Saturday, December 22, 2007
In reality, it's not so great. The white stuff comes associated with a lot of COLD. Morning temps in the single digits as I leave the house. Ice that takes 10 mins to get off the car windshield. Ruts in the parking lot that are 10" deep of packed ice and snow. Ugly black sludge on the sides of the road. White residue building up on the car. White knucles clutching the steering wheel driving in the dark on ice. Horizontal snow and lip chapping wind. There's more, but you get the picture.
On the up side, the state of Nebraska has some pretty cool real time video of road conditions in many locations, so you can see the winter wonderland you're going to have to drive through. I was told this is an unusually snowy December and it doesn't usually get like this until mid January. This must be a special treat just for me. Lucky me.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
When it started, sampling every new toy in the internet toybox was great fun. There were ideas and visions I'd never dreamed, and the first time I wrote code and it became a visual reality was a thrilling moment. I completely embraced the vitual communities, pets and places. I managed a solid business without ever seeing most of my customers, and when I did see them, it was ok if they didn't look as I'd imagined, but when the conversations weren't as scintillating
as the email exchanges, I'd feel a little let down. They probably felt the same about me.
Now, my internet use is vastly different. I use it as an everyday item, like the cup I drink my coffee from. It's always there, does it's job as a coffee cup but if I tried to make it be a champagne flute, it might not do so well. If I want to know anything, Google is my first thought. I get annoyed when the info I want is buried by layers of thoughtless navigation. I am happy when I find my answer in seconds. And although my main contact with most of my family these days is via the internet, I don't turn to it for friendship any longer.
Which brings me back to Facebook. I went and signed up out of curosity. I can't see myself getting too excited about it. Sure it's cool in a hot sort of way, but not in the way that sitting in a bookstore cafe with a friend is. If you're lucky, you might meet that friend on Facebook, but unless you move out of that realm, that's all they are -- faces. And until more people get out from behind their screens and actually come to the MeetUps or other meet and greets , its all they can be.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
1. Citizen Kane
2. The Godfather
4. Raging Bull
5. Singin’ in the Rain
6. Gone with the Wind
7. Lawrence of Arabia
8. Schindler’s List
10. The Wizard of Oz
11. City Lights
12. The Searchers
13. Star Wars
15. 2001: A Space Odyssey
16. Sunset Boulevard
17. The Graduate
18. The General
19. On the Waterfront
20. It’s a Wonderful Life
22. Some Like It Hot
23. The Grapes of Wrath
25. To Kill a Mockingbird
26. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
27. High Noon
28. All About Eve
29. Double Indemnity
30. Apocalypse Now
31. The Maltese Falcon
32. The Godfather Part II
33. One Flew Over the Cuckoo Nest
34. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
35. Annie Hall
36. The Bridge on the River Kwai
37. The Best Years of Our Lives
38. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
39. Dr. Strangelove
40. The Sound of Music
41. King Kong
42. Bonnie and Clyde
43. Midnight Cowboy
44. The Philadelphia Story
46. It Happened One Night
47. A Streetcar Named Desire
48. Rear Window
50. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
51. West Side Story
52. Taxi Driver
53. The Deer Hunter
55. North by Northwest
58. The Gold Rush
60. Duck Soup
61. Sullivan’s Travels
62. American Graffiti
65. The African Queen
66. Raiders of the Lost Ark
67. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
70. A Clockwork Orange
71. Saving Private Ryan
72. The Shawshank Redemption
73. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
74. The Silence of the Lambs
75. In the Heat of the Night
76. Forrest Gump
77. All the President’s Men
78. Modern Times
79. The Wild Bunch
80. The Apartment
84. Easy Rider
85. A Night at the Opera
87. 12 Angry Men
88. Bringing Up Baby
89. The Sixth Sense
90. Swing Time
91. Sophie’s Choice
93. The French Connection
94. Pulp Fiction
95. The Last Picture Show
96. Do the Right Thing
97. Blade Runner
98. Yankee Doodle Dandy
99. Toy Story
Friday, September 21, 2007
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
There are "more than 1000 recipes" and each mailing will include 12 of them. Yum- o you may be thinking. Each mailing is just under $9 when you include to postage. You do the math....you could buy one hell of a lot of cookbooks of your choosing for around $750! Of course, you won't get the nice little plastic storage box to keep them in that you do get with the cards. You're on your own when it comes to storing that many cook books. I use to collect cookbooks. Now my recipes are in my computer and I've kept only a handful of my very favorite actual cookbooks. I kind of miss them, but space becomes an issue sooner or later. But I have wandered, so back to the recipe cards.
When I was a new bride, I joined one of these clubs and I really learned a lot about cooking, I made almost every recipe. But it seems to me that they were around $3 a pack and there was a finite number that you agreed to at the beginning of the club. Times have changed.
Anyway, here is this really great recipe. Make it before the cold winds blow.
Herbed Green Beans
- 1 lb green beans
- 2 teaspoons butter or olive oil
- 3 large thinly sliced shallots
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
- lemon wedges for garnish
1. Bring 1/2 inch of water to a boil in a large 10 inch nonstick skillet. Add the beans, simmer, covered over medium heat for about 8 minutes. You really should cut off the tips of the beans, they can be unpleasant to eat. Drain in a colander.
2. Heat butter in the skilet unitl melted. Add the shallots and sugar. Cook about 2 minutes or until softened and a pretty golden color. Add salt, pepper and the green beans. Stir gently and cook another 3 minutes to heat through.
3. Remove skillet from heat, add lemon zest and basil. Spoon onto serving plate, Garnish with lemon wedges and serve immediately.
Monday, July 30, 2007
This is not a recipe for the beginning baker, the instructions are sparse and assume that you already know a little something about baking bread. One trick I have observed, since I got my Zoji bread machine a few years ago, he does let the machine do the kneading for him. Then he forms the loaves and bakes in the oven. Go for it.... may the goddess of the harvest smile on you too.
Classic French Bread
Makes 2 loaves
1 cup cold water
1 cup boiling water
1 pkg active dry yeast
1 Tbl salt
1 Tbl sugar
2 Tbl shortening
6 cups about flour
Mix all but flour and let proof for at least 5 min (10 better). Stir in flour a little at a time til dough feels right (sticky but doesn't stick to fingers). Then knead until it's smooth and elacticy. You might use all the flour, you might not. Allow to rise covered in a greased bowl at least 45 min, punch down and rise again for at least 45 min.Make into loves (2). Cover, let rise for at least an hour. Slash the top of the loaves with a knife. Brush on a glaze of 1 egg white and water,beaten together. Set oven 350 deg, place a pan of water in oven in the bottom rack. Bake until golden (about 40 min) and internal temp is about 180 deg.
You can add 1 Tbl each in the mix stage of parm cheese, minced garlic and italian seasoning for some awesome garlic herb bread.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
State parks often have fun evening events too, check out your park system, do something different this summer!
Sunday, July 22, 2007
It was sad watching them try to come back and finding their home gone. The mama made many attempts to feed the kids, big fat juicy bugs dangling from her beak. Eventually they seemed to understand and we discovered that there is definite Barn Swallow language for being po'd.
This photo is a little guy that's been living in a small pine tree near our patio. He was making a lot of noise the other day, so I went investigating. There's a small nest and this cutie was hopping all over the tree. Still haven't seen any adult birds, so not sure just what kind this one is.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Tonight, a shot of the midway. We're way past the wild rides, so our big event was the ferris wheel. Rides sure have gotten wilder it seems, and the addition of strobe ligthing makes them seem a lot wilder. I'll stick to the old fart thrills. Nice for photos if not excitemet.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Monday, July 16, 2007
This has been one of my favorite shows to watch in the past. This season it has been really lackluster, bordering on boring. The challenge ideas have been interesting, but none of the contestants seem to have any natural leadership ability or strong enough personalities to keep you interested in their show. I think Alton Brown had in right a couple of weeks ago when he suggested sending them all home!
To me, the contestants who were in one to one choice situtations with Jag over who was being eliminated really got the worst of this whole deal. Had Jag not been such slime and continued under false pretenses, one of the others may have had an opportunity to really rise to the occasion and shine. I hope The Food Network does something nice for these double losers. I wish when Jag's lies had come to light, TFN would have restarted the whole comptetition.
I'm a huge TFN fan. It's appointment tv for my household. In the summer doledrums of reruns, we watch our favorites over again and give the boring shows a second chance to grab us. Unfortunately, there are a couple of really boring hosts... I hope the new season brings the sparkle back to TFN and that Alton Brown shaves.
PS... Alton Brown is my favorite host, but the boy really needs to buy a new motorcycle or something for his midlife crisis and get over the beard thing.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Thursday, July 12, 2007
The smoky looking halo in the photo is actually a wild bunch of feather fuzz making its first appearance. This is one of the bigger babies. There seems to be a span of about 3 days from what we can tell from the first 3 appearing, to finally seeing all 5 of the little guys. Don says they remind him of muppets! They've spent alot of time hanging their heads over the edge of the nest, extending their necks while opening and shutting their beaks. It's been really hot this last week, maybe that's a cooling activity. The photo to the right was was taken 07/09/07.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME ...
1)Name one person who made you smile today? Don
2)What were you doing at 8:00 this morning? Tuning in to Pandora radio before I started my work projects for the day
3)What were you doing 30 minutes ago? Cleaning up the dinner dishes
4)What is something that happened to you in 1998? I inherited some money unexpectedly
5)What is the last thing you said aloud? Luna! to a cat about to tip over my glass of water
6)How many different things have you drank today? Tea,Vitamin Water, Water, 1 Soda, Coffee
7)What color is your hair brush? Black. But my favorite comb is hot pink!
8)What was the last thing you bought? Cat litter
9)What was the last gift you received? A very cool CD of new Michael McDonald 10)What color is your front door? White.
11)Where do you keep cell phone? In my bag. Terrible at remembering to charge it up.
12)What was the weather like today? Overcast and humid
13)What is the best ice cream flavor? Black Raspberry Chocolate Chunk
14)What are you excited about?
15)Do you talk a lot? No
16)Name a weird food you like?
17)Cold or hot? Cold mostly.
18)What's your favorite thing to do?
19)Do you want to cut your hair? Always, but I rarely have any idea how I want it.
20: Are you over the age of 25? HA! I mean... yes!
21)Are you ticklish? yes
22)Are you typically a jealous person? I don't think it's jealousy, but I am very competitive.
23)Name a friend whose name starts with the letter "L" : Lynn
24)Name a friend whose name starts with the letter "A": Allison
25)Do you chew on your straws? Never
26)Do you have curly hair? Straight as a stick.
27)What is the next concert you're going to? Some fledgling country star that's palying the county fair... I promised my mother I'd take her. I don't care for country music.
28)Who is the crappiest person in your life? We won't go there. I'm trying to not see it that way.
29)What is your favorite color? Turquoise
30)What is something you say a lot?
31)What's your room like? My home office/craft room..too small, needs more shelves
32)What was the last movie you saw? Pirates of the Carribbean.. Edge of the World
33)Do you have work tomorrow? At my paid job, no. At a bunch of other stuff, yes.
34)What's your dream job? Something that overpays me for being creative and lets me keep my own schedule.
35)When was the last time you said "I love you"? An hour ago
36)What should you be doing right now? Exactly what I am doing right now.
37)Do you have a nickname? Not really. My daily use name is a nickname, of my given name, but not something like Cutie Pie
38)Are you a heavy sleeper? Yes
39)When is the last time you did the dishes, honestly? this morning
40)What are your pet peeves? People who let their dogs out to roam the neighborhood letting them poop everywhere. People who don't scoop the poop. Drivers talking on cellphones, People who don't close cabinet doors. When I misjudge the distance something is and drop it....sign of time to get new contacts. People who speak very loudly in communal areas, like the next cubicle over or on their cell phone.People who take young children out to restaurants without having given them a snack first!
Saturday, June 23, 2007
This is especailly important for those of us in rural areas or with musical tastes that go beyond Top 40.
Friday, June 22, 2007
The Hanged Man, Universal Waite
What's your first reaction to this card? Does it seem a little weird that the guy is clearly trussed up but totally unconcerned? In fact, in this rendition, he actually looks almost meditative to me and he certianly is not at all upset. Or maybe he's been trying to get untied and we catch him here in a moment of catching his breath before he tries once again to wriggle free. What do you think?
Hanged Man always reminds me of the grand illusionsists, starting with Harry Houdini, getting themselves out of the straight jacket. It seems impossibe to us, but they always manage to do it. How? Maybe it's by looking at a situtaion with a different point of view. Maybe it's by calmly evaluating the situtation before taking action. Maybe they see the impossible as merely a challenge to our preconveived notions of what is and isn't do-able.
I've also heard of this card compared to images of Jesus on the cross. Now, that's a little far fetched for my understanding, but if it floats your boat, go for it. I can almost see the connections between willing sacrifice, especially that of one person sacrificing for the greater good, but that's not my real understanding of this card.
Some keywords for this card are contemplation, perspective, patience, resourcefullness, surrender, letting go, trust, giving up, overcome.
When I draw Hanged Man for a weekly overview, I see it as a time to look for a new perspective on something in your life. It's a Major Arcana card, so it is of importance and deserves thoughtful consideration. What's going on in your life that isn't working quite the way you hoped it would? That's the place to become the Hanged Man and look for a different solution. Maybe you'd benefit from physically changing yourself in response to the issue. How? It can be a simple as just taking the discussion to a coffee shop instead of your kitchen table. It could be an impromptu trip to a new destination... anything that gives you some new input. Maybe it's just a random word said by a chat room pal... be aware and you'll understand the Hanged Man's powerful impact.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
I'm a texture person, couldn't help myself. There was a crazy quilt from the Civil War era that captured my heart. Slivers of fine velvets, satins mixed in with common cottons told the story, but it was the elegant, flowing embroidery that really spoke to me. It was almost as though the quilt maker was saying, "they can take my stuff, but they can't take my soul." I think most people had dramatic life changes during that time period, no matter what side they championed. Goods were scarce, families separated, nothing was stable. But the quiltmaker perservered. Her finery may have been reduced to rags, but she could turn them into something beautiful to serve another purpose. The stitching was as fine as any lady of leisure could have done, although I suspect there was not alot of leisure time for ladies of that era.
So, I wonder, did she do those feathery stitches while wondering what became of a lover or son? Did she loose herself in stitching as she mused about her life back east, before the chaos? What memories did the velvet hold for her?
As I turn to my crochet work to ease the stress in my daily life, I connect with the unknown quiltmaker, and I understand.
Friday, June 08, 2007
The images of this card, from the Voyager Tarot is filled with warriors, masks and lights. This is a troublesome card for many people, it causes us to have to look our inner selves right in the eye and not blink. When we draw the 7 of Wands, it's time to stop kidding ourselves and get real. You'll know in your inner heart of hearts, what is it that you're avoiding or masking simply because it is easier to do so than to actually face the truth.
Your inner turmoil for this cycle may be related to something small, but it's far more likely that the turmoil goes right to the core of who you are. It's woven in the fabric of your self image, whether you realize it on a conscious level or not. If you work with the 7 of Wands this week with meditation, freestyle writing or visioning , you'll find yourself on the path to great growth.
Sometimes growth of our souls happens slowly, but it does happen when we allow the light to shine through the dark. Often, what we see in the light is not what we expected or wanted to see, but it is truth nonetheless. Be brave and allow yourself to look inward this week. To allow the clarity and warmth of the light into our lives is the first step to finding home.
Monday, June 04, 2007
Picture this; a large field with about 5 cows milling around, doing their cow thing. Silly humans actually spend money to buy a numbered flag. The flag is assigned a position on the bingo board and is placed in a corresponding position in the field. And then you wait. What are you waiting for? Well, the big plop of course! Really. And when it finally happens, the flag nearest the plop is the winner of a prize. How long you wait is of course totally up to the cows, who are known to be exceptionally contrary on occasion and the event can run as long as an hour. Chicken .... Bingo has been known to take up to 2 hours! In this case, it was a quick game with winners declared in under 10 minutes.
Now, I've been to a lot of festivals in my former life as a craft show vendor. I've been to CottonPickin' Days, Muleskinner Day's, Peanut Festivals,Peach Festivals,Old Mill Days, you name it, I've probably been to something like it. I thought I'd seen just about every kind of event a committee of well meaning yet deranged minds could dream up. Now, I think I really have. I wonder what's on deck for next weekend?
Thursday, May 24, 2007
For the last year, I've been struggling with an all too common situation for people my age; long distance aging parents who need someone nearby to help them out. I didn't want to be the one to pack up my life and go. Especially since the destination was a very rural location in Nebraska, where there are miles and miles of corn and snow... most of all snow.
Mentally I played out many scenarios. I tried to discuss alternative plans with my siblings. Nothing was jelling and it was becoming increasingly clear that going was the only choice. Even my dreams were clearly telling me the right thing to do. So, with the full understanding and participation of my husband, we decided that we would go to Nebraska. He's remarkable. This makes 9 major moves in our 33 years. We'll talk about moving at a later date.
And here we are....we traded one small town in Texas for an even smaller town in Nebraska. We've traded a 3 bedroom house for a 2 bedroom apartment. We've traded working from home in our jammies to driving 80 miles a day to jobs...each. We've traded our predictible, self centered lives for the challenges of the unknown. And it feels right.
Friday, March 09, 2007
Becasue I am an ordinary soul living a human life with lots of challenges. Just like everyone else. Knowing the universal laws and principles is one thing; living them daily is quite another. The most difficult aspect of having some awareness of the magnificence that is possible, to me, is staying focused on the awareness. It's my biggest challenge to truly let go and allow the bounty to flow over and through me. It remains that way even though I have first hand experience and KNOW that the laws work. I forget. I lose focus. I'm human.
So, I am making a concentrated effort to live in the moment. Just for today, as I teach my students. To be aware of how the the worn keys on my keyboard feel smooth and cool on my finger tips. To be aware that I am sitting slouched over and my back will protest in a moment. To be aware that I hear the wind blowing outside and that in this moment of writing, I am completely at ease with myself and my place in the world. Oops.. a distracting thought just popped in...my mind is in hyperanxiety mode right now, dams being built against its currents... I can let it go. Noticed and released. Back to the moment. I'll let you know how the rest of the day goes.