Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Hungry Dog returns

Well, sort of.

I've been missing you guys, and though I wouldn't presume that you have been missing me, or wondering what I've been up to, I thought I might dip a toe back in the blog water. All of a sudden, summer is over, Halloween candy is in stores, and Thanksgiving plans are being made. Guess I missed a whole season.

I've been doing things, though. Like for one thing, I started taking a painting class. I've been enjoying it, in spite of being very poor at it. I think I've discovered one of the cool things about getting older: I don't mind if I'm not good at something. I used to feel bad if I wasn't good at something I attempted, but I don't feel that way about painting, even though I carry the baggage of being the daughter of a painter. It is enough that trying to paint gives me the sensation I was craving--the feeling of pushing everything else out of my mind, which is otherwise crazy 24-7.

This made me realize that it was OK if I was terrible at it, as long as I found it fun. Fortunately, I'm good at other stuff, things that I also enjoy, as well as some things that make money. You don't have to excel in every department.

In addition to my art class, we've done some other groovy things this summer, such as attending the Giants' Dog Days game.

Soph enjoyed that, not only because it was a good old fashioned fun day, but because it gave her a break from a certain ankle biter named Emma we've been spending time with. Emma is our friends' new puppy. She is stupid-cute and completely obsessed with Soph. "Ankle biter" is literal in this case.

Poor Soph, I don't think she misses having puppies!

There's been plenty of food stuff, too. For example, we've been digging this place and have spent way too much on casual but decadent lunches there in the last few weeks. I mean, wine on tap...? How can I not love it?  But, we've also had some thrifty backyard picnics.

In case you're missing a caption, that's a tomato and arugula salad; leftover fried chicken from Wayfare Tavern (eaten cold, natch!); Hawaiian mac salad in the tupperware; and a good basic chianti.

And, I've been making crostatas, like I always do. This one was with nectarines.

 And this fig and almond cake.

 And today, I got some kiwi berries in our CSA box. Here they are in a tiny colander!

They are the size of kumquats and taste like a hybrid of kiwis and blueberries. I can't decide what to do with them.

We also bought a grill, which has revolutionized my cooking. For one thing: fewer dishes! For another: the husband mans the grill! We've been grilling maniacs: grilled chicken, grilled steak, grilled pork tenderloin, grilled vegetables. But I don't have any photographic evidence. You'll have to trust me.

And finally, we are on the verge of our Paris trip. PARIS! Man, I love that place. And, I'm in desperate need of a vacation. Who isn't, I guess. But being self-employed makes me want a vacation in a different way than I used to. While I don't have a routine or a grind to get away from, I am also never fully detached from my work, unless I am out of the country. So, with it being one year since we went to Italy, I'm bouncing off the walls a bit.

I regret to say that my French remains as awful as it was the last time we went in 2011, despite my braggy claims right after that trip that I would be conversational by the time we returned. C'est dommage, non? Two and half years go quickly when you're sitting around doing nothing.

So, have a lovely few weeks, my friends. Be good.