Thursday, December 2, 2010

Baking Disaster

I LOVE cooking and baking. I smile every time I pull out a batch of perfectly round, perfectly moist cookies, my heart skips a beat when I taste the batter of cinnamon coffee cake and I wonder at the pretty little mountain peaks whipped egg whites make. I could write poetry about food, boiled honey’s golden bubbles, the smell of pot roast swirling through my kitchen. I may be coming off very gluttonous at the moment, but I assure you it is the art of food that fascinates me. However, I am not what you would call a master chief. While my experimenting sometimes comes out beautifully, there is usually a weekly disaster.

This brings me to my most recent catastrophe. This year my husband and I were delighted to host Thanksgiving in our little house, our first time ever hosting a holiday and we were both scandalously excited. My parents and brother came, and a few good friends as well. I wanted to make something amazing, something unique, something that would require socks to be strapped on for fear of their being rocked off – corny as that sounds. To put simply, I wanted perfection in a cake. So I opted for a recipe I found on a reliable recipe blog. The ingredients sounded scrumptious, and the cream cheese and cinnamon frosting… need I say more? So I made it, and I gloated over it. Yes, there was definitely some gloating, and when I finally took my first bite of cake I wanted to cry. It was terribly, horrendously bitter. For a few awful minutes I was most assuredly in “the depths of despair” as our favorite Anne Shirley would say. Later I realized that I had made a very rookie mistake, I cut the walnuts it required into almost powdery smithereens, which as most avid bakers understand, makes things too bitter.

I moved on, the day was much to fun to cry over a bad cake. But it’s a story I find rather amusing now, and I thought others would too.

- RS

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Touch of Crazy...

There are times that I look at my life and the only thought that comes to mind is "I really must be crazy..." Not because of anything other than the sheer overwhelming aspect of the things I bring upon myself. I have always wanted to be one of those old women who has so many stories of things I have done, places I have gone, and people I have cared for, that the reaction is "when did you have time to do it all?!" So, knowing that is one of my goals, it is no surprise that I create situations much like the next month of my life!

I found out about two months ago, that I was going to be a product of cutbacks come December. Being young, and owning virtually no furniture (including an actual bed), I figured now was as good a time as any to once again embark on all the possibilities the world has to offer. I began applying to jobs all over the country.. literally. I applied for roughly 70+ jobs.... And, for anyone who has never filled out an online job application they take FOREVER, and it is the same information over and over, asking the same thing "Why are you perfect for us?" When the answer is the same every time "Because, I'm me."

I heard back from 12 places saying "thanks, but no thanks."However, I did hear from a job near Washington, DC asking me to come for an interview. So, I packed up and took the 3 hour trek for the interview... deathly ill taking as much medicine as I could get my hands on without overdosing! The interview went well and I was pleasantly surprised at how nice everyone was. I waited for about a week in a half before hearing back that I was the top candidate and they were able to give me a fantastic benefits package as well as the pay I would need to handle the massive jump in cost of living!

So, I accepted the job and start in just over 2 weeks...Meaning, I have to train people at my current job on the various tasks I do, finish the last 2 weeks of my class, start a new class, pack, find an apartment, move, and begin a new job all in the just over 2 weeks.... I have decided I may or may not be insane!

So, here I go, moving.... again.

Really I am crazy, I know.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Apartment Living

Recently my husband and I moved out of an apartment and into a cute little beach cottage. The moving process was… terrible. Moving is said to be one of the worst stressors for a human, and I swear I feel like I have aged considerably this past week. Because my husband and I are superheroes, we were able to move all of our things in one afternoon… but not without cost. I woke up with a back of someone in their mid seventies and was literally creaking every time I moved. Moving is a bit of a bitch, I hope that doesn’t offend anyone, but I think it’s safe to say that it is appropriate in this context. But there is something much worse than moving… apartment living.

Granted, I live in southern California in a town that I love, but that I must admit can be a bit on the snooty side. The apartment complex we were living at was no exception. When I went to the leasing office to ask what they wanted the apartment to look like after we moved out, I was informed that I was expected to pay for the place to be professionally cleaned and for the carpets to be professionally washed, along with a new paint job. Umm… no.

How is one expected to live in an apartment? No touching the walls, take your shoes off outside the door, please. Oh and don’t put anything in the fridge, it’s just for looks. Am I supposed to float over the carpet while I live there? Put cushions on the floor and play “hot lava” like I did when I was a kid, jumping from cushion to table, from table to couch, just to ensure the floors look like new for decades? And to make matters worse, the rent is so shockingly high that I am fairly sure that one month’s rent at this place could hire a cleaning crew to clean the place five times and there would still be money left over. Sadly, money that a young military couple doesn’t have.

So I cleaned the place myself, I washed the base boards, the walls, the floors; everything you can possibly imagine was scrubbed and scrubbed again. I should have invested in Windex and Lysol before I began, because I could have made a fortune. However, I was thwarted by my vacuum. Who decided to stop working after only one room was done, and then proceeded to give me the finger by almost burning the carpet too (it didn’t, but it was a close call). So stubborn me, still determined to do it myself, got down on my hands and knees and searched the apartment inch by inch for every spec k I could find on the floor. It was not fun, but I won! And then came the garage. On the last day of cleaning after about four days of trying to make sure this place was spotless for the final inspection, I decided it would probably be a good idea to mop the garage. And it was, until I saw a pretty gross looking spot on the wall. Since we had moved everything to our new place, the only thing available to scrub this spot with was the mop. Let this be a lesson, mops are not scrubbies, they are not rags, and they can do nothing but scrub floors. As I started to scrub the stain it started to look worse, I thought perhaps I hadn’t gotten the mop clean enough and proceeded to wash it. Oh how wrong I was. I came back to the spot and began again, only to find that what I was actually doing was rubbing the paint right off the walls. What was just a square inch spot was now two feet of an ugly mess.

*Deep Breath*

I am done with apartment living.


Monday, September 20, 2010

A Day in the Life of...

A coworker and I take turns randomly sharing crazy or funny stories the two of us experience throughout our days. We call it "A Day in the Life of..." and we insert our own name..  

Well, I have two stories to share, these types of things really only seem to happen to me, but I find them hysterical, so I thought I would share...

Story #1: To give a good idea of what is going to be discussed, here is a picture of my hair for the day this took place:
It was hot outside and I had no desire to mess with my long, thick, curly hair, and bangs, so I braided my bangs into my hair and pulled the rest up. Matched my earrings to my shirt and shoes and was good to go!.. Or so I thought.
One of my coworkers came into my office for the daily stealing from my candy dish and a few minutes of chatting and banter. This coworker reminds me a lot of Grumpy the dwarf, so to protect the guilty, we shall call the coworker Grumpy.
After a few minutes of talking about the week's happenings Grumpy stops and looks at me then asks "What did you do to your hair?.." I initially thought the question was posed at the fact that not long ago I dyed my hair from blonde to brown, so I comment accordingly. Grumpy pauses and says "No.. Normally your hair is full and thick.. today it looks more......." I begin laughing and say "Closer to 'plastered to my head'?" "Yes, it's not as nice." 

I just began laughing... Especially since Grumpy is bald.

Story #2: My best friend from home moved to Atlanta, GA which is about 6 1/5 hours away. I drove down for the weekend because she asked me to come be a part of her and her fiance's housewarming party... Later did I find out it was a "Hook Krista up" as a second goal party. However, unbenounced to them The Gentleman (name has been changed to protect my last shred of dignity!) that was supposed to show up and sweep me off my feet to be my knight in shining armor actually had vacation, and left a few days prior to go home and visit family. 

Haha... I thought I was off the hook. I was wrong.

I arrived a few hours early and helped do last minute touches on the new place, hang pictures, arrange food, etc..etc.. Once the other guests started arriving we ordered pizza and prepared to pray before commencing to expand our waistlines. The three couples divide up to hold hands with their spouses when my best friend realizes I am standing alone (totally content to talk to Jesus without holding someone else...). She pulls me close and links arms with me saying "Aww, no worries The Gentleman will be here soon enough to snuggle with." ... =O I giggled a bit and said "ok, lets pray." Her fiance began praying such a nice prayer about the food and friends... then switches gears and says ".. and we want to thank you for The Gentleman and Krista's relationship, and we ask that you bless their marriage..." I began laughing and about then reached around my best friend and smacked him... 

That was the closest thing to embarrassed I have been in I cannot even remember how long!... It was incredibly funny though! ;)

I spent the rest of the evening fielding questions about The Gentleman and I... Most of which I diverted by simply pointing out I have not met him yet! :)

Oh a day in the life of Krista!


Friday, September 3, 2010

Daily Geometry

One of the negatives of being a single woman is the lack of having a strong man to do things around the house for you... I mean there are certain things I can con my guy friends into coming and doing, especially if I offer a payment of food. However, there are instances when because of timing there just are no guys around to help, and since I am a perfectly capable woman, I attempt to tackle tasks on my own... This is one example:

A friend so wonderfully went and picked up a new mattress, box spring, and frame that was being given to me for FREE! He unloaded it into my living room (which in fact took up all the free space) for me to then take care of when I got home from work. Now, to help paint the picture, I live upstairs in a loft at my house. I LOVE it, but it certainly is a challenge getting things that are decently large up the stairwell because of the angles and width of the stairs. So, while no one else was home I decide to commence getting the mattress upstairs by myself. First, I removed all the pictures off the wall, cause I knew I would end up taking them out and somehow destroying them. 

First, I try sliding the mattress standing tall through the door, which worked perfectly, until I had to turn AND begin acceding the steps.. The height of the door prevented me from also going up the steps, and no amount of body slamming or attempting to fold the mattress would work. Start over. 

Second, I flip the mattress horizontal and think maybe it will be easier to get the angle right using the height and the lack of width of the mattress. Mind you, I was not the best at geometry, and angles, while I can understand the basic concept, I have never been the best at figuring them out ahead of time. I tend much more towards having to figure it out as I go, and can see what the problem is or is not in the midst of it. 

So, I commence to bending the mattress in order to get it around the corner and up a couple steps, then I have to take turns going to the top, pulling over the step, going below it and pushing with... what else than my hips! haha I repeated the pull/hip check process the entire way up the stairs because there are no handles on the mattress, and since my steps are painted they are rather sticky when it comes to sliding things over them. Once I got the mattress upstairs and put in its place, I realized... There is NO possible way I will be able to get the box spring upstairs... especially without help. I did end up disassembling the frame and carrying the pieces upstairs.

However, the box spring is currently still leaned against the wall waiting until my roomie and I can figure out how to disassemble it and carry the pieces upstairs... We are women.. Hear us roar?... OR, maybe just watch us do things in an incredibly round about way.. haha


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Back to Writing and to Musing

I realize I have been absent from our little blog for quite awhile now, and frankly not one of my excuses are terribly interesting. Oh it would be nice if I could say that I was busy vanquishing all evil from the world, saving whales, or finding myself, but in actuality, life just got in the way.

Here is a brief summery of my time MIA: Initially I put off writing because I had finals to prepare for, and like a good student, I was dedicated to getting that A… or maybe just not failing. After that my husband and I were able to take a two week vacation back to our home state of Michigan, and it was wonderful. Once we got back to Southern California the Marines claimed his time, which left me with the daunting task of trying to find a new apartment to move into (a goal we still have yet to reach, more on that frustrating process in a future blog) and packing up our apartment. Then, a few weeks ago my fickle wisdom teeth decided it was time for them to leave, and proceeded to break the news to me by causing a terrible amount of pain. Thankfully, pounds of Oragell and more Motrin then I would ever recommend came to the rescue. So, half drugged and a little out of it, I come back to our blog.

The last two months seem to have flown by, and reflecting over them, I think I have discovered a few things. The night my husband and I got back from Michigan and walked into our apartment, it was the first time we had ever felt like we were really home. Not that Southern Californian is our home, but that the space we have spent so much time making into our own finally became ours. For a long time it was hard to leave Michigan, it was our home all of our lives and we dearly loved it there. But “home is where the heart is” has many levels of meanings, and I think we finally experienced it when we walked through our door. In a way, that simple feeling of being at home opened my eyes to a lot of things. Home is never a place or a thing. For me, home is wherever my husband is, it’s where we have spent our time making a life together, and it’s where we live and love and learn to deal with life. Home is the North beach in San Clemente, the woods in Northern Michigan, the used book store down the road, and the place where we feel most comfortable.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Me vs. Bugs

My roomie and I have just recently moved into a new house, a house that she bought. Then, she promptly has spent the last month gone. Meaning I have been left to take care of things, which is not really a big deal. Until, the bugs decided moving with us would be a fun idea...

I am not normally a squirmy person, I do not scream cause of bugs, spiders, crawly things... or even slithery things. I do not particularly like most bugs, insects (is there a difference) or snakes, but they certainly do not scare me... Just annoy me most of the time. However, In the last week I have engaged in scores of battles.

The Enemy: Ants, cockroaches, spiders, squiggly unidentifiable bugs with antennae, stink bugs, june bugs (what are their real names anyway?!), MIB alien looking crickets, and moths..

My weapons: Bleach/water spray, shoes, any hard object within reach, disinfectant wipes, sticky tack, and rags.

The worst part of all of it is the ants that just will not seem to give up! Even when there is nothing to eat, everything has been cleaned, locked away, put in ziplock bags (note: cereal is a ziplock bag must) the trash has been taken out and the trash can's cleaned.. they still insist on being obnoxiously everywhere... Which leaves only going to ant killer next.

If I am going to be completely honest though, I got the heeby-jeebies.. and definitely did the heeby-jeeby dance in the kitchen this morning after I killed a cockroach and had to clean it up... ew.. ew... ew. All I could think of was my old youthgroup kids that kept saying (while in Mississippi on a missions trip) "They (cockroaches) don't die they multiply!"... I really hope that's not true!

Bugs just were never this bad, big, or obnoxious back home that I can remember!... I NEVER remember cockroaches, and I certainly do not know where the alien looking ones come from. All I know is, apparently the gloriousness of the warm weather brings the grossness of the weird and gross bugs. Yuck.. ew. ew. Gross.

Once the roomie gets home... Pest control here we come!