Scenes From a Week (9.15.2014-9.21.2014)

2014-09-15 13.54.26Monday

I have scars on my right hand. One is a scar on my wrist from an operation when I was 10 or 11 years old. The other two are cooking scars. Yes, cooking scars. I burned my hand a couple of weeks ago when I pulled out a rack from the oven and tried to put it back in. The other one was from banging my hand on the microwave door over a month ago. Freak accident. Sometimes people talk about the scars we get from life events. I get real scars from kitchen accidents.

2014-09-17 17.25.52Wednesday

iOS 8 released. I tried to update my iPad but it had a minor freak-out. (Maybe it thought I was going to trade it for a fancy new iPhone 6 Plus.) I went to an Apple Store on my way to the ballpark for my last Astros game at home this year. As I waited for my iPad to reboot, I looked up and saw glass, rain, and lights. For a moment I stopped hearing the Maroon 5 concert playing in the store and I stopped worrying about where my life was headed. For a moment all I wanted to do was stare at that ceiling.

2014-09-18 18.17.08Thursday

There’s a pizza chain in Houston that I have fallen in love with: Pink’s Pizza. I believe finding a good pizza place is part of making a new place your home. I particularly love their pizza because their slices reminds me of New York pizza: thin and cheesy and large. When our server brought our slices over, I showed E how to fold her pizza so she could eat it. However, she chose to keep it flat and take a bite. The New Yorker in me had a minor freak out. FOLD, PLEASE.

2014-09-21 10.41.54Sunday

I left for New York mid-afternoon. New York is where I come to restore my creative and emotional tank. This time around, I’m hoping to do more thinking about my postcard book and send some postcards too. I came prepared with postcard stamps. Also, my knitting needles and yarn. I’m ready to party.

 

Scenes From a Week (9.5.2014-9.14.2014)

Houston Big City

Saturday

I have been in Houston for well over a year. Although I am no longer an academic, I think a lot about what it means for me to live in Houston and whether I consider myself a Houstonian (or whether it’s possible for me to ever be a Houstonian, not unlike saying if I will ever be a New Yorker again). So in an effort to understand Houston better, I like to explore it. I’m also a city gal so I’m enthralled by all things urban. This particular day my daughter and I made it out to the Houston City With No Limits festival at Discovery Green in Downtown Houston. We made it late so we didn’t get a chance to explore, but we spent the afternoon at Discovery Green, had lunch, and listened to some good music. I don’t think the festival answers the question “What Makes A Houstonian?” but if it means good food, good music, and a lovely park, I’m signing up.

 

Knitting pride and joySunday

I’ve been knitting. This washcloth (?) is the first thing I finished. It wasn’t supposed to be anything, really, but after failing miserably at starting a scarf I went back to basics and practiced stitches. This was the result.

It looks sad, I know. And that’s hard for me to digest. I’m very good with my hands. I enjoy cooking, baking, crafting, holding hands…and I write with my hands too. I don’t know where I got it from or what it means that my hands can do so much, but I’m proud of my hands. Where my brains and my words fail me, my hands do not.

It was weirdly humbling to teach myself to knit. A friend taught me how to knit when I lived in Kansas City, and I’ve gotten better at that. But lately I need to occupy my brain, so I bought some knitting needles and queued up Youtube videos.

Now I write and I knit. I knit and I write. And I remember what it’s like to start from the bottom.

ApplesMonday

There’s a supermarket chain in Texas known as Central Market. I compare it to my beloved Wegman’s from Upstate New York. Although I can easily drop a ton of cash there if I don’t have a shopping list with me, I love going here to shop. I always end up with something I didn’t initially have on my shopping list. This Monday, it was Honeycrisp  apples. I blame Central Market for having apple cubes for people to taste as they walked around the fresh produce section.

You get me every time, Central Market.

 

Mini pizzasThursday

I cooked, again. This time around I tried out these mini pizza pans I bought at Marshall’s and made mini pizzas with my daughter. Before I made them, I hid and had a good long cry; it was one of those afternoons. I put myself together and made my way back to the kitchen.

Roll out the dough.

Rub the pasta sauce onto the dough.

Sprinkle cheese, pepperoni, green peppers, mushrooms, and some more cheese for good measure.

Pop them in the oven.

And then we wait.

 

Get your free postcardsSaturday

My book research took a back seat this summer, but I’m trying to get back on track with that. Sometimes I get frustrated that I can’t figure out what direction I’m headed, and that’s when I find the time to watch episodes of Scandal on Netflix and rearrange my apartment. But when I see postcards out in the wild, I feel a pitter patter in my chest because I’ve come across my research subject and I remember again why I wanted to write about postcards in the first place.

The writing process is not just a process about writing but a process of self, too.

 

 

Scenes from A Week (8.31.2014-9.4.2014)

Selfie-on-a-Sunday.jpgSunday

I wear lipstick all the time now. Almost all the time. I like how it dresses me up. It brightens up my day when I’m not feeling well. It’s not that I’m bluffing behind my lipstick. I’m just taking care of myself. So I took a selfie because self care includes selfies.

 

 

 

Lipstick-stained-coffee-cup.jpgMonday

Monday was a sad day. I took my daughter and myself to brunch. Never underestimate how food can comfort. And if you don’t believe me, you’ve never experienced how a cup of coffee starts time around you.

 

 

 

 

Houston-at-night.jpgWednesday

As I exited Minute Maid Park that evening, I looked around me, trying to remember where I parked. In front of me were concrete baseballs, a crane, and the Downtown Houston skyline. I quickly pulled out my phone and tried to take a picture before a car crossed in front of me.

2014-09-04-18.21.11.jpgThursday
 

I don’t cook everyday.  I don’t know if it has anything to do with how I was raised (my mom worked an 8 to 5 job and I remember clearly how tired and frustrated she would get on occasion because she didn’t feel like cooking), but I cook when I feel like it. Other times I freeze food and warm it up when dinnertime comes. This weekday evening, however, I had planned on making enchiladas (I’ve been on a Pinterest binge lately and I’ve pinned several crock pot recipes). I made the chicken the night before and left it in the pot while I went to the ballgame). The next day I used it to make enchiladas.

I enjoy cooking a lot, and so I try to cut myself some slack when I’ve had a rough day or when I’m too tired to put together a meal. I like making meals because I see it as an extension of love. I internalized the mantra “women don’t have to be homemakers to be of value,” so I cook not just because I feel I have to but because I want to. I see it as a way of taking care of the people around me. If I like you and you live close, I will probably cook for you. I take the time to chop, slice, research, bake, wash, with the idea that I want to provide you with something that will fill your tummy with happiness. Because I love you.

I need a new pan though.