Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tegan's Traveling Tattoo Extravaganza

Finally there are a few minutes when I can actually sit and write a few words. My traveling schedule has been comparable to a trucker, and the mileage is racking up. Six hundred sixty miles up and down to NH which was traveled twice in two weeks. Then hours later after arriving back from the last work trip from Jim's Tattoo, we departed again to a relaxing destination in the heart of the Chesapeake Bay.

The past four days have be spent relaxing to the maximum. We had to escape to an island with a population of maybe 500. My laid back in laws live there. It's gorgeous, and there's nothing to do if you want to be busy. Well you can fish, boat, or ride your bicycle around the island if it's warm. We did none of this since it was pretty chilly out there, although I walked around a little while my toddler tricycled around. I ignored emails and texts until this morning. I didn't call anyone on the phone. There was lots of eating, gaming, gazing, movie watching, cooking, and massaging. I had a great massage at a local fancy shmancy spa with my Step MIL. We also steam bathed, drank tea, and took our sweet time showering and such. My family took home a bounty of gifts including some oysters that I'll be steaming soon for dinner.

In less than 13 hours, I'll be putting the pedal to the metal again. I'll be hacking off about thirty minutes but hopefully more with my new guest spotting stint at Good Mojo Tattoos in Beverly, MA. Sunday and Monday will be spent tat zapping up a storm thanks to several ink aficionados. I know that this location will be more accommodating to most of these friendly clients. Some of them will travel a mere fifteen minutes or less to get to the studio. It'll be nice to be in a new atmosphere with friendly new faces. Tomorrow night I'm also excited to spend some QT with some old friends, who are expecting twins next year. Although it'll be a rough drive there and back, the time in between is really what I look forward to.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Butternut Squash Coconut Curry Bisque

This morning I've been in a whirlwind. Vacuuming, steaming the floors and a part of the wall, and cooking. It's always an appealing challenge to go into the pantry and "root cellar" and devise something to eat with what we have. Usually I try to use items that are on the verge of spoiling because wasting food is a travesty especially in this present economic hardship. We still have an abundance of organic butternut squash from our farm share, some chick peas, avocado, and canned coconut milk. Therefore some avocado/ chick pea hummus and a delicious soup were manifested. I'll only be sharing the bisque recipe here, but if you're interested in the hummus, let me know.

  1. Butternut Squash
  2. White wine
  3. Coconut Milk (one can)
  4. Onion (one cup chopped)
  5. Garlic (3 cloves)
  6. EVOO for sauteing (2 tblsp)
  7. Curry powder (2 tsp)
  8. Fish Sauce (1 tsp)
  9. Cayenne Pepper ( a dash)
  10. Broth of your choice

Saute the onions and garlic in a dutch oven over medium heat in EVOO until translucent. Add chopped squash and some white wine and fish sauce and burn off the alcohol for about five minutes. Mix in the can of coconut milk and add about a cup of broth. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and simmer with lid on until squash is softened. Usually this takes about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally since the coconut milk tends to congeal on the surface. When the squash is tender use an immersion blender or food processor* to blend the bisque to a creamy consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with cilantro if you desire. Serve immediately.

* If you use a food processor, blend the soup in small batches. Be careful not to burn yourself! If you don't have a hand held immersion blender, I highly suggest you invest in one.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Daylight Savings saved me

While life has been leading me to dwell in the pit of eternal despair lately, I've decided to take some new steps towards success. With open arms, I'm going to embrace the positive - exercising, diet, and frugality as much as possible. Perhaps I've had an epiphany. At least I finally got to release some pent up tears which seemed to be building up for quite some time. I might as well fix my life rather than gloat in the negative aspects and act a fool.

The other night I reminisced while googling on the computer about the positive aspects of my past that have somewhat been put into remission. I used to be more involved in the tattoo scene by guesting often, doing conventions, getting pictures of my work and myself into magazines, and promoting more.

While I haven't completely stopped all of those things, I've focused more on being home as much as possible to be with my son. It's a double edged sword. I love to travel around and go on adventures, work at new shops, and meet new people. It helps me to evolve my own style, learn new tricks of the trade, and recharge the inspiration battery. On the other hand, I miss my family immensely.

The reality of it is that if I can make good money while traveling, I should do it now since it's slowed down in Philadelphia and South Jersey. My bookings used to be full for three or so months at a time when I worked at Lightwave. I suppose 4 years of networking and busting my ass will do. Therefore my days are always booked when I head up to Jim's Tattoo. I'll be making it up there three weeks in a row this month. Hours are dwindling at my present job, and I have mouths to feed. Being the sole bread winner has its pressures, but I have a newfound confidence that I can make it work.

Also in the past I worked out like a mofo. It used to be a part of my routine for most of my adult life. I was into hiking, snow boarding, skiing, cycling, weight lifting, and yoga in my early twenties. I got bored. Then in my mid twenties I was an avid trail runner and was still cycling when I lived in Rockport. I got bored again,. Then when I lived in Salem, I was seeing a personal trainer, spinning, and hitting the Salem Healthworks, an all female gym , many times a week. I was running 5 or 6 miles, doing Pilates, Spinning, and still cycling when I lived in Florida. When I got pregnant the exercise dwindled and the pastries and soft serve ice cream wer top priority. Don't get me wrong, I still did some prenatal yoga, and cycling up to 4 months or so. Post pregnancy I somewhat got int working out again, but never on a regular basis.

The recent epiphany has inspired me to work out at home via Comcast On Demand Exercise TV per the suggestions of a great friend, Michelle. She is my hero right now due to the fact that she's completely changed herself inside and out. She's always been my cheerleader, and I love her like a sister. I look up to her even more since she's reached goals that I now have.

Perhaps this all began after reading a quote my husband sent to me the other day;

Success: To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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