30 April 2008
Work was great today. Very busy. I've been incorporating some of my newly learned techniques and see a subtle but improved difference in my work. I feel motivated to be better. That's the great thing about going to classes or shows: they motivate you. I had a caramel latte during work today. Caffeine's a great motivator too. Most of you know I stay far away from caffeine on work days. Partway through the day I looked at my client list and knew I'd be fine with a cup. I wonder how late I'll be up tonight?
I went for a long walk after dinner. I've done that a few times lately and it felt so good. I love to look at people's yards and gardens while I walk. I'm pretty nosy. Have I mentioned how I like to walk on recycling day so I can see who recycles and who doesn't? It's also interesting to look at the packaging left at the curb. You can see who has a new TV, mixer, weedwacker, etc...Weird, I know. I can't help it.
I used my garden cart to bring up 8 bags of mulch. Even with the cart it's hard to push 2 bags uphill at a time. I wonder how many bags my front garden will take? My mom has plans for tomorrow so I'll have the day at home to take care of this big job. I'll be hurting tomorrow night.
Well, I guess I've done enough rambling for one night. Hope it wasn't boring. Sometimes it just is.
28 April 2008
The apartment we stayed at was high in the upper west side. They say it's the best part of town. It was on 89th St. (Ave?) between Amsterdam and Broadway. The first photo is a view from the living room window. The rest of the shots are just random pictures I liked.
I left to drive home at 7:30 AM. It rained cats and dogs for all but about 15 minutes of the drive. It was a white-knuckle drive, and I was very happy to pull into my driveway. It took just under 4 hours. Everything's put away and the laundry is done. And I'm stuck to this couch, where I plan to stay for the rest of the day.
27 April 2008
25 April 2008
I'm packed for my trip. Very lightly. I'm dreading the drive along the New Jersey Turnpike. So boring. I'm listening to a good audio book that will help pass the time. At least I get to drink coffee. I didn't drink a drop last weekend. I was afraid I'd be all nervous cutting my mannequin. This weekend's going to be a journey: car to Staten Island, ferry to NYC, overnight at an apartment, show on Sunday, ferry back to SI where I'll spend the night, then back in the car on Monday for the ride home. I'm tired just thinking about it. Unfortunately it's supposed to be rainy and cool. I hope it doesn't rain all the way up there. Nothing worse than a long car trip in the rain.
It sure sounds like I'm whining, so I'm going to stop. Have a great weekend and I'll catch up with you later.
24 April 2008
Today was the perfect day to be off. The weather was outstanding and I got a lot done. Surprise! The really big thing I did today was to take out all the caulk in Emily's tub and clean the grout and the tub. It was a gross job, but needed to be done. Then I mowed the lawn. I don't have a lot of lawn, so it wasn't hard. Then I dug a trench around my garden. I'm going to take a picture now to show you. BRB.
OK. The first picture is from the house to the street, then next from the street to the house. The perennials are growing noticeably every day. The columbines should be the next to flower. I love seeing this sleeping garden come to life. I've resisted the urge to purchase my annuals. Another week or two will do it.
I went to the hardware store after I did the trenching to see if I could get a new tire for my wheelbarrow. The only time I remember it's flat is when I need it. I decided to put the whole thing in my car in the hope that someone from Ace hardware would replace it for me. Nope. The guy did inflate the tire and we found the hole. He told me how to take the tire off and sold me an inner tube. I didn't want to do the work! I really want a nice plastic garden cart like Happyone. The guy told me Goodyear would probably be able to inflate the inner tube and put it on. I drove over there and they told me nope. That I should check out a trailer place. All I want is something to cart my mulch from under the deck to the garden! I'll call around tomorrow to see if I can find a place that can do it. I did get the wheel off. When I was done with that I hung out in the hammock. I was exhausted. After resting up I put down the new caulk in the tub. I hope I don't need to do that again for a long, long time.
I think I'll go in now and do what I didn't do this morning: take a shower. Then I'm sitting on the couch and taking it easy. Later!
23 April 2008
It struck me as I was washing clothes tonight that anyone coming into my laundry room might be really surprised. I don't even notice them. I have a bunch of mannequins around the house. I keep thinking I'm going to cut them, but never get around to it. I will one day, I'm sure. In the meantime, they hang out. The one in the middle has a very harsh face. The ones on the sides are twins. Much more attractive, I think.
I used some of the techniques I learned on my clients today. They're really fundamental, and similar to the way I already cut. The skills are tools to improve the method of cutting. Fiwa asked if the salon helps with the cost of the education. Yes...they pay for half of any classes we take or shows we attend. Some of the stylists attend many, some just a few. Most of the shows and classes are sponsered or held at beauty supply distributors, and many of them are local. This weekend I'm attending the International Beauty Show at the Jacob Javots Convention Center in NYC. It's a huge trade show that takes over the entire convention center. Thousands of hairdressers, estheticians, make-up artists, nail techs, etc. attend. You see everything there. Outrageous looking people. Crazy hair. Stages are set up everywhere with platform artists cutting and coloring. I think there's over 200 classes offered. Anything you could imagine buying related to hair, skin, make-up and jewelry is for sale and at great prices. I've attended this show about 4 times over the years. This will be the first time I'm going by myself and I chose to do it that way. I like being able to do and see what I want at my own pace. I'll be driving to my cousin's house in Staten Island on Saturday after work. We'll take the ferry into Manhattan from there. They're sub-letting an apartment in the city, and that's where we'll spend the night. I'll take a cab to the show on Sunday morning and spend the day there. We'll meet up afterwards and go back to their house. I'll leave to drive home on Monday morning. It will be a whirlwind weekend.
I'm off tomorrow, and it's supposed to be a gorgeous day. I plan to be home, working outside. We'll see what the day brings.
22 April 2008
I'll just post some pictures today. Here's our hotel room. It was really nice even if it wasn't one of the newly renovated ones. We did sneak a look in the construction zone.
I loved being in the city. People watching. Lots of movement. Great restaurants. I like my suburban life, but I'll take the city from time to time.
21 April 2008
I had a great night's sleep and woke up ready for another day of class. I did walk in the rain to get there, but I had my umbrella. We started with theory and a review of yesterday's lesson. Then we learned about layering, and how it relates to the interior and exterior of the haircut. Sounds technical, huh? We broke for lunch and I went to Baja Fresh with some of the other students. When we got back we started our haircuts. I had no problem doing the prescribed cut on my mannequin. We finished the day by cutting about an inch off of yesterday's length, but with a square perimeter instead of an a-line. In other words, the front was just slightly longer than the back. We also learned how to blow dry it properly. I walked back to the hotel in the rain. Will it ever stop? It's been raining for two days and nights.
Kit and I drove about 2 miles to Clarendon. It's a very hot spot. Lots of 20-somethings and young families. It's got great shopping: Whole Foods, Barnes and Noble, The Container Store, Apple, Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn, Ann Taylor, etc..It's a walking town. An old friend of mine lived nearby and I always shopped/browsed the stores whenever I visited her. Kit and I ate at The Cheesecake Factory for dinner. We split my favorite appetizers, chicken quesadillas and Thai lettuce wraps. Yum.
So, we're settled into our nightly routine. Kit's in her bed with her laptop reading the news, and I'm in the armchair writing and reading blogs. We've turned out to be very compatible hotel-mates. Tomorrow the 'party' ends and by dark we'll be back in our own homes. Emily is anxious for me to get back, and I've missed her.
Did I mention I'm going to NY next weekend?
20 April 2008
I've been taking pictures, but forgot to bring the camera cable to download them. I'll put them up when I get home.
Hope it's been a good weekend in your part of the world.
I stopped at Starbucks on my way to Kit's. I love the new brown (black?) logos on their cups. I think it's the original logo. I guess Starbucks is trying to reinvent themselves with all the competition they face. I loved the new green stoppers that fit in the sipping vent. What a great idea.
Kit and I met a VA friend in Clarendon for dinner. It was a perfect night and we got outside seating. I loved being in the middle of a bustling city and watching all the people. We seemed surrounded by 20-somethings, and I studied many of the young girls out with their dates and thought of Emily being in their place in just a few years. We started the meal with a glass of wine. We made sure it didn't have $15 price tag like the last time we were out. Kit and I shared a rib dinner and then bread pudding with ice cream for dessert. We made our way back to the hotel and got ready for bed then settled in with our laptops. My place is in a cozy armchair by the window. I got into bed, and started feeling bad. Terrible heartburn and nausea. No Tums or anything else to take. And I couldn't fall asleep! Finally I did, then woke up early. To slamming hotel doors. That's something that's always bothered me about hotels. Why can't doors gently close?
Well, it's time to start getting ready. I timed my walk to the Academy from the hotel last night and it took 8 minutes. I'm going to walk to Safeway before class to pick up some Tums because I still don't feel right. I really need to be proactive and see what I should and should not be eating with my reflux. I'm not giving up the coffee. I'll suffer with that.
PS...thanks for your comments Ilene. It's always nice to see a comment from a sister (hint, hint Lisa). And how could I have gotten Mom's bad arm wrong? It's her left arm that's paralyzed, not her right. And, my mom was a lefty, to make matters even worse.
19 April 2008
Classic Cutting I -- 3Days
Sharpen your craft through this intensive program designed to heighten awareness between cause and effect of haircutting. You'll learn the Artistic Disciplines that masters around the world employ as a foundation for their work. Gain a deeper understanding of "why". Experience the method behind the art of haircutting with pure form technique. Learn strategies that keep you and your work both fresh and consistent.
Who it's for: Any hairstylist.
This class is being held at the Graham Webb Academy. I've taken day classes before, but nothing like this. I'm really excited. One of my co-workers took this class a few years ago and said it really improved her skills. I'll be staying at a nearby Hyatt hotel withing sight of the DC landmarks. When I mentioned it to my friend Kit, she offered to split the hotel and just go to work from there. How's that for great? My classes end at 4-5 PM, so we'll be able to hang out in DC and Arlington in the evenings. We'll leave today when I get home from work and get back on Tuesday night. I'll be bringing my laptop, so I'll be in touch.
Have a great Saturday!
17 April 2008
I'm lying on my hammock with my laptop on my lap. Can you see the dirt on my feet? Crocs aren't the best thing to wear when you're doing yardwork. The chimes are singing, a morning dove is who-who-ing and the songbirds are doing their thing. It's almost 6:00 and still so nice out. I wish this moment could last. It's been a really full day, and a good one. It's also the first day without any kind of abdominal discomfort. I don't know why but I'll take it. I went to my parent's house in the morning and kind of rushed my mom out of the house. First stop was Walmart. You know it's her favorite place, right? She especially likes to go with me. She got three pairs of capris and a top. It's very hard for her to try clothes on. Everything is so difficult for her to do because her right arm and hand don't work. Her arm just hangs, uncomfortably. Getting up is a chore as is sitting down. Her right leg doesn't really bend at the knee and her toes are rigid, so walking is hard. It's very sad when I think about what this stroke did to the quality of her life. So many people die from strokes, and my mother is lucky to be alive. Sometimes I have to remind her and myself that many people are much worse off, and we are thankful. Anyway, to change the subject...my shopping consisted of a composite cable for the TV and snacks. I keep a lot of snacks in my pantry. Pop-Tart Go Tarts, Little Debbie cakes, fruit roll-ups, cookies, granola bars, Cheese-its, goldfish, Cheetoes, etc...I don't eat any of it. They're mainly for Em's lunch and after-school snack. I have healthy stuff too. How'd I start talking about that? After Walmart I treated Mom to lunch at our favorite Chinese place, then we walked a few stores down to a big shoe store. I made my mom buy two pairs of shoes. She's always afraid of spending money, but I'm not afraid to use her credit card. She deserves to have new clothes and shoes. I brought her home after that; she was pretty tired out. I went to the grocery store, then home. That was about 2:00. I spent the next few hours raking out my strand of woods. Usually I bag the leaves, but this time I thought I'd try raking them onto a tarp, then sliding them into the trashcan. Then I got the idea to drag the tarp over to the sediment control area to the back and right of my house. And that's what I did. It's a pretty wild area with grasses, scrub, trees, cattails, and leaves from the woods. Now there's lots of leaves in the area closest to my house. I think it's OK. The area under my deck is covered with leaves but that will have to wait for another day.
16 April 2008
I made a dinner tonight that I had to throw away. I bought a package of veal scallopini on sale. I never buy veal, but, well, it was marked down for 'quick sale' and I thought I'd make a quick Veal Parmesan. I coated the meat with flour and quickly fried it. I put some jarred spaghetti sauce on the bottom of a baking pan, then the veal, then more sauce topped with mozzarella cheese. I put it together yesterday. Today I planned to bake it and serve with spaghetti, but then Emily was invited to a friend's and I didn't feel like going through the bother for myself. I just microwaved the dish. It didn't look very appetizing. No browned bits of cheese or deep tomato color. The meat was rubbery and rare tasting. I was afraid of over-cooking it but might not have cooked it long enough. I had about two bites and decided to scrap it. Instead I had two leftover chicken fingers and ice cream. Protein, starch and dairy. Oh, and I finished the dark-chocolate covered edamame beans (from Trader Joe's), so I guess that counts as a vegetable.
The weather promises to be warm tomorrow. And I'm off! A good combination.
14 April 2008
I accomplished my goals at home. I vacuumed the entire house, hard floors and carpet. I mopped the tile, laminate and wood floors and did all the baseboards. I cleaned my bathroom and cleaned off the counter tops. All those things were long overdue.
I got the results from my sonogram. I have a uterine fibroid and that might be causing the pain I have. The doctor wasn't in, so I'll call him tomorrow. This fibroid isn't new and gave me pain last year, then the pain went away. So, it might do that again.
I realized today's doctor appointment was near Bonnie's house so I called her up and she invited me over. I was so excited to finally see her house. I loved it. It's a great space with great art and lots of color. Thanks for having me over Bonnie!
I really liked today's doctor. After talking at length and his doing a quick abdominal feel, he told me he's pretty sure I have IBS. After seeing all the tests I had done last year, and because I don't have any symptoms that would point to cancer (he didn't say cancer but said lack of appetite, loss of weight, blood in stool, etc.) he doesn't feel I need any tests at this time. He gave me a prescription for an anti-spasm medicine and I have an appointment to see him again in a month. I'm feeling very relieved. I don't mind the pain now that I know it's not life-threatening.
I came home to my clean house and watched a little Oprah, then started on dinner. I made the Teriyaki Steak I wrote about last night using flat iron steak. It was quite delicious. I rarely eat meat, so this was a nice treat and I'll use the tiny bit leftover in my salad tomorrow. The only thing I'd do differently next time is use lower sodium soy sauce. Just so you know.
Well, I'm off to take a little walk while it's still light out. Later!
13 April 2008
I think I'll finish this post with some pictures...
Here's the bedding I'm considering. I'm still not sure. I think it's beautiful but I'll probably return it.
Aren't these flowers beautiful? This is the front and back view of the same arrangement. Every Tuesday I buy a bunch of flowers at Trader Joe's to bring to work. On Saturday I bring them home. Some of the flowers in the picture are two weeks old.
Why I need to power wash my house. It's embarrassing, don't you think? The builders planted a maple tree too close to the side of the house. It had terrible above ground roots that were growing under the foundation and I had to get it taken out. This is what was left behind. I think I'll admit I can't do this job myself and look for a professional. The siding on the rest of the house is fine.
I forgot to post this week's pizza. I bought new cast iron griddle to make pizzas on. One side has grates and the other, the pizza side, is smooth. I had leftover sausage & ground beef so that's the kind of pizza we had. It was delicious.
12 April 2008
11 April 2008
Skillet-Baked Spaghetti with Meat Sauce serves 4-6
4 ounces hot or sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
4 garlic cloves, minced
¼ t red pepper flakes (reduce to 1/8 t if using hot sausage)
¼ t dried oregano
1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes
8 ounces spaghetti broken into rough 2-inch pieces
2 c water
1 ½ t salt
¼ c heavy cream
6 T finely chopped fresh basil
1 c shredded Italian cheese blend
1.Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat broiler. Cook beef and sausage in large ovensafe nonstick skillet over medium heat, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Drain meat on paper towel-lined plate and pour off fat from skillet. Return meat to skillet. Add garlic, pepper flakes, and oregano and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
2. Stir in tomatoes, spaghetti, water, and salt. Cover and cook, stirring often, until spaghetti begins to soften, about 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, covered, until spaghetti is al dente, about 7 minutes.
3. Stir in cream, basil, and 1/3 c cheese. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and broil until surface is spotty brown, about 3 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes. Serve.
Note: to easily break spaghetti, place spaghetti in large zip-lock bag and press spaghetti against side of countertop into 2-inch pieces.
10 April 2008
The sun came out. The weather got warm. It was the nicest day of Spring and I was off. It was a good day. I'm writing this from my front porch. I have a pizza baking in the oven, and all is well.
I tried on many 3/4 sleeved shirts at Kohl's but none was perfect. What might be perfect is the comforter set I bought. I think I love it. The comforter is heavier then I'd like, but it's beautiful.
Next was a run through Target. It's newly remodeled and enlarged. Are all the Targets geting makeovers? It was impressive! I bought a tee shirt with many peace signs on it for Emily and a new plain pink folder. The last one. If you get a chance, Fortune magazine has a cover story on Target that's very interesting.
I got to the doctor's office just in time for the entire building to lose it's power. Luckily, the exam rooms were well lit by the afternoon sun. I loved Dr. Abdo. Turns out my old doctor had asked her if she would take on some of her patients. I didn't know that. They've known each other for years. Dr. Abdo told me all after hours calls go directly to her cell phone and she answers all calls. She works on paperwork most weekends and is available if a patient needs to be seen. She always calls with results. She recommended I cancel next week's appointment with my gastroenterologist (their office makes me so angry with their phone unavailability) and go with her recommendation. When I got home, her recommended doctor's office called me to set up an appointment. That's this coming Monday. All these appointments are to figure out why I'm having abdominal pain. I had my sonogram yesterday. I imagine I have more tests in my future.
It was such a great day to be outside and I decided my shoulder had healed enough to finish power washing the front walkway. I discovered what injured my shoulder. It wasn't holding the nozzle steady under so much pressure. It was pulling the cord to start the engine. It took about three tries to get it going and luckily I didn't have to turn it off for the walkway. When I was done with that I brought everything over to the side of the house to start on the siding. I must have tried ten times to get it started, but no luck. With each pull, my shoulder hurt more, but I kept trying. Till I gave up. At least now I'll know why I'm in pain.
I'm almost done. What did I do before blogging from my porch? I read more of Kelly's book, from my hammock. Now that was nice.
I've been a little off my game for a touch. It probably shows. This morning I decided to get out early and hang at my favorite Panera's. It just feels good to be in a public place, even though I'm alone. I never mind being alone, but here I feel kind of connected. Thank you Panera's for your free wi-fi. I'm sitting before a big window and although it's another cloudy day, I can still see the trees-flowering, budding and bare. I had my favorite bagel with hazelnut cream cheese. Did you know they'll do a 'bread slice' for you if you ask? Length-wise slices instead of in half. Much better that way.
I'm going to do some browsing when I leave here. Go to Kohl's. Target. I'm not looking for anything in particular, but I have two hours to go till I leave for the doctor's.
Talking about that, this is an appointment with a brand new primary care doctor. My last one, whom I adored, went 'boutique' at the end of the year. She sent out letters explaining her choice and said she would accept 400 patients into her new practice. The yearly fee would be $1800.00, and she wouldn't be accepting insurance. I just couldn't do that. The doctor I'll be seeing today came highly recommended.
I'll let you know if anything exciting happens today. You never know.
09 April 2008
I learned today why it's a good idea to call your wireless phone carrier every once in a while. Why? To check out new packages. I called to cancel my e-mail service. The phone tech informed me that if I canceled, I'd lose the option to add it back. That it had been a special promotion that was no longer available. Hmmm. Maybe I should just keep paying the $5 per month till I get a new phone. I asked if they had any similar packages. Yes, she said, they have one with X amount of megabytes available for $5 per month. I asked what I currently had. I had X amount of megabits. I don't know my bits from my bytes, but apparently bytes are much, much larger units than bits. I double checked the offer with her. Me--"Are you saying I could be paying the same amount and getting a much bigger data package?" Her--"Yes." Well, duh, go ahead and cancel my package please.
Totally unrelated, but I read this safety tip in my community paper and wanted to share. It recommended sleeping with your car keys by your bed. If you ever heard someone breaking in, you could push the panic button on your keyless remote to set off the car's alarm. I thought it was a great idea. Have I brought my keys up? No, but I still think it's a good idea. I do have a house alarm, and never ever forget to set it.
A few people have asked for the spaghetti casserole recipe. I promise I'll post it soon. We had the leftovers tonight, and I think it was even better the second time around. Maybe that's true of casseroles in general? Any casserole people know the answer to that (Bonnie?).
I'm off tomorrow, but have a doctor's appointment in the middle of the day. I'm not sure what I'll do around it. We'll see.
Has this post been a ramble? I'll see if I can do better tomorrow. Till then...
07 April 2008
I have a subscription to Cook's Country magazine and made my first recipe from it for Skillet-Baked Spaghetti with Meat Sauce. It was very good, but I don't think I'm a casserole person. Still, it was easy, tasty, and used just one pan for the whole process. Plus it looked just like the picture in the magazine.
I wish I had more for you, but that's it. I'm ready to put this day to rest. I've read the first third of Kelly's book, and I can't wait to get in my PJ's and read some more.
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