Friday, December 29, 2006

End of the year Meme!

Taken from Bad,Bad Badger.

Take the first sentence of each month and tell us how you really feel.
Tagging JK, Z, Mony and Jen.

January: Happy New Year from chez nm.
February:White boy flights.
March:JK says her life is pathetic.
April:Don't get me wrong.
May:Busy weekend in North Finchley, not the most swank part of the city, but I got a bunch of stuff done in the garden, well, at least it looks better.
June:Ack, muggy day here.
July:I am sort of taking tomorrow off of work
August:Happy August Peeps.
September:It is hot here.
October:I'm still in the market for a new 2007 planner.
November:It is very rare that I take advantage of the concierge service of any hotel I stay in.
December:Okay, today has been a day.

From my first sentences of each month you can tell that 1. I have lots to say about the weather; 2. I like short sentences; and 3. I like the first day of the month.

Not much else to report. Glorious two days here weather wise. Spent alot time ripping apart my wardrobe (I have no clothes left), some closets and doing some end of the year yard work.

I am happy to see 2006 end. I can't say it was the worst of years, it really was okay, but I think 2007 just sounds better.

2006 brought Ernest the puppy, sale of my condo before the market plummeted in So. Cal, a nice retirement nest egg for nm, lots of travel -both fun and work, some job trauma that got sorted out, lots of job responsibilities, great visits with friends new and old, continuation of my parent's amazing love and their good health, great things for my brother and fun times with TH.

I wish the same for you, good health, fortune and happiness.


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

food for the soul

I have been in a funk recently, I'll admit it.

London was great, Brussels remains fabulous, being treated like a high flyer once in a while is really good for the ego, but it isn't real life, you know what I mean?

Life is dealing with crises at work, running around before the holidays because you forgot that someone needs something, experiencing the joys of teenage puppyhood complete with stubborness and mouse breath, realizing that life is not getting easier as you get older and no matter what they say, there isn't peace anywhere on this earth.

So, yesterday, I sat here, trying to rest and get my body back to a healthy place and I realized that part of me just seems to be not my usual perky self. I seemed to be missing my cooking panache, goove, mojo or what you want to call it. Nothing excites me - most of the little arguments at Chez Florandflying revolve around what we're having for dinner - seriously.

Yesterday, I was motivated to get that oomph back in my cuisine life with the ingredients on hand.

Roasted chestnuts found in the freezer section of Trader Joes, chicken stock from Friday's chicken, half and half, milk, parsely, cloves and onions and a bay leaf became a yummy cream of chestnut soup.

Pork loin, parsely, shallots, bread crumbs and olive oil and herbs became a lovely herb crusted rolled pork loin.

Potatoes from the UDistrict market, milk and butter made some pretty tasty mashed potatoes.

Bitter braising greens from the U District market, olive oil, shallots and balsamic vinegar added some vitamins to our mix.

Butter lettuce gently tossed with walnut oil and balsamic vinegar and herbs de provence salt made a nice palate cleanser.

Leftover brioche, milk, dried cherries, vanilla, brown sugar and eggs created a lovely, rich but not too sweet bread pudding.

Chocolates selected at Wittamer last week finished off the meal that was graced with some yummy Rooster Brothers coffee from Ellsworth, Maine.

Good friends sharing laughs and stories made it even more like soul food for me.

I think I may have found my food groove again.

Thank you.


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

boxing day redux

Um, what can I say, Christmas around here was very unusual. We stayed home, keeping our germs within our watershed and basically other than eating two platefuls of cookies, coffee and a nice christmas dinner, we read, slept, read, looked at ernest and slept.

It was strange, but honestly, it was fine.

I missed my family, our friends and festivities, but there is always next year.

Today is boxing day, TH made me stay home, M&B are coming over for dinner and then we'll schelp in the rain to see the BBG lights.

E.dd will stay home with his squeaky toy and protecting us all from vacuum cleaners.

He's brave that way.


Sunday, December 24, 2006

merry merry merry

Here I sit telling E.dd to leave the tree alone. Our friends R&A said unbreakable ornaments were the way to go.

I have to agree, though the tree looks funny without our normal ornaments. TH picked up some very nice birch and felt ornaments in London, but it just isn't the same.

We're all sort of under the weather here at Chez flora and flying. TH is exhausted, E.dd has the doggie sniffles and I still feel like crud.

I'm hoping a low key tonight and tomorrow will cure us. It will be the first Christmas that TH will spend totally by ourselves - no guests, no family and no 777 to london. My mom and dad are visiting long time friends in Los Angeles and my brother is in the frigid North. I will miss them, but they are in our hearts and I'm sure we'll all talk tomorrow. I will also miss a mild and often sunny Berkeley Christmas. Who knows, maybe Ernest will be a good flyer and we'll start taking him there for Christmas.

Everyone, please have a happy day tomorrow, think of your good lives, your health, your friendships - old and new and save me a mince pie will ya?


nm and e. dd

Friday, December 22, 2006

comfort and joy

I am sick. I am not blaming anyone in particular, okay, maybe seat 5G who was sneezing and snorting the whole way back from BRU and talked to us at Baggage claim about his cold.


Its not bad, but given my track record for getting over illness rapidly recently, I decided to just stay home.

Yes, stay home. I am missing latkes and my dinner with our godchildren, my manicure, work and many small purchases. However, I am not going to AMS and the half marathon hacking and losing sleep and work because I couldn't be bothered to stay home one day.

later taters.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

vacation notification

TH and I are off to London for a few, meeting up with JK, NKK and RK for some holiday fun.

We're using points for our hotel stays, even checking out the Park Lane Polonium. :)

Wish us luck.

More tomorrow.


Monday, December 11, 2006

go team M!

Welshpool Munitions Factory, Women's Football Team, 1915. Image courtesy of

Not the Mariners, but the two delightful women I worked with this quarter in my preservation planning class.

All of us wear glasses and our last names start with the letter M.

We were all busy, so we divided up the work, did not obsess over anything and got it done.

What a lovely change.

I will miss them, but I will not miss that class.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

when does it stop?

My day in a nutshell...

Paper, dog, market, dog, Trader Joes, dog, Metropolitan Market, walk dog,Center for Urban Horticulture,walk dog, jumpy dog, laundry, paper, no internet to check references, dog walkies, cookies to be made, cookies to be made, roll cookies, bake cookies, roll cookies, roll dog, walk dog, feed dog, impound dog.

The dog is now sacked out and snoring on the futon in my office. I really want to kennel him, but he weighs 45 lbs. I guess I could wave a ginger bread basset under his nose and see if he'll get up.

My paper is 87% done. I need to clean up the text, compile the bibliography and hope that our third party will complete by 6 pm tomorrow.

I am soo sick of school.

Sick of cookie dough as well.

Who would have thought.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

sliding down...

Image from VA Tech Image Base -

I am two hours and seven pages away from my preservation planning certificate.

Not that I'm acting like I have short timers syndrome.

It just feels like such a downer.

My undergraduate final class was mycology. The last thing I had to take to get my BS in Botany. I hated that course and our final was a lame multiple choice. Mind, it was hard, but it seemed so easy and such a let down after all that work.

My first master's, I can't even remember what I did before I turned in my thesis.

My second, I remember taking History of Housing seminar with Gail Dubrow as my last two credits needed for graduation. I remember it was a great class, lots of reading, one book on housing types a week, lots of writing and some big project time line. I took it as pass/fail since I left for two weeks in the middle of the quarter to vacation in Venice and Rome while my committee considered reading my tome. I loved that class and worked my ass of in it even if all I had to get was a 3.3 to pass.

This time it just doesn't seem that interesting. For one, I feel older than G-d and I have told that to numerous people. My dear Pat, who went through grad school with me has listened to my many strange thoughts about being in school again. My reoccuring dream about losing my felcos that we had to have for our planting design class and that our department chair was mad at me for losing mine. Strange since I never took a planting design studio. She also has heard me lament that I will be happy to never set foot in the Easy Shoppe across from Gould again. It is just time to leave, ya know?

Well, in any case, if I get my act together and my ass in gear, I can be done with my part of my paper by tomorrow, edit on Friday and be done with it.

Next time, I'm going with something a bit more my speed, but for now, I think I'll take a break.


helllllllllllooo out there?

Where are you people?



Meeting your deliverables?

Getting better?

I miss you.

Not much going on here. I have had many conversations with health care professionals on the state of my slowly filling with plaque arteries.

No sampling at Neal's Yard anymore, no white flour, no sugar, no nothing.

No biggie.

I managed to do something today that I never thought I would ever... I added a segment to my upcoming flight so that I would qualify without flying another round trip. Cost me 200 bucks, but no change in fare. Now, I get home 30 minutes after TH, but get to visit DFW as well.

So, dish, what is up with you?


Monday, December 04, 2006

I just sent my first evite.

I can't believe it. Me, the woman who makes her invites by hand, used the internet to invite people to an event she damn well knew was happening months ago and could not get the oomph to get it together.

Should be loud here on Sunday, if you are coming by, wear earplugs.

Oh, Ernest, he just ate a library book and the fine is coming out of his allowance.


Sunday, December 03, 2006

CMR and other things

Yesterday I went on a Comfort Mileage Run (CMR). This term is coined by a Flyertalker, RTWStarAlliance. It basically means that you go on a mileage attaining trip with confirmed upgrades.

In my case, only my loong return cleared. My outbound was marvelous with an exit row with no one between myself and my seat opponent, a mocha extra dark from Dilettante, satsumas and roasted veggie enchiladas precooked from TJs.

I managed to snag gratis a new snack box served in coach.

  • Bumblebee Sensations Lemon & Pepper Tuna
  • Late July Organic Classic Rich Crackers
  • Stacy's All Natural Pita Chips
  • Tree Top Natural Apple Sauce
  • Bear Naked All Natural Granola Peak Protein
  • Brown & Haley Almond Roca
  • Emergen—C Super Orange Nutritional Supplement
Just needed to snag a yoghurt from the Board Room and bring my own lemon and I would set be the flight. Can I also applaud Alaska Airlines for actually providing milk for a flight? No creamer, dairy or non dairy, but real milk. I enjoyed it in my coffee.

Way better than most snack box options as analyzed by the Diet Detective.

Back home in just under 14 hours (time in transit was shorter, it is the drive to and from and waiting that sucks) and I'm done (sort of for the year).

Today, I went on my first true training walk for the Rock and Roll Half Marathon that I'm doing next month (yikes). We survived. Next week, one more mile gets tacked on.


Friday, December 01, 2006

just saying

Okay, today has been a day.


Nothing positive to note, but Ernest the puppy did have a nice farewell scritch from Deb Andrews of the Arboretum Foundation on her last day at work. He has a very broad basis of support that dog.

Other than that, like JK, I'm questioning my very expensive stay in London. I am wondering if the night bus is better than spending 400 bucks a night for the Hyatt.

Thankfully, we were only going to stay two nights.

As for JK, maybe you want to go to Paris with me in February and burn those nights at the Vendome.