Sunday, February 22, 2009

Trying to be a better cook

It's been a long time since I've had to be the cook on a regular basis around here. The EH used to insist on cooking and I was fine with it. Not to say that I was ever a good cook but I've definitely forgotten what I did know. With trying to improve my diet and avoid the frozen foods, I am taking more of an effort to cook. It's not so easy with the gym routine after work, by the time I can get to cooking on a work night, it's already 7pm. So I am hope to plan ahead and cook more on the weekends, so that there are left overs for the week.

Part of what I want to work on is Indian food, the kind of food I had at home, growing up, not the restaurant stuff. I've been making this moong salad off and on - it makes for a great lunch during the week. My recipe is a bit different than what's there - I need to remember to pay more attention when I am cooking the lentils, overcooking can be a problem..... did that today but I think it will be fine. Sabudhana kichidi is our version of Mac & cheese - comfort food. It's been hit or miss with that dish - a little too much water and it's a mess. Also, I don't always have the ingredients on hand for that, so I try to make do. I am not brave with the heat factor so my dishes tends to be a bit bland.

Indian cooking is not easy, there are subtle cues that one has to know, which determine when the next ingredient can be added, or getting the right flavor out of the spices, etc. These can't be communicated in writing....

Saturday, January 10, 2009

2009 so far - being green, shams, phone lines......

I've been moving along with things around here. Making changes around the house is very refreshing. A little out of sorts with odds and ends but managing alright.

Last week as I was doing the laundry, I noticed that the pillow shams, that matched a comforter that is long gone, had seen better days and decided to get new ones. After checking out a few stores, I came to realize that pillow shams are nothing but a sham (easy one, couldn't pass that up!). I do not understand why they are sold in singles, while pillow cases are sold in sets, the single sham is priced more than a pair of pillow cases!! Seeing that they are pretty much decorative, I opted for pillow cases in a contrasting color (burgundy) - they look good with the new red lamp shades.

I am finally getting to changing the name on the utilities around here. I couldn't do that until the XH (ex husband) contacted the companies and notified them first. XH had been kind enough to call them, then call me, and give me a couple of days to make the changes. For the most part it was easy enough with most of the companies, except the big bad phone company! OMG!!!!! 50% of all marriages end in divorce - you would think that the phone company would have a better way to deal with the change. XH had called, so they had his approval on file. The only change that needed to be made was the first name and okay, they need to verify my credit. So I call them, and they say this requires a "super-cedure", and put me through to the correct agent, who reads me my privacy rights (I don't want to buy anything, why are you telling me about privacy??). It seems that they cannot talk about the DSL service on the phone line without letting you know of your rights (to what? have DSL?). In order to change the name (first name only - 5 characters), they had to disconnect the DSL, make the change and then reconnect the DSL - total outage of internet: 8 days. What?? 8 days? Course, I wanted to keep my current number. There is a way around it, he says.... you disconnect your current number, get a new line/number for a day with internet and change the number on that line to the new number - total outage - 1 day. What will either option cost, can't tell you ma'am until you decide which you want. Yea right! I go for option 2, $40 to change my name..... service gets disconnected on Thursday and reconnected on Friday - sounds like a plan. Come wednesday evening, when I got home from work, I had no phone or internet - great! No service Thursday. Get home Friday and still no service. I call Saturday morning (thanks to the trustly cell phone) and the agent on the phone told me that the last person did it all wrong blah blah blah and I couldn't get my old number back! WHAT!! Oh and since they completed the order, the fact that nothing was working was now a repair and I got transferred to the repair department. I was told that someone would get to it today but no word on when. A couple of hours later, I got a call from the tech working on the phone and he got it working in no time - the new number was set as a secondary line and it knocked the dsl out - yea, okay. Once that was done, it took another hour to get the dsl working with the modem. I wasn't ready to give up on my phone number yet, so I called the phone company back and went over the details, lady says okay, should be done by Monday - huh? the other lady said it couldn't be done.... okay, not complaining here.... so after hours on the phone and 3 days of no service, I now have the same phone number and dsl service with the first name changed on my account. Should it really take that long to change?

One of my resolutions for the year was to be more green. I seem to have run into some hiccups with this goal...... I do have 2 bags now that I can use, if only I can remember to bring them with me. Last week, I had the paper recycling bin loaded up to put out and it occurred to me that perhaps there should be something weighing the papers down..... hmmmm what? So back in the garage until I figure out what I can use. I don't seem to have a plastic recycling bin. XH seemed to collect a lot of the plastics - containers, buckets (soap and litter). It seems that the buckets need to be taken down to the yard for recycling, what? How do other people dispose of these buckets? I will have to find litter and laudry detergent sold in cardboard containers to avoid future trips to the yard.

What's with the weather - is it really January?

Friday, January 02, 2009

A smaller cat family

A part of going through a divorce is giving up half of everything that is a part of your life. In a way giving up the money is easier than other aspects that are so much a part of your life and can never be replaced. I am replacing the tools, got an answering machine now, new furniture will eventually fill the empty rooms, but there is nothing that I can do about the two cats that are no longer here.

Milo and Bailey don't live here any more. I was on vacation and out of town when they left, which in it's own way is good. My last memory of them will be of them in their every day life here and not them being carted off and distruaght about being in the crates.

Dusty and Hobbs, the cats that remain with me, miss their brothers. They search the house for their mates many times during the day, their cries upset me. I too miss them. Milo had his way of being the center of attention with his brothers and disrupting the peace - I miss him so very much. Bailey was more attached to my ex but did on occassion come over for some attention.

Last night I dreamt of all the cats. I dreamt that I went to visit Milo and Bailey at their new home, the back yard was a lovely garden with a stream and many birds. They got to hang out outside and loved being there. Dusty and Hobbs visited their brothers in the back yard and enjoyed the grounds as well. At some point in the dream, Milo and Bailey came over to see me, they still recognized me and rubbed their faces on my cheeks and gave me kisses. I had a feeling in my dream that they were telling me that they are okay and miss me as well.

I know they will be fine and well taken care of. I think the dream is the good bye we didn't have.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Resolutions/Goals 2009

Perhaps this is a lost cause seeing that I never do well in this department, but it is New Years Eve and having some goals for the new year seems like a good way to start.

1. Continue with the fitness program. Including biking outdoors once or twice a week (must seek out places to do this). Learn roller blading (this year's attempt was rather pathetic!)
2. Be more organized (I think this will be one of those forever goals that never quite happens).
3. Be more aware of finances
4. Stay in touch with friends and family
5. Add to my social circle but not just another name on my friends list on facebook
6. Read more - is two books a month a good goal to work towards?
7. Be more green - more efforts towards recycling, carrying a reusable bag
8. Simplify and declutter
9. Have new adventures/travels
10. Improved nutrition and health (ice cream, chocolate and mocha are not a part of the good groups!)

Tall order for the new year but some of them are things I already do but want to spend more time on.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Can't believe another year is over! It sure does tend to fly by fast but I am glad to say that was a year of many accomplishments. Leaving aside the big "D" word and focusing on the positive. A goal this year was to try new things, and I did plenty of that.

1. Traveled plenty - Shanghai, Hong Kong, Boston, Tampa/Tarpon Springs FL, Los Angeles
2. Went drinking with the gals and drank.... wine, martini (never again)
3. Ate sushi (not bad!)
4. Joined the gym and kept up with the program!
5. Went to a concert (Maroon 5 & Counting Crows)
6. Made new friends
7. Reconnected with former friends
8. Hilighted my hair
9. Went to an art class
10. Voted for the first time.

And now goals for next year...... next post

Sunday, August 24, 2008

New lamp!

I've been needing a new bedroom lamp for some time now - the cats knocked the old ones off the night stand so often that the lamp shade had cracks.... also, it seemed to be getting dimmer.

On a recent walk through pottery barn, I discovered 2 red silk lamps shades, they were the perfect shade of red and a shape I liked. On clearance, they were $9 - hard to pass up, so I picked them up. Went to Ikea and came across the perfect lamp base (Pottery barn started at $110) for $20. Voila - a new lamp for the bedroom (price tag and plastic still on it)- check it out:
The old lamp - from Ikea years ago.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Exploring.... the right brain

I took an art class over at the Pacific Art League in Palo Alto on collages. It 12 hours over the weekend and way too much fun. Something about working with your hands that is so much fun.

The instructor, Tess Sinclair, was totally awesome in her approach and gave the class a lot of opportunity to try many things. The pictures below show some of the projects from the class. The top one were the first few trail pieces for different materials.
The floral piece needs a little something, not sure, maybe just a mat, not sure.

I like how this piece came out but am a little disappointed in the quality of the print used - oh well...... I haven't finished the other piece but will post that one when done.
This shadow box is a piece I've been working on but haven't finished. It's a memorabilia piece from my trip to Paris - seems fitting to include it here to share.

A lot of works in progress.....