September 22, 2018

Not quite getting it all done.....

Years ago at the Harvest Festival

Yesterday was exactly the crazy day I figured it would be, but I was fairly confident that I could get it all done.  The exam was exactly what I expected thanks to the exam study guide.  I think I did well, if not an A a solid B.  The best part was that the uni was pretty much empty, so no problems with parking.  I arrived 30 minutes early, enough for me to do a quick review.  After the exam was over I treated myself to an iced coffee and a stroll around campus, enjoying the cool air and the lack of students.  It was nice.

Racquetball was so fun!  We played for a couple of hours.  I was playing well....I keep telling them I should get a shirt that says "I am nothing if not inconsistent", but over the years most of the players I've met say the same.  One day you can do no wrong, you're "on".....the next day you can't get the ball to the front wall to save your life.  But I was glad to be playing well since I won't play again until I get back, which is a whole week.

I had a break in-between, so I took care of mail ~ mostly throwing out ads, and shredding the rest.  This is not my favorite job, so I tend to let weeks of mail pile up before I do this, which of course, makes the job harder.  Last year I made a resolution not to do this, but (predictably) I fell back into my old habits half of the time.  But it's done.  So there.

When I go see my hairdresser, I have to drive to Corrales, which is across the river.  Did I consider that it's Friday and people are leaving work early? No.  Did I consider that I'll be leaving around 5:30?  Well, yes I did figure that, but the traffic was nuts.  So, I was late getting to her place by 10 minutes, so I decided that I over-booked myself, and put off taking the Rodeo to the mechanic.  I will have to figure out how to do that with my schedule after I get back.  In the meantime, it's not an urgent issue, I just need them to figure out why my temp gauge goes over the mean in certain hasn't happened for over 2 weeks now (of course).

Weather in San Antonio

Weather in Albuquerque

So, as you can see, there's not much difference in temperatures, and truthfully, I was surprised to see the humidity levels in Albuquerque listed so high.  Normally our humidity levels are around 15-20%. But we sure beat the pants off of San Antonio in sunshine.

Well, I have things to do, so have a great Saturday!
Love, 365

September 20, 2018


Tomorrow is test day.  I am taking a few minutes break from writing my cheat notes ~ which we are allowed to take, mind you ~ because I'm so sick of it all.  When I read her study guide, it's obvious that she expects that all we do is breath, eat and sleep her class.  Of course, part of it is that my memory isn't that great, and never has been.  I always have to put in twice the effort that most people do to do well.  And it's exhausting.  But I will be at the UNM library to take the exam tomorrow morning at 9am.  Then racquetball from 11-1.  Then a few errands until my haircut at 3:30, where I will have to caution my hairdresser that I must be at the mechanic by no later than 5:30 because they close at 6.

Saturday will be laundry & packing.  Sunday I will be off to Texas.  I can't wait!

Love, 365

September 17, 2018

Oh, Pete....not you again

Natures corn dogs, hahahahahaha

Last week our accountant (who does the payroll) called me to her desk to explain that there are weeks I'm not quite getting to the required number of hours to "maintain" my designation as "full time".  I'm running about 30 minutes short every other week.  Here's my schedule:
This week I work Monday - Thursday, 8 to 5
Next week I work Tuesday - Thursday, 8 to 5 & Friday from 8 to 2 (w/no lunch break)

Normally I have no problem meeting the minimum hourly requirement.  But now that I'm taking a class that meets on Tues & Thurs from 11 to 12:15, and I have to leave 40 min before class starts to find a *@&# parking place & run to class, then 15-20 min to get back to work (and eat lunch at my desk), I'm running an average of 30 min short.  If I don't find a way to get 30 more minutes, I'll loose much of my PTO (paid time off, which is vacation, sick leave, and those days the Docs decide not to work, but I need a full paycheck).  

So, now I have to cut out my lunch hour on Wednesdays on the short week.  Which means there's not one day on my short week that I will have a lunch break.  Pete is such a bastard....

Love, 365

September 16, 2018

Sadly watching the weekend slide away.......

Morning glories on campus

Wow, this weekend went by in a flash.  I studied Saturday morning, then showered and dressed for my trip to the bookstore to buy the blue books for the exam.  They went up from 25 cents to 35 in the last year.  I just don't understand why they still use them when we could just staple 8 pages of notebook paper together.  It's easier for them I suppose.  It's not like 35 cents is gonna break the bank ~ the main annoyance is I'm only on campus twice a week, and I run to class and then run back to work, so I don't have time to stroll around, looking at flowers and making trips to the bookstore.   

Unfortunately I spent most of Saturday afternoon studying and preparing my notes sheet that we are allowed to take to the exam.  

This morning I was up with the birds at 6am, made coffee and studied some more.  Enjoyed a reprieve by playing racquetball this morning, helped Romeo clean house, did laundry, baked a cake for a birthday party on Wednesday and then went back to studying.  I've read all the material for this week and took the quiz, so all I have left for this week is study.  I did come to my office and wrote a few more notes, but the truth is I'm saturated with it and don't want to do it anymore.  

I will be ready to step on to that airplane next Sunday ~ at least I will be out of town.  I am not taking my books or anything else, I will just have to work hard to catch up when I return.  At least I say that now ~ I may change my mind and take the book so that I can keep up.  Just thinking of catching up is exhausting.

The cake is "cappuccino cake" from Mary Barry's cooking bible.  I was really worried because it has more sugar than flour, although I did realize that cocoa powder is really bitter.  Still, it smells good so that's something!  And the frosting is one of my favorites, whipped cream.  The twist is a small amount of instant coffee in the whipped cream, which is the only coffee in it.  So, seems a bit of a stretch to call is cappuccino cake, huh?  I'll let you know the final outcome, because I know you're dying to know, haha.

Love, 365

September 15, 2018

It's a good thing I'm tenacious......

I think I previously mentioned that I realized I would be out of town for our first exam.  I e-mailed the professor and she asked me to remind her a week before...which I did.  Then I had to e-mail her to let her know when I was available, got that worked out.  But when I asked her if I could have the exam study guide, she said it would be available on 9/18.  Which would only give me 2 days before I take the exam.  So I had to e-mail her again and ask AGAIN.  She finally sent it to me yesterday.  Honestly, we could have wrapped this all up in two e-mails tops, but between the two of us I think it took 8.  College professors ~ they have no idea what efficiency is.  And why wouldn't she just include the study guide to begin with?  Clueless.

My god, what will I talk about after graduating?

Ms. Loud (you remember her???) has been gone for a little over a week ~ she went on a trip to Louisiana with her Uncle, who is also single.  They like to travel together and seem to get along quite well.  It has been so quiet at work!  It was a really nice break as far as I'm concerned.

This week has been crazy.  On Wednesday, my Mom's caregiver called me at about 9:30 to tell me she received a call that son #1 was in an accident and was in jail.  Apparently this low life was pretending to be my son.  However, J (the caregiver) didn't mention to me that he asked for $$, so I went into a tailspin, trying to contact both of my boys, neither of whom were answering the phone.  Then I thought to call #1's wife, and nearly called the ex wife (I did place the call but hung up immediately).  So I sent a message through FB to her asking her to call.  
~#1 called and told me this is a scam that's going around.  
~#2 texted me "why" when I told him I really needed to talk to him....sheesh
~#1's wife called, and we chatted for a few minutes, I now have her phone # in my contacts.

Best of all I received a text (although at this point I was so panicked I didn't look very close at who sent it) asking me if all was well, and I thought it was #1's wife and replied with a short narrative on what was going on and ended with "and I accidentally called Sue*, yikes!"   Whereupon the next line was "This is Sue*".  OMG.  I was so embarrassed, but she was pretty cool about it and said she was glad all was well.  

Between the parking, and the scam and the professor I feel like a frayed string.  I think studying is just what the Dr would order, haha.

Love, 365

September 14, 2018

Parking woes.......

Thursday ~ oh, how I wish I could go back in time and do it all over again.  I mistakenly figured that now that it's been nearly 4 weeks since the semester started I could try the more convenient parking garage again ~ knowing that if it was full I would have to drive around the campus to go the to other garage.  As I drove through the first 3 floors, I realized there was nothing open (I wasn't lucky enough to see someone backing out) and gave up to drive to the Cornell garage.  As I'm coming up on the driveway to enter the garage, I see they have a "full lot" sign up.  I happened to have my windows down (because I was concerned about my vehicle over heating, more on that later) and I asked the attendant where I could park.  First he told me to park in the other garage, and when I told him I just came from there he said "You should come earlier!".  Arghhhhhhhhh

I drive around to the outside paid parking, and I bet you've already guessed that it was full too.  So, now I know I'm going to be late to class as I drive once again to the Cornell garage.  As I approach the driveway to enter, I swear the guy is putting a barrier up and I said to him "Are you kidding me??" and he picked it up and told me to go ahead.  Why was he putting the barrier up again if there are parking spots open?  We'll never know, because I was just thankful that I finally had a place to park.  And have the privilege to pay $3 to park for the time period I'm in class.  Sweet, huh?

Since I was already late, I decided to take my overdue library books first and then go, so I ended up 15 minutes late to class.  Seriously, the parking situation is just nuts.  If I had gone to the Cornell garage first, it would have all been okey dokey.  Sheesh, that's what I get for assuming things might be settling down.  
So, my aging Isuzu Rodeo (2003) has about 85,000 miles on it ~ not too bad for it's age, right?  I have noticed that it's over heating in certain situations.  Which is why while I was driving around UNM ~ at a snails pace, btw) I had turned off my a/c but the temp needle still started creeping up on me.  So, I turned on the heater ~ always fun when it's 90 degrees ~ my windows were open for any cooler breeze that might head my way.  That did help somewhat, but I decided I need some service which I have scheduled for Monday.  I suspect my temperature gauge is going out, since my fluid levels are fine.  The fun never ever ends.......

But the great news is that it's Friday, and I got a pedicure done on my way home, so I can relax and hang out.  Well, actually I need to study for an upcoming exam, but I'll bitch about that tomorrow.  Honestly, what would I do without this blog to vent?  Ha ha

Love, 365

September 11, 2018

Future road trip.......

Just outside of Acoma Pueblo

I have done it ~ I've taken the bull by the horns and committed to the first step of a vacation.....A REAL VACATION!......scheduled for the end of May, 2019.  I put a deposit down on lodging in Yosemite.  We discussed it tonight and decided to make a road trip out of it.  We'll spend 4 nights in the park, so that should give us plenty of opportunities to explore.  I'm not sure I picked the best place to stay, but I'm not going to worry about it, although I would if we were only going to be there for a night or two.  Plus we can do the 13 hours of travel time in two days.  

We can celebrate the end of another school year for Romeo and my graduation all in one go.  I just knew if I waited until January I'd never find anything available.  I am a little worried about the effect of the fires ~ one of which is still apparently burning.  Sometimes you just have to plan and hope for the best.  

I am so excited!   :-)

Love, 365

September 9, 2018

The Edict of Milan

Just think of it.  Two Roman Emperors in 313 CE (current era, which replaced AD) published an edict (an official order or proclamation) that anyone can practice whatever religion they wish with no further threat of persecution.  1,705 years later, we still have persecution within and without the world of religion.  The more things change, the more they stay the same.  If nothing else, history has taught me that human nature hasn't changed.  Cave men probably had better morals.

Naomi Osaka, U.S. Open Champion

There was much drama in the championship match between Naomi Osaka ~ a player I truly admire, and love to watch play.  She is a force to be reckoned with in the world of tennis.  Yesterday's award ceremony was less than happy though, and at 20, Naomi had a difficult time her emotions ~ and who could blame her, as the audience was booing because of the penalties the umpire gave Serena Williams.  Serena showed her frustration and anger in a very non-sportsmanship way.  Truthfully I'm tired of Serena's constant battle for attention ~ you couldn't miss the stupid tutu outfit she wore for the tournament.  And although I appreciate that men's and women's tennis should be regarded as JUST TENNIS, the championship game wasn't the best venue for Serena to lose her nut.  Just sayin.

Love, 365

September 8, 2018

On becoming a Pro in crastination.........

Old flour mill at El Rancho de las Golondrinas

"I used to just crastinate......

Then I decided to go Pro"

I went pro a long time ago ~ how about you?  I might not be the Queen, but I try.  Maybe I've worked my way up to the Queen's handmaiden.  I've been known to write a final paper (well, most of it) in ONE day.  Six hours later, I was cursing myself for waiting so long to finish it.  

Same thing with the $$ I need to send to the committee for the high school reunion.  It's due on the 15th, and it's the 8th.  Sheesh.  It's a gift really......

I would love to think that I'm organized, but if you had a glance at my desk....well, there's an empty coffee cup, papers everywhere, a dusting cloth, several books stacked on top, pens, and even a paintbrush.  Honestly, I need to clean up.  

Whew...I took a minute to remove a few unnecessary items, it looks a little better, but it still needs a bit of work.

In the meantime, fall is coming!! My favorite time of the year!

The baking, the Balloon Fiesta, the crisp cool air.....I love fall in New Mexico.  It's not like Vermont, but it's good enough.  

Well, I need to go shoe shopping.  My favorite store closed and I need to scout out other options, my shoes are falling apart.  See?  Another fine example of Pro-crastination.

Love, 365

September 7, 2018

8 to 5

Polaroid transfer

It has been an odd week.  It feels like my mood is on a roller coaster.......

The class is going well, but the parking situation is still a pain.  My first class day I was lucky.  I found a parking spot, in a very crowded parking garage.  The second class I had to park in a spot reserved for people with a Y parking pass ~ I still don't know who gets those....probably general staff.  I managed to get out without a ticket, although I lucked out since I saw the university parking police heading up to the 6th floor as I was driving down.  Whew!  After that I decided I should try the other parking garage, which is a bit farther away from class, and not as convenient for hopping back on the freeway to go back to work.  I still have to park on the 5th floor of the garage though.  I've never seen the paid parking areas so full ~ I'm not sure if it's just that there's a huge number of incoming freshman, or if students decided they didn't want to pay for a yearly parking pass.  The problem for me is I can't park off campus and wait for a shuttle.  I already take 2 1/2 hours a week off from work to attend.  Maybe things will change in a month or so.  Maybe the kids haven't received their parking passes in the mail yet?  I don't know, but I hope things settle down soon......

In the meantime, life rolls on much the same as it always does.  What I really want is a vacation ~ one where Romeo and I go somewhere else like the beach, or a cabin in the woods.....or Paris, London, Glasgow.  I think it's been 4 or 5 years.  I have a trip to Texas coming up, but that's not a vacation.  That's visiting family and going to a high school reunion.  

There are many times when I wish I lived nearer to home, but then there are times when I thank my lucky stars that I don't.  My Mother's caregiver has prostate cancer, and just started treatments.  While he's receiving treatments, he set up friends to come and stay with Mom, but she was upset because my sister didn't volunteer to come and stay with her, and that she had suggested hiring someone from an agency to come, which I thought was a good idea.  If Mom had a problem, then the friends would have to call an ambulance or something.  My sister is doing her best not to get caught up in having to stay with Mom for four hours twice a week.  So, there's the guilt of not being there, and the guilt of feeling relieved I'm not caught up in it.  

Love, 365

September 3, 2018

Baking success......

It looks a bit dark, but I think it's the light it was under....
Baltimore peach cake.
Not sure why it's called a cake...

I was watching PBS one weekend morning which featured a peach cake recipe with Martha Stewart a few weeks before I received my peaches and saved it to try.  I thought it was delicious, with great peach flavor and a nice crunch from the yeast dough underneath.  I must warn you that if you want to make it (Martha Stewart's version) do not be daunted by the lack of foaminess of the yeast that is sprinkled on top of the milk.  I threw out my first batch and pulled out a new jar of yeast thinking that mine was past it's prime ~ but it did the same thing the second time, despite the fact I had let the milk sit out for 20 minutes to come to room temperature.  I later looked up other recipes and noticed that in one they scalded the milk to allow the yeast to rise.  Martha also had you add the 4 tablespoons of butter after the dough was made, which made it look like a gloppy mess.  As I set it aside I decided to make a pie, because I wasn't sure the peach cake recipe was working.  The first rise took forever.  I had peeled and sliced 8 peaches and mixed in the rest of the ingredients for the pie, made the pie, and put it in the oven to bake before the dough had risen.  

I decided to look for other recipes (which turns out to be a German pastry that can also be made savory with carmelized onions)  and found this one, which in my opinion will likely be easier to make than Martha Stewart's (which is kinda strange, with her being the Queen of baking).  I will try the second recipe this afternoon to take to the office tomorrow.  

Again, the lighting is terrible, but the pie is wonderful.

All of this peach baking is wreaking havoc with any attempts to reduce the daily caloric limit.  On the plus side, I've been eating plenty of peaches straight out of the boxes they came in.  And I've peeled, sliced and placed in the freezer 10 quarts of fresh peaches.  

So now I'm off to study!  Enjoy...
Love, 365

Later that evening: I made the other recipe for the peach cake, and it is much more a bread, it rose higher and the peaches lay more on top that they did for the Martha Stewart recipe.  Unfortunately the Stewart recipe did not stay crispy, so if you like that best eat it all in one sitting, haha.  Since I haven't eaten any of the second one, I'll update you on that in a later post.  

September 2, 2018

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Labor Day parade in 1900 (source)

I read up a few facts about Labor Day, and in the late 1800s men, women and many children worked 12 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Many of those jobs were back breaking, like brick laying, dress making, etc, and for low wages to boot.  The holiday became national in 1894.  If you go the the source link for the photo, it takes you to the NY Times article if you're so inclined.

Palisade Peaches from Colorado (shutter stock)

A year ago one of my friends mentioned she had recently picked up her Palisade peaches and described how delicious they are.  She gave me instructions to where the truck would be delivering previously placed orders, and that if I were lucky, they would have a few extra boxes for folks who didn't know about it.  I did get my first box last year, and signed up for notification this year and was so excited when my postcard came.  I ordered two boxes and picked them up yesterday.  Last year I made a pie, but this year I'm planning on making a Baltimore Peach Cake: 
Martha Stewart

If it's as delicious as it looks, I'll post a pic of my own attempt.  Actually it looks easy.  I have 2 boxes of peaches, and I need to start baking!  Palisade peaches are delicious, and many Colorado residents can attest.  Romeo ate 3 of them yesterday......

At Wagner's in Corrales for green chile's

We also picked up freshly roasted green chile yesterday, so I spent an hour or so preparing them for freezing, and made a pot full of green chile stew.  Given how hot the medium was, I'm glad we didn't buy the "hot" chile.  It was delicious, and we're having it again today for dinner ~ my favorite thing during the fall so we don't have to cook every night.  Next week I'm going for beef carbonade, which is a beef roast, cut into chunks, browned in bacon drippings, lots of thinly sliced onions with beer, cooked in the oven for 2 hours and served on wide egg noodles.  It's a great recipe for the fall when you don't mind your oven on for that long.  

Meanwhile, at the U.S. Open.....


Some games are predictable, but within those have been some awesome games that bring you out of your seat!  Looking forward to watching more today....

I hope all of you enjoy your Labor Day weekend!
Love, 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&...