This week’s procrastination project: Organizing the Spices!

It may not be a surprise to anyone that knows me (or has seen my kitchen) that I love spices. It is one of the best things about cooking “ethnic” foods. However, since I’m lacking in cupboard space, they’ve been stacked on a shoe rack- which actually is a great space, but I can’t see anything that is behind the front row. Add to that, that I often buy bulk spices, and have a million ziploc bags that are overflowing the basket that I thought would keep them “looking pretty”. Obviously, this isn’t working for me– I think I have 3 things of ginger now. (Note to self- need more recipes that use massive amounts of ginger.) And since I highly doubt that I’m going to stop buying spices, I need to at least get this issue under control.
So this week’s project: getting them organized!

First step- a couple of hours online looking at spice storage options. I’m going to try the SpiceStack Storage system for my store-purchased bottles. I ended up buying from amazon, because it was a bit cheaper, but I REALLY wanted the red one from here: http://www.qvc.com/qic/qvcapp.aspx/view.2/app.detail/params.aol_refer.false.tpl.detail.msn_refer.false.item.K29146.ref.BV1?

I also bought a spinning rack for the other sized things: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0036OQWT0/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=&seller=

My thinking at the moment is that I can reorganize the stuff on the shoe rack/shelf to make everything more accessible. So we’ll see– I’ll update throughout the week. I might even share some of the cool spices I have to see if anyone has good ideas for recipes…

UPDATE: Why oh why do I have 5 things of ground ginger? I mean it’s yummy, but a lot goes a long way you know? It seems that I have duplicates of strange spices too– whole cloves, coriander, cumin, curry. Some I’ve combined together, some I’ve decided is too old and thrown away. I’ve transferred most of my loose spices from ziplocs to pretty glass jars: http://www.amazon.com/Ball-Quilted-Jelly-Canning-Case/dp/B000VTSYA8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315424721&sr=8-1
Although I’m already wondering if 12 jars is enough. Being me of course, there are some things that aren’t labeled at all. After intense pondering, I have actually THROWN them away. I know, contain the gasps! Under most circumstances, I would keep these random baggies and hope that someday I would figure out what they are. BUT- new leaf, or at least new spice!
Oh, and I’m already thinking I’d like another one of the spinny thingys for my coffee syrups, etc.
I’ve been eyeing my vitamins next- and I’ve got to tell you, I really need to stop getting on some kick and buying bulk vitamins that lasts only 3 weeks, while the vitamins just sit and stare. Sure, I saved money buying bulk, but if they’re never used, I’ve lost the money anyway. How long are vitamins good for anyway?

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The Crimson Petal and the White Review

The Crimson Petal and the WhiteThe Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m not very far into this book yet, barely into Part 3. I’m totally engrossed- very hard to limit myself to a few pages here and there, since I’m supposed to be doing schoolwork. Highly recommend- I read the sample chapters on Kindle and had to know what was going to happen next.

So the narrative style in this book was very interesting– the reader is invited into the text as an actual observer of events, rather than just the reader– the narrator takes moments to speak directly to you.

It begins:

“Watch your step. Keep your wits about you; you will need them. This city I am bringing you to is vast and intricate, and you have not been here before. You may imagine, from other stories you’ve read, that you know it well, but those stories flattered you, welcoming you as a friend, treating you as if you belonged. The truth is that you are an alien from another time and place altogether…”

I really enjoyed the book, although I couldn’t tell you exactly why. The story is a bit messy, and the characters messier still– some of them have potential as characters that wasn’t quite reached– as people, the book is thoroughly about having potential that isn’t reached; but some of the characters, you ached to know more about and weren’t satisfied. Most of the “minor” characters deserved a book of their own, as it is, there are quite a few stories being told here, even though the book is purportedly about Sugar and William. There is no “neat” resolution to this book, or even to different characters, they simply turn a corner and you’re left wondering where they might be headed next. But I liked this- seemed more real-life in a way. People wander in and out, and sometimes years later, you wonder what they are up to.

The story itself is thoroughly about Victorian London, and couldn’t have possibly taken place at any other time and place- another reason I loved it. It managed to retain some of the romanticism in which we frequently coat this time period when displaying it in movies and books, but also the dark underbelly. Not just the seediness of prostitution and the difficulties of being a single woman in a time when women did not have rights; but the lack of medical knowledge that led to a woman’s uterus being blamed for her illness and leeches as one of the “cures”. Here children are not heard, and rarely, even seen, at least not the polite ones.

If you enjoy reading Victorian literature– and honestly, you’d be quite satisfied with just the portions talking about the dress, even if you had no interest in the story– I would recommend reading this book. I’d be interested to know what you think of the ending.

View all my reviews

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Win a book or two from Carolina Valdez Miller

While I still haven’t figured out a way to justify dropping out of school and staying home and reading all day, it is what I’d rather be doing at any given moment.

And it is so much better if someone recommends a book on facebook, and then you discover that you might actually want to read the book AND the someone is sponsoring free giveaways here: http://www.carolinavaldezmiller.com/2011/07/win-arcs-of-forever-by-maggie.html

I’d say that’s pretty awesome.  Forever seems like a quite lovely wolf, boy meets girl love story.  I probably should grow up and stop reading YA fiction, but I quite enjoy it.   The other book being given away is Hades by Alexandra Adornetto– love, angels, hell, seems like a gripping read.

And well I’m going on about these books, you might want to actually check out Carolina Valdez Miller herself– her blog has some great books reviews and recommendations.

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Today’s very important accomplishments

1) Went to grocery store and supposedly saved $160.

2) Found car title and mailed it to my parents.

3) Actually put away groceries.

4)HOURS and HOURS of finding articles I’m not even sure I want to read.

Not so much accomplished- next edit of my proposal; conference proposal reviews, discussion posts.

Have decided to go backwards and work on an outline and a timeline.

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The fifth of July

Is there a holiday for after the holiday?  So sorry for my friends whose work actually involved them waking up early and dragging themselves into an office or school building somewhere :)

Yesterday was a lot of fun.  Got to meet some of R’s other classmates, and everyone seemed to get along.  I highly recommend everyone inviting their own token Brit to events— particularly anti-Brit holidays :)

Menu:

Cedar-planked salmon. 1/2 lavender-pepper; 1/2 British Columbia salmon rub (chilis, brown sugar, cumin, salt)

Chicken sausages- asiago & spinach; mozzarella & garlic

Hamburgers

Corn & Portobellos

All on the grill.

Kat’s super yummy fruit salad and gluten-free apple pie

and other goodies shared by our friends :)

Pomegranate Margs

Sangria

and plenty of beer of course!

Good food, good friends, good fun.  We’ve got to do it again sometime!

 

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lissa keegan – Google Search

lissa keegan – Google Search.

So the best time waster of all– googling yourself.  Last time I looked, I didn’t have much of a presence as Lissa “Keegan”.  Now, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that the top links were all related to Facebook or other social media :p

Hey, but there’s good stuff too– like being a member of NAU’s Commission on Disability Access and Design and my CEC presentation.  And my Disability and Cultural Diversity Website shows up, which is pretty cool.  It’s on the bottom, but at least the first page.

I should be a bit concerned that I believed I had removed myself from whitepages.com, but didn’t think about R being a part of it.  Need to think about fixing that.

Oh, but here’s an interesting tidbit- our wedding website tells me that it has been 580 days since our wedding.  Can you believe it?

Now I need to go back to googling very exciting things about the history of grading systems.

 

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Dear Customer Service chat…

Perhaps when I ask a question, you could actually answer it, instead of basically asking it back.

I share with you my conversation: (I won’t even get into the grammar errors.)

Max: Hi, my name is Max, and it’s my pleasure to assist you today as your Personal shopper. May I have your name please?

you: Lissa

you: Have a question about a coupon.

you: Coupon SGRILLACC20 – 20% Off Grill Accessories Sold by Sears

you: Are grill covers considered accessories?

Max: Thank you for contacting Sears.com.

you: It doesn’t say it isn’t, but the coupon isn’t applying in cart

Max: Hi, Lissa. How are you doing today?

Max: I’ll be more than happy to help you with this.

Max: Let me have a check on that for you.

you: thx

Max: Your welcome.

Max: lissa, please allow me a minute or two while I get the correct information for you.

Max: May I know the item number please?

you: item number? I can give you one from the grill cover I’m looking at, at the moment, but I was wondering more generally about if grill covers were included in coupon

you: BOSMERE 61 in. L Rectangular Grill Cover Sold by Sears Item #07114883000 Mfr. Model #B520

Max: Thank you for providing the information.

Max: I’ll try my best in all the possible ways to help you providing you the correct information.

Max: Please allow me a minute while I check this for you.

you: k

Max: Thank you.

Max: May I know the coupon code number please?

you: when I look up the category of grill accessories on the sears website, grill covers show up in the category

you: is that different from what I already gave you?

you: SGRILLACC20 – 20% Off Grill Accessories Sold by Sears

Max: I had tried that but it says The coupon code you have entered is not valid for the item.

you: thus my question

Max: Let me try this again for you.

Max: Yes, It say  SGRILLACC20 – 20% Off Grill Accessories by Sears.

you: yes, I know. My question is a) are grill covers considered a grill accessory as indicated by the category they are in on the website, and if so, why isn’t the coupon working?

you: Not to be mean, but we seem to be going in circles here.

Max: I’m sorry for the inconvenience caused.

Max: However Let me check and provide you the correct information.

Okay, so at this point, I’ve accepted the coupon doesn’t work on grill covers, but let’s see how long we can keep this going… I may be this person’s worst nightmare:

Max: I had a check on that for you.

Max: I’m sorry for the delay.

you: no problem, I’m just browsing the site while I wait

Max: This offer is available only for Grill Accessories but not for grill covers.

you: okay, wish it said that on the coupon. Also still not clear, why a cover isn’t an accessory, but what can you do?

you: When I searched grill accessories on the sears website, I get tons of covers: http://www.sears.com/shc/s/search_10153_12605?pageNum=3&filter=storeOrigin%7CSears&vName=Outdoor+Living&cName=Grills+%26+Outdoor+Cooking&viewItems=25&keyword=grill+accessories

Max: I apologize for the trouble you are facing with your product.

Max: Let me explain to you.

Max: It will be more easier for you when I will send you the link.

Max: Please click here to view grill accessories

Max: Please click here to view grill cover

you: that link took me to “fan forced washdown unit heater” that has nothing to do with grill accessories.

you: and then when I hit “sears only”, I get computer stereo speakers, and swimtime bead receivers?

Max: I’m sorry I have send you the wrong link.

you: I sent you a link that took more to grill accessories and you can clearly see that grill covers show up in that category

Max: Yes, you are right.

you: At this point, I don’t think you can do anything about it, but I was curious what your explanation was going to be.

Max: But I see that on the home page of sears it is mentioned as this offer is only available for grill accessories.

Max: Not for the grill covers.

Max: And I had tried my best to help you with this.

Max: I’m sorry I could not help you in the required way as expected.

you: I just don’t understand why a cover isn’t an accessory. On the coupon (I am holding a paper one), it doesn’t exclude covers.

you: But as I said, you didn’t create the coupon, so it isn’t your fault.

Max: I can understand but this offer is available for particular items.

And that is how I wasted 45 minutes today.

 

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