Saturday, November 30, 2013

Weekend Cooking - 11/30/13

Weekend Cooking hosted by
Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. For more information, see the welcome post.

Anyone who knows me AT ALL knows that I am not a cook!  I am known for my exceptional mac 'n cheese, boxed version, only slightly charred on the bottom and perhaps my burnt water. That's 'bout it folks.

But I have now been bitten by the slow cooker / crock pot craze!

I've pinned a ton of potential recipes to my "set up solely for this purpose" Pinterest account, purchased a relatively fancy pot, and dunked my toe in slowly. Wednesday, I cooked a beef stew.... Someone should have told me that dried herbs are much stronger than fresh - holy thyme Batman! By the second day, it was edible. 

Yesterday, I made corned beef and cabbage (which my grandmother made my whole life and I loved).  The corned beef didn't come with a spice packet as indicated. We did a quick internet search and faked it the best we could with what was on hand.  It tasted a bit too...Christmasy for me. Too much cinnamon? Not sure. But it was edible and I actually quite liked it. The hubby...has decided he does not like cooked cabbage. Hmmm...

Today, I am falling back to my safety pasta zone and attempting a spinach lasagne. And...

It was delicious!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tuesday Tunes - 11/26/13

A good lyric is like a great book...

The Thanksgiving Song
Adam Sandler, Writer & Artist

"They wanna hear the thanksgiving song! All right.."
"This is uhh, This is the Thanksgiving Song"
"I hope you enjoy it."

[Starts playing]
Love to eat turkey
Love to eat turkey

[Shout from Crowd:] "I love you Adam!"
[Adam Sandler:] "Ohhh, I love you!"
Love to eat turkey
'Cause it's good
Love to eat turkey
Like a good boy should
'Cause it's turkey to eat
So good

[Adam Sandler:] "That clappin's messing my head up man. I appreciate it.
But I was trying to think of the next line and all I hear is clapping.
Here we go... Thanks anyways"

Turkey for me
Turkey for you
Let's eat the turkey
In my big brown shoe
Love to eat the turkey
At the table
I once saw a movie
With Betty Grable
Eat that turkey
All night long
Fifty million Elvis fans
Can't be wrong
Turkey lurkey doo and
Turkey lurkey dap
I eat that turkey
Then I take a nap

Thanksgiving is a special night
Jimmy Walker used to say Dynomite
That's right
Turkey with gravy and cranberry
Can't believe the Mets traded Darryl Strawberry
Turkey for you and
Turkey for me
Can't believe Tyson
Gave that girl V.D.

White meat, dark meat
You just can't lose
I fell off my moped
And I got a bruise
Turkey in the oven
And the buns in the toaster
I'll never take down
My Cheryl Tiegs poster
Wrap the turkey up
In aluminum foil
My brother likes to masturbate
With baby oil
Turkey and sweet potato pie
Sammy Davis Jr.
Only had one eye

Turkey for the girls and
Turkey for the boys
My favorite kind of pants
Are corduroys
Gobble gobble goo and
Gobble gobble gickel
I wish turkey
Only cost a nickel
Oh I love turkey on Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday Salon - 11/24/13

If you are interested in other Salon posts, visit the Facebook page to get links.

What up, bloggies?! 

This past week has been busy catching up at work, preparing for a Purely Vocals performance, and preparing for this holiday week, during which I am on vacation! All I can say is, "Ahhhhhh...."  Vacation is a good thing!

I've split my time so far this weekend reading/relaxing and doing errands. Hubby's on vacation too, so we are planning on spending the week chillin' and celebrating the holiday with family. Hubby's family is having guests from Scotland, which is very exciting and cool. I guess this would be their first Thanksgiving... What fun it will be to spend the holiday with folks who are experiencing it anew!

And of course we will spend some time with my 'Fam-Damily'. It's looking to be a pretty great week!

Books and Blogging

So, as I've mentioned, it's been a busy year and I really feel like I've been slacking blog-wise. So, now that things have slowed a bit (or at least the "responsibilities" have and that makes it feel like life has calmed), I've been focusing a bit more on it and where I want to go with it.

As you may have noticed, I've been hard at work making some changes. A new look was overdue. I had tried a template I found a few weeks ago, but I just didn't love it. This new look is cleaner, less busy...but still cute. It's called "Lovebirds". Of course, I nixed the bird pic and added my own LoveKitty pic! Ha! What do you think?

I've also decided to incorporate more reviews with Throwback Thursday, reviews of books I read before the blog was started. I've read some good ones and it's a shame to let them go unnoticed.  I've also been reading a bit more, so hopefully newer reviews are on their way too.  This week, I am reading Everything is Perfect When You're A Liar by Kelly Oxford. Not sure if I like it yet, but I have laughed out loud at least that's a good sign.

Thoughts on the blog changes? Anything not included that you'd like to see? 

Hope everyone has a great week and (if you are celebrating) an awesome holiday!


Friday, November 22, 2013

Throwback Thursday Reviews Coming...

Throwback Thursday Reviews

As I've noted recently, I feel badly that I've had such a slow reading year. And of course I'd always like to offer more book reviews on my site, but being such a slow reader in a normal month makes this difficult, let alone my "slow months".

Then I remembered...I've read some really good books, many of which were before I started my blog! So I've decided to review some of these books and call these "Throwback Thursday Reviews"*.

Clearly, these will be older books. But perhaps they will be a book that you haven't read yet and maybe one that you had even forgotten?  Wouldn't that be nice?!  I won't likely do a review each week, but I'll try to at least fill in the gaps when I have not have finished a new book.

So keep your eyes open for these coming reviews and let me know if you add any of these "oldies but goodies" to your TBR lists!

*As with any book, reviews will be tainted by personal interests and experiences. Kindly note that these reviews will also be tainted by time and memory.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tuesday Tunes - 11/19/13

A good lyric is like a great book...

Cherry Tree 
10,000 Maniacs, Artist
Robert Buck and Natalie Merchant, Writers

Over your shoulder, please don't mind me
if my eyes have fallen onto your magazine
Oh I've been watching and wondering
why your face is changing with every line you read.

For all those lines and circles, to me, a mystery.
Eve pull down the apple and give a taste to me.
For if she could it would be wonderful, but my pride is in the way.
I cannot read to save my life, I'm so ashamed to say.

I live in silence, afraid to speak
of my life in darkness because I cannot read.

But all those lines and circles, to me, a mystery.
Eve pull down the apple and give a taste to me.
For if she could it would be wonderful.
Then I wouldn't need someone else's eyes to see what's in front of me.
No one guiding me.

It makes me humble to be so green
at what every kid can do when he learns A to Z,

But all those lines and circles just frighten me
and I fear that I'll be trampled if you don't reach for me.
Before I run I'll have to take a fall.
And then I pick myself up, so slowly
I'll devour every one of those books in the Tower of Knowledge. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Twelve Months - Manchester

Don DiMarco has just received the worst news possible. He has been diagnosed with colon cancer and has, likely, no more than Twelve Months to live. 

After the initial shock wears off, DiMarco and his wife Bella decide he might as well get busy doing just that, living! A "to-do" list is created of five things that DiMarco has always wanted to do: stand up comedy, driving a race car, professional news journalism, among others. He spends the next months of time fulfilling these goals, ultimately discovering that his ultimate goal isn't about racing or writing, but with spending his limited time with his loved ones and making efforts to change others' lives for the better.

A well-written, cookie cutter story, Steven Manchester's work reads very much like Mitch Albom's The Five People You Meet In Heaven. An oddly "feel-good" story, despite the dire circumstances. A little too schmaltzy, a bit too do-gooder, but overall a nice read which goes fairly quick.

3/5- Good. Read it, have a good time and move on. Or not.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday Salon - 11/10/13

If you are interested in other Salon posts, visit the Facebook page to get links.

So, the past two weeks have been...not as restful as planned. Post party, I expected to rest and be lazy, rake some leaves and wait patiently for Thanksgiving. My body had different plans! 

The week after Halloween, I got a head cold and was out of work for three days. Lots of rest, liquids and all of that.  By Friday I was feeling better and ready for the weekend. Saturday I awoke feeling pretty ok and figured I would blow a few leaves. But, by mid-day, I had the worst stomach ache (searing pain). A trip to the hospital determind that I likely had the stomach flu going around (no nausea, apparently due to the dehydration from the head cold). I then spent the past week fighting off this tummy bug (I will spare you all the gory details, you're welcome) while still working, since I was out last week.

I can't possibly have been more thankful for this three day weekend!!!

Starting to return to normal now, well normal minus about ten pounds! Ha!

Books and Blogging

The good thing about being sick and spending hours in bed is the extra reading time (well that and having the hubby baby me with bowls of soup and glasses of Gatorade). Sometimes I have decreased focus, but usually I get at least a few extra reading hours in. I found another book that I was able to grab on to and power through, Twelve Months by Steven Manchester. A review is due on Wednesday as usual. I've just started Camp by Michael Eisner. Hoping this one moves quickly as well.

Anyone else fighting these nasty bugs going around?!

Hope it's a great week for everyone!!


Thursday, November 07, 2013

October 2013 ReCap...

October 2013 Update 

Such a busy month, but not very reading-productive. Finally got some mojo back though, here's hoping November will be a good month!

This month I read: 
Total Read: 2
YTD:  31
Adult: 2
YA/children's: 0
Abandoned: 0 

Like Family (Paula McLain)
Wave (Sonali Deraniyagala)


Favorite Book(s) of the Month:

Wave (Sonali Deraniyagala)

Challenges Update: 
Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge = 31 of 58
A-Z Book Challenge = 20 of 26
Library Reading Challenge = 29 of 36
E-Book Reading Challenge =  18 of 25
What's in a Name 6 Challenge = 5 of 6

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Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Wave - Deraniyagala

In December of 2004, Sonali Deraniyagala and her family were enjoying a lovely holiday in Sri Lanka. Deraniyagala's two sons were enjoying their time off from school in London, while she and her husband were resting from their busy lives as economics academics. Her mother and father had joined the family to enjoy their southern coast vacation. 

Life was good.

Sadly, on December 26th, the world changed. An underground earthquake off the coast of Japan set off a tsunami which traveled many miles and struck their holiday get-a-way quickly and harshly. The family ran, but luck was not on their side. While Deraniyagala amazingly survived, no one else did. Her husband, children and her parents were killed by the Wave.

In this touching memoir, Deraniyagala recounts her horrific experience during the tsunami, her immediate and prolonged attempts to deny and forget the loss, and ultimately her journey toward acceptance and a life which enables her to enjoy and cherish the memories of her lost loved ones.

Well written, heart wrenching, but ultimately triumphant. An excellent read.

4/5- Great. Push it on your friends and family.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Mondays - 11/4/13

This meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

Crap on a cracker, I lost a whole week there!

A head cold, followed by a stomach bug, just knocked me into oblivion. But, bed rest provides excellent reading time, doesn't it?!

Now Reading
Twelve Months (Steven Manchester)

Just Finished
Wave (Sonali Deraniyagala)

On Deck:
Many, fabulous, awesome options...