Monday, December 31, 2012

Beautiful Dreamer

I love this commercial for the imagination used in it, the shots capture, and the song...the song always makes me look up when it comes on.



The song is Beautiful Dreamer done by Rachel Fannan. But oddly enough according to this website the song was originally written in 1864. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Gratitude Friday

Christmas Eve Dinner
I am thankful for...
1. a very nice Christmas
2. a white Christmas
3. being able to just be - not having to think or do anything sometimes is very nice and it was this week
4. talking to my parents and sister Michelle on Christmas
5. an amazing 2012

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

May peace, love and joy be yours today and your blessings throughout the year. Wishing a very Merry Christmas from our house to yours!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Frittata

Frittata - potatoes, onion, roasted tomatoes, mushrooms and peppers, sausage, cheese, and herbs/seasonings - rosemary, parsley, salt and pepper - beaten eggs
poured over the top and baked - this was brunch this morning

Friday, December 21, 2012

Gratitude Friday

blue lights in Grand Junction

I am thankful for...
1. road side service...our car wouldn't start this morning and road side service came to our house to give us a jump.  We then went to get a new battery for the car as it was much needed.
2. being able to play Santa Elves and deliver some goodie trays as well as a casserole to a friend that just was getting out of the hospital.
3. wearing Santa hats and singing Christmas songs with my love
4. going out and looking at lights
5. unexpected gift from a friend that helped us do one of our traditions - getting a starbucks to sip on while driving around looking at lights.


blue lights on trees - probably close to 50 trees in this yard 


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Santa's Elves

Michael and I are going to play Santa's Elves today and deliver a strata with roasted mushrooms, peppers and tomatoes, several of these little goodie trays and then a container of fudge.  We are even going to wear our Santa hats. 

On the tray: Maple fudge, sour cream cookies, chocolate fudge, 7 layer bars, thin mints and festive bark.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Greatest Gift



During the holidays when I am busy making and baking gifts I will either watch Christmas movies on Netflix instant or listen Christmas music on Pandora.  This year I have been watching movies and one I watched was The Christmas Lodge. Not a fabulous movie, but still not horrible either.  Very pretty scenery shots in it too.  Anyway....this song was in the Christmas Lodge and the singer was in the movie.   

Friday, December 14, 2012

Gratitude Friday

Today's Gratitude Friday is hard for me to do. I know I have lots of things to be thankful for....but today has just been filled with so much...so much pain and sadness not only because of the shooting in CT, but we had 2 friends diagnosed with cancer this week.

So sending every one light and love.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Impact

"Consider the importance of becoming aware of the impact you have on others, and remind yourself that by raising your own energy level to a place where you’re in harmony with Source, you become an instrument, or a channel, of peace. This works everywhere, so be a part of the counterbalance to the human negativity you encounter in your life. As Mahatma Gandhi said: “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” Dr. Wayne W. Dyer from Do You Make a Difference?

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Christmas Treats

These are some new recipes I want to try this Christmas....


Instead of making them into pops, I think I will just do little brownie bits.



This I think I want to make and give as gifts in a mason jar.

Source: food.com via Darby on Pinterest

These are microwave caramels....which seems almost impossible to me, but I would consider it a huge blessing if it was true. So I think I will try them.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Taking a Leap

The on-the-spot practice of being fully present, feeling your heart, and greeting the next moment with an open mind can be done at any time: when you wake up in the morning, before a difficult conversation, whenever fear or discomfort arises. This practice is a beautiful way to claim your warriorship, your spiritual warriorship. In other words, it is a way to claim your courage, your kindness, your strength. Whenever it occurs to you, you can pause briefly, touch in with how you're feeling both physically and mentally, and then connect with your heart-even putting your hand on your heart, if you want to. This is a way of extending warmth and acceptance to whatever is going on for you right now. You might have an aching back, an upset stomach, panic, rage, impatience, calmness, joy-whatever it is, you can let it be there just as it is, without labeling it good or bad, without telling yourself you should or shouldn't be feeling that way. Having connected with what is, with love and acceptance, you can go forward with curiosity and courage. I call this step "taking a leap." From Pema Chodron's book "Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change"

Friday, December 07, 2012

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for...
1. Michael - it was his birthday yesterday and I am just so thankful for being able to walk this path of life together.
2. just relaxing and watching movies with Michael on his birthday
3. Michael feeling a little bit better...he has had the flu all week
4. Michael relaxing and not pushing too much this week...letting his body rest and heal.
5. apple cider to warm us up on this cold evening

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

100 Things | My Name

29. I love my name

I love that I have my name. Thankful my parents saw it in a church bulletin and decided to name it. As a child though, I did get upset when other kids got pencils, notepads and other little trinkets with their name on it and I didn't. On Christma
s when I was about 6 years old my Grandma & Grandpa gave me a t-shirt that had my name on it that they went out and got specifically customized for me. I hung on to that t-shirt for YEARS. But eventually I lost it in one of my moves otherwise I am sure it would enshrined because of how important it was to me as a little girl. At least now days with the digital age it is easier to customize things with names on them.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Christmas Lights



Coldplay + Christmas music = yay!

Saturday, December 01, 2012

World Aids Day

Today is World Aids Day to bring awareness to HIV/AIDS. Although we don't hear about it as often these days as we did in the late 80's/early 90's....it is still a fight. We must continue to fight for those who have HIV/AIDS. So this is for friends who continue the fight of their lives and to those who are no longer with us.

Bond ... James Bond .....

I'm a big time James Bond fan.

Connery, Moore, Lazenby, Dalton, Brosnan, Craig ....

All of them had their stake and left their own unique mark.

The movies are fun.  There's action with sexy women with sexy cars and sexy gadgets.  As the enterprise continued to advance, the Bond empire continued to be more innovative.  The cars did more, the gadgets were more tricky and the characters found themselves in space, under water and rescuing the world over and over again.

But as the empire continued to roll, the character could almost become predictable.  Peril + girl + gadget + action filled escape = successful Bond movie.

It wasn't until Pierce Brosnan's tenure that we started to see a different Bond emerge.  He was upset - feeling betrayed - a little darker - feeling more than going through the typical stunts and falls.

Daniel's version of Bond finally added depth to the character.  We had a Bond who has issues.  We had a Bond who was complicated.  Daniel Craig's Bond got rid of the gadgets and the over-the-top invisible car ... the VANQUISH ..... ooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhh....

What Daniel did in Casino Royale was to bring Bond back to reality.  Beating his counterparts using his brawn, smarts and a bit of Bond luck.  He didn't need the gadgetry to save him like the infamous jet pack or the laser beam that can fire from his watch.  Don't get me wrong - I like some of that stuff.  It's fun - but after awhile it just felt over used.

And so ... if you haven't seen the last couple Bond films (Quantum of Solace and Skyfall) - you may want to reconsider reading any further.  I don't want to spoil the plot for you.

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Are you sure you're ready?


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Last chance ....

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Alright....  Quantum has been dubbed Craig's mistake in the Bond spectrum.  While I can see some of the complaints ... honestly - if we forgave Pierce and the disappearing car ... we can give Daniel a little leeway too.  

So here comes Sam Mendes to direct the latest film Skyfall.  Sam is very popular and well known for his work with American Beauty, Road to Perdition and Jarhead.  He's done good work and I think he brought a different perspective when he was asked to lead Bond on another adventure.  The problem with Skyfall wasn't Mendes, wasn't Craig, Dench or Javier (who made a really great villain.)

It was the story.

Not everything was bad ... as there were elements I liked.  Bond having a hard time bouncing back after his last assignment, recovery not quite as smooth as it had been for other Bonds.  He was real ... just as I have grown to like him in Casino Royale and Quantum.

But ...  there were times in Skyfall where I felt like we were starting to embrace the earlier Bond methods.  I'm not sure if this was Mendes' way to pay homage to Daniel's former brethren ... but it just didn't seem to mesh with the Bond I've come to really enjoy. 

Yes - it's great to see the famous Aston Martin again.  Yes - it was even great to see Q again.

Where as in Casino and Quantum ... we got to know the villains more.  We learned more about their history and how they got to be evil.  Javier's character barely had one segment to explain why he was in a bad mood and wanted to take down the agency.  It felt flat even though Javier did an incredible job trying to rescue the character.

Even with that ... I felt I could be okay with the movie ... until ....

...the very end.  The last 5-7 minutes seem like a cop out.  Right down to Eve Moneypenny, the cushioned door leading into M's office .... and it just felt like Daniel's Bond had been transformed into something - less - than what he's capable of.  The build-up of what Sam had done up until the last part of the movie - was unraveled by this "blast from the past" kind of familiarity reunion thing.

I'm sure the Bond franchise is eager to start building on Skyfall's popularity.  The movie has gotten rave reviews and has been a good money maker for the Bond empire. It's sad that the bottom fell out at the end of a really good movie.  I'm not saying their unexpected plot twist with M was bad ... it's probably really good for the stories to come ... but we didn't need to come back to Bond circa 1960.  

What Mendes and Broccoli should've realized is that it's okay to be an advanced modern Bond and an advanced MI6.  It's okay to be weak, vulnerable and human with all of the failings that follow.  The Bond empire didn't need to revert or put the jacket back on from long ago.  It's okay to step out of the shadow of the old Bonds ... and make the Bond that resonated the most with the Ian Flemming character.

In short - as some reviewers have said - it's not a bad movie ... but it's just not a great Bond movie.  I do hope that the next Bond movie can step back on the Path they started before ... or else I'm in for another disappointing 2 1/2 hour movie.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Gratitude Friday


I am thankful for...
1. hot tea
2. Charlie Brown Christmas
3. Christmas music
4. lists
5. ideas - from dinner ideas, art ideas, things to work on ideas - lot so of ideas floating around my head right now

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Memory Jars

Last year for Christmas I made probably about 24 Memory Jars. I have had really good feedback from everyone I gave them too and they all seem to love them and are enjoying capturing memories. The idea is taking little slips of paper and writing down a memory and stuffing them in the jar. At the end of the year, you and your loved ones pull them out to celebrate the end of the year and share in those moments were created throughout the year.

I found the idea on Pinterest, but it was just a plain jar with scraps of paper. I wanted it a little more personalized for the people I was giving them too. I looked through all my craft supplies and gathered paper, beads, stickers, tags, charms, ribbon, wire, clips, rubber stamps and anything else I could find for embellishments. I will say a scrapbooking roller adhesive saved me so much time and mess.  Like this one sold at Hobby Lobby.

Before wrapping I took miniature clothes pins and clipped together a bunch of little slips of paper that said things like: enjoying life, memories, celebrating, today..., and then just little clip art of hearts, snowflakes, tropical drinks with umbrellas, sea shells and so on - so that memories could be wrote on them, folded and stuffed in the jar.   I also clipped a little tag to a bundle of those slips that said:
The Memory Jar
A family gathering, an afternoon with a good friend, just a moment in the day that made you smile or feel good... memories that mean a great deal to us, but maybe get lost with the passage of time. The memory jar holds onto those memories for us. Throughout the year, write down just a few words about that special moment in time on a piece of paper and stick it in the jar. Then - this time next year - open the memory jar and pull out your special memories to enjoy with your loved ones.

You can download the slips and the tag that I used in my jars here:  Memory Jar Slips  and  Memory Jar Tags

They are a fun gift to make - easy and inexpensive. You can give them to not only family, but friends, teachers, neighbors, clergy, and so many others.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Desire Map


Danielle LaPorte is always inspiring to me. The Desire Map trailer hits it for me on so many levels because it is speaking to me. The not being good enough or worthy is something, I still struggle even though I have identified it so so long ago.




Monday, November 26, 2012

Safe & Sound



Again from The Hunger Games

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Inner Peace

me holding leaves
"When we have inner peace, we can be at peace with those around us. When our community is in a state of peace, it can share that peace with neighboring communities and so on. When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to de­velop inner happiness and peace." - Dalai Lama

Friday, November 23, 2012

Gratitude Friday

on our way to Arches on along the Colorado River
I am thankful for...
1. Tammy being here to spend Thanksgiving with us
2.  being able to see an amazing couple get married and help capture their day for them
3. turkey dinner - it is my favorite and it was so good.
4. Tammy's broccoli and cauliflower casserole that was perfect and tasted delish!
5. the extra side of that is in the freezer for Michael and I to enjoy later
6. the turkey turning out perfect this year
7. a decorated tree - that Tammy helped us put up
8. a fabulous day at Arches National Park
9. getting a chance to dance with my love

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Key

"I learned that sometimes stopping is the key to going. Letting go is the key to becoming. Breathing is the key to living. (Literally and metaphorically.) And, celebrating where you are right now is the key to happiness." From Tiny Buddha - The Difference Between Fulfillment and Achievement

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Big Bang Theory Flash Mob



Michael and I both love the Big Bang Theory...and this is just fun and cool of them to do.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Amazed

I am not a big country fan, but this is the song Michael and I danced to at a wedding this past weekend. Oddly enough I do know all the lyrics to it though - as every time Michael and I have heard it we look to each other and sing.  The lyrics really do fit us good though. As we both get that look on our face where....we are amazed by each other. We see the love give our world new colors daily.



Lyrics - Amazed by Lonestar
Every time our eyes meet
This feeling inside me
Is almost more than I can take
Baby when you touch me
I can feel how much you love me
And it just blows me away
I've never been this close to anyone or anything
I can hear your thoughts
I can see your dreams

I don't know how you do what you do
I'm so in love with you
It just keeps getting better
I wanna spend the rest of my life
With you by my side
Forever and ever
Every little thing that you do
Baby I'm amazed by you

The smell of your skin
The taste of your kiss
The way you whisper in the dark
Your hair all around me
Baby you surround me
You touch every place in my heart
Oh it feels like the first time every time
I wanna spend the whole night in your eyes

I don't know how you do what you do
I'm so in love with you
It just keeps getting better
I wanna spend the rest of my life
With you by my side
Forever and ever
Every little thing that you do
Baby I'm amazed by you

Every little thing that you do
I'm so in love with you
It just keeps getting better
I wanna spend the rest of my life
With you by my side
Forever and ever
Every little thing that you do
Oh, every little thing that you do
Baby I'm amazed by you

Friday, November 16, 2012

Gratitude Friday

Goulash with Potato Dumplings - the dinner I mention in my post
I am thankful...
1. fir Michael doing the job he does and doing it with compassion. He has a job of service that not everyone could do and he gives it his all helping those that feel there is no more hope left in the world for them. He gives so completely to each person...never giving up until there is no stone unturned. In the end I know even if it doesn't always turn out in the ways he and the person want - the person knows they had someone really fighting for them, looking out for them, and it makes all the difference in their world. I am so proud him and the work he does. I love you Michael!
2.  for dinner turning out on Saturday. I made a new recipe and it turned out pretty good. (recipe to come a little later)
3. for it being a good Saturday....lots of movie watching with Michael and relaxing after just a few little chores.
4.  for Creative Live and Sal Cincotta for doing the Wedding Photography Boot Camp. Sal and Taylor Cincotta are amazing and so generous with their knowledge and time. Although it is an area I am not wanting to go, it was still very interesting and useful as Michael and I were asked to do video and now are doing video and photography for his cousin's wedding.  Thankfully we also will be joined by our friend Tammy from Chicago and she will be doing the main photography with us doing backup photography and all of the video. 
5.for those who currently serve and have served in the military. As the President said to truly honor them we must do more. I believe we never do enough for those that serve and their families and they do deserve our gratitude not only in words, but actions
6.  for getting quite a bit accomplished this week
7. for mid-day dates with my love on Wednesday. We have had a super busy week, but decided to take a little us time. It was well needed and worth it.
 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Host

The Host (The Host, #1)The Host by Stephenie Meyer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I liked Twilight series and can't wait to see the movies. It is geared for young adults, but I was one of the many adults that enjoyed it. I was worried Meyers wouldn't really capture an adult audience, but this story and how it is told is an amazing read.  If you weren't a fan of Twilight I say still pick this up, because this was such a better story than Twilight. This book just pulled me and captured my attention on so many levels for me. 

I read this book in two nights.  I probably could have finished it in one night if I had started it a little earlier in the evening.   It was a little slow and hard to follow at first, but then I was sucked into the story and didn't want to put it down.  It made me laugh, cry and really feel for all the characters.

Wanderer is kind and smart. She is emotionally and mentally strong. With a big heart...she doesn't want to hurt anyone.  She thinks of others first.  While she was the character that I liked the most, there are other characters great characters. Melanie is strong and tough - both physically and emotionally.  She is most like the average human. If in the same situation they would act like her. Ian was another character I enjoyed also-  almost more then any of the other males.  He was able to see what the group was doing to Wanda. He changed and saw beyond the human's fears.

I felt the characters were developed well.  They suffer and their core ethics and morality are tested, but provide emotional release and show those better parts of ourselves. Love conquers all --- even across species. That isn't exactly a new theme, but Meyer really tells  great story  bringing  the situation to life - transporting us through it.


View all my reviews

Now the movie will be coming out in March and they released a trailer yesterday....looks pretty good to me. Can't wait to see it.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Turkey Tetrazzini

Thanksgiving is almost here and one of my favorite ways to use up leftovers is making Turkey Tetrazzini.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell peppers (I did mixture of yellow, green and red)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil, vegetable oil or butter
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups white button mushrooms, ends trimmed, sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon thyme 
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups  low-sodium chicken stock or canned chicken broth
  • 1 3/4 cups half and half
  • 12 ounces spaghetti noodles
  • 1 pound cubed or bite-size roast turkey
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 cups potato chips, crushed 

Directions

Saute the onions and bell peppers in olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over high heat until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Add the mushrooms, spices, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are soft and have released their liquid, about 6 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons butter.  Sprinkle with the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the wine and chicken stock and cook, stirring, until smooth and thick, about 2 minutes. Add the half and half and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick and very flavorful, 15 to 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the spaghetti noodles until al dente, about 8-10 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside.
Spray a 9 by 13-inch casserole or baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
When the sauce has thickened, add the noodles, turkey, and Parmesan to the skillet and stir until thoroughly combined. Transfer to the prepared casserole and top with the potato chips. Bake uncovered until bubbly and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.  Serves 8.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Kingdom Come




Tammy gave me the last 2 books to The Hunger Games trilogy for my birthday.  This is a song that was in the movie.  I loved the books and the movie. I can't wait for the last 2 movies.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Desire Map Poem



Danielle LaPorte is launching a new project - The Desire Map. I can't wait to read, join, jump and be a part of it when it comes out. But here is a video poem by her. It is hitting many things I am working on and have been working for a long time. Looks like it is going to be very interesting and very helpful.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Gratitude Friday

me standing in leaves
I am thankful...
1. for a beautiful day - Saturday. We took a day trip with friends to Moab and had a very nice time with them last weekend
2. that one of my Grandma's is about to be settled in closer to family
3.  for all those that came before me to fight for our civil rights and made it possible for me express my beliefs through the voting process
4. that President Obama won 
5.  for the potato soup that simmered in the crockpot on Tuesday and made the house smell so good
6. for hot tea warming me up when I feel so cold today
7.for finding I had $20 left on an Amazon gift card, so I could order a few more books on my wishlist
8.for the resellers on Amazon so that I don't feel I am chopping down another tree with the 5 books I ordered
9.  for having power. I have done laundry, used the microwave, the dishwasher, and the bread machine. Thankful we have power to all the appliances that we use everyday such as the fridge, computers and chargers for all the various devices. I am thinking of friends today in NJ who don't have power and hoping they get their power back soon.
10.  for the many cheerleaders I have in my life that cheer me on for things that I do in my life and things that are coming. You all give me so much help in being able to go forward confidently!

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Living in Pain

"If we spent one third of the energy that we spend on chasing happiness…on getting better at being in pain…our experience of being alive would dramatically expand." Chela Davison from a blog post on Pain: A Love Story

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

President Thanking Staff



Just love how real and genuine his feelings and emotions are in this video.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Right Now

fall leaves in GJ
I collected this quote recently that I really need to read often....

"The point is that our true nature is not some ideal that we have to live up to. It's who we are right now, and that's what we can make friends with and celebrate."  Pema Chordon

 

Friday, November 02, 2012

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for....
1.  I am thankful for donating some items that we had hanging around here that might help families in need
2.  naps 
3. homemade milk shake in the middle of the day
4. good doctor visits this past week the hopefully make me on the road to less pain
5. breakfast for dinner
6. hot tea
7. library books

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sister Giant

I like Marianne Williamson. I have for many years. I have the Course in Miracles which she wrote a book based on that practice.  I also have her prayer book.  Now she is getting involved in politics - in getting women involved specifically. She has some interesting things on her new website Sister Giant and really enjoyed listening to this video she posted there too.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Sunday, October 28, 2012

My Health Insurance History

One thing I hear people complaining about is Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) for the elections. But so many of the things I see people saying aren't accurate. I wish people would actually read the facts of it. It can be confusing, but it is just sad that so many things that people say it will do - it won't.  Such as having the government tell you what drugs you can and can't have - it won't do that. It is up to your doctor what drugs you can and can't have - as it always has been well...except when insurance companies say no. I have had that happen in the past. See that is what I don't get many things that people are saying are going to happen - insurance companies already do, continue to do, and have been for all of my life.

Something I keep reading is how people are upset that their health insurance is going up or things that were covered aren't anymore...so I thought I would share my personal history with health insurance because for as long as I can remember it has been that way...and it is the insurance companies doing it not the government. Not President Obama since for the majority of my health insurance coverage was before he was President.

As a child I was of course covered by my parents insurance, I do remember when we moved to Omaha my Mom asked around about doctors and found us a doctor several people recommended.  We really liked this doctor, but one year Dad's health insurance changed and the insurance company would only let us see someone on "their list." I remember both my parents being upset about this, but we did it. We found a doctor we liked that wasn't too far from our home.  I know the price went up - on and off throughout the years too.

When I was married to my ex-husband, he had a good job with good insurance. But again you had to choose a doctor off the list. I wanted to see a woman doctor and they had 2 women on the list - that is all.  I ended up on a waiting list for one of the female doctors.  I remember having the insurance say they wouldn't pay for certain meds or procedures. I remember one year the monthly price doubled for him and it tripled in price to cover me. Another year all our co-pays changed - where regular gp doctor visits were a different co-pay then seeing a specialty and doing our labs.

Michael's insurance when he worked for an state organization was really actually horrible. His co-pays for regular gp doctor visits were him paying 80% out of pocket.  And the insurance only covering 20%.  Even though he paid a lot of money each month into it.  During his time with that organization, the insurance went up several times. His co-pays totally switched around and again he had meds denied by the insurance company even though it was what the doctor wanted.

Since I divorced, I haven't had health insurance really. Well, I had it once for a while, but it was so expensive and it didn't cover my asthma or migraines. Right now Michael and I don't have health insurance for the same reason.  We are denied a lot because of our pre-existing conditions or  they will give us health insurance, but won't cover the pre-existing conditions ever or for a set period of time without incident of the condition. So I have asthma if I go without an asthma attack in 2 years or 3 or whatever set amount of time then they will start covering it. So really I won't get it covered because although I have went a long time without an asthma problem - the older I get the more likely I am to have problems again. Migraines I don't go without - I have them anywhere from 5 to 15 days a month. So not like that will be something they will cover ever. Well now they have to though with Obamacare. So I am thankful I might have some insurance and coverage so that medical costs won't drained our bank account.

Health insurance businesses are in it to get money and they can't get money if they are paying for all of our medical costs so of course throughout history they have raised our premiums, co-pays, denied coverage for procedures,  doctors, meds and so on.  Not sure why...it is okay to blame President Obama for them when they have been doing that as long as I have been alive.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Walking Each Other Home

I always enjoy Kelly Rae Roberts blog and her art of course too!   But I really liked this entry from the other day....

"..that the people we choose to live significant parts of our lives with are the exact people that can help us heal something in ourselves - old wounds, new wounds, all of it. In this sense, we really are just walking each other home. Home 
as in healing. Home as in the best versions of ourselves. Home as in wholeness. Home as in our divinity." Kelly Rae Roberts

Friday, October 26, 2012

Gratitude Friday

photo by me of some leaves here in GJ
I am thankful for...
1. being able to come home and get in bed after having some long days this week.
2. getting a chance to talk to my Mom after playing phone tag for the last few days
3. seeing the leaves blow in the wind and sunshine making them sparkle on Tuesday,
4. the cool fall day which left lots of leaves that crinkled when you walked across them making it feel like autumn on Wednesday
5. playing with my new camera and taking photos of leaves with Michael
6. the book The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown for being amazing...eye opening,
7. my therapist who again amazes me by helping me see the big picture and navigate through it
8. Michael going to the dentist and being brave! He got a wisdom tooth pulled that was decaying all the way down to the nerve.
9. Michael always being there for me

* I did some gratitude posts on Facebook this week and so these are little snippets from them

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I'm Voting

If you read my posts on Facebook - things I like or repost -  you can tell who I am clearly voting for this election. 

I don't think any politician ever does or says everything I want them to do. I am not totally happy with President Obama. But I do feel the President is more representative of the man I want in the White House when I lo
ok at his record. Romney scares me - he has held a man down, beat him and cut his hair and his views on women rights would take us backwards instead of forward. I want many people who are close to me to have equality - and be able to get married and I know Romney is against Gays/Lesbians. I want more support of Veterans and Romney again hardly ever mentions then except clumping them into the 47% but never clearly on what he would do for them. Really everything thing I care about Romney is against or flip flops back and forth on. I can't trust anything he says. At least I see where the President has said and done some of the things he said he would. Not all and not all completely in a way I would like but at least I see a clearer message and record. So I am voting for President Obama. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Monday, October 22, 2012

Good Weekend Good Day

Had a fabulous weekend out doing a day trip with friends to Glenwood Springs. They went to the Hot Spring Pools for a while and Michael and I just took a drive. Met up again with our friends for lunch and then headed back to GJ.  Perfect blue skies and with just a little chill in the air but in the sun it warmed us up quickly.   It was an absolutely beautiful day.

Today my last birthday present from Michael arrived. I got a little point and shoot camera. So cute and has all the features I wanting plus it is Orange! I can't wait to start playing with it. I am getting a book and I know will inspire me to play even more.

Easier Said then Done

Friday, October 19, 2012

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for...
1. a beautiful day for my birthday
2. fun presents from friends and family
3. dinner at a place we haven't been in ages and it was amazing
4. a new bed
5. Michael making my day special!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Friday, October 12, 2012

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for...
1. warm blankets
2. a stack of good books
3. comfort food
4. points from various places I input - to get free gift cards
5. sunshine

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Frolicsome

Source: flickr.com via Darby on Pinterest

Oh how I love Mary Oliver....she always makes words soar.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for...
1. Michael being busy - work is coming in good right now and just so thankful
2. making a therapy appointment and going....I should have done it a while ago as it was long over due
3. the appointment making me feel 200% better - cleared some things out I really needed too
4. seeing some positives
5. making it through the week

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Pumpkin Pillows

I made these last year around the holidays, but want to make them again around Halloween or Thanksgiving. These would be great to bring to a party or get together.

 They were good and not to hard to make either.  The dipping sauce I had trouble with though.  And I did modify the original recipe from Kraft a bit as I have worked with wontons before and didn't feel there was a need for the egg white that Kraft had in their recipe. I also used more wonton wrappers, but kept their number in the recipe too.



12 caramels
1 tsp.  water
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp.  ground cinnamon, divided
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup  canned pumpkin
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp.  flour
1/4 tsp. orange zest
20-24   won ton wrappers  and water to seal edges
2 cups  oil
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar

MICROWAVE caramels and water in medium microwaveable bowl on HIGH 30 sec.; stir. Heat for another 30 sec. Stir until caramels are completely melted.Cool 2 min. Stir in sour cream and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Refrigerate until ready to use.

WHISK cream cheese, pumpkin, brown sugar, flour, zest and remaining cinnamon until well blended. Spoon about 2 tsp. onto center of each won ton wrapper. Moisten edges with water; fold diagonally in half. Moisten edges again with water pressing edges together tightly to seal.

HEAT oil in large saucepan on medium-high heat to 350ºF. Add won tons, in batches; cook 2 to 3 min. or until evenly browned. Drain. Cool slightly or to room temperature. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve with caramel sauce

MAKE AHEAD
Cook won tons as directed except don't sprinkle with powdered sugar. Freeze up to 2 months. When ready to reheat, place frozen won tons on baking sheet. (No need to thaw first.) Bake at 350°F for 15 min. or until heated through. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

COOKING NOTES
* Won ton wrappers quickly dry out, keep them covered with a damp clean kitchen towel until you are ready to use them.
* I found the dip didn't go quite smoothly but it might have been because I didn't use Kraft caramels. When I mixed it into the sour cream, it hardened right away because the sour cream was cool so cooled the caramel. There were clumps of caramel in the dip. So it didn't exactly go as directed.  I think next time I would use like caramel you use for ice cream topping. I think it would mix more smoothly after being heated for a few moments. 

Monday, October 01, 2012

Friday, September 28, 2012

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for...
1. seeing friends and family on our trip - so happy that we got to see so many people we love
2. staying at nicest hotel in Norfolk, Nebraska - really beautiful spacious room with lots of amenities
3. getting a chance to go Field of Dreams in Iowa with Tammy
4. sunshine and blue skies on our trip
5. being home - after being gone so long it is nice to be home even though we had a wonderful time with friends and family.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Secrets



I listen to Pandora when I clean.  I have an Adele channel and they play this song often...good thing I like it. I listen to either my Adele channel while I clean or my Abba channel. Abba is always great to clean to because it really makes me move!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Gratitude Friday

old barn in Nebraska - taken by Michael McGruder
I am thankful for...
1. spending time with my parents, my sister, brother-in-law and niece and nephew....had such a nice time with them
2. getting to take a ton of photos of my niece Chloe
3. seeing friends - Michael worked with a young lady that died 6 years ago and we were able to see her parents.  Had such a nice time with them and just thankful to be able to help them out with a website for their foundation in their daughter's name.
4. the Create angel my Mom gave me. It is a Kelly Rae Robert's work and just so pretty
5. meeting up with Tammy here in Davenport...looking forward to having the weekend with her - taking photos and hanging out

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sunset in Sioux City

photo by Michael McGruder

Something you can't get in Colorado is Godfather's Pizza. It is Michael's favorite pizza.  I grew up with Godfather's Pizza in Omaha.  So I really like it too.  It was the place to go after football games in high school so I associate Godfather's with some good memories from my youth. 

When we travel we always look to see if we will be through towns with Godfather's Pizza.  On the way to my sister's right about dinner time we were going through Sioux City which had a Godfather's so we stopped and grabbed a pizza and then went and parked on a country road and watched the sunset.  It was a beautiful sunset to watch with my love while we had pizza.  Maybe kind of silly but these kind of things make the best memories.  I know I will remember our whole day as it was a trip through Nebraska - all the back roads. Seeing lots of little towns and pretty country.  Not just flat boring interstate.  We had great conversations and  just enjoyed our time together. 

Now looking forward to time with my sister and her family and my parents too as they decided to come down and see Michael and I too! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Call Me



I love traveling  Right now on my way to see my sister. So not home...call me if you need me.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for..
1. staying in such a great hotel room in Denver...made me feel spoiled
2. seeing my love speak at a conference and ROCK!
3. seeing family and friends in Denver
4. seeing my sister and her family soon
5. school supplies on clearance at Target

Monday, September 10, 2012

Friday, September 07, 2012

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for...
1. meds that are helping my pain
2. library books
3. sunshine
4. music
5. clean sheets on the bed

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Christmas on Pinterest....

It isn't even autumn yet technically, but I am seeing so many cute ideas on Pinterest for Christmas.....


This would be so easy and pretty as a centerpiece for Christmas.


Love this idea of wrapping up 24 Christmas books and then reading them each night so cute!


I want to do this for my niece and nephew for a stocking stuffer.




This looks so yummy! Would be cute in a jar with ribbon and tag for a gift.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Enough


Some days it is really hard to remember this....believe it.

Monday, September 03, 2012

All the Right Moves



I have been kind of hooked on One Republic lately.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Life in Points

* We have been traveling quite a bit - just day trips or a few days here and there. But soon we will be taking a longer trip. We will be going to see my sister and her family. After a few days with her, we will go do a work project and then after the work is done, we will spend the weekend with Tammy as we will be in her neck of the woods. We see her again in November. She will be spending Thanksgiving with us.

* I have my follow up for my doctor coming up this week - for the sciatica. He did a treatment of cortisone that lasted 10 hours. Then he prescribed a pill that was for 5 days, but my doctor and my pharmacist were really at odds with each other on the drug. After taking this drug and seeing how I reacted, he will know better how to treat me. The drug worked great except for upsetting my stomach just a little bit which was the pharmacist concern. But the positive of the drug it brought my pain down to zero on a pain scale and the most it would go up to is a 3. It still even almost a week after it has been done hasn't brought my pain back up to where it was before (a 7 was pretty much my daily consistent pain level).

* Yesterday we did yard work. Both of us are not fans of it.  I have bad allergies that really just cause me to be miserable because I would love to have some of a garden, but just can't keep up with it. And it isn't fair for it to fall to Michael when he dislikes yard work.  This was icky yard work we had to do yesterday - pulling weeds. We have rock landscaping, but weeds come up in them and with my sciatica being as bad as it has been there has been no way I could do it before now.  It was hard to do it yesterday. Michael  ended up doing the backbreaking stuff. We had put it off until we couldn't any longer.

* The first of February is our anniversary, but the 1st of every month for the last 9 years Michael says Happy Anniversary.  We laughed that our morning was spent doing yard work - fun fun! But really I am thankful that we can have of course lots of fun together, but also make things we don't like doing go a little faster and better by doing them together.  We can laugh and have fun even when pulling weeds.

* We were out of town recently and when we arrived back in town we decided to get some errands out of the way before heading home. One thing was to go to the library as I figured I had some book waiting for me. I came with a HUGE pile.  Michael shouted from the car on my way out of the library carrying the huge pile of books that I didn't need to check whole library out. The lady in front of me got a chuckle. But the sad thing is that huge pile of books I only have like 3 left to read as I am going through a book a day still.  I got through the Anita Blake series. All caught up again...I had been 3 books behind, but reread the entire series.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for...
1. an upcoming trip
2. old memories - today marks a day in my life that I know I will always look back on every year no matter how much time goes past.
3. the kitty cats
4. Tammy - Love you!
5. lip balm

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Inner Excavation & The Sound of Paper


Inner Excavation: Exploring Your Self Through Photography, Poetry and Mixed MediaInner Excavation: Exploring Your Self Through Photography, Poetry and Mixed Media by Liz Lamoreux
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I picked this book up at the library and well that was a mistake - a good mistake. Because it made me want to go out and purchase the book right away so I would have time to fall into it the way I wanted...from the moment of reading the first pages I knew it was a book I need to have available in my studio/home always. It is a book for exploring and that takes time...longer then just having a couple weeks of it checked out at the library. But I am so glad I picked it up there so I knew without a doubt this is a good book and will be deeply personal but playful and fun. I can't wait to buy it and jump into ready to explore myself in a different way. Thank you Liz Lamoreux for creating such a lovely book.

View all my reviews



The Sound of PaperThe Sound of Paper by Julia Cameron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am really stuck. I am scared of creating. This book is what I needed to read right in this moment. Working through some of the exercise has helped me pinpoint some of the fears and I believe will help me start moving forward. I checked this book out of the library, but have put it on my wishlist as I do think it would be a good book to have when needing when having doubts, insecurities and just being blocked in general.


View all my reviews

Monday, August 27, 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for...
1. my beautiful sister...it is her birthday tomorrow. Love you Michelle!
2. being able to do some day trips. 
3.  Kathie sending the cutest card at the beginning of the month. I was going through a stack of stuff I wanted to put in my studio and the card was in there. Hanging it on my bulletin board. Thank you Kathie!
4. losing weight 
5. Chinese take out when I don't want to cook

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Green Guide for Artists


Green Guide for Artists: Nontoxic Recipes, Green Art Ideas, & Resources for the Eco-Conscious ArtistGreen Guide for Artists: Nontoxic Recipes, Green Art Ideas, & Resources for the Eco-Conscious Artist by Karen Michel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love this book! I checked it out from the library and can't wait to purchase it.  It is a must have for artists who want to use safer, nontoxic, greener materials in their art. It is divided into 4 chapters/sections...

* Greening your Studio: talking about product safety and just being safe in the studio, green paints, mediums, canvas and such
*Green Recipes: making paints, paint recipes and adhesive recipes
* Green Projects: bookmaking, paper-mache, using found objects and other green projects
* Green Artist Gallery - info about each artist in the gallery and examples of their green art, it also has a resource guide

Each section had such great information. Often much of the information was things I didn't know, recipes that I could make right now in my kitchen without much effort, projects and inspiration that made me want to create right away.

The book itself is so lovely to look at just thumbing through it. But it is just so full of good information for artist who want to start using green in their studio.  You might be able to find all the info online, but I would much rather have it in my studio and use because it just a great book.


View all my reviews


Monday, August 20, 2012

Rule the World



This song has been going through my head ever since the closing ceremony of the Olympics. It is from the movie Stardust. Such a good movie!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

BLT Pasta




I made BLT Pasta for dinner last night.  It was really good...great flavors going on in this dish. I found this recipe via Pinterest of course, but I modified it slightly. So here is my version...

BLT Pasta

6 strips bacon, diced
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup leeks, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
9 oz dry spaghetti noodles
2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves

Garlic Croutons  - made mine but store bought would work

Directions

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Saute the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat.  Cook until crisp, then set aside on paper towel.   Reserve 2 tablespoons bacon drippings, and drain off remaining oil.

Caramelize the tomatoes and sugar in the bacon drippings in large and deep skillet or sauce pan, over medium heat.  Cook until tomatoes begin to soften and brown, approximately 3 minutes.  Add the leeks and cook for an additional 3 minutes, or until leeks soften.

Deglaze with wine and allow sauce to simmer until the wine is nearly evaporated and sauce is thick.  Add the broth, vinegar, and pepper flakes.  Simmer until reduced by 1/3, approximately 5 minutes.

Add the spinach, and bacon to the sauce, then add the cooked pasta.  Toss lightly until pasta is well coated with sauce and tomato mixture is incorporated.  Season with salt as needed.  Top each serving with garlic croutons.

Makes 4 servings.

NOTES:
* Although I think deglazing always makes flavor more deep - I think in this recipe the caramelizing the tomatoes really adds flavor. So if you don't want to deglaze - you could up the chicken broth just a bit and skip the deglazing step. 

* I think next time I will be adding more spinach. Maybe 3 cups as I don't feel there was enough for spinach for us.