Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow and Ice

We woke up yesterday morning to falling snow.  

I love the little snow hat and snow cape on Saint Francis.


Snowy Sadie.

Overnight, the snow went slushy, and this morning, we woke up to a sheet of ice covering everything:  Icicles hanging from the bird feeder, the patio umbrella, and the backs of the patio chairs.  I've been inside all day, and I'm going a little . . . stir . . . crazy.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Freedom

I've been holding back on the blog.  Holding back about one of the major things that's been brewing in my life, because I couldn't talk about it just yet.  But the day has finally arrived.  Hooray!  

I have officially quit my job.  Turned in the blackberry yesterday.

It's been in the works for months-- well over a year, in some ways-- but the day is finally here.  I told my boss back in November, after the (depressing, tragic) election results.  He asked whether I wanted to stay on part time.  That was flattering:  To have a United States Senator want you to keep working for him so much that he offers to let you work out a schedule that works for you.  Alas, I told him, the Senate is not so much a part-time kind of place.  I've had far too many there-past-midnight-by-necessity nights to think that the work just magically gets done in a 30-hour-or-so week.

Still, it was tempting.  I simply adore my (former) boss.  

In the end, though, part time just wouldn't cut it.  Even when I'm not working crazy hours, I needed to (1) eliminate the work-hanging-over-my-head feeling, and the actual physical stress that causes me, and (2) undertake a radical life change.

What are you going to do with yourself?, people have been inclined to ask me.  I had a list at the ready for them.  My plan has been to (1) learn Spanish, (2) learn to knit, (3) do lots of yoga, (4) cook healthy meals, and (5) read all the books I've been meaning to read for years.  (G.K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy, anyone?)

Now, my actual list might be something along the lines of:  (1) freak out that I've actually quit my job, (2) facebook, (3) laundry and general house maintenance, (4) walk the dog, and (5) more facebook.  Who knows.  My days are mine!  Don't judge.

I'm betting on approximately two weeks of this feeling something like the start of summer vacation, when you just want to lie around and watch too much television, then get dressed just before the parents/husband get home to hide the fact that you've spent all day in your sweats.  (At least now there's TiVo instead of just bad daytime TV.  Yelling at the idiot women on The View wouldn't be good for my whole stress-reduction plan.  I'm talking about you, Joy Behar.  You're a moron.)  

After that, I'm confident that the New Life Order will be in full effect.  Or something like that.

Welcome to the next phase.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Year's Eve

Now that it's the fourth of January (where does the time go??), I figure it's time to post about our New Year's Eve celebration.

I've been dying to make a pork crown roast for ages now, or some other of impressive holiday-table-but-not-a-turkey sort of meaty magnificence.  We're not huge New Year's Eve partygoers (for the last few years, we've simply taken a very late reservation at a nice restaurant), so we figured a night in with friends or family, cooking good food, would be just about our speed.  Happily, Michael and Maureen were more than willing to oblige.

We pulled out the Christmas china one more time and got the table all dolled up for the occasion . . .

 . . . and David and I got down to cooking.  We'd ordered a pork crown roast from our local butcher, and he'd been kind enough to tie it up for us already.  I felt a little bit like we'd cheated, but I'm not complaining.  All we had to do was make the herb rub while David pulled together the stuffing (with onions, apples, and pecans).  We slathered the meat with the herbs and got our hands really dirty shoving the stuffing down into the center of the pork.  

Here's a photo of the roast just before it went into the oven:


And when it came out.  It got a little bit lopsided as it cooked (the end chops didn't have bones in them, so the side where they came together was softer than the bone-in sides), but it was still delicious.  


After dinner, we played my absolute favorite game, Taboo.  Typically, I am a Taboo MASTER, but for some reason I was off my game that night.  David and Maureen beat Mike and me handily, and I'm still a little bitter about it.  I'll be demanding a rematch sometime very soon, provided we can talk David into playing again.  


It was a nice, low-key way to ring in the new year, and I'm proud to say that we all made it to midnight awake.  Happy New Year!