Wednesday, January 31, 2007

all sorts of stuff

Bleeding heart, March 2006, Seattle, WA.

Thanks for your well wishes. Ernest is just fine after a spacey and clingy Tuesday night. He is currently getting ready for bed by jumping on his new squeaky dinosaur. He went to Mud Bay today (the place we can't even go into without the boy) and promptly made a basset line for the hard treats. We bought him a bag of soft treats instead. They are peanut butter and shaped like little gingerbread people.

How cute is that?

His breath is sweet, but he still is shy about showing us his gnashers.

Uncle Frank and Aunt Beth are working to put together a dental health kit for our boy. Maybe Uncle Frank wants to use Ernest as a after case for better gum brushing, afterall, tomorrow is the beginning of National Pet Dental Health Month. I wish Ernest had not taken it so seriously.

Stay tuned.

Great news from the state of Maryland. Looks like NKK is back in charge of things for another four years. Yeah! They got it right down both sides of the aisle.

Sad news from the state of Texas - Molly Ivins died today. Read some great things that she said here.

I usually disagree with Nancy Leson, our resident food critic. Today she dissed Rachel Ray. Tonight I made a great tortilla soup that I adapted from one of her cookbooks. I am not crazy about either woman, but I like her take on tortilla soup.

I'm off to San Diego this weekend to see my parentals and my uncle and aunt who are here from Germany. I'm not sure what we all have planned, but I have a feeling that I'll be dragging someone to the La Jolla Farmer's Market in search of some citrus.

I realize that my whole pantry is full of Trader Joe's foods. I can't imagine when that happened. Short of stuff I preserved myself, enchilada sauce, green chiles and some wierd ingredients, our staples all can be found at TJs. Yoikes. Things will change as we start growing our own and going to the market, but right now, it just works.

I even spied ibuprofen back on their shelves and TH has me hooked on their gummy vitamins. I hate taking regular vitamins and these are pretty decent and fruity as well. Now if they can only sell real butter puff pastry, aspirin, new mexico green chile and isernio's chicken italian sausage, we'll be in heaven.

Okay, I've rambled enough. I should tell you all that I have been remiss about taking pictures. I have no idea why. TH bought me the most amazing macro lens for the holidays and I have yet to really play with it. Maybe when Ernest is feeling better I'll get a close up of his teeth.

later taters,


Monday, January 29, 2007

if you could spare some

Ernest needs some good vibes.

Turns out his vole breath is caused by excessive stick chewing which has caused a nice deep pocket of ick that requires anesthesia to take xrays, clean out said pocket and while we're at it, clean the rest of his chompers.

So, tomorrow am, we'll be freaking out until he wakes up.

Cross your fingers the root isn't injured or infected. He needs his teeth.

nm and e.dd

Sunday, January 28, 2007

almost perfect

All I'm saying is that if I was either stuck on a plane, at work or in California these past two days I would have been so pissed. Glorious weather here in the Emerald City. Enough to make you want to open your windows, hang your smalls outside to dry and start doing some winter yard clean up.

Oh wait, I did all that.

The rest of the week looks good, well, unless you don't like air stagnation.

I see a car wash in my future and many more smalls to be dried outside.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Forgive my radio silence.

I am still sick. Sick enough that I have not been at work for the last three days. That is sick for me. I come in with the dengue fever.

TH is better and thankfully took Ernest with her today.

Nothing much to report. We have crocii and snowdrops blooming. The hellebores are starting as well. I think I'm going to force some forsythia this week.

Has anyone been to Greece? I'm going in September for my cousin's big fat Iranian/Greek wedding. I'm hoping to spend 10 days there - mostly with my parents and then a few in London. I'm excited to go, not excited to plan.

How is that for a change?


Monday, January 22, 2007

redux redux

I have another cold. I can pinpoint the vector. TH has it too.

Neither of us are impressed. I'm just a day behind her in the symptoms and I've already cleared my schedule for tomorrow. I'll probably work from home.

My computer came back from Melbourne with a lovely estate bottled Pinot. I'll probably wait to drink that, but I'm excited get some stuff tested this week.

Other than that, off to check on the perfect roast chicken again.


Sunday, January 21, 2007

We're all home. Safely and soundly.

Thank god.

No travel until the first week of February and that is easy.

Nothing interesting to report. I'm dealing with all sorts of news, some good, some sad.

More later.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

back home

We made it.

I'm in pain, but surviving. I look like the old guy who shuffled on Laugh In. I was quite happy to take a hot shower and change.

Now, I have to unpack and pack again.


Friday, January 12, 2007

swooning while powerpointing

Is this possible?

I am so hosed.

I cannot get this going. I will be up until I leave for SAT on Monday am just getting my presentation together for AMS. Why?

I just can't get into to it.

I just can't figure out what to say. Partially due to the fact that I am not doing the programming, but sort of managing the project and honestly, that makes it harder. A concept of operations will be fine, but not very interesting.

So, here I sit, totally rocking out to Blitzen Trapper, Final Fantasy, Bedroom Eyes and other bands featured on 3hive. I even bought a few cds today because I was swooning to the same songs over and over again.

I like that.

Well, short of a miracle, I will be in SAT with completed presentation on Monday afternoon, ice storms and what not be damned.


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Weather - yipee

I am going to Phoenix this weekend with the delusion that I can walk 13.2 miles in a row without collapsing. With all good intentions, I really thought I could train for this, but things (life) got in the way, and now, I'm just going and hopefully glide, two pairs of socks and the fact that it will be cold will help.

I hope.

Ditto for San Antonio, should be damn cold, which is better than hot because it will be okay to bundle up and wear jeans and sweaters and down for my meetings.

Yes, I need a better meeting wardrobe. I am working on it, really!

Other than that, life goes on.


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Snow day

Global warming? I think not.

More of the white stuff and below freezing weather for the emerald city. I was at work and we had two inches of snail - hail and snow combined. Its not a meterological term, its mine.

So, my drive home was interesting because everyone was afraid to go up the hill to the main road. Granted tomorrow morning will be ugly because the road will freeze into sheet ice. I don't really need to go in, I can work from home, but I probably should make the attempt anyways.

Its strange these new fangled snow days. I remember as a child spending all night wondering if school would be cancelled or not and listening to the AM radio station with my mom in the morning to see weather our district and later our school was closed or had a two hour late opening. Now everything is posted on the web, I suppose its also announced on the radio, but the web just makes it easier but less suspenseful if you know what I mean.

The snow was perfect here, not too much, the roads are clear, but probably now icy. I have to leave in a few minutes to pick up my brother from the airport. All the plants are underneath their little blankets and covered with mulch, boughs and lit up with balls of christmas lights. It looks quite festive. The lemons have taken refuge in the front hall. I am looking forward to the building of the library in the next year or so so that they can be wheeled in for the winter.

I'm hoping that you are all snug in your homes as well.


Monday, January 08, 2007

What I had for dinner

Sorry, no pictures.

In my other life I play an harried overweight cranky person (hah, had you fooled) that cares about what she eats. Today I had a great message board exchange about roasted chicken that ended with a recipe and some tips on making the perfect roasted chicken.

We eat roasted chicken once a week. TH likes dark meat, I prefer white. We eat it the first night and then make something with the leftover meat - usually some sort of casserole. The body goes into stock and is seen in a soup or base for chicken pot pie.

Recently my chickens have been a disaster - not very flavorful, too juicy (strange), undercooked or just blah. I started to loathe the idea of that bird for dinner.

My pal, Lili, turned me on to Sunset magazine's roast chicken recipe. This recipe was simple, tasty and everything cooked perfectly. I'm not one for big roasters, since there are only two of us most nights, but honestly, with these results, I'll be reaching for a six pounder next week and trust me, I'll never baste again. We served the chicken with a steamed artichoke and baked delicata squash from the fall harvest. Delicious!

Thanks Lili for the tip. We're on a streak here chez floraandflying, over a week with decent dinners and creative leftovers.


Sunday, January 07, 2007

if I had known I was going to Portland, I would have worn pants

Pearl Bakery, pain aux raisins, January 2007.


Yesterday, we got an email from Ernest's peeps. There was no snow in Goldendale and the Gorge and we could drop the boy off in Vancouver. He always gets nervous when you pack his kibble with his squeaky, but he got in the car and off we went.

I had my purse (no money), my cell phone and a few sudukos. I was wearing polarfleece and yoga pants, as if we were going to TJ's not to drive 160 miles one way.

Anyhoo, we made it in good time. Ernest did not sleep a wink, TH insisted on lane changes. He hates lane changes.

We dropped him and off and since we're beset by basketball on Thursdays and Saturdays and the Seahawks, TH thought we should go to Portland to chill instead of sitting in traffic on the way home.

Smart she is, that girl. However, if I knew I would be salivating over Pearl Bakery brioches and Pix's tarte au citron, I would have worn pants.

Fun times, down to Pearl Bakery, up to Hawthorne for an uninspiring lunch at Bread and Ink, dessert at Pix (swoon), Powell's books for cooks and Pastaworks.

Portland (at least the bakeries) on my flickr.

Home in time to miss traffic and four episodes of To the Manor Born.

Life is good.

Yes, I miss the boy, he's settling in I suppose -Happy to see his sister and family and maybe a bit sad not be climbing on me while I'm settling in for a good read.


Friday, January 05, 2007

Can we get paid right now?


I am feeling quite poor right now.

I think its the beginning of the financial year that kills me. Full of hopes, dreams and great ideas.

I have managed to squander a lot of money last year or so it feels like. All I know is that I made a bunch as well and I have no debt.

This year, I'm trying hard not to squander and save more. I even bumped up my pre-tax deduction another 1.5%. Its a start. I'm up to 13.5% and then the other 15%, so really, its not that bad. Something like 40 bucks a month towards cat food for the future.

Could it be a house downpayment in taxes that I'm going to pay this year - that could be pissing me off?

Could it be my last three trips to Europe that were fun, but really not very necessary?

Who knows.

Serenity now.


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

tag, you are it

I was tagged by Z. By the way, I tagged you a while ago, so have at it.
The rules - taken from Z...

“According to the rules… Each player of this game starts with the “6 Weird Things about You”. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says ‘you are tagged’ in their comments and tell them to read your blog!”

Six wierd things about me.

I am always thinking ahead, that is, I precalculate my moves, which means I basically can't monotask, which means I can't seem to get anything done 100%. I hate that.

If you send me a picture of your kid, I will never recycle it. So, if your child is now 15 years old, I still have the Christmas card you sent me because I cannot throw out pictures of children. It may be buried in a box somewhere, but not in the garbage.

I hate to have my pulse taken. Hate it, hate it, hate it.

I gag when I brush my teeth in unfamiliar surroundings, even 1000 dollar a night hotel suites. I cannot even bear the idea of brushing my teeth in public bathrooms.

I rarely skip to the end of the movie or book, instead I'll plod all the way through even if I hate it. I am getting better, but for some reason I feel this need to complete even the dreariest of novels.

I always call my parents, TH and my brother before I fly. I cannot fly unless I have talked to them or left them a message along with that, I will not erase voice mails left by my parents, TH or my brother while they are travelling, in case something happens to them.

Well, I have very few people to tag. I'm going tag Sheryl, Mony , Jen, Rachel and Mary.



Tuesday, January 02, 2007

neverending pile

Today we stayed home. That is, a national day of mourning meant that we're on lockdown, so I worked from home as did TH. She didn't have to work, she wanted to and good for her.

I have a seminar on Monday to give and AMS is in a week.

Where did the Fall go?

Anyhow, I spent a bit of today doing some more organization and purging at home. I have managed to make many things go away, but I am still stuck with the pile. You know, the pile that really is full of things that have no home.

I hate that pile.

I'm going to spend the next five minutes going through that pile and and winnow it down to a pilelet.

I did a great job on my cards today. I have a grocery bag of cards to freecycle. I even managed to sort out my watercolor and hand craft cards from the myriad of cards that I have collected over the years. I now have a nice pile of such things for my next invitations.

I also found about three hundred postcards that I bought and never sent. Right now they are in a shoe box. I'll just grab a pile next time I'm going to Alaska, Siena or Denver. Who knows, maybe you'll get one.

All I know is that I'll never buy another card again.

Next stop, wrapping paper.



Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year

2007 is here. I like that number.

I'm not here to bore you with resolutions. They are pretty standard. Save more, travel less, lose those now nagging 25 ! freaking pounds, lower my cholesterol (new for 2007!) and not take up smoking or intravenous drugs.

We'll see how it goes.

We had a lovely New Years lunch and remembrances of Rome sandwiched by two visits with some of my favorite young people in the world.

I'm off to see my other favorite young people now and then I'm going to organize something else.

I just reorganized my wrapping ribbon collection. We now have a very organized mailing center. Imagine that!

An addition to the resolution list: Burn more candles. We have more candles than I ever thought. I think they are dividing via mitosis, or is that meiosis?