28/365/2015 Oh my aching back. And hand.


I am changing some things up today. I now have to carry the DSM, which is printed on lead leaf, with me on Mondays in addition to my lunch, my water bottle, my tablet which has the materials for my other classes, and the sundry personal items I need to make it through a 15 hour day. With the two books on the right, my backpack weighs enough that my back stayed tight Monday even when I wasn’t wearing the pack. No good. I’m switching to a smaller planner/personal notes book and a standard notebook for class notes.

As for pens. That DSM prof plans to finish his 3 hour class in 2 hours each week. He does this by speaking faster than JFK. And giving out loads of information not in the text. And his tests are open book open note. That aqua pen does not glide. I have to push and pull it. And writing quickly makes it illegible. And I have good pens. That one, and its package mates, are gone.

BTW, I thought the pack was heavy Monday. No, it’s heavy TODAY with all these notebooks while I make the switch. At least I had the sense to ditch the DSM this morning.

27/365/2015 Germanesque


Jager Scnitzel, kartoffelsalat, rotkohl. It’s what’s for dinner. I’m attempting to make a lower fat version by sautéing the meat and then putting in the oven to finish cooking as opposed to frying it, and making a light mushroom and onion sauce instead of a full-on gravy. Also, the bacon is for the salat, and it only takes a smidge.

In other kitcheny news, I have decided, after slicing the potatoes for the kartoffelsalat, that I need a mandolin. Not the music kind. The cutting kind. I said it was kitchen news!

I got my life schedule for this semester pretty much settled today. Of course, I mucked it up right away by not being at work today, which means I will have to work Friday, but such things cannot be helped. I don’t need to pass to my residents whatever went through me yesterday.

I’m trying to think if there is anything else I want to tell John Q. Public tonight and I am coming up blank. Toodles!

26/365/2015 View from the 4th Floor


Two classes down, one to go.   I’m exhausted. My stomach is in an uproar. It won’t snow like they promised.

On the other hand, I’ve climbed the stairs instead of taking the elevator all day.  That’s 13 flights up so far.  With a heavy backpack.   No need to count the down flights – – they’re just too easy.

25/365/2015 Random thoughts


This is my grocery cart. $135 of reasonably healthy foods in modest proportions for the week. Those of you who notice details will see that I have spaetzle there. Underneath are the loin chops and mushrooms that will go into jager schnitzel. There is bacon and potatoes for kartoffelsalat. And Rotkohl. I’m cooking Germanesque on Tuesday night. Other tasty goodies this week include baked eggs with spinach and cream; cucumbers with oregano, feta and pine nuts; ham steaks to go with risotto; and some boneless, skinless chicken thighs that I will do something with–probably stir fry or pot pie. That last pot pie I made was so good it bears repeating. I’ll likely make a frittata at some point as well.

By the way, I wore my fat jeans today and they fit. Well. It’s time to get serious about what I’m putting in my face. This applies to both quality and quantity. Better food, cooked in smaller portions, and eaten with intention. Mindfulness as applied in the kitchen. I’m not planning to go on any type of “diet.” I don’t think that’s sustainable in the long run. I just plan to do less “quick and easy” where all the flavor comes from fat and salt. This includes avoiding fast food, meal splitting in restaurants, and many fewer meals consumed while I do other things.

The other thing is I want to feed the fridge less. We waste a lot of food that way, because unless I take a lunch, it just sits there and goes bad. So, again, smaller amounts of food–enough to go around and make the required lunch plates. The end. Saving my money and my health at the same time. This works for me.

All that said, I had Baja Fresh for lunch today. If you haven’t eaten there, I recommend it. The shrimp baja burrito is divine and a meal in itself. I split mine with a friend in exchange for some of his salad and we both walked away full–and with leftovers.

In other news, it is supposedly the eve of our next snowpocalypse. I decided it was time to invest in some sort of snow and ice removal device for the van. Apparently, when you live in Maryland you cannot get by for the entire winter just using an old credit card to clean your windshield. Who knew?

I also stopped by Michael’s and picked up a bottle of Mod Podge since I had a 40% off coupon. And some post extenders, since the last time I got ready to scrapbook, I wanted to put the pages I had started in a book but couldn’t because I was unable to lay my hands on the post extenders that I am sure I have here somewhere. If classes are cancelled tomorrow, and they may be, I’d like to make a collage. Or something. And I am half hoping they do cancel classes. The kids started getting sick, one per day so far, on Thursday. My cousin got sick on Friday. And guess who now feels fuzzy-headed and feverish? Yep, me. It’s not even 7pm and I just want to go to bed already.

On the other hand, if they don’t cancel class, that’s exciting, too. First days always are. I have the syllabi for two of the three academic classes already. Not sure what the hold up is on the last one, since classes officially started last Tuesday. But hey, whatever. I haven’t started the reading yet anyway. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof, and my classes start TOMORROW.

Alrighty then, my to-do list still has several items on it, and I need to get prepped for the week ahead. I am sincerely thankful that every weekend for the next 15 weeks is a three-day weekend for me. I’ll be able to make it through the Mondays with that thought in mind. I hope. Three three-hour classes is a lot to cram in to a day.

24/365/2015 Ahhh, that’s better!


And it’s only needed doing since I moved in here! I’m pleased with today’s effort, but a little confused about where I stashed the wicker basket that had all my hair sticks in it. I’m sure it’s here somewhere, right?

I noticed on the Timehop App that today in 2014 I printed off the essay Self-Reliance because a friend told me it had a profound effect on him. I plan on reading it this evening, finally. *tongue in cheek* Given subsequent events, it’s apparently a really instructive read. *snort* Sometimes I slay me. *mock serious face* Smartassery will be the death of me yet.

I got a notice in the mail today that my youngest child owes the library 60something bucks. Apparently it was an error to let them all get their own cards. I didn’t think we were that organized. I’m sure it’s for books that we forgot to turn in and that the books are still here. But yikes!

Okay, I have sat here for a bit and thought about the day. I got nothing else that I want to share with John Q. Public, so I guess it’s time to shut up. On to the reading and knitting section of my day.

23/365/2015 Cathedral of Books


Also known as the George Peabody library.   I almost wept.   The aroma is intoxicating.  I touched a book that is 600 years old.  I was whelmed.

22/365/2015 I Feel So Organized


I had a vomiter this morning, which meant I was home unexpectedly. I attacked the foyer closet, because it needed it, and then I went after mine. I sorted some things out for the thrift store. I put some stuff away until late spring. I put some warm woolies where they would be even more accessible, and I put the rest in some semblance of order. I can actually start at the front right and work my way around the closet dressing myself in the order in which I usually pick out my clothes, instead of trying to match stuff from one side to the other. I think it will work better for me. I did have to stop once and take my temperature when I put three pairs of shoes in the thrift bag. I got the remaining footwear out of the floor and where they belong.

I also cooked, hands down, the tenderest chops that I have ever made. I braised them in just a touch of olive oil and then put them in the oven to finish cooking. They were melt in the mouth divine. I served those with fennel and cabbage sauteed and then steamed together (adding apple quarters at the end at the end of the cooking time), and wild rice. If you didn’t eat with me tonight, I feel sorry for ya!

That’s all I have for today. No deep thoughts, just stuff that needed doing and got done. It’s been a good one.

21/365/2015 This is Fennel


Fennel is a plant. Fennel is a plant I had never seen in it’s original form until I went to Wegman’s last Friday with my cousin. I didn’t buy any then, but I did pick this one up at Giant on my way home today. I’m roasting it tonight. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks.

I’m also roasting cabbage for the first time. These veggies will be served with turkey breast “steaks.” I’m wearing an apron and listening to Norah Jones. I love getting my cook on.

This is all the words you get today, I have fires to tend.