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Monday, March 9, 2009

Spring, where art thou?

Once February ends, there is hope in the air. Spring will arrive soon, the worst of the winter is over, if it snows it won't last....I've heard or made each of those statements during the past week. We had days warm enough to wear jackets instead of full fledged coats. Friend raked part of the yard on Saturday. But the hope of spring ended today. *sigh*

We woke up to several inches of snow, and it just kept on coming.

At 8:30 I went out and started shoveling - at that point the snow was at a little over a foot and still falling. At 9:30 I had the driveway cleared enough to get out and drive Alexa to school. Then I went in the basement and made a purse.

When I emerged at 3:00 the snow was at around TWO FEET....and STILL FALLING! What the heck?

This is wrong, wrong, wrong. Thank goodness Alexa has brownies baking now.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Looking forward to Bethany's birthday

I've just finished up a quilt top for Bethany, hopefully I'll have it quilted and bound for her 21st birthday on St. Patrick's Day. If I had an actual working camera I'd post a picture, but you'll just have to imagine it - it has several St. Pat's prints, some pink prints, some green and pink prints...overall a fun mix. I also embroidered a few squares with some Irish/St. Pat's themes. The back will be a pink paisley. Bethany still enjoys having this holiday theme for her birthday, thank goodness :-). It suites a redhead like her.

So, although I don't have a picture to of the quilt-to-be to share I will share this great picture of a Bethany birthday cake. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Yeah! Still some progress!

I've been out of town all week. I went to a retreat in Dallas for 3 days, which is associated with a consulting job, and every day they provided 3 delicious meals along with 2 snacks and constant candy on the tables. I resisted all the "bad" stuff as much as possible and went for walks around the hotel when the snack breaks came. Now I'm in California for a few days to visit my little grandson. I went to WW down here tonight to weigh in - and actually lost 3.5 pounds! That's HUGE considering all the temptations I've had all week! And it brings my total loss in 4 weeks to a little over 9 pounds. Cara and I are "living healthy" here with lo-cal meals and exercise. This morning we went for a two mile walk with William in the stroller, we strolled the mall in the afternoon, and in the evening I went to Curves while she had her exercise class. We made grilled chicken, couscous and black bean salsa for dinner. We found a chicken tikka masala recipe which we will try out tomorrow. This sounds luscious so I can't wait to try it. Here's the recipe:

Chicken Tikka Masala


2/3 cup(s) low-fat plain yogurt
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp ginger root, fresh, grated
2 medium garlic clove(s), minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 pound(s) uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 2-inch chunks
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium garlic clove(s), minced
1 small jalapeno pepper(s), minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
8 oz canned tomato sauce
1 cup(s) fat-free evaporated milk
1/4 cup(s) cilantro, fresh, chopped
2 cup(s) cooked white rice, basmati, kept hot

To prepare chicken, in a large bowl, whisk together first seven ingredients; add chicken and toss to coat. Cover bowl and marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

Preheat outdoor grill, stovetop grill pan or nonstick skillet.

Skewer chicken pieces onto four metal or wooden skewers. Grill or cook skewers in a hot skillet until chicken is cooked through, turning frequently, about 5 to 7 minutes. (Make sure to soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes to prevent charring.)

To make sauce, heat oil in a large, high-sided skillet (or wide saucepan) over medium heat. Add remaining minced garlic clove and jalapeno; cook, stirring occasionally, 1 minute. Add remaining teaspoon of cumin and paprika and stir to coat. Add tomato sauce and evaporated milk, reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Remove grilled chicken from skewers. Add to tomato mixture and simmer 1 minute to heat through. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Serve with rice. Yields about 1 cup of chicken mixture and 1/2 cup of rice per serving.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Oh no!

It's official. I am addicted to technology. I flew to Dallas today, after a scary trip in the snow of the canyon and a nice visit with my seatmate from Oakland - and the first thing I did was hook up my computer to the internet. The next thing was to start texting a few people. I am depending on these two bits of technology to get me through the week I'll be away from home. Everything's going great with the computer (obviously) as it's helping me pass some time before my first meeting tonight. But the phone...ah, the phone...that's another story.

I depend on my phone to wake me with it's alarm, remind me of appointments, store phone numbers, tell me what time it is, and communicate through text and calls - and when I got here with a low battery (thanks Alexa!) my charger wouldn't work! So my phone is off now. It has almost no juice left. I'll have to do the good old fashioned "wake up call" in the morning and I won't know what time it is all day. I hope I won't miss my flight home! I won't be able to communicate instantly with my kids or co-workers. How will I survive? How?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

2009 already?

Wow, 2008 is over at last. I had stress, but there were good times as well.

We started the year with a fun family cruise to Mexico in January to celebrate Mom and Dad's 50th anniversary. Sadly, Cara and William had to stay behind because Will was too young to go, but the whole rest of the family was there. I wish we could do it again!

In April I went to Dallas for a few days for a consulting job - and had the excitement of being summoned with all the guests to the basement of the Marriott hotel in the middle of the night because of a tornado. Fortunately, the hotel wasn't hit but there was lots of damage in the area. I also had to stay an extra day due to American Airlines grounding a certain kind of airplane, the kind I was booked on to fly home of course.

I went to California for Memorial Day weekend to visit William (oh, and John and Cara too of course).

In August, Trevor and Christi got married. I'm happy to have Christi "officially" in the family, she is a beautiful person inside and out. Those two did the whole wedding themselves, on a tight budget, and it was just beautiful. They did a fabulous job. I really enjoyed their wedding day and hope they did too!

We had more visits from Cara and family in July, August, October and December. Those were fun! It's been wonderful to have enough time with William to feel like I know him and he knows me. This will be a challenge as long as he lives so far away. I am thankful for the opportunities to travel there, and happy that his parents will bring him here for visits.

We went to California in October to celebrate William's first birthday, and to take Ryan to Disneyland for the first time. Fun times!

We were lucky enough to have Cara and William in Utah for a long Thanksgiving, then they returned for an extended Christmas trip with John. So the holidays were awesome in 2008!

There was heartache with the death of my father-in-law in October, and with Greg's divorce. I'm so hoping that 2009 will bring all of my family more joy and less pain.

I also made a job change in 2008 - a very hard decision to make, but it was necessary for job security. So far it looks like I made the right choice. We'll see.

My goals for 2009 include getting a hobby again! I used to do creative things regularly, but that has gone by the wayside for far too long. In 2009 I'm going to be making AND FINISHING some quilts! Stay tuned....