*Ahem* My Interview

August 17, 2008

My two bits

*taps microphone*

I have been given the honor of sitting under an interview conducted by Cass of Cass Knits and Midlife Musings. Is Cass really in midlife? That’s kind of scary because 1) she doesn’t act at all like an ol’ fuddy-dud, and 2) I am a day older than she is. See? Scary.

Well, anyway… let the interview commence. Please bear in mind that I am answering these questions at 1 in the morning, Eastern Standard Time, lol.

1. Tell me about your homeschooling journey: when and why did you start, what do you like most and least, and what’s the most important thing you have learned.

Oh, a serious question right off the bat. OK. I began my homeschooling journey when I was 6 years old. I was in public elementary school and the world was against me: I was painfully shy, I wore glasses, and I was the NEW girl in the school. It was rough. I used to beg and beg my mother, asking to stay home. She probably felt sorry for me, but she had six other kids and loved the all-day brick-building babysitter. You can imagine how much harder school was for me as I grew into adolescence. I guess you could say that, for me, the marvelous idea of homeschooling was born then.

The thing I like most about homeschooling is that the kids are getting a superior education. The thing I like least is that while I am funding my own children’s education without any help from tax money, I am paying through the nose to fund everyone else’s children to send them to public school. So I pay twice– once for my own kids (everything from tuition to their computers’ memory sticks), and then again for everyone else’s kids. It stinks, it really stinks. I am 100% in favor of property tax relief or vouchers.

2. When did you start blogging, and why. Why do you continue to blog, aside from the money.

I started blogging in 2001. It was a political blog. In it, I could vent my frustrations about the political and cultural morass I saw all around me. I quit after Terri Schiavo was put to death in Florida. I was so discouraged that I started to have angina pains. I walked away from it for a while.

I started up a little travel blog at Blogspot (before they were bought by Google and renamed Blogger) called New York Traveler. It was a fun way to journalize our little day trips. I then began New York Renovator when the kids and I started major renovations on our rickety 1855 home. I got so excited about blogging that a whole lot of blogs just started to pop out, like popcorn! Pop pop pop! I suppose I will always blog. Writing is the way to release my inner Shakespeare. I’ve always written, I do love short stories, and I have a very inquisitive nature. So perhaps I am “b-b-born to blog.” If I didn’t make money, I’d still blog. If I didn’t have computers or the Internet, I’d go back to writing in my notebooks.

3. Are you now where you meant to be 10 years ago. If so, how did you get there? If not, did you change your mind or get derailed (which isn’t always a bad thing)? Where do you want to be 10 years from now?

Ten years ago seems like a short time. Ten years ago I was in this exact same place, just with a Windows ME, 64MB RAM, and dial-up. Thank God for progress.

Seriously, I could write a BOOK about my experiences. Maybe I will someday. I did not have a very happy childhood, and I was on my own at age 17 to scrap out a living in Philadelphia and New York City. I had dreams and ambitions, but I ran out of guts. I realized, at age 18-and-a-half, that to be successful, I would have to bite, kick, claw, and scratch my way to the top. Couldn’t live with myself. So I went to the country, hooked up with Jesus Christ, and it’s been Him and me since. He’s added a few people in my life now… As a new Christian I had a desire to travel abroad– be a missionary or in a singing choir group. Marriage and kids changed that; I now hope that the kids will be missionaries or at least spend some time in that good service. As for me, I’ll probably grow old here, surrounded by the Upstate forests and winter snows. It’s a good life, but it’s much quieter than I ever imagined it would be. I’d still like to travel, though. I want to see the U.S., Switzerland, Scotland, and Greece.

4. What is your best piece of advice? Why? Who are you giving it to? Who told it to you?

Best piece of advice: Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things [that the world seeks] will be added to you. The Holy Spirit told me that, decades ago. I’m a high-strung person, and I tend to worry. When I remember His advice it gives me stability and peace. I now give that bit of advice to you, dear reader. Seek Him, and you will have peace of mind and soul. Oh, and here’s a bonus: bloom where you are planted.

5. What is your signature dish, and will you share the recipe? If so, please do.

My signature dish…. well, you take the creamy kind of peanut butter and spread it evenly on the bread, and then you take the strawberry jam….

haha. I don’t know what my signature dish is. I make a mean spaghetti and meatballs dinner. With homemade flax-seed bread. I’m an Italian-slanted cook. I’m not Italian, but I grew up in an Italian home in an Italian area of New York. I guess my blog identity is most known for Chicken Riggies. You can look up Chicken Riggies at Wikipedia and find a recipe there. That’s actually my recipe. Look at the footnote– it links to my blog. I didn’t post it; I don’t know how it got up there! But Chicken Riggies is a popular local dish, and it is yummy. The only reason I am associated with it is because I posted my recipe online on my travel blog, someone Stumbled it, and it spread like wildfire. So here it is.

Chicken Riggies

Will feed a small army or 3 to 4 Italians

* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 5 garlic cloves, chopped
* 1 white onion, chopped
* 3 or 4 hot cherry peppers (from the jar), seeded and chopped (add more if you are a glutton for punishment)
* 1 can tomato paste
* 2 cans (28 oz. or so) diced tomatoes
* 4 leaves freshly chopped basil, or 1 tablespoon dried basil
* 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
* 1/4 cup sherry (can use cooking sherry)
* 4 to 5 chicken breasts, grilled and cut into bite-size pieces*
* salt to taste
* freshly ground pepper to taste
* 1/2 to 2/3 cup light cream (depending on taste)
* 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese (optional)
* 2 1-lb. boxes of penne rigati or rigatoni

In olive oil, gently saute the garlic and onion until tender.
Add the cherry peppers, tomato paste, and canned tomatoes.
Cook on low for 20 to 25 minutes.
Add the sherry and chicken breast pieces and continue to cook on low for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a little water if mixture is dry.
Remove from heat. Add the light cream and Parmesan cheese, and stir in until lightly blended.
Pour mixture over hot cooked pasta. Top with mozzarella cheese.

*A note about the grilled chicken: I usually use my leftover grilled chicken that I had marinaded in olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a dinner the previous evening. However, you can use uncooked chicken breasts, too- just cut the raw meat into small cubes and cook them when you saute the garlic and onion.

(You can take out the Cajun seasoning if you prefer– I tend to put that stuff in everything!)

Thanks, Cass, for taking the time from your busy life to think of five great questions. And thanks for re-sending me the questions after I accidentally deleted them from my email. šŸ˜ hehe šŸ˜

I will now take requests from five others, as a reward for reading this far, which proves that you are either interested in me or love to read interviews, lol. So, if you have a desire to be interviewed, leave a comment asking for it. The first five people to comment will get some questions. Or, if I receive a flood of comments for some odd reason, I’ll randomly choose five folks for interviews. The questions will be of my choosing, and may be unusual, serious, or silly. I promise not to ask your age, your weight, or your mailing address, but I will promise to surprise you! Have at it.

2 Responses to “*Ahem* My Interview”

  1. Cass Says:

    This is a great interview. thanks so much for your honest and in-depth answers!

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