the physchology of baking

I have a confession to make. I've been baking compulsively since I moved to Indiana.

Muffins, Cookies, Breads, Brownies. I didn't know what my problem was. And then Laura said something which made a whole lot of sense.

First you must know that what Laura and I have in common, other than being natives of Campton, NH, is that we've both had a lot of free time on our hands (for vastly different reasons, I should add). But more than enough of it, to the point where free time isn't fun time anymore. It haunts you, in a way. (I know the busy people who happen to read this are shaking their heads in annoyance, thinking Well I wouldn't feel that way... but you'd be surprised).

So, with no knowledge of my baking endeavors, what she said was this:

"Sometimes I just need to bake some brownies, you know? Just to have a set of instructions, and be able to follow them, and you know exactly what you're gonna get."

And there it was.

To be able to control the variables. To know that it's a project that you can actually finish. To feel as if you've fulfilled some sugary purpose.
To be able to look at that huge stack of baked goods at the end of the day, and know that you created it. That you changed something.

It sounds foolish, but it's immensely gratifying when life is otherwise a smorgasbord of starts and stops, scrubbing a dirty old house which never comes clean and job hunting (me), bullshit insurance paperwork and trying to reclaim a normal life (her).

This is the part where I wrap up with some sweeping, uplifting commentary, right? How about a cookie instead?


friday starts on wednesday

You know what I really LOVE? When two things that I love individually collide in a perfect union.

Thing 1: Friday Night Lights
Thing 2: Greg Laswell's music

As a long-time fan of both, I find the combination utterly hypnotic. Season four of FNL starts tomorrow! Oh, and P.S. check out my future boyfriend at the seven second mark.


two beauties

Right now I can't get enough of the trees around our neighborhood. I find any excuse I can to walk (or drive) around and gawk. Love the fall.

On a bizarre related note, I got a notice in the mail a few days ago that read:
"Each household is permitted to place up to 40 bags of leaves weekly for disposal."

Naturally, I'm wondering A) who has enough leaves to fill 40 bags each week? and B) can you imagine the
holy mother-load pile you could rake up if you put all of those together?



Here it is! Our cozy little 1939 abode. Interior photos will come at a later date, when we swap cardboard boxes for actual furniture.


homemade sushi

Yes, it is as hard as it sounds. But it's possible. With an extra set of hands (thank you Danna) it only took about two and a half hours. Now I know why sushi costs so much at restaurants.

It was pretty excellent, but — full disclosure — this was the aftermath. Worth it.


going a little nuts

This will be one of those entries where, in the beginning, I intend to make one concise point. But then, as one idea bounces to another, it will surely meander along, making murky thought-puddles instead of points. So, you've been warned.

This is what my house looks like now. While I try to be patient and accept that it's all "part of the process" as Ryan so kindly reminds me, it's driving me a little crazy.

Then, the other day, I get a much-needed life lesson from a squirrel. How is such a thing possible? you wonder.

I'm sitting in my car, in the driveway, listening to NPR (and just so you don't think I'm all-too-classy, I was also finishing my McDonald's fries). I see this freakishly huge squirrel in the backyard, carrying what looks like three miniature tennis ba
lls in his mouth. He approaches the fence. I stop eating the fries. I grab my camera.

He tries to push his way under the fence, but doesn't fit. Does he quit and drop the loot? No. Does he give up and eat his meal on that side of the fence? No. After several failed attempts, he climbs up and over. Success.

The lesson here is obvious. It's like the little engine that could, except that he's a squirrel, not an engine. And as previously stated, he wasn't little. He was very large (and orange — what is it with these Indiana squirrels? They're all orange).

So then I get to wondering, what was that he was carrying anyway? I do a little research....

At first I think it's a fig. And I get excited like any English nerd would, because as a Plath fan and fellow neurotic, I've always loved this Bell Jar passage:

I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose.

Alas, it's not a fig. My best cyber-sleuthing skills tell me it comes from a Black Walnut tree.

No deeper meaning there. Just a squirrel with a nut.