The Cat Is Handling My Return to School Well

Just in case you were wondering.

I've gotten home around 4:30 or 5 the past two days, and she's been conked out in her kitty cup back in the bedroom.  It's hardly an insult that she's not at the door to greet me (a.k.a. make a break for it into the hallway), and in fact it's kind of fun not waking her.  When I came home yesterday and found her sleeping, I backed out of the bedroom quietly and sat in the armchair as I watched a little TV and opened the mail.

Within a couple of minutes, I heard a "MEOW!" and there she was in the doorway of the bedroom.  I think she was a bit groggy and couldn't see me around the corner in the armchair, so she had to do a "Where are you?" yell.

She has been sleeping a lot, and that partly could be due to her thyroid.  When we went to the vet two weeks ago, they tested her and found that her thyroid was acting up again.  Not really a surprise, because she'd been refusing to take her meds, and even when I was trying to grind them up and hide them in her food, she wasn't really eating her food so that didn't help.

9 pounds--one pound down from June.  Which is, again, the whole hyperthyroid/picky eater thing.

So I renewed my efforts, and tried the Pill Pockets again (good thing there were some left in the bag and they're fairly fresh still).  Her compliance is about 90% with them, although I do find that while she almost always eats the Pill Pocket I give her before breakfast, she's not interested in the ones before dinner.  I don't get it.  They're from the same bag!  She really can be weird sometimes.

But why shouldn't she be weird?  She is kind of funny-looking.

I mean, just look at those crazy kitty toes.



I Think My Car Knows What Time of Year It Is

Once again, car trouble before school starts.  (Those of you newer to the blog might need to know about the last time it happened.)

I had trouble starting the car while I was running errands today--and then I noticed that the clock and the trip-o-meter were resetting every time the car didn't start!  Well, I knew it wasn't the starter, because that was replaced earlier this year, so the next logical culprit was the battery.  Of course, I'm in the middle of errands when I decide to check with Dad, and he strongly encouraged me to go see the whiz kid mechanic.

Well, I prayed I had one more start left so I could finish drying the towels at the laundromat--I figured worst case scenario I'd be calling AAA--and fortunately the car (eventually) started so I could drive to the mechanic.  Sure enough, the battery passed the charge test, but only at rest.  It didn't have enough in it to handle starting the car.

I think that battery lasted more than a couple of years, so that's not too bad.  It's just the timing that's annoying.

That, and the initial fear that there was something really wrong.  I'm very grateful that wasn't the case and that my parents and the mechanic were there to help out.



On Giving Up, Giving In--A Little

After a discussion earlier today, I got to thinking about how much energy it takes to fight against something.  And how tired I am of fighting to make my job situation better.  I got word yesterday that due to changes at my church, I won't have as many opportunities to sing there, which takes away a little bit of income but more upsettingly a regular place for me to go sing and worship.  So that's a bummer.

There's also stuff going on with my extended family that is no fun at all.  It's hard not to think about it when people you care about are stressed.

Also, it's that time of year and I am walking into a similar yet dramatically changed situation.  I feel nervous and there's also a part of me that still holds some resentment that the career I was promised back in 2006 has yet to match up with my reality.

I haven't given up my dreams.  I will never give up on my dreams.

But I think for now, I need to give in a bit.  Try to make the best of a challenging situation that at times will be really uncomfortable and probably frustrating.

Maybe some of the energy I save by not fighting will go towards some fun things to come.  I just have to keep hoping there are things like that to come in the future.

And maybe a little positive self-talk will keep me on the right path.  
Say it with me, everyone:



Nope, Again

But at least this time they were willing to give some feedback on why they chose someone else over me. 

I don't need to be reminded that "at least I still have a job."  I've got a whole list of people I pray for who are seeking employment.

It's just that that particular idea will not keep me going for another year.  It still sucks, I hate myself for even hoping I'd be able to take care of more than just the rent and cat food in the near future, and I cried a couple times yesterday, but I'm going to try to put it out of my mind for the rest of the weekend and enjoy the time while Younger Sister and YSBF are here.

And then Monday I'll get down to business coming to terms with what's going to be coming for the next school year.




11 Questions Posed by AngelaNoelle

Guess what? I've been tagged by the lovely AngelaNoelle (recipient of an award!) to answer the following 11 questions.  (So relieved she didn't ask me to answer in German.)

Let's see how you like my answers!

1. What is your dream travel destination? 

I'm pretty sure I've talked about this before--and in fact I just brought it up again the other day during coffee with PammyPam--that I was the kid in Spanish class who drooled over the pictures of Barcelona and all things Gaudi in the textbook.  (Although I wonder if knowing Spanish really would get me that far!)  And then the Olympics reinforced the attraction.  So someday I plan to go there and see everything.

Of course, I do feel the need to build up to this, as I am hardly a seasoned traveler.  I do need to finish my Pacific U.S. tour, including San Diego, Seattle, and maybe Portland.  You know, when all this money falls into my lap by magic.

2. What is your favorite place that you've traveled?

I am by no means well-traveled at all, in case you didn't get that from Answer #1, so I hope you won't find this dull.  It probably sounds weird, but I really do enjoy museums a lot.  One of my favorites was the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.  I'd like to forget a lot of what else happened on that trip, and I no longer care for the person who took me there, but just for a moment, in the presence of all the art and especially the fun of the "cloud room" (the Silver Clouds seen at the top of this page) it was just a magical moment and we were two crazy kids in love having fun.
3. What is your favorite physical quality about yourself?

Oh, gosh.  Why is it so much easier to come up with a shortcoming (no pun intended by my petite self)?  I hope this counts--I like my voice.  I like all its variables.  I like that I can sing along with my favorite songs and make funny voices and sounds.  And maybe impersonate my mom when I answer the phone at my parents' house because my mom's got her hands full--well, that is how you get all the good dirt out of my relatives--oh, I'm just kidding.  Sort of. 


4. What is your favorite personality aspect of yourself?

Oh, double gosh.  I get a real kick out of making people laugh--I love that I can tell a crazy story, or imagine some crazy comeback--that I can whip out a one-liner response to some situation or thing super-fast, sometimes out of nowhere to the point where it surprises myself, and it cracks someone up.  That's why Twitter feels really gratifying for me sometimes.


5. Backstreet Boys or NSync?

Yeah. . . I was far too deep into Alternative and College Radio when those boys were around.  Um, I also was a little old.  My classmates screamed for Jordan or Joey.  (I didn't think they were cute, either.)  But I do respect Timberlake's talent.

6. Do you still keep in touch with your best friend from elementary school?

Nope.  Well, to explain, I was a transfer student, and I tried to keep in touch with two of my best friends from my former school, but it didn't work out that well.  In fact, I wound up at the same high school as one of them, but by that time, she also had transferred and it was to a "feeder school" for our high school. . . so she was tight with all those other classmates who came with her.  More like them, too.  Must've been nice to go somewhere and already have friends and fit in somewhere, but no matter: eventually, I found Sara. :) 

7. Would you rather watch the movie or read the book?

You know, it actually sort of depends on the book.  If I have no intention of ever reading the book (example), I might be more inclined to see the movie.  I tend to have a harder time with movie adaptations of books because really good stories can be very hard to translate to the screen--especially when I really don't want to be told what a certain character should look like and would rather imagine it based on the author's words.  I mean, nowadays if someone says "Harry Potter" don't people's minds automatically see what's-his-face who played him for years?

(Maybe that's why the Bond movies are so successful, that there's no one Bond actor?)

8. Where did you go on your first date?

I believe it was to see Il Postino at The Ritz downtown.  I was dating a hopeless romantic who really just had a crush on me but my friends had talked me into dating him.  I think he just wanted to see that movie because he wished he was Italian.

(Thanks in advance for not judging me for obviously not dating until I was past high school.)

9. What's your favorite board game?

Scrabble.  Because it's crazy how a game involving words can get so cutthroat.  Well, if you're playing with my family, that is, and you're the one with the English Lit degree and something to prove.  Which reminds me--Younger Sister is visiting so perhaps we'll get a game in at some point.

10. Do you have a cooking "specialty"?

Engagement Chicken.  You can see how well that's worked for me.

Oh, what? You wanted a serious answer?

If you count baking as cooking, then yes, I do.  Every Christmas and sometimes for other occasions I am expected to make meringue wreaths.  The recipe is from a decades-old Good Housekeeping Christmas cookie issue, but whatever I do to it seems to make it more enjoyable.  For starters, I don't use green food coloring, but instead I use green and red sprinkles--the green sprinkles are needle-y and the red ones are holly berries.  And if it's for another occasion I use other colored sprinkles.  (I can't believe it's never occurred to me to take pictures of them.)  I also use less sugar than what's called for in the recipe.  

When we had our "holiday feast" at my old corporate job, requests for the recipe were non-stop.  People seem surprised that they taste good.  And fresh-baked meringue should!  The store-bought stuff just doesn't come close. 

11. Phone, text or email?

Um, it depends on what you want to tell me and how soon you want me to know.  I don't have a smartphone and can't access personal e-mail at school.  And if you want to have a real conversation, phone for sure.  I type fast, but even that doesn't stop me from getting frustrated during a heavy texting convo.

Besides, nothing beats hearing the voice (not to mention laughter, sighs, whatever else) of someone you care about.




Have Good Thoughts/Say a Prayer for Me Tomorrow, Please

I am "suiting up"--could be something, could be nothing.  Either way, nervous.

Going to play trivia to blow off some steam.


Recipe Recap

(Not to be confused with the Reading Recap over at the other blog.)  Here are some things I made over the last few weeks:

Super Lazy Lite Mojito: mint leaves (or extract), diet lemon-lime soda,
lime wedges, splash of rum.

"Broken Lasagna." Was just O.K.

Or maybe I just got sick of it because there were SO MANY LEFTOVERS.

Braised Porkchops with Cherries
Power went out while cooking and they STILL got overcooked.
Mustard Steak, Brussels Sprouts, Potato Wedges w/Old Bay seasoning.
I'm thinking my Old Bay is too old--tasted musty.
Marinated Steak & Veggies
(made with extra steak & brussels sprouts from Mustard Steak)



Cute Calico Stretch

Photo #2's recipe is from Food Network Magazine.

Photo #4's recipe is from Giant's budget recipes.

Photo #5-6 recipes are from Betty Crocker's Cooking for One.  I'm totally stunned someone is selling it for 80 bucks.  I'm pretty sure I inherited mine from the widowed neighbor who was like the grandma next door when I was growing up.  A lot of the recipes are "out there" but this tandem recipe idea (cook once, make two meals) worked pretty well.

Photo #7 is some calorie-free dessert because you are not allowed to eat The Cat.  No matter how cute she is.



Let's Hear It for Friday

It was kind of a quiet week for me, which is good, because probably pretty soon August will explode and get hectic.

Besides getting my back pain worked on--and it's almost completely resolved now but my neck is stiff--I've been reading a bit.  Also, I've been trying out recipes and will be posting about them shortly (with non-professional photos).

Today's plan: do prep for the dinner recipe I'm attempting today (there's a marinade), get my hair cut, return the movie I watched yesterday, go to the laundromat to wash towels and things The Cat got sick on (BTW she's doing better now), read while the wash is going, and then attempt the dinner recipe.

Just enjoying the quiet for now.