Andi Winter

Writer, Reader, Tea Drinker, Chrononaut

Category: 3 for Thursday

Three for Thursday

Man, it’s been a hell of a week. A screwball schedule combined with some of the strangest summer weather we’ve seen in the Portland area in years*, has me feeling all discombobulated.

So here’s what is helping me get through this week:

1. What I’m reading: First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong by James R. Hansen. You know you’re reading a thorough biography when the author doesn’t get to the birth of the biographee until page 30. Seriously. Because we needed to go over the history of the Armstrong family name (it’s Scottish), and the history of Neil’s great-grandparents, and then his grandparents, and then his parents before they met each other. But I’m learning about Neil (can I call him that? I feel like I’m getting to know him pretty well), and I’m impressed. Getting your pilot’s license before your driving license? Getting into MIT, but choosing to go to Purdue? Playing in a ‘military’ band** to fulfill ‘military’ course credit for a Navy scholarship? Brilliant.

2. What I’m eating: Kettle Brand Kettle-style BBQ Potato Chips. I never liked BBQ chips before: they were too sweet and smoky and just plain funky.*** These are addictive. In fact, I just ate a whole bowl of them. I think. Or maybe the house elves were snacking on them as well when I wasn’t looking. Bad house elves.

3. What I’m drinking: Sunriver Brewing’s Fuzztail Hefeweizen. It reminds me of Rogue Ale’s Honey Orange Wheat, but with less orange (i.e. none)****. Honestly, it’s a perfect summer beer. And I must say, it goes very nicely with Kettle BBQ potato chips.

And now, back to enjoying a fine summer evening. At last.

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*There was “Juneuary” a year or two back, which saw June all cool and rainy. Lately (by which I mean the past month and a half) it’s been again cool and rainy, to the point of seeming more like winter than proper summer. My basil plants are wilting in the overcast damp chill. Today was the first day in awhile that was actually sunny, and even somewhat warm. Huzzah!

**He played baritone horn—the same horn I played in college marching band. We’re kindred spirits!

***Funky in a bad way. Not funky in a good way, like Earth, Wind, and Fire.

****Sunriver describes it as having grapefruit and lemon notes, so there is a citrus commonality.

Three for Thursday

Here are three things I’m loving right now*:

  1. What I’m reading: Kindle Paperwhite—The only reason I got a Kindle was to read War and Peace. Seriously. There was no way I was going to be able to read the paper version, by which I mean ‘hold up as I lay in bed without the tome smashing into my face’. The Kindle performed admirably**, and then proved itself again on trips where its built-in light was so very handy late at night when I couldn’t sleep and didn’t want to wake my husband by turning on a lamp. And now it’s been great for downloading library books.
  2. What I’m wearing: Fitbit Alta—I got it to help track my sleep, but its been far more useful as a pedometer. Took it on our recent trip to New York City/Washington, DC***, and I’m pretty sure it lied to me because I KNOW we walked way more than it was stating. Still, it’s been good to me. Besides, I like to swap out the wristband with the seasons.****
  3. What I’m drinking: Tension Tamer Tea—Did I mention some stress lately? As much as a strong drink would be awesome, I can’t exactly imbibe during the workday*****, so I turn to this Blessed Tea Relief from Celestial Seasonings. They must put some sort of mood-altering herbal in it because it definitely smooths the stress out. Lovely.

Now back to the writing…

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*Because I’m in need to looking at the bright side, since the weight of looming deadlines has things looking just a wee bit dark lately.

**Especially with the built-in dictionary, so I could look up all sorts of ancient cannon terms with the touch of a finger.

***More to come about that trip.

****Currently rocking a fuchsia band. The black was too gloomy for summer.

*****Whatever happened to the corporate wet bar?

Three for Thursday

Here are a few of my favorite things for this Thursday:

  • What I’m reading: Romance novels by Stephanie Laurens – I stumbled across her books on the shelf at the library the other day, saw that they were set in the Victorian era (which I’m currently saturating myself with), and checked two out. I then promptly devoured both of them. Intelligent, funny, emotional, passionate. Too good to miss.
  • What I’m watching: Thor: Ragnarok – This was the first Marvel movie in awhile (and the first Thor movie ever) that I truly enjoyed. It’s a different, funnier side of Thor, which will I take as the result of his association with Tony Stark. And a fight match between Thor and the Hulk? AND Valkyries? What’s not to love?*
  • Exercise program I’m loving: Classical Stretch – Sure, the instructor is Canadian and a former ballerina (i.e. super flexible), and it’s kind of quirky, but the exercises are scientifically researched** to increase strength and flexibility, the show is filmed in beautiful locations (Mexico, Jamaica), and the best part: just 20-ish minutes! These are the first workouts I have done in I can’t remember, where I don’t constantly clock watch from the beginning; I’ll start to wonder how much time is left, and discover there are only 3 minutes left! Just watch out for the pliés, though — they are killers.

What is delighting you this Thursday?

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!
-Andi

 

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*Okay, Cate Blanchett once again as a villain didn’t thrill me, but at least she was better in this than the dreadful Indiana Jones Film That Shall Not Be Named.

**The exercises use the same principles as what I studied in massage school, which won me over.

3 for Thursday

What I’m liking this week:

Reading: Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews. I love the Kate Daniels series, and it has been awhile since I read urban fantasy (I was on a science fiction kick, and then started working on my TBR pile, and now wanted something to just entertain myself with).

Eating: Roasted pork chops. I had never cooked pork chops before, despite growing up with them. Tried a very simple recipe (I like “simple” in just about everything), and it turned out so well that I’ve got to do it again. Like this weekend.

Thinking: Unf*%& Your Habitat. Been trying to create a more efficient and simple (see? I told you I liked simple) cleaning routine, and as much as I like a lot of Flylady’s content*, she seems to have way more time than I do. UfYH has an attitude that resonates with me**, and I really like the “before and after” photos of folks cleaning up their spaces***.

Now, to get back to enjoying the current sunbreak . . .

 

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*I will say that Flylady’s “swish and swipe” concept is brilliant, and combined with keeping the kitchen sink and counters clean, means a lot of the stress/effort of cleaning becomes moot.

**Just the name would be enough, but then they go and say things like “Excuses are boring.” I love that.

***It’s a guilty pleasure, like watching Property Brothers , but without hot Canadian guys. Or Canadian accents.

3 for Thursday

What’s on my mind, or in my belly, this week:

Reading: The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday.
Stoicism isn’t just for philosophers anymore. Real, practical strategies for dealing with life. No religion required.

Drinking: Get Happy tea by The Republic of Tea
I thought I would try something different from my usual Tension Tamer tea from Celestial Seasonings. Get Happy has a peach edge to it, which is different from most other mood lifting teas out there.

Thinking: It takes the time it takes.
This seems so cliched, but I’m finding that it is applicable to so many aspects of my life right now (from writing to grieving to driving). It’s a reminder to myself to not stress about how long it takes to do something. I tend to have mental timelines for damn near everything, so when I get behind on those timelines, I get stressed. Who set those timelines? Some optimistic Pollyanna figment of my imagination. While it’s good to have deadlines, it’s also good to not cause yourself problems when you don’t meet those self-imposed goals. (As I have to keep reminding myself.)

Now, back to the writing desk . . .

 

 

3 for Thursday (last Thursday, actually)

Three things that are helping me get through this week:

  1. Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach – space opera with a strong lead woman, imaginative world, and even better . . . it’s the first in a trilogy.
  2. Spur of the Moment Vegetable Soup – made from veggies on the downward slope. There is nothing that feels better than cleaning out the fridge by creating tasty dishes. (Well, there are some things that do feel better, but I’ll run with this for the moment.)\
  3. Elk pepperoni sticks – when you just want a meat snack. So good.

The biggest thing? The thought that tomorrow is Friday.

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