Wednesday, December 21, 2011

This Scattered Life


My Blogging Buddies,

When I started this blog three years ago I came up with the moniker of Bossy Betty thinking I could use some snappy persona and write from that perspective, hiding behind a mask of irreverence. The irony is that through blogging and the connections I made with my readers, I found that I couldn't be anything by authentic in my writing.

Maybe that is a strength; maybe it is a weakness.

Recent events in my life have pretty much stripped all remaining pretenses from my life. I find that I have no choice but to be authentic. I have no energy for anything but authenticity.

Unfortunately, that honesty comes with an emotional price. At this point in my life I am trying to deal with research papers, wrapping paper, and divorce papers. I am trying to keep my head above water. Just when I think I have a handle on this whole divorce thing, new revelations come to the surface and threaten to drown me. Just when I think I can't be hurt in any new ways, I find out differently.

So, I am taking a blogging break. I need some time to gather myself, to make sure my sons have some much-needed emotional stability, and to just try and make it through the holidays.

I'll be back, my pretties.

I love you too much to not haunt you with my every observation.

Have a wonderful holiday season and I'll see you soon.

--BB

Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday Morning Flowers


Happy Monday Morning, Everyone.

Sorry I have not been around lately.

It's been a little crazy here.

I hope to get back into my writing groove very soon.

Flowers and treats ahead for you!





Someone's idea of a joke at the Department Christmas Party:


Christmas is a time when everybody wants his past forgotten and his present remembered. What I don't like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day.

--Phyllis Diller


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Poetry Tuesday: "A Walk" by Rainer Maria Rilke



A Walk

My eyes already touch the sunny hill.
going far ahead of the road I have begun.
So we are grasped by what we cannot grasp;
it has inner light, even from a distance-

and charges us, even if we do not reach it,
into something else, which, hardly sensing it,
we already are; a gesture waves us on
answering our own wave...
but what we feel is the wind in our faces.


--Rainer Maria Rilke
Translated by Robert Bly


Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday Morning Flowers



Happy Monday to you all!

Here's hoping you have a great week ahead!





My legs are still recovering from the Secret Stair Hike, but it was so much fun!


We passed by some great architecture.



We also passed one of these. Can you guess what it is?



You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

--Steve Jobs

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Secret Stair Walk! Silver Lake


Hi everybody!

Yesterday, it was time for another Secret Stair Walk. Regular readers know these are walks that explore the system of stairs built into the hills in the Los Angeles area in the 1920's.

This time we headed to Silver Lake.



Here are my hiking buddies and me, ready to hit the trail!



This walk had 705 stairs and included this set which was featured in the 1932 Laurel and Hardy movie The Music Box. The duo try to move a piano up these stairs. I managed to move just my body up them and felt quite accomplished.



It was a gorgeous day in Los Angeles. The temps were in the upper '70's.
This Kansas girl still can't quite believe this is December weather.



Naturally, after the hike, it was time to eat! We found a fabulous restaurant called "Local." The food was great. Attention: set a plate of spicy French fries and a bowl of ranch dressing down in front of some hungry women and then, for your own safety, step away from the table.



This was the bathroom attendant at the restaurant. He was a little alarming upon first opening the door to the bathroom, but he was really very nice once you got to know him.

I had a fabulous time on the Secret Stair walk.



Oh! And I found my new builders along the way!


Hope you are all having great Sundays!


Friday, December 9, 2011

Bumpits Explained.


I mentioned Bumpits in my last post and got some questions.

I see that I must take it upon myself to educate some of my uninformed blogger buddies about this essential beauty product.





My friend who got me the Bumpits reported that she got them at the dollar store.

Humm...could it be the Bumpits craze is over and someone forgot to tell me?


Thursday, December 8, 2011

OH. OH. OH.



As many of you may know, I am doing my best to skip Christmas this year.



Most of my friends at work know this, so when my good friend presented me with string of lights that called out "HO, HO, HO," I glared at her and said, "What are you thinking?"



She quickly pointed out that by flipping them around they read "OH, OH, OH."



Since this is what I frequently say when grading papers (in a groaning voice), it seemed totally appropriate to hang them above my computer.



Oh. Oh. Oh.



Yeah. That sums it up nicely. Don't you think?







Note: Why yes, that IS a tiara on my shelf!

And yes, I DO wear it occasionally.

Is that a problem?



And yes, my observant readers! Those ARE Bump-Its to the right of the tiara. After reading hundreds of essays and going a little insane, my co-workers and I sometimes resort to sticking Bump-Its on our heads and puffing up our hair like prom queens while we drink highly-caffeinated beverages and eat candy.



OH. OH. OH.



Is it the end of the semester yet?



OH. OH. OH.



Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cranberry Bread Jubilee


As many of you will remember from Monday's post, I took in mini-loaves of Cranberry Nut Bread to my department meeting.

Many of my colleagues went into a state of rapture as they bit into their loaves.

One even started thumping her hand on the table like a happy rabbit.

Oh yes, Cranberry Nut Bread has magical properties.

Now, in a fit of generosity, I present two, TWO recipes that will make those around you happy rabbits as well.

Use your baking power wisely, my friends.





CLASSIC CRANBERRY NUT BREAD


INGREDIENTS:

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
2 tablespoons shortening
1 egg, well beaten
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped nuts

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in orange juice, orange peel, shortening and egg. Mix until well blended. Stir in cranberries and nuts. Spread evenly in loaf pan.

Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely. Wrap and store overnight. Makes 1 loaf (16 slices).

Betty's Bonus Note: I make this in my mini-loaf pans and it takes about 25 minutes to bake.



True Confession: I didn't want to fall in love with another Cranberry Bread recipe, but I did when I tried this one:


CRANBERRY PUMPKIN BREAD

INGREDIENTS:

1 3/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped

(I throw some nuts in there too!)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Grease and flour an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pan.

Combine dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Combine remaining ingredients, except cranberries, in a separate mixing bowl. Add to dry ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moist. Stir in cranberries.

Spread evenly in a loaf pan. Bake 1 1/2 hours or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Remove from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Betty's Bonus Note: Same as above. What? You want a different Bonus Note? One is not enough?



I used to date the lead singer of The Cranberries, but she cheated on me. Turns out she had some turkey on the side.
--Jarod Kintz


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Poetry Tuesday: "Journey" by Mary Oliver



The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.

--Mary Oliver

Monday, December 5, 2011

Monday Morning Flowers


Good Morning!

It's Monday! A chance for a new start.

Pass Go. Collect $200.o0

Which Monopoly piece would you like to be this week?


I got my baking ya-ya's out yesterday when I made sixteen mini-loaves of Cranberry Nut Bread. Fifteen of those will be making their way to our department meeting today.

(One of them has already made its way into my stomach.)


In the middle of my baking frenzy, I remembered I needed some flowers for all you lovelies today.

So, I looked out in my back yard, picked up my camera and braved the bitter mid-60's weather to capture these for you.

The recent winds we had did a number on many of our plants, but I found these beauties ready to pose.





Oh! And I found one more apple on the tree! Yay!



Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.

--Khalil Gibran