The Best Meal

Tell us about the best meal you ever cooked.

Since one of my journaling prompts last month was cooking, I almost changed today’s prompt because I didn’t think I would have much more to add. Good grief! To think that I actually considered that I wouldn’t have anything to say?

I really had to think hard about the best meal I have ever cooked because nothing specific was coming to my mind. However, my mind kept going back to the biggest meal that I have ever prepared: Christmas Eve 2011. David and I bought our house the week after Christmas in 2010, so we had been in our house for almost a year. We decided to host Christmas Eve dinner for the first Christmas in our new home.

While I didn’t cook everything for the meal that day, I did prepare a good portion of it for the 20 guests that we had that day. And because I am a super planner, I mapped everything out for the day in my Google Calendar to time everything to be cooked in time. I even worked in time to nap, shower and clean my room.

The items that I prepared was ham, turkey, dressing, monkey bread, green beans and snacks. It was stressful to get it all done, but I loved it! I loved preparing everything, planning it all out and hosting 20 of my friends and family in my home. It was perfect!

My parents recently remodeled their house and want to host Christmas Eve at their house this year. I’m looking forward to the holiday again and while I wish I was hosting again this year, I’m glad that my parents have a nice home to share with us. Maybe I’ll see if we can alternate years.

Monkey Bread Recipe

 

Prep Time: 25 Min
Total Time: 1 Hr 5 Min
Makes: 12 servings

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1teaspoon cinnamon
2 cans (16.3 oz each) Pillsbury Grands Homestyle refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, if desired
1/2 cup raisins, if desired
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 12-cup fluted tube pan with shortening or cooking spray. In large -storage plastic food bag, mix granulated sugar and cinnamon.
  2. Separate dough into 16 biscuits; cut each into quarters. Shake in bag to coat. Arrange in pan, adding walnuts and raisins among the biscuit pieces.
  3. In small bowl, mix brown sugar and butter; pour over biscuit pieces.
  4. Bake 28 to 32 minutes or until golden brown and no longer doughy in center. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn upside down onto serving plate; pull apart to serve. Serve warm.

Do you have an awesome meal that you prepared? What’s your Christmas Eve tradition?

Proof of my insane Christmas Eve planning.

During the month of November, I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer. Most likely I am following these suggested prompts, but I might just get crazy and change things up every once in a while. I‘m one wild and crazy gal! 

NaBloPoMo November 2012

Favorite Place To Blog

Where is your favorite place to blog?

I have a laptop. Well, actually I have 3 that I have regular access to. One is my work laptop, another is an old laptop that is still hanging in there, and my main laptop is an Alienware that I bought earlier this year when I was pretty sure that my old laptop was going to crash. Without a doubt, my favorite is the Alienware. Since it’s so large, it usually stays on my desk in the bonus room (aka The Treehouse*) upstairs connected to a second monitor because I have been spoiled by working with dual monitors for the past 5 years. Every once in a while the Alienware takes a trip downstairs to hang out with me in the living room, but it rarely leaves the house. I’m not one to take my laptop to Starbucks or Panera or . I’m a home body.

With that said, I’m usually blogging upstairs while my husband is playing Xbox a few feet away.

More importantly than where my favorite place to blog is located, is when my favorite time to blog is. Usually I end up blogging in the evenings after dinner because that’s when I have the most available time. However, in the rare instances where I got up early and had time before work, is when my best writing seems to come out. I am NOT a morning person, so it actually comes to me by surprise that I can write well in the mornings. However, as the hour gets later in the evening, the less likely I want to write or write anything interesting.

Though, I have to admit that I am writing this right now in the evening. Maybe I shouldn’t have admitted to that so not to appear boring! It’s really late at night where my writing lacks a certain oomph that makes me feel accomplished.

I will also admit to writing out blogs in advance, especially the last two months when I have made a commitment to write daily, because I don’t want to get behind. It came in handy last month when there was a death in the family, and I didn’t have to stress to get my entries written. Since we’ll be traveling for Thanksgiving later this month, I’m hoping to stay ahead to be prepared for that, as well.

*The Treehouse is what we call our bonus room. It’s a term that my aunt coined when we first bought our house. The Treehouse started out being where my husband spent most of his free time, and it was set up sort of like a man cave. However, my aunt felt that it wasn’t really a man cave since it’s upstairs. Since I work from home on Fridays, we ended up putting a desk upstairs, so now I hang out in the Treehouse some evenings, too.

When and where do you prefer blogging? Are you one to write from home or gather your creativity in the library or restaurants? 

During the month of November, I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer. Most likely I am following these suggested prompts, but I might just get crazy and change things up every once in a while. I’m one wild and crazy gal! 

NaBloPoMo November 2012

miscellany monday at lowercase letters

On In Around button

Sunday Scribblings: Mud


On Sundays, I participate in Sunday Scribblings, a weekly writing prompt challenge. There are no rules within the challenge, however I am imposing the same rules that I follow for Five Minute Friday: Write for five minutes. No editing, revising, or over thinking. Just write.

Today’s Topic: Mud

START

I was a fairly normal child, I suppose, when it came to playing in the sand, the dirt, the mud. My dad built me a sandbox just outside my play house, and I loved to play in there. I’d sit on the squared edges and build roads for my cars, including tunnels and hills. It took a little bit of water and mud to form them, and I didn’t mind getting dirty. In fact, I could get downright filthy playing outside.

My mom’s friend has a daughter a few years younger than me, and she had a sandbox built underneath her raised play house that we would play in, as well. My mom would often point out that Katy could play in the sandbox and come out clean as if she had never been playing in it, and that the dirt and sand must have all stuck to me instead of her. It would even be in my shoes and hair.

Want to know something? I liked the feeling of it in my hair. Weird, huh? I like scratching it out of my scalp later on. I’m sure my mom didn’t think so highly of it in my hair when she was washing it out, but what did I know as a kid, other than the fact that it brought me simple joy?

“There is an eagle in me that wants to soar, and there is a hippopotamus in me that wants to wallow in the mud.” – Carl Sandburg 

STOP

Read other Sunday Scribblings posts on the topic of ‘Mud’.

During the month of November, I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer. Most likely I am following these suggested prompts, but I might just get crazy and change things up every once in a while. I‘m one wild and crazy gal! 

NaBloPoMo November 2012

One Change

If you could change one thing about your life right now, what would it be?

The first thing (because don’t we all have a list of things we’d like to change?) I would change is that I would be out of debt and stay out of debt (mortgage not included).

Actually, I am REALLY close to being out of debt, but it seems like the closer I get, the further I get because of one thing after another. The “thing” that is adding to my debt now is dental procedures in the shape of old fillings causing problems.

During my first marriage, a significant amount of debt and bills accumulated, and I am ALMOST done with the last of them! I re-financed my high interest (because of collections) student loan after my divorce, and that will FINALLY be paid off next summer. By the way, I graduated from college in 1999, so it only took 14 years to pay off 4 years of college, but IT WILL BE PAID OFF! I also purchased a new-to-me car after my divorce that will be paid off next summer, as well. I really hope the car last several more years, because I don’t want another car payment for awhile.

After my debt-ridden first marriage, I swore off credit cards for a while but after a couple of years I got a few of them. The plan is to pay them off once my student loan and car payment are paid off. I don’t have a lot of them, I promise! Seriously, I can’t fathom not being in debt. I’ve been in debt since I was 18 and got my first credit card. I am not responsible with credit. Not at all! I admire my husband for paying off his credit cards each month or before interest sets in on those Same As Cash offers. It takes a certain discipline that I have never had but hope to someday achieve.

So the latest in financial woes is the dental work. I’m actually embarrassed for all the work that needs to be done, but the truth is I have taken decent care of my teeth. They’re not rotting away or anything, though my dentist will say that not flossing regularly has contributed to some of the problems. Ugh! I have fillings that were not done correctly and other fillings that have gotten loose and caused more cavities underneath. The work that I am having done is crowns and replacing fillings. And it’s not cheap, even with insurance!

So it seems that just when I see the light at the end of the old debt tunnel, the tunnel has a new addition built onto the end of it. I’m still seeing that tiny bit of light, so I know I will get there some day.

What would you change? How do you manage debt or are you debt free? 

During the month of November, I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer. Most likely I am following these suggested prompts, but I might just get crazy and change things up every once in a while. I’m one wild and crazy gal! 

NaBloPoMo November 2012

 

Dream Job

If you could have any job (and instantly have the training and qualifications to do it), which job would you want?

For a long time I’ve  joked that I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. The truth is, it’s not a joke. I still don’t know. I’ve heard others say that they feel the same way. It’s not that I’m not happy with the job I have or that the job I have is my dream job, it’s just that there’s not one thing that I feel passionate enough about to say, “That’s it!”

So I suppose I could just end the post here, and say that I don’t really have an answer, but that would be pretty boring, huh? Instead, I’m just going to let my fingers do the typing and see what comes out.

I’ve written about it before, that when I was in 5th grade, I dreamed of being a lawyer. As an adult, I am thankful that I didn’t continue to pursue that field, because I definitely do not have the personality or interests now to be a lawyer. Not that there is anything wrong with lawyers (I’m not going to tell a bunch of lawyer jokes), it’s just that I know that job is not for me. I have a lawyer friend, and she has an excellent personality for her job. She is passionate about her interests and can argue with confidence.

My freshman year of college, I declared Engineering as my major. Seriously? Feel free to laugh. I only made it one semester before realizing that I would never make it. Math and Chemistry kicked my butt that first semester, despite hours and hours of studying. I was on academic probation after my first semester, so it was obvious that I needed to find something else. The reason I had chosen Engineering was that in high school, they showed us a list of college graduate incomes, and Engineering was high on the list. My generation grew up hearing that we could do anything and be anything we wanted, and it only took one semester of college for me to find out that I was not meant to be an Engineer.

My second semester of college, I was Undeclared for a major and took a variety of classes to see what might interest me. Two of the classes that I took that semester were Psychology and Sociology. While both were incredibly interesting to me, I found Sociology to be more for me, so I declared Sociology as my Major starting my Sophomore year. I eventually added Criminal Justice as my Minor and took several classes that combined the two majors. Upon graduation, I had intentions of getting my Masters, but life situations changed, and my desire to continue my education eventually went away.

My plan after getting my Masters was going to be studying and researching how society influences the behaviors of people, specifically criminals and prisoners. While I still have an interest in that field, I think I am now too jaded to believe that I could ever make a difference in that area. While I suppose it could be considered my dream job, I’m afraid that my skepticism now would get in the way of me feeling that my contribution would be beneficial.

I suppose I could also say that I would be a writer, but I’ve also come to the realization that when my hobbies become my job, then I lose interest. I’m happy with being a writer just for the fun of it, and I’m even more happy that there are other writers who have that desire to write for a living, because it gives me inspiration when I read their work.

Maybe one day I will figure out what it is that I want to do when I grow up. I’m not exactly clear on when it will be that I grow up, but I’m sure it will happen some day. For now, life is good.

What do you want to be when you grow up? Are you working your dream job now? 

During the month of November, I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer. Most likely I am following these suggested prompts, but I might just get crazy and change things up every once in a while. I’m one wild and crazy gal! 

NaBloPoMo November 2012

 

Compliments

Talk about the last compliment you received.

The last compliment that I received was from my co-worker, noting that my weight loss is really starting to show. I’ve gotten similar comments lately from others, including my husband, other co-workers, family and comments on Facebook. Their words definitely made me feel good, but I rarely take compliments well.

I’m pretty sure that not being able to take compliments well is part of having a low self esteem and only seeing one’s faults. Without a doubt, I am guilty of this, but probably no more than most women are. We have this horribly high standard that we feel that we must live up to when it comes to areas of life like beauty, expectations and accomplishments that we feel like when we’re complimented that we don’t deserve it because we’re still not good enough.

Do you know what is going through my head when someone compliments my weight loss? That I should have lost more weight by now, that I’m not exercising like I should and I’m not eating under my calorie goal most days. I could be doing better. I’m only thinking of my failures and not my successes. It’s negative self-talk.

I’m part of a work-sponsored weight management program, and we recently had a speaker discuss this topic. The speaker talked about ways we talk ourselves out of  exercising or eating right by putting ourselves down. While he didn’t speak directly of compliments, the same information applies. What caught me by surprise was not how true the information provided to us was or how many of the other members of the audience identified with what the speaker was saying or that we all were able to provide specific examples. What caught me by surprise was that his PowerPoint Presentation was Copyrighted 1995. Seeing that date from 17 years ago made me realize that this problem really hasn’t gotten better. It was a problem then, and it’s still a problem now. His presentation may have been dated but was not out of date.

I want to learn to take compliments well and be grateful for all the good that comes from someone speaking positive to me, but I also need to learn to compliment myself with positive self-talk, as well. I also want to focus on encouraging others through positive compliments. It can only make the world at least a little bit better, right?

Do you take compliments well? Are you one to compliment others easily? Are you guilty of negative self-talk?

During the month of November, I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer. Most likely I am following these suggested prompts, but I might just get crazy and change things up every once in a while. I’m one wild and crazy gal! 

NaBloPoMo November 2012

 

If I was President

If you were President of the United States, what would be your first act in office?

First of all, let me preface this by saying that I can’t believe that I am posting this. I highly dislike talking about politics, and to be honest, I’m actually afraid of some of the comments that I might get from this post.

Second, a dream of being President is about as far away from any desirable occupation that I can possibly imagine. There is way too much stress and responsibility involved. Being President ages someone fast. Just look at the last few Presidents we’ve had at the beginning and end of their 4 or 8 year terms and see how much they aged in that time period. I can’t imagine why anyone would truly WANT to be President. Not me!

But the question isn’t if I WANT to be President.

If I were President of the Unites States, my first project would be working on the budget and attempting to balance it to cut down on borrowing money just to keep running the country. Sounds simple, eh? Well, I have no doubt that it’s incredibly complicated, which is why I say that it would be a project to work on, not an act to pass immediately. This would probably include limiting our military presence in foreign countries, and only staying in the areas that are a direct threat to our country.

My first act would be to allow marriage equality between two consenting adults, regardless of sex or gender. I’m a Christian, and I grew up in a Christian home, however I don’t feel that marriage must be between a man and a woman. I don’t like calling it ‘gay marriage’, either, because really it’s just marriage no matter who the partners are. I don’t believe that allowing people who want to make a commitment to one another will destroy the sanctity of marriage when the sanctity of marriage wasn’t perfect even before some states allowed marriage to all. I don’t believe that churches should be forced to support or condone this, but they should be given the choice whether or not they would perform marriage ceremonies.

Are you still reading? This is really tough for me to write, because I usually avoid most political questions, conversations or debates. If you want to comment and say that I’m wrong or crazy or out of my mind, I probably won’t comment back. I’m not writing this for a debate. This is just my own thoughts and opinions. I am far from qualified to be President or to make these kinds of decisions for the people of my country.

Do you think you would be a good President? What changes would you make? What would you keep the same?

During the month of November, I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer. Most likely I am following these suggested prompts, but I might just get crazy and change things up every once in a while. I’m one wild and crazy gal! 

NaBloPoMo November 2012