Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It's the Middle that Counts...

"You get a strange feeling when you're about to leave a place, I told him, like you'll not only miss the people you love but you'll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you'll never be this way ever again." Azar Nafisi, Reading Lolita in Tehran

Yesterday was my last day of work.  (I'm still trying to process this latest development.)  It's something I've known was coming--at times prayed vehemently for--but now that it's over, I'm a little bit shocked, and a little bit overwhelmed.

First, let me say this: I've loved my job.  The person I was when when I started was so different from the person I've become, and in over four years, I've matured and grown through opportunities that I never thought I'd have.  Four and a half years.  Four and a half years--for someone in their twenties, that long is practically a lifetime. I've spent more time working there than I did in college, in high school. So to say I'm conflicted is a massive understatement.

I am really looking forward to this new life adventure.  The prospect of everything new is tantalizing and thrilling. But I'm leaving a really, really good thing. My co-workers are more than colleagues, they are friends.  Fierce, fierce friends.  My work is (was) challenging, exciting, and meaningful. I can look back and see my thumbprint on so many things and think proudly: I did that.  That was me.

We had a going away party yesterday.  There was cake and soda and a lot of hugs and well-wishing, and amongst all the "good luck"s, I realized that I have been incredibly fortunate to have been a part of such an amazing team.  People say that government workers are soulless, apathetic slackers.  Are there people there just to collect a paycheck?  Sure.  But my experience has proven that most people aren't. These people are dedicated public servants working towards better.  Better schools, better policies, better communities, better elections. 

Next Monday, I will be in a Uhaul instead of at my desk.  Really, I'm not so sad about missing a Monday morning as I am about never being able to work with these incredible colleagues again. That I will never get to turn around and chat with A, swap books with E, or catch hell from G is a little devastating right now. 

Beginnings are often scary, endings are often sad, but it’s the middle that counts. At least, that's what I keep telling myself.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tutorial Twosday: Just Treats

Fall is the best season.  The world turns my favorite colors of orange, red, and yellow. Skittering leaves--brittle and dry--scoot across the pavement.  Cheerful orange pumpkins, spiced apple cider, cloyingly sweet candy corn.  After the brutal heat of Summer, the first chill of Fall is a breath of fresh, cool air. 

Maybe I'm biased.  I hate hot weather, so pulling a sweater out of the closet is a reason to rejoice.  My Birthday is in October.  Halloween is an opportunity to overload on sugar and don a costume (I may be in my twenties, but I still love to play dress-up).  And who doesn't love mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and Thanksgiving leftovers?

With Halloween just around the corner, today's Tutorials are treats, not tricks.  Here are a few recipes sure to please the sugar-craving hoards.

First up, Caramel Apple Cupcakes.

Alright, take a look at that and tell me your mouth isn't watering. This cupcake gets seriously high marks for presentation because it really does look like a caramel apple. But wait, it gets better. The cupcake has a cream cheese filling. 

This recipe looks absolutely fantastic, albeit involved.  You make the cupcake, the filling, and the caramel.  I can tell you, this is not one of those things I would make for just anyone;  if I ever make these for you, it means that I like you enough to completely trash my kitchen in the baking process.

Presentation is key for our next Treat as well. It requires special equipment, but it's so worth it. Candy Corn Cheesecake.

I love candy corn so much that I usually end up making myself sick because I've eaten too many of those little triangle goodies. Imagine my surprise on stumbling across this lovely little creation. Candy Corn Cheesecake.  Hot damn.

You need a special Wilton cake pan and some food coloring, but the recipe itself is quite easy: a few batches of no-bake cheesecake mix and you are a potluck rock star.  Depending on how the cake pan functions, I would probably go with a real cheesecake recipe, but to each their own. 

The Goodlaffs will be moving on Halloween, so these lovely treats aren't in the cards for us this year.  You can bet they'll be making an appearance in the future, though.  Maybe a Christmas Candy Corn Cheesecake is in order?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Vacation from Our Vacation

After a fifteen day European Honeymoon, the Goodlaffs are finally home. Our trip was fantastic, but it's true what they say--sometimes you need a vacation from your vacation.

Sadly, we don't have that luxury.  We'll take a day or two to get our bearings and get back on Pacific Standard Time, but then the packing must begin in earnest.

Due to continued chaos, posting will be light unless I'm procrastinating, which is extremely likely. =)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Quiet On The Western Front

It's going to be quiet around here for a while.  I promise I'm not ignoring you.  It's just that I have better things to do. 

See, I'm gonna be in Europe.  On my Honeymoon. 

Rough life, I know. Don't be sad for me--I promise I'll be okay.

When I come back, your patience will be rewarded with mediocre pictures of fabulous places!