Sunday, February 1, 2015

I love my weekends.

I do love an empty Sunday morning.  I just get so much done.  Wanna see?

I made up a batch of my favorite chicken tortilla soup (with no chicken, and I added spinach today.)  I used my rice cooker to make steel-cut oatmeal today, and it worked brilliantly.  I roasted some veggies I had sitting in my refrigerator that had to be cooked.  I made two batches of brownies (Superbowl night.)  I've washed, dried and folded 4000 loads of laundry, done squats and planks for a new challenge, and done the grocery shopping.  Of course, after all the cooking, you end up with this:


I'll trade you a jar of soup if you'll do my dishes...

I went to see a new band the other night - Umphrey's McGee.  The music was decent, and I loved everyone, and stroked a lot of people's hair.  There may have been alcohol involved.  Young hippie-ish people who may or may not have been using herbal refreshment are very receptive to having their hair played with.  Of course, I am receptive to having my hair played with all the time, and I don't need to be influenced by anything.  I just like having people play with my hair.  Yes, I know this is weird, I accept this and go with it.  After, we went back to my friends' house and hung out, watching Key and Peele and eating grilled cheese.  Then something magical happened - we decided to watch The Neverending Story.  I haven't seen this movie in years, and it did not disappoint.  The imagery is so trippy - no wonder it has stuck with me all these years.  

I never noticed the nipples on those Oracle statues as a kid.  There may have been jokes about them being "as hard as rocks" at the third gate.  There may have been thumb wars fought.  I may regress to a 12 year-old boy when drunk.  It was a good night - I should probably have more like it.

Softball time, and then off to a superbowl party.  Go Sports!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Another day spent on the gym floor...

What do you do when you have just written 4 paragraphs, and they delete themselves.  Just like that.  This freaking tracker pad on my laptop...I want to kick something.  so hard.  And I liked what I wrote, but I'm not feeling it anymore.

Anyway.

My daughter plays softball, and has been participating in the NKU Winter Softball Academy.  I've spent the last 3 Sundays sitting on a gym floor, finding ways to occupy myself.  This campus tends to be cold, even when the weather is rather temperate, and I don't want to spend money.  This is pretty well par for the course for those of us with kids in sports, especially when they are really into their sport.  So you get a picture of the gym floor on which I have been sitting for the past 2 1/2 hours,

My butt hurts.  I've edited a few documents, I've played some Trivia Crack, and now I'm going to read Catch-22.

Monday, January 19, 2015

A Sunday Post on a Monday

I love starting the week with a day off, don't you?  An extra day off to get the laundry done, have lunch with my kids, read my book...I took a later class this morning, and it was kickboxing on the bags, which is my favorite.  I split one of my knuckles today, which always makes me feel kind of bad-ass, but the knuckle I split tells me I was hitting the bag in the wrong place - I'll have to practice hitting things more.  Watch out.

I was going to start the week with a Morning - Noon - Evening post, inspired by Beauty That Moves, but I had things to chat about tonight, so maybe I'll start tomorrow.  My work days are so rigidly scheduled, the idea of taking a minute to see the peace in a regular moment appeals to me.  
Sure, I'll share my average workday with you:

4:20AM - Wake up, dress, water bottle, out the door
5:00-6:00AM - Boot Camp class
6:15-7:00AM -make COFFEE, pack meals and snacks for the day, shower, ready for work
7:00-8:00AM - commute, eat breakfast, drink COFFEE
8:00AM-4:30AM - working like a dog

Here's where things open up a bit - the Girl has volleyball twice a week and pitching once a week, and she starts a 3rd volleyball practice the end of the month.  Softball games start in April. Sometimes I have a book club or something.  I generally take rest days from Boot Camp the day after those.  If there is nothing going on, I go home, make dinner, get stuff prepped for tomorrow, clean the kitchen, etc.  I try to be in bed by 8:30PM, if possible. Reading will often happen.  My kids call me an old woman, since I'm rarely awake when they go to bed.  This does not bother me, although I did stay up past midnight on Saturday night, binge watching Criminal Minds, and enjoyed it immensely.  Because that's what an exciting individual like myself does on a Saturday night.
Ooh, here's one of my cats:


This is Bug.  She is the most cat-like of our cats - the other two are really dogs, I think.  She is the one who will only give you time if she feels like it, and she really hates to be picked up, as you can see here.  She is also diabetic, but she has been doing very well.  She has the prettiest blue eyes, and she's actually quite sweet.  Especially at 4:20AM, on a morning I don't have to wake up, when she jumps up on my chest and purrs in my face.  Her favorite things are beef jerky, the green plastic glasses from a Mr. Potato Head, ponytail holders, and racing me to the bathroom.

I have some tea, some gingersnaps, and a darn spooky book to read (NOS4A2 by Joe Hill), so I am going to take advantage of an unusually quiet living room.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Mmm...lunch.

It is the end of a very busy weekend.  Not really a relaxing weekend, by any stretch of the imagination.  Boot camp yesterday morning, took my mom's Christmas stuff down, made a pot of soup for the week's lunches, did some laundry, went to a support group, spent 5 hours doing softball things, cleaned the kitchen, prepared for meals for the week...this is really the first time I've sat down to chill this weekend.  And I'm going to bed in an hour.  Not cool, weekend, not cool.

That's alright.  I'm feeling all productive and stuff.  And I didn't have to cook dinner at all - my husband made dinner all weekend.  Which is funny, since I still cooked.  

Ooh, speaking of cooking, I prepared dinner for tomorrow night tonight - preparation is a good thing.  And I have to share the link to the recipe here:  http://www.organizeyourselfskinny.com/2014/05/15/greek-spinach-and-feta-stuffed-chicken-breast/
I made the filling, stuffed and breaded the chicken, then stored and refrigerated to bake tomorrow.  The filling was so good, I wanted to eat it with a spoon.  Okay, I may have eaten a little with a spoon.  


Not the cleanest fridge ever, but here is the soup I made last night for this week's lunches.  It is, without a doubt, the best soup recipe I make, and one of the reasons I look forward to winters.  It is spicy and delightful.  I tweak it a bit - it has more veggies, no chicken, and black beans, which are my favorites.  I don't roast the peppers or the corn, although I know it adds an extra richness to the flavor, because it is easier, and still tastes so good.  It is a Rachael Ray recipe - the woman irritates me, but she has some very good recipes.
The chipotle peppers in adobo sauce are hot - very hot.  I use 2 1/2 because I like it wicked spicy, and I love the smoky flavor.  You may want to cut down on the amount.  I do put sour cream on it, but not a ton, and I don't put the chips in.  All of the toppings are optional.
Print Recipe

Why-the-Chicken-Crossed-the-Road Santa Fe-Tastic Tortilla Soup


Course: Soup
Prep Time: 10 Min
Cook Time: 25 Min
Total Time: 35 Min
Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • Vegetable or corn oil, for drizzling, plus 2 tablespoons -- 2 turns of the pot in a slow stream
  • 3 ears corn on the cob or 2 ears fresh-frozen cobs, defrosted
  • 1 red bell pepper split and seeded
  • 1 pound chicken breast tenders
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning 1/3 palm full
  • 1 teaspoon cumin 1/3 palm full
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 small to medium zucchini small dice
  • 1 medium yellow skinned onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1-2 chipotle in adobo peppers (medium to hot heat level) chopped -- available in small cans in Mexican and Spanish food section of
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes 28 ounces
  • 1 can tomato sauce 8 ounces
  • 3 cups chicken stock available in re-sealable paper containers on soup aisle
  • 4 cups blue corn tortilla chips broken up into large pieces
  • 1 cup pepper Jack cheese or shredded cheddar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 red raw onion chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley leaves
  • 1 ripe avocado diced and dressed with the juice of 1/2 lemon

Directions

  1. Heat a grill pan to high and a soup pot to medium high. Drizzle oil on corn and place on grill. Add red pepper to grill with corn. Char vegetables 10 minutes, total, turning occasionally. Remove to cool, 5 minutes. Remove charred skin from the pepper.
  2. While vegetables cook, dice chicken. Add 2 tablespoons oil to hot soup pot. Add chicken to pot. Season with poultry seasoning, cumin, salt and pepper. Lightly brown chicken on each side. Add zucchini, onions and garlic and chipotle peppers. Cook vegetables with chicken 5 to 7 minutes to soften. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and stock. Bring soup to a bubble, reduce heat to medium low.
  3. Scrape corn off cob and add to soup. Chop grilled red pepper and stir into soup. Add chips to soup in handfuls and fold in. Serve soup immediately with scatter of shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream. Top with any or all of the suggested garnishes.
  4. Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

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So that's that for today - I am sleepy already, and I have a very early morning tomorrow.  A little reading, a little tea - ooh, reading anything good right now?  I am reading I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb, which has grown on me, as his books tend to do.  I have a bunch of books to read for my next few book clubs, and Into the Wild is next.  That's been on my list for awhile.  
Alrighty, g'nite.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Goodbye, old friend...

I have destroyed one of my most treasured companions.  I took it apart, ripped it to shreds, threw it away.  I spent hours cultivating this relationship, hours upon hours of careful creation.  It's amazing how easy it was to get rid of it.

Today I dismantled my Flylady Control Journal.


For those in the dark (and how do we even know each other?), the Flylady is a woman in North Carolina with, essentially, a housekeeping website.  She is very positive, with a lot of catchphrases: "Jump in where you are," "CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome", "SHE (Side-tracked Home Executives", "Babysteps", and other happy, cheerleader-like phrases.  I joined when the Girl was born, I was sucked into the pit of postpartum depression, and I just needed to get the underwear clean.  And it helped.  There was a whole community of people to talk to online, and I was so lonely.  I had never set up routines, and those really helped - not only getting the housework done, but anyone with depression knows, nothing helps you get through a bad bout like a set routine.  Not to mention, she started me on the decluttering, and that was a huge help.  Getting rid of stuff is cathartic.  Sometimes kind of addicting, as my family will likely find out after my most recent episode.  This morning.
Anyway, I sent up my control journal, which is a binder with all the routines and family information you need, right at your fingertips.  A lot of families have a binder like this, I'm sure.  I used Flylady's systems when we had to sell our condo in Bartlett, and when we moved down here.  Flylady's chat groups introduced me to my first friends in Kentucky, who I still cherish to this day.  I bought her products - the feather dusters (large and small), her calendar and stickers, her book, her timer, and her friend Leanne's cookbooks.

It's just not serving me anymore.

Don't get me wrong, Flylady is a great system.  It's helped thousands of people, and I was one of them for awhile.  But I like making my lists at night before bed, instead of having a book of routines. My health and fitness is definitely taking precedence over my housekeeping right now, so most of those routines weren't being completed, anyway (who says I don't know how to balance - I'll clean later.)  I've discovered some other ways to organize that are working for me.  And the pretty purple fairy lady is just not my motivating force right now.

Today I spent several hours working on my filing, getting rid of old papers, putting together a pile to shred.  I have cut my paper clutter down by a lot.  I have set up my calendars for the year, using a combination of wall calendar, Google calendar, and my phone (finally accepting the dawn of the digital age.)

I suppose this post is really more about growth than anything else.  I'm only 5 months away from my 40th birthday, and I'm trying to figure out what helps me streamline my life, and cull what isn't working anymore.   And, for those of you who are where I was, check out Flylady, she really is a lovely person with some great ideas that work.

And now I have an extra binder.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

"Write it on your hear that every day is the best day in the year." Emerson

I just went back through the past 7 years of New Year's posts.  Seven years of what I want to change about myself.  I tried, very hard, to treat myself nicely in these posts, and even frame them with "it's all for you" language.  But let's face it, in each post I am saying, "I don't like you, I don't like the person you are, let's outline what's wrong with you and then, next year, when you are the same person, berate you for still being the same person.

No wonder I need therapy.

This year has been interesting.  It hasn't been an easy year, by any stretch.  I'm busier than I've ever been.  Some of my favorite people have moved away, and I miss them so much, it aches.  My kids are both adolescents, and not easy ones, at that.  My house is a mess, I'm still overweight, and we still have debt.

So, why am I not more disappointed with myself?

So, as a change of pace, I'm going to outline some of the good things that have happened this year, and talk about how I am going to keep the good stuff going...

1.  I'm busy because I got a good job, and I think I'm pretty good at it.  Also, my girl is pretty good at sports, so I'm driving her all over the place to do the sports.  This also explains the messy house and disorganization.  I am working on decluttering a little more, which will help with the cleaning and the organization.  Otherwise, I'm working on learning my job better, being a better manager, etc.  It's exciting.
2.  Every year I talk about how much I want to be a better parent.  I don't know that everyone thinks this way, but I don't think I will ever think I am a good enough parent.  I started young, really did not know what to do discipline-wise, and I've never known how to fix it.  I also have a bit of a lazy streak, and I am pretty sure I've shared that with at least one of the kids.  I love them, though.  I'm pretty sure they love me.  I'm hoping that will be enough to make them productive members of society.  I like to have little dreams, though, about what changes I would have made if I had known more - I read a lot of blogs (and if you know me well, you probably laugh at this) - the simplicity, homesteading-type blogs.  And I think about raising my kids out in the woods somewhere, no television, back to the basics, simple living, homeschooling-type parenting.  But in this dream, I'd have to rid myself of the husband, and my computer, and a lot of other things I rather like (the husband because, no matter how much he does not like people, he does like comfort.  And television.  He loves television.)  Anyway, that's a fun little fantasy.
3.  I'm overweight.  Heck, I'm obese.  And I'm working on it.  Hard.  I've talked a lot about that here.  I've found something I love, and I want to keep at it.  It has helped me on every level - physical, mental, emotional.  I have goals and ambitions involved now.
That is the big picture.
I am breaking my goals down and making them achievable and monthly.  I will share them with you, but not in a big, resolution dissertation.  Most involve planning, and I would like to share them weekly.
Did you know, if you type "fierce" into Google images, you get a lot of pictures of tigers?  I have adopted that as my new word, and I have been taking that word, and making it work for me.  I realize, I am late to the party - you all had this word years ago, but, well, if you've been with me for the long haul you know, I haven't been feeling so fierce.  These past few years have been tough, mentally.  It is only these past six months I'm starting to like myself.  I don't feel like I'm weak and foolish anymore.  I'm feeling strong, capable, and fierce.
There is still plenty to be changing.  Nudging.  We are all a work in progress.
But.  But but but...maybe those changes are not so very all encompassing, massive personality changes.  Maybe they are just tweaks to an already pretty okay person.


alrighty.  This ended up being more a "merry wander through the rocky landscape of my mind" than a concise list of resolutions.  Dude, seriously, you are reading a blog called "Heedless Ramblings;" you get what you paid for.

Happy happy New Year, and may our 2015 be even more fantastic!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Darn good

Hello!  Did you all enjoy your December holidays?  We spent the Solstice up in Columbus, visiting family, which was lovely.  One of my cousins has gotten engaged, and we spent some time getting to know his, admittedly, lovely fiance.  I enjoyed an empty office, worked out hard Monday and Tuesday...see where I'm going here?  Yeah, all optimistic and happy, and then, sick.  Ugh.  Haven't had bronchitis since last December, when our Peoria trip was cancelled.  Which I'm rather bummed about, as I haven't seen them in ages, but, nobody there wants to get sick, either.

That said, it was a nice enough day.  I kind of felt awful, sort of like someone threw me off a cliff, and then made me walk home, but I got some very cool presents, gave some pretty cool presents, and made a darn good mac and cheese.  No wine was imbibed (as was evidenced by the distinct lack of Facebook updates.)  I got the necklace I asked for, the 100 Days of Real Food cookbook (very excited to dig into that one,) new pair of weightlifting gloves (ok, I gave myself that one), new running shoes (love them!), and my Girl bought me an owl necklace and bottle of nail polish, packaged in a jar she lovingly painted (unfortunately she did not lovingly clean the jar very well, and everything smells very strongly of dill pickle.)  She also is sitting here telling me to share with you the other gifts she gave me - a scarf (which is gorgeous, by the way) and a very cool coin purse shaped as a sugar skull.  Thank you, Girl.

Went to the doctor yesterday, and then we lounged last night, watching Firefly and then How I Met Your Mother.  Saw one of the New Year's Eve episodes, which made me giggle a little, because I was just thinking about the fact that I don't really like New Year's Eve very much, either.  Let me alter that a bit.  I think I should do more with my New Year's Eve, but my husband is usually asleep by 9, my kids whine that they are bored, and I haven't been to a party in years.  The last NYE party I went to was kind of a drag, so I don't even care.  I hate crowds, people get kind of stupid on NYE, and there is so much pressure to celebrate.  When I was a kid, my brothers and sisters, dad, and stepmom used to go to my grandparents' house.  We'd eat junk and play games, and then we'd all lay out the sleeping bags and sleep over.  It was good fun, and honestly the best way I ever spent New Year's Eve.  One of my friends and I planned to do something similar with our families, but we just never did, and then she went and moved to Indianapolis, so, there you go.  Last year, I think I was in bed by 10, but the year before that, we binge watched Doctor Who while I crocheted something, and then I woke up early on New Year's Day and took a great Zumba class.  Or maybe that was last year.  I don't remember.  Anyway, I should be better by New Year's Day, so I fully plan a workout for that day.

Speaking of New Year's Day, you all know I love my lists of resolutions, and I do not intend to disappoint this year, although this year, I plan to be a little kinder to myself.  Not pound myself with "you're not good enough" instructions, just gentle reminders of little ways I would like to change - for my own mental and physical health.

See!?  See how healthy I am getting?!!!

Ok, now the Girl wants to start a blog of her own from her cat's point of view.  We have a project!