November 30, 2008

Party Like a Rock Star

Posted in Journal tagged at 10:24 pm by Jenn



November 29, 2008

I’m OUT!

Posted in Journal at 2:29 pm by Jenn

Yesterday was the day it happened…I FAILED.  I thought with no life, certainly I would be able to post for 30 days in a row…WRONG!

Yesterday, the day after Thanksgiving I did what I would have done if I was home in the States…I watched QVC.  Not TV QVC, but online QVC.  Thanks to internet technology I was able to sit right here in front of my computer with my knitting and watch QVC, item by item for HOURS.  I totally forgot about the posting.

I even had put thought in to what I would post about…the airport bazaar.  I went yesterday with Scott and Vangie.  It was MUCH better this time.  It helps if you actually go to the airport bazaar and not to what you think is the airport bazaar as we had done before. 

This bazaar was like nothing I had seen before.  Row, after row, stall after stall of purses.  Big purses, small purses, black purses, purple purses, fake purses, real purses, clean purses, dusty purses.  You name it.  There were MILLIONS to choose from…no really MILLIONS!  I wish I had remembered that I had my camera in my purse.  I was amazing. 

We went in search of pashmina shawls.  They have a great selection there and for prices that just can’t be beat.  I found great deals (well Vangie did) for 1 manat a piece for large scarves that I’ll use as Christmas decoration and then 60 qapik for a tie scaves.  I’ll use those in my china cabinet for a little bit of color here and there.  BEAUTIFUL.  I also purchased some pashminas to keep on hand for times when I need a last minute gift. 

I was hoping to find yarn.  There has to be yarn there…somewhere, but I couldn’t find it.  I’ll keep asking and see what I can find out.  I did find a nice surprise though…linen kitchen towels.  In Belarus they make the most awesome linen towels.  I purchased several of them while I lived in Belarus and wished I had purchased more.  They get so soft and absorbant when they are washed.  They are my favorite kitchen towels.  They day before I had sent a message to my friend Dana who is still in Belarus telling her that I would trade her $20 in linen towels for $20 in pashminas.  There was one stall at the bazaar that had linen towels, the designs looked familiar and after inspecting the tag I found that they were made at the same factory in Belarus….JACKPOT.  They were reasonably priced so I bought 12 of them.  I wish I’d bought more…LOL.  I’m sure we’ll be going back.  There was still so much of the bazaar that we didn’t see.  I have to go back.  This time to take pictures, purchase more pashminas, linen towels and to find that yarn!

Here are a few pictures that I found on the internet…this will give you an idea of what the bazaar is like.  By the way, I will NEVER go to the bazaar on the weekend.

Bread Salaesman at the Bazaar by vagabondblogger.

Ok, picture this.  It’s a windy day in Baku, dust, dirt and trash are blowing about.  It’s getting colder outside.  Flu season is in full swing.  People are coughing, sneezing and walking about and here comes a cart of bread.  Yep fresh bread.  Bread that you are supposed to purchase after it’s been pulled all around the bazaar in and out of crowds of people some of who touch the bread while attempting to choose the perfect loaf.  GROSS!  I would never buy this bread.

Food Sellers at the Bazaar, Baku. by vagabondblogger.

Ok, not all of the guys use carts, some use these trays.  Same deal.  GROSS!

Hat Shop, Airport Bazaar, Baku. by vagabondblogger.

This is a hat stall, but picture this as purses….hundreds of purses….about 100 stalls in a row.  Both sides of the aisle.  INSANE.  How many purses do they need in Azerbaijan?  How many HATS?

These pictures look like they were taken outside.  I don’t know if these stalls still exist.  They may, the airport bazaar is now in two sections.  We only covered a portion of one section yesterday.  The portion we were in was in makeshift warehouse type things.  Still dusty, still dirty.  We were at least out of the direct wind.

I’m going to try to finish out my 30 day pledge.  I mean come on, it was the day after Thanksgiving…the airport bazaar and QVC…I couldn’t fit it in!

November 27, 2008

What I am Thankful For

Posted in Journal tagged , , , at 11:39 pm by Jenn

This year in keeping with our Thanksgiving tradition we joined hands around the dinner table and announced what we were thankful for. 

This year I said that I am thankful for the health of my family and friends.  Each person in turn said what they were thankful for and then when it came to one of our guests, a Marine he said that he was thankful for the food.  He said that he couldn’t remember when he’d had a home cooked traditional Thanksgiving. 

So in addition to being thankful for the health of my family and friends I’m thankful that I gave this young man something that he shouldn’t have gone so long without…a home cooked holiday meal.  I was also thankful that when I offered leftovers to take home, the young man took me up on my offer, saying that one of his favorite things was a turkey sandwich the next day.  Mine too.  I’ll be having one for breakfast.

Happy Thanksgiving.

November 26, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Posted in Journal tagged , , at 10:15 pm by Jenn

November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Dinner Menu 2008

Posted in Journal, What's for Dinner tagged , , , at 5:52 pm by Jenn



The big day is right around the corner and thankfully I had two packages arrive today with ingredients that I need to make a couple of the items I plan to serve with Thanksgiving dinner (Chex Party Mix and Pecan Pie).

This year we have a little larger crowd than last.  I think the total I need to feed is 13 (plus 2 kids).  This is what I have planned. 

Thanksgiving 2008 Menu

Oven Roasted Turkey with Bread and Celery Stuffing

Slow Cooker Cola Ham

Giblet Dressing

Easy Giblet Gravy

Mashed Potatoes

Gourmet Sweet Potato Classic

Grandmas Green Bean Casserole

Red Currant Sauce 

Meesie’s Refrigerator Rolls

Pecan Pie

Perfect Pumpkin Pie 


Pumpkin Bread

Chex Mix

This year I am linking to the recipes that will serve as my guide.  I had so many requests for recipes last year that this year I decided that I will just refer people to my blog.  These recipes will get them in the ballpark anyway.  I usually find the recipe that has the best rating on, read the reviews and then modify the recipe based on my tastes and preferences.  I’ve found this to be very successful and have created some must have again dishes using this website.  Last year dinner was a huge hit so I figured I would just duplicate that effort.

I really LOVE the website.  I went on the other day, modified the recipes to the number of servings that I needed and then placed the recipe in my shopping list.  After I had added all the recipes, I print the shopping list and there neatly organized were the items that I needed to prepare the whole meal.  It gave me the amount of potatoes, flour, spice, dairy ingredients etc.   I love that feature.   Print, click and go.

I took my turkey out of the freezer on Saturday night and hopefully it will be thawed and ready to go on Thursday morning.  I made the cranberry saucered currant sauce yesterday (thinner than I’d hoped, but YUMMY!).  This evening I’m making the Chex Mix and prepping the sweet potatoes. Tomorrow I will do most of the sides,  and make the corn bread for the stuffing and dressing.   That leaves the turkey, ham, dressing, mashed potatoes and rolls for the day of.  Not so bad!  And hopefully with the lessons I learned from last year I’ll be able to have dinner ready to go on time.

I bet you are wondering what about dessert right?  Well two of the girls that Scott works with want to learn how to make pumpkin pie and cheesecake so I told them that they could come over on Wednesday evening and I would show them.  So we’ll make the desserts during Pie/Cake 101.

I just realized that I don’t have a pickle/cheese tray but that’s easy enough to throw together, a few jars of pickles, a couple kinds of olives, some chunks of cheese, tooth picks, crackers…done.  I also needs plates, cups, utensils and napkins but I’ll pick those up tomorrow on my way home from having my morning latte at the coffee shop!

All those food classes that I had to take in college really pay off around the holidays.  I really don’t feel stressed out about this at all.  Of course Thursday night I may need a straight jacket and a rubber room, but for now I’m good.  Alrighthy then, off to make the Chex Mix!



November 24, 2008


Posted in Journal tagged , , , at 11:13 pm by Jenn


Today on Oprah (of course) one of the stories she was discussing was Time Magazine’s Invention of the Year.  The company is 23andMe and they have developed a saliva based genetic test that provides DNA analysis for 90 diseases and health traits.  It also providesancestry information via analysis of mitochondrial DNA and Y Chromosome analysis.

This technology is fascinating.  Not only will you finally be able to learn where Jr. got his red hair, Doctors may be able to prescribe more effective medications, and it could be of great benefit to couples who need genetic counseling prior to having a child.  It just may provide that much needed wake up call for many of us to start taking better care of ourselves.  

There is obviously the possibility that you could also learn some information that you may not want to learn, like your risk of developing colon cancer is high than normal.  But just think, of how you may be able to change your life just knowing that information.  You might be a little more inclined to take better care of yourself, to eat better, maybe finally quit smoking? 

There are several other features such as contributing your data to research, sharing data, etc.  I think this is a great product and the price is pretty reasonable considering all of the valuable information you are getting. 

Now I have another item to add to my wish list.  Maybe a birthday present?

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