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.

Dragons!

So BS admonished me again. I did tell him to bite me because I had a 40 page paper due and that was more important than his blog fix, but whatevs. Paper is done and now it’s time to catch up!

FOOD

As you can imagine, there has been plenty of food in the past 2 weeks! Thai, soups, salad, smoothies. You know – the typical. And eats out and about too of course!

Beyond Meat Brat & pretzel bun at Brick Anchor!

Dinner & drinks with a girlfriend from Boston who was in town

Take out Thai while paper writing

Today’s breakfast salad! Pit stop at Whole Foods on my way in this morning…

FITNESS

The past two weeks have been too chaotic to go to the gym. Good thing I have a small home gym with a spin bike – been quite a bit of that!

And yoga, of course. I’d probably burn out without it.

LIFE

Very busy couple of weeks! Went out of town with my guy a couple weekends ago. Great trip about 3-4 hrs away from home. Got back on Sunday – realized I left my wallet at the restaurant where we had breakfast, and proceeded to drive back to get it. Ugh. It was 7pm by the time I got there and raining, so I just spent the night and came home early in the morning. What a pain. Otherwise a wonderful weekend.

Got annoyed that they left the Irish whiskey with the same dumb Scottish spelling…but

Then it was a normal week of working, working out, studying, and going out one night with my guy – typically a Friday night.

The following weekend was an almost full family movie fun with Captain Marvel (A wasn’t there – her man was in town!). The next day was a brunch party at our fav brunch spot to celebrate A & J. Minus my son who was working and one of my guys sons who had pre-existing plans, and plus two other friends. We reserved the tea room, ate, drank, and laughed a lot. It was a lot of fun.

Then more work and school. My girlfriend H from Richmond was in town for a few days (she grew up here and was here for family stuff). We went out Tuesday night.

I took off Wednesday to focus on my paper. Library, then Brick Anchor for lunch, then Starbucks, and then meeting S from Boston for dinner and drinks.

This past weekend was all about robotics! R had a competition locally and was a ton of fun – though two 12 hr days is loooong. My guy came to some of it both days and that was fun. R was student ambassador so had to work shifts giving tours and explanations of the program. We were her first she gave tours to, so it was cute.

My term ended yesterday, so I’m done until April 8th. Here’s hoping I don’t get too bored…

And misc pics of course 🙂

Snuggly sunshine friends

Umm. I go thru a LOT of highlighters. Bulk purchase for $5 and I was excited.

So this weekend while at robotics, M bought everyone in the family their very own dragon! I was so excited that this one is mine. Totally perfect! Still needs a name tho…

Home for the Holidays!

FOOD

Most of the time since the last post has been on the road and away from home, but not all!

PRT – or pre-road trip was all about cooking up what I already had in the house. I didn’t want to grocery shop when no one would be home.

One meal was a Gardein skillet thing. It wasn’t bad.

There was oatmeal and smoothies for breakfast. And since I had 2 blocks of tofu, pressed that and made jerk tofu, coconut rice, and tamari mushrooms.

Then it was road trip food, of which I’ve taken very little photographs. We packed a lot of snacks, so that was mostly what we ate. Also got a falafel at a rest stop in Chicago! That was fun.

There was one fun night at a restaurant in Youngstown, OH – which turns out to be where one of my coworkers is from! Salad and pasta primavera.

Oh, and my sister did homemade pizzas last night. Tried the So Delicious Mozzarella for the first time. It was good, though I think I still like Daiya better.

FITNESS

Nothing since I left on Friday – didn’t even pack workout clothes. Winter in Wisconsin – I’m not running outside!

But the few days before I went to the gym each day.

LIFE

So this holiday season is a bit unique. It’s my first one without all my kids with me since having them. My oldest is in Toronto celebrating with her soon to be husband’s family. My middle is in Albany meeting and celebrating with his girlfriend’s dad and family.

So, R and I came to my hometown in Wisconsin to spend the holiday with family. It started with a road trip Friday morning. An overnight in Ohio, and arrived late afternoon on Saturday.

Day 1 and all excited! Also, grandest Kumaventure yet!
The rest of the 2 days was largely R and Kuma sleeping

Elevators confused her…

Ah Chicago. Did not miss your traffic…

On Sunday was my big family party, which was awesome. First time all the cousins have been together in at least 10 years – mainly because I don’t often come home. My cousins all have kids now, and many are similar ages to R, so she had a totally great time – which made the whole trip worth it.

My cousin hosted the party at my sisters house. Fun tags on the wine!

R and her cousins goofing off in the game room

All the cousins’ kids! So fun to see them all together
My BIL wearing his white elephant gift – one I brought

The youngest cousin!
Me and most of my cousins. I really do miss them all.

Christmas Eve R and I and my niece and sister went to see Mary Poppins, which was really good. Then had pizzas.

Today is a quiet day. Will go over by my mom’s in a few hours, spend time there, then bring her back to my sisters for dinner and gift exchange. All told, a quite and nice trip home – though I miss my older two a lot and hope they’re having a great time.

Tomorrow we hit the road for our journey back to VA!

Last Thursday the kids and I actually exchanged our gifts. My youngest got me a Ninja Foodi! I’m SO excited. I used it that night to make the jerk tofu. Can’t wait to get home and play!

I’m also looking forward to NYE. That evening my boyfriend and his kids and me and mine are having our Christmas. I’m very much looking forward to that.

Otherwise – fun times!

End of day 1 travel selfie sent to my guy. Of course he had to send me one too!

Kuma and Jordy getting to know each other
Kuma, my sister, and I watching Bird Box on Netflix Saturday night.

Next 3 pics are a progression of my Aunt feeding Kuma….

My Year of Less

No comment 😏

Awesome Weekend and NO MORE CARPET

FOOD

All yummy on the food front! Managed only one smoothie since my last blog post! You know it’s getting chilly out when smoothie intake tanks.

Did have lots of other fun stuff tho – and a mixture of eating in, eating out, and travel meals.

The fickn quesadilla from Hell’s Kitchen in Norfolk.
General Tso’s Tofu out w my guy

Whole wheat roti

One of foods I really liked growing up was egg salad. Thankfully, it’s easy to make a vegan version, and I literally seen dozens. My stand by is so simple, but I make it all the time. The firm silken tofu from Mori-Nu is perfect. I cube it, put it thru an egg slicer, and mix with vegan mayo and mustard. Sometimes I add things, like onion, celery, relish, etc, but not this time!

Also made a vegan mac that’s an oldie but goodie from the very first vegan blogger I ever followed – and have been lucky enough to meet several times now. Her food is amazing and very much in line with how I like to cook (low or no fat/oil).

This time of year I really go for the kale-based BAS (Big Ass Salad for new readers) always with a tahini dressing and loaded with whatever I have.

So simple! Equal parts water, lemon juice, tahini, and nutritional yeast. Plus salt.
Love my Tribest personal blender for dressings. My vitamix is just too big for that.

My guy spent the weekend and we had a couple really yummy meals. Friday night was Italian and listening to A tell funny work stories (she works in the emergency department).

Last night was him on the grill and me on the baked mac no cheese! So excited to finally have the Beyond Meat brats! Rounded out with salad and rosemary/garlic grilled potatoes, it was awesome.

Made the mac gluten free for my son’s gf who can’t have gluten

FITNESS

Embarrassing to say – not a whole lot! Had about 2 runs and some yoga at home. That’s it. The good news is that as of today, I officially have my garage back to normal – and that means the home gym!

LIFE

THE FLOORS ARE DONE! Finished them on the 10th, and the rest of the trim this past Friday. We all signed the back of the last board that went in. I do have to get a professional in to do the downstairs half bath, but otherwise, they are finished – and totally beautiful! The house is largely put back together – just a few things I need to pick up yet, but I seriously couldn’t be happier.

Veteran’s Day I went to lunch with my guy, one of my really good friends, her husband, their son, and his brother and his wife. All but two of us are either active duty or vets, so it was a free lunch and a chance to see J and K who moved to MD this past summer – so it was awesome they were in town.

I had a quick work trip in Chicago last week that went really well. It was ridiculously cold – but otherwise had a great time.

I always stay at the Palmer House when I’m in Chicago. They have this amazing old world apothecary called Merz’s that I just love. I definitely picked up a few things, including fun bath stuff for while I was there.

The conference was about consumerism – and this was probably one of my favorite sessions about DIY care.

I mentioned my guy spent the weekend. Friday after the trim was done and dinner eaten, we watched a movie. I had been wanting to see the new Blade Runner 2049 since it came out, and we were going to rent it. Did some reading and found we really should watch the original 1982 one. I had seen it once, but I think I was 17 or so and didn’t remember it. I’ll be honest – I REALLY wanted to love it. But it was just strange. We were both not thrilled, so decided to not watch the new one after all. I probably will someday – when I don’t have to pay for it 😏.

My great friend NS from Nairobi sent a care package to me of coffee! His friend is in Virginia Beach for a dental conference, and brought this for me. Definitely had the one on the right this morning! It was so good.

Saturday we did a bunch of errands – took carpet to the dump, got his tools back to his house, and returned all the extra boxes of wood I ended up not needing. Then it was dinner, and he and I and my son and his girlfriend went out. Starting at Birch, then Torch, a brief stop at Grain (was WAY too busy), and then ended at Hell’s Kitchen. And of course we used Lyft the entire night.

Today was naps, school work, and laundry and not much else ☺️.

All told, it was a really perfect weekend, and I am one lucky girl.

Good progress on the becoming a morning person thing. I finished the Miracle Morning and have been using it as a blueprint for my own mornings. So yay!

MY YEAR OF LESS

Other than home improvement stuff, this is going quite well. I’ve started Christmas shopping and have a very set budget for it – so here’s hoping I stick within it! I use the Christmas Club account through the credit union at work, so that makes a big difference. R, Kuma, and I are going to WI for the holidays, so there will be more expense than planned, but it’ll be fine.

I do need to buy a bookshelf for my study. The one I had was broken, so this is a replacement. I also need to pick up a couple area rugs as well and I’d like a wingback chair and table for the sitting area in my study. I’m looking at Wayfair and Birch Lane and will see about Black Friday furniture sales. The rugs can wait – will be in the DC area in a couple weekends and will hit up IKEA since ours doesn’t open in Norfolk until Spring.

Aliens and Hurricanes!

FOOD

Well, I certainly over prepared for the hurricane that wasn’t! I made a couple batch dishes in case power was an issue, and picked up foods that didn’t need refrigeration nor cooking – like lot of fruit, granola, etc.

So the eats ended up being fairly typical. Smoothies, soups, and rice and beans.

Simple carbonara w silken tofu & nutritional yeast, tossed with GF pasta and corn

Beyond Meat crumbles, sauce, and pasta for a quick meal

Adapted from the China Study cookbook – the Caribbean Rice & Beans – threw it all in the rice cooker with extra veg and spices. Serve with shredded cabbage and hot sauce!
Vega All-in-One Vanilla, blueberries, and kale

My guy had invited us over for the duration of the hurricane if it looked like it was going to be bad. There would have been 7 people, 3 dogs, and a sugar glider. His son was calling it the Hurricane Party, but it never happened since Flo really fizzled out. Instead, I had them over for brunch today. So yummy! Pancakes, potatoes, tofu scramble, and biscuits & gravy! And a Bloody Mary bar 🙂

FITNESS

Got in 2 runs and then did kickboxing (core de force) on my streaming Beach body workouts. Also been picking up on meditating again. Really need to stick to that regularly, it’s just so awesome.

LIFE

This week was a lot about Hurricane Florence for the most part. Evacuations were issued Monday for people living in certain areas (those in Zone A. I’m Zone D), and schools and most business canceled Tuesday morning “until further notice”. Honestly, we knew we weren’t going to get a direct hit, but the flooding from intense wind and rain did generate quite the regional panic. Gas stations were running out, and everyone ran out of water as soon as it was stocked. I managed to get a case and 5 gallons at target before anyone thought to look there.

So, it was time to hunker down. I contacted my university to let them know I was in Flo’s path in case I had service interruption, set up all work meetings as conference calls, and then got ready for the floods.

Meanwhile. R AND M CAME HOME FROM CALIFORNIA! They landed around 1130pm Wednesday night. We got their bags and hustled home. Got home right before midnight – which was perfect because it was R’s bday and we all sang to her.

Thursday was her 15th bday. Because it was storm fun, we did lasagna, a homemade cake (due to nut allergies we ALWAYS do homemade cakes! This was strawberry and decorated by her big sis). As a recap, she was out in Cali visiting her dad. Her fav thing was learning to surf! Good thing there’s some awesome surfing in Virginia Beach!

Yesterday marked the end of my 3rd term of my doctorate program! I submitted my final two papers and now I’m done until Oct 8! I’m excited for the break, but know I risk getting bored. So today, after my guy and his young one left, I went to drop off donations at Goodwill and then stopped at the library! The book AB recommended was checked out (both copies) so I put a hold on it.

Okay, so I want to talk a little bit about Nextdoor. If you’re not on it (or are), it is basically Facebook for neighborhoods that is mostly about “those darn kids”, perceived suspicious activity, people who speed, or lost/found pets. But this little gem popped up this week, and it was the funniest thing ever.

LOUD ROARING NOISES AT NIGHT

Occasionally I hear super loud roaring noises coming from the sky, which usually happens at night. The noise appears to come from some kind of strange aircraft. Does anyone know what the noises are? What’s the purpose of it? I live in the country, so it’s kind of creepy and makes me worry about aliens.

But the responses are the best….

~It’s definitely aliens! I would try and capture one and turn it into the government for study.

~Probably the purple people eaters I see in the fields when I’m out running. OR it’s the jet/helo training since we live near Fentress airfield. Whichever makes more sense.

~It’s my stomach. I apologize.

~My cat says not to worry, it will be over soon. But the dog has been strangely quiet….

~You’re not from around here, are you?

~sorry about this…one of my aliens got loose the other night and found his spaceship in the tool shed behind the house. We got him back though thanks to our flying dog.

MY YEAR OF LESS

So far, so good! I did use two of my going out and one movie. I’m keeping track in a OneNote document (I’m a hard core OneNote junkie).

Also I realize that I’m incredibly difficult to buy for. Not because I don’t have interests (believe me, I have too many!), but I typically just get the things I want and that’s that. Now that I’m not buying myself things, it’s kind of fun to keep a list. Now family and friends won’t struggle come holidays! And it’s funny – it’s not big things. Very little, actually. And it really makes me realize the things I value, and it’s not new shoes and technology toys. It’s books, and candles, and small things.

  • Candles
  • Books – see public Amazon list
  • Race entries
  • Frame my painting from Brazil

Spending

Hurricane spending on things like extra food (though it’ll get eaten eventually), water, batteries, etc. I’ll actually be returning the Amazon things – I couldn’t find batteries anywhere in town that I needed, so I ordered on Amazon. It was supposed to be here by Wednesday – in advance of the storm – but didn’t arrive until today. So I’m sending that back since it’s not needed. Everything else can be used.

Sept 10:

  • $8.15 – Cinema Cafe movie
  • $20.59 – Cinema Cafe dinner
  • $50.72 – Amazon hurricane prep
  • $15.89 – Petco – extra dog food hurricane prep
  • $60 – money for M for food on the trip back to VA for him and R
  • $48.28 – Target hurricane prep

Sept 11:

  • $0

Sept 12:

  • $41 – out with my guy
  • $3 airport parking

Sept 13:

  • $0

Sept 14:

  • $26.19 – Lidl groceries
  • $28.61 – Bloody Mary supplies

Sept 15:

  • $0

A Little TV/Movie Therapy Is a Good Thing

FOOD

It’s been a pretty typical week on the eats front. Smoothies, curries, tofu, salads. My mainstays for the most part.

Tom Kha – my very fav Thai soup

Did have a night planning to grill, but the gas was out on my grill, and as I disconnected it to run up to swap it out at the hardware store, it started to rain. So – no grilling! But tofu, potatoes, and veggies cooked in the house were just as yummy!

The leftover tofu was awesome on a sammich with vegan mayo and topped with spicy brown mustard and slaw

One night was red beans and rice. Always a fav. Actually found Tofurkey Andouille sausage for it too!

I spent the weekend with my guy and his son. We had some out to eats…

Shaved Brussel sprout and arugula salad with spicy cashews and a maple vinaigrette.

Under the ten tons of sprouts is a mound of hummus and a few veggies stuffed in a pita.

…and dinner in last night. Kale and cabbage salad with tahini dressing (YUM), a blended veggie soup from the market (ICK), and Gardein Mandarin Chicken (way YUM).

FITNESS

Managed to get a couple of runs in and a little kickboxing. It was a chaotic week and I’m happy to get even those in. Was intending on a hike this weekend, but so many other things came up that it just never happened.

LIFE

I’m not kidding when I say it’s been a chaotic week.

My ex-husband arrived on Sunday to spend two days in town visiting with the kids. For the most part it was okay. Tuesday morning he left with the young one to spend a couple weeks in CA where he now lives. Won’t lie – that was hard to let her go and I miss the hell out of her. We talk and text all the time, but I’m ready for her to come home.

The rest of the week was work, school work (outside whenever possible!), networking meetings with various regional leaders, getting admonished by my dermatologist (I don’t burn, don’t use sunscreen, and apparently “have enough freckles to last me a lifetime”….he’s not well pleased with me), and some much needed time with my guy.

Excited to be assigned this as one of the authors was my marketing professor in grad school!

This weekend was a lot of fun. We indoctrinated a new member of the cribbage club! My guys son – he played really well. I still won, but that was by no means a sure thing as I was in last for most of the game.

We watched a couple movies (Dogma and Good Will Hunting plus one or two earlier in the week and a couple fun shows – I haven’t watched this much TV/Movies in years!), went grocery shopping, went to the pub to cheer on Chelsea as they took on Newcastle, and hung out on the back porch and studied while my guy did laundry and his son studied too. It really was a pretty perfect weekend.

I came home, wrapped up my last big paper of the week, did wash and dishes, and hung out with the pups.

Oh, I finished the Year of Less that I mentioned in the last post. Also created a spreadsheet to track my progress with it. More to come next week when it officially kicks off!

Until next time, silly pics…