Monday, November 26, 2007

Bread Making Adventures

So I was reading the local MSP magazine and I found an article about a new book, Making Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes. It took a couple book stores to find it. When I was checking out, the clerk said, "These are selling like hotcakes, or rather artisan bread" I reviewed the directions for several days thinking they couldn't possibly work. After a trip through the grocery store for yeast and unbleached flour, I gave it a try. Indeed it does work! And how nice it was to come home from work this evening, grab the container from the fridge and spend about 3 minutes getting the bread ready to go into the oven. I estimate I can do this at least two mores times before I have to start all over. And goodness, the bread is good!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving Adventure in the 21st Century

My older daughter and I went to my younger daughter's home for a Thanksgiving dinner. She had invited a couple of friends as well. During part of the afternoon then we had people around the table born in 4 different countries -- my daughters born in Colombia, one friend born in Hong Kong, another friend born in Laos, and the rest of us born in the United States. Just your regular afternoon in 21st Century Minnesota.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Adventures in Doing the Definitely Wrong Thing

Yesterday was a big class day for me. It starts with about half of the students doing an oral report about their practicum activities. There was a definite lack of preparation of this class. Some students who were assigned to afternoon groups came in the morning. Very few of them were prepared, and over time I've learned that it takes much longer for unprepared students to do this oral presentation than for prepared students to do it. We were to end at 10:30 and it was 11:05 when we got done. Meanwhile in another area, another half of the students were setting up their poster displays. Thank heavens I had arranged for our wonderful office secretary to greet the students and make sure everything was OK.

Anyway at 11:05 I grabbed everything and ran to the poster display. I put a coffee cup upright in my purse. Well a couple of wild hours later I discovered the coffee cup was now sideways and that it had not been empty as I thought. I also discovered even though I had it covered, it could still leak. So I spent several minutes in the afternoon digging wet paper out of my purse -- wet paper such as my check book and calendar. Definitely an adventure in doing the WRONG thing.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Adventures in Doing the Right Thing

Yesterday morning I was busy mixing up cookie dough to make treats for the Friday Mano a Mano event. How fortunate to be home a bit later! I heard there would be a chance to recycle computers for free at the Mall of America. After a day of work I got home at 5 PM, and ran into the house and grabbed my old laptop which crashed the hard drive too many times and went to the basement and quickly grabbed one my daughter left when she moved out. Off to the Mall of America. I couldn't believe it! Traffic was descending from all four directions. I counted at least 20 semi-trailer containers. Containers along the driving area where piled high with old computers and some TV sets. It took me about 15 mintues to make my way through the line to the place to leave the computers. Ahead of me was a Grand Caravan, and when the doors opened to that, the whole thing was stuffed with computer equipment. I jumped out of the car and told the two men who came to help me that it was their lucky day -- only two laptops. They were quite pleased about their luck of draw, and helped me to the exit while that Grand Caravan was still unloading and unloading. This afternoon I got an e-mail saying the recyling had closed. It was scheduled to continue until tomorrow evening, but by mid-day today 75!!! semi-trailers had been filled with stuff. Can you believe it!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Adventures at the TV studio

Yesterday I was a guest on the local Channel 9 morning news show. I represented Global Volunteers (GV) and spoke about my experiences in Poland. This all begins with the media director at GV asking if one will do this. Then the date is scheduled. I was requested to send some electronic pictures and also be there by 7:45 AM. That is a difficult request for a non-morning person, particularly when I have to drive to the studio on one of the most congested freeways in the Twin Cities. On Tuesday the host moderator called me and we spoke a bit on the phone.

I got there in plenty of time and was shown to the Green Room. Well, it's not green and didn't even have a drink of water! There was a TV in the room obviously and the first thing I saw was one of my photos at the 8 AM promotion. Hey! my pictures look OK on TV. A bit later the floor director came to the Green Room and got me hooked up with a microphone. Then finally they took me to the studio.

This studio is a very large warehouse type room. The "set" was in the middle of this huge room. I was escorted to a set of bar-type chairs. Soon the host joined me and we were off to the races. I think it was OK. I didn't stumble over my words too much. My daugher, watching at her home, said I looked tired, but probably others wouldn't notice it. Well being tired is what goes with a 60 hour work week.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Friday Adventure

Many say TGIF. I almost always say, "Yes, it's FRIDAY!" Friday for me is Mano a Mano day. Volunteers show up there to sort surplus medical equipment and supplies for facilities serving people in Bolivia. This activity keeps me going every week. Seldom do we get such a chance to make a difference. See

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Adventures in Global Warming?

It is November 1 and here in St. Paul we still have not had the first frost. The summer flowers are doing just fine. When my kids were younger we had the infamous Halloween snow storm that left 18 inches of wet snow that turned into ruts that lasted for the rest of the winter. At this time I don't know whether to relax and enjoy the warmer weather or become really worried!