Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Not in my house. We have no decorations, no lights, no festive anything...until now! I wrapped some of the presents that I have purchased. I am not done with shopping at all, but I at least have a nice list of everything I am going to get. That is half of the battle, right?
Anyways, here are the pictures of the presents, which sums up the holiday "decorations" in my home.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Yes We Did

Like me, some of you are part of a generation that is so young there are few things we can claim as our own. We can't say "I remember where I was when that historical event happened". We are members of the generation most believe to be lazy and uncaring of the future, selfish and self absorbed. Most events we know of come from our history books and the stories passed to us from the elders in our lives. Unfortunately for our generation, most of the things we could talk about were tragedies (specifically 9/11).
Today, we have a joyous event to add to our list.
We can now say where we were when we heard the United States of America had elected Barack Obama. Where were you when young voters, and voters period, came out to vote in record numbers? People even lined up for hours to cast their ballot for the leader of their choice. Where were you when the first cheers went up announcing a victory for not the democratic party, not the black community, not the minority community, but a victory for every person who believes that this is their chance for change? I know where I was and I am happy to be able to say that I was apart of American history today.
This is a new age for America. A new time where we come together for the greater good and leave behind old thoughts and feelings. We are going to come out ahead again.
Today, Yes We Did.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Beef stew recipe, Deva style

Mmm...I adore warm beef stew over white rice. There is a restaurant back home, Rambie's, that served a fantastic beef stew. When we went back in July 2007 the only Rambie's to be found was at the Micronesia Mall, and they did not have beef stew on the menu that day. It was a sad day to be sure. I wish I could have had a taste to see if I could dissect what it was exactly that made that particular stew so fantastic. Since I couldn't figure it out, I had to come up with something. I did some internet searches and located a recipe with an unusual ingredient, Lechon Sauce. So, here is the recipe that I can no longer find and has been adjusted to my way of cooking.

Beef Stew
1 package of brisket, trimmed and cubed
2 large potatoes
1 small package of baby carrots or 4 regular carrots peeled and sliced
1 can diced tomatoes (I use low sodium)
1 onion, diced
1 can of beef broth
1 can tomato sauce
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 c. soy sauce
1/2 c. lechon sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Brown beef in batches to achieve proper browning to all pieces. Remove from pan and set aside. Saute onions in salt and pepper until translucent, add beef back to pan. Add beef broth, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours or until beef is tender. Add carrots and simmer for 10 minutes. Add potatoes and remaining ingredients, cook until vegetables are tender.
Serve over white rice.

I have done this recipe in a pressure cooker, adding all the ingredients at once except for the carrots and potatoes. Then, once the beef was tender, added the veggies and cooked through. Needless to say, that reduced the cooking time quite a bit.
You could also use a more tender cut of beef to cut the cooking time.

You can also add chili peppers or use the spicy lechon sauce instead to add a different dimension to the dish.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

What? You're knitting again?!?!

Originally uploaded by empress_deva

It is very hard to read a book while reading a knitting pattern. I am struck with the impossible decision of which to do. So, I have put the books down for a couple of weeks (waiting for some to hit the shelves anyway) and have picked up the sticks.
I am working on Ophelia and hope to have my first completed knit since my first scarf. I can be honest - I am not a finisher. I am a starter. I have come quite far with this garment, though. I also love the yarn and the way it is looking, even though I am not too fond of the color.
I am knitting it up with Lion Brand Cotton-Ease in color pineapple (yellow). I bought the yarn at Tuesday morning a couple of years ago. I finally ripped open the package when I found the Ophelia pattern.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Total eclipse of the senses?

Somebody please explain the Bonnie Tyler "Total Eclipse of the Heart" video to me, please. Doors slamming open, men dancing around in loin cloths, choir boys with glowing eyes (taking bright eyes a little too literally perhaps?), biker guys clasping fists to their chests while prancing on steps, Bonnie Tyler in a white dress fleeing through long hallways with red curtains blowing in the wind? Okay, maybe I missed something. Always like the song, now I am sorry that I ever saw the video. Was it a horror movie gone wrong?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I'm 27 for a moment...

I turned 27 this week. Happy birthday to me.
I was struck at how old that is. I remember when I used to think that 30 was old and 50 was ancient. Life was going by so slow, time dragging while the world was spinning, waiting for me to take chances, to do fascinating and wonderful things. I couldn't wait for life to grab me and it seems as if it is going past me instead. I try to catch hold of moments, savor and store. Yet I catch myself wondering what I did each day, weeks and months go by faster. I wait for the weekends, rush dinners and phone calls, find myself catching up instead of keeping up with friends. It is the middle of March in 2008, where has the time gone?
I spoke with an old friend yesterday. I realized that I hadn't seen her since middle school. Middle school! Where has the time gone? She is married, I am married. We spoke of things we had been up to in the last 15 years, described our lives. We talked about people we knew back in the day, what everyone else was up to. We counted who had kids (and it seems like everyone does) and who is married, who turned out how we thought they would (nobody did) and who we still wonder about.
Life gets busy, people and places get away from you while you grow up and move on. Today I will try to remember to slow down a bit as life continues, to savor and store so that I can remember these days. The nights I spend talking with my husband, laughing and telling jokes. This quality time we have with just each other...before time slips away yet again.

Listening to: Five for Fighting - 100 years.

I'm fifteen for a moment
Caught in between ten and twenty
And I'm just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are
I'm twenty two for a moment
And she feels better than ever
And we're on fire
Making our way back from Mars
Fifteen there's still time for you
Time to buy and time to lose
Fifteen, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got a hundred years to live
I'm thirty three for a moment
Still the man, but you see I'm a they
A kid on the way
A family on my mind
I'm forty five for a moment
The sea is high
And I'm heading into a crisis
Chasing the years of my life
Fifteen there's still time for you
Time to buy, Time to lose yourself
Within a morning star
Fifteen I'm all right with you
Fifteen, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got a hundred years to live
Half time goes by
Suddenly you’re wise
Another blink of an eye
Sixty seven is gone
The sun is getting high
We're moving on...
I'm ninety nine for a moment
Dying for just another moment
And I'm just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are
Fifteen there's still time for you
Twenty two I feel her too
Thirty three you’re on your way
Every day's a new day...
Fifteen there's still time for you
Time to buy and time to choose
Hey fifteen, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got a hundred years to live

Monday, March 10, 2008

Another long pause...

Wow, I didn't realize it had been a month since my last post. I have been meaning to post for a little while now, especially after Ms. Walker posted a comment in regards to my post for the book "I'll Be Hunting You". Yes, for the record, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It was well written and satisfying. Tori and Declan are two of my favorite characters. I was so unsure about the story, I even reread all of the other Hunter books to see if there was any mention of the pair being together in later books to make sure they made it through together before reading this particular addition. I wasn't disappointed and I really felt for Tori throughout the whole of the story.
After I read the comment I told my husband that I felt like a movie star had taken a moment to say hi to me. I was thoroughly star struck, just as I am whenever Patricia Briggs answers a question I ask on her forum. Now, Ms. Walker, please come to Dallas for a book signing and I will be speechless.

I have been busy working through a newly acquired TBR pile that I picked up for $5 at a used book sale a couple of weekends ago. It is mostly all Silhouette books, so I am counting each 3 books read as one novel. I will work on updating the list once I figure out how to make it scroll and once I compile the list properly. I am saving the books until I jot down all the titles and authors then they are off to Half Price to be replaced by yet another TBR pile. The little voice in my head is insisting that I also polish off the TBR pile on the book shelf, but that voice is evil.

I attended my first "American" wedding this weekend. It was beautiful and sweet and, umm, short. Now, you have to understand that I have only ever been to Catholic weddings, which consist of a full mass in addition to the marriage ceremony. My wedding itself also included an exchange of coins, a candle lighting and some other tradition where a lace like shawl was pinned shoulder to shoulder joining myself to my husband. This, needless to say, took more than an hour. The wedding ceremony I went to this weekend, well including the entrance and vows, took the better part of about 10 minutes. It was refreshing and I enjoyed myself. I also enjoyed their music choices. The entrance song was Blue October's 18th Floor Balcony and their first dance was a Jibe song, but don't ask me for the title because I can't remember the title. The version in my iTunes is untitled, probably because I got the song from the bride and groom years ago. Anyways, correct me if I am wrong about the songs guys.

The DH and I post shawl linking.

In other news, I have been contemplating knitting again, but I don't know if that will pass. I can't read and knit at the same time so the feeling may just pass.

For the people curious about the talus fracture, the healing process and how I am doing nearly 2 years from the accident and surgery. My ankle has been giving me a spot of trouble these past few months. I am contemplating another steroid injection before the BIL and MIL come into town for a short visit. It isn't unbearable, I can still walk and run for the most part. Walking around the mall is taxing, to the point that I am slow and limping to finish the round and make it to the car. Then it is stiff and sore for a couple of days following. I will discuss the arthroscopy with the OS when I go in for the injection. I may go through with it in the middle of the year. It really depends on what is going on around that time.
I noticed that since I stopped working out that it has been causing me more trouble than when I was working out. It is definitely more stiff and sore more often. It also locks up on me at weird moments, like when I am lying in bed or sitting at my desk. Certain positions are more painful than others, but I do not live with constant pain. I will post more about it after I see the OS and have some new xrays taken.

One last thing, I voted for the very first time ever. I will be 27 in a couple of days and I have never voted before. So, very interested in the democratic race, I attended the Texas Primary election on March 4th along with millions of other people in Texas, thousands of which have never voted before. I cast my vote for who I want to represent the democratic party and crossed my fingers, waited up as long as I could only to fall asleep before the final tally was up, woke up in the middle of the night to ask who won Texas (to which my husband shrugged his answer), then logged on to CNN first thing in the morning to discover that Obama had not won the Texas popular vote but was projected to win the delegates. A loss and a win. I could settle for half.
Voting was an exciting experience, as corny as that sounds. Now I can hardly wait for the general election. Baby steps, I know, we still have the better part of the year to go before then.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Wendy and Jay are getting married soon. CONGRATS!!
And, well, I am a girl after all. Their upcoming nuptials have me reminiscing of my wedding. Since I got married before I started this blog, let me share my wedding invitation. It was designed by Star Press in Guam, though we printed it here in Dallas.

I did smudge the...uh...personal information.

Are you ready for some FOOTBALL!

Superbowl XLII...the GIANTS are in the game. My husband, having been a Giants fan since LT was playing, is obviously very excited. The game is underway, the Giants up by 3. Nowhere near the points spread predicted so far, but we will see.
I hope they win. It will definitely make my house a very happy place to be.

A picture of Guam from when we were there this past July. The view is of Puntan Dos Amantes (Two Lover's Point) from a PIC balcony.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Investment in Characters

Have you ever picked up a book where the characters pulled at you, your emotions getting the best of you while you read it. Then, all too soon, the story has ended and you are left with a strong desire for more. Then, you discover that there is a second book and, if you are lucky, a third. The more you read, the more the individual characters become people. Their lives are real for the time you are immersed in their lives. You pick up book four and learn more, then book five opens another door. Ah, suddenly you are on book 7 and you wonder where the time has gone.
What am I talking about, you ask? I am speaking of the darling Shiloh Walker. I first picked up Hunting the Hunter. It looked interesting. I found it at a bookstore I am sure, but who remembers where you pick up your books these days? I am nearly 100% sure that I purchased the volume new, which is rare for me. The cover struck me as interesting, the synopsis grabbed hold and I had to read the book. I was satisfied, but I wanted to know more. Who were these Hunters? What were they? What else could I learn about their universe?
After a brief google search I discovered that - gasp - Ms. Walker was an erotic romance writer. She, in fact, had numerous e-books to her credit. Many of those were of these Hunters that had captured my interest so thoroughly. Well, I decided to put my hangups aside and purchase the first book. A very erotic read, but I was hooked. I had to know more.
Ten books later, I discover that there is a second book to Declan and Tori's story. What? Declan dies in "I'll Be Hunting You"? Oh no, I could not read that book. I had invested so much time in these characters, they were important, they meant something to all the other Hunters. How could I enjoy the future knowing that the love that was Declan and Tori didn't survive? So, I searched online for a spoiler, something to give me hope before I invested in the book. I came up with teasers, "this is a romance and Tori couldn't be happy with anyone but Declan". (That is a loose quote) After reading Lover Unbound, I don't think I could handle another ghostly love story.
So, I decided to forgo the story. Then all day today I couldn't stop thinking about it, dammit! So, I bought it tonight. It is 65 pages short, which is good because I don't think I could have gotten through more pages of hurt. I was sure I would hate Shiloh Walker by the end. I don't. So if you want a spoiler, let me know and I will tell you the ending before you read the book. But, don't worry. The loose quote above is correct...and it isn't like LU at all.
So, take the trip into Ms. Walker's world, you will enjoy the ride. Oh, and because she doesn't like it, google her name in images. You will find one of the very few pics of her on the web. ;)

Okay, with that said.

Listening To: Garth Brooks "Live in L.A."
Reading: Nothing as I just finished I'll Be Hunting You - and rereading Mal and Leandra's stories.
Feeling: Content, relaxed, loved and warm.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Edge...

Lex and Terry are off KDGE/The Edge! What? Are you saying that the couple of years they were on the station and "going strong" was long enough? I wouldn't know, I tuned off of 102.1 when Lex and Terry came on. I will stick with my original assessment that they SUCK DONKEYS! And, yes, you may leave your lovely comments about how that particular morning show was your favorite wet dream, causing you to have multiple cargasms on the way to work...then you can listen to my opinion. I am so very happy that they are gone (also happy that the Eagle is back, but I just won't listen to their morning show) because now I may add 102.1 back to my pre-programmed stations on my radio.