Monday, January 28, 2008

Life and stuff like it

I wanted to quick post a little about how my life is going.

As many of you have figured out that I am not in a relationship that I am completely thrilled with. I love Dan an awful lot, and when he is kind and normal, I'm thrilled to be with him. He tends to cycle into these horrible depressions that really shred the heck out my world.

I don't know if I want to be on a swing cycle like that for the rest of my life.

Anyway, I have been fairly certain that Dan is cheating on me. Of course I'm not intimate with him right now, because I just don't want to take any chances on catching something that I may not be able to cure with a simple shot if you know what I mean. I'm also not 100% sure, so I'm leaving myself open to being pleasantly surprised.

Because of that certainty, I am looking hard and serious for a good job. I'm hoping to get a job either with the state, or at Lockheed Martin. Both jobs would pay me well enough that I could easily live on my own and have spending money.

I have some savings, and I have confidence that I will be Just.Fine. I just know that I need to be smart. Not make rash judgements, and do the right thing.

In other news: I have re-established a relationship with 4 out of 5 siblings. It will be a cold, COLD day in hell before I speak with the 5th. We are a truly diverse group of siblings. There is about 18 years between me and my oldest sister, and then a couple years between her and Joe. Then there's the one I don't speak of and then the twins. Then 10 years later, there's me. We range the gamut from the fundamentalist, to the Episcopalian to the Scientologist, to the liberal mainstream to the "ain't going to church". I can truly say, though, that I am learning to just love them all wherever they are in their lives.

Now, for other things...Saturday is our big date at the Opera. We're going to see Carmen. I am going to read the libretto tomorrow.

So, there's the check in. Life is moving along, and I'm not willing to stand still and watch it go by me. It's kind of weird, the more I fiddle with planing where my life is going the more content and happy I get. I would think that it would be the opposite, but it is a lovely feeling.

I have two prayer requests. My dear friend Frances is dealing with the passing of her mother, and I want my phone to ring off the hook with job offers!

Visitors to the house

This little guy has been coming up to the deck recently. I apologize for the poor picture, it was taken through a very nosed up glass sliding door. Dan and I really enjoy all the wildlife we see in our area. A couple of months ago I took Molly outside in the wee hours of the morning and we saw a large stag standing in the middle of the road a few hundred feet up the hill. It was SO impressive.

Anyway, we have started to put out some bird feed on the railing of the deck, wondering what kinds of birds we'd draw to the house. It has been AMAZING. I can't wait until the ground thaws in the spring so that we can put up some bird feeders. We have had about 15 birds at a time munching on bird seed on the deck. We also noticed that since we've started to put out the seed, that when we go outside, instead of hearing the call of crows, we also hear the sweet chirping of cute little birds. It's a very nice thing!

So, anyway, when we saw this little guy on the deck, the next time we went to WalMart, Dan picked up a bag of "Critter food". We don't mind that squirrels eat the bird food, so we're deliberately feeding the squirrels too.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The organized and Inspired Scrapbooker

I was visiting Of Cats and Cardstock and had an amazing overwhelming sense of guilt. You've all seen my scrapping space. It's not what I would call beautiful.

The thing is, is that she read the book "The Organized and Inspired Scrapbooker".
It's a book beautiful enough to drool over, isn't it? I HAVE this book. The cover has not even been opened. Why? you ask. It's not been opened because I've been too busy trying to ORGANIZE my room before looking at it.

I'll bet you are glad that you don't live in *my* brain.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I am a math loser

I have wanted to go back to school for ages. I really knew that I needed to brush up on my math skills. I have always considered myself a victim of new math. I have issues with all parts of math, and don't remember a lick of it from high school. So the other day I was in Staples I saw this software called Math Advantage 2008.

I have only done two lessons of the very basic lesson on the cd. I have learned a lot though.

I love doing factor trees! Why? Because I learned these cool tricks that I had never learned before.

The tricks of divisibility...
If divisible by 2 ,the last digit of the number will end in 0,2,4,6 or 8
If divisible by 3 ,you add the digits together and see if the sum will be divisible by 3.
If divisible by 4, the last two digits need to be divisible by 4.
If divisible by 5 , the last digit needs to end in 0 or 5.
If divisible by 6 , the number needs to be divisible by both 2 and 3.
If divisible by 9, you add the digits together and find out if the sum is divisible by 9.
If divisible by 10, the number needs to end in 0.

Too bad there isn't a trick for 7 or 8 that I've learned but what I know certainly makes for a lot faster problem solving.

So, I'm going to work through this cd, and hopefully I'll be refreshed with my high school level math skills and perhaps get myself ramped up for some college classes! The next thing I'd like to tackle is grammar!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Another cooking post

So, last night for dinner we had Coq au vin. I used the recipe from Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook. It was Good. It was REALLY good. Note to self. When he says "while the chicken is cooking, he means do it now, it won't be good if you wait until just before you want to serve this. So, my only issue with the recipe is my issue with the cook. I waited a bit too long into the cooking process to braise the pearl onions, and that was not a good thing, but I fudged it by making sure the onions cooked through, and then instead of cooking down all the liquid, I poured it out, and then carmelized the onions. It was REALLY good. I would have liked to have eaten this an hour earlier than we actually did, and it was my fault. I count it a learned lesson. Did I mention that I made creme brulee for dessert? Oh yeah. It was good. VERY good.

My goals for today are to scrap! It's bitter cold outside here, so I'm going to fire up a couple space heaters for the basement, and then scrap away. I was going to crop at the local scrap store, because I need to get things together for my class, but since the alternator on the Expedition went belly up I'm without wheels until that gets fixed. That also slows down my job prospecting. Meh.

Anyway, I hope you have a good day, and you stay warm!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

One of THOSE days

It's almost 11:30pm tonight, and I just realized that I have been wearing my sweater backwards.

All day long.

Since 7 am.

Yeah. It was one of THOSE days.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Mr. Romance, and a little life lesson

I just wanted to post my most recent layout. This is Mike, our 11 year old black lab. He has taken to snuggling close with me when I sit on the sofa, and I just love it. He is very particular and wants my hand on him at all times. Which means that I am becoming adept at typing with my left hand! If I stop petting, scratching, or touching him, he whacks me with his paw.

I have always admired people who scrap with all these fun things to draw the eye through the page, and there are times that I love to do that too, but this layout is one of my favorites, because it really shows off Mike.

I love these dogs so much. They are really amazing bringers of love in this household.

Two peas challenge today: The biggest lesson in life came from my daughter. She is so much like me, she puts things off until they are a crisis. SO I've started to pay attention to her quite closely. I'm really bad about mailing things, and really bad about putting money in the bank.

She has (For two semesters in a row) hosed up her school payments. Yesterday I refused to help her out. My parents bailed me out more than I should openly admit, and I'm not going to do it for her. So we had a conversation that went like this: " I am SO going to be on top of this stuff next semester." I think that she gets it.

So, I'm going to be on top of housework. I put things off until when I walk through a room I get little fuzzy ankles from the dog hair. I avoid vacuuming as much as possible, and it embarrasses me. I love to dust, vacuum, not so much. No more putting things off. I'm gathering things up and mailing off my deposits today. I'm also going to stay on top of the dog hair. I just hate living on the edge of crisis like that.

Oh yeah. I'm paying off ALL my debts by the end of next month. I'm SO stinkin' geeked about this. I'm also going to be able to double my savings within 6 months. Life is moving forward in VERY good ways. I'm feeling quite a bit better about everything. I would really like a job though...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Wednesday checking in

This is going to be a quick post, just updating everyone on my week.

Sunday was the definition of unpleasant with the man. I decided that I'd had enough. Now I'm marking time until I get in a position where I can take things into my own hands. It will happen. It will happen soon. I am strong and can do this.

Monday I decided to become an "Independent Avon Representative". I like the way that sounds! The opportunity is there, especially for this community. I have a friend in VA who did this, and supports her whole family on her sales, and she isn't a pain in the butt to deal with so I'm really excited about all this!

Tuesday was a good day. Naomi arrived from her trip to the everglades. Tales of alligators brushing against her legs when she was in the Cypress Dome have managed to begin to turn the hair that isn't grey yet, a slightly lighter shade of brown. She absolutely glows from the suntan she got while down there, and also received a whole new appreciation for this world that we're in, so it was a very good thing.

That's it so far! It's Wednesday. Could he be worse? Could he better? Am I past the point of caring? (Prolly). We shall see, but until then, I'm keeping my chin up, my attitude in check, and my eyes on my goals. I'm actually reaching for them, and it feels dang good!

Friday, January 11, 2008

It's crude and ugly, but it's my space

I've finally started to make space for my scrapping stuff. I'm not totally in love with everything about it, but it works so far. We have an unfinished basement, and that's where I scrap. The floor is cement, and it's COLD. I have one of those oil filled electric heaters that I push under the edge of the table that I sit at and it warms the area I'm in.

I just recently went to Target and purchased 3 sets of the 6 cube wire packages. It's a good idea but they aren't perfect by any means. They often come apart. For my situation that's not a bad idea, but when the basement is finally finished and I get settled into a finished space, I want to find a way to put them together in a little more stable way. I also need to pick up a few more Cropper Hopper 12x12 holders. I have a lot of paper still on the horizontal and they get all dog eared on the horizontal from me.

OH...Target does have a paper cart thing that is made with the wire, and I hated it. It was not easy to use, and the wheels really didn't work well. I'm moving to all vertical paper storage now.

I have been told that zip ties can add more shelves to the cubes, but I think that for what I use them for they are good, and I don't want to put too much weight on these. I keep my cuttlebug, my quick kutz, and my wishblade on the shelves. I also have plastic filing chests that I got from Staples when they put them on sale ( the 6 drawer chests...). I love those things, and I'm looking forward to getting those organized even more.

So, that's my space in all of it's ugly glory! I didn't tell you all about the gigantic 54"television across from the table. We don't have cable in the basement yet, but I can watch chick flicks on the XBox while I play. It's a good place, and it's MINE! YAY!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tagged by Aimeslee

1. Name your 2 favorite scrapbooking topics:
a. my kiddoes
b. my dogs

2. What are the 2 best places you've been to?
a. Disney World
b. San Francisco

3. Name 2 things you do every day:
a. Make Coffee
b.Cook a meal

4. Tell us 2 things that pretty much everyone knows about you.
a. I love to cook *nice* meals
b. I want to write a book, but I'm afraid.

5. 2 places you wish to visit:
a. Paris
b. Montreal

6. 2 things you may not know about me are:
a. I once had a pet cow. His name was Caesar, and he was hand raised because his mother rejected him. (I grew up in North Dakota, it's common...not.)
b. I love, love, love cool independent films.

7. 2 nicknames you've had at some time in your life:
a. Kate
b. Kitten

8. Name 2 of your favorite drinks:
a. Vanilla Seltzer
b. Warm tea.

9. What are 2 interesting (in a good or bad way) jobs you have had in your life?
a. Worst job evah... I worked in a donut shop. I had to clean the trays that the donuts sat on after they were cooked. It was a greasy, nasty mess.
b. I worked as a research assistant for a Dr. that was studying Macular Degeneration. I absolutely loved the patients, and am chomping at the bit to get into a new job where I can have patient contact again.

10. What are your top 2 fun things to do after work?
a. Make dinner.
b. Put on my slippers and maybe my jammies and bathrobe. (I'm a real party animal, I tell you!)

11. What are 2 things I would like to learn:
a. Photoshop
b. More and more about The Treaty of Versailles. I'm absolutely amazed at how much I've been learning about how much this truly affected the world that we live in.

12. What are the last 2 songs you downloaded or last 2 CD's you bought?
a. Dylan (Bob Dylan)
b. Shine (Joni Mitchell)

13. Name 2 movies you could watch or you have watched 100 times in your life and still watch again, no problem:
a. Ever After
b.The Princess Bride

14. What 2 songs will you always listen to in their entirety because they truly speak to you?
a. Both Sides Now (Joni Mitchell)
b. I can only imagine (Mercy Me)

Now, if you notice that every question has 2 answers, and the last question was added by me, that means that you get to answer these questions and add a question to the pile before sending it on. I am tagging Theresa and Helena ( although I would be surprised if this was up Helena's alley, her blog is much more graphic...and well more interesting than mine, and it's also filled with lots and lots of pictures of cool things and her pretty little girl....) I can hope, right?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Lost Seasons 1-3

For those of you who have never seen an episode of Lost and are wondering about it. You can go to and watch seasons 1-3 in HD. Make sure you have a good video processor on your computer though!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Why I love a bad boy

I have to admit that I have a love for a bad boy. He smokes, he drinks, he swears like a chef. That's because he's a chef. His No Reservations show on television is the best thing on since the writers strike has basically trashed the television season. I can't watch his show without cringing and sometimes gagging.

That being said, for Christmas I bought us a cookbook. Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook. It's truly a work of art. This isn't a book for those with delicate sensibilities, the author calls it's reader names like "useless screwhead" or "numbnuts". It's quiet obvious that the author is full of poetic sensibilities. This is just the most fun cook book I have ever cooked out of.

Last night I made Veau Viennoise (pg 148-9) from the cookbook. I kept telling myself that it just couldn't be as easy as he says. It was beautifully easy. It was wonderful. The only thing that I left out of the recipe was his garnish of anchovies on top of each cutlet. I'm not a fan of fishy anchovies, so I passed. I also made a beurre blanc for the veau. It was just perfect. We paired it with Green Beans seasoned with toasted, slivered almonds and a little lemon juice. The starch was a simple box of Rice Selects-- the tomato one that's got Paul Prudhomme's photo on the front. (There were two with his picture on the front...this is the one with the mild spices, the other was Louisiana style and hot.)

Dinner was delicious. I love capers, and this recipe calls for capers as a garnish. It was so amazing, and it was so easy. Truly, the hardest part was pounding the veal chop.

Next on the list from the cookbook is Pot-au-feu (pg 204). I will report in on this recipe. I've decided to throw in a recipe now and then too, but I can't believe how easy and amazing his recipes are now that I'm actually working my way through the cookbok and discovering that I don't mind being mocked for using prepared bread crumbs ( we don't buy bread, so making it fresh is kind of out of the picture...) I am really learning from him. Even though he tells us in the introduction that he's NOT going to teach the reader to cook.

So, you can see. Sometimes a bad boy is a good thing to love.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Belief -o-matic

So, today I was flipping through the net and I came across a Belief O Matic here.

My results were pretty comforting.

Here's how I scored:

1. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (100%)
2. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (97%)
3. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (80%)
4. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (77%)
5. Orthodox Quaker (72%)
6. Bahá'í Faith (70%)
7. Jehovah's Witness (67%)
8. Liberal Quakers (62%)
9. Reform Judaism (60%)
10. Seventh Day Adventist (58%)
11. Orthodox Judaism (55%)
12. Unitarian Universalism (55%)
13. New Thought (54%)
14. Eastern Orthodox (53%)
15. Roman Catholic (53%)
16. Islam (53%)
17. Scientology (51%)
18. Sikhism (47%)
19. Mahayana Buddhism (46%)
20. Theravada Buddhism (46%)
21. Nontheist (42%)
22. Neo-Pagan (40%)
23. Taoism (39%)
24. New Age (38%)
25. Secular Humanism (37%)
26. Jainism (31%)
27. Hinduism (27%)

I was mostly curious how I would fall between Conservative and Liberal Christian faith. I am very happy that I fell into the Liberal side of the list. I know too many people who put the "mental" in fundamental.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to my friends and loved ones, and believe me, if you are reading this you fall into that category. I've met so many fun people through blogging, it's amazing how you truly get to know people through this medium.

My New Years Affirmations:
1. Be healthy. Mentally, physically and spiritually.
2. Be self supporting. Trying to not be a drain on our finances, but contributing to our finances. I can't take not working! I really enjoyed it as I was getting the house together, but now I'm ready to move on and get out a little more. I think that I really miss the patient interaction and the mental stimulation at my job in Boston. I really want to get myself in a less dependant and more independant place.
3. Be honest. I am loving life and am not going to keep my mouth shut anymore when I find injustice in my life and around the world. It's time to be honest with people and let them know that I'm not willing to play games for "the better".
4. Be self liking. I know that when the previous three things fall into place, my own self esteem will go up. I am a fat 40 year old woman, but I really like myself!
5. Be connected. I need to re-connect with my family. They are my only siblings, and I need to let them know that I want to be in their lives.