My Most Common Topic: Randomness

Hi.¬† ūüôā¬† How is everyone?¬† I’m good.¬† I’m kicked back in the living room listening to The Hubs yell at the Texas Rangers game on TV.¬† Apparently Sam Dyson is the source of much suffering for Rangers fans.¬† (The Hubs¬†takes his Texas sports seriously.)

I just thought I’d log in and ramble about a few random things.

Last night I was reading my Bible study, which¬†included Psalm 37.¬† This is very relevant¬†to my life right now.¬† If you’ve read many of my previous posts, you may know that I am a disgruntled employee.¬† Most of my disgruntledness (is that a word?) stems from the wrongful firing of The Hubs by my boss.¬† I have been making a true effort recently to let it all go and not hold any ill will toward my boss or any of the other involved cast of characters.¬† I have been mostly succeeding at this.¬† I have been able to just smile and shake my head and move on from things that would normally have me up in arms.¬† It is VERY freeing.

Do not fret because of those who are evil
    or be envious of those who do wrong;
2 for like the grass they will soon wither,
    like green plants they will soon die away.

3 Trust in the Lord and do good;
    dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
    your vindication like the noonday sun.

7 Be still before the Lord
    and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
    when they carry out their wicked schemes.

8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
¬†¬†¬†¬†do not fret‚ÄĒit leads only to evil.
9 For those who are evil will be destroyed,
    but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

This may sound like I am wishing bad things on these people.  I am not.  I swear.  Basically, the message is that I should not let their deeds bother me.  I need to worry about my own life and not let bitterness toward anyone eat me up.  I kinda felt that having that as part of my daily devotional was God telling me to keep it up.  I will continue to try!  I hope that you are able to do the same if you have poisonous people in your life.

A few posts ago, I mentioned having an MRI.¬† Well, the results of that came in, and they weren’t what I had hoped.¬† But, that’s okay.¬† I was diagnosed with MS 16 years ago, and I have been much healthier during that time than I deserve or could have ever asked for.¬† The disappointing part is that my neurologist (who I love, love, love) wants¬†me to start taking medication again.¬† Boo!¬† Hiss!¬† I stopped taking all medications several years ago, and I have not missed any of it for a second.¬† The thought of getting back into all of that has been dragging on me.¬† I am yet to call him back and make the necessary arrangements.¬† Why do label side effects have to be so awful???

I love watching #LivePD.  I just wanted to throw that in there.

I also love Carpool Karaoke.

Two more days and that wonderful, awesome, three-word phrase that office workers around the globe rejoice in will be here!

THREE DAY WEEKEND!

Can I get a woot woot?¬† Do you have any fabulous plans?¬† I am going to go see my grandma and aunt.¬† I cherish every visit that I get with my grandma.¬† We live close enough to each other that I get to see her fairly regularly, but far enough apart that I can’t just pop in whenever I want to check on her or take her out to lunch or invite her over for dinner.¬† I don’t know what I’ll do with the rest of my time off, but I would bet good money that I won’t be spending too much time being a responsible adult and doing chores!¬† ūüėČ

May you and yours have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend.  Much love to you all.

Song of the Day

When you are doing a 100 Day Song Challenge, it is downright difficult to pick a song of the day.¬† I’m just saying….¬† I think everyone needs to tap their toes to something.¬† Why not tap them to Square Dance Rap by Sir Mix-a-Lot?

Recipe of the Day

Beer Cheese Soup via http://www.foodnetwork.com.¬† (I have used this for the recipe of the day before, but I’m posting it again to add an important note.)¬† I made this for the second time last night.¬† The first time, I used a Coors Light.¬† Last night, I used some funky IPA that The Hubs had in the fridge.¬† Let me just say that beer choice matters…..

Ingredients
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 carrots, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
Pinch cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 bottle pale ale, such as Pabst Blue Ribbon
2 cups shredded sharp yellow Cheddar
1 cup shredded gruyere
1/2 cup half-and-half

Directions

Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or large saucepot over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, garlic, onions, mustard powder, cayenne and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sweat the vegetables until tender, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Pour in the stock, mustard and Worcestershire and simmer until the veggies are very soft, about 15 minutes. Add the ale, simmer, about 5 minutes, and then puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Add the Cheddar, gruyere and half-and-half and stir until melted through and smooth. Adjust the seasoning.  Enjoy with a 30-pack of your favorite cheap beer.

Book of the Day

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.  Every book I have read by Hannah has been an absolute tear-jerker, and this one is promising to be no different.  I have a thing for books set during WWII for some reason.  I have no idea why.  They are so heart-wrenching.  I cannot imagine how people managed to survive the things they did.  I cannot imagine having to rely of food rations or having people take over my home and confiscate all of my belongings.  I cannot wrap my head around a whole group of people being denied the basics of life.  I would like to think that I would have the courage to lay my life on the line to stand for what is right, but I have not had that tested yet.  I am about 1/3 of the way through this book, and I am enraptured by it.

 

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100 Day Song Challenge (041-045)

A continuation of my 100 Day Song Challenge.

Day 041:¬† A song you can remember from when you were in school.¬† Self Esteem by The Offspring.¬† We only listened to this one about 10559 times…..

Day 042:¬† A¬† song people wouldn’t think you’d like, but you do.¬† It is no secret that¬†I am NOT a country music fan.¬† So, here’s a country song that I do actually like.¬† Time Marches On by Tracy Lawrence.¬† (It was a coin toss between this one and Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox by Joe Diffie.)

Day 043:¬† A song that was number one from any of your birthdays.¬† Happy 2nd birthday to me!¬† (Uh oh….giving away my age here….)¬† Centerfold by the J. Geils Band.

Day 044:¬† If you were to release an album, this song would be on it.¬† I’d like to think that if I released an album, all of the tracks would be originals, but we’re playing “what if” here.¬† And, let’s face it.¬† “What if” is the closest I’ll ever get to releasing an album.¬† ūüôā¬† How about Mercedes Benz by Janis Joplin?

Day 045:  A song by the Beatles.  Gotta go with Eleanor Rigby.

 

Bring on the Future

Hello, people.¬† I hope you have all been doing fabulously in the time I’ve been neglecting my blog.¬† ūüôā¬† 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…. ūüôā

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!