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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Eating my words

Well, It was an amazing movie, last night we saw Avatar by James Cameron. I didn't want to go, didn't think I wanted to see some Jar Jar Binks look-alikes, but they didn't look like him at all. It was truly weird how at first the Pandora creatures looked so alien, and then so beautiful. The humans looked puny and sick by comparison. I should just stop being a naysayer and force myself to do things I don't want to on a much more regular basis. There are certain movies that stick with you for cinematographic value alone and this will be one of them.
Everything was beautiful, even the weapons. In "Alien", when they were using those machines that they put themselves into, those giant robotic forklift things,I thought they were cool, but clumsy and very limited. The ones in Avatar were elegant and had a range of motion that was breathtaking. They were a magnificent melding of machine and human with very fast reflexes, running and jumping ability. Even the helicopter-like things with the side counter-rotating rotors were mesmerizing. They reminded me of the steampunk machines in The Golden Compass that looked strangely futuristic and historic at the same time.

The planet was stunningly developed, I always thought the movie Legend would be hard to beat for beauty, but the glowing phosphorescence of the plant life against a dark sky reminded me of private underwater realms that we rarely see.

I hope you all get a chance to see it- I will not spoil the plot but I hope to see it in 3-D soon at the IMAX theatre.

Monday, December 28, 2009


My husband has been under a lot of pressure this year. My daughter won her softball championship, my son won his baseball championship, I won the dream job, so he had to win, finally win his Fantasy Football league. We were going to ask him to move out if he lost. After months of "Screaming Sundays" the verdict is in, he won in both leagues. It wasn't about the money, it never was, it was about being CHAMPION! Can you tell we are a bit competitive in my family? Yep, we are. After like 6 years of crazy draft parties and him stealing all the computers and televisions every week for the endless round of games, I finally feel like it was worth something. I watched him meticulously prepare the championship trophy for each year's winner (not him) and feel bad that he will have to prepare his own. As commissioner no one will laud his skill at picks and transactions, but we know here in our house how he suffered through every choice, how he questioned every player's ability to advance him toward the playoffs. So though he will never read this, it is out there in the ether- the vindication that he is the MAN! You go Baby!
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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Out in the Sticks

Of course I have to drive at least a half hour to get some decent yarn unless I bug my local woolspinner. After speaking to a few friends about their favorite places to get yarn, I decided to just drive to a Rosie's Yarn Cellar on Locust Street in Philly.

It is far easier to drive there than negotiate the twisting roads of South Jersey all the way to Cape May. I asked my daughter is she felt like a quick jaunt to the city and we had no trouble finding it at all. Mapquest finally came through! We even found a parking spot right in front of little shop. It WAS in the cellar and I was surprised by all the choices.

I took it easy, didn't spend too much and finally bought the Clover bamboo circular needles I had been moaning about for the past year. This shop has sidewalk sales and a blog that is updated frequently. They offer classes and have a frequent shopper program. I will have to organize a field trip for my knitting group.

I haven't knitted in over a month and have been itching to get some wool for a new hat project. My son and nephews could use some matching hats and I figure I will start this week while I am off. My daughter picked out a nice Irish Tweed for the boys.

It will be sufficiently manly enough for them. Rosie's had a decent selection of buttons so if anyone is making a sweater, they have the wool AND the buttons. Our knitting group is getting ready to start

up again, so I am excited to see what everyone is working on. We had a bit of a falling off from August to November and I was so sick in December. I haven't seen some of our members since summer. Next year I guess we will not meet in the Summer and Fall. I will quilt instead. There is a fabulous new quilt shop in my town. I have to make quilts for both my kids to take to college. Knitted blankets don't really keep you warm like a woobie quilt.

Too lazy

I am so mad bubbleshare went belly up. I had tons of pictures on my blog from them and I just don't have the umph to go reposting them all so that my previous postings make sense. UUUUUUUGGGGH! as Charlie might say. I am alone in the kitchen debating the day and what I should do with it. I can stay home and waste it listening to my husband scream and yell his way through two chanpionship playoffs in fantasy football, or I can get out of here and do something constructive. Maybe a yarn shop visit? HMMMMMMM. Two of the dogs took off this morning chasing after squirrels in the woods behind our yard. One didn't come back for forty minutes. I had to wake up my daughter to help me look for her. Yes, this is a shamless plug for the garden fence if you are reading this, my hubby. Enough already. I wendt out and checked out all my herbs, they did very well under 2 feet of snow. Christmas morning i was out there digging out the rosemary for dinner. It loves the snow, but the parsley was decidedly wimpy. The sun today may rescue it. It should dig some of each herb up and bring them indoors for the winter, I just don't remember which herb didn't make it through last year. Can you tell I already have cabin fever in December? I want to garden already. Wow, it is going to be a long winter.

I know what this is all stemming from. I have been sick for the last month- yes MONTH. I could barely get through each day at work and I came home and collapsed. My poor kids had to eat junk like pizza and chinese food and subs for dinner. I wish this sickness had led to a huge weight loss, that would have been worth it, but no luck, I actually gained two pounds while I lie in my bed, too sick to even read. That is true, I have never been so sick I couldn't while away the time with a good book,but I lost a whole month of my life. My new cycle students think I have no lungs because I haven't had a decent voice for them yet. I typed a lot of messages on the smartboard for them instead of trying to choke my way through an explanation. I have no idea what was wrong with me, an upper respiratory infection that outlived two z-paks and 2 rounds of leviquin. I think I know what set it off, I have been surrounded with students who have been sneezing and coughing their germs all over my room since September, but really, a month? I still choke all night long and have other embarrassing issues to boot. Well if that ain't enough to cause cabin fever in December, I don't know what is. Here is hoping the new year brings me new lung strength and a renewed love for soup, because after a month of it, I may never make a pot of it again. I am also sending out my thanks to my wonderful friends who drove my kids places and dropped of soup to help me get better. I can never thank you enough, my family would have starved without you.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

What to make for Christmas?

Each year I do a little reflection on what a holiday meal should be. After years of turkey and trimmings or ham, I am always looking to make something memorable that my family and friends will enjoy. The year of the lamb chops was good, it stood out from the others. This year I just happened to catch an episode of Down home with the Neeleys, and they were making Cornish Game hens with lemon pepper. I thought, "Well, I could do that, except for the lemon pepper, it seemed to ordinary to do to a beautiful little hen." So I went off on an internet search for a better idea. Paula Deen had the stuff I was looking for, and I changed her recipe to make it my own. Luckily I was able to dig some fresh rosemary out of the snow in my kitchen garden. It did make all the difference. Just so I don't ever lose this recipe- I am posting my version here. I hope you try it, it is delicious! Probably the most memorable Christmas meal since the deep friend turkey.

6 Cornish game hens -about 1 pound each (I bought frozen and defrosted them- They were fine!)
4 cloves garlic
1 (1-inch) piece of ginger, peeled
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (Paula uses peanut oil)
2 tablespoons orange juice
3 tablespoons Orange marmalade (I just used Smuckers)
1 tablespoon orange zest, minced
pats of butter ( at least one for each hen.
Fresh Rosemary- one bunch.

Rinse hens, trim off excess fat, and pat dry; salt and pepper the insides of each. Place in marinade container.
Put garlic and ginger in food processor and process until smooth.
In another bowl, mix soy sauce, honey, oil, orange juice, marmalade and zest. Add the garlic and ginger. Pour mixture over game hens, coating well. Refrigerate overnight, turning in marinade several times.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place game hens in shallow roasting pan; pour marinade on top. Tuck a slice of orange in each hen along with a spring of rosemary. Tuck the rest of the rosemary around the hens. Put a pat of butter on each hen. Bake for 1 hour, basting every 15 minutes. Shoot some of the glaze inside each hen when you baste. Remove hens to serving platter. Pour cooking juices into small, heavy saucepan and boil for 4 minutes, or until sauce thickens. Pour over hens just before serving. Serve with wild rice and a healthy salad.

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