Monthly Archives: November 2013

Nov
30
  • Weekend Escape

    Every now and then, a brief out-of-town getaway seems good for John and me. Since this Thanksgiving was going to be quieter than our usual, I made sure to plan some other activities to get us out of house to reconnect and spend some quality time. On Friday, we did that Stanford hike followed by a stand-up comedy show in SJ. Today, we headed up north to the Vacaville Outlets and Sonoma for a quickie trip to wine country.

    The trip kinda started off on a late start this morning though. Last night, I didn’t sleep well at all. I had some Thin Mint chocolatey drink at the improv club, so the caffeine from that kept me up until 3. Then, in the middle of the night, I kept hearing Remy shuffling around and letting out a whimper here and there. I repeatedly got in and out of bed to check on her. By morning she was still up for breakfast and a walk in the park, but she looked really uncomfortable. I figured that when we got back to town on Sunday, I would put down some more carpeting in the house, clip her nails, and check in with the vet to see what the options are for discomfort. Her walking is super labored now. This downward progression has seemed to be happening slowly over the last several weeks. I thought maybe the cold nights were making her very stiff, so I started putting her on a heating blanket. John and I decided to continue our trip, but in the late morning, the dog sitter called saying Remy had no strength in her legs. I explained that yeah she seemed weak the night before but when we woke up that morning, she walked to the park. Maybe she was tuckered out from the walk. The sitter called again tonight after dinner, and she seemed worried because she didn’t notice Remy to be drinking water. She had eaten her kibble though, and there were no accidents in the house. But she said Remy appeared alert and could hear and watch– she just couldn’t walk. I asked the sitter to check on Remy in the morning and also mix water in with her breakfast kibble. John and I head home tomorrow.

    I’m feeling sad tonight, because this is how things go down, isn’t it? She’s almost 16 y/o. The body has started to go… this is something I have anticipated for a very long while, and yet, a part of me still feels incredulous. How did all those years pass so quickly? And shit, have I been in denial? What if Remy isn’t just uncomfortable but is actually in real pain… And I’ve just let this continue without having a more elaborate conversation with the vet? Maybe I have somehow become desensitized to her discomfort? John says that we should probably re-ask the vet for the joint meds– even if they are bad for her liver, because at the point that she can’t walk, what good is protecting the liver? I hope Remy will be better when we see her again tomorrow.

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Nov
29
  • Parental Update

    I’m pleased to report that my parents are sounding much better. I spoke with them this morning, and my father was very excited about a travel deal he just booked this week: They’re heading to Vegas in December. That’s the uplifting thing sometimes about talking with my parents. They’ll sound all miserable and be wallowing in self-pity, and then more often than not, something will motivate them to keep pushing. I think that’s where I also get some of my own resiliency. So after our buzzkill conversation last week, I emailed them a shitload of info on courses– both on- and off-line– and even though they didn’t check any of them out yet, they sounded busy (with rental house stuff) and re-invigorated.

    My father also told me that one of their old friends from like 20 years ago moved from Kansas to Vegas (after retirement), so they are going to actually try to coordinate a meetup. Thank goodness. This is pretty fast turnaround, and the next steps are way better than I had hoped: they are getting out, doing something new (checking out a new hotel even), and planning something with people!! Yay!

    Beyond that, today was a great day. John and I did the Stanford Dish hike: we were huffing and puffing. Afterwards, we hit up Jamba Juice, and then tonight we caught a hilarious, awesome stand-up show at our fav improv club. Yup, it was like a classic Californian day: walking outside in a tank top, sucking down fucking $5 smoothies, and then catching live entertainment out on the town (well, San Jose). And shit, the show tonight was so freaking funny. Aries Spears. What can I say, I’m completely enthralled by stand-up comedians. That is some serious skill: coming up with the idea, crafting the story, and delivering the bit. When it’s done well, I just can’t stop gushing.

    Tomorrow, Bubs and I are headed north for a day. The  more we spend time together, the more I am reminded of why we actually mesh well together. Yeah, the long road has not been easy, but I am thankful that we are in a good place and still going strong. Love you honey!

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Nov
28
  • Turkey Day!

    Thanksgiving is usually my favorite holiday of the year, but I kinda woke up on the wrong side of the bed today. I had trouble falling asleep last night, and then after drifting in and out of sleep this morning, I finally got my ass out of bed around 10. The cooking and prep began almost immediately. John and I had some disagreement over how to make the turkey… in the end, it took like 3 hrs. instead of the 1 hr. expected for a butterflied bird. I dunno what the hell happened, but our thermometer was busted, and John suspects the oven temp sensor is broken. John’s sister S and her beau came over in the afternoon. Among the four of us, we could have easily fed like 20 people. Thankfully, her boyfriend is a big eater and a big fan of leftovers, so they got sent home with a rather large bundle.

    This morning, I heard Remy pacing around our bed, and then in the hallway, I heard her legs dragging a bit more than usual. I immediately got up and found a trail of nuggets. Poor thing. I hope tomorrow fares better. I’ve been turning on an old heating blanket for the two pups at night. I can’t decide if the heat is better for her achy legs, or if it makes things worse for once she leaves the bed. Goddamn, she has slowed down so much in the last several months.

    So the holiday meal came out ok. Everything we made was edible, but just nothing mind blowing. I made cran sauce, bread dressing, and butternut squash-spinach salad.. John made sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, and actually did the turkey while I watched. S brought mac and cheese and green bean casserole. For dessert, I made banana-Nutella bread (didn’t turn out so great via the NuWave oven) and we bought pumpkin pie. So yeah, we kinda gorged ourselves. The weather is supposed to be stellar tomorrow (68 deg), so I hope that we will go biking or maybe even rollerblading. In the evening, we have tickets to the SJ Improv. J and I had a talk this evening about trying to live our lives differently– in a way that pushes us a bit beyond our comfort zones. I’m hopeful.

    I’m reminded today to count my blessings. I have a lot of good people in my life, and I am thankful. Happy Thanksgiving my friends!

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Nov
27
  • Turkey Day Prep

    Since I’m all domestic and shit now, I appointed myself in charge of the Thanksgiving meal. Usually, we always host a big party, but things are kinda different this year, so I was just going to cook for the two of us. Turns out, John’s sister will be in town also, so she and her beau will be joining. I have now made three trips to the grocery store. Every time, the places have been mobbed. Goddamn, I’d forgotten how big a holiday this is!! Two days beforehand, I received Sam Sifton’s Thanksgiving book in the mail– John’s not-so-subtle hint/reminder to not fuck up the biggest meal of the year. No pressure, right? Actually, since I was planning for a small group and I was the head honcho in charge, I set the expectations low from the get go. I’m still cooking up a lot, but whatever, some stuff I got started on today, like the cranberry sauce, a banana Nutella bread, and roasted butternut squash. It doesn’t ALL have to be made the day of, you know? So on the menu: butterflied roast turkey, gravy, bread stuffing, butternut/spinach salad, green beans (his sister to provide), and sweet potato marshmallow casserole. I’m feeling very full just listing all of this out! Well at least I’m feeling a bit more comfortable in the kitchen these days. My sense of taste is improving as well: pretty much, I just add double or triple my instinctive amount of salt. Haha.

    In other news, my new laptop arrived yesterday, and today I finished setting everything up. The old Adamo is getting shipped to SquareTrade for repair and then I plan to sell it. Always hustlin’.

    I had dinner last night with my buds T and M. Same old bullshit drama going on at work. Blows my mind the level and longevity of that bullshit. Drives me bonkers. Otherwise it was good to catch up, although clearly, I haven’t been in the best of moods lately. In fact, after I got home, I couldn’t sleep later and then I had a meltdown with John. All the old worries about work and figuring out my life resurfaced. I know I just have to keep doing what I’ve been doing. Something will come up. Just get back on that damn wagon!

    Speaking of which, I need to finish this week’s marketing classes and then figure out my ranch pitches next week for the city parks and recs. And I need to get back to that barre studio to finish out my Groupon. Ugh, but maybe sweating it out will do me some good.

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Nov
26
  • Buzzkill

    So as the universe would have it, no sooner did I complete my last Debbie downer blog posting, did my father give me a call. Goddamn, he always sounds so depressed and pathetic. He feels bored, useless, and lonely; Mom doesn’t like to exercise or leave the house (granted, the Mid-Atlantic is freezing outside this time of year); the two are ridiculously co-dependent, and so life trudges along with these two unabombers.

    When I talk with them on the phone (weekly), I feel instantly MORE depressed afterwards. You see, here are two people who had worked really, really hard for decades. At the end of it all, yeah they are financially secure, but they are also incredibly joyless. They worked for so long to the exclusion of doing all other things, and now they have no friends and no hobbies. My father’s only interest is real estate and stocks. At times, I find myself being hypercritical, as if all he cares about is money. But at the same time, I criticize myself. After all, aren’t I (and the entire extended family) beneficiaries of his diligence and obsession? Whether it’s optimizing for retirement through IRAs or tracking individual stocks, or watching finance shows… these earnings are all fruits of his labor. And I, of all people, should show a little more understanding and appreciation for his curiosity, his drive to learn, and his own way of “playing the game.” After all, when I am honest with myself, I see that we are driven by similar motivations. Why not maximize? Why not learn how the “system” works? Why not figure out what persuades people? Why not learn about how to be more sociable, more well-liked? Aren’t we both just trying to optimize in this game of life? Why don’t I consider these interests equivalent to hobbies? Particularly in the absence of nearby kin, kids, and grand kids, what more am I asking him to do?

    I suppose the answer is this. If these hobbies were to bring him joy, great. But he sounds unhappy on the phone. He needs to get out of the house. He needs to exercise. If mom is too lazy, he should still go out himself. I want them both to socialize, to do things with other people. I want them to stop hanging around just with each other, obsessing over how life has disappointed them.

    They don’t verbalize these things to me, but I know that’s how they feel. They are not connected to their two kids. They can’t relate to their peers (who are all grandparents). The focus is always on what didn’t turn out right, what is lacking in their lives. I know this mode of thinking, because more often than not, that is my own outlook. All my life, my deficiencies have been what drive me to try harder and to work harder. But what motivates also debilitates. If I identify my inadequacies and use them to focus on what’s next, there is a propulsion. But if, after a certain period of time, I look back and don’t feel the progress has been sufficient, the frustration with mediocrity crashes down with a paralyzing force.  Therapists call this an “all or nothing” outlook. I’ve read so many articles about successful people: forward movement is all about the baby steps. Over time, the improvement happens. But some days, my progress doesn’t feel considerable, and then I panic. I panic that my whole life will be like this– that I will keep searching, and keep trying, but in the end, I will be in the same place— like I’ve been swimming in one of those continuous current pools. I know I have to shift my focus to finding enjoyment in the baby steps, but see?? It’s a constant mind game with moving targets!!

    When I hear the sadness in my father’s voice, I don’t know what to do. I feel overwhelmed: At 37 years old, I’m still trying to figure out my own life!! Why is my father unhappy? He knows what he needs to do to feel physically stronger and better (exercise). He knows that science points to socialization and activities as a way to boost your spirits and improve quality of life. But he doesn’t do any of those things. Week after week, it’s the same story. So I lose patience, and I feel anger. I mean, honestly, this is a common theme with everyone around me who suffers from malaise: we already know the answer, but for whatever reason, it’s so difficult to move in that direction. I know that I too am guilty of this. The last two days, I’ve been feeling discouraged: I know that I have to exercise, socialize and get back on the wagon to keep my spirits up…

    With my father, I try to empathize. I tell him what I’ve learned in my mental skills classes. Just because you aren’t active now doesn’t mean you can’t be tomorrow. If mom doesn’t want to join you, go by yourself. Do things you enjoy. Learn something new. Volunteer. Do something that involves other people and puts some routine back into your life. Like my professor said, it takes the same amount of energy to think positively as it does to think negatively. What are you going to choose? Sit and complain and be miserable, or try to do something differently to achieve a different outcome?

    After I ended our call, I set up accounts for them on Coursera and Udemy. And I sent my mother information on iPad workshops and community college classes. Maybe they’ll come across something new and interesting to learn and that’ll help jump start them for the new year. Sheesh! What a drag to hang around Debbie Downers!!

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Nov
25
  • Struggling

    I’m struggling a bit today. I had another night of shitty sleep… I thought all my insomnia woes would disappear after leaving the job, but I dunno. I guess I’m always worrying about something. But I woke up this morning determined to make some inroads today. I’m still pushing these leads for the ranch, and then I went back to the job hunt. The last few people I’ve contacted about informational interviews haven’t responded. I know, it’s a holiday week, so people are probably running around crazy. But I dunno. I guess I just kinda needed a bite.

    I’m a little bummed, because I’m sensing that the horse thing is not really going to be sustainable long-term. As John keeps saying, it’s not something you do for the money. The numbers just don’t add up. And I think going into this, I knew that but now I’m feeling a little disappointed by the reality, even if it doesn’t come as a surprise.

    I am enjoying working my brain a different way, doing some light sales and trying to come across convincing and such. The people so far have been nice, but in the end, it really is all about the conversions. I spent a little bit of time combing through job postings this afternoon… I just don’t feel jazzed about anything in the usual tech/web content space. I wonder if maybe I just haven’t come across the right opportunity, but what if there isn’t a right opportunity? I’ve been searching for so long.

    And John is getting increasingly stressed and unhappy with his work. I feel like it’s time to get back to living IRL (in real life), you know? I’m a little defeated today. And I made the stupid mistake of looking at Facebook’s and LinkedIn’s recommended connections: All these people who have it all figured out. Fuck.

    I didn’t call my parents this week. I mean, they haven’t been pressuring me, but it’s almost like a conditioned response  I have. Like I anticipate that the job situation will come up, and then I just stress that I have nothing new to report. Three months after leaving, I have nothing that makes a living. And then with the upcoming holidays… everyone is going to be asking me what I’m doing. If I had kids, unpaid work would be an acceptable response. Ugh, I’m falling into that destructive spiral again about expectations and self worth and life purpose.

    On the bright side, I went out this afternoon and got ingredients for Thanksgiving. Every year we host a party, but this year is kinda quiet. I think we just want to be alone with each other. I’m going to try and do a modest dinner. And tonight I’m trying a new recipe as well. Thank goodness my buddy G turned me on to Skinnytaste. The recipes are actually doable for my level, and stuff comes out tasty! Well, I’d better get cooking: John will be home soon.

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Nov
25
  • Picture Day

    Sundays are my usual riding days. If I’m in town, I’ll head to the ranch for a lesson at noon. Today, John joined, which meant that my lesson was a full-blown photo shoot. I cannot get enough pictures of me with horses. I never post updates on Facebook, except for when I have a cool new riding pic. Haha. You’ll have to check out my Flickr photostream for the latest (I selected a very short list from what was captured today). Just so you know.

    Unfortunately, the lesson itself was a bit frustrating today… 2+ years into this riding thing, and I wish I could truly feel when I’m posting the trot correctly and when I’m cantering/loping on the correct lead. But I can’t. That’s my problem: I don’t feel things. I can’t feel when which leg is hitting the ground. My brain just doesn’t register that way. So, I have to learn riding through methodical steps, through a concrete list of how-tos. My plan is, once I have the steps down, then I can focus on connecting the mechanical to what I’m physically feeling. I dunno. To be honest, today was just off. For so many weeks, I was on a role: Chip just did everything right. Today, he bobbed his head a lot, and he didn’t move straight. Also, I couldn’t tell if I had my cadence right. I was staring down at his shoulders and looking at my shadow, but ugh!!

    I spoke with another rider who started around the same time, and she said she has the same problem, so I suppose it’s comforting that we’re both experiencing similar challenges. Also, it’s nice to find someone who kinda learns the same way– through process and protocol rather than through feeling. I think I’ll have to watch some YouTube videos again to visualize getting back into the cowgirl zone.

    In other news, I’m all caught up on my Coursera marketing class. I scored a 100% on quiz 2. I mean, granted the questions aren’t really all that hard and it’s multiple choice, but still. It’s a nice ego boost. Haha. Plus, I’m still just learning so much. There are three more weeks left, and then I have to plot out my next class.

    What else? This weekend, I was hoping to do some hands-on product research. I went to a few jewelry stores to see if they had the bracelet I am eyeing. No luck. Then, I went to a couple of electronics stores to test out the Acer Aspire. No longer on demo. As it happens, when I went online to think about getting the Yoga 2 Pro, it’s completely sold out– from Friday to today!! Everywhere. I dunno if maybe everyone read the same tech review article or what, but I guess that solves my dilemma. My Acer arrives this week, and I’ll just stick with the original plan. Keeps things simple.

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Nov
23
  • Back to School

    Oh man, five minutes til midnight and here I am, cranking out the day’s post. Shit, when is this NaBloPoMo over? Just kidding. It is definitely a race to the finish line at the end of each day, but I’m sorta getting the hang of this I think. It seems the words are flowing more freely. I dunno. Feels that way anyhow.

    So today… what did I do? The house was actually freezing this morning, so I stayed in bed (with the heated topper) longer than I had intended. Granted, I had awoken at 4a to use the bathroom, and then I couldn’t go back to sleep. I dunno, I had some irrational fears that the jeweler was going to get my ring’s model number all wrong and then maybe my ring would get swapped out entirely with a different setting. I know, I told you it was an irrational fear. Anyway, after digging around online, I finally found my model number,  and naturally, after that task was done, I switched over to shopping for my next piece of jewelry to purchase. I feel a little weird, because twice now, I have gone to this jeweler to handle the repair of my ring, and she hasn’t gotten any business from me. We purchased the ring 11 years ago from Bailey Banks and Biddle in Virginia. That store has since shut down, so really, she’s just offering this service (as an authorized seller) to send it to the maker. But repairs are typically covered under warranty, so that doesn’t translate into real dollars for her. I DID write her business its very first Yelp review, but… Oh well, John keeps saying he wants to buy me something nice and pretty. I’m thinking wedding bands are pretty outrageously priced, so instead, I’m eyeing some bracelets. Check this baby out. Gorgeous, right? I’ll have to see if it’s anywhere in store: I need to try it on, because as I learned, shit always looks different standing alone vs. on my wrist/hand.

    Long story short, I was up from about 4 -7a putzing around online. Not looking at jewelry the entire time, but definitely trolling all over the goddamn internet. It’s a freaking bottomless time sink. Then, I did Mary Maddux and crashed into deep slumber for a couple more hours. When I finally got going, I came across a tech review of a laptop (different than the one I had ordered) that released last month and costs $300 cheaper with a better screen resolution!! Goddamnit! So we went to Best Buy to check it out. The Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro is quite impressive. Tomorrow, I’ll have to hit the Microsoft Store to see how the Acer Aspire S7 compares. I guess I can always send back the unopened box to Amazon. It’s just a hassle. Ho hum, another day in the life of a hustler. Always trying to get the best deal. I need to stop doing so much product research, right? Haha.

    In the evening, I had another business meeting at the ranch. A group of us spent two and a half hours discussing branding and such. I met the digital marketing specialist lady. She seemed knowledgeable. For the three of us outsiders helping the ranch with business development, I feel like there’s overlap in our areas of expertise and skills (web and marketing), but I’m kinda ok with sitting back on the web and newsletter content and instead focusing more on sales. It’s a more challenging exercise for me this way. Anyway, the branding meeting was productive– it just ran long. Tomorrow, I head back for my weekly lesson at noon. I think after a week of rain, it’ll be beautiful out.

    And tonight I’m ending my day by hitting the books again. I finished watching this week’s lectures for the marketing class, and now I’m about ready to take the second quiz. I took copious notes, so hopefully all goes well. Wish me luck!

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Nov
22
  • Three Things

    I feel like I only accomplished three things today. Surely, I did more than that, but if I just go off the top of my head, three is all that pops up. First, I had my 11th informational interview (yeehaw!) with a guy who works for Goldstar. He was super candid, and Goldstar definitely sounds like a cool, fast-paced place to work. But I think I will have to still chase down the other Goldstar peeps I contacted who work in partner relations and such. Even though my last job was tech, I’m feeling drawn more to marketing/sales/biz dev these days, so I’ll have to explore that further. The second thing I did? I took my ring to the jeweler. Holy shit, the price of metals have skyrocketed!! When I got my ring appraised in 2002, platinum was under $600/Troy oz. Now? Almost $1500!! Say what?? Should I be looking into jewelry and metals for investments?? A curious thought. Anyway, the jeweler will have to ship my ring off to the manufacturer, and then they will determine how best to fix it. Apparently, when the lady examined my ring under the loop, she said it was quite worn– the metal stretches a bit over time and the prongs were worn down. Well, the ring is 11 years old, and I wear it nearly every single day. I feel sad that it’s beaten down, and part of me worries how they will fix it. I mean, they don’t even make my model anymore… I guess I’m feeling a bit more sentimental about my ring that I’d like to admit. That was such a happy time. I remembered feeling so blessed every damn day to have found my soulmate.

    John and I are getting along great these days, but things are just different. We both feel old, and I think we both have a very tangible fear of aging… like we really don’t have many good, active, able years left. But back to the jeweler. She was suggesting I get another something something… I saw a few pretty things, but yeah, even my hands are old now. Shit just doesn’t look as good on my fingers as they used to. I know, are you playing the violin for me? I don’t know how I could bring myself to purchase another trinket. Shit, I’m still in 2002 pricing… and with that rate of inflation, maybe I’ll get a Pandora charm or something. Haha. So fucking cheap.

    The third accomplishment of the day? John and I met up at Melting Pot for dinner. It used to be one of our favorite romantic date night spots back in the day. The menu has changed and portions are way smaller and the flavor isn’t quite up to par, but we always have a good time there. Boy, am I sounding super nostalgic or what? Yeah, poor me: I was young once. Sigh.

    Speaking of aging, I’ve been freaking out a bit about it this week, and so today I purchased a 3-pack Groupon for IPL facials. Fuck yeah, I am vain! I have all these spots (some people call them freckles) and scars… I need a new face. First appointment is tomorrow. This had better transform my life, know what I’m saying? Am I setting the expectations too high? Nah.

    Other items for the weekend: I need to finish up the lectures for my marketing class, and then the quiz is due on Sunday. I’m a few classes behind. Then we’re having a working dinner meeting at the ranch tomorrow to discuss branding. Sunday is my riding lesson, and then the new week begins. I gotta get my ass to the store for Turkey day ingredients. Damn, I am always running behind the 8-ball. Well, I’ll report back tomorrow. Hope you’re enjoying these frequent posts, because they are still killing me!! Two more weeks to go.

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Nov
21
  • Upgrading the Adamo

    I’m upgrading my laptop… finally. Why? Because the damn thing ran out of space half a year ago (128 GB SSD), and I’ve done all that I can moving files off of the drive and into the cloud or onto an external drive. Every few days, my shit still maxes out, causing the computer to freeze multiple times a day. Argh.

    When I got my Dell Adamo three years ago, I’d researched it all on my own. John had been peddling the MacBook laptops, but after I decided to stick with Windows and PC, he removed himself from the purchasing process. My Adamo was a real beauty when I got it, and even though the order process through Dell was an absolute customer service nightmare (they kept fucking up the specs),  in the end, I was beyond pleased with the product. And everywhere I traveled (overseas and such), people complimented me on finding such a beautiful, thin, light, powerful computer. Yeah, I patted myself on the back with this one. And certainly, I’ve subjected my Adamo to some intense use. I mean, you know me: I’m on the damn computer nearly 24/7. Even when I was working during the day at the office, I would come home and push Adamo to the limit for several hours every night.

    So a few months ago, bubbles started appearing on Adamo’s display. At first, I though the issue was damaged pixels along the edges, but after I took it to the repair shop (the guys there was also impressed with Adamo!), the techs determined that it was some kind of screen de-lamination. Since I have SquareTrade warranty for the unit, I figure I’ll get it fixed and then re-sell the computer. Always hustlin’, I tell ya!

    So tonight, I plopped myself down for a good couple of hours and researched my Adamo replacement. Typically, I always seek something small (13″ display), light, fast, and beautiful (high screen resolution). This time also, I want to make sure to get as much storage space as possible (SSD and RAM). The conclusion of my OCD search? The Acer Aspire S7-392. It arrives next week; I’ll have to set it up with all my programs and files. Setup will easily take an entire day. But I’m stoked.

    I’ve been playing around the last couple of weeks with John’s old iPad. I like the tablet a lot, but still, nothing comes close to the full functionality of a laptop/desktop. Seriously: Photoshopping, using spreadsheets, formatting docs, using multiple windows and tabs… I need the whole shebang in order to achieve peak productivity. Haha. I know, I sound crazy. Well, what can I say, tech is my line of work. Gotta have the tools to optimize.

    Speaking of productivity, after a week of getting zippo responses from several info interview targets, I finally got a bite on Tuesday. I’m calling the guy tomorrow afternoon. And I sent out a ton more requests to other people in my spreadsheet. I can’t be discouraged by the no shows, know what I mean? Gotta keep plugging. Also, for the ranch, I have been doing some cold calling/emailing to area cities. I got several bites today. Yee haw! Gotta start bringing in those riding reservations if I want to start seeing the money!!

    I’ve cooked three nights this week: all new dishes. Last weekend, I went to the Harvest Festival in San Mateo. One of my Lean In classmates had a booth selling her gourmet sauces. I bought a bunch of them, and so I’ve been trying out her recipes. Pretty unique flavors and so crazy easy!! Using the sauces cuts out a ton of steps!! I guess it does kinda help that my kitchen skills in general are improving also. Thank goodness! Now that my food comes out edible, I’m actually starting to enjoy this cooking phase!! The true test might have to be Thanksgiving. I’m making a meal just for John and me this year– small and simple.

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