Sunday, December 4, 2016

Best of November 2016

November just sort of flew by without any warning.  I can honestly say it probably wasn’t one of the best months in 2016.  Both because of busyness with work for both of us, but also because of the upheaval and emotions falling out from the 2016 presidential election results.  I was left in deep sadness and it still hasn’t really left me yet.  On top of that, I caught a bad cold and then had some sinus issues due to the cold, so it wasn’t a fun month overall.  Plus we’re having the 3rd re-org at work this calendar year.  Every time there’s a re-org I have to redo the budget.

One good thing I did experience was good sleep in November though.  I think I went to bed on time and slept well overall, so that is a plus. 

November started out inauspiciously when the Cleveland Indians, who were ahead of the Cubs 3 games to 1, had an epic meltdown and lose the World Series.  I know lots of Cubs fans young and old were elated, and I certainly would rather lose to the Cubs than any other team, it was still an epic meltdown after going ahead 3 games to 1.  I couldn’t even watch Game 7 and made Todd watch it in the living room with Noodle.  He said it was an epic game.  I’m just glad the Cavaliers won the NBA championship in June, or else Cleveland would be the sorriest sports city ever.

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Todd worked many early mornings and late nights, and one entire Friday night until midnight for the software deployement at his work.  As a result, we ate a lot of takeout dinners.  It was less healthy and I feel like I got into an unhealthy eating habit that still hasn’t escaped me yet.  I probably gained a few pounds. 

We went to see the movie “Doctor Strange” at the Angelika Theater (pre-reserved recliner seats!) with Anne & Gilbert and that was quite fun.  I enjoyed the movie, even though it was pretty ludicrous.  But again, it’s a Marvel movie so it’s not meant to be realistic. 

At work I had to pack up my cube and move out completely, because they started demolition and remodeling of my workspace.  I thought I wasn’t going to have an office at work for four weeks while they remodeled, but my admin found me a desk amongst the engineers.  I’m sitting in a remodeled desk with the engineers until mid-December, when my space is finished being remodeled.  I had been in my cubicle for something like 11 years, so I thought it would be a tough transition to an open floor with open desks.

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But it’s actually been just fine!  The open floor plan lets a lot more light in, so I actually sort of like it.  After being threatened with this for almost a year, I am relieved to find out that I don’t hate working in an open desk concept.  My final remodeled space will be identical to the above, except in a different part of the building.  The desk goes up and down electronically with the push of buttons, so I can go from sitting to standing, vice versa.  I had purged a TON of my stuff prior to the demolition, so I’m left with only the things I need, which is nice.

Todd finally received the $2,500 rebate check from the State of CA for buying an electric car.  I got to drive it to work for the first time since we bought it, because Todd was playing keyboards with his chamber music club at work for a work event and needed the bigger Subaru to haul his keyboard.

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I drove the electric car, so now I can call myself a true Californian!

I started making my “Making Me Happy This Week” lists again in November, in my “Life Makeover” notebook.  I needed to get myself out of my funk and making the lists makes me happy, and reading it later makes me happy all over again. 

Todd noticed that the Circle K by our house has a whole new wall of fountain sodas and coffees.  We started a new weekend and holidays tradition of going to the Circle K for morning coffee and sodas.  It has been quite chilly in the mornings, so I got to wear my puffer vest for the first time.

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I super-love the combination of half medium roast and half hazelnut coffee, with half regular half-and-half and half hazelnut creamer.  I know, it’s a lot of halves, but it’s my perfect coffee & creamer combo.

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We went to visit our friends Cat & Mick the weekend before Thanksgiving.  We had a fun time visiting them because I hadn’t seen them in a long while.  They invited Todd and I to their house for Thanksgiving dinner and we were very excited about it.  But I got sick the week of Thanksgiving and was not feeling well, so we ended up not going and just spending our Thanksgiving at home by ourselves.  It sounds kind of sad, but we were not sad.  I’m not big on Thanksgiving traditions so it wasn’t like a big letdown.  We would have liked to spend it with Cat & Mick though!

We ate a lot of comfort foods this month, probably because we needed comforting.  We went to Santouka for the shio ramen.

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We went to Ironside Fish & Oyster, where I had the lobster roll.

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Afterwards, we went over to Coronado and shared ice cream at Moo Time, or favorite ice cream in San Diego.

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Going to Coronado is always fun and makes me really glad to live in San Diego.

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We also went to eat at Lourdes, one of our favorite Mexican food in San Diego.  I love their chicken soup there, it’s so good.  And right across the street is this view.  Not bad.  We also got to go to the newly opened Pappalecco in Cardiff and get gelato.

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I wore red white and blue on election day.  But we all know how that went.

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I saw a beautiful sunrise one morning.

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And a stunning sunset one evening while leaving work.

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It really was the small beauty and everyday small thankfulness that got me through November.

I bought this t-shirt and wore it while enjoying the Gilmore Girls:  Year In The Life revivial on Netflix.

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I liked the growth in Lorelai and Emily, but was disappointed in Rory.  I predicted the ending and the last four words after seeing “Winter”.  It was fun that I was right, but it made Rory’s lack of progress and growth more glaring.

Todd made banana bread and it was really delicious.  He brought most of it to work though, so the two of us wouldn’t eat it all.

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AJ & Meera invited us to their house to watch the Ohio State vs Michigan annual rivalry game.  Meera made breakfast and it was delicious.  We brought AJ an early Christmas gift and he loved it.  I love those two people and it was so good to see them.

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And of course, it was very joyous that the Buckeyes won in double overtime.

It actually rained a bunch during Thanksgiving week, and it was cold.  This was unsual.  But it felt good to wear warm soft clothes and snuggle under a blanket the entire long weekend, while it was raining outside. 

We also ate at Tofu House, which is another one of our cold weather comfort foods.

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Todd made an incredible meatball in marinara sauce in our pressure cooker.  It was so good!

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While we have a pressure cooker, we couldn’t resist buying an Instant Pot on Black Friday.  It  was such a good deal.  We figured we could get rid of our slow cooker, since this Instant Pot also functions as a slow cooker, besides being a pressure cooker.

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I’ve already made a slow cooker miso tofu ramen soup and it was delicious.

Noodle was a big source of comfort this month.  He gets very snuggly and needy when it finally gets cold here in San Diego.  One morning this week he jumped up on the recliner and plopped himself down in my lap.  This almost never happens to me, so I enjoyed it.

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He still loves shoulder-surfing on Todd.

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This is a cute photo of Noodle and Todd.

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On most mornings I find Noodle sunning himself in this corner by the sliding glass door.  I love it, and so does Noodle.

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I usually journal every night in my Hobonichi planner, but I only did so about half the time in November.  I just didn’t want to remember some of those days, or they were just uneventful.  December is usually not my favorite month either, but I’ve decided to make the best of it.  I don’t get to take a bunch of days off in December like most people do, since I work in finance and have to close the books for year-end and finish next year’s budget.  I hope to have a good December though.  Small joys!

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Monday, October 31, 2016

Best of October 2016

It wasn’t until I was looking at my photos today for October that I realized I was a bad photo-taker this month.  We did a lot of things with friends and have no photos of those events.  I just didn’t take very many photos.  Hopefully I can remind myself to take more photos next month!

I went to visit my good friend Sally and her 4.5 years old twins.  I can’t believe they are 4.5 years old already!

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I brought my Fuji Instax printer and some washi tapes, and we took photos and printed them out.  Then I taught Nina how to scrapbook!

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Todd went to Denver to visit his “little brother” Aaron.  (Todd was in Big Brother Big Sisters for five years and was Aaron’s Big Brother from age 9 to 14.  Aaron is now 30!)

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I worked a LOT this month because I had to put the 2017 budgets together at work, on top of my normal job responsibilities.  It kind of sucked.

We made Cast Iron Loaded Beef Nachos for the Buckeyes vs Indiana football game.  It was yummy!

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We also made all these other yummy dishes that were new.

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Pressure cooker chicken lentil soup.

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Todd made this Pasta with Cauliflower, Bacon, and Bread Crumbs from America's Test Kitchen on National Pasta Day. So yum!

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I casually sent a link of this recipe for brownie cookies from Smitten Kitchen to Todd. A couple of days later, they suddenly appeared from the oven. Granted, they were not all for me. But my husband is magical, there's no denying that.

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We went running at the beach for the first time in a long while, and it was a perfect day for it!  I actually like going to be beach in the fall the best.  It’s not cold, but all the tourists are gone and it’s not crowded and there’s plenty of parking.

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We had dinner with our friends Pete & Cass and their family at Fresco’s.  Unfortunately I forgot to take any photos.

I signed up for Stitch Fix (a personal styling company for clothing) and got my first box of five items.  I tried them all on and while they all fit, I didn’t like four of the items enough to keep them. I only kept this pencil skirt.

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We watched a ton of Cleveland Indians playoff games.  Hoping they will seal the deal tomorrow night in Cleveland.

I had lunch with the girls at work at Macaroni Grill to celebrate October birthdays.  It was really fun and I shared Todd’s brownie cookies with everyone.  I forgot to take photos.

I also took my friend Erecca out to lunch for her birthday.  And forgot to take any photos.

We went to our friends Anne & Gilbert’s house for chili dinner and to watch the VA Tech vs Miami football game.  And I forgot to take photos.  Ugh!

We flew to Ohio for a four day trip to hang out with Todd’s family.  We watched Buckeyes lose to Penn State (sniff).  We ate Donatos Pizza and Penn Station sandwiches.  We bought Cleveland Indians World Series shirts.  We went to Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland to see Manhattan Transfer and Take 6 in concert.

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We took a walk in the woods and enjoyed the fall scenery, which is quite different than San Diego.

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On the way home from Cleveland, we flew through Chicago and were subjected to the “Go Cubs Go!” song on our flight.

Todd helped me sold my 17.5 year old Honda Prelude on Craigslist!  He sold it for $2,250 MORE than Carmax was willing to give us.  I bought him (yes, it's a him. His name was Rico) in June 1999 in Dayton, Ohio. He was shipped to San Diego in December 1999 when we moved. He never had to experience a harsh winter. In 17.5 years and 105k miles, he never let us down. I loved Rico. But now it was time to let him go to someone else who will enjoy driving him. Rico lives on!  (But I miss him already.)


Todd had to work a lot this month too, due to a software deployment at work.  He’s worked nights and weekends.  Probably more than me, and I worked a lot too!  Just a month of working hard.

I had my annual physical at my doctor.  He checked this new mole I have on the back of my hand.  It was OK, but he said if it gets bigger or changes, we’ll biopsy it.  Just a reminder to get your annual physicals and see the doctor if anything out of the ordinary happens with your body.  You know your body best!

Noodle gained some weight while we weren’t paying attention.  He needs to go on a diet again to lose a pound.  But he’s still cute, obviously.

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Found a sunny spot!

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Noodle guilted me into posting a photo of him by telling me it was National Cat Day and all the other catmoms already posted photos of their kitties. Even cats are susceptible to Internet comparison. Smile

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I’ll be excited when I recap November and the election is over.  I’m so over it.  I vote by mail ballot and I just voted yesterday and put it in the mailbox.  Lots of state and local issues, not just the big national presidential election.  I think what this election has made me feel is: unsettled. I'm saddened to see how some Americans have acted (on both sides). And personally it's unsettling to see people I like on the far other side from me. I have to reconcile all that in my mind. Obviously I don't just discard friends who are voting differently. And it's good to have different friends and not surround oneself with people like oneself. It's still unsettling. I'm sad this race is so divisive.  I’ll be glad when it’s over.

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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Best of September 2016

September has come and gone!  We had a more laid-back September, even though work was very busy and it ended with very hot temperatures in the high 90’s.  I’ll be excited for the weather to cool down a bit!

The college football season started and of course we were very excited to watch our Buckeyes!  For the entire summer we couldn’t get the local FOX channel because of a contract dispute with DISH Network.  It was resolved just in time to watch the Sept. 17th game versus the Oklahoma Sooners.  That was a great win!

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Todd played puzzles again in September.  Of course, Noodle wanted to “help”.

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We went to La Jolla Shores beach with Sally and her kids.  Hadn’t seen them in a long while and it was fun.

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Beach hair, don’t care.

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Todd got invited by some work colleagues to go indoor rock climbing.

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Todd got a new MacBook Pro at work.


I decided to buy some new clothes that fit me.  A lot of my clothes were too small and didn’t look good.  I figured I should still buy clothes that look and feel good, even if I’m planning on losing a few pounds. 

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I haven’t been able to wear the long sleeves and utility jacket yet, because it’s been so darn hot still!

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Todd competed in the San Diego Triathlon Classic – Olympic Distance.  We got up really early that Saturday and I went with him in the dark.  He got his gear set up in the transition area and I watched his swim start.  Here he is getting out of the water after swimming a mile.

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On the way out of transition with his bike.

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At the end of the bike segment.

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Midway through the run.

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And at the finish line with his medal.  I’m so proud of him!

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During his 1.5 hour bike ride, I went to Panera to have breakfast.  It was nice because it broke up the hours of waiting for him, since I couldn’t see him on his bike until the end of the bike ride anyways.  Way to go Todd!

We went to lunch at Kappa Sushi and they happened to have their anniversary specials.  So I got an awesome & delicious poke bowl.

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And soft-shelled crab sliders!  So yummy!

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We went to see Gordon Goodwin’s Little Phat Band downtown.  Todd loved it!

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I finished an extensive project at work, getting ready for an audit.  So Todd and I celebrated with dinner at China Max.

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He also got me a little lemon bundt cake, which was yummy.  I presented to the auditor on 9/28 and it went really well!

We played around with some Halloween costumes at Target.  I think Todd makes a good Captain America!

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I got a haircut.  (I get a haircut every 3 months.)

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We went to the September Chef’s Tasting Dinner at Veranda at Rancho Bernardo Inn.  It was yummy, but too much food so I didn’t eat it all.

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We cooked a super-yummy miso ramen soup in the pressure cooker.

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The leaves started turning!

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We got a ton of new outdoor furniture at work.  They also expanded the wifi to outside, so people can work outside and have meetings outside if they wanted to.  It’s nice.

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An extreme close up of Noodle curled up.

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More Noodle photos.

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He found a patch of sun!

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And finally, a double-decker of relaxation!

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We started watching some new fall TV shows.  So far we like This Is Us, Lethal Weapon, Designated Survivor, and Pitch.

Onwards to October!  I hope the weather cools down so I can spend some time in my craft room! 

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