DRAFT TODAY, POST TOMORROW: Some posts may be in draft status until I (aka procrastinator extraordinaire) get around to posting them.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Manic Monday

Make the lists. So many things. So many distractions.
Old on left, new on right.
I moved some things directly to next weeks list.
Is that bad?
Do work.

Run errands. Library return. Club bank deposit. My bank deposit. Gazpacho, no goat cheese, at Delux--added chicken for protein. Paper recycle drop-off.

Do work.

Go to happy hour for co-workers. I'm not too sure about this whole Tortilla Factory business but they bring me my own salsa with corn tortillas (the only ones they don't handmake in house) and suggest tacos. I look over the gluten-free menu and notice mole ribs in a sampler appetizer but no other mole on the menu. She tells me they don't even have the ribs anymore--not enough demand. Boo. I'm sure I couldn't have had it anyway. :)

Then I ask about the pork with potatoes--sounds pretty clean. She confirms and brings me a plate. I'm already kind of full on corn tortillas and a margarita split with someone else. But this is really, really good. The onions--I can't tell what they did, almost like they are pickled but I don't think that's it. I hope it doesn't make me sick. I'm having it for lunch and dinner tomorrow at the office with my leftover Fajitas veggies.
Pork chili verde, corn tortilla
One of my coworkers is starting an Arbonne business. I have a supplier if I can ever start wearing makeup on a regular basis again. I suggested they could make some of their nutrition products without Stevia--the only reason I won't use theirs. I'd love to have the pea protein packets for travel but damn Stevia.


Sunday, September 29, 2013

End of summer weekend wrapup

I have a library book that I need to return. The Allergen Free Baker's Handbook seemed like a good resource but the first recipe I made, Morning Glory Muffins, was NOT good. Before returning it, I wanted to try at least one more recipe. I decided to try another recipe that had her "flour mix" in it: blondies.
her photo and my blondies
The chocolate chunks definitely made them tasty. I would use Enjoy Life mega chunks instead of cutting up 4 Choco-boom bars next time. I thought they were more like bar cookies than brownies. Mick did not care for them. Because they weren't brownies. Or something like that.
Next, I made Apple Buckwheat muffins, which use buckwheat flour instead of flour mix. They smell fantastic. They taste edible. I would not make them again.
Apple Buckwheat muffins
So just for the record, that cookbook was one for three. There was some good information about substitutions in the front but I can't see paying for so much hit and miss. Maybe I'm doing something wrong but I think baking just sucks when everything is adjusted to me.
One of our neighbors had an end of summer pool party. I am not so bright and wore my swimsuit and almost no one was wearing swim suits. Because the pool was too cold to swim. And the party started in the evening.
Party cake
I feel that sun's pain. My right eye (not the more common left eye) was dripping and watering and giving me grief all night. Terrible. But I had leftover brisket and mashed potatoes. And Tito's and lemonade. And a blondie.

On Sunday, we were going to run some errands so, before we left, Mick took some photos of Teka in the grass and on the patio.
My personal photographer capturing Teka
So we went to the home show, which was much smaller than usual, with his parents. We listened to the gardening seminar, checked out the nurseries, and talked to the sales guy at Arizona Ironworks Furniture. We'll need to go into one of the locations for our order though. (Add it to the to-do list!)
Sunrise something or something....
Love purple and yellow together!
Next we went to Fajitas for a late lunch. But I made requested that Mick stop at Sprouts (the closest grocery store to the freeway) so I could get chips to eat with the salsa. I'm pretty unreasonable like that anymore. I also order the grilled vegetables (the vegetable fajitas have oil but the grilled don't) to go with our shared shrimp fajitas. And no one else helps me so I take the rest of the veggies home.
After lunch, we went to Costco to get the Vizsla photos printed for the annual photo contest. While we waited, we browsed. Mick was in love with some outdoor stereo system, like a boom box with two huge speakers that light up in time with the music. All the men were checking it out. It seems like we don't need it at all but he was enamored. I'm sure he's trying to figure out how he can justify getting it.
I knew I wanted to get some more organic rice milk, organic salsa, and maple syrup while we were there. They didn't have their organic lemonade, which apparently is seasonal.
I unexpectedly found Wild Planet tuna. I've picked it up at Whole Paycheck. I can't buy just any tuna because anything with broth or soy is out. This is tuna and salt. Seriously--that's it.
I usually pick up some Classico marinara. It's gluten-free and clean ingredients. I've been picking up Rao's occasionally at the grocery store but it's super expensive. (I think I paid $8 or $9 for the last jar I got.) I usually get it when I want some puttanesca (which Mick doesn't really like but I love.)
But Costco replaced my usual Classico with Organic Classico. I briefly checked the ingredients and decided to try it. (although it doesn't specify gluten-free...the ingredients were "clean.") It's organic so it's gotta be good, right? Well, when I got home, I compared it to the other and realized what I missed. I can eat it, and I will, but the organic has sugar. Boo. Totally unnecessary.

Costco haul

I also found vanilla beans. I have to tell you--I bought a package of vanilla beans online and they came vacuum sealed. There was 16-20 beans. After opening the package to use a couple, I put them in a container. The next time I went to use one, they had white stuff on the ends of some of them. So I put the salvageable ones in smaller containers, divided a little more. Same thing. They are okay for a little bit and then gross. It seemed like a good value since individual beans are so expensive, but I ended up throwing a lot of them away. These beans at Costco come in a couple of tubes, so they are divided, and the tubes have enough for 2 or 3 uses, depending on what I'm using them for. I'll try them as-is before I start vacuum sealing packages of 2. Because that's extra steps, extra boxes on my to-do list, extra work, extra extra!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Garden update

Mick and his helpers have been working hard at cleaning out the nut grass and weeds, prepping the soil, and planting the "farm" last weekend and the garden yesterday.
pumpkin planted in July
mostly tomatoes and peppers
eggshells gathered from work were used
Palo Verde casting those shadows.
Damn nutgrass...
Jacaranda almost didn't make the winter.
Walnut (farm behind--rows planted.)
fire pit for yard waste, made from broken curbing
Citrus trees--lemon, lime, dwarf orange
Wall progress in background
Apple--probably not going to make it.
Second garden box
Existing bell peppers and Thai basil
Existing bell peppers and Thai basil
Second box from other end
Existing leeks, carrots, random basil from mixed seed, eggplant in back
Original garden box
New pineapple mint in front
Existing mixed peppers and basil in middle section
Original box from other end
Fern and new lemon verbena in pots
New chili peppers in box with some random plant coming up
strawberry patch replanted with kale and lettuce
existing tomatoes in front
one lonely strawberry plant made it through no water
tomatoes (I think Cassi is eating them already)
"strawberry" patch getting water
herbs behind the patch
wall progress behind the herbs/patch
I turned to the right a little
built-in fire pit and seating
outdoor kitchen behind
on the patio looking out
garden boxes are on left, other side of wall
Teka peaking around wall
incomplete stairs
Cassi and Teka at top of stairs on patio

Friday, September 27, 2013

Nacho Business

I had brisket packed up with some mashed potatoes and barbecue sauce to bring for lunch today. When I opened my dish, I was really disappointed to see that I (am ridiculously oblivious) brought the dish that only had leftover brisket I was going to eat over the weekend. I had some of it for lunch anyway but I couldn't eat all that.

And then I was even more disappointed. I was working so hard all day that my brisket got thrown out when the receptionist cleaned out the refrigerator. Is it okay to cry over brisket?

Did you know that people sometimes get in other people's business?

I know right? It came as a complete shock to me, too! :)

As hard as I try to avoid the drama, I witnessed a WTF moment today. I came out of a meeting in someone else's office and walked past the printer on the way to my office. Someone was standing there at the printer. I originally thought she was going through the pages to get whatever she printed (presumably everything possible, one-sided of course) but I noticed she was just standing there looking at the page on top of the stack in her hand. I thought it was weird but whatever. Then I caught the header. It was an email addressed to someone else. From another person. WOW. How is that your business, your right, your anything?

Even worse, I was so dumbfounded that I didn't say anything. And I really should have. Maybe it's not my place, but if not mine, whose?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

First limes

I love having a lime tree. And a lemon tree. My husband does all the work. I just pick them when I need them. Unless he does it first. Easy-peasy. :)
Large limes!

Monday, September 23, 2013

List rotation

So last week's list (left) is about, what, halfway done. Yeah, I added some stuff--actually flows over to the back too. Some of that shit has to come to this week's list (right). I make progress. But I don't.
My current system. It kinda works.
You do not want to see my other list. Don't make me show you my other list. Okay, I can't show you my other list because it has people's names on it. But still. There is another list. Just know it. Be one with it. Accept it. I'm trying.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


Last night...
My dinner (front); the provided dinner (back)
You can't see my Tito's and lemonade.
I found Superman!
The stories are for hearing, not writing...

Friday, September 20, 2013

The nose has it.

Last night, I had a nose bleed. I don't remember that ever happening before. I was sitting on the couch going through papers and watching TV. I had a weird itch in my nose and, yes, I reached up and stuck my finger there. And came back with blood. Eek!

I needed to take the dogs out so I decided to "stuff" some petroleum jelly in there so I wasn't dripping. After we came back in, I talked to Mick and he thought I scratched it rather than have a bleed. Huh. Am I that absentminded that I didn't even realize where my hands were?

This morning, I needed to fill out my monitoring survey. It is supposed to be in between monitoring visits but the timeline is off. Anyway, one of the questions is about new or unusual nosebleeds. Um, I'm going with Mick on this and saying I scratched it rather than had a nosebleed. It's way better to pick my nose absentmindedly than be developing a bleeding disorder.

Now, before you get all concerned, if it happens again, I will definitely report it. I PROMISE. Don't judge me! 

Messy quick dinner.

Costco Del Real tamale. Cadia canned black beans. El Rico hot enchilada sauce. Kettle Crinkle chips. There's some guacamole somewhere.

I may have used too much sauce.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Monitored and all the things

I was going to work at home today, but I needed to go in for my drug trial monitoring, the quarterly visit that includes the neurologist. My to-do list seems exceedingly long this week and I am feeling all the things. Overwhelmed. Unmotivated. Distracted. Guilty. Stressed. That's the one that worries me the most...

I stayed up too late waiting for the guest room blanket to dry and cleaning the kitchen. Admittedly, this was after I watched the Daily Show, Colbert Report, and Covert Affairs. I listened to the Tonight Show while I was getting stuff done. And then Jimmy Fallon.

And too early, I was up. Well, Mick was up, took the dogs out and fed them. Usually I'm first up and taking care of the pups. His helper arrived. Okay already, I'm up, geez.

Mick had scheduled a meeting with our landscape project guy G and told me last night that G was ready for the next payment. It was short notice, IMO. I know Mick wants to get reward points available on my credit card, so I paid the balance early, but it won't go through till today. Of course, that took the checking account balance below the amount G wanted. And his credit card thing wasn't working. Do I really need this stress first thing in the morning? Have I mentioned that I am NOT a morning person?!

Mick also informed me last night that they want to plant the farm on Friday. So I need to go to the nursery to get seeds and plants. Pronto. Well, great, let's add that to my to-do list. 

This week's to-do list (not including a comparable number of work items):
What stress? I'm actually kind of impressed how far I've gotten.

So after my commute, and being in the office less than two hours, (and spending about 20 minutes of that in the bathroom, dribble, wait, dribble, wait, rinse, repeat) I left for my drug trial update. I had to pee already so we got that out of the way. Then Dr. M put me through the usual tests. He asked about my balance and made me walk and turn several times. My balance isn't great but I don't remember it being noticeable before.


He also re-did some of the sensory tests on my hands and feet. Not surprising but kind of concerning.

Do. Not. Panic.

Side note. I don't know how, but the nail polish came off one of my toes yesterday. I tried this morning, in a hurry, to take the rest of my toe nail polish off but only the top layer came off. I guess I HAVE to go get a pedicure this time. So my toes looked all gross during my exam. And he does actually have to touch my feet, and although he was wearing gloves, I still felt bad. Is that a girl thing?

Anyway, when he was done, I went in the other room with L, my care coordinator, and almost immediately was boo-hooing. WTH. I think it scared me a little that he was asking about my balance, which I am mentally translating to my mobility, and who wants to lose their mobility? It's one of the things all us MS warriors worry about (and the doctors claim we have anxiety because we worry about our future...) I know that I can only control certain things and all the supportive things people say to me, but I. Hate. This. Fucking. Disease. It. Is. Fucked. Up.

L assured me my EDSS (or is it EDDS) hasn't changed, my MRI didn't show any change (not that I got those results, or did I am I forgetting--no, I didn't), and I'm doing fine. I do what I can for my health. Except that I don't. I mean, I do, but there is more. I should sleep quite a bit more. I still haven't started "strength training" for my low testosterone levels. And I feel guilty. And overwhelmed. And a little lost.

Then she took my vitals and said that maybe I'm feeling emotional because I have a little bit of a temperature, about 100.


Shit. I have a billion things to do but now the most important non-work item will be the one that is not on the list: get some sleep. More sleep. Always more sleep.

And I still have a club meeting tonight.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Hot and cold

I feel like I am way beyond behind, so of course, my motivation slips. Or maybe it's my concentration; I'm more easily distracted.

I went to the Farmers Market at lunch. I got some treats from Naked. I thought my coworker had brought me a bar of chocolate from Naked but they don't sell that. The lady was very nice but...she was overly encouraging without understanding my whole situation. I'm sure I was just hot (it was too hot for chatting) but I wasn't really in the mood for someone to tell me I "just need to realize that my treats will be different from before." Sigh. Bullshit. I want to eat good yummy creamy desserts like everyone else. I don't have to settle. Do I?
Naked macaroons
I also got some produce, some desert honey, and then stopped for some meat. I had to limit my purchase since it is a cash only business. (Most of the vendors are using Square.) don't tell my husband but I bought beef heart for chili.

I was so hot after my trip but fortunately my office is freezing.

I left early to meet my friend M for "dinner" at True Food. She is moving out of state so I'm trying to be accommodating, but it was really early. I had the daily soup, a Thai curry something. I added a side of g/f noodles to tame the heat a bit.

I ran to World Market for the one day special on Torani syrup. I stood there looking at their website on my phone as I looked for the not-sugar-free ones that I could have. I also found a tin of salmon with dill that looked good. Hmm, shopping when I'm hungry, I guess. There was also a Spanish chorizo (not like chorizo and eggs) and I was really tempted to get it. It was labeled gluten-free but it had lactic acid or something like that and wasn't labeled dairy-free. Oh so confusing. Dammit. It would be so awesome in some paella.

And then I went home to make a taco dinner.

And now I'm going to bed...well, soon.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Frys and gnocchi

That's right, I said gnocchi.

I haven't been to a Fry's in a long time. But after going to Kroger (related) in Indiana during our July trip, I thought maybe I should check it out. I was really going to Target for something urgent, and needed to get milk for Mick so I was just "running in" but we all know that never happens.

What I got:
  • Silk Pure Almond milk cartons for 99 cents each.
  • A giant bottle of Herdez salsa verde (I love it even if Mick doesn't.)
  • Another brand of chipotles (misspelled BTW--noticed it on Amazon too.)
  • Canned tomatillos--because tomatillos are awesome year-round.
  • Prunes--I can't believe how many stores don't have them, and I need them for a recipe I want to try.
  • Kitchen Basics beef broth.
  • Way Better Sweet Chili chips--because I haven't seen them anywhere since I tasted them at the G/F expo.
  • Applegate sausages on sale.
  • Tortilla Land corn tortillas--Fresh and Easy used to have these but no longer carry them. Costco or Sam's too but I don't remember which one--I accidently bought the flour ones when they switched. Boo.
  • Bacon--because we always need more bacon.
  • Sausage for his biscuits and gravy.
  • Rao's puttanesca sauce.
  • And that's right bitches--Delallo g/f gnocchi! I've never seen it before. I'm a little giddy.
That's what I got y'all.
Uh, huh, guess what I had for dinner. I didn't share with Mick. This is all kinds of "he won't like it." It was really good. Except the frozen asparagus. I'm just eating it until it's gone. Never again. Damn Costco.

Oooh, pretty.

A scar, a scarf, and eye surgery

Dr. P, the surgeon who performed my thyroidectomy, checked my scar and neck. He said it just has a little pink but has healed "perfectly." I do NOT have to wear a scarf anymore. He recommended I use Mederma SPF 30 every day on the scar. Also, if I will be in the sun longer, such as gardening, swimming, or hiking, I should still cover the scar with a scarf or something.
He also asked about my eyes and I explained what the other doctor has said about the lids being pulled back and that I have to tape my eyes shut when I sleep. Boo. He said that when my Grave's disease has "run it's course" I may need or want to have surgery on my eyes. He said the other doctor may not bring it up or not until later, but I should look at endoscopic orbital decompression. Basically, two bones meet up under the eye and along the nose. They can grind some off and then after the surgery, the eye "falls back" into the deeper area. There is some risk that the eye doesn't move as expected, but he feels it would give me some relief from the pain and discomfort.

It sounds totally crazy to me. I will look into it and decide how risky it is and how likely it is to hurt or help me. Later. It totally freaks me out that someone would be doing surgery near my eyes.

And I don't have to see him again unless I want to discuss or proceed with the surgery.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Denver Travel Notes

A friend who used to work with my husband here moved to the Denver area a few years ago. We've remained friends and she invited us to her wedding.

Our flight was delayed a couple of hours due to weather. The Denver/Boulder area got a couple years worth of rain in a week. Not. Good.

We went with another couple. I'm here to tell ya, Frontier Airlines sucks. But we have Southwest Airlines bias. Love them! Way less herding and way better service on SW.

Not that it matters to me, but Frontier serves no snacks. I brought my own of course. And no drinks. NONE. I'm glad I bought a bottle of water. Geez. And they don't have the magazine with the Soduku. I should have brought a paper version but I had no idea.
Whole Foods find--I like it.
We checked in at our hotel (where a lot of anime convention attendees were staying) then stopped by the rehearsal dinner. I had contacted Chipotle about their catering menu earlier in the week and got some interesting information. They are in the process of switching all their soybean oil to rice bran oil. Presumably because they are trying to go non-GMO. So a couple of their meats are safe for me to eat now! Those were not the meats at the rehearsal. I didn't eat anything there but had been promised the four of us would go to dinner after we left.

I had also contacted the caterer for the wedding and found that I would not be able to eat there but they would allow me to bring my own food. They could reheat it if it could go in the oven; there would be no microwave. This created a little anxiety for me but I figured we would come up with something.

Although my little group had all filled up on what remained from the Chipotle buffet, we went to Il Fornaio, an Italian restaurant near our hotel. When we walked in, I felt a little bad because it was very, very nice, like waiters in white suits nice, and I know that no one was planning to spend a lot for dinner.

We all had drinks and our friends had soup. Mick wanted a little something to eat but wasn't really hungry, thought he'd just have some of mine. That was fine with me but I explained more than once that I was getting two meals so I could take the leftovers to the wedding. He thought it was too much food. He finally got that we weren't splitting two meals, that we were splitting a meal and I was taking one with me, just that really we were eating half of each meal so I could take the rest to go.

I got a chicken and vegetable dinner and a dairy-free Bolognese with gluten-free pasta. The Bolognese was fan-freaking-tastic. I would eat that all the time, breakfast, lunch and dinner, if I could. Yum. I don't even care about the pasta; just give me the sauce.

When we were done eating, the waitress brought me a container--the kind that can go in the oven. Yay!
We went to a brewery for some drinks for the guys.

The next day, we went to the breakfast area provided by the hotel. I really could only have juice, but there was hot water for my oatmeal. They had coffee but I didn't have "milk" yet. So when we were ready to go, our first stop was Sprouts, where I got two individual cartons of almond milk.

Before getting to Starbucks for coffee, we went into the wine and liquor store so I could get a beverage for the wedding.
Travel size Tito's!
I got a vanilla latte at Starbucks and we hit the road to the Breckenridge Brewery.
While we were waiting for the brewery tour, we had lunch. It was a little complicated for my order but I was able to get brisket and pulled pork with no sauce, and a side of apples and cucumber salad. The brisket and the cucumbers were the standouts. The only quibble I had was that there was a roll on the plate--in that empty spot on the left. At least it wasn't sitting on top of my meat.
You can never eat too much brisket.

tour guide with a beverage
We went to Copper Canyon Brewery also, which was hilarious because there were signs that the cross-fit people couldn't park there but the place was filled with cross-fitters.

We went back to the hotel to get ready and a downpour started. We were concerned about the outdoor wedding but the rain somehow went right around their location. It was a beautiful location. Small quick wedding. The reception was indoors. I was warned that they had been told not to bring in outside alcohol. The bartender looked at me funny when I order just cranberry juice. Three times. But there was nothing I could have had, and they let me bring in my food, so I don't care.

The next day, we had breakfast and headed to the airport. We had a shorter delay so we had lunch in a place with a TV for game watching. I was able to get some salmon and veggies to hold me over.
  It was a quick trip and went by fast.