Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hot!

Oh my stars. I do not do well when it gets this warm outside. I'm grumpy, irritated and for the first time in my life I wish we had central air. We have an air conditioner in the bedroom, a window unit, but it only cools that room down. It's 90 degrees outside and it's 9:30. That's just wrong. We've been spending all of our time in the bedroom. The lower part of the house is 85 degrees and it's so hot upstairs I may suffocate soon.

I can't believe it's almost time to get ready for August. I turn 26 in a week, (!) we're helping my parents move into their fabulous new house, we're going camping and hopefully having a party on the 15th. We invited lots of people to the party, but haven't received any RSVPs. Maybe people don't RSVP anymore?? I invited a few people from out of town so I understand why they can't come, but I wish some more local friends would be able to make it. I'm paranoid I will be expecting six people, because that's how many have RSVP'd, but 30 will show.

Maybe I shouldn't have come up with this whole idea. Planning things always ends up stressing me out. Add this blasted heat and I'm a basket case.

On the bright side I got to see my nephew on Monday. He just got back from Yellowstone so he had lots to tell me about waterfalls and geysers. He still calls me Nana Annie which I LOVE. I got lots of hugs and kisses which will hopefully sustain me until I get to see him next month. I can't believe he will be 3 in September! I'm going to have to stop calling him Baby Ryan soon.

I have to head back downstairs before I melt. I picked up three new YA advances at work today. I read one when I got home and I'm ready to go on the next one. Haven't been sleeping much, but I am getting lots of reading done!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tour #3

A few days ago I saw my brother for the last time before he deploys to Iraq. Again. This will be his third tour in six years, but he will be a medic so he should be a bit safer. He said they don't know where they will be exactly, but it will be close to the Iranian border. I can't believe he's been in the Army six years. He joined up right out of high school and his initial goal was two years. Now he's talking about going career, but what he wants to do for a living changes constantly so I'm hoping he won't choose it as a career. I am very proud of him, but I cannot fathom what he has been through.

His perspective on the war is fascinating. He talks about how they were trained to enter enemy territory on foot, but in Iraq they were given Humvees. He said it was strange, and impossible, to stealthily enter a compound or village when they were rolling down the road in big, rumbling Army vehicles. He said as a medic they will mostly be treating Iraqi citizens who don't have access to a doctor or can't get to the hospital. He is trained in trauma, but most of the time he will be doing basic where does it hurt, how do you feel? care. The injured soliders they do see get enough care to get to Germany. He said they fly people out so quickly they have to work fast to stabilize them and ensure they can handle the duration of the flight. He also explained they have almost all of the usual medical supplies a hospital would, as long as they can get them. It's just amazing to me. They basically have a hospital in the middle of the desert. Granted, it's in tent-like structures, but it's still pretty impressive.

It's been four years since his last tour. I remember the panic every time the phone rang at an odd hour. I remember receiving the call he was injured, but they didn't yet know how bad it was. I can't believe he's going back. We just have to trust that the Lord will keep him safe and bring him back home.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Cooking

Well, it's 5:00 and I find myself at my usual evening crisis point: What the heck should I make for dinner? This thought is usually followed by: I wonder if I'm a bad cook. I wonder if I'm a boring cook. If I have children will they starve / stop growing / not get the proper nutrition because I don't know how to cook a lot of things?

Okay, so these thoughts don't go through my mind on a daily basis, but they are becoming more frequent. I don't like cooking, I know there's a lot of things I don't like because I have a limited range of what I like / can eat, but I do try. I feel like I know a lot of people who can whip up amazing, healthy meals in minutes while I'm still flipping through the recipe book trying to find something that will only take a few minutes to make.

Most of my immediate family members think I am an amazing cook. I may be the best on my side of the family, but that's not really something to be proud of. My husband's side of the family has no such illusions.

I can't stand touching raw meat, I wouldn't know what to do if you gave me a whole chicken, I've never made lamb, or turkey, or duck and the foods I like to eat are not very glamorous, at all. We eat a lot of pasta, chicken, rice and vegetables. I know there isn't anything wrong with what I make, but I can't help feeling like I could be doing better. Oh my, can you imagine me as a parent? I'm going to be a guilt-wracked, hand-wringing mess.

I may constantly worry about what's for dinner, I may wonder if my food is wonderful enough to be consumed by the average foodie (probably not, in all honesty), but I do have one source of pride and that bit of pride is what I am going to focus on this week. I never, ever prepare frozen food for us. I don't serve chicken nuggets, or burritos from the freezer section. If we want fries, pizza, stir-fry or lasagna at home we make it ourselves instead of getting it prepackaged from the store.

I know a lot of people rely on this section of the grocery store and there is nothing wrong with that. But I have to have a little bit of pride in this area and I am going to take it from the fact that I try my best to make sure we eat fresh, local food.

So I'm going to stop worrying (or at least try) about whether or not my dinner attempts are good enough and be grateful we have the ability to buy fresh, organic, locally produced food. I've only been at this cooking thing a few years. In 10 more years I may be handling raw meat like a pro and using vegetables I don't even know how to pronounce right now. At this moment I have to focus on what to make for dinner tonight. Wish me luck.

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