Thursday, November 30, 2006

The End

Oh! And with that last post I have officially & successfully completed NaBloPoMo!! Yay!

I Can See Clearly Now!

Today I am wearing soft contacts again. I can't feel them! Hallelujah!

Here's the story....when I first got contacts back in the 10th grade I opted for gas permeables as a couple of my friends had them and really liked them. They were more expensive in the present but lasted longer than soft contacts and therefore a better long term option price wise. Oh and my sister kept ripping her (non-disposable) soft contacts so my parents agreed that it was a good option.

I had problems throughout high school with the contacts. Some days they were great - some days they caused me eye squinting shut agonizing pain. Some days they'd just pop out in the stairwell between classes. That was fun.

My first year in Los Angeles I again was having contact/eye problems (It's an ongoing "theme"). I couldn't wear them so took them out at work and Lo and Behold! I could see! It was amazing. No glasses, no contacts for the first time since 3rd grade and I could see wonderfully!

I immediately went to the eye doctor.

The gas perms had warped my corneas giving me a temporary "fix" to my sight problem and that's why I could see. They gave me drops to relax the corneas back to the shape they should be. Bastards. For a couple of hours I thought I had been touched by the hand of God and cured!

Fast forward to the fall of 2004. My eyes were hurting. Bad. They were incredibly light sensitive - so much so that I had a hard time keeping them open on my drive to work in the morning. The burned. They hurt. It was awful. Could it be due to my stretching 2 month disposable contacts into....7 or 8 months or a year or more?

Yeah...probably.

My corneas now had infiltrates growing on them. Basically my corneas weren't getting enough oxygen so blood vessels had started growing over them (ick!) to provide them with more oxygen. Yeah, gross. My eye doctor set out to find the MOST permeable contacts out there - to let in more oxygen and the answer was gas perms.

So, that was fine. I'd been there before. I was tough. I could handle it. No biggie.

That was March of 2005. I have had my gas perms since then and been fairly miserable ever since. I would say at least once a day I have to take them out and rinse them off or I just have general discomfort adn very red eyes. In the past couple of months they've just hurt. By about 5pm I'm dying to rip them out of my eyes. I am just thankful that they behaved on our wedding day.

So two weeks ago I said ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! My eyesight is too precious and life is too short to be in constant pain & discomfort! So I called up said doctor and said "I need soft contacts!"

Apparently in the two years since my eyeball veins (as I like to call them) soft contacts have become increasingly....permeable (if that's the right word) and let in WAY more oxygen. So they ordered me a sample pair and yesterday I picked them up.

They're HUGE (compared to the gas perms) and slimy but I had no problems putting them in this morning and they feel like nothing.

I'm hoping these will work out for me because I just can't spend so much time thinking about how much my eyes hurt.

Just in time for the honeymoon and so far I'm in eye ball comfort. :)

Definitely something I take for granted is my sight & how very important and precious it is! And I've learned my lesson. I'll be taking exceedingly good care of these babies and throwing them out after 30 days no matter what.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Jumping On the Bandwagon

Steve & I went to Barnes & Noble last night where I purchased this:


I am so excited to make some projects! Although it'll have to wait til the New Year because right now I'm stacked with Christmas projects & upcoming honeymoon (have I mentioned that we're going on vacation in a mere 4 days?? huh? Have I? hee hee)

I love browsing a good book store...I see books everywhere that I want to read, own, linger on, study every page, get lost in - ah! I love it! But I want to BUY BUY BUY which is unnecessary - (unless they're good reference books) - and I'm currently trying to download my library by selling books on Amazon and giving them away so....as much as I drool.....I know I should not purchase.

We spent a wedding gift card at B&N tonight so I don't even feel guilty about buying a little something for me this holiday season! Hopefully it's a gift that'll keep on giving.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Honeymoon Fund





We've been throwing our loose change into the piggy bank since we booked our honeymoon trip last July. Today Steve took in our aluminum recycling (also designated honeymoon cash) and so we decided to see how much our little pig held.

Grand total?

$68.12

Whohoooo! Sounds like one dinner out to me!

*sigh*
It's the simple things...right?

*sorry the picture is blurry

Monday, November 27, 2006

Disaster Avoided

Although I'm feeling a bit sick to my stomach right now...the budgeting crisis has passed. In fact it appears that we are not asking for enough money! Huh. How can that be?

More details to come...but let's just say I'm getting closer and closer to what I want to be when I grow up.

Well, one of the things, anyway. ;)

Taxing

Gah! Just realized that I put together a budget for some new...um...gear and didn't include ANY wiggle room for things like shipping, taxes, etc!

FUCK.

Meeting's in 1 1/2 hours...anyone have any magical formulas for removing taxes from things you have to buy that are fairly expensive?

Didn't think so.

Dang.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Shower

Hmmm, I was just washing a paint brush (the front closet looks fantastic, btw) and my hands when I lost control of the "hose" we have hooked up to the laundry sink in the basement and it went crazy!

Think cartoon-fire-house....

DOUSING ME!

I am such an idiot.


doh....

And on that note, I think I will be relaxing for the rest of the evening!

Sadly, there is no video.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

Just returned from our Thanksgiving get away to glorious Austin! We had fun - visited family members, ate until we couldn't see straight, enjoyed a few cocktails, saw my Grandma R. and TONS of family which was really really wonderful, went for walks, saw the new James Bond movie, ate Mexican food, played games and I even went through some mystery boxes that were still at parents' house (oh my - more to do...).

I'm tired though and this darkness creeping in thing...at 4pm? is getting sickening already. Oh well, in less than a week I'll be in Florida and in less than a month the days will be getting longer!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Giving Thanks



My new husband
My family
My friends
My health
My kitties
My home

So many many more....that's just scratching the surface.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Ooh! 2 months!

Photo by Sarah Holden Photography
Good Lord I almost forgot!!!

Today is the 2nd month "anniversary" of Steve & I's wedding day!

Thanksgiving Horoscope

Heh...this is so me! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Thanksgiving Horoscope for Virgo

You're the sign most likely to bake up elaborate dishes and make beautiful centerpieces.

Your signature dish: Turkey, cooked to perfection

Your signature dessert: A pumpkin tiramisu that you thought up

This holiday: Resist the urge to clean up - unless you're hosting Thanksgiving at your own place!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I've been Tagged!

And since no one is here today and things are a wee bit slow....here we go!
This is from Peder...

1. What is your dream vacation?
Having a couple of months to really backpack around Europe...of course also being able to afford luxury hotels when we're sick of the tent....
2. First music album you owned?
WHAM! Make it Big
3. Song you sing in the shower?
I don't usually sing the shower as Steve's still sleeping.
4. First dream job when you were a child?
Artist
5. Worst job you've ever had?
Remote Encoding Center - part of my soul died.
6. Favorite spice?
is "salt" a spice? ha. I'm so boring.
7. Old TV show you wish you had on DVD?
Friends, Fawlty Towers or Monty Python's Flying Circus
8. Favorite game to play?
I love all games!
9. Least favorite color?
neon anything
10. Worst song ever?
Achey Breaky Heart

I now tag Holly & Michelle (via MySpace) to play along!

Update on Grandma

The latest news on my Grandma is well, pretty much the same. My Dad and some of his siblings met with the hospice nurse to find out about that for an option. Unfortunately there are not any openings for quite a while. The nurse said that with this type of cancer there is not much pain. She will just continue to grow weaker and sleep more.

This is the part that is the kicker - and so very much my Grandma....

She's making her own funeral plans!! *sigh* That speaks volumes to me. I get to see her tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Festival Update

I submitted Newton's Disease to several festivals last week. I am not one to wait with baited breath for the results because so far we are a big fat ZERO for festival acceptance.

So....
Washington DC International Film Festival
Sedona Film Festival & Workshop
Seattle International Film Festival (again)
SxSW (again)
Ashland Independent Film Festival

And not submitted yet, but soon, Fargo Film Festival (why not? It's close!)

OBVIOUSLY if my film gets into a festival I will blather about that nonstop...but so far...

Amazon Marketplace

I'm a huge dork (noted) but I'm so excited because I sold my first item on the Amazon Marketplace! I listed a book last night and this morning I had the "ship now" notice in my inbox. Yay!

I've listed many things in the past and they've never sold so this is a real treat. Granted I am making approximately $4 but still! That's $4 I didn't have yesterday!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Prognosis

Well, the prognosis is not good.

My grandma has about 3 weeks (or now less....) to live. *sigh* Her lung cancer (non-smoker, btw) is spreading very rapidly and she's elected to forgo treatment. She's at home on oxygen. She's surrounded by a lot of family (she has 9 children) and although she's weak and tired she's not in pain. Thankfully. My Dad (eldest son) and some other siblings are getting together today to figure out hospice care although my grandma would like to stay at home for as long as possible.

It's strange when something like this is so inevitable. When it stares you straight in the eye and in a way you're waiting for it. It's hard and uncomfortable and I don't like it one bit. I also don't want her to suffer and I know that when she's ready to go we all have to let her go. It still sucks.

My family is very close. We're loud and exuberant and (obnoxious) and loving. Always there for one another; always pitching in or supporting in whatever way it's needed. We get together several times during the year for various "events" - whether it's the 4th of July celebrations, the Golf Tournament, Christmas, Thanksgiving, someone's wedding or anniversary or significant birthday.....I think my family is going to have a very hard time when she's gone. She's the anchor.

Oh and we're criers. I've never seen as big of criers in my life! We wear our hearts on our sleeves and I guess that's not all bad.

*sigh*

Sunday, November 19, 2006

CONGRATULATIONS DONNA!

Head on over to Donna's place and wish her a big fat congrats on the new arrival of her little one - Bridget!

Congrats Donna & Jake and welcome Bridget!

:)

Devil's Kettle - Now with Video!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Devil's Kettle

Today we went up the shore to Silver Bay & Grand Marais where Steve had some inspections to do. I went along for the ride and read, knitted and kept him company. After the 2nd inspection we drove 14 miles farther up the shore (to about I don't know - fairly close to the Canadian border) to Judge Magney State Park where we hiked to the Devil's Kettle.

The Brule river splits above the "upper falls" and half of the river goes along it's merry way and the other half drops into a deep dark cauldron - and they don't know WHERE the water comes out. It is truly remarkable and was my first time there. It's mysterious and loud and lovely and I took lots of pictures...which I will upload tomorrow. The hike was a good workout although it got rather chilly and I'm so glad I went along.

After the hike we stopped at "Sven & Ole's" for pizza in Grand Marais and then headed back 90 miles to Duluth.

So much for cleaning my closet today or working on the "craft room." Ah well, it was a very good day.

Friday, November 17, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth



As tonight was "date night" we went to the movies. We finally saw AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH - romantic, no? It was shown at a local church here (on loan with permission from Paramount) followed by a discussion and call to action (we're really racy, aren't we?). It was a very informative documentary, continues to scare the shit of out of me and I'm trying to find my place in the "hope" category instead of just despair. (I'm not having a particularly good day...).

As always we're on a quest to lead a simpler, greener life and spreading the word can only help. This is scary. This is real. Action needs to be taken. Now.

Now time for that bubble bath and sparkling wine....

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Before and After

So I did what I think many brides do relatively soon after their big day....I changed my hair!

For so long I was growing it out so I would have options on my wedding day...and then it just got to the scragglemuffin stage and I couldn't take it any more.
The jury's still out on the new 'do. Steve likes it (that's helps) and I'm sure I'll have trouble doing anything with it (not good) but ah well...sometimes a change can do you good.

I told you it was on my brain...

3-2-1 Honeymoon Launch!

(photo courtesy of www.spaceevent.com)
Steve discovered last night that the Space Shuttle Discovery is scheduled to launch while we're in Florida on our honeymoon! Although we're not really going to be near Cape Canaveral (or what, Kennedy Space Center...what's it called these days? Am I old? *sigh*). It's a night launch and who knows if it'll actually happen (you know how these things go) but I think we're going to try to watch. How often do you get to see something like that(when you live in Minnesota) live?

Yes, the countdown is on...t-minus 16 days and counting til we take-off for our Honeymoon - whohooo!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

On My Brain

I don't know why the wedding is on my brain so much lately. Maybe because we just ordered some goodies from Target with our gift cards (set of sheets for the bed, a couch cover, 4 water goblets) or maybe because we got a wedding gift yesterday from my friends Kevin & Daren who were unable to come to the wedding (wine glasses & cheese set) or maybe because my Mom keeps asking me to send her pictures for the book she's putting together or maybe because we watched the ceremony last night (for the first time).

I'm a little bummed. I asked my friend/producing partner J to shoot the ceremony for us. He agreed but wasn't thrilled as he was bringing a date and didn't want to leave her "in the cold" as he ran around and worked. I told him it's no big deal...shoot it simply and no need to get "extra" stuff as Sarah's husband was gracious enough to do that. I just asked him to get the pre-music as I wouldn't get to hear it otherwise (my friends Mark & Chriss did beautiful renditions of Lennon/McCartney tunes) or so I was told.....

The video starts as my Dad & I are halfway "down the aisle" (the "aisle" was more like a squiggly path through the chairs in a very packed ballroom - sadly we could not be married outside as planned with a real aisle). What? No Steve coming in? No BRIDESMAIDS coming in (my favorite part of a wedding, ha ha)?? It was very fun to see the ceremony and actually HEAR what the minister was saying, and see my back get splotchy under the veil as I started to cry during the vows and to relive those very sweet and tender looks from Steve but I'm still miffed that he started when he did! I edit weddings on the side to make some extra cash. I watch a lot of weddings. We used to shoot weddings and I am kicking myself for not biting the bullet and just hiring someone to do it instead of thinking that my friend (who also does this and is VERY good at it) would just do it for me. It leaves me feeling very sad. (not to mention due to the wedding happening in the ballroom where the reception was...his date was right there).

I don't know if Sarah's husband was able to shoot any of the ceremony - the room was so full (and did I mention BLISTERING hot?...well, for us anyway) and there was no way to get good shots...it's just disappointing. That's all.

I'm not mad at him but I'm just kind of hurt. I just want to know WHY.

Of course I have my incredible memories...I'm just afraid that over the years they will fade and it's something that I really want to hold on to forever.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Just Because



Photo by Sarah Holden Photography

My Number Came Up

In other news....

I was browsing blogs using the NaBloPoMo (or whatever) randomizer this morning and my own blog came up! For some reason that made me very happy.

No word on Grandma...waiting to hear. I'm checking the family message board (yes, we have one) regularly for updates but nothing yet this morning. *sigh*

Monday, November 13, 2006

Yin-Yang

Why is it when something GOOD happens, it is followed by something BAD?

My Grandma R who was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer this August (? I think it was August, perhaps Sept?) was taken to the hospital this morning due to difficulty breathing. She is now going to be transferred to St. Mary's in Rochester as the docs in Faribault think it is due to her cancer. Apparently the x-rays look "really bad." *sigh*

I know this is inevitable but I hate it no less for that reason.

Steps in the Right Direction

Huh....

That was easy. I mean...really quite easy.

I can't talk about it yet but the first official meeting for Super-Secret-Idea-#1 went SWIMMINGLY well. As in...I think it might actually possibly conceivably happen. With little hand wringing, swearing and tears. Huh. Bizarre. I don't even know how to feel right now. I cannot feel too happy (chickens & eggs hatching the whole cliche) and I am not sad (because clearly this has piqued the right interest in the right people with the right $) and I'm just sort of...

Huh.....

Stay tuned....

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Random Sunday Thoughts

* When you drive into snow at night, it sort of looks like you're driving at warp speed.

*I don't really like driving in snow all that much...but since I live in Minnesota I have to be pretty used to it by now.

*I'm stumped on "what I want to be when I grow up" and you'd think I should be figuring that out now that I'm 'in my 30's' (egads)

*A lot of people by crafts. A LOT. And most of them were at the big Autumn Festival Craft Sale at Canterbury Downs in Shakopee today. Including me.

*I didn't buy a lot of crafts. I bought one little Christmas thing for $2.99 and a couple of gifts.

*I don't like it when waitresses say "have a good evening" at 3pm. I know it's getting dark already but COME ON.

That is all.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Welcome to the Paranoia

Do you ever get the feeling that people are talking about you? Or taking what you say the completely wrong way? Or laughing at you behind your back?

Ever?

Hmmm.....

Maybe it's just me......

Good, Good, Good, Good Vibe-rations!

This is my friend Michelle.



Michelle just bought a new car yesterday - a Pontiac Vibe.

I am eagerly awaiting my first ride in it.

YAY MICHELLE!!

Friday, November 10, 2006

It's Not Easy Being Green


The City of Duluth (my beloved town) is right now considering selling (and continuing to sell) off parcels of tax foreited lands. These are often lands that were once considered "protected" as their classification is conservation. Due to idiotic running of certain aspects of the city (*cough*retiree health care*cough*) we are ALL now going to pay. Not only with higher taxes but also losing our precious greenspace which makes Duluth such a beautiful and unique place.

What's different about Duluth than most cities of it's size (86,000 pop)is it's geography and the fact that up to this point "sprawl" hasn't happened. Well, there is that little matter of the Miller Hill Mall region (gag) and our "suburb" (ha) Hermantown (sprawl is pretty much all it is). We have OLD old old neighborhoods and OLD old old houses - some are beautiful examples of Victorian masterpieces, some are shitholes that landlords have turned into barely habitable (and are often inhabited by college students). We are located on the tip of the largest lake in the world and the views from Skyline Parkway offer spectacular vistas of said lake, forests, hawks, and a horizon that seems unreachable (except of course...when we're locked in fog...which is kind of cool too).

Duluth offers mile after mile of incredible hiking trails - right in the city! Places that are seemingly undiscovered and put you in the middle of wilderness but really are about 15 minutes from my densely inhabited neighborhood. Streams, brooks, huge granite outcroppings, trees, trees, trees, fields, deer, grouse, rabbits, snakes (unfortunately), wildflowers, birds of all colors and so much more are merely moments away from my & every Duluthians back door.

THIS IS IMPORTANT. we MUST protect our precious greenspace! Once we turn everything into subdivisions of cookie-cutter houses and strip malls and WALMARTS for godssake WE CANNOT GO BACK!!

Our unique topography & geography bring tourist dollars to our region. They are a major factor in why so many people want to live here (and of course the weather keeps the riff-raff out which is FINE with me).

I fear that if Duluth & St. Louis County start selling off these parcels of land the only thing that will be left is construction waste, used up wetlands, scarred hillsides, stumps and swirling garbage where there used to be wildflowers.

Okay - I'm stepping off my soapbox (for now) but I will be writing the county comissioners today as I feel I can't be silent on this any longer.

To read a recent article in the Duluth News Tribune about said problem click here

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Too Good To Resist



I had to pick this up while at the grocery store the other night because ooooooh how I love to drool and oogle all the latest holiday goodies & goodies to make from Ms. Stewart. My "to-do" list just got considerably longer!

Tarot

From Megan


You are The Star


Hope, expectation, Bright promises.


The Star is one of the great cards of faith, dreams realised


The Star is a card that looks to the future. It does not predict any immediate or powerful change, but it does predict hope and healing. This card suggests clarity of vision, spiritual insight. And, most importantly, that unexpected help will be coming, with water to quench your thirst, with a guiding light to the future. They might say you're a dreamer, but you're not the only one.


What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.



(I don't usually post these type of things but I thought it was sort of nice so I did.)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I voted...


Did you?

MUGGED!!

Last night Steve was MUGGED!!!!! He went to Fitger's Brewhouse (which is a old Brewery complex with shops, restaurants and bars in it) to pay back one of the guys that organized the camping trip last week. The guy works at the Brewhouse as a bartender. Steve was hanging out and chatting with him and some other guys at the bar. He went to the bathroom. There were 3 guys in there - two talking to one other. The other guy left. As Steve was washing his hands one guy grabbed Steve around the neck and the other guy HAD A KNIFE!!! They took his wallet - he had his birthday money in there (the check from my parents, a check from his Dad, and a $100 bill from his Mom - meant to be deposited yesterday but he ran out of time). And of course all his credit cards, driver's licenses, etc. They told him to go into a stall and kneel down and count to 200 before leaving. Then they ran out of there. Of course Steve ran straight back to the Brewhouse where they called security & the police. He didn't get home til about 1 or so as it took some time to get things reported. He was so sad. I was too. Then I was MAD. REALLY REALLY ANGRY... and then just so happy & relieved that they didn't hurt him!! That would've been the worst. Obviously.

I can't believe that could happen in FITGER'S of all places. And not even in the ramp just right in the main upstairs bathroom. How very scary.

He was so bummed out about his birthday money. Obviously the most important thing is that they didn't do him any bodily harm but he was so looking forward to paying off his new bike and that's what his birthday gifts were intended for.

The saddest thing he said was "If there is such a thing as karma, am I doing something wrong?" It broke my heart. Steve does everything right. He's such a good person and is always looking out for others and always going out of his way to help someone out or do something nice & thoughtful. No, this is not a karmic reflection on him by any means.

I didn't get ANY sleep last night. I was wide awake after that and had a big pit in my stomach all night. I felt just sick. People really suck.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Changing the "I" to "We"

I did something sort of stupid last week. Well, sort of stupid and sort of thoughtless and just well, not really like me.

I started (continued, I should say) working on wedding thank-yous. I figured since I LIKE to do stuff like this I would do most of them and leave a few for Steve that I know he wants to write - to his parents, his best man, etc. No problem.

Steve was gone on the camping-adventure-from-hell so I sat down with a nice cold diet coke, iTunes and a stack of cards, envelopes, addresses & gift list. I whizzed through almost all the gifts (cash/giftcards left to do) no problem. I tried to sprinkle "I's" and "we's" in as deemed appropriate but really I was wrong.

After Steve got home I asked him if he wanted to read the thank-yous before I sealed them up and sent them off. He did. That night he took the stack to bed with him (riveting nighttime reading!) and read a few. 3. The next day I asked him if they were okay and he sort of had this look on his face. "What? Do you not like them? Did I say something wrong?" And he said "it's no big deal...it's just...." and the words hung in the air over his head and I knew I screwed up.

He said "well, you said 'I can't wait to use the new camping gear.'" (well, I can't but I do see his point). I felt so bad I thought I would die. I took them with me to work and re-read some of them and was completely APPALLED at myself. Sometimes I say "we" and "us" but other times it's like Steve's not even in the room! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?? Somtimes, for things like the turquoise blue FiestaWare serving bowl I said "I've used it several times already" because I HAVE...but really - it should be WE. WE HAVE. Not just me. I am the biggest lamest loser of a new wife ever.

I have apologized profusely. I have changed the cards before sending them out and I'm trying to be much more thoughtful from here on out.

In my defense (which is sooooo incredibly lame, I know) this was the first time I have ever written thank-yous for two. It's just taking a little bit to get used to.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The End of Another Weekend

I don't know how or why these have to go so quickly. There is never enough time to get as many things done as you'd like. *sigh*

The dinner party last night was a lot of fun. We ate, we drank, we played "Apples to Apples." Fun was had by all. The cheesecake & other foods went over very well and there're plenty of leftovers!


Today we got up and started tackling all the dishes. Ay yi yi. That was a big project.

This afternoon my friend Freya & her family stopped by for a visit as they were on their way through town heading back towards "the cities." It was so nice to see them. I hadn't seen her children since they were wee babies so this was great.

More dishes, boiling a turkey carcass into fabulous turkey stock for future soups, a trip to the city's food composting site (ooh! Fun!), a hike in Chester Park with my husband and dinner at my mother-in-laws house.

Now I'm home and just poured 18 cups of turkey stock into bags for freezing and I am ready to be DONE with the turkey already!!!

Perhaps we'll watch more of the movie we started on Friday night, perhaps we'll just go to bed....we shall see....

Tomorrow's just another Monday. *sigh*

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Story of a (Birthday) Cheesecake

My husband's birthday is on Halloween...and this year not only did that day fall on a Tuesday but also during his camping trip into the Boundary Waters. Oh he also got stranded there on his birthday this year due to crappy weather so...we're celebrating tonight!

We had planned to have a dinner party anyway and thought we'd combine his birthday into this.

I'm currently roasting a turkey in the oven and for as little as I like to touch (or even look or think about) raw meat, I got it into the oven with little drama. Sometimes there is a lot of drama! We're also having the usual "Thanksgiving" fixings - mashed (whipped! with the new KitchenAid Mixer!) potatoes, green bean casserole, glazed carrots, dinner rolls and for dessert - pumpkin cheesecake!

I made this cheesecake last year for Steve upon request. It was my first cheesecake ever and I was nervous but it turned out really well. This year when I asked him what kind of cake he wanted he said "pumpkin cheesecake." Much to my delight....after I asked him if he was sure since we did have it last year he said "Oh yeah, that was good. Where'd we get that from?"

*crickets*

As if I would BUY him a cheesecake!

After giving him a little grief about it I whole heartedly agreed to bake him another one.

Here is the receipe I use:


Pumpkin Cheesecake
(from VeryBestBaking

1 1/2 C graham cracker crumbs
1/3 C butter or margarine, melted
1/4 C granulated sugar
3 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softended
1 C granulated sugar
1/4 C packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 can (15oz) pumpkin
2/3 C evaporated milk
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
16 oz sour cream, at room temperature
1/3 C granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
(it also gave me ANOTHER good reason to bust out that mixer)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

For Crust
Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter and granulated sugar in medium bowl. Press onto bottom and 1 inch up side of 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes (do not allow to brown). Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes

For Cheesecake
Beat cream cheese, granulated sugar and brown sugar in large mixer bowl until fluffy. Beat in eggs, pumpkin and evaporated milk. Add cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg; beat well. Pour into crust.


Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until edge is set but center still moves slightly.

For Topping
Combine sour cream, granulated sugar and vanilla extrace in small bowl; mix well. Spread over surface of warm cheesecake. Bake for 5 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Remove side of springform pan.

Obviously this is not a low-fat recipe! But it's oooooh so good.

Enjoy!

Friday, November 03, 2006

DayDream Believer

Lately I have been consumed with daydreams. Good, wonderful, optimistic, creative daydreams.

It's obvious to me that I have to make a change in my life. There are so many GREAT things in my life, so many wonderful things & people that I am very grateful for...but alas what I do every day leaves me unfufilled, bored, depressed, unchallenged and uninterested. It's hard to spend the bulk of my LIFE where I do. That being said - it's not terrible...there are good people, I have some fun and heck, it helps me pay the mortgage so it's not all bad. It's just not what I think I *should* be doing with my life. It's a rut. It's where I am right now.

So, there are some super-secret ideas brewing. Some are dreams I've been chasing for many many years...some are new ideas that are intriguing and exciting to me. And scary. Heck it's all scary. It's hard to give up what you have but sometimes you have to to make things better in the long run.

Nothing is DEFINITE yet but hopefully in the *near* future this place will look a little less like grunt-Carrie and more like living-up-to-her-potential-Carrie.

One can daydream at least.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Self Portrait #2



One of my favorite new "toys" that we got for our wedding. I'm looking to make a big pile of Christmas cookies this year. Wheeeeee!



I love this thing!!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Big Sigh of Relief

I just heard from Steve!

The phone rang. "Stevie" came up on my screen. Yay! But there was nothing there. No sound. No crackle. Nothing. Still not good for my Hollywood-esque imagination.

The phone rings again. "Stevie" again but this time with crackles. Still no voice. Disconnects.

The third time the phone rings I hear my sweetie's voice! THANK GOD. "Are you okay??" The crackling is so loud and obtrusive to the conversation but I can make out that yes he's okay and he's so sorry to have made me and everyone else worry so much.

They tried to paddle out yesterday but the weather had "turned to shit" and they were unable to leave! They were afraid if they tried paddling through the high waves that they wouldn't make it!!!! I'm glad they didn't try to be superheroes and stayed put even though it gave me an ulcer. He said he got a signal on Monday and was able to retrieve a message from me then but by yesterday everything was dead. dead. dead. They had some emergency CB's but those weren't connecting with anyone either. He knows we all worry. I'm sure it was upsetting to him that he couldn't contact us.

So, he's at his truck -they have to load everything up and then drive 2+ hours back to Duluth. My head is exploding with a stress headache and I've already downed two diet cokes this morning and I really feel like I could use a cocktail, SOME kind of cocktail even though it's only 11am.

Needless to say - (after the tears) I had a big big big sigh of relief. Oh and no more winter/fall camping for Steve. (his words).

Here We Go

I was hoping to have a lovely, witty, thought-provoking post all ready to go for the first day of "NaBloPoMo" but instead I'm distracted by my complete and utter lack of husband and I'm afraid that coupled with a terrible night's sleep is just not letting my brain produce anything more than this.

Hopefully I will be back later with something better to say.