Well, my Clif Bars are being shipped directly from the manufacturer (too bad I couldn't do that with the spinach last time). According to UPS they are in Hodgkin's, IL. I could have paid to express ship them, but I didn't want to appear desperate.
Tomorrow is the end of January, and end of my first month of New Year's goals. I'm feeling faintly pressured to pick Miss February, but that is conflicting with my denial that the month of January will be over. I'm not normally that attached to any specific month, let alone January, but I'm not feeling the Feb-groove yet. Maybe tomorrow will be different.
And on a completely different note, I put together the ingredients for a pot roast tonight. The plan is to put it in the slow cooker tomorrow morning, come home from a hard day of dancing and playing and eat some hearty goodness. Since I don't usually use my slow cooker, and the last time I did a pot roast I was living at home (i.e. high school), it must mean that I'm either channeling Betty Crocker or my mother. Either one works for me.
Friday, January 30, 2009
Well, my Clif Bars are being shipped directly from the manufacturer (too bad I couldn't do that with the spinach last time). According to UPS they are in Hodgkin's, IL. I could have paid to express ship them, but I didn't want to appear desperate.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
I'm never quite sure how to describe Simone. Actual contact between the two of us is few and far between, yet she's lived under my roof for going on four years. Simone just happens to be Sampson's mom, and lived as a feral kitty outside my house. I watched her get knocked up (not literally) three times (Sampson was in the first litter), and with the help of my neighbor found homes for all 11 of her kittens. When I finally caught her, I had her fixed and she hasn't been outside since. And, from what I can tell she has no desire to roam further than the living room or kitchen. She gets along with the other cats, spends an inordinate amount of time snuggling with Sampson, eats my food and lounges on my furniture. The first time she actually allowed me to pet her was last summer. Three years, and all I got was a couple of scratches under the chin. So, although she resides here I have problems claiming her as a 'pet' since it's a word rarely used to describe our interaction.
Last night, I thought we were turning a corner. Normally she runs out of the room or hides when I'm around (the above picture was such a fluke and was taken during a rare moment last year...with the help of the tele-photo setting on my camera). However, I was sitting on the bed ready to go to sleep when I realized she was sitting a couple of feet away, attentively watching me. No fear, no running, just sitting there as if we could have a chat. So I did, chat...that is. And in the midst of talking to the cat that avoids me on every other occasion, I felt accomplished, enamored, excited and optimistic about the possible turn in our relationship.
That is until I realized there was a rather large bug that had been slowly working it's way across the carpet, up the dust ruffle, and along the edge comforter towards me. It wasn't affection at all, just the best entertainment she could find before closing time.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
At one point in time it was spinach, and now a peanut product recall. These FDA rulings sure do interfere with my eating habits. The spinach was a bad one, and I really do think I suffered withdrawal on that one. I was the crazy woman in restaurants (particularly Pei Wei) trying to get the staff to just serve me the spinach despite it being recalled. My argument? It wasn't the Texas spinach it was just specific bagged ones. But no luck.
Well apparently another favorite food has been taken away from me for an unknown time: Peanut Toffee Buzz Clif bars. I swear, I live off of these
from time to time daily and I'm kicking myself for not stocking up a couple of days ago. I learned this lesson when I stopped on the way home from work yesterday at Whole Foods with the specific purpose of picking up my regular allotment of Naked Juice and Clif Bars.
Do you know what I found????? You guessed it, lots of juice but nothing else! The Clif people issued a voluntary recall of some bars and Whole Foods took that to another level and removed everything remotely associated with peanuts. Normally I would praise a company for taking such a stand to protect consumer safety but in this case couldn't they have waited until I picked up a box or two????
Here's hoping the local HEB isn't on the ball and I can find my stash there.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
And, I had a list...but I can't find the list. I have a physical scheduled for tomorrow morning and in my geeky, over-enthusiastic manner I always prepare a list of questions and concerns to run through with my doctor. It's nothing pressing, but I figure since I only see him once every couple of years (I'm very low maintenance) I want to get the most out of my visit.
I got home late this evening, rushed to eat something quickly because I was told not to eat after 10:00 p.m. (I'm assuming pacific standard time perhaps???) and now instead of packing for tomorrow's Mirage show I've frustrated myself looking for my list. The list that had at least 7-8 items on it, which is a sharp increase in volume from the last time I saw him. Unfortunately tonight I can only think of one or two things. And no, 'problems with my memory' was not on the sheet.
Here's hoping it will all come to me in my sleep or I may have to just make some things up on the drive over...just so I feel it's worth the trip.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Well I spoke too soon...or rather blogged too soon last time. The coveted 'pillow' really is always occupied, and there are apparently complicated rules on when to occupy and not occupy it. Thankfully at night the game stops. I think they figured out it's closing time when the lights go off. Follow along closely...players change every few minutes.
Here's where Matilda points out that possession is nine-tenths of the law.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Yes, I'll admit it. I spent part of my time in the grocery store today feeling up the kale selection. I'm not prone to become too intimate with my produce but I found particular delight in being able to recognize and appreciate the various selection of greens they had. Now I've always considered myself to be vegetable and fruit savvy, but the last month has been quite an education. Our office began a farm to work program that basically delivers fresh produce to your office once a week. You get your own farmer, but the catch is you don't get to decide what you'll receive.
The first couple of deliveries were quite funny. I split an order with a co-worker and we usually take our bag of goodies up to a table by my desk and spread everything so we can play the 'name this vegetable game'. It's crazy, but even with a cheat sheet of the names listed on it (provided by our farmer), when you get into all the 'greens' it's darn tough. And, even if you can determine what they are, thinking about how to cook and use them within one week is such a challenge.
Luckily there are several of us in the same boat, and now we exchange recipes at work, chat in the hallways about what we ate the night before and pass new tips on, with the same hushed tones you would if you were disclosing matters of national security. I've learned that freezing is a good thing, and that turnips aren't...in any manner. My last attempt will be to try some type of potato/turnip mash, probably with a lots of cheese. If that fails, they'll be sacrificed for good.
The biggest surprise has been the kale. I've been stumped for a few weeks on it. (and yes I know you could do soup...but I haven't). But just when I was feeling defeated, thinking this was another debacle just like the turnips, like a beacon in the darkness, my friend D sent me this recipe. It's a potato and kale quiche that her family makes regularly. And yes, they are vegetarians which puts them at least one leg up on us, but with lots of good recipes to steal!
I made it this weekend with a few adjustments...which is normal for my cooking. Really, I can't remember the last time I did a recipe exactly the way it is written. For this one, I added spinach and corn and didn't quite have enough milk so I used heavy, unsweetened cream, and an extra egg just for grins. I used several small, unpeeled new potatoes and got tired of dicing them, so I didn't use as many...and my pie pan was not deep dish so I had to stop somewhere.
The verdict? Heaven on earth, absolutely wonderful, tasty and very filling. Which explains why I stopped to fondle the kale today. It's like we had that special connection over the weekend, and I just wanted to cuddle a little more. Wouldn't you?
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Wow, this month has been flying by and of course, my list of things to accomplish doesn't seem to get any smaller. I will note however, that this month's goal of focusing on consistent blogging does seem to be going well. I may not have done a post every day, but so far (not including this one...) I've posted 14 blogs on this account and another 7 on the Mirage page. Yeah!!!!
I think it helps to not think of this as such a task or chore but rather an opportunity to sit and write some things down. I also learned that writing more than one post at at time really helps. I just schedule them to post and it seems to buy me a few days at a time. My purpose behind setting up these goals was to help establish a habit, something that could be a consistent part of my day, week or month. And right, I'm feeling pretty good that this is one that I can keep up. If you run the numbers, I've already done 21 blogs in a 31 day month. With just a few more I'll be feeling triumphant, perhaps even vindicated, and certainly much more cocky. Internet, watch out!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
I had one of those days where you think things are going well...and then find out they really aren't. (sigh...) There were several notably humbling events, but I'm only willing to share one with you, my dear Internet. (The others? You'll have to wait until you can buy me dinner and pry me with booze.)
I came into work, and patiently waited for the elevator...and waited, and waited. Much to my despair (yes I was wearing heels), I realized the only expedient route was the stairs, all four flights of them...which is like 8 flights but so much worse because they are the stairs from hell. Very steep, cold, and they make you pant. Like a dog.
Now before I was dragging my legs up the last steps, gripping the rail the entire time and pulling my limp body on the floor of my office I thought I was in good shape. I'd like to blame it one the purse, work satchel or even the lovely burgundy pumps but I just couldn't. Now I'm thinking that I'll show those stairs who's the master (one day)...but maybe after I rest my sore tush.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I'm not a girly girl of sorts, I carry my own bags, know how to operate a variety of power tools, can change a tire and I pump my own gas. I don't come across as the helpless female, and up until this year had major issues with wearing pink.* So imagine my surprise when I became the helpless female.
I was standing in IKEA trying to determine how to move a 100+ pound box onto my cart, when in frustration I stood back, looked around and I think...even sighed a little. Before I had time to blink a man appeared offering to help me. Really, it took mere seconds...and it was like the heavens opened up, a beacon appeared and the nearest man was compelled to answer the call of a woman in distress. He wasn't in the best of shape, he struggled with the box, his wife was standing near-by, but gosh darn it, he wasn't going to leave until the mission was accomplished.
God bless that in men...I'll try my best to use this power for good not evil, but I won't make any guarantees. I will however consider shopping next time in heels and with lots of cleavage showing, just out of curiosity ;-)
*maybe the issues are still there, but they are less glaring.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
I love it when after two years, you still have the opportunity to discover new features on your vehicle. I learned today that my 'special edition' Nissan can actually sense when it's time to clean out your purse.
Apparently a light comes on when your purse reaches the weight of a small child. And, for the safety your purse and others in the vehicle, the air bags are now disabled. Although the light didn't stay on for the entire ride it was on long enough for me to know. It's like the car was telling me, 'hey, I know you like your roomy, new purse...but dude, this is out of hand".
Saturday, January 10, 2009
The perfect bed, accessorized with the perfect pillows, everything neatly put in place. I see the photos in the magazines and think, who lives there? Even the shabby-chic, uber-casual photos still look way too perfect to be a real space. Where are shoes tossed by the side of the bed, the lingering pet hair that you can't get completely vacuumed up, the handful of kleenex or stack of books that just sit waiting on a side table? You probably couldn't get those things published in a magazine, but gosh darn-it...who has a perfectly organized, decorated bedroom all of the time?
I for one, would like to try...just for one month...to come close. My bedroom is fairly minimal in furnishings, not very roomy, and the biggest mess comes from my unmade bed. If you haven't been following along, I've been listing out the goals I have for this year. Nothing earth shattering, but simply some habits I'd like to create in my life. My plan is to focus on one thing each month, be consistent in following through, in the hopes it will become a habit for me.
I'm sure some things will stick and other will not...but making my bed each morning would be nice. That way, if someone broke into my house and wandered into the bedroom they may mistake it for a magazine set. Or, at a minimum if someone did break in, I could tell if they had slept in my bed. Those three bears knew immediately, because they were meticulous about making their beds...but not so great on the porridge.
Friday, January 9, 2009
My first martial arts Sensei posted this recently on his blog. I know he's probably been talking to students about making it a habit to come to class, to work out, or to work on anything you want in life. I think it is quite prophetic that he choose to start his new year using this poem (author unknown), when I'm off working on developing 12 good habits for the year. I must have picked up on his chi... and based upon the number of other bloggers who've used it this last week (yes, I went googling) or so...they did as well!
Understanding this is better than setting a New Year’s Resolution. January 5, 2009 by Truscott Tristan
I am your constant companion.
I am your greatest asset or heaviest burden.
I will push you up to success or down to disappointment.
I am at your command.
Half the things you do might just as well be turned over to me,for I can do them quickly, correctly, and profitably.
I am easily managed, just be firm with me.
Those who are great, I have made great.
Those who are failures, I have made failures.
I am not a machine, though I work with the precision of amachine and the intelligence of a person.
You can run me for profit, or you can run me for ruin.
Show me how you want it done.
And I will then … do it automatically.
I am your servant.
Who am I?
I am a habit.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
If I were wealthy, I would surely hire a maid, full-time...probably live in. Really, it would simplify so much for me. Either that or a cabana boy, which would be much more fun but I'm not sure he would do the laundry...or rather fold and put it up. I do the laundry, quite often, and quite consistently. What I do not do, is fold it and put it away. So, you've guessed it...that is why putting up laundry is #5 on my list of new year's goals.
It wouldn't be such a problem if I didn't have such a love of black clothing. You name it, I've got it, in black. From tops to skirts to pants to t-shirts, everything a to z, including panties and socks. Add to the mix, poor lighting, a lack of storage and sorting space and you've got my ever-constant, ever-elusive hunt for the one article of black clothing that I must have for the day.
No, not that pair of black yoga pants with the flared legs, but the other one with the little white logo. No, I can't use those black socks, I need the other pair and god forbid if I go out of the house with two that are mismatched, even though no-one (and I swear, no-one) would ever know. And as for panties, I have about three pairs of black panties that I love...no, adore! And yes, they get washed every week and you would think I could easily find them...but noooooo I can't. And as for tops, it's the black scoop necked tee, not the vee necked one that will work for today, and life will surely end if I can't wear that top with those pants, panties, socks and bra that I worked so hard for this morning.
Life would be easier if everything was sorted, and hopefully one day this year it will be.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Pella-inga that is. You see, she hasn't been doing her job correctly. The dishes just pile up in the sink until I have no choice but to don an apron (yes, I do have one), roll up my sleeves and go to work. It doesn't help that I have a large assortment of dishes so I can wait a few days before cleaning things up. So, I've added to my list of new year's goals the goal of doing my dishes, regularly. I know, it's not very sexy or esoteric or psychologically challenging but it is a practical, pro-active step that would simplify things in my house.
For the record, I'm not a slob about this...I just tend to procrastinate until I run out of counter space, which happens very quickly. And, since I am the sole dish-washer of the house, with no automation in site, there are no short cuts. I'm left with good old fashioned scrubbing, rinsing and drying, which is one of my least favorite tasks. So, I put it off as long as possible.
As for Pella-inga the missing maid? Well, according to my mother she is a figment of Swedish fables, a woman who sneaks into your home when you're out and cleans up after you. Every time I see a sink full of dishes, I think of how Pella-inga is falling down on the job...and that I, like my mother should just roll up my sleeves and do the work ourselves.
Monday, January 5, 2009
Is this not the way to start a new day, or new year...or at least a new closet? I'm hoping so. I try on a regular basis to reorganize, sort and purge my closet at least once a year. This last weekend was the event, in case you missed the telecast and here are the results of my endeavor. This happens to be the one and only decent closet in the house, and it looks much bigger in the photos than in reality. One side has all my tops, including a lot of t-shirts that I don't have folding room for in the bedroom. This closet oddly enough it is in the hallway next to the living room, down the hall from the bathroom which is off of the study and kitchen. Needless to say, getting dressed in my house involves a lot of wandering naked or semi-dressed when you include the fact that the panties, bras and sock are in another room altogether!
I had to move out all of my coats and heavy jackets, as well as some dressy dresses that I don't use all too frequently into the two-foot wide closet in my bedroom. It's all one big, intricate puzzle that takes as much time planning out as it does sorting.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Maybe not, but I should be. And while we're on the subject I should be breathing more. More often, more deeply, more slowly and with more intent. One the greatest delights and pleasures of my martial arts training was learning how to meditate, and in my current practice I greatly miss doing so. At my old dojo, we stopped as a group to meditate before every class, and some classes were nothing but 30 minutes to an hour of meditation. And although my current instructor expects us to be quiet and mentally prepare for each class when we arrive, we don't actively practice this as a group. And, I miss that experience.
Nothing can replace that moment of quiet, stillness you experience. It really is one of the sweetest things I've known, and doing so at home just doesn't even come close. When I am here I think more about cleaning or chores, or just sitting and relaxing and even if I do sit and try to meditate I'm interrupted. By my thoughts, by noises and by the cats.
They either circle quite close, or try to climb into my lap or sit nearby trying to figure out just what I'm doing (i.e. heavy kitty breathing in the dark). I know that this is an opportunity to go deeper, to focus more, and let go of my surroundings but it doesn't happen. It doesn't happen simply because I do not practice at home. So, I need to make that focus, a goal, an accomplishment for the year. And, I will.
And the winner is...#2! She won me over with her talent portion of the competition, so yes indeedy...my January goal is blogging! And, so far, so good. I'll admit the bar is a little low right now, and it would be easy to just match or beat the number of posts from last year in one fell swoop. I spent so much time last year thinking about blogging, planning to blog and just not doing it.
One primary reason was that the intent of this blog was to talk exclusively about belly dancing in Austin, and focus on Mirage in general. I hesitated on many occasions to post because I wanted to talk about other things, other interests and other ideas. It didn't seem appropriate to use this blog as the vehicle for my thoughts and ideas even though I've been the sole source of information for the troupe. So, my solution? Two blogs.
Yes, let that sink in for a moment. Crazy you may say to the woman who has been unsuccessful with one blog...well, I laugh at that, and you...and myself. So, if you want to hear more about my other life, my other new year's goals and just general stuff, you'll have to join me here. Otherwise, you can stay with me here and I'll do my best to let you in on more belly dance secrets. Of course, you can read both if you really love me ;-)
By the way, if you're wondering why I don't have any belly dance items on my list of goals. That's simple...I don't need a list for the things I'm already doing. For example, I get to practice dance four days a week...for a minimum of 8 hours a week. I am so fortunate to have multiple performance opportunities, and opportunities for workshops and seminars. I also have a wonderful community of belly dance friends, performers, and students to keep me actively engaged, creatively inspired, and delightfully amused. So here's to a wonderful new year of dance and exploration!
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Here's what you may have missed so far:
- I have a list of goals for this year.
- One of the goals includes blogging (or perhaps regular blogging...or consistent blogging...)
- This blog is designed to help me in that process.
One could argue that blogs are just an extension of my own identity and the belly dancer in me and the non-belly dancer are still parts of me and should coexist in one blog. I'll argue that it's not so simple. My motivation behind the Mirage blog is quite different from a goal of telling stories about myself. One is aimed at promoting the troupe, increasing interest, telling stories and giving ourselves a different voice than other dancers. The other, this one, is completely and totally a shameless self-promotion. All of that, just in case you were curious.
I wouldn't be human this time of the year if I didn't sit down and reflect upon the past year and make resolutions for the new one. Personally I've never really liked resolutions, I prefer the term 'goals'. A resolution seems very definitive, with no room for alterations whereas a goal can be modified, changed, and updated. I actually started coming up a with a list of goals in December and had a wonderful pipe dream of posting my equivalent of the '12 days of Christmas' which included my 12 goals and focus for the new year. For those of you who've checked this blog, you'll notice that they never materialized in 2008.
However, here they are, in no particular order. The plan is to work on one thing each month with the hope that it will be a habit, an integral part of my life...or just something I can check off the list. I haven't made a final decision on which one will be the poster child for January, but I have some strong front-runners for that award. I'll keep you posted on which one I choose, along with my explanations for why I chose each of these items for this year. For now, just wish me luck or let me live in my happy oblivion for just a little while longer, that is until the work and chores get the best of me!
- Do the dishes (more consistently).
- Practice my martial arts.
- Put up the laundry.
- Make my bed.
- Take better care of my skin.
- Take better care of my feet.
- Clean my desk off regularly at work.
- Keep in touch with friends and family.
- Pack my lunch 1-2 times a week, and cook at home more often.
- Manage all my receipts.
Friday, January 2, 2009
On my last trip to Pei Wei, I went for the first two cookie attempts to find the fortune(s) that I was satisified with. They seemed to speak to each other:
- A lifetime of happiness lies ahead of you.
- You will get what your heart desires
Perfect for the start of the new year! However, I should have stopped after those two. My third one was less cheery and more puzzling:
Be careful! Straight trees often have crooked roots.Hmmm, I like both straight and crooked trees. One you admire for it's grace the other for it's character. And, I do believe they all have crooked roots somewhere, it's just nature. Well, maybe I should have either stopped at two cookies...or perhaps gone for four...
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Like so many others, I love reading fortune cookies. I do not however subscribe to the belief that there is only one fortune available per dining experience. That may help explain why I love eating at Pei Wei. Although I still deeply mourn the loss of their udon noodles with spinach, I can have as many fortunes (and cookies) as I wish. And in fact, I do.
I know you think that by now, I've forgotten you...moved on, and found another. Well, I'm here to say that you've always been on my mind even if I haven't shown that by my actions. It's been a busy year, and I admit that I have been busy 'doing' versus 'blogging' and that you've been left behind in the process.
On this first day of the new year, I suggest that we forget past indiscretions and focus on a more fulfilling relationship in 2009. I realize that you've been the victim here, just waiting with nothing else to do...but I promise to make it up to you, invite more people over, I even redecorated a little. So, can we give it another try...pretty please?