Archive for the ‘Meme’ Category

‘Nother Vegan MoFo Meme

What is one food you thought you’d miss when you went vegan, but don’t?

I’m still moving in the direction of veganism; however, for years and years, the only meat I ever ate was hamburger – – and I haven’t missed it AT ALL!  Especially since I learned how to make the TVP taste more like “meat” and less like crap: Bring 1 Cup Vege Broth with 1 to 2 Tbl. Hickory Liquid Smoke, to a boil.  Add 1 Cup TVP.  Stir. Cover.  Remove from heat.  It is ready to use in 5 minutes.

What is a food or dish you wouldn’t touch as a child, but enjoy now?

Green Peppers!  Although, recently, I have been craving Brussel Sprouts.

What vegan dish or food you feel like you “should” like, but don’t?

I really don’t eat a lot of “packaged” vegan products…

What beverage do you consume the most of on any given day?

Sweet Tea….it’s my vice!

What dish are you “famous” for making or bringing to gatherings?

lol…I don’t go to gatherings.

Do you have any self-imposed food rules (like no food touching on the plate or no nuts in sweets)?

No; however, I would probably lose more weight if I did!

What’s one food or dish you tend to eat too much of when you have it in your home?

Any snacks…unfortunately, not everyone shares my desires to be vegan (but, they DO induldge me by eating whatever I make for dinner) so more snacks make it in the house than I would like.  If I had more self-imposed rules, I’d prolly be better off…lol.

What ingredient or food do you prefer to make yourself despite it being widely available prepackaged?


What ingredient or food is worth spending the extra money to get “the good stuff”?


Are you much of a snacker?  What are your favorite snacks?

Oh yeah….and they’re the devil!

What are your favorite vegan pizza toppings?

Red onion, Green Pepper and Vegan Cheese.

What is your favorite vegetable?  Fruit?

Vege=Gosh, there are too many to count. 
Fruit=Melons and Apples

What is the best salad dressing?

I like Dorothy Lynch…I know it isn’t vegan; however, I haven’t found one I like enough to replace it.

What is your favorite thing to put on toasted bread?

EB with Cinnamon and Sugar mix!

What kind of soup do you most often turn to on a chilly day or when you aren’t feeling your best?

I really like to try all sorts of different soups….it really depends on my mood!

What is your favorite cupcake flavor? Frosting flavor?

Not a big cupcake person…but, I LOVE Vegan Banana Bread.

What is your favorite kind of cookie?

My friend made some Pumpkin Cookie with Chocolate Chips….omg, to die for!!

What is your most-loved “weeknight meal”?

Right now it is Moroccan Vegetables on Couscous.

What is one dish or food you enjoy, but can’t get anyone else in your household to eat?

I am the second pickiest eater in my house….so typically if I like it, the other two will, as well.   

How long, in total,  do you spend in the kitchen on an average day?

On an average day, maybe an hour or 2.

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Vegan Survey

Favorite non-dairy milk?
I like Rice Milk from the store; however, when I can afford it, I like homemade Almond Milk better.
What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook?
Oh my, that is a tough one.  I need to figure out how to do some veganizing on some of my family’s favorite meat dishes: Chicken Noodle Soup, Runza/Cabbage Biscuit, and Pepperoni Rolls.

Topping of choice for popcorn?
EB & salt….but, I honestly haven’t done a lot of experimenting.

Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?
Yowsa….hhhmmm, let’s see…..I tried to make vege broth in the crockpot and apparently I added something that I shouldn’t have and it tasted REALLY bitter.  Not sure what it was….next time I will follow all of the directions/suggestions for use.

Favorite pickled item?
How do you organize your recipes?
On the computer and then if I like them, I print them off and they go into a blue folder.
Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?
We trash anything we can’t compost or recycle.
If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods… what would they be (don’t worry about how you’ll cook them)?
Dried beans, rice, and veggie stock….’cause as long as it’s a tropical island, I am hoping that there will be lots of fresh fruits and vege, year round!!  🙂

Fondest food memory from your childhood?
My Mom always makes Potato Soup and Cabbage Biscuits for christmas eve dinner….
Favorite vegan ice cream?
I have never tried store-bought vegan ice cream.  One of my goals is to get an electric ice cream maker and the book “Vice Cream”…..and make my own!!

Most love kitchen appliance?
Refrigerator….hands down!

Spice/herb you would die without?
Spice = Salt
Herb = Dill

Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?
I don’t even know….all of my books are currently packed away.

Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?
Apple Butter

Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?
Vegan Banana Bread
Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?
I have never used these items.

Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?
Honestly, I am not to fond of cooking….so, any meal that I can have on the table within half-an-hour is a favorite!!  🙂  I also don’t have a favorite TIME to cook, either….I do most of my family cooking in the latter afternoon hours. 

What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?
Cereal, Medicines (my whole family has been sick lately) and sprout bag.

Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.
Bananas, Organic All Purpose Unbleached Flour, Blueberries

What’s on your grocery list?
Since I JUST went shopping….nothing.

Favorite grocery store?
I only have access to a couple “grocery stores” – – so among those I do most of my shopping at Wal-Mart and then Dillions.  I do LOVE Whole Foods; however, the nearest one is almost 3 hours away from my house.

Name a recipe you’d love to veganize, but haven’t yet.
See Above.

Food blog you read the most (besides Isa’s because I know you check it everyday). Or maybe the top 3?
Whatever is most recent on my reader.

Favorite vegan candy/chocolate?
Right now, I am diggin’ the Vegan Banana Bread.

Most extravagant food item purchased lately?
Cardamom…that crap is $10 a pop.

Ingredients you are scared to work with?
Too many to count!!

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I have been asking friends for their Christmas traditions, ’cause we want to start some basic traditions….or at least do some basic things each Christmas that the family will enjoy without getting too complicated or too expensive.  Here are some of the ideas that I found while searching on-line and talking to friends.  Enjoy!!  

Also, feel free to add YOUR ideas!!

Christmas Tree Dip

4 Large Avacodo’s
1 Cup of Ranch Dressing (Buttermilk)
1 Cup of Medium Salsa
1 Tablespoon of Fresh Crushed Garlic
1 Small Roma Tomato
1 Tablespoon of Fresh Parsley
Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper to taste

In a blender, put Avacodo (shelled and seeded of course), Ranch Dressing, Salsa and Garlic. Blend to a smooth consistency. Salt and Pepper to taste then pour in to Christmas Tree Shaped Dish and Garnish with a few chopped tomato’s and chopped Parsley.

Serve with Tortilla Chips and mostly ENJOY this wonderful treat.


Christmas Wreaths

Using the traditional “Rice Krispie Treats” recipe, substitute corn flakes for Rice Krispies, add 2 tablespoons of green food coloring and mix thoroughly.

Place tablespoon sized portions of your “wreaths” on waxed paper. Sprinkle with red sprinkles OR cinnamon candies. Chill for 1 hour and they’re ready to serve!


Matching Pajama Family

Everyone in the family gets matching pajamas for Christmas Eve. It doesn’t matter if you are 6 months old or 60 years old, the tradition continues every year. You may feel silly or sheepish, but when the time comes, everyone has to participate. We tend to hide these pictures in strict confidence, but I will include a picture (just don’t tell the family!) It is a great fun family tradition that brings the family closer and makes the holidays even more enjoyable!





Easy Fruit Dip

8 oz cream cheese
16 oz marshmallow puff

Soften cream cheese, add marshmallow puff, and mix well. Serve with fruit !!!!


Peanut Ritz Crackers

1 sleve of Ritz crackers
1 jar of Creamy Peanut Butter
A few blocks of Almond Bark chocolate (white or dark or even both)

First spread the peanut butter on the crackers and make a sandwich. Continue that with the whole sleve. Next, melt your chocolate over a pan of boiling water, or you can just microwave it. BE CAREFUL NOT TO BURN THE CHOCOLATE!
After melting the chocolate, dip your premade sandwiches in the chocolate. If you want to, you may sprinkle some sprinkles on the drying sandwiches, or you may take the other flavor of chocolate and drizzle that on top.


Grandmoms Best Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups white all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream butter or margarine together, add both sugars, eggs, vanilla and peanut butter.
Mix well and blend in all dry ingredients.
Roll into 1 inch balls and place on cookie sheets one inch apart.
Flatten in criss-cross shape with fork dipped in flour.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes, they cook quickly.
Remove cookies with spatula after 5 minutes to cooking rack to cool completly.
Makes 6 dozen fabulous cookies.


Christmas Auction Santa Bucks

Instead of getting gifts for each other, all of the adults in my family participate in our Christmas Auction.
Each person brings a few
small gifts or handmade items. We lay all of the items out and number them.
Everyone gets the same amount of
“Santa Bucks” – usually 20 or 30 depending on how many items there are to bid on.
We take about 30 minutes to check out all of the items and write down what we want to bid on each one. When everyone has their bids ready, my mom
“auctions” off each item.
It is so much fun to see what item will be “hot” every year. We usually have a
mystery gift (wrapped) to bid on. Some years it is a gift certificate  and some years it is a gag gift.
Christmas wouldn’t be the same without the


Chocolate Cherry Cake

So easy, no mixer, and the frosting makes this cake extra special..so no cheating with the can stuff!

1 Package Pillsbury Devils Food Cake Mix
21 oz. Can Cherry Pie Filling
1 teaspoon Almond Extract
2 eggs, beaten

1 cup sugar
5 tablespoons Butter or Margarine, softened
1/3 cup milk
6-oz. Package (1 Cup) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13 pan bottom and sides well and shake off excess flour. Can dust with cocoa or a little cake mix instead of flour.

In a large bowl, combine all cake ingredients. Mix by hand; stir until well mixed. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Take cake out of oven and let cool on rack for 5 minutes and begin to make frosting.

In small saucepan, combine Sugar, Butter and Milk. Over medium heat, bring to a Boil, stirring
Constantly, about 1 minute or little longer. Remove from heat. Stir in Chocolate Chips until smooth.
Pour over partially cooled cake. Smooth frosting evenly if needed. Let cool completely. When cooled completely, cover with plastic wrap.



We play a version of a dice game called Bunco. We all wrap up any strange christmas gifts we’ve received or found at the dollar store along with a few nice prizes and place them at the center of a huge table because the game can be played by all ages (which is why it’s so special). Starting with the head of the family everyone takes turns rolling the dice. Anyone who rolls doubles gets to take a package from the pile.

Once all the prizes are gone a timer is set for 10-15 minutes depending on the number of prizes/peole playing. During this period, if someone rolls doubles, they get to steal a present from anyone who won one in the previous now. Since no one knows what is in the packages, the choice is based on size or wrapping paper. Sometimes the person who donated the prize gives obscure hints or even says “you reeallllyy don’t want that one! Trust me!”

Once time expires everyone gets to open what they’re left with. The kids really love this game and the whole family looks forward to bunco. Sometimes it seems like the kids like the bunco prizes better than all the Christmas presents.


Oreo Balls

1 package regular size Oreo cookies, crushed
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 package white almond bark
1 package chocolate almond bark

Using a blender or hand held mixer, mix Oreos and cream cheese together.
Roll into walnut size balls.
Chill for an hour.
Melt approximately 3/4 package of white almond bark.
Stick a toothpick in an Oreo ball and dip it in the melted white almond bark.
Allow to harden on wax paper. Takes about 15 minutes.
While waiting, melt about 1/4 package of chocolate almond bark.
When Oreo balls are no longer sticky to the touch, decorate with drizzles of chocolate and white almond bark. Yummy !!


Pumpkin Fudge

2 c. sugar
2 tbsp. pumpkin
1/4 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 c. carnation milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Cook together sugar, pumpkin, cornstarch, spice and Carnation milk in a broiler. Stir constantly until mxture forms a soft ball when dropped in cold water. Add vanilla and let cool. Beat until creamy. Pour into a lightly greased 8×8 pan and refrigerate for two hours. Cut into small squares and enjoy!


Gift Exchange “Roast”

Usually we are all together at thanksgiving, so we do a one person Christmas gift exchange draw. All adults who want to participate agree to one rule. On Christmas day, when it is your time to name your secret family member you should try to be loving, amusing, and yet “roast” your person a little. One can also deliver a tall tale about the gift, like you went all the way to China to get it, because Walmart was out of it. WE have a month to prepare these little speeches and they are usually very funny. Plus the one person gift exchange is so popular that our children say they cannot wait until they are old enough to partcipate.


PJ’s and Slippers


Easy Fruit Dip

8 oz cream cheese
16 oz marshmallow puff

Soften cream cheese, add marshmallow puff, and mix well. Serve with fruit !!!!



For years, I had a tradition with my family–we got a new jigsaw puzzle and put it together over the Christmas break. It usually ended up being my mother and me that did most of it. Now my parents live in FL. Since I live in Phoenix, I think attending the Electric Light Parade is a good tradition! Where else can you see people wearing Santa hats and shorts? : )


Welcome the Sun

I like the Yule tradition of staying up to welcome the sun. Not for Cernunnos or any other reason, simply for longer hours… of sunlight finally coming.


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101 in 1001 AAR

Back in the day, when I was in the military, we would discuss the good, the bad and the ugly attributes of a training….it was called an AAR (After Action Review). I think the title is brilliant and have used it many times since.
My 101 in 1001 goal list time is up (January 27, 2010).
There were many items I completed…..and some I did not. I figured that I would do an AAR for this project…discussing the things I liked about it…disliked about it….and most importantly, discuss the list (what got done, what didn’t…and why).
Obviously this AAR is mostly for me; however, I love to get feedback/ideas/thoughts….so, I am putting this out there. 😉
So, without further ado…..

101 in 1001 (May 2007-January 2010)
The Mission:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.
The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).
Items that are BOLD are COMPLETE!!

001. Publish this list on MySpace Website (DONE 5/5/07), in a Blog (DONE 5/5/07) and on Triplux (DONE 5/5/07).
*Pretty simple task…completed the day it was done!! 🙂

002. Participate in a 5k
003. Walk 1001 Miles (2,000 steps = 1 Mile) (DONE 7/31/09)
004. Bicycle 1001 Miles
* I was a bit disappointed in how little I accomplished in this area. Part of the reason that number 2 did not get accomplished was the lack of 5k races in the area….and I am sure, in my lack of knowledge in other area races, as well. Number 3 was a pretty “easy” one, since most people average one mile per day.   😉 I worked on number 4 when I had the stationary bike (but it was totally uncomfortable) and when I went to the gym…but, it just wasn’t something I was able to accomplish.

005. Color with my kids using sidewalk chalk (DONE 8/17/07)
006. Play miniature golf (DONE 6/09/07)
007. Make S’Mores with my Kids DONE (5/15/2007)
008. Fingerpaint a portrait with my Kids (DONE)
* The point of these exercises was: 1) To get in touch with my “inner-child” and 2) To spend more “quality” time with my kids. I spent a great deal of time with my daughter when she was homeschooled from 1/08 to 5/09. Although, number 8 was not done specifically, I am counting it as DONE, because we DID paint together…just not a fingerprinted portrait.

009. Make a Mosaic
010. Complete the Pictures on Wood Project
011. Complete the mala bead project
012. Complete a 26 Things Challenge (DONE 5/17/2007)
013. Frame and Display a Photo I took (DONE 7/11/07)
014. Have the Painting (that I won on E-Bay) Framed
015. Have something published (photo, editorial, etc.) in a newspaper or magazine
016. Take pictures of People On The Street
017. Participate in The Mirror Project (DONE 5/23/07)
018. Participate in a Parking Spot Meme
019. Participate in the 50 State Meme (DONE 5/17/2007)
* REALLY disappointed that these did not get done. Can you tell I am not very creative…lol. 🙂 Item 9 is something I have wanted to do for a long time….I’ve purchased the stuff needed to do it; however, I am just nervous about completely fucking it all up. I think it would be better if I did creative things in a group setting…it would force me to do them…but, with others around for knowledge, inspiration and fun. Items 10 & 11 were part of a book assignment that I had wanted to accomplish AT THE TIME….over time, it has become less and less important to me. Item 14 is no longer important to me, either…I will be attempting to re-sell it on ebay, very soon. Item number 56 (on this list) was to purchase a digital camera and items 15-19 were extensions, thereof. I love photography…but, I guess when it starts to feel like ‘work’ (part of a “to-do list”), it won’t get done.

Food & Drink
020. Eat a fruit I have never tried before (DONE 7/20/07)
021. Eat a vegetable I have never tried before (DONE 7/04/07)
022. Make a traditional food a different color
023. Try 10 new dinner recipes (DONE 8/01/07)
024. Try 5 new dessert recipes (DONE 10/26/07)
025. Learn how to tend bar
026. Sample 24 flavors at Braums(12/24) *As of 7/29/2007
027. Re-evaluate at least 10 food or drink items I claim not to like (DONE)
* The point of most of this list was to expand my comfort zone. I was VERY glad to have tried new foods (items 20 & 21)! Those will also be on my new list. Item number 22 seemed like a “fun” thing to do, at the time, but, just has never been a real important thing to me. Numbers 23 and 24 were very interesting…gonna have to add a similar goal to the next list. I’ve always wanted to learn to tend bar…the opportunity just has not presented itself at this time. I lost interest with number 26. I am going to consider number 27 done, as I know I have tried items that I either THOUGHT I didn’t like, or have not liked over the course of the last couple years. Next time, I need to update each item with specific date/item accomplished, ’cause I tend to forget specifics.

028. Win more than $5 in the lottery (DONE – Won $120 at the casino on 12/30/09.)
029. Make new Will (Get it notarized and all)
030. Send copy of will to C
031. Sell, Donate or Throw Away 101 Items (DONE 8/4/07)
032. Achieve 1001 MySpace blog postings (DONE 6/30/2009)
033. Perform a ceremony using my Ordainment (Marriage, Funeral, etc.)
034. Write 101 blogs (corresponding with each of these entries) (45/101) *As of 10/5/08
035. Participate in Postcard Project (DONE 5/10/07)
036. Do at least two Learning To Love You More Assignments (DONE 5/22/07)
037. Make a list of 101 things I am grateful for and/or accomplishments I am proud of (DONE 7/20/07)
038. Send in a secret to Post Secret
039. Get PT Cruiser Professionally Detailed
*Dang, another section where I am just totally disappointed!! Number 28, I added because it seemed like a “fun” thing – – the problem is that I really don’t play the lottery. Lol. I am going to consider it DONE; however, as we went to the Casino on 12/30/09 and I won $120! Number 29 I had really expected to have done by now…UGH! Part of the problem was that my CD player, on the computer, wasn’t working and I wasn’t able to do the “Do it Yourself Will.” It will go on my next list, though – – it really needs to get done. Of course, since number 29 didn’t get done, number 30 wouldn’t either. I actually expected that number 31 would be much harder than it was. This one will be on the next list, as well!! Glad that number 32 was accomplished by the time I really lost interest in MySpace…lol! 🙂 Number 33 was put in because I had intended to officiate my sister’s wedding…thank goodness she hasn’t gotten married, though. I’m totally okay that that one didn’t get done!! Well, number 34 was bound to fail if ANY of the items were not complete. Won’t do that again! I really enjoyed doing items 35-37…all were intended to expand the comfort zone while simultaneously giving me something back. Number 38 was intended to be part of that group…..bummed it didn’t get done. Number 39 was actually part of the “quit smoking” deal….if I quit smoking, the PT would get detailed…just hadn’t gotten done.

040. Put coins in expired parking meters (DONE)
041. Pay for the order of the person behind me at a drive-thru (DONE)
042. Send box of toys to Iraq Children (DONE 7/25/07)
043. For every incomplete task after 1001 days, donate $5 to Charity
044. Give Blood (Attempted-DONE)
045. Use all 10 of my Smile Cards to Pay it Forward (0/10)
* Number 40 I do (almost) every time I am “in town” and park where there are meters. Number 41 we did as a family…just can’t remember the date. Number 43 started with $1 and then I changed it to $5 because I was SURE that most (if not all) of the list would be done. I am gonna count the time I have spent in CASA as my charitable donation…33 incomplete items=$165. If I use $1 an hour as my charitable time, I would have surpassed this amount…Charity is done. Number 44 I will consider DONE, as I have attempted several times to donate blood…they won’t accept me because I am pretty severely anemic. Number 45 seemed like a good idea at the time – – I don’t even have a clue where my “Smile Cards” are at this point. The idea was to Pay it Forward….will do this again…WITHOUT the cards. 🙂

Just for ME!!
046. Read 101 Books (DONE 5/13/08)
047. Write a GOOD up-to-date resume (DONE 06/27/07)
048. Frame my diploma’s (DONE 10/31/2008)
049. Get a hot rock massage
050. TRY Yoga!!
051. New Adidas Coat (DONE 11/24/07)
052. Have a friend go with me shopping for a fabulous not-like-me complete outfit
053. Quit biting my fingernails
054. Do a Dare
* Homeschooling Maddison really helped with challenge number 46. Between May 2007 and January 2010, I read 474 books!! 🙂 I have worked on number 47 several times in the last couple years…and will do it again, really soon. My BIS is in a frame – – just not hung up. Number 49 ALMOST got done…my Mom bought a hot rock set for me…it just ended up being pebbles and I didn’t really want it. This one will be added to the next list. Really bummed that number 50 didn’t get done….UGH…I just wanted to TRY it. Was VERY excited to get number 51!! Number 52 was really intended to be completed AFTER I lost some weight – – too bad all I did was GAIN it. YUCK! Number 53 will be done when I am ready…it’s just not the time, yet. I added number 54 because AT THE TIME, I belonged to a group that was SUPPOSE to work on doing dares from a book. I have since purchased a book that is similar – – and will add a similar challenge to the next list.

Purchase or Acquire
055. Ipod Nano (DONE 5/4/07)
056. Digital Camera (DONE 5/9/07)
057. Crock Pot (DONE 8/6/07)
058. Water Purifier (DONE 5/17/2007)
059. Bicycle (DONE 6/7/2008)
060. Picnic Basket (DONE 6/5/07)
061. Norton Anti-Virus (DONE 5/11/2007)
062. iPod Nano Armband (DONE 5/10/2007)
063. A Pedometer (DONE 5/10/2007)
* WOO-FREAKING-HOO!! All done!!

064. Get away for the weekend (DONE 7/6/07)
065. Go on a Romantic Picnic (DONE 6/9/07)
066. Surprise J with something unexpected (DONE 9/6/2007)
067. Celebrate J Day (DONE 9/6/2008)
068. Kiss in the Rain
069. Have a Romantic Interlude somewhere “Unusual”
* I am actually pretty pleased with the items that were completed on this list. I was bummed that number 67 didn’t get more response from people…but, heck, people suck ass….so, it shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise to me. I really should have known that numbers 68 & 69 wouldn’t get done…it is just not James’ personality to do “weird” stuff. I will add some other stuff to the next list that hopefully WILL be more in-line with his personality. 🙂

Family & Friends
070. Create a birthday/anniversary/address/phone number list and distribute to family
071. Send a card to an old friend. (DONE)
072. Send twenty-five postcards to twenty-five different people. (DONE 07/09/2007)
073. Send five random surprise packages to different family or friends (DONE)
074. Meet in person someone I met on the internet
075. Send someone flowers
076. Have a family portrait done (DONE 11/28/07)
* I worked on number 70…even completed it, I think….just didn’t distribute it….and now it just isn’t all that important to me. I know that I completed numbers 71-73…just didn’t have all the details listed. I had added number 74, because at the time, I was part of an online group that I was sure would produce better “friends” and hoped it would lead to meeting one of them in person. Number 75 was on others’ lists…just sounded good at the time. This is just not something I ‘do.’ Number 76 was a bit of a bummer…..hope to do a new one soon.

077. Replace ALL old light bulbs with NEW energy efficient ones (DONE 5/17/2007)
078. Plant Garden (2007) (DONE 5/18/2007)
079. Plant Garden (2008) (DONE 7/4/2008)
080. Plant Garden (2009) (DONE 8/1/09)
081. Declutter the Bedroom (DONE)
082. Declutter the Living Room (DONE)
083. Declutter the Dining Room (DONE)
084. Declutter the Kitchen (DONE)
085. Declutter the Bathroom (DONE 6/14/07)
086. Declutter the Back Porch (DONE)
087. Install Rain Gutters all the way around the house
088. Defrost Freezer (DONE 8/7/07)
* WOO HOO!! Was happy to get number 77 done. The garden idea was lovely in theory…just sucked ass in reality. I won’t do it again – – especially not here…and not alone. This is something I enjoyed doing with someone else. Numbers 81-86 have been done, got yucky, done again, etc several times over the last couple years. We got part of number 87 done when we re-did the front porch. Have done number 88 several times in the last couple years, as well.

089. Complete Family Control Journal (DONE 10/1/2007)
090. Make Newsletter list (DONE 5/22/07)
091. Make a household inventory (including pictures and serial numbers) for insurance (DONE)
092. Update address books (DONE 12/08/2007)
093. Catalog the Books I want to Keep Began 6/17/07
094. Build a good recipe collection (in 3-Ring Binder) (DONE)
095. Get a safe deposit box (DONE 8/4/2008)
096. Put all important docs in safe deposit box
* I really need to update number 89…but, glad it is done…really has been handy. Did number 90 – – but, will have to cull until I get a VERY low number of people who REALLY matter to us. Discovered that number 91 was not necessary – – since I did the work necessary to find out, I will consider it done! Purchased a whole new book for number 92…very helpful. I am still working on number 93. I accomplished number 94, then I threw it away…didn’t feel like I needed it anymore. Number 95 was considered a lock box…just haven’t gotten number 96 into it….lol.

097. Pay off PT Cruiser (DONE 10/1/2009)
098. Pay off Military Star Credit Card (DONE 3/1/2009)
099. Pay the equivalent of one year of additional principal towards student loan (DONE)
100. Pay the equivalent of one year of additional principal towards mortgage (DONE 9/01/08)
*WOO HOO!! Was SO FUCKING HAPPY to be done with number 97!! Number 98 was gonna be done sooner…but then I had the washer, dryer and computer go down in the matter of a week – – had to use it again – – then DID manage to pay it off in March!! I no longer send in payment for my student loans…it is all done by automatic debit payments; therefore, it isn’t “officially” done; however, I did pay TWO years of additional principal towards the mortgage, so I will call number 99 done, too.

101. Write a new list (DONE)
* Will post it soon.

Date Began: May 2, 2007

End Date: January 27, 2010

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I took this cool Art Test and realized almost immediately that in many of the choices presented, I liked two equally.  So, I decided to do two tests.  I think it is pretty accurate, in that I am a good mixture of BOTH!!  🙂

Your result for What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test…

Extroverted, Progressive, and Intelligent

12 Cubist, -12 Islamic, -12 Ukiyo-e, 2 Impressionist, 8 Abstract and -25 Renaissance!

Cubism was a 20th century avant-garde movement, pioneered by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. It revolutionized European art and inspired changes in music and literature. The first branch of cubism, known as Analytic Cubism. It was both radical and influential as a short but highly significant art movement between 1908 and 1911 mainly in France. In its second phase, Synthetic Cubism, (using synthetic materials in the art) the movement spread and remained vital until around 1919.

People that chose Cubist paintings as their favorite art form tend to be very individualized people. They are more extroverted and less afraid of speaking their opinions then other people. They tend to be progressive and are very forward thinking. As the cubist painting is like looking into a shattered mirror where you can see different angles of the images, the people that prefer these paintings like looking at all angles of a problem. These people are intelligent and they are the transformers of our generation. They look beyond what is seen into what things could become. They are ready to leave the ideas of the past behind and look at what the future has to offer.

Take What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test at HelloQuizzy


Your result for What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test…

Balanced, Secure, and Realistic.

29 Impressionist, 13 Islamic, 1 Ukiyo-e, -34 Cubist, -33 Abstract and 13 Renaissance!

Impressionism is a movement in French painting, sometimes called optical realism because of its almost scientific interest in the actual visual experience and effect of light and movement on appearance of objects. Impressionist paintings are balanced, use colored shadows, use pure color, broken brushstrokes, thick paint, and scenes from everyday life or nature.

People that like Impressionist paintings may not alway be what is deemed socially acceptable. They tend to move on their own path without always worrying that it may be offensive to others. They value friendships but because they also value honesty tend to have a few really good friends. They do not, however, like people that are rude and do not appreciate the ideas of others. They are secure enough in themselves that they can listen to the ideas of other people without it affecting their own final decisions. The world for them is not black and white but more in shades of grey and muted colors. They like things to be aestically pleasing, not stark and sharp. There are many ways to view things, and the impresssionist personality views the world from many different aspects. They enjoy life and try to keep a realistic viewpoint of things, but are not very open to new experiences. If they are content in their live they will be more than likely pleased to keep things just the way they are.

Take What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test at HelloQuizzy

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Dude! I am totally feelin’ the love!! Obi-Mom Kenobi tagged me……YEAH!!!

The rules:

A) People who have been tagged must write their answers on their blogs & replace any question that they dislike with a new question. (I haven’t changed any questions.)

B) Tag 8 people to answer the questions.

1. How many songs are on your iPod?
Right this minute….57.

2. What music would you want played at your funeral?
I don’t want to have a funeral. I want to be dumped at the Body Farm, Donated to Science….and if all else fails….cremated.

3. What magazines do you have subscriptions to?
Family Fun. Which will be running out soon enough.

4. What is your favorite scent?
Oh, geez….so many things smell good….Just like a Lay’s Chip…I can’t just pick one!!

5. If you had a million dollars that you could only spend on yourself, what would you do with it?
I would travel all over…..starting with SF, CA.

6. What is your theme song?
I never thought about having a theme song. Can any friends suggest one?

7. Do you trust easily?
No. I trust slowly, but deeply.

8. Do you generally think before you act, or act before you think?
A little of both. I tend to overthink the big stuff and act without thinking about little stuff.

9. Is there anything that has made you unhappy these days?
Not really. I am actually doing better in the “happiness” department.

10. Do you have a good body-image?
Yes and No. There are MANY things that I don’t like – – but, I know that I have the power to change them – – so I am moving in that direction. I don’t think I am completely unattractive.

11. Is being tagged fun?
It’s nice to know that there are people who read my blog more than once, but I have to copy boremetotears and Obi-Mom’s answer to this one: “I think I like reading other people’s responses more than writing my own.”

12. How do you spend your social networking (Facebook, etc.) time?
I’m on MySpace. It’s good, for now.

13. What have you been seriously addicted to lately?
LMAO….internet, sugar, sweet tea……

14. What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?
I really like Obi-Mom’s views on a lot of stuff. She will clearly see that we are similar in some areas, because her answers were the very same as mine!! 🙂

15. What’s the last song that got stuck in your head?
Oh, geez…I don’t remember when a song was last stuck in my head….but, I am willing to bet it was something AWFUL…no “cool” songs EVER get stuck in my head.

16. What’s your favorite item of clothing?
Hmmmmm…..I am really lucky, ’cause I like all my casual clothes. I guess I would have to say my underwear, ’cause all of my other clothes I can get at Wal-Mart, Thrift Stores, Garage Sales, other “dollar” kinds of stores…..but, my undies….I get those in the BIG city (more than an hour and a half away. 😉

17. Do you think Rice Krispies are yummy?
Yes, I love them…..but, haven’t had them in SOOOO long!!!

18. What would you do if you see saw $100 lying on the ground?
If I knew who lost it, I’d return it; otherwise it’s go to paying some bill…as does just about every extra penny that comes into contact with my hot little hands.

19. What items could you not go without during the day?
Right now, the internet, sugar and sweet tea….but, that is all about to change!!!!

20. What should you be doing right now?
Probably anything but this…..but, heck, it was fun!! 🙂 Thanks Obi-Mom Kanobi!!!

There are a lot of people who don’t “like” to be tagged….so, if you thought this was cool…and you wanna do it….consider yourself tagged…don’t forget to let me know, so I can read your answers!!  🙂

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Heart of the Matter hosts a weekly meme. This particular meme is from July: “Healthy Ideas for Picky Eaters.” Two of my three children are NOT picky – – they will eat almost anything you put in front of them – – and they will do so in earnest!! My youngest is Lil’ Miss Picky. It has been suggested to feed her things that she likes, in ADDITION to what I make normally for dinner; however, I just don’t think it sends the message **I** want my family to get: This is dinner, you may choose to eat or not; however, it is NOT a short order restaurant.

I choose ‘healthy’ cereal for breakfast. Lunch is usually leftovers from dinners. Dinner is comprised of a a balanced meal, using most or all of the food groups. Since I am also a picky eater, I am careful to plan meals that everyone will eat SOMETHING from the selection.

I also try to make some healthy snacking items. Banana Bread is our family’s favorite! Here is the recipe:


Banana Bread

2 C. Mashed Bananas
1t. Lemon Juice
2 C. Flour
2 t. baking powder
½ C. Butter (or shortening)
½ C. White Sugar
½ C. Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
½ C. mini-chocolate chips (optional) *
½ C. Nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a loaf pan and sprinkle lightly with sugar (you can also do a cinnamon/sugar mixture).
Cream eggs, butter/shortening, and sugars until fluffy.
FOLD in remaining ingredients.
Mix Well.
Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes or until done.
* Our family really likes the added chocolate chips to the mix!!

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There are days when we are in a time crunch – – and I totally forget about dinner.  I’m sure you can relate to this, yes?  And when that happens, we sure don’t want to spend any more time than absolutely necessary on meal preparations.  So, for another HOTM Meme, here are my two main stand-by’s for days like this:  Simple Taco Soup and Speedy Skillet Sketti.  {I don’t recall where I found the Taco Soup; however, I got the recipe for the Sketti, here.  Both are cheap, good and good for you!!  : )  I usually don’t add a whole lot to the basic recipe – – mostly because I find that when I am in the time crunch, the ‘rest’ is just too time consuming (or it isn’t even in my pantry). 

Simple Taco Soup

1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion
1 can red kidney beans
1 can corn or ½ bag (8 oz.) frozen corn
2 Cups Beef Broth
2 Cups Water*
1 can diced tomatoes
1 packet of Ranch dressing
1 packet of Taco seasoning mix

* Additional Water, if necessary.
Optional Garnishes….
Avocado Slices
Shredded Cheese (Prefer Monterey Jack)
Corn Tortillas – Cut in half, then in 1/2” strips, then fried in canola oil

Sauté ground beef /crumbles and onion in skillet until brown. Drain if necessary.
Add all of the remaining ingredients (to dotted line) without draining. Stir and simmer for approximately 20 min. Viola!
Yield: 4 to 6

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Speedy Skillet Sketti

4 cups (1-quart) fresh water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
26 ounce can or jar Spaghetti Sauce, any flavor
8 ounces spaghetti noodles
2 or 3 slices American Cheese or 1/2-cup shredded cheese

This is one of the easiest, fastest dishes I know. You need a large skillet or 3-quart saucepan to start with. Pour the water into the skillet (or saucepan) and bring it to a boil over high heat. While it’s heating add the vegetable oil and spaghetti sauce. The water will thin the sauce significantly. Don’t worry about it. It thickens up later in the recipe.

Break the spaghetti in half. Add to the boiling water/spaghetti sauce mixture. Reduce the heat to medium-high so the mixture still boils, but not too violently. Cook and stir the mixture for 10 to 12 minutes. The spaghetti will absorb most of the water, leaving a tasty thickened sauce in it’s place. Right before serving stir in the cheese until it melts. Spoon into bowls and top with Parmesan cheese if desired. Makes 4 servings.

This is the basic recipe. It can be doctored up if desired. For instance, if you have some flavored TVP hanging out in the cupboard then add about 1/3-cup to the sauce when you add the spaghetti. It will reconstitute as the spaghetti cooks. Italian Sausage, Beef or regular Sausage flavors all taste yummy. If you have some veggie meats in the freezer or fridge then feel free to add some, 4 to 6 ounces is usually plenty. Sausage, burger, crumbles, or even some finely chopped veggie lunch meat is a nice addition. A can of mushrooms, or chopped tomatoes or tomatoes & zucchini or sliced carrots are all interesting diversions from the main recipe. If you are teaching children how to cook, this is the best first recipe I know of. It only takes about 15 minutes from start to finish and gives satisfying results.

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 Heart of the Matter hosts a weekly Meme – – one of the previous meme’s was: “How You Schedule.” When I pulled Boo from Public School, I had been reviewing several “techniques” (CM, Classical, and Unschooling). I used information from Ambelside Online (Year 1) to base our basic ‘rest of the year’ curriculum/schedule. At that time, I knew that I wanted to homeschool year-round – – but, I needed to figure out if I should do “hard-core’ schooling during the ‘normal’ school-year and ease-up in the summer OR stretching out whatever the curriculum that I had chosen, throughout the year – – making it all about the same. In the last nine months, I have realized some pretty significant things: 1) Our family/Boo works better with a ‘hard-core’ Public School schedule and an easier summer; 2) Boo works best with structure (unschooling won’t work for her – – at least for now); 3) I need to be more persistent versus allowing her to lead; 4) Boo likes grades and she responds best with a perceived ‘threat’ to any grade lower than an ‘A.’

Taking all of that into consideration, I am going to have three 14 week terms – – and whatever is left (throughout the summer) will be more low key. I am basing most of the curriculum around the United States: US History, US Geography, US Civics/Elections, science in Colonial Times {in the US], three US artists, three US composers, etc. I will basically break down the material I am using into ‘workable’ chunks during the day – – starting slower and building up.

So here is an example of how I would organize a day:

9:30am – – First Wake-up call {for Boo}
9:45am – – Second Wake-Up Call
10:00am – – I get up
10:30am – – Spelling/Vocabulary {I will have more specific posts about HOW we do this and WHAT we use.}
11:00am – – I will read a picture book or two to her
11:15am – – She will test {www.bookadventure.com} on the previous books, if applicable
11:30am – – We will read from the SS text, History Book, and/or Famous Americans Book.
12:00pm – – While we eat, we will listen to whatever historical fiction/non-fiction CD that ‘matches’ the time period we are studying.
12:30pm – – We take a break
1:00pm – – I will read another picture book or two to her – – OR she will read to herself
1:15pm – – BookAdventure Test(s), if applicable
2:00pm – – We will read through the Science Text or the colonial science book
2:30pm – – We will watch the Math-U-See (MUS) lesson and then work through the lessons in the workbook.
3:30pm – – We will take another break
3:45pm – – Quiet reading (from historical fiction series)
4:15pm – – Language Arts (copywork, handwriting, grammar, etc.)
5:00pm – – We are usually done!! AND Daddy is probably on his way home.

9:00pm – – Bed time. She can read whatever she wants for as long as she wants – – provided that she remains IN bed. If she gets up, lights go out and its bed time.
She is usually asleep by 11:00pm.

Now, I want to make sure that you know, the above is a ROUGH sketch of what a day would be like – – and it all depends on her. Sometimes we are done by early afternoon – – sometimes it is early evening before we get done. I also only school four days a week, as we usually go to town once a week (or so). Once I can get a better handle on our schedule, I will post it.
If you are interested in how others schedule, hop on over to HOTM, and check out their blog posts.

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The last week of May, HOTM had a Meme: Most Exciting Homeschool Moment. As I have noted in previous posts, I have gotten sorely behind in HOTM Weekly Meme’s. Recently, we had a short day trip/doctor appointment and tomorrow (technically today: 9/6) is Honey-Bunny’s Birthday – – so we have been in FULL PREP mode. Oh, and we also completely rearranged the back room of our house, making it our new homeschool room!! Anyway, before I digress too far, I will move on to the topic at hand….
Before I answered this meme, I stopped by the wonderful homeschool blogs that had already answered this meme, for inspiration – – I was completely stumped and had a brain full of nothin’!

Luckily, inspiration was good to me….here is my list:
1) The day my oldest proclaimed proudly: “I know the answer to that because I learned it in HOMESCHOOL!!”

2) My oldest also just took her pre-GED tests and passed all but her math test. (She told me later that she got stuck on a problem and instead of skipping it and moving on, she kept at it and the next thing, she had 5 minutes left on the test). I was just SO proud of her for passing the tests!! 🙂

3) Watching the book count increase daily for my youngest. While in PS, she detested reading and it was like pulling teeth. From January 1st to today, September 5th, he book count is 360.

4) Listening to her talk to other people about being able to stay home and hang with her peeps!! I LOVE that!! 😉

5) I also suspect that MANY more exciting moments are in the future….just waiting to be discovered!!

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