Moxie & Mel

{September 21, 2006}   Dear Mel-

Wow what a whirlwind the last couple weeks have been! I have lots and lots to tell you, but I’ll try to stick to the important stuff.

First, working for 911 is really…challenging.  I’ll still be in training for the next five weeks, but I’ve already been answering non-emergency calls and will start taking the emergency calls on Friday night. Handling the calls/callers isn’t difficult; the problem for me is memorizing all of the vast amount of information you need to know. Dispatchers really do have their own language and learning it is really a challenge.

My schedule for the next few days is a bit wonky- I will be working Friday through Sunday 7pm-7am and then I will have Monday and Tuesday off, so if you don’t hear from me before those two days off, know I’ll get back with you as soon as possible!

One thing I have been enjoying is the early morning ride home. I’m not usually someone who is up with the sunrise, so getting a glimpse of it has been nice. I snapped a quick shot for you the other day, but it’s not very good (no tripod so it’s rather fuzzy).


Bubba is doing much better, thanks to the wonders of modern medicine. He was thoughtful though and shared his illness freely with everyone around him. I’m still fighting it and on some pretty good doses of sinus medication which make me feel like I’m floating around in a type of other-worldly fog. Fun times!

I haven’t had much of a chance to be creative lately as all my time has been devoted to working, sleeping and trying to recover from this icky illness, so I don’t have any crafty goodness to post right yet. However, I AM gearing up to make the shower favors for Miss Christine’s baby shower- duckie soaps. Should have those pictures soon.

As for the day of cooking, I’ve never been one to stock up on food. I believe that leftovers are evil and I am totally against thawing food to cook…lol. I know it’s a time saver and all that, but … ick. However, I do love me some fresh soups!

Here’s a recipe I’m quite fond of that you ladies might enjoy adding to your list. Keep in mind that you can add all KINDS of seasoning to taste as the base is somewhat ‘bland’ to those with an herb addiction like myself. I tend to be a little free with the garlic, rosemary, basil..Everglades name it.. *grin*

Broccoli Soup With Cheddar Cheese

Ingredients ~

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, room temperature
2 pounds fresh broccoli, stems and florets separated and chopped into bite-size pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon or 1/2 teaspoon dried
61/2 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream

3 tablespoons all purpose flour

2 cups (packed) grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)

Instructions ~

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in heavy medium pot over medium-high heat. Add broccoli stems and onion; sauté until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes.

Add garlic and tarragon; sauté 1 minute.

Add stock; bring to boil. Simmer uncovered until broccoli is tender, about 15 minutes.

Stir in cream.

Mix remaining 3 tablespoons butter with flour in small bowl to make paste. Whisk paste into soup.

Add broccoli florets. Simmer until soup thickens and florets are tender, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly, then refrigerate uncovered until cold.

Cover and keep refrigerated. Bring to simmer before continuing.) Preheat broiler. Place 6 ovenproof soup bowls on baking sheet. Divide soup among bowls. Sprinkle 1/3 cup cheese over each. Broil until cheese melts and bubbles around edges, about 4 minutes.
I’m off to spend some quality time with my blankee and a cuppa tea. MMM. Hot tea.

~Love as always



{September 5, 2006}   Dear Mel-

Oh no! I hope you aren’t hurt too badly from your fall. I can’t imagine how I would have reacted; I think chanting “I’m not gonna cry” is pretty close to the mark.

I really enjoyed visiting the winery website; I did have to laugh at the Elderberry wine though- I kept thinking of the quote from Monty Python, “…and your father smells of Elderberries!”.  As for the new “rec room”, I would be afraid to let my husband visit. I don’t think even a crow bar would have gotten him out of there!

I haven’t done anything so generous or impressive as helping a family member prep their house for sale, but we did have a nice weekend. Today Missy came over for a visit and after the fun of tracking down a black racer that was in the boxwood hedge out front…

Black Racer Snake

…she helped me figure out the new sewing machine mom bought. We actually got it to stitch something, which made us feel like we’d won some sort of Olympic Gold. Of course, we still don’t know how to digitize our own graphics, but we’re talking baby steps here. I was so proud of myself I didn’t care that mom’s black tank top now has a poppy flower on it with a stem going sideways from her armpit to a large blossom right where her nipple would be. I’m sure that one glance at the (lack of) instructions for this thing and you’d understand my low expectations and high feeling of success~ the fact that I got it to actually stitch ANYTHING without having a PHD amazes me!

While I was still sailing on the creative high that comes with such accomplishments, we headed out to the Fire Station to take dinner to my sister. We got there just in time to see the afternoon storms blow across the fields. I snapped a picture for you:

Stormy Field

Having assured ourselves she wouldn’t starve, we headed off to spend some quality time at our favorite places.

Jim's Favorite Place

My Happy Place

Jim picked up a few new fishing lures and I sipped coffee and soaked up the crafty goodness. I even spotted a copy of Mason Dixon Knitting!

Mason Dixon Knitting

How sweet is that?! We also spotted quite a few books that screamed out, “Buy me for Mel!” but I held my ground and managed to escape without them. For now. Don’t be surprised to find a box in the mail sometime soon though. LOL

Feeling crafty and inspired now, we all loaded back up in the Soccer Mom Van and headed off for the beach. Why? We were looking for unique sea shells and seed pods to ‘make stuff out of’. Yep. Even Jim was on spotting duty!  I took a TON of pictures while we were there- the storms were sweeping in off the ocean and the sea mist was rising.


Sea Mist

After hanging around long enough to spot an Osprey relaxing in a tree, we set out for home and I got to work.

Now I KNOW you’re thinking, “Work?! On Labor Day?”; and the answer is yes! I set up a new page with graphics showing the basic loom knitting stitches and I created my first pattern- it’s for the adjustable cuff slipper socks I made for Miss Christine.

Now I’m consuming gallons of coffee with cream (no sugar) and trying my darnedest to stay awake until 3am in preparation for the new job. Since I’ll be working 6pm to 2am, I am trying to get used to this new sleeping pattern ahead of time. I sure hope it works!

Well, now you know how my weekend went! What are your plans for the week? Anything crafty in your near future?


et cetera