Monthly Archives: October 2012

Progress Update

What a week!  We have been working non-stop on our one thing, our goal of selling our condo.  This week we have had the thrill of accomplishing two major tasks to that end:  we have painted our 10.5 foot ceilinged bedroom, and we have sold our two enormous wardrobes!  Yes, hooray for progress.    I thought it would be nice to pop in for a brief moment and give you a sneak peak at what we have done so far.  Here is the bedroom  on Sunday night, all prepped for painting

changes, they are a comin’

One thirteen hour day of painting, and a week of anxiously hoping to find a new home for our twin  caverns, et voila!

blank canvas

Good bye hideous, shiny blue walls; hello fresh start.  All that is left to do now is finish painting trim around the house, move more stuff into storage, build and paint new bedside dressers, clean, decorate, and list!  So, not much at all really (sigh).  But, seriously, despite all the hard work this endeavor is taking, we both feel confident that we are doing the right thing and completely blessed  in how everything is working out.  Stay tuned for the final results!

Did you miss the bit about why we are moving?  Read here to catch up.

French potato salad from

Salad days

Last Friday night we went to a friend’s house for a bbq with our small group from church and about eight Chinese students attending George Washington University.  It was great!  Despite the rain, despite the headache-cum-migraine I’ve been carrying around for weeks, despite everyone’s individual worries and concerns, those few hours were lovely.  I got to play with one of the cutest babies ever, catch up with friends I haven’t seen in a while, and meet new people.  The students were divided up between accountants and hospitality services studies and the topics under discussion were diverse to say the least.  At one time I heard meningitis, George Washington, electric bikes, home-stay, and DSLR camera specs floating up from the different knots of people around the house.

Of course, being a bbq there was also food!  Our small group pitched in for pot luck; Jason and I took enormous bowls of potato salad, fragrant with herbs, and fruit salad with a twist.


French potato salad

French potato salad

(adapted from the Barefoot Contessa)

ingredients (serves 4-6). . .we tripled it!

2 pounds small red potatoes

4 Tbs. chicken stock

3 Tbs. champagne vinegar

3/4 tsp. dijon mustard

2 tsp. kosher salt

3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

8-10 Tbs. good extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup chopped scallions (white and green parts)

2 Tbs. minced fresh dill

2 Tbs. minced flat-leaf parsley

2 Tbs. chiffonade of fresh basil leaves

Boil potatoes in salted water until they are just cooked through.  Remove potatoes to bowl and cover with a towel to steam for 10 more minutes.  Halve or quarter potatoes and toss gently with chicken stock.  Allow liquid to be absorbed into potatoes before proceeding.

Combine vinegar, mustard, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and oil in mason jar and shake it! (or slowly whisk oil into other ingredients to emulsify.)  Add vinaigrette to potatoes and gently toss with herbs and remaining salt and pepper.  Serve warm or at room temperature.


Fruit Salad a la Oyamel

Fruit Salad a la Oyamel

ingredients (serves 4-6)

2 grapefruits

2 pink or green apples (or pears)

1 mango

1 banana

1/2 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped

2 tsp cayenne powder

1-2 limes quartered

Segment grapefruit and break segments into medium chunks.  Cut apples (peel off or on) in large dice.  Peel mango and cut likewise.  Peel and cut banana in rounds.  Squeeze 1 lime quarter and gently toss together.

Decision time:  if everyone to whom you are feeding this salad likes a little spice, then toast your pecans in a dry pan over medium heat with the cayenne pepper.  If you are uncertain of you fellow diner’s pepper tolerance, just toast nuts plain, and provide limes dipped in cayenne for squeezing over individual portions.



My House Makes Me Sick!

No, my house does not disgust me, but there is a real possibility that it is making me sick.  Since our Australian Healthpocalypse in June there have only been about three to four scattered weeks in which I have not been under the weather.  Two of those glorious weeks occurred while we were back down south, but from almost the moment we returned home it has been bronchitis, colds, and allergies (thus the radio silence around here lately).

Well, my friends, we have had it!  Enough is enough (or as good as  a feast, for the Mary Poppins fans among you).  Jason and I are swimming in packing boxes, readying the superfluous contents of our home for storage.  We are clearing out, cleaning up, painting, planting, and pillowing in an attempt to get our condo sold.

I spent some of my recent sick time making new cases for some of the couch pillows. Velvet on one side, linen on the other (two of my favorite fabrics in one huggable bundle)!

Here is the plan as it looks now.  We will sell the condo and move into  a rental.  This will allow us to determine (hopefully) if the condo is making me sick or if it is the geographic area.  If the latter, we will be shaking the D.C. dust from our feet and heading for. . .well, different pastures.  There you have it, direct from the snuffly, hoarse horse’s mouth.  I’ll be posting progress pictures and updates in the days ahead.  See you soon!

off to storage!