Monthly Archives: December 2006

I’m home!

Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen… I drove for 13 hours yesterday, traveled across this great country in my little 5-speed sedan… and we got home safely. Thank goodness! My ears were ringing from the sounds of the road… it took a while to fall asleep, but sleep I did last night – sometimes the best part about traveling is coming home.

I saw some interesting things… as I remember them, I’ll post them here. All in all, it was totally uneventful, which is highly desirable on a road trip journey :)

Techy question: I recently changed my email address… is there a way to update my username loging for the WibLog Admin page, too?

Ah, this person will be delighted to know that I did not purchase any flat furniture from IKEA… no, no – I bought lots of kitchen gadgets! Things I desperatly need! Like an egg slicer… and a thingy to put over the skillet so it won’t spatter… and some sort of decorative thing I’m not sure exactly of its purpose. And a few gifts… love IKEA. May go back this spring and get some chairs for my kitchen… they looked nice.

Ever thoughtful Bimble also had this comment… after I read it, I wondered how a highly popular clothing company was relevant… then on my trip I realized this clothing store and random man's name may, in all their wonder and glory, be cities! In the Uk! Which I wouldn’t know about, because I’m not from there! I was very pleased to have figured out that mystery on my own… I’m very smart – I even have a shiny piece of paper hanging near my desk telling me so.

So today is about resting and recharging… emptying my car… writing thank you notes… laundry… and calling a boy who game me his number – what’s that about? I guess I’m not used to the new dating rules… whatever. Oh, and I need to head on over to the grocery… Mother Hubbord’s cupboard is bare.

I wish you a very Happy New Year! Thank you for being so welcoming, wibcommunity… am looking forward to spending time with you in 2007.

always something exciting

It’s 1:10pm and I haven’t left my parents’ home yet for my road trip journey across these united states.
– stayed up late getting the map route online (none of the services would let me go back the way I came…the scenic route!)
– woke up this morning to hear my mother fall – no, she didn’t fall, she ran to the bathroom b/c she was getting sick. It’s difficult when your parent is sick, and there’s nothing you can do about it… couldn’t even offer to hold her hair back b/c she has a short haircut. can’t get her anything to drink/eat… and, so, there’s that.
– after much convincing (b/c mom said she was fine to drive – uh, no, she wasn’t) i took Dad to the hospital lab to get some blood drawn… then to dialysis center to get his blood cleaned. That was a fun adventure – he’s not so keen on directions, but I had a general idea about where to go.
– yesterday bought my mom a nice calendar and case w/ pockets (to keep pens, white-out, paperclips) and she says it’s too heavy… so today i returned yesterday’s purchase and bought what she was using before
**please note, my parents have missed two dr. appointments over the holiday – i was trying to help… unfortunately, i was helping too much and i think i almost saw my mother’s head explode. it was TOO ORGANIZED! glad it didn’t – explode, that is. that woudl have been a messy clean-up**
– went to the grocery store to buy a favorite drink that’s not sold anywhere near where I live… and because it was currently on sale (yae!) the store manager would only let me buy 6 bottles of beverage. [they thought i was trying to buy out the store b/c it was on sale… no, i was buying a lot b/c i can’t get it within a 100 mile radius of my home in the mid-west… showed them my driver’s license and everything… we finally agreed that i could go out to my car with the six bottles, and come back into the store to buy more.

greetings from the east coast!

Oh dear…someone found my blog while searching “slow cooker turkey breasts”. Hope you found a better crock pot recipe than I could provide :)

The drive across the country was uneventful, which is a blessing. Lots of little things happened that I wanted to share with you… but alas they’re now so far removed from my memory that I cannot reconstruct them. Just know it was good stuff :)

Woke up my father when I arrived… he is so thin, unsteady, but he’s trying hard. I’m glad to be here, if for no other reason because he’s glad I’m here. My younger brother is here, too… so we and Mom and Dad had a nice Christmas.

Saw one of my college roommates yesterday – we met for a late lunch, tried to catch up since we last saw one another (a year ago??!… but we talk often via telephone). And then we went to her brother’s in-laws’ First Annual Friends & Family Post-Chistmas Bowling Event. I did a terrible game, and had a marvelous time. It’s nice to be around someone else’s odd & interesting family relations… especially if they’re related by marriage. That’s the best.

Mom and I are going shopping in a bit… there’s no IKEA store in the mid west, so while I’m on the east coast I’m going to hit the store…perhaps get some curtains or something of that nature for my front window (the current lace curtains are totally see-thru, which drives me batty sometimes – the little old man down the street who has dementia has been seen peering through my windows at night… it’s time to have better curtains!) And I might find some fun stuff for my kitchen and entertaining in general… horray.

We go to a midnight service on Christmas Eve… by the time the service is over, it’s already Christmas! I have very fond memories of when I was a child. It was really nice, and our Dad came too, which was good for him I think. But my concern is that I wasn’t really impacted at all by the service, the people, the singing… Mom says she always gets warm fuzzy feelings… I haven’t gotten those in church in a long time. What’s wrong with me? Perhaps I have too much on my plate, my other needs aren’t being met… but sometimes I wish I could get outside of myself enough to experience the whole expericnce… feel all the feelings… I know faith isnt’ about feelings. But sometimes I want to experience that joy and contentment and peace deep down inside… that’s something that’s been missing for a while. Perhaps it’s still packed away in a box somewhere… probably in the basement since the big move in the summer. I’ll look behind the couch when I get home. Maybe it’s under a cushion somewhere.

I’ll be travling on Friday-day to head back to my house… my cute little house who needs a bit of attention. That’s why I’m leaving on Friday… because I need to get home to do a bit of “being home” before going back to work. I’ll try to remember some of the funnier things that occur on the journey…and will share them – perhaps before 2007!

I hope you all are enjoying your time off from work…. working if you must… and enjoying your families. Take care and Merry Christmas! …and a Happy New Year.

I Wish You A Merry Christmas…

and a Happy New Year!

Bags almost packed…
New tires on cute little fuel efficient car…
Presents and Gifts wrapped and ribboned and bowed…
Laundry in the dryer, soon to be packed…
and It’s almost time to be with my family!

I’m sure to have lots of adventures to share during my travels… watch this space :)

Relax… enjoy…. and celebrate the moments of Christmas.

take care!

Aaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

I just wrote a blog entry… and *poof*

Gone.

The jist of it was Happy New Year and a very Merry Christmas to you and yours. And I mentioned a few things that were going on personally in my life… which has contributed to my being mostly absent from the wib. And I said something about how I was looking forward to entering 2007 with my new community.

It was much more flowery and well said than in the above paragraph, but you get the idea.

Oh, and I’ll be leaving town Saturday morning… hope my car will handle the 1,800 mile trip on its current tires… but don’t worry I’m getting them checked at a tire store tomorrow before I go – thus to avoid any roadside pull-overs and tire changes… So if you don’t hear from me, take care and I’ll look forward being around soon :)

Take care, be well, and have a happy, safe holiday.

minutes & seconds.

there are about 283 thoughts running around in my head at this very moment, all demanding the same amount of attention and thought… and unfortunately it’s too loud in my head to compose a coherent blog. therefore, I will bid you hello and goodnight …and a good day tomorrow…as i’m en route to sleep in about 90 seconds. well, on my way to bed…but hopefully i’ll fall asleep in a few minutes. what a blessing.

gave the pumpkin bread to people today at work… i think they liked it. i’m glad that’s over. the baking/packaging/carrying/giving part… not that it wasn’t fun, it was just a big project.

may or may not be going to visit parents on the east coast over holiday.
father will be sent home from hospital sometime this week, and i have mixed emotions.
younger brother encouraged me by saying this is a highly unusual Christmas, and dont’ get stressed about it. it’s stressful.
have loads of paperwork that i dind’t relize needed to be done before we can leave for holiday break. (classic case of not being new to the job… but being new to the building and supervisor… horray for me)
someone two states away contacted me to find out more about what i have to offer… so we’ll see. internet meeting/dating has yet to be successful for me.
not sure if i want to start a tradition of baking/making something for my immediate neighbors in the new neighborhood… i have enough pumpkin bread to do so, but then that means it’s something i’ll need to do on an annual basis, and i’m just not sure i want to do that. let’s just get through the winter, ok?
getting my picutre taken tomorrow at dinner w/ friends… was told to “look cute”. my cute clothes are in the laundry. apparently i won’t look exceptionally cute tomorrow. am too stressed to think about it. i’ll just smile pretty or something. …perhaps i should try some of that make-up that has glitter in it or something.
i type really fast.
how much energy does a strand of mini lights use?
how can we make global warming a political issue? i just saw Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” and it was really good… i should have kept it and watched it a 2nd time and taken notes.
how come i was a bit stressed having my family over last night? it really was a stressful occasion.. and that makes me sad.
why do i feel so mixed up about my father’s health or lackthereof?
is it ok to be irritated with my siblings because they dont’ see our parents often… and expect our parents to travel to see them instead? i think that’s selfish.
i worry sometimes that my attitude or perspective will change once i’m married (if that happens) and have children… yes, i’m sure the perspective will change, but i’m worried that my attitude will shift – and i don’t want it to. i don’t want to become selfish and self involved and totally self absorbed. hopefully my friends won’t let that happen either
[note to self: if you wake up one day w/o friends, check to make sure your’e not totally selfish]
90 seconds happened a long time ago…
need to make sure i’m up in time to get the trashcans out for the garbage men tomorrow morning…. blah.
thank you for reading this far… please stop by and say hello if you’ve been here – it really means a lot to me :)
heard any good jokes recently? antidotes? no, no… anecdotes. yes, that’s better. an antidote will cure a poison. an anecdote helps provide levity.
…ah, where’s the dictionary when i need one??!
(probably still packed in a box… must finish unpacking boxes in basement. Right. Immediately after finishing assembling the grill. right. thanks. …whatever.)

a bit accomplished

tonight’s desert wasn’t that bad. [is it dessert? or desert? i think the water deficient sandy land is desert… and i think the post-evening-meal course is also ‘desert’… or does it have two S’s? who knows. well, i’m sure some of you do. but for the moment i’m going to pretend that i don’t have access to anything spell-check.]

made 6 batches of pumpkin bread today… and a pan of brownies… and chocolate for fondu… and i have a few more things to wash in the kitchen, otherwise it looks good! …just finished packing a box to take to work tomorrow – filled with mini-loaves of pumpkin bread for coworkers. and for people in the building whom i don’t work with directly? they get a small baggie of soft peppermints tied w/ a curly ribbon. yes, i’ve been busy this weekend.

actually, yesterday was very interesting.

I volunteered to help with the church’s Affordable Christmas event… items were dontated and purchased (toys, clothes, tots – teens) and a turkey dinner was given as a gift… there was gift wrapping offered… anyway, the items were offered at affordable costs for families…but the family still had to invest $. For example, it was suggested they budget $10 per child. Coats were $2-3, toys were $1 – $5 at the most. And the dinner was free (frozen turkey + four side items)

After the family registered, before they started to shop, they came to a Welcome Room w/ refreshments and nice people to talk to [i was one of them]. It became apparent early on that there was no detail organization going on here… so I took the lead. i was the Welcome Room Go To Girl…. kind of made the flow happen. (this was the 1st year for Affordable Christmas… we worked out a lot of kinks).

Anyway, i got to practice delegating… being in charge… asking people to do things… and being the point-person on a project. It’s a different skill set than the one I use in my job, and I rather liked it. I was even telling men what to do! Actually, by the end of the event, I was very comfortable in my role… and would welcome the opportunity to serve next year. I emailed some feedback and suggestions to the event planner (he’s a pastoral intern at the church… this was his pet project this fall)

unfortunately I didn’t get to know too many people, however I was able to facilitate communication between families and other volunteers, hopefully helped make families feel welcome, and plugged volunteers in so they could help the project go according to plan.

It was a good day overall…. but I have to say I was bummed when it was over. I helped clean up… and noticed that most people left with others… friends, significant others, husbands/wives. I havne’t been there long enough to know many people, so I had a very, very small pity party for myself in my mind… but hopefully next year I’ll know more people. I jsut think this time of year is really difficult, for whatever reason, when someone is single.

And I totally get bummed when my friends get married, they start hanging out with other married couples, and then I don’t get invited to Game Night because the numbers would be off. Whatever. It’s almost like they forget what it’s like to be single – and, let’s remember, it wasn’t that long ago that we were all single together… now it seems as though I’m the token single friend… and interestingly enough the minute they get married they no longer know any more single friends! not that it’s their respoinsibility to play Matchmaker… but …whatever.

I work with women and children… i’ve said that before. But yesterday’s experience was good if for no other reason because I got to interact with a few men. All of whom were attached, but still – that’s progress. It’s almost as though I need to practice. I can go days at a time without interacting with a guy (with the exception of the janitor whom I greet in the evenings on my way out the door). It’s different getting to know a man (non-romatic) than it is getting to know a woman – it’s a different skill set, if you will.

After I had been delegating for the past 4 hours to a guy…let’s call him Graham… (we were decorating a room w/ ribbons and bows for some other event this weekend) I had asked him to change what he was doing – do it this way? or how about that? …and then I made fun of myself to him – about how I’ve been bossing him around all day. Do you know what he said to me? He said that he found me refreshing. …that’s very kind. I was a bit out of my comfort zone, but amazingly enough it didn’t totally turn people off, or make me into a b*t*h because I was telling people what to do. (although, I must admit, in those situations – mass volunteer projects – if there is no leader… if someone says something WITHOUT confidence, it’s just mass caios and confusion and nothing is efficient… so let’s just say I got to practice being bold)

Ah, friends… i just looked at the clock and realize my time with you is over for now… until we meet again – take care, be well, and drink a bit of ale.

happy holidays?

so my young nieces and brother in law and sister are coming over for desert in about 25 minutes… all day i’ve been running through 100 different scenerios in my head – all of which end in disaster. Fiasco anyone? So i’ll have to let you know how it goes…

it’s not necessarily pessimism – just an open minded optimist who wants to be prepared for dire consequences.

on that note… merry christmas.

I lied

well, I sort of did. I’m sure I did sometime recently… oh, yes – now I remember. I have said, in the past, that I don’t eat a lot of bread. I don’t buy it… don’t really eat it, can live without it. based on tonight’s dinner, I lied.

2 slices of garlic toast, bagle w/ meat & cheese…and I’m sure there’s something else in there – I had to laugh, though, when I actually looked at my plate… of course I eat bread. Perhaps I’m just a high maintenance bread eater of the worst kind – I think I think I don’t eat a great deal of bread, however I really do (it’s just not discussed).

Ah, glad to get that off my chest (…and it’s moving to my thighs at this very moment…)

I just spent the last 20 minutes looking through my sticker collection, trying to find the perfect sticker to put on the *cheerful* holiday greeting card for my very nice next door neighbors (the girl neighbor gave me a plate of cookies upon my arrival home… and we chatted for 20 minutes in the driveways between our homes. nice).

See, I wanted to find the right kind of sticker – not too cute, kitchy, serious, or “religious” (choosing the appropriate sticker is very important… I mean, a picture is worth a thousand words).

…found some embossed gold angels – no. Cute cherib children holding poinsettias – no. Precious Moments w/ inspirational messages – no. …what to do? what to do?

finally – I found it. Task complete.

Star Wars. Yup! I had some Star Wars stickers. …final decision? Yoda. Because he’s green.

So Yoda has the honor of being in place of the stamp (because I don’t know the neighbors’ last name, and it’s silly to send it via snail mail when I can just walk a few paces over to their mailbox and deliver it myself).

I did write a brief explanation as to why Yoda was on their Christmas card…
the jist of it was: Yoda is green. Merry Christmas.

Souper Bread!

had some old friends over for dinner tonight… they enjoyed the food, and asked me to send the recipes. since i’ve already typed them out, thought some of you might enjoy them too.

Creamy Chicken & Vegetables
3 carrots, sliced
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 large onion, cut into wedges
2 6-oz pkgs grilled chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces**
1 10 1/2-oz can low-fat cream of chicken soup
3/4 cup nonfat chicken broth
Spray inside of slow cooker w/ cooking spray. Arrange carrots, celery, and onion in bottom of slow cooker; top w/ chicken. Combine chicken soup and broth and mix well. Pour over chicken and vegetables and toss to mix. Cover and cook on low heat for 4-6 hours or high heat for 2 – 3 hours.

**[i had frozen chicken breasts already, so i just defrosted three 1/2 chicken breasts, cut into strips/cubes… since the proportions were a bit off b/c carrots were small, added two more carrots, and after it started cooking i added a 2nd can of Cream of Chicken soup b/c it wasn’t creamy enough – I had changed the original recipe a bit… but i think it worked out a-ok! Easy to do with all these delicious ingredients]

(the substitution tip on this page of the book says “Low-fat cream soups, including cream of chicken, easily substitute for each other in most recipes. If you have cream of mushroom and the recipe calls for cream of celery, never fear.”)

Pumpkin Bread
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 t salt
1 c sugar
1 t baking soda
1 c pumpkin puree
1/2 c vegetable oil**
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 c water
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t allspice
1/2 c chopped nuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350. Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda. Mix the pumpkin, oil, eggs, water, and spices together, then combine with the dry ingredients, but do not mix too thoroughly. Stir in the nuts. Pour into a well-buttered loaf pan. Bake 50 – 60 minutes until a straw comes out clean. Turn out of the pan and cool on a rack.
**[ok – for my recipe, i used 1/2 c applesauce instead of oil.. and used a whole can of pumpkin instead of measuring out 1 cup. So that makes it a bit more dense, but works. If you actually follow the recipe, it’s really yummy – better than what I made – but I like knowing i’m not wasting the pumpkin if i’m only making one batch. I also added a bit of cloves, too. And sprinkle the top w/ brown sugar before baking… yum!]