Humpty Dumpty

450 Eggs

Have you ever wondered what 450 plastic Easter eggs look like? Well, there you go. Why are these heaped on my living room floor? Because I am organizing the egg hunt this Sunday at church for the kids. So, off to Coscto and the dollar store I went and a couple hours of craziness later…

450 Eggs

450 Eggs

450 Eggs

450 Eggs

they were each filled. Eventually I started finding a sick pleasure in color coordinating each candy to the color of the egg. I moved quickly, while listening to NPR, contemplating a few new challenges and wondering if it was wrong to scratch such an unhealthy itch. Like many, when something suddenly spins out of control, I find a sincere pleasure in being hyper-controlling of other things. So, while I can’t do anything to change Arizona’s state budget, I can bleach my floors. I can place watermelon candy in pink eggs. I can pull out the toothbrush and Comet.

Let me explain.

Yesterday I came into work, high from my great trip to San Francisco and excited about the day ahead, when my boss called a quick meeting. State funding cuts in Arizona led to the cancelation of my program and job over the weekend. I’ve got a few more months here, thankfully, to figure out the next move. ¬†Phoenix, the fifth largest city in America, will still be without a strong public health graduate program. Our health will suffer as ¬†result. And the short-sighted Phoenician status quo drags its statistically obese, skin cancer-prone, Type II diabetes-laden self forward to an early death.

But hey, something had to be cut — right?

I’ve got no clue what I’m going to do next, but there is certain to be an adventure around the next corner. In the meantime, I’m making the most of the sudden free time I have by cleaning (see above: bleach, Comet, toothbrush) and making sure my life is otherwise as tidy as possible. This is the only way I know how to cope with sudden change: pick up the pieces where they are and make the best of it for the time being. And Magic Eraser the baseboards, logically.


Yoked & Yolked

The crazy church casserole

The cake that almost wasn't Potatoes

Sunrise service was beautiful, including the flowering of the cross — one of my favorite traditions. Soon after, I scurried off downtown to the other Methodist church where I was expected to bring a casserole for Easter brunch. Thankfully, I arrived 2 hours before service, fired up the commercial ranges and went to town cooking my food for the day. The casserole still looked icky, but I did as asked. The cake that almost wasn’t was appropriately saved. The potatoes were baked, seasoned and soon enjoyed at the Passover/Easter brunch at the Wright’s. (Salty Senor’s family.)

Egg appetizers



The saved cake

Carmelized Onions

Olives for the appetizer

Fried Turkey


Lainey's Garden


Lemon Meringue

Passover Macaroons


The day was nothing short of lovely; we watched amazing golf, ate gobs of delicious food and managed to celebrate the mixed heritage of their wonderful family by having both Easter and Passover foods. Lainey, Adam’s mom, went as far as organizing an egg hunt in their expansive backyard. We (the 8 adult children) ran around like maniacs scooping up eggs, stuffing ourselves with jelly beans and eventually cashing in our eggs for coordinating lottery scratch tickets. It was such a fun afternoon! (And nothing says Easter like a bit of gluttony and gambling, right?)

Welcome, Easter!

Matty thoroughly enjoyed his first American Easter, including Peeps.


Breaker, Breaker: Over and Out!


The pantry is officially reorganized and clutter free. (Before photo here.) I love my new canisters and the red and white gingham liner paper. I also love the baking basket I put together with the things I use most often:Baking Basket

Pantry, AFTER

I filled the picnic basket with cookbooks I rarely use, got rid of jars that needed recycling and reorganized my canning supplies for early summer jam. My CRAFT along 09′ April project is officially complete.

What’s not complete? I have a pot of potatoes on the stove, a bundt pan full of cake batter in the fridge and a raw casserole full of some concoction I am supposed to bring to church tomorrow for brunch after service. Apparently, just as I decided to start cooking this afternoon, one of my breakers went on vacation. Could be because of recent rain, could be just bad luck. Either way, I’m without hot water, have a dryer full of wet clothes that will have to be re-laundered eventually and a fridge full of food I’m hoping won’t spoil before I can hire an electrician Monday morning (coincidentally the same morning I have the largest grant of the year due).

In a not-so-brilliant moment, I went outside in Nancy Drew mode to find and fix this problem myself. I stepped into a puddle, in the dark, and tried to dry off the breaker when I felt a jolt travel up my arm and make my fingers (and heart) jump. The emergency electrician wanted $350 (before parts) to help tonight. I opted for a cold shower and candlelight instead. Maybe just maybe I will wiggle my way into church an hour early and bake away in the kitchen unnoticed. I’ll certainly need resourcefulness and a dash of favor to pull this Easter off with any grace and not arrive empty-handed for a full-dance card’s day worth of celebrations.

Hoping your Easter weekend is passing a bit more gracefully,


CRAFT 2009: March Showers Bring April Flowers



Dear Finberg,

It could just be that I love food or am hungry this morning, but these are our winners of the March CRAFT along. Brava to Ms. Beauty School Dropout for her lovely coasters. And of course, Ms. Snappy worked the pizza. How good does that look right now? Oh man, I should have had pizza for breakfast.

Ladies –I’ll be sending you a small prize this week. Congrats! Fin, are you so proud of the projects coming out of this craft-along? I have been looking at the photo pool and am in awe of the creativity. Such fun!

Keeping that in mind, I’ve got a bit of a twist for the April project. My pantry is an organized mess, if that makes any sense. I know where everything is, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t use some serious attention. Also, I could really use more space and some shelf lining. So, when I saw this craft post about pantry organization I knew what our April project would be. Take a before and after pic of your pantry and explain how the improvements you’ve made make your space more useful. Paint? Add fabric? Label jars? Go wild! It is up to you. I know I have to sort through the cookbooks and Cooks Illustrated first and pare down the number of jars hanging around from the Jars of Renewal project. Oy, my pantry looks like a hippie recycling center most days.

What do you think Finny? Are you up for the challenge? Goodness knows you are always cooking up something delicious and it seems the garden is going to providing even more motivation for kitchen time. And for those interested in a bit of crafty stuff too, a couple secondary/seasonal projects for those of us prepping Easter baskets:

Best Bunnies

and Felt Pouches. (While these are cupcake-themed, I’m thinking tulips instead.)

I do love putting together themed gifts…

Hope you don’t think I’m going too overboard with projects this month, Fin. I’ve got lots I want to do and have been so consumed with work lately, it will be great to make the time for these!