December 30, 2006

I'm kind of in panic mode because my poor Simba is really ill. I'm so worried about her. She wasn't feeling well Christmas day and threw up some food that she couldn't digest. We fed her rice and hamburger for a couple days and she was pretty much back to normal. Even being a little spunky Thursday night and jumping around... I've been really sick and didn't make it to work Friday so I didn't feed her in the a.m like usual. She threw up again early afternoon and then seemed to be lethargic and just layed on her bed and would not move. So I got her to the vets and they were worried about her but she didn't require emergency care. The vet seemed to think that she overdid it the day before and that she's having some arthritis. She's lost some muscle mass on her back end. So they gave her 2 shots, one for her tummy and one that is an anti-inflammatory. On the way home she finally picked up her head and panted a little, I took it as a good sign. This a.m. she was up and walking around but kind of mopey. I sat in the chair with her for awhile, gave her her medication and then i have to wait 30 minutes and give her another pill and food. She won't eat. She ate part of a cheese slice that I had the medication in but spit it out. And then awhile ago, she threw up again... She's drinking water but I'm so worried. My poor baby. She's 14 years old, going to be 15 in July and so I do worry.


December 28, 2006
I am not responsible for other people. We are all under the law of our own consciousness.

I hate this last week of the year, especially if you are working. There are so many things to do before the end of the year. I'm super busy at work too. Everyone is refinancing and their urgency has become my problem. But as the affirmation says, "I am not responsible for other people." I will just get through this time. I am looking forward to a new year though. This year threw me for a loop, mainly because of Dad's sickness and death. That was a lot to go through, but we survived it and we're really doing well.

I've woken up with a sore throat the last two mornings, and I think it's sinus although today I'm sneezing and getting congested. Airborne to the rescue. I really need to take better care of myself and I am. More sleep, better diet, etc. This blog is going to be more about my weight loss. Knitting and Losing...

Have a great day! What are your plans for New Years Eve? Let me know and i'll live vicariously thru you because I don't like being out on New Years Eve, so I'll be at home, having some champagne.

December 26, 2006
I give to life exactly what I want life to give to me.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!! I hope you all had a nice Christmas if you celebrate. For that matter, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza...i'm so politically incorrect i guess, i'm not even sure of the proper greeting for Kwanza. Let's say "Happy Whatever You Celebrate" and if you don't celebrate, well, I hope you are having a wonderful week! ;)

We had a really nice Christmas despite it being the first holiday season without Dad. It was different, we thought about how he was like a kid at Christmas. He loved having everyone over and he loved to see the kids. He'd open up a gift and you thought he was 12 years old, his eyes would light up. So we talked about him a lot and we laughed. We found out that my cousin thinks he's trying to get her to quit smoking by taking her cigarettes and breaking them. And he'd laugh about it because she gets spooked. Mamacita did really well over the holiday. We went to my Aunt and Uncle's for Christmas Eve and had a great time! Great food, great to see my cousins. We had a fun gift exchange and it was a special time. Christmas morning we had our traditional champagne and peaches, coffee and got the Christmas tunes going and then we were ready to open presents. Santa was very nice and generous. I got 2 knitting books which I'll post pics later but I have so much knitting inspiration I don't know where to begin... Later Christmas day our family friends came over and we had a Prime Rib dinner which was wonderful and it was so great to see them and spend the holiday with them.

We're very blessed, my family.

Back at work today...bummer :( No shopping for me, but I may have to still go after work! :) We have a temp in today to help out and she's great so it's going well.

December 22, 2006
I love my body. Every year I feel more relaxed and more attractive.

You Are a Fruitcake!

You taste like nothing else in this world.
And get ready, you're about to get tossed!


December 21, 2006
I am willing to let go of old beliefs that no longer serve me.

Why should we believe the negative stuff we tell ourselves? What purpose does it serve? It's not constructive is what I am finding out. So I am most willing to let go of old beliefs that no longer serve me...

It's 4 days before Christmas and all of us in the office have a problem....we don't want to work. We want to talk and socialize and eat chocolate that our vendors are bringing us. I'd feel bad about it but my boss told me that's how he feels today. The end of the year is the worst. 9 days and the year 2006 is dust... Another vendor brought me the cutest gift the other day. It is a reindeer made out of bathroom towels. Just adorable and I will take pics when I take it home tomorrow. I have a Christmas tree on my desk, decorated and lights blinking, 2 large poinsettias on my back table, ribbons on my door AND I'm wearing a Santa Hat! I'm in the MOOD!!

I had an incredibly good day yesterday at work. It was one of those days when I knew I was valued here. I know they like me and my work, but sometimes it is nice to hear it. And I did. They are getting set up with a temp service because they intend to take a lot of Mondays off to be at their lake house and they do not want me to be alone. They know I can handle it, but don't want me stressed. As my boss said, "We want Michele happy!", and she told me how invaluable I am to them. So it was nice. A bonus would be nicer, but not sure that'll happen. :)

I am still waiting for 2 things to come in the mail, but online shopping was I'd say a huge success so far. I ordered a lot of it early enough and I either had no shipping or minimal. It was the way to go for me.

Going to try and get tamales for our Christmas morning breakfast (a tradition for us) and then I'm going home to make more caramels and those dang marshmallows.

December 18, 2006
Pics as promised!

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I allow change to occur without resistance or fear. I am free.

Pretty good weekend. It rained. I love it! I got some more bead and wire knitting done and we finally got our tree up! What a feat. Something like that should be so simple, but no.... We have to put the tree on a table and the base was about 1 inch too big, so Mamacita went to an unnamed home center to get a square cut of wood. So voila, we got the tree up. She asked me if I knew where my ornaments were and I knew they were in the garage with all my other stuff, but it was destined to be because I went in the garage and the box was right there and i didn't even have to move anything to get it out! So we have an all pink and silver tree and it's simply gorgeous. I took pics and will post tonight. We needed a little change on our tree and Mamacita absolutely loves the tree. I think the other colors and ornaments made her miss my dear Dad too much. Now she wants to get all pink and silver paper for next year...I say why not!

I also made 2 batches of peanut brittle, which set up just fine. And I made caramels that I will cut and wrap tonight. Still have to make those marshmallows.

As a gift to all of you I'm posting our Peanut Brittle recipe. This is a tried and true recipe and in our family it is not Christmas until a batch of this perfumes the house. You need a really good and sturdy pot to make it in. We use the bottom of a small pressure cooker. Enjoy and if you make it, tell me how it comes out, k?


peanut brittle

2 cups sugar
1 cup corn syrup (white Karo)
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups raw peanuts, no skin
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda

In heavy pot put sugar, corn syrup, water and salt. Over high heat, heat until hard ball stage , stirring almost constantly with long handled wooden spoon. Use candy thermometer to check when at hard ball stage or get a cup of ice water and drop some in, if ball is hard, proceed.

Add peanuts and butter and continue stirring. Peanuts will roast. When they are light brown and you can smell them, it is done. Take off the heat. Be quick on the next 2 steps. Add in vanilla, stir well. Add baking soda, it will foam up, stirring. Pour into a buttered sheet pan. Let sit until set, break into small pieces and enjoy. Happy Holidays!

Promise I'll post pics of the tree tonight!...

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December 16, 2006
Boring? No, thank you...

I don't know if I should be thoroughly insulted or just consider the source, but evidently being an insurance agent is considered being the most boring thing ever according to Snow. I read that and I said....I'm not boring! Am I? I don't think so nor do I think the job is boring. I think there is a stereotype of that field being like that, but I don't think it applies to me. I actually like my job. Good thing too because I'll be busier at work, my coworker had her last day this last Friday. My bosses have a place up in the mountains so Monday I'll be all alone. But I actually kind of like that. I'm fine if you just leave me alone and let me do my job.

I made beer cheese soup today! That's not boring! Au contraire! I saw the recipe in a Williams Sonoma catalog and it made me homesick for Minnesota. We had a place to get eats next door where I worked and he made beer cheese soup. I made it according to the directions and it was yummy! I add buttered popcorn as a garnish and a dash of cayenne. Next time I will adjust the recipe with a pale ale instead of a dark ale and I'll not use sharp cheddar, it had a bit of a bite. A plain aged cheddar or Colby would do fine. It was a nice excuse to drink dark ale, like I need one.

cheddar-ale soup

4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups milk
1 3/4 cups chicken stock (I used low-sodium organic)
1 bottle (12 fl. oz.) ale
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 1/4 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, grated (I'd suggest using un-sharp!)
salt, to taste
cayenne pepper, to taste
Buttered popcorn, (I used microwave popcorn)

In stockpot over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add onion, celery and carrots; cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft, 10-15 minutes. Stir in flour; cook 3-5 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high; whisk in milk and stock. Bring to simmer; cook, stirring often, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Using immersion blender, puree until smooth; strain through fine-mesh sieve. (I pureed, but did not strain it, I wanted all the fiber).

Return mixture to pot; set over medium heat. Add ale, Worcestershire and mustard; simmer 5 minutes. Whisk in cheese 1/2 cup at a time, letting each addition melt before adding more; do not allow soup to boil. Season with salt and cayenne. Ladle into warmed bowls. Serves 4-6.

We're getting rain. Started last night and on and off all day. I love it! Worked around the house, wash, cleaning, wrapping and we're doing the tree. Still intend to get a batch of marshmallows made tonight and maybe some peanut brittle, although we usually don't make peanut brittle when it's raining, it doesn't seem to set right, but I'll still try.


December 13, 2006
I am led to fulfilling experiences. I create a life filled with rewards.

What are the rewards that you would like to create in your life? Would it be having some alone time? or maybe some time with your loved one? or family? What are the rewards? For me I think that if I live right and do my best, the rewards are that my family is happy and that I feel more of a sense of contentment. A reward would be to see that I am accomplishing things and improving my life and hopefully the lives of others. I think a reward would be to have enough money to pay the bills and then to think of the future and saving money. Another reward is to have good friends and family and have that feeling that you want to spend time with them.

I finished the cabled scarf but I'm debating right now about the fringe. I wanted to have it plain and beaded, but I'm not so sure, so hopefully I'll 'figure it out tonight. Working more on some wire beaded knit too. Have to find a bead store to help me add connectors to some knitted bracelets I've made too. Still lots to do.

December 12, 2006
I release the pattern of procrastination within me. I act with speed and resolve.

If there ever was an affirmation I felt was written just for me, todays affirmation is it. I am notorious for being a procrastinator. I've always worked that way, putting things off, and actually convinced myself that it motivated me in some areas. Like in school, I always seemed to get my work done, but I'd wait until the 11th hour. But I do not want to be the notorious procrastinator so I've slowly started to change. I now try to get things done early, or on time, and not motivate myself by having a deadline so much. And it works for me. I like it better. For instance, this may be a first, but it's almost 2 weeks before Christmas and I am pretty much done with my shopping! Woohoo! Call the media! Michele's done early!! And it gives me a great feeling to not have to stress and do all the last minute stuff. Now I can enjoy getting things wrapped, decorating, and making Christmas goodies. I'm going to make peppermint marshmallows again this year and package them as gifts.

I always feel this sense of the new year and how I'd like things to change and improve in the coming year. Procrastinating is something I'm sure I'll have to constantly work on. I think of things I want to accomplish, or things to learn more about this coming year. The one thing I know I want to do is get back into spinning. I just ordered a maintenance kit for my Ashford Elizabeth wheel and my new years project I think will be to give my wheel a new coat of stain and make it pretty and then I need to do some maintenance on it and then I'm going to make time to spin some yarn. I enjoy it so much, and I see these blogs and the beautiful yarn people are making and it gets my creative juices flowing. I miss it....flat out. Spinning is therapeutic and comforting to me. I feel this huge sense of accomplishment when I make something beautiful out of fiber. And then to take it a step further and make something beautiful out of yarn that you created...there's nothing like it. So mark my words, you will see some spinning from me in 2007.

What does the year 2007 have in store for you?

December 9, 2006
Chocolate Gravy & Noro Virgin

Knitty is here! Check out the pattern for Argosy, I think I'm in love. Can you believe I'm a Noro virgin? I've never knit with it but I think it's about time maybe I get me some! can I justify getting some now?...I think I'll just have to wait, but me thinks this will be my January project. I love the colors they knit it up with too.

Have lots to do today and I'm fighting another migraine. :( We are getting things put away and the tree out and will decorate later, starting to wrap some gifts and I hope to get the last of my shopping done by tonight. It will be an early finish for me, and I'll be glad to have it done so I can enjoy these last couple weeks.

I can't believe I actually found a recipe for this. Chocolate Gravy. I first heard about this from an ex-bf who told me about chocolate gravy and biscuits for breakfast. I thought he was teasing me. He was not. His family was from the South and evidently, this is a Southern dish. His x-MIL use to make this for his kids. So we had to try it and we made it like this recipe but we put it on biscuits, on those large biscuits you can buy and bake now. Homemade biscuits would be an extra treat I am sure. We served it with scrambled eggs and i think some bacon. If you have kids, try it. If you want to try something different and odd but GOOD, try it!

December 7, 2006
The quickest road to health is to fill my mind only with pleasant thoughts.

How great is that? After being sick and missing 3 days of work, today I feel pretty darn good and I made it to work. My affirmation says the above title. How apropos. And it's true, isn't it. Don't you feel better when you keep positive and pleasant thoughts? I do. I have some stressors in my life right now, but it doesn't mean I have to live there and be negative and nasty and the only one who it makes unhappy is me. I'm listening to traditional Christmas tunes and I defy you to listen to the Chipmunks sing a Christmas tune and not feel happy! I'm getting in the mood, that's for sure.

December 5, 2006

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As you can see, I've made some major changes to the look of my blog. I switched to Beta, not sure what I was doing or if I'd like it, but I must say, Beta is MUCH easier to work with when making changes or adding info, etc. Just bear with me as far as adding content. I'm really liking the new look and color and it doesn't look so cluttered to me. I'd like to add some pics of knit as a background to make it more personal and tailored for me, anyone have a good quality close up pic of knitting they'd like to share?

I've been home the last 2 days from work and I went to the Dr. today. I've resisted going to the Dr's for awhile because I hate going anymore. I always leave feeling put off and unsatisfied. But I've felt like I've had the flu on and off for months really, and it got bad this weekend. I also worried that maybe i have developed high BP, because I was not able to give blood a couple weeks ago because it was too high and I worried that was the problem. But it is not thankfully. I also needed to get refills of some prescriptions and I woke up with a horrible migraine today. He, the Dr., was not concerned about me bumping my head a couple weeks ago, he never said if he thought I had the flu or whatever, he gave me a prescription for migraine and nausea and my refills. I go to see a nutritionist next month to talk about my weight, which is I'm afraid, out of control. I hadn't eaten all day so about 2:30 I ate something, took Excedrin Migraine and it's helping. I still feel like crap.

I was feeling bad about missing work, but I had a call from my boss saying not to come back too early, take my time, basically supporting me and that was wonderful that they understood.

Doing some knitting, but have felt bad enough that I don't even feel like doing that. I'm working on a cabled scarf and I'm also doing some wire and beaded knitting. Hope to have pics soon.

Tori is our November Knitting and Losing Trivia Winner! Again!.... She is one smart cookie. I'm so behind, Tori, but I haven't forgotten you. You'll have something soon in the mail. Hope you'll all come join us this month to play daily and tell your friends. The more the merrier.

December 2, 2006
What do you think of the new do?

My hair is about 4 or 5 inches shorter in the back, and I was so scared to get a new style, but I am really happy I finally did it. I'm notorious for only getting my hair done 1 or 2 times a year. So I already booked an appointment for 2 months from now and I'm going to change how often I go in for a trim or style in the coming year. I feel like a new woman!

December 1, 2006
World's Aids Day

Today is World's Aids Day which I am sure you know if you are a blogger because many have mentioned it today. I am promoting my cousin Gene (we call him Wink, don't tell him I told you so!) who really has a great story. He is my age and he had a weight problem. He has lost a lot of weight and has now become a runner and is raising money to support Aids. He is running a 1/2 marathon here in LA this Sunday, and he's running the full Marathon in LA in 2007. Needless to say, I'm terribly proud of him. He is motivating and he's taking his success and helping others. So if you'd like to support him on his run and donate to a good cause please check it out. This is the link to a local article in the paper about him recently. And here is a couple links to donate or another one with his totals here. I'll keep you updated on his progress and how he does this Sunday, but think good thoughts for him if you please.