Friday, April 30, 2010

Stress

It's been a rather stressful past month. For a while we weren't sure if we'd still be moving to Maine next month or if it would be later in the summer. That made planning for anything pretty much impossible. As of now, we're still not 100% sure it is happening next month, but we're sure enough that we went ahead and sent in our deposit and signed the lease for an apartment today. This help relieve some of the stress since we were having a tough time finding a place. Since it's such a small area, there aren't really any big apartment complexes. Most of the places to rent are owned by an individual, not a company. We called and emailed so many places and hardly any would even return a call or email. It was very frustrating. Jeremy probably contacted at least 15 that didn't get back to us. The ones that did get back to us weren't the best - very small, run down, etc. I'm so happy we found a place that looks pretty great. It's a two story apartment connected to the landlord's house, but has it's own entrance and back patio. It also has a dishwasher and washer and dryer. Plus there is a garage that Jeremy can probably park his motorcycle in during winter.

To add to the stress, we were in a car accident two weeks ago. It wasn't bad, but my car got a little dented. An older man didn't realize we didn't have a stop sign (even though there was a big sign saying northbound traffic didn't stop) and he hit us. Again, it wasn't bad, just a bother. I have a rental car right now while the car is in the shop.

Now we're in the pack-the-house-up phase of moving. I hate packing so much, but we got some boxes through freecycle. We're trying to do it a little at a time. Hopefully this will work and we won't have to do everything at the last minute. Also, I've started looking for a job some up in Maine. I also hate the job hunting process.

On the upside, I rearranged my work schedule this week for a meeting at UT that never happened and flexed some hours at CASA so I have today off. It was nice to sleep in, especially since I'm now coming down with a cold. At least it's over a long weekend so I'll be better by Monday.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Currently in our house we have whole wheat flour, rye flour, self rising flour, and cake flour but no all-purpose flour. We also have honey, brown sugar, molasses, and pure maple sugar but no white sugar. In about two weeks I'll be able to say we have every spice on earth but no table salt.

I'm torn if I should buy some of this stuff since I'll just have to move it soon. We're kind of trying to use up what we can right now but it's getting difficult to do things like bake.

Friday, April 16, 2010

My Bread Machine

We bought a bread machine a little over a year ago and I must say, I think it's pretty great. Well, except that the pan pops out during kneading so we have to rig it so it will stay put and then remember to un-rig it so it will rise properly. Other than that, it's great.



Now that we have it, we rarely ever buy bread or bread products. This basically means that our bread consumption has greatly decreased. We actually use the machine mostly for making pizza dough. We love our pizza. I also use it to make dough for rolls. So handy not having to knead stuff myself. We don't make bread as much now as when we first got it, I will admit. We used to make all sorts, now it's mostly pumpernickel with occasionally wheat or wheat-oat.

The only bread products we now buy are from the "Oops, we baked too much!" section at Kroger and it's usually things like hoagie and hamburger rolls or French bread. They are super cheap and we freeze them until we need them. It's great.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Chimney Tops

This past Friday I didn't have work so Jeremy and I went for a hike. We've done this in the past on Good Friday, but with a group. This year we went solo. We decided to do Chimney Tops in the Smokies because I think it's one of those hikes you're supposed to do at some point if you live here. It's only 4 miles total, but it's pretty strenuous - two miles up, two miles down. Plus, once you get to the top, or near the top, it's literally a climb up a rock face to get to the very top. Once we got there, I was unsure if I actually wanted to go to the top, but knew I'd regret it if I didn't. The boys in front of us told me there was an easier way down on the other side so I decided to do it. The climb was a bit scary, and I was definitely aware of my own mortality during it. I was extra careful since I knew I couldn't get hurt since my health insurance doesn't actually cover anything.

I wish we got a good picture of the rock climb at the top. It was pretty crazy. Plus whatever kind of rock it was heated up in the sun and burned your hands. I was happy we weren't there later in the day or it would have been impossible.

The park and the trail we were on were fairly busy since it was spring break for a lot of people, but luckily we went early enough in the day that it wasn't too bad. On the way down the mountain we saw a TON of people going up. And for some reason, a lot of those people didn't have any water. I don't think they knew what was ahead.

Here is a video Jeremy took of the 360 degree view at the top:



And here's a picture of the way down. See those rocks? That was the climb up.