“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
--- Douglas Adams

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Why I Hate Geese

Here's a story from when I was about 11 years old.

I wanted a Schwinn Beach Cruiser with pegs on the back wheels. I begged for one starting at about the time of my birthday in October, and didn't stop until I got one in December for Christmas, sort of.



I didn't actually get a Schwinn. What I ended up getting was a Stingray Beach Cruiser, and it didn't have pegs.

Almost the same, but not quite.

Anyhow, I used to ride it all over the place. One of the places I rode a lot was the duck pond at El Dorado Park.




One day I was riding around the duck pond trying to see how fast I could make it around. At one point a goose ran right towards me and bit my leg. On my next trip around the pond I tried to kick the goose. I missed, lost my balance on the bike and steered myself into the poop and moss filled duck pond.

The goose squawked, mocking me with his smug goose-ness.

I got up, picked some gravel out of my hands and rode my bike home with wet, mossy pants and scraped up and bleeding knuckles.




Monday, October 28, 2013

You Made Me Lie to My Son - an Open Letter to Applegate Organic and Natural Meats



Dear Applegate,

Hubby and I try our best to eat a Paleo diet. We're not the best at it, staying true to the spirit of the way of eating about 85% of the time.

We are always on the look-out for new ideas, inspiration and recipes. We are especially on the look-out for quick foods from the conventional grocery store by our house. That is why we were so excited to see Applegate Natural Chicken and Apple Breakfast Sausage. Hubby bought a box thinking we'd give it a try.

This morning I was running a bit behind (as usual), I hadn't had my coffee yet (not as usual) and looking for something quick for my toddler and me to eat. I pulled the sausage out of the freezer and through the sleep in my eyes, read the back of the box.

Your nutrition panel states that one serving comprises 3 sausages. Your cooking instructions give directions for 2 sausages and 4 sausages. According to your box, in order for me to have a complete serving of your sausage, I need to cook a portion 1/3 bigger than the recommended portion. Now I'm not an idiot. I can do math. I can infer that if cooking 2 sausages takes 1 1/2 minutes, then I could just add an additional 45 seconds to heat up the third sausage. However, microwaves don't always work on the principles of logical mathematical equations when heating up frozen things. I thought that 2 minutes 15 seconds would be too much for 3 frozen sausages. I decided to heat up my 3 sausages using the heating guidelines for 2 sausages. You wanna know what happened? It turns out that 1 1/2 minutes is too much for 3 sausages. One minute would have done it. OK, I'll concede that I was planning on giving one of the sausages to my toddler. Knowing the sausage was fully cooked I didn't need to heat it up to 165 degrees. I could just simply take the chill off before handing it to her. But I heated up my 3 sausages at 1 1/2 minutes, found it way to hot for even me to eat right away. I had to pass it back and forth from hand to hand making "ah-ah" noises and blowing on it before I could eat it. (yes, I know I could have just put it down on the plate and waited a minute and maybe passed the time by tying my shoes or making sure I had my bag packed for the day, but it was early and I hadn't had my coffee yet.)
Once I finished my sausages, I cut up my toddler's sausage into bite-sized pieces, put it in a little ramekin and put it on the table next to her brother who was eating the breakfast his dad had made for him. He asked me if I was feeding her last night's meatloaf for breakfast. I told him yes because I knew he'd ask for some and I didn't want to do more math and be confused with your heating instructions at 6:30am, before I had my coffee.

Thanks Applegate for making me do math and lie to my son.

By the way, your sausage were pretty good. I can't wait to eat them with some fried eggs and dip the sausage in the runny yolk before I take a bite.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Goodbye Sunset. Hello Excelsior! -- a dream

Hubby bought a new house that we were moving into. The first time I saw the house was when we moved in. I didn't have any input in choosing the house. It was up on a windy hill kind of like the streets when you get off the 101 at Caesar Chavez, but looked more like the Excelsior. As we were walking down the street to the house the local business owners and residents gave me suspicious glances. Their glances and stares softened when I told them we were moving in the house down the street. 

I got inside and the house was filled with staircases. I had a hard time figuring out which stair case was the best one to get to my bedroom. I was told the kids each had a bedroom on the ground floor but as hard as I looked, I couldn't find them. Hubby's and my room was on the top floor. It was huge. There were a few different stair cases leading up to the room. The staircases were painted red. There were all sorts of closets behind doors that Hubby hadn't checked out. I opened a green door and found a little kitchenette painted avocado green. I walked into the little kitchenette and looked on the shelves and found TONS of really great yarn in plastic ziplock bags. I was about to take the yarn out of the bags when I saw that the yarn was full of little black bugs. I was bummed I had to throw all the yarn away. 

Then I found Hubby in the middle of the room. I was sitting on the bed. He was sitting on the floor.  I noticed our cat Pauly was playing with something. I looked closer and realized it wasn't Pauly but rather a kitten with the same markings as Pauly. I said "oh look, a kitten." Hubby exclaimed "oh no. we have cats," much in the same way someone would complain about having a cockroach problem or gophers in the back yard. Then out from under the bed about 5 more kittens came out. One of them a patagial body, like a flying squirrel. The markings  formed a big red diamond shape in the middle of its back and rays radiated down to the skin flaps. It looked like a cape that Elvis would wear. I wanted to keep him.


Question - Am I using the word "patagial" correctly?

Friday, October 18, 2013

A Good Word Goes a Long Way

I was an administrative assistant and executive assistant for quite some time. Although I'm not anymore I'm still aware of what it's like to be one and the things they do to keep things running smoothly.  One of my biggest things one has to accept in being an admin is that one does not always get the recognition one deserves, or get credit for the work one does. In my job now I still work with the admin team to run events and such.



This morning I was at the coffee machine grabbing my cup of morning caffeine goodness. This woman who works in a completely separate department from me was getting her morning fix as well. I don't really work with this woman. Our jobs don't intersect. In fact, if we both didn't get our coffee at the same time in the morning or our tea the same time in the afternoon, I would have no real reason to interact with her. I mean, she's really nice and stuff, we just don't have any opportunity for our jobs at work to interact. Anyhow, she told me that this morning she saw my co-worker and I do some "behind the scenes" work in the office. Actually, we were polishing the Riedel glasses. (In my office, having sparkling wine glasses is important.) She said she wondered if anyone realized how much work we do and if they appreciated it. Then she stopped pouring her coffee and told me that she appreciated it. She knew it was a lot of work and she was thankful that we did it.

It really made my day.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Dessert!

I made my first Paleo dessert last night, and I'm not just talking about cutting up some fruit and putting it in a pretty dish.

So if you pay any attention to this blog in the last year or so you'll know that The Hubby and I have been working really hard to change the way we eat. We've changed our eating habits to reflect a more Paleo way of eating.

Wanting something sweet I made this; Brownie in a Mug from Paleo Desserts. It was pretty good. It wasn't the best consistency ever, but the taste was just what I wanted. Hubby and The Girl liked the taste but didn't like the texture.

So this recipe was GFV (gluten free vegan). I'm not vegan, and I don't have a gluten intolerance. Paleo says no gluten, which is why I made it. I have no problems eating animals or the products they produce. I mean, I don't think hunting for sport is OK. If you're going to kill an animal you should eat it, but by and large I believe that my teeth were made to bite and tear, which is perfect for eating animals. Truth be told, The Hubby is more strict about it than I am. At home I do a good job eating the right things. At work I do a pretty good job. If there's leftover lunch from some meeting I'll usually eat it. Sometimes saving a bit of money wins over eating right. When traveling for work I suck-diddly-uck at it especially since I travel to places where I have to eat in restaurants every night and not cook my own food. I try but it doesn't always work. Also, I'm not a diva about it. I'm not above taking one for the team. If I'm given a plate of food, sometimes I'll just eat the Paleo stuff and leave the rest alone. Sometimes I cave and eat it, like at my niece's wedding last month. I got the beef. The beef came with some really yummy looking mashed potatoes. I had a bit of the mashed potatoes. I'm not perfect, and the mashed potatoes were delicious. Also, if you saw me at the zoo today you saw  me take a few bites of my kids' dippin' dots. I try, but I'm weak.

Anyhow, I strayed from the recipe a bit in that I baked it in a water bath. I thought it would be safer to cook the ramekins in something rather than just on the rack. It didn't solidify as much as I wanted to. I think next time I make it I'll add an egg. It might make the texture less grainy. The flavor of the Brownie in a Mug was really good, but I think something to make it more brownie, less brownie batter-like will make it even better.

 


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Nice Pictures - Where'd you steal them from?

Some of the pictures in my blog were taken by a photographer called Julie Michele. Some of the pictures were either taken by me or someone I know. Some of the pictures were ripped right from the internet, mostly from google image searches from photographers to whom I may or may not give credit.

Rest assured I make no money from any of it.