.

Garden update: the tomatoes have blight. It's depressing. I try to not think too much about it. We still managed to get a few, so it's not been a total waste. The cooler temps and rainy June are most likely to blame. Every growing season can't be perfect I suppose. So I'm already planning next year. I want a garden tiller for Christmas. And I'm not even joking about that. Sad.

Speaking of next year. Omg, I'll be graduating. This is overwhelming. This last year of school is overwhelming. I'd like to find a cave to crawl into. Now, please.

I opened a savings account. I've only ever had a checking account. The whole savings thing seems grown up so I'm documenting this turning point in life.

As I recently twittered: Cake Boss < Ace of Cakes

It needed to be said.

And finally, I just thought these were cute:
7-12-09 001

7-12-09 005

/end scene

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Quote of the Day

He was a dream come true for us. All proud and dazzling. Fearless with millions of eyes—our eyes—the world's eyes upon him. In a land where fifteen years before, a Black boy his age was murdered for “sassiness”, there he stood...and shimmied...and spun, again “commanding girls (and really...every grown-ass woman watching that night) to 'Get up! I think I love YOU!'”

Maybe it was different for you. It was just a bunch of catchy tunes perhaps. But it—he was a lot more than that to many. Me, included. This is said, knowing the full of him, flaws and all. I acknowledge them fully. The mega-talent and the messiness. It's like family. You love them because of who they are to you, but if you keep it real, you recognize the humanity in them, and in so doing, deal with the screw-ups. Some will hold that family member to their bosom forever, while others rightfully will have to push him or her away. “Sorry...I can't deal with you any more.”

And in those quiet moments in our minds, even if we push one away...we think back—even with all the hurt—on the happier times. When we loved that person unconditionally. We mentally anesthetize to keep from letting anger consume us entirely. We go back...and yes, we can't help but smile...
-The Curious Case of Michael Joseph Jackson

This really, truly, is the best summation of Michael Jackson that I've read. It's long, but I encourage a read if you find the time.