Reflections and New Beginnings


It’s that time again…time to say goodbye to the old year and hello to the new. I don’t really do resolutions, but I do like to look at where I’ve been and where I’m going.

2017 was an interesting year. A lot of fabulous highs and some lows. I’ve lost several people who were once very influential in my life and found others who I hope will become very important to me.

Professionally, this has been one of the best years ever. I completed and self-published my first novel. I obtained my level 3 teaching licensure in the spring. Right at the end of the year, I was licensed to teach high school as well. I will be teaching middle and high school New Mexico history beginning in January.

I did walk away from a couple of toxic relationships this year…people I should have separated from much sooner. My first husband passed away in April. He and I had not been close in many years but he was the father of my children and we had been married for close to 20 years. These losses caused me anxiety and depression through a lot of the year. 

This really affected my hiking. I had challenged myself to hike 1000 miles at the start of the year. Instead, I hiked just over 100 miles. I did push myself to go longer distances when I did go…several times I went further than 5 miles. I am going to continue to work toward my hike to the top of Sandia and to get closer to that 1000 mile mark in the coming year.

I did a little travelling this year. The highlight was my trip to New York and Washington D.C. over Thanksgiving. So. Much. Fun! I also went to Taos in the spring and Santa Fe a couple of times. I do plan to travel more in 2018.

Most of all, 2017 was a year of growth and change. I do not feel that I am the same person that I was at the beginning of the year.I am stronger and much more confident.

I am looking forward to continued growth in 2018. I have a new sparkly relationship. My teaching career is heading in a new direction. The second novel and the cookbook are coming together. And I have a mountain to climb! I’m very excited about the new possibilities šŸ˜Š

Lemon and Pea Alfredo


lemon and pea alfredo

This is a recipe I adapted from one Giada Di Laurentiis had on her show this morning. You can find the original recipe here:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/lemon-and-pea-alfredo-4488393

Lemon and Pea Alfredo

1 lb fusilli pasta
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 pkg cream cheese, cut into cubes
1 1/2 cup peas
3 tbs lemon juice
salt, pepper, and garlic to taste

Directions
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until just short of al dente, about 10 to 11 minutes.

2. Drain the pasta and return to the pot. Put on low heat. Add parmesan and cream cheese, stirring to melt and mix the cheese. Add peas, lemon juice and seasoning. Continue to stir, cooking until pasta is al dente and cheese is melted.

Sunrise


clouds

Look to the east
It’s the dawn of a new day
All brand new and shiny and full of promise

Clouds
Reflecting warmth and color
Bringing daydreams to life

Rays of sunlight
Reaching for Earth
Christening the morn with hope and happiness

For one heart-stopping moment
All possibility seems tangible
As sunlight dances with clouds

Then the sun peeks over the horizon
Stores her beauty for another morning
While radiantly warming our world.

Fumbling Through Life


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Sometimes I feel my life is a lot like one of those football plays where the ball is fumbled and then slips through the hands of the players trying to pick it up and then gets kicked and then pops out from between the players trying to pick it up until it lands out of bounds.

Just when I feel like I’m getting a handle on things, it slips away and bounces off in a different direction. And it doesn’t help when the missteps are the same damn things I have been doing since I was a kid. Once, just once… I’d love for things to come out of my mouth as cool as they sound in my head.

I guess I’m still that awkward weird little kid in the back of the room.

Monsters


Dark, cold and unrelenting

Fear, curling through the darkness like a fog

Panic, bubbling up and boiling over

Can’t see, can’t scream, can’t run

All the pain that adults can inflict on the young comes back in dreams.

Somehow the lock on the box is gone

The demons are loose creating havoc

On the unsuspecting, unaware of the forgotten hell 

That reveals itself in the dark of night.

Is this a memory or just the product of an overactive imagination?

And the better question…

How do we get the monsters back into the box.

Christmas Chutney


It’s that time of year again!

Coffeequilter's Corner

2 cups orange juice
3 cups cranberries
1 orange chopped finely (peel included)
1 apple cored and chopped finely
1 cup walnuts
1 teaspoon cardamom
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup honey
1/2 cup sugar

Put orange juice and cranberries into a pot. Cook on medium heat. Bring to light boil. Add all other ingredients. Stir constantly as the honey will burn. Cook down for 20 minutes. Unless you will be eating quickly, put into 4 prepared pint jars and waterbath for 15 minutes.

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Butterfinger CheesecakeĀ 


My son loves cheesecake and he loves peanut butter. So for his 21st birthday, I came up with this recipeā˜ŗ

Crust

1 1/2 cup crushed pretzels

1/3 cup butter

Filling

5 pkg cream cheese

1 1/2 cup sugar

1 cup peanut butter

2 tsp vanilla

3 eggs

1 cup butterfinger pieces

Topping

1/2 cup crushed pretzels

1/2 cup butterfinger chips

1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1. Combine pretzels and butter for the crust. Press into the bottom of a greased pan. Bake at 350 for 5 minutes. Cool.

2. Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add peanut butter and vanilla. Mix well. Add eggs and beat on low until just combined. Stir in butterfinger pieces. Pour over crust.

3. Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes or until almost set. Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes.Ā 

4. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over cake. Bake 10 minutes longer.Ā 

5. Cool for 1 hour. Refrigerate leftovers (if you have any!)

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