9. Make up a recipe.

I made this Tuesday night.  It was good.  It’s based on something I’ve had in other places, but I came up with it on my own.

  • One package of vermicelli

  • One jar of alfredo sauce.  I used Great Value

  • One jar of julienned sliced sundried tomatoes

  • One package of frozen chopped spinach

  • 1 jar of quartered artichoke hearts

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  I used the thinly sliced ones, but you could change this to meet the eating needs of your family.
  • Parmesan/romano cheese
  • Vegetable oil
  • Your choice of spice for chicken
Prepare vermicelli according to package directions.  When you add the pasta to the hot water, add frozen spinach to cook along with it.  Drain and return to pasta pot.  In a skillet, heat a small amount of vegetable oil and add whatever spices your family prefers in chicken.  Cut chicken into bite size pieces or strips and cook in heated oil until they pieces take on a brown tone and are thoroughly cooked through.

Add cooked chicken to the pasta/spinach mixture.  Add in alfredo sauce, along with drained tomatoes and artichoke hearts.  Stir all together.  Add a generous amount of parmesan/romano cheese and stir into the mix.  If you like them, black olives can also be added.

That’s it!  It’s super yummy and quick too!  It looks uber impressive but is oh-so easy.

8. Describe an object in the room without mentioning it by name.

It sits across from my desk and makes me smile whenever I see it. Partly because of what it is and partly because of  the people it reminds me of:  my dad, my daughter, the little girl I once was, and teenaged me who devoured its pages at Grandmother’s house on a yearly basis.

The top is black with large letters.  Although its words sound as if it provides instruction for ending a life, the words contained within speak to the dignity of life for all.  Its simplistic artwork reminds me of the trees I climbed as a girl; the ones that often cause me to wonder how a tree-climbing, book-loving girl wound up in a job that either uses technology to teach or requires me to sit at a desk.

The words on the lower part speak to a mystery.  A gifted writer who shared one story and was a friend to another literary mystery.  In some ways, a typical southern woman, but also a heroine to many.  A lover of privacy whose quiet life has raised more questions that it has answered.  Is she Scout?  Is she more of a Boo Radley?  Is she the mockingbird and has he own privacy been violated?
A gift in many ways.  The contents of its pages were a gift to a middle child who sought fairness and saw herself in its primary character.  The man of the book provided a way describe my own father to others.  The item itself was a gift from the one who made me a mom and reminds me of our shared love of books and words and fairness.