Author Archives: T

Photo Friday: Gadgets

Glamour shots of our favorite kitchen gadgets is the assignment for this week’s photographic follies.

My first selection here is my KitchenAid mixer. It’s not that I use this thing every day, or even every week, but when I do, it makes me happy. It’s no secret that I love to cook, and I love to bake. For years, I had a little plastic handheld mixer that was fine, but I would always admire the gleaming steel of the KitchenAids when I spied them in department stores or friends’ kitchens. Then one year for my birthday, my mom gave me one of my own, and here she is (the mixer, not my mom):


Ahh, kitchen gadgetry perfection!

The next is J’s pick: her espresso machine. It’s a cheap little thing that I got her for her birthday one year, but it is also one of our most-used appliances. We both do a lot of work online, so when we sit down for lengthy shifts at the computer, we always fire up the espresso machine to get ourselves through. Luckily, I find decaf espresso to be just as good, so that will be my drink of choice rather soon. Here is our trusty espresso machine:

 Espresso Machine 

Finally, because I love cooking so much, it was difficult for me to leave a few things out, so I have an honorable mention category. First is my knife. This is a wonderful knife with lovely balance, a great weight, and a high-quality steel blade. I use this thing daily to cut up nearly everything. Second is our corkscrew. We break these from time to time because, well, they get a lot of use. We love good wine, and being in California and within a half-day’s drive to some of the best wine appalachians in the world, how could we not?! Last is the garlic press. We searched for years for a garlic press that would press more than one clove at a time without the need for a pair of pliers to squeeze the handles together. One day, we found this one–I don’t know where–but if it ever breaks, I’ll be mortified.


So there you have it–our favorite gadgets (in the kitchen, that is).



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Can yours use sign language?

People have used some pretty amusing search terms to end up on this blog, things like,

artificially inseminate my cat


sperm inside of me for the first time

But my new favorite is this:

sign language vagina

I don’t think I need to say anymore.


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Happy Birthday, J!


Happy birthday, my sweet!

I didn’t manage to post on J’s birthday yesterday because we were having such a wonderful day, but  I thought she deserved to be the topic of a new (albeit, late) post at the very least. We spent the day doing everything from moving furniture around in our new office at the university to taking a nice sunny afternoon drive. We had been celebrating for a few days already with friends, but we finished it off with some wine and a lovely evening all by ourselves.

Today marks the end of our summer partying and a recommitment to our healthy lifestyles. We’ve been off track for a few weeks with all of our houseguests and the realization that this is our last summer in this place, not to mention school starts in just a week, but we’re both ready now to recommit to our healthier selves so that in just a month or so we can get started again on making a baby. With any luck, this will be the year I make my lovely lady a mom.



Filed under birthdays, J, Summer

Photo Friday: Trees

In my experience, people who don’t live in California most often associate it with Hollywood, L.A., beaches, warm weather, and the like. And they aren’t completely wrong. We have a lot of that here, but those things exist almost exclusively in southern California. There is a whole different side to this place, though–a wild, misty, and prehistoric place where thousand-year old trees stand hundreds of feet tall. This is our California: our redwood forest.


I have lived in northern California all of my life, but I moved to the north coast about fourteen years ago where I now live amongst the oldest and largest trees on the planet. To live on the north coast of California is to live almost symbiotically with these trees. We walk through them all summer, see them fall to their deaths in winter storms, mourn them as their corpses are hauled off by greedy timber companies–a single tree cut up to fill two giant trailers on trucks that fill the highways. We see the bald patches on mountainsides where the same timber companies have clearcut whole groves, whole ecosystems, so that someone can have a redwood planked deck.

After living here for fourteen years, one would think that the sheer awe inspired by these trees would fade, but over the years, I have fallen in love with these mystical giants time and time again. Of late, J and I have been camping and hiking amongst them every chance we get. Below is a photo of one such excursion. J is on the trail on the left. The giant mass taking up the right of the photo is just half the width of a redwood tree:


This is a fairly typical redwood grove: the sun filters through those few areas where the canopy opens up; giant sword ferns nearly swallow the bases of the giant trunks; and a thick, fluffy soil filled with redwood needles called duff covers the ground.

I never have been much of an environmental activist, but living amongst these redwoods and seeing their devastation has made me a life-long advocate for these trees. We really are in danger of losing them all, and as cliche as it may sound, I truly hope our children will be able to run amongst them, try to wrap their arms around them, and smell their sweet, earthy aroma one day–and that they won’t all be lost to lumber companies. Friends, if you’ve never seen them, please find an excuse to do so. You’ll be changed forever.


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Hello Again, Thermometer

Beep. Beep. Beep. 

Well, my month off from taking my basal body temperture at 7am is over. This morning I awoke bright and early and started up again. It’s nice to chart again though. I felt a little lost last month without knowing precisely the day I ovulated. I like knowing what my body is doing, and while we won’t be inseminating this month because Mr. Goodman is still out of the country, charting makes me want to be a little more well-behaved.

Today is also the day we both start prepping for the fall semester. We just found out last week that J is going to be teaching again this semester! Not only does this make for a more steady income (and health insurance for both of us!), but it also provides us with a nice chunk of money when it comes time to move in January. This is also our last semester ever teaching at the university where we both went to school for our BAs and MAs–the place where we met and fell in love. It will be a good opportunity to have some closure as we move on to bigger, greener, gayer pastures in the spring.

Honestly, I’m welcoming the distraction of new students and meetings and papers to grade. This means that maybe I won’t have as much time to obsess about the TTC rollercoaster. On top of that, fall semester is perhaps the worst possible time to be fatigued or have any sort of morning sickness, so chances are, I’ll get pregnant early and be sick all semester long. Here’s hoping!


Filed under teaching writing, The Break, ttc

Photo Friday: Art Attack

This week’s Photo Friday assignment was to show off our art. I am excited about this because J and I are art lovers. We are lucky to live in a part of California where there are many local artisans (not all of them good, mind you, but there are a lot). Somehow, people who meet us determine quickly that we love art, and as a result, many friends and acquaintances have given us pieces over the years. The majority of the pieces in our home contain images of women in some form or another (I know, predictable).

This was, however, one of the more difficult themes for me because I could have contributed dozens of photos. So many of the pieces in our home have great stories–even some of the prints–but I have narrowed it down to three.

The first is a monoprint that we were given a few years ago by a man we had known for about thirty minutes. His wife was our English department secretary, and we had her over for wine. When he saw the art in our home, he left for a moment and returned with this and a copy of a sketch he had done. We adored it, and we had it framed; it now graces our livingroom wall:


The second is a sculpture I bought for J in Mexico this past Christmas. My parents had given us a sculpture from the same shop, which sells these beautiful Cuban wood carvings. We both especially like her perky breasts:


Last is a really lovely photo, which also has a story. We were at this monthly art festival and ran into a friend of ours. We ended up going into a new gallery with her, and J fell in love with this photo. She stood and stared at it for a good ten minutes. About six months later, this friend told us she had a gift for us for our birthdays, and it was the photo. She was touched by how much we loved it, so she contacted the artist and bought it for us. And it’s now another of our favorites:  


So there you have it. I can’t believe I narrowed it to three.


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Photo Friday (ahem…Monday): Pink

Due to my absence, and because we were far away from computers this weekend, I bring you my Photo Friday contributions on Monday.  This week’s theme was pink, which stumped me for a bit. I knew there would be the obligatory flower shot. This shot is a couple of months old of these wonderful miniature roses. A friend of ours bought us this bush for our wedding, and we both love them: 


But I knew that flowers would be popular, so I looked around our house for something–anything at all–that was pink. This was the only thing I found:


Pictured above is our WWJD Jesus Divination Tool. He’s very much like a magic 8-ball. Simply ask him a question, shake him, and turn him over to reveal such snide responses as “I died for this?” or “Sinner.” Please don’t take offense. We’re Unitarians; we’re tolerant of nearly everything.

There you have it! Now, I’m off to splint my wrist before J finds out I’ve been typing instead of using my incredibly annoying voice recognition software.



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Wasted Egg

I can’t believe I’m writing yet another grumbly post, but I’m ovulating, and I had a minor meltdown in our driveway today. I didn’t realize it would hit me this hard, but J and I both can’t help but feel that we should be doing something quite a lot more important than mowing our lawn or doing laundry. I’ve had this weird sense of loss today over my wasted egg, and there’s nothing I can do about it but feel it for a moment and move on to all of those lovely things I said I would do to pass the time during our months off.

 So instead of complaining anymore about this subject–because I’m irritating myself now–I’m practicing something J taught me long ago, and that is to think of the good things that happened today. Today, I’m happy about the following:

  1. I have a beautiful wife, and yesterday, when we went for a long hike in the redwoods, she was especially lovely. She would run ahead and hide, trying to scare me and our friend, all the while giggling this mischevious little laugh and skipping down the trail. She never did get to scare us, but she reminded me of yet another reason I love her.
  2. We have our dearest friend staying with us while she looks for a place to live, and we have really enjoyed relaxing with her.
  3. We have started to find our yard under the jungle of a lawn that has grown up over it during the past month since our mower has been broken.
  4. I’m still loving my hair. My mom came to visit and she hated it (although she pretended to like it), but I’m still loving having so little hair, not worrying at all about dying it, etc.
  5. It’s sunny here and warm, and it’s rarely sunny and warm where we live.
  6. I have sunflowers blooming right outside of my office window, as shown here through the screen:


Life is not so bad. 🙂



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