Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday High Five

Every other Friday, I post a short list of five things currently making me smile. This is the latest installment. For past High Fives, click here.

1. A J-O-B. 
First thing first: I got a job! It's only part time, much like my freelance gig, but I'm starting to think that if I can piece together enough of these part time and work-from-home jobs, I might be able to support myself after all. The best thing about this particular job is that it's at UNCW. I'll be teaching one section of what they call "First Year Experience" - a kind of "welcome to college" course required for all entering freshman, designed to help them make a successful transition into their shiny new lives. While the job won't start until the fall semester, I'm so excited to remain a part of the college, even after I graduate. I've been working on university campuses for seven years now (!!!) so I'm happy to continue my streak.

Yesterday was the first official day of spring, and what a day it was! Sunny, lazy, and in the mid 70s. Listen, I know plenty of people in parts of the world that are not coastal North Carolina have it worse, and I know I grew up in New York and thus should be "used to the cold" (HA!), but believe me when I say that I. Hate. Winter. Cold, dreary weather affects me deeply. I become unproductive, sad, and desolate. That all changes the moment the sun comes out. It's like my heart thaws and I can love again. Yesterday, I celebrated the beautiful weather and the new season by hanging laundry to dry, going to hot yoga, and drinking a smoothie. It was glorious. Spring, don't even leave me again. (Unless, of course, you're making way for your even sexier sister, Summer. In that case, bye bye!)

3. Beer Bread. 
Last winter I went through a serious bread baking spree, and it was delicious. Then I made a sourdough starter, and it was semi-successful. Then it died/I killed it, and I haven't baked bread since. Until my friend Katie brought a homemade loaf to a meeting, I ate half of it, and begged her for the recipe. "It's beer bread," she said, and I jumped for joy. How could I have forgotten about beer bread? I've made this recipe twice now, using our own homebrew, which probably crosses some kind of hipster homesteading line, but I don't care. Beer bread! I won't forget you again.

4. Reading for Days. 
There are so many good things to read right now (and always, really, but I've been making time and that's the difference). Right now I'm in the middle of the novel Flight Behavior (so good!), the short story collection Vampires in the Lemon Grove (OMG), and a borrowed issue of Creative Nonfiction (I need to write more essays). I also joined my first ever actual book club. We've had two meetings so far, both in wine bars, so you know it's the right group for me. I'm trying to make some non-MFA friends, so that when we graduate and everyone I love moves away and leaves me in Wilmington, I have a community that is not tied so exclusively to the college. Book club has been an excellent step toward that goal.

5. Fluffy Chicken Butts (and Eggs!)
I mentioned that our chickens were finally laying again (I'm not the only one who loves Spring) but since then, they've been laying so much we've actually been able to sell a few cartons to friends. I posted a photo of our eggs on Facebook last week, and within an hour I had a long wait list and lots of eager customers. We're selling them $4 for a dozen, $2 for six, and our goal is simply for the chickens to pay for their own food and straw. It's also been really gratifying to spread the chicken love through my community. I like to think that every egg that comes from my yard is one less egg that comes from a large commercial operation, and in that case my hens are doing important work. Keep it up, ladies! 

That's the latest in my life. What good things have been making your day?