Thursday, June 28, 2007

Everything is a cat bed

I spent the better part of last weekend "yard saling", as people call it. And a significant amount of time over the last two weeks obsessively searching craigslist for cheap furniture. It would make much more sense to wait until I close on the house to buy furniture, but I just can't stop myself.

I haven't gone too crazy - I found a coffee table, dresser, floor lamp, wooden inbox, and some tools, and couldn't resist picking up a very nice wooden toy airplane, all for about $50. The cats have wasted no time sitting, bathing, and sleeping on all of it. Gregory even found my toy plane to be a lovely chin scratcher, so I have to keep it in a drawer for now.

None of this is as easy as it sounds, by the way. Here in Asheville, no one posts their garage sales on craigslist - you actually have to drive around and follow the poorly written, poorly placed signs. You can find plenty of furniture on craigslist, but no one responds to email and they don't post their phone numbers.

Raw food dish of the week - Tropical spirulina smoothie

I made this out of desperation and now I can't get enough.

Ingredients: Almond milk (almonds, water, and dates, blended and strained through a nut-milk bag), bananas, cacao powder, and spirulina powder, blended in a vita-mix. It was also good with a little coconut butter thrown in.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Living out of boxes

I've been in Asheville for 3 weeks, in my temporary rental house. In another 3 weeks, I'll be moving into my very own home. What I'm looking forward to most is unpacking these damn boxes.

If I had any strategy at all to packing, it was to fit as much as possible into each box - fitting random items from different areas of my apartment into little nooks and crannies like a jigsaw puzzle. What I failed to keep in mind, was that I would have to live out of these randomly packed boxes for several weeks.

I didn't label anything. I would have had to list nearly every item individually on each box in order to do so, since nothing is packed according to any category. It's more like, "things that are soft and squishy are on the edges of that big box, while things that are fragile are in the middle of it." Or, "whatever I was still using the day I left is in one of these 3 boxes.

In order to find anything, I have to unstack and dig through several boxes and then put them all back as they were. There's not enough space to spread them out, and it seems like a total waste of effort to unpack them all, when I know I'll have to turn around and repack them.

At least I know that I did a great job of getting rid of everything non-essential before I left. Because I have dug through these boxes for just about every damn thing in them.

Raw food dish of the week - Breakfast Cereal

Pretty darn good. Next time, I'll spread the batter out thinner on the dehydrator trays so that it makes crispier flakes.

Cereal: Sprouted buckwheat, walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, dried apricots, vanilla, agave nectar, chopped, mixed, and dehydrated at 105 degrees for 24 hours.

Milk: Almonds, water, dates, and vanilla, blended in a Vitamix and strained through a nut-milk bag.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Better than no bus at all

For such a small city, Asheville seems to offer most of the best stuff you would find in the big urban centers: art, music, festivals, restaurants, museums, architecture, etc. But there are certain things you give up when you move up into a little mountain town.

Like great public transit, for instance. Don't get me wrong - the bus system here is usable, and I plan to keep using it to get to work. But Seattle's complex and convenient transit system spoiled me.

Unless you live or work right downtown (which I don't), it takes two buses to get anywhere in this city. Many routes only run every hour. And they all seem to meet downtown at the same exact time, so if your first bus is a little late, you are totally screwed.

As far as I can tell, the bus seems to be filled with people who are too broke, high, or batshit crazy to drive a car, with a few hard-core yuppie environmentalists sprinkled in.

I never understood why some people complained about the Seattle bus system, until today, when a guy from Charlotte was raving about how convenient the Asheville busses are. Apparently, in Charlotte, in took him 3 busses and 2 hours to get to work every day, and they only ran through his particular neighborhood at 7AM and 5PM. I suppose it's all relative.

Raw food dish of the week - Chocolate Pudding

This was completely inedible. I dumped it in the bushes.

Ingredients: Almonds, water, cacao powder, agave nectar, black tahini, blended in a Vita-Mix blender.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Life in Asheville

I've been in Asheville just over a week but I already feel quite at home. Things are all falling right in line for me.

I started my new job this week and so far I love it. Yes, it's still high tech, but instead of corporate middle managers, cubicles, and office politics, I go to work whenever I feel like it, in a big old house, and enjoy meetings on breezy porches with barefoot hippie coworkers and various cats and dogs running through.

I am buying a house! I found the cutest house, in a fantastic location, for less than my budget. How perfect is that? If all goes well, I will be moving in in a month.

Otherwise, life is blissfully mellow and I've almost completely divorced myself from the mountain of responsibilities I had in Seattle. The hardest adjustment is slowing down the frantic mental pace that is still leftover from my high-tech city life.

If I've gotten this much out of just my first week here, I can't wait to see what happens next week.

Raw food dish of the week - Halvah

Surprisingly delicious and very much as I remember halvah tasting.

Ingredients: Raw sesame tahini, shredded coconut, agave nectar. Mixed together and set in freezer for two hours.

It was supposed to be dehydrated for 6 hours first but my beloved dehydrator broke in the move! I just need a new fan. If it isn't still under warranty, it will be very cheap and simple to fix. Bummer though.