Thursday, January 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Old(er) Brother

Today is my brother's birthday. Yep, he's hitting the big 4-0 (don't worry Matthew, I'm right behind you). So everyone just wander on over to his place and throw down some birthday love and good cheer (keep it clean Katdish, he's got young children in the house).

(Matt is the 'petite' one on the right...)

Monday, January 26, 2009

I'm Marilyn, But I'm Bette

My friend Steph, over at Red Clay Diaries posted this little quiz she took about what famous person she is most like. I decided to take the quiz. I don't do these very often, but I was curious because Steph was like Audrey Hepburn. I grew up on the classics and Audrey Hepburn was one of my favorite actresses as a kid (probably because I wanted to be just like her in My Fair Lady. That is a romantic Cinderella story if ever there was one.

I actually took this quiz twice because there were two answers that applied to me. Apparently I am a mix between Marilyn Monroe and Bette Davis. Seriously. Those two are more different than Bush and Obama. But, I think it's appropriate because sometimes, what I project is very different from what I feel inside. It's a defense mechanism that I have used since I was a kid. So, I'm going to post both and list how I am like Marilyn and how I'm like Bette.

You are a Marilyn -- "I am affectionate and skeptical."

Marilyns are responsible, trustworthy, and value loyalty to family, friends, groups, and causes. Their personalities range broadly from reserved and timid to outspoken and confrontative.

How to Get Along with Me
* Be direct and clear
* Listen to me carefully
* Don't judge me for my anxiety
* Work things through with me
* Reassure me that everything is OK between us
* Laugh and make jokes with me
* Try not to overreact to my overreacting

What I Like About Being a Marilyn
* Being committed and faithful to family and friends
* Being responsible and hardworking
* Being compassionate toward others
* Having intellect and wit
* Being a nonconformist
* Confronting danger bravely
* Being direct and assertive

What's Hard About Being a Marilyn
* The constant push and pull involved in trying to make up my mind
* Procrastinating because of fear of failure; having little confidence in myself
* Fearing being abandoned or taken advantage of
* Exhausting myself by worrying and scanning for danger (I'm not afraid of danger, but I can tend to worry about stuff)
* Wishing I had a rule book at work (and home) so I could do everything right
* Being too critical of myself when I haven't lived up to my expectations

Marilyns as Children Often
* Are friendly, likable, and dependable, and/or sarcastic, bossy, and stubborn
* Are anxious and hyper vigilant; anticipate danger
* Form a team of "us against them" with a best friend or parent
* Look to groups or authorities to protect them and/or question authority and rebel

Marilyns as Parents
* Are often loving, nurturing, and have a strong sense of duty
* Are sometimes reluctant to give their children independence (I'm the opposite here as I want my kids to be independent and experience things, probably because of my own sense of adventure.)
* sometimes have trouble saying no and setting boundaries

You are a Bette -- "I must be strong"

Bettes are direct, self-reliant, self-confident, and protective.

How to Get Along with Me
* Stand up for yourself... and me.
* Be confident, strong, and direct.
* Don't gossip about me or betray my trust.
* Be vulnerable and share your feelings. See and acknowledge my tender, vulnerable side. (I cry over everything. Seriously, I may project a toughness, but I'm a mushy softie on the inside.)
* Give me space to be alone.
* Acknowledge the contributions I make, but don't flatter me. (Ok, flattery will get you everywhere.)
* I often speak in an assertive way. Don't automatically assume it's a personal attack.
* When I scream, curse, and stomp around, try to remember that's just the way I am.

What I Like About Being a Bette
* Being independent and self-reliant
* Bing able to take charge and meet challenges head on
* Being courageous, straightforward, and honest
* Getting all the enjoyment I can out of life
* Supporting, empowering, and protecting those close to me (I am fiercely loyal and protective and don't you dare hurt anyone I love. Just so you know.)
* Upholding just causes

What's Hard About Being a Bette
* Overwhelming people with my bluntness; scaring them away when I don't intend to
* Being restless and impatient with others' incompetence
* Sticking my neck out for people and receiving no appreciation for it
* Never forgetting injuries or injustices (I suck at forgiving. It's not one of my gifts.)
* Putting too much pressure on myself
* getting high blood pressure when people don't obey the rules or when things don't go right (I'm a pro at assuming and overreacting.)

Bettes as Children Often
* Are independent; have an inner strength and a fighting spirit
* Are sometimes loners
* Seize control so they won't be controlled
* Attack verbally or physically when provoked
* Take charge in the family because they perceive themselves as the strongest, or grow up in difficult or abusive surroundings (For the record, I was just bossy and did not grow up in an abusive family. We were more 'Beaver Cleaver')

Bettes as Parents
* Are often loyal, caring, involved, and devoted
* Are sometimes overprotective (I think I'm the opposite and want my kids to be extremely independent and free spirited like me)
* Can be demanding, controlling, and rigid (Who? Me?)

There you have it. The best of Marilyn and Bette and this is a pretty true picture of who I am. If you would like to take the test, go to Steph's blog and follow the link. It's late and I'm too lazy to find it, copy and paste it. But I'd love to hear about who you are most like. Or maybe you are just flaberghasted at my results.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Freebie

This video of 'Stand By Me' was created by the Playing For Change Foundation. They went around the world recording this song and then put it all together into one video. I'm sure you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Bless My Socks Off

Lately, I've been feeling a wee bit down. I think that probably all working wives/moms feel that way, kind of like an episode of The Neglected Housewives. So, this morning, I threw down a dare to God (in a 'nice' way). I get these little devotions emailed each morning from Turning Point Ministries. That is Dr. David Jeremiah's ministry and if you have never heard him speak, you should find a radio station that plays his messages and do so. I have a tremendous amount of admiration and respect for the man because he knows his stuff. Anyway, back to the 'dare'. I told God, "I dare you to bless me this morning." And He did. (Now I don't know if God likes it when we do that, but somehow, I have a feeling that after I read my little devotion and said 'wow, that blessed me' he probably blew the smoke from the barrel of the gun and walked away to the sound of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly playing in the background.) Because I love you all so much, I wanted to share my blessing with you.

Irrevocable Promises

For the Lord your God will bless you just as He promised you.
Deuteronomy 15:6

Some days are harder than others, and perhaps this is one of them for you. Life is full of frustrations, and we can grow mighty weary with financial pressures, family problems, church misunderstandings, and workplace conflicts. It sometimes seems like we’re losing our minds.

But God is not losing His! Remember that nothing revokes His faithfulness. His promises to us are irreversible, unalterable, firm, and fixed. There are conditions to be met, of course; but outer circumstances must bend, in His time, to the purposes and promises of God for our lives.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said, “God does not give us everything we want, but He does fulfill His promises… leading us along the best and straightest paths to Himself.” The Lord your God will bless you just as He has promised in His Word.

His promises are sure, His blessings are great, His grace is sufficient, His presence is near, His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations. Cheer up! It’s not as bad as it seems.

Let God’s promises shine on your problems.
Corrie ten Boom

Oh, and as God was walking into the sunset, I thought I heard him say 'touche'.

Have a blessed Friday!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

How To Feel Good In This Mess

It's been a crazy week so far and I haven't had much time to sit down and write the post that has been stewing in my brain. I didn't even watch the inauguration, well, I saw Rick Warren give the invocation and caught a few snippets on Hannity, but that was about it. There is a lot going on in this world, country, state, town that I live in and a lot of it is not good. The State of Oregon is heading towards (or perhaps we're in) a financial disaster, unemployment is at a record high and the outlook is bleak. It's easy to dwell on the bad news, but God tells us to dwell on Him and all that is good. So, that is what I'm going to do. This is my list of all that I am thankful for and I hope you'll play along and tell others what your thankful for (you too lurkers - eh'hem'... Mr./Mrs./Ms. Palo Alto....). I've heard it makes you feel better.

1. God. He's big, loving and if he'll take care of the birds I know he's got my back.

2. Jon. There is a place in heaven for that man marrying me.

3. My children. They try me...oh, how they try me. But the hugs, kisses, laughs and cuddling is all worth it.

4. Family. I have a lot of family and it seems to be ever growing. Plus we really like being around each other. Good times abound.

5. Friends. I love the ones that live near me and I can't wait to meet the witty, crazy, beautiful ones I've made here at this little corner of the internet.

6. Bozley. Yeah, I love my little dog. What can I say.

7. My home. It may have decreased in value according to the market, but to me, it's a blessing that God has provided for me and my family and I'm thankful to have a place to rest my head every night.

8. My surroundings. No matter what, I live in a beautiful place and God made me the kind of person that loves to enjoy it. He's cool that way.

9. My job. I am verrrrrry thankful for this.

10. Blessings. God has made sure that we are taken care of and I am thankful for all he has done. I can't even begin to express just how thankful I am.

Yes, I feel better.

Still counting my blessings.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Dear Mare

Dear Mare,

While I know my daughter would absolutely love you and I'm sure you two would have a great time bustin' some moves and all, I have 10 reasons why she probably won't be coming to visit you while you are living in Nigeria. Please don't take it personally.

Reason #1: Extreme Fear of Bugs

Reason #2-#10: Please see Reason #1...


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Not Flab, Just Flat and Fabulous for Oprah

Beginning Saturday Jon and I are going on a health kick. Yep, a good old fashioned diet and exercise program. I would like to get rid of the saggage that started around my mid-section when I hit 35 (I don't know what was so magical about that year, but the law of gravity took over then) and I have aspirations of being svelte like Jennifer Anison when my blogger pals and I make our appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show in August(I will probably turn down all offers to pose in a tie for GQ Magazine though.) Jon would like to lose some of the weight that he has gained since we got married. He blames in on the fact that I'm somewhat of a Julia Child in the kitchen. I told him I would stop cooking but he nixed that idea.

Now you have to understand that this is going to be tough, not because of the exercise (I already do that), but because it requires cutting out most carbs. AAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGG! We love carbs. Seriously. Mashed potatoes, fried potatoes, roasted potatoes, tater tots, tortillas, chips with salsa, beer with chips and salsa, wine with pasta, Cracked Pepper and Olive Oil Triscuits, bread... Since that is taboo food now, I've been working on a menu that has lots of meat (I'm not giving up steak!), vegetables, fruits, legumes (such a fun word to use), and whole grains. And, we are going to become teetotalers. For the most part. But probably with a few exceptions, like Saturday and Sunday.

We'll also be hitting the trails when the snow level allows or the stair stepper when I'm too much of a wuss to be out in the cold (at least I have a commanding view of the mountains from said stair stepper). We'll also be embarking on a 'flat-fest' as Jon calls it. A crunchless ab program that promises 'flatter abs in 30 days'. We'll see about that.

My wickedly funny and feisty blog buddy, Helen, is going to post some of her 'being good' recipes (they're fabulous, I'm sure) on our food blog, Paprika is Good, But Not in Coffee. I will be making these and then promptly telling you just how wonderful her recipes are. If you have a recipe that you think would be appropriately awesome for this little health kick of ours, please email it to me and if I make it and like it (key phrase 'like it'), I will post it on Paprika is Good, But Not in Coffee where it will garner the attention of possibly 10's of people from around the world. And who knows, Steph might mention you in her book just because she's cool that way.(I don't know what Steph writing a book has to do with all this...)

So, in honor of the great flat-fest that is about to commence, I decided to dish up something extremely carbolicious. Yep, my most tasty garlic mashed potatoes and hamburger gravy. I'm going to miss you...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Keeping It Abundantly Sarcastic

Every morning my children awake from the depths of dreamdom and call me blessed. It must be the way I call out their names to wake up like a breeze that tickles a wind chime or the egg sandwich (heavy on the Miracle Whip) that awaits their growling tummies. Today, either they awoke on the wrong side of the bed or they were having nightmares about Senator Clinton's appointment as the Secretary of State.

I decided no egg sandwiches today, that cereal was fine. As my son was eating his breakfast, I emptied the dishwasher. I had just finished with that when my son walks over with his bowl and says, "what should I do with this?" The rest of the conversation went like this:

Me: Well, your 13 years old now, I think it's about time you start making some decisions on your own.

Son: Why do you do that? What do you want me to do with this?

Me: Seriously, did you just ask me that again?

Son: It's just faster.

Me: Faster than just putting your dishes in the dishwasher that you just witnessed me emptying?

Son: Moooooommmm!!!!
(walks away in a huff as my daughter enters the kitchen)

Me: You'll have to find a ride to school because I told Jon to take the land cruiser and I'll just pick you up after work since you have a meeting after school.

Daughter: Mom, I have to go get stuff from Shawna for volleyball practice.

Me: Well, your lucky that she works just two blocks from the school.

Daughter: I don't want to have to walk all the way there and back to the school.

Me: Yeah, that's pretty far. I wouldn't want you to get blisters on your feet or anything. Make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes to school today.

Daughter: Moooooommmmm! (stomping off to her room).

Me to my children so they can hear: You know your Uncle Matt's children, all 12 of them, arise every day shouting 'Hosanna!' and proclaiming blessings to their parents, even without getting egg sandwiches-heavy on the Miracle Whip every day!

Kids these days, I tell ya. They don't like to be inconvenienced and seem to want things done for them. I had a conversation last night with an interesting man named Norman (Nah-man, if you're from Queens like he is). He was a high school baseball coach for over 40 years and this is what he told me. "I don't coach high school anymore because I don't relate to them. They have lost the value of work ethic and the biggest problem is their sense of entitlement." While this is not an example of all kids these days, it certainly does describe the way our youth tend to think. I can agree with him to a level from being a coach myself.

I worked this past season with my former high school coach and the girls would do some things that I would never have done 'back in the day'. My former coach and I had quite a discussion about the work ethic of the players these days and she said it used to be when it was time to practice, we practiced. I think one thing that struck me was that at 3:15 when it was time to start warming up, someone always came to us with an excuse to leave the gym and skip this part of practice. For instance (and this is true):


Player: Coach Anne, can I go get a tampon?
Me: Is your nose bleeding?
Player: No, I started my period.
Me: Hmmm, ok.

Player 2: Coach Anne, can I go get my ankle wrapped?
Me: Why didn't you do that before practice?
Player 2: Uh, because I had to finish a test. (Meaning 'I was out socializing in the parking lot.)
Me: Make it quick and do it before practice from now on.


Player: Coach Anne, Can I go get a tampon?
Me: I think I'm having a de ja' vu.
Player: What? Can I go to the bathroom?
Me: Sure, no problem.

Player 2: Coach Anne, I didn't have time to wrap my ankle, can I go do that?
Me: Sure, no problem. Oh, do you like playing during games?
Player 2: *hesitantly* Yeah....why?
Me: Just curious. Better get that ankle wrapped.

Player: Coach Anne, I need a tampon.
ME: Seriously?
Player: What do you mean?
Me: Well, I find it fascinating that at 3:15 every day your period starts. Not 2:30, or 2:45 - like before practice. But right when practice starts.
Player: Uh...
Me: I'd hate for the whole team to run because you're trying to get out of warm ups. They'd be pretty upset with you. But yeah, take care of whatever you need to take care of. Oh, and I think we'll run the mile today. ;) (that's me smiling at the player).

I know, I'm probably too hard on them and have expectations that seem too high, but that's what I know. I worked hard, did what my parents told me (OK, sometimes I whined and argued) and had a job by the age of 14. I keep getting told that it's a different time our kids are living in, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to push them to work hard. That seems like an excuse to me. I see areas where I've been way too lax with my kids and it's something I need to change. Starting now. Oh, there's the dryer buzzer, gotta go fold clothes.

Monday, January 12, 2009

People Aren't So Different In The West Bank, A Guest Post

I mentioned in my last post that I think I have the most awesome parents in the world. At the end of 2007, my parents traveled to Israel and the West Bank. They have huge hearts for those in Muslim countries and have been very involved with distributing the Jesus Film to the Muslims. In their travels they have met some wonderful people, had some adventures (involving the police and arrest) and been willing to put themselves at risk in order to share the love of Christ. When I express concern, my mom usually comes back with 'this is what we love doing and if we die doing this then I'm OK with that.' Wow.

I asked my dad if he would be willing to share some of the stories from his trip to the West Bank, especially in light of all that is going on in Palestine and Gaza. He was thrilled at the opportunity, especially because they were able to immerse themselves in the lives of some Palestinians and saw a very different side of them than what we might think. They are not all Hamas and terrorists. They are just like you and me. They long for freedom, peace and a safe place to raise their children.


When Loretta, my caring wife of 45 years, and I went to Israel, we ventured into the Palestinian city of Ramallah, which is in the West Bank and through several checkpoints, both Israeli and Palestinian. Of the hotels we stayed in while visiting Israel, this was the best. What impressed Loretta, right away, was the fruit basket in the room. The other hotels didn’t offer this amenity. This picture was taken in Ramallah. You'll notice a Stars & Bucks in the picture. They do not sell coffee here.

Also in the hotel was a restaurant. The first time we entered it, there were no other patrons. The background music was Middle Eastern, which was blaring. I asked the waiter if he could turn down the volume. He did, but not very much. One of our travel mates asked him to turn it down more. Instead, he changed the CD to one that I liked; something soft that was conducive to conversation. I’d never heard it before and thought it was Gregorian chant. I got up from the table and went to the waiter’s station where three men were standing. I told them that I liked the CD and wanted to know the name of it so that I could buy one. The waiter who spoke the best English, in his Palestinian accent, told me that a friend of his burned it for him, that it didn’t have a label and that if I wanted, he’d burn one for me. I told him I’d pay him for it. “No problem.”

The next evening, we went back to the hotel’s restaurant. Again, there were no customers and Middle Eastern music was being played. By the time we were seated, the soft CD from last night was on. The waiters, apparently, remembered us and our request from the night before. I went over to the station and thanked them. “No problem.” When it came time to settle the bill, I was presented with the CD. I reached into my pocket and pulled out money but was given an open-hand gesture and told, “No problem.” I knew the Arabic word for “Thank you” and said it many times, smiling the whole while. I asked my wife to take a photo of the waiter and me. He liked that. As we were leaving the restaurant, I went to the waiter’s station, shook hands with all of them and told them thank you. As I write this, I am listening to the CD. It’s Masters of Chant.

When we were in Jericho, we stopped at Zacchaeus’s sycamore-fig tree, which is mentioned in Luke 19:1-9. Near the tree was a short, balding, elderly man selling postcards. He asked where we were from. After we told him, he said, “Tell America we want peace,” and with that he gave us postcards. We tried to pay him for them but he wouldn’t take our money. That, too, is a lasting memory.

We were in a village outside of Hebron distributing clothing and goods to homes of handicapped people in conjunction with a Palestinian organization. This way, we were able to go into the homes to see first-hand how some of the Palestinians lived. The village had one main street. It was dirt. School was letting out. Young, back-pack-laden children were walking home. They were very skeptical of us, eyed us warily and they kept their distance. They had probably never before seen or encountered Americans, so I began high-fiving some of the braver boys. Others, I guess, wanted to say that they had touched an American so the crowd of kids began enlarging. Pretty soon it was like the Pied Piper of Hamlin with high-fives all around. We don’t know where all of these kids were coming from, but come they did. They followed us the length of the street and when we went into homes, they waited for us to come out. Then the parade resumed. But the kids didn’t seem to care because they hung in the whole time. Even after we loaded up to leave, some of them followed our van on the dusty road to the edge of the village. We felt good about the life-long memories those kids will have about cementing relationships between Palestinian youngsters and Americans.

We met a 13-year-old Palestinian Christian girl who wanted to practice her English on us. She introduced us to her father, who had not been out of the West Bank in 18 years. The girl and Loretta exchanged e-mail addresses. When we arrived home, Loretta began corresponding with her. Now, we do Instant Messaging and Annie’s daughter, McKenzie, instant messages her as well.

While in Bethlehem, we met a family of five. They have explicitly told us that the next time we go to Israel, we are to stay with them. Isn’t that neat??? This is the wall that divides The West Bank from Bethlehem that the Israeli's built. This is looking at it from the West Bank side.
Mount of Temptation in Jericho where Jesus was tempted by Satan.

Graffiti on a wall in Ramallah. Notice the boot crushing the dove (peace).

What we have found in our travels, no matter where we are in the world, is that by actually visiting in the homes of people and in coffee shops, the regular citizens are all-right persons. They are friendly, warm, hospitable and caring. In many respects, they are just like us. They want peace and goodwill with their fellow man. In every home we went into, except for the deeply impoverished, we were offered food, drink and conversation. Frequently, the languages had to be translated, but the warmth and caring shone through. And that says a lot.


On a side note, my brother (the one with 12 kids!) has entered the wonderful world of blogging. I would love it if you would welcome Matt by visiting 12 Kids...And Counting? and leaving a comment (yes, Katdish, he has a gift for sarcasm so he's cool).

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Short Sunday, Happy Birthday and Hope

Today is my sons (Killian) 13th birthday and he is officially a teenager. We've been through four so far, so I think I have teenagerdom figured out. Somewhat. So, I just wanted to wish this awesome young fella Happy Birthday!

And, I also wanted to share my currently favorite song with you. This pretty much says it all. I hope you have an awesome Sunday.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Tom Cruise Fan Club Or A Drunk Fly

I was tagged, I think, by Steph (since she so kindly mentioned me on her blog) to write seven things about myself that no one knows, or something like that. You may be wondering then, why the title of this post. Well, to be honest I needed a catchier title than '7 Things You May Not Know About Me' and I happened to think just this very morning how weird it was that someone googled Tom Cruise Carbonara (which I wrote about earlier and I'm still waiting for his people to call) and ended up on my site. And because 'If you googled porn and ended up here that must really suck for you' has already been used. The drunk fly? Well, there was a fly buzzing around in my bathroom this morning and he appeared to be intoxicated. Seriously, he could've blown a .583 breathalyzer test with the way he was flying. And, a live fly in Bend in the dead of winter is unheard of. Seriously, what is going on with that.

  1. I was once an army wife, for approximately six years, give or take (during my first marriage). I met some incredibly awesome people and still maintain several of those friendships today. Both of my kids were born at the hospital on Ft. Carson, Colorado (Colorado Springs) at a whopping cost of $14.95. (Because military, especially enlisted are so grossly underpaid for the sacrifices and commitment they make to their country the health care is a blessing.) While living in Colorado Springs, I worked for Focus on the Family and have a tremendous amount of respect for what they advocate and stand for where the family is concerned.

  2. Growing up I was the chubby kid that got teased or left out of the click because I wasn't cool enough. I think this is why I'm sensitive to the underdog and not very patient with the primadonna-diva types. Outwardly I appeared secure, but inwardly I was an insecure mess and extremely critical of myself. Stuff like that sticks with a person for a long time and it took years for me to be able to accept myself and not see myself as the rejected chubby kid.

  3. I am a pretty darn staunch, opinionated Republican(I know that may surprise some of you and please don't tell the union I have to unwillingly give my hard earned money to every month. Ok, I just broke the first rule of blogging - never talk about work). There are two things that one is never supposed to talk about at a party: politics and religion. I try to avoid both especially because I am so opinionated it keeps me from ticking off those who are of the opposite party lines, and the fact that some of my very close friends are extremely misled by the democratic party (the lack of capitalization is on purpose) and it saddens me greatly. I admire Dick Morris for finally coming to his senses about the Clintons and coming into the light. I think Al Gore and his Inconvenient Truth - environmentalism / global warming platform is one big political, money making scheme and yes, I have done my research on global warming and all of the other things I'm opinionated about thank you very much (yes, I do recycle but I'm not falling into the 'going green' frenzy). For the most part, liberal Hollywood actors should stick to acting and keep their mouths closed when it comes to politics (namely Rosie, Rosanne, Michael Moore and Sean Penn - who met with Hugo Chavez and I consider a disgrace to America). Ok, enough political rant because I could go on and on and I'm sure I've offended some already but don't take it personally and I sound overly, well opinionated right now.

  4. After my divorce, I moved to Sheridan, Wyoming and after several months of living there decided to open and espresso bar and call it Buzz By Annie's. (You probably just had an ah-ha moment.) I had a business plan, financing and a pretty spectacular location in place but God chose to shut the door and bring me back to Bend. It's a long story about how I got there and coming back to Bend, but Jeremiah 29:11-14 were my verses of the year.

  5. When I was a kid I tried to become a 'lefty' just to be different and practiced writing and eating with my left hand. My writing never got better but I ate predominantly with my left hand, which I still do sometimes.

  6. When I was five, my grandma bought an old upright piano for me (which I still have) and I took lessons until I was a junior in high school. I sang my first solo in church when I was five and continued to do so until we left that church when I was a teenager. I also played the viola, flute and could blast out a pretty mean rendition of 'Hot Cross Buns' on the recorder.

  7. I have incredible parents that do missions work (handing out the Jesus Film with Campus Crusade) and they go to some pretty crazy places. In fact, my mom got everyone arrested in Turkey(a few days after they were arrested, they were up in the hills far from any town, hiking up to a monastery when my mom spotted something on the ground. She bent down to pick it up and it was a Monopoly 'Get Out of Jail Free' card. God has a sense of humor, no doubt). Last year they were in Palestine and met some pretty spectacular people. In fact, I've asked my dad to share about their experience there, in light of the recent events in Gaza, and I will be posting that in the next few days.

There you have it, seven things that may or may not change your perspective of me. I think I'm the last of the bunch to complete this thing, and so no tagging going on here.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My Productive Morning, Or Not

I ran out of the house this morning and when I got to work I realized I had forgotten my breakfast and lunch. No food = Hangry Annie (hungry + angry). It could get ugly today. Not that skipping a few meals is going to kill me or anything because when I put on my skinny jeans yesterday I realized that someone, over the holidays had obviously washed them in hot water. Maybe today is a good day to fast.

The reason I ran out of the house this morning is because I was running late due to the fact I got caught up watching this piece of journalistic awesomeness.

That led to me watching some videos of Dennis Miller (I love this guy. I used to watch his 'Weekend Update' skit on SNL and especially dig the fact that he is 'Hollywood Common Sense' (meaning he leans to the right and thinks Barbara Boxer is a moron. Ok, that's not nice, but I am far-leaning right, am very opinionated when it comes to politics and that is all I have to say about that.) This is from quite awhile ago, but hang in there. His bit on environmentalism and global warming is reallllllly good. I promise.

And then I had to watch this. Again...and again...and again... Jon can only dream(and so can I).

Which lead to this...(ok, I digress)

And now you see why I was late. But, guess what, folks? That's the news and I - am - out - of - here! (where is the quote from?).

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What Is In a Name?

I was perusing Steph's blog awhile back and came across a post she had done about what's in a name. My given name is Anne, but growing up I was Annie K. So, I thought I'd put both names into the hat and see what comes out. The interesting thing was that Anne was just a bit different from Annie but I'm going to include it all and not leave out the messy stuff it had to say about me, be because I am so secure in myself. (Ok, originally I was going to leave out the messy stuff because I'm insecure that way, but since we're being honest here...).

What Anne Means

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
(I've been accused of being ultra-competitive...)

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
( brothers would have called me bossy.)

You have the classic "Type A" personality.
(Would vacuuming 3 times per week put me in that category?)

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.
You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.
You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.
(I do have a gift for assuming...)

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.
You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.
At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.
(I'm going to be honest here and tell you that I would not describe myself as easy going and neither would my husband. It's one thing I wish I was more of, but I tend to stress out very easily and am not that great at taking things as they come. Maybe 2009, will be the year I conquer stress and over reacting and become more easy going (like Jon).

So here's what it says about Annie, which is a little more dead on.

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.
(See explanation about lack of easy goingness above.)

You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.
(I promise Helen, I'm going to stick with the food blog!)

You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.
(Uh...only if it gets boring...)

What's in your name?

Do tell.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Those Hungarian Women...

Yes, it's true. Helen and I are in cahoots on a new food blog. I know, it's madness and craziness - kind of like east meets west - but it will be fabulous, awesome and all that is truly brilliant rolled into one little blog. There's bound to be a little bit Helen and a little bit Annie and a whole lotta simply good food. (Hey, there's even going to be stuff Kat can dish or a chicken can cook or..well, you get the picture.) Feel free to send us a request for a recipe you'd like to see posted, or maybe you need an idea of what to cook to impress the neighbors your having for dinner. You only like to cook simple, good tasting dishes? No problem. We're all about simple and easy and we never forget the good taste! Got a cooking question? We'll be the Dear Gabby Abby of food.

So, follow us on our culinary journey of sorts as we cook our way through bloggerdom. I guarantee there will be some good eats goin' on!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Oh Snap

It's been a crazy week and I haven't had a lot of time to write. Today, I'm home with a sick kid and trying to finish painting the trim in the office. I hate painting. Where's Katdish when I need her? Did I mention I hate painting? Especially trim around the windows. UGH!

So, before I huck the paint can out the window and because I obviously need a break from painting, I thought I'd share a few pictures of the trip that Jon and I took to Portland on Friday. I know how much you all like seeing the snow (especially Mare) and there was plenty of it as we were driving over the river and through the woods.

Visibility? Nope.

Oh yeah, much better.

River's looking mighty high for this time of year...

Jon giving me 'the look' because I'm snap happy with the camera...

Friday, January 2, 2009

Buzz By Annie's Potato Pancakes

New Years Eve was fairly quiet at our house. Jon and I went out to dinner and then made a mad dash for home where we watched TV for most of the evening. Yeah, we live life on the edge. So come morning, I asked Jon what he wanted for breakfast and he happened to mention there were left over mashed potatoes and they would make some very nice potato pancakes. Hey, this girl can take a hint and off to the kitchen I went. I like to serve the pancakes topped with scrambled eggs and salsa - an awesome New Year's breakfast no doubt.

Buzz By Annie's Potato Pancakes

3 cups (or so) of left over mashed potatoes
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons flour
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Place a skillet over medium high heat and add 3-4 Tablespoons of olive oil into the skillet. Take about a 1/2 cup of the potatoes at a time and form into patties and place in the skillet when the oil is heated. Let the patties cook until the underside is golden (the Parmesan cheese makes a really nice crust) and then carefully turn and let cook on the other side, approx 3-4 minutes each side.

While the pancakes are cooking, prepare and scramble some eggs. When the pancakes are golden brown on both sides, it's time to plate them up! I like to just mound everything - so put one or two pancakes on a plate, top with some scrambled eggs and salsa. Voila!