January 31, 2013
I think Micah could tell that yesterday was a particularly long, brain-mushing day for me. So after dinner, he offered to go get me some ice cream (!) to make me feel better. And guess what, IT DID.
I still can't get over the fact that I got ice cream without even moving from the couch / floor. And on top of that, he got me three kinds. Dude totally knows me: Two (or more) flavors always taste better than one, and any flavor with the word "extreme" in it (see: above middle) is bound to be a guaranteed Liz-pleaser.
January 29, 2013
Top two: Saturday's breakfast. French toast with fruit and strawberry syrup, and an over-medium egg with Italian sausage crumbles, shallots, mushrooms, and avocado. I had third helpings of that French toast.
Bottom two: Sunday's breakfast. Italian sausage and parmesan rolls with fruit salad.
I forgot my camera in Micah's car during our Sunday Funday Fullsteam adventures - hence the postponed Weekend Breakfast. Sincerest apologies; I know you guys probably weren't able to function very well yesterday without knowing what we ate over the weekend...
January 26, 2013
Left: Friday's BLIZZARD.
Right: Stripped Hendrick's bottles and empty Fullsteam growlers on our "bar."
Weekend blog! I'm trying it out.
Yesterday, Durham got some snow and ice, so Micah came home a bit early to be on the safe side. Even though working from home cuts out any anticipation of "snow days" for me, I was still excited. We bundled up and skated to Dain's Place for dinner, beers, and more beers – because the best part about not being able to drive anywhere is that you don't have to drive anywhere!
Tomorrow we're heading over to our favorite Durham brewery to celebrate the launch of a new year-round beer: a ginger pale ale called Cackalacky. I'm pretty certain I'm going to love it: ginger? pale ale? Fullsteam? – it's got my name written all over it. (...And Cackalacky's, which is apparently a nickname for North Carolina.) I'll keep you updated – most conveniently through my Instagram account (where these photos where taken).
January 23, 2013
Above: Yo La Tengo tickets, over the years. I'm missing the one from Cat's Cradle on January 22, 2011.
The first time I saw Yo La Tengo, I was about to graduate from college, and determined to do so with a design job. I remember the morning after the show, I flew to Minneapolis all by myself for an AIGA portfolio review, and to interview at a few firms. I was pretty sure I wanted to live there, and somehow work for Target. I remember wearing my new Yo La Tengo shirt on the flight up (which was red-eye, and the venue had been a solid two hours away from my house – oh, to be young again!). My ears were still ringing, and my hand was still stamped from the show. I ultimately accepted a job offer at an agency in Oklahoma City - and started working full-time a week before graduation.
The second time I saw Yo La Tengo, I was alone. Same venue (Cain's Ballroom - my favorite in Oklahoma). The forecast called for a blizzard that night, but the show hadn't been cancelled. Against my better judgement (and thinking that forecasts are never as bad as they talk themselves up to be), I drove that two hours again, and easily got a prime spot up front, as half the ticket-holders opted to stay home. I remember being proud of myself for being there alone and for taking the chance. I drove home through flurries, and woke up to six inches of snow. A few weeks later, I got (and accepted) the offer to move out to North Carolina. The day after that, I made out with a cute guy at an annual advertising awards show, and started a fling that I thought would end when I moved.
The third time I saw Yo La Tengo, I was sick. I was having a widespread allergic reaction to... something (I still don't know what), and all my joints were pretty grotesquely swollen. But they were playing two nights in a row in Chapel Hill, and I was a fabulously independent woman living on her own on the East coast!, and stubborn. I remember having to hold the more swollen hand above my heart for the whole show to ease the throbbing, and almost not being able to get in my car afterwards, because my knees were so swollen. The next morning, I went to urgent care, and got steroid and antihistamine shots in the ass. I didn't get to that second show – I didn't even get out of bed for the next day or so. Oh - and that cute guy (Micah, you guys, IT'S MICAH) had just agreed to move across the country and join me in Durham.
I'm seeing Yo La Tengo for the fourth time tonight – Micah got me tickets for Christmas!, and they happen to be playing at the same venue in Chapel Hill. There is no blizzard forecast, and I'm not feeling itchy. I'm excited – not only to see my favorite band, but because seeing them seems to be a harbinger of change, growth and general upheaval in my life. Encore!
UPDATE: And I just realized that tonight's show is exactly two years after the one I missed! Oh, universe.
January 21, 2013
Top three: Saturday's breakfast. Blueberry pancakes with blueberry syrup, and poached egg on a bed of winter pesto (made with kale from the garden!), topped with roasted red peppers and crispy leek.
Bottom two: Sunday's breakfast. I called it "Vegetarian Man Breakfast." Fried egg with cheese crust, spicy fried butternut squash with barbecue sauce, and a biscuit with butter and jam.
This weekend was uncharacteristically warm, so we made an extra effort to soak up the vitamin D with a leisurely Sunday stroll around our neighborhood, and choosing the outdoor tables at Fullsteam instead of the indoor tables.
My car broke down at the end of last week (the starter - thank goodness it's safely in the driveway), so early this week I'm dealing with having it towed and repaired. I'm extra-grateful I work from home right now (and that the garage I'm using is three blocks away) - usually a car breakdown is way more inconvenient. Also! Micah got me/us tickets to go see Yo La Tengo on Wednesday in Chapel Hill - and I'm excited to see them again, as they are my favorite band, and always a great show.
January 18, 2013
Above: Biscuit cinnamon rolls from a recent Weekend Breakfast.
It's been almost exactly six months since I sold my house in Oklahoma City – a house that, and I quote myself, felt like "a giant adult responsibility anchor" by the time I got rid of it. (Read the whole saga starting here.) And now, a mere six months later, how do I feel? Guys, I'm more than ready to buy again.
What can I say? The heart wants what the heart wants.
And my heart longs to be a homeowner again. I have officially grown tired of investing time and money in renting. I feel stifled by my inability to paint, tile, rip out, re-finish. I long to landscape a yard with a perennial timeframe in mind, and to benefit from the diligent composting I've been doing for the last year (YOU'RE WELCOME, future duplex tenants). But most importantly – I want to make a home with Micah, to build a life with him. And for us, that means a house of our own.
So, for about the last month or so, I've been heart-deep in real estate. Perusing multiple sites a day to check for new listings, and to get a feel for how much house our budget can buy. I fall in love a few times a week: sometimes with a tiny, historic bungalow in the downtown area, or a rustic cottage on an acre outside the city. (I have seriously detailed life-fantasies for each type of property.) We've taken up Sunday drives to visit these properties, and check out new-to-us neighborhoods - Google Street View can only show you so much. And usually the historic bungalow is next to a crack den, and the cottage is a little too outside the city.
But. I know it's a process, and I'm enjoying this part of it. Like dating, and knowing that This One could be The One. I know our house is out there. And when we finally find The One, we will be more than ready to put a ring on it, and start building our life in it. Start making our home.
January 15, 2013
I whipped this up for lunch today, inspired by all the green in my fridge at the moment: a bed of arugula, topped with chopped avocado, basil, and copious lime (and salt and pepper to taste). I'm dubbing this the "Green Salad," a mean play on the sad salads we all often order by default at restaurants.
I feel like I've just eaten superpowers! The bitter, peppery arugula is softened by the fatty, smooth avocado; and the heady, licorice-y basil is cut nicely by the bright lime juice. A simple but super-potent flavor combo – it's like making out with margaritas and summer and gardens. Much needed on a dreary January day. No lie, I'll... probably be making this for lunch again tomorrow.
January 14, 2013
This weekend, I finally broke in my amazing new Oklahoma City market bag (custom-commissioned by Shop Good from Apolis, then gifted to me by the Shannons). Well - Micah did. I was enjoying a tour of Chapel Hill's finer grocery stores with my good friend Natalie, so Micah headed off to Durham's farmer's market with the bag to see what was lookin' good and fresh - and to rep OKC in style.
We both returned home with a random-er-than-usual assortment of produce and goods (including a new fern, and those sweet little carrots). And you know how it is when you suddenly have ALL! NEW! FOODS! - you become overwhelmed by the variety, and want to try everything immediately, and end up nibbling on little bits of everything just because it's there, instead of preparing proper meals. And so it went.
But! This week I'm hoping to focus a bit more on that front. I received pasta rolling and cutting attachments for my KitchenAid mixer as Christmas gifts from my parents (as well as an "artisan pasta" cookbook), and a vintage ravioli plaque from Micah. So - this week I'm going to break everything in all at once and make ravioli from scratch. Wish me luck!
January 10, 2013
Above: Tucker and Grandma Boon, slowly waking up the day after Christmas.
My brother's lovely girlfriend spent Christmas with us, and therefore so did Tucker. He's almost three years old, with boundless energy, and ridiculously cute chipmunk cheeks (here he is losing to me in Yahtzee). He gave our Christmas a whole new vibe - it's been a while since I've tripped over tiny toy cars or Legos lost in the living room carpet, or played a single game so repetitively my brain started to go a bit soft. It was so much fun. He's kind of the First Grandchild, getting inordinate amounts of attention from each of us (and yet, still somehow outpacing all of us). I think my mom enjoyed him the most, though. Grandma Boon.
January 8, 2013
Top: Flying in to Tulsa, as opposed to the usual Oklahoma City.
Middle: The Cross Timbers between Tulsa and Oklahoma City. What, didn't everyone learn about the Cross Timbers in high school?
Bottom: Tenkiller Lake in eastern Oklahoma. Lower than usual.
I really enjoy visiting Oklahoma now that I've been in North Carolina for a few years. When I was growing up here, I didn't really appreciate the landscape. In fact, I didn't realize there was even a landscape to speak of. Now, I dig the expansive prairies, the scrubby man-formed lakes, the wild earthy palette of everything, that big-huge, infinity-neverending, final-frontier sky - and the howling, earth-shattering wind that comes out of it. Micah and I drove all over northern, eastern, and central Oklahoma on our last trip back to visit family, and I was pleasantly surprised by how nostalgic the Oklahoma landscape made me.
January 7, 2013
Top: Faux-Christmas Day breakfast. Apple rosette tart with cranberry-whiskey syrup.
Middle: New Year's Day breakfast. Oeuf en coquette with sopressata, crispy pork jowl bits, cheese, and kale chips (from the garden). Side of toast and clementine wedges.
Bottom: Sunday's breakfast. Oeuf en coquette with sopressata, romesco, and spinach, and a side of biscuit cinnamon rolls that look like googly eyes.
Just some greatest hits from the holidays to get the week started. We got a set of those tiny roasters from one of my brothers (who sheepishly admitted with a shrug, "Somehow I know you guys like cooking tiny shit") and we've been making various versions of oeuf en coquette ever since.
This week I'm trying to reinstate some sort of routine into my daily... routine. Last week brought a pretty epic head cold that left me feeling like a dripping zombie, and I just kind of doggy-paddled through the days. This week I'm back!, and better than ever, and still super-excited about 2013.
January 1, 2013
Above: My feet at the very end of 2012, in Kathleen's living room. Taken with my iPhone - I didn't bring my camera on this trip, and it was a relief.
Welcome to 2013!
Yesterday, I ceremoniously cleaned house to greet the new year. I washed all the bedding and towels in our house, and swept all the floors, and wiped down all the surfaces, and misted down all the furniture with calming lavender oil. Micah and I rang in 2013 in our living room, with shots of Jameson and conversation about our intent for the coming year. Then we made a palette on the floor, and fell asleep to Studio Ghibli movies (a Christmas gift from me that's been on constant repeat since he opened it).
It's been raining and overcast all day today - fitting for clean starts and blank slates. I'm nursing cup after cup of my birthday tea, and reviewing all the photos from my trip to the quiet pitter-pat of raindrops.
I'm grateful for all the people who moved me in the last year, and all the decisions I made to better myself and my life, and all the experiences that shaped the decisions I'll make in the next year.
Welcome to 2013!