A Blueprint for Excess

My life motto tends to be, “If some is good, more is better!” Given this attitude I’m lucky that drugs aren’t my thing, although this mentality did prove tricky with some natural supplements I once self-prescribed. They were so successful at managing back pain that I just doubled my dosage causing me to faint at my own engagement party and land in the lap of a total stranger — but that’s another story for another day. The point is, I am not afraid to indulge in things that work, things that are good, and things that make me smile. So lately I have been in serious design mode, trying to re-engineer a few areas of my life in order to ramp up the happy factor.

First, and you may have already noticed, I have once again redesigned this blog. The previous design was difficult to finetune and the posts got lost on the homepage. I haven’t been posting much lately and I am really ready for that to change. I will of course, always blog about flyfishing as much as possible. But I am also bursting to write about other areas of my life including hilarious family stories, food, fashion, outdoors, music, whatever life throws my way.

killComputer It’s such a pain in the ass to deal with these free blog designs and features. I am actually not a complete technical luddite, but hours of CSS framework and short code and plugins and widgets can make anyone crazy. Especially with no support other than a blogger in India kindly answering my forum questions at 2am out of the goodness of his heart.

But it’s going to be worth it, I am faithful. I am hoping with the blog’s new facelift and an increase in posts from your truly, we can get more energy in here, more foot traffic, more comments. To be clear, I am not looking for site traffic, I’m not trying to sell ads. The only thing I want to do here is tell stories, have fun and sell a copy of my own book if someone wants one. The more the conversation is a two-way dialog, the more I get inspired to tell stories. So bring it on friends and neighbors, don’t be shy, comment to your heart’s content.

The other design project I have afoot is our kitchen in Mobile. Now I know I just invited yall to comment more and get chatty with me so I don’t want to seem like I am silencing you right out of the gate, but if you are going to make a Moneypit joke, save it. We’ve already heard it a million times.


Besides, our kitchen project is going to be different! On time, under budget and stress-free. Laugh, if you will but I refuse to be taken over by this endeavor. Especially since I seem to have all the control as the contractor hasn’t done a damn thing. I’ve dealt with all the vendors, resourced every material, measured square footage off the plans, calculated the amount of grout and tile we’ll need, ordered it on my own. I’m practically a licensed General Contractor now.

Sheesh. Design and build a website, design and build a kitchen. Do I have to do everything myself?

I suppose the contractor will probably prove useful with the actual hammer and nail part, the demolition and construction bit. But I have been working my tailfeathers off on the world’ tiniest kitchen remodel and am planning on a big payoff…here are just some of the recipes I aim to try in my new kitchen. (Click on the picture to see the recipes.)

Corn Cake with Avocado Tomato Relish:

corn cake 

Salt and Vinegar Broiled Fingerling Potatoes:

fingerling potato

Veal Chops with Sherry Gastrique and Roasted Peperonata:


Emeril’s Classic Spaghetti Carbonara:

Gluten-free Vegan Babycakes Brownies:


Ah, the new kitchen…visions of grandiose feasts I will suddenly have the energy to prepare, and intricate recipes I will miraculously know how to cook. I will become a clean chef, making everything from scratch and hosting dinner parties on the weekends, and the weeknights. I will cook for hours on Sunday to have meals done ahead for the week.

Alright, alright, so perhaps the only thing truly excessive thing in this scenario is my naive belief that the kitchen project will go smoothly combined with the optimistic notion that I will become a master chef overnight. But hey, a little naiveté-optimism combo can be a good thing once in awhile!

And if some is good, more is better.

9 Responses to “A Blueprint for Excess”
  1. Yes, Christine, you have to do everything yourself. Especially cuz you do it so well.

  2. MTB says:

    Love the new look! And I am sure that you will make every dish you cook in your new kitchen picture perfect – Your culinary skills have come a long way since you asked how much oil you needed in the pan to brown ground beef 20 years ago!

  3. Ha! Thanks for the vote of confidence, Paige!

  4. MTB–glad you like it. and yes, I do think my culinary skills have improved since college, but then again, I’m not sure they could have have sunk any lower than that off-the-cuff meal. xo

  5. Okay, let the trading commence – we both blog so reciprocity begs a corresponding comment(s). In addition to all of the present day stresses you mention, you left out the tension of getting the Tarheels through the ACC Tournament and at least to the final four of the big dance. Being a retired (honest) contractor, I made enough to be able to fly fish the country from a motorhome and consume road food with the same passion as a 50 foot cast on the nose – One of your early posts (read you before you were blonde) led me to Craig and this summer I’ll be visiting Melrose, so a belated thanks and the leads will get you free email consulting for the kitchen project, if ever needed. So, throw the cork away, relax and enjoy March Madness, and know that Murphy’s Law began with kitchen remodels and morphed all the way to hatches.

    Warmest regards and tight tippets,


  6. Grant — I remember your trip to Craig few years back. Excited you are headed to Melrose this summer! We’ll be out in Sheridan at some point so stay in touch. definitely go see our friends at Sunrise flyshop, eric and ryan.

    and just wait, I might be calling on you with questions for the kitchen (I really do think it’s going to go well, we’ll see!) but you are right about the stress of the Tarheel Duke game. I was so upset after the Feb 8th loss I wasn’t sure I would be able to behave this go round. but I was so so so happy last Saturday night! March Madness feeling a lot more fun!

    Cheers friend, thanks for the fun note, great to catch up. don’t be a stranger…

  7. by the way Grant, I just tried to leave a msg on your recent post but couldn’t login with an opensource id. but I liked the book review on the River White AND I liked the previous post too, esp the quote from Sonny Corleone. I have celebrated the Godfather’s 40th anniversary this week by watching I and II. III is next

  8. Nate S says:

    Holy smokes you’re busy! At least you’re designing two things at once, although CSS probably doesn’t help tile grout, does it?

  9. Ha! no, my new website developer skills (ahem) probably aren’t going to help me lay tile. am spread a little thin these days for sure but at least not bored!

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