Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Grass is Always Greener

Why is it whenever I'm at work, I think of all the things I could accomplish if only I were home? And then when I get home, none of those plans actually materialize? I either flop on the couch and read, do the crossword puzzle, or knit, or I log on to the computer and browse blogs to see all the cool things everybody else is doing. Or the absolute worst, I spend an hour or so on the phone talking about all the things I need to do at work.

The same thing happens when I'm out of town. I think about all the stuff I could get done at home and yet many times when I'm home, I dream of hitting the road, taking a trip, being somewhere else.

What is it about human nature that makes us (or at least me) do that?

For instance today during my break at work, I scanned three Everyday Food magazines for dinner ideas, made my list, stopped at the store, and yet now that I'm home? On the computer. Hungry, but not hungry enough I guess. Truthfully, my plans were changed because Steve and I needed to do run an errand and because of that, we decided to eat out, but still, this happens a lot.

I've really slacked off cooking lately for a variety of reasons, but one of them has to do with boredom. Cooking the same old standbys has led our meals to deteriorate even further to cereal for dinner. Two nights in a row. On the weekend. Sad.

So today, I planned and purchased the ingredients for the following meals:
  • Vegetable Pad Thai
  • Braised Chicken w/ Orange and Scallions
  • Lemony Smashed Potatoes
  • Spatchcocked Chicken w/ Tomatoes
  • Spring-Vegetable Couscous w/ Chicken (leftover from the spatchcocked chicken)

Sounds delicious, no? These are all from the May, 2009, and May, 2010 issues. I'll keep you posted on the details as we get to them.


  1. OK, Rose, I give up. What is a spatchcocked chicken?

    You sound like I get when my mind is overloaded with work I have to do or I've had a lot of social interaction. Not quite catatonic but certainly ready to play solitaire for a few hours :)
    Teaching school may not be social but it would sure wear my brain out now - thinking and people, you know. I'd need a good few hours of downtime and if someone cooks/buys a meal for me...great! I did enough years of Mom-type cooking. Now I'm in it for me. When I want.
    I seem to get everything done that I have do, too, I think.

  2. Your frame of mind explains all of my cast on projects waiting for attention. I'm easily led astray.

    We had meatloaf and mashed potatoes for dinner. It was delicious.

  3. Stephanie--I had never heard of it either, but according to "Martha", it's a whole chicken, split and sort of flattened, then cooked at 500 degrees for 30 minutes. I'll let you know how it turns out, I think it's on for tomorrow night. Teaching is pretty social in a way, as I have to interact with about 100 people a day; some days are more draining than others that's for sure.

    Rudee-that sounds like comfort food, which is what I'm looking for I'd bet.

  4. OMG! I could have written this post! I make lists of stuff to do at home when I'm at school -- then I, too, come home and flop down on the couch (with knitting!).

    Without kids to make dinner for each night, I am less motivated to cook. I'm glad we're not the only ones who have cereal for dinner!