Saturday, January 31, 2009

More Carolyn Hax

"Finally -- since bad moods and planets do happen, it wouldn't hurt to ask yourself if you have a habit of overindulging your day-to-day moods and discomforts. Even when nothing's on the line but a typical day at the office, "suck it up" is still a good mantra to have, at least in matters of temperament."

Partnerships

I like these Words of Wisdom from Carolyn Hax regarding partnerships:
The value of a partnership lies in what it brings to each person. If you are grateful for what you have, and you're happy and energized by the accommodations you've made, then, mazel tov."
I'd hate to be in a partnership where you're each struggling against the other. What would be the point? Where would you go for comfort or a recharge or ? How many forms does support come in?

Izzy and her Grandpa were outside this morning and he set her down on the ground before coming into the house. Oh oh, big mistake! He's decided that yes indeed she is 100% schnauzer. She checked out every yard between ours and the top of Spring before being cornered in Vada's driveway. Silly puppy!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Fresh Air and Exercise

I'm sure it's good for our mental health - using the muscles, breathing the outside air deep into our lungs. I feel sorry for people who don't have or don't take the chance to get out and move everyday. Yay for walking dogs!
I was responsible for a co-worker getting berated by another co-worker today. I felt so bad. I had no idea the other co-worker would get so upset over something the rest of us yukked it up over. (sigh) The berated said the moral of the day was to shut-up and while I agreed that I should've kept quiet, I thought the moral should be to never recycle your magazines at school.

I heard on the radio the legislation being proposed in both the Oregon and Washington capitols. As much as I dislike any innocent bystanders being exposed to cigarette smoke, I don't agree with making it illegal to smoke in a car with a child under 16 present. Yes, it's a terrible thing, but once we begin, where do we stop? A co-worker during lunch suggested we wouldn't stop until we passed a law preventing smokers from bearing children.

Now . . . what to do for dinner. I know what I'd like to do - go out to McMenamin's for a burger and a brew with my honey. Friday and payday would probably make that a tough option.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

We Walk Among Them

At four today I took the little dogs for a nice long walk. As much for me as for them. Izzy was stressed over Fran leaving her for PT and Nix just needed a walk to release his anxiety. He has quite an amazing bladder. Iz has been out twice since the walk, but he's been with his J back in the back most of the evening. And now they've retired for the night. How does he do it?
Fran received a nice collection of books in the mail from Powell's. I'd rather buy them from Reader's Guide, but at least this way she can shop online and it's still somewhat local.
I've been thinking about what to have the kinders do on Kid Pix tomorrow. Mental note- I should keep an ongoing Kid Pix journal to reference on lab days when I don't have any ideas.
Izzy just finished pulling a bunch of toys from the basket and now she's biting little chipmunk heads to make them squeak and squeak and squeak. :>)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ribollita - Sunset 1/09

(click here for a print friendly copy)
3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium carrots, chopped into 1/2 in. pieces
2 celery stalks, chopped into 1 in. pieces
1 1/2 qts. chicken broth
1 15 oz can cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained and rinsed
4 whole canned tomatoes, quartered, plus some juice
2 cups chopped Swiss chard or Kale
4 cups rough textured day old bread (such as ciabatta), ripped into 1 1/2 in pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. each chopped fresh basil and cilantro
Wedge of parmesan cheese for grating

1. Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook until transparent, about 5 minutes. Add carrots and celery and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes. Stir in broth and beans, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer about 15 minutes. Add tomatoes and chard and simmer another 15 minutes, covered.

2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350. Lay bread pieces on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle with remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. toast in oven until slightly golden, about 10 minutes. Set croutons aside.

3. Just before serving, add basil and cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Divide soup among serving bowls and top each with a few warm croutons. Grate parmesan directly over soup if you like.

(we added some sliced chicken sausage to ours)

Yup, we all work and we all get tired . . . IOWIFYP

Boy oh boy, those AMers were noisy and busy again today. Seems to be the way of our world, unless one of us figures out a solution or several. The PM class was a dream - I love being able to sit and help the ones who need it. Which had a lot to do to having two of my favorite parents helping out.
I was so proud of myself for remembering to stop to mail a package and pick up ingredients for a recipe Fran wanted to make. Once I returned home, I realized that I hadn't read the recipe carefully enough. I missed the kale. I called N just in time for him to pick a bunch up on his way home. The recipe is ribollita or tomato stale bread soup.
I saw that Santiam Wine Co. was having an inexpensive wine tasting this evening. Made me wish our evenings were earlier. We usually eat dinner when the tasting ends. Maybe we should make a plan to go there first some Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Old Scout

The Old Scout
A Day to Remember
January 20, 2009

One simply wanted to be present. Freezing cold or not, a crowd of 2 million, whatever — solemn warnings about tight security, long lines, traffic jams, cell phones not working. In the end, one wanted to be there on the Mall before the Capitol on Tuesday at noon amid the jubilant throng and see the man take the oath of office — our first genuine Author-President.

So I hitchhiked a ride in the middle of the night on a jet heading to Baltimore and got to the train station at 5 a.m. and already the platform was packed. A lot of black people in parkas and scarves and mittens. It was like "The Apollo Goes to the Arctic." There were Obama stocking caps, ski caps, skullcaps, and pins with the first family on them, and everyone was beaming, and nobody complained about how cold it was or having to wait in line.

People were being marshaled into waiting areas for each train to D.C., each of us with a Commemorative Train Ticket with a picture of Himself on it — and the marshals, who wore yellow vests, were insistent on us Staying In Our Place, but I just boarded the first train that came through and nobody ever checked my ticket. Big rules, no enforcement.

I rode with a group of black women who had left Portsmouth, Va., at 1 a.m. to be sure to be there on time. They were heavily bundled and so excited they could hardly speak. And then when the conductor called out "Union Station, Washington," one of them looked at the others and she burst into tears. And they all cried. I would have, too, if they'd looked at me.

Long lines at Union Station for coffee and restrooms, but everyone was in such a fine mood that waiting was painless, and the same was true of the line to go through security and be scanned and get onto the Capitol grounds. The line was six blocks long, the longest line I have ever stood in, but there is nothing so pleasant as being in a crowd of happy people when you are happy about the same thing they're happy about. Up above, cops with automatic rifles on parapets and walkways, and down below the mob milled along Louisiana Avenue and the line inched forward and the good will radiated up from the crowd just like in Grant Park on Election Night.

It was more than Democrats feeling their oats or African-Americans celebrating the unimaginable, more than revulsion at the gang of bullheads who held power for too long. It was a huge gasp of pleasure at a new America emerging, a country we all tried to believe in, a nation that is curious and venturesome, more openhearted and public-spirited.

All kinds of people, the slim and sleek, the XXXLs, the heavily insulated, the carefree, and we moved through ranks of souvenir sellers — whatever else he may accomplish, Obama has been a boon to the pin and T-shirt trade — and in our slow trek toward the Capitol, one felt the enormity of the day for the black people around us. I wouldn't try to express, I simply was grateful to be among it. Old ladies with sore feet hauled themselves along.

The crowd down below the podium had their opinions. There was a profound silence when Mrs. Bush was announced and walked out. People watched the big screen and when Mrs. Obama appeared, there was a roar, and when the Current Occupant and Mr. Cheney came out of the Capitol, a low and heartfelt rumble of booing. Dignified booing. Old black ladies around me tried to shush them — "Don't do that!" they hissed — but it's a democracy, and how will those men know how we feel if we don't tell them?

The band tootled on and there were shouts of "O-ba-ma" and also "Yes we can" (and also "Down in front") and then he came out and the place went up. That was the first big moment. The second was when he took the oath and said, "so help me, God" and the cannons boomed and you got a big lump in your throat. And the third was afterward.

The invocation was extensive and segued into the Lord's Prayer, and the music was OK if you like Aaron Copland, and the inaugural speech was good enough, calling on us all to great deeds and sacrifice, details to be announced later. You could hear each oratorical phrase repeated over and over in the series of loudspeakers down the Mall and bouncing off stone facades, a sort of cubist effect. The inaugural poet followed, a sort of filler, with a long windup, a few good phrases in the middle ("someone is trying to make music somewhere ... a teacher says, 'Take out your pencils. Begin.'"), and then it trailed off into some misty thoughts about love. And then a big horn blast of a benediction.

But the great moment came later, as the mob flowed slowly across the grounds. I heard loud cheers behind me and there on the giant screen was the Former Occupant and Mrs. Bush saying goodbye to the Obamas in the parking lot behind the Capitol, the Marine helicopter behind them.

The crowd stopped and stared, a little stunned at the reality of it.

They saw it on a screen in front of the Capitol and it was actually happening on the other side. The Bushes went up the stairs, turned, waved and disappeared into the cabin, and people started to cheer in earnest. When the blades started turning, the cheering got louder, and when the chopper lifted up above the Capitol and we saw it in the sky heading for the airport, a million jubilant people waved and hollered for all they were worth. It was the most genuine, spontaneous, universal moment of the day. It was like watching the ice go out on the river.

© 2009 by Garrison Keillor. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, INC.

Vanishing Act

Kim and I were going over the upcoming science lessons last week. Can it really be time for shadows and then the heart?
Which means that flight is right around the corner and then the end of school. (oh my!)
Then I begin thinking of the problems of watching video with the PMers. With the rest of the school going in and out through the hallway we use for TV viewing, during their two different recess times, it can be tough to keep the short people's attention. Especially those with siblings or bus buddies. Toughen up K!!
Fran's PT schedule is up and running twice a week again. It's good news, yet I worry about missing out with the PMers. I'm hoping that Kim can work those afternoons for me. It's so much easier handing those sweethearts over to someone I know and trust.

Okay, that was weird! I finally remembered to give Fran's PT person a call to let her know that doing pool therapy chills her too much this time of the year. It wasn't her number. I think I just woke up some innocent person and I feel like a dope.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Ever so much more so

Funny how certain parts of books stay with us for years and years. The title of this post comes from a favorite childhood story about a character named Homer Price. As a child, they ranked right up there with stories by Beverly Cleary.
I've just began a new novel by Rohinton Mistry, entitled Family Matters. I love reading his sentences. How silly does that sound? They don't feel trite or overused, they feel real. The first only other novel of his that I read, A Fine Balance, opened up new knowledge for me about India. Which brings me to my question, are there any enlightening novels about Mexico and her people?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Please sir, can I have an extra day this weekend?

Plenty was accomplished today - the recliner was repaired, Stewart went to his new home with Dan & Shirley and we paid a long visit to the folks at Hyundai.
The best part was getting to visit with Dan and Shirley, of course.
I've been trying to remember how long we've had Stewie. I think we bought him the summer before Fran went to be a beav - about 6 years ago.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Mining Poo

N and I trekked (with Nix and Iz) back up to the park this morning. Our goal? Return to the spot where Izzy left her white streaked poo, pick it up and bring it home to see if we might find a clue or two. Are you sure you want to continue reading??
Only Lise was as interested/curious as the two of us. N found what appeared to be a good sized canine molar. Very similar to a baby molar Izzy lost, but times 3+. We don't know if that was the whole problem, but gosh it sure looked like it would hurt.
Half the poo was gone. So many dogs and other critters are in the park, it's not a surprise.
N and I both fell asleep on the couch last night. Friday often finds me exhausted or maybe I just know it's time to rest? L's J was back in the bedroom again, so he didn't have to listen to our snores. Fran on the other hand . . .
Time to go see what N is up to out in the driveway.
love,
me

Friday, January 23, 2009

Better every day

I don't know if it was good that Izzy threw up yesterday, but soon after she seemed to have made a turn for the better. :>)
Her appetite has returned, as well as her spunk. Plus she's returned to one of her favorite activities in the backyard - compost pile mining - when we don't divert her attention first. I hope these good signs continue.
It's great to have her back!
Meanwhile, Nixon's having to readjust to sharing attention and space with his housemate.
Work seemed to go slower than usual today. Which is what often happens on in-service days without the short people. I was wishing I had been more prepared as far as having more photos taken and developed. Yet it was nice to have the chance to visit with Kim. We don't get those moments very often.
Hmm, I think I hear Fran busy in the kitchen - speaking of things that haven't happened for awhile. I'm sure she's feeling better knowing her puppy is improving.
love,
me

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sleep lovely sleep

I slept better last night. :>) I hope you did, too.
I spent most of the school day helping with the DIBELing of kinders. The more practice I had the easier it became. Every once in awhile I had assumed that the Palm had advanced like I'd prompted it to and it hadn't. Not a big deal, but when you're trying to concentrate on several different things at once it can cause a brain jam.
I'm still working on completely letting go (I'm 89% of the way there) of my irritation about Kim's and my lack of training on the program. In December we were promised a January half day training - that was abruptly taken away last week. Such warm fuzzy feelings of worth . . .
I hope to get some chores done tonight. N's at band rehearsal. Zuzie decided to escape this morning. So I'm trying to monitor the door to let her in when she appears. Kinda tough when Nixon is out, though. I was sure she'd pop right back in this morning, when she realized how cold it was. Silly cat!
Izzy was sick a couple times this afternoon. Which made Fran anxious. We'd all like her to be back to her old self. Once in awhile I see her old spark, like when I was sweeping the deck this evening. She asked to join G'pa N in bed this morning. He was sad he only had a short cuddle time, since he had to be out of the house early. She stayed in our bed curled up under the covers until I had to take her out before I left for work. Such a sweet little girl.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

HSAWLM

So tired . . .
I don't know if it's because I didn't sleep as well as usual or I just gave blood or if there' are just too many things laying on the stress this week.
Hard to say.
We're not happy with La Z boy (understatement warning). A service rep came to check out the recliner this morning. He said that it'll need a new back and arm and we're not to sit in it until it's fixed. He said that the parts will take 3 weeks to arrive and then they would schedule the repair. Lise told him we needed a loaner as we need the chair for medical reasons. He said that LaZboy would be in contact. So I return their afternoon call and they tell me that they'll take the parts from an in-stock chair and get it done in a week. "So", I replied, "you have an identical chair in-stock?" Ah but they won't even consider giving us the new one, as we've had this one since May. Right now, at this moment - I can guarantee that we'll never purchase furniture from LaZboy again. On one hand I feel like they're trying, but it's not enough - not for a defective chair.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cautiously optimistic

After Fran's doctor appointment, we drove north to pick up Izzy. They think it's possible that she still has something in her stomach/colon. The barium is still showing up in both places. The hope is that she'll pass whatever it is in the next two days. If there are any symptoms, we're to take her back due to the concern of a blockage. Then they'll do surgery to remove the problem.
Maybe they tell this to everyone, but we heard she was well loved and quite a charmer while she was there.
It's good to see her active (sleeping now) and happy to be home.

And here's to the future. :>) Time to hitch up our drawers, push up our sleeves and dig ourselves out of this chasm. May we all remain or become warm, fed and hopeful.

Monday, January 19, 2009

News Alert

this just in . . .
The vet just called and said that Izzy has been very interested in food and eaten and pooped. :>) They still want to watch her over night and we might be picking her up tomorrow. yay!!

On another note . . .
We just watched a children's movie on Nickelodeon. The male bovines had utters. That is SOO wrong!!

Waiting ain't easy

The vet said they'd call this morning. I waited until 1 (on our way back from Vancouver) and gave them a call. The person at the front desk said that Izzy was doing well. She had regurgitated, but had not had a bowel movement at that time. She said that the doctor would call back as soon as he had a chance - if he had anything to tell us. No word yet. I'm sure they're busy, but it's hard not knowing what's going on or what comes next. I'm glad Kim's working for me tomorrow afternoon. It will give Fran and I a chance to check up on Izzy on our way back from her doctor appointment.

The transfer of L & J's stuff from one pod to another only took an hour and really only took two people. Lisa and I did help (she much more than me), but the tight quarters really didn't allow us to do much.

Yay for an extra day!

Fran talked to the vet last night and he told her that Iz has a 50% chance of needing surgery. I think it's because of the inability to find out what's causing her vomiting. Perhaps there's a little piece of plastic just below her esophagus from one of her puppy toys. That's my uneducated theory.
Four of us are headed to Vancouver today to empty one of the pods that store Lise and James' belongings. The pod broke enroute to their warehouse and they don't move contents - only pods. To complicate matters further, they aren't open on weekends. Taking a day off to help hasn't been something either N nor I have been able to do, what with the new position and appointments to take Fran to. And so we're grabbing this opportunity today.
The goal is to get their stuff moved to a place down here that's cheaper. Eventually.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Taking the quickie line to Ashland

N and I made good time, arriving in Ashland at 10:30 PM. Izzy was happy to see us and had trouble calming down - not good for the tummy issues. It was obvious how ill she is - her lack of energy and spark. There is still some spark, but it's dampened. For every tsp. of water we'd give her about a 1/2 tsp would come back up - on average.
I called Lise to have her make some calls to see what our options would be for a vet here in town for 4:30 on a Saturday. The Companion Pet Clinic on Lancaster looked to be our best bet. After waiting a little over a half hour, the CPC vet looked over the paperwork from the vet in Ashland and said that they would give her a shot for nausea, pain and a third shot of anti-biotics, then we could have her for the night and bring her back this morning. They open at 10.
She's about the same this morning and we're about ready to head out.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Take care of your car and it will take care of you

I can still remember the day I ran out of gas in my 1973 Ford Pinto.
I was on my way to work in the summer, my folks were on vacation and I was headed towards I-5 via the ramp closest to my parent's house. Halfway up the ramp, my Pinto stopped. I was sooo sure I could make one more trip to town on that tank. Why oh why didn't I do the smart thing and fill it up after work the day before?? The next part wasn't as clear. I don't remember if I walked home and called around to find a friendly family member home or if one happened to drive by. Whichever - my hero that day was my Uncle Jack. And boy what a lecture I received! He had great fun with me while giving me the lecture, "you ran out of what? didn't you see the little gas gauge on the dash? generally that means your car is either out or nearly out of gas." And no, I never ran out of gas again. It only takes once to learn not to repeat a foolish moment like that.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Good News

It doesn't take as much thought, organization, time or space for N and I to pack for an overnight. Thank goodness! Seems like no matter how much thought and effort goes into packing Fran, that we forget something.
Does anybody need us to pick anything up while we're down there?

Awfully quiet up north. People must be out and about, here and there, off yonder, ?

Mental note: champagne for Tuesday??

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Some good stuff

Maybe I've just been paying attention lately, but there's been extra good stuff on NPR this week+;

'Mortal Men' Creators Craft A Song For Obama
Computer Game A Mash-Up Of Crayons, Physics

Former White House Butler Reflects On His Service
Mosquito Duet Leads To Love

Fran and her J brought Izzy home this evening. She's still not supposed to eat or drink due to wherever and whatever the inflammation in her system is. Her body still needs to rest and heal. The vet said that she's well hydrated - good to go until tomorrow. J said both of his girls were very happy. :>)
N and I will drive south after work to pick both of J's girls up. Yay for sunshine!

The Prisoner

Dang! One of those stories on NPR in the morning I only catch the end of and want to hear in it's entirety. I should have a note pad for jotting them down, so I can remember to go look them up online.
It was about the cult TV series, "The Prisoner". I remember my younger older brother and I being a bit obsessive about that show. It was new, it was different and we liked it.
Yesterday I finally heard back from Salem Rehab. Maybe it didn't take that long, but I wanted to know asap. Fran will be back to her 2aweek schedule by the end of the month. That will work out well, since her J is going to have his calendar full with his extra inherited duties.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mus taaard

Okay, I tried that recipe.
It was good, but not great. Maybe a different wine or a different dijon mustard. I think marinating an hour would've been just fine.
OPB had a special about comedians this evening. I watched enough to see the part with Steve Martin. After all these years, he still makes me laugh out loud.
N and I took a trip out to Costco and the liquor store after dinner. Nice to get a few things done.
Izzy's spending another night at the animal hospital. They're pretty sure she does have pancreatitis.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Stupid Recipes

I had a recipe in mind for tonight.
I had read over the ingredients to make sure I didn't need to make a store trip.
What I didn't check?
Details.
"Marinate chicken for 8 hours or overnight."
ugh
And so we ate the leftover mac and cheese, with sides of ginger carrots and chicken sausages.
Mmmmm, sausages!
Very tasty, but I hate postponing a recipe like that.
And yet I'll probably be glad tomorrow night.

I had time to muse over the management style class I took with my pa over 30 years ago. "What kind of manager are you?" I remember something about a questionaire and discussion centered around that idea. Of course there are different supervisory styles, but I hope that honesty, integrity and good ethics would be a part of my style, if I was ever a supervisor.

Izzy is ill. She spending the night at the Ashland vet. Poor baby.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Transistions

Oh my worrrrd!
The short people in the AM were bonkers today. So busy, so talky! It must have been because of last week tiring them out after 3 weeks off. What does that mean for the rest of this week?
And the PM group? What a contrast! Believe me, it showed in their work - not just on the grown-up's faces.
And so I had to come home and make comfort food, but I tried to make up for it by adding broccoli to the menu. :>) The nice thing about comfort food? It doesn't require special ingredients. I didn't feel like a stop at the store.
What a lazy girl I am . . .

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Newest Member of the Family is . . .

an 06 Elantra Hyundai Hatchback.
After nearly 5 hours at the dealership, the kids ended up getting a good deal. The sales manager congratulated them on being one of the toughest first car buyers they've had - then they locked the gate behind us. The first car smelled like cigarettes, the second car looked kinda sketchy with it's dark windows and black paint and then they finally rolled out the winner. It has low miles and no smell. :>)
While we were there, I fell in love with the Santa Fe. They wrote us up a deal that would give us $8000 trade in on our car, a $1500 loyalty rebate and $100 for bringing the kids in today. Kinda funny. Will we use it? Who knows.
Besides going to the church of bottle deposits, that's how we spent our Sunday.

Wine Works

N, Liseanne, her J and I had a nice time at the Food and Wine Festival last night. Although, I realize it's an event organized by a national corporation, and I'm whistling into the ether, I have some suggestions for them;
Less to nill misc. vendors,
more food choices,
and where were the Salem area wineries?
We did see a winery from Dayton and Dallas and one from Salem, but the rest were from other areas of the state. We were happy to see the Umpqua Valley well represented, though. We tasted wines from places we originally visited in the eighties.
After tasting many wines and eating Mexican fare from the Canby Asparagus Farm, it was time to head home. Someone in the car suggested dessert. Most likely the skinny little guy in the back. The Konditori was packed, so I suggested Thompson's. So often we eat dinner out, see a restaurant's dessert menu and wish we had just ordered dessert. Thompson's is one of those places. I ordered a cocktail named, Pumpkin Pie. That should've been what I chose for dessert! So good! But three of us went ahead and ordered the decadent 5 layer chocolate cake and Liseanne decided on their cheesecake.
We were all ready for bed soon after getting home.
The goal today is to check out cars for L&J. N's noticed that Withnell's prices listed online seem awfully high. It'll be interesting to see what happens in person.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Slightly lazy Friday evening

After making a slightly prep intensive dinner on my own last night (Marinated Beef Tenderloin with Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Ragout), I vegged on the couch going back and forth between Ice Age 2 and Super Nanny. Fairly good entertainment - especially since the discipline and melting ice cap problems had nothing to do with my reality.
Now I'm spinning my wheels on here and doing a little laundry. Guess I should run the dishwasher and give the "kids" an idea of what I'd like done today.
Does that make me a supervisor??

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Where did the evening go??

I did a better job with the AM video, but now they're both done. :>) I had to take more time to fit with youtube's guidelines for length. It was good to hear from one of the dads that his family on the other side of the continental divide appreciates the online videos. Good to know.
After the videos were downloaded and uploaded and rendered, I mixed up a batch of cookies for staff birthday treats tomorrow. For several years I've made Zuppa Toscana for everyone, but I just didn't have the energy or motivation this time. Instead they get chocolate chip, oatmeal, almond butter, cookies. Now how could that be bad?? :>D
From Misc photos

Rain rain go away!

We're doing okay here, but (holy cow!) the rain has sure fallen on Washington!
I'm glad that sissy K and her K made it through the night - as far as keeping the river at bay.
Onward to Thursday and all that it holds.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A pinch of this and a cup of that . . .

Thank goodness some experiments are successful!
I misjudged the amount of Italian sausage needed for the recipe I made last night. I browned it all up and saved the other half. I wasn't thrilled with the Italian Vegetables with Penne recipe I used yesterday, so I decided to punt for tonight's dinner. I sliced a cup of mushrooms, peeled two roasted garlic cloves from the fridge and let them cook together with the sausage for several minutes. Then I added a tsp or two of an Italian spice blend, plus another tsp or 3 of extra basil. After another 5-10 minutes, I added 2 cans of diced tomatoes. I let this all simmer for 30+ minutes, while I cooked some short grain rice in chicken broth in the microwave. Then I julienned some baby carrots and sauteed them with olive oil, a few cloves of roasted garlic and a tsp or two of thyme. After 6 minutes (stirring every 2 minutes), I added a quarter cup of water, a Tbsp of lemon juice, a tsp of honey and let them simmer until the rice finished.
Now I feel the urge for a sour appletini. :>)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Monkey see monkey do

I was beginning to believe we wouldn't have school today. Seemed like a bit of a practical joke last night - "oh look! it's snowing again!" Then the temperature went up and the wet flakes turned to rain.
The kids had such a good day - maybe they were ready to be back on a school schedule or with their friends again.
Yay for the clinic being on top of their game in getting the requested prescriptions ready for me to pick-up after work. Tomorrow they go in the mail for Fran. If only I had an extra half hour in the morning to make appointment calls. Once I get to work, home duties leave my head.
The house seems so empty without Fran, Lise and Izzy. I hope Lise doesn't have to work swing for much longer.
This afternoon I asked if anyone on the food blog has had an experience with a new restaurant in Dallas. Someone did and they filled us in on the gory details. What a shame! I had high hopes for that place. Only because we met the owner at a local winery when the restaurant was just in the thinking stage.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The middle of the end of the birch . . .

I had to say it that way. It's not the beginning of the end. The ice storm was definitely the beginning of the end of the birch. The sad news is that our japanese maple was hit by one of the falling branches.

video

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Domino Effect

Gee whiz! Is it time to buy a new calendar??
That was something I used to take care of months in advance - new calendars. Not just for myself, but for the girls and Mom. Another tradition gone - evidently.

I almost forgot my hair appointment this morning. Thank goodness N ruffled my head and made a (sweet) comment! While sitting in the chair, my phone sang. It was Fran requesting I stop at Costco for prescriptions. Which reminded me that the credit union had called about my new debit card's arrival.

When I came home Fran's J mentioned something about packing for Fran. We lose her again. I'll let go for him. BUT they're taking Izzy, TOO??!!

{loud sigh}
I wonder if Liseanne will come home with her birthday bike today?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Finding a high spot in the backyard

It must have rained all night. Our saturated backyard has many areas with standing water. I understand the forecast calls for more. This is beginning to remind me of another winter.

We watched Hairspray and played Cranium last night. I thought Hairspray was good, but I loved the original 1988 movie with DeVine and Ricky Lake. Now I want to watch that one again.

Earlier in the day we watched an older Ben Stiller movie, Keeping the Faith. Kept us glued to the couch to see how the situation was resolved in the end. I guess that means it wasn't predictable. :>)

Gwen and Randy drove north to finish their family Christmases. They watched the less than exciting Holiday Bowl game with us, ate lunch, opened gifts and then drove on up the freeway for two more family stops. They gave us two date night gifts. :>) And we'll definitely put them to good use.

N's been out working on his pvc greenhouse project this morning. I'm thinking he must be limited on how far he can go on such a wet day.

Fran and her J have been getting ready to drive north to join his family for the day. I don't envy them the freeway hydroplaning and spraying they'll experience on the way up.
love,
me

How, When, Why, Where?

We all need help once in awhile. Talking to an unbiased party is a good start. I found this bit of info on a Google search;
"A good rule of thumb is if you are thinking about talking with someone or another person suggests you talk to someone, that is the time to go in. When your usual ways of handling a situation no longer seem productive, your usual coping strategies don't seem to be working that well, you feel like you're in a vicious circle, or just plain feel like things are not getting better, that is the time to talk. Talking about a situation before it turns into a major crisis is a great way to enhance self-esteem and build effective coping mechanisms."