Friday, December 20, 2013

Working Apace...

No, that's not a misspelling. "Apace" is just a fancy way to say "I'm still moving forward." 

We did not get "snizzle." Not even ice. Which is good, I suppose, since people here are still befuddled with the fact that it's snowing. In Illinois. In December. Yeesh.

Right now, it looks like most of the crummy weather has moved way north - even more north than Chicago. They "say" snow for Christmas, but we shall see. 

This is the winter weather that's depressing. It's just dull and makes you think of February or March - when it REALLY gets sloppy. I've just brewed up some Republic of Tea herbal tea. Maybe that'll make me feel better. It's one of their limited-edition varieties: Hot Apple Cider Tea, to be precise, from their "Herbs of Autumn" collection. Yes, it's nearly winter. Technically, it's not WINTER till tomorrow. So it's technically still autumn.

Who writes their copy? It's very evocative and makes you want to dive right into the tea. 

Anyway, this is caffeine-free, and it's about the time of day where I have to go herbal otherwise I'll be a jittery mess and up all night. Amazing how long that stays in your system! 

Video...
video

Ok, this is a test. This is a quartet from the Midwest Chorus of Sweet Adelines, doing "Santa Baby" at a gathering. 

They're an a capella barbershop group - all women. They sang at a party and were very good. I think you'll enjoy this little "sound of the season." 

I took this with my phone. My camera also takes video, but Hubby had the camera at that time, taking still pics. I'm hoping that when we upgrade to the new Nokia the video and the whole camera apparatus will be better. So far, from what we've seen, it'll be spectacular. 

I'll still use my nice Canon, but this will be nice for us to have for those instances where I'm not hauling a camera bag. Heck, I haven't figured out all the stuff my Canon does yet! 

Irene Dunne...

Queen of the "weepers." Yep, that's our gal. Today is her birthday and I'm watching the movie channel. Today I have nothing to do (outside the house, I mean) and I'm just going to have an honest-to-goodness vacation day. At least till later, when I have my guitar lesson.

Look her up in IMDb if you 'd like. Right now, we're watching "Showboat." She's a singer and actress and yeah, the movies were corny then. The stories had rather predictable endings. The boy always got the girl. The costumes were spectacular.


And everyone spontaneously broke out into song - at least in her musical movies. She did a lot of drama, too. 

Anyway, it's her 105th birthday, if my math is correct. 

In terms of "Showboat" I love the baritone "Old Man River" singers. So far, in most of the versions I've seen, they've been spectacular. 

Funny enough, I could just turn the TV off since Sirius has all its Christmas music on. That's what's on my car radio. But I like these movies. 

Chicken...

So this morning, I read this in the Chicago Tribune: our chicken supply is rampant with bacteria. Yummy.  And of course that's what I have pulled out for dinner. 

I'm doing crock-pot BBQ chicken. So as I'm rummaging in the fridge looking for BBQ sauce, I find we don't have any. After a nano-second of "Oh, crap - do I have to go out and get some?" I realize that I have ketchup. Mustard. Brown sugar. Garlic. Worchestershire Sauce. 

Voila - home-made BBQ sauce. You just kind of whisk all that together, heat it up and you have ready-to-serve sauce. I didn't heat it. 

I cut up 1/2 a white onion and layered that in my crockpot. Added the chicken breasts on top. Spooned the BBQ sauce over that. Also added a little dried lemon peel (about 2 tsp.) just to give it a little pop of flavor. Covered that with foil, put the lid on the pot and stuck it on "High." In about 4 hours, I'll put it on "Low" and then we'll have dinner. You can shred this like pulled pork and make sandwiches. Or you can serve it over rice or noodles. 

OK, BBQ sauce recipe, with actual(ish) measurements:

1 c. ketchup; 3 T. yellow mustard; three or four shakes of Worchestershire Sauce; fresh ground pepper; garlic powder (1 T); about 3 T of brown sugar; a splash of water. Whisk that. Taste. Adjust. I don't use extra salt because to me, the Worchestershire (jeeze that's a pain to type!) has enough salt in it. 

You can add red pepper flakes if you want but I don't like it that spicy. You can also dice up the onion and put it IN the sauce, but I don't need to do that because (a) I don't like cooked onions; and (b) I cut slices to lay on the bottom of the pot - I can pick them out if I don't want to eat them. 

You could probably also add red or green pepper if you wanted to go nuts. I have that in the freezer, but I'm not interested today.

Knitting...

I'm 1" past the first buttonhole. I've had to pick out a row here and there because I wasn't paying attention. The yarn splits a tad if you aren't paying attention. It's coming along. The Nephew Afghan is staring at me from the corner. 

And the second Pink Sock is moping next to my chair. The second Teal Sock is no longer speaking to me. I have to get to those, too. It's easier to wear a pair that matches. At least for me...

The Before And After Scarf is just hanging there. I'm not in a particular hurry for that. That project is my "waiting" project - for when I'm going somewhere and I know I'll be sitting. It's mindless and endless. Just perfect for something you don't really need to concentrate on. 

Cookies...

The first cookie tray gets delivered today. I can also run one over to the next door neighbor, once I see his daughter there. He's up-and-down - if he's napping, he won't hear me at the door, and I don't want to just leave the tray on the porch. Lord knows the squirrels will enjoy it! 

I'm glad to get this stuff out of here. I've been invited to two parties: one on Christmas Eve and one after - called a "Leftover" party! I'm bringing cookies. To both. 

Don't get me wrong. I love to bake. I enjoy people enjoying my bakery. And I also enjoy eating it myself. THEREIN lies the rub. The rub of my thighs together and the rub of struggling to get my jeans on. 

Soooooooooo - out the door they go. The cookies, I mean. 

I have a couple of lunches to go to, and I have to just watch myself. The scale this morning was not pleasant and I thought about avoiding it. But it's a discipline I need to keep up with. Reality checks stink, but it is what it is. I'm over 50 and it's way too easy to just coast. 

I have a "dread-mill" and an "eliptiKILL" in the basement. I have a yoga mat, weights, exercise bands and all kinds of stuff. I just have to get off my butt and use them. Too bad I can't knit and walk. 

I know people who can. But I prefer to avoid impaling myself or having the yarn ball up in the mechanics!

Double-Speak...

So the right is up in arms (what else is new?) about the Duck Dynasty thing. The man spoke and it was ugly. A & E suspended him. 

Hey, folks. Martin Bashir got FIRED for speaking. 

You can't have the First Amendment only cut one way. Either we ALL have "free speech" or we don't. It's free speech no matter who agrees with you. It's NOT free speech if it's only one side who gets to have it. 

There are some that say the DD thing is PR so that the Repubs can "gin up the base." Urgh, I detest that phrase. But it fits. The faux-outrage. The fake "War on Christmas." The whole pile of swill whereby the Left doesn't get to say what THEY want but God lets the Right say what THEY want, 'cause we all know that the RIGHT are more "righteous." 

'Scuse me. Gotta go grab the barf bag. 

And no, you can't say some things. Employers, especially a corporation like A & E, are just as much a "brand" as those idiot reality stars. The A & E people are protecting their brand. 

It would be the same thing if I spouted something hateful - here or on Facebook or in an e-mail - and it reflected badly on my employer. Which, by the way, is a Catholic university. 

They would have every right to discipline me and that discipline could be anything from a suspension to a termination. That's the way it works in most places. My friend, who recently quit her job, told me that they were required to have a social media presence, but that she had to be extremely careful that whatever she posted reflected positively on her company. I've known her for a while. Her social media posts were downright banal. And they had to be. She's a truly funny, quirky individual with a scathing sense of humor. That would not have gone over well in her corporate persona.

Crimeny - my teacher-kid is always telling his juniors and seniors that colleges will look at your social media presence. And so will employers. And many employers monitor it. Particularly if you're a highly visible (and in this case, profitable) face - you're associated, for better or worse, with that brand. And they're going to protect THEIR rear ends. 

They can always find another reality show star. 

Random Picture...

Lace ornament
This is one of the lace ornaments I picked up a while ago. It was a kit; three different kinds of lace, a cord to gather the middle, and a stiffening mixture. You gathered, glittered and stiffened. They're pretty. And yes, that's a pierogi ornament next to it. 

Our little tree is laden. And I just added some knitterly ornaments: some yarn balls and a small felted mitten. Kid #1 is asking for his ornaments, so he's got some of them. I have to dig out the rest for next year. When Kid #2 gets his own place, he'll get his own ornaments too. 

Maybe then I can stop making them every year for the boys. But somehow, I doubt that. 





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