Tuesday, September 30, 2008

One of the books I'm reading

I'm currently reading a cookbook called "How to Cook Everything: The Basics" by Mark Bittman. It's awesome! In it the author gives simple, classic American recipes, like beef stew, fried eggs, basic yeast bread, traditional apple pie, and chicken soup. I haven't had the chance to make a lot of the dishes yet (using his recipes), but I'm looking forward to trying them. This would be a great housewarming gift for newlyweds or young people.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Blessings of Blizzards...DQ Blizzards, that is

DQ has a new blizzard flavor: pumpkin pie!! I can't wait to try it. What is it about Blizzards that make for such good conversations?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Words I Can't Spell

"Exercise" stumped me for the longest time. Now I get it.

"misspelling" - two s's or one?

"self-awareness" (or any word with "self" that comes before it) - one word? one hyphenated word? two words?

"Gemutlichkiet," obviously. MUCH easier to spell free beer Fridays.

My last name - took 3 months to learn to spell. My brother David reminds me that it can be spelled to the Mickey Mouse song. "S - T - I - E - G - E -" (are you singing it yet?) "M - E - Y - E - R"

Oh, it seems like there are so many more. But it's a Friday night, and I'm brain dead. What words do you find a challenge?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Foods I remember from childhood

Last night, over pork chops, we were talking about foods we remember and liked from childhood. Scott liked pork chops and tuna casserole. I dredged up some memory about salmon loaf. Ew. Then I remembered how the smell of sauerkraut filled the whole house. Neither of those were my favorites. Foods I love that my mom makes (or made): meatloaf, potato salad, nest eggs, these yummy German dumplings (shoot, I forget the name--Mom, help), spritz cookies, cream cheese cookies, and many more dishes that I'm undoubtedly forgetting. I wonder what Jacob will remember from my cooking. Yikes. That's kind of a scary thought.

P.S. Did you know there is a national meatloaf appreciation day? Isn't that awesome? (October 18, by the way.)

My question is: what is your favorite food you remember from childhood? Do you make it?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

One thing about working...

In the last few months I've worked more out of the house than I have in years. I enjoy working with students, especially my ESL students (who are quite a lively group this fall!). I also have really enjoyed getting to know the other instructors at IPFW. One of the nice things about working is having people to bounce ideas off of, to vent frustrations to, and to compare notes with (sheesh, all those prepositions were sure dangling, eh?). Writing can be a lonely venture, and I find that if I have too much time at home on my own, trying to plow through projects that I get a little too wrapped up in my own thoughts and troubles. Feeling a sense of usefulness and purpose is also a blessing of work--and that's especially true when writing contracts are too few and far between. None of that is to say that being a wife and mother is unfulfilling. But I believe that work, within reasonable limits (so that my sanity can be maintained) can work. This morning a new friend and I were able to vent to each other about laundry and dirty floors and whatever else before we each headed off and taught our classes. That was nice.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Last night I made Thai Chicken for dinner. It was yummy. Here is the link to the recipe from Cooking Light. It had a number of ingredients I don't normally have on hand, like fish sauce (ew, that just sounds nasty) and an Asian hot chili sauce, oh--and light coconut milk. But it all came out great. I made brown rice in my steamer (a wise suggestion by Peperkorn) and added a vegetable. One of my more successful cooking adventures. If anyone wants to try it (who lives near me), you can borrow my bottle of fish sauce and chili sauce. Seriously. Best of all, it was fairly healthy and not too fattening (always a bonus).

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Gobble is official! My new book, Gobble-Gobble-Crash! A Barnyard Counting Bash, published by Dutton Children's Books, was released a couple of weeks ago. Yea!

In other news...September has really sped by. My life is fairly hectic right now, more hectic than I like. I'm enjoying my students and colleagues, but...well, life is just very hectic. When I'm not prepping for classes, I'm grading papers, driving carpool, fixing meals, buying groceries...that's pretty much it.

Before church today, I revised a manuscript that has been waiting for me, and tomorrow night, I'll get some critiques on another book I've been working on. So those are good things. It's difficult to balance teaching and writing, and I'm still searching for that better balance.

Last week, I got to have a little book signing on another project I worked on about a year ago (or was it longer? I forget). Here are Adriane Dorr and I signing copies of A New Song, a series of devotional books for women published by Concordia Publishing House. (This website lists the author as "Jane Fryar; various" - I'm one of the various!) Adriane Dorr wrote for the second volume. This series is based on the psalms, intended to be a resource for women's groups. Each author wrote five faith narratives on a single psalm. Mine was Psalm 49. Thank you, Lauren, for the photo!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


Phew! It's been a busy week-and-a-day. I've started a new semester of teaching at IPFW--the Indiana/Purdue extension in Fort Wayne. There are 11,000 students there this fall, so it's a little bigger than where I've taught in the past. So far, things are going well. I'm getting to know the students and figuring out a routine.

In the midst of that, I've been revising one manuscript, and writing a new one. We'll see how those progress. I think after this week, or maybe after next, I'll start feeling more on top of the teaching work load and better able to find more time for writing.

We're a little worried about our Lucy, our dog. She's had a bad limp in her hind left leg for the last couple of weeks. The vet thought it might be arthritis, but it seems to be getting worse. So we're going to get her into the vet again tomorrow to get an x-ray. It might be arthritis, but we just want to know what's going on and see if we can get her some help. We haven't been able to go on our walks for a few days, and we both miss it.