Friday, September 21, 2018

#2095 I'm ready to cook

I mentioned the other day that the seasons are changing and I find myself looking at and for recipes on Pinterest. I want to cook!

Earlier this year I bought myself a cast iron skillet. I was a little worried about taking care of it and cleaning it properly, but that hasn't been an issue. In fact, it's great because it forces me to clean it up when I'm done cooking. I can't just leave it to soak (hello rust). The beautiful thing is that it might be the easiest pan to clean that I've ever had. I run hot water in it, but you don't put soap in it. I will run a washcloth over it to get out bits of food, then I dry it with a paper towel, put a little bit of oil in it, rub the oil all around the skillet and that's it. I keep it out on my stove top and I use it quite a bit.

There are about a jillion recipes out there for things you can make in a cast iron skillet. I want to try cornbread, regular bread, pizza, skillet chocolate chip cookie...there's more but I can't think of them right now. Really you can cook just about anything you make in a different pan in a cast iron skillet, with the added bonus that you can put the skillet in the oven too. It's pretty great.

I've got a lot of volunteer time lined up for myself this weekend, so cooking won't be happening anytime soon. I'll have to get back to you with my culinary creations!

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

#2094 catching up

It feels like the seasons are in transition over here. In the morning, the air is cool; I need a light jacket when I leave for work. When I leave work in the afternoon, it's warm and I have to turn on the AC in Jack the Sexy Beast. (That's what I call my car.) Tonight when I went to gym at 6:30, the sun was shining brightly and it was pleasantly warm. When I left class at 8:00, it was dark and much cooler than when I went into the gym.

I love the change!

MT is healing. His back still hurts, especially at the end of the day. That makes sense because I don't really think he has been taking it as easy as he should, but I could be wrong. He is making all kinds of noises about how he is going to change the way he does things and go to the gym and hire a trainer and work on strengthening his back.

I guess we'll see.

I went to see Billy Idol in concert on Monday. When I got my concert volunteer schedule and saw that I got to work that show, I was excited! Usually when I work at a show, I claim a patch of grass and I sit or stand and enjoy the music. For Billy Idol, though, I planned to try to get up near the front by the stage. There's a standing area on the east side of the stage and I was able to get a prime spot right at the rail during the opening act and thanks to my stand-up desk at work, standing there for hours was not a problem at all. The only person in front of me was Billy's guitar player, Steve Stevens.

The show was just all right for me. I was hoping that Billy would do his whole greatest hits album, but he didn't. Of course he played "Rebel Yell" and "White Wedding". He played "Mony Mony"  and "Eyes Without a Face" and "Dancing with Myself" but he also played a whole slew of songs I didn't know at all. No "Hot in the City". No "Cradle of Love". No "Flesh for Fantasy".

Billy is no longer the lean, sexy punkish dude he was 27 years ago, but then, who is? He's still has the blond spiky hair. He's thick but not fat. He was pleased to remove his shirt several times and I was in a good position to see that there was no extra meat hanging over that belt buckle. He doesn't jump around like he used to, but again, he's 62 now and I would expect him to have slowed down a bit. He sounded good, as growly and gravelly as ever. He seemed like he was having a good time and he was quite generous, tossing all kinds of things out into the crowd. Not in my direction, but that's okay.

Overall, I'd say I had fun, but my expectations were too high. He probably couldn't have lived up to what I thought I was gonna get no matter what.

Monday night's concert was the final show at Red Butte Garden for the season. There were 30 shows and I worked at 10 of them and had tickets for another three. Good times! I calculated my volunteer hours for those 10 shows and it was nearly 38 hours. Nice!

Volunteer time isn't quite over yet. Saturday will be the final docent gig of the season. The complimentary trams stop running at the end of September, but the last Saturday of the month is the fall plant sale which is held in the Courtyard, so no tram, no docent.

Weddings are still happening. I'm volunteering at a wedding on Saturday night and then back-to-back weddings on Sunday evening/night. I think I have another one on October 7. That might be the last one at the Rose House because Garden After Dark (GAD) starts on October 19 and the roses will be done blooming too. There are six nights of GAD: Thursday, Friday and Saturday the two weeks before Halloween. I hope I can get at least two nights of GAD. It's really fun and the theme this year is gonna be lit yo! More on that later.

I'm feeling pretty good. T is doing well. I talked about MT. Osi is fine too. My work is steady and fine. We are gearing up for budget time, so that's interesting. I have contacted my travel agent about working with me to plan and book the trip to Thailand. I've got quite a trip planned in my head, so we'll see what actually works out.

I think that's all I got tonight. Take care of yourselves!

Monday, September 17, 2018

#2093 Billy takes over

Sandy won't be able to write to you lot tonight because she'll be hanging out with me, Billy Idol, at Red Butte Garden. It's been about 27 years since she's seen me in concert, and I plan to give her a night she'll never forget. 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

#2092 Saturday with Sandy

This week I have suffered from low-grade headaches. I wake up with them and they pretty much hang around all day. On Friday it was worse. I felt dizzy and nauseous on top of the dull ache that stayed in my head.

When I got home from work yesterday I took a little nap, then fixed myself some scrambled eggs for dinner and went back to bed. That was at 8:30. I slept soundly all night, sure that when I woke up on Saturday morning, I would be good.

This morning I did feel well rested, but the headache was still there and my stomach was a mess. :(

I took Osi to the groomer. I went to WW (down two lbs!) I picked Osi up from the groomer. I ate a little something since my stomach was growling. I read. Then I took a two hour nap.

You may be wondering if I spent time at Red Butte Garden today for my regular Saturday gig. I did not. My BFF LA was going to come visit this weekend, so I had a substitute fill in for me at the Garden. LA did not come over because I told her yesterday I wasn't feeling well and since she's planning a trip east to visit her son in a couple of weeks, she didn't want to risk getting sick. Can't blame her for that.

The headache is still lurking in the background. My tummy feels fine. Maybe part of the reason for the headache is that the air is extremely smoky here today. There is a big fire southeast of SLC and the smoke is hovering over the valley. I swear I could see it in the air as I was driving around this morning.

MT thinks that I wear myself out during the week. Maybe that's true.  I had a couple of late nights last week, but mostly I got to bed at reasonable times. I drank a lot of water and I ate pretty well. My friend  Kelsie also suffered from headaches last week and another of our friends at work left early on Friday because he wasn't feeling well. Maybe something is going around.

I have spent most of the day in bed or on the couch. I've been reading from three different books at various times. I'll probably do more laying around tomorrow too.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

#2091 three things: books, concerts and the Carolinas

1. So many books. I went to the library on Tuesday because I got an email that a book I had on hold was available. I was excited to get it because I've been waiting for it for over a month. The thing is that when I got to the library, not only did I get the book I had on hold, but I picked up a couple of others as well. In addition, I had just bought a book that was highly recommended and I'm into that one pretty deep.  #Ekpesbookclub is starting the next book, so I've got a bunch of reading to do! YAY READING!

2. Concerts. The concert season at Red Butte Garden is winding down. There are just four shows this month and I have worked and enjoyed the first two shows very much. On Monday I went to see the band O.A.R. My friends Nicole and Austin are big fans of this band, so I was glad to hang out by them during the show. I thought I didn't know any of O.A.R.'s songs, but I was wrong. I knew one song called "Shattered (Turn the Car Around)". The thing is that I didn't think that was the best song they did. I really enjoyed the show and I'll be listening to more of their music.

Last night I got to see Trombone Shorty's Voodoo Threauxdown. There were four amazing jazz bands from New Orleans that performed. It was a lot of fun. I really like that kind of music. It made me want to go back to NOLA in a big fat way.

There are two more shows: one on Sunday and the final show on Monday (Billy Idol!!). I am scheduled to work on the Monday show. I thought about seeing if help was needed on Sunday, but I think I'll pass. (I need to read!)

3. Oh my sweet Carolina. At this time last year we were just a couple of days away from our vacation to the Outer Banks, North Carolina. We were watching the progress of Hurricane Jose that was going to be passing by while we were there. Fortunately, we didn't have any problems. We got to see what we thought of as the "angry ocean" for a couple of days, then the last part of our week there was gorgeous and wonderful. I had such a good time and I thought it was a beautiful place. Now I'm riveted to the coverage of Hurricane Florence which seems will be making a big impact on North and South Carolina, from Charleston to the Outer Banks. I hope the storm stalls out off the coast and doesn't wreak havoc on such a lovely place. I imagine there will be plenty of damage without a direct hit. I hope that everyone who had to evacuate did that and will be safe.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

#2090 never forget

image credit
17 years have passed since those planes crashed into the Pentagon, into that field in Pennsylvania and into the towers of the World Trade Center. I'm sure everyone remembers what they were doing as they watched this world-changing news happen right in front of them. It was scary and unheard of and it did change the way we live. It changed how we travel. It changed how we think about people and countries and religion. It seemed to change how we treated each other, at least for a little while. It seemed like people were nicer to each other, at least that's what I remember.

I took a few moments today to think about 9/11/01. I thought about how I felt about what was happening that morning. I thought about how things have changed since then. I thought about the days immediately following the 11th and what it was like to not see airplanes in the sky and how I felt a little scared when I did see a plane flying into Salt Lake International Airport. I thought about the ensuing war and how it continues even though it has changed in many ways. Mostly I thought about the people who died that day; the regular people who went to work and didn't get to come home.I thought about the stories we have heard and movies we have seen that tell about 9/11/01 and it's aftermath.

Maybe you took a few minutes to reflect on the date also. Maybe you didn't and that's okay with me.

Take care of yourselves. Be kind.


Sunday, September 9, 2018

#2089 weekend wrap-up

Another weekend is over. They go by so quickly!

Friday night we didn't do much. I went to the gym and walked in circles, then picked up some chicken and rice for dinner. If I remember right, we went to bed pretty early, because, you know, Friday. I'm all tuckered out by Friday night.

I got up early (6:15) on Saturday morning and hit the gym. I took a spinning class. It was kind of strange. At first there was just me and an older gentleman. He had no interest in participating in the actual spin class. He just wanted to pedal at his pace, chat with the instructor and read the paper. Typically the instructor will ride too, but she forgot her cycling shoes, so she stood in front of me and told me to speed up, slow down, stand up, sit down, etc. Another lady did come in about ten minutes into the class and then the instructor walked between the two of us, stopping to chat with the man occasionally. I've been going to a lot of Zumba classes and hadn't been spinning as much. I'd almost forgotten how fun spinning is plus it's a great workout.

After class I came home to shower, then I went to WW. I had a substantial gain of a couple of pounds. I ate with abandon last week, so I wasn't surprised, but I was disappointed in myself. It's the yo-yo thing I've got going on with myself lately. It's a new week and a fresh start and I'll do better.

Before garden time I got a quick haircut - just a trim really. I'm letting it grow but it needed a little cutting of the ends. The trim isn't noticeable to anyone but me :)

The garden was pretty busy on Saturday. The LEGO display is only here for one more week, so maybe locals were bringing in their kids to check it out. Usually we get a tour bus around 2:30 and yesterday was no exception. There were about 30 people or so that came into the garden and 21 of them wanted to ride the complimentary tram. The tram only holds seven people and takes about 20 minutes. The last tram is at 3:00. I was expecting one of the trams back around 2:30 and the other around 2:40. I explained the logistics to the group and was surprised when some of the people (men) got cranky at me about it. I know the tour bus guide explains all of that to the people on the tour when they get there, so I didn't expect the low-key hostility I was getting from a couple of the men. Eventually I got everyone who wanted a ride on the trams and everything seemed to work out all right. It was a little more drama than I usually get on a Saturday afternoon.

The Utes played on Saturday night at Northern Illinois. It was not a beautiful, well-played game, but the Utes did prevail. The ugly play has me worried about how they will stack up against PAC-12 opponents, starting with Washington next week. Why do I get so involved in this game?

Today I have been puttering around. I did some chores, then I'd read, then do something else, then read or watch TV. I even took a little nap and I finished a book.

MT has been resting. He's been doing a lot of sleeping. I think the pain meds had something to do with that, which is good. Today he ventured out of the house for the first time to go get pancakes at Black Bear Diner. He is moving around better. He even carried a light load of laundry downstairs and brought in a couple of bags of groceries. He says he will work half a day tomorrow, so we'll see how that goes.

T went to a couple of concerts this weekend: an EDM show on Friday night and the J. Cole concert on Saturday night. T feels sad about Mac Miller and told me that he thought this year has been pretty crappy overall because of rehab and his car getting totaled and the deaths of his grandpa, a friend and his musical idol. I pointed out some things that were good, like that T's health both physically and mentally are better, that he's got a newer, nicer car, that he's been to a lot of shows this year since he got home and that things in general are going pretty well for him. I don't know if he totally bought in, but he did agree with everything I said.

I hope everyone had a nice, relaxing weekend!