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November 2013

Regina's personal blog

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Happy Thanksgiving.

I finished cooking around 1:00 p.m., dressed for dinner [combed out my hair-- curls fell out, applied makeup] and we ate shortly after. It was an easy morning. Got up at 6:00 a.m., showered, dressed and started cooking around 8:00 a.m.

There was a slight problem with the turkey, however everything else was great. An unknown couple to me stopped by after we ate. For some reason, I wanted the photos to line up-- in case the couple keeps up with this blog. I have not had this much makeup on- in awhile. The last photo I took of me [and posted], showed a very tired "me" so I wanted to show- it was simply exhaustion and the time of evening.

Dessert... This cheesecake is great. It is similar to a Southern Living recipe I have. I only make a quarter of the original recipe.

I had extra crumbs but did not use them to sprinkle the top of the cake [on purpose]. When trying to release the spring-form pan some of the crust sprinkled the top.

Hope you had an easy day too. Turkey and hair my only problems today. Hoping the rest of the evening is event free.

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013 Preparations II

I did not cook today.

Yesterday after I posted, I continued with my Thanksgiving preparations and made two desserts. A Cheesecake and a Butter Sour Cream Cake with Chocolate Icing.

The Cheesecake called for an hour cooling before glazing the sour cream topping in the oven for 10 minutes, so I baked the butter sour cream cakes while I waited.

I was irritable by the time I finished last night and then discovered the cake was too high for any of my cake savers. I used a large silver mixing bowl to cover the cake. This the reason I did not post the photos yesterday.

Yes, we cut the cake this morning and it was great. We normally have so much food-- we have to start early to eat it all.

The other desserts, we have the ingredients for Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies and a Mrs. Smith's Apple Pie along with Vanilla Ice Cream. The sweet potato casserole my mother makes as an entrée for dinner, is sort of like a pie so we should have plenty in the way of sweets- if we decide to save the apple pie, ice cream and Toll House Cookies for another time.

I think tomorrow will be easy..

On The Menu...

  • Turkey
  • Dressing
  • Sweet Potato Casserole
  • Macaroni & Cheese [Cooper's Monterey Jack Colby Blend] this is so cheesy.
  • Collard Greens
  • Potato Salad w/Egg [we prefer this to mashed potatoes, however my mother may have plans to include them.]
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Dinner Rolls with Butter..

Our Thanksgiving meal is one of my favorites.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013 Preparations

I started Thanksgiving preparations yesterday.

I was up at 3:30 a.m. yesterday morning, so by the time [about 8:30 p.m.] this photo was taken, I was extremely tired. I washed and set my hair earlier in the day, made the cornbread for the dressing and put it away, and then decided to take my hair out of the rollers before going to bed.



This morning, I was awake at 9:20 a.m. and felt fully rested by the time I rolled out of bed. I made an espresso and began readying the ingredients for the dressing.


So, when do you start your Thanksgiving preparations? I like preparing the dressing days ahead for baking on Thanksgiving. I use fresh cornbread and like the mixture blended and ready for the turkey drippings on Thanksgiving.

Today, I am also going to make a cheese cake which will need to set up for at least a day. Later my Mother will make a chocolate cake. Tomorrow, more preparations culminating with the roasting, sautéing and baking of everything on Thanksgiving.

I am ahead of schedule, the music is great and feel in a festive mood.

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Crisp Sunday Mornings...

It's a beautiful crisp morning in my area so I decided to make a fire, have an espresso and boot up my Netbook so I can post to this blog. It is a Thingamablog, hosted on the Netbook.



I'm in the den, have a silent movie on a cable channel and WHUR gospel on and its a nice morning. Do you ever put a silent movie on just for company? I love doing this...

When I lived in Northern VA, one of my favorite things to do-- hop over to Washington and the JW Marriott on Sunday Mornings and enjoy their brunches. A friend turned me on to this treat- and ever since I have loved Western Omelettes.

Late one morning last week, I made the following brunch. I used of course, Eggland's best eggs [actually only one], Colby-Monterey Jack cheese, diced green peppers, a bit of Land-O-Lakes half and half and white onions in my omelette. I did not have mushrooms nor ham-- but it was good anyway.

It's about 10:30 a.m. here-- and think I will make the same brunch and enjoy the rest of the gospel programming on WHUR.

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Web Hosting Paid Today..

Several problems this morning with access to the internet. Most of the morning unable to access internet with router. Gained access Verizon FiOS around noon however did not get email notifications for web hosting bill until 5:00 pm this evening even though mail.com claims it was received at 1:05 am this morning. I use Thuderbird and retrieve emails for all my accounts at the same time- with the click of a button. I should have received the email earlier.

Too many things going on that look suspect. With September's bill [2013] it was credited immediately. The payment I just made was not-- however I did get notification from both PayPal and DailyRazor that the payment had been submitted. You will recall in Dec. 11 I had to switch from direct credit card billing to PayPal because of double billing.

Anyway here is a copy of the PayPal notification that I made the payment. Also note the DailyRazor email sent to me in the Inbox area.

Verizon sending a new router-- however this decision theirs and not ours. Then all of a sudden it begins working. I was using my limited access NetZero account to post earlier in the morning.

With the holiday week upcoming-- too much suggesting I should have a lot of problems this week. Not sure why-- when I am not asking nor complaining. Washinton not letting go. I said no.. DOJ owes explanation.

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Brass & Copper..

My mother has been collecting brass for as long as I can remember. I started my own collection when I moved away from home and when we combined our collections- then added to them [these last 17 years or so]-- it seems we have more than I realized.

For instance, my mother has several sets of brass wall plates like those shown in the following photo [taken in the den/family room]. I remember her having these plates when we lived in England-- however it may have been longer.

I have always loved the brass leaf ashtray set [one shown in the photo]-- the other sitting on a table in the formal living room. When I purchased my place in Bowie, I changed most of the light switch plates to brass or ceramic [bathrooms] and the one shown was in my formal living area. When I came here-- I swapped some of the standards she still had in place- with mine.

This photo shows a brass tray from my collection with more of my brass jewelry and the bud vases I think I picked up at Pier1.


Also shown, pieces we have added since I came here [sitting Asian Male statuette bookends a TJ Maxx find and the Gyroscope bookends, Target]. The swans were here when I arrived. I am still deciding if I want to use Brasso on some of the pieces. In my opinion, in some cases the tarnish adds more character.

She likes copper accents in the kitchen and has things like copper topped straw holders, strainers, scoops and salt & pepper shakers. I added to her copper kettle collection [not shown], and also tend to purchase copper or terracotta plant holders. I love plants. Here are a couple I have purchased for use in the informal dining area just off the kitchen.


Sometimes too much is too much-- however since we both like brass, we agree that our accent pieces when used properly work in the mix of our environment.

I have been adding to the Brass, Home Furnishings and Gift Ideas categories of my Amazon store-- and thinking about the things we have and why I like them.

Some of the Brass pieces [under the Brass category] I have added are a combination of brass and copper.

How is your holiday shopping going? Today, I received one of the gifts I ordered and feel so ahead of schedule.

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Monday, November 18, 2013

this came out nicer...

Two weeks ago-- I was lying on the love seat in the den, staring in the general direction of the television and window situated right next to it. I noticed how pretty the street lamp looked in contrast to the Autumn tress in the background and thought-- from that vantage point it looked like I was in a park all alone. That's when I jumped up and decided to take the following series of photos.


My Mother's birthday was yesterday. She has had a full week of activities and Saturday was no exception. While she was out, I made this cake for her. I like day old cake better.


Awhile back one of the bloggers I read, discussed a recent move and showed how one area of her new place was shaping up. I love it when they show me things like this.

Most mornings I come downstairs, make an espresso, plugin my Macbook and get started for the day. Here is what I see from one vantage point.


I am in a horrible mood this morning. Normally when I scream at thin air-- I feel better and get busy with something else. Blogging also helps me to stay in check. Washington-- too a problem that will not stop. That said-- I am getting things down. Recent activities:

  • Updating my Amazon stores-- do you know what a goose down comforter is? I did not before moving home again in 1996. I love the comforter on my bed-- which I have covered with an antique duvet cover. In the winter I sleep with the window slightly ajar and the warmth of the down comforter is wonderful. If you need a warmer alternative-- try a Goose Down comforter. Anyway-- I created a whole new category for "Home Furnishings"-- where I list some great finds-- that I have or need.
  • Holiday Shopping for family.
  • Updating lists on the forums.
  • Saturday, I blogged all day on Q's Wire...
  • trying to move on and battling a problem with nerves in my mouth.
  • I cried this morning. The self portraits I have taken recently, look sad. I do not feel sad. I feel more angry. I cried because they looked sad. Maybe I will show you later.
  • Noticing a new problem with the New York Times APIs I use on WiredPages and the movie review widget I demonstrate on the Remix Blog. Simple browser queries work using my api keys-- so I am not sure why the widgets appear to be in disrepair. For those that have not read the explanations for why I do not repair items like this-- it is this; I have security problems and too many trying to own my software. I am waiting until I can move the sites to update/fix the software.

PS-- I took a black & white photography course in college and like pretending I see things with my camera. I learned to develop film and use an enlarger. Of course, today most use digital equipment. One day, I hope to do more with photography however right now I like testing concepts. I just do not want you to think I take myself seriously in this area.

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Friday, November 15, 2013

the right brass at the right price...

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed brass jewelry prices were going out of sight. That's when I started researching. Not only did I find some great prices on Jewelry but also other things I myself have purchased over the years like- brass andirons, finials and knick knacks for my place. Here are some of my finds.

I mostly wear gold jewelry however have several pieces of brass.


When I first moved away from home-- I loved to add brass accent pieces to my home furnishings. PierOne one of my favorite destinations. Lamps, incense burners, plant & candle stick holders, etc.

I still have a lot of my brass-- and for some of the pieces- I use Brasso to remove tarnish. That said, not all brass needs Brasso. Some of it is coated to prevent oxidation.

These pieces [located in the kitchen dining area] could use a good cleaning with Brasso.


Keep in mind-- if you are cleaning brass jewelry that tarnishes-- make sure to wipe clean all of the polish and residue in that a necklace or bracelet might stain a favorite outfit.

For the last week, I have been battling problems with nerves in my mouth. Not exposed nerves- so cold drinks provided temporary relief. Happy to report-- since yesterday morning I have been feeling lots better. Hope to get back to some of the projects I have been planning or working on. Updated some of the lists on the NS&J Forums, researching and shopping and planning for the holidays.

Washington news ambiguous.

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Thursday, November 07, 2013

lately...

Indian Summer lasted so long I was concerned the leaves would not be as vibrant. They were.


I eat whatever I like. Lately, that has included:





I am going to add the Lean Cuisine Apple Cranberry Chicken Entrée to my list of favorites from that brand.

The spaghetti with meatballs featured the Costco Kirkland Brand Meatballs and was pretty good. I recommend you cook the meatballs in either a conventional or convection oven rather than a microwave.

I am trying to cut back... A lot of Healthy Choice Soup and Tabasco Sauce-- no more sweet rolls before the holiday.

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Wednesday, November 06, 2013

spending hours shopping online...

Recently, I have been looking for unique gift ideas for my Amazon Store. Ideas come to me from all sorts of things.

For instance, my mother is planning a short getaway and trying to decide on what to take. She came downstairs while inspecting an outfit in the foyer mirror and asked how it looked. This gave me the idea to look for "old fashioned" full length mirrors like one I used to own.

What I found- this Powell Dakota Cheval Jewelry Wardrobe with Full-Length Mirror. I have never seen anything like this and thought it unique.


When I asked my mother if she had ever seen a full length mirror that also had a Jewelry storage area-- she said yes-- at Bed, Bath and Beyond. I have not been over there in awhile.

Anyway, I looked at most of those offered via Amazon and loved the details of the one shown the most. That said, some of the reviews indicated a problem with tilting.

I and my family members have owned several full length mirrors on stands that tilt. All have the problem. Why? When you tilt the mirrors this way or that-- the screws on the stand become loose. Simply tighten them back up-- careful to follow the manufacturers instructions.

Anyway, do you thing this is a unique gift idea?

What else have I been up too?

  • Cooking-- will provide photos in a later post.
  • Taking photos of the house and the yard in fall
  • Updating my Amazon Stores [over the weekend, I added a whole new brass category]
  • Getting news from Washington...
  • Researching gifts I want to give
  • A little dieting...
  • Reading blogs and finding new ones [can't list anymore until I lawyer up- when and if this ever ends-- washington saying soon].

I am going to be so ready for this holiday season...

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Saturday, November 02, 2013

Finials...

My parents gave me my first set of finials as a stocking stuffer one year for Christmas. At the time, Christmas '86 or so, I used the lamps in the living room of my Northern VA rented condo. Today the lamps are in my bedroom and I am showing one with a closeup of one of the two finials given to me.

I loved the difference the brass hardware added to the lamp. The lamps are all brass-- even the black urn and though I liked them in the first place [I purchased them a year or two after I left home]-- decided that after putting the finials on them-- I could never go back to just plain lamp shade screw tops.

I purchased the lamp below for my then bedroom sometime around 85 but at the time did not know the difference a finial could make. I thought the lamp was beautiful and on sale in the first place, but after I got the gift, I purchased the finial shown and thought it was perfect. [Not the original shade.]

I thought they were a unique gift-- so today, when adding new items to my Amazon Store under the category of "Gift Ideas", I thought I would add this one.

I found several finials I liked, but chose the following for the "Gift Ideas" category.

They make great stocking stuffers and will be loved... By the way, did you see the KitchenAid Mixers under the same category? You can get a feel for each available color to see what will best match your kitchen. Ours is Blue like the one initially shown. It was already here when I arrived in 96 or so. If I needed to get a KitchenAid Mixer I like the Onyx Black, Majestic Yellow and Copper Pearl. Currently we have copper accents in the kitchen, and the other two colors I simply like. What do you like?

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