Friday, January 21, 2011

Stormy Weather...

Life truly is a whirlwind. Sometimes that whirlwind becomes a cyclone that comes roaring down on you, sweeping you up and tossing you around like a ragdoll, leaving you with barely enough strength to just hang on and ride it out. When the storm finally moves on, if you're lucky, you're still standing - breathless and shaking, eyes glassy and vague, wondering to yourself, "Where am I and how the hell did I get here?"

For me, the storm does seem to have moved on. The winds are beginning to die down and, somehow, I'm one of the lucky ones.

It's been so long since I've written just for the joy of it that I'm already exhausted! I only wanted to say 'Hello' today. I'll be popping in regularly again for chatting, passing on interesting (or maybe not) information and sharing pics and links to all of my favorite finds.

Thanks to all of you who've kept in touch, supported me and become true friends during this time. You're the best.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sisterhood of the Traveling Bead fun is that?

I haven't been blogging lately but, seriously, this is worth it! Go check out Lorelei Eurto's blog for the details and to enter. It promises to be fun.

Check just some of the contents of this bead box (I swiped these pics from Lorelei, btw):

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What's for dinner?

Image courtesy of

Do you have a really busy day ahead?
Would you like to get one of your 'must do' chores out of the way in the morning before that late-afternoon energy crash happens?
Do you want a healthy, delicious dinner tonight?
Do you like Mexican food?

Well, my answer is yes to all of these and if yours is, too, then I'm going to share one of my favorite recipes with you. Because it goes together quickly with minimal ingredients, it's a breeze to make. Because it actually tastes better after sitting for a while, it's perfect to make in advance. Because it's a meatless option, loaded with veggies and good carbs, it's a pretty healthy choice. And, because it's cheesy and gooey, your kids will probably love it, too!

Laurie's Veggie Enchiladas

1 15 oz. can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 15 oz. can of drained, chopped tomatoes (with or without chiles, depending on how spicy you like your food)
1/2 can chopped green chiles (again, adjust this to how hot you like things)
1 15 oz. can of corn
1 cup of cooked brown rice (you can use white if you like. * Whenever I make rice, I throw in a vegan, low-sodium bouillon cube to add extra flavor)
1/2 - 1 cup silken tofu (OPTIONAL. I use it because it adds some moisture to the recipe and gives a great boost of protein. It doesn't change the flavor at all, in my opinion.)
1 1/2 cups of Colby-Jack cheese (more or less as you like)
1 can of enchilada sauce (I actually use another 1/2 a can because I think the corn tortillas need the moisture, but that's up to you)
salt, pepper to taste
I add 2 teaspoons of cumin powder because I like it and it smells good
1 package of corn tortillas (some people like flour tortillas instead, but the corn
is healthier)

* shredded lettuce, fresh chopped cilantro, chopped black olives, chopped tomatoes, avocado, sour cream, salsa, etc... for toppings

1. Spray a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with oil. I actually make mine in 2 - 8 x 8 pans because I freeze one.

2. Mix together beans, tomatoes, chiles, corn, rice, tofu, 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce, 1/2 of the cheese and your spices in a large bowl.

3. Spoon a small amount of your enchilada sauce into the bottom of your baking dish, just to cover the bottom

4. Spread approximately 1/3 cup of the mixture into your tortilla, roll up and place seam side down in your baking dish. When you've finished all of the rolls, spread the remaining enchilada sauce over them, then top with your cheese.

5. Cover them with oil-sprayed foil or a baking dish lid. At this point, you can bake them immediately for 30-35 minutes in a 350 degree oven or do what I do:

I put one in the fridge to 'gel' until time to cook it for dinner. I think that putting them in the fridge really helps the flavors blend and all the juicy goodness soaks into the tortillas. The other pan gets wrapped and bagged and put into the freezer for those times when baseball and basketball practice collide on the same night.

When it's time to eat, just top them with your fresh veggies, salsa and sour cream. I usually serve it with fresh fruit for the kids, a salad for us old folks.

Monday, August 30, 2010

AGLF Calendar is available!

Just a little preview!
The AGLF calendar pre-sale is available now. Visit here to order yours!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Help your fellow artists - support the AGLF

Please visit the AGLF Etsy store.

There are so many beautiful items donated by various artists to choose from - these are just a few - and 100% of the proceeds go directly to the AGLF. The AGLF is currently helping to fund the legal defense of 30 glass artists, jewelery designers and other indie craftspeople who are being sued after speaking out about a bogus tax fraud website that targeted dozens of small business owners last year.

Some (but not all) of these defendants actually sued the originator of that blog, forcing her to admit that she was the sole author of the site which features a fictional 'team' of tax investigators. It was all a fabrication, created to perhaps destroy the business reputations of dozens and enact revenge upon a select few. Ultimately and unfortunately, that suit had to be dropped due to lack of funds before she could be forced to permanantly remove it.

Understand that many of the people originally listed on her blog were complete strangers to her but whose businesses were in direct competition with hers. Others that she targeted were people who had spoken out against her practice of purchasing lampwork beads from independent artists and then reselling them, claiming them as her own work which had been created in her studio in Italy. It's my understanding that the suit was filed against her merely in an attempt to defend against a campaign of lies and misinformation.

Please don't let this continue!

Several of the people currently being targeted by her had no interest in the original case, have never been in contact with the plaintiff, had no real idea who she even was until a process server showed up at their door. She has just arbitrarily picked them out of the artistic world and chosen to sue them. That's completely legal, believe it or not. Although she has no case against them they still have to spend their hard-earned money to defend themselves and I think we all understand how scarce extra funds are these days.

To have to take the income that's supposed to pay for food, medical insurance, school supplies, the electric bill, braces for the kids - and hand it over to an attorney to defend against this random person is virtually impossible for some of the defendants. So please, go check out the AGLF Etsy shop or visit here for more information and to donate directly to the Fund.

Every little bit helps.
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