Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday Brunch

I belong to Tribal Blogs, a fun, dynamic, supportive collective of bloggers. Started by Jen of Red Head Ranting, it is a relaxed and friendly group. And they have great blogs. Most Saturday evenings a bunch of us meet online and chat about anything and everything. The exchange is fast and furious, almost always very funny. Last night someone likened it to being in a noisy bar, having to work hard to keep up because you are only catching half the conversations, the words come with such velocity. Remember, we’re bloggers: writers who need a lot of attention. lol

Some people can’t do Saturday evening for one reason of another. One of our group, Thomas at 101 Things in 1001 Days, had the brilliant idea of doing a brunch chat, but also adding a tutorial for making an egg/cheese pie by doing a live feed over his blog. I joined in this morning and was able to visit with my fellow bloggers while we made a yummy brunch main course.

Here is the recipe and pictures I took along the way:

1 16 ounce roll of breakfast sausage
1 package of ready made roll out pie crusts
6 eggs
1 tablespoon minced chives (optional)
1 15 ounce package of ricotta cheese
Salt and pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.

Kiss your granddaughter good morning (optional).

Have a mimosa (optional).

In a frying pan, cook the sausage until is crumbled and browned.

Line a 9 inch pie plate with one of the pie crusts. Drain the grease and evenly spread the cooked sausage in the pie pan.

Break the eggs one by one into the pie plate without breaking the yolks, five around the perimeter and one in the center.

Sprinkle with chives, salt and pepper. Spoon ricotta cheese over the eggs.

Cover with the second pie crust and pinch the edges to seal.

Make a few slits in the top of the crust to allow steam to escape. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes and allow to rest for approximately 5 minutes before slicing. Serve hot.


Easy peasy and it is delicious! Thank you Thomas and all my friends at Tribal Blogs, especially Jen who is the amazing driving force behind the whole thing.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Paging Dr. House

So. For four weeks I have been hacking my lungs out, with every muscle in my body aching and my nose running like a faucet. This cold and cough will not quit, causing me concern about my immune status. My left leg has been swollen again, which freaked me out on so many levels. Leg, ankle and foot swelling is a common symptom of congestive heart failure. So is shortness of breath, which I also had. Then on Saturday I noticed ominous red spots on my calf, each about the size of a thumbprint. I gasped. Venous stasis! This is where blood pools under the skin because of lack of circulation. It leads to horrific, non-healing wounds.

I dreaded going to the doctor and having my diagnosis confirmed. I cringed at the idea of hearing those words, getting that menacing sentence of imminent death. I am only 57!! I began picking out hymns for my funeral and thought about how sad everyone would be, which quite made me smile actually. And the thought of my eulogies perked me up no end.

At any rate, I finally dragged my miserable, doomed self to the doctor this afternoon and I sadly outlined my various dire conditions to him. I steeled myself for his alarm, for immediate placement in the telemetry unit (maybe even by ambulance, so perilous was my cardiac status), for tearful goodbyes with my children. Here is what he told me:

My “cold” is a sinus infection, which will be better in a day with antibiotics. It is all the coughing that is causing me to feel short of breath. It hasn’t gotten better because I need antibiotics.

My swollen leg is most likely a side effect of one of the medications I am taking. He is not concerned as it only happens occasionally and improves immediately when treated.

The red spots are…a rash.

He withheld comment on the fact I was a lunatic.


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Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Feast of Saint Patrick, My Grandmother's Day

I miss my grandmother.  I miss her with an ache that never goes away.

I miss her now and I have missed her every day since August 6, 2000, the day she died at the age of 95. Even 95 years weren’t enough.

Grandma, Katie Daly she was, came here from County Roscommon, Ireland in 1923 at the age of 18. St. Patrick’s Day, a day I always sent her flowers and at least talked to her on the phone, if not went for a visit, was a special day for her. Make no mistake, my grandmother was a fiercely loyal American. She told me over and over as a child that the United States was the greatest country in the world, that you had opportunities here you had nowhere else. I once said, “But Grandma, Ireland is so beautiful.” And she replied tartly “You can’t eat scenery, dear.” It was only later I learned details of how hard it was growing up in rural Ireland in the early 20th century. So, she loved America, but on St. Patrick’s Day, she was all Irish again.

This day makes me miss her more and always will. I miss her wisdom, her wry wit and dry humor, her stunning intelligence and her sense of fun, her perpetual youthfulness, her beauty, her dignity and grace. Most of all I miss her unconditional love, rarely spoken, but expressed in so many ways.

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig, Grandma! I love you. Till we meet again.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hearts with the Japanese

No one can look at the devastation and ongoing tragedy in Japan without being moved. While thousands have perished and that is terrible enough, the survivors are facing deprivations of food, water and shelter. Temperatures are in the freezing range and today it was snowing in the hard hit areas. Couple that with the nuclear threat and the scope of the disaster is overwhelming.

Sachiko, a fellow blogger, is from that area of Japan and still has family there. On her blog she implores the public to help in whatever way they can, Tea Rose Home. And she has asked that other bloggers get the word out.

Financial contributions to reputable organizations seem to be the most efficient method of assisting. Even donations as little as $10 are welcome.

Here are some of the charities that are organizing to help:

The American Humane Association

The International Red Cross


The Salvation Army in Japan

Doctors Without Borders

Save the Children

If you can do nothing else, whatever your belief system, please offer prayers or thoughts of good will to the people of Japan.

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Friday, March 11, 2011

Deserving a Peek

I realized as I was doing my daily web perusal that many of the blogs I read regularly really deserve a plug.

There is my original list of favorites if you scroll down on the right side. Most of them are blogs I was introduced to when I first became familiar with the blogging world over three years ago. Every one of them is still worth a look, they are marvelous. But I have found so many great new ones as well. I must point out there are many, many wonderful blogs out there that I read frequently. Almost too many to list. This is not a comprehensive run down by any means and I will try to note some of my other favorites over time.

Scouting New York

This kid (he is younger than some of my children) is 1) freaking adorable, 2) smart and funny and interesting and 3) has an ongoing love affair with both New York City and history. What an irresistible combination! He is a film location scout by profession and has parlayed the fascinating things he sees in the line of his work into this fabulous blog.

Red Head Ranting

Hey, in my book ranting is as much fun as whining.

This particular redhead is my friend Jen, a cyber-whiz if ever there was one. She has this funny blog, she is writing a book, she created a professional blog network, Tribal Blogs (lots of great blogs listed there, check it out), and she has organized an exciting blog conference scheduled for this summer. Oh and she is smart and really, really nice.

Beetle’s Memories ‘N’ Ramblings

Even if I weren’t an Anglophile, I would find Beetle’s slices of UK life delightful. Beetle is fortunate enough to be a member of a large, warm extended family. The charming stories she tells of her late parents are touching and make you realize this ostensibly ordinary couple was, in fact, quietly remarkable. Illustrated with her own drawings, altogether an uplifting and fun peek into a wonderful life.

The Maaaaa of Pricilla

Pricilla is a blog writing goat, courtesy of her Publicist. She tells of her barnyard adventures and companions and about the fantastic Happy Goats Soap her Publicist makes and sells here on Etsy. I can attest to the fact that the soap is awesome. I can also attest to the fact that Pricilla’s Publicist is awesome and one of the kindest, most supportive Internet friends I have. She blogs for herself at Broken Teepee. A former Jersey Shore native, now situated on a farm in Montana, it is Patty who facilitated getting a new free bathroom sink for my impoverished self. She is a loyal reader and commenter AND makes amazing jewelry, which can be found here.

Weird Web Today

Ok, so yesterday's post is about cow farts. That might not seem the most promising introduction to her talents. But this blog is by Diana Fasanella, a long time columnist for our local newspaper. In the paper she was bright and witty and often gave me a chuckle. Well, Diana wasn’t chuckling when after 18 years she was part of a “work force reduction”. Can I just say corporate life SUCKS? But not letting grass grow beneath her feet, she is launching several projects, including this blog. She has another in development that will deal with life as Nana. This smart woman deserves to be read, if for no other reason than her “Rant” statement on Weird Web Today: “This blog is dedicated to all the hard-working, loyal employees who big business tossed aside so executives can continue to collect their fat bonuses.”

As one of the big business victims myself, I say amen sister.

This is what I had to say about my former employers when I was laid off last year:

The fact that the layoffs were due to an epic level of mismanagement is especially enraging disheartening. Some people with a lesser character might consider a slow, painful, perhaps fiery, death too good for the people responsible. I, however, choose the high road. You know, the road above where you actually get to watch them die.

ha ha ha

(You can read the whole hilarious post here.)

So anyway, there are a few fun, worthwhile blogs to check out. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Keeping Busy

While being out of work has had devastating consequences, and feels pretty darn awful too, I have been keeping as busy as possible.

I've been doing a lot of writing, mostly for Yahoo's Associated Content on health news. It is fun and challenging and I make about .05 cents for every kabillion hits each article gets, so far to the tune of about $1. Woo hoo!!

If you are so inclined, you can find my stuff here:

Become a fan, Stumble me, Tweet me, leave a comment, help me earn that next .05 cents!

I have been doing a lot of sewing too and have several unfinished projects. Here are some of the things I have been working on.

I was going to make this into a pillow, but now I am thinking maybe a wall hanging:

I embroidered eyelet and then added a fabric flower.  This will be a little pillow:

This will be a holiday pillow:

A sunflower surrounded by leaves.  I am not sure what this will be.  Maybe an insert into a tote bag?:

A vintage design that reminded me of my home from the same era.  I will frame and keep this one:

My motto:

A scarf I made for myself out of super soft cotton, in yellow, my favorite color.  Still putting the fringe on:

A hat for a friend's nephew, but I don't like the way it turned out.  So...

I'm making a whole new one out of cream colored cotton.

I have more things I've finished and have for sale on Etsy.  Check out my site if you need a nice gift or just want to treat yourself.  :)

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Friday, March 4, 2011

Getting Springy

Time to de-winterize my blog design and think spring.

I have been laid up with a miserable upper respiratory thing but hope to catch up soon. Although there is nothing really to catch up with. Hopefully something hilarious and entertaining will happen in the next few days.

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