Thanks to the warmer weather Scott and I have been on a veggie burger kick lately (this does not apply to today as it was 40 degrees on my walk to the train this morning). I’ve had a lot of veggie burgers in my day and some are definitely better than others. For instance, every few years I get this masochistic urge to try the Burger King veggie patty to basically see if it tastes any better than the last time I ordered it. It never does and for some reason I’m always surprised by that. Anyway between the two of us, we’ve basically tried every type of veggie friendly burger that most stores have to offer and we eventually settled on the Trader Joe’s house brand. They’re huge patties and full of actual vegetables instead of just soy protein. They cook in under 10 minutes on the stove top and make a delicious sandwich. Need proof? See below.
We also purchased a bag of garlic fries from Trader Joe’s and put them in the oven while we cooked the burgers. They made a perfect side and were tastier than any fries I can remember having from a restaurant or bar in a long, long time. To top my burger, I put avocado on one side of the bun and a chipotle mayo on the other. Feta cheese was sprinkled on top of the patty nd you can’t see it but there are tomatoes and onions on here too. It was healthier than anything a fast food place could serve up and tasted so good I was tempted to make a second. Luckily, my stomach was so full after eating what you see here that I couldn’t get off the couch quick enough to shove any more in my face.
See, vegetarians have options too! And this is a good one to bring to any Memorial Day BBQ’s. Happy long weekend!
Thankfully, these two things are not related (at least not in this post).
I know three different women who are undergoing surgeries or procedures in hospitals today, in three different states. The one in Louisville has already come out of it and seems to be doing just fine, so long as she doesn’t share any embarrassing details of her sex life with her mother as she’s all doped up on the ride home. A family member in Houston who has already faced way, way too many surgeries and health issues to count is going through yet another surgery today and will likely be in the hospital for the next five days or so. Luckily, she’s one of the strongest women I know and I have no doubt she’ll prove that yet again with this latest trial. Lastly, an old high school friend of mine in Florida is undergoing surgery to remove her breast today after she was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She’s also very resilient and I know she’ll pull through this just fine. She’s got a 6-year-old daughter and it reminds me of when my own mother battled breast cancer in her mid-30′s. My sister and I did shots of tequila with her in Mexico to celebrate her 20th anniversary of being cancer free and I’m sure my old friend will one day be able to do the same with her own girl.
In the midst of all this anxiety, there are also things to celebrate. My grandfather (my mom’s dad) is turning 85-years-young today. Sure, he’s not as spry and agile as he used to be but he’s got vitality in his own way and he’ll get riled up to prove it. My Papa is one of my favorite people (even when he’s being a cantankerous old grouch) and he’s taught me so much in the time I’ve been able to share with him. For instance, I put a little bit of sugar into my tomato based dishes as it takes away some of the acidity and makes the whole thing sweeter – apparently all of my family does this because of him. He also taught me the easiest way to crack and egg and that torn pieces of bread placed in a bowl and doused with milk and sugar makes a fairly decent breakfast cereal (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it). Besides some culinary tricks of the trade, my Papa also taught me most of what I know about family. He worked hard all his life to provide for his wife and six children and he loves all of us, including his nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, as much as anyone possibly could. If he had his way he would give us every cent to his name and have us all living within 10 feet of his house. He may not get around as well as he used to but I talk to him 3 to 4 times a week and he’s as sharp as he ever was. I hope I’m as smart as he is when I’m 85.
I wish I could be with all three of my female friends and my grandpa today but unfortunately, I have yet to discover the secrets of breaking the space/time continuum. Which means I’m stuck in my office. However I’ll be thinking of everyone today and sending them all my love and healthy thoughts, as well as checking in as often as I can. If you could put out a few good and positive vibes as well, we would all appreciate it!
We had a weekend full of beautiful weather and Scott and I decided to cap it off with a picnic dinner in the park last night. We made sandwiches and brought along lots of fruits and veggies, then settled in to people watch and enjoy our food. Little did we know that we’d be entertained with dinner and a show!
I know the pictures aren’t of the highest quality, but that’s what I get for taking them with my cell phone. You can see that we weren’t the only ones enjoying the great evening and we watched a group of people? friends? wannabe cheerleaders? perform various jumps, cartwheels and maneuvers for a good portion of our meal. One person would kind of crouch while another jumped onto their knees to be thrown into the air. We never did figure out of they were practicing for some sort of improv group or what but they sure were entertaining to watch. Not much later, we turned to the right and saw two guys tying a line up tightly between two trees. Scott joked that maybe they would be tightrope walking while I thought perhaps they were preparing for some sort of jumping contest so I was pretty surprised when they proved Scott right.
Yup, these guys were walking on the bungee type line they hung up. Only it wasn’t a bungee cord, rather it was a strap used to tie stuff down with. I’m sure it’s got a proper name but I don’t know what it is. Anyway, one of the guys was clearly better at tightrope walking than the other but they both managed to put a little distance on the thing, alternating between taking steps and falling off in ways that would help them not completely rack themselves. We watched in amusement for a while and agreed that it looked pretty difficult. As we started packing up to make our way home, they actually called out to us and told us we couldn’t leave without at least giving it a try. Since I had already mentioned to Scott that I wanted to attempt it myself, I tied my skirt around my knees and ran on over. The guys introduced themselves as Andy and Chainsaw (yes, he said his name was Chainsaw…I figured it was best to leave it at that) and Andy offered his shoulder to me as he explained the best way to try to stand on the rope. So I tried it a few times and yup, it was hard. As in, I didn’t even get to stand fully straight without falling off to one side. I attempted it a few times then had a bad vision of me falling with my skirt over my head so I decided to give it a break. Scott tried a few times too and while he stood straighter than I did, neither of us actually managed to take a step forward. So I had a completely new-found respect for both Andy and Chainsaw.
We chatted a few more minutes then made our way home, but not before agreeing to try again should we ever come across each other in the park in the future. Apparently they do this for fun and are not training for any upcoming circus as I previously thought. Chainsaw had only tried to balance two other times before and so I told myself that if I tried a bit more often I could be walking it like he did. So maybe next time I go to the park, I’ll wear a pair of shorts under my skirt just in case!
So, things are calming down a little around the office. So much so that I was able to take some time today and move into my very own office, complete with lakefront view!
Yes, I’m a little excited. After nearly three years of sitting in a cubicle, this is a big step up. The move actually came about because I brought it up in a meeting with my boss a few weeks ago but I honestly never thought he’d take me up on my suggestion. So I’m feeling a little proud of myself and I’m trying to restrain from dancing around in the new space. But I might go ahead and do that anyway because hey, I earned it!
One of our servers at work crashed yesterday and now over a month’s worth of data may be lost. Forever. This means all invoices, payments, changes to ANY aspect of the portal that I use (to make changes) on a daily basis…everything is gone. I spent my morning sifting through over 2,800 emails to find any changes that I’ve made. The 100+ attorneys I deal with also use data stored on this server and so that’s gone too.
I’ve had better days.
Talk about paving paradise to put up a parking lot.
A construction company in Belize has destroyed one of the oldest and most famous Mayan pyramids in the area, because they were looking for gravel to use as road filler. You can read more about it here. Things like this are devastating for so many reasons. Culture and history are being lost for no real gain and the greed displayed here is just plain disgusting. These pyramids are over 2,300 years old and now they’re gone forever, so a road can be put in. Obviously this type of destruction happens on a much too often basis but it’s saddening and frustrating nonetheless. The construction company behind this may be facing criminal charges, which I think would be perfectly appropriate. You know that saying, those who forget history are doomed to repeat it? Well, those who destroy history are doomed to forget it.
Yesterday was Mother’s Day, a day where we typically celebrate the woman who gave us life. I know that for me personally, I’ve been blessed with the best mother I could have ever asked for, not to mention loving grandmothers and caring aunts. And as awesome as all of these women are, I’m reminded that there are many types of Mother’s who also deserve appreciation.
Step-mothers, foster mothers and adopted mothers are obvious here, because clearly they’re moms too. Not so obvious are the mothers who no longer have their children because of illness, injury, accidents or something else, or the women who desperately want to be mothers but for whatever reason are unable to do so. There are also the women who had a child at one point but then lost them before they ever even met them, and the women who could have been mothers but decided they weren’t quite ready for the challenge. There are children with two mothers and children with two fathers who also serve as mothers.
There are also women who had just plain shitty mothers. Some people should not have children but that doesn’t mean that they won’t. There are women who were raised motherless or wish they had been and there are women who have lost their mothers altogether. In short, while we all have a mother, there are as many different relationships that can stem from that as there are people walking around on this planet.
I’m not a mother myself so I won’t pretend to have any idea what it’s like to push a human being from my vagina and then try to raise it in today’s day and age. Hell, I’m not sure I’ll ever know what that’s like. But I do know that all of the good mothers out there completely blow my mind and are people who I look up to every day. So to all the moms who love their children – kudos to you!
We had a potluck today at work and I made a super easy, super tasty dip. I should probably acknowledge that I originally got this recipe from my sister, who made it as a side on Christmas. She told me I had to give her credit where credit is due and since it was such a hit here at the office – here you go, sissy. Your dip rocks.
When I say it’s super easy, I mean that. I’m all about the simple cooking and when a recipe says it’s quick but involves 15 different ingredients and more than 4 or 5 steps, I can feel my attention start to wane. Which is why this was absolutely perfect for me and why this may be my new go-to potluck accessory. Besides on Christmas of course – I’ll let my sister have that.
So here’s what you need (and all of this can be conveniently purchased at Trader Joe’s):
- 1 package of steamed black lentils, ready to serve
- 1 tub of bruschetta
- 1 tub of (low-fat, if you prefer) feta cheese
- 1 large bowl
- 1 spoon
- 3 minutes
Once you have all of the ingredients, dump them into a bowl and stir. Voila! That’s it! See, told you it was easy. You can serve with crackers, tortilla chips, or even veggies but I used pita bread and pita chips – the chips went faster so when I make it again I’ll likely stick with that. This is a healthy, tasty and as I’ve been continuously mentioning, easy dish that you can either make right before a party or leave to sit in the fridge the night before. Enjoy!
I’m sure you’ve heard about the three women and young girl who were freed in Cleveland, OH, after being held captive by a deranged man for over ten years (and if you haven’t, you can read about it via CNN here). Stuff like this really blows my mind. Remember the completely warped man in Austria who held his daughter captive in an underground complex for 24 years? Can you even imagine? I know I can’t.
Seriously, stories like this put every single bad day I’ve ever had into perspective. Oh, my train was late and my student loan bill is due? Boo freaking hoo. I can’t help but think of all the things I’ve done in ten years and it makes my heart break that these women were being abused and repressed in a tiny house for that entire time. I started and graduated from college, traveled to 9 countries, enjoyed quite a few relationships and friendships, held nearly a dozen jobs in three different cities and learned countless things about myself and our world. In short, I’ve gotten to live while some worthless excuse for a human being took that right away from these women. And what’s really scary is that they were right under the noses of so many people! Makes you wonder what exactly is going on behind the closed doors of every house you pass each night, doesn’t it?
I hope that the victims here are eventually able to live a somewhat normal, healthy life. They certainly deserve it. And I’ll try not to let the little things bother me so much because I have so much to be thankful for – if you’re reading this, you probably do too.
Scott’s had the flu all week, which kind of sucks for both of us. He woke up sick Monday morning and barely left the bed all day so when I got home from work Monday night, he was a sad mess. He had a fever, couldn’t keep anything down and was just plain miserable. I sat with him for a while but didn’t want to get too close so after dropping off Gatorade and Sprite, I made myself a little nest in the living room. He was warmer than a space heater and tossing and turning all night, so I figured giving him the bed was the least I could do. It was weird to sleep on the couch with him in the apartment though, because even if we’ve been bickering we always wind up together in the end.
Yesterday he was feeling a little better and managed to spend some time outside of the bedroom, which was good for him. He still had a fever when I came home but he did manage a can of veggie-friendly chicken noodle soup – and it stayed down! He celebrated by having a few crackers and then returning to bed. I celebrated by once again making up the couch for another night’s worth of sleep, much to our cat’s confusion. The whole thing is even more pitiful because the weather the last two days has been amazing and I know it’s been extra hard to stay cooped up indoors when it’s so gorgeous right outside. He did manage to stand on our balcony for a minute last night, so that’s something.
I’m hoping I can return to bed tonight because as much fun as camping out in the living room is, my weary couch has nothing on a queen sized bed. Also, I really hope that my use of soap and sanitizer has been sufficient and that I won’t wind up as sick as him. My sunburn is just starting to heal and a fever sounds like the worst possible thing in the world right now. But – knock on wood – I’m feeling okay so far. If I could just finish the peeling phase of the sunburn, I’d be all set!