ARCHIVES:  October 24-31, 2005

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October 31, 2005 - Monday

Happy Halloween!

I was watching the news this morning and one of the hosts said that it seems like Halloween is more popular than ever. He said it was "four times more popular" than when he was a kid.

When I repeated this to an acquaintance on my morning walk, she disagreed. I wondered at that until I read this news article about how Halloween is more popular in some areas of the country than others.

Personally, I believe that God has a sense of humor and wants us to enjoy times like these. I love Halloween and pretending to be a ghost or whatever. In my opinion, it teaches us to laugh at our fears.

We are giving out little bags of pretzels and some candy. I always liked getting something salty as a kid because, when you eat a lot of sweets, then eat something salty, you could go back to eating even more sweets.



October 30, 2005 - Sunday

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Our garden broccoli is now ready to pick. My husband wanted cream of broccoli soup for lunch today. Here's the way we made it.


Cream of Broccoli Soup


1 head of broccoli, chopped and cooked until soft

1 small onion, chopped and sauteed in butter until clear

1/2 of a small can of mushrooms, drained

1 cup of cream or half n half

1 can condensed cream of chicken soup

grated cheese, optional

salt and/or pepper if needed


Cook the broccoli until soft. Drain and, using a blender or beaters, beat it until it is in small bits or pieces. Cook the onion in any amount of butter -- enough to fry up well. Next, open the can of soup, use cream or half n half instead of water or milk (or any combination of any of those, depending on how rich you want -- we used all cream).


Pour the soup in a pan (stove) or bowl (microwave), add a canful of cream and stir well. Add the broccoli, mushrooms and onion. Stir to mix. Heat the mixture until it is almost boiling - do not let it boil just heat it until it is hot enough to eat.


Serve a bowl with cheese sprinkled on top -- so good, rich and filling. Makes more than enough for two.



October 29, 2005 - Saturday

The Legend of Zorro

We saw this wonderful movie today - I loved it. The movie had everything: a good plot, action, suspense, mystery, romance, big explosions, wild horse chases, runaway trains, sword-play, Antonio Banderas and plenty of humor. What's not to like?

Catherine Zeta Jones was beautiful - so nice to see someone voluptuous rather than skinny-scrawny. And her dresses were beautiful - she wore many different ones, plus she was as tough as Zorro. ::sigh:: I just loved this whole movie. My husband liked it, too. Men, women and older children may all like this one. It has everything.



October 28, 2005 - Friday

IMVU Chats Today

It was another fun afternoon, chatting with IMVU friends, showing off the stuff we've "purchased." Chatting does take up a lot of time, but I can play with chats and keep other windows open, too. (Click on the image to go to the source and at the source, click on the words, Original Image, if more detail is desired.) It was much fun today, learning many tips and tricks. Iwill post what I learn in my web page there.




October 27, 2005 - Thursday

Avatar World

My mother has always collected dolls - and she still does, even though she is in her 70's. She has made adorable Christmas Tree ornaments out of dolls that I thought were precious.

When I was 7 years old, I thought dolls came alive when nobody was looking. They just seemed too real to not be alive. At that age, I never got tired of playing with dolls and dressing them up. I took them over to friends' homes and we'd play together.

As I got older, I collected a few dolls. My sisters love dolls and my mother is still going strong. I have my original Barbie from the early sixties in great condition. I took care of it. She jumped into the Beanie Baby craze and developed a love for quality stuffed bears. Well made miniature bears are a favorite of hers.

Growing up in a family like this and being a computer geek, I was primed for avatars. Finally, an avatar world has come around that I love. The online characters can be dressed up in any of a gigantic selection of hair styles, colors, clothes and accessories and we chat. It is not game-playing (although I am sure I would love that, given enough time). It is simply chatting - relating to another person.

A large part of that is shopping. Choose from a mall-sized selection of makeup, clothes, hair, eyes, pets, shoes, even underwear, eye shadow, hats, and more. You can select beautiful backdrop scenes for IM conversation. Make hand and eye movements. Show expressions.

It is a marvelous way to communicate with others. I can shop, dress myself up and show myself off to my friends. And the best thing? I have a perfect body!

IMVU (IM Virtual Universe) is free. They give you credits to go shopping. They make their money from those who decide to join and purchase even more credits to amass great closets full of clothes. Designers can make money creating clothes, pets, etc., for citizens of IMVU.



October 26, 2005 - Wednesday

Recent IMCU Chats

I put together screenshots of recent chats after spending the day with my daughter. The poor kid has morning sickness worse than I ever had it. (Click on the image to enlarge it even more.)






October 25, 2005 - Tuesday

Waffle Irons

I had two perfectly good working waffle irons, but my husband was not happy with either one. The first made regular waffles. "Too flat," he said. He wanted the deep-pocket Belgian waffles that he has gotten used to.

The second one made Belgium waffles but they were in small heart shapes. "Not big enough," he said. (It is adorable, though, producing 3 small hearts at one time. The hearts are not attached so it is not much in a batch, but still cute.)

I needed a Belgium waffle iron that made a big, plate-sized waffle. I found one at Costco. (I had seen professional waffle irons at Williams-Sonoma and was thrilled to find one at Costco.)

My husband asked, "What is so great about flipping a waffle iron as one is cooking?" I consider myself something of a good breakfast chef (breakfast being my favorite meal and I often go to elaborate lengths to make different breakfasts) so I explained how a waffle will cook more evenly by turning the cooker. Flipping it helps the batter to flow to the other side, preventing white undercooked spots.

There are several kinds of waffles that I have made, buttermilk, sour dough, oatmeal, buckwheat (I buy the flour fresh ground from a health food store) and whole wheat (I grind the flour fresh). Fresh flour makes a HUGE difference in the taste. (Plus I made cocoa cookies in the regular waffle iron from a cake mix-like batter).



October 24, 2005 - Monday

CaptureWiz Pro

This is the best little screen capture program I have seen (free for 30 days). Well, its not really little. It does a LOT. It even captures video. I captured some of my IMVU avatar and made it into a little movie. That's how I got the little pumpkin animaton in this entry. (I did not animate it per se).

I captured it, then saved it as an avi file, then used QuickTime Pro to save the avi as individual images, then used PhotoShop and ImageReady to make it into an animated gif. It's a process but I think I've gotten pretty good at it.