Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Thanks Bill - great idea!!

I received the following e-mail today from none other than our former President, Bill Clinton!!

Dear Melissa,

During the 2008 campaign I had the opportunity to meet Hillary's supporters from all over the country. I met so many wonderful people and had so many great conversations.

A few months ago, I had a chance to do that again, when the campaign flew one of Hillary's biggest supporters, who won our previous contest, to New York to visit me. We talked about how Hillary's doing as Secretary of State and the current state of the world, and about the work of my foundation.

I had such a good time that I'd like to do it again. How would you like the chance to come up to New York and spend a day with me?

Hillary's campaign still has a few vestiges of debt that I know she would like to see paid in full. Will you reach out today to help Hillary this one last time? If you enter between now and May 18th, you might join me for a day in New York.

Click here to help pay down the last of our campaign debt, and we might fly you to New York to spend the day with me.

I'm so proud of the work Hillary has done as Secretary of State, traveling the world, restoring the country's alliances, and making America stronger. And as I watch health care reform sweep the country, I can't help but think about how much she has contributed over the years to make the progress we are making possible.

I know you share my pride in all her accomplishments, and I know how much your continued support means to her.

And yes, she still needs your help. That's why we're going to choose one supporter who enters between now and May 18th and fly them and a guest to New York, where they'll spend a day with me.

Contribute $5 or more today for your chance to join me for a day in New York City.

Thank you for the wonderful support you've shown to both me and Hillary over the years. Our lives are richer for knowing you.

Bill Clinton

How fabulous is this? For a mere $5 I could have the chance to spend the day with Bill Clinton! You can imagine my disappointment though...unfortunately, I need to use that $5 to pay down my own debt.

But it gave me a great idea! I mean, I have a fair share of debt, those student loans are going to be around at least another 10 years, you know? And the Clintons...well...don't get me wrong now, but something tells me they have the means to pay off their debt much easier than I do, just saying.

So...why not send that money to me instead? Seriously...send me at least $5 and I will enter your name into a drawing to spend the day with me! I can come over and we can, I don't know, rent some movies and I'll make a yummy meal for you. I think that's a pretty good deal! So leave me some love in the comments if you're interested, 'k?

And thanks Bill, I think those student loans of mine are soon going to be paid

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Guest Blogger

Hi it's me, Rusty. My mom said she was playing "hooky" today. I have no idea what kind of game that is, or when she actually played it. But she took my and my sister Sabre to the beach and we had a really fun time and she let me take some pictures!!

The waves were REALLY BIG! Bigger than me! My mom says the beach was eroded and that there were huge piles of sand everywhere. Well, I don't know what that means, but all I can say is that when you are only like 2 feet about the ground, EVERYTHING is huge! That pile of stuff in the sand smelled really good to me and Sabre. Mom says it is "lobz-tah traps".

I stuck my toes in. Chilly!!! Bichons were not meant for this. Where is the hot tub?

Mom stuck her toes in too. Me and Sabre are laffin' at her because a BIG wave came and got her pants wet. She wasn't paying attention. You would have laffed too!

Mom made me take a picture of her toes to prove she really did go in.

We made a new friend. He hung with us for a long time, and he had a leash on...but we couldn't figure out who his people were and hope he is ok...

Hi Mom!!

Mom's trying to dry her pants off in the sun...

We sat on this log for a while and rested.

Happy my mom got to spend fun time with me today!

Sabre is happy too!

Can we go now? How 'bout now?

After the beach, mom had to stop at the store. She bought some roast beef. AND SHE SHARED IT WITH US!!! Me and Sabre snuggled up in the back seat for the ride home, VERY content!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Remember Me

If you plan to see the movie, do NOT read this post!!


Hey, what are you looking at? She told you not to look!

The biggest problem with Remember Me is the ending. It's brilliant. Because it will stir deep emotions in anyone who remembers 9/11.

Humans by nature avoid the unpleasant. We like to move on and focus on what is pretty. That was not a pretty time for any of us.

Tell me what you thought of the movie's ending...cheap cop-out? sacrilege? amazing? I'm curious as to how it moved you. It moved me in my own unique way.

The movie opens with a shot of the twin towers at night. It always unnerves me a bit to see them and then remember they don't exist anymore.

I'd be lying if I told you I'd have gone to see this movie in a theater if someone other than Robert Pattinson was starring. Normally it would be the kind of movie I would wait and rent. I'm glad I didn't wait. The movie was so much better than the mediocre fluff I feared it would be. The acting was good, the story drew me in. I'm a sucker for the angst anyway.

And all was well, until I figured out where the ending was heading. I'm good at figuring out where a story is heading. It is the number 1 delight for me in any book or movie. If the ending surprises me, that is an accomplishment. If I figure it out early on, death sentence. I did not see this one coming. At all. As soon as Tyler was in the elevator and I saw the number 88 flash by, I knew. I'm surprised I didn't gasp out loud. Or maybe I did. All I know is that I got so anxious, everything inside me just clenched up tight and I thought, oh no, please, don' t. As soon as Tyler sat down at his father's desk and saw the pictures on the computer, that was it for me - the tears came. I silently prayed, pleeeeeease don't make this graphic. Please don't show it happening. Please. And, they heard me. It was perfect. Tasteful. Powerful. I personally don't think the ending was a cheap shot, or a cop out, as others have stated. I understand why someone could feel that way.

My friend I saw the movie with shared that she remembered exactly where she was and what she was doing when the planes hit. I know for me, all I wanted to do was get home and make sure my daughter, who was 13 at the time, was safe. I wanted to hug her. I was uncertain that we were all going to be ok. I was terrified.

So how did it make you feel? Angry? Sad? Betrayed?

I know I was happy that when I got home there were people I love more than anything here. I know I am reminded not to take one second of this life for granted.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Brain Dump

Just got home from the gym, another really great workout. I'm really getting into some good habits and noticing a shift the last couple of weeks. I feel the endorphins kick in about halfway through and I end up doing more than I planned. Weight loss has slowed down a bit. I think it was perhaps August when I really started making an effort, and I'm down 22 pounds. I'm trying not to make it be about the numbers. I am down a size in clothing and that size is getting looser. I'm not dieting. I eat what I want to eat and have learned healthier ways of balancing my intake. I don't ever eat anything I don't like, or don't want, and I don't eat if I am not hungry. That seems to be the key piece that has really changed. I can discern between hungry and not hungry, and truly don't want to eat when I am not hungry. It's a lifestyle, not a diet. I am LOVING the exercise. I've set a goal weight for myself, and when I reach it (21 more pounds) I am going to treat myself to a fitting at the shop in town that specializes in running shoes. I've always wanted to be able to run, but always end up with shin splints. I figure maybe having my feet, and my gait analyzed and getting the right shoes may make that happen.

So I have been in my head ALOT today and feel the need to just brain dump. Where to begin. This is what started me thinking. Are we going to run out of oil - of course we are, it is a finite resource. The question is...then what? Seriously. I've often wondered if the 2008 car I own will be the last gas powered vehicle I ever own. Of course the bigger question is, how will a decreased supply of oil affect our daily lives? We have grown so used to have everything we need trucked or flown in from all over the world, something that people living 100 years ago could not imagine. We are an instant society. I don't have to wait until July to eat fresh tomatoes, they are in the grocery store daily. Instant gratification. I'm stupid to think that the grocery store is always going to be stocked with everything I need. I need to learn to be more self sufficient. I'm working on it.

Then there are all the products we have and use in our everyday lives that are powered by fossil fuel. Anything plastic, for instance. That covers alot. And so much of that plastic gets thrown away.

That's not the main thing I was thinking about today. Nope, nope. It was the ride home from work tonight that really got my wheels spinning. I started thinking about how spread out we all are. I commute 20 miles each way to work every day. I bet most people travel even farther. 100 years ago, perhaps even 50 years ago, I would have worked much closer to home. Well, since I'm a woman my "place" would most likely have been IN the home. But Mr. Me would have most likely worked in the same town we lived in. Anyway, I suddenly just sort of detached from the grid for moment and took in all the cars on the road, the people in them, isolated, making the same journey day after day. What if my mode of transportation, the gas fueled automobile with every comfort of home could no longer be used and I had to rely on a horse to get around? Well, it would kind of suck seeing as how I am so allergic to them.

OK, my brain is all over the place and now I am tired. I guess the bottom line is I do not like the pace of life out there and I want mine to slow down. I do love my technology, but honestly? I could walk away from it and live a different kind of life. Maybe I should go live with the Amish.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Comfort Food

Mac and cheese. The ultimate comfort food, no? If you have ever had my homemade mac and cheese, you have most likely ended up proposing marriage to me. Which I politely decline, because a marriage based on my mac and cheese will only end up with us both on Inside Edition as they cut us out of our home weighing 500+ lbs each. Trust me. There are a month's worth of fat grams in that recipe. And every artery clogging bite is heaven.

I think it has been 2 years at least since I have made that. I've found a MUCH less artery clogging meal that serves as comfort food. I made me some tonight, because I'm kind of in a bad mood. Aggravated. Mainly at myself. Planets must not be aligned right or something. Anyway, the following is something I have adapted from a Campbell's soup recipe. You can find on the back of the Cream of Mushroom Soup can (full fat version). Here is my version...

Kind of Like Pasta Alfredo - 4 servings

2 boneless chicken breasts (optional - I often take this to vegetarian pot lucks and use a tone of veggies)
1/2 box Penne pasta (or pasta of your choice - doesn't matter)
1 can 98% fat free Cream of Mushroom soup. (I buy store brand)
1 - 2 oz. freshly grated parmesan cheese. (or use 1/4 - 1/2c of the already grated crap)
4 oz. fresh mushrooms
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1/4 c skim milk

Boil water for pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions, adding the broccoli to the last 4 minutes of cooking time.
Drain pasta and broccoli.
When 4 minutes are left on
Heat olive oil over medium high heat.
Add chicken and saute until cooked. Remove.
Melt butter in same pan. Add mushrooms and cook until they begin to brown.
Add the can of soup and the milk.
Increase heat and stir until bubbly.
Add parmesan cheese, stirring constantly until melted.
Add in pasta, broccoli and chicken. Stir well.
Cover and reduce heat to low for 10 minutes.

Channeling my inner Julia

The first 2 videos are what I made for dinner last night. Recipe follows...

Baby Spinach Stir Fry - 1 serving


2 TBSP Olive Oil
pinch salt
1/2 tsp Herbes de Provence, or Italian Season, or any blend of herbs you like
1/4 vidalia onion, coarsely chopped
1 handfull pinenuts
1/3 package ( or 2 handfulls) baby spinach, remove stems
1 egg, whisked
1 oz. grated cheese, or goat cheese

Heat oil in wok, or large skillet. lower heat to between medium low - medium. Add onion. Sprinkle salt over onion. Stir often, allowing onion to sweat and begin carmelizing.

When onions begin to carmelize, add pine nuts and herbs. Toss to coat in oil. Continue stirring frequently.

When pine nuts start to toast, add spinach. Toss to coat in oil. Lower heat to medium low. Cook until spinach reduces in size, about 4 min.

Add egg and stir continuously. When egg is cooked, add cheese and cook until cheese melts.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


  • How is it that 3+ months have passed since I have blogged?
  • Every Lady Gaga song I hear, she says "gaga". Is that really necessary?
  • I meet with a group of people twice a month to talk about stuff.
  • This week's topic was "What are you passionate about."
  • I'm passionate about many things.
  • I was feeling very superficial though and thought about things like knitting, and baseball.
  • But mostly I spoke about local food.
  • Tonight I was at the grocery store and I looked at all the pale vegetables of winter who have traveled so far in trucks that use up the oil we are running out of.
  • I wondered what they do with all the produce that spoils that they can't sell.
  • I just made a note to call them tomorrow and ask.
  • Me and Rusty are eating blah summer squash. It is a pale imitation of the yumminess I ate a few months ago.
  • I can't wait for the farmers markets to start up again.
  • This year I would like to plan for fall and winter, perhaps can or freeze some veggies.
  • Why is it called "canning" when glass jars are used?
  • So back to the topic of what I am passionate about. I thought alot more about that tonight.
  • And I made a connection (kind of like connecting the dots - I used to LOVE doing those when I was a kid) between the local food and a couple of other ideas that have floated around in my head for years now.
  • Tomorrow I start writing my proposal/business plan. I have no idea what it will be - I will allow the process to unfold.
  • Tell me what you are passionate about. I really want to know.
  • I challenge you the next time you grocery shop to look at every single label on everything you put in your cart and see where it comes from.
  • Post a comment about this. Where was the furthest place? The nearest? Any surprises?
  • No judgement. Promise.
  • Pitchers and catchers report 2/19. 31 days. SQEEEEEE!!!
  • I really want to re-design this blog...
  • If you have a blog and would like me to link to it, let me know!
*Wednesday Night Bullet Post (idea swiped from Sheepish Annie)