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Esperanza Rising Book Review

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Esperanza RisingEsperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan was a surprisingly good novel set in Post Revolutionary Mexico and Great Depression Era California.  Esperanza is a young girl who was born into a wealthy family and has never known poverty.  That is, until her father is killed by bandits, and her uncles take over the land.  Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their home to avoid a forced remarriage of Esperanza’s mother.  The two, along with three loyal servants steal away in a mango cart toward California and the promise of freedom.
In California, Esperanza learns what it is like to be poor and an immigrant.  She learns to work hard, to make do, and to think about someone other than herself. Like the mythical Phoenix she rises from the ashes to remake herself.  This was an excellent book and one I want to share with my students.

View all my reviews

Weekly Photo Challenge: One Shot in Two Ways

 

Smoky Mountains 2013 149

Smoky Mountains 2013 150

My recent trip to the Smokey Mountains resulted in these beautiful shots of the clouds over the peaks. The best part was driving through the misty clouds on twisty-turny roads up and down the Tennessee and North Carolina Smokeys. Clearly, this is an example of why they are called the “Smokey Mountains”.

 

Check out these other Weekly Photo Challenge interpretations:

Post Cards from Around the World…

Serendipitous Cookery

Around and About the Pacific Northwest

Javanese Wanderer

 

 

©Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Make Your Own Curtain Rods

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Final Result

Necessity breeds invention!

Today, I came home from work and found my curtains pulled down from the wall. Thank you dogs.  The curtain rods were twisted and the brackets that held the rods up were pulled out of the wall.  So, off to the Home Depot I went to buy new curtain rods.

What I didn’t realize was just how expensive pre-made curtain rods were going to be for my space and situation.  I would have paid well over $100, not the $35 that I did spend,  if I had not thought of a better solution.  I have included my solution here so that all my reader’s can take advantage of this brain storm, too.

My materials are for double-rod system, 120 inches long, to cover my bow window in the living room. You can adjust your materials to fit your needs by simply asking a employee from the hardware store to trim your rods to size.

 

Materials

2 packages of Martha Stewart Living 1 3/8 in wood brackets for double rod

2 PCV pipes 120″ long and 3/8″ thick

2 Rubber protectors for the bottom of chairs 1″

1 can of white spray paint

sandpaper

screwdriver

drill

drill bits and screw heads

Directions

1.  Sand the PCV pipes to remove any lettering and to prep the pipes for spray paint.  Wipe them down after sanding.  Spray paint at least two coats of white paint to hide the lettering.

2.  Once the PCV pipes are dry, hang the wood brackets at the correct height and width over your window, using the instructions on the package.

3.  Slide your curtains onto the PCV pipe and then put the chair stoppers on the ends of the pipes.  This looks decorative and no one will know that you used a pipe as a rod.

4. Hang your curtains and enjoy a sturdy, beautiful look.

Final Result

If you try this method of hanging curtain rods, please share your results with a note and some pictures.  I’d love to see what others invent. Happy Creating!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

©Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Almond-Crusted Chicken

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Almond-Crusted Chicken
So good!

Almond-Crusted Chicken

This is a yummy way to make crusted chicken without the traditional bread crumbs. This is a tasty recipe for those who are wheat and gluten-free. I adapted the recipe from the Wheat Belly Cookbook, by William Davis, MD. Since we have been diagnosed with wheat/gluten allergies, dairy allergies and the list goes on…I am finding some creative ways to make good food.  Hopefully, this share will help someone else eat good!

Grapeseed Oil, Dijon Mustard, sea salt, and black pepper

Grapeseed Oil, Dijon Mustard, sea salt, and black pepper

Ingredients

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup almonds, chopped

1/2 cup flaxseed meal

2 large boneless skinless chicken breast

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 375. Coat a baking stone or a baking sheet with coconut oil. (I used a cooking spray coconut oil).

2.  In a shallow bowl, combine the oil, mustard, salt, and pepper.  In a large Ziploc baggy, combine the almonds and flaxseed meal.

almond chicken 3 almond chicken 4

Dip chicken in mustard mixture, then into the almond-.flaxseed meal

Dip chicken in mustard mixture, then into the almond-.flaxseed meal

3.  Place the chicken breasts in a between 2 sheets of waxed paper or in a large Ziploc baggy, and pound with a meat mallet or a pie roller to 1/2″ thickness.  Dip chicken in the mustard mixture, spreading with a spatula to coat evenly. Put chicken in the Ziploc bag with the almonds and flaxseed meal. Be sure to coat both sides. Place the chicken on the baking stone or sheet.

4.  Bake for 25 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest portion registers 165 F and the juices run clear.

So good!

So good!

Servings: 4

Categories: Wheat and Gluten-Free

Source: Wheat Belly Cookbook by William Davis, MD

Copyright © 4/ 14/ 2013 Grandmother Musings

©Grandmother Musings 2013.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Brookfield Zoo in the Spring

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All pictures are the property of @Grandmother Musings 2013

Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination

The Illumination of 50

2012 was a year when those who were born in 1962 marked their half-century birthday.  It is an eye-opening and illuminating event when 50 candles are lit on the birthday cake.  Not only do we see fire and smoke, but also we experience a feeling that makes us think…”Wow! I have been around for a while!”  It is quite illuminating!

Birthday cake of Illumination

Birthday cake of Illumination

©GrandmotherMusings 2013

 

The Good Stuff Jar

good stuff jar

This is a great idea!  This was shared with me on Facebook, and I liked it so much that I made my own jar.  So often we are tempted to forget all the “good stuff” that happens to us daily and remember only the bad.  This jar will help to remind us of all those wonderful things that we experience throughout the year.  Here is how to make a jar of your own.

1.  Find a jar or can with a lid.

2. Decorate it and personalize it.

3. Keep the jar in a place where you will see it.

4. You may wish to put some small pieces of paper and a pen by the jar. (I keep a post-it pad by my jar.)

5.  Write down those “Good” moments!

6. Open the jar on New Year’s Eve 2013 and experience all those “Good Stuff” times all over again.

7. Enjoy!

 

©Grandmother Musings 2013

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