It’s all happening. We are officially under the 2 month mark for the countdown to the LA move and, you know, I wouldn’t say that I’m necessarily panicking or anything. I would, however, say that I have bouts of pure and unadulterated anxiety that courses through my body like lightning. No big whoop. (Excuse me while I wipe the panic sweat from my brow).
Here’s the thing, we’re less than two months away and I still need to do the following:
1. Book a mover
2. Find a place to live
3. Come up with a solution for childcare for the three weeks I’m at work and Siona’s school is still closed for summer break.
4. Find a therapist (for the aforementioned anxiety).
Instead of checking the above off my ‘to do’ list, I’ve done the following:
1. Gone berry picking
2. Finished all seasons of Friday Night Lights
3. Spent an exorbitant amount of time on Air BNB looking for vacation rentals in Big Bear
4. Cyber stalked George Clooney’s new fiancee.
It’s not like I’m actively in denial of this move. In fact, I’d kinda like to get it over with. As a social worker and counselor, I know what I’m doing to myself and why. Identifying the ‘why’ is actually easy — fear. I’m scared of being without my husband for weeks at a time. I’m scared of my temporary single-parent status. I’m scared of the pain I’m going to feel from missing the extraordinary friends I’ve made here. I just want to feel it and be done with it.
I’ve moved more times than I can count. When I was 20, my incredibly generous mom bought me a Honda CRV because she had some kind of premonition that I was going to be a bit of a nomad and I would need a car that I could haul a bunch of sh*t in and heck, maybe even pull a Jewel and live in it for a while. As it turned out, she was right (about the nomad, not-the-living-out-of-a-van-a-la-Jewel thing). I’ve lived in Ann Arbor, MI; Miami, FL; Milan, Italy; Jerusalem, Israel; Athens, GA; Washington, DC; Chicago, IL and a few other spots in between. Each one of these moves was done with excitement and in anticipation of bigger and brighter adventures but they were also all done alone. The only person who was going to suffer any set back or any negative reaction to all that change and excitement was me. But now I got this kid and she is wonderful and inspiring and I don’t want to f*ck her up. I think I’m done being a nomad. I’d like to retire my wheels (I’ve still got that CRV, that blessed Judy Blue) and plant some roots for all of us. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that LA was the place I might eventually settle but I hope it is, for her sake.
The salad below is one of my all-time last minute dinner go-tos. I made this a while back when my best friend, Jackie, and her family were in town. I based the recipe off of Ellie Krieger’s baked falafel recipe. I add A LOT of garlic and cilantro because those are two of my favorite flavor combos. I recommend making a tehina dressing and squeezing the juice of half a lemon on the salad before serving. You will not be disappointed.
- 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, preferably low-sodium, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon za'atar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Cooking spray
- 1/2 cup diced sheep's milk feta cheese
- 1 cucumber, diced small
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- Preheat oven to 415 degrees F.
- Combine all ingredients from chickpeas through 'Juice of 1/2 lemon' in the bowl of a food processor.
- Process for 20 seconds stopping to scrape down sides of bowl halfway through process. Mixture will look like coarse sand.
- Form mixture into balls (I usually get 12 - 15 out of this batch) and evenly spray with cooking spray (you can also brush each ball with olive oil).
- Bake on a cookie sheet for 25 minutes and then flip. Bake for an additional 20 minutes, until falafel balls are crisp and browned.
- Place lettuce, feta, cucumber, tomatoes and falafel in a bowl (You can impress your friends by placing salad items in neatly arranged piles on top of the lettuce if you feel so inclined).