March 25, 2016

Unfinished business: things weighing on my mind

For some things, I'm still waiting

If there’s something I need more of in this life, it’s quite likely more patience.

I’ve no shortage of things to be patient about but surprise surprise, I really suck at it.

The need to resolve things itches

The mortgage refinance is creeping along at a snail’s pace. Two and a half weeks ago, they said it’d be approved two weeks ago. Yet, still no idea if they’ll approve it yet. Cross your fingers, please?

We need to schedule a signing of our estate plan with the lawyer, just as soon as I quit being a disgusting, racking-cough, sneezy sniffly snotty mess.

Oh right, this cold brought by an emissary from the lower depths of Hades? Still here.

Even better, it turns out that flu-like fever and chills can also be a fibro symptom which is just awesome. I discovered this over a 24-hour period of misery. My only solace is that I didn’t manage to pick up the flu in addition to this cough thing.

Car #2 remains a figment of our fevered imaginations so we’re still a one-car family, and Seamus doesn’t fit in that car so I can get him to the vet for his overdue nail trimming. I did try it myself and got as far as three nails before I quicked him. Sorry, pup.

My phone is still creaking along, but it’s just getting worse, and really needs to be replaced. This has got to happen before it totally craps out in the worst possible situation.

Keeping my chin up (or at least above water)

Before I get too sunk in the melancholy of what’s NOT going right, I will keep in mind that:

We’re still all alive and kicking. In this, the most disease ridden season ever, that’s no mean feat.

Even if I’m scraping the dregs of my energy barrel, I’m still getting my work done and still managing to do a little writing here.

February 26, 2012

A catching up and cookery Sunday

It’s been a heck of a week. Not terrible but tiring. I finally caught up with my dad and found out that there have been multiple deaths in the family. It’s maybe a good thing that I didn’t know about them in time to attend the services as I would have felt obligated to attend. Instead, I’ve been focusing getting things done at home and exercising myself and Doggle.

Kind of overdid it though, between being emotionally overwrought thinking about Mom and seeking catharsis through cleaning. My hands and arms don’t appreciate the outlets that my brain seeks, which is really frustrating as physical activity is so good for the brain.

Posts for Perusal

Little Miss Moneybags and Peanut got their Life Insurance in order. PiC and I organized our life insurance along similar lines, though we will likely be having more conversations to get aligned as things change. At the time we sorted our insurance, he was well able to take care of any financial needs without my income. Without me, he would likely still work in this town and stay in this home. He would need some assistance for sorting things and Doggle, so I still carry insurance through work but both he and my dad would be beneficiaries of my life insurance because I don’t want him to be financially responsible for Dad’s healthcare and continuing care. (I still have to set up a trust for that.) If he’s gone, I couldn’t carry the costs for myself, this home and my Dad however long I had to support him, so I would need a fair amount of extra income from his insurance.

Lazy Man and Money’s Decision to Buy a Timeshare years ago. A few friends of mine own timeshares with varying experiences, and it seems to have been a relatively decent experience for all of them. I’m neither here nor there on the math, it doesn’t fit into our lifestyle right now but I won’t say that it never would.

Congrats to Danielle for her move from law to FitFluential!

Eemusings on the Cost of Convenience: I’m pretty sure that I’m close to the same as eemusings. I hate spending money on convenience items like snacks when they’re not part of the grocery shop. But I will buy things as part of the shopping trip like chips, nuts, frozen foods for reheating on those nights when we don’t want or don’t have time to cook a full meal.

A Recipe

I have SingleMa‘s Pinterest obsession to thank for this one.  She pinned this Crispy Honey Lemon Chicken recipe several weeks ago and the name (of course) stuck in my mind. I rather obsessively went back to hunt for it when trying to decide what to make for dinner and made it with some alterations to the recipe to suit my lazier cooking style and general preference for baked over fried (faster clean-up). 


Crispy Honey Lemon Chicken
serves 4-6

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into pieces
1/4 cup olive oil + 3 tablespoons
3 tablespoons honey + more for dripping/drizzling
the juice of 2 large lemons
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest + 2 teaspoons
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup all-purpose (or whole wheat) flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch

In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup olive oil, 3 tablespoons honey, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, and a 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Whisk ingredients together, then add chicken pieces to a ziplock bag and pour marinade over top. Let sit for 30 minutes – 2 hours.

When ready to make, add flour, cornstarch, 1 teaspoon lemon zest and the remaining salt and pepper to a large bowl. Mix well. Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat, and once it is very hot, add 1 tablespoons of olive oil. Coat chicken pieces in the flour mixture, then add to the skillet and cook until each side is golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove and set chicken on a paper-towel covered plate. Cook remaining batches, adding more/less oil if needed. I used 3 tablespoons, but depending on how coated your chicken pieces are you may need a bit more.

Serve with rice and a few tablespoons of honey mixed with lemon zest for dipping.


Crispy Honey Lemon Chicken
serves 2 greedy-faces

4-8 chicken drumsticks and/or thighs, bone-in
1/4 cup olive oil + 3 tablespoons
3 tablespoons honey + more for dripping/drizzling
the juice of 2 large lemons
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover a roasting pan with foil.

In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup olive oil, 3 tablespoons honey, lemon juice, and a 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Whisk ingredients together, then add chicken pieces to a ziplock bag and pour marinade over top. Let sit for 30 minutes – 2 hours. (Or overnight.)

When ready to make, add flour and the remaining salt and pepper to a large bowl. Mix well. Coat chicken pieces in the flour mixture, then place pieces side by side in the roasting pan.

Bake for 20 minutes, turn, bake for another 10-15 minutes until done.

Serve with rice and roasted vegetables.

March 19, 2011

Weekend wonderings

It’s not going to be because of the night owl tendencies that Monday morning is going to dawn a bit more darkly than Saturday or Sunday.

Dare I cop to burnout so soon?  Dare I admit that it’s been a long hard slog since landing this gig and no matter how hard I work, there’s always more piling on, more left to do, more that staff need from more, more expected of me, more, more and more?

Yes, we’ve got a vacation coming up but more often than not, the thought on my mind has been: what would I rather be doing? 

And I know this has been an excellent learning experience, albeit a painful one, so it’s hard for me to say I want to do anything but this – that may just be the Tired As All Get Out speaking.

So instead, as I don’t rightly have the answer to that for myself, what would you rather be doing?  Monday morning when you arise from your beauty rest, what would you ideally be getting ready to do for your daily bread?

April 28, 2010

Workaholism: The quiet contagion

One of the oddest things about starting this new job is taking on a supervisory role, officially performing the duties I was unofficially in charge of in previous jobs, and going to a salaried position. I’ve never been salaried before and this is a dangerous thing.

I run with workaholics.  I always have. This particular set seems to avoid imposing their schedules on me, but when your peers or people you report to are diligently at their desks before and after you arrive …. well, I don’t know about you, but that gives me a touch of indigestion and I feel compelled to at least match their time in the office. That seems silly but most especially in the first six months, I think it’s crucial to do your best work and oftentimes, it has to be made evident via face time while you’re just learning the ropes.

The difference between starting this job and any other job in the last ten years is that while I want and expect to excel, I’m not willing to let the job take over my life. So rather than automatically resigning myself to mimicking their behavior, I’m on the lookout for ways to become extremely efficient and good at my job without having to log 14 hour days. As it is, I’ve naturally worked until almost 6:30 every night even on days where I’ve arrived before 8 am.

Part of that is the settling-in process: I have meetings back to back all day and very little time to do actual work. But every single meeting produces more reading, more meetings and more follow-up I’ve got to do. I expect that a third of the meetings will go away, but that’s only a few extra hours in a day.

The real boss has finally been in the office this week, so that’ll be part of the settling in process as well.

Does anyone else have problems balancing work-life-expectations?

April 25, 2010

In pursuit of R&R

It’s meant to be my supremely lazy Sunday by which the following are banned from my list of Things To Do: no cooking, cleaning, laundry or other chores. 

Instead, SO kindly scribed the following stress-free suggestions for consideration:
– Buy a cardigan for the office; these bones would greatly appreciate extra warmth, p’rhaps a parka? 
– Go out for brunch; there are a few folks about the area I coulda shoulda called up
– Massage; medical necessity, actually
– Reconnoiter the local garage sales on Craigslist
– Check out the Martin and Osa sales online
– Use the BOGO coupon at Jamba Juice

It’s a cute idea, but right now my idea of destressing actually includes: not spending money, not leaving the apartment, and catching up on work.  Taking out all the housework is splendid though I will pay for it later. 

It seems nonsensical, but hear me out. At least one-third of my stress is powered up by the knowledge that I have a million things to do and bills to pay. The balancing act of living frugally and earning “enough” is precarious and altogether draining.  As it is, just not pre-cooking for the week would have me in knots if I weren’t at least well ahead of the game on one freelance project after logging hours yesterday evening.

Thanks in no small part to rising early (another abnormality when I’ve got any choice about it), today has been both semi-productive yet restful.  There’s a banana nut cake with extra walnuts cooling on the stove, some leftover Indian food warming in the oven, and not an unmanageable amount of work slated for today.

I haven’t watched any TV yet (Serenity! Battlestar Galactica! Dr. Who! White Collar! Bones!) this weekend, but if I wrap up at least another project by mid-afternoon, I could still squeeze in a geekfest.  After I defrost the chicken, that is.  A girl has got to eat something, sometime this week.

Bonus Question: should I trek out for this week’s coupons and a few bags of Trader Joe’s pretzels for work? I need carbs to get through the day. 

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