Moon Cake Day

I’m so glad it’s finally fall. Squashes. Coffee. And wine. That’s how I welcomed fall.
Today, I stood staring at all the plants I have on my balcony wondering where I’m going to put them all indoors. You might think, just put them where they were last winter. How they went out, how they come in. Nope. It doesn’t work like that. They multiply. Or propagate or whatever. I just start propagations whenever I can as insurance. Backup plants in case the mother plant kicks the bucket. Or in case anybody wants one. Or I have an empty tomato can needing to be filled with something. I’m probably going to take a few to work. It might be the best way to ensure their survival because window real estate is tight.

And also it’s mid-autumn festival. Moon cakes festival. Some moon cakes are tolerable, but for the most part, they are dense, thick, and pasty inedible things. I imagine that’s what it must taste like for kindergartners when they dig into a jar of paste.

Ready for it?

I’m so ready for fall. Sorta. I’m ready for pumpkin spice everything! But this weekend’s all day rain situation made it seem a little too right away and I’m not sure I’m that ready.
I can already feel the days getting shorter and that’s a bummer.
This unusually chilly, wet weekend, I looked at my closet of tank tops and just felt like tossing it all in a bag and stuffing it in the back of the closet, then curling up with a glass of wine and eating something with pumpkin in it. It’s too soon though. We still have plenty of 80 degree days to contend with. So maybe I’m not so ready for it.

Washer Dryer

After 20 years, our old stacked washer dryer gave out. The first thing I did when it broke was I called the plumber. My go-to solution. When I shared my plight with my coworkers though, they asked me why I hired a plumber. Shouldn’t you have called an appliance person? So I canceled the plumber (when I called to cancel, he then said he also wondered why we’d called them for a broken washer. Gee, thanks for telling me when I made the appointment. I guess he would’ve been happy to take our consultation money to send out a guy who would just advise us to hire an appliance guy. That’ll be $150, thanks! I think we’re gonna need a new plumbing company. Anyway, I called an appliance repair person to try and fix it but he wasn’t able to get it to work after two visits so we gave up and got a new set. My fear is, these new units aren’t made to last as long as appliances of yore. Only time will tell.
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I do really like the front load washer though. I watched it the first few runs and I feel like the clothes throwing action from raising it and dropping it cleans more effectively than swishing clothes about in a tub. And also they’re more resource efficient. And I feel like they’re gentler on my clothes. There’s less rubbing of fibers against each other. Just the falling and smacking downwards action. Also its spin dry is insane. Makes my clothes drying rack work that much faster. So overall, I highly recommend a front loading washer. This is also a 2018 purchase of the year. I can have two purchases of the year. I can do whatever I want. I’m the boss in this neighborhood. Or blog. Whatever.

Woof

I think according to the Chinese calendar, the first day of Spring is the lunar new year.  That was a month ago.  It’s been feeling very cold lately though.  Windy.  Definitely not warm enough for the houseplants to go outside.  I’m glad the Daylight Savings Time is back though.  It’s so nice to see the sun still out at 7 pm.

I was/am giving up alcohol for Lent mostly because I haven’t been wanting it lately anyway.  Something easy. I had some whiskey with a friend two weekends after Lent started though.  I wanted to share the new bottle of Bowman Brothers whiskey I just got.  It’s Virginian-made, by a guy who made Buffalo Trace in the past. It has a vanilla fragrance. I like both, Bowman and Buffalo.

Valentine’s Day

My coworker was kvetching to me about meeting his wife’s expectations of Valentine’s Day. According to him, she expects a card and flowers.  He thinks it’s silly but he goes along anyway because it makes her happy. I guess that’s how they reached their 30-year anniversary. By celebrating Valentine’s Day.

So about that last pair of leggings

My supposedly last-pair-of-leggings arrived last week.  I tried them on and saw right through to my underpants.  Folded them back in the bag, sealed them up and sent them back.

Unfortunately, regardless of the price, reputation of the brand, or country of origin, translucency is a common issue with leggings. I think I’m done with leggings for a while now.

Groundhog Again

This blog is eleven. Today was freezing cold and windy. Temperatures in the low 20s with the wind making it feel even colder. I don’t need no stinkin’ rodent to tell me it’s winter until it’s spring. Though that’s exactly what he said. Six more weeks of winter. I’m glad about it though. Maybe if I dance hard enough, we’ll get a proper snow.

Stretch Goals

I didn’t really set out to have a 2018 resolution, I sort of settled into it.
I got bronchitis two times within the course of three weeks in late December-early January. Just as I was getting over the first run and slowly easing back to the gym, I got knocked down by the second round. That time, I decided to give myself more time to recover and spent a lot of time on the couch watching YouTube and TV shows. I am good at convalescing. Anyway, as I started feeling better, I also got more restless and started just doing easy stretches while watching TV. It felt really good so I’m going to keep doing it. So that’s the “resolution” if it is one at all. Stretch and foam roll more regularly because it feels good. Oh and no more leggings!

A week in the life of me

TGIF! This week was a pretty typical week for me.

Monday – Went to work.  Took my lunch break at my dinky work gym to stretch my legs a bit. I think of it like recess at school –  the highlight of my day.  After work, I ate leftover bean salad. Watched TV – the old BBC Pride and Prejudice.  LOOOVE Jane Austen.  Popcorn.

Tuesday – Same as Monday, only after work, I went to a gym class to get a proper bit of workout.  I like this particular Tuesday instructor who focuses on abs.  Again, once I’m home, I try to get to food as fast as possible, but not before I shower, because I’m gross. Watch TV with a side of iPad.

Wednesday – Same as Monday. I watched Me Before You.  Good, but sad.  The stars are beautiful and likable.

Thursday – Same as Tuesday, just a different class. I watched Mozart in the Jungle.

Friday – Same as Monday only I got to work a bit earlier so I can leave earlier too.  It’s grocery shopping at Mom’s after dinner.  And finally, TV with a side of wine.  Ahhhh….

Saturday – I generally wake up to toast with peanut butter and banana with tea or coffee.  It’s my favorite breakfast of late. I water all the houseplants with shrimp tank water and then refill the tank with aged water.  That’s just about the only maintenance I do for that tank. I watch more TV until I finally drag my butt to the gym.  It’s hard to leave the house to go to the gym, but the instructor is a funny old guy who runs a very non-stop ridiculously spastic session that I find amusing.  “How high/fast can you go?!  Can you go higher/faster?!  Can you go even HIGHER/FASTER!?”  “Rest when you’re tired.  Drink when you’re thirsty.  Eat your vegetables every day!”  “My mom wakes up and does 100 of these in the morning!”  There’s no stopping for a full hour.  After this crazy workout, I like to go out to eat and then do more grocery shopping.

Sunday – Do mostly nothing day!  Watch gobs and gobs of TV.  Also this is cooking day.  I prepare lunches for the week and try to make enough for dinner for the week too.  I prefer to do minimal cooking during the week so for the most part, Sunday is food prep day. This way, I get less wasted produce too.  Cooking just about everything reduces food waste.  That’s one annoying thing about buying produce though – it commits me to cook.  Once purchased I have to cook it that weekend or prep it for freezing.  Once in a blue moon, I might pick up the vacuum cleaner or scrub brush to clean the house.  But not if there’s something even remotely decent on Netflix or YouTube.

 

Happy Earth Day!

A report came out about a month ago saying the carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere is measuring at 405 parts per million – a record high. Since scientists have been tracking it at Mauna Loa in 1958, increases in carbon dioxide levels have averaged about 2 parts per million each year. These past two years (2015 & 2016), it’s been increasing at 3 ppm each year. It’s accelerating and compounding.

During the Paris Climate talks, we kept hearing about this magical two degrees figure. The message being we need to keep the planet from warming an additional two degrees Celcius, since we’ve been measuring (in the 1800s). To give you an idea, for the past 10,000 years, Earth’s temperature has been fluctuating by around one degree. It wasn’t until recently when we started using fossil fuels that the temperatures have undergone this steady increase.

So why two degrees? It’s just a goal so that maybe countries can try to do their part to curb carbon emissions. And maybe it’s scientists’ guesstimate of the level that humans can tolerate. Because CO2 is a major contributor to global warming and it appears to be increasing at an accelerating rate, I think two degrees is an optimistic target. Realistically, we’re on our way to exceeding that.

There are currently about 7 billion people on the planet. Even with decreasing global birthrates since the 1950s, the population is projected to exceed 10 billion in less than 100 years due to longer lifespans. No matter how conservatively we live, even if we were all in developing nations and didn’t drive cars, energy requirements alone for 3 billion more will probably push us over the 2 degrees. Scientists are predicting 2 to 4 feet sea level rise this century, and more if the Antarctic or Greenland ice sheets collapse. Speaking of, a few days ago, scientists observed a new crack in one of Greenland’s glaciers. It’s not really new, just newly noticed. It appeared last summer. As these glaciers break off into the ocean, or calve, the melting of the land ice will accelerate and so will sea level rise.

Global temperatures rising aside, at what point of CO2 levels in the atmosphere does it affect people? Some studies show that at 1,000 ppm, we start showing cognitive decline. But what about long term effects of exposure at lower levels?

Now here I’ve been living my life trying to be more informed of my contribution to the carbon footprint. I’ve been of the belief, maybe naively, that I can do my part to live more gently and leave as small a mark as I can. I wonder though, if it’s too late anyway, maybe we should just party like it’s 1999 and let the consequences play out as they will regardless. Is this what climate change deniers think? That this is the last hurrah, and the every-man-for-himself moment? I flit between these two thoughts. That maybe dash it all, we should live it up, screw the pooch. Or there’s still hope if we all do our part. Try as I do to remind myself that it’s probably futile, the optimist in me won’t give up.