Alisa. 37. New Hampshire. Married for almost three years to this wonderful, funny, smart guy. Previously married. Went through in-vitro fertilization to have my five year old magical son Keegan. Stepmother to the charming Isabelle (6). Gushingly in love with our baby boy Harper(1). Policy Wonk and dreaded bureaucrat. Lover of fine cuisine, honeybees, truly romantic moments and the underdog.
Curried Beef Short Ribs

Note: I found this was more realistically four servings.

Finishing this dish with lime zest and juice brightens its rich flavors.

Yield 6 servings (serving size: about 3 ounces ribs, 2/3 cup rice, and about 2 1/2 tablespoons sauce)

2 teaspoons canola oil
2 pounds ...continue reading

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Crown Center

My trip to KC on Wednesday went fairly smoothly. Except when I was boarding the plan and went to turn off my cell phone. That was when I realized it was back home on the dresser. And actually it turned out that being without a cell phone for three days wasn't such a bad thing. I did get delayed in Chicago for a mechanical probelm and they brought in a new plane. It only set me back an hour and I was grateful they decided to play it safe. I must confess I was nervous when I saw the "terror level high" signs going through security. I got to the conference right as lunch was ending but grabbed a plate and caught up with some friends. That night a group of us went to a restaurant near the hotel and lucked out because it was restaurant week. So we had an excellent five course meal for only $40. And my dining companions asked me to select the wine. :) I was wiped out by the time we got back because I had been up for 17 hours at that point.
The next day was packed full of workshops and even lunch was a working one. The waiter asked me what we were all doing there and I told him we were learning ways to use technology to help bring healthcare to people in rural areas. He said that was great work and blessed me. He also said I looked familiar but he had never been to NH so we couldn't have met before. I get that a lot. But not in a pickup line kind of way. That night we went casual and a group of us went to try a barbeque place my friends Andra and Greg had recommended. I knew I couldn't be a real bbq lover and not try Kansas City style. It turned out to be really good, super casual and lots of fun. We tried a local beer and declared it good. I had one of those rare nights of amazing alcohol tolerance (well for me). Three beers and then a cosmo at a jazz club we went into on the walk back and then a watermelon infused martini at the hotel. And it was my twenty-six year old crowd who wanted to go to bed before me. Did I represent the thirty somethings or what?
I missed the last day of the conference because I had to fly out early this morning or not get home until late. I did fine until I got to Dulles and somehow I did not have a confirmed seat, even though my itinerary showed that I did. It was explained to me as a computer glitch and a particulary bad one as this flight was over booked by three seats. The next available flight was 9pm. Initially I sat there fuming and hatching plans to get not one, but two round trip vouchers and go crazy on that airline. But I took a breath and waited. Luckily a woman who had checked in but not showed became my ticket home, literally. So I got back in plenty of time to pick up Keegan from school. And as it turned out Jeff's day worked out so he was home by 5pm and we had a nice dinner out. And on the way we stopped for gas and happened upon a race car on display. Keegan got to see the inner workings and then hear it start up and drive back on the trailer. He wanted me to assure him that they don't go too fast because he was worried about them bumping into each other. The whole town has race fever because of the big one on Sunday.
The conference got me thinking about some possible future career options. Oddly not involving information technology which was the theme. My new idea came from talking with my counterpart in another state. There are fifty of us in the country and she is the youngest one at 26 . I am the third youngest at 35. She is very bright and we often talk about plans for the future professionally. This one I need to do some checking into. I want to talk with some of my role models and others in the field. It would involve an advanced degree in a management field I think. So who knows? Maybe I won't pursue that PhD in favor of another direction or maybe not. According to my countdown I have three more years to make up mind or shut up about it. ;)
Family time tomorrow and Sunday morning until I am off to another meeting that night through Monday afternoon.

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