Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Best Interviews Ever

Okay, these are some of the greatest and most colorful interviews. Make sure you go past the first two. Let me know which one is your favorite.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Dear Wilhelm Grimm

Dear Wilhelm Grimm

I wanted to write to you and wish you a Happy Birthday Wilhelm. And I was wondering what exactly you were thinking as you listened to all of those folk tales for your book? It must have been interesting to hear all of those tales. Were you fascinated as you listened to them, or did some of them kind of bore you? And how much did you change the original stories? I’ve heard that many of the original folk stories were kind of gory.

And what exactly do you think of the Disney adaptations of the stories? I’ve heard that the story that the original story of Rapunzel was quite a bit different than the original version of the story. I heard the original story was a little racy. Just how different is the Disney adaptation from the original?

And what did you think when your stories were used as part of Nazi propaganda? I know that you started the German studies programs at your university, but did you really feel your stories should be used as part of their propaganda? And then your stories got banned by the Allies because of this. I know your dead and all, but it kind of had to annoy you just a little didn’t it?

Well, once again I just wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday, and thanks for keeping all of those great stories alive for all of us to enjoy.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Those Little Habits

I know that that I have absolutely no annoying little habits in life. Okay, so I’m pretending I don’t have any annoying habits. But if I’m really am honest I do. And as I was talking with a friend yesterday, the question came up why is it so hard to break bad habits? You know like eating junk foods, sitting on the couch watching TV, and spending too much money. But it’s so easy to break those habits that are good for you like packing a healthy lunch for work, going for a walk after work, and of course sticking to that savings plan.

They say that it takes 30 days to break a bad habit. So if you decide to pack your lunch and take it to work, and you do it for 30 days you have broken the habit of eating out at lunchtime. But say things get a little hectic at home, and you can’t pack a lunch for those days. You manage to break your good habit in less than 30 days.

So where is this rambling going?  It’s going toward a bad habit I want to break. You know a goal I want to set for myself.

The bad habit I want to break is putting off returning phone calls, and text messages. I’ve mentioned it before, and it’s a joke between some of my friends. They have stated that sometimes I have to review my text messages to her to see what I asked two days ago. Yes, it’s true. And I’ve decided that it’s time to change that habit. It’s time to stop living in my own world, and return calls in a timely fashion. So for the next 30 days that is my goal. It will be a challenge, but with a little work I think it is something I can achieve.

What little bad habits do you want to change?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Mother of All Blogging Books

Don’t you just love it when you hear from your blogging friends, and find out they have a great project lined up? Well the ladies who brought us The Mother of All Meltdowns? Well they are putting together a new project through Kickstarter. It’s a project for the bloggers in the community. They are putting together a book of stories and how to’s for bloggers. If it’s as good as their turns out anywhere as good as their first book, it’s sure to be entertaining and helpful. So go on over to their Kickstarter campaign and help them prevent a meltdown. 

Is Mother Nature Out to Get Us?

With all of the snow this year I’ve asked myself is Mother Nature out to get us? Record levels of snow have fallen this year and of course there have been those long cold days and nights.  And what happens when all that snow begins to melt all at once. Here are a couple of things that have occurred locally that make me feel like Mother Nature is out to get us.

The first one is the roof at the local mall collapsed. Imagine thinking that you are going to be able to have dinner and go shopping and then this happens? Fortunately nobody was hurt when this occurred, and the damage will soon be repaired.

storm damage

And then a few days later, I’m at a restaraunt with friends. All of the sudden, the emergency alert system makes that awful sound it makes. And the announcement says that there is an emergency alert in a local town. One of my friends begins going through her phone to see what’s going on. Low and behold a local town has an ice jam, which caused flooding. Power was out, along with gas service and water service to that area. This is what that looked like.


So after these two events in the same week, do you understand why I wonder if Mother Nature is out to get us?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Spinach and Chicken Tostadas

Here’s a twist for the usual tostada. Try adding spinach and mushrooms. You end up with spinach and chicken tostadas.  They are pretty easy to prepare, and they taste yummy too!

Here’s what you need

Tostada Shells
½ a bag of fresh spinach
¼ cup of sliced mushrooms
¼ cup sliced green onions
1 cup of refried beans
1 cup of shredded cheese
1 cup of shredded chicken or chicken strips

What you need to do

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Next put some olive oil in a skillet add the mushrooms, green onions, and spinach to the skillet. Cook until the items are tender, and the spinach is a little wilty. Next spread refried beans on a tostada shell. Then cover the beans with the spinach mixture. Add some the chicken, and top it off with the cheese.  Now place on a cookie sheet and bake the tostadas for 15 to 20 minutes. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Five Pages Where You Can Learn Something

I remember reading a book by Leo Buscaglia when I was younger. In the book he points out that every evening as they were eating, his father would ask each of them what they learned today. He explained how his father taught them the importance of learning things whether it is small or large. He taught his children to continue looking around the world and see what was around them. So here are five sites that might teach you a little trivia today or they might teach you something life changing.

1.       Learn some interesting things about George Washington. You know it’s his birthday this month, so you could learn something interesting about him. I thought it was pretty interesting that he left school at 15 to become a surveyor because his mother couldn’t afford to send him to college.

2.       Yes, I know that Valentine’s Day has come and gone for this year, but if you want to learn a little more about the holiday here’s a site to visit. The thing I found interesting is down toward the bottom of the page, Penicillin was introduced to the world on February 14, 1929. Go figure a treatment for venereal disease was introduced on a day set aside for romance. Is that weird or what?

3.       Want to learn more about food? Check out this webpage that explains about Native American Foods. Interesting thing that I learned Boston Baked Beans are derived from a  Native American dish. Who would have thought?

4.       If you want to learn something a little more active. Learn how to grow crystals. Yeah, we all did it as kids, but it’s still fun to do as an adult. Things to learn from growing crystal. Things I learned from this page there is a regular pattern to every crystal, while they are all different they all have the same pattern.

5.       Learn about the Art World. Explore some information about Pop Art. I learned that while Andy Warhol is the name that comes to mind when I think of Pop Art Richard Hamilton is actually the founder of the movement.

Let me know some of the places you go to or do in order to learn something new every day.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Dear Frederick Douglass

Dear Frederick Douglass

I wonder if you ever dreamt of a day when there would be a black history month.  I mean as you made your trek from the southern states to the northern states as a runaway slave, did you think that there would be a day when our nation would spend a month recognizing the accomplishments of individuals whose ancestors were bought and sold? When you became an orator, did you think that maybe just maybe things would change? Or were there times when you thought these people are just too ignorant to change? You must have felt great the day the Emancipation Proclamation was issued.

But it’s sad because while slavery has been outlawed in this nation, the slave trade is alive and well throughout the world. And unfortunately, in some countries families sell their children into the sex trade. In other countries children are forced to work on plantation to grow crops for the world’s love affair with chocolate. Isn’t so sad that the more things change the more they stay the same?

Learn more about modern day slavery through CNN Project Freedom.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The One 2s

The One 2s are a Philadelphia based band that makes me believe that alternative music scene isn’t a thing of the 80’s and 90’s, but that it’s alive and well. The One 2s have a sound that will remind you of the college radio stations of the past. The band has just released an ep titled One, and its well worth listening to.

The first track on the ep Wide Awake has kind of that grungy feel to it. The song is well mixed, and definitely has radio appeal for those of us who love alternative music. The second song Any Other Time But Now has a little darker feel to it. It’s use of what sounds like an echo box to me, and the beginning of the song reminds me of some of the songs from U2, maybe a little bit like some of the sound on the song Mothers of the Disappeared. You can definitely tell the band is experimenting with their instruments to create a great sound. And it also shows that the band will grow, which makes me glad.

The third song on the ep Running Out of Time has that fast paced New Wave feel to it. Kind of like the Go-Go’s the song just makes you want to get up and start jumping around. It’s just fun music. The final song is called Alone, and its use of minor keys in the intro makes you think of what it’s like to be alone.
I don’t think I can pick a favorite song off of this ep, because I liked all of the songs so much. I think it would depend on my mood as to which one I really picked as a favorite.

I listen to a lot of different forms of music, and there are so many different bands that I hope make it. But I can honestly say The One 2s are at the top of my new band listening favorite list. And I’m pretty sure that my friends who enjoy alternative music will like this band too.

So go take a listen to their music, and let me know what you think.

Things That Have Made This Week Fabulous

1.       Getting absolutely fantastic news in my mailbox, the one the mail man delivers in, and not the email. Yes, my mailman is the greatest man in my life this week.

2.       Seeing this picture of my nephew enjoying the Ice Festival, and above all resisting the urge to lick the ice sculpture. The festival may not be as grand as the one in China, but it still looks pretty cool. 

3.       Going to visit with family members, and getting to spend time with people I’ve known most of my life.

4.       Hearing the sound of someone bite into a crisp apple. It’s just a really cool sound.

5.       A three day weekend is a fantastic thing. Yes, president’s day is one of my favorite holidays. It's that little surprise in February. 

These are some of the things that have made my week fabulous what’s made your week fabulous?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Business That Makes a Difference

We all know that the purpose of most businesses is to make money. Yeah, that’s their purpose, but every once and a while you see a business who includes giving back to others as part of their purpose. One of those businesses that makes a difference is Charlie’s Pet Place.

Charlie’s Pet Place is an online business that sells items for those beloved puppies in people’s lives. You know those collars, bandanas and pet tags that express your pet’s personality. Now how can a business that specializes in providing your puppies life with a little bling make a difference? It’s simple part of their purpose is to return a portion of their profits to shelters that feed dogs that are homeless. Now that is something that makes a difference.

Charlie’s Pet Place is owned by the proud parents of four dogs, and their limited edition collars are pretty cool. Take a look at some of the items.

So if you have a pooch who needs a little bling in its life, check out Charlie’s Pet Place.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Ice Festivals

Yes, it does seem like I spend a lot of time complaining about the cold. And no I don’t like it, but in an effort to enjoy it more I tried to find something really cool about the cold. And I’ve found it. The Harbin Ice Festival in China is a reason to like the cold weather. Take a look at the pictures from past Ice Festivals, and let me know if you think it’s worth weathering the cold weather to see the sculptures.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Rosemary Hair Rinse

If you want to add more shine to your hair during this winter season, you can make a simple rosemary hair rinse.  It’s easy to make, and it doesn’t cost loads of money. So it’s an easy hair treatment.

Here’s what you’ll need

A jar
One cup of white vinegar
1 cup of water
A handful of fresh rosemary
A non aluminium  sauce pan

Here’s What You Need to Do

Wash the rosemary stems in cold water and shake dry. Place the twigs in a jar. Next boil the vinegar and water. Let it stand for 2 minutes and then pour over the rosemary in the jar. Set the jar on a windowsill for 2 weeks shaking occasionally. Then you can use your rinse.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Hollywood Drunks

Looking for some great new music to listen to? Then check out Hollywood Drunks. This L.A. based band has a pop sound for the little more mature listening audience. Some of their songs have a sing a long feel to them like the song You’re Right. It has care free feeling to it with lyrics that talk about another Saturday night. The song reminded me a little of a reggae song, but it’s not really a reggae song.

The songs Welcome to Showbiz and Sesame Street are just fun to listen to. Welcome to Showbiz starts off with a gong so it catches your attention, and well a jazzed up version of Sesame Street who wouldn’t love it. It brings back happy memories to all of us.

But my favorite song on the album is Attitude. The song is a little slower, and a little bit more reflective. It’s all about how we are trying to get what we are missing in life, and sometimes how lonely we feel as we are waiting for it to come. And how so much of that deals with attitude, it shows that the musicians have been through a thing or two in life.

But don’t take my word for it, head on over to Hollywood Drunks webpage, provide them with your name and email address and they’ll send you three downloadable songs for free. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Swedish Meatballs

Okay, who doesn’t love meat balls? They taste great and they are so easy to make, and you can do all sorts of things with them. You can make spaghetti and meatballs, you can make meatball sandwiches, or you can use them as an appetizer at a party. So here’s a great recipe for Swedish Meat Balls.

Here’s what you need
1/3 cup dried bread crumbs
½ cup water
½ cup cream
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
¾ lb of ground beef
¼ lb of ground pork or sausage
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon white pepper

First combine the water, bread crumbs, and cream in a bowl and set aside.
Next melt the butter in a pan, and add the onions sauté until they are opaque.
Add the onions to the bread crumb mixture along with the salt, pepper, and sugar. Then mix in the beef and pork. Mix it all well.
Roll the mixture into balls.
Then place the meatballs into a skillet and brown evenly over a medium heat. It works best if you shake the skillet. Then reduce the heat and cover the pan, cook for another 10 minutes or until thoroughly cooked.

Now you have meatballs to serve hot or cold.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Dreaming of Spring

As I sit looking out the window at the snow falling, I can’t help dreaming of spring. As my faithful followers have read I really don’t enjoy the cold weather. And this year has been a cold one so far. And February may be the shortest month in terms of days in the calendar, but it is the longest in terms of waiting for the arrival of spring in my opinion.

So I’m dreaming of spring and all of the things it will bring. Here’s a list of some of the things that spring will bring and I can’t wait to see.

Tulips I love tulips. Part of it is because they are some of the first flowers to bloom in the spring. Another part of it is the variety of colors they come in, and the other part of it is they never cease to fail.

Spring jackets and not warming up the car before I leave for work are the other thing I am looking forward to. It just seems to take longer to get ready to go anywhere in the winter. Yes, the hats, gloves and scarves can be fun, but I could be sleeping another 15 minutes in the morning if I didn’t have to warm up the car before I went to work. I can’t wait to throw on a light jacket and run out the door.

Warmth yes, it is always warmer in the spring. The temperatures are warmer, but not so hot that we begin to complain about the heat. Temperatures are in the comfort zone.

And last but not least, a new wardrobe. I get to put away all of those winter clothes, and pull out my spring and summer ones. It’s kind of like going shopping without buying anything. All of the outfits are different.

Let me know what you are looking forward to with spring coming.

Your Inner Clinic

My friend Grahame is back this week to tell us more about his upcoming book. Take a look at what he has to say, and let him know about his title and what he is writing about.

Hello folks, Heidi has told you I am writing a book at the moment, it’s title will be,
Guess What?…You ARE Good Enough, 24 Steps to silencing Your Inner Critic. I am really interested in what came into your mind when you read the title. Did you think “yes I have one of those, and I wish it would shut up” or maybe you thought “my inner critic serves me well, and is there to protect me”

Do you see your inner critic like one of the `tormentors` out of Harry Potter, or more like a friend which has kept you out of harm’s way? Has it been responsible for keeping your world small? Does it constantly make you feel `not good enough`?

Here’s the thing, as you are sitting there wondering whether to answer these questions or not, your own inner critic is probably telling you not to. To answer honestly would mean you would have to lower your shield, and potentially look vulnerable and leave yourself open to judgement.
The strange thing about your inner critic is, it can’t survive in the face of vulnerability and honesty It thrives in the dark corners of your mind, were you try and ignore it, and pretend it isn’t there. It loses it’s power when it is dragged kicking and screaming out into the bright sunlight.
So, it’s over to you, will you keep the inner critic nicely tucked away and safe by not answering the questions. Or will you be brave and give an example of how the critic has kept you small.
I suffered ten years of depression, and at one time even contemplated suicide because of a serious accident which left me in constant pain.

How’s that for being open and vulnerable.

Please remember this is Heidi’s blog, not a forum for discussing mental health issues.

Related Posts

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Questions for the Youth of the World

Yes, I do believe I have aged a little. Not that much, but I do notice some things that mystify me about younger people any more. If you are younger, perhaps you can answer a couple of these questions and help me out. Because these questions are for the you of the world.

1.       This one is actually directed to the young man that was at the grocery store the other day when it was 10 degrees out. Why do you complain about being so cold when you have the waist band of your pants hanging below your butt? If you pulled up your pants to your waistline you might be a little warmer. Fashion statements are wonderful, but don’t you think there are times when you should just fashion to the wind and keep your butt warm?

2.       Do you really enjoy all those reality tv shows? Can’t you just go out and do a lot of the things that are done on reality tv? You might have some fun doing those things.

3.       For all of you filling your facebook full of selfies, don’t you have friends that you want in those pictures or do you just communicate with others through texting, facebook and twitter.

4.       Girls sporting those mustache things, don’t you really think mustaches look much better on men than women? In time you will probably go to great lengths to avoid facial hair.

5.       Are there any of you who really believe the world will end in a zombie apocalypse? Keep in mind that they told me the world would end in a nuclear apocalypse it hasn’t so far, although I do think that the nuclear apocalypse is a little more possible than the zombie one.

Let me know what you think about all of these things, and let me know if there is anything that mystifies you about those of us who have been around the block a couple of times.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Views of Beauty

Views of beauty have changed a little bit throughout the years. It’s included everything from the Gibson Girl to Twiggy. But what style do you relate to most? Take a look at the ideal beauty for different periods and decide where you fit.

The Gibson Girl from the early 20th century was viewed as the ideal beauty. She remained feminine with that Gibson Girl hair, but she also had a spirit of individuality.

The Flapper Girl of the 1920’s Flapper Girls were rebels. They wore short dresses, they drank, the drove fast, and some were seen as a little shallow.

Rosie the Riveter from the 1940’s Believe it or not Rosie was also a bit of a fashion icon. She had that I can do whatever it takes to do what I want attitude, and she had the money to actually pay for the clothes she wanted.

The Pin Up Girl The 1950’s brought us the pin up girl. She is the definition of sexuality. She’s calm, and cool, and she dresses in those wonderful dresses.

Twiggy The 1960’s brought us Twiggy. She was so different from previous definitions of beauty. She was stick thin, and had short hair. She gave us a quiet quirky  image of beauty.

The Working Girl, 1970’s and 1980’s brought us the working girl. These girls had jobs and dressed for the occasion, but they also had a feminine side. They were ready to take on the world with a new attitude which involved moving to the top.

The Grunge Girls came out full force in the 1990’s. Their style was definitely not glamorous, they preferred the laid back look of flannel shirts, and jeans to make their style statement. And their statement was I don’t have to be like everybody else.

So which fashion scene best fits your personality and view of beauty? 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Bacon Ranch Dip

Everybody loves bacon, well most everybody I know loves bacon at least, so here is a dip that is sure to please the gang when you get together. It’s Bacon Ranch Dip.

Here’s What You Need

2 packages of softened creamed cheese
½ cup crumbled bacon bits
¼ cup ranch dressing
¼ cup chopped green onions
½ cup grated cheddar cheese
1 bag of chips or crackers

Spread the creamed cheese into a square 8 x 8 dish. Spread the ranch dressing on top of the cream cheese. Sprinkle the bacon bits on top of the ranch dressing. Sprinkle the green onions on top of the bacon bits. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top of the onions. Now serve with chips or crackers.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Three Bands I’m Hoping to See This Year

Yes, sitting at home listening to music is great, but nothing beats seeing a group play live. And here are three bands that I’m hoping to see play this year. They aren’t your average group of performers, like everything else in my life they aren’t what you hear on the radio. But they are awesome groups and I want to see them play.

Pink Martini
Pink Martini yes the name is a little bit of the draw to the band, but it’s also their use of yes cocktail music. I want to see them play live.

Flogging Molly

Flogging Molly I’ve seen them play before, and they are awesome! The band never fails to put on a great show so of course I need to see them while they are on tour this year.

Neutral Milk Hotel

And lastly, Neutral Milk Hotel I like their music, and I’ve read that their shows are loads of fun with a cult following they have developed. They are on my list of shows to see this year.

Let me know if they are any other great bands that you are going to see, and why, and maybe I’ll add them to my list of bands that I’m hoping to see this year.