Life's been pretty crazy for the last several months (okay, years). Here's a snapshot of some Spring happenings for this week's Thursday Thirteen.
1. A big change: The Chop. Went from nearly-waist-length hair to a bob courtesy of Cricket (aka Marm) from Hoshall's Salon and Spa in Carmichael.
2. A bigger change: Moving HOME!
|Ditched long hair for the first time in a decade. (More on that later)|
|Tired girl in a packed-to-the-gills Corolla! |
|Saying goodbye after two years living in the desert.|
|Already tired of having his photo taken.|
|And now he's messing with me. Ahhhh!|
|12 hours on the road = Boredom = An increase in self-portraits.|
3. Major accomplishment: Finishing my PhD coursework in two years flat. Next up: Comprehensive exams. Fun.Times.
4. Flights taken since January: 24 one-way legs (down from 30 scheduled)
|Yeah, I read all that. And about 15 other stacks just like it. Oi. Because I finished my classes, I'm able to base myself out of Sacramento now, instead of Phoenix. Woot!|
|From Oklahoma City to Phoenix.|
5. Most eventful flight of my life: Southwest 812
|Rainier. The most gorgeous day ever in Seattle!|
|If you want to know what it was like to experience an explosive decompression and emergency landing, click here.|
6. Focus groups conducted: Eight. New York, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Chicago, Oklahoma City, Seattle. When I first signed up for the research project in November, I never thought I would survive the extra flights in a semester, let alone gallivanting around the country. But I did. Whew. Below are my three favorite locales.
|Yeah, that would be the gaping hole in the fuselage of the plane. No good!|
|Hawaii, naturally. This would be a view from my hotel room. A-mazing.|
|Diamond Head. Also from my hotel room. (Is it time to go back yet??)|
|New York with my beautiful sister! We're standing on the Williamsburg Bridge.|
|The most expensive elevator ride in the world.|
|Pike's Place Market in Seattle. An utterly gorgeous day.|
7. Folks I miss already: My Cactus Land ladies. The hardest part about leaving the desert (outside of not seeing cacti everyday), is not being around my dear friends and fellow veterans of PhD school madness.
|I'm convinced the Pacific Northwest is trying to woo me. Every time I visit, it's like this... |
8. Something strange:
|Kristin, Gheeta, Colleen and me at Four Peaks. If you're in the Tempe area, get thee to Four Peaks and order the chicken nachos and garlic beer bread. To die for and enough food to feed a small country.|
9. Something perplexing: A Hitchcockian turn to apartment living. A couple weeks before I moved home, pigeons decided to take up residence on our front porch. Practically every time I stepped outside, a rush of beating feathers would sound--pigeons taking off from just outside our door. One day I came home to an egg. And then a couple days later, it was gone. Pretty sure mama and papa pigeon ate it. :(
|How I missed the gigantic hands by the Apache light rail station until last month is BEYOND me.|
10. Something I'm looking forward to: Tomatoes!
11. A shirt I wear way too often: The $9 grey Costco tanktop that has appeared in half of the photos in this post practically.
|After months and months of mealy grocery store tomatoes, I can't wait until harvest!|
12. Most decadent meal ever: A night at Ella. I plan to write more on this later but the long and short is we met our friend Taylor for dinner at a gorgeous downtown Sacramento restaurant and ate at least a month's worth of calories. It. Was. Divine. Taylor is friends with the chef, and he asked the chef send out amazing morsels for us to try.
|At the Russell's annual Memorial Day BBQ. Me and T with his folks, Ray & Zana, aka M-5 and Ray-Dad. Photo by Todd P. Emerson.|
|Taylor gives thumbs up to the quail and ramps.|
|Happiness on a plate. Wild boar ravioli over tenderloin with fiddlehead ferns, blue cheese cream, port reduction, onions and edible flowers of some sort. And Chef Kelly said it was fat free, isn't that nice? |
13. Culinary inspiration: Ramps. A few weeks after our dinner at Ella, I asked Mr. T to pick up some veggies for dinner. He came home with an interesting collection of organic green beans, mung beans (aka bean sprouts) and ramps. I turned the ramps into a delightful spring pasta. Recipe to follow soon!
|As you can see, I hated it. |
|Ramps, sometimes called wild leeks, are a wild onion. They have a spicy almost garlicy flavor.|
Labels: Cactus Land, Cooking, friends, Mr. T, things that kick ass, Thursday 13, Travel