Sunday, August 29, 2010

The non-facebook questionairre

 There is this list of questions going around the blog-o-sphere.  And since someone actually asked me to fill it out--I am...

Do you think that Chicory Blue:
…likes British accents? Yes.  Oh my.  Yes.
…likes blue eyes? I used to have blue eyes and blonde hair...then came puberty.  I love blue eyes (which is ironic considering I have never even once dated a man with blue eyes)
… is part of the Mile-High Club? I can hardly fit in  the seats/bathroom/stand up in a plane-what do you think?
…can cook? Yes-I do better when I have a recipe to follow...
…has ever failed a class? Yes-but not because I didn't know the material-I quit the class but didn't withdrawl
…is a good driver? Yes--but I hate to drive in unknown places, traffic, when there is a concrete wall/barrier and no shoulder or in the yes unless any of those are occurring-then I am probably that SLOW driver you hate!
…has good taste? I think I do-isn't that what counts?
…recycles dirty underwear? No.
…will do anything to get what she wants? Depends on the "want".  There are a select few things I would do anything for...
…should pass on the chocolate cake? I should-but I won't.
…is hot?No-this chick loved living in Florida and misses the weather
…thinks shopping at Walmart is classy? hahahahahahaha
…has ever slapped anyone? Yes..I am sure I have once or twice-always a man-always deserved it-never slapped them hard enough though.
…spends more than an hour on Facebook every day? No-I pretty much check my friends updates and go...
…has ever skinny dipped?No-the opportunity never came up-seriously.
…has ever eaten a booger? No.
…is a jerk? Isn't everyone at one time?
…has ever stolen money from friends? No
…has ever cheated on a test? Yes. I seem to recall passing French because I sat next to someone who knew the language during the final in highschool
…was a dork in high school? Yes-all 3 of them.
…has ever lied to avoid a date?Hmm?  Probably.
…is fun to be around? I am sure it depends on the other persons' point of view
…is cute? No.  cute is for children and pets.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hiking with Chloe

4+ foot black snake (nonpoisonous)

black and shiny

We walked a ways through the woods and into a field:

and then down a hill and across another field to a monument.
Those little legs get tired....

The Ride

Best Seat

Taking the easy way

Please say some prayers and think happy I was posting this----a couple hours after we got home--Chloe hurt her back (? or hip) playing ball....we are watching her now-and a vet trip seems imminent.

UPDATE:  She is walking somewhat better today-especially after she gets we decided to let her rest and call our regular vet tomorrow.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Surprisingly, I have read over 50 book so far this year.  Here are my favorites (so far):

Sarah's Key, Tatiana de Rosney
This book is set in both current day and World War II.  While researching for an article she is writing, woman tries to find out what happened to Jewish  family who occupied her husband's families apartment prior to their ownership.  She find that the young girl of the family (Sarah) was the only survivor-she finds out how her husband's family and Sarah's are connected. 

The Brain that Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science, Norman Doidge
 I loved this non-fiction book because it shows you how people overcame serious issues with forward-thinking doctors.

Best Easy Day Hikes-Pittsburgh, Bob Frye
 This book  has many great hikes usually 1-3 miles in length in parks in the Pittsburgh area.

Oh My Stars, Lorna Landvik
I think the last paragraph of the Goodreads description says it best: "It is a tale of love and hope, bigotry and betrayal, loss and discovery–as Violet, who’s always considered herself a minor character in her own life story, emerges as a heroine you’ll laugh with, cry with, and, most important, cheer for all the way."

Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, The Man Who Would Cure the World, Tracy Kidder
This is the story of a doctor who sees problems in Haiti-and fixes them.  He went to Haiti at 23 and began treating the poorest of the poor.  He has since developed a model health care system and hospital (for the area of Haiti he lives in) and solves many problems simply.  Written before this years earthquake-I would love to know if/how his area was affected and his solutions-truly a great man.

Those Who Save Us, Jenna Blum
Set in World War II  Germany-it's a story of a woman and her struggle to survive in war-torn Germany.  A survivor of the holocaust-from a different angle, a German woman.  She falls in love with a Jewish man-then, pregnant and alone she finds refuge in a bakery-who makes some hard choices and struggles to live with them.

Simon's Cat, Simon Tofield
-This is just a fun book!  A book of cartoons about Simon's Cat of youTube fame. I swear I know a cat just like him!

A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents, Liza Palmer
Grace is leading a good life-great job, house and boyfriend, however, she has a secret-her family. When her father is in the hospital she finally goes home-to face her family and herself.  not quite Chick-Lit...Not quite novel-somewhere in between.
I love another book by this author (Seeing Me Naked) even more!-

Matterhorn: A Vietnam War Novel,  Karl Marlantes
-Definitely a book I would read again. It appears realistic (I say appears because having never been a soldier I can't say 100% for sure).  I am not into war books but this one grabbed me and pulled me through the thick book- I had to stop and read the (very thorough) glossary to make sure I understood at times-but it didn't really hamper the story-or my reading ease. It held my attention all the way through and I reluctantly put it down when I was finished. I wanted to know how it turned out for some characters. It is as much about the soldiers as it is about how war is directed-with the higher ups phoning in orders from safe locations and having no clue what is actually going on in reality.

Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro
-This book is about a young girl at what at first appears to be some type of boarding school/orphanage...but you eventually find out the truth...Told from the "present" when the main character meets up again with her private school friends.  It's chilling when you, the reader, realize the truth about their lives.  I heard recently this is being made into a movie.

Night of Many Dreams, Gail Tsukiyama
-The fact that I love this book isn't a big surprise to me-she is one of my favorite authors and there are only a couple that are not appealing to me.  this is a coming of age novel set in hong Kong-the story of 2 sisters during and after World War II. 

What are your favorites read (so far) in 2010?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

What's for Dinner?

Here is what I made for dinner tonight.  You could substitute ground chicken or turkey or vegetarian crumbles OR black beans and refried beans.  Sorry-no pictures. 

Mexican Casserole

1 lb. hamburger
1 package Taco Seasoning (I use the less sodium, no msg one)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 box frozen corn, defrosted 
1 cup shredded cheese
2 boxes Jiffy corn Muffin mix

Brown the Hamburger.  Drain the fat.  Add in Seasoning, tomatoes and corn.  Simmer until warmed through.  Place in a casserole dish.

Prepare the Corn muffin mixes per the box (1 egg and 1/3 cup milk for each box), adding a little more milk so the mixture is pourable.
Pour onto the hamburger mixture in the casserole dish-so that it covers the mixture. 
Top with Shredded cheese.

Bake at 400 for 30 minutes.  Check to make sure the Cornbread is cooked all the way through in the center-bake in 5 minute intervals if more time is needed.

Serves 6 (?)  (There are 2 are us and we probably have leftovers for 2 nights)

Variations:  add in chiles, black beans, use Salsa instead of diced tomatoes.  Add more cheese on top for the last 5 minutes to get a gooey effect.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Embracing Me

The lovely and talented jayesel wrote on her blog about “Imposter Syndrome”and how we seem to doubt our own selves and what we are good at.  It's a good read-so go read it and then come back.

She asked her readers to come up with a list of 7 things we are good and be proud: 

7 Things I Do Well:

1)  I am a kick-ass speech therapist for preschool-aged children.

2)  I am a good Navigator.  I am in charge of getting us to and from points unknown-and the various detours to take if a turn is missed.

3) I have a great memory, especially auditory memory. I am famous for repeating verbatim conversations-especially when someone else is in error.

4) I am a good reader.  I devour books, magazines, labels-anything.

5) I take good pictures.  Hence the reason I am not in any-I take them ALL.

6) I am a good and supportive wife.  You'll just have to trust me on the reasons for this one.

7) I am a good flower gardener.  My yard is always in bloom during the summer.

Continue Jayesel's challenge!  What are you good at?  Post your own list!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

The contest

I dislike housework-until it is done and I love how good everything looks.  You wouldn't know that from this summer when I cleaned every. single. wall, closet, drawer, floor, nook and cranny.  My husband hates housework.  I won't ask him directly why because if he answered like I think he would (some of his family think it is a sin to let boys/men do any housework)  there would be blood-and not mine.   My husband uses his back injury to not do housework.  I get that his back hurts-and sometimes it is bad-but not all the time. 

Over the years I have devised ways to get him to do house work-I split up the rooms and I have practiced turning a blind eye when things are dusty--I know he will eventually clean because his "messy tolerance" is lower than mine (but not by much!)  My best scheme?
I bought a Dyson.  My pet and human hair hating husband loved it so much I have barely used it.  (I recently bought a shark, too for quick cleaning and same result-his baby).

This year a new hurdle in the chore department arose-lawn mowing.  Before moving here I had never mowed (really)  I made it 30+ years without touching a lawn mower.  My parents sent me away when they mowed grass due to my allergies.  I rented as an adult in places where the landlord took care of the lawn.  Not here.  We have to take care of the yard now.  Don't get me wrong-I love yard work.  Love it!  I have mowed the grass for 3 summers with only a few complaints even though I am a horrible mower-since.  I cut in a random way, I can't mow along the fence without getting the mower stuck- I cut off the flower on my hostas, I displace the borders on m flower beds every single time.

All of this I chalked up to a learning experience until I mowed over a Cast Iron cover to a sewer vent (?)  that was flush with the ground-something I had done dozens of times in 3 years--and, for the record, something my husband did too the few times he has mowed.  This time, however, when I mowed over it the blade of the mower caught it and shattered the CAST IRON top into a gazillion pieces.  (We have not been able to find a replacement that fits either).

The Husband got angry.  I got angry at him for being angry.  As I said-this is the way we have both mowed that spot for 3 summers.  So I quit mowing. 

Surprisingly, he started mowing without complaint.

It helped  that the neighbor asked loudly why I was the only one mowing and my husband wasn't-and my answer may not have included "back injury." Men hate it when neighbors point out things  :)

It helped for awhile that I hurt my knee and my asthma has flared up majorly because of the long, hot, wonderful actual summer we are having.

Now, he has an intestinal issue (IBS) and he is going through a huge flare up and getting off the couch isn't high on his to-do list.  (He has an endoscopy tomorrow-this is a baaaad flare-up)

I am still having asthma issues.  Big ones- where mowing the grass may not be okay-and I'm not going to find out.

So now neither of us is willing to mow the lawn.

The grass is high enough to 'flower'.  I am thinking of tying a flag on the dog so I can track her movements in it.

It's a contest to see who breaks first.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Seriously? I already take 5 medicines just for allergies.

I have been very very good about double (and triple) checking everything unknown that I eat since the Almond incidents of June
So why am I sitting here typing this with hive covered eyes?  This has happened to me 3 times since June.  Once when I was in St. Louis,  last week when I came home from the Farmer's Market and now tonight-after a book club meeting at Panera Bread (had lemonade only) and ate 1/2 a fudge sundae (no nuts) from McDonalds that my husband gave me.

This is very scary.  Knowing what I am allergic to is so important since my symptoms can be life threatening.  I have not had a new food allergy since I was 14, when almonds started causing  hives.  (Bananas and Avocados started around 11 or so.) 
In fact, the "newest" allergy is 10 years (or more) old-Latex-and related to the banana/avocado allergy (fruit-latex syndrome).

Nothing from the three outbreaks is the same-italian food, a bite of a cookie (this one I guessed might be almond oil in the cookie mix-but really not sure) lemonade and fudge ice cream sundae.  So-is it food?  Airborne (because I am allergic to basically everything you breathe out there), the dog (please NO!), the mold wall at work (yeah-it is nasty imagine a 3 ft tall swath of mold that goes fro 10 feet or so-I guess I need to keep a mirror handy) or one of my many medicines suddenly rebelling?   I have no idea-I can't find the connection. 

I think this means a trip to an allergist-once I find one.  5 medicines for asthma and allergies are apparently not enough.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ramblings BAD/GOOD

 BAD:-My husband has been jobless for 3 1/2 years.  (2 1/2  years of this he was in school unable to find part-time work) but now he has a degree and nothing)  We are down to our last month of "extra" money to cover food and gas and any other expense (my check pays the bills only).  He sends out 30 resumes a week. For his degree (Sport Management) and any other jobs.  He applies for "minimum wage" jobs.  He can't stand on his feet all day (but can some of the day).  He is either under or over qualified-or he hears nothing.
GOOD:  I asked my boss for a new Mac laptop, a $300 program, an ipad (+ apps) and a flip video camera and she said there grant money to fufill my request THUD (that is me hitting the floor)

BAD: This is the last week I see my students who go to Kindergarten-it is a week filled with tearful goodbyes and "putting out fires".
GOOD:  Hello reduced caseload and time I can actually do paperwork! (for a few weeks anyway)

BAD: I found out my niece and nephew (ages 6 and 7) are living in a 1 room motel with their Mom and her boyfriend since they got evicted for not ever paying rent (yet have blackberrys, video games, throw parties and (we highly suspect) buy drug (pot at least-we can smell that).
GOOD:  My brother might actually step up and get custody of the kids.  One can hope.  Right now he is in a "watch and wait" situation--seeing what unfolds before he "jumps the gun"

BAD: One of my students has a relapse of cancer.  It doesn't sound good.  The Dad also was recently diagnosed with cancer. 
GOOD I'm at a loss for a good point-he just turned 4.

BAD:  My dog (who is almost 11) has lumps on her belly. 
GOOD: She doesn't seem sick.

BAD: I was charged for HBO last month (I cancelled it before it was no longer free)
GOOD: They refunded me
BAD: I was charged AGAIN
GOOD: I got to vent to Verizon (again) (I was nice and sent it via email this time)
BAD: I still am unsure if it is actually fixed.

BAD:  Took my car in to get looked at for an exhaust leak
GOOD: No leak
BAD: need front parking light, back license light, struts and something else (brakes?) by Inspection in October
GOOD:  I have until October
BAD: Got home and discovered they forgot to put the lens back on my parking light
GOOD:  Called and took it in-they found it/put it in
BAD: Just discovered the license plate light cover is gone.
GOOD: I get to vent more frustration out to Rorich  :)

BAD: Inservice all next week
GOOD: followed by (my last) 2 weeks off