Bring on the Future

Hello, people.  I hope you have all been doing fabulously in the time I’ve been neglecting my blog.  🙂  Life has been non-stop busy busy.  It’s sad when you have to plot out rest weeks ahead of time.  I think, “I can take a day off this weekend….”  No.  Wait.  I have this going on.  Okay.  “I can take a day off the following weekend.”  No…..I have to go here.  Sigh….  No wonder life passes so quickly.  And no wonder my housekeeping has been seriously slacking lately….

On top of being busy, there has been a lingering air of uncertainty.  Mine and The Hubs’ future is up in the air….not our relationship….but with where we’ll be and what we’ll be doing.  I am all kinds of open to change.  The Hubs has had several opportunities open up in front of him, and whatever happens will dictate the next portion of our lives.  I, on the other hand, am not having the response I’ve hoped for in my job hunt.  I have 15 years experience in my field.  You’d think I wouldn’t have that much trouble finding a job in that field.  But, I have faith if I have nothing else.  I certainly don’t know God’s plan, but I’m open to finding out whatever it is!  The promise of life changing up some finally is rather exciting.

As always, I’ve been reading.  And eating.  Ha!  I’ve mentioned before my love of savoring well-written lines and paragraphs.  Here are a couple of unexpected physical descriptions that made me smile:

“Baffa was potbellied, with a sagging chest, thick jowls, a drooping forehead, and a downward-bending mustache, so that when he sat, he seemed like a layer of frowns stacked in a chair.” – Mitch Albom, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto

“Next to me, a lady nearing her seventh decade kept between us a white purse big enough for a mugger to hide in. She wore a black wig. Her devil-may-care red lipstick had come unhitched and slipped a notch; her layers of nail polish were chipped like paint on an old dory; and her hands lay in two piles on the bar, the slack skin taken up by plumpness. As for the Jungle Gardenia perfume, it was only a question of time before tsetse flies hit.” – William Least Heat-Moon, Blue Highways

Best wishes to you all.  May you find the ability to not take other people’s bitterness personally.  (This is something I face at my job every day.  It is so freeing when you can just let things roll off your back.)

Song of the Day

Like a Stone by Audioslave.  In memory of the late Chris Cornell.  Suicide sucks.  It makes me so sad that people get to a place where they don’t think there is any other option except to end things.

Book of the Day

Image result for illuminaeImage result for gemina

Illuminae and Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.  I used to despise sci-fi, but I have started to enjoy some of it in recent years.  These are the first two (and so far only, though there is an already-titled third book in the works) books of The Illuminae Files series.  The books are set 500 years in the future.  There are space ships, artificial intelligence, inter-galactic battles, and uber talented teenagers who outsmart the adults and save the day.  I honestly don’t think I would have liked them as much if I hadn’t listened to them in audiobook format.  They are performed by a full cast and are done very well.  I gave them three and four stars respectively on Goodreads.

Recipe of the Day

Oven-Baked Leek & Bacon Risotto via http://www.bbcgoodfood.com.  Back when my community had Bountiful Baskets (let’s take a moment to mourn……..), I got a basket with leeks, and I found this recipe as a way to use them.  It was my first experience with risotto, and I fell absolutely in love.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 6 rashers smoked back bacon, roughly chopped
  • 2 leeks, halved lengthways and finely sliced
  • 250g risotto rice

  • 700ml hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • 175g frozen peas
  • 3 tbsp soft cheese
  • zest 1 lemon 

Method

  1. Heat oven to 200C. Tip the oil into an ovenproof casserole dish. Add bacon and fry for 2 mins. Add the leeks and cook until soft, but not coloured, for about 4-5 mins. Tip in rice and cook for 1 min more. Pour over stock. Cover and place in the oven for 20 mins, stirring halfway.
  2. When rice is just tender and all liquid is absorbed, remove from oven and stir in peas. Place back in oven for 2 mins more. Remove and stir in cheese. Add zest and season.

100 Day Song Challenge (036-040)

A continuation of my 100 Day Song Challenge choices.

Day 036:  The Eurovision Song Contest winner from the year you were born.  This should be interesting……  What’s Another Year by Johnny Logan

Day 037:  The worst song you have in your collection.  That’s really hard to say.  How about the worst on my most recently listened to playlist?  Brand New Key by Melanie.

Day 038:  A song that gets you motivated.  When I’m cleaning house, which takes much motivation on my part, I like to listen to high-energy songs with a good beat that I can do awkward dance moves to all over the house.  Like Bombs Over Baghdad by Outkast.  I know I’ve already picked an Outkast song, but oh well….

Day 039:  The first random song that comes to mind.  No Light, No Light by Florence + the Machine.  Been stuck in my head all day.

Day 040:  A song from the 1950s.  Sixteen Tons by Tennessee Ernie Ford (1955).  Timeless little ditty.

100 Day Song Challenge (031-035)

A continuation of my 100 Day Song Challenge.

Day 031:  If you were to have a party for your birthday, this song has to be played.  Really, I’m not much of a partier, and I don’t have a go-to song, so I’ll just pick something that is fun and makes me shake my booty.  Dance Off by Macklemore featuring Idris Elba.

Day 032:  A song in the current charts that you like the most. Currently  #1 on the alternative rock charts:  Wish I Knew You by The Revivalists.  Love it!

Day 033:  A really short song.  Vera by Pink Floyd.  It’s the shortest one I could think of off the top of my head.  (I love the whole album.)

Day 034:  A song performed by an actor/actress.  Hanging Tree by Jennifer Lawrence.

Day 035:  A song from a classic rock band.  Eenie meenie miney mo.  Magic Carpet Ride by Steppenwolf.

 

Mental Pictures that Make Me Giggle

Just a couple of random thoughts:

  1.  I had an MRI yesterday.  I’m an old pro at these, but never before have I noticed an MRI tech’s badge being pulled toward the magnetic machine.  It was a bit amusing.  He was standing there fiddling with the screen, and his badge was being pulled away from his body and toward the machine.  MRI protocol differs depending on the facility.  This particular venue wanted me to leave my shoes on despite the metal eyelets.  Seeing the tech’s badge made me have mental visions of my feet being pulled up over my head toward the machine while I was being slid into the machine until I was rolled up like a shrimp.  Giggle.  I wish I could draw more skillfully.  I would love to sketch that out…..
  2. I have a friend who is being ordained as a minister a week from tomorrow.  Thinking of this earlier made me realize that this will now mean that I will have more friends in ministry than in prison for the first time in my life.  What does that say?  Ha!

That’s all, folks!  Have a fabulous evening.

 

I love a quotable book.

Good evening, all.

So, I’ve mentioned our Reading Challenge before.  (It still isn’t too late to join, if you’re interested!)  One of the categories this year is a book about a road trip.  For that category, I am currently reading Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon.  It’s a non-fiction account of the author’s trip around the US on lesser highways (aka blue highways….blue on a map as opposed to more major red highways).  I have quoted this book a couple of times on Ye Ol’ Great Facebook already, and I’m barely a couple of chapters in.

Beware thoughts that come in the night. They aren’t turned properly; they come in askew, free of sense and restriction, deriving from the most remote of sources. – William Least Heat-Moon, Blue Highways

Another line, which isn’t exactly quotable because of elegance or profoundness, but which I love nonetheless:

1 Coleman cooler (empty but for a can of chopped liver a friend had given me so there would ALWAYS be something to eat); – William Least Heat-Moon, Blue Highways

This is an item from a list of items that Heat-Moon brought with him on this trip.  I just love the idea behind this…that a friend would give you something so wretched…something that nobody would want to eat because you will always have it and therefore always have something to eat in case the need arises.  What a caring, brilliant act.  Am I alone in appreciating this?  Surely not….

I love books like this.  Not only do I totally envy the author’s courage to set out on such a long trip with little money and a vehicle that probably isn’t up to such a long drive, but I find it to be just so well written.  I love authors with such a way with words that I am compelled to read and reread passages just to soak them up.  When reading such books, I often read lines out loud to The Hubs.  He rarely appreciates this, which doesn’t stop me…. 🙂

Anywho.  Reading is just about all of I’ve done with my weekend so far.  I did get out earlier and vote in my little town’s special election, the result of which did not go how I wanted.  And, I did go have dinner this evening with some of my in-laws.  Good food.  Good company.  The house cleaning, art projects, letter writing, and phone calls that I promised myself that I would tend to this weekend are still waiting patiently for my attention.

Much love to you all!

Song of the Day

I almost hate to come up with a song of the day since I am doing the 100 Day Song Challenge, but I guess that I will anyway.  I have 6 canvases hanging on the walls in my bedroom, where I currently am kicked back with my laptop watching #LivePD.  They were all painted by me and all contain snippets of song lyrics.  One reads “Some nights I stay up cashing in my bad luck.  Some nights I call it a draw,” which is from Some Nights by fun.

Book of the Day

Image result for blue highways

What else would I pick but Blue Highways:  A Journey Into America by William Least Heat-Moon since that’s primarily what this blog entry is about?  If you’re curious about the author’s name, by the way, he’s of Native American decent.  His dad was known as Heat-Moon, his brother as Little Heat-Moon, and he as Least Heat-Moon.  I’m not far enough into this book to rate it, but I’m sure it is going to be a fascinating read.

Recipe of the Day

Cheesy Bacon Mushroom Fettuccine via http://www.cookingpanda.com.  I made this for dinner a couple of nights ago, and thought it was delightful.  And, it was extremely easy to make.

Ingredients


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, grated
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 8 ounces fettuccine noodles

Instructions


1) Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

2) In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat oil and add mushrooms. Cook for 3 minutes, or until mushrooms soften. Add garlic and white wine.

3) Add bacon, heavy cream, salt and pepper. Bring to a light boil.

4) Add grated parmesan and parsley. Stir until sauce is thick. Add cooked pasta and stir until full coated. Cook for an additional minute.

5) Remove from heat and serve! Top with more parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Enjoy!

100 Day Song Challenge (026-030)

A continuation of my 100 Day Song Challenge.

Day 026:  A good 60s song.  Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival.  Love love love love love CCR.  Epitome of rock in my humble opinion.  Great melodies.  Great lyrics.  Soulful voices.

Day 027:  A song with a number in it.  7 Years by Lukas Graham.  I find this song to be beautiful.  “Soon I”ll be sixty years old.  My daddy got sixty-one.  Remember life and then your life becomes a better one.”

Day 028:  A really old song.  Amazing Grace.  Interweb research, which of course must be accurate because everything on the web is true, tells me that it was originally published in 1779.  Here is the song being played on the bagpipes, because I love bagpipes and all other ancient, ancestral types of music.  It gives me chills.

Day 029:  A Michael Jackson song.  Beat It.  I’m not much of a Michael Jackson fan.  I picked this one because I like Fall Out Boy’s cover of it.  🙂

Day 030:  One of the oldest songs that you like.  Where Did You Sleep Last Night? by Leadbelly.  Later covered quite awesomely by Nirvana.

 

100 Day Song Challenge (021-025)

A continuation of my 100 Day Song Challenge.

Day 021:  A song with a name in it.  Black Betty by Ram Jam.  Originally by Leadbelly.  Woah, Black Betty!  Bam da lam…..

Day 022:  A song that is over 7 minutes long.  American Pie by Don McLean.

Did you write the book of love
And do you have faith in God above
If the Bible tells you so?
Do you believe in rock and roll?

Day 023:  A song with no lyrics.  Technically, this song has lyrics, but this version doesn’t.  The Show Must Go On performed by 2Cellos.  These guys rock.  I was fortunate enough to see them perform in Austin in 2015, and I’m giddy with excitement to see them again in Austin this November!  If you ever have the chance to see them live DO IT!

Day 024:  A good 70s song.  Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap by AC/DC.  My current location may or may not have inspired this choice.

Day 025:  A song you’d ask a DJ to play at a party.  How about something old school?  Shoop by Salt-N-Pepa.  ***does some pitiful little dance moves***