"Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong.
The amount of work is the same." ~Francesca Reigler

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July 1

Where has time gone? Seriously! We are over halfway through with the year. That is crazy.

A big holiday weekend is coming up. Hubby has four days off. Count em... Four! We have no plans for the weekend this year. We are playing it by ear. I'm looking forward to four days with my hubby.

Today I have several tasks before me. I need to drop a package off at the post office for the girls and hit the local quilt shop to pick up some supplies for my friend Regan. Then I'll be bringing her family some dinner.

Yesterday I turned 14 pounds of pork shoulder into carnitas for soft tacos. Also made a bean and veggie salad. All were just dump and throw recipes, but they turned out good. I sneaked a bite of the pork as I was shredding it. The flavor is very subtle but good. Just salt, pepper, olive oil, cumin, oregano, garlic (I just peel it and throw the whole cloves in), chopped onion, and a very large orange ( cut in half, squeeze the juice over the meat, tear the peel and remains into quarters, and just throw it in the pot). I do that 8-10 hours on low and go. I then take it out and shred it. You can make it crispy by frying it some oil before serving, but I like it just as it is. Throw it on some tortillas, add your favorite toppings, and go.

My afternoon plans just changed. Now not so busy. So I'll relish the rest and do some reading. I'm reading a historical fiction novel about the lost colony of Roanoke. The story fascinates me. While this novel leans toward romance, it's still interesting as I've visited the area, been on a replica ship, and know the story. The novel is titled Breaking Ties by Jo Grafford. It's book one of a series. It's book candy, but interesting.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday Update

It's almost July? Where the heck is this year going?

We are having a heatwave here in the Seattle area. Oy vey! This gal does not do heat well. I'm ready to jump into a cool shower. Luckily it's  somewhat bearable downstairs and I have the option to hang out at the library that has AC. I did that for a while to get my weekly menu plan on a grocery list. Hit the produce stand and the grocery on the way home. Done. Boom!

Just in case you're curious, it's pork week. Lol! Pork loin chops today with baked sweet taters and fried corn, ham steak and Beechers Mac and cheese with salad tomorrow, pork carnitas tacos and bean salad on Wednesday, etc.

I also got some some ribs. I did a Reddit Gifts exchange for condiments and my "Santa" sent me a fun BBQ box from Nashville. Of all the people chosen in random I got her! Made me smile. A new set of exchanges opened up today and I signed up for The Great Outdoors and Stickers exchanges.  I really enjoy their exchanges. I get to meet lots of interesting people from all over.

Speaking of which, I got my last exchange package on Saturday from a family in British Columbia. The whole family made me some cute bookmarks. I got a nice handwritten letter along with pics of the kids. They live in a town five hours from here. Very pretty place. It's now on our to-do list.

Busy week ahead. Meetings and housework. I'm cooking dinner for my friend and her family. That's why I'm doing the carnitas. Got two pork butts to go in the crockpot with the garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, and orange. Easy peasy. Meals for us; meals for them. Gosh, I can remember not too long ago when pork butts were cheap. 99 cents/pound was high. Now they are over $2/pound.

I'm still feeling kinda scattered, but I'm writing things down. There are days I really wonder if I'm losing my mental faculties. Last night, for the life of me, I couldn't remember what I did on Friday. That really bothered me. Still does. My short term/more recent memory just isn't what it used to be.

The wildfires have started early in our state. One started out in Wenatchee. This area is over 100 miles east of us. It's over the Cascades and in orchard country. Several homes were destroyed and it's still going. Wenatchee is where the fruit distributors are located. Our rain deficit is critical and our state is under drought conditions. Scary times. My fear is idiots with fireworks. They are not banned. Fire marshals are suggesting to forgo fireworks this year. But we all know that there are idiots all around us.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Retail Therapy

Been in a blue funk the last couple of days, so I indulged in a bit of retail therapy. On top of that, I was bestowed with a bit of good karma today. That made my day.

Today was sewing with the ladies at Ben Franklin. I went, but didn't sew. I did stay and talked until lunch and did some shopping. I picked up some paper, stickers, and card stock today. I finally hit my $5 reward, so I treated myself to an extra pack of stickers. Do I know how to live or what?

This morning I hit Starbucks for my usual Tuesday grande triple shot vanilla latte. I had a free drink credit to burn, so I bought the person behind me a coffee. Later this afternoon I treated myself to a frappuccino (set diet aside), and the wait was like five minutes. Five minutes is no biggie in my world. Window lady said it was on the house!

My motivation to do anything this week is at an all time low. Rumor has it a heatwave is coming, so it's going to dip even lower. Oy vey.

I'm working on a Japanese Traveler's notebook for hubby to use in his reload shop. The leather cover arrived yesterday from Japan. It's beautiful! I guess my big project is getting his graph paper book inserts ready.

I ordered a handmade notebook cover on Etsy last week for me. I can't wait. Mine will be a bit bigger to accommodate more book inserts. Right now I'm using a laminated paper cover, but am looking forward to my monogrammed leather cover.

I recently bought several cheap novels from Amazon, so I may just use the time and lack of motivation to just read. Reading is a good escape for me.

Today I got good news, my friend Regan is on her way home as I type. Got a message from her this morning that the discharge nurse is going to spring her. I'll give her until Monday to get a routine going, then see about visiting. This is a huge step! Thanks to those of you who prayed for her. Trust me, she really appreciates it.

That about it as far as big news. Spent the anniversary at Mount Rainier. It was a beautiful day. Had dinner at Paradise Lodge, and just marveled at how blessed we are to live on this planet. This park is truly a God Spot. And it was super special to see the alpine area without snow! Last year at this time there was still snow at 5000 ft.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sunday, June 21, 2015

If I have it correct (yes, I'm the one who forgets the year) it will be hubby's and my fourteenth wedding anniversary on Sunday. It's hard to believe he's put up with me all these years. And trust me when I say he's put up with me. I remember when we were dating, dad told him to run. And that was with all level of seriousness. Yes, I'm dead serious, hubby can attest.

We've had our easy years and rough years, but I wouldn't go through those with anyone else but him. I made an agreement with hubby and God. And I'm in it for the long haul... Plus, there's no one better to be by your side than your best friend. And that's what my guy is. My best friend.

Sunday also marks Father's Day. So Happy Father's Day to all the Dads, Stepdads, Foster Dads, and Dads at heart. Thanks for all the good things you do. My hope for dads out there is that the media quit portraying Dads as buffoons. There are those of us who know the real truth, the sacrifices you make for your family, and forever being last in line. Also those times when you had to deal with overly emotional creatures called teenage girls, not to mention the poopy diapers of babyhood, and working two or more jobs to support your families. Those are dads.

Sunday also marks the anniversary of my mom's passing. I've made peace with that. There are still times I miss her. But she's not far. I just look up and talk to her when I need to.

As of tonight I'm not sure what we'll have planned for the weekend. Hubby's going into work tomorrow, as it is fixing to get crazy busy. They already have orders coming in for his R&D project. So he has to step that up a bit.

I'll likely be spending tomorrow morning making picnic packs for the car while watching a video and sipping coffee. We decided to make a few up for those off the cuff moments. Each kit goes into a 2-gallon ziplock. It contains wet naps, utensils, plates, and napkins for two. We'll keep them in both cars. That way we can hit a sandwich shop or grocery and have what we need. In the ens the trash goes into the ziplock bag and it's all self-contained. Easy peasy.

Oh, thank you for keeping my friends in your prayers. One is home recovering from a second bout of septicemia and the other is working diligently with Occupational Therapy for release. They were able to close her without grafts, so she is working now toward getting her self care skills back. Today was her first shower since her ordeal almost two months ago. She said it was pure luxury. I remember how shower day felt to me when I was down... I agree. It was pure luxury!

Life is good. It can only get better from here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Mid week stuff

Hello! Checking in today. It's Wednesday and it's milk delivery day. Got my cartons of milk and eggs. Yay! One thing I don't have to hit the grocery for!

Speaking of shopping, I hit the produce stand yesterday and stocked up for the week. When I got home I filled my veggie bin with cut up red peppers, carrots, celery, and daikon radish. Then I cut up come cucumber, daikon, and carrot to make some vietnamese pickled veggies for banh mi sandwiches later this week. Going to play around with that recipe and use salmon versus the traditional vietnamese filling. I'm thinking that I'll make my typical baked salmon with my asian sauce mixture (sweet chili and soy sauces) and then put it on the baguette with the pickled veggies, onion, lettuce and cilantro mayo (my twist).

I cut mine thicker. Not enought patience to do matchstick cuts
(guess I could have used my mandolin in hindsight)

Here's the veggies in the jar. It's a great recipe I found online and pinned to Pinterest. Not too sweet, not too salty. And it's just a refrigerator pickle. The good thing is that these veggies get good and happy and are great in salads!

Monday I went to the allergy/asthma guy. I like this doc. He's not procedure or medicine happy. I did get tested and the results surprised me! Now let me preface this by saying that I previously took shots in the 1990s for grasses, weeds, trees, dust mites, and pets. No reaction to dog or cat!None whatsoever! Most other things I took shots for didn't react. What I did react to were trees -- birch, ash, and alder. Big time. I mean big time. That explains the major issues I had this spring with my breathing.

He did say that I did have asthma, after some testing. I'll admit, my breathing has been improving this month on it's own, which also supports the tree allergy theory.

I'm still plugging along on the diet. In fact, I'm drinking my breakfast now. This morning's shake is a bit of Stumptown cold brew with Ensure high protein powder and a Benefiber kicker. Not too sweet. bold coffee flavor. I'm doing the shakes and stuff for breakfast and lunch, then eating a lean and green dinner. Tonight is pork loin chops. Not sure yet how I'll cook them. May do a stir fry.  

Tomorrow I have a meeting with our modern quilting discussion group. I'm looking forward to that.

In an hour my friend who's been battling that major infection goes into surgery to close her wound. As of yesterday the plastic surgeons said there is a chance they may be able to just stitch it up. If not, she'll need a skin graft. I'm hoping for the least invasive and then saying an extra prayer that there's no re-infection. She so wants to go home and the opportunity is there.

I've had another good friend battling septicemia as a complication to a kidney stone. She has been in and out of the hospital as well. What worries me about these two cases is that this stuff can hit out of the blue. Both are healthy folks younger than I am.

My mission for today is to hit the studio and finish cleaning it up. I'm sick and tired of saying I gotta do that. So as soon as my beverage is done, I'll be heading upstairs and taking care of business. It's s sunny day and I get good lighting in there. Who knows, maybe it will inspire me to sew again!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Monday Catch-Up

Well, today finds me four pounds down from last week. I'm one happy girl. Soon I'll be in another decade and I'm thrilled about that. I can already feel a difference. The underwear panties I bought earlier this year are getting saggy.

I find it easier to take the weekends off the plan. That's what works for me. I still tracked on my fitbit, but ate what I wanted. So shakes and lean dinners during the week, Just tracking during the weekend. I went over a bit both weekend days, but I'm more active those days, so it didn't set me back any.

I'll be getting poked and scratched at the allergist's office this afternoon. Not looking forward to that. I am, however, looking forward to getting back on my allergy meds, as I've been off them for about a week in preparation for today. I bet I still react to trees, weeds, and grasses. It will be interesting if mold shows up on my radar since my exposure here is greater than it is in Tennessee.

We'll see...

It was a glorious weekend weather-wise. The local Chamber of Commerce couldn't have ordered a better weekend. Just the right temps (60s-70s), cool and dry. As a result hubby and I did our exploring. We started at the Boeing plant in Everett. Not seeing any major action there we drove down to Sea-Tac. I consulted my airplane app to figure out what runways/directions plane were landing and we found a good spot to watch the planes come in while listening to the tower line them up for landing. That and a slurpee made for good entertainment.

After that we decided to catch the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and drive up Highway 101 through the Hood Canal. This is one of our favorite drives. It's right next to the canal and offers scenic views. We love looking at the houses on the shoreline as well. Like I was saying to hubby, dreaming is free.

We stopped for a winky break at a state park and happened upon a tribal wedding. That was fun to observe. We got there when they were setting up and blessing the food. What was cool was that the caterer took a tribal ceremonial canoe, added a tabletop and used that for the buffet line. It was an awesomely cool touch. Loved! it!

We then hit the top of Mount Walker. The last time we were up there it was cold and very windy (to the point we had to hold onto the rail). It was much nicer this time. We got a good view the area we just traveled.

On the way home we stopped for dinner at our no longer favorite stop, The Port Gamble General Store. They had this quaint cafe. Well, they expanded and changed the menu. It was a great disappointment. But ya know, you win some and lose some. We took the ferry back home and crashed. It was a long day.

Sunday we had another date. This time we were going to the beach. So we crossed the sound to where we were the day before, only this time we hit another shoreline. First stop of the day was Fort Flagler. This fort overlooks Puget Sound and wraps around to form a nice little bay (Mystery Bay?). We spent time just vegging out on the beach, watching the marine traffic go by.

Hungry for lunch, we hit the local QFC (Kroger) for picnic food and we headed to our favorite nook of the beach at Fort Worden. This nook overlooks the strait of San Juan. With a glorious feast of Bologna sammies with sweet mustard and miracle whip (only time we use MW) on white bread, we re-lived our childhood picnics of yesteryear.

There we watched freighters and the Coasties go by. This one freighter was HUGE. On just the face you see alone was 100 containers. It was also at least 8-10 containers deep. I mean it was big... It was previously in China and on the way to Seattle.

We are back on schedule with our outings. While we were doing all this, we were discussing our plans to bring the airstream back up to WA. I regret not doing this on the Companydime, but I sincerely thought we'd get a chance to bring it back up. We are both on a mission now. It will likely be up here for winter camping season.

I think we've decided to ship the car down and then drive it all back up. We'll re-outfit what is needed and go from there.

Next weekend is our anniversary. Not sure what we'll do just yet. Might skip town, or do just day trips.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Mid-week catch up

I saw this on Facebook and HAD to share this. It made me smile. I see so many people waiting for moments to happen. Ya know what? This photo is right. You have to create them!

Speaking of Facebook, I found yet another connection between two people I know from different parts of the country. This world is smaller than you think!

Yesterday was a good day. I started off with a good cup of coffee and did some work in the studio. I've been tring desperately to find a way to keep myself organized. So I developed a daily task list in MS Word and bound it into a portable tablet. It still needs some refining, but I have something to start from. I wanted to keep it simple. It is based off a design I saw on Etsy. I tweaked the layout and stuff to suit me, versus just buying the template.

The big planner I bought just isn't working. It's too bulky to carry around, so I've got something smaller on order. And while I was at it, I ordered planners for both our girls. The youngest uses web based tools, but I found a fun planner for her to use as an art journal. The eldest, with her busy schedule, is getting a portable planner like I have.

I do have another one I just got, but I'll be using that more for art journaling. That's the same kind as a the one I got for my youngest.

The diet is going well. Not hungry in the least. Part of it is because I know my triggers and am avoiding them like the plague. I'll likely hit the ten pounds down next week, so I'm upping it to 30 by the end of the year. Doable. I went to the market to get veggies. After all, it's summer and we need fresh veggies to nosh on. I also have greek yogurt with ranch seasoning for dip. Good protein and dairy source. This morning's breakfast was a high protein vanilla shake with two starbucks VIA packets and a benefiber chaser. Like a really strong iced latte. Perfect. Not too sweet.

Tonight's dinner is chicken something. Need to hit a cookbook for ideas.

In seeing photos of myself I've noticed I have lost a lot of weight since the beginning of the year. This is me, taken a few minutes ago. No makeup and in my "comfy clothes".  And yes, this is a straight on camera view, not the typical shot from a high angle. I can really see the difference. I'm really starting to like my longer hair. When I fix it up, it gets swingy and bouncy. You see it as morning hair. NO brush, no nothing.

Yesterday I got to play stepford wife and go to a company function with hubby. That involved me gussying up with war paint (makeup), perfume, hair and all. I even put on jewelry, which is a rarity for me these days. I wore a simple gray knit top, my long locket necklace, black knit wide leg pants, and teva sandals. I will say that I shocked hubby big time by gussying up. Need to do that more often. (wink). There are times I just don't feel beautiful, but yesterday was a good day.

The work dinner party was fun. It was held at Red Hook Brewery, which is down the road from us in the wine country. I got to talk with a bunch of hubby's co workers. The big guys loved the presentation I made for hubby. I had to laugh. Poor hubby was hoarse as all get-out yesterday. He sounded like Peter Brady in the voice changing episode. He sounded much better this morning.

Dinner was good. I had some strawberry spinach salad, some asparagus, and salmon. Also ate a few appetizers. I would have gotten a beer, but I didn't want to risk an all-out hot flash. So I settled for nursing a diet coke all night.

I got to meet one of hubby's Japanese counterparts at dinner. He works for the company in Japan that owns part of the company hubby works for. I'm glad I got to meet him. It put me at ease for when he travels abroad in the next month or so. I just wonder what he thinks about me being so "forward". I was talking to him about an area I'd like to visit because of the textile shops. He was then trying to delicately say that the area was also famous for other reasons, I told him I knew about the "hostess clubs" in that area as well. I think he was kind of floored by that. I think all that put him at ease... but I just wonder.

Hubby is so blessed to work for a wonderful company like this. His employer treats him with the utmost respect for his level of experience. I can't say that enough. It's like the best parts of my old company before we got too big for our britches.

Today will find me with some busy work. I need to work in my studio for a bookmark swap I'm participating in. I also need to pack a couple of shipments for other swaps. I've been having fun with these swaps. I'm not sure I'll get anything in return, but I'm excited nonetheless.

So I'm chalking this week so far as a good week. How is your week going?