I don't have much to say.

Except that I have a thesis project proposal due in a week.

And a thesis project proposal presentation due in a week.

And I start work tomorrow.

And students come back the day after I present my project proposal.

And I might have a nervous breakdown.

That's about it.


As Requested

I got a couple of messages on facebook, an email, and a comment asking for the bun recipe. No problem!

I credit my mom for trying it and introducing me to it. I credit the people at King Arthur for actually coming up with the recipe.

Here it is:

Beautiful Buns



Check Out My Buns

I'm on a roll (hahahaha) with the butt jokes, aren't I?

While I was in Michigan, my mom made some freaking fantastic homemade hamburger buns. Really good stuff. And she was nice enough to share the recipe with me. I made pizza crust from scratch last week and it was a big fat fail (not that it was bad, it just wasn't super wonderful). So I was hesitant to try the buns yesterday. I was nervous the whole time, from adding the ingredients extra-carefully to letting them rise to oven time.

And guess what?

 They turned out fabulously well. Oh.My.Nom.
 And we could hardly wait to cut them and put our turkey burgers together. I sauteed the cauliflower and broccoli with some chopped green onions, EVOO, and seasonings. A seriously divine meal. This is what heaven tastes like.

Anyone else trying fun stuff in the kitchen? Exciting weekend plans?

p.s. An added bonus: Making these is much cheaper than buns from the store.


Two Exciting Things

1. When I got Mel and had her initial visit with the vet, he recommended that I regularly trim her nails. Inward groan. I have two dogs that flip out over trimmin' time. Atticus is so bad we have to take him in to the groomers or the vet. And now a cat? It didn't seem like that was going to be do-able. I watched as he trimmed her nails for us and she just slumped there in his arms, letting him cut her nails back. I figured she was letting him do that because she was 1. secretly sick at the time and 2. scared. Or maybe he knew a cat hold that allowed him to work his magic.

Flash forward to Saturday at Target. I needed more litter for Mel (I have never in my life seen a cat go potty as much as this one. Holy tinkles, Batman.) and that's when I saw the kitty nail trimmer combo set. I sighed and threw it in the basket. Mel's nails had grown to epic proportions. They would easily get her kicked off of any domestic or international flight. Raptor claws.

I managed to put it off for a day. Sunday morning came and I was ready to try it. I picked up Mel (Who is squishy and rag doll-y. She kind of just flops when you hold her.) and showed her the trimmer. Not intimidated. I flexed her paws. She licked me. I trim the first nail, sure that all hell was going to break loose. No. She might have even yawned. Holy.Crap. Easiest thing ever. At one point she started gnawing on my knuckles, but not aggressively. More like, she was bored and my knuckles were close by to provide some chewing entertainment. At one point she looked at me like she was so bored she was actually pained by how slow I was.

Long story short - I have a cat that tolerates nail trimmings like a champ. But does anyone know why she chews? I wouldn't mind ending that.

2. After 29.2 years I have discovered that I...

like mushrooms! What are the odds? Okay, maybe not exciting or life-altering for you, but for me? Super exciting.


Check Out My Booty

Ready steady?

It's story time.

So a month or so ago, I received a comment (yay, commenters!) from another Arizona dweller. I went and looked at her blog (Check it out here - Lacie Josephine) and discovered that she was getting lots of fruits and vegetables on the cheap through a program called Bountiful Basket.. She even had pictures of all the great stuff that she was getting. I immediately commented on her blog asking her to share more details. Turns out, you contribute fifteen dollars at the beginning of the week and then you pick up your basket (or baskets) of fruits and veggies. You don't get a say in what you get, it's just a big ol' surprise.

Jeremiah and I tried it out last Saturday, the day after I got back. I was nerdy excited because fruits and veggies? Yes, please. Saving money? Oh, yeah. All about that. Our first basket was three dollars more because you contribute that extra amount your first time. And here is what we got last week:
  • Bananas - 4
  • Broccoli - 3 heads
  • Cauliflower - 1 head
  • Baby carrots - 2 bags
  • Carton of mushrooms
  • Bundle of spinach
  • On the vine tomatoes - 5
  • Carton of FIGS (more on these, later)
  • Plums - 4
  • Apricots - 5
  • Red pears - 3
  • Pineapple 
We are working our way through the basket still, but most of the fruit is gone and we've made quite a dent in the veggies.

Knowing that ordering a second basket might provide us with tons of different fruits and veggies, we ordered one on Monday and today we got this:
 Here we go:
  • Kale?
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli - 3 heads
  • Green onions/chives
  • Carton of blackberries
  • Bananas - 5
  • White Melon
  • Tomatoes - 4
  • Mangoes - 2
  • Plums - 12 (yum.)
  • Nectarines - 6 (I'm not even going to pretend to share these.)
  • Cucumber - 1
Not a bad haul. One of the benefits to getting the variety is that there (so far) is something for each of us. For example, we'd never had fresh figs. Neither of us. Jeremiah and I both liked them, but did you know those little things are furry? Yeah, no. So Jeremiah got all the figs. I don't eat things that are furry. Here's my list of things that are delicious, but I shiver just thinking about the nasty fuzzies all over them:
  1. apricots
  2. peaches
  3. and now - figs. 

I'm planning on bogarting the pineapple and the nectarines, though, so all is good. And the point of that whole furry story was that there hasn't been anything in the basket that at least one of us wouldn't eat. We're screwed if we ever get a pumpkin...or certain squashes. But until then, we're happy campers eaters.

So a big shout out to Lacie for introducing me to Bountiful Baskets and I urge you to check it out. It's a great deal and everything we've had so far has been super fresh and delicious.

p.s. You do have to volunteer at the co-op pick-up site once every six to eight visits. I'm sure you'll hear about that when my butt gets up at 4:45 on a Saturday. I'm not a super late sleeper, but that's pushing it on the weekend.


GVSU Lip Dub

I was working on my class work, I promise. Hundred times, I promise. But then I was on GVSU's website and I clicked on a link and ended up watching the lip dub. I don't know how. But I'm a sucker for a good dub. For those that aren't aware (and most of you probably are), Grand Valley is where I completed my second bachelor's degree and where I am currently finishing my master's (I have special permission to complete it long distance). Um, and actually, my whole family went there. Love me some Lakers. Anyway, if you need to procrastinate, check out the video. Drool over the campus because it is for sure beautiful. Bridges, bell towers, and trees, oh my!

p.s. And if you are feeling really procrastinate-y, check out this lip dub, featuring senior citizens and filmed/produced by GVSU students. It was on the Today Show. That's pretty spectacular. And pretty darn cute.

And if you want to see the one that tops them all, my all time favorite, click here


Part 2: San Francisco

Okay. I mentioned that right after our conference let out, we would shuttle our way to the BART station, BART our way to a streetcar, and head towards water. Pier 39, to be more specific. And actually, the first day we walked from the BART to Pier 39. Go us.

I think we figured that Pier 39 would have a little something for everyone. Food, entertainment, food, seals, food, shopping, and...food.
Jeremiah and I had our picture taken here one of the times we visited.
To be honest, I had a great time. I traveled with fun people, which makes a trip even better. At the same time (Scooby Doo says "rut row") I was a little sad that I wasn't re-experiencing all these things with CLH. I'd only ever been there with Jer and it just wasn't the same.
Sleepy Seals
I did get some fun pictures and loved being near water. Being in a desert for five years will do that to you. I also loved the mix of people and the various cultures. Plus, it just feels like a city. Phoenix doesn't have that feel to me. And at night? It got cold. I freaking loved it. I had to wear LAYERS. And I got to wear a (new) SCARF.
And just when you thought this post couldn't get any more exciting...
Ignore the bad picture and my many layers and my wispy hair. Focus on Zoltar, people.
ZOLTAR! From the movie Big! Remember? Zoltar? He had the power to turn that cute little kid into a cute young Tom Hanks! Wow. I was psyched. I didn't want to risk getting a bum fortune and then getting stuck that way, so I didn't get my fortune told or make a wish.
On the last evening, we strolled (I enjoying strolling while traveling. You go too fast and you miss things. Like the man that smelled of black tar heroin.) to Ghirardelli Square. Did we get sundaes? No. We were too filled with nommies from dinner.

So that was San Fran. The short, evening version. My only purchase (besides ice cream. A lot of ice cream. And salt water taffy. And fudge.) was some splurge-worthy lotion that smelled like heaven. Correction, smells like heaven. Sigh.

So I haven't been home much to post house-y stuff, but I still have some Michigan things to post, a chair to share, and some exciting food news. I'm also on the last leg of my class (my other one finished at the end of June, so I'm down to just the one, instead of two. Yay.) and it's a beast.

Anyone else traveling? Having an interesting summer?


You Want Me to Go Where?! Part 1

When my principal came to me and asked me if I would be interested in attending a math intervention conference IN OAKLAND I was hesitant.

Because, you know...It's Oakland. Oakland! I vaguely remembering Jeremiah pointing it out on the way to San Francisco. The conversation went like this: "And that's Oakland." and we kept driving.  I know that the reason for the conference was to gain knowledge, but part of the fun is going somewhere new and exciting. Oakland was just new. And maybe a tiny teeny bit scary.

Here's the thing, though. I wanted to attend the training and get my professional pants on. I want to be involved and help my students and all that stuff.

So I said that I would go.

And I did. For a whole week I got my conference on. During the day I learned and in the evening I went (with my colleagues) to San Francisco.

I thought I'd share some Oakland pictures with you today. Sort of as proof that it isn't all ghetto. I mean, ghetto exists, for sure. But parts of the city were cool. Oh, and our hotel wasn't in that cool area. Not at all. I would recommend it to anyone going to Oakland, though, because the staff was incredible, they offered free breakfast, and free shuttle service. Our trips to San Francisco cost $6 on the BART (round trip) and $2 for the streetcar. Not too freaking bad.

First of all, my conference was held at the Kaiser building in downtown Oakland. On the twenty-fifth floor. I felt very professional. They even had emergency/disaster kits. I didn't ask about them but I made a mental note. Just in case. A religious coworker was hoping/praying for an earthquake and I wasn't sure if he had an in with God so I figured it wouldn't hurt to make a mental map of the kit location.

 For lunch we went to the parking garage roof. Gross, right? Oh, no. Because it looked like this:
 Gorgeous. I managed to snap lots of pictures. There were fountains, bridges, flowers, and walking paths.

Here is a picture from our conference room:
 You can see a very modern church with the lake off to the right.

And lastly:
 If you squint or zoom, you can see some San Fran bridges and buildings. Great views from the Kaiser building.

Anyone else doing some summer traveling?

Stay tuned for Part 2: San Francisco