Thursday, March 27, 2008

a shared birthday

This day started out extremely rough...after a night of little sleep, I elected to go in a bit late to work. After tearing through my car, then my purse and back through my car again, I was unable to find my ATM card that had gone MIA somewhere the day before. And since I had decided to go in late, I had to make a business call from home. I prefer that my work life and my non-work life live very separate lives from one another, so this little obligation put me further into my foul mood. On my way out the door, Craig and I even managed to get into a little tiff to add the cherry on top of my Crap Morning Sundae.

After arriving at work, other "minor-major" issues barely allowed me to set my purse down much less turn on my computer. Once these little fires were put out, I realized that it was time to go to a good-bye luncheon for a colleague. Where did the day go??? I had barely taken two sips of my much needed coffee before my brain had to wrap itself around the fact that it was lunch time. Off I went...

After lunch, my second wind refused to appear. So, Kevin and I headed to Starbucks, where he kindly treated me to an early birthday coffee. From down the other end of the store, I heard my name being called. It was my Aunt Patsy and her two grandchildren. I had just run into Patsy last week, but I hadn't see the kids in years. So, I turned to Audrey and Lucas and before I could even utter the word "hello", Audrey blurts out, "tomorrow's my birthday!!". To which I respond, "it's mine too!!". I must admit, Audrey seemed a little disappointed that I had piddled on her birthday parade. However, we did high-five each other for sharing such an auspicious day.

To be a kid again, where it is socially acceptable to announce your birthday in ANY part of ANY conversation. So, if I find myself in an awkward or unpleasant conversation tomorrow I will simply interject:

"Today's my birthday!!!"

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

for the halibut

Even thought I live in a "coastal" state, reasonably priced seafood is still out of reach. However, I am blessed to live in a multicultural city where ethnic ingredients are available just about anywhere. We love to eat Thai food, but it comes at a price and if you add fresh seafood and some libations, you end up with a substantially sized bill at the end of your meal. That being said, I have taken it upon myself to learn various ethnic styles of cooking to provide relief to my credit cards. Luckily the stars were on my side yesterday. Not only were we craving Thai food, but fresh wild halibut happened to be on sale. The spice of this dish is tamed when paired with a German-style Riesling or Gewürztraminer

Thai Styled Halibut with Coconut Curry Broth

2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
4 shallots, finely chopped (about ¾ cup)
2 ½ teaspoons red curry paste
2 cups of low sodium chicken broth
½ cup coconut milk
½ teaspoon salt, plus ¼ teaspoon, plus more for seasoning
4 (6-ounce) pieces halibut fillet, skin removed
½ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 scallions, green part only thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
freshly ground black pepper

Steamed spinach
2 cups of cooked brown rice, optional for serving

In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth, coconut milk, ½ teaspoon of salt and simmer until reduced to 2 cups, about 5 minutes.

Season the halibut with ¼ teaspoon salt. Arrange the fish in the pan and gently shake the pan so the fish is coated with the sauce. Cover and cook until fish flakes easily with a fork, about 7 minutes

Arrange a pile of steamed spinach in the bottom of 4 soup plates. Top with the fish fillets. Stir the cilantro, scallions, and lime juice into the sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle the sauce over the fish and serve with rice.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter

This post should be used as evidence in the event that I am mauled by my precious pups. There was some serious ass to kiss after this photo session, but the results were worth it. Thank god they have short term memories.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

it's that time again

Yes, this is the time of year when I become a "cycling widow", so to speak. As the weather becomes warmer, Craig takes to his bike for long afternoon rides. I teased him before he took off on his latest ride, telling him how lucky his bike was to take part in a little "Afternoon Delight". I think I may have even sang the chorus to that dreadful song. Oddly, he bolted away...

Soon, the freezer will be sharing space with frozen water bottles filled with performance drinks. The dining room table will be the permanent place for his bike helmet, glasses and other cycling gear. TiVo recording space will quickly fill up with European nail bitting bike races. Names of cyclists that I can barely pronounce will soon pepper our conversations. Cycling magazines will start to show up amongst the guitar, photography, food, and wine magazines we surround ourselves with. Socks will start to disappear as they become recruited in the ongoing cleaning, care and maintenance of the bike. And the refrigerator and pantry will be quickly emptied as Craig refuels after 70 mile rides.

And you might be asking what I am doing while all this riding takes place.... basking in the pure pleasure of a home to myself, bad music played way too loud, inappropriate food choices, bad TV, pedicures, shopping trips, cooking experiments and on and on.

Yeah! It's cycling season!!!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day

A little bit from a comic I recently discovered. Unfortunately, the video and the sound are a bit off... Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A trip down memory lane via Best Buy

Craig and I were recently at Best Buy and the cashier talked me into joining their Rewards Zone Program where they give you money back after collecting so many points… So, the cashier asks for my phone number and the exchange goes a bit like this…

“That phone number is coming up with someone else’s name”

“Whose? Craig? Ron?” (my ex husband)

“Nooo, no none of those…”

“Well, can you tell me who?”

“It says Dan Hall”

“WHAT?! My ex fiancé??? That’s not possible; I broke up with that idiot 16 years ago. Best Buy didn’t even exist then…nor did I have a cell phone back then. Can you just change the information?”

During this tirade, I was completely oblivious to the valuable entertainment I was providing to those around us.

“No, you have to use another phone number”

“I’ll just use your phone number Craig; and if it comes up with Jill’s name (Craig’s ex), I refuse to continue. Who knew that I would have my past relationships paraded out at Best Buy? Do you guys offer therapy in the Reward Zone Program?”


All this made me go home and Goggle the idiot ex-fiancé. And this is what I found

This guy needs a new routine. He surprised me with a serenaded proposal too when he popped the question …

I know, it makes you throw up a little in your mouth…huh?

Monday, March 10, 2008


Nadine is the most meditative being I know. Yes…she has her frenetic dog moments, but on warm nights you will find her quietly sitting on the back deck taking in the sounds and smells of the evening. Her gentle and calm manner has been magnified since Jerry’s arrival and her nurturing care of him has been nothing short of inspiring. And kindly, she has allowed Jerry to steal the spotlight with the knowledge that she shares stolen quiet moments with Craig and I, basking in our full attention. She makes me aspire to be the person that she thinks that I am.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Jerry and the giant orange

Recently, Jerry has been seduced by a pair of finches that live in the orange tree. He has become a very focused fellow; spending many hours in full-on bird watching mode.