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Showing posts from May, 2009

Fun and Embarassing

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As the title of the blog post says, this is a fun and embarrassing at the same time. I wrote this story when I was twelve years old on October 16th, 1994. The two main characters are based after my friend Charlie and myself. We spent a lot of time in a very small town called Olga. It basically had a few houses, a bar, church with cemetery in back, church hall, and a former priest's house. Family lived in the priest house, and that is where we met. We were fortunate to have such a wonderful family to watch over us and to bring us together. To me, they are the fondest of my childhood memories.

Here's my story. I figured you all would get a kick out of it. I made a few changes, but not many. If you chose to critique, be gentle! (Remember I was twelve.)

Where I've Been: Buttercup Valley

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May, 2007

Another adventure while in California for Celebration IV and to see our friend Sue Dawe. She took us to the location where they filmed the sand barge scene in Return of the Jedi. How does she know? She was totally there. Right in front of us is where they buried the set and some of the pieces are still coming up out of the sand. This location is in a recreation park and has been picked over the past twenty-seven years. While we were there, we still found a few pieces of the fake sand dunes and the Sarlacc Pit. How cool is that?

This picture is one of my favorites with my husband, Joey. I love how it looks like we are in the Star Wars universe. There is more story to this day, but I am not at liberty to say anything. All I can say is that we had another very memorable adventure.

Cooking with TVP: Mexican Hotdish Edition

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I have this technique of finding random things around the kitchen, and then throwing them together. This recipe is no different.

Ingredients:
1 can refried pinto beans
1/2 packet of seasoning or 1 tbsp (I used McCormack's Fajita seasoning)
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 cup of white rice
1/2 cup TVP
3-4 tortillas
1 cup tomatoes
1 cup cheddar cheese
Sour cream (optional)


1. Cook rice as directed. Mix with tomatoes and spread onto bottom of dish.
2. Mix refried beans with TVP, seasoning, and lime juice. Spread over rice and tomato mixture.
3. Cut up tortillas into squares. Place over bean and TVP mixture.
4. Top hotdish with cheese.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until hot.
6. Top with sour cream and enjoy!

Natasha

Where I've Been: Orange Statue in LA

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The year was 2007. We were in Los Angeles for Celebration IV catching a bus when this statue caught my husband Joey's eye. If you have seen the TV show Heroes, then you will recognize this statue. We were missed the Season 1 finale during the trip, and when we returned home, it was a surprise to think that days before we were standing in front of that very statue wearing super hero capes (meant for our niece and nephew) from Six Flags while watching it. It was a big surprise since the show actually takes place in New York City, not Los Angeles.

Indeed, even when you are running, you can still find the smallest surprises. Just make sure to stop and take the time to appreciate them if you can.

Natasha

Picture: Taken by Sue Dawe. Click on it to see the Google Maps view from the street and the address.

Learning about Writing

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I'm a lifetime learner. If I could stay in college forever, I would totally do it. I love doing projects and researching all types of things (I'm not so crazy about math or science, though, since I am not very good at them!). Here are a few of my favorite books on writing that help give me reminders, tips, and exercises to keep that lifetime learner happy.

1) In my first semester of college at MSUM, I took an Expressive Writing course. The book that the teacher had us use was Writing the Natural Way by Gabriel Rico, Ph. D. It really breaks down how the the two sides of the brain, that she calls Sign and Design, work. Design is "the productive, generative, or 'unconscious' phase" and Redesign is "the highly conscious, critical phase, which edits, refines, and revises what it produces". The books teaches us to balance Design and Redesign by reaching back to the "attitude of wonder" that children exhibit.

2) I was in Barnes and Noble in college…