Sweet Silver Lining

just watching the clouds…

Smoked Sausage Potato Soup January 11, 2015

Filed under: entertainment,family,food — dragonfly180 @ 1:37 pm
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I’m always coming up with or finding great recipes that I try out and then forget about, so I thought I needed to post them somewhere when I really like one. This is one that I came up with after looking over different soup recipes, trying to use up some potatoes I had in the kitchen.

There’s nothing like a warm, thick soup on a cold, rainy day like today. Great comfort food! Here is the recipe for this delicious and hearty soup.

Smoked Sausage Potato Soup
4-5 lbs red potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 ribs celery (plus I diced the celery greens, which have lots of good flavor!)
2 packages smoked sausage (9 oz packages), cut into 1/4″ thickness
1 block of cream cheese
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup (26 oz)
1 package dry ranch dressing mix
2 cups water

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Spray the slow-cooker with oil. Add potatoes, celery, and smoked sausage. Pour in half the cream of mushroom. In the soup can, add ranch seasoning and some of the water. Stir and add to slow-cooker. Add the rest of the water. Cut the cream cheese into chunks and add to the pot. Cook on high for four hours (or low for about six). Stir after an hour to make sure everything is well combined.

Top with shredded cheese and a little fresh ground black pepper. Serve with crackers or cornbread.

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What We Do With Our Days January 27, 2012

Filed under: entertainment,family,raNdOMnesS — dragonfly180 @ 10:04 am
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It’s amazing to me how much time people waste, myself included. I stayed off Facebook last night and cleaned the kitchen, washed clothes, and took down our Christmas tree, and I was amazed at how much I got done in a relatively short amount of time. In my defense about the tree, I left it up for ambience so Jamie and I could celebrate Christmas together when he got home last week. It was nice to have everything still Christmasy when he tore into packages. :o) Anyway, I used to spend lots of time sitting at the computer, mostly waiting on Jamie to get on at night so I could chat with him. I guess I could have been doing other things, but I was always afraid I’d miss him getting on. I haven’t spent a whole lot of time on there at all since he’s been home.

 

I have definitely been realizing just how much time I can waste, even more so now that I’ve worked three jobs at once. Since my night class didn’t make and I’m not traveling almost an hour one way twice a week, I now have a nice chunk of “free time,” probably about 7 extra hours each week, time that I had before I started working at EMCC but really didn’t realize I had. I just wasted it at night, I guess. A big help has been cutting out most television, though. Years ago when I had an 8-5 office job, I’d come home, plant my butt on the couch, and watch probably 3-4 hours of t.v. every night! I just can’t imagine that these days. Of course, that was before I caught the running bug. Another time-sucker was playing computer games, which I rarely do anymore, primarily because I know how addicted I can get to them. I was into the hard-core RPG’s that immerse you in the environment and storyline and could suck away 5 hours, and it would seem like only 30 minutes had gone by! So after staying up late cleaning and putting stuff away, I STILL got on FB for a little social networking fix last night! I know, terrible.

 

Is there anything wrong with devoting your time to something “useless” like excessive t.v. watching, Internet surfing, or video game playing? Who determines what is useless and what isn’t? It seems to me that stamp collecting is an utterly useless hobby, but to a stamp collector, it is a perfectly valid use of time. It really all comes down to how you view your own time and the activities you do to fill up that time. If gardening is important to you, you devote your time to it. If slaying dragons and giants is your choice of entertainment, then you do that when you have free time. If playing a sport is what you like to do, then you don’t see it as a waste of your time. I guess what becomes an issue is how your activities affect the necessary parts of your life, like spending time with family, cleaning and taking care of the household, getting enough sleep for work, etc. For me, whatever I do that is taking up my free time, I feel like it should have value I can see (artwork, healthier body from working out, writing that I might be able to sale eventually, learning something new, etc.). I guess I am practical that way. I do surf the internet for entertainment and watch movies sometimes. I guess someone who sits in front of a t.v. for hours each night could argue that it’s their “unwinding time” or their choice for entertainment, and I can see that. Most people believe that blogging is a waste of time, but I love expressing myself in that way of I have a little time to write. Sometimes we need to cut each other slack about our choices of activities.

 

I suppose one of my pet peeves is that people often say, “I don’t have time for that,” when in reality, what they mean is that they don’t MAKE time for it, whatever “it” is. For instance, if you want to learn how to play an instrument, you’ll swap an hour or two each week from television to lessons and practice. Even working three jobs plus doing arts and crafts to consign at a local shop, I still cleaned the house each week and worked out regularly, because those things were important to me. Had violin been more important than working out and improving my health, I would have taken up lessons again in place of exercise.

 

What got me to thinking about all of this is what I want to do with my free time now that the English Composition class didn’t make. I of course want to spend more time with Jamie, and we have been really enjoying the extra time. When he goes back to work on the night shift, I know I probably won’t see him as much in the evenings, particularly when earlier when he’ll be sleeping. I hope to get my exercise equipment set up in the workshop soon so I can workout without waking him up too early. I’d also like to set aside a little bit of the 7 hours regained each week to get back into writing. The difficult part about that is devoting that time to just that and then sticking to it. I might also pick back up on my violin lessons, particularly if I can find a teacher closer to home. I definitely like to keep myself busy. :o) I feel like I’ve wasted too many years being lazy or doing “hobbies” that seem pointless to me now. Our lives pass us by so quickly, and we waste so much time on things that aren’t important. I want to focus on doing activities that I can find value in, things that I can look back on in 10 or 20 years and say, “I’m really glad I did that,” rather than, “What did I do with all that time I had?”

 

2012 Movies January 14, 2012

Filed under: entertainment — dragonfly180 @ 1:01 pm
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i absolutely love watching movies. i’d rather do that on a friday night than anything else. i am pleasantly surprised by the lineup of good movies coming out this year in light of the pitiful ones hollywood produced in 2011 (seriously, i could count on one hand the movies that i thought were really good). so i thought i’d post some that i’m interested in seeing this year.

it came out in December, but i still have yet to see Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. i really liked the first one, so i’m interested to see how Downey does in this one.

one that everyone seems to be talking about is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. i’m hearing, though, that the Swedish version is much better, so i’ll probably go see this one first so it’s not ruined by a better version! i’m really not fond of subtitles, either, so the Swedish version has been in my netflix queue for a good while now, as i’ve passed over it for other movies.

another one lots have gone to see is The Devil Inside. if you know me at all, you know that i LOVE a good scary movie. i also really like seeing movies about demonic possession, because the scary movies that i believe are more likely to happen in real life (spiritual strife, serial killers, natural disasters, etc.) are much scarier and more entertaining to me. BUT i have been hearing that the end of this movie is horrible, so i’ll maybe watch this one on dvd. definitely not shelling out $8 to be let down by a crappy conclusion.

another movie i’m looking forward to is Coriolanus.  i mean, i AM an English major, after all. of course i’m going to get excited about anything by Shakespeare. And Ralph Fiennes is strangely sexy to me, although i don’t think the bald noggin really works for him. AND it has Gerard Butler in it. oh yes, i think i will like this one. not sure if i will go to the theatre or just get this on netflix, though.

another one i wouldn’t mind seeing but may wait for dvd is Underworld: Awakening. i love kate beckinsale and the underworld movies thus far have been pretty good, but this one apparently has Selene  (and all the lycans and vamps, i guess) battling humans. doesn’t that kinda make her a villain? it promises lots of good action, so it’d be a good date movie, but if our theatre only shows it in 3D, i know i’ll be waiting for the dvd release.

so that’s it for January, but there are lots more great movies coming out as the year progresses. definitely looking forward to sitting in a dark theatre surrounded by the sound of well-written lines and awesome music scores and immersed in a good story that lets me escape for a while.

 

 

Documentaries June 21, 2011

Filed under: entertainment,raNdOMnesS — dragonfly180 @ 4:51 pm
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i watched this crazy movie the other night called “Catfish.” it caught my eye first because that’s my oldest brother’s nickname but also because i find some documentaries to be pretty interesting. 20 minutes in, and i could not turn the channel. it’s about this guy who befriends this family on facebook, and the youngest daughter is supposedly this awesome painter, so he starts buying her paintings and conversing with the family. it takes a sharp turn into an analysis about what we know about the people we associate with. the way i’m describing it doesn’t make it seem very interesting, i know *lol* but i’d give away the basis of the documentary if i give you any more details and delve into why it was so interesting. i think documentaries are an underrated form of entertainment. it’s like reality t.v. without all the cheesiness and hidden plot writing. if you haven’t seen “catfish,” check it out and tell me what you think. i can’t seem to get this movie out of my head! :oD

what’s your favorite documentary?

 

V Day February 13, 2011

Filed under: entertainment,food,hEaLtH — dragonfly180 @ 8:26 pm
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Feeling a tad jealous this weekend as several of the army wives are either traveling to Ft. Lewis to see their husbands while they are on pass or who are impatiently awaiting flights coming in with their loved ones on them. Jamie is staying in Washington, and I am staying in Mississippi. We decided that this is the best decision for us for two reasons. First, we’ve already had the difficult goodbye and really don’t want to put ourselves through that again. Second, that $1000+ can be better used when he gets home. I’d rather take a trip somewhere together when he gets back and not have to end it in tears and a sick heart. I miss him and wish I could spend Valentine’s day with my husband, but we’ll have many more that we can make special.

He is out eating at a steakhouse with a couple of the other soldiers who decided to stay there. I’m really glad that he is able to get away from the barracks for a little while and enjoy himself. He went shopping at the mall and Wal-Mart today, too. We who are free to come and go as we please sometimes take for granted little things like a trip to Wal-Mart or eating a good supper with friends. Even if he can’t be home, I’m glad Jamie gets several days to relax and get away from being a soldier before going overseas.

After church, my mom came over, and we made lasagna and ate. My dad was supposed to come, but he has come down with a bad cold. My mom brought me two huge bouquets of flowers for Valentine’s day. They are so pretty and smell so good. We had a raspberry Jello pie for dessert and just enjoyed each others’ company. She and I went hiking at Little Mountain yesterday, and she couldn’t stop talking about what a pleasant day it was yesterday and how nice it was to get out and spend time together. I need to remember to make more time for her and Daddy.

 

Music to my Ears! January 10, 2011

Filed under: entertainment,raNdOMnesS — dragonfly180 @ 9:26 pm
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One of my resolutions was to spend time on the things I love. One of those things is music. I got so accustomed during grad school to put my hobbies on the back burner that I have found it hard to pick them back up now. I plan on practicing more with my piano. To hold me to it, I committed to playing the piano in church when the preacher’s wife is out, so now I have to learn some new songs! Also, I just committed to taking violin lessons from Mr. James Hill, who is also over the Rainwater Observatory and Planetarium in French Camp. A prior student of mine who takes piano from Mr. Hill’s wife referred me to him. I am really excited to start. Although I have had my violin for about three years,  I was always reluctant to try to go very far with lessons on my own for fear of learning improper bowing technique or some other problem not easily fixed once learned. Jamie bought me a violin accessory for Christmas that I’d had on my Amazon Wish List for ages, so I thought that while he’s gone, this will be the perfect opportunity to devote some time to that. Not only will I not be taking time away from him while he’s away, but I also won’t be scratching and screeching and driving him crazy for the next several months. Maybe by the time he comes home, I won’t sound so bad playing it!

 

I want Jillian’s physique! January 8, 2011

Filed under: entertainment,hEaLtH — dragonfly180 @ 3:00 pm
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Jillian Michaels’s Photos – Wall Photos

wow. jillian michaels has an awesome body. here, she’s getting her tan on in a paper towel bikini for the shape cover (oh, to have the kinda job where someone else has to rub that yucky lotion on and gets the awful orange hands!). this photo makes me 1) want to go get a spray tan and 2) not eat for a month. her physique is amazing! is it wishful thinking to try to get a body like this? i’m thinking it’s just not in my genetic code…more likely, it’s that i don’t have the discipline she does. i do love crappy food and especially sweets. *sigh* sugar, thou art the enemy.