Sunday, February 26, 2012

hindsight's twenty-twenty

If you have been around Hayley and me together since September, you've heard me say it at least fourteen times: Hindsight is twenty-twenty. Never has the phrase been so fitting. Pretty much every ailment that she's had since the first grade can now be explained by an auto-immune reaction to that pesky protein, gluten.

Stupid wheat.

Well, that's good, you might be thinking. At least now she can just avoid certain foods, and she'll feel all better!  Easy for you to say. You still get to eat whatever you want... and drink beer.

We've all tried to sympathize, but it's hard to really get it when we aren't directly effected. We don't have to read all the labels or worry that someone chopped our veggies with a bread knife. So this Lent, I'm boosting my sympathetic powers. Gluten-free lent, and by Easter, (my) hindsight really will be that much closer to twenty-twenty. Or so I thought.

A mere five days in, and I've already glutened myself several times. Salad dressing, licorice, the absent-minded swig of someone else's beer. This gluten shit is hard to avoid. Not to mention, the first two days I was so at a loss for what to eat, it seemed the only things I could find were fruit and cheese. The grocery store seemed like torture, and after wandering every aisle looking for a quick fix to my falling-out and settling on some puffed rice snacks, I was still starving.

But what this attempt at empathy is lacking is that I don't get sick when I get glutened. I only worry because I have that strong Catholic guilt, not because a slip-up leaves me incapacitated for days. Maybe I won't have achieved true hindsight by Easter, but at least I'll have a better understanding of how hard it is to avoid getting glutened. And perhaps even better, I'll have some delicious ideas to share.

Friday, January 20, 2012

two thousand twelve

I have this feeling that 2012 is gonna be a big year. My new year's resolution was to start running again... and I actually have. I've got a few theories to explain my success.

It's totally the shoes. I got some of the "barefoot" running shoes for Christmas, and I friggin love them. The Merrells, not the Five Finger kind cause I hate things between my toes. Anyways, they rule and make me feel like a total badass. I haven't enjoyed a shoe so much since I discovered Toms. I just wish these were one for one.

Or maybe it's the location. Since I did exactly zero running in this state prior to 2012, every place I go seems new. Some places I've been before, like the experimental forest trails, but anything is more motivating than somewhere I've gone running a million times. Even the area around my home base is still exciting. There are farms, historic buildings, and all sorts of stuff I've never run by before. Including a house that is still rockin' both its Confederate flag and its Halloween decorations. No joke.

In some of the experimental forest in Central.
Good for short runs. Very, very hilly.
On a four mile loop from my house.
Didn't see a single car on this road. 
In addition to my new found fitness, 2012 also rocks because it's an election year.  I know most people are tired of hearing about the stupid candidates and their stupid opinions. I'm not here to do any sort of analysis of the general display of douchebaggery that is the race for the Republican nomination. But I can't say I'm not entertained by it.

I'm not sure who I like the least, Romney, Gingrich, or Santorum; but I do know Newt gets a few extra likability points in my book for his past resemblance to a Mr. Dwight K. Schrute. When that is cause for thinking one is more likable, you know there's a problem with the candidate pool.

Not really. I think he's a total jerk.

If I were able to vote in the primaries (I'm still registered as a democrat in a state with closed primaries), I know the man that would get my vote for sure: Ron Paul. It's not that I agree with all of his view points, but at least I trust the guy to not be a sleaze-ball. He's consistent in what he says, he speaks intelligently, and he is the only candidate that has presented an economic plan that makes sense to me: wars are expensive, so how about America try something other than the 'Bully of the Universe' approach for a while (my words, not his).

I can't say for sure who I'll vote for in November if Dr. Paul does get the nomination, only time will tell. But I do know in 2012, I'm voting for peace.

And finally, the most exciting thing that has happened to me this year. I just figured out I can download all the music I've ever purchased on my iTunes account. All the songs I thought I lost to a faulty hard drive. Say hallelujah!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

autumn already?

It's been a long time since Eunice walked into and out of my life (more specifically my backyard) that sunny day in June. How did it get to be almost October? And why did it have to rain all last week?

I didn't know if it was the weather, the fact that Mom, Hayley and Cece came and left, or the cold I've acquired, but I've been in a funk all week. Finally, today I figured it out, or rather this All Songs Considered post did:
"For the most part, the Arizona band Sister Cities [admitted] it's a little tough to be unhappy when the sun is always shining. "
Not only do I appreciate this band/song for how much they sound like Camera Obscura, but they nailed it. I'm just not quite used to not having continuous sunshine. Don't get me wrong, I love fall and I love South Carolina, but it was especially good in Arizona when shorter days meant temperatures dropping, sun still shining, and the perfect time to do everything it was too hot to do in the summer.

But that doesn't mean I can't enjoy fall South Carolina style. With Mom and Cece's help, I got a lot accomplished in the backyard: a container garden planted, two plots rototilled, back porch cleaned up, and a wheelbarrow purchased. Now it's time to get back to my most favoritest of hobbies: dicking around in the backyard.

Mom gets stuff done. 

I want to get out there right now and start shoveling something or another, but I realize that a lot has happened since June, so in case you were wondering, here is what I did with the rest of my summer.

-- Caitlin and Kevin were en route from New Jersey to Texas and got to stop to visit for a few days. Luckily, they got to see some of my favorite things this area has to offer: the goat farm, a waterfall, and the Kays' lake house. Plus, it reminded me that those hookers better (and this probably hurts for some of you to hear) end up at Duke next year. Especially now that Caitlin has officially set a life goal of raising goats. Maybe I can help speed that process along.

The view from the lake house's porch. To its floating porch.
I think happiness may be linked to square outdoor lounge space.

At Opossum Creek Falls 

-- I went to the Edisto Island. It was awesome. There was swimming, kayaking, bike riding, delicious food, and fun people that liked playing games. And beer. Like I said, it was awesome.

A road on the way to Botany Bay, where we kayaked.
We also biked in a marshy state park with raised paths.
Are you getting how awesome it was?
(I did not take this picture. I took no pictures there.)

-- We tried eating wild plants, and kinda failed. As it turns out, arrowhead and arrow arum leaves look strikingly similar, but their tubers taste distinctly different. The latter contains a substance called calcium oxalate, which happens to be the exact makings of a kidney stone. Only time, not even beer, can fix the feeling of a million little nano-needles in your mouth, believe me.

Wanted Arrowhead...
... got Arrow Arum

-- the 4th of July was far more relaxing than last year. We played with sparklers and watched fireworks in Pendleton on the 2nd, then I headed up to Cece and Bob's for some good ol' fashioned R 'n R.

--Dad and I went to Utah. We hiked King's Peak (highest in UT) with no ailments to speak of except the regret of leaving the PBR tall boy in the car. This trip wasn't just a day hike. We spent four nights here among the wildflowers:

Pointing towards the peak from my yoga rock.
Stretching is essential for trips like this.
And the bugs...
... the bugs...
(Can you see all three on that 6" strip of leg?!)
... the bugs!!
(Black dots on the Boy Scouts' goat are 'squiters)
And goats!!
Actually, the bugs weren't that bad. They were certainly annoying, but like I kept telling Dad, they are just there to ensure that no one sticks around too long and mucks up the place. It's way too pretty for that.

We saw tons of awesome wildlife: itty bitty baby birds, furry eared squirrels, marmots, woodpeckers, chipmunks, mule deer, and even mountain goats on crazy cliffs. But by far my favorite was the moose. And when I say the moose, I really want to say the meese 'cause we saw several: male, female, and baby! If I had previously made a bucket list, I would be checking that off now.

Tiny birdies. Almost stepped on them getting water.

The mosquito breeding ground.

-- Kitty's summer was a little rough. After battling fleas for several weeks, we had to resort to a haircut. Needless to say, she was not excited but it's growing back nicely.

Wait... that's not Kitty...
Oh, there she is!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

keeps getting better

This nice lady just showed up in my backyard yesterday. I guess she heard how good of an animal-sitter I am. Hopefully she'll stick around. 
Eunice and Kitty

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

32 days in and doing great

Summer turned one month old this week. I'm pleased with myself for making a list of goals in my last post, because now I get to go back and check them off the list. And I've done a damn good job thus far.

--made delicious things.

I don't find this picture particularly appetizing;
but chicken-fried venison cube-steak is still making my mouth water.
And sweet-baby broccoli was cool too.

--planted a porch garden. And found some "wild" tomato plants in my yard, courtesy of the chiggins. They are already blooming. I am beyond excited. I stand by my statement that it may be the coolest thing that has ever happened to me.

In a very short time, porch garden went from looking like this... like this. Score.

--went to the best restaurant ever. It's called Grits and Groceries and I want it to be mine. Its own website can't even do it justice. It's tiny, delicious, and in the middle of nowhere (all the things I look for in a career). I ate praline bacon, fried chicken with eggs and a biscuit on grits, plus fresh lemonade; Dan ate sausage-cornbread stuffed quail with gravy on grits. And they just gave us a tomato pie on account of its broken crust. But the real kicker for me was the goat-food cups they sold to feed the neighbors.

Goats. My business model.  
Speaking of business models. Went to a wedding at the Chattooga Belle farm. I'd take one of them instead of the restaurant. Just in case you have one to give away.

--this guy rules. And you can even listen to his whole concert from SXSW. I have several times. Honestly, I didn't know people still made music quite like this. If I ever have trouble booking Stevie Wonder for a gig, I'll make sure to call Chuck.

--so many animals. Both wild and domesticated. One looking especially noble.

Sid, the office turtle for an afternoon.
Setting him free was definitely the best part of having him. 
Neighbor's dog.
Doesn't like men. 
Froggies who came from the million tadpoles....
...shown here eating a dead minnow.
Horned caterpillar.
Which I tried to spell capatiller.
Queen of the castle.
--I was particularly excited about being coastal this summer, but I haven't been to the beach here yet, and it turns out I don't really mind much. Rivers are doing just fine by me.

Waterfalls are the only proper way to spend an afternoon.
And the way I've spent three of the past four.

Ahhhhhhh... Summer....

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

i can almost count the days left til summer on one hand

So, I haven't had a lot to say lately, and I still don't, really. I mostly just want classes to be over.

What I can say is I love summer. My plans for my daily routine include the following:

--make delicious things all da time. and serious eats is really tryin' to get me pumped with this one. 

19 breakfast sandwiches

--play in the yard/rake the leaves/plant a garden/play with angimals.

--listen to things like this, and trying to remember all the stuff I learned in those dance classes I took.

--find more wild angimals (like the lizards at Table Rock, the spikey little guy on the mailbox, and especially the jelly fish (living in a coastal state in the summer just sounds like too much fun)).

--and when it rains, I'll just visit the Occasional Manatee