Saturday, March 31, 2012

Betty's Back in Business

Yay for working transportation! Turns out I had a few leaky fuel lines and a clogged filter. It cost more for them to diagnose it what with the wonky symptoms than it did to actually fix it. But she's in great working order now, and I've spent the last day or so making up for the several days of not driving for fear of being stuck in the middle of nowhere. Now it's back to work for me! Thank goodness.

I also have a dance performance tonight. I've danced to my song a couple times. Should be fine... right? I am so uninspired when it comes to my dancing these days. Like nothing is challenging me and I don't feel like bothering looking for something that will. I need to get an infusion of "Give a Shit", I suppose.

Shot from a video a friend took last February. I gave a shit about this song at least: The Cave by Mumford & Sons

It was so much fun when I started and I know I have so much more to learn, but I guess I've reached that plateau where learning more would require lots of money and traveling for workshops, neither of which I have. And if I am traveling for workshops and spending loads of money on them, they should be for Continuing Education credits for my new career.

Well, that just sucks the fun out of everything, doesn't it?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I Am So Effing Bored.

Day Three of House Arrest. I'm climbing up the walls here. Betty made it to her appointment this morning, thank the Maker. I lost sleep over it last night, that's how worried I was about it. But she's over there now and hopefully he can fix it today. I need my car back. I can't remember the last time I felt so stranded.

I've cooked all I can. It's spitting snow and freezing out, so a long walk is just not appealing. I've read everything in the house or what I do have I don't feel like reading. I've watched so much television I feel like my eyes are about to fall out. I'm seriously considering going back to the grocery store (which I was just at on Tuesday) simply for something to do. Heck, I even danced to my song for Saturday's performance. If this keeps up, I may have to actually choreograph something just to keep from going crazy. Last night? I rearranged my storage closet.

If I start cleaning, you know I've gone 'round the bend.


Oh! The bread! It came out pretty well considering it's been a solid two years since I've made any. As you can see, I did a traditional loaf and an italian loaf. They both came out the same size, mainly because I think I accidently put the smaller half in the loaf pan. Oh well.


The only problem is that I forgot about "the flap". In order to make a "loaf", you actually use a rolling pin to flatten the dough out, then roll it up tight so it's like a tube. When you put it in the pan for the final rise, you're supposed to put it in flap side UP, smoosh it around so it's pan-shaped, then flip it over. This way, the flap gets melded to the rest of the loaf and you don't end up with this:


Oops. Oh well. Tastes good anyway. Finally using up that 25 pound bag of flour I bought like a year and a half ago. Time for a new one! This is one habit I definitely want to start up again.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Who'd Have Thought...

... you'd ever hear me say "... and I was really looking forward to going to work, too?"

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate this second week off since I'm sure I probably need it. However, I was really ready to start up at the New Place this week and it broke my heart a little calling my manager to say that I couldn't come in yesterday or today because of my car. As it's generally considered bad form to call out on your second week of employment, there was no small amount of guilt tucked in there, too. Luckily she was very understanding.

I am stuck at home, and it frankly kinda sucks. It's not warm like it was last week, and I can't go anywhere because my car has only one trip left in it, and that's to go to the mechanic tomorrow. Frankly, I'm hoping it has THAT trip left in it. I actually Reiki'd it for twenty minutes before bed last night. It just kept wanting more. And I do realize that sounds like I need to see a Special Doctor. Unless she makes house calls, it ain't gonna be today.

So, what does a girl do when weather isn't beckoning her outside and there's nothing to do? This!

"Lower Calorie" cinnamon roll muffins, that's what. No yeast, so they come together quickly. Boy are they tasty! I, ahem, maybe ate too many of them last night. But how could you resist this, I ask?


Yeah, I didn't think you could, either. I used this recipe for the basic idea, although I added some chopped walnuts I had on hand for the filling, and I used my own non-recipe for the glaze. I've been making frosting/glaze since I was eight; I don't need no steenkin' recipe. I use my Mom's non-recipe: dump stuff in a bowl until it's frosting; frost. If you want glaze, use more milk; glaze.

The sad thing is... I made these last night. Like, 8pm last night. I needed something else to do today. So I'm making BREAD. The kneading, rising, kneading, rising kind of bread that takes all day. Hey, it's not like I'm going anywhere. It has been a couple years since I've baked my own bread. When I went back to school, I just didn't have the time. And when I did have the time I didn't have the space. It's nice to be able to make it again. If this comes out well, I may start doing it again. Since this recipe makes two loaves, one loaf is going to be a traditional sandwich loaf and the other is going to be an oval loaf, sort of like an Italian loaf. If I can get it to shape that way. Heck, maybe we'll just call it artisanal and go with it.

I'm sure I'll have pictures tomorrow. Because it's not like I have anything else to do!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Betty Needs an Operation

Have I told you my car's name is Betty?

She's in bad shape, our Betty. I've been having problems on and off with her for about a month now, but they always seemed to fix themselves so I didn't worry too much about it. Betty's old after all (9 years), and we all tend to have our idiosyncrasies as we age.

Well, as I was coming home from Old Work Sunday afternoon, Betty nearly konked out on me in the middle of a busy intersection. Scared the ever-loving CRAP out of me, let me tell you. I set the alarm for early Monday morning and started calling around to see if any mechanics could fit me in before work yesterday. I was working under the assumption that it was either a misfiring spark plug or a clogged filter.

Someone was kind enough to fit me in yesterday (someone within walking distance, no less!). It turns out he thinks it's the coil, which can cause symptoms similar to what I've been experiencing. Unfortunately, he couldn't fix it yesterday, and I made an appointment for Thursday morning. I asked him if it was okay to drive, and he said yes and no. Short distances would probably be okay, but every time I use it, I'm running the risk of gas getting into the converter. Which would go from a $250 fix to WAY, WAY more.

I was able to get the car to Old Work and back last night. I was hoping I'd be able to get to the new job and back today, but I went to start the car this morning to let it run (it seemed to do better the longer it ran), the check engine light came on after a minute. In this case, that's a bad indicator. If it starts flashing I'm pretty much frakked. So I turned the car off immediately.

So, long story long, I am pretty much stuck here for the next two days. I've called New Work and they've found someone to cover my shift this evening and are taking me off the schedule tomorrow. I am so lucky that they're understanding, especially considering I just started working there last week. I feel awful. I was honestly looking forward to going into work this week.

Betty is going to spend the next couple days just sitting in the parking lot, resting and taking it easy. My Reiki teacher recommended dosing her liberally with the stuff, which I am planning on doing for the next couple days. Sounds hokey I know. But hey, it makes me feel like I'm doing something.

So, it turns out I have another "found" few days off. Too bad this time I can only do things within walking distance. There's not much to do here within walking distance. Good thing I have cable...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Stuff.

Isn't it weird how sometimes you can be happy and sad at the same time? Like you're mourning the loss of what is making you happy even though you're still happy.

Don't ask me to explain that. I can't. Just in a mood I guess.

Anyway.

Did my first massage at the new place today. LOVED working there. Took me a little to get used to the space and set-up, so it was a little awkward to start. But once I worked out a system it went pretty well. Although, in the new place they don't use holsters. They have small bottles of oil with an option of using creme or lotion. I've gotten out of the habit of using oil and prefer the lotion. I started out with that and it was not working. So I switched to the creme.

And this evening, I ordered myself a holster:
Washable Bottle Holster Single - Black W/ Bottle

This is my own personal one with my own personal bottle. I'll bring it in and use that at the new place. It's going to make my massages less awkward and so much more fluid, I think. Of course, if the creme won't go through the opening of the pump I'm going to be screwed. But I'll deal. Plus, it'll be nice to have a holster of my own. You know, in the eventuality that I actually start my own business or do massages outside of work.

In other news, I have rediscovered the schmaltz that is Little House on the Prairie, courtesy of Soul Sucking Cable (LLC). What with the sweeping orchestral backdrop and the Lessons worked into each episode, I think I'm well on my way to a sugar coma. And I have I mentioned that I've discovered the show Too Cute on the Animal Channel? An entire half-hour of this:
Who's a cutie widdle sweetie baby?
I enjoy watching it when I'm in a mood. After a half-hour of going "awwwwww" you tend to feel better about things, generally speaking. I'll have to check and see if it's on later, I guess.

So, this post was all over the place. Hope you didn't throw your neck out with all the wild directional swings. Of course, being a massage therapist, I can fix that. ;-)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Joy/No Joy

I went hunting all hither and yon yesterday and could find no cute wedges. Well, that's not quite true. I found loads of cute wedges but none of them fit me.

To assuage my bitter shoe disappointment I went into a tiny little health food store that I've been meaning to explore ever since I moved to the area. It's actually not in my area but an area near my area... you follow right?

Okay, no one could follow that. Let's just say I found a new health food store to explore and leave it at that.

While I had no joy with the shoes, while I was in the store I did find an absolutely beautiful bunch of asparagus and it had to be mine.

Hello, my name is Kate and I can easily trade a shoe fetish for a nice bunch of asparagus.

Anyway, it was still in the 80's yesterday and I was craving potato salad, and yet I had this lovely bunch of asparagus. What to do? This!

I take horrible food photos.
Sooooo delish! I can't claim originality on this recipe because it's a combination of a couple different things. But here is what I did in case you want to recreate it. Well sort of. With the exception of the vinaigrette, the amounts are guesswork. I really just threw things in the pot and hoped for the best.

Potato, Asparagus and Tomato Salad with Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette
1 pound (ish) potatoes (I used 1.5 Idaho spuds)
1/2 cup onion, diced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch asparagus, rough end trimmed and cut into quarters. Ish.
1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half if they are a little larger
1/8 cup lemon juice
1/8 cup chicken broth or water
1/2 tbsp mustard
1.5 tsp dried tarragon, or 1 tbsp fresh
dash salt
dash pepper
1/8 cup olive oil

1. Wash and chop potatoes. I don't peel mine but you can if you want. Boil as you would for mashed potatoes, only don't mash them. In fact, don't boil them to mush because you want them to hold together (you'll notice from the pic I cooked mine a little too long). Once cooked, drain and let cool to room temperature. Or be lazy like me and stick them in the freezer until cooled. But not frozen!

2. Rinse out the same pot, then drizzle lightly with olive oil (I actually use a spritzer). Toss in the onions and garlic and saute until translucent.

3. Toss in the asparagus with the onions and cook until crisp tender. Then remove from heat and let come to room temp. You can keep them right in the pot if you wish, as they'll come down to temp fairly quickly.

4. To make the vinaigrette, combine the lemon juice, broth/water, mustard, tarragon, salt, pepper and oil in a small bowl and whisk until combined. One note: the amounts I used to make this are actually halved from the original recipe I snitched them from. If you're looking at your amount of salad and thinking it won't be enough, use 1/4 cup of lemon juice, broth/water and olive oil, 1 full tbsp mustard, 1 tbsp dried tarragon (3 fresh), 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper.

5. Take the now-room temp potatoes and add them to the other veggies, giving them a quick toss. Then pour the vinaigrette over top and give it another quick toss. If you're getting all fancy-like, put them in a pretty serving bowl. Or eat them straight from the pot. I won't judge.

This can be served room temperature or cold. Heck if you wanted to serve this as a warm salad it would probably taste delish too! Just keep everything warmer than I did.

Enjoy!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

First Day

Tuesday marked the first day of my new job. I'll be spending three days a week at the Stowe Village Massage, which is affiliated with the Green Mountain Inn.

It was pretty much all paperwork, getting a tour of the facility and a little bit of training. As it has been record-breakingly warm outside (80's! in March!), they've had virtually no business so I've gotten myself a three-day weekend. It was very much needed. I've been spending a lot of time just relaxing and being outside and it has done wonders for me.

My schedule has changed a bit; instead of having my weekend on Friday and Saturday, I now have it on Thursday and Friday. It was kind of painful giving up my Saturday, but I know in order to make this work - especially during the summer - working a weekend day there will be good for the pocket book. Speaking of, I'll be making more than twice what I am at the current place. YES.

So, with a day and a half left on my spur-of-the-moment holiday I'm planning on going cute-shoe shopping. Of course, the weather is supposed to turn much more seasonable starting tomorrow (read 50's and 60's, which is still high for March in VT) so I probably won't get much wear out of them for the next month or so.

BUT A GIRL CAN HOPE.

Yesterday, I bought these shoes:


Which are very cute little sneakers to pop around town with. But... I am looking for some wedges or something similar. Something fun and cute and a little bit sexy but still comfortable. I found some at the same place I found these (Payless, if you believe it), but they didn't quite fit. So disappointed. So... it's a lovely day to be out and about. I think I'll go shoe shopping!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Memories....

This morning I went back to my Massage School for a morning "workshop". It was part of the class of 2012's regular coursework, but they opened it up to graduates who wanted to bone up on things they may have forgotten. I've signed up for three of these: focuses on the shoulder (today), neck and lower back. Considering these are what the majority of my clients indicate as troublesome, I thought the choices were wise. And at $50 a pop, very economical.

It was SO nice to be back there, even for just three hours. Even though some minor changes have been made, the nurturing safe space welcomed me in as if I never left. Oh, how I longed to be back in class! Conveniently forgetting the 80 hour weeks, of course.

It's definitely put me in the mood for continuing education. Which is a good thing, because I have to have 48 hours of CEU's in order to renew my national certification in two years. Yeah, I've got exactly none. I've taken a few things, but none that qualified. I think it's time I started. Luckily, my alma mater is offering several nice classes this year and I think I'll be taking a couple, provided finances go along with my plans.

I know I should branch out and take classes in other places (I'm looking at one in particular now), but I have such an affinity for my massage school. The space and the people in it emit such positive energies that I am continually drawn back for a "hit."

Considering the general lack of positive energy purveyors in society today, I say take what you can get!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Spring? Please? Now?

I will not complain about our winter this year. Mainly because for the first time in my living memory, we haven't really had one. No major nor'easters to dump multiple feet of snow, no horrendous ice storms... nothing. Of course, winter isn't nearly over yet, and I'm still thinking we'll get at least one good dump in April. My personal theory is that we got all of 2012's precipitation in 2011, hence all the snowstorms and flooding and rain and flooding and Irene and flooding.

Have I mentioned a lot of flooding happened last year?

Anyway. Today it was in the 50's and sunny. Since I didn't have to be in to work until 3:30p, I took advantage of the nice weather and took a walk and then sat out on my porch and read for a long while. It did a heart good to breathe in the hint of spring and feel the sun warm my face.

While I was sitting out there, I contemplated how I wanted to "arrange" my porch. I've never had a real porch of my own as an adult. Even though it's only mine as along as I rent this apartment, I was thinking... another camp chair, maybe a small table. I could have my coffee out there in the mornings. Eat dinner out there in the evenings. Bring my plants out there and let them finally see the light of day... something I don't get any of in my apartment. Maybe start a few container gardens of lettuce and other shade-loving veggies.

I can't wait to make use of this wonderful space!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Today's the Day...

Today's the day I sell my soul to the Evil Cable Company. They're supposedly coming between 11am and 1pm today. On the one hand, I am not excited about the bill. On the other hand.... I can watch any show I want to. So, it's a toss-up.

Now, I know what you're thinking... why don't you just subscribe to Netflix or Hulu Plus? Well, I may eventually. The problem is, my current internet sucks donkey balls and I can barely watch a 3 minute YouTube clip without it buffering for five minutes. I've recently discovered I can sometimes get the Simpsons off Hulu, but anything with live action is still off-limits to me.

However, I am getting internet with my cable, so I'll be paying out the last three months of my 2-year crappy internet contract with AT&T today. Worth. It. And who knows? After six months, I may just cancel the cable service and keep the internet. Then I really will sign up for Netflix and/or Hulu.

I have a niggling feeling that my TV may not accept the HD signal. I have no idea. It's not super old, but it's not one of them-thar new-fangled flat screens either. So... hopefully the cable guy has a spare box that he can set me up with and then charge me an extra $Stupid Amount to rent said box.

They really are making out like bandits, aren't they?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Of course.

The cable I was, ahem, borrowing went out this morning. As my internet is not good enough to use for Hulu or Netflix, I bit the bullet and got cable. They're coming this Friday and then I will buy out the end of the 2-year contract on my current USB internet thingy through AT&T. Worth. It.

My car is doing the put-put thing and the check engine light has decided to come on. At first I thought it was just bad gas (how embarrassing), but now I'm thinking I need the filters replaced or something. Which I would normally do on Friday, but as that is now Cable Day I need to call the place down the street to see if they have time for an oil change/battery replacement/put-put fixing. At least it's within walking distance.

With my salary potentially about to take a nose-dive, plus my car insurance due this month, I really don't think I should be spending the money on any of this. But if I don't fix my car I won't have ANY job, and if I don't get cable then I can't watch Season Three of Downton Abbey.

Don't mess with the Abbey, yo.

Monday, March 5, 2012

News!

I have some good news party people: I have a new job!

Well, sorta.

I am bumping my shifts down to just two days per week at my current employer. That will allow me to still see the regulars that I would otherwise greatly miss. The other three days a week, I will be working at a massage center about a half-hour away from me. I will be doing mostly massage, but they will train me on their other offerings like hot-stone and reflexology.

This is a very good move for me. There are still aspects of my current job that I like, but the pace is killing me. I'm nervous that I'm going to develop an injury and as I don't have health insurance, I would be SOL. The pace is slower at the new place, and the pay is better. Unfortunately, I'll be coming on at one of the slower times of the year. But I'm hoping that I'll still be making enough to cover the bills.

I am excited and happy to start this new adventure!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

All Good Things Must Come to an End

If they didn't, they wouldn't be "good" things. They'd just be "things" that fade off into the background. They'd be nothing special.

I had a wonderful weekend this weekend. Nothing exciting or crazy happened, but it was a lovely low-key event with the one guy I wanted to spend it with the most. We had a wonderful dinner in a restaurant within walking distance of my place, a little shopping, a little ice cream, and a lot of lounging and napping and cuddling.

Sometimes it's those low-key, quiet, "nothing special" days that are the most special.

This is Two.

Monday the 21st was our 2-year wedding anniversary. We build the Matrimonial Pizza, with my brother officiating and my Chick of Honor wat...