Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It's December 15!

Can you believe it is December 15th already? A whole year has gone, again. I have been unemployed for a year and a half now. The job market is terrible out there, in fact the last time I went and talked to the unemployment office I asked if I could repeat the places I tried to find work at. I tried to explain to them that I live in a rural community, but it didn't seem to set in. I said there is only so many places I can apply and still be withing a reasonable distance to drive. I will not drive to Rockford every day, that is a good hour or more away. In Lanark where I am the closest to there are a couple of bars, a grocery store, bank, eye glass place, and a few other small businesses that have been here forever, and the people who work there have been there for a long time. I am a people person, I love talking to people, helping people, I am just happy interacting with them. I was a secretary for 15 years before I was let go, I loved my job... I was good at my job, I cared about our customers.... I do not see that so much anymore...I worked in a hospital, in the medical record department. Let me tell you, it is a low paying job that you work your ass off at. I wore a pedometer for a while and discovered that I was putting on between 5 and 7 miles a day running around the hospital with charts. I did it for little pay and felt like I had found the perfect job for me, working with others who care about people and our department was mostly ladies my age, a little older but still out there doing a good job, no matter what. I was let go from this also. I still keep in touch with the ladies from that job, they were great ladies to work with, and anyone who knows women knows there are not always easy to work with. This group was some of the best gals I have ever come across. A year and a half has gone by now, I have worked a little part time here and there, but not enough to keep me busy. I have hosted at Poopy's Pub N Grub in Savanna, and because I am a people person I love it. I have met people from all over, one from France, some from Canada, all riding a motorcycle to see Poopy's. I loved it. Now weather and the economy is bad, I am not working the weekends like I had been. I am home, stuck inside with my hubby and dog, probably for the winter... don't get me wrong, it is not all bad, we save gas money, we don't have to pay to be plowed out if I am not going anywhere, and I am here, at home. I am depressed again, but fighting every day to be good. I am a good person, I have so much to offer, but where is the outlet for that? I need people, I need to be needed, that I think comes from being a mother, but this day in, day out, no hope in sight, it takes a toll, and I am not as bad off as some of the unemployed out there, so far our home is still ours, it is for sale, as many are now, I have this terrible gut feeling that things will get worse before it gets better. I see this in so many peoples eyes, I do what I can, I offer my home to friends to come and dine, I tell friends to come stay all night, take a break from the stress they have, let me help you relax, it is a small thing I can do. I want to share our home as long as we have it. My house is a home, it is inviting and warm. I feel love here, and even when I am totally depressed and feel so alone, I am at peace here. If I can share this with a friend, it pleases me and makes me feel good. It is no trouble, it is love.. it is sharing..

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday, Dec 12th, 2010

Our big storm was not as bad as we all thought it would be, country roads and side roads are slick and you do have to be careful. I did not have to work today so that was nice, didn't need to be plowed out or take a chance on the slippery roads out here.
I have a fire going in the fireplace, made chicken soup and had some great music playing. Times like this I could just sit here and do nothing for most of the day.
I have a review on a CD I just purchased. It is called O Holy Night, by Jackie Evancho. She was on Americas Got Talent, and I do not know how she did, if she won or was second or what, but I heard her on tv one morning and I must say, if an angel broke into song, this is what it would sound like. She is only 10, but you will not believe her voice. If you know someone who likes opera style of singing, or just loves a great voice I highly recommend this CD. It is a great gift for Christmas and will not set you back much, I paid $7.00 at Walmart for mine. I give this CD a 10. Let me know if you have it or have heard of Jackie, I would love some feedback. If you give it as a gift let me know how the recipient liked it. I almost forgot, the picture of my dog Baxter was him sitting by my chair with this great look on his face. He was listening to this CD. I watched him for a while and he just sat and looked up at the speakers. Jackie's voice will calm the savage beast..or... at least get his attention.

My chicken soup turned out soooo good. I put some of my homemade salsa in it. This batch of salsa was a little hot and really heated up the soup. Joe's and my noses started running, a sign of good spicy soup... I had two bowls and could have had another, but I think I will save some for later.

I am posting a recipe today, Oven Baked Brown Rice. I use this all the time and like the way it comes out. I can not make rice, it comes out clumpy,dry, stuck together, even the instant I have a hard time with. Since I found this recipe I stopped trying any others. It is from the Cook's Illustrated Cookbook. Hope you try it and enjoy.
1 1/2 cups brown rice
2 1/3 cups water.... you can use broth if you like
1 tablespoon olive oil, I use butter sometimes

heat oven to 375: spray dish, heat water to boiling, put rice and spices, salt pepper, I use mushrooms or celery in dish, pour water over rice and cover dish. Bake for about 1 hour. take rice out of oven, uncover, fluff with fork, cover let sit for a few minutes. I divide this and make spanish rice or stuffed peppers. I do freeze it and it seems to thaw well. If you have some in the freezer it is great to grab and add to soups, or make a sauce and pour over.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

first snowfall

It's Saturday December 4th and we woke to our first snowfall. The brightness of the snow was almost blinding as you emerged from your bed to the living room to see what had transpired while you slept. Newly fallen snow is so beautiful, no tracks, so peaceful, it has always amazed me how the snow takes on a secondary beauty. The beauty at the end of the day and there are animal tracks, my tracks, dog tracks and if you have kids, lots and lots of tracks, each track a foot print in time, as you walk your dog, smiling at the beauty of it all, the next time your out you see rabbit tracks all over as they run around your yard, and mabye at the end of the day as your taking your last walk outside, you look around at all that went on in the new fallen snow, the joy of waking to it, and the first tracks you put on it in the morning, to those last tracks reflected in the rising moon, shining on the end of one snowy day, that very first snow day.
The picture of my dog walking out into the snow makes me think of a rock star getting ready to go out on stage. The quiet dark hallway, away from the crowd, just feet away from an explosion of unexpected joy. He did not know what he was walking toward, but he walked on, into the cold unknown, and he liked it. Baxter rocks.