Archive for May, 2009

Hope in Hand

Seems like I have this dark cloud hanging over my head. When I came Back from My Hiatus I had hope. I thought it was a turning point, a sign of better things to come. Unfortunately the universe continued to shit on me after that. I got horribly sick for three weeks, my washing machine, dryer & dishwasher all broke and washer/dryer had to be replaced, my trunk on my car broke, my car was hit and run in a parking lot, I broke my toes, and the pinnacle of being crapped on by the universe was having a miscarriage on mothers day. Things just do not seem to be getting better for me. And I like to believe I am a good person. In the same time period, I have rescued 2 lost dogs and reunited them with their owners, volunteered for charity work, work hard, take excellent care of my children, help my extended family when ever possible… what am I doing to deserve this bad karma????

I am really trying to optimistic, which is so against my glass half empty personality. My mother came to visit this weekend. We have had a wonderful time. And she brought me something, the long lost pearls that brought me hope in Janaury. They took my breath away.

pearls

They are my hope;

hope for better Karma,
hope to wear them on my wedding day,
hope for better days on the horizon,
hope for calm,
hope for sainity,

and i believe that now that I have hope in hand, my hopes will come true.

Pellet Stove

Last June when home heating oil was over $4.00 a gallon, we started considering purchasing a pellet stove insert for our fireplace. We started shopping in June, and it seemed we were not the only ones with that idea. The insert we wanted from HARMAN was on back order until January, and then install not for months after that. We decided since we would not have it for the winter, we would hold off until next spring (now).

Well, waiting was to our advantage. The market fell, as did oil prices, so people started to cancel their orders for their stoves. Harman had increased production, and now there is a surplus of stoves. Then, JACKPOT – included in the 2009 Economic Stimulus legislation signed into law on February 17, 2009, is a 30% (up to $1,500) consumer tax credit in 2009 and 2010 for the purchase of a 75% efficient biomass-burning stove as measured using a lower heating value. A local Dealer had our insert on sale, $700 cheaper than last June, we attented their spring open house and got 50% off our installation. So, in all we save $900, and will get a $1100 tax credit on our 2009 return.

My livingroom was under construction for two months. Taking down the old tile, putting in the marble, building the hearth. Saw dust covered everything, I gave up trying to keep things clean after the first week. But all of our patience and hard work paid off. We now have our pellet stove insert!

stove

Showing Love thru Chili

I love to cook.  Hmm… well, I love to cook when I don’t have to.  Like, I hate the routine of making dinner because I have to rush home from work and throw something together and usually rush right back out for one of the kids’ many activities.   But I do enjoy being in the kitchen, I get it from my father and my grandmother.  I have spent hours in the kitchen with both of them, and learned more than I ever could from any food network cooking show.  I will never forget the smell of my grandmother’s house after she fried meatballs for her red gravy (that would be spaghetti sauce for you non-italians). You could never leave her house hungry. She had to feed you. It was her way of showing love. And I guess I feel the same way about cooking, its my way of showing love.

I have a few recipes that I like to believe are really good.  One of them is chili.  I have gotten many compliments on my chili.  I have made it for several fundraisers, and completely sell out.  Lots of people ask if my chili is spicy, and my response is that it is very flavorful without the bite.  (which is usually followed by my favorite partner in crime snorting at me)  I like a little fire in my chili, but the northerners up here seem to be afraid of spice.  Everything is really bland.  I believe the trick to really good chili is all about the vegetables – peppers, red onions, green onions, cilantro, and garlic. 

Chili

I think that you should have as much vegetables in your chili as meat (which I do a beef/pork combo). My grandmother always told me that this rule applies to just about every recipe, “When you think you have enough onion, add some more and then its enough.” I usually make a big pot before the summer because in a couple of weeks I won’t want to heat up my kitchen. So, I showed my love to my family yesterday and made a pot of chili.