Saturday, January 31, 2009

Eating Out

I've been having just too much fun for two days now. Have accomplished nothing on my list of things to do. Had to take the whole day off work yesterday to fit in all my plans. It was worth it. Had breakfast with SLC Mayor Becker along with a half dozen other bloggers. Then had lunch with my two best friends in the world, one of whom I hadn't seen in 20 years. Skipped dinner, but made popcorn and watched my favorite movie, Four Weddings and a Funeral, which never fails to make me laugh and cry. Then lunch again today with my neighbor friend, with our usual once a month outing. Well all I can say is, that's just TOO much eating out. Too much eating period! Even with all the walking I'm doing, a girl can't get away with that. So this week, I'm resolving no more eating out -- until Saturday, that is, as it's the monthly Reel Women dinner and a movie.

And since we're talking about Four Weddings and a Funeral, here's Rowan Atkinson as a minister performing his first ceremony for the second wedding--one of my favorite scenes (there are so many).

And the funeral. Ah, still makes my cry.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What day is it?

When working at home, I get confused sometimes about the day of the week, the day of the month. Today's Tuesday, right? And on my street it's supposed to be garbage day. But when I rolled the trash can out to the street, mine was the only one. I have some very conscientious neighbors who are always on top of everything, and none of their trash cans were out. NONE of them. I had that eerie Twilight Zone feeling that I'd missed out on an important message. I actually went back inside to be sure it was Tuesday. Yes, it is. I've checked several times.

The truck is usually here around 7 a.m. so you have to have it out early. I did. It's nearly 7:30 now and no sign of the truck.

This is weird. What did I miss?

UPDATE: Well the truck came. I guess everyone else was confused and I was the only one who remembered today was garbage day. That was really weird.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pine Siskin at the feeders

Yesterday just one little Pine Siskin mixing with the common house finches. Today, a whole flock of these dainty little birds with yellow on wings and tail. My bird books say they are 4.5 to 5.5 inches in size, but side by side with the finches, they seem on the smaller of that scale - tiny little things.

This is not my picture. I tried to get close enough for a picture, put seeds right by the patio door and then crept to the door flat on my stomach to get a close-up view. I would say perhaps 20 of the little things altogether.


Lazy Sunday morning listening to 50's and 60's rock n roll oldies on Sirius. Here's a great one. This is for my on again off again friend who is on again.

And Jackson Browne goes one better. This is 70's but still oh so good.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Winter Doldrums

It happens every year. This weariness with the gray, the cold, the smog. Where is the sun? Everyone has a restlessness feeling stuck in this gloom. A little rain is coming today. The ground was wet when I went out to fill the bird feeders, but it looked more like condensation than rain.

Oh for a blue sky, sunny day. Jenn's talking about taking a trip southward. It's a good idea.

It does feel good to be back in a familiar groove at work writing manuals and help files instead of doing support for the new software. We lost an entire holiday season because of it, but in retrospect it doesn't seem like a big loss. The transition goes on and will for some time yet. But so does new development and upgrades to our hundreds of custom apps, and that means documentation is required. Writing is what I want to be doing and I'm glad to be back at it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A journey of 1000 miles

I am getting more into my walking and rarely miss a day now. I've decided to keep track of miles walked and try to walk 1000 miles in 2009. If I consistently walk 3 or 4 miles a day with few breaks, I'll be able to do it.

I've also decided that 2009 will be the year that I get down to my ideal weight. I'm well on the way there, but had a reversal the past two months, and now I'm back on track. The walking is the key for me. It's painfully slow to see results if you are measuring in pounds or inches. But it's easy to count up the miles walked, so that's the yardstick I'll use -- something I can measure every day and see real progress every day. I count the miles, and the pounds and inches will take care of themselves.

It's what works for me.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The birds returned

I don't know what happened. For three days no birds visited my feeders. I was becoming paranoid. Not a single bird was at any feeder at any time of the day when I looked out. Where did they all go? Was I putting out inferior bird seed? Did they see me eating chicken for dinner? Were my former visitors telling their bird friends to stay away from that house? It was strange as I'm accustomed to many dozens of birds visiting throughout the day. The feeders were full and I had even added some of those suet blocks, these of the peanut butter variety which have attracted little interest so far.

Well they came back last evening in droves. Today as well. And a special treat, a little flycatcher joined up with the finches. I can't tell for sure which variety, but this link takes you to a picture of a Willow Flycatcher that looks just like him. However, the description says he's supposed to be wintering in the tropics. He must have gotten left behind when the family set out for Mexico.

A week ago the Tribune ran a story about a sighting of a white-breasted nuthatch, and I'll be darned, right after reading the story, I looked out and saw that same little fella at my own feeders. A true coincidence. I had to sit and stare at him a long time as I couldn't believe he showed up right at that moment.

I'm sure I'm missing some sightings of unusual birds, but I don't get to spend as much time as I'd like observing. I'm just glad they decided to come back and give me another chance. I'll try not to commit any bird faux pas in the future.

Isn't it about bald eagle sighting season again? Maybe in a few weeks.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Brown Rice and Beans Tacos

I invented this recipe with ideas from my ex BF "J". My daughter gets the credit for the hot pepper sauce (Tabasco). It's a vegetarian taco and believe me, you won't miss the meat.

Brown Rice and Beans Tacos
4 - 6 hearty servings

In a 2 quart saucepan combine 2 cups water and one cup Brown Rice, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 teaspoon salt.

Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to a simmer and continue cooking for 50 minutes.

While the rice cooks, prepare the following:

Small Chop:
1/4 C onion
1/4 C celery
1/4 C carrots

In a large saute pan, saute vegetables in a tablespoon of butter until soft.

To vegetables, stir in:
One can of beans (black, red, or pinto) drained
One can of crushed tomatoes
Half cup of corn (optional, I used frozen)
1/4 cup or more Salsa
Hot pepper sauce (Tabasco) to taste
Garlic as desired, optional
2 tablespoons olive oil or cooking oil
Salt and Pepper

Stir together. Keep heat low and allow to cook slowly.

When the rice is done, stir both mixtures together.

Serve hot on taco or tostada shells with your favorite taco condiments: cheese, chopped tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, salsa.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Words to live by

To repeat from 2008:

Life is short,
Break the rules,
Forgive quickly,
Kiss slowly,
Love truly,
Laugh uncontrollably,

And never regret anything that made you smile.

Two weeks of graveyard shift have given me a different perspective - sort of like Alice climbing up on the mantel slipping through the looking glass, and turning around to see the living room all arranged in the opposite way. It's as if seeing not just the furniture, but also people and even myself from that opposite perspective. Now that I have finished that shift, I find it difficult to return to the other side. I want to sleep in the day and wake at night -- perhaps to continue to observe the backwards world and try to figure out what's going on there.

Then today I read a friend's blog about credo and it reminded me of my positive approach to 2008, and I wondered what was preventing me from feeling that same sense of hope. I am somewhat weary in body and mind. To be sure there have been some losses this year. And some recent events have raised the spectre of my divorce, my old marriage, and the associated hurts. There is business I need to complete to close that door once and for all. This has to move to the top of my to do list.

Tomorrow I'm back to work in the daytime and ready or not, I'll have to break this jetlag lethargy and become daytime functional again. And the practical, pragmatic me will take over with less time for introspection and more focus on getting things done. Good for what ails me.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Human again

Suddenly, without warning, the graveyard shift has ended. I don't even go back out tonight. I'm off! Free! Don't go back till Monday. It's sort of like being in a tug of war and suddenly the other side lets go, and staggering back you suddenly realize you made it, stuck it out to the end, and it wasn't too bad. But really, I feel happy almost to tears now.

Now what to do with my evening. I slept long today and won't be tired for hours. No date. Don't really want to even see anyone. I think I'll go down to Bountiful and walk down Main street. It's a nice evening walk and the weather is clear and nice. I'll read a book and play the piano, and make a list - things to do for January (what's left of it). Go to bed late and start to transition 180 degrees.

Tomorrow I resume my life.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Up in the night

I've so adjusted to this night life, tonight I have a night off, but won't change my schedule. I have to return to work tomorrow midnight. So I slept in the day, and will stay up at least most of the night. Had coffee at 9 p.m. just like I have for over a week now. Just six more days of this schedule, I think. Unless something changes. Surprised at how wide awake I am all night. I don't find it difficult at all. And I've learned how to sleep when I need to--to make myself go back to sleep when something wakens me. I'll use that to get better sleep when I'm back on my day life schedule. But I don't mind this at all. It has been an interesting experience.

I've had to be alert and sharp at work. Solving various issues from the software transition and sending out over a hundred emails now to various users. I've wondered if I'm as lucid as I think I am. But so far, very few follow up questions from users. I must be communicating all right.

Tonight I've had the christmas tree lights on for the last time. People driving by no doubt think I'm crazy. But it seems so appropriate with all the snow we got--again. I think maybe 10 more inches. It's getting deep on the sides of the driveway. Ben from up the street came down and shoveled for me again. Well we shoveled together. I think he has made me his scout project or something, he is here every storm now. The neighbor at the west has a new snowblower and did my walks front and side. I think neither of them realize I have the third sidewalk behind, but I did that one myself. It's still so much less than I'm used to doing. Sometimes the neighbor up above does that one, but he just got home as I was finishing up. I never do mind snow shoveling unless I'm in a hurry to go somewhere.

I'll undecorate the tree tonight and put away the ornaments. If I still feel up to it, I'll take apart the tree itself and drag it downstairs to put it away too. Or save that part until the weekend. I'm awake and feel like getting busy. So I will.


Stayed up all night. Got all Christmas taken down and put away. Watched some TV and finished reading the Carole Radziwill book. Not a good way to end the day - a very sad and painful book. So I'll watch a little Morning Joe and then try to sleep. I'm surprised I am still awake. Was reading in bed at 4 thinking it might be okay to fall asleep, though I didn't. Well, at least I'm still on my schedule. The transition back will be interesting. TV seems simply stupid this morning. I'll try to sleep.