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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Tuesday 5: Stuff to do, stuff to think about

1.  This weekend was a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I made homemade burger buns Saturday for the sloppy joes the kids made and followed it up with chocolate mousse for dessert. I worked on a new puzzle, did a little bible study and a little poetry dissection.  I have been trying to make an effort to keep myself busy and productive at work and at home, instead of just sitting on a computer or watching TV. It's a work in progress, but I have been fairly successful so far.

2.  I talked to someone at work about my anxiety the other day. She asked me if I was still into The Walking Dead and I was explaining why I didn't really watch it anymore because of my anxiety. It turned into a discussion on the topic. It has been 3 years since I developed anxiety through a medical emergency. At my worst, I was sitting in a tub, with the shower head pouring hot water down, while I tried not to think some of the worst thoughts to enter my brain. For hours I was in that tub. I have come so far, thank the Lord! My work offers therapy services through our employee assistance program. If the therapist you choose is on their list, you can receive up to 10 1-hour sessions for free, paid by my employer. That program saved me. Truly. Why is it not mandatory everywhere?

3.  I am currently reading Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. It's 20th century British literature. I read The Mayor of Casterbridge and Tess of the D'Urbervilles years ago,  but this is most acclaimed work. I really like it so far. I am intending to alternate between modern and classic literature this year, but I would love suggestions of classics that are really good  (no Dickens or Hawthorne) but most people either haven't read them or have never heard of them.

4.  The things I don't really like about winter: icy roads, stupid drivers, dry skin, and static electricity! I zap myself everywhere. I am always a little static-y, but it gets 10 times worse during the winter. The worst is the grocery store. Inadvertently touching a shelf, picking up cans, opening the fridge doors...they all get me. The other day I got zapped so hard you could see the actual spark! I would like to say it's my electric personality, but it's actually pretty annoying. Does this happen to anyone else?

5.  I have a major sweet tooth. The other day I was watching Friends and they were talking about salt water taffy. It made me crave some taffy, so I called my husband and had him stop and get me a Laffy Taffy. My favorite candy bar is probably Mounds or Milky Way Midnight. I love dark chocolate. What about you?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Tuesday 5: Mmmm...food

I was thinking about what to post for my Tuesday 5 while I was in the midst of making my supper.  It is cold, icy, and snowy outside today and I drove home through a very pretty snowfall that was coming down fairly densely.  When I got home there was only one thing I wanted for supper - something warm!  Which made me contemplate my top 5 cold weather foods.

We're going to talk in specifics here people, because while soup is obviously going to be on this list, there are certain types that are better than others.

5.  Goulash!  One of my favorite cold weather meals, it's all encompassing.  Meat, pasta, tomatoes, and cheese, plus a little kick with the chili powder.  Yum!

4.  Shepherds Pie.  I just started making this one last year, but the combo. of ground beef, tomatoes, and mashed potatoes makes this warm your tummy up right!

3.  Chili.  There's nothing like coming home to a crockpot full of my husband's chili.  The smell is fantastic and it tastes even better!  He loads it up with 3 kinds of beans, ground beef and steak, as well as several kinds of peppers.  I'm sensing a theme in my dishes.

2.  Malt o' Meal.  Now here's where I break away from my theme, because when I want something quick, easy, delicious, and nutritious, that will warm me up, I have to have Malt o' Meal.  I know, I know, some people hate it because of the texture, but with a splash of milk and some sugar, it is my favorite pairing with coffee, in the morning or the evening.  (It's what I made for supper tonight.)

1.  Tomato soup and grilled cheese.  Top marks for a reason, whether out of a can (with milk) or homemade, nothing hits the spot like creamy tomato soup and gooey, cheesy grilled cheese.  A little on the dark side, making sure the bread gets full cheese coverage.  Superb!

What are your favorites?

Have a great week!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Tuesday 5: The Force Awakens and so does my Soapbox

1. Yes, we did see Star Wars opening night, but I really want to see it again. Rick and I both had New Year's Day off, so I was going to watch it again while he and my SD Ashley watched Krampus. We went to the 4pm showing. I did not purchase tickets ahead of time. It was sold out again, y'all! 2 weeks after the release and still selling out. Wow. That's quite a feat. For the record, while I love the new characters and the *SPOILER* light saber battle in the snow was amazing, I really didn't like the way they jammed it down my throat that this film was going to be like the OT (original trilogy for you normal folk) and definitely not like the prequels. I get it, I get it. People despised the prequels. Yes, I don't like them nearly as much as the OT, but TFA was TOO self-referential. I was actually kind of glad *SPOILER* that not all of the OT characters will be in the next ones. Focus on Rey and give me a sweet back story for Poe Dameron and I will love you forever JJ!

2.  So, instead of watching Star Wars like I wanted, I ended up seeing Sisters, with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.  It was hysterical and there were several spots I laughed 'til I nearly cried. Yes, it's raunchy. Yes, it's a party movie, but it is a party movie for 40 year olds! Plus, it has awesome cameos by lots of funny people, including Maya Rudolph, Kate McKinnon, Bobby Moynihan, John Leguizamo, Rachel Dratch, and Samantha Bee. All hilarious! Reviews are divided, but what bothers me is that the biggest complaint from the naysayers is that it isn't cerebral enough. That's right, apparently Tina Fey and Amy Poehler can only do comedies that are smart, like Parks and Rec. or 30 Rock. Yes, they are smart women, but they are entitled to cut loose every once in a while. Seth Rogen and James Franco aren't the only ones allowed to do those types of movies. They have enough comedy cred to do whatever the heck they wanna do! Tina Fey as a writer was one of the best SNL staff writers of all time! This feels a little personal to me, because a lot of those people doing reviews make it seem like smart women over 40 can only be certain things. They can't be raunchy without being sluts. They can't be sexual without being trashy sluts. They can't act silly without being stupid, trashy sluts. Look, I am not saying we should advocate binge drinking and drugs as a regular lifestyle. I am merely saying that women can portray those roles for the purpose of a funny movie without degrading women by that portrayal. I think Fey and Poehler do a good job of that. Yes, these women are a mess, but they aren't setting feminism back through these characters. What does set it back though, is when reviewers make it seem like Fey and Poehler MUST portray only cerebral funny roles in order to make a statement. Sometimes there is no statement. Sometimes it's just frickin' funny.

3. Oh my, that soapbox got a bit lofty, didn't it? Let me bring it back down. Speaking of statements, I made one this weekend when I was crowned CHAMPION of my Fantasy Football league. I am the only female in a league of 10 players, comprised of my husband, my brother, and their coworkers. This group includes 2 guys making a career out of sports broadcasting and a couple others who have been in leagues for years! I am so proud of myself, as my first year in the league was last year and I ended up in the middle of the pack then. I studied players quite a bit and I feel like I managed my team pretty well for a relative newbie. If you're a nerd who likes numbers, FF may be for you. I played my brother in the championship and won $225. Now to find something(s) fun to spend it on. I foresee a few hours on Etsy!

4.  I have been listening to my mp3 at work a lot lately. I ended up setting it to play every soon it (391) in alphabetical order. What a hodge podge that is! Alt. Rock, Beatles, Johnny Cash, 90s country, Les Mis, Edith Piaf, among others. Music is integral to the wellbeing of my soul. That is not an overstatement. Music feeds me spiritually. I have done music-related posts on here before. Seek them out, read them, and let me know the one current song you could listen to on loop. One current, one old, one hymn...how's that? I am so looking forward to your answers! For the record, mine are: nothing new, so I will say a new-ish one, The Cave by Mumford and Sons. Old one would be: Folsom Prison Blues. Hymn? Hmmm. I actually love the Gloria (Glory to God in the Highest) in the Catholic mass. I hum it a lot, in the middle of the week.

5. Finally, my husband just got called out for work, so it looks like I am by myself tonight. Dig in to The Martian or a book on mercy? Decisions, decisions.

Have a great week everyone and thanks for reading and sharing!