Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dreaming Out Loud - Background

I've been in such a whirlwind the last few months, I haven't been struck by the urge to "write write" lately. And by that, I mean, really haven't had moments where the little voice of inspiration - the prompting, spark of creativity, revelation, what have you - had managed to swim up through the cacophonous noises of my life (not mention those in my head) so I can hear it over the din.

Until the other day, when - predictably - I was baking.

I was baking a lot.
I bake when I'm stressed. It's my thing.  You might know this by now.

I needed to work through the stress of the last few months and push off the things I "thought" I "had to do." The weather was grey, windy, and rainy, and while I was cooped up inside, I just couldn't sit at a computer for more hours, or stare at another screen. The television was off and I was working my way through about nine straight a-ha albums on iTunes (my old friends/comfort mixes) and three new cookie recipes which ended up being over 12 dozen cookies.

I was in a zone, or maybe in a honey-induced trance? By turning off, shutting out other things, and baking for others, I was able to not think ... and yet, think about this, that, and a few other things.

One of them was what the theme of the blog would be this year.

Last year, I made it through the 40 Diamonds at 40. (*Mmmm, she pondered. 40 wasn't so bad. The 41st birthday SUCKED, but that was my issue.*)

Previously, I've shared Letters from my Grandmothers (*no more letters will probably surface; I've mined that trove*) and Recipes from my Family (*still testing things*)

I already share my crafting, my travels, my reading lists, entries about some of my friends, and share with you all my love of my "kids," my many nieces and nephews. (*A-HA* *No, not the artists, the EXCLAMATION!* *Maybe I should have said EUREKA!?*)

It was pondering the last one and the whole point of this blog that really made me stop and think.

This blog is really for my nieces and nephews. What else do I want them to know? What else could I share? What are the silly secret things that they would never know about me if they didn't know to ask? What are my wistful daydreams that they could never ever know nor imagine their weird cranky auntie ever having?

Of course, there are things that I will never reveal, cannot reveal, should not reveal, HECK, shall not even dare utter as a whisper for myself ... but there ARE things that are can be shared, put out into the universe, and, possibly by sharing, maybe - one day - come to fruition.

Really, it's about having the guts to share the dreams that will be the object lesson of the year.

So, the idea is - on or about the first day of the next few months or so** - to articulate a dream, and so create, not a Bucket List, but a Dream List.

Picture via here
I'm daring to dream. The dream catcher is now engaged to shift out the nightmares and only help capture my hopes.

To be entering my 40s means that I should be brave enough now to do so, don't you think?

Dreaming and being more Fearless. The themes of 2013.

And it only took two months, stress and an afternoon of baking to figure it out. (Maybe I need to add a dream of going to a therapist to the list?)
F-E-A-R has two meanings: 

Forget Everything And Run
Face Everything And Rise. 

The choice is yours.

**hedging my bets on entries

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Poem of the Day

Stormy day
Train delay

No sun outside
Sunglasses inside

Pressure builds
Room not chilled

Head to explode
Giant workload

Oy to vey

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Recipes from Kelli: Ham & Broccoli Ring

One of the things I wanted to do on the family vacation was document some of the family holiday recipes. This Ham & Broccoli ring is one of the dishes that is often made by Kelli for Easter, Christmas, or other major holidays when I've been visiting over the years.

Although it was on my list, Kelli had NO idea that I wanted to capture it for the blog when she planned for our big family Christmas dinner. She was quite fore-bearing as I snapped away while she chopped and stirred.

Ham & Broccoli Ring
Serving Size: 8 (or more)

1 tablespoon softened margarine
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon prepared mustard (yellow)
6 oz. shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup diced (or ground) ham (or turkey ham)
1 10 oz. package frozen, chopped broccoli
1 package of 8 refrigerated crescent rolls
1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook broccoli per package instructions. Drain well in colander.

In bowl, mix margarine, chopped onion and mustard.
Add Swiss cheese, ham and broccoli. 
On cookie sheet or pizza pan, place crescent rolls in wreath pattern with points out. *
Spoon filling mixture onto wreath of dough. 
Fold ends up over top. 

Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. [Eat leftovers from bowl.]

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. As ring cools, remove any liquid from wreath center.
Cut into 8 portions and serve.

*Could actually use 3 rings of dough if you don’t want it to be so full. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Auntie Nettie's Attic Merchandise 2013 - February

After being more out that in the last two months, I am tending to stay close to home this month. For example, there were a few weekends when I didn't leave the apartment building. I just needed to hole up and recupe, unpack suitcases/boxes, file away holiday cards, letters, and pictures from the family, pay bills, balance checkbooks, and cull through things that had been piling up, like drycleaning, errands, etc.

Weekend 1, I just stayed in bed, slept, and zoned out on t.v.,
Weekend 2, I had an unofficial three-day weekend, 
Weekend 3, see weekend 1, etc.

The month saw:
~ Farewell parties for a few colleaques;
~ The installation of my new office cubicle, and reorganizing my space, hunting down more essentials and equipment; 
~ My birthday (oh, so much joy! - read as sarcasm); and
~ Valentine's Day (oh, so much more joy!  - read as more sarcasm); but...
~ Nothing major, which I needed.

It's hard to get back in the swing of things after being away for so long. I already would like to take time off, but since I've been away, and there are even more transitions at work, I don't feel like I can take the time. Maybe by April?   

Thankfully, there was a winter storm event early in the month (Nemo) that gave me a nice three-day weekend, where I plowed through my pile of UnFinished Objects that had accumulated during the various months of travels, including:

ANA 2013-6: Large Granny Square Toddler Blanket
(5 skeins Craft Smart acrylic)
ANA 2013-7: Pastel Baby Blanket
(3 skeins Lion Brand Baby Soft acrylic)
(as of 08/2013, no longer available, gift in trade)
ANA 2013-8: Variegated Holiday Stocking
(Red Heart variegated acrylic yarn, plus felt)
 ANA 2013-9: Striped Appliqued Holiday Stocking
(Mixture of Red Heart acrylic yarns, plus felt)
ANA 2013-10: Baby Pink Crib Cover
(1 10.5 oz Bernat Baby Sport acrylic skein)
(as of July 2013, no longer available, sold)
 ANA 2013-11: Purple Pastels Baby Blanket
(3 skeins Lion Brand Baby Soft acrylics)
(as of June 2013, no longer available, gifted) 
 In close-up

Also "finished' was ANA 2012-103, which was appliqued with just a tiny colorful touch.

Look at the stack of newly completed/tagged/piled up objects. Thankfully, or unfortunately, now the list of UFOs is now down to the one ...

UFO/Public Enemy Number 1
Multi-colored, multi-fibered bane of my existence, started back in 2010.
I need another LONG snow day weekend, so I can work on this thing and get it out of my sight.

MORE importantly, I need a long couple of weeks, so I can take pictures and write text and get all of these things up on, do some marketing, and start moving them on out of the Attic.

In the meantime, if you see anything that interests you, please let me know and I'll send you dimensions and pricing.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Auntie Nettie's Attic Merchandise 2013 - January

The New Year of 2013 found me once again far from home, but once again with family -- this time in the mountains of Idaho. It was so much fun to be with J & Christina and the kids for the first time in 2 years. I ended the month flying back from Vegas on a red-eye flight. From cold and snow on one end to sunny and 50 degrees on the other? It was a crazy month being hither, thither and yon.

January can best be summed up as transitions and travel, but I also managed to:

~ Catch a Pitch Perfect flick with J; 
~ Discover the Appaloosa Museum in Moscow, ID with the kids;
~ Remember, once again, that I HATE getting up at 2:45 a.m.. It's awful. Just awful. I hate that more than trying to sleep on red-eyes. I'd rather stay up for 24 hours than try and sleep and get up in the wee small hours.;
~ Recuperate at the apartment over a long weekend before heading back to the office, by sleeping, unpacking, cleaning, and doing laundry and catching up on programs I had missed while traveling;
~ Spent 12 business days in the office, transitioning to my new solo position as Associate Director of Development Systems - basically being the new database guru, trying to be pulled in 5 directions instead of 10. I've managed to get this position created, after a few years of 'pushing,' sometimes futilely. I had almost given up. I was ready to quit. No one can do 2 jobs, but I was. I need to get a whole team, eventually, but the gears of the Big J move slowly, so I need to make cases and document things, but it's done. I'm shifted. HOWEVER, I am still helping train my replacement in my old job, and until last week, I didn't have an actual office space. January was spent desk hopping, scrambling to get essential services - like phones and network connections - hooked up, yadda yadda yadda. I barely caught up, before it was time to leave again.
~ Had a welcome lunch with colleagues to welcome the new girl;
~ Repacked for a late-month trip back to Utah/Nevada for:
- Drew's 8th birthday,
- Drew's Baptism,
- The twins' blessing,
- Post-ceremony family gatherings,
- Baking adventures with Mary -- and finally feeling like I've earned my Molly Mormon Cinnamon Roll Merit Badge, 
- Special auntie/nephew bonding time at bowling and dinner,
- Bonding time with J in Snow Canyon, Wendy's, and on his bonus day due to the weather,
- Bonding time with Dad working on my eye/hand coordination. It'd only been a year, but sometimes it's good to surprise Dad on some of my "lucky" "trick" shots, and
- Repacking boxes with treasures/purchases from December and this trip to ship home; and
~ Oh, and some crafting ....

 I didn't get much done, but I did manage to finish a few things, like:

ANA 2013-1, 2, 3: Suite of Objects
 (Skeins of Peaches & Creme multi-colored cotton)
(not pictured, as they are to be gifted)
(as of May 2013, gifted)

ANA 2013-4: Black to Grey Ombre Infinity Cowel Scarf
(1 skein Rainbow Boucle acrylic and nylon)
So many ways to wear it, so lots of pictures

ANA 2013-5: Retro Easter Egg Pastels Baby Blanket
(3 skeins Lion Brand Baby Soft acrylic)

Still in progress: 

UFO 1: Multi-color, multi-fibre bane of my existence
UFO 1: Pink Crib Cover, need to be finished and edged
UFO 2 & 3: 2 holiday stockings, need appliques and to be stitched up
ANA 2012-103: mini holiday stocking, needs some decor

The on-line shop? That's still a work in progress. But there was no point in January, since I was gone more than I was home.