Saturday, August 22, 2009


The good news was that Ted was able to purchase a Normal Cornbelters hat. They are our new minor league baseball team, due to start play in the spring.

The bad news was that the Sweet Corn Fest was OUT OF CORN.


A Saturday in the Life of a Married Grad Student....

...or alternatively titled, "It's ALL About the Corn."

This weekend is the Sweet Corn Fest where I live. It's like the Hinsdale Sidewalk Sale and Taste of (insert your town name here) all rolled into one. Except the only food product for sale is corn. They steam it in some antique doohickey and people swear by it. Plus they offer a dozen ears for $3 for putting up purposes.

So this morning, as I was making chocolate mousse in the crockpot (I am not kidding) and making fresh bread, Ted ran to the bank and also ran by to buy 3 dozen ears for me to put up. (If you don't know, 'putting up' is the farmer term for preserving food, either via canning or freezing. I only freeze.) Except he went to the drive through corn pickup and no one was there.

So back out we'll go today, in search of corn. And no doubt, we'll have an ear or two, right then and there. After all, it's only 50 cents an ear!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

...For These Thy Gifts...

This is our second year with Henry Brockman's CSA. Henry was selected as Illinois' Sustainable Ag Farmer of the Year today; quite the honor. In tonight's box, we have 7 ears of corn, tomatillos, a muskmelon, summer squash, basil, green beans, an eggplant and carrots.

The tomatillos are already made into salsa, using tomatoes from the container tomato plant that I got from Henry's sister Teresa (there are 6 in Henry's family; 4 of them farm). The muskmelon will be prepped tomorrow, and the basil is already made into frozen pesto. I plan on making crockpot stew on Thursday, using many of these things. I'm hoping to make ratatouille with the eggplant.

It was a requirement for me when we moved here (to Godforsaken middle of nowhere) that if we live in the farmland, we eat from the farmland. I'm a localvore about 6 months of the year. And I also got my eggs from the egg CSA. They're Henry's neighbors.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I'm a Wuss and an Avoider...So Here Goes

For the record, I made it through the dentist. A full root canal was required, since when they opened up the tooth, infection ran out. Evidently the infection ran into the root as well, so they did what they had to do. I personally don’t care, as I was sedated. Out cold.

Yes, I am a wuss and get completely sedated for anything more than the 6 month check up. This is how I roll. I have 2 teeth done, #3 is in process and #4 and #5 will be done next spring, which is when I can afford it. This assumes that the last 2 teeth will cooperate with me and not bug me between now and then.

Anyway, now I await the dentist phone call to schedule the follow-up. And to see if it’s really OK that I’m going without antibiotics. I’m OK with no antibiotics, but if I need them to avoid further issues, then by all means, let’s get the show on the road.

We shall see.

Meanwhile on the quilting front…..I have to finish the Mellie swap this weekend without fail. I need to make 120 9-patches by Monday and mail them. I have 80 made. So tonight, I hope to get the swap all ready to be mailed and then handle that tomorrow morning. Too bad I can’t use the Uptown post office due to construction. So off to the main post office I will go.

I also did complete 2 more jeans potholders. This got (rid of) used up 4 log cabin blocks I found and realized they weren’t done because, well, they’re (nasty) homely. So now they’re the fronts and backs of 2 nice potholders that reside in my kitchen.

As you can see, I’m avoiding the QBW topic. Well, let’s just get to it. Today starts Week 34. And because I didn’t make it to Patsy’s my quilty life is all screwed up. And school starts on Monday. So here are my goals, knowing full well that life officially becomes really crazy now.

Mellie swap done
Swap giftie done
Blue quilt squares done (they are being pre-sashed, to use a Dorothy Young term)
Start working on the KitchenAid cover
Quilt curtain panels – at least one

That’s plenty, considering all that needs to be done.

Monday, August 10, 2009

eBay update

The Monopoly chart arrived today. It is for a full scale model of the board. I *cannot* wait to start it.

My friend has a dad who is a woodworker. I would love for Mr. D to make the table for the cross-stitch to go in. That would be fantastic.

Parking Pass Red

There are several blogs that I read. And one that I write. Anyway, some of my newer blogs have been of the ‘mommy blog’ variety, and those usually have been of the bereaved mommy blog variety, because, well, I’m a member of that club. Well, some of these women have come together and made the site (in)courage, which is to nourish the hearts and souls of women. They are more in touch with their faith than I am, so that is what I hope to get out of it. Anyway, head on over to (in)courage now and fill your internal cup until it runneth over.

Meanwhile, they are looking for examples of courage made manifest in the lives of the online women blogging community. I admit that I’m taking the format directly from the blog as far as my courage goes. Please note that this is the last week of summer vacation and classes for me begin Monday the 17th.

I’m nearly thirty-nine and courage is parking pass red. I go to the Office of Parking and Transportation and buy my $77 parking pass for the College of Business. I’m the oldest woman in nearly every class, and the only mom. But I have a goal, which is just a dream with a deadline, of getting my MBA by the time I’m 40. And so I park my minivan in the lot, grab my pink backpack and head into class.

I have a lot of people ask me why I have returned to school. They are expecting the answer of job promotion, greater marketability and the like. My answer is always “for me.” Only one person has ever understood that answer; their response was that it was the best reason of all to go. We are a house of learning. My husband has 2 master’s degrees and I am working on this one, right along with doing Brownies and Market Day, being a wife and a mother to a third grader. Somehow, as a family, we make it happen, around crock pots and drive-thru’s, parent-teacher conferences and business trips.

I do not have any illusions of grandeur about this degree. This is solely for me. What I wanted to do and because I could do it. To learn different things. To enjoy learning at my own pace, and with the benefit of workplace experience. To keep my mind active. (Quilting can do a lot, but not everything.) To show my daughter that learning is life-long.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

eBay score

OK, it was a complete impulse purchase, but I saw a picture of a cross-stitcher's project of doing the Monopoly board. It's a retired leaflet and let's just say one should observe the First Amendment on this one.

So $23 later (including shipping), I am the proud owner of someone else's leaflet. I love Monopoly and I can't wait to stitch a board.



My cube at work is so messy, I don’t even know where to begin. (For the record, my quilty life is not a whole lot better, so at least I’m consistent.)

To start with, I am a systems analyst for the accountants at my work. Currently, I am on 3 projects. One project I am leading. This is my Big, Shining Moment. Another 2 are low levels of effort for me. And I backfill on some accounting that needs to be done.

Meanwhile, we have a not so great economy here in Central IL. The rest of the USA has a truly horrible economy. We only have not so great; we’re blessedly recession-insulated. Here at my company, we’re not hiring a lot and we’re trying to move people around to backfill when someone retires. One department here has lost of its people due to promotion and maternity leaves and so someone from our department is moving over there.

So the accounting that I backfill is going to someone else, so I’m now backfilling the work that the departed department member did. So things are coming my way all the time. “Here’s the key to file cabinet.” “Don’t forget to schedule training.” And now my cube looks like a disaster.

Time to dig out.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

What happened?

And where were we?

Believe it or not, it has only been a week since my crazy life (please note that my life was crazy BEFORE all of this started…) took an even crazier turn. And so much for going to Patsy’s.

To make a really long story short, I received a phone call at work last Tuesday morning stating that my sister was in the hospital with a pulmonary embolism. Well, that pretty much made my day. After meeting Ted for lunch to go over logistical things, I headed up north.

It turns out she did not have that problem, but she did pass out nonetheless and bashed in her teeth and misaligned her jaw. So I spend half of Tuesday and all of Wednesday and Thursday up there, arriving back home on Thursday afternoon with my 12 year old nephew in tow. So much for going to Patsy’s.

I had all my projects stacked up on my basement stairs. I was going to make a lot of tops and also take block sets and make them into pieced backs for the tops, because, well, I have no idea what to do with that many block sets. DD was going to finally get a bed-sized quilt. The Brookfield Public Library’s fundraising quilt was going to have the top done. The swap I am in was going to get all done. Same with RR’s I’m in.

We’re going to Patsy’s next year. C’est la vie.

Somewhere in all of this, my motivation to study for my next insurance exam for my job left the building. So this morning, I checked the testing schedule for this testing window and I can still take the exam in this window, but like a month, and not in 2 weeks. This is a huge load off my mind. I also found the study guide, which is an easier read than the text, and I actually put it in my bag. I should attempt to read it.

Meanwhile, Ted is travelling this week and DD and / or I have something every afternoon / evening this week. Monday, it was karate. Tuesday (today), it was the dentist for DD (her first cavity). Wednesday, it’s swim lessons. Thursday is third grade registration. And Friday, I plan on collapsing in a heap. Seriously. Actually, I hope to shop for the Mellie swap on Friday afternoon.

And I am on the very last strip for the barnyard GFG flower. I am so hoping to show those to you!