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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

UBC Day 2 - Admiration

While I only wrote my Day 1 post a few hours ago, I have found that I cannot sleep right now (which really sucks since my alarm will be going off in about four and a half hours) so I thought I might go ahead and get Day 2 done!

Today, the prompt is to write about someone I admire and why I admire them.  If there is not a specific person that I admire then I can write about certain qualities that people have that I admire.

I admire a lot of people for a lot of different reasons so when it comes down to it, I find qualities and characteristics that I admire instead of trying to narrow it down to one person.

I admire people with public speaking skills.  I admire that specific skill mainly because I do not!  You provide me with music and choreography (or I can come up with my own), and I can dance in front of a few people or a crowd of hundreds!  The second you place a microphone in my hand and tell me to just say something as simple as, "Hello, my name is Myranda." I will look at you like you have lost your mind and I will get cotton mouth and I will freeze.  I remember being at "A" school to become an Aviation Maintenance Technician for the Coast Guard.  My class had 20 people when we started...by the time we got through the first month or so and entered into the second phase we had about 15 or 16 people.  Every week someone was assigned to give a presentation on an assigned topic.  When it was my turn to give my presentation, I had known these guys for over three months and I was giving a presentation about emergency exits in the different aircraft that the Coast Guard had.  Even though these guys were my friends and like family, I struggled with it...really bad dry mouth and stuttering.  Totally does not make sense because not even an hour later we were all outside on break and I could talk or tell a story to all those guys and it would not phase me.  I do not get it.

Also along with the inability to speak in public, that has hindered me from singing.  I love to sing but because of my stage fright, I did not pursue singing in the choir when I was in school and now the only people I really sing in front of are my mom and my sisters...it is very rare that anyone outside of those three get to hear me sing for real.

Another quality that I admire are those who can open and speak their mind.  For the most part I am an open book.  You can ask me anything and I will answer you honestly.  However I shut down when I am sad/upset/angry.  I tend to bottle things up and just let them eat away at me...and I am trying to be better.  I want to be able to say what is wrong and have the person I am talking to actually hear me and listen to me.

Another part of today's challenge was to share a resource of any kind.  Well I am going to share an image of a book that I read in 2012 that was the best book I have ever read!


The Pillars of the Earth was an amazing book!  I am a very slow reader so it took me a long time to read this but it was worth it!  I had heard about the book on an extremely random day when I turned on the tv and The Oprah Show was on and it was a book that she was recommending.  A couple of years later, I was watching a commercial for an HBO mini series for the book.  I watched the mini series and decided it was a definite MUST READ!  It takes place in the 12th century and is about the people involved in the building of a church and the politics between the those of high society and those high within the church.

Here is the link to purchase this book for Kindle.
Here is the link to purchase this book for Nook.

Lastly, did you know that January is Artichoke and Asparagus month?  I did not know that!  Well I just wanted to share with you what I do to cook each of these and and how I like them.  I use pretty much the same preparation!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Take asparagus and rinse thoroughly.  Snap the end off so that you are left with the edible portion (holding the asparagus in the middle of the stalk and at the cut end and bending it until it snaps is the best way to make sure that you get rid of the right amount of the woody stalk off and it will be a lot more enjoyable to eat without that part).  I put the asparagus into a gallon size ziplock bag.  Once all the asparagus is in the bag, I spray lightly with a vegetable cooking spray.  I sprinkle some garlic powder and/or onion powder, black pepper and a dash of cayenne pepper (because I like the heat).  I seal the bag and shake and rub the asparagus until each piece is well coated.  Line a baking sheet with foil and spread the asparagus onto the sheet in a single layer.  I sprinkle with a little sea salt and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes depending on the thickness.  Bake until the tips get nice and crisp...may need extra cooking time...I usually start with 5 minute increments.

For artichokes, preheat the oven to 375.  I cut about a half of an inch of the stalk off and then cut it in half.  With kitchen scissors, cut the sharp ends of the artichoke leaves off.  Using a grapefruit spoon (it has the special side that helps to cut the fruit but a regular spoon can be used), scoop out the choke until all of it is gone and I pull all the leaves until no purple ones are left.  Rinse to make sure there are no little bits of the choke left.  Spray lightly with vegetable spray.  Sprinkle with garlic powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper and sea salt.  Line a baking sheet with foil and place the artichokes cut side down.  Bake uncovered for 15 minutes until the leaves get a light brown color.  I then take another sheet of foil and loosely cover the artichokes and continue to bake for at least 10 - 15 minutes or until you can easily insert and remove a paring knife from the artichoke heart.

Now my alarm is going off in less than four hours so...
Until next time!