Back in the Saddle!

My classes start today!  I don’t have to be down to Nelsonville until 1 PM, but I’m really excited to get back in class.  Being busy and in class helps me forget things I shouldn’t dwell on, like my divorce and Richie’s upcoming deployment.

I am super-nervous about the Stocks class.  I’m terrified I won’t measure up and will end up with a shitty end-product.  The straight culinary side is extremely intimidating for me.  I feel like it’s one thing to cook at home and put a beautiful meal on the table but it’s something else entirely to be creating something that someone will potentially pay for.  I feel as though I’m just pretending at all of this here and that eventually I’ll be back to a normal job doing normal things.

I’ve talked to my Life Coach about all of this, and what it boils down to is me being too hard on myself.  I’m afraid of failing because that’s what I expect to happen since I don’t have experience with this stuff.  Because my entire life has been made up of the easy route for most of my job, school, and even personal life, I find it terrifying to step outside my comfort zone.  The people I know in culinary seem so much more self-assured than I am, and I’m afraid of the criticism they’ll mete out, so I try to be more critical than necessary of myself in order to head it off and possibly make it less painful.

Today, I have Candies and Confections followed by Stocks, Sauces, and Soups.  I’m excited but nervous, so I’ll let you all know how it goes later on in the week.  We probably won’t do any actual cooking today, but this first, leisurely week is kind of nice!

Also, I’m thinking of dying my hair something new.  Right now, it’s brown with blonde streaks.  I can’t do anything outrageous like hot pink because of my job with my uncle.  Any suggestions?  Leave a comment or e-mail me at caseyw80 at gmail dot com!

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Land of Misfit Bakers

So, my spring break ends on Monday.  I thought things would calm down for the week, but they did not.  Silly of me, I know!

My finals all went really well.  I had a minor melt-down before my cakes class, thinking that I was going to fail because I’m not very good at cake decorating, and since I was going to fail, I may as well just quit school and go find a “normal” job somewhere and go back to being my old, mediocre self and find some nice person to marry and have my required 2.5 kids.  But then, my chef told me I was being absurd (in so many words), and I calmed down enough to pull out a “pretty good” cake with G-clef motifs.  It wasn’t all that great, but it was better than I could have done 10 weeks ago, which really was the goal of the class.  Despite my freak-out, I got A’s in all of my classes.  So, I really had nothing to worry about at.  At all.

About 2 weeks ago, my computer stopped turning on.  It is an older computer, probably 4 years old, and the power cord works just fine.  I know this because I tested it on my parents’ computer.  So, there’s some internal power thingy that’s not working properly.  It’s pretty frustrating, especially since I could have gotten a new computer while I was still in Maryland and not have had this problem.  I decided instead to just make do with what I had and now (less than 7 months later) I’m probably going to have to buy a new computer when I can scrape together the money.  I’m frustrated with myself for being so short-sighted about so many things when I was leaving Maryland.  I wish the me of right now could go back and tell the wounded me that I need to stand up for myself a little bit more.  If only I could bend space and time!

My sister’s second baby shower was last Sunday.  It went really well, I think.  We had a good turn-out, and everyone seemed to have a pretty good time.  Some of the in-laws were a little snooty, but you’ll have that in every crowd.  I made jerk sauce, which was really good.  It was super-strong before I put it on the chicken, but after it had been sitting on the chicken in the crock pot for a while, it mellowed and was delicious.  I also made banana cupcakes with coconut frosting.  My grad advising buddies know what those are like!  I toasted the coconut this time, to give them a little bit of a prettier look.

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this past week, I was attending the ACF Northeast Regional Conference as a student volunteer.  I mostly drove a van for Monday and Tuesday.  Wednesday, we actually got to help some of the chefs who were running the sessions.  It was a blast, and I made some new friends!  I feel a little bit like we were the red-headed step-children of the volunteers, but we all still had a good time.

Thursday, I went down to Nelsonville and cleaned up the remnants of the desserts we took up for the dessert table on Monday night.  Friday, I worked for my uncle, and today, I’m running some errands.  Tomorrow and Monday, I don’t have anything to do, which is going to be really nice.  It’s the first time in a few weeks that I haven’t had some kind of obligation to which to attend.  I don’t know that I’ll know what to do.

The new quarter officially starts on Monday, and it’s looking like it’s going to be another busy one.  I have Candies and Confections; Stocks, Sauces, and Soups; Petit Fours and Miniatures; Bakeshop Operations; and Baking Lab II this quarter.  Monday is my free day each week, and I’ll be working for my uncle those days.  However, I can look forward to no Saturday class this quarter!  I’ll try to keep you all better posted about what’s going on with me, but it seems like it’s going to be another crazy quarter.

The Long and Winding Quarter

Hello, my friends!  I know you’ve been checking and checking and have been gravely disappointed that I’ve managed no new posts.  It’s been one really busy quarter, of which I’m nearing the end.  Next week is “finals” week, so my schedule will be a little lighter.  I finished with my required lab hours last week, so I have some more time for myself this week.  I’ve mostly been using that time to sleep.  Getting up at 5 most days and not getting home until 8 or 9 really wears on a girl.

This quarter has been pretty much super-fantastic.  There have been some ups and downs, but other than the insane schedule I’ve been rocking, it’s been pretty good.  In classes and out, I’ve been having a ton of fun.  It’s a real drag being poor again, but I’ve got a little bit of money to have fun with, so it’s not been too terrible.  My parents are really awesome for letting me live here with them rent-free.

Classes are good – I’ll probably have A’s again this quarter, too.  I have been allowing myself a little bit of slack, but not so much that I have been falling down in my assignments or anything like that.  I’m still the same over-achiever you know and love!

My personal life is okay, but not great.  I’ve done some fun stuff with friends this quarter; nothing too crazy, of course, just hanging out and drinking with those of them that are over 21.  The divorce is a huge source of stress for me, but I’m coping as best I can by just staying busy and seeing my therapist once a week.  She’s been a huge help to me.  These last couple of weeks, my eczema has been flairing like mad, making me itchy and annoyed, but it will pass.  I know it’s 85 percent stress-induced, so I just need to calm down to get it to go away.

My sister’s baby is going to be here in a few weeks.  We had the first of her two showers last weekend and next weekend is the second one.  It’s going to be fun!  The first one was here in Lancaster, and the second one is in Toledo.  Mom and I will be driving up there on Saturday, and we’ll be back Sunday evening.

I had hoped that I would be able to make a trip to Maryland next week during my spring break, but it’s looking like I won’t be able to swing it now.  I don’t have much in the bank, so travel is out of the question, at least for now.  Maybe in the summer I’ll be able to make a trip.

I miss you all!  I hope you’re all doing well.  I’ll be changing my e-mail address soon, so check back for the updated address and send me an e-mail!  I don’t have all of your addresses, so hit me up!