Saturday, November 28, 2009

We have a cat visiting us. Switters is a lovely, peaceful cat, who happens to weigh twice as much as my cat. There have been a series of small skirmishes and strategic maneuverings all week. This photo demonstrates the size differential and Phi's preferred interaction, the offensive hiss.
Lately I've been skipping the gym and walking outside instead. We live near a lake that has paved paths, and is filled with ducks, geese, and the occasional beaver. (Presumably the beavers are there all the time, and we just occasionally see them.)

To make our walks slightly more vigorous, we carry weights. Until I borrowed the weights you see in the picture below, I was using cans of beans. That was convenient and low-cost, and people we passed started to recognize me as the woman with the canned goods. Unfortunately, I would sometimes eat the beans and forget to replace them, so the hand weights are appreciated.
Even though the leaves are off most of the trees, it's still a peaceful way to start my day.
In other news, we are hosting three parties in three weeks. Yikes. At first I was sort of freaked out by this turn of events - two holidays celebrations fell close together, and then it turned out that Andrew had offered to throw an additional party. But I'm trying to remember that I love the holiday season. Although I pack a lot in, it's all stuff I enjoy doing. If I start seeing these activities as chores, then the whole point of doing them is lost.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Strauss and soup

Can you bear yet another picture of me in yet another hat? This one is posted particularly for my friend, who loaned me the stole. (Yes, it's real fur. No, I don't mind wearing that. This stole was inherited by my friend from her mother-in-law, so those little creatures, whatever they were, died long before I was born.)

Having such a nice wrap gives me an excuse to go nice places, so we saw an opera at the Kennedy Center last weekend. That was where I learned that there are two different composers named Strauss. Johann did the waltzes, and Richard was modern, and among other things, composed the opera which we saw. I think I like Johann a bit better, but I probably shouldn't admit that, because I imagine it's hipper to like modern operas.

In other news, I made (fake) chicken and dumpling soup tonight for dinner. I haven't eaten it in years, but suddenly it sounded like the best thing we could be eating. I have a special place in my heart for chicken and dumpling soup, which was one of the very first dishes I made (mostly) by myself. I was only eight, so I was still eating meat. I cut up the chicken and the vegetables, and made them into soup. The dumplings were made from Bisquick, and when I served it for dinner I was so very proud of myself. My father was careful to exclaim over how good it was, and then after he finished his bowl, he said, "That was great. What's the next course?" I was devastated! I was so proud of making one dish, but he expected more. This was just a momentary slip in my father's normally stellar parenting, so I like to tease him about it as much as possible.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Frivolous pursuits

Once again, I used up all the words I have on the chapter draft I just finished. So, some pictures and uneloquent sentences.

I went to a party and had too much time to prep beforehand. Here's how my outfit turned out:
Today I convinced Andrew to ditch his projects (the latest: a motorcycle shelter) and visit Mt. Vernon, which is George Washington's home. It's been restored so that it looks is it did in the 1790's. We enjoyed the grounds more than the house, because it was a gorgeous day. After sitting in my room and writing at my desk all week, it was heaven to tramp all over the farm. Highlights: the dung repository (Well, it was quite modern that George was composting way back then) and the views, which were stunning and aimed out over the Potomac and a National Park.) Andrew particularly enjoyed the calves:

The low point of the day was the lunch we ate there: how does one make a veggie burger with gristle in it?

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

All alone (and loving it)

I'm alone at home this week, because my husband is off at a conference. I like being married very much, but I also love being alone. I'm really enjoying this week. I don't have to tidy up after anyone. There's half as much cooking to be done. (In fact, less that half, because Andrew eats almost twice as much as I do.) And I've got enough social events scheduled during the next seven days that I'm not in danger of going days without talking to another human being.

My enjoyment is bittersweet, however, because I also know that soon I'll be reveling in alone-ness all the time, and then it won't be quite so great. It appears likely that when I graduate and get a job (We're assuming at this point that I will get a job) that I will move somewhere new and leave Andrew here. Then we'll probably live apart for one or two years. He wants to finish his PhD (a goal I support) and I want a postdoc (a goal he supports). It's not a situation either of us wanted, but we don't want the alternatives (where one of us significantly delays or alters our professional goals) either.

So next year I expect to be buying a lot of airline tickets

Sunday, November 01, 2009

My Halloween

This isn't my pumpkin, but it is sitting outside my house. Even though it's a little gross, it still makes me laugh. (The jack o'lantern consumed all those beers, if it's not clear.)I bet you'll never guess what Andrew is:**
And me, agitating for women's rights, about a century too late.
We even ran out of candy to give the trick-or-treaters, so we're lucky the house wasn't egged. Happy Halloween.

** Really, you couldn't guess, could you? Neither could anyone else. Human pincushion is a good try, but actually he's a flu virus.