Saturday, December 4, 2010
While staying with family is wonderful, is a free place to stay worth it when you cannot do anything you want to do?
I especially like to fly in the window seat, I tend to sleep the entire flight, for good reason- I don’t usually sleep the night before a flight so I like to catch up on my ZZZ’s. Virgin America was nice to fly for a couple major reasons. The first reason I didn’t have to take my luggage over to be scanned. I cannot tell a lie, I REALLY hate doing that. The second reason, VA is located in Terminal 3 at LAX which had considerably less foot traffic than what I am used to with American Airlines. I was extremely thankful that after boarding the aircraft while there were children seated all around me, they were quiet the majority of the flight and that I had a window seat. I did notice, and maybe this goes for all airlines now, that you were able to purchase headphones before you even entered the plane. However the downside to the airline, also a flip, was while they did charge an obscene amount for food and alcoholic beverages, you could order and purchase right from your seat, especially with credit card. Not only were you able to slide your credit card on the in-seat screen, but also on the in-seat remote.
It was rather nice to have satellite TV at my seat, as well as internet, text messaging, games, radio and movies, it was a big bother that I forgot to grab my headphones on the way out and almost never carry cash with me. Well you live and you learn. During most of my flights I thought best to carry strictly cash; however VA does not take cash while on its airplanes.
While I did appreciate the non-stop flight from Los Angeles International Airport, LAX, to Orlando International Airport, OIA, I did not and will never appreciate OIA. They do have signage for baggage claim and the different terminals, but whether or not they are “proper” is a good question. I could not actually find baggage claim A. It took me a good extra 15 minutes to find it and even then a TSA agent had to let me in under a rope to get to baggage claim.
I made Thanksgiving dinner. I have never completely made the traditional turkey dinner; I usually just make the green bean casserole and stuffing. This year staying with my grandparents for the holiday made a world of difference. I not only selected the turkey, I washed, prepped and cooked the darn thing as well. I also made yams. The only thing missing from my thanksgiving dinner was the stuffing. All Grandma had on hand was Stove Top stuffing and I personally do not care for that. I can blame my mother for that one; while she was never the best cook in the world certainly emphasized homemaking stuffing, cranberry sauce and green bean casserole.
I did however make pumpkin pie cheesecake. I am not a fan of pumpkin pie but I LOVE cheesecake. So for now I share with you the following recipe I got from my friend Andrew, who got it from Paula Deen. But I warn you it makes two 9inch pies. They are yummo! Also there was a part of the recipe that I left out, that is for graham cracker crust. I believe that the graham cracker crust you can buy in the grocery store are not only cheaper than making one of your one but taste a lot like homemade.
-3 packages Philly Cream Cheese- You can use another but I enjoyed this like brand the most
-1/4 cup of Sour Cream-any variety they all taste the same
-1 15 ounce of canned pumpkin
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice or
-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teas fresh nutmeg
-1/8 teas ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon vanilla- I think I used a tablespoon however
-3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
-1 ½ cups sugar
-2 tablespoon flour
Preheat oven to 350F-My oven was finally preheated right before I threw the pies into the oven
1. Beat the 3 packages of cream cheese at room temperature until silky smooth
2. Add pumpkin puree, three eggs, egg yolk, sour cream, sugar and spices. After fully incorporated add flour and vanilla. Beat together until well combined.
3. Spread into crust and bake one hour. Cheesecake will be fluffy and will look slightly uncooked-however trust me it is.
4. Take out of the oven and let rest uncovered for 15 minutes.
5. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least 4hours.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
I realized while writing the next couple of blog posts that I never introduced my cat, Chewbacca to my blog roll. My mother brought home this ugly, smelly little black cat about two months ago, now almost three months ago. He had eye problems, didn’t know how to clean himself, had an intestinal worm and most like was only three weeks old. He is now a healthy, happy, wonderful, ugly black and white tipped kitten. Oh don’t get me wrong, I love that cat to pieces, but he really is UGLY! I would get more pictures on here but I do not have internet on my cell phone and we no longer have a digital camera. While there was one that I REALLY liked at Black Friday sale at Target, I think I am just going to take mine to a camera repair shop and see if I can get it fixed for the same price as the other camera. I know it sounds stupid to repair a camera if it the repair costs are equal to purchasing a new camera. However it is consumerism in America that taught us to just throw something out just because one thing is broken. I do really love my camera, it fits my hand well and I like how it takes pictures.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
The commercial focuses on a boy around 11 who refuses to be picked up by his parent because they are driving an older station wagon. Now the child does say, I refuse to not be cool, why can't my parents drive around in one of these, and a picture of the Highlander pops up.
Why should the parents, go possibly into debt, so that their child can look "cool?" This is what I think is partial wrong with the world. Just like I have been made fun for my car, yes it is tiny and it is not the most stylish thing out there, however my car is PAID OFF, gets good gas mileage, AND it runs like a dream. Now tell me why I would go into debt to get a cooler car? There is no reason. Oh so that I can be "cool" like the rest of my peers? This is how kids wind up smoking, drinking or doing drugs at an increasingly younger age. Because society tells them it is "cool."
Is this REALLY the message that we WANT to send our kids, to ONLY be cool? OR do we want to send the message to our FUTURE LEADERS that being cool is not always the right thing to do.
Take it or leave it, this is just MY opinion.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
I picked up the Sunday LA Times last night, yes I know that is was Monday yesterday, however they still had it and I forgot to buy it on Sunday, and saw this article. I was shocked when I saw how much money we are throwing away on wasted food. And I will admit I have been guilty of wasting food. While the article suggests giving the leftovers to your pets, I am not a big fan of that. While my animals do LOVE what we don't eat it really isn't that good for them so I try and eat whatever we have leftover. However they also had some good tips.
-Plan weekly dinners. I gotta tell you, I do this already. If I have a plan for what to make for dinner I can go to the store and only pick up $40 worth of food and it WILL feed all three of us, and usually enough for company as well. I do keep basics in my house, so there is 1 shopping trip a month where my food bill is about $100, but the other three weeks it is only about $40. This being said, I do give myself wiggle room, I buy items that are on sale, and items that can be substituted, for instance if we want pot roast instead of burritos tonight.
-Rethinking portion size. Lets face it, Americans are getting heavier and heavier. While we might think it ok to have such large portions of food served to us at a restaurant, do we really need to cook that way at home as well? Cutting recipes in half will not only negate the need for "what to do with the leftovers night" but it will also cut down on your food bill. I know what food people in my house will want the next day so I make regular portions on that. However if I make something new, I usually half the ingredients until I know whether or not my family will eat it.
-Meatless Monday. This is a really good suggestion. And this is an option most people can get easily do. My brother and mother LOVE enchiladas and lasagna, but meat is expensive and not always healthy. Making cheese enchiladas and vegetable lasagna are a great way for my family to go meatless once a week. I make crock pot enchiladas so they are even easier.
-Recycling. Everyone seems to know about recycling. However many products out there can be recycled and many people do not know it. Did you know you if you have recycling container picked up every week that you can recycle your sandwich bags? Waste Management is my garbage company and they now offer recycling on almost every product: cardboard, plastic bags, steel, aluminum... If you are ever in doubt on whether or not you can recycle something, just call your garbage collection company. They can give you the lowdown on what you need to throw in the garbage and what you can recycle.
That's all I have for now, is there anything YOU do to make the world a greener place that you would love to share with me?
Thursday, October 28, 2010
That't right, I am going to Florida! I have vacation coming up! I am going to see my grandparents next month. It will be a refreshing time. Probably wont make it to any of the Disney or Universal theme parks, but its all good.
Mostly I am looking forward to a week with almost no internet, different weather and some good old-fashioned big ass churches.
Well now I need finish getting ready to go to LA for a nice Italian dinner. This should be nice.I will post a pix later!
EDIT: Ok so I kinda forgot to take pictures while at dinner last night. However I did go to La Dolce Vita for dinner. Apparently Frank Sintra and the rat pack used to hang out here.
Never thought to actually look at the website beforehand, if I had I would have known better than to wear dark jeans. I however did not think that we really needed to adhere to a dress code when the bartender was walking around in sneakers, leggings and a sports bra. If you wanna enforce a dress code, make your staff wear appropriate clothing as well.
The food was good. I recommend the lasagna. The drinks were comparable in price to most chain restaurants, I had a Tanqueray and Tonic it was $13 and Kim had a Maitai for $12. However the food was pretty expensive. I had angel hair pasta with tomatoes and basil for $26!! It was ok but not $26 good. However the lasagna was $25 and at first we couldn't figure out why the portion was so small, then we took a bite. It was soooo good. Loaded with cream and butter. Definitely worth the cost.
We had a coupon for $70, and our bill came to $97. Worth the cost indeed. So go and try the place out! It might be the only time I ever eat in Beverly Hills! :)
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
My issue has been the interview process. I was supposed to find out whether or not I got the job last week. The interviewer said for sure they would tell me by last week. The recruiter said that if I didn't hear anything by Thursday at noon to assume I did not get the job. Well I finally emailed him on Friday and he was told they would make a decision on who to hire either Friday at 5 or hire someone for sure on Monday. Low and behold, they still haven't hired anyone. I just got the email from them stating they are still holding out for more resumes!!!!!! I am extremely frustrated! I just need to know if I am uprooting my life and moving or not. I feel like I am in limbo.
As my friend Ashley says, Limbo sucks! No matter what kind of limbo, it sucks.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Working at Target I see a lot of people who come in and pay a lot of different ways. Check, cash, credit card, gift cards-both Target gift cards and the Visa, MC or AE gift cards; and of course Food Stamps and welfare. However food stamps are no longer the pc term in California, they are now called EBT Food, and welfare is now called EBT cash.
I am not a rich person by any standard. I work hard for my money, I pay my bills on time, I am not trying to take a bailout for the credit cards that I have. I racked up the money on them and therefore I should be the person to pay it off. However I also pay a lot of taxes. My taxes are used to fund programs, just like everyone else’s taxes. I understand this. I understand that it takes tax money to make programs work. Taxes from business, property, and personal, these are the ways our city, county, state and national government provide certain programs to the “deserving” people of our country. But what happens when these programs do not really work.
I see people coming into Target using EBT Food and Cash. I understand some people need some extra assistance, whether it is in the form of food or extra money to pay rent or utilities. But at what point do we need to start regulating what people buy with the money we are giving them?
EBT Food is supposed to help those that need to purchase food. My understanding of the program must be different than the reality of it. I was under the impression it was to help family purchase healthy items such as fruits, veggies, milk products, eggs, meat and bread. However I did not believe it enabled families to purchase items such as chips, cookies, soda and bottled water. On a daily basis I am asked whether or not Target accepts EBT Food/Cash. I have to answer in the yes. But it is seriously disturbing when I see a family pull up to my lane and load up the belt with complete garbage, processed food with MSG and other trans fats, soda and others, especially if the family is already overweight and then pay with EBT Food. I recognize that I do not have a “family” that I am feeding however I feel like yelling at them and asking how they can justify spending “my money” on all this crap. It is not healthy for them, it will not keep them fuller longer, it will make them heavier which then causes many health problems, and then they are probably on state aid in order to cover their health problems. I hate it! It makes the cycle of poverty continues.
According to the state food stamp guidelines:
• In California, all immigrants are eligible for food stamps.
• However, if everyone in the household is getting cash welfare assistance — e.g., general assistance (GA) or CalWORKs (the name of the TANF program in California) — the household is “categorically eligible,” i.e., automatically qualified for food stamps. A few basic food stamp rules still apply to people who are categorically eligible.
All information that I quoted can be found here.
EDIT: I wrote this post about 3 weeks ago. I am still angry with the way our government works, however aside from writing to legislation about this problem I see no solution to fixing it. To go through the many accounts that people have here in California to see if and how they are abusing the system would take money the state does not have. All I can do is write to my legislation to redo certain programs.
What if a person could not qualify for both WIC and foodstamps? Someone I know mentioned that a person can be on both programs, and that is the main reason why the state allows foodstamps to purchase soda and candy.
There are a lot of "What ifs" in this world, but it is not my job to answer them all. I shall put my trust in God and go from there.
Friday, August 13, 2010
My life has not been the way I expected it. I thought that by the time I was 27 everything would have just magically fallen into place. I saw people my age when I was younger and I always admired them. Once a person gets to my age they usually have their shit together. My grandparents for instance had two kids, a mortgage and two careers going on. No student loans, living paycheck to paycheck but knowing that life was not always going to be the way it was.
I know that life today is not like my grandparents life. I really do know that in my heart, however my head keeps screaming, "when is it going to be easier?!!!??" Today's economy is almost as bad as the Great Depression. During the Great Depression unemployment rose to 25% and as high as 33% in some countries; and while this isn't the Great Depression, to some of us who now need to start paying back student loans and do not have a job that supports us, it feels like it. There are some companies that will allow you to take an economic hardship, also known as a financial deferment; however you can only do it for one year straight and only up to three years. The national stats are not good, in fact they are pretty grim. Once a person has been unemployed for longer than six months it is estimated they will be unemployed for another 18 months.
After six months is when one starts to lose their skills as a valuable employee. If you have strong office skills but do not continue to use them at home during your time off, you will lose the skills employers strongly desire. In addition, it is encouraged that if you are laid off and can afford to further your education, one should do so while being laid off.
I am not the poster child for this. I did not get laid off, I choose to give up two jobs that I absolutely loved in order to move back home closer to my mother. She needed me to come home and help with so many things I cannot even begin to describe. However in giving up those jobs it is now what seems to be near impossible to reclaim any decent work. This is by far a "woes is me" post. It is to bring to light that NO ONE is really hiring. Any company can post a job opening, that does not mean they actually intend to fill the position. If a company leaves that position open, it will then bring up the national stats for what companies are hiring.
Since this is not a "woes is me" post, I just need to reiterate, if you are consistently looking for positions, and changing your resume to suit each job along with custom tailoring a cover letter, you are more than likely to get a job. One does have to be persistent. If you half ass your job search, employers are going to half ass, or not even look at your resume. Everyone is a victim of half assing it. There are jobs that you do not really want to apply for but you do because you feel like you have to. I have done it, everyone has, trust me.
However one gets to the point where you have to take a position even if you do not like all the aspects of it. Trust me, I do not want to be working full time for Target, but I do because I have to pay the bills and I REFUSE to go on unemployment. That means, even though I do not make a ton of money I still do not live paycheck to paycheck. One just learns to readjust the way you live. You do not go out to eat as much and you make more conscience decisions on where you shop and when. You spend an hour or two clipping coupons shopping the sales and figuring out how to make the most bang for your buck. It is not an easy task, but one does what is necessary in order to make life work.
Life never promised us it would be easy, in fact that is probably where the great quote comes from "life sucks then you die, get over it." Life wont always suck. It will get better. At least one has to keep that positive attitude in order to make it better. If one doesn't keep a positive attitude then you will turn into Wisa from Steel Magnolias, and wouldn't that suck!!!!!!!!!!!
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
Things I learned this time around:
1. Buy a cot, I do not sleep on the ground!
2. Buy a decent sleeping bag.
3. Take about $100 worth of cash. While state parks will accept check and CC upon arrival they really prefer cash, especially when it comes to getting the camping space.
4. Go with someone you can actually stand for long periods of time. I failed miserably at this one. I went with someone I thought I could stand but as it turns out I thought I might have to kill while out on the trail.
5. Coordinate with everyone to know what everyone is expecting out the trip. Make sure to not leave anyone out!
6. Plan meals a little bit. I am not saying you have to make a meal chart type thing, but make sure you actually like the food you bring.
7. Did anyone else know it is $20 a night to camp! And that doesn't include soap in the bathrooms or showers!!!???!!!!
I went with a friend from New York. I featured him on this blog before. We have been hiking together before. I will call him Bob, just in case he ever decided to read my blog.
Bob and I made out a plan to go to Yosemite, Sequoia and Lone Pine. Bob really wanted to hike Half-Dome. I was trying to be in training for it, but it didn't happen as well as I wanted. I could give a list of excuses but who really wants to read those? I am in GREAT shape, just not for Half-Dome. My asthma has been acting up more and more since I moved back to Cali so there was no way I could climb it this year.
What really happened: we stayed in Sequoia the whole time. Half-Dome turned out to be closed because of the major snowfall we had this year. Global warming people, its real! Plus the road which would take us from Sequoia to Yosemite was also closed, it lead to the mutual decision to stay put. Plus after putting up a tent, we really didn't want to take it down before we had to or put it back up.
I borrowed a tent and sleeping bag. Wow what a mistake! Borrowing the tent was not a bad idea, but borrowing a sleeping bag from my brother turned out to be a bad idea. I had forgotten that he does not get claustrophobic the way I do, so he doesn't mind a close fitting sleeping bag. Must buy a new sleeping bag meant for 2 people so I do NOT get that feeling again.
A friend lent me her tent. She had never used it before however I reassured her that if something went wrong with tent or pieces were missing "I am going with nature boy so he will solve it!" Yeah right!!!!!!!! Nature boy couldn't even get it all the way up and could not figure out why it wasn't working the way it needed to be. I figured it out! YAY for me! Nature boy kept leading me in the wrong directions according to the map, I finally had to look at it to find various things. Wow I'm so smart! Sure boosted my self esteem!!!!
If I never eat a hot dog again I will be a happy person. Between 2 at my birthday party, and the god knows how many I ate while camping, I am on hot dog overload! Ew. I thought it would be cute and quaint to eat a hot dog off a hot dog skewer while camping...It is so much nicer when you are 13.
Plus I am a moron. I checked the ingredient list on everything except for the bread we took along. I cannot eat high fructose corn syrup. I gave it up over lent season and I stopped having stomach problems, and the majority of my headaches were gone. Lo and behold my bread had it in it. Did anyone know that they had high fructose corn syrup in bread? Gross!!! I wound up being sick the last two days of camp. Oh well life gets better.
Next blog post will include pictures from camping. Right now the best ones are on my cell phone and I cannot access them at this point in time. For now I think I will go get dinner ready and take care of rest of the stuff for the day. :)
Monday, May 31, 2010
Well I got to be another year older and possibly wiser. I haven't updated this thing in a while. I am not sure that this second in time is right for it.
I am going on vacation on Wednesday. That should be fun. Oh and posted below are highlights from my birthday party from this year. :)
The top photo is me and Andrew, my best friend since high school.
The next photo is my brother playing with fire.
The next photos are me with various friends... There are no pictures of my friends singing Happy Birthday to me, because I refused to let them do it.
The irony part is my brother conspired against me and wound up holding me from my middle section while my friends sang. Lets just say it was an interesting night. One in which I went to bed sober and happy! :) Now on to blog and figure out pictures from vacation!
Monday, April 12, 2010
On the plus side, I got a week worth of fresh veggies and 2 packs of meat for $34!!!!!!! Gotta love shopping at the cheap store.
Monday, March 1, 2010
-Well last night I really wanted a hot fudge sundae. We had all of the ingredients, and it looked so good. Instead I had a bowl of cottage cheese with fruit on top. Well it did take care of my sweet craving. I probably shouldn't have eaten anything that late, but because I had a serving of calcium and a serving of fruit I was having a hard time caring. However I didn't feel guilty this morning.
What I do feel guilty about is not walking the dog this morning. I didn't get up early enough to walk her, but I know I will be able to come home from Disneyland today and do a quick 3 miles.
-Better food plus more exercise equals a happy and healthier Kathy. YAY! :)
- I am also debating signing up for twitter. Any thoughts on that?
Thursday, February 25, 2010
This year I gave up soda and alcohol. I have given up chocolate before, I have given up soda before and I have also given up sex. However I have never given up sex and alcohol at the same time. I am beginning to wonder if that is such a great idea?
As long as I don't give up alcohol, sex and chocolate it should be an ok time.
According to Wikipedia, "Lent (Latin: Quadragesima, Hebrew: התענית), in the Western Christian tradition, is the period of the liturgical year leading up to Easter. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer — through prayer, penitence, almsgiving and self-denial — for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events linked to the Passion of Christ and culminates in Easter, the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Conventionally, it is described as being forty days long, though different denominations calculate the forty days differently. The forty days represent the time that, according to the Bible, Jesus spent in the desert before the beginning of his public ministry, where he endured temptation by Satan.
This practice was virtually universal in Christendom until the Protestant Reformation. Some Protestant churches do not observe Lent, but many, such as Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Anglicans, and Episcopalians, do."
I did not make it all the way through Lent with my restrictions. At some point in my life I know I will, just not this year.
Oh well. Better luck next time.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
The second change I am really excited about. My mother is a democrat, as am I most of the time, and we have decided to live cleaner, greener and more respectful of the earth. Our front yard is already like this as we have a collection of cactus, probably to the point of freakish but it saves on our water bill. However now we have decided to live even more greener. We more than ever separate our trash, we are starting to use biodegradable cleaning products-including laundry detergent, and we are even putting our vegetable ends into the green waste. We figured we could do a compost site for the vegetables or put it all into the green waste trashcan. The green waste trashcan really is a lot easier plus we then do not have to worry about any of our 3 dogs getting into the compost site.
The third change has been our utilities. We were having such a horrible time with Verizon Fios and Dish Network, that we finally switched. Let me tell you, in the less than week that we have had Time Warner, we have been so much happier. I can actually get Wireless on all parts of my property now, just like I pay for. What a concept!!!! I mean never before have I been able to sit in my living room and blog without being attached to a wall. Its so nice.
Another thing is being more involved with church. It sounds small but it can help it big ways. My church is small but the love of the people overflows the building. There are so many wonderful and inviting people at this church. The only downside is there are no men or women my age that attend. It is a little hard, I have always felt like an outsider at church, no matter where I go. But this time I feel the love everyone has for each other to compensate. People are really cool here.
I think that those are the major things that have been happening. I must go and start cleaning the house and getting ready for the day now!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
1. No dating. This also means no sex. This one I have been having no trouble with whatsoever. I am loving this one!
2. I am not in better shape. In fact I have gained a lot of weight recently. This would probably be due to some events that went on at home. However that is another blog post. I am exercising consistently but not eating right. Here is my reality check, I am going to have a lot of health problems, like I already do, if I do not do something about my weight. This is why, even though I dont want to, I am walking the dog for a long walk after this blog post.
3. Finish my education. I kind of have skipped over this one. Again its always in the back of my mind....
4. Becoming financially free. I am working on it! I am trying to not live paycheck to paycheck and learning a better budget. Slowly but surely wins the race!
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
1. No dating for the entirety of 2010. Yes I can still flirt, I can still meet people from online, but no dating. Hanging out with friends is fine, but no dating.
2. Get into and maintain a better shape. Now I don't just mean loose weight. I can loose weight. Its more of become a better shape in the sense of not being out of breath after climbing a flight of stairs or a steep hill.
3. Finish my education so I can obtain a real paying job. Become a real librarian. Or as close to that as humanly possible in this job market.
4. Become financially free. I will have government debt until I am retired, or at least that is what it feels like, but to be free from worrying paycheck to paycheck. to know what it is like to put a ton of money into savings. That is what I want.