Can a Girl Have Too Many Spices?

When it comes to cooking for myself, I’d decided a long time ago that I would work on being healthy, but still allow a little bit of fun food into my life.

Plus, I’m one of those people, you know, the kind who thoroughly enjoys cooking. If I can muster enough energy at the end of a long shift, then it seems perfectly reasonable to go all out and make a big meal. Not because I’m hungry necessarily – most of the time I don’t eat the food then, but rather for lunches during the rest of the week – but because cooking while listening to an audiobook is downright delightful.

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This means my eating currently has three very different modes:
1. I treat myself and splurge to eat pizza pockets or a frozen pot pie, etc… (this doesn’t happen often, but is a lot of fun when I decide to do it)
2. I eat a meal consisting of mostly one thing – think sautéed asparagus, stir-fried Brussels sprouts, or a baggie of various fresh veggies
3. And, last but not least of all, I make a meal that – in a tiny kitchen – takes an hour or two of work. This is a lot more common than I had anticipated and has filled my fridge with delights such as Tikka Masala, Stuffed Grape Leaves, and other such delicious foods

This delight of cooking without the benefit of having multiple family members around to partake of the outcome has made me realize I really need to find someone with which to share my food. So, Project Share The Food has been my launched by yours truly and some of my co-workers are getting to try dishes they’ve never had before. 😉

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On the plus side, having so much fun cooking means that I really don’t have a desire to eat out. I mean, why pay someone to make the food when that’s the best part of the process?

I’ve also come to the conclusion that I like to buy spices like some girls like to buy shoes. But, on the plus side, you can use a multitude of spices at the same time when you can really only wear one pair of shoes at once. And spices are a lot less expensive than shoes. Plus, if we want the winning argument, then I think we can all agree that spices taste far better than shoes ever could. 😉

As I’ve been writing this post I’ve been enjoying a delightful breakfast of stuffed grape leaves dipped in plain yogurt – so delicious. I’m about ready to pack my lunch which will probably consist of a stirfry, and then I’m off to work. I hope y’all are having a delightful day!

Would you rather eat a meal, or prepare it? 

 

The Spontaneity of…Clean Clothes?

It’s 8:04 and I’ve commanded myself that I have to put my computer up much earlier in the mornings than I’ve done some days this week. For instance, I was blogging right up until the last minute on Wednesday, hurried out the door in a rush, and totally forgot my name badge (which you have to use to sign in at work). That meant I literally had to run to get to work on time. Yeah, not exactly the most fun.

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One thing I’ve found to be most interesting, strange, hard-to-get-used-to, and probably the most fun, about living on my own is controlling my own schedule. Of course, I have my managers at work telling me the hours to work, but other than that… well, it’s up to me.

Back when I lived at home in Ohio I controlled my schedule to a large degree, but I never got in my car and went somewhere without informing someone what I was doing, or asking them if they needed something from the store, etc… That didn’t bother me, but I’m so used to checking in with those I live with, that not checking in is something that I’m still getting used to.

For instance, yesterday while at work I suddenly had an urge to get all my laundry washed. I knew I could eke out a few more days with clean clothes, but my laundry hamper was overflowing and I decided that finding a laundromat sooner rather than later would make my clean-everything-in-order little heart happy.

So, I did the math and figured out that if I hurried home from work and gathered up all the laundry, I could get the laundry done and be back home while it was still light. (Which is something I always try and achieve.)

And I accomplished it! Which means I now have a pile of clean clothes sitting next to the table, waiting to be put away, nice, clean, and smelling delightful. The hurrying also meant I forgot my laundry detergent at home and had to use the vending machine to get new – more expensive little boxes of detergent – but hey! It was worth it.

That, my friends, is the type of thing I find exciting while living in a camper – being able to go to a laundromat and come home with clean clothes. I obviously have an exceedingly interesting life. But hey, I’ve always found joy in the little things, so…

Also, shoutout to my previous job where we had a tip jar and I collected a pile of quarters. Who would have guessed I would one day use them to keep my clothes clean. 😉

Have you ever used a laundromat? If so, did the prices shock you? 

And now I’m off to work, folks (and I’m already wearing my name tag to make sure I don’t forget it this time). Have a great day!

The Unpredictableness of My TBR

I’ve suspected it for a while now, but now I’m utterly convinced.

When it comes to predicting what I’ll be hungry for/in the mood to read/craving etc… I’m completely in the dark. In the past I’ve worked hard at making educated guesses, only to be baffled by my own wishy-washy tastes.

For instance, I’ll be hungry for a certain meal for months, but if I actually go to the store and buy ingredients for said dish, it’s as if my cravings sit up straight, sniff the air, shake their heads, and lie back down. Sometimes the dish still sounds good, so I’ll set aside time to make it. (Take spinach quiche for instance.) So yay! I finally have the meal I’ve been wanting for so long. I’ll serve myself a thin slice – or better yet just place it on a napkin and eat it right there, standing up at the counter – then place the rest of the quiche in the fridge. And… next thing I know I’m telling myself I have to eat it so it doesn’t go bad.

Folks, this has happened far too many times for it to be a coincidence. I’ve finally decided it must be an attribute of my personality.

I’m learning to combat this strange quirk of mine by buying small amounts of food, making even smaller portions, and spending half the time rolling my eyes at my cravings rather than giving into them.

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Then there’s the whole book issue.

Since I’m living away from my beautiful bookshelf with hundreds of lovely books for the summer I tried to predict what I’d want to read. I gathered a few old favorites from various shelves, thought ahead and bought a handful of new volumes, and gleefully splurged on a couple books I’d been wanting for a while.

And there the books have sat for the last three weeks. Beautiful and quite un-opened on my bookshelf. All the bright, new books I’ve been looking forward to reading for so long – and saving for this move – have remained, quite literally, unopened.

I’ve read three of the twenty-seven books I’d been looking forward to. The rest of my reading time has been divided by new (nonfiction) books I’ve gotten at work, old favorites from my kindle, and library ebooks that I browsed to find.

Sometimes I’m not sure if I should be more amused or frustrated by this quirk of mine. See, when I hear about Bloggers/YouTubers/Bookstagramers who have their TBR piles set out weeks or months in advance I get excited. It sounds like a perfect plan, something to look forward to, and so schudeled. And we all know that I like scheduled to a degree that’s slightly crazy.

On the other hand, I’ve always longed to be spontaneous (a serious dream of mine and something that I’m not sure I’ll ever actually achieve), so maybe the fact that I’m impetuous with my cooking does have merit after all. For instance, last night when I started making supper I saw I had some noodles with pesto sauce that needed to be used up. So, I sautéed some onions and garlic in my pan, then just started throwing in food until it smelled right. I ended up with a pasta dish that included Brussels sprouts, snap peas, celery, pulled pork, an a sprinkling of cheese and man was it good! 

In conclusion, I’ve discovered through the writing of this post that I am a spontanous creature. Just…not in the ways that I always imagined. 😉

QUESTION: Do you plan your week/month To Be Read Pile in advance?

What I Do at the Creation Museum

This morning I realized I haven’t really mentioned to y’all what I’m doing at the Creation Museum; therefore today we get to have a very mini tour of my workspace.

So, I’m officially a Generalist, which means I can be moved around in the different departments, but so far I’ve been in retail since I got there and will be for the foreseeable future – something I’m quite happy about.

The Creation Museum features two bookstores/bookshops, one on each level. They’re called Dragon Hall (which has epic medieval features, including knights and a reading dragon) and Legacy Hall (which is downstairs just outside of an auditorium that features a lot of speakers and music). Then there’s also an area in the portico of the museum that has Fair Trade items.

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I’ve worked in all three places, with the majority of my time being spent in Dragon Hall and Fair Trade (my favorite!). What I do out in Fair Trade differs greatly from in Dragon Hall, because most of the time in Fair Trade I’m interacting with a lot of people about Creation Museum information in general, because it’s right inside the door.

That means I get to answer a lot of questions about where to rent wheelchairs, where the bathrooms are, where the Guest Services desk is, when certain shows are playing, etc… I also get to explain about Fair Trade a lot and that’s fun. (If you don’t know about Fair Trade, you should totally look it up.)

Plus when I’m working out in Fair Trade I get to make sure all the displays look correct, arrange things how I see fit, and generally feel like a princess holding court over her domain. It’s pretty great.

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In Dragon hall I spend a lot of time at my register, once again answering questions, but this time mainly about what we do and don’t sell. Also, I get to hear the same jokes over and over again from different customers, which is mildly amusing to me. (Like, whenever I’m using the pen to check hundred dollar bills, they’re always like “It’s good! I printed it this morning.”) 😉

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While in Dragon Hall a fair amount of time is also spent pricing items, checking them off lists, and putting various stickers (like sale, etc…) on them. This is actually surprisingly fun to me, considering it’s the same action over and over and over again. It reminds me of when I was a kid and we used to stamp postcards that my dad was sending out for his business.

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I really wasn’t sure what to expect when I started working at the museum, and the first week I found the tasks mildly boring and the questions completely overwhelming. Now though? Well, I’m still slightly overwhelmed at times, but work goes by a lot faster and I have fun. It’s great getting to know so many new people, learn how the system runs, make friends with my co-workers, and as always, find a new routine.

And now I’ve got to run to work before I’m late. Have a fantastic day, y’all! And, if you have any questions I’d be happy to answer them. 😉

P.S. I’m in Fair Trade all day today, so YAY!

Oh Wait, Is that Routine I Hear?

As it turns out, quitting one job, moving to a different state, and starting a new job all takes a lot of brainpower. Even if it’s just for a few months.

See, change isn’t something I’m really that great with. And, I’m one of those homebody types of people who is perfectly happy to stay home and watch the wind blow through the hay fields and know that the world is going on somewhere beyond the peaceful valley where I live. Plus, I have a big family. That means that I’m kinda like, well, one of the pack. As in, basically whenever I do go somewhere new I have a half a dozen siblings I can hide behind, follow, or lean on.

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The problem is, that’s not extremely conducive to being a well-balanced adult. The rest of my siblings are fine with forging out on their own, being all adultish and taking the lead. And, while I’ve done a lot of things – like go to South America for two months, or Asia for four weeks, or cooked for 150 people for seven days – I’ve always had a sibling close by.

So, this year seemed like the perfect time to step out and do some things without siblings. And, in reality, it’s been incredibly fun. (Am I supposed to admit that?) And, while I might have sat in the car trying my best not to cry before going into a new church by myself for the first time, I succeeded and had fun while doing so.

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But all that to say, my writing has fallen by the wayside. Cause, ya know, it kinda seemed more important to learn the basics of where to buy food and figure out where to get water then to delve into my delightfully fiction world. Also, my brain can only handle so much, and going from having five co-workers to hundreds kinda filled my brain up a lot.

And now I’ve been here, living in Kentucky for a little over three weeks and pieces of life are finally falling into place. I wake up with enough brainpower not only to pack my breakfast and get out the door on time but also to sit down and blog. I come home from work with enough energy to text my mom and maybe reply to a comment or two on my blog. It’s rather glorious and I’m looking forward to finally getting into routine and being able to work on my writing again.

What have y’ll been up to recently?

9 Things I’ve Discovered About Living on my Own

  1. I don’t rush while shopping. Before moving, I rushed with…well, with everything. Life was one race against myself after the next. I’d literally time myself in the store and speedwalk from aisle to aisle. I mean, it was so bad folks that the greeter at Walmart once commented on how I was always in a hurry. (I’m not sure if it’s more embarrassing that someone noticed, or that I went to Walmart that often…?)

    But now when I go shopping, rushing seems rather silly. Going shopping (we’re talking about grocery shopping here, just in case you wondered) has many benefits, like having a nice, safe place to take a stroll, being around a cacophony of people, and maybe having inspiration strike for a perfect meal to make. Plus, why rush home?

  2. Looking in the mirror before leaving the camper is a must. Growing up with three sisters right next to me in age, I always knew I had six eyes making sure I looked presentable. Now? Well, it’s just my little eyes and that means I have to be extra careful.
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  3. I listen to a lot of audiobooks. While working? Yes. Washing my hair? Yes. Cooking? Yes. Getting ready for the day? Yes. See, I don’t mind silence – not at all. But when I’m the only voice in my cozy little camper for days on end it gets a little weird. So, audiobooks it is.
  4. Time has a different way of passing, and I often totally lose track of it. While living with a family, the doors opening and closing, people talking, meal times, and lights going on and off all help me be aware of what time of day it is. But living on my own? Sometimes I’ll literally have no clue what the range of time it even is. Is it 9:30 at night? Or midnight? Fun times, y’all.
  5. I’m not a handyman. Oh wait, I already knew that, but living on my own has rather highlighted the fact. For instance, I’ve slept on the couch the last two nights to avoid the leak over the bed from the incessant rain. There’s a good chance that fixing the leak would be easy, but the couch is comfortable, so….
  6. Unless I’ve just made a meal, “Letting the dishes pile up” means I have maybe eight items waiting in the sink. Yeah, that part of living on my own is preetttttyyyyy great.
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  7. I make a lot more trash than I was hoping I did. I like to think of myself as frugal, and that includes being careful how much trash I produce. And, while I don’t over waste (whatever that means) I’m still looking for ways to cut down on how much I do throw in the trashcan.
  8. It takes a lot more ooomph to get certain things done. I think that also has to do with working more hours than I’ve done in the past, but it’s oh, so much easier to let things slide than when I’m in the zone at home.
  9. Doing every-day things all by myself is fine, even fun. But “simple” things like finding a post office may take me forever and a day.

It’s An Adventure, Folks

It’s a rainy Saturday which means it’s an exceedingly comfortable day to spend in my little camper. It’s the first day I’ve had off and stayed here (rather than go to Ohio) since I started work and it’s been lovely getting to rest and have no schedule. The loveliness is probably due mostly to the fact that I’m hardcore fighting off a cold this week and not feeling well at all. (I would say I’m under the weather, but really, unless you’re in a plane, when are you ever above the weather?)

I had grand plans for this weekend of how I was going to get caught up with everything and be on top of my to-do list pile, but then when it all boiled down to it, resting with noodle soup and a good re-read ended up feeling a lot more important.

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In the end, today was more productive than I had thought it would be (after I’d made the decision just to rest, that is). I was able to do some catch-up things around the camper, submit six reviews to different sites, and get fairly close to the end of a devotional book I’ve been reading.

This week, on the other hand, has been a bit less productive. Last weekend I went back to Ohio to visit family. There have been some health issues going on there which resulted in me going for almost 24 hours without sleep, along with watching a newborn for nearly the whole time I was home. It’s a different – and hard – experience being so far away from home when I’m used to being right there to help when needed.

Anyway, because of my crazy weekend, this whole week was spent with me trying to catch up on sleep, life, and not getting a cold. It’s been an adventure, folks!