December 29, 2013

Ugh.....

Felt like I was in the middle of one of these......

During my teens, I began to have migraine headaches that often made me feel nauseated.   Usually I would sleep them off, after being sick.  I didn't have them often ~ maybe 4 to 6 times a year, but I did visit a Dr, who referred me to a neurologist, who did scans of my brain ~ and didn't find anything (well, I believe my brain was actually present, ha ha).  I always attributed them to hormones.  Since my breast cancer, I have been taking a hormone suppressor, since my tumor relied on estrogen to grow ~ which reduced the number of migranes I'd been having.  I must say, I was happy to leave off on the few migranes I'd been having!  But, now I seem to have vertigo episodes, and lately they've been following exersizing. One happened while taking a yoga class, one when I was learning how to use the foam rollers at the gym for stretching.   The latest was yesterday, following a personal training session.  

Apparently, it's related to motion sickness ~ something I've always had.  Once I got sick in a rowboat on the lake (which is totally ridiculous).  When we drive up the mountain to hike Sandia Peak, I have to drive.  Roller coasters, or other rides at a carnival or theme park?  Forget about it ~ I don't even try.  The one and only time we had the opportunity to go to Disney Land, I let my husband talk me into a ride, which was a mistake.  We had to leave about 15 min later, or I was going to puke all over Mickey.  

I usually take a dose of meclizine to prevent being sick on airplanes (which has worked smashingly, as I haven't been airsick in a long time), but now I'm wondering if I need to take it before I go to the gym.  Or, let my trainer know before we start the next (& last) session.  Let me state for the record, I was excited about the 3 sessions I signed up for until yesterday.....

I suppose I should visit the Dr about checking out this issue, but I may visit my acupuncturist instead.  Maybe she can help, and I really hate taking meds.  Well, gotta go.  Sorry for the whine.....  :-)

Love, 365

December 26, 2013

Come on 2014.....!!!!!

I know how he feels....

Ahhhh, Christmas is done.  It went smashingly, the ribs we had for dinner were wonderful, the pie was fabulous.  We cleaned up, and watched a few shows on TV ~ generally vegged.  But as much as Christmas is a great season and all, I'm glad it's done.  Frankly, I'm happily awaiting 2014, because this hasn't been my best year ever, although it certainly hasn't been the worst - it ranks up there amoung the top.

Even though I don't usually make New Year's resolutions, I am going to make some this year, and none of the silly ones that you make and never intend to keep, like: I'm going to lose 20 pounds kind of thing.  Oh, I've done that kind of resolution.....it lasts about a month, then I jump off the wagon and set it on fire.  

Back to work tomorrow!  Man, I have got to get my car washed.....
Love, 365

December 22, 2013

December 15, 2013

Flamingos at the Albuquerque Zoo, Nov. 2013

~I have completed the majority of my Christmas shopping (yay!) thanks to Amazon.  Since most of my family lives in another state, and because I'm a procrastinator of the first degree, it's been wonderful to place the order, have them wrap it, and ship it.  I'm not sure I should support Amazon, but I do enjoy the convenience.....a tiny bit of research trounces Amazon for their lack of charitable giving, although one ratings website on employee happiness showed contented workers (although I'm not sure how accurate it is ~ my skepticism is showing).  I still have a few things I need to do for my Mom, but an impromptu search of William-Sonoma's web site showed their wonderful mac & cheese ramikens were on sale, so I sent an order of those to her.  If you've never tried them, they are wonderful, although a tad expensive, even keeping in mind they do come in porcelain dishes that are handy.  

~I am done for the semester (it was over on 12/4), and I did score an "A" in the class!  I have to admit I wasn't surprised because I thought the class was easy ~ not one single test.  3 grades: our op-ed piece, our primate enrichment project, and our final paper.  She had also said that attendance and participation counted, but I couldn't find any actual grade for that...   I do find writing difficult.  I did fairly well on the final paper, which is the first truly long paper I've had to write in college (14 pages).  

~Yesterday I made homemade marshmallows!  They turned out great too, and surprised me with their simplicity.  I'm making some more today, that will have some Bailey's in them - they're supposed to be placed on black coffee.  My son wants me to make them for his boss, who loves sweets.  I'm planning on giving the marshmallows to friends with a mug and some hot chocolate mix.  Scored a pretty mug on sale at Starbucks for 1/2 price - the hot chocolate mix was actually more than the mug. Somehow that seems wrong.......

~ Well, gotta run, have racquetball game in an hour!  Happy shopping, everyone!  

Love, 365

December 7, 2013

Oh! Christmas shopping season's greetings!

Snow!

Our Thanksgiving dinner was wonderful.  Just the three of us and my friend, Cheryl.  I was "thankful" (ha ha) that she brought the potato dish, because I don't eat them (I know) and never cook them.  My menfolk (husband and son) know that if they want me to pick up potatos at the store, I will do so, but they will have to cook them....as a result, I never receive that request :-).  I intended to put up the tree on Friday, but ended up doing practically nothing ~ including working much on my paper. I was a little upset at myself for not accomplishing more....
~Sunday: put tree together and plug in to check lights. 
~Monday: dig out the tree skirt and put the tree topper on.
~Wednesday: dig out the garland and put that on.
***still haven't finished decorating the tree.  Hopefully will do that tonight!

Why I don't like winter (other than snow).

-The potty seat is cold.
-Goosebumps
-Wearing sweaters, coats, scarves.
-The car warms up right about the time you arrive at your destination.
-The utility bill.
-Christmas shopping.
-Getting up at 5:30 to be at work at 6:45 when it's icy and cold.  

We did have about 6 inches of snow Thursday...it makes the season seem more, I don't know, Christmasy?  

Today is going to be busy, have to grocery shop, and I'm playing in a racquetball tournament, so I better get off my butt and get ready.  If you saw what my hair looked like at this moment, you'd probably scream.

Love, 365  


November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving is over, but feeling thankful is not!

I don't know who to credit for this (or where it was taken).  I stole it from Facebook, he he.

~As I ponder this sign, I wonder if my inability to knuckle down and work on the paper that's due in 5 days is due to my natural procrastination or maybe wondering if the stress of realizing that I need to finish it NOW is a creative process for me.  Nah, probably not.  Most likely I'll be kicking my own ass for not working on it more often in the past couple of weeks.  This always happens to me at the end of the semester.  I'm tired of it all, even if I thoroughly enjoyed the class.  I just want it to be over (& it will on 12/4).  I plan to write today, after I go to the gym.  It's a rare Friday that allows me to participate with the group that plays racquetball on Friday at noon, and I'm glad to have some time to enjoy doing something physical instead of sitting on my butt.

~Thanksgiving turned out very well.  The turkey was marvelous.  The homemade rolls delicious.  The potatoes my friend brought to dinner were great I guess ~ I don't eat potatoes but everyone else chowed down.  The only dish that wasn't quite up to par was the stuffing, which turned out a tad bit dry, but if you added enough gravy, it was good.  Next year I'll have to remember to add more chicken broth to up the moisture factor.  

~I am thankful for:
-My husband of nearly 34 years, who is my rock, friend, lover, soul mate.
-My Mom, who has taught me how to stand tall during the tough times.
-My family, who support me through thick and thin, good and bad, fun and sad.  I love them so.....
-My friends, who make me laugh when I'm sad, and allow me to help them when they need it.
-My dogs, who always love us all no matter what.  They're always ready to cuddle and play.  
-The ability to attend college, which is out of reach for so many.

Time to do some writing!  Enjoy your weekend!
Love, 365
-

November 23, 2013

I love coffee....


Oh, how I love thee, let me count the ways...

~For many years, I never drank coffee.  I was/am a tea drinker.  My Mom gave me tea in my bottle (a practice that I'm sure would be frowned upon these days, although I suppose it beats Kool-Aid and the like).   
~A friend/co-worker of mine (who now lives in Australia, working on her PhD) absolutely loved coffee, and couldn't understand anyone who didn't share her coffee habit.  She would croon (oh, yes she did!) over a good cup, and would constantly ask me if I wanted some.  
~Eventually I wanted to know what it was about coffee that created this obsession.  So, I tried it.  I had to work on it, experimenting with the combination of coffee, sweetener and cream until I found it.  Now, I can't imagine spending a day without having one or two cups.  Black?  No thanks.  But slightly sweet with a nice dollop of creamer?  Heaven.  
~I don't consider myself a coffee snob.  I use a plain Cuisinart coffee maker.  For awhile I bought the whole beans and would grind them just before making a pot.  But now I just purchase the ground coffee (or at Costco you can buy the beans and grind them in their machines, although the thought occurs to me to wonder : how often do they clean these machines?).  I occassionally go to Starbucks for a cup, a favorite indulgence when I'm grocery shopping.  
**Thank you, Candice, for turning me own to coffee!  Love you, girlfriend!

#####And now I must work on my final paper for class.  I have less than one page written, but I figure it's a start!

Enjoy the weekend!
Love, 365

November 17, 2013

Once upon a time.....

Courtesy of Huffington Post, Dan Snow

When I first decided to return to college to earn a bachelor's degree, my goal was to teach high school students science....biology to be precise.  I was/am literally "working" my way through while holding down a full time job and taking classes online, in the evening, and once on a Saturday (it's rare to find classes on the weekend).  Then I hit a snag.  Chemistry.  I tried it twice, and failed both times.  Oh, I didn't go all the way through and fail.  I realized 1/3 of the way through the class that I was never going to make it and dropped the class.  I changed my major (as most college students do) and chose Anthropology, mostly because I thoroughly enjoyed my Intro to Anthro class, and figured "why not?". I am still enjoying anthropology.  But not because I'm going to make any money at it.  It's a joke I've heard from nearly every professor I've had who's an anthropologist.  I remain thrilled, because after all these years on earth, I have come to the conclusion that making lots of money might make having a nice car, or taking a European vacation for a month easier, because I simply want to do what I enjoy, and to hell with money.  Truth is, retirement isn't terribly far away for me anyway. I jokingly tell people who ask "my goal is to be the oldest archaeologist on earth", although the truth is I'll probably be the oldest person to earn a degree in archaeology, lol.  

Anyway, I have a quote on my blog that caught my eye some years ago.  "Always remember that you are unique...just like everyone else" with an unkown author.  Well, this morning I was catching up on reading my fairly new subscription to the Wall Street Journal and ran across this quote:  
"Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everyone else" by Margaret Mead, an anthropologist.  

Somehow, I'm seeing that I've always been a student of anthropology...I just didn't realize it.

Love, 365


November 16, 2013

It's just so hard...not to scream

Dang, people!  Jump on board!

***I went to the car wash yesterday for a badly needed cleanup of my SUV.  I went inside to pay, only to be bombarded by Christmas music.  Really?  It's a car wash.  I can't figure out why they would jump on the Christmas bandwagon so early.  The employee who graciously accepted my payment told me they had started it on the 8th of November....we both agreed it was completely ridiculous.  I'm sending a message to their Facebook page as soon as I'm finished with this post.  What's the point unless you say something, right???  Get out there!  Let these businesses know how you feel!!!
****************
~This semester - my first at UNM (Univ. of New Mexico), I signed up for a "topics course" in Anthropology.  I really had no idea what a topics course was, until I received an e-mail from the instructor before class started that the topic is "primates in captivity".  Now, I'm really not a big fan of monkeys & apes with the exception of gorillas.  But, I had to find a class offered in the evening/weekend/online variety, so I figured I would move forward and at the very least earn another 3 credits toward my degree.  
     I have been pleasantly surprised at how much I've learned and how interesting the topic is.  One of our assignments was to create an "enrichment" item for the primates at our zoo.  (see the link for an idea of what I'm talking about)  I created this:


It's kind of difficult to tell what you're looking at ~ there are dried beans inside the pvc pipe, and hopefully the spider monkeys will run across the rope, and jostle the pvc which will make a little noise. 
~What I'm trying to get to is that the prof. told me my piece was the only one that would be a permanent item, which really surprised me!  Class is nearly over now ~ I only have one project left, which is to write a 10-20 page paper on a topic of our choosing.  Um, I haven't really started it yet, so I'm going to be very busy for the next 3 weeks.  
~If you've never been to our National Zoo (I haven't either), and you're planning a trip to Washington D.C., pay them a visit.  My professor has shown us some photos and explained some of the innovations they have made in housing their primates, and it looks fantastic!

November 7, 2013

I think my SUV has a sign that's invisible to me....

Nah, this ain't Albuquerque.  Image courtesy of Bing.

~It's true.  I do think my 12 year old Isuzu has a sign on it that is invisible if you aren't driving, or if you're in it.  Because, if I have just a smidge over a car length in between me and the vehicle in front of me, someone has an overwhelming desire to swerve in front of me, causing me to either slam on my  brakes, or at the very least, stop the cruise control.  This includes driving on the freeway at 65mph.  It never fails to freak me out.

~Did your city/town once have red light cameras?  We used to.  People kept getting pissed off that they were caught going through a red light or speeding through the intersection, so Albuquerque halted the use of them.  Now, the left turner's just keep on going even though the light has turned red - like, 3 cars ago.  It's stupid, but they just keep going.  They don't care if you have the green, because, "I know they see me and will wait until I complete this completely illegal traffic maneuver before starting up".  *&#&@%#* stupid drivers. 

Slightly irritated.

Love, 365

November 5, 2013

Pros & Cons

Wendy Connett ~ Sandia Mountains, Albuquerque

The pros and cons of living in New Mexico!  It took me so long yesterday with San Antonio, I'm going to cut to 5 instead of 10.  

Cons 

1) It's really, really (really!) dry.  We average 9.45 inches of rain for the year.  This includes snowfall as well.  The plants you see in the foreground have evolved to survive on a small amount of moisture. 

2) The winters can be cold ~ not like Wisconsin or Minnesota!  In the winter of 2011, we did have temp's of -7 degrees that lasted for about a week.  Brutal.

3) The seafood sucks.  Nearly everything in the grocery store was farm grown in Thailand and "flash frozen", meaning there's not much flavor left, and you never know the conditions the shrimp (or whatever) were grown in.  We have Red Lobster, Landry's and Pappadeaux ~ ugh.  

4) The winds.  In the spring the wind is awful, blowing from 17 to 35 mph.  Not all the time, but usually every day during April and May (& sometimes June).  This is the main reason I prefer fall in Albuquerque.

5) The "good ol' boy system" ~ I thought I had left this behind when I moved here from Texas, but to my dismay, discovered that New Mexico has a long history of political corruption and nefarious activities by those in political positions.   When I was taking my New Mexico history class, I read about a governor in Santa Fe (prior to becoming a state, during Spanish colonial times) that had indians weaving for him and selling the rugs to pad his own pocket.  I don't think it's improved a lot since then, although I admire Gov. Susanna Martinez.  

Pros

1) Hatch green chile.  I love it on eggs, burgers, stew, sandwiches, etc.  There is nothing that says fall is on it's way as the smell of roasting green chile.  I should also mention that New Mexican food is so great, that I no longer enjoy Mexican food from other places anymore.

2) The air and sunshine.  We rarely have bad air days, except in the winter with people burning wood in their fireplaces and wood stoves.  300 sunny days per year?  Love it.....

3) The culture.  As I'm a student of anthropology, I've done some studying and appreciate the history of our Native tribes (Tewa, Apache, Pueblo, Navajo) and the Spanish colonial time periods.  Fascinating.  One of my favorite places to visit is the Acoma Pueblo, or "Sky City".  

4)  Albuqerque is planned on a grid, with the mountains in the east, the plateau on the west.  I rarely become lost.  In San Antonio, the joke is that they "paved the cow paths".  Even after I lived there for 38 years, I would get lost anytime I strayed from the areas I was familiar with.

5) The mountains.  I love living in the foothills, and the view is amazing every day.  I've never lived near mountains before, and have to admit that I love watching the, hiking them, and photographing them.  The Sandia Mountains translates to the "Watermelon Mountains" & here's why:

Courtesy of Bing Images.  I have a suspicion that there was a filter used for this photo.

This is a bit more natural looking.

Ok!  I hope you might think of coming to visit sometime, as it is a beautiful place.  

Love, 365

November 4, 2013

Pro's and Con's

Please don't forget to pledge.....

It's been a long week, and it's only Monday.  Worked last Monday, Oct. 28th, went to a conference on Oct. 31 (I know, right?  We left on Halloween, kinda dumb), returned from the conference today.  Work tomorrow through Friday.  As I said, it's going to be a long week.

I was thinking about how everything seems to have a good and bad side to it ~ and I began to compare the good/bad thing between San Antonio, Tx & Albuquerque, NM.  

San Antonio

Con's

1) It's too big.  It takes too long to get anywhere.  God help you if you live on the Northside and have to drive downtown to work.  I'm sure it's not as bad as other places you hear about, like L.A. or New York, but it can be awful.

2) The property taxes are high, and are raised regularly.  This is how they fund public school in S.A.  It's not an equitable system, because the kids that live in the wealthier neighborhoods have great schools....and you can guess the rest.  I think it should be distributed in a way that all can benefit.  

3) They have a lot of strip malls.  Every time I go back to visit, I notice another damn strip mall, just down the street from one that is now abandoned.  

4) The summers are too damn hot.  It's too damn humid.  You can't do anything outside (in the summer) after 11am unless you're going swimming.  I'm talking about hiking, walking, biking.  I know that lots of people do these things anyway, but in my opinion it's just too hot.  

5) It's too far away from everything else.  If you want to go to the Grand Canyon, or any other National park outside of Texas, it practically takes a full day just to get out of the state.  Other cities like Dallas and Houston are a little closer to nearby states that make it a bit easier to "get out of Dodge".  

6) They are having water problems.  Texas has been experiencing a severe drought.  The nightly news often discusses the aquifer levels, which is where the drinking water comes from.  Nearby lakes have dry docks.  They've been through restrictions that are at times severe (but necessary).

7) Traffic sucks the big one.  Even driving to the grocery store is an ordeal. Costco is a freaking nightmare on Saturday, so unless you can go during the week, or enjoy a frustrating experience, you might just want to forget the membership.

8) Did I mention its hot?  Forget 4 seasons, there's really only 2.  Summer, and January.

9) Rednecks.  Oh, yeah, they exist alright.  

10) Lone Star beer.  Ugh.

Pro's
1) It's a large city (in the metro area, 7th largest), so there's a lot to do.  There is the Riverwalk, the Alamo, Sea World, Six Flags over Texas, and tons of great shopping.  Even though it's a large city, it has a very hometown feel ~ it's very casual.

2) The cost of housing is low, comparatively speaking.  If we had purchased a house in San Antonio with the budget we had in Albuquerque, we could have purchased a really nice place.  Not that our house was bad, but we ended up in a neighborhood that was just way too large for our taste.

3) They have great restaurants.  One of my favorites there is Sea Island Shrimp House.  I miss it, and try to eat there every time I visit.

4) The winters are not very cold.  I recall a few Christmases that were warm enough for either a light jacket or no jacket at all.  

5) The unemployment rate is 6.7% (approximately ~ it's hard to find accurate records, ya know?).

6) They have great road systems.  Actually, Texas spends a lot of $$ on improvements, which of course, can be a pain if the roads you take to work are under construction.  

7) They have lots of great Universities.  Univ. of Texas, Trinity Univ., and Our Lady of the Lake (which I mention mostly because my husband obtained his Masters in Business there) to name a few.

8)  It's close to amenities that are nearby: Schlitterbahn (the worlds best water park), the Hill Country (tons of wineries and restaurants), Enchanted Rock (a fund place to hike and camp), Natural Bridge Caverns (along with a lot more caves to visit), the Texas Gulf Coast where you can fish, walk the beach, etc.  

9)  They have The Spurs, a great basketball team!  

10) The friendliness of the people ~ I missed this aspect of Texas when I lived elsewhere.

See you soon with the pro's and con's of Albuquerque!

Love, 365

October 27, 2013

Hey, Brother & Sister!

Seems to be my week for causes.....

#1.  I am a breast cancer survivor.  I am fast approaching my 4 year mark following my surgery and radiation treatments.  

#2.  I'm doing fine, thank you.  I recently had a visit with my oncologist, and she says everything looks OK.  Personally, I'm glad we've cut our little visits/chats to twice a year.  I like the people who work there, they are all very nice and professional and all, but I wouldn't shed a tear if I never had to see them again.  ~Maybe in the grocery store or the mall or something would be OK.

#3.  I'm still working through the effect having cancer has on my brain.  I didn't have chemo...and I thank God everyday for that...but it changed me.  Some for the better, some not.  I sometimes have bouts with depression.  I notice I'm a little more paranoid these days.  But, I'm working through it, and doing my best to keep my thoughts positive.  I'm truly a natural optimist.

#4.  I have an awesome family and group of friends that support me.  I can't thank them enough for everything they've done for me...I try to bake, or do little things I think of on the spur of the moment to help them get through their weeks too....

#5.  Last, but not least.  I thank all of my blogger friends for the laughter and tears.  Mostly the laughter, because most of you are a crazy lot...just the way I like it!

Thank you!

Love, 365

October 24, 2013

I Pledge ......

This is easy, 'cause I never ever shop on Thanksgiving.  And, neither should anyone else, in my humble opinion.

I know that retailers progressed to the point that opening at midnight on the Friday after Thanksgiving wasn't good enough for them, and decided (by some dimwit in marketing or sales or the CEO or COO (funny, sounds like a pigeon)) to open on Thanksgiving to get a head start.  Although it seems so freaking obvious, this means people that normally would have been off, enjoying our thoroughly American holiday, would have to work or possibly lose their job.  If you've never worked retail, then I think it's hard to understand what it's like.  Oh, you might have an idea, but then, no.  It can be a lot of fun ~ I loved my year (part-time) at Williams-Sonoma, especially working with the manager of the store I worked in...the incomparable Mary Ann.  She is a lovely, wonderful person.  Even when she's not giving you a stellar review, she's just so darn nice about it.  Unfortunately for the Uptown Mall in Albuquerque, Mary Ann no longer works there, due to changes in policy that lead her to the conclusion that another job was in order.  Ok, I sort of went on a tangent, on with the story.   Anyway, working retail is tough.  It doesn't pay much.  Usually there are several people who are full time and have access to benefits, most of the employees that help you find things, sell you stuff, and so on are strictly part timers.  This is one of the many ways retailers keep costs down.  It's expensive to operate a store.  Profit margins aren't as high as you might think.  The owners/corporation wants to squeeze out every penny, and believe me when I tell you it's not in the payroll checks of the majority of the employees.  So, asking them to work on a holiday like Thanksgiving, is just plain UN-AMERICAN.   So, stay home people.  Lets send a message that the retailers like Walmart, K-Mart, Target (& all the others) that we don't want to shop on Thanksgiving.  Partly because, well damn, we have all kinds of time to shop.  We don't want to take time away from our families, and we don't want the employees of these inconsiderate bastards to take their employees away from their families either.  

I think that wraps it up!
Love, 365

October 21, 2013

Thanksgiving comes first!!!

To read the original blog, go here.

Wow, it seems like I was just posting this a few months ago....it's amazing how the year will fly by!  

The first time I read Jim's posting, I thought "yeah!".  Ever since then I've posted a "Thanksgiving Comes First" every year around this time, although this is the first time on this blog.

I LOVE THANKSGIVING.  Why?  Well, it's about family and friends getting together over an awesome meal (or not, depending on the cooking skills/desire of the participants).  The meal could be awesome because you have people who enjoy cooking ~ and maybe showing off a little on their culinary skills (like me) ~ or folks who don't have any desire to cook, so order a meal from their local market.  Either way, it's enjoyable in the extreme.  Games, eating, more games, football on TV, and the all important dishwasher, which really gets a work out at my house on Thanksgiving.  No fancy decorations are required, no gift buying....it's just a relatively stress free event.  Even with those large families where squabbles break out are entertaining.  If you served turkey, at least an hour or so later, everyone is feeling so sleepy, it's hard to maintain the irritation/anger you might be feeling at so and so.  (I highly recommend turkey though, 'cause it's just so delicious, and you haven't had an entire roasted/fried turkey in nearly a year anyway).  Just to be clear, I've never fried a turkey, but I'd like to.  I've hear it's very juicy and tender, and not greasy at all.  Someday.....

So, Jim, I salute you for starting the push to give each holiday it's own time without infringement.

Boo to:
Costco, Target, Walmart, K-Mart to name a few establishments that have already stocked up on Christmas trees and decor galore.  Shame.  

Love, 365


October 19, 2013

Dis-organization.

Taken near Ghost Ranch, New Mexico

A few weeks ago I received notice that my payment was due to UNM for classes, and my credit card on file had expired.  So, I began the search for my replacement card so I could update my payment info with the bursar.  After a few hours of fruitless search, I called and explained to the representative what was going on.  I explained that I had not noticed any activity to the account that wasn't my own, but I just couldn't find my new cards.  He cancelled the account and issued a new card, which is probably in my mailbox as we speak.  Not 15 minutes later I found my cards.  ARGH.  How typical.

It has been a long week, and very busy.  I keep thinking of the upcoming trip to New Orleans for a convention for work.  I love Louisiana (it is where I was born, after all).  Great food, great culture, great music.  The only thing I'm not looking forward to is the return trip home, which leaves at 6am.  :-(

Fall is in full swing here in Albuquerque.  Trees are turning golden, red, and orange.  I love this time of year, with the cool mornings and warm afternoons.  For some reason, I also end up baking and planning to bake all kinds of goodies.  Thanks to Krusteaze & Costco, I have made 5 pumpkin quick bread loaves and distributed accordingly.  I still have one mix left, and although it doesn't truly fit the bill of "baking"(implied from scratch), my family and I have enjoyed them immensely, and they are so easy to do.  In a recent issue of Sunset Magazine, I saw a recipe for pumpkin bread pudding, which I want to try soon.  If it's as good as it sounds, I'd like to make it for Thanksgiving, but I think my husband will be a bit put off if I don't make the usual pumpkin pie.  

Have a great weekend, everyone!
Love, 365

October 12, 2013

Ah, Saturday....

Let's go!!

Ahhhh.  I've had 2 cups of coffee and some delicious pumpkin bread.  Had a slight issue with the coffee pot this morning, as someone (me) forgot to empty it the last time we made coffee and it ran all over the counter.  Had to wash everything out and start over.  In the meantime I made some pumpkin bread which finished up about the time I had my second cup.  Delicious...thanks to Costco and the huge box of Krusteaz pumpkin bread mix ~ it'll make 4 loaves, so I plan to take some to work on Tuesday.  Can't be eating it all ourselves!  To prevent the overflow issue with the coffee pot, I put a label on the inside to remind me to check the pot to make sure it's empty.  My husband mentioned "alzheimer's", which I didn't find at all funny.

****I somehow allowed myself to get roped into a racquetball tournament this weekend.  I won my first match last night, but the games I play today and tomorrow will be much more difficult.  It should be fun, though.  

***I watched a video on this guy cutting bread, burritos and cake with dental floss.  No joke.  If you want to watch it, go here .  This guy is quite serious, but I think I'll just stick with my knife.  They made sure to mention you shouldn't use flavored floss.  Really?  If you're going to use floss for slicing food, you need to be told not to use flavored floss?  Then on the other hand, yeah, I suppose you do, ha ha.

****Weird job loss stories:
1)  2 girls put on their bikinis and took a soak in the company wash sinks (which are apparently quite deep) and then uploaded the sexy video to Myspace.  

2)  An employee of Subway was fired for putting his penis on the bread for a sandwich, then uploading it to Instagram.  

3)  A TV news reporter in South Dakota said "f***g sh**t live on the broadcast ~ his first and last day of work.

4)  A South African man went on Facebook and called his boss a "serial masterbater".  

5)  A Cold Stone Creamery worker referred to President Obama with the "n" word on Facebook and said she wouldn't care if he was assassinated.  

6)  A Washington state gym teacher was fired when went to work drunk, with a .15 blood alcohol level.  He fought it by saying "he did not engage in "flagrant misconduct".

7)  A IT guy for Farm Bureau Financial Services was fired after being caught on video urinating on his female co-workers chairs.  

Feel bad about something stupid you've done?  Well, in comparison, I'd say we should give ourselves a break.

Love, 365

October 8, 2013

Fall fun.....

Rancho de las Golondrinas (ranch of the swallows)

We did it again ~ we love going to the Harvest Festival in Golondrinas!  The day was truly beautiful, sunny and cool.  We spent about 3 1/2 hours wandering around, listening to the museum volunteers explaining how the Spanish colonists managed to survive in New Mexico during the 17th and 18th century.  

I know, but I've always been fascinated by cat tails.  

Hand died wool, from their own sheep, hand sheared, carded and spun.  I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

I'm diggin' the hand stamped wall decor on the plastered walls.  

In the past, they decorated this root cellar with pumpkins, but there wasn't enough rain for pumpkins this year.  Using gourds was a clever, if not as colorful, idea.  Hey, I like change!

Wagon rides, pulled by this beautiful pair of draft horses.  

The pond was clear and pretty, with a few trees turning gold.  


As usual, we went to Santa Fe for lunch.  I had a green chili burger for lunch at the Plaza Cafe....
Why chop the chile when you can just drape it over the meat???  I've never had one prepared this way before, but it was delicious.  I added onion, tomato and lettuce.  The fries were wasted, because I'm one of those weird folks that doesn't like potatoes.  

It was a great weekend!




September 28, 2013

Balloon Fiesta & Harvest Festival, coming soon!

Last year a couple of balloons drifted past my house....

One week from today begins the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta ~ where hundreds of balloons will be launched, tons of coffee & donuts will be consumed (along with breakfast burritos, yum!).  Albuquerque will be busy with lots of visitors, and driving will be a pain with distracted drivers, looking at balloons instead of the cars around them.   Driving to work will be a real pain in the ass for those unlucky enough to necessitate a drive past the balloon field to get to the office.  Still, it's an awesome sight.  The whole shebang starts on 10/5, and you can go here for a live cam of the balloon park.  Don't bother until the 5th because there's nothing to see at this point.

We'll also be attending the Harvest Festival at El Rancho De Las Golondrinas.

Volunteers will be demonstrating how people lived during Spanish Colonial times here in New Mexico.

Examples of arts and crafts....

Squeezing sugar cane for molasses....

It's a fun day to stroll around appreciating the fact that we live in more modern times, and at the same time realizing how much busier and simpler life was then.  

I am looking to upgrade my camera ~ I have two older Canon camera bodies (35mm film) and want to switch over to digital, and be able to use the lenses I have.  Oh, my point and shoot digital is OK, but I'd like to play with my lenses again (wide angle, telephoto) and all of the filters I have as well.  Not really wanting to spend a minimum of $800, which I don't have anyway, I'm renting a used Canon from a shop that I'll be using next week.  Hopefully I will have some awesome shots to post next week!

It's going to be a beautiful day, so I'm off to enjoy it...
Love, 365


September 23, 2013

The All-American Gluten Free Diet....what a scam (unless you have celiac's disease, of course).

Photos courtesy of Bing images

About 6 years ago I found out that my neighbor has Celiac disease (which if you don't know is the inability to digest the proteins in wheat, rye and barley ~ it's very painful) and had to give up bread, pasta and anything else with the aforementioned ingredients.  It's a real drag to those of us that really could live by bread alone ~ I'm one of those.  

Sourdough ~ one of my favorites

A few years ago I overheard an ad on the radio of a local restaurant (Italian) offering "traditional Italian dishes" without gluten.  Apparently the owner has Celiac's and met lots of other people with the same issue and decided that those with the disease deserve to have a nice meal out once in awhile.  Good idea.  My neighbor was so thrilled.

Mmmm, cinnamon rolls

In the manner of most things of this nature, now everyone is jumping the bandwagon of a gluten free diet.  I opened a package of deli ham this morning, and sure enough "Gluten Free!" is written in bold letters on the front.  As are lots of other foods, like rice.  I suppose if you don't have celiac's, but you want to eat gluten free, then our food manufacturers figure we're stupid enough that we need a label on it too.  

Now, I don't have a problem with whatever floats your boat, diet wise.  But people without the disease are saying crap like "I have so much more energy!  I feel so much better!  ~ It's so much healthier!"  Bullshit.  I suppose if you eat nothing but bread and cheese you would feel better if you cut back a little on the carb's.  But, the truth is, if you don't have celiac's disease, you don't need to eat a gluten free diet.  

It just bugs.

Love, 365

September 22, 2013

Trip to Abiquiu....

Courtesy of Bing images (all of them)
This doorway in her courtyard was painted many times...

Yesterday a good friend of mine and I drove to Abiquiu (pronounced ab-eh-que) to tour Georgia O'Keefe's home there.  We had planned this trip about a month ago, because you can't just drive up there and hope to get a ticket to go, they are always sold out (to out of state visitors mostly).  We met people from New York and Vermont, who were just thrilled to pay $45 dollars for what amounted to 1 1/2 hour tour of her home.  No photos allowed (which is why I had to go to Bing images for the photos).  The tour director was in front of us, giving us the history (which is really fascinating), and "security" was behind us to make sure we hadn't snuck a camera in, or touched anything.  It's cool, I understand that there might be someone who might try to take a "souvenir" ~ apparently Ms. O'Keefe liked to collect rocks, and as the home is frozen in time from her last stay there, if you were stealthy enough you might snag one but for the vigilance of "Juan".  

Her pantry.

Her laundry room, pantry and kitchen were interesting to view just to see appliances from the 1930's.  The jars in the top right of the photo were herbs she had stored for cooking.

The view from her bedroom.....beautiful.

We also drove to Ghost Ranch (which isn't too far from Abiquiu), which is a place I'm determined to visit again soon.  

During the long drive I was telling Cheryl my sad blog story, and she asked me "why a blog?  why not a diary?".  I found I couldn't explain to her the addiction that is blogging.  So I copped out by explaining that I've had many journals/diaries in my day, which gathered dust after a month or two.  How to explain to someone who doesn't really have a clue what a blog is, to why you enjoy it?  Hmmm.  I'll have to think about it.

Love, 365

September 18, 2013

Constipation...of the mind....just as painful as the other kind

Image courtesy of Bing 

9:00am.  Ugh.  I have to finish my paper today (an op-ed piece), and I feel like I'm slogging through mud.  Mentally that is.  I've got a good start but right now it feels rather disjointed and unorganized.   I thought it would be easier ~ never had an instructor ask our opinion before, so that's refreshing.  Now, if only it wasn't going to be graded!  

3:00pm  Done.  I am happy with the paper, although I'm not sure I was strong enough in my opinions.  We'll see, as I've already sent it to my instructor!!!  Yikes!!

********
Last Friday I had a call from the Oncologist office reminding me of an appointment I had on Monday.  It's one of those awful automated systems, that drone on and on -you kind of wonder how long it will take to get to the point - and after you listen to it, it gives you two options: confirm or cancel.  Having forgotten all about it, AND since I knew I had to finish my paper, I pressed the cancel option, and planned to call later this week to reset.  However, I did receive a call on Monday telling me I missed the appointment!  Sheesh.  When I called, the receptionist apologized, I apologized, everyone was sorry about the mixup and I rescheduled.  You know, why have an automated system if it doesn't work???  Just sayin'.

Love, 365

September 15, 2013

I didn't know I'd need an engineering degree....or maybe I'm just stupid



I bought one of these truly lovely Infinity Lights when I was visiting family.  It was an impulse purchase.  They looked so beautiful hanging there, all colorful and whimsical!  You can make a variety of shapes, but I picked one of the round ones, which truthfully didn't look that hard to put together.  The gentleman who sold me my kit offered to put it together for me, but how was I going to get it on the plane?  Kinda awkward, don't you think?  So, I figured, hey, I'm a smart cookie ~ I'm on the dean's list and a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society.  I can figure this out........*&%$**@^!

I've been working on it for nearly an hour, and am about halfway through...thoroughly frustrated and pissed off.  So I'm taking a break from the damn thing, and figure I'll finish it up later ~ probably to the point that I'll completely forget where I was and end up having to start over.  When I'm done (if I manage it), I'll post a photo of it...if for no other reason than to prove that I could do it.

If you buy one I suggest you let them put it together for you unless you enjoy 3D puzzles......

Love, 365

September 14, 2013

We remember....

This is an amazing video.


Fall, my favorite time of year....



It's nearing time for pumkins, home cooking, kids in costumes begging for candy...
I love fall!  It's nice and cool for dog walking, even if you don't get out of the house until 10am - such a nice change from getting up and out early when it's hot.  For some reason, I love to cook more during this time of year.  Weird, eh?  I purchased a cookbook specifically for making homemade marshmallows, and plan to try the basic recipe this weekend.  If it works out (i.e. not too messy or takes forever), then I plan to make some and pair it with a cute mug and cocoa mix, or graham crackers and chocolate for smores to give as gifts this Christmas.  I was thinking of my hairdresser, casual friends, etc.  I'll let you know, and maybe include a photo ~ if they aren't too ugly!!

In the news: 

Greece scraps extra holiday for civil servants using computers


(Reuters) - Greece's austerity drive has cost public sector workers a privilege they have enjoyed for more than two decades - six extra days of paid holiday every year if they use a computer.
The decision to scrap the bonus was a "small, yet symbolic" step in modernizing an outdated civil service, said Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the administrative reform minister who has taken on the challenge of overhauling public institutions.
Bailed out twice by the euro zone and the IMF, Greece has started cancelling arcane benefits to cut state spending and reform a public sector widely seen as profligate and inefficient with a 600,000-strong workforce.
Allowances that have already gone include a bonus for showing up to work and one regulation letting unmarried daughters receive their dead father's pension.
The ministerial decision giving a day off every two months to those who sat in front of a computer for more than five hours a day was taken on 12 June 1989, a week before Mitsotakis's father Constantine won a general election.
"It belongs to another era. Today, in times of crisis, we cannot hold on to anachronistic privileges," Mitsotakis said, according to a statement from his ministry on Friday.
Greece's European Union and International Monetary Fund lenders have given Greece by the end of the year to place 25,000 public sector workers into a so-called "mobility pool", meaning they will either be transferred to another department or fired. Half of those must be placed into the pool by end-September.
(Reporting by Karolina Tagaris; Editing by Andrew Heavens)
*****************************************************************************************
No wonder Greece is having financial problems....extra 6 days off a year if you sit in front of a computer during the workday?   A bonus for "showing up to work'?  Kinda makes you wonder about those people who don't show up, doesn't it?  

Love, 365

September 13, 2013

Oh, thank God it's Friday....

"What chew lookin at???"


I have never had such an awkward week.  Ever.  I'm really glad it's over.  I gave out the apology letters, and luckily no one approached me or said anything, so I guess like all thorny issues, it's sort of on it's way to being swept under the rug, although right now the "it" feels like an elephant.



Now for some excellent news:  Bernard Cornwell has a new book that will be coming out soon ~ The Pagan Lord which is a continuation of the story of Uhtred, in the Warrior Chronicles/Saxon Tales  series.  If you haven't read any of Mr. Cornwell's books, and you love history (these stories take place during the reign of King Alfred of England) you should give his books a try.  Unfortunately I have to wait until Jan., boo hoo.  At least I can read the excerpt, and get a taste!

Well, gotta go.  Love, 365




September 11, 2013

Humiliated, humbled, home...


Well, I got lucky, and didn't get fired.  I do have a total of a week without pay, although 3 of these are actual work days, the other two are the loss of personal leave days.  As I thought I was going to be fired, I was happy enough to leave (I was whisked out before "other staff arrive"), and so I'm officially home w/o pay.  Small price, I'd say.

And so, here I am, working on writing apology letters.  It's hard...to be sincere on paper.  According to web sites I've visited, I will need to give a verbal apology as well.

I feel so betrayed, as I have a good idea who it was that spilled the beans, and it was someone that I thought of as a friend.  I guess he didn't feel the same.  However, its still my fault.  I shouldn't have written about work on my blog.  Did I really think that the lack of names and photos would mean anonymity?  I was naive and stupid.  I suppose it would have been better to post a naked photo of myself on Facebook.  Plus, more people would look at it, not necessarily because I'm in great shape, but its like a train wreck ~ you just gotta look.  Funny that now I have two reasons to dislike the date 9-11.

Well, now I'm going to get started on my anthropology paper ~ we are to write an op-ed piece on why or why not we should continue to use animals in biomedical testing.  Boy, this outa really cheer me up....

Later.....

September 10, 2013

Here I go again....


Painful discoveries:

 I had a blog that I loved, and had been writing on for 3 years.  I wrote about everything - my cancer diagnosis and treatment - my friends - family - work.  I naively believed that it was fairly anonymous.  How wrong I was.

Apparently a patient in the office I worked at discovered my blog, and my boss was understandably upset because I had written some not too kind words about my co-workers.  I never mentioned anyone's name, not even my own, so I don't know how he found it.  My boss is livid, and he might fire me tomorrow.  I don't know what I will do if he does.

I'm sorry.  Sorry for believing I could write whatever I wanted without reprisal since I incorrectly assumed that no one would bother reading it or even look for it.  Sorry that I was inconsiderate of my co-workers.  I was not kind, which counts even if they didn't know about the blog.  This is my new leaf.

I vow that I will not write about my co-workers.  Ever.  I will write about school, home, friends, but never work (if I'm still employed tomorrow).

See you soon...365

It's been lovely......

Hot tubs at 10 Thousand Waves, Santa Fe I was going to post some photos from FB's "Memories and Photos in New Mexico", ...