Saturday, May 19, 2018

#2045 the royal wedding

I was up at 4:30 this morning, just in time to see Prince Harry and Prince William arrive at the church for Harry's wedding to Meghan Markle.

Some may think it ridiculous that I would get up so early on a Saturday morning to watch the royal wedding. It's true that the wedding has absolutely no bearing or relevance to my life and why should I care? I'm not British. I had never heard of Meghan Markle before she became involved with Prince Harry. For some reason, though, I really like all of it: the monarchy, William and Kate, Harry and Meghan, the whole royal thing.

I think what it comes down to for me is the fairy tale aspect of it all. Not the she's a divorced bi-racial American and she found her prince thing. It's more about a man, who happens to be a prince, falling in love with a beautiful lady and she loves him back and they get married on the grounds of a real castle and they both looked gorgeous and happy and in love and people cheered when they said "I will" and the Archbishop of Canterbury (for God's sake more fairy tale stuff!) pronounced them husband and wife and people cheered again. Then they went for a ride in an open carriage through the village and people cheered and waved flags and she was wearing a tiara and he was in a military uniform.

That's fairy tale shit, people, and it was real! It was really happening in another part of the world. I was all about it. I was crying and smiling and loving every bloody minute.

I was on Twitter during the festivities, commenting and reading some of what people were saying. I don't understand what makes people get on a social media platform and say shitty things. I read more than one comment that said "I don't give a crap about this royal wedding" and I thought, then why would you go on Twitter and use the hashtag and waste your time saying you don't care? There were other snarky comments that just made me feel kinda yucky. Not cool.

This morning there weren't as many people at the WW meeting as there usually are. Leader Lana wondered where everyone was. I suggested they might be watching the wedding (even though it was over.) One of the other members, a woman I like hearing from, groaned and said, "Oh my God. Who cares about that stupid thing?" A few people laughed. I didn't respond, but the truth is that I care, I guess. I'm interested enough to get up early and watch the whole event. It doesn't make me silly or crazy. Like I said, I like the fairy tale aspect of it all.

It was all lovely.


Thursday, May 17, 2018

#2044 3 things: no, then yes


Tonight's three things all have something in common.

1. Cooking. I do like to cook. I like to prepare food and enjoy eating the food. I also like to see people enjoy the food I have made. But...thinking about what to make and buying the ingredients isn't that much fun. When I'm actually preparing the food - chopping, sauteing, stirring, tasting, putting in the seasoning and watching it all come together - that's great. The cleanup isn't fun either, though I usually do that as I go along. When the food is all prepared and the family sits down to eat and the food tastes good and tummies are satisfied and leftovers are stored, I always think, "That was pretty great."

2. Going to the gym. At the end of a work day, sometimes the only thing I want to do is come home and sit on the couch. There are some days when that happens. I put on my relaxing clothes, plop myself on the couch to watch TV or lay on my bed to read a book and that's it. Most days, though, I change into my gym clothes and head over to the fitness center to go to an exercise class. I have to go to class. I'm not disciplined enough to push myself by working out on my own, plus it's just more fun for me to exercise in a group. I pretty much take whatever class happens at 7pm and fortunately, I like all of them, except for Wednesday's class. Wednesday night's class  is Strong by Zumba. The class is physically challenging because it is a HIIT class (high intensity interval training). You start out with a fast-paced warm-up, then you get your heart rate up, then back down then back up and back down. There are lots of squats and lunges and burpees all set to a very energetic beat. It's fantastic and awful all at the same time. I dread going, but when the workout is over, I always think, "That was pretty great."

3. Bloom recording/going to the garden. If you read this blog very often, it's pretty easy to figure out that Red Butte Garden is one of my favorite places in the city. I enjoy volunteering there and I love to wander around there...once I'm there. I have a regular docent shift on Saturday afternoon, and usually I don't have any problem with going to cover that shift. It's the bloom recording that makes me drag my heels. It's best if I leave directly from work to go record blooms because it's much closer to the garden than if I come home first. If I come home, I mostly just want to stay home. Sometimes I think about going to record blooms and I don't feel excited, but I committed to do it, so I do it. Once I am at the garden though, I push open the visitor center doors to enter the courtyard and the beauty and the scents hits me. I walk up the path to the Children's Garden and marvel about all the new plants that are blooming, different from the previous week. I feel sad when plants I know were blooming last week are done with their blooming time, but I feel happy when I see new plants bursting with color. After I'm done looking at all the plants in the Children's Garden, I walk through the rest of the garden and as I make my way back to the visitor center, I always think, "That was pretty great."

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

#2043 travel Tuesday: Savannah flashback

It's coming up on a year since Lizzie and I visited the charming southern city of Savannah, Georgia. We left SLC on May 18 and it snowed here that day. You can imagine that we were happy to get to warm, sultry Savannah.

We knew that it gets hot and humid in that part of the US in the summer, so we tried to go fairly early in the year, but it was hot while we were there. We walked all over the historic district; I spent most of the time being sweaty.

Even with the heat and the sweatiness, I have good memories of Savannah. It is a lovely and charming city. The historic district is a feast for the eyes. The food that we had was wonderful: Lizzie and I still talk about how great the chicken strips were at Tondee's.

I was looking through the photos I took while I was there. Here are a few fun pics:

Tybee Island
We started our trip wit a visit to Tybee Island, because we love the ocean. It was our first glimpse of the Atlantic. We would come to learn that boardwalks over the dunes are a feature at beaches on the Atlantic.

River Street
On the first night in Savannah, we walked along the river and admired the old building and the cobblestone street.

Forsyth Park
The trees with the Spanish moss is really a thing in Savannah. It's lovely. And all the shade is a good thing.

Hamilton-Turner House

Quintessential Savannah. Hamilton-Turner House is iconic and so is the horse-drawn carriage.

Forsyth Park
This fountain. Forsyth Park. Awesome. Epitomizes the city.


Bonaventure Cemetery
I never thought I would be a person who would enjoy walking around cemeteries, but this one is pretty great.

Jones Street
Did you know that Jones Street in Savannah has been called the Most Beautiful Street in America?

Lizzie, Mom and I are talking about going to Savannah in December to celebrate Mom's birthday. I hope it happens. I sure would love to go back!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Friday, May 11, 2018

#2041 foodie Friday: fajitas and cookies

I have to tell you about a couple of recipes I tried this week that were total winners.

On Tuesday night I stayed home to watch the Jazz game. I decided since I was home that I should cook. I'd found a recipe for sheet pan fajitas on Pinterest, so I had all the ingredients and that's what I decided to make.

I've mentioned before that veggies are not really my thing but that maybe if they were roasted, they would be more palatable. This recipe calls for bell peppers and onions (duh, fajitas, of course there are peppers). I don't care for the flavor of green peppers so I used a yellow pepper and a red pepper and a big ol' Vidalia sweet onion. I had two chicken breasts that I cut into strips. I seasoned it all with some cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. I put all the veggies and chicken on the pan and sprinkled the seasoning over the whole thing. I drizzled about a tablespoon of canola oil over everything and tossed it all together to get the flavors all over everything. Then I popped the pan in the oven for 15 minutes, gave everything a shake and a stir and put it back in for about five more minutes.


Oh my goodness! The smell of everything was fantastic: kinda smoky from the cumin and paprika. The chili powder I used was mild, so there wasn't any heat and the flavor was delicious. I squirted some fresh lime juice on mine before I piled it onto a hot flour tortilla.

The other recipe I tried this week was for chocolate chip cookies. I LOVE chocolate chip cookies and I have been trying to find a great recipe for awhile now. The week before last I tried a recipe that seemed like it would be good, but the cookies, while tasty, were really flat.

such a sad flat cookie
I want a cookie with a little more heft, a little more "mouth-feel" as they say. After giving it some thought, I decided that the butter-to-flour ratio was off on the cookie shown above. I think it should be about a one-to-three ratio: one cup of butter to three cups of flour. Cornstarch is a good add also because it softens up the flour and makes the cookies a little more tender. With this hypothesis, I went back to Pinterest and found this recipe.

I'm going to just cut to the chase and let you know that this recipe is The One. I don't know if it was the cold butter or the increased amount of flour and the cornstarch but dang...spectacular. I have to confess that I did not follow the recipe exactly as written though. I only used light brown sugar. I didn't use cake flour; I just used regular all-purpose flour. I also sprinkled a little salt on top of the cookies when they came out of the oven.

The One
The cookies were thick in just the right way. There was a satisfying little crunch on the exterior bite that gave way to a tender interior. I made them pretty good sized. They were about the size of the palm of my hand when baked. When I put them on the cookie sheet, they were about the size of a raquetball, I'd say. They spread out a little, but made a good cookie shape and size. I got about a dozen cookies out of the recipe. I stored what wasn't eaten on the first day in a gallon-size Ziploc bag. The next day they were still tender and delectable.

I've got a lot of cookie recipe deleting to do on my Pinterest board.

Maybe I like to write about food on Friday because it is the day of the week that I don't eat as much usually because of WW on Saturday morning. lol

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

#2040 wistful Wednesday

The Jazz are done for the season. Last night they lost to the Houston Rockets in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semi-finals. The Jazz played tough all the way through the game, and I thought they might have a chance to steal it, but then the sensational rookie, Donovan Mitchell, was injured during a play and had to leave the game. Bummer.

The silver lining is that all my time is my own again lol. I will still watch basketball, but it won't be must-watch, ditch-everything-else TV.


Monday, May 7, 2018

#2039 magnificent Monday

My sister had a friend who would regularly post on Facebook something that he was grateful for. She has another friend who posts a page of gratitude every week or so. At the beginning of each new year, I choose a word to be my guide, a touchstone, a mantra, for the year. This year's word is Gratitude. On the right hand side of this little blog, there is a space where I write something I am grateful for on the day I write. I think I want to expand this idea a little. Since Monday is sometimes kind of a downer, I will use today's post to list some stuff I am thankful for.

Grateful:

  • for the ability to ride my bike 20 miles pretty much right off the couch and not feel sore afterward. (I can't lie: my seating area is a bit tender today!)
  • that my sister has safely returned to the U.S. and that she had what seems like a great time in Scotland.
  • for beautiful spring weather.
  • to drive around with the windows rolled down.
  • Toast. (Don't scoff; sometimes it is the only thing that sounds good.)
  • that Osi hasn't had any seizures for awhile. *knocks on wood*
  • that T is clean and sober.
  • that MT is busy and happy.
  • for a job that keeps me engaged and entertained.
  • that my mamacita is doing well.
  • that the family is safe and healthy.
  • that I don't have to wonder about what to read next. Seriously, my to-read list is long!
Good night!