Life Is Changing.

the juggleLots of thoughts going on in my brain… I’m struggling a bit these days… here is why.

Dating.  Feeling Foolish.  I just found out from a very reliable source that Italian Stallion was indeed dating others.  I feel foolish for trusting him. Makes me feel gullible.  Now I get why we never went out in public.. why he broke up with me when and how he did.. as I hear more about him and his antics, I realize that I was foolish and naive.   Bums me out.  Not that I’m upset that we are not together, I’m upset that people are no longer trust-worthy.  They don’t deserve trust or the benefit of the doubt.  My heart tells me that people are innocent until proven guilty. But this is just not reality – I have to assume that people are guilty until proven innocent. It’s so opposite of my personality…  Makes me want to crawl into my own space and not deal with people.

Dating. ATrain.  Went to the Bahamas with ATrain (more on this soon) and he suggested that we get back together.  Damn straight I’m a great partner.  I’m angry and frustrated that he didn’t see it before….   Can I get over the fact that he didn’t see it when we were together?  Can I really start over fresh with him? It really doesn’t help that he is pouring it on thick while I’m dealing with my Italian Stallion experience (above).  There are things I want, things that I shared with him, all have to do with feeling secure and stable:

  • Living space.  I want to live with my partner.  For us, we would need at least a 3/2 and some significant change (i.e. ATrain puts everything on the countertops.. a messy countertop drives me insane… insane I tell you. I cannot focus if there is shit on the counter.).
  • Security.  We either get married or I have that same security through documentation. I don’t want to worry about where my next meal is coming from.
  • Status.  he needs to be divorced. No more excuses.

But when I think about it, really think about it, there are a few things that I want that I have not admitted to or shared out loud. If I’m going to have it all, here is what I would add to the list:

  • Child. I want one. Doesn’t have to be a baby.. but a child. That I can raise. It is not about giving birth, it is about having an experience and a positive impact in this world. But is this even reasonable? I am almost 45…and I do love my sleep. I want this, but only if I have a great partner. Doing it alone is not for me.
  • Work Part Time. Especially important if I have a kid. I do not want to deal with unrealistic expectations and unreasonable hours.
  • Freedom. I want a partner for life. But I also want the freedom to experience others once in a while. I’m not sure that monogamy is possible…  so many cheaters.. why be a cheater when you can be honest and up front with a partner?  Is this possible – to make an agreement that is amenable to both parties re: sexual liaisons?

I know. These others are very big deals and difficult to discuss…  I am not sure how important they are to me until I meet a partner that is worthy of having this discussion with.

Work.  New Adventure.  So I found a new job.  I signed the employment agreement last week.  I officially start in June but will be doing some work prior to starting.  Ever since this happened, I am experiencing anxiety.  I did so much due diligence on the company and the leadership team, I cannot imagine that this is why the anxiety has kicked in. I think that my last job really had a negative impact on me. I’m lucky I have a few months to get over whatever is going on….

Family.  As you all know my family has been through a lot in the last 6 months.  Things are smoothing out… AbFab is speaking with her mother again, the girls have seen their Grandma again…  My twin is doing very well. The cats are healthy for now..  My parents are my parents – retired and loving it.

Not sure what else there is to share… I’m exhausted and need to go to bed. Please share your journey and/or thoughts.

Paleo Week 4 – Thoughts and Best Recipes.

Fat-Loss-Diet-and-Exercise-Plan

A not so quick update.

First, I love the Paleo diet – it has changed my life wrt my stomach issues.  I’ve had maybe 3 flare-ups – and they are identifiable, meaning I know what caused them.  My stomach can handle meats, fruits and veggies, and non-dairy dairy (nut dairy, NOT cow dairy). I also seem to be able to handle cheeses (so dairy in moderation) and wine without a problem.

I LOVE the fact that I can eat healthy, have a flat stomach, not have bloating or constipation issues, AND drink wine.  Yes, Paleo, you have me at Hello.

A couple of notes:

  • You can be successful IF you prepare yourself for success.
    • Remove shit from your refrigerator and cabinets and start over with the right ingredients. This was quite expensive for me – but well worth it.
    • Plan your shopping list and be prepared at all times with foods you can eat. This can take time… and its a conscious effort, one well worth it IMO. I prep and shop and cook on Sundays. It’s a half day at least… wish it was less but so far it hasn’t been.
  • You must live near a  Whole Foods or be able to order goods via Amazon.. otherwise, this diet won’t work. I know from experience that you cannot find much of anything that is Paleo friendly in small towns across the US.
  • You do need to like (more on the love side) to cook, experiment with recipes, be ok with failure, and most of all, love leftovers. If you have and love a slow cooker all the better.  If you don’t love to cook or bake, this is not a diet for you.
  • You will spend a shit ton of time prepping your food. Key staples in the kitchen are:
    • Cutco Knives. Best damn knives on the planet – they will help you chop, cut, etc. If you want to know which ones I use let me know. I’ll supply the list of must-haves.
    • Mandolin. Just got myself one – the OXO Mandolin – because it had storage.  It’s missing a chopper.  Other than this, its excellent. Reviews say watch your fingers – and its true. Almost sliced off the tips of my fingers a couple of times.  Because of my close calls with losing my digit fingers I ordered myself the NoCry gloves. I LOVE THEM so much I ordered a pair for my Paleo diet cooking friend (she also has Cutco and has cut fingertips, nails,and such).

For me, I love baked goods – there is NOT a donut I don’t love (except those covered in maple icing). Baked goods are brought into the office every day, which sucks for me.  So I’m experimenting with baking and I’m having a ball.  BUT, this was the hardest for me to cut out – I LOVED my Fiber One bars, Cinnamon, Gingerbread, Lemon Bars oh My!!   Below is what I’ve done, baking wise.  I’d open a bakery if I could – because this is where it’s at. Experimenting has been so much fun.  Why are bakeries NOT incorporating coconut or almond flours in their treats?

After a month, here are my favorite recipes, notes of changes included.

NOTE – you must use Google Chrome to search for these recipes. If you use Bing you will NOT get good results.

  • Making Sweet Potato and Beet Chips isn’t as easy as all the recipes I’ve found online have said.  NOT A ONE.  I’ve made a good 10 lbs of chips, none of which have turned out perfectly. I’m still experimenting with temperature and the right mixture of oil, baking time, and spices.  I thought the price of Terra Chips was ridiculous.  Given the time and effort I’ve put in to make the perfect chip, I think the price is well worth it. I’ve got 20+ hours into it by now and I still don’t have a recipe I’m happy with. Terra Chips – thank you for making a quality chip that I can eat my guacamole with!
  • Paleo Curry Chicken 
    • I first tried Danielle Walkers Against All Grain Cookbook slow cooker Chicken Curry. It’s ridiculously GOOD. However, I don’t always have slow-cooker time on my hands.  so I found this Paleo Friendly Quick Curry Chicken recipe – and I made the following edits – remember, I love leftovers
      • I used Thai Kitchen green curry paste – an entire bottle
      • I used a small rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods. I didn’t salt or pepper it, I just deboned all the chicken
      • I used 1/2 yellow onion, 2 heads of broccoli, 1 red pepper, one carrot julliened w/ my new mandolin, and a 1 inch piece of ginger – sliced
      • I sautéed the onions, added the curry paste, let it saute a bit, then added the veggies – mixed it up, then added the cooked chicken
      • Then added 2 cans of coconut milk – one full fat, one light
      • Let it cook for 10 minutes, serve.
      • This served 2 – then I had 3 leftover servings (enough for lunch all week).
  • Paleo Banana Pancakes – I needed something to fill the pastry desires I had.  I need carbs, or something that resembles carbs.  So after a few experiments, I found this recipe on CaveManCooking and modified it a bit –
    • one for one on banana and eggs. You use too many eggs it tastes like a bad omelet and the texture is too spongy.
    • I used frozen bananas – you know, the ones that are over ripe that you put in the freezer to “do something” with..  once you thaw them, be sure to rid yourself of as much liquid as you can. The riper the banana, the sweeter the pancake.  No matter what the other recipes call for, do not add honey or sweeteners – the ripe banana makes it sweet enough
    • Add a TBS of coconut flour and a pinch of cinnamon.
    • 3 eggs, 3 bananas and a TBS of coconut flour make about 7 pancakes that are about 6″ round. two for you to eat right away, and one for each day of the week.  It was perfect for me. If you have the chance, add a bit of maple syrup or strawberry rhubarb jam… you will love it.
  • Paleo Slow Cooker Pork – Danielle Walkers recipe is the best, and this recipe walks you through how to make this deliciousness happen.  It’s so simple – and you should make lots of it because you can create other meals with the leftovers.  Yum!

Next up is Chicken Tikka Masala, more time perfecting my own chips, Thai Chicken sauce for lunch wraps (not Pizza), anything with Pumpkin puree, and seal the deal on my own Paleo “bacon burger” recipe (yes, my first experiment that friends and family love).

I think that is it – other than working, I’ve been cooking and enjoying it.  So far I’ve lost 3 pounds (4 weeks, 3 pounds).  Not bad given that I’m still drinking wine, eating cheese (in moderation), and working more than full-time in an office filled with wheat filled treats.

I’ll post another entry about work…  as you may remember, I started a new job 3 months ago.  Got the title and responsibility I wanted… All I can say is be careful what you ask for.. 🙂

Reconnecting.

Hello friends.

I know I’ve been out of touch, I’ve been working WAY TOO MUCH.  I’ve not had a second to myself, let alone for anyone else.  So much has happened since May…

First and foremost, I am alive. Just barely.. I’ve been working 80+ hours for months now.  Working on a work project that has consumed my life and not in a good way.  I gained the 10 pounds I lost last year, I am working for a woman who I can I only describe as grotesque.  Needless to say I’m looking for a new job.

Professionally I’ve exhausted myself – I’m completely burned out.  Totally spent.  I love the company I work for, I hate the person I’m working with.  I do love the other 95% of the people, but unfortunately to stay in my region I have to work with the person I’m working with. And IMO, life it just too short to work with poisonous people.  So on the hunt I go.

My personal relationships have suffered.  I have not seen most of my friends for months now…  and the ones I have seen it has felt rushed. I’m disappointed in myself for letting this happen.

Just because I’ve not written doesn’t mean I’ve not kept up with you, my favorite bloggers.  I love you GG and PG.. you both have kept me going this year.  Even though I’ve not responded to either of you, I love your posts. Thank you for sharing your life experiences with me. When I’ve needed a connection after long hours at the office, you are the first two I’ve turned to.   I’m also interested in Struggling Dad..  Anyone know what happened to him? Did he drop communication due to life’s complexities or can catch up with him on another blog site?

Regarding my main relationship, I’m in one, which is even surprising to me.  ATrain has stuck with me, has taken care of me and the girls – He is a great dad/father to the cats, and a great partner to me.  He has made more than his fair share of salads, dinners, and plans.  I’ve been an absentee partner for the most part, I’m lucky to have him, that he has been so patient with me. I tear up thinking about his kindness and generosity towards me over the last 6 months. 

For those of you that have gotten this far, I was able to purchase the house I remodeled and was living in. The ironic thing is that the girls and I now live with ATrain so I am trying to rent my home.  I’m renting it furnished. I did not have a problem renting it in August.  I’ve got 3 people interested for September. I am on the hook to show it to these folks during Labor Day Weekend.

I’m in Boston this week working and visiting with one of my best friends who stopped blogging years ago Unicorns and Rainbows. I do wish she would start blogging again – she has been doing interesting things and I’m sure her parents and I (along with you) would love to know the latest and greatest.

So, if I had to summarize  my position right now I would say that I’m feeling fat, un-confident, searching for a new path/job/lot in life, have a great support system with my boyfriend ATrain, friends C-Licious, Free Bird, Smarty Pants,  and family including Mom and Dad, AbFab, Lil’ Darlin, and my Twin. I just need to get off my ass and do something to change where I’m at, the situation I’m in. Stop complaining and DO SOMETHING.

I’ll write more and post pictures of my Santa Cruz weekend soon.

Thanks for reading.

Flying Standby.

Oh lordy, what a bumpy ride I’ve had these last couple of weeks.

Long in short of it is that I’m flying standby on a flight to SF from Boston.  I flew out to Boston to deliver a demo, my first one for my new company.  It was NOT to a customer(thank god), but to my managers… who gave me great feedback on my demo delivery.  I am growing as a professional, learning from people that I respect and admire.  I’m so lucky… 

 The demo … well, not great.  But I now have room for improvement.  🙂  BUT, in my defense, my computer crashed and I cobbled together a decent demo in 4 days..    I’ve leaned a lot, but I am totally exhausted from the experience.  Its 10pm, my face is washed, I’m in my jammies, and I’m in bed.  I can’t wait to fall asleep.

But tomorrow brings the opportunity to fly home early…  to depart on the 2ish flight vs. the 6ish flight.  I want everyone to cross their fingers and wish me luck – I need to be home and in my bed NOT working on a demo for a few days….If any of you out there have United influence, please help.  Send good wishes my way – I know I’ll need it now that I’ve lost status.

O.k. Short but sweet post – I’ve just swallowed a little white pill and I have 8 hours of uninterupted asleep ahead of me.  Dreammmyyy.

Dating at 40.

Dating at 40 is very different than it was when I was in my 20’s.. I spent  my 30’s married and divored.  Now, at 40, the scene has changed significantly.

First and foremost, I wanted to let everyone know, that the man who sent me the Dear Paula Letter is a kind person.  I was lucky to spend every minute with him, he was of the upmost calliber – he was a true gentleman with the highest of integrity, was honest to the bone, had true grit, had the greatest energy, and was a blast to be with.  He has set the bar very high for the next round of gents I date.  So please don’t confuse my sadness with anything that he did.  I own my grief….  I was/am sad that the person I truly enjoyed being with, that I had tons of fun with, that I conncted with did not feel the same way about me.  Oh well, that is part of life.  I’ve got my big girl pants on now… its fine.

What I have been pondering lately is the new dating scene I’ve found myself in.  I’ve been thinking a lot about these past few weeks.  There are a couple of things I’ve learned/am learning/will continue to ponder:

  1. What I find attractive is so very different now.    What I wanted in my 20’s is definitely NOT what I want now.  In my 20’s I was looking for someone in my same boat – single, looking to build a partnership/relationship in the spirit of creating a family.   I don’t want this anymore.  I am single, without kids, but given my experience with my niece, I feel like I’ve lived a full life – raised my kids,  enjoyed the ups and downs of unconditional love.  I do not need to give birth to a baby to feel complete.  So I have no biological clock ticking ….  I am looking for someone who is NOT looking to start a new family, is older, wiser, wants to develop a strong friendship/bond, and a fun, drama free relationship.
  2.  Whats on the Market Now.   On the market now are either single guys in their 40’s or divorced men  in their 40’s.  Given the option to date a single person with no children or a divorced person with “extras”.  I’d pick the divorced man.  40+ year old men without a long term relationship and/or a family just does not have enough life experience for me.  They are often too needy, still want someone to mother/take care of them…   I don’t want to be someones mother, I want someone who can take care of themself (like I do).  So, I go for the more complex option – man with history/a past.  I want someone who has struggled, has learned about themselves, has dealt with adversity, and is able to clearly articulate who they are and what makes them happy, sad, energized, etc..  I know that being with this kind of man presents its own challenges,  meaning they may have kids, ex-wives, financial setbacks…  I get it.    But I’m o.k. with this – I am attracted to men who take care of their families, who want the best for those around them, who know how to compromise, know how to make tough decisions, know how to communicate.  Its just what I prefer – and its a good thing, because at 40, there are adult men, good men out there who have been through the ringer, and are looking for a solid, genuine, independent woman to share a few good times with.
  3. The Art of Dating.  For one, I don’t think I have dating game – I want to get there and meet new people, find friendships, establish connections, and just maybe, find that special somone I can explore this life with.  But I have no idea really how to go about doing this because everything is different now (points 1 & 2 above) …. … This hit me while I was getting my hair done and reading the Dating Virgins  article in this months Marie Claire.  Basically this article points out that women (and men I suspect)  tend to fall back into the comfort of a full relationship rather than enjoy dating.  Dating can fun – getting to know someone is exciting.  My favorite quote from the article is “dating is a marathon, not a sprint.”.  Personally, I’m in no hurry to get into another relationship –  I have no end goal that I’m trying to accomplish.  But after reading the article, maybe I do ..   just because I don’t know what I’m doing AND when I find someone I like, I do want to spend as much time with that person as possible…… maybe this is too much too soon?  I don’t know.   This is something I’m going to watch as I begin my dating adventures.  My focus will be on enjoying the moment of getting to know someone, not pushing, not rushing, just enjoy what is.

 So, dating is different now.  I’ve changed, and the dating pool has changed, the game has changed.  I’m open to this new life, willing to take that leap of faith, get out there and have fun with a lot of  intersting adult men.  I’ve got nothing to lose and a whole lot of new friendships to gain and interesting experiences to have.

Go Paula!



New Home is Coming Along.

Home Sweet Home

I stopped by the new house today. Check out the progress.  The electrical work was signed off by the city, the insulation and wallboard goes in. By Friday, the house will seem like a house (instead of a disaster area).   I’ve been taking pictures along the way, so I’ll post some of the good before and after’s on the site.

I am 8 weeks into construction, and I have another 4 weeks to go.  I will be moving in early November.  Its crazy to think how this stroke of good luck came to me….

Anyway, I’ve attached a picture of the front of the house as it looks today.   The reason I decided to post the picture is because much wont change from what you see except the color.  To stay on budget, there are a few things that I just cant afford to do right now: 

  • fixing the delapidated/leaning front porch
  • add the new back deck
  • replace the yard/lawn area in the front as well as on the sides

All in all, these are items that are very nice to haves, but not must-haves.  Must haves are a kitchen, laundry room, bathrooms, etc..   As long as I can live in it comfortably, the rest will just have to wait.

A New Beginning.

I have some great news to share with you.  I am almost the proud owner of a newly rennovated old (1905 to be exact) home.  Honestly, after my divorce I did not think I would be able to afford a home in the Bay Area in the neighborhoods that I wanted to live in.

With the housing crash and a bit of good luck, its going to happen for me.  I’ve known for about 4 weeks now, but I’ve not wanted to jinx myself – so I’ve not shared the news with many folks.

I currently live in a transitional neighborhood – not many folks are like me, in both ethnicity or family size.  I live in a largely spanish and very family oriented neighborhood.  I see a lot of families out, talking walks with their kids, their pets, heading/returning to/from work..  Its a great blue collar neighborhood.   I’m not like them, but the neighborhood is safe, close to the freeways, close to all my friends, and the cats love it. 

Here is how it happened:  A few months back I asked my landlord if I could purchase the house I live in – its a beautiful, rennovated craftsman style home.  It has a lot of its original character… I just love it.  But alas, the owner said no. Given the market conditions, I started looking around… homes were starting to come around in my price range but not in the neighborhoods I wanted to live….

BUT, then the luck happened to me.  My landlord has another house TWO doors down that he is interested in selling.  It’s in terrible condition… but has good bones.  We walked thru it with him, and I could see it – I could see the perfect house… the perfect house for me.  I was sold.  We negotiated a price (which includes rennovations), and woaalaa, the process has started.

So today, it became very real.  I went to Home Depot with the project manager/contractor and designed and PURCHASED my Kitchen.  My new Kitchen will arrive in approximately 4 weeks and will be installed shortly thereafter.   Spending a lot of money sure makes it all become reality.

There is so much I’m getting with this, which is why it feels so surreal….   The plan is for me to move into the new home sometime in October.  That a little less than 2 months away!!  Here are the items that I get really excited about:

  • Working with the team to design the house…  moving walls, designing kitchens and bathrooms, picking materials, its so much fun.  The house is going to be me…..
  • The house has soooo much character.  I do love the older homes and the quality/character that was put into them.  This home was built in 1905… the main rooms have coved ceilings, and the entire house has 9 foot ceilings..
  • A patio/deck off of the kitchen.   I’ve wanted this since 201 Chester (10 years ago).   I have designed the new kitchen with a six foot slider that leads onto a large deck… just dreamy!
  • Three bedrooms AND two bathrooms, one of them a master bathroom.  My own bathroom… sooooo nice!
  • A laundry room with a counter and shelves… places to store laundry room stuff and a counter to fold my dried goods….. so luxurious!

So, when I get a chance I will post pictures. The house looks like nothing now, a shell of its to-be fabulous self.   I will post the pictures as I take them and we can watch the transformation together.