Thursday, November 29, 2007

TT#13: Thirteen Things I Like To Do

Thirteen Things about momhuebert

Thirteen Things I Like To D

ride in a convertible with the top down and the heated seats on
take a walk at sunset

light a fire

sit by the woodstove in the fireplace

get lost in a good book

hang out laundry

watch birds on the bird feeder in winter

read good blogs

laugh out loud

soak my feet in warm olive oil water

drink hot tea with rich chocolate dessert

read or watch happy endings

fall asleep

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

This Explains Some Things....

Hmmm. For what it's worth....

Your Personality is Very Rare (INTP)

Your personality type is goofy, imaginative, relaxed, and brilliant.

Only about 4% of all people have your personality, including 2% of all women and 6% of all men
You are Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, and Perceiving.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wish Me Luck

Well, I'm on my way to buy paint.

I've had a bee in my bonnet, a fire in my belly, too much grass growing under my feet, and moss gathering on my non-rolling stone. It's time to do something different with our living space after twenty years.

By some standards (i.e., my family's hillbilly standards), I believe we probably have another twenty years before we need to re-decorate, but there are some of you wondering how I managed to live with our decorating scheme for even five years.

My theory up till now has been that the house is the canvas for the people who live in it. Meaning, people and their stuff are the focal point, and the walls and windows are to be a non-entity, to stay in the background and make a nice, unnoticeable foundation for the "real" life that was happening. And with a small house full of six people who have lots of creative hobbies, we have plenty of stuff to focus on.

Plus, I was scared to death that I'd get tired of anything less inconspicuous, and heaven knows it's expensive and a lot of work to paint and decorate, and why would I want to do it more than once? Therefore, our walls are painted cream, our curtains are cream, our light fixtures are cream....

We have a little relief in that we have a large brick fireplace and hearth, and we have medium dark hardwood floors. However, it's time.

And lately I've had a change of philosophy. I've been in some homes that were actually "decorated," not just thrown together with sale items from Walmart, and I was impressed. Not with the expensive-ness (well, that too), but with the atmosphere that had been created. I didn't realize how paint, and furniture, and useless decorative items lend a certain air to a room and communicate a message. That message can be "I'm rich," and "Don't touch," or "This is a place to relax," and "You're home now." Mostly I was only familiar with the "Don't Touch" variety of "Home Decorating" but now I've seen the "Relax, be comfortable, be at home" variety, and I want that for my house.

In addition, I have also been in some homes lately that were renter beige. Somehow, it just left me cold. And then I came home and looked at my house, and saw it with new eyes. Aack! It's not "cream," it's renter beige!


I've spent several weeks thinking, imagining, and picturing, and I think I've got a plan. Last week I picked out tentative paint colors. Yesterday LovelyDaughter and I went shopping and bought curtains. I figured I'd better find curtains now, and match the paint to them, instead of trying to do it the other way around. Paint is easy to adjust, but finding window coverings I like, in colors I like and that match, and that fit my budget-- that's a job.

Our house is very small, and the main living area one big L-shaped room, with the "living room" as one leg, and "kitchen" and "dining room" as the other. So the avocado refrigerator is a major decorating item, and must be kept in mind. Fortunately, our couch is also vintage avocado green, so that sort of ties together.

Here's the plan. I want to capitalize on the green, which is pretty close to today's "sage" green. With sage, and brick red (from the fireplace) as my foundation, I think a sunny light golden yellow (perhaps sponge painted with several shades) on the walls will brighten everything up and make our living space feel cozy. I hope.

Dark wood floors, yellow walls, creamy white ceilings, sage green and brick red for accents. What have I forgotten? Oh-- the windows.

We have two picture windows, one by the couch and one by the dining table. The living room window will get a scarf-y fabric that has a faint golden bronze print. Just something to cover the window at night to eliminate the large black square we have now when it's dark out. The dining room window gets heavy curtains-- the fabric feels like a light blanket or throw-- in place of the off-white drapes it has now. I'm experimenting with panels of different colors-- one red, one sage, one gold, one cream. If that's a little overwhelming, maybe I can just do two colors, to pick up on the sponge painting theme. I have 90 days to exchange or return them, so I hope I should have my mind made up before then!

My goal is to have it done for Christmas. Why? I'm not sure. It's a way to prepare ourselves for the season of Christmas, and of being cooped up in the house during the dark and dreary cold and cloudy days of winter.

I hope it turns out well. I can't rid myself of the nasty feeling that I've just spent all the kids' Christmas money on the house! Oh well. Uh, Merry Christmas, kids!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thanksgiving: His and Mine

Hubby and I are from different backgrounds, as perhaps are a lot of couples. I'm from Kansas City, with Swedish roots on one side and hillbilly roots on the other. My hubby is German Mennonite all the way. Hubby and I met at college, and when he went home and told his folks about me, the first thing they asked is "Is she Mennonite?"

Of course, my family's traditions were very different from his family's. On my mother's side we had the exact same holiday menu for every single holiday. Here it is:

--Grandpa's homemade punch (as an appetizer while the meal was cooking)


--Mashed potatoes (made with "real" potatoes, as Uncle John used to always say. When I was little I had to ask what that meant. My mom always made mashed potatoes with potato flakes.)

--Giblet gravy

--Cornbread dressing/stuffing

--Buttered green beans

--Relish tray with cottage cheese, black olives, cranberry sauce, pickled beets, and cream cheese-stuffed celery. (Each of these items was-- I guess still is-- mandatory. Heaven forbid that you forget any of them!)

--Dinner rolls (used to be always homemade, and still are if I'm there. We live far enough away that we don't always make it.)

--Pumpkin pie with Cool Whip

--Pecan pie

--Mincemeat pie (at least when Grandpa was alive; no one else eats it.)

Now, on Hubby's side the menu is completely different. It looks like this:

--Ham (Pork is not the other white meat, it's the only meat.)

--Verenike (pronounced ver-RRAN-ick-kyuh) This is a Russian dish, actually, which the German mennonites learned to make when they were settlers in Russia for a hundred years, before they all emigrated here. It's noodle dough made in the shape of little turnovers and filled with dry curd cottage cheese and egg and salt and pepper. It's heavenly when drowned in...

--Onion cream gravy (made with lots of onions and real cream.)

--Tweiback/tweibach/zweibach (pronounced either TWAY-buck, or ZWEE-buck. Low German is not a written language, so no one knows how to spell anything. Take your pick which spelling you like.) It's a kind of bread. Literally, the name means, "two bake." They're made of two balls of dough, one on top of the other. If you tear the top ball off, you see that the bottom half now has a crater which just begs to be filled with...

--Homemade jelly. We usually have two kinds-- one is always mulberry.

--Pluma Mos (Plume-uh-mohs) Um, how do I explain this? It's sort of a fruit soup. Picture prunes or plums and lots of raisins in sweet, thickened milk. You can make it with apples or cherries, but then it would be Oppel Mos, or Cherry Mos. I remember a elderly woman giving a talk on her Christmas memories and she said, "Now I'm old enough to not have to eat pluma mos!" You either love it or you hate it.

--Baked sweet potatoes with marshmallows

--Jello salad, either carrot-orange, or something the grandkids fondly call, "Fish Eye Jello." (I think it's made with pearl tapioca, but I don't usually get close enough to tell.)

These are what Hubby's mother makes. Then every year we have various dishes, contributed by the daughters-in-law, which could be any or several of the following:

--green bean casserole
--corn casserole
--seven layer salad
--potato casserole

--Dessert. Which also varies. Either pie (pumpkin, apple, chocolate, or pecan), or something rich made of cherries and cream cheese. Or pumpkin and cream cheese. Or cherries and whipped cream. Or pumpkin and whipped cream. Or chocolate and cream cheese and whipped cream.

That is just half of Thanksgiving, however. In this neck of the woods, I mean prairie, there is also "Lunch," which is the late afternoon/early evening meal. Lunch consists of ham, ring bologna, chunks of cheese, jello salad, taco salad, ramen noodle salad (or whatever it's called), tweiback, lots of mustard and ketchup and barbecue sauce, and about six kinds of dessert. There, now please help carry all the chairs back upstairs and take the tables down and you can all go home.

If we go back one more generation, you will find another completely different tradition. When Hubby's grandmother was still hosting holidays we would be treated to the traditional meal that Hubby's dad's generation grew up on:

--Ring bologna
--Fried potatoes
--Baked beans
--Plum Mos

The reason for this slightly odd menu was this: In those days in this small community, there was a church service on every holiday and everyone went to church in the morning. The mothers of the families would prepare ahead in order to have food ready when they all got home. The ring bologna was store-bought for the occasion. The potatoes were baked ahead, ready to cut up and fry when the family got home. The baked beans were simmering in the oven all morning. Everything else was made the day before. Even as times changed, this remained a traditional holiday meal.

Sometimes I wonder what I will do when it's my turn to host holidays. Which footsteps will I follow? I know Hubby will want me to carry on his family's food tradition. But I'd like to keep mine as well. Besides, sometimes I miss turkey for the holidays. We never have turkey! (Unless we happen to manage the trip to Kansas City for the holidays.) So here's my plan: Keep my family's turkey dinner for Thanksgiving. And after having my fill of turkey, I'll gladly make ham and verenike for Christmas and Easter. At least, that's MY idea. Check back in a few years...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

TT #12: Thirteen Likes and Dislikes

I wanted to make another "like" list today, but I found I was having a hard time. Too many things I thought of were repeats from previous lists. I started feeling pretty boring. Are those the only things I like?

Finally I got the idea to make a list of things I DON'T like, and then use that as sort of an opposite list. It makes sense that if I don't like some things, I probably do like the opposite. So here you go:

13 things I dislike, and 13 corresponding things I do like.

I don't like/
I DO like

getting along
being late
being on time, or even a little early
feeling behind
being caught up
not sleeping well
good, refreshing sleep
bad dreams
no dreams, or very good dreams
dissonant music
beautiful harmony
the smell of trash burning
the smell of fresh air
foul language
interesting, clean vocabulary
monongamy and faithfulness
big city traffic
country roads

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Yeah, What She Said....

A year or so ago, we jumped on the bandwagon that our extended family was on and tried the South Beach Diet. Not because we especially need to lose weight, but because the family members who were eating that way said they not only lost weight, but they felt better. And we were definitely all for feeling better. What I found was another benchmark in our striving to eat healthy. I began doing what I call "shopping the perimeter." Do you realize that most of the healthiest food in the store is parked around the edges? The meat, the produce, the dairy. It's "real" food, un-preprocessed. Now I shop the perimeter with occasional dips into the center for things like baking supplies and grains and peanut butter. In the words of Madame Blueberry, "there are whole AISLES" I don't even go down now.

Go here and read what Carrien says about buying food that's good for you. She has written pretty much what I would have written if I'd thought to write it!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Wine Update

The MD 20/20 went to The Big Wine Cellar In The Sky, otherwise known as Down the Drain. It was fit for neither man nor beast, and I know because we and the cats both sniffed disdainfully at it and turned away after one sip. Also, despite the fact that it smells like fuel, it doesn't burn worth a darn.

Our next try, at the suggestion of Carrie, was Yellowtail Merlot (which I found, to my chagrin, is not pronounced MER-lot, but mer-LOW.) Honestly, we couldn't tell much difference. There was the not sense that we were poisoning ourselves, like with the MD 20/20, but the taste was awfully similar to our bourgeoisie tastebuds.

Our third try was champagne, which we liked, but is impractical for everyday use.

Besides, it still doesn't resemble this:

"Here you are, mother," said Bacchus, dipping a pitcher in the cottage well and handing it to her. But what it was now was not water but the richest wine, red as red-currant jelly, smooth as oil, strong as beef, warming as tea, cooling as dew.

"Eh, you've done something to our well," said the old woman. "That makes a nice change, that does." And she jumped out of bed.

[from Prince Caspian, by C.S. Lewis.}

Or this:

...a flask half full (he knew there were some people who would have said half empty) of a quite palatable wine-- rather frisky, with some floral notes and a nice, lingering, jaunty sort of finish."

[from Once Upon a Marigold, by Jean Ferris.]

Or even this:

Then Mrs. Beaver handed round in the dark a little flask out of which everyone drank something-- it made one cough and splutter a little and stung the throat but it also made you feel deliciously warm after you'd swallowed it-- and everyone went straight to sleep.

[from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis.]

I figure, if I can't have wine that tastes good at least it should put me to sleep.

However, last night I found a redeeming use for the Merlot: You make your pork loin drink it.

I cut up some pork loin into chunky strips and splashed a generous amount of Merlot all over it. Generous, meaning, I think I drowned the poor meat, but it didn't look at all sorry, since I've never seen meat absorb liquid like that. Whatever I think of wine, the pork liked it.

I stirred the meat and wine around, and sprinkled ginger and sugar all over it, and then sauteed it in peanut oil till it was done. And oh my, oh my! That meat was tender and very, very tasty. It was a hit, and the wine saved itself from demise.

So, do you have any other great uses for wine that do not involve actually drinking it?

Friday, November 9, 2007

Chocolate After Dinner, aka Chocolate Love

I made brownies last night. We haven't had just ordinary, unhealthy, rich, chocolate-y brownies for a long time.

When it was time to serve, we thought, what are brownies without ice cream? So LovelyDaughter offered to run to the local grocery store and grab some while we waited. And she brought not only ice cream, but also whipped topping.

So I dished myself up a piece of brownie, and Hubby topped it with a scoop of chocolate ice cream, because he knows that, for me, there can never be too much chocolate, and then I put a dollop of whipped topping on it. I took one bite and Hubby said, "Stop. Stop eating right now. Just wait."

So I stopped mid-chew, and what did he do? He found a piece of Dove dark chocolate and a grater:
I think he loves me.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Thursday Thirteen: Note to Self-- In Case of Fire, Break Out This List

Thirteen Things from momhuebert

I've been reading about the California fires, and how people have to evacuate their homes quickly, and also I read this, which got me to thinking about what I would do in a similar situation. And I really don't know. I'm pretty sure my decision-maker would freeze up in a panic, and either I'd end up taking nothing, or taking really silly things, like my shampoo, or a a necklace, or something. So I decided to think it through and come up with a list.

This list is assuming we have to leave home quickly, say in 15 minutes, for an unknown period of time, and be going somewhere where we may not have necessities handy. If it were a fire-- after making sure the kids (the youngest is 16) were alerted and safe-- I'd just grab the first four things and run. I'm sure everyone else in the family would have their own four things they'd want to grab, in addition to the survival gear, but with six of us, I'm sure we could be packed and out of there in 15 minutes. Maybe less. Kinda makes me want to have a trial run, just to see if we can do it. Hmm. Maybe I should institute "Evacuation Drills" aka, "Packing for a Trip." Fifteen minutes sure beats several hours-- or days!-- of getting ready to leave....

Anyway, here's the list:

Thirteen things I'd grab in case of evacuation.

1. my purse (because it has in it--among other miscellaneous stuff--my PDA, my bible, my water bottle, my drivers license and bank cards, any cash I may have, and a hairbrush.)

2. my laptop

3. my violin

4. my winter quilt that I made

5. thermoses of water, as many as we have time to fill.

6. our campstove with fuel

7. our "campout box," which is a relatively small storage tote with everything in it for cooking and eating: cast iron skillet, mixing bowl, plates, cutlery, cups, salt and pepper, utensils, napkins, etc. We use it for camping.

8. tents, sleeping bags, and pillows.

9. our "shower bags" and towels-- each person has a travel bag with travel size soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc, for travelling and camping.

10. any non-perishable food we have in the house, e.g. bread, noodles, dried fruit, peanut butter, potatoes, canned goods; possibly some frozen food, for use right away.

11. toilet paper

12. flashlight and batteries, or lanterns, or both

13. whatever clothing can be stuffed quickly into a backpack.

I have just compared my list to the recommended experts' list and I'm doing pretty good except for one thing. I should have all my family's important documents packaged up and ready to go. I'm embarrassed to admit it never crossed my mind. So I either forget the flashlights, or I add number 14:

14. important family documents (hopefully already rounded up and in one easily grab-able format.)

Hubby said that if he were making this list, he'd bring some tools or a chainsaw, so I guess this is still not a definitive list for us. However, living in Nebraska, the likelihood of an evacuation for forest fires or hurricanes is very slim, which I guess just bears out our state motto, which is "Nebraska, the good life."

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Wordless Wednesday-- Can You Guess?

No, you can't, so I'll tell you. This is my absolute favorite photo of ME, taken in 1962.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Of Lava Lamps and Chocolate

We had a great experience Saturday night. We have a friend, MandoNut, who lives in nearby BigCity. He is divorced, and lonely, with no other family close by. He earns a living trucking so he often calls to talk to GuitarGeek while he's driving. That man gets more use out of his cell phone than anyone else I know. It's also not unusual for him to spend a free weekend at our place, and I try to fill him up with good home-cooked food while we laugh and talk around the table.

Once a year his mom and stepdad come for a visit, and when they come they like to take MandoNut's friends out to eat, partly for the fun of it, and partly to say thank you to MandoNut's friends for being MandoNut's friends. (Is this cool, or what?) This is the second year our family has been blessed to be numbered in MandoNut's special friends.

Now, MandoNut's folks like to do it right when they do it, and they brush aside ideas of what we call fancy restaurants, and they take us to NICE (read EXPENSIVE) places.

We were to meet on Saturday, and on Friday MandoNut called to ask if we had a preference as to where to eat. Well, no. I just said, "Not Amigos." He had two ideas, one being a fancy steakhouse where they marinate the steak in wine, the other being one that served Indian cuisine that involved lamb, seafood, and lots of vegetables. LovelyDaughter and I voted for the Indian food; I wanted to try lamb and LovelyDaughter likes trying new things. All the carnivores in our house voted for STEAK-- GIMMIE STEAK! Because of course, they like not only identifiable meat, but they want it to be BEEF; because, of course, it's what's for dinner. Of course.

Saturday afternoon we drove to BigCity early so GuitarGeek could pick up his new prescription sunglasses (and does he ever look scary in them), and to buy new jeans for MB3, since the only ones he has that fit him are pretty air-conditioned. After that was done, we drove downtown, parked in a parking garage, and walked around the corner to the restaurant. Do any of you see how ritzy this is? Of course, if you live in a big city and spend a lot of time parking in parking garages and walking around downtown it will sound pretty mundane. But believe me when I say we felt pret-ty snazzy.

Then we walked up to the doors of the restaurant. They had their menu on a plaque outside. All I could think was "Oh my goodness, I'm glad we're not paying!" And when we walked inside all I could think was, "Oh my goodness, I think we're not dressed up enough." We weren't feeling snazzy anymore, more like country hicks surrounded by sophisticated city people with a whole lot more money than we have. Even the waiters looked fancier. But we didn't let on, we just acted like we eat at these kinds of places all the time, and told the hostess we were waiting for the rest of our group.

We sat down on the window seat provided for waiting customers and hoped someone we knew would come rescue us. We got to watch a stream of people walk by to the down stairs where there was a surprise party gearing up for the arrival of the surprise-ees, and listen to the gal giving instructions: "Grab a party hat and noisemakers; they're on their way, and Kim is buying domestic bottles." I can write that because I heard her say it quite a few times. I'm still not sure what "domestic bottles" are, but I'm guessing she meant someone was treating everyone to bottles of wine as long as it wasn't imported. I assume imported wine is more expensive. (If I'm wrong you can tell me, but I hope I guessed right, and if I did, you can tell me that too.)

Suddenly, our host appeared and he led us back to the table. They had been there the whole time, but we didn't know it, and they hadn't taken a reservation, just a table, so their name wasn't on the list. Good thing they found us.

We spent way too long some time choosing our meals. This was quite an eclectic restaurant, and I was totally thrilled when I found that the carnivores and the adventurous among us would all be satisfied. Here's what we ate:

Me-- lamb with vegetables and quinoa

LovelyDaughter-- salmon with mango chutney and fancy rice

Hubby-- Steak with "pommes." (in other words, he ordered what he orders everywhere: beef with french fries. Would it surprise you to know that he's always the first to be ready to order?)

GuitarGeek-- same.

DrummerDude-- some sort of Brazilian seafood stew with shrimp and mussels and other things. (I guess he's more into trying new things than the other males in the family.)

MB3-- Buffalo Steak and mashed sweet potatoes. (I couldn't believe he voluntarily ordered mashed sweet potatoes, but I think the call of the buffalo must have been stronger.)

This may not sound fancy, exactly. But it was. Nearly everything had fruit in it: the quinoa had berries, and so did the rice, and so did the salad-- one of the best salads I've ever had by the way. Did you know that blue cheese and sunflower seeds and dried cranberries taste marvelous together? I had no idea and I would have never put them together myself, but it was very good.

After the meal the waitress came by with a long platter with one of each kind of dessert they offer. I had no intention before that moment of having dessert. I was so full I had given half of my plateful to MB3. (Teenage boys make eating out worth our money. I don't know what I'll do when they leave, because I, by myself, do not eat enough to be worth the expense.) But when she held that platter of beautifully arranged, tempting goodies next to me I capitulated very quickly, and so did everyone else at the table-- even MandoNut who was already talking about being a beached whale.

And y'all. It was wonderful. First I split a Tiramisu thingy with Hubby. He didn't think he wanted any dessert at all, and I was sure I couldn't eat very much. But part way through LovelyDaughter gave me a bite of her dessert, which was a rich Pot de Creme, a fancy sort of pudding that was very chocolate-y, very creamy with a huge dollop of real whipped cream on top. Oh. My. Word. I quickly asked Hubby if he was enjoying the Tiramisu. He said, actually, yes. So I gave the rest to him and grabbed the waitress the next time she walked by and ordered me a Pot de Creme.

It looked something like this, but with a LOT more whipped cream:

When it came, I took a bite and let it coat my entire mouth. Oh was it good. MandoNut asked me, "How is it?"

I said, "It makes me want to cry." This was true. It was so good, so chocolate-y, so rich, so smooth, so creamy, so tasty, that it brought tears to my eyes. I've never felt that way before. (Has this happened to anyone else?)

He looked at me incredulously. "Is it that good?"

All I could do was nod my head slowly and seriously. And keep eating.

But what I really want to tell you about is the drink I ordered. You may know already that Hubby and I have been wetting our feet in the world of wine, so to speak, trying to find something we can stand. So when I saw the large drinks menu, and remembered that our host was well-versed in wine lore, I began reading and asking lots of questions. I won't bore you with that conversation, but here's what I ended up getting:

A drink called a Lava Lamp. It's champagne with berries in it. Just imagine it with dried cranberries, and you'll see what I had. The cranberries sink and float with the same effect as a lava lamp. I was impressed. And, incredibly, I liked it.

So did Hubby. Every time he took a drink, he'd say, "Be careful with that stuff." So I'd take the tiniest sip possible. Later, he and LovelyDaughter were discussing the odd feelings they got from drinking it; they could feel it going to their heads whenever they took a swallow. I thought, good heavens, I must be a hardened winebibber already-- I didn't feel a thing! And then I found they were drinking in gulps, not sips, and Hubby said he was talking to himself when he said "Be careful with that stuff." Oh. So I was TOO careful? Well, I enjoyed sipping on that champagne for two hours, sharing it with Hubby, LovelyDaughter, and GuitarGeek. We got a lot of taste mileage out of that little glass.

This discovery, of course, does not solve our dilemma of what to drink for a bedtime relaxer. I learned that champagne is expensive, and does not keep well, and I really wasn't figuring on drinking an entire bottle of champagne every night, as well as it might make me sleep.

However, MandoNut ordered an Irish Coffee, which I guess is coffee with some sort of alcoholic something in it , with cream, and I tasted it. Hmm, I thought. A HOT drink at bedtime. Hmmm. So I've been researching liqueurs, which are different from liquors (see, I'm learning) and there's a whole world of possibilities out there. Someday I'll get brave again and try some of them.

But for now, forget the wine-- I'm checking out recipes for Pots de Creme!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Vote Early! Vote Often!

Hey, y'all. Do me a favor? Go vote for Antique Mommy at the 2007 weblog awards. Of all the finalists in the Parenting category I think she is the absolute best.

But of course, you don't have to take my word for it. Check out the blogs of the ten finalists for yourself and vote for your favorite. And catch this: You can vote once every twenty-four hours till November 8. That means we each have at least three more votes we can put in till the polls are closed. Go for it!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

And the winner is.....


She will be receiving a bag of Dove chocolate miniatures-- milk chocolate, since that was her choice.

Be sure to go visit her at her blog Heart of the Prairie and tell her how jealous you are.

Thank you, all of you, for your enthusiasm. There are a lot of us desperate for chocolate I discovered. I wish I could give ALL of you chocolate! But since my bank account would whimper, scream, and then die a terrible death, I'll instead wish you many chocolate-y blessings.

Give somebody you love chocolate today. It'll make you both happy. Besides, maybe they'll share....

Congratulations, Michelle!

Friday, November 2, 2007

College for Real Life

I've been tagged for an interesting meme by My Ice Cream Diary. I've spent a couple of days thinking about it, and now I'm ready to sign up.

Here it is:

Devise a list of 5-10 courses you would take to fix your life. It’s more fun to be in classes with friends, so include one class from the person who tagged you that you’d also like to take. Tag five.

My first class is one I'd take with the gal at My Ice Cream Diary. I definitely would benefit. Plus, we could help each other with our "home" work...

Building Addictions To Housework
This would be a pharmaceutical class that would facilitate the use of synthesized hormones that have been found in women who love to clean. It would also teach how to use aversion therapy to train the body to not enjoy sitting and reading a good book, or watching a great black and white movie.

Instant Menu Planning with Speedy Grocery List Making
This double course teaches advanced techniques for planning meals and grocery store runs in record time. Will include motivational practice sessions with stop watch and prizes.

Easy Lessons in Extroversion 101: The Basics
How to be outgoing, friendly, talkative. How to love interaction with people and be energized by it. May include a partial brain transplant for extremely introverted students. (I'm raising my hand.)

How To Sleep More Efficiently
Ways to relax, fall asleep and stay asleep. How to get to bed on time (including techniques on getting teenagers to bed so the house is quiet.) How to wake feeling refreshed and energetic.

Singing Lessons
How to sing like your favorite singer. Instruction and practice in singing, as well as vocal modulation for a pleasant speaking voice. I already sing, but not as well as I'd like-- I don't sound like Alison Krauss, or the lead singer from Dervish, or Kelly Clarkson yet.

My last class is one I borrowed from the guy at Blue Tea to use as my second class in my Extroversion series.

Easy Lessons in Extroversion 201: Small Talk Workshop- Advanced Techniques and Topics for Social Mastery
This practical course focuses primarily on in-class practice sessions guided by the instructor. Learn how to keep a conversation flowing seamlessly, ways to move beyond the weather, dealing with unpleasant people, social conventions, appropriate formulas for a variety of situations (polite refusal, soliciting favors, disengagement, etc.), networking, and more.

This was fun. Thanks Ice Cream, for the idea. And now, to pass it along.... I tag

Meg Fowler at
Sniz at Miss Sniz
Lulu at Lulu's Laundry Blog
Jessica the Rock Chick at Life is RANTastic!
Carrie at Chocolate the Other White Meat

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Thirteen Things I Like About Blogging

Thirteen Things from momhuebert

I discovered blogging two or three months ago, and found I really enjoy it. Here is my list of thirteen reasons why.

Thirteen reasons I like blogging

1. It saves me money. The time I used to spend browsing ebay and Amazon I now spend writing blog posts and browsing other blogs.

2. It gives me an excuse to play on my cool laptop.

3. It gives me an audience to write for-- a small one, admittedly, at this point, but an audience nevertheless.

4. Knowing I'm writing for others to read helps me to find the "story" in my every day life, instead of just putting down a stream of consciousness diary entry.

5. It offers the opportunity for me to share what I've learned with others. I can leave learned (ha) or sympathetic comments or entire posts.

6. It introduces me to lots of nice people.

7. It helps me see that I'm not alone-- other people feel the same way I do.

8. It gives me a broader perspective-- helps me understand the people who don't think like I do.

9. It lets me interact with kinds of people that I never cross paths with in my "real" life; like university professors, or published authors, or sophisticated city people.

10. It opens my world to vicariously experience new things, like vacation destinations, or other people's family lives.

11. I've learned new, interesting, and sometimes humorous, things; for example, diseases I've never heard of before, or what it's like to get acupuncture, or how badly some people can embarrass themselves.

12. It's a way to share with my friends what's going on with me. Living in a rural area, my friends are scattered far and wide. Now they can check up on me.... at least, I hope they're checking in.

13. It's a platform for my opinions; the one place I can say what I think. And no one can really argue, 'cause it's MY blog!

Why do YOU like to blog?

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