The last few days I could have used extra fingers and extra feet, preferably younger and in far better shape than the ones presently posing as such attached to my body. I am asking them to perform at a pace they did when I was twenty, and a revolt is in the making . Packing is predominant on my to-do list. In between filling boxes I try to sandwich (argh sorry) meals, phone conversations with realtors, animal husbandry, family, friends, my blog and clients needing my graphic assistance. Sadly, I am not doing well in any of these arenas except sleep which, when scheduled, I am approaching with extreme prejudice.
To add to the pandemonium, several of my dearest friends are going through their own crisis’ and I am not doing well with lending a hand or an ear to help them sort through it. If you are taking your violin out of its case and arranging the music on the stand please wait until I have finished my tirade before beginning to caress the chords or I might reach through the screen and do irreparable damage to it. I am, as you might have noticed, a woman on the edge.
Last night out of the carnage left in my kitchen Phoenix rose from the ashes and my wok, miracle of miracles (Flower Drum Song being revisited here), produced an amazing dinner of crispy shrimp and vegetables in a lacy tempura crust. This served with steamy bowls of sticky rice and a delicious pear vinegar and soy dipping sauce, made us feel most happy. My other half decided in spite of my mood, he would still keep me. Thank heavens, as in my present state any other option might have left him mounted above the mantle holding a candle in both hands.
Pressure is something I’ve always handled, if I do say so myself and it seems I do, better than the average bear. Psychologists might say if your childhood is chaotic, or like mine a bit bohemian, you tend to manage bouts of craziness perhaps more easily as an adult than those who had a quote “normal” upbringing whatever that looks like. For me, this is usually true. Lately, not so much.
It’s funny how when your stress level rises small things normally passing unnoticed seem to take on grander meaning. Life’s daily annoyances quickly expand to soap opera proportions. For example, yesterday while trying to slice a whole watermelon I got a huge kitchen knife wedged in the rind. Rather than backing out the knife as I normally would, I instead involved myself in a life or death struggle with the large fruit. End result left the wounded melon weapon still protruding on the counter oozing life like a slasher victim. My other half walked by and seeing that picked up his step.
To top it off, I ran down to get a quick haircut and my bangs look like they were trimmed with hedge clippers by a drunken crewman standing on the bow of a boat during a hurricane. A perfect length on the left side, they gradually move up 1/2″ all across my eyebrows. Swell. Nothing puts a girl in a better mood then knowing that she looks ridiculous. Hoping nobody would notice I walked in the house to find my other half staring at me with his head cocked. “Did you notice your bangs are crooked”, he asked? I handed him two candles.
Tomorrow we are pounding the pavement once again in search of a house. You would think with the housing glut at the moment locating one would be a piece of cake. For us it resembles more a lump of cement with our feet firmly planted in it. Escrow closes in 21 days. Not much wriggle room left. If we have to rent for a while that wouldn’t be a catastrophe, but it would mean storing most of our things and living out of boxes. Susie doesn’t have the stamina to unpack everything for a few months and box it up again. My blogs should be interesting that being the case, with lovely photos taken of pork and beans bubbling in an old frying pan sitting on top of a hot plate. Everyone needs a niche, this will be mine. I’m sure you’ll look forward to them with bated breath. Smile.
I have two logo jobs on the table as well, a good thing. I purchased a new program over the Internet last weekend offering some interesting takes on font treatments, etc. for creating effective logos. Not wanting to wait for delivery, I hit the download option and followed the instructions in the email immediately following. The site charged you a $3.99 fee in the form of “download insurance”. Apparently after three unsuccessful download attempts without this insurance you are dead in the water. Interesting. Obviously this happens repeatedly, or so you would assume, if such a fee is included at the purchase site. I paid it. Sure enough, three tries and one computer floating on top of the green pool later, nothing had downloaded and, in fact, the third attempt locked up my computer.
There was a section on the site itself for technical support. A large section. I was starting to get the hint my experience was not unique. Locating a link reading “click here for technical support” this directed me to three options, all requiring a credit card for assistance. Really? Other than paying, their phone support lines were open Mon-Fri 8-5. It was Saturday morning. Okay, the universe is toying with me like a cat with a legless grasshopper. Sigh.
Monday early I placed a call to technical support. It seems they were experiencing an unusually heavy volume of phone traffic (why am I not surprised) on their customer service lines. Twenty minutes of listening to the most amazingly obnoxious music and I took the option to get a return call when an operator was available. I inquired when called back if the music was that loud to discourage people from hanging on and she giggled. I have to give it to them, it worked.
Finally, after speaking to a manager they refunded the full amount including the download fee. I drove to our local computer store and got the actual disc for $10.00 less than I had paid for in on the site and with no added fees or frustration. Yea!
We’re going to a potluck. I had a beautiful head of cauliflower and a package of pita bread so this is what I’m taking. It is creamy and cheesy and yummy. A nice variation from the standard dips and the pita chips are healthier than potato chips. Have a great day!
Four Cheese Cauliflower Dip
1 head of cauliflower, washed, cut into small pieces
2 whole cloves of garlic, peeled finely grated
1/4 white onion, finely grated
8 oz. softened cream cheese
8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
3 oz. Feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. onion powder
Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place cauliflower in pan and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil and boil for 5-6 mins. until fork tender. Drain.
Add cauliflower, onion, and garlic to food processor. Pulse until coarse texture. Add softened cream cheese and pulse. Add Monterey Jack cheese and pulse. Add Feta cheese and pulse until smooth.
Pour into cooking dish pre-sprayed with cooking spray. Add cayenne pepper and salt to taste. Mix well. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 35-40 mins. until bubbly and golden brown. Serve with pita chips.
6 pita pockets, cut in 1/8 sections
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
Salt if needed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix olive oil and seasonings. Brush both sides of pita slices. Place on cookie sheet covered with foil in single layer.
Bake for 4 mins. on each side. Watch carefully not to burn. Sprinkle with salt if necessary. Let cool and store in resealable plastic bag.