Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Alex complained that the other background was too hard to read. Do others agree? Is this background better?

A delightful day

It's strange that doing things that are both enjoyable and good for me can be so difficult sometimes. Initiating an activity, even something I really want to do, can require an absurd amount of effort. (I guess my executive functioning skill of "task initiation" is somewhat...less developed than other abilities.) Yesterday was a day when I couldn't motivate myself to do much. Today, however, was delightful and productive (for a vacation day, anyway.)

I went to the Baptiste Yoga Studio in Cambridge this morning for a power yoga class. Unfortunately, traffic was horrible and I was 15 minutes late to the class (even though I had allowed an hour and twenty minutes to get there. Can Boston traffic please give me a break soon?) So I felt terrible for being "that girl" who shows up late and disrupts everyone. Still, I had driven all the way there...I'm glad I had the balls to walk in anyway and swallow my shame, because it felt SO GOOD. Someone please remind me - WHY do I not do yoga every day? (Oh yeah...because this yoga excursion, round trip, took about 4 hours. Of course it was silly of me to try to go to a class before rush hour was over and I don't regularly go to this particular studio that is so far away...but still. It can be kind of a time-suck.) It felt really excellent, though. I needed the physical class and all the sweat and work. It reminded me that I would like to build some strength (gosh, my arms get tired fast) and loosen up my hamstrings (wide-angle forward bend is impossible) and that even with these "difficulties" of mine...I can still do yoga. And I really do love it.

The rest of the day was spent: reading on the beach for a couple hours (first beach excursion of the year!), picking up this week's CSA produce, and cooking a yummy dinner. This week's veggies were much better than last week. Last week was sort of a bust for a few reasons...One, I wasn't much excited by what we got, and then two, I didn't properly store it. Last week we got: a head of kale, a head of lettuce, 4 garlic scabes, scallions, a bunch of radishes, and a bunch of bok choy. I used the lettuce over the week for a salad with peppers and goat cheese. Happily, I'm not sick of the lettuce. It's really fresh and delicious, and I always enjoy salads. The kale I used for kale chips (again); happily, I'm not sick of those either. The scallions and scabes got chopped up with some soy sauce and tofu for dinner last night, which was pretty tasty. But unfortunately, the radishes and the bok choy wilted almost right away in our humid fridge and I had to toss them. I'm not terribly sad at the loss, but I hate wasting food and I should have stored them in the crisper drawer.

Today, our bounty included: a head of lettuce, a bunch of kale, a pound of peas, a pound of pickling cucumbers, a bunch of salad turnips, 4 garlic scabes, and a bunch of dandelion greens. For dinner tonight, I whipped up some pasta and sauteéd the sliced turnips in some leftover bacon grease (after frying the bacon), and then added the turnip greens, too. Turns out sliced turnips + turnip greens + bacon grease + bacon crumbles + shredded parmesan, all over pasta, is super yummy. I'm excited to try the dandelion greens next...I've never eaten those before! Oh the excitement of the CSA and convincing Alex that he actually DOES enjoy fresh vegetables! (I think what he enjoys most, though, is me being on vacation and being willing to cook for him every day :) I can't say I blame him! I love being on vacation, too.)

"Life is a joy filled with delightful surprises."

An evening with Ann Patchett

"'Write about what you know' is good advice...if what you know is interesting!" - Ann Patchett.

Two + weeks ago, I was lucky enough to go to a talk given by Ann Patchett, as part of the "Writers on a New England Stage" series in Portsmouth, NH. It was vaguely funny and also appropriate that I went by myself, and the average age of the rest of the audience was about 60 years old. (I am mentally at least 83.) It was great fun, though. I've loved Ann Patchett ever since my sister-in-law got me to read Bel Canto way back in my freshman year of college! (It also surprises me to realize that was a pretty long time ago. Another sign of age.)

Anyway, Ms. Patchett gave a reading from her new book, State of Wonder, which is set in the Amazon. The basic premise is that a pharmaceutical company has a scientist deep in the Amazon in Brazil researching this bark that makes the native women able to remain fertile throughout their entire lives. They want to figure out why it works so they can create a drug to market to American women. But somebody dies, and the main character, Marina, a scientist with the company is sent down to see what happened, and adventures ensue. I haven't started reading my (super cool autographed) copy yet, but I'm excited to dig in this week. I'm sure I will have philosophical musings to report here once I finish it.

Ann Patchett was cool, calm, poised...and a funny, regular person. Because of my inflated sense of self, I believe we could be friends if we happened to meet in a more normal sort of way and she didn't happen to be famous. I really enjoyed the talk, and highly recommend listening to the podcast they have posted on New Hampshire Public Radio:

http://www.nhpr.org/write-what-you-know-only-if-its-interesting (Amazingly enough, I wrote down that quote before this was posted. I guess I wasn't the only one to think it was the quote of the evening!)

It made me toy with the idea of being an author again someday. I know right now I am pursuing other things, but that doesn't mean it is crossed off the list! Frank McCourt didn't write Angela's Ashes until he was 66, so I figure I still have time.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A diversion

So I have a queue of post ideas waiting to be fleshed out "when I have more time" (which actually should be over this next week.) But I have to take a moment to say something really important today...

Holy Moly! So You Think You Can Dance is AMAZING this season!!!

I'm slowly catching up on the episodes I missed while I was in class, and I'm just sitting on the couch smiling to myself because it's so gosh darn good.

My favorite couple: Melanie and Marko. I think they should date.

Anyway, now that I've got that off my chest....I had a really fantastic birthday today. My lovely Beth was able to come over and spend the day with me, which was sooo nice! We went shopping and found a bunch of great deals, then we did a little mini photo shoot (Beth is sooo good), and then part of an episode of the Bachelorette!! Then I went to SixtyTwo on the wharf with Alex, courtesy of a gift certificate from the lovely Julie Holbrook, which was PHENOMENAL! (If you want some really amazing food in Salem, you must go there. The pasta is to-die-for.)

Plus, lots of love from phone calls and facebook that made me feel pretty darn special. I freaking love my birthday. Thanks to everyone for making it awesome! Now...time to play with my new KINDLE! and head to bed :D

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A review of our first two weeks in a CSA!

So, I finally broke Alex down and convinced him that we ARE hippy-dippy enough to be like the rest of our friends and join a CSA this year. Now, my wonderful Brooklyn friends Maria and Willie didn't have a lot of luck with theirs last year, I went ahead and crossed my fingers that we would have a better experience up here in Nouvelle-Angleterre. Plus, the one we joined came recommended by my friend and classmate, Amanda, so I figured it was worth a shot.

We're two weeks in, and here's what we got so far...

Week 1 - A head of broccoli, a head of lettuce, a bunch of swiss chard, and a bunch of white turnips
Week 2 - A head of lettuce, a bunch of kale, scallions, and a giant head of cabbage

The first week was pretty exciting. I used the broccoli in a salad one day, and then steamed it as a side with some frozen dumplings on a day when I needed something really quick. I used the turnips + some sweet potatoes I had already to make a delicious fatty-fat full of cheese turnip gratin, based off of this recipe. And then with the swiss chard, I made this yummy goat cheese soup and a gratin with the stalks. Our week was full of Swiss cheese (gruyère) and swiss chard, so you can't really go wrong. Plus, I got so jealous of people who bought the fruit share (which we didn't) that I made Alex buy strawberries and rhubarb from the regular grocery store, so I could make a pie :) YUM.

This second week was slightly less awesome. Kale is always a hit, because we are hooked on kale chips. I whipped up the whole bunch of it with some olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper and baked it on a cookie sheet, for a super yummy snack/side. Not sure if I'll get to the scallions, because I just never know what to do with those. Lettuce is always good for a salad and on sandwiches, but we probably won't get through it before we get another head of it on Tuesday (most likely). The cabbage...I was a little mystified. So I tried a new recipe that I thought would be awesome. I then forced people to eat them at my birthday party yesterday, and the reviews were good. They were a ton of work though, and I think I just don't like cabbage.

We shall see what comes this week!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Salem Birthday Party

Pretty much, I am just a super lucky girl. I have the best husband and the best friends. We had such a nice gathering today, and I can't believe it didn't rain on us! Turned out to be a gorgeous day, despite the threatening forecast, and I am just so grateful.

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

An interactive post


I've been considering getting a tattoo to mark the moment when I officially become a yoga teacher at the end of the summer. The problem is I have no artistic talent, and while I have something in mind, I can't find the perfect image anywhere outside the strange world of my brain. There are two additional problems. One, needles are creepy. Two, I can't decide where to put it that would be mostly private, but not stretch and do crazy things when I have babies. So for now, my mind remains unmade up, and my skin remains untainted.

Then I saw this neat photo essay in the Times about yoga and tattoos, and I am curious, readers, what do you think about tattoos? Do yoga and tattoos go together?

A new blog

I tried my hand at blog-writing last summer (for the first time since my angst-filled high school deadjournal)...and it didn't go so well. Mostly, I didn't write often, and what I did write was depressing. So let's approach this summer as a fresh start.

I have to say, I'm sure this blog will still be a "medley," because I guarantee I will not be able to stick to one theme. Yet, I think there will be just a handful of dominant topics.

For one, in the last month, I have begun my pre-practicum hours in a middle school as a School Psychology student. I do think this is an especially important time to reflect, before I get wrapped up in the bureaucracy of it all. Schools are immensely fascinating ecological systems, and I'd really love to spend some time thinking about the school community before I truly become a part of it. Right now I'm still in grad school, fresh and detached. Even next year, when I start to spend some more time and get more involved, it will be different. So I'm hoping to write down some enlightening insights to look back on when I am old and jaded. Plus, middle schools are ripe fodder for hilarious pubescent anecdotes.

Two, I'm going to begin assistant-teaching a yoga summer camp for kids in a month or so. I anticipate there will be stories galore from this experience. Plus, I'd like to begin writing more about yoga and philosophy in general.

Essentially, I fancy myself a sort of School Psychologist-Yogi-Superhero Hybrid. I'd really like to just save crazy kids from their craziness, one yoga mat at a time! (Modesty, of course, is another strength of mine). I do think this design from CurlyGurl says it all...