Monday, December 14, 2009

Since Four Christmases is now out on DVD, I feel the need to warn the public yet again...

The actual copy from the paper (I realize it's hard to read, so if I can locate my original copy, I will post that as well.) Click on the article to blow up.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Soldier's Christmas...

Really listen to the words of this poem.... it'll bring a tear to your eye and a pain to your heart. Just remember to be thankful for what you have and remember that there are so many out there that will not get to spend the holidays with their families and friends.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Just a quick post...

So, I've been away from this for a while. I would have thought that being stuck at home for going on 2 months now would have allowed me plenty of time to write. Well... it does, but I am completely unmotivated to do much of anything lately. I watch a lot of tv, because I can do that while lying around in bed.

I stay in pain a lot, so lying around in bed is something I do for most of the hours of the day. It's making me more and more depressed with every waking morning, but there isn't much I can do about it. I do start pool therapy tomorrow and I am both looking forward to it and dreading it at the same time.

It'll give me a chance to get out of the house and on the road to rehabilitation for my leg/foot... but I know it's going to involve a lot of pain. Especially because my flexibility in my knee is nowhere where it should be. I'm scared of what is to come, because I've never been to physical therapy before, and I have no idea what to expect. Anyone out there who can tell me what is coming?

I also have a dentist appointment this week -- ugh. I'd rather stay home and be in pain and sad than to go there. At least I will finally be getting my chipped tooth fixed (a result of the accident).

So, that's it for now. My life is so dull it barely warrants noting. Sadly, I've been so bored I have even started watching daytime soaps..... yeah... wow.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Day My Mother Swore...

When you are injured and stuck inside the house, it's the little things that make you smile. The thing that made me smile -- and forget my pain if for only a few minutes -- was my mother swearing.

This may sound silly. People swear everyday, I know I do a lot. But my parents do not -- and I mean EVER. In my nearly 28 years of life, I have NEVER heard my mother swear.

However, late one night this past week my mother just let one slide. She was trying to get me settled in my room and was reaching for something she needed and realized that my dad had moved it. And without missing a beat, she let loose a "DAMN!" And it stopped me dead in my tracks.

Most of us don't even think of damn as a swear word anymore -- it really isn't a big deal. But you must realize, for my mother it very much is... and she immediately started apologizing to me for her language. I was laughing so hard that I couldn't speak. My mother was so upset that she had swore, but what she didn't realize was how much it made me smile and how it just lightened my day, if for only a few minutes.

I just wanted to share... and I'm sure she'd kill me if she knew this was being told :) Good thing she doesn't read my blog -- I don't think! LOL

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A World Turned Upside Down

So I have so much to say, but some of it will have to wait for another time.

Not that I think anyone ever really reads my posts, but I like to imagine there is someone out there who cares -- and to you, my imaginary reader, I apologize for my lack of posts lately.

You see, I have been in the hospital after a car accident and unable to do so. I am alive, and for that I am forever grateful, but I hesitate to say I'm okay when people ask (and so many do). In fact, I'm tired of answering the question, "Are you okay?"

Well yes, technically. I have suffered no terrible head trauma and my heart still beats... but I shattered my femur (leg bone) to bits and had to undergo serious surgery to get it repaired. I now have 12 screws and a giant metal plate in my leg and knee, as seen in this picture. I never want to walk through a metal detector again.

I also broke my foot, my collarbone, and my nose. So, no... I'm not really "okay".

I'm finally back home and pretty miserable. I've been back for a little over a week now and only 2 of my friends have stopped by to see me. I'm so lonely I just want to burst into tears half the time. I'm a social person, I not only like but NEED to be around people. And being stuck in a house with nothing to do but watch TV or play on the computer... it feels like I am being punished.

I know I'm rambling. But to be honest, writing is my only outlet. My only way to talk to someone -- anyone -- even though no one's eyes may ever look upon this page. Three weeks ago my life was so busy between work and school and reading and cooking and events with friends. And now, it is all gone. No more work. No more school. Reading is difficult, since the medicine makes everything hard to concentrate on. No more cooking, since I am stuck in a wheelchair.

I never understood how blessed my life was until this happened. I took so much for granted. Maybe that is why it happened... I don't know. I don't pretend to understand those things. But I know these things to be true: I am so thankful and happy to be alive. I am so thankful to my parents and family who have been taking care of me around the clock. And lastly, I am so lonely and really wish my friends could stop by once in a while -- if only for a few minutes. It would mean so much to me.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

First wine weekend...

So this past weekend I covered a few of the closest area wineries: Barboursville, Horton, and Keswick.

These pictures were taken at the beautiful, picturesque Keswick Vineyards, a smaller boutique winery whose tasting room has only been open since 2006.

There is a serene lake on the grounds and as you can see the vines are heavy with vibrantly colored grapes.

Keswick grows all their own grapes, which is something that not all VA wineries can boast.

I was highly impressed with Keswick and it now ranks as one of my top choices in VA, along with Barboursville... which never disappoints.

This is the third time in my life that I've been to Horton, and I'm sad to say I'm still not impressed. Yes, they have over 40 wines to try (though they will not let you try them all) but it almost seems as though they try to feature a wine of every variety and in turn fail to produce any one wine of spectacular quality. I tried all of the red wines, and while there were some that were enjoyable... nothing really captivated me. And the staff seemed a bit bored and ready to go home...

On the other end of spectrum, Barboursville is always a fun experience. Many wines to taste for a mere $4 (and you get to keep the glass). It is worth noting that the price must have recently gone up, since all the publications from the VA wine bureau state that tasting is only $3. Still -- it's no biggie, it's worth every penny.

The staff are knowledgeable and very fun -- even when they are busy (which is almost always) they take time with every person.

So from this trip, I'd highly recommend Keswick and Barboursville. My favorite wines were the Barboursville 2005 Octagon (a Bordeaux-style blend) and the Keswick 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon. Both are the flagship wines of the respective vineyards, and for good reason..... absolutely heavenly!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Welcome to my ADHD Life

Ok so I definitely have been diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). They figured this out my junior or senior year of high school... a bit late in my opinion. But anywho, I'm not here to discuss that... I just thought it might be good to understand why it is I need to juggle so many things at once, because even I get a little overwhelmed with everything on my plate at times. But it is sadly necessary for me to have lots of options to choose from. Of course, I'm bad and usually put the most important (and therefore least fun) options til last and end up with a major case of procrastination...

So here's what I've got going right now...

Currently trying to plow through a novel for my literature class, The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. It's really not all that bad... wouldn't be my first choice for a book, but it's a pretty easy read. However, I've never been very good at reading something just because someone said I had to. Especially when I have a better option, like....

The Lost Symbol, the new Dan Brown novel.... THIS I can't put down, it is so good! So when I should be reading the aforementioned required text, I usually find myself with this one instead.

I am ALSO reading a non-fiction book about plot and structure to help me with my own novel.

On top of all of that lovely reading.... I have the articles, which I should be doing much more frequently but it requires nights out on the town and lately my bosses at the restaurant have decided I should never have a night off.

Well, that's what is going on with me lately... it's crazy and I feel completely scatterbrained all the time... but I don't know how else to be :)

And because I don't already have enough distractions, my favorite shows start up again on Monday. Can we say Hooray for The Big Bang Theory and Castle!?!? :) Mmmm Nathan Fillion...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Crazy busy + Writer's Block = No Posts

So I've been completely slacking on everything this weekend... the blogs, the articles, the book... and even the school work.

Had an amazing day at the wine festival on Saturday -- more details and pics to follow soon.

For now, please read my article on Penny Lane that I finally published... I still have a couple more to write, but unfortunately have to come down off my panic high for a while to go to work. How lovely it would be to make enough money off of my writing to not have to work nights... Hey I can dream, right?

Not sure why the story feed for my articles didn't update but I posted the link below. Thanks, in advance, for looking.

Really want to help me out? Go ahead and subscribe to my articles... just click the subscribe button after following the story link.

Adios for now...

Penny Lane Pub: A bit of Liverpool in Richmond

Penny Lane Pub: A bit of Liverpool in Richmond

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Disappointing Dinner...

So as mentioned in a previous post, I had a lot of expensive ricotta to use up in the next couple days. I found a Rachael Ray recipe that would use most of it up and it seemed pretty quick and easy. It was a creamy pasta with spinach. (It's supposed to be topped with fried capers, but none of us are fond of them, so they were omitted)

It really was simple and quick... but also incredibly bland. The sauce was made up of ricotta cheese and skim milk and a dash of thyme and pepper. The spinach was wilted in olive oil and garlic and then mixed into the sauce with the pasta.

It wasn't bad by any means.... but just extremely tasteless. A LOT of salt needed to be added to really get it right. I do, of course, realize that if I had left the capers in the recipe that would have added a lot of the much needed saltiness -- but I've still decided this is a recipe I will not be trying again.

After finishing dinner I had to rush off to work. I slave away as a waitress to pay the bills -- let's face it, I haven't struck it rich writing yet! In my many years working in restaurants I have never seen such a chaotic night. Especially for a Tuesday!! It was a nightmare... but I survived and I'm so happy to be done for the evening.

Now I fully intend to relax and watch this past Sunday's "Mad Men" -- I'm obsessed! Isn't it great??

Monday, August 31, 2009

Late night quote...

I just came across this quote and I absolutely love it. I really felt the need to share.

"Never think of yourself as an amateur - once you put pen to paper you're a writer." -- Anita Burgh

I especially relate to this, and I've always felt it was true. Whether a bestselling novelist, a local newspaper reporter, or even a lonely blogger.... you are a writer -- don't let anyone tell you otherwise!



Tired of Re-runs...

I'm tired of re-runs and I'm so ready for the new TV season to begin. Although I never tire of watching the greatest show "The Big Bang Theory" -- I can watch those re-runs again and again -- I really really really want to see something new!!

I usually use summer time to catch up on old seasons of shows that I haven't watched during the regular season, but now I'm all caught up and waiting with baited breath for the next round :) Yes, I realize it sounds sad but alas... as mentioned before, simple pleasures :)

What shows are you looking forward to this fall? Do any of the new series sound interesting?

Garlic, anyone?

Ok... so I minced garlic on Saturday night and my hands didn't smell all that bad when I was finished. I was actually a bit relieved to see that it didn't leave any lingering garlic smell. But apparently, it likes to creep back about a day later and stick around...

It is Monday afternoon and my hands reek of garlic! How in the world do I get the smell do go away?? Someone PLEASE tell me they have a good remedy...

And, does anyone know why it took a good day to surface?

Thank you... that is all for now :)

awaiting another exciting lecture on apocalyptic thought in literature

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Suddenly Shortbread...

So I decided to do some baking tonight. I may not be a very practiced cook, but I've always loved baking. After shopping through my new cookbook, I decided on traditional Scottish shortbread bars.

Let me just say... they were the easiest bit of baking I've ever done, and they are absolutely delicious! This will be a keeper recipe -- and a go-to for a quick treat. It seems like it would be really hard to mess them up. If you would like the exact recipe I used, just let me know and I will be happy to pass it along!

As for the rest of my day, I did a bit of shopping and now it's time for some oh-so-fun laundry and required reading for the literature class I am taking. The topic is on the apocalypse in American literature... sounds a little heavy, no? Agreed... and it makes it hard to get through some of the reading. But alas, it is necessary... and some of the later readings sound more entertaining.

So back to work I go... I still feel like I'm talking to no one on here, so if you are actually here -- let me know, just to say hi! :) And don't forget to feed the fish (below) ;)

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Last night's cooking success still has me excited and I'm planning a few more meals and maybe even a dessert or two this week. I still have a giant tub of ricotta cheese left to use up in the next few days, so I'm trying to find a good way to get rid of it. I did find a really yummy sounding creamy pasta recipe that would use up about half, so that will most likely be the next food attempt :) Other thoughts or ideas would be appreciated... I will still have a little over a cup of ricotta to use up.

I'm sitting here trying to shake the sleepiness from my head, sipping my giant cup of coffee and wondering how in the world I am chilly when it is 83 degrees outside... Maybe that is my body's way of telling me to get off the computer and go outside and enjoy the weather! It's the first time in days that it isn't storming!

Was thinking of possibly catching a movie later today, too. Anybody seen District 9? Would you recommend it?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

First night in the kitchen...

Attempted my very first truly home-cooked meal tonight. Yeah, I'll be the first to admit it -- I'm clueless in the kitchen. It's not that I can't learn, I've just never really tried. Living alone makes it hard to get motivated to spend hours in the kitchen whipping up something for no one... but now that I have people to cook for, it has made me really want to learn.

So what was on the menu this evening? Lasagna with homemade tomato meat sauce and garlic bread. I know, nothing too complicated, right? But I have never made my own sauce and I even learned how to mince garlic (without a press... go me!). I realize it sounds silly -- but life is all about the simple pleasures, right?

I'm excited I made something not only edible... but good! Did it work exactly as I thought it would? No... the last layers of lasagna wouldn't even fit in the pan... but I made what I could and it turned out great.

I guess that's what cooking is all about, right? Learning what works and what doesn't and knowing how to just go with the flow...

For anyone interested... I used the JOY of Cooking cookbook's lasagna and meat sauce recipes... it's a great book.

Any thoughts on what to try next? Something not too complicated for a new cook? I'm really hoping to find an easy fish recipe...