new tattoo

three things that took my breath away…

1-) Lindsay’s story on Offbeat Mama today. She and her partner are the proud parents of the sweetest baby girl, and her words are heart-stoppingly beautiful. I’m being angrily informed (ty FF) that heart-stoppingly is not a real word, but if you go read the post you’ll know that it is.

2-) These bracelets.
Bohemian Wanderer Bracelets
I’d have to buy two sets, of course, so I could share one with each of my girls. I love the idea as bridesmaids’ gifts, but why wait for a formal occasion to tell the people closest to you how you feel? I know just who I’d give the feather (oh that feather), the red disk, and the garnet and gold to. My closest.

3-) This quote from this article from Penelope Trunk:
“People love an underdog—people love seeing weirdness succeed because most people feel weird and they worry it’s going to hold them back.”
So, so guilty.

Drive home.

The air smells of mud, heavy and rich – this is the smell of Mississippi; the big river is only a few miles away.  I’ve always lived near water … I think my blood must smell like mud.  I get into my car and roll down the windows – it’s still a little cool, but the sweet smell in the air is worth the chill.  The day is finally over and I take a few deep breaths before I start the drive home.  The trip is short, only 15 minutes, but tonight – most nights – I savor the time to myself.  For this one moment, I do not belong to anyone.  I am no one’s girlfriend, employee, caretaker, friend, daughter.  I am just Amy.  I am my purest self.

I adjust my mirror, put on my seatbelt, turn on the mp3 player hooked to my dash.  It sits in my hand like a small round stone.  I’ve been driving a car without a radio for months until today so I relish my song choices tonight.  I don’t even have to search to find a perfect song – the first track that plays is Cypress Hill’s Hits from the Bong. As I pull out of the parking lot I crank  up the radio loud and sing along louder.  I dare you to be in a bad mood while singing along to that song.

The night sky is bright, so bright.  They say the moon won’t be this close to the earth again for 20 years, 18 years, something.  It’s full and looks like I could touch it if only I could reach a little further than my fingertips.  I steal glance after glance at the moon through my windshield.  There are no lights on the interstate, no other cars nearby – nothing dims this moon tonight.  It seems like nothing ever could.

Cypress Hill is over and now it’s Ruby Soho, I have to skip a few songs to get to this one.  I don’t remember all the words; I never remember them all.  I sing along anyway.  The words I know I sing the loudest.  Destination unknown.  This speaks to me.  I know where I’m going; I’m going home.  But I don’t know where I’ll end up.

As I take my exit, I search again.  I’m not looking for anything in particular, until I hear Mr. Jones. I know all the words, all the notes.  I drive a little slower as I approach my street, I want to hear the whole song.  Believe in me, ’cause I don’t believe in anything.  My dog watches curiously as I park the car but don’t get out.  I turn off the lights and let the last notes fade before I roll up the windows and open the door.  I take one last deep breath, then drop my hand to the dog’s head in greeting.  And suddenly I belong to someone again.  I am pet owner, girlfriend, shopgirl.

But there will always be the drive home.

Ode to Peanut Butter

There have been a lot of adjustments around here lately.   As I mentioned before, the in-laws moved back.  One reason they decided to do that was because our income got slashed by two-thirds practically overnight.   Stress for everyone!  This has caused a major shift in the way I think about simple, everyday things – like food.

One good thing about being broke is that it definitely sharpens your skillz of resourcefulness. In an effort to stop writing about my cats, I’m going to try to document some of the crafty discoveries I’ve found.   Some of them will require pictures, so I’ll be saving those for when I can afford batteries for my camera.   No joke, y’all.

On the other hand, some things are universal enough that I can let the internet provide the pictures for me.

PBJ

Um, yes please.

Cheap. Snack.

Eric says that one thing he will always remember about me when we first met is that I would often eat peanut butter out of the jar with a spoon in lieu of having dinner. I’m not saying it was healthy, but neither were a lot of my other college-era choices, so whatever. Now, though, nutrition is at least somewhat of a concern. After many years of eating one large meal a day (at night, no less!) I’ve tried to adjust my eating habits to include at least a lunchtime meal and a reasonable dinner. One step at a time, breakfast. Be patient.

This was easy to accomplish when we had the money for deli lunch meats, baguettes, kalamata olives, arugula salads.. the good stuff. (I’m not saying I bought that stuff, but it was still different when I could have). But what do you do when you’re trying to squeak by on a budget that barely allows for groceries at all?*

Enter the childhood favorites! It was a huge revelation to me that the reason this stuff is so popular for kids is because it’s cheap. (I always thought it was because they tasted good. Aren’t fish sticks and tv dinners considered fine cuisine in some places?) My lunches aren’t terribly healthy (Ramen, ravioli, and PB&J aren’t exactly cornerstones of Weight Watchers), but it’s food. I’ve always heard it’s better to graze throughout the day, and I’m learning that I do feel better if I eat smaller meals all day instead of just one big one.

Maybe I burned myself out on peanut butter after the druggie-chic days. Maybe I just kept forgetting to buy it. Maybe I never kept bread in the house. Whatever the reason, peanut butter and I have been apart for a long, long time now. Until this week. Suddenly, I can’t get enough. A half-empty jar that had stood in the cupboard for two months disappeared in a matter of days. The last time I bought jam, I apparently had more money than I do now, because I went all out for the Polaner All-Fruit Preserves (blackberry, athankyou) and then never ate any, so that’s been a welcome accompaniment to the creamy goodness. After we ran out of the last jar, I gambled on some Family Dollar-style pb (after assuring Eric that there IS such a thing as gross peanut butter) and it’s actually pretty good. (Cheap bread, cheap peanut butter? Oh yeah. MUCH healthier than college.)

Still, though. It’s hard not to get discouraged when you want a mid-day snack and there’s nothing in the house, so a loaf of bread and some PB can make a difference in the morale around here. That might sound like an overblown sentiment to you, but just try looking at empty cupboards for two weeks straight and tell me you don’t feel like a failure as a housewife.

The best thing about peanut butter is that it’s pretty versatile.  PB&J might always be the classic, but there are plenty of variations.  Peanut butter and bananas, a local favorite. Peanut butter and honey, which I ate for breakfast this morning. (Breakfast is a subjective term here since I slept until noon.) Peanut butter and chocolate syrup, which I could easily feed Eric 5 times a day for 6 weeks if I didn’t care about his health at all. And one I found when I was googling pics but have never tried before (and possibly the unhealthiest of all): Peanut butter and bacon.

PB & Bacon

I'd hit that.... maybe..

Looks intriguing at the very least, right?  (Not that I can afford bacon right now..)  Peanut butter sandwiches can be eaten plain, toasted, grilled, baked** – it’s an amazing food!

I have a high burnout rate for food, so even though peanut butter is one of my long-lasting loves, I’m sure it won’t be long before it’s relegated to once-a-week-or-less status.  But then there’s always….

grilled-cheese

The other classic

 

…grilled cheese and tomato soup.  (Actually.. I think I know what’s for lunch tomorrow! (If I have cheese.))

 

*A little bit of an exaggeration.

**Disclaimer: I have never grilled nor baked a peanut butter sandwich, but I’ve thought about it.  It sounds messy.  If you try it and it’s terrible, please let me know so I can never do that.
All photos used under creative commons license.

Stories

I’m whining to myself about how I never write anymore. Well, my head is full of stories, and I’m trying to learn how to let them get out.

I should tell you a story.

I want to tell you about my Anna, but I’m only feeling writey and sentimental at the same time because of this post and I don’t want to copy too much by talking about my own little sister. But Anna really is amazing, and she just finished (or just started) making this fantastic little creature named Judah, and I’m dying a little inside that I haven’t met him yet. Anna messaged me yesterday to tell me that Judah makes a certain face that always makes her think of me, which makes me indescribably proud.

Those two are not my only story but they are my favorite story right now.

I could tell you how I can now include Supervisory Experience on my resume. It’s true, but even though it was an exciting moment, I don’t think it’s a very exciting story.

I could tell you that I was way too worried about the in-laws being here and it’s actually quite nice, but that about sums it up and I don’t like to spend much time thinking about the (rare) instances that I’m wrong.

The animals – there are always stories there. It’s like a telenovela in my house every day: I don’t understand a word of what they’re saying, but it’s captivating and usually makes me laugh. Casper (the dog, remember) is in love with Alice, the bigger of the two kittens. He follows her around day and night. She’s alternately affectionate and dismissive, toying with his emotions. I’m sure she does it on purpose. He doesn’t know what to do, and is made even more distraught by the arrival of the in-laws and their rather mature toy poodle, who wants absolutely nothing to do with Casper. Oy.

Then there’s Boo, our preggo kitty queen. It hasn’t been quite a year since the last go-round, but I guess a new brood makes a mama cat anxious to get the last brats out of the nest, because suddenly she has no tolerance at all for Alice and Itty Bitty. Alice most of all, probably because she’s bigger and a little bit meaner. Recently she’s taken to stalking around the crow’s nest in the kitchen to stare down menacingly at Boo. I think it’s intimidating, but Boo is too intense to notice. She’s very Single White Female lately.

Itty Bitty isn’t much of a threat, though. We named her that way for a reason. That scrawny little thing is about as scary as.. well.. as a scrawny little kitten. She’s my shadow – she follows me everywhere. She’s sitting beside me right now, where she usually is. I might be a little biased towards her.

I want to be able to tell stories about more fascinating subjects than just my pets, but when I try to make myself write something right now they’re what comes to mind most readily, probably because I can see them. I’ll keep trying though. I’ll tell these stories.

I knew I wouldn’t write much when school started again, but I didn’t think it would be this bad.

I have a new nephew: Judah Michael Ladner was born February 16. I, of course, left Gulfport on February 14. Fantastic comedic timing, kid. I can tell we’re going to get along well.

I wasn’t wrong in my last post. Things never stay as good as they were for long. Thinking about it too long makes me dizzy, but the times they are a’changing.

That reminds me.. I’ve been very consumed by current events lately. Tunisia, Egypt, Libya.. I wonder what the long-term implications will be. I hope it’s beautiful.

Distracted and fragmented tonight, so that’s all I have. Hoping to hear about a job opportunity this week.

I finally got my laptop back! Posting can now (but may not) resume. I started a new semester.. Intro to Law is a hell of a class.