July 26, 2014

Repeating the news & "playdates"

Mom's flowering vine...

Saturday morning....we had been taking the 2 dogs out for a walk early (before 8, because of the heat) but Romeo (my husband) was quite grumpy this morning and said he didn't feel like it because he had "lots to do".  He promptly took a shower and left.  Presumably to the hardware store, where the employees likely know him well.  

While enjoying my coffee & deliciously decadent croissant, I have been watching the news.  I prefer the morning news as it doesn't get down and dirty like the evening news does.  So, as I'm watching, I see that it's basically a 30 min show that is on for 1 to 2 hours, and they just keep repeating the same stories every 30 min.  I have taken to changing channels at the half hour so that I don't have to keep watching/hearing the same story over and over.  It seems strange to me that there is so little news that they repeat every 30 min?  It's a pretty big world out there.  Let's broaden our horizons and look out the window now and then.

This week on Facebook, one of my friends shared a post about "playdates".  I wasn't going to read it since I don't have any little people in my house (& my grandson lives in another state), but the news was repeating itself, so I indulged.  It nearly perfectly described my childhood, except that instead of calling friends to see if they could play, my sister and simply walked around the neighborhood.  We lived in a neighborhood that housed mostly Air Force families, as it was close to the base, and inexpensive.  (I think my Mom told me the house I grew up in until 7th grade cost about 13,000 ~ less than the price of a new car these days!)  On Saturday mornings, I would scarf down breakfast (usually cold cereal), grab my bike and Dennis, Julie, or Mary and I would ride until lunch time, exploring the neighborhood.  Once we found an old graveyard and had fun walking around looking at the names on the headstones and the year they died ~ at the age of 8, death seemed pretty exotic.  Sometimes a few of us would walk down to the elementary school down the street and play tether ball (back when they didn't take the ball down at night, because no one would steal it).  My Mom didn't worry about where I was or what I was doing, as long as I came home for dinner.  Now, apparently, parents make "playdates" because parents must know where their children are every minute of the day.  Understandable.  We've seen the news stories, haven't we?  Would you let your kid leave in the morning and bike ride all day without knowing where they are and who they are with?  And yet, it seems that everything has become too structured.  Lacking in spontaneity, and creativity.  Kids don't know how to entertain themselves (which was a survival mechanism when I was a kid, or Mom would give you something to do, namely chores).  Giving your child the i-pad to play with is not creative, and is not an activity.  However, that works when you're trying to grocery shop, lol.  I don't know what the answer is, but I will take this opportunity to mourn the loss of freedom to today's kids.  

Love, 365

P.S. I heard this week that I was accepted into the Bloomsbury Honor International!  

July 17, 2014

And now.....

Snow Falling On Flamingos
Ok.  I took this photo at the zoo.....and it wasn't snowing......I honestly don't know where the snow falling through the photo is coming from, but as it's kinda neat, I'm just going to go with it!

I am so.....tired.  It has been an exhausting week.  Not sure why, exactly, but it is.  I am so glad that tomorrow is Friday!

I paid for my class today....and instead of paying throughout the semester, I figured I would save that $50 financing fee and just pay the whole damn thing right now.  I'm excited about the class which is Evolutionary Medicine.  It's funny because sometimes these anthropology classes can have deceptive names.  My common sense tells me it's the "evolution of medicine & medicinal theory", but I've been surprised before!  I think I still have about 4 weeks until class starts.  I'm too tired to look or care at the moment!

I applied for membership in the Bloomsbury Honor International, which is (of course) an Honor Society chapter.  I guess I'll find out in a week if I've been accepted.  

Love, 365

July 14, 2014

Prison graduation....

Courtesy Bing Images

Wow.  I was just doing a little channel surfing and caught the tail end of a show about inmates in Sing Sing (New York) obtaining college degrees.  

Here's a link ..... and here is a short blurb from the web site.

Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison has been administering college educational programs in New York State prisons for the last fifteen years. Hudson Link is funded entirely by private donations, and partners with five New York Colleges: Mercy, Nyack, SUNY Sullivan, Siena and Vassar, to provide college programs inside five New York State Correctional Facilities: Fishkill, Greene, Sing Sing, Sullivan and Taconic.

At the end of the program (on HBO), they cited that over 40% of inmates return to prison in 5(?) or so years, but that less than 2% that graduate with a degree while in prison return.  
In view of how life changing education is, doesn't it make sense for our government to support higher education? 
Kids are leaving college with enormous debts these days.

~Books.  I know I've ranted about this before.....lets say you are taking Chemistry.  You discover the book used for $120 (keep in mind this is ONE book, and if you have a full schedule, you will likely need 5 more).  You know someone who took the same class last year & ask to borrow theirs.  Only to discover that the University is no longer using that particular book (or accompanying lab book for that matter).  Now, you may ask yourself, perhaps there have been incredible advances in chemistry and the book needs to be updated?  No.  Oh, there might be a few changes or new discoveries (I think they have added a few more elements to the table).  But, all in all, what you're learning is basic stuff.  There isn't any need to have a new book.  Except the publishers of these books help fund the University.  So, you know, we can't be giving up that funding.  No sir.
~Parking.  The cheapest parking pass is $175 at UNM.  This puts me at the equivalent of the nose bleed section of a sports arena. My pass will expire in the fall, but since I'm taking an online class, I won't need to renew....plus I figured if I need to go for some reason, I'll use one of the hourly pay spots.  
~Program fees.  I suppose they need to be able to replace the stuff that was broken in the last semester lab, or whatever.  Notice you aren't reimbursed for this if you don't break anything ~ or steal it.
~Computers.  You've just got to get one for school.  It's impossible without one.  However, with some exceptions, you can bargain shop around.....but you will need to have certain programs on it, so don't go too cheap.
~Supplies.  You know, note books and highlighters (don't get me started on highlighters, lol).  But watch the highlighting you're doing in the book you decided to rent instead of buy used, because they kinda frown on that.
~Fees for financing.  I may be the only person at UNM who is paying as I go.  I haven't taken out any loans at this point.  But if you want to make tuition payments as the semester goes along, be prepared for the extra $50 (at least) they will tack on to the total. 
~God forbid you change your mind after registering for a class.  That $40-70 registration fee?  Not refundable, even if you go back that afternoon and drop the class.  You had better be sure you want to take that class!

I wish our government would increase funding to colleges & universities.  But as with so many other deserving organizations, it's simply not going to happen.

What prompted this you ask?  Although I don't begrudge inmates obtaining degrees that they don't have to pay for (I think it's a great idea), I'm a little envious.  But only a little.  I don't think that going to prison would be worth it.

Love, 365

July 13, 2014

Mission accomplished!

Triple berry cinnamon bread....OMG delicious!

Here it is!  It wasn't too hard to make, although twisting it together was a bit of a challenge, especially twisting the 2 lengths together & not have all the fruit fall out.  If you want to give it a try, here is a link.  The bread part is easy enough.  I didn't have strawberries, so I used sliced cherries, which was ok.  I'm making it again today to take to a friend for her birthday, and this time I'm using sliced strawberries, which I think will be more flavorful than the Rainier cherries I used.  

Yesterday I made pizza on the grill!  I hadn't made these for a couple of years, and for whatever reason, I wanted to make them again.  The roasted tomato sauce is heavenly.

Pepperoni pizza on the grill!!

I know the photo doesn't do it justice, but they were really good.  I've put the sauce recipe below, because it's not just for pizza, but would be great on pasta too.  If you want to try grilling pizza, let me know & I will forward you the recipe.  Keep in mind that there are places that will sell you pizza dough, so you probably won't have to make the dough yourself if you prefer not to.  Please don't use premade dough from the grocery store!

Oven roasted tomato sauce

~Combine: 8 cups (4 lb) of Roma tomatoes, quartered **I halved the recipe, and I still had plenty left over after making 4 dinner plate size pizzas.
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves, garlic, whole (I cut my cloves into 4 pieces, mostly because they were very large cloves)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp sugar
~Toss with: 1/2 cup olive oil
~*after roasting* Stir in: 1/2 cup fresh basil, chiffonade (finely chopped)
***Preheat oven to 450.  Combine tomatoes, onion, garlic cloves, salt, pepper & sugar in a large casserole dish.  Toss with olive oil & roast for 35-40 min until tomatoes have softened.  Remove from oven & mash with a potato masher, keeping tomatoes a bit chunky.  Stir in basil.
----The recipe says it makes 5 cups, but I think it depends on the size of the Roma tomatoes.  

On the home front, all is going well.  I admit I haven't made much headway on finding a new employer.  I just need to keep reminding myself of the reasons I want to make a change.

Even though it's still July, I already have to make payment arrangements for fall class.  I've decided to take only one class this upcoming semester, as I don't know if I will be starting a new job.  I'm so glad I took the summer off.  I really needed a break.

In an attempt to leave you with a smile, consider this:

Hey, even bears need to chill.....(NBCnews.com)

Love, 365

July 6, 2014

I know it's Sunday, but it feels like a Monday.....

Downloaded from a friend on Facebook.....

The dogs have finally settled down.  Oh, how they hate the 4th of July!  They were both totally freaked out by the loud noises....Sioux paced & whined nervously.  Brodie was so funny, perched under the entry way cabinet, as though he was preparing for a tornado.  He spent the entire night on our bed, which surprised me....usually he'll jump down after a few minutes and sleep on his own dog bed in our bedroom.  We finally cut a Benadryl in half to give to Sioux, which worked surprisingly well, so that 30 minutes later she was relaxed and almost asleep.

I played racquetball for a couple of hours with my peeps, and although we had an awkward number, (6), we had one set for doubles and a singles game going until we were drenched.  It was very humid in the courts, because our monsoon rains have apparently started....when it's humid outside, evaporative cooling isn't as efficient and adds to the humidity.  I'm looking forward to playing today, and I've rescheduled my lesson with Jim ~ the one that I had to cancel because I broke my wrist.   

The mornings have been wonderfully cool (64) so I open the windows to enjoy it until the cooler comes on.  It doesn't last too long, but it feels wonderful.....morning in the desert is the best time of the day!  

I have really faltered on my resume writing.  I must get back on board this week.  I'm going to concentrate on getting a job at the University, although it might be a long road.  There are lots of jobs, but many of them are designed for students, and don't pay very much.  

Do you like to bake?  I was cruising the King Arthur Flour website, and saw this recipe:

Triple Berry Cinnamon Swirl Bread

It's not very difficult, and they have a great video showing how they made it.  I'm going to give it a try tomorrow!

Enjoy your Sunday....Love, 365

July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July, everyone!!

(Courtesy of Bing Images)

Isn't it nice when the 4th lands on a Friday?  I hope all of you enjoy your long weekend (if you're lucky enough to be off on the 4th ~ I know plenty of folks who will work today).  

I love this holiday, because it is so American!  Although I disagree with many of the policies of our current administration, eventually he will be out of office.  

Please exercise your hard won right to vote in your next election.

Love, 365

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