Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

October 28, 2011

Idiomatic Photo Hunt

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 5:50 pm
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The submissions are rolling in, and I’ve finally finished mine, so let’s get to some photo-hunting!  I thought this month’s subject seemed like something you could have some fun with, and I did too, so let’s get it started in here!

My daughters kindly cooperated with me for some of my shots, such as:

                                                                                              “Bend Over Backwards”


“A Chip on her Shoulder”


“The Last Straw”

You didn’t think I was going to stop with only three, did you?  Ha, ha, silly you!  My tongue is placed firmly in cheek as I continue.  I got the family pets involved too:


“Put a Sock in It!”

I had to go against my principles for the above shot!  Daphne is a regular thief in the night when it comes to socks, so physically placing it in her mouth for the photo felt really wrong!  See how I go out on a limb for you?


“Kitty corner”

And, of course, a couple of somewhat ghoulish Halloween bonus photos:


“Riding Shotgun”

Okay, okay, I know that one was a little bit of a stretch for Halloween.   So how about this one instead?


“Over My Dead Body!”

These were but a drop in the bucket of all the possible idioms you could have used for this photo hunt.  I hope you found it was a piece of cake to accomplish.  I could probably keep going here, but I don’t want to beat a dead horse.

As usual, I will be posting a round up of all the submissions after Monday’s due date.  I can’t wait to sit back and relax and enjoy what all of your creative minds have come up with for this photo hunt  – as long as Mama Nature allows me to keep my electricity and internet service this weekend.  Would you believe the northeast is bracing for a snowstorm Saturday afternoon into Sunday morning?  Really Mother Nature – are you pulling my leg? (Sorry! 😉 )

October 23, 2011

baby bunnies name peanut butter with orange

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 3:13 pm
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I’m taking a page out of Robin’s book   (ooh, another idiom! ) with my post title today.  Robin has a habit of occasionally naming her blog posts after odd search engine terms used to find her blog.  That search engine term I’ve got up there for the title has got to be about the oddest I’ve ever seen in my search terms!  And I had absolutely no idea what to title my blog post today, so there you go.

I have a few things I wanted to share with you today.  I noticed a little battle of the seasons going on in my backyard, so I took some photos to document it.  The balmy warmth of summer is definitely a thing of the past around here (day time highs are in the 50’s and 60’s, nights in the low 40’s) but some of the plant life in my yard is not quite ready to go to sleep for winter.

I have a barrel planter in which I grow chives, basil and parsley.  It is right at the bottom of the stairs of my deck, so it is convenient for snipping fresh herbs for cooking.  I used a lot of my parsley last week when I made that tabouli salad, so I was surprised to see it looking like this:

It is as fresh and lush as it has been all summer.  Basil, however, I think curls up and squeaks “goodbye” as soon as we go anywhere near 40° – those would be the brown sticks in the background.

In this absolutely amazing year for hydrangeas, I have two little blooms still looking bright and beautiful, both near the bottom of their respective bushes:


I also noticed my butterfly bushes are still strongly pushing out fresh, new leaves:


The bushes themselves look huge – bigger than they looked in the summer, even in the absence of all the beautiful blooms.

We haven’t had a killing frost yet in this area, so would you believe I even picked a few tomatoes from the garden today?  They weren’t perfect, and some weren’t perfectly ripe, but I think they will do nicely later this week when I make my sister’s version of panzanella.  I love panzanella and have made it many times – I can’t believe I never thought of using bacon like she does!

Oh and I finished those baby quilts for the twins that I had been working on:

I got the idea for them from this site, and then tweaked them to my own liking.  I’ll be bringing them to their new owner at work tomorrow and I’m excited about it.

I finally started working on my photo hunt today (happy, Michaela? 😉 )… hope you are working on yours too!  I am looking forward to seeing them.

October 22, 2011

Breakfast Deliciousness for Dinner


Just a quick post today.  I wanted to tell you about this fabulous recipe that the girls and I had for dinner the other night.  The girls inhaled this and I really enjoyed it too.  It was so delicious looking and smelling that I forgot to take a photo before I started eating it, hence the shot you see above!  The recipe, from Cooking Light, can be found here .  I made a few personal tweaks: no shallots (who wants oniony-garlicky flavor in French toast?  eww), no buttermilk – just extra regular milk, no pepper (again, with French toast? why?), and I substituted cinnamon for the nutmeg (cuz I like it waaaayyy better) and I substituted gouda for the gruyere. (again cuz I like it better)  If you haven’t popped over and looked at this recipe yet you may be thinking to yourself, cheese in French toast?  And I would say to you, Yes Sir or Ma’am!  Tis a good thing!  So do yourself a favor and whip this up for a fun dinner some night soon.

Another quick note I wanted to make.  The submissions for the October Photo Hunt have started to roll in.  I have not even started creating my shots for this yet (yep, slacker on my own photo hunt!) so I won’t be popping over to have a look at any of the hunts just yet.  I never like to feel as though I may have been influenced by someone else’s work before I do my own, so I will hold off having a look until I’ve completed my own photos.  I just wanted any of you who’ve already submitted, or may be doing so soon, to know that I am not ignoring you!  There is still plenty of time to participate, so if you are interested in joining this month’s hunt please do!  Reminder: submissions are due Oct. 31st, but we’re pretty loosey-goosey around here about blogging deadlines! 😉

October 20, 2011


Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 3:01 pm

  I’ve been a little blue this week.  A very sweet man lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on Tuesday morning.  He was the father of my best friend and the kind of guy who’d give you the shirt off his back.  Goodbye “Cooked” – you will be missed.

October 16, 2011

A Week in the Life, Day 7

Well, I did it!  Here we are at the final installment of A Week in the Life.  Sunday is traditionally a day of errands and catching up on what’s needed to be done, and hopefully some relaxing and making a good dinner.

My morning started out with flipping through magazines, hoping for inspiration for grocery shopping.  I try to plan at least 5 dinners at each weekly grocery shopping trip, leaving a night or two up in the air (usually because I just can’t think that far in advance!)


Grocery list and husband in tow ( I bring him along so that he can plan a couple meals too), I head to my local Stop & Shop.  Does your grocery store have these things? :

Stop & Shop calls them “Scan It,” I call them “boopers,” but whatever you call them, they are awesome! You use it to scan each item you are buying, then you place the item into bags already in your shopping cart.  The booper adds it all up and offers you special deals on the stuff you buy throughout the store.  When you get to the cash register, you scan a bar code & your grocery store card and your whole order pops up on the screen.  Pay and off you go!  No more unloading your stuff on to the belt and re-bagging and putting back in your cart.  I also love knowing exactly what I am spending as I go – no surprises at the register.  Okay, my testimonial for Scan It is done now! 😉 (Pssst… did you like that Stop & Shop?)

With a trunk full of groceries, (this is another time it is handy to have the hubs with me), I return home to put them away and clean out the fridge of unused leftovers. (Don’t you hate that?)

After lunch, it is back to sewing today.  I made over 300 inches of binding today!


That’s the material that goes around the edge of the quilt to enclose the raw edges.  I machine sewed the binding on one side of the quilts, but now comes the tedious part of hand-stitching the binding to the other side.   I’m a bit of a slob when I sew.  I have a tendency to flick odd pieces of fabric and bits of thread to the floor to get them out of the way.  Don’t worry – I pick them up; that is not what is clogging up my vacuum cleaner!


I did end up finding some recipes to try in those magazines this morning.  Tonight’s dinner came from the September issue of Cooking Light.

It is called “Savory Bread Pudding with Ham and Cheddar,” but I think that title is a bit misleading.

Of course, I used much more ham and cheese than the recipe called for.  The small amounts specified didn’t seem like they’d make a satisfying meal for hungry teenagers.  It was met with mixed reviews: it’s okay, it’s different, it’s filling.  Not sure it’s a keeper.

After dinner, we carried on with the tasks of getting ready for the new week.  The girls made their lunches for school tomorrow.

I changed the sheets on my bed with Cedric’s “help”

I wanted to get all the chores finished up in time for some good t.v. watching tonight.  At 9:00 is HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire”

Starting tonight is season two of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” – which also happens to be on at 9:00.  Thank goodness for the DVR!

It used to be on at 10:00 last season, which was great because I either had “Boardwalk Empire” to watch before it, or I think AMC’s Mad Men might have been on before it at some point during its season.  I miss that show!  I can’t wait until the new season of that begins.

It is about time to wrap up this post so I can go get comfy on the couch.  I decided to end this week in my life with a selfie of sorts.  While I was changing the sheets, I decided to pose in my bedroom mirror with my pillow as I changed the case.  Side story: I always called pillow cases “pillow sheets” as a child and my mother never corrected me.  My husband was always amused by my saying that.  I’ve tried to change the habit to say pillow case, but they will always be pillow sheets to me!


I hope you’ve enjoyed this look into my life!  I hope that some of you will steal this idea and give me a little peek into yours!

October 15, 2011

A Week in the Life, Day 6

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 8:59 pm
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Ahhhh, Saturday… yawn, stretch, roll over, go back to sleep….NOT!  Day 6 of A Week in the Life was another one on the move.  I’m in the middle of a Saturday morning graduate level class that is meeting for 5 Saturdays this fall, so I had to get up anyway, but today I had to be up earlier than normal because of this:

Participants in the Fall 2011 administration of the PSAT had to be at their high school at 7:45 this morning.


Don’t all these 16-year-olds look so thrilled to be back at school early on a Saturday morning?  I found myself with a little extra time this morning since I didn’t have to be in Westfield, MA, for my class until 8:30, so I stopped to take a few photos.  I took what I thought would be a nice one of the sun coming up over the small, local mountain, but it is pretty blown out.  I also realized later today that I had left my white balance set on “tungsten” from taking pictures of dinner last night, so most of the pictures I took this morning had an odd blue cast to them.  I managed to edit the two above to look okay, I think.  Here’s one that any of my former ‘Chaug classmates who could happen to pop over here might find interesting – here’s a little glimpse at part of the new Minnechaug, currently being built:

After taking my photos, I made my way west down the Massachusetts Turnpike to Exit 3 and pulled into the parking lot of the Holiday Inn Express where our class was taking place.  Five colleagues from my school are also taking this class, so that helps the time to pass more quickly during the rather dry material that we are presented.  Best part of these classes?  Going to lunch with three of the folks I work with.

Upon returning home, I got back to work on those baby quilts.

I’m feeling good about the progress I made today.  I added the borders and quilted the three layers of the “quilt sandwich” together (quilt top, batting and backing for the uninitiated) on both quilts.


I just have to make the bindings and sew them on to the raw edges of the quilts now.  While I am quilting, I always put my iPod into my Kicker speakers.  Today I  was listening to my “Pink” station on Pandora:

I consider my taste in music to be rather eclectic, so I’ve often wondered as I sit at my sewing machine if very many quilters often have the likes of AC/DC and Aerosmith and Nickelback (or Maroon 5 and Pink depending on my mood that day) to be blaring in the background of their workrooms.  In fact, my throat is feeling a little raw right now from all the singing along I’ve been doing today!  Sometimes I think I could have been a brilliant scientist if I had only been able to set my high school chemistry to music.

Tomorrow will be Day 7 of this week  in my life!  Gee, it went by kind of fast.  See you on Sunday!

(what I am singing right now as I finish up this blog post: )

October 14, 2011

A Week in the Life, Day 5

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 8:33 pm
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Friday, Day 5 of Adventuroo’s “Week in My Life” challenge.  I started out really wondering what I’d be able to show you today for a weekday that I haven’t already shown you this week, so I sat down at the computer after work to catch up with comments, reading many of your blogs, and checking Ms. Adventuroo’s site too.    By the way, see that iced coffee next to my computer?  I’ve finally discovered the secret to making good iced coffee with my beloved Keurig.  The secret is, use iced coffee K-cups, brew over ice,

then pour that into another glass with ice – that’s the best way to get it cold quick.

One of Adventuroo’s suggestions for Friday was to think of things you are most thankful for; for me that would be my family and my home.  That got me thinking, how about a little tour through my house?  It isn’t a big place, so it really won’t take too long, and I won’t even remove the general clutter that builds up over the course of the week!

Remember how I said I wouldn’t want my readers to barf at the sight of my daughters’ bedrooms?  I changed my mind.  Here they come.  Any of you who have teenagers, had teenagers or have will-be-teenagers can tell me how the rooms compare in slovenliness.  The girls got their bedrooms repainted this past summer in colors of their choice, with promises to keep the rooms clean – HA!



I took these pictures standing on the girls’ beds.  (Teddy decided to follow me about the house on my photo tour)

I skipped the picture of my room; it was kind of boring since my waterbed takes up most of my tiny bedroom and there really isn’t any showing of my personality in it.

Back down the hall to the dining-room-come-project-room: here’s where I sit when I write these blog posts and work on quilts.

Okay, I lied.  I picked up some of the clutter in the kitchen.  That central island is often heaped upon by week’s end, and when I came home from work today I couldn’t stand it any more and started picking up before I thought of taking you on my house tour.  Odd bits of clutter, however, remain:

Through the kitchen to the living room, land of the fur-covered rug:

Again, only hints of how fur-covered this rug usually becomes.  Hubby had been busy taking apart and putting back together the vacuum cleaner and partially vacuuming the rug in his attempt to convince me that I don’t need a new vacuum cleaner, Dyson or otherwise.

I made a really good dinner tonight.  Want to see?

Those are the main ingredients: pork tenderloin, apples, green onion, cranberries and bacon.  How could it not be good when there is bacon involved?

While the seared tenderloin roasts in the oven, the other ingredients sizzle together to form a delicious chutney-style topping for the pork.

The girls and I sat down to eat and – yum! it’s a keeper recipe.  The simple fact that both of my girls liked it makes it a keeper.

Reading and sharing the daily comics page from the newspaper has become an unofficial dinner-time tradition around here.  Yup, we still subscribe to an actual made-of-paper newspaper.  I suspect we are a dying breed in that respect.

That’s it for today.  Unfortunately tomorrow, (Saturday), which should be a sleeping-in kind of day, won’t be for Meghan or for me.  Tune in tomorrow to find out why.

October 13, 2011

A Week in the Life, Day 4

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 9:55 pm
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Are you getting bored with my life yet?  It is getting harder to keep bringing you different aspects of day-to-day here in Suburbia, but I’m still keeping up with Adventuroo’s challenge!  I do have another collection from my day – but darn it, I forgot to take food  pictures at all today!  Well, here’s Thursday.

The day started off dreary and rainy, stayed overcast most of the day.  Tomorrow isn’t looking much better according to weather.com:


I’ve showed you a bit of morning and a bit of work already this week, so today I’ve got some stuff from the afternoon hours.  Guess what!  Hubby closed the pool today!  Hallellujah!

Teddy and Daphne had a game of tug-of-war:

There is but a tiny hint of the fur that regularly coats my home visible in this photo.  I’m considering investing in a Dyson vacuum cleaner to help in this respect;  any opinions about that?

While Sarah usually camps out in the kitchen to do her homework, this is where you’ll normally find Meghan doing hers:

I should’ve taken this picture from a wider view to give you the clearer picture of the teenage bedroom, but I wouldn’t want my readers to barf at the sight!  Meghan has a short time on Thursdays to get some homework in before heading to the studio for several hours of dance classes, including one where she is assistant to the dance teacher.
Driving practice on the way to dance:
See you later, Meghan!

On more trip out for me on this particular evening.  The girls’ high school was having a “college night” for parents of juniors to help us all in getting ready for the applications process and let us know the things we should be doing to make things slightly less stressful for senior year.


There was a panel of guidance counselors and admissions counselors from local colleges there to give us some insight.  It all sounds very exciting and daunting at the same time!

That was Thursday – I’ll be back again tomorrow with Friday (TGIF!)

October 12, 2011

A Week in the Life, Day 3

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 10:22 pm
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It’s Wednesday, and another busy work/drive the kids kind of day.  I wondered today how I would keep this interesting, going to work each day, but I found other parts of my day to show you.  Confession: not all of the shots in this post were done with my camera and 50mm lens; I felt awkward in a couple of spots whipping out the camera, but was able to be more surreptitious with my Blackberry.

Before I headed out the door to work, I started dinner in the Crockpot (complete with dribble marks down the front; just keeping it real, folks!).

Easy beef ragout: a pound of stewing beef, can of cheddar cheese soup or two, (enough to coat the meat really well), generous spoonsfull of tomato paste.  Mix ’em up, put the crockpot on low, come home to tender, shredded beef.  Cook some pasta (I use linguini) right before dinner time.  Stir up cheesy beefy sauce with pasta and serve.

Moving on to lunch time!  This is where I sit for lunch each weekday – in the science classroom at a lab desk.  The microwave and the fridge are in backroom attached to this classroom, so it is most convenient.

Lunch today was homemade tabouli salad with Scoops.  Want the recipe for the tabouli ?  Check out this page from my sister’s previous blog.

Twice a week at work, I do an after-school duty.  I patrol the halls making sure any students staying after that day aren’t just hanging out causing trouble and actually have legitimate reasons for staying after.

The halls were pretty quiet today.  I had time to chat with custodians and teachers I don’t always get to see.

I left my school to go to my daughters’ school.  Taxi-mom time begins!

Pick up Meghan from after school Computer Club, pick up Meghan’s friend for duet dance class, drive to the studio.  Get  myself a little pick-me-up:

America runs on Dunkin’ afterall!  Lucky for me, DD is right across the street from the dance studio.

Aw, rats!  The low gas light just popped on!  Better get to the station…

…just as it begins to rain.  Sigh – there goes a quick $64.  Finish running the girls back and forth to the studio (good thing it is only 2 miles from my house!), get home to finish putting away my laundry.  But, hey, look who’s in the middle of it all!

Cat owners: is it just me, or does the kitty of the house always have to place his or herself right in the middle of the clean laundry?

Got to decide what to wear to work tomorrow, something which hopefully isn’t wrinkled or covered in cat hair, because I’m too zombie-like in the morning to figure these things out.  What will it be?

Meghan snapped this shot of me (complete with fingerprints all over the glass) involved in a nightly routine: stare into closet, hate my clothes, wish that something new would magically appear, be disappointed when it doesn’t, settle for something I’ve worn for the umpteenth time.

And so ends another glamourous day in the life! 😉

PS: Thanks Adventuroo for this blog post idea..its been fun so far!

October 11, 2011

A Week in the Life, Day 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 10:39 pm
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I must tell you how pleased and surprised I was with everyone’s interest in a little peek into my life!  Thanks again, everyone, who stopped by and left a comment – and those of you who popped over from Adventuroo, welcome!  I’m looking forward to peeking in on your lives too.

On to Tuesday!  It is always a busy,  non-stop kind of day for me, and today was no exception.  Not a holiday today, so back to work.  My work days start before the sun, with breakfast while it is still dark outside:

Bags ready to go, the girls head to the bus stop and I to my car when the sun has been up for maybe 15 minutes.


This is the time I pull into the parking lot at work (middle school in a neighboring town), while I listen to a last few comments of the DJ’s on my morning radio show.

Nice thing about being up and off to work so early is that it is still bright and sunny when it is time to go home.

Of course in this profession, school bus traffic is part of the commute.


Upon returning home, I found hubby hard at work on getting that darn pool closed.  Working on it, maybe tomorrow…

And Sarah needs help with her algebra homework (good thing I have a mind for numbers!)


Then it is time to drive dear daughter to dance.


And a swing by the grocery store for some fresh bread to go with dinner

Hubby had the day off (police officer, works nights, rotating day off schedule) and so he got dinner going.  Tonight it was tender, marinated brisket on the grill:

While dinner finished cooking, I made a bit more progress on the baby quilts.

After dinner, it was back to the dance studio – but for me!  Tap class at 7:00 and jazz at 8:00:


Home from dance, get stuff ready for work tomorrow, write this blog post!  I’m pooped!

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