Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Brain Pickings shared this video.  I think I would like to see the PBS series The Emotional Life because just even this little bit by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love,  was interesting to me.  It made sense to me - for intimacy.

Also...Brain Pickings has become one of my favorite websites. It is a daily visit for me.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I need to make this NOW

Croque Madame with Black Forest Ham on French Loaf Smothered w/ Bechamel and Gruyere and then topped with fried egg.

Okay so maybe not making it right now but I am going to make this soon because if it turns out then I know one thing I want to make for when our good friend Tammy visits us in April.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for...
1. Michael making it safely over to Denver in bad weather
2. Michael making it home safely - thankfully the weather was better then the trip over
3. Work for Michael picking up when it has been a little slow
4. making lists - I like making lists obviously with Gratitude Friday
5. peanut butter and jelly sandwich...sometimes it just tastes so good

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

Ira Glass on Creativity and David Shiyang Lue with the video of typography.   I have a typography fetish.  I play with type and fonts all the time. But really I am posting the video because I love what Ira Glass has to say about creativity.  I feel that often - the disappointment that it isn't what I want it to be but I can feel inside there is more and I know it can be more - just better.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chalkboard Paint

Just a few things I like that have Chalkboard paint on them so you can write on it...

Source: via Darby on Pinterest

Source: via Darby on Pinterest

Monday, February 20, 2012

Glory of Love

I am posting this for a reason....because it was "our song" - from my first love in high school.  We started dating February 20th, 1986 so was thinking of him today and remembered "our song."


Last year I took a step forward and got fitted for a hearing aid. While it wasn't an expense we really needed -- the absence of what I was missing was profound. I had long since been resistant to hearing aids because I come from the belief that if we're always told to turn our headphones down because it can make us go deaf ... then adding a micro-headphone deep in my ear canal would've been equally problematic.

So I resisted.

Until last year when it became apparent that I still had good function in my remaining ear ... but I just needed some help. My ear canal apparently didn't form like other normal ear canals do. That's why I'm very susceptible to changes in allergy or head colds -- as my ear canal would compress and eventually muffle out sounds.

The first time I could "hear" ... I was amazed at how much I was missing. Caesar's meow. The turn signal blinker. Fans in my office. Whispers and other things said under one's breath. All of a sudden - my confidence grew. I could hear. I could participate. I could interject. I could remain on topic and not have to shake my head because I couldn't ascertain what was being said. I no longer had to guess. I no longer needed you to face me so that I could hear what you were saying.

The world opened up.

And I'm forever grateful for Darby - who didn't push ... but she gave some nudges every so often. I knew it affected her ... but I never knew how difficult it was living with someone who was hearing impaired. The stress of not being able to effectively communicate whenever, however, wherever. I'm sorry it took me so long hon.

Why am I blogging about this today? There's a malfunction somewhere in the unit that had rendered it relatively useless to me. I didn't realize how much I was affected by it until I've gone without ... and now that I've gone without it ... I want it back.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Yes Darby, two posts in a week. Believe it or not!) :)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Doughnut Muffins

I made these for breakfast.  It is the first time I think I have had this rounded muffins in high altitude. I will need to try to breakdown to figure out what the science behind it - to get it do this in my other muffin recipes.

Recipe is from King Arthur Flour.

Only changes I made were adding some cardamom and cinnamon to the nutmeg in the recipe.   I didn't really taste the cardamom though. But these reminded me of cake doughnuts my Grandma used to make.  They had the same texture and similar taste.

They are something I will be making again. Really nice Saturday morning treat.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for...
1. Michael taking some time off tonight as he had a long week
2. Michael watching Breaking Dawn with me because he loves me
3. finishing up some projects
4. emails from good friends
5. an adventure with Michael this week when we went to a dive diner for breakfast and it turned out to be one of the worse meals we have ever had but still we were able to laugh and have time together

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

Whitney Houston

I was very sad to hear about her death. I remember having albums (yes not CD's) when I was in high school of hers. Amazing voice.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Traveling ...

We love road trips.

I'm about to put over 100k miles on our incredibly wonderful Mercury Mariner. As I look back on the treks we've taken, to Louisiana, to Minnesota a couple of times, to Montana, and to Texas. Not to mention the countless day trips we've taken or the drives to Denver.

I prefer driving over flying anymore because at least you get to see things along the way. Yes - it's easier and quicker to traverse the landscape at 38k feet, but you miss out on the sunsets. You don't get to spend quality time with someone you love just by talking to pass the time. You don't get to see sites that you normally wouldn't ... or have the ability to laugh freely at something as dumb as a fart joke or something.

Plane travel is efficient and a great way to maximize the quantity of time you have on vacation.

But for me at least, it's the quality of time that equally matters. So to drive 1500 miles with Darby means a lot more to me because that's us time. Us time - unplugged. Us time - without phones, computers and other distractions.

It gives new meaning that it's the trip that matters ... not just the destination...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Valentine's Subway Art

This is subway art I created last year for Valentine's Day.

Click on it this image to get the image to download...

Friday, February 10, 2012

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for...
1. phone calls with good friends
2. fish - Michael hates fish and the only time I really eat it is when he goes out of town because he can't stand the smell. He went out of town yesterday so I was able to have fish and it was delish!
3. Chocolate - Godiva truffles from a good friend
4. old movies - such as North by Northwest, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Gigi and so on. I love them.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Happy Memories Happy Dish

It is odd to me how just little things can bring up such strong memories. Several weeks ago Michael requested a dish that was named Happy Dish by a good friend of mine. She came to stay with me when I lived in Cleveland. I made it her first night there as I needed something that fed a several people and pasta was my answer. It is just a simple baked pasta dish - penne, ricotta, ground italian sausage, and store bought marina sauce but it made her feel happy when she ate it. So from then it was called Happy Dish.

When I was first with Michael, I made him the dish and told him the story. Recently Michael requested that I make Happy Dish and it immediately made me think of my friend. Good memories. Good times sitting at the table sharing - talking and laughing together.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Crockpot Creamy Italian Chicken

I made this recipe this weekend. It was so good and so easy! Great comfort food for a dreary weekend.

Only thing I did different then the recipe is I shredded the chicken towards the end when it was falling apart. I also served it on top of mashed potatoes and with a side of green beans.

Saturday, February 04, 2012


The human capacity to care for others isn’t something trivial or something to be taken for granted. Rather, it is something we should cherish. Compassion is a marvel of human nature, a precious inner resource, and the foundation of our well-being and the harmony of our societies. If we seek happiness for ourselves, we should practice compassion: and if we seek happiness for others, we should also practice compassion. ~ Dalai Lama

Friday, February 03, 2012

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for...
1. spending 9 years with Michael - we celebrated 9 years together on Wednesday.
2. walking this path with Michael
3. a month of celebrating our love - we just doing several things this month to make it even more special.
4. time with Michael
5.  Michael

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Memory Jars

These are something I created and gave as Christmas gifts this year. I saw the idea on of course Pinterest - even posted about it here. But I took it up a few notches in decorating the jars so they were more personalized.

 I inserted some little scraps of paper to write memories on and clipped them together with mini-plastic clothespins and added a little tag with this message:

The Memory Jar
Date night, a school play, a family gathering, a song on the radio ... 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.

I am sure I will post them again next year at Christmas with pdf's of the note I included and the little papers. But for now just wanted to post a few of them as I loved making them so much. I made quite a few of them - all of them different.

EDIT - I have an updated post with more information on these here.