Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

So today, beyond giving thanks for my family, friends and a long overdue upcoming move, I am thankful for a responsive congressman.

Before the elections, I wrote to Congressman Brad Ellsworth about supporting free elections in El Salvador.

I actually got a written response and a conversation request from a member of his legislative staff:

Dear [Aighmeigh],

My name is Zach Pfister, and I work on Congressman Ellsworth's legislative staff. We recently received your e-mail regarding free elections in El Salvador, and Congressman Ellsworth has asked me to conta
ct you discuss this issue in greater detail...

Ok, what???

I am seriously excited and seriously thankful and a Congressperson would take the time to do this.

So yes, I'm thankful for a lot of things today. Even though I know there is much tension about the roots of the holiday, this year I just want to be thankful for life and the many blessings I've been given.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cleaning out the Kitchen

In a quest to utilize what I've got in my cabinets and freezer, I decided to spend the afternoon making Christmas present preserves. Last year I made cranberry apple butter, and it turned out well but was a bit sweet. I found two bags of cranberries and a bag of blueberries in my freezer today, so this year's concoction is blueberry cranberry apple butter. It's got a very nice tartness to it, so I'm pleased with the outcome. I ended up with 11 half pint jars, so that should do well for gift giving this year, and I may bring some for Thanksgiving next week.

Slowly but surely, I'm using up what I have in the apartment. Made some vegetarian lasagna this weekend, using up the few lasagna noodles and the frozen breaded eggplant I had. Part of me thinks that the fact I have to buy more in order to complete the dishes I'm making is a bit counterproductive, but I guess I'd typically have to go grocery shopping anyway, so whatever. The lasagna was amazing, by the way. I used some sundried tomatoes and these great olives I have... I had planned on using some artichoke hearts I've got in the fridge too, but I forgot. I guess those will have to go in salads or something. This weekend I also made the turnip, parsnip and carrot dish that I love, which used half the homemade chicken stock I have in the freezer. I made myself throw out the veggie scraps I had in the freezer, along with some fish that had some serious freezer burn. I'm not going to make stock again in the next month, especially since I won't even be home for most of next week.

Most of my holiday shopping is complete, just a few odds and ends to pick up and a lot of organization to do. At this point, I think I may only have one more box to send down to El Salvador. I may have another to send after Christmas, as I am guessing La Hija is going to get a bunch of toys... especially since I bought her some this weekend. I took her to the toy store and we roamed around and I bought her some of the things she went nutso over... she was content with only opening the Yo Gabba Gabba figures, and she's been obsessed with them ever since. She's requested that we watch the show constantly, which means I have to play the same two On Demand episodes over and over and over. Thankfully, she's consented to watch Jack's Big Music Show (which I love) a couple of times and I've snuck in an episode or two of Blues Clues, The Backyardigans and Dora, so I am not totally insane... yet.

I booked the rental truck for the move as well. Of course they always tell you that you're not guaranteed a truck, which flips me out, but I'll deal with whatever comes up. If I have to drive an hour to pick something up, I will.

The next big task at hand is to correct all the papers I have in my possession before class on Tuesday so I don't have anything pressing over Thanksgiving. We're heading up to Michigan and as much as I'd like to pretend I'll get something done while I'm up there, I know better. Most of our time will be spent relaxing and visiting with family. My aunt has arranged for La Hija to get a ton of photos taken, so she'll get to play dressup one day too--we'll see if she cooperates!

Anywho, I guess I should go to sleep. Must wake up early tomorrow and get some work done.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

T Minus (less than) One and a Half Months... ???

I knew December would creep up on me without my noticing, and yes I realize that it's only November 16th, but that means the month is half over and I really feel no more prepared than I did a month ago. Thankfully, Mi Amor is on the ball and is working out logistical issues with business #2 and is working his tail off to make as much money and establish as much of a base as possible before we get there. The plan is to have employees in two cities eventually, and he has a friend with a small house we'll rent near where they'll work. Interestingly enough, this was an idea we both came up with separately. He's got a loyal following in the area he's in right now and while it makes logistical sense to relocate so I don't have to commute an hour each way through the mountains on a daily basis, it kind of sucks to lose such steady income by picking up shop and moving. So, via working some events this month he's hoping to make enough money to not only get the appliances we need to buy (an oven and a washer) but to get the other house and keep everything going there after the holidays.

La Hija is watching Yo Gabba Gabba and all I have to say is that this is the trippiest show in the world and if it wasn't for the fact that I know it would be impossible for anyone to lace my koolaid with something psychotropic, I'd seriously wonder... They're singing a song that says, "don't... don't... don't bite your friends!" ....I think I love it. It's hilarious!

I have to send out another box this week. It's Mi Amor's birthday soon and I didn't get him much, but I'd like to be sure it gets to him before the big day.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Things are coming together...

I had to take a break from the blogosphere for a while... all the politics were beginning to wear down on my delicate sensibilities. I get really emotional about some things, and the state of the world that we live in is definitely one of them. Discord hurts me more than it should. I can deal with conflict and certainly love a good debate, but when there is hatred involved I don't do well.

Anyway, I'm glad the intensity has turned down a bit. Now I just need to stop reading things I know will rile me up, like Internet commentary on the election results. I am appalled at the lack of basic respect people can have for each other. Seriously.

So things are smoothing out with the move, slowly but surely. Mi Amor got us a new house in the city I wanted to live in!! It's got 4 bedrooms, 3 of which have bathrooms, which is excellent since we will have some of his friends/employees living with us for the time being. I have mixed feelings about it but got used to living with people during my college years so I can learn to deal with it again, I hope. The main thing I require (and I've said this) is that there are established boundaries and that we have some private space. Of course, Mi Amor has thought about this and actually laughed when I brought it up. "You're my wife! Of course we are going to have some privacy!!" he said. We'll deal with it as it comes. Right now, the most important things to me are that we are together and that we are saving money in every way possible. I don't want to rent forever.

My mom is coming for a short visit on Monday, which is very cool. There was a questions of whether or not she'd come down and I was very upset by that. She lives in The Netherlands at present and I was having a really hard time with the thought that she would be an 8 hr drive away for 10 days but wouldn't come to see me... especially since it was my birthday a few days ago and I was feeling that ache of loneliness that always seems to rear its ugly head around special occasions.

Basically, I moved to this small Indiana city (town) to be closer to my mom but her husband got a European job transfer a year ago. So, for about a year now I've been pretty isolated and without any sort of family support--my nearest family member is a 4 1/2 hr drive away. My parents have some friends who would help me in an emergency, and I have made a few very close friends here, but they are few and far between. It has been a serious lesson in self-sufficiency and I have learned what I am made of.

So tomorrow I am packing more and putting some stuff together which I hope to talk my mom into bringing back to Michigan for me. I really need some more space in this little hole of an apartment. It's getting a bit too crowded in here for me!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Sí podemos.

This Moment...

This moment is absolutely amazing.



I love what I'm seeing right now.


Forget possible.

Change is officially probable.

We Are Making History...

I voted early, but I voted and therefore display the handsomely designed button of wonderfulness at the left with pride. Many thanks to Nezua at The Unapologetic Mexican for sharing his talent!

Today is an important day in American history and I made it a point to discuss the larger ramifications of this election in my classes today. Regardless of the ultimate outcome of this election, something will be radically different in our next administration: there will be a minority in one of the two of this country's highest offices. This is huge! Think about it: the 15th Amendment gave African American men the right to vote in 1870 and many remained disenfranchised until the National Voting Rights Act of 1965... women (regardless of color) weren't allowed to vote until 1920!!

Considering my political leanings, I am even more excited by how much support my candidate of choice has and how so many people of all races have rallied around a candidate of color. It warms the cockles of my cynical and sometimes hardened heart and gives me hope for the future of this country.

In class today we were serendipitously scheduled to read "I Have a Dream" and I was excited by how amazingly perfect it was. It is important to talk about race and gender in politics, and I know that my students aren't asked to think (let alone talk) about such things very often.

It was a good day and I am happy to have taken place in such an historical event... it will be something to talk with the grandkids about.

Seriously folks, get out there and vote if you haven't already. No excuses. Take part.