Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2010 To Do List

1. go roller skating at a roller rink
2. spend one week collecting as much ephemera as possible
3. visit Mt St Helens
4. go snow skiing with Jim
5. meditate on the beach
6. eat pomegranate and starfruit
7. make meatloaf and try to eat it (my #1 most hated food)
8. record both grandmas on video
9. get a passport and visit Canada
10. buy cool rain boots
11. take a walk in the rain
12. grow monster strawberries
13. buy a new Christmas tree
14. gain a basic knowledge of photoshop
15. go ice skating
16. take a picture every single day
17. wander slowly through an art museum
18. get a public library card and use it
19. find a piece of poetry that speaks to me
20. make a mini album about a trip to the grocery store
21. sit on a park bench and eat an orange
22. climb a tree
23. December Daily album (3rd time’s a charm)
24. locate and overuse a photobooth
25. watch the following classics: Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Casablanca, An Affair to Remember, My Fair Lady.
26. take a yoga class
27. sew an article of clothing and wear it
28. start a collection of spontaneous smiles.

29. swing really high
30. carry a piece of chalk and write my name on sidewalks all over the country
31. eat at The Melting Pot
32. learn to play at least one song on my fiddle
33. create and design new blog home (or really spruce up this one)
34. lay on the ground and find animal shapes in the clouds for an hour
35. read a book on public speaking

36. write a haiku

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Monday, December 28, 2009

My Life on December 28, 2009

(written at 7:30 am)

Outside my window... everything is covered in a layer of frost. No movement from any of the neighbors yet.

I am thinking... my body really hurts from working out for the first time in nearly a month. Serves me right.

I am thankful for... never having to do without shelter, food or love.

I am wearing... Ripped up jeans and a too big Nike sweatshirt.

I am creating... a 2010 to do list.

I am going... to sit here and drink coffee then “go” to work down the hall.

I am reading... nothing, but I’m expecting a shipment of new books this week.

I am hoping... this week flies by. Going home in 8 days!!!

I am hearing... the news about the would-be airplane bomber. Not great news for someone who flies a lot.

On my mind... What would I have done in that situation?

From the kitchen... I’m thinking either an apple or egg whites for breakfast. Not sure yet. Maybe both.

One of my favorite things... Nakato’s Japanese Steakhouse and all the other awesome restaurants back home. I will be eating 5 meals a day next week rather than the traditional 3.

The rest of the week... Fly to Oregon then come home and drive to Montana. No plans for New Year’s Eve.

Pondering these words... We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand… and melting like a snowflake. Let us use it before it is too late.
- Marie Beynon Ray

A picture to share...



(My favorite field in the whole world)

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

For No Reason A'tall



I had my camera. I looked down. My feet were there. It felt like the right thing to do.



After staring at gobs of paper and craft supplies, I finally started this project. More on it later.



I pulled out this can of olives while making enchiladas, intending to use them. Then I ate the whole can. The whole can.

There is absolutely no fluidity or reason for this post, but it feels good to get it out of my system.




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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Fun With My Camera Phone

No matter where I am or what I'm doing, my trusty camera phone is at the ready. I'm always on the lookout for something interesting or amusing.

This first photo was taken at 6-something in the morning. We had a kooky flight attendant that started unrolling toilet paper down the aisle with no further explanation. Next she grabbed the arms of the passengers you see here (and keep in mind this is in first class) and gently positioned the toilet paper over their arms.

Then she took the beginning of the toilet paper into the bathroom. She asked if we were all ready, then she flushed the toilet. The toilet paper that ran half the length of the plane disappeared in a fraction of a second.

Very creative kooky flight attendant lady!



This 2nd picture was taken in one of the few clothing stores I frequent. I took it because even though I wouldn't be caught dead in these metallic silver pants, I admired her moxie.



This one's a bit of a mystery but it amuses me nonetheless. I took an employee out to lunch and this was hanging above our table. I waited until he went to refill his drink then I took this picture.

It makes me think impure thoughts. Art is subjective.



And finally, this one was taken just this morning. Even the Grim Reaper shops at Best Buy 2 days before Christmas.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

My Life on December 21, 2009

Outside my window... Dark. Cold. Rainy. Traditional Northwest winter.

I am thinking... how much I would like to eat the rest of the pound cake in the refrigerator.

I am thankful for... minimal snow this season.

I am wearing.... jeans with a long sleeve T shirt and the ever present fleece jacket.

I am creating... currently without project. Will start new one tomorrow.

I am going... to have to start treadmilling again. It’s been 3 weeks. Plus then I could eat leftover pound cake.

I am reading... Great Love Poems.

I am hoping... I can stay away from that pound cake (obviously, it’s very much on my mind right now)!

I am hearing... my favorite episode of Bean and our laughter because of it.

On my mind... I seriously need to call my Dad.

From the kitchen... went pretty low brow tonight with salmon patties and rice a roni.

One of my favorite things... Triple grande peppermint white chocolate mocha from Starbucks. Liquid Christmas.

The rest of the week... Christmas!

Pondering these words... Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
- Melody Beattie

A picture to share... of my Grandma Lillie's beautiful hand. Lots of love there.



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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dolly Parton Christmas



We have an abnormally large collection of Christmas movies. Every year starting around Halloween we start watching them. We watch each and every one at least once. Some get watched a dozen times.

This year we added a couple to the collection but my favorite new one is White Christmas. I don't know how I've lived these 32 years without seeing it. It's not for everyone since it's a musical, but I love it, love it, love it.

This morning I was flipping through the channels and was thrilled to find Smoky Mountain Christmas on. There's just something about about Dolly Parton singing and Christmas and Mountain Dan that draws me in. If this movie is on, I must watch it. It matters not that the movie has a weird, evil witch lady in it. I can look past that for Dolly's sake.



Now that I think of it, I kind of like a lot of musicals. I just like the Dolly Parton one's extra.

Hey Mom, remember when I was little and told Preacher Ronnie that Best Little Whorehouse in Texas was my favorite movie? I still love that one, too.


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Thursday, December 17, 2009

12 Things - Update


On November 7th I listed 12 Things I wanted to accomplish before the end of 2009. Here's where I stand with only 14 days to go.

1. Go ice skating. (Does sliding around on a slippery sidewalk count?)

2. Get Jim to paint pottery with me.
3. Create a December Daily album. (This one is totally my bad. I had the thing almost completely done and the next thing I knew I was two weeks behind and gave up. Maybe next year.)

4. Eat at The Melting Pot fondue restaurant. (Came very close today but waited too long to make a reservation. Hoping for next week.)

5. Bake a pie from scratch.

6. Do something especially nice for a stranger. (Will be actively looking for something nice to do tomorrow.)

7. Take pictures in a photo booth. (Still dying to do this. I really thought there would be one at our local movie theater but alas, there was not.)

8. Finish knitting a scarf I started like 2 years ago. (Technically I didn't finish that same one, but I started and FINALLY finished a different one. I think that deserves extra credit.)

9. Send handmade Christmas Cards.

10. Make 3 Artsy videos. (One down, two to go. I already know what projects I would like to demonstrate, but I'm still having nightmares about the first video. Maybe I'll do the next one drunk.)

11. Send an anonymous gift to someone.

12. Design and create a new website. (This was written during a total lapse in judgement. There's no way. I'll be lucky to figure it out by the end of 2010.)


Clearly my 2009 to-do list has turned into an excuse list. It's too late on the December Daily album and the website. Those will be carried over to my 2010 list.

Good Gracious, I have a lot to do.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hypercolor and Selfishness



Growing up I never thought much about money. We were neither rich nor extremely poor. My parents worked hard to provide us with everything we needed and I think taught us the value of wants vs needs. As in I wanted Guess jeans but I really just needed regular ones.

We didn't splurge much on restaurants when I was young that I can recall, other than the rare special occasion. I remember going to Red Lobster once and Ryan's Steakhouse and I believe one of those was for my parent's anniversary. I'm not sure why they would take us out on their anniversary so that may be wrong.

Anyway, when I was 14 my parents took me to the mall in Springfield to see a movie. This is the one and only time I remember going out alone with my parents and I should have been beside myself with joy.

Before going to the movie, I managed to detour them into Dillard's to show them the latest and greatest in teenage sportswear. The Hypercolor T-shirt.

All the cool kids had them. They changed color with different temperatures. Looking back, why would anyone in their right mind want to wear a T-shirt that let everyone see when their armpits were getting overheated? It was a low expectation time in the world of fashion.

I ooh'd and aah'd over one then I think one of them asked if I wanted it. I remember it perfectly. It was purple with black letters that said "HYPERCOLOR" across the front and it turned pink when it got warm. I also remember that it was around $40 which was a heck of a lot for a T-shirt. That's still a heck of a lot for a T-shirt if you ask me.

My parents spent all of the movie money on this T-shirt for me and we went back home. I have thought of this story so many times since that day, more so as I get older, and am so ashamed that I put this silly material possession over an evening with my parents.

I'd give anything to go back in time and spend that evening out with my parents and just enjoy being with them. My Mom and Dad may not even remember this ordeal but it weighs heavy on my heart. I'm sure they were more than happy to splurge on their little girl and buy me something that I enjoyed because they're both giving people.

For nearly 18 years (dang that makes me feel old) I have thought about and regretted that moment, but I'd like to think it's helped Adult Angie understand that material possessions are no substitution for memories.

And just for the record Mom and Dad, I love you both more than any T-shirt.


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Monday, December 14, 2009

My Life on December 14, 2009

Outside my window... It’s dark and cold. We’re supposed to get 3” – 6” of snow tonight.

I am thinking... the Northwest is much nicer in the spring, summer and fall. Dusk at 3:45 means you’re sleepy by 6:00 and that's no good.

I am thankful for... this little space heater next to me.

I am wearing.... jeans and a big red sweatshirt.

I am creating... this darn scarf. I swear this is the last time I’ll say that. It’s almost done. Really.

I am going... to go to bed soon.

I am reading... The Promise in a Kiss by Stephanie Laurens. Yes, it’s a trashy romance novel and yes, I love to read trashy romance novels.

I am hearing... Grumpy Old Men on the TV.

On my mind... Trying to figure out how I’m going to squeeze all my family and friends into my short visit home in 3 weeks.

From the kitchen... Chicken and Dumplings.

One of my favorite things... watching the sun rise above the clouds. It makes me very happy.

The rest of the week... working locally the next few days then flying to Great Falls, MT on Friday.

Pondering these words... Happiness is to be found along the way, not at the end of the road, for then the journey is over and it is too late. Today, this hour, this minute is the day, the hour, the minute for each of us to sense the fact that life is good, with all of its trials and troubles, and perhaps more interesting because of them.
- Robert R. Updegraff

A picture to share...



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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Apple Crostata



Ingredients:

Crust:
1 1/4 cups flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
3-5 Tbsp cold water

Filling:
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp flour
4 cups peeled, sliced tart apples
1 Tbsp additional sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
caramel topping, optional


For the crust, mix the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in butter using a pastry blender until butter is about the size of peas.



Add one Tbsp of cold water at a time, mixing well after each addition until dough forms into a ball. Flatten into a disc and cover with plastic wrap.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes.



Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.


For the filling, peel and slice apples into approximately 1/4" thickness. Mix apples with 1/2 cup sugar and 3 Tbsp flour.



On lightly floured surface roll dough out into a rough circle about 1/8" thickness.


Place all of the apples in the center of the dough, leaving a 2" border. Mix the final Tbsp of sugar with 1/2 tsp cinnamon and sprinkle over the apples. Pull the edges of the dough over the apples.



Bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until golden brown. While it's still warm, top with plenty of caramel.



Then kick yourself for not having any vanilla ice cream to put on top.

This recipe was given to me by my super wonderful friend Jennifer. Thanks Jen!

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Who Has OCD?



This is the one and only store inside the Idaho Falls, ID airport. I was sitting in the one and only seating area in the airport outside of security. Because the airport is so small, they only open security 45 minutes before each flight.



As I was sitting here staring into Kathryn's Snack Shack I had a bout of anxiety overtake my senses. Who in their right mind set up the coffee station and left the blue blanket all crooked?



I appreciate their creative use of boxes as a makeshift table, but I want to rip that crooked blanket off of there.

I can't handle it anymore. I must look away.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Things He Does



Anyone who knows Jim knows that he has a tendancy toward pranks. Little pranks, big pranks, elaborate pranks, etc.

Here's a small list of some of his handiwork:
  • He hides activated magnetic anti-theft strips in my wallet so that when I go shopping I have to suffer the embarrassment of setting off alarms and being considered a possible shoplifter.
  • Last summer he pushed our car passenger seat backrest the entire way forward then pulled out the fuse so when Alan got in he was terribly uncomfortable. When Alan tried to adjust it and it didn't work, Jim tried to convince him he was either doing it wrong or broke it.
  • When our stylist, Shannon asked if I had lost weight, Jim told her it was because I had worms.
  • When our dentist commented that my cleaning wouldn't take long because I take very good care of my teeth, Jim ratted me out and told him I wasn't flossing everyday, so I got in trouble.
  • Once I pulled out my license and there was a beard drawn on my face.
  • A couple years ago Jim had a horrible case of foot odor and I insisted he wash his feet before he came to bed. When I went to bed I complained that I could still smell his feet. Turns out he washed his feet but put his rotten socks in my pillowcase.
  • At Christmas he's known to not only unwrap and rewrap his gifts, but he has also wrapped my own clothes and given them to me. Movies too.
  • When we were back home using Mom's car, Jim bought a bunch of really stinky pine tree air fresheners and hid them up inside her seats.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. I spend a lot of time watching my back.
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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My Life on December 8, 2009

(journaled at 7:50 am)

Outside my window... I’m watching the sun rise outside the window at my home airport while waiting for my morning flight.

I am thinking... I sure see the sun rise a lot.

I am thankful for... being able to go home in January on a business trip, even though it will be way too short.

I am wearing... boring business clothes. Again.

I am creating... still working on that scarf, but it’s just about done. Almost ready to start my Christmas cards. And I need to catch up on my December Daily Album (which I will post if I actually do catch up on it).

I am going... to Boise, Idaho.

I am reading... Cosmo.

I am hoping... Boise is warmer than here.

I am hearing... the guy across from me talking on his cell and the couple next to me talking to their cute little girl.

On my mind... favorite scrapbook store is in Boise. Can't wait to go.

From the kitchen... made Potato Cheddar Soup on Sunday. Had porkchops last night. Planning on popcorn for dinner tonight.

The rest of the week... Desperately wanting to see the 3D Christmas Carol movie on Thursday. Going to Salt Lake City Friday.

Pondering these words... Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.
- Mother Teresa

A picture to share...


(temperature on the way to the airport this morning)

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Potato Cheddar Soup



Ingredients:
4 medium russet potatoes
2 heaping Tbsp finely chopped celery
2 heaping Tbsp finely chopped onion
2 heaping Tbsp finely chopped carrot
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vinegar
1 1/2 cups milk
2 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese (plus extra for topping)
crumbled bacon
green onions

Peel and chop potatoes into bite sized pieces. You should have about 4 cups.



Chop the celery, onion, and carrots into small pieces, about the size of a grain of rice. Finely mince the garlic.



Over medium heat bring 2 cups of chicken broth, salt, vinegar and vegetables to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes.



Whisk together the milk and flour and pour into the stock. Return heat to medium and simmer for 5-8 minutes. Potatoes should start falling apart depending on the size they were originally cut. If needed, use a potato masher to make the pieces smaller.

Add the sharp cheddar. I estimated it at 1 1/2 cups but really I just grab as much as I can get in a handful. Stir until melted.

Top the soup with more cheese (because there's no such thing as too much cheese) and crumbled bacon and whatever else you like.



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Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Christmas Tradition




There is a store in Ozark, MO called Boomland Square that hosts a Christmas open house every year around the middle of November.

They sell all sorts of home decor items and collectables, but during Christmas time they decorate tons of Christmas trees in all sorts of themes and sell thousands and thousands of ornaments.

They also personally serve everyone from a huge buffet of wonderful food and deserts as far as the eye can see.



My mom and I started going to the open house shortly after I got married. Our first year she bought me a beautiful set of crystal snowflake ornaments.



After that it became a yearly tradition for me and mom to go to the Boomland open house together, and she always spoiled me with a new set of ornaments to add to my collection.



When I put my tree up each season, these ornaments remind me of my special tradition with my mom and I wish that we were able to still do this.

I also wish I could remember the details around each ornament. What year was this one? What were we wearing? What did we eat? What did the store smell like? What did we talk about? Who did we see while we were there?

It's the details of life that I want to focus on. I want to capture and soak up every single moment so that I can revisit them whenever I want.



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