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About Athaclena

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  • Birthday 04/10/1972

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    Atlanta, GA
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  1. Last night I made "Unstuffed" Pork Chops - and they were tasty! Too much Shallot for hubby - but he's agreed to "try again" because he liked the rest. It just overflavored the Apple for him. Basically - I made a Jiffy Cornbread (in an 8" square pan) Sunday night. Monday I chopped up some shallot & peeled, cored and thinly sliced 2 Honey Crisp Apples. I quickly browned some pork chops (with just salt & pepper) in a large, oven safe pan. Set them aside then added 4 Tbs butter and sautteed the shallot until soft, tossed in the apple for a couple of minutes then tossed in the cornbread that I had cut into cubes, stirred and added some chicken stock (maybe 1/2 c.). Added the Pork Chops back on top and threw it in a 350F oven for 15 minutes to finish cooking the pork chops (temped to make sure they hit at least 145) and served with a salad. You could 100% replace the chops with Chicken Breast, Chicken Thighs or Tofu. Just make sure the Chicken Breast reaches 145, thighs 165 and Tofu can just be heated through. This morning I got a work surprise - they need me in Akron, OH next week. The Account Manager forgot to setup the meeting a week ago so we had to go get VP approval for the trip - which is fun. It's just for one night, but I'm having to head to the airport at like 6:30a on Monday which - ugh. Still better than going to the Atlanta airport at 4a LOL. Still weird to be travelling for a client - and those are going to be 2 LOOOONG days - but at least it's not flying out on Sunday and back Thursday (or Friday)..... which I'm doing in January for a work event - so there's that...... Definitely need to clean up my workspace still *sigh*
  2. While the cabinets are together, other than moving some files and moving out the Elf shelf - that's all I really go done because my back & hip joints have been achy. We really need a new mattress and I just can't bring myself to spend the $$ for what hubby thinks we need. I'm going to propose a few "steps" - basically the really nice adjustable frame and good mattresses similar to what we put on the guest bed(s) we both like. Still a chunk of change - but not "could have bought a decent used car" chunk of change. If it turns out we really DON'T like the split mattress concept - you can "lock" the adjustments to a single control and "fixing" the separate mattress concept can be fixed easily and cheaply. Then we have a ton of options later if it turns out we really DO need the fancy shmancy hybrid smart mattress in a couple of years. We can donate the long twins or have extra beds\day beds. Of course went and looked up that mattress, doesn't come in long twin (or split king - which is basically 2 "long" twins). Dang. I'll look for a similar mattress available in long twin. The Ghost Bed luxe is close - 1" less foam - we could add a topper..... Yesterday I schlepped down to Winchester (which as a big Supernatural fan - I chuckle to myself every trip - HAH) to hit up Walmart, Walgreens (the closest one - all we have near here are CVS) and Kroger. But I got everything on my list and made my first meal inspired by (not the exact recipe) by eMeals. This may be a more regular thing actually. I can switch up the sides, grab for a TOUCH more $$ pre-prepped veggies, make sure I have FRESH veggies, and do plain up swaps with whatever I want (for instance - hubby doesn't like the texture of onions, but minced shallots disappear enough for him to eat). I have to go grocery shopping almost every weekend ANYWAY - it just means a slightly higher cadence of Costco trips for reasonably priced meat. I also managed to make some cornbread (a different recipe I'll do later this week calls for cornbread stuffing - which I couldn't find so I'm gonna wing it) AND throw together more Brioche - made 2 loaves this time - one for the freezer. Last night I made Chicken Paprikash - which is basically a chicken in a creamy sauce seasoned with Paprika - in this case over pasta. I turned it into a one pot pasta meal, used the last of my YUMMY Smoked Paprika (which I need to order more of) and added carrots so hubby got in a dang veggie. I will definitely make this again. Now to catch up on some mind numbing work - going through our RFP Q&A database to delete the duplicate stuff, make the questions reasonable and review\fix the answers. Needs to be done but it makes my eyes bleed...... On the other hand if it's well done I don't have to do RFP after RFP because it enables others to do them so it's worth it in the long run. As my military friends say - time to embrace the suck LOL.
  3. This morning I pulled out the Waffle Maker mom sent me home with and made waffles with my sourdough pancake dough\batter. I've never been able to make waffles because I could never get the batter correct. It was always too thick or too runny. This sourdough method? Perfection! 1/2 c. of batter per waffle, shut it and 5 min to perfect waffles. I think I need to cook them on high to get them a TOUCH browner\drier on the outside - but it was so nice to be able to just set a timer and do other stuff in the kitchen while the waffle maker did it's thing. I was able to unload\reload the dishwasher and have the kitchen pretty much clean by the time the last one came out. Just shoved our plates\utensils into the dishwasher and let it go! So ..... this will be a regular thing and hubby is already requesting Chicken & Waffles for dinner one night LOL. Behold! Thankfully I got up early enough to do that AND head to the Post Office before they closed and picked my new rolling filing cabinets. They were packed VERY will with lots of extra edge protection. I have the first one together and filled it up with what was in my Elf system (which was sagging from all of the files). I'll keep "long term" files in there maybe and shove it in the closet. It was easy to just add the included wheels. The keys are pretty stupid (metal blade is glued into a plastic head - really? Why?!) - but otherwise it's a nicely solid cabinet - much better than the $50 ones at Walmart - although even on sale they were $135 a pop. You can find it here on Amazon. I'm taking a break before putting the second one together and then will work on cleaning off my desk (shredding, filing, stack of things that need to be "acted" on, etc.). I also suppose I should figure out what the heck I'm going to do for dinner. My meal plan is set for next week along with my shopping list for tomorrow morning. And let's see if I can keep that up for more than one week LOL.
  4. Since it's a swap - it may have a shipping label so you can drop it off at tons of locations (everything from Dollar General to Office Depot). When I last returned equipment (when we left Atlanta) I had a couple of nearby UPS stores that weren't a PITA to get in\out of - but I totally hear you. The one close to our Chattanooga apartment was a pain. Of course, there a NONE around here - although there's an "independent" place that is kind of like a UPS Store (without mail boxes) that is a drop-off\pick-up\shipping point that's kind of on the way to one of the areas we go to occasionally that hubby was impressed with.
  5. Some day I plan to do some cooking streams. I'll totally post here when I do!
  6. I apparently forgot to turn my Friday alarm back on. Semi woke up (and it's overcast) and I happened to check my watch - it was 8:59 and yes I had a 9:00 meeting. I made it by 9:03. After the meeting I had coffee and since I had a YUMMY loaf of homemade (and pre-sliced Brioche) - I made an egg & cheese sandwich - something I haven't done in FOREVER. Then I needed to login as my Admin account to do something - and realized I probably didn't synch passwords - and could not FOR THE LIFE of me remember the previous password. Then noticed the message that I couldn't login because it couldn't contact the domain - so I logged into the VPN and THEN realized I forgot to add the prefix to indicate the Admin account - so I was able to login. GAH Senior moment. My new mini-cabinets are at the Post Office - because of course they send them USPS and they won't put those huge things on the mail truck so I have to go get them *grumble*. Other than that - Happy Friday!
  7. When last I returned Comcast equipment - I could literally just take it with my Account information to a UPS store and they pack it up and send it at no charge (unless you have an actual Comcast office nearby - which I never had). Same with AT&T. It's something they did around 10 years ago when they started closing walk-in offices. Hang in there with the allergies - and crossing off tons of stuff on the to do list (RIGHT there with you!).
  8. The yogurt fermented! Still not as thick as I'd like but still good. I'm beginning to think the cooler I used this time and last just doesn't stay warm. It stays COLD like theirs no tomorrow so from a thermodynamic perspective it doesn't make sense. So NEXT batch I'll do like I did the first batch (styrofoam cooler, keep the cream, ferment in ball jars) but re-portion so I can drain off the whey. If it's the way I want THEN see about pulling of the cream and try again so I can confirm is it method or is it the fat? When friend from TX moves in I'll probably be getting a gallon of milk each week - one for yogurt and one for him (he grew up on raw milk and LOVES it) and pull some of the cream off of that one for coffee..... The bread turned out AMAZING! I got a nice loaf (which has been sliced) and 2 baguettes - one of which was devoured with dinner. SO good - and yeah.... I'll be going back to bread a couple of times a week (I have a crap ton of bread flour that needs to be used ) I've also decided to go back to making pizza - I'll just start the dough in the bread machine so it's not QUITE as much standing. I'm going to have to tweak my recipe for 3 pizzas though. I think being able to use the breadmaker for the dough so it gets a proper rest will be the key to make it easy to work with. Not sure why I didn't try that before except I had so LITTLE space in the apartment. I'm really just now getting back into trying to make bread regularly. With the bread maker doing most of the work AND 2 ovens - there's really no reason NOT to..... All that said, doing yogurt + bread + getting my Every Plate box in\put away + cooking dinner did a number on my back. So maybe I should try not doing EVERYTHING on Tuesday LOL.
  9. 1) She should be able to put $$ BACK into the retirement account so she doesn't have to pay taxes on it (unless it's a Roth - in which no taxes). That will have to be done by year end. If she setup RMD (Required Minimum Distribution) - even before 72 - I'm not positive that can be undone - but won't hurt to ask. 2) Good grief people asking you to manage something, but then doing something to upset that because they didn't want to ask\be a burden so it fucks everything up. Kind of the story of my work life TBH. Doesn't matter that I beg people not to spin wheels for 5 days when it generally takes me 10 min to get them back on track - they know I'm busy and don't want to bug me ..... but good grief I can find 10 min..... 3) Being kind to the future me is kind of how I'm FINALLY able to have a clean (or mostly clean) kitchen most nights. Because I know I really won't want to deal with it tomorrow and if I actually DO let it sit for 2 days ..... I'll be behind for 5. It's just how it is.... Hang in there and keep getting out of bed!!
  10. Let's see..... I'm doing little bits in the kitchen each day to get the "extra" stuff off of the counters. New batch of yogurt is fermenting - lets hope it goes this time. I bought a single serve Chobani plain. The last batch didn't "take" - I used some from the previous batch but it like turned to all whey for some reason. I'm going to store a bit differently this time. Specifically scoop out the solid bits and leave the whey out (mostly) into single serve containers. It may still be too much to do a weekly batch - we'll see. It's not like I can't use the milk in something else (like bread) to use it up if it comes down to it. The yogurt may not be active enough after 2 weeks using the "all natural" so I can EITHER try to do this weekly or just pick up one container of Chobani to "start" my next batch. That means a batch costs me about $4 - but then again if I were BUYING remotely comparable yogurt - the really good stuff is like $3+ a serving .... Office is still a mess - but got a new litter mat for Mom's cat (as her litter box is in my office closet) so hopefully she doesn't tear that to shreds (like the previous cloth mat was). Roomie caught her using the "boys" litterbox in the laundry room so I'm VERY tempted to move her box in there and keep feeding her separate a bit more. I just wish she and Saxo could at least be in the same room with out hissing\growling at each other. At least she's not instigating and we're gently booping Saxo when he does it to get him to understand that she is not to be hissed at. They both have access to 3000 sq ft of house and multiple rooms - they can pass through a room without posturing dang it! I let this post sit a while..... I have also now put together a double size Brioche dough. Half is going into a loaf pan for bread, the other half will either become rolls or baguettes to go with dinner (depending on how much energy I'm willing to put into it). This is the same recipe I did for Thanksgiving. It's a lovely, enriched dough (James Beard's Challah recipe - which has butter so it's a Brioche - but if you're looking for it online .... well.... it is what it is). I think it'll also make fantastic cinnamon rolls so this weekend I just MAY have to give that a whirl I've also bought a 1 year "membership" to eMeals to assist with meal planning and I'll slowly start to reduce my reliance on Hello Plate. I may not do ACTUAL eMeals stuff because hubby is SUCH a picky eater - but reviewing the recipes will spark an idea. So I have a meal plan setup for NEXT week and a grocery list (on the fridge to add to with other stuff).
  11. Following - and work can deal. You're the only one they can trust to get stuff done - so they'll just have to deal while you heal. Breath, get better, and then you can kick some a$$.
  12. On the re-org front - I have ordered 2 under desk, rolling cabinets that are highly rated (and on sale for Cyber Monday). That will help me get ALL OF THIS CRAP off of my desk. And hopefully have a small "in" box for mail/bills that I should go through a couple of times per week to pay/file/shred. I have cleaned the oven where the Turkey drippings were just a TOUCH more than the pan could handle (grumble). Thankfully it's a self cleaning oven, so since it was a cool night Sunday and dinner didn't involve the ovens, I ran it through the clean cycle (with the vent hood running - just in case of smoke - and yes it actually vents outside - considering the other stuff that was done to 60% I'm sure the wife INSISTED this be done properly) and yesterday I gave it a clean to remove the "ash" and used it for dinner last night (no smoke or anything - HUZZAH). I'm going to try to go through everything on the counter and find a place for it and give hubby his own little "space" - or make him put his shit on the fridge (where he can reach, I cannot) - but I want the center Island CLEAR of all except the fruit/veggie bowls. Period. I felt so closed in prepping Thanksgiving when I shouldn't - there's PLENTY of space. And still empty drawers. There's places for ALL of this stuff to go that's NOT spread out on my center island *breath*. On the "eating better" front - always a thing even if that isn't the point of the challenge - I roasted broccoli to go along with dinner (which had roasted carrots). So yay for extra veggies. It took an extra 2 minutes - I need to "just do it". I'm CONSIDERING doing more meal planning and going to every other week for Every Plate. Also pre-prepping ALL the veggies that require cutting on the first night so I can just grab and go - that'll make meal prep easier and I'll do the same for when I meal plan. Who knows - maybe I CAN go back to doing it alone and just fill in with meal prep occasionally - and maybe go back to using a couple of different systems and snag the discounts when I stop using them for a while This week's box is due today so we'll see how that goes (I also have to run out and get my farm fresh eggs & milk and prep for yogurt tomorrow
  13. Oh - and for those following along as we re-do this and that in the new house - we've made a ton of progress in the "Office" space in the Workshop. It's about 600 sq ft - but the walls have been patched\repaired and now painted, we've moved the water, removed a gas line, insulated all of the air gaps the previous owner missed (hopefully finding all of the opening bugs have been crawling through - holy shit so many bugs) and put down flooring. The trim and electrical upgrades are completely done in the "front" room of the office. Most of the trim is now done in the "main" office and we're starting to move some of the furniture in. Here are a few updated photos of the new space. Behold - Home/Office Improvement Porn! Front room - mid-progress so you can see the "crap" floor. Behind that door is the server room (which I've posted pictures of before - no changes in there). The "accent" wall on the right is new as is the water filter\cooler\heater (less expensive overall than dealing with bottled water and taking up counter space with a kettle for occasional hot tea or soup in a cup). Mid-progress in the "main" office area so you can see the floor in there.... just a hodgepodge - and friend from Texas pooch - Chocolate And the finished front room (well, before we put in shelving and stuff). Yes, we're testing color on the door (which once the rest was done looked like "hot garbage". Hubby is leaning toward Tardis Blue I'll try to snag some pictures of the main office area as we get it loaded. Still need to replace and/or reframe the windows in there plus some trim - but the floors are done and it's painted!
  14. Hi all! How the heck is it the final challenge of 2022?! It's all flying by so dang fast. So much has changed for me over the last few year (mostly for the better). I don't have family coming in for Christmas and I don't have the energy to pull out Christmas stuff (that wasn't just 86'd during all of the moving the last 2 years) so there aren't really any challenges around that. What I think I'm going to focus on this challenge is doing an org\re-org of my office and the Kitchen\Pantry. Trust me - that's not a one day or one week thing LOL. Both are huge and honestly I need to decide WHAT bins\bits\bobs\containers\etc. need to be bought (or built) and simply do that so that things are organized and off of desks\counters unless it REALLY IS used that much and NEEDS to stay there. We have a bad tendency to cover every flat surface with "stuff" - and we need to stop that. So that's my focus this mini-challenge to start the New Year.
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