Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Welcome 2015

Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw
on a bank where they have no account.
Oscar Wilde
Wishing all of you faithful followers
a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Did You Just Burn Your Clothes?

Martin Moone: Did you just burn all your clothes?
Padraic: Yeah
Martin Moone: What are you going to do now?
Padraic: I should probably go home.

Did you just burn your clothes
Have you ever had an impulsive thought? Has there ever been a time when you have thought well everybody else is doing it so why not? But is it always a good idea to follow the pack? Well, we all know the answer to that is no. But how do you handle those times when you do something that you regret?
1. Admit It
Don't try to hide the truth from everyone. You may not want to advertise it, but don't deny that you had a wild and crazy moment. People have more respect for individuals who admit they make mistakes. Everybody makes them. It just means you're human.
2. Embrace the Moment
If you have a moment when you use poor judgment, find the humor in situation. These times always make for great stories. Look at the humor. You may be embarrassed for a little while, but you've lived a little.
3. Don't Make It a Lifestyle
Everybody has a story about when they did something a little out of character. They make life interesting, but if you find that you are acting impulsive on a weekly or daily basis. You are probably just starting to make bad life choices. There can be serious consequences for being too impulsive. It's probably time to start looking at the causes of all of the impulsiveness.
So if you are like young Padraic from Moone Boy who burnt his clothes, take it in stride. You'll live through the embarrassment.
 Music to blog by Paint the Moon by The Czars

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Monday, December 29, 2014

My Five Favorite Posts From 2014

As the year is drawing to a close it is time to look back at posts that I have written. This year has been packed full of big events. And many of the posts I've written in the last year have reflected what is going on in my life. So here is my list.

Probably the biggest event in my life this past year was the death of my father. My dad was a great guy who everybody loved. As I read back through the posts I wrote my favorite one from that time period is Captain Optimism. My dad always taught us to look for the positives in life. And he really was a champion of optimism.
Yes, this year brought another birthday. It brought celebrations and gifts. And my absolute favorite gift was given to me by my friend Gloria. She gave me My Name In Lights. It's time to give her another shout out for the fabulous gift.

This year as always I thought about quite a few things. One of the things was gentleness. My post The Gentle Hands was the result. It's my thoughts on what it means to be gentle.


As always I looked for some creative recipes and my absolute favorite, and the biggest surprise of the them was Zombie Apocalypse Pizza. Yes, spam will be a mainstay of all of our lives if the zombies take over the world. And who could live without pizza? Here's how I solved the problem just in case it really does happen.
And of course I changed jobs earlier this year. So post on To Leave or Not to Leave was one of my favorites. While I have to admit all the overtime that came along with my new job this Christmas time was difficult, I am much happier at this job than I was at my previous job.

So these are my favorite posts. Take a look at them and let me know what you think, and has your year brought you?
Music to blog by Take It Out On Me by Chairlift

Sunday, December 28, 2014

I Survived Christmas

Christmas is a wonderful time of year isn't it? But I am always glad that I survived Christmas. There were moments when I just didn't think it was going to happen. You see I had to work tons of overtime. So bank account got a huge Christmas present, but I didn't get to do all of the things I wanted to do during the Christmas season. I am thankful that I have survived the Christmas season. And no I am not looking forward to next Christmas, but I am extremely happy that things will return to some sort of normal. Whatever that means. I will have a little more time to do things I enjoy, and well that means I will once again be able to post on my blog and read other blogs the way I want to. So let me know how you all survived the Christmas chaos.

Music to blog by A Foggy Day by Buddy DeFranco

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Lemon Orzo With Pine Nuts

So Christmas is over and the New Year's Eve parties will be here next week. Many of you will need something to take to those New Year's parties. Here's a simple dish that tastes great, and of course it tastes great.

Lemon Orzo With Pine Nuts

Here's What You Need

2 cups cooked orzo
1/2 cup pines nuts
1 cup of fresh spinach leaves
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 freshly squeezed lemon
1 clove minced garlic

Here's What You Need to do

Mix the first four ingredients together. Now mix the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl. Then mix in the liquids with the orzo mixture.

Music to blog by Feel Good Drag by Anberlin

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas Shopping Challenge Update

This Christmas I took up a challenge when it came to buying my Christmas presents. If you read my post The Christmas Shopping Challenge you can learn more about it.

The heart of the challenge is to make sure that I am buying gifts that actually support what I believe. So how has this challenge going? 

Well there have been a lot of challenges. Since I decided that I wanted the gifts I purchased to either be made in the USA, eco-friendly, or fair trade products. I had some hunting to do. I found that shopping at some of the bigger stores the challenge was almost impossible. So I had to get really creative with some of the gifts. Here's a Chocolate Lover's Basket that I put together as one gift.

This is how it turned out. Everything that would keep a chocolate lover happy. So how did it develop. I know someone who absolutely loves chocolate. And well it is pretty easy to find fair trade chocolates if you go to the right places. So I decided to build a present around this. I'd eaten Divine Chocolate products before and I knew that it's great chocolate. The chocolate beans are farmed in Ghana. And the farmers manage the sale of their own beans. It's fair trade at it's best. I also included a Equal Exchange chocolate bar. All of this took was a trip to the local health food shop. That was the easy part.
What else do chocolate lovers want? I decided hot chocolate would be a good move. This wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. I look at a lot of packages and I discovered that most food doesn't really say where it is made. It might say it was packaged in the USA, but was it made in the USA? Finally a trip to Whole Foods solved the problem. The answer was Silly Cow Farms Hot Chocolate. It was a natural food product that is made by a small company based out of Vermont. Bingo! I ran by the local Goodwill to pick up a basket and found a cute mug to go with the hot chocolate.
Then I decided that S'mores would also be a great idea for chocolate lovers. This is where things really got difficult. Hard as I looked I could not figure out if the chocolate graham crackers and the marshmallows I decided on were made in the USA or fit into the category of fair trade or eco-friendly. Hard as I looked the packaging didn't state where the items were made. And I went to several different grocery stores. I finally decided that I had done the best I could and just purchased each.

So this present turned out to meet all of my criteria I think.

I found through this challenge that it was extremely difficult to find out where products are made. I looked online. I looked at packages. And I also found that some of the wording on labels. I searched online for products that were made in the USA, eco-friendly, or fair trade. I searched high and low in many of the big box stores. I was sad to see that I could barely find things in the big box stores that fit the criteria. And I also found it difficult when I searched online to find out where items were made. I had to do a little research on companies. I was also a little surprised that I didn't spend that much more on gifts that met all the criteria. We all complain that these items cost more, but when push came to shove. I spent about the same amount of money I would spend on gift baskets made from items that I had no clue where the items were made.

So was my challenge a success? Yes, I originally decided to purchase 75% of my gifts that were one of the three criteria. I was able to do this. But it took work. But I believe it was well worth the work. It took seeking out different sources for Christmas shopping, but it made the Christmas gift giving experience all more satisfying.

Music to blog by All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth by Alvin and the Chipmunks
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Thursday, December 18, 2014

I Dodged a Bullet

Have you ever had one of those times when you have an assignment at work, and you think that's not fair. You are getting ready to say that isn't right. And something tells you this isn't the time to say anything. That's what happened to me last week, and I dodged a bullet.

I have had to work every Saturday afternoons for several months. It gets kind of old so I was excited when a new person was hired at my job. I thought finally I will get a couple of Saturday afternoons off. We could rotate the Saturday afternoons. I thought for sure I would have last Saturday afternoon off, but I was scheduled to work. I thought to myself this is unfair. I am tired of being here on Saturday afternoons. I was getting ready to tell my boss, and something told me don't say anything this time. So I kept my mouth shut.

I went into work on Saturday afternoon, and I found out that the morning did not go well. There was more work than could be done on time, and the machines that were supposed to assist us were not working correctly. The afternoon went smoothly. I didn't have to deal with the chaos they experienced in the morning. So I guess the point is sometimes it's best to let things be. It's just knowing when you need to say something and when you should be quiet that is the difficult thing.

Music to blog by Good by Better Than Ezra

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Those Christmas Extras Roundup

Each week I am a co-host of the Wake Up Wednesday Linky Party. It's so much fun to see what everyone's wonderful posts. Here are few of the posts that involve those Christmas extras. You know they don't fit into a nice category, but they are way cool.

I absolutely loved Tela's idea of a Grinch dinner. Check out the post at Sweet Southern. It's a tradition that more people should take up.
My Top 10 Christmas Albums contains a list of great Christmas music from all genres over at The Ramblings of an Aspiring Small Town Girl. The list includes everything from Hawaiian music to punk. It's a great list you should check out.
And since this post is all about Christmas Renee over at Doorkeeper came up with a great post on Christmas gifts we all can give.
Music to blog by Chalk It Up to the Blues by Big Sandy and His Fly Rite Boys


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Roasted Roots

Fall and winter is a great time for all of those rooty vegetables. And once you get all of the chopping done they are pretty easy to cook. Here's a recipe for roasted roots.

Here's what you need
1/2 cup of chopped apples
1/2 cup of chopped daikon radishes
1/2 cup of chopped carrots
1/2 cup of chopped onions
1/2 cup of chopped beets
1/2 cup of chopped butternut squash
2 cloves chopped garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons thyme
1 tablespoon sage
2 tablespoons rosemary
the juice from one fresh lemon
Preheat oven to 475 degrees
Now combine all of the items in a bowl and mix well.
Now place the items in a roasting pan.
Roast the vegetables for 35 minutes stirring the vegetables every 10 minutes.
Music to blog by Matin by The Holy Boys
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Monday, December 8, 2014

Baby Bye Bye

I was so happy when I heard a new song Baby Bye Bye by my favorite band Kitty Daisy and Lewis.

Rockabilly Music
So why do I like this song so much? One reason is their music is catchy. Their new song has a really melody that sticks with you. The song makes you want to sing along. The next reason I like their new song so much is that while the melody is light and fun the lyrics are a little darker. They've paired a song that has a cute melody with lyrics that are all about a break up. We've all heard songs like it. Oh, your singing along saying this song is so much fun. And then as you're singing along you realize this isn't really a happy song. And the other reason I like this song is the video. It's fun. It made me smile as I watched it. It starts out sweet and innocent. And then well things go wrong for one of the individuals in the video. You have to watch it to see what I mean.


See what I mean. I had to ask myself the question should I really like this song so much after I watched the video?  And I decided yes, it's fun. Even though it gets a little twisted.

So let me know what you think of the song.

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

This One Time At Disney World

I love visiting Disney World. It's fun. It's full of happy memories. Everyone young and old is running around with funny hats on. But this one time at Disney World things weren't so great.

This is where all the trouble started. Yes, the tea cup ride at Disney World. It's a ride for children. But what I didn't understand as a child was the more you spin that wheel in the center of the tea cup the more you spin around. Well it was a hot morning in Florida since it was August. And I just starting spinning that wheel. The ride ended, and that is when I really learned what the word vertiginous means. You see the ride stopped spinning, but the world didn't stop spinning for me.

In fact the world continued to spin the entire day. You haven't lived until you've ridden the It's a Small World ride and everything is kind of spinning around. It wasn't until I returned a couple of years later that I realized that things on that ride weren't going in circles.

I guess the important thing that I learned that day at Disney World was that I really ought to know which direction I want to go in before I turn the wheel.

Music to blog by It's a Small World

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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Spinach Lasagna

Like the cartoon character Garfield. I love lasagna.

I especially love spinach lasagna.

So here's a recipe for spinach lasagna that I love.
Here's what you need
2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
2 10 oz package of frozen chopped spinach thawed and drained
1 15 oz carton ricotta cheese
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 jar pasta sauce
9 cooked lasagna noodles
Here's what you do
Preheat the over to 375 degrees.
Combine 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese and the five ingredients in a bowl.
Spread 1/2 cup of pasta sauce in the bottom of a baking dish.
Next arrange 3 noodles over the pasta sauce.
Then spread one third of the spinach mixture over the pasta.
Repeat the process two more times.
Then sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese over the top.
Now cover and bake for 50 minutes.
Remove the cover and bake for another 10 minutes.
Let the lasagna stand for 10 minutes before cutting.
Music to blog by Foulbrook by Two Inch Astronaut
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