Good morning

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Not going to lie. I took the weekend off. I finished the previous section of my dissertation a day behind schedule on Friday, which all things considered wasn’t too bad. I’m back to it now full force after a lovely weekend with the Impish Husband and a glorious dinner with friends last Saturday. I’ll have pictures to share of that soon but for now: back to the writing. Wish me luck! 🙂

 

Two birds, one… lens?

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The dissertation writing… is… going? I’m not where I’d like to be. I didn’t finish the two sections the other day like I’d promised myself (and you). I’d been spinning my wheels trying to get them wrapped up and wasn’t getting anywhere so I decided to let those be for now and move onto the next, rather large section. I’d budgeted myself three days for that and I’m nearing the end of day two. Me thinks I’m not going to be done by the end of tomorrow. Le sigh.

 
In other, more lovely news, I set up my desk by a window with a view and both yesterday and today I was rewarded with some awesome wildlife sightings.

 
Pileated or What?

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Just keep writing, just keep writing…

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Well, after three and a half years of toiling on my PhD project (plus another two years in classes and working on other side projects makes makes five and a half in all) I have been given the okay from my committee members to defend in March!

 
I’ve shut down all my experiments in lab and have retreated to write my dissertation over the next few weeks. My goal is to have it pretty much wrapped up by the end of January. I have some other things going on with a manuscript I am still working on so I’d like to keep February free to work on that. At least that’s the plan… for now. Wish me luck!

 
Room with a View
 

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Ole Smokey

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Old Smokey

 
One of these days I’m going to have to write a full post about my beloved smoker. Two years ago I mentioned to the Impish Husband that I wanted to try some jerky. But I wanted my first jerky experience to be a good one. Some kind of artisanal, all natural kind made from grass fed beef. The Impish Husband had fond memories of a venison jerky an old family friend had made in the past and he felt very strongly that the only way I was going to experience the best jerky had to offer was to make my own. The first batch of jerky was made with a smoker we borrowed from that family friend. It was amazing. Transcendent even. For my birthday that year my in-laws got me my own smoker. We’ve made jerky and turkey, several hams and some of the tastiest ribs I’ve ever had. It’s been a whirlwind of a romance with my smoker and I’m still as in love as on the first day I unwrapped it.
 

Vienna, Courtesy of the Impish Husband

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Five days before we flew to Europe this summer I checked my passport to make sure all my documents were in order. It was more of a symbolic gesture and I was actually patting myself on the back for not putting it off until the morning of our departure. Imagine my surprise when I flipped to the visa page and realized it had expired in May. Woops.

 

Pensive

 
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Roasted Bone Marrow with Poached Garlic and Parsley Salad

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It frustrates me that my limited photography skills are still getting in the way of my sharing my cooking with you. The whole reason I started taking pictures is because I love cooking and wanted to be able to share my creations with someone other than my meat-and-potatoes husband. But it turns out that food photography is darn hard. Take this dish for instance.

 

Assembled

 
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