Thursday, June 6, 2024

Hot Food

Quiche with a potato crust, how did I miss that? King Arthur Flour recipe. Maybe thaw some frozen spinach and cook with onion instead of leek/mushrooms. And hell, here's the whole whole Metafilter thread I found this in.

Posting so I can find again in September or October when it will be possible to turn the oven on again. June has attacked, we hit 99F today. And it's early and bad like in so many places. We're lucky not to have the humidity here. Got to get rid of the fossil fuels. 

Heading to Evanston IL for oldest's graduation this weekend. It won't be hot there. 70s and we'll see about the wind. 

I had a moment yesterday when I remembered how many books I have access to that I'm looking forward to reading. It's a good world with a lot of good art in it. And it's a terrible place with death and pain and injustice every day. So relish what you can and try to help one person or fix one problem.  

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Amidst May

    My favorite month is unrolling at the normal pace and I want to at least wave as it goes by. The irises are done, the grass in back is mostly green. Nod cut down the dead bush by the driveway and put something else there. (It is not on the drip system so this seems unlikely to thrive.) He also replaced one of the hot poker plants with a chamisa, that one does have water. Many yard chores exist and may get done in the future. I just joined the FB Buy Nothing group for our neighborhood with the intent to give away the backyard bed. The weather keeps warming then cooling, we haven't begun to bake yet. 

The fever has gone down, not because my attention has shifted, but rather because concrete plans have been made. I'm midwest bound in the first week of July to see my little friends. Smug, why yes, I am. There is some emotional adjustment happening here at home which I think will turn out okay. Some pretty fundamental assumptions are changing and that's causing some feelings. 

L is back from college and visiting us, nice to have her around. She's just got a few days before catching the train to see her KS friends. She'll be back here in time for us all to go see her sister graduate in June. I'm still a bit queasy about the Chicago trip. I'm worried about managing my mom's expectations and both grandmas' capacities and... But it'll happen and we'll all be happy to see each other and it's just a long weekend. More appealing: I want to go back in the fall and see Katy and do theater-y things.    

We're celebrating being here for a whole year. Some annual things have come around again. We still haven't made it to the Turkish Festival - next year! I feel more at home in the neighborhood but we'll see how the summer goes. My London friend is here to visit his mom but illness has struck. I hope he'll be well enough to go to Santa Fe tomorrow. 

May the May be well with you. 

Monday, April 15, 2024

Careening

 Enchilada Rankings

I have a new sample to report on for my new year's resolution. El Patio, the classic one near UNM, was delightful on an April evening. This was my first visit, Nod's been a bunch of times. Things started auspiciously with a parking meter just a few spots from the restaurant. Too much glary sun when we arrived but 15 minutes took care of that. The host is a stickler and we were not allowed to be 3 at a 5 top table in the shade. In fact nobody got to sit at that table all evening. Rousse pointed that out at the end - he said "consistency is very important in the restaurant business" - true nuff. But our corner under the mulberry tree (just starting leaves) was great. And the enchiladas? Very good! Green chile was spicy but not painful, everything tasted good. We couldn't do much with the sopapillas which was sad because they were well fried. 

After dinner we went to a free belly dance performance by a group Nod had seen before. It was a treat, campy and the dancers looked like they were having fun. Clearly a school, the first couple of numbers had the students participating, the rest was numbers by the four advanced dancers in various combinations. It was 70s themed and that was a fun combo. Next month they're doing a Star Wars theme, I admire the whimsy but think I'll skip. Nod reminded me of going to a Turkish coffee house in San Francisco in the 90s to see belly dance with D. His comment - after all the strong coffee, tobacco and belly dancing - no wonder they had to go out and capture an empire. 

Wild Cat

I think I saw Freddie on Friday evening. At least, it was some tabby that meowed at me from the rosemary bushes and wouldn't approach. But Nod says the cat he's seen eating food on the front porch is a different tabby (longer white stockings). Argh. I Can Haz Resolution?

Done with Chorus?  

I went to a performance at an assisted living center yesterday. And cried all the way home. The center was fine, the audience was sweet and enthusiastic. My singing was not good, I was in the back, couldn't always find our notes, entirely for some songs. And we ended with You Will Be Found which makes me cry anyway. I didn't feel like anyone was glad I was there and I didn't do a good job. I'm not going to GALA. In addition I have to sing masked in order not to worry about singing indoors / covid transmission. So what's the point? Rehearsal tonight, maybe I'll tell the section about my feelings. I'd like to say that I will find a way to turn this around and make it fun for our section. Not sure I have the inspiration. 

After my spring fever and the fun Saturday night I was surprised at how sad and lonely I felt. I guess it's time for some More Emotions, throw 'em on the pile. 

Art House FOMO

'Problemista' is at the Guild but tonight's the last night and I have rehearsal. Darn, I wish I had gone yesterday. Checked the Santa Fe art house and they don't have it listed but I need to check back. They are playing 'La chimera' and I want to see that too! after hearing a great review on the radio.  


Thursday, April 4, 2024

Spring fevering

I'm all a-tremble at the moment, through a combination of spring,  hormonal changes, sweet humans, the cold breath of Death on the back of my neck and my periodically sentimental temperament. I have memories to enjoy and some summer hijinks to look forward to. I could hardly be luckier. 

Today I've spent quite a lot of time singing along with these songs. Only the first two are new to me and the blog. 

Sam Phillips, Reflecting Light. I never did get on the Gilmore Girls train, this song was featured there. I like how she's still dancing with her faith in lyrics.  


Robbie Foulks, Let's Kill Saturday Night. Change of mood. Described as a perfect song and I see it.


Eleni Mandell, Moonglow Lamp Low. Back to sultry. Mmmmm. 


Lavern Baker, Tweedle Dee. 


Sara MacLaughlan, Wear Your Love Like Heaven (by Donovan). Like all of these songs, a prayer.



Thursday, March 28, 2024

You won the lottery kid, what's wrong with you?

Over a year ago, we adopted a cat who had an undisclosed but clearly rough start. Freddie is in a weird spot between feral and pet-like: will occasionally let me pick him up, never sits with us on furniture, sometimes sleeps at our feet, doesn't want to be pet except in passing, head butts our shins. 

I can't put him in a carrier unless I throw a sheet over him and put the whole bundle in the box. I got pretty good at that during our move to New Mexico last spring. Since then he's had the run of a slightly larger house with windows to watch from and cuss out of. 

But there has been no softening of his personal space issues. Then we offended him by moving the cat box into the garage. Nod cut the door between the kitchen and garage and installed a pet door. I made sure cat could navigate through. It was all very promising in the opinion of the humans. But when I put down the flappy door, that was too much to be borne. The cat used the door successfully, I made sure. But then pooped on the couch to register his complaint.   

I cleaned up the couch and taped the flappy door up out of the way. Cat went back to using the litter box. Mostly. He peed on the couch right before we had houseguests. And he's done it several times since. The circa 1970s cushions all smell terrible now and are propped up so there is no flat surface available. 

And that's it. I feel the compact is ruptured. I could live with a cat who is weird and unaffectionate. But I can't live with that type of cat who also pees on my couch. We're considering several not-good options. The most appealing one is a friend who farms and keeps barn cats. Freddie probably won't have a long life but hopefully it's better than the pound. 

I've never gotten rid of a pet before and it feels pretty bad. And yet I am committed to a Freddie-less future. With new couch cushions. 

----------------------------------

Surprise update - cat has run away. Sunday morning before I left for a classical guitar concert, I couldn't find the cat. And we haven't seen him since. We guess that he ran out of the garage when a car was going in or out. 

Uncooperative to the last, he's taking his own form of exit from this household. It's the worst option - I would never turn a pet out on the streets of ABQ. I have put food on the back porch and I go out and call a few times a day. He could still turn up, cats have been known to do so. It was raining when I woke up this morning. I'm sad for him but there's not a lot I can do.

----------------------------------

But wait, there's more. Freddie was on the back porch eating the food I put out, two days after disappearing. When I opened the door to see if he'd come in - Panic! and he hopped over the wall. This means that we now have an outdoor cat, against my wishes. That little gremlin continues to provoke me. 


Friday, March 15, 2024

Plotting against skeeters

I love this idea for targeting only mosquito larvae, and not killing other insects. The graphic that I found on bluesky says:

1. Get a bucket. [all good plans start like this]

2. Add straw and water to the bucket, at a ratio of about 4 water : 1 straw.

3. Let it ferment and get gross for 3 days. Mosquitoes like gross.

4. On day 4, add 1/4 of a Mosquito Dunk to the bucket.

5. Set your bucket in a sunny or part shade location. Make sure it doesn't dry out. [This will be more challenging in Albuquerque than in Virginia.]

6. Add a new chunk of Mosquito Dunk after 30 days.

More info here: How to Set up a Mosquito Larva Trap. That page says to put chicken wire on top of the bucket to keep animals out. It says that a mosquito dunk works for about 30 days and the whole bucket of sludge should be changed then. 

This will be an excellent spring experiment as we spend more time on the back patio. 

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Daffs

The daffodils started blooming about a week ago. Clearly I need to clean up the iris bed. The spring winds have been blasting for the last two days. I just noticed my upper palate itching which is my sign that I am still allergic to juniper pollen. I will see how it goes and apply Zyrtec as needed. 



Friday, February 16, 2024

More Sweetness

My spouse says I'm overreacting to my bout of covid. Yes, that does make me want to pummel him with small pillows. It was a miserable two weeks without any life threatening symptoms, just the crud. I was sure it lasted at least 3 weeks - it felt like longer. I'm trying to get out and walk every day for Lent and that doesn't feel good yet. But the sunlight is delicious. I know resting is important but surely short walks? And no one knows and that's part of the whole miserable package. My general outlook is that enjoying things is happening again, but not at the frequency I prefer.   

Faceboobs feels like it is less and less usable. I see some of my connections' posts and then it's just sludge, instagram-like pretty picture accounts I haven't asked for. I am happiest with bsky. And I miss things. That makes me feel old and pouty. Maybe I will like what's yet to come.  

I tore through Prophet yesterday. Good weird adventure, great title. For one of the authors, it's quite a turn from H is for Hawk. This bit shocked me: "Nevada test site. One bomb every three weeks for twelve years. They called Vegas Atomic City back then. You could watch the mushroom clouds from your casino hotel." Is that true? I did not know that. I thought Wes Anderson's Atomic City was more exaggerated/cartoony for effect and am disturbed to think otherwise.  

I'm reading The Ornament of the World for this Saturday's book group. It covers some complicated medieval history in Spain. It's pleasant and educational but I am not in love. I learned about the Abbasids moving from Damascus and building Bagdad as their new capital with concentric ring walls. Wells plays with this in City of Bones, the levels of that city also rise in elevation and are starkly separated by class.     

I am practicing my pronunciation of Ayo (👁 + O) Edibiri (ehDehburry) since it is different than my initial reading. I have trouble remembering names until I can spell them. But on the other hand I think we might be better off not ever writing names, just make it all sounds and nicknames. I love her performances including the recent SNL hosting, awkwardly with JLo as the musical guest. The Scam Goddess podcast in which AE riffed on JLo never singing on her own songs is a delight; the host and guest are having a great time. I'm planning to go see The Sweet East with AE when it's at the downtown arthouse at the end of the month.

I made a super kickass batch of green chile stew this week. I was trying to heal my husband's congestion by delivering chicken broth in a way he would actually eat. It exceeded my expectations and we feasted. I used the very basic recipe I copied off a package of "Chile Products of NM, Inc." green chile back in the mists of time. I simmered 4 chicken thighs with onion, carrot, parsley and peppercorns to make broth. Strained the broth, cooled the chicken, chopped. Cooked 2# medium green chile, 4 sm. cubed potatoes, garlic, a can of crushed tomatoes and a sliced carrot in 2.5 cups of broth for 30 minutes. I added the chopped chicken and cilantro and simmered another 10. I seasoned with salt, pepper and cumin. The crushed tomatoes made the whole deal redder than I wanted but I can't argue with the taste outcome. So much goodness.     


Thursday, February 1, 2024

Stretch

I would like to do a good stretching session. I'm in post-covid seclusion this week so it won't be in public. Maybe time for an Adriene yoga video or three. I look forward to starting strengthening exercise but it'll be later in the year. 

Yes, hoist by my own petard. The petard being my desire to sing, unmasked, indoors in the winter. There are about 14 cases of Covid (audience and chorus members) after our two performances. Only unmasked people got it. I won't be doing that again. I am thrown back to my feelings that indoor gatherings in the winter are still risky. I love to sing with others and am frustrated that it's not currently a good idea.

I now love paxlovid and credit it with a turnaround. I spent five days feeling worse and worse - sore throat, little to no voice by the end, fever/chill/body aches and weepy with very low morale. A couple of days on paxlovid had me much peppier and I am grateful. The metallic taste was not oppressive and went away within 36 hours after last dose. I have some fatigue, coughing and congestion left and hope to be shed of all of this next week.  

My pcp wouldn't prescribe paxlovid as I did not have recent blood work showing my kidney function. The Urgent Care doc asked whether I'd ever had kidney issues (no), said "That's ridiculous", and prescribed. Bless her.    

The light is noticeably longer now in the early evening. The ever loving month of January has finally shown itself out. February is never a beauty but I am glad to be here. Not a lot going on in the interior. Onward to feeling more whole and being creative. 

I did a blanket stitch at the top and bottom of our cranberry colored wool blanket. It was fraying and we are still getting good use out of it. I used a spool of thin wool yarn that had been savaged by Zing. I had to remove all the shredded bits until I got down to the usable length. I cussed her fondly and wish I could feel her settle onto my sternum and purr. The blanket stitching was effective and satisfying. I am ready for the next fiber project. 

Yesterday I noticed that my favorite buttoned shirt was gapping between buttons. Just call me Busty Gaps. I sewed in a snap to fix that. First I sewed the bottom part of the snap upside down. I got to remove my carefully placed stitches and start over. I think that's a big part of sewing/crafting work - doing it over and over. Either you will fix the thing you're working on, or you will learn how to do the next iteration better. 

Friends are visiting from KS in March. I am sure we will have a good time. I've let L know that she may be staying with her grandma for that time since it's also the start of her spring break. 

Feeling oppressed by more travel that needs to be planned - April housing needed in Texas. I'll ask my friend in San Antonio and our other non-hotel option is staying with MIL. June graduation in Chicago. I've got to get lodging for grandmas and us and a rental car and, and. Maybe I'll feel energy for that next week too. 

Really enjoying a regency novel Petty Treason by Robins. Feels like Georgette Heyer whipped with some Harlots.       


Friday, January 12, 2024

Tetchy

Wow, I really got into the holiday glow there, didn't I? January has arrived and is stomping around with big heavy boots to disrupt that mood.

Urgh
I had my first colonoscopy earlier this week. I know everyone hates the prep and I also had a terrible time. The anticipation was the worst. I had anxiety and dread as I got close to poisoning-myself-day. Once the process was underway it was only unpleasant. Being on the gurney finally was a relief. Nothing was removed, the comment was that there were some pockets and I should eat more fiber. This is concerning because I eat so much raw fruit. I'll try to remember to ask my doctor about that. Ten years time to forget about this before the next one. 

I took two days off work for it and if I had to do it again I would take three. The next day back at work was long and trying. After that I have felt okay. 

Laaa
Yesterday I finally did a fundraising thing for the chorus that I was dreading for a month. I didn't get the donation I asked for, but I got some more information and purchased the gift certificate for the auction gift basket. In my opinion this is a very old fashioned way to try to fundraise. Not sure if I'm willing to get on the board to try to help steer the ship.     

Our concerts are a week away. Lots of the singers will be masked because it unfortunately continues to be a risky behavior to be singing inside in winter. Sigh. I am leaning toward singing without a mask because what else do I have to spend my risk on? I'll decide on the day. 

I like this group of folks. I enjoy learning the music. I don't much care for the fundraising. The evaluation period continues. 

Turmoil
Our oldest daughter is in Ecuador for study abroad until late March. Her timing was not good as the new president's government is being challenged by the drug cartels. We've gotten a tersely reassuring message from the study abroad group. We've gotten texts from her saying that the unrest is in another part of the country and that her host family is unperturbed. Nod read the State Department's Travel Advisory and told her to be ready to leave in a hurry if necessary. I selfishly hope she can stay for these nine and a half weeks. And hope that Ecuador can keep moving in the most peaceful and democratic direction.