Entries tagged as interests
Tuesday, November 2. 2010
What a difference a year makes - #1
Autumn 2009: I had lost all my daycare clients and was officially deciding to close Love and Learn Child Care after over 20 years operation. It was the only job I'd ever had. In reality, it turned out to be less of a loss than I anticipated. Perhaps on some level I knew that, while it had a good run, it was time to move on to the next chapter of my life.
The choice to pursue writing professionally was a natural one because I have always wanted to write. Here was my opportunity to go for it.
Autumn 2010: Writey Tidy has half a dozen fairly steady clients, a website, a business phone number (on which I talk to said clients), business cards...the whole shebang - just like a real business! My two favorite parts of my content creation business are the flexibility I have with my time and the potential to grow my business, experience and reputation.
Oh, yeah, and I get to write for a living!
My life is remarkably different since 2009 in more ways than I can imagine. I'll continue writing about some that have occurred to me each day this month as I participate in NaBloPoMo.
Tuesday, April 28. 2009
This entry could be considered part deux to my continuing saga of reinventing myself...
(You may want to read part one from earlier this week for some background...)
Although I've always been self-employed as a child care provider, there has always been a writer living inside me, awaiting the opportunity to be realized. In my case, life happened and squashed my ability to pursue writing as a career. In fact, English was my first choice as a college major. Upon considering my choices for careers with that degree, however, I changed my mind as a high school senior and studied human development instead. Through the years the writing urge has survived. People have often told me I had a "way with words" - an ability to clearly and compellingly express ideas. I have always felt I could express myself in writing much better than I could verbally.
Okay, so thanks to our economic climate, I find myself with a nearly non-existent daycare business. For the first time, I actually have the chance to seriously pursue writing...but making a living at it...that's the rub for me. I've proven I can make a living at child care...provided I have actual clients - which I don't at present. It is very scary to step into an untried field after twenty years and truly believe I can make a living at something completely new - even if it would fulfill a lifelong dream. While I am trying to see this as the opportunity (or kick in the pants) I've been waiting for all these years, I feel that I'm literally starting my life over from scratch. This pursuit of my heart's desire will also exercise completely different "working muscles" than I've ever used. While my husband is as supportive as humanly possible, I feel this decision and its consequences are on me. I have no safety net - emotional or financial, no Plan B...this is all I've got.
Sunday, April 26. 2009
I'm preparing for a busy week ahead by planning our meals for the week in advance. Here's what I'll be cooking up this week.
Chicken Bacon Ranch Burgers, French Fries & Mixed Greens Salad
Roast Beef, Homemade Biscuits & Oven Roasted Broccoli, Cauliflower & Carrots
Breaded Tilapia, Buttered Rice Medley & Mixed Greens Salad
Bucatini w/ Chicken & Broccoli in Alfredo Sauce
Mexican Beef & Vegetable Soup & Homemade Cornbread
Breakfast Cornbread Bake w/ Eggs, Bacon & Cheese Sauce
Look out - here comes a new week!
Friday, April 24. 2009
If I were in therapy right now the theme of my sessions would center around the issue of being - or at least feeling - insignificant. It's a touchy subject for me and I'll tell you why...
I am the youngest of seven children in my family - born 12 years after my youngest sister and 21 years after my oldest. I was born into a house full of adults with adult needs, issues and concerns. Once I ceased being the cute little novelty baby, I graduated into a kid with kid needs, issues and concerns. There wasn't a lot of energy spent doting on my emotional needs because that adult life buzzed incessantly throughout the house. While love abounded, patience for trivial matters was slim. It was made clear to me that my emotions were of the "childish" type and simply didn't carry as much weight as those of the adults. No one intended to belittle me with this attitude - it's just the way things worked in my big, busy family.
Sunday, April 19. 2009
Our nieces came over to our house yesterday for an Uncle and Aunt Day. They are lovely young ladies, aged 11 and 13, both interested in cooking. This is encouraging to me that there are still young people out there who recognize that food can actually come from that room in the house that has the big box that gets hot and not only from places with neon signs out front. I was so encouraged, in fact, that I offered to teach them how to make my Chicken Parmesan. It is a very simple recipe to prepare and I've never encountered anyone who wasn't impressed when I served it for dinner.
I don't usually follow a recipe unless I'm baking but I wanted to send them home with one so they could cook it for their families - so I typed up what I supposed the quantities would be for six servings. I had them follow it to see if any adjustments were necessary and I'm happy to report that it came out perfectly!
Here it is, as promised. A tasty recipe made with simple ingredients, easy enough for a beginning cook to follow.
Continue reading "A Successful Cooking Lesson at Chez Gina" »
Thursday, April 16. 2009
It has been a while since I took the time to post an installment of my What's Cookin'? series! I had to do some early planning this week because I am giving our nieces (ages 11 and 13) a cooking lesson on Saturday. I'm teaching them how to make Chicken Parmesan and sending them home with a recipe so they can make it for their families. We'll see if I can make an impression on the next generation's appreciation for the culinary arts...
At any rate, I have - as usual - planned our meals for the upcoming week in advance. This week is different only in that I am actually posting it for all the world to see (or at least my handful of readers). Here's what will be cooking in my kitchen over the next few days:
Chicken, Rice & Refried Bean Burritos w/ Lettuce, Tomatoes & Cheddar-Jack Cheese
Polish Sausage, Potato & Onion Pierogies & Creamy Coleslaw
Eggs in a Rye Bread Frame, Hash Brown Potatoes w/ Sausage & Cheddar-Horseradish Sauce
Chicken Parmesan, Bow-Tie Pasta w/ Butter & Garlic & Tossed Salad
Bacon, Egg & Cheese "Boats" & Hash Brown Potatoes
Lamb Meatballs, Rice Pilaf w/ Toasted Walnuts & Oven-Roasted Asparagus
Chicken-Fried Steak, Mashed Potatoes/Sweet Potatoes & Turnip/Mustard/Collard Greens w/ Bacon
Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches on Toasted Garlic Rolls, French Fries & Mixed Greens Salad
Homemade Macaroni & Cheese & Oven-Roasted Broccoli/Cauliflower/Carrot Medley
Homemade Ravioli Filled w/ Ground Veal & Ricotta in Garlic-Butter Sauce & Mixed Greens Salad
Asian Sesame Marinated Sirloin Tip Steak, Steamed White Rice & Broccoli Spears w/ Garlic
It feels good to post my menu again...really, I will try to do it more regularly! Once in a while I've had requests for the recipes for dishes I've listed in my What's Cookin'? series. While I am very flattered, the fact is that most of the time I don't use recipes - except for baking, of course. My cooking tends to be of the "off the top of my head" variety. This week, however, since I need to write up a recipe to give our nieces, I will post my Chicken Parmesan recipe, so stay tuned if you want an easy, yet impressive recipe.
Sunday, March 8. 2009
I'm baaaaack with another What's Cookin'?! I have missed having the time to do this each week - has anyone missed me? Hopefully now I can begin doing this on a weekly basis again. What exactly is 'this' you ask?... Well, 'this' is where I share with the world the meals I've planned in advance to cook here in my kitchen during the upcoming week. So, here we go after a far too long absence...
Cheesy Sausage & Potato Soup & Homemade Bread
Italian Macaroni & Cheese & Spring Mix Salad
Lamb Shoulder Chops, Rice Pilaf & Mixed Vegetable Medley
Caribbean Shrimp Salad & Homemade Bread
Balsamic-Glazed Chicken Thighs, Rotini Tossed w/ Olive Oil & Garlic & Oven Roasted Broccoli
Italian Sausage & Ground Chicken Burgers w/ Provolone on Garlic-Toasted Rolls, French Fries & Marinated Vegetable Salad
Sausage, Egg & Cheese Bagel Sandwiches & Hash Brown Potatoes
MMMMM, as I am writing this, that aforementioned Homemade Bread is baking, creating one of the top five best aromas on Earth...And it looks almost as good as it smells. Is it dinner time yet?
Monday, January 26. 2009
Is it really time to post another weekly menu? Time sure flies when I have an "alternative" work week! Oh, then to top it off, I suffered one of the worst headaches I've ever had, which lasted for two solid days! But enough about me... It's time to answer the burning question, "What's to eat this week?" Here's a taste of the meals I've planned in advance to cook for us...
Shrimp Lo Mein (My salute to Chinese New Year!)
Tortilla Crusted Tilapia, Spanish Rice, Oven Roasted Corn & Peppers
Mexicali Pub Burgers, French Fries & Creamy Coleslaw
Beef Roast, Herb Roasted Potato Slices & Broccoli
Bacon, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Sub Sandwiches, Hash Browns & Clementines
Well, the plan is in place...now all I have to do is feel well enough to implement it!
Monday, January 19. 2009
Although we're still in the grips of Winter here in the midwest, our 20 degree days actually feel warm compared to last week's sub zero temperatures! All these bitterly cold days make me glad for the warmth of my kitchen! As usual I've planned our meals in advance for the upcoming week. Here's a peek at what will warm us this week...
Homemade Macaroni & Cheese & Broccoli w/ Garlic & Lemon
Chicken Breast Wraps w/ Lettuce & Tomato & Cross Cut Fries
Chicken Parmesan, Pasta w/ Olive Oil & Garlic & Mixed Greens Salad
Polish Sausage, Homemade Macaroni & Cheese & Marinated Broccoli, Cauliflower & Carrot Salad
Almond-Crusted French Toast, Maple Sausage Links & Blueberries
Bacon & Garlic-Herb Cream Cheese Omlette & Whole Wheat Bagels
Hopefully by keeping the food interesting we can keep the Winter "blahs" at bay!
Tuesday, January 13. 2009
Here it is...my first post of 2009! It's nothing particularly creative...just another installment of my What's Cookin'? series. At least it's an effort toward blogging this year. My blogging sure fell apart at the holidays! When my schedule changed so did my blogging routine. Hopefully this is the start of another busy blog year for me.
Regardez...the triumphant return of What's Cookin'? where I share with you some of what I've planned in advance to cook during the upcoming week:
Hot Dogs, French Fries & Spring Mix Salad
Honey-Lemon Glazed Mahi Mahi, Homemade "Rice-A-Roni" & Oven Roasted Broccoli
Italian Sub Sandwiches w/ Turkey, Roast Beef, Genoa Salami & Provolone & Homemade Vegetable-Lentil Soup
Double Shell Beef Tacos w/ Refried Beans, Lettuce & Tomato
Greek Marinated Chicken Breasts, Couscous w/ Walnuts & Spinach Sauted w/ Olive Oil & Garlic
Pizza Bread & Homemade Vegetable-Lentil Soup
Chicken Enchiladas Blanca & Spring Mix Salad
So there we are...I'm back on the blog horse with grand plans to entertain and delight in 2009.