prosodic: (poppy)
Last day for NaBloPoMo! Then I can slack and not post for a day or two. Although I doubt I'll run out of things to say for the next several weeks. :)

Today's moving tasks: photographing things in the bedroom and finishing the book inventory.

Non-moving tasks: taking the dogs for a nail trim

I'm starting to assess what we need to use up in the fridge, freezer, and pantry. I'm happy to give away any unopened packages of food that we have, but I'm trying to use up condiments and spices. And obviously, the opened packages of food. Therefore, tonight's dinner was cheeseburgers and tater tots. And we'll have it again, because there are still burger patties and tater tots left over.

So...I have 2 kinds of mustard (both pretty full bottles) and a lot of Heinz 57 to use up. I see a lot of meals featuring these two things in our near future. Time to get creative and figure out how to incorporate them into recipes. I should also include honey in this because honey is great with either of these things, and I also have a bottle of that to use up. Hmmm...and mango chutney, which will probably work better with Heinz 57 than mustard.
prosodic: (The Artist's Wife by Henry Lamb)
Lance ordered the Kindle! He won't let me have it until Christmas, but I have actual books to read until then, so that's fine.

YAY! I'm so excited! A few months ago, I would've refused to even consider getting an e-reader, but now I can see the value in getting one. This doesn't mean I'll stop reading real books. I still love the feel of a book in my hand and the smell of the pages.

And I already have a book I can read on it when I get it. I'm currently reading this book via the Kindle app on my phone.

Speaking of books...I think I'm now addicted to this GoodReads app. I've been going around this evening scanning Lance's books into my GoodReads list. So if any of you are friends with me on GoodReads and you see some updates from me with some book titles that seem a little odd, that's probably because they're Lance's books. I haven't touched any of his computer books in the office, but I might do that tomorrow if he wants me to.

If I hadn't already taken photos of our entire movie collection, I would check to see if there was an app that allows me to scan all the DVD and VHS cases. But I don't really need to do that now. What we do need to do is fire up the old camcorder that's been collecting dust for 7 years and record our appliances and electronics to show that they're all in proper working order.

I need to figure out what my task will be for tomorrow. I know we have to start tackling things in the garage, but a lot of that stuff is Lance's. Still, I should probably photograph our bikes. And here inside the house, I should take pictures of our furniture. Or...since we still have pictures from the house listing, I probably already have that taken care of. But I'll look at the pictures and see if we missed anything.
prosodic: (Fairy)
This will be our only Christmas decoration this year.



And that's only because Mom shipped it to me from Grandma's house, and it arrived with one of the peppercorn eyes missing. I just glued that back into place today, and hung it on the hutch. I have to put it in the Christmas box anyway. I might as well just wait until after Christmas.

I think Grandma got this at her Christmas party with her siblings. It was still hanging in her kitchen when I arrived in late January. I guess it used to hang by the back door all year round. It was either Mom or Sue that wanted to make sure SOMEBODY in the family got this, because the stocking is made out of an antique quilt that's been passed down through the family on Grandma's side. The quilt had apparently seen better days, so stockings were made from it. I seem to remember something similar happening several years back with a quilt being made into pillows. Either Mom or Sue has that pillow now, I suppose. And I, the eldest granddaughter, am now keeper of the heirloom quilt stocking.

I glued a few other things of Grandma's back together too. Pretty much everything that came in that box arrived broken - some of it beyond repair. I thought the little angel bell that once graced her fireplace mantel could be saved. But I couldn't repair it. The wings broke off, and I tried to glue them back on separately, and that didn't work. And I realized that the wings fit together, so I glued the wings together and then tried to glue them on the back, and that also didn't work. I think another piece chipped off somewhere that I no longer have. I had to throw it out.

I have another ceramic knick-knack that I tried to glue back together, but the broken piece wouldn't adhere no matter how much glue I used or how long I held it together (I was using Gorilla Glue, btw). I just fit the broken piece into place and left it alone, hoping it would adhere on its own. And it seems like it is, but there is a big enough gap between the broken piece and the rest of it that I think it'll break during the move and I'll have to glue it again.

There was another angel with one broken wing. I successfully repaired it, but you can still see a crack, and I'm pretty sure it'll break again during the move. That was something handmade by Grandma's SIL in 1990, so I would really like to save it if I can.

So that's been my main task today...trying to repair these little trinkets. None of these things are items I have memories of growing up (one of the few things I took from her house that does is the tiny metal and stained glass hand mirror that I used to play with). But they have sentimental value simply because they were once in Grandma's house, and they are the only tangible things that still connect me to it.
prosodic: (friends)
Four years ago - just a few days before we left Germany - two friends (one of whom is currently in D.C.) took me out to lunch at one of those restaurants that serves several tiny and artfully plated dishes.

We had some sparkling wine to begin our lunch, and we toasted, "To new beginnings...and friends."

This toast is more true now than it was four years ago. I'm about to embark on another new beginning (and hopefully a much better one than I had here). And where I find my new beginning, I also find my friend who joined me in that toast four years ago. I'm not saying goodbye to her as I was then. Instead, she will be part of my new beginning.
prosodic: (Waterhouse2)
The bad news (unless you're a Michigan fan) - Ohio State lost today. But they put up a damn good fight. Considering our last two games, I wasn't feeling optimistic anyway, but considering we've dominated over the past decade and it looks like we're getting a new coach...well, there's always next year.

Otherwise, it's been a good day. I've been very productive. Two loads of laundry done and one in the washing machine. I bathed both dogs (and cleaned up the aftermath). I am nearly done photographing all of our movies for inventory. And I suppose I'll vacuum at some point when Lance is watching something that's okay to interrupt (he's got one of the Indiana Jones movies on right now).

Lance needed to buy a couple new pairs of Levi's, so we headed to the Levi's Outlet Store at the SuperMall. Fifteen minutes later, Lance had 2 new pairs of jeans, and we popped into the Sprint store there to get car chargers for our phones. They were on sale for $10 each (original price - $29.99). SCORE!

He decided to go to Walmart, even though looking at the parking lot was enough to turn me off from going in. But it wasn't that bad. We made a quick trip to the automotive and electronics departments, but didn't turn up anything he was looking for. Then we got a few groceries. Unfortunately, their bakery is no longer selling pumpkin rolls. They had red velvet cake rolls instead. I suppose that's actually a good thing, since I don't really NEED more dessert. But at least I got the ingredients to make penne alfredo with Italian sausage tomorrow night.

We made a quick stop at Home Depot before going home. I stayed in the car and there was a guy sitting in the parking lot playing guitar. He was just outside our Subaru. He was very talented, actually, so it was nice for me to sit in the car and listen to him play.

Home now and I want to relax this evening. I'm just reheating meatballs for dinner. I think I want to watch Mary Poppins or something this evening, but it's likely that I'll watch it on my laptop. I'm sure Lance will find something he wants to watch tonight, and I'm pretty sure it'll be something that I have absolutely no interest in seeing.
prosodic: (oh hai - Reece)
Since the weather was so nice today, we decided to take the dogs to Grandview Dog Park. Blitz has only ever been there once, shortly after we got him, and we didn't trust him enough then to let him go off leash. Compared to the other dog parks we've been to, Grandview is massive, so we were a little nervous, but Blitz was fantastic. He never wandered too far from where we were, and he came back almost every time we called him (when he didn't come, it was usually because he was distracted by something).

He and Reece got some great play time.



They ran into two college students who work at Petsmart (I've never seen them before, so I assume they work in the back where the kennels are). Reece and Blitz were excited to see them, and imagine my surprise when they started calling Reece and Blitz by name. But then they explained where they work.

It was a nice time. We're due for more rain for the foreseeable future, so I'm glad we got out today. Reece was so happy when we came to Grandview. It's been almost a year and a half since she was last there.

They've been tired since we got back. It's been a peaceful evening. :)
prosodic: (Pike Place)
"Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast." - William Shakespeare (The Comedy of Errors)

It was nice to wake up (early, thanks dogs) to the realization that I did most of the grunt work yesterday. In about 45 minutes, I'll get started on the scalloped corn, which has to bake at 325 degrees. I'll take that out, turn the heat up to 350, and roast the tenderloin for an hour or so. Then I'll take that out, turn up the heat to 375, and finish off the mushrooms that must start roasting while the turkey is still in the oven.

And then I'll also need to reheat the scalloped corn, make the stuffing, and warm up the gravy (from a jar, since I doubt I'll get any juices from the turkey tenderloin).

The mashed potatoes are reheating in the slow cooker right now. Because I *HAVE* to incorporate my slow cooker into Thanksgiving. I have never had a Thanksgiving without it. :)

It's been a fairly leisurely morning. Had a light breakfast, as I usually do on Thanksgiving: a couple slices of cranberry bread, vanilla yogurt, and coffee. Made phone calls and texted Thanksgiving greetings. Watched A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.

This has been the worst year of my life. But today, I'm thankful that this year is coming to an end, and it's ending better than it started. I'm thankful for what's ahead in 2012. I'm thankful for every single friend who supported me through all the highs and lows this year. I'm thankful for the closeness of my family. And I'm thankful that Lance and I are fighting through all of life's difficulties together.

Also, I'm thankful my dogs are so cute, so I can't get too mad about them getting me up so early every morning. :)

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL!!
prosodic: (postcard)
I'm kind of freaking out about tomorrow, suddenly fearing that I don't actually have enough food. Which is ridiculous, because I've always gotten too much food in previous years, and I suspect I finally got just the right amount this time.

There will be no shortage of desserts anyway. So even if we run out of everything else, THERE WILL BE DESSERT.

I have cranberry bread in the oven right now. I have meatballs and turkey cocktail smokies in the slow cooker. Lance and I will eat those tonight with a Pillsbury French Loaf, crackers, and cheese. I intend to reheat the leftovers for tomorrow night's post-feast nibbling, and even if I run out of those, I have a back-up package of chicken smokies in the freezer. And I have crescent rolls. I could make tiny pigs (or chicks) in a blanket. HAHA.

So yes...no need to fear. We have PLENTY.

I think the sudden panic came from opening up the fridge and seeing the pumpkin roll and the turkey tenderloin side-by-side. And the pumpkin roll is BIGGER. No kidding. But yes, I have enough turkey for 3 people. There may be some leftovers and there may not. But there's enough for the main meal and that's what matters.

I'm still trying to decide if I want buttered corn or something a little fancier (and therefore, more fattening). I was going to do a creamy corn by stirring some chive and onion cream cheese into it, but then I realized that Lance probably wouldn't like it that way, since he's not a fan of flavored cream cheese (unless it's strawberry). Then I tried to look up some sort of scalloped corn recipe that uses ingredients I already have. I think I found one. But maybe I should just keep it simple and not create more work for myself. But hmmmm...I am intrigued by scalloped corn. I always had green bean casserole (and I guess Lance did too), and last year, I think I just did some simple balsamic carrots. But this year, I want corn.

I'll figure it out. Nothing I'm cooking is complicated anyway, so if I find a recipe for scalloped corn that doesn't require me to run out to the store, I might as well just do it.

I should chill some Chardonnay for tonight. I'll be using it for the roasted baby bella mushrooms tomorrow anyway.

Well, I just finished up lunch, so I guess I better get some work done this afternoon. Maybe I should wait for the bread to finish first.
prosodic: (cool karyn)
The house is starting to get clean. And I found that listening to the Michael Buble channel on Pandora helps me with that. Don't ask me why. I felt compelled to listen to his music (which I enjoy when I hear it on the radio, but never beyond that before), and Pandora threw in some Sinatra and Dean Martin. And it was all very happy-making. And the cleaning got done.

And I'm feeling pretty good today. No shoulder soreness/discomfort like yesterday. I took a nap this afternoon, which I needed on account of the dogs always waking me up so early in the morning.

Looking forward to Thursday. Tomorrow, I have a bit more cleaning, and I have to bake a loaf of cranberry bread. I have no plans to go anywhere, so I suspect that tomorrow will be much like today. Only tomorrow's dinner may be better. I made tuna and noodles for dinner this evening, and it was pretty bland. To be honest, I was craving a huge, steaming bowl of bibimbap from Chopstick Teriyaki. I really should go back there and get some before we leave. That's the perfect dish for nasty weather like what we had today.
prosodic: (Waterhouse2)
After cleaning up leaves yesterday and hauling heavy bags of groceries today (including the turkey I dropped off at the food bank), my shoulder aches. I overdid things. I hurt to the point where I haven't done as much as I wanted to today. And I was anxious to start prepping things tonight for Thanksgiving, but I no longer even feel like doing that now.

Lance had a short day at work. He came home around 12:30 with about 2/3 of the apple pie I baked yesterday and the entire tub of Cool Whip (and I just bought another tub this morning, not expecting him to bring any back). So I had myself a little bit of pie with Cool Whip while he changed clothes to go to some going-away party. He was home before 3. He forgot to bring home my pie server, so hopefully he'll remember to bring that back tomorrow.

At least I got some things accomplished today. I shredded a bunch of documents. I recycled a bunch of old magazines that were piling up. I ran my turkey delivery/grocery shopping errands, which also included a stop at my salon to get my bangs trimmed. I also got in a workout this morning.

But as far as actual moving-related tasks - nada. Just ran out of steam. I had to sit on the couch for awhile with a heating pad on my shoulder.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.
prosodic: (Default)
I had a morning of baking (and I started laundry, too), but the afternoon was for yard work. Lance did most of it, since my shoulder's still not entirely healed, but I felt strong enough to help him with the leaves. The windstorm we had a few days ago dumped a bunch of leaves all over our front and back yard, so Lance blew the leaves into piles with the leaf blower and I picked them up and put them in the yard waste bin. I was outside for almost an hour.

It was kind of chilly - upper 30s. But the longer I worked, the warmer I got. I have to say that my shoulder hurts more now that I'm inside. I hope it doesn't get any worse. I felt like I could handle it.

I'm making tacos for dinner tonight. I decided on this a bit late, so the beef will mostly be frozen, but it wouldn't be the first time I made something with frozen ground beef. It'll thaw out once I put it in the pan.

There's a good possibility we'll wake up to snow tomorrow. That might cause some traffic issues, but Lance said it should be warm enough by 9 AM or so to switch to rain. And then it would be a bit safer for me to go out. Because I need to deliver the turkey to the food pantry tomorrow and then go to the grocery store to pick up some things. I should stop by my salon and get my bangs trimmed too, although I'm actually almost due for a haircut. But that can wait a little longer.

It's going to be strange to wake up in the morning and not have any editing to think about. Instead, I have spreadsheets to think about...I need to start the list making for our move. Titles of movies and books we own. Descriptions of electronics with serial numbers. I also have some house cleaning to do.

I think I'm mostly done working for today, with the exception of cooking dinner and cleaning up after that. And I want to tackle some of the paper pile that needs shredding.
prosodic: (poppy)
Today, we took a road trip mostly just to get a feel for Snoqualmie Pass, since we're driving over it in January. And so the dogs can get used to long distance travel in the Subaru.

The pass wasn't too bad. There was a lot of snow, but the roads were clear in most places.

Our destination was Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park, but we didn't stay there long. The interpretive center was closed and not a soul was around.

I couldn't leave without seeing the petroglyphs, though. Those were cool.



The dogs didn't really like being in the snow. I think we were there maybe 15 minutes total, then we drive a few miles to another state park. Dead there too. We didn't even get out of the car.

And that was it. We turned around and headed back home.

I have some other pictures, but I'm not sure they turned out. It was snowing pretty heavily and it was foggy over the Columbia River. I'll look at them tomorrow. I'm beat. And Lance was the one who did the driving. I guess I didn't sleep enough last night, but long trips also wear me out. And our days on the road when we move will be even longer than this.
prosodic: (Default)
I am somewhat inebriated after 2 glasses of Gewurztraminer. Lucky me...I still have impeccable spelling. HAHA.

But yes, this is my celebratory "I'm moving on to bigger and better things" toast to myself that I'm having right now.

I spent my afternoon watching Gosford Park. Kind of confusing movie. Too many things going on at once. But somehow, I liked it. I would watch it again. It might even make more sense the next time.

Anyway, allow me to write about the good that came from working with Remilon.

I learned that I can combine my writing and editing skills with my teaching background (in a way that does not involve teaching, I mean). I guess I never thought about it before I worked for Remilon, but there are people who write and edit for the education market. And it is something that can make a difference. And I like doing it. And I like doing something that can make a difference. And working for Remilon has taught me that writing for the education market is something I want to do with my life. It's something important. It's something worthwhile.

So, there is that. And I think D.C. has the potential to provide a lot of opportunities in education writing.
prosodic: (art)
So...I now have this massive turkey in my freezer. And I'm grateful for the gift. I'm just feeling a bit overwhelmed right now because I've never cooked a whole turkey. I'm used to cooking for small groups of people. We have always gotten by with a turkey breast.

I left a note to put it out to thaw starting on Sunday. It's supposed to take four days, but I want to give it a bit of extra time.

I think I want to do something very basic this year. Something that's hard to screw up.

How are the roasting bags? Have any of you ever used them? This recipe looks pretty straightforward. I have everything I need already, except for the roasting bag.

http://www.ovenbags.com/RDetails.aspx?id=1072&cat=4

Honestly, I'm not interested in brining. I wanted a simple, no-fuss Thanksgiving this year - which is why I bought a tenderloin initially - and I don't really have anything to brine a turkey in.

So I'll do the best I can with this.

I wonder if I can actually return the turkey tenderloin that we're now not going to use. I should see if we still have the receipt.
prosodic: (Default)
Made Grandma's beef and noodles tonight. It's a nostalgia thing. I grew up on her beef and noodles and nothing pleased me more than to come for a visit and have her fix them for supper.

Simple recipe. You mix cooked egg noodles, a 12 oz. can of roast beef with gravy (I used Hormel), and a can of cream of mushroom soup. Sour cream is optional (and I would've added some, if I had it). I'm discovering now just how simple many of her recipes are. I added some onion powder and fresh cracked pepper, but I used the low sodium soup, and I could've added some salt. She always served biscuits with beef and noodles, but I made crescent rolls.

Hit the spot. Lance just ate some leftover pizza, but there are plenty of noodles left for him to eat for dinner tomorrow.

***


I now have a pair of appropriate and practical winter boots. And of course, I bought a new winter coat a few weeks back. Now I just need a good pair of Thinsulate gloves (I was looking at some at Target today - going to ask for them for Christmas), some extra thick socks (to wear with said boots), and a Thinsulate headband (I don't like hats too much), and I'll be good to go. I have a lot of knitwear, which is fine for when it's chilly. But when it's super cold, I want something a bit warmer.

***


Once I'm totally unemployed in a few days (or, to be more precise, employed in the task of moving), I'll have a chance to get caught up on movies when I'm taking a break from doing inventories and sorting through things. I checked this morning, and Netflix actually has Gosford Park. Being the obsessed Downton Abbey fan that I am, I really should watch it, because Julian Fellowes wrote both and the fabulous Maggie Smith stars in both. And there are a lot if similarities between the two. I think I'll do this on Monday during the day, because I want a few days to relax before things start to get super hectic after Thanksgiving.
prosodic: (Default)
As of today, the date's been set.

We pack out on December 28th. Two days later, the movers come to pick up all the boxes. Between now and then, we have a MASSIVE to-do list. And with each passing day, my physical symptoms of stress get worse: muscle fatigue and soreness, extreme tiredness, stomach pains. It's like having the flu, but without the fever, congestion, sneezing and coughing. Everything else is there.

At least I'm mostly recovered from my shoulder sprain, but I currently have a lot of pain around my neck and shoulder blades. That is definitely stress-related. I always get what the doctor calls "cervical strain" when I'm in extremely tense situations. And I think this would qualify.

I just hope I can relax a little around Thanksgiving. A day or two for the soreness to ease a bit...to feel just a little less tired...that would be so nice.

I suspect it'll be another early night tonight. I think 10-15 minutes from now, I want to be relaxing in bed with a book. That's how I spend most of my evenings now. It's really the only time I feel relatively relaxed.
prosodic: (Default)
There is snow in the mountain passes today. On Twitter, I've seen posts about accidents and spinouts and jackknifed semis on Snoqualmie Pass. Of course, this is the EXACT route we're taking when we leave Seattle in 8 weeks, and even with traction tires and snow chains, we can't be guaranteed of total safety. It's the other drivers that worry me, and it's obvious from all the problems today that people still drive carelessly in bad weather.

Frankly, this is the part about moving that scares me the most. Well, it's the only part that really scares me, honestly. If only we could be making this drive any other time of year, but it's not possible.

But that's two months from now. I'll try not to worry about it until we leave. For now, I'm going to try to focus on the upcoming holidays and all the tasks that need to be completed before the movers get here.

Speaking of holidays - Thanksgiving is in 10 days. It's always been my favorite holiday. I'm anxious to start cooking already. It's too early yet, of course, but I'll probably start my food prep next Tuesday. I usually make the cranberry sauce a couple days in advance. This year is a bit of a bittersweet holiday for me, for more than one reason. I keep thinking that next year, I should be able to get home to Ohio. We'll be so much closer, and I'll be there for more holidays...more special occasions. That might very well be the best thing about moving.
prosodic: (Default)
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It depends. I love travel memoirs, history books and historical fiction just about equally. So I guess the best way to answer this is to say that my preference depends on my mood. If I want something a bit more leisurely, I reach for fiction. If I want to read something a bit more educational, I'll dive into non-fiction.

Right now, I'm on a bit of a fiction kick. I'm reading something that's a bit fluffier than my usual fare: Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler. I tend to choose fiction when I'm dealing with a particularly stressful time in my life. Non-fiction, at least sometimes, can be pretty brainy stuff, and I tend to enjoy that more when things are a bit calmer and I have the energy to delve into it and think about it.
prosodic: (art)
I'm copping out of a NaBloPoMo post on LJ today.

Instead, I'll link to a post I made on my other blog. My much more interesting blog with fewer posts...

http://itinerantwriter.blogspot.com/2011/11/dungeness-recreation-area-and-port.html
prosodic: (Waterhouse2)
It's felt like a really long day. Maybe because I'm so excited about going to Sequim tomorrow.

I'm still having issues with my shoulder. My left shoulder is now sore because I'm compensating for the weakness in my right shoulder. And I have some muscle soreness in my right shoulder too, around my shoulder blade. I suppose all I can do is put a warm rice sock on it and hope that eases the discomfort somewhat. It's forcing me to take the Vicodin at night, even though I'd hoped to stop taking it by now.

It's been a pretty quiet day. After being out late this morning/early this afternoon, I had my pajamas on by 3 PM. I drank hot tea and did some work. I hope to have another work session tonight. I'm woefully behind on hours this pay period, but I needed a few days to rest and recover. It helped a lot. I'm only working in a limited capacity now until the pain and discomfort is mostly gone.

According to Lance, we have 59 days until we move.

So...I bought this for our Thanksgiving turkey:
http://www.jennieo.com/products/107-Savory-Roast-Turkey-Breast-Tenderloin

And it's already pre-seasoned, but I have a feeling that it's still kind of bland. Any suggestions how I might jazz it up before I put it in the oven? I'm so used to making bone-in turkey breasts with skin, and they get all golden and crispy in the oven. This won't be like that at all. But I personally eat my turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy all mixed up together anyway, so I don't really know what difference it makes.

Tonight for dinner, I marinated some chicken breast fillets in Greek vinaigrette - something I need to use up before we leave. Before I put them in the oven, I sprinkled them with parmesan cheese. They turned out ok. I made a creamy rice dish on the side, a fake risotto with long-grain white rice, chicken broth, garlic, parmesan cheese, and peas. Not a bad dinner, but to be honest, I'm a bit bored with chicken.

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prosodic: (Default)
Karyn

December 2015

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