Ah yes, the snow. It’s officially winter.

In Massachusetts, it snows.  Shocker, I know.  The cold is annoying, but I’m a sweater, so I’d rather be a little chilly than sweating my buns off.  But the snow is just plain miserable.  The first snow I experienced up here as an official resident was magical.  I remember Christmas shopping in the mall, with holiday music playing in the background, standing in the food court watching the flakes float down.  I was mesmerized…

Until I walked outside and got hit in the face with a blob of snow snot.  In my four winters up here, I’ve learned that snow is rarely the beautiful little delicate flakes that melt upon impact.  Oh no.  It’s more like a freezing cold loogie that stings/freezes your face instantly, and it’s HEAVY when you have to shovel your way out of your own driveway, after you’ve already showered and gotten ready for work, so you commute to the office sweating like a snowbeast with sopping wet hair.  Ick.

Plus I still haven’t figured out the logistics of actually riding in the snow.  If there isn’t an indoor arena on the property, I have no idea where to ride, and since I haven’t owned or leased a horse up here during the winter, I haven’t been forced to learn the ins and outs of winter shoeing, blanketing, de-icing buckets, and how to ride without my fingers and toes freezing off (and yes, I know, the answer is to wear gloves and thick socks.  But how do you wear gloves for warmth but still keep the dexterity to ride/text? Plus, once the temperature dips down into the 20′s, plain old paddock boots + chaps won’t cut it…and I can’t justify buying winter riding boots until I actually ride more than once a month).

However, as much as I hate the snow – I think the dog hates it more.

Kinley's "Are you kidding me??!!" look.

Kinley is not amused.

 

Too legit, too legit to quit! except for yesterday…

Yesterday was my last day at work.  I moved from lovely sunny Florida up to freezing cold tiny Massachusetts for this job, and I finally had the balls to quit.

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!

Ahem, where was I?

It was bittersweet.  It reminded me of the last day of high school, where you had to come in, attend a few classes, pretend to care, but everyone knew you were just waiting to leave early to sign yearbooks and celebrate not having to see these people ever again.

(whoa, total sidenote here, but I just remembered – my last day of high school, I got an “in school suspension” because I wore khaki pants that didn’t have pleats, and had to spend the last day of school in the dean’s office.  Crazy, right?  I went to a private religious school with an extremely strict dress code.  Since I was an uber dork, wicked smart, and terrified of authority, I got straight A’s, tutored younger kids, and never ever ever got a detention, much less wore anything that wasn’t exactly within the dress code requirements.  I figured, since it was the last day of school, no one would notice or care about my non-pleated khakis, but I was wrong.  On top of the embarrassment, I was given the “We’re so disappointed in you, you’ve always been a stellar student and good Christian leader, how could you do this?” lecture.  That was fun. Yay last day of school!  Although it did give me a tiny bit of street cred when I met up with my friends later that day to scrawl ”omg, you’re amazing, let’s stay friends forever!” in each other’s yearbooks.  The only reason I grew up to be a “good kid” was because anytime I tried to do anything fun or against the rules, I had dire consequences.  First time I drove faster than the speed limit on the highway?  $250 speeding ticket.  First time I attempted to sneak out and go hang with friends?  Rear ended a telephone pole en route to the Dairy Queen for ice cream.  I got the message.)

The whole day was strange.  People kept asking me if I was sad or excited, and I was both.  But I was also nervous.  Nervous to say goodbye or forget something, and extremely nervous about starting my next job.  I haven’t had to learn anything new in years!  Now…it’s all different, unknown, and therefore scary.  Yikes!

I’m pumped about my new job, don’t get me wrong, but it’s still nervewracking.  Will I like my new boss?  Will she like me?  Omg, what if we loathe each other???? <deep breaths, calm down, everything will be fine, you freak>

I celebrated yesterday with a jar of Nutella and a spoon (not the whole jar, honey, I promise), followed by a glass of wine.  Pretty much par for the course for my Friday nights around here.

The new job will be a good fit, right?  Quitting what was familiar and safe wasn’t a mistake, was it?  Oh god…wtf have I done?

It’s not a party without a pinwheel

My favorite food group is the appetizer group. If it’s little, meant to be eaten with my hands, and laid out on cute platters in groups of 20, I’m SOLD!

However, there really is one standout appetizer that slays me every time, and that’s the beloved pesto pinwheel.  These babies are legit the best things since sliced bread, and since my aunt began making them when I was still in high school, I officially can’t remember (or imagine) family parties without them.

I don’t know if it’s the pesto, the gooey cheese, or the butter-laden puff pastry, but these bad boys never fail to put me in a fantastic mood (and then promptly put me on the couch, where I moan about how much my stomach hurts because I ate 30 of them).  The recipe listed below is one I finally wrote down after the 400th phone call to my mom asking “So, do I put the cheese on first or the ham?  Ok, and then what do I bake it at?  For how long?”

Pesto Pinwheels
 
Ingredients
  • 1 box thawed puff pastry (2 sheets)
  • 1 jar pesto
  • ½ lb thinly sliced ham
  • ½ lb thinly sliced swiss cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Carefully unfold the puff pastry and lay flat on a clean surface pushing the seams together if they’re separating.
  3. Spread pesto liberally (really go all out if you’re like me and can’t get enough of the green stuff), then top with one layer of ham.
  4. Add a layer of cheese, trimming edges of ham and cheese so it all evenly fits on the square of pastry.
  5. Beginning on one end, tightly roll up halfway (this can get a little messy, but don’t worry, it’ll still taste good). Rotate the pan or whatever you’re working on and roll up the other half to create the “pinwheel” effect.
  6. Press both sides tightly tightly, and flip over so the open seams are on the bottom. Again, push every together tightly and then slice, no more than ½ in thick each.
  7. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes.
Notes
I’ve actually experimented with different liners, and parchment paper is the only one I’ll use anymore for these. If I can ever figure out how to post pictures on here, I’ll possibly maybe one day add a tutorial. But seriously, it’s not hard – just roll them up! Please note – these are NOT healthy, but frankly, good appetizers rarely are. Also, make sure you get puff pastry, not phyllo dough, as they are different.

Dear Santa, thanks for nothing.

I woke up yesterday morning to the lovely sounds of my husband frantically wrapping Xmas gifts before I woke up.  Way to plan, buddy.

(and yes, I know I’m being slightly judgey and hypocritical here, as I later shoo’d him away from the living room while yelling “Avert your eyes!” while I filled his stocking.  Whoops.)

Yes, the day was great – filled with foods, friends, and Christmas presents.  Yay Christmas and Jesus.

But guess what was missing?

A pony…anywhere, much less under my tree.

Gee thanks, Santa, way to not fulfill my hopes and dreams this year.

Luckily, my birthday is right around the corner, and guess what this soon-to-be 29 year old newlywed wants?

(if you guess “a baby”, you’re totally wrong, but at this point, if you guessed anything other than “a Gigi”, then you’re clearly missing the point of these posts)

Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is a pony.

No seriously, Santa, bring me a pony.  Wrapped in a bow.

Actually, what I really want is a “Gigi” for Christmas.  She’s a 16.3 hand Dutch warmblood cross “pony”, and she’s amazing! (sidenote: I feel like if I continue to use the word “pony”, my husband won’t put two and two together to realize I’m actually referring to the gigantic 1400 pound beast mare I leased this past summer.  So far, it’s not working.  Plus, when I tell my non-horsie friends that I want a HORSE for Christmas, they freak out a little.  But if I use the term “pony”, everyone smiles and giggles a little as they envision tiny little ponies prancing in the snow.)

But Santa, please don’t get confused here.  I don’t want a stupid pony.*  I want Gigi. For reals.

I wasn’t kidding about the bow, either.

Actually, what I really want is for my husband to make breakfast for me on Christmas morning, then make up a weird excuse for us to go run errands, and then we just happen to drive to the barn, and while I feign surprise, walk over to a stall wrapped in a giant red bow.

With Gigi inside.

And a fancy nameplate on the stall door declaring me her owner forever and ever and ever.

Thanks, Santa, I know you’ll pull through for me!  I’ll leave some sweet snickerdoodles at the barn for you;  feel free to share w/ Gigi, but be careful, she’s a treat freak.

*not all ponies are stupid.  Most are actually much smarter than their riders, and some are even quite adorable.  However, I feel ginormous on anything under 16 hands, so there you go.

Blogging Kindergarten

One of the many upsides of being married to a computer tech wizard is that while he set up this fabulous little baby blog (minus any actual babies), I was able to entertain myself by watching old episodes of “Friday Night Lights” while simultaneously playing solitaire on my phone (I like to multi-task, even while at rest, and btw, “FNL” might be the best show ever…along with “CSI”, “Walking Dead”, and “Top Chef”).

Of course, we battled over who got listed as the official admin of this site (i won, thankyouverymuch, and really, did he ever think he was actually going to post? noooope).  While he animatedly described all the bells and whistles of his new creation, my eyes glazed over as I envisioned all the wonderful posts I would create, the lovely little stories I’d upload in seconds, the amazing comments I was sure to get (ha!).

Then the dog puked on me…in my hand, actually (she’s a small dog).  Blech.  I carried her over to the sink to let her finish yakking somewhere easily disinfected (another benefit of tiny dogs), and the entire time, I kept thinking “I’m totally going to blog about this.”  You’re welcome.