Blue in the Sky

A lesbian wife and mother tries her hand at something new. Surely there is a hat that fits out there somewhere!

The Last Two Weeks of February Monday February 28, 2011

Filed under: Daily Life,The Wife & Mother — The Professor @ 7:54 pm

Wow.

February has been a BIG month at my house.  Here is what we have been up to:

  • Getting Bean up on the airplane.  He took to the sky quite nicely and we had no drama whatsoever.  This could have been due to the fact that he nursed on the way up AND on the way down, making the trip seem almost like Thanksgiving, but assuring that his ears stayed clear.  Mission accomplished.
  • Visiting in our old stomping grounds.  Bean made the rounds at the hospital meeting all of Toad’s colleagues and perhaps picking up the bug that would terrorize us the following week (more on this later).  Of course, maybe he got it on the plane.  So many opportunities really….
  • Showing off the baby to anybody and everybody who would allow it.
  • Packing up and moving out of the condo.
  • Moving into our new house.  YAHOO!!
  • Dealing with a sick little Bean.  He passed six months without an illness, but on Day #1 of the move the little guy dropped like a fly.  A kicking, screaming, wheezing and coughing fly.  Not pretty.
  • Taking Bean in for his fist sick baby visit with the pediatrician.  By day five, I needed a professional to tell me that we were doing what we needed to be doing to care for him.  We were.
  • Visiting with both sets of parents.  Mine were here for the first shift and Toad’s came in for the second round.  We could NOT have done it without them.  The four of them have stepped in as carpenter, AV/tech guy, handyman, kitchen organizer and baby soother/wrangler.
  • Hemorrhaging cash.  Moving is exciting but financially frightening.

One thing you may not see on the above list is sleep.  Yeah, I need some of that.

 

 

 

The House Tuesday February 15, 2011

Filed under: Daily Life,The Wife & Mother — The Professor @ 9:14 pm

After looking throughout the summer and fall, we walked into the lovely abode you see above right before Thanksgiving and fell in love.  To characterize the experience as falling in love is not to be overly dramatic, it is just true.  As I walked through these rooms for the first time I was struck by the feeling that someone had designed a house just for us.  How did they know?!

Shortly after the initial visit we met the couple who had built the house and we loved them too.  He is a craftsman and she is an ESOL teacher.  This is the kind of place that immediately feels lovingly made and I am so grateful that this worked out for us.  Although we put in an offer in late November, they weren’t in a tremendous rush to move and so we were able to close last week, on my birthday in fact, which made this place one hell of a good present.

Next week we will be moving in and I can’t wait!

 

A Reliable Wife (Robert Goolrick) Wednesday February 9, 2011

Filed under: Books,The Reader — The Professor @ 8:53 am

First the summary from the publisher, Algonquin Books.

Rural Wisconsin, 1909. In the bitter cold, Ralph Truitt, a successful businessman, stands alone on a train platform waiting for the woman who answered his newspaper advertisement for “a reliable wife.” But when Catherine Land steps off the train from Chicago, she’s not the “simple, honest woman” that Ralph is expecting. She is both complex and devious, haunted by a terrible past and motivated by greed. Her plan is simple: she will win this man’s devotion, and then, ever so slowly, she will poison him and leave Wisconsin a wealthy widow. What she has not counted on, though, is that Truitt — a passionate man with his own dark secrets —has plans of his own for his new wife. Isolated on a remote estate and imprisoned by relentless snow, the story of Ralph and Catherine unfolds in unimaginable ways.
With echoes of Wuthering Heights and Rebecca, Robert Goolrick’s intoxicating debut novel delivers a classic tale of suspenseful seduction, set in a world that seems to have gone temporarily off its axis.

This one took me awhile.  First it came in the chapter-a-day emails I get from the library each week.  The character of Ralph Truitt dominates the early chapters and his voice was so true and compelling that I was eager to read more.  During one of my many used book selling trips  prior to the move last summer, I found a copy in excellent shape and brought it home with me.  So much for getting rid of books.

I started back in on the story sometime in July, but I couldn’t stay with it.  There was just nothing there to pull me in.  Of course the fact that my wife was due to have a baby at any moment might have contributed to my lack of attention, but now that I’ve read the book I’m sure that I was simply trying to read the book in the wrong season.  This is very much a cold weather read and if you had to pick the best month to read A Reliable Wife, it would definitely be January.

It is not only that the book is set in the middle of a brutal winter, but that the story itself is a story of the cold.  The writing is precise and spare and each of the three main characters are stark in their isolation.  However, underneath the icy surface of this story, the heat of frustrated longing is palpable.  If you are fascinated by the idea of redemption, you don’t mind more narrative than action and you have a very warm and cozy blanket, this could be the book for you.  There’s still plenty of cold days left!

 

Seeded Pizza with Mushrooms and Taleggio Monday February 7, 2011

Filed under: Daily Life,Food Glorious Food,The Chef — The Professor @ 9:16 pm

I love pizza and we’ve decided to have a pizza night around here once a week, so I’m always on the lookout for a new recipe.  If you have any ideas, leave them in the comments!  Everyone can use a new pizza idea.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound prepared pizza dough (thawed if frozen)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 medium shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 ounces assorted mushrooms, such as shiitake, oyster and cremini, sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves All-purpose flour, as needed for rolling out crust
  • 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
  • 4 ounces Taleggio cheese (or fontina or soft goat cheese), cut into small pieces

PREPARATION

  1. Cover dough with a floured dish towel or plastic wrap and allow to rest two to three hours at room temperature.
  2. Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook until softened and golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Add sliced mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Cook until mushrooms are soft and have begun to brown, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Stir in thyme leaves and remove from heat. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  3. Preheat oven to 500°F. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface. Form a flat round, as thin as desired. Sprinkle dough with seeds and press them into dough. Transfer dough to pizza stone or lightly oiled baking sheet. Arrange shallots and mushrooms evenly on top of dough. Scatter with cheese and bake 10 to 12 minutes, until crust is crisp and golden brown and cheese is bubbly. Serve immediately.
 

The First Week of February Sunday February 6, 2011

Filed under: Daily Life,The Wife & Mother — The Professor @ 9:54 am

On Monday AM Bean was enrolled in Nap Boot Camp.  My Nap Boot Camp.  NBC was priority #1 for the week so kept ourselves occupied with pro-napping activities that I won’t get into here.  Suffice it to say that there was lots of rocking and reading of stories and some protesting on Bean’s part.   Hopefully some progress was made.  I think it was worth it.

On Wednesday morning we made one deviation in our rigid focus on napping to go to StoryTime at the Downtown library.  WOWZA!  Bean was not even a little ready for this extravaganza.  This library has a dedicated theater and puppet troop and they mean business.  The show (and it is certainly appropriate to call it a show) was great, but it was totally overwhelming to Bean.  I’m thinking that a StoryTime with no less than four amps is the kind of experience that a 5 month old is not quite ready for.  Every other kid in the place could at least sit up on their own.  I’ll give him a few more months and we’ll be back.

The weekend has been another good one.  It’s always great to have Toad home.  Bean has been working so hard to sit up on his own.  He loves to lean against us and sit most of the way up on his own, but he’s not quite there yet.  Unfortunately, he’s so close to getting it that when we lay him down on his back he gets frustrated.  Toad is predicting that he’ll be sitting up by my birthday.

 

 

Eat Less, Move More Thursday February 3, 2011

Filed under: Daily Life,The Runner — The Professor @ 9:18 am

We all know that if we want to lose weight we have to eat less and move more, yes?  For reasons that I would rather not explore I have never been able to both eat less AND move more.  At the same time.  This has always been an either/or proposition.  Prior to Yogi, I found it much easier and more satisfying to move more and simply try to be reasonable (most of the time) with what I eat.  Now that I spend my days:

  • Doing laundry
  • Feeding an increasingly distractable Bean
  • Cleaning bottles
  • Reading stories
  • Standing strong on my conviction that napping happens in.the.crib
  • Dealing with a dog who thinks he is the baby
  • And generally ensuring that the house and everyone in it stays on track

I don’t have much left over for exercise in the formal/intentional sense.  Or course there is technically time for it if you ascribe to the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” school of thought, but I don’t.  I like to sleep.  I need to sleep.  My family needs for me to sleep.  So….. a new day has dawned.  The “Eat Less” day.

I’m back on the Weight Watchers train.  I’ve done it once and I’m doing it again.  In my absence they have made some changes and somehow now fruit is free!  I don’t really get the wisdom of that exactly, but I’m in.  This is the 2nd week in my Eat Less (or at least more thoughtfully) Life and so far, so good.  Here’s hoping I can get off all the baby weight that I gained before swimsuit season. 😉 Snort….