Happy New Year! I hope all your hopes and dreams for 2017 have come to fruition and that you’ve turned your attention to making the most of 2018!
I believe in making resolutions; they give you the focus to complete certain tasks. Resolutions can be made any time of the year, and should be in some cases, but it’s traditional to make them for the fresh start of a new year and it’s all in good fun!
- Address my social anxiety.
- Buy a custom jacket for my wedding ring.
- Complete all of the Spanish lessons in Duolingo.
- Film video diaries for my future family.
- Landscape the front yard.
- Paint the Kitchen cupboards.
- Pay off my Navient loan.
- Play and complete eighteen video games.
- Play Pollyanna’s glad game every day.
- Reach my goal weight.
- Read and complete eighteen books.
- Research our family history.
- Research retirement investments.
- Sell 36 of my garlands.
- Start a family.
- Start a kitchen garden.
- Take three road trips.
- Watch the most popular movie (via imdb) of each year, from my birth year until now.
Here in the United States, Thanksgiving day is a national annual holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, marked by religious services and a traditional meal including a turkey or ham. Of course each family is different, some may not attend religious services and some may not eat turkey or ham, but that’s not the point. I’ve always felt the main focus is to be together with the people you love and eat a meal together, thankful for all you have.
After all the definition of the word Thanksgiving is the expression of gratitude.
This is a special day where we all express our love and gratitude for the special people, circumstances and objects of our lives. A lot of people, including myself, lose sight of how wonderful aspects of our life really are.
I’ve created a list (in no particular order) of the things I am thankful for in my life right now and I hope that I can remember, on more than just this day, what makes my life special.
I am thankful…
- That I am alive.
- That I am in good health.
- That I have shelter.
- That I have food and water.
- That I have a husband who loves me.
- That I have a family who loves me.
- That I have two lovable cats.
- That I have a job.
I am thankful for so much more, but I will stop there. Just remember that there is always something to be thankful for in your life, even if you have to bring it down to the basics.
Does anyone out there ever bring gifts for their host or hostess anymore?
I will admit I have been very neglectful of this when I attend gatherings at friends and families homes, but I think it’s time to turn over a new leaf, bring the classy back, and start showing our gratitude to those who go through the effort of hosting us for the day, evening or longer.
If you are feeling like you would like to get your host(ess) a gift there are a variety of gifts you can try, gifts like:
- Beverages (Beer, cider, tea, wine, etc.)
- Card or Board Games
- Flowers (Cut bouquets or potted plants)
- Gift Cards
- Hosting accessories (Decorations (decor), kitchenware etc.)
- Treats (Savory or Sweet)
Whatever you choose to give, you will be spreading warmth and cheer back to your host/hostess, who in turn will spread warmth and cheer to you and their other guests.
I love snacking on roasted pumpkin seeds! So delicious, easy to eat and prepare, and with numerous health benefits, who could say no? Traditionally I make large batches every year after we carve our Halloween Jack-O-Lanterns and snack on them for weeks!
I do not use oil in this recipe.
- Pumpkin seeds
- Seasoned salt (optional)
As you carve your pumpkins, keep all the seeds in a bowl. I find it easier to separate the seeds and pulp into two separate bowls as I go, rather than sort that mess out later.
Throw the seeds into a colander and rinse under cold water, stirring with your hands to make sure all the seeds are all rinsed thoroughly.
Place the seeds in a medium saucepan. Add 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of salt for each half cup of seeds.
Bring the saltwater and seeds to a boil for 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Coat a baking sheet with whichever nonstick cooking spray you prefer and spread the drained seeds out in a single layer.
I took this opportunity to sprinkle seasoned salt over the damp seeds. You are welcome to leave them with just the salt that was boiled into them, or add any variety of other toppings depending on your taste.
Cook the seeds until dry and crispy, this could take an hour or more. Remember to stir occasionally so the seeds get baked evenly.
Let them cool for a few minutes…then let the snacking begin!
Closure Microreview – 16/20!
Closure is a unique independent puzzle/platformer video game developed by programmer Tyler Glaiel and artist Jon Schubbe, with music and sound by Chris Rhyne, that focuses on the concept of light and dark.
Closure reveals a dark world where landscapes and objects only exist when and where the light touches. Gameplay features maneuvering light sources (fixed lamps and light orbs the player can carry) to phase objects in and out and therefore manipulate the environment for platforming. Due to real-time lighting of each level, there can be various solutions to get from point A to B by manipulating portions of platforms. Keep in mind: If it can’t be seen, it doesn’t exist. It’s possible to jump through walls and fall through floors, push boxes through walls, or drop a key through floors and walls to get to the door; just remove or add light.
The main playable character is an amorphous being who explores the stories of three human characters; a factory worker struggling to escape a decrepit factory, a young woman travelling through a murky forest to reunite body and soul after a horrific car crash, and a little girl who leaves the comfort and safety of her home to chase a black cat through an abandoned carnival. Of course, these are my interpretations, many players have speculated what the plot of this game could be. Based on the title of the game I assume each character is seeking “closure”. Although the developers may have had a specific plot in mind, I believe they have left a great deal open to your interpretation.
Each story consists of twenty four levels that can be accessed through unique doors within surreal central hubs, with ten additional levels designated to the amorphous being. The objective of the 82 levels is to travel from the start of each level to a door, some doors require keys or light sources to open. If the player reaches a dead-end in a puzzle, they can push the R key (PC) or Select button (console). There’s also an additional 30 Silver Moths to collect, where if all are found, a special unlock is rewarded. If the player reaches a dead-end in a puzzle, they can press [Select] to restart the level. A special ending is awarded to those players that also manage to collect thirty silver moths hidden throughout the game.
I really enjoy unique games that really challenge the players to think. Closure is extremely thought provoking. I loved illuminating the surroundings and devolving ways to reach the door and better still, the plot behind each character. Design and sound were also really engaging, it reminded me strongly of something born of Tim Burton’s mind.
Comment below to start a conversation about this game!