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Pamela D Lloyd
04 February 2015 @ 04:41 pm
Recently, I spent the day with my oldest son. Our visit was centered around food and discussions of creative projects, so it was a really satisfying day.

I'm a vegetarian; my son is not. He's become very interested in finding meals he can serve me, but that also meet his taste and that of his roommate. Our menu: broccoli & tomato quiche in a potato crust, paired with cream of mushroom soup. A bit rich for everyday fare, but wonderful as a treat.

The recipe we used for the potato crust we found at Taste of Home, in their Potato Crust Quiche Recipe. We lined a large, round, deep casserole dish with this. The crust turned out okay, but was not as good as we had hoped. The coursely grated potatos weren't as suited to a crust as mashed potatos might have been, and the crust seemed a bit undersalted. I'll admit, too, that I would have preferred a pastry crust, even though I was willing to experiment.

The quiche filling we put together blended elements from a couple recipes and made a few adjustments of our own. The primary recipes we started from included Broccoli Garlic Quiche from epicurious, and Tomato Quiche from Taste of Home.

Broccoli & Tomato Quiche Filling

  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 cup broccoli florets

  • 1 cup pear tomatos (like cherry in size, but more oblong), cut in half; plus, 2 pear tomatos, sliced (used as garnish)

  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped fine

  • 6 large eggs

  • 1 1/2 cups half and half

  • 1 1/2 cups sharp white cheddar cheese

  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese; plus more as garnish, to taste

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme


Preheat oven to 375°F.Saute the onion in the butter until translucent and golden. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the broccoli, tomatos (reserving the sliced tomatos), salt and pepper, nutmeg, and thyme and continue sauteing for 2-3 more minutes. Take the pan off the heat. In a bowl, whisk the eggs until well blended and a little frothy, then add the half and half. Blend the cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese into the egg mixture. Put about 1/4-1/3 of the vegetable mixture into the crust, then blend the remaining vegetable mixture with the egg mixture and pour this on top. Gently lay the tomato slices on the surface of the filling and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake 40 minutes, then check for doneness. Custard needs to be golden brown and set, with only a slight jiggle. Let sit 20 minutes before serving; custard will continue to set as it cools. (We needed to cook ours for an additional 20 minutes, or so, probably due to the depth of the dish we cooked the quiche in.)

The mushroom soup we made was based on the Food Network's Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup. Our budget didn't stretch to wild mushrooms, so we just used 16 ounces of plain white mushrooms; we used dried thyme, instead of fresh; and, we'd managed to miss the need to buy leeks, so we substitued 1 cup chopped onion for the 2 cups of chopped leeks. Oh, and we didn't have any white wine, so we used 1/8 cup of gin.

The quiche and the soup were both out of this world. 
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Pamela D Lloyd
02 February 2015 @ 08:50 pm
A student came into the writing center, distraught over an assignment. The assignment was to write about the most traumatic event of their life and how it had changed them. I suggested that perhaps the teacher would be willing to let the student write an alternate assignment, but the student had already asked, and the instructor had not been willing to do so.

The student showed me the attempted essay. Yes, it was personal and traumatic. It was also choppy and disorganized, not so much stream of consciousness as tiny pools of consciousness scattered randomly across the pages, which fits with what little I know about how people may react to truly traumatic events. One of the hardest aspects of my job is being faced with therapy-grade outpourings, but being constrained to adress only the writing aspects of the story. It can be very difficult to separate content from style, discussion of story from discussion of a personal nature.

I suggested that the student didn't have to tell this story. "But, that's the assignment. That's what we're supposed to do."

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I think I may have created a writer.
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Pamela D Lloyd
27 January 2015 @ 11:27 pm
As a writing tutor at my local community college, I've learned a tremendous amount about how to help beginning writers discover what they have to say, as well as how to say it clearly. I hope some of that skill has found its way into my own writing and editing process, too.

But, I'm not planning on writing a long post tonight, It's been a big day, it's getting late, and I really should be off the computer and getting ready for tomorrow. So, I'm just going to point you to writerunboxed 's recent post Editing, Uhh! What Is It Good For? in which Tom Bentley discusses this process from the perspective of someone who has worked as both an editor and a writer.
Current Mood: productiveproductive
Pamela D Lloyd
26 January 2015 @ 11:47 am
A few days ago, heleninwales mentioned that she uses HabitRPG to help keep her on track with getting things done. Knowing that I'm someone who enjoys games and finds the types of rewards found in games motivating, I have sometimes wondered if there was a way to apply those types of rewards to my real life. Well, it turns out that HabitRPG does just that; it helps people to apply game rewards, and penalties, to our real lives. And, it's customizable. You get to decide what activities are important to you, how important they are, and whether rewards or penalties apply. There are four lists for things you want to do: Habits, Dailies, To-Dos, and Rewards.

So, I signed up. And guess what, that very evening, I started seeing positive changes in my behavior. For one thing, getting off the interwebs early enough that I can get myself in bed at the time of my choosing has been an issue for me; too often I crawled in bed later than I wanted to, either shorting myself on sleep, or getting up later than was ideal. Just having a Habit identified (I've actually got three related Habits, getting to bed on time, getting up on time, and getting at least 8 hours of sleep) helped me to get myself to bed at my chosen time. I woke up early the next morning. Plus, I got more things done, in large part because they were on my Habits or Dailies lists, but also because getting up earlier helps me to be more effective.

I used to think I was a night owl, but I've been coming to recognize in recent years that that isn't really true of my actual experience. Sure, it's easy to stay up late—in fact, it's often hard not to—but I'm just not as efficient when I get up late. Go figure! Either my body has changed as I've aged, or I've been wrong about this for most of my life.

Back to HabitRPG. I'm still working up to To-Dos. I've assigned some things to the list, but haven't actually started working on any of them. This will happen, I'm sure. But, right now, I'm still working on just getting all the immediate items on my schedule done, and done on a new, earlier schedule. No more dawdling in bed in the mornings because I was up until the wee hours of the night. No more putting stuff that ought to be done every day off, just because I've spent too much time doing things I don't really need to do. Huzzah for a happier, more balanced life!

I'm also thinking about connecting tasks in HabitRPG to items in Trello, which I used to use regularly. Trello's interface is similar, in some ways, to HabitRPG's, but much more customizable and without the reward system. It's focus is on organization and keeping track of tasks.

The one thing lacking from all this is an integrated timer. For that, I'll probably use Reminderfox. Reminderfox is another application I've used for quite some time, but I haven't been leveraging its features to help me keep on top of everything. In fact, these days, I probably use the timer feature more than any other.

I'm hoping that with the help of these three apps, I can waste less time, be more effective, and get more done.

P.S. Just so you know, today when I logged into HabitRPG, there was a message that included mention of a Spread the Word Challenge. There are in-game rewards for writing a blog post or sharing on social media about HabitRPG. I don't expect to actually win, since the winners are based on "the most likes/notes/favorites/upvotes/etc." and I don't have the kind of web presence likely to result in a lot of this type of activity, but it just feels fair to let you know that I've entered.
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Pamela D Lloyd
24 January 2015 @ 08:33 am
Hello. It's been a while. I'm trying to get back into the LJ habit, as I miss the interactiveness and in-depth conversations.
Current Mood: hopefulhopeful
Pamela D Lloyd
29 January 2014 @ 11:18 pm
Today, one of my friends, a librarian, asked for help from the community in defeating Arizona House Bill 2379. This bill would, according to the library director, slash funding to Arizona's system of county libraries. She recommended that we contact our state representatives, and provided a link to the Arizona State Legislator "How to Contact Member" page.

Since I live in Arizona District 3, my state legislators are Senator Olivia Cajero Bedford, Representative Sally Ann Gonzales, and Representative Macario Saldate IV, all democrats.

Here is the text of the letter I sent to them:

Dear Senator Bedford and Representatives Gonzales and Saldate,
I am writing to you today in support of all of the public library systems in the state of Arizona, and specifically for the Pima County Public Library system, and to urge you to oppose the passage of Arizona House Bill 2379. It's my understanding that passage of this bill would have disastrous consequences for our public libraries, reducing the funds for library services so severely that as many as twelve branches might close, hours and services at remaining branches be reduced, and library employees laid off.
This would be a terrible disservice to the people of Pima County and to all Arizonans. Our libraries provide us with far more than the books, computer and internet access, homework and job help, English and GED classes, early childhood literacy programs, and other services that are part of their mandate, but also with a sense of community and hope. Our libraries represent the opportunity that knowledge and learning can bring, and are essential to building and maintaining a healthy, prosperous society.
I hope that you will agree with me that it is extremely important that our libraries fill a vital and fundamental role in the well-being of Arizona, and that you will stand with the citizens of Arizona in ensuring that our libraries will continue to be fully funded.
Pamela D. Lloyd

If you live in Arizona, I urge you to contact your representatives and to express your support for our public library system. You are welcome to use what I wrote, if you would prefer not to compose your own letter. Thank you.

This entry was originally posted on Dreamwidth at pameladlloyd. Feel free to respond at either location.
Current Location: Tucson, Arizona
Current Mood: determineddetermined
Pamela D Lloyd
12 December 2013 @ 01:29 am
Genealogy, and genealogy blogs, tend to focus on the past. But, tonight, I'd like to share a bit of the present. For the last couple of years, I've been making calendars to help my stepson Fritz, who has Down's Syndrome, better understand how long he has to wait for important events, such as his birthday or Christmas. Fritzie loves his calendars and loves marking off the days, which he does with the help of a family member, usually his dad.

Here's this year's advent calendar:
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What else are we doing this year? We're baking biscotti. Or, to be more accurate, my husband is baking biscotti with Fritzie's help, although I hope to be able to help with tomorrow's batch. He's made at least four different batches so far, in a variety of flavors, and we're all chiming in with suggestions for new flavor combinations. Tonight's batch is orange-almond. I managed to snag a taste from the small stack of imperfect cookies that won't be going back into the oven for their second baking, so I can attest to the fact that they're very yummy.

ETA: Crossposted from my genealogy blog at: http://search4rootsandbranches.blogspot.com/2013/12/new-traditions.html
This entry was originally posted on Dreamwidth at pameladlloyd. Feel free to respond at either location.
Current Location: Tucson, Arizona
Current Mood: happyMerry & Bright
Pamela D Lloyd
I managed to announce this on most of my social networking sites, but not here. I was asked to do a guest blog post for a genealogy wiki, called WikiTree, and my first post went live on Tuesday. You can find Pamela's Perspective (Their name! I never thought to name it, somehow.) on the WikiTree blog. This is my first guest post for someone else's blog, so I was thrilled to be asked to participate.

You might also have seen my occasional mentions of posts on Searching for Roots and Branches. Searching for Roots and Branches is my journal of genealogical discovery, where I explore various aspects of genealogy, anything from a photo of an ancestor or other relative, to a biographical sketch, to a detailed examination of my research and proof process. This evening, instead of getting work done, I posted about a a sudden nostalgia I was feeling in An Unusual Lullaby: The Whiffenpoof Song. My husband tells me it's a weird post, but "in a good way." Go figure.

While I'm posting about blogging, perhaps I should mention that I also blog on Red Poulaine's Musings. This is a joint blog which my husband and I write. Red Poulaine's Musings started shortly after we opened an Etsy store, Red Poulaine, where we sell vintage postcards and photographs. In our item listings, we include a lot of historical information about the people featured in the images, the photographers who took the pictures, and other historical tidbits and trivia related to the paper ephemera we sell. (My genealogy work sometimes comes in handy when we're researching the people associated with the images, allowing us to share information not easily found elsewhere.) Our shop had readers! So, we decided to create a blog and give people who don't visit our shop a chance to read some of the historical work we do. Although almost every image we sell has a story associated with it, we don't manage to post as often to our blog as we post pictures in the shop. We wish we could, but there's only so much two busy people can manage. Still, we hope that the stories and history we share on our blog is interesting and fun for our readers.
This entry was originally posted on Dreamwidth at pameladlloyd. Feel free to respond at either location.
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Pamela D Lloyd
A young writer, whom I'll call Jaylin, recently asked me an interesting question: "Who are the best new science fiction writers of the decade?" Jaylin mused about the issue of literary versus genre fiction and their different writing goals, and we discussed the fact that there are some authors whose work crosses the great divide between these two. But, the focus of our conversation was really about what makes writing really good, and the difficulty of knowing which current and contemporary writers are likely to stand the test of time.

One thing that became very clear to me over the course of the conversation is that my awareness of what is current in science fiction, who our most respected authors are, is very outdated. So, I'm hoping that my readers (if I have any left) will help out by sharing their thoughts on the new and emerging writers of this century, by answering this question:

Who would you nominate to be on the list of the best science fiction authors of this century? Please explain, if you can, why they should be on this list.

Thank you!

This entry was originally posted on Dreamwidth at pameladlloyd. Feel free to respond at either location.
Current Mood: curiouscurious
Pamela D Lloyd
I've published another post on my genealogy blog, this time about two of my great grandparents and their children:

Alpheus McClelland Rote and Ella E. Ward, and their Children

ETA: Looks like I missed yesterday's post: Mom Won Big Bucks in DAR-Sponsored Contest, Circa 1933.

This entry was originally posted on Dreamwidth at pameladlloyd. Feel free to respond at either location.