Throwing Off the Bowlines

Well. Unlike an international art thief fleeing with the largest score of all time, I didn’t anticipate disappearing off the face of the earth. I haven’t gone so long without posting since I restarted THIH in August 2012. This holiday season has been stressful, and not just because of our pup. Anyone who says your late 20’s are when you have everything figured out has not experienced difficulty deciding both what her future holds and the color of her socks in the span of five minutes.

Speaking of pups, our Bonnie lass is still with us, and we love every moment with her.


When I was a kid, my mom told me bad news always comes in threes. That meant every time something “bad” happened I’d wait around for the other two shoes to drop. Such an action — or rather, inaction — involves living in both the past and future, but never the present. Rather silly, don’t you think?

Perhaps 2014 is the year we throw off the bowlines. Perhaps not. Either way, the title of this blog is a reminder of the interconnectedness of all life’s areas.

Enough with the heavy. A few pictures from the holiday season:


As a registered dietitian, I do not approve of this sign. White chocolate is not chocolate.


This picture is going to be blackmail someday.


As usual, we drove to and from Connecticut for the holidays. I tried to take a selfie with Maddies. The above and below pictures were the result.


Elegant as always:


Bonnie kindly obliged my request to be my knitting prop,


and later took a nap with her favorite toy on a double-stack of appropriately-sized dog beds.



A retro board game Peter found for me – I remember beating the pants off my sisters in this game when we were kids (or was it the other way around?):


Yeah. This.


I’ll take 0.003 ounces, please.

Peter’s birthday was this past weekend. We celebrated in a low-key fashion with baked chicken (not fried!), pumpkin “soup”, broccoli souffle, and chocolate cake.


For some reason, I only took a close-up of the most unappetizing part of dinner: the broccoli souffle. Luckily, I’m going to share it with you.


I bought Peter a map gas torch for searing meat and crystallizing the tops of creme brulees, which is pretty much as awesome as it sounds.


The torch has other uses.
The torch has other uses.

And now, we’re hunkering down amongst blowing snow and trying not to think about the -12 degree F high we’re getting in central Illinois today.


How were your holidays? For us, exhausting.


But it was wonderful to spend time with family.


  1. Sorry things have been tough, Jessie. I’ll let you in on a little secret, there is no such thing as figuring life out… 😉

    Happy Birthday to Peter! His gift is awesome! Enjoy the creme brulee he’ll be making! 🙂

    Wishing you a happy & healthy 2014!

    1. Thanks for the secret 😉 I agree! Happy New Year to you and your family, Andrea!

  2. Hey Jessie! I was wondering why you haven’t been posting! Sorry to hear about the doggie, but think that whatever happens she has lived an amazing life of being loved and spoiled and giving back love and loyalty. What more can one ask from a pet?

    And yeah that ‘figuring out life’ thing. Not gonna happen.

    I am sure Peter loved his birthday gift (happy birthday Peter!) and you’re going to enjoy both the seared meat and the creme brulee. Don’t deny it!!

    Also, is that half a chocolate cake, or do you have a half-moon shaped baking pan?

    Lots of love and hugs and kisses from your Greek friend! xoxo

    1. Hugs, Christa! Hope you had a nice holiday 🙂 That’s half a chocolate cake – I baked a single round layer of cake, cut it in half along the diameter, and layered it with frosting. A two-layer cake without having to eat a whole cake! 😉

  3. i hope things get better for you guys drove back and forth from guys are a trooper! I was wondering about the cake too, it that like a half cake?

    Sending you warm hugs from Dallas..its 17F, def. warmer right?

    1. 17 degrees in Dallas, phew :O Thanks for the warm hugs! The cake is half a chocolate cake – I baked a single round layer of cake, cut it in half along the diameter, and layered it with frosting. It’s a two-layer cake without having to eat a whole cake (RD-approved, right? 😉 ).

  4. Happy New Year, Jessie! Sending hugs and sunshine! I missed your blog and I hope you’re getting some much needed rest and lots of creme brulee!

    1. Happy New Year, Lucy! 🙂

  5. I’m glad that you guys have been able to spend more time with Bonnie.

    Happy New Year 🙂

  6. dr frysalot says:

    This Christmas was certainly one of the best ever. Nothing better than being surrounded by a loving family in a house full of dogs and cats. So many beings, all getting along and sharing wonderful times and experiences. And the presents…so thoughtful and some so delicious. Is hot chocolate a food group, too? Seems to be a crossover, with dark, semisweet and milk all so good.

    I also think Bonnie has had a wonderful life, and is certainly the queen of the roost now. She could not experience a more loving environment. I’m so glad she made the big journey and seemed so healthy, playing and attacking her friends, Archie and Gussie.

    Too bad we don’t have pictures of Restaurant Depot…always a blast (sometimes of arctic air).

    Anyway, you are loved and a wonderful person, as is Peter.

    1. Hot chocolate is definitely a food group 🙂

  7. My heart goes out to you guys…Having lost my dog to cancer and other animals that are in pain (that don’t have homes) I do my best to save, I know your pain and it still hurts at times. She has lived a meaningful and amazing life because of you guys. You know she is with you always, and no one will take that away from you!

    I concur, white chocolate isn’t chocolate at all! You look gorgeous in the photo btw! I’m obsessed with fresh truffles, too and I need to get some soon, but prob less than a half ounce, lol! Stay warm, you guys, here in Oregon is about high 30s! Thank you for sharing your holiday highlights, I enjoyed reading them! Happy Belated Birthday to Peter 😉 Keep smiling you guys and Big hugs! x Rika

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