Ode to Oatmeal

When I started this blog, I vowed not to put too much pressure on myself to post. At the same time, the perfectionist in me wanted to post every day. Yesterday, filled with the knowledge that I hadn’t posted in a couple days, I posted about cereal because, quite frankly, having a bowl of cereal was one of the most anticipated parts of my day (that and the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reunion show).

I published the post with trepidation. Is this all I have to say? And then I asked for blog post ideas, joking to my Facebook friends that I should do an ode to oatmeal.

But let’s be honest, sometimes the most exciting moment of our day is cereal. And what’s so bad about that? Cereal is awesome. So with that, here’s a little poem I wrote. Have a great cereal-filled weekend everyone!

Ode to Oatmeal

Oatmeal, Oatmeal, every weekday morning
At first I thought you were rather bland and boring.

Now I sprinkle you with sugar and cinnamon,
You make me feel full but keep me (sort of) thin.

You come in steel cut, minute and old-fashioned.
Poor Oliver Twist had his porridge rationed.

Some like theirs topped with fruit or honey.
I think butter on top is just plain funny.

I’ve heard you called a Superfood.
You warm my day and brighten my mood.

You’re good for the heart and good for the tummy,
I’d even go so far as to call you yummy.

So thanks, Oatmeal, for all you do.
This is my whole-grain ode to you.

Dad

Today I thought I would post in honor of my dad. Fathers and daughters have a very special bond, and I count myself one of those lucky few who considers her father one of her closest friends.

The father-daughter bond starts to form in the early moments of a daughter’s life when she realizes–even in her most colicky moments–that she is being held by a person she can trust. Here is a person who will love her when she screams like a banshee and smells like baby poop.

It continues to grow as he teaches her things like sharing and how to ride a bike and why boys never call when they say they will and the meaning of life (that’s a tough one, but he always makes the answer seem so easy).

And the bond tightens with each winter he takes her sledding and each summer he shows her how to ride the waves.

It blossoms more as he shows her how to care for animals and how to appreciate nature (Dad always knows the best rocks under which to find the salamanders).

And Dad always loves her no matter what. Their bond doesn’t buckle from the pressure of her first dates with boys he doesn’t wholly approve of or from driving lessons where she nearly drives his car into a pole.

He stands beside her after graduations. He sits patiently through countless recitals (many of which involve the recorder, which isn’t even a real instrument). He wipes away her tears after break-ups and gives her hope that all men aren’t awful. He carries her over-abundant things during move after move (each one, he swears, will be the last he helps with). He tells her she’s beautiful even when she feels ugly. He listens to her fears and doubts and tells her to be positive and strong because he believes in her, and she should believe in herself, too.

And for that she is eternally grateful.

Brocco-lies

A while back, I told you about my attempt to start a garden. I planted lettuce, kale, swiss chard, some herbs and brussels sprouts. Or what I thought were brussels sprouts. The plants are all still alive and well; however, the brussels sprouts I’m growing don’t look like brussels sprouts. And after some more careful examination this week, I realized I’m actually growing broccoli.

I had spent days trying to convince myself that I was growing some sort of dwarf upside-down brussels sprouts.

I was duped. I’m not sure how this labeling error happened. It’s like the plant people knew I was a novice and tricked me. OR MAYBE I really was sold brussels sprouts, and I’m just such an amazing gardener, I tricked them into believing they were broccoli. Either way, I’m delighted that I didn’t kill the things.

Life has such subtle ways of reminding me that things don’t always turn out how I think they will. Unexpected surprises can pop up in the strangest of places.

Sometimes though, things are exactly as you’d expect them to be. Case in point: Helena Bonham Carter at the Golden Globes (photo not taken by me, of course).

Either way, my dinner tonight was particularly delicious. It’s scary, actually, how much better home-grown vegetables are than mass-produced food.

And with that, I’m going to go eat some more sauteed kale and what I sure hope is broccoli.

If it isn’t…. it’s been nice knowing you.

Roots

I am finally taking the plunge. After a year and a half in College Station, I am going to join a gym. I’m not sure how I’ve gone this long without one, but I guess I’ve managed. My jeans still sort of fit, after all. With this tiny step, I feel as though I’m growing some roots here.

As further evidence of my implantation, Patrick and I are looking to redecorate, since currently the only furniture we own here is from Good Will. The thought of buying a new couch is both exhilarating and terrifying. And it boggles my mind that I’ve found a boy who has an opinion about rugs. We’ve entered a nesting phase where we bond over fabric swatches and catalogs. I’ve discovered about seven different names for yellow. Like “citrine” and “lemongrass” and “chartreuse” and “grellow.” That last one, I’m pretty sure, was made up by Crate and Barrel. We’ll be going for a modern look, a look we can agree on, since his minimalist tastes don’t work with my cluttered…. well… we don’t even need go there.

These tiny steps are helping me feel more and more secure each day. While there are many Sundays I wish I could drive home for a dinner cooked by Mom, I’ve found a family here that provides comfort, guidance and even opinions about furniture. It’s never an easy process to grow into a new place, but I’m settling in and making lemongrass out of what once seemed like lemons.

And P.S. how do we feel about this couch?