Tuesday, January 29, 2019

So, there's that...

So, today my brother, the right-wing nutjob, sent me, my Mom and my Dad (who is dying of metastatic prostate cancer) a link from a right-wing nutjob publication about how the Israelis will cure cancer in the next year..GUARANTEED!

It was prefaced with "show this to your doctors!".  I am so furious I can barely see.  Bad enough that he reads a publication whose editor has her own page on the Southern Poverty Law Center watchlist.  Bad enough that he, who lives 30 minutes from my parents, is in such deep denial that he refuses to discuss anything having to do with Dad, hospice, or death in any way.  He refuses to assist my Mother with any of the arrangements.  He refuses to talk to my Mother about anything that doesn't include my Dad living forever.  When she point-blank asked for his wishes regarding Dad's memorial service, he ignored her, got up from the table, and walked away.

But this stupid email really took the cake.  I want to call him and give him a piece of my mind, but unfortunately we don't have that kind of relationship.  We are on opposite sides of everything, always have been.  We're not enemies or anything...more like friendly strangers.

Kind of sucks.

At least I don't have to talk to a right-wing nutjob.

So there's that. 

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Sunday Stealing--Conversation Starters

What are some small things that make your day better?  Music--I wear headphones at work, and listen all day.  Coffee--non-negotiable.  Walking my dog when I get home—nice way to reconnect with home and disconnect from work.

What shows are you into?   We are living in the golden age of television.  Man, there’s SO much good TV.  Some of my favorite shows:  The Magicians.  The Expanse.  Outlander.  Chopped.  The Good Place.  Victoria.  The Crown.  Runaways.  Supernatural.  Law and Order re-runs.  Dr. Who.  I love TV.

What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?  I’d love a historical channel that isn’t a joke.  Something that gives you the caliber of Victoria, Downton Abbey, and Outlander all in one place.  Right now it’s all over the place…Starz and PBS come to mind.  I’d like it all in one place.

Who has impressed you most with what they’ve accomplished?  My father.  From never graduating high school to a successful career as a nuclear test engineer to a “retirement career” as a nuclear engineering consultant is pretty damn cool.  He didn’t stop working until he got sick in his late 70s.  He is my hero. 

What age do you wish you could permanently be?  I would go with 40—before 27 years of being a nurse caught up with my body. 

What TV show or movie do you refuse to watch?  The news.  Something about the news on TV is just too shrill and in-your-face for me.  I read the Washington Post every day, but won’t watch any kind of news on TV.

What is something that is considered a luxury, but you don’t think you could live without?  Top of the line pet food.  I want my kids to be with me as long as possible, and for that, they have to be healthy.  We feed Wellness to the kitties and Earthborn to the dog.  All grain-free, and high in protein.  My mother would stroke out if she new I spent 50$ a week on animal food, lol.

What’s your claim to fame?  I’m not a quitter.  I lost everything in 2000 and then just about everything (again) in 2007.  I managed to get my shit together and today, I have a relationship with my daughter, we own a house again, and I have a successful career in nursing that makes me happy and doesn’t stress me out.

What’s something you like to do the old-fashioned way?  Manners.  I grew up in Mississippi, and we Sir and Ma’am everybody.  Thank you and please.  Using Mr. and Mrs, or Miss and Mister (for people older than me who are closer).  I would never think of calling a person older than me by their first name unless they asked me to, and then I’ll be uncomfortable.  It’s not old-fashioned, it’s just polite and respectful.  I used to cringe when I heard other nurses call older ladies and men “honey” or “sweetie”.  People are too informal these days. 

What’s your favorite genre of book or movie?  Straight up tie between science fiction/fantasy and historical fiction

How often do you people watch?  Not often.  My nose is usually in a book if I’m waiting around somewhere.

What have you only recently formed an opinion about?  Nancy Pelosi.  Never paid much attention to her when she was Speaker before.  Now….she’s an absolute bad-ass and I’m beyond thrilled that she’s the Speaker.  The woman is politics personified, and she’s just what we need to combat that dick loser in the White House. 

What are you interested in that most people haven’t heard of?   Well, most people have heard of linguistics, but I’m super interested in regional accents of the US and how they developed, and how history formed them.  It’s a hobby that I wish was a career.

What is the most annoying question that people ask you?  I can’t really think of any questions that annoy me.

What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?  The life of Catherine of Aragon, Queen of England.  She was the first wife of Henry VIII and the mother of Mary, Queen of England.  (image credit)

If you were dictator of a small island nation, what crazy dictator stuff would you do?  I’d step down, because dictatorships are not something that I believe in.

What’s the farthest you’ve ever been from home?  Alaska.  My home there was the farthest from any of the other homes I’ve ever had.  Especially Florida, lol.

What is the most heartwarming thing you’ve ever seen?  My girl, Ginger, sitting in a corner cage at the Humane Society and looking at us with her tongue hanging out, her ears all perked up, and the biggest smile on her face.  She just exuded love and “adopt me” ….. and we did!  

What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?  Come to New Mexico for Balloon Fiesta.  It’s magical.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Saturday 9--My Favorite Things

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
1) This week's artist, Jennie Abrahamson, is very happy living in Stockholm, but she refers to Paris as "a flirt." She enjoys her time there so much she always wants to return. Is there a place you've visited that tugs at your heart and imagination, tempting you to return?   

New Orleans.  I grew up on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, and New Orleans was a place we’d go to for the day or a weekend.  I have wonderful memories of roaming around the French Quarter.  I’ve visited several times as an adult, and the Crescent City never fails to surprise me.  I want to take hubs there for a week in a five-star hotel, enjoying all the sights and wonderful restaurants we can.  I want to go during December, when the weather is decent, Reveillon is happening, and everything has that Christmas vibe.  (image credit) 

 2) Jennie has said her music has been heavily influenced by 80s pop, which was popular in her early teen years. Are your favorite songs the ones you listened to when you were growing up?  

Not so much.  I enjoy listening to classic rock occasionally, but my musical tastes change all the time.  Right now I’m really into American roots music.  It’s a combination of traditional Appalachian music, bluegrass, and bluesy folk tunes with a modern twist.  I'm listening to artists like Rhiannon GiddensValerie June, Jubal’s Kin, Carolina Chocolate Drops, and Mandolin Orange.  I highly recommend you give the links a click and check it out!  

3) "My Favorite Things" is from The Sound of Music. Crazy Sam's high school claim to fame was playing Sister Margaretta in the senior class production. Though not a big part, her performance lives on because relatives love embarrassing her with pictures of her in an especially unflattering nun's habit. Who took an embarrassing photo of you? What were you doing?  I’ve never like being in pictures. 

4) The lyrics celebrate "brown paper packages tied up in strings." What was in the last box you received in the mail?  A box from Amazon (where else, lol) that contained some sort of widget for fixing our garage door.

5) It mentions doorbells and sleighbells. What's the most recent bell or alarm that you heard?  The night all the fire alarms in the house (there are 5) decided to fail at the time, at 3 am.  OMFG.  Thank God we had batteries.  It was an unpleasant task to say the least—we have a extremely high ceiling in the living room and climbing ladders at 3 am is NOT a fun task.

6) This song has nice things to say about cold weather, specifically snowflakes and mittens. What do you like about winter?  Being able to walk the dog at the park without feeling like I’m in an oven.  You can always put more stuff on, but can only take so much stuff off, lol.  I like Christmas, hearty soups, and snow (in small doses, which is our usual thing).

7) Dog bites and bee stings are singled out as things that can leave us feeling sad. What's most recently given you the blues?  My father is dying and I’m a thousand miles away.  I’m saving PTO and money so I can go home when I’m needed most.  It makes me sad, guilty, and frustrated that I don’t have the means to just drop what I’m doing and go to South Carolina.

8) In 2018, when this song was released, Roger Federer won the Australian Open. Are you good with a racket?  Nope, sports are not a thing that interests me at all.

9) Random question -- Your local zoo announced the hatching of three snowy owlets. All males. You won the honor of naming them. Go ahead.  Well, Hedwig (of course!...from Harry Potter), Blanco (Spanish for “white”), and Zas (Navajo/Dine’ for “snow”).

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Project Nineteen Check-In: A decision is made

I bagged the whole "diet" thing.  It was making me incredibly unhappy and stressed.  I decided to just go with eating "cleaner" (every time I say that I feel like a hipster).  I love the Healthy Choice Power Bowls for lunch, and have been eating more fruits and varied vegetables.  Hubs made this shrimp and fennel dish that was super tasty.  Honeycrisp apples are the bomb.  Made some homemade hummus and am enjoying that with celery or carrots chips for a snack instead of my usual triscuits and cheese.  Best of all, I put the scale in my husband's room.  He is actively working a Keto plan (he's lost almost 50#), so HE can have the scale.  That thing is evil, as far as I'm concerned.

Sunday Stealing--The Ask Game

1. Do you have a passion project? What is it?  Not really.

2. How many languages can you speak?  One.  Sadly. 

3. What was the last book you read?  Persepolis Rising, Book 7 of The Expanse series, by James S. A. Corey. 

4. Where in the world would you most like to visit?  England.  English history is something I’ve been interested in all my life.

5. Top 5 fictional characters?  This is totally random, since there are just too many to list.  
1.  Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series.  My husband calls me Hermione, which cracks me up.  2.  Kaylee from the TV show Firefly…I love her joy.  3.  Eliot Waugh from The Magicians TV series.  Fun and dangerous.  4.  Mark Watney, from the book The Martian, by Andy Weir.  Great character, great book, pretty good movie.  5.  Chrisjen Avasarala, the UN deputy secretary in The Expanse books/TV show.  I love the idea of a foul-mouthed, elegant, tiny Indian woman with enormous power.  Her bits in the books are fantastic.  Shohreh Aghdashloo plays her in the TV show, and she is AWESOME.

6. Something you miss from your childhood?  Horses.  I wish it wasn’t so expensive to keep one.

7. What skill do you wish you had?  Any creative thing.  Painting, knitting, whatever.  I think I am the most non-creative person on the planet.  My husband tells me not to worry about it, that my special gift, and hobby is the collection of knowledge.

8. Tell us an interesting fact.  When I was 9 or 10, I read the entire World Book Encyclopedia, A to Z.  Every time we went to the library, I’d sit down next to the encyclopedia shelf and take up where I left off.  I even spent recess reading.  I don’t remember how long it took, but I was pretty proud of myself.  And I learned a LOT.

9. What was your favourite subject in school?  Social studies/History, without a doubt.

10. Favourite planet?  This one. 

11. Which historical figure fascinates you and why?  Katherine of Aragon, the first wife of Henry VIII of England.  She was a daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, and she was absolutely 100% sure in her belief that she was the only wife of Henry VIII.  Even after he divorced her and married Anne Boleyn, she continued to insist that she was the Queen of England, and did everything she could to maintain the rights of her daughter.  She’s a tragic figure, and one to be admired.

12. Favourite mythical creature?  I’ve always been partial to dragons.

13. Do you believe in any conspiracy theories?  Nope.  My brother regales me with tales of UFOs, faked moon landings, and the like, but I think it’s all bullshit.

14. What is your favourite word?  Can’t say I have a favorite.  They are all pretty good.

15. Do you have any obsessions right now?  I’m doing a binge watch of the entire Magicians series, in preparation for the new season.  I really love this show.

16. Do you play any instruments?  Nope.  Not creative.

17. What’s your worst habit?  Not listening when people are talking to me.  I’m usually off in my own head somewhere.  Listen is my word for this year, and a big chunk of this years project. 

18. Do you have a collection of anything?  Books, lots of books.  Collectible figures of favorite characters.  I have a Marvin the Martian that’s adorable. 

19. What’s your biggest ‘what if’?  What if my dad dies tomorrow.  He’s in hospice.  I have no idea how his passing is going to affect me and my family and it is scary as hell.

20. What is your favourite fairy tale?  I don’t have one.

21. Have you ever dyed your hair? Is there a colour you’d like to dye it?  I colored my hair from the time I started going gray until a few years ago, when I decided to “own the gray” and cut if off short.  The whole dying thing is just too expensive and too time consuming.

22. If you could learn one language overnight, which would you choose?  Spanish, without a doubt.  It’s so common here in New Mexico, it would be handy to have.

23. What’s the most useless thing you know how to do?  I have nothing.

24. What’s the most important change that should be made to your country’s education system?   More money.  Increase teacher’s salaries, provide more funding to schools.

Saturday 9: '65 Love Affair

Saturday 9: '65 Love Affair (1977)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) The first line of this song is, "I was a car hop." Car hops used to take orders and bring diners food to eat in their cars. Today, the drive through lane has pretty much replaced car hops. Think about the last time you went to a fast food restaurant. Did you order at the counter or at the drive through window?  The drive through at Dunkin’.

2) Mr. Davis sings that his girlfriend was "bad with her pom-poms." Presumably she was a cheerleader. Share one of your school's cheers.  I went to three different high schools in two states.  This is not a thing I remember, lol.

3) The lyrics tell us he believes that if he could go back in time, his girl would still be his. If you could travel back in time to your high school years, what would you enjoy doing again? What would you do differently?  I rode and showed horses throughout high school, I’d love to have a horse again.  Not to show, mind you, but to ride.  Unfortunately, it’s prohibitively expensive to keep horses.  Oh well.  In retrospect, I would not have stayed with the high school boyfriend that I later married.

4) During his performing days, Paul Davis sported a full beard and flowing hair. We're using that to check your powers of observation and recollection. Think of the last man you spoke to. Who was he? Describe his hair, and tell us whether he was clean shaven.   My husband, who has a full head of super curly salt and pepper hair (although it’s buzzed to a modified high and tight haircut).  He has a Van Dyke beard (mustache and goatee).

5) Paul Davis was born in Meridian, MS, and that's where he returned to when he went into semi-retirement in 1982. Meridian's biggest employer is the Naval Air Station in Meridian. Do you know anyone who is currently in, or employed by, the military?  My daughter is in the Air Force (for about 40 more days).   

6) He was a pool player and a golfer. Which sport are you better at?  I suck at both.

7) Sadly, he died in 2008, on the day after his 60th birthday. His best friend remembers him as "a homebody," who enjoyed staying up long into the night with his friends, playing and listening to music. Describe your perfect way to spend an evening.  Have a nice meal, relax in my recliner, and watch TV or a movie.

8) The publishing rights to "'65 Love Affair," as well as Paul Davis' bigger hits ("Cool Night" and "I Go Crazy"), are owned by another Paul -- Paul McCartney. Sir Paul's MPL Publishing Company has made him a very rich man, and Paul says that's because he chose to invest in music, something he loves. What about you? If you were to invest in a business or industry you love, which would you choose?  Wow, that’s a hard one.  Someone you love vs making some money….I’d probably invest in Samsung, lol.  I love computers, gadgets like cell phones, and somehow, all the stuff in my house ended up being Samsung. 

9) Random question --You're at a party and one of your host's best friends is a real egghead who tries to draw you into a conversation about paradigmatic counter existentialism. Would you: a) just listen politely while letting your mind wander; b) admit you don't know what the hell he's talking about; c) explain why you personally feel that the counter existential paradigm just adds unnecessary complexity to the individual's search for meaning?  I’d admit I have no clue about his topic, and probably ask him to explain it in layman’s terms.  I like learning new stuff.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Project Nineteen Check-In

So, it's been almost two weeks since I decided on this little (ha) project.  Here's how I'm doing:

Listen--my word for the year.  I'm definitely aware of my listening skills since taking this on.  I've made a concerted effort to put down the book, computer, phone, etc. when my husband is talking to me and LOOK at him while he's talking.  I feel really good about doing this, and have resolved to not beat myself up when I forget. 

Listening to my body--this is complicated.  Menopause has completely jacked up my already jacked-up metabolism.  I feel betrayed by my body and have a lot of difficult feelings around my constant battle with my weight.  I am using a tracker app, and faithfully tracking all my food, AND staying under the recommended calorie amount for losing 1.5# a week, and the scale has not budged.  I am eating healthier, which I like.  I am inordinately focused on food, which I hate.  During the workweek, it's very easy to maintain, but I feel like the weekends are ruined.

It's stressing me out, and I don't want to play anymore.  Obviously, I have issues. 

On the up side, I am working with hubs on doing light weightlifting.  It's mostly upper body stuff, since my right knee is toast.  I really need another cortisone shot in there, and it's eventually going to need replacing (uggg).  I continue to walk with Ginger, but the knee prevents me from doing any kind of lengthy walking.

All in all, I'm not unsatisfied with this project, and am hoping that the whole food thing will improve at some point.

Sunday Stealing--Storywise

1. The strangest place you've ever been.   This one is hard.  I’ve done a lot of traveling!  I’d have to say …. The Alligator Farm in St. Augustine, Florida.  It’s a cool and creepy place filled with all sorts of alligators, crocodiles, etc.  They do a show with a giant alligator and his “handler”.  That woman is NUTS.

2. Unusual food combinations you enjoy.  Blue corn stacked enchiladas with Christmas, with an over-easy egg on top.  Screams New Mexican, makes non-New Mexicans scratch their heads…”what the hell does Christmas have to do with enchiladas??”  Christmas=both red and green chile.  It’s one of three possible answers to our official state question “Red or Green?”.

3. Your best cure for hiccups.  Get involved in something that takes my mind off them.  A book, movie, TV.  Next thing I know, they’re gone.

4. Something you have never done but would like to try.  I want to take a river cruise in Europe.  It’s a bucket list item that I’d love to do with hubs and my mom.

5. A routine you do every day without fail.  Get up, walk the dog, feed the cats, make the coffee.

6. Something new you've recently learned.  Conrad Hilton (of Hilton Hotels fame) built one of his early hotels in Albuquerque.  He was from New Mexico.  It’s been beautifully restored as the Hotel Andaluz, and I’m taking hubs there for a mini-vacay for our anniversary! 

7. Your keenest sense.  Smell.  Strong odors make me physically uncomfortable.  I developed this AFTER I stopped nursing at the bedside, thank God.

8. Whether you prefer cooking or cleaning up.  I like to cook mise' en place, and clean as I go.  The whole cleaning up after destroying the kitchen kind of ruins the meal for me.

9. Where were you the last time you saw the sun rise.  Every morning.  I leave for work at 5am, and see it coming up outside my office window.

10. A recent time you were embarrassed.  When an office mate chided me for eating carrots at my desk.  The woman wants absolute silence, which irritates the hell out of me.  I should have just told her to suck it up, but instead, had all these weird embarrassed feelings related to food, my weight, blah, blah blah.  It was unpleasant, and now I go to the break room to eat my damn carrots.

11. An everyday sound that delights you.  My cats purring.  I have one in particular who loves to snuggle, and she never stops purring.  It’s soothing.

12. The last conversation you had with a stranger.  Chitchatted with someone in the elevator at work about all the snow we were getting.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Saturday 9: I Forgot to Remember to Forget

1) Elvis sings that he thinks about this girl all the time. What person or topic is on your mind this Saturday?  Korean food.  We love Asian cuisine of any kind, and for some reason, have never tried to hunt down a Korean restaurant.  Well, I found one!  Lots of great Yelp reviews too, which is nice.  I think a nice Bibimbap will be the perfect treat after our big “take down all the Christmas stuff outside” project.

2) He wants to forget the day he met his girl, but simply can't. Think about someone very important in your life. Did you know right away that they were going to be influential?  That would be my husband.  And I did know pretty much right away that this was a person I wanted in my life for a long, long, long time. 

Since this week's song is about memories, let's check on how well you recall events in your own life.

3) What was the first concert you ever attended? Easy-peasy.  Aerosmith, 1976, at the Municipal Auditorium in Mobile, Alabama.  Which was about an hour from where we lived in Mississippi.  My Mom took me, lol.

4) Where did you get your first piercing? (Not only where on your body, but who did the deed and where did they do it?) My ears.  At a Piercing Pagoda at Edgewater Mall in Biloxi, Mississippi.  I think I was about 12.  They used one of those piercing "guns".  

5) What's the name of the bank where you had your first checking account? I don’t have a clue on this one, we moved around so much, I don’t even remember what state I was in when I got my first checking account, much less the bank.

6) Tell us about your first bicycle.  I don’t remember the first one.  I do remember the yellow three-speed I had as a teen though.  I put a zillion miles on that thing riding back and forth to the barn where my horse was kept.  Morning and night to feed.  Every afternoon after school to ride.

7) Who received the first text you ever sent? Hubs, since we got our first cell phones together.

8) What had you been drinking when you suffered your first hangover?  Uggg.  That's not a pleasant memory.  Wild Turkey 101.  And that's all I have to say about THAT.  

9) Whose was the first wedding you ever attended?  Probably mine, the second one.  The first time it was the courthouse, but I did have a real wedding the second time.  I don't recall ever going to a wedding before that...

Friday, January 11, 2019


I remember looking at my gram's hands....old hands, with her wedding band, and another ring I don't remember so well but it had a peridot.  They looked like hands that had worked, and loved, and all those things.  This year, I've been home a few times, and looked at my Mom's hands.  Her wedding ring, and the "mother's ring" that me and my brother had gotten her a long time ago.  You know the one, with the birthstones of the husband and the children?  She still wears it, which made my heart melt.

Today, I looked at my hands.  They're starting to look old, even though I'm not so old (56).  They're a bit bent, and wrinkled.  All that handwashing as a nurse does is something I guess?

I looked at my right ring finger....wearing the very first wedding band hubs got me...it cost about a hundred dollars, because we didn't have much.  I still wear it.  On the left ring finger, the engagement ring and wedding band, with diamonds, that we bought later, when we had a little more money. 

Something about looking at the both of them makes me really happy.

And seeing my hands....getting older....makes me happy too.  These are hands that have loved, and nursed, and hugged, and hurt, and all those things.  A life.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Sunday Stealing--Joy

Find it here.

1. Are you filled with joy today?  If joy=peaceful, then yes, I am.

2. Has it been a rough week? Starting a new life plan always is, so yeah, in some ways it’s been rough.

3. If given the opportunity, would you like to star in a musical? Hell to the no.  I don’t like performing in front of others.

4. Name one person you’d take a bullet for.  My husband.

5. Did you trip over anything today? My own feet, hah.

6. Last time you painted a picture? I can’t even remember.  Non-creative am I.

7. Is your favorite color yellow? Nope, but depending on the shade, I do like it.

8. Were you born in a hospital? Do you know the name of the person that delivered you?  Yes, South Shore Hospital, and nope, couldn’t tell you who the obstetrician was.

9. Have you ever had a friend or relative that’s incarcerated?  Nope.

10. Do you enjoy romantic movies, even when they’re cliche?  It really depends on the movie.  I’m not a big romantic movie fan as a rule, but all bets are off if the history is interesting.

11.Would you rather watch a movie or listen to music?  Movie, definitely.  Music is for driving and work and sleeping.

12.Ever been to Rhode Island?  A couple of times as a kid…I remember Block Island.

13.Can you tell the difference between a Scottish & an Irish accent?  Yep.

14. Can you read music?  No way.

15.Have you been to McDonald’s in the past month?  Yep.  Fish fillets forever.

Bao, baby!

So, I had my great Bao adventure yesterday, and it went AWESOME. The plan was to make homemade Char Siu Bao, which are roast pork chinese dumplings.

Hubs and I love to go to this huge international grocery store in Albuquerque (Ta Lin Market World Food Fare).  It's an hour from us, but so very worth it.  They literally have foods from every part of the world.  It's super fun to just try random stuff.  Inside the market, they have a "pop-up" dumpling house that only serves on the weekends, lucky us!  I love the dumplings, and watching the elderly lady behind the counter make them.

Of course, I had to learn how, so for Christmas, hubs bought me a neat book on making dumplings (Lee Anne Wong's, Dumplings All Day Wong). 

The rest of the gifts were a Kitchenaid mixer, steamer baskets, Chinese rolling pin, etc.  My first try was a disaster, because I tried to roll out the dough with the pasta rolling attachment on the Kitchenaid, and that didn't go well.

This time was a giant success!!
 The bao are ready for the steamer.  I tried out several different folds, and was amazed that they came out so well.  I watched a TON of You-Tube videos on how to fold, and was very happy I got the traditional fold (the round one, also called "purse fold") down.  I still need practice, but it was fun!

 This is a two level steamer.  It's the smaller of the two steamer sets.  Hubs also bought a 3 level, bigger around steamer set (I think he thinks I'm going to make dumplings for the whole town).

The finished Char siu bao.  Hubs made the roast pork filling.  The dumplings themselves are a yeast dough, and come out all puffy.  They are like little sandwiches, and we served them with quick pickled persian cucumbers.

So, that's my first dumpling experiment--next up, traditional steamed pork dumplings.  That's next weekends project, perhaps.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Saturday Nine--You Make Me Feel Brand New

Play here.

1.  As 2019 kicks off, what are your hopes for the brand new year?  That I don't get screwed by the great Trump tax cut.  I've run a few numbers, and I'm not feeling super confident that I won't have to pay this year

2.  Just because an item isn't brand new doesn't mean it isn't valuable.  Have you scored any fabulous finds at a second hand store or website?  This is going to sound incredibly snooty, but WTF, it's my life.  I dislike second-hand stores intensely.  I don't want other people's old stuff, it makes me feel cheap, and reminds me of times when that's all I could afford.  I don't get a charge out of saving something; I'd rather just keep wearing/using the stuff I've got than buy something used. &nbsp

3.  This song is sung by The Stylistics, a group from Philadelphia.  Have you ever been to Philly?  Once.  I was visiting an internet friend years ago, his brother/cousin/whatever was playing in a club.  We drove from Delaware to Philly, saw the show.  I remember little else, for a variety of reasons, one of which is that the brother/cousin/whatever wasn't very good.

4.  This song was co-written by Thom Bell, a Philadelphia-based musician/producer who was born in Kingston, Jamaica.  The average daily temp in Kingston in January is 87 degrees.  Do you have plans to get away this winter and go somewhere warm?  Nope.  Old puppy is too neurotic these days to leave at the kennel.  Last time we went away, she lost 10lbs in a week.  No bueno.  Now that our cold snap is resolving, it's lovely in the daytime when the sun is out.  Today it was just a light jacket.  SUN!

5.  The Stylistics took their choreography very seriously.  As you can see from the video, they even carefully synchronized their hand movements.  Do you use your hands much when you talk?  I've never really noticed.  Not so much, I think.

6.  The lyrics tell us that the singer is grateful for a friend who will walk with him along a path that "sometimes bends."  Looking back on 2018, tell us about a time that life's path took a bend you didn't quite expect.  Back in April, I left my previous job for a new one.  I loved my old job, until I didn't.  It wasn't the work but I allowed other people's negativity to stoke my dislike of our micro-manager.  I left, they didn't.  On the up side, I really like the new job, the new boss, and the places it's taking me.  So it all turned out in the end.

7.  In 1974, when this song was popular, Chicago's Sears Tower opened and was for years the world's tallest building.  Its elevators can carry you to the 103rd floor in approximately a minute.  When were you last on an elevator?  Yesterday, when I left work.  I work on the 3rd floor of a 10 story hospital.  I don't do stairs, my right knee is toast and stairs cause me a lot of pain, not to mention a huge fear of falling down them.  Hence, the elevator.

8.  Also in 1974, the 55 mph speed limit was imposed nationwide.  When you drive, are you careful to stay within the speed limit?  Or do you have a lead foot?  Only if I want to get run over by all the other speedsters.  I go with the flow of traffic on the interstate, and stick to the speed limit in town.  Here, the speed limit on I-25 is 75 mph.  Everyone is usually doing 80-90.  I try to stay around 85 mph.

9.  Random question--It's time to pose for your Saturday 9 yearbook picture.  Will you show us your right profile, your left profile, or will you look directly into the camera?  Directly into the camera, smiling without showing my teeth, and doing everything in my power to minimize my extra chins.  I hate taking pictures, so I'll likely beg off if I can.


Last night kind of sucked.  Hubs and I both were feeling very prickly...him from keto flu and me from just general irritation at dealing with the new eating plan.  I expected this, but it doesn't make it any more pleasant.  He ended up doing stuff in his office, and I sat in the living room re-watching The Magicians for about the millionth time. 

I finally gave up and went to bed at 745pm.  I know, crazy early, but I do get up at 430 in the morning, so there's that.

Hubs made a fabulous dinner last night that was on plan for both of us.  Baked cod, with sauce gribiche, and asparagus.  Yum!  Sauce gribiche is normally crazy calorie dense, but instead of regular mayo, hubs used a bit of light mayo and non-fat sour cream.  It was outstanding and decadent with wayyyy less calories.  It's so rich, I only needed a tablespoon for my fish.

I've also come up with a "standard" breakfast.  I like to eat the same thing every morning, so I did a riff off the Jimmy Dean egg scramble in a cup that we had bought one time.  Spray the inside of a coffee cup with Pam.  Crack two eggs in there, and put a pinch of shredded cheese, salt, and pepper.  Lightly scramble with your fork.  Pop in the microwave for 1 minute.  Remove and lightly scramble again.  Microwave another 15 seconds.  Eat and be happy you didn't have to dirty a pan :)  I add one of those little Halo clementines and I'm good to go, and within my calorie budget, plus got some protein.  It's a win win, and for 90 sec, not a bad breakfast.

Today is free dinner day, the one meal in the week in which my hubs allows carbs to cross his lips.  I'm whipping out my Christmas presents and making homemade roast pork Bao from scratch. 

Stay tuned for how THAT goes, lol.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Thoughts on Day One

What IS it about starting a new eating plan (I refuse to call it a diet) that makes you as ravenous as a pack of hyenas????  Every. Single. Time.  I hate it.  I want to eat everything in the state.  I know it's all in my mind.  I know that it will pass.  I know blah blah blah. 

Doesn't make it any easier that I know it.

I had a good day, even with all that.  I highly recommend Healthy Choice Power Bowls.  Filling and tasty.

Also, walking in knee-deep snow to the park and back definitely was good exercise.  I almost froze to death, since it was about 5 degrees, but the puppy enjoyed it, and I was happy to have done it.

I like the Lose-It app/website.  Calorie counting and tracking everything on my phone works with my brain, and I'm dipping a toe into the community piece...we'll see how THAT goes.

I put down my phone and listened to my husband, really listened.  So that's good.

All in all, not a bad day.  Onward!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

And...we're off!

Welcome to 2019.  It's snowing again, which is awesome for our drought, but sucks for me getting to work.  Yay, for my trusty AWD Hyundai Tucson.  I'm waiting until sunup to drive to work though--I usually leave at 5. 

Bought healthy frozen meals to take to work this week to keep me out of the cafeteria, so there's that.  Feet will re-acquaint themselves with my treadmill this afternoon.