Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I wish prices were under $3/gallon. I'd feel a little better about buying gas.

Monday, March 29, 2010

12 minutes

After leaving the hospital after 7:00 last night, then stopping at FIL's to do a little more cleaning, we got home quite late. Luckily, I was prepared to do a quick stir fry with the ingredients I had on hand.

First, I diced some Chinese sausage and onion and added that to my wok. No oil needed since the Chinese sausage is pretty fatty. As that was browning, I rinsed the bean sprouts and pea shoots. After the onion was cooked, I added the bean sprouts and gave them a few quick tosses until they just started to turn color. Then I added the pea shoots. I should have added them a little at a time, but I was too lazy and threw the whole batch in at once so it was difficult for the water to cook off. In between stirring, I microwaved some leftover rice. I finished the stir fry with some garlic powder (gasp! what, no fresh garlic??), white pepper, and a splash of black vinegar.

There you have it, dinner in 12 minutes. I was hoping to get it done in 10 since I didn't have that much chopping to do; also, I think the stir fry would have been better with noodles, but I didn't want to wait for water to boil. None the less, I'm pretty proud of myself for feeding us a relatively healthy meal so quickly.

Friday, March 26, 2010


There's nothing like real mail, with a lovely hand-made card, to cheer one up. I really enjoyed opening the envelope from my friend because I knew there would be an awesome, inspiring card inside. Thanks S!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spoke too soon

I was too optimistic Wednesday. FIL went back to the hospital, but we're hoping it isn't too serious this time. My car is going to cost way more than I expected to get all the work done that it needs. It is probably time to buy a new car, which I'm not prepared to do. I hate car shopping.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Today, I feel like I can finally get a handle on everything. FIL is recovering. I can get caught up at work. Mr. Fix-it is getting over his cold. We're going to try to get my car fixed next week. I'll finally be able to spend some time with my houseguest. Life is getting better. Thanks for all your support.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Stress = a month ago, we learned about some unscheduled projects with absurdly short deadlines and limited information. No problem. We'll fit them into our schedule.

Stress = three weeks ago, there was a reorganization and layoffs and we'll be absorbing some of that work into our department. I'll be in charge of that. No problem, I can do that.

Stress = about three weeks ago, we hired a contractor to help with the increased workload and to take the place of someone going out on maternity leave. Yay, extra help! Hmmm, guess who has to help bring her up to speed? No problem, it is part of my job.

Stress = two weeks ago there was a reorganization and my manager has a new manager, plus will be managing another group. No problem, we're team players. No matter that my manager doesn't have enough hours in the day to take manage the staff he has now, plus take care of all the special projects managers seems to have.

Stress = two weeks ago, had to do my self-evaluation. I just love doing them...NOT! And it isn't like there's money in the budget for merit increases. No problem, it is a part of being employed at a big company. Got it done.

Stress = one week ago, I gained half a pound and haven't been able to get rid of it. Not a big deal with everything else going on, but d@amn it, I'm trying to loose weight, not gain weight.

Stress = 4 days ago, in the morning, I noticed radiator fluid leaking from my car. That's okay, I'll drive Mr. Fix-it's car. Opps, nope, because his car was already scheduled to go into the shop. No problem, I'll just be careful on my commute.

Stress = 4 days ago, lunchtime, call to Mr. Fix-it, "How was your Dad's doctor's visit?" Mr. Fix-it gave me the bad news that his dad was taken to the emergency room.

Stress = 4 days ago, afternoon, learned FIL had a heart attack and is in intensive care.

Stress = 4 days ago, late evening, call from BIL, come to the hospital now, things don't look good. It is heartbreaking to watch your loved one make copies of his father's advanced directive (which the hospital should have had already) and get the business card for the funeral home, just in case.

Stress = 4 days ago, even later in the evening, had "the talk" with FIL about what he wanted done if things got worse.

Stress = 3 days ago, 1:30 in the morning. Had the same talk with the doctor. Finally, we came home, but didn't sleep much.

Stress = 3 days ago, morning, pick up BIL from the airport and drive directly to the hospital. I sure hope I remember how to get there. D@mn, we're all exhausted. FIL looks a tiny bit better, but his vitals are jumping all over the place.

Stress = 3 days ago. Talked to the doctor. FIL is up to 50/50 chance of survival (up from the 20% of a few hours ago), but it may be weeks before he can come home, if ever. I go home just to get away from the hospital, make some phone calls, pick up my laptop so I can get some work done, and head back. Call Mr. Fix-it to make sure he doesn't need anything. When I get to the hospital 20 minutes later, FIL's room is empty and I don't see family anywhere...I'm in shock. Luckily, a staff member sees me and finds out where FIL was moved...literally, down the hall.

Stress = 2 days ago, try to play catchup at work. Being out one day really puts you behind schedule. Call Mr. Fix-it for an update. What do you mean they might release your father tomorrow??!!?

FIL came home yesterday, doctor says he should live a normal life, but will tire easily. BIL is staying with him for a while. We need to improve FIL's diet. Hopefully, life will get back to normal soon, whatever normal is.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I passed on the blueberries

We love blueberries around here. They're the one fruit that we never get tired of. But if that were to happen, I could always turn them into a chaflouti or muffins so they're still a treat. Right now, blueberries are relatively cheap, but they're all from South America. While I'm not a locavore, I do see the absurdness of buying food that was shipped from thousands of miles away.

But some foods, I can understand buying the foreign. I'm pretty sure that some of the teas I drink can't be grown here, and I've never seen some of the ethnic preserved and canned foods I buy with US-made labels. Would I buy them if they were made in the US? Honestly, I'm not sure. I'm used to a certain taste and I'm not willing to give that up. But not buying blueberries today was a small step in the right direction, I think.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Popovers, take 2

Last week I blogged about popovers and this morning, I thought I'd try making them again. This time, I used a variation of Rose Levy's recipe.

I didn't have any Wondra flour so I just used regular flour. And I'm much too lazy to slit open the sides to let steam out (a traditional popover technique), but as it turns out, I didn't have to. As you can see, most of my popovers ended up hollow in the middle. I don't know why.

These did not rise as high and were much firmer and much less eggy than David Lebovitz's recipe (I prefer the eggy version).
Again, I don't know if it because of the technique, the flour, or what. I ended with a dozen smallish popovers. Note that this time I used regular sugar instead of baker's sugar to coat them and I was surprised that I liked the coating from last week (when I used baker's sugar) better.

The good thing is, Mr. Fix-it liked these better. The bad thing is, after breakfast, I knocked over the rack and last five popovers landed on the floor. (Yes, do the math, twelve minus five means that Mr. Fix-it and I demolished seven of those puppies this morning. So I guess the good thing is I saved us a few calories.)

Friday, March 05, 2010

Breaking the budget

After having the same lunch for four days in a row (leftovers, we cook in large quantities, lol), I decided to go out to lunch today, you know, just for a change of pace. $7.59 for crappy taquitos, lukewarm rice, and medioce salsa. Too much money and too many calories was wasted on that meal. And then there are two lunches planned at work next week, one to try a new restaurant (gourmet sliders), the other for a dim sum lunch (that I'm organizing, I hate organizing group events, BTW). Three days of eating lunch out within the span of a week? That's six times more often than I usually eat out, way more money that I usually spend, and way more calories that I usually consume. But hey, sometimes a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. I can exercise and cut the budget somewhere else.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010


Ack, over three dollars a gallon again.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Sometimes it's the little things

A few days ago, we received a few unexpected checks and while the total is barely enough for a tank of gas (for a compact car no less), I almost clapped with happiness when I saw them. Am I a dork or what? One was my ebates check (if you buy a lot online or from ebay and don't use ebates, I can send you a link and we'll both earn some $). We don't earn a lot from ebates since we don't shop a lot. It took me over a year to earn a whooping $17, but it's free money so I'm not complaining. Another check was a rebate we weren't sure we'd get and last was minuscule check for a survey. So the total wasn't much, but really, who isn't grateful for some unexpected cash?