Monday, March 20, 2023

For Later

Put off for now
Spring dreaming about cooking to come. I hesitate to buy new ingredients at this point. Our pantry is out of canned chickpeas, which nixed the first two. They both use tahini which is what I'd like to finish up. Guess I better go buy eggplant, parsley and lemon so I can baba ghanoush it up. 

Lentil and Chickpea Salad with Feta and Tahini, Smitten. Calls for green puy lentils, small red onion, handful of cilantro or Italian parsley.

Carrot Salad with Tahini, Crisped Chickpeas and Salted Pistachios, Smitten. 

Easy Gan Bian Si Ji Dou (Sichuan Dry-Fried Green Beans), Serious Eats.  

Coffee Creme Caramel, Hiroko's Recipes. I found this when trying to nail down the microwaved cake recipe. Looks like a fun site with Meat Free Monday suggestions. 

Sublime name
Daughter of Huey 'Piano' Smith - Acquelyn Donsereaux. Recently retired nurse now serving on the nursing school board in NOLA. Known as Nurse Ackie, I wish her all the best. I learned about her and her marvelous name thanks to the mention in this Language Hat post

Break it down
Compost container for kitchen, recommended by K.B. SpanglerStainless steel gallon jug. ABQ composting, info here from the library system, will be a whole new game. One option I just read about is Bokashi, fermenting in a sealed container rather than composting outside. Sounds super stinky! But then the resulting slime has to be buried to finish breaking down, which doesn't appeal to me. I don't think I want to be a worm rancher but that is another option instead of trying to keep an outdoor pile damp enough in the desert conditions.  

Malignant, poisonous. A new word for me from an Elizabeth Bishop poem. The dictionary definition here doesn't include the story that the vapors from the poisonous lake were strong enough to kill birds flying over it. Really good essay on EB here, I didn't know anything about her beyond admiring the "One Art" poem. The author uses "alcohol use disorder" where I would have expected "alcoholism". I think I like that. Near the end is this piercing phrase "Bishop commemorates the tricky art of living in a body". Quote from Ernie Hilbert in the Poetry Foundation bio of EB, "...her poems are balanced like Alexander Calder mobiles, turning so subtly as to seem almost still at first, every element, every weight of meaning and song, poised flawlessly against the next." Wowww. 

Friday, March 17, 2023


Under contract
After one week of showings and an open house we accepted an offer and have a closing date in late April. One week from today we'll drive out and look at houses for the weekend. We'll try to find something that matches our needs. But it's seeming less likely to me that we'll be able to get a closing date as buyers that matches our arrival date. So there may need to be some vamping in the form of storage or a short term lease until we can get moved into a purchased house. 

I have been surprised at how little excitement I feel about having sold the house. I feel satisfaction at having gotten to this point in our packing and de-cluttering journey. And I'm happy it was done so quick. There's plenty of anxiety as I think about what is still to be done. Perhaps I'll get to be excited about the other end of the process. Certainly lots of different emotions are bubbling up. I tried to add two factor authentication on my phone a few days ago and almost burst into tears. (Later I was successful and did not sob at work.)  

I distrust moving companies. Here's a quote from a metafilter discussion that doesn't increase my regard for any of them:

"This is the way to prevent long-haul movers from driving to a mile away from your destination and calling you to claim they need another $1000 to finish the job. I do not know anybody who has not experienced some form of this hostage situation unless their move was being handled by corporate or military contract, in which case the moving company knows they will lose the contract if they pull the scams.

If you must use movers, please put several Tiles or AirTags in your boxes of belongings so you can tell the truck you know exactly where it is and are sending the police. I recommend doing this for a pod or even a self-move as well, just because theft is always a risk."

I gather that moving companies don't have staff drivers, they are middle men and contract with these yahoos who are fairly unaccountable. We may use P*DS and use their storage on the other end. 

After reading a bunch of microwave cake recipe I cobbled several together and made a respectable one last night. It was sleeting and snowing and being very cold and MARCH outside, thus the need for chocolate cake. I used some decaf coffee and the end of the whipping cream and it all worked out. Butter frosting was a good addition of course. 

Lady books
I am reading/recently read these two books:


The first one is a little insulting but it certainly works with the book content. I don't mind the second one but taken together I am offended at the aggressively lady-book graphics. Yes, I am a middle aged woman reading fiction. But I'd rather be toting a book with a cover that has some edge. It reminds me of the Ursula K. LeGuin story collection Always Coming Home I bought in paperback many years ago. Clearly the publisher had No Idea how to market this.  The cover had a pastel house and beach scene but was dominated by the title in large loopy feminine font. Very grocery store romance novel font.    

Wednesday, March 1, 2023


Kitchen fun

My two modes these days are packing or feeling guilty for not packing. So when I have been cooking lately it's been a nice change of pace but I've also caught myself feeling like maybe I am spending too much time in the kitchen. The best new thing I made is a cake with ground almonds and orange zest/juice, based on this recipe: Best Ever Orange Almond Cake Recipe. I used 3 eggs and substituted a little plain yogurt for the 4th. I didn't put slivered almonds on top, I sprinkled it with sugar. Very good cake. I will bake it again to use up these ground almonds I have in the fridge. It would be really good with a citrus glaze on top. Ooh and some candied peel. 

I'm concerned that we've done all the easy packing and the rest is the hard stuff. But there are still plenty of targets for my attention, no need to look for trouble. Realtor comes tomorrow, we'll need help filling out our disclosure form.  

---------updated after realtor meeting. We're ready to list it next week. I have a long list of cleaning and yard tidying to share with my spouse and get done by the end of this weekend. I am going to fill out the disclosures form online in the next day or so. My guilt over not packing has receded as we seem to have made enough progress to show this sucker. I feel like it's actually going to happen. //excite!//

Ah ! comme la neige a neigé !

Why didn't I learn this poem in my French studies? Soir d'hiver by Émile Nelligan. Probably anti Canadian assumptions. Its singing quality and world weariness reminds me of Beaudelaire.



The local university men's team is keeping up their record even in this very competitive season. Lots of strong teams and "every game is a rock fight" according to the local announcer. We went downtown to watch last night and it was not a restful experience - close to the very end. They got the win which also gives them the conference title. I feel lucky to have lived here during this time of fabulous Jayhawk teams. Ol' Coach Self is a wizard.   

At K's school, a bball resurgence is happening - their men's team is going to play in March Madness this year for the first time in a while. Northwestern schedule. March is here!  


We walked at the wetlands two evenings ago - it was light past 6pm and calling us outside. Beautiful fading pastels in the east and an orange horizon in the west. We saw geese flying and yelling before roosting. There were frogs and red-winged blackbirds calling and I saw the first bat of the year. Venus and Jupiter were sparking in the west above the silhouetted trees. I have put the astronomy department's telescope night on my calendar. Fingers cross that next week that evening will stay clear.