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Mmm Mmm Good!
2007-02-06, 12:56 p.m.

Day 897

Absolutely delicious!! Tried nycmeís Smoked Turkey and Black Bean Soup last night. I believe nycme has a more more artistic mind set (and some experience cooking too!), so her version of the recipe is more ďa little of this, some of that, a Ďhandfulí of cilantro, a little less parsley . . .Ē. Me, being the geek engineer, has to have things neatly defined with very little left to chance. So I kinda sorta measured (or at least counted) most of the ingredients, except for things like salt & pepper. Now I can put it into my Master Cook data base and get a nutritional breakdown of this soup. Just eyeballing it though, I think it will turn out very favorably. Not a lot of fat, not a ton of carbs, protein is good, and the sodium content is left to the cook really. Just guessing, I think itíll come in around 160 calories per cup, +/- 20 or so and under 25% of the calories from fat.

But back to the taste. Yum. Our four judges (Cindy, Zach, Jill and moi) all gave it 2 thumbs up. The cumin & cilantro give it a nice zip. If you want, I imagine you could leave in the jalapeno seeds to up the heat a bit. Another nice alternative would be to use Chipotleís instead of or even in addition to the jalapeno. Myself? Iíd even try a touch of habanero, but thatís just me. For some of the folks in the house (Jill!!) we need to go easy on the heat. I also like to stick with a recipes original intent the first time through, then tweak it to satisfy personal tastes in subsequent renditions. This one will definitely be added to our favorites rotation.

My concerns about how I seemed to be regressing, or at least not moving forward, with running? Well, seems that if you just make up your mind that you ARE GOING TO RUN this fast for this long (within reason please), itís perfectly do-able. Wuss. Now if Iíd remembered my shirt this morning, I could have stayed and done my weight work. But the extra 15 Ė 20 minutes it cost to go back home and get my freakin shirt sorta put the kibosh on doing any weights this morning. Dang it.

For the record Ė when I leave the house in the morning I typically wear a workout shirt, what ever pants I want to wear for the day, along with appropriate shoes. Clean socks, t-shirt and underwear (colored briefs for those who must know) are packed in my bag and I usually remember to bring a regular shirt along on a hanger. Except for this morning.

Almost every school in the area is closed this morning. This is rather odd, because the weather was worse yesterday and the only schools closed then were those with a high percentage of kids that had to walk to school. Made sense yesterday with a temperature of 1. Today it was a smoking hot 11 just before the crack of dawn. Wind chills were even about 10 degrees warmer too.

The only reason Iím mentioning this is because it will make it difficult for me to leave for my Tuesday night Al Anon meeting. Cindy was supposed to be chaperoning a basketball game tonight. Makes it very easy for me to just go to my meeting when sheís not home. Now, with school closed today thereís no game tonight. Which means Iíll have to declare my intentions for the evening, put up with delay tactics and angry stares, then have to practically break into my own house when I get back. Iíve explained to Cindy that I go to these meetings not because of her, but to help me. I donít think she wants to accept the distinction. Thatís too damn bad, but her understanding and accepting why I go would be a positive step towards her getting into a program of her own. All I can do is try to lead by example and hope she connects my attitude changes to my program.

One other hazard to her being home today revolves around a shipment Iím waiting on from an Amazon book re-seller. A while back I ordered a copy of an Al Anon work book Ė a study guide for completing the 12 steps. I contacted the re-seller yesterday and he assures me the book is on itís way. Cindy wonít open random packages addressed to me, but she will be interested in whatís in them. I will, of course, show her, but thatís another ďwow, you think Iím really messed up, dontcha?Ē moment coming. I can wait, honest. I should be channeling some advice from Ms. Iowa instead Ė ďDonít borrow troubleĒ. Iíll be thinking that for the rest of the day now. My new meditation mantra.

Yesterdayís southern surprise has arrived. Circe and her pal (my pal too) OKC are now armed with propaganda they can use to help liberalize their little section of the world. (Oh yeah, Circe? One of those shirts is for OKC. She was also my sizing consultant). They are now the proud owners of sorta matching Barack Obama T-shirts. Their plan was to wear them to a staff meeting at work (in a politically ultra-conservative, red neckish corner of the country) and try and educate their (ultra-conservative, red neckish) coworkers and neighbors. I couldnít resist helping. I just hope they donít get shot in their attempt to enlighten the ignorant. As a show of solidarity, I should probably get one myself. Then I can wear it when I attend the trial that will convict them of inciting a riot, disturbing the peace and attempting to enlighten an ignorant, ultra-conservative town. Donít worry ladies, Iíll post your bail too!!!!

Ah!! The what about Bob furniture moving pool is over. The winner is whom ever guessed closest to 3.8 micro seconds. Thatís 3.8 x 10e-6sec, or 0.0000038 seconds for the exponentially challenged.

The laptop I put in, with the carefully routed power cable and the links for his camera and printer? Moved. The camera we left in there, getting itís battery charged? Lost. Or he thinks I have it. The stereo? Busted (not). Again. Not in the cabinet where I installed it for him. Itís probably in pieces on his kitchen counter. Cindy was nearly in tears as she talked to him last night. When she finally got off the phone she was pissed (and drunk, but, thatís becoming normal these days). She doesnít get it. Itís not because things need an assigned place. Itís not because heís not happy with how things are arranged. Itís not because heíd rather arrange things himself. Itís because of his disease. He canít help it. (A great reminder there too)

I told Cindy she has to give up trying to control what her dad is doing. Let go of trying to arrange his furniture, his clothes, his life. Her response? ďIím not trying to control him. I just want him to be organized, to stop moving stuff around and losing it all the timeĒ This led to pointing out that the phrase ďI want him to . . .Ē means you are trying to control. Until you say ďI want him to do as he pleasesĒ and MEAN IT, you are trying to be controlling. All the other stuff Ė losing things, blaming me for everything that he canít find, his apartment being a disorganized wreck because heís looking for his keys Ė we just have to accept. Itís all part of the disease process and w just have to learn to deal with it. (Another great reminder)

Cindy left the conversation there, poured herself another drink and tuned out. I went and commiserated with the kids, who had heard most of what Cindy told her dad, and what we said to each other. At least theyíre up to speed and understanding the points I was trying to make. (Of course, they were sober and receptive. Cindy? Notsomuch)

That meeting tonight is sounding pretty good . . .



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