As young adults, there is so much expected of us. There are days where you have to multi-task things that really shouldn't be done at the same time; Like filing your nails while driving. I'm a believer in enjoying everything you do and never doing anything simply because you think you "should." But this doesn't apply if you're a slacker. Being lazy is lame.

31 May 2009

Let Peace Then Still the Strife.

Let peace then still the strife,
The loneliness and grief,
Com heal the piercing silence of passing.
And sweet familiar strains,
The voices lost in death,
Arise in songs of hope everlasting.
Then let the voices roll
As waves upon the sea;
Come forth and break upon us, refreshing.

And barren coves be filled -
O'er flow with reverie!
Let mem'ry sable as Gilead's caressing.
And though the balm be spread,
Let tender rifts remain
That breaking hearts not yield to forgetting.
For hearts rent wide at death,
Unfolded to our dead,
Hear singing from beyond sunlight's setting.

Then sing, beloved ones,
Reach o'er the summer sea.
Pour forth thy boundless love for us living!
Sweep into ev'ry soul,
Make music of our tears,
Turn all our songs to joy and thanksgiving!
And when we silent pass,
From far across the sea
Let praises ring for life's wond'rous blessing.

Then sing ye living souls!
Sing generations past,
Swell high the tide of life, us refreshing!
Sing forth as with one voice,
Bear silent grief away,
Resound with peace and hope everlasting!
And all who wait and sing,
Sing on from earth and heav'n
And make out crossing forth joyful passing!


Mack Wilberg, Requiem.

26 May 2009

The End.

Though the title by itself was rather ominous and amusing, though the publication was accidental because the post was simply not finished yet, I decided to finally put up the whole reason the title exists.

The Day After Tomorrow.
The Day the Earth Stood Still.
I Am Legend.
War of the Worlds.

What do all of these films have in common?

The abolishing of existence on the planet called Earth, as we are so aware at this moment. What is the fascination with "the end of the world as we know it"? The premise of 2012 comes from a Mayan calendar prediction. Is there something in every human heart that can sense the direction human-kind has taken? In many of the films, our destruction is not our fault. Aliens and the "supernatural", or natural disasters in catastrophic proportions. Are we so apathetic to consequences of our actions that we can't handle the idea that we may incur the suffering upon ourselves? Course we are. Who wants to think that the choices they make are mistakes? I'm not suggesting that most people on the earth are "sinners". I believe that most people are well-intentioned. One thing that motivates every being on this earth without exception, is happiness. Some have a pretty messed up perception of what brings happiness. Most people are misguided. If you really sit down and take into account all the things that happen on a daily basis; Rape, abuse, murder, rude comments, thievery - on a huge scale (consider the number of people), we're not even approaching the fundamentally wrong decisions people make that are socially acceptable; Divorce, pornography, sex before marriage, gay relationships, single people adopting children, pride, greed, disrespect.

There is so much despicable and disgusting behavior, is it really a wonder that the wrath of the Creator will ensue upon this people of our small planet Earth?
Yes, the "end of the world as we know it" is approaching. I'm curious to know the reactions of those who are unaware, when "the end" finally does come, 'cause it sure seems like we know something is coming.

Hopefully the events to come will sober many.

24 May 2009

One Thing I Know for Certain.

There is absolutely no one, not one single being, on this earth who has the answers to the questions we each have in our individual lives. Answers, pure truth, to all the questions we have can come only through God, at the appointed time, from the appointed place, through the appointed being (whether it is you personally or through someone else). And really, the answer to any life question comes down to one solid answer that will never change. Jesus is the Christ, and life eternal come through faith in Him; Through Christ, the Father has a plan that is set before us all because we have an opportunity to repent (opportunity, not punishment) and become more as God, our Heavenly Father. He is the Life, the Truth, the Way. Let cares like sun while deluge come, let storms of sorrow fall. May I but safely reach my Home, my God, my Heaven, my All.

Children these days...Or is it the Parents?

I was at a clothing store, perusing the racks when I heard a small voice exclaim, "Mom, buy this!" There was no reply and again came "MOOOOM, buy this!!" in a whinier tone than before. After a few more pleas from the boy, about 6 or 7, the mom softly and distractedly replied "What's the price?" to which the boy said "What's a price?" A few moment silence then "Mom, but this!!!!" She said "It's probably not for sale..." The kid started pushing the small couch, just his size, across the room. His older brother was calling for him, and I assume this boy was laying claim to the couch and taking it with him. Before I left the store, I heard the boy ask the same a few more times.

This boy is old enough to understand money, and worth, and not to complain and beg. As the mom was ignoring his pleas, I assume she was working to change his behavior.

Honestly, it's the parents.

18 May 2009

Educational Deprevation.

As the end of a semester draws to a close, there is usually some sense of relief. You pass through your professor's ax-laden outstretched arms to discover you still have a head. Weeks ahead of you with a little something called "free-time", a strange new phrase appearing in your dictionary.

Yet this time, some sadness and a small hole appears also.


No, ntrly. Not as far as I see it anyway. A curse in a certain respect, as menial tasks in the workforce are more bothersome than ever before (aka, I'm bored with the lack of a challenge). Tonight I picked up an algebra book and once again tasted the sweet juice of knowledge. Alas, much of what I read didn't sink in very well (it's been awhile, me and math) and I thought "Maybe I should read my Greek book, it's easier."


"Yeah, that explains why people think you're insane."

Draw your own conclusions. I'm not here to brag, just expressing my observation.

17 May 2009

Saints Bound for Heaven

Our bondage it shall end by and by, by and by,
Our bondage it shall end by and by.
From Egypt's yoke set free;
Hail the glorious jubilee,
And to Canaan we'll return by and by, by and by
And to Canaan we'll return by and by.

Our deliverer He shall come by and by, by and by,
Our deliverer He shall come by and by.
And our sorrows have an end,
With our threescore years and ten,
And vast glory crown the day by and by, by and by,
And vast glory crown the day, by and by.

And when to Jordan's floods we are come, we are come,
And when to Jordan's floods we are come;
Jehovah rules the tide,
And the waters He'll divide,
And the ransomed host shall shout we are come, we are come,
And the ransomed host shall shout we are come.

Then with all the happy throng we'll rejoice, we'll rejoice,
Then with all the happy throng we'll rejoice;
Shouting glory to our King,
Till the vaults of heaven ring,
And through all eternity we'll rejoice, we'll rejoice,
And through all eternity we'll rejoice.

Saints Bound for Heaven

16 May 2009

The Cooking Adventure Finale

Well, according to family (who calls himself the sexy brother-in-law), it was "fan-dang-tastic". Honestly I don't know if I agree. The sting of the chipotle was a little much, and the taste was CHOCOLATE in your face. I used 53% cocoa, since the options in the store were 53% or 60%. I served it with Vanilla Bean ice cream. There's a little left, so the opinion may change tomorrow.

Expense of Being an Adventerous Cook

Referenced from a friend, I decided to attempt to make Chocolate Chipotle Cake. It calls for dried chipotles, something that the average American household doesn't keep on hand regularly (if ever). Since I live in such an average American household that a. doesn't know what chipotles look like and b. where in the world one finds them, much less where they are in a store, I ventured to a nearby Mexican market (about 33rd and State). Most people in there, as far I could hear, spoke Spanish, and only Spanish. I, do not. I ventured into the fresh produce section, imagining chipotles to come like a green pepper. At least I could read the signs, but I didn't see any labeled "chipotle". I asked a worker, who apparently didn't speak English (at least we had something in common - not being able to speak the respective language), but understood "chipotle". He pointed me to a stack of cans. I asked "Does it come fresh?" and he looked to a guy next to him who translated, and he shook his head. 'Alrighty then, I guess that will work.' I thought. It started to occur to me how funny I must look. I am just about as pale as a healthy, normal human can be, accompainied with red hair and frekles. I was surrounded by darker skined, brown and black haired people. SORE THUMB I think. And I probably wasn't imagining the funny looks from most people I passed. I circled the rest of the store looking for some rice flour that I also needed, but didn't see it, or dried chipotles. I texted a friend who had experience with the cake, but didn't hear anything back. I purchased 2 cans, and walked out the door. No joke, as soon as I left the buiding, I got a text back saying that canned wouldn't work since they were drowned in a sauce. Dang it! I contemplated what to do, and decided to just fly with the canned. Side note: There was a pick up truck with signs posted on it "I love President Monson (picture of the same's face). My wife died 2 1/2 years ago. Please help!" That's one way to advertise I guess. On the way home, I noticed a Guatemalen market and decided to venture in. I walked around the small (very very small) shop and only saw the canned. Again, I had the "sore thumb" feeling here, quite like I'd ever had before. Who would think I asked the lady at the counter, who spoke perfect English "If we have them, they'd be over there in the corner." There were many plastic bags of dried peppers and spices, and lo and behold, chipotles! Of course, I bought them.

I still needed some rice flour for my gluten intolerate brother, so I went back to the basic American supermarket. I found a rack of the same packaged mexican dried things, but was relieved to see I didn't waste my time as they didn't have chiptoles. The rice flour was equally evasive, found hiding in a tiny section of the organic foods. I got home and realized I had forgotten the bittersweet chocolate. Sheesh. Later that night after work, in my lovely black skirt, white collared shirt and flowered apron, I went into another American market to find the chocolate bars. The recipe calls for 56% cocoa. That's not specific at all... The selection was a 60% bar, and after further inspection, a 53% bar. I went with the 53%.

I'm still trying to figure out what I am going to use in place of the ramekins. (I'm not going to go but new ones.) And I hope this all turns out well. And if you find a recipe that calls for canned chipotles, I have a few cans I need to use up.

13 May 2009

Lion House Banquet Serving, Day One.

White collared shirt, black mid-calf straight sits on the natural waist skirt, black nylons, black old-lady shoes, flowered apron. Ta da! I'm ready for work. Parking was not near as difficult as expected, the people were nice, really rather uneventful unless you find folding red napkins into triangles thrilling. My trainer, did his job well (except forgetting to tell me to follow him into the room when we serve). I only dropped two forks while clearing places, missed the plate once when serving a roll, and got butter on my fingers. I was lucky enough to get the meal we served, complete with roll and dessert (ice cream crepes). We took the garbage out (over to the JSMB) and were locked out when we returned. There was a sliding door with a lock on the inside that after some fiddling (it was unlocked, but hooked over two loops) we opened the door. After work, we discovered that my time card didn't register my clocked hours. Oh good. A friend there, and I, talked for quit awhile, until 12:30am actually. I got out of his car, and he tried to leave...but the car didn't start. Again. And again. I pulled out my jumper cables, never having done this before I tried to follow the instructions. This friend had no idea, so he wandered over to some maintenence guys who did it for us, sparking the battery when he tried to put the positive cable on the negative side. (I could have done that). The car started just fine, and off we went. It wasn't nearly as intimidating as I expected, and was quite enjoyable for a nights work.

12 May 2009

Just like a girl.

Sam and Ava are happily playing with a ball with the father/uncle of the two, Ross. Ava suddenly stands and says "I'm mad, I'm going to sit in the bushes."

07 May 2009

Coconut Macaroons

This recipe is amazing simple. I was surprised and very pleased.

2 eggs whites
1/2 tsp vanilla
2/3 c sugar
1 1/3 c coconut flakes (this is the original recipe portion but you may add more to taste)

Beat egg whites and vanilla on high speed until soft-tipped (tips of "fluff" curl). Continue beating and add sugar slowly about a tablespoon at a time until mixture is hard-tipped (thicker and shiny). Fold in coconut flakes.

Bake 325 degrees for 20 minutes, or golden browned edges.

Optional: Melt chocolate and dip baked cookies. Cool.

Difficulty: 2-3. Watch closely so you don't over beat, or over cook. Melting chocolate can be difficult. As always, don't burn yourself or the cookies.

Tips for better pancakes

If you're tired of flat pancakes, add oatmeal. Just enough to be spread evenly in your mixture. The oatmeal adds flavor and puffs them up at least twice the size they normally are. I recommend keeping the heat a little lower than normal on the stove. Since they are much thicker, it takes a little longer to cook all the way through.

Mashed up bananas added are very good.

Pecans or walnuts add flavor and a nice additional texture.

Maple Pumpkin Custard

1/3 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
A pinch of ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup light cream
1 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup solidly packed pumpkin mash or canned pumpkin
1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1. Heat the oven to 300° F. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, yolks, vanilla extract, spices, and salt. Set the mixture aside.

2. In a medium-size saucepan, whisk together the light and heavy creams, pumpkin, and maple syrup, then bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Do not let the mixture boil.

3. Remove the pan from the heat once the pumpkin mixture is hot, about 5 minutes. Add it by the ladleful to the yolk mixture, stirring continuously. Don't pour it all in at once or it will cook the yolks too quickly.

4. Once the mixtures are blended, divide the custard evenly among 6 standard custard cups. Pour 3/4 inch of hot water into a large, shallow casserole dish, then arrange the cups, evenly spaced, in the dish. Bake the custards, uncovered, on the center oven rack until their centers are jiggly but no longer soupy, about 45 to 50 minutes. Carefully transfer the cups to a wire rack to cool.

5. When the custards reach room temperature, cover the dishes individually with plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least 6 hours. Makes 6 servings.

Difficulty: 2/3 You have to use the stove and make sure you don't burn the cream. Separating eggs also. Worth the extra attention.

Gluten Free.

Chicken Tacos

Chicken breasts
Cheddar Cheese
Taco Seasoning
Flour Tortillas
Olive Oil
Optional: Sour Cream and/or Salsa

Cut chicken into small half-inch pieces. In a frying pan, put a Tbl of oil and fry chicken pieces until thoroughly cooked. Add taco seasoning to taste. Cook rice. Grate cheese. Cook broccoli. Combine all ingredients. Put on a flour tortilla and roll up. Serve. (with sour cream and/or salsa if desired)

Difficulty:2 - requires cooking chicken and rice on the stove, but the broccoli can be cooked in the microwave. The instructions and ingredient sizes aren't specified because you can make as much or as little as you want; the taste results will be the same. It's simple and quick.

Any sauce recommendations?

Chocolate Cookies and Creme

2 boxes Devil's Food cake mix
3/4 c shortening
4 eggs

3 oz. cream cheese
2 T evaporated or regular milk
1 tsp vanilla
powdered sugar

Mix cake mix, shortening and eggs. Drop or roll into balls onto pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Mix frosting ingredients. Add enough powdered sugar for a thick consistency. Spread between two cookies.

Difficulty: 2. It's really not all that hard, though the cookies are better if you leave them a little undercooked, they stay softer that way. The frosting measurements are mostly to guide you, though don't be afraid to take liberties to fit your taste.

Can be made as half recipe. A half still makes about 2 dozen cookies.

*aka Oreo cookies(R) though I don't know what kind of trouble I'd get in if I used the brand name.

Chocolate No-Bake Cookies (Poops!)

1 c sugar
2 Tbs cocoa
2 Tbs butter
1/4 c milk
pinch of salt
1/4 c peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c oatmeal

Combine sugar, cocoa, butter, milk & salt in saucepan. Heat just to boiling and remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter until melted, then add vanilla. After combined, stir in oatmeal. Drop spoonfuls onto wax paper and leave to cool.

Difficulty: 2. It does require a stove, and watching the mixture to prevent burning. It's quick and tasty though!

Vanilla Ice Cream

2 eggs
1 c sugar
2 Tbl flour
1/8 tsp salt
2 c half and half
2 c cream
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Beat eggs in mixing bowl until fluffy. In saucepan, combine sugar, flour and salt. Gradually stir in half and half. Cook and stir over low heat until mixture begins to thicken. You can turn heat up to medium low, but continue to stir. Thickening may take up to 20 minutes. Add some of the hot mixture to eggs and stir. Return eggs to pan and blend. Cook and stir an additional minute. Remove from heat and chill well. Stir in cream and vanilla. Freeze in ice cream freezer.

Difficulty: 3. Takes effort to prevent mixture from burning on the stove, and careful watching while mixture thickens. Using an ice cream freezer should be adult supervised.

Carrott Cookies

1/2 c shortening
1/2 c butter
3/4 c sugar (granulated)
2 eggs
1 c mashed carrots

2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c shredded coconut

Mix two mixtures together. Plop small servings onto greased cookie sheet. Temp 400 for 8-10 minutes. Bottom will be brown.

Optional icing:
3 Tbl soft butter
1 1/2 c powdered sugar
2 tsp grated orange peel
1 Tbl orange juice

Frost baked and cooled cookies.

Difficultly 1/2: Cooking and mashing the carrots takes some effort, but they're really not anymore difficult than other cookies. Oven use is required.

Cream Cheese Cookies

½ c. margarine or butter
2 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 c. Sour Cream
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
5 ½ c. flour
½ tsp. soda
3 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt

Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each. Beat in sour cream and cream cheese. Add vanilla. Sift dry ingredients and add to cream mixture. Chill dough thoroughly. Roll out about ¼ inch thick. Cut into large cookies. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Either sprinkle sugar before baking or ice afterwards with frosting.

Bake 350° for 12 to 15 minutes.

Difficulty: 2 It does take some time to roll out the dough and cut them into shapes, but it's not too difficult. Watch that you keep the width even when doing this though, you don't want lopsided cookies! I used a very large cookie-cutter, and those were the best! Small shapes are fine as well, just make sure you don't over cook them. They really don't need frosting, sugar is recommended to top them.

04 May 2009

Four hours of sleep is apparent when...

  • Gravity surges increase (aka, tripping over flat surfaces)
  • A gift in the form of a bagel and cream cheese changes your whole outlook on the day
  • You stick your tongue out at a choir director who probably didn't appreciate it...
  • Your attention span varies from riveted to the screen for 30 minutes to 5, shiny...
  • Data entry makes you want to cry
  • Lame jokes created from your own tired mind make you giggle for 5 minutes
  • You sit down with a professor and suddenly remember that you went to school all semester

And so it goes...

I have been bitten by a spider twice now. Once on the palm of my hand, the other on my upper left arm. Both occurred while I was sleeping. Great. Now there are spiders, not only in my room, but in my bed! That's nothing new...

02 May 2009

Things one will do under pressure. Or not so much pressure.

Jed: I dare you to eat the rest of that butter.
Me: *stares at the butter* How much?
Jed: Umm, I dunno, how about I do something.
Me: K...Katie, what should we make Jed do?
Katie: Oh, I about drink a glass of that vegetable oil.
Me: Perfect.
Jed: How much?
Me: Just like a half a glass.
Jed: Ok.
After subsequent preparation.
Jed: Are we doing this at the same time?
Me: Yes.
Both: One, two, three!
Now a side note: if you are going to eat that much butter in one go, you would think it would be easier to take bites out of it. But if you are any sort of normal, you will quickly discover this is not true.

I shoved the whole thing in. Jed finished his oil quickly, but I stood trying to chew and swallow, but with each swallow my gag kicked in.
Jed: My lips will never be chapped again.
Me: *gag*
Jed: Open your mouth.
Me: *opens mouth*
Crowd: Ahh. Eww! Gross!!

Some very kind people were very concerned about my well-being, seeing as I kept gagging every time I tried to swallow. I was given paper towels and spit the remainder out.

Jed: I'm feelin' all shaky now.
Me: Me too. Weird.

I can still smell and taste the butter as I retell this story.

Not much later on another dare, Jed attempted to each almost a tablespoon of cinnamon. He didn't make it far with that one. After a puff and a gag, he spit much of it out and spent the next 10 minutes gagging.

I'm still trying to figure out what our motivation was. Strangely, I doubt it would take much tempting for me to do some thing else similar...though never butter. You got to live a little, eh?

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