Homegrown Texan

Born and raised in Texas, I've found the home of my heart and soul in the Pacific Northwest. I love trees, cool weather, and rain. I'm a back to basics kind of gal just trying to raise my family and find a bit of time to slow down in this hectic life.

I don't know what has come over me, but I feel like a dark grey cloud of funk has settled over me. I really don't know why. It's Friday, I don't have big plans for the weekend (this is a plus for me, as I love feeling like I have 2 whole days that I can do whatever I want with), and I finally found a software bug that I've been chasing down at work for the last 3 days. I was actually feeling pretty good, too, until a few hours ago. Now I just feel like I want to curl up on a bed and sleep, or veg in front of the TV. Even reading a book sounds like too much effort at this point (sad, eh?).

Perhaps it is because we are going to have to put down our dog, Kosmo. He's been getting sicker over the past few weeks, and it is time. He has sores on his body and the last day or two, has generally not wanted to move. More than once he has gone to the bathroom in the house, I believe because he didn't want to expend the effort it takes to push the doggy door open. Poor little Kos. He's been with us...8 years now? 9, perhaps? In any case, long enough. He was our first dog. Boy, that dog has pissed me off more times than I can count! But it seems weird to think we won't have his feisty little self running around. DS4 is sad about it, too. He says Kosmo is his favorite dog. I'm not quite sure how to present this whole death thing to DS4. Just trying to play it by ear.

So perhaps that is my problem. Although I was feeling strangely detached about the whole thing earlier today. Maybe that's a part of the grieving process. I've never really dealt with any kind of loss that way before (feeling detached)...usually I'm more of the "OMG, I'll *never* see him again..Waaaahhhhh!!!" type of person. Maybe not out loud, but that's how I usually feel.

On a more positive note, last weekend I booked tickets and reserved a car for our vacation to the Canadian Rockies in March. Our adopted Mom (and adopted Grandma for the kids) has graciously invited us to share her timeshare with her and her family up there. I've never been to Canada, so that is exciting enough. Plus I love spending time with surrogate mom, as do the boys. I just feel like one of her family when I'm with her. And I absolutely *love* mountains and forests...you could drop me off in the middle of a bunch of pine trees and snow, and as long as I had a way to adequately warm myself, I'd be pleased as pie. So it should be a great vacation. I can't wait!

I forgot to update on a few things:

The juicer - I've decided it's a keeper, and I created a home for it on my countertop. I read mixed reviews on how long it will last, but for a $100 powerful juicer, I think it should do fine as long as I'm careful with it.

DS3's bed - IKEA gave me a replacement part without any trouble (other than having to wait forever for them to have one of the bed packages brought into the return area to be opened). After a couple of curse-sessions, I got the bed put back together. DS3 finally got to sleep in his regular bed again last night. :)

Work - I got the bug fixed and everyone is happy. Turns out it really didn't need to be done by Monday, but that's ok. At least I didn't have it hanging over my head, and I have plenty of other things I need to be doing (contrary to what I might be implying by updating my blog right now :/)

Last week I signed up for 6 weeks (or is it 8? or 12?...anyway) of delivery service from a local organic farm. Basically, you buy a share (or you can get a half-share, which is what I did), and they distribute everything evenly amongst the members. It's different from a buying group in that you're not guaranteed a set amount; rather, your portion is based on whatever the farm produces. But, the price isn't bad, and I thought it would be worth a try...I've started buying organic when I can, and I like the idea of supporting a local farm. Plus, this is a good way to force myself to try new veggies, which I'd really like to do because the salad/spinach/carrot/green bean rotation is getting a bit old. And, they deliver right to your door once a week (they also give you a compost bag and pick up your organic fruit & veggie scraps, which is cool). Here is their website for anyone who may be interested: http://www.desertrootsfarm.com/

I got my first delivery last Friday. It contained:
baby beets (w/greens)
baby turnips (w/greens)
lettuce/salad mix
baby cauliflower

I think that's it. I had some of the salad for lunch yesterday and it was fabulous...much fresher than the stuff you get in the store. Very tasty, too. Last night I forced myself to cook the beets. I've never eaten beets before; had never even seen them, really. I had no idea what they would taste like. So I cleaned them up (no need to peel them, since they are young and tender, the note from the farm said), cut them in half, and sauteed them in olive oil with some salt. I washed and cut up the greens as well, and when the beets were almost done, I added in the greens, more salt, and some fresh crushed garlic.

I don't eat enough greens, but I've never had a green sauteed in olive oil and garlic that I didn't like, and these were no exception. I also think the beets carmelized a bit (difficult to see for sure, since the beets are dark purple and I was using a black cast iron skillet), which added a sweetness to the greens. So the greens were fabulous. The beets were, well, kind of tasteless. Not bad, but not great, either. Just kind of blah (which was actually good, since I was honestly expecting something more on the order of "gross"). DH and I ate them with the greens. I think next time I'll try roasting them with some garlic to give them more flavor, or if I saute them, I'll cut them up first so that I can cook them with garlic (I was afraid to do the garlic this time because I thought the garlic would burn before the beets cooked through). All and all it was an ok experience, and at least I know if/when I get beets in my delivery again, I can eat them without them going to waste.

Today I'm toying with trying the turnips. Or maybe the kale. I'm dreading the cauliflower...I've never liked cauliflower (although I do like broccoli), so I don't know what to do with that. Maybe I can give it to DH and I'll take the turnips (which I suspect he won't care for). We'll see.

Today I bought a juicer. I had previously bought a Cuisinart citrus juicer for making fresh grapefruit (for me) and orange (for the boys) juice. But I found the juicer cumbersome and messy to use. When I took it back, I saw that they had a Jack LaLanne juicer. This one will juice other things besides citrus. I didn't think I was interested in anything besides citrus, but I threw the rest of an apple that DS3 didn't eat in there today, and it was oh, so yummy! I've never had fresh apple juice before, but when I drank it, I was struck by how much bottled apple juice *doesn't* taste like apples in comparison. I know that sounds weird...it's kind of hard to explain.

I'm not sure what I think about this juicer. I like the results. It extracts the pulp to my satisfaction. I know I'm losing lots of nutrients there, but not near as many as I lose by not drinking it in the first place. Plus, I wouldn't mind losing a bit of weight, and I know if I drink a little juice before a meal, I won't eat as much. I don't like that it is rather large, and my countertop is getting rather crowded with appliances that I actually do use regularly enough to warrant keeping them out there (Foodsaver, turbo oven, coffee maker, tea maker, blender). I'd like to get rid of the microwave, but not sure that DH is on board with that. I'll have to talk to him and see.

I'm also not real wild about the cleanup on the juicer. Well, the cleaning itself isn't so bad, and I'm pretty good about cleaning things as soon as I'm done with them. But I'm not so good at drying, and this thing takes up the entire dish drainer. I'll have to see what system I can work out.

I'm starting to crave vegetable juices now. I'll have to see what I can come up with. I'm thinking something kind of V8-ish, with some of my 6 pepper (or 7 or 8 or whatever it is) blend I bought from Sam's for making bloody mary's. Mmmmm, that sounds good.

Well here it is 8:45 and I haven't had dinner yet. And I forgot to work out. Damn. Better go do something about that.

Well, yesterday at about 3:00 or so, a coworker alerted me to the fact that we have a bug in our code. Not just any code, mind you; this is code that we are hoping to build for final release on Monday. No big deal, though, we both agreed that we'd issue a statement to the customer and fix it in the next release.

Unfortunately, I can't leave well enough alone. The whole thing gnawed and gnawed at me, until I called back my coworker and told him I didn't feel comfortable with releasing the product with the bug, and that I'd fix it over the weekend. Damn my integrity to hell! Well, in my own defense, this is our first real sale, and I do have a vested interest in making this product fly (specifically, my job). Of course, the bug is proving to be much more difficult and involved to fix than I originally thought. But, that's par for the course, so I'm not terribly surprised. Just a bit bummed.

In spite of all that, I'm feeling pretty good. A bit tired, but does any mother of small children ever feel any other way? My kids are so good, really. DS3 will sleep the day away if you let him, and DS4 promised to let me sleep in this morning. He made good on his promise...sort of. He came in my bed this morning for a cuddle at 7:30 am. Note that his idea of "cuddle" is to lay next to me and wiggle just enough to keep me from falling asleep. But, it was nice to hold my son...I treasure those times because I know someday he'll be too big to do it. And, he did get breakfast on his own, which allowed me a little extra lounge time with the hubby. :)

Last night I sat down on DS3's bed and it collapsed on the floor. No, I don't need to go on a diet (ok, maybe I do, but I'm nowhere near *that* heavy). After removing the bed from the room and putting his mattress on the floor (and him to bed), DH discovered that the (wooden) siderail broke right where there was a screw and 2 knots in the wood, all together. What are the odds there would be 3 weak points holding weight in one spot? I just hope IKEA will help me out with fixing/exchanging it. I'm already not looking forward to putting the bed back together (the first time resulted in a real curse-fest on my part). On a good note, I did find the receipt, which is amazing. I actually ran across it just a few days ago, and almost threw it away ("who needs a receipt for a bed???" I thought), but decided against it just in case I find missing parts when I get brave enough to bunk the kids beds together (DS3 is too much of a daredevil for me to risk it just yet).

Ah, well, back to the grind. I must fix that software bug!!!