The Whirly Girl

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Unlike many, I don’t love fall.  At least, I don’t love all the typical fall-y things that are so popular this time of year.  I don’t like pumpkin spice lattes.  Pumpkins are not actually in season yet where I live–watermelon was offered in my CSA share this week.  The leaves don’t really change color here.  October means eight more months til summer vacation and parent-teacher conferences.

There are, however, a few things that make this time of year kind of nice deep in the heart of Texas, though they may not be as traditional as an apple pie-scented candle:

  • It’s cool enough in the mornings to drive to work with my windows down.
  • Our electricity bill is smaller.
  • Lettuce is in season again.
  • On that note, we  get CSA shares again, after several months without.
  • It’s finally not too hot to cook soup.

Happy fall, whether you enjoy it with lettuce or pumpkin muffins.

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After yet another unintentional, born out of laziness, blogging hiatus, The Whirly Girl is back.  Things are nice and calm here on the home front.  My big news is this: Working part-time has been amazing.

I love it.  I have time to go for a walk in the mornings before work, and then maybe do a chore or two in the afternoons when I get home, before making dinner.  I can get the chores and errands done in the afternoon during the week, so we don’t have to worry about it on Saturday.  I have been able to sit down and read.  Not during summer vacation, in September.  I can’t remember the last time that happened.

I also feel a bit guilty for loving it.  The guilt is two-fold.  First, the practical guilt: I earn a noticeably smaller amount now.  Plain and simple.  I chose to do this and still feel a little weird about it.  Second: Given the turn or events, am I allowed to keep my hyphenated last name?  Do I have to turn in my feminist card, now that I’ve chosen to spend more time doing housewife things?  Why don’t I want to use my degree anymore?

Regardless, I love it.  “It”, I think, is the balance that has, at least for now, been struck.  The joy of the balance outweighs the amount of a paycheck and speaks louder than the whispers of my confused inner-feminist.  Plus, I have fewer papers to grade and get to sleep later.  Can’t complain about that.

We are pretty avid cooks in our house.  I specialize in everyday fare, while my husband is in charge of  special occasions/big hunks of meat.  However, when my newly married sister asked for some of our recipes, I drew a blank.  Even now, I can barely think of what we typically eat for dinner.  So, to remedy this situation I decided to start keeping weekly logs of what we cook and eat.

This past week wasn’t exactly typical, with a birthday and a weekend of wedding-related events, but it’s what we ate.  We usually make at least five dinners a week at home.

Sunday

A former favorite Mexican restaurant of Scott’s reopened, so we felt compelled to pay them a visit.

Monday

Stuffed zucchini, very loosely based on this recipe.

Bruschetta

Tuesday

Church life group night–we’re off-duty for hosting this month, so we just showed up at someone else’s house and ate their food and it was wonderful.

Wednesday

Vegetable lo mein (with carrots, squash, zucchini, liana beans, and bell peppers from our garden and CSA share)

Thursday

Scott’s birthday, which was celebrated with a meal out with friends.  It is some much easier than scramming a ton of people (meaning more than six) in our small living space.

Friday-Saturday

This weekend took us out of town for a wedding, so we ate delicious wedding festivity food all weekend and now I need to walk about 1o miles to restore balance.

Spring break has come to this poor, dormant blog of a whirly girl whose real life has recently won out in the attention game.  I am still here, though rather undocumented.  The school year is clipping along and, in less than three months, will be laid to rest.  My domestic projects are moving much more slowly.  I hang on to the fact that they are still, at least, moving. 

I’m almost finished with my second pair of wrist warmers, just in time to pack them away until next winter.  Kombucha is fermenting in two glass jars on my counter top.  I have homemade yogurt in the fridge.  So, all is not lost.

I tend to hybernate during spring break, hiding away at home, rarely going out for fear of having to interact with other people–the horror.  Such is the fate of an introvert who spends all day surrounded by people.  So, this week has found me primarily wearing slippers all day, hanging laundry out on the line, and planting tomatoes.  I did have to venture out to the nursery to buy the tomato plants, plus I used a gift certificate my 5th graders gave me last year to buy a new purse.  Besides that, I’ve been home sweet home.

My mom always told me that life keeps getting better, not that it was bad in the moment, but that there are continually things to look forward to.  A lot of good and happy things happened this year, so what will 2010 hold, I wonder.  I have some goals for myself and Scott and I have a few things we’re planning for.  But before we get into that, here’s to 2009.

I started knitting on a regular basis and am even getting better at it.  Next step, cables.

We went on an Easter weekend camping trip to Big Bend National Park.

My sister and her boyfriend got engaged, then graduated from college the next month.

Scott and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary.

I learned how to make kombucha, and have even kept it up.

We successfully grew a (small) container garden. 

Scott smoked not one, but two, briskets.

We figured out how to throw fun parties in our yard.

Lastly, we paid off one of my student loans.  I wrote the check on Dec. 31.  This loan was a small one, compared to our others, but one step closer to being debt free and one monthly payment we don’t have to make anymore! 

So long, 2009.  You were a good year.

I started a new page up top.  Now that summer is here I am reading more and have always wanted to actually document my read books.

We live in the back half of a duplex we estimate is about 80 years old.  It is a mixture of charming (built in shelves in the dining nook, a little office connect to the one big bedroom, beautiful and original hardwood floors throughout) and shabby (bathroom cabinet doors that won’t close and just enough draftiness to alert us to changes in the outside temperature) and is a quite fitting first home for the married-less-than-a-year couple, young-ish couple that we are.  We are quite please the rent we do/don’t pay and are happy to have the half with the fenced in yard.  The other day we realized we had a little friend that had come in to say hello.

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I haven’t decided if this little guy and his location fall into the charming or shabby category, but I like him.