January 19, 2011

Songs Guaranteed to Boost My Mood

Because I need a mood boost, I went looking through my music, and here's what I came up with for mood-boosting music.

1) Banditos - The Refreshments.
2) The Boys of Summer - Don Henley.
3) Centerfield - John Fogerty.
4) Chewbacca (What a Wookiieeeeee (I never spell that right)) - Supernova.
5) Control - Poe.
6) Crown Him With Many Crowns - Michael W. Smith.
7) Cult of Personality - Living Colour
8) Holding Out for a Hero - Bonnie Tyler
9) Invincible - Pat Benatar.
10) Light Cavalry - Franz Von Suppe
11) Mlada Suite - Rimsky-Korsakov
12) Mysterious Woman - Christine Lavin
13) Nemesis - Shriekback
14) New Attitude - Patti LaBelle
15) Send Me An Angel - Real Life
16) Touch My Heart - Vinx
17) The Unicorn Song - The Brobdingnagian Bards
18) Nothing - A Chorus Line

So there's today's playlist for the afternoon. May it do my bidding.


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January 17, 2011


Do you have your dream kitchen, or do you hate to cook? Or both?

Well, I was awake at about 3:00 a.m. due to some cold symptoms - my children's and my own, and I found myself waxing nostalgic about the kitchens in my life. A few of the houses we looked at before we moved here had dream kitchens, but they were too far out of town for an everyday drive, so I had to whimper and wish. Our house now is probably the best kitchen we've had since marriage. So that I can read this in 5 years and think myself philosophical, here are the kitchens I remember.

The Parental House - This kitchen still belongs to and is used by (occasionally) my mother. It's compact but cozy, good for preparing food for a small family. The sink faces north, and the stove/oven are behind it - not a lot of room between the two. Certainly no islands in my mother's future. The view is to the back of the house, and growing up I had a good eyeful of the garden.

The College Dorm - You call that a kitchen? Ha! The first one - freshman year - was a staging area for a roomate's ramen noodle biological experiments. (I didn't use it much after that). Sophomore year, little functional thing with a fridge, electric skillet, and microwave. Same for junior year.

The First Apartment - For some reason, this one had almost a serving window like you were going to walk up to it and place an order with the surly cook. For a woman living alone, it was fine. Not going to run into someone trying to set the table, and cooking for one is easy. The second apartment must have been similar - was just across the building but in an apartment built for two. No real memories.

The Best Kitchen I Ever Had - I was 24, and we took on another roommate and moved south of Columbia into half of a duplex. It was just one year old, and the kitched ROCKED. Plenty of counter space that encircled the kitchen. Nice windowed view. I did a bunch of cooking - remember making several rhubarb pies (for I was newly dating a Mr. Brian Noggle who would come into town once every other week or so for a visit, and I had to put something in his lunchbox for when he made the long drive back to O'Fallon, MO).

The St. Louis Apartment Kitchen - Moved to St. Louis when things got serious with Brian. No real memory of the kitchen. Pretty sure I didn't cook much - was just for me.

The Original Marital Kitchen - When we first got married, we moved into a house in tiny Sycamore Hills - ancient house. The kitchen was huge, but it was all this funky black and white 50s tile, and that extended over the countertops, too. I remember never thinking it was clean. There was a dishwasher, but you had to pull it over to the sink to use it. We washed our dishes by hand. What a team.

Glenpark - We lived in this one for almost 7 years. Tiny kitchen, almost no cabinet space. Wonderful open view, but not really ideal if we were cooking for more than 2 of us. Thankfully, we were not.

Ridge - Lived here from just before birth of first child until we moved away. This is the house still for sale. Kitchen was a bit...brown for my taste. The renovator painted all the walls a tan/chocolate (consider the shade between the two), and it just made things a bit dreary. The window faced the neighbor's house and was smalll, so there was no real view. The kitchen itself was spacious, but it didn't really have lots of counter space, so it hardly seemed like an upgrade from the previous house in that regard.

Current - And now we arrive This kitchen boasts a FABULOUS view, but it's still a bit too cramped to add counter space to. We have a counter across from the cooking area, but it usually contains fruit and vegetables and other things that don't go in the refrigerator. This one also has one of those ceramic cooktops you have to scrub so hard (and every day) that you grit your teeth and file them. But the view - have I mentioned the view? Especially this time of year - we have an expansive view of the country, and the sunsets are outstanding.

So, a bit of drivel about kitchens. The current one's functional and pleasant. No complaints - just a bit of 3:00 a.m. dreaming.


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January 04, 2011

Food Fun

Maybe this isn't exactly nutrition, but I'm cooking dinner right now and while sauteeing some mushrooms, I had a great thought.

Unlimited by budget and seasonal availability, what foods would you eat pretty much all the time?

Mine are Bing cherries and morel mushrooms.


Posted by hln at 05:38 PM | Comments (26) | TrackBack

January 02, 2011


I love books and magazines - the feel of paper. Reading something I have to hold and physically adjust in the light - the tactile pleasure of it. I can't imagine ever preferring to read something on the screen only (probably since I do so much of it for work). I often print the important things and peruse them on paper. (See previous entries about how I reuse that paper).

So, magazines. I like to "cannibalize" magazines and put what I don't want in the recycle bin. I am subscribed to a few, but most of them I get at church rummage sales or at library book sales - dirt cheap. There are lots of fun things you can do with magazines. Here's what I do.

1) Marvel at the branding on products in magazines in the 70s and 80s. I have some doozies - will put some up over time.
2) Coupons from the 70s and 80s are good fun, too.
3) Grab recipes. It doesn't matter if I ever use them, just FINDING them gives me strange small amounts of joy.
4) Clip workout routines (see #3).

The sheer amount of clippings (rippings?) I have unused indicates that I enjoy the actual art of DOING the clipping far more than using it. That being said, I have found some amazing recipes I do actually use through this method.

Quirky, but cheap entertainment.


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