Monday, May 19th, 2008
Bar prep that is. I saw through my first 7 hour day of review. I think I’m beginning to see more clearly that this week is sort of a waste of time beyond doing the actual practice test that we’ll take on Wednesday. I could be wrong, I could very well be eating my words come November or whenever the results are released but right now, that’s how it appears to me. I’ve also spent a lot of time agonizing over whether or not I need to take the three day PMBR course in addition to BarBri. If I was working for a firm that was footing the bill it would be a no brainer but when the question boils down to dropping another grand out of pocket on something you’re not convinced will actually help you it becomes a stickier issue. On one hand, what’s that on top of everything else I’ve spent along the way if it means you’ll pass the first time. On the other hand, here comes loan repayment. After much soul searching I’ve decided that even though I believe that I don’t need to take PMBR I won’t be able to sleep at night wondering over the tiniest shred of lingering doubt as to my decision. So.. I hunted down last year’s materials on craigs list and I think that will take care of any lingering doubt.
I was really sad to see my time off come to an end. A week is not nearly long enough. I tried to make the most of it. I napped a lot, made those dresses for Chase, started watching The Wire and read The Kite Runner. It was a real page turner. I thought up until halfway through that it was going to strictly be a profound commentary on the human condition but somewhere around the halfway point it took a turn. I suspect that the author didn’t mean for that to happen but I closed the book thinking that this book was what I expected from The Davinci Code.. only I thought that The Davinci Code just didn’t deliver. I finished The Kite Runner in about three days. It was a real page turner but it didn’t leave me weeping and fell short, I think, of leaving a lasting impression on me.
It’s spring and our strawberries have started to ripen. Pretty exciting stuff. I guess we’ve been getting about 10 per day. I think I’ve gotten to eat about a half a strawberry total. Chase loves just eating them out of hand and that’s where most of them end up. Spring fever has also grabbed hold of our cat Francis. Last week he ran away twice and stayed out all night. On the second night he, of course, came home limping. This cat has spent more time in the emergency animal hospital than I care to think about. I have spent thousands of dollars on his medical care, xrays, days and days of hospitalization. This cat is undoubtedly down to five or six lives at most. We did not visit the emergency hospital this time. How it happens that he always seems to be injured or sick on a Saturday is just totally beyond me. The only upside to having dealt with this so often is that I am pretty well versed in various warning signs. I checked out his foot and it looked ok to me. My professional opinion is that he cut the area around his paw pad jumping the six foot fence. I didn’t see anything lodged in there and it didn’t look bad to me so home we stayed. He has luckily since stopped limping. I think we’re out of the woods here. I’m going to have him listen to Hayden’s song Woody to help him understand what it’s like to be me.
We’ve also been baking bread. I’m trying to figure out how to work that into our day to day. We made this one start to finish in the bread machine. I think this might be the way for us to go at the moment.
Tuesday, May 13th, 2008
Now that I don’t HAVE to sit at my computer it’s hard to motivate myself to post. Sunday was commencement. I still can hardly believe that they actually called my name. I was sure that at the last minute someone would rip the rug out from under me and I’d find out I was one credit short or somesuch. Talk about an emotional roller coaster. I think Erin hit the nail on the head when she said it was probably some colossal mind game on the part of the administration. I barely held it together. Only the fear of being remembered as the only person weeping at their graduation kept me from totally falling apart.
Things have been pretty low key here since then. I am fighting the customary cold that always descends upon me at the end of the semester. It comes like clockwork as soon as the last task, in this case graduation, is completed. We’ve just been hanging out. Now that the rain has finally stopped we were able to get out a little today and walked to the grocery store this morning and then to the park this afternoon. It’s been a long time since Chase has fallen asleep in my arms but she was close tonight. We’ve had a busy week but I’m inclined to think that she is having a growth spurt or something. She strikes me as unusually sleepy.
I completed another project. I loved the first bubble so much that I made her another. This fabric was so much easier to work with than the last stuff. It’s impossible to be intimidated by working with knits after having handled that… whatever that hideous gauzy stuff was. I have to give credit to my machine though, I don’t think I could have done it without my viking. That machine has totally revolutionized sewing for me. I have the base computerized model but now that I have worked with a computerized machine I will never.. ever go back… ever. The instruction manual is about 10 pages long, thus I actually read it. The most important piece of information in there is that most problems can be solved by either rethreading or using a new needle and it turns out to be 100% true. I have not yet had a problem that wasn’t solved one of those two ways. Not to mention that the thing doesn’t have to be oiled ever! I think it’s time she was given a name don’t you?
We had leftovers for dinner tonight. I kind of like leftovers, leftovers are kind of my “thing.” I have something of a reputation among my friends for coming up with creative ways to turn leftovers into something a little bit snappy. Ben grilled ribeye steaks for us on mother’s day. I have a few go to’s for leftover grilled meats but as I am feeling a little under the weather I wasn’t in the mood for any of my old standbys. I poked through the fridge and freezer and came up with several half bags of veg and a sheet of puff pastry and steak potpie was born. I made a little roux and then a sauce with chicken stock and a little milk with a little dollop of horseradish. It was quite good. I stuffed the leftover bits of pastry with frozen raspberries for a dessert treat.
Monday, May 5th, 2008
I saw Steven Raichlen making these on his show over the weekend and was salivating over them. They fit perfectly into our cooking out theme and paired with shish kabobs turned out to be something of a pantry friendly dinner. I started thinking about this way before noon while, as usual, Erin and I tried to hold off on eating lunch until a respectable hour. What better way to stifle hunger than to think about dinner? You’d think in time you would learn not to go down that road but the lesson never seems to take. We’re on about day three of chicken for dinner. It may not have been three consecutive nights but we definitely have way too much chicken in the freezer and I’m not buying any more meat until some of that is under control.
That being said, even though I started planning in the morning I forgot all about it until 4:30. The bread needs at least an hour and a half of rising time so it was a race against the clock to get things together so we could eat as close to our regular time as possible. You can find the recipe here. I mixed the dough by hand and started the kneading in the kitchenaid but it made this giant tall ball after a few minutes and had the motor straining so I finished the kneading by hand. The recipe says to punch down and to form 2″ balls to yield 15 but I was only able to get 11, I can only assume that I was rolling them too big.
I froze 6 portions to be defrosted and rolled out for grilling later and prepped the other 5 for tonight. As written I think the recipe has you butter the topside of the bread after putting it down on the grill but I’m pretty sure that he buttered the dough before slapping it down on the show. That made the most sense to me so that’s what I did. Ben didn’t have any problem with sticking it’s a really great recipe. Nothing beats hot fresh bread with dinner. I guess it really should have been lavash but hey, you take what you can get. It was quite an international feast actually. Bread from India, kabob from, where, Turkey I guess and a little condiment inspired by tzatziki or raita. Nobody cared where it came from as they stuffed their pie holes full of naan. I think Chase ate about two bites of chicken but ate an entire piece of bread on her own. The chicken marinated in a little olive oil, dijon and the juice of two lemons with a couple of cloves of grated garlic, rosemary, parsley, salt and pepper. A good supper and I’m down to one last package of chicken!
Even though I know the sooner I finish the work I have to do the sooner my summer begins I still refuse to work on anything. Like right now for example I should be working on my pretrial order but I’m writing this instead. last night I cleaned up the office in spite of its having been a total disaster for the last several months. It just had to be done last night. I added two drawers under my desk and mounted shelves that have NEVER been up on any wall even though we bought them when we moved into our last place four YEARS ago. Better late than never. I guess I’ll go get cracking on that work. Oh, so our stimulus check arrived and I guess I shouldn’t have talked about it out loud because I actually heard the water heater heave oh, thank god before it conked out.