Tuesday, November 12, 2013

NaBloPoMo Day 12 ~ Name 5 Things in your Refrigerator and How You Feel About Them

This prompt comes at a perfect time cause I just cleaned out the fridge on Saturday, so there isn't much in it. I haven't bought groceries yet. You all know how much I LOATHE going to the grocery.

1. An unopened bottle of Spiced Mead from Starrlight Mead. My willpower to NOT open this is tested each day! It is a heavenly blend of apples and spice and can be likened to spiced cider when heated.

2. Leftover homemade chicken pot pie from Sunday. I always make a huge dish of this and we eat leftovers for a couple days. There may be just enough for lunch tomorrow.

3. Various condiments like mustard, soy sauce, catsup, salad dressing... this are basic staples in our house. The MUST HAVES in any situation.

4. Water, I keep water in the fridge ALL the time. We drink so much of it, and it's gotta be cold.

5. The LAST jar of my first attempt at canning... I made peach preserves and they have lasted just about 2 years. I wasn't in a place where I could do any canning this last summer. I'm not sure if I'll be able to next year or not.

I'm Playing Catch Up

... after being away from the internet for 3 days over the weekend.

30 Days of Blogging Day 10 asks What is the Best Trip of my Life?

When I was between husband 3 and 4, I went on a family (my parents, my brother, his wife at the time, his two kids and me and my 3 kids) vacation via motorhome from Arizona to northern California by way of San Diego, (the zoo, Sea World, the beach) to LA and Hollywood (Disney, Santa Monica, Hollywood Blvd) Malibu, San Francisco (Fisherman's Wharf, Lombard St, Ghirardelli Chocolates).

Even though the motor home was 40 ft. that many people in tight quarters was bound to have some issues. But I will always remember that trip as it was the last one we were able to do as a family. We had such a great time, saw SO many things and ate some amazing food. The pictures and souvenirs and memories made this an unforgettable trip.

Day 11 Wants to Know My 10 Favorite Foods

I'm going to change this up a bit and add in my favorite things to drink too. I did this post on a 10 Things Thursday last year so I'm resurrecting it again for Day 11...

1. Seafood ~ This includes but is not limited to lobster, crab, shrimp, Mahi Mahi, salmon, and sea scallops. I can and do cook shrimp and scallops here at home, but enjoy eating out for lobster and crab. When we lived in MD we used to go to Annie's for brunch where they have a killer cream of crab soup. And don't get me started on the places to go for fresh crab, YUM! Yet one more thing on my list of why I miss Maryland...

2. Mexican Food ~ The real authentic Mexican food I haven't been able to get since we left Arizona. I have gotten pretty good at substituting things when I make a dish here at home, but so far the ONLY place we have found even somewhat close is a little restaurant in Odenton, MD called Pachanga Grill. Their food is the  closest to all we left in AZ. And let me tell you we have searched everywhere we live to find good and authentic Mexican food. When I cook at home my favorite thing to make is Green Chili Chicken Enchilada's with sour cream and queso fresco...YUM! Add home made salsa, guacamole and a Mexican Mojito and call it a meal. 

3. Fried Chicken ~ My Momma's recipe with a cajun twist, LOL! My Momma taught me how to cook many dishes, my second mother in law is Cajun and I learned to make quite a few dishes from her. I still remember them, how to cook them and have shared some of these dishes with many friends. The Cajun twist to Momma's chicken is adding just a little cayenne pepper to the seasoning and then frying it in crisco in a cast iron skillet. Spicey, brown and oh so yummy.

4. Gumbo ~ Chicken or seafood, it doesn't matter as long as it has that deep dark roux and spicy flavor that just won't quit. Add in a little Boudin sausage and you got a meal fit for a king! I am SO looking forward to cooler weather so I can cook up a big pot of Gumbo and rice...

5. Spiced Apple Cider ~ Around the holidays sometime beginning in mid fall, I'll drag out the crock pot and whip up a batch of spiced cider. I make mine from fresh apple cider, unprocessed when I can find it and then add cinnamon sticks, cloves and a little brown sugar. Simmer for about 6 hours, and then drizzle home made caramel sauce in the mug before adding the hot cider. Top with fresh home made whipped cream and you can't go wrong.

6. Mulled wine ~ A few years ago I believed I had an allergy to the sulfates in wine and wouldn't drink it to save my life. Then I found I could drink Mead and figured I'd try the wine again. If I did have an allergy, I've either outgrown it or it doesn't manifest any longer. I am happy to report I LOVE WINE! A couple years ago I ran across a bunch of recipes for Yule celebrations and many of them included a mulled or spiced heated wine. I was skeptical at first, and asked every one I knew for their favorite mulled wine recipe. I got a ton of responses and set about reading each of them. Many were pretty much the same and a few were more challenging than I figured I was up for. I did find one I fell in love with and now I try to make at least one kettle full each Yule. 

7. Coffee ~ Hi my name is Vickie and I am a coffee addict... LOL! Not just any coffee either. It MUST be Starbuck's Verona blend. I go out of my way each payday to buy 2 pounds (sometimes 3) of this blend for home brewing. Then I set the coffee maker up each night before going to bed so I can either have it already for me if I know what time I'm getting up or I can just push the brew button on the way through the kitchen as I'm taking the fur babies out first thing. Jimmy drinks his with some half & half and I use either Amaretto or Cinnamon Vanilla creamer. I will also confess to having an addiction to flavored coffees, and right now the fave's of those are Kahlua and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Pumpkin Spice (staying with the season here).

8. Chocolate ~ Yes, I am a chocoholic too. But here again I must be the difficult one in the family. I prefer dark chocolate, and sometimes the darker the better. 

9. Red Velvet Cake ~ Not everyone likes Red Velvet cake, and I'm OK with that. But if I have a choice for any type of cake I'd like to have for a celebration or just an ordinary day, I'll vote Red Velvet all the time. I'm not even sure exactly *why* I love it so much, but I do and when I see it on a menu as a dessert choice, I'll cut back on my entree just to get a piece of cake... 

10. Tea ~ Even before I worked for Teavana I had an affair with tea... I just didn't know all the health benefits associated with this heavenly brew. Now, I've been called a tea snob. That's more than alright with me. I will not use tea bags, nor the Kcups for my Kuerig. When I make a cup or pot or pitcher of tea, I use only whole leaf tea, and the water and brew time is monitored as well depending on the type of tea I'm making. I have a couple favorite blends and flavors, Six Summits Oolong has a very subtle raspberry flavor to it and I've grown attached to one called Hot Cinnamon Spice. Perfect for the cold winter nights.

And lastly, Day 12 wants to know My Favorite Childhood Book?

This one is easy and I can only say when I read it once, I read it many times again. For a while there I could almost recite it from memory. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

What's Inside My Purse?

30 Days of Blogging asks this question and I literally had to empty it out so I could answer.

I'm usually pretty organized (semi OCD) even down to what goes in my purse. Right now it's kinda cluttered because this weekend was payday and I have various lists, notes and receipts I haven't filed away yet.

Coupons for JCPenney, Witches Datebook for 2013, 2 recipes I tore out of a magazine while I was waiting for my truck to be inspected so I can renew the tags, extra set of keys, bottle of acetaminophen, Bath & Body Works hand sanitizer, lipstick, chapstick, lipgloss, pen, usb car charger for my Jabra bluetooth, a straw, a penny, new Harris Teeter VIC card, misc receipts, and my miniature altar box I got for Yule last year and carry with me EVERYWHERE.

There ya go... the uncensored contents of my purse.

Which Movie Would I Want to be Trapped Inside of for 5 Days?

Without a doubt it would have to be Practical Magic.

The aunts are so wise and have so much to teach, I'd be hanging on everything they say. And I especially like the idea of taking the things I learned from them and then using that knowledge to improve on a situation or even remove the problem without them standing over me.

Yes, there is no question. I'd be grateful to spend 5 days inside Practical Magic...

Friday, November 8, 2013

30 Days of Blogging

Today I've been asked to give you my 5 most recent goals.

I'm not good at setting goals, I don't usually have enough patience to let them manifest as they should. I'm always running a scheme in my head trying to achieve things at a much quicker rate. I do have goals, and some will *eventually* be fulfilled. Maybe...possibly... someday, LOL!!

In no particular order I give you my top 5 goals

To finish my degree. There are days and even weeks that I get bored, irritated and just plain overwhelmed with some of my classes. But I keep going knowing I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it gets brighter as the days go by.

Move back to Maryland. We have been away from Maryland since October 31, 2006 and we have been miserable. We miss the family, friends and the lifestyle we lived there. Both of us had decent jobs, a nice place to live and a new car.

Lose weight. Yes, I've been saying this for quite some time. It is still on my list, just haven't gotten the priorities in line to begin the process. I know I need to for my health. I'm a daughter of two diabetic parents so my chances of becoming diabetic is pretty sure, IF I don't make some major changes soon.

Get Jimmy a job so he's OFF the road and home every night. I'm not sure this is even a possibility here in NC. We have looked here in our area and there is NOTHING local that will pay him anything close to what he makes OTR. We've just begun to get our finances straightened out and a loss in income of any kind would severely hurt. I'm not sure how much longer either of our sanity is going to hold out with him on the road.

That's not five... but it's all I can give you tonight. These are the top *pressing* things that need to be accomplished.

Today NaBloPoMo Wants to Know What I've Learned About My Daily Blogging ...

It's not as easy as some may think. Everyone I know is busy, more busy than they have hours in the day. I'm right there with them. I'm not saying I have it harder than anyone else, I'm saying I TOTALLY understand how so many people can become overwhelmed in everything they do, including blogging.

While doing the daily prompts, I've found I rely heavily on them. I don't need to come up with a topic, just write about what thoughts I have because of the topic that has been presented. I've also found by utilizing the daily prompts I can write at a higher level of thought process.

The most important thing I've learned is if I want to be a successful blogger (and please don't think I'm all about the numbers. I'm not. IF you chose to read what I write, I'm ecstatic. If no one reads what I write, that's OK too. I write for me) I need to put more effort into my posts, continue to be honest with my thoughts and words but most of all to write from the heart and soul. To me that is what makes a successful blogger or writer of any written material.

As a side note here, I'm good with reading an occasional *guest post* on those blogs I follow, Goddess knows I've been a guest  blogger myself. However, I feel those who have a blog but do a very limited amount of the actual writing of the blog and rely on the efforts of guest bloggers or a compilation of contributors might want to re-examine their reasons for having a blog in the first place. To me, this seems a lot like they have no confidence in their own ability but are desperate for the increased traffic and statistics.

Just my thoughts on What I've Learned About My Daily Blogging...

Thursday, November 7, 2013

My FIVE Favorite Songs...

Day seven of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge wants to know my Five favorite songs. A little over a year ago, I did a post similar to this for my Ten Things Thursday. So, I just resurrected some of the music I listed on there. In no particular order I give you:

1. Devil's Candy by Gary Alan: This song is about addiction and as some may know devil's candy is another name for cocaine. No, I don't use drugs of any kind. This song and album came out about the time Jimmy & I got together and ended up being sort of a *theme* song for us. One line goes "I've always had a sweet tooth for the devil's candy". From this line Jimmy told me I was his addiction... that he couldn't get enough of me. I guess it's pretty much spot on, we've been together for going on 12 years so I figure I'm still feeding his addiction, LOL!

2.  Melodramma by Andrea Bocelli: If you haven't heard this song, you really need to. This man's voice is so beautiful and powerful at the same time. This song and entire album (Ciele Di Toscana) is one of our favorites. It holds many memories of our first Christmas together and the trip we took to Sedona AZ where we stayed at the Poco Diablo resort. I can enthusiastically recommend any and all of the music by this incredible man.

3. Alive by Omnia: This song gets my blood pumping and makes me want to move. I haven't known about this group very long, but from the minute I first heard them I was hooked. This can be classified *Pagan* music and at one time I have a couple tracks in the music player I had here on the blog.

4. Rhiannon by Stevie Nicks: Stevie Nicks is probably my all time favorite female artist. I've seen her in concert multiple times and she gets continues to wow each time I see her. When we lived in Scottsdale, we actually lived on the same street she did and would occasionally see her in the grocery. She's as down to earth as you'd imagine and has such a huge heart. Rhiannon is about a Welsh Witch and even though Stevie tells everyone she's not a Witch or Pagan, there is just something about her that makes you think it might be possible.

5. Cathy's Clown by Reba McEntire: This is a remake of an old Everly Brother's song from back in 1960. I love the version by Reba and the video that goes with it has Bruce Boxleitner as the male star who the song is supposed to be about. Reba did the song and video in 1989 and was her 30th number 1 hit. I love Reba, and there isn't much of her music I don't like. This was a toss up between Cathy's Clown and She Thinks His Name was John...

If I HAD to Change My Name...

When I was growing up I hated my first name with a passion. I had every nasty nickname hurled at me that anyone could imagine. And I dreamed of what I'd change my name to if I ever got the chance. For some reason, those names I chose never really resonated, I lost interest quickly and moved on to a different choice. At least for a few weeks.

One day I just literally woke up and said "hey!! there is NOTHING wrong with your name and as a matter of fact it pretty cool. Since then I've chosen an alias here or there for one reason or another, for email, or because I didn't want to share my given name. I've had ex husbands give me their pet name which I QUICKLY ceased to use or answer to upon separation/divorce.

But if I absolutely HAD to change my name, I'd want to know the circumstances for why the change was important. Did I need an alternate name/life/personality because I gave testimony against a hard time criminal and went into the witness protection program? Or, did I commit a crime under my birth name and needed a new identity to stay out of jail? Maybe it was something simple and easy, like one of my alternate names just became the name everyone knew me by and I decided to just make the situation hassle free and legal?

I guess in the end, I wouldn't want to change my name, voluntarily. Someone else would have to decide for me, and it would have to be one that stands out in a crowd. And lordy, PLEASE don't give me one of those crazy Hollywood star type names ... with my red hair and freckles it must absolutely be something with an Irish or Scottish flair. And NOT Mary!! There are just too many Mary's in the world and I am not like anyone else who has ever walked this plane.

Maybe Moira or Shiobhan or Payton ...