Saturday, October 31, 2009

I'm Feeling Spooky!

Unlike some people in my family, I'm not usually one to dress up. However, this year I volunteered to help with the games at Trunk or Treat, so I thought it might be a good idea to get creative and wear something in the spirit of Halloween. I was inspired by my nephew M and his mummy T-shirt (which is the most awesome T-shirt!).

I got a cheap white turtleneck and some gauzy fabric and went to work.
Two hours later, I had this!

And the DH was just as scary as he ever is...

FFT Friday -- We Hope

I know it's a day late, but here it is. I've been thinking lately about how polar our political system has become and how hateful politics can sound. I think there is an element of the Right that is trying to push us farther apart, when in fact most people would consider them closer to the middle if they didn't hear so much hateful and dividing rhetoric.

Having already been thinking along those lines, I enjoyed Maira Kalman's latest post, E Pluribus Unum. It is a reminder to me of all that is good and important and historic about our political process. I wish more people understood the whole political process a lot better. It might decrease some of the hatred and fear-mongering. Or at least, it would make a lot of people less suseptible to the influence of others and help them think for themselves.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Music Monday -- Sarah Jarosz

I just discovered Sarah Jarosz and how I found out about her is a little embarrassing. She was featured in Oprah Magazine. I know. How lame am I? The thing is, she's great! She plays mandolin and has a mellow, bluesy, not really blue grass kind of sound. I bought the album Song Up In Her Head and have thoroughly enjoyed it so far.

The only problem is that I couldn't find anything quite as good as the music from the album on YouTube. I think you may have to take my word for it, but the music is beautiful. This gives you a taste, but it's even so much better.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Comfort Food -- Chicken Bundles

As the weather starts to feel more like Fall, it makes me turn to thoughts of comfort foods. I love Mac n Cheese, Beef Stew, and Chicken and Dumplings when it cools off. One other great comfort food recipe is Chicken Bundles. They taste great and really hit the spot on a cool, crisp day. Here's the recipe!

Chicken Bundles

3⅓ cups diced, cooked chicken
6 ounces cream cheese
4 tablespoons butter
¼ teaspoon lemon pepper
4 or 5 green onions, chopped (include part of tops)

Mix butter and cream cheese in a mixer until well blended. Add lemon pepper and mix, then add other ingredients and mix well.

Make your favorite roll dough or use store-bought dough. Let rise once and then roll out into as you would for rolls, but make it thinner and in a rectangle. Cut into about 4-inch squares. Put ¼ cup of chicken mixture in middle of square and bring corners together and seal making a bundle. Dip in melted butter and roll in seasoned breadcrumbs. Place on cookie sheet and bake at 375° for about 15 minutes or until golden. Top with chicken gravy.

Friday, October 23, 2009

FFT Friday

What makes you laugh? There are a couple of things that I can hear over and over and never get tired of. It's like the 13-year-old in me will never die. I guess that's a good thing. This is one of those things that I laugh at every time. Funny stuff.

And the only thing funnier than a nail salon... is bibity, bobity, bacon.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ahh... Fall

I just had the most wonderful mid-day break. I left my office and walked over the hill into Fremont. The air has just a hint of coolness, the skies are overcast, and the leaves are all turning to yellow, orange, and red. I walked along the tree-lined sidewalk enjoying the fresh air and thinking how blessed I am to live in such a beautiful place.

I bought lunch at Homegrown. I think I may be in love. The menu looked amazing from top to bottom, but in the end I got grilled cheese. I know you're thinking I'm crazy, but it was Beacher's Flagship cheese, caramelized onions, and some kind of red pepper aoli sauce. It came with homemade potato chips with salt and pepper on them. The whole thing was so divine! I must return to try other things on the menu, but for now my tummy is very happy.

I took a different route to get back to the office and walked along the ship canal. While I was waiting for the light, a man walked up and made conversation with me about how perfect the weather is today. It made me think that I work around a lot of really nice and friendly people. Then I smiled and crossed the street. I think this day must just be making people happy. Several people said hello as I passed them on the sidewalk and it just felt really good to be out and about on a lovely Fall afternoon.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Music Monday -- Iron & Wine

I'm back from a very hectic week last week and hope to resume blogging more often now.

Early last week, I was on and looked at some of my recommendations. Usually, I already have most of the things they recommend, but this time I happened upon a band called Iron & Wine that I hadn't heard of before. I listened to a few of the tracks and really liked what I heard. As a result, I ordered the CD Our Endless Numbered Days. It arrived on Saturday and I've been enjoying it even more than I thought I would.

The music is fairly mellow with a slight Southern Rock feel to it. It's definitely not music you "rock out" to, but that you listen to on a rainy afternoon or have playing in the background as you work on a project.

Naked As We Came is the second track on the album and I really enjoy the music. I hope you do too.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday Music -- A Little Bit Country

With apologies to my family members who hate Country music, I have a soft spot in my heart for it. When I lived in Boise and Hip-Hop was starting to make it big, I just couldn't tolerate the pop music stations that played so much music I didn't like. I turned to the Country stations for solace. Mind you, I didn't have a CD player in my car at the time either. These were extenuating circumstances. I still can't stand the super-twang, which any real Country fan will tell you is the only true Country music, but there are several bands and artists that I still enjoy listening to quite often. I love Trisha Yearwood and Wynona Judd. They really know how to tell a story with music that sticks with you. More recently, I've enjoyed getting to know Brandi Carlile. Her voice is beautiful and she has great arrangements. Take a listen. It's pretty good stuff.

Note: the official vidoes are better, but won't let you embed. You can find this song with higher sound quality here.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Out of the Mouths of Babes

I spent some time with my two nephews in Utah this weekend. These two guys are a hoot and we had a great time Saturday aftenoon playing at Discovery Gateway. M and E are five and three years old respectively. They're smart and they like to have a good time. Here are a few of the funny things we heard:
  • LA-AME! (I said this once and M thought it was cool and kept saying it the rest of the day)
  • I LOOOOOOVE my new walkie-talkies! (The DH and I gave M these for his birthday, so after he said that, Annzie asked if he like the Where's Waldo book that she gave him. He didn't think it was that great. Then today, he had on a mummy shirt that we sent. He told Annzy that it was better than the Where's Waldo book too. Hysterical!)
  • You're the king of stupid! (This was actually said by M the day before we got there. Apparently he heard it on Schreck 3.)

Both M and E wanted to stay at Discovery Gateway all day. We only ended up being there for about four and a half hours, but to them it probably felt like 15 minutes. They were so sad we had to leave, but we had to get them fed dinner eventually. They have a farm area with a life-size horse for kids to get on and E decided it was his horse. He spent so much time stacking hay bales, putting away hay bales, putting on the horseshoes, then taking off the horseshoes, and getting on and off that horse. I knew he loved playing cowboy, but I had no idea how much. It was just joyful to see the boys use their imaginations and enjoy themselves.

But here's the real kicker. I've been around a lot of kids. The whole time we were out, all six-plus hours, there was no fighting and no melt-downs. Even when we had to leave, there was a tiny bit of whining, but that was it. Maybe we just got them on a good day, but that was absolutely great!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Friday FFT -- What Is Real?

I've read a talk given by Elder Bednar about Things as They Really Are several times now and I've learned quite a bit from it. He talks about what is real and how important it is to live in the real world and not let yourself fall into activities that remove you from what is real (like spending way too much time writing and reading other people's blogs).

Unfortunately, what is real is often also full of emotions that are difficult to process and it makes going to what is not real seem a lot easier. That way, maybe you can just avoid the emotions. All in all though, that's a bad idea. Today my heart is very heavy and I'm feeling the emotions. I'm praying for my newest nephew, born early this morning and now at Children's Hospital in Salt Lake. I'm praying for my dear brother and sister-in-law, who I am sure are feeling far more emotion right now than they ever knew they would. Please join me in feeling what is real. And if you're so inclined, please say a prayer for baby Nolan and his parents.


Nolan Ray Robertson died late Friday evening.

When I let myself feel it, the sadness washes over me. I ache for my dear nephew, his brothers, and especially his parents. And I know that what I feel pales in comparison to their sorrow and grief.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

I Love Lardee

I was just introduced to My Milk Toof blog and I love it. You have to see it. It's just fabulous and I highly recommend it.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Monday Music -- Whip It!

This weekend, I spent some time listening to the new Whip It! Soundtrack. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I heard the soundtrack was good, took a listen, and bought it. I've really been enjoying the music. It's not hard core punk rock, but definitely has a punk rock feel that reminds me of high school and college. I'm thinking it will be great music for the gym too. The song below is "Dead Sound" by The Raveonettes.

Saturday, October 03, 2009


This weekend is LDS General Conference. It means listening to church in my pajamas. I love this twice-yearly event and have a couple of traditions associated with it. The first is watching or listening in my pajamas. The second is eating Pumpkin waffles. The waffle tradition started when I lived in Utah and spent conference morning at my friend Camille's house. Her whole family would come over and we'd all eat a big breakfast that included these great waffles. The DH and I will be eating them tomorrow. They're totally worth every bit of effort to make.

Pumpkin Waffles

2 cups flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
4 eggs, separated
1½ cups milk
1 cup pumpkin
¾ cup margarine
1 tablespoon vanilla

Combine first 6 ingredients. Separate the eggs and beat the yolks slightly. Add the milk, pumpkin, margarine and vanilla. Add the flour mixture. Fold egg whites into pumpkin mixture and then bake in waffle iron.

Buttermilk Syrup
1 cube butter
1 cup sugar
½ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon Karo syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine first 4 ingredients. Bring to a boil in extra large pan. Remove from heat and sir in baking soda and vanilla. Mixture will fizz to twice its height. Let set, stirring occasionally until fizz is gone. Serve hot over pumpkin waffles.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Change of Seasons

Iosh, I just love the Fall. This week, the weather totally changed from Summer to Fall and I'm in love with it. I'm not quite sure why I so enjoy the crisp mornings, cloudy days, and shortening evenings, but I do. I like the way Fall smells and the way it feels. I even like the rain, so Seattle's Fall weather works for me. I also enjoy looking forward to Halloween and the upcoming holidays. I'm also a sucker for back-to-school time and really miss that new beginning each Fall. I loved school for all the many years I was either a student or a teacher and I still love shopping for school supplies. That may explain the volume of sticky notes, pens, and notebooks that I have. Someday, it may wear off, but not any time soon.