Friday, June 27, 2008

More Fro Yo

Tried Bleuet tonight after searching for the longest time to find it. My friend knew the name was blue spelled funny, then the guy at Active Cultures told me that it was pronounced "Blu-ette," but I still could find it online or through texting Google. After a movie in NW, A and I just kept searching until we finally found it because we knew we were so close.

Success. Sort of.

The fro-yo was okay. There were only three flavors: plain, cinnamon and mint-lime. We tried cinnamon and-mint lime and they were both good and interesting, but nothing that made me jump up and down wanting to get more. We ended up getting cinnamon and adding a hemp-ginger granola over top. I didn't know granola was so good and definitely will consider adding it to fro-yo in future for the crunchy balanced goodness, but that's about all I can say that is good.

Here's the rundown:
1. Hard to find online (local froyo searches did not return this place)
2. Good location, but empty when all the other dessert shops on that street were jumping and it was 100 degrees
3. Terrible service - the girl behind the counter got us samples, but didn't seem excited about her job. Granted, she doesn't have to jump up and down, but I would have appreciated some suggestions.
4. Fro yo that really tastes like fro yo - it's more like my homemade than the stuff from Active Cultures - a little icy, less creamy and more tangy, which I usually like, but somehow didn't here.
5. If I believe the guy at Active Cultures, which I do, because he was well informed, animated and very helpful (even if he was wrong), Bleuet may have misinformation on their wall about the benefits of yogurt crossing over to fro-yo since probiotics may actually die during freezing.
6. Expensive! We got a kids size which is plenty (2 oz) for 1.50$, but the small (too big!) is usually around 3$ and it's 1$ for each topping. On the kids size, that's a lot less topping than on a bigger size!

In the end, I probably won't be going back. Mio and Alotto are right down the street and I like my own fro-yo better (although I will be buying some granola!).

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Peach Frozen Yogurt

It rocked.

Peaches: 6-7 peaches with bad spots cut off and pits removed (FREE)
1 c. Plain Fat Free Yogurt (FREE)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
Blend in blender. Freeze in ice cream maker.

Delicious, pretty much free ingredients (and you know how I love that!) and A says it was the best I've made so far.

I loved it, but I still am dreaming about Active Cultures which is so delicious I might faint. The fellow who helped us (one of the co-owners) was telling us about how their yogurt cultures are heated slightly to form spores so that the probiotics don't just bust open and die during freezing, so that you are actually getting the benefit of eating yogurt, even if it's frozen. That combined with the amazing texture and flavor means I'll probably be back - OFTEN!

He also helped me figure out the other fro-yo place Ree had mentioned and we saw another one on the way home, so I'll be tasting at those too. Fro-yo seems to be enjoying a come back and I'm glad to be a part of it. I just wish I knew how to keep my cultures live in freezing so that my home made fro-yo would also be live.

Speaking of frozen treats, I tried a couple more Haagen Daaz Reserve flavors - the salted caramel and the honey. They are both delicious and definitely interesting, but pomegranate chip is still the favorite. And I'm thrilled to know that this flavor is also available in a non-dairy version. Okay, it's too early in the morning to eat ice cream, so I better eat some brekki and get to work.

Monday, June 23, 2008

In the midnight hour, I cried...


There's always more to do. I got up 2 hours early and still didn't finish the list of things I had running in my head. I can only write a couple lines here, because I should already be in the car and I'm not even dressed for work, let alone fed or caffeinated.

At any rate, I did:
  • take out the trash - all the trash!
  • take out the recycling
  • get the dishes switched out (ran it yesterday full and am running it now, again full!)
  • get a load of laundry washed (had hoped it would finish so I could hang the stuff to dry, but it does not appear that 1 hour is enough for the wash cycle - wtf?!)
  • fed the dog
  • made the bed (A rubbing off on me about this made bed thing, though I did untuck the sheets)
  • made my lunch
  • picked up my apartment.

Okay, that's pretty good for an early morning. Now it's off to work, so I can look forward to coming home to clean apartment and homemade peach frozen yogurt. Mmmm...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Feeling Accomplished...and Patient

Vacation in the Midwest recovery complete. Clothes are in the wash, house cleaned up to pre-vacation standards, new food experiments completed and in progress, desk down to active projects, checkbook balanced. Oh yes, I feel very accomplished.

And I also feel proud of my patience and helpfulness this week. It's a strange thing that I've noticed several times today that I feel bad, as if one would think I'm conceited, when I say good or nice things about myself. That's crap - does the media instill this thinking in me? Where ever it comes from, I don't like it and I jettison it. Or I put it in a bubble and blow it away. Whatever.

In any case, I have been patient and helpful to my partner this week and it feels good. He's asked for my help a few times and I've helped. And realized that when I ask for his help and then promptly reject it, it doesn't help me, him or our relationship. We've also spent some time socializing with friends and when I was ready to leave and he wasn't, I just waited it out doing the social butterfly thing since I couldn't sit still a moment longer and it worked out great - even superficial connections with people are like are to be cherished sometimes. And, against my initial instincts, when he's arrived at my house hungry asking for something to eat, I haven't yelled at him (more than the first time), but have instead told him what I have that could be easily and quickly prepared. I feel like all this is a very good sign of the health of our partnership.

And he's helped me right back. And not judged me for the times I did yell (screech). And he drank the chalky smoothie I made us tonight. Without complaint. This could be the start of a beautiful relationship.

Friday, June 13, 2008

It Goes To Show You Never Can Tell...

I just read a letter from a male friend who recently moved back to the Midwest and got married. When we met, a friend of mine briefly considered dating him, but didn't because of his no-marriage attitude. He was very firmly against marriage and said he didn't even want to be someone's boyfriend - no commitments, he said. Now he's happily married with a baby on the way and considering moving to Russia if his wife's immigration does not go through. We say a lot of things about what we will and won't do, what we stand for, etc, but really, I think you don't know until you're in the position to make that decision for real. Maybe you will go with what you've always said, but maybe, just maybe, you'll take a leap and try something that doesn't feel so natural.

I hope that I am strong enough and courageous enough to do both.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Most Annoying Thing Ever: Performance Life

I used to think the most annoying thing a person I'm walking with can do is point. I really, really, hate pointing. It's like putting on a T-shirt that says "Hi, I'm a tourist, I don't know where I am or where I'm going. I'm gullible. Take advantage of me," while wearing white sneakers. I've gotten over that a little and allowed that pointing may sometimes mean, "Wow, that's cool," and that awe is more than a little okay. I like to be awed a little everyday, so I've even been known to point a little here or there.

But I now realize that the thing annoying me most is people going about their activities as an act of performance. For example, having your conversation about going to see Billy Idol just loud enough so that you know everyone else in the cafe knows too or doing anything funny or cute and then looking around to see who noticed. Maybe I'm just a paranoid bitch, but this was happening yesterday and it annoyed the shit out of me. (Swearing loudly and often is another form of performance life. For that matter, so is blogging, so who am I to talk?)

At any rate, there was a whole lot of performance life happening in the airport yesterday that was just the icing on the cake of my end-of-vacation-rage stuffed, bad-day cake with how-could-you-say-that-to-me(?!) chips.

On the upside, on the way out to the Midwest, A and I had a spontaneously cute moment when we stepped onto adjacent moving walkways and reached across and held hands. No looking around to see if anyone was watching, no thinking about telling people how cute we are, just a tender moment that is one of the highlights of my vacation. Along with my mom's mashed potatoes, which were killer.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

My 12 Step Program

I really want to go through that list I made in excruciating detail and write down my progress on each and every item, but it makes for boring reading, so I'll stick with another boring old standby - the weather report. If all travel goes according to plan (which is likely not to, since A may stay in Chicago with his mom), this is our itinerary and the weather forcast - looks like we're bringing P___ to the Midwest with us.

Thursday - Saturday (am): Chicago 86, Rainy (Thunderstorms - yippee!)
Saturday : Le Roy and Bloomington 87, Rainy (more Thunderstorms - yippee!)
Sunday : Urbana 91, Sunny - how nice for our romantic stroll along the quad
Sunday (pm) - Tuesday : Buchanan 80's, Rainy (yet more possible Thunderstorms - ugh!)
Wednesday : Chicago 79, Rainy

Got up to work at 3am today - didn't get to shower for work and had a nasty interaction with a coworker and then another with a customer. Luckily for me, my new boss lady is my age and really kind, so she let me vent to her and then I felt a lot better. Similarly to me, she cries when she's angry/frustrated more than when she's sad and tends to carry things around with her, but she said that working in the new store with new people, she hasn't carried as much around with her. I hope/plan/will emulate that - it's just not worth getting upset over the interactions I had at work today and definately not worth ruining my day. So, that's my final vent over those items. Now I should deal with my packing situation, my body funk and my hunger. So, a new list, my own personal 12 Step Program:

Step 1 : Put laundry in washer, add soap, press start.
Step 2 : Make and eat delicious veggie filled lunch.
Step 3 : Walk out to garage and get luggage.
Step 4 : Take shower and nap.
Step 5 : Pack dog.
Step 6 : Pack clothes, toiletries and gifts.
Step 7 : Have dinner and vice cream with E.
Step 8 : Say Good bye to Chibo as E leaves with him.
Step 9 : Clean up after dinner and finalize cleaning.
Step 10 : Finish packing.
Step 11 : Welcome A back home.
Step 12 : Get a good night's rest before working and traveling tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Home means P___, but "going home" means to my mom's place. I'm not sure what "going home" will mean when/if she moves here or elsewhere. I'm not sure how relevant my 3 brothers' locations will be to that definition, either. At any rate, I'm "going home" to the Midwest on Thursday and lots to do before then - for my own sanity, a quick reminder list:
  • Make dinner with ample leftovers tonight
  • Soak almonds overnight tonight or tomorrow morning til after work
  • Work tomorrow 4am - 12 pm
  • Stop at bank and make deposit on the way home, talk to Renee about bank fees
  • Boil water and sugar for kombucha as soon as get home - add kombucha when cool, cover and set on counter
  • Have dinner and vice cream with E
  • Figure out if I need to drop dog off tomorrow or Thursday
  • Pack dog stuff up for extended stay with Uncle T and Aunt Ree
  • Take dog to T-Ree's Wednesday or Thursday on way to airport - probably Wed best - maybe E can take him there for me?!
  • Do laundry
  • Pack for trip - including something nice to wear to wedding
  • Tell A what I'm wearing to wedding
  • Clean up house, throw out garbage and recycling, turn off heaters and surge strips, unplug appliances
  • Give luggage to A
  • Work Thursday 7-2, get picked up at work, go straight to airport

Extras, but very important

  • Buy and pack wedding gift - gift card?
  • Pack stuff for mom - lotion, liddell spray, etc.
  • Small gifts for A's parents? - something pretty for Mamaji and something practical for Papaji -- how do I decide what to give them without alerting A to my intentions?

As you can tell, this trip will be quite full, visiting A's parents, going to a college-friend's wedding, visiting A's Alma Matter and visiting my mom and family. For one week, it's going to be a lot, though sadly not as much time with my mom and family as I would like. I'm sure A feels the same as we'll both only get 2 nights with our families. It will be nice if/when we can get both sets of parents more local and spend more quality time with them. For that matter, it's already nice that we share the high value that we place on family.

Reconnecting to Goals

I lay in bed this morning listening to a phone message wherein my friend tells me that my thesis adviser told her that this year's thesis group has really raised the bar. What? They're done with their theses and they're that good?! I'm not done and it's a year post-graduation. I have yet to actually receive my masters degree, finish my board exams and achieve that license. I'm licensed enough to practice and to open my clinic which is where all the energy's been going, but not enough to practice as I'd like and as I ought. So, I decided to reconnect to my goals - review them, remember them, dismiss the ones that are no longer of interest, recommit to those that are.

Actively Working On
Let's start with number 7: Write my masters thesis - I'm setting a deadline for June 27. That's the last Friday of the month and the Friday before this year's graduation. I'm not walking obviously, but there is some heightened level of not feeling good about myself if I haven't at least finished my requirements by the time the next class walks. Since I'm going on vacation and visiting with family for the next week, I'm going to say that Tues, Wed and Friday mornings after my vacation are dedicated to thesis. Today and tomorrow mornings are dedicated to finishing the side job that I continually feel guilty about because I promised a deadline months ago, then reset it for weeks ago and still haven't worked on it.

And, because of my vacation plans and real life, that's the only one I'm fully committed to at present. But it's a whopper!

Still on the Drawing Board
2. Finish putting my hard copies of photos and scraps into albums -- some day
4. Get names/artists for the currently un-labeled music -- harder than I thought
10. Finish my mom's afghan -- wish I'd planned better so I could take it to her this week
11. Walk Chibo everyday for 2 weeks -- need to get realistic about this plan
12. Drink no soda for 1 month (excluding soda water) -- keep getting really close
14. Sell or donate crafting supplies not in use -- garage project
20. Do deep breathing exercises every night for 1 week -- enlist A, leave note by bed
23. Teach a QiGong class -- next summer
26. Sell my Pathfinder -- next spring
27. Go outrigger paddling again -- this summer!
28. Go for an overnight backpacking trip -- this summer?
29. Go backpacking for more than one night -- next summer
30. Get caught up on filing and data entry -- garage and computer project
31. Take another obedience class with Chibo -- this summer?
34. Consult with a dermatologist -- do I still want/need to do this?
35. Consult with an adoption counselor -- not until engaged, which may not happen within 1001
38. Reduce by 1/2 my primary credit card -- in progress, but not aggressively
40. Cancel out of date creditors -- need to read credit report to see what's what
41. Finish updating my name with relevant resources (such as credit reporting agencies) -- ?!
43. Take guitar lesson/class -- some day
44. Take dance class -- soon, with A!
45. Take ceramics/pottery class -- some day
46. Find an acceptable news source and read it daily for 2 weeks -- I love the business pages
48. Eat no processed food for 1 week -- just need to plan this realistically with A
49. Plant an herb garden (or at least 4 kinds in pots) -- maybe this summer in pots
50. Plant a vegetable garden -- when I move
51. Plant Tiger Lily's bulbs -- when I move
52. Buy a book on Lily's or orchids -- when I move or buy orchids
54. Crochet something to wear -- next autumn/winter
56. Spend an important anniversary with mom -- this winter?
59. Hike 2x per week for 2 months -- this summer, with A and E!
60. Visit Pete and Sara in DC/NY -- hoping to schedule this in soon!
65. Make a supplement list and take consistently for 2 weeks -- maybe after vacation
66. Go 1 day without swearing -- maybe today?
67. Set aside an afternoon 1x per month for 3 months to send birthday greetings and other mail -- some day, not very good at this, that's why it's a goal
69. Find a good calcium supplement and add to regular supplement list -- also not good at this
70. Put videos onto DVD -- some day, no rush
71. Learn to sharpen dad's knives -- some day, no rush
72. Renew SCUBA certification and go diving! -- maybe never, depends on asthma
73. Learn 3 prayers -- I know Our Father now, just need to learn 2 more
74. Memorize 1 poem -- I know several, but the idea was to learn a new one
75. Floss nightly for 2 weeks -- I don't know why this is so challenging
80. Go to the zoo -- some day, no rush
81. Have a day of gracious living - tell people about the concept -- some day, no rush
83. Get a fish or bird -- when I move
85. Go to my 10 year college reunion - scheduled 10/2009
86. Find out if Math/Science Center is still running and contact the director -- some day, no rush
87. Tune up sewing machine -- some day
88. Take a sewing class -- some day, more interested now that I'm reading A Dress A Day
90. Make a recommended reading list for professional development -- to do
91. Find a resource to keep up to date on research (list serve etc.) -- to do
92. Go to AANP and/or NWNPC conferences -- 2009!
93. Drink 8 glasses of water daily for 1 month -- some day
95. Take the train to Seattle -- this summer?
96. Fast for 24 hours -- maybe never, need to reevaluate my connection to this goal
97. Have a cocktail party - make a new drink for friends! -- THIS SUMMER!
100. Go to Olympic National Forest -- this summer?
101. Visit Italy -- this will be accomplished!

Completed Goals
1. Complete my list of 101 things to do - completed 3/30/07
3. Reorganize the music on my MP3 player - completed 11/24/07
6. Finish my last case paper - completed 6/15/07
8. Graduate NCNM - Walked 6/25/07
9. Build/commission a professional website - I count it that my business has a website!
13. Visit Rebecca in Trinidad or elsewhere - her recent move to P___ made that much easier!
18.Go to the next staff or company meeting at work - completed 7/11/07
21. Memorize Tai Ji Yang Style form - completed approx 7/27/07
22. Take a Tai Ji class outside of NCNM - completed 7/9/07, three week course
24. Volunteer anywhere - completed 9/21/07 Chinese Garden
25. Walk to Fred Meyer instead of driving as needed for 2 weeks - completed 7/8/07 (didn't even realize I had done it!)
32. Go kayaking - completed 7/14/07
33. Learn to straighten my hair - completed 5/8/07
36. Go to a live sporting event at least 4x per year - completed in 2007!
37. Pay off my Citibank credit card - paid off with consolidation 2008
39. Request my credit report - received with credit union acct - 2008
42. Sign up for 401K at New Seasons - completed 7/18/07
47. Identify my favorite section of the bookstore - completed Feb 2008
53. Read a book every week for 2 months - completed Feb 2008
55. Crochet something as a gift - completed 2/25/08, "Christmas" scarf for A
57. Get a facial - completed 11/8/07
58. Find a good facial moisturizer with SPF - completed 7/3/07
61. Cook a meal for my housemate completed 5/7/07
62. Cook a meal for my boyfriend completed 5/7/07
63. Cook a meal for friends (more than E and A!) completed 4/8/07
64. Try a recipe out of the vegan cookbook - have tried several!
68. Make a reasonable budget - it may not be reasonable by some standards, but I have a budget!
76. Teach Chibo to lay down - can't believe I never listed this as completed - sometime in 2007
77. Hang wind chimes - completed 6/20/07
78. Consult financial advisor - completed long time ago, not sure why I didn't put this down. I went to lunch with a financial advisor. It wasn't a personal meeting, which we scheduled for later, but it was a consultation. I also count this completed because I have consulted many financial advice articles online and realize that it will be some years before I'm ready to start doing any serious financial planning (and paying for it!).
79. Lose 25 pounds - done 2007, unfortunately what once was lost has now been found, but que sera, sera.
82. Backup Computer - External Drive for Christmas, backed up!
84. Acquire a new camera and learn to use it -Camera for Christmas!
94. Clean out garage at Center Commons - Completed by virtue of moving 8/2/07

(Likely to remain) Undone
5. Try rock climbing - this was adventurous thinking, I really am not that interested in doing this - I tried by signing up for it, paid for it and didn't do it.
15. Sign up for Bikram Yoga new member package and use it at least 2x - I'm going to agree with my Chinese doctors and let this one go - my yin deficiency will not respond well to that hot room.
16. Ride my bike to school or clinic at least 5x in spring term - yeah, as stated before, didn't happen.
17. Get a basket or pannier for my bike - since I'm not bike commuting and don't really like buying things, I think I don't need to buy myself something for the bike. It seems like a weird goal, to buy something, anyways.
19. Apply for Mercy Corps business grant - not necessary with new business model. Might apply later if something develops along those lines.
89. Eliminate eggs from diet for 1 month - just not committed to this. Added to the list because my allergy panel suggested that maybe I might be slightly allergic to eggs, but I think they showed up just because I eat them all the time. I should have put dairy on the list!
98. Go to the Garden at least 3x before membership runs out - that didn't happen, but I am volunteering there, semi-regularly and learned that free doesn't necessarily mean I'll do something.
99. Get a new membership somewhere when Chinese Garden runs out - since my Chinese Garden membership didn't work out so well, I'm not sure how committed I am to committing to another place. Will think about it.

Time: 431 days (43%)
Goals: 34 goals (34%)
42 goals (42%) includes both completed and undone goals

Still To Go
Time: 570 days (57%)
Goals: 59 goals (58%)

Monday, June 2, 2008

What Gets Me Out of Bed

No, no, no, it's not like, "oh, I hate my life, there's nothing worth getting out of bed for." It's more like: The Things I Think About Doing Upon Rising. And it's blog-worthy, because I find the things that get me out of bed strange.

So, I was going to start describing myself and relating that to why the things that get me out of bed are strange, but being a professional doesn't have anything to do with it being strange really. If someone was a stay at home mom I would still find it strange that cutting up apples to put in the dehydrator put a zing in her first step out of bed. I would still find it strange that the thought of preparing a hot lunch of tofu and greens to be eaten hours later would be the thing that opens her eyes. I would still find it strange that she wished for a separate room near the kitchen in which to run and store her many appliances.

Yes, I am a kitchen junkie. Another negativo on the perfect house is that the kitchen is in the great room. This is what I've always wanted - my mom's kitchen is just a kitchen with a table, no formal dining room in the house, but most meals are eaten in the living or family room or with individuals strewn about the house wherever they fall - so, the thought of a kitchen where I could prepare food and still be with my family has always been very appealing. But the newest appliance to join my collection - my beloved ice cream maker - is very noisy. And it occurred to me that if I set it to run while eating dinner, it would be very noisy right next to us eating. And annoying. So I remembered another house where there was a large pantry and a laundry room nearby and got this bug in my ear that if there were a side room of the kitchen or a walk in pantry, that would solve some of those issues.

Thoughts like this get me out of bed. Thoughts about what food to prepare and how to make it, thoughts about meal planning, thoughts about the perfect kitchen. I do wake up hungry, but I also don't usually like to eat that much in the morning, so that adds to the strangeness too - that my first thoughts are about food that I'm not going to eat.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Vital Statistics

Regarding the 'perfect' house I fell in love with:

Walkscore 3/100 - based on businesses and facilities within about 4 miles. For comparison, the walk score at my current home is 75 and at my office is 89! The only thing that shows up less than 1.5 miles away is the local school district.

Miles to Work -
For A - 14.2 miles, 30 minutes avoiding freeways
For me - 6.0 miles, 15 minutes
If A dropped me off - 25.6 miles, 45 minutes on the freeway

Public transit options -
"Error. There are no ___ stops within 1 mile of that address."

So, in conclusion, I guess the perfect house is not so perfect after all. I'm not sure that we will find a house like this close to anything, but I'm also sure that I won't be walking more than a mile to the bus stop or biking up the hill to get home from work, so my only options are having A drive me to work (unlikely that our schedules would be that perfectly matched) or drive another car out every day. I guess perfect isn't so perfect after all.