Catching up

I said forever ago that I would write about my first best friend. I got inspired on our women’s retreat when a mixer question about your first friend was asked. I’ll make it a paragraph:

I met Annette when I walked into my kindergarten classroom on the last night of the schoolyear for our graduation three little pigs play. She was lounging at my desk chatting with two other girls like a grown-up and had already figured out who I was and that we shared a desk – she being in morning kindergarten while I went in the afternoon. She had curly red hair and glasses and the way I remember it, we spent every recess together after that. We went on to have the same teacher for first and second grade, although we always sat across the room from each other. When we sat in little groups in our second grade classroom, I think her group was holding a mini U.N. counsel while mine was seeing what would happen if you mixed boogers, spit and eraser shreds on your desk. Annette is, not surprisingly, a runner now. She had an analog watch which she could no only read accurately in first grade but with which she could tell a person how many minutes were left in recess. I remember asking her what time it was often and she didn’t even bother telling me the time, just that we had 20 minutes left. She figured out how big the track around the playground was and then how many times we’d have to run it in order to get in a mile a day. I don’t know WHY a first grader would have been motivated to make sure she ran a mile a day. I didn’t even have a good concept of what a mile WAS, but Annette and I ran the correct amount of laps on the track each recess. I don’t even think I had enough sense to be in awe of her. In any case, she wasn’t bossy or showy about her smarts in any way. I think she was the first friend whom I instinctively obeyed because everything she did made so much sense to me. The other hilarious thing I remember vividly as happening at least once a week – although it probably happened only twice – was that Annette would get sick but not say anything to anyone (because she was so stoic) and when we were going somewhere in a line (with Annette inevitably at the front) she would projectile vomit in the hallway without so much as a whimper. Ah…elementary school.

I am SO tired right now. Gilead kept me awake much of the night because he kept losing his pluggie and getting hungry…pesky hunger. However…I am feeling so much better than I have in a long time. I am happy to report that he is sleeping in his own little bed next to me (co-sleeper), I have been working out every day for over a week and now that I’m cooking I have been making myself scrambled eggs with veggies in the morning and I have broken up with coffee. After a HORRIBLE night last week where I hardly slept at all because of too much caffeine that day, I decided enough was enough. It makes me feel sick every single time I drink it and it’s just not worth it anymore. I went on a walk with a couple good friends last week and we talked about how God has to work and work and work on you to make a change in your life and then once you get to the point of actually doing it, it feels like the path of least resistance. I am slowly making changes to my diet. Or, I guess, slowly sticking to positive changes that I think I want to make for good. It’s another thing which I think is a hallmark of being an adult: giving up the idea that you can go on doing some bad habit you want to NOT do and then give it up or make up for it in a day or a few weeks. Anyway, for me, coffee was a bad boyfriend.

While I can’t say that I LOVE cooking still, I do enjoy that feeling while I’m in the middle of it – I can’t quite believe that all these separate ingredients sitting on my counter have become something else entirely under my very eyes. When it’s really working well, it feels kind of effortless. But that usually only happens when I’m making something with which I’m very familiar. My farm products are making a huge difference, too. I don’t know if I would have been able to see such a difference in what I’m using if I hadn’t started cooking so much, but the difference is amazing. It all looks and feels and tastes so much MORE…if you know what I mean. The raw milk alone is so different and so much more delicious than the milk you can get in the store. I almost can’t call that other stuff milk. I’ve even found my attitude about cooking and convenience food changing. Even a few weeks ago I would have wanted to eat fast food even if I knew it wasn’t good for me and we didn’t have the money. Now, the thought of eating fast food kind of makes me sick. I mean, I do eat at Chik-fil-a once in awhile, but I’m no longer looking for excuses to eat out. What once seemed like a monumental effort (i.e. cooking up some eggs for myself in the morning and washing a pan) just seems like part of life now. I like that.

Jenn’s Recipe for the Best Muffin Sarah Scherf Has Ever Eaten

(adapted from the Joy of Cooking Basic Muffin Recipe)

Preheat oven to 400.

Whisk in stand mixer:

2 large eggs (farm fresh and free range if you can get them)

1 cup raw cream (if you can get it)

2/3 packed Trader Joe’s organic brown sugar (TJ’s has high quality)

1 stick melted warm butter (I’ve also used coconut oil)

1 tsp vanilla

Add on top of wet mixture:

2 cups TJ’s white whole wheat flour

1 TBSP baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (optional)

1/2 bag TJ’s chocolate chips

Mix on low speed (don’t over mix), divide into greased muffin tins, bake 12-15 minutes. Sometimes I have to bake them a little longer. They are dense.

Gilead is taking more regularly timed naps now during the day, so I can count on some time to exercise and some time to cook. Right now he’s in the bouncy seat next to me and he’s sucking his thumb. It’s really adorable.

That was two weeks ago after we got the Bumbo seat. We are running out of places he likes to be for more than 5 minutes. I think we need a Johnny Jump-up or whatever they call them now.

What else? Henry’s job search continues to drag on. I think this round has been a flop. The newest company he really wanted to work for hasn’t bothered to get back to him. We watched “Inside Job” last night and afterward both felt kind of hopeless about the economy and whether our government really cares to look out for the interests of the majority of  us, regardless of who is president. I have to thank God, though, that he still has his job. We still have it better than a lot of people. There was a brief interview with a man living in a tent city in Florida after he lost two jobs, because unemployment doesn’t pay for a mortgage.

Anyway…we both say multiple times a day how happy we are with our little family. Gilead, of course, is perfect.

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