Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dreary Spring Days

Well... it's raining. And gray. And dreary. And I haven't seen the sun for over a week, and not even the happy lamp is helping right now.

After I got back from Holden Village I was excited about being super productive. All the laundry (6 loads) was finished last Saturday, folded and put away. Also, I finally used a gift card from Christmas and got some new panties and a new bra. Glorious; especially when Victoria's Secret runs their 7 for $25 sale! Totally worth waiting for. =)

On Sunday we began Spring cleaning... went through everything in the office. Decided it was time to recycle all the extra wedding invitations, registry cards, and six month's worth of paper. How on earth is it that we collect SO damn much paper? I really don't need 3 new credit card offers per day thank you very much. At any rate, the office is clean and organized, just how I like it. Then we moved into the closets and a bit of the kitchen on Monday, cleaned those out, organized, wiped down shelves, and gathered up a few items we didn't use or need anymore to donate. We had momentum.

THEN, a bratty kid at the Y sneezed in her hands and then directly placed her hands into the tub of Legos. All momentum came to a screeching halt. Now, the husband is sick. I am not doing all the spring cleaning on my own!

This weather has got me down. I usually make it through the winter just fine, but when the winter weather lingers when I am so ready for spring, it is hard to not be grumpy. I am trying to be positive and keep up my spirits, so here are some things that I have been doing to fight the dreary spring days and keep up some momentum:

1. Drinking lots of tea and orange juice. I want to stay healthy!

2. Heading to the gym - I am totally a fair weather outdoors-woman; when it is cold and rainy I hibernate. So, to keep up my energy and conditioning, I have hit the treadmill.

3. Yoga. It's peaceful, soothing, a stress-reliever, and a strength builder. All from the comfort of my living room... when I can kick Ross off the couch and National Geographic.

4. Baking simple loaves of bread - our favorite, a honey whole wheat.

5. Little spring cleaning projects are still going on, one at a time, like cleaning out the kitchen shelves and cabinets. And constantly doing the dishes. I HATE doing the dishes, which is why I always volunteer to cook. Someone else can do the dishes. But when my someone else is sick... I do them. Because I love that someone else. A lot. And - I am grateful that I have dishes to do, and food to put on those dishes.

6. Trying to spice things up in the kitchen - literally - with pickled jalapeños! Who knew it would be so easy to make your own pickled-anything at home? It is easy.

To make pickles (from cucumbers, carrots, radish, celery, eggplant, peaches, turnips, beets. etc) from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman.

1 pound jalapeños (or other)
3 Tbsp salt
1 cup white vinegar or white wine vinegar
1/8 cup sugar
Spices - mixture of cinnamon, bay leaves, mustard seeds, allspice berries, whole cloves, black peppercorns, coriander seeds, dill seeds, cardamom seeds (about 1/8 cup total)*

Wash and slice, quarter, etc. your vegetable. Place them in a colander in the sink and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp of salt, toss well, and let sit for 2 hours.
After that, pat them dry and place them in a non metal bowl.
On the stove, mix all the remaining ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Then, pour over your vegetable/jalapeños and let cool down to room temperature.
Transfer the jalapeños and pickling liquid into a jar, and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 3 days. They will be good for up to 3 weeks.

They're sweet, sour and spicy all at the same time! I love it!
*I didn't have all the spices, nor was I going to go buy them, so I used what I had and some were powdered. It turned out just fine, just that the liquid was a bit cloudy. Be creative! 

7. Oh, right, and spring quarter started, which means I have to revert into graduate student mode again. This quarter I'm working on my field project, doing an independent study, and TA-ing Environmental Science 101 -  a class of 450 students, mostly freshman. %-) That's a lot of bodies - considering a class that size would have been 25% of the undergraduate student population at CLU!

Ah, the joys and soggy salutations of Spring! What's on your Spring cleaning list?


Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

It snowed again here today!! I told my students that if they were the one to order the snow, I would give them an F for the class.

I just want spring to come so badly, but I really can't bank on it until May!! :(

Jenn said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates Oh man! I'm sorry you are still getting snow!!