Thursday, November 18, 2010


For the past few months I have had a recurring dream. In my dream I am looking for something in our apartment, or I am cleaning when I find a new room. Sometimes the new room is a complete surprise, and other times it seems like I knew it was there but I was too lazy to see what it was or what was inside of it. The room is always furnished. The furniture is usually pretty old, but always has a lot of character. The furniture isn't really my style, but in my dream I always think that Jerry would really like it (although I don't know if that is completely true in real life). Sometimes I find a whole collection of rooms. Sometimes there are even double chocolate chip cookies left in the room by the landlord.

These dreams are extremely pleasant. I wake up really excited only to really depressed about 10 seconds later when I remember it wasn't real.

Does anyone know what these dreams mean?! And why have I never had them up until a few months ago, and now I have them all the time?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Thanks, Jaden

A dream:

I am a young asian black kid. I am a trained fighter. Basically I am a ninja, stuck in a smaller body. I have spent months in a little canoe with some people I am protecting from The Bad Guys. We are living off of fish I catch with my bare hands or teeth. I also can create storms that make the fish jump into our boat. This is what I have to resort to when I am so weak that I can't do it with my teeth or hands. In addition to the people I am protecting, I am keeping track of a magical sphere that I also have to hide from the people I am protecting. My conscious is growing weaker because it is so straining to remember to protect the people from danger, but also to protect the sphere from danger and from the people. I know my task and I am going to be successful.

I am now myself: Danielle Cenatiempo(not Hale, yet). I have a task and I know I am going to be successful. I have to take a trip to Hell. I don't die, I just need to go there and face the devil. All I have to do to get into Hell is to get past the bouncer at the door. Easy.

Hell is an infinitely long building. It is comprised of rooms of various lengths but all the same narrow width and height. To get into each room you have to enter through the previous room's door. The first room was very long and had tons of people. They were all partying and laughing and seemed happy on the surface, but you could tell they were sad. I wanted to stay and be friends with some of them and help them be truly happy, but I knew I had to get through to the next room. It took me months to get to the other side of the room to get to the door to proceed to the next room. But this didn't upset me. I knew by the time I met the devil, it would be the right time, but I needed to get as far as I could into Hell before I met the devil.

Over the next period of time I proceeded through more rooms. In each room the people just seemed sadder and sadder. Not even trying to cover up their sadness with laughing. And not even trying to suppress their sadness with alcohol. There was also less people in each room, mostly because people were so sad that they forgot that they could even go to another room. In my fourth or fifth room I saw a man who looked like me. He was trying to get to the next room. And he looked happy. We became friends. His name was Jerry. After months of journeying through Hell we discovered that we were on the same mission. We both needed to face the devil. We started to fall in love-- and we got married(well as married as we could get in Hell).

Alas, after years of trekking through Hell we arrived at the last room. We knew it was the last room because there were no people and it was wider and taller than the rest of the rooms. All the rooms up to this point had different themes i.e.: red, school, Moroccan, glitter, my grandma's house, or metal. This room was like a big, old, abandoned warehouse with lots of broken glass and splintering wood(which if you know much about me, know that I am pathetically scared of both-- but that is something for another post). So basically, I guess this really was my personal Hell. Jerry and I knew that we were going to have to face the devil in this room. But we also knew that we had time to prepare. We started to train ourselves to fight and to resist mental penetration (a la Harry Potter). After we felt that we had done everything within our power to prepare for the Devil, we had a visitor. It was a little asain balck kid who seemed wise beyond his years. He gave us a glowing sphere and told us it was the key to defeat the devil. Then he disapered.

The day came for us to fight the fight the devil. She was a woman. We could hear her laughing. When she finally came into sight we were surprised to see that she just looked like an average, middle aged, working woman. I was defeated pretty quickly, but was still very aware. I could hear the devil and Jerry fighting for days. I remembered that Jerry needed the glowing sphere. I tried to enter his mind to remind him of where we had hid it. But instead of entering his mind, I accidentally entered the devil's mind and told her. When Jerry realized the devil knew where the sphere was, it was a race to see who could get to it first. Jerry did.

I woke up.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Artichoke Chicken

Near the beginning of high school, my parents jumped on the high protein and vegetable diet train and I was forced to partake as well(unless I wanted to spend all of my babysitting money on food). They were advocates of the Swarzbein principle. Along with this "principle" came many books, some including some recipes. There was a recipe for "Artichoke Chicken Sauce" which we loved. My mom made it often and recruited me to start making it. I would experiment a little with the flavors and soon enough my mom had dubbed me official Artichoke Chicken Sauce maker(I don't really think it was because it was so spectacular when I made it, I think this was just an evil parenting technique).

I have made the recipe so often that it has kind of warped into a totally new thing. And I just have to share it. It is too good to just keep to myself.

For 4 generous servings:

1 T butter
1 large onion, sliced thinly
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 T Dijon mustard
1 lb chicken breasts
1- 1 1/2 c marinated artichoke hearts
1 roasted red pepper
1/2 c- 1 c evaporated milk or heavy whipping cream(use more if you are using as a sauce, and less if eating plain)
2 t lemon juice or zest
Dash of Cayenne pepper(..or more... ,or omit)
1 T Dried basil
black pepper and salt

1. Coat chicken with 1 T Dijon mustard and black pepper. Set aside to marinate.
2. Roast the red pepper, peel skin off, and cut into 1 inch strips. (If peppers are $1 or more, just buy a jar of roasted red peppers which are by the pickles. It is much cheaper, and a lot less work)
3. On Med heat, melt butter in skillet and add onions, 1/2 t salt, and 1/2 t black pepper. Saute until very tender then add garlic. Cook with garlic for about 3o seconds.
4. Add artichoke hearts along with a few T of the marinating juice they come packed in. Then add 1 1/2 T mustard, cayenne pepper, lemon juice or zest, and basil. Let cook for 3-4 minutes.
5. Grill chicken. Let sit for at least 3 minutes after cooking before cutting.
6. Add evaporated milk to skillet, let cook for about 1 min. Turn off heat and add chicken.
7. Serve over spaghetti or angel hair pasta, or plain!

When eating plain: I like to add more onions which act kind of like a substitute pasta. I also don't cut up my artichoke hearts(which usually are already quartered) and chop my chicken into large pieces.
When eating with pasta: I like to cut the artichoke hearts into smaller pieces than packed, and cut the chicken into 1/2 inch cubes.
Evaporated milk/ heavy cream: I have been using evaporated milk for a while now. I like it becuase it is less fattening, I can always have in on hand, and it is usually cheaper. If you want to use cream, you can add it sooner and let it cook longer.
Amounts: These amounts are just estimates, I never measure. I probably use more mustard and black pepper than listed, but I am being conservative in my estimates.


Monday, April 26, 2010

seeing clearly

Ever since my brother started doing window cleaning I notice windows. Well, I notice dirty windows. It is pretty much a curse. Everywhere I look there is dirt and dust all gettin up in windows' business, and it is gross. I am grateful to go to a university that cleans their windows. I am very ungrateful to live in an apartment complex that has more important things to do than clean their windows, and they don't even do those more important things! And this brings me to another subject. WE ARE MOVING. Two blocks away, that is. But hey! No more crummy management and grumpy neighbors who yell at us and leave notes on our car!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Out with the old and in with the new!

This past month has been a pretty eventful one in the Hale home.

Jerry (unfortunately) got news of the MPA program. Even though it wasn't what we wanted, we are happy to know so that we can start coming up with more life plans! Well at least I am. Sometimes I just sit back and think about the type of decisions I have to make compared to most 21 year old women, and it makes me feel a little too grown-up.

We sold our contract!! And hopefully got the apartment we wanted, although that is still forthcoming news.

But that means we are moving out of our ward. :( Which makes me sad, if you couldn't tell by the frowny face. We have been in the same ward since we were first married and I LOVE our bishop. I think we will start going to a family ward though, so that will be a nice change. And maybe I can go under the radar and NOT be called as ward choir director. Although I have a feeling that I will continue to be called as one until I enjoy it...

I had my last Singers concert of the year. Being in Singers has been a HUGE commitment. I knew being in it meant 6 hours of rehearsal a week. plus 12 or so concerts. But I had no idea the amount of physical, emotional, and spiritual commitment it was going to be. I have been seriously debating whether I want to do it next year since it will be a tour year, and will be even harder. but I think I will. But don't quote me on that.

Only two more weeks until vocal juries and finals! Then we will move into our new apartment and I will start Spring term (which I found out today that I got more grants for, THANK YOU OBAMA).

Sorry. My posts usually seem to be lists. And I know that's boring.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Just a little over an hour ago I had my audition for both the spring and fall operas(at BYU).

Usually after an audition I can remember every little puny thing I did wrong, or the expression on someone's face, or that my accompanist missed a note. Usually when I perform my senses are super heightened, and I can commit everything I see/do to memory.

Today? Well, that a whole 'nuther bucket of worms! I cannot remember a SINGLE thing that happened. Okay, that's not entirely true. But I only have shadows of memories. I remember that I made up words at one point, but I don't remember where or how long... or how bad I was at making up the German.

I wish it was just a fluke that this happened. But it wasn't. I think for the first time ever(or at least in recent memory) I was totally blinded by anger. Just a few minutes before my audition I was at work, and a lot of things happened that made me really upset. This isn't very out of the ordinary, but today I just let those things get to me. So before my audition I found a private place to pray that God would take away my anger and forgive me for being so angry. But by the end of my prayer my heart was still pounding unnaturally hard and my eyes were still blurry—I wasn't willing to stop being angry.

I am so glad that the Lord is so forgiving, and that He can help me to be more humble and forgiving. But I also know that the Lord cannot change our hearts unless we let him—and I wasn't letting Him.

I don't ever want to be angry like that again. I am glad I experienced that anger in such a memorable way so that I will be able to easily recall the situation and feelings so I can try to avoid them in the future.

So I probably didn't get the role which I was hoping for. But I did get a greater understanding of the Lord's hand in my life. And I learned that choosing to be angry is destructive.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I'm Legal

That's right. Yesterday I turned 21.

It was an awesome day! Full of many loving, thoughtful surprises! I was served breakfast in bed, then I skipped both of my morning classes. I went to work where I was showered with various forms of chocolates and 1 Izzy. Then I went to Singers where, traditionally, 3 people talked about how great I am, and it made me feel very special. Then I worked some more and then I treated myself to wrap from L & T, and it was incredible. Then I got ready for opera scenes, and then I performed! It was awesome! We had at least 100 kids there, so the energy was amazing and they all had such great reactions. I am excited to do it again on Friday. Then Jerry and I went out for some steak dinners. And then I came home and opened my presents... which were all clothes, which is good, since that is all I wanted! (O, and I also bought myself a French Art Song book which I needed/wanted).

Now back to the normal grind. I have a midterm today for a class that I have skipped more often than not, and for which I hae never done the reading for.. so wish me LUCK, because I wont be getting a good grade with knowledge, or hard work.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

We made it!

Sunday was a great day! We didn't do anything "official" to celebrate our anniversary, we just did everyday things but called them special. i.e. I made dinner(although I will admit, it was the bomb) and Jerry played me some songs on his guitar. Mostly, it is so wonderful to know that we will be together for eternity.

On Monday I made Jerry a Brazilian dinner. I have spent weeks trying to find authentic recipes, but I pretty much found to do things really authentically I would have to fly down to Brazil and get all of their ingredients. I ended up making:
Brazilian rice
and pastels

I also got the stuff to make advacado shakes, which we have yet to make.

Some people have said that the first year of marriage is the hardest. If that is the case, then the rest of our lives are going to be a complete breeze! No, really, the people who say the first year is the hardest are probably lying. I bet the hardest is the 39th year or something, so I am waiting.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Jeremiah is finished with his MPA application! I am a happier, more pleasant person to be around.

Friday, January 29, 2010


Last night Jerry decided to take off his sweater.

First, he got his arms out of the sleeves and then started spinning around singing, "Helicopter!"

Then the sweater started to creep up his body and eventually over his eyes.

Lastly, Jerry couldn't see and fell to the ground in terror as the helicopter turned from friend to foe.

Friday, January 15, 2010

recent recipes

Here are a few things I have made over the past few weeks which I got from the internet. (Psh! I am NOT typing out a recipe)

From Food Network:

Giada's Garbonza Bean and Zucchini Salad.
Yum! First off I looooove zucchini, hence my attraction to this recipe. But I do not love zucchini raw, so I cooked it in a tad bit of butter in a pan with a little bit of S & P. I also did not have any red onion so I just cut up a bit of yellow onion really small. I thought it was fabulous and Jerry even said, "This is good, for a salad."

Sunny's Picnic Potato Chicken Salad Cups
This recipe is GOLDEN! The paprika, bacon, and mustard totally make this recipe. I have to admit we did not cupify this recipe, but I am sure the addition of lettuce would make this more fun! Jerry really liked this.

Robin's Chicken Piccata
This did not live up to my expectations. It has tons of my favorite ingredients: artichokes, capers, lemon.. but I must have missed something because it was not too spectacular. Jerry said that he liked that it tasted more light and different that what I usually make. I took the leftovers to school the next day, and they seemed to improve with time, or maybe I was just super hungry.

Melissa's Chicken a l'Orange
This recipe would normally never appeal to me, but one of Jerry's all time favorite meals is orange chicken, so I thought I would give this a try. I used boneless skinless chicken breasts, and since they didn't have skin like the recipe calls for, they did not get crisp. The sauce was Super easy (it has 2 ingredients!) and pretty tasty! Overall it was really good, and since it really only has one ingredient that I normally don't stock, I have a feeling it will be a go to meal from now on.
UPDATE: I forgot to say that after I used the sauce as a glaze for the chicken, then I added some chicken broth and flour to make it a little milder to top the cooked chicken and rice with.

From Our Best Bites:

First off, if you do not know about this site and cook in any shape, way, or form, you need to visit it RIGHT now. Not only do they have simple, practical recipes, but they also have good tutorials on how to do stuff like .. make tortillas(which I almost successfully did).

Stuffed Pizza Rolls
Okay, despite my raving about this site, this recipe (or at least the way I made it) did not turn out very well. I stuffed mine with sausage and cheese, but all the cheese disolved into the bread making it a harder texture.. and then there was no ooey gooey cheese when you bit into them(which is the best part, you know). I still think this is a great idea though, maybe I should try a different crust.

From Recipe Zaar:

This is a great site to explore. I like to just type in 'chicken' or 'banana' and then sort the results by ratings. I have made MANY things from this site

Creamy Cajun Chicken
I really liked this, although I think the only ingredients I actually HAD were chicken and sun dried tomatoes. I had to make my own cajun seasoning, and I had to use milk and butter as a substitute for cream(which of course, is not as good as the real stuff), used a white onion for the green onion, and used whole grain spaghetti instead of linguine. But despite all of that, all 3 of us liked it! Even Daxson! (well at least he was a good pretender). The tomatoes made the sauce way good, but I'm sure when I make it with cream it will be even better!

Italian Soup
I was running low on food supplies last night, but I had italian sausage and some soupy vegetables so I just typed in 'italian soup', and this recipe seemed to have positive feedback. I substituted celery for zucchini(but I woul prefer the later) and did half sausage and half ground turkey to make it a little lighter. I ended up cooking some macaroni noodles separate so that when we reheated the leftovers the noodles wouldn't overcook and get puffy.

If you just read all that, you're crazy.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

winter semeter '10

.. is going to be a challenge!

I am pretty much taking all the same classes, just one level higher (music theory, sight singing, dictation, piano, music civ, Singers, voice lessons). So far, it has already been a challenge for me, and it has only been 7 days of classes. But, I just had my first voice lesson for the semester, and I am super excited for my repertoire this semester!! (can anyone say Carmen aria!??) I even get to sing a music theatre piece, so I am going to sing I'm Not Afraid of Anything from my new Songs for a New World book that Jerry got me for Christmas.

I am very thankful for our electric blanket that was a wedding gift. We only have a window unit in our apartment that is in our family room and takes a long time to warm up all the way to our bedroom. But this morning in my half-awake, half-sleeping state I got nausous/ freaked out by the wireing in it.
.. just thought you would want to know.

Things that made me happy in the past 24 hours
- coming home to a perfectly clean home (yes, Jerry is wonderful)
- I Am Aldolfo from The Drowsy Chaperone
- lifting 3 lb. weights
- crappy ABC family shows
- DD's video of Henry
- groceries
- singing in devotional
- my SOFT, WARM robe. i just love it!
- a canceled class

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Christmas Break 2009

Wow, break seemed to last forever! in the best of ways!

Highlights include:

Getting our car fixed(but not the money that it cost)
Meeting Tobin and Trista's new arrival, Kalan
Getting to make music with all of my Hale in-law siblings
Having at least one super lazy day with Jerry
Driving to and from Arizona with no radio
Driving in snow for 7 hours and seeing hundreds of cars off the road, but not being one of them!
Getting to see Devin, Emily, and Creed
Jerry's new guitar! Thanks, Devin!
Spending all of our time with my parents, who I missed (hiking, eating out, movies, games)
Spending 2 days with all the Hales(minus the Tobin clan) for New Years
Cleaning our apartment and decorating! (it still looks pretty sad, but hey, not as bad as before!)

For the next month Jerry is putting all of his effort into applying for the BYU MPA program. It is one of the best in the nation, and getting a job afterwards is pretty easy , plus it will really help Jerry so he can have a career he will love! What's better than that? If you know me, you know my philosophy is to never expect anything so that I am never dissapointed. I am going to try to live by this for the next few months, but it so hard to not get my hopes up.