Saturday, July 10, 2010

As you may be aware (we certainly are): it's wedding season! We just got married, my best friend is rather recently engaged and starting to lay down plans, and dear friends are getting married tomorrow afternoon. Unlike a traditional wedding reception, they are having a barbecue/potluck to celebrate after the ceremony, a really neat (and cost-effective) way to celebrate. We are in charge of a"side dish." Dear me, what to bring, what to bring?

I found this delicious-looking bit of goodness on the Kitchn website, we're going to give it a whirl and see what happens, perhaps add some eggplant as suggested: Herbed Sweet Corn and Tomato Salad.

I also saw the Heatwave Carnitas, shared the recipe with Ian, and we made instant plans to make them this week. Crock pot? Why yes, I do believe so.

Also convenient, because guess who will be moving this week?!? That's right, yours truly.

Time to sleep, g'night.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA)

One of my favorite organizations, Equality Now, has an easy way to write your Senator and/or Congressperson online to help support the International Violence Against Women Act.
You can send a letter here: Petition for I-VAWA

As taken from Equality Now's website, the goal of this act is to:

• Create high-level offices at the State Department and USAID responsible for developing and implementing programs to end violence against women and girls.

• Direct the office at the State Department to create a comprehensive 5-year strategy to reduce violence against women and girls beginning with 5-20 countries.

• Fund comprehensive programs in these countries that address violence in a coordinated way, through legal and health sector reform, by changing social norms and attitudes that condone rape and abuse, and improving education and economic opportunities for women and girls.

• Specifically target a portion of the funding to overseas women’s organizations to develop their capacity to work independently of U.S. support.

• Urge the U.S. government to act in cases of extreme outbreaks of violence against women and girls, for example, to address the horrific levels of rape experienced by women and girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

I would strongly suggest also signing up for Equality Now's email updates and alerts. They are a wealth of information on Women's Issues across the United States and world.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

To My Husband:

I understand that you are hanging out with one of your best friends and that it's a few days before his wedding, and are so preoccupied. That said, I'm really annoyed you left your mobile at home, and that you and your bike are nowhere to be seen. We had plans to meet up and celebrate my acceptance into grad school, and now I'm stuck at home eating a corned beef beef on whole wheat, bored on Facebook. Granted, the activity is of choice (sad days) and my sandwich is pretty damned good (who can say no to sauerkraut?), but I'm sad you are incommunicado and it's going to be late to do anything in about 30 minutes.  I am annoyed and a little angry, and a little guilty about feeling angry.


Your Wife


I found out today that I've been accepting into a Masters Program for this Fall - ladies and gentlemen, I will be pursuing my a degree in Women's and Gender Studies at Eastern Michigan University!

This also means I will be moving to part time at work, which during weeks like this one when we are swamped beyond belief and cannot even find time to take our much-deserved breaks, will be a relief. But one step at a time, no?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Let the Packing Begin!

Ian and I started packing last night, around... 11:00 PM?

First we walked to Ian's office; we're taking a month hiatus from video games until Ian feels he is in a better position with his work and dissertation, and to help me focus on more productive activities, reading and drawing, for example.

We walked to No Thai, picked up summer dinner and iced Thai tea (yum!), walked home, and ate our food while watching Paranormal Activity. Hhheeeehhhh.... Let's just say when we walked outside to the car to go pick up packing boxes after watching this, I needed a flashlight. And Ian's hand.

We started working through our books and I put in Cinderella (yeah Disney!) to destimulate before bed. In general we made the commitment to get rid of half our stuff, but we are making exceptions for our books and kitchenware. We definitely are getting rid of more books than I initially thought we would, I would say a quarter to a third, a good thing as our bookshelves were overflowing. We also eliminated about half our DVDs, several computer games, and even some puzzles (left-over from what anthropologists now refer to as "the puzzle months," Spring 2009, where a certain individual went into a grandma-esque puzzle craze).

 - - - -

Ian and I sadly have to return several things to Crate and Barrel from our registry. For example, on the advice of my mom, we split up our dishes into 8 separate place settings, but we only received three. These are the most beautiful dishes and I am so sad to say goodbye to them, but we can in no way afford the additional place settings at this time. Another one of those things we "want" but do not "need," and we're pushing off to when Ian has a secure job after graduating. While it feels very good to be practicing practicality (try saying that ten times quickly!)... I hate having to return them.

The benefit, I guess, is that we now have more funds available to put towards a new kitchen table, which we really do need, very badly (current kitchen table was purchased used several year ago, we have no kitchen chairs (on loan from a friend), and the table itself is covered in scratches and small icing dots that are impossible to remove, courtesy one of my tastier but ill-planned cookie projects). We found a table at Crate and Barrel which fits into our budget and is perfect for our new, smaller apartment. It's a 'high' dining table (bar height) with a wine rack, storage shelf, and closing cabinet inside. It has folding leaves and will be beautiful tucked inside our small kitchen. It's a piece of furniture that makes sense for the long term too, we can continue to use it as a breakfast table, in an office, or as our prep space / island in our future living situation.

Well, back to work for me. Tally'ho!

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Goals I have:
  • Find a local yoga studio and start practicing again, at least 2-3 times a week. 
  • Bike or walk places when I can (weather permitting) instead of using the car.
  • Lose 10-15 pounds, back to mid-college weight.
  • Plant a garden (cannot do this until Ian and I "settle" down in 1-2 years).
  • Compost.
  • Take a kickboxing course. 
  • Finish my masters degree in a year (2-3 semesters).
Goals Ian and I are working on together:
  • Buying as much of our produce and food as we can locally, utilizing our farmers' market and the co-op as best we can.
  • Building our savings back up to pre-wedding numbers.
  • Saving up for a European vacation.


Nothing feels better than tackling an "issue" together when we're both able to talk about our motivations, thoughts, and concerns. Also realizing that we both are a little right, and both a little wrong, and can both bend to help accommodate the issue.

I really love being married to Ian. Best choice I've made yet.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Menu for the Week (July 3 - July 9)

Gosh, I'm really hungry as I'm looking over our CSA share for tomorrow and starting to think about the menu for the week!

This week we will get:
  • Cabbage
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Scallion
  • Kale
  • Lettuce - Red or Green Romaine
  • Beets
  • Garlic Scapes
I must confess this is the second week we have neglected to use our garlic scapes; we keep telling ourselves we'll make a pesto.... but this has yet to happen. Ian? Rachel? Anyone in the McFluster household with any sort of kitchen-know-how and any time?

We also have no firm Fourth of July plans. We may grill out with friends, or go to Frog Holler (a bit of a drive) to go camping on the farm, participating in their potluck and party, and group yoga Monday morning. A little different from the Fourth of July camping trips I took as a child, if you could call the trailer with a microwave and AC camping.

RIGHT... the MENU!
  • Chard Bundles Stuffed with Lemon Rice and Sage Butter (one of our favorite recipes from A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen by Jack Bishop), served with Pressed Chicken Breasts with Lemon and Herbs
  • Beet and Cabbage Borscht - Local Flavors also has a recipe for borscht that has a few extra ingredients - leeks, porcini, red or white wine vinegar, and horseradish mixed in the sour cream to serve. We'll probably flirt with both recipes, see what we come up with. We're excited, neither of us have ever made or eaten borscht before!
  • Green Salad with Roasted Salmon, almonds, plums, seared peppers, basil, and Gruyere cheese
  • Curried Kidney Bean Burritos (from Cooking Light: Complete Cookbook)
  • Butternut Squash and Parmesan Bread Pudding (also from Cooking Light: Complete Cookbook), served with Sauteed Kale

The other news is that we may be moving earlier than originally anticipated. The house our current apartment is in was foreclosed on last winter. Ian and I received a notice in the mail from the new owners earlier this week offering quite a tidy sum to move out by July 16th, and to not pay our July rent to our previous rental agency. We were planning on moving on August 1st and had already paid our rent for July, so the first part of our week was spent trying to figure out what was going on with an attorney and attempting to decide what to do. Things are still a bit up in the air, depending on what type of settlement we can get to move out on August 1st, and waiting to see if our future landlords will let us move in two weeks earlier than anticipated...

In anticipation of all of these changes, Ian and I have committed to getting rid of HALF of our stuff. Well, mostly it's MY stuff. I really like stuff. I'm reaching a purging phase though. I went through all of my clothing and really did eliminate about half of it, getting rid of anything that I'm actually never going to fit into again (yes, I have finally given up on the idea of getting back to my ridiculously small 110 pounds when I was 17), anything that I don't wear very often, anything that has any sort of hole or hanging threads, or that I don't look good in or are ill-fitting. For years I've been clothes on clearance or sale because gosh, I love clothes, but in reality these are the sorts of things that get worn infrequently and don't always look quite right. I also made the commitment in April to not purchase any new clothing unless absolutely necessary (all my underwear goes up in flames, for example, tragedy of tragedies!), and have so far not had a problem or any strong temptations to get anything new. It's about time I get over my clothing obsession, as my family and previous roommates can attest.

We have yet to sort through our books, kitchen implements, miscellaneous doodads, etc., but all in good time.

After I get off work tomorrow we are going to take a field trip to Crate and Barrel, return some of our wedding gifts that are incomplete (only two place settings for example, sad days), and look at possibilities for a new kitchen table. I've never actually been in a C&B before, just lusted over their place settings, table clothes, and rugs online. Remember Rachel, remember: Elimination mode, elimination mode.... you do not need more stuff!

Over and out, definitely time to sleep.