Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Scraps and Snippets ~ Vegan "Chicken" Pot Pies

"Chicken" Pot, "Chicken" Pot Pies!"

Crust recipe of your choice. (a double crust one). I used the one from Vegan on the Cheap.

Grease muffin tin cups (12)

Press half the pie dough into cups pie style.

In a saucepan melt 1 TBSP Earth Balance
When "butter" is bubbly add:
1 small dice potato
2 stalks small dice celery
1 small dice chopped onion
1 small dice chopped carrot or other veggie you might have around and want to use.

When onions are cooked add:

1 TBSP flour (I used whole wheat)

When everything is coated and gummy pour in:

3/4 cup veggie broth 
1 cup finely diced seitan
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Cook until mixture thickens.

Place mixture into pic crusts. Take remaining pie crust and form a top crust for pot pies if desired. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. (If you don't use your crust for the pies, and don't want to freeze it for next time, roll it out and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on it and bake it for about 10 minutes. )

Monday, January 30, 2012

Scraps and Snippets ~ More in My Repetoire...

Thanks to Groupon or Living Social or whatever site I purchased from, I got a Barnes and Noble gift card for not quite 1/2 price. The bad news was that it didn't come before Christmas. The good news: it became mine.

I bought at Barnes and Noble online so I got free shipping and some good deals (spent $11 more than the card, but overall, win. win. win I got three cookbooks for $26 total.)

I bought:

I made two recipes in Vegan on the Cheap. I think I'm going to really like it. She has a recipe for Vegan Pot Roast (Seitan) with potatoes, veggies etc. Pretty tasty. Not exactly roast beef like in texture or flavor but close enough. I may have to add a little something-something next time around. Celery would help, which I didn't have. I also made her pie crust and made little bittie chicken pot pies with it (my recipe, not hers). I'll post that recipe soon. So. Two recipes that are keepers with a touch of tweaking, out of two recipes. 
I've thumbed through the other two and think I'll find some keepers there, too. Time will tell. I'm thinking quick-fix could be just the ticket some night. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Drive Me Crazazy...

Distorted Filter

I’ve lived long enough and crashed and burned just often enough to understand that each of us has an inner drive of some sort. A need that pushes us and shapes us, our lives and relationships.

Doubt it? Go to a gathering of people and observe.

Here’s an example from a past social event repeated more than a time or two. Two very strong women engaged in a subtle competition. Bathed in faux sweetness though it was, it was indeed a serious competition. The recipients of the goodies and grand gestures were unaware of the power struggle, for the most part. The body language, the quick intakes of breath, the slightly flared nostrils, the empty smiles all spoke of an underlying agenda for the key players though. For the innocent bystanders, it was just a fun party full of great goodies and good times. But for the ladies, the unspoken one-ups-womanship made the party a whole lot of emotional work. And when they retreated to their separate corners insecurity and bitterness likely flared when they compared themselves to the other, dissected their shortcomings, planned for the next event, and picked apart the competition’s offerings.

Where did that competition come from, and why did it manifest in over-the-top out-doing?

I believe we are all internally flawed. Some more so than others, and some it’s more obvious. The majority of us are functionally flawed, with quirks and bents, and “you know how she is” labels. But these folks are usually loving accepted if the person is approachable, or warily accepted if the person tends to steamroller those in his or her path. The really, really needy ones tend to burn bridges and take hostages or embrace their unhealthy needs and chase them into dark places.

Our needs aren’t necessarily birthed from our parents’ failure to meet our basic needs, though there could be part of that in the equation. We are all so unique. What one person survived with parents may have been another’s undoing. Siblings or lack, money or lack, school issues, imperfections, differences, successes...all of these go into the blender of who we are, and what we need. And money, the perfect career, the right schooling, the perfect mate and even God/Jesus and the Holy Spirit living within us isn’t necessarily the instant healing/filling of that need. We need to recognize that we’ve got the quirk first. Then we can go about taking care of it.

I think the major drives that push us are combinations of the need to matter and the need for love, and each of those needs sparks strong emotions like fear, insecurity, anger, jealousy. Each of these can manifest in clinging, indifference, competition and then the really unhealthy 1st and 2nd cousins that lead people to the darker neighborhoods of dysfunction.

The ladies in my example really mean well. And they are generous. But they both have issues they think are long healed that seem to drive them to invest in frantic behavior that looks great on the surface but probably steals their joy. These ladies are put together, polished, but insecure in their own worth, so they have to prove their worth to everyone, make themselves indispensable, experts, the go-to gals. .

My flawed inner drive is peace-seeking, oh, and people pleasing…great combo, isn't it?

In my personal experiences with those drives, the insecurity that surfaces, the desire to make everything look and feel good for all concerned has certainly made me miserable a time or two. Insecurity makes me feel anxious, and I can't help but take a failure personally because my sense of worth and my lovability as a human being is somehow, in my mind, on the line.

Awareness of my drives, acceptance that i'm going to screw things up on a regular basis, and that my worth as a person has nothing to do with what I accomplish is the beginning of loosening the bonds of the pedal-to-the-metal lead-foot drive to be all I imagine I'm supposed to be. My worth has everything to do with my character, integrity, and the unique path and fingerprint of God on my life and my willingness to follow and listen to Him as that path unfolds. .

What is your quirk of crazy-making? Noting it is the first step to breaking it's control over your life.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Paying Attention to the Big Picture...

Fascinating what you find on Pinterest. There are words of wisdom. And words I don't quite know how to classify. Some words are accompanied by male movie stars whispering sweet statements of love and adoration about certain Pinterest ladies, their favorite products or their skills in the craft room.

I've got a board that is for pins that make me smile. Not many make my smile board and I read one the other day that just plain annoyed me.

Case in point, I ran across a musician's quote... and here is my paraphrase...if your life is boring and unfulfilling because you were dumb enough to listen to your mother or father or religious leaders or teachers, you get what you deserve...

So I'd like to say in response. "If you live your life based on the "wisdom" of celebrities without paying attention to their example, you may end up with a life full of something way worse than boredom."

But that's not real quippy and I don't have a glossy picture of something exciting to go along with it.

So instead, I'm posting a picture of my mom and me and one of & and me. 

And I'll just put it out there. I'm glad I listened (most of the time) to my mom and dad and my religious leaders and teachers. 

Most of those folks aren't perfect, some may have had an agenda, some may have been wrong. 

But my regrets are few and most of my mistakes were committed while I was stone cold sober so I have actually been able to pick up a lesson or two on the way.

But, hey, I'm boring. 

And for the most part I'm pretty happy about that.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Artsy Fartsy Moment...

Arts for your enjoyment.

My quasi-nieces perform at & coffee shop at their visit in January.

And & latest Pinterest crafts. She's not only a Pinterest collector, she's a Pinterest doer. I'm vicariously living through her crafty moments.

Exhibit # 1.  a plain white canvas (or a recycled one) a design piped on with hot glue. Paint over it. Cool.
Exhibit 2 and 3. Wall art made with squeezed and glued together toilet paper tube chunks. Seriously cool.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Scraps and Snippets ~ Gravy and Biscuits to Ya.

Biscuits and Gravy

I can't say I'm a big fan of biscuits and gravy. Actually I've always considered them a little peppery and heavy.

Imagine my surprise when I had a sudden urge for biscuits and gravy.

I also had the deep desire to avoid a trip to the grocery store. I hadn't even stepped out the door all day.

So with what I had on hand. I got to work.

I found a biscuit recipe, used Vegan ingredients and even cut it into squares to avoid the rerolling thing. Nice.

Then I got to work on the gravy.

3 TBSP flour
3 TBSP Earth Balance
1/2 Cup fine dice celery
1/2 Cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 Cup crushed cashew bits
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp sage
1/2 tsp salt
Fresh ground pepper, 6-8 cranks.
2 Cups Unflavored non-dairy milk.

Place cashew pieces in milk and let them soak a half hour or so. Melt Earth Balance, toss celery and mushrooms in and cook til tender. Add the flour and make a decent paste, add spices. Then slowly pour in milk and cashews. Stir and simmer until this reaches the consistency you want.
About 3-5 minutes. If it gets too thick, add a bit more milk.

Poor gravy over the biscuits and yum. Yum. Enjoy.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Random Monday Thoughts

I revisited some question prompt emails last night.

I found a few conversation starters that I've decided to answer. 

For kicks and grins, I think you should feel free to comment.

Do lazy days make you feel rested or unproductive?

Absolutely rested. Saturday found me doing next to nothing. By nothing I mean I pinned, deleted e-mails, answered e-mails, and updated my recipe application on my blog. It was heaven on earth. The weather was cold, and I had over 500 e-mails I hadn't even opened or organized. Seriously. Most of them are daily blog updates/etc so it's not like I left my mom hanging or anything. I haven't felt this caught up since before Montana. Yes. I needed me a lazy day.

Describe your personality in five words or less.

Smiley, Witty, Concise, Flexible, Loyal

If you were a flavor, what would you be?

Chocolate Chunk Java Ice Cream. (Does that describe me? Maybe not, but I like me some java ice cream... ice cream would be the worst thing about being Vegan. However, some of the subs are pretty tasty.)

What does wealth mean to you?

Wealth means being aware of how blessed you are. God has blessed me tremendously. Not only is His mercy new every morning, but His blessings don't end. He loved me as I was, but won't let me remain there.

List three jobs you'd consider pursuing if money didn't matter.

Art, Baking/Cooking, Photography.

What type of art do you appreciate most?

Visual. I think photographs are my all time favorite. Recycled junk art is a second.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Trust Me..

Come on you know you want to pet me. I won't bite this time, I promise. The light always glints off my fangs. Really. I'm a nice kitty. (I fell for it. He bit me. Sigh. Color me gullible, again.)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Scraps and Snippets ~ Chickpea Burgers and Chocolate Oatmeal Cake ~ Oh Yeah.

I've got a cake recipe (pictured is the muffin/cupcake version with a bite out of it.) And a link for you to a chickpea burger that is pretty tasty.

It's down-right very tasty on day two.

CHANGES I MADE:*** I didn't have sunflower seeds so I used pine nuts, used two cloves of garlic instead of measuring, a small granny smith ditto the measuring thing, and I didn't add the TBSP of oil.

The first night they held their shape and tasted nice but were a bit soft.

Night, two, after sitting in the fridge all day and being reheated, they had the stronger texture of a burger, not tough, but good texture. The flavors married overnight, too. Next time I'll try the sunflower seeds and make a double batch. I'll serve one batch a night after I make them, and freeze the other batch for a quick, hearty meal.

Chocolate Oatmeal Cake (Vegan)


1 3/4 cups boiling water
1 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup packed brown sugar.
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 flax eggs (2 TBSP ground flax seed or chia plus 6 TBSP water - stir and set aside for 5 or so minutes til it gels.)
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts


Mix water and oatmeal in mixing bowl, and let sit 10 minutes.
Add sugars, butter or margarine, and eggs/flax egg or egg substitute. Mix well.
Add flour, baking soda, cocoa, and salt. Blend.
Pour into greased and floured 9 x 13. Top with chocolate chips and chopped nuts.
Bake in a preheated 350 degrees for 30 min
Also will make 20ish muffins. Grease the tins or use cupcake holders. Fill 2/3 full. Bake for approx 20-24 minutes at 350.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Weird Begets Weird...

So. I just went on a walk with snow grazers.

Never heard of a snow grazer?

Well, it's like your run-of-the-mill grazing type animal. Instead of grass eating, though, it eats snow.

Oh, and it's not exactly like a normal grazing animal of the bovine or equine category. No it is a dog. Or dogs. Yes. They scooped up mouthful after mouthful of snow, to eat.

And speaking of weird, and since I'm on a time crunch I'll just share a little more weirdness with you.

My BFF writing friend and I have a little game we play. A long, long time ago she got a rejection letter and it made her sad. Super sad. So being the great friend that I am I wrote her a little scene involving a hero with long flowing hair and crazy muscles who rushed in to save the day.

Pretty much, at this point, I've written a book. However, it is lame and gaggy in the worst way. But, just because it's fun to write some really goofy things, I'm going to share her favorite lines from the last two scenes I sent her.

To set up the scenes. Michelle is careening off to a large city to harm her rotten agent. Fabio is looking for her, knowing she was on the edge but not knowing where she is.

Michelle's favorite lines:

A sport car nearly clipped him in the thigh, would have if he hadn’t done some fancy footwork.

He had a mission and he would take prisoners if need be.

The greeter, a smiley broad-faced guy veering on the brink of collecting Social Security did his job.

Fabio felt every muscle ripple into a tightly coiled throttle machine.

Remember the mission. Security guards would only slow it down.

Oh, she could do drive. She had filing drawers full of drive.

She had enough drive to crush him and his little car.

slick as toast sliding under a door.

Trying to hide in the anonymity of rush hour.

Revenge, best served any temperature.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Scraps and Snippets ~ Oops. And Back to the Drawing Board

I'm on a quest. 

There is a contest for dairy free and gluten free cookies. I've made three attempts of late. Fortunately, each attempt gets better. Whew. 

My ultimate goal is to win the category that has NO allergy producing foods. No nuts, no dairy, no gluten, no soy. 

For your viewing pleasure. The attempts. I love that they look like cookies. And they feel pretty darn cookie-like. But the taste ratios are the buggar factor. I think the next batch will be "the Ones!" 

And. The soup that will not be shared. 

I made Pesto. (Spinach leaves. LOTS of garlic, a little olive oil, a hand ful of nuts) for chickpea cutlets the other evening. Good. But I had more pesto than cutlet. So I added veggie broth and white beans and called it good. NOT SO MUCH. Bland would be a complimentary critique. Mine would be harsher. So. I froze the fail and put the quart of soup aside for a base. I'll make it good next time, but it's going to take some added ingredients for sure.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Weekend Festivities

My Grandma turned 94 so family came up to celebrate.

We had some soups on Saturday. I did a "Beef" barley that was pretty tasty. 

Rough Estimate "Beef" Barley Soup

Dump 32 ozs or so veggie broth in a crock pot
2 Cups chopped seitan
1 chopped onion
4 stalks of celery small dice
2 handfuls of barley.

Low for 6-8 hours, high for 3-4.

I also made my Cranberry Orange cookies to rave reviews.

My cousin's family spent the night. He and his wife have raised refreshingly delightful kids. The kids are 6th thru 9th grade so they are at "that" age and dang, they were all respectful, conversational and pleasant. We introduced them to Bananagrams. (That's another state we have infected with our Bananagram word-of-mouth marketing. Let's see, Missouri, New Mexico, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas...oh, yeah, and Germany. I should maybe get a commission.)

The kids adored the dogs, and the dogs ADORED them.

One of the most hysterical things I discovered about my cousin? He shares some mannerisms with Chris from Parks and Recreation. I happen to love that quirky little show, and Chris is one of my favorites. My cousin even said "Literally." If you are a fan of the show you should be smiling right now. If you haven't seen the show, you probably should.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Scraps and Snippets ~ Oriental Lettuce Cups ~ Vegan

I hope you don't mind a recycled picture. : ) We ate these so fast I couldn't get one shot. More than one omnivore at the table said. "I'd be Vegan if I could eat this every day."

These taste a lot like P F Changs lettuce cups. Better, in my opinion, because I have control over my ingredients.

Oriental Lettuce Cups

2 Cups of "Hamburger Crumbles"
3 stalks of celery fine dice.
1/2 small dice onion
1 clove garlic minced
2 teaspoons of sesame seeds
1 tsp garlic powder
1 TBSP sesame oil
4 TBSP soy sauce

Saute onion, garlic and celery in sesame oil until tender. Add "hamburger" crumbles, sesame seeds, garlic powder and soy sauce. Mix well. Scoop a few tablespoons into lettuce "shells." (2 or more Romaine leaves laid in a X if they aren't cuppy enough on their own. Or you could put the "shells" in silicone cupcake holders and press down til they form more of a cuplike shape. The weight of the filling does help with this.)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Scraps and Snippets ~ Crafty Wafty Part 1

X-ta sent me a nice email reminding me to post about the crafts & and I made for Christmas gifts. Actually, the email wasn't really all that nice. It basically called me rotten for holding out and not sharing what I said I'd share, blah, blah, blah.

So happens I can't share mine yet because there is one person on my list who reads this blog and has not become the recipient of her gift.

However, to clear my name and reputation, and because she made cute stuff, I'll post &'s craft gifts now.

The little orange owl...a toilet paper tube, crunched in on itself so it has owl ears, covered in burlap and modge podged to keep the fray away ended up darn cute. She drew feathers and faces with a Sharpie.

The glass jar. A repurposed canning jar (including a used lid which was spray painted, drilled and glued)becomes a super cute soap dispenser.

Finally, she made colorful/FUN aprons. A tea towel turned lengthwise...whatever decor she felt like. Scraps of fabric, a pocket, ribbons, a coordinating fabric, a smaller towel... The waistband is seam binding or ribbon.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Scraps and Snippets ~ Kickin Italian "Beef"/Beef Sandwiches

A few years ago, when we veered from the Standard American Diet toward low processed and organic I tweaked/created some recipes for a women's event we did through our church.

Yesterday, a friend called and told me she'd lost the "pink book" and needed the recipe for the pepper beef. The pink book was the recipes we sent home with the attendees of the women's event. For starters I was touched and amazed that anyone would still have that "book" and cook out of it. Secondly, when I read the recipe I decided I could Veganize it pretty easily. So. Without further ado (and with an apology for the picture quality) here is the recipe. Might I add that the recipe is better than what I ended up with last night for dinner. I didn't have a jar of pepper rings. And I didn't have the crock pot. But tasty it was.

Kickin Italian Beef or "Beef" Sandwiches

3 LBS of beef roast (grass fed) or 3 cups diced Seitan
1 thinly sliced onion
1 jar of pepper rings or pieces like jalapenos or banana peppers (including liquid)(you might want to reserve some to put on sandwiches)
5 small to medium cloves of minced garlic(or three big ones)
1 and 1/2 TBSP of Italian seasonings.

If you are using beef, dump everything together (reserve some peppers if you plan to do so)into a crockpot and let marry in the fridge overnight. In the morning put it on low and cook 8-10 hours. When you get home, remove the beef, let it cool enough to touch, shred it, get rid of the fat/gristle and put the meat bits back in the juice. Scoop with a slotted spoon, serve on hoagies, pitas, whole grain bread and use your favorite condiments.

Seitan version. Assuming your seitan is precooked like mine was, put everything (except peppers you want to reserve) into a dutch oven or large sauce pan and simmer, simmer, simmer until the onions are translucent and well cooked. (an hour or so.) Follow the above instructions.

However, next time I may use this as the broth to cook my seitan. And. I didn't have the jarred peppers so I used pepper flakes (1/2 TBSP)and those were okay. We served ours over baked potatoes.

Easy. Feeds 6-8.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Serials and Scenarios ~ Dale Cramer's The Captive Heart (No Review)

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Captive Heart
Bethany House (January 1, 2012)
Dale Cramer


Dale Cramer spent his formative years traveling the world as an Army brat, then settled in Georgia at the age of fifteen when his father retired.

After high school he became an electrician, a job that took him to places as diverse as power plants, stadia, airports, high-rise office buildings and a hard-rock mining operation.

Twenty-five years of experiences in the trades provided him with the wealth of characters, stories and insights that populate his novels.

When he married his childhood friend, Pam, in 1975 he had no way of knowing they would not have children until fifteen years later.

In his early forties, when Dale left his job to become a stay-at-home dad, he suddenly found himself with time on his hands, so he pursued a lifelong dream and taught himself to write.

Using an online writer’s forum as a training ground, he wrote his first short stories in 1996. As his writing skills improved he turned to novels, publishing his first book, Sutter’s Cross, in 2003.

Since then, Dale has published four more novels and garnered a measure of critical acclaim with two Christy Awards, a listing among Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Books of 2004 and numerous other Best lists. Dale and his wife Pam live in Georgia with their two sons.


Bandit troubles intensify as Caleb Bender's family tries to settle into their new life in 1920s Paradise Valley. When El Pantera kidnaps Rachel and leaves her brother, Aaron, for dead, Jake Weaver and the Mexican native Domingo pursue the bandit leader to his mountain stronghold in a hopeless rescue attempt. Jake and Domingo manage to escape with Rachel, with the bandits hot on their trail. In a desperate attempt to avoid recapture, Domingo puts himself squarely in harm's way, giving Jake and Rachel time to get away. This is not the quiet life Caleb Bender envisioned when he led his family out of Ohio. What is a father to make of his daughter's obvious affection for a man outside the fold? And how will a pacifist Amishman like Caleb respond to the events that threaten his family and their way of life?

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Captive Heart, go HERE

Monday, January 09, 2012

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ That's the Plan, Man....

I set the goal to get a book review posted at Novel Reviews and a post crafted for Scrambled Dregs before I headed off to work today. So far, so good. However, I am currently typing the post for Scrambled Dregs and who knows what drivel is going to come out of my fingers.

I don't have a whole lot of anything of value to share. If you are expecting a takeaway, click out quick before the drivel oozes onto you.

& and I cleaned and organized our new craft room. AKA the guest room. Mostly. I have taken the liberty of posting a picture of the organized closet because I'm sure you will all want to see it. And I should probably have proof that at one point the darn thing was organized. We will put a table in the room and craft there rather than in the kitchen. (This is the plan...we'll see what happens in reality.) Netflix instant streaming is a valuable resource. We set up the laptop, pulled up some episodes of Burn Notice (very addictive, and a multi-task win/win. I'm thinking it is subliminally giving me resources for the going-on-five-years-in-progress-mystery novel....shout out Michelle, see I do think about Frying Pan...). 

Seeing all our craft supplies and scouring Pinterest has, of course, given us ideas. We are attempting to use what we have, craft-wise, and hoping to avoid any, and especially big expenditures when the ideas hit. & has the idea of doing a craft a day in February. I laugh. But, I might be more inclined to do a craft more often if I know where the heck everything is and if I have a room that I can shut the door on to contain the debris.

I also hit the thrift store one more time this month. When our Minnesota friends were here we hit MANY thrift stores. I got a Fossil purse for a buck. Score. And Saturday I scored a wallet for $2.00. But I need to be done. I found so many bargains I need to clean out my closet to make room.

On a food note. We are still eating leftovers from our friend visit. Not kidding. I cut back so much on food I thought the males were going to curl up and die, but yet, we still have some left. Hmmm. Anyhoo. That's been great. I haven't stepped foot in a grocery store for a week, and I haven't really had to be very creative, there's always a side, or a main dish just waiting to be noshed.. Yay. But, we are now out of fruit, down to two grapefruit, and I'm going to have to start being creative for meals again. I am also going to work on a cookie recipe for a contest. So, I'll be in the kitchen lots this week.

Enough drivel for ya? Yeah, thought so. Signing out.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ So Beautiful...

It is 66 degrees in Iowa. Not kidding. On January 5th it's 66. The ground in the picture to the left was snapped during a spring walk. BUT today's ground looks just like it. I have never, never seen a winter like this one.

Twice we've had snow. Once was scoopable, the other just pretty much blew and melted.

The girls, & and I just walked two miles in January Springtime. No jackets, and even a little bit of a temptation to shed a sweater weather.
The other picture has nothing to do with today. Just a cute dog. And a picture of a floor that I'll never have to contend with again. That sucker is covered with fabulous faux stone flooring and it looks so nice.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Inner Grown-Up Shows Up for Duty...Kind of...

Post-Holiday life begins today. 

After weeks of preparation for get together upon get together I have nothing on my schedule to prepare for. (Disclaimer: I should probably say nothing fun or exciting or requiring great creativity.  Possibly moderate creativity born out of a need to avoid blah.) 

No need to plan ahead and make items to squirrel away in the freezer, or shoved-in-sideways-door-shut-tight-hope-for-success fridge packing.

On one hand, this is good. Communal living is something that calls to me on some level, BUT, there is something to be said for simplicity. One can't truly appreciate the parties without downtime. Right? And it's impossible for me to be content wrestling with the omnivore that still lurks inside my husband and screams for bacon at special company breakfasts. And frankly, my pots/pans and dishes are complaining at the use and abuse of the past few weeks.

Vacations or staycations are not reality. As much as I hate to admit that, it's true. They cost too much money, the time invested in them is borrowed time. The reentry into the work world, real life world is punishing. The real world has moved on, regardless of the time I've taken to have some fun. My desk will be packed full of stuff for me to do tomorrow. There are bills to be paid, and income tax details that need to jump onto my radar. I love my new kitchen floor. And it needs to be swept. My thrift store finds need to be washed and put away and my closet needs to be purged to make room for them. And I need a haircut. Real bad.

I'd love to be independently wealthy, able to coffee with friends on a whim, shop til I drop daily, go to exotic places without calculating what that's going to cost, sleep in every day. But. That is not my life, or my truth. And I'm telling myself that I'd hate that life, eventually. That I need the discipline of needing a paycheck, needing the budget, needing the restraint that comes with both of those. 

I'll tell you, though, I do like the occasional taste of freedom, even with the price tag.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Randomocity...

It's Monday, and though it's technically a holiday, I am sitting here, mindlessly, checking my email, and my inner control freak says I should post.

So. I will post a few random things.

& just said, "why do my crafts always fail?" Notice the picture? This is an adorable owl purse she made out of a thrift store sweater, tie and her creative little brain.

My children rode to the antique store together. Toad-Boy got an Adventures in Odyssey CD for Christmas so they listened to them on the trip. They had a sweet childhood bonding experience.

Our Minnesota friends are upstairs chilling. I just finished a woman-possessed-cupboard-clean-out. I got some fabulous bins at a thrift store and couldn't wait to put stuff in them and put them in their place.

We have a girl's night planned. Jane Eyre is on the agenda and crafts and food. One of the crafters is here and mentioned a friend who had eaten an entire loaf of banana bread in a day. He's started on his second loaf and & told her to tell him that banana bread might constipate him.

I am now also facing pressure on Facebook. Someone just asked to be my friend and who couldn't use a few more Facebook friends?  Then she said she's looking forward to all my witty comments. Oy. Guess I need to work out my wit muscles.

Pretty much sums up what I've done this year.