Target is lovely

In the words of Jake "you like Target because it is lovely". HA! Yes, it sounded funny coming out of his mouth. Lovely is currently my favorite word- so I'm glad to see that he picked up on that. However, I never considered Target lovely, but I can see Jake's point. It's true that when I force myself to shop- I usually choose Target. It's clean, airy, inexpensive and all wrapped up in cute little packages. Today I bought a few items for my library. I'm trying to make it look less dorm, more gardeny (this word should exist) without really spending money. As I sit here surrounded by green pillows, a green cat window seat (made with a wine box), a green planter- I realize that I've Grandma flopped. I went from being like Grandma Krumich and buying everything in blue to realizing that I need to branch out on the rainbow and therefore switched to buying everything in green (Grandma Orris's favorite color). I'm ok with that. The colors are lovely.

For the record, I think most of Target's stuff is pretty cheaply made. It's basically meant for people to use for a season and then move on- I guess not the appliances and dishes, but most everything else. However, I like to one stop shop- strip malls are horrid! So, in an effort to boycott Walmart- I go to Target. Still a monopoly, but according to many it is much less evil than Walmart. Plus, Walmart is dirty, they wear ugly outfits (I like Target's red shirts with khakis), and something about the tight aisles and lights makes me cranky!

Update on my 1950s dinner goal: Today I really felt in the swing of it. I put a roast in the crock pot at noon (with a blue cheese marinade that we had used previously- no prep work for me!), cut up sweet potatoes and made baked fries, made a salad (we get a HUGE head from the Farmer' Market every week for $1.50!) and followed dinner up with the fresh raspberries in jello that I made the other night. I spent probably 15 minutes total prepping this meal and when we were done eating, the kitchen was still fairly tidy! UNBELIEVABLE! If I keep this up, I will be ready for life as a sitcom mom!


Where's Heloise?

HELP! I'm doing laundy on this hot hot hot Oregon day. I wash the clothes, dry them for 10 minutes and then hang them to dry- you're very welcome Mother Earth. Though today is not the first day I've noticed this problem, with a load of black pants and hospital scrubs- it's time that I acknowledge the problem. The clothes are COVERED in cat hair! I'm talking winter in Russia fur covered clothing! I bought a really crappy and old washer and dryer from Craigslist when we moved here. Can something be done? Do I have to buy new stuff?


A wifely duty

Every other week, Jake works 6 night shifts in a row. So, that means he has every other week off... but I'm pretty much on my own during the 6 days he works. Now that it's summer, I have the goal to prepare yummy dinners for him when he's working. We do get to spend 2 hours a day together- and eat dinner right before he leaves for his evening shift. However, I DON'T LIKE TO MAKE DINNER! It's mostly because I'm lazy- I'll admit to that! I love cooking when we have guests, but not for myself or for the two of us. Jake can open a cupboard and find inspiration for quick gourmet meals. I open the cupboard and see cereal and ramen... it's an evil trick someone or something is playing on us.

However, I do see value in the old-timers tradition of a wife preparing a dinner for her bread-winning hubby, putting on a nice outfit and make-up, setting a table, etc. This greatly conflicts with my bed head, no make-up, elastic-waisted style I have quickly adopted for the summer. Yet, life is short and my husband is lovely, 1950s- HERE I COME.

Today I put off thinking about dinner until 3 and by then I already felt productive because I had actually showered! As I was preparing for a quick shopping trip to buy a stand for my new (used) electronic piano, I forced myself to open a cookbook. I opened right to an Oriental Chicken Salad recipe that uses peas- perfect because that's the one thing our garden is producing right now. So, I bought the cabbage (ok, the premade coleslaw mix) and headed to the canned meat aisle. Sounds appetizing already, eh? (sarcasm folks) I quickly scanned for canned chicken (part of my culinary problems stems from the fact that I hate shopping and therefore RUSH through the store in an attempt to escape impulse buys and fluorescent lights). For a brief second I thought my healthy meal was going to be sabotaged due to no canned chicken, but I found it right next to the crab and salmon cake mixes. Hmmm.... salmon patties will make a great side to my Oriental Chicken Salad.

Jake is an honest fellow- a good trait most of the time, however I do get a little disheartened each time he brainstorms improvements on my cooking. Today was different. He took a bite and declared it in his top 10 all-time favorite meals. In fact, he said he could eat this dish EVERY DAY! Score, I'll make it once a week this summer- that's a promise! Then he said, "I think it would be good with chicken too." "It IS chicken", I replied while pausing slightly over the strange texture of the chicken in my mouth. He burst out laughing and asked me if I bought "Chicken of the sea". WTF... why do they make the word CHICKEN the largest thing on a can of TUNA?

Ah, Chef Julie is foiled again! By the way, the salmon patties turned out perfect.


The girl I am not

I hate to admit it, but

I am not a multi-pitch climber. I am not a long distance runner. I am not living in a perfect house with perfect decorations and perfectly filled with meaningless stuff. I am not a culinary goddess. Hell, I am not a goddess. I am not going to look perfect- ever. I am not going to fight my body. I am not ignorant nor inexperienced though I have run into more than my share of ageism this year (hello! don't you SEE all my white hair???). I am not going to spend money on fleeting styles (organic and adventure wear does not count). I am not going to fake interest. I am not full of never ending energy. I am not a pushover. I am not trying to be that girl anymore!


It began when Jake proposed to me at Idlewild Amusement Park located 5 minutes from his father's house in Ligonier, PA. We were in love- mostly with each other, but also the park, the day, life... Since then "Idlewild" has been our motto (A motto -from the Italian word motto, meaning witticism, sentence- is a phrase meant to formally describe the general motivation or intention of a social group or organization. ).

It now perfectly describes my summer. IDLE: Hours spent surfing the web, checking numerous social sites (facebook, blogs, myspace, what other band wagons can I jump on?), checking mama sites (I'm optimistic about that possibility in my distant future), watching internet tv. Hours spent plucking weeds from my gardens and pretending that I know how to prune rose bushes. Hours running/walking around neighborhoods making silent critiques of homes and yards. Hours dreaming about upcoming summer adventures. Hours attempting to remaster (did I ever master it in the first place?) the piano. WILD: Life with Jake! Driving to jumping off points for hikes, camp sites, hot springs, climbs, water trips, city excursions. Dreaming of our future and what it might entail. The status of our garden even though we tend it diligently. My part-time job at the Psychiatric Crisis Center.

So, here it is- my own blog. Those of you that have blogs, if I know of it- I probably check it 3-7 times a week. It's weird, but I do. So, I'll do a little posting and see if I enjoy writing my own thoughts as much as I enjoy reading yours.

side note: the flower was my all-time favorite. When we moved into our house- there were HUGE vines covered in the Passion Flower. This winter, the vine died. It took YEARS grow as big as it did and the year I'm here eagerly anticipating it's arrival- kerplunk :(