Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Yule Log

Merry Christmas!
This morning when Greg and I were about to open our gifts, I turned the TV onto the channel that has the video of a yule log burning. It was kinda funny.
But I got to thinking later....what the heck is a yule log? Greg didn't know so I did what anyone would do - Googled it!
This is what I found out.

The custom of burning the yule log goes back to medieval times and was originally a Nordic tradition. Yule is the name of the old Winter Solstice festivals.

Originally, the yule log was an entire tree that was specially chosen. The largest end of the tree/log was placed into the hearth while the rest of the tree stuck out into the room. Can you imagine this!? I guess back then they had stone floors and didn't need to worry about the wall to wall carpeting catching fire like we do today. The tree/log would be lit from the remains of the previous year's log, which had been carefully stored the whole year long. It was slowly fed into the fire through the Twelve Days of Christmas. Interesting!

The yule log custom is spread all over Europe and different kids of wood are used in different countries. In England Oak is traditional. In Scotland it's Birch. In France it's Cherry. Also, in France, the log is sprinkled with wine before it is burnt so that it smells good. Probably also acted a bit like lighter fluid? Just a guess.

I was thinking that if someone wanted to bring back the yule log tradition, they could save the trunk of their Christmas tree and chop it into logs - assuming they have a real tree. Then, the following Christmas, they could use it in the traditional yule log fashion. When you think about it, a real Christmas tree is specially chosen just like the yule tree/log is chosen.

One thing about the yule log ashes tho, if you were to throw the ashes out on Christmas Day, it was supposed to be very unlucky! So don't do that! :)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

22 Years

That sounds like a long time.....22 years.

Greg and I were married on October 19th 1991.

When I think about that, it does not seem like 22 years. It really just feels like maybe 10 years. Then I think about all the things we've done and seen over the years and I can see the 22 years. I'm sooooo thankful our paths crossed and we ended up together. He means more to me than anything else and I love him....still. I love him more actually. I hope we're together another 22+ years. It would be my ultimate wish. Forget money and "stuff". Because as long as I'm with him I am rich with love....and he's all the things I need.

I love you, Greg. Happy 22nd Anniversary.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Q ~ Quinoa Bites

Q ~ Quinoa

These look and smell delish! The house smelled soooo good while they were cooking....I just knew they were going to taste good! I was wrong. They were not good at all. I think it was the quinoa because I had quinoa muffins once and they were also kinda....ick. Not bad for a photo, but for not recommend. If you need a bag of quinoa, I have a nearly full bag up for grabs :)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Steve, my brother, passed away 1 year ago today. It seems like it was just a few months ago.

I remember the day clearly. I talked to Steve that morning about how he was feeling and what they thought was wrong with him. The call about about 10 minutes. He had to go because they were about to run a test on him. He told me to call him back when I got home and we could talk longer. We ended the call with "ok, talk to you later". About 45 minutes later he passed away. Sudden and unexpected.

When the nurse called me, she was vague...but not. You know when people are trying to tell you something without actually telling you? That's what she was doing. I think he'd passed away already when she called and she just didn't want to give me that news prior to being at the hospital. Since she hadn't actually said he had passed, there was this ounce of hope in me that he'd be ok when we got there. I saw my sister in the lobby and she already knew he was gone and told me. So painful.

When we left we went to get his car from the parking lot. Holding his keys was sad. Arriving at his house, his doggy had not seen him in a few days and the sound of his car pulling up made him think my brother was home. But then we walked in....not Steve. Can you imagine that poor dog wondering and continually waiting for Steve to come home? Heartbreaking.

I think about Steve every day. You just never know when will be the last time you talk to someone. I can't wait for September to be over.

Monday, September 16, 2013

T ~ Tape


This is Japanese masking tape called washi tape. I have a small collection :)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

V ~ Volkswagen


Months ago I had seen an old rusted out Volkswagen bus parked in my neighborhood. I remember thinking that the VW hood ornament was pretty cool looking due to all the rust (had to see it to understand). When I started this project I knew I'd go back to where I saw it and take a picture. To my disappointment, it was gone. Probably in VW heaven. On the way home I saw a VW bug and it was the complete opposite of the bus. It's been completely restored and looks spectacular. The paint has to be fresh...soo shiney! The interior is spotless and it's white! Whoever did the restore on it did a great job. Since I didn't get my rusty shot, I went for a beauty shot!

Monday, September 09, 2013

W ~ Wet


These might look like limes, but they are oranges. The majority of the fruit on our tree has yet to turn orange....kinda strange!

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Z ~ Zucchini Muffins


Here we go - alphabet project 2013!

I'm going backwards just to change things up.

Here we have zucchini muffins. Chocolate zucchini muffins to be exact! I was pretty excited to try these since zucchini muffins/bread is typically a healthier option. Unfortunately, these tasted healthy. You know what I mean....sometimes healthy stuff just doesn't cut it in the flavor department and these fell into that category. Kinda rubbery texture and the flavor is...blah. I got the recipe from a blog and I've sorta decided to stop using recipes I find on random blogs via web searches. It's been my experience that if you go to sites like or that have a rating system, you have a pretty good chance of finding something that will be worth your time to make. People don't mince words when leaving reviews ~ you'll know if it sucks.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

I think this is one of those songs you either love or don't.

It's weird because it's not something I would normally think I'd like, but I really like it. Something about sad songs. This is the original demo tape that Ryan Bingham recorded. I don't think it has ever been re-recorded.

Until I'm one with you
Until I'm one with you
My heart shall not pass through
It'll only be forsaken

Until I'm one with you
Our world is torn in two
Until I'm one with you
Our love will be mistaken

Until I'm one with you
My death they will pursue
Until I'm one with you
My life will be degraded

Until I'm one with you

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Tomato Update #3

Well....not a great week for the tomatoes.

First, lost a branch. I noticed it was bending and by the end of the week it had broken off at the trunk of the plant :( Have to make sure those branches grow within the tomato cage or have to tie them to it for support. Live and learn.
broken branch

Next, I noticed that the tomatoes were not turing that red/brown color and one had split open. This started making me think I had something other than black cherry tomatoes. Indeed, this is the case. I talked to my friend who gave me the plants and she said she must have mislabeled them. What I actually have is Dr. Carolyn tomatoes. A pale yellow cherry tomato. So these have been ready to pick for over a week...which is why one of them split. I will admit I was a bit disappointed to learn I didn't have the black cherries. I've had yellow tomatoes (from the store) before and making a sauce from these won't really be what I was going for. However, I'm still grateful for the gift of the plant and we will enjoy them! There's a tiny bit of hope that the second plant will actually be a black cherry plant. The tomatoes are still green so I'm watching them for any signs of color change. We'll see.

Dr. Carolyn tomatoes

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Alphabet Project - 2

A few days ago I was thinking about something....I forget what it was, but it made me think back to the alphabet project I did on Flickr a while back. I've managed to convince myself to do it again. It will keep me busy for 28 days. I could use some help with a few letters. If you have any suggestion of commonly found objects/items/products that start with the following letters, let me know!


So look for that to start soon on a blog near you!

Previous alphabet project

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Tomato Update #1

My black cherry tomato plants are doing great! They have grown about a foot since the last picture. On Friday when I was admiring them I saw tomatoes!! I understand these are just tomatoes, but I got so excited! The other plant doesn't have any yet but I'm not worried. The person who gave me the plants said it takes about 75 days to before you'll see anything and it's well under 75 days. I guess this one is an early bloomer :)

Baby Black Cherry Tomatoes

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Summer Card Camp 2

I created a card for Summer Card Camp 2. These are the colors we had to incorporate:

There are 3 different sketches to base your card on and this is the one I used:

Here's the card I came up with! Hope you like it :)

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Cherry Cherry!

A friend of mine offered me 2 black cherry tomato plants that she started from seed. I love cherry tomatoes and she says these are especially delicious! I've never seen/heard of them but I'm excited to try them. This will be my first time growing tomatoes and I thought I'd take you all along for the black cherry tomato  ride :)
This is what they (hopefully) will look like.

This is what they look like now. About 1.5 feet tall.

Monday, June 24, 2013


Last night I made a rutabaga & cauliflower mash to go along with our turkey meatloaf. It was....awesome!

To the best of my knowledge I've never had a rutabaga before. They are ugly and sound like something only your great great grandmother would eat. I had wanted to get a parsnip to go with the cauliflower, but the grocery store didn't have any. But they had rutabagas. What the heck, I'll Google it when I get home and see how to cook it and if it tastes gross, I just won't use it. So I looked at all my options and most of them were small but there were a few softball sized ones. Going with the idea that bigger is better, I got a gigantic one. turns out that in the case of rutabagas, big is not always better. You're supposed to buy the small ones. Live and learn. What I learned about them is, the big ones get fibrous and bitter. The small ones are supposed to be tender and sweet. Sweet?! I get so annoyed when I read that things are sweet. Rachel Ray is a terrible offender of saying this. She'd cook a rutabaga and call it sweet. COME ON! It's not sweet. Sugar is sweet. People really need to find another word to use because sweet isn't correct. It's true that cherry tomatoes can be sweet....but So annoying. Ok, enough of that. I scrubbed it well because they are really dirty. Then I microwaved the it for 5 minutes to make it easier to remove the outer skin (got this from a website). Then I cut it into chunks and steamed it with the cauliflower for about 25 minutes. It looks very much like a yukon gold potato. It tastes pretty much like a parsnip! Thankfully the one I got wasn't fibrous or bitter. Once tender, I put them in the food processor with some milk and blended them into a "mash". If you didn't know, you'd think it was mashed potatoes just by the look of it. Salt and pepper finished it off. It was yummy! And healthy! It turns out that rutabagas are a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals! Next time you want mashed potatoes, try a rutabaga & cauliflower mash instead. Much better for you.

As a side note, the turkey meatloaf was outstanding! We used up some rosemary crackers in place of breadcrumbs. Had a 10oz bag of spinach so I sautéed that with garlic and added that along with diced onion, yellow bell pepper and some spices. I don't miss the beef and either does Greg. If you can get it past Greg, then it must be good.

Friday, June 07, 2013

I'm just going to tell you now, this will all sound weird.

Since I was a kid, I've rocked while sitting in a chair. Imagine kids with's like that but controlled. What I mean by controlled is, I don't do it in front of people because it's....well, not socially accepted. People will think you're "special" if you start rocking in your chair. But when I'm alone, I rock pretty frequently. It helps me think. And it's an unconscious movement - I just start doing it. If someone comes around, I stop instantly....again, without really thinking. I've always wondered why I do this. I'm rocking as I type this! I thought maybe it was a hyper kind of a way to release excessive energy. The only problem with that is, I'm not hyper. I've never thought to Google it, but this morning, I did. Less than 5 minutes after I Googled, I found people in a form talking about Maladaptive Daydreaming. Uhhhh....what the heck? I found a Wiki page about it and as I read, my jaw dropped! It's weird, but it's totally explains everything. Just to preface, I don't have Asperger's or ADHD but I've always thought I have ADD. Sometimes paying attention is a real chore. I'd rather daydream! As for attendant distress or functional impairment...humm....don't have that either. I also wasn't abused and there was no trauma in my childhood. However, an outlet to creativity....that part fits. I've always said, I can daydream like nobody's business. As a kid, I imagined very vivid situations or "stories" with characters that I felt were part of me and that I've become "attached" to. Maybe they are extensions of my personality? To this day, I imagine full stories, beginning to end, in my mind and get lost in them. I'll see something that reminds me of a story I've imagined and I'm suddenly there. This all plays out during normal day to day happenings. I've always wished I had time to just write all the stories down and submit them as dime store novels. would take so long tho. Just one story would take months. I'm a little OCD about getting the exact description of things. I imagine them so crisply that every detail can be seen so I feel the need to get it just right. I dream all my dreams, asleep and awake, in Technicolor. Speaking of which, if I wrote them all down, when would I sleep? This would be a full time project. Maybe if I win the lottery I'll quit my job and be a writer.

Here's what the Wiki page says - and don't judge me!

Maladaptive daydreaming: (Compulsive Fantasy) is a term first proposed by Eli Smer, Ph.D., to describe a condition in which an individual excessively daydreams or fantasizes, sometimes as a psychological response to prior trauma or abuse. This title has become popularly generalized to incorporate a recently-described syndrome of immersive or excessive daydreaming which is specifically characterized by attendant distress or functional impairment, whether or not it is contingent upon a history of trauma or abuse, as introduced in 2009 by Cynthia Schupak, Ph.D. and Jesse Rosenthal, M.D. of New York City. Dr. Schupak and her colleagues published the results of a follow-up study based on an email questionnaire in 2011.

Excessive daydreaming may begin as an outlet for creativity or as a method of escaping trauma or abuse. The daydreamers experience very vivid and intricate fantasies and may become emotionally attached to the characters in their fantasies or express emotions they are feeling through vocal utterances or changing facial expressions, although most keep such behavior hidden from others. People with Maladaptive Daydreaming know the difference between reality and fantasy; they realize that everything they are dreaming about is a fantasy. Some also exhibit symptoms similar to Asperger's Syndrome, ADHD or OCD.  Many people have social anxiety and/or depression along with maladaptive daydreaming. A large number also find their social lives are negatively impacted by this disorder. 79% of those self-identified as having excessive daydreams had a kinesthetic repetitive movement accompany their daydreaming, such as pacing, rocking, tapping, or shaking an object. Many others also move their hands around and make facial expressions: laughing, crying, whispering, and gesturing with hands. Listening to music while daydreaming is common and hearing music may trigger a fantasy. A repetitive movement may be articulated to music while daydreaming. Watching a movie or reading a book, can also trigger a fantasy.Many people have novel or movie type fantasies. They create their own world, with characters, settings, plots, heroes, villains, friends, etc. -- they also may imagine storylines using the characters or settings from already existing works of fiction.  Some people have reported dizziness, headaches and other physical symptoms after daydreaming.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

One night while I was cooking dinner I started to cry. It was one of those days when I would have called my Mom. Sometimes you just want to talk to your Mom. But I can't do that anymore. I felt a huge empty spot inside myself getting bigger. At that moment, I was truly hoping that people who pass away look over us. People always say that happens. Sometimes I think maybe it does but other times I'm not sure. I really do hope she's looking over me. I hope my brother is looking over me, too. Maybe they can help bring things into focus and guide me when I need that. I'm hoping.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Monday, March 11, 2013

Come Grocery Shopping With Me

This might become a regular thing on the 'ole blog-o. I like taking pictures in the grocery store :)

My sweet looking at sweets.

Hippity Hoppity Easter's on it's way!

Making my meat sauce to go over pasta this week and I use this as my base.

These are soooo good. One of my favorite snacks.

I drink coffee now. It took 45 years for me to start.

I look at these very week but never buy one.

Just a pretty picture.

Best jelly.


Greg was looking at these but never put them in the cart.

I have no idea what this is, but it looks good.

Cheddar & jalapeno bread *swoon*.

His fave - my fave.

I drink coffee now...but still not into wine.

100% Californian....just like me!

This makes my mouth water. Love oranges.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Last Saturday Greg and I watched "Premonition". It's an old movie with Sandra Bullock. It's interesting. I'm not sure I'd say it's good, but it's interesting. This is the description of it:

Depressed housewife learns her husband was killed in a car accident the day previously, awakens the next morning to find him alive and well at home, and then awakens the next day after to a world in which he is still dead.

When it was over Greg and I were talking and I told him, as I have many times, that if he dies suddenly at an early age I'll be devastated. This is usually followed by playful banter about calling our insurance agent to collect the hefty life insurance policy we have on each other. But this time he was serious and told me our lives are prewritten and no matter how careful we are, we will die when our time comes. I am of the same opinion. I just hope our lives are long and full. A long full life with him would be the biggest gift I could ever get.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

10 Things

I'm doing the 10 things you don't know about me deal. I feel like I've done it before but oh well - doing it again :)

1. I love cottage cheese. I'll usually have it for dessert at soup/salad buffet places.
2. I often have the urge to dye my hair light pink or lavender. Yes, yes....I know.
3. Sometimes there is nothing more inspirational than a rainy day. I flourish when it rains.
4. Am I the only one who doesn't care for Phil Collins songs?
5. Food isn't a lure for me. Saying there'll be cupcakes won't make me go someplace I don't want to go.
6. Given the choice, I will take a pencil over a pen every time.
7. I have a small collection of pocket knives and one of them is fairly valuable.
8. Young Bob hot. The old version, not so much. Don't dig the Kenny Rogers look.
9. I don't dream of having money. I dream of living a long happy life.
10. I don't usually answer my phone. But I will usually answer email.

Monday, February 04, 2013


Turns out I watched the wrong half of the Super Bowl. It was so boring that I stopped watching after the lights went out. Sounds like it got a lot more interesting once the lights finally came back on. Oh well.

Commercials. It's the reason a lot of people watch. I picked my favorite from the first half - the Taco Bell commercial. I don't know how you can't love this one. Minute .33 and the end are pretty funny - but really I loved the whole thing. Minute .36 is pretty good, too. And minute .45....and minute 48. The whole thing!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

cleaning radishes

cleaning radishes
Originally uploaded by photo kitten.

sometimes unexpected beauty presents the form of radishes.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Just Talkin'

Ok, going to try to be better at updating my blog this year. Last year was a busy year and I'm hoping this year will slow down. I like a relaxed pace and last year wasn't. We'll see how this year goes.

People. The more I'm around them, the less I like them. I know that sounds terrible, but it's the sad truth. It's probably a personal issue because it's unlikely that everyone I've met is annoying. Greg, on the other hand, likes people. He's so damn friendly! He'll talk to anyone. He says hello and is genuinely nice to people. I admire that quality. But I'd love it if people would just let me shop without asking me 100 times if I need help or offer their opinions. Greg will have a conversation with them. Talk about the weather, the big game on TV....whatever. This is why he's perfect for me. He's my frontman. I know this makes me seem completely inept in the social game, but I'm not. I can be every bit the charming Libra if I have to be...I'd just rather not. There's nothing wrong with that, right?

Work. C.R.A.Z.Y. My work load has doubled over the last 9 months. I am consistently busy and rarely have a light day. I do network/IT stuff and if I do something wrong, it's not just "Oops, let me me get some whiteout and fix that"'s "Ok sh** I just broke the campus mail server!!". Seriously, it's stressful. I need a vacation....for like a month.

Cards. I've been totally slacking. I'm going to try and be better but I don't know if I'll succeed here. Some sad things have happened in the past 6 months or so and unfortunately it's taking it's toll on my creative spirit. I sit at my desk and rather than feeling inspired, I feel overwhelmed so I go take a nap. My Valentine cards are designed, but I've only made one. I have zero desire to make more of them. I think if life and work slow down a bit, I'll get my chi back. Again, a long vacation would help. And it needs to be some place with those umbrella drinks that taste like pineapple. And there's a shady spot with a comfortable lounge chair...not all lounge chairs are comfortable. There's a nice breeze with the faint scent of coconut and the salty ocean. Slick green palm tree fronds glisten in the sun as they sway against a cloudless blue sky. The sound of the tide is like a favorite song you never tire of hearing. The biggest dilemma you have is which pair of shorts you'll wear to dinner. Ahhhh. A girl can dream.

I'll leave you with that :) a bakery!

I got so excited when I saw this! King Arthur Flour has made digital backgrounds that will work in Zoom, Slack, Teams & GoToMeeting! T...