Blogember – Day 12

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November 12: Your First Pet

I wish I had a picture to share with you of Buster, my first pet. Buster was a beagle puppy we adopted from a breeder while we were living in Beacon, New York. I don’t really remember anything about getting him, or how long exactly we had him, because I was only about 3 at the time. I do have memories of him, but sometimes I’m not sure if those memories are actually mine or are simply honed from years of hearing my parents tell stories of Buster. 

From what I now understand as an adult, we probably didn’t have Buster for very long at all. Eventually his super destructive behavior became too much for my mom to take, and we ended up bringing him to the ASPCA. Thankfully, he was adopted the following day by a family with older boys and a lot of land. We were living in a townhouse at the time, with a deck and a small yard that backed into a wooded area. Buster was smart enough to dig up his tether, but not smart enough not to eat twigs. These, along with grass, would get stuck in his throat and we had more than one emergency trip to the vet with a dog who was struggling to breathe through all the sticks jammed in his throat. 

I think my favorite Buster story is the night we came home from dinner, and he met us at the front door super happy we were home. Sadly, when we had left, he had been penned into the kitchen, which had been covered in newspapers. He had somehow managed to jump onto the kitchen counter, up onto the refrigerator, knocking over all of the cookbooks (which were then covered in his “gifts” for us on the floor) and jumping over the dog gate in the kitchen.  Another time, he got out of the kitchen and managed to lock himself in a bathroom.

He was a sweet puppy, but was a puppy and ultimately too much for my mom to handle along with a three year old. Thankfully, he did find a loving home, and as far as I know lived out the rest of his days playing and running around.  

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Blogember – Day 11

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November 11: 3 albums you would take in a deserted island

This one is really difficult. I love music, and there are so many albums and artists that have changed my life, and without whom I would be all kinds of sad. How could I possibly choose just three albums?! I mean, can they be mix tapes?!

*sigh*

Ok – so really, what this comes down to is choosing three artists, and then choosing one album each. Right? Simple, yeah? Still, not really.

After much hemming and hawing, I decided I was just going to go ahead and break the rules. =X

I made this list a few years ago, the 15 albums that changed my life, and it’s still really accurate.

1. Hanson – Middle of Nowhere

2. Rancid – …And Out Come the Wolves

3. No Doubt- Tragic Kingdom

4. Nirvana- Nevermind

5. The Eagles- Greatest Hits

6. Tommy Makem & Liam Clancy – The Makem & Clancy Collection

7. Simon & Garfunkel – The Concert in Central Park

8. Joan Baez- Classics Vol. 8

9. Bob Dylan – Blonde on Blonde

10. The Rolling Stones- Hot Rocks

11. Brandi Carlile-Acoustic

12. Led Zeppelin- Led Zeppelin III

13. Metallica- The Black Album

14. Ani DiFranco- Little Plastic Castle

15.  Fleetwood Mac- Rumors

 

Each one of these albums made a huge impact on my life at some point – some have made that impact multiple ways at different times. I guess, if I had to bring just three – I’d probably throw them all into a bag and then grab three and hope for the best.

Blogember – Day 10

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November 10: A time when you felt unstoppable

I think one of the moments I felt unstoppable would be the year I ended up qualifying for the World Championships of Irish dance.

2001 I spent the entire year busting my ass, going to Irish dance classes 4 nights a week. I was taking ballet, pointe, tap, and jazz at City College, and was doing 2 nights a week of pilates.

The day before I danced at regionals, I spent the night on the floor of another dance family’s hotel room.  I was so nervous, and ended up dancing my first two rounds with the girl who won first place every year. Thankfully that only made me angry and pushed me to dance my hardest.

I couldn’t believe when awards were announced and I was in the top 5. Then when I wasn’t 5th I about died. Winning 4th place (after two years in a row of 10th) made me happier than ever.

Blogember – Day 9

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Happy Saturday, everyone!

Today’s prompt is:  5 favorite places to shop online

I don’t know about you guys, but I kind of hate shopping – except for online shopping. I hate going into a crowded store, at a crowded mall. All those people, walking slowly, in my way.

Anyway, so the thing is I love online shopping. I may or may not have a problem.

My 5 favorite places to shop are:

1. Loft – So many cute clothes, thing are just like always on sale. Best ever.

2. Gap – I love the Gap, and you can usually find all the sizes you need online – which is my favorite.

3. Etsy – I don’t have one specific shop, but I can always find really great, unique gifts.

4. Paper Source – stationary, cute gifts, planners! SO GOOD.

5. Amazon – ebooks, and more importantly, AMAZONFRESH!

Blogember – Day 8

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Oops! 

I had a couple of super crazy days at work and completely dropped the ball on days 6 & 7.  I am disappointed, but, c’est la vie, right? 

Day 8 is 5 minutes on the prompt: Time

This seems particularly apt since I lost all track of time in the last two days and failed to carve out time to write. I think the biggest lesson I’m learning about time is that you need to make time for the things you really love to do and the things that are important to you. Otherwise, no one else is going to ensure those things happen. 

I have a pretty firm grasp on time management at work – although lately I’ve felt kind of overwhelmed and disorganized and like I’ve lost a bit of control of my time. I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that I’m still trying to find my way in my career and discover which path I should be on, and where I will truly serve the most good. 

It’s difficult when it comes to my personal time and balance because when I’m not at work usually all I want to do is sleep/read/snuggle with my cats/hang out with Travis. I don’t always want to actually do anything because I’m so wiped out from work. I’d like to get to a point where I feel like I have my energy back, and hopefully by the end of this year, and going into 2014 I’ll have found that. 

I think we all take time for granted a lot too -not always, but for most of us, having another day, and “more time” to accomplish things just seems like a given. Obviously, it’s not. Not for anyone. You never really know when your time on this planet will be up – so I guess what I’m trying to say is, the rest of this year and next year I want to really learn to make my time count. 

Blogember – Day 5

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November 5: Share a favorite recipe (can be yours or someone else’s just make sure to give credit)

In my relationship, Travis is the cook. I can actually follow a recipe pretty well, but, Travis can take nearly anything and make it into a delicious meal. So, unfortunately, I am not great at feeding myself when I’m home alone. Mostly because I don’t actually really enjoy cooking – I much prefer eating.

That said, the following recipe is very special to me. I met my friend Marisa when I was in high school. One of the first times I came to visit her at her dad’s house, he made us Chicken Paprikas. It was easily the most amazing thing I’d ever eaten. He would make it for me each time I came over because he knew how much I loved it, and before he died, he made sure to write it down for me so that I could make it on my own at home.

I’ve made this recipe many times since receiving it, and while it is indeed still delicious, it never tastes exactly the same as the way Mr. Dominello made it. So, I give you, Mr. Dominello’s Chicken Paprikas.

Ingredients:
1 cut up chicken (or four whole legs)
4 tbs. vegetable oil
1cup onion (1 med. brown) finely chopped
2 cloves garlic finley chopped
small 8oz sour cream
2 cans chicken broth, divided. 2 cups will be used for rice.
1 tbs paprika (Pride of Szeged sweet paprika)
salt and pepper
optional: add chipped green pepper
Instructions:
Brown chicken and remove
Saute onion and garlic
add paprika (off heat)
add chicken to onion mixture
add broth
cook covered for 30-40 mins till chicken is cooked throughly
remove chicken
add tbs. of flour and sour cream – blend
cook down a little
add chicken again
cover 15 mins.
Rice:
Uncle Ben’s
Brown rice in 2 tbs oil and chicken broth
2 cups broth/ 1 cup rice
Cover at low heat 20 mins until done

Blogember – Day 4

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November 4: Write for 5 minutes on the prompt: Freedom

I started watching Orange is the New Black this weekend, and it’s making me think a lot about freedom. I know everyone’s been raving about this show but it makes me a little bit sad. Actually, more than a little bit sad, a lot sad.

Yes, the show has funny moments, but what makes it truly sad to me is not the funny parts. The truly sad thing about this show is how insanely messed up our prison systems. It makes my heart break for everyone who is incarcerated, because it’s really easy to forget they are human beings. Human beings who are frequently treated little better than animals.

I’m sure this is also the point of the show, but it just gives me the sads.