Finding Balance

Recently, I was part of a nice “conversation” on Facebook about New Years Resolutions. I haven’t set any New Years resolutions for quite a few years now – I realized a while back that when I try to make resolutions because of a special occasion, they weren’t authentic resolutions so I didn’t stick to them. Don’t get me wrong, I still set personal goals as I need them, I just don’t feel the need to set any JUST because it’s a New Year.

Anywho, my friend mentioned he was looking to find more balance in his life this year. What a wonderful resolution! It got me to thinking about my own life and the balance that exists (or not) within. How does one find balance? Before a person can start finding balance, maybe a few questions must be asked.

  • What does one try to find balance between?
  • What’s weighing one down?
  • What in one’s life is unimportant and can be discarded or released?
  • What’s missing in one’s life?

I’m sure there are quite a few more questions that can be asked but they’re probably more personal to each person trying to find that balance. What are some ways you’ve found balance in your life? Or, if you’re willing to share, what are some of the answers to the questions above for you? What other questions could we ask in finding balance?

I think it is very important that we all try to keep balance in our lives. Of course, “balance” means something different to each and every person so the process will look different for every person. I’d love to hear what you’d like to share about it!

Love you, mean it!


Basic Meatloaf

I really enjoy meatloaf. I have a couple of “fancy” meatloaf recipes (if you can call any type of meatloaf fancy) I’ve tried in the past but I can’t remember the last time I made a simple, traditional meatloaf. Today, I went online to the Food Network website to find Paula Dean’s “Old-Fashioned Meatloaf” recipe and give it a try. I baked it in my Pampered Chef mini-loaf pan so instead of one decent sized meatloaf, I have four small ones! Unfortunately, I didn’t take pictures so you’ll just have to take my word on how easy it is and that it does indeed look like meatloaf. Here’s the recipe, which does include a few of my modifications:

Paula Dean's Old-Fashioned Meatloaf

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print



  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 tsp pepper
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • 1/2 medium bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 8 oz can diced tomatoes (with 1/2 juice)
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs


  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1 Tbs yellow mustard
  • seasonings to taste


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine all meatloaf ingredients in a bowl. Place in loaf pan or baking dish (shape into loaf if without loaf pan). Mix ingredients for topping and spread on loaf. Bake for 1 hour.

There you go. Simple, no? Enjoy!

Blog format update

I’ve been poking around Pinterest a lot lately and have found many blogs of recipes have a nice way to print just the recipe and not everything else that people like to blog with the recipe itself. I’ve posted a few recipes, most of the time trying to put the ingredient list at the top so there some ease of use to my blog, but have been wondering lately how to make that easily printable recipe card appear. (Sorry for that run-on sentence. My coffee obviously hasn’t kicked in yet.) I think I found the code to make the recipe card work. Here’s my test post on it:

Cathy's Test Recipe Card

  • Servings: 0, it's just a test
  • Difficulty: quite easy, if I do say so myself
  • Print


  • A good webhost support support page
  • Easy to use blog format
  • A minute or two to search for what I’ve been looking for
  • Directions:
    Combine three ingredients. Wala, you’re good to go!

    Did it work? If so, I’ll try to go back and update my older recipe blogs with this formatting but I’ll definitely use this for future recipes!

    On an aside, I found a recipe on Pinterest for “fried” pickles you actually bake in the oven. I may try that recipe today and blog about it. I pinned it but I have to tell ya, the original blog was written in a very clumsy manner and took FOREVER to get to the actual recipe. If you’re going to blog a recipe, talk about the food, not for paragraphs on end about your childhood and other things that don’t have to do about the food. And put your pictures (smaller, please) with the instructions. I have no idea how a jar of pickles has to do with being 12 and having the responsibilities of an 18 year old…. Vent over. Sorry about that.

    Posts of 2013 in review

    The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

    Here’s an excerpt:

    A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,600 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 27 trips to carry that many people. All for the 6 posts I wrote this year!

    Click here to see the complete report.

    Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo)

    My friend Megan posted on Facebook about making these delights. I can’t tell you exactly when I first had them but almost every Brazilian restaurant serve them and they are delicious! You have to be careful though – they fill you up a lot quicker than you’d imagine. I made these for a pot luck and they were a HIT! I now know what I’ll take to many pot lucks in the future because they are so easy to make. Next time, I’m going to try adding roasted red peppers or garlic or jalapeños. What other flavors do you think would go well with this recipe?

    1 egg (have at room temp)
    1/3 cup olive oil
    2/3 cup milk
    1 1/2 cup tapioca flour
    2/3 to 3/4 cup (packed) shredded cheese – queso fresco is preferred but sharp cheddar works well.
    salt to taste (use about 1 tsp the first time)

    These will need to bake in a mini-muffin pan. This will make a batch of around 16.

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

    In a blender, pulse all ingredients until smooth. Tapioca flour is much like corn starch and not like flour. It will stick to the side of the blender so have a spatula ready to scrape downy he sides as you blend.

    If your muffin tin isn’t non-stick, you will want to grease before filling. When you fill the mini-muffin tin, fill each one about 3/4 or so full. They will puff up while baking so don’t worry about filling each one to the brim.

    Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. When ready, they will be puffy and lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool before serving.

    This recipe originally came from the Simply Recipes website – What is posted here is the original recipe with my modifications and recommendations.


    I’ve been in pain for about a week now and I can’t wait to see the chiropractor on Monday afternoon!! Last Tuesday, I woke up and my upper back hurt so much that I thought I was going to throw up. I took a very hot shower, which helped to relax some of the aching muscles, and headed to work. Thank goodness the athletic trainers at THS are just has helpful as Coach Bowman and Coach K were at SPHS! I got a 15 minute electro-shock treatment (I like to joke and call it electro-shock therapy but I have no idea what it’s actually called) and headed to the middle schools. The rest of the week was rounding out okay and my back wasn’t hurting nearly as much, thanks to Aleve and hot showers.

    Then on Friday I woke up really cold – the thermostat said my house was 10 degrees colder than I’d had set it for. After a hot shower to get my brain working, I went out to the heater and saw that the pilot was lit but no fire on the burners. 😐 Turns out the HVAC unit is unrepairable so I get a new one….on Tuesday! Thank goodness for a great landlord because he left me two space heaters that have kept the living room and master bedroom nice and warm.

    Having to go to the cold rooms in the house for various reasons hasn’t helped my back. The pain is mostly in my neck and shoulders today. I’ve managed to get some laundry done as well as unload/load the dishwasher. That’s about it though. I’m having a hard time thinking about what I need to do, much less get much done. So if this blog entry has bits and pieces that don’t make sense, that’s why. I can’t wait for tomorrow’s chiropractor’s appointment!

    Love you, mean it!

    Gotta have a good closet.

    I live in an older home here in Amarillo (very Frank Lloyd Wright inspired, 1950s era home). It’s a 4 bedroom house with very little closet space. In fact, one of the closets has been made even smaller when the landlord created a 2nd bathing space (stand up shower and sink in the room). So I decided to make the 9’x 8′ room into a walk-in closet. I have been able to finish 95% of the room with inexpensive (~$25-$30 each) closet solutions from Walmart as well as the dresser from IKEA I’ve had for several years now. I was home to grab some lunch one day when I heard a crash in one of the bedrooms and found one of the closet solutions had crashed down from the weight of the clothes. I have mostly blazers and long sleeve shirts on that one so I guess it just got too heavy for the plastic end pieces at the bottom.

    Today, I went to Home Depot to get some supplies to build my own closet solution. I can now see why they offer such inexpensive closet solutions at Walmart and any other choices are expensive. Here are the parts (from the floor up) I got for my hanging rack. All the parts are galvanized steel.

  • 4 – 1″ floor flange $9.96/ea
  • 4 – 1″ street elbow $4.24/ea
  • 4 – 1″ x 6″ nipple $3.36/ea
  • 4 – 1″ tee $4.56/ea
  • 2 – 1″x close nipple $1.66/ea
  • 2 – 1″ x 3/4″ bushing $2.96/ea
  • 2 – 3/4″ x 36″ pipe $15.58/ea
  • 2 – 1″ x 60″ pipe $19.55/ea
  • 2 – 1″ x 3/4″ reducing elbow $2.3.76/ea
  • I also got a pair of pliers that would help me put everything to together. So, the total cost was just at $200.00. Definitely more than the $25-$30 I paid for the others, but hopefully worth it.

    If you’re going to put this together, it’s important that you remember it’s not about making all the joints as tight as they can be but about making sure all the openings line up correctly (90 degree angles). So here’s what I did:

    On both sides of your rack, you have 2 floor flanges connected to the street elbows. Those go into the 6″ long nipple, which connect together using one of the tees (middle joint facing upwards).
    Floor portion

    From there, connect the 1″ x close nipple (I can think of no clean reason why they would call any of these pipes nipples) into the tee and another tee into the nipple (middle joint facing inward).

    Next, I connected the two sides together with the 3/4″ x 36″ pipe (actually also called a nipple) using the 1″ x 3/4″ bushing.

    Here’s where it can start to get tricky. I realized that with a closed “circuit” like this, at some point I’m going to be disconnecting a side as I’m connecting another. If you connect the top portion to the “legs”, there’s no way to connect that to the bottom portion completely, etc. So I connected the 1″ x 3/4″ reducing elbow to the 1″ x 60″ pipe (again, called a nipple) and connected those to the bottom section (sorry, no picture of that step).

    Then I connected the top crossbar (where my clothes will eventually hang) to one side as far as I could screw it in. Then I pulled the other side over (because of the reducing bushings at the bottom, it’s a touch narrower at the top than bottom) and as I unscrewed the side I just tightened, it screwed in the other. I’m fairly sure it’s at halfway screwed on both sides. Ta da, you’re hanging rack is done!!

    Last tip – you’ll notice as you put this all together, your hands will be filthy. Wet a paper towel with hot water, put one squirt of dish soap on it and wipe down the whole thing. After that, “rinse” by doing the same thing with another paper towel without any soap on it. That second paper towel shouldn’t turn very grey at all.