Wednesday, February 22, 2012

In Other News...

I've been feeling sorry for myself lately as I muddle through a nasty cold and flu.  In all honestly, I'm used to being sick and thought I'd mastered the art of laying low and recovering.  But this bug is kicking my butt so please excuse me for being so late in announcing my GIVEAWAY WINNER....

You remember my giveaway of this beautiful custom designed necklace from Izzy at Under The Copper Sky, right?

Congratulations to HOLLY at Your Mother Know But Won't Tell You.  

Please stop by and visit each of these bloggers.  Izzy is a lovely writer and designs gorgeous jewelry and Holly is one of my earliest blog buddies whose writing is thought provoking, inspiring and sometimes a little bit snarky-- just the way I like it.


In other news, before I was coughing up a lung, I stopped by my local dry cleaners and walked in on a gigantic mess.  The usually very organized and efficient shop was all in a dither because their computer crashed, and after four very long days of trying to recover their info, it seems, sadly, that it's a total loss. Everything is gone.

Staff was going through the laborious task of removing numerically filed miles of cleaned laundry off their massive two-story conveyor belt and refiling them alphabetically.  It's hard to describe the task because it was gigantic-- including requiring an enormous tent in the parking lot filled with rented racks to hold the laundry.

Why share this news with you?  It's a brutal reminder of how important it is to back up your computer on a regular basis-- Which it turns out, is something this dry cleaners never did!
Yesterday, Godson's mom picked him up early from school for a dental appointment.  But before they could drive across town to the appointment they had to stop at a fast food place for him to use the bathroom.  When asked why he "didn't go at school" he informed his mother that the bathrooms are locked except at meal time.

It's true too.  We called and checked.

This is a public high school where kids can't use the bathroom between classes because of "undesirable activities".  I didn't bother asking what that meant because I was pretty sure it wasn't just "smoking in the bathroom" like in my days at school.

I'm still scratching my head over that one.... and angry about it on so many levels.  Sheesh.
I hope to be back soon and healthy again.  Until then, as my mother would say-- "Cover your mouth when you cough so you don't get everyone else sick."

Welcome to  -  Joanna Jenkins
Photo Credit: Under The Copper Sky and © Michael Pettigrew -

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cheesecake Malfunction

You’ve probably heard the old saying “too many hands in the soup spoils the pot”, right? Well, in my case it wasn’t a pot, it was a freshly baked cheesecake.

I yiyi. (Oh and, Blogger is still having it's way with me--not saving posts and making font sizes crazy. Sorry.)

I was making Valentine’s dinner for my husband and four friends-- Short ribs, carrots and potatoes, all slowly cooked in the oven until the beef fell apart with the touch of a fork and the carrots and baby potatoes bathed in the flavors of deliciousness from the wine, rosemary and thyme gravy. It was seriously good if I do say so myself.

It’s a cold weather kind of dinner and a much heavier meal than this crowd usually eats, but it was a special occasion and I thought we could break our diets for one night.

We’re those people waiters and waitresses hate-- The kind that either only orders appetizers for a main course or worse-- each couple shares a meal. Oh, and none of us drink alcohol so a table for 6 really boils down to cheap dates and small dinner checks. But we do tip well to make up for it.

Anyway, for Valentine’s we were going to have potatoes and gravy and more calories than usual so of course I decided to go for the gusto and make a cheesecake too. I figured, if we’re going to blow the diets we might as well go all the way and spend extra time on the treadmill later.

At least that was the plan. And then, with very sore hands and wrists from arthritis, I mistakenly pulled the cheesecake out of the oven too fast and nearly dropped it. The only thing that saved it from falling was by grabbing the cake by the bottom and the top-- juggling it on my oven mitts as if in slow motion until I finally made my way to the countertop.

The end result was my giant oven mitt handprint smack in the middle of the cheesecake.

Not very appetizing.

No, I didn’t take a picture to share like a good blogger would. I was too busy curing like a drunken sailor while I mopped up cheesecake off my kitchen rug and floor. You see, after I smashed my mitt into the cheesecake that sucker became hotter than hot and I flipped it off my hand-- Which of course meant the mitt landed cheesecake side down on my floor.

Three pounds of cream cheese, two pints of sour cream and way too much sugar to admit later, I decided the universe was telling me to pay attention to our diets (and hearts, and sugar levels, and weight, and cholesterol, and everything else that goes with not eating fattening cheesecake) and did not rush to the supermarket to buy duplicate ingredients to start all over again.

Nope, for Valentine’s we had a wonderful short ribs dinner and fresh raspberries for dessert-- no sugar added.

Don’t forget to enter my 3rd Anniversary Giveaway. There's still time-- Giveaway ends at midnight PT February 17th. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

What's your favorite cold weather dinner?

Welcome to - Joanna Jenkins

Photo Credit: © Trevor Allen -

Friday, February 10, 2012

Anniversary Giveaway!

Blogger has been having its way with me over the past few days by not saving any of my drafts. So I'm hitting the "publish" button without saving this post and hoping for the best. Is anyone else having the same problem-- disappearing post drafts???

Three years ago today, on a whim, I started this blog. Mind you, at the time I'd never read a blog and wasn't exactly sure what the purpose was, but here I am happily celebrating what has grown into a meaningful and important part of my life.

To say I've come to love this medium and the people I've connected with in cyberspace is an understatement. Through this blog I've met people from all walks of life and from all over the world.

You've read and stuck with me as I droned on (and on and on) about life's mid-life lessons. You've shared in some of the saddest losses of my life and the grieving process that followed. You've laughed with me at my mishaps and cheered me on when I was sick or blue.

And for all of those things and more, I thank you.

I never expected to make such meaningful and close connections with people I've never met in person. But like so many have written in your anniversary posts, that's exactly what's happened and for that I am grateful. You know who you are and I thank you with all my heart.

Over the years I have read some amazing, funny, inspiring, mind-blowing and just plain outstanding stories and poetry not to mention seeing some incredible photography as well. I didn't expect posts like these when I started blogging either. The depth of talent in the blog community is beyond my wildest expectations and I'm confident that one day, when I see your names on the NY Times Bestsellers List, I'll be able to say "I followed him/her when they were blogging!"

The time you have taken to leave me comments and to share your opinions humbles me. Again, thank you for your generosity and kindness.

To mark this occasion, the wonderful Izzy from Under The Copper Sky has graciously offered a gorgeous handmade necklace for an Anniversary Giveaway. I'm a huge fan of Izzy's work and wear a pair of her earrings on almost a daily basis. Her work is beautiful and I'm sure who ever the lucky winner of this Giveaway is will be a fan as well.

Hand stamped copper with jasper.

Accented with chocolate recycled silk sari and copper chain.

18" in length.

To enter-- Just leave a comment below!

If you'd like a second entry, please visit Izzy's Etsy Shop and have a look around.

I'll bet you love her jewelry too! We're doing this on the honor system so leave a second comment if you pay her a visit.

Easy Peasy! (You must have a blog to enter. Giveaway ends at midnight, PT February 17th.)

Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your world. It's a pleasure knowing you. xoxo jj

Welcome to - Joanna Jenkins

How nice of Blogger to suddenly make the spacing and font size go crazy too! Sorry folks.

Photo Credit: Cupcakes © 14ktgold - Photo Credit: Necklace

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mellow Yellow

Several very yellow thing crossed my path today.

I woke up to a bright sunny day so I put on a yellow long sleeved tee shirt.

Then I stopped my BFF's house and she'd just painted her front door a stunning yellow-- similar to this....

Sorry, my photo of her door didn't turn out.

And then I stopped by my favorite local coffee shop and who was there wearing a canary yellow sweater??? Oprah Winfrey! She was interviewing Jonah Hill for her upcoming Oscar nominee special.

Later, at my friend's 102nd birthday (!!!) dinner, we had lemon cake with yellow birthday candles in it.

I suppose that means yellow is the color of the day-- Not bad for February!

Here's some yellow to make you smile....

Welcome to - Joanna Jenkins