29 June 2011

Temporarily Husbandless

You may have noticed that my posts are a couple weeks behind. I've had so many stories to share about our first impressions of Lebanon and rather than bombard you with them all at once, I chose to stick to my usual posting schedule. Soon time will catch up with me, but it may take awhile because I am temporarily husbandless.

Yes, Scott has been and will continue to be away for a few weeks in Southern California. He is part of a chosen group of students participating in a condensed first year anatomy course at the main Western University campus in Pomona, called ISAC (Intensive Summer Anatomy Course). Western University offers a couple of summer courses that provide additional learning opportunities outside of the normal curriculum. We've been told that in the future these programs will be offered in Lebanon, but couldn't be this summer because the building is still in the final construction stages. These programs pretty much sealed the admission's deal for Scott. So far he's really enjoyed the program and the students he's met there.

You may be wondering why I didn't go with him. All along I've been planning to stay in Lebanon with the intent to job hunt. I'm glad I did! I've had the opportunity to apply and interview for professional jobs that may not have been available to me if I were still in Cali. But new (decent) jobs in Lebanon come about as often as sunny days here. So I've also spent a good deal of time in my apartment, bored senseless, creating new hobbies.

Exhibit A: Container Gardening

Remember that strawberry plant I bought at Newport's farmers market? Well I found this apple basket at a thrift store downtown that was screaming for a strawberry plant to be put in it.

I really haven't ever planted things before. When I was younger my dad and I would plant potatoes and snow peas in old tires in our backyard. Sitka doesn't exactly have gardening weather or terrain. Tire plots probably don't qualify as experience though since my dad and Miracle Grow did all the work. I just reaped the rewards. So what I'm saying is, I'm not going to post on my blog when these plants die.

I also bought an orchid on craigslist. I watched several YouTube videos instructing on when and how to repot and orchid. There wasn't any bloom when I purchased it, and it had dried roots coming out of every hole in the pot. I squelched boredom for an hour (or two counting videos and shopping) repotting this orchid. I will post another blog if this baby ever blooms!

My deck also features a lavender plant and SO much basil (thank you Target dollar section!). This occupied some time, but after awhile I decided I was spending too much time watching it grow and nit-picking. So I supplemented with another hobby.

Exhibit B: Cooking

Daily I'm checking couponing blogs for deals to snag. A few weeks ago I noticed that whole chickens were on sale for a great price. My sister-in-law Annie had made a fabulous roasted chicken in the crock pot when we visited for New Years, so I thought I would buy a couple small chickens and try it out. One for now as a tester, and another one for when Scott comes home. If he likes it I'll watch for more good chicken deals.

I used this recipe, and I think it came out GREAT! I may have overdone the salt and rosemary a tad, but that's why this was a tester.

I put the chicken in the crock pot in the morning, and by 5:00 pm it was falling off the bone. My home smelled like caramel! Not sure why, but it was giving me a nasty sweet tooth craving! I decided to add the red potatoes, but only added them about 90 minutes before I wanted to eat. Worked out perfect! I'll definitely do it again.

The only problem with my cooking hobby is that I'm the only one here to eat my creations. I also feel bad debriefing my culinary masterpieces with Scott during our nightly conversations. He's chosen to live off ramen while in ISAC, so I only share cooking successes if necessary.

Then there's blogging, blog READING, book reading, thrift store shopping, and Internet searching. This has pretty much been my life for the last little bit. But it was all worth the wait, because I got a job offer! In fact, I start work on Friday. Very exciting! I will update soon.