For the past two weeks, I've been pretty much housebound as Jim the Contractor has been fixing up things around our new apartment. As of yesterday, everything is done and there's a fresh coat of paint on all of the walls. Now we just need to research some ways to hang picture frames without nails to keep our landlady happy :-)
Tracking construction dust all over the house plus having to move all of the furniture around to paint left lots of opportunities to clean, and I had plenty of time on my hands to do it. So now the furniture is dusted, the floors mopped, the windows and sills cleaned, and the closets organized. I even aerated the soil in our potted plants outside. (It might be wishful thinking, but I do think that the parsley looks better!)
Back to Class
I started one of two online classes for work this week. I almost forgot what it's like to try to write a paper about a chapter in a textbook. Even for a teacher, it's not the easiest think to put down what you think about/learned from the chapter for someone else to grade. Perhaps another reason why teachers should be students again every once in a while. I also did some unofficial training/experimenting with some Google Apps called Doctopus and Goobric. There's definitely a learning curve, because it's taken me 3 tries just to figure out how to set the things up, but now that I have the basics down, they seem easy enough to use. I'm super excited to try out electronic writing portfolios and grading this year!
We visited the SOWA Market in South End for the second time. It truly has something for everyone, with one parking lot designated for arts vendors, one for the farmer's market, one for the food trucks, and a vintage market in between. We wandered around a bit, and I realized that Farmer's Marketing might be a learned skill. I've heard of people looking to see "what looks good" and then taking stuff home to cook with, but I simply could not put together any sort of inspiration on the spot. We ended the trip in the food truck lot. I'd done some research ahead of time with this article from Boston Magazine. We ended up with 4 wins: For-Biden Fruit Crepe from The Paris Creperie, 2/$1 pickle spears from Grillo's, The Double Awesome from Mei Mei Street Kitchen, and a pork bahn mi from Momogoose.
Two Steps Forward, One Step Back...
In what feels like a never ending battle to get and stay in shape, I completed one full week of working out--which included waking up at 6:30 to be exercised and showered before the contractor arrived to begin working--and then completed one week of no exercising at all. On a couple of those days, I woke up at the same time but had to move all of the furniture around to get ready for painting, but the truth is, I didn't try especially hard to make time. I have been keeping up with making lunches and dinner each week to keep us eating healthy, but need to keep in the habit of making time to exercise, too--especially when school starts back!
We had a few friends over for dinner at the end of July and put our grill into party mode. I'm proud to say that, for the first time, we pulled off a party with time to spare before guests arrived! I was much better about planning out my time, and the house was already clean, which helped a ton. On the menu for the evening: I kept Ina Garten's mantra of "make one, buy one" in mind and bought cheese and grapes as an appetizer, made pasta salad ahead of time, which I served with 2 different kebabs as a main course--BBQ pork, green pepper, onion and pineapple for one, and lemon-herb marinated chicken and zucchini as another. The chicken stayed incredibly juicy, but the pork dried out too quickly. Overall, though, the evening was a great success!