The content of this blog is comprised of my own opinion. If you want to voice your opinion, go get your own blog.

December 5, 2016

Some shopping done, tree up & decorated

I've had most of my ornaments for many years...

Part of the fun is the memories of past Christmas's ~ good and not so good

I notice that past "not so good" Christmas's ~ for me ~ are just as cherished as the really great ones.  Many times I end up feeling thankful that we have made it through those times.  It wasn't that the holiday was bad, it was the circumstances around it.  It feels pretty good to look back and see that we are all still together with love.

Shopping is another matter.  So difficult.  When my kids were young, you always had a finger on what they were enjoying....and many times you could entice them to write a letter to Santa to aid you in what to get.  With my autistic grandson, I always have to think about it, and look at suggestions online.  Last year his Daddy and I bought the same gift.  This year he is a bit older, but not a lot more vocal.  And I don't live nearby so that I can get clues from what he plays with.  Once I bought a big farm tractor for him ~ his Dad loved those ~ he played with it for 5 minutes, and then left it sitting in the corner ~ probably forever ~ which taught me that I need to think harder on what he might enjoy.  My son promises to send me a few ideas, and I do have a few of my own based on pics of him that I get every month...usually involved in something.  One was dancing, which was really adorable, but I promise not to get him a karaoke machine, lol.

Then there is Mom, who is a difficult to buy for in a completely different way.  She no longer sews, reads, or gets out much.  She rarely cooks ~ mostly she guides her caregiver as he cooks.  Buying her clothes is totally out of the question.  Sis and I laugh about it, and talk over options.  I managed to finish shopping for her, and need to mail it off next week.  I am counting on Amazon for my grandson and son who live in Texas.

Enjoy your week!
Love, 365

December 4, 2016

I sent a letter....but not to Santa.

My coworker is warming up a frozen cake.....she was hungry....and it's cake

What a week.  It started off rather snarky, but morphed into a more "normal" (what ever that is) routine.  Actually it improved after the OM left for her month long trip to India.  (and yes, I agree, that a month in India might be 28 days too long)  

I wrote a letter to the Dean of Students, the Dean of the Arts & Sciences, and the Provost of UNM.  The main point of the letter:

It has been my experience that UNM does not value the working, non-traditional student, which is exclusionary despite a policy of inclusion.    

.....the impetus for the letter?  A history class I registered for the spring.  The following weekend after registration I received an e-mail that "a class you registered for doesn't actually exist", and you will need to re-register for the class which ~ instead of being from 5pm to 7:30 on Tuesdays, it will now be on Tues & Thurs from 11am to 12:15.  This change in the schedule puts the class out of my reach as far as work goes, and this class was basically the cornerstone of my spring schedule.  Frack.  On the plus side, the 8 week course in history, which I was wait-listed on, opened up and I was able to get in.  I am both excited and terrified ~ this is a full 3 credit course, which means I will be extremely busy for 8 weeks.  

     I did receive a response the next day from the Dean of Arts & Sciences ~ who is apparently the head honcho for the history department ~ he simply asked me how many hours I need in history, and a day later I received an e-mail from the head honcho of the history department.  Part of her e-mail included this statement:

     I will also make note that while 4pm is technically the beginning of the EWDP offerings, we must be aware classes after 5pm are better for most students.  According to the registrar, the new on-pattern start times for classes for EWDP are: 4pm, 5:30pm, and 7pm.

Well, that's nice.  I wish I knew what EWDP means.  I tried to google it and came up with nothing.  I think e=evening and w=weekend (although the only weekend classes I've ever seen were exercise classes).  D & P?  Your guess is as good as mine.  And although they have classes that start at 4pm and 5:30pm, I've never seen a class in history that starts at 7:30.  Not sure I would take one, as I would probably nod off about 8.  ha ha  At any rate, I wish I had written this letter two years ago.  Although I still have my doubts how much of a difference it will make in the class schedule in the future.  Call me cynical.  

Someone posted this on apt.

Love, 365

November 30, 2016

The good and the bad.....

So, I spent 2 hours at the gym tonight.....

Then I come home and eat a BLT.

And it was freakin delicious.  

November 25, 2016

Yep.......and nope......

Have you ever had to write something important, only to discover your head is filled with horrible cliches and banalities, and you couldn't be serious or eloquent if your life depended on it?

Ok, I've managed a bit more than this....but haven't quite managed much meaningful dialogue..

I think I've written before on how hard serious writing (like in, you know, totally serious, right?) is for me.  I struggle.  A sentence is written, rewritten, edited some more, and eventually discarded because I lost my initial focus.  Typical.  Most times, I write a few, go play Candy Crush, or some such game for half an hour, then go back and write a little more.  Sometimes this works well.  Sometimes I shut down the computer and come back to it later.  Other times I just delete the whole thing and decide it's not worth the trouble.  However, this time it's important but won't necessarily be viewed as such by the recipient.  Such is life, eh?

Happy Post Thanksgiving

I hope all of you enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday!  We enjoyed the meal I spent two days putting together.  Now I have a legit excuse not to cook for at least a day or two.  

Spent part of the day talking to my Mom and Sis.  Mom was doing well despite the Lewy Body dementia.  Since her caregiver wasn't in at the time we spoke, I could tell she was struggling with recalling words and places.  It didn't seem to bother her too much, but it did confirm for me that she depends on him a lot to help when she's having conversations.  My Sis is doing well, she will have her last day at work on 12/23, and then will have some down time until the work from home (insurance underwriter) jobs start up sometime around February or so.  Yesterday I booked a trip to visit my eldest son & grandson, my Mom and Sis as well.  I was able to schedule a round trip flight with a rental car much cheaper on Allegiant than Southwest.  There are some serious limitations to flying with Allegiant though.  I can only travel on Thursday or Sunday.  I can fly to Austin, but not San Antonio.  On the plus side, it's a direct flight, and my son lives in Austin!  I will report on it afterward, but I'm not flying out until February....

So, back to my writing.  I admit, I'm using you as a warm up....

Love, 365

November 21, 2016

I can handle you, Monday......

Feeling a little squirrelly

I didn't have the greatest of weeks last week, but I'm in luck.....this week I only have to work one day.  The Tuesday before Thanksgiving is one of our annual office cleaning days.  After work, we break out the mops and vacuums, cleaning solutions and rags and clean the office from top to bottom.  In return, we have Wednesday off with pay.  And of course Thanksgiving is one of our paid holidays.  We're off on Friday, but I have to either take a vacation day for pay or not.  I opted to save my vacation days for some other day.  It helps that Romeo is working.  Our financial situation has improved, and I am thankful that I have that option.  

Yesterday I had an e-mail from our professor that he has cancelled classes for this week!  Woo hoo, I don't have to consider my baking schedule around class.  Now I can stay in my pj's all day if I want to, and take my time baking pie and rolls for Thanksgiving.  It's really nice to have the day before free to take care of some of the more time consuming aspects of a foodie holiday.  

Yesterday I made Boston brown bread ~ I hadn't made any in a few years, and spotted the container I purchased over 20 years ago in the cabinet.  It's usually made in a coffee can, but mine is a heart shaped piece of pottery, with the recipes inside for the bread and a fruit pudding (which I never made because it sounded awful).  It is easy to make, but you need to steam it ~ apparently during colonial times not everyone had an oven.  It's a mixture of rye, whole wheat and cornmeal, with buttermilk and molasses.  It's a heavy, dense bread, flavored mostly by the molasses.  Even though I forgot about the pan and it boiled dry, the bread still came out well.  It might be a little overly browned (ha ha, read burned), but I haven't reached the bottom yet.  I'm meeting with Prof. S today at 2, and plan to make another batch & give to him for the Thanksgiving holiday.  If they don't like it, the birds will, lol.

Well, gotta run.  Have a happy Thanksgiving!
Love, 365

November 19, 2016

I tattled......

Google images

Uh oh.  I did it.  And now I have the shit storm tornado to deal with.

There are four of us that work the front desk.  Each Doctor has two front desk people, of which I am one.  One of my co-workers has been there for a year, and I've been there for almost two.  Of the other two, one has been there for 5 years, the other for much longer than that.  

When I started working there, I asked why we weren't charging the tax on the copayments as we had at my previous workplace.  Which was it's own shitstorm as my coworkers were unhappy that they would have to do so much more work.  I was baffled at their complaints, as figuring out the tax takes approximately 15 seconds or so.  It's a percentage.  Really, what it so difficult?  Well, time marches on, and everyone seemed to figure out the easiest way to do it.  Except, that, over the past few months, I noticed that tax wasn't being added consistently.  Finally, I went to our OM (office manager) and mentioned that I was baffled as to why tax wasn't being added (because that means the Doc has to pay it) in every instance.  Which led to a staff meeting where this was discussed.  I admit the OM handled very well, making sure no one was pointed out.  Until one of the long term front desk people mentioned that she didn't bother when the copay was under $30.  Then the Doc pipes up and says "Oh, so then I'm paying the tax?" and understandably requests that we make sure that we add the tax to every copay, no matter how small, because over time, it really adds up.  

So, she gets really pissed.  And then later asks me if I'm the one who spoke to the OM about it.  And I  said "yes, I did", and that's when the shit hit the fan.  I spoke to the OM that day at lunch time outside of the office as I didn't want to throw gasoline on the flames.  She actually said that I probably shouldn't have admitted it, and that I could have said that the OM noticed while reviewing reports.  Maybe.  Perhaps.  But I'm afraid that's just not me.  If someone says "did you do this" and I did, I admit it, for good or ill.  I guess my mother's lessons on honesty worked, lol.

I won't go into the problems this has caused me with the two longer term coworkers.  However, in a stupid attempt to patch things up I did go to each one and tell them that I regret that I didn't ask them first.  To which the longer term individual was gracious.  The 5 year coworker leaned down and said nastily "Oh, we aren't angry (?), but we will never trust you again".  If she could have shot lasers out of her eyes, I would be cinders by now.  Not angry my ass.  

So, what's really got me up in arms is that I am the one being punished when they were the ones in the wrong.  Perhaps they should have asked themselves why I didn't approach them.  And it's really cold up there now.  I think I'm gonna have to bring a little heater to put under my desk.

Love, 365

November 15, 2016

Yep, I can bake.....

Triple berry cinnamon bread

I like to bake.  I like to cook too, and have some awesome recipes that I consider signature: Louisiana gumbo (with sausage, chicken and shrimp), beef carbonnade (great fall/winter dish), King Ranch chicken.  But, give me a challenge of a cake, cookies, pie, etc., and that's when I'm at my happiest.  

Ultimate coconut cake
3 layers, creamy custard in between, with torch browned meringue frosting

Chocolate raspberry tartlets

Of course my family loves these creations.  Some I do on a regular basis, some are only once or so a year on a special occasion.  My cookies are sublime.  But there is a price to be paid.  And no, it's not gaining weight (ha ha).  No, the price is that ones reputation gets around.  And the next thing you know, people are asking you to bake something for them.  My racquetball friends have asked that I bake for every ones birthday, you know "since I bake all the time anyway" and I only need to bring a piece for the birthday person.  It's cool, it's not that often....but why does it always seem to happen when I'm at my busiest?  And why do I open my mouth and ask said person what they would like?  Especially when they ask for the carrott cake that takes me 3 hours to do.  Even worse is when I volunteer myself to bake a pie ~ like I am at this very minute ~ for a co-worker who happened to mention she didn't really like cake for her birthday?  I guess I'm just a sucker who loves to bake....and make people happy.  So, if you're like me, I suggest you keep your baking obsession a secret, or embrace the chaos.....

Love, 365