Tutorial Tuesday! Chicken Noodle Soup (like you’ve never had it)

Tis Tuesday, my friends, and you know what this means?! I head out into the pastures, shear a flock of sheep, and make myself a new fleece coat.

No . . . that’s not right — I do that on Thursday!

I kid, I kid.

You all are in for a HUGE treat today. I thought we would shake things up a bit and do some cooking! And since a prowess in couture cuisine simply does not abound in this writer’s facility, I’ve enlisted the help of my husband — who, among his many hats, happens to own a toque, too — to whip us up a delicious meal. Winter is upon us; I know I openly subject myself to derision and mockery when I say that I have been very cold these past couple of days, temperatures dropping into the *gulp* 40′s. I know, I know — many of you incur snow, sleet, and throughout the day are forced to check less lardaceous appendages to ensure they’re still attached. But I’m a California girl, and 40 is frickin’ cold in my books!

Nothing says warmth and comfort like a steaming bowl of hearty chicken noodle soup, wouldn’t you agree? There’s just something about it that melts you from the inside, taking the cold and expelling it bit by bit. The sumptuous savory goodness leaves you relaxed and at peace, as if you’ve been hugged from the inside.

In the mood for some soup yet? I hope so!

Oh, and per the title:

This ain’t your cup of Campbell’s Soup.

Wash your hands, grab yourself some cutting boards, knives, a very large pot, and let’s get cookin’!

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Nighttime

Good morning,

It is nearing two a.m. here in sleepy Southern California; however, sleep refuses to have me, or even make a quick acquaintance. I’ve supplicated to its mercy, and scorned its cruelty, neither of which has done me much good — obviously. My mind is restless. I was an insomniac for over 10 years, during which I received treatment in all its varying forms.

There was psychotherapy, of course, where a man I hardly knew postulated to understand the first, last, and middle things about what might keep someone such as myself awake at night. I permitted him three sessions before I declined further services. And then there was medication, the strong stuff. This did me well, sending me into a spasming state of delirium approximately fifteen minutes after released into my blood-stream.

Today I am proud to say I am drug-free, sleeping most nights without the aid of muscle-relaxers and inhibitory medications. This process of weaning, while painful, is one of my greatest achievements in life. If you’ve ever experienced a night without sleep, quadruple that feeling, then once more, and you will have the longest I ever manged to go without sleep. 8 days. There is no cure for insomnia, only trial by error, and infinite faith that sleep. will. come. Most nights I do quite well, but occasionally I must endure; a reminder of the pain that once was, and how grateful I am to have long-since bid adieu. Tonight, though, is one such night, where instead of bidding adieu, I am paying my dues; so I must write. These words in their disparity dance in my head, telling me not what they are, but only that I must put them on the page. This poem will feel like a spill, I should think; an outpouring that I pray will deliver me into slumber’s care shortly after I finish.

I do this now, and thank you kindly for being the ear to validate my restive state.

Hiding Places

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Tutorial Tuesday! Rustic Centerpiece

For Christmas last year, I wanted to give my mother-in-law something she would really love. (I’m weird about gifts, and am unable to buy things just for the sake of having a present to give.) It has to fit, you know? A well thought out gift is very much like offering someone a piece of their reflection; they see all the best parts of themselves in it, without all the blemishes and flaws normally so apparent.

Before I go into the tutorial, a bit of background. I believe I have yet to mention our living situation, yes? Well, I used to think of it as unique, but more and more it seems to become quotidian with each and every passing month our economy stays rooted in debt. My husband and I — for the time being — are living with his mother. For years we paid exorbitant rent prices, and in return had a lovely space with which to entertain. Our town-home was 1400 sq. ft. and stunning, let me tell you! We poured much time and energy into painting and decorating, and enjoyed every minute of it. However . . .  it also cost over $2,000 a month. Yowsa! When I stopped working as a nanny, and decided to take this Providential moment in my life — however long it may last — to finish my first novel, we also decided that we would give up a portion of our autonomy in exchange for some much needed financial relief. Michael’s mother, Susan, graciously accepted us into her home. Susan is incredible. I love my my mother. I also love my father and step-mother; however, I know that we couldn’t live with either of them — mostly because of me. I intuit and perceive, and being the over-sensitive Mollusk Girl I am, would be worrying about every microscopic detail, fretting about becoming a bother and burden, and so on and so forth. Susan is calm. Susan is easy-going. Susan is Michael’s mom. I need these blue personalities around my red one, or else . . . I will absolutely go insane.

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Mrs. Frugal Parsimonious

Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

If you haven’t guessed yet, this post will be about finding great deals and saving — a notion near and dear to my penny-pinching heart.

As my Grandma used to say, “Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a ship.”

Okay . . . So my Grandma didn’t say that; Benjamin Franklin did, but still, wise words, don’t you agree? Another great quote: “Without frugality none can be rich, and with it very few would be poor.”

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The Best Medicine

Th

I don’t know these people, but I can’t look at them without smiling a little bit. It’s infectious, their laughter, and a joyous fluttery being inside me wants to know the secret to their mirth and join in. What about you? Did you laugh? Crack a smile? If not, you may be experiencing a laughter drought and not even be aware of it. Don’t you worry, though. I’ve only just begun stage one of “Operation Chuckles.”

*Twirls mustache*

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