De Ma Cuisine

Wednesday

30

November 2016

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COMMENTS

Independence is Overrated

Written by , Posted in Thoughts, Travel

trmtsthelens
We are fiercely independent. This trip has forced us to ask for help. We’ve needed money, places to stay, words of wisdom and prayers for our future. So far it’s all been provided for. Babies have slept in their parents’ room so we could sleep in theirs. People have kept dinner warm, offered us snacks for the road, and treasures from their pantries. Country dogs who aren’t allowed in the house have watched as Brando is. People who are allergic to him have taken allergy meds without complaint. Cats have hidden in terror while Brando lounged on their floor. It’s humbling, in the best way. We’re getting better at accepting help.

It’s a part of living in community. We have the best community at home. But, we’re realizing that our community extends way beyond LA. People are bending over backwards to help us out and make us feel at home. We’re so thankful.

Beyond this, people are letting us into their lives. It’s usually just a quick peek – a day here, two there. But, it’s pretty amazing.

It’s an interesting study in human nature to be around different people and their various customs. Some eat all meals together at the table, others enjoy meals on the couch. Some couples work together and are together all the time. Others have separate work and home lives. There are city families, living in the heart of a community. Others live in the forest, in remote cabins nestled amongst the trees. There are home bodies, introverts, people who eat out a lot, home cooked comfort foods, big houses, small spaces… it’s all so diverse. I love it!!

Wherever we end up, we’re starting to get a clearer picture of what we want it to look like. It’s a bit like a polaroid coming into focus. We’re taking bits and pieces from all of these places and sorting and shaking them to see how they fit with us. Some, we’re discovering, fit nicely.

Friday

25

November 2016

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Gilmore Girls

Written by , Posted in Thoughts, Travel, TV

gilmoregirls2I had big plans for today. Gilmore Girls Day. I’ve been waiting for this for a year. I’ve felt frustration about season seven of Gilmore Girls since the first time I watched it. I wanted some answers and some closure. I needed an excuse to eat junk and had food planned for each episode.

Episode 1 – coffee in our Luke’s mugs, donuts, and Poptarts

Episode 2 – chili fries

Episode 3 – pizza and Founders Day Punch

Episode 4 – ice cream

gilmoregirls1

Left off the menu was Chinese food, burgers, deviled eggs, tacos, pickles, Mallomars, blueberry shortcake, and burritos. But, I’ll pencil those in for the next time that I watch the revival… cough… tomorrow… cough. We had plans to start early and watch all the way through. We had the fire going, blankets for coziness, snacks ready and waiting. It was a good plan. But, things don’t always go the way we want them to, do they?

We watched it all. I cried. A lot. We ate some of the snacks we’d bought. I’m glad we hadn’t decided to do both pizza, burgers, and Chinese food like I’d originally hoped. We didn’t even make the chili fries or get to the Poptarts, and the Founders Day Punch became hard cider. We ate so many donuts that I lost count. I wasn’t hungry for the pizza that I ate. But, I ate it anyways, because it’s wasteful to throw out perfectly good pizza. I flip flopped from Team Logan to Team Jess (and back and forth again). I had great expectations for this show. It didn’t really disappoint. The day, as a whole, was acceptable. But, no matter what, the ending of a show this epic will always result in some sort of a letdown.

I know. It’s just a show, right? Big picture, it’s not that important. But the thing is, to me, it kinda is. Tim and I have been watching this show together (what up Gilmore Guys!) for ten years. I remember watching this show with him at each home we’ve lived in (I think we’re at around seven if we count the month we housesat and the three weeks in Paris). Before we moved, after we moved, boxes everywhere. During critical and life changing events. It was a small comfort during those times when I couldn’t stop crying because once again I wasn’t pregnant. It’s been my background while I planned menus and folded laundry. It’s just a show. Life is fine without it. But, life is better with it. It just is.

Today’s episodes hit home a little more than usual. I generally can’t relate to single mom stuff, life as a diner owner, or Rory in college. But, (MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD) Rory is 32 now. She’s struggling with figuring out her life’s direction. Hello! We’re on a four month soul searching road trip. She feels lost and like a failure. Ugh. Did she read my second last post?! (SPOILERS ENDED) AND THESE (whoa! didn’t mean to start that in all caps) characters feel like friends. Am I lame for feeling that way? Don’t answer that. I care about them (don’t judge). I feel with them (Richard dying – he’s dead in real life – their tears probably weren’t faked). I feel like I’ve known them for years.

Judge if you want. I’ll be here drinking boxed wine out of a water bottle, eating cold Poptarts, and searching the land and farm website for the umpteenth time. So I don’t really care. Could Lorelai hire me to be her chef at the Dragonfly Inn? Oh wait, that’s not a real place. Crap.

I miss them already.

Wednesday

23

November 2016

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COMMENTS

Finding Our Place

Written by , Posted in Thoughts, Travel

nebraskasunset2

On Sunday we packed up the car to head out again. I simultaneously like and dislike it. Tim pointed out that there’s something comforting about getting back in the car after a stay. And he’s right. It’s our home base right now. It holds all of our possessions, it carries us from place to place, it provides warmth to our toes on cold days. But, packing up again means one more place that we’re not going to settle in to and make home. One more place that someone else has successfully tamed that we won’t. One more place that’s not our final destination.

We didn’t expect anyone to take us in permanently. Some have offered that we can come back, that we could stay as long as we want to. We haven’t wanted to overstay our welcome (although we’ve tried – sorry parents). We’re looking for permanence in the midst of constant change. That’s tough for me.

I’m a homebody and an introvert. I like my routine and my schedule. I like to know what’s coming. This trip has freed me from a lot of that. It’s shaken things up. But, still, I long for home. Maybe it’s the home we left. I’m anxious to get back, to purge, rearrange, and reacquaint. Or maybe it’s just a home, any home, where Tim and I can settle. I want to find a place for Brando’s bed. I want to set up the kitchen, then move everything again when I realize the silverware is in a wonky place. I want to arrange and rearrange the living room until the couch is in just the right spot.

brandokansas

I find myself dreaming about houses we’ve stayed in as I’m trying to fall asleep. Where I’d put our furniture, whether or not I’d have a cellar, what room I’d choose to be the library – all these occupy my mind as I’m drifting off. We’ve moved many times in the ten years that we’ve been married. Each time I find so much joy in setting up our home. This time feels different though. We’ve never searched this long for the right place before. And I start to wonder if we will know it when we see it, or if we should just settle on something, anything, so long as we can afford it.

Sunday

20

November 2016

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COMMENTS

So, This Year Has Been Tough

Written by , Posted in Thoughts, Travel

mnmaple

A few weeks ago we watched the Cubs win the World Series. One thing that stuck in my mind was at the end of game two they showed some of the guys from the Cubs front office and I couldn’t help but be amazed that they looked to be about my age. I look at the writing staff on some of our favorite shows. They’re my age too. Many of the speakers at this year’s Yellow Conference were my age or younger.

And I have to admit that I feel like a bit like a failure.

I’ve never been super career driven. I always wanted my job to be mom. That didn’t happen. A career didn’t happen. Am I just wasting my time?

Is this a mid(ish) life crisis?

A successful career doesn’t define who I am. For that matter, neither does whether or not I’m ever a mom.

Doesn’t… Shouldn’t… Still kinda does.

One thing that Tim and I have figured out over the years is that we want more than a high paying job. We want life… we want to be together, we want to take a vacation without getting the stink eye from the employer, we want to breathe. Life’s not supposed to be just about work. Is it?

Is it?

Can watching Fixer Upper be a career?

We’re dreaming of a farmhouse on a bazillion acres with a cow and chickens and a horse named Cowboy. Tim’s dreaming of writing a book. I want to preserve food from my huge garden and learn to make cheese. But that’s all we know.

I have a new addiction to the Land and Farm website.

We know that our identity isn’t in what we do. We don’t want to be slaves to a paycheck or what our culture says we should value. So we’re gonna keep searching, trying to figure out what this looks like for us.

Friday

18

November 2016

0

COMMENTS

Just Go

Written by , Posted in Thoughts, Travel

nebraskasunsetI got pulled over the other day. I was going five over the speed limit and with the flow of traffic. I also had California plates in Wyoming. I think I was profiled. Now it’s back to my grandma-like style of driving. I had to sit in the cop car while the cop ran my license. He asked me questions while another officer talked to Tim. I was told that I didn’t have to answer if I didn’t want to. I like to talk about myself. I told our whole story. The officer was kinda jealous of our four month road trip. Most people seem to be. Why do people think they can’t do something like this? There are always a million reasons not to do something.

uncleelmer

Because of this trip, we’re getting to experience things we’d never dream of. I’m not talking big things. Just little things like helping Uncle Elmer bring the herd of cows in from the pasture. There was no fence between us and these huge animals. They were scared of us, not realizing they could squish us if they’d wanted to. After that Uncle Elmer told us we could climb the grain holder building thing and look at the view. I didn’t want to, but I did. Really fast. Without looking down or thinking about how well the stairs were bolted on.

trbcar

If we’d said that we’d love to take a trip like this but came up with a million reason why not to, I wouldn’t have the memory of that one time I was brave. I wouldn’t remember the fear of being asked to sit in a cop car, and then realize later that what hadn’t crossed my mind was that I would be ok because of my skin color. I wouldn’t remember the sunset, or my dog with his bad hip jumping off the porch because it was the quickest way to us. And you know, there are a million reasons why we shouldn’t have gone on this trip. It costs money we don’t have (borrow). The dog might not travel well (he does). We might put too many miles on the car (we’re somewhere around 10,000). We might miss our bed (sometimes). We might get tired of being together (nope, opposite). We might discover how awesome life is somewhere other than Burbank (it could happen).

rachfeedscow

I’m a pessimistic realist who looks at the glass as half empty. Even the idea of this trip is a stretch for me. What started out as a search for direction has turned into even more of a gift as I’m finding me in little bits and pieces here and there. Little cracks of unexpected joy. In the black and white faced three day old cow that let me bottle feed her. My dog sticking his nose in cow poop because he’s never smelled it before. Giggling with Tim over something stupid (usually one of us quoting Gilmore Girls or The Office, or him laughing at how weird I’m acting because he’s recording me for one of our videos). Pieces are falling into place. They’re tiny, insignificant even. But when put together they are beginning to create a masterpiece.