Monday, December 31, 2007

Saturday, December 29, 2007

For Greta

Have been viewing some videos that Simon Leach, a potter, has put on youtube. In this video, he hurts his finger towards the end. Poor guy! So now when I watch all the other videos I look at his hands to see if it was filmed BHF (before hurt finger) or AHF (after hurt finger).

Friday, December 28, 2007

What were you doing last Friday night?

I went to a Festivus party, I mean Christmas Open House! Am finally getting around to posting the pictures. Instead of the "Airing of the grievances", the kids "played" piano. Stay tuned tomorrow (or the next day) for the pictures from the "Feats of Strength".

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Magazine cover

Am still playing with the Big Huge Labs' flickr toys. Go there to upload your picture and make your own magazine cover.

Friday, December 21, 2007

So you think you know carols?

Have you seen the So you think you know carols quiz from the Chicago Tribune yet? Aunt Janice sent me the link, and thought it was so good I would post it. It does take a little bit of time, as there are 25 questions.

I posted a picture above from their "Tacky Sweaters" gallery and will admit that I used to own one of them. It's okay if you still have one, especially if you're a school teacher. Are they implying that all Christmas sweaters are tacky?

And here's a weird Christmas video for you:

Had to look this guy up after reading this review on the Amazon blog for worst Christmas albums ever:

This year’s clear winner for me. Upon first listening to this album I was literally stunned.At once festive and intensely creepy, Dan Foley wordlessly interprets Christmas favorites as you might imagine them performed by a sleeping guy, a troll living under your bed, a serial killer, your computer or your drunk uncle after he’s already half passed out. Christmas has never been weirder. Ever.

And for a random challenge, try to say "specificity" really fast five times in a row. Can you do it?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Cookie post #3--Frosting dispensers

These are the best pictures from the cookie decorating party. Karmen referred to the cookie decorators "frosting dispensers" which I think is appropriate for some. If anyone has a problem with me posting pictures of your "frosting dispensers", please tell me.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Very Mylo Christmas

Thanks, Cheggie (Jackie)!!! It arrived today, ach yah! My favorite song is Winter in North Dakota to the tune of Living la Vida Loca!

Snow is on the way – WINTER IN NORTH DAKOTA
It won’t melt ‘til May – WINTER IN NORTH DAKOTA
Please don’t get me wrong: there’s no place I’d rather go ta,
But winter’s eight months long, livin’ in North Dakota. (come on!)
My engine won’t turn over, when it’s WINTER IN NORTH DAKOTA. (bus oof!*)

p.s. For those of you who didn't grow up in N.D., Mylo is the "Weird Al" of North Dakota farmers and you probably wouldn't get the humor but for us it's fun, fun, fun. You Betcha!

p.p.s. Thanks to Cara and Calana, I've been listening to Trans-Siberian Orchestra and also Behold the Lamb of God by Andrew Peterson thanks to Jarrett and Kristi who sang a duet in church. Check out the "Labor of Love" song here if you haven't already.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Cookie post #2

Made brown sugar cookies and went to a cookie decorating party at church last night (pictures to come on next post). Also dipped some pretzel twists in almond bark. This is my favorite thing to do...wonder if my husband's family is sick of them yet since I make them every year. Sometimes I drizzle white almond bark on them. Also made some zebra cookies which are my favorite to eat! Just a little bit of cinnamon enhances the chocolate flavor.

p.s. Did you happen to notice the sugar cookie in the shape of a certain dog with white frosting and the chocolate chip brown eye? It's supposed to represent my dog.

Cookie post #1--Pfeffernusse

Got the crazy idea to make pfeffernusse for the first time ever last weekend. In Kansas, people make peppernuts/pfeffernusse that tastes like the same type dough as in North Dakota. This includes pepper (of course), anise, and coffee. The Kansas peppernuts look like little nut-shaped cookies. In North Dakota they are larger and dipped in powdered sugar and soft on the inside and sometimes hard on the outside.

Anyways, I made the recipe I found in my Grandma's church cookbook. It entails boiling the butter, sugar, and honey together (getting a pot dirty) and then mixing the other ingredients in. Then the batter needs to set overnight in the fridge. The next day the batter is rolled into balls and baked. When the cookies come out of the oven they are dipped into a powdered sugar syrup mixture(an extra step some people don't do) and then dipped in powdered sugar. Then they need to dry. (I left them out overnight to dry since they were still too wet to put away.) They are now aging in my garage since the flavor is better with time.

Doesn't that seem like a lot of work for a little ole' cookie?

This leads me to my next epiphany in the last two weeks: Flour and powdered sugar create a lot of dust in one's kitchen. I've also just realized how much dust is created by pulling a tissue out of a Kleenex box.

We got some...

Stay tuned for a cookie post.

p.s. Some of it melted before I took this.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Favorite Christmas CDs

Some CDs in my collection that are played often:

1. Christmas Cocktails Part 1. Snazzy-jazzy, hip and cool!

2. Christmas Cocktails Part 2.

3. The Peace Album by Paul Horn. Lovely soothing flute music.

4. Narada Presents: The Best of Celtic Christmas.

5. Christmas Island by Jimmy Buffett. Don't necessarily like his other albums, just the Christmas one.

6. A Charlie Brown Christmas by the Vince Guaraldi Trio.

Others I like listening to but don't have in my collection:
Sufjan Stevens and Bare Naked Ladies.

Other albums I cringe at and please don't play while I'm around: Mannheim Steamroller, any of their Christmas albums--YUCK! Reminds me of when I used to work at Musicland and we had to play them ALL THE TIME!

What are your favorites or least favorites?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Society lyrics

Here are some lyrics from Into the Wild Soundtrack by Eddie Vedder:

It's a mystery to me
we have a greed
with which we have agreed

You think you have to want
more than you need
until you have it all you won't be free

society, you're a crazy breed
I hope you're not lonely without me

When you want more than you have
you think you need
and when you think more than you want
your thoughts begin to bleed

I think I need to find a bigger place
'cos when you have more than you think
you need more space

society, you're a crazy breed
I hope you're not lonely without me
society, crazy and deep
I hope you're not lonely without me

there's those thinking more or less less is more
but if less is more how you're keeping score?
Means for every point you make
your level drops
kinda like its starting from the top
you can't do that...

society, you're a crazy breed
I hope you're not lonely without me
society, crazy and deep
I hope you're not lonely without me

society, have mercy on me
I hope you're not angry if I disagree
society, crazy and deep
I hope you're not lonely without me

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Into the Wild

Just finished the book at 4:30 a.m. this morning and have been listening to the soundtrack by Eddie Vedder. Now I need to see the movie. At first I was a little disappointed in the book because I was expecting a story and not the author reporting various aspects and even sharing a story about himself in the Alaskan wild...But I'm glad I read it and always love stories about the enduring human spirit. Any books out there like that you'd recommend me to read?

That's about all of a book report you're going to get out of me.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Ready for Christmas?

Hadn't been in the "Christmas Spirit" the week after Thanksgiving, so I got out my keyboard and have been playing some Christmas hymns. It reminds me of when I lived at home and my dad would say "play another one". He didn't care how slow I played or how many notes were wrong.

A few days ago I went on-line and found a bunch of free sheet music I could print out. Don't know how legal this is regarding copyright laws. So now along with the Christmas music and other hymns, I've been playing "Nothing Else Matters" by Metallica and "Everybody Hurts" by REM (Paul Anka also does a version of it on his "Rock Swings" album). Yes, I have a very eclectic taste in music.

Friday, December 07, 2007

My petite peeve

Does anyone else think "cholesterol free" is a silly label on this package of dried fruit? Are they doing this for the intellectually challenged out there? Isn't fruit naturally cholesterol free to begin with?

"Oh my gosh, I almost picked up the dried fruit package with the 'delicious lard added' label on it but then noticed this brand."

Thursday, December 06, 2007

I'm dreaming of a white...

Building (bet you thought I was going to say Christmas).

Was watching the Travel Channel the other day while on the treadmill and found another place to visit on my dream trip to South America. I went to Bolivia on a mission trip in 2001 and would love to go back some day. Anyways, on "Samantha Brown in Latin America", she went toCasapueblo. It's a museum/hotel/workshop built by an artist from Uruguay, Carlos Paez Vilaro. He was friends with Pablo Picasso and does ceramics and many other types of art. He was born in 1923 and has a wide range of styles and phases.

So anyways, I was researchingCarlos Paez Vilaroon the net and figured out another connection. In July I read the book Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors, and it turns out that the artist's son was one of the survivors!!! The artist/painter is actually a character in the book. He seems like a really interesting guy. Here are some quotes:

“Answering the intimate calling of art, is to be abounded by a strange feeling where happiness and pain merge."

“The easel is my three-legged stork”.

“I prefer to be satisfied with my work rather than the success itself. Happiness felt through work is for good, success is just for a while”.

“Beyond the achievement, trying is the important point”.

“I can see prestige in a blue-grey colour; aristocracy in violet; poverty in colonial blue; Anxiety in the white waiting to become a colour; darkness in black; screams belong to yellow; pink when love is born and green in life.”

“It´s risky to open our letters before people unable to read”.

“The artist does not work to compete but to follow his inner need to realize himself”.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Gift ideas

For the person who has everything, likes the band White Stripes, and is into photography I would recommend
this. It comes with its own peppermint candy filter and the book "The World Through a Plastic Lens". If I didn't have enough hobbies already, I think lomography would be fun.

Oh yeah...forgot to mention it's $180!!!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Becoming Olivia

Just finished Becoming Olivia yesterday by Roxanne Henke. I knew I had to read it after hearing about it a month ago from a friend who lived in North Dakota and then my sisters mentioning going to a seminar where she was a speaker. One of my sisters actually sat next to the author during the seminar. This isn't her first book in the series, but it's a fictional story about someone going through anxiety and depression. My friend raved and raved about the book and how she could relate. There were even a few tips I think I'm going to try. One was on how to stop the "negative self-talk" in your think of a big red stop-sign.

Thanks, Jackie, for letting me borrow it!