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Archive for July, 2012

I know, I know… this is the second rage-y post in the space of a week. While I don’t want this little blog to be “all vitrol, all the time;” some of the reactions to the Penn State Sanctions have got my undies in a bunch.

(If you’re outside the U.S., here’s a quick two-paragraph explanation of what I’m talking about.) (Thank you, Wikipedia.)

I had the TV on at work this morning, and they showed some interviews with upset Penn State students/faculty. “I understand the sanctions were necessary, bu I don’t understand why they’re punishing innocent people.”

My initial reaction.

Punishing innocent people?

What about the innocent people– nay, innocent children— who were harmed by Sandusky’s perverse actions? What about the people who had their innocence stripped from them at a young age? What about the “innocent people” who are going to be paying therapy bills for the rest of their lives because Penn State Football was more important than child safety?

Punishing innocent people, my pants. Charging a fine and taking away a couple of ball games is barely even a punishment, it’s an inconvenience. An inconvenience that will never, ever undo what has been done to those kids at the hands of Jerry Sandusky.

I like the fact that they vacated all the wins from the last fourteen years. If you won a sporting event while you were covering up child abuse, you really didn’t win at all. I also like that they’re giving current players and opportunity to transfer without having to wait a year.

My advice to Penn State fans: Think of these next four years of sitting out post-season and bowl games as an important lesson–  child abuse hurts everyone.

***

Personally, I thought the NCAA should’ve issued the death penalty.

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Dear Michael Berry:
Nobody on the liberal side wants to “punish” the wealthy. We simply want to them to pay their share of taxes. Someone who makes seven figures per year has the money to pay a higher tax rate and still be okay. Someone who makes twenty thousand a year teaching third grade, however, does not. This is called “common sense.” Please advise.

Dear Boy Scouts of America:
What today’s young children *need* is to learn that all positive role models come in different shapes, colors, creeds, and orientations. By re-affirming your ban on gay leaders and members, you are teaching them that discrimination is okay. You are teaching them to be bigots. You will lose members, leaders, and supporters for this decision, and you will deserve it.

***

I am a liberal. That means that I want the United States of America to be a better place for EVERYONE– not just heterosexual white Christian men. Because right now, this country is a “great place” for those people alone, and that isn’t right.

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On Notice

(Pic Unrelated)

I gave my two weeks’ notice to the Home Care Agency today.

Not because I don’t like it– I do– but because I want to focus more on dance and teaching in the coming year, and it would be difficult to juggle those schedules along with my current early to bed/early to rise modius operandi. Not impossible, just more inconvenient than I’d like to handle. So today I typed up a brief, polite letter, printed it out at the place I call “Office Max” (which is actually Office Depot, and while I understand that those are two different companies, I do not care), and hand-delivered it to my supervisor.

I was nervous on my way over there, expecting to get yelled at (or just passive-aggresive’d at), but nothing of the sort.

My supervisor looked sad, but understood my reason for leaving, and that the family likes me and appreciates what I do. I’m sure they won’t be thrilled about my resignation– and neither will their sweet, wonderful family member who is so used to seeing me every morning.

I’m resigning so I can do what’s right for me– work a higher-paying job in the field that I love with more “normal” hours– but I know that in the process, I messed things up for some other people. Now my supervisor has to find someone else to work at 6am; my client will have to adjust to a new caregiver, and the family members have the angst of “we finally got a good caregiver but now she’s QUITTING ARGH.”

So even though I’m happy, I also ruined several peoples’ day. That’s never nice.

***

That said, I had a very productive day. I’m ready for a glass of wine, some dinner, and the rest of Mockingjay. Have a good night, bloggies!

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Huscat and I ate Sunday night dinner together.

I mentioned in my last post that he’s usually still at work/out swimming when I go to bed. Since we’ve been keeping different hours, I’ve been preparing and eating dinner around 5:30pm and leaving his portion on the stove/in the fridge for whenever he comes in (usually around 9). It wasn’t until I was setting the table on Sunday that I realized I couldn’t remember the last time we ate together. Three weeks? A month?

It was a delicious meal– I made roasted vegetables, veggie rice, and sauteed speckled trout (and we each had a banana pepper from our garden). We said grace and talked a little about our garden, but mostly we were too busy eating to say much aside from “wow, this is excellent.” Still, it was so nice to have a candlelit Sunday dinner together.

***

It’s good that we’re used to having different schedules and not dining together, because my schedule is going to change some more.

Starting next month, I start a new job: teaching dance.

Not like that. Dear God, not like that.

***

It’s at a nice studio in a suburb about thirty minutes away. I have only met the owner so far– none of the students or other teachers– but I’m excited to be on board.

I’m not new to teaching dance– I’ve been doing it since I was 17– but I am returning after taking a year off. Although it feels like much longer: my last year of teaching I only taught two classes, and it’s been at least three years since I’ve taught jazz or any “baby” classes. Still– it’s nothing I’ve never done before. I’m spending this time before classes getting prepared, planning lessons, and organizing music.

Of course, most of my dance clothes and books are packed away in storage. I need to go get them out soon, but I’m waiting until after the rain quits. Because yes! It’s raining! In fact, it’s been raining since Sunday…probably because I washed my car on Saturday.

***

Speaking of rain…we Texas folk are very glad for it, because last year’s drought was a big fiery mess. Unfortunately, the drought must be contagious, because Arkansas caught it.  The drought is affecting the entire state and wreaking havoc on the cattle ranching community. I hope you get rain soon, AR.

In the meantime, we’d be happy to share some of ours.

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As I mentioned a few posts ago, I picked up a part-time job as a home-health CNA (you know, the thing I went to school for in the winter). It’s a pleasant job; I work in the early mornings and am home by 10am most days.

The early mornings mean a bit of a weird schedule: for the last 8 weeks I’ve been been rising at 4am to leave the house by 5:45. And since I get up so early, I have to go to bed early, too– around 8pm most nights. When I’m turning in, the sun is still shining and my husband & neighbors are still at the pool.

Summer days may be the longest, but I don’t notice.

Still, the mornings are very pleasant. It’s still dark when I get to my yoga mat, but that makes it very peaceful and easy to focus. I give myself enough time to take my time showering, then get dressed and makeuped in the guest room (as not to disturb the Huscat). The sun is rising as I drive to the job site, there’s not much traffic yet. I get to watch the sun rise over the Bay area five days a week.

I’ll bet that when my schedule changes, I’ll miss those peaceful mornings.

***

Hope everyone reading has a pleasant weekend. I sure did– lots of shopping, cleaning, organizing, and baking. I also have some exciting news (well, exciting to me, anyway), but that will have to wait for another post. For now, I’m off to take my breakfast bars out of the oven and get started on Sunday dinner. Have a great week!

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I need three things to get my day going so early: A tall glass of iced coffee, thirty minutes of gentle yoga, and some protein and whole grains.

I’m not hungry when I first get up, nor am I in the mood to heat up the skillet before sunrise. These breakfast bars have been a lifesaver: I just toss one in my bag and nibble on it later on in the morning.

The protein powder is optional– if you’ve got some on-hand, it’ll give your bars a little nutrient boost. I use Vega Complete Whole Food Optimizer in Vanilla Chai, which adds a nice flavor.

Simple, Hearty Breakfast Bars

The Base:

1/4 cup honey

3 Tbs strawberry jam (here’s an easy no-cook recipe for your convenience)

2 Tbs peanut butter

1 Tbs coconut oil

1- 2 Tbs protein powder (Optional)

1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

The Goods:

2 cups whole grain oats

1/2 cup nuts or seeds of your choice

3/4 cup raisins

2 tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat Oven to 300°F and grease and 8×8 cake pan.

2. Combine the ingredients for the base in a large bowl and mix well. If you’re using the protein powder, the finished result will look like something found in a diaper but smell like a PB&J. This is normal.

3. Mix in the dry goods. Stir for about 2-3 minutes to get everything equally coated.

4. Pour the mixture into the pan and press with a spatula to distribute it evenly. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour (depending on your oven/pan), until the top is golden brown.

5. Cool completely and cut into 9 squares. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week (they’ll be eaten before then).

One of these little bars keeps me going strong until lunchtime; combined with good coffee and a good stretch, they give me plenty of energy to do what I do. They even taste wholesome. Enjoy them!

***

I’d like to close this post with links to some other breakfast- bar recipes that I’ve tried and really enjoyed. If you’re looking for something a little sweeter, my friend Beth over the thedailygalette has got a fantastic recipe for granola bars on her blog. For a protein-packed bar that you don’t need to bake, Oxygen Magazine has a fast, easy recipe using whey protein. Both are delicious!

Sorry the posting’s been sporadic lately– got quite a bit going on right now. I’ll post later this week. Have a happy 4th of July!

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