I Will Never Forget

But I will carry on with life.

Today, we enjoyed the EMU band as they serenaded our neighborhood as an act of community appreciation.  Ali hopped on her bike and we second-lined it all the way down the street and around the block.  So fun! 


As I do every year, I am going to repost this article that I wrote in 2006. 


On the morning of 9/11/01, I awoke in my normal fashion. I was in my last semester of college, and Senior-itis had set in particularly bad. I had other things on my mind, like planning a wedding. I had a pretty good routine, honed down to only the most important steps. Every morning I would wake up and hit the snooze button on the alarm two or three times before actually venturing out of the bed. This bad habit inevitably left me rushing to get out the door in time to make class.

The class that I had on Tuesdays and Thursdays was a Public Speaking Class. It wasn’t your typical speech class, either. It was a very small class and the President of the University was the instructor. Because of this, we were able to meet in his office suite. I will never forget walking up the staircase to his office that day. I turned the corner in his office and his secretary motioned me into a different room than we normally used for class.

In this room, we had a television with a cable hook-up. I remember sitting in the floor with some of my other classmates, the President of the university, his staff, and various other people from the building. Aaron Brownwas on CNN desperately trying to keep everyone up to speed with what little information he had been given.

There had been a commercial airplane crash into the side of one of the World Trade Center Towers.

All aspects of the story were sketchy at this point. There were also (what turned out to be false) reports of fires sweeping the Mall in D.C.

I had arrived just in time to see the second attack on the World Trade Center. I will never forget screaming when I saw that image on the screen.  We all realized that we were watching live television, and it was terrifying. I remember the silence in the room being overwhelming. The television was the only sound.

The reporter tried with all of his might to keep his composure while we just sat in silence, punctuated by occasional sniffles and sobs, trying to grasp the seriousness of what we were witnessing. Then we learned about he attack on the Pentagon, as well.

At this University, we always had Chapel on Tuesdays. This met directly after my first class. As we all assembled, there was a somber feeling among everyone in the auditorium. Fortunately, the powers-that-be decided that no one was in a a state of mind to endure a full chapel service–we basically prayed and got out of there. I found Dr. D first, then I found a TV.

For hours, no, days, I remember being glued to TV. Most of the other classes for the day were canceled, so I had plenty of time to watch. I watched as many channels as I possibly could.

When reports of gas shortages came on, I rushed to the gas station and waited to fill my tank. I ran to the grocery store and got the staples.

Like many people, I was just doing the things that I thought I should do. In reality, there was no need to do these things, it was just all that we knew to do.

Like many Americans, I was so steeped in the news coverage that I didn’t sleep well for weeks. We didn’t know what was going to come next. None of us had ever been through something like this, therefore we didn’t have any idea how to cope. I remember a few times waking up in the night, shaking, because I was so scared. I dreamed of the news coverage that I saw. I had seen the images of the towers fall over and over again on television, and now in my sleep.

I finally had to turn off the television. To this day, I am still not ready to watch much coverage about 9/11. The movies that have come out are far to real for me to watch. Even re-broadcasts of things that I have previously seen are too much for me. Perhaps the worst thing, however, is the 911 tapes that have been released. I just can’t listen to these tapes without getting a real sense of fear all over again.

For the days, weeks, months, and now years afterwards people have been telling the American Public that we should just go on with our lives and not let “the terrorists” get to us. That seems to be what we should do. I want to do that. But how do you do it? How do you put aside every fear in your mind and go on with life? Just this morning, I was watching Rudy Giuliani being interviewed on “Today” by Ann Curry. He made no attempt to gloss over his opinion that there will be another terroristic attack on American Soil. With comments like this, how do you ignore “the threat” and go on? When is it safe, and when is it not? I am just not sure that we will ever know for sure.

Actually, I’m not sure if we ever knew.

Edited to add:  I originally wrote this in 2006, 5 years after the 9/11 attacks.  I am still not ready to view/hear much footage of 9/11.

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L.A. Baby

A few months ago I learned about a 60th wedding anniversary party being held for my great aunt and great uncle.  While this is a grand occasion for them, I assumed that we would not be attending.  See, they live in California.  That requires planning, plane rides, and patience, three things of which I was in short supply.  I made a mental note of the pending party, and planned to send a card from our family.  

Fast forward to a few weeks ago.  We started making preparations to head to California to visit with my family and attend the anniversary party!  It was a quick process consisting of many phone calls (and FaceTime Chats) between me, mom, and my sister.  Things have progressed very quickly!

As of now, we will be headed to California at the end of the month.  We start our trip with a stay at Disneyland and then we head to visit family outside of LA.  I can’t wait!  Ali is obviously excited too…she can’t stop singing this song!



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Don’t hate me.  My poor little neglected blog deserves better than just a shill post, but I’m going to do it anyway.  

See, I want an iPad.  I’m not ashamed to admit it.  I want one BAD. Baaaaaaad.  And Ebates is going to give me one if I can rope 50 people into signing up at their site.  

Usually, I don’t buy into that kind of shameless promotion, but Ebates is a site that I actually like using.  They offer good coupons/codes for merchants where I frequently shop.  And the best part?  They offer cash back if you use their site to make purchases at those retailers!  I have saved over $100 using Ebates to get cash back (credited to my paypal account).  

So here’s the deal.  The offer me a little kickback for everyone that get to sign up through this link:  Ebates

And here’s the good news for you:  If you sign up through this link you will get your choices of rewards to get you started.  It could be a credit to HP.com, Red Envelope or even $5 to get you Ebates account started!  

So head on over and sign up! I use this site for nearly every online purchase I make, so I highly recommend it!

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Chicken and Dumplins*

Several years ago, I was introduced to Alton Brown’s world of Good Eats.  It’s this great little show that tackles one food topic per episode introducing the audience to basic science principles, basic food history and basic recipes about the theme of the show.  I am not usually a fan of “science shows” but the material is presented in such a fun way at such an elementary level that I seldom ever feel overwhelmed by the actual science that is being taught.  I have discovered that while the show is entertaining, it is also quite informative, allowing me to add many recipes to my collection.  (My absolute favorite?  AB’s Guacamole.  The BEST Guac that I have ever eaten.  Runner up?  AB’s “Instant” Pancake Mix.  Easy, Cheap, and yummy.)  
So today, I became intrigued when I started watching this week’s episode of Good Eats.  Chicken and Dumplings was the show’s theme, and through the course of the episode he covered the two basic types of “from scratch” dumplings–flat and fluffy.  
Now, Chicken and Dumplings is one recipe that I have never attempted as a home cook.  Lord knows I have dished up and served many plates of them after working at Cracker Barrel during my college days, and I have eaten my fair share as well.  But cooked them?  Never.  And I certainly have never thought that cooking themfrom scratch would be an easy feat.  
I was wrong.  It was easy.  And man it’s cheap.
Before I tell you what I did, you might want to go take a look at what the recipe looks like that he demonstrated on the show.  I changed things up a bit, only because I didn’t have a whole chicken or a pressure cooker on hand.  
Here’s what I did:
  • Boiled about a pound of boneless skinless chicken breast in 32 oz of chicken stock.
  • Strained the chicken from the stock when it was done cooking.
  • Took one cup of stock and transferred it to a 2qt sauce pan to boil.
  • Added 3 Tablespoons of Butter to the sauce pan to melt into the stock.
  • Added 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt to the sauce pan.
  • Added 1/2 Cup AP Flour to the stock/butter/salt mixture.
  • Stirred mixture until it formed a soft ball.
  • Took the electric mixer to the ball and ran it until it looked like couscous pellets.
  • Added two eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly incorporated.  
  • Transferred mixture into a zip top bag, cut off the tip, and piped the mixture into the big pot of stock.
  • Boiled the mixture for 8-10 minutes….but I made mine too big so it took a bit longer.
  • Shredded the chicken and served the broth and dumplings over the chicken.


We all really liked this recipe.  I will definitely be making it again!  What are some of your favorite things to make?

*Yes.  I say “Dumplins”.  If you pronounce the ‘g’, you’re not making the right recipe!
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My Shamrock Sweetie

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OKGo Awesomeness

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Goodbye 20’s.

In the past decade I have:




So what does the next decade hold for me?  I have no idea.  I’m pretty sure it is going to be great though!

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