Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"Hi Ho, Kermit the Frog here"

Happy childhood memories are a blessing, so I cherish the good ones and try not to dwell on the bad. One of my favorite childhood memories is turning 40 today, Sesame Street. They taught me to count in English and Spanish. I learned about sharing, good manners, patience and compassion. I laughed often and watched daily. Even today, I hum the songs, know all the original characters and come to attention when I hear their familiar voices. My first crush was Kermit the Frog and all these years later, I am still smitten.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Proof of Higher Powers?

Why does the sky above church steeples always look so amazing? { Bainbridge Island, WA Halloween 2009 }

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Halloween or is it Merry Christmas

This may seem strange, but I consider Halloween the official start of Christmas. I am sure it started as a child, but really it was owning a store that cemented it for me.

At the store Christmas merchandise would start arriving in September. By October 1st, everything was priced and the theme for the holiday was selected. ( A theme is a must!) On Halloween night we would close early and while everyone else was getting sick on candy or scared out of their wits, we transformed our store into a winter wonderland (or whatever the theme was that year).

This year I am particularly anxious to "get festive". Nothing like a heaping serving of hope all wrapped in ribbon and glitter... to make you feel light and happy.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fall, you are my muse!

Feeling energized, awakened and creative, longing for button up cardigans, long walks, and yarn, enjoying crisp apples, sleeping in and early sunsets... Fall, my favorite season is back.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What does 3 days in Hawaii look like?

20 years ago, I spent two semesters at the University of Hawaii on Oahu. I have always wanted to go back, but excuses kept getting in the way. My biggest excuse, I just don't have the time and it is not cost effective to go for anything less than 10 days. But really, what is so cost effective about vacation, the point is to have fun... It is not the quantity, but the quality, so throwing caution to the wind and perhaps, good judgment, my partner and I went to Hawaii last week for the long weekend. And... IT WAS AWESOME!

Friday, August 28, 2009

I LOVE my friends...

A few weeks ago, I had a setback, a rough patch... a loss and found myself wondering why the universe personally wanted me to suffer. I was wrong.. the universe does not want me to suffer and I have finally heard its message... I am loved.

I have seen this message in many places but I have heard it strongest in the words, warm thoughts and hugs of my friends. Tonight a little after 9:00 a dear friend left her newborn son at home to deliver a still warm apple crisp (the first she had ever made) and a card. The card, contained a beautifully crafted message so poignant and healing that I am 100% certain that the words will comfort me the rest of my life no matter what happens. Her words made me realize that grief is a door you can linger in the doorway, or "come out the other side".

Sunday, August 16, 2009

With Weekends Like This, Who Needs a Vacation

My weekend started with fresh strawberries from my garden and just kept getting better. Saturday, I found the most amazing fabric (a faux fur that is to die for... picture and project details to come). From there I went to PFI, a Mediterranean market (bought PG Tips tea, Raspberry licorice and Spanish smoked Paprika). Lunch at the Macrina Cafe in SODO (below).

The evening spent at the documentary Objectify with a friend and my partner. Dinner at Boom Noodles and for dessert, Cupcake love.

Sunday back to the Macrina cafe with friends, the garden store for oregano and orange honeysuckle (this is the only picture that does it justice) and gardening with the puppies all afternoon long. And finally dinner, where my salmon with a panko crust and lemon butter sauce came out so perfect, I almost cried.....

Monday, June 1, 2009

My New Pyramid

I think it is particularly telling to follow up a post about procrastination, with an 11 day absence. Honestly I meant to post but… (thinking here) … ah yes, I meant to post, but life interceded. Life in this case, was filled with 3 (8-hour) gardening sessions, 5 brilliant ideas, 2 (45+) work weeks, 2 meltdowns and an epiphany.

The epiphany, it is hard to achieve success of any type, with negative thoughts. Thoughts = Words, Words= Action and Action=Destiny. It is like a lovely little pyramid, mess up the bottom and you are not getting to the top. So this month, I am all about the pyramid… excited to see where positive thoughts will take me.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Take Five: Procrastination

Work deadlines, thousands of ideas, a mound of laundry and seeds to plant... But why actually accomplish anything when you can procrastinate on the web... My five favorites this week...

  1. http://www.halfpricebooks.com/
    Their 20% sale is this weekend, need (okay, WANT) some new cookbooks, a style guide(maybe Chicago) and some really trashy sci fi (yes I have a problem)

  2. http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/05/18/100-amazing-free-wordpress-themes-for-2009/
    Just found out that one of my sites does not display properly on IE (no comment) so, I am taking the opportunity to redesign the site... Wordpress is my drug of choice, so this list is putting me over the edge.

  3. http://justsomethingimade.blogspot.com/2009/05/printing-my-blog.html
    Speaking of blogs, I am thinking I need to make a pdf copy of my blog.. just for peace of mind.

  4. http://foldingtrees.com/2008/10/paper-cake-card-box/
    I don't need it, can't think of any use for it, but I am dying to make one.

  5. http://www.cinematical.com/2009/04/29/julie-and-julia-gets-a-trailer/
    Just reread the book (for the 5th time) and am planning to try some new recipes from my copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking Vol 1... which I bought at Half Price books last month (and the circle is complete)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Commuter Survival: Week 5:18:2009

Sometime ago, while searching for extra time in my schedule, I realized my commute was potentially a gold mine of unused hours. Normally, I spent the time swearing at other drivers and gesturing like a mad woman, but with my IPOD and a never ending supply of Podcasts, my commute is now, all about uninterrupted listening pleasure.

This week's journey is centered around food, including two new books with historical food perspectives.

Watching What We Eat: The Evolution of Television Cooking Shows (from NPR)

Food of a Younger Land (interview on KUOW)

Isaac Mizrahi on Splendid Table (5/16/2009)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Guess where I will be this weekend... the International Food Blogger Conference

In an effort to expand my horizons, seek out joy and find a new career and life that I love, I have begun taking classes, registering for events and seeking out new opportunities.

So far, I have been to book talks, taken a magazine class and attended a sewing workshop. This weekend, I have hit the jackpot, the International Food Blogger Conference in Seattle. I stumbled across this on Brown Paper Tickets and could not believe my luck, that is was in Seattle. I didn't think I just signed up and last week when I looked at the agenda, OMG, every event seems better than the last.

The event is sold out, but you can see the agenda and learn more about the event at http://ifbc.foodista.com/. Even more amazing, there will be Live Video Web Cast of the event.

I am just looking forward to absorbing all the info I can, there are going to be some amazing bloggers and writers, all in love with food.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Master of Time, I am not.

When asked by a college professor, why I did not wear a watch, I told her that I thought time was a man-made construct created for the sake of keeping me down. She stared at me and not missing a beat, told me to get over myself. Harsh, but years later (many, many years later) as I continue to struggle with time and all its rules, I am finally ready to get over myself.

My constant struggle with time has made me weary while my many experiences with time have made me wise. All leading to the inevitable conclusion, that when it comes to time, you can either be its master, or its bitch. Harsh, but the fact is that the truth often sounds harsh when you have been in denial for years.

Over the years time has taught me the following lessons and now I am ready to put them into practice:

1. There is a reason; there is not enough time to do everything. Because if you are trying to do everything, you need to stop…now!
2. If you do not make time for the things that are important to you, than whose fault is that?
3. If you have time to worry about something, you have time to do something about it.
4. When it feels like time is fighting against you, consistency can be your greatest ally.
5. Watches and calendars are just tools, their usefulness or lack there of, are totally the responsibility of the user.
6. Lying about your age does not make you younger, it makes you a liar.
7. Your time is extremely valuable, so assign it a $ amount and spend it accordingly.
8. When it comes to navigating your time, let your priorities and goals be your guide.
9. Everyone has a 24 hour day, it is not the amount of time, but how you use it that matters.
10. Children and animals know more about the proper usage of time than just about every adult on the planet.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

1 Chicken = 3 Meals

Like the rest of the planet, I am trying to stretch our food budget. Funny thing, the more I try to stretch it, the better we seem to eat. Recently I purchased a Rotisserie Chicken, the $10.99 Free Range chicken was not exactly cheap, but I was shocked at how many meals it provided.

Meal 1: Rotisserie Chicken with new potatoes and broccoli
Meal 2: Spring Vegetable Casserole with Chicken
Meal 3: Chicken and Egg Noodle Soup

So generally what I do is play my own version of Iron Chef... I start with the chicken and then ransack the fridge for whatever I can find. Meal 1 was kinda lazy.. and Meal 3 well what else can you do with a few bits of chickens, some bones and vegetables... It was Meal 2 that I will be scribbling down in the margins of my cookbook.

Spring Vegetable Casserole with Chicken*
Warning: I suck at writing recipes, so there are no exact quantities or times... Just use your best judgment.

  • Vegetables: asparagus, carrots, leeks, peas, broccoli
  • Chicken
  • Cheese ( I like Tillamook Colby Jack or any type of Beechers)
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parsley
  • Rice
  • Breadcrumbs

In a saute pan, add chopped leeks, and carrots. Saute in a little bit of butter or olive oil. Chop up chicken into small bits and add to leeks and carrots. (I also added a tiny bit of the chicken fat)

Add a small handful of rice to this mixture and a little bit of water. I use the rice as an enhancement, not the main ingredient so in the end, there should be as much rice as vegetables. Keep adding water until rice is cooked.

Peas, asparagus and broccoli were actually frozen and bagged organic veggies. I added them to the saute pan with the rice/chicken mixture and then covered and took them off the stove. The steam will defrost them.. add a bit of heat if they don't defrost all the way.

In another sauce pan, melt a couple of tablespoons of butter. Add a little flour (tablespoon size) and make a paste(roux). Add some milk(about a cup) to this paste and bring to a light boil. Add cheese (1/2 cup diced or more if you prefer) and stir until you have a nice sauce.

Place rice mixture in a casserole pan, pour sauce over mixture... letting it soak into the rice. Loosely cover with breadcrumbs and bake for about 30 minutes (350) until it bubbles. Serve with parsley. I seasoned throughout with salt and pepper... Paprika and a little nutmeg also work well.

Friday, April 24, 2009

AHA Moments

In my day dreams, I frequently imagine myself living in some quirky quaint seaside town... some place quiet and small, but close to a major city. Some place with lots of trees, where I could walk on the beach and watch the ocean. I looked on the maps, entertained ideas about faraway places and finally conceded that it was after all... just a day dream.

Last weekend, on our return flight from San Francisco, we had to circle before landing. We flew over this beautiful peninsula of trees and houses surrounded by water. Just as I realized what it was, I also realized it was my daydream. The peninsula was my hometown of West Seattle, a quiet little part of Seattle surrounded by water.

I have spent so much time looking for that perfect place, I didn't realize that where I live right now is pretty damn wonderful. I am closely looking at other areas of my life, that I might have overlooked in my pursuit of perfect. I suspect that embracing what I have and not desiring a day dream is the key to happiness... AHA!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

and she's back...

I wish I could say I was taking a nap for the last several weeks, hence the lack of blog posts, email and basic communication... but unfortunately, I was just buried under a mound of work, commitments and health issues.

The thing about being so overwhelmed, is that when it comes time to make a move, any move you are frozen. Should I go for a walk? Frozen. Should I post on one of my blogs? Frozen. Should I eat chocolate ice cream with strawberries? YES... I said frozen not dead...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Crafty Ideas

I've been combating my stress with paper, glue, wire and fabric. For more information, check out Living with Scissors.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My Food History

I love food and am a big believer that what we eat directly influences our health. A Little glimpse of my food history, I grew up on the East Coast eating rich, calorie laden foods and lots of junk food. Vegetables were mainly corn, carrots, baked potatoes, and cole slaw. The food tasted great, but perhaps was not the best for me.

I moved to Seattle in my twenties and became a vegetarian (sometimes Vegan). It was easy to eat healthy in Seattle and even though I was still overweight, a vegetarian diet and daily 3 mile walks left me in some of the best health I have experienced.

Fast forward to grad school in Michigan, my vegetarian diet is comprised mainly of Captain Crunch cereal and chick peas. My hair falls out, I look sick all the time and I feel terrible. I eventually start eating meat, but only manage to make myself sick.

Back in Seattle and many years later, I eat pretty well, fresh vegetables, lots of organics, meat, fish and tofu. I cook often and love to experiment with food. I am not at the optimum health place I was at in my twenties, but I have some good ideas of how I can get there.

And finally to my point, I sometimes wonder where I would be if I learned to eat healthy from day one. That is why I am so excited to see that Michelle Obama is such an advocate for healthy eating. From the New York Times: Michelle Obama's Agenda Includes Healthful Eating

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mon Petit Chou

One of my goals is to learn to speak French. I love the French, I love France and I love French. You could say anything in French and it sounds just lovely. For instance, votre chien a uriné sur le tapis sounds so nice when in fact it means your dog has urinated on the carpet. I am so happy to have found the French Word of a Day widget.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Spring is Late...

Today is generally the last frost date for the Seattle area, however, today it snowed. I am guessing frost is still a definite possibility. The picture below is our backyard two years ago during the same week. When Spring finally does come, it better be %(@#$&% spectacular...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hope in a Jar..

I wish they sold hope in a jar, like peanut butter or face cream. I would spread it on bread or slather it on my face whenever life seemed grim. I don’t need a case, just one jar…To be honest; all I really need is a spoonful now and then when my natural reserves are depleted.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

You know you need spring to come when...

Today at lunch, sun spread across the cafeteria table and I had to physically fight the urge to crawl on top of the table and stretch out on the warm sunny spot, like a cat.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

99 Things

Saw this here and thought I'd play along....

Here are the rules: Bold the things you’ve done and post on your blog!

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii - attended two quarters of college there
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo

11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France 20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling - snorkeling in Hawaii
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Got a tattoo
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee