Welcome to the 21st century...

When I was old enough to hold a dish without dropping it, my dad made me wash dishes. He does not believe in a dishwasher. In fact, I really don't think our dishwasher has been used in at least ten years. Seriously. I'm not kidding. After dinner, my sister, my dad, and I would clean up. Immediately. One of us would wash the dishes, one would dry, and the other would put up. I don't know where the obsessive-compulsiveness comes from, but I certainly didn't get the genes. I have absolutely no problem letting those dishes sit there for a couple of hours while I relax after a good meal. And when I do get ready to do the dishes, I certainly don't wash them by hand. I hate to sound like a brat, but HELLO, welcome to the 21st century. Use a freaking dishwasher. That's what they're there for.

Along with snubbing modern technology, my family members also turn their noses up at the produce aisle in the grocery store. You see, we have a garden. "The Garden." The Garden is more like a small farm. My whole family--my dad, my aunts and uncles, cousins--plants rows and rows and rows of every vegetable you can think of every year. Okra, corn, cucumbers, squash, every kind of peppers in existence, the list goes on. Here's the thing though: all of these fruits and vegetables are planted by hand, then picked by hand. It doesn't stop there, my friends. We make our own jellies, pickles, salsa, corn relish, and probably some other things that I can't think of at the moment. (When I say "we," I really mean "they." However, I do contribute to the picking and shelling/shucking processes. I learned how to shell peas before I could write my name.) I sometimes feel like this is how Laura Ingalls Wilder lived. I love Laura Ingalls Wilder. Or George Washington. I'm not complaining: my pantry is stocked with mason jars of various homemade concoctions, and my freezer is packed with fresh, frozen vegetables. I have a huge family, and there's enough to last everyone a whole year. This garden is serious business. 

The dishwasher issue I despise, but the Garden is my favorite thing about my family. It's a tradition. It's funny. Who does that? Who plants and picks that many crops by hand in the year 2009? We do. Arnold family bonding is what we like to call it. The Garden is a family affair. We sit on the back porch of my aunt's house and wash, snap, shuck, shell, ziploc, and label. Usually there's beer and good story-telling, which is all the more reason to love the Garden.

So tonight, I pulled some potatoes out of a tattered wal-mart bag and scrubbed the dirt off of them. They were straight from the Garden. I sliced them up, poured Italian dressing over them, and powdered them with Tony's. Then I put them in the old corningware that my mom gave me. I was so excited that she gave me some of it. I never thought I'd cherish my mother's corningware. But I do. Not because of what it is or how it looks... Because it's my mom's. She's cooked in it since I was a child, and it just feels like home with it sitting on my stove. It's simple. Classic. It makes me happy. Thanks, Mom.


Astronaut pens

I really believe that I was born in the wrong decade. I was made for simpler times. I hate technology. I hate that every time you figure something out, they have to go and "update" it. Why?? Why the constant updating? If it ain't broke, don't fix it. It was fine like it was, and I knew how to work it! Take iTunes for example. My friends make fun of me because my iTunes hasn't been updated in years. The last time I updated it, everything was changed around, and it took me an hour to figure out where everything went. And now every time I turn on my computer, the pop up "you have updates" messages flash angrily at me. As if they are cussing me and calling me stupid. Still, I refuse. No updates for me.

Needless to say, due to my computer illiteracy, my blog is very plain. I spent 2 hours last night trying to figure out how to put pictures on it (not post them--add them to the top of my page to decorate it). It ended with me cursing my computer, the internet, Al Gore, and Comcast. Although, for once in this lifetime, it really wasn't Comcast's fault. I just hate them and their monopoly on internet service and the fact that my internet doesn't work half the time. Feel free to inform me how to put pictures up.

I am starting this blog for a couple of reasons. First of all, all of my closest friends felt the need to move away. Boston, Montgomery, Birmingham, UTAH for pete's sake... Who lives in Utah that was born in the South? My bff Amanda. She's saving the world in Utah. So some of my friends have blogs, and I like to be updated on their lives. I also like that it's like a journal. When I started medical school, I had full intentions of writing a journal about it. That lasted about five minutes. Maybe during boring lectures I'll get some "journaling" done on here. I'd like to look back and remember some things about these remaining 2.5 years because I'm sure much of it will be blocked out.

Anyway, I didn't think this post would end up being a novel, but the one thing I wanted to write about is astronaut pens. Did I miss the memo somewhere? Does everyone know about astronaut pens? I had never heard of these incredible inventions. Apparently they are pens that you can write upside down with (the pen being upside down, not you). Matt told me last night that his Papaw only used astronaut pens so that he could lay in his bed and do cross word puzzles lying down (paper in the air). You know, you go to write something on the post-it paper thing on the refrigerator and your pen doesn't work because the pen is pointed up? Well... astronaut pens. Who knew?