December 31, 2009

Broccoli Basil Soup Recipe from The Golden Door Cooks at Home Cookbook

I had a lot of requests for the recipe I used for the Broccoli Basil Soup I did at Christmas. Below is the recipe and some of the "how-to" pix. I didn't take pix for each and every step Smiley from

Broccoli Basil Soup 
(Courtesy of the new Golden Door Cooks at Home [<---click] Cookbook)

Olive Oil Spray
1/2 medium onion, diced (1/2 cup)
1 pound broccoli (chopped)
4 cups Vegetable or Chicken Stock (store bought low-sodium ok)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1 bay leaf
1 cup of packed fresh spinach leaves
2 tablespoons sliced fresh basil leaves
2 ounces sharp smoked Cheddar or Gouda, grated (about 1 cup loosely packed, optional)

Saute onion in olive oil spray 4-5 min

Stir chopped broccoli into the onion, cook 1 min.  Add stock, salt, pepper, and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10-15 min.

Allow to cool, remove and discard bay leaf.  
Transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and process until creamy but still chunky, about 30 secs.  Add the spinach and basil to the blender process for another 10 secs. 
Return soup to a clean saucepan and reheat over low heat until simmering.

If desired, add the grated Cheddar and stir until melted.

Serve hot


December 30, 2009

New Year Greetings~~

Prayers of Meditation
Write it on your heart
that every day is the best day in the year.
He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day
who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with your old nonsense.
This new day is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on the yesterdays.
ralph waldo emerson

December 25, 2009

It's the Most Magical Time of the Year! Merry Christmas All~~

O holy Child of Bethlehem,
descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in,
be born in us today.
o little town of bethlehem - phillips brooks - 1867

December 17, 2009

Happy Holidays from the "CHRISTMAS"EN'S

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Merry KissMoose ;)

I just love this vintage image I found on "Vintage Printable".  If you don't already know about this site, run on over.  Some great free images to use for projects.

Here's part of swivelchair's (from vintage images) bio.  Ha, he's in the biopharma industry. 

Directly copied from his bio

Hi, this is Swivelchair. I work in the biopharma area. Not a scientist, not a journalist, mostly in the business aspects. I have a science and business background, and have been involved in a variety of biotechnology-related ventures.

One of my hobbies is curating out-of-copyright scientific illustration, now that there are so many digital image databases on the web.

I’ve taken care to ensure that the images collected here are either pre-1922, or else works created on behalf of the US government. It is my belief that there are no copyright infringing works here, but if anyone thinks I’m mistaken, please send me an e mail and I’ll remove the image.


December 10, 2009

From Our House to Yours...

My eyes are the pix lighting is off. I was so excited to have gotten ANYTHING done for the holidays that I just wanted to post it right away. Is this not the cutest? Much cuter IRL of course. More later. All things A*Muse.

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November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Day - An Iriquois Address

Greetings to the Natural World.

The People

Today we have gathered and we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things. So now, we bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other as people.

Now our minds are one.

The Earth Mother

We are all thankful to our Mother, the Earth, for she gives us all that we need for life. She supports our feet as we walk about upon her. It gives us joy that she continues to care for us as she has from the beginning of time. To our mother, we send greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Waters

We give thanks to all the waters of the world for quenching our thirst and providing us with strength. Water is life. We know its power in many forms-waterfalls and rain, mists and streams, rivers and oceans. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the spirit of Water.

Now our minds are one.

The Fish

We turn our minds to the all the Fish life in the water. They were instructed to cleanse and purify the water. They also give themselves to us as food. We are grateful that we can still find pure water. So, we turn now to the Fish and send our greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Plants

Now we turn toward the vast fields of Plant life. As far as the eye can see, the Plants grow, working many wonders. They sustain many life forms. With our minds gathered together, we give thanks and look forward to seeing Plant life for many generations to come.

Now our minds are one.

The Food Plants

With one mind, we turn to honor and thank all the Food Plants we harvest from the garden. Since the beginning of time, the grains, vegetables, beans and berries have helped the people survive. Many other living things draw strength from them too. We gather all the Plant Foods together as one and send them a greeting of thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Medicine Herbs

Now we turn to all the Medicine herbs of the world. From the beginning they were instructed to take away sickness. They are always waiting and ready to heal us. We are happy there are still among us those special few who remember how to use these plants for healing. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the Medicines and to the keepers of the Medicines.

Now our minds are one.

The Animals

We gather our minds together to send greetings and thanks to all the Animal life in the world. They have many things to teach us as people. We are honored by them when they give up their lives so we may use their bodies as food for our people. We see them near our homes and in the deep forests. We are glad they are still here and we hope that it will always be so.

Now our minds are one.

The Trees

We now turn our thoughts to the Trees. The Earth has many families of Trees who have their own instructions and uses. Some provide us with shelter and shade, others with fruit, beauty and other useful things. Many people of the world use a Tree as a symbol of peace and strength. With one mind, we greet and thank the Tree life.

Now our minds are one.

The Birds

We put our minds together as one and thank all the Birds who move and fly about over our heads. The Creator gave them beautiful songs. Each day they remind us to enjoy and appreciate life. The Eagle was chosen to be their leader. To all the Birds-from the smallest to the largest-we send our joyful greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Four Winds

We are all thankful to the powers we know as the Four Winds. We hear their voices in the moving air as they refresh us and purify the air we breathe. They help us to bring the change of seasons. From the four directions they come, bringing us messages and giving us strength. With one mind, we send our greetings and thanks to the Four Winds.

Now our minds are one.

The Thunderers

Now we turn to the west where our grandfathers, the Thunder Beings, live. With lightning and thundering voices, they bring with them the water that renews life. We are thankful that they keep those evil things made by Okwiseres underground. We bring our minds together as one to send greetings and thanks to our Grandfathers, the Thunderers.

Now our minds are one.

The Sun

We now send greetings and thanks to our eldest Brother, the Sun. Each day without fail he travels the sky from east to west, bringing the light of a new day. He is the source of all the fires of life. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to our Brother, the Sun.

Now our minds are one.

Grandmother Moon

We put our minds together to give thanks to our oldest Grandmother, the Moon, who lights the night-time sky. She is the leader of woman all over the world, and she governs the movement of the ocean tides. By her changing face we measure time, and it is the Moon who watches over the arrival of children here on Earth. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to our Grandmother, the Moon.

Now our minds are one.

The Stars

We give thanks to the Stars who are spread across the sky like jewelry. We see them in the night, helping the Moon to light the darkness and bringing dew to the gardens and growing things. When we travel at night, they guide us home. With our minds gathered together as one, we send greetings and thanks to the Stars.

Now our minds are one.

The Enlightened Teachers

We gather our minds to greet and thank the enlightened Teachers who have come to help throughout the ages. When we forget how to live in harmony, they remind us of the way we were instructed to live as people. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to these caring teachers.

Now our minds are one.

The Creator

Now we turn our thoughts to the creator, or Great Spirit, and send greetings and thanks for all the gifts of Creation. Everything we need to live a good life is here on this Mother Earth. For all the love that is still around us, we gather our minds together as one and send our choicest words of greetings and thanks to the Creator.

Now our minds are one.

Closing Words

We have now arrived at the place where we end our words. Of all the things we have named, it was not our intention to leave anything out. If something was forgotten, we leave it to each individual to send such greetings and thanks in their own way.

Now our minds are one.
ohenton kariwahtekwen - iroquois thanksgiving address

October 04, 2009

Things I would do if I had Time for Blogging?

Try the 3-column blog style
Go WordPress or typepad for a change
Update blog more often
Change out the look with the season

October 03, 2009

Apple Skillet Cake

Remember my recent cooking marathon? I promised some pictures and besides I haven't blogged in awhile, I should post something? Here's a couple of shots of the "Apple Skillet Cake". Yep its a recipe from the one and only Pioneer Woman blog.

Full Dish

Plated up

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September 18, 2009

Kid - Amos Lee

Every time I hear these lyrics I like them...

Been kicked around so long
You're starting to get used to how it feels
The taste of blood that's in your mouth
There's still somehow it always heals
Don't know how you keep on getting up
From all those ghostly blows
And all that pain that lingers
Deep down in the darkness where it grows

I know how hard it is
To keep your head up kid
To keep your head up

And there you sit on high
All tucked away and locked up in the clouds
Waiting for someone to finally
Come along and take you out
Into this bitter world
That also often treated you so cruel
When they turn away
You know that they will say that you're a fool

I know how hard it is
To keep your head up kid
I know how hard it is
To keep your head up kid

And so patiently
You waited for a love to come along
Take you out into this bitter world
So often done you wrong
There you sit alone
And there you shed a solitary tear
Listening to a song
You think that no one else would ever hear

I know how hard it is
To keep your head up kid
I know hard it is
To keep your head up
Keep your head up
Keep your head up
Keep your head up
Keep your head up

September 17, 2009


bears repeating...

A Cherokee Legend

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

September 16, 2009

Go Stampers!!

Thought this was an interesting article on MSN today and an interesting first example [Please Note: I've been meaning to do a post on the subject, I am temporarily no longer a SU demonstrator for personal economic reasons] of how to survive in this economy... "The Secret to My Success... in This Economy"<----- click for FULL article. I just found it interesting that this was the very first example given in the article. Go stampers.

Here are bits pasted:

In today's economy, personal and professional failures are abundant. Personally, we're tired of hearing bad news. Instead, we wanted to know how people have stayed relevant and successful.

Here's what we found out:

Ann M. Clemmer, Stampin' Up!
Ten years ago, I became a Stampin' Up! demonstrator to bring in a little extra money. Five years ago, I got the opportunity to leave my job in the television industry. I felt that if I was ever to try this stamping job full time, this was it. The first year I did this full time, I doubled my best sales year. I've made it twice into the top 100 demonstrators of the U.S. and hope to again this year, as I bettered my best year by about 19 percent.
Secret to success: There's always someone making money in every economy. Listening to the news can help you decide where to go, but it also can bring you down. I've often felt that the only "no" that counts is the last one I accept. If someone doesn't want what I'm selling, I just keep looking for the next person who does. My mantra is that I'm only one new customer away from where I want to be.

September 14, 2009

You have a Hope and a Future...

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

September 06, 2009

Look Who's Visiting Me Again!!!

Punkin' only Grandchild er furbaby (all of my grandchildren have 4 legs)... He loves to curl up on "things". Here he is... right above my computer monitor on top of a ream of paper. I love animals. Oh! lastely but not daughter is in town too hehe...hence the furbaby visit.

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August 24, 2009

Word Verification is back ON

Word verification when leaving a comment is back on...only temporarily until I can shake the Japanese spammer that keeps leaving comments in Japanese and links to a dirty website (well I can't read it because it is in Japanese characters but you can read between the Japanese lines?!?!?! Thanks for your patience.

Thought for Today, August 24, 2009

Believe that you are bigger than your difficulties, for you are, indeed. ~nvp

August 21, 2009

Yesterday's Thought for the Day

...taken from my Positive Thinking for Everyday <---click here by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale...I thought I would post it today because I liked it and needed to hear IT.

Thought for the day for August 20th:

Always maintain hopefulness,
especially when the going is hard

Now off to mail some LATE paperwork that is the reason I needed to hear this today. Smiley from What kind of paperwork you wonder? The kind that is paired up with that saying that say the only two things that are certain in life are death and ...fill in the blank. Enough said?

As long as I am at it? Here is the thought for the day for August 21st:

You must feed your mind even as
you feed your body, and to make
your mind healthy you must feed it
nourishing, wholesome thoughts

August 14, 2009

Comment Moderation Back ON!

Sorry guys, not that I get that many comments anyway...but I have put comment moderation back ON my blog. You will NOT have to do the word verification, that is still OFF. I will be able to approve the comments before they publish. I've been getting Japanese Porn spammers leaving comments. Who knows what kind of virus they may have? Bleh. Spammers be gone.

August 08, 2009

Its a Bird, It's a Plane, NO it's...

Superdaughter? It was a beautiful evening for flying ( <---click - for some CRAZY PEOPLE. I took these with a point and shoot but it's times like these I wish I had lots of zoom. There were 10 balloons in all up tonight. I love hot-air balloons but you wouldn't catch me dead in one of them. They are pretty however. Warning!! Lot's of pictures... but I like pictures, don't you?

Hot Air Balloons

Sunset - LaJolla, CA
Sunset - LaJolla, CA

Can't my daughter read? It's says, "PILOTS ONLY", "NO PARKING", "EMERGENCY LANE", and most importantly... "KEEP CLEAR"
Ah..hem? "DON'T CROSS"
BUT...NO it's thumbs up for Paragliding
The pilot is taking a test drive to see if the winds are STRONG enough
Second thoughts? Now's your last chance to RUN away. Hurry quick.
Pilot coming back to get my daughter because she apparently CAN'T READ and the winds are perfect.
All systems go with a little instruction

Just get a running start. HEY didn't your mother ever tell you? Just because your friends are jumping off a bridge (er in this case, cliff) doesn't mean you have to. STOP don't go. Look at that guys calves!
Commit (this was one of my favorite shots)
OMG Noooooooooooooo

They went up and down the coast. It was beautiful and the wind was cooperating. The pilot said that sunset flights are very rare. Usually they only get 10 days a year where sunset flights are a-go. The winds are usually not strong enough after sunset. Best flying times are from noon-3:00. He said she was LUCKY.

Safe landing. Peace out yourself little Missy, now get out of that get-up. Look at that guys calves!

Deflate the KITE already it might take off again when your not looking. EEK



August 07, 2009

Typo Alert and other Such Nonsense

I'm pretty sure this label is supposed to read "Barely Beige" as in the word "bare"? OR if it was meant to be "Barley Beige", which is entirely possible as "Barley" is somewhat beige in color then the "ey" would be correct. OR maybe it is barrelleybarrelleyberrelley as in merrily merrily merrily. I mean markers in LOTS of colors are a very merry thing. OR maybe the dental procedure I had yesterday was a bit too close to the brain? I'm just sayin'! I do have a life. I really really really DO. Srsly that is misspelled. I'm sorry it just is. WHO proofed this thing before it went to production? Security.

Edited to add: speaking of dental work... After the plan estimate my U.S. dentist quoted me yesterday, I have been seriously considering going outside the U.S. to complete my work. Before everyone panics, I'm talking traveling 15 miles south. Calm down, stay with me. However... I'm not sure if I want to go to a clinic where they use the word "easy" for the use of the word "ease"


Edited to add2: I knew that Billy guy was on something! I just knew it.

Sometimes Magic Happens!

I used Crafty Secrets "Bird Lovers" set for this card. Remember! Click on any picture to enlarge and see the details better. I just love Crafty Secrets stamps and really don't get to play with them enough. I've often thought of having a "Crafty Secrets" month where I only use Crafty Secret's stamps. Wouldn't that be fun? Here is the set I used today for this project:

Gawgeous (non-sponsored gushing)

I just love the sentiment, "Of course you can fly, for dreams have wings". This card came out just how I had envisioned it. I used the branch stamp to create of subtle background. I also wanted it to have an "Asian" feel. Yep, I took a "Vintageish" stamp set and made it "Asianesck". Hence, the red flowers.

A shot of the same card... but I posted a duplicate shot so you could see how the little bird's eye (on the tag)sparkles on this one?


{P}aper: SU card stock Bashful Blue for base, Rose Red for Layer-1, Whisper White for Oval
{R}ibbon: Light blue repurposed scrap from a gift. Very pretty
{I}nk: Copic Sketch Markers: BOO Frost Blue, BG10- Cool Shadow, E11-Barely Beige (same as:SU Blush Blossom), E55-Light Carmel (same as:SU Creamy Carmel), O-Colorless Blender (Love), R14-Light Rouge (same as:SU Cameo Coral), R20-Blush, R27-Cadmium Red(same as:SU Ruby Red), YGOO-Mimosa Yellow. Copic Spica Glitter Pens: Clear, Black
{S}crap/Misc:Spellbinder Nestabilities, Straight Oval, SU Paper Piercer on the tag, SU Dazzling Diamonds glitter, Small Wire Flowers (PaperTales), Martha Stewart Doily Lace Edger Punch (I turned it into a corner punch), Cuttlebug Embossing folder, Swiss Dots?
{Y}adayada: Have I told you I love the Copic Colorless Blender? I forgot how dazzling SU glitter really is. My favorite overall. OH while I am on the subject... the E11-Barely Beige Copic marker LABEL has a TYPO. It reads Bareley Beige. I apologize in advance. I am a Copy Editor/Technical Writer IRL, I can't help myself sometimes. Seriously, go look at the label and see if yours is misspelled too. Copic Sketch type.

August 05, 2009

Have I told you lately...

Another blogger Melissa over at Highly Entertaining posed the question, "have you noticed anything worth passing along" (I'm not sure how worthy mine are) ? WELL. Yes, I thought I would play along and here are mine:
  1. Sometimes I wish you really could extract your own teeth by tying a string to a doorknob, attach the other end of the string to your tooth, slam the door and rid yourself of dental problems.
  2. ...have you ever noticed the frequency of the use of the word "loose" when they really meant to use the word "lose". Ha, I catch that one all the time.
  3. I'm not sure if I like the use of "SPOX" for the plural of the word Spokespersons?? I saw this on a ticker that runs along the bottom of the television screen. The author was saying something regarding Clinton's spokespersons and instead they said Clinton's spox. Clever? I think Webster or Merriam would roll over in their graves. I suppose I could have used role. Would you have caught it? Texting is like a virus and it's spreading to mainstream media.
  4. What else? Oh as long as we're on the subject of words... I cannot tell you how many times I see something misspelled on the television. Unless of course the urban dictionary is your resource, then you're safe.
So do you have any?

August 03, 2009

PSA Alert!!

In case your wondering what this has to do with my PSA, play the video (replay 2x while reading it really adds to the effect) and then read on (ROFL).....

I went and had my annual mammogram last week. Not to be confused with a singogram where hot guys sing happy birthday to you in a costume that includes short shorts. Although it wouldn't be a bad idea for a distraction while having the "real" thing done. In case you've never had one and would like to know what it feels like. Place your bubby on the garage floor underneath the open garage door. Press the remote control and close the garage door (slowly if possible). Make sure bubby is nice and flat. Take a quick snapshot. Using the remote, open said garage door. There all done for another year. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. Unless your a guy, then, maybe. See how YOU like it.

Seriously, it's not all that bad and I have to tell's a very important screening tool and If your a woman, get yours done. Go ahead. You can do it. It's fun! Trust me on that. It does kind of seem like your being closed in by the garage door though. Just saying.

Monday Funny!!

This is a riot...

August 02, 2009

Thank You Much!

Thank you much! Super Duper. Merci. Much Obliged. Sincere Gratitude. My cousin who had a Vegas wedding, asked me for some "Thank You" cards. I wanted to weave in the Vegas theme and her color, pink.

I took the background "Thank You" stamp (Stampin' Up) and covered the row of hearts (if you look about 3/4 of the way down on the wood block) with the Heart, Diamond, Spade, Club stamp from the Stampin' Up "Game Night" set. Very clever, I think. I wanted to customize it with more of a "Vegas" theme. I think it turned out elegant and not tacky. I used Martha Stewart Silver Ink for the large stamp and Martha Stewart glitter to make the Heart, Diamond, Spade, Club image pop. I also used ribbon from my PinkHedgehog stash.I used the 1/4 inch organdy. It's so nice to buy in bulk and have just the right color ribbon at your fingertips! These turned out so cute and of course they look so much better IRL. I hope my cousin doesn't get a sneak peek of her cards. These are in the mail to her right now...

I made 20

I just love the clear boxes (PaperTrey Ink)
It looks like they might be out of them right now
I used to make very professional looking
gift sets of thank you cards


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