27 August 2012

Weekend Roundup & Daily Gratitude - 27 August 2012

Let's begin with the fun stuff... last weekend was one of the most enjoyable weekends I have experienced in recent memory (granted, my memory is shoddy at best on most days... but still!).

I got most of my gardening and yard work projects done!  The yard is raked, the holes have been filled, and the fence has been mostly repaired aside from the one foot gap between my yard and the fellow next door (which I require more fencing materials to complete).  I re-potted my Japanese privet and realized I should have bought a much larger pot.  Sorry, Fujiko (it's not weird to name plants, right?)... I'll buy you a nice, big pot after my next payday.

Tomatoes, chard, Thai basil, cilantro, and some shasta daisies & black-eyed susans!

It is rare that a television show, especially a modern one, both grabs my attention and impresses me with it's acting & writing.  Little Mosque on the Prairie is one of those rare shows.  I have been watching it on Hulu nonstop since Saturday evening... I believe I am somewhere toward the end of season two or the beginning of season three.  If you have never seen it: you should!

I also got the floors swept/mopped, the bathroom cleaned, cleaned out the fridge, took out the trash, washed dishes (still need to unpack a lot, however), did several loads of laundry, and found time to relax & read a bit.  What am I reading these days?
  • The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of the Four Meals by Michael Pollan
  • Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
  • A North American Bird Book, circa 1930-something.
  • A North American Wild Flower Book, circa 1950-something.
The best part of the weekend was going out to breakfast at local Tucson landmark, Bobo's Restaurant, with S. and then hitting The Girls estate sale shop.  My eggs toast & veggies were typical mom & pop greasy spoon breakfast joint, but the "child size" banana pancake that we shared was one of (if not "the") most incredible pancake I have ever eaten.  Large slices of banana, fluffily perfect pancake texture, and the best part: the crispy caramelization.  As S. so aptly described it, it was like the pancake version of Bananas Foster. 

I only spent about $20 at the estate shop but got a set of queen size lavender sheets (now I have two sets of sheets for my new bed... fancy!), the above-mentioned wild flower book which as beautiful prints of watercolour botanical paintings, and a couple kitchen utensils (cheese wire and vegetable grater, if you're curious).

This week is looking bright but busy, just like I like 'em.  Dinner with Mama D. on Tuesday or Thursday, pizza at a funeral home turned upscale pizza parlour with the Stunning Broadside ladies & friends on Wednesday, and hopefully I can manage to get my bike from R.'s house this week or this weekend at the latest.

And not that this part isn't "fun"...

#1 - The sandwich I just had for lunch made my heart soar and my stomach happy.  Whole wheat tortilla wrapped around vegan cream cheese, Quorn chik'n cutlet, sriracha, raw beets, crispy fried sweet potatoes, dijon mustard, and herb salad mix.  Oh.my.word.  SO GOOD!

#2 - I slept 6 hours last night and feel... wait for it... well rested!  It's a rare and beautiful feeling.

#3 - Work is going smoothly today.  This too is a beautiful thing.

#4 - I have a lot to look forward to this week, both in the fun/social and practical/solitary departments.

#5 - My three month review (and hopefully accompanying raise) is about a week away!

21 August 2012

Rambling, Columns, Etc.

I don't know what my fascination is with creating "regular features" on this blog whose daily audience could probably be counted on one hand (with fingers leftover).  Daily Gratitude is both self explanatory and important, but what is up with trying to borrow "Follow Friday" from Twitter or coin new segments?  "The Present," "Morning Interludes," "Fill-In-The-Blank," etc.  Most of these I do once or twice and move on with my damn life.

Maybe I should just, you know, write.

A novel concept, I know!  Why just do something, when you can do it with a cherry, sprinkles, and a lit sparkler on top?

Sometimes I exhaust myself... I can't help but wonder what those around me feel like, especially on some days.  (Insert apology here.)

Okay, let's begin!

Today's lunch was only slightly short of perfect.  Quorn naken chik'n cutlets (no meat, no soy, yada yada) with julienned raw beets, sweet onion, and carrots then sprinkled with fennel seeds and raisins.  I keep forgetting to bring home my dijon mustard from the fridge at work, so I dressed the sandwich (which was a whole wheat wrap) at work, added some herb salad mix leftover from last week (or something), and re-wrapped it up.

I love beets.  (Maybe even more than kale.. I know!)

Moving on...

It could have used one or more of the following:
  1. apple cider vinegar
  2. julienned apple (Granny Smith or Fuji)
  3. vegan cream cheese
  4. avocado
  5. sunflower seeds
It should be pretty clear by now that I've had too much coffee and what I accepted as an adequate amount of sleep last night (five and a half hours of German shorthaired pointer spooning/snoring) may not have been.  (I'd like to apologize to my co-workers, if any of them are stalky enough to read my blog.)

Tonight I am going out to dinner with a friend at Lovin' Spoonfuls, which is a highly rated vegan restaurant here in Tucson.  I've been eager to try this place for quite a while, but always seem to forget about it when I'm wracking my brain to come up with a place to eat out.

I have a few ideas for upcoming blog posts that may or may not ever see the light of day and the twinkling of the internet.  My current favourite will be about dairy products (especially milk... gross) and why Americans can't seem to get off the tit.  I plan on saying that a lot throughout the post.  I'm sure it's been said, but some things just can't be said enough.  This may be a poor example, but it's all I've got and I'm generally too thoroughly exhausted to be more provocative than that.  Or to publicly admit to being more provocative than that.

Daily Gratitude - 21 August 2012

#1 - Coffee with unsweetened almond milk!

#2 - Kale!

#3 - Fresh, clean laundry!

#4 - Well-behaved dogs!

#5 - Faux chik'n and root veggie wrap for lunch!  (I'm making it now, actually... will be good, I think!)

Can you believe that I used to "hate" mornings?  Now they are my favourite part of the day... calm, homey, good food, my beloved dogs, meditation, and sometimes even relaxation!

20 August 2012

Daily Gratitude - 20 August, 2012

#1 - I am no longer hungover.  Now, yesterday...

#2 - Whiskey is now safely back into our rescue program and has a really fantastic foster who will nurse him through his heartworm treatments.

#3 - I have a lot of gardening projects on the docket!  Chard, cilantro, Thai basil, cherry tomatoes, and some frivolous daisies and black eye susans.

#4 -Today I am going to buy some new bras!  (This may be the result of the dogs eating the last decent bra I own... but still...)

#5 - There are two pieces of eggplant, tomato, & pine nut pizza on whole wheat crust waiting for me at home in the fridge!

15 August 2012

Daily Gratitude - 15 August 2012

#1 - This morning I took Lola Lulu AND Gatsby for their first walk together in over 6 months and it wasn't terrible.  Lola was actually really good most of the time and was only minimally reactive toward city buses, strangers, etc.

#2 - Wednesday is usually the busiest day of the work week and I love being busy!  (Busy = not bored!)

#3 - I didn't have a doughnut at the Doughnut Meeting At Work!  Huzzah!

#4 - I was able to get Gatsby added to Lemons' vet appointment on Friday.  I hope his cloudy eyes aren't too serious.  :(

#5 - The sundress I wore to work fits a bit more loosely than it did last week.  :)

14 August 2012


My work life has officially seeped into my "real" life:  I am now seeing Grainger ads on the blogs I read. 

Please Note: Most of the blogs I read are related to food, dogs, or vintage culture.


13 August 2012

Daily Gratitude - 13 August 2012

Part of taking the time to stop and notice what we are thankful for in our daily lives is the act of doing so when we're feeling cranky, burdened by others, and otherwise ungracious.

Like me!  Today!  (grumble-grumble)

So here goes:

#1 - I was able to pick up some needful household goods at Target over my lunch break today.

#2 - The infected cut on my hand seems less infected and appears to be healing.  It hurts less.

#3 - I cannot express the sheer delight I felt in discovering that such a things as "pie birds" exist! (See previous post.)

#4 - My mom sent me bath soaps and candles as a housewarming gift. 

#5 - My dogs will be waiting for me when I get home home from work!  Yes, this is a five-days-a-week occurrence, but it always makes me happy to be home.

Pie Birds?!

How did I not know about these until today??

10 August 2012

My Blogging Soul Sister?

Back when I had "free time" (...seriously, what does that even mean??) I used to tweet on Twitter.  On Twitter there is (or was) a popular weekly event (for lack of a better word) called Follow Friday where you recommend another Twitterer to your followers.  "Hey, they are GREAT you should read what they have to say!  You won't regret it!"  That's it, in a nutshell.

 Now that you're up to speed, I intend (when I remember) to carry on that tradition her on ye olde blogge where I will recommend a blog that I enjoy and think my readers (all two of them...) might enjoy as well.  When I remember to do so!

The inaugural installment of Follow Friday is a blog I began reading TODAY.  Yes, today.  And I'm already irrevocably hooked.  It's about food (which I know and love) and running (I'm going to be a runner!).  Guess what?  The author has a GSP who is 7 years old and  GSP/Lab cross (who is 4... and male... but whatever!)!  We're even the same age.  What are the odds?

 Emily Malone writes the Daily Garnish.  You should read it!

Aren't sure where to begin?  Allow me to point you in the right direction!  Or at least some direction or other.

How to make your own Vegetable Masala burgers!  (Just like the Trader Joe's frozen ones... but better!)

I spent part of my lunch hour at work today reading through Emily's Running Journey which is what finally gave me not only the motivation but the initiative to take on the Couch to 5K (C25K) training challenge.  Just trying to get out there and "do it" without really knowing what I'm doing hasn't been very effective.  I've taken Lola and Gatsby each out once during the past week and have been making excuses every morning for the past few days.

Time to get the lead out!

The Present - 10 August 2012

I just ate slightly over half of a club sandwich with added pickles.  I didn't eat the entire thing.  And my stomach wasn't rumbling like a half full rock tumbler.

I not only printed out the Couch To 5K training program, but I actually glanced at it!

Tonight I might actually get my new bed.  Third time's/tries a charm?

Tomorrow I'm going to an estate sale with B. and then breakfast at Blue Willow.

Before I do that, Lola Lulu and I are doing Day One of the C25K (see above).  There!  I've stated it publicly, which means I have to do it or risk losing face or street cred or whatever it is that keeps my eyes bright and my nature intense!  Plus it's only twenty minutes of various things jiggling off and on.  Surely can't that cause permanent damage!  Right?  Oh, dear...

There is no way that I've had enough coffee thus far today to be rambling like this, but I'm gonna go with it...

I'm the second one from the left, don't I look tan?  (...kidding)

07 August 2012

Broke, Quick, Improvisational Lunch

I woke up extra early this morning.  4 am, to be precise, and like all mornings where I awaken extra early I am lulled into a false sense of having more extra time that I genuinely do.

So while I had time to take Gatsby for a lovely 40 minute walk, enjoy a leisurely (and hot!) shower for the first time in months, and tidy up the yard I was also sprinting out the door, hairpins flying, & frantically wishing that I would make my bus to work.  I ate approximately 90% of my breakfast (guess who inhaled the crumbs?) and ran out the door with a protein shake, a frozen veggie burger, and a couple of yogurts hoping that I could cobble together something edible for lunch.

Guess what?  I did and it was delicious!  I knew that I had some leftover lettuce (current condition: unknown) and some random items in the fridge at work.

Here is what I made:

Yes, this is a paper bowl and plastic fork.  I'm sorry, planet Earth. :(
Yes, I know that my cellphone takes fairly lousy photos.  The lens is probably dirty and smudged, too.  Oh, well!

Black bean burger, crumbled atop the edible remnants of the curly leaf lettuce (not many curls in evidence...), with chiffonaded (is that even a word? I've never used "chiffonade" in the past tense...) freshly palm-crushed mint (aromatic!), half a package of roasted/salted peanuts from Costco, and the dressing was made with two genuine soy sauce packets (no MSG or weird stuff, whew!), a splash of orange juice, some crushed red pepper, and a bit of freshly ground black pepper.  No need for additional sodium with the soy sauce and salted peanuts, folks!

I also ate three slices of dill pickle, but that is neither here nor there...

P.S. It's a good thing that excessive parenthetical blogging contains zero calories... jeepers...  (...ellipses, on the other hand...)

Daily Gratitude - 7 August 2012

#1 - Went for a 40 minute walk with Gatsby around the U of A mall and campus early this morning; such a beautiful location to walk the dogs!

#2 - Almond. Italian. Soda.  Delicious!

#3 - I am taking on new responsibilities at work!

#4 - Tomorrow I should be getting my new queen size bed!

#5 - Hopefully today I will be able to finish cleaning out my old duplex and finally be done with that place for good!

01 August 2012

Daily Gratitude - 1 August 2012

#1 - I am, where I am, right now.

#2 - Today is Gatsby's 7th birthday!

#3 - One of my favourite pieces just came on Pandora Radio (Gymnopedie for Piano No. 1 by Erik Satie).

#4 - I slept well last night and feel calm this morning.

#5 -  I found the jade earrings my grandmother gave me; I'm going to wear them today.