similar trajectory

So, my pre-party anxiety almost always goes a little something like this:

1. Want to have a party! Yeay!
2. Decide it is going to be low-key. No big fuss. Just a few friends and a grill.
3. Think about all the fun things I could make to eat.....
4. Ok, maybe it will be a little fuss.
5. Write invite.... stress that we don't know anyone to invite.
6. Send invite... worry that we invited too many people.
7. Decide no one will come
8. Decide everyone will come
9. How much beer? How much wine? How many cupcakes?!
10. Decide no one will come
11. Last minute run for back-up booze. Can't run out of beer. Party foul.
12. Worry that the wrong person will show up first, awkwardness will ensue.
13. Worry no one will come.
14. Worry that everyone will come.

I love parties!

channeling another era

Suddenly it seems that all I am interested in cooking these days are:

  • Cupcakes
  • Jell-o salads
  • Stew-like dishes with cabbage, in my new faux Le Creuset dutch oven ($8 at Goodwill! Whoop!)
Don't knock the Jell-o salad just on principle. Here are two that will be making an appearance at our Labor Day Par-tay:

Tomato Soup Cottage Cheese Salad (Courtesy of Grandma Claussen)

1 pkg. Lemon Jello dissolved in 1 Can HOT Undiluted Tomato Soup. Let cool.

Mix 1C Cottage Cheese with 1C Mayonnaise


1 C chopped Celery
¼ C chopped Onion
½ C chopped Green Pepper
1Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
Sprinkle of Salt

Mix with Soup Mix.
Molds well.

Orange Splendor

1 package orange Jell-o
1 small can Mandarin oranges
1 small can crushed pineapple

Alternate recipe: substitute grated carrots for oranges. Its great, I swear.

Note: Always mix fruit into Jell-o once its set enough to be a bit soupy, so all the fruit doesn't sink to the bottom. A basic rule in all jell-o salads, unless the intention is to have it at the bottom. For instance, yellow bananas at the bottom of a clear bowl of blue jell-o ---Looks like the ocean!


bevy of cupcake

Lime coconut

My good old chocolate vanilla stand-by

Chocolate peanut butter yummmness


Another shoe story

I have a life-long hate-ambivalence relationship with sport sandals. I never bought Tevas when they came out in the 90's, a fact which boggles A.'s mind. He was a full participant in what he likes to refer to as the "Sport Sandal Confusion Phase"--where, right after Tevas made it big, everyone had to have them, but no one was sure what to do with them.... Its like a sneaker, but also a sandal... Socks? No socks? Socks. yes, socks.

As a field biologist, I frequently find myself headed into situations that promise to be hot and muggy, hot and dry, wet in general, muddy, uncomfortable, etc. And on these occasions (often!) I think to myself:
This would be a good time to own a pair of those [insert brand of favorite sport sandal here]. They would probably be more comfortable than wearing my boots across that stream.

But, for a number of reasons, I never buy them:
-One shouldn't buy a shoe that needs to be broken-in the night before going out in the field, unless you like blisters. I don't.
-I'm cheap, and $100 for rubber and webbing seems like a rip off.
-They don't protect you from rocks, snakes and poison ivy.

-And oh, did I mention that they are heinous?

Heinous, but practical in certain situations...
One of my admittedly shallow pet peeves is when people wear inappropriate footwear. Flip-flops in winter. Those foam gardening clogs out to dinner. Pointy-toes heels to class.

On several occasions I have found myself sweating and swearing in my boots while my coworkers or friends ramble about in their Chacos, etc. and I think "here is a time for sport sandals, maybe I should get some????........".

So, the other night we made a last minute run to REI to buy a few things for our trip to Baja. I looked at the sport sandals. I thought about the heat in Mexico, and how we'd be kayaking, snorkeling and hiking, sports not akin to my flip flops. I tried them on. I did a little jig...... because it just felt right, with those clodhoppers on my feet.
I gave them back to the overeager salesman.
I'll wear my flip flops and my sneakers.


In which I admit to not always hating pointy shoes

I scorn them.
Then I like how they look on my feet.


Sequence of events which prevented a good night's sleep

We're in the midst of a heat wave here in the STL. I've never been a huge fan of A/C before I moved here, where its a total necessity. Now I'm hooked. Last night the power went out (again!) just as we were getting ready for bed.

  1. Power failure. A/c and fans die.
  2. Lay in bed, willing myself to fall asleep before the room heats up and the stuffiness overtakes me.
  3. Turn over.
  4. Turn over.
  5. Retrieve a damp washcloth from the bathroom to place on my forehead.
  6. A. decides he can't stand it and must open the windows.
  7. Neighbor turns on what sounds like a trash compactor, but must be a generator.
  8. Extremely loud bug, that sounds like a bug-zapper starts going to town outside the window.
  9. I will myself to block it out. A. goes outside, in the dark, to try to find the offending bug. Branches are shaken. To no avail.
  10. Decide the windows must be closed.
  11. The wind picks up. Decide windows should be open.
  12. Wind blessedly quiets the bug, and partially drowns out the generator. But now i'm stuck thinking about the dead branches in the back yard falling on the electric lines.
  13. A few minutes of fine, sweet, cool breeze...
  14. Thunderstorm parks directly above our house. Cacophony of thunder and intense flashes of lighting.
  15. Remember I left my bike outside.
  16. Rain is so hard its spraying in the window, across the floor to the bed where it hits our legs.
  17. (Finally!) drift off for a few blissful moments.
  18. 4 a.m.: Power comes back on. Every light in the house seems to be on. As well as a radio. And the A/C. Get up to turn things off.
  19. Dream about being in a medical experiment where I'm not allowed to sleep.