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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

AA Day

I've been an administrative assistant for nearly eleven years. Back when I started out in the office world I will never forget the first time I received a gift for administrative professionals day. It was a candy bouquet.
Seriously. That has to be the worst gift ever right behind flowers. I hate candy. Mostly. Enough that your average candy bouquet has nothing to offer me. Straight to the garbage. Thanks for the super thoughtful gift considering I hate candy. Really shows you care!
Flowers at least are usually pretty even though my seasonal allergies make them a horrifying addition to my office. Wow. Flowers. Thanks. Are you trying to kill me or just make me miserable? I feel so loved!
And then I went and spent eight years working for a company who puts on a gigantic party on administrative professionals day. Not only do I have to work my ass off, most of the time the meaning of the day is lost. The only bonus with that is free drink tickets. Hey... I'll take it!
But this year the party wasn't on the actual day. Luckily the people I work for know not to get me a candy bouqet or flowers. Instead I was bestowed with a gigantic veggie bouquet. Now that is a damn thoughtful gift! And my coworkers got me several herb plants. I actually feel loved.
Thanks to all my fabulous co-workers and all the thoughtful things you said in my cards. And thanks for not hugging me!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I'm Not Dead Yet

I caught a glimpse of my back bruise today and it is all of a sudden MUCH better. I'm so relieved! It is still tender, but I feel as though I'm on the road to recovery.

Couple that with a booked chiropractic appointment tomorrow and I'm feeling downright optimistic about that long drive sitting in the car. (Okay, saying I'm optimistic may be a little optimistic.)

I'm not going to lie, this week has been rough. I think with the muscle pain begining to lessen, I'm feeling the skeletal jankyness even more. Before it hurt to move and now it hurts to sit still. It's like my whole sitting mechanism needs mechanical repair. I hope the chiropractor does the trick.

Big day tomorrow!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Color Purple

I'm seeing a lot of purple. The bruise started surfacing a day after my fall on the concrete stairs as just a purple line across my back. Almost three days later it has spread and spread and spread. I'm pretty sure it's the darkest purple bruise I've ever seen let alone seen on my own pasty white skin.

I've also discovered bruising on my left shoulder and a day later bruising surfaced under my arm on the right side. I'm practically polka dotted! I can't even imagine how all sides managed to get banged up. I feel as though I've never been so physically fragile!

My back is still stiff, but walking seems to be getting easier. Which is good, because my only plans for this weekend were to lay around and heal, but I need to put more time in at work and I would love to get some errands in before my trip north.

That's another issue altogether. Walking is no fun, but neither is sitting for a long time..like in a car...for six and a half hours. I'm crossing my fingers for a speedy recovery and a little lighter purple this week!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Back To Basics

Another event is in the books. The day of preparation and all the fun after the doors opened seemed to all go off without a hitch. My favorite part was the karaoke contest. We were lucky to have six amazing finalists. I wish we had prizes for all of them!

The worst part of the night happened long after the last balloon dropped. Once home and taking Peanut out, I missed a step and fell down on my back. Yowsa. It hurt a lot, but moreso today. I'm pretty much good if I don't move and stay hopped up on ibuprofen.

I can't wait to do more laying around and healing this weekend, but I'm back to work tomorrow to play catch up. I have two missed days to make up, not to mention all the regular work that has been put off in the wake of event craziness. It's a lot of fun, but I'm breathing a huge sigh of relief after putting this event to bed. Time to get back to the basics.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Loaded

I'm all loaded up. Well, my car is all loaded up. Everything was lovingly packed up tonight in preparation for the big party tomorrow.

This is my favorite time of any event. I'm finally calling it a night. Although I had to put in extra time today, I know everything is ready and there is little left to do but let it all unfold.

With the cocktails and party games, karaoke contest and 80s music, this had to be my favorite event. I can hardly wait to share it with a few thousand of my closest friends!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Preparing

I really took a time out yesterday. Like usual really. I'm much more of a homebody on Saturday and able to head back out into the world recharged on Sunday.

So here we are. Sunday.

Let's just say I'm mentally preparing for the workload today while enjoying my coffee on the porch. It is a delightful overcast morning with a heavenly breeze. The birds are singing and the wind chimes are chiming.

But it is about time to break out the to-do list. I need to organize for the highest possible efficiency with my day. I am long overdue for mowing and yardwork, so I feel that is first. Then I can get ready for the day. I can run a few errands to make sure I get them in before I head to work.

That's a whole different ballgame. Friday was so crazy I don't even remember all the things I didn't accomplish. Wouldn't it be great if I finally got caught up? I absolutely hate operating in shoveling the coal mode. I need to get back up to the helm for a little sightseeing!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Comedy of Carrots

A rainy day is the perfect day to stock the freezer with soup! I've had carrots patiently waiting in my veggie bin for this very opportunity.
I began by peeling and chopping two pounds of carrots. The first time I made this soup, two pounds felt like way too many, so I halved the whole recipe. After licking my bowl clean and wanting more, I decided a full recipe with a serving or two left over for the freezer would be just right.
This recipe was adapted from one in The Ultra Metabolism Cookbook-my go-to cookbook. It is pretty much the same except I don't do onions and I use dried ginger. You seriously have to try the deliciousness. I might even be willing to share some of my Thai Kitchen Chili Paste if you ask nicely. I'll never use a whole jar at this rate!
Carrot Ginger Soup
2 Tbsp light sesame oil
2 medium cloves garlic, pressed
2 pounds carrots, peeled and diced
4C Progresso reduced sodium chicken broth (it's gluten free-a lot of them aren't!)
3/4C unsweetened coconut milk
2 tsp dried ginger
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp Thai Kitchen Red Chili Paste
Cilantro
1) Heat oil in stock pot over medium high heat cook garlic for about a minute.
2) Add carrots and cook an additional 2 minutes.
3) Add broth, coconut milk, ginger, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20-25 minutes our until carrots are tender.*
4) Remove from heat and cool slightly.
5) Puree the soup in a blender or with an immersion blender. Return to pot.
6) Stir in lime juice and chili paste and warm over low heat.**
7) Ladel into a bowl and garnish with a sprinkle of cilantro.
*This is experience talking for my loyal followers. The recipe does not actually call for reducing the heat. I boiled most of my liquids away while meditating on the porch. More on this later. You're welcome.
**Because I boiled away a lot of liquids, I added more broth and milk to the pot. So I really had a need to heat the soup back up. I stirred and watched and stirred and watched. Then I walked away thinking when I came back it would be bubbling. Well, when I came back it had bubbled and splattered all over the stove, cupboards, and walls. As I was wiping everything down, I knocked a picture frame into the soup pot. It has never been cleaner. I'm going to accept that it just gives the soup more character. PS...use a lid when "simmering" soup.

Rain Day

Sitting on my porch, sipping hot coffee, and smelling the faint aroma of ginger wafting outside from the deep orange carrot ginger soup simmering on the stove.

I love the mediation soundtrack of a gentle, steady rain. Drip, drop. Pitter patter. Trickle, trickle. Really what it's saying is, "Prepare for your meditation. Sit back. Relax. Clear your mind of all distractions. Drip, drop. I am not my lawn that needs to be mowed. Pitter, patter. I am not the plants that need to be planted. Trickle, trickle. I am my soul. Focus all of your attention on your heart. This is your real reality."

Ahhhh.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Quinoa Pilaf

I just was mentioning this recipe to a friend, but when I went to go search my blog I couldn't find it. I must never have gotten it into the old blog archives, so here it is!

Quinoa is gluten free and one of the grains I was hoping to reintroduce to my diet after my recent Whole30 with no grains. I haven't made this in ages, but I have been sampling the Quinoa pastas and have been happy to have no adverse affects.

Enjoy!

QUINOA PILAF
For those days when you just want to throw everything in a pot and eat 15 minutes later (like last night).

1/2 medium carrot, diced
1 rib celery, diced
1/4C green pepper, diced
1/4C red pepper, diced
1/4C quinoa
1/2C water
1 tsp olive oil
1/8 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp salt
Sliced almonds, if desired.

1. Mix all ingredients (except almonds) in small sauce pan and bring to a boil.

2. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 10-15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.

3. Sprinkle with almonds and serve.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Karaokiness

Another karaoke competition bites the dust! Another great qualifier was chosen tonight.

We still have one more qualifying event, then the last chance qualifier at the big party, then the finals! We're in the home stretch!

These events are definitely fun, but I'm sooo tired! I'm looking forward to a normal crazy busy day of work tomorrow and then a night at home with Peanut. I have a half bottle of red wine to finish and an Annie Oakley documentary in the mail from Netflix. Score for the big dork in me!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Red Red Wine

Another crazy busy day in the history books! I'm not quite sure how I made it through this one. And I'm still ramping up to the big party. It'll only get busier and crazier from here on out.

After a couple hours of overtime, I headed home to rescue Peanut from napping. After a quick jaunt outside, Peanut ran up the ramp kitty wampus and fell half off. Trying to catch him with one hand holding the door and the other hand full of mail, I managed to wonk out my left arm and right hip. What the crap?

Luckily I actually rescued Peanut and he seems to be just fine. I'll probably wake up stiff and sore as an old lady.

After that I had little motivation, but pressed ahead by answering my inner monologue of "I don't wanna..." by telling myself "just do it." (I guess I've crossed over to inner dialogue there, eh?) I threw a load of laundry in and prepared a dinner of asparagus and cube steak with mushroom gravy.

The bonus is that now that I'm done with the Whole30 I can crack open a bottle of red wine to use in the mushroom gravy! It calls for an eighth of a cup red wine for a single serving. That leaves a whole lot of wine leftover!

Mission accepted!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Percolating

So, although I spent a great deal of my Saturday morning perusing Illinois travel guides, I postponed an Illinois Adventure. I decided with the holiday I would hate to travel afar and be disappointed by closed doors and such. I was moments away from booking my first train ride too! Maybe I can work that in to a possible Chicago baseball adventure.

In the meantime I've got an idea percolating for next weekend. It involves antiques, a new town, and possibly a state park. I love a good Illinois Adventure!

My real life is not so exciting with catching up on work, watching movies, and getting my kitchen clean. I know I'm a dork, but there is not much better than throwing in the towel on the weekend with an orderly kitchen. *sigh*

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Crazy Busy

I've been crazy busy since returning from my last trip to Wisconsin! We've entered another event month and so my days and a lot of evenings are all filled up.

Luckily in the midst of multiple eventness I squeezed in a new haircut! I finished up my second Whole30. I'm taking care of business and taking names.

The grass is growing and the garden needs weeding and planting and mulching. I'm dreaming of getaways and Illinois Adventures, but spending most of the time focusing on what has to be done today.

Today I took a time out. It was much needed, but I'm feeling behind on my weekend activities now. I guess that is the curse of the overworked. I'm always feeling like I should have accomplished more.

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