Friday, November 30, 2007

The Last

This is the last day of my NaBloPoMoLight and I made it all the way through and only cheated once. Sure I wussed out a couple of times and simply posted pictures or links to other websites, but hey, I never siad the posts would be meaningful.

I have found an interesting website. It give writer's triggers which if you have ever taken a creative writing class is a sentence or an idea that you, as the writing student, then proceed to write for a given period of time (say 10 minutes or 500 words). It is a handy way to get thinking about writing and to get writing again.

Anyway, with this somewhat uninteresting post I will say farewell to NaBloPoMoLight and get on with the regularly-scheduleded posts (or lack thereof).

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Holiday Meme

For the second-to-last day of my NaBloPoMoLight, I am going to resort to a meme I found.

Here are 5 holiday questions with two possible answers.

  1. Are you almost finished with your holiday shopping or you haven’t started yet?
    Nope. Haven't started. As per usual
  2. What do the holidays mean to you? How does this affect how you celebrate the holidays?
    For me the holidays are about family. We did not grow up in a religious household so as for any kind of spiritual meaning, that just wasn't us. But it was a time to spend with family.
  3. Are you going away for the holidays or staying home?
    I would like to stay home or at least go no farther away than Seattle. But I think we will probably be going to be with B's family in Texas. His mother had a stroke two months ago and I think that is the right thing to do (though I'm gonna hate it).
  4. What two things do you like about this time of year?
    1. I like the fact that you see more people smiling. Especially as you get closer to Christmas. Even though people are running around spacefuck crazy they still smile at you.
    2. I also love buying things for my family. I like to think of creative things to get/give/make for them. That makes me happy.
  5. What two things do you dislike about this time of year?
    1. The crass commercialism, although I dislike that at all times of the year so I guess that isn't special about now.
    2. Can't think of another...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Easy Peasy Cinnamon Rolls

Well, I forgot to download all the blurry out-of-focus great pictures that I took while making my great Pumpkin Chiffon Pie last week so I will wait until tomorrow to post the recipe. Until then, here is a very easy, really, really good make-ahead Cinnamon Roll recipe that I make quite often.

They are Yummy!!! Next time I make them I think I will add chopped pecans but if you had walnuts or almonds or even raisins they would probably be great too.

Easy-Peasy Cinnamon Rolls

20 unbaked frozen dinner rolls
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted

Lightly grease a 10 inch bundt cake pan. Place frozen rolls into the pan and sprinkle with brown sugar, the pudding mix ,and cinnamon. Pour melted butter over the top. If you don't have a bundt pan, you can use a muffin tin, but they turn out better in a bundt pan (you could also use an angel food cake pan).

Cover with a clean, damp cloth and leave overnight at room temperature to rise.

In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake rolls for 25 minutes, until golden brown. Turn rolls out onto a serving plate and dig in!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving Recipe Recap

I have discovered PioneerWoman. She is my new girl-crush and I would totally stalk her if I knew where she lived (please be my friend, Ree, PLEEEEESE). She is a very funny writer and a very talented photographer. I have not yet finished reading her archives but I look forward to finishing.

She also has a website/blog PioneerWomanCooks and I tried a number of her recipes for my Thanksgiving dinner this year. This is my review of her recipes and how they worked for my little family.

Brining a Turkey: Oh, my fucking God!! I will never roast another turkey without brining it first. The meat! So moist! So flavorful! Ahhhh.... She uses a brining solution that she gets from Williams and Sonoma. Ummm...I googled "brining a turkey" and got some recipes. I did this for a number of reasons, not the least of which is I decided to do this (brining) on Monday and none of the stores that I visited on Monday night had a packaged brining solution and I was not going to tack on an overnight delivery charge to the $17 (yep, SEVENTEEN DOLLARS) that W&S wanted for their stuff. Hey, I got the turkey for free and you expect me to dump $17 on it! Um, no. Anyway, turkey was awesome.
Lessons learned: I rinsed the turkey well enough but I don't think I got all the brining solution out of the cavity as the gravy was a bit saltier than it should have been. Next time I will dry the turkey well before putting it in the roasting pan.

Sweet Potatoes: Good recipe. I quite liked them.
Lessons learned: Use about half of the sugar and half of the topping as it was just a bit too sweet for my taste.

Mashed Potatoes: Mmmmm! I will definitely use this recipe again. They were heaven.
Lessons learned: For my tiny family, only make about half the recipe.

Turkey Gravy, baby!: Yummm! Yep, this was quite good.
Lessons learned: See brining a turkey above. Gravy was a bit salty but I think it was from the excess brining solution.

Anyway, that is my recap of some of the new recipes I tried for Thanksgiving. Did you try anything new this year?

Coming up: Tomorrow I will post my favorite pumpkin pie recipe. This is not your typical pumpkin pie recipe, it is much much more. Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Lame-Ass Photo Post

A boy and his dad.

Definitely NOT in Florida.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Channelling Dave...

Read Dave. That's all. Just Dave.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Lame-Ass Photo Post

Sleeping off the tryptophan...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Now will someone PLEASE come clean my kitchen??!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: Snow!

I'm not in Florida anymore...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tidbit in the news...

I put myself through college (largely) as a waitress. A job I hated. Customers treat waitresses like they wouldn't treat a dog. But as much as I hated it and thought some of the customers should think twice since I had direct contact with your food and could add any number of non-food items to your dish, I never did this.

Okay, now everyone, Oh, noooooo!

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Good Read

I really want to start writing stories again and remember reading that if you want to write well you have to read good writing so...

I don't remember where I got this list. Since I started annotating my list as to whether I have read them or not, I googled the 100 Greatest Books and found dozens of lists, none of which are the same and none of them are this list. Many of the same books are on all (or most) of the lists (To Kill A Mockingbird, Anne of Green Gables, Jane Eyre, Atlas Shrugged, etc.), some that probably should be on this list are missing (Beloved, The Invisible Man, Gravity's Rainbow, Huckleberry Finn, etc.) and some I question whether they should be here at all (all of the Harry Potter Books, The Da Vinci Code, Clan of the Cave Bear, etc.), although most of those I question I haven't read. This list includes many modern books (Angela's Ashes, The Kite Runner, The Poisonwood Bible, etc.) and eliminates many of the older classics (Moby Dick, The Illiad, The Aenid, etc.).

I think I will start plowing through this list and this will give me something to start with. Since I already have Angela's Ashes at home, I will start with that one.

The key is: I have read the book, I have seen it in film, I have not read the book.

  1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
  2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
  3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
  4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
  5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
  6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
  7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
  8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
  9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
  10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
  11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
  12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
  13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
  14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
  15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
  16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Rowling)
  17. Fall on Your Knees(Ann-Marie MacDonald)
  18. The Stand (Stephen King)
  19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
  20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
  21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
  22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
  23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
  24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
  25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
  26. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
  27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
  28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
  29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
  30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
  31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
  32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
  33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
  34. 1984 (Orwell)
  35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
  36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
  37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
  38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
  39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
  40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
  41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
  42. Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
  43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
  44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
  45. The Catcher In the Rye (J.D. Sallinger)
  46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
  47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
  48. Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt) [I have this book. Just gotta read it.]
  49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
  50. She's Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
  51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
  52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
  53. Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card)
  54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
  55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
  56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
  57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
  58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
  59. The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)
  60. The Time Traveller's Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
  61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
  62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
  63. War and Peace (Tolsoy)
  64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
  65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davies)
  66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
  67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
  68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
  69. Les Miserables (Hugo) [In English and parts of it in French.]
  70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery) [In English and French.]
  71. Bridget Jones' Diary (Fielding)
  72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
  73. Shogun (James Clavell)
  74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
  75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
  76. Tigana (Guy Gavriel Kay)
  77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
  78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
  79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
  80. Charlotte's Web (E.B. White)
  81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
  82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
  83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
  84. Wizard's First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
  85. Emma (Jane Austen)
  86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
  87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
  88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
  89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
  90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
  91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
  92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
  93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
  94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
  95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
  96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
  97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
  98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
  99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
  100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

(Another) Lame-Ass Post

Until I get internet access at home and need to use my little blackjack for weekend postings, lame is the name of the game.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Lame-Ass Photo Post

...but oh the cuteness...

Friday, November 16, 2007

Life's roads

Antique Mommy said that her life was the Road Less Travelled. Yeah, I can relate to that. My road was so overgrown that you could hide a double-wide mobile home in the weeds.

A couple of truisms:

  1. Life is what happens when you are making other plans

  2. Man plans, God laughs.
I am a software engineer by trade and what usually happens with computer software is that you start out with a Design and then you code to the Design. What often happens, especially with code that stays around long enough, is after the first release it starts to evolve. It starts to have twists and addendums and functions and procedures and objects that get added without thought to the Design. You do whatever is needed to make things work.

Much like my life. I did not plan on becoming a mother after 40. I did not plan on taking nearly 20 years to get a college degree. I did not plan on living in 9 different states in 15 years.

But this is what happened to me that led me to where I am.

And although I often wonder what would have happened or where I would be if I had made other choices in my life, I would not give up what I have now to go back and try again.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Do ya think I'm...

I am too late for NaBloPoMo so I am inventing NaBloPoMoLight...or The Last Fifteen Days in November. I am going to try to post every day for the next 15 days.

The People magazine Sexiest Man Alive issue is to hit newsstands soon. And the winner is...

Matt Damon. Matt Damon. Sexy?

Well, in a word, Matt, no. I think you look like a real nice guy, but 'sexy' is not a word that is uppermost in my mind. What I do think is 'sexy' is that you are a man with a wife that you (apparently) love and a beautiful young child.

In looking at the top 15, I think those are the guys that stand out the most. Sure, they are all great-looking, but the ones that I like most have more than just looks on their side.

I don't watch 'Grey's Anatomy' (a character flaw, I know), but Patrick Dempsey (#2) is sexy not only because he is 'Dr. McDreamy' but also because he has been married 9 years and is still in love with his wife. When asked the secret to keeping the spark alive, he said, "Her eyes. I was always taken by them," he says. "They're warm, sparkly eyes. That's the most beautiful part of someone."

What is sexy? Seeing pictures of Brad Pitt (#4) - Mr. Sexy Dad - with his kids. What Johnny Depp (#6) says about his kids ("Suddenly you meet your reason to live"). And Matt's friend, Ben Affleck (#11) on his 9-month old daughter, "All I want to do is go home, just to be around her again."

I love Will Smith (#8). I love him for being a wonderful actor and I love that he seems like a totally-together person. I also love that he loves his wife ("Either I'm going to be with [wife] Jada," he told Ebony, "or I'm going to be dead.").

Now, that's sexy.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Another Installment

Hmmm...huh? What? It is nearly the ides of November and I have not even thought of NaBloPoMo. Well, my excuse is that there have been many changes here at the Home, mostly good changes and just a few NotSoGood.

Things that have changed:

  1. Got laid off
  2. Started a new, better job
  3. In a new state
  4. Back in the Pacific NW
  5. Not in Washington
  6. Or Oregon
  7. Okay, less Pacific than simply NW
  8. DCF is off our backs
  9. They have terminated the supervision
  10. Less than a month ago they were trying to take E again
  11. Somehow we are no longer a threat to our child
  12. Even though we did nothing different
  13. We are magically okay now
  14. Assholes
Things we gotta decide:
  1. WTF do we do with our house in Florida
  2. Sell it?
  3. Rent it?
  4. Burn it?
  5. Okay, I'm not serious about the last, but I don't wanna keep it
  6. And we don't wanna lose money on it
  7. I think we should sell it
  8. And what about those embroyos in storage?
  9. Am I too old for a transfer?
  10. Or should we go for it?

Stay tuned for more excitement on...As the Stomach Turns...