I drove to work today behind Cruella DeVille. It must be Halloween.... :D


ten things I like about life

I'm making an effort to slow down and look for "joy in the journey"; on the premise that life isn't about arriving at a destination, it's about traveling along the road. And everyone knows road trips are no fun if you're always asking "are we there yet" instead of looking at the scenery as you go. So, I've been noticing that there are a few things that make me smile on the inside. They're not big, spectacular, or even very special; they are just tiny, little, ordinary things that warm my heart and give me a little surge of happy.

In no particular order, here are my current* top ten:

  • the sound of the coffee grinder in the morning
  • a hot bath
  • that warm, glowy feeling after said hot bath
  • the sound of a text message
  • finding money in an unexpected place
  • Chester-kitty purring
  • a spontaneous kiss in public
  • a certain pair of jeans on my husband
  • Bonne Bell Dr. Pepper Lip Smackers
  • catching a whiff of Rob's delicious man-cologne

  • What are some little things that delight you?

    *of course, these will probably change over time-- as I notice new things, I'll make a new list. However, that won't change the fact that I still like what's on this first list.


    fall vacay!

    Blast it all, I've been trying to write this post for the last three days. It's been sitting on my desktop and I've been adding to it bit by bit between tasks at work, so if it sounds chopped up, well... it is. :) It's already been a busy week and it's only Wednesday.

    Personally, I think the government should instate Thursday as the new Friday in this country. (that goes against most of my political views, haha) Then we could all always have delightful little 3-day pockets of time to really relax and actually get refreshed instead of cramming all the housework into one day and spending the other sleeping to recover . If I were running in this election, that would be my first bill... now you all know who to vote for! Or something. :) I'm so not political. Ha.

    Anyway, we had a WONDERFUL weekend at "our" cabin doing pretty much nothing. (I say "our" because we've been there once before and it felt so homey, we plan on going back often) We left our apartment in St. Anthony around 6:30 pm on Thursday, after being informed by Aaron (the guy we'd been corresponding with about renting the cabin) that the construction (!) and rain had rendered the road to the cabin un-drivable. He offered to give us a gift certificate for a free night, seeing as we were definitely not interested in staying home. Who cares about a little mud anyway? We just swung into Wal-Mart to grab some flashlights and set off. The cabin is part of Camp Lebanon, in Melrose, MN but it's a good ways away from the main camp (ie, lots of buildings and people, if there's an event, which there wasn't).

    [zoomed in; we're the blue dot on the shore of the lake!]

    When we got there, it was pitch dark and we did indeed have to park down by the main lodge and tromp through the woods at night carrying our bags to get to our secluded cabin. It was actually a fun, adventurous way to kick off the weekend!
    [the cabin. from the front; the road is off to the left of the picture]

    I've always considered myself a "city girl" in that I prefer city activities (driving, shopping, dressing up, seeing lights and action) over country or outdoorsy ones (hiking, camping, dirt, bugs). But I'll tell ya, this last weekend was pure bliss. There was nothing to do! Nowhere to go! Not even any internet! *gasp* And I liked it. The stillness and peacefulness of being very far away from civilization was so... refreshing in contrast with my usual busy, electronic life. I even enjoyed making food again (this is no small wonder). I'm still not going to say that hiking and actual camping- the kind that involves sleeping on the ground and cooking in the dirt- are high on my "enjoyed activities" list, but THIS kind of camping, in a log cabin with real beds/showers/toilets, is just my style. It had all the benefits of getting away from the usual scene, enjoying the quiet and gorgeous scenery, and even cooking over fire... with none of the things I hate, like being dirty and trying to get clean using only cold groundwater. I think that if it had been a little warmer, I would have even gone for a walk. :)
    [from the front door]

    As it was, we contented our need to be out in nature by swinging on the porch swing and taking pictures of the scenery and each other. And of course trying to start wood fires, but succeeding only in starting charcoal briquets on fire in the BBQ. :)

    [the porch swing]

    [a piece of flying flesh!]

    [hey, a normal one]

    [why am I the only one who does goofy solo poses?]

    [Handsome Rob]

    [taking a picture]

    [the picture]

    [fire attempts]

    Rob did most of the actual cooking- outside on the grill! But I still planned the meals and prepped the food. We ate like kings. Steak and grilled veggies (yellow squash and red bell peppers) with biscuits the first night, followed by s'mores and popcorn (microwave, haha!) while watching Patriot Games on the lappy (heck yes we brought it). Bacon-wrapped salmon, wild rice, yams, and more grilled veggies the second night, with brownies and cold milk for dessert. I think everything tastes 100x better when cooked over open flames. Which is convenient, since Rob loves those flames! Breakfast was eggs and bacon one day, blueberry muffins the next, and... something I can't remember for the day we left.

    [dinner, day one]


    Much of our time was spent talking and reading. And sleeeeeeping! Sunday morning it snowed, so we spent the better part of an hour curled up on the couch watching the flakes swirl. I felt like Jess in The Man From Snowy River when the The Man (what was his name again?) whisks her off to his cabin in the "highlands" and it's all windy outside, but they're insulated from not only the weather but from all the cares of the outside world as well. It's a gooooood feeling.

    The cabin is rustic (made out of real logs! Like Laura Ingalls' house!) but totally modern and actually quite spacious. It has a large living/dining room with a handy kitchenette, a good-sized bathroom, a small bedroom (with a huge bed), and a loft above the bedroom that holds two twin beds. The whole front of the cabin is windows, with a wooden deck wrapping around it, and it faces the lake.

    [bedroom, from the kitchenette]

    [in zee kitchen. bathroom is on the other side of the wall behind me]

    [looking out into the living/dining room from the kitch]

    [turned slightly left]

    [look up- windows!]

    [look left-- loft!]

    [view from the loft]

    We left on Sunday around 3ish. Rob decided to brave the muddy road and see if he could pull the car up to the cabin door. I'm so glad he did, because somehow our stuff had multiplied while we were there and I wasn't relishing the thought of hiking to our car in the windy/snowy/freezing weather, hauling our bags over the mud. For the record, the "stuff" that had multiplied was food, since we had taken a little trip into town for a few things we needed, like y'know, the steak. ;) I really did actually pack light; we shared one duffel bag that contained all our clothing and toiletries and shoes. I promise! After all, why pack much when there are no actual activities to be at? This was a breakthrough for me. However, I still managed to bring one whole outfit that I never wore, which is noticeable in the pictures. They are from all three days, despite the fact that I'm wearing the exact. same. thing. in each picture. I don't think the trees cared. heh heh

    So, fall vacay is officially over. My appetite is definitely whetted to go back next year!


    thirty, flirty, and thriving

    I'm loving being 30. I feel so... legit. Bona-fide. Old. hahahahaha Seriously, I had a really grand birthday, with my mom's visit and some special surprises from my Dad, brothers, and Rob.

    Saturday was spent treasure hunting with Mom, AKA thrifting. :) We must have gone to 5 or 6 huge thrift stores, and we found quite a few treasures. I wish I would have gotten pictures when we brought all the loot back to show Rob, but I didn't think of it at the time. Consequently, I had to got through my closet and find the new stuff and compile it to take these pictures. I fear I may have left something out. No, wait... I know I did. A fabulous little retro cooler with a white and turquoise naugahyde cover. Darn. I'll have to get a picture later. It really is cool. [snicker] Not to mention, I didn't get shots of any of Mom's stuff, and she got some real finds. Like two cashmere sweaters, a long hot pink wool coat [jealous] and other things that I can't remember anymore.

    Here's my catch o' the day:

    orange wool sweater with horizontal ribbing on the bodice, $2.95
    yellow scarf, $.99
    green scarf with "irene" embroidered on it, $.99
    chocolate brown tie-front merino wool sweater, $5.00
    cotton cream sweater with black stripes, $2.99
    cozy emerald green scarf, $3.99

    I forgot to include the perfectly tailored navy blue wool vest, $3.99

    And these shoes for $4.99:

    Of course I can't go anywhere, especially not thrifting, without seeing something for Rob. In fact, I think I almost like shopping for him better than I like shopping for myself. Yes, I think I do... there's no "butt anxiety" when shopping for men. (ie, "does my butt look fat in this??") You just get it and pretty much know that it's going to fit if the numbers are right. :)

    Here's Rob's stash:

    burgundy merino wool sweater vest, $1.99
    brown/tan/cream striped rugby-style shirt (longsleeved), $3.99
    brand-new (!) Helly Hansen leather insulated boots, $24.99
    black/gray striped longsleeved thermal tee, $3.99
    orange/brown scarf, $.99
    Kenneth Cole leather loafers (minimal wear!), $14.99

    Not pictured is a really snappy orange and brown tiny houndstooth tie. All in all, I'm really happy with what we got! (This outfit was inspiration) I don't normally buy shoes in thrift stores, but these were in such great condition, and just so happened to be exactly what we'd been looking for and were his size. So yay for treasures!

    I worked on Monday, and the day flew by quickly for some reason. I went home to eat lunch, and when I got back I found these waiting for me on my desk:
    All my co-workers got together and signed the card. How sweet, huh?

    That night we (Mom, Rob & I) went out to eat at India Palace in Roseville, and it was smashingly delicious. We ordered several dishes and shared them, family-style. There were definitely leftovers (that I am glad I didn't forget at Andria's house later that night!)

    Tuesday was my actual birthday... I got to laze in bed, eat a yummy breakfast made by Rob, then after talking and whatever for the rest of the morning, we went to Cupcake for lunch. Next door was Art & Arctechure, a place that Mom has mentioned wanting to go to since she first visited me in Minneapolis, we just never had time or knew where it was. Surprise, surprise! It's basically a "boneyard" for old house parts; they re-sell archetecural pieces to people who want to use them in their remodel or new construction. There were loads of interesting things like entire arched doorways (complete with jambs), old movie marquee lettering, industrial kitchen elements, stamped tin ceiling tiles, and small stuff like lamps and antique furnature and curios. Too bad we didn't have more time, it would have been fun to pick through. As it was, we did manage to take a few pictures!

    We dropped Mom at the airport at 3:00ish, then Rob and I went to the MOA to make a makeup exchange. I got a lip gloss and an eyeliner that I had been coveting for a while, and I talked Rob into trying on a fedora, while I took his picture and kissed him. He was obliging enough to dance a few swing moves and spin me around... in Nordstroms. Heh heh heh. What a good sport.

    When we got home I found this waiting for me from my Dad and all three brothers:

    Then Rob took me out to sushi at our favorite little spot in Maplewood. We had a rockin' good time there! My brother Brian called me to say happy birthday, and when he found out where we were, he asked to talk to our waitress. Yep, that's Brian for ya. She walked off with my phone (!) and after she came back, I've never received so much personal attention at a restaurant in my life. When we got our bill, it had a zero balance with the words "Happy Birthday- Love Brian and Jeff" written across the bottom. Those boys! *love*

    I got various presents from Rob throughout the day, and even a surprise in the mail from my blog-friend, Kat, who didn't even know it was my birthday. :) I talked to all my family and special friends on the phone and through e-mail... It was a fabulous birthday!


    end of an era

    Today is my last day in my twenties. It's an odd feeling... I don't know whether to be sad or excited, optimistic or nostalgic. So I think I'll be both. Er, all four?

    I'm definitely looking forward to growing, changing and getting more sanctified. But a huge part of me feels kinda sad and more than a little scared. Not afraid of the future, but afraid that I don't have enough "life" behind me to be this old. Maybe that doesn't make sense. At any rate, I don't want to look backward because I can't change anything... and there's SO much to look forward to! This is going to be a great decade. I can't wait to see what adventures it holds.

    Maybe I'll come back later today and post about what a great decade my twenties were, especially since I kind of did for my teens that a few days ago in my 90's music post. But at the moment, I don't feel like I can attack that kind of a post. I'm kind of emotional and don't want to tap into all that just yet. *sigh*

    Mom's still here (yay) and we've been having a great time. Saturday's plan to go to Duluth got vetoed late Friday night when we realized that it was 12:30 and we were still talking. Heh. So we slept in and went treasure-hunting (thrifting) instead. We got some great finds, but I didn't get anything like the outfit I posted below. Oh wait, I did get a bright orange wool sweater with sideways ribbing, so that definitely counts! I'll post pictures of the finds as I'm able (translation: not at work).

    Unfortunately I am working today, so I left Mom to her own devices this morning. I think she was more than happy to get the chance to sleep in and have some quiet time to herself with no contractors and nail-bangers in the other room. Bless my dear parents for all the work they've been going through to make our old family home "new" and fresh and welcoming to the hordes of grandchildren that have yet to be born. Or even conceived. :) I'm very very very glad they decided to use mom's inheritance to remodel their current home (since 1997) than selling it and buying a much smaller new home or condo somewhere else. Where would we all sleep when we come home for Christmases?

    Anyway, all that to say that I'm happy that today Mom gets to spend some quiet personal time. I'm going to meet her for lunch, then we're going to go out to my birthday dinner tonight (indian food!) before heading to small group at 7, which admittedly throws a bit of a wrench into our plans... but Monday was the day everyone decided on when I asked to change it from our usual Tuesday since I wanted my actual birthday free. That was before we made Mom's flight plans. Oh well. Then Tuesday will be spend lazing around in the morning (maybe walking around Silver Lake?) and lunching at Cupcake after browsing Dinkytown. Mom has to be at the airport at 3:30 (sob) and then I think my Babes has *something* planned for my birthday evening. Then two more days of work before we GO AWAY FOR OUR LONG WEEKEND! Can you tell what I'm looking forward to the most? hahaha

    In other news... I plan to talk to my boss today about some changes I desperately NEED at work. Pray that goes well. it could be fabulous or it could be a disaster.

    I promise pictures of mom-visit and found treasures asap.


    picking up mom

    My mom flies in today at 3:20 (well, hopefully; her plane out of Reno is a little delayed). I'm so excited! Yesterday I made a plan for what we're going to be doing (yup, Erica, an OUTLINE!) and got the house all spiffied up. So I'm just biding my time at work today- seriously, there's nothing to do- before I hop in the car and go pick her up. :) Pictures will be forthcoming, I'm sure.

    In other news... I must have an outfit just like this.
    Do you know how long and dreary and gray the winters are in Minnesota? Well, they are REALLY long and dreary and gray. Like, from now until May there is nary a blade of grass or leaflet on a tree in sight. And forget blue skies. I must combat this icy-gray world with COLOR! Good thing Mom's coming; I have Tuesday planned for thrifting. :)



    Is it still a sin if the object of my lust is not flesh and blood, but aluminum and glass?
    My old (2001) PC laptop died a few weeks ago. It was a peaceful death... the poor thing just couldn't boot up one more time. So it left me completely computer-less for the first time in seven years. It's a strange feeling; I don't know exactly where my "life" is (as in, all the important information, not my identity. haha) I do have a user account on Rob's MacBook, and it's awesome of him to share with me like that, but he's ON his computer all the time for school (rightly so) so I rarely, if ever, touch it any more. I use my iPhone to check my e-mail, surf the web, keep up-to-date on our calendar and other such things, so I'm not totally deprived. There's just something about having an actual computer to have all my stuff in. Photos, programs, projects, and other things that probably don't start with a P. ;) Anyway, after watching the unveiling of the new MacBooks, my desire for a computer to call my own is very much renewed.

    Rob has actually been talking about getting a desktop computer (iMac) for school purposes for a while now... and now that the new MacBooks are out, he's seriously considering getting one of those and a desktop display for it. Or selling our current MacBook and replacing it, and getting an iMac for him. And since he still works at Apple (albeit only two days a week) he can get a hefty employee discount, so that helps. He made a little price comparison chart to help us decide:I'm not sure what we're gonna do, but I can say that when I look at that sleek new MacBook, feelings akin to lust well up within me and I want to pop it right out of the screen and onto my lap.

    Ew, that was kinda weird. Anyway. I like that Tahoe picture on the screen of the MacBook. :)


    ninetys nostalgia

    I love '90's music.

    Well, let me clarify: I love '90's rock and alternative music, not Michael Bolton-ish stuff or R. Kelley. (sorry, fans of those guys... all 7 of you)

    I've been listening through the '90's music that I have on my iPhone today, and riding the wave of memories. The '90's were a good decade for me; I became a teenager in 1991, got braces and my first crush in 1992 (and danced in the Carson City 4th of July parade with my youth group! haha) developed lifetime friends, made definitive life choices, got asked out for the first time in 1994 (I refused), got my driver's license in 1994, moved from my childhood home in 1995, started my first home business in 1996, cut my waist-length hair to my chin in the summer of 1996 (much to the chagrin of my older, hot, British tennis teacher), learned to snowboard in the winter of 1996, went to EXCEL in January of 1997, got my first speeding ticket in 1997, went snowboarding 3 days a week in the winters of '96, '97, and '98, turned 20 and started leading my church's children's ministry in 1998, turned 21 in 1999, and of course filled several diaries with teen angst over the course of the decade. So yeah, the '90's hold a ton of my growing-up memories. And the songs that came out of that time were the "soundtrack of my life".

    I'm going to list the '90's songs that I particularly love, and the memories they bring up, if any.

  • Wonderwall by Oasis
    Reminds me of driving our big, "beautiful", banana-yellow 1978 Lincoln Continental that someone gave us. I hated that thing, but man, did it have power! (hence the reason I got my first speeding ticket)

  • Song 2 by Blur
    happy, happy, happy song! It makes me think of flying down a run at Mt. Rose on a gorgeous day, listening to it blast over my Diskman headphones.

  • Santa Monica by Everclear
    another happy song. I don't have any particular memory, just like it.

  • I Will Buy You A New Life by Everclear
    I think of driving up to Mt. Rose in my parents' old Caravan, and it breaking down. My pal Jesse sang me this song to lighten the mood.

  • Walkin' On The Sun by Smashmouth
    This brings up memories of my brother David and his best friend Jesse fighting over a line of this song that each heard differently. Silly boys.

  • Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls
    C'mon... who doesn't like this song? It's absolutely quintessential for any child of the '90's. I've listened to it so much that it has no single memory.

  • No Rain by Blind Melon
    Reminds me of David singing. hahaha

  • The Freshmen by The Verve Pipe (not to be confused with The Verve)
    Love this song. It reminds me of working at Nevada Lynn's, a little roadside store, with my brothers. Also driving Jesse's little Toyota Tercel up to ride Mt. Rose.

  • Sex and Candy by Marcy Playground

  • If You Could Only See by Tonic
    This was the song David sang to his first girlfriend, Brenna, who had blue eyes.

  • Baby, Baby by Amy Grant
    Dancing with Hannah in her bedroom!

  • Mambo #5 by Lou Bega
    What a dorky song! I think of driving too Reno with Erica, blasting the part that says "a little bit of Erica..."

  • The Impression That I Get by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones
    Ugh, ska. Not my favorite. Moving on...

  • So What'cha Want? by the Beastie Boys
    hahaha, this song makes me laugh. sometimes when my brothers and I would ask each other what we wanted, we'd sing it just like this song.

  • Whoomp! There It Is by Tag Team
    Another lame one. I remember this song because everyone and their brother would always say "whoomp, there it is" for various reasons

  • Glycerine by Bush
    I remember this as one of the first songs that David learned to play on his bass guitar that wasn't a "worship song" :)

  • All I Wanna Do by Sheryl Crow
    this song makes me think of sun-drenched vacations in Santa Barbara where I spent all day at the beach then hit the thrift stores and the ice cream shop. Happiness.

  • Ironic by Alanis Morissette
    This reminds me of Hannah and Jesse fighting over who wrote it- Han thought it was Sheryl Crow, and Jesse thought it was Alanis. It's a great song.

  • I Only Wanna Be With You by Hootie and the Blowfish
    Laaaaaame song. It was ubiquitous, which is probably why I didn't really like it. And I couldn't relate; I didn't have a boyfriend.

  • Only Happy When it Rains by Garbage
    Dude. I loved this song! It was dark, but gosh I liked it. :)

  • If It Makes You Happy by Sheryl Crow

  • Follow You Down by Gin Blossoms

  • I Love You Always Forever by Donna Lewis
    Seriously cheesy, but who can forget Kristi Yamaguchi skating to this one in the... olympics? Okay, apparently a lot of people can, but I always remember that.

  • Semi-Charmed Life by Third Eye Blind

  • Tubthumping by Chumbawamba
    I remember this song being on a section of a snowboard video where they showed all the wipeouts. Haha, very clever.

  • Banditos by The Refreshments
    crazy, funny, cool song. We listened to this one a lot while snowboarding; it gives you that "spring" in your... glide?

  • Head Over Feet by Alanis
    gosh, what an awesome song. I must have sung this one with Hannah a gagillion times. It was my introduction to Alanis, and I've been hooked ever since.

  • How's It Gonna Be by Third Eye Blind
    This is another of my absolute favorites. It instantly takes me to the snowboard park on the Slide side of Mt. Rose on a super-snowy day. There were speakers blasting this song as I rode through, floating over the fresh powder in time to the music. Such a good memory!

  • Fly by Sugar Ray
    another awesome bouncy snowboarding song

  • Where Have All The Cowboys Gone by Paula Cole
    Hannah. This song makes me think of Hannah and our sleepovers where we'd read each other's diaries and lament about not knowing any cool guys. Heh.

  • Brimful of Asha by Cornershop
    I have no idea what they're talking about, but I like the song

  • Angel by Sarah Mclachlan

  • Dream by the Cranberries

  • Zoot Suit Riot by Cherry Poppin' Daddies

  • Scar Tissue by the Red Hot Chili Peppers

  • All Star by Smashmouth

  • Someday by Sugar Ray

  • Every Morning by Sugar Ray

  • Better Days by Citizen Cane

  • Good Riddance by Green Day

  • Clumsy by Our Lady Peace
    This is another one that makes me think of Hannah... she claimed this as her "theme song" because she thought she was clumsy and no one noticed her. Ha, if she only knew.

  • Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve

  • Mr. Jones by Counting Crows

  • Long December by Counting Crows
    Quite possibly my favorite song of the decade. I have so so so so many memories attached to this tune! But the original and best is the memory I have of sitting on a chairlift early one stormy morning in the winter of 1997 with David and Jesse, looking at a skier with hot pink goggles on the run below us, and David calling down to him, "Hey- it's one more day up in the canyon!" and the dude just looking up at us like we were crazy (which we were). Thereafter "one more day up in the canyon" was our codespeak for "let's go snowboarding!" Goooood times. "there will never be another '97", huh guys?

  • 3am by Matchbox20 (before they were Matchbox Twenty)
    one of the songs that can bring back memories the strongest; I think of driving up or down the mountain whenever I hear this one (and the other Matchbox20 songs, too)

  • Push by Matchbox20
    heh, David used to sing this "at" me when he was mad at me for whatever reason

  • Real World by Matchbox20

  • Whew. I think that's about all I have steam for right now. I listened to some country music in the '90's too, but I'll have to save that for another post or come back and edit them in later. Or something.

    What are some I missed? :) What are your favorites and why?


    it's okay

    The car is fine. :)

    It took the Triple-A lady only about a half an hour to get to me, and she jumped my battery, which was most definitely dead. I drove it straight to Tires Plus across the street and down the road from my apartment, and they replaced the battery. All set!

    Of course I had to leave it there for them to work on and walk home in the freezing cold wind... I was just very glad that it had stopped raining (and that I had my galoshes in the car so I didn't have to walk in my heels!) The hot bath was my "carrot" as I was walking without a winter jacket. Heh. Rob got home about an hour later and we ended up having a lovely evening around bowls full of hot chili and the next installment of The Peasant Princess series by Driscoll. Ahhh. :)


    stupid cars

    I've always wished I could fly. Or at the least, had a hovercraft that could float about 15 feet above all the other traffic. Cars are just a hassle. Especially right now.

    I'm sitting in my dark, cold office waiting for the Triple A dude to show up and make mine start. I have no idea what happened to make it decide not to start, but when I went to leave a few minutes ago, nothing at all happened when I turned the key. Meh. Good thing my Babes keeps me hooked up with AAA; they said they'd be here "within the hour". Here's hopin'. Meanwhile, I'm sitting in my chair where I have been uncomfortably planted for the last EIGHT HOURS, staring out the window at the rain, wishing I was at home in a hot bath. And I even had extra time at home alone tonight since Rob is touring a library after class today. I was hoping to get in some reading. Well, I guess it serves me right for planning on laziness!

    So I think I'll surf the web instead. ;)

    Here's the forlorn lil' car, waiting for the doctor

    i'm so domesticated

    Since Erica alluded to the fact that I make my own hummus, I decided a little post about hummus would be nice. Actually, I just got a craving for hummus yesterday and made some... and as I was so doing, I took pictures along the way.

    Hummus is super-easy to make, and I figure I can make the amount I could buy in a store for about a tenth of the cost. This is a very good thing, since Rob and I really like the stuff. So I started out by piling the ingredients together: a can of Garbanzo beans (no, Erica... I do not grow them myself), some kosher salt, garlic, pepper, tahini (sesame seed paste), olive oil, and cumin. Not pictured is the half of a lemon who's juice goes in to the hummus. It's not pictured because I didn't have a lemon in my fridge yesterday. ;) I have a recipe (see my cheesy notes?) because I'm not one of those magic cooks who just knows how to make delicious dishes without a guide. So despite the fact that I've made this recipe about 50 times, I still have to look at it every time.
    I toss all the ingredients except the tahini into my Cuisinart (love this thing!)
    and whirl it around for about a minute or so, then add the tahini. I'm not exactly sure why I wait to add the tahini until later, but I do because that's what the recipe says to do. I'm sure if I put it in with everything else at the beginning it would end up inedible. I'm just sure of it.

    Then ya just scoop it out into a container of choice and enjoy. I usually eat it with celery, bell pepper, and cucumber slices, or in a pita with fresh basil and feta cheese and maybe some sprouts and tomatoes. Or chips.


    I had an overabundance of corn tortillas yesterday (bought a package on Friday not realizing that I already had some) so I decided to make tortilla chips to go with my delicious hummus. Now, before I sound TOO much like Betty Crocker, lemme just say that Rob has made tortilla chips for us before. On several occasions, actually. We got a "fry daddy" (is that a brand?) deep fryer for our wedding, and I honestly did not know what the heck to do with such a thing. I grew up believing in my heart of hearts that fried food was going to send me to an early grave; consequently I had never deep-fried anything. Rob convinced me once to make French fries, insisting that Crisco be the medium of choice. They were sooo yucky (sorry, Babes). But Rob convinced me to try again with canola oil and they were much much better. So when he wanted to try making tortilla chips, I was more than happy to let him experiment. The result? They were the best chips I've ever had, hands-down. And since they were just corn tortillas and canola oil, they had to be better for us than the store-bought ones with loads of preservatives and artificial flavorings, right?

    So since I had all these extra tortillas and a bowl full of fresh hummus on my hands yesterday, I decided to try my own hand at deep-fryering and chip-making. It's simple, really. Heat up a couple of cups of canola oil in the fryer, grab a stack of about 4 or 5 tortillas and cut them into fourths:
    Then pop them into the hot oil:
    Fish them out when they start to turn golden, and let them drain on a baking rack. Salt well.
    Ta-da! Fresh, delicious tortilla chips. I think they might even be cheaper than a bag o' chips. :)

    Here's the finished product: hummus, chips, salsa (NOT homemade, hahahah), and refried black beans (out of a can, thankyouverymuch). Best enjoyed with a BL Lime, if your conscience allows you. If not, Sprite is good too. (And I can't recommend this sermon highly enough. Gotta love Driscoll's straightforwardness)

    Rob and I kicked back and snacked on this feast while watching the iTunes free movie download from last weekend, Dogtown And Z-Boys, a documentary on the beginning of skateboarding. It was a delightful Sunday afternoon.


    iBlog. iBlog seven times.

    Wow, I just looked at this lil site and realized that I've written seven posts in October... and it's only the 10th! Heh heh. And here I thought I'd forget I even had a blog.

    I was only intending to write that ^, but now that I'm here, I can't resist typing more. At least a little something.

    Husby and I are hosting an (almost) impromptu football party this weekend (gasp- that's tomorrow!). I've never hosted a football party, and I think I've only actually attended one. And that was at Rob's parents' house in September of 2005, the first time I flew out to visit Rob in his hometown. Needless to say, I wasn't really paying attention to the game. I was waaaaay too nervous because of all the people I was trying to make a good impression on. (Carrolls, Williams, Chris&Megan, etc. Good times.) And I was waaaay excited to be with Rob, of course. Rabbit trail: I remember writing a text message to my friend Cassidy as I was boarding the plane for that trip, saying something to the effect of "gosh, I'm so nervous. everybody important in Rob's life is going to be there... and we're going to have a pool party. I'll have to meet some of these people for the first time my bathing suit!" After composing it, I accidentally sent it TO ROB. Yargsh. So much for being "cool and comfortable". Ah well, we always have been perfectly honest with each other.

    Anyway, at my first football party I only remember being given an Oklahoma University shirt to wear (felt like such a poser, but it was sweet of them to include me) and seeing the expansive table of "game day" food. I mean, Rob's mother had made literally every kind of midwestern delicacy for that party. There were nachos with Velveta sauce, sausage/cheese/biscuit-ball thingies, jello salad, mini weiners in sauce (horrors) and other stuff I'm sure I'm forgetting. I just remember thinking that there was no way people would eat it all. I was wrong. People arrived by the boatload, stayed ALL. DAY. LONG. and definitely ate all the food. Or most of it anyway.

    So I'm a little nervous about tomorrow. Obviously I have a lot to live up to. I'm planning on grocery shopping tonight and throwing some chili in the crock pot (shhh, it's gonna be "healthy" chili made with ground turkey). I'll go ahead and make the sausage biscuit ball things, but I refuse to make mini weenies. Rob has offered to make the nachos, complete with his very delicious homemade corn chips (fried in canola oil, thank you). I think I'll have some cut-up veggies, and maybe some hummus and rice chips. Hey, this is MY party... if ya don't like my style of party food, go home. haha. I seriously doubt we'll have a boatload of people, so the pressure is going to be low anyway.

    Eh, I'm gonna have a blast. I'll even pull out my OU shirt and try to cheer at the right times, which will be a challenge since football looks like scrambled eggs to me.

    I'll add a picture of Rob and I at that first party back in 2005 when I get home today. Just for your viewing pleasure. (And to keep up my current trend of adding a picture to every post)

    Edited to add the promised pictures:

    The group at the Hulson's house. Can you tell they're fans?

    I was interested in the game. Really.