Bake Quest Ideas Needed for March

It’s that time again.    I have a few things to throw out there.  While we usually choose three ingredients for the month would anyone be open to maybe selecting a certain item, like homemade bread or some kind of regional cuisine?  If not we could stick with our three ingredients. 

Thoughts?  Suggestions?  Ideas?  I’m all ears!  🙂

The Road To Contentment

Earlier this year I had the radio on and the lady broadcaster challenged listeners to pick a word that would define the year ahead.  I chose content.  While it seems such a subtle gentle statement, so far it seems harder to achieve than one would think. 

I read a couple of blog entries this week including Flamingo Dancer’s Floating On A Sea of Tranquility.  If you haven’t read the link mentioned yet, please do.  I read it with a tear in my eye.  It struck me so profoundly that I printed it out and have read it several times.  I so applaud her for arriving to that awareness.

In a little less than two months I will turn 43.  This feels like such a transitional time.  While I won’t bore you with tales of woe from the past few years (or unless you are really interested check out those past blog entries for whats still public) I know those experiences have forever changed me, my husband and our marriage.  Instead of feeling like these obstacles became great accomplishments, I feel drained instead.  My inner cheerleader has checked out. 

Last night I had a dream that I was back in Boston with the old crew.  We were at a restaurant sitting cozily in this booth.  There was wine and much laughing and joking.  My old friends were there as well as a few cast members from Jersey Shore who tend to frequent more of my care free dreams for some reason.  I was dressed in my old clothes; the same ones that I know I should really give away as they are way too short for a woman in her 40s.  I woke up with a sense of longing so strong I could have cried.  There are times I feel like I would walk through hell in gasoline panties to have those times back. 

My husband’s job has been so sporadic with its hours that I’ve really fallen into my own routine that he has had to catch up with.  Yeah, it sucks waking up alone but a year ago he wasn’t working at all so I’ll just stop right here.

Despite this, I know that I’ve made changes that are moving me and ultimately us, in the right direction.  Things are just not moving quickly enough for my liking.  If you read my last post you’ll see that patience hasn’t been one of my strong points lately. 

Well, I’m trying to reward my efforts.  So much has been accomplished.  We saved our home from foreclosure and there are so many other things.  One thing I’ve set a goal on is treating myself to something each week.  Even if it is something as small as a cafe latte at Starbucks.  The dress I had posted about over a week ago was one of those treats.  In addition to that, I’ve committed myself to do one home project on the weekends.  This past weekend I placed together an accordion file for this year’s bills.  Now it was not the most glamorous of jobs (they seldom are), it was something that needed to be done and will help keep us organized going forward.

Maybe this is normal to feel at my age.  We don’t have children to count milestones on with.  There just seems to be this mild confusion of needing to be somewhere and I haven’t been able to figure it out yet.  Hubby seems to be content with all that is going on around him so at least we both aren’t trying to figure something out.  I say ‘figure it out’ but at the same time I’m not 100% sure what it is I’m trying to figure out.  Make sense?  No?  Not to me either. 

So maybe the road to contentment isn’t a place that is reached in the neck breaking speed of a Porsche Boxster but is reached after a long walk full of baby steps and hopefully a few leaps (of faith). 

Maybe its time to invest in some new walking shoes.

Happy Hump Day!

Wednesday already?  Not that I’m complaining but I haven’t posted about the weekend yet.  It was, as predicted, a rainy weekend.  Hubby got in late Friday night so we went out to dinner.  The place was so incredibly loud that we could barely hear each other.  Saturday I did the normal things; gym, groceries, etc…  I met a homeless man while I was coming out of the grocery store.  He told me he and his family lived behind the store.  I asked him if he was aware of all that is available to him in town.  He said he was a frequent visitor of the local soup kitchen.  He said he was waiting for his disability to come in and then rolled up one of his dirty pant legs to reveal a horrific swelling in one of his legs.  Apparently during brighter days while working he suffered a broken shin bone and it healed up without any treatment leaving him with a limp and severe disfiguration.  Man, you never realize how good you have it.  When I asked him why he and his family were living behind the store he told me that they had looked into a shelter but where he has a daughter that they would all be separated.  He introduced himself to me and shook my hand.  His name is Joe.  Then he joined someone else homeless in the parking lot and they walked away.  I left feeling like there was more I should have done.

The Weasel went to the vets on Saturday afternoon.  We drove through a torrential downpour and passed a motorcycle funeral procession on the way.  The Weasel was so active in the car that I had to really pay attention to the road.  At one point I had to pry her off the steering wheel while reminding her to leave the driving to the one human in the car that has eyesight.  Once there the vet was as amazed as I hoped he’d be regarding her recovery.  Unfortunately she hasn’t gotten her eyesight back and the vet seems to think she probably won’t at this point.  He also said that surgery isn’t needed at this point which is also great news.

We were supposed to go the Quinceanera of a friend of a friend but of course given the weather decided to stay in.  The rest of our weekend was pretty uneventful to say the least.  I never did hear back from the friends about the trip to Monument Valley so I’m unsure if we are still going or not.

Monday I went to the gym.  I’m still doing the Latin dance classes there.  This particular class gets packed quickly so it is important that one arrive early.  You can’t enter the gym without checking in at the front desk first with your key card.  Several times now when I’ve arrived there is only one person behind the desk checking people in.  It never fails that someone forgets their key card and the attendant needs to search for them manually in the system.  They rattle off their addresses, phone numbers, first-born, etc…  This was the case Monday night.  Then the phone rings so the attendant stops to take the call.  The line was out the door.  I could see into the class area that people were already filtering in.  Patience was definitely not my virtue that evening.   Now when they know that a class that usually has 80-100 attendees in it is about to start wouldn’t it stand to reason that their front desk area be fully manned?   Seems like a no-brainer to me. 

So I did what any fed-up person would do.  I walked out of the line and headed towards the sacred inner sanctum.  I felt freedom.  I felt joy.  Yay!  Of course I’d check in later.  No sirens were sounding.  No muscle-headed juice heads were assembling for attack. 

Warning!  Warning!  Ornery blond approaching gym!  Intercede with caution!

No, there was none of that.  The smile faded from my face when I heard this:


I knew instantly he was referring to me.  I turned around and now the whole line of people were staring at yours truly.  I figured I was either their new hero for the day or the new wonder byotch in work-out gear. 

“Are you the only one working here?” I asked, trying hard to not sound annoyed.

“Yes,” he replies with a smile.  “I’ll get you checked in in just a second.” 

So I go back to my place in line fully aware of the eyes that are boring holes in my hot pink t-shirted back.  Given that my ‘give a damn’ was vacationing in Fiji without me I took it in stride.  Hubby and I joked about it later on when I got home.  I’m not usually one to make a scene but hey, if it spreads light on the fact that the darn front desk needs to be fully manned during high traffic hours then so be it.  I really hope he told his manager on me.  I really do.

Well, the new dress arrived today.  This is the one I posted about a few weeks ago.  Yay!  I guess I know what I’ll be wearing tomorrow to work.  🙂

Friday, in a nutshell


I for one am happy that it is Friday.  The week did go by pretty fast though which is always a good thing.  Now if we could only get the weekends to pass a little more slowly. 

Low Class

Today I tried to sign up for a Personal Finance class and yet again this class is canceled due to low or zero enrollment.  So now this is 2 for 2.  What is up?  Are people not signing up for classes anymore?  I’d think this would be an important one right now.  Anyways, there are two other classes on the same topic in a different location that start at the end of March.  Surely someone will sign up by then.  Hopefully.  So much for personal enrichment!

Weasel Update

The Weasel goes to the vet tomorrow.  Again I stand in amazement of her recovery.  I think she may even be getting some of her eyesight back.  The other night I could tell that something on the kitchen floor had gotten her attention.  When I went to inspect I discovered that she had caught a beetle and was eating it.  I’m not sure if she saw its movement or maybe she heard it as her other senses may be making up for the lack of eyesight.  Last night I picked her up and moved a shiny piece of jewelry in front of her face.  She seem to follow it.  Gosh, I hope she is at least getting some of it back.  We’ll see what the vet says tomorrow. 

Let’s Make It Rain!

We are expecting rain all weekend.  Hooray!  Outside the sky is clouding up with thicker gray clouds moving in from over the horizon.  In a place that only sees rain about 14 days out of any given year, this is a good thing.  Any desert dweller will tell you the same thing.  Here is what we do in the rain:

  • Walk, never run.
  • Wonder where the heck we placed that umbrella thingy.
  • Cancel any appointments because it is just too treacherous to drive.
  • Sit and listen to the sound of it hitting the Spanish tiles on the roof  –it makes such a wonderful sound.
  • Watch the birds play and the palms sway from the safety of the kitchen window.
  • Thank God for the free car wash because everything outside here is usually coated with a fine layer of dust at all times.
  • Forget where the wiper switch is on the car because they are seldom used.
  • Realize that the wiper blades need to be replaced because the sun has long since destroyed them.  Also recall that the last time it rained (6 months ago) that you said you needed to replace them before it rained again.
  • Grab a good book or magazine and spend the day inside.

An Arizona State of Mind

 We are in the midst of planning a couple of weekend getaways.  One place we’ve never been to together despite its close proximity, is the Grand Canyon.  We found somewhat of an all-inclusive that includes a train ride to the Canyon as well as hotel stay and a few meals.  This will be to celebrate our 5 year anniversary.  Friends of ours have wanted to see Monument Valley before they move out-of-state so we have been trying to coordinate plans to go.  This time I will have a much better camera.  Speaking of Monument Valley, I happen to be perusing through the latest issue of Arizona Highways magazine and lo and behold there was an article on no one other than Susie, the 90-year-old Navajo woman I met last summer while visiting.  Apparently she had been in several old westerns and even had her picture used on a snack food bag that came in a southwest flavor.  The article detailed her life.  It was quite amazing.  Here is a shot from last summer:

Running With The Nuns – Take 2

On the fitness front, Athletica and I are running another race in a few weeks called The Nun Run.  We were supposed to do this last year but just never got around to signing up.  I don’t think I would have been in any shape to even think of running this then.  Right now I am 1.5 lbs away from having lost 30 lbs this past year.  Wow.  A whole year may seem slow but this wasn’t so much a diet I’m doing as much as it is a lifestyle change.  

High Yield vs. Low Yield – Who Knew?

We had a minor hiccup at work this week.  The main printer I use seems to be on the blink.  We’ve had it serviced now three times in the past couple of months.  I noticed that we seem to be going through an awful lot of toner the past month or so.  I do massive amounts of printing but it still shouldn’t be running out at the rate is has been.  So yesterday ladies and gentleman, I learned the difference between low yield and high yield toners.  I switched toner suppliers because of the great price they could give us over the old supplier.  Little did I know that we were only receiving less than half of what we were getting thus costing us more in the long run.  So now we are back to using the old supplier.  Unfortunately in my ignorance I thought we had plenty of time with the cartridge that had just been installed.  Not so.  Luckily the old supplier has offered to drop one off at my place of business.  I am at a stand-still without this printer working.

And finally I leave you with a picture of Pee-Wee Herman for no other reason than I like Pee-Wee Herman.  Have a nice weekend all.  😉

My Other Half…

While I’ve gotten away from posting personal pics lately I found this one of my husband yesterday while reviewing some pictures I had saved on my computer.   I like that it really captures the essence of who he is.  In less than two months we will celebrate 5 years of marriage.

He loves his dogs and as you can tell, they love him.  The little white one is of course our Abby and the other two belong to hubby’s parents.

Something I Treated Myself To

After finding a dress I liked in a catalog back in the Fall and holding onto that catalog for the right time to come, I finally ordered the dress.  I initially envisioned it being paired up with black boots and tights.  I may only now be able to wear it for a month or so before it gets too warm (and then paired up with sandals and no tights  –it’s an Arizona thing) but I’ll be happy to manage just that.