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 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....


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

I get it......

  My face when I realize my 23 year old replacement at work believes I'm a washed up old has-been, haha. Me, thinking, that in 3 days I&...