Today starts the second half of 2009 and I’ve got big plans. New month, new projects, new challenges, new joys.

Last night I made risotto for the first time. It was wonderful, even if Matt called it “slimy rice.” He loved it too. I’ve now conquered the school of grains at epicurean school, with risotto serving as the thesis. I passed.

Parmesan risotto and vegetables

First time making risotto

I still think if given the chance to start over career wise, I’d go to culinary school and become a baker. Maybe I’d own a small bed and breakfast or a winery. I love cooking for others and the joy of learning new things in the kitchen never wavers. This weekend I’m going to try red velvet cake from scratch, perhaps topped with cream cheese frosting and fresh blueberries for a 4th of July treat. I am looking forward to pulling out my cookbooks, finding a clean apron and digging in. Plus, it has a theme, and you know me and themes. If there is a way I can come in costume or celebrate the mundane to make everyone else laugh, I’ll find a way.

Ballerina fabric

Fabric for a new project

Varigated yarn for a new knitting project

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There are new art supplies too. Soft ballerina flannel that will soon be transformed into a quilted surprise. And there is something about variegated yarn that makes my heart skip a bit. The warm beautiful colors flowing from one shade to another — it’s like a sunset in your hands. I cast on a new project last night, finding a meditative state in the repetition.

Getting my Spartan on

Gimme a B-O-O-K!

Photos by Amanda Nemec

And finally — please stop worrying about me. I am embarrassed now to have shared the way I have here; I do appreciate the support and your kind words but I don’t handle being a source of pity. Trust me when I say, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to feel awful for me. My life is pretty damn good.

So, thank you. While I’m really not outside acting like a mentally handicapped cheerleader this week, I will again soon. My spirit is here, in check and I’m fine. I once was and will so again be a giant, goofy dork who loves nothing more than to make fun of herself.

Cheer on,