Saturday, April 23, 2011

A small rant, lime week, and random stuff

Sigh... my computer still is non-functioning. I am very thankful for my husband getting my old computer running again... on linux... with none of my stuff... and no printer capacities... but I really really want my computer back again.

I shouldn't complain, because I do have this computer, and even without it in this amazing world of technology, my phone can take the place of a computer in a pinch, and I also have my school laptop that I can use as well. But a desktop computer is nicer, so I am glad to have this one, but it still has its limits because it has nothing on it, and runs on a different operating system. Sigh again.

And I start with this rant because I will be putting pictures on this blog today... that I was going to make a nifty slideshow with, but the slideshow function on photobucket requires Adobe Flash, which this computer apparently doesn't have, and to download it, we need a password to grant administration rights... which we don't know. So... it can't be downloaded. I could go downstairs, powerup my school computer and probably do it there, let's face it, its not worth that.

Rant aside...

We had lime week last week! As previously mentioned, we had a plethora of limes sitting in our cupboard from many weeks where I didn't use as many as we got (it should tell you something that even after lime week we probably have 8 more limes in there...) so I decided to plan the week around using limes. Here are the different things I came up with (captions below)

Using the most in a single recipe was this key lime pie. No, its not your computer, it looks pretty yellow. This is due to the fact that our limes were not key limes, but the recipe said you could use equal parts lemon and lime juice for it to taste similar. Very tasty by itself, even better with strawberries.

Favorite of ours for years: Enchilada Casserole. Actually uses very little lime juice, but an amazingly tasty dinner that makes enough for our lunches for the week as well, and tastes as good for leftovers as it does the night you make it.

This was a great light salad. It had some great name, but I don't remember it at the moment. It was a citrus and avocado salad though, with a poppyseed lime dressing, and I liked it so much, I plan on duplicating it for my lunch next week when I'm at home.

Cilantro lime pesto. Very simple, but a nice spin on the classic pesto.

This actually turned out way better than I expected. It's shredded beets sauteed with a lime butter sauce and green onions on top. Huge plus of this variation on beets was that they cooked really fast, unlike the usual 30-40 minutes it takes to boil or steam them.

Cilantro lime soup. This one needed the tortilla chips that were not listed in the recipe but thankfully existed in the house, and really improved the soup. Even so... truthfully, I didn't even finish the leftovers. It was fine, and I had more than one bowl the first night, but it just wasn't spectacular.

This one is less obviously lime, but there is lime on the salmon, and the couscous has cilantro, lime and green onion mixed in.

Sad but good thing about lime week was that by the end of the week, Blake could no longer enjoy the different lime dishes, or the key lime pie. The reason this is a good thing is that his doctor figured out what was making him having trouble swallowing, and giving him immense chest pressure at night (thus making it so he couldn't sleep)... he has acid reflux (there is a longer name... but that should suffice).

It makes a lot of sense... we love all the foods that cause it- citrus, tomatoes, spicy things, coffee, etc. Not to mention that he was under a lot of stress lately between his other issues and the Ireland trip and that can trigger it as well. So, when that was diagnosed, he learned that he needed to really cut back from all those foods, at least for a few weeks. Quite the way to wrap up lime week (and no... I didn't cause it :-) it existed before lime week did). He is also on medication so that his body produces less acid. He has been feeling tons better since those changes have been made though, and we are both really hopeful that he will be back to 100% by the time we get to Ireland.

Random stuff:

I love baked goods, I really have a weakness for them, and enjoy them in my lunches. So last week, I was thinking about this desire for baked foods, and thought it would be great to have some muffins. We look in our cupboard/fridge and decide that strawberry banana muffins would be good, then we look up the recipe, and make some! One of the things I love about being an adult is that if you decide you want strawberry banana muffins and have the ingredients for them... you can just make some. Here is a picture of these beautiful muffins:

Also, our raised bed is doing really well, and the Swiss chard in there is taking off! So we recently had to harvest some, and I wanted to show off our beautiful bouquet of chard:

Oh, and this was just too cute, I had to take a picture, and I had to share it. We get strawberries each week from my parents in these boxes, and Lily saw this on the ground, and decided it would be a good place to hang out:
Isn't she cute!

Other random news:

I got the walking tour I really wanted to go on, but wasn't available when we were first going to be going! Yay! Also, Blake gets two free days in Ireland with me, because it is a public holiday the Monday that we are there. We are hoping to book a private tour... if it isn't too expensive (mostly because public transportation that day is really limited because of the holiday schedule, and we aren't renting a car).

One week from today we are flying out as long as there are no future changes... fingers crossed!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Flights booked for April 30th

Life would be just too simple if it had fallen neatly during my Easter break. Alas, it falls the week after. Upside is that I get two and a half weeks off teaching :-) downside is that I have to plan lesson plans, and get a substitute for the week I am gone, and my kids will have to have a sub after all.

Many of the other positives noted in a previous post remain though, time to pack, time to plan, better weather, things open because it is later in the season.

A random downside is that I have no patience in waiting to read the books I was going to read on the plane... already finished one, and about halfway through another :-D guess I'll have to buy more. :-)

Truth is, it was a bit of a let down that it is the week after my break when it could have fallen during the break instead, and it does mean a lot more work for me, and yet another week added to my wait (weird thought that I would already have gone and come back if the original plan would have worked out...)

But I have known and believed since I was little that all things work together for a reason (Rom. 8:28) and that whenever we go, is when we should go, and it will be the trip it was supposed to be for us. It's possible that Blake needs that time to recover, or my extra couple weeks of fine tuning my plans will make them better.

A few definite pluses with the current plan is that I get to have spring break here, and spend time with my friends and relaxing instead of having my last big break till summer packed with a trip. Also, it looks like Blake is getting more time to see Ireland with the current plan than he would have if we had gone last week. I haven't asked about my walking tour yet, but I am hopeful that will work out better as well.

Anyways, I have been keeping this blog fairly updated with news about the trip, and thought I should share the great news that we do have a new date, we do have new flights booked and our hotel booked again, and we are working on finalizing all the other stuff now too (pet care, sub etc.). 12 (more) days to go.

Friday, April 15, 2011

New date for Ireland...

still unknown!

It is really not my thing to be patient. It is really not my thing to not have plans or to not know my schedule for the next few weeks. It is not my thing to surrender control.

Yet the way this Ireland trip is going, I have had to do all of the above... and still do.

Up until Thursday, Blake didn't even hear from his boss about it, and what he did hear that morning (after having to send an e-mail and ask) was that the woman who will be training him is back this week (which is good) and that his (Blake's) boss will ask her boss to ask her when would be a good week for him to go. And since then... no news. To be fair, Blake's boss did say that he thinks they will know next week when we are going. I am not completely giving up hope on it falling during my Easter break (week of the 25th) but it is looking slimmer.

It's fine, it just means I would again have to book and pay for a sub, I would have to plan the week's lesson plans, and the kids would miss me for a week again (basically eliminating a few of my positives from a previous post). Upside is that I would get a week off for my break and then a week in Ireland, that's not all bad, plus I get to schedule time with some of my friends during that week (plans that are currently on hold while we figure out our schedule, as is Blake's birthday since that could be taking place in Ireland if we are there the first week in May). Also, I can use the week off to do all the planning for the week I am gone. I doubt that it would be the second week in May, since his boss was pretty anxious for him to go as soon as possible. But who knows.

However, if we are leaving next weekend, the tickets will be more expensive because of the shorter notice. Plus Ireland has Monday off, so we probably wouldn't be there 5 days, only 4 (not a big deal, just condensing/eliminating stops for time reasons). The thing I am most disappointed about is that with that new arrangement, Blake likely wouldn't have any "tourist" time there except at nights. He so doesn't care, and my thoughts of us booking a hotel for one night just so he could have that time there were totally shot down, he just wants to be home.

I did want to add that I would love your prayers for him to get better. There is a multitude of health problems that he is having, and has been having off and on since early March. During this month and a half he has been to numerous doctors, more than once, and even one night in the emergency room. The biggest concern is that he still isn't better after so long, but the problem is that its not just one thing, its one problem that gets fixed, but then he has another problem, and another one and another etc. Sigh. Just pray.

Oh, and to keep life exciting... my computer is unhappy. This post was written on Blake's computer, because mine no longer turns on or stays on if I can get it to turn on. I have some adorable pictures of Lily, but I was too lazy to hook up my camera thing to his computer to post them.

One last tidbit is that since we have a multitude of limes that piled up in our cupboard, I am attempting to have a lime themed week next week! Every meal will use limes in it at least once. I'll try to take pictures and have that be my next (or future) post!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Looking on the Bright Side

Ten reasons that postponing the trip is a good thing (in no particular order):

1. More time to plan and prepare
I was a bit stressed trying to plan for the whole trip in just a few weeks and was almost crazed with planning/ Ireland related stuff because it was happening so quick. Not to mention that the errands we needed to run before going were going to have to be stuck in after work to make them happen before the trip since we wouldn't have even had a weekend when we knew we were going to do any of it. So now, I am relaxing, taking my time, modifying my plans as I go, but also just sitting back and reading because I know there is plenty of time.

2. Timing is better
When I first heard about Blake's trip, I asked when he was going and pointed out that there were two great weeks for me to go, one was SAT week and the other was spring break. When it turned out to be SAT week, I was happy because it was at least one of my top picks, but truthfully, spring break is better. I won't have to pay for a sub while I am gone, and even the price of canceling the ticket is less than the discount we will get if I don't have to pay for a sub for that week. Also, we both have good friday off, which means that we have that entire day at home to do laundry and last minute errands and packing without having to do any of it after work. Much better all around.

3. My students
This is huge for me. I told my class that my trip was postponed and that it might even be during their spring break instead, and they were so excited to have me there next week instead of the sub. It might even make them do better on their tests because they will have their comfortable normal teacher instead of a different new teacher. When I saw their reaction, it almost made me feel selfish for being bummed about the postponement because it means so much for them for me to stay.

4. Blake
His health hasn't been great the last month, and without going into details, the main thing his doctor said to do to fix it was to take it easy, relax and take more baths (not kidding). Obviously traveling to Europe would not be taking that advice. We were going to do it anyways, because its his work, and he has been going to work throughout anyways, but realistically, it is much better for him to have a few more weeks to get back to normal before we go.

5. Trim Castle
After Ash's comment, I looked up this castle, added it to my must do list but found something very interesting. Before Easter (i.e. now) they only do tours on the weekends, which would mean that I probably wouldn't be able to go, but after Easter(when it looks like I'll be going now), they have tours every day! It would have been hard to miss this just because I was a few weeks early, but now it looks like I'll be able to go.

6. Walking Tour
My first pick of a walking tour of Wicklow and Glendalough wasn't going to happen because they didn't have enough people booked that week, and he only did tours if at least 3 people booked. This is a long shot, but hopefully because its the week after Easter, there will be more people going, and I'll be able to go on my top pick tour.

7. Books
I was planning on reading a few historical fiction Irish novels while I was traveling there, so I got a background of the history, but knowing I wouldn't have time to read them before I left. However, now I have a few weeks to get these under my belt so that I already know the history before I go instead of learning it during or after. I think its better (as long as I can still keep my kindle stocked with reading material).

8. Birthday dinner
I had this yesterday, which was just a day after my birthday, instead of later in the month. Small thing, but it was a nice night, and actually because of the craziness of the rescheduling it (twice), 4 people couldn't make it. I would have loved for them to be there, and I love spending time with them, but the bright side is that we were all able to be at the same table because they canceled instead of having to be at two different tables and me being back and forth. I count this as a positive.

9. Easter
I had planned on going to one of the old cathedrals for their morning sung service, and at first I was bummed because they don't have the morning sung services that week... but I found something better. It looks like we might be able to go to one of the cathedrals for their Easter evening service instead, which I think is pretty exciting.

10. Weather
This is a minor thing, but many people have said it, and I needed a tenth reason, but every week we go closer to summer, the more likely it is that it will be just a bit warmer, and that will be nice.

The bottom line of this post is that when I first heard about it being postponed, my overall feeling was of disappointment and discouragement, but at this point, I actually am more than fine with it because there are a lot of positives to the later date, and the only negative I am left with (if I was writing a pro /con list) is that I am not in Ireland now :p . Besides all that, its good for me to have to experience change because it is a growing experience. Hurts, but good for me. :-)

p.s. Since this month marks the year of having a CSA, I think I will be less faithful on the pictures. Every so often I might take them, but it was becoming more of a burden than anything to take them, and post them, and truthfully, I would wager that its more interesting when I post stuff like this than when I post a picture of our box. :-D

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Waking up at 3:00AM

Have you ever had those nights where you are really excited about something the next day, so you go to sleep, and then when you wake up you think Yay the day has made it! but then see the clock and its only 3AM so you have to go back to sleep and force yourself through a few more hours before you can actually wake up and enjoy your fantastic day?

That's my analogy for me right now...

Our Ireland trip has been postponed till later this month, possibly early next month. He still has to go, but his contact can't be there next week because she is recovering from an accident.

I took it really hard, because I don't like change, and I was really excited to be going Saturday, but there are benefits, and the bottom line is I am still going.

It is just like I got up at 3AM and have to sleep for a few more hours first... it will come... just a few weeks more...