Monthly Archives: July 2011

Grilled Cheese Take 2



White American cheese with Compari tomatoes on whole wheat potato bread. Yum! This time it lasted long enough for a picture, but not much longer!


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I may have mentioned once before that I worked as an A/V tech at my school for the past year and a half.  I may have also mentioned that I’m slightly old school.  These two things should probably not go together.  With me they do.

I love the latest technologies, but I do tend to hold on to the old.  I romanticize the vintage.  I very much want a record player, having always listened to and admired my grandparents’ records.  I wish I could remember what an 8-track was like, but it was slightly before my time.  Having found some old audio cassette tapes, and having a cassette player in my car, I’ve taken to driving around playing them.

Being addicted to the internet, I’ve shyed away from having the internet on my phone.  I don’t want to be glued to it or feel the need to constantly update.  I’ve been fighting it.  The fight is over now.  I’ve surrendered– and gotten a smartphone.

It’s not even fully charged yet, and I’ve already downloaded my first app.  I laughed to myself when Molecular Sheep and my old boss (who, when he heard I was getting a smartphone, replied to the news with the words, “Welcome to 2008”) said that their smartphones had “revolutionized their lives.”  I thought that was silly.  Nothing was going to change.  I was just going to be able to play scrabble on occasion with my friends and pass empty moments with Angry Birds and maybe get some directions on Google Maps when I got lost driving.  Maybe my email would be a bit more reliable as well.  The occasional facebook status that wouldn’t have to wait til I got home.  Nothing big.  But now, with my phone charging, I can feel myself eagerly awaiting its completion.  I can feel the excitement.  there is power in this little touch-screened object.  And I am surprised.  It sports a big calendar on one of my- count them- FIVE home screens.  This syncs with my google account as well.  I may be in love.  I’m wondering how long it will take before I give up my old-school datebook.  The one that I go looking for around every Christmas, because I can’t start the new year without it.  I can feel it losing importance.  I can feel the ease with which this one little device is actually going to change my life…

Who knew?

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Unexpected Concert

So Wednesday was a pretty ordinary day.  I had my first meeting up at school about my research, about which I was excited, but mostly nervous.  I’ve felt very stagnant in my intellectual ideas.  Mostly because I’m probably the slightest bit still burnt out from undergrad, which ended just about 2 months ago.  But I do feel ready to take on a new project and look forward to the new adventure and learning.

The meeting went well and I stopped in to visit my friends at my now “old” job.  I wound up staying for quite a while, ate lunch there, and read some of a book that Molecular Sheep was carrying.  It was fun, but eventually it was time to leave as I had a couple more on-campus errands to do.

So I’m printing in the library, when my dad calls.  Mom’s birthday is next week and he informs me that Aretha Franklin, who mom and I love, is playing at the beach that night.  We scurry and wind up getting these amazing tickets for an amazing price.  VIP and the whole bit.  Since neither Mom and I drink, the VIPness was mostly lost on us, except for the free parking and– again, amazing seats.  But I digress.

It was an amazing show and whenever I go to a show lately, I remember how important it is for me, as a singer, to go to shows.  It really is inspiring and you learn something every time.  She did a whole little jazzy section, as well as a gospel section that felt like she was holding church up in there.  And really, she’s Aretha Franklin, who’s going to stop her?  I give her credit for being true to her roots and herself, and not caring about those who may be offended or put off by her beliefs.  Not to say that that’s always the way to go, but it’s refreshing to see someone who’s bold about it as it’s easy, as a Christian myself, to see how oftentimes, people of faith try to sugar coat their faith when speaking about it.  Or even more, to avoid the topic altogether, lest they spark a disagreement.  I’d rather disagree with someone personally.  Let’s disagree and discuss.  Let’s have a dialogue.  And in the same breath as she “held church” singing and shouting “Hallelujah!” she partied down and got the crowd dancing like mad with some old favorites and newly written pieces.  This is why the woman gets (and deserves) the R-E-S-P-E-C-T.  And this is why we love Aretha.  (In addition to her talent and amazing voice.  That woman is sixty-freakin-eight.  And her voice is just as strong and amazing as you could hope.  She really must take care of her instrument right).

So an amazing night was had– a perfect night for a concert with the beautiful sky and weather and a light breeze coming off the water in the outdoor theatre.  And a reminder that, even when you’re having a rough week or an ordinary day– anything can happen.  Anything.

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Grilled Cheese and Rainy Days

Yesterday was supposed to be a productive day.  I’ve been trying to get organized and get things done, despite the minor setback of my stomach being in an uproar for a week or two now.  It’s mostly better and I actually spent a good part of Sunday and the large majority of yesterday feeling like my old self again.

So I got up in the morning ready to run errands, maybe do a little gardening (mostly digging up 2-3 weeds I’d let get out of hand), and a few things around the house.  Truthfully, I was up a bit too early, having gone to bed late and waking up early.

Breakfast and some bill-paying got done, and slowly but surely the day started to slip away.  Soon I was hungry for lunch, which was accompanied by TV.  Then it got cloudy out and as Mom and I discussed both of our ambitious plans for the day, I started to get a headache– the kind you get when you don’t sleep enough.  I decided to lay down for a short nap.  It was afternoon already, and cloudy… not the best time for gardening anyway, as even though the major heatwave here has broken, I wasn’t too keen on going out at the hottest part of the day.

I woke up feeling better.  Rain on the windows and my stomach again growling.  I walked out to the kitchen.  Mom and I found something good on TV and she began to make grilled cheese (I also had some leftover tomato soup from the day before).  Now, I’ve had grilled cheese on the brain as I’ve recently been able to eat it again– and also due to two of my closest friends’ recent discussion.  First, on Molecular Sheep’s blog, and then, The Friendly Foodie Girl’s follow-up post.   [By the way, I highly recommend checking these two out– especially regarding the pressing issue they brought up: Grilled Cheese vs. Panini!]

It was warm and comforting and perfect for the rainy day.  We watched some “How I Met Your Mother,” a new obsession of ours.  This was followed by “The Golden Girls,” a very old obsession of ours.  The rain had watered my plants so I felt no need to rush outside and as it was now evening, we eased into an unusual gift: a day in, in pjs, with yummy food, as the rain continued beyond our windows.

I was still a bit hungry and we toyed with the idea of splitting another grilled cheese.  I’ve never made one, but I had watched as Mom had made them… and with the butter still out and getting softer by the moment, I decided it was time!  So I made my first ever grilled cheese.  Which, although the bottom looked a bit more burnt than golden-brown, tasted just as perfect and melty and cheesy as it should have.  It is dangerous how easy that was to do.

I was planning on posting a picture, but honestly, the sandwich really wasn’t around long enough to photograph!

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Garden Progress (in pictures)

Getting tall!

Tomato plant has gotten huge!

I have about 7 stakes on this plant now...

...and almost 20 yummy tomatoes growing.

The peppers are growing...

and growing...


And even the other pepper plant has finally blossomed. It's now growing 3 peppers, although only 2 of them are healthy.

Even my neighbor's impatiens are blossoming!

And the corn is now officially taller than me! (It's actually taller still since this picture, which was taken a couple of days ago).


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A Less-Creative List

I’m all about people searching for more creativity in their lives.  That said, I’ve written once before about wanting a little less creativity in some areas.

Things To Do Less Creatively #1:

This may become a list as I discover areas that people should become less creative.  Perhaps they can fill the void by reading my blog and finding inspiration to paint, dance, cook, or partake in some other more-acceptable creative endeavor.

Yesterday, a week-long stomach ache led me to visit my doctor, who sent me directly to the ER for tests (they found nothing, and my stomach seems to have improved, at least for today… it did wake me up again last night though with pain, so my relief feels tentative).

This brings me to Things To Do Less Creatively #2:


What have you seen (or experienced!) people doing that you wish they’d do a little less creatively?


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Top-heavy tomatoes and 5’+ corn

Saturday was my grandmother’s 88th birthday.  We had a wonderful time talking and laughing over dinner and cake– my grandparents, mom, aunt, and my grandparents’ neighbor.  Such a great time and such a wonderful reason to celebrate!

As we left our house to go to their house, I noticed that my tomato plant had collapsed and come un-staked!  I hadn’t imagined it would have grown this much or branched as much as it did, and I had only two stakes… which were not nearly able to hold it up at this point.  Later that night, I propped it up as best I could since I couldn’t do much else with what I had.  This entailed a bunch of yarn and trying to tie each branching loosely to the stake (somewhat in the middle) and hoping that the weight would even out the plant.  It seemed to work… for a bit.

By Monday morning, the plant had collapsed again, still tied to the stake, but with the stake leaning heavily under the weight of the continuously growing plant.  So, since I was running errands, I tacked another stop onto my to-do list and bought six more tomato stakes– five very tall ones and one short.  I left the house at around 3pm and we got home a bit after nine… It was dark, but in the light of the single light bulb outside our door, I cut all the yarn I’d so carefully tied over the weekend and carefully staked each individual branch with the tall stakes.  I then added the two smaller ones onto the most crooked-ly growing branches so these branches were doubly-supported.  I had one tall stake left over, which I’m saving in case of any more issues– or when the cherry tomatoes seem to need it, whichever comes first.

I’m happy to say that, on inspection this morning, the whole tomato plant is growing tall and straight!  Yay!! I’m very happy.

And the peppers continue to grow… And the corn is taller than I am!!

Pictures to come.  It’s been quite a day and I’m far too tired to upload, but wanted to at least make sure to post tonight.

Goodnight, everyone!

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