Monday, December 28, 2009


Not having cable has proven to be a means to productivity for me. In the last 2 months I've started a very successful and critically acclaimed blog, cooked more meals than in the previous 25 years combined, re-taken up knitting, began re-learning Spanish and read four great books. Having finished four books is the greatest of all the above accomplishments in my mind considering that the last book I read, The Fountainhead, took nearly 3 years to finish. Granted, it was a rather long and heady novel, but 3 years is embarrassing. I really liked The Fountainhead; despite taking a few years to get through it. I felt very accomplished after finishing the book. I persevered through it and not only finished it but learned about a new philosophy. I wanted to understand the book better so I followed by reading some commentaries on the author, her philosophies and the theme behind her novel.

The past two months, however, have been a hale storm of literary activity for me compared to the last few years. I've read Jane Eyre by Emily Bronte, Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Wolfe, The Hours by Michael Cunningham and The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis. I won't be writing a book report or review of each. I'll just explain how I came to read the last 3.
My sophomore year of college the film The Hours was shown on campus. I went to see it with my roommate and dear friend Miss Sarah Thompson. The story was about Virgina Wolfe writing her novel, Mrs. Dalloway in turn of the century London, Laura Brown who is reading Mrs. Dalloway in 1950's California and Clarissa Vaughn who IS the modern day Mrs. Dalloway; three connected stories in one happening across time and space, very interesting. I found this film captivating and the symphonic soundtrack by Phillip Glass was haunting and moving.
I recently spent an evening with a friend from my church, Kristin Hall, who is a school teacher with a very large personal library. I saw that she had The Hours AND Mrs. Dalloway.

I was very excited to talk to her about the film and the novel which the film is based on, Virginia Wolfe's Mrs. Dalloway. I gladly accepted her offer to borrow both books.
She also had several books by C.S Lewis who is a favorite author of mine. I ended up borrowing The Great Divorce since I had not read it yet. I also wanted to read this book because a certain song lyric had been, and is still, stuck in my head "And the weight of glory, if you held it in your hands, it would pass right through you, so nows your chance, would you fall to pieces in the high countries" and another line "out in the green plains, I am but a ghost" I had heard that the song, "The High Countries" by Caedmon's Call was about C.S Lewis' book The Great Divorce. The more I read the book the more and more I thought of this song and how it really is like an outline of the book.

All the books were excellent and I highly recommend them. Thanks for letting me borrow them Kristin! I'll be returning them soon!

Alright, alright, alright

Alright already I'll post something! Its been over a month since my last post and although I was sick and then it was Christmas time....the show must go on! The fans have spoken (Ellen) and they want more! So, I am posting some pics of a few updates to the apartment. Enjoy!

This is the AWESOME new rug we got from our friend and neighbor and mike's coworker, Pat. He has a very similar styled mat in the back of his SUV that I always comment on. When he found this rug in his basement while he was moving- he decided it belonged to someone who will truly appreciate it. ME!!! Someday I'd like to hang it up with a large wooden rod on a wall, like a tapestry. I love the Moroccan pattern and bold colors, definitely a focal point of the room. Here is another shot of it.

Next up is a photo from our dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Logan Senior. Mike and I invited them over for pulled bbq pork sandwiches, cornbread and garlic butter greenbeans (which were a bit al dente!)

Probably the best part about the evening though, was that we answered the door dressed in our finest and "most expensive" attire.

Tim and Ellen were only slightly underdressed for the occassion. So, Mike and I changed into our street clothes in order to make them feel more comfortable. haha!

In early November, Sarah and Ashley came over. We cooked a meal together and then went to see a screening of a movie my church was showing called "Call and Response"
The meal we made was an apple and dijon mustard chicken dish, cornbread (I make that a lot) and asparagus. We had fun in the kitchen together and the meal was great!

Friday, November 27, 2009

As God as my Witness- I'll Never Chop Onions Again!

In 1992, second grade, I was in Girl Scouts. We were living in Germany at the time and I think it helped the American parents think they were keeping their kids American by having their children in Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. I only did Girl Scouts for 2 years and I never made it past "Brownie". Come to think of it- I had a couple bad experiences as a Brownie which I'm sure deterred me from signing up the following year. One was being forced to go on a horrific kiddie ride at a German amusement park during our "Browning Outting". (I was afraid of EVERYTHING when I was little). I screamed and cried and made a huge scene on this tiny rollercoaster that didnt get more than 3 feet off the ground. I think I embarassed everyone because all the German people were staring at us.
But the most memorable experience in Brownies was the time we earned our cooking patch. Our troop leader, Mrs. Biamonte, decided we were going to make soup (A bold decision on her part.) As she was assigning each of us 8 year old girls our part I eagerly awaited my duties. I hoped to get something fun and important to do like "add the chicken" or "stirring".
"Kelsey Primus- you'll be chopping onions!"
Okay! Cutting stuff could be fun! We made our way from Mrs. Biamonte's basement den to the kitchen where we all got aprons and were put to work. I was given an onion, a knife and very explicit directions on how not to cut myself (which obviously fell short of being a life long lesson: see- the pot roast)
I went to town on the onions. Peeling off the outer layers, then chopping and dicing. It was fun for a while. With all of us girls in the kitchen it was crowded but cozy, lively and bustling with actvity. Shortly into my duties however, I began squinting and squeezing my eyes shut. Soon the waterworks came. My eyes were tearing up making it hard to see. My eyes were stinging! And it just kept getting worse and worse. It felt like how lemons taste- sour and bitter, but juicy. I had no idea what was happening or why. I went to tell Mrs. Biamonte that something was wrong with me and she said that this is what happens when you chop onions. And that I just had to close my eyes until it passed and keep going. I am sure at some point I tried to wipe my eyes and got onion juice in them. I've since then learned my lesson about that one. YEOWZA! Somehow I managed to earn my cooking patch. I think I should have earned two. None of the other girls cried while making soup.
This story leads me to yesterday's Thanksgiving cooking adventure. Since I am a married adult now I feel inclined to contribute to the dinner like an adult (maybe not so adult that I help out with the dishes yet though). And, I like to cook. So I made a cornbread, apple, sausage stuffing. It's basically a sweet stuffing, almost like bread pudding. Instead of chicken broth I used apple juice. Oh yea, it had onions in it too.
So I embarked on chopping the onions. I braced myself- knowing what was in store. I had 2 dear friends of mine over a few weeks ago for cooking, dinner and a movie. Sarah bravely volunteered to chop the onions. She was tearing up of course and I was struggling to keep my eyes open just being in the same room.
So I dove right in.

and of course- the water works came.

and came...

and then I had a stroke of genius. I put on my sunglasses! I knew their hugeness was good for something practical!

it worked for a little bit. But in the end. I only chopped half an onion. I found in the frozen food section in the grocery store that you can buy pre chopped onions....why everyone doesnt use these, i'll never know.
The stuffing was excellent though! Onions. Who needs em?

Monday, November 9, 2009


Some people love to sweat, love the burn, love the way they feel after a run. I don't like any of those things. I love to sleep, love to eat and love the way I feel when I lay down. And even though I don't really look like that is the case- it's true. I completely and utterly take my body, its metabolism and genetics, for granted. I am 100% unmotivated to work out because, in all honesty, I look the same whether I do or not. Some people argue "but you just feel so much better when you exercise regularly......" but I just say to myself "yea. sure. whatever you need to tell yourself to get you to the gym"
I know that being physically fit is more than just about looking good, its about being heart healthy, strong and robust for life. But, for some reason, that just hasn't been much of a priority to me, it still isn't. Why do I need to be able to run far? In case someone is chasing me? Why do I need to be able to lift 50 lbs? In case I'm trapped under something heavy? Why do I need to be able to touch my toes? Is there a special treat down there for me? No. I've tried just about everything to make exercising fun or at least important to me so I stay motivated. But in the end, its slippers over sneakers.
The funny thing is though, when I go out dancing with my friends I get really sweaty and I have an awesome time. And it's not because of the a-a-a-a-alcohol (that was for you Mr. Tim), it's because I love dancing and I'm not embarrassed to throw myself around on the dance floor. I am jumping and shaking and flailing and kicking and bouncing and pumping all night long. The next day I am sore all over and laugh about how fun it was.
Almost a year ago I heard of this thing called Zumba. A friend of mine brought her Zumba DVDs to our annual new year's eve weekend but the cabin's DVD player was broken so we didn't do it. She kept going on about how its a fun Latin dance workout. Now, I LOVE all things Latino (more on that in a future blog post I'm sure). Then, for some reason within the last month it's crept back into my mind. On Thursday I looked up where there might be a class nearby just to try out. On Friday, I was in a class.
The hour went by in a flash (I even stayed an extra 15 minutes just because I WANTED to work out LONGER!). The music was loud and fun (M.I.A) and the moves were easy but cool. But above all it was enjoyable, I was sweaty after class, sore the next day AND I want to do it again! Ladies and gentlemen, I think I've found a winner!
Zumba is a Latin-fusion-cardio-dance workout. It's fun, fast, and freakin' awesome. Cant wait for next week's class where we are learning the Paso Doble...I think that's what the Brazillian instructor said, she's a little hard to understand.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I bounce back and forth between two moods of shopping 1) clothes 2) home. I remember when I was young and my mom would take me to the store and we'd inevitably end up looking at curtains- I hated it and could care less. But my mom always said "you just wait until you have your own home missy, you'll be looking at all this stuff". Dear Mom, lets go curtain shopping; and furniture and wall hanging and area rug and patio and...... do all those things that Mike likes to refer to as "nesting".
This weekend I have some lofty nesting goals. There is a piece of furniture in Mike's old bedroom I want to bring over to the apartment. It's a little dresser made by his grandfather. I'll post pictures when it's all set up. I also want to frame some family heirloom pillowcases that are embroidered and put more things up on the walls. I've got some ideas brewing thanks to inspiration from and
Hopefully I'll have some fun photos for my two followers to look at after the weekend! Hey guys!
ps- check out this bed. isn't it neat!?

Friday, October 30, 2009

When Boys Move in with Girls

I took this picture before we were married when Mike was just starting to move some of his things into the apartment. I thought it was an interesting contrast- my frilly girly decorative thing sharing a wall with his skateboard. An interesting and symbollic juxtaposition.

Oh! That's new.

Tomorrow marks our 3rd week of marriage. It feels like quite a bit longer than that, but in a good way. Or rather, in a "I'm adjusting to living together" kind of way. There are a few things I've learned about Mike in these last three weeks. Some are cute and quirky while others are down right frightening.
#1 Sleeping Habits
Mike thrashes in his sleep like a shark in a cage. Most people gently, slowly and comfortably roll over or change sides in their sleep. Mike, however, does a full body, horizontal, rotating, jump-thrust with arms and legs flailing about. His most impressive act during his sleep, however, I dont usually even notice until morning. Somehow, he manages to not only pull his pillow case half off, but also rotate it so that the seams are on the center of the pillow.

I have a heck of a time getting those pillow cases on and off when I do laundry. I tug and toss and jossle and wiggle..... Maybe I should solicit his help for this more often.

#2 Doing Dishes
We decided before we were even married that he would do the dishes when I made dinner. My mistake was not deciding when he would be doing those dishes. I came home from work today and found some undone dishes in the sink. Although they were dirty, I couldnt help but smile at how he "arranged" them.

Very nice. Thank You.

#3 Furniture Arrangement
He is currently using a coffee table as a night stand. Ladies- I've tried. I really have. But he makes a valid point in that we dont really have a better option at the moment. But it's a coffee table.... as a night stand! I mean just look at it. It's ridiculous.

Not to mention all 5,000 motorcycle magazine strewn about on it. Dont even get me started. Oh, the things I do for love.

But he does hang is towel up very nicely every morning whereas mine just hangs over the bedroom door. I am well aware that there will be infinitely more encounters such as these in the years to come. Cant wait :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Deep Thoughts....

Note: I'm about 60% silly, 40% serious (give or take about 20% based on the weather, song playing, room temperature, the meal I previously ate, who I am with, comfort level of my shoes, the dream I had last night, etc.....) This entry is a little more serious than silly. Also, this has nothing to do with being a wife. It's just some thoughts I had. okay bye!

I love beautiful and lovely things. My affection for pretty things is problematic at times (shopping) but generally harmless because I'm not just referring to things I can buy. Whether its a tea towel, an eye shadow pallete, a sun lit tree or a baby- I could spend hours "just looking" (men refer to it all as shopping). I really enjoy and appreciate watching, observing and taking in beauty. Miss Sarah Thompson, a very beautiful friend of mine (she radiates you know), taught me a lot about beauty, where to find it and how to appreciate it. It used to annoy me in college when she'd scream/sing "This day is so beautifully glorioooooous!" But I get it now. Although, I might not express my sentiments the same way, Sarah helped me to see beautiful things all around me. Whether in nature, art or daily life.
There is a scene in the movie American Beauty where one of the characters is watching a plastic bag blow to and frow in the wind. He finds it beautiful and takes time to watch it dance in the breeze. The scene probably had some other important significance to the movie; but I like it for what it is. Beautiful. Taking time to pause, observe and experience the small beautiful wonders in life is important. I believe God speaks to us in these ways. At least for me, it's how he shows me he's there. Beauty is from God even if it's a painting by an atheist or a song by a heroine addict. Their talent come from God whether they choose to acknowedge it or not and I am free in Christ to appreciate it as such. (just my 2 cents for all those Christians out there who reject "secular" art)
One night last winter I came home late and it was snowing. I parked my car, got out and stood silently. I listened to the sound of snow softly falling all around me. It was a beautiful, worshipful moment. This morning when I got into my car to go to church I noticed how brightly lit the golden, autumn trees were. I stopped and took a picture with my cell phone. (although it did zero justice to the scenery).
I dont really have a point to all this other than Sunday, October 25 was an incredably beautiful day here in the Philadelphia area. It was fall in all it's glory and now I know God just at tiny bit more because of it.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Pot Roast

As mentioned, I've been feeling compelled to make a pot roast. It's pretty much the mother of all suburban house wife meals. Why not start at the top? Our first week home from the honeymoon we've eaten at Mike's parents' house twice and had frozen pizza once...and its Thursday. Tonight we have pot roast!
Last night I "prepped". I scrubbed and diced a few potatoes, put them in a bowl and placed them in the fridge for the next day. I also set the meat out to thaw in the fridge, hoping it would be ready to cook this morning. At 6:00am this morning, Mike found the roast still frozen solid so he took it upon himself to set it out on the counter. Nice move Logan! He asked me why I didnt just set it out on the counter in the first place. I retorted with a very experienced and domestic response, "It's better for things to thaw in the fridge, because of germs and bacteria and stuff."
I came home today at lunch to put my thawed hunk of meat into the crock pot! Very exciting! I found the meat to still be just a little stiff. I put it in the microwave to defrost for 3 minutes. I have learned that 3 minutes of defrosting frozen meat is about as useful as three minutes of breathing on frozen meat. But I was pressed for time since I was on my lunch hour so I decided to just go with it as is. The directions on my packet of seasoning said to trim the fat. I didnt see any fat but when I turned it over.... a whole friggin slab of fat! Ugh, so now I had to trim this bad boy up. Unfortunately I didnt get the butcher block or knife set off my wedding registry. So my choices were butt loads of butter knives or a giant butcher knife that came with a cutting board or some pan I got. I went with the butcher knife....

And OF COURSE I cut myself...

And got blood on the potatoes...

but it ended up smelling and tasting delicious and therfore devoured by Mike and I and our neighbor, Pat :)

All in all, my first pot roast was a great success!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Grocery Shopping for Mother Hubbard's Cupboards

I wont write about the wedding. Don't worry.
I'll start with my first trip to the grocery store. I didn't go anywhere cool and hip like Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. I went to Wal-Mart. Sorry, it's the cheapest and most convenient. I'm sure I'll need organic vegan rice at some point.....
Anyway, I stopped at the grocery store on my way home from work on Monday, the first Monday back from the honeymoon. I grabbed the shopping cart, put my purse where the kids sit and felt like a real adult. I mean a real, legitimate grown up for the first time. It was a very primal sense of pride; I was out to gather food for my family. I'll never forget that moment.
I'll also never forget thinking "now what the hell should I gather?" I had a cupboard full of dry goods that my good friend gave me when she moved. Lots of Lipton Soup mixes, Hamburger Helpers and rice. A few weeks ago I bought milk, eggs, a loaf of bread, peanut butter, grape jelly and oreos. I bought all that so my when my parents came for the wedding, they wouldnt just see the cases of Miller Lite and Heineken in my fridge and think I was living like some poor college student.
Lately I've felt compelled to make a pot roast for some reason. I wandered the "meat" section for a while and was really confused as to which hunk of red meat was a "roast". Do you put steak in a crock pot? Then I found a pot roast kit... a little hunk of meat with pre chopped potatoes, carrots and onions with a packet of seasoning. I was tempted but decided to carry on as planned and venture on my own. This is what I walked away with that day.
Two frozen pizzas (ha), ice cream, an assortment of frozen veggies, a ham roast, a rump roast, frozen chicken breasts, frozen shrimp, hot dogs (for mikey- later found out they're beef dogs and he prefers pork: note to self!), bacon, tasteycakes, instant oatmeal, sugar, popcorn, canned artichoke hearts (they just looked good), minced garlic, corn muffin mix, honey, honey nut cheerios, bisquick, syrup, vegetable oil, cinnamin rolls (in the tube), corn starch (isnt that something you're supposed to have?), package of salad mix, mushrooms, bananas, sack of potatoes, various pasta noodles (including lasagna- stay tuned for that adventure!), peanut butter m&m's (for mikey), pam spray, baking soda (again, necessary right? what for? no clue), extra virgin olive oil, ranch dressing, pasta sauces, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes.
Next was fitting all this into my cabinets that are full with insane amounts of glasses, china, mixing bowls, caserole dishes and tupperware. Still working on the best way to orgainze my kitchen. I have a very domestic friend I might call for help on this. She is the only person I know in the world who has a cute pantry. seriously. Shannon Schreiber- expect a call from me soon!
Also- if anyone knows what I can actually make with the stuff I bought- that'd be great! thanks!