Friday, June 26, 2009

Food Friday: Spanakopitas

For today's Food Friday, I'm whipping out the big guns. Exhibit A:

Oh baby. That makes my mouth water just looking at it. And I was prepared. I can't imagine what it's doing to you right now.

The Spanakopita. (Pronounced with the emphasis on "KO". Like this. Me and my southern self have been pronouncing it "spanakoPEEta for years. I have recently corrected this.) Yummy greens, cheese, and spices all wrapped up inside warm, flaky, goodness.

Mmm... spinach.

When I say "big guns" I mean it. I know you thought I was going soft on you, what with my "faux" Food Fridays full of summery drinks and what-not. But seriously, no messing around this Friday. Because this is a serious recipe. It takes commitment. It takes ambition. It takes time. But I promise you, it is so worth it.

Fresh dill. I just love fresh dill.

Justyn's mom showed me how to make these long, long ago. Since then, I've learned anytime your mother-in-law teaches you a recipe, you should take notes and pay close attention. You see, this is Justyn's favorite food. In the world. Bar none. I didn't know that when she taught me how to make them. (See? I told you, you should listen to your MIL.)

Parsley. I use flat-leaf, but you can go curly if you want. They're your spanakopitas.

It took me a long time to build up the cooking confidence and gumption to make these all by myself. But you can do it, I promise. Turn on your favorite music, and spend awhile in the kitchen. Know you will be rewarded in the end.

Green onions. The dark horse.

I mean, look at this lineup, folks! Spinach? Cheese? Dill? Flaky, buttery filo dough? Fuhgeddaboudit. Plus you sort of get to play with your food while you're making them, and nothing's more fun than that.

Feta cheese. This recipe is nothing without the cheese.

These are really great to take to a party, or if you're having people come stay at your house and you want to have some snacks for people. Or, if you're like Justyn, you'll eat them anytime, anywhere, for any meal. Spanakopitas are a perfectly acceptable meal for him, in lieu of breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

So, a couple of things I should explain to you before I let you loose with this beloved recipe. First, make sure you squeeze the water out of the spinach really well. I know it's a pain in the rear, but do it. Wrap it in a towel and ring it out, or push it through a strainer, whatever floats your boat. Just make sure you really try to get all the water out.

Also, don't be afraid of filo dough. Just be careful with it, treat it kind of like tissue paper, and you'll be fine. Respect the dough, and it will respect you. And, work sort of quickly on the assembly. It can dry out and get really brittle if it sits in the open air too long. Don't feel like you have to be Speedy Gonzales, just don't lolligag either.

A word on the assembly. Remember making paper footballs when you were a kid? Remember how you always got in trouble for flicking them across the room in class, and your teacher said what a waste of time it was and that you should be paying attention? Well, I need you to dig deep into the recesses of your memory, because you're going to fold these puppies just like you would fold a paper football. And if you ever see that teacher again you can tell her to stuff it! And be careful not to use too much filling. I almost always use too much so they all bust open in the oven. So just watch yourself. I mean, they still taste awesome either way, but you want them to be pretty, don't you?

You'll lay your filo dough out, and use a pizza cutter or a really sharp knife to slice it in half lengthwise. Then you'll place a spoonful of the spinach and cheese mixture into one corner, and start folding it like this:

And just keep folding it all the way down until you have a whole cookie sheet of paper football spanakopitas:

This recipe made 24 spanakopitas for me, and I used too much filling, so it probably should have made more. That's quite a few spanakopitas, so if they're just for 2 or 3 people, I would suggest halving the recipe.

2 pounds fresh spinach (I use baby spinach because it's easier to deal with)
1 medium onion, minced
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup scallions, chopped
3 cups feta cheese
1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped, or 2 tsp dried dill
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 tsp sea salt
pinch black pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 pound pkg filo dough
olive oil for brushing filo (quite a bit of it, actually... don't skimp on the oil)

1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Wash spinach well, remove any tough stems and steam in the water that clings to its leaves. Drain and squeeze out excess moisture. Chop finely and set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl combine onions, scallions, feta, and spices then mix in chopped spinach.
To assemble:
1. Carefully unroll the filo. Lay the stack of pastry sheets flat on a work counter, and cover completely with wax paper. Place a large cutting board or clean surface next to the filo and place a single layer of filo on the board. Lightly brush with olive oil. Place two more sheets on top of the first, brushing each lightly with oil and covering the stack of filo with a damp towel each time a sheet is removed.
2. Cut through the three layers lengthwise with a sharp knife or pizza cutter to produce two long strips.
3. Spoon about 1/2 cup spinach filling onto lower left-hand corner of one of the strips. Fold corner upward toward right-hand edge to form a triangle, encasing the filling. Continue to roll flag-style (or paper-football style, if you're me) to the end of the strip until you have a triangle-shaped spanakopita. Brush the outside lightly with olive oil and place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Continue to roll pastries until filling is used.
4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
NOTE: If you have left-overs and want to store them, keep them in open air, not stacked on top of one another. They only keep for about 2 days after baking.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Berry Heaven

So, my unidentified berry bush? Well, the verdict is in.

They're raspberries.

Lots of them. I filled up this bowl in just one morning of picking, and I probably picked at least this many yesterday.

I'm officially in berry heaven. For now, I've been pretty content just eating them right off the bush. But I think pretty soon I'm going to bake something with them. It's been so long since I've baked anything, and I'm having withdrawals. Any suggestions?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Exploring the Yard

So, no one knows what this is?

Look closely, friends. Now do you see it?

It's a big ball of baby spiders! Right outside my front door, no less.
Shortly after I took the picture, they did this:

I didn't touch them I promise. But I guess they sensed my presence. You see, I'm nice to spiders. I had quite a reputation at my last job for rescuing spiders when people found them in the office. People always want to kill them, and I think that's mean. I like to set them free when I find one inside. I mean, they don't want to be inside, either. Plus, I like to keep my spider-karma clean. I figure that if I kill spiders my whole life, the chances are pretty good that one will eventually kill me. Besides, what if, when you kill a spider, they let off some sort of high pitched S.O.S. signal, or secrete some sort of scent that beckons other spiders to come to their rescue? I don't want to get attacked by spiders, so, I set them free.

Anyway, then they scattered. The next day, they were gone. Hopefully not inside my house.

One of the joys/pains in the ass of buying a new house is trying to figure out what all the existing plants and trees are, and determining what's a weed and what's not. Like, for instance, see this?

It looks like a big, ugly weed, doesn't it? Needs to be cut, trimmed, removed, etc. Right?

Wrong. Check it out:

Those, my friends, are berries. And let me tell you, there are tons of them. Seriously, I think that I'm going to have hundreds and hundreds, because that is a huge bush and just one one little branch I counted like 30 berries. I think they're raspberries, but can't be sure. There are all kinds of berries around here: loganberries, marionberries, boysenberries, etc. So, I'll just have to let them get ripe and then figure it out. After that, I'll have to figure out how to use them all up. I see lots of cobblers, tarts, and buckles in this blog's future. That much I do know.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Food Friday: Cucumber Water (with Mint)

I know, I know... another drink when it's supposed to be Food Friday. But, it's my blog, and I do what I want. Plus it's summer and who doesn't enjoy a refreshing drink every now and then??

I freaking love cucumbers. I could just sit and eat a cucumber any time, day or night. Slice it up, sprinkle with some salt, and oh momma. I'm in heaven.

I have had cucumber water on 2 prior occasions: once at a spa when I had my pre-wedding treatment, and once at a fantastic Lebanese restaurant in downtown Portland (called Habibi for those of you who are interested. Their green lentil soup is really good, and their homemade pita with hummus is ah-may-zing. Don't be scared by the website, though. I promise it's good.) Anyway, they serve cucumber water there, too. So, I was finally like, "Why can't I make it myself?" I mean, I totally love cucumber, and I'm always drinking water, so it seems logical.

The cucumber flavor is pretty subtle, so unless you just hate cucumbers (which some people do, I understand), you should give it a try. It's super easy, and the cucumber flavor really adds a nice, refreshing kick to what is otherwise a pretty boring beverage. It also looks cool, and is a nice thing to serve at the last minute if you have people over and want to offer something a little creative and cheap to drink.

All you need for this is a cucumber, a pitcher, and some water. And, I still had some mint leftover from my strawberry green tea experiment, so I added some mint. I would highly recommend that, if you like mint. It really steps up what I like to call the "refreshment factor." But if not, it's really good with just the cuke. Or, if you don't like cucumbers, try it with just the mint, because mint water by itself is also excellent.

Cucumber Water (with mint)
6-7 slices of cucumber, freshly cut
1/4 cup crushed mint leaves
1 pitcher of plain ol' water

Add the cucumbers and the mint to the water. Let it sit for a few minutes. Add some ice, or put it in the fridge for a bit. Then drink it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Nudity & Bicycles (part II)

UPDATE: Apparently some people didn't like the naked bike ride. One guy dislikes it so much, in fact, that he grabbed his video camera and rushed to the event just to make sure everyone knew he didn't approve. He starts yelling at them around 24 seconds in.

Warning: There is nudity in this video (obviously.)

He's saying "Get raped, degenerate scum!" (For those of you can't understand crazy-talk.) If you're interested in this guy, you can read more funny stuff about him here.

Nudity & Bicycles

You don't realize it yet, but I have let you down. As a faithful blog reader, you expect a certain level of service from me, and rely on me to report on quirky things happening here in PDX. Especially the uber-Portland-y ones.

So this past weekend was the annual World Naked Bike Ride in Portland. It's a big freaking deal here, apparently, but I didn't know. I promise I didn't know. If I had known, I would have been there getting the scoop for you, and taking pictures of nakedness. Although, I'm not sure all those naked people would appreciate a fully clothed person standing on the side of the road taking pictures of them. But then, if they did care, then they probably wouldn't be out riding their bikes naked, would they? Update: Check out my later post about a guy who doesn't approve of the naked bike ride.

Anyway, last year, Portland tied with London for the largest turnout of around 800 people. This year, they're saying that an estimated 5,000 people came out. Since I wasn't there, I can only direct you to read the account of someone who was there. This report is complete with photos. But reader beware: Not all bikers are supermodels, and some of these people have no business being naked in public. Don't say I didn't warn you.

In related news, the World Naked Bike Ride is part of Pedalpalooza which is going on here in Portland now. It's basically 2 weeks of nothing but bikes, bikes, and more bikes. From June 11 through the 27th, every day contains multiple events and rides for all ages, shapes, and sizes. During this 2 week period, there are around 200 different rides and other events you can take part in, to celebrate the greatness of the bicycle. There are bike jousting events, bike scavenger hunts, a "bike-in" movie, bike polo, zoobombing, even a vegan bike wedding.

To celebrate in my own special way, I got some new tires for my bike. If you recall, my bike is a mountain bike, complete with super-knobby tires that sound like a freaking weed eater motor when I'm riding down the road. So I got some slicks. Check it out:

My knobby tires (before)

My slicks (after)

The other bonus of changing tires, is that I learned what to do if I get a flat. But, it was pretty freaking hard and I really relied on Justyn to do the hard stuff. So, if I ever get a flat, I'm pretty sure I'll just call someone for a ride instead of trying to fix it myself. My bike maintenance skills have a loooong way to go.

Anyway, my new tires have made such a huge difference in my riding! I do want a better bike at some point, because I have been riding quite a bit. I ride to the grocery store, to the library, to happy hours, you name it. Between riding to the farmers market and back, and then to Trader Joe's and back, I got home and realized I accidentally rode almost 10 miles a couple of weekends ago! This was surprising to me, because the weekend prior, I had gone out to Sauvie Island (home of Portland's nude beaches) with a friend to ride, and bailed out because the loop was 12 miles and I didn't think I could do it. Granted, there was a lot of traffic and it made me nervous. But it was good practice to get used to cars, and I'm super glad I went. Now I'm pretty comfortable on the road, as long as it's not a main road with lots of cars. Anyway, I didn't think I could do 12 miles, but it turns out I probably could've. I just had to work my way up! I still can't take my hands off the handlebars, though, to signal when I'm turning. Which, is probably pretty dangerous, but I figure it's less dangerous than me riding one-handed.

**If you click through the nude beach link, it takes you to ORCOBA's website (Oregon Clothing-Optional Beach Alliance). There are photos there, again, NSFW. And also, keep in mind we're not talking about a Sports Illustrated photo shoot either. Same as the bike ride, some of these people should not be naked in public. But if you wanna check it out, go for it. I don't judge. I just provide the info. Oh, and by the way, if you are one of those naked people, I'm not judging you either. If you want to be naked, that's cool.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Lilac Envy

This is my neighbor's lilac bush.

I lean over and smell the blooms every time I walk by, which is at least once a day. I can't help it.

I want one of my very own.

And, check this out:

Anyone know what that is?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Food Friday: Veggie Alfredo

Have I said how much I love pasta? Well, I do. It's probably going to be my downfall. I just love starches in general, I think. You know I've made the jump from white rice to brown rice, but I just can't seem to do it with pasta. I'm sorry, but whole wheat pasta tastes like ass and all you people that say it doesn't are smoking crack.

Anyway, I love pasta. I try to eat healthy, but sometimes I just need it. Like really really need it. You know? And I also love alfredo sauce. I haven't yet mastered the art of making my own alfredo sauce, but I feel that day fast-approaching. Although, I don't know why I would waste my time on such things when you can buy perfectly good alfredo sauce in a jar.

Back in the day (a.k.a. before I started eating healthier food) I would just boil myself some pasta, slather the alfredo on it, and voila! Dinner! But, I have found a much, much tastier way to have alfredo, and it's healthy, too! I invented this on yet another occasion when I had a ton of veggies to use up before they went bad, and no real plan for them. And omigosh, it is so good. I really think you should make this tonight. And you know I don't say that very often. So you should take me seriously. Tonight.

I never thought I would be one of those people who doesn't measure things, but it turns out that I am. Whodathunkit? I am a meticulous recipe-follower, and for those of you who are like that, I'm sorry. Of all the times I've made this (and I've made it several times), I haven't really measured any of the ingredients. So, I'll do my best to estimate it for you here. This makes just enough for me and Justyn, with a little leftover for one of our lunches the next day. So, if you're cooking for more, I'd double everything.

Veggie Alfredo
1 1/2 cups of dried pasta (I use fusilli or rotini, usually)
1/2 jar of alfredo sauce (about a cup and a half, or so)
1 large zucchini, sliced into rounds and then cut in half again (like half-moons)
1 1/2 cups green cabbage, chopped
1 cup asparagus, chopped into 2-3 inch pieces
3 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
salt to taste (I use about 1 1/2 tsp)
several generous twists of fresh ground pepper
1 tsp dried italian herb blend
1 tsp dried oregano (the Italian herb blend already contains this, but I really like oregano so I add more)
red pepper flakes (optional, if you want some heat)
romano cheese, to garnish
parmesan cheese, to garnish

Heat some olive oil in a large skillet and add the crushed garlic to saute for a couple of minutes. Go ahead and start the water boiling for your pasta, and put the alfredo in a separate small saucepan to heat. (Or you can wait and add it to the veggie mixture at the end to heat up. But I use a cast iron skillet for my veggies so I don't like to put the alfredo sauce in that pan. But you can if you want, and it'll save you an extra step and an extra pan.)

Add the asparagus to the olive oil to saute on its own for about 2-3 minutes. Then add the zucchini and cabbage. Sprinkle the veggie mixture with all your spices: salt, pepper, herbs, oregano, and red pepper (if using). Saute on low-medium heat, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, add your pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions. Ideally, when the pasta is finished, your veggies will be cooked just enough to eat (still a bit crispy and bright green, but not too hard to eat.) Keep an eye on them, though, and turn your heat up/down as needed. Don't overcook them, though, or they'll be soggy and weird.

Put your cooked pasta in a bowl, spoon the sauce over the noodles, and then top with your veggies. Sprinkle with romano and parmesan cheese.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Red Light District

Let me start by saying that I don't have a problem with authority.

No, really, I don't.

But I do have a problem with this:

Photo from here because I can't take pictures and drive at the same time.

It's not exactly that... but it's when the arrow is red, but the other light is green, that really bugs me. I mean, if there are no cars coming, why can't I turn? They don't do that in Nashville, folks. The people in charge there, rightly assume that if I have a license to drive, that I can see clearly if a car is coming, and can act accordingly (by either waiting, or proceeding to turn). But here in Oregon, noooo. You can't do that here. You have to wait until they say you can turn. Ugh. It truly is one of the most annoying things about this place.

About 2 weeks after we moved here, I was driving through Beaverton, and just barely made it through a yellow light. Right as I went through the intersection, I saw this bright white light flash in my rearview mirror, and realized that it took a picture of me! Luckily for me, our car was still new and had temporary tags from Tennessee. Serves them right, those sneaky bastards... But, I knew to be careful after that. They don't do that in Tennessee either. Hmph.

When I went to register the car and get our new plates, they said that we had to get our license within 30 days of moving to the state. So I picked up a manual and started studying. But then as I started talking to other people, I found out that it was one of the hardest drivers tests in the nation, and I know several people who failed it the first time. Yikes! Those of you who know me, know that I am a hardcore bookworm/studier, and so this freaked me out. So, I put it off, and I put it off... until a few weeks ago.

After being here for almost a year (!) and I am proud to say I finally took my driver's test and passed! The first time! But it was really hard. With some weird, stupid questions.

For example:
When approaching a person on horseback, if the rider's hand is raised in the air, you should:
a) Stop and pull over. This person needs help.
b) This is a greeting. Proceed normally.
c) The animal is frightened. Slow down and proceed with caution.
d) The animal is making a turn and you should yield.

I mean, what a stupid question! How many times have I ever approached a horse on a road? How about zero. Luckily someone I knew warned me about this question, (which, at the time, I thought they were kidding) so I knew the answer was C. But still! I mean, does not knowing that make me a bad driver? Of course not. The whole test is just designed to make you read their stupid 100+ page book. Parts of it were sort of entertaining, though, like the part about driving with caution in school zones, and the book says, "Remember, children are often very unpredictable." It really does say that. Ha ha! I don't know why, but it made me laugh out loud when I read that. Like they're wild animals or something.

Anyway, I do have to say that I am glad I read the book. There are a LOT more rules here regarding pedestrians and bicyclists which are good to know. I'm definitely not used to driving with so many people on the road (not in cars) so it's good that I finally learned it all. And I probably should have done it sooner than like 10 months after I moved here. But whatever. It's done, and I'm legal!

So, I am officially an Oregon resident now... my driver license was the last southern stronghold. When I got carded, people were like, "Ohhh... Tennessee, huh?" And then a story ensued, they asked me what it's like living in the South, etc. It was a nice conversation starter. But now, I'm just a regular old Oregonian. Kind of sad.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Food Friday: Strawberry Green Tea with Mint

It's been hot here... like, really hot. And muggy, too, which is like... weird. Because last time I checked it was not supposed to be muggy here. It's one reason I was glad to leave the South, for crying out loud. And, we even had a thunderstorm here yesterday, complete with lightning and blown down trees and everything. It was kind of nice, though, and it made me miss home a little bit.

Anyway, it's been hot, and I needed a drink. So this week's Food Friday is really a drink. But whatever, you're not that picky, are ya? See, I drink a lot of water. I think a lot of people find it odd, but I figure I don't drink enough water as it is, so if I'm going to drink something it may as well be water. But sometimes you need more, you know? Some flavor or something. Justyn's mom makes "tea juice" which is basically tea brewed in the sunshine with some flavor of juice added. My mom used to make something similar we called "sun tea" and she added frozen orange juice or orange-pineapple or something like that. It was tasty. This is similar, but not the same.

I've already raved about the farmer's markets here, remember? Well, we used to go to the Beaverton market, which is definitely one of the best. But now that's not so convenient anymore, so we looked up the closest one to our new place. It turns out that they just started a new market this year for this area called the King market. Anyway, we decided to check it out. It's waaayy smaller than the Beaverton market, which is kind of a bummer, but I liked it. They still had a pretty good selection of stuff and we can ride our bikes... yay! The only thing I don't like about it is that it's on a Sunday. I like to go on Saturday so I have part of the weekend to cook up some cool stuff. So, we stocked up on tons of stuff, including some yummy looking local strawberries and big bunches of fresh mint, which I love. I'm a big fan of mint.

Justyn suggested making some sun tea / tea juice concoction with what we made, but we didn't have a pitcher to put it in. Well, we did, but it's plastic. And, you have to set it out in the sun for a few hours, so we needed something glass. Plastic + heat + your belly = no good. So, Justyn went on a quest for something and he came back with this:

It's not the prettiest thing in the world, but whatever. It serves its purpose. So we put 10 green tea bags in it with some water and set it outside for a few hours in the sun.

I don't know what I was off doing, but I had already decided in my mind that the mint might not go so well with the strawberries and green tea flavor. But, Justyn apparently had already decided in his mind that he thought it would be great, and wanted to add some lemon in, too, just for good measure. By the time I came back into the kitchen a little while later, this is what he had done:

Looks pretty good, right? This is about 1/2 a small container of strawberries, about 1/2 cup of pulverized mint leaves, juice from 6 lemons, and about 1/3 cup of agave nectar to sweeten it. I wanted to try that instead of sugar just to see what happened, and I thought it was pretty good. You should be able to find it pretty easily at Trader Joe's.

So after the tea had brewed up, we added this strawberry mint lemon agave concoction to it and tried it out. It was pretty good, actually, but I think definitely no mint next time. And more strawberries. And, it was better the 2nd day after all the stuff had time to hang out together, so maybe make it in the morning and let it sit most of the day after you add your fruit. You should totally try out your own version, though... it works well with just tea and juice, so pick your faves and try it out. It's sort of a fun, summery thing to do.

Strawberry Green Tea with Mint
10 regular green tea bags
1 cup smashed strawberries
1/2 cup crushed mint leaves
1/3 cup agave nectar (or sweeten to taste)
juice from 6 lemons

Place the tea bags in a large glass pitcher and set outside in the sun to brew for about 2 hours. In the meantime, mix all the other ingredients together. Add the mixture to the tea, let the flavors mingle, and enjoy! You can also add a little splash of tequila if you're feeling frisky. I'm not saying I did that, but you could if you wanted.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Finally, Some Progress

Sorry for the radio silence over the last week... I got some sort of a cold (of course just after I was telling someone how I hardly ever get sick.) But I have good news: we have made visible progress. Check it.

So, I've mentioned to you that the master bedroom was a lovely mix of olive green wainscoting and pink walls when we bought the house. We corrected the "green" portion of that when we painted all the trim (just making it white) and it was quite an improvement. But, since we knew we were going to paint the walls too, we didn't tape off when we painted the trim, so there was a lovely overspray effect you can see here:

I mean, hideously ugly, right? You'd think it would've been one of the first things we corrected, right? I mean, since we sleep in there and all. But nooo... it took us close to a month to get our act together and paint it. Which is pretty pathetic, really, because it's only like 1/3rd of the wall space of a normal room so it surely wouldn't take long. Another serious issue in the master bedroom was this hole in the ceiling:

It's on my side of the room, and it has really been bothering me since day one. I don't know why, because the inspector said it was from a previous roof leak and that there shouldn't be any problem now. But even when I'm sleeping I can feel it there. Like it's a big ugly eyeball just looking at me all night long. Well, the first time it rained really hard a couple of weeks ago, I walked into the bedroom and there was a huge puddle of water on the floor right under the hole. Greeaaat. Just what we need - a roof leak. But, the roof is pretty new, so we were a bit confused. Justyn went up to check it out, and discovered that there's an attic vent right above it that had just lost its seal. So he fixed it for about 5 bucks and 5 minutes. Whew! But still.... it kept looking at me.

So we finally picked a color and decided to paint last weekend, and with the exception of some minor touching up, it's done!!! Ain't it purty???

And, P.S. - What do you think of those curtains? I'm still not quite sure about them, myself. Too dark? Too long?

Look what else is done:
The hole has been patched, my friends. Justyn still has to texture it to look like the rest of the ceiling, but it's mostly done and that's okay in my book for this project. (And really, let's face it... it seems like nothing is ever really all the way done around here. I've got to lower my standards, obviously).

And, I know you've been waiting for this one, so here's an after picture of the new medicine cabinet I promised you.

Again, not quite done, but done enough I suppose. The door opens, I can put stuff in it, and I can see myself so I guess I should be happy about it. And, it's not purple like the other one, which is a bonus. I realize that it's just a medicine cabinet, and not a beautiful one either. But it's the small victories I have to cling to. Just let me have my moment, okay? And no, I have not mentioned the pumpkin-colored walls in here with gray trim. I'm thinking maybe if I ignore it, it won't bother me.

We actually have gotten some other stuff done in the yard, but I'll save it for another post because it's especially exciting.