Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

2009 Rummage Sale

The Ravenswood Fellowship United Methodist Church will be hosting their Rummage sale. There is a variety of items to get that range from clothes to furniture. I am including the information on how to get there if you like shopping:

Saturday, October 3, 2009
9:30 am -3:00 pm
Ravenswood Fellowship United Methodist Church
4511 N. Hermitage
Chicago, IL

I look forward to seeing you there.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Happy 200th to me

This marks my 200th post. A lot has changed over the last 100 posts— but so much is still left to be said. Back at the beginning of this year I posted those topics that I wanted to cover. Since this is a milestone post, I thought I would show you my progress on those Personal Philosophy topics I want to cover.

Those bullet points that have a link are those that I have already covered. They are in chronological order by month… so do not be confused by the fact they are not alphabetical. Don't be surprised that the actual name of the post differs from the topic listed— I kept it that way so you can see how I proposed the topic to myself. Feel free to read these posts to give you a better understanding of my personal philosophy and how I describe the world around me.

Those bullet points that are in italics are those posts I am currently working on— one of which (Couples and train couplings) will be posted this week. All the rest of the bullet points I want to write about, but have not started yet. Feel free to comment and let me know what sounds interesting to you so I can focus on those you want to hear.


Enjoy…

Friday, September 25, 2009

F2: Za

Welcome again to Friday's Feast. Today I'll be talking about Pizza. If you don't know what Friday's Feast is all about, please read the Friday's Feast page for a more detailed explanation. If you want to join in on the feast— be sure to leave a comment and include the URL to your post so I and others can know of your contribution. Also, if you want to see a particular topic— feel free to suggest it as well (I'm always looking for new inspirations).


What do you like on your pizza? Growing up I have always seemed to gravitate towards the same ingredients on my pizza— but I do find myself being more cosmopolitan when it comes to the variety of pizzas I enjoy eating.

I typically have a gauge when it comes to trying certain pizzas. I usually like to have Sausage and Mushrooms on my pizza. When I worked at a pizza place they sold individual slices— one with just sausage, and one with just mushrooms. When I had the chance, I made a pizza with both just so I could say that I had a pizza with sausage and mushrooms from there.

When it comes to stuffed pizza, I just love spinach stuffed pizza. I have had other toppings (or stuffings) in my stuffed pizza— but typically gravitate towards spinach when I order stuffed.

I tend to like thick crust pizza more than thin crust pizza. I attribute that to the fact I live in Chicago and Chicago is known for it's deep dish pizza. I'll eat thin crust pizza— I just don't understand the rational to having to fold your pizza to eat it. Why don't these people have a pizza wrap instead (Wait… that could be a recipe idea in the making)— or better yet… just use one layer of filo dough for the crust. I can hear it now: "pizza crust so thin that it falls apart in your hand".

Overall, I will eat just about any pizza and am willing to try new toppings so long as it's edible. Any suggestions?


Next weeks topic is Pumpkin. What… is it October already? What do you do with those pumpkins— do you eat the seeds, or do you throw them away. Any interesting carvings that you make with your pumpkin. Is a green pumpkin any different than an orange one? So… if you have anything that relates to this topic, be sure to leave a comment and include the URL so I can include you in next weeks feast. Even if you have already posted on this topic in the past— your links are always welcome.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Questions

I feel pretty bad that I have not been posting as regularly as I normally do. I'm sure some of you are asking yourself— "Where's CaJoh"? Perhaps what I need is a good shot in the arm… or a good bunch of ideas.

I have seen this done on other blogs, so I thought I would employ it so others can join in the fun. I am sure that you have a lot of burning questions you would like to ask me. Feel free to ask any thing you like— just keep in mind that my 13 year old nephew also reads this blog, so keep your questions PG13.

I look forward to hearing what you want to know.

Friday, September 18, 2009

F2: Grocery Lists

Welcome again to Friday's Feast. Today I'll be talking about my ever changing grocery list. If you don't know what Friday's Feast is all about, please read the Friday's Feast page for a more detailed explanation. If you want to join in on the feast— be sure to leave a comment and include the URL to your post so I and others can know of your contribution. Also, if you want to see a particular topic— feel free to suggest it as well (I'm always looking for new inspirations).

Participants in this weeks Feast are as follows:


The more things change— the more they stay the same.

When I was growing up, my parents used to keep a grocery list on the refrigerator. Whenever we ran out of something we put it on the list so that we can get what we need. I like the way that my mother writes up her grocery list. She typically looks at the sales that are going on in the grocery stores and plans out her meals based upon what she can get on sale.

By the time I was living on my own I made up a list on the computer which had any and all items I would typically buy at the store. I organized the list according to where in the store I would buy the items. I then printed out multiple copies of the list and posted it on the refrigerator. Any time I needed something I placed a check-mark next to the item on the list. After I bought the item, I would scratch the item off the list.

By the time I was living with my wife my method soon outgrew its effectiveness. My wife has a much broader range of culinary dishes to pull from and my list would have grown to more than one page in size. So I went back to the old method of writing what we ran our of on a list posted on the refrigerator. When we go to the store, my wife menu plans in her head and bases what to buy based upon what is on sale in the store. This is very similar to what my mother does, only she does it more "on the fly". Since I am the one who does most of the cooking, I am typically asked by my wife: "so, what do you think we should be making?". This forces me to menu plan in my head as well and try to double-up on items that could be useful with multiple recipies.

I have seen other methods of obtaining grocery lists as well. I remember one of my sister's friends in college who kept a chalk board on the wall to which everybody in the house would write what they need on it. I never asked if they menu planned or not (my guess is that they didn't because this was college life)— but still, I liked the idea. So how do you keep a grocery list? Do you post things on a board, keep a master list of all possible ingredients, or do you sit down with the coupons and the sales fliers and write up your list before you go?

Happy shopping.


Next weeks topic is Pizza.

Who doesn't like pizza— do you? What do you like— Thick or Thin crust? Perhaps there are some ingredients that you swear should never be considered pizza toppings. Are there any pizza places that are "to die for".

So… if you have anything that relates to this topic, be sure to leave a comment and include the URL so I can include you in next weeks feast. Even if you have already posted related to this topic in the past— your links are always welcome.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What I Want…Got… and Can Get

Whenever we have a goal in mind, there are three questions that I find are necessary to ask yourself when evaluating your goal: What I want, What I got, and What I can get. Using these questions helps you to visualize your goal better and better strategize how to obtain your goal. Since many people are looking for work, or would like a new job— I will use wanting a new job as an example.

What I want
This is your ultimate goal. What do you really want to have happen. This is what you are truly striving for. In our example, you want a better paying job that has a better career path.
What I got
This is your current situation. It is always helpful when goal setting to determine where you are at in your goal and determine what you have presently. This constantly changes, so you will have to ask yourself this question often. In our example, you may be at a thankless job with no clear career path. You later may have a few interviews lined up, or even a second interview.
What I can get
This is the minimum goal you can achieve and still be considered successful. It is much like a compromise. You can consider this as getting somewhere in your goal, but not getting the ultimate goal. In our example, what you could get is be transferred to another department. It may not exactly be a promotion, but it has a better career path than staying put.

I have been using this technique for many years to visualize my goals better. In fact, when I first met my wife I went through this checklist as well:

  • What I want… A wife.
  • What I got… A great person I got along with very well.
  • What I can get… At least a person I can go dancing with.

I am happy to say that I got what I wanted in the end.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tuesday's Tribute: Followers-of-the-Blog-04

When Tuesday Tribute was created— I had an idea to do a spotlight on my followers. I thought… what a great way of promoting their blogs and give them credit for bearing with my narrative/technical-writer style of writing. I decided to write to those followers that I could and ask two questions so that their words could be a part of the post:

  1. What reason do you have for following my blog?
    I know this may seem selfish, but I am curious what motivated you to sign up.
  2. Why do you think that others follow your own blog?
    I know why I do and will let you know in my post along with my impressions on what your blog is to me.

I realized that posting on all of my followers would be a very long post— so I broke it up into smaller manageable pieces.

Note: I started sending out the questionnaire again after I reached 60 followers. Since Blogger changed the way that followers are displayed, I have no way of knowing in what order my next 30 followers joined up. So I decided to list them in the order I received responses. Here is what the next 10 followers have to say:

Jillene @ Jillene's Journal
Jillene has a way of making the everyday mishaps of life enjoyable. She has an interesting wit and it typically shows in her posts. Here is what Jillene has to say:
  1. I started following your blog because of Friday Feast. You posted about it on Facebook and I had no idea that you had a blog—so I went and checked it out and liked it so I became a follower.
  2. I honestly have no idea why others follow my blog. Maybe because I am a mom like they are or we have the same religious background. I never in a million years thought I would make this many friends from blogging and that 100 people would follow me.
Little Ms Blogger @ A Little Blog About Nothing
Little Ms Blogger has an interesting blog title and a cute avatar of a cupcake with pink frosting and a cherry on top… who couldn't resist. On Wednesday's she has her "Rant and Rave Wednesday" where she highlights those things that she is disappointed in as well as proud of from the past week. Here is what Little Ms Blogger has to say:
  1. I followed your blog because you left a comment on mine and others I was reading. I wanted to know more about the person behind the comment. I liked what I read.
  2. You know what, I don't have a clue. My sister follows because she's family and has to. She's the only person I know personally that is a follower.
    Although I don't have a clue why people read me, I'm happy they do. I've met some great people in the blogging world and have enjoyed reading voices from all over the world.
Blogging Mama Andrea @ Blogging Mama
Blogging Mama Andrea is one of the founders of In The Real World Venus vs. Mars, but has recently stopped contributing and has handed over the reigns to someone else. I enjoy her ability to encapsulate suburban life with a bit of tongue and cheek throughout. Here is what Blogging Mama Andrea has to say:
  1. I followed your blog because I like the style in which you write. Your ideas are spelled out and orderly and I tend to learn something interesting along the way. Your blog is more factual and maybe less storytelling but that is what drew me in.
  2. I hope people follow me because I strike a cord with them in something that I write. I try to be a lot of things sometimes; honest, funny, real. I hope that I can make people think or laugh and that's why they want to follow me. Failing that, free chocolate ;)
Texasholly @ June Cleaver Nirvana
I may have seen Texasholly comment on something and decided to check out her blog. I think it is the Cheerio-proof couch in her header that kept me coming back— that and she writes about a lot of different topics. Here is what Texasholly has to say.
  1. I use following blogs as a way to add people to my reader. I just like to keep track of blogs that sparked my interest so I don't forget to return…it is easy to get overwhelmed in blogland.
  2. I think people follow my blog like they turn and look at an accident on the freeway. You. Just. Can't. look. Away.
Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) @ Stacy's Random Thoughts
I think that Stacy's blog name and handle pretty much say it all. Stacy is a regular participant in Tuesday's Random Thoughts and gives a great presentation of randomness throughout. Here is what Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) has to say:
  1. I follow your blog because you always have something interesting going on and I appreciate your sense of humor and wit. You also leave comments on my blog that make me laugh out loud…I like that!
  2. I hope others follow my blog because they enjoy reading what I have to say and like coming back for more stuff and nonsense. ;)
Eternal Lizdom @ Eternal Lizdom
I rather like the blog name and handle of Eternal Lizdom— it's a turn of the phrase "Eternal Wisdom" which seems to sum up the overall feel of the blog itself. Here is what Eternal Lizdom has to say:
  1. Why do I follow Ca-Joh? It's hard to remember back to when or how I found you. But I can tell you the 2 reasons I stick around… story telling and Friday's Feast! One of these days I'll participate in Friday's Feast but for now, I really just enjoy reading. I love hearing about the things you do with your family and friends, your grandkids (I wanna come to camp!!), stories from your childhood and your theatre days (especially love hearing about your theatre days).
  2. Why do others follow my blog? I have no idea! Ha! I love that people do and I hope that the people who choose to follow me or add me to their reader or whatever do so because they find humor or inspiration or guidance or fun or remembrances of their own. I think I have a lot to offer through my life experiences and my honesty.
Sara Lulu @ Normal is a cycle on a washing machine
I rather like Sara Lulu's blog name— it is one of those interesting titles that are quite profound. Sara Lulu is a blogger from "Down Under" so it is nice to be able to get a different perspective on things. Here is what Sara Lulu has to say:
  1. I don't remember exactly… and DO correct me if I'm wrong… but I think you found me first? Made a comment perhaps?
    I like your sense of humour… I very much enjoy the cooking/recipes… because they often seem quite strange to me!!
    And I think you are from Chicago… my only (as far as I know) Chicago friend.
  2. Question_Two_Answer
Otter Thomas @ Life of a New Dad
I first knew of Otter Thomas through Dad Blogs and have read many of his thoughts on fatherhood whenever he posts for Fatherhood Friday. I must admit that I chuckled a bit over his handle in that it reminds me of a line from a play: "Not raised BY otters… but raised by THE Otter's— the Otter family". Here is what Otter Thomas has to say:
  1. Chris, you have one of the truly more interesting perspectives in the blogosphere. I consider myself to be a fairly deep thinker, but you often pose things that have not occurred to me. That is what I like.
  2. I hate to say why people follow me. Whatever I say will sound conceited. I think I have a certain ability to describe feelings or beliefs that people enjoy. I hope I am able to be entertaining at times as well. I know some other people relive the time they had young children through my experiences as well.
Lissa @ Lissa-Like It-Or-Love It
Lissa has been out of blogging for a while, but what she currently has is quite enjoyable. I also like her avatar of a leaping frog (AKA: Leaping Lissa). Here is what Lissa has to say:
  1. I believe I found your blog through MamaKat's writing workshop?? I decided to follow you because I found your posts to be thought provoking and witty. What also impressed me is that you are a MAN Blogger (lol) I mean I am married to the MAN Coach. Bless his heart, he just doesn't understand blogging. We won't even discuss cooking:)
  2. I haven't blogged in forever. So that the fact that I still have followers (on both blogs)amazes me. Some of my followers I met through different things I participate in. Some just showed up and actually liked what I had to say. Some could just be desperate for followers themselves and added me, hoping for the same in return.
S3XinthePantry @ S3XinthePantry
S3XinthePantry is one of my most recent followers. I rather like the play on words of her handle as well as the blog address. There is a lot of tongue and cheek in her posts which makes them enjoyable to read. Here is what S3XinthePantry has to say:
  1. How I got there:
    I think (not sure I'm remembering correctly, I have 3 kids who each take more than their fare share of my brain!) I followed a guest blogger on your site and he wrote "read me at ca-jo's today"
    Why I follow:
    When I got to your blog I noticed all of the cooking advice. And that's when I knew I HAD to follow. Following helps me keep track of blog I like because the new posts are listed on the side of my blog. And Friday Feast is great. I'm in a mood now to learn to prepare food for my family and give William a break. He's working on new projects and he's training for a marathon.
  2. Why people follow my blog:
    I have no clue - I should be like you and ask them. I hope they follow me because
    1) I make them laugh
    2) I offer suggestions that they might actually use in their life
    3) they like me
    But who knows!

As for the rest of you… it's not too late to let me know. Feel free to either e-mail me, or submit a comment with your answers. I'm hoping to post for the next ten followers as soon as I get your responses.


Tuesday's Tribute

Friday, September 11, 2009

F2: Dutch Babies

Welcome again to Friday's Feast. Today I'll be talking about making Dutch Babies. If you don't know what Friday's Feast is all about, please read the Friday's Feast page for a more detailed explanation. If you want to join in on the feast— be sure to leave a comment and include the URL to your post so I and others can know of your contribution. Also, if you want to see a particular topic— feel free to suggest it as well (I'm always looking for new inspirations).

Participants in this weeks Feast are as follows:


With inspirations from JC and Mrs. Mackinac

My wife loves these and likes to order them in a resturant if they are available. Since the resturant we usually order it from no longer carried it, we found a recipe for them by Julia Child and have been making it ourselves ever since.

Dutch Babies:
4 beaten egg yolks
2 T Cornstarch
1/4 C Lukewarm milk
1/4 C Lukewarm water
3/4 t Salt
1 T Sugar
Grated rind of 1 lemon
4-5 egg whites
2 T Butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. Combine egg yolks, cornstarch, milk, water, salt, sugar and lemon rind together in a mixing bowl.
    The mixture from step 2.
  3. Beat the egg whites until stiff.
  4. Fold egg whites into the mixture from step 2.
    Folding the egg whites into the mixture.
  5. In an iron skillet, melt the butter.
  6. Pour the batter from step 4 into the skillet.
    The batter in the skillet.
  7. Once set, place the skillet into the oven for 5 minutes.
    The finished product fresh out of the oven.
  8. Serve with powdered sugar, lemon juice, or any jam or jelly you prefer.
  9. Enjoy.

Next weeks topic is Groceries.

Do you shop for groceries, or does someone shop for you? Are there particular grocery stores that you like to shop at? How do you maintain your grocery list? Paper or Plastic?

So… if you have anything that relates to this topic, be sure to leave a comment and include the URL so I can include you in next weeks feast. Even if you have already posted on this topic in the past— your links are always welcome.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

WW: Kiddieland… no more

While waiting to ride the train at Kiddieland I took the following photo:

I rather like the fact that the barbed wire shows up in front of the sign— gives it a sense of ominousness. Are there any nostalgic places that you remember as a child that are no longer around?

Friday, September 4, 2009

F2: Pie Pie Pie

Welcome again to Friday's Feast. Today I'll be talking about pie crust magic. If you don't know what Friday's Feast is all about, please read the Friday's Feast page for a more detailed explanation. If you want to join in on the feast— be sure to leave a comment and include the URL to your post so I and others can know of your contribution. Also, if you want to see a particular topic— feel free to suggest it as well (I'm always looking for new inspirations).

Participants in this weeks Feast are as follows:


Three little kittens, they lost their mittens,
And they began to cry,

Oh, mother dear, we sadly fear
That we have lost our mittens.

What! Lost your mittens, you naughty kittens!
Then you shall have no pie.
Mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow.
You shall have no pie.

The three little kittens, they found their mittens,
And they began to cry,

Oh, mother dear, see here, see here,
Our mittens we have found.

Put on your mittens, you silly kittens,
And you shall have some pie.
Pie, Pie, Pie[1],
Oh, let us have some pie.

The three little kittens, put on their mittens,
And soon ate up the pie;

Oh, mother dear, we greatly fear
That we have soiled our mittens

What! Soiled your mittens, you naughty kittens!
Then they began to sigh,
Mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow.
They began to sigh.

The three little kittens, they washed their mittens,
And hung them out to dry;

Oh! mother dear, do you not hear
That we have washed our mittens?

What! Washed your mittens, then you’re such good kittens.
But I smell a rat close by
Mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow.
We smell a rat close by.[2]


With inspirations from m2I

They say: "The secret is in the crust". So, rather than talk about how to make this pie or that pie, I decided that I would give you my secret to perfect pie crust. Makes two 9 inch crusts.

Perfect Pie Crust:
1 Stick of butter
6 T Vegetable shortening
2 ½ C Flower
3-6 T Cold water
  1. Place the butter and shortening in a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Add the flower.
  3. Cut in the flower with the butter and shortening until well mixed.
    If you do not have a pastry cutter, use two butter knives cutting like you do when cutting up lettuce in a bowl.
  4. With one hand, add the water about a tablespoon at a time.
  5. With the other hand mix using a gentle squeezing motion.
    The secret here (shh… don't tell anybody) is to continue adding the water and mix until the dough feels like Play-dough.
  6. Ball up the dough in the bowl and chill for 30 minutes in the refridgerator.
  7. Cut in half and roll both halves for your favorite pie.

1 Originally is "Purr-r, purr-r, purr-r"— but I changed it to be "Pie, Pie, Pie" because that is how I remembered hearing it.

2 "Three Little Kittens" — first published in Eliza Follen's book:
New Nursery Songs for All Good Children in 1853.


Next weeks topic is breakfast. "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day"— I would hope that everybody has something to say about breakfast. Perhaps you have a favorite restaurant that you love eating breakfast at, or have a fond memory of breakfast as a child. Even talking about the latest children's cereal that you and/or your kids can't get enough of is fair game. So… if you have anything that relates to this topic, be sure to leave a comment and include the URL so I can include you in next weeks feast. Even if you have already posted on this topic in the past— your links are always welcome.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Be careful what you wish for…

The first sign of mental illness is hair on the toes
The second sign is looking for it.

Anonymous

When I was in 8th grade I was sitting along the gym wall at the start of gym class with the rest of the guys in class waiting to go outside for class. For some reason I noticed my lack of hair on my legs whereas others in my class had hair on their legs and wished I had more hair. Being an October child I should have known that my lack of hair was due to the fact that I was younger than my class and hadn't caught up in the hairy leg department yet. Of course being at that fragile age when you always want to be better than your peers, you tend to wish for things that you really have no control over. I'm sure that many of you have done the same— if not for hairy legs, then something else.

Fast forward six years…
By the time I was in college I realized that I was a "hairy man". I had hair everywhere— even on my toes (boy was I a hobbit). Probably due to this excess of hair, I wished again. This time I wished that I didn't have so much hair.

Fast forward to today…
One would think that hair loss would be maternal/paternal and that I should have the full set of hair my grandfather on my mother's side had— boy was I wrong. I have been thinning ever since I graduated from college (I tend to blame it on my crazy wish). This doesn't stop my first wish from still being true in more ways than one. I still have hair in unexpected places. It's as if all the hair I used to have on my head was now transplanted to strange places such as my ears and eyebrows.

I mentioned this to a co-worker to which they told me that I better be glad that all my hair wasn't summed up in one follicle. Imagine if all your hair was in one hair follicle coming out the top of your head. You would have to weave it into your head, eyebrows, etc. Gives new meaning to having a weave doesn't it…

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