Monthly Archives: August 2013
Wow… seems that some people HAVE been reading~! Aw, this is my little guy towards the end of 2006. Oh wow, that made him a few months shy of two years old.
Sooo, thought I’d do something that I’ve never done before. I’m letting you know that I will not be anywhere near the internet for the next few days, into next week. My antenna will be up and hopefully I will return here with a post or two.
I’ve come across some amazing blogs lately and I will miss reading them, but looking forward to catching up when I get back. No major vacation or anything. We’ll just be in and out, visiting with family, like my dad who is only in Pennsylvania but might as well be in the Tasmanian desert, under a rock. We tried to get them connected, if even with just an email gadget to send/receive pics and keep in touch with email. Two months ago my dad FINALLY bought a laptop, but returned it TWO days later because he got frustrated getting the cable connection hooked up… Whaaaaaat? ugh. He really should’ve called someone who could walk him through this. Now he’ll never get one, grrrrrrr!
Tomorrow we will be visiting some of the in-laws. They are really nice people and we so rarely see each other. Just found out that one of the grandchildren has gotten bitten by the knitting bug. Knitting, crochet… all the same. It’s all fibery goodness. If you remember, I said that I needed to drastically cull my stash. This has proved quite the opportunity. So much I feel that I cannot part with, but because it was going to family, and a young person at that. Anything to nurture the craft. It was so easy to pick out yarn, the more expensive stuff. There is still a lot, I realized today, that I simply could not part with and I told myself, “I don’t know what she likes. I don’t know what colors she likes. I don’t know what weight yarn she likes to work with,” and well, you get the picture. I could go on and on rationalizing why not to put more in the box. I can’t wait to talk to this girl who I have watched grow up, but have never really spoken to. Her family has SHEEP on their farm, the dad is a master beekeeper…Biology~! Now THIS is the stuff I love to talk about. My brain will be tickled pink and I will be loving it. Yeah, I’m even bringing some knitting books. I just wish I knew remembered this sooner. I only had a couple hours to ransack my stash, but I have tons of patterns I could give her. Will just have to wait for another time. If I knew what tools she needs, I could also have put some of those aside. Yeah. Again, I am putting myself into the hero role… You know, like I’m the only one who can make this happen. You know, it’s ALREADY happening because she’s already knitting and maybe doing crochet. I hate my ego sometimes. Well, the times that it’s so obvious that I can’t help but see it.
One thing I want to see if I can do while away, but doubt it without the internet, is attaching photo credits to pics that are not mine. I never thought much of using someone else’s pics, but I realize that it’s just not right. I figured it was okay because the internet is so open, and I never claimed them for my own; but I was thinking today about how I never post my poetry for just this specific reason and it just hit me that I was doing the same thing and how wrong it really is to post without at least linking to the original site. Monumental task since this blog has been around since 2005. So, I apologize to everyone out there who has had their content stolen and credit misplaced to a stranger. I’m going to try to right the situation and will probably replace some pics with my own.
Have a great rest of the weekend and into the week. Meet ya on the other side…
- So … Crochet or Knitting? (ukcrochetpatterns.wordpress.com)
- So many knitting patterns….not enough time… (thequiethomeblog.wordpress.com)
- 34 Adorable Things To Do With Leftover Bits Of Yarn (buzzfeed.com)
- Yarn Along – Knitting and Reading (lieslmade.com)
- Emily Explains: Knitting with two circular needles (berroco.com)
- A Little More Knitting (libbygorman.wordpress.com)
- My indigodragonfly Obsession: The Greatest Love of All (secretlifeofyarn.wordpress.com)
Daily Prompt: P.C.
by michelle w. on August 11,2013
My opinion on this is that political correctness DEFINITELY stifles honest discussion. Way too hot topics are racism, gay rights and abortion. NOBODY will touch these topics with a ten foot pole; but I really do wish that people would have honest discussions about them.
If we could all put aside our differences and openly admit that we do not know everything and that we each have our tendencies to say or do things that will offend others. If we can all check our baggage at the door, that would be great, too. Nobody is perfect and hell, yes, we were all raised in different environments, leaning toward one or another belief. We all have things, pleasant and unpleasant to others, ingrained in us from childhood and though some of us might choose to act differently, what is ingrained in us will never completely leave. What we CAN do is choose to act different, be more accepting of other people and their right to live how they choose. That’s not to say that we give up expressing our core beliefs, but recognize that although we are a part of this world; but we cannot control everyone in it to our own way of thinking.
Most importantly, I think, is that we all must be prepared to enter into these conversations open-minded and acknowledge that it might get unpleasant. We must not be afraid of that but I realize that will be hard to really trust people, I mean really trust that their motives are pure. Also, we must be prepared to deal with ignorance in a less than snarky manner. We must LISTEN. We must be prepared to face up to our wrongs… and I mean EVERYONE. This is crucial. There needs to be a give and take. There needs to be respect. I read a book this year called, “The Faith Club.” This was such a great book about three women, one Jewish, on Muslim and one Catholic. They each had a burning desire to learn and understand each other, the traditions and well, I think they wanted to understand what made the others tick. They were wanted to learn so that they could teach their children. What happened? In a nutshell, it was a rocky road, but they all persevered through their sometimes obvious and sometimes subtle differences and became friends.
Are we all so different that we don’t trust ourselves to tread these waters? The tension, the hate, the distrust must stop. These are the choices we make. We have the power to break the mold, but we’ve got to want to do it. People fit so well into the victim mold and find it more comfortable than they should. I say that because once in there, you just never want to leave. I’m sorry, but do we really want to be victims forever? It’s hard to leave the comfort zone, but it CAN be done.
- Daily Prompt: The Usefulness of Political Correctness (thelintinmypocket.wordpress.com)
- (P)eople (C)learly need to lighten up (tornin2.wordpress.com)
- Political Correctness: Mean Girls in Charge? (joantwarren.com)
- Daily Prompt: You Can’t Handle the Truth (starvingactivist.wordpress.com)
I was having a conversation with some friends the other day and they were talking about the neediness of a person they knew. I found myself trying to make excuses for a woman whom I’ve never met. I found this curious even as my mouth was going. I recognized myself in the things they were saying about her and felt compelled to explain myself, really, not her. I was trying to point out that there may be reasons and they said that the woman was always telling them the hard life she lived. Her need to be acknowledged spilled over their words. They said that “hard” life was long past for her and that “then was then and now is now.” It makes sense but when you’re hit with a blast from the past, old buttons can be pushed and you fall right back into that old mold. Old hurts are resurrected and sometimes with a vengeance. I understood this woman but I knew they were right. I felt myself drowning in her pool of obscurity.
Does anyone know or care what goes on behind a person’s private pain? No. Should they care? Well, I guess a person can but when you think of it, no one can do anything about it, or fix it. They are helpless to do anything other than nod and listen. But who wants to go through that when all it does, if you really care, is make you feel helpless and your friend doesn’t feel better. It is what it is. I have no answer for this though I’ve been trying. I guess when it comes time for my reincarnation (if you believe in that), I’ll either relive the same life or get demoted and live a worse one. I have a feeling that I’ve been living the same life over and over for centuries. There’s a locked door somewhere and either I’ve not found it or I don’t have the key. I don’t know. I guess I don’t “get” anything.
Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights.
But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart’s knowledge.
You would know in words that which you have always known in thought.
You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams.
And it is well you should.
The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea;
And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes.
But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure;
And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line.
For self is a sea boundless and measureless.
Say not, “I have found the truth,” but rather, “I have found a truth.”
Say not, “I have found the path of the soul.” Say rather, “I have met the soul walking upon my path.”
For the soul walks upon all paths.
The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed.
The soul unfolds itself like a lotus of countless petals.
- Silence – If you can not yet be the tongue of God, be an ear. (liltdalliance.wordpress.com)
- Self-Love Tip: Are You Listening to the Voice of Your Soul? (wendy643.wordpress.com)
- On Children – Kahlil Gibran (buvanasworld.wordpress.com)
- Meet the Divine (journeyofwillow.wordpress.com)
Humans have very strong scent memory. Tell us about a smell that transports you.
Someone else wrote about the smell of freshly baked bread… and OH how I agree with that; but there IS another smell that I will never forget, smelled it once a good 48 years ago and it’s still so fresh in my head….
…. and that’s the smell of the chocolate at the Hershey’s factory. It was so strong and permeated the air around me. I couldn’t get enough of it. The headiness was not duplicated until my teens when I experimented with marijuana and never again since those days. They say that when you visit the Hershey factory that after a while the smell sickens you. I didn’t feel sick but it seemed LOUD, if a smell can be loud.
To this day, I love chocolate and I can’t seem to get enough of it. Is it more psychological than a physical hunger or desire? I’m not sure, but I know that if giving a zillion choices at the ice cream shop or bakery, or for anything sweet once chocolate is mentioned don’t tell me any more. I choose the darkest chocolate I can. Or, maybe it was my friend John who turned me on to chocolate when he gifted a group of us with Godiva chocolate. Though I forgot the holiday it was representing, St. Valentine’s Day or Christmas, I will never forget the taste of that chocolate. You ruined me for others, sir! My favorite ice cream is Häagen-Dazs Belgium chocolate. The mall by us has a Häagen-Dazs vendor stand in the middle of the food court. Gotta know where those safe places are.
OOH my GOD… Lindt Dark Chocolate Truffles melt as soon as they hit your tongue…. and YEAH the darker the chocolate, the healthier it is for you… HA, like I need an excuse!
Write an anonymous letter to someone you’re jealous of.
Wow. This assignment is pretty much a license to whine all day. Just for the record, I am not PMS’ing today. I’m writing my letter to everyone out there who has a job. I’m jealous of all of you. I never thought I’d say that and up to a couple of months ago I was not missing the work at all. Indeed, I am still loath to re-enter the workforce and giving my life to an employer who would most likely not look at me as a valuable employee. That is the trend. The climate has changed so much since I started working. What the hell happened? It was a world in which employers actually valued their employees, invested in them; and if you worked for a good company, you could expect to spend your entire career there.
I’m writing this post not because I envy people who have jobs (because I do) but because I’ve listened one too many times to people grumbling about their jobs. I’ve witnessed one too many times incompetence. Too many times waiting endlessly in a doctor’s office, listening to office workers happily gabbing, gossiping, complaining and not doing any work. Too many typos in professional documents and most of them coming from school administration offices, lack of professionalism, lack of pride in ones work. Man, the list goes on and on; and I stand here knowing I could do a much better job. It simply kills me. I guess that is where my anguish lies. You got the job… earn your money!
I was brought up with workplace etiquette ingrained in me. The generation my parents come from appreciated the opportunity to earn money. My parents taught me to be a good, loyal employee to the company I worked for, to be punctual, to not steal company property and that included everything from office supplies to toilet paper. It goes without saying I gave more than 100% of my professional efforts to my company. I was not a clock watcher. I did not stop work exactly at quitting time. I did not take even a minute over my lunch time allotment, however short. I stayed until at least my task was completed, even if that meant staying an hour or more, depending what that task was. Companies today do not value these qualities; or if they do, why do they betray those dedicated and loyal employees? It’s like they are distancing themselves on purpose to justify not investing in their employees’ future, which essentially is the future of their companies. They pretty much expect a high turnover rate now a days, or more likely they are encouraging it so that they do not have to give pay raises and opt out of providing health benefits. Oh, and lest I forget age discrimination. This is enough to discourage anyone, let alone myself who is definitely over the age of 50 and my prospects for any type of employment are little to none. I’ve been looking for a job, any job, since 2008 and I’ve not had even ONE interview.
I’m not going to summarize my situation in detail, but it’s been pretty depressing for me. My standards have been in a spiraling decline for this past year and still no luck. I live in a city that discriminates against the English speaker. I need a local job and my field is customer service, especially in the medical industry. When my dentist heard this, he basically shook his head and told me to keep trying, but we both know the climate here. Locally, those jobs would be in a doctor’s or dentist’s office and bilingual skills are required. Can’t blame them since this is an immigrant city, but I feel a lot of resentment against the discrimination. Currently, I’m looking for an overnight position to accommodate my husband’s budding teaching career… or hopefully, he will have a teaching career. This has not proven fruitful as of yet; but I have hope.
To all the objects of my jealousy, DON’T COMPLAIN ABOUT YOUR JOB~! Be grateful that you have one. Be grateful that you have a roof over your head (I know that I am) and whatever food you have in the fridge. Be grateful that compromising your child’s nutrition for a cheap meal is not on YOUR plate. Be grateful that your next meal will not be a very big glass of water. The last time I gained employment, 8 years ago, I pledged to give my church a good part (or maybe all, I forgot) of my first paycheck with that next job. I felt that my prayers were answered and I handed my pastor a check. I was so happy… and so life goes on.
Okay… time to put the monster away….
- Death to the Green-Eyed Monster (onthehomefrontandbeyond.wordpress.com)
- Daily Prompt: Green-Eyed Monster (angloswiss-chronicles.com)
- The green eyed monster – Envy – Poetry (angelicmystery.wordpress.com)
- My (harmless and adorable) Green-Eyed Monster: Daily Prompt (ncieslak.wordpress.com)
- Daily Prompt: Green-Eyed Monster (dailypost.wordpress.com)
- Daily Prompt: Green-Eyed Monster (superwomansite.wordpress.com)
Just a heads up to another pending change. I hate having to go through this again and I really like this magazine style theme and really love the pale lavender color, but my pictures are not showing up on the little summaries and I don’t like that. Also, there are other features that don’t seem to be included in this Suburbia theme, like the “follow me on….” feature that invites people to follow you on other media forums.
So, don’t know yet what I’m changing to because I’ve got to go through all the choices again to see which will be a good fit. I did like the Choco theme but not liking the brownness of it and they don’t give a lot of color choices for that one… which is okay.
I love watching Hell’s Kitchen and Master Chef. If I catch another cooking show like Lydia’s Kitchen, I’ll watch that, too. I’ve become an ingredient snob. The only olive oil I will use is of the “first cold pressing” and I must see the sediment floating around in the oil. It’s a MUST~! That is where all the flavor is. I love to eat tuna steak, shark steak, and swordfish, you know, that fish meat that makes you feel like you’re eating something.
I love what great ingredients can do to a dish! I’m a true Italian in the cooking arena. Creative cooking is so much a part of me that it makes my whole body sing. “Like Water For Chocolate” is one of my favorite movies. The connection Maria has with the ingredients and the food she makes is phenomenal and inspiring. That’s how I feel when I’m cooking, like my whole self is going into it. I’ve got to chuckle because sometimes my experimentation is not appreciated and sometimes for good reason. DH hates mushrooms. He can’t get out of his mind that they are fungi. My dad’s neighbor in PA is from the old country and knows how to forage for mushrooms. He dries them and gives to my dad, and he in turn gives me some. What a different taste. Another item that once you’ve had the real thing, you can’t go back to canned. Canned mushrooms are so bland and scuzzy I don’t buy them anymore.
Herbs. Fresh all the way. I used to have a pretty nice herb garden up until last year… until my landlord’s son pulled everything out because he wanted to make his girlfriend happy and give her a flower garden. Don’t mind the fact that his father gave me permission years ago to plant there, AND that same December they broke up… but I won’t go there. I got over it and we ironed things out. Still, I miss the rosemary and English and French lavender bushes. I miss my lemon thyme and greek oregano. I miss my basil and spearmint. I managed to fit quite a bit in my little plot of clayish earth. This past year or so, I’ve splurged on saffron and two years ago, whole vanilla beans. Once I started grinding up my own spices, I started blending them for my cooking.
Once you taste fresh nutmeg, mace, allspice, cinnamon, etc., you can’t go back to the pre-ground up kind. Mace. I thank my friend Pauline for turning me onto that one! She gifted me with some fresh whole nutmeg nuts, so I had the luxury of trying out fresh mace, and I will not soon forget that. See that reddish web-like stuff around the pit? Thats mace. Smell that? Ah~! I use nutmeg (sometimes mace) on chicken in the oven. I discovered that when I stopped cooking with salt and needed to find other substitutes. Now, while I do use salt, I use much less than recommended in recipes. Oh, and I love using course sea salt.
I’ve always been one to experiment in the kitchen, and now I’m adding home canning, and pickling into the mix. I have my mind set to try out homemade dairy products like making butter, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, and utilizing whey and whatever else, oh, cream. There are plenty of tutorials on the net with loads of pictures and that’s right up my alley.
Oh. so the reason for this post. This past year, I’ve had to pretty much give up on quality ingredients for my cooking. Or rather, I don’t cook much at all. So what I’d like to do here is tell you how I am getting by on pretty much nothing fresh. I hate it, but I keep telling myself that it’s temporary until things start looking up around here. My pep talk pretty much consists of me telling myself that it could be worse and that others have it much harder than we do. It’s temporary.
My basic goal is to cook everything in one pan. First cook whatever meat, chicken, beef, whatever. Then remove the cooked meat and use those juices as a base for sautéing veggies. I don’t like to cook veggies too long. I prefer my veggies to have bright colors to them. Also, if you recook them another day, they won’t be totally overcooked and mushy. After the veggies are done, I quickly throw the meat back in and whatever extras and serve when everything is hot. You can imagine my glee when I found a recipe online for a one pot pasta dish.
Pasta. Pasta can be healthy and it can be filling. My favorite experiments are with left over veggies and pasta, Pasta Primavera. There is no set-in-stone recipe; but the key, I think, is to have at least one veggie going in there that is not a left over. The cool thing about primavera is that you and use any veggie you want. Another thing that I strive to do as much as I can is “One Pot Meals.” Just found one recipe on Pinterest and it blew my mind to put dry pasta in with all the ingredients into one pot, cover, cook, and VOILA, it’s a meal 20 minutes or so later… and all the water is used, no draining. Pasta, Tomatoes, Veggies Recipe link.
As it stands now, we buy frozen veggies. Not fresh, but much better than canned. In addition to the excessive salt content of can, those veggies are mushy and I hate that. I only tolerate canned corn and peas for their texture. What can I say? We don’t eat as nearly healthy enough as we should. It’s temporary. I throw out nothing. I make use of left overs within the week. Actually, I love repurposing leftovers and creating another different meal from them. Left over broccoli? Broccoli and egg omelet the next morning or for lunch. Stale bread? Don’t throw it out! Make french toast or bread crumbs. Two or three bowls of fragmented veggies hanging out in the fridge? Do I see beans in there? Throw it all together for a primavera dish tonight, or add a bit of tomato sauce and make a nice side dish. Do you have garlic that’s not looking so plump anymore, or onions in the same predicament? Chop up those babies and stick them in a sandwich bag and into the freezer they go. What I like to do with garlic is mix it up with butter in the food processor with some basil, if I have it, and whip up some delicious garlic butter. Add some olive oil and you have a nice spread. Some milk that’s approaching the questionable point? Throw it in a blender with some ice and a packet of hot chocolate mix for a quick summer’s chocolate treat for the kids (or yourself). Add a teaspoon or more of instant coffee and make it a mocha.
Okay, I guess that’s enough to boggle your mind with today. These are just some things I like to do to keep things interesting and useable on a limited budget. Once you try out some ideas, you’d be surprised at how easy it is to just think up something new, delightful and unique to your own refrigerator and cupboards. Next time maybe I’ll talk about how easy it is to make your own pita chips and roti. Oh, and easy slushy-type drinks.
- Hells Kitchen and MasterChef Favorites! (ohhsofattening.com)
- Farmers Market Pasta (fromthebartolinikitchens.com)
- Being flexible with recipes (chillisageandlemon.wordpress.com)
- The Lazy Spinster’s Pesto Pasta with Roasted Vegetables (spinstersunday.wordpress.com)
- Cooking Secrets That Will Turn You Into A Master Chef (easyhomemadechocolate.com)
- Eat Fit Not Fat- Spaghetti Squash Primavera (2fatnerds.com)
- Chesapeake cook aims for veggie TV show (hamptonroads.com)
- Aglio e Olio (missfoodies.wordpress.com)