Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
I haven't bought from this seller, but I LOVE the things she makes. My friend Amy and cousin Lexi would love these products and are crafty enough to create them.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
The only recipes I've made are:
1) Cauliflower with 5 County Cheese Sauce
2) Traditional Manicotti
3) French Bread Pizza.
To be fair, these are all "semi-homemade". The cauliflower required me to steam the veggies and grate cheese. Not too difficult! The manicotti I made was less complex than dishes I usually make - because I made it for picky eaters - and was basically sauce, noodle, and ricotta/mozzarella cheese. The French bread pizza is also simple - buy the garlic butter loaf at the store, scrape off 85% of the butter, load it with sauce, cheese, and mushrooms. Not too complex!
I hope my aversion to delicious food and creative recipes ends soon into the second trimester. However, for those of you who have asked for some recipes, here's a super easy, minimally smelly, and inexpensive pasta recipe.
- package of large manicotti noodles, prepared as directed on the package
- very large jar of spaghetti sauce (you'll need family size to make the noodles nice, softy, and saucy)
- small container of ricotta cheese (I use part skim and notice no change in flavor between it and the full fat and only marginal texture difference between it and the fat free kind)
- 8 oz. package of Mozzarella or Italian Blend cheese, finely or coarsely shredded
- small amount of salt, pepper, misc Italian spices
Lay the boiled noodles flat on a piece of aluminum foil. Allow them to cool while you prepare the cheese filling.
Heat Oven to 350 degrees.
Combine ricotta and mozzarella. This is also a good time to add fresh chopped parsley, basil, oregano, garlic, etc. I cooked for some with unadventurous palettes and had to use my host's kitchen spice cabinet, so I limited my additions to onion flakes, dry parsley, salt, pepper, and a little garlic.
Use a very large glass pan. Pour half the spaghetti sauce into the bottom of the pan to form a little puddle for the noodles. Then, one by one, gently stuff the hollow noodles with the ricotta mixture. I found I needed about two and a half spoonfuls for all 16 noodles. Lay the noodles in a single layer and then cover with the remaining sauce. Add sprinkles of Parmesan cheese or more mozzarella to the top of the noodles and sauce.
Cover the pan with the aluminum foil you already had out for the noodles, and then put pan in oven for 45 minutes. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes uncovered to brown the cheese topping and thicken the sauce.
The pan of manicotti was gone in less than 12 hours! I think that is a sign of success, especially because the people I cook for are wary of my "too robust, too vegetable-y, too daring" recipes! haha!
Saturday, December 27, 2008
1. I hate listening to voicemail messages. Although I do leave pretty long ones, myself.
2. I've never lived in a different state.
3. The longest time I've had a best friend is five years. How can some people have them for ten or twenty?
4. I used to have to share birthday parties with my sister, since her birthday is three days away.
5. In college, two people "came out" to me. Both times I was totally taken off guard and said something like, "Oh, thanks for letting me know."
6. I don't like to be referred to as "Mrs. Husband's First Name Husband's Last Name". It really annoys me! And there are six other women with the same title, since my husband is the sixth generation Haid with the same name.
7. I bite my nails. I stopped successfully for two weeks last month, and for three months this past summer. Its a nervous habit.
8. I identify with Bella in "New Moon" when Edward leaves for six months. I had a similar catatonic breakup when I was 19. Unfortunately, I didn't have a werewolf best friend to play with.
9. I know how to play the game 'Ride the Pony' and I know what to do if you are wearing the color of the day!
10. Birds, especially ones in flocks or ones of large stature, terrify me. I have been known to not get into my car if there is a bird perched on it. I get freaked out in Lowe's when there are birds flying around the rafters, too.
11. I didn't go to the ocean until I was 17. Now I wish I lived by the shore.
12. I researched LOST theories on lostpedia.com.
13. I have a really good memory and am good at winning games like Jeopardy, Cranium, and Pictionary. My husband and I are unstoppable.
14. I order the same foods at the same restaurants, because if I don't, I will always think "Gosh, i should have gotten the French Onion Soup".
15. I read 98 books in February 1989, which set a record for my first grade class. I think I've read more than anyone else I know. That is why I am picky about reading well-written literature.
16. I am bad at most sports that require coordination - ice skating, basketball, softball, dance, Nintendo games, you name it.
So, that's my list of 16 Things, you'll prob see it on fb when I respond to who tagged me!
Friday, December 26, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
I'll also be compiling my lists of things into a more organized fashion!
On the up side... I am getting really good at using XML and HTML codes, things I thought only computer dorks could do! Whooo hoo!
At first, it was socially awkward. Not a lot of mingling, especially between cliques of co-workers. As the bar tabs began to increase, the volume got louder! Lots of crude jokes, silly antics, and way more fun than a normal day at work.
My husband and I stayed to be the DDs for the others. Its been years since I've been around people that D-runk. It really rivaled some frat parties I attended, and was probably most similar to the Octoberfest when the big girl fell down the hill and her friends couldn't lift her up and when I threw cups at a guy laying on the hill to see he if was responsive or in an alcohol induced coma.
Other work Christmas parties I attended have been tame, and occasionally lame. I worked in a building with people twice (perhaps three times) my age and it was a served, formal meal with place cards. My husband's work parties have been held at steakhouses and are usually very family friendly. This was a new experience!
There was no mistletoe and no sloppy drunk random hookups (that I saw). There were some bad, silly dancing, crazy photos that remind me of high school girl/college freshman girl poses, and toasted raviolis.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Are these plant or animal cells? ________________ How can you tell? ____________
Are these prokaryotic or eukaryotic cells? ________________ How do you know? _____________________ How could we test to see if these cells are cancerous? _____________________
If I was your BIO teacher, you'd definitely be able to answer these questions and ace the semester final!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I'd like them to read this article, published by one of my favorite ED authors.
This is a great excerpt from the article that I wish some of my acquaintances knew.
In fact, people who have struggled with dieting often tell me that they wish they could have a “touch of anorexia.” These people admire the weight loss that they see with anorexia. They also desire just a little bit of the control around food that they imagine people who suffer with anorexia must experience. What people do not understand is that one cannot obtain just a “touch” of an eating disorder. With Ed, it is all or nothing. Ed does not let someone into his world “just a little.” Ed consumes all and only wants more and more – even when there is nothing left to give. And Ed is extremely painful. I tell people to trust me. No one wants even just a taste of anorexia or any eating disorder. An eating disorder is a serious disease that can lead to serious medial complications – even resulting in death.www.jennischaefer.com
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Other things that have not gotten done while I have been on my SLACKER mode are:
- Getting stamps for Christmas cards
- Folding the laundry
- Wrapping presents
- Cooking, baking, grocery shopping, etc.
- Mailing packages to a few giftees who live in other states
- Mail a friend a check for money I owe her
- Slouch on the couch for hours at a time
- Nap on the couch
- Watch one funny movie with husband ("Space Balls")
- Watch one really stupid movie with husband ("Jackie Chan's Rumble in the Bronx" BOO!!)
- Thoroughly clean my bathroom sink. Major scrubbage.
PS -Limited internet access. Limited posts for awhile.
Friday, December 12, 2008
I'd feel the hot sun warming my skin. The sand would be scorching hot until we buried our feet in the rough, ever changing tide. We'd see some family struggle with an inside out umbrella. Perhaps someone would find a sand dollar or fly a kite, and we'd be slightly jealous.
A world free from homework, back packs, cooking supper, coats, and meetings.
One of my favorite places on Earth.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I didn't wear either ring for three weeks. I felt very different without the rings, sort of free-er. Lighter. So often I took the jewelry for granted and didn't notice or remember I had the rings on. I realized that clerks and servers thought I was single, and I picked up on the noticeable differences in service. (Most were more attentive!) I also noticed a few people looking at my finger and my husband's fingers when we went places together. Ha ha! I thought. They are thinking sordid love affair thoughts!
I put the engagement ring back on in the beginning of this month. The wedding ring sometimes causes me to have sensitive skin in the winter time, so I decided I'd wear it later. (I wonder where it is right now... hmm... mental note: look for it tonight on bedside table and jewelry bowl). I joke that my ring finger gets itchy, which is partially true because the industrial soap at my school gets under the ring and makes a rash.
When I was first engaged in September 2004, I took such great pride in and care of the ring. I brushed it with its own special toothbrush using Cetaphil and cleaned it monthly using warm Windex. How long has it been since I have cleaned it so thoroughly? Does the casual amount of shampoo from the shower count? No, I don' t think so. I wouldn't have even thought of taking it off because of a little rash. I'd have gotten some hydrocortisone cream and not considered taking it off for weeks at a time!
Man, I've been taking this rock for granted. I've even looked enviously at some colleagues baseball sized rocks. Yuck.
On our wedding day, we had our rings inscribed with part of a vow we recited "This is my beloved, this is my friend" Song of Solomon, 5:16. Those snazzy, gigantic rings sure don't have that engraved inside...
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I guess not.
I've thoroughly enjoyed Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series. Well, I've read the first two books and the online edition of Midnight Sun. I bought the third novel Eclipse, but I have been hoarding it to read on the weekend. I have also be tempted to peek at the Breaking Dawn I bought as a gift for a family member, but I requested it for a Christmas gift myself, and I want to savor MY brand new book. When its actually mine.
So, that being said, all these Christian talk show hosts and bloggers and pastors have some pretty harsh things to say about the movie and the books. BOO. My first reaction is defensive - I want to defend the stories I loved. I want to say "Hey, you're an old man, you wouldn't know what the heck you're talking about, you can't appreciate hot guys or sordid love affairs any more than you can understand why girls wear tall snow boots with short skirts or what gauging your ears means".
I give you the links for some of the online articles, but here is the distilled version:
- Sex, or sexuality, is a subtext of the series and movie. Rather than praising it for being "clean", free of teenage sex, they say that the movie is permeated by near pornographic images. And I thought that was only how I pictured Edward, devastatingly handsome and shirt free.
- Edward is a controlling, creepy boyfriend and Bella is a unconfident, too trusting girlfriend. Well, he is technically too old for her. WAY too old. Like a century. I am pretty much in favor of same age (plus or minus two years) dating relationships. Even for adults.
- Jesus is actually the only man who is powerful enough and generous to die for you. Edward can't compare to Jesus, so stop obsessing over him. Plus, Jesus doesn't lust for your blood. Okay, true. But of course - Jesus is real and vampires are fantasy, so I don't think it actually counts.
- Bella is willing to sacrifice her identity and family for a boy. A very, very bad boy. Okay, right. I wish she wasn't so pathetically in love with him and could have both worlds - her old life and a life with Edward as a regular girl.
- Killing is very bad. Even if its for food. Vampires shouldn't murder. Duh. That's why these "good" vampires hunt deer and bears and stuff.
Honestly, I think I could find dozens more similar articles.
Here is my opinion:
I'll agree that Bella is not a strong role model for young females. She has low self-esteem. She does dangerous things. When she is depressed, she doesn't seek counseling or anti-depressants that could help her out. Her family relationships are weak. Her same sex friendships are very weak. However, this is pretty common for most teenage girls! I have fallen prey to most of these common teenage angst symptoms. The part of "New Moon" where Bella is practically comatose after a break up is EXACTLY like I was when I broke up with a boyfriend at age 19.
Just because you might have a different world view or religious agenda, you cannot offer a blanket statement about how anything that falls outside your position is completely bad. You can't dislike everything different from you. That's intolerance and ignorance. I think it lacks understanding of other points of views.
The abstinence point of view... lots of opinions on this! Ideally, kids should wait to have sex until marriage. However, I can think of only a handful of people I know who have ACTUALLY done this. Like, four, total. The others made unBiblical choices. Most of them are aware of their consequences and wouldn't have recommended the same choice for others. Many did sleep with their current husband/wife before marriage and haven't had any other partners. Were they sin-free? No, but they can be forgiven.
I hear about sexual escapades in my job at a high school and I've head how these books can spark abstinence messages. Abstinence has reached into pop culture due to this book. Its not that I prefer kids not have sex because now its "in" due to this novel series, but sometimes any means to a good end is okay. Of course, I'd rather them do it for religious convictions, personal health safety, and self-respect. But if they are doing it for any reason... isn't' that okay?
And... the fantasy genre. Nope, I usually don't like fantasy. I have gotten nightmare's from reading the first three chapters of Interview with the Vampire AND by doing a junior high research project about Vlad the Impaler (super creepy guy). However, I tolerated the mythical vampires and ware wolves. I did half expect for a magic tree, some gnomes, evil leprechauns, or a witch. (Don't spoil it for me if I am right... remember, I have 800 pages left to read!!) I didn't particularly like Eragon or the Chronicles of Narnia because of the fantasy creatures. But ... at least the vampires and ware wolves had human personas.
So, that's my opinion. Readers, I heartily recommend you read this series, despite the negative reviews. I don't believe it could affect your salvation or anything. I do believe it will distract you from things you might SUPPOSE to be doing, such as housework, homework, watching a reality TV show... etc.
Oh, and I still haven't' seen the movie. No one will see it with me!!! Maybe I'll use up a holiday favor and get my husband to go with me!
Monday, December 8, 2008
This weekend, our Internet service MEDIA COM, totally crapped out on us. It quit working early Saturday morning and is still out! Its kind of embarrassing how frustrated we got. I understand the principle root of our frustration - we pay for a service on a monthly basis, and often that service doesn't work. There is no "pro-rating" for how much Internet we actually used. But I felt a little embarrassed by how much annoyance this caused for us. We love our blogs, our forums and discussion boards, our social networking. We love the ability to google questions as soon as they pop into our minds. We send quick emails to friends, check our bank account status, and use the computer for driving directions. So, this weekend we had to be resourceful: using a phone book, calling friend or family for information, reading, etc.
I guess this life is more similar to life in the 80s, not the Dark Ages. We have electricity, so therefore we have lights. Our computers are still able to play games and type documents, and we listened to the regular radio (not AOL radio).
Another way we lived in the 80s: We both wore sweatpants on more than one occasion during the weekend! No side pony tails or stone wash, fortunately!
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I noticed that another friend, one whom I'd call a non-facebook friend, too - had reduced her list by about 350 people. Whoa! That seemed like a good challenge for me. She said that she "cut" people whom she'd never spoken with on FB or in real-life in a long time. I looked at my friend list tonight, and I realized how many "Facebook-only" friends I have on that friends list. There are former classmates from STJ, random acquaintances from college, and people who are unfriendly. So I made the cut, too.
Usually I think cutting people out of our lives is a bad idea. I am all about connections, networking, shared life experiences. In this case, however, I think I am transitioning to a little more insular view. I don't have a public profile, and I don't allow consider all the contacts on my friend list to be friends. I hope that means I am getting a bit smarter, not getting a bit grumpier or insulated.
I am going to block out some "bad vibes" some whine-ers, frequent neigh-sayers, and rowdy cussers. Maybe it will make my little online world a little more pleasant! How low can the friend count go?
Here's my criteria for keeping the contact:
1) I am friends with this person offline, too.
2) I was really close to this person at one time, and I'd like to think we could be close again.
3) This person is a fabulous influence on my life and is an inspiration.
4) I would actually like having a face to face conversation with this person.
I think that's pretty good criteria! So, goodbye random hookups from freshman year (haha), business associates from former employment, and acquaintances who have drifted from my radar.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
I submit the following pieces of evidence:
I have to ask myself this. I love stopping to get a "to go" drink when I am on my way, anywhere. Rather than getting a washable cup and taking it with me, or sitting and having a drink in a glass the restaurant.
I carpool on a regular basis, but I have made no effort to get the other five co-workers who live within five miles of my house into our carpool to our 20 miles away job.
I recycle everything in sight in my classroom, but I still use photocopies. And sometimes I mess up the photocopies and have to throw out dozens of them.
We turned our thermostat down three degrees lower than last year (now at 68 or 69), but I yearn for buying new cozy socks, blankets, down vests.
I made the pledge to buy only handmade goods this year, or at least to shop locally, but the three Christmas gifts I've bought this year definitely came from Target and were manufactured in SE Asia. I think "they really can use these things, and they aren't likely to just throw these things out".
I clean out my closet by sharing clothes with family or Salvation Army, but then I buy another pair of shoes or shirt.
I avoid using disposable products - paper towels, maxi pads, napkins - but end up doing more laundry.
I haven't fully committed to buying organics, except for produce.
There are literally dozens of unused pens and markers on my desk, but I love the feeling of getting a new pen and using it. I am irresponsible with them and often lose them.
I forget my cloth shopping bag about 1 in 10 times. If I can tell that the lady at the drug store will give me a weird look for refusing a bag, sometimes I humor her and just take it.
I stopped buying bottled water, but I rarely remember to take along my own refillable Nalgene bottle.
I've got so much clutter in some corners of my house, I am tempted to just put it in the trash, rather than looking for an alternate use for the "stuff" or recycle it.
We throw away about 30% of the grocery products in our house - due to expiration or lack of interest.
I am wondering if I can truly call this a sustainability promoting blog! My lifestyle is not really worth copying lately.
Monday, December 1, 2008
I've been waiting for you to arrive. We've already begun to listen to your favorite music. You'll bring other special niceties, including the opportunity to delight in my antique ornament collection, family celebrations, and a lengthy vacation from my job.
I've got a favor to ask of you. Please don't rush your time. I hope your days linger.
A Big Time Fan