December 31, 2014

Happy New Year, everyone!

courtesy Bing images

Happy New Year
and may 2015
be prosperous and happy
for you and for me.

(Bing images)

I did not know that 2015 is the Year of the Sheep.  Hmmmmm.

(Bing images)

Just because we should have fun, and these guys always make me laugh.

Love, 365

December 29, 2014

At least there's no drama on Monday mornings!

We did have snow on Christmas evening, so pretty.

Well, I'm glad Christmas is over, aren't you?  The crazy malls and grocery stores, the tree and decorations in the house are getting old.  I won't take the tree down until after New Years though, even though I'd love to!  Romeo asked me if I wanted him to bring down the boxes for the decorations & tree, but I told him to wait.  Plus, I'd kinda like some help, so if I wait until Jan 1, everyone will be home and be able to participate in the fun!  I'm sure they'll be so happy and excited to help.....ha ha ha.

#2 son worked on his truck this weekend, putting in vinyl flooring.  It was really cold this weekend, and he was grumpy...I asked him why, and he said he wasn't happy with the result.  I looked at it and told him I thought it looked great.  At least now when he spills something (which is what prompted it) he will be able to clean it up.  I think the flooring will smooth out when the weather gets warmer, but he is doubtful.

I have spent the last 3 hours online, applying for my weekly unemployment benefits, and applying for positions I see on various websites.  I did run across a new website today, named jobing.com.  There was a job listing for UNM Hospital that I applied for, and think I would really enjoy, so I hope they call me for an interview.  I think that the further we get from the holidays, there will be more opportunities/jobs posted.....I hope so, because they have been pretty dismal.  I never heard from the lady I interviewed with, but it was good experience.  I had thought about it, and decided that I was not really thrilled about driving to the east side of the mountains every day (especially during the winter), and I know that someone with experience was interviewing with her after me.  I'm kinda glad she didn't offer me the job, because the pay was a big disappointment, although it might have been a fun environment to work in.

I had volunteered to work at the food bank today about a month ago, and totally forgot about it until last night, so most of my plans for today have been cancelled.  I need to be there at 1:30.  Hopefully I won't get lost, although I do have the address and my handy dandy Google maps app on my phone.  I do notice that the driving directions you get aren't always the most direct, but as long as I get there, I'm happy.

Well, gotta go get ready, still need to shower & do my hair ~ which looks fabulous thanks to Jess, my hairdresser.  I had an appointment on Friday, and she was so kind to give me a great discount due to my circumstances.  When I am fully employed again, I shall have to do something special for her.  

Love, 365

December 27, 2014

My darker side.....

Courtesy Google images.

Lately I've been thinking of my choices....nah, nothing mind blowing or anything, but why I like sad songs, why I prefer "dark" movies (not horror, although I do love a good zombie flik).  If you listened to my i-pod you might look at me in horror.  I have to watch many movies of my choice when Romeo isn't home "Wow, how depressing" or "Do we have to watch this?".  Case in point, I ran across a movie I'd never seen before called 8mm...Nicholas Cage is in it (OK, whatever, I do like some of his movies & think he's a good guy).  Very dark movie about a PI who is looking to bring to justice a group of men who made a snuff film that was real.  

And after a bit of thought I realized what I like is the pursuit of JUSTICE.  This is why I like dark movies like 8mm, Silence of the Lambs (altho there wasn't as much justice in that one), Citizen X.  I suppose that there have been some crappy situations I have got myself into, and I'm constantly seeking either justice or closure.   Still looking in some instances, got it in others.  I suppose that there are times that I wish I had had that fairy tale childhood, but that just didn't happen.  It wasn't terrible.  It just wasn't great.  It happens, and probably happens more often than we know.  And I sometimes make terrible decisions based on my childhood experiences.  

Lukily I have a wonderful husband and kids.  I have a wonderful support system of friends and family.  I'm very fortunate in many ways, which takes the sting out of some of the crappy parts.  But, it's kinda weird.  I accept that about myself.  

Love, 365

I don't wanna......

Mr. Grinch, could you please come to my house & do this????

Another Christmas come and gone.  This one wasn't particularly memorable, just your usual day off with a lot of cooking.  More about cooking later on....  When I lost my job, Romeo and I declared a ban on gifts for this year (although he was perfectly OK with it no matter what the reason).  I have to admit that the 9 year old that still resides within (and is remarkably prominent sometimes) was very unhappy, not only to not receive anything, but unable to give anything either.  No matter how much Romeo says that "he doesn't want anything" ~ which he says every year ~ I enjoy going out and finding something he might not buy for himself & sticking it under the tree from Santa.  But, we all stuck to our guns, so the space under our tree was conspicuously empty.  Romeo was unhappy when I didn't reply to his hearty "Merry Christmas!" that morning.  He went back to bed for awhile.  I knew I was being unreasonable, but my 9 year old self didn't care, so I moped around for an hour or so, then got busy with stating our Christmas dinner.  

#2 son received a turkey from his workplace before Thanksgiving, but I already had a turkey, so we stuck the monstrosity in the chest freezer & figured we'd have it for Christmas (the frugal part of me figured why buy a ham when there's a perfectly good turkey....even though none of us was particularly enthused about turkey even once a month).  The damned thing was huge ~ 22 lbs.  I have roasted one larger than that before, and apparently forgot that I never wanted to do that again.  I put it in the oven (unstuffed of course, I hate dressing in the turkey, it's all gooey and gross) around 9:30am.  Figuring it would be done by 1:00pm, according to the roasting guidelines.  Nope.  Not done.  Romeo began to carve it, and we noticed it is most definately not done.  Back in the oven for another 40 min, nope still not done.  Back again, another 40 min., and I declared that it would be consumed no matter what.  So we ended up eating at around 3:20pm....we were all starving by then.  It's hard to resist the urge to snack on stuff knowing theres a big meal soon.  If #2 son gets another gift like that next year, we will donate it to the food bank, or something.  No more turkey's over 15 lbs.  Ever.  In fact, it's still such a recent memory, the very thought of turkey makes me want to plan on some other type of animal protein for next year.  Ugh.

Very sad news: Buck Pennington is no longer with us.  He is currently residing in the sunshine, on a beach, with a his favorite happy hour beverage.  Being waited on by girls in bikini's.  We will miss you Buck.  For more, go here or straight to Buck's blog.  I spent 20 minutes reading over some of his posts, which made me laugh.  He will be missed.

Love, 365

December 18, 2014

Replacing something rarely used requires self education....

Courtesy Bing Images

I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  On the west side of the mountains (which is an important distinction because the east side gets a lot more snow and rain, it's much greener, etc).  We really don't get much moisture.  We average 9" of rain and about 9" of snow yearly.  Windshield wipers are not something I use very often.  When I do get new ones, the main replacement reason is the sun, not the rain.  A month ago while using the self service car wash, I noticed that my wipers were shot, and I peeled off the "tail" on both of them, which meant that I basically didn't have any wipers left.  A few weeks ago, it was raining while I was out driving, but I couldn't use my wipers because the remains of the ones I had might scratch my windshield.  It wasn't raining very hard (it usually never does here), so I handled it OK, but it was funny how hard it was to resist the urge to turn them on.  I found some at Costco for $7.99 each, and bought some for me, and for Romeo.  I had to watch the installation video, because there were 3 different types of connectors depending on what type of vehicle you have.  
Really?
Yes, really.  I suppose I should be thankful that they provide a video instead of just written instructions (which were also in the box).  Yeah, you know how written instructions are.  They never quite give you that one key piece of info that you need to either get started or finish up.  So, thanks, Goodyear, for making it possible even for dummies like myself.  Now when it rains or snows, I can safely use my wipers.  Whew!

Good news, folks: I have a final grade in evolutionary medicine of A+.  I ain't never had no A+ before!  Kinda exciting. 

Other good news: I should receive 3 weeks of benefits payments this Friday (unemployment insurance).  I was amazed that Leticia spoke to her supervisor and then helped me finish out with the info they wanted.  Turns out that Sunday & Monday are the only days you have to give them your qualifying info.  Something that I didn't find on the website anywhere.  Nor did I find the "workbook" link to explain how to do all of this unemployment benefits stuff.  I cried in frustration, which probably went a little way to garner her sympathies.  

Just news: I have been thinking a lot about the interview I went to on Monday, and think that she is not offering me a decent hourly wage.  I would probably not even get what I'm getting in unemployment benefits, although of course, doesn't last forever....I think it lasts six months, and I've already used up one of them.  So, still not sure what I want to do, other than continue to mull it over.  It is possible she won't even offer me the job!  I don't really have any experience in construction, other than to hold the wrench Romeo wants when he's doing household repair....and somehow I don't think that qualifies as experience, lol.

Love, 365

December 16, 2014

Screaming.......

It's ok, I had a good scream and a coupla shots of tequila......

Yesterday I decided I needed to go to the unemployment office...because I had called & waited an hour with no luck three different times.  Guess...nah, you'll never....they don't have a physical office, only a call center.  This is what the interesting lady at the "workforce solutions" office I went to told me yesterday.  (Interesting because she was so loud ~ "CAN I HELP YOU?")

Problem: only have cell phone, with 700 calling minutes per month.

Solution: spend $10 more a month for unlimited minutes.

Situation: Spending 2 1/2 hours on the phone, listening to the recording that says "thank you for your patience, a customer service representative will be with you shortly", and assorted other noises (music?).  I had my phone on speaker, and the volume turned down low so that I could still hear it, but not loud enough to make me want to tear out my hair.  When the rep finally did come on the phone, she repeated her name and id#, and said she couldn't hear anything.....
AND SHE HUNG UP as I was yelling "Please don't hang up!!!".  

Later: I figured I had my phone volume down low enough that she couldn't hear me.  
Spent 3 to 4 minutes screaming at the top of my lungs.
Heard a siren a few minutes later, and wondered if the neighbors figured I was being murdered over here, but no.  That would have been an interesting conversation.

Cried a little.

Then, resigned myself to calling another day.  
-----------------
Good news tho, I have an interview today.  Patty told me about a job opportunity with someone she knows.  I called, sent ye ol' resume, and will be there at 10am.  I can't lie and say that it makes me hopeful.  We'll see!

OK, gotta go & shower & get dressed for said interview.  
Love, 365

^^^^^^^Later on:
The interview went well (I think).  I was there for 1 1/2 hours, and I hope she invested that amount of time because she was interested.  Good: I think I could be happy working for them.  Bad: The pay kinda sucks.  But she did mention that I would be eligible for a raise after a few months.  I plan to send her a thank you note for her time, and remind her of my attributes.  Some web sites don't recommend a thank you and some do.  So I figure I'll cover my bases.  Plus, she'll be reminded.  I should have mentioned that I'm an awsome baker & because we don't always want to be tempted with all these baked goods, you can bet I'll bring some in.  Well, maybe not.

I am really disappointed in the job availability these days.  I know it's the holiday season, but wow.  How am I supposed to keep up on my applications?  Of course I still haven't received any benefit payments.  S H I T.  I plan to call tomorrow & see if I can discover why.  Hopefully no 2 1/2 hours again....please.
Love, 365

December 13, 2014

Done.......!!!!

Bing images

I finished!  With 2 hours and 15 minutes to spare! Yeah me!

I would love to say it was easy, and I'm certain it was totally brilliant.  It wasn't easy, and probably isn't "brilliant" material.  But I was happy with it, and I'm certainly glad I'm now done with the semester and ready to enjoy a break from classes.  So far I'm the only person signed up for the spring class I mentioned in previous posts, but it's all cool as Prof. Stuart will hold the "class" off campus and I will still get 3 credit hours for it.  He is such a wonderful person.  It's too bad all of the students he's helped over the years couldn't get together and hold him a fun party to thank him for the generosity of him time and trouble.

Well, got stuff to do...have a wonderful day.

Love, 365

P.S. Dee, why r you following me?  You don't even like this stuff.  

December 12, 2014

Dogs....they always sense when you have a deadline.....

Yeah......

Nope.  I didn't finish my paper yesterday.  I stopped (I thought temporarily) to make sweet & sour chicken over rice for dinner, and never went back.  I did make a lot of progress.  At first it was wrenched out of me kicking and screaming, then I got into a flow, so I'm nearly done.  Which is probably why I decided not to go back after dinner was done.

I do have a scheduled activity today at noon, but I don't see that as holding me back from finishing.  Ha ha, my racquetball friends play at noon on Friday, and until recently I haven't been able to join in the fun.....and it is!  Fun, that is.  Hoping to finish the paper & then edit it after I get home.  However, if you notice, I'm goofing off right now, and it's nearly 9am, so will have to get to it.  I wanted to leave you a few cartoons before I go.....







Love, 365

December 11, 2014

What writing is like.....for me

(Bing images)

Good morning, everyone!  The weather is beautiful, I have hot coffee (& a cookie for breakfast, lol), my notebook with class notes is on my left, and a small notebook on my right.  Oh, yeah, and I have a pen too.  For notes.

The evolutionary medicine class ends in less than 48 hours.  I have a 5 page paper due by midnight on Friday ~ I keep reminding myself that Friday is tomorrow.  However, as I am unemployed, I have all freakin day to write it, so no prob, right?  Welllll.....

The hardest part: getting started.  I sit down and immediately write about 4 sentences.  I re-write.  I delete it all and reword the same basic info.  I re-write.  I get up to get something to drink, let the dogs out, look through the freezer to see what I should make for dinner.  I let the dogs back in.  EVENTUALLY I sit back down and look at the mere beginnings, and sigh.

Second hardest part: meeting my own deadlines.  I figure I will write a page every day beginning last Thursday, giving me time to re-write, edit, add, etc.  I don't get anywhere close to a page.  All I manage to do is decide the specifics of what I will write on, as the professor left us an announcement stating that very successful students in past courses have picked a theme.  So I picked the psychology aspect of it, because there's lots of material about it, and since I'm the master of short and sweet, I'm a little intimidated about writing 5 pages, single spaced.  Just typing that down gives me shivers.

Third hardest part: because this particular professor has been so complimentary of my work during the course of this class, I feel only a little bit of pressure to write something that doesn't make me sound like a 5th grader.  It's a reflection paper, so I have to include my feelings and observances and stuff like that too.  Should be easy, right?  So why do I feel like my brain is nothing if not a wad of spitballs floating around in my skull?  Why, God, why?????

Observations about myself: I must love the looming deadline.  I don't know if theres more electrical activity in said skull full of spitballs, but I do work better when I'm under pressure.  I must, because I procrastinate until I have hours left, when I've had weeks to do this.  Shame on me, shame!!!

No matter, because I'm finishing this sucker today, and editing and turning it in tomorrow before noon.  We'll see how I do on that deadline.......

Love, 365


December 5, 2014

Foci ~ or, in english, focus. Tip of the iceberg, Ma.

Courtesy Google images


Maybe its just me, you know?  I'm reading the required papers for class, and from the very first to (very nearly) the last, I have words underlined with little arrows -> for the definition I had to look up. Like loci.  Now, it means focus, which I kind of figured.  However, you never know what word might be a key one in a sentence, so you look it up to make sure.  Here's a short list for one paper.
conspecific - animals or plants belonging to the same species.
phylogeny - evolutionary development of a species or group of organisms.
helminthes - a parasite, like a hookworm, whip worm, etc.
~~not too bad, right?  Then, I run across this one:  UATHROS.  I drive myself crazy.  I look up in the dictionary, and online.  I finally figured out, it's a freaking misspell of the word authors.  I'm gonna send a little "thank you" e-mail to my professor for providing comic relief while writing my discussion post on said paper.  
Just goes to show you that even academics occasionally fail to use spell check.

Love, 365

December 3, 2014

Bright spot in my day........

Brodie on the left, Sioux on right.

Well, Brodie is doing much, much better, and exhibiting his usual happy behavior, waggin his tail, etc.  I spoke to a guy who owns a pet food store here in town (of course, I'm not going out of town for dog food, lol) and he said that we need to return to regular dog food very slowly over the course of a coupla weeks.  So, beginning this Saturday, I will add 1 tablespoon of regular food to the boiled chicken he's been eating ~ he loves the chicken, of course ~ so I hope we don't have too much trouble transitioning back to a less expensive food.  It could be that he won't ever have this problem again, or it could become chronic.  We just don't know.  However, I am happy to say that this incident has finally convinced Romeo not to give either dog table scraps anymore.  It will take the dogs longer to quit hanging around him during meal times.  Who knows, they may never stop begging!  

I am very grateful for unemployment insurance, but I think their website needs to be reconfigured, because navigating the system always gives me a headache.  I think they had a monkey design it....

Prof. Stuart has generously paid (through some emergency fund at UNM) for me to take his class next semester.  However, if not enough people sign up for the class, they won't hold it.  :-(   I'll let you guess what I'm wishing for!!!

Well, I gotta go, I'm currently doing laundry.  Romeo will be really late tonight because the department is hosting the data management people from out of town.  He's not too happy about it, and I mentioned that one night ain't so bad....& how grateful I am that he has a stable job. 

Love, 365

November 28, 2014

No job, sick dog.....

Brodie as a puppy...

Watta week.  My second week of job loss, trying to maneuver through the unemployment system (not easy), and on top of it, Brodie becomes very ill...running a temp of 105 (a dog's normal temp is 101 to 102) and no energy.  A trip to the vet on Monday concludes with a diagnosis of pancreatitis.  The vet kept asking me if he had gotten into anything (food wise), but he really doesn't has access to pet food, or any food that is within his reach (one benefit of a short legged dog I guess), and we finally concluded that the dog food Romeo bought most recently was for "sporting" dogs, so probably had too much fat in it.  Hence the pancreatitis.  We put him on a bland diet, which for dogs is boiled chicken, or baby food, and he went in for temperature checks every day this week except yesterday and today (since they are closed).  Thankfully he is improving every day, and is doing much better.  So, I am very thankful for that.  The vet was very understanding about the issue with my job loss, and didn't send us over to the clinic for an ultrasound ~ which probably would have been very expensive....as it was, the vet bill was $300.  

All grown up & looking good!

Otherwise, I had a productive meeting with a professor at UNM, who will help me pay for his class in the spring semester.  It is on Chaco energetics, which basically is food resources, diet, calorie consumption, etc.  Sounds very complicated.  But I am excited to take it, because this guy is sooo smart and truly likes to teach & help students achieve their goals.  He wasn't even surprised to notice that I am not the usual 20 something student.  I suppose in his years of teaching, he seen every type of student there is.  His enthusiasm for the subject was great to see.

I sent my resume to my current professor, but I'm not really sure if there is anything that he can do.  A racquetball friend of mine suggested that I go to the scholarship office to see if there is anything that might help.  She said there are many scholarships that go unused just because students are lazy.  But I think it's that finding scholarships is so complicated that students just give up.  Uh, 'cause that's what I did.  :-)

What a great Thanksgiving we had yesterday.  The turkey was fabulous, the fresh green beans, the dressing, the home made rolls were all great.  I did buy the turkey gravy base from Williams-Sonoma, but we didn't like it.  It tasted.....funny.  I wondered when the directions said to add 1 part gravy base & one part -milk???  Ugh.  I was right too, it just didn't cut it.  We had two kinds of pie too, pecan and pumpkin, both of which were so good.  

I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family & friends & good food.  
Love, 365

November 23, 2014

It's another Sunday morning....

Santa Fe farmer's market, summer 2014

Here I am again, on a cloudy, windy morning in Albuquerque.  Winter is tightening her grip, and the leaves on the wisteria look wrinkled and dry ~ I'm sure I will hear a slight "thump" that will signal that all of the leaves dropped off in one go.  

Next week is Thanksgiving.  I have most of my supplies.  I still haven't decided if I want to brine my turkey the usual way (wet) or try the dry brine.  I guess I'll check it out and decide.  It's just that last year I spilled the brine all over the kitchen, and I still find areas on my cabinetry that have a salty spot.  Ugh.  I don't want to have that happen again!

While at the nail salon before the wedding, I was convinced to try a gel manicure.  I liked it...what I really liked was that even I couldn't mess it up.  Usually I wreck a manicure before I even get into my car!  I've read all the reports, and the salon I go to uses the led lights, so it's safer than the other method.  So, when I went 3 weeks ago, I decided I would keep it going through the holidays.  Now, I'm wrestling with myself on whether I should give it one more go, or give it up for now.  Although $24 doesn't seem like much, I have to keep in mind that $24 here and $24 there and pretty soon, it's over $100, which I really need for our food budget.  Ok, I've talked myself out of doing it again, but it will cost around $5 to have it removed.  :-)

Next week will be the first week that I will need to notify the fine state of New Mexico that I am making an effort to find work.  I have already had problems with their web site, so I'm figuring it will test my already beleaguered patience.  Hey, maybe I'll be surprised at how easy it is!!!  I'll see!

Google Images

My favorite holiday....Thanksgiving. 
Family & food
Football & pie
Friends come by and crowd my house
But I love the feeling
Of having all my family & friends near
So we can be thankful
And then start complaining 
about Christmas........

Love, 365


November 21, 2014

Temporarily Retired.....ahhhhhhhh


My "new" coworkers....

Well, it's Friday.  Normally a day I look forward to, because it signals the end of the work week.  This has been a very interesting week for me....I turned off my alarms, but I find myself waking up at 5:30 anyway, but instead of driving to work, I make a pot of coffee & get started on the tasks I need to accomplish for the day.  I thought I would be getting my homework done early, but here it is, Friday, and I haven't even written the posting that is due today.  Part of my excuse (& there are many, lol) is that for some reason my professor hasn't provided the link for the post yet, which has never happened before.  Perhaps he is as tired of the semester as the rest of us....I still need to start my 5 page paper due by the second week of December.  I just find that I have trouble focusing my attention on anything for longer than the time it takes to write this post.  20-30 minutes into it, and I find myself washing dishes, or doing a load of laundry, paying bills, etc.  I hope this "side effect" passes soon, or I'm going to be a basket case.

I am looking forward to playing racquetball with my group that always gets together (well, almost always) and plays at noon on Fridays.  I was only rarely able to join them on a rare Friday off.  I made a point to go to the gym yesterday to work out, in an attempt to burn off nervous energy in hopes I would be able to focus on the readings for class (because they are so freakingly technical).  

Well, because my alloted focus for this task has now expired, I shall return to my homework.  :-)
Love, 365


November 19, 2014

Holy cow.....

Courtesy New York Times ~ South Buffalo, NY

What the???  This incredible snow storm, of which you have most likely already seen/heard of has buried Buffalo in a huge blanket of snow.  When I look at this photo, the first thing I notice is that their front door is basically covered by snow.  I can't imagine how long it will take to dig out! Looks like none of these folks will be going to work today!  Looks very pretty, if all you have to do is look at the photo, and not deal with the snow blower/shovel.  Makes me quite thankful to live here in Albuquerque, when not much else is!

I am trying to concentrate on my class work, but I keep getting distracted.  So much to think about & do.  I texted my x-coworker about some things I forgot to take with me (hair spray, contact lens cleaner, yogurt in fridge), and I'm trying not to freak out that I haven't heard back from her yet...although I'm sure she is scrambling to keep up with work.  

Well, back to reading Developmental Origins of Adult Function & Health: Evolutionary Hypotheses. Doesn't that sound like exciting material?  

Love, 365

November 17, 2014

And so it goes......

Cloud Godzilla! 

I filed for unemployment benefits today.  How humiliating is that?  I'm grateful and all, but wow, I wasn't expecting it.  I had a little trouble creating a login, because it took me awhile to notice that it has to be ALL numbers or letters, and of course any other login is a collection of numbers & letters, right?  Well, you have to remember this is a government thing, and they have to do things differently.

I saw my hairdresser today, who is sadly going through a painful & difficult divorce, and we were sharing stories....all in all a pretty weird day so far.  I called the bank and made arrangements for my 401k to be transferred, since my x-boss said they would call me today ~ so far, nothin.  I'm not worried about that though, because I know I will hear from them this week.

Today is registration day for next semester, and I think, for me, this is the part that gets me down, as I won't be able to afford to go until I'm employed again.  Another delay....sigh. I still need to e-mail my current professor and inquire about employment, although I'm sure he isn't in charge, I thought it couldn't hurt.

If you have any suggestions that might help, please feel free!  It's been a very long time since I've applied for work, and interviewed (shudder).

Love, 365



November 10, 2014

Just a little of everything......


It's time.....for the annual Thanksgiving comes first campaign.  If you have Facebook, check out their page, where they are keeping us appraised of which stores are honoring this important day for families to get together.  They also allow you to sign petitions (if you wanna).  The fight continues!

This semester is going well, somehow I am managing to write 2 one to two page pieces each week and currently have an A, and recently the professor asked me if I was planning on graduate school, and that he would support me if I decided to apply.  I replied that because I'm currently working full time, it's taking me forever to finish my bachelor's degree & that if he's still working at UNM when I graduate, I'll take him up on his offer.  It really made my week :-)

I love fall here in New Mexico.  This one has met all my expectations so far ~ sunny skies, temp's from 65 to 75.  Haven't begun to plan for Thanksgiving yet, although turkey is on the menu.  Yesterday I made Louisiana gumbo, and tried out Red Lobster biscuit mix, which was a big hit.  Must be the butter you drizzle on em' when they come out of the oven, lol.  Something about fall makes me want to cook and bake.  Later I'm making an apple pie, which should make the house smell lovely....

I am already sick of Christmas.  The decor is everywhere.  I went to Lowe's a week ago to look at bathroom sinks, and was overwhelmed by plastic prelit trees, inflatable Santas and Snowmen, and every type of decoration you can imagine.  Ugh.

Well, gotta go.....have a wonderful week!
Love, 365



October 28, 2014

ARGHHH!

Look familiar????  (google images)

I've been catching up on my blog reading, and Ami wrote something about her brain keeping her up, and I thought YES, I know how that goes, and why won't you SHUT UP!  (this is my brain I'm talking to, lol)  I have this happen sometimes.  A long time ago, I read an article about it, and there was a suggestion to not have a clock within visual range by the bed, so that you don't do what the person in the cartoon is doing.....it's 2:46am......it's 2:52am......ad nauseam.  You may find this list familiar too....

Did I lock the front door?
What was that noise?  I better go downstairs & check.
OMG, did I forget to call so and so and wish them happy birthday?
If I fall asleep right now I will get approximately 6 hours and 17 minutes of sleep.
I'm too hot.
"      "   cold.
How does he fall asleep in 10 minutes, when it takes me an hour?
I have to pee.
Did my phone just vibrate?  What now???
Did I set my alarm? 
Oh, look, I have 5 Facebook messages, I'll just check real quick.
If I fall asleep now I will get approximately 5 hours and 20 minutes of sleep.
Did I remember to pay the utlility bill?
I hope my Mom is doing OK.
WAS THAT A BUG?  no, it's just a tissue from under the pillow
I'm hungry/thirsty.  
If I fall asleep right now I will get approximately 4 hours and 45 minutes of sleep.
No kidding, folks........


October 26, 2014

Whew! We all survived....

Obviously borrowed from jantoo...lol.  If you can't read the sign, it says "variations on a theme, next 825 miles.  I can relate.

This will be a real quickie....I was working on my homework, and am ready to hit the sack...got work tomorrow at 7am.  
***
(the next day, lol )

I was too tired.  I'm still tired, but it's mostly just the level of today's activity, and house cleaning.  Man, how I hate house cleaning.  If I leave it all to Romeo, I have to admit it leaves a bit to be desired.  What we need is for one of us to get a massive raise so that I can have someone come out every 2 weeks and clean it for us.  As if.....

The wedding was wonderful.  Here's a photo of the bride & groom:

So, in case you're unfamiliar, this is my oldest son.  As you can see, her dress was really stunning.  She had pretty shoes on too, but you couldn't see them with the dress.  My sister and her husband went with me and we had a good time....even had a whiskey shot (& I'm not much of a drinker, but the occasion seemed to call for alcohol!).  And you know what?  The strapless bra didn't bug me at all ~ even before the drinks.  :-)

The one big drag about the trip was the drive.  It was exhausting.  And for some reason we decided to take hwy 285, which turned out to be a big mistake.  There is a lot of oil/fracking going on around the New Mexico and Texas border, so we had to deal with semi's and big pick-ups.  Sometimes the semi's would drive on the shoulder of the road to give us a chance to pass, and as they were doing that, they were throwing all kinds of stones.  And we nearly got creamed by a semi that we thought was letting us get by, but actually had pulled over to the shoulder of the road to turn into a gas station.  After that, we decided we wouldn't return by the same route.  The drive home was just boring, boring, boring.  10 to 11 hours in the car, no matter how comfortable, is just a big ol' drag.  I don't recommend it.

Well, I need to finish my homework (due tonight by 12am).  Have a wonderful week!
Love, 365

October 9, 2014

Man, where has the time gone.....

ha ha.....(Google images)

Well, this isn't exactly the type of busy I have goin' on.  But close, lol.

I have lots to do at work ~ I am supposed to make things as easy for my co-worker as I can, but since it's been a slow month, it hasn't been too bad.  However, for those of you that hold your breath until my next post ~ yeah, right ~ I probably won't be...posting that is.....until I return from the wedding.  Which is next week.  And I'm not at all ready.  Remember?  I'm a lethal procrastinator.  There's nothing like a deadline to get the ol' juices flowing.  

I have the dress, the shoes, the stupid strapless bra (which is OK, but I know I'll be rearranging it until I have enough alcohol in my system to where I simply won't give a damn).  We're driving (so that ought to be fun..12 hours or less) so we will have lots of time to catch up on conversation.  Hmph.

At least my professor is giving me an extra week to post my assignments, which I was so happy about and grateful for his generosity.  

Now, I just have to gear myself up for 5 days of staying with my Mom, who is a perfectly lovely person, for about 3 days.  Ha ha, no not really.  I just like to dish it out.  

If you don't see any writing after a couple of weeks.....just wait a little longer.  :-)

Love, 365

September 28, 2014

Eat like a cave man....



This week in class, we were discussing the Paleo-diet, or Stone Age diet.  It was pretty interesting reading, but I won't bore you with the exciting details (pages and pages.....).  However, I will bore you with what I gleaned from it all.

The Stone Age (or paleo-diet) is stupid.  Of course, so is the grapefruit diet, the rice diet, the smoothie diet, ......  The problem is, we have a huge number of people who are very over-weight or obese, and these folks are becoming sick with diseases like type II diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, oh, and the list just go on and on.  I know why, though.

We are busy.  Did you realize that families with young children end up eating about 20-30% of meals in their car?  We just don't have time to sit around the table and eat, much less cook the food ourselves.  The kids have soccer practice, band practice, karate, guitar lessons, and on and on.

We are busy.  Go to the grocery store and stock up on fresh meat, veggies, fruit and then go home and cook a meal everyone wants to eat?  Get outta here....

We are busy.  Hey, I know!  Let's go by McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Schlotzky's, Burger King, Dairy Queen, Church's Fried Chicken, and get dinner.  It'll be so much easier, right?

We are busy.  At the end of the week, the last thing we want to do is cook.  I just want to sit in front of the TV and mindlessly eat big bowls of ice cream or popcorn or chocolate or french fries .... the list does go on and on.

What ever happened to common sense?  Oh, yeah, I ate it and washed it down with a 48 ounce cola.

Love, 365

September 27, 2014

Never, ever.

Ugh.....(image from toonvectors.com)

I have been a bad, bad girl.  Letting myself get caught up in other stuff & procrastinating class assignments.  I started out good, reading the material on Monday, when it's first available.  Read some more during the week, but waited until last night to write my discussion post......when the migraine came on.  Had to hurry through the post so I could finish puking and go to bed.  I will never ever wait until Friday to write my post again.  Never.      Ever.

I
Hate
Migraines.

Once I have one, I simply have to sleep.  I've never had a medication that helped.  They come on too fast, and when they happen I become very nauseated and can't drink anything.

So, lesson learned!!!


September 22, 2014

Writing, writing, writing.......

Images: Google

Well, I don't smoke anymore...but I thought the look on her face mirrors my own.  "How do I start?  Will it make sense?  Can I stretch it to 2 pages?"  

When I began this class, I had no idea that there would be so much writing.  I figured like most classes there would be quizzes & tests & a bit of writing.  And, although I don't miss quizzes and tests, the writing is soooo difficult.  The most difficult part is understanding what the Prof. wants.  And apparently he wants us to show we read the material, and give our opinions about it.  Which is cool, I guess.  I've posted 5 so far, with good results. I recall another class where we had to write a lot, and I complained then too.  And figured that it would be great practice if I had another class like it.  No.  No, it didn't help at all, because the *#%*^ parameters are different.  But the material is great.  Evolutionary medicine will help our Dr's and health care professionals treat our problems more effectively....eventually.  

Otherwise, all is going along.  Romeo is still having hits & misses with his culinary endeavors.  Last week he made green chile stew....with bacon.  Sounds good, right?  Except he didn't precook the bacon, so it was slimy and digusting.  I ate around the bacon as well as I could, but no one ever went back for seconds, so it was thrown out.  I think we need to discuss doing ONE new idea per week instead of 3 or 4!  

He had asked me to buy bell peppers in order to make stuffed peppers for dinner, which is fairly straight forward.  Only the bell peppers were humongous. I've never seen an entire bin of green peppers that were all so huge.  I bought them with reservations.....figuring he might be a bit upset if I didn't get them....you know, they were on the "list".  He made them on Saturday, and we finished them off for dinner on Sunday.  When I say they were huge, I wasn't exaggerating.  On the plus side, they were very good!

Let's try a little humor.....






and finally.....










September 14, 2014

Did Neanderthals leave behind abstract art?




From Science Daily, 9/4/14.

This is a first ~ rock engravings by Neanderthals.  Buried under sediment at the back of a cave, subsequently dated 39,000 years old, and was found in Gibraltar.  It's significant because it's the first example found of Neanderthal cave art.  Boy, do the Neanderthals get a bad rap from science, although it's improved in the last decade ~ from the heavy brow ridge and shown hairy as a gorilla, he has been "updated" to looking very much like us.  

From the Smithsonian

I tried to find a drawing of how science used to view Neanderthals, but I couldn't find one.  Drat!

They used to be depicted as dumb, strong brutes, that had no language or culture.  We have since discovered that they were very much like Homo Sapiens...have a look at the "family tree".




I know this is rather small & hard to see ~ The Neanderthals are just below and to the right of the "you are here" circle.  For a larger view go here...

Now for my interpretation of the cave art.......
Doesn't it look like a tic-tac-toe game?  
Maybe they were just waiting for the weather to improve before going hunting.


Love, 365



September 12, 2014

Car remote ...... broken. No biggie, right?

Nah, mine doesn't look quite like this, but similar....(courtesy Google images)

As you might have already guessed, my remote stopped working last week.  Every day I would get home, telling myself I would replace the batteries.  But, then something would happen, and the result is a whole week before I finally got around to it.  Except....when I opened the the case, I had a couple of tiny little pieces fall out, and after I put it back together, it didn't work.  At least I have another one, and after replacing the batteries, it worked just fine.  

What really surprised me was just how dependant I had become on it.  I would keep forgetting that I couldn't walk away and lock it, I had to keep going back and locking manually....and then I would check at least 2 doors to make sure it "took".  Funny ~ I wouldn't have thought that I would feel more secure on the "beep" of the car horn than manually locking it.  I guess I've become more secure in technology than I thought!  I kept feeling irritated that I had forgotten to fix my remote, then feeling ridiculous that I trusted my remote more than locking with my own hand!  Weird.  

Considering they are now 12 years old, and have been dropped, stashed in my bag with no thought, been wet from rain and other hazards, I feel lucky that it worked as long as it did.  Maybe the remaining remote will last long enough to get me to a new vehicle in 3 to 4 years.....

Love, 365


September 8, 2014

Breast cancer update (evolutionary medicine info)

(courtesy of Google images ~ I'm so done with Bing......)

First I'll bore you with this:

"Although comparative rates are difficult to obtain, one study estimates that the rate of breast cancer for industrialized nations, where birth control is practiced and childbearing is limited and deferred, is as high as 100 times the rate for women who are not using contraception and are spending the bulk of their reproductive lives pregnant or nursing in patterns that result in lactational amenorrhea (Eaton et al. 1994). For these women, the hormonal milieu to which they are most commonly exposed is high progesterone rather than high estrogen. Eaton and his colleagues suggest that hormonal interventions (not unlike those with oral contraceptives) that delay menarche or reduce the number of menstrual cycles may provide protection against the reproductive cancers described above (Eaton et al. 2002). "  *Wenda Trevathan, Evolutionary Medicine, New Mexico State University, Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology, 2007

Ok ~ so this stuff interested me as a breast cancer "survivor" (meaning, I haven't gotten past my 5 year mark yet, although I fully expect to).  There is more information than this, but it's really long, and probably not interesting to many.  The bottom line: modern women in developed countries (like ours) have too many periods.  You know, cycles.  We are exposed to over 400 highs and lows of estrogen/progesterone.  Ugh.  Now, I never took birth control pills, because I couldn't remember to take them regularly, so I used a more antiquated birth control solution ~ the lovely diaphram.  So much fun, let me tell you.  My gynecologist did prescribe "hormone replacement therapy" for me, which I took for a little over a year...then I had my cancer diagnosis, and wondered if that had anything to do with it.  Probably not.  I really didn't take it very long.  Until truly effective means of birth control were available, what we did was nurse a child....for a long time.  According to the study, foraging populations would have a total of approx. 5.9 children ( ~ don't you just love the decimal there?) and would lactate for a total of 17 years. This means that each child would be nursed for about 2.8 years.  Can you imagine the outcry of the general populace if a child were breast fed for that long?  Anyway, doing that is out of the question.  So, now our contraceptive people are working on developing a pill that would reduce the number of cycles to 4 in one year rather than 11 to 12, which might be a good idea.  This class (Evolutionary Medicine in case you weren't aware, or paying attention ~ and why would you, anyway???) is really fascinating.  In a keynote address by Dr. Randolph Nesse, he mentioned that the number of men taking testosterone therapy is increasing, and wonders what the ramifications of that would be.  


You would think we would have learned the lesson from the huge number of women who did take hormone replacement therapy for a long time ~ and ended up with all kinds of problems like: cancer, stroke, heart attack, gall bladder disease, blood clots...and yet when you put in your search engine "the negative consequences of hormone replacement therapy" you get articles that give you the pro's and con's ~ and they really seem to be downplaying the con's in my opinion......well, I suppose it is a competely individual decision to go on it or not.  The point of evolutionary medicine is that there is a delicate set of checks and balances that you may or may not want to fuck around with.  


Love, 365



September 7, 2014

Depression.....anxiety......got any prozac?

Image stolen from: izismile.com

In case you haven't carefully considered the above cartoon, look again........you see it?  Everyone is thinking they are totally inadequate/behind the times/lame/stupid/not living up to your potential, etc.  And yet, when we are feeling these feelings, we are focused only on ourselves.  That's the way it works.  Because rarely do others admit that they feel inadequate~lame~etc.  I know when I feel this way, I certainly don't admit it to most of the people I know.  I tried to explain it to my Mom once, and after a lengthy silence on the phone, she basically told me to get over it.  Yeah, my Mom ain't no psychiatrist (and probably doesn't think they could help anyway, nothing's as good as giving those bootstraps a good yank).  So this is how I live, when I feel depressed or anxience, I give myself a good talking to......."look at all your blessings!  You have a nice place to live, you're never hungry, no one beats you up, etc, etc"  Sure, it helps.  All of that is true. But how do I tell my inner voice to stop saying "you're a loser"?  

I'm coming out of the closet.

Even when writing in this blog, I make sure to not dwell on the negatives.  I'm hiding.  I want to show a brave, happy face.  All is well!  See???

I've been giving all of this more thought than it deserves, following the death/suicide of Robin Williams.  It just got me thinking about it more.  

Don't get me wrong ~ I'm not considering suicide.  Far from it.  What I want is to feel confident.  That I'm worthy of respect.  That I deserve to feel happy.  To quit feeling like I just don't measure up.  

I'm aware of it....I just can't quite figure out how to stop being so negative to myself, when I work so hard to be constructive when giving advise to someone else.  Ironic, isn't it?  And very very frustrating.  I continue to work on it...and it does help to realize that, like the cartoon up there, I'm not alone in feeling this way.

Love, 365

August 30, 2014

Natural selection....I'll take chocolate!

"Shhh, but I didn't invent the idea of evolution!"  C. Darwin  (Courtesy of Bing Images)

The mystery has been solved.....Evolutionary Medicine  ~ Evolutionary medicine or Darwinian medicine is the application of modern evolutionary theory to understanding health and disease. The goal of evolutionary medicine is to understand why people get sick, not simply how they get sick."  Thank you Wikipedia, which I fail to recognize as a dependable source for information, but ironically use all the time. (It at least gives me somewhere to go, or ideas for further research).  So, in week two we begin to cut into the "meat" of the class, discussing Darwin and Mendel, with a reminder that Darwin formulated his ideas on the backs of many writings (some that go back as far as 412 B.C. with Diogenes who apparently "introduced the concept of primordial slime").  Yet our history/biology/medical books give much credit to Darwin, who did some pretty impressive work when you consider that he didn't have any idea what a gene was.    

I'm having a little bit of trouble with the discussion board, so will be calling the "help line" on Tuesday (& hope they are open after 4:30, when I should be getting home).  Otherwise the class is rolling along.  I also see that we don't have any "tests" per se....but we have to write.  Ugh.  I enjoy writing here, but let me tell you that there are times that the words are sometimes dragged out kicking and screaming.  Wish I had a dollar for the number of times I've deleted the whole post and started over!  Although I couldn't by any means buy a car, I could certainly have purchased a really nice outfit, complete with shoes, purchased at some high brow department store.  Gee, now that I think about it, I wish I did have those dollars, but the truth is, I would probably spend said money on my utility bill, or the water bill, or the gas bill.  Which, by the way, needs to be paid : note to self.  

I mentioned in a previous post that my co-worker was on vacation last week, and I was really working hard at keeping up (which is impossible, one person can't effectively do the work of two people, or there wouldn't be the need for two people, right????).  But then disaster ~ Thursday afternoon I had to go home with a migraine, and I also managed to puke all over my shirt.  Sorry for the imagery there.  So, I'm even behinder than I was.  Oh well.  I am doing my best to avoid going in over the weekend to catch up.  

Our plans today are to go to Wagner's and get our yearly dose of green chile, so I'll wish you a wonderful day!
Love, 365

August 27, 2014

Green chile days & the NM State Fair...

I do love the art exhibit and all, but I really love to go for the green chile corn dogs that you can only get at the fair!  (Courtesy Bing Images)

This Saturday, we will be making our annual trip to Wagner's to pick out a bushel of green chile from Hatch, New Mexico!  After choosing our chile's, they take them around the side of the building to the roasting bins (see below). 

There are flames below, and the chiles spin around, roasting as they go.  In Albuquerque, nothing says fall like the smell of roasting chile.  After this step, you have to take them home and bag them for freezing ~ the  not so fun part.  In our house, a bushel is enough to last us the whole year....but there are some people who have twice or even three times as much chile put away in their freezers.  These are the folks who cook huge batches of green chile stew, enchiladas, rellenos (stuffed green chile that is usually deep fried, stuffed with cheese & ground beef, or just cheese).  Probably because when Grandma cooks on Sunday the entire extended family comes over for dinner.  I would too, if invited!

********
In about 2 weeks, the state fair begins.  Usually accompanied by rainy afternoons, which is ironically typical in a place that averages about 9 inches per year ~ we seem to always be able to count on it during the fair.  No matter, because I usually only go to eat green chile corn dogs (corn dogs with green chile in the batter), which I haven't found anywhere else.  I suppose I should ask if they sell any other places, but they are kind of greasy, and fattening, so once a year is probably best!  

Well, I have one more day of work this week, then I'm off for 4 days, thanks to Labor Day.  My co-worker has been on vacation this week, so I'm desperately trying to keep up as best as I can.  

Have a wonderful holiday!
Love, 365

August 24, 2014

And so it begins.......

You want me to what??????

This ends the first week of the fall semester.  I'm only taking the one class, so I shouldn't be too busy with homework and such.  I have a feeling that all the writing I will be doing will create bald spots on my head.....yikes!  This week we had to choose an article from a list and write a one to two page "journal" entry.  So he has this class set up a bit differently than other online classes I've taken.  The first week is generally an intro, so I expect the journal entries will become a bit more difficult as time goes on.  The article I chose was about our intestinal flora....and how they might be influencing the types of foods we eat...making us crave certain types of foods these microflora need to survive.  Wierd, huh?  Have no fear ~ we've been living with them for millions of years....it's a symbiotic relationship.  They help us with digesting and such, and we provide the nutrients they need (a very simplistic explanation).

***had I mentioned that Romeo has become interested in cooking....and just now had to show me a couple of recipes.  Just. Stop. It.  Making me totally batshit nuts.....

Well, I better go, he's still talking, and I suppose I should at least pretend to listen.

Have a great week, ya'll!
Love, 365

August 17, 2014

Cutting boards from Vermont....

I love a good cutting board...

These owl boards are too cute....


***************************************
Happy Birthday, Aaron!  Today is my eldest son's birthday....he lives in Round Rock (just North of Austin).  We talked on the phone, had a few laughs, discussed the wedding coming up in October.  If only we were 8 hours away instead of 12!  I wish we were closer, but it was my idea to move to Albuquerque, and for the most part I love it.  

I finally found a dress to wear to the wedding...it's lovely ~ and it fits! ~ I need shoes now, but I'm not in any hurry.  I'm sure I'll find the perfect pair somewhere.

**************************************
School starts on Monday, and I think I already mentioned we don't need to buy a book (woo hoo!).  I have enjoyed the summer, but I am ready to get back to it!  I suppose I will find out the focus of the class as soon as I log on.  When I took Human Evolutionary Ecology, I didn't have a clue that the focus was primates.  Still, Evolutionary Medicine seems straightforward.  

And now, for a little levity:

Hee hee...

Too funny, and yet...

Oh, Steve! Oh, Emily........

Tener una buena semana! (have a good week)

Amor, 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", ...