November 18, 2008

A Song Like Snowflakes

A couple of years ago, there were a lot of songs that reminded me of snowflakes. What I really want to know is why aren't there more this year?

This time of year gets me down. I don't know why. I hate the cold. I hate the dark. I hate running around like crazy to the mall when it gets dark by 4:30. I hate waking up to frost that I have to scrape off my windshield while I freeze my butt off. I hate the fact that my heater doesn't work quite properly in my car and I'm too cheap to fix it. I hate how cold and wet my toes get inside my shoes.

And every minute I am outside, I find myself wanting a drink. If I could drink my way through the winter nights, I would be a happier person, but sadly, I don't have the stomach for that these days, so all I can do is feel grim about the cold.

And when I feel like that, all I really want to do is listen to songs like "Cab" by Train or "I Will Follow You into the Dark" by Death Cab for Cutie or "Beautiful Wreck" by someone I don't want to look up or "One More Drink" by DMB or track 6 off the About a Boy Soundtrack.

Those songs remind me of cold nights driving home alone in my car from various places. They remind me of seeing my breath hiss out in a cloud over the stearing wheel. They remind me of seeing the lights all foggy through my windshield. They remind me of frozen lakes. They remind me of leaving Old Chicago at 2 AM on any given Tuesday night. They remind me of various highways and neighborhoods all the way from the Cities to Thief River Falls to Grand Forks.

And all I really want is a new song that sounds like winter and cold and bitter wind. I want to hear something new that pulls on my insides. I want to hear the cold in my music since it's so hell-bent on permeating everything else.

I suppose I should just go to bed instead.

Posted by LoWriter at 12:05 AM | Comments (0)

November 15, 2008

Carrot Recipes, Anyone?

Does anybody out there have any fabulous recipes that use lots of carrots? My mom's garden apparently produced a bumper crop, and she's coming to visit next weekend to dress shop. She's planning to bring the carrots with her, apparently.

If you have crockpot recipes that use carrots, too, all the better!

Thanks, peeps!

Posted by LoWriter at 02:00 PM | Comments (2)

November 11, 2008

Lo's Lazy Ass White Chicken Chili

Well, today, it was cold, and I was home because it is Veteran's Day. I spent the day doing laundry and making white chicken chili (and fresh bread from the bread machine). I used a recipe as a baseline. (Here is the original recipe.) I really didn't follow it much at all, but I like to give credit even when it isn't really exactly due. plus, I turned it into a crockpot recipe. And, this is the lazy ass version, anyway (hence the name "Lo's Lazy Ass White Chicken Chili").

Lo's Lazy Ass White Chicken Chili (crockpot recipe)
2 ten or eleven oz. cans of chicken breast
1/2 onion, chopped (I had a really big onion.)
1 can chicken broth
3 cups chicken bullion
1 cup water
3 cans Great Northern white beans
1 package frozen corn (probably four or five cups of corn)
1 four oz. can of diced green chili peppers
1 and 1/2 package McCormick White Chicken Chili mix
Salt to taste
Shredded taco cheese
(I also had some chopped green onions in the fridge that I threw in.)

Throw the onion and the chicken in the crock pot and cook it on high for a little while (like 15 to 30 minutes or so--just enough to get the onion simmering). Throw in everything else EXCEPT the cheese. Cook on high for 3 to 3 and 1/2 hours. Cook on low for another hour. Keep it on warm until you are ready to eat it. Top with taco cheese and enjoy! For added enjoyment, serve with fresh warm bread.

It was great! And it was easy. And Ben liked it, too! Enjoy!

Posted by LoWriter at 09:34 PM | Comments (1)

November 10, 2008

Packing Up My Single Life

My living room looks like a combat zone right now. I am trying to do a little packing. It's not that I want to live like a squatter in my own house until May, but I do not want to be nuts this spring, either. (I will be nuts, anyway, but you take what precautions you can.)

I have not moved since June of 2002, and this place and I have seen a lot of memories. Most of them are good, and I am a little sorry to leave, especially now that the sing-along-dance-party downstairs has moved out, and I can hear myself think again.

And I have to say that it's making me a little nostalgic. It's not that I've actually packed much. I really have only packed two boxes. But they sit in my dining room mocking me, demanding that I pack more, demanding that I clean out my closet and put them away. And just lately, I had this great idea for my dining room. Namely, that I never use it for dining, and it would be better used as a writing room. I want to get a leather club chair and one of those super cool low sitting tables like the one Carrie on Sex and the City has in her apartment.

But then I would have to move it in six months, and there's no place to put it, so there's not much point to doing that. I wonder why that didn't occur to me four years ago? Probably because at that point, I thought I needed a dining room to impress a man. :) (It turns out that I do not.)

Don't get me wrong. I'm very happy that Ben and I are getting married. I can think of nothing else I'd rather do right now. I love Ben with all my heart, and we are very happy with each other. We make each other laugh. We play games like we are children, which makes me happy. I am very comfortable with him, and I am very surprised by him all at the same time. Every day, I cannot wait to see him. I cannot wait to see what we will see today.

But I have also been very happy as a single person, and I think that deserves some credit and some closure; thus, the entry I am currently writing.

I have been happy to be on my own, to have lived alone for so many years. I have enjoyed my single life. I am glad that I will have a year to say goodbye to it because I have loved it and made good friends with it. You have to be very comfortable with yourself to have lived alone as long as I have. The first year was very hard on me, but since then, I have grown stronger and used to myself. I know who I am because of the time I've spent alone. There are few surprises left in me that I do not know about. I feel comfortable in my own skin. I have not been sorry to have been single and living alone.

If I have enjoyed being single, I have enjoyed dating more, which has been my criteria for dating for the last five years. My motto had become that whoever I would date would have to make me at least as happy or happier than I was on my own because if he didn't, what would be the point? I am happier with Ben than I am on my own. I am happier than I ever thought I could be.

From the time I was a child, I have been saying that I will never marry. (Literally. I used to tell my mom this when I was three or four.) When I imagined my old age, I imagined myself alone, possibly with a cat or 16 (and it did not make me particularly sad most of the time). When people ask me about what my dream wedding always was, I have to stare at them. I did not plan to have a wedding. I did not plan to get married at all. I wanted to, but I planned my life as though I would not because I believe that you play life based on the cards you hold, not the ones you hope the dealer's got. I always assumed that if I did get married, it would happen late in my life. I imagined getting married quiety at a courthouse somewhere near my retirement home.

I never expected to find my soul mate. I didn't think I had one.

And because of my lack of planning, I have accumulated a massive amount of STUFF. There is STUFF EVERYWHERE. I have stuff to pack and stuff to sell and stuff to donate and stuff to throw away. I have stuff I didn't even know I had. My stuff has stuff, that's how much stuff I have.

I look forward with hope to my married life; please don't get me wrong. But as I sit here amidst the mess, I can't help but be just a little afraid, just a little sad. I can't help but be just a little afraid to leave the known for the unknown. This life I am heading into is unexpected, and I feel I am unprepared. And I know it will be hard because what isn't?

And sometimes, I am just a little sad that one chapter of my life is closing even though I know that the next one is opening.

And sometimes I am so excited that I can hardly breathe.

Posted by LoWriter at 11:53 PM | Comments (1)

November 08, 2008

This Day Blows

Well, I had just typed a big long entry, and now it is gone. I have been sick and too tired to do anything except cry for the last two weeks, and now my blog ate my entry.

My car is broken; people are mad at me; and quite frankly, I'm mad back right now. So bring it. You know who you are. Let's go.

You'll get an update later. The orignal one was funny and witty and I am really upset right now.


Posted by LoWriter at 12:39 AM | Comments (0)