Friday, August 30, 2013

Hitting the "Reset" Button on Bad Habits

Too many times this past week, I looked for the solution to my petty problems at the bottom of a bag of cookies. Or pint of ice cream.

Yikes. Time to hit the "reset" button. For starters, I'm doing three tiny things:

1. Measure out my morning cereal. This is what I eat, 99% of the time, for breakfast. A combination of Cheerios, Raisin Bran, and Fiber One. It may not float your boat, but I love my morning cereal.

Lately, however, I've been filling the bowl with a too-heavy hand. Time to go back to measuring things out, for a while:

2. Put the rubber bands back on the glass. This is how I keep track of how much water I drink daily. Three 12-ounce glasses keeps my skin looking nice and my joints from creaking. I was winging it for a while, and I ended up forgetting to hydrate. So, back to the rubber bands:

Each time I drain a glass, I move one rubber band from the bottom of the glass to the top. That way I know exactly how much I've got left to drink in a day.

 Youthful, dewy skin and supple limbs lie at the bottom of this blue, baby:

3. No more Solitaire played on my cell phone.

I've been wasting a ridiculous amount of time doing this, so for now, it's bye-bye.

Even though these are small little changes, doing these helps galvanize me to do a few more, and then a few more. Before I know it, I'm back on track, using my time wisely and eating and drinking in moderation again. And feeling better about myself!

(Psst: Red queen on the black king.)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Holy Falling Baby Squirrels, Batman!

Yesterday, I was sitting outside in my hammock at around 6:00 in the afternoon. It was hot, but not too awfully hot. Kind of this vibe:

Suddenly a horrible shrieking rang out from the tree above my head. I leapt to my feet, trying to figure out what was making the racket--a bird? a cat?--a baby squirrel fell, PLOP! out of the tree on the ground near my toes.

Goodness gracious!

I figured, it's a wild critter, I've gotta leave it alone and let Nature take its course. So I ushered the pugs inside, and an hour later, I checked.

No baby squirrel. And no signs of violence--bits of fur, blood, etc. Whew!

Today, I was fetching something out of the car, and again, I heard the same infernal screeching. I looked up into the tree, and I saw a behbeh squirrel, hanging by his toes from a leaf, screaming in fear.

I yelled, "Hang on! Hang on!" and ran to my patio to get a cat bed, for him to fall into for a soft landing.

He couldn't wait, and again, he went PLOP! at my feet. Like yesterday, he looked stunned, but he was still breathing.

But unlike yesterday, today the little furball fell out of the tree at 3 in the afternoon, and it was 102 degrees in the shade. If I didn't do something, he was going to be Fried Baby Squirrel in a matter of minutes.

I called my vet, who put me in touch with a wild-animal rescue group. The nice gal who took my call said this is the time of the year baby squirrels are getting big and restless and starting to fall out of nests if they get a little too antsy.

She suggested I put something nearby to shade the baby--but not TOO nearby so it didn't scare a momma squirrel--and see if she comes out of the tree to pick up the baby and drag it back to the nest.

Sure enough, as I watched from far away with a pair of binoculars around my neck, a momma squirrel ran around the tree and rescued baby.

I hope the little tyke learns to stay put.

I'm not sure my heart can take any more drama.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Backpacking Blast from the Past

I am re-reading Cheryl Strayed's remarkable memoir, "Wild," about backpacking alone on the Pacific Crest Trail when she was a young woman in her mid-20s. It made me remember an epic backpacking trip I took in the High Sierra when I was in my early 20s:

It was so long ago, we didn't have wicking clothing then! I wore cotton tee shirts and denim jeans and cutoff shorts.

Omigosh. I've mis-laid those slim thighs, somewhere.

Please, if you see them somewhere, would you mail them back to me? Thank you very much.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Inspiration for a Color Scheme

Every Sunday when I bring I bring in the newspaper, I think, "What a great source for a color scheme this is!":

All the colors are of a similar weight...not too bright, a little bit muted, but not at all muddy:

All the colors go together with each other beautifully. You could pick any two or three for a room, and accent with a third or fourth color:

Any way you mix 'n' match them, the combos look terrific. You could build an entire home's color scheme around them. You could even use them to build a wardrobe:

This would be my favorite combo: Camel, teal, plum, and warm red:

This color scheme makes me long for cool-weather things--knit sweaters, tweed jackets, opaque tights, and scarves around the neck.

C'mon, Fall! I'm tired of Summer!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Polka Dot Family

 We are a family of polka-dot lovers. The Boy. The Pugs:

And me:

It's a family thing.

Apparently, more of the family wants in on the action. Photo bomb!:

In a family, it's important to have somebody you can look up to.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Roadside Rescue: Free Weights

My latest curbside find, set out by a trash can, is two perfect-condition free weights and two wrist weights:

Did somebody graduate to heavier stuff? Or did the exercise program not go well?

There's no telling. But I'm going to hope whoever used them is still exercising somewhere, somehow. Meanwhile, off to Goodwill these go....

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Bearded Iris Beauty

This beautiful white Bearded Iris popped open a few days ago in my garden. It has the most heavenly smell--somewhere between raindrops and raspberries and the cologne your first true crush wore.

It has pushed out two huge flowers and has one bud left to open up. Irises are supposed to bloom in spring; what on Earth is this thing doing, putting on a show in mid-August?

It is one of a handful of iris bulbs I planted back in the fall of 2011.

I don't know why it chooses to bloom this time of year, but it blossomed last year in August, too.

Blooming in August is obviously what it wants to do. So, bloom on, beautiful, sweet-smelling thing. Bloom on!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Roxie, the Rescued Greyhound

 This is Roxie, a rescued greyhound:

She lives with my sister and her husband in Los Gatos. Roxie is one reason why I love Los Gatos.

She has the longest nose and toes of any dog I've ever met:

She has a big, poofy bed that she loves to flop in:

 In all sorts of silly positions:

Roxie loves her friends in the neighborhood:

And she loves going for a car ride in her specially adapted van:

Roxie loves a walk in the park with her dad:

And licking almond butter off your finger:

She is sweet with babies:

And other dogs:

Two or three times a day, Roxie loves to go outside on this putting green in her back yard and tear up and down at top speed, like the racing athlete she used to be:

But mostly, Roxie loves to hang out. This is her own teddy bear:

And this is her momma, who loves her:

Me too, Roxie. I love you, too.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tomato-palooza? Roast Them!

The tomatoes in our garden are pumping out ripe fruit so prolifically, the only way to keep up with the output is to roast them. These beauties are Green Zebras:

Roasting is one of the tastiest ways to prepare an overabundance of tomatoes. Just slice them in thick (1/3-inch) circles (for tomatoes smaller than a golf ball, simply cut them in half).

Place the slices on a parchment-paper lined jelly roll pan, then drizzle them with olive oil and a little freshly cracked black pepper. (I prefer not to salt them at this point, so that if I want to add them to an already salty dish--say, something with feta cheese in it--the tomatoes won't overwhelm the salt level.)

Roast the tomatoes at about 375 degrees Fahrenheit until they are totally soft and their edges are brown and caramelized.

They may not look gorgeous, but the flavor is heavenly. The roasting concentrates the "tomato-iness" and turns them into soft but chewy little circles of deliciousness.

Scoop the roasted tomatoes up with a spatula and keep them refrigerated in a covered dish. If you aren't going to use them in the next day or two, pop the roasted tomatoes in zip-style plastic bags and keep them for up to several months in your freezer.

I tucked some roasted red tomatoes today in my quesadilla for lunch: fantastic! Other uses for these tasty bites: toss in hot pasta and add shaved Parmesan cheese for a quick dinner. Dot the roasted tomatoes on top of a pizza for the last few minutes of cooking time. Drop them into a vegetable soup. Chop them up and mix them with softened cream cheese or Greek-style yogurt for a quick dip or sandwich spread. Put them into a hearty casserole or stew, come this fall.

Or just open the fridge and snack on them, as is.

Pure yumminess!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Yard-Sale Waterford Find

The Yard Sale Gods have done it again: they've led me to a piece of Waterford crystal selling for a ridiculously low price at a neighborhood yard sale.

This has happened to me before, here and here and here.

This time, it is a lovely little footed dish just 5 inches high and 6 inches across. Technically this shape is a "compote." But that makes me think of the nasty dish of stewed prunes. So it's a footed dish. To me.

Anyway, isn't it sweet?

Here's the Waterford mark, etched on the underside of the foot:

This little beauty is probably going to live on my dresser, where it will showcase a few necklaces.

Until somebody buys me chocolates. It's perfect for holding a small pile of chocolates.

I'm just sayin'.


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