Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sailing Away... and back again



http://blogmagazin.rs/o-drugima/tebi/
Photo Credit
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."  Mark Twain


Hey! Surprised? It has been ages, hasn't it? I seriously missed blogging and connecting with my bloggy friends. Many times I thought about coming back, yet my fingers refused to cooperate. Next thing I knew I would be caught up in this or that, with him or them. You know to whom I refer.

What can I say about my absence other than I needed to focus on my family? Work became hectic, home became hectic, my children were growing, and my forever complaint regarding juggling motherhood and a career came to a head. Something had to give, and constantly viewing life through bloggy eyes became overwhelming.

I wanted to live my life in the present.

Why am I back then? The longing to write and blog became too strong a pull for me to deny any further. So here I am and there's much to share from these past years. But all in due time, and I shall return shortly. Promise!


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Groundhogs Lie and Chicken Noodle Soup



Punxsutawney Phil claims we should be having an early spring this year but by the amount of snow, sleet and ice gathered round me, I think that hog needs a new profession. This weather has truly been atrocious and I can NOT stand it one second longer.

In addition to being extremely inconvenient for travel, the sheer number of people sneezing and coughing from cold viruses is wrecking havoc on my mental state as they all seem to want to sit near me at work and on public transportation. Have I ever mentioned that I have an extreme case of germaphobia? I have little bottles of antibacterial gels, sprays and packets of wipes stashed everywhere. At any given time if under attack, I can whip out my arsenal 'Clint Eastwood style' to defend my turf.

Sometimes more extreme measures are necessary. For example, if someone sneezes, I hold my breath until I'm blue because those insidious germs can travel at least 6 feet. I never touch handrails, I use my sleeve or a napkin to open doors, and when I go to the supermarket I'm fully aware that I'm taking my life into my hands by touching the handlebars.Therefore I navigate with my elbows. Not an easy feat.

My husband thinks I'm nuts when I chase after him with an antibacterial wipe. He's a man. They don't get it.

It may seem crazy to you but it's really simple common sense- If I get sick, the kids get sick, they stay out of school, I have to stay home, I have to take time off from work and my paycheck goes down, the home goes to crap, and who's going to cook? See what I mean? Mayhem.

Since neither I nor my family can consume inordinate amounts of vitamin C, I have taken other preventative measures by cooking meals designed to ward off winter colds. I've been making this version of soup for years, and absolutely love it above traditional chicken noodle soup recipes. Voila!


Vivianne's Version of Chicken Noodle Soup



This soup is chock filled with vitamins and antioxidants. Eat a bowl of this soup and you may see an improvement in upper respiratory tract infections, including stuffy nose, cough, and a sore throat.The veggies act as an anti- inflammatory mechanism to help control the production and spread of congestion-causing white blood cells. Isn't that what your mother always said?


In a large saucepan, saute the pre- seasoned chicken in olive oil and butter until just slightly brown.



Add onion, celery, carrots, green pepper, garlic and saute for 5 minutes.


Add flour, basil, and oregano. Stir until blended.



Gradually add broth, butternut squash and tomato sauce.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour.



Return to a boil, stir in pasta, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 12-15 minutes until pasta is tender.

Now say sayunara to those germs!


Vivianne's Version of Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and preseasoned to taste
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, sliced
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 15 baby carrots, sliced
  • 1 cup butternut squash
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper
  • 3 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) low sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1/2 jar Ragu Chunky Garden Tomato sauce
  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Yield: 9 servings (about 2 quarts).

(Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.)





Wednesday, February 2, 2011

New Year, New Look


Pssssst....how do you like my new look? Not me, my blog!

I wanted to start the new year off with something fresh, clean and simple with a bit of flair. Although I loved the colors of my other template, my family has changed and it didn't seem right to keep my husband out of the header.

Designer Blogs created my last template and they made the experience so easy despite my numerous questions and indecisiveness, there was no question I would return to them again. Lara, an assistant designer, created this particular template and I really like it. I must have sent her at least 20 emails going back and forth during the process, but she stuck with me and never made me feel as if I was a bother. Thanks Lara!

If you are in the market for a new template, I highly recommend Designer Blogs. They are fast, affordable and very, very patient. They even offer $10 templates!

Now if I could only find a design team to quick fix my hair and weight.... Anybody? Hello? No show of hands?

Oh well. Details later.




Sunday, January 16, 2011

If Not for His Dreams...



.... I would not have been able to live mine.

Thank you.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Shadeism- Unraveling the Color Barrier



With Martin Luther King's birthday around the corner it is especially difficult avoiding the topic of race these days. Everywhere I turn the issue rears its controversial head as the underground tone of America rumbles along with discontent, frustration and masked hypocrisy.

Its noise is present at the office water cooler discussed by those bemused or clueless, it is loudly pronounced on the trains by those who seek to attract attention and cause reaction, it cackles on various news programs with talk of an Administration led by a "foreign and exotic" president (to say it mildly), whose 'Kenyan' ass should be slapped silly according to certain radio personalities, and is also displayed by Tea Party activists carrying misspelled signs.

And yet... hidden underneath those obvious crimes of reason, there lies an insidious form of racism born and bred within those who seek to decry it. This filmmaker has named it 'shadeism.'


From the creator:

"This documentary short is an introduction to the issue of shadeism, the discrimination that exists between the lighter-skinned and darker-skinned members of the same community. This documentary short looks specifically at how it affects young wom[e]n within the African, Caribbean, and South Asian diasporas. Through the eyes and words of 5 young wom[e]n and 1 little girl - all females of colour - the film takes us into the thoughts and experiences of each. Overall, 'Shadeism' explores where shadeism comes from, how it directly affects us as wom[e]n of colour, and ultimately, begins to explore how we can move forward through dialogue and discussion. '

I admit, I can relate very well to the experiences of these young women, having grown up with a sister who was, and is several shades lighter than I. The unveiled reactions of others outside of my home affected me greatly as a child when they differentiated us merely by our skin color. She elicited many "oohs" and "aahs" as they fawned over her skin and hair, whereas my dimples were the only source of default admiration. I could always see the hesitation and pitiful query within their eyes- "Oh pity she didn't come out as light skinned as she..." Children see, absorb and understand more than we adults know or seemingly care to remember.

Why do we do this to ourselves and our children? Isn't there enough to battle against already?

Let's stop this now and cut the crap out.

Share your thoughts.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Ringing in the New Year

(Yup, that's me in the middle!)

A Good Time Was Had by All.

Some of us had a little too much to drink, and
some of us laughed a little to hard, and
some of us danced a little too spastically, and
some of us whooped it up a little too loudly, but

All of us felt the love of ringing in the New Year together, as a family.


Except this little guy.

He was in a league of his own.

 

Wishing you all the best for 2011.

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