the day of non-working

It’s a holiday! No work! Today is May 1, aka May Day, aka International Workers’ Day, aka Labor/Labour Day. I had heard of May 1 being a holiday, but having grown up in the States, it was always one of those random holidays that barely made it onto the calendar. It was that weird spring holiday where you might leave candy and flowers at your neighbors’ doors (but most don’t).

Well, no candy and flowers here in China. It is a national holiday though, so the work schedule gets all switcherooed to make it a three-day weekend (off Thursday, off Friday, off Saturday, work Sunday). I hear the holiday referred to as Labor Day (and I’ve seen both the American and British spellings), but I just can’t bring myself to call it that. Because Labor Day is the first Monday of September. It’s a goodbye to summer, the last hurrah before school starts, whereas May Day is decidedly a spring deal. So I’ll play the part and say “International Workers’ Day” … but in my mind I’m thinking flowers.

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Image is of a pile of rubble near a construction site in Zhujiajiao, Qingpu District, Shanghai. Construction in China – it’s not progress, it’s a way of life.

one week later

It’s been one week since my last post. From now on I’ll probably only post about once a week because, well … I really don’t have much to post about. I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend. As I mentioned previously, my sister came to town and we did sisterly things, like eat and shop. It was so great to see her again. Good Austin-y restaurants to try: Blue Dahlia (on East 11th), Chuy’s (on Barton Springs), and Woodland (on South Congress). I definitely need to go back to Woodland because their meatloaf sandwich was ridiculously delicious.

090910 01 last fig

We went to the Farmer’s Market at 4th and Guadalupe on Saturday morning, where we tried some very yummy samples and bought figs. I had never had figs that didn’t come in a newton before, so I was completely shocked when I first bit into one. YUM. So sweet … so lovely. The picture is of the very last fig – right before I ate that little piece of heaven.

On Labor Day I went to a friend’s place for a get-together she was having. To thank her, I made her some oatmeal cookies and gave them to her yesterday. They actually turned out really good. I halved this recipe but still ended up with a few over two dozen 2″ cookies. The ingredients list below is for the full recipe, so if you want a smaller batch, just halve it like I did.

090910 02 dough

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (I increased this a bit)
  • 3 cups quick cooking oats

Process:

  • mix together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar
  • add the eggs and vanilla to the mix
  • in a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon
  • add the two mixtures together and add the oatmeal
  • form little balls of dough (about 1″ in diameter) onto a cookie sheet
  • bake in oven at 375F for 8-10 minutes

090910 03 bagged

I haven’t had a chance to make those reusable cookie bags, so I just used a plain ol’ ziploc with a piece of ribbon and tucked in a note. I left the cookies on her desk yesterday morning and got a voicemail from her thanking me later on. This is why I love giving cookies – it just makes people happy! And it makes me happy for making others happy! All in all, very happy. I also finally managed to give my friend X her birthday pillows. More happiness!

But … apparently my sister thinks I’m tired all the time because I eat too many simple sugars. Yeah yeah, probably true. I just happen to really like bread, muffins, and cookies. Is that so wrong?

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]

busy busy me

First post of September! Life is so busy right now, in a frantically wonderful way, that I feel compelled to share everything with the world (but edited as to remove anything that could be remotely identifiable). Posts and projects are probably going to become a bit more sparse, but oh well. School is starting to pick up, and good golly, all that homework – sheesh! Anyway, I still have quite a bit of free time, so I had been looking for a job. And I found one! YES!

090903 01 shopping

I celebrated by going to Michael’s and buying myself stuff. Only spent $3.89. The picture came out showing everything as blue, so I tried photoshopping it to the correct shades of purple. Eh. Ribbon was an odd texture, but the spool was only a dollar. Then I got a skein of embroidery floss because I was running low on #333. And … I bought myself the magnificent disappearing-ink pen that I have been craving for years. I first used one in high school and found them to be simply magical. They’re not expensive, normally $4.50 (or $2.25 with a 50% Michael’s coupon), but I could never bring myself to buy one, until now. YES!

Also, last but definitely not least, my darling sister is coming to see me. Well … I don’t know if “darling” is the right word to describe her. But I’m so excited! And then of course, Monday is Labor Day. Don’t you just love holidays? This means I can be lazy (and catch up on sleep) since I won’t have school and I won’t have work. YES!

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]