Monday, December 31, 2012

Hoppin John Poem in a Shop

Today is the last day for IPYPIASM & I decided to write an actual poem for the occasion. I have to say that this placement was QUITE nerve wracking because the grocery store was INSANE today! I guess the double-whammy of snow & New Year's Eve was enough to make everyone come to the store. I was amused because our store was remodeled a couple of months ago & they moved everything around. And obviously all these extra shoppers hadn't been in since the remodeling - they all just moved around in circles with confused looks on their faces. I should have been taking pictures of them. Instead, I placed my poem (after I got my two cans of peas), took my picture & skedaddled to the next aisle. Whew! Now I can relax back into my life of obscurity.

Note: Hoppin John is eaten on New Year's Day for luck. Go here to read more about it.

And here's the recipe I'm making tomorrow:

Hoppin' John Soup
Serves 6

1 large onion - chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound kielbasa -- chopped
2 cans black-eyed peas -- drained
1 can navy beans -- drained
1 cup brown rice, cooked
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper -- optional
1/2 teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper -- to taste
2 cans chicken broth

In a soup pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and cook till translucent. Add kielbasa, peas and beans, rice, broth and seasoning. Stir well to blend and heat. Mash beans slightly to help thicken soup (use the back of your spoon or a potato masher). Serve when hot.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Serve with corn muffins (make or buy), and a big spinach salad.

Happy New Year everyone!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

It's Not REALLY a Poem, But...

...I'm claiming it for the U.S. for International Put Your Poem in a Shop Month (maybe for half a point?).

We're home from our Christmas travels & ready to enjoy the snow that fell here while we were gone. But there was a dicey moment on our way home...

I know it's REALLY lame, but I was kind of in a hurry...

Go here & here (Titus is on injured reserve, so Ms. Cushions stepped in for her)  to check out other poems & scores :)

Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 Project 365 – Week Fifty-Two

Well here we are at week 52. I’m always a little shocked when we get to the end of the year (of course, there was the one year where I had a week 53, but that’s a different issue entirely). This week, besides being Christmas week, was a little bit yarny – at least for me! We spent the whole week in NC with family – nice! 

[Note: I had considered not continuing with P365 next year, but I’ve decided that I will. But I might not work so hard (or, um, make Dr. M work so hard) to have a picture for every day.]

Saturday, December 22nd
I finished the hat I was making for my dad for Christmas. It’s appropriately a little large on me.

We drove through some snow in West Virginia. It was beautiful – especially since the roads were perfectly clear. Dr. M had me taking the pictures with the window down. You know your photo taking is out of control when you’re taking pictures with the window down in winter while driving at 70 mph. (Um, to be clear – he was driving, I was taking the pictures).  

Sunday, December 23rd
My dad’s house is a veritable cornucopia of birds. Here is one picture from this week, but for the full quota, go to Dr. M’s blog here (trust me – it’s worth the side trip).

I went to church with Daddy & Amy – I loved their Chrismon tree.

Daddy & Amy’s flag.

Sunset looking out past my brother’s house to the old homestead. The only thing left of my grandparents’ dairy is the silo just visible in the bottom left of the photo (to the right of the tree). There’s a rumor that the people who bought the property plan to raise sheep & turkeys! Ha!

I finished a hat for my niece. Appropriately it’s a bit small for my head.

Monday, December 24th     
Dr. M went to visit his dad & took a couple of photos. I love this giant penguin inflatable – with its hatching egg.

And these geese are just too much – ha!

I finished yet another hat – this time for my cousin’s one year old daughter. Rather than try it on my own head I used a head of cabbage for the model.

We had dinner at my brother’s house & exchanged gifts. One of my favorites is here (still makes me snicker). My sister-in-law has quite a nutcracker collection. Here are just a few.

My dad, brother & Dr. M modeling hats that I made them.

Tuesday, December 25th – Christmas Day
To read our annual Christmas poem go here. Last month while looking at one of Dr. M’s moon pictures I was struck by the fact that Mary & I had gazed up at the very same thing. It’s pretty awe-inspiring & humbling.

We spent the afternoon with Dr. M’s family. After lunch, Dr. M read the Christmas story from Luke and we sang carols. It was a really nice time. Made sweeter by the fact that his uncle who was at death’s door a month ago was there and doing pretty well, and the fact that Dr. M’s father came with us (he doesn’t always).

When we got home I took a picture of the flowers one of Amy’s sons sent her – aren’t they gorgeous! Instead of Christmas in July it's July in Christmas!

Wednesday, December 26th   
Today I took some pictures of my nephew in his dress uniform. He’s pretty handsome there if I do say so myself! He’s currently in Army medic training in Santa Fe. When he graduates he’ll be heading to Fort Lewis in Washington State! You know his mama’s heart gave a little bump when she heard that but she’s already planning a summer road trip to head out there.

Thursday, December 27th      
Today was my annual get-together with friends from college. We’re closing in on 30 years together – wow!

Later that day Dr. M & I took a drive so I could get a picture of the nativity set at Amy’s church. It was made years ago by a man in her church & refurbished recently – I love the angels!

It’s the moon!

Friday, December 28th      
One more teaser bird picture for you.

This is the guard dog at a flock of sheep not far from Dr. M’s dad’s house. He was racing to the fence to protect his sheep from the crazy guy with a camera!

I’ve started yet another project (there were two more hats made for my nephews but I didn’t get a picture of them). This will be a scarf.

Go to Sara’s blog here to see the blogs of all the other Project 365 participants. Have a great week!

Most of our photos are taken with a 12 megapixel Nikon D5000 DSLR, using a 55-200mm zoom lens. This is the camera that Dr. M takes with him most days. He also takes pictures with our old reliable 7 megapixel Canon Powershot A710.  The Bug uses our new Nikon Coolpix S6200 most of the time. If you’re interested in which camera was used for a particular shot, just ask! 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Alexander Beetle

First of all I'd like to apologize to all the folks whose blogs I haven't read. I'll be getting back to blog reading when we get back home from my dad's house. I'm visiting & making hats right now (& obviously playing around with my blog).

We opened gifts with my family on Christmas Eve & there was one in particular that Daddy & Amy wanted me to open. When I looked in the box, this is what I saw.

And I started cackling. And then I opened the little container & started laughing even harder.

Daddy had seen this bug months ago & saved him for me for Christmas. When I was in grade school one of the first poems I had to memorize & recite in class was Forgiven, by A.A. Milne. And wasn't that terribly appropriate given the blog name I chose for myself? Ha!

I thought it might be fun if I recited it for you.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Where are the signs
and wonders?
I wonder.

The frost moon hangs
low in the sky –
Jupiter a beacon by its side.
Was it just such a
moon and planet
that tugged the waters
from Mary’s body?
Was she transfixed
(as I was transfixed)
until the hard business
of birth chased the
moon from her mind?
I wonder.

Today I sing
The First Noel and
Silent Night
and imagine Mary and me,
heads tilted back
looking at the moon.
Clamorous murmuring years
separate our gazes.
But it’s the same moon
and we’re thinking about
the same Messiah.
That might be sign
and wonder enough
for me.

Dana & Mike Rhyne
Christmas 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

2012 Project 365 – Week Fifty-One

I can’t believe Christmas is in just a couple of days. I’m pretty sure at this point that I’m ready. Maybe. How do things look where you are?

Saturday, December 15th
Our 22nd anniversary! Here's one of my anniversary gifts.

We went out in the evening & looked at Christmas lights. This isn’t a great picture, but I had to try to capture the flying pig. Heh.

Sunday, December 16th
We decided to go out today for our anniversary. The restaurant’s flag was at half-mast.

I had tilapia (I ate half of it) & Dr. M got a steak, and then I got the cutest little dessert. I got to keep the pail.

On the way home we drove around & saw lots of sheep. These ones were kind of scary – they all started baritone baaing & running toward us as if they thought we were going to feed them.

The Moon!

Monday, December 17th     
We mailed our cards.

And I arrived at work to find a MESS. We have a mini fridge & I found the door open with cans laying everywhere. Apparently one of my drinks had exploded over the weekend. It wasn’t even in the freezer!

Tuesday, December 18th   
Dr. M put got out his Christmas train.

And I had a mishap with a hat.

Wednesday, December 19th   
Moody sun...

The weekly squirrel.

Thursday, December 20th      
A woman I work with had this penguin speaker – so cute!

The bison in the house staged a protest about the Christmas train.

And I had success with a hat!

Friday, December 21st      
We got a little snow just in time for Christmas!

I hope everyone has a fabulous holiday!

Go to Sara’s blog here to see the blogs of all the other Project 365 participants. Have a great week!

Most of our photos are taken with a 12 megapixel Nikon D5000 DSLR, using a 55-200mm zoom lens. This is the camera that Dr. M takes with him most days. He also takes pictures with our old reliable 7 megapixel Canon Powershot A710.  The Bug uses our new Nikon Coolpix S6200 most of the time. If you’re interested in which camera was used for a particular shot, just ask! 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Miscellany

Today is my last day of work for 11 days. Woot! You know, there are people out there who probably had higher expectations of what I would do with my life. I was a bit of a bookish girl & enjoyed doing well in school. But my overall dislike of hard work overrode any niggling desire to Be Someone. And now is when that philosophy pays off – as a peon I don’t have to do any work when I’m not at work. Additionally, I don’t even have to think about work when I’m not at work. And my boss is off during the same timeframe, removing the remote possibility that he might contact me if he can’t find something.

We’ll be travelling over the holidays so my posting and reading of blogs might be spotty. Or it might not – I never really know. I was going to just take a blog break for the rest of December, but I fully intend to put poems in shops & post about them. And then there’s my P365 post. And I’ll probably want to post about something crazy my dad does. And then our annual Christmas poem needs to be shared. So really, I’ll probably have MORE posts instead of fewer. Isn’t THAT exciting!

I’ve been telling people that I’m mostly done shopping for Christmas. But that the list is in my head & I’m not entirely sure that I’ve remembered to get something for everyone. I don’t know why the list is in my head. It’s like I’m being disorganized on purpose so I can feel closer to my mom, who had a habit of hiding gifts where she couldn’t find them, or, one year, not putting names on the gifts, so sure she would remember whose was whose & then of course NOT remembering (boy was THAT a fun Christmas – my brother & I just dived in, unwrapping as fast as we could & throwing presents at each other).

Speaking of diving in, there’s a meme going around where a cat is blaming the creepy Elf on a Shelf for the Christmas tree being knocked over. Sometimes it’s not a cat or a creepy elf – sometimes it’s an eager girl who just wanted to see if that package in the back had her name on it…

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Unblue Christmas

The Christmas cards have been mailed with the just ok annual poem (it didn’t “zing” for me like they sometimes do).

The tree is lovely.

Dr. M got out his Christmas train.

I’ve been making snowflakes (got the idea from this blog).

The gifts are mostly done. There was a bit of a mishap with one of them – it might have to be an Epiphany gift instead of a Christmas gift.

So all in all, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here. There have even been angels (check out Dr. M's post - he got some great pictures).

I see your shining faces in my mind’s eye. You’re laughing or maybe you’re standing by the door with a quiet smile. You only live in my heart these days. It’s getting kind of crowded in there. This year, when my heart wants to break with sorrow, I will remember how much you loved Christmas. I will remember how much you loved me. And I’ll kick ole Elvis to the curb!

2024 Project 365 – Week Twenty-three

As I had hoped, this week was a bit less chaotic – I worked a lot of hours, but they were orderly and I made headway on some of the tasks on...