Sunday, May 23, 2021
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A - Annoyance: Litter boxes. I am so.very.tired of dealing with litter boxes. It is the definite down side of having 4 cats.
B - Bestest Friend[s]: Hubs
C - Car: 2017 Hyundai Tucson. Getting an SUV was a revelation after 10 years with a Mustang. The stuff we managed to get home in the trunk of the Mustang was truly epic (lawnmower, 55” TV, etc.), but it was time to retire the old blue mare to short drives around town.
D - Day or night: Day. I’m generally in bed by 830 and up by 5.
E- Easiest person to talk to?: Myself
F - Favorite Month: November. I love autumn in New Mexico.
G - Gummy Bears or Worms: Neither. Not a fan.
H - Hair Color: Brunette, with some gray.
I - Ice Cream: Snickerdoodle Cashew Milk. I’m lactose and sugar intolerant. Love this stuff. It’s got a bit of sugar, but all I need is a couple of tablespoons to be satisfied.
J - Jewelry: Just my wedding rings.
K - Kindergarten: I attended in Massachusetts. I remember nothing about it.
L - Longest Car Ride: All in one shot? Anchorage to Santa Fe. 3,607 miles (5,805 km).
M - Most missed person: My Dad.
N - Number of Siblings: Just the one.
O - One regret: No
P- Part of your appearance you like least?: My weight. Always and forever it seems.
R - Reality TV Show:
Chopped is my favorite TV show, and the only reality show I watch.
S - Shoe: Alegrias, Merrells, Vans, or New Balance. There are no heels in my life. I’d break a leg.
T - Time you woke up: it’s the weekend. I sleep in …. To 0530, 0600 if I’m lucky.
U - Unpredictable?: I’m very predictable.
V - Vegetable you hate: Lima beans. Ugggggg. Mealy, disgusting little things.
W- Worst Habits: Not listening, biting my nails
X - X-Rays: Last one was my mammogram.
Y - Year you were born: I'm part of the baby boom, let's put it that way.
Z - Zoom: Nope, nope, and nope. Since I work remotely permanently, I’m super happy that my employer doesn’t require us to be on camera.
Sunday, May 16, 2021
1. Name something in the room you are grateful for.
SomeTHING? How about the room itself? In the crash of 2008, hubs lost his job, we lost our home to foreclosure and had to file bankruptcy. I never thought we’d come back from that. Well here it is 2021, 13 years later, and we own a home, we managed to bring our credit score back up to Excellent, and we were able to refinance and remodel. Gratitude doesn’t begin to describe how thankful I am for this house.
2. Recall a favorite memory you are grateful for.
I am really grateful that my cousin got to visit me a few years ago. She is fascinated by Native American culture, and I had such fun showing her around New Mexico. I think my favorite day was going to Acoma Sky City. The picture below doesn't do it justice--some of these mesas are over 800 feet high, and the valley in the picture is many, many miles across. We were both just blown away. Afterwards, we shared a Laguna burger. It was a super fun day.
Hubs. He just loaded the dryer. One less job to do. We are off to Alameda Greenhouse with Mom today, and then we’ll have lunch afterwards at Casa de Benavidez. Yummy New Mexican food on a lovely patio.
4. What possession makes your life easier?
My phone. The idea that I have what amounts to all the world’s knowledge in my pocket is still pretty mind blowing. And a camera. And a calculator. And my bank account. And all my photographs. And all my music. And...well, the list goes on.
5. What’s the best thing that happened today?A 2 hour nap. I have been working 12 hour days for the last 2 weeks to keep up with my "other duties as assigned" while I train a new person AND work. I am exhausted. The nap was glorious.
6. Name something in nature that you are grateful for.
New Mexican sunsets. Ever changing, always beautiful. Here are few of my pictures.
7. What painful experience helped you grow?
Getting fired from a job several years ago. A job that I hated, by the way. I deserved to be let go, and it made me take stock and realize that I was DONE with that portion of my career. I did a pivot (yay, Nursing, for having lots of avenues to go down) and am MUCH happier for it.
8. What is your best skill?
9. What person in your past are you most grateful for?
My dad. I miss him every day. I still hear his Boston accent in my head sometimes, lol. He was one of a kind, for sure.
10. What risk are you most grateful for taking?
Going to nursing school. That ended up being the best decision of my entire life, bar none.
11. Name something/someone that makes you feel safe.
12. Name a challenge you have overcome.
It took years and years to get my mental illness properly diagnosed. I finally found a fantastic psychiatric nurse practitioner who actually listens to me instead of typing and staring into her screen. She’s been such a revelation and I really appreciate her digging into things and being open-minded instead of just slapping the easiest diagnosis on me and throwing a bunch of drugs at me. So many years of struggling, and now....I don't.
14. What smell are you most grateful for?
My dogs feet smell like Fritos. Really. For some idiotic reason, it always makes me smile.
15. What is your proudest accomplishment
While I’m not at the bedside in the ICU anymore, I’m still the most proud of the lives I helped save.
Saturday, May 15, 2021
Had a lot of fun cooking dinner tonight, so I thought I'd share. I made a Chorizo and Roasted Red Pepper Frittata. Tasty, high in protein, and did I mention tasty? Let's go:
8 large eggs
3 tbsp heavy cream
3.5 oz hard chorizo (I use Goya--keep your political comments to yourself, I live in NM, not NYC and Puerto Rican chorizo isn't growing on trees out here), remove casing, small dice
1/2 c. Small dice onion
1/2 c. Small dice roasted red pepper (I used Mezzetta jarred)
1-1/2 tsp minced garlic
Shredded sharp cheddar
Oil for sautéing (I like a neutral, high-temp oil like Avocado, but vegetable works too)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Small dice chorizo, onion, pepper. Mince garlic. Salt and pepper to taste. Saute' at medium high in small amounts oil in oven-safe 10" skillet until onion is translucent, stirring often. Turn range to medium low. Whisk eggs and cream until frothy, salt and pepper. Pour into skillet with chorizo etc. Stir gently 2 or 3 times. Sprinkle with cheddar and small amt parmesan. Cook 3 minutes on range at medium low. Put skillet in oven for 20 minutes or until toothpick come out clean. Rest 2 minutes and serve. 4 servings.
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Saturday 9: Don't Get Around Much Anymore (1942)
Unfamiliar with this song? Hear it here.
1) In this song, our lonely Romeo shares how he amuses himself these days. Which of the activities that he mentions have you most recently enjoyed: playing solitaire, reading a book, or listening to the radio?I’m re-reading Artemis, by Andy Weir. It’s a fun romp set in the near future, on the moon, by the author of The Martian (book outstanding, movie huge fun, with Matt Damon)
2) The lead singer is tenor Bill Kenny. Which range is your voice: soprano, alto, tenor or bass?
Back the in the long ago I was a contralto. I sang in choir in junior high.
3) When Bill was on vacation in Atlantic City, he entered a series of talent contests and won 21 of 22. This led to his first professional booking. Tell us about a vacation of yours that took an unexpected turn.
My vacations have been pretty successful. I am a massive planner. I think that is key. You don’t have to follow the plans, but having them decreases the chance of bad stuff happening. At least that’s the way I look at it.
4) This song was composed by Duke Ellington. He received many honors, including a coin struck in his honor. In 2009, he graced the District of Columbia's commemorative quarter. Do you save coins in a jar or piggy bank?
Nope. I hardly even use cash anymore, which my Mom find hilarious. I prefer to just swipe my card. I don’t have to bother with a wallet, and a purse that way. I have a tiny little card holder that I can slip in my pocket.
5) In 1976, Stevie Wonder recorded a tribute to Ellington called "Sir Duke." What's your favorite Stevie Wonder song?
I’m not really a fan. I know he’s a phenomenal musician, but I’ve never been into his music.
6) The lyrics were written by Bob Russell. When he began his career, he shared an apartment with future novelist and TV screenwriter Sidney Sheldon. Have you ever tried your hand at writing lyrics, a novel or a screenplay?
No, I’m more of a technical writer. I’m one of those odd people who LIKES writing 40 page research papers.
7) In 1942, when this record was released, the federal government established a rationing system to conserve crucial supplies for our troops. Sugar was the first food to be rationed, followed by coffee and then meat. If you were around back then, which of those items do you think you'd miss the most?
I could live without sugar, and do. Coffee would be hard. I’ve been a pescatarian, and craved meat pretty much all the time, so I think that would be the most difficult for me.
8) Also in 1942, actor/singer Peter Tork was born. Without looking it up, do you know why Peter Tork was famous?
He was in The Monkees, I believe.
9) Random question -- Have you ever deliberately lost a game?
No. I’m way too competitive for that. That’s why hubs and I love cooperative games, lol, because I suck at dialing back the cutthroat competitiveness.
Tuesday, May 11, 2021
So I've just found out that I'm to be a grandma...again. This is bittersweet, because I'm not acknowledged as a grandma for little guy who is now 2. I have a very, very, very complicated relationship (I don't even know if you can call it that) with daughter.
My regrets run very deep.
They define my adult life.
Daughter and I came to a detente some years ago and were corresponding nicely until about 2 weeks ago when I fucked that up by being glib on social media about my dislike of a) being pregnant and b) labor etc. Daughter did not take this well (being pregnant, but I didn't know yet) and it re-traumatized her about me leaving etc. It doesn't matter that MY REALITY was ... a) hated being pregnant because pre-eclampsia and b) threw up through the entire C-section (after the inducement, labor, etc, etc). Apparently my experience means that I hated her. Nope. Nope. Nope. Much more complicated than that x 1 billion.
It near broke me.
I am so.fucking.tired of reliving the damage I've done to my daughter over and over. In my head, in her head, in the world's head. I should have a blog called the Queen of Regret. For obvious reasons.
I will never be forgiven. I will never forgive myself. It is what it is. It sucks thinking everyone hates you because you left, because you were mentally ill, because you were not the perfect mother, because you wanted her to have a better life. That last one is the most important.....I didn't think I was worthy or capable or .... able. Mothers don't leave their children ever no matter what. Fuck that. No one but me knows my story.
She's beautiful, successful, rich, with what seems to be a perfect life. I'm quite sure that my part of it is the unperfect part.
I am not having a good night.
Sunday, May 9, 2021
I haven't played Sunday Stealing in a while--I'm usually working on Sundays. But, for the month of May, I'm not, so here we go! You can join me here.
1. Five problems with social media.
I started to answer this question, and then realized that it was going to take me down a negative, rant-y, rabbit hole. Which is exactly where I DON’T want to be this morning. So, I’ll pass. Let’s just say social media has its good and bad points and leave it at that.
2. A place you would like to live but have never visited.
I really don’t want to live anywhere but here. Boring, right? I’d love to visit England and Europe, but can’t really say I want to live there.
Katherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s first wife. His ONLY wife, in her opinion. She’s my favorite character from history, and I’m not sure why. She was treated horribly by the Tudors, and insisted until the day she died she was Henry’s one and only “true” wife. That kind of dogged persistence and faith in the face of such adversity is interesting to me. She had an interesting life.
4. Do you have tattoos? What are they and why?
Yes. A rose. A horse. A tribal band. A pair of dragons. Why? Young and stupid. Thought I was edgy. I’d happily get rid of them all if it was easy, cheap, and not painful. Most of them have not aged well. I’m super happy that I had the forethought to put them where they can be covered.
5. A book you love, and one you didn’t.
Loved: Tigana, by Guy Gavriel Kay. My favorite book of all time. An eloquent story about memory and loss. Hated: Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. Drivel.
6. A fruit you dislike, and why.
Pears. I love the flavor, but the texture just grosses me out. That weird grainy, mealy-ness. Ick.
7. Two words/phrases that make you laugh.
Pickcheas. Fahrfegnugen. The first is a slip of the tongue I made. I meant Chickpeas. We laughed our asses off. The other was in a some commercial or other. I just think it sounds funny.
8. A quote you try to live by.
A magnet I keep near my desk--
9. Something you miss.
More like someone. My Dad.
10. Three weird traits you have.
- I have bitten my nails since I was a baby, according to my Mom. I have tried literally everything, to no avail. Even acrylic tips, which I then bit. Nervous habit.
- I like precision. Drives my husband batty. He says green. I want to know exactly what COLOR green.
- My eyebrow hairs grow straight up. I’d happily shave my eyebrows off my head if it wouldn’t be weirder. My hairdresser has to trim them. Supposedly it’s from years of overplucking, who the hell knows.
11. What you wore today.
Currently, it’s 652am and I’m still in baggy PJ pants, a vintage NASA T-shirt, and sandals. Fashion plate I’m not, especially on a Sunday morning.
12. Word/phrase you use constantly.
“What the actual”. Short (and somewhat more professional) that WHAT.THE.ACTUAL.FUCK, which is what I really mean.
13. One thing you’re excited for.
Hubs finally finally graduating college so I can stop being the sole income around here. It wears on me. I will probably die of a heart attack when it actually happens.
14. Your feelings on ageism.
It sucks, of course. Fortunately, in my profession, most nurses are in their 50s or older, like me, so you don’t see it so much. One of my teammates is 78. She rocks it!
15. Three interesting facts about yourself.
Well, hell, I don’t know if they are interesting, but I’ll give it a go.
1. I had to repeat the 11th grade. We moved from Mississippi to Virginia, and I was a rising senior. The guidance counselor told me and my Mom that the Mississippi schools and the amount of credits I had were not sufficient for me to graduate. I kid you not, I was devastated. I have never made anything but an “A” on anything, and am an OCD perfectionist, so this was a defining moment in my life. On the up side (looking way back), it put me back in my age group (I started 1st grade when I was 5).
2. I’ve been married three times. The last one stuck.
3. I’ve been to all these states.
And I’ve lived in all these states.
Saturday, May 8, 2021
Saturday 9: Mom (2016)
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
1) Meghan Trainor's mom gets a vocal credit on this song ("featuring Kelli Trainor") because the audio of a mother/daughter phone call is included on the recording. Who is the last person you spoke to (not texted!) on the phone?
My Mom. Called her this morning to tell her about my big EZPass transponder discovery for our Massachusetts trip. I literally stumbled across this post about how to save money on tolls and a lightbulb went on.
2) The earliest version of this song was a poem co-written by Meghan and her brother as a gift to their mom. Do you enjoy writing/crafting/baking or cooking gifts for people?
I enjoy cooking for people. I didn’t cook for over a decade, because my husband is an amazing cook and my OCD kept me freaked out that I wouldn’t measure up, so I refused to try. After finally getting on medication for the OCD, I found that I wanted to give it a go, and have been enjoying cooking for about a year now. My Mom was skin and bones when she moved out here, so I've been enjoying sending her home with all sorts of goodies. I always make extra of whatever and make her a to-go container. She's looking much healthier--I think she enjoys having people to cook for again, too. I also enjoy writing, both technical and blogging. I’m tossing around the idea of doing some research/writing for a nursing journal.
Many times. My family is from the South Shore, the Plymouth area. I’ve visited there, Boston, Martha’s Vineyard, and Marlborough/Southborough, where my aunt and uncle used to live. Mom and I are going next month to Boston, Plymouth, and Gloucester for 9 days. We are calling it "Mom and Lisa's Wicked Big Adventure". Mom wanted everything printed out, so I made an "Itinerary Book" for us, lol.
We are having a blast planning the trip too. We are going to Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market, the New England Aquarium, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Plimoth Plantation and the Mayflower II, Duxbury Beach, Brant Rock, Carver, a whale watch trip to the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary from Gloucester, a food and history tour of the North End, and other stuff as yet unplanned.
4) Mother's Day is a big holiday for card shops. So are birthdays, weddings, and dozens of other special occasions. Hallmark sells greetings for everything from "Congratulations on Your New Job" to "Happy Retirement." Who received the most recent card you bought?
My Mom and hubs’ Mom.
5) While Crazy Sam was growing up, her mother used to scold her for leaving dirty dishes in the sink. Sam admits it: as an adult she still puts off washing her dishes. Are you more like mother or daughter? Do you clean up after every meal, or do you let the dishes stack up?
I’m a do the dishes in the morning kind of gal most of the time. Right now I’m training co-workers at my house (the joys of being remote) so I’m doing them after supper.
6) Mother's Day is for grandmothers, too. Sam grew up calling her grandmother "Grandgran." What did you call your grandmother?
My mother’s mother—Oma.
My father’s mother--Grammie
7) The German word for "mother" is "mutter." What other German words do you know?
Mutti (the dimunitive of mutter, which is like Mommy). This is how my Mom refers to her mother. Oncle, Tante, Oma, Opa, Liebchen, and many more. My mother is German, and I took 3 years of German in high school. My Spanish is better, but I do remember a fair amount of words.
8) In the United Kingdom, Mothering Sunday is celebrated. It's on the fourth Sunday in Lent (March 14 this year) and in addition to flowers and cards, mothers are treated to Simnel cake. Are you going to indulge in any sweets this weekend?
Not a big sweets fan. I made some shortbread from scratch, but it didn’t really turn out. I think I overworked it a bit. Cooking at altitude (we are at 5700 feet) is hard.
9) To celebrate Mother's Day, Sam is giving away her mother's favorite: Hershey Bars! Would you prefer classic milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or milk chocolate with almonds?
I do love dark chocolate. Here in NM, it’s popular infused with red chile, which is an amazing flavor. One little piece is enough.
Saturday, May 1, 2021
LOVE STORY (2008)
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
1) The lyrics tell us about a romantic summer night on a balcony. Does your home have a balcony?
Nope. It’s a one-story house. I do have a patio though….
2) Taylor Swift sings that her father warns her boyfriend to stay away, but she sees him anyway. Tell us about a time you defied your parents.
I used to sneak out of the house in the middle of the night, ride my bike to my bestie’s house, and then we’d ride down to the beach. Meet boys. Drink. It was small-town Mississippi, lol. Never did get caught. Grew out of it.
3) The castle in this video looks European, but it's in Arrington, TN. Castle Gwynn is the site of the annual Tennessee Renaissance Fair. This May the festival will be back, and among the items food vendors are offering are Scotch eggs. When did you most recently eat eggs, and how were they prepared?
My favorite breakfast is an egg scrambled with mushrooms, onions, garlic, and fresh spinach. Yum. Had that yesterday, in fact.
4) Love Story is also the story of Jenny and Oliver in a book by Erich Segal and a movie starring Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal. Are you familiar with either the book or the movie?
I’m familiar with both, but haven’t read the book, nor have I seen the movie. I met Ali MacGraw once.
5) Taylor was born in Reading, PA. which is home to the Reading Railroad, one of the four railroads featured in Monopoly. Without looking it up, can you name the two most expensive Monopoly properties?
Nope. Can’t stand Monopoly. Joe and I love games, but we tend to play dice games (Zombie dice, Catan dice, Quixx), card games (Exploding Kittens, Unstable Unicorns, Uno), and other table games (Pandemic, Quirkle, Kingdominoes). They all have one thing in common—can be played in 30 minutes or less!
6) When she's not performing on stage, Taylor likes to keep it casual and prefers to wear cowboy boots. Tell us about your favorite footwear.
Comfortable. I grew out of the “cute shoes” thing a long time ago. These are my favorite three pairs: Merrell Juno clogs, Vans, and Alegria sandals. I wear New Balance runners for walking.
7) Taylor's brother, Austin Swift, is an actor and producer who studied photography at college. Think about the last picture you took. Did you use your phone, tablet or camera? (Feel free to share it, if you'd like.)
I had a blast taking photos at the Albuquerque BioPark Botanical Gardens last week with Mom. The first one is from the Moorish Garden. The second one is from the Event Garden, then I ran it through the Prism app on my phone. It came out so good, I’m going to have it printed on canvas to hand in my bathroom. They were both taken with a Canon camera.
8) In 2008, the year this song was popular, the Emmy Award winning show Breaking Bad premiered. Were you a fan?
I was. But, man, that show is not re-watchable. It went some pretty dark places. I live in “Breaking Bad” country—you see locations from the show on pretty much any drive around Albuquerque.
9) Random question: You and your best friend sit down to write the story of how/when you met. Do you think the stories would be almost the same or quite different? (In other words, will you two remember the event the same way?)
Hubs is my best friend and we met on an online bulletin board (remember those?) back in 2004. We were discussing politics and superheroes. He remembers it the same way.