Friday, October 29, 2010

This Moment

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. Inspired by Soulemama.  



Wednesday, October 20, 2010

11 days and counting....

In exactly 11 days the insanity called NaNoWriMo starts.  What does NaNoWriMo stand for?  National Novel Writing Month.  Yup, a novel in a month.  CRAZY!!! INSANE!!! BIZARRE!!!!  In one month, if you stay to the schedule, you too can have a 50,000 word novel (riddled with spelling mistakes, misplaced modifiers, and dangling plot lines- no one said that it would be a good novel).  The idea is that the only thing that stops you from writing a novel is a deadline.  It's not a bad theory if you ask me.  So, for the last two years, I have written a novel each November.  Well, last year's is only a half novel really and this year I will be writing part II (which isn't officially cheating....).

How do we do this crazy venture? ( "We" meaning my writing buddies and I and a ton of other people around the world.)  We write approximately 1,665 words a day (or sometimes 5,000 in a weekend), meet for coffee at the local Borders, drink more coffee, get up at 4 am, ignore our dishes, children, laundry, eat lots of take-out, and become bonded with our computers.  That's right, it can be done.  I am living proof.  Although my first novel still sits in an "old sock drawer" and the second is half finished.  Oh yeah, and the other one is half finished too. (I gotta issues with completing stuff, ok.)  Signing up is free if you are into it.  There is on-line support when you want to waste time not writing, which is cool.  Feel free to try it if you dare.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Robots, Witches, and Vampires Mini Book

I teach an English 11 media literarcy course.  I gave them an assignment to talk about their own media interests or obsessions over the years.  They had to list a bunch of memories and then write paragraphs that talked more in depth about these forms of media.  I decided last week that I would do the assignment with them.  As an English teacher, sometimes we pile on work but forget how time consuming it really is.  I needed this reality check as I spent all Sunday putting this together.  

So, I decided to do a mini-book about the books, movies, and TV shows that I've loved over the years.  What I noticed after the first few entries is that there was a lot of Science fiction and fantasy in the mix.  I decided to do a mini-book about my relationship to the two genres.  It was a fun way to focus the assignment since (as one student so nicely pointed out) I've liven longer and have a lot more media memories than the 17 year olds that I work with.  Those kids are just so nice sometimes. 

We talked about titles that were a little more exciting than "My media Memories".  Here was my title:  "Robots, Witches, and Vampires".  For this book, I used all items that I already had including recycled paper from the NaNoWriMo mailer (more about that organization later), Halloween cutouts, and lots of "boy" paper that I had been saving for Elliot. 
My inside title page.  

I did smaller pages (about a half page) for my lists of media I liked by genre (sci fi, fantasy, and then vampires). 

Star Wars 1979...... Need I say more?

Dr. Who- Where's the Tardis?

My all-time favorite writer Madeline L'Engle.  I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED her books.  

Battlestar Galatica- If you ever watched the TV show, you'll get the toaster reference. 

Magic inside page

A classic vampire

This page might need a little "Edward" cutout but it does have the lovely Quiluette stamp I bought off etsy. 

This was so much fun!  Sometimes it is good just to play along!








Saturday, October 16, 2010

Quinoa Salad with Apples and Walnuts

I have to admit here that I am terribly lame.  One of my students from last year was experimenting with being a vegetarian (along with a cousin who was vegan) and asked me for some recipes.  I promised her that I would bring some in for her and I am so lame that I forgot. (I am not a vegetarian but cook about 90% vegetarian because Jan is.  I eat meat when we go out.)  So, here in public I need to ask Laura to forgive me.  I am thinking that I'll include a vegetarian recipe once a week to make up for my lameness.  Here you go Laura (she especially asked for a recipe with Quinoa):

Quinoa Salad with Apples and Walnuts


Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
2 Tbls. honey
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 tea salt
3 Tbls. olive oil
1 cup peeled, diced apple
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup scallions
1/2 cup toasted and coarsely chopped walnuts
salt and pepper to taste

1.  In a med. saucepan, combine quinoa and water, then bring them to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the quinoa is tender and the water is absorbed.  It will take about 15 minutes.  Transfer the quinoa into a large bowl, stir, and let cool.
2.  In a small bowl, wisk together the honey, lemon juice, and salt. Gradually wisk in the oil until blended.
3.  Add the apple, scallions, raisins, and walnuts to the quinoa and toss the ingredients well.  Add the dressing and toss once more to coat the salad.  Season it with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve at room temperature.
4.  Can be made ahead and refrigerated.

Friday, October 15, 2010

This Moment

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. From Soulemama- see sidebar for link to her fabulous blog. 
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Monday, October 11, 2010

Quite Contrary

Where do scrapbooking companies get the names for thier lines?  This one is called "Quite Contrary" and fits Phoebe perfectly.  Is she sometimes "contrary"?  Absolutely.  Does she remind me of pink and green with lots of pattern?  Absolutely.  Every year at CKC, I pick out a line of paper for Phoebe and another for Elliot.  This is what I chose for Phoebe and it fits her perfectly.  I loved working with this paper.  It is double sided and both sides are fantastic.  Sometimes with paper, you can tell the less dominant side- not with Mind's eye.  And the paper is a nice weight- a thick cardstock.  The embellishments just came together because of the mutiple pinks and greens in the line. Lovin' it, just lovin' it!

Hee Haw for Halloween

I enjoy the idea of Halloween but the actual execution is always so difficult for me.  I'm teaching full time trying to think about an up-coming holiday.  However, Elliot really really wanted to decorate for Halloween.  For the last few years, I've been buying one or two things that we decorate with and then putting them in a bucket in the basement.  So this year, we picked up a few things and managed to make a display in both the living room and the dining room.  Here are the pictures (all items were purchased at local stores like Micheal's, the Dollar Store, Target, and JoAnn's Fabrics):
Here is the dining room display.  The kids have yet to realize that the nice candy dish has candy corn in it.  It's an experiment to see how long it takes.  Hmmm....  I give it two hours. Also, Elliot made the sock bat in his daycare class two years ago.  It's fabulous so I keep storing it from year to year.  The bats Elliot and I made last night (see close up below). The candy bags I made for the kids last year with a Debbi Mum fabric panel.  

Here are those bats.  They are super easy.  Cut out two bat outlines out of cardstock.  Then, paint closepins with black spray paint.  Hot glue the bats onto the closepin in the center and then a dot on each wing.  We used jems for the eyes this year (last time we just punched holes but the jems were much more fun).  I had thought we would use the small jems for eyes but Elliot liked the big ones and they looked great.  It reminds me that when working with kids, you gotta let go of control! 


A pumpkin for each of us. 

Here's the living room display.  Elliot loves the purple cat (really, who wouldn't).


Because my kids are young, we focus on the fun aspects of the holiday rather than the scary.  Elliot is on the edge between the two but really, her frightens easily.  I'm not fond of the more gruesome parts of the holiday.  For example a kid once trick or treated my door with a mask that had some sort of mechanism that dripped blood down the face.  It was gruesome and awful.  Those are parts of the holiday that I dislike.  How do we protect our children from that?  I'm really not sure but if you have any ideas, I would love to hear them.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Butternut Squash and Apple Bisque for dinner


Finally, it was cool enough today to pull out some of my standard fall recipes and begin to think about fall cooking.  This is my favorite time of year to cook.  It's cool, the vegetables are abundant, and the flavors are earthy and intense. Here is the recipe for the soup of day in the Dater- Roberts house.

(Vegetarian, but not vegan) Butternut Squash and Apple Bisque for the Crockpot


Ingredients:
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded, and cut into 1" chunks
1 med. onion
1 can or box of veggie broth
3 medium apples, peeled, de-seeded, and cut into 1" chunks
1/2 tea ginger
1/4-1/2 tea salt
1 cup sour cream

1.  Mix all ingredients EXCEPT sour cream in the crockpot
2.  Cover and  cook on high for 3-5 hours (until both the squash and apples are soft when pierced).
3.  When cooked, use either a blender wand in the crockpot to puree the contents or blend in blender in batches.  Blend until the whole pot is smooth and uniform.
4.  Stir in sour cream.  Cook on low for another 15 min or until heated enought to eat.  Do not overheat because the sour cream will start to break down if over cooked.
5. Adjust salt if needed. Eat

Friday, October 1, 2010

This moment

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. From Soulemama- see sidebar for link to her fabulous blog. 
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