Think Happy Thoughts

Yesterday was an awful day. Among other things, like having to spend $200 at the doctor so I could get $13 antibiotics, it ended with a migraine. But when I woke up today, it felt so wonderful to feel so normal… Well, I wouldn’t want another day like yesterday, but it feels so good to feel good again it’s almost worth it.

This isn’t really one of those “we take everything for granted” posts, and it’s not really one of those “look for the light at the end of the tunnel” posts, either. I just wanted to remind everybody that, when you do feel good, maybe it’s ok to let your hindsight get a little fuzzy about when you felt bad. And this is one of those metaphorical posts that can apply to multiple situations.

Happy Friday!

Another Recipe

I know I’m not exactly the gourmet cook whose recipes everyone is dying to have. However, I’m still a pretty new housewife, and if I can figure out how to muster a tasty recipe together, anyone should be able to follow it! I’m becoming increasingly excited at how many of my experiments are working out, especially because Steve has borderline high blood pressure so I’m trying to make more and more from scratch to cut out all the unnecessary sodium from canned and boxed things. So here’s another recipe:

Chicken and Rice Soup (for two)

You will need:

  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breast (more is optional)
  • 2/3 cup of brown rice, partially cooked
  • 1 Cup chopped celery
  • 1 Cup diced carrots
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • Salt, Pepper, Poultry Seasoning, and Herbs (Basil, Parsley, Oregano)

Throw the chicken breast in a pot and cover it with water, then add about another inch or two. Put it on the stove on high until it boils, then let it simmer on medium-low for 30-60 minutes. (Longer is better, but if you’re in a hurry, you can get everything cooking and it’ll still taste good.) Take out your chicken with some tongs and give it a quick chop, then throw it back in the pot. Add the rice, a dash of poultry seasoning, and your herbs. I added about a generous tablespoon of parsley, and about 3/4 as much basil and parsley. You can add your veggies now or wait about 15 minutes, then throw it all in, add some more water if you need it (and/or chicken broth and bouillon cubes if you don’t mind the sodium), and let it simmer until the wonderful smell forces you to grab a bowl!

The Itch You Can’t Scratch

After last night, I’m convinced that the cricket was one of God’s beautiful, graceful creatures until Satan got his hands on it and twisted it into something demonic. Nothing but a demon-bug can be the size of a dime, inflated to three dimensions, and make more noise than a train. In your bedroom. At six in the morning. When the only thing left to do is forego the two hours of sleep you had left to wake up and try to exorcise the demon.

But when you try to smash it, its round body mysteriously melds into the carpet so it remains unharmed and then goes behind the bookshelf. So you have to empty the bookshelf and move it so you can try to kill the cricket. Except, when you move the bookshelf and even tilt it so you can see underneath, the bug is nowhere to be found. Why? Because it is safe and untouchable beneath the baseboard in the corner of your room. And when you try to stab it with a pencil or butter knife or whatever you can slide between the carpet and baseboard, it makes mocking sounds like its blowing raspberries at your futile efforts to erase its existence.

So there’s nothing for it but to head out to the living room, where there’s at least the thin protection of a wall between you and this demon’s unearthly screeching, to try to eke out the rest of your sleep on the couch or chair.

Fortunately, when you are resigned to your fate, God grants His justice and drives Beelzebug out of hiding so the man of the house can have his vengeance.

Another “Day Off”

I have quite a lengthy “to-do” list on this day off of mine. First, I had to do some emergency cleaning in the apartment because I hope to have someone come by today. I made some phone calls, got mad at the water department for refusing to believe that they received my payment on time when the money was taken from my account two days before it was due, and made some breakfast. Then I ran by the apartment office to put in a maintenance request–they’re the ones I hope come over.

After that, I was off to the County Clerk so I could, six months late, pay the vehicle taxes so I can renew my license plates. After that, I intended to go to the DMV, Wal-Mart, and Aldi, but the County Clerk gave me a form to fill out to take to the DMV. To complete it, I needed information that was in my car at home. So I drove back home, filled out the information, locked the door, and stepped out… only to to turn and see my keys sitting on the driver’s seat of my locked car.

Well, I guess my list just got that much shorter.

Culinary Adventures

Since I’ve been trying to eat healthier, I’ve been motivated to try new things. When the two basic food groups you can eat are meat and veggies, you very quickly want to branch out into something other than salad topped with chicken. I’ve been watching Food Network and decided to attempt a recipe kind of inspired by them.

I bought a pint of grape tomatoes, put them in a small casserole dish and drizzled them with a good bit of olive oil and added several cloves of garlic. After roasting them for about half an hour, I tossed them in a blender with some oregano and a handful of spinach. It was a nice orangey color but, after tasting it, I decided it could use some more spinach–you couldn’t taste the spinach and I thought, “Hey, a little more veggies never hurt anyone.” So I added some more and it came out kind of an earthy green. I poured that over some grilled chicken. It looked kind of gross. Steve dubbed it “slime chicken.” But it tasted heavenly. So if you want to make it and let it look pretty, you can add one handful of spinach. If you don’t care how it looks and want the extra Vitamin K, add two handfuls. 🙂

Then, I decided to make aebleskiver for Steve’s department picnic, but not just any aebleskiver would do–I wanted to make pumpkin spice aebleskiver. With the addition of some pumpkin butter and generous amounts of cinnamon, nutmeg, chives, and cloves, I succeeded admirably. My only problem was not gorging myself on what are essentially deep-fried pancake balls since I am, after all, on a diet.

I am the Queen of the Kitchen!

GirlFace the Argonian

Against my better judgment, I allowed Steve to prompt me into making a Morrowind character. I made GirlFace the Argonian. Why the name? Because when I asked Steve what I should name my character, he said, “I don’t know, girl face.” (It’s sort of an endearment. I just go with it.) An Argonian is a lizard-type thing. It just looks pretty cool, AND it can breathe underwater.

race_argonian

And, as I could have guessed, it’s kind of taking over. Morrowind is a pretty immense RPG, and the character-building possibilities are nearly endless. Sure, there’s a story line, and I’m following it, but you can also just run around and do whatever you want to do. It’s seeping into my dreams and calling to me when I should be working.

Ironically, however, facing the certainty that I will really want to play this game at night kind of keeps me to task during the day. I can’t waste time doing things like watching TV or laying around doing nothing if I want to play my game later! So where before I might have sat in front of the TV thinking, “I’ll just watch for half an hour,” and two hours later I still haven’t done anything, now I do as much as I possibly can before I collapse from mental or physical exhaustion. Or both. And then I can play guiltlessly. Until I fall asleep with the controller in my hands.

I’m Not the Only One

This article in Time tells me I’m not the only one who seems to find it impossible to both eat right and exercise. When I have to choose one or the other, I usually go with focusing on cutting out brownies and cheeseburgers. I guess that’s the right thing to do–according to the article, exercise makes you want to eat more (go figure), and most people have exhausted their willpower “muscle” by going to the gym in the first place, so they opt for things like greasy fries.

But I will not be a statistic! I’ve been eating healthier and have a husband to hold me accountable. And I’m still gonna hit up the gym three or four times a week. Ok, so maybe I won’t do workouts that are quite as tough. But I’m still gonna get ready for backpacking in the Rockies someday in the future and not “reward” myself with Jack in the Box.