The gifts that keep on giving

The school year has recently ended and all things summer has officially kicked into high gear. Less rush hour traffic, sun-drenched days, and trying to figure out what to do with gifts from Kyle’s kids. You see each year Kyle’s students and parents send him home with ‘tokens’ of thanks.  I love seeing what Kyle comes home with, especially when it involves sharing them with me– ahem– starbucks gift cards!

This year was no exception. Though there were no Starbucks gift cards we lucked out with two gifts that will keep on giving.  First is, The Gnome. It’s the cutest little plant/person that sits on our kitchen window sill and keeps me company while trying to figure out what new green-smoothie recipe I want to concoct in our Vitamix.  Though this Santa-like person is a ‘low-maintenance’ gift, I still feel pressured to keep it alive. So far, so good.

Meet "The Gnome" aka watcher of all things green.

Meet “The Gnome” — watcher of all things green.

 

The second is what I call the “high-maintenance” gift.  And no, the fish isn’t a part of a ‘class-owned’ pet. We’re officially pet-owners. If I knew his students were going to be gifting us with something so “permanent” I would have put in a request for a puppy. I mean, we did have to come up with a name, buy food, cleaning supplies, and a ‘bowl’ for it. Unfortunately, the large stemless wine glass that came with it was promptly discouraged by another fellow student who declared it inhumane. So I guess we technically have three gifts.

Homeless Herbert

Homeless Herbert

 

Kyle insisted on naming it which meant we were keeping it. However, that week was insane with my freelance gig, Kyle ending school, graduations to attend, and so forth. Neither of us had time to make it to the pet store and get food or a bowl for him. I hate to admit this but Herbert was not only homeless but starving as well. He didn’t eat for three days.  To make matters worse, we found out there is a Petco a mile or so from our home. So technically, we could have made ‘the trek’ to get some food.  Whoops! Dare I mention we want to get a dog? #epicfail

My only requirement for making Herbert homeless to permanent was that his bowl HAD to match my fave Crate and Barrel candle holders, especially since the only place for him to live is next to the TV. So an atrocious fish bowl was out of the question. And Petco pulls through again! Check out Herbert’s new digs!

 

The new digs

The new digs

 

Though we’re having to put a bit more effort into keeping things alive around here, I actually really enjoy having Herbert and The Gnome around. Granted having to remember to feed the fish is a bit more challenging, but it’s forcing us into a habit should we get a dog. I doubt a dog will be as gracious and silent as Herbert is when we forget to feed it.

the future of our schools.

college shouldn’t be this difficult. and yet it is.  as most of you know this is my first quarter as i prep to begin my mba program.  i’ve been taking courses at north seattle community college and will be at a cc until this spring/summer term.  my accounting class is a nightmare.

i’ve been fighting with the adminstration at north seattle community college about my accounting instructor, mr. ron woods.  over three weeks ago i finally had it with the lack of communication and at times discriminatory remarks in the saturday classes so i emailed the admin a rather pointed yet diplomatic and respectful email.  it got sent to the director of pr and marketing who then forwarded it to the interim dean.  for the last two weeks the interim dean and i have been going back and forth with me mostly forwarding additional complaints and concerns from my peers, compiling samples of questions and communication that has gone unanswered for 3 months, and coming up solutions for he and the instructor to remedy the situation all the while still maintaining my course work and working full time.  most of the communication has been painful. especially since all i’ve gotten until recently was ambiguous responses like ‘your instructor and i take teaching and learning seriously. you should hear from him on monday.’  but no clear next steps that he and the instructor was coming up with to increase communication to our class.  so, being the proactive and assertive student i emailed the president of the college who responded in 10 hours and forwarded my email to the vp of instruction at the institution.

unfortunately neither the dean nor the VP nor the president truly care about their students since 1) i’m the only one they’ve responded to with issues  despite others who have contacted them with concerns 2) they’re forcing me to meet with the instructor in person even though i have on numerous occasions communicated that i don’t what my grade impacted by the instructor and therefore do not want to meet him in person 3) have still not provided any clear, concise action items for how they are working with the instructor to see improvements (as evident that there is still no communication) 4) no proactive measures of how to handle and provide solutions as evident through me having to give ‘examples’ of what they could be doing

and our entire class received a lovely, passive-aggressive and defensive email from mr. woods telling us, “Sorry, the course is what it is. Get over it.” this just reaffirmed that with budget cuts hitting our education system, this is just a vision of what more is to come in the future. education systems being stuck with crappy, ill-equipped administrators who don’t know how to manage incompetent, lazy  instructors. oh, and we as students get stuck paying thousands of dollars for an ‘education’ for higher learning.  this is the future of our schools and our students. aren’t we lucky.

going crock pot crazy.

with school and work in full swing.  i have a new best friend.  my crock pot.  i forgot about it. especially since it was hidden behind The George, rice cooker, blender, and a myriad of other kitchen gadgets.  however, i have probably used it at least every other week to help cook dinners while i pour over elasticity and closing accounts.  here’s a few great recipes that we’ve found to be awesome.

Ratatouille Chicken and Penne Pasta
servings:4-6 depending on portions

– 2 containers of Ratatouille from Trader Joes
– 1 bag of Penne Pasta from Trader Joes
– 3 frozen chicken breasts

1. add chicken breasts and both containers of Ratatouille to crock pot
2. cover and put on high for 4 – 4 1/2 hours or until chicken is cooked.
3. near the end of the 4 hours,  grab each chicken breast and place on plate. cut up into 1×1 inch pieces.  after all 3 chicken breasts are cut up, place back into crock pot.
4.  boil water, cook noodles, drain.
5. voila. dinner is ready.

Chicken Curry Soup
serves: 6 meals, or three evenings.  if you want a larger pot, which we have done before, just double it and you can eat it for dinners over the course of one week and freeze the other half for the following month.

– 4 frozen chicken breasts
– 3 c. rice
– 5 carrots, washed, peeled, and cut into approx 1 in. pieces
-3 russet potatoes, washed and cut into thirds
– 2 yellow onions, washed and cut into thirds
– 4 stalks of celery, washed and cut into 1/3 inch pieces.
– 6 cups water
– 6 chicken bouillon cubes
– 2 teaspoons curry powder
– 1/2 teaspoon cardamon
– 1/2 teaspoon coriander

1. add water, frozen chicken breasts, chicken bouillon cubes into crock pot
2. add peeled and cut carrots, potatoes, onions and celery
3. add all spices
4. cover, and place crock pot on high for 41/2 hours (until chicken is tender and veggies aren’t hard)
5. cook rice half and hour before soup is done
6. near the end of the 4 hours,  grab each chicken breast and place on plate. cut up into 1×1 inch pieces.  after all 4 chicken breasts are cut up, place back into crock pot.

both dishes can be eaten immediately or they can be thrown into a tupperware and placed in your freezer for a couple of months. i just made the curry soup and separated them into 3 huge tupperwares, cooled them off for about 30 mins, and then promptly placed them into the freezer for later this month when we’re too exhausted to cook.

i’m on the hunt for any other healthy, delicious crock pot recipes.  so send them over!  i know kyle and i are stoked that i’m not in the kitchen that much!  and i’m not as stressed.  we’re both ecstatic to say the least.

remember to breathe.

it’s been a while since my last post. i think about blogging every day. actually multiple times a day. but with school ramping up and the haiti earthquake, life is at the moment very, very, very full.

kyle and i both started school this quarter.  i’m taking classes at north seattle community college to get foundation classes out of the way for seattle university.  who knew, a B- would mess up any chances of easing yourself into a master’s program.  take note kids.  shoot for B or higher.  B- doesn’t cut it in the real world 🙂

the other thing that i’m reminded of daily as i plug away hours each night on homeword is how much i hate accounting and economics.  the reality is, i decided to go into marketing and management for a R-E-A-S-O-N. there was very clear, logic and rationale that went into that decision 6 years ago when i declared my emphasis in business. so, the fact that i’m taking acct and econ again is baffling to me.  but alas, my effort now is far more superior than that as an undergraduate student. perhaps it’s the maturiy level.  or maybe that i’m no longer on scholarships and am paying out of pocket.  nonetheless, i’m only shooting for As.

school has ramped up as has the workload.  we’re launching a new product this year that i am lucky to be on the core team. however, as website requirements and vendor selection has bombarded me, so has an unexpected disaster. unless you’ve been living in a cave, deep in the jungles of peru, you most likely have heard of the 7.0 earthquake to hit haiti on jan 12th. our social media team at World Vision is small but powerful.  great team. great peeps. but they were exhausted after working non-stop since the earthquake. last week, they asked me to help support their team full time….it has been an honor and priviledge to help them out.  it was also extremely eye opening since it was my first time ever to help directly on a major emergency disaster relief for WV.  long days and long night ensued but it has been a great experience.  i’ve loved every second of it.  plus, i’ve gotten paid to manage our twitter feed!!

on that note, back to work and studying. ciao.