Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Lots Going On, Not Much New

Here is a quick update in effort to post on a semi-regular basis.

  • Our weekend involved the usual cleaning and organizing and some work.

  • It was freezing outside so Austin and I made homemade lasagna on Saturday night and it was the perfect gooey, delicious comfort food dish.

  • Austin got me in to the HBO series, "Band of Brothers," which is remarkable because I'm not big on a) watching movies or b) watching WAR movies. It's depressing and amazing and though-provoking and I'm glad he made me sit through the first one.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

"Earth Day Canceled Due to Weather"

I wish I had a camera phone so I could have taken a picture of the sign. We went out to the event to drop off the junk from Austin's computer graveyard and get it recycled. Although the other festivities were canceled, you could still got to the main recycling warehouse to drop things off and we tried but the line of cars was crazy.

Now we are home and the crunchy snow pellets are pinging on the windows. We are thinking of making lasagna tonight... comfort food and wine sounds good right now!

April is the Cruelest Month

Of course T.S Eliot said that about April and Ernest Hemingway discusses the problems of a "false spring," something we definitely seem to be experiencing in this corner of the world. I awoke to find accumulated snow on the neighboring roofs and our balcony and flurries swirling in the wind. In fact, it sounds like our house is going to blow down with the gusts that keep coming.

I realize that blogging about the weather isn't terribly interesting but maybe someday I'll want to refer back when I'm experiencing life on the other side of the coin in the heat of Texas.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Day of the Book

I think there's a good chance that I'm one of the only people in the U.S. celebrating "El Dia del libro" aka Sant Jordi. It's St. George's Day and in the Catalan region of Spain; this holiday honoring St. George the dragon-slayer has merged with various other traditions and in its modern manifestation, it's a day when the streets are filled with booths selling books and roses and people browsing and buying.

I find the combination of my favorite things- books, flowers, Spain- too delicious to resist and this year good ol' Austin caught on. I came home to find a rose and a book just waiting for me. I sent some of my friends St. Jordi e-cards this morning and told my students all about the holiday. I even have a children's book about it and I read it in all my classes. They seemed to get into it and one student even said "wow, it was cool being able to read in another language." That was one of those comments that makes my day.

Tonight I'm going to order a new book by one of my favorite Spanish authors, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, because it just came out today (St. Jordi Day is a big new-book release day) though I don't know how long it will take to get it over here. It is a sequel to a book I read on our honeymoon, The Shadow of the Wind, one of the first books I had read just for pleasure in Spanish after years of required reading in my graduate program. I hope the sequel is equally as enjoyable.

To top off my wonderful day, I came home to find the newest edition of Cooking Light magazine in the mail and was pleasantly surprised to find a whole spread on Catalan cooking! My sister-in-law got me a Catalan cookbook for Christmas and I really like it so it was cool to discover that magazine editors are branching out. I had better make a "Catalonia" search term on TiVo... maybe the cooking shows will come through for me too.

Even the weather today feels Spain-like but lest I get carried away, highs are predicted to be in the 40's this weekend.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Found Objects in Storage Room B

We have two giant storage rooms that are really useful though are prone to abuse, i.e. throwing stuff in and hastily shutting the door before anything can escape. We are currently sorting through everything in the storage rooms and basically attempting to create a staging area for the move, that is, everything in boxes and ready to be loaded into the moving truck. Now given the aforementioned abuse, this has been a bit of a chore so we have decided to attack it bit by bit for the moment so today I went in to Storage Room B to do a little bit of work.

Today's project involved tackling several boxes that were retrieved from my parents' equivalent of Storage Room B. The project was tough because it included lots of sentimental objects that I could never throw away but don't often display or spend time with. Here is an inventory of some of the treasures, trash, and tidbits I found:

  • Grandma Pierce-made Raggedy Anne doll (keep)
  • Grandma Pierce-made teddy bear (keep)
  • Grandma Pierce-made porcelain doll styled after baby Kelly (keep)
  • Grad school notes on the evils of colonization (recycle)
  • Prom picture (keep)
  • Letter of support to then-presidential candidate Gary Hart by me, age 6 (keep)
  • Letter of support to Dad as school board candidate by me, age 8 (keep)
  • Easter egg dye circa 1996 (why was this saved? toss!)
  • High school graduation cards (keep but why? felt bad throwing them away...)
  • Cabbage Patch dolls (keep, reluctantly)
  • Hideous old photo album, empty (toss)
  • String of carrot-shaped lights (garage sale)

I could go on but hopefully this gives you a glimpse into our lovely storage room. The good news is that I have consolidated some old, warping boxes into neatly packed and stacked Rubbermaid bins, just waiting to be chucked into the truck. There's a lot more to go but it was a satisfying amount for today.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Welcome to Our Blog!

I have decided to start a blog to keep our friends and family posted on our upcoming move to Austin, TX and to record our adventures when we get there. Over the next few months, I'll let you know how our plans unfold and share our "farewell tour" of Eau Claire/Minneapolis.

So here's the current situation- I've been accepted to the Foreign Language Education doctoral program at UT and we will be moving in early August. Beyond that, we are still considering what we want to do about Austin's job, housing, etc. We are currently working to downsize our personal possessions; it's amazing what you accumulate over three years in 2200 square feet! I am gathering some items for a garage sale and others I have "freecycled" through a great website that allows you to give things away in an effort to promote reusing and recycling. The nice thing is that people come to you to get the items so it's very easy (as long as you don't mind someone knowing where you live).

We also added an item to our list for the farewell tour- Cajun Pasta at Stella Blue's. We were married at that Cajun/Creole restaurant and went there on Friday night. Austin ordered the Cajun Pasta, a dish from our wedding dinner menu, and we reveled in the creamy, smoky, spicy richness of it. My Shrimp Etouffee was also wonderful. We'll definitely miss that little gem in downtown EC.

Today we ran errands, did a little cleaning, and Austin was thrilled to put the summer tires back on his WRX. Today is also the first day we've had multiple windows open in the house and it feels great. We have another busy week ahead of us; Austin's department is (still) working through numerous projects and I'll be taking on the course of a colleague who is going on medical leave so I'll now be teaching 20 credits until the end of the semester- that's a lot! A happy hour tomorrow night with another couple should take the edge of Monday a little, though.

Thanks for taking the time to visit my new blog. I'll try to post at least once a week if not more often so check back again.