Friday, August 27, 2010

Dr. Z and Daniel's Job

My follow up appointment is today. Yes, the one I was supposed to go to back in July. They cancelled, then I finally rescheduled, then I missed 2 appointments. Not today, I remembered this time. Not sure what to expect today, I have no idea what's going on other than her checking up on me. I haven't been remembering to take the Metformin. Oops. I have been very regular though! I've actually been keeping a journal on my fertility. I document all the gory little details so I can hopefully catch a pattern soon. Even though I'm regular, I still don't know if I'm ovulating.

Daniel had a bad day at work yesterday. Long story short, he's officially a scheduler, but doesn't make the scheduler's starting pay or overtime. It's been like that for a year and a half with the promise of a raise when the company could afford it, despite many many raises for other people. He does the work of literally 4 positions, and has been working 12 hour days for 2 months. He's one of the hardest working people I've ever met, and he's working miracles for his company with zero thanks or recognition. I could give you the whole story, but it will just make me mad.

Ok, no more ranting. I just hate seeing him put through this everyday. Especially when he gets home in time to eat dinner and go to bed. Please, pray that Daniel at least gets a little recognition from work. Seriously, even a simple thank you occasionally would do wonders for him. I won't lie though, we could use the raise.

On a happier note, the high for the next 10 days is 95! Low 90s for the rest of August! That's miraculous. It's been unbearably hot this year. Well, August is always unbearably hot in Texas, but this year seems worse. 112 on Monday. (Only 100 degrees less than boiling point, and only 23 degrees less that the temperature required to keep hot food safe to eat.) Bloody hot. On Wednesday, the high was 75! It rained, it was glorious. It's only about 74 out right now. Won't be long until it's in the 60s and time to break out that winter coat! Just kidding, I at least wait until it's in the 50s. Autumn is approaching... squee!

I botched dinner last night. I'm still bummed about it. I was hoping a good dinner and some peace would cheer up my husband, but it was.... gross. Most of my produce had turned bad. Against my better judgement, I made the cacciatore anyways without the fresh ingredients. The sauce was too thick and had a burnt taste even though it wasn't burnt. It was just blah. I did make a decent apple dessert. Boring, but decent. It needed ice cream. Hopefully my next big dinner will be a hit. No more yucky dinners, it doesn't really give me confidence about my career choice.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Balancing Act

Culinary school and all of the homework associated with it is quite a heavy load. I'm having to re-learn how to fulfill my role as wife and keeper of the home. If my sanitation instructor saw my kitchen right now she's probably kick me out of the class. I have so much homework to do when I'm not driving to Dallas and back that there's so little time to actually do house work. Daniel is stepping up to the plate where I can't right now, and I'm so grateful. I haven't cooked in 2 weeks. We've had little things like sandwiches, hamburgers and spaghetti... all very nutritious. But I haven't made a full meal since the beginning of school madness. I'm beginning to feel comfortable with the schedule and the work load though.

Today's to-do list:
  1. vegging out until 8:30
  2. getting dressed
  3. cleaning the kitchen
  4. wash the sheets and a load of darks
  5. fold the whites
  6. sweep the whole house and mop the kitchen
  7. have a nutritious lunch
  8. homework until 5:00
  9. dinner ready at 7:00
  10. prepare clothes and lunches before bed
This will at least get the house back to presentable status. I haven't got a menu plan for tonight, but I'm thinking we may do spaghetti again. Oh! If I have everything I need we'll do Chicken Cacciatore... yummy. I hope I have some white wine; I believe I have everything else.

Last night we hung out with Daniel's brother, his wife, and our good friend. We ate dinner at On the Border. Since I had such a late lunch with Stephanie (which was AWESOME!), I chose to have dessert. I got the brownie sundae, and it was bleh. Cheap ice cream, overcooked, and stale walnuts, I was very disappointed. We were all enjoying ourselves entirely too much and laughing until it hurt. I love our little family!

Oh my gosh, it's raining!!!!! Praise the Lord! Poor Daniel is on the motorcycle, but we needed the rain so badly. I've lost 2 trees this summer and my grass is on it's way out despite being watered. On Monday it was 112 degrees. 112... that's awful without humidity. I live in one of the most humid places in the states.

Ok, sorry for the random insert. My lunch with Stephanie was at this adorable little restaurant called "The Pie Place." You would expect them to serve lots of dessert pies and some sandwiches or something, right? Wrong. The only thing on the menu is pie. I kid you not. Chicken pot pie, chicken enchilada pie, black bean burger pie, there's about 15 different kinds of pie, plus the 20 or so dessert pies. This is seriously the best place ever. I am a terrible friend and left my wallet at home. It was an accident I promise you, I felt horrible. So, I owe her lunch with dessert next time.

That's all for today; have a good one!

Friday, August 20, 2010

School Days and A Friend Day

I started school on Thursday, and I love it! Well, I love the class I have on campus, but the online course makes me want to bash my head against the wall. That one is called Aesthetics, it's basically a philosophy class structured around art. *I just want to insert that I love spell check, I literally misspelled 5 words in a row, including "spell check." * Anyways, Aesthetics sucks, a lot. It's abstract thinking at it's finest... I don't do abstract, I'm a sculptor who's good at math. I like logic. Now I'm going to school to become a chef, more math. Abstract is not my thing, and I feel like every homework assignment I post is really just me trying to sound like I know what I'm talking about, when I truly have no idea. It's stressing me out. For example: "How would Cezanne's philosophy of art as interpretation shaped his view of Van Gogh's 'Shoes.'" ... at this point my brain starts to sizzle because I have to think outside of the box, come up with an answer and try no to plagiarize because all the other students' homework is there to read. Oh, and everyone else gets to read my lame answer. :P :P :P I would love to drop this class, but I need it to graduate. It's my humanities course, and praise the Lord it's only 5 weeks long!

Sanitation and Safety. Awesome. Sounds like a thriller, I know, but this is the stuff that will save me from lawsuits when I get my own restaurant. Plus, Chef Hooker is an amazing teacher. She was the head Chef at West Point for 5 years. She's mid 30's and seriously fun. She miraculously made pathogens, food safety, and Hepatitis A fun. In this class I will also learn to be my own mechanic for my kitchen equipment. That sounds like great fun. I get to learn to repair the giant Hobart mixers!
I registered for the Fall/Winter quarter yesterday. I'll be taking Purchasing and Product ID, how to purchase food in the correct quantities for the operation. Concept and Theory, the how's and why's of all things food. And drum roll please... Fundamentals of Classical Techniques, a kitchen class! Fundamentals is kindergarten for cooks, but hey, I get to be in the kitchen, which is rockin'. My schedule is 11:00-2:00 on Wednesday, 8:00-5:00 on Thursday, and 12:00-5:00 on Friday. The cooking class is 5 hours long 2 days a week. I get to leave Dallas at rush hour! It's either that or get to school at 6am or leave school at 10pm. So, I opted for midday and I will just hang out at school until 6:00 and hopefully avoid traffic and get home faster. The best part of all of this, no online courses. Never again, seriously.

Going to meet with a good friend today. I literally haven't seen her in about a year. I saw her at her wedding, but that's it. I met her husband (Kevin Spacey's twin) at the wedding. Sad, I know. Steph is one of my coolest friends. We are dangerous when together, adventure always ensues. It rocks! We had planned a 3 week trip to Europe together, by ourselves, fresh out of high school. Sadly, that fell through and we ended up in New York City for a week (Europe may have been cheaper). Oh the time we had! I wish I had time to write out all of the hilarious moments together, but I probably couldn't do them justice anyways. Yep, Stephanie is the greatest, everyone should have a friend like her.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Going to school... I hope :)

My heart is racing, and my hands won't stop shaking. Who knew I would ever get this excited about going to school. I'm stoked! Going to meet with financial aid and tie up some loose ends in about an hour. Please, pray that God provides generously, and if this is not his will that it would be made abundantly clear. I think I'm making the right decision, but I can't be sure since the idea of a loan is making me sick to my stomach... blech.

Yesterday I was running around like a mad woman trying to gather all of my transcripts and paperwork for acceptance. NONE of it was where it should be due to my awesome filing skills. I also had to drive around for 3 hours gathering transcripts. Whoopy. It was hot, and I hate driving when it's hot. However, it will pay off :)

Ok, I need to calm down a little bit.


WOOT! Accepted, and I think the loan went through, so guess who's going to culinary school!!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Update about School

Yesterday, Daniel and I drove to the Art Institute of Dallas to speak with the councilor. Assuming I get accepted and can get enough funding, I am going to culinary school! I'm excited, and really hoping and praying that I'm making a wise decision. I will have to use student loans, and AI is not a cheap school. However, they have nearly a 100% success rate for placing there students in careers. I also don't have to start paying back the loans until 6 months after graduation. The interest rate isn't bad either, but ugh, I hate debt. Pray that God makes the choice clear, and if this is really what I'm supposed to do, which I truly feel it is, that he would provide the money for my supplies. I have to buy 3 uniforms... :) I get to wear a toque! I am excited, and nervous. If I'm accepted I start Thursday... yeah, this Thursday.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sprouts, Culinary School, and Lovely Apothecary Jars

I have discovered Sprouts! Oh my gosh, heavenly. It's pricey on some things, but when something is on sale it's really on sale. Today they have blueberries for 99 cents a pint! Can you say "woot?!" At sprouts you can buy all sorts of flours in bulk, along with spices and grains. Here's the best part, it's 15 minutes from my house. Before, if I wanted to buy real food I had to drive an hour. So, I am pretty pumped about Sprouts. I bought 2 lbs of short grain brown rice, some aluminum free baking soda and baking powder, and today I'm going back for some berries.

I talked to a councilor at The Art Institute! I have a meeting with her on Friday to discuss the ins and outs of getting into culinary school! I'm super excited, and just hope that I can find a way to pay for it and still be able to attend during the day. The school is in Dallas, and that is that last place I want to be after dark. So, pray that God provides the means for me to pay for 4 years of culinary school. When I graduate, I will be fully equipped to run my own restaurant! I've had an idea of what sort of restaurant I've wanted since high school. It runs in my blood I guess. :)

I have to exchange Daniel's pants and go to the UPS store to return something else. :P I'll swing by Sprouts and then to Target to pick up a few more apothecary jars for my pantry. I love apothecary jars, something about them makes me happy. Especially when filled with flours and rice and even some pretty fruit. It's even better when I catch them on sale for less than $20.oo for a 2 gallon jar. Steal!

Have a wonderful day!

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Some Random Musings

Lately I've been soul searching and asking myself some tough questions. One in particular: "If I never get to be a mommy, what do I want to be?" I'm certainly not giving up on having kids. However, I can't continue to live life focused on the one thing that is totally and utterly beyond my control. When I focus on what I don't have, it makes me envious of what others do have. I've lived my life the past 3 years with the mindset of children being the ultimate finish line for my complete happiness. Pretty sad. If I continue this pattern, I fear what the longing would turn me into. So, I decided to live with a passion for something, anything that I could use to make myself and others happy.

Cooking is the one thing I absolutely love to do. It's takes my edge off; it relaxes me. I feel this wonderful sense of accomplishment when I make something that engages so many of the senses in replenishing my body. The more complex and intricate the recipe, the more I relish in preparing each ingredient and combining them into something wonderful. Slicing strawberries with my new paring knife made me smile. Cutting in the butter and flour to make my shortcake while constantly running my fingers through the mixture to be certain the the texture was right was so gratifying. Yes, cooking truly is my passion; it makes me feel so alive.

So, the answer to my question? What do I want to be when I grow up? The more I consider my question, the more I really believe I would want to become a chef. The idea of going to culinary school sounds like paradise. Learning new techniques and recipes, tasting new flavors and making discoveries in my own kitchen; it's exciting! I did a little research today and requested some information from the Art Institute of Dallas' culinary school. Pretty cool huh? It takes 182 hours of schooling to get a B.S. in Culinary Management. This degree plan would allow me to run my own restaurant. 4 years of school seems ambitious. However, the idea of working hard for the title of Chef and earning a bachelor's degree is very appealing. It's a big accomplishment, and I'm excited to jump in feet first. So, the first hurdle: paying for school.

I have a new found motivator in making Pampered Chef successful for me. When you start Pampered Chef they tell you to have goals... without goals you don't do very well. My only "goal" was to supplement our income. That's it. Now I have a reason to supplement our income. My plan is to get on the phone with a councilor this week to see what it's going to take to get me enrolled.

Oh, another success story for natural living. I suffer from hard water wreaking havoc on my drinking glasses. A tablespoon of Dr. Bronner's castile soap, 1 cup of white vinegar in a sink filled with hot water; submerse the glasses in the water for 15 minutes and rinse with water and hand dry. My glasses aren't cloudy anymore! Not so thrilled about the smell of scentless Dr. Bronner's however... it's not pleasant for my over-sensitive nose.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Weekend Time!

It's 7:30 on Saturday morning and I've been up for 45 minutes. I have a mini conference for Pampered Chef this morning. I'm not thrilled about going, but I hope to learn something.

I'm enjoying my new lifestyle of motivation and productivity. It's quite nice now that I'm getting into a good routine. Last night I made a batch of from-scratch blueberry muffins. They are so good. I've never made muffins from scratch and I couldn't be more pleased with the results. I've already eaten mine and I was going to take some to my fellow consultant and friend, Sherry for breakfast. Hopefully Daniel leaves a few for breakfast in the morning.

I don't know what we're doing the rest of the day. Just sitting and playing games is fine with me.

Lucy is napping in my lap and it's nice, she's making me want to just sit here and not get dressed. Last night she got into some pretty big trouble. We came home from dinner to find our Skipbo deck all over the living room floor. For those of you who don't play Skipbo, the deck is actually 3 decks of cards. 52 x 3 = 156 cards. It was a mess. Incredibly only the box was destroyed. All but 3 cards were completely unscathed.

Oh, I made a curtain. I wanted to post pictures, but the lighting was terrible. The curtain was free! Made from 2 pillowcases and a little creative sewing; I just made 2 panels with tab ties at the top. They're white with a brown ribbon on the bottom hem. I really like them, and they don't even look like pillowcases :) Yay for reusing and saving money!