Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Quiet Evenings

Apparently now when I don't have anything to do in the evenings (aka, all the evenings), I decide I should write blog posts. Confession: I have 3-4 posts already written in my drafts portion. One is being saved for the right moment, and two are just two I wrote and decided they weren't worthy of posting.

I'm complicated.

Today I went to Career Connections and interviewed for them. It's like a temp agency, and while I have done the whole temp agency song-and-dance routine, I've found they are pretty good at keeping me employed. Plus I scored 97% on the Word test and 90% on the Excel test. Oh and got 82 wpm. Wow, I rock. I should be hired immediately! I'm so humble.

plus, I'm adorable!!
Anyway. Both my poor parents are sick these days, with insufferable cough/cold situations. I am convinced that I'm not going to get it. Why? Because I started drinking apple cider vinegar a few weeks ago and it's supposed to make you invincible. So it's like a test! Bring it on, germies!!

You know what is just great about being unemployed? It doesn't matter in the least what I wear all day! I can literally wear whatever strikes my fancy and it is the least important thing. After I got back from my interview today, I got to shed the heels and pencil skirt. And so I grabbed what was chilling on my floor, aka sweatpants and a shredded (on-purpose) t-shirt. At 3:30pm on a Wednesday! It is not all bad in my neck of the woods, friends.

Since Momma is sick, I walked the dogs while she made soup (chicken and rice, oh yeah). I like walking them at sunset best. They don't like it so much because it means they have to wait for a while after they eat their dinner. But the skies are the best then. Cool skies never get old. I bet about 50% of the photos on my phone are of (or featuring) the sky.

today's sunset photo!
Well, let's hope Career Connections pulls through for me and finds me something perfect with insurance so that I can go to the eye doctor, get my prescription updated, and order more contacts. I only have one set left. :-/ bisous!

took this guy walking the dogs the other day, at Sells' Park

Monday, September 24, 2012

A Birthday Dinner

Today is my mother's birthday. I have promised not to disclose how old she is on the internet, because I am a great daughter, but obviously we did a lil' bit o' celebratin' at the Hunter household.

Now, if you know anything about me (which I hoooope you do...since you're reading this), you probably know that I tend to take on cooking projects when I have very little to do and/or it's cold outside. My dad works evenings and so he wasn't around this evening for dinner; therefore, we made a big dinner yesterday.

I hauled out my French cooking cookbook (A Little Taste of . . . France) which helpfully gives the grams and their inferior cups/tablespoons/ounces conversions. After reading through the whole book multiple times, going through pinterest, and doing a little hemming and hawing, we chose a decidedly French menu. A quick American-style starter of mushroom and onion pull-apart bread (a pinterest find), followed by a main course of baked garlic prawns and vegetable (tomatoes, zucchini) tian, with individual chocolate-mint soufflés for dessert.

I will not say I did it all without help; I hate peeling/deveining shrimp, I often needed a third hand with the soufflés, and Mom basically did the pull-apart bread all by herself while I prepared the creme patissière soufflé base. However, it was my project, and it came out above what I expected. The run-down:

1. Pull-apart bread: we should have used something other than the 2-day-old loaf we did use...I think it needed more onion flavor, but it was yummy and easy
2. Baked Garlic Prawns: suuuuper tasty and simple (butter, olive oil, shrimp, garlic, red pepper...that's it!!), would have been better with French butter (like everything!)
3. Vegetable Tian: decidedly French, especially as the recipe didn't call for salt or pepper...a very easy and pretty way to cook vegetables, and it was tasty with the Gruyère cheese
4. Chocolate-mint Soufflés: a soufflé is something I've been hoping to tackle for a while was intimidating and I was CERTAIN my soufflés wouldn't rise, especially since I made a random substitution of crème de menthe instead of chocolate liqueur...well they did rise! and were quite tasty, very rich, could have done a better job folding in the egg whites, and my measurements weren't so precise...but I'll call it a success anyway, homie

Now, please enjoy some photos of our bounty, don't be too jealous, and if you're nice and lovely, maybe I'll cook for you someday. ;-) Also, don't forget to wish my amazing momma a happy birthday!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

So Here's What is Happening

Since arriving home, it's been fairly quiet, but life is not without its surprises. Here's what has been happening chez moi since I last wrote:

1. my car got was, according to the towing guy, "a rite of passage for living in Athens," but it still left me -$138.89
2. I've gotten back into my baking pants and made two quiches and some banana-pear-brandy bread (which was a Natalie-altered recipe, and a great success!)
3. made lots of walks around my neighborhood and I'm happy to report not too many changes, lots of cats, and a few deer/bunny sightings
4. I tore up my finger pads on a bouldering trip and they hurt, a lot
5. my room has been reorganized, and yesterday I opened 3 boxes from my apartment in Brooklyn...progress!
6. I've applied to a few jobs in town, have yet to hear back from any of them
7. apparently it costs about $100 to get my substitute teaching license; therefore, it's on the back burner, because I would rather get a job for free than pay for one
8. been fighting many random, middle-of-the-day headaches, which means many random, middle-of-the-day naps
9. I upgraded my phone, which was long-overdue, and now I can see 100% of the screen, instead of 66%
10. I've seen a few people from high school and have succeeded in not acting like I'm still in high school (aka awkward and self-conscious)!

Here are a few iPhone shots I've taken of my past 10 days at home:

dog butts while walking the 'hood
the aforementioned banana-pear-brandy bread
deer, chillin'
potted plants in the front yard
the brown dalmatian is hiding under the covers somewhere

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Lemme Upgrade Ya

I arrived home Monday. After flying into Pittsburgh, my mother and I spent the day shopping around. We went to Ikea, since one of the things I keep bringing up enthusiastically is that I plan to help Mom reorganize her sewing room. And the garage. Things have sort of built up into a wall of stuff that is hard to get around, so we scoured the home organization section of the Promised Land (I mean, Ikea) to figure out some solutions. And we went shoe shopping because I destroyed all my flats in the City of Cobbles. Especially in the end after I couldn't afford subway rides anymore...walking 6+ miles a day will KILL your shoes.

clear skies over Pittsburgh
Side note: I bought fake Toms and I feel bad about that because the ones I bought don't give shoes to underprivileged kids. But they were less than half the price, and so I promised myself I would donate some other shoes to the local Goodwill because there are kids in Athens that can't afford shoes either. Phew. I feel better. PS the ones I got are sparklyyyy....

So anyway, then we drove home and I was greeted by one smiling Dalmatian and one peeing Dalmatian. And my dad.

the peeing one
I've been home for just over 24 hours and now I am confronted with the immense organizational problem that is my room. I cleaned it out last summer, but I'm pretty sure my things all reproduce when I am not there. It's already kind of trying, so I figured I need to look on the bright side.


List of Things that are WAY BETTER at Home than in France and/or at Camp

living in 6ft x 9ft
1. My bed at home is roughly the size of my apartment in France, and no one else who is a person sleeps within 25 feet of me.
2. My wardrobe has doubled without me doing anything, since I left stuff here and definitely forgot about it.
3. Peeing in the middle of the night means no longer accidentally running into random people or tripping over tennis rackets and cleats.
4. WASHER AND DRYER (listen, I can't tell you the last time I washed my bras)
5. Having dogs to play with
6. Choosing what I want to eat for dinner (last night was corn and quesadillas, tonight is shrimp, tomorrow is salmon!)
7. Fully emptying my suitcases (was previously using them to store pants under my bed)
8. Reliable, wireless internet
9. Access to a lot of stuff my sister left behind*
10. QT with the parents, even if I do have to program my dad's iPhone

Yesterday I didn't really leave the house, but today I'm getting my hair cut, I might do something about my unruly eyebrows, and I'm looking to hit the drugstore. Hopefully I'll make some headway on the job front too!

*Steph: it's really just stuff in the bathroom, I swear. Mom-approved.

"stay home with meeee..."
The transition is...transitioning. Little luxuries are adding up. Now I just need to find some work!