Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Owww! oh! oh no! Oh my...

Hope everyone had a most wonderful Chrimpus holiday! Yes? and Me? well, um, I had planned on sharing a Chrimpus post before now, and had also hoped to make the rounds before the 25th, wishing fellow bloggers the best... but what? Well, those size 7 boys jammers I had mentioned earlier? and my honey-man's secret present I needed to finish? The night of the 22nd, I spent hours sewing on 'em and it is now very clear to me that my early 20s are long gone = I can no longer use my sewing machine sitting on the floor.

The morning of the 23rd, I threw my back out. Yup, it was juhhst lovely. the initial pain? I had to crawl into the front room on my forearms and knees, ever soooo so SLOWLY, like a slug, in search of my cell phone. As I went, Otis and Owen were absolutely befuddled and they crept along beside me, around me, beneath me, in circles around me, wondering what the hell was up with this new posture I was sporting. I couldn't help but laugh at the situation though, eye-level with the kitties.

So basically the day was shot before it began. Instead of wrapping up some online stuff and some last minute gifts before packing the car and hitting the road for L.A., I laid flat on my back in bed, occasionally groaning a bit. Luckily, thanks to loads of rest, lots of ibuprofen, the dilegent alternating of applied heat and ice, and lots of loving advice and encouragement and coaching from my family in Iowa, I eventually made an uncomfortable drive to L.A. the next day, arriving in time for Christmas Eve - minus the rich "Market Street Grill" clam chowder or the marbled cheesecake or almondine honey veggies or any of the other items I'd planned on preparing for that evening.

Granted, this whole back thing brought most of my Christmas Eve and Day plans to a screeching halt... HOWEVER, this was my first Chrimpus in L.A. with both my honey-man and the angel-boy O ~ and that's the BEST! Frequently finding myself veclempted throughout the weekend, I've had a really good one despite the bad back! It's been a love-loaded holiday ANNNND I totally plan to share details and pics later, but right now, this sitting at the compooter is beginning to aggravate my back ~ Yeah, I'm not quite entirely okay just yet. Fingers crossed that I'll be able to ski the slopes of Keystone, CO next week - puhleeeze!?! Puhleeze let me be able to ski! puhleeze?
Wish me luck!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Planning to post, Really I am

I gots stuff tah say about Chrimpus, I do! I'm planning on it, but I need to first go sew some flannel jammies for a size 7 in 'boys' and I also desperately need to finish my SECRET *shhh* surprise gift I'm making for my honey-man. Don't tell!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Blurb for Today

A study conducted by UCLA's Department of Psychiatry has revealed that the kind of face a woman finds attractive on a man can differ depending on where she is in her menstrual cycle.

For example: If she is ovulating, she is attracted to men with rugged and masculine features.

However, if she is menstruating, or menopausal, she tends to be more attracted to a man with scissors lodged in his temple and tape over his mouth while he is set on fire.

No further studies are expected.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Red, Jeweled Fruits

This post is basically about how I had my first pomegranate in over 18 years ~ it was a big little moment for me. Yes, sounds TOTALLY lame -I know- but what I'm sayin' is so-so-so true. First of all, I wore a red shirt in honor of the occasion - why is that significant? Well, for the fact that I could vaguely recall how messy pomegranates are... In fact, if I remember right, my mum would give me a small bowl and hand me a pomegranate she had split open to start me off, and then she'd send me OUTSIDE, but only if I was already wearing either red or dark clothing. SIDENOTE: I wore a lot of red as a kid and still wear a lot of reds -never, ever became a fan of 'pink' until my mid-twenties- although indigo blue has always been my favorite color ~ which brings us to Another SIDENOTE: Always in error, my mother frequently cited red as my favorite color.
Anyhow, a colleague at work had literally given me a 5-gallon bucket of pomegranates from his own pomegranate tree-?/bush-? [I guess I could check that one online, but I'm too lazy to do it right now.] Over a couple weeks' time, I gave the pomegranates away to friends at work and total strangers, alike = People would come into my office to ask me a question and I'd reply, "Want a pomegranate?" No one would ever take more than one, but I managed to give away all but four. I took those 4 pomegranates home over 2 weeks ago (yes, they keep a really, really long time in the fridge). Yup, stashed in my crisper, I ignored their existence for at least 2 whole weeks. Last Saturday, as I removed them from the crisper to make room for new fruits and veggies, I set the uneaten pomegranates out on the floor (???) as if I was planning to throw them out - and I was, but instead of tossing them out, I left the kitchen to go busy myself with something else. I came and went from the kitchen several more times that morning, ignoring the pomegranates. Finally, I asked myself, "Geesh, what's up with the pomegranates and this most obvious passive, avoidant behavior?" And the answer hit me - it grabbed my heart and lodged itself in my throat = it was too painful. I couldn't even remember how to eat them. I wanted my mum to start one for me. I wanted her to hand me one, ready for me to open.
Immediately, having realized the psychological drama surrounding these poor, neglected pomegranates that lay on my kitchen floor outside the pantry door, I went to my bedroom to change into a red shirt (picture taken later that day).

It took me over 20 minutes to rediscover just how to open and gut these babies - and the mess? I was giggling like a total goomba, tearing up at the same time and giggling some more, pleased as punch about the delightful mess I was making. I was amazed -and still am- at how much I felt like a little kid, like I did nearly 19 years ago; running out the back door at top speed, to plop down in the cool grass with my pomegranate in hand, singing ABBA's "Waterloo" at the top of my lungs.

P.S. Now that I know/remember how to eat 'em and I do happen to be much older now, I don't believe my next pomegranate will require I wear red for the occasion.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Guilty Confession

I really love the holiday gift-package-packing dancers in the Kohl's commercials showing on TV right now. You may need Adobe's Macromedia's Flash Player (link here for free install).

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Blog Cookie Exchange

Susie's a clevah girl and came up with this nifty blogging cookie exchange idea of sorts... Sharing online yer Christmas recipes, special holiday traditions, apparel and gifts. I'm late in the day to be doing this, but I'm doin' it!
RECIPES: This recipe, amongst a gazillion others (Chocolate Cherry Bars, Peanut Butter Blossoms, Candy Cane Cookies, Carmels, Turtles, Ginger Molasses cookies, Russian Teacakes, Mint-topped Brownies, Pumpkin Choc Chip Muffins, Ginger Lemon Muffins, Cranberry Bread, Frosted Gingerbread, Sugar Cookies, etc. etc. etc), has been a part of my Christmas baking/cooking repertoire for years - except the last few, going out of town each year. Anywhooo, my mum's family LOVES this "Philadelphia Fudge" recipe. NOTES: Continued on the back of the recipe card is written, "slice when set." Another thing, we always keep this stuff in the freezer - soooo yummy - it will melt in your mouth! Also, I sift the powdered sugar before adding it to either the cream cheese (c.c. should be at room temperature!) or melted chocolate because it makes good for mixing smoother fudge. As for "chopped nuts," use your own fave ~ I prefer either pecans or walnuts, myself.

Special TRADITIONS: Although customary for most, the Christmas Stocking has always been one of my favorite traditions... "Santa" personally stuffs mine (Santa is code for my honey-man, of course) and not until Christmas morning do I get to see with what lil' goodies it's been filled - one music CD is always requisite and milk chocolate. I. LOVE. STUFFING. STOCKINGS. Christmas Stockings. LOVE IT! And this year!?!? This will be my first time to stuff the Christmas Stocking of a child ~ my honey-man's sweet angel boy-O! I consider this opportunity an honor, most seriously. Not unlike last Easter -playing the Easter Bunny for the first time- I'm terrified that I'll disappoint. For this Christmas as Santa, however, unlike my first try at the Easter Bunny role, I solemnly swear that I will NOT overdo the chocolate/candy this time = this is my promise. P.S. My mummy made this Chrimpus stocking for me sometime before 1985, when we lived in SLC.

APPAREL: Okay, I don't really own any Christmas- themed apparel... I have a few snowflake- themed turtlenecks (5 of 'em) that I wear throughout the holiday season, but Christmas specific? No. Instead, I have pins, decorative Christmassy clothing pins. Each coat I may wear during the winter holiday season has a Chrimpus pin ~ and here's a sampling of them. I do not know where I got this lil' personal tradition; no one in my family does this but me. I just decided to do it, and as I acquired more and more pins (each and every one has been a gift from someone), it's become possible to "decorate" every winter coat I own. This decision to wear Christmas pins is kinda like the independent decision I made on my own at age 7 to cover my mouth when I yawn - no one explicitly ever told me or by habitual example taught me to cover my mouth when I yawn; I just decided to do it. I remember watching my mother -a very pretty woman- yawning ever so casually at the kitchen table one morning. That moment in my memory is crystalline - the way the mind works is a total mystery to me. Anyhow, it was then and there in that moment of time that I decided I would always, whenever possible, cover my mouth with my hand when I yawn cuz yawning with your mouth wide open? face all stretched and contorted? = it's totally unattractive. But I digress...

GIFTS: Nope, no can do-do ~ Sorry, but I cannot reveal my secrets!
Christmas is coming people! DUH-ER!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Amy, the Funnie Laydee

Go to this website (link HERE) and check out Amy's comedy routine - her Twelve Days of Christmas bit (hardly a mere bit) is absolutely hilarious!

It Helps that I Love Yogi

Tomorrow morning, I'll be mailing off ALLL of my pink lids to Yoplait for their "Save Lids to Save Lives" campaign.
This pile represents A LOT of yogurt!

Happily, I licked each one clean!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

"Moderate Risk"

Good news this morning ~ Although still considered positive for pre-cancerous cervical cells - a condition now known to me as "dysplaysia" - my biopsy results came back as "moderate risk," versus low or severe. I was, of course, hoping for "low", but either way, whether my results had been found to be low risk or moderate, I now have to see the doc every 3 months for follow-up testing for the next year to monitor my status. I was told my condition may go away altogether on its own, but if not, and my tests continue to test out as positive/moderate, the next step will be to have the top layer of my cervix surgically shaved off - ?!? Naah, it's not as alarming as it may sound, and although I would have to undergo anesthesia, it's just an outpatient surgery, and it would in no way affect my ability to have children down the road someday. At this point, my doc assures me there is very little chance to none that I will ever go so far as to develop cervical cancer, as we'll be watching me like a hawk from here on out. THANKS FOR ALL THE WELL WISHES!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Hot Damn!

Isn't the expression "Hot damn" supposed to be used much like "wowzers?" An expression used when one is stunned by something before them? or impressed?
Is it to be used in the affirmative or negative?
I dunno - nevermind all that - all I do know is that it's hot cocoa time here in Vegas, baby! Meaning, it's officially COLD here!!! Last night I could see my breath and my nosey hairs stuck to the inner lining of my nose when I inhaled! Sure, it's not freezing-my-butt-off-in-Minnesota cold, but it's purty damn cold for my pansy bum.

Has anyone ever heard anyone use the expression "Cold damn?" - is there such a thing?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Tah Dah! ~ Recipe for "Cranberry Fluff Fruit Salad"

Thanksgiving last year, while we were visiting my parents in Iowa for the holiday, my honey-man discovered for the first time the scrumptious, fruity, tangy yumminess that is Cranberry Fluff. He also met my parents for the first time. And it was also the first time since 1994 that I had brought a significant other home to Iowa to meet the parents!

Anyhow, once my honey-man had experienced the delicious culinary delight that is Cranberry Fluff, he typed up the recipe and emailed it to me before we returned to Vegas to make sure I'd have it for the future.

My own personal notes have been added in either smaller or larger type.

2 cups ground, fresh cranberries - a food processor is a must or all you'll have is a mess!
3 cups tiny marshmallows

3/4 cup sugar

2 cups diced, unpared
(meaning keep the skin) tart apples (I use one Granny Smith, and one crisp red apple of some kind, usually "honey-crisp" apples)
or 2 large cans chunk pineapple (or some of each, I would suppose?)
1/2 cup seedless green grapes
- we cut 'em in halves
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup either heavy cream or regular whipping cream, whipped
- Oops, I'm so sorry (not really), guess I was wrong... No Cool Whip = Definitely not up to Mormon fruit salad standards!

Combine ground cranberries, marshmallows and sugar. Do not overmix or the marshmellows will fall apart. Cover and chill overnight. The following day, gently add the apples, pineapple (only if you believe you absolutely must!!!), grapes, walnuts, and the salt, and then gently fold in the whipped whipping cream. Chill for at least a half hour before serving. Put in a serving bowl or individual lettuce cups. Trim with clusters of fresh green grapes if desired.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings
(unless I'm there!) and ENJOY!