Friday, June 29, 2012

The Friday Five 6/29/12

1. What I'm Reading

One of the benefits of my college education is that my blog readers get to share in some of the things I find most interesting about my learning experience. Two of my classes for the summer require reading of The Wall Stree Journal as part of the curriculum. I now have an 8 week subscription and will be reading (parts) of the paper each week and writing up various essays about articles I read. I'm specifically focusing on articles relating to business ethics (no shortage of material there!) and articles relating to cultural conflicts. I haven't read an actual newspaper in a very long time as I get my daily news online, and I can see why newspapers are struggling. In the age of instant news availability (regardless of accuracy, right CNN & FOX News??) a newspaper as soon as it's printed is "out of date." An example is from yesterday's paper. One of the "What's News" features was that the Supreme Court was going to rule on health care reform. By the time my paper was delivered in the afternoon the ruling had already occurred and not only had I read about the ruling, but I had read several articles about Justice John Roberts and his role in the final decision. The headline on today's paper is that the court backed Obama on healthcare. This is old news today! We have moved on to some other news. Anyway, what I'm reading is The Wall Street Journal.

2. What I'm Listening To

I should change this one to something else this week because I haven't really been listening to anything all that interesting. In the car I listen to SiriusXM 80's on 8 or 90's on 9, which seriously bring back some memories! Yesterday I heard this song:

Biz Markee "Just A Friend." HA! Right!

3. What I'm Watching

"...reporter Greg Barker travels to the Middle East to examine the rise of Arab satellite TV channels and their impact on the "war of ideas" at a time of convulsive change and conflict in the region. His report focuses on the growing influence of Al Jazeera, and the controversy around the recent launch of Al Jazeera English, which U.S. satellite and cable companies have declined to carry. Barker also visits the "war room" of the State Department's Rapid Response Unit, which monitors Arab media 24 hours a day, and meets with U.S. military officers whose mission is to engage the Arab news channels in debate."

This one I couldn't find on YouTube, but you can access the 15 minute video from the link above.

"At a time when fair and accurate news coverage is more essential than ever, 2006 marked one of the deadliest years on record for journalists. Surprisingly, despite the fierce fighting in Iraq, most of the slain journalists did not die in combat. They were deliberately targeted, hunted down, and murdered for investigating corruption, crime, or human rights abuses in countries around the world. In Requiem, FRONTLINE/World essayist Sheila Coronel looks at the dangers journalists confront as they try to tell their stories and pays special tribute to reporters working in the Philippines, Russia, Turkey, Zimbabwe, China and Iraq who have been killed, jailed, or exiled for daring to speak truth to power."

These, too, are part of a class I'm taking. I found them to be fascinating. For those that think the media portrays an unbiased view of what is happening in the world I encourage you to view the first video in particular. Yes, it is fairly long at 40 minutes, but it is a fascinating view on the world we don't get to see here in the United States. And remember, the majority of the news we see is actually propaganda. Interesting stuff!

4. What I'm Eating

Enough of the heavy! Let's get on to the food!

Who loves onion rings?? I love onion rings, especially when they are really good!! Last weekend Chris and I stopped at Ken's Roadside Cafe in Canyonville. It is a greasy burger joint with super delicious onion rings. SO GOOD!! I don't often eat onion rings, but once in a while they are an awesome part of that 10% indulgence in my diet. Yummmmmm!


5. What I'm Pinning

This is fresh herbs frozen in olive oil...just add to a pan when ready to use! This is a great way to preserve your fresh herbs!

And just because she is adorables here is bonus # 6!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Invitation to Live


“Do you need an invitation to live?

You have one, it is called your birth certificate!”

~Joshua Estrin

My friends...what are you waiting for?

I think so often we forget or are in denial about the finite amount of time we have in this life.

We just have this ONE life! This ONE time here to be and do and live!

You only get this one opportunity to fulfill your wildest dreams, turn imagination to reality and be who you really want to be.

Do you want to move to Alaska? What are you waiting for? Are the logistics really that impossible to overcome?

Do you want to travel the world? Why can't you?

Do you want to grow more of your own food? What stops you?

How can you find a way to make your dreams come true?

Don't wait my friends.

Don't wait for the someday that may never be.

As one of my dear college professors says as a benediction at the end of every class session:

"Go forth and use wisely every heartbeat!"
 ~Dr. Alena Amato Ruggerio

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Wildlife Safari

Here in Southern Oregon in a town called Winston is a very cool place called Wildlife Safari. Wildlife Safari is home to over 600 animals from 80 different species, according to their website. When we lived in Portland I heard about Wildlife Safari and wanted to visit, but it was about a 3 hour drive. Since we have moved to Southern Oregon I have been waiting for the right opportunity to go. We live just over an hour or so to the south. My birthday weekend turned out to be the perfect opportunity.

Wildlife Safari is not a zoo. For the most part the animals are not caged or corralled. A few of them are, for safety reasons, like the bears, tigers, lions, etc. But the majority of the animals are allowed to range freely on the property.

The park is segmented into two areas. The first is the drive-through, which is what we did. The second (which we did not do) is the Village. The drive-through is exactly that. The people stay in the car and drive slowly through the park property. The animals are all around in the fields, ranging freely, hanging out, eating, etc. They can come right up to the vehicle. We took a bunch of pictures and it was a really really cool experience!

I am SO glad we went and did this. I would recommend this to anyone if they are in the area or driving through. It takes about an hour to visit the drive through part of the park. Here are a bunch of pictures of the animals we saw. Remember you can click the images directly to enlarge them.

American Bison

Asian Yak


Siberian Tiger

There were many other animals, some pictures turned out better than others. We saw rhino's, too, but they were pretty far away. There were several monkeys, several different kinds of deer-type creatures, various goat species, elk and much more. It really was amazing and such a great way to see a variety of animals.

Wildlife Safari is all about animal conservation and education. They have one of the most successful cheetah breeding programs in the US. To find out more about the great things that you can do and see, or ways to help Wildlife Safari, visit their website.

And, if you are ever driving on I5 in Southern Oregon, put an extra hour or so in your schedule to go and check out the amazing animals at Wildlife Safari!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Party's Over

Well that didn't take long!

Today is the first day of the full summer session and I started working on two of my three full 8-week classes today. Tomorrow I start my internship as well. I'm thinking it's going to be a rather busy and full summer! That is okay though. I just keep reminding myself that I have halfway done! 3 terms complete and 3 more to go. The time will fly by, I'm sure and in something like 9 short months I will have a degree and be looking for a J O B.

I had an excellent birthday weekend and many thanks to everyone who got in touch with me one way or another to share birthday wishes.

Dinner last night at the Jacksonville Inn was very tasty, but our service was a little lacking. I did share dessert with Chris and it was OMGosh...delicious and amazing. I dressed appropriately this time.

I don't know why I am making a weird face...

Of course, after another weekend of indulgences my scale is up a bit this morning. So, I am right back to my "eating as usual" this week. Fruits, veggies, and lean proteins are on the menu for this week, plus lots of good exercise.

I did finish the 4 day Firm Express Kick Start last Friday. It was awesome, and tough and I can already tell improvement in some areas. I took a rest day Saturday, but yesterday morning (yes, on my birthday!) I got up first thing and did a 20 minute sculpt session, 20 minute cardio/sculpt session and the 10 minute ab session. I haven't gotten my workout in yet today, but will be moving on to do that here shortly!

Short and sweet today...

Have a great week!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Happy # 3-6!

Today is my birthday! Yay! I love birthday's, especially my own! :-) I turn 36 today, so officially starting the second half of my 30's and slipping ever closer to the big 4-0! Chris now has 4 years to plan an incredible birthday bash for my 40th. Friends, if you love me, help Chris out and remind him. Thank you.

Here are a few pictures of what we've been up to this weekend:

We did something I have wanted to do for years and went to Wildlife Safari! It is a very cool place where hundreds of animals from all over the world live essentially "cage free." We saw lions, tigers, bears (oh my!), cheetah, rhinos, hippos, giraffes, zebras and many other cool animals. I will have a separate post about this trip, but it was awesome!

Afterward we stopped at Abacela winery in Winston, Oregon. It was very beautiful! The tasting room is about a year old and set in the vineyard with some amazing views. The wines were decent, but I wasn't overly impressed. We did come home with a bottle of white that had a bouquet that was very sweet, but actually drank crisp and balanced.

Our next stop was Spangler Vineyards, also in Winston. A tucked away little vineyard down a gravel road. The tasting room had tons of cute wine-abilia, like this t-shirt:

 Ha! And this nightgown:
So great! We actually bought this on a magnet and another one that says "Domestic Bliss: one bottle of Cabernet away." So funny! The wines were quite good, lots of reds here. We ended up purchasing an Estate Syrah and a sparkling raspberry that will be great for a brunch or hot evening.

Today I wanted to get a couple pictures of myself on the day I turned 36, and I was wanting a couple with Roxie. However, she was unwilling to cooperate.

 Look at those teeth! What a whiner...she is in the middle of a whiney meow because she wanted to get DOWN thank you very much!
 Our next attempt wasn't much better. She was having none of the picture taking today. Brat-cat. So then we moved on to taking a picture of just me. Here I am! 36 years alive!

Not too bad if I do say so myself.

After our photo session we headed out to run around. We dropped off some car parts to a guy in Cave Junction, and then met my friend August for some sushi lunch in Grants Pass. It was actually very delicious and fresh! The restaurant is called Hunan Gardens. We will definitely be going there again!

August was a total sweetheart and bought me a wine tasting tour so Chris and I headed out to check out a couple of the wineries on our way back home. First stop was Troon Vineyard.

I would tell you how the wines were but since they were too snooty to acknowledge our existence and we left after being ignored for ten minutes I can't tell you anything about their wines. I can tell you that I won't be going back. Too bad, Troon!

A bit farther down the road is Wooldridge Creek Vineyards.

The wines here were lovely, balanced, crisp and not too sharp, tart or with too much acid or tannins. Smooth and balanced. We really enjoyed several of the wines particularly the 2011 Viognier, which we bought, and their port and their sparkling Brut, pictured below. The people were friendly, the view lovely and tons of regulars were coming and going.

After Wooldridge Creek we stopped in at Bridgeview Winery.

Bridgeview wines are widely available in Southern Oregon. They are inexpensive, and we enjoyed several of their varieties. The chardonnay was clear and crisp, the Riesling was not too sweet, but very drinkable. We ended up purchasing their sparkling muscat, sweet but slightly bubbly, and also a really unique Cabernet-Merlot blend.

Tonight we will be headed out for a lovely dinner. We are going to the Jacksonville Inn again. This time I am going to dress for dinner so hopefully the old man manager doesn't look down his nose at me like he did last time! So far it has been an awesome weekend and I have enjoyed driving around, seeing new places and things, trying new wines, and visiting with lots of different people from all over Southern Oregon.

What a great way to kick off my 36th year!

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Friday Five 6/22/12

1. What I'm Reading

Does anyone remember that I am trying to finish all of my "currently reading" books on Goodreads (you can friend me at Corrie Beebe) before I start any of the (more than 30!!) "to-read" books I have on my shelves? Well, I am. With school taking so much of my time, and the fact that I had to request this book on inter library loan, it has taken me a while to get to this one. I started reading this book in 2009! I only barely started it when Chris and I suddenly and without warning decided to up heave our lives and move 300 miles south. I had borrowed it from a friend so I gave it back to her but I have wanted to finish it ever since. I am a little more than halfway through at this point and it is fascinating! Raj Patel does an amazing job of detailing all the dirty little secrets of how food has become an international political power player. Hunger is not an issue because there isn't enough food people. There is more than enough food. Hunger is an issue in our world because of politics and logistics and money. Never doubt that it always comes back to money, power and politics. This book is international in scope, well researched, yet completely readable. It is a bit more on the scholarly side than say Michael Pollan's books, but still filled with valuable information. If you are at all interested in where your food comes from, why it is priced the way it is, who is running the food system in this world, and so much more this is a great book!

2. What I'm Listening To

Lady Gaga Radio on my Pandora station through my blu-ray. Oh, this station is amazing! SO much good music. I completely love the fact that I can play it on my house speakers. I have been tuned in for over a week and I'm still not tired of it! Yay for Pandora and blu-ray! Plus, I love being able to see who is singing something. I am terrible at knowing who the artist is, even if I can sing along every word.

3. What I'm Watching

Seriously, I *loved* this movie! I would go see it again in a heartbeat. Kristen Stewart did not suck and was not awkward and uncomfortable to watch. Chris Hemsworth does an incredible job as the Huntsman (and he is just delicious) and Charlize Theron is epic as the evil queen. There is nothing about this movie that I didn't like. There were no boring parts. There was nothing ridiculous or "unbelievable." It was not the traditional story of Snow White, but that made it even better. Yes it had the features of the story we all know and love, but it was so much better! The cinematography was awesome and it reminded me of LOTR. This story was not predictable or boring. It was a great film! Go see it!

4. What I'm Eating

My friend Ann turned me onto these when she was visiting a couple weeks ago. I really like them. They are lite and crunchy with a nice flavor. They are about 130 calories for 17 crackers, so I can actually eat a handful without consuming a whole bunch of calories. They have made a great crunchy addition to my lunches and are a great snack with a little cheese. There are several other flavors that I haven't tried, but the Almond Sea Salt are really good!

5. What I'm Pinning

Oh yes, good grief. The original Friday Five created by Laura Virginia had number 5 as "What I'm Pinning" from Pinterest. I wasn't a part of Pinterest so I've always changed number 5 to something like What I'm Thinking or What I'm Looking Forward To. I have been coerced and badgered into joining Pinterest and mostly I am pinning things that I think are funny! You can follow me on Pinterest at Corrie Beebe.

Source: via Corrie on Pinterest

Ha! These crack me up!

What's on your five? Do you Pinterest?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pinterest = Dangerous!

I did not need another thing to suck time out of my life. Seriously! I am busy with school and life. I do not have time for Pinterest. But, I caved recently and joined up (you can find me under Corrie Beebe). One of the reasons was because I found some cool recipes on Pinterest. I am a sucker for good recipes.

This recipe could not be more simple and delicious and it totally falls within the 10% of my eating plan, which is why I scheduled to make it last weekend when the girls were here. One, we all love a good treat and two, there would be four of us to eat them up rather than just two of us.

I do apologize for the ridiculously bad pictures. Between me just basically being a crappy photographer and the lighting and reflective surfaces in my kitchen things just didn't work out. But you really don't need the pictures to understand the deliciousness factor.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
Prepared Brownie Mix

oh my.


Put cookie dough in the bottom of muffin cups.

Top cookie dough with a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.

Add prepared brownie mix to fill muffin cups.

If you happen to have Reese's Pieces add those, too, just for good measure.

We did one row before baking, one row after 15 minutes and left one row plain.

Add ice cream and enjoy!

Brownie peanut butter cup chocolate chip cupcakes...heavenly!

As you can see these were terrible. Riight!
Oh Pinterest...what have you done to me?! These were amazing. Jennifer and Chris thought they were better the next day. Jennifer liked hers cold. I liked mine warm and gooey. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until desired degree of doneness (gooey or less gooey).

A couple things I would do differently: one I would either use two squares of chocolate chip cookie dough or I wouldn't press the cookie dough down like I did. Honestly, the cookie dough gets completely lost and what I tasted was brownie and peanut butter cup. Another thing would be to either use my silicone muffin cups or to lightly spray the muffin pan with non-stick spray. The tops of the brownie had a tendency to come off while I was removing them from the pan. They didn't really "stick" but I think the muffin cups or a little spray would have helped that problem.

Next time I might just skip the cookie dough and do brownie/pb cup/brownie.

Do you Pinterest? Have you ever actually made or done anything you have pinned? I mostly pin funny sayings.