Friday, November 18, 2011

"spring green is much too yellow, sea green is much too pale..."

~crayola doesn't make a color for your eyes.

oh, kat. she put this song in her little girl's slideshow (go check out her blog for more info) and now it's been stuck in my head.

today is a hot peppermint tea, skinny jeans, ipod kind of day. I spent all day yesterday at a workshop (more on that later). it was AWESOME. lots of new ideas, new motivation and some changes a'comin your way. :)

also, I never know if I want to share these kind of things, but...I went to the lady-parts doctor earlier this week for my annual visit, and we discussed how the main thing I need to do right now is do whatever I can to de-stress.

you'll notice an important thing in the way that is phrased--she didn't tell me to eliminate sources of stress. clearly, I will still have my family, my kaydee responsibilities, my job, my photography, my life. I do not need to live like a hermit, quit traveling, ostracize my family or anything else.

instead, I need to find an effective way to deal with it better. (sorry that sentence sounds awkward. I'm avoiding split infinitives!)


I need suggestions. please help me add to the list.

current plans:
-start using those massages again
-maybe visit an acupuncturist (I've been thinking about this for a long time)
-de-clutter our home (when I am finally done with my to-do list I still feel like I have to clean. and less clutter=less cleaning. we HAVE been making progress, but listing it as a goal helps)
-listen to music more. particularly of the upbeat variety.
-take a relaxing vacation. not an adventure. not with others. just us. :)

any other ideas?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

oh delta, oh delta, I hate you, you stink.

we went to celebrate Christmas with my family this past weekend.

that part? It was grand. We made chili, ate Braum's cookies, enjoyed an assortment of cheeses, had delicious brewskies, giggled a lot, had Tammy's cheesy bread, etc. And peanut butter and banana waffles beforehand for breakfast. It was just delightful!


we flew out of Raleigh on Thursday night. Our plane was 20 minutes late leaving, which made us late getting to ATL. So despite running and huffing and puffing--we missed our plane. Matt even pushed open the shuttles doors so he could get on. It was nuts.

we tried to get the nice airline people (who really were quite nice) to send us to little rock that night so we could drive to t-town and get there at, like, 4am. we were only in town for 2.5 days and I had a 4pm photo shoot, plus we had lunch plans with Adam & Tammy, so that flight getting in around 3 wasn't going to cut it.  there was another couple in the same boat--newlyweds heading back from their honeymoon--and we offered to take them with us. all was well, or so we thought.

turns out the nice airline people couldn't make it happen. there's some imaginary 100 mile radius of appropriate re-routing, apparently.


the couple took the later flight to tulsa. we took an early morning flight to OKC which would, theoretically, allow us to drive to tulsa, eat lunch at Big Al's w/ my brother and sister-in-law, go to the bookstore, and return the car and get our actual rental before my 4pm shoot.  we had been assured the entire time that our checked suitcase had already been routed to tulsa and would be on the first flight of the morning, so we'd need to go pick it up.

because they were so frustrated with the policy holdup, the nice airline people gave us and the other couple hotel vouchers, two dinner vouchers, two breakfast vouchers and also ended up giving us drink tickets. :) we also got little overnight bags from delta with an XL shirt, razor, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.

we went to eat at the sweetwater in the airport, tried to remain calm and attempt to secure a car for the am drive from okc-tulsa. we knew it would be tres expensive to keep that same car all weekend and had no idea what had happened with our other reservation (which had been booked on h0twire) so everything was kind of up in the air.

we took the shuttle to our hotel and found out, first, that they only had smoking rooms left.

then, the gentleman in front of me got the last room. they had nine more rooms in the place, but they were allegedly dirty and there weren't enough people to go check them. I waited in that like for ~45 minutes, total.

they took us to another hotel which, blissfully, had us in a room in about 3 seconds. I handed the voucher, she said "room 101," I secured us a spot on the 645am shuttle and off to our room we went.

we went to sleep almost immediately. I set an alarm for 545. with only one other shirt and one pair of underwear, there weren't going to be any decisions to make, so getting ready would be easy. I woke up MANY times during the night though. My phone kept dinging (the third time it happened I realized it was my delta app alerting me about my flight) and right when I'd get to sleep Matt would start snoring. It was a sight.

and then the 530am wakeup call came. the one I didn't ask for. but whatever.

we got to the airport, had our breakfast, got to the gate and, while there, learned that when you prepay for a car companies will usually hold it for 48 hours. so it would be waiting for us when we got there.

there were only 19 people on the flight. we slept the whole time.

we got there, got the car, went on our merry way. we made it to tulsa in an hour and a half, checked out a park for my photo shoot and made it to lunch. mmmm big al's. love that place. we went to the bookstore and then to the airport. Matt commented on how the tides had changed since the day before.

we had a little episode o' forgetfulness and had to turn around to go fill our tank. no big deal.

we went inside and matt dealt with the car while I got our bag. divide and conquer, right? and mind you, we have all of our carry-on luggage still, because we hadn't been to my mom's house yet and had changed cars.

I finally get to talk to someone and guesssssss what? OUR BAG IS IN OKLAHOMA CITY. They inform us we can have it rerouted, which should only take 24 hours but it might not get here until Sunday (aka the day we are leaving!). I ask if someone can pick it up. They say it's up to the baggage agent's discretion, we should have gotten it when we were in OKC though. I remind them we were assured it would be in Tulsa. They are kind of annoyed at the whole thing and give me the number.

Blissfully, the people agree to let Harvey pick it up if he's there by 6. Harvey agrees to get it.

We go to target, do the shoot, go to my mom's house and run errands. At 609 Harvey calls. His phone fails. I get a call from a 405 number. It's a new baggage agent. I have to re-tell my story, provide all four of Harvey's names and plead a little. The woman agrees to let him take the suitcase. Hallelujah!

When Harvey arrives we have ~40 hours left in Tulsa. We all go to Chimis. We hang out at home. I help my mom make chili. The next day we celebrate and then I have photo shoot. It went REALLY well--see? Then we went to dinner with Renee and Mike. And I learned all about 203k loans. :)

On Sunday we stop by to see my friend Laura and to visit my Granny and then we pack up and head to the airport. And the fun begins.

Although I have attempted FOUR times to check in online, I've yet to be able to do it. Also, our flight is delayed 20 minutes and we have a 46 minute layover. Deja vu anyone? Oh AND we don't have seat assignments anymore (though we did previously, I made damn certain of that) and they won't print out our second boarding pass.

We go up to the line at the gate (bypassing the draft b0ulevard wheat that I'd been looking forward to--we get one at the airport every time while we wait for our flight) and are informed we will "have to wait." I kind of freak out at this. I freak out about our very brief layover. I freak out about not having seats when we reserved them. When I learn it's due to a) the class of ticket we bought and b) that I hadn't checked in earlier, I kind of lose it. I tell him it's ridiculous, and that I will not be spending the night in Atlanta. So we had better have seats as far forward as possible, that Delta had already interrupted my entire trip. He tells me that flight attendants usually announce that folks who don't have a connecting seat should stay seated so the others can get by. Matt and I both inform him how well that went last time. I begin to tell him (in short form) and how we already stayed the night in Atlanta, drove two hours, rented another car and then had our baggage go to the wrong place, blah blah blah, and he tells me he will "see what he can do."

Good news: we get row 24.
Better news: it turns out our arrival gate and departure gate at ATL are one and the same.
Even better news: (sort of) we thank our lucky stars that we were in the same terminal for both flights because the trains in Atlanta? yep, they weren't working that sunday. If we had been in another terminal we never would have made it before the doors shut.

Our bags even made it in one piece.

Moral of the story? I am so aggravated that Delta put such a HUGE damper on my weekend. If it had just been the first flight--meh, those things happened, the gate agent was awesome and they ended up comping us (even though they were not required to do so). But when our bag went to OKC and the agent in Tulsa was lippy? Pretty dang annoyed. And then when the seat assignment crap happened? Unacceptable.

I totally get that in the grand scheme of things this is small potatoes--I mean, I have food, shelter, clothing and love, I have a nice job and constant internet access, I have plenty of clean water and medicine, etc. I know, I know. But still. This airline was MUCH better when we went to Italy (though they botched our return flight, too) but I'll definitely be avoiding them whenever I can from here on out. Yeesh.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

where'd the fall go?

every year I am bothered by this.
every year it gets worse.
but this year seem extra bad.

it is not the yuletide season yet, folks. we've got thanksgiving to celebrate first.

now, maybe it's easier for me to stave off the christmas crazy because I'm in the church choir, and we start preparing anthems for the holidays in, like, august. but still.

it makes me batty. please, please, PLEASE wait. please. let's celebrate thanksgiving first, mmmkay?

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

chicken tortilla soup! (aka sneaky additional veggies)

This recipe started as something toooootally different, so this is my updated version. I make it often and it's one of the few things that I can eat and eat and eat. I usually get tired of food (like, I can handle it for dinner and then lunch and then I'm good) but this I could eat for lunch for a week straight!

the players:
-2 yellow onions chopped
-3 cloves garlic chopped (or more if you like garlic.)
-1 tbsp olive oil
-2tsp chili powder
-1tsp oregano
-1 can crushed tomatoes (sometimes I use two. or one and then a r0tel. especially if I want to make it stretch
-1 can chicken broth (or veggie broth. or my homemade veggie broth. I esp like bullion cubes instead of cans!)
-1 1/4 cup water
-1 can corn
-1 can hominy
-1 can green chile peppers (I only sometimes add this)
-1 can black beans--sometimes more. or sometimes frozen prepared ones
-1 cooked chicken breast--let cool and pull into small pieces. I usually put some adobo seasoning on mine and stick them in the microwave!
-tortilla chips, avocado and sour cream if you like them, and monterey jack cheese

oooh AND the sneaky additional veggies part. recently I've been taking whatever veggies I have on hand, chopping them up, sauteing or steaming them, letting them cool a smidge and then using my handy dandy magic bullet to blend 'em up (with a little water). No one has complained yet. :) Most recently I added some yellow squash, zucchini and lima beans!

what to do:
-prepare all ingredients (cut everything, get the chicken thawing, etc)
-in a big pot heat oil and saute onion and garlic
-stir in chile powder and oregano
-then stir in tomatoes, broth and water (sometimes I chop up the tomatoes more w/ kitchen scissors)
-while it heats, if you haven't yet, cook the chicken
-bring to a boil
-then stir in hominy, corn, chiles, beans, cilantro and chicken
-let boil for ten minutes

serve w/ chips, avocado and cheese. if you like. sour cream and chives are also options! makes about 10 servings, I would say, especially with the additional veggies and water.

and although it's not amazingly amazing for you, it's also not horrible! you could go a LONG way toward improving it by using baked chips and less/no/reduced fat cheese. but even with those things it's still not crazy at all. I estimated the fixins nutritional value with 1.5 oz of chips, 1/4 cup of shredded cheese (which is an over-estimate!) and 2 oz of avocado. The left is for the soup and the right is for the fixins! these are without the additional veggies, so the caloric value would increase a little, but I'm sure you'd also get more vitamins! :)

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