Sporadic Update #?

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Here's the first big news (in a picture):



hmm. I'm doing this from my iPad, so I don't know if what I'm doing will work!  Anyway, about four weeks ago now, an adorable little dog followed a friends family home. They'd seen this dog around for a month or so in their neighborhood but this time he followed them to their house and Mermaid & I happened to pull up at the same time. We took him home. He had no microchip. No collar. He had fleas and (it turned out) roundworms. He was dirty & weighed 17 pounds when I took him to the vet three days later. He's very, very smart. And he was only about 3.5 months old at most.

He is so freaking cute. The vets think he's a Labradoodle of some sort. In the three weeks since I took him to our vet, he gained three pounds. He's stronger, he's healthier, he likes being gently brushed while he sucks on a finger. He does have a grudge against dark haired dark skinned type men, though. Fortunately he loves other dogs, so I don't think he was attacked while he was roaming around his neighborhood.

Tall Boy named him Baxter, after the dog in The Anchorman movie.

In other news: driving Mermaid up to her job last week, a spinning bouncing piece of metal damaged the undercarriage of my wheezy Honda Civic. Turned out it damaged the radiator and cracked the catalytic converter thingy and sent my A/C on the fritz. Two days later, while driving Mermaid & her boyfriend to a place near Pasadena, we heard a musical flute like whistling sound followed by a smoking engine & a car slowing drastically down. Fortunately we weren't on a freeway. Had the car towed to a Honda dealership, and ended up having tons of work done it--not all of it because of the spinning metal object. It was only afterward I realized this was a claim-worthy incident, and called my insurance company. They're sending an assessor to the dealership to talk to the mechanic. Hopefully we'll get some money back. God knows we need it right now.

Right now I'm waiting for a window company to arrive with some new windows to replace our ancient, horrible aluminum single-pane large windows. We finally bit the bullet.

And tomorrow, the Guy and I have an appt. with a college finance advisor. Crap, I have to fill out the papers with our numbers!

That's it for now. Thank heavens. 

Poor Mermaid

We found out this morning that she has mono. Oh yeah. She's been out of school for two weeks (minus one day she went in and I took her home early). She's going back to school on Monday because of CST testing. Great. (California State Test) She's not worried about those. She IS worried about the upcoming SAT and AP exams.

I am so glad I don't have to take those tests!

And I'm not feeling great either!

That incredible RPB recipe

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Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cupcake!

Be sure to click "share" to find on your wall later to make! 

http://www.facebook.com/christa.lammers.9  (note: don't visit the FB page if you don't like ultra-conservative/Tea Party stuff...if you can ignore politics, she does have some great recipes & crafts up)

1 Devil’s Food Cake Mix
1 box (5.9 oz) chocolate pudding
1 C sour cream (I use low fat)
1 C oil (just made up for that low fat huh?) (Mermaid used olive oil)
4 eggs
1/2 C water
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all of those ingredients with a mixer. This batter will be quite thick-much thicker than typical cake batter. Scoop into 24 cupcake paper lined muffin tins.

Unwrap mini Reese’s, push one in to each cupcake batter portion.

Bake for 18 minutes. I don’t bake them a minute longer than that. At 18 minutes they are just barely done. I like them very soft and moist. If yours don’t appear done let them go a minute or two longer but try to pull them out when they are barely done.

Peanut Butter Frosting Recipe:

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
4 cups powdered sugar
5 teaspoons milk

I usually use a ziploc bag to pipe the frosting on because I like to be able to throw it away when I am done. Fill the bag, snip a corner off and pipe. I also melted some chocolate chips, threw in some
butter and then drizzled a little chocolate on top.

Monday Monday (think Mamas & Papas!)

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Hey there!

Let's see...my 48th birthday was on Friday! I wasn't exactly thrilled to see my age edging closer and closer to the big 5-0, but, hey, that's what life is. Right? Thanks to all who wished me a happy birthday here and on Facebook. You're all super, and even tho I've been distracted I still love you all. It's been over TEN YEARS since I've met many of you either online or in person, and I'm wowed by that. My life would be much less rich without my LJ friends (many of whom are also OS veterans). Just being here online with me for so long has been and is a tremendous gift.

What happened on Friday? Mermaid was all secretive and stuff, and had a surprise planned for me. Unfortunately, my car's battery died while I was at the gas pump filling up the tank! We sat in the car for about 40 minutes waiting for the tow truck guy to arrive. I thought for sure it was the starter motor, but luckily (?) it was was only the battery. He jump-started the damned thing. I dropped Mermaid off at home, and without turning the car off puttered over to Pep Boys (the nearest place I knew of to get a battery) and dropped about 45 minutes and $150-ish on a new battery. Ugh! But it ended well enough. Mermaid baked a fantastic Reese's Peanut Butter chocolate cake (I'll drop the recipe in at the end of the post) that was UBER CALORIES but WHO CARED?!! It was awesome. And we went out to eat at the Pizza Cookery where the Guy found a website with creepy Easter Bunny & kid pictures with the most hilarious captions ever, and we all just about died laughing at some of them. Brilliant stuff!  At least it was memorable, eh?

In other news, two years ago I weighed in at about 186 pounds (more or less, depending on whose scale I was weighed on, my own or the doctor's scale). These days, whatever I've been doing has been slowly working; I've been hovering at around 166. Luckily, I'm not getting "skinny-fat", which is what happens when you lose weight, but have no muscle tone whatsoever. I'd ideally like to go down another ten pounds or so, but really, I'm more focused on tightening and toning up my core and back muscles at the moment.

I found a fantastic DVD by Karen Voight which incorporates mainly Pilates moves (killer stuff, people, killer stuff!). The first time I used it, my sides, rib cage/lats, triceps, and abdomen felt the burn for two or three days! It's not so bad now--I do the routine about once a week. And there's another 50 minute routine on the DVD called Total Body, but what it really is, is an exercise in "torture" that works your butt and your *inner thighs*. I sure felt that the next day! Voight is an excellent teacher, gives great cues, reminds you to breath (yeah, you can forget to breath), and tells you where you should be feeling it AND what not to do so you don't injure yourself. Highly recommended:
Click on the image, it should take you to the Amazon page. And no, I'm not getting points from Amazon for this: I seriously LOVE this DVD. Oh, you can go to Collage Video, which specializes in fitness DVDs, to see actual clips from the workout.

What else...omg, yesterday Mermaid's boyfriend came over and they watched Sinister. Since there aren't many places to go in the house if you don't want to be either in your room or in the computer den, I stayed. I'm not a huge horror movie fan (gives me nightmares), this one...holy crap. While not huge on the gore and slash, it's atmospheric and has more than a bit of disturbing voyeurism in it, with these mysterious and horrible Super 8mm films being discovered in a house's attic portraying bit by bit, who and how the families in these films were murdered.  And now, of course, my mind is gnawing away at it like a distressed mouse. See, THIS is why I tend to avoid scary or horror type movies, because the images stay with me for a long time afterward (whereas books, *I* can control what I see in my mind's eye).

And for now, that's all that comes to mind. Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Hey there!

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Here I am again!  I'm off to deliver a bill to the post office, run to staples to find another bill organizer for all the medical bills we've got coming in from half a dozen places...an iPad and apps helps, but not if I have nowhere to put the actual paper bills.

Nothing new since last time, except Mermaid was hammered yesterday by a sudden onset of seasonal allergies. And I mean *hammered*. She felt so awful she stayed home on Monday but did go in today. Luckily her school has an online service, and her teachers (most of them, anyway) post up their assignments each day, so she never gets behind. And the instant feedback of knowing her grades is excellent, too. It enables her to stay on top of things.

Tall Boy, on the other hand...he gets his grades updated several times a week depending on the teacher (most of them are really good about it), but it doesn't exactly spur him on. I have to get on his case to get him to focus on the work. Even so, it's a struggle. He's VERY self-directed when it comes to his friends and worlds in Minecraft. School? Not so much.

And I leave you with this:


What ARE those? They're ducks! In space shuttles! If you live near a space shuttle like we do---we have Endeavor at the Science Center--visit it! Damned impressive machines. HUGE, too, when you get right up to it.

Mar. 17th, 2013

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It's a calm weekend. Nothing much doing except chauffeuring Mermaid around. Tall Boy *should* be working on a rough draft that's due tomorrow (one of his sources is an eBook on my iPad, so he has that right now...hopefully reading the book!). Let's see if I can find something to post up!


Quick update and a hello

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Seriously, I haven't posted since January? Wow, so not what I was planning.

What's been happening in Casa Gategrrl? Not much. Really. No snowstorms here in Los Angeles, so we're missing out on that excitement (yay!). My mom was smart and rented a house somewhere in Florida for the month. She's finally sick enough of the winters in Massachusetts that she's gone to where the snow don't ever fall!

Mermaid got straight A's last semester, something she's been aiming for for a while. She also had an emergency appendectomy at the end of November (did I mention that? I'm not sure). There's some tissue adherence where the doctor went in to remove the appendix, but that's it these days.

I've moved predominately to the iPad Mini the Guy got me for Xmas. It's pretty much what I always wanted out of a PDA (remember those little things?) but didn't have. I sent my Nook Color to my mom. She was sick of her paper style screen of her early edition Nook.

And what else...I'm sorry if I've been missing out on news, etc. I'm planning on being more diligent about my LJ friends. I've known many of your for years-longer than I've known many in-person friends.  And, I'm also on Skype and when I'm not out or making dinner, I'm available for chats. Even chats with a camera! Whee!

The Guy still does NOT want a dog in the house. He's almost become militant about it. Granted, dogs do cost money to keep, and lately, money has been a tight commodity in our house. So I still volunteer at Best Friends Shelter down the road (reminds me, I should go in this weekend, get some hours in with the pups).

And that's it for now.  I hope everyone's doing well. Or, well enough.

Restarting that Engine

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The engine meaning me and my iffy starter motor, if you want to take the analogy further.

Level 1 of RIP30 (Ripped in Thirty by Jillian Michaels) just about knocked me out on Wednesday. So did my usual stretching routine with the 30 second plank--which, I have discovered, is much *easier* when I hold myself up from my hands and not my elbows! Elbows are supposedly easier! I guess not!

It hasn't helped I've had a three day (this is the third day) tension headache. There might be some visual migraine in there, too. But I'm not sure. Ah, what is a visual, ie ocular migraine, you ask? It's when you get the visual auras in your eyes, but usually none of the migraine *pain*. BUT, with me, when I do get them, my brain slows down, I speak slower, and my brain simply doesn't process information at its usual rate. Meaning, there's still a "brain storm" going on, but I don't feel it.

In any case, the extended tension headache/whatever it is made me cancel out on my very much looked forward to Dog Assessments volunteer hours at the local rescue shelter. Majorly bummed about that. Just couldn't get any good sleep last night because I couldn't get comfortable with the headache and neck tension. Ugh. (I'm starting to think I need a new eye glasses prescription...wonderful...that's going to have to wait)

Today, if I can recover a bit from the headache after taking more Ibuprofen, I'll do a workout. Maybe not RIP30. Maybe kettlebell with Paul Katami. Or kickboxing. I've no idea. Just trying to keep my interest up.

Okay, ouch. Need to go do piled up dishes before they drive me nuts.

Later, gators!

PS: Life is othewise going well. I'm dreading the start of early school hours on Monday, let me tell you! I haven't been able to get up earlier than 10am for three weeks. Not.Good.