Thursday, November 29, 2007

AWTM's/ post today had me thinking, thinking hard.

My daughter was in the second grade at the same elementary school I attended. It was Christmas and all students were participating in a Christmas program and sing along.
We were all sitting together; Grandpa, grandma, me and her daddy. My mom at this point was in the full throws of battling lung cancer and fighting for her life taking chemo and radiation.
The kids did a great job. Then mid way through the program a young boy came out in an Military uniform and sang, "I Will be Home for Christmas." My mom cried. I remember looking over at her and just watching her cry.
We had that Christmas together, but that would be the last. I would do any thing to just be there in that place one more time, but that is gone. I never asked her why she was crying, you just assume it was the image of a soldier doing his best to be home, but maybe it was something deeper and with more clarity for her.

My mom of course died years before September 11th, she would have been so upset. I am glad she missed it. All of our lives have changed so much since that season. We just keep pressing forward, making the best and doing what we think is right. Each time I hear the Christmas song, it just pings my heart.
Christmas in general just pulls at me.

In the midst of cleaning

Yesterday we were cleaning out some space in our bedroom and sorting clothes. My husband folds a pair of thread barren long johns. He says, "You know where these came from? Your dad Jim."
My mom in the mid 1990's gave a pair of long johns that belonged to my dad to my husband. Mind you, my dad passed away in 1978, so you know these are relics. I grabbed them and said thanks, I will but them right next to his sweater.

I just keep things, just to keep the memory.

Who Am I?

I am humbled.

My brother and sister-in-law were baptized on Sunday.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

halloween pics -

Two nieces - A peacock and a ghost/mime.

The fatal attraction, toddlers and dog food... All last week we battled the attraction. Little Michael could not stay away from the bowls. He carried them, washed in them and even added his cheerios to the mix.
Well he bought the TV. They snuck it into the house and waited for me to notice.
I noticed - I mean they were walking around like a mouse that had just ate the cheese from a mouse trap.
But little did I know that there was a whole host of other required elements of the new purchase.
First, we had to upgrade our cable to get the new HDTV channels. This was somewhat exciting because I now have a few new channels and most of all I have HBO. Now, this was very exciting to me because Big Love is on HBO. So far, they have only been running season one episodes, but I think I might be able to catch season two sometime in December.
We had my 12 month old nephew all last week and we watched Sprout. Wow, that is an amazing station. If I had small children that would be a must. It is clean and happy. I mean they still play Barney, but it is a lot better than some of the junk on Nick Jr.

BUT, my new stations are FitTV, Discovery Health and BBC. None of the house members like these channels so I have to sneak them in.

We also had to get the Bose 3,2, 1 system. At this point I called bullshit. I mean, do we really need all this electronic crap? The amount of money he charged I could have traveled to Europe for two weeks. His Christmas presents are complete. done. finished. coal in the stocking done. Also, this new monstrosity is a dust magnet. Every day new layer appears.

This weekend I have drill. I forgot to mention that the husband finally received his 20 year letter, so he will be hanging up is hat "beret" sometime after the first of the year.
Monday I leave for a week in Argentina.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I kid you not...

Pecan-Brown Sugar & Bacon Ice Cream
Excerpted from Seduced by Bacon: Recipes & Lore About America's Favorite Indulgence by Joanna Pruess (The Lyons Press, 2006). Copyright 2006 by Joanna Pruess.

Makes 1 1/2 quarts

Here's a delicious surprise: tiny bits of salty bacon are a wonderful addition to this creamy dessert. Maple-cured or applewood-smoked bacon seem to be ideal choices here.

3 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 1/4 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
4 egg yolks
1 cup chopped pecans
1 pound bacon, cooked until very crisp, blotted on paper towels and finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)

1. Combine the cream, milk, and sugar in a heavy saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until hot and the sugar is completely dissolved, stirring occasionally.

2. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks until smooth. Slowly whisk in 1 cup of the hot cream-milk mixture. Return the yolk mixture to the saucepan, beating constantly. Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously, until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon, 6-8 minutes. Do not let it boil.

3. Strain the mixture into a clean bowl and let it cool completely. Stir in pecans and bacon and freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. To showcase the ice cream's flavor, before serving, remove from freezer and let it soften slightly.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Splendid Table

The Splendid Table
I found this American Public Radio Program.
It is not aired locally, but I am definitely going to listen to this occassionally.
Great recipes listed.
Fun reading.
We are have been cooking for 2.5 days now!
Strawberry Pie, Peach Pie, Baklava, Sweet Potato Balls, Sweet Potato Casserole, Green Bean Casserole, Macaroni Salad and fresh green chile.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I am not sure how I missed this

Bacteria Cause Chocolate Cravings
Seth Borenstein, Associated Press

Oct. 12, 2007 — If that craving for chocolate sometimes feels like it is coming from deep in your gut, that's because maybe it is.
A small study links the type of bacteria living in people's digestive system to a desire for chocolate. Everyone has a vast community of microbes in their guts. But people who crave daily chocolate show signs of having different colonies of bacteria than people who are immune to chocolate's allure.
That may be the case for other foods, too. The idea could eventually lead to treating some types of obesity by changing the composition of the trillions of bacteria occupying the intestines and stomach, said Sunil Kochhar, co-author of the study. It appears Friday in the peer-reviewed Journal of Proteome Research.

There are weeks like last week that I think about chocolate non-stop.
Chocolate pudding, cook and serve.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving.
Art by Jan Brett

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Not Forgotten

Army SGT Luis Reyes 26, of Aurora, Colo.; assigned to the Army National Guard's 947th Engineer Company, Colo.; died Nov. 18, 2005 when the bus in which he was riding rolled over en route to Ali Al Salem, Kuwait.

Sgt. Luis R. Reyes

Hometown: Aurora, Colorado, U.S.
Age: 26 years old
Died: November 18, 2005 in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Unit: Army National Guard, 947th Engineer Company, Army National Guard, Durango, Colo.
Incident: Died en route to Ali Salem, Kuwait when the bus in which he was riding rolled over.

Left behind a wife Christina and two small children
Say a prayer for Heidi and Colin.
Last week they passed day 1095

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Take a few moments and give thanks

Thursday, November 15, 2007

the adventure

My dear friend has a blog now.
She is getting ready to take a month long honeymoon.
Bunditos Abroad

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The International Year of the Potato 2008 was officially launched on 18 October 2007 at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Study: Curvy Women Live Longer, Give Birth to Smarter Children

Real women don't just have curves, they also are smarter, live longer and give birth to smarter children, according to a new study.
In the research, scientists at the
University of Pittsburgh and University of California, Santa Barbara, used data from a study of 16,000 women and girls, which collected details of their body measurements and their scores in cognitive tests. The study was published in the journal of Evolution and Human Behavior.

Well.. I guess that is good news.
I am going to live longer and my daughter is brilliant.

Did you catch Hugh Hewitt yesterday?

Monday, November 12, 2007
Donate To The Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund
Donate online via this link.
Or call 760-725-3680.
His show was amazing. He spoke with scores of Marines recovering in military hospitals.
The Semper Fi Fund is alot like the Army's AER fund or the National Guard Family Fund.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The good news is that I have a decent majority of Christmas shopping finished.
I even broke down and purchased a few new decorations for the house to including an outside Jingle Bell Door Swag with Flocked Bow Accent
I am trying to clean up the yard to make it presentable for our company...

I have a few special friends I am looking for thoughtful splurge gifts. Something nice that they would not purchase themselves. (most have children or grandchildren and spend their pennies on the kiddos)

I always see travel candles packages.
Honestly, I do not travel with candles. I guess if I were traveling to the desert for 16 months I would bring along a few candles. But typical trips are candle free.
I found this Travel Candle Set

This is a set of four perfectly sized travel candles makes the perfect addition to your destined home away from home. A private villa in Capri or a souk in India instantly become familiar with Tocca's signature scents.
Set includes one each of Cleopatra (cucumber and tangy grapefruit), Grace (Casablanca Lily), Havana (spicy sugarcane and rum), and Kyoto (fruity-floral), packaged in a gift box.

Burn Time: 10 hours per votive

It looks pretty... Sounds lovely. Makes me want to travel to use it! Just not what I am looking for.

Blog reading led me here Cancer banter. Drop her a line of encouragement.

very cool

Web game provides
rice for hungy
The WFP says hunger is the world's number one emergencyAn internet word game has generated enough rice to feed 50,000 people for one day, the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) has said.
The game, FreeRice, tests the vocabulary of participants. For each click on a correct answer, the website donates money to buy 10 grains of rice.
Companies advertising on the website provide the money to the WFP to buy and distribute the rice.
FreeRice went online in early October and has now raised 1bn grains of rice.
That is enough rice to feed 50,000 people for one day, the WFP said on Friday.
'Viral marketing'
The head of the WFP, Josette Sheeran, said: "FreeRice really hits home how the web can be harnessed to raise awareness and funds for he world's number one emergency."


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Illinois beat the No. 1 Buckeyes on the ground and through the air.

Thank You.. Thank You..
Next week is at Ann Arbor. GO Blue!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Operation Gratitude

What an honor of you live in California -
Operation Gratitude is delighted to announce that a very special American, Lt. Gen. Hal Moore (Ret.), will join Operation Gratitude Volunteers at the National Guard Armory in Van Nuys, CA on Saturday, December 1 to assemble thousands of Care Packages to be shipped to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan for the Holidays. Lt. Gen. Moore, a legendary Military leader, who co-authored the NY Times #1 best-seller We Were Soldiers Once...and Young, will also be our special guest speaker during our lunch-break starting at Noon.

As a very special gift to be included in every Holiday Care Package, General Moore, through the generosity of Wild Goose Ministries in Vail, Co., has donated 70,000 copies of his most recent inner story, "A General's Spiritual Journey." This beautiful work represents Hal Moore's faith-filled journey from childhood to the battlefield and into his golden years, as told to, and memorialized by, his friend and "Driver."
Operation Gratitude

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

IF I were crafty -
I would participate in this project. I wonder if I could do it, I bet I could...hmmm...
I spent a few hours reading the pages and about the women fighting GWOT.

(from the website, not my words)

What Is The Mother’s Day Project?
The Mother’s Day Project is not – as the name would suggest – a cross-stitch sampler of aprons and biscuits and babies and other sentimental iconography associated with mothers and motherhood. Truth is, The Mother’s Day Project is only marginally about mothers.

So, why the name? Mostly, it evolved in the context of several on-going discussions and experiences from my own life, thinking about my years as a single-parent, blogging about the very real lack of support (both governmental and cultural) for working parents and their families, along with a healthy mix of stream-of-consciousness meandering of the sort that can only occur when one has time, quiet, sunlight and is just exhausted enough to allow the brain to meander and construct run-on sentences like this one.

It’s nice to discover that Julia Ward Howe envisioned the original Mother’s Day as a Peace Movement following her experiences during the American Civil War. That fact certainly lends credibility to the name. As human beings, the work of bringing peace to our personal relationships, our communities, our country and our world may be the most noble and necessary endeavor of our lifetime. I am all in favor of returning Mother’s Day to its original purpose and I hope this small, grassroots project will advance a return to the genesis of the day.

The larger purpose of The Mother’s Day Project is to draw attention to the human cost of the Iraq War. While the parameters of the Project focus on women who have lost their lives serving as part of the Coalition forces in Iraq, it is not meant to exclude recognition for others who have lost their lives due to this war. Male soldiers, men, boys, girls, infants and Iraqi women have died in the thousands. They are all worthy and deserving of our attention. They were all part of the universal “us.”

This war, more than any other in my lifetime, has been removed from the collective psyche of our day-to-day lives. What we see, what we know and subsequently, what we feel is tightly controlled. No flag-draped coffins. Reporters are “embedded.” Most days, the daily death toll from Iraq is buried in a sidebar of my local newspaper several pages inside. And, when we do stop to think about the deaths we read about, we know they are only part of the story. The real numbers coming out of Iraq reveal a level of violence and destruction that is, for most of us, too daunting, too numbing to comprehend.

The Mother’s Day Project, in making the losses of war personal, changes forever the sense of disengagement that the Bush Administration wishes us to feel. Yeah, we can spend a couple of hours shopping at the mall as this administration wishes us to do, or, we can take an hour or two to forge a personal connection with someone who died in Iraq and, in doing so, never be able to look at those war statistics in the same detached way again.

That’s not a protest of the Iraq War. It’s the birth of a revolution.

Honoring a mom, I wish I would have met.

All Things Considered, November 6, 2007 · Family and friends are mourning the loss of Staff Sgt. Lillian Clamens. The Army reservist died in Baghdad just days before her tour of duty was up. She was married to an Army veteran and had three children.
Clamens, who joined the Army Reserves 17 years ago, was an administrative specialist and processed soldiers' paperwork; she wasn't on the front lines. She had been in Southern Iraq for the past year and was two days from returning home.
When she made it to Baghdad's Green Zone and text-messaged her husband, he thought the most dangerous part of her journey was behind her. But that's when the U.S. base was attacked my mortar fire.

Unit: Army, 1st Postal Platoon, 834th Adjutant General Company, Miami, Fla.
My heart and prayers goes to her unit and family.
Her husband has served two tours previously.

Monday, November 05, 2007

pure randomness

Ticking off the food basket list.. I wanted to run to Walmart on the way home from work to do some comparison shopping for the baskets. I was focusing on jello, stuffing and jelly/jam.

Stovetop stuffing is cheaper at Walmart than the Walmart brand by six cents. I bought six.

BUT the only inexpensive variety of jelly/jam was grape. 96 cents, 98 cents and 1.46 for the squeezable tube. I bought seven, but not thrilled with my purchase, I will definitely reach out to the commissary for the other flavors. Oddly, they did have jars of pineapple jam for 98 cents, but it looked risky. Pineapple jam just seemed out of season.

Jello. Ok - I went with the store brand for 37 cents. They did have a strawberry daiquiri and margarita flavored jello for only 26 cents, but there is just something wrong about that. The elders might have to trace back which family donated the unmentionables.
Quick recap.
I made it through the week feeling a little punch drunk. Filled with both highs and lows.
I had a meeting with my new boss. Everything is just peachy.

Friday night we went to chinese with the neighbors. I had drill this weekend, so I wanted to make it quick and easy.

All was well. I sat the alarm for 0500. My daughter returned from BK about 11. I told her that I was happy she came straight home, as I had started not to feel great. My tummy was bubbling. By 1133 I was full force into projectile vomiting which lasted until 0342. I felt as if someone had hit me with a truck. When the alarm rang, I hit snooze a few times but then decided it was just best for me to get up and drive the 90 minutes to drill. I actually felt a bit better. I continued to throw up at drill and waited until 3pm to make the drive home. I skipped drill on Sunday and slept about 20 hours between Saturday evening and this morning. (I really hate to skip drill, because the make up process can be a pain sometimes.)

But, I am going to put all of that ugliness behind me and have a good week. I have a bunch of things at work and the house to do. Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away.
We have Operation Christmas Child and Community Holiday baskets to create.