Sunday, February 28, 2010

Potato and Bacon Soup: Second Attempt

Today I am going to try and make potato and bacon soup…again. A month ago (Jan 31), I tried to make potato soup for lunch. It was a “disaster” but only because it wasn’t done till supper (six hours late, nine total cooking hours).

I am also going to try and tweak the recipe a bit. If I make the soup once a month with little changes by December I should have a super soup recipe.

Before I left for the church this morning I chopped up four potatoes, two carrots, onion and garlic. I added these and three cups of milk in the crock pot and set in to low. It was 7:30am. When I get home I’ll add in bacon and maybe butter. The original recipe calls for herb and butter mashed potato mix but I am not sure it needs it. We’ll see. I’ll share the results tomorrow.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Market Day

After a youth lock-in (using the word sleep-over just isn't cool) I should have just gone home to bet, should have but didn't. With a statement like that you might think this is going to be a tale of woe...but it isn't.

I dropped off Becca at her place in Wolfville intent on soon sleeping but saw the sign for the Wolfville Farmers (indoor) Market and decided to pop in and have a look. I couldn't find a parking spot and I didn't have space to turn around. I was beginning to fear I would have to back up and just go home. I hate backing up, dread it really. Just in my moment of despair a van behind me left freeing up a space. In a moment of boldness and courage I backed into the spot. Me, back-in? Unheard of. From that moment I knew it would be a good day.

I had some great finds at the market carrots, potatoes, locally made feta, freshly baked croissants, and a lamb samosa. But by far the best purchase was two skeins of dyed green wool (I believe they were also locally dyed and spun). They are beautiful. I don't know what I am going to knit with them but that isn't the point. Gorgeous wool is.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Yay!

My Survivor prediction was correct two weeks in a row. Last week Stephanie was voted out this week Randy was. I have no clue what the tribes will do or if there are strong alliances but the lack of information will not stop me from guessing next Thursday.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hero Hope

So I was 50% right last week. There was only one challenge which the villains won (I was wrong) causing the heroes to visit tribal council for the second time. I was right about who went home: Stephanie.

My prediction for this week is that the heroes will won both reward and immunity -they have to win some time, right?

If the villains go to tribal council Randy is going home.
If the heroes go to tribal council James is going home, his attitude last week seemed to put a target on his back or, if alliances stand Tom will be going home.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Less Clutter

After last week's victory over clutter I took pictures to celebrate. It took me till today to find the cable to upload the pictures. But here they are:
This is a huge improvement, but not a true victory. The clutter has only been relocated and is now hiding in my bedroom and office.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I Ate Paper

While it may be a good source of fibre eating paper is not something I normally do. Before Sunday evening I can't actually recall a time that I swallowed paper. So what lead to this strange behaviour? -A very challenging call to action.

Sunday evening was the 5th anniversary of RITV (a monthly interdenominational youth service in my area). The speaker was looking at the nature of Christ’s love for us and our need to live in love. To close he read Ezekiel 3:1-3

And he said to me, "Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the house of Israel." So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat. Then he said to me, "Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it." So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.

And then he gave the choice to act. He had strips of paper prepared with the word “Love” on them and said we could take one stuff it in our pockets and maybe think about being love during the week. Or we could come up and physically eat the paper and in that act decided to take God’s message of love to the people. It was strange, different, and memorable. He even had honey to dip the paper in to make it “taste sweet”. Honey did not help with the swallowing.

More good from Sunday: Scott was away so there was a guest preacher, Wayne Fevens. These two quotes are from his message:

“Many Christians have just enough of Jesus to make them feel guilty when they do something wrong but not enough to live a joyful life.”

“It seems to me the harder I try to say the right thing, do the right thing, or have the right attitude, there’s something or someone that blows the light out and I ask myself, ‘What kind of Christian are you?’ The problem is that I’m trying to live a life like Jesus rather than letting Jesus live his life through me.”

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook 6

FOR TODAY: February 22, 2010

Outside my window...a quiet main street (I’m at the coffee shop again. This time connecting with my writing group; we meet twice a month.)
I am thinking...about the writing the last person shared, which got me thinking I want to re-read The Lord of the Rings
I am thankful for...meals with friends. Cooking for others is a simple joy.
From the kitchen...tortellini with a veggie full (mushrooms, garlic, onions, and yellow, red, and green peppers) meat sauce for dessert we had raspberries and blueberries in strawberry yogurt.
I am wearing...winter boots, jeans, a Japanese-ish belt, red Revive concert tee, and my beloved grey stripped hat.
I am creating...a novel (on the second draft of my nano story and slowing blowing on thanks to encouragement from the writing group)
I am going...home after we’re done here.
I am reading...Julie and Julia. I’m trying to focus on one book because I only have three chapters left and it is a week late. I don’t mind the last fees, my library is taking donations to the food bank to banker as late fees in February.
I am hoping...to work my story this week.
I am hearing...the chatter and critiques of the writing group.
Around the house...I’ve been in my apartment almost four years about other than my rubber ducky bathroom there is little that speaks to who I am. I am going to be adding my own touch over the month. Two start I want to hang some pictures and posters and some Asian paper lanterns I bought this summer.
One of my favorite things...Mary Kay apricot hand scrub.
A few plans for the rest of the week: re-organize my office and prepare for the youth groups; over-nighter this Friday.
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...I have a picture to share BUT I can't find the camera cable to upload the picture.

You can find the more daybooks at Simple Woman's Daybook.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Go, Heroes, Go!

I had wanted to share my thoughts on last week’s “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” big premiere but the week didn’t go as planned. Now I’m running out the door to see this week’s episode and no time to post full thoughts but here are my predictions for tonight:

Heroes will sweep both challenges (reward and immunity).

If the villains go to tribal council Randy is going home.
If the heroes go to tribal council Stephenie is going home.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"Ethics" –Sunday Scribbling

I’m withdrawing from knitting Olympics. It might be silly since it is only a personal challenge. Before the Olympics began I had seven rows already completed. My plan was to rip the rows out and re-cast on after the Olympic flame was lit. When it came time to rip out the rows I couldn’t. I couldn’t rip out rows with no mistakes.

I could just finish project without ripping back. No one would know when I cast on. I even considered subtracting the amount of time the seven rows had taken from my time. No one else would have known (most wouldn’t care) and the prize is only a web button. But it would have been a lie. I still am going to aim to finish the slippers this month just not as part of the challenge.
For more ethical thoughts at Sunday Scribblings

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook 5

FOR TODAY: February 14, 2010
You can find the more daybooks at Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window...I’m in a room without a window…but last time I looked outside it was dark and snowing.
I am thinking...it’s not the day I had expected but it was good.
I am thankful for...clutter free spaces!
From the kitchen...frozen pizza. I’s so ashamed.
I am wearing...clogs with no socks, long (too long for my petite size) light tan cord skirt, grey Third Day hoodie, pink vest, surprisingly no hat.
I am creating...baby blanket and slippers (still)
I am going...home after I finish my raspberry mocha-something
I am reading...I haven’t done much reading this last week but the books that are on the go are: Free-range knitter, Jane Eyre, R is for Ricochet, Julie and Julia, and Simply Strategic Volunteers
I am hoping...Canada earns more gold medals especially in hockey.
I am listening to...whatever they are playing at the coffee shop. It’s an eclectic mix and nothing has sounded familiar yet.
Around the house…the kitchen counter is cleared, most of the dishes are washed, and I tried a carpet deodorizer recipe today.
One of my favourite things...a nice cup of tea.
A few plans for the rest of the week…begin sort through the clutter and piles in my office or maintain the current state of clean-clutter free living room (by hiding the clutter in the office).
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...


Sister and me a few years (2007 I think) ago riding the tea cups at Disneyworld

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Canada Presents

Did you catch the Olympic opening ceremonies? I watched them last night with Kim and Brent; I can’t remember ever watching any of the pervious openings. They’re pretty amazing. I loved the countries entering. I tried hard not to judge the uniforms…it didn’t always work. A few seemed over the top or clashed with the national flag. I didn’t know I was fashion harpy.

The youth group watch “Cool Runnings” this afternoon. The lack of Jamaican bobsled team entering last night was sad; the announcer said they had failed to place. Other lows or odd points were the choice of having D Lang singing “Hallelujah.” The song was haunting and well don but it didn’t make me thing “Olympic.” Or the fiddlers who were dressed like punk Celtics. And the whole artistic number with the people wandering and sharing their energy only to be separated by ice. The most awkward moment was when the torch pillars failed to raise. But these moments were minor next to the beauty of the whole. The best moments was the Canadian athletes entering, the visual lights displays and videos on the floor especially the whales with spurting water, the Northern lights, and the mountains, and SLAM poet Shane Koyczan presenting his “We Are More.”

Friday, February 12, 2010

To Knit or Not to Knit

The question really isn’t about knitting but whether to participate in the knitting Olympics or not. The Yarn Harlot is hosting a knitting challenge over the duration of the winter Olympics. Participants cast-on when the flame is lit and must be finished before the flame is extinguished.

I am thinking about restarting the felted slippers (the ones that I complained about a few weeks ago) tonight. Restarting totally and attempting to be done before the end of the winter games. Yet it seems crazy and impossible.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

10th Anniversary

I remember sitting in bio class ten years ago as my friend Sara tried to explain a new show that she had seen the night before. With a bit of effort she finally explained that the players lived on the island for up to 40 days and the one not voted off won a million. I was intrigue but didn’t have cable so Sara would give me a weekly update about the island.

Few could have predicted “Survivor’s” ongoing success. Ten years later the twentieth season “Heroes vs. Villains” begins tonight. It’s like the All-Star season only bigger pitting favourites against the infamous. CBS and Global both have sites to see whose back for another, for some this is a third chance at a million and “reality celebrity” fame.

I haven’t been a faithful “never-miss-an-episode” fan but have enjoyed different seasons. I recognize most of the heroes and villains and an actually excited to see who wins this season (and then I hope the show ends for good).

Here are my predictions:

A villain will win the million

  • Amanda will make it to final three.
  • Cirie on the jury make it to final five.
  • Colby on the jury make it to final six
  • James on the jury voted out seventh like the previous two times
  • Jerri gone before the jury (hopefully early) maybe third
  • Parvati voted out early before merge/jury
  • Rob making it to final three
  • Rupert on jury make it to final five
  • Russell voted early maybe even first (which would be sad from a viewing perspective he creates drama which is fun to watch...but smart for those who live with him because he plays dirty).

I don’t know (or don’t remember) Candice, Coach, Courtney, Danielle, JT, Randy, Sandra, Stephanie, Sugar, Tom, or Tyson so I can’t make any predictions about them. Once Global uploads the two-hour premiereto their site I’ll update my predictions (I missed the start because of youth group). Now it’s just a matter of seeing who can really “Outwit, Outplay, Outlast" or going with season’s new motto "Return, Revenge, Redemption".

Monday, February 08, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook 4

FOR TODAY: February 8, 2010

Outside my window...more snow
I am thinking...I’m overtired or at least I was. I went to bed last night at 4:30pm till 7:30am today had a shower then needed a nap.
I am thankful for...volunteers, how could anything happen (think about non-profit things like church) without dedicated and wonderful volunteers?
From the kitchen...Curry and Fries, not from my kitchen but The King’s Arm Pub. I had lunch today and order the chicken curry on fries for the first time ever. It was wonderful.
I am wearing...hiking-winter boots, miss-matched socks, jeans, maroon blouse, and my signature gray stripped hat.
I am creating...baby blanket and slippers (still)
I am going...to a church board meeting tonight
I am reading... Free-range knitter, What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim, Jane Eyre, R is for Ricochet, Julie and Julia, and Simply Strategic Volunteers
I am hoping...to hang some pictures this week
I am to listen...CBC radio or Add to the Beauty by Sara Groves
Around the house...wasn’t really “around the house” last week so I have a mound of things like dishes and laundry to take care of this week.
One of my favourite things...tea, I really like a warm cup of tea. Today’s choice it White Pomegranate from Tim Hortons
A few plans for the rest of the week: clear kitchen counters and next week’s Olympic themed children’s church lesson.
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
I'm still missing Japan, this is two of my closest friends taken in 2006.
From left to right: me, Maki, Tiffany

You can find the more daybooks at Simple Woman's Daybook.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

ACF, a Joke, and Japan

I visited Acadia University’s Christian Fellowship (ACF) tonight. A friend invited me because she I might be interested in the speakers topic. It was my first time at one of their meetings. It was like youth group meets adulthood. They were self-lead with student leaders sharing the responsibilities of speaking, organizing worship, prayer, and fun events. A guy who had been in my youth group just two years ago was collecting forms and money for their upcoming retreat. Watching their group gave me hope.

The group started sharing highs and lows of from their week. One girl said she had made a great lentil soup. Another girl, a div. student, asked if anyone bought it with their birthright. No one seemed to get it but I giggled for a few moments. I know it is a weak joke but I liked it.

The guy who spoke is teaching in northern Japan, hours from where I had taught. He’s home for a short break and will be going back next week. The region was different than where I was living but there were still similarities. At first it was just nostalgic trip down memory lane. I craved yakisoba, smiled at the mention of vending machines, and remembered my favourite places. But as he shared about the people and culture and the spiritual atmosphere I really wanted to go back. I’ve wanted to “go back” before but always as a short trip to travel and visit people. This time I wanted to actually go back longer maybe even teach. I don’t know what this means if it was just a feeling or something more. What I know is right now I miss Japan.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Reasonable Rewards

I’m looking for suggestions. With my Love, Lifestyles, Letters year long project (which I explained here) I’ve broken the big year goals into smaller monthly goals and then again into daily check lists. It’s working and I’m enjoying the challenge. However I realized today that there are no incentives. I hadn’t set any short term rewards…till today. I picked two rewards: 1) a hall carpet for my front entrance if I meet my cleaning goals and 2) a new shirt and pants if I meet my workout/health goals.

Both rewards are good. They are things that are practical but I would also enjoy. But I don’t want to always reward myself with consumer-buying prizes. The problem is all my ideas are centered in or go back to shopping, buying, and spending.

I thought of allowing myself to start a new knitting project but that means buying new yarn (not a bad thing in and of itself but I have just started two projects and have enough yarn to start at least three more). I thought about splurging on high end make-up…again buying stuff. I thought about buying a book but I have enough books that I haven’t even started.

What I need are suggestions; suggestions for rewards and incentives that do not require shopping?

Monday, February 01, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook 3

FOR TODAY: February 1, 2010

Outside my window...bare trees and snowy fields
I am thinking...not much of anything
I am thankful for...my girls Kim, Colette, and Shari. We just got back form pedicures. I love girlie trips. My toes are painted red.
From the kitchen...potato soup (see disaster post)
I am wearing...my brown shoes, jeans, a black T, pink fleece with pink vest, off white scarf, and my gray pin-striped hat.
I am creating...slippers (size 8) and a baby blanket -both knit projects
I am going...Tim Hortons
I am reading...Free-range knitter, What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim, Jane Eyre, R is for Ricochet, Julie and Julia, and Simply Strategic Volunteers
I am hoping...to understand the slipper pattern by week's end, right now the project has been set aside but there person how commissioned the slippers would like them done.
I am listening to...India, a mixed CD of various styles and Indian performers
Around the house...I made my own toilet bowl cleaner last week. I think I am going to try making my own oven cleaner next, but I lent a friend the book with the green cleaning recipes.
One of my favorite things...the first day of a new month. It feels like the day is full of possibilities and freshly painted toes with no smudges.
A few plans for the rest of the week: actually start working out and write the curriculum for children's church.
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
We have a "No Cell Phone" policy at youth group. Just before Christmas one of the youth dropped off his "banana phone". I loved it so much I took a picture. The only down side was his "phone" caused me to have the the kid's song "banana phone" stuck in my head the rest of the night.

You can find the more daybooks at Simple Woman's Daybook.