Meaningful Employment to Telemarketers

FOOD

Sunday I made a double batch of baked Mac no cheese, just because I knew everyone would devour the leftovers. BS and I were chatting about how his Dad really isn’t a fan of Mac n cheese, and we’ve decided he’s wrong. And perhaps not human.

My sprouts are done and they are glorious! It made a TON, and my eldest is already stuffing wraps with them and the homemade hummus. Love to see them eat good and healthy stuff. To be honest, my eldest is the best at that 🙂

Last night was red beans and rice. Super easy recipe that’s literally from the Better Homes and Garden New Cook Book that I think my mom got in the 1960’s. I’ve adapted mine for the slow cooker and it is always perfect. This is the first time I used onion powder instead of onions though. My guy hates onions – but likes the flavor. And since SO many of my recipes are onion dependent, I’m working on tweaking some for future reference. I also used a new-to-me vegan sausage. I usually get Tofurkey, but they didn’t have any. And the Field Sausage flavors weren’t ones I wanted. So I got this, diced, pan fried, and then added to the crock about 30 minutes before serving. Dished over brown rice and a some cabbage (LOVE crunch – and need to add green foods to my meals).

Today was simple – coffee and banana for breakfast and Thai for lunch. Not hungry for dinner.

On a silly note, inadvertently my boyfriend and I have near-identical meal plans this week. Though I did burgers on Sunday and he’s doing them tomorrow – we both did red beans and rice yesterday, Taco Tuesday (of course), and even have Indian planned (for me Thursday, tomorrow is BBQ tofu, mushroom risotto, and salads).

FITNESS

Two runs since my last post. Contemplating going in the morning – but I’m not sure. Mornings and I are just starting to get along (ish), and I’m not sure I’m willing to push it….

LIFE

I mean, it’s only been two days, so not TOO much could have gone on. Been spending the past two days catching up at work after being out of the office for the better part of 2 weeks. And school of course (I actually have class at 8pm tonight).

I wasn’t planning to stay up on Sunday for Game of Thrones – though I got hit with some insomnia and was up anyway. Oh well. I did watch it Monday though, so I’m caught up. Thank goodness my guy has cable! Kuma had fun snuggling me while watching.

So something new I noticed yesterday. I’m an AT&T subscriber for my cell phone, and this started. I’m a fan! I miss the days where the do-not-call-list actually worked. Saying “death to telemarketers” is way to dramatic, so here’s hoping they all find meaningful employment instead and stop being the bane of existence for the rest of us.

Otherwise, been a typical early week of work and school. Tomorrow I’m going to figure out how to use my pressure washer and depollenate my back deck and lawn furniture.

Boredom Be Gone!

FOOD

I honestly have very little to say here! It’s been a week of fend for yourself kind of meals, including leftovers. That means soups, sammiches, beans and rice, and pasta dishes.

Had a 10am meeting in Norfolk, so stopped at Yorgos for one of my fav bfasts!

Gf shells, peas, chickpeas tossed in Earth Balance and pepper

I did make tempeh and cauliflower buffalo bites in the foodie tho, using the air crisp function! Served with the last of the vegan ranch I made last week.

FITNESS

A couple runs and some bedroom yoga.

Started getting sick on Friday, so the weekend was not an overly active one.

LIFE

Vacation is over! Both work and school started back up, and I for one am not sad about that. No more boredom! I was getting very stir crazy. Went back to work last Wednesday, and classes started on Friday. Well, technically it was today, but the materials were available on Friday, so that meant I started then too.

I didn’t do a 530 wake up most days when I was on vacation. I was usually up by 6 most days, and 7-730 on the days I wasn’t feeling well. Figure sleep is more important for healing than anything.

Wednesday I went to Back Bay Farmhouse Brewery with my girlfriend LC. Was awesome to catch up, and the beers were pretty yummy. Much better than the ciders – only other time I was there was with my guy, and neither of us liked the ciders. Glad to know their beer is better. It’s a really cute place too. One of the beers I had was figs grown on their property that was then soaked in barley wine and then brewed into beer. Fun!

I was a little early, so was working until LC got there.

Friday night was supposed to be a fun night out with my guy and staying there. I tried, I really did. But I couldn’t be in denial anymore when I realized I actually felt like hell. Sore throat, body aches, ear ache, and fever. So – I went home and pouted.

Saturday one of my girlfriends was supposed to come over, but I had to cancel. Both me and R were sick.

Sunday I was actually feeling pretty well. Woke with a minor sore throat, but my appetite started coming back. So, it was off to Richmond with my boyfriend. One of my really awesome friends NS (from Nairobi) has gone vegan for 2019! Something I want to send him I can either order and pay insane shipping fees, or go to Richmond and buy it. Plus, we really love Richmond, so that was an easy choice.

We stopped first in Cary Town for spices and coffee, then to the store for NS’s surprise (he reads this, so I can’t tell you what it is….yet!). We then went to Buskey’s, which never ever is a bad idea. Had a totally amazing time (as always) and then went home. Stopped at Subway on the way, and I stayed at his place for the night. Good times.

FYI, Tart Cherry, Earl Grey Lemon Ginger, Blue Hedgehog, Heritage Blend, and (not shown but they had in the back so we got it anyway) jalapeño lime and grape expectations are all amazing.

On the Luna front, she’s assimilating quite nicely. She and Kuma actually get along great. They tend to sleep near each other and play often. Luna chases Kuma just as much as Kumabear chases Luna. It’s really fun and sweet and they’re both just so silly.

Ah yes. Can’t leave paper towels where kitties can get to them…
My bed. Kuma next to me, Luna on the pillow. At one point I woke and Luna had her paw on
On A’s bed as she studied

After R took a bath with a lavender bath bomb and lavender bubble bath….Luna apparently liked it so much (after the water evaporated) that she rolled around in it!

I LOVE my spice rack. Custom built from upcycled wine barrels. Excited that my boyfriend is making one too! Not from wine barrels, but I can’t wait to see it. It’ll be beautiful. And everyone who loves to cook should have a bitchin spice rack!

I was out of popcorn. Don’t judge.

My boyfriend bought R a camp chair she wanted. Let’s just say she’s not waiting until camping
season to use it…

At Starbucks doing some reading before classes started. And documenting in my Commonplace Book

MY YEAR OF LESS

Happy for the start of the year. Decided this week to cook from food I already had in the house. I always have a TON – beans, rice, veggies, and fruits are always in supply. I picked up a few fresh veggies and fruits, but otherwise have been making meals with what I have on hand.

I bought the gift for NS, a replacement spiralizer for me, and yesterday out in Richmond. Also some pet supplies for Luna.

Comfort vs Survival

FOOD

Fairly typical eats. A couple smoothies and oatmeal largely in the mornings – especially cold ones.

Minor explosion in the microwave. Oops.

A few outings for Thai, Indian, and a veggie burger.

Vegan burger at Yard House – out with R before an event

Ezekiel bread, sunflower seed butter, banana, and agave

On Thursday a couple friends came over (long overdue hanging out), and I made a build your own taco bar with tofu/potato tacos, Venezuelan black beans, and a totally yummy slaw. The slaw was freaking amazing – A and I kept picking at it while waiting for people, and she eventually just ate a big bowl full.

Ate mine as a bowl topped with Daiya shreds, hot sauce, and pickled jalapeños

FITNESS

Went for 3 runs last week and did yoga twice. Ankle feels totally fine and my calf was mostly good too, yay!

Now, must avoid any other dumb injuries…..

LIFE

Speaking of injuries, R started physical therapy for her wrist this week. She hurt it about 6 weeks ago. No break, but the doc was calling it a sprain/soft tissue damage and she was in a splint for a month. She has to do her exercises at least 5 days per week, and she’ll go to physical therapy weekly for the next 6. Overall though, she’s healing nicely. Was worried for a bit there that she’d need a cast.

On Tuesday, R and I went to an Camping Basics class at REI! It was really interesting, and we learned a great deal. For example, the differences between men’s and women’s sleeping bags are both in where the zipper is, and in what the number ratings actually mean.

For example – I’m eyeing this beauty right here.

See the 20? That means it will be comfortable for me to sleep in when the weather is as cold as 20 degrees.

Now see this one? Same manufacturer. Same numeric rating.

The difference? This means that a man can survive in weather as cold as 20 degrees. He will NOT be comfortable. He simply won’t die.

Our camping instructor was very specific that we understand this. And then complained at how dumb it is to have a difference at all. Men would like to be comfortable too. And women care about not dying. So yes – the numbers on a sleeping bag are about comfort vs survival.

Wednesday I focused on getting the majority of my school work done. Everything was read and 2 papers written. I spent a bit of that time at Starbuck’s with R as she did school stuff too.

Thursday was my friends A and D and his wife P over for dinner, drinks, and laughs.

Friday was running around like crazy, and then Saturday morning it was off to Alexandria for a holiday celebration with my guy and my grad school friends. Our hostess A was perfect as always, and the event was a ton of fun. We did a white elephant gift exchange.

We stopped in Richmond on the way up for a store I wanted to hit up for one of our gifts, then got to Alexandria, stopped for a drink or two (I had a sangria + margarita that was pretty tasty!). Then to the hotel for a while, then dinner and off to the party!

Today was up early to hit the road. I spent some time suffering for the amount of fun I managed the night before (ugh), but after a nap and some caffeine and food, I felt fine enough to get the rest of my school work done.

Me just getting comfy on the drive home

So all told, awesome festive weekend full of friends, fun, and the best boyfriend/babysitter a girl could have 😂.

Okay, so this is a screen shot of part of a book I’m reading – all still part of the becoming a morning person gig (which honestly is going pretty well). It talks about people who are overwhelmed so they hate mornings, and then people who are underwhelmed. This really spoke to me and think that’s largely been me. Kind of goes back to a previous post about not having that 5 year plan worked out. Thankfully it’s coming together a little bit at a time.

MY YEAR OF LESS

I don’t have my November stats yet (Quicken doesn’t post pending charges, so it’ll be a few days), so that report will come in the next post.

I have all my Christmas shopping done with the exception of my guy’s youngest, but I know what I’m getting – just need to coordinate getting it.

I also paid off two credit cards at the end of the month, which is cool, and added several hundred to the emergency fund. All told – good progress!

Leftovers, Road Trip, and I am NO Amateur

FOOD

Well there have been LOTS of leftovers! Nothing wrong with Tofurkey for breakfast! (Along with mashers, butternut squash, etc…).

Saturday was a day trip to Richmond. Had a couple apps (black bean hummus and creole chips) while out with friends, and then a veggie stir fry at a Chinese place called Fat Dragon that was totally amazing.

Today I made a big batch of ramen that was just okay. I was in a hurry, and skimped on the broth – which made it decent enough, but not worth leftovers. Shame too.

Dinner was a simple stir-fry tofu BAS. And yes, I found lettuce not trying to off me. Still find it funny that this is my daughter’s fav way for me to make it – pan fried until starting to brown and then add Tamar (gf soy sauce).

FITNESS

Oddly enough, I think my ankle is totally fine. It was still a little sore Saturday, but by Saturday night, I took off the Ace bandage and all was well.

Wanted to run today, but it started pouring. Did some spin in my garage instead! Hope to run tomorrow – should be dry!

LIFE

Been a great couple of days, other than my epic day of school procrastination hell, I really can’t complain. Saturday was up early (yay for the morning person thing!), got a few things done, and then headed over to my guy’s house. I left my car there and he drove to Richmond, with a shopping pit stop in Williamsburg along the way.

Spotted this in a WB shop. Thought it was funny.

We spent the afternoon with my girlfriend HF and her husband and two little ones. She picked this hipster bowling alley, and it was a ton of fun. The idea was the boys bowl so the adults to could hang out. It largely worked. Then we went furniture shopping (we were all on the lookout for something).

We also had a Governor sighting! We didn’t bother him, BUT I did surreptitiously snap a pick and tag him on Twitter. (Psst….not a skilled bowler).

So – it was a totally crap day weather wise. Pouring all day. Between the bowling alley and furniture shopping, we stopped at Target and I saw this car. Dude really needs to re-evaluate his transportation options. The tarp was full of rain water.

After we went to Buskey’s – our fav cidery, and then dinner and home. I was up early Sunday and headed home. I took a nap and then got cracking on laundry and school stuff. Let’s just say I had to finish 4 papers and 4 major spreadsheets with varying approaches towards demand forecasting. Fun. Times. I went to bed about 130am….

Needless to say, I did not set a 530 am alarm today. 7 was early enough, thank you.

Today R finished putting together the bookshelves. I’m so excited – everything is coming together nicely. I still need a side table for the new accent chair and about 2 nice sized area rugs – one for the study and one for the family room.

The no-show/no-reply contractor finally did contact me and ended up coming over on Sunday. He’s the only one who went into the crawl space to see if there was any water damage from the bathroom. But, now I have my three quotes. I’m already discounting the first guy, so it’s down to the other two. My preference is the 2nd group that came out, but will depend on timing. Those quotes were literally $10 different. Hopefully that’ll be completed in the next two weeks, and then the floors will really be done!

Slow morning this morning with sleeping in a bit

So A braided her little sister’s hair over the weekend. Promises to teach her how to do it

So the morning thing is going well. Other than this morning getting up at 7, I’ve been up at 530 every day. Earlier on Sunday – woke closer to 430. It still takes me some time for my brain to wind down – which is why it took me over 90 minutes to fall asleep last night. After being hyper focused on school stuff for over 12 hours, that was bound to happen. Overall though, the insomnia is light years better.

MY YEAR OF LESS

Again, been pretty tame. I’m nearly done Christmas shopping – which NEVER happens this early! All my kids are done, my sister, her husband, her daughter, my guy, and his oldest. I have left my mom, my nephew, and my guy’s youngest – though I know what I’m getting him – just need to get it. Very proud in how I shopped and planned this year.

That’s been the only expenditure other than the weekend adventure. Haven’t needed to pick up groceries, so it’s been the gifts and bills.

Thankful for Everything Except the Ankle Injury

FOOD

Let’s get the non-Thanksgiving pics out of the way first!

On Wednesday, I had ramen and my very first bubble tea with my guy! Mine was coconut milk with Oreos.

Wednesday night was one of my fav chili recipes – Chili Con “Carne”. It’s from one of my older cookbooks – Vegan Lunch Box from 2008. I don’t dust it off very often, but I can’t seem to part with it either when I do my book donation purges every few years. This particular recipe is practically worth the price of admission, so I keep it around.

Today I had lunch with my guy and his youngest – a BAS (no Romaine, thank you!). Dinner was leftovers.

So what did we do for Thanksgiving? Other than have a really nice evening, there was ten tons of food too.

Breakfast was toast with sunflower seed butter. And a mimosa!

Will prep now – this was an Omni gathering. I only cooked vegan eats, though my guy made 3 dishes (1 vegan, 2 not) and my son’s girlfriend brought 3 dishes (2 vegan, 1 not).

On Wednesday I baked ten tons of cookies. Choc chip that actually weren’t that good (won’t use that recipe again) and my normal oatmeal raisin cookies that do rock.

On Thursday, the marathon began! But first – snacks. No meals other than the “big feast”, so snacks are put out for everyone to munch on, and get put up about 2 hrs before meal time.

Son 2 made me realize I forgot the dessert hummus this year!

Started with a pumpkin pie (which we still haven’t eaten!). Then green bean casserole, butternut squash au “gratin”, 2 tofurkey’s (one in a crock pot, one baked), sweet corn bread, sweet carrots, two gravies (one that came with the tofurkey’s and a homemade mushroom one) and stuffing with wild rice.

My guy made the mashers (vegan) and also made corn pudding and brought smoked turkey.

My son’s girlfriend made two types of croissant dishes – the dessert one was vegan – and a big batch of sangria!

And because I’m really paranoid about dishes coming out at the same time, I employ the sticky note method! R mocked me for it a little, but hey – it worked. Everything came out at the same time!

There were 9 of us in all. Me and my three kids, my guy and his two, my son’s girlfriend, and his best friend – who’ve I called Son 2 for years. And we had MORE than enough food.

And by the end of the night, my heart and belly were very full! And how could it not be? I was surrounded by many of the people I love most in the world, so yeah – it was a perfect day.

FITNESS

So, inspired by the run that didn’t suck on Monday, I wanted to run on Wednesday too. BUT, it was too cold for me (31 degrees), so this happened…

And I typically hate dreadmills, but I really wanted to run, so here I found myself. I was 19 minutes in, and my right calf cramped so badly I actually had to stop. That sucked. But I hopped on a recumbent bike for 20 so I still got a workout in. The upright spin bike put too much pressure on my calf, but was fine on the recumbent. Guess that’s one benefit of going to the gym…

Yesterday before cooking I did a walk/run – only about 20 minutes because I didn’t want to press my luck. Was fine though.

Today I went for a hike! REI has their #OptOutside campaign again this year, and I do like the idea and there just so happened to be a meetup group going to First Landing State Park for a 3 mile trail hike that sounded perfect. So, I signed R and I up, and my guy had thought to go too – though that fell through. And frankly, at 7am, R didn’t want to go anymore either (freakishly cold, and she hadn’t had a great night’s sleep), so decided to go anyway! There were 6 of us (though 21 originally committed), and while it was wicked cold, after a half mile or so, was warmed up enough to really enjoy it. Everyone was chatty, so the time really flew.

After, I met up with my guy and his son for lunch, and then went home. I took off my shoes and sat by the fire before going over to my desk to get studying. My ankle started to feel a little sore, and after 20-30 minutes, was agonizing. Now, I did trip during my hike over a root – didn’t fall, but it was less than graceful. But I felt fine all the rest of the hike and after, so I can’t be sure that was it, but I have no other explanation.

So RICE it is! Rest – Ice – Compression – Elevate. It’s largely feeling better, just can’t rotate it without pain. For awhile there, it wasn’t weight bearing at all. Ugh – finally get my running mojo back and I get this. ARGH.

LIFE

Can’t complain! (Other than the ankle drama).

Wednesday was some work and errand running. Including finishing grocery shopping. Behold – my list…

My accent chair arrived, and I’m fairly pleased. Kids love it. It’s not a long term chair, but definitely wanted something in the study other than the desk and the book shelves. It’s a place to read, etc. Need to pick up a side table, hopefully this weekend.

Thursday was Thanksgiving, and a really wonderful day. My oldest works night, and was working, but came home, slept until 2, and then got up to spend the day with everyone before going back to work. My guy came over fairly early (his boys started their day with the other side of the family and then came over by my place). We took a run to Starbucks to get java and see M, who had to work. We spent the rest of the afternoon cooking together, which was a lot of fun, while the kids all watched the Lego movie. Watching them watch it and laugh and sing was really fun. Good thing I have a HUGE sofa – all of them sprawled out on it.

Then it was dinner and everyone in food comas. Let’s just say that things were much more tame after the eating ended. Then it was cleaning and dishes for me while everyone just relaxed and slowly dispersed.

Kids in food comas

And today was up early, hike, lunch, and school work. One of the contractors came to assess my half bath, and I should have that estimate tomorrow. The guy my coworker hooked me up with was a no-reply and no-show, so that sucks. Still have two tho, so hopefully those will balance out.

All told, awesome couple days!

And Kuma!

They were both cold!

Kuma snuggling the cooler my guy brought over on thanksgiving…

MY YEAR OF LESS

Not a lot of updates on here. I picked up things needed for the big feast of family. Got A’s Christmas gift, and had lunch out twice.

Contemplative Kick in the A$$

FOOD

Yesterday I had Ezekiel toast with Daiya cream cheeze and sliced tomatoes for breakfast. It was a few hours after I woke up, so having something a little hearty was fine. I really can’t handle meals well in the morning. Smoothies are fine, but that’s as heavy as I like to eat for at least a few hours.

Lunch was a catered thing at work. And bless my admin who always insists on vegan eats for me. We are restricted to ordering from in house catering services, so my selections are non existent. Last time, they seriously thought feta cheese would be fine in my wrap, so needless to say, I brought my own eats just in case. I stopped at the grocery on the way in and picked up a container of berries and a DIY salad.

And as you can see – the vegan option was about a pound of hummus with a couple cucumber chunks on a soggy wrap. I do appreciate the effort, but after a single bite, I was just glad I had backup eats.

Didn’t end up having dinner – wasn’t hungry.

This morning was a smoothie for breakfast on the way into the office for an early meeting. Water, Vega vanilla, frozen blueberries, & spinach.

Lunch was soup and salad from Whole Foods, and dinner was a simple salad at home.

FITNESS

Went for a run yesterday before work. It was chilly so I had to bundle up. And of course it started raining just as I hit my halfway point, so I was a bit cold and wet by the time I got home, but that’s okay. Still felt really good. My right calf is still sore, and I honestly don’t know why. Started hurting about 5 weeks ago or so. And while it’s not painful, it’s not normal either. I don’t recall pulling anything, so it’s baffling. First few minutes of the run yesterday were really tender, but it got a bit better as I went. Will keep an eye on it and see how it does over the next few weeks.

Getting warm and caffeinated before my run

LIFE

How much can happen in 2 days since we last chatted, right? And truth is, not a whole lot. They’ve been good days so I can’t complain. All fine on the work front, and with it being a short week, that’s always nice. Got to see my guy briefly each day, which always makes me happy. Kids are doing well, though R’s wrist is still really hurting. She has an evaluation for physical therapy next Tuesday. Hope it helps.

I have 3 contractors lined up this week to give me estimates on my downstairs powder room. Hopefully it’s not horrible news!

Also the #becomingamorningperson is trucking along. Been getting up at 530. Start with meditation, then coffee and some reading and chatting with my guy. Yesterday was a run, then work. Today was straight to work. So far, so good!

If I have to title the past two days it would be ‘contemplative’. I mentioned a few posts ago about being in a bit of a funk. And that’s totally gone, but what is left is some analysis about why I was in the funk in the first place. I’ve thought a lot about that, and I have some theories. But, need to give a bit of background first.

I’ve lived a lot of my adult life by the 5 year rule. Meaning, I make a 5 year plan, execute it, and then make another one. It’s how I work towards goals. My last 5 year plan got interrupted about 6 months early. In 2017 I was to finish my MBA, start a new job, and then create a new 5 year plan. Well, I finished the MBA. Had a bunch of job offers. And then got divorced. In the end, the divorce has been a very good thing for both of us, but it has left me without something to work towards, and that makes me feel really lost. I had this conversation with my friend M when we met for coffee a week and a half ago, and he’s very much in the same place. Don’t get me wrong, there are certain things about my future of which I am very certain and excited, but those are personal and academic goals. I spend way too much time trying to think of what my “next” is career wise, and I can’t see a path, and that both annoys and frightens me. It has also infected my attitude about certain things, and I can’t abide by that anymore. I am an overall happy and optimistic person who very much loves my life, and so to feel this sense of negativity for any length of time just, frankly, pisses me off. So once the funk faded and I spend some time analyzing it’s real origins, I have come to a couple conclusions. (You’re excited, I can tell).

1 – I don’t HAVE to know today what I want my career to look like in 5 years. It’s okay to take the time to figure it out. I’ve decided to give myself a year because a lot can happen in that time.

2 – if I want to change anything about my life, then it’s up to me to do it.

3 – I’m honestly very happy with where I am. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, but it’s also not all horrible either. And I am fully capable of reframing my damned attitude about it.

4 – all of the good in my life FAR exceeds anything that’s frustrating or less than perfect. I lost sight of that perspective for a few weeks to a degree, and after a swift kick in my own ass (hey, I do yoga, it can happen), I’ve decided to readjust said attitude.

So there ya go. Crissie’s Guide to Attitude Readjustment!

And look – lazy Kuma pics just for fun 🙂

MY YEAR OF LESS

I’m excited – I was able to get bookshelves and a chair for my study and got wicked deals on them. The chair should arrive tomorrow and the bookshelves next Tuesday! WOO.

Otherwise, just groceries. $33 at Lidl for the majority of what I needed, and another $30 at Whole Foods. All set for the holiday weekend!