Friday, May 27, 2011

This is what I made!

I went to the Polymer Clay Jewelry making class last night at the Wells County Public Library.  I had never worked with polymer clay and thought it would be fun to try it.  

I made a cupcake pin and the beads for a pair of earrings.  I don't know if it is something I will do very often, but it was actually much easier than I anticipated.   I think it will be fun to get some clay and let the grandkids make something.  Polymer clay will be much more durable than the little bowl Cooper made in school this year, which broke before it ever made it home.  The main drawback from working with it is whatever you use to bake your clay creations on, can NEVER be used again for food preparation.  You also need to have a well ventilated space.  I baked the beads last night when I got home and I opened a couple of windows, but I never actually smelled anything.  

The most enjoyable part of the evening was chatting with a friend from high school.  I had invited Lee Ann Garrett from Encouragement is Contagious to attend the class with me and she did.  As the name of her blog suggests she is a very encouraging lady.  I really enjoyed being able to visit with her during the class.   If I hadn't been willing to step  out of my comfort zone, I would have missed out on a very pleasant evening.  

I was telling Lee Ann that I've been making some fabric flower brooches.  She encouraged me to show them to others.  So, after I get a few made up, I'll let you see them.  

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

CAUTION Comfort Zone Ahead

I signed up to take a class at the Wells County Public Library - Polymer Clay Jewelry Class.  I don't do things like this very often.  Even though I would love to.  Why?  Because, to me, it means stepping outside my comfort zone.  Sadly, I've missed a lot of things I wish I hadn't due to my confining comfort zone.

Everyone has a comfort zone.  Some are very narrow and small in size.  Others are almost without boundaries.  If you would ask me to define mine, I would say it is "the familiar".  I am most comfortable with what I am familiar.  Familiar people, familiar food, familiar places, etc. 

As a REALTOR, I am probably perceived as an extrovert.  It's my job.  I'm comfortable with it.  I'm good at it.  Even though, at times, I work with people I am not familiar with, I am doing something I'm very familiar with.  With that said, I am a borderline introvert/extrovert.  Which probably would surprise those that know me well.  Those that know me well are those "familiar people" that are within my comfort zone.  They would most likely describe me as an extrovert.  With them, I am always laughing, joking, sarcastic...myself.  If I am going to a function where I know there will be a lot of familiar faces, I won't stress over having to attend.  I will go willingly, knowing I will have a good time.

However, my introverted side is present when I am surrounded by unfamiliar people.  It's then that I have to stretch the boundaries of my comfort zone.   

Extending my hand and introducing myself to a stranger is something I've had to force myself to do through the years.  Learning to smile at people as I pass them in the grocery or other public spaces is necessary so I don't appear to be a snob.  Years ago, I attended a women's retreat where I learned that the  majority of the women in attendance thought of me as stuck-up.  A snob.  WOW!  That was my wakeup call and I decided I had to stretch the boundaries of my comfort zone. 

So, unless I can recruit a friend to attend the polymer clay class with me, I will have butterflies in my stomach before I get there.  I will walk in with a smile (a nervous one) on my face.  I will chose a seat next to a friendly looking face.  I will say "Hi, I'm Dianna McBride".  Then, maybe, I can relax and enjoy myself.  

On the other hand, this is a small town and chances are good that I will know someone there.   

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

I know you are probably saying "a soup recipe in May?".  Well, that is what this weather is reminiscent of.  We all do the chili or the vegetable soup on a cold evening, but how about some good old creamy chicken and wild rice soup. This recipe, that I got from my daughter in-law Brett, reminds me of Panera Bread's version ~ only this is better!

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

1/3 c. uncooked wild rice
1 T. veg. oil
1 quart water

1 med. onion finely chopped
1 rib celery finely chopped
1 carrot peeled, finely chopped
1/2 c. butter (stick)
1/2 c. all purpose flour
3 c. chicken broth
2 c. half and half cream (I use skim milk to cut the fat and it's still good!)
1/2 t. dried crushed rosemary
dash of nutmeg
1 t. salt
fresh cracked pepper
cooked shredded chicken breast

In med. saucepan combine rice, oil, and water; bring to boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in large pot, Dutch oven or soup kettle, cook onion, celery, and carrots in butter until almost tender.  Blend in flour; cook and stir for two minutes.  Add broth and un-drained rice.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir till slightly thickened.  Stir in cream, rosemary, chicken, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes or until rice is tender.  (About 8 servings or 2 quarts).

Note:  I've added more flour to make it a little thicker, and I've also added more rice.  Tweek it and make it how you like it.


Maybe soon warm weather will be upon us and I will be talking about cookouts on the deck!   I'm looking forward to that!!