Quick Like Bunnies!

I’ve found an awesome WordPress blog/site called, “The Daily Post.”  It’s a spot that gives little writing challenges for people to follow.  They provide questions/seedlings to get you thinking and writing.  Exactly what this little blogling (kind of like a fledgling, but bloggier) needs!  Here’s a question:

“If you could slow down an action that usually zooms by, or speed up an event that normally drags on, which would you choose, and why?”

The one event that I would speed up if I could would be the time between being freed from an activity and getting into the warm confines of my home.  That is perhaps the longest drag of the day for me, no matter where I am or what I am doing prior to hopping into my car.

Generally, I can be found at one of my workplaces.  Yes, I’m a fool librarian with 1.5 jobs at different libraries…but, I love my job.  I am excited about it; I have passion and ambition that I’ve gained in the last 5 years that I haven’t had in any other job…ever.  What that means, though, is that I am always “on.”  Because I am so enthralled and involved in my day, I very rarely stop and take breaks…often, you’ll find me talking about work when I’m NOT there because it’s such an ingrained part of my life.  I let this job light a fire under me, and I have a hard time getting away from it simply because I don’t often actively seek to be away from it.

I also, wonder of wonders, thoroughly enjoy running errands.  Errand has such a negative connotation, but in the end, I’m always getting things crossed off of my to-do list.  I am a shopper in general, but the fact that I’m out at Target or the like and enjoying myself borders on strange. Grocery shopping is acceptable…because I need to eat.  Stocking up the toilet paper and the body wash are important because, well…you know what they say about cleanliness. I get some weird sense of accomplishment that I am pretty sure originated back when I was a kid in school.

I love being out and about and lively…that’s what it all boils down to.

But my home, oh my home!.  It’s not much: one bedroom, one bath, second floor. It lacks central air (window units FTW), and the tub and I are in a perennial battle for control of the drain.  The hardwood floors are original, and the windows are a tad bit drafty…but, those are things are charming, not hindering. That’s the place I get to play Food Network and cook things “a la Hovanec.”  It’s the place where my hard work is always appreciated (by me, the sole inhabitant and heir to the throne).

My couches, DVR and TV are always ready and willing to accept me.  My Valerie Bertinelli lamp and the pillows I bought YEARS ago just to put on my very own first couch are there.  I fall into the nooks and crannies of my little oasis and get comfortably lost there, just reading, napping or laughing.  I have THE best coffee table whose top rises up and is perfect for dinner and a movie, or for playing board games with Roy.

The whole home-thing is so much more than a few walls that you pay a rent or mortgage for. I realize that now.

That drive, though.  Whether I’m 20 minutes away or 1 hour away, that time in the car is quite unbearable.  I’m always ready to get into relax mode, and driving is a pretty intense thing for me.  Sometimes I’m running late. I can be a bit of a speed demon, but always with good intentions.  I can hate waiting at a particular light for a long time.  But, when you’ve got something as wonderful as your own home waiting for you, who wouldn’t want the time to move more quickly?

What about you?  What moment or activity in the day would you speed up or slow down?

Foodie Files: Hoosier Mama Pie Company

If you’re ever looking for a way directly to my heart, just bring an adventurous spirit. It’s one of the things I appreciate most about the people I’m lucky enough to call friend (or family).  I’m always coming up with some new or crazy-looking opportunity to check out or restaurant to try, and they go along willingly…almost always, anyway.  I’m particularly fond of taking adventures with my awesome boyfriend Roy.  We’re constantly finding new and different things to check out…even those things that fall into the “I haven’t done that in YEARS!” category. I’m sure I’ll write more about our adventures as my blog challenge goes on.

Yesterday, we visited Hoosier Mama Pie Company‘s Evanston location for a little snack. It is close enough to Roy’s place to walk, which is awesome and devastating at the same time. They are also associated with an awesome coffee concept, Dollop Coffee & Tea Co. When we walked in on a Saturday evening, the restaurant was full without being crowded.  The note about ordering your holiday pies now seemed to indicate, though, that you might find a crowd on given days.  (Insert flashbacks to Novembers past when I’d be the person responsible for picking up the birthday cakes from Weber’s.  They’re always worth it, though).  The decor reminded me of an awesome 50’s style kitchen…minus the overly kitschy poodle skirts, shiny chrome and glittery-red vinyl seats.  It even had the same chairs that my elementary school had, just adult-sized! The menu is a huge chalkboard, with the majority of the day’s offerings being hand written, which is a nice touch on the diner style.  I could have spent so much time perusing their sweets, savories and beverages.  Sadly, though, that list paled in comparison with the actual pies tempting you from the counter! There are a few sizes to choose from: a slice, a small pie or a whole pie.  I was drawn in and damn near pressed my nose to the glass. (I didn’t, don’t worry. I probably would’ve embarrassed Roy, lol).

I ordered a slice of the Cranberry Sour Cream and a Honey Cinnamon Latte .

Cranberry Sour Cream

Cranberry Sour Cream…up close and personal

The pie was just as delicious as it looks.  Cranberry, as a flavor, is one of my favorites because of its tart but sweet nature.  It paired so well with the almost-cheesecake texture of the sour cream filling.  The crumbled topping was just sweet enough to balance the cranberry, having a bit of a brown sugared taste.

And the crust–my goodness the crust!  I’m a weirdo who likes her desserts to be a bit on the cold side.  It makes them firmer in my opinion…I said it was weird.  This pie was served just a bit below room temperature, so the crust was crisp and buttery without melting.

I could not have enjoyed this pie without the awesomeness that was my Honey Cinnamon Latte.  Now, having worked for Starbucks for a large portion of my young adult life, I’ve become a coffee lover.  I make it a point, though, to try coffees that are NOT Starbucks simply because being a barista requires some level of artistry, and I appreciate the craftsmanship.  And, Dollop’s barista did not disappoint!

Honey Cinnamon Latte

My first piece of latte art! Loved/Hated drinking it!

Dollop brews a coffee with full, robust flavor profile.  Honey as a coffee flavoring might seem like an odd choice, but honey mellows out some of the harsher coffee tastes.  The cinnamon was a beautiful topping to the light and pillowy foam.  I added a tad more honey to the latte as I got into the beverage more, and that made it perfect for my palate. I hated sipping away the art, though.

The clientele ranged from students working on their computers to families sitting down and eating savory chicken pot pies, so there is definitely room for everyone at this venue.  The joint has a very come as you are vibe. There was a couch toward the back where you could check out a local paper, too. All in all, if you get the chance to visit Hoosier Mama, it’s worth the trip.

PS– Sorry about the lack of pictures of Roy or his pie, which was a chocolate brownie baked into a pie…neither one of them was still long enough for me to get a good one!  I’ll have to get better at catching them.

The Grand Decision, or My PeBloWriMo

I love November.  It’s a great time to consider what we can do (and how we can accomplish) to rejuvenate our lives.  It’s a season of ending for the weather, and for me personally, it’s the ending of my current birthday year.  On November 20th, I turn 33.  For those of you who don’t know, 33 is as close as I will ever get to my lucky number 333.  I realize this, and I am taking it to full advantage.  I’ve had an amazing 32nd year, and I like to think that I could not be happier with where I am in life than I am at this moment.  But, I am the type of person who is constantly looking for what’s next and how to get there.  I like to take on personal challenges and make changes. This is vastly different than it was when I was younger.  I hated change before…I daresay that I was afraid of it.  But, as I’ve gotten more mature and had the havoc of change thrust upon me, I’ve started to thrive upon it.  I am that weird person who gets a bit nervous…but then does things anyway.  It’s pushed me to make some major changes and decisions in my life.  I’m on a mission to explore a few new adventures and to consider other alternatives. With endings, though, come beginnings.  I’m ready to usher out an ending and welcome a new beginning and a new challenge.  Many of you may know that November is host to an initiative to get those people who are interested in novel writing to start exercising their muscles…better known as  NaNoWriMo (I hope I got all the funky capitalization correct there). Now, I’ve never had the desire to write a novel…read them, yes.  Wrap myself up in one on a comfy couch?  Of course!  But writing one…not me.  I don’t know that I am creative enough for that.  But, I do love writing, and I used to do it fairly frequently when I was younger.  I think my LiveJournal from back in the day finally died an internet death somewhere. I’m searching for better ways to channel and handle stress and creativity (which, very often, work in tandem when it comes to me) outside of some older habits, so I’m thinking that a blog might be an excellent way to get this going. NaNoWriMo is a cool method for gaining the habit of writing, but I am going to challenge myself to write a blog post per day for the entire month of November, and then maybe beyond (no promises).  I’m calling this challenge my PeBloWriMo or Personal Blog Writing Month.

No, I’m not trying to make money.  To be honest, I don’t know that I’d hope to have a single reader. Currently, my goal is to have these post so that people can hold me accountable for reaching my post per day goal.  My plan is to try and expand the writing, harness the creativity and learn a thing or two about blog production. So, that’s it.  Check back every day for the next month and watch as I figure out this whole blog process, myself and quite possibly a fun time this month.  And maybe beyond.  But I’m not making any promises.  Except that, we will all be entertained…in some way.