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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Wild Woman

That's me - living on the edge. Brazenly disregarding all the rules, marching to the beat of my own drummer. I throw convention to the wind and laugh in the face of commonly accepted wisdom.

How, you may ask? Let me tell you so you can be amazed by my carefree ways.

They say you should never cook with a wine you wouldn't drink. Recently, I came across such a bottle of wine. And because I didn't want to waste it, I cooked with it.

See? Totally wild and crazy of me.

I used it to make Red Wine Reduction Steak Sauce last Friday. Then, in order to up the ante, I didn't even follow the recipe exactly. This is because the recipe calls for three different kinds of onions (red, yellow, and shallots). After two kinds of onions, I was in tears and I told Joe that if the recipe was a failure, I was pretty sure neither of us would say "know what this is missing? One more kind of onion!". I also refused to "discard the vegetables". Are they nuts? I spent forever chopping and crying while I prepared those veggies. Not to mention they aren't cheap. So I left them in and poured them over the steak and mashed potatoes.

And then, as if THAT weren't enough craziness, I totally used the rest of that Merlot in spaghetti sauce last night. I KNOW! I dared tempt fate TWICE by cooking with wine not fit to drink.

All that devil-may-care attitude of railing against conventional wisdom resulted in two very yummy dinners. So they can play by the rules if they like. But I will continue to boldly go where no (sane) man has gone before.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Cuteness

Do you think squirrels have those crazy fluffy tails just so they don't look like giant rats? I mean, they really aren't ALL that different. And yet somehow squirrels are kinda cool in the backyard while massive rats would not be quite-so-much.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Six Word Saturday

taking control and it feels amazing


Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).



Monday, March 21, 2011

The Unthinkable

It's been years since this last happened, but it happened again on Saturday night. In fact, this is only the third time in history it's EVER happened.

We opened a bottle of wine and hated it so much that we didn't drink it.

I KNOW!!!

Sure, we've opened a bottle with dinner and realized it didn't pair well with whatever we were eating. Usually in that case it's a white wine that's a little sweeter than we want with the meal so we just set it aside and drink it later. We call those "porch wines" and they are nice for sipping after dinner or in the afternoon.

But this time, undrinkable. We thought it was a poor pairing with the burgers we had made, even though the recipe book recommended Merlot. Or perhaps our palettes were a bit compromised by the pre-dinner gin and tonic. Either way, the wine tasted like grape cough syrup. We poured our glasses back into the bottle and put it aside to try again later.

Later came. It STILL tasted like grape cough syrup.

And now this bottle of Merlot is mocking me from its perch on the kitchen counter. What to do with it? We can't serve it to guests or give it away now that we've poured our tasted glasses back into the mix. I hate to just pour it down the sink (which is what we did with the LAST two bad bottles). I'm going to try to use it in a recipe of some sort. I know they say to only cook with a wine you'd drink but I tend to think that's rubbish. And at this point, I'm running out of other options.

Unless you'd like to come over and join me on my porch for a glass of slightly-used Merlot!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Six Word Saturday

so many beautiful flowers blooming, achoo!


Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).




Friday, March 18, 2011

Collagen Injections on a Budget

This is the time of year when my lips start to rival those scary things on the faces of certain celebs. But rest assured - no collagen injections for this girl. Nope, I do it the old-fashioned way: allergies.

Just like so many others, Spring is a miserable time for me with my allergies. And since I'm allergic to a lot of things, all year round (including Tonya & Rusty), this time of year is even worse.

My doctor compared allergic reactions to a bucket. The bucket is your body's ability to cope with allergens. The more allergens you're exposed to, the closer that bucket is to overflowing. Most of the year, my meds keep the bucket under control, including living with two kitties. But during the Spring? Flowers and trees and grass and pollen overwhelm my little bucket and suddenly we need a clean-up on aisle two.

And so I grow extremely itchy and tingly and swelly in three specific areas. My hands, my eyes, and my lips. Mostly, I'm sure, due to petting the kitties and then touching my face.

But, hey, people pay a lot of money for that whole swollen lip look. And I'm getting it for free, which works much better with my current budget. Jealous?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Playing Doctor

My final physical therapy appointment was this morning. It was supposed to be a re-evaluation and discussion about my options going forward. Should I continue PT? Should we try something else? Should I just workout on my own? Unfortunately, the therapist didn't get the memo so it was just a regular appointment of walking me through the different weight machines. I thought maybe that was her way of assessing me, but at the end it was clear that she thought I still had a bunch of appointments scheduled and she'd see me next time.

I did my own re-evaluation at that point, because I'm super-qualified. I think the first month of appointments was great - they spent a lot of time doing trigger point therapy and giving me exercises to do at home. The second month has been almost all working on the machines, which was okay, but not as helpful. So in my expert opinion, I'm done with PT. There's no point in continuing to pay them $20 per appointment in addition to my gym membership fee, which gives me access to all of the same machines.

I also used my expertise to decided I'm not going back to the doctor that originally prescribed the PT. This is mostly because my last appointment lasted only ten minutes, in which I never saw the doctor but the nurse gave me two shots in my lower back. The shots made a nice difference. But not a $940 difference, which is what they billed my insurance for the visit. This included $800 in charges for "surgery". When I questioned the billing department about it, they told me not to worry about it because I wouldn't have to pay all that, that's just what they were billing the insurance. Oh, ok, that makes it totally ethical and acceptable then!

In place of this medical care, I prescribe myself four days a week at the gym and twice daily continued pt exercises. I also prescribe cardio by way of cleaning this pigsty we call a house. In addition, caution shall continue to be exercised with my back. And some weight loss certainly wouldn't hurt.

I'm taking charge now. It's a whole lot cheaper. And hopefully a whole lot more beneficial.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Lunch Order

As I snacked on a piece of cheese after finishing up some mustardy egg salad today, I had a sudden flashback to eating cheese sandwiches as a kid. Not grilled cheese. Just cheese, on bread, with mustard. Preference: sharp cheddar cheese and yellow mustard. Maybe even some butter. My dad would always ask if I wanted some "meat" (aka bologna, which I refuse to acknowledge as an actual meat) but I was quite content with my cheese sandwich.

My sister's favorite sandwich was open-faced, peanut butter with sugar. Because peanut butter doesn't have enough sugar in it to begin with, she'd then put on a generous sprinkle of sugar. By which I mean she'd load it with sugar until no additional sugar would stick. THEN she would decide it was acceptable to eat.

Still, our favorite sandwiches are pretty "normal" compared to my brother's preferred lunch. Unlike me, he loved bologna sandwiches. His condiment of choice was grape jelly. For years, that's all he would eat for lunch. Bologna and jelly. So gross.

I blame our weird sandwiches on my dad. He was an equal opportunity sandwich lover. He'd put just about anything between two slices of bread. However, all of his sandwiches had one thing in common - one corner always had mayo. Even if it was pb&j. Why? It wasn't because he had a mayo obsession. It was because none of his children had developed a taste for mayo yet. In fact, we all hated it. Putting mayo on one corner of his sandwich meant he'd gladly give us a bite if we asked. It also guaranteed we wouldn't ask for more. (Joe always gives me a bite of food buried in wasabi or sriracha sauce.)

That doesn't work anymore with his adult children. But I have to wonder if he's recycling that trick on my niece and nephew. I know I would!

What weird combinations do you like to put between two slices of bread? Any tricks to keep your yummies to yourself so you don't have to share?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Six Word Saturday

Six words never felt so inadequate
What a week.  All put in perspective by the earthquake and tsunami yesterday.


Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).




Friday, March 11, 2011

Dreaming Reality

Last night, I had a dream that Joe and I were on vacation. He wanted to surf and I was worried because he's never surfed before. And also I was worried because that's just how I roll. When we reached the beach, the waves were massive, larger than anything we've ever seen before.

When I woke up, I grabbed Gwen (my Blackberry) and caught up on overnight tweets, where news of the earthquake and resulting tsunami dominated the stream.

My thoughts are with everyone affected in Japan and around the Pacific.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Diversity of Friends

This year hasn't been all sunshine and happiness for us (and for many others with much more serious issues). There has been job stress, my back pain, headaches, a frequently hospitalized father-in-law. I've shared bits here on the blog but I try to find humor when I write a post because I don't write to garner sympathy.

That's what Twitter is for! ;)

While technology has its drawbacks, I'm mostly grateful that it has made the world such a small place. I grew up in a sheltered out-of-touch environment where there was no diversity. The only non-Caucasian in our entire population was a Haitian girl adopted by one of the families in the church. I was taught that different was bad and we should avoid different at all costs. What a sad way to approach life!

And my Twitter pals are the best, partly because they are such a diverse bunch. Yesterday, for example, there was a fantastic discussion on the persecution of conservative Christians vs atheists. Friends from various backgrounds and beliefs talked about the issue with great respect for each other. It was the kind of conversation that benefits everyone by allowing for greater understanding.

I'm a better person for having access to such a diverse group of people. Among my group of friends are Christians, Buddhists, atheists, liberals, conservatives, singles, marrieds, polyamorists, students, professionals, mothers, fathers, artists, accountants, even a baby. They broaden how I see the world and how I relate to those around me. They give me a glimpse into their lives that are so different from my own and show me that we can connect based on commonalities and respect. They continually enrich my life with their amazing friendship.

This morning, I tweeted that my father-in-law is in the hospital yet again. Responses from my fabulous friends ranged from offers of prayer to positive thoughts to hugs to ears to listen to promises of distraction.

For a girl who suffers from anxiety and has a tough time making friends in-person, these friends are often my lifeline. And I thank them all for that.

P.S. #jazzhands

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Pot, Meet Kettle

me: I can't believe how many people were at the gym this morning. Don't these people have jobs?
Joe: Umm, and you're overly employed right now?
I really don't like admitting when he has a point.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Six Word Saturday

How many times do YOU count?

I'm referring, of course, to your 6WS entries.  We discussed this briefly on Twitter yesterday and it's amazing how many of us count and recount and count again.  The best answer probably came from @mstacer:
@Seansmoma six times, obviously. @showmyface #jazzhands
If you want to understand the REST of that? Join me on the twitter.


Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).




Friday, March 04, 2011

Signs from the Universe

Dear Universe -

I think you sent me a sign earlier this week but I just wanted to make sure. See, last time I thought you sent me a sign, it was really just a mischievous bartender.

After all, I've been looking for a sign. In fact, I spent that morning talking with a friend about all of the hard work we've put into a project and our frustration with it not paying off. We were both wishing for a sign that we should either keep on or perhaps set some boundaries for how long we would keep slaving away.

Then, that afternoon, I opened the window near my desk to enjoy the beautiful weather. A car pulled up along the side of my yard and a child hopped out. And then puked on my yard. Thanks to the open window, I not only saw the event but also heard the sound effects of this drive-by barfing.

So, Universe, was this a sign? Because, seriously, it's not really what I had in mind.

Thanks,

Thursday, March 03, 2011

First Fursday: Remember Me?

Hello there, humans! It's been a very long time since my long-haired human let me anywhere near the computer to write a post. Probably because she left her job. I'm not sure what that means except that she doesn't go away nearly as often and thinks she should pet me all day.

Anyways, for those of you who are too fried from catnip haven't had the pleasure of making my acquaintance yet, I am Tonya. Fluffy diva-cat extraordinaire. Sweetness in feline form. Let me straighten my halo while you do your job and provide me with some tuna. I live with this lady you call Cate and the short-haired human. And also with the stripy evil one called Rusty. It is Rusty whom I wish to speak about today.

As I grow older, wiser, and beautifuller, Rusty grows more jealous of my awesomeness. He hates it when my humans show me attention and retaliates by waiting until they watch that bright picture box-thing before he attacks me. It's violent and my lovely hair flies every which direction as I try to defend myself. I certainly don't wave my tail in his face to antagonize him!

One evening, the long-haired human lost her patience and decided to punish Rusty with jail time. She put him in his box, which is the same box that they use to transport us to the lady with the poky things once a year. Don't tell anyone but I'm actually a little envious of Rusty's box because his has a fancy sunroof and mine doesn't. Of course, he's too stupid to understand how good he has it.

After Rusty had served his sentence, short-haired human opened the top of his cage to let him out. Rusty immediately poked up his head through the roof. And then sat there. He even went so far as to smash his stupid empty head into the front door of the cage, waiting for the humans to open it. See what I mean about being too stupid? He sat in his cage for five whole minutes (which is like three days in cat-time) before he finally realized he was free. What a moron!

Anyways, maybe Rusty will post next month. Assuming he's not "stuck" in his box again.

Hisses, face eatings and all the cat hair you can eat,

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Not Amused

This morning, I find myself aggravated about something that has nothing to do with me. But, hey, it's my blog so why not?

Charlie Sheen has been all over the news lately. People are flocking to follow his Twitter account - as of this writing, he has 782,001 followers even though his account is less than 24 hours old. He's the topic of water cooler discussion and countless jokes.

Know what? I don't find Charlie Sheen funny. And here's why:

In addition to one adult daughter, he has four children under the age of seven. This man clearly has on-going issues with substance abuse. I saw someone tweet earlier that "I'm so glad the police came and took his twins away." Really? That's something to be glad about? Babies who aren't yet two years old being taken by police?

If Charlie Sheen was your uncle or your neighbor, you wouldn't be laughing and joking. You'd be praying he would get some real help and be well for the sake of those children.

Most of us get to have our meltdowns in private. While celebrities choose to be in the spotlight, that doesn't mean they aren't also real people with real issues. These aren't scripts and characters they are acting out for our entertainment. Maybe rather than parading them around on 20/20 or making them the top entertainment headline of every "news" show we should leave them to deal with their demons in peace. If your drunk uncle grabbed the microphone at a wedding and started spouting off the things that are coming from Charlie Sheen, you'd cut power to the mic and drag him off the stage. You wouldn't continue to enable him by signing him up for an encore performance.

This morning, I just find myself rubbed the wrong way by all of the people that choose to point and laugh at what is obviously a very sick man. Maybe instead of making a spectacle of him, we could go for a bit of compassion and think some kind thoughts for him and his family that he finally receives the help he needs to conquer these issues for good.

Maybe some of you disagree. Maybe you think I'm taking it too seriously. Or maybe we could all try for a bit of humanity.

End of rant.

P.S. In the time it took me to write this post, he added another 12,000 followers on Twitter. How sick.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Punch in the Pain-Related Awards

Screw the flowery opening - let's just get to it, shall we?

Dear Medco,

If you don't soon figure things out and send me my no-baby pills yesterday, I am going to send you my first born when I get knocked up because you won't provide my birth control. I have been fighting with you for MONTHS now on the timing, which has put us into this horrible cycle of you won't send them in time so I have to refill them locally (which costs me more) and therefore you move the fill date out even further. And I'm sick of it. SICK SICK SICK.

Perhaps you don't understand how birth control works. Let me explain it to you. I need the new pills on March 6th. Mailing them on March 10th? That doesn't work. That just gets me pregnant. Having your automated male voice call to tell me you aren't sending my pills on time just REALLY cheeses me off. I'm not one to generalize and hate on all men, but you are really pushing my buttons.

You fail at math, you fail at prescriptions, you fail at customer service, and you fail at life.

Hope you have access to pain meds for when you receive this award,


Dear Thing Outside That Sounds Like a Dying Animal,

Judging from that noise, you must be a very large beasty, perhaps the lovechild of a rhinoceros and a donkey. Or perhaps you are some sort of construction equipment. Whatever the case may be, I feel bad but I must admit that I wish you would just hurry up and die already so I don't have to listen to it anymore.

I have a headache,