Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

November 21, 2015

What I’ve been up to

For all the free time I’ve found on my hands since this school year began, I haven’t found myself in the blogosphere as much as I thought I would. I’ve been keeping myself busy in the days since I last updated (and I’ve been enjoying your blogs as well). Here’s a bit of how I’ve been passing the days.

In the middle of October, Sarah and I spent a great day together in Boston. Technically, it was “Family Weekend” at Wentworth but Sarah and I weren’t particularly interested in the events on campus, especially with a great city like Boston at your feet. My baby girl is becoming an expert at using Boston’s public transportation system, known locally as the “T” and she navigated us where we wanted to go. We visited Fanueil Hall and Quincy Market and the Prudential Center. Back on campus we did stop and “Build a Leopard” – kind of like “Build a Bear” only she made WIT’s mascot.
build a leopard

We enjoyed dinner together at the Cheesecake Factory – a first visit for both of us.
Cheesecake Factory

Halloween felt very different this year without either of my girls at home. My enthusiam for it has waned over the years, and now with no dance studio Halloween parties to attend or the kids trying to decide what they’ll be, it passed differently for me this year. I didn’t buy a pumpkin for jack-o-lanterns or candy to pass out for trick or treat (we’ve gotten fewer and fewer trick or treaters in this neighborhood in recent years anyway). I did dress up for school – the reactions of middle schoolers seeing their teachers dressed up is worth it. I picked through dance costumes and such and decided to go as a “Goth ballerina”:
Goth ballerina

That weekend of the 31st and Nov. 1st, my sister and I had a great weekend in Providence Rhode Island. We spent Saturday at a foodie museum on the Johnson and Wales campus, and then went shopping at Providence Place. Federal Hill in Providence is famous for being like Boston’s North End when it comes to restaurants, especially authentic Italian, so we treated ourselves to a great meal at a place called Pane E Vino
Bruschetta

Delish dinner

cannoli heaven

The next day we attended Meghan’s ballroom competition in Cranston and had a lot of fun!
ballroom1

ballroom4

As I think I’ve explained before, there aren’t enough guys to go around on the ballroom team, so Meghan sometimes dances lead as you see in the above photos. She also gets her chance to follow in some styles of dance:
ballroom2

ballroom3

We even got to take our dancer to lunch.
Lunch with Meg

It was a cool little place called the Elephant Room – a combination tea room and creperie.

November hasn’t been quite as exciting so far. I’ve spent a lot of time with my dreaded sycamore leaves, which I believe I have bitched about every year since I began this blog. Hmmm let me check. Ok looks like I started bitching in 2011, the second year of my blog, lol, and I was really crabby about them 2 years ago. This year I tried to be smart about them and take advantage of raking them up before any kind of precipitation bogged them down. Here’s a fraction of what I cleaned up.
getting after the leaves

A milestone passed recently as well. Do you remember this blog post from two years ago? In it I announced the beginning of what I am now calling my fitness journey. It’s a journey without final destination as far as I’m concerned. I’m continuing to see where it will take me. I’ve moved on from the things that I showed you in that post to weight lifting and yoga as my main forms of working out, and while I’m not following any sort of strict diet routine, I mostly “eat clean”. I’m happily and easily maintaining the weight I lost, I’m building new lean muscle and I’ve dropped from a size 8 to a size 2. I love shopping for new clothes! Here’s a pic of how I look today:
fitness journey
I’m not very good at posing for pictures, but this is good enough!

I am so much looking forward to next week! A nice short work week, my girls coming home Wednesday afternoon and Thanksgiving dinner with my family on Thursday. It’s all good!

November 28, 2014

When did all this happen?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 8:55 am
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Is there a conspiracy out there? Mama Nature and Father Time must be in cahoots. How is it possible that I am already looking at this?
My world right now

I’m sure it was but a couple weeks ago that I was settling in to my temporary teaching job, sitting in the sunshine on the deck correcting papers, thinking that it would be time to close the pool soon and getting used to Meghan being back at college for another school year. What? It is time for Meghan to be home for Thanksgiving break already? What? There’s a snow storm coming the day before Thanksgiving?

Teddy really did not seem to care about all this.
First collie in the snow pic of the season
Maybe I should take a cue from him!

Meghan arrived safely home Tuesday afternoon before the snow began on Wednesday. I’ve been enjoying spending time with her and having conversations about what has been going on in our worlds during these months that she was back at school and I’ve been playing teacher. We talked as snow covered Teddy and I cooked and baked several items to bring to my sister’s house for Thanksgiving. There were mishaps that afternoon, due to my multitasking of cooking, cleaning, listening to music and enjoying my daughter’s company however. I overcooked some delightful little brownie cheesecake bites for one thing. I thought they needed a couple more minutes in the oven after the timer went off, and neglected to re-set the timer for those couple of minutes. About 7 or so minutes later, I remembered them – thoroughly browned and a bit too crisp for my taste. Then there was this:
Shattering surprise

At one point during the day, I had 3 of the 5 burners on my gas cooktop cooking away. That glass lid had been left out in the chaos on a burner that wasn’t on, but was surrounded by burners that were on. I was draining some pasta at the sink and then walking back toward the stove when a sound like a shot going off scared the you-know-what out of me! The glass imploded within the metal frame of the lid into a zillion small pieces. One more cleanup chore added to a long afternoon of them.

A soothing soak in the hot tub with Meghan while the snow fell around us made the aches and pains of the afternoon fade away. Thanksgiving was a wonderful day spent with family and friends. I am so very thankful for all the good I have around me. I hope your Thanksgiving was the best that it could be.

Now on to getting ready for the next holiday that will soon be upon us! No Black Friday shopping for me, at least I’m not thinking so as I type this post. We will see how the day progresses. I am open to the possibilities.

November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Leftovers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 5:23 pm
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Twice today I had my cup of coffee interrupted by the desire to take a photo.  Desire turned to inspiration, and the blog post began composing itself in my head.

As I stood in the kitchen this morning while the Keurig brewed my first cup, I was taken in by the sparkle outside.  There was a fairly thick frost last night, and the morning sun was lighting it up as it melted.  In my flannel pants and slippers, I ventured into the backyard.

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Autofocus and I disagreed yet again, so the only really focused spot in that shot is that one drop of water, but I kind of liked this in an abstract way.

While Teddy tried to engage me in game of tug-of-war with one of many fallen sticks, I was attracted to the frosted edges of this leaf:

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Returning to my coffee, I discovered I must have had a defective K-cup as my cup was full of grounds! Yuck.  But it gave me the excuse to brew a fresh cup after my little outdoor excursion.

After finishing that cup, I turned to leftovers.  Jennifer kindly sent me home with a generous bag of turkey bones and meat for making soup.  Stock spent the afternoon simmering on my stove.
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Even with reserving plenty of meat to fill out the soup, I had a substantial amount of turkey available for sandwiches.  MSN.com had a featured article this morning on ways to jazz up those leftover turkey sandwiches.  Hubby and I took some inspiration from it.  He popped out to the store this morning and picked up a few supplies,
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and we had rather gourmet pannini style sandwiches courtesy of our George Foreman grill.

After some chores, later afternoon rolled around and I started eyeing some of those shortbread cookies I told you about on Wednesday. (I managed to snag a few to bring back home!) Another cup of coffee with a couple of cookies seemed like a perfect idea, but just I was getting ready for this afternoon snack, a sky with pink clouds beckoned me back outside (er, yep, still in those flannel pants and slippers!)
pinkclouds

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It’s too bad the power lines cross this one, but they kind of made for a neat effect with the vapor trails:
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I finally got to my coffee and cookies, and sat down to write this post.
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It was a relaxing, coffee, flannel pants and slippers, kind of day.  No crazy Black Friday shopping for me.  How did you spend your day-after-Thanksgiving?

November 23, 2011

Chocolate Dipped Goodness

As I told you last year, with my somewhat silly take on the Lydia Maria Child classic, I go to my sister’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. (I host the family for Christmas, so it works out nicely)  I have some dishes that I make every year to bring to her house, which I’ve just completed at the time of this blog post, and you can see pictures of in my link up there to last year’s post if you are interested.  This year I’ve made a tasty addition.  While flipping through my current issue of Fine Cooking magazine, I was inspired by this recipe.  There were several variations suggested for this simple cookie.  My choice?  Chocolate-dipped chocoalate chip shortbread cookies.

It is a pretty simple recipe, and it would be easy to customize to your liking.  When you make the dough, you just press it into a pan, slice ’em up (before baking) and perforate:
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After they cooled, I melted the extra chocolate chips and dipped:
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Look delicious, don’t they?

Whatever you will be eating tomorrow, have a wonderful Thanksgiving day!

November 24, 2010

With apologies to Lydia Maria Child

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 5:25 pm
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Over the river, not through the wood,

to my sister’s house we’ll go

I know the way, short trip on highway,

not forecast is snow.

Over the river, not through the wood,

to “Auntie’s” house away

We will not stop, ‘less tire should pop,

for ’tis Thanksgiving Day!     

 Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  I spent this afternoon cooking up my creations to bring to my sister’s house tomorrow where my family will enjoy the day.  I baked cranberry bread and zucchini bread:
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In addition, I did the first part of the cooking of  this dish that my sister discovered a couple years ago and has since become a family favorite for the holidays. I’ll refridgerate it overnight and bake it tomorrow morning.  It is time consuming so my sister and I trade off on the cooking of this recipe.  Jennifer hosts Thanksgiving dinner for the family, so I make it for Thanksgiving, then in turn Jennifer makes it for Christmas dinner at my house.  As is fairly common with this pair of sisters, we make substitutions in the recipe.  A preference for cheddar cheese rather than gruyere, 1% milk and light cream rather than whole milk and heavy cream. 

I’d like to take this opportunity to say how thankful I am for this community of commenters and bloggers.  You’ve made blogging and commenting and responding to comments something I look forward to each day.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I hope you are able to enjoy it with the ones you love.