Saturday, January 28, 2012

More on the wreck

I found this path-of-the-liner piece fascinating. I wish I could tell where Giglio is on the map:

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Southern climes

In 8 days, I and my friend Tress will fly to Virginia, there to travel by car to North Carolina. I am taking some of Mom's ashes to my cousin Garna.

The average January and February temperatures were a lot more attractive when it was 30 degrees out, but are still attractive:

We will be staying in Rocky Mount, between Raleigh and Greenville, all of Saturday and Sunday.

Dang pan

I ordered this pan, the Precise Heat 8-Inch Element Omelet Pan, from (Vic & I got gift cards, thank you so much, from my mother-in-law Marie):

Unfortunately, this Precise 8-Inch Pan is the one that arrived:

I will try to complain to Amazon. Can you tell why I'm complaining?

Two lights

There's a green lighthouse to match the red lighthouse. It's just so sad.

Minute muffins

I've been making myself high-fiber muffins since re-starting the low-carb diet. They're actually quite yummy -- Vic (not dieting) will request a gingerbread one for himself, and that's saying something. There are flavors that I have yet to try: Garlic Dill, Lemon Poppyseed, and Pumpkin. And they are so FAST, cooking in 1:11 -- 1 minute! -- in the microwave.

Below is a cinnamon muffin with 1/2 an ounce of blueberries inside, topped with whipped cream cheese. The green soup mug is what it was cooked in. Recipes follow.

1/4 c milled flax (flax meal)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbs Hershey's special dark cocoa
sweetener to taste (I use Splenda)
1 tbs chopped walnut
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
Mix dry ingredients, then add wet (use a whisk). Scrape the sides.
Nuke for 1 min (1-1-1) in a soup or coffee mug. Put butter on it after baking.

1/4 c flax meal
1/4 to 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 packet Splenda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 lg egg
1 tsp butter
Put dry ingredients in a soup or coffee mug & stir. Add egg and butter; mix.
Microwave 1 min (1-1-1). Slice & eat with butter, or toast before eating.
Carbs: 12.07, Fiber: 8.8, Calories: 243 calories, Fat: 18g, Protein: 12g

2 tbs golden flax seeds, ground
1/4 to 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
Sweetener, about 2 tsp
1 large/extra large egg
1 tsp olive oil (EVOO)
Mix dry ingredients in large mug. Add wet ingredients and mix throughly, scraping bottom and sides.
Cook in microwave for 1 min (1-1-1).
Top with butter or cream cheese.

No more SV

SV as in supervision -- or, as in good supervision. I had to step away from the case that I was working, and "SV" came with that case.

I wanted to share with the mother that I had filed a report with DCF, but the big boss said, "No." Not sharing would have made my situation working in that home unpleasant, if not untenable. The mother would obviously know that it was me who filed, once DCF visited the home. That I would not be able to confirm or deny was ridiculous.

I haven't resigned from the organization, but I get the sense that I might as well have resigned. Still, I feel empowered and authentic. Plus, I got a phone call yesterday from an Endicott classmate. He wants to recommend me for a position working with him. We'll see!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Good supervision

For all that things at work are going to hell in a handbasket, I am relieved that my supervisor was switched in October. The new supervisor, let's call him SV, is a much more serious, knowledgeable, and compassionate presence than Person #1 was.

Here's a weird example: Person #1 had no response to a complaint of mine -- that, whenever the client pulled my hair, he would eat the pulled-out strands. New SV instructs that any strands are to be removed from the client's grasp so that he is not reinforced in that behavior by being able to eat them. It's a small thing, but SV connected dots that #1 did not.

In addition, where #1 discounted the usefulness of assessing the client's preferences -- assessments upon which much of behavior analysis is predicated -- SV has proposals and recommendations for conducting such assessments. And he speaks to the client with kindness and respect.


Look at the difference in angle, 2 posts down as compared to this one.

It hurts to hear that so many of the dead being recovered are in their life jackets. What that says to me is that they gathered on deck and then were instructed by crew to return to their cabins. More than just the captain should be answerable and charged with manslaughter.

Am I a working girl?

I was asked *not* to report to work today. Having witnessed a punch last night, I had to file a 51A. My bosses both instructed me not to let the parent know that I had filed (I would have preferred to do so) and told me not to go this afternoon.

Of course, this is a week when I need all my hours -- I'm going for a weekend to VA/NC on February 3, paycheck day. A smaller paycheck is not helpful! At least there are no bills at the very start of the month.

I applied to two more jobs this morning.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Oh, Carnival

Haven't we all been watching these images on TV? I love a good shipwreck, but never the loss of life. Who crashes into a lighthouse? I know, I know, but it sure looks like that's what happened.

The ship is supposed to be part of the Carnival Cruise Line. Vic and I had hoped to book a cruise through the Mediterranean, perhaps for 2013. Eek.

What we have booked is England, and shipwrecks are still relevant. The Scilly Isles, off the coast of Cornwall, are the true Graveyard of the Atlantic (the OBX are AKA):

To paint

For about four years now, I've been working on the same painting each time we go to the Outer Banks. It will be done soon, I hope, because I have two images that are competing to be the next painting that I attempt:

Which do you think?

Of course, we aren't likely to be back on the Outer Banks until the fall. England takes priority.

England, here we come

A project that Vic & I finished last weekend is our trip to England. It will take place 20 years after nearly the exact dates of our honeymoon, which was spent in the same spots (for the most part). One of those spots is the Scilly Isles. This pic was taken on Tresco, in the Scillies cluster:

The area in the picture is dedicated to shipwreck debris. The Lawson was the only 7-masted sailing ship ever built, and it wrecked off the Scillies. :)

Victor hasn't requested Week 2 off work yet, and I haven't gotten permission for a single day. But everything's booked, including our flights, so we are going, dammit. One planning project done.

Still-due projects

There are a number of things that I should probably be doing right now instead of posting repeatedly to this blog.

First, a PR project for the place where I work. Mind you, I've done substantive work on this, pro bono, already. But I need to visit my co-creators' comments and incorporate them into the text. And that was due today.

Second, my 'cookbook.' I'm putting together (in an accordion file) all the recipes that Vic and I have loved over the 20 years of our marriage. I have a particular focus on low-carb recipes -- I'm restarting Atkins at the moment (and have lost 8 pounds!).

Third, sorting receipts. Ugh. All my financial data from 2011 needs to be sensibly presented to Victor, who does our tax returns.

And finally, finishing my Christmas presents. See next post.

I will probably post here a couple more times, though. ;)

Still-due presents

For family, for Christmas, I gave as gifts 8" digital frames. (You may remember that I posted about giving smaller ones to my niece and my mother.) In the wake of losing Cathy and then Mom, and because I put together photo montages for both services, I felt (feel) like everyone needs to have access to the best images.

My plan was to put together SD cards full of pictures for everyone, so that they could start using their frames right away. Well, it would be done, except that a) I felt like I had to shrink the picture resolution, as there were 500+, and now I'm not sure that was the best idea; b) I may need to organize them better so that pets and people don't repeat in clusters; and c) I'm still searching for two pictures that I know I have, but can't find: niece Alexandra and a just-caught mackerel, and my father with me and Helen (my sister) in the driveway of the house in Madison, CT. If you have a copy of either picture, please alert me!

Once we were adults, my parents gave to each of us the photo albums that they'd been compiling since our births. The thing is, these albums contain lots of great pictures of us as individuals that are not in anyone else's album. So, e.g., Helen's album has many pictures of Helen in it that Myron doesn't have. It is my hope that, once the SD cards are distributed, any images that folks decide to *add* will be shared (because no doubt they're great pictures of us growing up that I've never seen).

Mmm, ceviche

For two Christmases now, I've proposed to Vic that we make ceviche. He has rejected these proposals, but three times = the charm, right?

If you aren't familiar, ceviche is raw seafood marinated in citrus so that it's essentially "cooked." With jalapenos, sweet onion, and avocado, it's a lovely appetizer. I love how scallops, salmon, and shrimp taste in lime juice. Vic fears that his family won't go for raw seafood that has been chemically altered by citrus, but the alterations are identical in heating seafood.

From the Good Morning Gloucester blog, this one has mango in it:

And here's my recipe for CEVICHE:

Preparation time: 15 minutes to prepare, 3-4 hours to let sit. Always use the freshest fish possible. Make this on the same day that you purchase the fish.

2 lbs firm, fresh fish (e.g., salmon, shrimp, haddock, scallops), cut into 1/2" pieces
5-6 lg limes (or 3/4 c lime juice)
2 lg lemons (or 1/4 c lemon juice)
1/2 sweet onion (red or Vidalia)
1 md to lg tomato
2 serrano or jalapeno chilis, seeded and finely diced
dash ground oregano
salt to taste
dash Tabasco or pinch cayenne pepper
1 avocado
3 tbs cilantro
tortilla chips or taco shells
[optional: 1 tbs olive oil, 1 tsp+ minced garlic, sliced hearts of palm, crab meat]

Cut up onion and fish, making sure all skin and bones are removed. Seed and chop tomatoes and chilis. Squeeze limes and lemon.

In a non-reactive casserole dish, either Pyrex or ceramic, place the fish, onion, tomatoes, chili, salt, Tabasco, and oregano.

If using, mix the oil and/or garlic into juices. Cover fish mixture with lime and lemon juice. Let sit covered in the refrigerator for an hour, then stir, making sure more of the fish gets exposed to acidic juices. Let sit in refrigerator for at least another 3 hours, giving time for the flavors to blend and all the fish to become "cooked."

Chop cilantro and cut avocado. If using, slice the hearts of palm. Remove ceviche from fridge and carefully stir in cilantro and avocado pieces (and optional hearts of palm and cooked crab meat) right away, before avocado can darken.

Serve with tortilla chips or taco shells.


In Gloucester, before the holiday, I found myself driving behind this vehicle. It was so warm that its owner must have been gleeful, to be able to capitalize on the extra time before the need for storage.

It reminded me of the Reliant, a three-wheeled vehicle that popped up on roadways from time to time when we lived in England, 1975-76. There's a spirit of fun, somehow, about traveling on three wheels. From


I think this is post #1000. I was going to write about the trike, but then I thought that #1000 should be on a more weighty subject.

Following are pictures of Mom (Betty) with Gillian and her first husband, Eric; and working at Rediffusion (radio) in Barbados. She is so YOUNG in that first picture, embarrassed to be photographed. (Wait, was she ever not embarrassed in picture-taking situations? LOL)

This is the last picture taken of her, I believe. I may have run it on this blog before. Victor took it.

The following is my ID pic on Facebook at the moment. The flower was taken from the wreath that surrounded her urn. The OBX sticker is because, if not for Mom as my guide, I never would have visited the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Vic and I owe a lot of our experience of peace and healing to her -- even if she was not personally a source.

30? 31 days ago?

This lovely woman, who sent her words of support when my mother died, lost a brief battle with cancer on December 14. I attended her funeral the week before Christmas.

Corinne was a mentor and a savior. A specialist in adoption troubles, she provided invaluable input when Victor and I were struggling to do the right things.

Over the past 24 months, I had been traveling down to Hingham a few times a year to lunch with her and with Linda Grillo, another great mentor in the adoption community. She pressed me during those lunches to get myself certified so that I could treat children. I hope that that's the path that I'm on.


TEK stands for The Emperor's Knife. My sister co-wrote this book with a gentleman in England, and it has been out & available for a full month now! It kind of takes my breath away, and hers, too. It is getting such great reviews, and I'm hoping positive word-of-mouth as well.


It has been so long since I posted on this blog that I forgot my password. I had to re-set it.

I don't know exactly why it's been so long. I had (have) it in my head that I needed to post something about my blood pressure crash when I had the nuclear medicine procedure (for my foot). The tech told me that she watched the color drain from my face: way too close to what I and my sisters saw in my mother's room on her last night. It could be that.

I recently developed a heart flutter/palpitation that I'm wearing a halter monitor to track. It showed up right after my mother died! It could be that: Health stuff just isn't interesting, and maybe also I've been grieving (though not excessively).

I was excited, but maybe also hesitant, that, with just another 4 posts, I would hit 1,000. It could be that.

But I've been saving photos for a full month to go with interesting tidbits that I haven't written up!