November 30, 2008
Here are some pictures of what I have been going through the last month with my house torn up during the remodel. Things are somewhat back in order now.
November 29, 2008
What is a Roux? Roux is french for a basic white cream sauce. If you can master making a basic roux, you will be able to embellish it with cheeses, wines, herbs and other seasonings for a variety of accents to many basic dishes.
2 TBS Flour (you can lightly brown it in a skillet or heavy sauce pan to “cook out” the raw taste.
2 TBS Butter
1 Cup of liquid (milk or broth or a combo)
Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan. Add the flour until it bubbles slightly. Whisk in the liquid and continue to stir over medium heat until your mixture thickens.
Then you can add any other ingredients that you want such as cheese (mac n cheese), cooked pearl onions (creamed onions), diced turkey, or spices.
” We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” __Thomas Wilder
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of my readers a very Happy Thanksgiving. Even though some have seen savings almost disappear, and even though many have lost their jobs, even though some are ill, we all have “treasures” that no one can take from us. The Steadfastness of true Friends, and the Love of unchosen Family are only two that come to mind.
I am sure that you will be reminded of many things that you have to be thankful for this Holiday. I am thankful for the small group of readers that make their way to my blog and continue to return and I wish each of you a Blessed Thanksgiving Day and a fun weekend. Be conscious of your treasures!
I understand that the Portland Zoo will be opening it’s doors for free on Thanksgiving Day as a special thank you to the people of Portland for passing the Zoo levy tax. See you there!
This is a Midwestern Family Holiday Favorite which I made for each holiday for over 15 years.
1 package of instant pistachio pudding mix
8 oz of cool whip
1 can of mandarin oranges
1 can of crushed pineapple
8 oz mini marshmallows
Drain the oranges & pineapple reserving the syrup.
Add half of the drained syrup to the dry pistachio pudding mix; whisk together well. Add more syrup if needed up to 1 1/2 cups. Fold in the cool whip. Fold in the oranges, pineapple and marshmallows. Refrigerate for several hours (overnight is best). This is very pretty served in a glass or crystal bowl.
November 25, 2008
I love dark chocolate and always have. Even as a child I would opt for mixing the coco powder with sugar and adding it to milk to make my own dark chocolate milk while my brother would just mix the Hersheys milk chocolate mix into his milk and be done with it. When it came to the See’s Candies (better than overrated Godiva, I think) … again give me the dark chocolates! And now we find out that dark chocolate is healther for you!
November 24, 2008
Why do we change our clocks twice a year? I thought it had something to do with the fact that we were initially a farming society. But now I remember that that is the reason why we have such a long summer vacation –so the school age children would be available to work in the fields.
Some people can reset their body clocks much more easily than others. With all the years of flying through time zones I have had my share of waking up famished at 3:00am (dinner time here in the US) after landing in a foreign country the day before.
I have found that if you “do nothing” it will take about 3 1/2 weeks for your body clock to reset itself. Some people experience fatigue and just don’t get the right kind of rest during that time. This can and does affect their performance, driving, and interactive abilities.
It just takes time to reset the body clock but there are a few things that you can do to help the process along. One of these is to keep hydrated; the corollary being avoid alcohol (as it dehydrates your body). The second is to consume some caffeine when you get up (yea Starbucks). And then you should take a brisk walk outside early in the morning. And then you get to eat some pasta for your dinner ( OK, maybe just a few sips of wine with it).
Two things that are also not good activities if you want a good nights sleep are ( you are not going to like this…) watching TV and using your computer. Evidently the screens are so bright that they keep our brain awake long after the device is turned off. So read a good book instead.
November 23, 2008
Well, the big remodel project is finally winding down; although I will say that this last bit of work has been the second most unsettling part of all. The plumber is in the kitchen right now, hooking up my sink. I have been without Kitchen water for a week, so I’ll be happy to be able to use the dishwasher again.
The painter just left picking up his last drop cloth and used paint cans and a brush that he was kind enough to allow me to borrow for a few hours while I finished up a project. The biggest problem here is that the painters were happy to move all my heavy furniture out of their way so they could paint the ceiling and walls in the great room, but “because they had now had paint on their clothes” they didn’t move it all back!
Opps, sorry about that …I was called away from the computer by the plumber who is having a struggle getting the garbage disposal to seal properly. Finally it is in and the sink is functional! Yea!!
This big strong plumber is so kind…. He asked me if he could help me move my heavy dining room furniture back into place! He asked me if he could help!! I was so grateful that he offered, because I wanted to ask him to help me but decided not to. It is so much nicer when someone offers help, isn’t it? Anyway, getting the dining room furniture back into place was a big relief. Now I am able to put all of the dishes back into the china cabinets and get them off of my new countertops. Why is it that when you paint or redo one room all of the other adjacent rooms are discomboobled?
Having my entire house “under redo” for several months has been a strain. I sometimes think that I would like to just get rid of most of it….but then I look at all my pretties and think of all the fun I have entertaining with them and decide to keep most of it for a while longer.
Time to go and try to see if I can get the TV to work again after moving it so much.
November 21, 2008
Love affairs —the very phrase brings up all sorts of emotions. Love affairs are wonderful. Love affairs are awful. Love affairs are glorious. Love affairs are hurtful. Love affairs are the most destructive thing in the world. Love affairs are the most creative thing in the world.
I have often thought if every woman in the world made a pact with every other woman in the world to never, ever go out with a married man that the divorce rate would almost disappear. What makes a woman want to date a married man with a family? I have never been able to figure that one out. Is it the thrill of the forbidden? Do you realize how many lives you destroy in your selfishness?
And don’t married men realize that if they spent half of the energy on their wives that they spend trying to get someone to date them, that their marriages would improve? If every woman in the world just said “I don’t go out with married men” I wonder how the divorce rate would drop? And as for married women having affairs — same rules apply…have an affair with your husband, instead. Make him the special one in your life.
November 14, 2008
My home currently has solid oak cabinets. They are beautiful, if you like oak, which I do not; never have, most probably never will. I love painted cabinets. So the easy solution is to paint my oak cabinets which is what is happening today here at the old homestead!
The coolest part of this remodel is what was done to the garage in preparation for the painting process. The painters “tented” the inside of my garage to form a self contained paint-booth. It looks really cool. Here is a photo of it:
In addition to the tent in the garage, the painters essentially tented the kitchen in my modest home. It looks like you are walking into an ice cave with all the plastic draped from the ceiling to the floor; it is really cool in there!
Today, I am off to a special store in NW Portland to obtain my cabinet hinges. I am lucky to find them locally as they are unusual. I already have my new pulls which have been in a drawer in the laundry room for 6 months awaiting their new home.
November 13, 2008
Each week, Ying Chu, the Marie Claire Beauty Director, answers questions exclusively from the MSN audience on all of your beauty dilemmas. (Have an issue you want help with? Send in a question today or talk about it on our Beauty and Fashion message board.)
Q: Does olive oil help with minimizing wrinkles?
A: As part of your regular diet, olive oil definitely keeps the skin supple and more youthful—think of the Italians! But applied topically, you’re going to make the biggest impact on wrinkles with retin-A or retinol creams and serums and laser treatments (specifically carbon-dioxide resurfacing lasers). If you want to take it even further, hyaluronic-acid injectable fillers (like Restylane or Juvederm) physically smooth out your wrinkles and also encourage more natural collagen production in the skin. Of course, whatever you’re doing, broad-spectrum sunblock as a preventative measure is an absolute must. Photoaging (from UV rays) accounts for a majority of wrinkles.
November 12, 2008
I found this “green calculator” that helps you determine your carbon footprint. It is very interesting and may give you ideas on reducing your carbon footprint and greenhouse emmissions. http://green.msn.com/tools/calculator.aspx
November 11, 2008
Today is Veterans Day. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veterans_Day. Today, I will fly my large American Flag. I also intend to thank a veteran for their service to our country so that each of us may enjoy the many freedoms that we have. While writing this post, at least 4 veterans immediately came into my mind. I’ll be making a few calls later; it will be fun to call them because they won’t be expecting it!
We don’t have to agree with the politics of the war–whatever war it was/is. Let us not confuse the war with the warrior. They have served and done what was asked of them for our sake. How will you honor those that have served our Country with Honor and Distinction?
November 3, 2008
Be sure to vote! If you live in Oregon, you have a “mail-in” ballot. Some counties here in Oregon require that your ballot be RECEIVED no later than “close of polls” on Tuesday, Nov 4th. Other counties only require that your ballot be POSTMARKED by Nov 4th. Too much is at stake in this election to not have your ballot count.
If you go to Starbucks www.starbucks.com on Tuesday and tell them that you voted, they will give you a free tall coffee. I checked it out after I saw it on SNL. Mocha Latte anyone?!!
November 1, 2008
Here are two of my favorite Portland Caution signs. Please note that there are 3 little ducklings going from the pond to the other side of the road, but only two hurrying back…. Please be careful when you drive on this road!
If you are taking lessons from Mitsue at Solo Flamenco Studio, we will be getting together a mail order. We will be ordering dance related items from www.dancex.com soon. If you want to order something, then go to the dancex web site and write down the items you want to order. You must pay Portland Firefly in advance of our placing the order. If you have questions about sizing, then we suggest that you call dancex. We have found them to be very helpful in the past. Now be sure to practice…. and we’ll see you at class!