Change Of Address

Standard

Exciting news here, my transfer from a WordPress blog to my newly created site is just about complete. A few things to still add, but functional to welcome in the new year. Please go to www.christasterken.com to visit me there.

Make sure to bookmark the new location as I won’t be working out of this spot any longer. Thanks for being interested readers, interactive readers…enough sothat I am encouraged to push on even further in this writing adventure.

See you on the new site…

Cinnabon Clone Recipe

Standard

P1120205

Here they are. Homemade cinnamon rolls. Don’t they look easy and delicious?

I printed off the recipe from Allrecipes.com , click the link if you’d like to try them. I started just after 10 am, and finished just around 10 pm. They are delectable, and really easy. Just follow my instructions of what not to do:

- Don’t start cinnamon rolls and get all the way to putting in the filling, and then realize you are out of cinnamon. It isn’t the same substituting every other fall spice you own. Trust me on this.

- Don’t accidentally push the dough setting on the bread machine AND the bake setting, thereby having to dump the whole thing after it is in the machine for 4 hours.

IMG_3755

-And above all, don’t put yourself in a position of having to go to Walmart on a snowy Saturday afternoon during the holiday season to get more cinnamon because you are too stubborn to let these rolls beat you.

Try the recipe, correctly. It is worth it!

What the INFP ?!?

Standard

I’m down with the MB, showing off my PT…”

As in Meyers Briggs Personality Traits, um, what were you thinking? Geez.

According to  http://www.personality-power-for-everyday-living.com/INFP.html  INFPs ( typically display the following characteristics:

  • Is  naturally empathetic and compassionate
  • Is quietly and very idealistically watching everything
  • Is naturally skilled communicators drawn to new ideas
  • Is future oriented may struggle with in-the-moment practical thinking
  • Is looking for meaning in absolutely everything and everyone
  • Needs to believe they have contributed something to life
  • Is deeply concerned with harmony and maintaining harmony is critical
  • May appear at times to be aloof and cool, but still water run deep
  • Does not have great respect for rules and regulations per se
  • Is typically attracted to the abstract and symbolic
  • Usually very open minded with a classless approach to people/society

Are they saying we INFPs are classless as in class-less? Or non classy?  Unassigning class? :)   Whichever, this looks pretty good.

Oohhh, under stress we also are known for :

  • May bit off more than they can chew when under stress
  • Will become rigid and perfectionist, feel very inadequate and self-critical
  • May begin to take everything very personally and feel hurt  (don’t make me turn off the comments and disable my email)

My favorite summary was on Personality Page.  Bizarrely accurate. Made sense why we make each other nuts when we don’t understand the core of who someone is created to be.

Curious about your character traits that might describe you? Check out Personality Pathways.com for a free inventory. There seem to be 16 combinations, and it was fun to see how close the results were.

I was relieved to find out that INFPs make good writers. At least I am not passionate about the wrong field!

 What is your opinion about these tests, take a quiz and come back here to share the results.

 

 

 

I Don’t Want To Brag, But Procrastination Is My Forte’

Standard

 The sweet stress of procrastination. Mmm. Does it make you feel warm and peaceful inside?

No?

Okay, I admit that might be a stretch. But is it all bad? Putting off until tomorrow what can be done today?

P1120019

This is my first adult memory of biting off more than I could chew creatively. With zero cross stitch experience, I confidently purchased this counted kit to make for my husband. Oh, not just zero experience in that, but mostly zero in all handiwork arts.

I made it through all of one row or so. Then, like any self-respecting quitter would do, I called Grandma. And passed it on. Then, she passed it on, until eventually my aunt saved Christ-a-mas.

The years have passed and I have become proficient at taking on countless more projects that I have zero experience in. Only now, I don’t quit. I may never finish, but I am okay with that. Process is a pleasing, albiet sometimes frustrating, place to sit.

Why you ask? (I asked myself the same question)

I love to learn, to experience, to create. I am not afraid, generally, of trying new things. I also am not afraid of dumping what doesn’t fulfill me. I used to wonder if that made me quitter supreme. In some instances, yes.

Mostly? No. It makes me creative, delightfully so.

That procrastination often drives me nuts, but only me. I don’t leave others hanging. I don’t promise things and not deliver to commitments.  For my eyes only though, procrastination abounds. And I am learning to look at the positives.

My kind of delay involves careful thought, consideration of many angles, all potential possibilities. I am a deep thinker and that can take a while. Putting off until tomorrow… if the creativity isn’t ready to display itself, then tomorrow it is.

I’ll be frank, sometimes this can be frustrating, the inability to focus and produce. I seldom have one thing going, in any area. 7 books reading at the same time. 4 projects all clamoring for space and attention. You get the picture. But…

When it comes? It will be worth the wait. I know this now, and I appreciate the surprise my own deferment can bring.

 How does your brain flow?

Zoom Out, Then Zoom In To See Life’s Details

Standard

Not all of the details of life are pretty.

Certainly we know people whose lives fray with messy edges. Sometimes, we are those people. (Tweet that)

With time and perspective we notice things that we were unaware of at the time. Details are impossible to see all at once.

I know that sometimes I want to cut out the stuff that isn’t pretty, flattering, or seemingly useful. But I risk cutting out things that make up a vivid life upon closer inspection.

I’ll share an example: I came across this photo from a long ago family Christmas. Just an average snapshot of life for a regular family.

Certainly life was not all rosy for them.

And yet…yet, there is so much beauty that was certainly missed the first time this picture was viewed.

Christmas orange

This picture hides many layers that seem to make an average shot, but there is more…

-I notice my grandma’s beauty. Shes about my current age here, all festive in red

-I see my aunt Kathy, only 11 years older than me. Just my daughter’s current age and I wonder how that could be! I remember how much care she gave to me as a child. Responsibility for me

-My grandparent’s three-legged Siamese cat Sammy lounges under the table, and I recall how I would rub that silky fur

-The tree in the corner, placed on a tiered stand my carpenter grandpa built

-Shiny little girl hair, once mine crowns a happy child’s head

-A high chair in the back would have held my younger cousins. I smile as I remember our antics and adventures

-Grandpa leans back in his chair, always the same chair…head of the table. In his everyday white t-shirt. He loved to watch the festivities on holidays

-Unseen? I know the layout of this house, though I haven’t seen it in a few decades. I see the black doorknobs and remember how the paint gathered near the old locks. The craftsman style built-in behind Grandpa. There was a pantry behind that wall. I remember the feel of the huge vent on the floor just to the left out of sight. How I would stand over it and watch it blow my clothing with delight. Behind us there would be a coffee table with delights only out at Christmas. A bowl of nuts, walnuts were my favorite. Ribbon candy.

There is so much unseen. An average home, a regular family. All playing parts in the fabric of my family tapestry.

There were frayed threads. Ugly spills.

Oh, but the final product. What beauty, what texture!

Don’t crop out the small things. They are building upon each other to capture something that isn’t finished yet.

Share this article with a friend. Let’s look closer, together.

Guest Post by Pilar Arsenec- “Dancing With Angels”

Standard

My final guest Advent post by my friend, Pilar Arsenec. Merry Christmas

angels

Dancing with Angels

Now that the Christmas season is upon us, I begin to reflect upon what it means to me.

Christmas has held different meanings through various stages of my life. As I’m getting older and have young children of my own, it holds yet another meaning.

I think my perspective began to change while I was pregnant with my first son. I remember going through old photos from my childhood and mourning the days of old.

The days when I would hear my maternal grandmother singing along to her favorite Christmas songs. All the while working diligently to prepare for her guests arrival.

Everything my grandmother did had a touch of class. She was a great hostess and an amazing chef. Read the rest of this entry