Crazy talk

I had a ‘wedding nightmare’ last night.

It wasn’t anything particularly horrific, but I was very upset in my dream. And when I woke up I was upset about how horribly I acted in my dream because I was upset.

I don’t remember why, but for some reason we ended up getting married earlier than planned. In my dream I didn’t wear my dress, we hadn’t even bought wedding rings, and we didn’t go to the museum. I think we were sitting in a room basically just listening to a sermon like at a church. And then at the very end he made Brandon & I stand up so he could say, “You may now kiss the bride.”

No vows, no aisle. It was weird.

But the part I was the most upset about in my dream was the money. I knew we had spent a lot of money on deposits and flowers and stationery etc., and none of it was used. I was rude to the people who were able to make it on short notice and I cried about the money.
Seriously.

In reality, I would probably be happy with a very small, casual ceremony. Brandon had a picture of what he wanted, and that’s what we going to do, though. (Yes, I know it sounds backwards that he wanted the whole she-bang, but it’s true.) And I’m happy to comply. If I must be super girly and put on the big white dress, I am easily convinced.
I suppose I should go a little easier on my dream self. The only real thing stressing me out about this wedding is money and how to make things fit into a budget I’m not even 100% sure will fully manifest. I know times are tough; and I wonder if I should have never even asked my parents for anything. At least then if it doesn’t come through, we wouldn’t be ridiculously over budget.
Ug. I’m making myself sick just thinking about it.
The good news is, Brandon is phenomenal at both calming me down, and looking at financial situations very rationally. I lean on him so much when I start spinning like this. So no matter what happens between now & then, there will be him. And me.

An adaptation

Yesterday I made the most amazing gloppy concoction. It might have been photogenic when I first put it together, but today it most certainly is not. But my god is it tasty.
Mom asked that we bring a dish to share to the cookout at her house yesterday, preferably something wheat-free. I follow a couple of really fabulous food bloggers, and I knew I could count on them for inspiration.
And I do mean ‘inspiration’ because rarely do I follow a recipe. (The one exception being baking, because I know that it relies more heavily on chemical reactions & exact ingredient proportions. Even then, sometimes I just make things up as I go.)
One blog I’ve been dying to try a recipe from is this lovely woman at http://brannyboilsover.com/. She’s a former vegetarian who always seems to be so fearless in her flavor combinations. (Swoon) She uses a lot of beans in her recipes, and as a good dieter, I’ve been trying to incorporate them more as a cholesterol free source of protein & fiber. Plus they’re delish!
I skimmed back through her posts & found this sublime sounding black bean and mango salad. The only good mango I’ve ever eaten was in Florida though, and I really really wanted that perfect sweetness for my very own. I also didn’t want my food to be confused as a dip so I beefed it up with some brown rice for texture.
The result is this.


Black Bean and Mango Salad
2 cans low sodium black beans, rinsed & drained
1 cup unprepared (approx 1-1/3 c prepared) minute brown rice
1 cup fresh pico de gallo
1.5 cans mango, rinsed & diced
2 avocados
3 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp chili powder

Cook rice as directed & allow to cool. Drain & rinse black beans, add to rice. Stir in pico de gallo. Set aside.
Halve avocados; score in a checkerboard pattern & squeeze out of skin (a trick I learned on Goop). Pour over lime juice to prevent oxidation. Thoroughly rinse mango (usually canned in heavy syrup, bletch) & dice into 1/2 cubes. Add to avocados and sprinkle with chili powder. Fold until just mixed. Add in the rice and bean mixture, half at a time & stir until just mixed. Chill and serve at least one hour later. Yields 6-7 cups.

I really wish I hadn’t been in such a hurry yesterday when I made this. We had an incident where someone left a half full glass of milk in the fridge, and while I was trying to get the rice and beans out, I knocked it over. The milk fell squarely into the dish of avocado & mango, ruining it, obviously. Brandon was swell enough to run to the store and buy more so I could start again while I participated in some much needed primping and preening. And as soon as the salad was finished, we left for Warsaw, where a good chunk of my salad disappeared. But not all, and this salad tastes SO fantastic today too.

Good enough

Today I woke up feeling like crap. I had a terrible headache & could barely see straight. I called in to work & let them know I would be in later after I managed to pick up the pieces of my brain and stop the bleeding (aka after my migraine meds kicked in and I felt like a human again).
I finally made it in to work around lunchtime for a half day. I checked my emails from  home to make sure there were no crises and get mentally prepared for an abbreviated work day.
Little had happened that morning so I was plodding along at a great pace. I’m guilty of saving the worst for last, though and around 3:30p.m. that time came. My customer has a website that their suppliers must log-in to in order to get all the information needed to process orders. Every 90 days they require that I change my password. Which is fine. However, every time I change my password, something in their system breaks & I must call their help desk to get it fixed. This usually takes anywhere from 5 minutes to a day and a half depending on which friendly technician answers my call. It’s the exact same thing every time.
Finally today I asked, “If this happens every time anyone who uses your system changes their password, why isn’t this issue getting fixed?” They couldn’t tell me, and I was offered instructions to give my next tech-help person when I have to call back in 90 days in order to expedite my system repair.
Really? Is this good enough?

I won’t elaborate on how the rest of my day continued to explode from there, but I only left 15 minutes past five, so I’ll say that fires were put out pretty quickly due to my thoroughness on many prior occasions. I really don’t like leaving huge messes for someone else to stumble upon later. Fix it, do your own job, and have a  nice day!

Meatless

Every so often I like to have meat-free days. Usually after somewhat indulgent days when I might have had a lot of sodium, fat, and/or cholesterol. Last night Brandon & I splurged on some pizza, and today I woke up with a bit of a stomach ache. I could hardly bring myself to even look at food, but since I knew that wouldn’t last too long, I opted for the bland.
I always try to keep low sodium canned beans around. I know they would be 100x cheaper if I just bought them dry, but I’m very impulsive when it comes to packing a lunch and dry just won’t do. Today I opened a can of pinto beans & added in plain couscous (cooks in one minute!), oregano, olive oil & pepper. I even thought about taking a picture of it, but it just looked so boring. Turns out, it tastes great! Still bland enough to keep me from getting further digestional distress, but the oregano was just enough kick so I didn’t feel like I was eating babyfood. I decided to just hang on to the idea of mediterranean food (wild & crazy, I know!) I grabbed a couple giant handfulls of grapes & I’m so glad, they’re perfectly ripe & sweet. I also packed a spot of spinach artichoke hummus and half a pita for a snack later since I have no idea when and what form dinner will take.
Which of course might bring an end to my meatless day, but I’m ok with that too. Like I said, I’m impulsive.

Well someone has to do it.

I thought that we had kind of sort of decided that we were going to find a judge to marry us. I’m not entirely thrilled with the idea of a stranger marrying us, but a professional is a professional.
Now we really need to go about contacting someone & all sorts of random options seem to be opening up. Some of them Brandon is vetoing quickly, but I can’t help but wonder if we should just wait a bit. I know our wedding date is pretty popular & our options are already pretty limited. But what if…?

For Father’s Day

Today I got to sit down with my Dad over pulled pork.
It’s one of the benefits of living in the same town.
Yesterday we pulled off a more significant feat of getting all three of us kids in the same place at the same time with Dad too.
It was one of those really silly gatherings where everyone is just enjoying each other’s company. And I do mean silly. Thankfully I remembered my camera!

I’m pretty sure Dad was showing Tiff how to play the trumpet like he did back in high school. Or something.

Madeline: “Sometimes I don’t always want to eat your farm food Josh! I like grease. And cheese. And Zebra cakes!”
Yes, that is an actual quote.

I’m pretty sure Kathy is plotting how to steal the camera from me & get a picture of Brandon and I together.

Kathy kept saying “Lean in closer Brandon! A little closer… almost…. ok there!” There’s no actual excuse for my face, however.
And that’s to say nothing of the flying saucer coasters! (I’m pretty sure it just turned into a game of ‘annoy Rachael because she’s the only one trying to stop it!’ That’s quite alright, because I won!)
It was so nice to just talk to everyone about all the things happening in our corners of the world. Kathy is helping her daughter Abby plan her wedding, so with Mad & Josh and Brandon & I in the mix, there was lots of discussion of dresses, receptions and so on. And Tiff & Jon are still looking for the house they want to buy so they can start a family! You can bet we’re all pretty excited about that!
So yes, after all of that fun, we parted ways. And then today I got to dish with Dad about all the upcoming things in our lives and how we think things will turn out in the next few years.
Of course, what actually happens is always a wonderful surprise.