Friday, February 22, 2013

7 Quick Takes #11

Number 11: Lent and Such

1. I skipped two weeks of Quick Takes. Oops. I hope to be back on track. I did post a few non-QT posts in the past two weeks, including my guest post about Proverbs 31 over at Jen's Medatitio. Go read it! It's about strength.

 I think my arms are starting to look like Rosie's. A little bit.

2. Byzantine Lent started almost two weeks ago as well. What did I give up? Ummm, not much. I've never been a good Lenten giver-upper. I know, I could focus on doing something, or including something in my life instead, but that always falls short too. I try. I've joked that in the past six months or so, I've given up all junk food and other bad foods, diet soda, going out to eat, any extra money lying around since it goes straight to the gym, oh, and working, so what else can I give up? I know, that's probably not what God wants to hear, but really, I have no clue what to do.

Here's a funny. I was just looking for pictures, using the search words "Byzantine Catholic Lent." This picture looked familiar. Then I saw the source :-)

That's Priest's Wife's blog, if you didn't know. I bet the fact that I was signed in as my Blogger account had something to do with that hit.

3. Speaking of strength, I'm getting even stronger and lighter. Just got weighed in today, and was surprised to see I'm down about a half pound from my weigh-in two weeks ago. Last week was a weird gain, but apparently it didn't stick around too long. I don't know what happened, although I might blame the Metformin and the stomach upset it causes.

Yes, I am on Metformin now. (I was on it years ago, but I don't remember it causing any upset stomach.)If this is any indication of what all-day sickness is like when one is thanks.

4. I went to see a NaPro doctor in New York City on Valentine's Day. All by myself; Chris had to work. ¡Que romantico! And yes, this lady was involved ;-) Her name is Saint Gianna Beretta Molla. She was a doctor and a wife and a mother--yes all of them! You can learn more about her, here.

 I had a great visit with the doctor, who was extremely thorough and attentive. She's the one who gave me the Metformin. I'm not going to go into big details here about why I went, except that my Creighton charting has pinpointed some possible medical issues that can be fixed. Some of them have to do with having PCOS. We're not trying to conceive yet; we still need to avoid until my blood pressure and weight are both lower. My feeling was, if there were other issues that would impede success with getting pregnant, why not deal with them NOW, while I'm in the midst of getting healthier? The doctor thought that was an excellent idea. I also have had some serious issues with my instructors and the doctor referred me to another, more competent one. Well worth the time and expense to get to NYC and home. The train ticket and lunch were more than the office visit copay! I go back this week to have a little procedure done which will hopefully help clear up my charting.

5. I think I need to go back to work. I think I need the structure. I know, I do love being at home, doing my own thing, but I am not doing MUCH. Or so it feels. I feel like I just blow off the day, and the projects and things that I had dreamed of doing are still not crossed off on the to-do lists. But finding a job is easier said than done. Part time work would be great, too.

Yes, time is flying. And the freelance jobs aren't coming in as fast as I thought they'd be. I did get a link to a site that has more legit freelance opportunities, which I do need to check out. I passed my resume to a former coworker who is now working at a publisher that I would LOVE to work for. I've been applying for openings there, but said former coworker told me that they always hire interns directly from their internships. Gah.

6. What are your plans for the weekend? This could be hung on our refrigerator.


Chris usually works Saturdays, but has Sundays and Mondays off for his weekend. Sundays we get up and head to church, then come home and putter around, not really doing anything exciting. Mondays we go to the gym, then afterward, Chris usually has appointments or needs to do things that he's been putting off all week. I do whatever around the house. Real exciting! *roll eyes*

This weekend, he's switching with a coworker, so he'll be off Saturday and Sunday. I wonder if we'll try to do anything fun or different. It's hard, with his dietary restrictions and money being tighter with me not working. And free stuff in the winter is hard to come by.

7. I'm having a hard time with number seven. I need to do a ton of errands: bank, post office, pick up a prescription, buy some birthday cards, and go grocery shopping. I really should go do that now.


Sometimes, I feel like my to-do lists are the same thing, over and over and over again. I know!!!! Maybe I should start doing some of the things I've been PUTTING OFF and then my life would be more interesting AND my to-do lists wouldn't look so repetitive. GENIUS!

Don't forget to visit Jen over at Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

It's been an interesting few weeks

I haven't done Quick Takes in 2 or 3 weeks, but I'll be back tomorrow with some, don't worry! The past few weeks have been weird and busy, and I haven't really felt like blogging. That happens a lot with me. Blah. Is it spring yet!?!

Oh, one more thing. I don't know if Blogger did some formatting updates or if it was me updating some things on the iPad in general, but it's MUCH easier to write blog posts on the iPad now. But...this guy also helps me do the job EVEN faster: 

Chris gave me this bluetooth keyboard and stand for Valentine's Day. MUCH better than flowers! I am having trouble inserting a picture from the iPad or from the web into this post, however. The link will have to do.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Getting around on the blogosphere...

Today, a post that I had written for Jen at Meditatio, as a part of her Proverbs 31 series, went up. Read it here:

I think this is my first guest post! Next up Huffington Post!! ;-)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Lent is coming (and here's a recipe!)

Yeah yeah, and so's that snowstorm that I don't want to talk about. Go me, posting something that is NOT a Quick Take!

Lent starts for Byzantine Catholics on Monday, and since our first day (and Good Friday) requires total abstinence from all animal products (but not fish--I still don't really get it), we like to plan ahead for what to eat that day.

This year, I'll be making this:

Photo credit:

Ensalada De Pimientos Estilo-Andaluz
(Red Pepper, Tomato, And Tuna Salad, Andalusian Style)

From One Pot Spanish, by Penelope Casas, page 20; recipe copied from since I was too lazy to type it all out.

This version of Andalusian red pepper salad comes from the Cazorla restaurant in Madrid and is an especially delicious rendition. It includes tomato, white-meat tuna and mild bright green olives and it is served in a bowl with lots of liquid from the peppers and tomatoes. More than salad in itself it is meant as a side dish to Andalusian fried fish and grilled shrimp to place on your plate with the fish and take more as you please.

Serves 4

6 medium-large, deep red bell peppers
1/2 pound good-quality white-meat tuna, preferably imported from Spain
1/2 pound ripe but firm tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices, then halved
12 mild bright green olives, such as Cerignola
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
6 tablespoons fruity extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon wine vinegar, preferably mild white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Kosher or sea salt

Preheat the oven to 550'F. Place the peppers in a roosting pan and cook until charred, turning once, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and place in a deep dish. Cover with foil and let sit for 15 minutes. Peel off the skin, core, and seed the peppers, reserving the juices.

Slice the peppers into 3/4-inch strips and place in a bowl. Add the tuna, broken into chunks, the tomatoes, olives, and parsley. Fold in the oil, vinegar, sugar, and salt to taste with a rubber spatula. Refrigerate overnight. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Notes from me:
The picture in our cookbook is different from this one that I found online, but I think this will be delicious. I'll be making a few adjustments: I'm using canned tuna, black olives, and dried parsley, since we already have those things on hand. I was excited that red peppers have been on sale for *only* $1.99/pound lately. If you don't have or can't find Vidalia onions, I'd think that a sweet onion, or really, ANY onion would be fine. I'm using whatever we have in our bin in the basement. I just wish I could get summer tomatoes now, since I think the dish would be even better with those, versus the ones we get in the winter.

Additionally, this recipe is great for those of us who are always scrambling to get dinner on the table, as you have to prepare it ahead of time and leave it in the fridge. Now, as for what to serve it with...I was planning on buying a loaf of crusty, multigrain bread at the store, but we're expecting THAT storm and who knows if I'll be able to get down to the store. Plus, it won't be so fresh by Monday. I do have some whole wheat rolls in the freezer(which happen to be vegan!) that I could toast under the broiler and serve with olive oil. Also, to fill up the plate (and the belly) a little more, I think I'll serve it over a bed of raw spinach or kale. I have both in the fridge.

Friday, February 1, 2013

7 Quick Takes #10

Number 10: ALL THE RANDOM!!!

1. Most important: ALL of Chris' labs were in the normal ranges. Thank God. He was so excited and happy. The doctor even said he was proud of him, and to keep doing whatever he was doing because it was working. All the hard work paid off, and some of the restrictions have loosened up. He can even have a cheat day once a month.

2. Here's a free tip. Don't EVER allow your dough to rise in the preheated oven. It's TOO hot. You will start to bake your dough. Yup, last night while making pizza dough, I had the "brilliant" idea to throw the dough in the preheated oven to rise. FAIL. I had to scramble to make another batch of dough before Chris got home. Usually I put it near our wood stove to rise, but the past few days have been warm, so I haven't lit it. If you're curious, we use Bobby Flay's recipe, but use half whole wheat flour/half white flour. And I don't pull out my mixer for this, I mix and knead by hand. Faster and easier.

3. Are you ready for some football? lol

I'm not a football person, and neither is Chris, but we're going to a Super Bowl party on Sunday at one of my oldest friends' house. She bought it in September, and it's pretty close to me, but with life and all of that stuff, I haven't been over to see it and we haven't seen each other since...I don't know when. We talk all of the time, but I guess we're too lazy to drive the five miles to see the other. Ha! :) It'll be nice to get out and socialize, since we rarely do. I guess that since the Ravens beat the Patriots, I should root for the 49ers?

4. I've been invited to speak at a conference affiliated with my former workplace's industry by one of my clients. And then I was sort of outed to my former employer via conference call. Heh. It should be interesting, but it's definitely an honor and an awesome opportunity to put myself out there. However, the conference isn't until May. I'm a bit nervous about seeing people who made my life a living hell, but on the other hand, it will be very sweet for them to see that they didn't ruin my life, not to mention, I'm a lot thinner, ha.

5. I'm going to take back my comments about making a Wikipedia page. I made the page and it was really easy--once I figured out that I could "edit" an existing page, copy the code, and change it with my client's information. All I had to do was find someone who had a page similar to how I wanted my client's page to look. Done! Well, it's waiting for approval. My client suggested that this could be a lucrative part of my business, for others. Even though that goes against Wikipedia's code of ethics...but they aren't paying my mortgage either.

6. A business. Yeah, I might start one. I think I mentioned that before, but I'm stalling, even though it will probably have more "pull" than just me, freelancing. I have to think of a name and I don't like anything yet. I don't want it to be too stuffy or too goofy, be just my name, or refer to something about my work that pigeon holes me. Suggestions?

7. Speaking of my mortgage--the strangest thing happened. I had been thinking about calling the bank to see if we could refinance. The rates are going down, and although we have a good rate already, why not try to save some money? Then I lost my job and worried that we wouldn't be approved. Last week I got something from the woman who did our mortgage (newsletter thing) and I thought about calling her just to see if there was anything we could do. Tuesday night she called our house, unsolicited. She wanted to tell us about how the bank offering existing mortgage customers lower rates. They want to keep their mortgage customers, they were doing this without making people go through the refinance process. No credit checks, no income verification, no appraisal. A $750 fee to cover the paperwork (refinances can cost more than that) and we'll be saving $175 a month! I joked with Chris that things are getting easier for me to really not go back to work. He told me not to get any ideas. We'll see. ;-)

Don't forget to visit Jen over at Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes! Have a great weekend!