LADYIRISH317's SparkPeople Blog LADYIRISH317's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community 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 Sweaty Monday The weather here in Sonoma County keeps jumping between summer and winter with absolutely no stop for spring. We're in summer mode right now and it's HOT. <BR> <BR> I just made a batch of tuna salad, with a couple of variations of my own. Of course I use tuna and kosher pickle relish (or minced pickles), but awhile ago I started putting finely diced water chestnuts in it. They don't change the flavor but I love the crunch. I'm also trying this batch with Greek yogurt instead of mayo. Film at... Mon, 9 Jun 2014 22:23:19 EST Long, unfocused food blog <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Thinking a LOT about food today. Following Food Network Star right now. Last week they did a Hollywood premiere and had to present to a crowd. I could just imagine myself presenting my California Cooking POV: "California food has gotten a bad rap. Say the words 'California cuisine' and most people think three string beans and a cube of tofu." I've dreamed of doing Food Network Star but I need to learn a LOT more ... Sun, 8 Jun 2014 22:29:17 EST Slowpoke Saturday Bacon and French toast for breakfast this morning. I don't know if it's just a California brand or if it's national, but Alvarado Street Bakery makes the most amazing multi-whole grain breads. They make fantastic French toast -- much more flavor and body than white bread. And bacon -- what else needs saying?? <BR> <BR> I'm still knitting my purple shawl. Thursday night I went to pull out some yarn from the skein, and half the skein came out in a tangled clump! It took me most of the evening ... Sat, 7 Jun 2014 13:31:58 EST The more things change... ...the more confused I get. <BR> <BR> My office got a pricey new imaging system recently. The upper-ups were in a big hurry to get us all to have it installed, then we had to take a two-hour training session. (You may already hear this coming.) The day after my department finished the training, it was announced we're not going to be using it after all. For me it never made sense to begin with -- The batches I get are all scanned to begin with, so why would I need to scan them again? You gott... Fri, 6 Jun 2014 21:41:06 EST Monday muddle Today was okay at work, but I'm tired out and not in a great place. <BR> <BR> My big toes have been bugging me since I got my new shoes, particularly the left one. Today the base of the left big toe kept cramping, which is a LOT more painful than it sounds. I'm barefoot right now and the toe feels all right. I hope I don't get a replay tomorrow. <BR> <BR> Yesterday I kept getting the thought that I'm a joke as a cook. Awhile ago I tried making Asian noodle soup with pork broth. The pork fl... Mon, 2 Jun 2014 21:29:09 EST An open letter to cooking contestants You are going to compete on (Hell's Kitchen, Chopped, Cutthroat Kitchen, etc.). Congratulations and good luck! Since you know the show well enough to have applied for it, you're familiar with how it works. With that in mine, we humbly offer these few thoughts: <BR> <BR> 1. A wide variety of ingredients will be in play, some of them unusual or even offbeat. Please don't complain when the food isn't (vegan, kosher, gluten-free, etc.) or even just not to your taste. You knew this was not only ... Thu, 29 May 2014 23:04:53 EST Wednesday wobblies One of the down-sides of having a Monday holiday is that I'm always thinking I'm a day behind -- I kept thinking today was Tuesday. But the good thing about that is that I'm always a day closer to the weekend than I think I am. <BR> <BR> I found the knob from my peppermill! It hadn't gone behind the stove. When I went into the kitchen to make dinner last night I saw it under the edge of a cabinet, and I was able to retrieve it. I am SO glad I got it last night, because I wasn't looking forwa... Wed, 28 May 2014 21:20:44 EST Monday evening I am so P****D!!! The little knob from the top of my peppermill went flying behind the stove, and there's no way I can get it out. So I'm going to have to buy some preground until I can get a new mill. $#%&!!! <BR> <BR> However, today I got kale soup, spaghetti sauce and tuna salad made. I'm really proud of the kale soup. It's a recipe I totally improvised, and it came out really well. However, I won't use the bagged precut kale again -- way too much of the woody stems. I'm using premade mea... Mon, 26 May 2014 20:50:33 EST The start of the holiday weekend My carpool buddy and I decided to wait out the holiday weekend traffic by staying near the office and going to dinner and a movie. We had dinner at a brew pub near the office and went to see Godzilla. I totally LOVED it! We saw it in 3D. It was fun, but not really worth as much extra as it cost. One of our coworkers told me she thought the plot was kind of thin. Makes you wonder -- who on earth goes to a monster movie for the PLOT?! You're there to see stuff get stomped on. Anyway, it's a hec... Sat, 24 May 2014 01:23:25 EST My new cookbook Today my new cookbook arrived. It's called How To Cook Everything Vegetarian, by Mark Bittman. In fact, he's written an entire How To Cook Everything series. Well, when he says "everything," he's not kidding. This book is 996 pages long and there are NO photographs, only line-drawing illustrations of techniques. <BR> <BR> I've been wanting for a long time to eat more vegetarian meals. I'm never going to give up meat entirely (and I will NEVER be vegan), but I want to explore more of this HU... Thu, 22 May 2014 22:56:30 EST Sleepy Sunday morning I'm sore and tired today. I've also had a raspy throat and a cough for several days, which makes no sense because I don't feel like I'm coming down sick otherwise. I've never had allergies, but who knows? So many of my co-workers do that maybe they've become contagious. <BR> <BR> I don't know if Safeway messed up my grocery order or I did, but somehow I ended up with TWO two-pound bags of kale instead of one! So today I'm making a pot of kale-chorizo soup with one of them. Very simple to do.... Sun, 18 May 2014 11:01:49 EST Friday night brain fuzz I will never understand how it is that the traffic is so light on Friday mornings and insanely slow on Friday nights. Where are all those other cars hiding on Friday morning? I don't think we hit double digits more than twice all the way home. Between the commute and the workday I was so exhausted that I actually fell asleep right after I finished eating dinner! <BR> <BR> The whole week I've been doing our clerk's job as well as my own (she was on vacation). So this morning my boss, who has ... Sat, 17 May 2014 00:33:39 EST Trying to make a plan Okay, I'm getting sick of my immobility and the constant discomfort. The only place I'm comfortable any more is my easy chair, and I spend a LOT of time in it. Well, I love my chair but I don't really want to have a relationship with it! <BR> <BR> My carpool buddy comes home from vacation this weekend. I think I'm going to talk to her about stopping at Trader Joe's once a week instead of getting grocery and produce delivery. TJ is small and I can use the cart as a walker. That will get me so... Tue, 13 May 2014 00:11:40 EST It takes so little with me. I'm not going to lie, Mother's Day is difficult for me. I'm not with either of my kids. I called Frank but had to speak to ex because Frank can't talk any more. Of course, ex talked about himself the entire time. And I'm missing my little red-haired bundle of attitude like crazy. <BR> <BR> I did, however, have a few good things happen, all online. I had a lot of "conversation" with my adopted sister and her kids on Facebook. And on Twitter, it got really interesting. Chef Jet Tila from L.A.,... Mon, 12 May 2014 00:25:52 EST Friday night light (headed) No, not literally. But it HAS been a crazy few days. <BR> <BR> My boss has been out sick for the last couple of weeks. Today she started peppering us from home with emails and phone calls. Don't get me wrong, I'm sorry she was so sick and glad she's better. But it was a lot quieter for awhile there. <BR> <BR> The workload was crazy heavy this week, and I suspect it will be again next week. That's mostly good news, because it means we're bringing in a lot of payments. However, this week our ... Fri, 9 May 2014 23:23:41 EST Meanwhile, back at the playground... I went back to work after being out sick yesterday, and ended up wishing I'd stayed another day. No, not because the the workload was stupid heavy (I expected that). <BR> <BR> My seriously annoying deskmate (the party-thrower and booze-seller) told us that her teenage daughter (the one the party was for) took and hid her phone and in the process lost her keys. She said the girl wouldn't tell her until she solemnly promised she wouldn't get mad (I don't know about you, but my BP starts rising... Tue, 6 May 2014 21:48:00 EST Ooof... The traffic was so ghastly tonight, my half-hour commute took an hour and a half! I'd planned to make scampi for dinner tonight (I do have shrimp in the freezer), but by the time I got home I was too dead even to think about shelling shrimp. I'm reheating some leftovers (which will be fine). <BR> <BR> As I parked the car and struggled to get out, two men approached me. They were missionaries from a church I respect but disagree with. So we were standing right in the middle of the roadway as ... Fri, 2 May 2014 22:28:04 EST The non-compliment and other stories For years I thought it was a compliment. "You're so (smart, capable, talented) and I'm so (klutzy, inept, dumb). It's taken me to this advanced age to realize that it's not meant as praise. It's a dodge to get me to do whatever the speaker doesn't want to do. One of my coworkers tried it on me yet again today, wanting me to do something I've shown her at least a dozen times. Before I got anywhere near my keyboard I handed her a notepad and my pen so she could FINALLY write down the procedure... Thu, 1 May 2014 22:15:57 EST Hmmm... My DVR quit working yesterday (yes, it was only installed on Saturday). I set a service appointment for tomorrow afternoon, grumbling all the way. So tonight, just for giggles, I turned it off at the wall for about a minute and turned it back on. Voila, now it works fine. I have no idea why that keeps happening. I'd arranged to take two hours off tomorrow afternoon to be here for the appointment. I'm going to cancel it, but the question lingers. -- do I still take the time off? <BR> <BR> My ... Wed, 30 Apr 2014 22:04:48 EST The saga continues And now for today's heart-touching episode of As the Office Turns. The payment poster for another department has been out seven of the last eleven work days (and month end is day after tomorrow) so I've been posting her payments as well as my own. Today my boss was out sick (for the fourth workday in a row) and our lead was also out. And as for my amazing disappearing coworker? Today the Big Boss brought a box to her desk and cleared it (hardly a surprise there). However, when I asked her if ... Mon, 28 Apr 2014 23:45:19 EST Saturday musings Okay, I've been a customer of my new cable service for three hours or so, and I wish I'd had them from the git-go. The picture is amazing, the Internet speed is great, and the DVR is much better (as well as included -- other service charged me rent). <BR> <BR> Just chilling right now and watching Cutthroat Kitchen (Alton, you are so EVIL!) while I consider what to make for dinner. I'm thinking a hash of ham, potatoes, onion and cabbage. Well, at least ham. I'll figure out the rest a bit late... Sat, 26 Apr 2014 19:15:50 EST Befuddled Friday This morning we finally got some rain. Unfortunately we got the rain right on my head while waiting for the carpool this morning. I got so wet, my shirt didn't dry out until four this afternoon. And they keep the A/C cranked up pretty high. I was cold literally until I got home. <BR> <BR> We continue to have a lot of absence at the office. My boss has been out sick three days, various members of the staff have been out. My department mate who pulled a disappearing act once before has done it... Fri, 25 Apr 2014 23:14:49 EST I keep thinking... ....that it just can't get any weirder. Then, of course, it does. <BR> <BR> Easter did end on a high note (and it was a great day to begin with). I sent a Facebook post to Ted Allen of Chopped to show him my rendition of his Savory Bread Pudding. He actually said it was gorgeous! <BR> <BR> And then I went to work this morning. <BR> <BR> I don't know what was up with my boss today, but she was relentless. Not just with me, but with all of us. Every few minutes another email she wanted us to... Tue, 22 Apr 2014 21:45:58 EST Easter Okay, so I skipped a couple of steps in the British succession. I forgot George bumps Uncle Harry, and for some reason I never remember Charles. But the point stands -- someone so high in the British succession raffling himself off like that? Yeah, THAT'S going to happen. <BR> <BR> I had my co-worker, her husband and mom over for brunch this morning. I made Ted Allen's Savory Bread Pudding, and I was VERY pleased with the results. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Sun, 20 Apr 2014 17:15:17 EST Random stuff <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I've just seen an ad for a new "reality" show. It's a bachelor knockoff in which the twelve women competing all believe the winner will marry Prince Harry of England! Okay, I'll admit the "stunt double" looks remarkably like Harry. But if these women really believe Prince Harry would take part in a cheesy American TV show, let alone that the Queen would allow her grandson, second in line to the throne, to choose h... Sat, 19 Apr 2014 21:52:57 EST WHEW!!! My cable and Internet were both dead last night (so long, Spark streak). I am SO relieved to be back online! Thu, 17 Apr 2014 22:08:22 EST Call the firing squad! Back to work today after being off sick yesterday. I come in to an irate email from my boss. Out front of the building are a couple of rock planter boxes, and I sit on them when waiting for my carpool, who gets off a little later than I do. So what had my boss ticked? "You have been SEEN sitting on the planter boxes! We do NOT sit on the planter boxes!" That's the biggest thing she had to worry about today? <BR> <BR> Well, the day DID get better. I had rushed out of the house without food fo... Tue, 15 Apr 2014 22:49:34 EST Monday misery Home sick today. Given my left leg (which has a tendency to ache when I'm trying to sleep) and my jaw (which felt fine when I sat upright but throbbed when I lay down) and my bladder (which demanded attention just about every hour and a half), I had practically no sleep. I'm lightheaded and a bit nauseated this morning. Mon, 14 Apr 2014 11:52:02 EST Drowsy Saturday I keep kind of dozing off. I didn't sleep badly last night, but perhaps not as well as I needed to. I'm still working on my co-worker's birthday afghan, and it's getting close to done. I love these large-needle afghan patterns. They're lovely and work up FAST. As soon as that's done, I'm knitting a baby blankie for her to give to her sister. She wanted to pay me but I refused. She does so much for me, a simple blankie is little enough in return. <BR> <BR> I've invited her and her husband (wh... Sat, 12 Apr 2014 14:40:36 EST Four down, one to go I hope you're sitting down for this -- management FINALLY fixed my living room wall today. <BR> <BR> The deskmate who spilled wine all over my cubicle recently lost her wallet and cell phone. She's taking a remarkably "la di da" attitude about it (I'd be seriously freaking out). Well, today she wanted to make a couple of calls and thought she's have to wait until she got home. I loaned her my phone (with a dire warning about what would happen if she lost it!). When she gave it back she actu... Thu, 10 Apr 2014 21:16:22 EST Wednesday stuff Today I had to call a payer's office to verify a patient's eligibility. The woman I talked to told me she didn't have any record of the patient. I said that the State site had said this patient was eligible. Honest to goodness, she says to me, "Then why did you call?" I had all I could do to stay polite as I told her I was required to verify it with them. I am SO glad this is no longer a major part of my workday! <BR> <BR> Sunday my wonderful coworker is driving me down to San Francisco to v... Wed, 9 Apr 2014 21:26:23 EST Another fun-filled day in Paradise Just when I think work can't possibly get any weirder -- it gets weirder. <BR> <BR> This morning my deskmate brought several bottles of wine to work to sell to co-workers (they were leftovers from her extravagant party this weekend). She dropped and shattered one right next to my desk, luckily before I got there. The carpet was left sticky and with shards of glass in it, and my desk mat kept sticking to my shoe soles. <BR> <BR> Then we had a staff meeting that was supposed to last half an h... Tue, 8 Apr 2014 20:52:59 EST The Sunday freeze I've always said that Saturday morning is my favorite time of the week. Sunday evening is the least. <BR> <BR> I go into kind of a tailspin every Sunday. Sometimes (like tonight) I don't even cook dinner, just eat bits and pieces of whatever.By the time I go to bed at around 10PM, I'm frequently close to tears and dragging my feet. I've tried and tried to figure this out. I wouldn't treat a bug this way. When I have guests, I cook a beautiful dinner that's at least twice too big. But for m... Sun, 6 Apr 2014 23:14:39 EST The great Saturday flake-out Two and a half weeks ago I called my rental office to report a large crack in my living room wall. A guy came out, photographed it, and told me someone would get with me in a day or two. Yesterday I called again because, you guessed it, no one ever contacted me. Supposedly someone is going to come out today. We'll see. <BR> <BR> I just finished breakfast and I'm watching Bobby right now (sigh...). I'm also knitting an afghan very quickly for my co-worker's birthday, which is April 23. It's a... Sat, 5 Apr 2014 13:08:45 EST