Thursday, November 22, 2007


When I think give thanks, I can't help but to run the prayer we sometimes say before dinner through my head..."Blessed O Lord and these thy gifts which we are about to receive through your bounty and Christ the Lord. Amen." Or something like that, the words always get garbled for me in the middle. I like this prayer because it's short and to the point, but sincere.

Since we are getting married just two short days after Thanksgiving, thanks has been on my mind a lot lately. This year for me it's not about the turkey and the pumpkin pie (although yum). I'm so thankful for Chris and for my family. I'm thankful for the wedding we are about to have. One of my brothers called it the family event of a lifetime. And it is - I'm the only girl and we've all been looking forward to this day for a long time.

Gifts come in all shapes and sizes. I'm thankful for each Crate & Barrel box which finds it way to our house, but I'm even more thankful for the good wishes that come in the shape of that piece of stemware or each flatware place setting. The smiles on the faces of everyone who have wished us well have each meant so much to us. I was unprepared for how nice everyone has been to me just for getting married. Co-workers and friends of the family have gone out of their way to go above and beyond and I'm thankful to each one of them.

I love that each year we'll be celebrating our anniversary right around Thanksgiving. It will serve as a simple reminder of the core things we have to be thankful for: each other and our families.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Not Reading

I think I may be making up for a good portion of the American population who, according to a new study out today, aren't reading for pleasure. Evidently, reading for pleasure peaks at the age of 10 or otherwise known as the 4th grade (not coincidentally the age where I remember reading wasn't an everyday part of school and parents stop reading to / with kids). That's sad. I was always encouraged to read and I can't imagine not having it as a weekly (we aim for daily around here, but being honest) part of my life. Learning new things, hearing differing opinions and simply being entertained are all part of why I am drawn to reading. These reasons are important eye-openers and are also why I am so concerned about this study's findings. If people don't read, how are they are learning about people who are different than them? And why should they care?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Giving Stress Away

My mom has said I sometimes give my stress away. This means I act like such a brat that any person I interact with then feels my stress. At least, I think this is what it means. I have reached a whole new level of this giving stress away. It is now being spread across species. Prada has broken out in what I have determined (through Web searches) is feline acne. Yep, even my cat is breaking out for the wedding. Seems stress can be a major cause of feline acne, that and plastic food bowls. Prada eats out of a ceramic bowl, but just in case Chris is out getting her a new stainless steel one which is lower to the ground. It is more likely stress. Chris said Prada threw up two times while I was in DC and she's rather bothered that she (nor us) can walk in our living room due to the wedding presents. She knows something is up and evidently it has caused her to breakout.

I, on the other hand, will have radiant skin due to the facial I'm getting tomorrow. I'm actually holding up pretty well, trying to get lots of sleep and drink plenty of water. We're now less than a week out, so that is very exciting!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Ray of Light

Yoga class was really fun tonight. I left work not wanting to go teach, I'm busy, I'm stressed and it is cold and rainy out. A recipe for staying on the couch if I have ever heard one (which I did later with a big plate of pasta and a glass of wine). However, my class - all five of them - were depending on me to show up and teach them yoga. My own practice has been rather non-existent lately. I'm not proud of it, but it is true. So today faced with a yoga class to teach and a stiff body in which to do it, I was little worried.

I only had my iPod with me, rather than my usual meditative yoga music. Choosing to just go with it, I played Madonna's Ray of Light album and just cut loose. I love practicing to this collection of music at home, but I hadn't yet taught to it. I found it made my class way more playful and upbeat. It also made the class a little more challenging for the students. I had them going a tad faster through sun salutations and I encouraged them to just move with the music. We held poses longer and twisted a little deeper. I felt so uplifted after the class. And they did, too. I don't think this style of class would fit our group every week, but I love showing them yoga can fit your mood, or can take you to another place, and doesn't need to always be the same each week.

I'll be missing the next two weeks and I promised them a gentler class upon my return, but I hope they enjoyed today's journey. I did.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Home Sweet Home

One (more) good thing about traveling, if even for only a few days, is returning home. Chris and I grabbed Vaquero's for margaritas and Mexican before settling in with the cat to watch last night's episode of the Biggest Loser (always fun to do when you're totally stuffed).

I did end up warming to DC. I met a good friend from high school for a drink and it was so nice to catch up. She and her husband have had some interesting adventures in the past couple of years. I also spent a little time exploring the DuPont Circle area. It was interesting to see how many people were so physically active in the city. Everywhere I looked there was a jogger or cyclist...even in the middle of the day. Columbus has a long way to go in that department. Then after listening to a long speech from the Secretary of the air force, I flew home.

And like, I said, I like to explore through travel, but I always love coming home even more.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Nation's Capitol

Here I am, 12 days before my wedding. Rather than accomplishing the daunting to do list, I am in an overpriced hotel room in DC. Overpriced because this property is in serious need of renovation in spite of me paying $185 per night. DC because that is where the conference is I'm attending. In my hotel room because I don't feel like making an effort at the ice breaker - the conference isn't for me or my career so I just can't get too excited about it. So, here I am contemplating where to go eat alone (wish I still had that Eggplant book!) and wishing I were home because Chris and I are getting married in 12 days. 12 days....

I'm also feeling just a tad guilty because I'm in DC and I'm not seeing anything that makes DC amazing. And it's Veteran's Day and I'm not even going to get into a cab to see the Wall or the new WWII monument which Tom Hanks so eloquently campaigned for. I have to admit, I did have that Capra-esque sense of wonder as I came in from the airport. Passing the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial does inspire a sense of awe in me. But still, here I sit in my hotel room.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

New Breakfast Spot

Goodbye Bob Evans...hello, Tasi's Cafe. This little community bakery / diner / hangout has recently opened in the Short North. Chris and I met our travel agent there this morning. I'm not sure why the travel agent always wants to meet with us rather than just mailing us the needed information, but whatever. Tasi's Cafe turned out to be a good spot for this little meeting - which was really more of handing over the e-tickets and itinerary (Turks & Caicos here we come).

Chris and I had big mugs of hot coffee. The coffee wasn't really exceptional, but it was good. Next time I'll try a cappuccino or espresso because the Tasi gang uses Illy coffee. Mmm, real good stuff in cute little mugs. Chris had the Greek scrambled eggs which were very well done. They had lots of interesting things in them, feta (of course), tomatoes, zucchini and some type of spice I couldn't identify but kept me eating off of his plate. The eggs were accompanied by big hunks of toasted Eleni Christina buttered bread. Later in the afternoon, some cheese and wine and this bread and I would be happy. (Tasi's Cafe is part of the Rigsby's / Eleni Christina family).

I had Greek yogurt served just the way I like it - with honey! The granola it was on was really good, not tasting too oily and using big hunks of whole grain goodness. It also had sliced bananas on top. We both split an almond croissant. More dense than most croissants, this also tasted more bread like and heartier. Butter was still a large presence which was very tasty. The almonds on top could have done with a light toasting, but overall this was a hit at our table.

They also have lunch (can't wait to try the lobster mac & cheese) and have a wide variety of baked goods and various sundries (different imported olive oils, sea salts and pastas. I can see this being a good place to go to make gift baskets for those hard to buy for people, which seems to be everyone in my family. So I might have to visit again. For gift giving purposes, of course.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Flats for a Short Girl

I'm short. I'm somewhere between 5 feet and 5 feet 2 inches. Where in this range I fall, I'm not really sure. Sometimes I even say I'm five feet three inches, but I'm pretty sure this is just wishful thinking. I often find myself looking up to talk to people and asking for help in reaching the top shelf. The point is I'm below the average height for a woman, which is evidently 5 feet 3.8 inches or 63.8 centimeters (the metric conversion is for my Canadian readers). I've never really been bothered with being short. I had the advantage of dating whomever I wanted and not having to worry about how we would look dancing. I also love being able to rest my head solidly onto Chris' chest. What do tall girls do when they just want a good hug? Anyway, over the years, I've come to even better terms with being vertically challenged (as I was called last week at a bar). In fact, I've come so far that I don't always wear heels anymore. I used to love me some spikes for a night on the town, I had many pairs of ridiculously tall shoes. From time to time, I still enjoy putting these on and strutting around (there is no other way to walk in strappy heels). But, I have to admit these shoes just aren't as comfortable as they were when I was 25. For this reason, I was excited when these darling little flats arrived on my front porch yesterday. Yes, all 5 feet 2 inches (or something like that) of me has decided the time has come to embrace flats. Thank you, Steve Madden for helping to make this day possible.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

And the UPS Man Delivers

We have been getting so many wedding gifts delivered to our house each day. It's been really fun. Even Prada likes to see what's in the box...

Monday, November 5, 2007

A Pesto Emergency Declared a Success

Last Sunday, yes a week ago, the weather people called for our first hard frost. And indeed, I did find myself scraping my windows on Monday morning. Sunday night around 10 p.m., however, had us scurrying around the backyard harvesting the rest of our garden. I sawed down the only remaining fennel plants (Earlier this fall, I had mistakenly thought they had done everything they were going to do, so I pulled out most of the fennel plants. Good thing I got sidetracked half way through the project and left a couple of plants.) We also picked our basil. All week the basil sat in our kitchen in a vase omitting the fragrance only slowly decomposing basil can (somewhere between that smells good and did the cat pee on the floor).

I finally got around to making pesto out of the basil this morning. During this process, I thought for sure it was headed for disaster. I was too lazy to get out the new food processor, so I made it in the blender. This was touch and go for a little bit and I think I ended up adding more olive oil than when I have it made in the food processor (the blender needs liquid to get things moving). Also, the pine nuts seemed suspiciously freezer burned, however about 10 minutes in a pot over low heat took care of that. Also, according to this place (really, who knew Gahanna, Ohio is the herb capital of the world!) you should always blanch your basil leaves before turning into pesto so to maintain their green color. I might have blanched about 35 seconds too long. Worst of all, the only garlic we had in the house was a little past its prime (horror) and I could only salvage one clove. On the plus side, I had real parmigiana reggiano on hand and some really good olive oil. We had pasta with pesto on it tonight and even had some leftover to freeze. Pesto is one of those things I think you have to just make, following a recipe just won't work. Once you know what is in it - fresh basil, good olive oil, cheese (which is optional), pine nuts (or walnuts if you want the Omega 3s and want the dish to be budget friendly), garlic - you can make a batch and bring back the taste of summer throughout the winter because it really does freeze beautifully.
* This whole heroic pesto scene took place on Saturday, but is just being posted now.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

It is November 4...

...the end of Daylight Savings and I just picked my first raspberries of the season. How you like them apples, uh berries? Sure, global warming is just a facade. I just hope it holds out another 19 days.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

21 days out

Not to worry, the social security situation worked it self out. Turns out the 2005 tax from my employer at the time had my social security number on it, and was an acceptable form of identification. So the marriage license has been procured without me having to resort to showing the clerk each photo album I have ever arranged. We also had our last meeting with the priest. Our compatibility "test" came back "positive" so he is going to marry us. That is actually quite a relief, the ceremony is a huge part of the day!

So otherwise we are continuing to enjoy these last weeks before the wedding. We're busy, but we're also really excited. For me, at some points over the summer, I just wasn't wanting to deal with wedding minutiae and wondering why we didn't just elope. Now that it's right the corner, I'm so happy we're having this more traditional type of wedding. I feel so blessed that so many of our family and friends will be there when we say our vows.