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Wednesday, January 4, 2012


It was back to school, after Christmas/holiday break, for students and teachers here in Hampton Roads and the rest of the country. And, guess who had to wake up early to go back to school to teach Chemistry? My wife.

It was back to college, for the eleven days' J-Term (January Term) for college students who enrolled in it (like my daughter) and for professors who are teaching the term. Other college students (like my daughter's roommate) left their campus before the holiday break started for study-abroad program. My daughter did this on her first year in college. She went to Berlin, Germany to learn more about the German culture. And, again in January 2011, she and her group went to Beijing, China, where they got involved in community service and taught English to elementary students there. Truly, traveling abroad is such a memorable life-learning experience for her.

It was back to work for those who have had a short holiday break, like my son (who left Hampton Roads after Sunday's church service, had to drop by in another city to have a get-together with his friends there, spent the night with them, then drove to his workplace in the Capital the following day, Monday afternoon ).

It was the coldest day so far in Hampton Roads, with low temperature in the mid to high 20s, yes, folks, below freezing! It was windy and so chilly to the bones! I witnessed a slight flurry (a light, brief shower of snow, that is),while I was in the parking lot at the Commissary, hauling my grocery with the help of Lydia, one of the temporary employees there, a family friend, too.

I tried (for the second time) cooking Cranberry Sauce and that Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, recipes I came across, by chance, watching the ever-popular YouTube. My first attempt at cooking the recipes was on New Year's Eve. They really tasted well! (Our New Year's Eve guests did confirm that they enjoyed them. And I believed them!) But this time, yesterday, it was kinda different! I'm talking about my cranberry sauce. My Brussels sprout recipe came out good, and a healthier one, because I used turkey bacon (the original recipe from that YouTuber and blogger.) On my New Year's Eve cooking, I used the available pork bacon, though. Now, to my cranberry sauce, this time. My, my, my, what did I do this time and why didn't it taste like my first? It did taste okay/good but didn't get that gelatinous look or appearance hours after cooking. It has more liquid in it instead of that solid sauce. I know what happened. On my first attempt, I used the available orange juice instead of tangerine juice (the ingredient in the original recipe). This time, I used that bottled grapefruit tangerine juice. And, I mixed or poured out the whole jar of that mandarin oranges to my pot of boiling cranberry. I should have sifted or removed the juice from the jar. Same with that can of crushed pineapple. I poured the whole content of crushed pineapple. And, I added an extra ingredient to the pot of cranberry sauce---a handful of loose seedless grapes. So, in the end, my cranberry sauce came out a little bit "watery," but nevertheless good, or okay. I know, my wife was flattering me when it didn't turn out like the first one. At least, I tried what I came to know or found out (from watching YouTube) and did it. To me that's learning, folks! Yes, we know that one of the ways to learn is doing it, and making adjustments afterwards (if it didn't turn out right) until it becomes perfect to your standard/s. I know, we can always try again and see what happens next. As they say, try and try until you succeed! Never give up! (Stay optimistic and positive, while alive and strong and healthy, and lovely!) "Keep smiling, keep shining..."

Well, speaking of another happening in the world of US politics. It was Iowa's Republican presidential caucuses yesterday. I know, I've said (and written in one of my so-called "published" short essay before) that I'm apolitical, although I exercise my right of suffrage as evidenced in the 2008 general/presidential election. Came out winner in the Iowa polls, by just eight votes (per NPR and other news media reports), was former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Second was former Pennsylvania US senator Rick Santorum. The rest of the Republican presidential candidates who participated in Iowa polls yesterday were Texas US congressman Ron Paul, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Texas governor Rick Perry, and Minnesota US representative Michelle Bachman. (News Update: Arizona US senator and former Republican presidential candidate (2008) John McCain has endorsed Mitt Romney as the Republican presidential candidate who will possibly face off US president Barak Obama in the November 6, 2012 Election.)

Yesterday, January 3rd was another special day; it has come and done, and gone. Bye, bye! Thanks to God, a new day is here! Let's welcome it with a smile, and a prayer of thanksgiving. Until next time around.-chris a.
quilpa, 04Jan2012

(P.S. Post Update, 22Jan2012: After a couple of weeks, Presidential Republican candidate and former US senator Rick Santorum was later on proclaimed the winner in  the Iowa caucuses, not former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney as earlier reported by the media. Per latest news media reports, Santorum won by 34 votes because there were ballots found not counted at that time.)

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