UNlucky Thirteen

As children in the US (I can’t speak for other “Westerners” of Canada and Europe), we’re essentially taught to fear this number. The number thirteen is an unlucky, often-times horrifying, number.

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Who of our “generation” doesn’t remember the movie Friday the Thirteenth or it’s many sequels, prequels, and spin-offs? That entire series help to firmly establish an unhealthy fear of the the number 13.

But fear of the number 13 stems further back than the 1980s. There are whole websites and research papers dedicated to the idea of numerology and the belief that some numbers are just innately unlucky.

For instance, Judas (the guy who betrayed Jesus) was said to have been the thirteenth and last to sit down to that last supper. Traditionally, there are thirteen witches in a coven. And 12 is considered the most complete number, so going beyond that, is just no good.

But, this year, 2013, shouldn’t be gone into with fear, but with the same optimism as any other new year, right? Sure.

I have to say, that 2013 for me has been pretty unlucky. I’m not saying I believe in all the hype, but…

1. Tucker’s left arm seemed to be developing slower than his right. Freaked me out.

2. I have some odd issue with my right eye; lets just say it’s NOT retinal detachment, but it’s something… floaters and light are involved.

3. Tucker has developed super eczema… head to toe!

4. I have tarsal tunnel syndrome.

5. My awesome manager / Editor in Chief is leaving our company.

6. Tucker is apparently soy-sensitive. Found this out the hard way.

7. My position at work is kind of uncertain beyond my EiC leaving / when my contract expires at the end of July.

There are a few additional items that I would list, but I don’t necessarily consider them bad things, just things… unfortunate things, or things that I am uncertain about how they will turn out.

**Question: What’s your [un]lucky number?**

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Squash Happens

A silence has all but fallen over the blog. I went over a month without posting, not because I had nothing to say, but because I had other things to do. But, I have been aching to post this particular blog for weeks. I had it mostly written back a month ago. Over the course of the last several weeks I had been bombarded with sweet and savory images of, and relating to, all things squash.

Squash isn’t something I would have normally consumed three and a half years ago. It’s funny what you resign yourself to eating (and OMG, falling in love with!) when you’re smack in the middle of a foreign country, where the aromatics aren’t AT ALL what you’re used to. I was, to put it bluntly, a meat and potatoes kinda girl.

Of course I love me some pumpkin pie anytime from mid September through Valentine’s Day, and hey, pumpkin IS a squash. But all those other ones: butternut, acorn, spaghetti, etc. All those were passed over at the grocery store. Until Korea.

One of Jason and my favorite places to eat in our neighborhood in Seoul was a place that served Samgyeopsal (read about one of our nights out here). The meal came with thinly sliced acorn squash that, after some convincing by Jason, I tasted and LOVED.

And flash forward to NOW. I’m no longer passing up those crazy looking squash. In fact, on the Friday after a very hectic day of Tucker’s recovering from his 2-month round of immunizations, I bought three different kinds of squash.

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The Squashortment

Here’s the thing: I’ve made spaghetti squash a handful of times. I’ve experimented with it and found a nice and easy method for roasting and prepping. Jason is usually in charge of roasting our acorn squash. He does them up nice with some dollops of butter and a sprinkling of brown sugar.

After reading this blog, I made it my mission to get us a butternut squash. I’ve NEVER had one before, in any form. I have made “pumpkin” pie and “pumpkin” cookies out of acorn squash in Korea. I was bold. I was brave and daring. But I’ve been an utter chicken when it came to butternut squash. I don’t know why.

So, for my first foray into the world of butternut squash, I contemplated this recipe. But, in the end, I went a safer route (ie something I could do with as few steps as possible).

Here is the result:

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I added about a 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree to the meatloaf (equal parts ground beef, turkey, and pork + Lipton’s onion soup mix + pumpkin + refried beans (randomly) and I couldn’t really taste the pumpkin at all) and roasted up that butternut squash along with some sweet potatoes. Paired with a salad (topped with ginger dressing and crumbled feta) and a nice [root]beer.

Eventually, we used the acorn squash as well. Jason cut them in half and we roasted them up with a bit of butter and brown sugar when Susan was visiting.

The spaghetti squash is still waiting to be used. Thank goodness for the long shelf-life of a squash.

Thanks to Jenn for this weeks WIAW!

Talkin’ ‘Bout A Resolution

It’s already nearing the end of January; can you believe it? I haven’t written in ages, and I’m OK with that. I won’t apologize, for the mere fact that I’ve been SO busy with my little guy. Now that he’s a little older (14 weeks!) I think I can spare a day or two or three out of the week to stop by and post a blog here and there.

Because it’s the New Year, I wanted to begin with … You guessed it:  Resolutions.

 I’ve broken up my list into a few different categories to keep them all straight in my head.

Personal Goals/Aspirations

1. Get teaching license renewed! (I’ve actually already sent the renewal application off, I am just waiting now, after a fee-related snafu. Here’s hoping it gets processed quickly and approved!)

2. Investigate new/ alternative career paths (In the current state of our economy, it’s good to have options, and options I shall have!)

Health/Hygiene/Food/Fitness: (I figured this all pertains to my body)

1. Walk 4+ times a week with Jason and Tucker.

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2. Eat MORE veggies / fruit (because I’m SO bad at this)

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3. Run/walk a half marathon

4. Get under 200# (again, and stay under!)

5. Shower EVERY day (when you work from home, it’s easy to not even get dressed, let alone shower, every day)

6. Floss (I know, obvious)

7. Breastfeed Tucker til 6+ months (part of this means pumping more and increasing our storage supply. Now that we’ve picked up freezer bags, this seems less daunting.  I’m averaging 3-5 oz a day via pump. I can do better!)

IMG_15428. Drink MORE water (this will help with numbers 1, 3, and 7)

9. EYEBROWS… I had been going to my esthetician regularly until 3 weeks before Tucker was born. So that’s just over 4 months since my last appointment! I want to start going again… my brow situation is quite bejungled.

Home: (Our house is a work in progress, but this year I think I can handle the following:)

1. Keep up with laundry: 2-3 times a week (even though we don’t get dressed every day, somehow we always seem to wear all our clothes… maybe it’s because laundry piles up for more than a week…)

2. Keep kitchen/dining room clean (We aren’t fans of dishes around here)

3. Keep Living room clean (let’s face it: it gets lived in!)

4. File 2012 papers (essentially I need to clear off my desk which contains a ton of receipts, bills, and work-related documents…just need to find the time to go through them all)

5. Change internet/cable package OR eliminate cable (we HATE our cable… they kinda screwed us over when I signed us up… we only get 5 channels… at least we get PBS!)

6. TAXES (well before April!)

7. Jason’s garden (We hope to get it started!) 

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8. Paint living area (Jason has a very nice, multi-tonal plan all ready, we just have to make it so)

9. Buy curtains and remaining furniture to complete our bedroom (I think the curtains will happen well before the furniture, but it’s all on the list for this year)

Family/ Friends: (Now that we have a baby, I think it’s vital that we build and strengthen our family and friendly ties)

1. Spend time with mom & Bruce more (Ever since we moved across town, it’s been hard to get over to see them; I need to make the time and effort)

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2. Spend time with Nathaniel more (Mr. Busy more like… anyway, I miss my brother (who is turning 26 on Monday!)

3. Have Rachel and Jordan over for dinners (my girls! I can’t believe Ray is graduating this year and Jo only has two more left!)

4. Lunch / Dinner out with Jason once a month (This will just mean Tucker Time for my parents or my Aunt. All of whom LOVE him)

5. Visit Grandma Minnie (She’s such a sweet lady, I would like to visit with her with the baby)

6. Reconnect with old friends (there a few friendships that I would very much like to build back up)

7. Have friends over at least once a month for lunch/dinner (we did this a few times last year. It’s so nice to have people visit!)

8. Take time to spend playing with cats every day (our poor cats have been so starved for attention ever since Tucker came… I need to invest some quality time there) 

9. Go on an outing with Jason and Tucker that ISN’T doctor/health related.

Creative: (I used to be more creative, and I would like to revisit that…)

1. Write blog 1-3 times a week (I don’t want my blog to fizzle; 2012 was a strong year and I would like to keep up the momentum)

2. Finish Tucker’s Blanket (My MIL was here and she’s knitting a beautiful blanket for Tucker… I really want to move forward on mine)

3. Research and purchase DSLR camera & take more pictures (I would like to have better quality pictures for my blog and personal “consumption”)

3.a Use and upload videos via our newly acquired camcorder.

4. Review/revise/ continue book (First I need to type it all again… I just have the hardcopy anymore… sigh)

5. Make new recipes from cookbooks/blogs each week (I have so many cookbooks with tabs marking several that I’ve been meaning to try… and several blogs with recipes that look amazing)

6. Read more books (I think I finished one or two last year… in like March!)

In Addendum: (I know there will be additional goals that I cannot think of now, that I will surely hope to accomplish within the year)

1. Adding to the list (throughout the year, I think I will reevaluate the things I’ve set forth for myself and adjust things as I need or want to)

2. Checking as I go (I guess the vogue phrase for resolutions these days in bucket list, and as I accomplish these goals I will update the list. Check here for updates!

**Question: What are your resolutions and/or goals for this year? What’s on your bucket list?**