A Dollop of Sour Cream

I'm not much into spicy food. I have recently discovered that if a meal is just a tad too spicy for me, I can put sour cream on top and make it not just palatable, but wonderful. This blog is devoted to doing the same for life.



Narnia, the movie

I loved it! I walked out wanting to go again.

Even down to the end, it was what I pictured reading the books.

Although -- my sister's kids, all 6 and under, are probably too young. (Esp because the oldest is sensitive.) I wonder who I can take with me next time...



For those of you who are as fond as I am of these -- or for those who want to learn more. An indepth article on the subject. Finally a crossword for those of us who CAN't remember esoteric data about popular culture!

However, I've got a challenge I am trying to meet that I haven't figured out yet -- how a Sudoku puzzle is created. I'd like to eventually be able to make a computer program that will create them! But first I've got to figure out how to even create one by hand :) Somehow, solving them seems so much easier.


Christmas tagged

I got tagged I got tagged!
Headmistress so wonderfully included me in the latest game going around the blog.

1. Hot Chocolate or apple cider?
Ergh. do I have to choose? Most of the year, it would be hot chocolate hands down. But our pastor has an apple press and has been serving homemade apple cider at our last few meetings -- and it's been delicious. And the THOUGHT of keeping it simmering on the stove to just smell up the place is wonderful... and besides hot chocolate both has caffeine and is fattening. So I guess I'd say apple cider. HOT apple cider. For now.

2. Turkey or Ham?

Ham. All the way. I don't particularly like turkey (though I'll eat it.) I don't think many people in our family did because I can't recall my mother ever making it. In addition it is a HUGE bother. And after Ham Christmas, we can have melted ham and cheese sandwiches, and bean soup with the ham bone. All parts of traditional Christmas so far as I can tell.

3. Do you get a fake or real-you-cut-it-yourself Christmas tree?

Neither? I grew up with a fake tree -- it was wonderful. Before we were in high school, after the box came down my sister and I could put the tree up ourselves, and decorate it, with commentary from our parents. (And some help in checking lights, etc. In fact, I was thrilled the year I got a make your own voltmeter for christmas because after that I could help tracking down burned out lights with my own tools!)

My husband grew up with real trees. -- So we got a real one this year. Bought it from the store, though. didn't cut it down ourselves. In fact, we had to buy a saw to cut off the bottom inch of the tree and THAT ended up being a huge production. But my Boaz kept at it and it eventually happened. (My husband was surprised that neither a saw nor an ax was in a "Normal" tool box -- of course I pointed out that he didn't even have the tool box before we were married. I'd never had desire to do anything requiring a saw before... Not sure if this one will survive to next year or not either.) We'll see in the future -- I haven't yet figured out what the attraction is of a new tree, but at least, after it comes into the house, it doesn't appear nearly as messy as I thought it was going to be. Maybe cause we're keeping it well watered? When we had to get a second tree stand to be big enough to hold the tree in, I made sure to buy one with the easy pour spout and that has turned out to be VERY helpful. But the process of getting it in put pine needles ALL over the carpet AND the back of my car :(

4. Decorations on the outside of your house?

Not this year -- didn't have them growing up. But the folks across from us have a sweet little nativity light scene that is quite appealing. I might like to do something like that.

5. Snowball fights or sleddin'?

No snow. Grew up in Texas. No snow there either. I like me a green Christmas!

7. Do you enjoy going downtown shopping?

(What happened to 6?) No.

8. Favorite Christmas song?

"Mary did you know" I think.
Maybe "what child is this"


10. How do you feel about Christmas movies?

well, since "Sound of Music" is evidently a Christmas movie, as well as my favorite, I guess I'd say I like them. A "A Charlie Brown Christmas" though this year we have cable, and Hallmark channel is showing christmas every night when I'm up doing Internet stuff and I'm finding a lot of them stupid enough I don't care that I am missing parts of them.

So I guess -- I'd say I see no problem with them but they can be just as boring as any other movie. Being "Christmas" does not automatically make them good.

11. When is it too early to start listening to Christmas music?

Never. I listen to Christmas music year round (though I am sensitive to my poor retail-working husband and make sure not to overplay anything during the actual Christmas season)

12. Stockings before or after presents?

We always did stockings first growing up. We don't have stockings right now though.

13. Carolers, do you or do you not watch and listen to them?

I don't recall ever having carolers come to my house. Though I've enjoyed the times when I got to go carol. (Usually indoors, such as at retirement homes or children's centers.)

14. Go to someone else's house or they come to you?

I've spent every Christmas before this so far either as a child (and thus wherever my family was) or going to someone else's house for Christmas. (Going back to my parents, or, starting two Christmases ago, to my in-laws) This will be the first year we are hosting it ourselves. We'll see how it goes...

15. Do you read the Christmas Story? If so when?

Growing up, it was almost always on Christmas Eve. We would get out our dolls, the "angel" figurines we weren't allowed to play with any other time, even would spend time during the years some years making animals and sets with Legos (otherwise, we'd use stuffed animals that looked like sheep, but were somewhat out of proportion with the rest) and we'd play out the Christmas story while my Dad read it, with suitable pauses both to discuss anything we wanted to, and to allow us to arrange our characters. He'd read out of Luke and matthew, getting all the parts in. Starting with the prophecy to Elizabeth and ending with fleeing to Egypt after the wise men with their three GIFTS came to the house child Jesus was staying in. (despite this though I put the wise men at the nativity)

My husband plays at Christmas eve services, though -- so we may have to do it on Christmas morning before unwrapping the gifts. This is a tradition I want to continue, somehow, with my kids though.

16. What do you do after presents and dinner?

Dinner growing up was on Christmas eve. That way we had leftovers on Christmas and mom got a holiday too. And we played with our toys after opening them. All together as a family.

17. What is your favorite holiday smell?

... I don't really know. Cookies baking I guess.

18. Ice skating or walking around the mall?

Neither. I only got to ice skate a couple of times in my life, and I don't like much going to the mall. (except for our traditional day after Christmas shopping with my mother)

19. Do you open a present or presents on Christmas Eve, or wait until Christmas day?

Christmas day. I didn't even know others did it differently until I grew up. Waiting is good for you. Patience, etc.

20. Favorite Christmas memory?

I can't think of one that really stands out. The one where we came down on Christmas morning to find two dollhouses covered in sheets. And the Christmas that I spent pining and unhappy because I'd met my now-Boaz after I had already bought my tickets "home" and didn't really want to be there -- I spent the holidays flooding him with postcards, etc, calling every night instead of really spending the time with family present. Probably the only really "lovesick" time I can think of. It was pretty bad. Two years ago, Christmas, we weren't married yet but his parents really made me feel like part of the family by having gifts for me when I came over for Christmas (after regular opening gift time) I was really touched by the purse they gave me, and the fact that grandma had sent a locket for me. It was the first time I really felt welcomed into the family. (And then last year, with a list, they went above and beyond my wildest expectations. AND my mother-in-law introduced me to Mitford!)

21. Favorite Part about winter?

Christmas :)

22. Ever been kissed under mistletoe?

I'm not even sure I know what mistletoe is. Besides, who needs an excuse to kiss? (The proper person. Maybe this is actually an excuse to kiss an improper person?)

23. Tagging...
Engstrom Family
My Texas friend, Spirittibee
Pressed and Kendall
and finally, No Credit Needed


Two new salads

I made two wonderful new salads this weekend!

Bratwurst Pasta salad from Better Homes & Garden
(I made it as a pasta salad, but it could also be used as a main dish salad simply by serving it over greens) -- bratwurst, pasta, broccoli, tomato, green onions, creamy italian dressing

Broccoli Poppyseed salad (Another Susan-special from a friend of mine)-- broccoli (or broccoli and cauliflower, I understand), sunflower seeds, Craisins (or raisins), bacon, and poppy seed dressing (marie Callendar's) -- (This would be faster, and I think I'd make it more, if I used bacon bits instead.)

Both need to be refrigerated for a bit before eating.



Any suggestions on good humidifiers that don't cause the area around them to require towels/trash bags to avoid soaking the carpets?

My mother's asking for advice for Christmas gifts and I'm really thinking if I can find the perfect one this would be best. Because I KNOW it helps me stay healthier but I hate using the one I have because of the mess it creates!

End of semester!

Yay! Today was the last day of class, so my final project there is DONE and I have less pressure on me.

*looks around*
Except, I guess, that it is now time for us to empty boxes and get the house ready?

I still want to do Christmas cards and Christmas cookies... but I don't know when I'll find the time for them.

Work this week has been HECTIC. I was at work until 8p on Monday (and just missed the bus, thus making an hour wait out in the cold until the next bus came!) Then got sick as I came home from work on Tuesday and basically went right to bed, sleeping the night through. I WANTED to stay home from work Wednesday -- but big project due on Wed, that only I could do because only I have the training and experience on the special software, and of course I didn't get everything I needed so I could get it done ahead of time. Just doesn't seem to be the way things work. So I went to work anyway, and was graciously allowed to go home early, wherein I finished my end of term project due today and got to bed at the VERY early hour of 7!

And tonight was the last day of class.

And now I go off and see what all Gordon Fee has written because I've been liking what I've read of him in this class.


Liquid Diet?

Anyone else had to deal with liquid diets?

My parents are coming up for Christmas and I just found out that my dad, who just got new implants for his dentures, probably won't be eating real food yet. He can have mashed potatoes. And Jello. I have great hopes for rice casserole (maybe) But any other ideas from my almost non-existent audience here? I'd like to have things at the Christmas dinner he can eat without grinding it all up, even if he can't eat everything.

I've got Internet!

FAST Internet!

The cablet setup kit came today.

And I installed it.

And now we've got fast internet!