28 April 2008

Best shot of the day

best shot of the day, originally uploaded by foodchronicles.

I am back from the Uni graduation. A good time was had by all! This shot sums up all of our feelings for the day. Love, love, love.

And, for all of you that have heard of Noah's in Lindon; it is the place to go for a party! We had a group of about 25 people come and go for our party. A wedding was downstairs and a band was playing on the fourth floor. None of us could hear the others and it was a blast!

If you need to book a party or reception they get my vote!

Isn't that pic great?

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23 April 2008

Giveaway time!

Go over to the food blog and participate in a book or bag giveaway! I'm going away, to a university graduation. I'll be back Monday and the drawing will take place then. Hopefully some of you will win!

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22 April 2008

Nicole Miller Design flaw

Recently I got a new pair of glasses. Thanks to my darling youngest daughter. She thought the frames I had been wearing since 1993 just weren't cutting it anymore. Go figure! Well she picked out a pair of Nicole Miller's Sling Back frames and sent them to me. I love the style! See:

However, there is one small problem. Check out the arm on the glasses (click on the picture to make it bigger). Where the bend begins, it changes material and they connect in a "L" shape connection. Well the connection has tiny gaps that grab my hair. After wearing them like this for about a month now, I think I have no sideburn hair left! So what to do?

I mentioned to my husband i was trying to figure out a solution for the problem and though maybe a piece of electrical tubing might work. You know the kind that shrinks when heated? Yes. Well, he then googled his favorite cheap hardware place to see if they had any I could use. Today I went with a coupon he printed for me, and bought a big package of them!

I trimmed on tube to about 3/8 of an inch and fed it onto the arm and hit it with the blowdryer. Woohoo! It worked. Now the hair will grow back and I can be my hairy self all over again! Here's a view of the finished look: from the top,

Glasses arm top
and side:
Glasses arm side

The little black tube doesn't show as it is covered by my hair! If you've got a pair of glasses with the same problem, I recommend my fix.

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21 April 2008

The most recent fill-up

The most recent fill-up, originally uploaded by foodchronicles.

Whoa! I just filled up my MINI. 12 gallons for $50. This is something I never thought I'd see. Holy Moly!

I need something sweet now.
I want candy

That'll do.

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20 April 2008

Top Tier

Top Tier, originally uploaded by foodchronicles.

Okay, this is the top tier of the cake. To see the whole cake go to my food blog.

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19 April 2008

Done with the cake.

I have spent the week doing a wedding cake. Wednesday was baking day. Thursday was frosting day. Friday was assembly day and today it gets delivered. It is the first large cake I've done since I left the bakery.

I told my daughter that before, when I did cakes for people I knew personally, I always got really nervous. I was afraid something would go wrong and ruin the big day. Well, it was well founded as that did happen once in the middle of July. The power went out, the house was hot and the cake began to melt away. It was sheer misery. But not this week. I did my prep work, and then yesterday calmly approached the decorating portion. It went so well, I am buoyed up enough to maybe try it again. Not any time soon, but possibly another wedding some time.

I'll post a pic after it gets delivered.

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15 April 2008

Buying Handmade

A few months back I spied this bag at Kirsty's Etsy sight. I fell madly in love with it. But, times what they are I couldn't just drop everything and buy it. SO I claimed it as mine and the universe cooperated!

Just a few weeks ago, someone bought something from me unexpectedly and so I was able to turn those funds over to the handmade goodness of Kirsty! I quickly to her shop. And there it was, waiting patiently for me. Today it arrived in the mail. I love it! It will be my summer bag! The colors are so vibrant and cheery. It is perfect.




It is lovely. So if you want something really perfect for yourself, shop handmade. We're all over the place!

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13 April 2008

Lists, lists

If only, I should have, someday I'm going to, if not now, when? Those lists that keep you going, doing, wishing. Do they keep you on task or do they just keep you plodding along day in and out to meet that someday goal?

I am a list maker when I have a task. But when I don't have a specific deadline they tend to fall off the shelf in my mind and get caught up in the day to day stuff like being angry at the government. I think for a while I am not going to read the newspaper or news. It pulls me off task and somehow in my mind I think by saying something about an injustice in the world I can change it. It is foolhardy at best. So I am going to leave it be. I have a small corner of the world that I call mine and that is what I will concentrate on for now.

So what about the list? I, like most everyone, has heard about the professor. You know him, Professor Pausch. Yes, that professor. He has told the world he has pancreatic cancer. Has about six months to live; And asks what would you do with your six months?

Well, I don't want to live like I have six months to live, but I do want to make a list of things I'd still like to do. Let's see, 100 things. Not general things, but specific things.

1. Go to Beatrix Potter's garden in Birnam (at Dunkeld) in Scotland.
2. Have a family portrait taken at the beach.
3. Walk the streets of Brisbane in Queensland.
4. Plant ten acres of Lavendar and sell a crop.
5. Have a farm school in Arizona.
6. Eat pecans off my own trees.
7. Tour Boston.
8. Publish a book.
9. Play kickball with Little Miss and Sport.
10. Teach someone small to embroider.
11. Learn to needle a felt figure. (I have the necessary items, just set aside the time.)
12. Go to San Felipe with the big guy and have fresh broiled shrimp again.
13. Learn to speak Spanish, not the jibberish I now speak.
14. Build a house.
15. Be able to identify a few more stars on sight, and not just the Big and Little Dippers or Orion.
16. Sell a $500 piece of art from glass I make.
17. Ride a bike with Sport along the coast of California.
18. Collect shells in Mazatlan with the family.
19. Take photos professionally, for a food/candy company.
20. Go back to Hyde Park with the husband.
21. Get personalized M&Ms.
22. Keep my car running forever.
23. Spend a weekend with my sisters at the beach.
24. Go to New Zealand and eat lamb the way it should be cooked.
25. Make my own chocolate, from the bean, at least once.
26. Encourage others to be adventurous, always.
27. Turn off the TV for a week.
28. Meet Lisa, in person again.
29. Meet an Apostle.
30. Finish a quilted quilt.
31. Go to DC (Lexington) to see my oldest son-in-law graduate from law school.
32. Take a driving course at Las Vegas Speedway with other MINI owners.
33. Go to Abbey Road and cross the street.
34. Have a letter to the editor published.
35. Go with the grandkids Grunion hunting.
36. Visit all Fifty nifty United States.
37. Grow Bluebonnets in Arizona.
38. Run a mile.
39. Run a mile, every day for a year.
40. Eat croissants in Paris.
41. Encourage someone to follow their dreams.
42. Build an observatory.
43. Take deep space photographs.
44. Publish a set of Christmas cards.
45. Read Les Miserables.
46. Camp on the beach.
47. Own another VW Van.
48. Make a chocolate souffle.
49. Work in a candy factory for a season.
50. Tour the church history sights.
51. Find out what really happened to my father (it may be too late).
52. Write a six word story.
53. Watch a sunset while sipping seven up in the sand.
54. Go to the Calgary stampede.
55. Be happy, even if I don't finish the list.
56. Fund joy in small things.
57. Have chickens, for fresh eggs.
58. Teach my grandkids to bodysurf.
59. Remodel the bathroom.
60. Install the tankless water heater.

Okay, breath time. I'll post the last forty tomorrow.

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USS Ronald Reagan

USS Ronald Reagan, originally uploaded by foodchronicles.

Went to Point Loma Friday. Saw the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) leaving the bay to head out to sea for exercises on April 18th. Should be standard Air/Sea exercises to hone some skills.

The ship is very impressive. Limited group tours are currently available for JROTC, high school students, reunion groups, etc. The ship is not scheduling public, private or family tours at this time. Learn more about what they do, by clicking on the link above.

When you get to the site, click on the news tab. There are some very interesting stories about the ship and its crew. They recently received their Blue Water designation, meaning the ship can now act as a landing strip and fueling/repair base for planes that are out of land range to put it in simple terms. Pretty neat.

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08 April 2008

I want to quit my job!

As a tax payer that is!

Government employees I pay are really starting to bug me. I read everyday about people struggling to pay their bills and paying higher taxes, and then read this story. And yes, Mr. postmaster, Ms. Veterans Administrator and all you other party goers, I do pay your salary as does every working American. Mitt Romney said it very well when he said it is a sad state of affairs when government workers are paid higher than those in the public sector. It is time Mr. and Mrs. America to put a stop to it all. A couple of examples from the article:

" _At the Pentagon, four employees purchased $77,700 in clothing and accessories at high-end clothing and sporting goods stores. The spending included more than $45,000 at Brooks Brothers and similar stores for tailor-made suits — $7,000 of which were purchased a week before Christmas. The credit-card holders said the items were for service members working at U.S. embassies with civilian attire. Pentagon rules allow purchases of civilian clothing when performing official duty, but generally only up to $860 per person.

_An Agriculture Department employee fraudulently wrote 180 convenience checks for more than $642,000 to a live-in boyfriend over a six-year period. The money was used for gambling, car and mortgage payments, dinners and retail purchases that went unnoticed until USDA's inspector general received a tip from a whistle-blower. The employee, who pleaded guilty to embezzlement and tax fraud charges, was sentenced last year to 21 months in prison and ordered to repay the money."

Oh I have no doubt she'll pay it back. heh. sure.

The democrats were going to stop run away spending when they took over and gained control of congress. Has it happened? No. In fact they are spending more now than ever before. I know one thing for sure. It better stop soon because Mr. and Mrs. America can't pay their mortgages, much less your salaries too!

Or maybe we should all just work for the government.

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07 April 2008


Indiana Jones mms, originally uploaded by foodchronicles.

Since upgrading my Aperture program recently I have been less than pleased with the way the colors look washed out on import. I went looking for answers. The user group at Apple helped me come to an understanding. I only import to flickr at this point. I do print on occasion, but not all that often.

I read and read and then found the answer. The problem isn't Aperture. It is actually Firefox. Yes. Firefox. My favorite web browser is quickly becoming my functional browser for blog posting, but for viewing not so much. You see, Firefox has an embedded photo profile and uses that with all photos uploaded to it. Yes, no matter what profile my photo say it has, Firefox says too bad, I'm using this. Bleh.

So my photo of the Gerbera daisies in an earlier post? In Safari, they are the bright hot pink they were in real life. On Firefox? A nice soft pastel. Not like the true photo at all. So when you are viewing photos and especially if you are looking at a print to purchase, take the opportunity to check the photo in several browsers.

You may have seen a disclaimer on several sites regarding the true color of photos and how they may differ from what you see on your monitor. Not all browsers are alike and not all monitors are calibrated. So this little bit of understanding can help you be more satisfied when making a purchase online.

The photo above. It looks muted, or even dull in Firefox. View it in Safari? Bright and brilliant colors. I don't have IE. Someone want to tell me what you see there?

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05 April 2008

Intellectuals take note

I saw this at Bella Dia and could not resist putting it up here too. It is 20 minutes long. Still, you will probably not regret spending 20 minutes watching this video. It is really important if you have a child that is entering school. It will help you make some hard decisions. At least it will for my daughters.

Creativity needs to be nurtured. I sometimes think it is as essential to us as oxygen. Please do yourself a favor and watch the video.

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Bedtime for Angus

Every morning, and guests can attest to this fact, Angus goes through a bed time ritual. He goes outside and tries to catch birds. Comes in eats a nibble or two. And then bedtime begins. He'll stand at the end of the couch and meow.

He meows until I respond, ask him if he's ready to go night night? He meows again and takes a few steps. Waits until I get up and meet in the hallway. I then walk past him and he meows again. Then he'll walk along side me to the head of the bed. But he won't jump up on it.

I have to pick him up, place him on the bed, while he meows and gets comfy. Then a give him a quick pet, and tell him to get a good sleep and I'll see him later.

He sleeps until about 2-3 p.m. and he comes out to sit beside me where ever I am. He chats it up until someone else arrives and the he wants to go out.

I actually tuck him into bed every day. aaack. Click on the photo for a better view.

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03 April 2008

Saturday, in the park...

Actually it was Saturday at the beach. We had to drive down and breath in some salt air. It takes all the blue meanies away! There is just something about the sound of the ocean and the smell of salt air.

I snapped a few pics and made this with two of them. Enjoy.

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02 April 2008

The Housing Crisis in America

Okay, okay I have finally had it. My background is in food, but when I went to college I studied Family Financial Planning and Counseling. I have a bit of background in to which I speak. I have seen clients with millions of dollars living off tax free interest to the tune of $110,000 a month and I have counseled those who couldn't save two nickels to save their life. Both are extremes.

But what we've seen in the past few months and year in American is a story of greed and corruption to the very top. I have heard the pundits tell homeowners that the crisis they are in is their fault for signing the loan docs. That they are responsible for allowing financial professionals lead them down the garden path, and then they bought the story and signed up. I am so sick of hearing that this is the homeowners fault. Yes, there is some culpability on the part of the homeowner, but come on. When a notary is in your home at 8:30 at night, witnessing and notarizing loan documents, how are you going to read through the 200+ pages of fine print that you are signing. You've asked all the right questions, youbeen told exaggerations, and outright lies, to get you to this point.

Your home has been subjected to an appraisal, it cost you anywhere from $350 to $600 to have it appraised. You were surprised at the phone call that told you your home was worth three times its value and then were asked are you sure you only want to borrow "x" amount? You could borrow a lot more! Go ahead, it will only cost you an additional "x" per month for the opportunity to cash out.

Gas prices are stable, you are both employed, you work everyday, and you have never called in sick. You know how fortunate you are to have th ejob you have. It's good. So you sign up to gain a bit of relief from the interest rates of your old loan to pay off the credit cards and never go back to them. Aahhh, relief. You put your future in the hands of trusted professionals. They told you the value of your home, real estate is the best investment you can make, and yes, this is the value your home. What you don't notice is the small paragraph in the 200 pages that tell you at any time your homes value falls more than 10% below what the value is currently, the bank can call your note. Everything is due and payable immediately. Or you can refinance. Only you can't because there's a pre-payment clause, that you specifically asked if there was one and you were told no, not at all, and now it's there buried in the fine print. 10% of the loan value penalty, to refinance for three to five years, not a descending penalty but a 10% penalty right off the top.

Refinance!??!! WHAT were you thinking? Gas prices are at record highs. Groceries are moving up faster than you can keep track. And your wife's job? Well her company just had to close because it couldn't compete with the large corporations that have moved into your area. She's no longer working. Now the real estate crisis is in full swing and you've got to refinance. Your home's value has fallen by 20% because your neighbors are in the same situation. Everywhere you drive in town there are signs telling you that you are not the only one feeling the pinch. BUt hey, you tell yourself, I'm still current with my bill. I'm okay but not for long. If I don't get this house refinanced I'm going to be in trouble too. However, I can't refinance. The value has fallen below what I owe, I have this penalty of 10%, and I have no savings, my wife is out of work and times are hard.

Then you hear the news. The government is going to help those in need:
1. They're going to give cities and states grants to buy homes that have been foreclosed.
2. They're going to give consumers in trouble financial counseling.
3. They're recommending tax relief for lenders who are willing to negotiate with mortgage holders.

Band-aid fixes. Give the foolish consumer counseling and help all the corporations. When is the turnip going to be squeezed dry? The lowly taxpayer is being asked to hold all the responsibility, the cost and continually be asked to pay more fees and taxes, for what? Less and less everyday.

Bernanke asked for one proposal that might actually help someone out. I doubt it will get much play. Banks only write down losses for themselves, not others. But we'll bailout firms like Bear Stearns. hmph. The next time you want judge your neighbors for losing their home, think about a bit of what I've written here. Not everyone is a schlub with no regard for finances. They're probably a lot like you.

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