Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

I love getting work schedules early. The Boss from job # 2 called and gave my my schedule for next week. I'm really grateful. I can at least plan meals, and workouts and stuff. It also helps start the resolutions.

  1. Eat Healthier: I need to eat smaller portions, more balanced meals and healthier snacks.
  2. Move more: On days in which I don't work two jobs, I need to do some sort of exercise
  3. Live a balanced life: I need to work every day to keep the house in order, and to make sure that all parts of my life are seen to.
And now, to wrestle the tree into the box.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Live and Let Diet!

Since part of the three things I want to do this year is eat better, maybe I should follow some of this. Below are Alton Brown's list of foods to eat and avoid, and SparkPeople's tips for lightening up recipes.

The Plan of Four Lists

daily 3x/week 1x/week 0x/week
whole grains
leafy greens
green tea
oily fish
sweet potato
red meat
fast food
processed meals
canned soups
“diet” anything

Now, there's things in there I just plain don't like, like avocado, but I think this is a good place to start. I also think that the Spousal Equivalent(tm) and I need to sit down and plan meals (dinners, lunches and all) for a week, to make sure that we're not eating too much red meat, or whatever.

And from

10 Easy Ways to Lighten Up Any Recipe

  1. Sauté—the skinny way! A couple of tablespoons of low-sodium vegetable broth can be used instead of oil or butter in your stir fry or as the basis for a sauce. This method will add a nice flavor to your dish as well as a little moisture—and you'll save calories to use elsewhere. To get a dose of unsaturated fats, serve your broth-sautéed veggies with a side salad, and pour an olive oil-based dressing over the top.
  2. Say no to skin. Three ounces of chicken breast meat with skin has almost 150 calories; three ounces of chicken without the skin has 50 fewer calories. Tasty as it might be, the skin contains mostly heart-unhealthy saturated fat. You can cook with the skin on to retain moisture (add fresh herbs or citrus zest underneath it to really bake in some flavor), but be sure to remove the skin before you enjoy your meal to save on calories and saturated fat.

  3. Squeeze on the citrus. To add a powerful flavor punch with minimal added calories, use citrus on steamed veggies instead of butter or over a salad instead of a dressing. It’s even great on fruit salad in place of sugar and adds some zip when squeezed onto a pasta salad. Don’t forget to use the flavorful zest of citrus fruits as well! Wash a lemon, orange or lime, then use a zester or grater to add the zest to dishes such as baked seafood.

  4. Be choosy about cheese. When using a mildly flavored cheese, such as Monterey Jack, you need more cheese to taste it. But when you choose a cheese with intense flavor, you can use less and still get the desired effect. Try a reduced-sodium feta, sharp Cheddar or aged Parmesan next time. Light cheese wedges such as The Laughing Cow brand are useful when you're watching fat and calories, too. Try mixing one of these soft cheeses into your scrambled eggs or noodle dishes instead of loading on the shredded mozzarella.

  5. Go Greek. Tangy, fat-free Greek yogurt is a healthful replacement for sour cream. Try this switch in herbed and spiced dips, tacos, nachos, enchiladas, or throw it in a cooked dish as a thickening agent. You’ll save 45 calories for each 2-tablespoon serving.

  6. Puree your produce. Add body to soups and sauces with pureed vegetables instead of heavy cream, evaporated milk, butter or cheese. This move will also add fiber and nutrients to your dish for very few calories. A puree of carrots will add texture to meatless spaghetti sauce, and mixing a blend of beans into a chili or soup will add flavor and thicken it—all with very few added calories. In this recipe, Chef Meg thickens a taco soup with chickpeas!

  7. Get cozy with cottage cheese. When a recipe calls for a significant amount of a crumbled cheese, such as feta or ricotta, substitute half the amount with reduced-fat cottage cheese. This will retain taste, texture, protein, and calcium while ditching some of the fat and calories. This works well for stuffed peppers and most baked pasta dishes.

  8. Pump up the veggies! You can easily reach the recommended five servings of fruits and veggies when you’re cooking at home. Veggies can compliment any dish on your menu, adding nutrient-packed bulk to the meal for few calories. Add chopped asparagus and mushrooms to your next omelet, red peppers (or a frozen stir fry mix) to baked casseroles, or any kind of beans to a pasta salad. Include fresh or frozen spinach in pasta sauces and soups, and broccoli in your casseroles. The opportunities for adding veggies are endless for almost any dish!

  9. Cut the cream. When making cream-based soups, sub fat-free half-and-half for any heavy cream. The switch gives the soups a creamy taste and velvety texture without all the saturated fat of heavy cream. This works great in pasta sauces as well.

  10. Make your own marinade. Marinate lean meats in vinegar and citrus combos (with a bit of oil added) rather than a pre-made oil-based dressing. You can also try a fruit juice or wine. These agents will still tenderize and flavor the meat, and a mix of herbs and spices will bring out the flavor! (You'll also save sodium by not using the store-bought varieties!) Try cutting the meat in strips before dousing it to really let the marinade take effect.

Monday, December 27, 2010

I've been a slack ass lately!!

The time of snowmageddon induced napping is over! Tomorrow I need to get something done!

We were finally able to move the car without the feeling of sledding today, so we went to the store and got some provisions. So tomorrow we get to work: Vacuuming, laundry (putting away the clean stuff) , putting the closet stuff away, making sure to work out (I counted shoveling out the car as a work out yesterday).

I only have a week off and so much I need to get done!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Snow! (It's Comin' Down!)

The snow started last night around sunset or so. We woke up this morning to at least half a foot. It has to be over a foot now. Some places are over the dog's head.

I both love and hate it. It reminds me of home. I love the look of snow. I can go out to play in it in short intervals (cold-induced asthma). But I hate driving in it, and the cold makes it rather hard to breathe.

Well, I started shoveling off the cars (using a dust pan) and the Spousal Equivilliant finished. He took the dog out to explore the snow. She's cold, happy to be inside, and will not potty in the snow.

I think that it's time to find some lunch, and some hot tea.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Deep Thoughts Part 4 (the end!)

*Fourth, how do you love?

I tend to love with all of my heart, without reservation, or thought. It gets me in trouble often. Though letting myself fall in love with the Spousal Equivalent turned out to be an exception to the rule! Love you honey!

*Does it touch you, hold you, fill you, fling you into the world?

I believe that there is more types of love than just romantic boyfriend/girlfriend love. My love of my partner, my family of choice, my family of birth and my friends sustains me. When we are out of touch for too long, it's like a light goes dim in my life. Without love, my life doesn't have much meaning.

*Whom do you love?

As I said above, my partner, my pets, my family of choice, my family of birth and my friends.

*Are there parents, grandparents, siblings, children, grandchildren, close to you or far away, living or departed, their faces in your heart?

I have a cousin in Richmond, and that s my closest family. The rest of the family is in New York. I really miss it this time of year. Yes, it's true. I miss the snow. I miss having a white christmas.

*Does your love reach out, to heal, to soothe, to comfort, to feed the hungry and warm the cold?

I try to be there for my friends, supporting them, cooking for them, giving them sanctuary when they need it. I believe that my apartment should be a sanctuary from the problems that they face. That's why we're taking people in for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Deep Thoughts, Part Three

*Third, what brings you joy?

The little things n life bring my joy. Charlie Brown said that happiness is a warm puppy. Well, it is. When I get home after a long day, my dog meets me at the door, wagging her entire body, barking happily. Nothing makes you feel better. Lately the Spousal Equivalent brings my joy (well, he always does, but now for a new reason.) I work long hours, and he starts dinner. Monday, I came home feeling really awful, and he made it all. Made me cry.

*What is it that lights up your eyes, that quickens your step?

Now, this is corny, but the Christmas season does. There's something about that time of year that makes me happy. I remember my childhood, the family traditions.

Also, there's something about swings. Seriously, can you be sad while swinging?

*Who are the people that delight you, that put a smile on your face when you see them?

Well, the Spousal Equivalent. Obviously. And the pets. Most of my friends too (I don't want to name names. You know.. protect the innocent). My friends are what keep me going.

*How do you find joy in what you do?

That is a hard question. I do data entry now. Seriously, how can you find joy in it. I put cartoons on Hulu in the background while I work. It gets me through.

I'm actually going back to try to find the joy in things that have stopped bringing me joy. Dance. I'm too fat and out of shape now. It frustrates me. But somehow I will find that joy again.

*How do you bring joy to those around you, near or far, friends or strangers?

I try to be polite and smile when meeting strangers. With friends far, emailed greetings and posts to facebook pages can brighten a day.

I think that is something I need to work on, bringing joy to people.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Deep Thoughts Part 2 (of four)

*Second, in what do you have faith in life?

We have a friend, who was sent to the hospital, and got the horrible news of a strep infection (a NASTY one), type II diabetes and leukemia. He's fighting through it (I might have just curled up and died). But the way our community has come together to support him renews my faith in humanity.

*What is it that gives you a sense of being truly at home?

There are times, when it's warm inside my house, I'm covered with a blanket, with a puppy on my lap. The Spousal Equivalent is on the other end of the sofa, petting his cat... It's times like that where I feel truly at home.

*Where can you find a quiet moment, to calm your mind, to rest your body, and to renew your spirit?

There are two places actually. I do a lot of deep thinking during my early morning commute. The traffic is light and I have time to think. But I do a lot of my wishing, hoping and daydreaming in bed. I go to bed a little early, snuggle in under the covers.

*How can you offer that to others, smoothing out the wrinkles in our complicated lives, stepping back and taking stock in how we are in the world?

I don't recommend my meditation methods to people that fall asleep or zone out easily. I think that helping out your neighbors, friends and family needs to be a priority these days. The simple act of a neighborhood teen helping to bring an elderly lady's groceries in goes a little bit to helping someone restore their faith in humanity. We are all interconnected. It's time to act like it.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Deep Thoughts

But these aren't by Jack Handy (You get a cookie if you remember the reference.)

Sunday's church service included reflections on the seasons (Solstice and Christmas). The Christmas part included many, many questions to reflect on. So many questions that I couldn't remember them all! So I emailed the minister to get the list.

And now, part 1 of four.

* First, for what do you hope this season?

I hope for some stability in my life. I’ve got stable relationships, so I’m good there. It’s the constant worry about money. Can we pay the rent? Will they start to garnish our wages? Will they reposses my car? I hope that I can get to a more stable place, where this worrying won’t give me a ulcer.

* What is it that really matters to you?

Home. Home isn’t a house, or apartment, or anything like that. It’s the place where you make your meals and sleep safe at night. It’s holds those people (and animals) that are so precious to you that you can’t bear to have them live anywhere else.

* What do you wish to see in the world?

I really would like to see some hope. Things have been so bleak lately that many people have given up hope of ever getting back on their feet again. (I must admit, that from time to time I am among these numbers) With some hope, and a little positivity, maybe we can make positive change, instead of complaining about it. I know that I'm going to work on this myself.

* What do you wish to do in the world?

I thought that my place in this universe was to teach. But after being let go from three districts in four years... that's not going to happen. At this point, I'm not so sure where my place in this world is. I know that may take time to figure out, so in the mean time I'm trying to find a job that will sustain me.

My greatest fear is to be invisible and forgotten. I really wish to help... to be remembered fondly... and not to be a burden.

* What do you need from the world that will truly nourish your soul, sustain you into an uncertain future, and give you the strength to embrace your better self?

I think that my biggest problem is worrying. And you can tell me all day to stop worrying about things. It won't help. Like I said before, if I could get ahead money wise, so I'll stop worrying that things will be pulled out from under me, I'll be ok.

Nourishing my soul is a different matter. I think the act of making a better "me" is an active one. I know I need to work on establishing a routine, eating healthier and exercising more. But doesn't everyone? The biggest thing I need to do is balance the separate parts of my life. I tend to fulfill one set of needs to the exclusion of others, which starts a nasty cycle. What will sustain me is balance. Balancing out the commitments, jobs, friends and needs so nothing is screaming for attention.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The real meaning of Christmas

This Christmas, I don't have money for presents. I'm inviting some people over. I will provide food, company, Christmas themed movies (I have many!), and love.

It's all I have to give. But it's enough.

But this... this sound wasn't sad. Why... this sound sounded glad. Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small, was singing, without any presents at all! He hadn't stopped Christmas from coming, it came! Somehow or other, it came just the same. And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow, Stood puzzling and puzzling "How could it be so? It came with out ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags!" He puzzled and puzzled till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more!

Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer. Cheer to all Whos far and near. Christmas Day is in our grasp so long as we have hands to clasp. Christmas Day will always be just as long as we have we. Welcome Christmas while we stand, heart to heart and hand in hand.


Yesterday Mother Nature dumped a few inches of snow and ice onto the Hampton Roads Metro area. Work was canceled across the board, along with ChorUUS practice.

The world seems to be getting back to normal now. I'm at work, tomorrow I spend a few hours at Sylvan. There's game tonight, and we have gas in the car. I think we should just go.

I know New Year's resolutions rarely work, but I think that I have identified three things that I need to work on in 2011
  1. Establish a routine to help keep my house clean. I'm busy, so a routine will help!
  2. Keep my life more in balance. There are many parts of my life, and I've been focusing on too few. I'm starting to feel it now.
  3. Move more. It's really hard with the new schedule. But I have a week off to jump start the move more initiative. At least 3 days a week, I think.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I may not survive the next few days

Today I need to:
  • Work job #1 until 2:20ish then drive to job #2
  • Work Job #2 until 6:30
  • Find time and money to eat
  • Ballet from 7:30-8:30
  • make some food for lunches tomorrow
  • buy a pair of gloves
  • do a load of laundry (socks and undies)
  • get the clothes ready for the interview tomorrow
  • wash dishes
  • sleep?
Tomorrow I need to:
  • Work Job #1 until 2:30 or so
  • Walk to my interview, then have said interview
  • speed to job #2
  • speed to Choir practice after work lets out
  • find SOME time to eat
  • do the laundry that wasn't done yesterday
  • make sure I have something for lunch on Friday
I'm wondering if I have time today for ballet. The laundry is a rather high priority. I'm out of socks to wear to work, and the little thin fancy things aren't cutting it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

This could be long: Brunch ideas (So I don't lose them)

Maple-Bacon Breakfast Rolls
10 slices precooked bacon
1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet
3 tablespoons LAND O LAKES® Butter, softened
5 tablespoons maple syrup
1/3 cup powdered sugar

  • 1Heat oven to 375°F. Microwave bacon as directed on package until very crisp. Drain on paper towels. Set aside to cool.
  • 2Generously spray large cookie sheet (dark cookie sheet not recommended) with Crisco® Orig inal No-Stick Cooking Spray, or line with cooking parchment paper. Unroll dough sheet on work surface; press into 12x8-inch rectangle.
  • 3In small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the butter and 2 tablespoons of the syrup with fork or wire whisk until smooth and creamy. Spread mixture evenly over dough, covering to edges. Finely chop bacon; reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish. Spread remaining bacon evenly over butter mixture. Starting at short end, roll up dough; pinch edge to seal. Wrap roll in plastic wrap; refrigerate 5 minutes to chill so dough will be easier to cut.
  • 4Unwrap roll; place seam side down on cutting board. Using serrated knife, cut roll into 12 (about 3/4-inch) slices. Pl ace slices, cut sides up, on cookie sheet.
  • 5Bake 8 to 13 minutes or until light golden brown. Place waxed paper under cooling rack. Remove rolls from cookie sheet to cooling rack; cool 5 minutes.
  • 6Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix powdered sugar, remaining 1 tablespoon butter and remaining 3 tablespoons syrup with wire whisk until smooth. Drizzle icing over rolls. Garnish with reserved bacon.

Biscuit, Ham and Potato Bake

2 Pillsbury® Grands!® frozen buttermilk biscuits (from 25-oz bag)
2 eggs
1/3 cup mi lk
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1 cup frozen potatoes O'Brien with onions and peppers (from 28-oz bag)
1/2 cup diced ham
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (2 oz)

  • 1Place frozen biscuits on microwavable plate. Microwave uncovered on Medium (50%) 30 to 40 seconds or until soft.
  • 2Heat oven to 350°F. In medium bowl, beat eggs, milk and mustard with wire whisk until blended. Stir in potatoes, ham and cheese.
  • 3Spray 1-quart casserole with cooking spray. Cut each biscuit into 8 pieces; arrange evenly in dish. Pour egg mixture over biscuit pieces in dish. Press down with back of spoon, making sure all bisc uits are covered with egg mixture.
  • 4Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until edges are golden brown and center is set. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Oatmeal Cookie Oatmeal
1 cup TJ’s Quick Cook Steel Cut Oatmeal
2 cups Water
½ cup TJ’s Unsweetened Applesauce
1 pinch TJ’s Cinnamon
½ cup of TJ’s Golden Raisins
¼ cup TJ’s Toasted Almond Slivers
2 tsp TJ’s Brown Sugar

Combine oatmeal and water and bring to a boil. As soon as the water begins to boil, turn the heat to low and let simmer for 5 minutes. Then mix in the applesauce, cinnamon, raisins and almond slivers, and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Place the oatmeal mixture into a bowl, sprinkle a little bit of brown sugar on top – Enjoy.
Serves: 2-3
Cooking T ime: 10 minutes

‘Easy Like S unday Morning’ Breakfast Casserole
1 loaf TJ’s Crusty French Bread, torn into pieces
6 TJ’s Eggs
¼ cup TJ’s Milk
1 cup TJ’s Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage (pre-cooked), sliced (or TJ’s Veg. Sausage-less Sausage)
1 cup TJ’s Monterey Jack Cheese, grated
TJ’s Spices (opt ional)

Preheat oven to 350º and grease baking pan with your choice of oil or butter. Place bread pieces
in pan and distribute evenly. Beat the eggs, milk and any spices you desire (salt, pepper, garlic
powder…) and pour over the bread. Add the remaining ingredients and bake for 25 minutes or
until top is golden brown and a knife put in the center comes out clean. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving (oh, you can wait). Enjoy.
Serves: 8-10
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Cheesy Hash Browns

6 slices OSCAR MAYER Center Cut Bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 pkg. (16 oz.) frozen shredded hash browns, partially thawed
1/2 cup chopped green peppers
1/2 cup KRAFT Shredded Cheddar Cheese

COOK bacon and onions in large skillet on medium-high heat until bacon is crisp, stirring occasionally.

ADD potatoes and peppers. Cook on medium heat 10 min. or until heated through, stirring occasionally.

TOP with cheese; cook 30 sec. or until melted.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The joys of time management

Saturday I started my second job as a tutor at Sylvan Learning Center. This means a lot of hours away from home and a lot of time on the road. I left my house before 7am, and I don't think I'll be back before 7pm.

It means a lot of changes around the house. The Spousal Equivalent needs to walk the Misty Monster when he gets home. This is a challenge, since she likes to pee all over the floor when he hooks her up. He also needs to start dinner, so I can eat when I get home!

We spent Sunday shopping (with VERY little money), and decided on a few dishes to make this week. He'll start, I'll finish then we'll eat!

let's see if I can fit the two jobs, household chores, ballet and chorUUs into this week!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

"Tis the Season to be Jolly

Christmas is my favorite time of the year, and yet... I've been rather blue. I think a lot of it has to do with money. I have a very short list of gifts to buy, and extremely limited funds.

At the very least I want to provide food: Perogies Christmas eve, things to nibble on all day on Christmas day, Christmas Morning brunch, cookies, egg nog, all the works. I hope I can at least do that.

Christmas is such a special time. It's a time where you can let your inner child out to play. It's a time where everything is about to start over fresh, with endless possibilities. A time to contemplate peace on earth, and good will toward all men.

If you will excuse me. I need to buy some gingerbread.

Happy Birthday to Me!

It's been a Western kind of week.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Good: It's my birthday! I have Indian food planned for dinner. I also cleaned out the sock drawer.

The Bad: the lack of money to do fun birthday things with. (I wanted to go skating.. or out to dinner. No go) I need socks for work. And gloves. I have no gloves! How did that happen??

The Ugly: I owe money on the cell bill, and they want it NOW. Well.... they can have it.. Friday. I hope it's soon enough. I can't seem to get ahead.

I think that'll be my New Year's Resolution. To get ahead on the bills.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I had a bit of a breakdown yesterday. (Don't worry, I'm back on the St. John's Wort again) I realized some things. I'm way too trusting, and I need to self advocate more.

I keep getting hurt by the actions of friends, and it's my fault. I go into situations with this extremely open heart and get hurt. I don't know how to fix it.

What I do know how to fix is my lack of self advocating. I need to speak up more about my needs and feelings.

I refuse to be a doormat again!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Helicopter Parents

In my short career as a teacher, I ran into these parents. These were the students that handed in projects that were professionally done, printed and typeset. These were the students that always came in with an excuse. For everything. If an F went home, there was an IMMEDIATE call wanting to make it up, or do extra credit.

These were the students that, upon going to college, can't manage to do their own laundry, get themselves to class, and have NO idea why they are failing... and mommy... can you fix it?

I really beleive that the good intentions of these extremely hands on parents are part of the problem in this country. Some kids have this amazing entitlement complex. They don't want to work for anything, they expect you to hand it to them. Now we know why.

And I'm not saying that ALL parents do this!! I'm saying that it explains a lot!

Eat Pray Love

The movie came out on DVD last week. I've read the book. Today I was sneaky and found it online. It's playing in the background at work. I want to re-read the book, highlighter in hand to note the passages that resonate with me, that change me, that make me want to change. Watching the movie (Or listening to it) I want to highlight portions of it the same way.

I think I shall do that. Eat. Pray. Love.

Eat- While, I need to eat better, and smarter, with smaller.. I think I'll stop obsessing. The world won't end becuase I had a Hershey Bar.

Pray- If I stop, and think every once in a while, think before I speak, or act... things might work out better. Hell, if I stop and listen, I might get some guidance!

Love- I think I do this pretty well already. Though at times my heart is so open that it gets hurt easily.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Because it was just that good... last night's dream

I was going to a high school, which takes place on the Hogwarts Express. I'm wandering through the cars, looking for the showers. After crawling for what seemed like hours, I found the Catholic School shower (Where people were also painting shadow boxes). I'm finally showering, when Rachel Berry (from Glee) takes my freshly painted blue and purple shadow box, insisting that we need to hurry up! That we need to find new Glee members. I snag a uniform, that looked more like Dorthy's outfit from the Wizard of Oz and put it on (It stuck to my wet skin) and leave the shower room. I then go to the next room, where there were auditions for a Hong Kong action film.

Then Misty woke me up.

Now, apparently I need to shower.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

It's been a weird few days.

Having weekdays off is always weird. You feel like you need to be somewhere.

Since I've played the last few days, today and tomorrow are work days. I somehow woke at 7am, and started on dishes. Today's list includes taking out the trash, doing some laundry, putting up the tree and picking up the living room. Unfortunately this requires a trip to the store (Laundry soap, replacement bulbs for the tree and new coffee creamer. Eewww, something off about the last stuff.)

We've been pussyfooting around the house waiting for maintenance to get here and re-grout the bathroom. If they aren't here today, need to inquire about it.

I also need to yell at UPS. My Avon order has been "in transit" n Newport News for three days. I have people that want that stuff!

Now, there's breakfast to be had, and some exercise to do. We're taking the dog to the park.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I'm Thankful For .....

  • My friends. Seriously, I don't know what I did to deserve y'all, but thanks for being my friend!
  • My BFF Amanda. I've been through a lot since last year, and she's been with me the entire time.
  • My Spousal Equivalent. What else can I say... I traded up. WAY up.
  • My dog. And everyone that puts up with her. She's a love bug... when she stops barking!
  • My family, even if they are far away.
  • My various communities. It's where I've picked up my friends, and gives me things to do
  • Chocolate. It makes everything better
  • Getting the free meals and such for your birthday. The offers have already started coming . I have no money, and won't get much in the way of birthday gifts... so it's perfect!
And if you will excuse me... I must get ready to set up the Christmas decorations!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Some mornings, you should just go back to bed

I had one.

My story starts yesterday afternoon, when the apartment maintenance people come to look at the moldy closet (called them about it twice). This is from the loose tiles in the shower (this has been reported three times), they say. Have you reported it before? I guess the apartment company got new maintenance people. They are actually REALLY on the ball with stuff now! They said they'd be by the next day to do a mold treatment in the bathroom (1 of 2), and to put the pets in a bedroom.

Cue this morning. While all the stuff in the shower organizer was hitting me in the head, the puppy was relieving herself on the pee-pee pad we keep in the living room. (Very good girl!).

I get the interview suit on, do the hair, take the dog out, lock everyone up in the computer room, and am off to get my shoes on when....


I step in the puddle of pee. Seriously, there was at least two bladder-fulls in there! I have a wet foot, and the bottom of my pants are wet. I hobble into the kitchen and try to clean myself up.

I get out the door... and to Williamsburg.. where I nearly run over an elderly couple who were taking their morning walk in the middle of the road.

Oh, and I left my phone at home.


Monday, November 22, 2010


This morning I had School Pride playing on Hulu. I've noticed that in most of these schools that are renovated, the students wear uniforms.

I've worked at schools that have considered uniforms, and I've seen parents debate it. heck, we debated it in my house.

I've heard from people that uniforms are impractical, expensive and stifle individualism. I don't know what uniforms the people that call them impractical are looking at (Japanese school girl uniforms, maybe). Most school uniforms are khaki pants and a polo shirt with a logo. Can you wear these items outside of school? Yes. it's khaki pants! I know Walmart and Target both have unifiorm sections on their websites, and most kids that receive free lunches can get free uniforms.

As for stifling individuality, I don't know. There are ways to accessorize without breaking dress code. And besides, in the real working world you basically wear a uniform to work every day (business suit, business casual, a shirt with your name on it).

Uniforms, and taking pride in wearing the right thing, helps kids with the confidence to succeed. And besides, with a strict uniform dress code, teachers won't have to look at kids underwear anymore!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Spoiler Free Harry Potter Post.

When I see a movie, I experience it it in a way that often annoys the people I'm seeing the movie with. I think I spent half the movie half in the Spousal Equivalent's lap. He has nail marks in his arm left after one of many suspenseful scenes.

The only things I'm going to say is: 1.) I need to read the book again. And 2.) Gracious! Enough with the hand held shaky cam. It made me nauseous!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I'm going to give myself an ulser

Today the money issues that we've been having came to a head. The Spousal Equivalent (SE) got the REALLY nasty "Pay us NOW" call. I then spent the next fifteen minutes sobbing. I've been crying off and on all day, so I blame hormones.

But money is the single biggest stress in my life. The SE is employed. I'm underemployed. We have issues making ends meet., like many Americans these days. I can't find a good job, despite dozens of interviews and thousands of applications. The feedback I keep getting is that I'm grossly over qualified (Actually, my BA overqualified me for many things). Cue the guilt if I take a day off of job searching.

I end up with $20 extra a week. Last week I got some food with a friend and spent just over $10. Cue the guilt when a few things cleared and I went into the negatives. Hell, I put $20 on my Starbucks card a month ago and I feel guilty about it still.

It's easy to tell me not to stress out about it. It's HARD not to. No wonder my blood pressure is so high.

I think one of my goals for the holiday is to de-stress. Or attempt to.

Loetards are evil!

I went to ballet last night. Unlike the last class I went to, this class didn't leave me unable to move. But parts of the class were really hard. Not physically. Mentally.

In a ballet class, one wears a leotard. Those leave NOTHING to the imagination. You're put in a room with wall to wall mirrors, and expected to watch yourself! Plus, the class is made up of all these skinny mothers... ugh!

There's so much more weight to move around, and I don't move it well. Plus, I'm just big. My arms are fat, there are fat rolls under the spandex. It's painful to watch myself in the mirror.

Maybe I should skip dinner for the next year... maybe that will help. Well... no... that won't help. The exercise of ballet class will help. Working out when I get home will help. And eating sensibly will help.

And maybe not wearing my glasses in class. I look thinner when blurry!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's only 10am

And I've been at work for a few hours. With Thanksgiving next week, I need some extra hours. It's easier to take those extra hours in the morning, so I came in at 7.

Yesterday in Bullets
  • My friend had a very hard day, so off to Friendly's we went. And I hate garbage. Trust me.. it was tasty, but BAD for me! I'm going to get on the WiiFit when I get home as penance.
  • I have ballet class tonight. I hope it's not canceled. I'm anxious to get back to it, to find the dancer under this fat.
  • A frontal system came through, preventing me from doing dishes. But I was bad... I found the strength to pull out the Christmas Stockings, and using puffy paint, put names on them. My stocking is pretty, and there's no place for a name. When I hit the Dollar Tree for a tree skirt (Misty pees on it every year), I'll get a new stocking.
  • I play stuff on the computer (Hulu or YouTube) at work. Damn you Biggest Loser for making me all faklempt at work.
  • I need to start using SparkPeople consistently to track my food and exercise. Bad me.. being a slacker!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Because I mention him: The Spousal Equivalent

Some people were rather shocked that I got into a relationship so quickly after my marriage ended. I didn't PLAN it! It happened. it felt right. And I have not a single regret.

Yes, he's a decade younger. That doesn't bother me much. We're living together, but that was more necessity than design. He's gainfully employed. He puts up with me when things weigh heavily on my brain. He also has a cat (which I'm allergic to) He loves my dog (which can be difficult, she's a brat). We've already meshed our lives together. It's wonderful.

Why is he a Spousal Equivalent? I'm recently divorced. He's still married to his ex wife (whom he left more than 3 years ago). After all of this I realized that marriage is more than the legal piece of paper. We don't need to get legally tangled. We don't need the church and the decorations (though at some point I'd love to have a "wedding" reception. My last one was a FUN party!)

Though a wedding registry would be MOST useful!!

Love you John!

Adventures in Apartment Living

In many apartments there are these odd Washer/dryer sets. The washer is on wheels, and connects to the kitchen sink. The dryer is on this rig... set above where the washer is stored. This means that when you do laundry, doing dishes just doesn't happen. I had to make dinner before I caught up on Last Week's laundry... so yeah... the kitchen was a little scary this morning. That means before I head out to my semi-monthly Tuesday date I must work on that!

I was thinking deep thoughts about what it would take to make me feel stable and comfortable... and the answer involves money... *sighs* I have the partner (with no intention of trading him in). I'd like a stable job, but if I could pay off my car, and find a home (bought and paid for) I'd be in bliss. Now we all know that this requires me winning the lottery. I need to play this week! I think that having a stable home that won't be pulled out from under me would make me happy. Unfortunately that requires the job I don't have... a Credit Score that requires said job to fix.. or winning the lottery (I have a better chance of getting struck by lightening.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Holidays are fast approaching...

I make a valiant attempt to do the FlyLady approach to keeping my house in order (Well, a modified approach.. I take a room a day, instead of a room a week). There is a Holiday preparation guide on that I'm going to use to get the apartment ready. My goal: to be able to take Thanksgiving weekend and the majority of my time off at Christmas off from major cleaning!

This week is going to be catching up. The apartment doesn't look that bad, so it's just getting it back. I need to catch up with the laundry, and finish putting away my clean clothes. I also need to scrub my bathroom.

I think the major thing that I need to do is to figure out all that I need to buy (Christmas present and food-wise). I don't make much per week, so I need to spread out my buying. I also need to hit sales and coupons and the like.

And my personal project, to re-organize my Christmas music, and snag the rest of the "Carols for the Cure" and "A Very Special Christmas" collections.

And now.. back to work!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Baby fever!

Looking at my close friends... an overwhelming majority of them have kids (kindergartners all the way through small babies) or are pregnant.

It's weird... the more I see children, hear about babies, hear about childbirth and pregnancy... the less I want to do it. The lowest point was having a panic attack at my friend's daughter's 1st birthday party. Too many kids running around.

I think that parenting is job, a hard job. I don't know if I have the qualifications to hold that job. I've seen parents that... well... aren't doing to well in that particular job, and I've seen parents that need a raise, becuase they are doing wonderfully in their job. I can't hold a job... I can't teach children.. hell, I can't train my dog!

Please don't judge me because the maternal gene skipped me. I just hope my family will stop asking me when I'm going to have kids!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

December is rushing toward us at a breakneck pace! And I'm excited!!

I've always adored the Christmas season. I love the food, the candy, the decorations, the Christmas specials, getting together with friends and family... the whole thing. I also like that it's a holiday that is a month and a half long!

I'm not a religious woman. I'm spiritual, not religious. I believe, to quote Eddie Izzard "....I do think [Jesus Christ] did exist, and he was, I think, a guy who had interesting ideas in the Gandhi-type area, in the Nelson Mandela-type area, you know, relaxed and groovy..." But I think the season is more than that. Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men.

So while other people are complaining about commercialism, I'm going to nibble on Christmas Cookies, sip egg nog, and watch the "Charlie Brown Christmas Special"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Being told you're a faliure scars you

After four years in education, being told (sometimes multiple times a day) that I'm a failure, has had a few interesting side effects.

I realized yesterday that I'm afraid to have another permanent job. I interviewed for a position yesterday. It was a demanding position, multiple job descriptions, lots of responsibility. On the way home, I almost panicked. I don't want this job. I can't handle all of that responsibility. I'll be a failure again!

I don't know how to overcome this... but I have to. I can't spend my life second guessing myself, afraid of failing.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Succeed and Fail

I decided to stop today and think about success verses failure.

For years as a teacher, I was constantly told that I was a failure. I failed to control my classroom. I failed to meet benchmark standards. I failed to be consistent. I failed to differentiate my lessons. I lived in fear of the new thing that I'd fail. I failed for four years, in three different schools. Finally, I failed to find another position, and I was no longer a teacher.

I then failed to keep an orderly house. I failed to find a new job. I failed at my marriage.

But where did I succeed?

I succeeded in getting divorced. I succeeded in putting on an amazing convention. I succeeded in finding, and holding onto a new relationship. I succeeded in getting my apartment to a place where I can maintain it. I have succeeded in having a cute puppy. I have succeeded in mostly maintaining my sanity in all of this.

I think it evens out.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Unemployment hurts more than your Credit Score

I added it up today. I have been looking for full time work for a year and eight months.

After six rejections in two weeks, and a hard look at the finances, I broke down and had a good cry. It weighs so heavily on me, this lack of security and stability. I can't pay my half of the rent. No where close. We're barely making it month to month, and it's mostly my fault.

I don't know how much longer I can live like this: sending out five to ten applications a day, going on the occasional interview then being rejected. The definition of success is being knocked down six times and getting up seven. I've been knocked down hundreds of times. Getting up is getting harder and harder.

For right now, I'm curled up, warm and loved. It's the only thing I can do.

Another one bites the dust

I went on a job interview on Tuesday morning, the last in a long line of interviews. The boss man there just called me to tell me that I didn't get the job. Well, at least he called.

I've been on 7 job interviews in the last two months. None of them have gone anywhere.

I've applied to thousands of jobs since February 2009. I've been on 20 some odd interviews.

All I've gotten is a few temp jobs. It's enough to get by.

Everyone keeps saying that the perfect job will come along. Yes, it will... but when? Everyone keeps saying that I need to have hope. That is the hardest thing to do. Each time I get knocked down, it gets harder to stand up.

I can't even cry. I'm at work.

The internet is slow at work today...

So it gives me time to think... which is a dangerous thing

So my thoughts, in bullet form
  • I'm now feeling the impact of carrying around the extra weight on my carcass. My knees aren't happy with me, which made itself known at Ballet last night. I'm not giving up. The ballet will help me carry around less weight..
  • I hate this part of fall. The trees are getting bare, and I know there will be no snow to cover the skeletal remains
  • I'm feeling really detached my social groups right now. Like they don't want me around. I know.. it's mostly in my head.

Parental Responsbility

When I see them re-hashing the debate about violent video games. I don't understand the problem. They are rated. If you buy a rated "M" game, you know it's for mature people.

If parent's don't want their kids to have violent games... don't let them have it!! Seriously! We have to stop trying to put into law what parents sound do. As a parent if you don't want your child to be exposed to things on television, or online.. then monitor your children! Don't take away MY choice in what I read, watch, browse or play because you can't monitor your kids.

I do not know when this nation became so lazy that they expected the entire world to protect their kids from what they think is bad.... *sigh*

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I've hit a whole new bottom

I'm now the fattest I've ever been. I need to change. To do something.

I'm not fit to be seen in public at this weight.

I can't do anything right. I can't keep my house clean. I can't lose weight. I can't get a damn job.


Friday, October 15, 2010

It's Friday...

I'm back at work.. which feels odd... Yesterday felt like Friday.

I'm in allergy Hell today. Between musty, moldy carpets in the apartment... and cat dander... my eyes are all swollen and red.

We've been cleaningcleaningcleaning. The Spousal Equivalent's mom is visiting next week, so we need to get the apartment in order. In addition to that, we have to get all of our crap out of storage and find places for it. Most of my stuff is getting thrown away. After sitting in a garage for over a year... I don't need it.. so it goes. The SE's stuff is finding homes.

We're hosting game this weekend... which means that early tomorrow we're airing the place out, fabreezing it and vacuuming. I'm hoping that with a little bit of pain.. I might have itchy free eyes tomorrow!

So much to do... so little time to do it!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

God is on Facebook

maybe not God, but The Powers That Be are.

A week ago, I made a public plea to God (Or TPTB) to help me find a job. I've been looking (with little success) for a year and a half, and hope is quickly fading.

Well... it worked.
  • Thursday I had an interview with CTR group (a staffing agency) that was recruiting a Receptionist/Admin Assistant for a company in Yorktown. I LOVE the salary ($35- $45K) and benefits package, and the woman I spoke to seemed to like me. Now I wait to hear back from the Comapy
  • Friday I got a call from Don Richards Associates (Temp Agency) that is hiring a temp to perm Administrative Assistant position for somewhere in Newport News. The interview is Today.
  • Tomorrow I'm going to Sylvan Learning Center to talk to someone about after school tutoring. I can only do that if I stay with the job I'm in now.
  • Wednesday I have a second interview for a Secretarial Position ($20-$25K) at CNU. I was SHOCKED to get this call, after the disastrous phone interview I had, but they must like me.
I'm trying not to get to optimistic about this. If I get excited, and none of these jobs pan out, It'll lead to depression. I've done it before.

But I have hope.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I battle PMDD.. have since college. But lately the 3 days of crushing depression have spread out to a month. People say that I need to see a doctor.. but with no insurance and no money, it's hard.

I'm taking steps to get myself back to normal. I got back on birth control. It helped last time... hopefully it'll help again. I need to get some regular exercise (I'm hoping to work out this evening after I get the rent money together). I also need to get a bottle of St. John's Wort. (an herbal anti-depressant).

let's hope that it works.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Healthy Eating: day 2

Well, first, let's back up to dinner last night.

Exercise went out the window after driving around town all day picking up free bagles. I was tired and picked up a pile of frozen veggies and a rotisserie chicken on the way home. The Spousal Equivalent quickly reduced it to a LARGE pile of shredded meat, too big for one meal!

So dinner was: Chicken rice-a-roni (it was in the cupboard), a LARGE pile of veggies (peas, shredded carrots, petit green beans, broccoli and onions, and the shredded chicken. All in all there was just about as many veggies as there was the other stuff.

Three walks with the dog gave me SOME exercise. Today I'm breaking out my new Wii game!

Dinner tonight is comfort food: Perogies, smoked turkey sausage and sauteed green beans. I think Friday will be sauce making day....

Through I'm HUNGRY this morning... I'm wondering if I should have some sort of protien in the morning... I will ponder turkey sausage (or *gasp* fake breakfast meat!)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It's bad news time from the doctor

I has to lose me some weight and start eating better.

So today I will being to share my healthy recipes and the triumphs and pitfalls of exercise!

Go me!

This week's mission:
  • Work out for at least 15 minutes every day.
  • hit the store for some more vegetables
  • make a HUGE pot of sauce to freeze.... and make some pasta primavera
  • plan out the menu for the rest of the week!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


After watching most of the Oprah Winfrey show last night, I began to reflect on my own failed teaching career. I wondered if it was just a poor combination of schools, administration and grade levels. I wondered if I wasn't just built to be a teacher. Then I saw this video, and it all made sense.

I was the teacher that needed time to grow. I was doing a disservice to my students.

Onto the future. Could I teach again? Possibly. I've been let go from 3 districts, so what place would hire me? But I think I know what grade level I'd want. I have a better idea on how to structure the class, on classroom management, on assignments and note taking.

I wonder if I'll ever get an opportunity to correct my mistakes and do it right. I wonder if I should even risk it.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Enough is enough...

I've been in the "Depths of Despair" (to quote Anne Shirley) all week. I know looming unemployment, the con and PMDD are to blame.

I've let the working out slip... and since my pants are tight... I can't do that anymore!

My goal is to lose a pound a week for a year. That's a little over 50 pounds. Measuring will be tricky.... since I have no scale.. but my Wii Fit will do.

So when I get home, it's taking the dog out for a walk... then Wii yoga until the Spousal Equivalent gets home (he wants to work out too). I'll weigh myself this afternoon... and see how far I have to go!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I used to have purpose in my life. I was going to teach, then have a family.

That didn't work out too well.

Now, my life just has no purpose. I'm a temporary employee. Any minute now the job I'm doing might dry up and go away, leaving me pennyless. I've applied to over 20 jobs a week, every week, for the last year and a half. I've had dozens of interviews (only some of which got back to me telling me that I didn't get the job). Nothing.

I'm thankful that I'm working now.... but I'm waiting for that shoe to drop... and it will... I just live in panic as to when.

So Now I look for a new path in life. I've got skills that would be useful to a great number of employers... but no.. they don't want me.

So I wait. And pray. And try not to lose hope. I don't have much hope left.... every rejection letter erodes it a little.

Winning the lottery would be nice....

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I've been doing a lot of reading

I had to go to New York in July, so I got a lot of reading done then. After I got back something told me that I needed to pick up Eat Pray Love.

The first chapter brought me to tears. The author was crying, not wanting to be married anymore. She thought she was broken. She was 30, married, and should be wanting children.

I've been there. He never wanted children.. until his sister developed ovarian cancer. All of a sudden, he did. And I didn't.

But I'm a woman. Shouldn't I want children? Shouldn't I want to be a mom? I don't. I feel like I may be broken somehow. Maybe this is why I can't get a job... maybe this is why I feel like I'm falling apart... because I'm fundamentally broken.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Wow, I have neglected this thing..

My blog has been nothing but doom and gloom lately.

Things aren't all that bad. I am working. It's temporary, and almost full time, and doesn't pay overly much.

The boy is working, and is almost hired into a full time position. I'm jealous of his benefits. Very jealous.

I wonder what is wrong with me. Why can't I find work?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

New Job!

Tomorrow, I start a new job. It's temporary, but work.

This sounds very familiar. I did this before, back in October. Jobs like this are a mixed blessing. Yes, it's money. But it's money for a finite amount of time.

I have two issues. 1.) Parking. It's EXPENSIVE.

2.) The dress of the office. It's "Conservative dress" This discounts half of my teacher wardrobe. I've VERY aware of how I dress, and am worried that my wardrobe won't fit. So at this point, I'm freaked out about what I should wear tomorrow.

Things to do today
~Figure out a wardrobe
~figure out what to buy for lunches
~figure out where the parking garage is.
~wash dishes. I need to in a BAD way.
~not have a panic attack

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I'm tired....

I'm tired of hearing that I'm overqualified, under qualified, or that I don't really want said job.

I'm tired of being told no because I have no experience. I'm an experienced teacher. And that didn't work out. that's why I'm applying for your job, asshole!

I'm tired of being dicked around.. told to attend meeting, and have no one show up... schedule an interview only to have them call back and cancel.

I'm tired of seeing jobs that I interviewed for re-posted to the job websites.

I'm tired of this never-ending search for work... any work... It's emails and letters telling me no.

I can't take much more of this.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Tonight is one of those nights where sleep isn't going to come easily. It's been building up all day: the queasy stomach, the perpetually clenched jaw.

It's midnight, an hour after I took the ineffectual Execdrine PM. All along my jawline, I can feel the muscles, raw, tight, warm. It's a creature of my own making, sprung from the late night worries of the unemployed.

I can't shut my mind off tonight. There is no happy story I can run through my brain to keep the darkness locked away.

Tomorrow starts a weekend of fun. Fun I'm not sure that I deserve. I'm not making any money. I'm not being a useful member of society. I might not be a useful member of society again.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Another job down the drain

Wednesday I interviewed for the dream job, Center Manager with the USO. Living in Military Land (tm), I've been looking for work with a military support organization.

I'd be perfect for this position. We talked, she said that she'd call me Thursday. She said that not letting me know would be unprofessional.

No call. No email.

Yesterday morning I was gripped with the feeling of finality. Like if I don't get this job, I won't get any job. It's silly.

I wanted this job so badly. And at this point I'm assuming that she went with someone else.

Back to applying, after I have some ice cream.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I'm a disappointment

A friend contacted me today. The ex contacted her yesterday, talking about his new girlfriend. I love the fact that he's moved on. But something she said stuck with me. She was disappointed.

Disappointed that we didn't try. That he wouldn't change. I'm disappointed that I did change, that I gave up trying.

I am a little disappointed in myself for how it all went down. I should have tried to talk more. I shouldn't have just up an left. That was unfair of me.

I think, in the end I was staying because of money. Which is never a reason to stay.

Now, to stop feeling sorry for myself, stop letting memories of the past make me feel ill. I have interviews this week. Time to prepare.