Monday, August 29, 2011
Now, I must preface this story with the fact that I have always had an extreme weakness for homeless kittens. For any animal, really, but mostly kittens...I grew up with a lot of animals, and I've always loved them. Living at home in Arizona, I believe I am the cause of around 7 cats and 2 dogs that we've had (that I can remember).
The farmer's market was really great. They have home grown vegetables and freshly made bread, as well as a lot of places in the indoors portion that feature local jewelry artisans and other sellers. I didn't have any cash, so I wasn't planning on buying anything. They had one table that was different goat cheeses, and Allison told me they were the best. I really want to try some, particularly the sundried tomato!
As we first walked up to the market, however, there was a really nice older man with a wire-covered wagon of kittens. I immediately gravitated over there, then quickly stopped myself, and told Allison about my weakness. Later on, though...as she was over buying a basil plant...I couldn't help myself. Most of them were black, with different white and colored patterns across their chest and faces. They were so cute! People were gathered around, holding them and enjoying them. There was one grey one, with white and gold-colored specks on its face. It was my favorite, along with one of the black ones with a really unique orangey-red spotted fur on its face. I started imagining what it would be like to have a kitten in our new little home, and to have some company when Dusty is deep into studying and I'm sitting and reading, or whatnot. Justification is easy, when you want it to be.
As we were getting ready to leave, I asked the old man if he was selling them. And he said, "Giving them away." Oh, crap.
I left with Allison and she dropped me off at my apartment, and I told Dusty to get ready FAST and that we were heading back to the market. I didn't tell him why. There were about 8 kittens there in the morning, and I told myself (and I'll admit, I was asking God, too) that if one of the two that I liked best were still there...
We got there, and there were three left. Dusty shook his head, knowing that that's why I had brought him there. No one had taken the cutest one, the little one-of-a-kind grey one! The wonderful older man was giving them away, and I could just tell he and I were kindred spirits.
We brought her home, and I ran and bought her necessary supplies. She's the sweetest. She pretty much slept that whole first day, while we thought up names for her. We went through a LOT.
We weren't sure if she was a boy or girl, so our first two choices were either Samson or Hermione. We liked the idea of naming her after some series or character that we really like. Other favorite ideas were: Spoon, Ginny (or "Virginia"), Minerva, Latte, Goose, Milky (after Dusty's college friend, whose nickname was Milky), Barney (from How I Met Your Mother)...we tried many of them out, and finally it came to us. The most quirky, sweet, loyal, creative, and sincere character of all. Luna Lovegood.
Little Luna, or Loony or Lovie, is doing quite well. She's not hard to take care of, and is already litter-box trained. She is loving all of this space to herself, and is extremely playful. Although right now, she is curled up on my collarbone, swatting at my eyelashes every time I blink.
She was a little scared at first, even of the little mouse toys I got for her. She liked to find dark corners to curl up in.
We're having so much fun. She's already proven to be a wonderful study buddy for Dusty.
It's been a great weekend! The hurricane did not affect us at all, except for some clouds and a few moments of drizzle and spit. We were very fortunate. Sunday morning dawned bright and clear, and was in the 70s! It was beautiful. We were able to go to church, and our Life Group leaders offered to take us to lunch with their family. It was a wonderful time of getting to know them, and sharing our lives with them. It was another affirmation that we're in a great church. We may still try out another church at some point, but we're really loving it there.
Saturday night, we went to a barbecue with three other law couples. It was really fun to get to know some more people, on a couple basis. I made the most amazing cookies! I didn't want to show up empty handed, and was looking for something that I could make with what was already in my cupboard. And, praise the Lord, I had everything for this recipe. Truly, truly yummy cookies. I had never heard of oatmeal butterscotch cookies before, but they have changed my life.
Check out the recipe :
Be sure to follow the comments of instruction below the recipe. Bake at 350 instead of 375, use a whole cup of butter instead of 3/4 cup, and refrigerate the balled dough for a little while before baking, until they're not so gooey. You won't regret it :)
Everyone loved the cookies, and I got to serve the rest of them on Sunday night. We had some friends over (Michael, Dusty's law friend who he met working at CBU, and Jon and Paul, who we met in High School and got randomly reconnected with! Paul's girlfriend Liz also joined us) and played games and had a late night Taco Bell run. It was like CBU all over again, and made me miss it, but also made me excited for future times. :)
Friday, August 26, 2011
Downtown Lynchburg is a really great and historic part of town. There are tons of restaurants and wonderful places to go, and beautiful scenery and trails to walk/ride upon. The first time I went down there, it was to meet up with my Law Wife mentor. We went to a little coffee shop/bookstore, called White Hart. It's perfect for studying or having lunch with someone, and they have GREAT coffee and food!
I had possibly the best grilled cheese I've ever had in my life. It was a three-cheese combo, and there are six cheeses to choose from. I chose cheddar, swiss, and goat cheese. Now, if you don't like goat cheese, I feel sorry for you. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
I went back downtown a few days ago, to meet with another law wife. She's close to my age, and we're a lot alike. We walked down a trail that parallels the river, and it was absolutely gorgeous. It's dense with trees that line either side of the trail, and even on a warm August day, the trees provided enough shade to make it cool and crisp. She goes there often, and I can see why!
Last night was our first thunderstorm here in Virginia. It was incredibly romantic, and we (because we love rain, being from the desert) were very happy and excited to hear the thunder and see the lightning, and watch the sheets of diagonal rain stream across the trees and pavement outside of our windows. It was a lovely evening. We lit some candles and made sure Dusty's computer was plugged into a surge protecter, and he worked on homework while I had fun at my craft table. :)
This weekend we are supposed to have some pretty intense weather, however. A hurricane is coming in on the coast, and we are supposed to have winds up to 100 mph! We have no idea if we'll even be able to leave the house. I'm supposed to go to a farmer's market downtown tomorrow morning, and I really hope the weather is good for that! A farmer's market!!!
August is already coming to a close, and I can hardly believe it. I found a job, which I can't believe!! I start on labor day at the interlibrary loan department at Liberty. A few people have responded with sighs of sympathy or words of encouragement. I suppose it DOES sound a tad bit boring...but honestly, I think it sounds wonderful! Working in a library, loaning out and borrowing books and articles, making sure the orders are fulfilled and books are returned, talking with students and local libraries...having my own desk and my own space to decorate, and working in a team of three people in a chill, back-of-the-library office. That sounds amazing! Absolutely perfect for me. I couldn't be more excited, and I still am in shock that they picked me, out of all the other applicants!!
I am happy, and I am blessed. I am contemplating having another latte this morning (alright, so it's already noon), because it's cloudy outside and my days of unemployment are coming to an end. (Praise the Lord!)
P.S. I've been craving pumpking lately, so I came up with a quick and easy snack :)
One tortilla, cut up into pie pieces. Smother with butter and honey, then mix cinnamon, sugar and nutmeg together. Sprinkle over the tortilla pieces, throw into the toaster oven for as long as desire, and voila! Delish.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
They wander the grass around the freeways and side roads, munching on grass, with their little chubby cheeks and beady eyes. At first, I thought they were beavers, and was really excited, but my friend Denise set me straight. Her and her husband call them "Fat Babies". I really want to pull over and take a picture of them -- but their favorite hang-out spots are always along fast-paced highways, and it probably wouldn't be a wise decision to attempt it...we only have one car, and no money, so...I'll settle for an internet-found photo of them, to show you. Because my gosh!!, are they cute. So chubby! I want one. I want one bad.
Anyway, things are going great!!
Last night, we had our first experience EVER ordering Chinese food delivery. We had a "How I Met Your Mother" marathon, and it was one of the best nights we've had here so far! Jade Palace brought us some great chicken, and I gotta say, ordering Chinese delivery (for some reason) is something I've always wanted to do!
Dusty has had homework every night this past week during orientation. Class hasn't even started yet, but he's getting quite accustomed to the nightly homework ritual!
I was able to go to our first Law Wives meet & greet Thursday night, and I was able to meet some really great women. It was wonderful to hear their testimonies and words of wisdom. I love that Liberty is so committed to families, as well as the establishment of mentor-mentee relationships, and woman-to-woman support. There were two things they talked about that really spoke to me.
The first was the idea that for these three years, life doesn't go on hold.
It does no good to say, "I can do anything for three years..." or "AFTER these three years, we'll be able to do the things we've been wanting to do..." etc. etc. Because there will always be something that threatens to bring you down into the mindset that at the NEXT milestone, life can finally start. These three years are a vital part of our lives AND our relationship, and there's no reason that a marriage relationship shouldn't be stronger after the end of this experience. It's a challenging, growth-inspiring time, and my husband and I will be taking advantage of every minute of it. We will enjoy this time, savor each new experience, and commit even more to each other every day.
The other bit of wisdom was that God doesn't open a door for one spouse, without opening a door for the other spouse. So, in short, I also have a job to do! I'm not just a house ornament for Dusty, while he's hard at work. God has a plan and a purpose for me, as well. I am extremely comforted by that!
And our home is really beginning to feel like home now.
Slowly but surely, we are finding ways to organize all of our stuff. I wish this tilty apartment had more built-in storage! But I would like to bring you in to our upstairs. Our bedroom is finally cleaned, decorated, and everything is put away. Our guest room is fairly disastrous, but I will post pictures as soon as we get it all sorted out. :)
Our bed frame still hasn't come in, so our mattress is still on the floor. But it's cozy!
I love our little details, like the wine glass candle holders on our night stand. When shopping at good will, this little romantic decor was less than 3 bucks!
These next few things are some of my favorites. We call our dresser the "Chronicles of Narnia" dresser! It reminds us of one of Narnia's many passageways into the magic. Haha.
I absolutely love my vanity. My own little corner to get ready in the morning! Our bathroom is fairly small, so it's great that we get to split the space.
My mom, grandma and I found these fabulous windows our first week here, when we took our trip down to the Covesville antique shop. Ten bucks a piece, and they're finally up on the wall. I love them! One window is a little shorter than the other, so I fashioned a cute little paper banner to make up the difference. I can't wait for our bedframe to come in, to complete the room!
Thanks for stopping by. We will enjoy the rest of our weekend, and Dusty will be anxiously awaiting his first day of school, I'm sure!
We went to a small Nazarene church this past week, and we really enjoyed it. They have a small group of married couples on Sunday mornings that we plan to go to tomorrow morning. We're excited to get plugged in!
Love you all.
P.S. If you're in a pinch, (financially or otherwise!), and want something sweet...try some toast and jam. WITH vanilla yogurt. Might sound crazy, but it's absolutely delicious!!
In love, Cait
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
This little guy was my main ingredient in all of my recipes yesterday. I decided that I was going to find recipes using only what was in my pantry already! And, surprisingly, it worked. Perhaps not the healthiest of edible line-ups, but it was definitely one of the sweetest!
We started with Crunchy Honey Chicken, Honey Cinnamon Rice, and finished it off with Lemon Honey Frozen Yogurt!
The Crunchy Honey Chicken came from a blog called "How Sweet it is" that I posted on my Pinterest. The recipe includes vegetables, (red bell peppers, sugar snap peas, and broccoli florets) which are sauteed with oil, soy sauce and garlic before making the chicken. Because I was working strictly from my pantry, in which there are no vegetables whatsoever, I opted to make just the chicken!
I then dipped each piece into a small bowl of egg whites before covering them with flour (for extra crispyness)!
The chicken pieces are then browned in the skillet.
You can add as much honey and (optional) soy sauce as you desire! (and don't forget to season to taste with salt and pepper). It's easy as honey pie, and just as good as take-out. Yum!
4 cups of rice
½ cup of roasted peanuts, chopped
¼ cup of butter
¼ cup of honey
1 ts of cinnamon
¾ ts of ginger
and chopped parsley.
Once the rice is cooked, you add in the peanuts (except I didn't have peanuts). Then you start the sauce in a separate skillet. The sauce is made up of the butter, honey, ginger and cinnamon. Yum!
Once the rice and sauce are mixed together and served, you garnish each serving with the chopped parsley. It was great! It's more like dessert than a side dish!
Once law school starts next week, it's going to be a whole new world for us. It already feels different with Dusty off this week doing orientation and me sitting at home being lazy half the time, and being experimental in cooking the other half. I need to get in the rhythm of things, and find what is going to keep me steady. I am very happy to announce that I have a job interview tomorrow morning, and I am praying that it is where I am meant to work. However, I know that if it's not, there will be something else for me!
Now: bring on the dessert. This one was the simplest of all, especially with our new ice cream maker from Dusty's parents! It was from a blog called "Sweet Sensation", also on my Pinterest. It takes about 3 1/2 cups of yogurt, (I used vanilla), 100 ml of lemon juice, the zest from one lemon and one lime, and 120ml of honey. You whip it up, and put it in the ice cream maker, and 20-30 minutes later, it's done! It was absolutely delicious, particularly the honey flavor! A great way to end our night!
P.S. This is just a peak at our dinner the other night, in which I got to use our honey-pot soup dishes for the first time! I just absolutely LOVE them!!