Days 22-27

The word of the day is: PROCRASTINATION

Or maybe it’s more that  I am not nearly interesting enough to write about myself and my life every day. Well, to be honest – since we’re such close friends -, I’ve thought every day of blogging (See how that worked out?) and I just didn’t.

Let’s start with some yummy food, compliments of Pinterest.

Since we were crapped on by the Snow Gods, I thought soup was in order. I prepared for this by buying the ingredients for this tomato soup ahead of the storm. I also bought the materials for grilled cheese – the natural compliment for such a soup. I wasn’t too impressed, sadly. I opted for the no cream option…maybe that was it. It just didn’t taste like tomato soup to us. This may also have to do with the connection of memory and taste. Happy, warm, memories of tomato soup and grilled cheese center around a very well known red and white can. A similar effect was not achieved by this soup, as I had hopped. Don’t get me wrong, it was good, but did not hit the memory as I had hoped.

Food and memory are just so intertwined; I think anyway. The smells, sights, and tastes of a childhood dish just bring you back to a different, better?, simpler?, time. For me, food has a way of crossing the boundaries that the passing of a loved one puts up. When I make some of my grandfather’s recipes I swear it’s like he’s with me again. Making the food reminds me of all the times we made X food and eating it is like a brief glimpse to a past where he was still alive.

I digress…

For dessert, the most important part of any meal, I made these with a few minor changes. I didn’t make the filling as outline here. Instead I bought a raspberry jam that sounded amazing and used that instead. I followed everything else to the T and these were AMAZING.

During this week I made these chicken thighs. I followed this recipe exactly, but was a little less than thrilled that the sauce, which sounded so good, was a little less than amazing when all was said and done. So, here was my fix:

  1. Take the thighs out of the pan after 15 minutes (as prescribed in the recipe).
  2. Broil them for 5 minutes to achieve a nice crispy crust on the skin and to finish cooking them through.
  3. Meanwhile, mix about a table spoon of corn starch with a little over a tablespoon of water to create a thick-ish/watery paste.
  4. Poor corn starch mixture into sauce in the pan and whisk.
    1. I had to add about a table spoon more soy sauce, another lime worth or juice, and about a tablespoon of veggie stock into this to get it to the consistency I wanted.

This gave me an amazing gravy that I happily spooned all over the chicken and rice we had.

I’ve been making my way through 1984 and I am enjoying it. There are some aspects of this book that would make it interesting and difficult to teach.

I am particularly fond of this line:

Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.

I am not sure what it is about this that hits me, other than I can see the truth behind it. How many times throughout history has someone said or believed something that the masses did not agree with only to be labeled a lunatic…a heretic. Then, later, it is found out that they were correct and thus no longer a lunatic. This fact is address right after this line when it is said that:

At one time it had been a sign of madness to believe that the Earth goes round the Sun; today, to believe the past is inalterable.

I have been pondering this bit for the last few days. I thought it was worth sharing.

 

Here is a little Haiku I wrote about the snow. There is some unladylike language therein…

Continue reading “Days 22-27”

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Day 19

So, I got it into my head that since I couldn’t find a pattern for the fingerless gloves that I had in my head I would design them instead. (Of course I am now thinking of How the Grinch Stole Christmas – “…If I can’t find a reindeer, I’ll make one instead!”)

Over the course of the last 2 nights I have gotten a grand total of about 10 rows. The other hours have been spent crocheting then tearing everything out and trying again…and again…and (you guessed it) again… Funny thing? I don’t feel that defeated by it. I feel like I am getting closer and closer to my goal. I’ve been keeping track of my work in the creative section of my Bullet Journal so that I can make a mate once this first one (Righty, as I like to think of him.) is done. I’m using a mixture of things I like from patterns and my own requirements so it should be interesting (my favorite euphemism…). They’re going to be Franken-mittens!!  I’ll post more when there is something worth seeing and the places I got inspiration later.

Another project I have decided to get into is reading all the books from this list.  

 I made a checklist with the titles and put it in the cover of my journal. I’ve decided to go down the list, and not jump around. That way I have books to look forward to during the ones I’m not a fan of. Some will be rereads, and that’s ok, some will push me a bit more than I tend to like, and that’s ok too. I’ve downloaded 1984 and I’m ready to go!

Day 16, 17, and 18

Dinner and dessert were pretty awesome last night. Sunday is our “family dinner” night so I always try something new. Enter Pinterest; I love Pinterest. My usual “method” (and we’ll use that term loosely) is to search: “dinner ideas”, “easy dinner ideas”, “healthy dinner ideas”, or something like that. After that I just start scrolling and look at titles. When a title gets my attention I read the recipe. I try not to go for recipes that require me to buy ingredients that I will never us again unless I am making this recipe again. We live in a small house, so space is at a premium. After I find one that looks yummy, relatively easy to make (something that will take no more than 2 hours), and whose ingredients are within my realm of possibility and necessity, I Pin it and that becomes dinner. I follow a similar process for dessert; Sundays are the only days I make dessert.

The verdict for this (past) Sunday:

Tuscan Bean Soup and Funfetti Mini Cheesecake

I forgot to take a picture of the soup…it was that good. I can tell you though that the timing is off on the recipe. It took me about 20 minutes to chop everything up. My guess is the 5 minute approximation is if you used some sort of tool (mentioned in the post) to help. I don’t have that tool, just a knife and a cutting board.

IMG_3759I did take a picture of the ingredients though!

I couldn’t get yellow squash (they are look terrible at my local market) and I just used Italian seasoning instead of Rosemary and Thyme. Also, I didn’t use the hot pepper flakes since one of my company doesn’t like hot stuff.

This is my hubby’s dessert. He asked for a lot of whipped cream and a single sprinkle.

I’ve also been very happy with my Bullet Journal. It has really kept me in line lately.

IMG_3765 (2)Here is one of my latest pages.

I am happy yo say that this journal has helped me cook more, exercise more, and eat less. *Happy Dance*

Today I am waiting on this. My poor dog has terribly dry skin and allergies that cause her to scratch at her ears SO badly that she loses fur on her ears every year. I have exhausted many of the options available to us.

We’ve tried:

  1. Fish oil
    1. After a while she just started to smell fishy and that was quite unappealing.
  2. Coconut oil
    1. This seemed to work for a while and my pup LOVED it. However, when the really cold parts of winter rolled around it didn’t seem to be as effective for the ears, but overall he coat was pretty good.
  3. Over the counter allergy human meds
    1. Again, they seemed to work…and then stopped…so we stopped using it.
  4. Doggy Allergy meds (vet)
    1. We finally broke down and went to the vet and they gave us something…it kind of worked but not really…
  5. Doggy Allergy meds (0ver the counter)
    1. This appeared to be working, but you have to put it in their water and we dog sit. We didn’t feel comfortable putting it in water that other pups, who may not need the medicine, in our house would inevitably drink.
  6. Olive Oil
    1. My pup’s coat was pretty good until it got colder. Also, an unforeseen consequence, was that she started gaining weight. We were feeding our pup the normal amount we always do and then the extra calories from the oil were added. We started cutting back a little on the food in favor of the oil. Now that winter is here with a fury it doesn’t appear to be doing as much good.

So here we are with yet another attempt to keep my furry baby happy, healthy, and not itchy. I will report out later.

Day 12

More bad news today. This makes three, so let’s hope it’s done. 

On the up side! I made this hat tonight!

  Hat creditPom Pom credit 

My husband said that the quickness with which it was made makes him think less of chrocheted things because it looked too easy – the bugger. I was very pleased with this hat. It took maybe 1.5 hours when all was said and done and one skein of super chunky yarn…AND the Pom Pom was quite fun to make. The above tutorial made it VERY easy to make. This was the highlight of my day and I plan to wear it with pride tomorrow!!

Day 10

Today was busier than anticipated. I went food shopping, ate, worked on something for potentially starting a novel in earnest, cleaned, then I made cookies, cooked dinner, served dinner, and then I got some time to myself. This time, of course, is tainted by the fact that I need to go to bed…5am will be here no matter what.

On the up side, I have some pretty tasty butter cookies and some yummy spaghetti squash – Thank you Pinterest!

Day 3

So, I officially started my Bullet Journal today. I came across this concept on one of my many “rabbit hole” adventures on Pinterest. This is the Pin that started me on this path. I found it way back in September and decided to wait until the new year to implement it…yes, I realize we’re 3 days in but I still count this as a win! As January got closer I decided to do some more digging online, on Pinterest specifically, and I decided (officially) that I wanted to try this. I’ve never been good at keep journals, but this appeals to me for several reasons:

  1. It serves a function besides bemoaning one’s life. 
  2. It can help notice trends in my life, which can be fixed (or at least attempted to be fixed) as a result. 
  3. There doesn’t appear to be a “wrong way” to do this…
  4. It’s a personal thing as this is customizable!
  5. For me it brings together different facets of my life into one, non-digital, place. 
  6. I’ve always liked writing in books. 

Here’s what I have so far.   I got this lovely journal at Barnes and Noble; I fell in love almost instantly.   These are the inside pages of the book. Here I drew a diagram of what each portion of my page means (left) and a legend that I imagine will grow with need (right). The diagram reflects what I thought were the things I wanted in my Bullet Journal:

  1. Notes for the day/things to accomplish
  2. A creative space of a poem hits me or a thought for something to write or a project I want to start…you get the idea. 
  3. My thoughts for the day, or my “Dear Diary” section (Notice how small it is – I didn’t want space to wallow.)
  4. A space to track my ongoing healthy endeavors. 
  5. A happy thought of the day/what I am grateful for. This was a new addition, like within the last hour. I decided that I would make a point to think one happy thought a day. I think some days this will be easy and others not so much, and on those days it will matter the most. 

My thought is that this diagram may change month to month until I find out what really works for me.  I decided that I wanted a calendar in my Bullet Jornal, so I put one in (right)! I taped it so that I could flip it up and leave general notes for the month. On the left I marked with Washi tape the color/pattern of the month…which will make more sense in a second – I promise.   Using the matching Washi tape of the month (indicated on the index page I promised would make sense) I taped off the sections for my Bullet Journal. This, literally, took me a little over 2 hours. I cut the strip of Waahi tape in half, otherwise I just wouldn’t have had enough tape. I’m not sure I would do this again, honestly…but I was in for the pound since I put in the penny. You’ll notice the first 2 days of the month are empty…I figured I should be honest and leave them blank rather than make past me look better than she actually was.  Here is today’s entry. The bottom bit, the healthy stuff tracking, will looked like this every day, I mean that the same things will be tracked…with one exception. I will “weigh in” on Sundays, so that box is only on several pages a month. I made some decisions here about what to track as well, things I want to work on. 

  1. Drinking “enough” water – my goal is 64oz…
  2. I want to exercise at least 30 minutes 3 times a week and now I’ll know if I do in such a way that I can’t lie to myself or anyone else. 
  3. We eat out FAR too much during the school year and we need to stop. Just like in point number 2 this becomes data that I can’t ignore and I hope that will push my tired ass to cook more. 
  4. I have a Fitbit, but I don’t do much with it, so I decided to make myself accountable (like in 2&3) by taking stock of my steps each day.
  5. Then I will monitor my calories eaten each day. I know, I know, there are apps and I’ve used them but they don’t do much for me. I lost 60 pounds keeping track of the number of calories I ate, nothing more, and I’m doing it again. I know there are different schools of thought about this, but I chose to do this because it works for me. 
  6. My above mentioned weigh in, which was a late-ish addition. I had gotten through to January 20 (page setup) before I thought to add this to track.  It’s easy to pretend I’m not gaining weight of I don’t step on a scale….

And that’s it…for now. I’m sure I will bring up BulletJournalling again. I am very excited about this and I hope it becomes a habit…or else I spent a lot of money and time on a dud. 

BTW…the lemon squares are awesome. I just added more lemon (like a whole lemon worth of rind and half a lemon worth of juice) and blueberries (on top of the creamcheese mixture), but I’m sure any version of this is yummy. 

   

Apple Cozy

First, here’s where I got the pattern and idea for my latest Pinterest Project. 

Let’s continue with the finished product:   

 Overall, this was a fun little project. It took about 2 hours from start to finish. Like usual the “magic circle” bit confounded me. I always mess up 2-3 times. Usually it’s because I think I remember how to do it and then I default to the one tutorial that always makes sense to me. After that the main problem was the tightness of some of the stitches. Once I got to round/row 8 that problem ceased to be. The other issue was when I SC around with Color C. I didn’t pay close enough attention to make sure that the two sides had the same number of stitches. This oversight led to the final product being a little lopsided. Once the apple went in that was unnoticeable. 

One thing to consider, that I hadn’t when I started this, was the amount of ends that needed to be sewn in. I crocheted as many ends in as I could. I prefer this to sewing, personally. But that’s why there chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, right. You can do things the way you want. 🙂

I think that I will declare this Pinterest Project a success.