Thursday, December 30, 2010

BHG Recipe: Gingerbread Tumble

Gingerbread Tumble Recipe

I found this recipe on the website for Better Homes and Gardens. I'm planning to make it for our New Year's Eve party. I hope it turns out well. Fingers crossed and Happy New Year!

1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened
2-3 tsp grated fresh ginger OR 1/2-1 tsp ground ginger
1 box (14 oz) gingerbread mix
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 tsp ground cinnamon
9 small pears; peeled, cored, and halved OR 3 cans (16 oz) pear halves, drained

1. In a bowl, combine softened vanilla ice cream with ginger. Cover and freeze 4 hours or overnight.
2. Prepare and bake gingerbread mix according to package directions using the 9x9x2-inch pan option. Cool. Cut into 1-1/2- to 2-inch chunks.
3.  In a 12-inch skillet combine sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Cook and stir over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Carefully add pears, stirring to coat. Cook and stir an additional 8 to 10 minutes for fresh pears or 3 minutes for canned pears.
4. To assemble, place gingerbread in a 3-quart au gratin dish or oval casserole. Top with scoops of ice cream and pears. Drizzle with half of the sauce in skillet. Pass remaining sauce. Serve immediately. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

And may the peace of the Lord be always with you.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Premature Ovarian Failure Clinical Research Study

The Center for Human Reproduction in New York City is conducting a clinical research trial using DHEA to help lower FSH and restore some ovarian function to women who have been diagnosed with premature ovarian failure and have a FSH level of 40 or higher. You don't have to live in NYC to participate. The trial consists of taking a pill (either the medication or a placebo) for 4 months and having blood work done intermittently to monitor changes in hormone levels. The side effects of the medication are minimal and include oily skin and acne (if you are already prone to it) and some hair loss (again, if you are already prone to that). Most women who take the medication do not experience any side effects at all. Participants receive the medication and lab work at no cost. You can contact them via their website ( for more information.

And may the peace of the Lord be always with you.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Since this is my 100th post (woo hoo!) I wanted to do something special. But this sermon really spoke to me so I thought that I would share it with all of you for my 100th post. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

The following sermon was written by the Reverend Scott Walters of Christ Episcopal Church and is published here with his permission.

There’s a difference between ‘asked for’ signs and ‘looked for’ signs. And we can explore this distinction in the life and work of one important religious figure from our own time. I’m referring, of course to the eminent priest, clairvoyant, Saturday Night Live character, and Dennis Campbell look alike, Fr. Guido Sarducci.

In case you missed it, Guido Sarducci returned to public life this October when he offered the benediction at the “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear” on the Washington D.C. Mall. And during his meandering prayer, he pointed out to God that since there are so many religions in the world, it’s kind of hard for us humans to figure out which one is the right one. So he asked God to send a sign. Fr. Guido would recite the names of the world’s religions, and then, he suggested, God might send a flock of swans to fly overhead when he got to God’s favorite.

Unfortunately the swans never showed up. So the prayer didn’t manage to cull the herd down to a single true faith. But Guido Sarducci’s swan request is a good example of the asked for sign. We ask God to send us a sign to prove that something is so.

Now, I was also watching about 20 years ago when Fr. Sarducci appeared on the David Letterman Show. As I recall, he was plugging his wildly unpopular instructional video, “Bocce Ball My Way”. And I have no idea why I remember this.

But the interview took place in December, so Fr. Guido also made several very specific predictions about the coming year in politics, sports, and the lives of several celebreties. After Fr. Guido finished his prophecies, Letterman asked when he first realized that he possessed these strange psychic powers.

He said, “Well, when I was about 6 or 7 years old, I went to the supermarket with my mother. And as we were walking back to the car, my mother said, ‘Guido! I don’t have my pocketbook!’ And I said, ‘Well, Mom, maybe it’s back there in the supermarket.’ And when we went back inside, there it was sitting right beside the cash register.”

The supermarket miracle was not an asked for sign. It was a sign that had to be noticed. It was a looked for sign, one that clearly proved Guido Sarducci’s powers of clairvoyance, of course.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Two Become One

This post is going to be a bit of a non sequitur for me, but whatever. Here's the context of where this post is coming from. Yesterday I got into a very uncomfortable conversation with a student from my human anatomy and physiology class. Several students and myself were standing around and talking after our final exam about a variety of things. Eventually the conversation arrived at me explaining why I decided to do nursing school instead of medical school. I'm not going to list all my reasons again because I've written on this before.

Anyway, this girl from my class starts arguing with me about how I shouldn't put my dreams aside for some man and that I should just go for medical school--regardless of the fact that it would very likely mean James and I would have to split our household for a period of time--that my career should be my first priority and how could I do that to myself... blah blah blah.

I looked her straight in the eye and said, "Are you married?" She replied, "No, but I live with my boyfriend of [however many] years. And there's always other fish in the sea. I mean, I love him and everything but just because you're married doesn't mean you can't still have two separate careers and two separate lives."

Now I'm pretty sure that this girl doesn't read my blog, but I think it would be cathartic for me to write this out anyway. I will sometimes talk a big game, but I'm not an openly confrontational person like I used to be when I was younger and had a hotter temper. As much as she upset me, telling her what I really thought and how I really felt would not have done anything to reduce the tension in the room. We simply agreed to disagree and (thanks to a third party who was also trying to ease the tension) that different lifestyles work for different people. But you can file the following counter-argument under things-I-wish-I'd-said-if-I-didn't-have-so-much-restraint:

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Addicted to Christmas

Picture this scene...

It's Christmas Eve. It's snowing outside. There's a fire crackling in the fireplace, casting a warm, orange glow throughout the family room. The Christmas tree in the corner glitters and sparkles with ornaments, garland, and lights. The gifts underneath have been lovingly wrapped in shiny paper and ribbons. Sitting on the coffee table is a big plate of chocolate chip cookies and gingerbread men. The family is snuggled together on the couch watching a classic Christmas movie and the pets are curled up on the floor fast asleep.

How does that scene make you feel? Warm and fuzzy inside? Is this the ideal you're trying to achieve when you decorate your home for the Christmas season? If the decorations, food, and TV specials make you feel good like this, then it stands to reason that the earlier you get started, the sooner you'll get to these warm and fuzzy feelings, right? Then you, my friend, are just like me. You are addicted to Christmas. You start by decorating at the beginning of December. Then maybe the next year you start right after Thanksgiving. Then maybe a few years later you put up your tree as soon as the Halloween candy is gone. Sound familiar?

Hello. My name is Jenny and I am addicted to Christmas. The first Christmas that James and I actually spent together after we got married (he was deployed for our first Christmas), I desperately begged him to let me put up our Christmas tree and lace the exterior of the house with strings of lights while everyone else was planning Thanksgiving dinner. He finally gave in and let me decorate on Black Friday instead of going out to shop for hot deals.

Christmas EXPLODED all over our house. Tree with lights, garland, and decorations. Evergreen garland and red ribbon on our fireplace and over every doorway. Stockings for us, puppy stocking for Piper, and kitty stockings for Miranda and Ariel. Wreaths on ALL exterior doors and windows. Christmas kitchen linens and china. Christmas hand towels in the bathrooms. I could go on and on...

I watched EVERY Christmas movie that came on TV and DVR'd the ones I missed so I could watch them later. In retrospect, I think I was subconsciously trying to make up for having to spend our first Christmas apart. We hosted a fantastic Christmas cocktail party and spent lots of time with family and friends. But by the time Christmas Day actually arrived, I was so burnt out and sick of Christmas that I couldn't get our tree down fast enough. Something just wasn't right.