Monthly Archives: June 2011

Time to Explore

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”

– Albert Einstein

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Sing a Simple Song!

Just a short update today- with more of a hint of creativity.
Violet (my car) is in the shop.  She was towed yesterday morning and the estimated damage amounts to $1600, which, thankfully, I will pay very little of thanks to my car insurance.  What I couldn’t see under the scratches and scuffs (and possibly because of the shape of my car…) was that the fender had actually cracked in the impact.  I am car-less for the rest of this week– and possibly until mid-next week.

I’m also planning on seeing a doctor about my neck, as the pain is worsening again, causing me to need to sit out for jumps and turns yesterday in ballet class (slightly less than half the class!).  This was a shame because we (they) began pirouettes with partners.  So girls pirouetted while the boys helped them stay stable and not fall over.  As an outsider, each pair seemed terribly awkward at first, but by the end most had overcome this and looked nothing short of graceful, while each pair attempted balancing and then some progressed to trying small turns.

I’m in a less than great mood this week, although I woke up with the following song on my mind yesterday:
“Lord, I worship You/I won’t be overwhelmed/Give me vision/to see things like You do./ Lord, I worship You/You’re where my help comes from/ Give me wisdom/ You know just what to do”
Apparently, the song is called “God I look to You.”  I heard it for the first time this Sunday in church, although I’m not sure if they changed the words a bit or if I’m just mixing them up (if you Google the song, you’ll find a slightly different version).

I was singing this song all day yesterday– around campus.  Out loud.  Ok, not terribly loud– but audible.  And it comforted me quite a bit.  The chords look fairly simple (see link), so I’m wondering if I should pick up my guitar and try to teach it to myself later.  My guitar skills are lacking, but one of the things I’ve been wanting to do is to get into it a bit more and see if, with a little more time and work, I can’t self-teach after all.

On the topic of singing, don’t forget about my upcoming challenge: 52 songs in 52 weeks! I’m still looking for song suggestions– I start next week!

Lesson for the day: sometimes if you’re down, humming a little tune works wonders.

Ps- if you don’t know the title reference, find it here.

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College Girl Cooking

I love reading other people’s blogs (another good reason to comment/like me if you read!).  I also love sharing the best blogs that I find– particularly other creative beings.  I’ve found that I really love food blogs!! Although, I’d love to see more gardening, crafting, dancing, singing, and of course, writing blogs.  And others.  So link me to your blog or say hi so I can come check you out!

That said, I found this girl’s blog and hit subscribe almost immediately. So I’d like to share with you a food blog I found by a girl named Jamie.  Her tone is energetic and her words both yummy and inspiring!!

And how can I not love a girl who describes her love of breakfast by saying, and I quote, “most breakfast foods are just dessert incognito”…?

So meet Jamie of College Girl Cooking!

Happy eating!

Update: Jamie is also responsible for the deliciousness that was the Shortcake featured in my post here!

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Gardening and Gratitude

So somehow, yesterday, I reached 30 reads- a new daily record for me!  That also put me up to 80+ reads for the week– a new weekly record!  I take that as encouragement that my little blog community is growing, and I’m excited!

Here’s what else is growing– my garden!

The cherry tomatoes are beginning to flower too.  I’ll be getting stakes this weekend, hopefully.  Although, I must say, I think if I were to start over, it may have been easier to cage them perhaps… not sure really.

Not only has there been new growth, but my neighbors found this great little fence bit that someone was throwing away.  I came home to it surrounding my garden and protecting it from animals and stray soccer balls!

 

They even weeded the little bits on the ends I never got to and planted some impatiens at the end by our door.

My mom mentioned to my grandmother (Dad’s mom) that I’ve been gardening.  Grandma is originally from the Midwest and grew up on a farm.  She said that the way to tell a healthy corn plant is if it’s “knee high by the Fourth of July.”  My corn is somewhere between mid-thigh and my hip joint.  Being only 5’1″, I assume this is at least knee high for most people…  Yay for healthy corn!  It’s leaning a bit, but this weekend when I work on tomatoes, I’m also going to “hill” the soil at the base.  I’ve read this helps and is better for corn than staking- which is sometimes done, although perhaps a bit untraditional.

Last but not least, I have returned to practicing piano as of yesterday.  I didn’t even like practicing like that when I was taking lessons (back when I was a music major).  That said, I’ve returned to some of the basic finger exercises as a start.

In the words of Ray from the movie Uptown Girls, “fundamentals are the building blocks of fun.”

p.s. This, apparently, is really a quote from ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov– which I found out when I googled the quote– interesting!  And also makes a lot more sense, as Ray is all about ballet in the movie.

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Food for the Soul

So on second look the next morning, my car, Violet, looked much worse than I first thought.  I woke up with neck pain on both sides of my neck and a general achy feeling in my body, spine, and joints.  Violet not only had scuffs and scratches, but a missing front license plate, a dislodged headlight, and a front panel that is hanging down on one side.

 

Driving by the scene of the accident, Mom thankfully spotted my license plate in the street.  But this whole thing had still put me in quite a funk.  Which lasted all day yesterday, through the night and into this morning.  It was abated a bit by Mom making nachos– the first “real” nachos I’ve ever had– ie, made with real corn chips.  They were incredible and the best I’ve ever had.  With cheddar cheese and topped with kidney beans, this, and some “How I Met Your Mother” helped cheer me, at least for a bit.

But today the feeling just wouldn’t shake.  So when I finally stopped whimpering and got out of bed (for the second time), I decided to make some food so I could take some Advil.  This turned into tomato soup doctored up with garlic powder and chopped potato with a roll on the side.  So tasty!  But I wasn’t done yet.

Last week, I’d found a recipe for Cheddar Broccoli Corn Bake. I was actually on my way to pick up more broccoli when my car got hit.  So I decided to make this today.

  

And, for dessert,  Blueberry Shortcake (more about where this recipe came from soon– although you can follow the link for the recipe that inspired it– Mom and I are both allergic to Strawberries, so I substituted).

The results were yummy.  And, somewhere between the cooking, baking, and eating, my sadness was transformed into calm again.   Not unlike how the cheese, milk, butter, and flour transformed into a delicious cheese sauce.

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An Airbag of Angels

Pulling into the supermarket parking lot yesterday, the thought flashed through my mind that I’m worried that my car will be destroyed by the end of this summer.  People have been driving so crazy.

My mini fender bender was just two short weeks ago.  A few days after this, the car next door was hit in the middle of the night by a drunk driver.  The road I live on curves and, apparently, the driver was too fast, came around the curve and slammed into the first parked car that was there, managed to keep going (up on the curve) and then drive back into the street.  He stopped and, thanks to another neighbor, was caught and arrested– but one of the neighbors said that he was just inches from my car– which was also clear from the dirt marks still fresh on the road the next morning.  I was thankful that God not only allowed me to make it unscathed from my own mistake, but also protected my car from unseen, middle-of-the-night danger.

Yesterday, I was about two minutes from home when I approached a yellow light.  I was at that speed where you could possibly stop, but can probably more easily go– and as I could tell I had plenty of time to make my turn, I opted to do this as opposed to slamming on my brakes.  With left-turn signal on, I started turning into the intersection.  As I started to turn, I see a car coming around my left!  I partially stopped in shock, but not before the car hit my own (front driver’s side).  I pulled over, not realizing that I was now on the wrong side of the road because I missed my turn.  The other driver pulled over, although much further up ahead– hesitated a bit– and then pulled away!!  I am left with only scratches and scuffs on the car, it seems.  But I was pretty darn mad!  I can understand the urge to blow through the yellow light before it turns red– but not when there’s someone in front of you– and much less when you’re coming around my left when that’s the direction I’m turning towards.  And second, that you then wouldn’t even stop?! Not cool.

My mother always prays that there would be “an airbag of angels” surrounding my car.  Well done, angels.  Three times in three weeks, well done.

That said, there are some areas of life where creativity is not encouraged.  I’d appreciate if people drove a bit LESS creatively.

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52 songs in 52 weeks.

I’ve been a very lax singer.  Yes, I sing.  But I’ve never been a terribly disciplined musician.  Ever.

I’ll practice steadily when I have a performance coming up.  Pretty well if I have a (big) audition… usually.  And– occasionally– if I’m taking lessons at the moment.

This is a fairly terrible attitude towards rehearsals and if I’m ever going to really sing I need to fix this.  (For one, as I check playbill.com for job postings– most professional auditions give VERY short notice.) So what better time than in this summer when I seem to be making “summer resolutions”?

Need to open these!

So, I need your help.  I’ll be trying to learn one song a week, gaining 52 songs in 52 weeks.  I’ll include mention of my work/progress here at some point each week.  If something goes particularly well, I might post an audio or video clip!

Here’s where you come in:
I need 52 songs!  I’ll be asking friends, family, and my online communities in order to compile a list.

My “norm” is Broadway or female singer/songwriter repetoire… you can give me something of this nature– or not!  I’m up for a challenge 🙂  Songs MUST be vocal, but don’t have to be written for or previously sung by a female artist.  I can just change keys accordingly, as I’ll probably be doing most things sans accompaniment.
So give me your favorites, what you consider “standards,” or look through your CD collection (or records, or iPod…).  Also, any era goes.  From Billie Holiday to Carole King to Pat Benatar to Taylor Swift (or Frank Sinatra to Michael Buble to Tom Petty to the Backstreet Boys).

Please comment with your selections!  I’ll post a list when I have one at least semi-compiled and we’ll go from here! I’m looking to start this the first full week of July.

Thank you in advance!

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