January 31, 2010


Have I mentioned to you that I love snow? Because I love, LOVE, love snow!

Except North Carolina is a bit, well...weird. They don't clean the roads. Everything just kind of closes down and people drive really, really, REALLY slowly. Seriously. One flake and traffic is down to 20 MPH. I may have had a small case of road rage on Friday evening. Teeny-tiny, practically non-existant.

Well, after snowing for much of Friday night we had about SIX INCHES!!! YAH-HOO! I LOVE SNOW!

Except...snow doesn't love me.

That is a very slippery spot there in the Family Fare gas station parking lot. Very slippery indeed.

Sunday, the weather was BEAUTIFUL! A sunny, chilly, lovely day. MG and I went for a brisk walk and visited-where else?-Parker and Otis.

Oh, Parker and Otis...how I love thee. Or thee's skim lattes.

Until you are gone. Then I want an instantly-refillable mug.

Megan stop doing your dadgum papers and get in this picture!
(I'm a very encouraging roommate when it comes to academic pursuits.)

How's the weather in your neck of the woods?

January 29, 2010

5000 Hits!


5000 Hits?!?!?!

I love you people. Thank you for reading all my nonsense!

And showing me love.

And letting me blabber.

And letting me talk about myself.

And not judging me when I deserve to be judged.

And loving Hank.

And loving my ridiculousness.

And telling me when I need to update because you've been checking. I seriously love you for that.

Did I mention that I love you?


January 28, 2010


Say it with me:

This time with meaning!

So, I'm a pescatarian. Yes, although not recognized by my spellchecker, pescatarian is a real word. Pescatarianism is a branch of vegetarianism where I don't eat any fowl, beef, pork or other assorted meats, but I do eat seafood.

Becoming a pescatarian was my New Year's resolution for 2008. Why? Well, let me give you a short 13-step story line:
1. I moved back to McPherson, KS (July 2006).
2. I lived in a dorm and part of my salary was free meals in the cafeteria.
3. I went from walking several blocks (and miles) a day in Chicago and working out 3-4 times a week at Curves (where I worked) to being rather sedentary and walking to the cafeteria. Have you eaten in a cafeteria lately? It's like an all-you-can-eat buffet for every meal. You eat 2-3 bites of this 2-3 bites of that until you find something that you actually like and by then you've already eaten enough for three people.
4. I weighed myself in January 2007 and discovered I had gained 40 pounds. Yes, 40 pounds over the course of 5 months. It's like 160 sticks of butter. I just admitted that. Out loud. On the internet. I'm not proud, but I am honest.
5. I tried to work out more. I tried to keep a food journal. I kept eating in the cafeteria. (Spring 2007)
6. My boobs were falling out of my swimsuit (July 2007) because they were rather large. (They're still large and have always been large, but now they're a bit more under control.) This was also not a proud moment. (Sorry for that.)
7. I resolved to do two things in my second year at McPherson College:
a. To dress nicely, maybe not business attire, but nicer than sweats and jeans.
b. To eat at least one meal a day on my own outside of the cafeteria.
8. My body didn't change. This is perhaps also in conjunction with the fact that I was miserable. (Fall 2007)
9. 2008 was a new year. I knew that I was leaving McPherson. I knew I wasn't happy with my body. I knew that there were some things in life that I can control and something that I can't so I needed to control as much as possible when it came to food. I decided to slowly take meat out of my diet in order to force myself to eat more fruits and veggies. I also decided that I could continue eating fish because it's a healthy choice (unless it's fried) and I love sushi.
10. I quit buying meat and I told my brothers who acted like I had the plague.
11. I cut out all red meat and most chicken (Spring 2008).
12. I went to Germany and stayed with host families and ate what was fed to me. Including some raw onions and a pile of some kind of raw looking meat that you spread on bread. It was interesting.
13. I moved to Durham (August 2008) and became strict with my diet and began massage school. I lost some weight without a lot of effort and became much more connected with my body.

Although I'm not skinny, I feel pretty good in my skin. Most days.

So, the only times I've eaten meat since August 2008 have been when I've been over to people's houses and they don't know and they serve me meat. Which was once. Not a big deal. In making my decision to cut a large portion of what people base their meals on out of my life, I knew that I could either be a pain in the butt or a gracious guest and eat what I can. I try to be the latter.

Since I don't eat meat, I'm always looking for other ways to get protein. I eat lots of beans, nuts and some tofu. I also have slightly addictive tendencies when it comes to hummus.

This is one of my favorite (CHEAP!) recipes using tofu. It's not super healthy, but I've actually doubled the veggies from the original recipe and you could probably halve the noodles if you wanted and add ANOTHER package of veggies and still have enough flavor going on and deliciousness if you want to make it healthier. You could also easily substitute any other meat for the tofu.

1 package Tofu ($2.14)
2 packages Ramen ($0.16/each=$0.32)
2 bags Frozen Stir-fry Veggies (10/$10=$2)
-Soy sauce

That's a grand total of $4.44 for 5-6 meals in our house since we had keep all of the additions in our house. If you don't have ginger or sriracha in your house, add some things that you like in your Asian food. Peanut butter and honey. Garlic. Almonds. Creativity is welcome.

So, everything in this recipe is easy-peasy, the only thing that requires some learning curve is the tofu. My friend Christina taught me about cooking tofu. She lived in China for a year awhile back, she's an expert.

It's all about patience and frying.

First drain your tofu, slice it into 3/4" wide pieces and place those pieces between paper towels or two clean dish towels. Place a cookie sheet or cake pan on top of the tofu and use some cans or other heavy objects to press as much extra moisture out of the tofu.
Moisture + Frying = Bad News

Once your tofu has been pressed for 15 minutes slice it into small pieces. I like bite-sized ones.
Heat your oil in your wok (I mix a basic vegetable oil and some sesame oil since the tofu will absorb some of the oil and I love the flavor of sesame oil). Throw them in the wok with the hot oil. Let them sit. OK, I shake the pan a bit to make sure the pieces aren't sticking together, but you have to let the tofu fry. Don't touch for 3-4 minutes. Then turn the pieces to the best of your ability. I mostly just do some stirring and try to get every side done as much as possible. The entire process takes 15-20 minutes; patience, you want color on your tofu! A crispy exterior generally means you have a creamy interior.
Once your tofu is done throw in the seasoning packets from your ramen, a bit of soy sauce, your additional ingredients and the veggies. Cook until the veggies are heated through. While your veggies are cooking heat up some water and cook the noodles from the ramen. After everything is hot toss the noodles into the veggie-tofu mixture and toss.
Eat up! It's probably not going to win any awards for health, but if you're on a budget, it's cheap cheap cheap!

January 27, 2010


I like the color pink. A bubble gum pink. A salmon pink. A girly pink.

I love pink glitter. Give me pink glitter and I am complete.

(Don't deny how awesome this is, although they are
maybe overemphasizing the purple in the pink hue.)

OK, maybe there's more to life than pink glitter, but I do like it. A lot.

I don't even know why I like pink...it makes me feel happy and glowing though. You know? A color to boost my mood. Do people have a color like this in their lives? Yellow? Orange? Teal? Turquoise? Gold? Red? Green? Brown? Purple?

Through the years I have been told by many of my female friends that they wouldn't be caught dead in pink. Huh? Why? I don't understand. I happen to think that pink looks good on anyone. Most of the time they tell me that it's too "girly." OK, fine.

I wouldn't give myself the title of being a "girly-girl." I mean, we're talking about a woman who wore sweatpants for four years straight through college. (At one point I owned 17 pairs, which I now know is completely ridiculous.) Luckily I have graduated to nicely-fitting blue jeans. I wear make-up maybe two or three times a week. I like earrings. I like v-necks and (although, I'm not sure that I really like it) I'm frequently showing a bit of the ol' cleavage. We can blame that on the boobs I inherited though. I like to cook and bake and feed people. I want to take care of others. Therefore, I have no definition on where I sit on the femininity scale. Just some thoughts.

So, I've been thinking about pink because I've been listening to Pink. I love her. She's so aggressive and badass and awesome.

I'm not actually an aggressive person. I'm a pacifist. I'm a lover not a fighter.

For some reason Pink makes me want to dance and be punky and she makes me laugh at some of her vulgar lyrics. Her music is honest---at least it feels honest. She sings about struggle and heartache and the way female musicians are portraying themselves in negative ways and how stupid it is.

I like it.

January 24, 2010

Random Thoughts

  • So, I want this necklace. Except I need babies to get it. MG says, "you have Hank." Go ahead. Judge me. I deserve it.
  • I ordered a camera bag on Etsy. I want it to get here!!!!
  • I've been thinking about going to Hawaii to see my college roommate, Sarah. But, I've also been thinking about taking pictures in Hawaii. And getting tan in Hawaii. And swimming in Hawaii. All these Hawaiian thoughts are making me very excited...then I think about Haiti and other people who have nothing and I can't decide if I'm ridiculous for wanting to spend that kind of money on myself.
  • My fantastic shoes that I got for massage are shot. SHOT. They are miserable and pathetic and no longer supporting my feet. Which means that I should get new shoes. BOO. It also means that I have been working hard. YAY!
  • I made friends with the barista from Parker and Otis. THEN in the same visit I saw someone I know (fairly randomly) and I was taken by the feeling that I KNOW PEOPLE IN DURHAM. It was a very good feeling. I liked it.
  • I want to do more. More with myself. More for the world around me. More for people who need more. There are a lot of them. I don't know what this means. However, I do spend the majority of my work day in silence so I think about it a lot.
  • I'm stuck in my head. I hear there's a world out there and it's very nice.
  • It's raining outside my window and I like it very much.
  • I don't actually want to work tomorrow.
  • Sometimes I love my job and sometimes I don't. I think this is part of life. Do other people job hunt when this happens? I hope so. I'd hate to think that I'm unique in this.
  • I stalked someone the other day. I'm not proud. It didn't work either. I didn't actually find him.
  • I like to think of fantastic (in my opinion) ideas for new businesses and then flesh them out and then I do nothing. Because I have no money. Or the desire to actually put the time and acquire the debt involved with starting a business. Here's my latest idea though (you can feel free to use it if you give me credit): I think it would be awesome to have a business where people help you though the grieving process. Specifically for widows and widowers. A person-not family-who steps in and lives with you for 3 weeks-3 months to help you regain your balance and figure out what's next. Someone who is around so you're not alone. Someone who encourages you to join support groups. Someone who goes to church with you or the library or the grocery store. Someone who is concerned and cares but is separate from family because I feel like when family does that (which is great by the way and I completely support), it feels like someone is obligated to someone else. Rather than, a person who joins forces with you and is paid, but not necessarily around 24-7 and helps you through the toughest time. That's my idea.
  • Hank cleans his most private parts with his mouth. I feel so lucky to not have to do that with my mouth.
  • I miss my college days. And the apple pi's. And being crazy busy but not knowing any different so just rolling with it. And staying up late and getting up early. And living with lots of people. And living within close proximity of men. I don't think our neighbors know we exist yet. We're going to seduce them with baked goods though. It's going to happen.
  • It's practically spring already. Hello? It's still January. If you're going to warm up, warm up enough so that we can turn off our heat and stop paying ridiculously expensive bills.
  • I like ice cream. I like chocolate. I like fresh fruit. The fruit would be a good choice, but I think I'm going to have to go with the ice cream.
  • I saw Avatar 3D and I liked it. At least I'm still thinking about it which usually is a good sign for a movie. I went with the wifeys. I like them.
  • I just thought Sweet Tea had poop on her leg, but it was her yellow fur. Oh well.
I haven't been a good blogger lately. Thanks for sticking with me. I really do appreciate it especially when I'm a cotton-headed ninny-muggins. Or perhaps I'm just being flaky. I haven't decided. You can decide if you like.

January 20, 2010

Where I Come From

Where I come from....

My family is probably the most important "thing" in the entire world to me. I don't really have a lot of possessions that I would consider important, but family is #1 on my list of priorities. Sometimes they're #2 when I take the time to consider what's best for me.

While I was home for my extended Christmas vacation I was talking to an old co-worker and he was asking me what all I was doing for Christmas and New Year's...well, I'm spending time with my family. But for New Year's? Aren't you going to go out? Probably not, we usually just hang out and play games and eat food and watch movies. I don't understand.

Here's the deal: in my life Family (capital "F") is a priority.

They have to be a priority. They're the people who are most important. They're not going to leave me for someone better. They're not going to scoff when I change my mind. They're going to love me when I feel like a crazy, liberal, tattooed hippie. (Although, I've technically never actually been a hippie, just embraced some of the thoughts on love and peace and all that. I like baths and showers and going along with the crowd sometimes, but that's a different story for another time.) Family is the group that will tell me they love me even when we disagree. They'll welcome me back into the fold after I've wallowed around with what to do with myself. They don't care if I'm single or in a relationship.

They want me to be happy, healthy and growing into my life.

And I want that for them. It's one of those reciprocal things.

So...without further ado. These are the people I come from. Healthy stock. Hearty folks. Educators and farmers and ministers.

My parents, Dan and Dawn. You can call them that. Everyone else does. They're just not the Mr. and Mrs. type of people. Except I guess my mom is a teacher, so she does go by Mrs. quite frequently and sometimes responds better to Mrs. Hoffman than she does to "Mom." I was such a neglected child.


My dad is a farmer and PE/Health professor...you may remember me talking about him before here.

He comes from these people, my Grandma Joan and Grandpa Paul:

(Sorry about the blurriness...I'm still figuring
out candids on this fancy pants camera.)

My Grandparents both worked for the college all while I was growing up. They're also very involved in their church playing the organ/piano (Grandma) and preaching (Grandpa). They're also farmers...or were farmers? How does the tense change when you're still involved, but you're not actually having to do all the manual labor because you've put in your time and now your children and grandchildren are putting in their time? Alfalfa was a part of my childhood. As were tractors and swathers and balers and discs and rakes.

Back in Summer 2008 our whole Hoffman side of the family went to Germany for the Church of the Brethren 300th Anniversary. This is one of the most generous gifts I've ever received.

There's most of everyone in front of the Eder River in Schwarzenau. It's the Brethren homeland. I'll tell you more about being a Brethren girl some other time. It's part of the whole "The Kind of Person I Am" thing. I will say it was a fantastic trip.

My mother is a first-grade teacher and has been my entire life, not just first grade but kindergarten, first-grade and second-grade. Lately she's also really into stamping and making cards and other such objects. She's very crafty.

She's holding my "sister" Daisy. Yes, the dog is my replacement. I will survive without any major psychological maladies through this trying time in my life. She comes from my Grandma Mim and Grandpa Jim, my mom not the dog.

I'll give you three guesses who I take after in the looks department...the first two don't count. Seriously. It's uncanny.

My parents had three children. We were unplanned pregnancies. My dad calls us mistakes, but I call us unexpected life-long, expensive gifts. And then we laugh.

Dave was first (July 1981) then about 16 months later I came along (November 1982) and then in another 29 months (April 1985) (it just took me 5 minutes to do that math, so if I'm wrong, just keep moving along) Matt was born. Dave just finished his second bachelor's degree and is now a teacher...or he will be once he gets a job. Currently he's a highly sought after substitute teacher.

After however many years (my head hurts) Matt met Abby and she joined our family. Willingly. Shocking isn't it?

And if you'll believe it, Matt and Abby are both teachers too! Matt teaches Health and Physical Education and coaches basketball and Abby teaches second grade. They're going to provide me with nieces and/or nephews soon enough, but no one is allowed to pester them about it. And that's all I have to say about that.

I'm the black sheep. I don't want to teach. At least not yet.

And that's that! YAY! You've been through my short family tree!

I just love this picture. Cracks me up every time.

January 16, 2010

Very Good Cookies

That's what they're called: "Very Good Cookies."
You could also call them:
  • Sublime Cookies
  • Delicious Cookies
  • Crunchy Tasty Cookies
  • Cookies With Oatmeal, Rice Crispies and Toffee
  • Yummy Yummy Cookies
  • Get In Mah Belly! Cookies
Grandma Mim's Cookies.

This is a recipe written in my Grandma Mim's handwriting, straight from Harold Sprunger, whoever Harold Sprunger is. I love hand written recipes. There's something so nice about knowing that someone wrote it down. I can picture my Grandma writing it and the way she tilts her hand when she makes her letters.
Ahh....the handwritten era is coming to an end. Is there any stopping it? Should we revive handwriting things? Probably. Will it actually happen when people think that the word great is spelled "gr8"? No.

Life as I know it is now over. Let's eat some cookies.
Ingredients. Yup, a little of this a little of that, stir and TAH-DAH!!! Very Good Cookies. Or perhaps Muy Bueno Galleta. Yup, practically bi-lingual today.
Butter? Sugar? Brown sugar? Things are looking good...VEEEEEEEEERRRYYY GOOD.
Does anyone else constantly find themselves using the German pronunciation of vanilla by saying "wah-nilla"? Anyone? Anyone? I feel that I should be loved as much for my weirdness as I am for my baked goods.
Yes, I am perfectly aware that the original Very Good Cookie recipe does not call for chocolate chips. However, I will reiterate my life mantra: I DO WHAT I WANT. Thank you for coming, have a nice day.
Let's bake up some cookies! I bet they'll be good. I bet they'll be really good. I bet they'll be very good. Yes, yes I think they might. OK, I'm going to stop now.
I promise.

350 degrees. 12 minutes. Ding!

I have to say, I'm glad I added the chocolate chips. They took those Very Good Cookies and made them Super-duper Yummy Delicious Darn Good Cookies.

The end.

Thank you Grandma Mim for the recipe!

Cookies Muy Delicioso!
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup Butter, softened
  • 1 cup Oil
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla (Go ahead, you can call it wah-nilla if you want.)
  • 3 1/2 cups Flour
  • 1 cup Quick Oats
  • 1 cup Rice Crispies
  • 1 bag Toffee Chips
  • 1 cup Mini Chocolate Chips (Just for a little sumpin' sumpin.')
Cream the butter and sugar, add the oil; mix in the egg, salt and vanilla; add in the flour and quick oats; stir in the rice crispies, toffee chips and chocolate chips. Drop onto a sheet pan and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until slightly browned. Unlike many cookies, these are better once they've completely cooled. Be patient, young one.