Tagged Once

Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave acomment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

1.  I am terrified of spiders, but sometimes I can find the presence of mind to actually set a spider free.   Such was the case with two of the large spiders I found in my apartment last summer.   Inside, I am running away, screaming, but also am proud of myself for not mushing the spider on the wall with my latest copy of “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”   :)

2.  I was a summer school junkie most of my school days.   I took French/Spanish/German, Driver’s Ed and various art classes… for fun.

3.  I like to take things apart.. like telephones and computers and televisions…   If it’s a computer, I’m fixing it.  If it’s not, then.. not so much.   :D

4.  I played alto sax for a short period of time.   I started playing in my early 30’s.

5.  My first real pet was a rabbit.    He was a netherland dwarf, named FooFoo.   I was in my 20’s.

6.  I have a motorcycle license and I’m not afraid to use it.  :)   I have better luck on motorcycles than in cars, anyway.

Tagging:  Irish Pisky, Melissa, Jennifer, JennyFlighty

Patti Digh’s “Life is a Verb”

I just picked up a copy of this book, written by one of my favourite, philosophical bloggers. The chapter I just finished talked about the writer’s aunt who realised that she was suffering from Alzheimer’s. Inbetweenrealising she was losing her memory and completely losing her memory, there was a poignant story about the attempt to “save face” by grabbing onto any last bit of hope to remember.

Life Is A Verb is not a self-help book. It is a book which discusses the importance of the written word and living each day intentionally. It is not a typical typeset book, either. It’s been made wider to allow for notes to be written in the margin.

I can’t wait to read the rest.

Cooking Curry

asafoetidaAsafoetida:  If you could bottle sweat, this is what it would smell like. But this spice, from giant fennel plants takes on a taste of onion and garlic once cooked. Whilst Ian was here, we picked this up at the Indian market (yes, we have one!) and now I toss it into any curry I make, which is about once every week.

Asafoetida works well in Kashmiri dishes (and just about any other curry, IMO), like this Kashmiri Lamb recipe.

I’ve learned that you must decide what curry you’d like to make, write down the ingredients, then go to the store. Unless you’re normally in possession of kaffir lime leaves or fenugreek (of which I now have a lifetime supply), you’re probably going to need something. OR you’re an experienced curry chef and you can devise curry recipes as you go along.

Also, developing something of an immunity to peppers is a given. Chances are you’ll put in too many chilli peppers at some point, but eat what you’ve cooked anyway. I just toss on natural yoghurt or grab a glass of milk.

Inauguration Day

It’s hard to believe it’s crept up this quickly; inauguration day for our 44th President of the United States. Some will say it’s a momentous occasion because Barack Obama is black and that’s something important in US history.

I don’t see colour. I only see a man who’s inspired many people to believe that it’s possible for positive change. It’s time for something new. Indeed.

Set your calendars to remind yourself of the events of the day: http://www.cnn.com/live/#a_816149
Watch it all here: http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2009/44.president/inauguration/

Congratulations, Mr. President. Have at it.

Bread Experiments

I’ve been messing around with my bread machine the last few weeks. I have yet to find a recipe that delivers a soft crust, but today’s loaf at least has a nice-tasting inside. It really turned out like french bread, which is not a bad thing.

Do you have a good bread machine recipe?


-30F makes you do some crazy things. On my way into the flat, I was freezing TO DEATH and attempting to ensure I had my correct key ready for the security door. I was so busy looking that I neglected to step up the short concrete step in the walkway, and fell straight on my kneecaps.

Don’t try this yourself. It hurts like heck. Both knees are bruised… blue and purple, and the point of impact is red and scraped.

I don’t want anything to touch them. Not my warm blanket, not the bath water, not even the air.

In fact, if you could just call 911, that would be great.

(just kidding about the 911 call)

Interview (I have just stolen one)

1. Which movie/television show best describes your life and why?

“The Lake House”, only distance and not time.

2. A former friend that badly hurt you in past, now calls you up and asks for your help with a serious matter, one of life or death. Do you help them?

Of course. I don’t hold a grudge.

3. Vacation – Paris or New York City?

Paris, then New York City. I want to see the world. What can I say?

4. What is your favorite curse word?

If I use one, it’s usually “fu*k”, but I use it sparingly, and usually when my computer is being annoying. I don’t have anything at all against cursing. I just don’t do it often myself.. unless I’m really ticked off.

5. If there is one moment in your life that changed your outlook on the world forever, what would it be?

I would say “meeting Ian”, because I can see the world through more positive eyes and understand both sides of just about any issue. Also, the artistic side of me reappeared, and suddenly, I can draw walnuts and hang out in the art museum for 3 hours at a time.

My Dad’s Birthday – Yay!

It is my dad’s birthday!  If I was closer than 1300 miles away, I would make my dad this:


Ten Cool Things About My Dad

  1. He knows the answers to all sorts of random things.  :)
  2. He cooks awesome Chinese food and popcorn.
  3. He can drive patiently behind a city bus.  And like it. (ok, maybe not)
  4. He was late for work more times than I can count (when I was in junior high) because I had to get my hair just right in the morning and missed my bus.
  5. He’s very diplomatic.
  6. He builds cool cars and lets me drive them (even though when I was 15, I attempted to “pick up mail” by driving very close to the mailboxes).
  7. He speed reads, which means he always needs books (for easy gift-giving)  :)
  8. He notices people needing help (like homeless people in need of a meal whilst his company is having a picnic) and gives it to them if he can.
  9. He plays electric guitar (and likes Guns & Roses)
  10. He’s an engineer, so he can build just about anything, including furniture and dresses (evidently)


What I Did During My Christmas Vacation

It was an AMAZING holiday.     Ian arrived in Omaha on Christmas Eve (this was the short trip for him, in the end!).    The arrivals board said the plane was on time, yet no plane.   After 1/2 hour, I was getting a little worried curious about where the plane was.   I was less concerned when I googled the flight from my phone and saw the flight was running a little late.  :)

The flight arrived.   People from it started trickling into the terminal.   I watched as some greeters ran hysterically up to the people they were meeting, and thought about what Ian said before:   “The arrivals lounge is the happiest place in the world.”

I spotted Ian approaching the exit from the terminal into the arrivals lounge.    I’m not sure what happened after that… one minute he was not here and the next, we were hugging each other.  

After finding his luggage and the car, we headed off to… Taco Bell (one of the few restaurants open on Christmas Eve).   He has decided he likes chalupas.

Other things:

  • We opened loads of presents.   I got a lot of art supplies (pencils, paint, pads, etc), a curry book, a CD, a couple of drawing books and loads of other things. Spoiled?  Yes!
  • Harassed FedEx for a special food packet from my brother.  :)
  • We went to Kansas City to visit my brother, SIL, niece and nephew.    We went through downtown Kansas City, ate barbeque (required in Kansas City) and had a big dog wash.   Also, my nephew decided the contour of Ian’s head was just perfect for driving his truck over, especially his eye.    :)    Too cute!
  • I made pancakes.   We ate a bunch of them.
  • Ian drove on the Interstate.  We’d warned everyone else to stay off the Interstate, but it was really not necessary.  He’s mastered US highways, and even a few exit/entry ramps.   It was nice to have someone else drive, and he seemed to really enjoy it.
  • We spent 5 HOURS at the zoo.   Ian speaks to animals.  They talk back to him.   It was fun to watch his reaction to the zoo.     It was so much fun, and we were terribly exhausted by the end of the day.
  • We watched the Queen’s Christmas Message with great interest.
  • We went to the Joslyn Art museum, where we spotted plenty of American Indian statues and paintings.    At the end were a few famous works, like Little Dancer Aged Fourteen (Petite Danseuse de quatorze ans) (Degas), Small Country Farm at Bordighera (Un coin de ferme à Bordighera) (Monet), and even a Renoir.
  • Visited the Whole Foods Market, where I became a little worried that Ian was seriously contemplating taking up permanent residence within the store.   I love this place, too.   :)   We ate a panini stuffed with roast beef and gorgonzola and drank coffee and looked around at various grocery items.  It was lovely.
  • We toured the Old Market, ate lunch here (thai salad, nom), and went to the mall, which was not so different from the mall in Milton Keynes.
  • We cooked lots of wonderful food:  Christmas dinner, English breakfasts, chicken enchiladas, curry… all sorts.   It was all good.    I was mostly the prep cook, but hey, I did a meal or two here and there. :)
  • We played with dogs (who really enjoy Ian’s dog-friendliness) and snuggled up on the sofa.
  • We went ice skating!
  • We visited my work, where he received the seal of approval from my friends/coworkers
  • Ian and TLK got along famously.
  • We taste-tested several types of beer.    I even got to have a Leffe.
  • One very jet-lagged Ian returned to the UK, after what seemed like 2 days of travel (thanks to the 5 hour layover in Cincinnati)

I wouldn’t have traded this week for anything in the world.  It was perfect.   It went entirely too quickly.  


We took Ian to the airport today, against our better judgement, to deliver him to the airplane which will fly him back to the UK.    After enjoying a coffee (ok, and crying and laughing through the coffee), we said “see you soon” at the security gate, and he was off to be scanned.

I watched him walk away, as he turned a few times to wave.  I watched him take off his shoes and go through the scanner a few times, and then disappear into the terminal.      Wiping my tears away, I was about to leave, when the guard at the desk said, “You can get a ticket to go with him if you want.”

“What?”, I said

Guard:   “You can go to the airline counter and get a security ticket so you can wait with him.”

Me:   “I can?    Thank you!”

And off we ran down to the counter, waited patiently for the people in front of us to check their luggage, and then got our security ticket.    Then we ran back upstairs, went through security, didn’t bother to put our shoes on, and walked up behind Ian, who was pacing through the terminal.   :)

We were all so excited to have the extra 45 minutes or so together.   It definitely made our day.

Walking away is definitely the hardest thing we have to do at the airport.     But the time we have together beforehand, and after we’re able to arrange another flight, is definitely worth it.

Happy New Year!