Monday, December 31, 2012

On the Threshold of a New Year...

My favorite author Tennyson one wrote:
"Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
whispering "It will be happier..."

Last year at this time I was writing about my hopes and dreams for the upcoming year and thinking about my resolutions;  those I accomplished, those I didn't accomplish, and those I would set forth for the next year.  I wrote about career, travel and family.  I looked forward to a new dog, continuing work on our new home, and darn if that cheetah didn't elude me again.

But, all I have to do to remember the excitement and joy that this last year brought is to look at the over 3500 photos I took this year.  Albeit, about 1500 are probably devoted to just the dogs.  Within a year, we went from a 3 cat household to a three cat, two dog, two goat, two guinea, 13 chicken household.  And, that alone came with it's own share of joys and sadness.

We traveled:  from Tucson, Arizona to Mendocino, California.  Trips to Laughlin, San Francisco, Sacramento.  Disneyland for my birthday!  Camping during the summer to Lakeview, Oregon and down to Hat Creek following the fly boys.  Back to Medford and then down to my home town to get my mother who spent time at our home this year on two separate occasions.

The house got a new look from the outside as work continued.  And, we are so close to finally finishing one room.  Doesn't sound like much, but when you've got a massive home improvement project, it's one room at a time.

Career wise, I started doing shifts at the larger hospital in the area.  I continued as the pre-hospital coordinator and on the county emergency medical committee.  And, I've taken on several projects both in EMS and at my hospital which will continue to add to my leadership roles.  I'm still on several committees with my national organization, and continue to teach and lecture within my group.

As for next year...
 - to run a 5K.  One of my friends at work has challenged me to get back into running.  I've got new shoes.  I've got the Couch to 5K app on my iPhone.  I think I'm set.
 - to get more organized.  For some reason, I used to be the most organized OCD person ever, and that's been sorely lacking in a lot of areas.  I need to find my focus and get coordinated once again.
 - to finish a short story.  I've got so many ideas and partially started projects going that I know I need to stop and focus and finish one... that will lead to two... then three... wash, rinse, repeat
 - to continue to increase the presence of God in my life.  Not that I need any more projects, but to contribute more of my time to the Church.  If anything, to get back into the habit of daily prayer and meditation.
 - to eke out every last bit of joy and fun in the things I do.  We've got several trips planned, and I intend to make next year's photo count even bigger... which might mean I need a new MacBook... darn!
 - and to just lay the foundations for a healthier, happier me... I think that will do the most to change the way I live my life during the upcoming year...

Happy New Years, and may you achieve all your hopes and dreams!!
Welcome 2013!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Cooking With Momma...

So, I've enjoyed having my mother here over the holidays.
And, one of the things we've been doing together is cooking!
On my free days, it's been a pleasure to recreate my favorite recipes
from when I was growing up...
Like potato salad.  Mom's potato salad was the staple at every family gathering
because she made the best.
Mine was pretty close,
and she made suggestions on improvement.

Then there's taquitos, aka rolled tacos...
I love them... so we made them,
inspired by the avocados that my uncle sent me.

Delicious, yes they were...

Then we got a little more complicated and made pozole
which is a pork and hominy soup.
You create a salad topping
with fresh cabbage and radishes...
It was everything a comfort food should be...

Then, the Final Exam... Mole
Mole (mol-eh) is a sauce which varies
depending on which region in Mexico you're from.
My grandmother was from central Mexico near Guadalajara,
and I have never tasted a mole similar to hers.
Today, mom and I tried to recreate it.
I didn't realize how much work went into it...

Just the right amount and balance of chilis,
and mom adding in the special blend of spices
and super secret touches...

This mole came pretty darn close to what I remember from childhood...
We're not complaining... it's delicious!

En Francais, it would be bon apetit...
In Spanish, it's buen provecho!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! 
Cheers to hoping you're spending it
next to those you hold dear....!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

How Long Has It Been...?

 Wow, after a feverish month of blogging daily, I have gotten lazy, haven't I...?

Let's wrap up:

On the 30th we had, what's becoming, our annual Wine and Mushroom party.
It was wet, sloppy weather and the chanterelles were a bit waterlogged,
but I made a fantastic sangria, plus opened several other special bottles I had
laying around the house, and we had a lot more people show up than last year.
All in all, a LOT of fun, and it really highlighted my lack of seating
since everyone chose to sit around the kitchen table and eat appetizers
instead of milling around.

That weekend I started my decorating for the holidays.
Here's the trim for the fence at the end of the driveway.
I love those big ornaments, but somehow 2 have disappeared, 
and I can't account for how that happened.

I have a thing for silver reindeer, and I added a couple more to the collection.
The slender deer in the middle of the picture is one of the new ones.
He's looking very handsome and is a nice addition to the herd.

We have green eggs!  
This means that at least one of our latest 2 hens are starting to lay.
As you can see, there are 4 different colored eggs, so at least 4 of the 13
(well actually 10 since 3 are roosters) chickens are laying now.
This will be great and I won't have to buy as many eggs when I start
my massive holiday baking projects.

I tried my hand at Southern Fried Pie.  Here are two attempts next to my final
all American apple pie.  My husband performed the taste test.
Not quite like his aunt used to make, but still deemed yummy.
Having done this, now I know what I need to do for the next trial.
But, first we've got to dry some more apples...

Our county is one of the "pilot" counties in the state for the California Medical Foundation "Walk With a Doc" program.  I led last weekend's walk in my town, and despite the rain and 38 degree weather, almost a dozen people showed up to walk the almost 2 mile route I had planned.  I brought the dogs which helped keep us at a brisk pace.  All in all pretty successful, and if anything it got me out of the house to exercise.... and, so should you!

Speaking of the dogs, they really do travel well.  We went on a 12 hour car ride to pick up my mother for the holidays.  The dogs slept most of the time.  They behaved well during our pit stops.  And, they didn't get annoying during those "drive thru" meal stops.


Then twelve hours back on the road, which leads us to the present.  

Momma's here to spend the holidays with us, and Dillon just loves his Gramma.  

Cheers to you and hoping you're able to spend time with loved ones
during this holiday season!

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