December 31, 2017

The goal & the hurdle.....

The Goal for 2018  (Bing images)

This is it.  This is the year I want to graduate.  It will require a sacrifice of my free time, because I must take two classes for two semesters this year in order to meet it.  I have tried to take 2 classes a semester before, and dropped one when I discovered I couldn't handle the load.  To be fair, the second class I attempted last year was a short semester class where the professor promised to cram 16 weeks of class into 8, which is when I knew I was in trouble.  I do have 2 classes for the spring semester, but since they are both 16 week classes I'm hoping I can do it.  Because if I can't do it well, I won't.  

So, here's to 2018 ~ may we make peace with the past and have hope for the future ~ don't forget to be part of the solution....

Love, 365

December 30, 2017

Oh, the joy......

(Bing images)

I jumped the gun.  I spent likely an hour unsubscribing from various e-mails last night.  

I've already seen the benefits this morning....only had about 10 e-mails between 9pm and 7am.  Still too many.

Truthfully, there were a few where I hesitated.  "What if I miss something?"  Soldiering on, I hit the unsubscribe button.  I think this process might take awhile.  Romeo mentioned that he still receives e-mail from organizations he unsubscribed from.  No matter, I will continue to unsub until they go away.  I'm not sure what I'll do if they ignore it.  Some of the e-mails didn't have an unsub button or link, so I replied with "STOP!", although I doubt that will work.  There's probably some poor schlub that deletes all of those..in a dark closet with a cold cup of coffee.

Romeo and I are driving up to Santa Fe today for lunch and a bit of sidewalk shopping.  It has been wonderfully warm here this winter.  Normally by this time there have been several snowstorms, with the cold air to go with it, but we are supposed to have temps in the 60's today.  In December!!  I don't mind it being warm, but it is also terribly dry.  We haven't had any measurable moisture for over 2 months.  It's going to be an ugly spring if we don't get much snow.  

To all of you who have read this blog over the past year(s), and bothered to 
comment or give encouragement or tell me I'm crazy or whatever.....


It is truly appreciated....I love this blogging community!

Love ~ for reals! ~ 365

December 29, 2017

It's biscochito season here in NM.......

Biscochito cookies......our state cookie (Bing images)

Not long after moving to New Mexico I encountered biscochito's, and love them.  Introduced by the Spanish ~ after invading Mexico ~ they have evolved to become a local favorite, especially during Christmas.  If you want to learn more about them go here.  You either love them or hate them (star anise and cinnamon).  Some are made with lard (traditional) or margarine/butter.  In my opinion, the cookies made with lard are the best.  Yes, there is a place for lard in cooking!  I've never tried my hand at making them, and I probably should, but they are everywhere during the holidays so I stick to what I know and buy them.  

If you recall, I recently filled out the paperwork for the annulment of my first marriage (not my idea, I assure you).  The only time this subject has come up is when Son #1 was married.  At both weddings,  Mike's wife became morose because apparently she attends an orthodox Catholic church that doesn't allow the taking of the sacraments (communion) unless the marriage meets all the requirements of the church ~ in other words, you must be married only once or have previous marriages annulled (unless your spouse dies as hers did).  I told Mike that I didn't have any objection to the annulment process.  I received the paperwork after Thanksgiving.......didn't even review it until the week before Christmas.  And discovered that Mike lied.  Every single reason he gave was a lie.  I was furious and sad.  I filled it out, added my own letter to the paperwork and mailed it off.  So, there is my first New Year's resolution: I will no longer communicate with Mike in any way (unless it involved the health or safety of Son #1).  One of my friends told me that the annulment may not be approved, and my sister thinks that Mike put all that down so that it would be.  But, really?  You lie to the church?  If it isn't approved that's justice.

My second resolution will be concerning e-mails.  I plan to unsubscribe to everything I routinely delete.  I am hoping this will reduce my e-mails to a minimum.  Currently, I will have 25+ every day, and typically wait until there are over 100 before I clean out the inbox.  My sister was horrified to see the number of unread e-mails on my phone :-)  She's much more organized than I am.  

On a lighter note, here's the annual tumbleweed snowman Albuquerque puts up every year.
Courtesy of the Albuquerque Journal

Cute, isn't he?  I love this tradition.  

Love, 365


December 25, 2017

Need something to do for 2 hours?

The Mayflower (PBS)

The American Experience: The Pilgrims ~ available on PBS/Amazon and probably lots of other places as well.  It is a well crafted and interestingly fair view of the story, based on the writings of one of the founders, William Bradford.  His book was lost for years, and somehow ended up in the library of a London bishop who originally refused to return it ~ it took over 100 years to have the petition to return it granted.  I found it fascinating, Romeo was a tad bored.  I had to finish watching it in my office.  If you do have Amazon, you could watch it in segments.  Two hours is a loooong time, lol.

In the meantime, it's 4:30pm Christmas day here.  We had cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and roast chicken, fruit salad and rice for Christmas dinner.  This hasn't been my most memorable holiday culinary adventure.  In a week and a half, I'll be getting together with a friend to make seafood gumbo.  I only wish it was happening before the 1st so we could eat it New Year's Day.  Maybe we'll have tacos.......

Once again the powers that be at UNM have listed the start date of the spring semester as January 15th, which is Martin Luther King Day.  Two years ago I made the mistake of going to class on that fateful Monday, only to discover that the spring semester start date is our first holiday of the semester.  And yet, they still do it.  Why can't they just start the semester on Tuesday?  Romeo thinks it's a money thing and he's likely right.  So, the first day of the semester is a holiday.  Stupid.  Luckily I don't need to buy any books for these two classes, but I'm willing to bet that I'll be doing a lot of printing.

Have a great week!
Love, 365




December 23, 2017

It's time.........

Just another beautiful sky in New Mexico

Here I am, finally getting a little Christmas spirit going, and I received the annulment paperwork from my ex.  How interesting it is to read his "reasons" that the annulment should be granted.  I'm just a tad bit furious.  I'm attaching my own letter to the process.  I don't know that I would have agreed to this process had I known what I was getting into.  There were questions about my childhood that I refused to answer, because it's really none of their business.  But, it's done and I'll mail it off today.  

Beyond that little bit of Christmas cheer, I still have a few more things to do.  I would like to bake a few more cookies, and I need to figure out the menu for Christmas day, and get all the ingredients.  I should definitely do that today as I figure the grocery stores will be crowded tomorrow.

Even though I told Romeo not to buy any gifts for me ~ he does so much for me over the course of a year, by cooking dinner, laundry, house cleaning (no he doesn't do all of these things all of the time, but he does do it 80% of the time), I suspect he purchased a few gifts.  So, I need to go out and find a few things for him, although going to the mall makes me want to curl up into a ball.  We'll see if I have a great idea while getting ready to head out....come on, brain!  Think!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Love, 365

December 18, 2017

December ~ watch the money fly out of my wallet......

Two of the young women at the gym put together Santa and his reindeer out of towels...
Don't ask me why she posed like this, haha...

This is the official first week of Christmas/winter break at UNM.  I am celebrating by tossing out all of the readings, notes, and syllabus of my previous class.  I'll stick the offending paper in the recycle bin.  There are so few classes I've saved my class materials from.  Just an example of how useless so much of this stuff is.  Whatever, I'm ready for classes to begin in mid-January.  The notebooks are now ready!  One class is Stone Age Europe (looking forward to it), the second is National Parks and American Culture ~ not sure exactly what that means, but I guess I'll find out.  

But, as to my title ~ between the downpayment for the spring semester, Christmas and property taxes, my account is not experiencing a holly jolly season.  Bah humbug.

I did a fair amount of baking this weekend, with gingerbread, sugar cookies and lemon-lavender sandwich cookies (which were really yummy).  I still need to bake pumpkin bread, and I'm considering baking one more type of cookie ~ as yet to be determined.  I need to mail off a gift, return a pair of jeans, wash my vehicle and do a little ironing for the work week.  This is my first Monday off in a month.  I volunteered to work today for my co-worker so that I could increase my hours (I'm paid by the hour, no one in the office is paid a salary), but she wanted to add to her hours too, so I'm off today.  Although it would have been nice to have the extra 8 hours, I'm happy to have time to catch up on a few things.  It was nice sleeping until 7am too.....

Have a wonderful week!
Love, 365



December 16, 2017

Week wrap up.....

I meant to redo the chalkboard for the seasons, but as you see I've missed
Halloween
Thanksgiving
& now Christmas.....

It has been a rather exhausting week.  I spent most of last weekend studying for my final ~ recall that it was on Tuesday at 7:30am, ugh.  I pulled out my 35 cent blue book and went to work.....it didn't take me very long to finish the exam.  I finished, and looked at my watch which read 8:10.  No one else had turned in their exam yet, so I figured I would go over everything again.  I changed one answer ~ usually a mistake as I note that when I do that my first answer is usually the correct one, but what the heck, I changed my mind.  I added a little bit of jargon to my "short essay".  I reviewed it again, and by 8:30 I decided I didn't care if I was the first to leave, I was done.  I collected the graded essay we turned in the week before, and was surprised to see I made a 96 on it, and happily thought that the grade I needed on the final was now lower to get an A in the course ~ which I did.  So, now I move on.  

*****IF ANYONE IS INTERESTED IN "The Faithful" by James O'Toole, now is the time to say so.  
Please e-mail me at nmhiker56@icloud.com saying you're.....interested.   I will mail it out to you.  The book itself is not worth more than 10 or 15 bucks, just in case you're thinking it might be valuable.  The value is in the story, not the item.  If more than one person is interested, I'll do a drawing (consisting of names on a piece of paper and drawn out of a hat, haha).  See?  I'm not even requiring that you "follow" me to get your chance........

After the tournament style racquetball game yesterday ~ wow, was that exhausting! ~ I stopped into my neighborhood store and spied a small live "tree" (I think it's an Italian cypress) including a small string of lights and tiny ornaments for $18.  I snapped that up along with my baking necessities.  So, now we have a small ~ make that tiny ~ tree complete with lights and decor.  Still not sure I'm doing much decorating other than that, but it is cheerful and cute.  I still need to mail out a gift, but I need to wrap it first.  I guess I'll take my chances and mail it out on Monday.  I should have just let Amazon deliver it, but it would have been so early.  

Well, I've got a long list of to-do's!  Have a wonderful weekend!
Love, 365



December 9, 2017

No, I haven't put up my tree yet......

(Image courtesy of Bing)

I had plans....I was going to attend the Christmas arts & crafts sale at the Railyard in downtown.  I was going to catch up on my laundry.  I was going to Michaels to look for a small table top tree since I don't want to put up the big one this year.  I didn't do any of those things though, because I've spent the entire day studying for my final exam.  

I did well on the mid-term, and the final will be similar.  But I have to study.....it seems to be an obsession these days, where I would never have thought to spend so much time for a single event before.  There will be a two paragraph essay included in the final, which I'm not looking forward to.  But I figure that studying for all the other parts (there are 3) will prepare me to write a short essay on whatever she decides to put in front of us. 

My eyes are tired and blurry, but I've put a sufficient number of check marks on the review.....I think I can leave the rest for tomorrow.  Poor Romeo is under the weather with a cold, and he went to bed hours ago.  I will have to be quiet when I wander in to the bedroom before collapsing into bed.  

The idea that the registrar's office schedules final exams seems crazy to me.  I've never had to suffer through a final that wasn't scheduled by the professor.  The final for this class is on Tuesday at 7:30 in the morning.  Why didn't we just do it on the last day of class?  We really didn't do anything important this past Tuesday/Thursday.  I think she should have given us the review on the 30th, and have us take the exam on the 7th, which was the "last day of class"....except for the exam of course.  College never ceases to amaze me with it's crazy and inefficient ideas and "traditions".  But, I'm too tired to ! complain about it.  A Christmas miracle, haha.

I hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend....
Love, 365

December 3, 2017

When you do things you don't really want to....

Latest picture of the gang...

Last year, one of my racquetball buddies mentioned that she thought I had signed up for the NM Doubles tournament.  There's another player that has the same first name that I do.....she asked the organizer if I had signed up, and he said yes ~ only it was our newest player on Wednesday nights.  Not me.  So, she ended up playing the tournament with her anyway (because that's the kind of person she is, very nice).  I always felt a little guilty for sort of letting her down, so I asked if she wanted to play this year.  It's a weekend tournament, but it still takes up most of the weekend, especially if you play in different divisions.  

So, we began on Friday night.  It went ok, we should have just wiped the floor with the team we were playing, but neither of us was playing very well.  We still managed to win.  The next day, I'm still not "on" ~ meaning I just couldn't get past the anxiety of playing a tournament.  It had been about 2 or 3 years since I had played in one.  I was, again, not "on".  I made so many stupid mistakes, I was wishing someone would hit me on the head with a racquet and put me out of my misery.  It went to a tiebreaker, which is where I really sucked.  We lost.  Worse than that, I became very frustrated with one of the players on the other team who seemed to stand in front of me every minute.  Which they aren't supposed to do, but the ref wasn't calling her on it.  Whereby I grabbed the back of her tee shirt in an attempt to get her out of my way.  When she turned around to walk back to receive (after the point) I made an ugly face and faked hitting her with the racquet.  Even now, I'm so embarrassed.  I really lost it.  I'm not sure I'm ever going to play in a tournament again.   I apologized, and she was very gracious about it.  Still, I think I'm done with tournaments.  I don't want to put myself in a position where I'm that ugly person again.  

I suppose it's good to know one's limitations.  Although I know that everyone else has likely forgotten about it already, I know I will bring the image to the forefront of my mind and chastise myself over it for awhile.  This is one of my worst habits.  I call it emotional flagellation.  I won't forgive myself for a long time after everyone else has. Now I just need to find a way to move on.

Love, 365

December 1, 2017

Let the craziness begin.......

It's a Santa Fe Christmas

The holiday season has officially begun....our office is festively decorated, our radio station 99.5 is playing non-stop holiday music.  I'm not planning on putting up our big tree, I'm going to Michaels' or some other craft store and look for a tabletop size tree.  It's just Romeo and me after all.  No visitors are expected, so I don't want to do the whole thing ~ move furniture, haul out all the boxes of decor.  It'll be festive and simple.  I still have holiday baking to do as well, and the new Better Homes & Gardens came out with their page after page of cookie recipes...I've picked out two to try, and will do my own family favorites as well.  These will be doled out to friends, but I know we'll have a few for ourselves.  

Romeo & I have decided not to exchange gifts this year.  Instead, we're going to have a fabulous Christmas meal.  I'm thinking prime rib roast or similar.  I've never cooked one before, but it looks very simple.

I'll be fairly busy today, with a Dr's appt, hair appt, along with a racquetball tournament that starts this evening and will go on through the weekend.
**************************************
It was nice to have such a long break from classes as our Prof. went to a conference (truthfully I think she and her family went to Chicago for a visit, I just can't imagine a conference being scheduled right before Thanksgiving).  We had two weeks off, which was great.  I turned in my essay yesterday, which I wasn't happy with, but oh well.  It's done.  Both my previous writing assignments were graded at 88.....she is tough on grading, but I didn't follow all the instructions on the second one (I just got so caught up in it that I forgot to expound on one of the issues she wanted us to discuss ~ stupid me).  I don't really care.  I have a 97 on the mid-term.  The final should be a similar type of exam and as long as I study I should do well.

However, she did remind us ~ she had also mentioned it on the first class day ~ our final is scheduled by someone else (?????), some kind of committee or something?  And it's on 12/12 beginning at 7:30 in the morning.  Holy shit, 7:30, are they serious?  So, although I was thinking our class would be done on the 7th, there will be one more day.  I will have to get going very early to make sure I'm there on time, as I'm never in the area at that time of the morning so I don't know how backed up traffic might get.

Big news!  Remember the girl I mentioned who had the dreads?  Well, on Tuesday I was surprised to notice that the dreads are gone.  Her hair is quite short (probably didn't have the patience to untangle them) and thick.  It looks so much better.  And she's speaking up in class more.  I speculate that she went home for Thanksgiving and her parents took her to a hair salon.  Or, maybe she did it before she went so that her folks wouldn't freak out.

Well, I must get started on the day.  Have a fabulous day!
Love, 365

The average Saturday........

Looking good!   Oh, it's just a typical Saturday morning.  I usually watch Lucky Dog while having breakfast and coffee.  I wish I...