1. Derek is away again. He’s staying in San Diego for 3 days, and Seattle for 3. If I’d know he would be traveling this much for this job, I would have said no. Not so much because of the time I have to deal with the crazies by myself, because it’s not nearly as bad as I had always imagined. No, I just can’t take the jealousy I feel. He keeps going to these exciting (and sometimes not so exciting) places, and he has some free time to see the sights, he gets to eat at exciting restaurants, he gets to go to sleep when he wants to, and doesn’t have to brush anyone else’s teeth but his own. And it looks like I won’t be able to accompany him to Hawaii in August. Phooey.

Derek just called, and he’s stuck in Chicago, again. I have to amend my earlier statement about being jealous of him. I am most decidedly not jealous of his being stuck in airports, mostly O’Hare, during nearly all of his trips.

2. I took my own advice. After the race in March, running has been kind of hard. Plus, with Derek constantly leaving town for weeks at a time, it’s been hard to keep it up. So I’m back to the stage where even running two miles is difficult and unpleasant. Today, I picked it up and ran 4 miles. It was a little easier. I always tell people that running is hard for the first couple of miles, and then it gets easier. So if you have only run one or two miles, you probably hate running and think runners are somewhat masochistic, but once you break that barrier and go for 4 or 5, you start to enjoy it, you start to envision the possibility that running could be considered a recreational activity. I’ve missed that. Right now, the thought of running 8 miles sounds like torture, but I’m still trying to prepare for the Air Force Marathon in September. But Derek is gone for another 5 days, curse his hide.

3. The pie safe arrived. Barbara had shipped a whole bunch of stuff from Utah to her home in Indiana, and then rented a truck to bring the pie safe and some other items from Grandpa’s house. I don’t like to think of Grandpa’s house empty. Anyway, Derek and our neighbor brought the cabinet in and plunked it down in the dining room, and it looks like it was born there. I’m not much of a photographer, but here it is, in the corner.

Pie safe

And here’s a detail of the punched tin door.

punched tin on the pie safe

4. Barbara and Liz and I went out to eat at a restaurant that I had high hopes for, but it turned out a little dull and a lot expensive. I was disappointed, since I had thought it would be a good place for a date with Derek, but I don’t think we’ll be going there again. We ordered the portabello fries, which were yummy, but they came with banana ketchup. I had expected the ketchup to be the same kind as what we had in the Philippines, which is red, and tangy, but instead, it was chartreuse, and had the chemical banana flavor that mimics really ripe bananas. It was sweet. I didn’t think it went spectacularly well with the mushrooms. Barbara had the salmon salad, and was grossed out by the practically raw salmon, Liz had duck legs which she said were good, but quinoa that was still crunchy. My house burger was OK, but the burger part was really just a burger. It was nothing special. Kiki did really love the soggy french fries, though. And the waiter did accommodate me by making a variation of my favorite drink. I think I’ll call it a Sunrise.

1 part lemon-lime soda
1 part water
1 part orange juice
juice of half a lime for each serving

5. I wish I were a better photographer, because I didn’t know what to do for this shot.


I think the composition is perfect, but the lighting is not adequate. I don’t know how to work a camera beyond pushing the shutter button, though.

6. I got The Splendid Grain, last year. It’s a cookbook about whole grains, and has a section each for corn, rice, barely, wheat, quinoa, millet, wild rice, and a few others. It seems like a great book, since it explains how you cook each of the grains, and then provides recipes to use them in. I decided to try her method of cooking brown rice, since we eat a lot of brown rice, and the author seemed so confident that if you’re not cooking it her way, you’re eating inferior rice. I toasted it in a pan, rinsed it off, let it soak for several hours, and cooked it for and hour, all per the instructions. I ended up with totally decimated rice. Next I’m going to try a pressure cooker. That’s my latest energy saving endeavor, since pressure cooking takes about a third of the time to cook something as regular cooking, and therefore a third of the gas or electricity. I just really want my rice to be separate grains, but still retaining a little stickiness, and the grains need to be intact, slightly chewy, but not in the least bit crunchy. Like the frozen rice you can get at TJ’s. That stuff is amazing.

I did make barley from the same book this morning. The instructions are pretty much the same, and it was my favorite barley I’ve ever had. Barley explodes no matter how you cook it, so I was not put off. But the toasting gives it a nuttier aroma, and the soaking cuts the cooking time, and improves digestibility. I had barley with butter, salt and pepper for breakfast. It was really yummy. Kiki had hers with brown sugar and milk. Then she had seconds.

7. The forks seem to be working, there are no new baterpillars, and there are blossoms on the green beans.