Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thinking Ahead

As 2011 is wrapping up I have spent some time thinking about the last year and what I would like 2012 to look like. This year was full of experiences—both good and bad—that I had little control over. A couple examples are losing my job in Memphis, house drama, the death of O’Malley, Daly’s epilepsy, the birth of my niece, and a renewed closeness both with and to my family. I have had some wonderful opportunities this year such as attending my first ever Pink Party in New York City, meeting new people, advancing in my studies, and the adoption of Titai into our clan.

I have also seen myself grow more anxious and discontented; things that I do not want to carry into next year. So instead of resolutions for 2012 I have decided to start a list of goals and action items for 2012 that I expect will transform as the days, weeks, and months go by. This list is a mixture of things I want to reduce in my life and those things I want to nurture and grow. Each item should be something that I can directly impact; something that happens because of my choosing. While some things are a variation on resolutions gone by, the reasoning behind them is different. Other items are a result of themes that seem to keep popping up in my life. Here is what I have so far. Let me know how they compare to what is on your list.

Goals and Action Items for 2012

1. Warrior Dash with LadyBoyd - September 2012

- Cardio & Strength training is needed.

2. Reduce Negativity

- Consistent quiet time for devotions and reflections

- Limit contact with negative people

- Limit amount of time/effort spent complaining/discussing/dwelling on hurts/wrongs which not only contribute to my own negativity but to that of others as well

- Exercise (for endorphin release)

3. Declutter

- Physically – reduce possessions

- Monetarily – reduce spending and debt

- Diet – eat more whole foods, less processed foods

- Emotions – along with reducing negativity, setting time aside for journaling/blogging

Monday, November 28, 2011


As can be readily seen my attempt to blog every day this month has been less than stellar. While my blogging as been lax, life has been anything but. Outside of the normal working days, my extracurriculars have gone into overdrive. On the first of the month my new niece was born and on the 20th was the shower. My current class, Systematic Theology I, is kicking my butt. The reading is very difficult and my memory retention these days is not what it used to be (as my quizzes are showing). I had a quick trip to Memphis to pick up the kitty that has since adopted my mom. The dynamics between the two cats has been less than ideal. To top it all off Daly had two seizures in less than two weeks which resulted in two middle of the night emergency vet trips (Tufts in Grafton is amazing!), lots of tests and expenses, and a diagnosis of idiopathic epilepsy. She started what will become a lifetime dependency on anti-convulsion medication this weekend. Thankfully, she is still as cute as ever even if she is shaved in some funny places Daly’s epilepsy is pushing me to find an apartment closer to work as soon as possible. She has to be given her medication every 12 hours and since stress is a contributing factor to seizures, having her and Titai live in separate homes will reduce the stress for everyone involved. Unfortunately, I am now more anxious for her in addition to trying to cope with the new levels of anxiety that have come as part of my move back to Massachusetts.

My goals for the upcoming month are to (start and then) finish my paper on the Theology of the Doctrine of Creation a little early, register and pick out my classes for next semester, have my house in Memphis prettied up enough (new carpet, etc) to get rented out before the end of 2011, find an apartment closer to work, and move (with Daly). Of course I have little control over the Memphis items, but have signed on with what appears to be a good property management company so I’m praying that it goes according to plan. Not being able to have any impact on what is happening is quite frustrating for a mild control freak like me.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Here is my sweet girl. She's had a hard time adjusting to the new feline in the house. Daly is such a scaredy cat that at times her attempts to flee from Titai's presence are amusing. But she is forever and always my baby girl.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Still Searching

I am still searching for the cure to my sinus and throat issues. The fever seems to be gone but the running sinuses and scratchy, burning throat are a constant. I've ruled out an uptick in allergies with the addition of another cat as last night they were still bothering me and I stayed at a friend's house. I'm hoping that two cups of the Sleepytime Throat Tamer with honey will help tonight. Of course cuddles with Daly are on the menu as well.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Feeling very accomplished tonight. Even though I am still fighting sickness I decided to join my friends for breakfast and a study hall. I was sad that I missed the sleepover. (Mom was worried about my pallor and lingering sore throat due to my history of strep so we had a date with Urgent Care last night. Good news is that it isn't strep. Bad news is that I just need to wait it out.) Thanks to the prodding of my friend P, I picked up bagels and made my way to the morning after party. What a nice treat to see friends from NH, NJ, and ME.

I even got enough reading done to write up my discussion board and take my quiz. Thankfully I got 100% on the quiz. I totally credit the study notes that were provided. I should've used them last week. Lesson learned.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Have you ever had one of those moments that you think of as only happening on TV or in the movies? It happened to me today. I had just left my office building and was walking towards the street to cross over to the parking garage. My hands were tucked in the pockets of my buttoned up grey pea coat with the brisk November wind streaming across my face. I was listening to the sound of my high heeled boots on the pavement, thinking about my life and wondering if some of my recent decisions were the right ones as I know many of my past ones did not turn out as expected--not necessarily for the better. Walking in the deepening darkness I was suddenly struck with the thought that at that moment I was living out a scene in an Adele video.

Has that ever happened to you?


I have been slacking off with regard to my NaBloPoMo duties. It is amazing how far behind you can get when travel and sickness make it onto your agenda. (Not to mention a fairly boring life filled with commutes and fighting cats.) I am finding it very hard to believe that today is Friday. I'm also behind in my reading for my current class, Systematic Theology I. That is some difficult reading. I am a girl who prefers plot lines and character development, so reading about types of criticism, theology, and philosophy and how they are interact is very slow going. But I must carry on since I have a quiz and discussion board posting as well as my research paper topic to submit this weekend. This morning I also realized that I've been slacking off on my coffee drinking. The last cup of coffee I had was Monday morning just before hitting up the airport to come home. This is surprising because, while I've givien up coffee at various times in the past, I have fallen back into my 2-3 cup a day habit. Darn you, free K-cup coffee at work! I started to notice that if I skip my coffee on Saturdays, then a mild headache starts on Sunday. Never a good thing to be so reliant on any substance except for air and water. But due to greatly disliking airplane coffee and then being sick for two days, coffee was just not on the menu. Though yesterday was my first day back at work, I was still feeling icky and opted for Green Tea with honey. Same with today. While I am not going to be so bold as to say that my love affair with coffee is over, I think it is time to make it a special treat and not a daily fix. Wonder how long my determination will last?

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Titai is adapting quite well to her new surroundings. She is soaking up all of the attention and is very good about not advancing when Daly notices her. Daly's anxiety is kicking in and she will stare, growl, hiss and run away when she sees her new sister. Hopefully, it will not be much longer before they can tolerate each other without the sound effects or bushy tails. I'm currently getting over my usual seasonal transition sickness that takes over my throat and sinus. I was out of work for two days and am having a hard time keeping track of what day today is. If only I was better about not procrastinating on my reading homework. I'll be cramming theology this weekend.

Sunday, November 06, 2011


There really isn't much that is better than just doing nothing with friends knowing that they expect you to be only what you are. It is that feeling of relaxedness. The ability to just be yourself without the stress of being "on" and the feeling that no matter what you say or do you will remain unjudged and loved for who you are. The ability to vent about the frustrations of being a responsible grown up knowing that they too refuse to live a life of ignorance by choice. How I've missed this.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Titania: a polydactyl purring queen

It seems like Titai remembers me well. She came running across the room when I called her to come to bed. It is nice for all of us to hear her purring a mile a minute. I hope she is just as happy when we go home. It will be a very bittersweet and weepy goodbye for all of us.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Trying something new

Since I decided to try to post every day this month and this month has been super busy already, I just downloaded the Blogger app. So I am doing this post on my iPhone while listening to Wil Wheaton read Ready Player One. Of course I should be reading my homework and packing for this weekend's visit to Memphis. I am making a quick trip down to bring back my dear friend Titania - a beautiful 13 year old cat who never adjusted to family life with a now 3 year old human and a couple of dogs. I am honored to be trusted enough to adopt her and anxious for her to accept us and the move.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011


Since I have once again been sorely lacking on the blogging front, I think it is time to participate in the annual NaBloPoMo like I have in the past. As per usual, I'm starting a bit late. But I have a good excuse. In addition to being without power at home since Saturday night (if you are keeping track that is 4 nights and 3 days, and counting), we also welcomed a beautiful new addition to the family. My brother and SIL had their little girl K yesterday morning. The fun part of this is that she was born on her older brother D's 9th birthday. I was able to stop in at the hospital for a few minutes to meet her and help my brother and his wife change baby K's diaper. And it was totally a 3 person job!

Here's hoping that when I get home from my intro to belly dancing class sometime after 8:30pm tonight that we will have power restored. We are the only street in our neighborhood--that I noticed anyway--to still be without power. And since we have electric heat and there is snow on the ground, it is making for a very chilly house.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What is Your Love Language?

I recently took a short quiz online to help determine what my love language is. It turned out to be pretty right on. The results echo what I keep saying in regards to one of the reasons behind my singleness: If you can't make me one of your top 3 priorities, then don't bother. In the past I've noticed that what hurts me the most is lip service that is never backed up. As this has happened repeatedly, with a few different people, I'm very sure that the behavior is not one I tolerate and will not put up with. I don't want to hear that you want to spend time with me; do it. Don't cancel. I don't want to be an afterthought. Ever. All the gifts in the world won't make up for it and I will remember it as you making a conscience decision not to make time for me. I don't want to be "squeezed in" when you find it convenient. Even in my friendships, I'm the most content just hanging out. Of course, hanging out watching something sci-fi related is always a good thing. Love Language Scores: 6 Words of Affirmation 11 Quality Time 1 Receiving Gifts 8 Acts of Service 4 Physical Touch Quality Time

In Quality Time, nothing says "I love you" like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes you feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed activities, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Five Things I learned this weekend

  1. Having a +1 membership card is a wonderful thing. I’ve been wanting to see the Chihuly exhibit at the MFA and decided this was the weekend to go for several reasons; it was the last weekend of the exhibit and it was free to all BoA card holders. But when the T pulled up to the stop, we were told that the line was around the block to get in. And it was raining. Hard. Thankfully the friend I went with has an awesome dad who gave her a +1 membership to the MFA for Christmas. So instead of waiting for hours in the long, wet line we went right in. It pays to be a member.
  2. Just hearing the voice of my friends back in Memphis (and their little ones) makes me smile and want to hop on a plane. How I miss you all.
  3. I was overwhelmed at the menu from a vegan Thai restaurant. I’m not used to having so many options.
  4. Vegan/Veggie “shrimp” is disgusting.
  5. I am a little crestfallen when I realize that my cat wasn’t curled up at my feet at all the previous night. But seeing her jump around in circles at the sight of me in the morning almost makes up for it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My Spring & Summer Reading/Listening List

I realized today that I have gone through more books and audio books in the last two and a half months than I have in a long time. Here is a list, to the best of my recollection, of what has been occupying my brain these days. (I’m only including books that I read in their entirety and not the ones that I only skimmed for class.) Thanks go to, the Leominster Public Library, and my brother for most of the list.

Aunt Dimity and the Duke – Nancy Atherton

Aunt Dimity’s Good Deed – Nancy Atherton

The Tent – Margaret Atwood

The Lost Symbol – Dan Brown – Audio Book

Naked Heat – Richard Castle – Audio Book

My Life in France – Julia Child and Alex Prud’Homme

The Gargoyle – Andrew Davidson – Audio Book

Stuff – Randy O. Frost and Gail Stekeet – Audio Book

Across the Nightingale Floor – Lian Hearn – Audio Book

Dune – Frank Hebert – Audio Book

Nineteen Minutes – Jodi Picoult – Audio Book

Fever Dream – Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child – Audio Book

Gideon’s Sword – Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie – Muriel Spark – Audio Book

Putting God on Trial: The Biblical Book of Job – Robert Sutherland

The Traveler – John Twelve Hawks – Audio Book

Additionally, I’m in the middle of the following and should be done with them shortly:

West with the Night – Beryl Markham – Audio Book

This Fine Life: A Novel – Eva Marie Everson – Kindle eBook

Best Friends Forever – Jennifer Weiner

I checked out the next two Aunt Dimity books from the Library to read on my Maryland trip for my cousin’s wedding at the end of the month and will be downloading some new audio books this weekend. What do you think should be on my reading list next?

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Time Goes By

It has been two months since I left my life and independence in Memphis to move back to my old job and into my parents’ house—I house I had never before called home. There is a strange sense of déjà vu. Many of the faces at work and church are the same. But they are different. Five and a half years does not go by without leaving a trace. I am still floundering; trying to find my way. Most of my days are filled with work, 80+ mile round trip commute, lots of audio books, and family obligations. I’m taking the summer off of school to try to get settled. Not so sure that it is working. There are still a lot of unknowns: when/if my house will be sold to my friends, how much it is going to cost me when it does sell, and how long I will have to live in the guest room until I can afford to move out (hopefully closer to work). I’m not a big fan of the unknown and am impatiently waiting for a glimpse of the information needed to point me towards what is next.

Today is the one month anniversary of O’Malley’s death. I miss her dearly. She was so sick and weak, but held out as best as she could for me to get back to her. Such a brave girl. I stayed with her through the end; watching the light go out of her eyes and heard the death rattle after the vet’s needle gave her relief from her pain. She was cremated and I have her ashes in a small cedar box on the dresser with the handwritten sympathy card from the vet who only got to meet her twice. I pass by, pat her box, and think fondly of my special, temperamental feline. She is missed. I can tell that Daly gets a bit lonely. She sometimes paces the hallway or circles a room wondering where “sister” is. This last weekend was her first time alone for more than a day. She was very eager to have me home and I was eager to cuddle up to her. Maybe when we find our new home she will get to be the “big” sister…

O'Malley's urn, certificate of cremation, The Rainbow Bridge, and the card from the vet.

Monday, April 25, 2011


Since my last post there has been a lot of change in my life that has left me feeling very much like a statistic and reeling in the wake of so much uncertainty. In February I was notified that I would soon be joining the ranks of those who had been downsized. While this wasn't a total surprise considering the lack of economical upturn at my office and some other trends I had noticed, it was still a shock that it was happening now. I was just a few weeks shy of my 11 year anniversary with the company.

A few weeks later (while still working), I found out that my beloved cat O'Malley was diagnosed with GI cancer. She had been having health problems since October and it just seemed like one thing after another--long lasting double ear infection, severe constipation & vomiting, and a resurgence of her gum disease that called for a good teeth cleaning. When the lymph node in her neck refused to go down and her weight continued to drop we did a lymph node biopsy. I got the news I was dreading: Her lymph node tested positive for cancer. O'Malley, estimated to be about 11 years old, has been with me for the past 9 years. It was just the two of us for the first few months in our new home of Memphis. She's been my comfort in times of great stress and sorrow. She's been my constant companion when I felt the most alone and unsure. And now, she had been given a terminal prognosis: just 3-6 months. Since chemo would not get rid of her cancer and only extend her life a few months but with considerable discomfort, I decided that I would honor her aversion to all things vet/needle related and treat her with steroids to help manage the pain. Now, two months after hearing the news on February 21, 2011 she is shrinking before my eyes. My only comfort when I trace her protruding spine and haunches is that she continues to purr defiantly and maintains an impeccable grooming schedule.

After much thought along with ever changing scenarios and after a short time of unemployment, I accepted a job transfer that would bring me back to Boston. Due to the short notice (just over a week to relocate back to New England) and the small issue of not only owning a house in Memphis but being woefully underwater, it was decided that I would join the ranks of the Boomerang Generation. Moving in with my parents is quite an adjustment. This house has never been my home. It has been almost 20 years since I lived with my parents full-time because I lived with my grandparents for a year before starting high school at a boarding academy and then off to college and out on my own. These first three and a half weeks have gone by quickly. It almost doesn't feel real yet. The lack of personal space feels like I'm on an extended family visit. The long week days of leaving the house before 7a and not getting home until over 12 hours later mixed with weekend visits to friends and camp give the impression that this is just a place to rest my head at night and do laundry. I feel no ownership of the room with a twin-trundle bed I sleep in--until recently, a playroom for the grandkids-- surrounded by piles of my belongings and framed photos of my nephews.

There is still a lot of uncertainty to be worked through including the possible sale of my house and consequentially how long I will need to remain a Boomerang Kid. As families are always a complicated mess of loving each other and yet being some of the most frustrating people to deal with, the other pressing question is: how long before it all implodes?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Super Simple, Yummy Stew

This stew is very forgiving. I was missing several ingredients, but it still turned out great. At least my roommate and her friend told me so. I served it with homemade rosemary & garlic pita chips (just add some rosemary and garlic powder to olive oil and brush on pitas when baking - 7 minutes in a 400* oven).

Moroccan Red Lentil-Bean Stew

(from A Beautiful Bowl of Soup by Paulette Mitchell)

1 TBS olive oil

1 cup finely chopped onion

1 tsp saffron threads, crushed

1 TBS hot water

2 tsp curry powder

1 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp minced fresh rosemary (or 1tsp dried rosemary, crushed)

1 tsp fennel seeds

6 cups vegetable stock, heated

1 15-oz can white beans, drained & rinsed

½ cup dried red lentils*

½ cup basmati rice

1 tomato, cut into ½ dice

1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

1 TBS tomato paste

Salt, pepper & tobasco sauce to taste

(Note, I didn’t have all the ingredients. I left out the saffron, tomato paste & tobasco, used 2 cups veggie stock and 4 cups water with a veggie bouillon cube & 2 packets of brown GW broth—all unheated, half a can of diced tomatoes w/ green chilies—undrained, and added extra curry powder & cumin. It still came out nice and yummy.)

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the saffron with hot water and set aside.

Add the curry powder, cumin, rosemary & fennel seeds to the Dutch oven; stir for about 30 seconds. Stir in saffron mixture and the vegetable stock, beans, lentils, and rice. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentil and rice are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in tomato, chopped cilantro and tomato paste. Season to taste. Garnish individual servings with springs of cilantro.

It will thicken nicely for leftovers and is just a good the next day.

*Substitute brown lentil for red and increase cooking time to 35 minutes or until lentils are tender.