Because it's Friday & I'm lazy: Shit I'm thinking about

– I’ve been in Fayetteville, North Carolina all week. I was there for work, with Andrew. I’m glad to be back home. 

– There’s nothing but bread and two shriveled baby eggplants in the fridge.

– All my orchids are dying and I’m determined it’s because of an asshole orchid I bought at Trader Joe’s that probably had some horrible orchid disease that attacked and brutally murdered all the other orchids in the house.

– There are only 2 other orchids in the house.

– But still  DAMMIT! One of the other orchids has been around for a year now and I haven’t killed it and I’m PISSED AS HELL that some Trader Joe’s orchid that I invited into my house has killed everything.

– I have absolutely no idea what to make for dinner tonight.

– School starts in just a few weeks and I’m SUPER nervous about it for some reason. I’m ready to hit the books again, but the thought of taking three upper level classes while working full-time makes me shake a little in my flip-flops.

– Andrew and I just booked the third trip we’ll take between now and January. And that’s excluding the Ocean City trip coming up at the end of this month and the Outer Banks trip that will hopefully happen in October. I’m beyond excited.

– My tomato plants are not producing even a smidge as well as they did last year. I think the heat has stunted their production.

– In January, Andrew and I will celebrate our third wedding anniversary. I’m not at all sure where the time has gone.

What’s on your mind?

Five reasons this just might have been the best weekend of summer

1. Laughing so hard with new friends that my abs start hurting. The internet rocks the hardest when it brings hilarious, down to Earth people into your life that you can enjoy beers with. True story. On Friday, Andrew and I dined with StaceyParadise & Co. at Legend Brewing Company, a local Richmond brewery with the best view in the city. I shit you not, after the rain drove us inside the restaurant, I seriously laughed so hard that my abs started hurting. Laughing that hard is absolutely the best way to start a great weekend.

2. Torturing the dogs with baths after they’d woken us up early by licking our toes and clicking their little dog claws on the hardwood floors. We usually wash the dogs in the bathtub. I’m not sure why. It’s a stupid plan and it always results in yelling and requires us to towel off the walls. So Saturday we took the dogs outside, sprayed them with the water hose, laughed our asses off at their sad little dog faces, lathered them up, rinsed them off and let them shake off outside. It was a success. There was much less yelling.

3. Showing off my city to an awesome old friend and her husband. Alverna came to visit last year on her way down to the beaches of North Carolina. It was a quick trip and she didn’t get a chance to see much of the city. This time around, she had a bit more time so Andrew and I played tour guide and showed off this city of ours. We drove around, hitting all sorts of historic spots and showed off our most famous cemetery, Hollywood, where 18,000 Confederate dead are buried.

4. Margaritas so delicious that I just had to have two. Tequila is a good, good, good thing.

5. Free popcorn that tasted even better because it was free. There’s this gas station Andrew and I always stop at to get gas on the way home from Army adventures that sells little boxes of fresh popcorn for 50¢. I walked up to pay for it on Sunday and the cashier told me to just take it, free of charge.

Holy Burrito of Goodness

Fact: I’m damn good at throwing together a pasta dish. Give me some noodles, some stewed tomatoes, some vegetables, a dash of this and that and I’ll give you a god damn masterpiece of deliciousness.

My cooking prowess occasionally extends beyond pasta into the realm of chocolate chip cookies and mashed potatoes and that’s about it. That’s where my talent ends. Yes, I can make edible dinners. I can make a hoard of dishes that are good, but few that are brilliant and that tickle the taste buds of both myself and my not very picky at all husband.

Last night, I got courageous. We had peppers and onions and half a monster zucchini sitting the fridge. I’d been wanting to make a good vegetable burrito or taco thing for weeks. In fact, I tried it a few weeks ago and ended up with a big fat fucking dud the husband said he liked, but that I could barely stomach.

Last night, I tried again. In lieu of a recipe, I relied on hope and gut instinct. I threw things into a pan, and hoped for the best. I was nervous. Scared. Anxious.

The first bite was cryptic. Too much tortilla, not enough of the burrito filling. The second bite? Divine. Perfect. Damn delicious.  

Super Wicked Awesome Vegetable Burritos – Makes 4 damn good burritos

You’ll Need:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small tomato, diced
A few leaves of lettuce, sliced thin
A cup or so of frozen corn
1 can black beans
4 Tortillas
Salt & Pepper
A sprinkle of parsley, fresh or dried
A sprinkle of chili powder
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 zucchini, sliced thin and quartered
1 small yellow squash, sliced thin and quartered
1 small bell pepper, roughly chopped

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the salt, pepper, chili powder, and parsley. Add the onion, zucchini, squash and bell pepper, stirring so everything gets coated in delicious flavor and cook about 4 minutes, or until the vegetables are just barely tender. Throw the corn and black beans into the pan, mix well and cook until everything is heated through with delicious goodness.

Put a tortilla on a plate. Spoon 1/4 of the vegetable mix into the center. Top with cheese first, then add lettuce, tomatoes and salsa. It should look like this:

Fold it up, and enjoy with a cold beer. Or two.

Lesson the day: Zucchini in a burrito is the best idea ever.

Assignments, Considerations & a bite of Inspiration // August 2010

August promises to be a very, very full month. We’ve got guests coming and mini-vacations and work trips to keep us busy. School is starting back up again at the end of the month and I’m testing myself with three classes this time around. If I maintain this pace, I can finish up in a year and finally call myself a college graduate.

I’m almost ready for Fall, although I have a feeling this Richmond summer is going to drag for a bit. After so much heat and humidity, I’m ready for crisp fall nights, warm bowls of soup and snuggle weather.

This Month I Will…

1. Cross something off my 101 in 1001 list.
2. Start my 3 class semester. – Aug. 26
3. Go vegan for a weekend. – Aug. 21-22
4. Take a picture every day. (31/31)
5. Get plant-eating bugs out of my garden.
6. Road trip to Ocean City, MD. – Aug. 28-29
7. Play hostess to 2 couples on 2 different weekends. – Aug. 7-8 & 20-22
8. Go on a date with my husband. – Aug. 9
9. Try 3 new recipes. (2/3) – FAIL!
10. Make some big blog changes. – Aug. 31

Remember to be gentle with yourself and others. We are all children of chance and none can say why some fields will blossom while others lay brown beneath the August sun. Care for those around you. Look past your differences. Their dreams are no less than yours, their choices no more easily made. And give, give in any way you can, of whatever you posses. To give is to love. To withhold is to wither. Care less for your harvest than for how it is shared and your life will have meaning and your heart will have peace.
– Kent Nerburn

365 Days: Let's try this again, shall we?

In the Before Times, when I was deployed, I started my first 101 in 1001 list and put take a photo every day for a year on there. I started immediately, figuring it would be really, really cool to have a year of my life during and after a deployment chronicled in photographs.

I made it 214 days. 15 days after that, I got on a plane and headed home. I can’t remember why I stopped. Life was busy and full then, with reintegration plans unfolding and with my mostly wasted attempts to pass on all I’d learned in 18 months to my counterpart taking up most of my days. Maybe I got bored. Maybe I figured there was nothing left to photograph on the whole Camp Bondsteel that I hadn’t captured at least six or seven times. Maybe I got lazy. Either way, I didn’t make it.

When I put together my second 101 in 1001 list, I knew I had to try this photo thing again. At the beginning of July, once the Independence Day insanity died down, I promised myself I’d start again on August 1st. I’d put it off enough, and it was time to buck up and get the shit started.

As a total coincidence, several other bloggers also just started this challenge, and I’m excited to know that I’ll be in good company

Follow along here.

Day 1.