Stress

I’m exhausted.

Obviously stress is in the air today. Nala ate through her perch in her cage. She has two, but only one runs the whole length of the cage and she ate the end off it.

She played with a bunch of her toys, so I don’t know whether to chalk it up to boredom, anxiety or rambunctiousness. But she’s been here about 16 days and she ate her perch.

I guess I need to find her some more toys. Although she does have a bunch.

She seems to be talking more and dancing more. Her favorite song is Angelina by Harry Belafonte.

Today I went through some medical bills, tax paperwork, a school fundraiser and some band trip stuff with my soon-to-be ex-husband. We all had dinner together. He brought a pizza.

Then I finished my chores. Laundry. Bird cages. Some vacuuming. The roomba would not go to home base. After an hour and with the battery almost dead I discovered why… the roomba had unplugged its own base while vacuuming.

And to make my day a little more demoralizing, I tripped over my own two feet walking between buildings at work. The administration offices and the literacy center are a block apart. And I just fell. I was hungry, probably worn thin from too much stress.

Someone across the street saw me, and yelled to see if I was alright. She was walking a very large dog. I got up and said I was fine. Barely even scraped my hands.

“Darn ice,” she said.

There was no ice. Just me and my faulty legs.

Sometimes I feel so healthy and strong.

Some days I feel so broken.

That is what it feels like to have cerebral palsy. Sometimes your body works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Matcha Quark

So when I still worked retail, and walked more than 10,000 steps a day and put away about 1,000 pounds of frozen food in addition to other physical stuff, I ate a big breakfast. Eggs, avocado, toast, fruit, vegetables.

For that decade, I worked hard and often didn’t know when I’d have time to eat. Big meals were a must.

But now I’m sedentary (and losing my will to go to the gym) and I’m just not as hungry. And I’m back to my bad habit of not having a proper breakfast.

Luckily, there are a lot of hearty yogurts out there and protein granola bars for a particularly rough start. Trouble is, I bore of food easily.

So when I see a new intriguing, protein-dense breakfast product I try it.

And the Grocery Outlet allows our household to try such things very inexpensively. That’s how I ended up with vanilla Farmer’s Cheese. Now, that was gross. But if I were hungry enough, I could have eaten it.

I also ate it a few days past the expiration but from what I knew about Farmer’s Cheese it is a cross between yogurt and cottage cheese so doesn’t that mean it’s already rotten? It certain had that exact texture.

Next I saw Quark.

Now, it was grass-fed Matcha Quark.

I have no idea what Quark is.

To me, Quark is the software I learned graphic design on nearly 25 years ago.

But I’ve loved matcha since before it was trendy.

Today I saw I had left it in the work fridge. This was good.

It stirred like yogurt, but pulled out of the cup like soft serve. No butter, acidic tang like yogurt. No bits or weird texture like the Farmer’s Cheese.

Organic Black Bean Pasta

It’s certainly not pretty, but it tastes better than it looks. It looks like a pile of slip.

I bought this gluten free black bean spaghetti at Marshall’s. I don’t usually shop there as my soon to be ex-husband worked at Marshall’s and I didn’t approve of their practices as employers or their merchandise.

But I am always looking for trendy forms of protein.

I got inspired (I blame too many episodes of Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares) to make Asian-inspired glazed chicken meatballs with pineapple and the black bean pasta with a cheater method peanut sauce.

The sauce is an easy 30-minute meal starter, and vegan. See the recipe on my old cooking blog where I chronicled every meal for about seven years: Peanut Butter (Thai) Noodles

The chicken meatballs turned to mush in the pan. It’s my own fault as some of the ground chicken was still frozen. I don’t know why I thought I could work around that.

Flavor was fine, but texture was like scrambled eggs.

As for the pasta, I liked it. The teenager didn’t like the texture of it, but I did. If anything I would call it a tad sticky. The teen referred to it as gummy.

Mini road trip

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and for the first time in more than a decade, the teenager and I both have “off.”

We had originally planned to go to DC, visit friends, renew the teenager’s passport and plot an African vacation.

But with a Goffin’s cockatoo still getting adjusted and a new kitten in the house, a three-day weekend away sounded disastrous.

My daughter complained that she was feeling the need to get away, so I suggested a day trip this weekend. I even offered to let her pick and plan it. She declined.

With the snow forecasted for Saturday and the pets already in a semi-routine, she suggested today, Monday, for an outing.

Of course, she didn’t wake until almost 11 (which gave me time to do dishes and a load of laundry). She did her chores and I offered her a choice: a childish little mini-road trip or a girls day out at the mall as we both need a few things.

We started the trip at the ATM and then Dunkin’ Donuts for egg wraps. Imagine the teens surprise when I accidentally ordered her TWO hot chocolates.

The surprise option was the Pocono Reptile and Animal Farm, which the web site said had special hours for the school holiday. When we got there, the door had a sign saying it was closed due to cold.

So I mapped a route to House of Candles in Henryville on Rte. 715, where my mom used to buy her candles.

The teenager is knee deep in my old witchcraft books. She’s reading a lot of Scott Cunningham books. She loved the shop and forgave me for making roads where there were none.

On the way home, we stopped at a different Dunkin’ to use the bathroom and ended up with sour cream doughnuts to finish the day.

Eating Polish Things

For Christmas, I got the teenager a subscription to Universal Yums, a snack box that send food from a different country to your door.

This month featured Poland.

We plan to do an unboxing and a tasting with every box.

This box featured a lot of chocolate. The three items that weren’t chocolate were pretzel sticks covered with poppy seeds, a milk caramel coconut candy and a potato chip called Monster Munch that was the same product as Frito Lay’s Munchos in a different shape.

For our review, visit my YouTube channel:

Universal Yums from Poland part 1

Universal Yums box from Poland, part 2

And for the initial box, the multicultural holiday box, see here:

Universal Yums holiday box

Kitten update

Not only is Mistofelees really doing well with the teenager, but the teenager helped our neighbors catch one of Misty’s siblings.

The word on the street is that that cat shall be named Smoky.

And I even got some kitten cuddles!

Here are some videos of Mistofelees, the one features Opie, our three-legged, cancer surviving 9-year-old male cat.

Opie and Misty

Misty purrs so loud

Turkeys and Trophies

The title and format of this post is homage to our local daily newspaper, The Express-Times, and their weekly column on the op-ed pages celebrating the best and the worst of the community that week.

Trophies

    I did three workouts this week.
    I packed several smart lunches.
    I went to the grocery store.
    My daughter and I worked well together trying to keep the house clean.
    I started the week eating fresh fruit. (I’m not a fan of much fruit.)

Turkeys

    I wanted to attend the book club last night at our local independent bookstore, Book and Puppet Company, but I didn’t read the book. And it was Zazie in the Metro so I really intended to join the group.
    Those workouts were five to ten minutes each.
    I ordered Dominoes twice and ate a ridiculous amount of pizza and two doughnuts.
    The fruit is languishing in the fridge.
    I watched way too many episodes of Kitchen Nightmares.