A while back, Carol from May Dreams Gardens tagged me for a meme. I know that I've done this "Seven Things About Me" meme before, and frankly I'm not a very exciting (drama-finding, larger-than-life) person, so coming up with seven interesting things is going to be a struggle. But I like Carol, and I really don't feel like doing anything productive right now, so I'm giving it a try. Here goes:
1. I play a lot of volleyball.
I started playing volleyball in adult leagues a few years after I got married, and have kept playing through the years. In the summertime I play 4's, 6's and even a lower-level (upper intermediate/BB, as opposed to open/A/competitive) women's 2's league. My favorite team is my Thursday indoor competitive 6's team, though. We have a good team (including my boyfriend Steve) and great chemistry, and I can't wait until we start playing together again next week.
Speaking of Steve...
2. Here's something scandalous, after all: I'm dating a younger man.
Okay, it's not really that scandalous. I'm not dating Steve because he's younger... in fact, all of the guys I've dated previously have been my age or within a year older than me. I'm dating Steve because... well, because he's Steve. :-) And outside of a few amusing comments from various friends, and a few cultural references from our childhoods that we have to explain to each other, I never really remember on a day-to-day basis that he's 26 and I'm 33.
(But I have to point out--just in case Steve is reading this--that I may be older, but he has WAY more gray hairs than I do already! ;-)
3. Speaking of gray hair, I am NOT going to be one of those women who constantly colors and touches up her hair when it turns gray.
I hope it turns the pretty, silvery-white color that my Mom's is... but if it isn't, then I will probably just cut it short and choppy and punky, so it has some attitude.
4. I have a deep love of architecture.
I seriously considered going to school for architecture, or at least art... and still wonder whether I shouldn't have done so. Regardless, I definitely appreciate both. And part of what I love about Cleveland is that many of its beautiful buildings were created during the Art Deco period, which is one of my favorites because it's a mashup of contrasts (like opulence and modern efficiency.)
5. I hope that I never, ever, EVER have to eat meatloaf again.
I know, this is a silly one. But once when I was a kid my Mom made me sit at the table until I ate every last bite of my meatloaf. (This, by the way, is the worst thing I can say about her... she is an amazing mother, and I consider myself extremely lucky!) I didn't like meatloaf all that well prior to this particular evening... and after choking down numerous bites of cold, icky meatloaf amid tears, I downright hated it. Ugh!
6. I love cooking.
So I don't ever have to worry about having to make meatloaf for lack of recipes and ideas. My friend Jessica and I like to trade recipes, and when we get together we are known to indulge in making ridiculously gourmet epicurean feasts. During my visit to Cincinnati chronicled in the photo above, she introduced me to Jungle Jim's (heaven!) and I showed her that roasting a whole chicken is so easy that someone who makes her own delicious ice cream doesn't need to be intimidated by it at all.
Almost done with this meme! So I'll end with one more confession:
7. I have a secret admiration/envy of Martha Stewart.
Okay, it's probably not such a big secret given how much I read her magazines. And people who know me and have seen my messy, eclectic house are probably laughing right now. But I aspire to cook as well as, decorate as interestingly as, garden as efficiently as, and generally housekeep as amazingly as Ms. Martha. Maybe some day.
And that brings us to the end of this meme... so it's time to show you the "Plus One Box of Possibilities" from the title of this post:
Apples! Steve's grandfather has a huge old apple tree in his backyard, and we stopped by there for a quick visit and some apple-picking today. I filled up the big, old (trashpicked) antique trug shown above, plus another bag... and could probably go back for the same amount again, there were so many fruits weighing down the boughs.
It's a great old tree, missing some limbs but perfect for a little climbing nonetheless. And these apples are heavenly--firm and crisp, with a really good balance of tart and sweet in the flavor. Could they be Gala? Macintosh? Nobody has any idea: According to Steve's uncle Mike, his parents had actually purchased a crabapple tree for planting, and were surprised when it started bearing regular, full-sized apples in subsequent years.
It doesn't matter what kind they are, really... they're going to be an apple pie with walnut streusel, an apple crisp, and probably some apple-clove butter, too, by the time I get done with them. Anyone have any other all-time-favorite recipes that they would like to share? I certainly seem to have enough apples to give them all a try!