Outside my window… It’s gotten really chilly! Today was gorgeously lovely, up into the 50s, and the sun was out and shining brightly. I wore my Birkenstocks all day, which tells you how warm it was.
I am thinking… that I am too easily distracted by the television!
I am thankful for… Kurt’s job security. I keep hearing of all these people laid off, and even worse, they can’t find a new job to replace the one they’ve lost. There’s almost no way Kurt can be fired from the Navy. He’d have to do something extremely heinous to cause the Navy to boot him out. He just reached his 16th year of service, so theoretically the Navy could start pressuring us to retire in four years, but maybe in four years the economy will be just a bit better.
From the kitchen… Tonight I made my famous chili for dinner. My recipe calls for a quarter cup of chili powder, but I halved it tonight because Grace usually complains about the spice level. There was no complaining tonight, and she quickly polished off her bowl. What I was craving was my normal garnish of crushed Ritz crackers. There’s just something about chili with buttery Ritz crackers — yum yum!! I found a new recipe for breakfast while puttering around on the internet. I bought a can of steel-cut oats (or Irish oats) a long time ago but never did anything with them until this week. My first attempt at making them on the stove did not turn out well, so I was looking for something easier. My wish was granted when I found a recipe that called for adding 4 cups of water and 1 cup of steel-cut oats to a heat-safe bowl, placing the bowl into a slow cooker, and pouring more water around the oats bowl until the level of the water in the slow cooker matched the level of the water in the oats bowl. Set on low and go to bed. In the morning, you will have delicious, creamy oats (or porridge) that is just crying out for a smidgen of real maple syrup and a splash of milk. That was our breakfast this morning, and Kurt and Grace kept going back for me! I loved it too, but I can only eat so much first thing in the morning. It was so lovely to wake up to breakfast already prepared, however.
I am creating… nothing in particular at the moment, but this is what I made for my friend Traci that I mentioned a few weeks ago:
Isn’t that pretty? It was my first attempt at blackwork, which is backstitching done in black floss. I found it rather easy to do, though my stitches wouldn’t lay as perfectly as I’d like them to, but that’s something only I would notice. I have a book full of cross-stitch bookmark patterns, but for some reason I cannot find it, though I have turned my house and garage upside down with looking.
I am going… to munch on some tortilla chips in a bit.
I am reading… Baltasar and Blimunda by José Saramago. I’m only thirty pages into it, but it’s really drawing me in. Here’s what the back has to say: “Portugal, 1711: an amorous friar is pursued naked through the rubble-strewn streets of Lisbon; an enthusiastic procession of flagellands roars wtih pleasure over the damnation of adultery; a royal prince uses hapless sailors for target practice; and women dressed in colorful finery watch as lapsed converts and sorcerers are put to death by flames. In the midst of the terrors of the Inquisition and the plague, a seemingly mismatched couple discovers the wonders of love. This poetic tale, graced with exquisite historical detail and full of magic and adventure, is a tapestry of human folly and human will. The best-loved of all of the great José Saramago’s works, this novel radiates with achievement.” I have to say, it is written very beautifully, though there is a distinct lack of punctuation which can make it hard to muddle through at times.
By the way, if any of the books that I am reading sound good to you, please shoot me an email to say you are interested, and I may send the book off to you! I own most of these books, since I am addicted to used book stores and book swaps, but I would love to pass them along to someone else who may find them as interesting.
I am hoping… that this week passes quickly. It’s Kurt’s busy week, which is basically final exam week for his students. He has to run drills with them in groups of two, and it takes three hours for each group to finish its drills. Kurt and the inspectors are looking to see if the officers are ready to be sent to the fleet in leadership roles in engineering, such as Chief Engineer. It takes such a long time for the drills to be run that Kurt is never sure if he’s going to get home in time for dinner each night, so this week is going to involve my running the show all by myself.
I am hearing… Kurt practicing his Spanish. It cracks me up when he asks me something in Spanish, only because it’s not something I’m used to yet. He’s progressing well!
Around the house… I did so much housework to prepare for last night’s pizza party at my house. I’m glad of it, though, because now it means that I won’t have to do a whole lot this week. There’s still that pesky load of laundry in the basket to be folded, however. It’s like it multiplies when I’m not looking!
One of my favorite things… soaking up the sunshine and shopping with a good friend, as I did this afternoon.
A few plans for the rest of the week… I’ve got a tentative coffee date for Wednesday morning, and a run to the thrift store with a friend planned for Thursday morning. I will probably hang with another friend of mine this week, since she will be gone this coming weekend on a house-hunting trip to her next duty station. I should also fit in a run to the commissary as we have very little food in the house, or at least nothing with which to make a meal. But I did find a few bags of dried beans that one is supposed to make soup with, and I think I might do that for dinner tomorrow night since Kurt won’t be home.
Have a great week!