Monday, March 1, 2021

#2516 in like a ...


Happy March!

I will be enjoying early spring weather here, for this week at least. 

Sunday, February 28, 2021

#2515 a winter walk at Red Butte Garden

Yesterday I went for a walk at Red Butte Garden. The Garden had been closed in January, and I promised myself that I would visit it in February. I cut it close, but made it happen.

Yesterday was cold and snowy at times. The paths were clear, but there were some slick spots, so I had to pay attention where I put my feet. There weren't very many people: I saw a couple and three young women while I was walking. On my way out, I saw another couple and a mom with two kids. I could hear the birds twittering in the trees because it was so quiet. It was a wonderful afternoon of restoration.

The Garden is dear and familiar to me, and even though I know what is around every curve in the paths, each season gives those curves a different look. Here are some photos:

This chubby little bird greeted me when I first entered the Garden. He hopped along with me for a little way.  

Snowy!! This is a hillside, not the path.

Here is one of my favorite trees, the paperbark maple, cradling some snow.

This is the lower falls of Red Butte Creek on the east side of the bridge where the big falls are. I like all the different colors.

I think it might be physically and mentally impossible for me NOT to take a photo of the main falls. I am crazy for this waterfall.

After crossing the bridge over the creek, you get to the Amphitheater. I smiled, thinking these snowmen were concert-goers who were claiming their spots for upcoming shows. Check out that sky! 

Another photo of the ominous sky to the southeast of the Garden. This a photo of the big pond, all covered with snow and ice.

These are my favorite white birches right on the edge of the pond. They look pretty.

I love the way this pines are wrapped up for winter. The sky looks cool, too. This is up in the Water Conservation Garden.

Here is the swing that inspired my Word choice this year (Intention). The seat was wet, so I decided to pass on sitting down for a spell. Like the waterfall, though, I'll probably always take the photo.

I thought the snow resting in the pine needles kind of looked like flowers. Of course, pine trees don't have flowers, but in my mind, today they did.

So with that, we'll say good-bye to February. I'll be back tomorrow to write on odd-number days in the third month!


Friday, February 26, 2021

#2514 the best food I ate this week

The unusual thing is that I cooked every night this week. Usually there is one night that is devoted to refrigerator clean-out, and we have leftovers, but we didn’t have many leftovers this week. Most of our meals were chicken-based. 

We had teriyaki pineapple chicken meatballs one night. Have you ever had those?  I get them from Costco. T really likes them. I bake them, then smother them in teriyaki sauce. If I’m feeling extra sassy, I’ll cut up chunks of onion and pepper and add a can of pineapple. I didn’t do that this week, mostly because I didn’t do a very good job of planning ahead. I served the meatballs over rice. There were leftovers, and T ate them the next day.

Another day I made chicken and rice. It was supposed to be paella-like, but was a poor imitation. Instead of saffron, I used turmeric, which does a great job of turning the rice yellow. The rice was Arborio, which is typically used to make risotto. I couldn’t find the traditional Bomba rice around here, even though I tried. The rice was paired with chicken and chicken chorizo. It was fine. I liked it for lunch because it was light and tasty enough.

We also had sloppy joes one night. No chicken in that dish! It’s a comfort food and very easy to make. Another comfort food, and what I fixed tonight, is eggs and potatoes. 

All of the food was good, but the best thing I made this week, at least in my opinion, was chicken fajitas. 

I never really ate chicken fajitas until Lizzie made them for us one day while she was visiting. I’m not a big fan of peppers, especially green peppers, but when the peppers are sautéed in a bit of oil, they soften and sweeten, like onions, and they taste pretty good. I don’t buy fajita seasoning; I create my own with seasonings I have in my spice rack. I use cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and smoked paprika. I season the chicken liberally, cook it, remove it from the pan, add a bit more oil, then throw in the veg. When the veggies are soft and lovely, I add the chicken back and mix it all together. So good! 

It’s rare, but if there is a bit of fajita left over, I will cook some rice and have chicken fajita fried rice for lunch the next day. Add a bit of avocado, maybe some black beans and corn, and you’ve got a hearty lunch taste sensation! There were no leftover fajitas last night. We gobbled them up because, if I say so myself, they were among the best fajitas I have ever made. 

What did you eat that made your taste buds smile this week? I’m always looking for meal ideas!


A quick follow up on Harley and her toenail. She is well on her way to recovering. Tonight she is feeling downright perky. The toenail is cut very short, and I think it will grow back. 

I am having sympathy toe pain for Harley. Last night when I got in bed, I felt the toenail on my left pinky toe snag on my sheet. My toenail had a piece hanging off the toe. I snipped it, but I can still feel a wee nubbin of toenail there. Today the shoe and sock rubbed against the toe and it is uncomfortable. Sympathy toe.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

#2513 poor Harley

 Last Thursday night/early Friday morning, after I picked T up from work, I climbed back into bed and snuggled up with the dogs, looking forward to getting back to sleep. As I was drifting off, I heard a persistent slurping noise. It was Harley, licking her right foot obsessivel . I shone the torch from my phone onto her foot to see what had her attention and noticed that the toenail on what would be the pinky toe of her right foot was cracked and split. It looked like she had two toenails. I gently touched it and she flinched, so I could tell she was in some pain.

I called the vet first thing on Friday morning, but they were unable to see her until noon on Wednesday (today). On Saturday morning I called to see if there were cancellations - there wasn’t. I called another vet but they were all booked. I called an emergency vet and was told that a split toenail didn’t qualify as an emergency. I did not call our vet on Monday: I did call on Tuesday, but no cancellations. I was worried because it looked terrible and seemed to be causing her discomfort. I could kind of see inside the toenail, to the tender part. That’s not right. She played and went for walks and acted normal, but when she settled down for the night, she would lick, lick, lick, that foot.

You may be wondering how the poor dog split her toenail. She might have snagged it on something. She might have been jumping and playing with Mac and cracked it on Mac’s tooth or on the concrete. Maybe she had a misstep on a walk. I don’t remember anything in particular that happened on Thursday and I don’t recall her licking the foot so persistently before that night, although MT says she was. 

Finally, it was Wednesday. T barricaded Mac in his room so Harley and I could go to the vet. Mac hates to be left behind. Our vet office is not allowing people to bring their pets in; they come out to the car to get the critters. I showed the tech Harley’s toenail and she told me that Harley would probably have to be sedated so the vet could cut it back. She said it would take about half an hour. Since I live just a couple of miles from the vet’s office, I just came home. The vet called me about 20 minutes later and told me that she had to cut the nail way back because the quick was exposed (ouch!).

When I picked Harley up from the vet, she was still a little “drunk” from the sedation. I had to pick her up to put her in the car. She just sat there, her eyes all blurry, her tongue slipping out the side of her mouth, her right paw wrapped in a bright pink bandage. 

Back at home, Mac was very curious about Harley’s paw and was extra curious about the cone of shame I had to put on Harley before I went back to work at the office. I actually gave Mac part of a sedative to keep her calm so she wouldn’t mess with Harley. I left work a little early because I was a bit concerned about the two of them. I didn’t need to worry. They were both mellow when I got home. I took Mac out for a walk - what a breeze to just walk the one! Harley can’t go out for walks for at least four days. 

Harley has a few meds to take: an antibiotic, a pain reliever, and the above-mentioned mild sedative. She does have a cone, but she hasn’t had it on since I’ve been home. I put a little baggie over the bandage when she has to go outside. She does not like the baggie on the foot. Mac is intrigued by it. 

I’m glad I get to work from home tomorrow so I can keep an eye on the doggos. T will be home on Friday, so he can watch them then. Mostly we want to be sure the toenail site doesn’t get infected. 

Harley is such a sweet girl. Her eyes look kind of sad and she has an overall vibe of“what the hell happened?” We’ll be sure to treat her extra tenderly while she recovers.

Monday, February 22, 2021

#2512 musical Monday: Machine Gun Kelly

 This weekend I was listening to music while I was cleaning up the kitchen. This song, My Ex's Best Friend, came on and I was dancing and bobbing around the kitchen. The hook makes me jump around like I'm in the general admission section at a concert. Granted, I don't really go to the general admission section much anymore - I'm too old for that shit. Plus, I can't sustain the jumping through the whole hook like I used to. Again, I'm too old for that shit. But this song kinda makes me feel young again and I totally love it.

Here's the video. Give it a listen, if you want.

My Ex's Best Friend

Saturday, February 20, 2021

#2511 Saturday with Sandy

While I was thinking about what to write tonight, I found myself with a lot of questions about the day. 

  • How did Harley's toenail crack like that? On Thursday night/Friday morning after I picked T up from work I noticed that Harley was licking her foot a lot. I lit up my phone torch to take a look at what she was focused on and I saw that one of her toenails was cracked. Part of it is sticking up slightly from the rest of the nail. There was a little blood. I called the vet on Friday morning, but they are unable to see us until Wednesday. This morning I called to see if there were cancellations (there weren't). I called another vet and they were booked today. I called the emergency vet and was told they wouldn't see us because a cracked toenail is considered a "class 3" injury and they don't take that category on weekends. The woman I spoke to assured me that Harley will be okay and told me I could put a sock on Harley's foot and make sure it didn't look infected. I've been keeping an eye on her all day. She really only licks on it once she settles down and starts to relax. She plays and goes for walks like normal. I can tell she's in a little pain, though. She has sad dog eyes. I bought her a soft cone collar and some doggy aspirin. We'll see how all that goes over in about half an hour when I'm done writing and get ready for bed.
  • Why did I have such a visceral need to hug Gina today? When I went to weigh in at the WW studio this morning, my beautiful coach Lana was there to do the weigh ins as usual and my virtual, and former real life coach Gina, was there too! Technically Gina is Lana's boss and I guess Gina was just there to check in with Lana and members like me. I was so delighted to see Gina in person! It's been a few years and I completely adore her. I actually screamed her name (I have no chill) and had to stop myself from giving her a hug. I'm not a hugger. At. All. So why did I feel that way? And I kinda felt teary, too. This pandemic, man. That's what  it has to be. Right?
  • How have I not done this sooner? There is a Starbucks in the grocery store I use most often. Today I bought myself a mocha Frappuccino, popped in an airpod to listen to some upbeat tunes, and had an excellent time doing my shopping. I feel like I have been depriving myself by not figuring out this simple combination of joy to get through the shopping chore. I'll be sipping and listening to music on future shopping excursions for sure.
  • When did this backache happen? At some point today I realized that I have a tremendous pain in my lower back on the right side and toward the middle. At different times during the day, the pain was so intense that it took my breath away and made my eyes water. Maybe I slept awkwardly. Sometimes my body is contorted around the dogs. I haven't done anything in which I felt my back twitch or tweak, but hot damn it was hurting today. Ibuprofen for me tonight, and maybe my heating pad as well.
  • Will I regret not going for a walk at Red Butte Garden today? In my original plan for today, I was going to take T to work then drive up to RBG for a stroll. I decided to put off the garden walk until next Saturday because a) it was supposed to snow today and I didn't fancy a walk in the snow, and b) I wanted to bake a cake and needed ingredients, hence the trip to the grocery store. Now it looks like there might be snow in the forecast for next Saturday. That's seven days away, though, and it's Utah and weather changes a lot. By the way, it did NOT snow today.
  • What is the purpose of putting books on hold or buying books? I currently have 55 books in my queue on the Overdrive library site, of which 23 are available. When I was looking for a new book to read, did I go to the queue to see what I could borrow? No, I did not. I looked at the library's list of most popular books that was available and picked out one that I want to read. I also have at least eight ebooks that I have purchased or received that are waiting to be read. Why didn't I choose one of those books? 
Well, there's a little insight into my mind today. I felt like I was just spinning through the day without a lot of intention or purpose. I did bake a cake. I cooked some chicken and rice - a very poor imitation of paella, but it tasted okay. I took a little nap to ease my backache and to relax. I wanted to watch a movie tonight, but ended up doing something for T, so MT and I pushed back movie night until tomorrow. It's probably a good thing. I wanted to write and MT was already snoozing on the couch when I got home from taking T to his friend's house. Now I'm tired and my back hurts and I just want to sleep, so that's what I will do. 

I hope you are enjoying your weekend. Stay safe!


Thursday, February 18, 2021

#2510 three things: snow, Mac's collar, and self-care

1. Snow. Yesterday (Wednesday 2/17), it was super snowy in the morning. I had to be up early to go to an all-day training for work. Fortunately, the training venue is just five miles from my house - straight down the road. No turns, no fuss. It took me nearly 25 minutes to get from my house to the venue. That's actual road time, too. It snowed most of the morning, then the sun came out, the roads dried (with the help of brine solution, I'm sure), and even though it was cold, it was pretty. The mountains look amazing! My thoughts are with the folks in Texas and other parts of the country that are suffering through power outages, busted pipes, and extreme cold. I am thankful that we were not affected like that. Here a photo of my front yard yesterday afternoon when I got home.

It looks like there is a lot of snow, but there's probably just four to six inches in the main part of the yard. MT shoveled the walk, so there's a big pile right up front there. Look how blue the sky is! Crazy Utah weather.

2. Mac's collar. When I got home yesterday afternoon, I planned to take the dogs for a walk. The sidewalks were clear and though it was cold, I have a warm coat and I'm good at layering my clothing. The thing was that Mac's collar was, and still is, missing. Mac and Harley play their faces off, and sometimes Harley manages to take Mac's collar right off her neck. (I keep it kind of loose so she's comfortable.) I looked all over the house and even out in the back yard, but I couldn't find the collar anywhere. Not having a collar could not stop us from taking a walk. Both dogs have harnesses that I have used to curb their extreme pulling. I bought Mac's harness when she was little. It still fits, but definitely now looks teeny-tiny on her nearly full-grown body.

Doesn't she look a trifle annoyed at the tiny harness? Here's how it looked on her in August:

Today we used Harley's harness instead and it was much better. I didn't take a photo, but trust me when I say Mac looks like a boss in the orange harness. I'll replace her collar this weekend.

3. Giving up on being down for Lent. In the past I have given things up for Lent, things like sweets or Diet Coke. Honestly, this does not make me a better person. I actually think it makes me a worse person to be around. I'm not a religious or even a particularly spiritual person, so I'm not really sure why I even thought it was a good idea to give up something I like for 40 days. There was a bit of conversation about it with the work group through Teams. One lady said she was going to focus on self-care for 40 days, and I really like that idea. Self-care is something that I have been focusing on throughout the pandemic. Women, especially, often put themselves last when it comes to taking care of themselves over their family, and I think that is flawed. If we don't take care of ourselves, how can we take care of others?

I was thinking about all of that and I googled self-care for Lent ideas and found this nice blogpost that had some cool ideas. What I'm going to do is name one non-scale victory (NSV) each day for 40 days. A non-scale victory is a WW term for finding a win that is not related to the number on the scale. For me, I still want my NSV to still be related to the weight loss wellness journey. 

My first NSV of Lent was that I paired a couple of things that I want to turn into habits together. I want to finish my evening with a nice cup of tea after I clean up the kitchen. It's kind of a signal that the busy part of the day is over and it's time to relax and time to stop eating. I also find that I have been more successful in my weight loss when I plan what I'll eat the next day and write it down the night before (pre-track in the WW lingo). Last night, I fixed myself a wonderful, warm cup of blackberry/elderberry tea, grabbed my planner, and figured out what I would eat the next day (which is today). The bonus: I actually stuck to my meal plan today! Most of the time, when I have a plan, I will stick to it, even if it's just to prove to myself that I can. Heck, the fact that I followed my eating plan might be today's NSV!