No More Empty Fortune Cookies!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Holiday Update

Christmas was a HOOT! It always is when we go to Cleveland. We got some good news too; Wifester and I are going to be new Aunts!! YAY!!! Her brother and his wife are expecting their first baby, and everyone has known since Thanksgiving but keeping the secret from us until we came home for Christmas so that they could tell us in person. Those big meanies! I can't imagine how hard it was for Wifester's mom to keep that hush-hush.

My Christmas loot was splendid! I came away with a beautiful Tahitian pearl necklace! And I always thought pearls were only for old ladies! This one is perfect for a gal like myself.
I racked up on some major art supplies, paints, canvas, brushes, you name it, I got it.

The Wifester finally got her new camera *angels singing* you know, the one she's been wanting for sooooo long. Which means that I regain custody of the old camera, which isn't that old, by the way. She actually got two cameras, and she's all psyched to get going with them!

Oh yeah, I got an espresso machine! YUM! Note to self; Although it may be OK to drink a full 16oz coffee mug full of COFFEE, it is NOT recommended to drink that same mug full of cappuccino! Quadruple cappuccino at 7am = one busy Fortune Cookie and a VERY clean house. That is synchronously a pretty good thing and a veeeeery bad thing...

Cleveland was beautiful and COOOOOOOOOLD.
The second day we were there there was snow everywhere and it was -1. MINUS ONE! The wind chill made it -25, but if you ask me, it was more like -125, and that just so happened to be the day that the Wifester decided she just had to go up to the big cemetary to shoot some photos. Of course the main one she wanted was way up atop the big hill, where the wind was whipping about like a wire coathanger across Christina's back in that scene from Mommie Dearest, and stinging with the same pissuance.
I volunteered to provide Wifester with my jacket for extra warmth while I stayed in the car to keep it running and warm the remainder of the cemetary adventure. She was a trooper, though, she got out there and took way more photos than I would have dared to in those frigid temperatures.
So now I'm back to work, and impatiently awating the weekend so that I can play with my new art supplies! I sure wish I didn't have a full time job.
How was your holiday?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Drumroll Please...

Yes, it's time to announce the winner of the first annual Fortune Cookies Christmas Challenge!
As you may remember, I asked you to donate your time, money, or energy to a charitable origination this holiday season, and let me know so I could enter you in a drawing. You guys came through like the champs I always knew you were!
The blogging community is the bestest, most thoughtful, pro-active community evah! For reals. And I'm not just paying lip service either. I mean that from the bottom of my heart.
I appreciate each and every one of you for your willingness to help others, and I know your good karma will come back to you many times over.

OK, OK, enough of the mushy-gushy sentimental stuff...On to the drawing.

I originally planned to vlog this, since vlogging the drawing of the winner of these type things seems to be all the rave in the blogosphere these days, but our video camera only works in the brightest of sunlight, and since it's been rainy and foggy and overcast, we're S.O.L. on that. So you'll just have to accept some photos, sorry guys, a new video camera is on Santa's list for NEXT year...
...For now, all Santa can muster is a double shot of schnapps in my cocoa while I blog this... It's been a doosey of a day! But that's a story for another time.

I had the Wifester photo-journal the process of the drawing while I utilized her scary alien-snowman cookie jar to draw the names from. I'm not kidding, it's scary, and I truly think an alien mated with Frosty to create this atrocity:
Then, against my better judgement, I plunged my pudgy hand into the alien-snowman hybrid
To my complete and utter surprise, I was not abducted and probed, nor was I wisked away into an alternate bizarro-world. Instead, I found this:

Chatty, Come On Down! You're the next contestant... Oh, wait, wrong show...if you'll email me your mailing address, I'll get your prize out to you ASAP!
And thanks again for playing!

Monday, December 15, 2008

My Neices

My sister in law asked me (a while back) for a painting, and I finally got around to it. I hope they like it...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Time Keeps on Ticking Away

Just a reminder:
tomorrow is the deadline to leave a comment here letting me know if you are participating in The Christmas Challenge. If you are a lurker and wish to remain out of the spotlight, email me at, we'll keep it on the down low.
Remember, you pick a charity orgizization that gives Christmas to the less fortunate, donate to it (money, gifts, time however you can) , let me know no later than Dec. 15, and on Dec. 17th I will put your names in a bowl and draw a lucky blogger (or lurker) and then I send YOU a PRIZE!

It truly is a win, win, win situation!
So what are you still doing here? Go find a reputable charity to help this holiday season...scat! shoow! Go on now, time's a ticking!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

More Shameless Self Promotion and a Meme from Tink...

I'm so super psyched! I sold my first painting on Etsy! A for real and for true sale, not to a friend or family member who wanted to help me out! Judy Garland, she was posted on Tuesday, or Wednesday, and by Friday she was sold. Thank you so much Etsy buyer, from Orlando! I'm finally beginning to feel like a real artist. Of course, I suppose I'd need to die first, then have all my paintings sell in order to properly feel like a real artist, but that's really not an option for me. I plan on living for a while yet. There's so many places I want to travel and see so I can paint there. I've got plans, you know.
Anyways, I was just so super psyched about that one selling, I had to toot my own horn.
I think I'll hop to it and make some more in similar fashion and see how they do on etsy. Couldn't hurt. At the very least, I hope to make enough to keep me with a supple art supply budget. Wifester says earnings from my art should be spent as I see fit, and I see fit to buy more art supplies so that I can make more art! Is that selfish? I mean, I do have a full time job that pays bills and then some, so really, it's not like I'm letting my family suffer while I buy paint and canvas. It just feels so selfish. Like I could use that money for Christmas shopping, or groceries, or party supplies, but eh...feed the addiction with the profits from the addiction, I suppose.

I started a new piece, it will be a Christmas present for my neices. I hope they'll like it. I received a portrait of them recently, and thought I can make them a FortuneCookies style portrait, bet they'd like that. Their mom had asked me if I could make a painting for them a while back, and I've procrastinated, so here's this, think they'll like?

Now, on to the Meme! I've felt kinda bad for not playing in the WWC as of late, so when I saw this meme suggestion over at Tink's, I had to join in.
Here it is:

Answer these questions here or on your own blog with a link to it in the comment section.

1. What was the best present you've ever received?
2. What was the worst?
3. What is something you really want this year for yourself?
4. What is something you really want this year for someone else?
5. What's your favorite Christmas memory?

1. my new pc from my wifester

2. ugly flannel pj's that my mom later told me I owed her 14.95 for

3. aside from that mermaid mug? a Dyson! or a cappuccino machine

4. There's something I've been wanting for Wifester for a very long time...sure hope Santa brings it!

5. It wasn't really Christmas, but Wifester and I went to Ohio, where her family lives in between Christmas and Thanksgiving a few years ago, because that's when I could get the phone company nazis to give me time off, and her family had a huge Christmas party for us, and we played dirty santa and got drunk and Wifester sang "baby got back" on karaoke was a HOOT!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sick Day

I've had the funk today, so rather than vomit all day at work, I stayed home and painted between puking.
I finally got to finish my Judy Garland that everyone thought was Liza Minnelli. Hopefully now she looks like Judy. If not, oh well, I tried. If you want to see her, you can check her out at my art blog or at my etsy.

Judy Garland

I've had a few people think she was Liza Minnelli, eh, close anyways. So I went back in and added some more texture and details. Reworked her and hopefully now she looks more like Judy.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Thoughts for Bettie Page

You'll always be a hottie in my book, Bettie...

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Bettie Page, a 1950s pinup known for her raven-haired bangs and saucy come-hither looks, was hospitalized in intensive care after suffering a heart attack, her agent said Friday.

"She's critically ill," Mark Roesler of CMG Worldwide told The Associated Press.

He said the 85-year-old had been hospitalized for the last three weeks with pneumonia and was about to be released when she had the heart attack Tuesday. Page was transferred to another hospital in Los Angeles and remained in intensive care Friday.

A family friend, Todd Mueller, said Page was in a coma. When asked to confirm, Roesler said, "I would not deny that," but he would not comment further on her condition.

Page, a secretary turned model, is credited with helping set the stage for the sexual revolution of the rebellious 1960s. She attracted national attention with magazine photographs of her sensuous figure that were tacked up on walls across the country.

Her photos included a centerfold in the January 1955 issue of then-fledgling Playboy magazine, as well as controversial sadomasochistic poses.

Page later spent decades away from the public eye, and during that time battled mental illness and became a born-again Christian.

After resurfacing in the 1990s, she occasionally granted interviews but refused to allow her picture to be taken.

Mueller credits his business dealings with Page for bringing her out of seclusion. He said he first met her in 1989 when he offered her "a bunch of money" to show up at autograph signings.

"I probably sold 3,000 of her autographs, usually for $200 to $300," he said. "Eleanor Roosevelt, we got $40-$50. ... Bettie Page outsells them all."

My thoughts are with Bettie and her family at this time.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Did You Know I'm the Cookie Monster?

It's the truth. I big pink puffy heart cookies. Chocolate chip, oatmeal, sugar, they're all good in my book. I remember making my first batch of Toll House cookies with my mom, when I was just a young Cookie myself. They made me fall in love with the gooey, sugary, orbs of warm joy.
I was never quite the baker my mom was. She could run circles around Martha Stewart in the kitchen when it comes to baking. Somehow, I missed out on that talent. I think it comes from my inability to strictly follow the recipes, opting to use them more as a guideline, a mere suggestion, rather than the "This is the word of law" ideation that baking recipes seem to necessitate.
That, and I'm entirely too nonchalant and whimsical to accurately measure anything. Baking is more a science than cooking is. Cooking gives the artistic freedom to play with the measurements, add a bit of this and a dash of that at the cook's discretion. Not so with baking, at least not to the same degree as with cooking. So I tend to screw up many attempts at baking. Which is probably good, because If I could successfully bake, on even a sporadically regular basis, I'd be in some serious trouble. Because One thing I did inherit from my Grandma Palacios, if not her black curly hair and long thick eyelashes, I instead received her love of sugar. She liked hers in any form of chocolate, and I take my sugar mostly through cookies. Have I told you how much I love cookies? Hard, soft, round, square, doesn't matter, I love em!
You could probably bribe me out of house and home with the right batch of cookies.
I'm pretty sure that if I've lived my life right, and I've done all that I can to be of service to this world, then when I die, I'll receive a plate of freshly baked, still warm, assorted cookies.

I tell you all of this because it's really close to Christmas and you know what that means...
Wifester and I went to Joann's Fabrics yesterday to get some crafty stuff, we've been making home made ornaments, more on that later, and while we were there, I found some cookie cutters on sale that were just begging to come home with us. And since I bought Easter cookie cutters, but never made Easter cookies, and I bought a dragonfly cookie cutter from our summer vacation, and never used it, I awoke this morning determined to make some cookies.

Now, as I said, I don't usually bake, I leave that to the Wifester. I cook, she bakes. It's a good system we have worked out here. But this was my task to do, so I hit the internet to look up a good sugar cookie recipe. I really wanted a nice sugar cookie that we could make some icing and decorate these with, and I found this recipe that said "The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies", and it said "
Whenever you make these cookies for someone, be sure to bring along several copies of the recipe! You will be asked for it, I promise!!!"
I thought, hmmm that one sounds good, lets go!
So I glanced over the ingredients list, saw what I needed, and began mixing up the cookie dough. My bowl was getting fuller, and fuller, and fuller. Wifester, knowing my history in baking and lack of success, came in to check on me. "Wow, you got a lot of cookies there" she said to me as I continued to add the premeasured flour to the now almost overflowing bowl. "Yeah, looks like it! Could you get me a bigger bowl, please." I responded, a bit nervous, knowing I had followed these directions precisely. After we transfered the dough into the larger recepticle, I picked up the printout of the recipe to see where I'd gone wrong..."I've followed these directions exactly" I protested,
Wifester: "Well, how many dozen does this recipe make?"
me: "Oh, yeah, I didn't look at that."
Wifester: "Don't you think that's important to check before starting a recipe?"
me: "Shut up"
me: " says Yeild: 5 dozen"

And the moral of the story is ...
Always read the " Yeild " line of a recipe before embarking upon that journey.

Guess the office is getting some cookies tomorrow :)

The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies
Submitted by: Jill Saunders
Rated: 4 out of 5 by 2067 members
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 8 Minutes
Ready In: 3 Hours
Yields: 60 servings
"Whenever you make these cookies for someone, be sure to bring along several copies of the recipe! You will be asked for it, I promise!!!"
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2008 Printed from 12/7/2008

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Challenge!

This has been weighing heavily on my mind, and since blogging is what I do to scratch most itches I get, here it is:

I've been reading stories about how the Salvation Army Angel Tree Program is suffering this year, partially due to the drastic increase of the number of people needing its assistance, and partially due to the drastic decrease in the number of people who are selecting angels from the tree.
That really makes me one sad cookie.
To think of those children waking up on Christmas morning to nothing, or next to nothing...What kind of Christmas is that? Now, I'm not saying all kids should get a Wii, or even a bicycle, but something, even if it's a Dollar Store $1 doll. I know lots of people say
"We struggled through tough times, and never asked for assistance, and don't see why we should help someone else."
Well, that's just not my train of thought. I believe that sometimes people simply catch a bad break in life and one bad break can place them in a situation where suddenly their kids are facing Christmas with no presents and possibly no dinner. To me, Christmas is just another day, but for kids, it's magical. I like to do what I can to preserve that magic for as long as possible.
Illustration by Sheri Doty

Besides, even if it's a case where any of the million and 5 reasons in which the parents were totally to blame for the financial crimp they've found themselves in right now, how is that this kid's fault? And isn't a child who received a Christmas memory, via the donations of strangers, more likely to grow up remembering it, cherishing that memory, and paying it forward? After all, those who receive help are most likely to provide help when their time comes. To me, that's what the Christmas season is about, that's what Christmas spirit is. Not how many gifts I can buy my loved ones, or how many I can get them to buy me. It's a time of giving.

Did you know that in Middle Tennessee, last year the Angel Tree Program provided Christmas to 8,000 angels. This year, they have 14,000 signed up. And what's worse, is that the angels are sitting on the trees at the malls and grocery stores, waiting to be selected, and there is serious concern that many will not. Understandably, with the recession and cut backs and lay offs...but really, come on. We can do better for our neighbors, don't you think? I do. I'm not rich. I don't have bookoos of surplus cash to spend, I've seen the retirement plan dwindle with the failing stock market, just like you. But Wifester and I had a discussion, and here's the plan we came up with. We cut back on some superfluous spending, decided to forgo the salon trip and take our chance with a $10.00 haircut, and opted for some store brands rather than name brands on items that we usually don't already do that with, in exchange we select a couple of angels from the angel tree...It's not much, but what we save by these small measures will provide a couple of someones with some fond Christmas memories, and isn't that what it's all about?
So here's my challenge...

I challenge each and every one of you to make some minor concessions, some small, temporary sacrafices so that you can select an angel to help this year. Are you up for the challenge?
Everyone who does it should leave me a comment, or write about it on your blog, but still leave me a comment so I know you're in... then I'll choose one of you, at random, to be the winner of a prize! Deadline to let me know you are participating is 12/15 and the winner will be announced on 12/17.

How's that sound? Mark your calendars and remember to let me know!
Ready? It's on!