Happy 2017!

In the Hindu religion, the god of destruction, Shiva, is also considered the auspicious one. When I first learned what he represented, I thought it was odd to celebrate destruction, but later someone explained to me that it’s a good thing because where there’s destruction, there is also creation.

So, with 2016 essentially blowing up in our faces, I am looking towards 2017 as a rebirth.  I’m rethinking what my life plans are.  Reconsidering my goals and even re-prioritizing what’s important to me.  Many things that were important to me aren’t anymore.  I know I can’t shift old gears instantly, but I’m at least aware of them. I know less about what I want, only that I want for fewer things.

For now, these are a few of the things I want:

  • More meaningful conversations
  • A stronger body
  • Finding and doing more things that I enjoy
  • Closer relationships with my friends and family

Hits and Misses of 2016


  • Ikea Tekla Dish Towel – Best snot rags ever. Even on my worst allergy days, I never get the painfully raw red noses anymore. They can handle my worst drippiest snottiest days. They don’t disintegrate in my work bags. I haven’t left a forgotten tissue in the laundry since. Seriously so convenient. I think I bought 15 of them so they last me through the week and I use them daily.  They’re also good to take to the gym as a face towel – clean ones of course.  Even though they’re not terry cloth, they are soft enough to use on my face and absorbent.  I eat with them too (again, a fresh one) to wipe my mouth (and nose when I’m eating spicy foods). So practical, sturdy, and multi-functional.
  • Peanut Butter and Apples – This is a classic, but this year, it was also my go-to snack, dessert, and craving satisfier. IMG_0983
  • Raw Shea Butter – When cream doesn’t cut it against severe dry flaky skin, I got regular shea butter.  It’s thick and oily.  Great for severe dry skin and lips.  By the way, the same company sells African black soap which is great as a shaving soap as well as a face wash.  Also a thumbs up. IMG_0885-001


  • Paperblanks Midi Journal – Too dang small.  Pages are too small and there are too few pages.  For me, this size is for shopping lists, but it’s too nice and fancy a binding.
  • Lindt Dark Noir 99% Cocoa chocolate bar – I love dark chocolate but this made my mouth pucker.  I think I found my maximum limit on the percentage of dark chocolate. 90% is still okay, but 99% took the joy out of eating chocolate for me.
  • Not That Kind of Girl – This book was a miss for me.  I couldn’t even get past the first chapter or two.  It was too angsty and whiny?  Whatever it was, I didn’t enjoy it and 2016 was the year I decided life was too short to trudge through books I didn’t enjoy.  I wonder if I would have liked it when I was in high school though.  I enjoyed The Catcher in the Rye as a kid, and that featured an angsty adolescent too.

The 7-year Scarf

Or maybe it’s the 8-year scarf – is finally complete!


This scarf project has seen me through 2 cats who loved to play with the yarn and needles when I tried to knit and spent many years in the closet. Most of the time, I knitted just 1 or 2 rows then put it down for months, or over a year, at a time.

When I picked it up this month, I started to experiment with different stitches that I learned from YouTube and was not very good at keeping track of them. Did I just knit or purl? So you can see an odd patch. Anyway, it’s finally done and I plan to wear this for the rest of the season!

And… dun Dun DUUUN!!


After my fish died, with the unfortunate water filter mistake, my shrimp came out of the wood work and multiplied like crazy.  I realized there’s no such thing really as shrimp-friendly fish.  Anything that fits in its mouth is fish food.  So I dedicated my tank as a planted shrimp tank and they have taken off like crazy.  Today, I doubled down, adding 4 blue velvet’s and 2 amanos.

Amano Shrimp

According to aquarium forum’s amano’s are supposedly staples in planted tanks.  They keep algae at bay. The amano is on the right. The little guy on the left is a half-sized cherry shrimp.

Blue Velvet Shrimp
Blue velvet’s are essentially like cherry shrimp. They look exactly alike except one is red and the other is blue. The aquarium staff told me they will interbreed too so I may get some weird hybrid version, which is kind of a bummer. At $10 a pop, I would’ve preferred to keep some pure bluebloods. But hey, love conquers all I guess.

The guy at the fish store also put a piece of hornwort in the bag for the shrimp to hang onto during transit. I don’t have hornwort in my tank so I’m hoping this little piece will grow. It’s supposed to be invasive-species-level very easy to grow. Last time, they gave me some java moss which I already have.

Tomato Rice

Picked up this neat trick on YouTube.

Prepare rice like you normally would (in a rice cooker).
I like to add red lentils in my rice.
Add one whole tomato in the middle.
Add pepper.
Add a drizzle of oil.
Once cooked, break up the tomato and stir it in the rice. It’s easy and delicious!

My new nephew

This is Watson. My fur-nephew. He’s a rambunctious pup.


He’s smart – knows to ring a bell to be let outside to potty.

And he’s dumb about just about everything else. He knows nothing but love and play and food and naps.


And in all that stupid puppyness, he’s cuddly and friendly and totally lovable. Look at those floppity ears.

Post 2016 Thanksgiving Shopping Haul

We went to an outlet mall after Thanksgiving to get this!

Well really, all I wanted were the 4 yellow containers for the lunches I make. But then they showed me a bunch of other dishes that were only $3.99 each! So I got 3 troughs I don’t really need. Impulse buys. Darn sales.

Weekend lounging

I putzed around this past Sunday, with a completely free and open day. I had no idea what to do. It’s like my ongoing concern? Non-issue issue? Like a good problem to have. Too much free time? I love it and am grateful for every minute of it, and yet, I’m always looking for ideas of things to do. Or more specifically, things I WANT to do. I mean I could vacuum or cook but no. I watched tv – actually I just had Gilmore Girls on all day and all night. Cleaned the stove. Debated between beer or tea or coffee or whatever. I ended up making chai and having it with Trader Joe’s Brownie Crisps. Then I did a bit of yoga. Trimmed my plants. Burned a bunch of tacos on Cooking Fever. Knitted a few rows of my almost 10 year old scarf project. And suddenly the sun went down! Non-issue resolved.

By the way those Brownie Crisps – They are addictive like Oreos, but better and without the cream filling.

Out with the old and in with the new

This is my 8 year old cellphone.

IMG_0944 Sanyo Katana

I got it on April 6th, 2008.

This is my new phone which I’ve now had for 3 weeks.
IMG_0933 iPhone 7 Plus

I like it more than I wish I did. It’s fancy. And it’s very easy to use and has a great camera and battery. A charge lasts me 5 days or so. And I’m finally able to text and navigate and take pictures of random things I see on the way to work. It’s not a phone. It’s a mini iPad that happens to be able to make phone calls, which by the way are very clear. People can understand me and I can understand what people are saying to me! I didn’t realize the reason why I couldn’t really understand most of my phone conversations was because the old phone’s speakers were fuzzy. I just thought people were talking too fast and I was hard of hearing.

2 weeks ago, I met someone using an iPhone 4. It gives me hope that the 7 will be sturdy enough to last me until smartphones are the new old relic of the past.

Look at the size difference!
I like the large screen.

Gilmore Girls

Happy Gilmore Girls Day!
Today is a day I never imagined would happen but I’m so grateful it has.  I have just watched Winter and am about to start Spring of the Netflix Gilmore Girls revival!  Everything is so familiar and yet just a little different.  They still talk super fast but now I can rewind it as many times as I want to catch every bit of quick wit they zip through.  That everyone looks so much older is a little depressing.  It started in 2010 so it’s to be expected.  Rory is now 32 which makes Lorelai 48.  I’ve been and will always be a big fan of this show.
So the new vs the old.  A woman once recently told me don’t compare.  You miss what’s in front of you when you compare.  But sometimes I can’t help myself.  I’ll say this – many parts remain constant.  The characters.  The setting and the feeling of the fairy tale environment.  Yet so much is different.  Even though they have the same actors, they’ve grown.  Emily Gilmore is the least changed.  Still, I’m enjoying every minute of it and I’m sad that they’re only doing this 4 season special.  I could watch it for as long as they’re willing to keep making it.  They didn’t just make a tv show, they made a different world so now let me get back to Stars Hollow.  .