Dinner Adventures: Spain Cuisine

George plays with food!

How could I have possibly left out this pic yesterday of George’s smiley face cracker at Black Abbey?

Torta de Santiago and me, lol

Well, here is the dessert I talked about. George mentioned “this would be good at Christmas” and “can I take the rest of it to work?” So, I take it as a compliment. And the Ireland clan ate and enjoyed it. It’s simple with ingredients. I made it harder than it had to be by blanching the almonds and peeling off the almond skins. Might would try it with just almond flour next time? It’s the zest of the navel orange and the lemon that gave this a unique flavor. If I can find the time to make it for the holidays I will. But no one should hold their breath for it. My schedule usually doesn’t allow for much baking or cooking time anyway – especially these days. And will have to be working on the weekends around the Christmas holidays this year. So we’ll see.

Here are a lot of the dishes we had for our Spain weekend with friends Don and Lisa. We arrived, and had what I call a Spanish Splash – lol – yes I made that up.

“The Spanish Splash” – Brandy, Soda, and Orange Peel

After we settled in and caught up a bit, Lisa and I sprinkled on the confectioner’s sugar for the cake. It said to wait til serving but we were almost there, so we sprinkled it around the cross. Lisa had a nice dish waiting for the cake, knowing it would be transported in tupperware to get across town. The cake and it’s cook were so honored. Also I had a lot of compliments on the pic above with me and the cake – how happy I was. I’ve always had a serious face and composure b/c I’m always “on the agenda” until a few people pull me off of it. A few can. Not many. But I’ve chosen to be myself most of the time and let life be. If I feel like laughing I do, if I don’t- I don’t. But was honored that people liked the pic and the cake! I talked about this weekend so much and making this dessert. lol

We ate salads right away as everyone was hungry, lol. Everyone did a great job on these wonderful dishes. And then we set in to making the Paella as a group effort with Chef Don at the helm. I chopped. (Better Crocker commercial? – “and I heeeeeelllllppped”. We all had a job and brought it together really quick.

George making spinach with pine nuts and Don starting the Paella.
Lisa’s beautiful table setting!
Oh and you can’t forget the Sangria.

WE ALL had a FAB time and enjoyed ourselves and catching up and eating and laughing and watching the Auburn game for those that wanted to. Dogs were also happy to have so much attention and completely at home. And were good (for the most part).

We ate our breakfast by the fire pit as the temps were mild, but a little chill in the air. We also got in the hot tub and then we got dressed and headed out back home. We had about an hour before we had to be back to pick up George’s new car so back to Nashville to trade the van in and get new car.

I think I have the blog up to date for the most part.

Was able to get all four plants payrolls done in one day yesterday and now I’m now I am at the tail end of finishing all the quarterly filings today for the Transport side. Have to go to the store tonight for the fixings of my breakfast casserole so I won’t be able to stay late tonight. So hopefully all will get accomplished today. I think I have tomorrow too but maybe not if something needs to be paid. Sometimes if it is afternoon it goes into the next date. I don’t want any late filing fees. Anyway hopefully I will be able to finish everything on time.

And that said, I need to scoot on in after I get another cup of joe and get the face and hair done.

Ya’ll have a spectacular day. Tomorrow is the current “To Do List” with holiday time for Thanksgiving coming – and our time is going to be crunched a bit. I said yesterday I wasn’t looking forward to the holidays – I didn’t mean it really. I thought about that later and I AM always looking forward to the holiday time with family. I think what I meant was just not looking forward to having to figure out how to decorate and get done the things I really enjoy doing at the holidays. It is also a time where you mourn not getting to see those you miss. So I guess that was running through my mind, but mainly just feeling a little anxiety over knowing how busy our schedule is and when we will get time to get things done when you are at work or gone 24-7. I guess this is the part of the year I always look forward to hibernation in January but who am I kidding? It’s year end, quarter end, and month end, all in a big whammie and my first tripple delight and another learning curve, lol. It’s all good though- at least I can snuggle up and hibernate in my office in warm clothes and camp out and get her done! And by then we will have scheduled our Spring vacay to Amelia Island. So yeah, To Do List coming up tomorrow. This helps me stay focused.

Ya’ll have a splendid day? What you doing this week? Anything special? Special projects? And what do you do for a living? I’d love to hear from you.

George’s New Ride

George’s New Ride, Honda Accord, 2016 model with very few miles on it

Well I guess the big news is that George’s new ride finally made it from the west coast to our Carvana here. He picked it up Sunday. It was a bitter sweet moment. Sad to turn in Granny and Granda’s old van (was ours after they passed) and got a little (very little at this point) trade in on it.

George put the coin in and his Honda Accord, 2016 with very few miles on it, came down the “gum ball machine” or “vending machine” – pick your term – and came to him. It’s a like new car with it’s low miles – I think it was around 15k or maybe even less. My favorite part was the heated leather seats.

I asked him if he was excited going to get it and he said “no, not as much as the other cars in my life”. However, once he got it, he was excited and I emailed him at work asking how his ride in was and he said “it drove like a dream and raved on about it and how much he loves it”. It’s his first car with all the new gadgets – things like GPS and all and the stereo was one of the things he liked about this car. He said he can listen to his ipod as it plugs right in and even has the album cover and song title on the screen. lol I’m excited for him. And glad the excitement finally kicked in. And most of all I’m glad he has a better ride in to work.

We picked it up Sunday and since we were practically next door to Black Abbey, we landed there first. Of course. lol

Forgive my no make up, second day hair – no shower yet! But after picking up his car we stopped at Black Abbey – as it was like a block away!

Then we came home and I dove into laundry and unpacking and doing some things in the house.

If you have noticed I have not blogged about our weekend or my day off. Friday was successful and I got the cake the cake made and Saturday we went had an extraordinary time cooking/eating with our friends. I say it deserves it’s own entry. I took a lot of photos and I will do shorter entries each day to cover our meal and the next day and my updated to do list. I’m trying to get back into a normal daily blog post even if it is a small one. I miss it when I do not. One day turns to two days and it bothers me when I can’t have time to blog as I feel like I’m being infringed upon by other things in life. And nothing needs to mess with my blog time – (tribe has spoken, yada yada).

So tomorrow, Lord willing – I will do my Spain entry.

I have been struggling to find time to do quarter end – as your really can only have time to do quarter end – by coming in early or staying late – or rushing through everything else and denying yourself lunch time. But by doing those things I’m getting through it. I think I’ve finished filing all but the things on the Transport side and that should hopefully be easy. Who knows. But time is about to be up. And then once I finish with that all my Monthly withholding taxes I have to pay by Nov 15th – it’ll be time to do those – again. Of course when payroll closes tomorrow all my weekly ones are due again, so it never ends it seems, but I’m trying to keep up. I forced a vacation day in there b/c I needed it personally. Looks like all vacation days so far have to sortof be forced b/c there is never really time for them and that bothers me more than you know as does the long hours. I keep saying we’ll see. I do think as I learn more it’ll get faster. The weekly stuff did, but the person before me worked 7 to 4 with not much lunch time though but- and I’m not there yet. I don’t mind the 7 to 5 even – 10 hours but 9 hours with no lunch time off on most days is better than 11 -13 hours with no lunch time. lol. Yes, indeed, the situation will need to get better and still hoping it will. We will see. I’m not going in as early today, but I may need to stay late to get some more done on the quarter end. I feel like some days I’m the last person on a whip lash (remember skating and going around the ring and the person on the end get’s whipped around good, lol- that’s what life has been like lately). Work, store, hurry and go do this event or that – oh my gosh you mean it’s time to do this already – well crap, oh ok – here we go. Sleep when you can, eat when you can – at least we do that well.

So yeah more on the Spain and foodie events upcoming in the future blog posts. In the mean time, I’m not unhappy at all. I’m very content. If I didn’t like the new job, I would not be and probably would have left already, but I do like it. We just have to figure out how to juggle it so the hours are not so long. Maybe I’m just slower and careful. That said, still not wanting to work the long hours so we will continue to monitor and work on it and see how the next quarter goes. Some in my family have suggested that I stop working the long hours period – finished or not. But that is not how I roll. Now, in the other job when nothing is EVER done or finished, there was no reason to knock head against a brick wall continually – b/c you can’t finish infinity, lol. But yeah the hours is my only beef with this new job. But I still have hope. And yes, I will continue to be concerned til it gets adjusted right and sorted out b/c I like to leave when everyone else does and I enjoy my home time too and right now it’s backed up.

Why am I always so backed up on the holidays? I’m going to be glad to see my Kate, but honestly I’ll have to break my neck to catch up and then I can’t take much vacation around the holiday’s and even have to work the weekends – hell, someone is even having to work a weekend to cover me while on vacation so honestly I’m not really looking forward to the holidays this year. It’s been different anyway these past few years, and I’m sure I’ll be excited at some points (I get a mac) but right now when I look at what all there is b/w now and the first of the year and how busy even Jan will be – during a time that is supposed to be fun – it’s just harried. Honestly it always has been I guess. However, the hours will have to be adjusted b/c I will have to have my nights to shop if I can’t take much vacay time – what am saying? I WILL take my vacay time somehow. I’m not losing it.

Ok I’m working myself up into a worry wart right now. It’s ok – I do it every year. There is just so much to do but less to do than normal – as we have less to buy for. That is sad really – so many of our family has gone – either deceased or aloof. Yes we have aloofness in our family as many do. I can’t believe it, but we do. So if you are aloof, there is not much celebration with aloofness. It just is what it is. Same concept I guess of “Santa bringing coal or filling your stocking”??? Have you been good this year? lol

Oh me, I can see this is going South so I better get to work so I don’t stay there til midnight. However, truth be known when it’s dark and I’m by myself – I WON’T be working late. So it’ll have to figure itself out I guess in the winter. Sonya will be tearing down the parking lot to get out of there. I’d rather go in early. But it won’t be before six or six thirty. That is my limit. I guess I’ll be setting some limits for sure. As Momma says “gotta put the foot down sometimes”. The good part though is I will get to decide when. And I don’t like leaving things undone.

So off to the races! Ya’ll be good and I’ll do the Spain weekend tomorrow. Lord willing!

Finally a Blog Entry: Hard at Work but Found Play Time

Ahhhhhh finally blog time. I have sat down to blog about 4 times this morning. It went something like this….

…..oh wait, I need coffee (I always either have coffee or wine – or sip something when blogging – it’s like eating and watching TV)

…..oh darn, maybe I should take the dogs out before the rain hits

…..oh let me reboot the washer so that can get going

…..hmmmm, I don’t remember seeing that cross I made for the cake – that is going to bother me – I can’t blog til I know that hasn’t been thrown away.

So here I am, sipping decaf b/c I’ve already had 2 cups of the real stuff. I’m listening to some relaxing piano station that Alexa is playing. It’s nice in here with dogs by my side – well one of them anyway – Roger still thinks I’m going back and forth in the house and soon he’ll settle back here when he realizes I’ll be here a while.

It’s rare to have time to blog these days. I’m kinda shocked I’ve not had blog time to tell you the truth. I really like the new job – matter of fact I love it – but right now it is taking a lot of hours. I’m still coming around the learning curve on some of it, but mainly it seems it takes most of the week to do the payroll job and I have to cram tax time either before work, during lunch or after work – when it comes to quarter end stuff anyway. So it’s taken a month of extra work to get through it and I’m still not through. Several more states to file but should be able to toss that off the plate next week after another set of really long days. I’ve been told it will get easier. I can see that it will to some degree. I have spent most of my time on one state that just has an ugly return and it even has my bosses stumped and has required hours of their time to figure out. So I wasted a lot of time there. But – I was told I was headed in the right direction anyway. Most of the quarterly filings I have figured out on my own. Most states have the witholding tax returns and the unemployment returns so I did the witholding tax returns in all states first and did a reconciliation report and had to learn how to do that. I’m still not 100% sure I understand how ALL the report is put together but I learned what numbers needed to match (reconcile) and where to pull numbers to put into the report. So a huge learning curve this week on top of payroll and the normal tax payments and paying garns and uploading 401k. All done and a vacation day to spare. I worked hard and extra to be able to have 8 hours in a row off, lol. A lot of trouble if you asked most anybody.

Momma keeps saying “Well it doesn’t look like to me, that this job is slowing down any on it’s hours”.

Eerie early morning at the Work Complex.

I keep saying “It’ll get better – I’m just working on xxx, yyy, zzz.” And I know she is thinking that it’s always something. And it has been. I will admit I have had those same thoughts and if my pay goes down and I am working longer hours – will I be ok with that? I guess that remains to be seen. I’ll have to do the math and we’ll see if it gets any better. I think we are ALL STILL WAITING for the hours to work out. I still have faith. But now even another excuse – it’s the holidays so there will be strange hours worked through December just to be able to get in my remaining holiday days and the holiday days fall oddly so that I’ll be working weekends to get it done. But I can’t complain b/c my boss is going to have to work on the weekend to the Thanksgiving payroll done. I feel horrible but very grateful that she is sacrificing so I get to see my daughter at Thanksgiving. That brings tears to my eyes that someone would do that for me w/o complaint. I told her I owed her one big time. She is my hero and not many people would be that giving. So b/c of that I will try my best not to complain about the hours going through the holidays.

And I am grateful every day that I am in a job that has a definite answer. A definite end to the “to do”. A payroll WILL BE closed. A 401k WILL BE uploaded. A reconciliation will have a definite number. A pay check will be created. There are no open ends – well maybe in one state that has crazy laws where no one can find the answers, lol lol lol – but other than that there is a DEFINITE finish line. And I love love love every minute of what I’m doing. Sometimes it’s like working a puzzle doing the filings, finding the numbers. It reminds me of math homework. I loved doing math. I was not a huge math whiz but I always liked it. And made A’s and B’s in it. I was not good at Corporate Finance and the more advanced accounting and financial classes and quantitative methods and statistics. But I rocked the main accounting classes. Anyway I am just grateful to be doing something I love instead of something that totally frustrated me at every turn. No wonder I was mad all the time and negative and in a bad mood – I was just around only negative things happening or messing up my world, or no communication, or no cooperation, or complete opposite things happening from what needed to happen, and the inability to control anything. My persona was not built for that. Sure I learned to be a rock in a mass confused explosion area – lol – but I’m not meant to wear a hard hat and deal with life’s crises every second of the day. Numbers on a page don’t talk back, and don’t say no. I don’t care if the numbers on a page or computer screen ignore me. They are meant to. I am not longer on an island by myself trying to build a raft to sail around on – I’m a part of a team – and a good one. And that makes me happy. So if there are longer hours – it’s THAT that gets me through. I am at least working toward something I can see and hold it my hand that doesn’t fight me while working on it. And my world is a more positive place and I’m liking that I can be me now and not have to try to push positivity all the time to try and be more positive. I became so cynical and was holding in some anger and it feels good to be able to release all that negativity and wave it good bye and now that I have I see what life can be like and I only wish I had done it sooner. I am so resilient apparently that I have become willing to put up with anything. One can never be sure that change would bring delight. And that is what is scary. But after praying and God “leading the path” – I knew it was going to be ok.

Someone told me they were proud of what I have done and that I worked hard and didn’t miss a beat. That made me feel so good. I appreciated that. And I told them – well – it was either sink or swim and “failure” is NOT in my vocab. So I did and am doing what it takes to succeed.

So all that said, here I sit on a vacation day and can blog til my heart is content. However, I do have a few things I want and must accomplish but the main things are making that dessert I’ve talked about for over a month! And getting my nails done. It’s hard to do that after work during the month after quarter end. And I have major laundry to do and house cleaning.

I’ve not worked at all on my “to list” I last posted. Just no time. And I WILL have to begin working less hours though – and somehow will have to get through the Christmas shopping, decor and all that. We are busy on the weekends and I’m busy during the week working so not sure how where the time will come from but God says only focus on today for now and not be anxious for the rest of it as today has it’s own needs. So I’ll take that approach. I try to plan and prepare ahead though. But it’ll get all figured out.

So let’s get on with this blog entry – with some pics from the past week. I talk about working hard, but we did cram some fun in there at times. Wednesday night I did leave work early to have a beer with a coworker and catch up – which meant the world to me to get some time out to talk and catch up and I went from that to our dinner with Steve, a former vendor and friend from George’s former work. We still go out when he comes to town.

Steve and George, from our dinner out at Mori Mori
I loved the Poke Bowl, My first ever!

After we got home, had to change the bed sheets as Roger had thrown up in the bed. It’s not been a good week for Roger. I had gone to the store Tuesday night for yogurt after working a stupid long day but it’s like having a baby – you do what you need to do. So the yogurt helped, but he did have a couple of issues – he’s getting better daily as the big D is going away and getting more normal. So carpets have been cleaned with our machine but we’ll be renting the professional one very soon. And the sheets have been replaced and so that was a late couple of nights and then early morning work days.

Also, I didn’t need to leave the building Thursday but I did go to lunch with some of our crew to Santa Fe, as it was one of our coworker’s last day and so we all went out to share a good bye lunch with her and I ordered a salad to “be good” but look what came out. This big huge salad, lol with a big bowl of dressing. I couldn’t eat it all but I ate the top (not all of the cheese). It was so good.

Cobb Salad at Santa Fe
Calabria Brick Pizza (Tried to get a view with no people)

George and I went to eat pizza last night before our trip to the grocery as he has been wanting to try Calabria since they remodeled and have the 2 brick ovens. No pics of the pizza as we dove into it to fast and devoured it. Yes it is good and their upgrade the restaurant took it from a dark place to a very bright and inviting Italian ambiance. Loved it. Also ordered a wine that was divine. I hate red wine to have a sour taste and so many of the restaurants serve cheap bad reds.

I enjoyed the Grayson Merlot from Napa Valley

So I think I’m going to try to find that one and get a bottle. I also may switch from Pinot Noir as my “go to” red, to Merlot. It was heavenly and I sipped slowly.

So we caught up at dinner a bit on our jobs and headed to the store. And I was worn out when we got back. I put up the groceries while George took the doggies out and my head hit the pillow and once George was finished playing his guitar and turned the lights out, I could sleep. I thanked God for my pets, my house, my life, my family, my new job and friends and it doesn’t get any better – well of course unless you send an RV and let me go adventure – but in your will and your timing. I’m not even sure I made it to Amen, but it was a good prayer and a good sleep.

At 4 a.m. or something around that time, my alarm didn’t go off b/c it wasn’t supposed to. I remembered to turn it off for my vacay day today. However – ummmm, how do you turn your dog’s internal clock off? lol She came over and put her paw on my shoulder and pushed and I didn’t stir and she did it again and I said “not now”. She argued with a bark and then another. I put my pillow over my head. She laid down for a while. But once George was up she began barking loudly and in my ear telling me to get up. So I mean…she has me trained. Who can sleep through that???? so George got out the shower and took them out while I made coffee and started up my Tropical Farmville game to wake up.

The coffee was good and I have laundry going and the dishwasher going. No I’m ready to shower and reboot laundry again and get started on my dessert. I’m then going out for nails to be done. Working in files and pulling out the green bar reports (those old dinosaur reports still exist in our world) – but I broke a nail on them. It was time to get them done anyway. And then I’ll come home and either cook dinner or set something for George to cook – we haven’t decided who or what yet.

I do want to try to get the house spiffy if I can, b/c it needs some TLC. And perhaps work on my “to do list” but as always the day is over planned so I’ll do the most important things first. Tomorrow begins our Spain weekend with Don and Lisa and so I’ll come back Sunday night with lots of pics as we experience food from Spain.

George gets his Honda Accord from Carvana Sunday. So that worked out so I don’t have to leave work early. I want to be there for it. It’s an important event to put the coin in and watch it come down the conveyor. It’s a milestone event in our family being that we retain the cars til they become Flinstone like. lol It’ll be George’s first one with the back up camera and bluetooth – and it has leather seats. 😉 I’m so excited for him. And he’s trading in Granny’s van – not much value left. But today is his last trip to work in IT. Kinda sad. A lot of memories of Granny and Granda with that car. It was a really good vehicle for them. I liked it til it no longer had AC and I couldn’t do that long drive without AC. Anyway, better get going on my day. It’s already 9:18 but I’ve enjoyed the heck out of blogging til my heart’s content. It’s like talking to an old friend. And if old friends are reading and I hope they are -then it really is. lol If you are reading let me know. I love to hear from you. It makes blogging not such a lonely concept. lol

What are you all doing this weekend?

Love this cabin on the lake! Beautiful job by the artist!