Thursday, November 25, 2010


There is so much to be thankful for, even with all the crazy, scary stuff happening in the world. Today I am going to focus on all the positive and good, because it is there, sometimes in plain sight, sometimes hiding in the nooks and crannies. I am going to ignore my beloved NPR. I am not going to open The Week. I won't even check out the headlines at Yahoo!

Instead, I will bake an apple/cheese torte/cheesecake thing. And attempt to create one of SmittenKitchen's yummy sweet potato appetizers. (I am so thankful for the wonders that are sweet potatoes!)

I will do like E.T. and phone home and tear up but smile when I hear my family all together, enjoying yet another of Mom's fabulous Thanksgiving dinners.

And then Mr. J and I and The Dog and the dog's buddy will head over to Chef Jay's house for dinner with old friends, new friends, and friends we haven't even met yet. (By the by, he really is a chef, and I am so incredibly excited to try out all his dishes!---why does that suddenly sound dirty?)

There will be much laughter and conversation and eating and drinking and merriment, with walks with the dogs in between and time spent by the fire pit on this bitter cold but blue sky day.

And then Mr. J and I will come home, bellies full, faces hurting from so much smiling. And we will cuddle and catch up and relish in the fact that he doesn't have to work another night shift until Monday.

And for all of that and so much more I am thankful.

I hope that you are all with loved ones, friends, and/or family this holiday season. Enjoy the laughter, the memories, the reminiscing, and of course the food!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

So Much for Autumn

Yes, I am posting about the weather again. I really need to find something else to talk about or I am going to lose all four of my followers.

We got our first snow of the season. So pretty (plus the bonus of a 30-minute upper body workout as I shoveled). But according to the sensationalist weatherfolks on the news, we better stock up on perishables, because in addition to our "blizzard condition" whopping 1.5 inches of snow, the temps are supposed to drop to a high of 5 or something. Oh, woe. Barricade the doors and dig out all the batteries. The end is nigh!

Of course, Friday is supposed to be right back up in the high 30s.

But two days of near-zero temperatures?! Whatever will we do?

I wonder what would happen if our weatherfolks moved to Fargo or Siberia.

*Note: Not that it matters, but in the interests of honest reporting, that is not Boise in the photo. It's a shot of Bear Creek near our old home in Lakewood. I'm too dang lazy to find the camera, take a shot outside, find the cord to attach it to my computer, and load the image to my computer. So there.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I Love Fall

[Sung to the tune of Oscar the Grouch's I Love Trash, which my ex-boyfriend's computer would sing every time he sent something to the trash, which I still want to set up for my computer because it would just make me smile [and might even inspire me to clean out some of my long-neglected, much-ignored folders].)

Anyway, I know I have said it before, but I so love fall. I don't think the novelty of riding my bike to the grocery store or to meet a friend for coffee or to get some exercise on the hills almost in my backyard or to stumble home from a night on the town will ever wear off. It's been over a year, and I still get a thrill of cruising home with groceries in my basket, breathing in the crisp air, and hearing the crunch of leaves under my wheels. I haven't driven my car (or been in a car) since last week some time, I think. I may not be able to save the world with all this riding, but I love it. Good for the soul, indeed.

Of course, when I do get in my car, I am completely not ready for it. Just driving to the mall puts me in a stinky mood, what with all the "traffic" and "crazy drivers" (not to mention that I hate the mall). Keep in mind, I used to drive an hour each way, every workday, in San Francisco traffic for years. And now Boise "traffic" gives me road rage. My how times have changed.

Now I'm off to bake some (gluten-free) biscuits and cook up a pot of wild mushroom soup.

I love days off almost as much as I love fall (even if a day off means no work, which means no income for today).

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Emotional Roller Coaster

Last night, after a absolutely divine seafood dinner with friends (probably the best seafood I have had since moving to Boise ... not exactly known for its fresh ocean catch of the day), I came home and caught up on blogging, Facebook, emails, etc., before hitting the hay.

Over at Balls to the Wall, I found a YouTube video that had me laughing at first but then quickly led to a full-on meltdown cry that lasted a good 15 minutes. If you have a few minutes, check it out. It's actually very empowering in the end, but it touched a nerve so deep down inside me and resonated with that whole weird, stupid self-doubt issue I've been dealing with of late (well, forever, really). I am going to print out the last line from the video and post it in big, huge letters right in front of my desk.

"The word pretty is unworthy of everything you will be."

Words to live by, indeed.

Then, another friend posted a link from Facebook to Damn You Auto Correct!, where I proceeded to laugh until I cried. Side-splitting, saliva-spluttering, tears-streaming-down-my-cheeks laughter. Quite the needed break after the emotional demons brought on by the video.

What a night! But sometimes you just have to let it all out--the good with the bad.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Rainy Day Recipes

The rain has been coming down all morning, including during that heavenly extra hour of sleep!

After a leisurely start to the day with coffee and donuts at the Kramerstein's and then more coffee at the Mitchell's, we are back at home, planning how to spend the drizzly afternoon.

And this is what I've decided:

Plus a few hours to finish up the work project from hell and an hour at the gym to work off a portion of last night's fantabulous supper club dinner. Maybe followed by some knitting on the never-ending baby blanket project.

Not bad for a lazy Sunday afternoon!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Stealing Ideas

I don't tweet, though I do have a Twitter account for some strange reason. But apparently there is something going around the tweety world where people are giving advice to their 16-year-old selves. Since reflecting back on my former selves, which, of course, are still part of my present self, seems to be my theme this month, I thought I'd hop on the trendy bandwagon.

So, 16-year-old self:

--See all those people in that picture. Those are your friends. So in a few short years, when you reflect on your high school years and seem to think that you were a loner with only one or two friends, you will be wrong. And in 20 long years, you will be back in touch with some of these folks through this thing called Facebook, and you'll see that they are still your friends. (However, that guy with the glasses--don't invite him on a river trip in 15 years. For some reason that you will never quite get, it will ruin your friendship, and you'll never hear from him again.)

--You will learn, after much discussion, that almost no one really enjoyed high school, and this is even more true (truer??) of junior high. You are not the only one questioning everything you do and worrying about everything you say. It's just the joys of hormones mixed with awkwardness mixed with peer pressure mixed with, in the case of junior high, the tenth circle of Hell. The only exception to this rule is the future love of your life (yes, you have one), who moves to the States from Australia at the height of Crocodile Dundee fame. He is a blond-haired, tan, athletic cutie with an accent who gets along with everyone, from nerds to ultrajocks. So, yes, he is enjoying high school ... to the max. Here he is with some "blonde hussy" ... I mean, lovely young lady. But don't worry. In 20 years, when he scans this photo in to his computer, he'll label it "Santa and ..." because he can't remember her name.
--For the next 15 years or so, you will whine and moan and wonder and stress about how life is going to turn out (which mainly will mean, "Will I ever meet someone and have a relationship like my grandparents and parents have?") The answer is yes. Stop worrying about it and go out and enjoy life. See:

(and, yes, that's the Sydney Harbor Bridge ...
you will get to Australia to see the land of the Man from Snowy River ... many times)

--Speaking of enjoying life, when you get that job in New York City for the summer after graduating high school, make the most of it. A summer in the city should not consist of grabbing dinners from a Korean grocery store, dancing around your aunt's apartment, and going to a movie. Check out the museums. Get the last-minute theater ticket deals. Get your cousin to come visit and show you the sites. Live it up a little!

--But ease up on the junk food and start doing sit-ups. Your metabolism may rock the free world right now, but in a couple years, it will all catch up!

--Oh, and be nicer to your folks. Your friends are right ... your parents are pretty dang cool. There is no reason to hate them.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I Can See Clearly Now, My Brain Is Gone

41 is definitely rapidly approaching. And my brain is really getting good at becoming forgetful and just plain odd.

Evidence #1

I walked into about four different rooms this morning, only to completely forget why I went there in the first place. But each time, just at the last minute, I would see something that reminded me why I was there ... the bottle of antibiotics, the coffee mug on the counter, my sunglasses on the bookcase, the credit cards stashed behind a picture frame on the bookcase (but, of course, where else would I hide my credit cards while on vacation). So I haven't completely lost it yet ... or perhaps I have.

After rounding up all my things, I cruised down to the local co-op to get some milk, cheese, cereal, etc. Of course, I ended up getting about twice as much as was on my list. Isn't that always the way? But, that's not a sign of old age. That's just me shopping and spending more than we have. But, the gourmet cheese was on sale!! How could I say no?

But then ...

Evidence #2
I piled everything onto the conveyor belt thingie, joked around with the lady behind the counter, got my reusable bags to the bagger guy, explaining that I wanted the milk in the backpack and everything else in the bag. Was I organized or what? But then, when I went to pay, I realized that I was holding the gourmet cheese, and my wallet was being sent through the checker.

Ah well, at least we all got a good laugh.

p.s. I will definitely check out Sandra Cisnero's book. Thanks for the recommendation!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Wow, I am off to a great start on blogging everyday this month. Already missed Day 1. Oh, well. No prizes for me.

Life has been good in general, but a little rough around the edges. In addition to the usual financial woes, it's that lovely time of the month. I swear that Mr. J is affected by hormones each month the same as, if not more so than, I am. It's just joyous. Especially as it usually leads to the same argument we have every month. Like clockwork.

I won't bore you with the details, but it essentially boils down to my incredible lack of self-esteem. In many ways I am so much more evolved than my old 7-year-old self, thank goodness. But when it comes to my body image, I am still a shy little girl sitting by herself on the playground. When I think back to my kindergarten and first-grade self, it's just a very sad picture. And it's amazing how much those two years affected my entire life since.

But, as Mr. J so kindly points out, I am rapidly approaching 41 (ack!). I am not 7. I am no longer all by myself on the playground. I have great friends. I have a husband who adores me (except for when I'm wallowing in ancient self-pity).

So why can't I banish this shy little girl persona? Why do I feel the urge to say "no, no, no" when people tell me I am a good or pretty person. Where on earth does this come from? How did I even realize at the age of 6 or 7 that when my mom told me I was a beautiful little girl, I would think to myself, "She has to say that. She's my mom." Where does that come from?

These are the mysteries of life that I battle with each month. So this month's goal for the daily posting is to return to my search for the good in life ... not just the world outside but also my little world inside. Maybe one month of daily affirmations will slowly beat down this wall of negativity about myself.

Because, as the Junior Senator from Minnesota says, "I am good enough, I am smart enough, and doggone it, people like me."

p.s. Be sure to go out and vote today!