Saturday, June 12, 2010

Baseball and Eggplant Parmesan

So what do you do on a weekend in Vicksburg?

Go to Jackson, of course. Especially when the Mississippi Braves minor league baseball team is playing the Chattanooga Lookouts!

Actually, I really don't care for baseball, but I went with a group from work so it was fun regardless.
The game had barely begun when I took this picture, but I really appreciated Dunkin' Donuts' advertisement on the fence. Dunkin' Donuts coffee with blueberry flavoring and skim milk is almost my favorite thing in the world. [Please note the hyperbole.]
About ten minutes into the game, Emily and two other friends and I went to The Grill to eat dinner, which had so far been neglected. It took a pretty long time, but that was just fine with me. Instead of paying attention to the game, I took pictures of the sunset. The clouds were striking last night!

When I woke up this morning and opened my window, the sky was absolutely gorgeous. I thought to myself, "This will be a day to spend outside." I am so very thankful for restful weekends, and I am increasingly thankful that God made the outdoors for us to cultivate and enjoy. I'm learning I really can't live well without spending time outside.

Thankfully today, Dad was game for my idea of walking down to the Farmers' Market to pick up some veggies. I think I'm going to be visiting our twice-weekly farmers' market often!

This is one of the two pictures I took on our walk before my camera's batteries died. The Vicksburg's claim to fame is that it is the tallest building in Vicksburg (unless one of the churches has a taller steeple, but I doubt it). Pretty cool!
I must say, I had a joyously productive morning. Getting fresh corn downtown in preparation for my Quinoa, Corn, and Mint Salad was just the beginning...
After Dad and I got home, I began working on the window! You may remember seeing the antique window I bought a few weeks ago in Monroe, but that project has been on the very farthest backburner since I started work. Anyway, I worked with paint stripper paste for the first time ever. Oh my gosh! SO fun. Check out these cool bubbles that you just scrape away!

This is what I've done so far. Mom says the next step will be to "sand" it with steel wool. I am so excited, and I promise to stay up-to-date on the pictures and blogging. I cannot wait until I get to paint it!
Mom and I went down to the lake this afternoon. Em was already there with a group wakeboarding and water-sporting. I viewed this two-hour getaway as a chance to catch up on my reading. The Red Badge of Courage is taking longer than I would like, but so be it. I'm enjoying the story.
This is what I do not do at the Lake! :)

After getting home, it was time to start cooking. I've been planning since Wednesday to make Eggplant Parmesan tonight with eggplants from the mid-week farmers' market. I have never made Eggplant Parmesan, but it ended up being very delicious-- everyone agreed, too! (I have no problem with thinking my own food is amazing; sometimes I am the only one, ha!) I have attached the link if anyone is interested.

The glorious thing about Saturday is that you still have Sunday after it.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Unfortunately, I was not able to give blood yesterday. The likely reason is that I didn't start the iron pills soon enough; the less likely, but still possible, reason is that the iron pills have expired.
The lady who tested my iron was so understanding, though. Gosh, she pricked two fingers just to see if it would go up from 10.4 to 12.5! On the second try the count was higher: 11.3 or something-- but still not high enough. I could tell she really wanted to let me go through with it.
Anyway, for the rest of the day I had bandaids wrapped around both of my middle fingertips!

The second time I bled a lot yesterday was at my stained glass workshop! Of course it makes sense, since we're cutting andsanding actual glass, but by the end of the two hours I had 4 bandaids on my hands and fingers from little shards of glass! I felt kind of pitiful.

Here's a picture of my work thus far. It's not finished yet, obviously; I still have to grind all the pieces to be in perfect compliance with the pattern. I think it's going to be pretty cool though.
The instructor of the class is really good. He gets commissioned to make grand stained glass windows for churches all over the country! And his selection of all the different colors of glass is fantastic.
I'm pretty sure I used that blue-green glass in the foreground as part of my border. I love the beautiful textures and patterns.
This is the grinder. It's really fun to use because you can just rub off the rough edges and make everything fit together perfectly! If only everything were that easy...

After work today, I biked downtown to the Farmers'
Market. I got two eggplants for Eggplant Parmesan on Saturday night, one peach to reward myself for biking, and a bunch of fresh-picked blueberries! Yum!
One of these days, I will buy a few good-looking squash to make squash casserole. That's probably my favorite comfort food, so future apartment-mates, watch out! :-)

Later this afternoon, I got to spend an hour talking with my wonderful friend Rosemary and I made step #1 of chocolate-cherry sorbet. Oh my gosh. It smells so good.

"Semi-colons only prove that the author has been to college." -E.B. White (I like this quotation.)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

And you think we've got it bad.

This is my work:
One of the really cool things about my job is that I get to do research about a foreign country (Nigeria) all day long. Sometimes I get tired of doing google searches, but I must remind myself it's quite a privilege really, and besides, I'm working for the Lord. For example, I spent the bulk of Thursday researching endemic diseases (one of which, schistosomiasis, is caused by snails carrying the disease that attach themselves onto dams. Wow!) and oil spills. I was appalled by what this National Geographic article reports:
"On land, there are oil spills, polluting groundwater and ruining cropland. The government documented 6,817 spills between 1976 and 2001 -- practically one a day for 25 years -- but analysts suspect that the real number may be ten times higher. Old, improperly maintained equipment causes many of the leaks, but oil operators blame sabotage and theft, speculating that disaffected community members deliberately cause oil spills to collect compensation money."
The Niger River Delta in Nigeria is suffering immensely because oil spews over their fields and water sources. Ican't believe that no one is talking about this.

This is my weekend:
I am now two days into my "
high-iron diet." Saturday morning, I had quinoa with blackberries. I'd say quinoa is probably the rising star of trendy grains. You know how couscous made it onto the stage a few years ago (at least according to Cooking Light)? I'm pretty sure quinoa will be making it big in the next year or two. It doesn't taste great, but it's definitely palatable -- and it could be that I just don't know how to fix it tastefully. It looks pretty cool anway!

This is a picture of my kale+banana+1/2 apple+orange juice smoothie in the making...
It looks a little weird, but it actually tastes good. The funniest thing about drinking these smoothies is it requires more than just swallowing. I mean, it is made with mashed-up greens so a little bit of chewing is necessary. I made a few popsicles with this stuff and they were quite tasty (if oddly-colored). Yum.
And this is a picture of my eating the prune juice popsicle. The funniest thing about prune juice is that it's brown. I have never drunk any brown fluid other than coke. It's weird.
That is probably the reason that people are turned off by prune juice -- not because of it's taste, but it's color.
I went to Wal-Mart twice today because I got a few of my pictures printed! (--some of which I included in a letter to our friend, the Alaskan chef David! ) You cross under these bridges on the way to Wal-Mart, and I think the vines are pretty cool.
This is my life:
Jesus, Lover of my Soul,
Let me to thy bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll,
While the tempest still is high.
Hide me O my savior hide,
Till the Storm of Life is past;
Safe into thy haven guide;
O receive my soul at last.

Plenteous grace with thee is found,
Grace to cover all my sin;

Let the healing streams abound,
Make and keep me pure within.
Thou of life the fountain art,
Freely let me take of thee;
Spring thou up within my heart,
Rise to all eternity.