LADYIRISH317's SparkPeople Blog LADYIRISH317's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community I'm really not whining, but... The guests I'd invited for Thanksgiving aren't coming so I'll be alone. People tell me to do volunteer work on Thanksgiving, but I've looked and there are no opportunities for people with my mobility issues. I've recorded a marathon of Thanksgiving episodes of my favorite shows (Chopped, Cutthroat Kitchen and Iron Chef America) but I'm still kind of down. I keep reminding myself that when I cooked family Thanksgiving dinners someone (usually my in-laws) complained about whatever I did, but I ... Sun, 23 Nov 2014 22:20:41 EST Chilly Sunday morning Last night was the first time in years I slept in a made-up bed. And the first time EVER that I slept on 300 thread count Egyptian cotton. I may be spoiled -- not sure I could go back to bargain-store sheets after that. I didn't finish making it until almost 11:30 at night, and showered after that! I didn't get to bed until almost 1:30. But then I had a lot of trouble sleeping because of a pain I get in my left leg when I'm laying down. It makes no sense -- there's no weight on it and I only ... Sun, 16 Nov 2014 15:09:46 EST Saturday Workweek is over, thank God, and I'm having coffee and getting ready to make breakfast. <BR> <BR> I've been trying to do decent cooking with a five-year-old set of K-Mart knives, which are now not so great (and two of them have somehow gone missing). Yesterday I broke down and ordered a new set of knives from Kohl's. I'm getting the Bobby Flay (sigh...) signature set, which was on sale for 25% off (Oh, if only I could get Bobby for 25% off at Kohl's! His wife might have a bit of a problem wi... Sat, 15 Nov 2014 13:11:18 EST What am I doing? And why? I've made a couple of decisions that are a bit of a struggle. And one is going to involve an admission I hope won't make you think less of me. <BR> <BR> First, my routine every Sunday is to watch the Snapped marathon on the Oxygen channel. If you're not familiar, it's a true-crime series about women who kill. I even record the new episode every Sunday night. But lately I wonder if, given my depression, it's the best possible choice. Also, the stories have been getting more and more gruesome.... Thu, 13 Nov 2014 22:16:13 EST Tell me this is Friday night What a week, and it's only Wednesday. <BR> <BR> Monday my boss gave me a list of insurance papers to print out. I printed them out and put them in her in-basket. Yesterday she asked me if I'd given them to her. I told her what I'd done with them, and she said she didn't know what had happened to them. I'd like to think it's not my problem -- until she tells me to print them again because she lost them. And then she told me to follow up with an insurer on a payment we didn't get details for b... Thu, 13 Nov 2014 01:29:08 EST Turning to stone I can't move and I can't feel. Not even anger. I think I've just exhausted my emotional capacity. <BR> <BR> I stayed home with a bad stomach today. I didn't eat a bite of solid food until 5pm and only had one cup of coffee. I find myself doing that more and more. I work full days without eating, or only the scraps in the snack area. Geeze, you'd think I'd at least lose a little weight. It's not that I don't have food. There's plenty of food. It just seems so -- pointless. <BR> <BR> Pointle... Wed, 5 Nov 2014 20:56:04 EST Do I still have a brain? I'm so fried right now, I think a zombie who tried to eat my brain would starve to death. <BR> <BR> Not only have we had all the usual month-end nuttiness at work, but ANOTHER member of my department has gone out on leave. Wednesday my boss chewed me out in an email because the coworker who deals with our bank had asked me to tell her when we got a missing payment. Boss said "you're responsible to tell her. She should NOT have to ask you." I wrote right back and told her that the electronic ... Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:00:18 EST Is it just me, or... I'm so crabby, I can't see straight. And I don't even know if I have a real reason or not. <BR> <BR> I'm on the Social Committee at work. We've been trying to organize a Halloween competition among the departments, with different themed costumes and area decoration. The winning department all gets a half day off. My department is refusing to cooperate. Two will be gone (I understand that). One doesn't celebrate Halloween. My slightly psycho deskmate (I've written about her before) says she'l... Mon, 27 Oct 2014 21:41:00 EST Saturday randomness It's been another long week at work. But my boss was out sick the last two days, so I was able to get a lot more done. My former carpool buddy has loaned me her spare car while her husband works on mine. I can't believe what kind of friends they've turned out to be. <BR> <BR> Today I finally settled on what I'm making for the Halloween baking contest at work, and it'll involve FINALLY christening one of my Good Eats cookbooks. Alton has a chocolate pie recipe that looks spectacular. It's bas... Sat, 18 Oct 2014 21:18:59 EST The Friday befuddle (Warning: This is going to be long and likely boring.) <BR> <BR> Today my manager told me that our lead representative is quitting in two weeks and guess who is inheriting a nice-sized chunk of her workload? With no corresponding raise in pay? But just last Friday she told me the Big Boss thinks I'm underworked. Right. <BR> <BR> Ex is continuing to recover from his recent hospitalization, because he wants to bring Frank back home. Frank is thinking no offense, Dad, but I'm in the lap of Nu... Fri, 10 Oct 2014 23:22:18 EST Is there still a point? I still don't know for sure what's happening with the car. My friend's husband wants to try to fix it. I hope he can, because Friday is Sacha's last day at our job. <BR> <BR> Friday my boss asked me what I was working on. I told her I'd caught up all my daily assignments and offered to help clear some claim errors. She said no, then told me that the Big Boss has "singled you out as the person with too much time on your hands." So She doesn't want me doing a task but I don't have enough to do... Sat, 4 Oct 2014 22:51:59 EST A bit of hope? Ex went home from the hospital today with some very stern instructions from his doctor. Frank can't come home yet because Glenn has to recuperate. Frank is in no hurry, however -- all those nurses! <BR> <BR> Today my carpool buddy and her husband came over. He's trained as a mechanic, and he checked out my ailing car (which I haven't been able to drive since January). He's going to ask a friend of his who's a professional mechanic to look at it, and there's a good possibility it might be abl... Sat, 27 Sep 2014 22:49:29 EST I'm exhausted On top of everything else that's happened lately my ex and son are both in the hospital. Ex is having heart issues, but he says all the tests are looking good. With Frank it's a caretaking issue, but he's totally not complaining. They put him in a hospital he's never been in, which means a whole new crop of nurses he's never chased. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I don't know if it means anything, but the other night I dreamed I met A... Fri, 26 Sep 2014 23:51:25 EST So what's happening? I've lost my sister and I'm losing my best co-worker who's also a dear friend. I've been sick and had the humiliation of having to be rescued by the fire department when I couldn't get off the floor. My boss is never happy with me. The last week of August I posted over half a million dollars manually because of a screw-up in the electronic payment system. I got ONE denial posted wrong -- that gt me FOUR irate emails and chewed out in front of the whole department. And the lid doesn't want to ... Sun, 21 Sep 2014 21:59:40 EST About to explode So full of rage and grief, I can't see straight. I can't deal directly with anyone involved. I've caught myself talking to myself so angrily today, if the neighbors heard me they now know I'm a serious fruitcake. I'm crying and shaking. I'm trying to do my knitting and I can't concentrate. I so badly need someone to talk to, to hold me. Living alone right now stinks big-time. Sat, 20 Sep 2014 20:12:50 EST It just keeps going Today my carpool buddy told me she's leaving to take another job. So I have two and a half weeks to figure out another carpool or get another car with no money. Besides that, she's the one person in the office who really cares about me. She says she's not going to disappear, but I'm scared because besides my son, I have literally lost everyone I ever cared for. <BR> <BR> I can't take much more. Wed, 17 Sep 2014 23:48:55 EST I owe everyone an apology Sorry I've been MIA, but I've been going through a lot lately. Sunday night I became very ill. After throwing up I fell asleep. Sometime during the night I actually fell out of bed. I ended up on the floor for almost seven hours until my carpool buddy came to pick me up and called 911 for me. In addition to the grief I've been going through for my sister, I'm wiped out. Wed, 10 Sep 2014 22:08:49 EST Random ramblings Full disclosure: I've been drinking WAY too much wine since my sister died. The pain has been intense. Like today I'm working on a lace stole that's giving me fits. I had the thought that she'll never see the finished stole. For that matter, she'll never tell me about new grandchildren or anything else. Funny. today I had a mental image of her kicking me and saying "What the H*** are you doing???" (And trust me, she totally would.). I know she loved (loves) me and wouldn't want me to grieve.... Sun, 7 Sep 2014 01:37:38 EST My sister just died I just got a call from my niece. My best friend and adopted sister just passed from a heart attack. I don't think I can breathe. Now we'll never get to meet. I wish I could cry or scream but I can't even move. Tue, 2 Sep 2014 18:15:02 EST Sunday simmer It's so bloody hot here that I had to quit working on my son's birthday afghan (try holding a double-thick blanket on your lap when you're already sweaty). I don't know if it's from summer, menopause or a demonic combination of both, but I end up sweaty every night. Meantime the sunburn I got at the company picnic last week is peeling and I look like a shedding snake. And I haven't slept in two nights, so I'm seriously crabby. I sure hope I sleep tonight. <BR> <BR> Since I can't work on the ... Sun, 31 Aug 2014 22:18:14 EST Been MIA for awhile I haven't had ANY Spark of late. Not just low, none. All this week work was sheer H**l, and I've been so depressed I couldn't do anything. <BR> <BR> Well, I survived the week (which I wasn't at all sure I would). Now I'm on vacation and I don't have to see the office for NINE. WHOLE. DAYS. I'm celebrating tonight with a Cutthroat Kitchen marathon (the funniest show in TV, IMHO) and a steakhouse dinner. A gorgeous bone-in rib eye done to a perfect medium rare (which I'm quite good at achievin... Fri, 29 Aug 2014 22:02:58 EST Saturday (For those who asked, crab stars are a gorgeous Chinese or Chinese-American appetizer. They're won ton skins stuffed with a mix of crab, cream cheese and scallions. They're then folded into four-pointed stars and deep-fried). <BR> <BR> Company picnic yesterday, and today I'm sunburned to a bright red. The picnic got invaded by bees. My inclination is always to protect bees because they're dying off and they're vital to agriculture, but a co-worker told me that these were "meat bees" who aren... Sat, 23 Aug 2014 13:14:57 EST What a day... I am totally exhausted. Today has been BRUTAL. <BR> <BR> They finally told me I could go ahead and post the state Medicaid. That's about $200,000 posting from a detail in VERY tiny print. I got half of it posted while the boss kept coming to my desk: This is wrong. This is wrong. This is wrong. Meantime my coworkers kept interrupting me with endless questions. My immediate deskmate asked me how to do a process. Every step I'd tell her how to do it and she'd say, "Oh, I'm not going to do tha... Thu, 21 Aug 2014 23:42:16 EST The object lesson and other stories Further to my recent blog about my cookbooks: I recently got the Culinary Institute of America's home baking book. There was a recipe for rye rolls with cheddar and onions. Amazingly, the book made it all the way to print without giving the oven temperature! I emailed them and almost immediately got a reply. The woman who answered not only gave me the temperature but a few hints to improve on the printed recipe (!). So now, I'm debating whether to print out the email and use it as a bookmark... Tue, 19 Aug 2014 22:09:55 EST Sunday slump It's Sunday evening, and it's HOT here. Dreading tomorrow morning. The boss is back from vacation, and she'll find something to be ticked off at me for. I've also applied to take all of Labor Day week as a vacation, and past history tells me she'll refuse even though I have the time on the books. She HATES giving us more than two or three days at a time. <BR> <BR> I got the kitchen counters (mostly) clean today, which is good news and bad news. I'm glad to have them back, and it will make co... Sun, 17 Aug 2014 22:29:46 EST Thursday thingamajigs For one brief, glorious nanosecond this afternoon I thought it was Friday. Then I remembered. Ooof. <BR> <BR> I saw a cute item on Facebook last night: Your life is the last movie you saw. What's happening? Well, the last movie I saw was The Hundred Foot Journey. That means that either I'm going to be a great chef or that there's a handsome gentleman from India in my future. Or that I'm Helen Mirren, which would be totally awesome. <BR> <BR> I got two gorgeous new cookbooks this week: My ... Thu, 14 Aug 2014 21:30:41 EST Wednesday night My computer finally got upgraded today. Funny, my co-workers all said the IT guy is an ogre to work with. I had no trouble with him. The upgrade went very smoothly. There's only one thing that bothers me. Instead of an hourglass for a timer, I used to have a little running dinosaur. My dinosaur is gone. Bummer! Oh well, it's still on my home computer. <BR> <BR> I have a very special memory of Robin Williams. I actually found out I was pregnant with my son while watching Mork and Mindy. I sus... Wed, 13 Aug 2014 22:10:38 EST And the beat goes on As if I didn't have enough fun yesterday, I woke up this morning with a huge pimple right on the tip of my nose! I think Somebody upstairs doesn't like me very much right now. <BR> <BR> So I got home and firmly squelched the urge to either make another sandwich or phone out for dinner. I told myself, "there's a TON of food in the kitchen and you're supposed to be the culinary fan. So get out there and freakin' COOK something!" So I made a meat loaf and put it in the oven with a potato to bak... Tue, 12 Aug 2014 22:42:29 EST Monday night rant I've had a maddening, frustrating and generally upsetting day. <BR> <BR> Friday afternoon my computer at work was supposed to be upgraded. The technician never called me. I notified the Big Boss, who told me she'd email him. I waited all day at my desk today for him to call (shades of my love life). I didn't even go to the bathroom, since I just KNEW that he'd call the instant I was out of the room. You guessed it, he never called. I notified the Big Boss again -- we'll see what happens. <BR... Mon, 11 Aug 2014 21:31:16 EST Further to last night... Here's a photo of Friday night's insanely delicious Indian dinner. I'm still drooling. (And no, I am NOT texting at the table. I tried to take a photograph but my camera phone wouldn't cooperate.) <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sun, 10 Aug 2014 01:43:22 EST A night in India (well, sort of) Out with a friend last night. We had a spectacular dinner at a tiny, hole-in-the-wall Indian restaurant we never knew was there. I'm still in rapture over the food -- crunchy spicy samosas (turnovers stuffed with spiced potatoes and peas), eggplant curry and tandoori chicken that arrived smoking hot on a sizzle platter with a bed of onion slivers. The platter and the chicken were so hot the onions actually caramelized and charred! You'd better believe I ate every scrap. Throw in the naan (hot... Sat, 9 Aug 2014 12:19:02 EST Low Spark lately I know I haven't been as active lately, and I should apologize for it. I'm just tired, cranky and discouraged. I'm not really feeling the Spark or much of anything but tired. <BR> <BR> Today a co-worker asked me to help her transfer a payment between two claims. As I got started I told her she should take notes because she'd have to know how to do it. Her reply? "Oh, I know how to do it. I just thought you could do it faster." She's just lucky I was practically finished already. That is tota... Wed, 6 Aug 2014 22:59:32 EST The soup recipe and other stories For the last several months I've had vivid, intense dreams when trying to sleep. <BR> <BR> A few weeks ago I tried a batch of kale-chorizo soup (my own recipe, just cobbled some stuff together). In fact, I still have a container of it in the freezer. <BR> <BR> The connection? Friday night I dreamed about that soup recipe. I actually came up with three variations: spicy, smoky and Italian. They're all based on beans, sausage, broth and vegetables. The differences come from the types of sa... Sun, 3 Aug 2014 12:15:01 EST Getting my dweeb on Apparently I'm a certifiable dweeb. <BR> <BR> I've watched the School Chefs episode of Chopped at least a dozen times and STILL get tears in my eyes. <BR> <BR> I've been a passionate fan of Scottish pipe-and-drum since I was a toddler. <BR> <BR> I'd seriously love to own a Chopped chef coat. <BR> <BR> I think cowboys may have the most beautiful manners in the world. <BR> <BR> I firmly believe Hong Kong martial arts films are the artistic equal of any in the world. <BR> <BR> And wh... Sat, 2 Aug 2014 00:49:18 EST RIP James Garner Big tears in my eyes this morning. Maverick...Rockford...Murphy's Romance (one of the sweetest movies ever). You will be sorely missed. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sun, 20 Jul 2014 12:35:10 EST Weather or not A tropical front has parked right over us, so it's hot, sticky and just plain miserable. Waiting for things to cool and dry out -- or at least give us a good thunderstorm! <BR> <BR> <BR> After my last blog post several people asked about white peaches. White peaches (and nectarines) are vastly sweeter than yellow ones. They're heavenly! <BR> <BR> Last week we got a big check from State Medicaid (bigger than usual because there was a delay until the state budget passed). The check was in ex... Tue, 15 Jul 2014 22:09:31 EST Saturday drowse This morning I went out to breakfast with my carpool buddy. She had pancakes and eggs, I had chicken fried steak and eggs. Yes, I know I'm woefully predictable. But I can make bacon, sausage or steak at home. I've never tried to make chicken fried steak. I wish I didn't love it as much as I do. But on the up-side, I only have it four to six times a year. <BR> <BR> After breakfast we went to a produce stand For eleven dollars I got a surprisingly large amount of stuff. Some white peaches, rom... Sat, 12 Jul 2014 20:02:38 EST Wrung out I truly don't know why I take days off. We got in so many payments that nobody logged or posted while I was gone that I've spent all four days this week just trying to catch up. <BR> <BR> Today really frosted the cake. My deskmate can be relentless when she wants something. This morning I had barely set down my purse when she said, "About this one..." Since I couldn't see her monitor or read her mind, I had no idea what she meant. She spent about a quarter of the day at my desk on various i... Fri, 11 Jul 2014 21:51:22 EST Stray vacation Friday thoughts I'm watching the "judge" shows like I always do when I'm home on weekdays. Every time I do, at least one woman sues an ex-boyfriend saying, "I was attracted to his bad-boy persona." She then sues him for bilking her of money and possibly even physically abusing her. Ladies, please pay careful attention: That's what bad boys DO. That's why they're called BAD." <BR> <BR> I JUST CLEANED THE STOVETOP! The burner plates are in the dishwasher and I scrubbed off all the six-week-old spaghetti sauce... Fri, 4 Jul 2014 20:57:50 EST V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N (PLEASE tell me I'm not the only one here old enough to remember that song!) <BR> <BR> I am officially on vacation. Shoes off, enjoying a cold beer and watching Chopped, my absolute favorite show. I don't have to think about the office until Tuesday morning. And I don't intend to. Wed, 2 Jul 2014 22:05:14 EST Monday night Today was month-end, normally the craziest day of the month at work. Surprise -- this month it was the easiest day of all! My boss actually left around 2PM, and I was out on time. That just leaves two days to vacation. YAY! <BR> <BR> Right now I have the shoes off, cold drink in hand and I'm trying to figure out what to have for dinner. It's almost too hot to cook. <BR> <BR> Come on vacation! Mon, 30 Jun 2014 21:54:08 EST Random Sunday stuff Last night I watched a special called Outrageous Wedding Cakes. "Outrageous" doesn't begin to describe it. One cake weighed 820 pounds, served over 10,000 and was covered with Svarovski crystals! Another was a life-size, freestanding replica of the bride's wedding gown. Maybe I'm just an old fart, but I can't think of a bigger waste of money (or Svarovski crystals that would make better earrings). I'm willing to bet that first bride did NOT have ten thousand guests at her wedding -- even movi... Sun, 29 Jun 2014 11:50:52 EST Why do I do this? This week has been a (w)itch. Thursday we got an $83,000 check from one insurer. It was complicated and required careful handling more than usual (the detail ran 59 pages). I worked six hours straight on it -- barely stood up, didn't eat or even use the bathroom. I finished around 4PM. Did I feel proud or accomplished? No, just stupid and vaguely depressed. <BR> <BR> I keep feeling like if I don't do more, give more, never need rest or food (just the perfect little corporate robot), then I'm... Sat, 28 Jun 2014 13:47:26 EST Only three days to vacation Well, workdays, anyway. But I am SO looking forward to it. Work has been nuts and I'm bled out, emotionally and physically. <BR> <BR> Maybe it's because it's coming up on the Fourth of July, but I remember one time when we were on vacation at Disneyland (the only place we ever went -- ex loved it and that ended the discussion). Nearby there was an open-air craft "mall." I loved it! There were about ten stores with everything you'd like. A yarn store, model kit store -- I don't remember exact... Sat, 28 Jun 2014 00:30:20 EST Oh. My. Goodness. Bobby Flay is following me on Twitter! Sat, 21 Jun 2014 22:20:58 EST Saturday muddle Today would be my 39th wedding anniversary. But ex and I separated 23 years ago. Totally NOT what a good Catholic girl expected from marriage. Oh well, enough of that. <BR> <BR> I had pancakes and sausage for breakfast this morning. I get my eggs from a friend who has chickens. I don't know what type of chickens they are, but the yolks are so intensely colored that one turned my pancakes bright yellow! Really cool. <BR> <BR> My carpool buddy Sacha said last night that she wants to make anot... Sat, 21 Jun 2014 13:37:37 EST If it's Tuesday... ...then it's sadly not Friday. <BR> <BR> Actually, today got off to a great start. I'm a regular on both Facebook and Twitter. This morning no other than BOBBY FLAY "favorited" several of my Tweets and even answered one! Apparently he likes what I write. That works, because I like the way he cooks. And looks. And talks... <BR> <BR> (Do I sound too much like a dippy teenager?) <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> But it was enough to keep... Tue, 17 Jun 2014 21:42:44 EST RIP Casey Kasem You'll never know how much of my life you colored, or of how many others. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sun, 15 Jun 2014 12:43:22 EST Maybe I shouldn't talk about this My father emotionally abused and physically battered me from toddlerhood until I cut contact with him. At sixty-one I'm still battling the scars. <BR> <BR> I'm so SICK of hearing about Father's Day. I wish to God I could have had a father I could celebrate. Sat, 14 Jun 2014 20:59:26 EST And the hits just keep coming Terrible night last night. I just started to walk out of my kitchen, lost my balance and fell on the floor. I couldn't get up and had to call the fire department. I'm all right physically but I'm a wreck emotionally. I wish someone was here to hug me. Wed, 11 Jun 2014 22:19:52 EST