Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tea and Sympathy

Well, I am writing this at 5 a.m. It is concert week for me, which means I have a hard time sleeping. Which means I was very awake at 4 a.m. I tried to go back to sleep, but no such luck. And it's WAAAYYY too cold to get up. Like temperatures in the teens cold. Right now it is about 11 degrees outside. Yeah. So I am snuggled up in bed with my very warm laptop.

Last Saturday was the Holiday High Tea at the Hawthorn Tea Room. I was still in a pretty grumpy mood after my little melt down from my last post, so not as many pictures as there could have been. But it was very nice and Laurie tried hard to cheer up my downer self. Plus, I went with my wonderful friend Jill, so that made it even better. When we walked in, we were greeted by this:

Such a pretty little composed plate! Besides the fruit there was a tiny jam tartlet with pomegranate seeds and some pecans and walnuts that I think were spiced. I just love this Christmas tree plate, too. So cute! It was nice that they had the plates ready for us. They serve their "special day" teas all in one sitting, so even if people arrive at different times you have some little nibbles to tide you over until they are ready to serve everyone.

Next came a champagne flute of Sparkling White Jasmine Tea, which was very light and refreshing. Definitely reminiscent of champagne, but no bite and a very light flavor. I enjoyed it and it was nice to have something unique like this. Good choice, Hawthorn!

On to the main courses! This is where I got lazy and should have taken more individual photos, but as I said, not feeling it that day. Anyway, on the bottom were some savories; pesto cheese pastry and chicken-apple-brie crostini. Very fancy! The sandwiches were yummy. I think the turkey with cranberry cream was my favorite, but I also really liked the cucumber with feta and mint. The feta added a lot of flavor and was somewhat unexpected, but in a good way.

One of my favorite things for this tea was the scone. Usually I am a plain scone girl because I like to put lemon curd and devonshire cream on it so it will taste like lemon meringue pie. Mmmm, pie. But the Ginger Pumpkin scone was really good! Neither flavor was overpowering and they complemented each other well. The scones were also baked perfectly. Definitely a highlight!

The dessert course was lovely. Jill was most excited about the chai-infused shortbread. I, on the other hand, could have eaten about ten of the Chocolate Cherry Christmas bars, which are the ones with the pink filling. For those of you that don't know me, I generally dislike fruit with chocolate. Because the chocolate is so sweet, it makes the fruit taste sour. Icky. But these were SO GOOD! The bar part was super moist and delicious, while the filling wasn't overly sweet or fruity. The cherry flavor was subtle enough to taste fabulous with the chocolate. I would love to see those on the menu again. Hint, hint Laurie!

For our tea we had three choices, and Jill and I both chose the French Breakfast, which is a black tea. It was excellent. It had the flavor of an English Breakfast, but wasn't quite as bracing. Much more gentle. I will probably buy some the next time I'm there. I really enjoyed it.

Thank you, Laurie and Cathy, for all you do to make us feel comfortable and happy at the Hawthorn!

Now, on to the sympathy part. Thanks to everyone who reached out after my last post. I just have the single girl blues sometimes and throw a little pity part for myself. I will try really hard to stop throwing them on my blog. I'm sure you all are sick of hearing me whine. So I am making an effort to reach out and build my relationships a little more, as well as widen my circle of friends. Soon I will have lots of exciting adventures to post as I do lots of fun things with my wonderful friends. See how I'm being positive there? And not whining? Go me!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Odd Man Out

So I'm having an emotional melt down right now, and I'm pretty sure no one wants me to call them at midnight, so it's all you, internetland.

Without going into specifics, sometimes I just feel like leftovers. What do we do with this single girl? Where do we put her? I'm the proverbial spinster aunt that someone has to take in. Do people have conversations about this? "What are we going to do with Christine?" "I don't know." "Well, we took her last time. It's your turn."

I know I'm just being melodramatic, but this is coming on top of my severe lack of social time. I'm tired of inviting people to spend time with me and getting turned down. I'm tired of not being able to have an equal phone conversation. Somehow, I am friends with many, many people who like to talk and not listen. No, I am not talking about the six of you, so chill. I guess I am drawn to extroverts, since I am one, too. But I know how to ask questions, listen to an answer, paraphrase...I'm even pretty good at it. How come I can't find other people who are?

I spend all day surrounded by children, then come home to an empty house. I have no one to talk to. It is killing me!!!! My hairdresser knows more about my life right now than almost anyone else. Because she asks. I had a hair appointment yesterday, and as I was starting to steer the conversation back toward her, she asked me another question about me. Because she was concerned since I cried all over her last time. We still talked about her half the time, but I felt listened to. And I could tell she cares about me. I didn't want to leave. How crazy is that?

I know I can be a lot to handle sometimes. I am loud (always) and obnoxious (on occasion). But it makes me wonder if I need to be different than I am...maybe my personality is keeping me from finding the friendships I lack. But how do you change who you are on the inside? Should I even have to? If I just say less of what I'm thinking would it be better? But, except around my immediate family who HAVE to put up with me (it's the law), I am already filtering something fierce. If I say much less I won't be talking at all. And that's half the problem. I process my thoughts by saying them out loud. If I think of something, it keeps spinning around my head until I can tell someone about it. If I keep it all inside I feel bottled up and more and more alone. Which is why I'm writing this. If I don't get it out I won't get any sleep tonight.

Oh my gosh, I don't know what's happened to my blog. I started this whole thing trying to be cute and funny, but it sure has gotten boring lately. All I do is whine. Welcome to my personal sob story.

Whatever. I know I should be a big girl and just suck it up.

But I'm sad. I'm tired of being sad.

Anyway. Thanks for listening.

p.s. Sorry, but I've disabled comments for this post. I just wanted to be listened to and not talked at for once. Thanks for understanding.

p.p.s. Don't worry, Mom, I'll be fine.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Mmm...Hot Butter!

When I think about the holiday season, I realize that yes, I love the family time, the weather and the spirit of giving. But the thing that I think of most during the holiday season is THE FOOD! There are treats we get to enjoy at this time of year that are the true essence of the holidays for me. I associate many smells and tastes with the magic of the season. And some of them just aren't available at any other time of year, so I take advantage of them while I can. One example is this:

This special product comes to area stores and I get so excited when I see the little yellow tub. This so reminds me of the stuff my mom made when we were kids that I would drink by the gallon if allowed. The only problem is, I don't like rum. So I just drink the batter on its own, hence I drink Hot Butter instead of Hot Buttered Rum. I wanted to find out how many calories were in this stuff (bad idea since it's mostly sugar and butter) so I went to their website. No nutritional info, but a very interesting story about Harvey, the man who invented this stuff back in the 50's and now runs a small factory in Bremerton (a town about 30 minutes away) making only this batter. The man is in his 90's and still going strong. Which goes to show, that drinking this stuff will help you live a very long time. Plus it is SO GOOD! Of course, the container says to use a teaspoon of mix per cup. Bwahahahahaha! That's a good one! I'll just stick with my 3 heaping tablespoons, thanks. So, if you are in the Northwest and you see this nectar of the gods in your local dairy case, do yourself a favor and pick some up. You'll thank me.

But, wait, what if you don't live in the Northwest? What if you are doomed to live in some other boring, Not Northwest, Butter-Rum-Batter free zone? Well, guess what I have for you? My mom used to make an equally deadly version of this every year and because I'm so kind I will share the recipe with you. Mom's is technically better than Harvey's but with the premade stuff I don't have to work so hard. Always a plus. Anyway, go whip up some of this batter to keep in your freezer. And I won't count how many tablespoons you put in your cup if you don't count mine!

Hot Buttered Rum Batter

1 lb. powdered sugar
1 lb. brown sugar
1 lb. butter
1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened
1 Tbl. vanilla extract

Beat together all ingredients. Place in an airtight container and store in freezer.

To make, combine 1 1/2 Tbl. batter, 1 cup hot water, 1/2 jigger rum. Sprinkle with nutmeg.

I told you it was bad for you. What's not to love? Enjoy!

By the way, anybody know what a jigger is?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Look! Snow!

The view from my window last December.

I made it snow on my blog! Cool, huh?

Hopefully this time it won't mess up anyone's computer. Last year poor Laurie couldn't access my page because the snow made her computer freeze. I used a different program this year, so hopefully things will be fine for everyone. See how nice I am to you, even though this snow doesn't collect in little piles on the bottom of the browser like before, which was so completely adorable...oh well.

Also, hopefully my computer generated snow will not result in any real live snow. The computer kind is JUST FINE! We had enough snow last year to get us through three or four winters. So no praying for snow days or singing "Let it Snow" from this girl. Instead, how about, "I'm dreaming of a green Christmas...."

Monday, November 30, 2009

Cooking Light Mondays: Pomegranate-Avocado Salsa

This is one of the appetizers I brought for Thanksgiving. We always have snacks before hand, but I'm not sure why since we eat freakishly early, so I'm rarely actually hungry for dinner. But somehow I managed to eat plenty anyway.

The first time I ever had this, my friend Jill made it for a cookie swap she was hosting. I don't remember much about the cookies we had, but I remember this salsa, so that says a lot. It actually has "spicy chips" that you can make to go with it, but I wasn't feeling it. Also, remember: broken oven. We had baked Tostitos scoops and they worked great and tasted yummy. Couldn't really tell they were the baked kind, so that's good.

This is fairly easy. The hardest part is seeding the pomegranate. I used the underwater method to keep from spraying juice all over the place. It was kind of tedious, but it got the job done. The rest of this is just chopping stuff up; oranges, avocados, cilantro, green onion and jalapeno. You throw it all together with some honey, lime juice and salt. That's it. Easy as pie. Actually, pie's much harder to make, so I'm going to say Easy as salsa. So there.

Here's the recipe if you would like to make your own. It's a really popular dish, there was nothing left of it. So I highly recommend it for any holiday parties you might be attending. I think I'm going to make it again for our upcoming staff party in December. If you make the chips let me know how they turn out. Once I have a working oven I might give them a try. Enjoy!

p.s. Isn't the dish pretty? I just love Polish Pottery!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving and Tea

Wow, I can't believe it is almost the end of November. Only two more days of NaBloMoPo. I really do intend to keep posting. But it will definitely be less frequent as December is a very busy month for me. And you too, I'm sure.

Anyway, thought I'd catch you up on my holiday weekend.

My niece, Madison, made these cutie-patootie decorations in school out of toilet paper rolls. I'm not sure why they are looking to the side and sticking their tongues out. Maybe they are full from too much turkey. I do know that my nephew Max enjoyed pulling their hats off repeatedly.

My poor sister, Monica, came down with the stomach flu on Thanksgiving, so no turkey for her. It was a pretty rotten holiday for her overall. She's trying to look cheery in this picture, unlike her daughter. Madison is a very sympathetic girl, so she's hanging out with mom on the couch.

Mmm, turkey! You can tell it's done because its little timer popped up. It's sitting on this neat rack my mom found that lets you easily lift the entire bird up out of the pan.

Here's the center of the table loaded up with food. Why, yes, we did have a ham as well as turkey. No, I don't know why. Because we did, that's all I've got for you.

After we recovered from pigging out at dinner, we further did ourselves in with pie. Besides pumpkin, we had pecan made by my brother-in-law, Steve, (it was very good!)

and apple pie without any cinnamon. My step-father is allergic, so we had to sprinkle our own cinnamon on there if we wanted some. It didn't really taste the same, but what can you do?

The next day was tea at the Queen Mary Tea Room in Seattle. You may recall that we did this last year, too, but with a different cast of characters. Unfortunately, my sister still wasn't well enough to come. So besides me, we had

my Aunt Kay (left) and my mom (right). They are wearing crowns because the waitress offered tiaras to the little girls but they wouldn't wear them. So we put them on instead. Plus, we made them look GOOD!

Madison drinking her Almond Cream tea, looking pensive. Actually, I think she's mid-sentence, but I wanted to get bonus points for using the word "pensive."

Kenzie is trying her hardest not to smile in the top picture. Obviously, that didn't work too well for her!

Our tea trays, loaded up with lots of yummy stuff! You would never have guessed that we pigged out at Thanksgiving the night before, because by the end of tea, our trays looked like this:

Overall, I ate WAY too much. But I was able to spend time with my family so that makes it all okay. That and the healthy eating I plan to begin again tomorrow. Right before Christmas. When there is food literally everywhere. Yeah. Oh well, holidays come just once a year, right? Thank goodness!

p.s. Welcome to my 6th official follower, Pam from Sidewalk Shoes. I feel so honored to have all these people reading my lame little blog. Thanks, guys!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Mama! Mama? Yoo-hoo! Dada!

Oh my gosh. So funny. Enjoy!

Friday, November 27, 2009


The last two days have been so great. I've spent lots of time with my family, and especially some aunts I rarely see. Tomorrow I'm going to visit my dad and his wife. The older I get, the more I appreciate the people who raised me. I also find I'm so much more interested in their history and the paths they chose. I love to hear old family stories, and who remembers what. I guess I'm realizing that they won't be around forever, and that I need to appreciate the time I have with them.

The other day, I was talking with a friend I know from my last school. We realized that the good times we had there are long gone, for a number of reasons. I told her that where I work now, these are the "good times." Someday I will look back and remember this place and time with fondness. That's how I feel about my family, too. Right here, right now, these are the good times. And I need to appreciate them in the moment as well as keep them in my heart. Some day I will be sitting at my niece's dinner table for Thanksgiving, sharing stories from the here and now. And I hope these are the times they will remember with as much love as I do.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here's hoping your Thanksgiving looked a lot like this:

And not a lot like this:

Happy Turkey Day everyone! Gobble Gobble!

images from

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Jingle Jingle

Not as in bells, as in commercial jingles. I was thinking the other day about how many commercials I remember because they had a catchy tune to go with them. I know way more than I should. Does anyone remember these besides me?

Ice cold milk and an Oreo cookie, they forever go together it's a classic combination. When a dark delicious cookie meets an icy cold sensation like the one and only creamy crunchy chocolate O R E O!

My bologna has a first name, it's O S C A R. My bologna has a second name, it's M A Y E R. Oh, I love to eat it every day, and if you ask me why I'll say, 'cause Oscar Mayer has a way with B O L O G N A! How's that? ( I had to sing the song to myself to spell bologna correctly.) It always bugged me as a kid that the word ends in A but we pronounce it with an E...okay, it still bugs me.

And in honor of my sister: Please don't eat all the morsels. Please don't eat them all. For if you eat all the morsels then your cookies will be bald! I swear she sang that for months on end.

If you are from the Pacific Northwest, you might also know these:

We've got crab legs, Sea Galley. We've got crab legs, Sea Galley. We've got Snow (Snow! Snow!) King (King! King!) Dungeness too!

Or, how about

Take a princess to sea. Have a crumpet and tea. There's fun aboard all the way, sail away for the day, hey hey hey. Let's go to Victoria, with Princess Marguerite!

I could go on forever with this. I'm always been musical, so once I hear these things they are stuck in my head FOREVER. How about you? What "message from our sponsor" do you get stuck in your brain? Or am I the only one singing songs I learned from television in second grade?

Speaking of, please someone tell me they know this last one. I keep asking and no one can remember it. I sure as heck didn't make it up. But I sing it every time we go past the Seneca Street exit in Seattle.

Seneca, the first frozen apple juice enriched with vitamin C. Rich, delicious Seneca, sweetened naturally. Young and old love Seneca, enriched with vitamin C!

Someday I'll figure out how to put sound files on this thing and annoy you with the actual tunes. Hmm, maybe you're lucky I haven't figured it out yet!

images from:,,,,,

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Blogger Award

I am feeling very honored to have received a blogger award for the first time. For the uninitiated, these are given to bloggers usually by other bloggers in recognition of your writing. Some are just pretty, others have some requirements to go with them. Such is the case with this award I received from Susan at A Slice of Life.

The stipulations are to 1) Thank the person who gave you the award and link to their blog, 2) Present this award to others whose blogs you find brilliant in design or content, and 3) Share ten honest things about yourself.

So first, thanks bunches Susan! I'm glad I make you laugh once in a while. Susan has recently started blogging again, as have I, so we're supporting each other on our NaBloPoMo journey. Check her out for both funny and great observational posts.

Okay, next one not so easy. A lot of the blogs I read are also read by a ton of other people and I'm thinking they are too high-falutin' to be responding to little ol' me and my measly little blog...dude, why am I talking like I'm in a spaghetti western all of a sudden? Anyway, feel free to check out my very favorite blogs by The Pioneer Woman, Dooce and I Am Bossy. But don't expect me to ask them to play along with my blog award. They're busy writing books and posting stuff that's actually interesting. So instead, I will pass this award on to a few real life people like me who just happen to blog.

Nicole from two pie r is someone I ran across while hitting the "Next Blog" button. I just stumbled upon her writing and really enjoyed her topics and insights. And her recipes make me hungry.

Carrie at Just Call Me SuperMom is someone I know in real life who has some really great and funny stories about parenting. She's gotten away from blogging lately, so I'm hoping this award might encourage her to post again.

Pam at Sidewalk Shoes has phenomenal recipes and pictures. If you also like cats and reading, check her out. She'll be right up your alley.

Lastly, Tea at Tea and Cookies. Not only does she write about great food, I find some of her posts very touching and poignant. I often tear up when I read her stuff.

You notice I read a lot of blogs that feature food. Big, big surprise.

Finally, ten honest things about me. Um...this is kind of hard because I feel the need to tell you ten things I haven't already written about. I'm pretty honest most of the time. Which often gets me in trouble since I am also very LOUD in my opinions. Anyway, I'll give it a shot.

1.  I love avocados. Ripe ones, of course. Like LOVE love. (Is that a sentence?) I think they should be declared our National Fruit. And we can eat them as we sing the Star-Spangled Banner. Not joking.

2.  I have reverse anorexia nervosa. I look in the mirror and think, "Damn, I look good!" For some reason, this does not work with photographs, which always make me say AAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!! And are the reason I am now back to my healthy eating plan.

3.  I often get migraines, especially when I've not been very healthy. Which is why I have one right now.  I had to take six Excedrin Migraine to make it hurt less. Even though you're not supposed to take more than two in 24 hours. Which is why I am kind of loopy right now. More than usual, I mean. And is probably why I'm writing in sentence fragments.

4.  I truly believe the world would be a better place if I were in charge. Not that I want to be, because there are too many mean people in the world. I'm just saying things would be better if y'all would just do what I say. Like be kinder. And give your money to people who need it more than you. And bow down before me every time I walk in the room. Stuff like that.

5.  I think exclamation points bring more excitement to my writing!!!! I use exclamation points so much, that I actually made up a song about them!!!!! I recorded it on my computer, but I can't figure out how to upload it for you. I'll let you know if I figure it out!!!!! I did mention I'm a music teacher, right?!?!?!?!!!!

6.  I have very few true friends. I have many acquaintances. But the people I welcome into my heart are there forever and I would do anything for them. Which is why I'm really choosy about who I call friend.

7.  I am the world's biggest procrastinator. No contest. I actually managed to put off the hosting of my own birthday party one year. My guests ended up decorating for me and I spent the entire time cooking the food I could have done ahead instead of enjoying the party. Why do I do this? Because I hate the idea of work. Not the actual work itself, I just have an intense reluctance to begin it. So. Lame.

8.  I really like the colors red and pink. (Running out of ideas now.)

9.  If I won the lottery I have an entire financial plan written out of how I would share my winnings with my family and friends, what I would invest in and what I would buy. Yes. It's actually in writing. But I never actually buy lottery tickets. Just like to dream, I guess.

10. If I ever lost my sense of taste, I would lose my will to live. I. Love. Food. I also really like writing one word sentences so you get the emphasis of how I'm saying it in my head. Just. Like. This. hee hee!

Whew! That is one long post. Way to go if you made it this far. Which I guess you did if you're still reading. If you're not still reading this, why am I still typing? If a tree fell in the forest and it hit Glenn Beck on the head, would anyone care? Oh, sorry. Just the Excedrin talking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I. Love. Exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!

p.s. A big shout out to my newest follower, eidolon_nexus. I have 5 real live followers now! (At least, I assume they're all alive.) I am so happy!!!!!!!!! Exclamation point!!!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cooking Light Mondays: Lentil Stew with Ham and Greens

image from

Whoopee! Back with Shrink My Butt Cooking Light Mondays! You didn't think I'd forget my strikethrough name did ya?

So I was feeling all Autumn-like and decided to make a stick to your ribs kind of meal. For some strange reason I've been craving lentils lately. Weird, especially since I rarely eat them. I also needed a stovetop meal, as my oven currently only heats up to about 200 degrees. "Hey," you say, "your landlord should fix that!" To which I say, "I'm sure he would if I could manage to tell him it's broken." I'm just lazy like that sometimes.

Which brings us to another long Cooking Light recipe name. Not just Lentil Stew, but Lentil Stew with Ham and Greens. Only mine doesn't have ham in it. I decided to use turkey kielbasa instead because the online reviews said it had more flavor. It's also a heck of a lot cheaper than buying a big hunk of ham for $12.00. I also used sweet potatoes since I had them in my house. And the little reviewer people said I could. And what they say goes.

This was a really easy meal to put together and was way yummy. I ate some for lunch today and then wasn't even hungry for the pudding cup I brought. It was nice to have a hearty meal to get me through the afternoon, which also made me want to snack less...always good.

So let's get to it!

Technically, the hardest part of this was all the chopping since, as we know, I am a ridiculously slow chopper. But some things went in the pot and then cooked for a while, so it gave me time to keep chopping as things simmered. Anyway, first you heat up some olive oil, then throw in a chopped onion and 3 cloves of minced garlic. Mmmm, garlic! Let it cook down for about 5 minutes. Make sure to close your bedroom door so your clothes don't smell like garlic and onions. All. Day. Long. (sigh)

At which point it will look a little like the picture above. See my new Pampered Chef bamboo spoon? Not just wood, but bamboo! Ooooo. Ahhhh. Ohhhh. The pandas will be jealous! (Because pandas eat bamboo. Get it?)

Next we throw in flavorless Swanson's chicken broth, chopped up carrot, dried lentils and a few bay leaves. Bring to a boil. It will look like this. (If you stir it and take a picture at the same time while trying not to drop your camera into the pot.)

After it boils, let it simmer for 20 minutes. Which is when you can chop up the rest of the stuff you were too slow to get done earlier. Throw in the ham (or whatever), potato and greens. Use red swiss chard if you are cool and adventurous like me, especially if they don't have the regular green kind of greens at the store. Just red ones. Which makes them reds, I guess.

Again with the boil, then simmer. 15 minutes this time. When it looks like this...

...throw in diced tomatoes and some basil, thyme and pepper. Then, you guessed it,  once more bring to a boil and simmer. And following the 5 minutes less every time pattern, only simmer for 10 minutes.

Ooo, simmering. With tomatoes. And little flecks of dried up stuff. Oh, so very unattractive!

When it's all said and done, you get a yummy bowl of hearty stew that just isn't that pretty. You could sprinkle some parsley on it, but that won't help much with the looks factor. Still, it's really good, so make some soon, and just close your eyes when you eat it.

Um, I guess with all my alterations it needs to be called "Lentil Stew with Kielbasa and Reds." Doesn't really work, though. Oh well. Here's the recipe. Except for pre-chopping, this should take around an hour. And it's pretty hard to screw it up. So enjoy, and let me know what you think if you make this homely (but still yummy!) dish.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Random Thoughts

Here are my three positive thoughts for today. I've got 20 minutes to post, so down and dirty.

1.  I went to see the movie "The Blind Side." It was WONDERFUL. I'm not kidding. Go see it. Super inspirational and made me want to be a better person through my actions, not just my words. And I LOVE Sandra Bullock. I plan to be her in my next life.

2.  I think I might actually be on track to get back to my food and exercise plan this week. I actually COOKED. Real food and everything. I know, right? How long has it been since I did a Cooking Light Monday? Maybe April or something? Anyway, new one tomorrow, so come by to get the scoop. Of course I manage to get back on track the week of Thanksgiving. Um, yeah. So we'll see how that goes.

3.  Four words: Three day work week! Actually, 2 and a half since we have early release on Wednesday. I am SO HAPPY! Hooray for time off!!!!!

And now I have something to write about on Tuesday, too, as I received my very first blogging award today! Yay! So exciting! Thanks, Susan! So at least a couple of days this week I will have real live (possibly even interesting!) stuff to share with you. Whoopee! Does anyone say "whoopee" anymore? No? Just me? 'Kay.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

And on the 21st day...

Well, I made it almost 3 weeks of NaBloMoPo without whining. But we are finally here. I have nothing today. Nada. Zip. I'm just posting so I don't miss a day. I'll be glad when it's done and I can just post when I want to. Although I'm glad I've gotten back in to blogging. It's nice to feel connected somewhere in the world. :-)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Facebook is Evil!!

That's right. I said it. And I stand by it. I believe that Facebook was created simply to prevent humans from interacting in real life, and instead get them to spend HOURS playing inane games and "talking" to each other by typing. And using little emoticons. Like this :-P. (Mom, that's a little face sticking out it's tongue. Look sideways.)

It seduces you into thinking you're connecting with people, when really you just find out that someone's kid scored a goal in soccer or they bought a new vacuum cleaner. Which you didn't care about in the first place.

At least, I'm pretty sure that's what it's like. Not that I would spend countless wasted hours playing lame games on Facebook, or posting things no one wants to hear. Not me! I don't feed virtual fish or have a pretend farm! I would NEVER be constantly logged in, or always have the site open in one of my browser tabs. Really! Um, I mean...well, I...oh forget it. I have to go play Farm Town now.

p.s. Thanks to everyone for their positive lists from yesterday. It was fun to read your happy things. And a shout out to Blessed Rain, my newest visitor. Thanks for letting me know my random thoughts actually end up somewhere.

image from

Thursday, November 19, 2009

All About Me!

Number one best thing about my's all about me!

I am trying to create a little more positive thinking in my life. So I'm going to list ten things that make me happy or that I am glad to have.

1.  The world's most wonderful sister who is also my best friend.
2.  Haagen Dazs ice cream
3.  My sense of humor
4.  Wonderful friends who visit my blog and leave me comments (hint hint!)
5.  Flannel happy pants
6.  Musicals
7.  Afternoon tea
8.  Hot men
9.  Taste buds
10. Snowbear

Your turn. What makes you happy? Besides reading my blog, of course!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bring Me Hot Cocoa!

image from

...and another one of these blew in tonight. Getting so tired of the November storms. But if it keeps us from getting feet of the dreaded "s" word later this winter, I will deal with it. Now where's my cocoa? Get on it, people!

p.s. Hi Nichole!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I realized yesterday that I did something I swore I would never do. I whined about one of my friends in my blog. Granted, I was mildly depressed, but I had promised myself when I started blogging that I wouldn't speak ill about the people in my life. Having experienced it first hand, I didn't want to put someone else in that position.

So I apologize my friend, even though you never read my blog. I feel badly that I put negative stuff about our relationship out into internetland. I'm sorry. I wasn't thinking clearly. It will never happen again.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled program...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Pathetic Confession #5

For some completely unknown reason, I was under the impression that flour had little to no calories. I'm not sure why I thought this. Maybe it's because I use it to make cakes and cookies and such, I assumed all the calories in them came from the sugar. Unfortunately, I found out recently that flour has a heck-a-bunch of calories. Like a whole lot. Which probably explains why I like to eat bread so much.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Gift for Laurie

Ask, and you shall receive. Enjoy!

Real, Insightful, Heart-Rending Post

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See? Do I follow through or what?

The other day, I mentioned that I stayed up late reading a blog. The one I got sucked into was the original one written by Julie Powell, from "Julie & Julia." After watching the movie, I wanted to know more about her and found her blog, which is still up in it's original format. It was so interesting in many ways.

First, it was strange to be reading about what things were like just six years ago, but not be able to remember what I was doing at that time. The war was just starting up and there was so much going on in New York. I kept thinking, what was I doing that month? Where was I and how was I feeling? It's such recent history, and yet I felt so removed from it. Strange.

Secondly, I really enjoyed Julie's writing style and sense of humor. But I kept asking myself what was so special about it? Why did it become such a big deal in such a short time? The only answers I can come up with are that blogging was relatively new and that she was in the right place at the right time. Although I enjoyed it thoroughly, I didn't see anything extraordinary about it. I read blogs just as funny/interesting as hers all the time.

Thirdly, it really bothered me that there were typos in her blog. I know she was just whipping stuff out, trying to post quickly in the time she had. I read my blog about 15 times before I hit send, checking the grammar, word choice, etc. I am so anal, I can't understand how she could be okay leaving up typos for all eternity. It would drive me crazy knowing my stuff isn't "just right." Dude, I need a life.

Which leads me to my final realization. I have no life. Other than work, I have nothing going right now. NOTHING. NADA. I used to be really involved in lots of outside activities, or at least connecting with my friends regularly. At this point, my life is really, really dull. It involves working, then coming home and sitting on my butt trying to be entertained, usually with the computer. This is not okay. I need to make a life for myself that I enjoy and even look forward to. I need outside interests. This may be one of the reasons I've felt so down lately. Now, I just need to figure out what some (cheap) outside interests could be. Ummm.....yeah. Okay, have to work on that one. I guess I will keep you posted as I think about what might make me happier than I am right now. Which shouldn't be that hard, right? Right?

Oh, and in case you're interested, here's Julie's blog. Be forewarned that there is much swearing and Republican bashing. Bon appetit!

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Okay, I've got 10 minutes to post in order to meet the NaBloPoMo deadline. So, unfortunately, tonight it's another video. On the other hand, it's a funny video, so that makes it all okay!

This is the guy who played Biff in the Back to the Future series.

hee hee! Made me laugh at least.

Also, I am now up to five official readers! Whoo-hoo! (Hi Laurie!) Please leave me a comment if you're a lurker, and I will say howdy to you as well. I think I might have more than just 5 readers, according to the hit counter on my blog. Or it could just be one crazy person who visits my site over and over and over. To that person: Please don't kill me.

Okay, gotta hit send. I promise a real, insightful, heart-rending post tomorrow. Or at least a sincere effort.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Childhood "Memories"

A friend recently posted an old Sesame Street clip on YouTube. Which then led to me doodling around looking up old Sesame Street and The Electric Company videos. I discovered something. There are some phrases that I say All The Time that I had no idea came from these childhood shows. Some I knew the reference for. But I have been saying "I remembered, I remembered" for years, and had no memory that it came from this:

Also, for all of you who have heard me say this about a million times, I am not crazy.

Finally, one of my favorite Sesame Street tunes which I sing all the time. I must have always hated 70's style artwork, though, because I have completely blocked the animation from my brain.

So glad I can now pinpoint when my brain cells began turning to mush.

1 2 3 4 5, 6 7 8 9 10, 11 twe-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-elve!  (See, Monica, I didn't make this up!)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pathetic Confession #4

Every once in a while I do this weird thing.  I will stay up really late on a work night. Like REALLY late. Like I got an hour and a half of sleep last night late. And I am never doing anything of any value. Usually it involves watching infomercials or YouTube videos. Last night I was reading a year's worth of someone's blog (more on that tomorrow). And there is no sane reason for me to do this. The little voice in the back of my head is saying, "GO TO BED!" But the part of me that is mildly entertained just ignores it. I've even had to pee like crazy, and still won't get off the couch because if I do, I know it will cause me to stop doing whatever pointless activity I'm doing and actually get some sleep.

I have a theory on why this happens. Two actually. The first is that I am just a big whiny baby who likes to stay up late. But really I think it's that if I go to bed, it will much more quickly become tomorrow. And then I will have to deal with THINGS. Like laundry and groceries and cleaning the bathroom. And getting up early in the morning to go to work. Which I must say is REALLY hard to do when you've stayed up until 5 a. m. For. No. Good. Reason.

So, of course, I am super tired tonight and barely managed to do one load of laundry (which involves no less than 6 trips up or down the thirty-seven stairs to the basement and outside into the cold to reach it. (Oh, woe is me! Umm, I just had to refer to the dictionary for this statement. I originally typed "whoa is me." Duh.) Anyway, I have such a hard time facing up to stuff I just don't want to do. It's so much easier to bury myself in a book, or the computer or some lame TV. I keep thinking, hmm, I'm forty. When does the adult behavior show up? Because, really, I should be able to deal with my boring and tedious responsibilities by now and just get over it, right? No one ever died from washing a pot, did they?

Speaking of which, I have to go fold some clothes and go to bed. Early meeting tomorrow, and did I mention my hour and a half of sleep last night? Sigh. Some day when I grow up...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

I pulled off the Veteran's Day assembly on Wednesday. But I was a nervous wreck and slept really poorly the night before. So by 10:15 am, when it was all said and done, I was wiped and just needed a nap. I think it is someone else's turn to be in charge next year.

My post tonight is the slide show I found on YouTube and used for our assembly. I watched a lot of them while trying to pick one. I knew this was the one for two reasons. The music is dead on, and I was crying about 45 seconds in.

Thank you, veterans, and to all of the current service men and women who keep us safe and free.

Oh, and congrats to me. This is my 100th post today. Yay.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


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No, not that kind of passion. Get your mind out of the gutter! And grab mine for me while you're down there, will you? Although that kind wouldn't be too bad either...

Anyway, I mean this kind of passion:

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And this kind:

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And especially this:

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I went to see "Julie and Julia" tonight. It was a great movie, very well done. And I loved how authentic the Julia Child parts were. I felt like I was in that time period with them. I also appreciated watching a film that featured two realistic marriages. So often I see movies in which a couple spends two hours trying to meet each other. We never see what happens afterwards. But in "Julie and Julia" we got to spy on two mature, strong and realistic relationships. I enjoyed that. And Meryl Streep and Stanley Amazing job.

But what I found myself really thinking about as I left the theater was passion. Both the lead characters' stories revolved around finding that something we truly love doing. Not just something to keep us entertained for a little while or the latest hobby. But that which makes us complete...makes us want to fly out of bed in the morning because we can't wait to get to it.

I've always known that my passion is music. I love teaching and working with kids, but my life would not come to an end without them. However, if it ever came to be that I couldn't sing or listen to music I would rather just not live anymore. Music is a part of who I am and I cannot be without it for long. I feel so lucky to have a job that lets me combine what I enjoy with my true passion. And get paid well to do it!

So many times I wonder how people end up doing what they do. It seems many of us just end up somewhere random. We fall into something and stay because it's easier, or we need the money, or we just aren't sure where our passion really lies. I feel so badly for people who have to spend 8 hours a day doing something they don't love, and rarely experience their passion. I realize we can't all be professional sports stars or fashion designers. And I know that we need people in many professions that are going to be far from their dream job. But I so wish we lived in a world where money didn't matter as much as doing what makes us happy. In my utopia, we would all have what we need to get by, and not be constantly wanting more because we would be so happy in our chosen life.

Yes, I am dreaming up my happy place. I just wish everyone was as lucky as me to have found their true calling. Even though it often stresses me out, gives me headaches and just plain pisses me off sometimes, I am still one of the luckiest people I know.

I hope you experience your passion every day, too. No, not that kind! Or, well, maybe that kind, too!

Monday, November 9, 2009

I. Hate. Mondays.

I don't know what's going on with Mondays this year. I swear I get a migraine every single time. I must be allergic to work. Maybe my doctor will write me a note and I won't have to go anymore.

Anyway, my head is aching and I have to finish preparing the power point presentation for the Veteran's Day assembly I am IN CHARGE OF which for some unknown reason I VOLUNTEERED to be IN CHARGE OF. I think this year might finally teach me to stop saying, "I'll do it!"

I'm hoping to see "Julie and Julia" tomorrow night, so I'll probably have a review for you. But tonight me and my headache are done.

p. s. Hi Nancy! I realized I don't ususally say "hi" to you so here ya go! Hug Diego for me! And James, too, I guess. :-)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I am Woman! Hear Me Roar! RAHR!

The goat says RAHR!
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I had a very productive day. I always feel better when I get stuff done. For example, I actually planned what I will eat tomorrow! And then bought groceries and packed my lunch so it would happen! Oooooo. And the clothes I'm wearing to work are hanging on my closet door! Aaaaaahhhh. Aren't you impressed? I am! And I finally found the fish in my tank and some of the floor in my living room! So exciting!

I like Sunday evenings because it's when I feel most inspired to clean and organize. I think it's partly because I know Monday is coming and I work well with deadlines. I'm also the most rested I'm going to be for the week. I rarely get anything done on Saturdays because I'm just so dang tired from the work week.

On Tuesday we have an assembly for Veteran's Day, which I am of course in charge of. I will be SO happy when that is done and I can move on the the 40 million other things on my list. I'm really looking forward to having Wednesday off. Thanks, veterans, for giving me the day off. I truly do appreciate it.

I'm actually starting to get excited about the holiday season and spending time with family and friends. We're already making plans for the Thanksgiving holiday. I'm so glad to be feeling a bit better and more optimistic. I have to remember that the more I take care of myself and my home, the better I feel. I just need to make time for it instead of staying at school forever. Always working on that balance. The never ending battle!