Wednesday, February 21, 2018

February Funk

Remember that item on my Winter Bucket List about trying to hate winter less this year? People, I did so well! For, like, all of December and January, I did a great job of not bitching, moaning, or generally shaking my fist at the sky and cursing Mother Nature for the long, dreary, dark days and endless stretches of gloom. Instead, I kept to my exercise routine, continued to eat well, got out in the fresh air as often as possible, and genuinely embraced the season.

Then came February.

February is my winter Kryptonite; it drains my super powers like nobody's business, and, this year has been no exception. February brought the first snow storms of the year to Petticoat Junction, and, because Mother Nature and Father Winter are assholes, it looks like there will be another blizzard tomorrow, just as I'm preparing to drive over high mountain passes to reach The Girls and our first Girl's Weekend in two years.

I am less than pleased.

Not surprised, oh, hell, no. As I said, February.

(The only good thing to come out of February was Queen B's birth back in 1996; celebrating her birthday is always the highlight of the month. )

Damn you, February.

Damn you.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Recipes From the Porch: Ginger Carrot Soup

The week before last, after attending a meeting for Day Job, some co-workers and I went to a lunch at a little restaurant in a community just over the hill from Hooterville. Three-out-of-four of us had the soup-of-the-day, which was the tastiest carrot soup that I had ever had. If memory serves, it was also the only carrot soup I've ever had, but that is neither here nor there.

Once I got home, I started searching the Google for carrot soup recipes, and, after a bit of trial and error, landed upon one that, with a little tweaking of my own, most closely resembles that of the soup that I had in that restaurant.

This is the recipe.


6-8 large carrots, sliced
1 large onion, diced
2 tsp fresh ginger, finely minced
3 cups vegetable stock
2 cups water
4 tbsp butter
2-3 strips of orange zest
1/4 tsp ground ginger
salt to taste

Melt butter in a dutch oven or large pot. Add carrots and onion, cooking over medium heat until soft.

Add water, vegetable stock, minced ginger, and orange zest.

Bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until carrots are soft.

Remove and discard orange zest.

Blend, using an immersion blender, or, by transferring small batches of the mixture to a standing blender; process until smooth.

Return to heat, add ground ginger and salt to taste.

Serve with a small sprinkle of thyme, if you like thyme, which, I do.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Friday Favorites, Part Deux: The Trainer Answers!

My session with the personal trainer went really well! My arms are now so fatigued, I fear I may never raise a wineglass, again. This is especially unfortunate considering the fact that the trainer has no beef with wine consumption. As for the answers to my other questions:

1.  She assured me that she falls far, far to the right of the Profanity Tolerance Scale, in fact, she warned me that she has no filter, is completely uncensored, and, may offend me on occassion, which? Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha! She has soooo much to learn.

2.  When I asked about the crying, she clucked her tongue at me and said, "Oh, come on, now; you're better than that".

3.  As I said, wine, check! She does insist that I eat a good deal of protein following heavy workouts, but, wine is totally allowed as a chaser.

4.  For the record, she is fine with clients who puke and/or pass out. As far as urinary incontinence goes, she actually said "You know there are exercises for that, right?"

I am in such good hands.

Friday Favorites: Questions to Ask the Personal Trainer

I have my first session with the personal trainer today, and, have developed a list of standard questions that I feel all potential trainers should be required to answer prior to entering into a contract with a new client. Or, with this particular client, anyway.

1.  On a scale from "Oh, gee, goodness, oh, my!" to "ShitMutherfuckerDamn!", where do you fall on the Profanity Tolerance Scale? (The answer, I'm sure we can all agree, should fall farther to the right of the scale than the left).

2.  What is your typical response when a client cries? (I'm A-Ok with the answer including any form of the phrase "Are you crying?! There's no crying in personal training!")

3.  Do you have a policy limiting the amount of wine that a client can consume? (Y'all know the answer to this one better be a big, loud "NO, ma'am", right?)

4.  Will you sign a confidentiality agreement that prevents you from disclosing the number of times a client throws up, passes out, or pees his/probably her pants while under the supreme duress of working out following years of leading a mostly sedentary life? (This had best be a no-brainer, folks).

Now, I am off to change into my workout clothes (which, may or may not include some form of adult diaper) and to print off a copy of that confidentiality form.

Because, I like to be prepared in advance.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


Happy Valentines Day, you Hallmark holiday, you! Hugh is on the road to Denver for the state wrestling tournament, so, we are not reveling in the romance. He did, however, have a lovely bouquet of roses sent to me at Day Job, so, he covered his floral-purchasing obligation for the year.

And, last night, we celebrated Emily's birthday at her favorite restaurant, so, that sufficed as our romantic dinner for this year.

The babies were in attendance. Well, two out of four of them, anyway.  But! Coincidentally, Miss Shelley was at the restaurant with her new beau, so we chatted about Mikey, and, we texted with the Man-Cub throughout dinner, so, it was almost like they were there.

All said, it made for an especially nice celebration.

Emily was intrigued by my experience with DNA testing, so, we gifted her with a test of her own. I'm looking forward to hearing her results, since she passed some of her DNA on to my children. I also keep trying to convince Hugh to do a test, but, so far, he isn't terribly interested; I'm betting I'll eventually wear him down.

And, speaking of wearing down, I am still not 100% over the sinus issues that plagued me on Monday, so I think I will call it an early night. I hope your Hallmark celebration was at least as exciting as my own.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

An Audience With the Queen

Sunday's early-birthday bonding time with Queen B included all of her requested activities:

1.  Pedicures

2.  Treasure hunting for her class project.

3.  Watching a scary movie on the dish network while indulging in our favorite cheeses (Muenster for her, smokey cheddar for me).

4.  A trip to the Ross in Hooterville (because the Ross in Neighboring City could best be described at ghetto, and, that's being really, really generous).

5.  Corned beef, cabbage, and all the trimmings.

6.  Cream cheese swirled red velvet cake with cream cheese icing.

7.  A sleepover in her old room.

It was a great day.

The following day, she got the most adorable haircut, and, now she is less than two weeks away from turning 22.

Photo shamelessly stolen from Queen B's Facebook, because I'm her mother and I can.

It's crazy how fast time goes by.

Monday, February 12, 2018

A Weekend in Pictures

Queen B and I spent a lot of quality time together yesterday and I enjoyed every minute of it. Unfortunately, today, I am feeling under the weather, so, I'm not going to write a play-by-play post about our time together; I'll save that for another day.

Instead, here are a bunch of pictures of how I spent the first two days of the weekend, including breakfast with Kortni and Kristi on Friday, some awesome shots of the cabinet-organizing spree that I went on on Saturday (my life is soooo exciting!), and, a few of the latest bird to visit the feeders in the backyard (although, he wasn't there for the seeds, he was there to eat the birds who eat the seeds; nature is a war zone, folks).