I didn’t think much about taking pictures this week, too caught up with the last festivities and miseries of nursing school. Putting my camera card in Harlow this morning, I found this messy shot: My mom sent me this wonderful “stress package” on Monday, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve already eaten every last nibble of chocolate and coffee. My final exams are tomorrow — oh breathe! Last night, I fell asleep after forgetting to set my alarm clock, leaving me with this last four hours before heading to work until midnight, only to wake at 06:30 for one last feat of academic prowess. I am so thankful for the opportunities of these past nine months. I am equally thankful to be done — holy, holy amen DONE! — in 24 hours.
As a graduation present to myself (last final in three days, folksies!), I’m thinking about getting a new camera. Right now I take all my pictures with my phone or a teeny Nikon that my dad gave me for my sixteenth birthday. Both do the trick — catching memories on pixel — but as Jeremiah and I head into life without school (someone pleeeease shout a holy “AMEN”), I’m really excited about taking lots and lots of pretty pictures of a more slowed-down and family-friendly life.
Share you suggestions, please! Camera recommendations! I don’t mind spending a fine dollar, but I want to make a good choice. I wouldn’t anticipate spending hundreds on a camera again, so this one will have to be a real keeper.
This is the weekend spring arrived. I spent yesterday, morning til dusk, rapping away on Harlow (my laptop) finishing an obnoxious twenty page case study (my last before becoming an RN, folks!). For boredom’s sake, I perched myself by the window and tore the corners of the plastic to let in spring air (real spring air dandied up with the fragrance of mud and tree buds), watching my neighbor’s prematurely parade this summer’s fashions and take pictures of their children in bunny ears and chocolate messes. In the evening, I walked to the co-op for dried fruit and coconut shreds (magic bars, anyone?). I tested the sunshine by wearing a cotton pullover instead of my parka and felt only the faintest chill. My neighbors’ yards were spongy and muddy and, for the most part, snow-less.
And, this morning I’m still typing away about subarachnoid hemorrhages, but I’m also listening to Simon and Garfunkle while my husband cooks up breakfast at the little church down the road, and watching Plainfield’s elderly march into the Methodist church in their most pastel of suits and dresses. The sun is warm and close, and despite my ever-wobbly faith, I have hope. Somehow, it seems extra hopeful that the weekend bringing spring this year is also the weekend we spend celebrating the Spring offered by simple faith in Calvary.
Happy Easter, dear ones! May it be a hope-filled one!
Last week, Jeremiah and I packed up our textbooks and favorite jeans and left an apartment of dirty dishes and unwritten term papers for the luxury of Montreal. I took the week off from my 52 project, and instead, we ate so much good food and stumbled through so much clumsy French in our nearest “big city.” It was such a good time, simple yet decadent. Jeremiah, especially, feel in love with Montreal. I’m sure we’ll be back.
*We bought this little cactus from the Montreal Jardin Boutinque. Of course, we forgot to claim it at the border crossing (along with my half-eaten avocado and Kinder surprise eggs for the little boys), but c’est la vie! It’s becoming quite a thing for us: bringing cacti back from the big city to our country bumpkin dwelling.*
Plainfield is a motley place with a reputation for pot and vegetarian pizza. Slowly but surely, it (and VPR’s tendency to report the liberal side of civic life) is making me and my little pad a yuppie’s dream. With Dr. bronner’s in my shower and seventh generation dish soap in my sink, I light patchouli incense sticks to smother my neighbor’s pot smoke and whip together meatless meals with ingredients from our community garden and the discount shelf of the local co-op.
This is my hippie version of the classic tuna salad. It’s perfect for #twoyoungprofessionals without the time or budget for fancy dining
(I don’t usually cook with measurements, preferring to cook by taste. I suggest you do the same with this recipe.)
Drain 1 can chunk tuna
Combine with home-made or store bought mayonnaise and a splash of balsamic vinegar
Add pinches of dried mustard seed, salt, black pepper, oregano, parsley, and basil to taste
Thinly slice carrots and fresh red beets; mix into tuna
Chop chives, onions, or leeks (whatever you have on hand) and add.
3/3/13: On a nursing school budget, the treat of the month was this bunch of daffodils bought at Price Chopper and brought home to sit with me at our rusty table waiting patiently for exams and winter to pass.
3/10/13: I came down with my first case of stuck-in-bed sickness since Jer and I got married. Recipes for recovery — pepto bismal and acetaminophen force fed by my husband and sliced cucumbers and raspberries in lemon water served up on my grandmother’s porcelain tray, all taken while snuggled under the queen sized quilt I stitched up the summer Jer and I started dating.
3/17/13: “Cut consumption not foreskin!” I grew up a country girl and have inherited the modest sentiment and mum expressiveness of a Vermonter. I love the way the characters of the Green Mountains keep to themselves and deny themselves the luxury of admitting their personal oddity. That said, there’s something about cities and their mouthiness that entices me. Jer and I talk every now and then about moving to a city — Burlington, Boston, Hartford — to finish our educations and launch our careers. If we ever do, I’m pretty sure I’d have to paint something as equally ridiculous as this on the front of my home.
My little sister, HeatherRose, got married this past Saturday. It was a lovely day, and Rosie and her new husband make a pretty gutsy couple. Everyone commented on their mushy first kiss, the tasty eats, the lacy details, the lights and candles and trees and church and family and friends. It was warm and intimate and welcoming. Such a good, good celebration!
I think my favorite part of the day, however, was that moment when I walked out of the bathroom stall half dressed with an arm strung up over my head and a clumsy hand tugging at the spanx making doughy work of my midriff Thirty minutes before the start of my sister’s wedding, thirty minutes before I was supposed to walk down an isle with hair coiffed and cheeks blushed and smile bright, I discovered that my bridesmaid dress didn’t fit. The waist band that seemed so elegant before the back seam was sewn now barred passage of my hips and shoulders. I stood in my smudged make-up and horror while a fellow brides maid pulled on the dress and I tugged on my slip straps until my shoulders and chest popped the waist band.
After a night of eating cake and watching kisses, I returned to my lowly Pie in the Sky and ripped that dress to pieces.
I know I left the mess of the century in our kitchen this weekend. I also know you’ve heard jolly good enough about how tired I am and how much I have to get done. I know I’m about to head off to work without scrubbing a single pot. I know you’ll come home to a pile of moldy dishes and a note from me asking if you’ll take over laundry duty this week.
But, here’s the deal: I went to my sister’s wedding this weekend. I stayed up late making little goodies for her reception and writing her intimate details about “wife stuff.” I took an on-line exam and wrote a paper. I drove across the state and ransacked our savings account for gas money and midnight runs to the drug store for 24-hour antiperspirant and rat-tail combs. I left our midget-ly Pie in the Sky, as I have so many other times, in a tizzy, dragging you along on my drunkenly adventure without proper invitation or introduction, knowing you’d pick up my pieces, knowing that, as you did this morning, you’d pick up a dishcloth and wash my dishes, pick up a smile and hush my bewilderment.
Here’s the other part of the deal: Every time I go to a wedding or interact with another couple, I realize all over again, how happy I am to be married to exactly the man you are. I married precisely the right temperament and personality for me. We are absolutely the right couple for us.
I love you, Mr. Goodbar. Thanks for not saying a thing about my disaster this weekend. And, I hope you know deeply, deeply how much I appreciate you, not just because you take on my failed domesticity but also because we are precisely right for each other I am so happy to be with you.