This month. This month! It was all too much, but much of the too much isn’t really for this space. Some illustrative vignettes:
Inspired by a friend’s dramatic debt reduction, I spend time poring over our spending to cut literally a few dollars here or there. That afternoon, I rearrange my schedule so that I can use a free pass for a fitness class. I arrive at the gym but have have forgotten the pass on my desk. I’m already there, so I pay $5 for a pass, waiting a long time for an entire sports team to enter the gym before they can process my payment. I rush to the class. The instructor doesn’t show up.
We documented a number of issues when we moved into our apartment. A contractor came by in July to measure windows for replacement – while seven need to be replaced, four must be replaced because they can’t be safely operated. The new windows are installed on a Tuesday. The contractor points out significant structural damage likely caused by roof issues and lousy tuckpointing. Four days later, we come home to find rain pouring through one of the windows that wasn’t replaced – not through the window itself, but between the frame and the wall. We report the problem to our landlord, who is predictably upset, having poured buckets of money into his previously low-maintenance rental property over the last few months. On Halloween, less than a week later, we have our first snow, which melts and drips through the frame of one of the new windows.
And so it goes all month, one thing after another, with us doing our best to keep our heads above the waves as we frantically tread water. Appliances stop working. Diapers leak. Everyone gets sick. I get mastitis again.
But despite all of this, projects and events I’ve been planning for months happen at work with minor issues. We almost completely avoid eating out, and so come in way under our food budget for the first time maybe ever. We wear #RedforEd and cheer on our city’s teachers as they strike for a better future. I run to the marathon course and tear up as the new world record holder blazes by. We paint pumpkins and soak up the last spectacular fall weather. The balls roll in the right direction, and time marches on.
- Warren Invites Us In: On the Selfie Line — Los Angeles Review of Books — this is fantastic, regardless of your politics
- It’s so much more than cooking — The Week
- How America Lost Dinner — The Atlantic
- Definitely not the matpakke, the world’s most boring lunch (Watch the video. It’s delightful.)
- Miso sweet potato and broccoli bowl from Smitten Kitchen on repeat forever and ever, amen.
- White bean and escarole soup from Reading My Tea Leaves on a gloomy Monday
- Dairy-free cornbread — Whole Foods
- Sticky, spicy stir fry with tempeh and brussels sprouts — Hello Veggie
- Crunchy, spicy almond-and seed salad topping — Real Simple
- Spaghetti squash lasagna from Minimalist Baker
- From NYT Cooking:
- Pressure cooker black bean soup — put this in the InstantPot before work which I think threw off the amount of water needed since the beans got a good 6-7 hours of soaking before the pressure cooking starts. Will continue tweaking.
- Spicy stir-fried tofu with kale and red pepper — tofu didn’t hold together, so it was more of a tofu scramble, which was just fine!
- Pan-roated eggplant with peanut-chile sauce — the technique is fantastic, but the sauce part of the recipe doesn’t make quite enough. Added homemade peanut butter, thinned with olive oil and water, and tossed with noodles to round out a meal.