Spring

I have a gift with animals. Even wild animals will eat out of my hand if you give me enough time with them. Well, wild birds, anyway. I wouldn’t want any other kind of wild animal taking food from me.

That gift has never extended to plants. One year, I killed an air fern.

Still, I decided to give it a go this year. My mom bought me some of those little flower kits. Comes with the soil, the seeds, a pot, and “easy growing instructions.” Also, the seeds are guaranteed to grow, so if it doesn’t work this time, they can keep sending me seeds til it does work.

I planted them when it was nice and sunny. Two days later, we got a week of clouds and rain. My hope flagged.

However, my confidence was restored Sunday evening when I came home and saw sprouts in one of my little pots! It’s either clover or lavendar… I can’t remember which I planted. Either way, they’re little green sprouts, and they’ve grown through my tender loving care!

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Kids’ Thoughts on Pregnancy

My brother and sister-in-law are having a baby in mid-May. Since the happy couple was married 7 years ago, Beth (my sister-in-law) has worked with children doing art at the Boys and Girls Club. In that time, she’s had all kinds of funny stories to share about how kids think, but the funniest and saddest question, and perhaps the one that most accurately reflects the times, has been asked since her pregnancy.

I expected the usual questions about how she got pregnant:  one boy suspected she had a rock in her belly, and others, of course, thought she’d swallowed a watermelon seed. Then she reported that she’d also been asked:

Ms. Beth, now that you’re pregnant, when are you going to get married?

When she explained that she was already married and had been for 7 years, it seemed she totally turned their world upside down. They were so confused!

Congratulations, America. Look at what you’ve reared. We now officially have a generation that views marriage, for men, as a punishment for getting a woman pregnant–for women, the reward for getting knocked up.

Back From Spring Break

Steve and I had a wonderful spring break. Well, he had a spring break, I joined him, and we made it great. We visited friends and family in Nashville, explored a few new places, played Wii, and then left to visit more family in Atlanta. We also made a point to visit the Georgia Aquarium, which was absolutely amazing.

Otters cavorted, Beluga whales posed, eels eased through their murky water with uncanny accuracy. We saw  whale sharks feed, and then we saw a real fish frenzy when the rest of the fish in the giant ocean tank were fed.

Unfortunately, there was one dark spot on this splendid vacation: we had to send the Newton Rat to her eternal home. She was Steve’s first pet that wasn’t a family pet, and he had to make the decision to put her to sleep. As he said, if there is a rat heaven, we hope there are plenty of good things to eat (especially chocolate chips), receipts and the occasional dollar bill lying around for her to shred, and a giant refrigerator under which she can build a nest.

Homemade Mac ‘n Cheese

Last night, I decided to forego the Ragu cheese sauce and try to make my very own mac and cheese. It was a very successful experiment. Here’s how I did it:

  • 2 Cups whole grain macaroni
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • About 1 3/4 cup of milk
  • About 2 to 3 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 1/2 Cup of cheddar, shredded (again, approximately)
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey, browned
  • Oregano, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning to taste

Cook the macaroni. In a small pot (I used a sauce pan, but I think a pot would work better), melt the butter on medium-low. Once it’s melted, add the flour a little at a time until it’s a really thick sauce. (If it starts getting lumpy, whisk the lumps out ASAP!) Then stir in the milk until it’s about the consistency you want it–I used a little less than 2 cups. Once the white sauce starts boiling, stir in the cheese. Once it’s cheesy enough for you, add the tomato. Stir in the macaroni and meat, then season to taste.

Also, I must note it goes great with peas.

It’s really not that much more work than a box of Hamburger Helper (unless you have to shred your own cheese), but it’s about a million times better.

Weekend Hike

A week ago, we got our first big snowfall of the winter. I took wonderful pictures, enjoyed having Steve home on the snow day, and loved every minute of it.

This past weekend, it was in the 70s. Steve and I decided to do a bigger hike than our usual 2 miles or so–we found a trail in Oconee State Park that would be almost 4.5 miles round-trip. Since I’m the slower one, I set the pace, and I did a pretty awesome job if I do say so myself. I’m not exactly the most fit person in the world.

We made it to the top of Tamassee Knob and had a wonderful picnic lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, raisins, and an apple, and headed back.

The view from the top of Tamassee KnobThe view from the top of Tamassee Knob

About half a mile before the end of the trail, there was a split to go to Hidden Falls. “We still feel pretty good,” we told each other. “Let’s try it.”

So off we went. It was a much easier hike than Tamassee Knob. There was no steep fall-off on one side of the trail and it was mostly flat. But by the time we finally made it to Hidden Falls, we expected the stream to steam when we took off our shoes and socks and soaked our feet. It seemed like we’d been hiking forever!

Although the falls were down to not much more than a trickle, it was still gorgeous.

Later, we found out we’d hiked 5.5 miles by that point, and it was another 2.5 back to the car for a total 8-mile hike.

I’m still sore, but it was definitely worth it.

My Work in Progress

Before we go any further, I know what you’re thinking. Yes, I have become one of those crazy people that makes the bed every morning. I still maintain that it is the most useless task you can undertake, but it gives me surfaces on which to take pictures like this one.

throw

This is my current work in progress: a simple granny square that I’m going to make big enough to be a throw blanket. I have never gotten so far so quickly working on a project before. It makes me hopeful that I may actually be able to make things bigger than hats, scarves, and purses pretty periodically.

Here’s Hoping!

I sent a resume for a part-time Secretary/Office Assistant opening that I saw posted on craigslist. For a wonder, it wasn’t a scam, and we talked this morning.

There were a lot of applicants–no surprise, for pretty much any job opening in this small of a town–but there may be other openings even if this one doesn’t work out. I haven’t given up hope yet, though–I do have office experience as an Editorial Assistant, so maybe that’ll give me some credibility.

In any case, I’m having sloppy joes and homemade French fries tonight. That, my friends, is something worth looking forward to!