Sunday, February 26, 2012

Gardening for Escape

It has been the kind of weekend in which I only want to play. I don't want to think about my presentation tomorrow, or my midterm, or my paper due this week. I want it to be Saturday for about a week. The anthem of this weekend for me has easily been 'Bird Song' by The Wailin' Jennys. So beautiful!!!

This weekend was glorious. I had my first autoharp lesson! I just love this little (surprisingly powerful) instrument. It makes me smile with its myriad of sounds. I hope that I do it justice as time goes by. I also got a few more things planted on our balcony. Grant and I found a Mother-in-Law Tongue to add to our indoor plant collection. I baked scones and had coffee with friends. Grant and I also enjoyed a wonderful evening with Jasper and Deah. Watched 'Dead and Breakfast' (best zombie movie soundtrack I have ever heard) and ate AMAZING food. We have been so blessed with beautiful friends.

I realized that with the coming spring I have been experiencing such a need to be outside. I am interested in joining a community garden here in Norman/OKC area. Anyone know of one? I just want to get out in the dirt, such a great stress relief.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Ode to Technology

I am not sure why I have been thinking about this today, but I really miss my old Polaroid camera. You can see it here on Amazon. This is the model that I had. I remember getting it for my 13th birthday, it was green, came with its own carrying bag, and my parents bought me my first two packs of film. I have so many fantastic shapshots from various high school and family events from that little camera. It went with me one summer to Robber's Cave, S.W.U.U.S.I., Shangri-La (Oklahoma), Grand Lake and even Branson.

 Now, you can't even get Polaroid film anymore and my little green box is nestled in a storage bin at my parents' house. I think I should go get it, it can at least live out in the open. I don't want it to feel totally replaced...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Le Soleil et L'Ombre

I spent the morning with the balcony door open, listening to the birds make a rumpus out by the birdfeeder and giggling at the reactions of Nyx and Ginger to the birds that are so close, and yet so unattainable. I spent the afternoon on the back patio of Cafe Plaid sitting in the sunshine with my americano and readings for my Byzantine Icons class and slowly crawling through creating a Powerpoint for class over my current research. I always think it is funny when you have to present your research (which you find fascinating) to a group of people who would probably rather be anywhere else (undergrads).

Grant and I have decided to try and "do" Lent this year, both of us in previous years failing completely. I think we are both hoping that a live-in accountability partner will help. Our old pastor had a really neat perspective about Lent, give something up...but also add something. So, Grant and I are giving up red meat and sweets, but we are adding trying a new "fancy" cheese each week. I am severly cutting my Netflix watching, but I am adding an hour of pleasure reading each night. Grant, instead of reading the news every evening, will spend 1 hour each night working on his creative writing projects.

So far, so good. I did manage to get all caught up on Downton Abbey before I think I will be stocked up for a while.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cake for a King

 The little things are the big things. I woke up, did a load of dishes, made the bed, walked Ginger, straightened up the living room, and got ready for work. I was on time, traffic was heavy but moving, the sun was shining and I saw the first daffodils of 2012 off of Main Street! I even had hot tea in my travel mug and ABBA on my iPod, it was going to be a good day. After a day of work and class; I came home and baked a loaf of bread, got books in the mail and Grant's vintage national parks sticker (to commemorate our anniversary), and we made gumbo for dinner! Lassiez les bons temps roulez, bebes.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Funny Valentine

I cannot think of a time when I have ever disliked Valentine's day. I mean it! As I kid I loved writing Valentine's for my classmates and making a Valentine card sack out of a brown paper bag (anyone else ever do that?), then later as I got older spending the holiday with friends and loved ones. Valentine's day isn't just for sweethearts, it is for whoever you care about, and I always had such a good time no matter what!

Well, yesterday, I disliked Valentine's day. The day started out so rotten! I had a flat tire, I was late for work, I had a paper due that I was not feeling too great about, and I had a headache. Really, it was just not my day. On my way home after getting new tires, and a bottle of wine, I still had a headache and just didn't feel like celebrating Valentine's day. Let me just say right now that I am married to the most amazing man. Almost in anticipation of my downcast mood, Grant had surprised me with beautiful flowers on our coffee table, picked up the house and was walking the dog. For the first time all day I felt as if I could just breathe! The evening only got better as we poured over our mail. Valentine's day cards and a goodie box filled with candy from our parents, a wedding, a baby shower and a 50th anniversary celebration invitations were all waiting for us! Talk about love!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Star Thistles

Light tufts of snow are beginning to fall outside, frosting up the night. When the weather gets like this I have to fight the temptation not to curl up in one of our wool blankets and listen to Carter Family songs. I am also having to fight the temptation to run outside and shoot nightshots of the snow, so enchanting!

In other exciting news, I have scheduled my first autoharp lesson and I can hardly wait! Now, if Grant will just play his harmonica for me I think I would be even more inspired. Currently I am trading lessons for mending, but hey!, favors are currency, right?!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Vendredi et Samedi

What else to do with a cold February weekend but brew yummy tea, bake dutch oven bread, chocolate chip scones, and spaghetti squash for dinner and have friends over to eat it! Tomorrow my parents are coming to visit Grant and I. I am so excited because they have not yet seen our new apartment. We are going to make grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup for lunch and watch 'Lonesome Dove'. Not to mention a fierce game or two of Bananagrams. Now, if I can just get some research done too....

No photos exist of the glorious spaghetti squash (it went quickly!) but we got the recipe from here. It was super easy to make and we added wilted spinach to the veggie mixture. Also, we subbed black olives for kalamata. I love(!) spaghetti squash! I had never had it before and it is just amazing! We also have a glorious supply of acorn squash which will be roasted with potatoes later this week!

The dutch oven bread was orgasmically wonderful. No kidding, this bread was fantastic and very easy to make. I am actually making another loaf for tomorrow (I will take pictures of this loaf...the other one no longer exists...) Just make sure you allow for the bread to rise (at least 8hrs and up to 18hrs!!) but it is so worth it! There is one issue that we had while baking. The recipe says that the oven should be at 475* but most dutch ovens should not cook at that temperature. We still let the oven (and dutch oven) heat up to 475* like the recipe says, but after a while a horrible smell came from the oven, so we turned the temperature down to 375*. The bread baked beautifully and it didn't even need butter!

And for your enjoyment, here is the chocolate chip scone (pictured above) recipe that I made last night. I usually don't even like scones because I think they are too dry or overcooked, but these were perfect! Not too sweet and they still managed to be fluffy! I hope that you like them too! They also work really well for breakfast!

Chocolate Chip Scone Recipe:
3 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 sticks butter
A generous cup or so of chocolate chips
1 large egg
3/4 cup half and half, OR heavy cream, OR 2% OR Vitamin D milk (just get some heavy dairy in there!)

1) preheat oven 350*.
2) in a large bowl stir together the first 4 ingredients.
3) cut the cold butter into the mix. You can use a pastry cutter but I like just using my hands. Blend the mixture until it resembles crumbs.
4) add the chocolate chips.
7) mix the egg and dairy in a separate container, then add to the dry mixture.
8) stir the mixture together until just combined.
9) form the mixture into a loose ball then place on a floured cutting board.
10) starting from the center, use your hands and press the dough outwards. You want to form a circle. Don't worry that the dough will...just smoosh it all back together.
11) when the dough is just under 1 inch thick, cut the circle into 8 equal parts.
12) transfer the wedges to a greased baking sheet and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly golden!


Thursday, February 9, 2012


I just couldn't take it anymore! I was getting so sick of our balcony looking like such a sad mess I just had to get some color out there! I think the improvement is remarkable! Pansies are amazing little flowers; we stuck with varieties of white, purple, and pale blue. I did however run out of potting soil so this is still a work in progress, but it is getting there! I also love our new 4-level plant stand, it saves so much space and looks great in the corner. We are going to add a chair (or bench) and a small table to make the place even more inviting in the springtime. What I would love is a bench with storage space underneath for our birdseed, gardening supplies and our tiny grill. Apartment living is all about spatial creativity.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


This is a sad sort of day for me. Through accident or Divine plan my old blogs have all been deleted, and the archives of which I cannot recover except for a few entries. I am sad to see my first blog disappear, I started it right after I had graduated from college and moved into non-campus housing. I explored the wonders of renting a home, of moving, of an engagement, a marriage and a new life. Moving to a different city, losses and gains, and new adventures. A part of me knows I will always have those memories, and yet I cannot help this gnawing sense of grief.

I was able to restore my blog's original title House of the Wind and I think the meaning of that phrase is a balm to me. I originally named my blog this because I felt that when I started writing it I was at a turning point in my life, I was starting a new chapter. I like the mental image I conjure up when I think of the title. I think of an old house on the prairie with windows open and thin curtains that stretch out to catch the tail end of a breeze which had just gone by. I imagine that there is a diaphanous feeling to this structure, evoking a sense of impermanence and movement.

Remembering that image I can understand and appreciate that things change, things go away, and new things come into your life. So here is a new blog for new adventures, here we go! I will upload the entries that I was able to save as close to the original dates as I can remember, but I make no promises, this could be a totally clean break!