Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dream a Little Dream

I have been having some CRA-ZY dreams lately. Sometimes dreams seem to form from little nuggets of information you've noticed, discussed, or experienced throughout the day, but these dreams...these dreams have no basis in reality. Literally no connection to anything except most do seem to feature people I know, though often those people aren't ones I've talked to, seen, or even Facebook stalked in years.

Crazy Dreams by mzpinkie91

Here are a few gems...

A few of my work friends (though which ones exactly are unclear because everyone is blurry, apparently I am ready for competition and am only concentrating on my own preparation for the battle to come) are gathered in a large version of my own bathroom. We are preparing for a hair drying contest. The first person to completely dry their hair wins. There seem to be no concerns that contestants' hair be of equal length or thickness, but it does seem to be a coveted title as we are all very ready for the starter pistol to sound. (And yes, there's a stripe-shirted ref holding one by the bathroom door.)

I walk into a cafe at lunchtime in the Chicago suburbs near where I work and see a guy I dated briefly in high school sitting with his parents. We chat like it's normal to run into each other over eight hours away from where he lives in real life. No mention is made as to why we are running into each other here; in fact, neither of us seems to find it strange at all. His father, my middle school math teacher for two years, is very pleased that my career involves math. His mother, my high school art teacher, asks if I'm painting. Walls, I say. She nods and says something about painting not really being my strength as an artist. I agree. But I do happen to have my sculpture of the Winged Victory (one of my high school art projects) in my purse that I pull out and show her. (What a relief that I could prove that I still have it.) The friend and I catch up about his vegetable garden as I eat a very tiny pie.

I am lying in the dirt; it is a very dusty, black-colored dirt. I am making dirt angels. I look across this barren stretch of dirt and there are at least 50 dirt angels that seem to have been created by me earlier. I am covered, from head to foot, in the powdery dirt. I somehow know that my teeth and eyes look startling in my face because I am so covered with this dirt. I am very happy lying in the dirt, my arms and legs drifting slowly back and forth, though this particular angel is frustrating because there is a hard packed section of dirt that won't hold the pattern. I spend a minute or two looking for a tool to use to scrape the ground so the angel will be clear.

And there are so many more that I simply can't remember anymore. The weirdness has been ongoing for the last month at least, on an almost nightly basis....SO ODD.

Friday, September 21, 2012

My Favorite Vegetarian Dinner

This is my favorite black bean recipe. It is so good that I look forward to the leftovers all morning long the next day (and I am not a leftover eater). Start your rice before you begin the beans so you don't have to wait on it.

15 Minute Black Beans

1 medium onion, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 can diced tomatoes (use 1 1/2 c. fresh tomatoes, diced in summer)
1 t. dried thyme
1 t. garlic salt
1 can black beans, save liquid
2-3 T. cider vinegar
1/2 - 1 t. hot sauce, to taste

Sauté onions in pan with 1 T. olive oil. When translucent, add peppers. Sauté until tender, add tomatoes, thyme, garlic salt, and beans (save liquid). Cook 3-5 minutes. Add bean liquid, vinegar, and hot sauce. Cook 5 minutes or more until desired consistency. Spoon over rice and top with a squirt of fresh squeezed lime juice, green onions, fresh tomatoes, cheese, and jalapenos.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Weirdest Fruit Ever

While my sisters were visiting, we bought a few new fruits to try. One of them was this one, the African horned melon, sometimes called a kiwano. It was pretty expensive ($5) for one, so I put trying it off for awhile since I didn't want to be disappointed. When we tried it; however, it tasted better than it looks. The edible fruit part of this is the green part, while the white seeds are also edible (like cucumber seeds). The green bit tasted like a mix between banana, kiwi, and cucumber. It was definitely weird, but it was a good weird.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Just a Minute: August Edition

reading…Finished Gone Girl in less than 24 hours. Hyped for a reason. It was definitely a page turner with a dark sense of humor. I'm also started reading a series (Maisie Dobbs) set in the 1920's about a woman investigator who was a nurse in WWI. I'm enjoying it enough that I'm only half way through the first one, and I've already checked online to see how far the series continues. She's a very thoughtful, interesting character.

listening…Need a quick song to help you relax? Though it's awfully depressing if you listen to the words, These Ain't Raindrops by James Carr, is an amazing song.

surviving...The fourth annual Leisure Games took place the last weekend in August and was, once again, a success. We had seven out of town guests, and we fed lunch and dinner to well over 30 people! The house survived (minus one toilet handle) and is nearly back in shape 2 weeks later.

planning...Finally bought our tickets to Italy for this fall! Now I have to plan the trip. We're thinking we are going to rent a place in Tuscany and explore the countryside. I probably won't care where I am as long as I'm eating all that delicious pasta! 

Oh the texture in the wall paint, Martha?
I made it myself, with a little help, I suppose.
It's kitten hair. I'm glad you like it.
painting…This month we finally got around to redoing our tiny third bedroom. We painted the walls a robin's egg blue/green color, got a new yellow rug, and fabric to make new curtains; and it's only taken 3 years to get around to it! 

making...Curtains for the room-in-progress. It's very difficult to put a room together when you pick the wall color first. I couldn't find curtains that included the wall color or blended well with it, so I found a fabric we like and decided to make them myself. Curtains are one of the easiest sewing projects because it's just four straight edges.