You know you live in the desert when…

April 29, 2010 at 8:31 pm | Posted in Things I think | Leave a comment
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…tumbleweeds routinely blow through your backyard.

…you accidentally prick yourself on your neighbor’s cactus every time you walk the dog.

…roads are closed not for snow or flooding, but because there are 70+ mph winds and dust so thick you can’t see.

…central  air conditioning is referred to as “refrigerated air,” and you’re lucky if you have it. (We don’t.)

…people mention the impending summer heat with trepidation, but end with, “but at least it’s a dry heat,” AS IF THAT MAKES 100 DEGREE TEMPS MORE BEARABLE (see above).

I’m thinkin’ this place is going to take a little getting used to.

Have you ever moved somewhere that was totally different than anywhere you’d ever been?

On being flexible

April 27, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My husband’s (W’s)  military career necessitates moving fairly frequently.  This is great for the traveler in me; I love seeing and experiencing different places, and in the few years we’ve been together I’ve had many opportunities travel-wise that I might not have experienced without the Army.

But…I’m not so great with change.  It takes me awhile to make friends and get comfortable with new people.  This is in direct conflict with my need to be around people.  I love meeting new people, coffee dates, hosting dinner parties and game nights.  The last time we moved, it took 6 or 7 months for me to feel mostly settled.  I was somewhat depressed the first two or three months we were there; some days I never got out of my pajamas.  As you might imagine, this was not great for our marriage.  Of course, eventually I bounced back and found a job (two, actually) that I really enjoyed and friends that I miss dearly.  In the end, it was hard for me to leave.

I was hoping that this move would be a bit easier, now that I have a couple under my belt.   I hoped to meet wives in my husband’s unit and form friendships with women I could relate to.  But without a job, and with my husband being in a tiny unit with few married men, I’ve felt rather isolated.  We’re still searching for a church to call home.

I’m trying to stay flexible and to stay positive–I know this move hasn’t been easy on W , either.  I’m working on plans to go back to school and hopefully I’ll have a job by fall.  I know those things will help a lot with making this place feel like home, but August/September is still a few months off.  Until then, does anyone have any advice for making a new place feel more like home?  Have you ever made a difficult move?

Tuesday Thanks

April 20, 2010 at 11:45 am | Posted in Thankful things | Leave a comment
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Just a few things I’m thankful for on this quiet Tuesday:

  • Having a sweet, mostly mellow pup to keep me company during the day.
  • My hardworking husband, who works hard to support our family on one salary.
  • Tuesday night = Glee and Parenthood! Woohoo!
  • Fabulous parents who don’t mind that I call them pretty much every day.
  • Grandparents-in-law who treat me like I’ve always been their granddaughter.
  • Diet Dr. Pepper and caramel corn Quaker minis
  • The thought of going back to work and school in the fall (more on this soon!)

Duncan, the newest member of our family

What’s brightening up your Tuesday?

Pancakes!

April 14, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Pancakes are one of my all-time favorite foods, and I love them pretty much any way they come: buttermilk, chocolate chip, blueberry, bacon, pumpkin, gingerbread…obviously I could go on.

When I lived in Seoul, there was this amazing restaurant called Butterfinger Pancakes a few blocks from my house.  They had the best pancakes, omelettes, and sinful desserts.  I would get takeout all the time.  I think my love for Butterfinger Pancakes may have bordered on obsessive, but how can you blame me?

Just look at the amazingness that comes from Butterfinger Pancakes.

Anyway, despite my obsession with consuming delicious pancakes doused in butter and syrup, I have continually failed at making them at home. They’ll often be done on the outside, but raw on the inside or thick, tough, and rubbery, or just plain burnt.  I have tried many many different recipes, and I have even manage to ruin mixes (how is this possible?).

I am nothing if not stubborn, so last night, with the husband away for the evening, I decided to attempt breakfast for dinner.  In the past I’ve tried many different recipes–with and without buttermilk, etc.  Last night I just hit Google for some recipe inspiration and went with a recipe from allrecipes.com. When my husband called that evening, I proclaimed, “You missed it! I actually made edible pancakes!”  I’m definitely looking forward to breakfast for dinner again.

No-Fail Pancakes (adapted from allrecipes.com)

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (In the future I might even add a couple tablespoons more)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted (I prefer to let it cool slightly)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • chocolate chips or other healthier mix-ins, if desired

1. In your favorite medium size mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.

2. Stir in milk, egg, butter, vanilla. Combine until smooth.

3. Let sit, at room temperature, about 10 minutes.

4. Stir in your mix-ins, if desired. (I made about half of mine plain and then I poured in what looked to be a good amount of chocolate chips for the other half.  This is slightly subjective, people).

5. Heat a 12-inch frying pan over medium heat. Lightly coat the pan with butter or oil (but if you heat the pan too hot so that the butter burns, you’ll need to pour it out and let the pan cool a bit. Just sayin’.). Pour in 1/4 to 1/3 cup batter per pancake.  When bubbles begin to form on top and the edges look set, flip with  a flexible spatula and cook for about 1-2 more minutes.

6. Keep pancakes warm in on a plate in a 200-degree oven.

7. Douse pancakes in butter and syrup as desired. Enjoy!

BONUS: When I have leftover pancakes, I like to reheat them in the toaster for a snack. Spread with butter (or Earth Balance, Country Crock, whatever) and top with a spoonful of sugar. Fold in half and devour. Yum!

They look pretty tasty, right?

Yum.

Do you have any tips for pancake perfection?

Bandwagons…

April 13, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

…are for jumping on, right? So here we go!

I’ve always loved to write, but it’s been awhile (college, anyone?) since I sat down and hammered out anything longer than a cover letter (and um, apparently those were not so hot).  So for now, I want this to be a space where I can flex my typing skills, share my opinions, adventures and even especially my non-adventures.

This is the third draft I’ve written of my first post, and I have a feeling that if I don’t hit “publish,” my little bloggy experiment will go nowhere fast. So, here I go! Onward into blogland!

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