Newness for a New Year

Friday, February 29, 2008

Moving Again

With much relief, I would like to say that I am not the one moving. But, congrats to Alisa, Dan and comp. because they are moving into their new house. Since I have such great and recent moving experience, I volunteered to help. Luckily for me, that means I will be watching Cora and Hyrum Friday night and Saturday morning.

I was talking with a friend last night about my weekend plans and she told me she has moved 30 times in her life. She also said she has never found anyone to beat that number. So, I started counting ...

She said that as long as you packed up all your stuff and moved, it counts.

What is your total?

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Delicious Stew

This recipe has been a favorite for a while, but I made it again yesterday and was reminded of how tasty it really is. I got it from the Real Simple magazine. It is a wonderful resource. I love this stew because it is easy, and it also looks beautiful when done.

cannellini bean stew
hands-on time: 10 minutes
total time: 25 minutes
serves: 6

2 15-ounce cans cannellini or other white beans, drained
1 14.5-ounce can low-sodium chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 bay leaf
6 carrots, halved length wise and cut into 3-inch pieces (I like to use mini carrots and cut them in half or fourths. I used a cup to a cup and 1/2)
3 cups fresh spinach leaves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
grated Parmesan cheese

In a large pot, over medium heat, bring the beans, broth, garlic, bay leaf, and carrots to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Add the spinach, salt, and pepper and stir for 1 minute. Spoon the stew into bowls. Add the vinegar and Parmesan to taste.

I think the Parmesan and vinegar really make this stew so delightful, so make sure to try them.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A new drug and a generic face

I finally caught some of the nasty that has been going around. I thought, "I made it though this season without getting sick." Then I started to cough a few nights ago. Well, I have the cough, congestion, hot/cold spells, you want to just lie in bed nastiness that seems to be going around. Well, I usually don't have a problem sleeping (even when I am sick), but I could not sleep the other night. I was tossing, turning, and puking. I know--wonderful. After such a night, I wanted to try something to help me sleep. I have a friend who swears by Tylenol PM, but I have never needed it before two night ago. I tried it last night, and I have to say I love it. I slept all night and woke somewhat refreshed. Thank you to the people at Tylenol for creating such a fabulous drug.

As for the generic face part of my title, I have to explain that over the past few months I have had a lot of people come up to me and say something like, "You remind me of someone." or "Do you have a sister who goes to BYU?" or "You look just like my friend." It seems like this has happened more frequently over the past little bit. I am not sure why, but I am beginning to believe that I have a generic face. I never thought I had a generic face, but I guess I do. I was really surprised when a friend of mine told me that he works with a woman who looks just like me--only she is black. Yes, that is right, she is black. I told him he needs to send me a picture of her because I would love to see how I look as a black woman.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Some of my recent favorite things

I have wanted to write about some of the things and places that I have experienced lately, so here is my smattering of information ...

My first favorite thing finishing a huge stack of paperwork. I have been in the process of picking up some extra work doing some technical editing. Because the company I will work for is a huge contractor of the Department of the Defense, I had a huge stack of paperwork. Really, I had no idea I needed to prove my identity so many times. And, I had the opportunity to get my first drug test: I will never forget walking into the clinic and seeing the row of bathroom doors. It was line up and deliver as quick as you could. I am glad it is over, along with all the paperwork.

Downtown Salt Lake City
One of the nice things about this employment process came last week when the editing team went to dinner in Salt Lake. Our boss flew in from San Diego and treated us to dinner. I love that too. We went to Caffe Molise in downtown. It is a great restaurant with delicious food and wonderful ambiance. Another favorite thing of mine is when I get a great parking place, which I did at the restaurant. I had budgeted in time in case I had to walk a bit, so I had extra time to kill before I had to be at the restaurant. Luckily there is this great little Art store next to Caffe Molise. It is called Utah Artist Hands, and if you couldn't guess by the title, only features local art and crafts. It was fun to see part of what Utah offers. The woman in the shop says she gets very few locals in the shop. She mostly gets convention goers, since the shop is by the Salt Palace Convention Center. But I highly recommend it; I got some ideas for bookmaking from the shop and found some great cards. This painting is by an artist whose work is at the shop.

I really enjoy Salt Lake City. I really just enjoy finding new, interesting places wherever I am. I love exploring new shops and restaurants in Provo as well. Wendell Berry talks a lot about establishing a sense of place in our lives, and I believe that exploring our own communities is part of that. There is so much that we don't take advantage of or even see for that matter. A friend of mine once told me he heard a show on NPR that stated there are two kind of people in Utah: those who see the mountains and those who don't. I guess it really comes down to those who look up and out at the world around them and those who choose not too.

A Witch and Barbie
I picked up an old favorite of mind last week: The Witch of Blackbird Pond. I haven't read it for years, and it was wonderful to rediscover the book. It is a quick read, and took me only a Sunday afternoon to finish. It deals with the early colonization of America and the social injustice that took place between faith and fortune. It deals a bit with the concept of witches in America, but is much more mild than The Crucible. It also has some romance, which is always a bonus. It is just an enjoyable, fun read.

As for going back to my youth, I must also report on a movie I saw last week--Barbie, Island Princess. Yes, I watched it. No, it wasn't my choice. As I mentioned earlier, my niece Cora came to Provo last weekend, and she got to choose the ice-cream and the movie. For what it is worth, it is better than Cinderella 3, which we watched last time. This makes my favorite list because I love how much Cora loved it and that the three adults watching it couldn't quite get on board with a similar excitement. I also have to say that I give credit to all the parents who have already watched this one over and over.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Neapolitan Ice-cream

My niece Cora is visiting Provo this weekend. She loves everything Provo, and although she is only 4 years old, she remembers everything she has ever done in Provo. She'll always say, "Don't you remember when we did (fill in the blank with all kinds of things from places visited, to foods eaten, to things said) ?" "No, I didn't remember that." is usually my response. I am amazed at what she can remember.

Anyway, we were in the grocery store last night to get some food for the weekend. I told her she could pick out some ice-cream. She decided on the kind with "vanilla, chocolate, and stra-a-a-awberry." I responded, "Oh, you want neapolitan."
She quickly asked, "Why is it called that?" I went to give a response and then realized, I had no response. "I have no idea," I said.

I have been eating neapolitan ice-cream for years, and I have known the name for about as long, but I don't know why we call it that. So, my question for any blog readers out there, "Why do we call it that?" I know that I can wiki or google this, but I want to know if any of you know why of your own intellect in the moment you read this. If you do, please comment and let the rest of us know. Then I will pass it along to Cora because she won't forget that she asked me.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Front Bumpers

Yesterday, I was backing up in the snow and my car caught on an ice patch in front of my car. Well, it didn't sound too serious until I pulled away completely and I saw my front bumper on the ground. All I could do was laugh. My friend and I tried to put it in the back seat of my car so I could take it over to Thomas and have him help me. But, it wouldn't fit--go figure. Well, we decided we had to fix it ourselves, since I had no way of getting anywhere. Luckily, it really wasn't too hard to figure out. With one person on each side, we slid it back into the clips in fewer than 5 minutes.

As I pulled away with my front bumper securely in place, I couldn't help but think about how many times we have a moments when it seems like the front bumper of our lives comes off and just sits on the road in front of us. I guess it is nice to know that with a sense of humor and a little bit of work, along with good friends to help, you can pick yourself up and keep going.