Thursday 13: January 2013 snapshots

Well, we’re almost a month into the new year. I’ve just about got the hang of writing ‘2013’ but I feel a tinge of whiplash from watching the days fly by. It’s probably because I only have six weeks of them left to finish my dissertation. The prospect? Both exhilarating and terrifying.

Aside from dissertation writing, January has been pretty low key with a touch of travel and an abundance of hearty meals. Sigh. Here’s a Thursday 13 snapshot…

1. The coolest Christmas present!

My sis gave me a 5-year Q&A diary for Christmas. Each day there’s a new question and the page has spaces for five years. So you answer all the questions, and then start the diary over again the next year, and the next year, until you have five year’s worth of answers to the same questions. It will be cool to compare answers over time I think. The questions include things like: “Name three things you ate today,” “What are you looking forward to?” and “What grudges are you holding?”

 2. An incredible meal–Braised short ribs and savory polenta

So rarely does a beef recipe turn out exactly as I imagined it should. Wine-braised short ribs over creamy gorgonzola polenta… I die.

 3. Bonus Christmas present: E-bee!

On Christmas morning, buried in warm covers, I told Mr. T I would give anything for a remote control to warm up the house before I got up in the morning. Little did I know those things actually existed. T did a bunch of research and found EcoBee, a “smart” WIFI-enabled thermostat that I can control from my iPhone. Woot! I call him E-bee.

4. Homemade apple sauce (and proof I actually use this gadget)

In college, the girls dean served accordion apples at RA meetings. Since then, I wanted her peeler-slicer-corer contraption for my very own. Buying it brought ridicule from T who accused me of accumulating another “useless” kitchen gadget. Puh-lease. Now having used it twice in two years puts it firmly in the “used” category, ahem. Annnnd, instead of tossing the almost-too-sad-to-eat apples (of which I had seven, don’t judge), I made apple sauce for the first time. Hot tip: Oatmeal + cinnamon applesauce + pecans = Apple pie oatmeal!

5. Pinterest recipe fail

Things that sound too good to be true, like “baked” mozzarella sticks, usually are, just FYI. Boo!

6. First ride on a brand-new Southwest “green” Boeing 737-700 

I must admit, I was skeptical about Southwest’s new “green” jets that squeeze in several extra rows. But I found the 700 series surprisingly comfortable. Not sure I like the drop-down style baggage doors though.

7. Nothing beats a Sierra sunrise

Gorgeous vistas- The only good thing about pre-dawn flying.

8. Goliath, the prairie-dogging beggar

So after an 18-hour day with a roundtrip to and from Phoenix, I was delighted to come home to a hot bath and dinner, courtesy of Mr. T. And so what if I ate dinner in the bath? Goliath clearly appreciated the access for begging purposes. We call his habit of popping up on hind legs “prairie dogging,” a vestige of me teaching him how to walk upright I think.

9. Truth.

In case you wonder…

10. An interesting way to skateboard.

Puppy power!

11. Hoarder says “hands-off!”

After giving T a hard time for his hoards of electronic parts (boxes of DC power supplies and hard drives, etc.), I stumbled across this warning. So proud of my powers of observation, I posted it to Facebook where I learned he wrote that years ago. Like I want his floppies!

12. A place for everything, and everything in its place

One New Year’s goal is to reduce food waste, and part of that is by not letting pantry stores spoil. During a writing break, I went to town on the pantry, throwing out bad stuff and organizing food so I don’t “forget” about it. So what if I threw away condiments circa 2002?

13. Crispy Cajun shrimp over pasta alfredo

Another goal for the New Year is to eat more fish. You know, for health purposes. Somehow I think frying fish bits crispy and serving them over a bed of creamy noodles is probably not helping that health goal. Hrm. (In my defense, I did add heart-healthy broccoli!)


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