Friday, June 09, 2006

Seven Things I've Been Enjoying

These could probably each become a post to themselves, but for now I'll proclaim them in list form. I'm also reviewing digital cameras (any suggestions? I'm thinking Canon, but the Panasonic with Lumix lenses look nice), so one day very soon I hope to make another list complete with photographs.

1. The Beginning of my Summer Vacation. I'm stil adjusting to the fact that I don't actually have to BE anywhere on the weekdays. I still feel like it's only Spring Break and next Monday I'll wake up to lesson plans and 160 teenagers.

2. Autumn Wheat Cereal by Kashi. It's healthier than Frosted Shredded Mini-Wheats and actually tastes better, too. I know because I had only enough mini-wheats left for half a bowl one day last week, so I added some Autumn Wheat and the taste difference was striking. I enjoy it with blueberries, peaches, or bananas.

3. Going on road trips with Gaines. We drove to Tuscaloosa and back last weekend for a rare family reunion on my father's side, and this Sunday we're driving back to Alabama for a yearly family gathering of Gaines' relatives. Being stuck in traffic is so much better when you have someone with which to share the grueling experience.

4. Fresh Georgia Peaches topped with Edy's Slow-Churned Light Vanilla Ice Cream. 'Nuff said. Blueberries make a decent substitute.

5. My quadruple pack of new Square Peg Alliance releases. In celebration of completing my first year of teaching, Gaines surprised me last Tuesday with four, count 'em, FOUR new releases from some of my favorite indie artists:
  • Throwing Punches in the Dark by Matthew Perryman Jones

  • Photographs (2006 Remaster) and The Morning by Andrew Osenga

  • Nobody's Got It All Together by Jill Phillips

  • 6. Trying out new recipes. Every Thursday, we have a potluck of sorts before our Bible study, and of late I have been using it as my experimentation time. A few weeks ago, I attempted this Mexican Corn Casserole for the first time (I added chicken cooked with cumin, other spices, and broth), with Sauteed Asparagus on the side. Last week, I adapted a Cheesy Chicken and Artichoke Casserole from this recipe (I can't seem to ever leave anything alone). This week, I made a Corn Souffle for the first time (I don't think I even knew what qualified as a souffle before yesterday) and tried my hand at an easy throw-together Apple Crisp for dessert. The Souffle was adapted from a combination of the Better Homes and Gardens "Cheese Souffle" and the ingredient list of Stouffer's frozen Corn Souffle, while the Apple Crisp was from memory: flour + plain oatmeal + sugar + cinnamon + butter, baked over sliced apples.

    7. Swimming. I suppose three pools in an apartment complex does make it relatively easy to find a quiet swimming spot, but I can't help but wonder why the kids all prefer to stay indoors when they could be enjoying the water? I know I swam almost every day in the summer as a child, and I'm going for at least 2-3 times a week now. I love the sun, the solitude, and the splash of water around me. I think I must be part dolphin.

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