Photo Friday: Fluffy

October 30, 2010

"Fluffy" did not elicit images of puppies and kittens (though there are plenty of those in the participants), but clouds and flower petals. Which reminds me, I need to update my flickr clouds set.

Get Ready ...

October 27, 2010

I know that I am not the only one stoked for Tron: Legacy (soundtrack by Daft Punk available Dec. 7, movie opening on December 17) so here is a little sneak peek of a video and scenes from the movie along with a new Daft Punk video.

The 2010 Women's Conference

October 26, 2010

Watch live streaming video from twc2010 at
I was lucky enough to be able to watch most of the day at work. The panel that really caught my attention was "What Happens When Women Lead"
What makes a good leader?
Innovative Spirit - are you willing to be the catalyst to make the change?
Inspire people to follow you. You earn the right to be a leader because the people who follow you want you to lead them.
Courage - willingness to step out into the unknown and challenge others. Being able to take a risk.
"You can learn to manage, you can't learn to lead" --Carol Bartz, CEO, Yahoo! Inc.
It's Time to Talk About What Happens When Women Lead
Host: Blair Christie, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Cisco
Moderator: Campbell Brown, Anchor
Carol Bartz, CEO, Yahoo! Inc.
Anne Mulcahy, Former Chairman and CEO, Xerox Corporation
The Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate, The Episcopal Church
Anne Sweeney, Co-Chair, Disney Media Networks, President, Disney/ABC Television Group
The qualities of successful leadership – courage, vision, strength, empowerment – don’t change whether you run a media conglomerate, a non-profit, an Internet search engine or a church. What does change is the challenges each leader faces and the strategies used to solve them. Do women use different strategies that men don’t? Are women different kinds of leaders?

Photo Friday: Architecture

October 22, 2010
The Westin Bonaventure in downtown Los Angeles

Wordless Wednesday: Dinner with Friends

October 20, 2010
"How can one make friends without exquisite dishes!  It is mainly through the table that one governs!"
~ Jean-Jacques Regis de Cambaceres, French politician (1713-1824)

Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.  ~Voltaire 

You can read all about the gastronomical adventures in "Ganging up at Drago Centro"

Bullying Needs to Stop NOW

I almost didn't wear purple today. It's one of my favorite colors, and I have plenty of it, but today has been organized as Spirit Day. Today, wearing purple has a meaning.

I was taught "Love the sinner, not the sin". Despite my religious beliefs (more evangelical Christian than Sunday Christian) I know that everyone is deserving of love, respect, and compassion. We need to teach our children that bullying, bigotry, sexism, and racism are not acceptable. Adults need to take responsibility and stop the bullying when they see it. It's not funny. It's not "kids being kids". It is most definitely not something to be ignored.

You would think that as reputably the highest species on the planet (and created in the image of our Maker) that we would have come to a place intellectually and emotionally to be past all this.

Two of the suicides were 13 years old! Caleb wasn't gay, but was bullied anyway. This is absolutely heart-breaking.

Teach your children empathy. Teach your children to be kind, thoughtful, understanding, and loving. It's time to stop the bullying.

Tyler Clementi
Seth Walsh
Justin Aaberg
Raymond Chase
Cody J. Barker
Harrison Chase Brown
Caleb Nolt
Billy Lucas
Jeanine Blanchette, and Chantal Dube and the many others who have felt that suicide was the only way out because of bullying.

Lancaster lightening storm

I just had to try out the video camera on my Vibrant. It caught the lightening pretty amazingly well for no other light source. It started to hail as I filmed, so I took cover on my porch. The tree in my front yard makes a good shadow.

I also played at getting some lightening shots with my D-SLR but haven't had time to upload those yet.

Do you ever brave the weather to get an amazing shot of nature in action?

Thank You Patriot!

October 18, 2010

Holy Cow!! I won! I found out about the contest when I was filling out a rebate form for a 16GB Class 10 SDHC card that I bought for my Nikon (all those soccer pictures of Joy take up a  lot of space). I followed both accounts, and tweeted, just once I think, and found out that I won. Not such a bad Monday after all. Can't wait to check the mail. I wonder how long it will take them to ship it.

African Sweet Potato Soup

1 small onion - chopped
2 garlic cloves - minced
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 quart chicken stock
1 sweet potato (or yam depending on where you live) - peeled and cubed
1 potato - skin on, cubed
1 can diced tomatoes (15oz)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon sea (or kosher) salt.
1/4 cup chunky peanut butter.

  1. Sauté the onion and garlic in the canola oil.
  2. Add the chicken stock, sweet potato, potato, diced tomatoes, spices and peanut butter.
  3. Simmer 10-12 minutes.  (You can end the cooking here or proceed to step 4)
  4. (This is where it exploded on me. The consistency didn't look right and I knew my kids would not eat sweet potatoes looking the way they did.)Take 1/3 to 1/2 of the soup and blend in a blender. May also work if you have a potato masher to mash the potatoes and give the soup a thicker consistency. Mix with remaining soup.

Serve with whole wheat rolls and a salad.
Serves 3 as is. I added 2 extra cups of water to make enough for my family of 4 and have enough for lunch leftovers. Even with wasting about 3 cups due to blender failure, there was still plenty and it's very filling. Blending it creates a thicker consistency.

Mouthwatering Mamavation Monday

In the interest of killing two birds with one stone, I am combining A Southern Fairytales' Mouthwatering Mondays with Mamavation Monday. Why? Because I miss posting delicious recipes on Mondays for your enjoyment, and two, I am going to try to pledge to the sistahood. Delicious and healthy can be done. Even for a carb addict like myself.
Regarding the Sistahood, I can't do everything they want a pledge to do because of my work and commute schedule, but I can do my best to get moving. And in fact did this past weekend (oh boy my arms!). Remembering to post pictures will be hard, but I can do that tonight. I got in 60 of the proposed 100 minutes of movement yesterday.explodingdinner Come to think of it, I walked on Tuesday and Thursday, so I think I went over the 100, woot! Thank goodness for CardioTrainer.
Last week I actually had time to menu plan, and all the new recipes went over swimmingly, even the one that exploded in my face. There have been no complaints about having to eat leftovers on the weekend.
Now to the good stuff.
Chicken Chili (Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup)
I found this recipe when I was menu planning on the Albertson's website. Since I was home that day I boiled the chicken first and shredded while the rest of the ingredients cooked in the crockpot. Then I added the chicken to the mixture and set it on high for 4 hours. This chili freezes well and is one of those meals that tastes better the next day. Serve with cornbread. I also used the Homemade Gourmet Southwest Seasoning instead of taco seasoning.

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (16 ounce) can chili beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer
  • 2 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
  • 1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning
  • 3 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
  • sour cream (optional)
  • crushed tortilla chips (optional)
  1. Place the onion, chili beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, beer, and diced tomatoes in a slow cooker. Add taco seasoning, and stir to blend. Lay chicken breasts on top of the mixture, pressing down slightly until just covered by the other ingredients. Set slow cooker for low heat, cover, and cook for 5 hours.
  2. Remove chicken breasts from the soup, and allow to cool long enough to be handled. Stir the shredded chicken back into the soup, and continue cooking for 2 hours. Serve topped with shredded Cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips, if desired.Chicken Chili

Wordless Wednesday: Playtime

October 13, 2010

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October 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: morning light & fog

October 6, 2010

just a few miles down the highway the weather had turned to this

Taken on a commuter bus with a samsung vibrant

I'm a two-timer

스마트폰들Image by Heungsub via Flickr
One week later and I am still carrying around two phones like a crack dealer. I think once I root and get the i9000 ROM + Froyo on the Vibrant I will finally be able to leave my Nexus for a few days. I gotta have a development phone, right?

Rainy season

October 4, 2010
weather forecast
With fall arriving in the southland also comes the weather related event called "Storm Watch". The freeways get wet, Californians lose the ability to drive at warp speed, accidents abound,people are hours and hours late for work, and we keep looking out of our windows wondering "when will the rain stop?"

Today's "chance of rain" has so far equaled a light, steady mist that is nonetheless wreaking havoc with the morning commute.

The Prince of Hazel and Oak

October 1, 2010
ThePrinceofHazelandOakA few weeks ago I was perusing Podiobooker and saw someone mention The Prince of Hazel and Oak, the sequel to Shadowmagic (read my first impression here). Boy was I excited! I added that puppy to my Google Listen account immediately. Prior to listening obsessively on a regular basis to Prince of Hazel and Oak I was catching up on Podcastle, various podcasts by Philippa Ballantine, and reading a lot more (still need to post those book reviews *sigh*).
Right now I am regretting that I didn’t wait until the book was complete (to savor it all at once), but after listening to ep.24 (SPOILER ALERT!) I know that we are halfway through and that I can expect much more enjoyment. And a third book!! Congrats John!
Truly, John Lenahan’s voice, inflection, and delivery always leave me smiling and in a good mood. Conor is as much a smart-alec as he is in Shadowmagic, though maybe a little more mature. If you’re looking for a good great family–friendly fantasy podcast, I can’t recommend Shadowmagic series enough. It wasn’t Podiobooks no. 1 voted podcast for no reason.
Finally listeners can find out what happened to Conor on his return to the Real World from Tir na Nog. (He was arrested for his father’s murder.)

Join Conor (and a very confused Scranton cop) as they try to survive The Prince of Duir's chaotic return to The Land.

The Prince of Hazel and Oak is the second novel from real life magician and comedian - John Lenahan. John’s first novel, Shadowmagic, is available in paperback, epub and Kindle editions from HarperCollins UK. For more details go to
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