Friday, April 19, 2013

Where to Begin…

It seems like a lot and nothing has happened since I last wrote. I am still working some long days, but the last couple of weeks I have found some pockets of down time during the workday and I've been thankful for the breathing room and the restoration of some work–life balance. The job is still evolving and I've approached my boss to talk about next training steps. I'm hoping they'll send me out to California for training, but there's really no telling what they'll do.

I've been happy. I've had days where I've been pass-out exhausted, days where I really don't want to do what I have to do, and finances are a constant concern since Scoob hasn't found work yet, but his freelance work is starting to attract paying clients. But I find that underneath it all, I. Am. Happy.

Maybe it's just because spring is here. The lawn started to subtly turn again green in March and then we turned our backs and it was up to our shins. We have a lawn project underway and we finished the first phase this afternoon. I'll post more about that later. No, really. I will.

In addition to the greening of the grass, things are blooming! First it was the bright yellow forsythia (I am now thinking of planting a bush or two somewhere in the yard so we'll have that early spring color) and now it is the dogwoods. I don't know why I get so excited about the dogwoods, but I do. And the trees surrounding the house are lousy with them. So I walk around house and oooo and aaah at them and feel utterly content.

My favorite dogwood, just off the back porch, has been the first to open up two years in a row.

Blooms and bees everywhere.

We went to the community St. Patrick's Day party, which was fun, and we met several new people moving into our little community. And had a friend over for Easter dinner.

I made the Bo-Ssam for Easter dinner.

And I think I finally figured out the trick to eliminating the excessive smoking problem I had with that recipe—the roasting pan I was using was too large so the juices would spread out too thinly, crust to the bottom of the pan, and start smoking. I've had great success using a smaller roasting pan.

Like the table cloth? It's a scarf/shawl I picked up in India. I hadn't thought to use it on the table at the time, but a friend mentioned it and I thought I would try it out. I like it. Of course, first thing I did was drop some greasy bo-ssam on it Easter night. Gah.

And we enjoyed it under the newly installed dining room light!

We also attended a Welcome Brunch for new residents. (Yes, we have been here for 1½ years as of yesterday. The welcome wagon is a little behind.) Which was followed by an afternoon nap (I should have known better than to have a mimosa with lunch) and the wine club. At some point during brunch the subject of the pool opening luau came up and our usual person who roasts a pig for the event will be at a soccer tournament, and I mentioned how easy Scoob's kalua pig is to make, and I'm now strategizing how to cook kalua pig for 160–200 people around mid-May. (Another reason not to drink mimosas at brunch!)

I'll admit I had a panic moment, but then I remembered all the times I've helped with cooking for family reunions and powwows and settled right back down. Then I started planning. I've rounded up 15 crockpots so far and have a couple of volunteers to be Crock Masters with me. Every time I see Crock Master I think "full of crock" and start cracking up. And Scoob has been talking to a local meat market about arranging for the quantity of pork butt we'll be needing.

We helped a friend move into her new house week before last and I've been deep-cleaning the house in preparation for supper club tomorrow night. I chose a Middle Eastern theme because I love Persian food, but I'm afraid I've stumped the rest of the group as to what to bring. I'm making lamb-stuffed eggplants (bademjan-e shekam por) and Persian rice with lentils (adas polow). I'm sure it will be alright, but now I'm wishing I'd gone with a Mexican food because I am craving some pozole and it would probably be an easier theme.