Monday, October 31, 2011

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I saw a post the other day about homemade broccoli cheddar soup (you can read original post here). Once I saw it, I couldn't get it out of my mind. Luckily, my husband is willing to put up with my little obsessions and gamely agreed I could make it for dinner.

While at the grocery store I saw a box of organic cream of broccoli. For a few seconds I thought about just buying it and adding cheddar to make it cheesy. Maybe I should have but I enjoyed making the soup from scratch and overall thought it went well and tasted good.

I couldn't find any small bread "rounds" so had to get a big one. Way too big. We ended up sharing the bread but it was still way too much. The broccoli probably should have been steamed a bit longer since it ended up still being quite crunchy (even after it was pureed and heated in the soup). My husband told me to stop analyzing and just enjoy - eventually I did and must say that warm, creamy soup in a bread bowl on a cold day was really nice.



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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Masks

The idea of wearing a mask seems to be very similar to the idea of wearing different hats. We all wear different hats at different times, depending on where we are, what we are doing or what is expected...are masks so very different?

The Mask

Unhappy and unfulfilled -
living a life for show

worried about appearance -
fear of falling short

wondering what others think -
trying to measure up

losing the will -
then pushing on

not letting go -
stubborn pride

afraid of being a failure -
recognition masking truth.
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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

Goldfish Costume

I saw this costume idea last year...after I'd already bought a personalized astronaut costume for Bubba. I've been thinking about it for a year, gathering supplies and thinking of how cute Bubba would look in it. I figured this might be the last Halloween where I get to pick what his costume is...
You'd be amazed how hard it is to find an orange sweatshirt. Especially if you don't want a Florida Gator on it. The orange hat wasn't much easier. The costume actually called for an orange hoody - even harder to find than a plain sweatshirt. Plus, I figured Bubba was more likely to wear a hat than the hoody so it worked out OK.

The hardest part was finding the right glue for paper onto fabric. One of the issues was that I didn't want to ruin the sweatshirt - I would prefer it if we could still use it after Halloween. Amazingly enough, I ended up using Elmer's Glue. Supposedly it will come off in the wash. We'll see...

Bubba wore the costume Friday night for Boo at the Zoo. My parents came down to go with us and we met up with my cousin and her family there. It was fun but I would have liked to have seen more animals...Quite a few people commented on the cute goldfish which made me feel better about all the effort I put into it. Though to be honest, once I had gathered all the supplies, making it was actually the easy part.

Have you ever made a Halloween costume for your kids or yourself? How'd it turn out?


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Friday, October 21, 2011

Apple Picking

On Monday, we took a road trip to visit a friend who was passing through the area. We had some time before she arrived to go apple picking at an orchard. Bubba had a good time - the first one he picked went right into his mouth

The few times I went apple picking last year, it was only Bubba and I. This time my husband was able to get the day off so he could go with us. I was happy that both my boys were there with me. We had such a beautiful day for it. Clear blue sky, slight breeze, beautiful area...all of it made for a great road trip and family outing. In case you missed them, there are two more pictures from the trip on my Wordless Wednesday post which you can find here.

One of my favorite things to make with apples is a really easy apple crisp. We have enough apples to make some other things too...do you have any recommendations for what I should try?
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Seeing is Believing

This is a little more "personal" than some of the others...written in October 1997...

Seeing is Believing

I see what I want to see,

even when it's not there...

I see friendship,

then learn it's an acquaintance -

I see interest,

then learn it's only boredom -

I see truth,

then learn the darkness of deception -

I see joy,

then learn what it means to be shunned -

I see what I need to see,

evading loneliness and fear for one more day...
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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

American Wife Books

I recently finished reading "American Wife" by Curtis Sittenfeld. I wish I had finished reading Laura Bush's biography first but despite that, it was a good book and I enjoyed it.

One of the things I enjoyed the most about it was all the other books that were mentioned as the lead character's favorites. I have already added many of them to my Barnes & Noble wish list. Though there are so many books on both my bookshelves and the wish list, I'm not sure when I'll get to them...There are quite a few:

Deenie; Roll of Thunder, Hear Me Cry; The Golden Notebook; A Wrinkle in Time; The Golden Notebook; Anastasia Krupnik; Autumn Street; The Westing Game; I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings; Dicey's Song; A Solitary Blue; The Great Santini; Locked in Time; A Tree Grows in Brooklyn; Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes; Rabbit, Run

Have you read any of these? Any recommendations as to which I should read first?
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Addicted to Time

This was written over 12 years ago...unfortunately, it seems we are even more tied to the clock than we were back then...

Addicted to Time

Addicted to time - 
No one must wait

Live by the clock -
Be the first to the gate

Time won't stand still -
Pages are turned

Keep an eye on your watch -
This addiction you've earned

The promotion you worked for -
Brings more than you thought

Your life passes by -
As you watch the clock.
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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dinosaur Food

I have been a bit obsessed lately with the idea of Dinosaur Food a.k.a kale chips. I first heard about them in a Tweet from Soleil Moon Frye (@moonfrye). You can find the original post/recipe here.

 I think kale is such a pretty vegetable. It's bright green and the leaves are so pretty - curly and just fresh looking. Looking at it just makes me want to use it in something...hence the kale chips. I'm not sure how else to use it yet. I'm sure I'll find something good. In the mean time, crispy superfood - awesome!

Even ripped up into little pieces, kale still looks good...The recipe says to bake for 15-20 minutes. I'm not sure what kind of oven the poster was using but my first batch was way too well done after only 12 minutes. They turned out very bitter and burnt tasting. I don't think even dinosaurs would have eaten them...

The second batch has turned out a bit better. I took some pictures but none of them look very good. Trust me that the chips look pretty good. They still have a nice green color and aren't bitter like the first batch. I probably should have left them in the oven another minute or so but was too worried about burning them. They are very brittle/fragile and I can't imagine they'd last very long so I'm glad I only made a small batch this time. I'll have to wait and see if the husband and/or Bubba will like them or not. Read More......

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Rose

For this week's Theme Thursday...let me know what you think.

The Rose

A single rose -
wilted and bent

The vibrant life inside -
all but gone

Fighting to survive - 
questioning the need

Dried and wrinkled petals -
more delicate in their haunting beauty than ever before

Beauty brought about through pain -
the pain of loss with memories of joy

A single rose -
wilted and bent

Worth more for its age -
than a dozen in their youth.
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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Yarn Wreath

Yarn Wreaths seem to be all over blogland these days. Looking at other people's posts on the subject, I've learned yarn wreaths have actually been around for a while - I just never saw them before now. They look so cool and the tutorials looked so easy, I thought I'd try to make one for fall. I've been in a craft desert lately keeping busy with moving in, dealing with headaches and trying to get organized. I really needed to do something quick and easy so I could see my finished product and feel as if I accomplished something. The yarn wreath looked as if it would fit the bill.

First, I should have realized that when Beth from "The Stories of A to Z" said wrap the yarn around the wreath "until the cows come home" (read her tutorial here) that it might take a while. Especially since I had to wrap the wreath twice to make sure you couldn't see the wreath form. It took me about 3 hours or so (late, late at night when both my boys were sleeping...). I'm just glad I got a small wreath. Not that I had much choice, Michael's only had one wreath form left. At first I thought it would be too small, but now I'm happy I started with a small one.

The flowers were easy thanks to Beth's awesome video showing how to do it. I don't think mine turned out so great but for my first try, I'm pretty happy with them. Of course, I had to go buy a glue gun but I needed one anyway for another project I have in mind. I just used felt not fleece but I might try that for the flowers on the next wreath.

Overall, I like how it turned out. I'm going to send it to my grandmother in Florida. I think she'll like it since they don't really get fall colors down there. I'm planning on getting her a wreath hanging hook to go with it since I don't want her to have to buy one. Or I may just make some kind of loop from the leftover yarn so she can hang it from that. I'm already thinking about what colors I want to use for my next wreath...I just need to get some other stuff done first...

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Monday, October 3, 2011

Why Blog?


Lately I have been feeling as if I should be doing something other than blogging. As much as I enjoy the writing aspect of blogging, I feel bad when no one reads what I post and/or doesn't comment. 

Part of that is because of my privacy settings which might hamper the amount of readers I get. Part of it may be that I don't have an actual "theme" for my blog - I just write about what I think at that particular time. Whatever it is, I don't seem to have any readers and those I do either don't or can't comment. Add to that the fact that I should/could be doing other things (housework, planning stuff to do with Bubba, organizing, scrapbooking, etc.) and it almost seems as if I'm wasting my time.

One of my friends, and essentially only reader of my blog, tried to comment on another post the other day and couldn't. He sent me a note telling me what he had wanted to say in his comment. In the note he told me he also went through a time when he analyzed why he blogs. He came up with three reasons: "I have something to say on a topic, I want to share those thoughts with others, and I want to have a dialog with others on the topic." He went on to say that even if there is no dialogue (no one comments on his posts) he knows he still has two other reasons to continue writing. 

Reading his words made me start to wonder why I blog myself. I started this blog at the end of 2008. It was one of my 2009 goals and in my excitement, I started it a bit early. For as long as I can remember, I've loved to write. I can also admit that I love hearing people tell me they enjoyed what I wrote or that it was "good"...I also have a lot of opinions and a lot to say. Not on everything, but on things that interest me. After leaving the Air Force and becoming a stay at home mom, I needed/need an outlet for those thoughts and opinions. Blogging seemed like a good outlet - as opposed to saving them up to share with my husband in the 10 minutes before we fall asleep...

So, I blog for essentially the same reasons as my friend - I have something I want to say and I want to share my thoughts with others. I would really like it if people would let me know what they think on that particular subject and/or what I've written but I think the writing itself is what's most important for me. So, on that note, I guess I'll continue to post for now. If no one is commenting, it's probably not so much a "comment" on my writing as it is their lack of time, blog know-how, or simple lack of interest in the topic I chose that day. Easy to say, hard to internalize - especially for those of us with thin skin. Maybe this is all just good experience to help me get thicker skin for when I finally write that book and have to send it to numerous publishers...hmmm...we'll see.
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