18 January, 2012


I have a less-than-roaring but more-than-satisfactory fire to keep me company.
It's cold.  I've finally worn my new down coat*  - several times in the past week.

We had snow yesterday, so I shoveled.
After work I sat up to watch the new episode of Justified making it a long Tuesday 
so I'm having trouble getting a brisk start to my Wednesday.

Good time to blog.

This, as you can see, is the main entrance to the public library at Clive.

I will be doing my 40 hour practicum with the fine folks who work here.

I was here for several hours Monday morning. 
 I have a name tag (magnetic!  just like theirs!) and a mailbox!
Friday night they are hosting an event for ESL students and their families to introduce them to the library.
A meal, presentations, tours, a library card and other goodies. 
They expect 30 families.  It's an ambitious plan.
I'll be there to help.

*Aside: it occurs to me that I haven't told the story of my coat.  Sometime in early November Younkers had all their coats at 50%.  The coat I've been wearing was fine for the short, occasional visits of the past but I knew it couldn't keep pace with the long siege of an Iowa winter.  It seemed that a good down coat would do the job so I went to to see what they had.  Tried on more than a few. Some just for fun. 
 I chose a black, knee length Calvin Klein.  
Even at 50% the price made me swallow hard.
While paying for it I told the clerk that with this purchase I had just guaranteed the warmest winter on record.
She laughed and said that I'd have *plenty* of opportunity to get my money's worth...
Here we are half way through January and its finally had its first outing.  Next week in Minneapolis...

12 January, 2012

Flotsam and Jetsam

My Karl Malden days are far behind me - these days I'm always leaving home without my ...

It seems that blogging inspiration can be directly tied to that particular accessory - so today you're getting random observations - apropos to nothing
  or nothing without a lot of work.

You know that I am a simple person of simple tastes.  I like what I like, but I can be swayed.  

You may remember that several, really!?  several?!  yes, several years ago - with the big 5-0 approaching -I felt that it was time to cultivate some adult/mature traits.
Tales of cozy tea-drinking episodes held a certain appeal and I decided to learn to drink tea.
I tried.  Really tried.  Really hard.  
I longed for the soothing effects and intimate confessions that seemed to accompany any mention of tea in novels, movies and the real-life anecdotes found in magazines...

It didn't happen.

As I have abandoned my attempts to become a tea-drinker, some other quest must fill that void.  After much consideration I have a new adult pursuit:
I shall learn to eat cheese.  Uncooked.  Cold.  Without a vehicle.  Go ahead laugh - I'll wait.

I can - and do - enjoy melty cheese in any number of delicious applications.
This is different.
I'm already well into my second (!?) year of this experiment and there has been progress.

It wasn't that long ago that I could only eat *half* of one of those wedges distributed between my standard serving of 6 triscuits.  That is no longer the case.  Please hold your applause til the end.

Recently I tried to combine this with learning to drink red wine.
 I know - how hard can it be.

In November my annual checkup indicated that I have elevated triglyceride levels.  As my primary health care provider the doctor was prepared to send me home with a prescription that day, but we decided that I could have the next 6 months flying by to address the situation through diet and exercise.
Her recommendations included fish oil caplets on a daily basis.

Tim, my secondary health care provider, or do I have that reversed? recommended 4 ounces of red wine before bed.  

It didn't happen.

I gave it an honest, generous month.  
I don't like red wine. 
 I find it medicinal.
Drinking it requires that I eat something with it, like cheese and crackers, 
which seems to complicate the whole process...    
The caplets are working just fine for me, as I hope the fish oil in them is.

Next, I'd like to introduce you to what I must imagine will become my new best friend:

One of these days I'll need to take it out of the package.

The textbook for my math class asserts that there is no such thing as a brain for math - it is within the reach of all of us to solve quadratic equations.  I'll get back to you on that one.

While I do consider my self a simple person I do not consider myself ignorant of the world as it moves outside of my immediate sphere - but please - 
Does it seem unreasonable to you that a calculator - granted: a *graphing* calculator - should cost over a hundred dollars!?  Maybe I need to enlarge the borders of my sphere...

Another recent event took place last weekend as I visited my mother to celebrate her approaching birthday.
I had my first massage.  I loved it.  The masseuse had a great touch and
I can see myself doing it again.
I also had my first fried ice cream.  Not the same success as the massage.  I could only finish less than half and don't foresee it ever happening again. 

Finally, today, prompted by the howling wind and frigid air temps, I have taken some of the
 excellent chili we made for Christmas out of the freezer.  
I also made a pot of rice to go with it. 

We got this little gadget for Christmas and I will say that it makes a good pot of rice.

Looking ahead - I have been invited to attend the Yinghua Academy's Chinese New Year celebration the last weekend of January.
I promise to take my camera...

02 January, 2012

How did this happen!?

I worked Friday afternoon and over the course of several hours had to write the date 
which made me stumble - you see, I never quite got used to writing 12/xx/11.  

And now it's 01/02/12 - how did that happen!?

You hear it from everyone - that time goes by faster every year - I certainly have to agree.

Saturday we, the three of us, went for a hike at Dolliver Park.  Roughly 6 miles.
 I haven't been there for years.  We all had a great time.

Although at a different time of year those could be my feet this is a google image

We just Tim and I also went out for dinner.  An impromptu stop at Sam and Gabe's.  
It was delicious.  I would go back just for the appetizer and fire roasted tomato basil soup.

Yesterday's planned session of undecorating was derailed by a expedition to find materials to reno Tim's bathroom.  Flooring, paint, toilet, countertop - we came home with a piece of underlayment and a faucet.

Today Tim is marking another birthday.

The gym is waiting for me.  And the undecorating, some laundry, baking, and wrapping presents.  

Did I hear you ask if I have any New Years plans/resolutions?
Of Course - don't we all!?  
Mine I really only have one resolve this year can fall into 2 general categories: 
 Health for the mature, reasonable adult that I have become 
and Vanity well, just because.