Monday, June 25, 2012

Delicious Single Food

Dan's working downtown this week at a trade show for which he is representing his company, Reed Technology. He gets to ride the train and a company partner is taking him (and other Reed employees) out to a fancy shmancy dinner tonight.

You know what that means?

I get to eat my food.

It's one of the reasons I enjoy eating out so much, because we can both order exactly what we want and I don't have to worry about whether or not Dan will like what I make him for dinner (if he even darling husband has a very different relationship to food than I do).

(Food for me is fun. Food for him is necessary.)

Anyways, one of my very favorite things to eat is stir fry. Yep, good old plain and simple stir fry. Which Dan absolutely loathes.

Go figure.

And since I don't make foods that I don't like, I feel guilty making foods that he doesn't like. For instance, I don't really like fajitas (which is unfortunate, because it's a Henrich favorite and they eat them alot), so I don't cook them. We've settled on quesadillas as a reasonable compromise.

But there is no such compromise for stir fry.

Sooooo, when Dan is away I make myself stir fry. Tonight I chopped up some chicken, onion, pepper, broccoli, zucchini, carrots and chinese cabbage and threw them in a pan with some sauce, over white rice, and voila! A delicious, relatively healthy dinner.

(And since I do not have a nice camera, added to the simple fact that stir fry is not very pretty, all photos are borrowed from The Kitchn, one of my favorite food blogs that recently ran a series on stir fry. Check them out!)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

On Happiness

"To be a true a true minister to men is always to accept new happiness and new distress...The man who gives himself to others can never be a wholly sad man; but no more can he be a man of unclouded gladness. To him shall come with every deeper consecration a before untasted joy, but in the same cup shall be mixed a sorrow that was beyond his power to feel before."

Don't know where it's from, but I found it and I like it. Sound familiar to anyone else?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Daddy's Girl

Yep, I'm a Daddy's girl.

Deal with it!!

I'm pretty sure I've been a daddy's girl since the start. As long as I can remember, my dad has been someone that I could talk to, hang out with, and depend on; he taught me things nobody else taught me, everything from baseball to using a power drill.

As one such daddy's girl, I am very proud of my dad. I love him to death, and no matter what happens in my life or our relationship, I will never stop being grateful that he's my dad.

I'm here today to share my proudest moment of my dad.

Now, I have lots of reasons to be proud of my dad. He hasn't had an easy time of it; he's dealt with his share of sorrows, troubles, and bad turns.

I am proud of my dad for raising three kids, for building us bunk beds and teaching us how to use our computers.

I am proud of my dad for supporting us through years of homeschooling, for coming from a long day's work to a frustrated child at the kitchen table, and taking the time to sit with us an explain our math (something that still eludes me, despite his best efforts and good teaching!).

I am proud of my dad for teaching us to cook, and to be creative in the kitchen. A recipe is still something my dad doesn't use, and his cooking is delicious.

I am proud of my dad for beating cancer and sticking with us.

I am proud of my dad for dealing with an incredibly difficult decision, for accepting assistance with grace, for caring for four people (and three dogs) through a long, hard transition across the country, and for still taking the time to visit me when he's in the area (and "in the area" to my dad means Pittsburgh--now that's dedication!).

But my proudest moment of my dad has very little to do with all of this. He's clearly an amazing man, and a great father. But my proudest moment came just a few months ago.

This is the first time I've mentioned this on this blog (which is mostly ridiculous, because the only people who read this already know), but my parents are getting divorced. It was not a mutual decision, and it's been a very painful time for all of us, and a time of big transitions.

My proudest moment of my dad came when we were talking through what was happening, and my dad was expressing his great hurt and anger at the situation. After a while, I asked if he was thinking of starting to go back to church, and he answered "I already did start going to church."

Tears filled my eyes.

This littlest comment, this small detail of his life, was the most relieving and hopeful remark I had heard for the entire phone call. My dad was strong enough, not just to deal with this, but to come out a better person on the other side. If my dad was going to cling to his Savior in this time, and connect himself with a loving, supportive, church body, he could do this. He is going to be just fine.

I am so proud of my dad for choosing to rebuild his life in this way. I am proud of my dad for staying true to the beliefs he has taught me since childhood. I am proud of my dad for being strong enough to choose what is right.

For all these reasons, and many more, I will always call myself, with pride, a daddy's girl.

Friday, June 15, 2012


Today I found this blog, which is totally awesome. I love that school lunches are getting so much attention these days, because I think we can accomplish some wonderful things with our children, like teaching them moderation, healthy choices, and how to enjoy food.

(Of course, some "wellness policies" take this much too far in the opposite extreme, where we are only allowed to munch on carrot sticks and pretzels to celebrate birthdays in school.)

(And I'm saying this as someone who likes carrots and pretzels.)

Anyways, I think she might have to adapt her blog soon because of some new policies at her school, but it's still very cool. And I love that a 9-year-old is being encouraged to write like that.

Today was also something wonderful....


*insert wild cheers and large margaritas*

Yes, even though I'll be teaching the summer school program for our multiple disabilities class, I still consider this summer vacation. I always work in the summer. It's what I do.

Since it's summer, I'm hoping to tackle a few projects; simple, fun things that will entertain me and hopefully be useful in making my apartment look nice. I'll be posting pictures of things (we hope) as they happen, but here are a few ideas:

Trace a print onto the glass of a picture frame with a white sharpie, then back with colored paper. 

Liz will have to help me with this one, but the pattern is so simple!

This is like, the easiest craft ever--put some pretty paper in a picture frame and add handles to the front of the frame. Instant decorative tray! You could even use it for breakfast in bed, and the glass would wipe up easily from spills. 

Reusable bags, taken to a whole new level--transform old t-shirts into bags! 

So it'll be a busy summer--these, coupled with what I hope will be plentiful walks in the sunshine with Lily, half-day summer school for four weeks, a trip to California, and a couple cases with my old job.

N.B. - all these pictures and ideas were found on Pinterest. Just sayin'. 

Yay summer!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Green things in the Ground

Gardening is so satisfying.

Bean plant (that I didn't intend to buy, but is doing well anyway)

Four pepper plants, picked by Peter Piper personally. 

Cucumbers that are finally flourishing. 

Pea plants, taller than I am, and yielding the sweetest, crunchiest delights. 

Four tomato plants, two Roma and two cherry. Homemade bruschetta in the making.

Pretty little yellow flower that will become a sweet, juicy tomato. 

One of the most satisfying things about gardening is that it requires so much patience. In March I turned over the soil in my garden, mixed in some mulch, and started seeds in peat pots onto my windowsill. 

In April I hesitantly put my tender little peas and cucumbers in the ground, and seeded some lettuce right into the garden. A couple weeks later I bought the rest of my plants and put them in. 

Now, in the beginning of June, it's starting to look like a real garden, big and green and leafy, and we are immensely enjoying the produce. 

The waiting reminds me that good things do not always happen right away. It takes time, and slow, steady effort. I can't always see the results in real time, but when I stand back and remember how it used to be, I see that I am indeed making progress.