I bought an expandable bamboo spice shelf for the cabinet, and it's hard to describe how awesome it is to have all the spices visible. We don't have room for any more, of course, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Our refill spices live in a paper grocery bag in the pantry, so I cataloged them in a Google Docs spreadsheet and gave her permission to edit it. Honestly, we only need so much dried cilantro at one time. Technology is neat.
(I admit, we have a vast number of spices. But we're good cooks, and food snobs [okay, I am], and dammit, freeze-dried shallots are awesome. And freeze-dried celery slices save us from buying celery, when we only ever use one stalk for the soup and the rest goes to waste. And the freeze-dried bell pepper...okay, I admit to just being lazy on that one.)
I'm still looking into buying a house. I can only bring myself to pay so much for one, but there are still a few candidates. The latest one I've thought about is a large house and lot across the street from the railroad tracks, which means it's probably doomed if high-speed rail (HSR) ever comes through. Of course, if I buy it at a discount, losing it to eminent domain in 10 years probably wouldn't be so bad. And since HSR still needs $10 billion in local funding, and cities and counties are figuring out how to fund their fire departments, it's actually not a bad bet to think that HSR won't come through the Peninsula at all. The catch is that the house might be unsellable while the uncertainty of HSR lingers. It might already be unsellable: it's spent more than a year on the market and the asking price has dropped 26%.
There's a wonderful lack of home stress. J can sometimes be a challenge, but Anna and I get on just fine. This is what our sad attempts at an argument look like:
"I'd like greens with dinner.""Yeah, I should eat more greens. But I'm usually happy to just make them once or twice a day, instead of three times. I just don't always feel like cooking them, you know? I don't really want to cook them tonight.""I wasn't asking you to cook them. I'll cook them.""Funny, I had this whole conversation with you in my head where I got annoyed about cooking greens when I didn't want to, except I'm not actually annoyed, because that'd be silly, it was an imaginary conversation, and I don't have to cook greens.""That...that's it? That's the best you can do for creating conflict?""Yeah, sorry."
Pathetic, isn't it? I'll leave it up to you to figure out who's who in that conversation (it's not obvious).