Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Moon Wore Racing Stripes

The moon raced me home,
Dancing through the trees, 
Peekabooing out
Here and there

to judge it's lead

I win.  I win.  
I win.

All content written by Liza Lee Miller unless otherwise noted.
All photographs taken by Liza Lee Miller unless otherwise noted.
© 2012, Liza Lee Miller. Creative Commons License

Saturday, September 29, 2012

When I was a tween . . .

. . . which was, of course, before anyone was called a tween, we lived in the eastern Sierra Nevada mountains at 7500 feet in a cute, little mountain town called June Lake.  We moved there -- my mother, sister, and I -- from Austin, Texas.

Why yes, there was some culture shock, why do you ask?

Living in the high mountains takes some getting used to, that's for sure.  For one thing, there's a winter up there and it means it.  My mother insisted that we leave the house on snowy mornings with a hot breakfast.  Every other day, we got Quaker Instant Oatmeal or soft-boiled eggs.

Now, given a choice, we'd have had Cheerios, thank you very much.  Or Sugar Corn Pops.

We weren't given a choice and we'd gag down the hot breakfast and venture out into the snowy day with nice warm tummies for the 30+ minute bus ride to our school.  I couldn't tell you which I liked less at that age.

Fast forward a certain number of years (I've been teaching my students about variables lately so let's just say x years.).  I have managed a minor miracle in parenting.  My kids love oatmeal and eggs, in almost any form.

Only, I couldn't soft-boil (or hard-boil) an egg to save my life.  My husband asked me to make hard-boiled eggs and keep them on hand a year ago to help him (and me) with his efforts to eat more protein and fewer carbs.  I bravely looked up a "recipe" and made them.

It didn't work out so well.  The shells were glued to the egg in a ridiculous manner.  And, uh, crunchy eggs, not so good.  Shudder!

So, I felt defeated for a while but I can't let something as basic as boiling eggs defeat me.  I did more extensive research and tried again.  And, I'm happy to say, I found success.

This morning, I made myself two soft-boiled eggs and ate them with a little butter and salt and pepper.

Oh my heavens were they good.  And, my tummy is nice and warm -- even though it's not snowy out.  In fact, they are predicting we'll hit 99F tomorrow.  Whatever.

Soft-boiled Eggs
Place cool or cold eggs in a pan. 
Cover with water.
Bring to a boil on high heat. 
When they are boiling, turn the heat off and cover the pan with a tight fitting lid. 
Leave alone for 4 minutes (runny yolk, solid white).  3 minutes if you like runny whites; 5 if you want a more solid yolk.
Serve by breaking off top of egg and scooping the yumminess out with a small spoon into a bowl.  Top with salt and pepper -- and butter if you are being bad!  

Hard-boiled Eggs
Place cool or cold eggs in a single layer in a pan.
Cover with water.
Bring to a boil on high heat.  
When they are boiling, turn off the heat and cover the pan with a tight fitting lid.
Leave alone for 12 minutes. 
Pour out hot water and chill with cold water and ice to stop cooking.
Put into fridge. I put them into their carton again and draw happy faces on one end with a sharpie.
Eat within 5 days.

Friday, September 28, 2012


Where do I stop and where do I start
Bubbles of love go straight to my heart
Lazily floating high up above
Somebody’s blowin’ bubbles of love

- Manhooghi Hi 

Taken at Badlands National Park, Summer 2012
My life is feeling full of bubbles lately.  

My son is running cross country and loving it.  He is challenging himself to push harder and run faster. He likes it best when he is running long distances in the woods; not just going round and round the track.  He has amazing friends and is thriving in middle school.

My daughter is loving high school.  Making new friends and finding her place in this new world.  She is leaping into new challenges and pushing herself to succeed. Honors classes, community band, all the challenges are taken with excitement and gusto.  

My husband . . . well, everyday with him is better than the last.  When you marry your best friend, good things happen.  

Work is a challenge but a joyful one.  My students are amazing.  My schedule is wild.  I'm at once more isolated and more supported than I've ever been professionally.  There are new colleagues that I'm enjoying getting to know and new babies on the way.  

There is a giant dog curled up at my feet, exhausted after 45 minutes of noisy bone chewing.  

Life is exciting.  Bubbles.  

And, it's Friday!  

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Any Given Sunday - Football Munchies!

Okay, I just tossed out my pre-written post on making wonderful football munchies including recipes.  Instead I will be posting about making the best of disappointment, pig's ear, silk purse.  That sort of thing.

I polled my football fan on what he wanted to munch on while he watched the game.  He was most clear, "Wings!"  As I make some fabulous wings, I was all set.

I wrote the post and just needed to take some pictures to add before publishing it.

Then, I went to the store.  Turns out that our little small town markets no longer carry frozen bags of wings.

What?  How can I make my fabulous wings without frozen wings.  I strolled past the butcher . . . they didn't have any in the meat case.  I circled back around to the freezers and checked again.  Nope, no bags of frozen wings.

So, I punted.

It is a football day, after all.  I bought pre-made snacks and I will doctor them up and improve upon them.

So, I started with TGIF buffalo wings.  I will be adding some good Ranch and blue cheese dressings.  I also got some celery, petite carrots, green onions, and sugar snap peas to put out with them.

I went wild and got some mozzarella sticks with marinara for my kids' enjoyment.

And, some potato skins.  Those never have enough cheese and bacon so I'm adding my own shredded cheese and bacon bits before cooking them.  With a side of sour cream, my husband should be a happy man.

So, my football recipe this week is mostly just the advice that you don't have to leave pre-made food alone.  Go ahead and doctor it up.  Have fun with it.  Make it your own!  You won't be sorry!

Go Niners!