last week at next gen house

So what happens when you write a blog that’s narrowly focused around a sub-set of what your actual life looks like, making you run out of things to write about when you don’t have a ton of time in your schedule for new urban homesteading projects and outside it’s a frozen wasteland of gray?

Here’s the thing. I could write post after post about why I don’t eat fast food, the importance of eating whole, real foods or why chia seeds are the most foul of the one-item health trends, but a lot of that is repeat. But while posts like that have their place since they fall right smack into one of my passions, there’s more to my life than sustainable, healthy food and canning tomatoes.

Not sure how this will exactly play out with content, because I am still staying within the theme of 2015 for me – margin. But for now, it’s Monday. Here’s some…stuff.

The Week in Running

I just completed week 3 of my Pittsburgh Half Marathon training. 5 runs for a total of 19.4 miles. I’m amping up my training plan this year in an effort to shave some minutes off my best time, not just seconds. And I’m putting my running shoes where my mouth is and hitting those workouts, even when it’s uncomfortable.

I’m still feeling really excited about training, but I know logically that not all weeks will feel like that. But for now, I’m riding that wave. I’ve also been doing daily yoga with the help of Yoga With Adriene. Those yoga videos? The only ones I’ve ever done without wanting to throw a block at the computer. It’s really helping with my stretching and keeping my legs in good shape with this added running.

The Week in Eating

To celebrate me turning 32 this weekend, we ate at Dish Osteria on Saturday night. It’s been my favorite Pittsburgh restaurant since we ate there last year. It’s a tight space, so it’s not super quiet, but the food and drink are just outstanding. I feel like a lot of restaurants have really great food, but Dish goes beyond good food – every bite and every flavor seems like it has a purpose. Mark and I both tried quail – allowing us to cross another item off our Mark & Joanna Life List (eat something that we’ve both never tried). And I even ate a big slice of golden beet. I know, right?

The Week in Homesteading

My last two attempts to grow a new kombucha SCOBY failed. The first of those attempts got moldy from being too close to other potential molds in the kitchen as well as Mark’s sourdough starter. (We think the kombucha was also responsible for the sourdough starter molding too.) The second attempt didn’t mold, but also didn’t go anywhere because the temp wasn’t right. So I started up again this weekend, trying to grow a new SCOBY by moving the jars to the warmest room in the house and keeping an eye on the temp. We’ll see how it goes!

The Week in Reading

I’m tooling along just fine on my reading goal for the year. Currently listening to the third book in the Dresden Files series on audio in my car and currently reading the sixth book in the Star Trek Typhon Pact series. Do you have a serious TBR (to be read) list and want to commiserate about that with me on GoodReads? Find me here.

Know something else? I’m happy that at 32, I can say that I’ve made it to the stage in my reading life where I realize there’s no such thing as guilty pleasure reading. I will proudly wave my Star Trek novels all over the place, leaving them out on my desk for people to see or whipping out a graphic novel in a waiting room. If it’s worth my limited reading time to consume, it’s worth letting people know that. I love what I love. I’m not in the least ashamed that I have a master’s degree in literature and consume Star Trek novels. I’m sorry for anyone who carries around book related guilt. Life is too short.

The Week in Randomness

Got a Kindle with Christmas money, thereby silencing the last vestige of book-related guilt. E-books are never going to be my big thing, but they are here and I’m not missing out anymore. Anyhow, after I get Mark’s t-shirt blanket done, I think I might make myself one of these.

Mark and I are watching our way through the old Battlestar Galactica. Which was made in 1978 but somehow has worse special effects than the original Star Trek did in the 60s. It’s so bad I think it warrants a post of its own.

I woke up on my birthday thinking that what I’d really like for breakfast was brownie edges. (Yes, I am the person that the ridiculous edges only pan was made for, though I haven’t gone ahead to buy it since I need another baking pan in my house like a hole in the head.) So I whipped these up and ate them with some vanilla ice cream from Antey’s, the world’s greatest homemade ice cream place in the West End. (We stock up on pints at the end of the season to last us through the winter. As you do.)

How was your week?