Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Rooted



I've been married to my husband for almost 14 years. We have lived in 5 states and 8 houses. We are slated to move this summer.

With the exception of one assignment, I've tried to get rooted in each area we've lived. Within the first 6 mos., I start to think I'm ready to move. It has been nice for the last two assignment to be longer with the kids getting older, their friends/activities/school rather than to uproot them every couple of years. I digress . . .

With the upcoming move in mind, I note that I'm starting to think, "I can't commit to this because we're leaving soon." The countdown has begun for me. I don't want to make new friends because I'm leaving soon. I don't want to start a new activity because I'm leaving soon. I don't want to commit at school (other than what I do) because I'm leaving soon. I don't want to buy new furniture because I'm leaving soon.

Soon is a relative term in a military family.

Due to the one assignment where I didn't plant myself because we would be there for a short time, I've come to build relationships and root myself in the community. We take time to know the area and all that it offers. The 15 mos. I didn't do this was a lonely, drifting time and I can't have that.

I find that although I seem to be in the mode of 'checking out' for our current area, I need to go back and commit myself to stop thinking of temporary and remember that this is home right now and I need to be doing all I can to keep it that way until the time comes that we do leave and start over again with a new "home".

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine Bouquet

A little something we made at church Tuesday night. I bought more buckets to make more for the kids' teachers and some people that work at school and could use a little appreciation.

Hope you all have a wonderful day. We are going to an Italian restaurant for lunch. Italian isn't something we have much of anymore, just not an abundance of restaurants (that I'm aware of) that serve Italian food. Cafe Luigi would be so good right now.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Delicate Pear Cake w/ Caramel Sauce

I was requested to make this cake for a dinner tonight. I have been wanting to have this cake since the fall, which is when I usually make it so they didn't have to twist my arm to fulfill the request. It isn't something that appeals to my kids because of all the nuts so I have to make it when there will be a lot of people to eat it. I think it is the caramel sauce that my friends love.

Cake:
16 oz. can pear halves in extra light syrup
1 pkg. white cake mix *
1/3C oil
3 egg whites

Frosting:
1C whipping cream
2T sugar
1t vanilla
16 oz. can pear halves in extra light syrup
1/2C finely chopped hazelnuts or walnuts, toasted

Sauce:
1C brown sugar
1C whipping cream
1/2C butter

Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour 10" tube pan. Drain pear halves reserving 1/3C liquid. Place pear halves in food processor with metal blade, process until smooth. In large bowl combine cake mix, pureed pears, reserved liquid, oil, and egg whites at low speed. Pour into pan. Bake 40-45 minutes. Cool upright in pan for 15 minutes; invert onto serving plate, cool completely.

In small bowl beat cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold in vanilla. Frost cake. Cut pear halves lengthwise into 32 slices. Arrange on top of cake slightly overlapping. Press nuts into sides of cake. Refrigerate until serving time.

In medium saucepan, combine sauce ingredients; bring to boil. Boil over medium heat 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature. Drizzle 2T sauce over pear slices.

To serve, spoon about 2T sauce onto individual dessert plates. Place slice of cake on sauce. Store cake and sauce in refrigerator.

* High altitude - above 3500 ft. Add 1/4C flour to dry cake mix. Bake as directed

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Friends 24-7


I hesitated to buy this set. While I love it and think it is a beautiful, I never seem to do justice to this style. The DP is awesome with this set and really makes the card. The first card I've made with my new "stuff" that has been sitting on my desk. Love the punch, paper, ribbon, stamp set. Definitely a good purchase! I don't have the punch for the main image, but used the chipboard and enlarged it slightly to fit the image.

Stamps: Friends 24-7
CS: Kraft, Baja Breeze, WW
Ink: Baja Breeze
Misc.: Pretties, dimensionals, eyelet punch, organdy ribbon

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Sunday, February 8, 2009

iLove


I have seen a lot of these popping up all over. My kids thought they were cool and wanted to make them for their classmates. We formed something of an assembly line last night and spent a few hours making 70 of them. They all liked their "job" in making them and think we should sell them and we could make 50 a night. I think they would tire of it quickly. I found the foil to be kind of hard. I used the scallop die cut to make the circles. The cutting sealed the foil and made it a bit of a challenge to separate but I thought it was still faster than cutting each circle individual (scissors sealed it if you cut multiples too).

Here is the Family Fun link with the directions.

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Summer Ice Cream

I'm not one for stamps with a lot of coloring, I find it rather tedious although I love what other people are able to do. Perhaps a talent which I lack and don't really have a desire to develop. A year or so ago, Sugar Nellie popped up on SCS and I really liked the images. I waffled for some time on them to find they aren't available in the U.S. and I ordered several stamps from a company in England. I was very excited when they arrived, just didn't have a plan. You have to know, I'm not one to buy stamps unless I can visualize at least 3 cards with them. I wanted to try out the Nestabilities I bought (w/a 40% off coupon) and I finally dusted it off to use.

Stamps: Sugar Nellie Summer Ice Cream
CS: Riding Hood Red, Soft Sky, Cosmo Cricket Dutch Girl
Ink: Tuxedo Black
Misc.: Oodles of markers, soft sky ribbon, dimensionals

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

S.W.A.K.


I was so excited to use these heart brads on this card. I have more brads than I know what to do with. I have all that SU offers, Heidi Swap, Memories, and for the longest time I was into Queen & Co. Yup, I have quite the supply. I saw a card like this in Cards magazine and thought it was a fun use of ribbon and brads. I adapted it to what I have on hand. I think those sticker letters would be fun with glitter for a card like this.

Stamps: Big Deal Alpha, Fun Favorites
CS: Pumpkin Pie, Pretty in Pink, Glossy, Sweet Always, Pixie Pink
Ink: Pixie Pink, Pink Passion
Misc: ribbon & brads, dimensional

We went to Target today to pick up some supplies for the valentines we are making this weekend. We were looking at sunglasses and trying some on and we saw these glasses. She thought they were weird. It made me think of the 80's, the boardwalk and parachute pants.
Smiley from millan.net

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Monday, February 2, 2009

Cheesy Broccoli and Rice Casserole

This is such an awesome recipe. I didn't quite use the 2 lbs. of broccoli that the recipe called for. I used all of the florets and 2/3 or so of the stems. I also increased the rice by 1/4C and added cream and broth to compensate for the addition. The cayenne pepper gives it just a hint of a kick, another thing I was a little liberal with. I added 5 min. in the oven for a crunchy topping.


2 slices hearty white sandwich bread
3/4C grated Parmesan cheese
4T unsalted butter, melted; + 2T, chilled
1 garlic clove, minced
2 lbs. broccoli, florets cut into 1-inch pieces, stems peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped fine
1-1/4C long-grain rice
1-1/4C half-and-half
1t salt
2C shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1/8t cayenne pepper

Heat oven to 400. Grease 9x13 baking dish. Pulse bread, 1/4C Parmesan, and melted butter in food processor until coarsely ground. Add garlic.

Microwave broccoli florets, covered, until bright green and tender, 2-4 minutes; set aside. Melt remaining butter in Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook onion and broccoli stems until softened, 8-10 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, until rice is translucent, about 1 min. Stir in broth, half-and-half, and salt and bring to boil. Reduce heat to med.-low and cook, stirring often, until rice is tender, 20-25 minutes. Turn off heat, stir in cheddar, cayenne, remaining Parmesan and broccoli florets.

Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and top with bread crumb mixture. Bake until sauce is bubbling around edges and top is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Serve.

The End of Solitude

"What does friendship mean when you have 532 'friends'?"

Not as much as some would have us believe; not as little as still others might maintain.


As everyone seeks more and broader connectivity, the still, small voice speaks only in silence

From "The End of Solitude": (The Chronicle Review, January 30, 2009):
What does the contemporary self want? The camera has created a culture of celebrity; the computer is creating a culture of connectivity. As the two technologies converge — broadband tipping the Web from text to image, social-networking sites spreading the mesh of interconnection ever wider — the two cultures betray a common impulse. Celebrity and connectivity are both ways of becoming known. This is what the contemporary self wants. It wants to be recognized, wants to be connected: It wants to be visible. If not to the millions, on Survivor or Oprah, then to the hundreds, on Twitter or Facebook. This is the quality that validates us, this is how we become real to ourselves — by being seen by others. The great contemporary terror is anonymity. If Lionel Trilling was right, if the property that grounded the self, in Romanticism, was sincerity, and in modernism it was authenticity, then in postmodernism it is visibility.
The conclusion:
The last thing to say about solitude is that it isn't very polite. Thoreau knew that the "doubleness" that solitude cultivates, the ability to stand back and observe life dispassionately, is apt to make us a little unpleasant to our fellows, to say nothing of the offense implicit in avoiding their company. But then, he didn't worry overmuch about being genial. He didn't even like having to talk to people three times a day, at meals; one can only imagine what he would have made of text-messaging. We, however, have made of geniality — the weak smile, the polite interest, the fake invitation — a cardinal virtue. Friendship may be slipping from our grasp, but our friendliness is universal. Not for nothing does "gregarious" mean "part of the herd." But Thoreau understood that securing one's self-possession was worth a few wounded feelings. He may have put his neighbors off, but at least he was sure of himself. Those who would find solitude must not be afraid to stand alone.
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