Chili’s served me pretzels which had BBQ sauce on them. (Tasted it on the first bite.) I left to go get benadryl and Ron asked them to change them out. We got them to go. 2 of the 4 had BBQ on them again. Some people can die from allergens added randomly to their food. Thankfully the most likely result for me is three or four days of difficulty walking, typing, driving, any type of movement. I am hoping I got the benadryl in time to avoid that.
“Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, leave the rest to God.”
Today is Ronald Reagan’s birthday today and I saw the quote as a comment on a Facebook post about that.
When I first saw the post, I was like, “What?! I forgot Reagan (my niece’s) birthday?”
Then I remembered she was born the day he died, not the day he was born. And, yes, she was named for him.
This past Saturday Ron would talk about a book for a while and then I would ask about another book. This happened twice. Both times it turns out that the book I asked about is next to the one he was talking about in our bookshelves.
I guess I have finally organized our library in my head. (And to think it was after 15 years of marriage that I finally merged our SFF books.)
I was reading a book by Tawny Weber and the main character had the same first and and a similar last name as a character in another series. Then I realized both have the same name for ex-boyfriends too. Then I remembered that each of them fell in love with a Seal.
…Apparently Harlequin does some weird thing where they give you the name of a character and a situation and you write the novel and they publish it, even when another of their novels has the same character.
Now the two Edens are nothing alike, but still I think it’s weird. It’s weird enough when I know it’s going to happen–like when they publish the three books that won the start contest. But this was just odd.
I’ve been writing a lot of poetry this month–inspired by Barbara Rollins’ Facebook publications of NaHaiWriMo poetry.
Some are haiku.
Some are quick, rhythm based songs.
Some are alliterative artistry.
Some are hints, unfermented in the casks of my mind.
Many of them are very good, but except for “Tumbleweed Wrangler” I have no idea where I would send any of them.
At 3:45 (just after letting my 2 pm class go) I decided to walk to the Campus Center to buy colored pencils for class. I arrived at class at 3:58. The students were sitting there waiting for me.
Class started at 3:30. I did not realize that until about 15 minutes ago.
I need to set alarms on my phone.
For Supper Club, the theme was Eastern European. When looking for recipes, I found one for Ukrainian (well, that’s what the main division said) cauliflower that sounded excellent. It’s a fairly simple receipt, though the times they gave were off.
This baked Ukrainian cauliflower recipe is similar to scalloped cauliflower and cauliflower au gratin because it is made with a cheesy cream sauce. If you want to gussy up the presentation of cauliflower for a special dinner, this is the way to do it.
Sometimes, I substitute finely chopped nuts for the bread crumbs for an interesting twist. Here’s a larger photo of baked cauliflower.
Makes 6 servings of Hungarian Baked Cauliflowr
Prep Time: 20 minutes (No, about 40.)
Cook Time: 30 minutes (No, about 50.)
Total Time: 50 minutes (1 hour and 20 minutes)
1 medium head cauliflower, washed, trimmed and broken into flowerets (a mix of sizes are fine)
1/2 cup crisp bacon pieces or chopped ham (or both?)
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons grated cheese of choice (used Havarti)
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs or finely chopped walnuts, hazelnuts or pecans
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cold beef or chicken stock
1/2 cup cold half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
Cook cauliflower, uncovered, in boiling, salted water for 8 minutes or until barely tender. Drain and place in a large bowl. Add bacon or ham and set aside.
To make the cream sauce: In a small saucepan, make a roux by melting butter and flour and cooking 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add cold stock and cold cream and, with a wire whisk, stir constantly until sauce boils. Cook over low 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Mix 1/2 cup cheese into hot cream sauce.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a medium shallow casserole or gratin pan. Mix cheese sauce with cooked cauliflower and bacon or ham. Transfer to prepared baking pan.
Mix bread crumbs or nuts with melted butter and 2 tablespoons cheese. Sprinkle over cauliflower. Set casserole dish on a baking sheet to catch any drips and bake about 20 minutes or until golden and cauliflower is cooked.
I really liked the recipe. I think it was pretty good. Ron said it was good, too, but that could have been “good for cauliflower.”
The original website was about.com.
I needed an Eastern European recipe for supper club.
For several years, I kept a blessings list where I wrote down each day something I was grateful for.
I still wish I had done it every day.
Today (just past the first day of the new year), I saw a video on the 365Grateful campaign from the woman who started it all.
She took a photo each day of something she was grateful for and wrote down why she was grateful for it.
Thankfully I already took photographs yesterday, so I can start with those.
I am thankful for my nieces–who love me with open arms and hearts, who spend time with me willingly, who help me in my poetry projects, who look at my photography/book projects, and who want me to cheer them on in their lives, too.
You protect what you fall in love with.
A ten-minute video from Louie Schwartzberg who has created time lapse photography for 24/7 for the last 30 years.
“Happiness Revealed” from 3:45.
Imagination…you want to go deeper in.
Today is the one day that is given to you. It’s given to you. It’s a gift. It’s the only gift that you have right now. And the only appropriate response is gratefulness. … Cultivate that response. Learn to respond as if it were the first and last day… Then you will have spent this day very well.
Begin by opening your eyes and be surprised that you have eyes you can open.
Array of colors for pure enjoyment.
Look at the sky. Note how different it is from moment to moment.
Everyone’s face tells a story. Not only their own story, but the story of their ancestors.
… It flows together and meets you here.
Open your heart to the incredible gifts that civilization gives to us. Electric light. Cold water, warm water, drinkable water.
Enormous number of gifts to which we can open our heart. Open your heart to these blessings and let them flow you, so that everyone you meet this day will be blessed by you… just by your presence. Let the gratefulness overflow into blessing all around you.
Then it will really be a good day.
We went to Jon and Angela’s baby shower (boy) the day after Christmas. Since the day before Christmas Eve is our official wedding anniversary, I told Jon we had been married 25 years now. He asked what advice we would give.
I told him, “Hold on.” Don’t let go. Don’t give up. Don’t give in.
Ron, on the other hand, said later that, if he had been able to (some big shower thing happened and stopped the conversation), he would have said, “Let go.” Don’t hold on to every little thing. Don’t focus on the things that are going wrong or that you don’t like. Don’t get all caught up in what is wrong.
So, if we had given advice, it would have been (apparently) conflicting, but I don’t think that it is at heart.
Don’t give up on the big things. Don’t focus on the problems. We’d both agree with that, I think. Though Ron would probably mention that a lot fewer things are “big” than you might think.
Image from themetapicture.com
When I first came to my new position, I was asked for a six-word autobiography. My teaching blog is down, but it had to do with coincidence being God’s working in my life. It was beautiful and succinct. This will be far more rambling, but it also is a weaving of God in my life.
First, I visited with my good friend AB in Weatherford, halfway between our two homes. I spoke of “being the answer to Jesus’ prayers,” an idea I learned in the preaching of Phil Ware. She spoke of a recent sermon/talk which said that the fields are white for the harvest when we are willing to be used in the harvest–that, in fact, our willingness to be used by God makes the harvest white.
Then I was reading Popular Religion in Late Saxon England and Jolly spoke about salvation as an event and a process. It is/was, she said, a one-time thing and in the same way was a metaphorical spiritual journey.
While reading God and Harry Potter at Yale: Teaching Faith and Fantasy Fiction in an Ivy League Classroom by Tumminio, I texted AB this quote: “When humans follow that example (of Christ) and commit to love the way Jesus loves–caring for all people and not just those for whom it is convenient–they help to bring about the reign of peace God hopes to create on earth” (Location 1786 of 2877).
God tied the Yale story and AB’s teaching into a thread.
He also tied Jolly’s book to Tumminio’s book. I highlighted the following: “The first part (of salvation) is recognizing there is a problem that affects all humans–sin.” I wrote Event. Then I highlighted: “The second is a solution that corrects that flaw, and that solution results in salvation.” I noted Process. (Location 1758 of 2877) The author did not use those words in the discussion. But in the “Questions for Your Reflection” at the end of this chapter, she wrote: “Is salvation an event or a process? Which characters are saved over time in the story and which ones receive salvation in a moment?”
Maybe the autobiography/idea was closer to –Connections: God weaving disparate life events.
I am taking the gifts of interlacing that God is giving me in my life just now and celebrating them here. Thank you, God, for the time to read, the eyes to see, the mind to comprehend, and the grace of your connections.
I also had some interesting ideas for the research and creative projects for my students next semester. I will need to develop those before I forget them.
We’re at Dad’s and it doesn’t seem exactly like a holiday. I know it is because I am stressing about being in my sister’s house and taking care of it– and taking care of Dad. It feels more like work though.
Today I have:
brought in trash (Didn’t have to take it out because R did! I got to sleep in 2 more hours.)
done 3 loads of laundry
unloaded 2 dishwashers and put away dishes
loaded a dishwasher
taken Dad for a hair cut
gone to the grocery store
checked and sorted the mail (Dad’s, S’s–junk or real) and it’s 10:30 am.
I need to walk the dogs and I need to send my diversity abstract to LonCon, but I haven’t really written the one about London and I don’t know if the other will fly. Maybe I will send both? Did they say you can only send one?
My alarm is going off for LonCon abstract, so I need to get that done.
I finally pulled out the Anglo-Saxon Leechcraft book and started looking at it some more. I was working on writing poetry and I actually ended up with a poem about the visual rhetoric of the book as it is looked at from the outside and first few pages.
I discovered that it was published by Burroughs Wellcome, a company which has become GlaxoSmithKline much more recently. My dear friends B and J G from NC have worked there for years, though B is now homeschooling instead.
I think he would enjoy this image of “Bambi in real life.”
It is so calling out to me to write something similar–even though my hand is not weary with writing.
My hand is weary with writing;
my sharp great point is not thick;
my slender-beaked pen juts forth
a beetle-hued draught of bright blue ink.
A steady stream of wisdom springs
from my well-coloured neat fair hand;
on the page it pours its draught of ink
of the green-skinned holly.
I send my little dripping pen unceasingly
over an assemblage of books of great beauty,
to enrich the possessions of men of art—
whence my hand is weary with writing.
from Mary Jones’ website
All food items (or software, as Alton Brown puts it) needed:
4 c sweet potatoes
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/3 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
7 TBS butter
1/2 c milk
1/2 c chopped pecans
I originally found the recipe at allrecipes.com, but I made some minor changes.
4 c sweet potatoes, cubed (I did a few more)
1/2 c white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp salt
4 TBS butter, softened
1/2 c milk (I used coconut milk. Truly good stuff.)
1/2 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Put potatoes in a medium saucepan with water to cover. Cook over medium heat until tender; drain and mash. (I cannot remember how long. Not 30 minutes, though.)
In a large bowl, mix: sweet potatoes, white sugar, eggs, salt, 4 TBS butter, milk, and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Transfer to a baking dish. (They said 9×13. I think mine was a little larger.)
For the topping:
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c all-purpose flower
3 TBS butter, softened
1/2 c chopped pecans
In a medium bowl, mix brown sugar and flour. Cut in butter till mixture is coarse. Stir in pecans. Sprinkle on top of sweet potatoes.
Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until topping is golden brown.
I have recently (in the last two months) looked for several pieces of jewelry that I have had since I moved here (as in, have worn since then) and have discovered that they are not in my armoire, not in my boxes, not in my steampunk acquisitions… They are nowhere in the house.
1. mystic topaz ring (5-stone) sterling silver
2. natural blue topaz earrings in white gold R purchased for me from Jarred’s Fine Jewelers
3. natural blue topaz necklace that matches it that he bought at same place
4. small (fits my pinkie) pink star sapphire ring that was my grandmother’s (and possibly my great-grandmother’s, as she was very tiny)
5. my Victorian pin to which I had affixed copper charms of jewelry (about an inch long each, five of them). The original pin was probably 4×2.5 (inches)
6. my grandmother’s silver ring with three small circular stones (amethyst, peridot, and aquamarine).
I know that “gremlins” get in our house and walk off with odd things, but who or what is walking off with my jewelry?
Update: I found the Victorian pin with copper charms in a box with a pair of shoes I wear with it. I’ve looked through the other boxes and haven’t found anything else yet. Maybe I will, though.