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Showing posts from February, 2014

Cutting the Cord: Goodbye to Cox Cable

After 3+ years as a Cox cable customer (and 3 years before that as a Time Warner customer and probably 3 years before that as a Cox (?) customer in Maryland and Virginia ... and I can't even guess what the cable company was called in Stillwater, but say another 2 years there after I moved out of the dorms), I've been talked into cutting the cord. It isn't that we can't afford to keep it. It's that we're choosing not to.

Our promotional rate, which was the bundle for phone, internet and cable, expired. And the customer service rep didn't care to renegotiate with us like they did last year. So the logical thing to do, rather than pay $200+ for all three services was to drop cable, especially as it's the most expensive and we get a discount on the internet no matter what (thanks, LSU).

I mainly use cable for the DVR -- and I watch network shows, some USA, TNT and TBS. That's it. I don't watch HGTV or Food Network anymore. I also couldn't recor…

TIBTIL: Trader Joe's Instant Coffee

If you're a coffee snob, ignore this post.

I have plenty to write about, but I've been feeling unbelievably craggy lately -- anxious and crabby, dreadful and sulky. Most unattractive. Possibly related to the swinging temperatures and weather. But I digress.

Our Trader Joe's opened in October, and I have been a handful of times, usually to stock up on things (great organic peanut butter for Jane and stuff for my mom since her nearest TJ's is hours away). But the thing I bought that I love is their instant coffee.

I'm still having my negative reaction to coffee made at our house otherwise (even after cleaning the coffee maker thoroughly and trying different coffee). It just doesn't taste right. (Give me a latte from anywhere and I'm sailing though, so maybe I just need to add more milk ... anyway.)

I bought the TJ's instant coffee on a whim when I was grabbing stuff just before a storm. It ended up being delightful. It's definitely instant, but with f…

Road Tripping Toddler

Jane and I survived 24+ hours together in the car this week. We went to Oklahoma for my great aunt's funeral. I was very glad we went because the service was healing for me, as was being with my family and other people to whom Norma Lee had been very important. It always nourishes my soul to see Owen and Gran and Gingie and Aunt B.

The travel was less nourishing, as so much driving is utterly exhausting. Jane was a champ, and she read, colored and listened to songs all the way. She didn't sleep at all on the way there, despite a 5:45 a.m. wake up call and monotonous landscapes, cold temperatures and cloudy skies (see video below). I'll never understand her ability to fight off sleep even in a moving car.

On the way home she did grab a 30-45 minute power nap after lunch. It was sunny and much warmer, but I wised up and on the advice of my friend (with whom Jane stayed during the funeral) -- unlike on the way there I didn't engage with her, turned off the music and didn…

In Memory

Amtrak Rewards Expiring

I got a message from Amtrak saying my membership rewards were going to expire because I haven't taken an Amtrak trip in three years.

Oh, the passage of time.

That means it's coming up on three years that we've been gone from New York. And since I lived in New York a little less than three years I have lived in Baton Rouge about the same time. I certainly feel more rooted here -- home owner, in a church community a bit more here, etc. I'll always love New York as the place we started married life and lived the DINK life (double income, no kids). I wouldn't trade my life now for anything though!

Anyway, back to Amtrak.

There isn't really a way for me to take a trip on Amtrak here that I can see. Maybe New Orleans to Chicago? And I'm not thinking I want to do that. I also don't want to take the train from New Orleans to the East Coast. (I should have taken that DC to NYC trip with Jane while we were there in October, but who had the time ... or the money …

Recipe: Un-stuffed Bell Pepper Casserole

I really like stuffed bell peppers. I hadn't made them for a while, but at my mother-in-law's in October they had a bumper crop of peppers that needed to be used so we made some. YUM. I've made them a couple-three times at home since, and while not a hard recipe it does dirty a lot of dishes.

I read a recipe in All You once for a bell pepper casserole to give the same taste without as much work. I made the recipe as is, and it seemed to take a lot of work (like cooking the rice separately). I have my favorite stuffed bell pepper recipe from my mom, and I decided to use the same ingredients (actually doubled though) to make a casserole with bell peppers mixed in instead of stuffed. Here's what I did:

Browned 1 package of ground turkey (1.25 lbs) with 1 diced onion and 3 diced bell peppers until meat was brown and the veggies were soft. Then I added one ~14 oz can of diced tomatoes, 2/3 cup rice, 1 cup water, 2 TB Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp dried basil (original recipe …

Migraine Hangover

On Sunday evening I started coming down with a yuck headache -- not surprising since I had been feeling well for about a day after the whammo cold of last week. That's just my luck, I mean. It was concentrated on the right side of my head, mostly in the back, but I just popped some nighttime Tylenol and went to bed. (I'm really taking advantage of my newfound ability to take drugs again!)

Of course that was a night Jane was having trouble sleeping too. I was zonked out of it but also my head was throbbing despite the Tylenol so I couldn't really move and Shawn had to take care of her -- and therefore get way less sleep than he needed. The next day I pushed myself out of bed so he could get to work, and promptly felt 10 times worse after he'd gone.

I pushed through the nausea to make Jane's breakfast, fought with her to start eating it and then laid down on the couch, wishing for a couple more hours of sleep and for the ibuprofen I took to kick in. My head never did…

Winter Crochet

I made a few motifs during the sneauxpocolypse here. I've also been working on a baby sweater that may or may not fit Jane (and may or may not actually work out -- but I'll detail those woes in the post I write when it's finished).

I think my favorite motif was this Irish lace three-layered flower, the pattern from a crochet book I checked out from the library. Instead of three different colors, I just used one thread, which is variegated -- leftover from her purple swing set cardigan. I sewed it (badly) onto a hair clip we had, and Jane actually kept it in her hair a bit. Sweet!

I deleted my last post "Kindness" because it seemed absolutely unnecessary and self-pitying. People are very kind to me, and I remember those kindnesses. My sloppily made point was more about my mindset to be down on myself and feel alone. Thinking back on so many gratitudes helped change my attitude, at least a little bit!