Monday, December 31, 2007


Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days o' auld lang syne

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stoup !
And surely I’ll be mine !
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.


We twa hae run about the braes,
and pou’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin’ auld lang syne.


We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin’ auld lang syne.


And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere !
And gies a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll tak a right gude-willie-waught,
for auld lang syne.


I did a bit of "reacquainting" this past year, and am getting to see another old "acquaintance" soon...

happy new year!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

On religion

I suppose, when push comes to shove, I have to say that I would most closely fall under the guise of agnostic theism... and it sorta pisses me off.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

happy birthday

happy birthday, originally uploaded by Blair Necessities.

This was the family celebration.
A cupcake with laughing and singing and the all favorite candle blowing.
Party is on due date... or there abouts.


I typically do not remember my dreams, perhaps some snippets, but never the whole thing. And rarely do I wake up with a profound feeling after having had one.
I have been remembering more of my dreams lately. Like one of past co-workers showing up at work this week.

But my dream last night was rather profound, at least to me. The dream was about things that are absent of the presence of God, but in the sense of what would be subject to or capable of having a higher power within. In it a Christian friend said "I just can't read the bible without having my Physics 1.2.6 textbook with me". Not sure why that was there other than because I often marvel at how I see science as a profound way to understand the non denominational concept of God. In my dream, there was a general thought about what, on our planet, is subject to the oversight and/or management of God; 1) humans: most definitely, 2) animals: some assent, 3) plants: perhaps, 4) rocks: probably not (though I think I was trying to understand this most in the dream as it seemed to drag on as a discussion, and 5) lava; probably not.
It seemed interesting that there was not a complete consensus about what was subject to God.

Now, it perhaps should be said that it was not a discussion about what God owns or manages, but of what is subject to God, with a smidgen of what is held accountable and therefore might have soul or a conscience... does that make sense?

I think this dream was because I was reading about Moral Relativism in contrast to Moral Objectivism before falling asleep. So, I was plagued with thoughts on what, as I think I believe, would be a moral absolute and feel asleep thinking back on that which I could remember as common principles in the Bible's Ten Commandments, the Islamic Sharia, the Five Precepts of Buddha, and the Talmud's Mosaic code (these last three I have only a passing knowledge of so I may be completely erroneous in them and their ideas).

While intriguing, I woke up feeling profoundly grateful that modern medicine helped bring my child into the world three years ago today, which has nothing to do with my dream but I wanted to work it in somewhere and I am not sure where other than to declare the Squink is growing up too fast!


Monday, December 17, 2007

Gingerbread house (and trains) party

This weekend I had some friends over for a gingerbread decorating party. I used pre-made houses and I made up a train template based on this one and I also made my own gingerbread dough for said trains and such so that we could have a village with access to imports, because one can't have a village that doesn't have any form of mass transit so that the latest in ginger-wear would be available to our gingerbread men and women. That's me, a thoroughly modern Millie of the made up ginger world and with ginger colored glasses to boot).

Okay, to be perfectly honest, it was supposed to be a Thomas the Train and station house thing but, as with all great times and things, it evolved into this fabulous village with mass transit.

In an attempt to illustrate how wonderful my friends and their children were I had to use my house replica table (don't ask as it involves my admitting to a certain laziness in not taking the doll house back to the basement and I actually kinda sorta like having a doll house that isn't really a doll house in my living room, and it was inspiration, yeah that is it, it was inspiration).

I did this whole party thing because some of my most favorite food memories of Christmas and my mother are of her doing similar activities for my brother and me (as well as our friends), it was always a hit, it became one of those great fabulous reminders of those happy days of my youth, where "issues" involved who got to get the cool purple gum drop or if we had red vines for cool gingerbread house fashions.

To me, this experience was about friends and family, about laughing and having a good time. So, that is what I made it. I invited some wonderful women I was able reconnect with after my recent 20 year High School reunion. They brought their families we ate Mac & cheese and ordered some fabulous pizza and got down to it.

So, I guess I have YumSugar to thank for the inspiration in issuing the Gingerbread House Challenge.

I am so thrilled that they issued the challenge! I am under the impression (hopefully not a delusion; though I guess if the ends justify the means, it is all OK) that this is often mentioned as a fond memory among some folks and in our crazy hurried days it was a chance to reconnect with those times. I think I may have started an annual tradition in our household!

So let us get back to the whole experience... for the sake of retaining that which I learned I am going to include my recipes... it is such a mish-mosh of different ones I found on the net that I can't pinpoint the one that was the primary inspiration, though the link to the train template may be the basis for the most of what I made and did.

In the end I used a great recipe that lends itself to varied textures depending on how it is rolled and baked. I tried two different formats. The first being just putting my chilled dough straight into the baking sheet and rolling out in there and cutting/tracing my pattern into itbaking it all together and cutting it after it was baked (this is how my mom did it) and the other way was to cut OUT the pieces and place them on the baking sheet separately, this is how I ended up doing it (the other way made the "walls" too thick and I would have run out of dough before I had made enough trains).

My recipe for gingerbread was:
6 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ginger
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 1/3 cup molasses
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl.

2. In another large bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, and egg, add the molasses and beat until well mixed, then add the vanilla extract.

3. Mix in the dry ingredients into the creamed butter and sugar a bit at a time.

4. Divide the dough in half. Place each piece in a large ziploc bag and refrigerate overnight.

To Bake:
Heat the oven to 350° and either bake the filled baking sheet for about 20 minutes or the cut out pieces for about 15.

The Royal Icing:

I used Wilton's recipe because I was using their meringue powder.

I also made crazy awesome buttercream for this project, that recipe was as follows:

4 pounds confectioners sugar
1 pound butter
1/3 to 2/3 cup Half and Half

(see crazy awesome as in clogged arteries galore, but man it was yummy as you can see from my picture of Squink enjoying it straight out of the decorating bag).

1. Cream the butter and add 1 cup of confectioners sugar (with blender on LOW) and add a drizzle of the half and half... continue to do so until blended to the consistency you like.

I had a great time, family and friends that were unable to make it have stated they want to come next year (I think I lured them in with that crazy awesome buttercream).

Thanks YumSugar!

Friday, December 14, 2007

sometimes the kids these days amaze me

Here is a very good example:

This little boy who is not quite entering his third year...
up close

created this...
joes computer art

I stepped away from my computer to bake the gingerbread that I had been looking at on-line and when I came back to figure out the cooking time, I found this.
This meant that Squink managed to open up a drawing program, then he figured out how to "draw", AND change the colors.

My son is an artistic genius!

And yes, I printed it and it is on my fridge!


Sunday, December 02, 2007


It is with a certain kind of excitement that I find myself looking forward to this last year of my 30's. Life truly does get better with age.

Doesn't it?


Saturday, December 01, 2007

this just makes me so sad!

As a mother this is unimaginable, though because of my life experiences it is something that I know is a part of the darker side of life (especially in Latin America). She is so lucky to still be alive, but 8 years away from her children... I am not so sure if lucky is the right word.

Go here.