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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Yikes!!

This happened two blocks from my house :-(

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SAN DIEGO – A 20-year-old woman was assaulted and knocked unconscious Tuesday night by a man who held a gun to her head and robbed her, police said.

The woman had just returned from shopping and was unloading her car at her home when a man came up behind her and ordered her to give him her purse, San Diego police said.

She handed it over and he shoved her against the car, where she hit her head. She fell on the ground, hitting her head again, and was knocked out, police said.

She suffered injuries to her head and her hip and was taken to the hospital.

The woman told police her assailant was wearing a shiny black jacket and black and white shoes. No further description of the robber was released.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Christmas and Sibera

I'm sorry in advance if this is hard to follow or isn't interesting.
chuckles

One of my all time favorite Christmas songs is by The Trans-Siberian Orchestra and it's called "Chirstmas Canon". If you have never heard it, you must download it.

So I'm listening to this song on my iPod. I'm thinking about The Trans-Siberian Orchestra and suddenly remember a girl I met a year ago who was from Sibera. It was weird. You never think you'll meet someone from Sibera. She was 19 and was going to college here. We talked for a short time and I didn't really have time to pepper her with all the questions I had...one of which was, where the heck is Sibera? So I looked it up on the internet later and, boy did I find out a lot about Sibera!

Siberia is a HUGE part of Russia. It extends from the Ural Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, and from the Arctic Ocean to the borders of Mongolia and China. All but the very south western end of Siberia is in Russia. It makes up about 60% of Russia.

It's horrible climate limits development and population. It has a large amount of natural resources, like minerals, oil fields, forests, and in some parts the fields are good for farming. However, the winters are long. They have ice and snow for six months of the year. Temperatures drop to -90° below freezing! Most of the shorelines, lakes, and rivers are frozen for most of the year. Their summers last for one month. One month. Can you imagine? I cannot imagine.

The population is three people per 1 acre. Most Siberians are Russian but there are some Slavic, Mongolian and Turkish people there. I have no idea what they do for a living. What can they do if winter if six months long and it's -90° below? Well, unless you're a member of The Trans-Siberian Orchestra. No wonder they are always touring...

Okay, so there you have it. More than you ever wanted to know about Sibera :)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Do Unto Others

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"

That's a simple thing.....but such a big thing.

For the past two weeks or so I have been watching something unfolding around my office. I am totally uninvolved but it is going on right in front of me.

I'll start by saying I'm always amazed at how people who are self absorbed think they deserve to be treated with any kind of respect. We are living in a world where more and more people think there are no consequences for their actions.

For example, when you tell someone you will do something or will take care of something or whatever, you are then expected to do it. If you don't do it, this reflects on you as a person. If you do it a lot, you loose respect and eventually loose friendships and relationships. It's that simple. There isn't a gray area here.

So let's just say someone said they would give you a ride to work. Late the night before they call and ask if you have anyone else who could give you a ride....but you already know there isn't. Besides, who would you call at 10pm to ask for a ride to work the very next morning?

Or let's say they are late picking you up because they were too self absorbed to get their ass out of bed or they took a long shower or....whatever. They say they are sorry, but you know when they say that, it's just empty words. Whatever it was that made them late was to their benefit and the fact they are there at all to pick you up should suffice. If you continue to be upset about this, they will give you the classic "Chill out, dude! It's only 25 minutes....sheesh". They have effectively diverted all this onto you by saying that. It's your issue now and if you don't just let them off the hook, you are being a prick. After all, when someone issues an apology, we are supposed to forgive them......albeit an empty apology.

You see where I'm going with this? People who only care about themselves usually make all these social and personal blunders and expect that there is no repercussion. They will suck out every drop of tolerance you have for them until you've finally had enough. Sadly, most of us seem to grow tolerance when we shouldn't and these people continue to annoy us for far too long.

I had to write all this down because it's hard to not say something.....so I'm saying it here. I don't want to get involved. My work life has mellowed out to a level that I can deal with. So I will just watch and wonder when the zero tolerance will finally happen.

And I will leave you the way I started out.....with words to live by.

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"

Monday, November 27, 2006

Weekend Report

Chargers won again. Phew....almost didn't. And a loss to those Raiders would have been the worst! 9-2 baby!

Thanksgiving was nice. The bird truned out pretty good. I was pleased and everyone said it was good. The pies turned out less good....well one of them was okay. The pecan pie was over cooked....which is confusing since I followed the recipe exactly. The corn strup turned to the "hard ball" stage and so it was kinda crunchy and stuck to your teeth like carmel. Not good. The only thing I can think of is, the corn syrup was about a year old. I only use it once a year. So maybe that had something to do with it? No idea. Last year the pecan pie also truned out bad. It was under cooked! It was a different recipe. Maybe I'm picking bad pecan pie recipes. The pumpkin pie truned out fine :) And the stuffing was good, too.

The Thanksgiving gathering was also nice. We played a game and I think that made a difference. We always seem to clean up and then just sit around which leads to dull times. But the game was fun. My Mom called me the next day and said she thinks it was one of the best Thanksgivings we've had! I didn't have the heart to tell her we won't be there next year. I think I will have to wait a while to tell her that.

Friday my husband got me out of bed at the crack of dawn. I am not kidding....it was the crack of dawn. He wanted to go to all the black friday sales. It wasn't too bad, tho Mervyn's was pretty packed. We got some gifts and then headed home for turkey sandwiches and a nap.

Saturday we did a little more shopping and took a break from turkey and had mexican food.

Sunday we had turkey salad sandwiches and then had turkey soup for dinner.

That's it for the turkey. Had enough.

Today is Cyber Monday. If you still need to buy some gifts, head to your favorite online stores and see what kind of deals they have. I only have 3 people left to buy for!

Okay, that's it for my Thanksgiving weekend report!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving

The history of Thanksgiving is a pretty long story....dates back to 1621. I've gone into that before, so let's talk about Thanksgiving today. The way it is now. Things are a lot different than they were back in 1621. While it's nice to be nostalgic, but this time we'll talk about the way we celebrate today.

Maybe you are yearning for more tradition? I think I am. Thanksgiving has, sadly, become a day to just "do" and get it over with rather than look forward to and enjoy. But it will never get better if I don't try and change it (tho seems I am the only one trying). It can be hard to change things so I will start out slow. This year I'm going to try do something small to make Thanksgiving a little more....interesting. Don't ask me how....I have not figured that out yet. It will come to me.

Sandra Magsamen, author of "Living Artfully" says that Thanksgiving is a day to acknowledge and express how grateful we are for all that we have. And of course we all know that's what it's about. I tell Greg I am most thankful for him each Thanksgiving (as well as many other things). However, this might not make the Thanksgiving "event" any easier. So, she suggests a guest book.

A guest book?!

It's a cool idea actually. Each person has a guest book with their name on it. I'd just get a nice note pad for each person. Pass each of the "books" around throughout the night so each guest can write at least one reason they appreciate the person whose name is on the cover. Chances are everyone will roll their eyes and think this is corney. But Sandra says when her family did it, and I quote: "As if by magic, each small volume became filled with heartfelt messages. When the evening was over, every person left with a keepsake that recorded the many ways he or she was indeed special."

Now that sounds nice. I'm not sure I'll do that with my family, but it does sound like a way to truly celebrate "Thanks-giving".

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P.S. Happy Birthday Bob!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Maya Angelou's Banana Pudding

Oprah says this is one of the best things she has ever eaten. Whenever someone says that, I take note because that statement only comes out when something is really yummy. If I ever create a cook book, it will be called "the best thing I have ever eaten" and it will be filled with not only my favorite things, but the favorite things of everyone I know. Has to be a winner, right?

Okay, here is the recipe:

Banana Pudding

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
Pinch of salt
3 cups milk
8 eggs, separated
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups vanilla wafers
4 ripe bananas, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large saucepan, combine 1/3 cup sugar, cornstarch and salt; stir until blended. Mix in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened and boiling. Boil 1 minute, then remove from heat.

In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks, then whisk in about 1/2 cup of hot custard until blended. Pour yolk mixture back into saucepan of custard; cook over medium heat, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in butter and vanilla until blended.

Place vanilla wafers on bottom of a shallow 2-quart casserole dish. Top with layers of banana slices and custard. Repeat layering, ending with custard.

In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites and 1/4 cup sugar at low speed until frothy. Add cream of tartar; increase speed to medium and gradually beat in remaining sugar. Beat until egg whites hold stiff peaks.

Spoon meringue over hot custard immediately, making sure that meringue touches baking dish on all sides (this prevents it from shrinking). Transfer to oven and bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Remove pudding from oven and cool 1 hour. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Weekend Report

The Chargers won again!! So very happy about this.

I have to admit that I didn't watch the second half of the game....well, except for the end of it. I just was starting to get down because I could feel Denver taking charge. I know the Chargers had come from behind in last weekends game, but there was the whole thing about the Chargers not winning for how-ever-long in Denver and how LT hasn't done well there...blah, blah, blah. I just hate to listen to that and since they were getting behind, I figured they'd be harping on that for the rest of the game and I didn't want to hear it. It's been a long time since people, other than fans, have been for the Chargers....so talking sh** about them as soon as they start to loose is something I've been listening to for years.

However, this might be changing. Frist thing this morning, and I mean first thing right out of bed, I sat down at the computer and went to ESPN.com and lookie there.....the headline wasn't that the Cowboy's blew the Colts undefeated winning streak. It was the Chargers win! I was so proud of them. And it was a nice story. None of that "will it last" or "lady luck is on their side" crap. It was all about how good they play and how the team works well together. That's what I like to read. Maybe times are changing. It would be nice.

Okay, enough of that.

Went to the grand opening of Bloomingdale's in Fashion Valley on Saturday. Really nice store. With really big price tags. We saw a purse that was $900. And it wasn't even a cute purse....in my opinion. Greg started to make a comment that my little Juicy purse didn't fit in there...but then thought better of it ;) We walked out with a $16 ornament and that was it.

I got some kitchen twine at Williams-Sonoma so I can truss my turkey. Does that sound bad? Truss my turkey...humm. Anyway, also got some pumpkin butter. Has a recipe for pumpkin pie, so that's one of the pies I'll be making. Let's hope it's good.

Started working on my Chirstmas cards. I have several stamp sets to pick from this year. It was hard to pick which one I want to use. But it came down to a sort of a nontraditional set. I hope they turn out good. I'm excited to work on them. I've reignited my card making spark. It feels good to be creative again.....to feel good in general.

Okay, that's it for the weekend report!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

All Hail The Potato!

This time of year no one gives much of a thought to anything but that big ole bird we call turkey. So I'm here to point out a sidekick that gets overshadowed and maybe is a little too "everyday" to us.

Mashed potatoes.

I don't think I have ever met a person who does not like mashed potatoes. And I think they are universal.....potatoes are eaten everywhere as far as I know, tho perhaps not mashed. Anyway, mashed potatoes are one of my very favorite things so I thought I'd share some recipes with you. Maybe you will use them this Thanksgiving and give the bird a run for it's money :)

Chantilly Mashed Potatoes

6 servings mashed potatoes
1 cup diced ham
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 450°.
Spread mashed potatoes in a 2 quart casserole.
Cover with ham.
Whip cream until stiff; fold in cheese.
Spread mixture over ham.
Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

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Potato Dumplings

1 1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups instant potatoes
1 1/2 cups biscuit mix
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg lightly beaten
5 cups simmering salted water or
use beef or chicken broth

In large mixing bowl combine water, salt, milk and butter.
Stir in potatoes just to moisten; let sit for 1 minute.
In a separate bowl mix together biscuit mix, baking powder and egg.
Add to potato mixture; blend well.
Roll into walnut size balls.
Drop into 5 cups of simmering salted water.
When batter floats cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

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Philly Mashed Potatoes

4 potatoes, chopped
1 8oz package cream cheese, softened
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 6oz can French-fried onions, crushed

Preheat oven to 300°.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes.
Drain and mash.
In a large mixing bowl combine mashed potatoes, cream cheese, onion, eggs, flour, salt and pepper.
Using an electric mixer, beat on medium speed for several minutes.
Spoon mixture into a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish and top with crushed fried onions.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes.


Enjoy!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Songs On TV

"lollipop, lollipop, oh lolli-lolli-pop, lollipop.."

If you watch CSI, you know what that is all about. It was the song playing in the opening scene of last weeks episode. It has been stuck in my head ever since. I will be walking along and find myself singing it....making me a little crazy at this point.

Then there is the commercial they play at every break during football....the one for Chevy and John Mellencamp is singing "Our Country". Good thing I like the song and the commercial itself isn't bad. I like the idea of it and it's well done. So that's another song I have stuck in my head Sunday thru Monday nights :-)

I can stand beside
Things I think are right
And I can stand beside
The idea of stand and fight
And I do believe
There’s a dream for everyone
This is our country
From the east coast
To the west coast
Down the Dixie Highway
Back home
This is our country

There's room enough here
For science to live
And there's room enough here
For religion to forgive
And try to understand
The other people of this world
This is our country
From the east coast
To the west coast
Down the Dixie Highway
Back home
This is our country

That poverty could be
Just another ugly thing
And bigotry could be
Seen only as obscene
And the ones that run this land
Will help the poor and common man
This is our country
From the east coast
To the west coast
Down the Dixie Highway
Back home
This is our country

The dream will never leave
And some day it will come true
And it’s up to me and you
To do the best that we can do
And let the voice of freedom
Sing out through this land
This is our country
From the east coast
To the west coast
Down the Dixie Highway
Back home
This is our country

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Fish Sandwich Experience

I had been hungry since 10am. Too early for lunch and I don't eat snacks because most snacks are evil.....the snacks that are not evil are not worth eating.

It's finally lunchtime and I have no idea what I want.....I just want something. So I head to the cafeteria. I look around and none of the specials look all that tempting. So I go to the special order counter and I see a fish sandwich on the menu. I figured I'd give it a try. I stand around for a while and they finally call my number. I walk up and the two young cafeteria guys give me a strange look and I wonder if it wasn't my number they called.

me: "number 23?" I ask
cafeteria guy #1: "yeah..."

I nod and start to reach for the plate.

cafeteria guy #1: "don't you want that cut in half?"
me: "uh..."
cafeteria guy #2: "no, she something, something, something, something..." he says to cafeteria #1

Cafeteria guy #2 took my order, so I figure he is telling him something relevant to my order but I didn't hear a word after "she" because it was so noisy in there. So I figure he will clear up any questions cafeteria guy #1 has.

Except not.

They both just look at me when he finishes what he was saying.

me: "is this a fish sandwich?"

cafeteria guy #1: "huh?"

I look at cafeteria #2 for assistance.

cafeteria guy #2: "you want it cut in half?"

It's right about then that I start to get annoyed. What is all this crap about cutting it in half? And why are they asking me now? It's all wrapped up in that white sandwich paper stuff already.

I shake my head saying no to whatever it is they are asking me and pick the plate up and turn quickly and head to the cash register.

I'm really curious what the heck kind of sandwich I have.

I stop at the soda machine outside to get something to drink and it won't take any of my quarters. I stuff a $1 bill in. Does not want that either.

Whatever.

I look at the other beverage machine and nothing looks all that interesting. It's all juice drinks and that does not sound good with a fish sandwich....or whatever it is I'm holding. But I have to drink something so I put my dollar in and look at the buttons.....strawberry passion or fruit punch...humm. Just as I pressed the strawberry passion button, a guy walks up and starts to drop his quarters into the soda machine. I was about to tell him it wasn't working when he pushed a button and a soda poped out!

Huh!?!

I sit down with my strawberry passion and unwrap my sandwich. I lift the bun...fish sandwich. It was nothing to write home about. And I'm pretty sure it would not have been any better had it been cut in half.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Hormone Hostage

This came to me in email and I thought I'd share it.

The Hormone Hostage knows that there are days in the month when all a man has to do is open his mouth and he takes his life in his own hands. This is a handy guide on what to say and what not to say. It should be as common as a driver's license in the wallet of every husband, boyfriend, co-worker or significant other.

DANGEROUS: What's for dinner?
SAFER: Can I help you with dinner?
SAFEST: Where would you like to go for dinner?
ULTRA SAFE: Here, have some wine.

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DANGEROUS: Are you wearing that?
SAFER: Wow, you sure look good in brown!
SAFEST: Baby, you're smokin' hot in those sweat pants!!
ULTRA SAFE: Here, have some wine

--

DANGEROUS: What are you so worked up about?
SAFER: Could we be overreacting?
SAFEST: Here's my paycheck.
ULTRA SAFE: Here, have some wine.

--

DANGEROUS: Should you be eating that?
SAFER: You know, apples are a delicious snack.
SAFEST: Can I get you a piece of chocolate with that?
ULTRA SAFE: Here, have some wine.

--

DANGEROUS: What did you DO all day?
SAFER: I hope you didn't over-do it today.
SAFEST: I've always loved you in that robe!
ULTRA SAFE: Here, have some more wine.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

On CNN the breaking news header says:

"Britney Spears files for divorce from her husband Kevin Federline, citing irreconcilable differences"

Is this what we have come to? CNN thinks that is worthy of a breaking news headline??

*shakes head and sighs*
Voting
by Bernard Howe

Voting is our given right,
which men have died to keep.
Voting shows our peoples might,
so our country won't get into deep.

But there are those who never vote,
and constantly seem to complain.
Patriotism they don't promote,
and their rights they choose to abstain.

Every vote does really count,
to let our officials know.
For their actions they must account,
or their ratings will never grow.

So come next election time,
go cast your vote with pride.
Voting doesn't cost a dime,
plus the out come you help decide.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Weekend Report

The weekend was neither fast or short....it was just....a few days. Didn't do anything special.

The Chargers won again! That was good....happy about that. I kinda wanna go to a game this year. I'll have to look at the schedule. Maybe I'd get some good pictures. That Philip Rivers knows what he's doing out there. Isn't bad looking either....*grins*. And LaDainian Tomlinson....he's just magic. The Chargers have a lot of magic actually. Yeah, I should go to a game.

Anyway, speaking of pictures, I got some good ones of Calvin and Abby. Henry and Suzie were not in the mood for a portrait, as usual.

turning in



These are the kind of pictures I get when I try to take pictures of Henry.

Between pictures, I hunted around the internet for Thanksgiving recipes. We got the turkey and I'll only be making one. I don't have room for two. So it has to be good. I watched a few videos on how to truss a turkey....because everyone says you should truss your turkey. Seems easy enough....we'll see. Then there is the roasting. This is where everyone, including me, gets all uneasy about things. I think I've read enough to get it to come out ok....but again, we'll see. If it flops, oh well. Greg and I already have plans for next Thanksgiving so I don't need to worry about not getting the job again. We're going on another cruise. This one is to Hawaii. I've never been, but Greg was there when he was in the Navy. It was either there or to Mexico. They both sound equal to me. It's another 14 day cruise....mostly because this one takes 4 days to get there and come back. That's fine. There is always a bunch of stuff to do on the boat....and fruity drinks with umbrellas in them. And fresh fruit delivered to our room daily...pineapple is my all time favorite fruit and you just know they will have that since we're going to Hawaii! And fresh flowers, too....they (Celebrity) always have flowers in the room. And I'll be with my honey. Can't ask for more than that. But mostly, it will mean is I won't be at work, so I don't really care what we're doing as long as I am not working. Course that is a year away. Something to look forward to.

Anyway, that's the weekend report.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Stuff

Greg and I went to an outlet mall last weekend and I finally got a peacoat....it's charcoal gray wool and fits great. I have been wanting one for years. For one reason or another I never got one. Most of the time they were really expensive and didn't fit well thru the shoulders. But this one fits good and is really cute. Just waiting for a cold day now. It's been in the low 60's in the morning, but by lunch it's too warm to wear it. So I am waiting....

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Martha Stewart has a cool site to print pictures and make them into cards. I like the idea and she has nice simple patterns and colors. Not too busy and over done. Check it out if you were thinking of sending out holiday cards this year.

If for some reason the link above does not work, go to www.marthastewart.com and click on the Kodak Easy Share Gallery at the bottom of the page.

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In other news, we didn't have many trick or treaters on Halloween....maybe 20? But someone I work with had over 200 kids and went thru 10 bags of candy! I am just amazed at that. She says it's like that every year in her area so they know to buy lots of candy and plan on sitting by the door most of the night.

I remember when I was a kid....the streets were packed with kids and my Mom sat on the porch with a bowl of candy. I thought those days were gone, but it seems it depends on the area you live in.

I'll leave you with a photo of Abby in her Halloween sweater :)

Abby's Halloween costume