Thursday, January 24, 2013

Puppy Business

I kind of started a puppy sitting business by accident.
I was looking for a side job to help supplement my writing gig and watching a puppy while writing seemed like a fantastic way to double-dip.
So, I started walking and sitting for one little guy and then the owner recommended me to her friend who wanted me to take her new puppy too.  The first day of watching both was pandaemonium.  To top it off, a woman walked by me on the street and asked if she could have my e-mail address in case she needed someone to walk her two dogs!  Mind you, I do still have my other job.  This thing was spinning out of control.
Anyway, I think I have it worked out now so that I watch only the one dog on most days, and the two of them one day a week.  I'm still able to get work done during nap times and at home.  

The pups and I are getting used to each other.  I think that puppies are like babies (only puppies are cuter)--they are often crazy for no apparent reason, they loose bodily function often, they slobber on you, and they try to eat everything.  Older dogs and older children don't get enough credit in this world.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The First Flurries

This is what was left in the morning of the first "winter storm" to hit Durham.  
It was the talk of the town.  Every school was delayed at least two hours; some organizations canceled all together. 
Maya took one look outside, dropped her head, and walked away from the door.  She was thinking, "I thought we got away from this crap."

Tommie's boss asked if we wanted to take a walk in the snow last night.  We said, "We're in our PJs watching TV.   We saw snow last year."  And the year before that, we saw enough snow to last us a lifetime.  If this is all we get down here, we're cool with that.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Culinary Experiments on Guests

It was above 70 degrees in Durham this past weekend--gotta love those southern warm spurts in January. We had a friend and her boyfriend over for her belated birthday lunch/dessert and ate outside on our deck.

Tommie made Cap'n Crunch seared tuna--a recipe from Sam The Cooking Guy who has a local San Diego cooking show Tommie used to watch and misses dearly.  
People say not to try out new dishes on guests the first time you make them, but we always do.  What can I say?  We aren't afraid to ruin a friendship or two with food poisoning apparently.  Luckily, it hasn't come down to that...yet.
I'm not sure if I was more excited about the tuna or the Cap'n Crunch--my favorite sugary cereal as a kid, though I rarely got it (Mom.)  

While Tommie took care of lunch, I handled dessert.  I attempted to make one of these beauties, which I originally saw in a Martha Stewart bridal magazine.

For the mold I used a bundt pan that I found at the dump where my parents live in Maine.  While some people get out the fine china for their guests, I get out things I found in a trash pile.  Nothing but the best for my friends!  (I do promise it was washed throughly.)

The finished product looked a little more like flan since the edges melted when I ran it under water to loosen it, but luckily sorbet still tastes like sorbet no matter what form it's in.  Maybe next time I can get it to look more like Martha's.

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Mole

I had a tiny mole on my back removed today.  In my usual style, I sweat through my robe while waiting for the small procedure to start, and I rambled like a lunatic in an attempt to calm myself down:  "I feel like I'm about to get a tattoo.  If I was getting a tattoo, what would I get?  Hey Dr. Lee, I have an idea!  You should punch moles out in cool shapes like those craft paper punchers in the shapes of stars and hearts.  Then people would have cool-shaped scars."  She laughed quietly, "Um, that's not exactly how it works."  Doctors--always gotta wreck a girl's dreams.
I had Tommie with me for emotional support...or so I thought.  He was supposed to hold my hand and tell me how brave I was, but halfway through the procedure he leaned against the wall and I noticed that his pale complexion had become even more pale.  So, as I lay there with a hole carved in my back, the doctor and I start comforting Tommie--telling him everything is okay, I'm doing great, and that he can go sit down, have some water, and turn on the air.  He blames the balmy 75 degree temperature in the room.  (Sure.)  He kept trying to get back up and stand by me, but he was getting whiter by the minute and I didn't want him to faint on top of all the sharp objects lying around so I told him to sit back down. 
I survived the process, and Tommie, while not exactly doing his job the way I had planned did manage to distract me from my own discomfort by having me worry about his.  

Again, I am reminded of our very wise decision to never endure childbirth.  We can barely make it through a mole...I mean, we're wicked's just that it was a swealtering 75 degrees in the room.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Taking House Notes

Sometime in the next year or two, we hope to become homeowners.  In the meantime, we take note of all the things we like in other peoples houses. 

Here are a few things we liked about the rental house near Charleston, SC where we recently stayed.  (Let's momentarily suspend the knowledge that we can't afford a place like this.)
1.  Open floor plan.  We loved the way the kitchen overlooked the dining area which overlooked the living room.  Even though it was a large space, it was separated perfectly, allowing each part to feel defined and comfortable.
2.  Pocket doors.  Pocket doors are great, especially in tight spaces when you can avoid having to worry about the placement of swinging doors.
3.  Screened-in porch.  I love being outside and being able to open doors and windows to let in fresh air.  What I don't love is paying for it the next day with 100 mosquito bites.  If I could have the best of both worlds, I would be a happy camper. 
4.  Modern fixtures.  We're not ultra modern people, but we do enjoy clean lines and more modern looking lights.  Tommie liked this fan a lot.  This is something we could work to upgrade if we got an older home.  I also liked the use of pendant lights all around the house, including in the kitchen. 
4.  A nice kitchen.  We like food, so having a good kitchen someday is important to us.  I liked this yellow kitchen--it had plenty of space, an island, and a really nice gas stovetop.  
5.  A marsh/creek/ocean/yard.  I realize I'll probably never own a place near water living in Durham, North Carolina in the middle of the state, however, outdoor space is important to me.  I like yards and gardens and decks and patios.  I like looking out the window and seeing something natural and peaceful.

What are some of the top items on your house-hunting checklist?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcome 2013: A Four Year Review

It took me far too long this morning to figure out that I have been blogging for four years.  (I'm really bad at math.)  Here are some stats about my four year tenure blogging that Google helped me figure out.

Since I began this blog just before the start of 2009, I have moved from California to Massachusetts to North Carolina.  We have lived in four different apartments.  That's almost one state and one apartment per year.  Maybe it's time to settle down.

I blog an an average of 40-50 posts per year, which is half the amount of posts I completed in my first year.  I guess the "newness" blogging rubbed off a bit after that first year.

How to make Soup Can Luminaries is my #1 viewed post of all time, with almost 700 views.  Pinterest surely has something to do with that.

I have 246 comments total--most of which are from my family, though a few brave cyber readers share their thoughts here and there.  Thanks brave cyber readers...I appreciate knowing it's not only my family reading.
Obviously, most of my page views come from the U.S., but the second largest number of views come from Russia.  Who would have thought?  Then it's Canada, The United Kingdom, and India.

Today, I begin my fifth year of blogging and wish everyone around the world a great start to 2013!