Today is a fun day, 2/22/22, which also happens to be on a Tuesday! While my February challenge has been a challenge to get started - so far I've just read half the photography book and complained about the weather outside, I've not been a lump! I'm enjoying these games nearly daily: Wordle: Well before the NYT takeover, this has been my favorite 'during coffee' ritual. Worldle: Wordle but with maps. Nerdle: Wordle but with math equations I reread The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - fun book I've not read in about 25 years. I had never continued to finish the series, so I'll do that now. Prince Caspian is next! I'm also halfway through the Roll Player Adventure campaign game. That's been quite fun after a reread of the rules when it was just failure after failure. I'm looking forward to the last 6 adventures, but not for them to end, but because

End of the January challenge

  January:  Practice piano for a half hour each day. Could be etudes, scales, fake book songs, real songs, or Alfred's adult learner books. The only stipulation is to practice piano each day for a half hour. Successful! I played a half hour most days, and for days that I didn't get to the piano (it only happened 4 times through the month) I managed to play for an hour the day following. I started the month playing some from Alfred's Adult Learner books, but by the second week, I was enjoying the fake books I had purchased the year before. While I did switch from the Christmas songs after mid January, the classical songs fake book allowed me to enjoy songs that were out of reach for me before because my bass clef sight reading is atrocious. However this made me even worse on bass clef sight reading - I went back to the Alfred's Adult Learner book and was surprised how I'd forgotten a lot of the songs I was already proficient on! I guess I'll have to make sure tha

Turkish Treats #3

 Four snacks left in the box! What a fun present this has been! #1 Nutzz Party I assumed this was peanuts with a spicy flavored mix, and I was pleasantly surprised that it was not only peanuts, but also corn nuts (I didn't look that closely to the package, clearly) which I really like. It was a very tasty mix, and I'd absolutely eat this again! Nuts, popped corn kernels and ball-shaped chips, all covered with herb mix, either cheddar, onion flavored or burning hot! It also has honey and mustard flavor which is a new mix for many Turkish snack lovers. Nutzz comes with a basic snacking kit in small sizes to have it on the go. It tastes like Krispi crackers, what do you think? Rating: 4/5 though I don't think it tastes like Krispi crackers. #2 Kagit Helva The directions state this is best used as a way to make an ice cream sandwich. I happened to have some Tillamook vanilla ice cream in the back of the freezer, neglected due to the whole SIBO thing in 2020. Decided I can carve

Turkish Treats #2

 Another round of treats! This one will be a little different, as I'm not often fond of fruit candies, and there are two left. And one more coconut (shudder) but for posterity, I'll try it as well. I'll continue leaving the marketing descriptions for each in italics. #1 Biscolata A good but simple treat. Nothing bad about it, but it isn't as good as Pocky. There are other treats from this maker that look a little more interesting but didn't end up in the box. Plain sticks dipped into the chocolate until the very end of each one. Best for casual snacking! Rating: 2/5 I miss Men's Pocky. Maybe I'm more of a formal snacker? #2 Boom Bastic Full of coconut, so it's an overall no for me. However, the chocolate is good and the crispy pieces are a nice texture contrast. The coconut overpowers the caramel in the bar, and it tastes like a mounds bar that had caramel and crispy bits added. I liked the mouthfeel of the Nirvana candy better, but there was certainly n

New Year, Same Laura

 In 2019, I set myself some 30 day challenges for 2020 and met several of them. It seems to me that for creating new habits, 30 days is about the right amount of time for me to feel like I've gotten somewhere, but not too long that I'm going to procrastinate on a given day due to the timeline being weeks away (see this year's book reading project.) Because I have entirely too many interests, I should set my 30 day goals toward the most likely interest/hobby to complete. Major hobbies: Running Hiking Photography Piano Cooking The weather in January and February is variable in North Carolina. Could be 70 degrees (like today, December 30th, 2021) or snowing and 30. To make sure I have the highest chance of success, I'll select indoor hobbies for months that the weather could be poor. In March, the weather starts to improve, and by April all outdoor activities are a go until the next December... maybe. January: Practice piano for a half hour each day. Could be etudes, scal

Turkish Treats #1

 I was given a box of Turkish treats for Christmas this year and have decided to rate and write up something for each one, as well as include the marketing copy that was sent along for each snack. #1 Petito Pops A delicious chocolate shaped like a panda bear throwing a basketball at you. Tasty chocolate, especially when mixed with the white chocolate of the panda. Panda-style eating at its finest. Children like them and if anything left for their parents... They like it as well! Rating: 3/5 #2 Krispi The cracker-stick is good, but the nacho cheese flavoring is absolutely terrible. I ate a few just to see if eating more would get me used to the taste, but it didn't. Reminded me of nacho cheese that went bad. You get either or both of these options: Hot, cheesy, herby, ketchup and mayo flavored. The herby one is covered in ten different herbs. As the name suggests, this snack claims to be crispy! If you are feeling like you cannot more sweet snacks in the box, this will help you bala

Blue Cross Blue Shield and the OTC Gift Card

Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC gave many of its members gift cards due to a settlement , and OTC gift cards were sent to policy holders, in amounts between $100 and $500. I got a gift card for $200. However, it isn't like a Visa or Mastercard gift card. That would be too easy. For this gift card, you have to go to certain stores, and only buy certain items. After trying to figure out the items I could buy by browsing the OTCNetwork website to only see the manufacturer's abbreviations for most items, and a terrible search/browse tool, I decided to head to Walmart. It was one of the stores on the list, and with the OTC Network app on my phone I started scanning items I would want to buy. Trip number one: Box of Q Tips 4 pack of deodorant 2 bottles of shampoo 2 boxes of toothpaste Sunblock Box of bandaids 2 packs of razors Pillowtop insoles for my worn down slippers Bottle of scar remover Brookview Acai Pomegranate Chocolates Funny, that only the smaller size of the chocolates were