Last week we went over to some friends’ house to learn how to make…..


I was ecstatic. R was hungry.

I met L through her friend S. I tutored S in english grammar, U.S. history, etc. I use the word ‘tutor’ loosely because she was very advanced in learning the language.

S was also the one that suggested going to King Sauna in Dallas, but neglected to mention that I’d spend half the night naked amongst other women. You can click to read about that… here.

L’s husband laughed when I mentioned that little nugget of info and agreed that that might probably be the most important aspect to have told someone.

I think S was playing one on me.

So L laid out the ingredients, sliced for each roll’s individual flavor:

  • cream cheese
  • cucumbers
  • sprouts
  • avocados
  • spicy tuna
  • crab meat

And then she cut the seaweed wraps. My mouth was starting to water at this point.

I was close, so close!

After watching L make a a couple rolls, I gave it a shot. Her daughters were not impressed.

I got a little wild with the sprouts. It was like my hands could. not. stop. putting. on. sprouts. Everyone made a mental note which roll was mine.

And then I made R make one too. He gets kinda stressed out in the kitchen, so I figured it would be safer if he was in front of company while learning. If it were just him and me, he’d be huffing and puffing until I “put him down.” Or at least that’s what my sister called it when she put her kids to sleep.

We had a good conversation with L & K. L is also being tutored in esl and to hear her struggles with the language made me feel closer to her as I was going through a similar experience re-learning Spanish.

She is an extremely outgoing person, and to not be able to express herself easily, makes her sad. It’s almost like losing a limb, the inability to communicate well.

From the time I first met her until now, I have so much improvement in her conversational skills. I’m so excited to get to know her better and force her to be my friend. Her major in Korea was Pottery which means she’s a creative spirit and hopefully won’t find my oddities, well, odd.

But above all, we have a new item on the menu, now! (And it all comes back to food anyway, doesn’t it.)

Dinner Al Fresco

Did anyone else walk outside today and immediately start skipping to the car?

After finally admitting to myself that my favorite season is Spring, the feeling of Fall in the air downright filled me with happiness. The heat wave over the past couple months had just sucked every ounce of energy out of me.

But tonight. Yes. Tonight the roommates and I were able to eat our spaghetti dinner outside The Shack with cold drinks and warm sunshine on our faces.

Without sweating.

Glorious, glorious, glorious.

I think I may just turn into a Fall person, after all. That is, until Winter hits.

Can I have that piece of my ear back?

This is literally what we do almost every night during the week. Don’t be jealous.

N sits on one couch, I sit on the other… and we watch R try to beat Mike Tyson in Nintendo’s Punch-Out. It has become a very sad event to witness, R coming so close and then getting knocked out every time. He turns into Million Dollar Baby and won’t move until time for bed, he becomes so distraught.

Was that an inappropriate joke?

Anyway, N & I want him to beat Tyson just so he’ll quit obsessing over it and *we* can play some games. Like Dr. Mario or Goal.

You will know when R wins.  You’ll be able to hear him he’ll yell so loudly.

And, yes, we’ve finally hung those pictures leaning against the wall. The Shack is coming along.


This was a crowd pleaser with the roommates. I thought they were a bit too greasy, which is odd since for the longest time I had convinced myself that grease was an ancient magical substance passed down from one tribal medicine man to another. And then finally one medicine man went to college and shared it with everyone suffering from headaches early one saturday morning. And then the world calmed thyself.

[let’s all have a moment of silence for that wonderful substance]

But anyway, I still felt like these could’ve been dabbed a while longer with a paper towel. It was quite an easy recipe. Cabbage, meat, other veggies that i can’t think of right now, some oyster sauce and voila: the inside is complete.

I even saved some of the cabbage for our livestock outside. And then later read that cabbage gives them gas.

Well, suck it up and join the club, I say.

We don’t have a fry-daddy, so I just dipped them in some olive oil.

And presto! Here they are. I probably made 20 or so and they were gobbled up fast.

If you think about it, it’s basically kind of like a one pot meal. Just add a side of grease for dipping sauce, and you’re done!

Watering Hole

On down the road from The Shack we noticed cars parked on the side. As we passed, we craned our necks to see what was down there but only caught a glimpse of this dirt road.

So one day we decided to find out what was going on…

Bathing suits – check.

Towels – check.

Leaving Carolyn in the dust while the roommates get caught up in conversation – check, check, and check.

We turned the corner at the bottom and was immediately greeted with a nice mural.

R practiced his best whud-up stance in case the muralists decided to get unfriendly. You know, because doesn’t every gang hang out by creeks in rural Arkansas?

But guess what – No gangs! Only a wonderfully cold watering hole with rope swing included. People had their chairs, their drinkie-poos, and picnics packed. What a nice surprise, especially during this heat wave we’ve had.

Yes, we really are doing this.

Meet our newest family members. And, well, I guess I shouldn’t call them family because after this post you’ll think we’re the Donner party or something.

We’ve been trying to just jump into things, not necessarily without thinking, but without over-analyzing. Because, you know, R has analysis paralysis. He will read 1000 books before deciding to take the first baby step in doing things. I’m pretty much the opposite and so we came to a compromise in reading and then doing.

So. We’re starting to raise rabbits for meat.

I know. It sounds appalling and cruel to kill the Easter Bunny. But from what we’ve read, rabbit meat is the leanest meat out there. In fact, have you heard of rabbit starvation? Say you were out in the wilderness and all you could find was rabbit to eat, you could still starve to death. The meat does not have enough fat and calories to make up for all the energy your exerting to stay alive. Isn’t that crazy?

And yes, I do go into that whole schpeal every time I tell someone.

So we picked up the cages and two rabbits (a doe and a buck) from a girl my age who has been doing it for the past 3 years.

I loved her! She had a baby on one hip, flicked a huge wolf spider off the cage, and went into detail about [side whisper] the killing part of raising rabbits. I wanted to force her into being my friend if only to be my spider security guard. But alas, she is moving to another state… hence the need to sell her meat producers.

And with a big wave, she sent us off on our mini-mini-farm adventure.

When we got back to The Shack, we put the cages in its proper place and have spent the past couple of weeks just making sure we can keep them alive through this heat wave.

N has already placed a bet that I will have the future babies named and house-broken before they’re a week old. I must look at these guys as a food source. I must, I must, I must.

There’s also some other things happening to The Shack that I will share. Things that I, for one, am excited about. Learning through experience, that’s what we’re doing.

Wild Wild West

Have I mentioned how much I love our library’s bookstore? We’ve had to take out a second mortgage on The Shack to keep up with my addiction, but it’s been worth it.

And if my future kids don’t just curl up in a corner and daydream about the wild wild west after reading these, I don’t know.. I’ll throw a fit.

I mean, look at those embossed front covers!

And the wonderful colored pictures that just beckon you to step right through them to another century of lassos and Native Americans and ghost towns…

You just cannot put a price on these two-page photo spreads either. The books are full of them! …And for a buck a piece, I think I got a steal.


Stairway to Hell

Up yours, Led Zeppelin. I know you really didn’t climb those stairs, because if you had, you would’ve found that there is no euphoric state of bliss at the top. No Willy Wonka wonderland, with gummy bear trees… no. Only a heart that’s two seconds away from failure and eyes bulging to the edge of their lids.

I’ve been to Dante’s Inferno and lived, my friends.  And at this moment, I am in heaven…sitting on my couch, watching Predator, and eating popcorn. No stairs involved.

Our friends had mentioned a place on the university’s campus where people go to run stairs. “It hurts” was what they said.

Okay. I understand not wanting to hype up a movie to your friends before they see it, or rave about a meal you’re about to serve, lest the letdown is so huge that it ruins your friendship.

But please. Please give extra emphasis if you’re leading me into a near death experience.

We walked up to this hidden stairway amongst jungle-like leaves, wondering if at the top would be some ancient mayan ruin.

I was the first to lead and made it to, oh, about right where you see me before I wanted to call it quits. Call it quits and just head straight to the first buffet we saw. That’s how defeated I was.

But I finally made it past the first barrier that I’m sure was in place for the people who climbed to the top and having no energy to walk back down, just heaved themselves down the steps.

I made it though.

No ancient mayan ruins. No gummy bear trees.

Just dormroom windows and a large sign “California.” For a second, I really thought I had climbed to California and so decided to just lay on the ground until someone made me a casket.  I was born there, so no need to change the headstone. Just put in my epitaph “She died doing what she loved: cursing and fantasizing about chinese food.”

In the end, we only managed to do six reps, but in our defense it was 103 degrees out. Ryan thought he had had a stroke and spent most of the time in walmart staring at puzzles in the game dept and swaying from side to side. My legs shook for a good half hour afterwards.

However, I’m ready to do it again.

Bring it, stairway. I will conquer you.

2 years of talking about myself.

How did I miss my two-year blogging anniversary? Who knew that talking about yourself could be so fun. Oh wait. Everyone knows that… because isn’t that the first lesson in Making Friends 101? Always ask questions about them.

However, in my case (yes back to me), I normally ask questions of other people just so that I don’t have to talk. I’m not a fan of talking, you know, because of the whole listening part on their end. Haven’t we discussed this before? That’s why I’m a gesticulator. So that people focus on my flailing hands rather than my awkwardly worded answers.

But I do enjoy a good romp in the hay with ole Blogger. We’ve stuck it out these past two years, now I just need to dedicate more time to it.

Here are a sampling of blog posts that still either touch me or make me laugh out loud. Who said that the memory of something is more enjoyable than the actual doing of it. Well, they just might be right.

You can click on the photo and it will take you to the blog post.

Date night with a Joker Hat

Getting called out by my favorite band whilst dancing next to a Scottish Laird from 1745.

Trying to convince you that I really am not on drugs.

The whole Little Corn Island saga continues to make me laugh — if only for the plane/boat ride over and finding the Soul of the World with a couple hippies.

And just little moments with R, trying to make it through the sometimes mundane reality of it all. Life.