Saturday, November 20

What Would You Like to Eat?

I love to cook. It wasn't until recently I learned that I am a hobby cooker; I guess that makes me a home chef. I tried to take up knitting, and crocheting, World of Warcraft, and many others at the insistence from my husband that I find a hobby. I didn't know I already had one. Most days I cook dinner from scratch, though I have worked in more quick meals since I started school. When we moved to Texas I realized, gone were the days of Hatch Sunday dinners, and sneaking over to my family's home for my mother's chunky spaghetti. Gone, also, were the days of restaurants. We have not lived near a decent selection of restaurants in six years. To give you some perspective on this; Olive Garden is one of the most common restaurants around, you and I both know this. In Texas we lived an hour from the nearest Olive Garden, and here the nearest one is two and a half hours away. Needless to say, I realized if I wanted to eat well, I was going to have to do the cooking. It was an experimental time, some of the first meals I made were lemon chicken, catfish with leaks, and barbecue ribs with homemade sauce (a meal I have perfected!), and I obsessed over the Food Network. The food wasn't always good, but I had begun a quest that I could never have anticipated would become a lifelong one.

Today, I fear no food, and I am just stuck up enough to say I can't remember the last time I made anything that tasted bad (except the rolls I made a few weeks ago....still trying to master yeast breads). The most difficult task in cooking is putting together a meal plan. I scour the net; I have a growing collection of recipe magazines and cookbooks. I plan my grocery list around the recipes and create meal plans, then use the recipes as guides for the ingredients I need to prepare for dinner. It is a pretty effective system for me, except as times, planning the menu is a bit daunting. It is hard to come up with new ideas, or find new sources for recipes, but recently I had an epiphany moment.

Nathan and I were enjoying the most recent and fabulous episode of The Walking Dead... (Did you know rich people don't like to watch television? They find it insulting, or dumb and for another time) we are watching The Walking Dead, and I am fast forwarding through the endless commercials (three cheers for DVR!) and a pasta dish from the Olive Garden flew by. Well I wanted to get a good look at it, so I paused the show; I thought "hmmm, this is as good a source as any!" and went to go get a pen and paper. As I jotted down obvious ingredients I could see from the screen shots, Nate came back from the kitchen and asked what I was doing, I replied "studying." I had a revelation. I am a good enough cook now; I "get" ingredients and food well enough, that with a basic idea I can formulate my own recipe. The Internet is such a handy tool, and every restaurant, two and five star alike, has their menu available online; maybe they hope you will make your selections in the car (thank you iPhone), of before you leave (which I think I may start doing when I live near restaurants again), I am sure pre-selection eases up the wait time, and work for waiters. I went to Olive Garden's website to confirm the ingredients in the dish, and found several more dinner ideas. I then proceeded to Mimi's Cafe, and the Texas Roadhouse. I am so excited for my next menu set!

I think if, for some wild improbable reason, I did not get to become a midwife, or perhaps I changed my mind (fat chance), cooking would be my back up plan; it is my sub-passion. Maybe I would apply to a fancy culinary school, become the next Julia Child. For heaven's sake they give a cooking show to anyone now days. Otherwise Rachel Ray would probably be a nurse, and Giada De Laurentiis would be a Coppola film star, or a bra model for Victoria's Secret...anyone else get tired of being starred down by her C cups?

Thursday, November 18

Nap Time

Not much rattling in my brain. I am scrambling. Tired. My eyes are heavy, and my head feels swollen. Why do I always want to sleep? Midnight is not a good bed time. Will someone tell my husband?

Wednesday, November 17

Medusa Was a Neat Freak

Sometimes I consider the reversal of situations. I find myself meditating on the state of my house in comparison to the state of my grades. I don't love a dirty house. Mind you I am not filthy, but very cluttered. I was looking back on some home videos yesterday, when both of my children were babies. Claralynne spoke like James does now, and James was just figuring out how to scoot. I looked around my house in the video and it was nice and clean. A little cluttered with baby toys, but nothing obscene. And I remembered how back then I was able to stay on top of it more often than not. I realized I have recently given up on keeping my house in a shiny state. I am not bothered by a cluttered house. There are juice spots on my wood floors. The dog hair is unbelievable; I find it in my food daily (right!? Isn't that terribly gross! I am squirming thinking about it). But I find most often the reason my cluttered house bothers me, is not because it bothers me I worry it will bring about judgment from others. What a silly thing to draw conclusions from. In those moments when I worry someone is making conclusions about me, I wish to defend myself, explain it away, and I am not fond of my defensive tendencies. I wish to avoid situations that bring out the worst in me. But if people could only see! There is no use trying to keep up with my children. What is clean now, will be a disaster in 15 minutes. I have watched a spic and span room go from pleasant to hazardous at tornado-Tasmanian devil speed. Were it not for my fear that others may judge me based on the state of my house, I would very much be able to let it go. Why do I care what it looks like? It isn't disease infested, not unsanitary, just a mess. I have better things to do than pick up and scrub. Cleaning doesn't make me happy, and if I were to try and manage what my children dish out I would do nothing but clean. Then I'd turn into Medusa, start shooting laser beams out my eyes, and turning living beings into stone. They'd be clean then! No dog hair in my food then!

Now, I am unwilling to sacrifice my time for an immaculate house, but my that is a very different matter. I do not take a break from my studies. Ever. I do not take weekends. I am not lax about it; I am obsessive, and determined. My grades will be perfect, or I will bite my keyboard in half; start turning more living beings into stone just for the hell and fury of it. I haven't ever been able to harness that amount of fervor for cleaning, or getting in shape, or really parenting for that matter. I don't give a lot of thought to parenting. There is no accomplishing perfection. No royal parenting road. I will screw up. I will screw them up, and there is little I can do about it. Denying it, would be to deny my own flaws, and that would be terribly ignorant, and irresponsible. I must except my numerous flaws, and accept that those flaws will imprint upon my children who will subsequently become flawed individuals just like the rest of humanity. Accept that when my daughter screams like an enraged banshee, it is because I scream like an enraged banshee, and she is my brain rattling, seizure inducing, miniature banshee mirror. No sense trying to change it. Giving it a ton of thought will make me over think things, start doubting myself, doubting I am a good mom, and then? More stone people. But my grades, I can make them perfect. And I will. I could make my house perfect as well, but what do I learn from that? Do I learn about cultural social structure and become more enlightened about myself? Or the origins of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity; origins that come from the very same place? I guess I'll know how to get a mean stain out. I suppose that floats some people's boats. I wonder if they clean for their neighbors too? Or if people really clean for themselves? Maybe there are people who are truly like Danny Tanner. Would they answer honestly if I asked them? Who wants to admit they care about what you think? That they let it dictate their personal state of mind, and their actions? I know I don't.

Screw my neighbors; my house is a mess. I have a 4.0 for me.

Monday, November 15

Obstetrics vs. Midwifery

I wonder what it would mean to go to medical school. This thought has been circulating in my head for the past week or so. It would only be four more years of school than I am bound to finish as it is. I cannot practice as a midwife without a master's degree. I don't know what being an M.D. would mean for my ideals. Could medical school “medicine and science” my crunchiness out of me?

I used to shiver and quake at the idea of physics, or calculus, at a time when I was certain I was not intelligent. In my mind, my high school grades reflected everything my brain would ever be capable of. The boost in esteem that has come in achieving good grades, with little strain, has given me confidence for the notion that I have underestimated my capabilities. But still what would it mean for how I feel about birth? I have thought in this quest of medicine, the most prestigious title in the world, I could perhaps become the doctor I would want. Would I be able to accomplish it, or would science rewire the natural, organic, hippy, birthing in a blow up pool in my bedroom, nursing until my kid is 2.5+, no vaccinations, essence that I have come to consider so much of my identity?

Obviously I cannot redo my past; my children will always have come into this world in the hands of homebirth midwives, but could this course create regret in that? Science supports the paths I have chosen, but so often we are subject to the mentalities we are surrounded by. It would be difficult to repress labeling and association when I am continuously surrounded by medical professionals who are largely not in favor of the choices I have made. Yet, I know there are people who have done it; gone through the whole medical process and clung to their ideals, become obstetricians that have their babies at home with midwives. I have met them. Could I do it? Become the doctor of my own dreams? It is a very alluring idea, but I do still feel my calling to midwifery as I have for 7 years. I am going to have to think hard about where my path is leading, what my destiny is, and what I truly want out of life.