Archive for August, 2010

deleted spam; pondered future actions

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

A day of website maintenance and mulling over what to do next.

More than half of these actions have been total surprises. Some of them I knew I would do and I knew those activities would be directly inspired by or would remind me of K (care package prep, for example). But other stuff has been surprising. The pillows, the proxy Back to the Future, even finishing the book, I hadn’t thought about the relevance of that stuff before I did it.

cups of tea

Monday, August 30th, 2010

In addition to sleeping, eating, and reading, there is a good chance K & I are both drinking tea every day.

I did a daily tea project in January and I promised myself this wouldn’t become another one, but today was such a perfect day for tea.

This is my lovely red rooibos bag.

finished pillows. thought about sleeping on the plane.

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

Finished three neck pillows filled with buckwheat hulls.

Anything to do with planes reminds me of K; & our very different plane experiences. My experience of air travel is always restful, sleepy, and now maybe more comfortable.

watched The Most Dangerous Man in America

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

Thinking about war, civil disobedience, papers.

finished a book

Friday, August 27th, 2010

Aside from sleeping and eating, the only other thing I’m absolutely sure K & I do on a daily basis is read.

baking research:cake in a jar

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

figured out the next baking adventure, & looked around for jars:

Cake in a Jar

Get wide-mouth canning jars (pint size). You can find them at Walmart, other stores, or online.

Boil the jars to sterilize.

1 (18.25 oz.) package cake mix (you can use ANY cake recipe instead of packaged)

8 jars with lids and rings

1. Make the cake according to the package instructions or recipe

2. Grease the jar. Put 1 cup of batter in each jar and keep the rims of the jar clean. (I fill mine up 1/2 way–try one first before you make all of them so you know how far to fill)

3. Place jars on cookie sheet on rack on the oven (to prevent them from tipping over). Bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes clean

4. While baking, boil jar lids in a pan of water ( I do rings too, but I’m anal)

5. When cake is done, take one jar out at a time and cover with hot lid. Screw on jar ring tightening it slightly.

6. The lid will seal as it cools. Listen to hear them “ping” as they seal. But if they don’t, wait until completely cool and then press on the top of the lid. If it doesn’t move at all, it’s sealed.

7. As the cake cools, it will pull away from the jar slightly. That’s ok. It just means that it will slide out of the jar easily.

8. Unsealed jars should be stored in fridge and eaten within 2 weeks. Sealed jars can also be stored in freezer; however, they should last sealed and unrefrigerated for quite a long time.

9. DO NOT FROST cake in the jar! Send frosting along.

10. Make sure you wrap the jars well (bubble wrap’s preferable, but wadded newspaper or clothing and other items will pad it too).

I’d suggest that you do a trial run of cake in a jars before you decide you’re going to send them. Try ONE jar in the oven before you fill the rest. If you don’t do this, you won’t know how far to fill them and could end up underfilling or overfilling them. If they’re slightly overfilled, mash the lid on top and screw the ring down. It’ll seal and be just fine!

Don’t forget a plastic knife (or two) for the frosting and some plastic forks.

You might want to send instructions on how to get them out–unseal, tap gently, pour out. Or the guys can eat them right out of the jar.

from, where there are tons of great baking tips!

contemplated a long contract

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

After the last of my 2009-10 job application rejections (for a brilliant 2 year postdoc in London), I spent some time staring at the wall and wondering what it would be like to be looking at 10-12 years in the same job, as K did when he entered the Air Force.

sent cool breezes to Bahrain

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Our first stifling hot night this summer.

Homemade AC=wet sheet over the bed.

Glad for the four poster.

K. reports today was 114 and humid.

noted weather confluence

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

ate sun-warm strawberries

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

A sizable harvest today!

Not possible in the desert. Wish it were.

noticed first wrinkle

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

at the corner of my mouth, a “smile line.”

Noticed my first grey (actually white) hair at K’s commissioning in 2001.


sorbet: 64 / 93

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Enjoyed homemade peach sorbet. Recipe, from Millennium cookbook, is extremely simple: peaches, basil, handful of fructose, water. Blend and put in ice cream maker.

Imagined how it would taste in Qatar, where, early in the morning, it is 93 degrees. 64 here.

watched Back to the Future

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Went to outdoor screening of Back to the Future complete with a Delorean from the sequel.

This is one of what I hope will be several proxy actions, doing something K would want to be doing.

liger research

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Spent some time learning about ligers today after a chat with K yesterday. Did you know that ligers:

Are humungous?
Are sterile if male, but can birth sterile babies if female?
Are sociable like lions?
Like to swim like tigers?

thought about dead zones

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Walking to the bank, I thought about “dead zones,” in deserts, in the Gulf, around the world. I had a quick cup of coffee with Eben Kirksey the day I started this blog and we talked about bringing Starvation Seeds to an exhibition in New Orleans later this year–one of the main themes is “Dead Zones.” Found several dead zones between my house and the bank. Lots of mysterious asphalt topography lately, as my street is torn up and reassembled by the water company.

Desert food | Food desert: piñon, prickly pear, stinging nettle, date palm, milkweed, thorn acacia

contemplated vacationing in Qatar

Monday, August 16th, 2010

This week has been characterized by endless indecision about where and whether to go on vacation over Thanksgiving. Today I took a moment and found the answer: Qatar! An article online inspired me to check airfares (only $850!) and google this weird oyster/pearl sculpture/fountain.

What’s better than a vacation near family?

bagged lavender

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

A bunch of lavender has been drying in our living room for a week now. Smells great, will make a good addition to a future care package. All that lavender boiled down to one gallon size ziploc, which is actually kind of a lot.

mailed package

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

Complete with John Irving book & some magazines.

prepped for cookies

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Friday the 13th.

Making cookies for the first care package of the season. Usually whatever I make rots prior to arrival, but this time I am experimenting with a very very hardy cookie recipe that is mostly nuts. The nuts seem to act as preservatives and these cookies stay good for a looong time. Still good after a month of summer heat in Australia last Christmas.

added weather widget

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Since my dad moved to Australia a year ago, I’ve noticed I feel strangely closer to him when I check the weather there alongside my local weather. I’m trying this strategy for K’s deployment. Looks warm over there.

signed up for memory walk

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Our grandmother died in April, with advanced Alzheimers, but mostly of old age. The hospice where I volunteer, Hospice of the Valley, has a Memory Walk team, and I’ve been meaning to sign up. Thinking of K, and grandma, and how luxurious it is that I have time to do this, I signed up for this year’s Memory Walk.

Today is the first day of Ramadan. I have done some cleansing fasts in the past, but never without water, and never for a whole month. Seems like a healthful practice, to take a month and eat differently.

organized tea tin

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Original plan for this action was to have a cup of white tea. Took a lot of searching to find the last bag of white tea, and organizing the tea tin ended up being a meditation in and of itself.

Sooner than expected

Monday, August 9th, 2010

My cousin is a pilot in the Air Force. His deployments usually coincide with the holidays and his birthday in October, and are usually about 4 months long. This time, I expected him to leave in about three weeks for a deployment that promised no flight time (a horrible prospect for a pilot) and no days off. I thought, well, if he doesn’t get any days off, neither should I. I decided to do something every day to mark the time and keep him present in my daily routine.

He left last night rather unexpectedly, but his job during this deployment has changed to include flying and days off, which is a huge improvement over no flying and no days off.

I’m not sure what my daily actions will be, I can’t promise they will make sense or be profound or even interesting, but for the next four months I’ll be doing something every day to remind me of or bring me closer to K.