I’m not one to launch into rambling and visually unpleasing excuses for monologues concerning prolonged absences, so I thought I’d begin with a little Q & A session. My hope is that by breaking the updates into organized pieces, you, dear reader, will believe me sane. Of course, I’ve taken the identities of both “Q” and “A”, so you see how well that plan is going already.


Q: So … where’ve you been?
A: Up ’til about three weeks ago, Peter and I were still living in good ol’ CT. Then, in the space of three days, we packed up all our stuff (including the many items we accumulated over the five years we lived in CT, such as Peter’s homemade sous vide machine, Peter’s Big Green Egg … oh, and the 25-pound single purpose kitchen item that PETER picked up TWO DAYS before our move. To be featured in a future post.) and drove out to Illinois. The trip took 15.75 hours, three bad tacos, ten episodes of Wait Wait and Car Talk, and countless exclamations of “For the love of cheese, Maddie, if you don’t stop eating our snacks, I’ll come back there and make you!“.

The lesson here? Don’t trust the perpetually hungry puppa.

Q: You moved? Um, why?
A: Peter’s new job is in Illinois. In fact, he started this week.

Q: What have you been doing, Jessie, RD? What will you do?
A: Over this past year, I worked as a clinical dietitian at a long-term care facility and developed menus and conducted nutrient analyses for a children’s residential center. Please feel free to email me if you have questions about my experiences with either of these. I’ve received many emails over the past year with questions about nutrition and dietetics, including questions about going back to school for dietetics, and I’m happy to answer any and all! I may put up a post of page with common questions I get and the answers I give. Let me know if you’d like to see this on THIH.

I’m still working the latter job long-distance, but it doesn’t take up much time anymore so I’m currently exploring other options.

Q: Ok, fine. But the food! What about the food??
A: Is someone a little hungry-wungry? I must confess, once I stopped posting regularly, my food photography fell by the way-WAYside. I just combed through my photo album and found — count ’em — ONE set of food photos since last winter. Yeah. That one set was from a farewell dinner given by our friend Eric at our favorite restaurant, Forbidden City Bistro. I plan to do a post about it soon, but in the meantime, here’s a teaser:

Ten points if you can figure out what this meal is.

I also have a backlog of recipes that I can’t wait to share with you all.

Q: How’re you settling in?
A: Like a kayaker standing on the edge of Lake Michigan — a little overwhelmed, particularly being an East Coast girl, but confident with the knowledge that however wide the lake, there is land on the other side. We haven’t had much of a chance to explore yet, but overall the people we’ve met have been very friendly and the food has been tasty. Peter enjoys his new job, and we’re happy and healthy. And really, what more could you ask for?

Q: Can you tell me the secret to eternal life?
A: What? Who is this? What kind of question is that? I refuse to answer trolls.

Q: But you said you would answer questions …
A: Nope.

Q: But …
A: Nope. Give it up.

Q: Well, can I at least see your new place?
A: All right. Geez. We actually set up our new place pretty quickly, I’d say within four or five days. Why? I was working through a cold during the first few weeks we were here and was having trouble sleeping. I’d wake up in the middle of the night, and for some reason unknown to man or beast or … woman, I suppose, I’d decide that unpacking at that very moment was a really good idea. I’m sure I annoyed the neighbors half out of their minds with my intermittent coughing and hand drill operating.

Regardless, I’m proud of the results. A sampling:

The kitchen:

Nice, Peter.

Loaded pantries flanking the kitchen table. Note the fenced-in backyard through the window — our first rental with a yard, and a mini-garden to boot! Expect some home-grown chiles next year.

The living room:

For comparison, here’s what the living room looked like a few days before:

The Ambiguously Asian corner:

Peter’s desk. Yes, those butterflies stickers are real. Apparently this was a little girl’s room in a previous life, and the stickers won’t come off (believe me, I tried). I surrounded the butterflies with soldier prints to make Peter feel a trace better when he looks up from his work:

And my desk? Here but a fortnight, and it has already seen the tempests of disorganization:

Q: What does the future hold, oh gracious one?
A: That’s better. My plan is to resume posting recipes and discussions about health and nutrition. As for the rest? I suppose you’ll have to visit again and find out 🙂

Until then,
Your most grateful RD,

Q: Have you ever moved long-distance? How quickly did you adjust?


  1. The place looks great! Welcome to the midwest! (Well, technically I’m from SW Ontario, but it’s close enough.)

  2. I’ve moved long distance a number of times. The adjustment period is different each time, though I think the ease of the transition is set primarily by how quickly you get involved in something in your new area. When moving for work or when I was in school, it was easy to meet people through that. However, when I moved without a strong connection to the area, it was a lot harder to feel comfortable in the new area until I had made new friends and felt more comfortable there socially. I’d really urge you to just try some activities, meetup groups, whatever to get yourself out there and start meeting people in your area as soon as possible.

    I’d love to visit you guys sometime!

    1. You’re exactly right, Chris. I think this is the first time we’ve moved without knowing people in the area, but that’s quickly changing — to my relief! Good advice 🙂

      Come on over!

  3. Hey Jessie! thanks for stopping by! haha , looks like we share one more common thing – I am moving soon too:)
    Like your Asian corner. Hope the you settle down soon, and start your new life in Illinois!

  4. Glad your move went well! I sure hate moves. I moved once a year every year for about 7 years through college and I’m glad we haven’t had to move in about 3 years (although we are kinda looking for a new place in the future). Thanks for the tour! Love the counter space. I love looking at houses 🙂

  5. So glad to see you Jessie and so glad that your move went well. I certainly know how time consuming it can be to uproot and replant. Thank you for sharing with me. And thank you for your kind words and continued support. They mean more to me than I can express! Have a wonderful weekend!

  6. Joyce McVay says:

    Jessie, I’ve missed you sweetie! Chicago is a nice place to settle from what I hear. If you want a job, I’m sure you’ll find something perfect for you. Actually, you’re only about 7 hours from the TRUE Midwest, which you have visited–but not for a long time! Your Missouri relatives miss you. I’m sure we could get Uncle David to teach you and Peter to play poker, and maybe even host a wiener roast for you!

    Good luck and it’s nice to see you back on-line.

    Love, Aunt Joyce

  7. Jessie!! I’m pleased to hear that you’re all moved in and look forward to reading your blog again. We are also in the process of moving, though just to the next town over – not like you guys! Our moving helpers for stage one kept noting (complaining?) that we had so much kitchen stuff, so when Mike and I read about Peter’s new single-use kitchen item, we had a good chuckle.
    Good luck getting settled in!

    1. Hi Marie! Good luck with your move! A move still takes a lot of time and effort, no matter the distance (all those boxes!), so I definitely sympathize. I remember a few times ago when Pete and I moved, we overheard one of the movers say to the other, “All this stuff is for two people?? You’re kidding!” Of course, we’ve only accumulated since then 😉

      Great to hear from you, Marie! Tell Mike we say hi!

  8. Lovely new place, Jessie. Bravo to you for getting it all ready in only a matter of days. It takes me a week to shop for the right pair of shoes. 😛 Haha. I’m sure your neighbours will love ya once they meet that sweet girl living next door with the beautiful smile, so no worries there, my dear. Before I leave though, I’d also like to know the secret to eternal life. 😉 Teehee. Okies take care!

    1. You’re so sweet 🙂 Sadly, I only pretended to know the secret of eternal life (don’t tell anyone, though!). I guess my best answer is: veggies 😉

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