Back in the Real World, Back in the Kitchen

Today was my first real day at my new job (orientation doesn’t completely count, in my book).  It involved all of the normal first day things–meeting of co-workers, getting computer sign-in info, etc.  There was even a “first day of school” outfit selection session the night before.  Oh, and there was some spilled yogurt on my skirt for good measure (from 11:30 on).  I think that added a touch of real life to my first impression.  “Hi, I’m Hannah, and I spill things on my clothes.  Regularly.”

I think it went well, real life and all.  The only sad thing about the new job so far is what it’s doing to my evening motivation.  Also known as my prime cooking hours.  Also known as we might starve in the near future.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of the cooking practice I’ve had in the past several months, and I think I’ve picked up some skills along the way. My onion chopping time is only half of what it used to be.

I think my carefully gathered recipe collection is going to have to start nearly from scratch, however.  For Housewife Hannah, cooking time isn’t an important part of recipe selection.  For Professional Yogurt-Stain Hannah, those 16-minute recipes start looking awfully nice compared to the fancy 1-hour options.

So yeah, that’s where I am.  Avoiding moving towards the kitchen, cuddled up between my warm dog and my warm laptop on the soft, squishy couch.  Can you tell I don’t want to get up?  On the bright side, if I do ever stand up again, we’ll have stuffed acorn squash with chorizo and tastiness for dinner.  If it’s any good, I’ll tell you where to find the recipe.  If it stinks, I’ll spare you the pain.

photo from teeny tiny picture for my teeny tiny motivation

photo from… teeny tiny picture for my teeny tiny motivation


I’m Employed!

Well, I’m technically not employed yet.  But I did get a job offer, and I’ve signed an acceptance of that offer, so it’s pretty official.  I’m really excited about it.  I get to dust off my library skills, and I even get to hang out with co-workers who like reading.  It’s going to be good.

photo from

photo from

In addition to new co-workers and schedules and an inability to wear sweatpants every day, the new job also means it’s time for me to break out the cleaning supplies.  I have three business days between now and my first day of work, and we have guests visiting this weekend, next weekend, and for Thanksgiving.  We’re really really glad we get to see friends and family.  I just don’t want them to fully experience the stink bug genocide on our floor.  I know I keep talking about it, but who likes cleaning up stink bugs?  I’ve been avoiding it.

Last but not least, we’ve returned to some fall recipe favorites from last year.  You can check those out here.  We had the chicken with brussels sprouts and rosemary potatoes and mustard sauce the other day.  Next time, I need to make double the mustard sauce, but you live and learn.  And tonight is stuffed apple night, unstuffed (recipe on the same post).  Between the Italian sausage and the apples, I’m looking forward to it.

photo from Cooking Light (by John Autry)

photo from Cooking Light (by John Autry)


The End of an Era (and Fresh Paint)

I’ve loved being a stay-at-home wife for the past several months.  It gave me a chance to start my Etsy shop, to paint more, to cook relaxed meals, and to just feel at peace.  But every season has its end, right?

Sometimes while I was feeling at peace, I also felt like a bum.  Sometimes I wanted more of a schedule.  Sometimes I wished that my copious amounts of cooking and laundry got me a paycheck that I could share with Scott.



I’m starting a new job at a local university on Monday.  It’s a short quarter-mile walk from our house to the office, and that’s only the beginning of the future job awesomeness.

You know what I like in addition to having a new job?  I like that this past week, I’ve been a project machine around the house.  I knew that I had a very limited amount of time left as a lady of leisure, so I started tackling projects I’ve avoided for a good long time.

Stained, dirty walls in the pantry area?  Repainted!  Stained, dirty ceiling in the kitchen?  Repainted!  Toenails (not stained or dirty to my knowledge, but in great need of TLC)?  Painted.  (We’ll get back to that one.  First, take a look at the kitchen ceiling.)

This was my favorite moment of ceiling painting.

This was my favorite moment of ceiling painting.

Yucky stains (and freshly painted edges).

Yucky stains (and freshly painted edges).


No more yuck!

The ceiling painting was the biggest task.  In my opinion, it’s not that gratifying to paint something the same color it was before just to get rid of a layer of stain.  But paint, I did.  (Yes, that was a mental pat on the back that you heard just then.)

Can I also say that painting my toenails in the winter is kind of a big deal for me?  It has never been my dream to have freezing cold feet for hours before going to bed.

While my feet aren’t on par with Liz Lemon scary feet, they have been cracked and dry for years and years.  Somehow, without assistance of lotion or anything at all, Scott’s feet stay smooth and moisturized.  Mine, on the other hand, develop cracking canyons a few times a year.  Sad foot canyons.

I found a solution this week, and it’s been glorious.  I’ve been wearing my giant Uggs every day at home, because they’re warm and wonderful.  Then it occurred to me that these wonderful shoes could easily turn into spa tools with a few extra ingredients.  While I was painting walls and ceilings and cleaning paint off of the floor and the counters and everything, I added a thick layer of lotion to my feet, topped them with a pair of fuzzy socks, and put the faithful fur-lined boots back on.  In one short week, my feet are already looking like feet again instead of geological features you might find in a desert.

And thus, I declare victory over this week of non-jobness.

Moving In

As the years have progressed, I’ve developed a bit of a nesting habit.  At first, it only came out during my summers as a camp counselor.  The camp I worked for traveled to different locations every week to maximize the people we could share camp with and to make life a little simpler for parents.  A different dorm room every week for a couple of months meant eight or ten different chances for me to “move in.”

That wasn’t a big deal right off the bat.  I put my suitcase near my bed and called it good.  Then I realized that with a half hour of furniture moving and a few strategically placed personal items (can’t remember what those were during summer camp… laundry detergent, perhaps… so personal!), I could turn a sterile dorm room  into something that resembled a minuscule, week-long home.

There wasn’t any turning back after I discovered the amazing powers of moving furniture.  You can totally change a space by getting rid of unnecessary stuff and rearranging a few things.  In my first apartment, I moved my living room furniture a couple of times in one month.  That might have been excessive.  But now I have this great office opportunity.  This is more or less what my new office looks like at the moment:


Cords and manuals and supplies, oh my!


The door actually has a label that says “Supplies.”  In its defense, it’s a giant supply closet.  Two full-sized desks fit into it with about 12 spare computer monitors, more cords than I can count, and tons of other computerish stuff.  So yeah, there’s plenty of room in general and room for improvement here.

I obviously can’t do anything about the supplies and the mountain of books that contain the phrase “for dummies.”  I’m actually pretty glad that all of those books are in the room.  I won’t have to wander to the non-fiction section of the library every time I have a stupid question about my new job.

There is something I can do about adding some life, however.  Bet they’ve never had an art history major in the Computer Services office before.  They don’t even know what’s about to hit them.  Mwah ha ha.  Stay tuned for an “after” picture of the closet, um, office.  And as fair warning, it might be a week or two before that picture is posted.  Hopefully there will be some content between now and then that is in no way work-related.