Wednesday, January 30, 2008

it's giveaway season again!

I love this. I was reading Barb's blog at A Chelsea Morning and discovered that Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer was hosting another bloggy giveaway. It's a Bloggy Carnival of giveaways, as a matter of fact. She is apparently doing this on a quarterly basis, I guess. I like it, cuz I've found many blogs I like to read that way. And of course I like to have the visitors, and I can pretend that they are here to comment because they like my blog. I know, I know. Don't rain on my imaginary parade!

I have the craziest giveaway for the dead of winter. I would like to give away a $10 giftcard for Coldstone Creamery. Now we have one of those not too far from here that opened not too long ago. (Could I be just a touch more vague?) But anyway, I discovered that I love, love, love their Strawberry Blond ... sundae or whatever they call it. Strawberry ice cream, graham cracker pieces, strawberries, and caramel topping. Something like that. It's the perfect combination of flavors.

All you have to do to enter is tell me your favorite treat over at Coldstone and make sure your entry is linked or that I have some way to contact you if you win.

I'll do the drawing early Saturday morning. I don't know how early...early might be at 11:54 a.m. if that's how late I sleep. I won't promise. But it'll be Saturday. So enter aweigh, my friends!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

project update!

My Monday was very productive. It's kind of a long story, but I'll try to shorten it up here.

Okay, I've been posting about my bedroom closet project. Yesterday I was determined to get something done on it. We're working on the living room--have been for a couple of years, actually--and I've been wanting to move some stuff around out there, too. Yes, I said a couple of years. I'm telling you. I am easily sidetracked.

So I used to have my scrapbooking stuff by the front door, taking up not too much space there. Then D-girl and X-man started staying here more often, and their stuff got added to my pile. I took my stuff out and organized it into new containers that I bought--on clearance, of course. But her things were still taking up most of the entry. My things were neatly stacked by the wall on the other side of the living room.

So anyway, where do you think people started leaving their shoes, and coats, and mittens, and boots, and hats...I think you get the idea? They were ALL OVER...everywhere in the living room and spilling over into the dining room sometimes. In fact, sometimes it all started creeping down the hall towards my room. It had to be stopped! Can you imagine if the black hole from the living room met the black hole in my bedroom closet? It'd be like the Poltergeist on speed stopping by for a not-so-friendly visit. You'd never see the floor again until we moved or died! Oh my goodness. It was a disaster waiting to happen.

So I took action yesterday. I moved my scrap stuff into my bedroom, piling it on the bed, at the end of the bed, and next to the closet. By the time I was done bringing my things in there, the stuff was falling off the other side of the bed onto the floor. I felt a little shiver of fear go up my back, you know? What if I never got it clean again? I just clenched my teeth and ignored it, though, and kept piling the stuff up in there.

I switched the stuff around in the living room, making space for everything that had been in the entry. So now, there will be order and space in the living room. At least temporarily. Hurray!!

Well, back in my room, I cleaned out one end of my closet and cleared one shelf. I started putting my things in there, but by the time I filled up the space in the closet, I hadn't even made a dent in the piles in the room! I couldn't believe it. There was no space left in the closet OR in the bedroom. You couldn't see the floor, and you couldn't see the bed. I don't know how that happened!!

E-girl comes in and peeks around the corner with this dubious look on her face. I was standing almost in the closet, surrounded by boxes, filled garbage bags, and stacks of books and clothes. "Are you standing there because you are stuck? Do you need water? Can I help you?"

Oh, what a helpful child. Too bad she didn't have a magic wand to finish the job. Or a nice genie in a lamp to whisk it all away.

Then my honey came to the door. I think he was hoping to go to bed. That's what I call wasted hope. I started piling things up next to the closet, stacking it up about shoulder-high. They were well-balanced piles, though, and I felt pretty confident that they would stay there.

On the bright side, he was nice enough to put up the shelf I asked him for, though. We put the little TV on there, along with the DVD player, which made a ton of space on the dresser. Of course then the only problem was cleaning the inch-thick layer of dust that had accumulated underneath all that stuff. This is the dustiest house I have EVER seen in my entire life. Ever.

It was about an hour later when my honey finally came to bed. He didn't pay much attention to the closet until morning, but when he took a closer look in the daylight, he was scared, too. "What is that?! It's going to fall on me if I take a nap in here. You'll see it in the paper. Man eaten alive by black hole, never to be heard from again."

I was laughing. "No, it won't reach the bed if it falls. All you have to do is check to make sure you can find all the cats and the dog if it tips over."

"Oh, sure," he says. "Look for the cats. I see where I rate. Right down there after the cats. Even other people's cats. If the pile falls, I'm not looking for any cats." He and the cats have a love-hate relationship. He talks trash about them, and they get even by trying to trip him when he walks across the room.

Well, I got home today and the pile was still standing. I was going to clean out the other end of the closet, but I made a yummy taco salad for dinner and then, I had to watch American Idol. And since everyone was too noisy for me to really hear it very well, I played it back again. Loudly. Several times. No closet cleaning out tonight.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sunday fading into Monday

I had the best post to write! I dreamed about it. I remember thinking, "Oh! I have to blog about this!" It was soooo funny.

Well, I'm sorry to tell you that I have completely forgotten it. LOL. Somewhere between the dream and the day, it vanished, like a wisp of fog that the wind blew away. Next time I'll write it down before I get out of bed.

On the bright side, church was good. Then, I did get some cleaning done today that I've been wanting to do, and before I go to bed, I'm going to make some progress on my closet for my craft corner. If I do a little each day, I will get it done, yes?

We had a great weekend with a couple of the kids and grandbabies sleeping over. The time just flew by, and Monday morning is looming over the end of the weekend here. I'm going to shut my eyes, stick my fingers in my ears, and sing very loudly so I don't have to think about it until morning.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

coming attractions

I'm absolutely tickled pink to tell you that I will be reviewing several books and posting author interviews over the next few months. There is nothing I like better than a good book, and the three books I will have the pleasure of reviewing here look like they are going to be great reads.

Author Victorya Michaels Rogers has just finished her newest book, The Automatic 2nd Date. On February 20, I'll be reviewing the book and posting my interview with her.

On March 11, I'll be reviewing Roberta Simpson's newest children's book, Nana's Bible Stories. This book was featured in a USA Today story (Dec. 11, 2007) as one being used by parents to teach their children theology. Roberta's book was highlighted due to the fact that her stories are told from the perspective of a child or animal featured in the stories.

And on April 6, I'll be featuring Allison Bottke's newest book, Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children: Six Steps to Hope and Healing for Struggling Parents.

I'm very happy to have been invited to review these. I'll be excited to give you the skinny on these three books. Each one appeals to me for different reasons. The only compensation I receive is a copy of the book so that I can read it, and I'm free to give my honest opinion. So there you have it: a sneak preview of some good reads.

Friday, January 25, 2008

yippee! it's Friday!

Oh, what a relief. Friday's here! And even though we are watching one of the babies tomorrow, it's still not the same as going to work.

I can get something done in my room. That's been my refrain for about a month, now. We'll see.

You know, I've been dreaming about creating this restful bedroom, kind of a peaceful getaway place. Ours has a ways to go to get there. But I've been thinking, just as soon as I get it feeling and looking nice and restful and really cool, the kids will come and invade! Then it'll be like the rest of the house again. Is that deafeatist thinking?

Because to me, a restful getaway is QUIET. Hushed. Peaceful. No noise. And sure as can be, someone would want to watch TV in there because it's quiet. Or they'd come take a nap in there. They'd sweat on my clean sheets. Eeeww! It's one thing when it's my sweat. But when I put clean sheets on the bed, I don't even like someone to WRINKLE them before I get to sleep on them.

Goin' into the weekend with an attitude. It can only get better. *grin*

Thursday, January 24, 2008

disturbing entertainment

Did anyone watch the show after American Idol last night: The Moment of Truth? I watched most of it, mostly because I was too tired lazy to get up off my duff. I don't think it's going to fly.

It's too slow, it's too fake, and even though you know they know all the questions already, it feels like you're watching someone pin a butterfly onto a cork board. Ick. Why does anyone think that they can go through a public humiliation like that and come out the same on the other side of it?

If an issue in a relationship is not acknowledged publicly, there is a chance that you can work through it and come up with something that is viable. But after all your dirty laundry, everything you think, even, is laid out on the table in its worst possible interpretation, does anyone imagine that nothing will change?

Dysfunctional families maintain their dysfunctionality by NOT acknowledging the problems that are glaringly obvious to everyone else. Don't tell Mom. Don't confront Dad. So even families that have less serious issues often let them slide. You choose your battles. You figure out which ones are worth fighting for, and you let some things go.

On the flip side, there's just something about telling the entire truth in its ugliness that is therapeutic. Now if these people talked about all these issues privately before the interview happened, that could be a cleansing process. It's like a "good news/bad news" kind of thing.

So......would YOU go on this show? I know for a fact that I would NOT. They would start asking me questions about my kids, and if I have a favorite child, and blah, blah, blah. I'd get so stressed thinking about that, worrying that my kids would think I did have favorites, that when I told them I don't have any (favorites, not kids), it would read as FALSE! Then I'd be in deeeeep doodoo.

Monday, January 21, 2008

a winner!

There's always the "good news, bad news" thing I go through when I have a drawing. I'm happy to choose someone, but then for every winner, there are some losers. I hate that part.

Without further ado, then, I'm pleased to announce that jenny's mama is my winner! Congratulations, mama.

I'm sending you an email--please send me your addy so I can send you your treasures. And thank you to the rest of you for visiting. I love hearing from you.

This brings a long uneventful day to an end. I puttered around, trying to get out of the house to go a few places and it took me forever. Then I stopped in at Urgent Care to see if they thought I had pinkeye. They did, so I get to put drops in for a week, give or take. I really think I need to get some more sleep on a regular basis so I stay healthier. And on that note, I'm going to bed. Sleep tight!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

more tales from the hibernating household

For those of you in warmer climates, it's been below zero for most of the past three days! I feel like I'm living in a cave. On the bright side, there was nothing much else to do, so we cooked! Our house was full of yummy smells today.

I got to sleep in today. It was absolutely heavenly. When I got up, though, I was as hungry as a small bear. I put some coffee going right away for Mugs. She had finished up the dishes left from last night while I was snoozing. What a sweetheart. It was so much fun having her here for the weekend.

After I made the coffee, I heated up this delicious frozen garlic chicken. It has broccoli, carrots and corn in it, along with rotini pasta and chunks of chicken in a light garlic sauce. See, I could cook like that every day of my life and not get tired of it. I hate to cook meals. It wouldn't bother me at all to eat like that.

My honey, on the other hand, loves to cook (and eat) real food (as opposed to "heat-it-up" food), and he made an Emeril recipe for dinner today. It was some form of Parmesan chicken, and it was divine! It's really too bad that Mugs didn't stay long enough to have dinner, because she would have loved it.

He roasted tomatoes and garlic together in the oven to make this rich intense tomato sauce. Then he seasoned and browned the chicken breast, put the tomato sauce over it, put mozzarella cheese on top of that with a little smoked Gouda cheese. He baked that in the oven, broiled it for a bit to brown the cheese on top, and voilĂ ! Dinner delight!

After dinner was cleaned up, I made orange cranberry scones, which were wonderfully tender and tasty. It's no wonder that people put on weight in the winter time. Maybe I need to move to a warmer climate.

On the bright side, however, I think the boys went out fewer times for a cigarette over the weekend because it was so stinkin' cold out there. Anything that makes them smoke less is a good thing in my eyes. I guess that's one positive thing about the cold weather.

Speaking of smoking, here's a short clip about quitting that I got in my email.

I guess that would do it!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

voted most unpopular

I heard a survey recently about the most unpopular gift received at Christmas time. Any guesses what it might be? Yes, yes it is: fruitcake!

Good thing I'm not easily swayed by peer pressure.

Wuollet's Bakery makes a dynamite fruitcake, but it's usually only available at Christmas to my knowledge, and if you check your calendar, it's well past that. However, my lovely SIL Mugs makes a darn good fruitcake, too, so we invited her out to show us how to make it. Well, we actually wanted to do this around Thanksgiving, but life was pretty crazy then. So we postponed the date until January. Now we're all cozy here at our house on this crazy, ultra-cold weekend, hanging out in the kitchen making these beauties.

We spent about $40 on all the ingredients and baked about fourteen one-pound fruitcakes. I think it came out to just over $3.00 apiece, not counting our time or labor. Not bad. And now we have to wait two to four weeks for them to "ripen." Ripening consists of wrapping the fruitcakes with waxed paper, refrigerating them, and once or twice a week, taking them out, unwrapping them, and "basting" them with a mixture of orange juice and brandy before returning them to the refrigerator.

They smell fabulous. If you've never tasted fruitcake, the base is a spice cake batter. You cram so much dried fruit, candied fruit and nuts into the batter that you just have clumps of batter by the time you're done mixing it. I think the batter's main purpose is to just hold the fruit together while you bake it.

FOUR WEEKS??? I can't stand it. I'm the kind of baker who, as soon as the stuff is out of the oven, has to taste a piece of it. This is going to drive me absolutely bonkers.

Friday, January 18, 2008

it seems like only yesterday

Three hundred sixty-five days have gone by since my first blog post. Right now those are only words, because I'm exhausted and crabby. Whoops, make that CRABBY in capital letters. I'm ready to fall into bed and sleep for a week, except I have too much to do.

But wait a sec. Let me think about it here...thumbs up or thumbs down on the blogging

I started out wanting to do lots more digital scrapbooking than I actually did. Not so great.

I wanted to keep a log of things that happened over the year--I did that. Yes!

I wanted to share funny things that happened--I did.

I wanted to meet other bloggers--I have, both virtually and IRL.

Blogging has become part of my daily life, part of my connection to the world, part of what I share with my friends and family. Blogging is how I relax, let off steam, share little things that crack me up, and entertain myself.

I've done mini workshops on how to create a blog. I joined a group blog. I share my thoughts about faith on my blog, and I've learned a little something here and there about other people's faith on their blogs. I almost, but not quite, experienced the Deeper Still (Christian women's conference) through their blog. That is actually what made me decide to find a way to attend one of the next ones--maybe the one in September in Las Vegas. That would be SO MUCH FUN!

I learned about discretion, and about how small the internet really is. :) I've probably embarrassed my children on my blog. Heck, I've probably embarrassed myself on my blog. Most of all, if I haven't already mentioned it, I've gotten to indulge my desire to write. Blogging has enriched my life.

I think I'll keep going for at least another year!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

364 days

(I posted this Thursday, but dated it Monday when I am going to do my drawing. I think I will add a gift to the list each day until Monday. Read down to the end of this post to see what has been added.)

Wow! Tomorrow is my blogoversary! Gee looked at that and got her little look--"A blog-oversary, Mother?" Then I got the eyeroll.

It's been a year! A year since I started blogging. A year ago I started blogging on a whim. Now it's hard to imagine what I did before I blogged. It has enriched my life. I get to write! I get to meet cool people, both virtually and IRL! I've learned amazing things. Did I mention I get to write on a regular basis? I love to journal but I had stopped taking the time to do it before I started blogging. And I always lost my journal and had to start in a new one. Now Blogger keeps track of it for me. It's a little scary when Blogger is more reliable than I am. LOL

For anniversaries, you usually get gifts. Well, for my blog-o-versary, I want to celebrate by giving something away! Funny, huh?

I have...a lovely pair of books: Mosaic, by Amy Grant; and What's So Amazing About Grace, by Philip Yancey.

Mosaic was so much fun to read. Amy Grant has been one of my favorite singers for a while, and it was fascinating to get the inside story on her. She talks about the many different pieces of her life that make up the whole, which makes total sense to me. Life is not linear. It's made up of many seemingly random pieces that come together in a beautiful mosaic, and Amy does an interesting job of describing the mosaic of her life.

Philip Yancey's book, What's So Amazing About Grace, is a book to be savored, to be read slowly and digested thoroughly. We read through this book as part of a group study, but I have benefited from reading it again and again. Yancey provides many opportunities to think about the ways that we can experience and practice grace in our everyday lives. Fantastic book!

I will give both of these away to celebrate this past year of blogging, because how else could I have so much excitement for so little money? I've participated in two lollapalooza Bloggityville giveaways with Shannon over at Rocks in My Dryer. Those were so much fun! Did I mention I got to write? And I won things! It doesn't get better than that, does it? Leave a comment, win a prize!

Well, here's the deal: leave me a comment telling me one interesting thing you've learned while blogging. AND, if you post about my giveaway on your blog, I'll put your name in two more times! (But you hafta tell me or I won't know to do that.) I'll draw two names at the end of my long weekend (I have Monday off, so on Monday night at 8:00 pm CST) and voila! Someone will get both of these lovely books. Easy peasy. What a way to party.

~Friday's add-on gift is a $5 gift card for Starbucks--my favorite place to get a tasty latte
~Saturday's add-on is a set of four hand made cards
~Sunday's add-on is a Yankee Candle Mango Peach Salsa Car Jar Freshener

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

welfare who?

I recently received this "pass it on" email in my inbox, and although I understand that there is a stereotype of people who are on welfare, I find that this type of dialogue does absolutely nothing to solve the problems that cause people to have to use welfare in the first place.

I quote (and please excuse the language) verbatim:

URINE TEST (I sure would like to know who wrote this one! They deserve a HUGE pat on the back!)

Like a lot of folks in this state, I have a job. I work, they pay me. I pay my taxes and the government distributes my taxes as it sees fit. In order to get that paycheck, I am required to pass a random urine test with which I have no problem. What I do have a problem with is the distribution of my taxes to people who don't have to pass a urine test. Shouldn't one have to pass a urine test to get a welfare check because I have to pass one to earn it for them?

Please understand, I have no problem with helping people get back on their feet. I do, on the other hand, have a problem with helping someone sitting on their ASS, doing drugs, while I work. . . . Can you imagine how much money the state would save if people had to pass a urine test to get a public assistance check ? Pass this along if you agree or simply delete if you don't. Hope you all will pass it along, though . .. . Something has to change in this country -- and soon!

Pretty strong language there. I have a sneaky hunch that the urine test has nothing to do with it. People can get very snarky about having to pay taxes and thinking that "their" money is being given to someone who is lazily coasting along on the hard work of others.

Well, they should chew on this for a while. Most (two thirds) of the people on welfare are actually children, not adults.

Now, you're going to start talking all this smack about kids, who have no control over their lives?

Here's some more food for thought:

It's not just a bunch of teenage mothers, either. Most welfare mothers first gave birth when they were adults, not teenagers.

MYTH: Welfare mothers have lots of children.
REALITY: More than 80 percent of welfare families have only one or two children.

MYTH: The monthly benefit checks are generous.
REALITY: The average check for a family is $373. YOU try making it on $4,476 a year.

"Most of the things people think about welfare recipients are wrong," said David Kass of Children's Defense Fund, an advocacy group for children. "And stereotypes lead to policy decisions that could ultimately hurt children. Because when people think about welfare, they don't think about children. They think about coming down on the parents."

I'll throw in a final quote from my honey: "The people who have money have an obligation to take care of those who do not. When this country loses its compassion, we are in serious trouble."

I'm not accepting any more snarky emails, thank you very much. My blood pressure can't take it.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

the bread recipe works!!

Okay, here is the skinny on the artisan bread recipe. IT WORKS!! And it tastes good. I'm definitely buying the book.

It passed the fussy eaters test, and it passed the hungry eaters test. It has a nice moist inside, a crunchy toothy crust, and a marvelous flavor. This bread tastes good even without butter! And I'm a butter girl. Bread NEEDS butter.

And the bread is GONE. An hour after I baked it, it was gone.

Here is the first loaf on the left, and it was so easy I shaped a second loaf. In five minutes.

Isn't it gorgeous? This is the second loaf. Look at the beautiful air pockets in this bread.

Here are the things I learned, though.

~ Mix the dough thoroughly. When they say to make sure that all the pockets of flour are mixed in...they're not kidding. If you don't, the flour will make a funky floury spot in the middle of your bread. You don't have to overmix it, but you do want to whip it around a little with your wooden spoon so that those lumps go away. (If you look at the first picture above very carefully, you will see one of the floury spots right in front making a bump in the dough.) It won't ruin the bread, but it's nicer if you don't have them.

~ Cut the slices in the top of the dough RIGHT BEFORE you are putting it in the oven. Not when you first set it down to raise, which is what I did the first time. It didn't ruin it, but it spread out more to make more of a flatbread instead of raising up to make a higher loaf.

~ After you bake the bread, scrape the cornmeal off the baking stone if you want to make another loaf of bread right away. Otherwise it will bake till it's black and stick to the bottom of your next loaf. Again, not a disaster, just a nice touch.

I can rest peacefully now, with Miss Ambition Monster temporarily tamed. I don't know for sure what she looks like (the ambition monster), but I'll leave you with this. Claire at SleepKnitting has created something that is close to what I have imagined her to be:

coming up for air

Just checking in here. I feel like the lady on the commercial whose voice keeps running through my head: "I've fallen, and I can't get up."

My ambition has been outrunning my ability to keep up. Every day since I got sick, I think, "Oh, I could just do ...this... today. At least I'd get something done." Every day, I can't muster up the energy to do it.

All week long, I was going to clean my closet so I could fit my scrapbooking supplies in there and get them out of the living room. What did I do? Scratch. Nada. Nothing. Today, I was going to get up early. Scratch. I was going to get dressed and go to church. Scratch. Probably a good thing because who wants someone sitting behind them coughing on their neck for an hour.

Yesterday I did bake some cookies. But it wore me out. My arms and legs felt like they weighed about a thousand pounds.

But now, I have mixed up some bread dough. No, I didn't knead it. It didn't take that much energy. I'm making it per this book -- from my previous post because it says you can do it with only five minutes of work. I can do five minutes today. Not a lot more, but five minutes, yes.

I have my bread mixed up, the timer is set, and I'm catching up on reading blogs. And writing in mine. I feel bad because I wanted to blog every day this year. I'm not even out of the starting block in January and I have already fallen down and have to start over.

AND, I'm out of coffee, with no energy to go to the store to get some. I'll have to see if there is a leftover bottle of dietPEPSI on my nightstand for my caffeine fix. Blggghhh!

But on the bright side, I am keeping up with my reading buddies on Engage the Journey 08.

I'm sitting in the dining room, watching the squirrels fight over the feeder. They are so territorial! I have more food to put out for them, but like the rest of my sad story this week, I haven't done that yet. So they're left to fighting over the last few corn kernels in the feeder.

I haven't used my Cricut since I cut out my titles for my Christmas pages out of nice cardstock, but Gee has used it. She cut out the names of the months and made the cutest calendar!! You'll have to check it out. If I get space cleared out in my closet so I can get my supplies in there, I could use my little writing desk for my scrap space for now.

Possible to-do list:

Fill feeders - 15 minutes
Make another loaf of bread, FOLLOWING the directions - 5 minutes 1 1/2 hours of total time, 5 minutes of dough handling time
Clean out closet - 1 hour 4 hours
Clean out writing desk - 30 minutes 2 hours
Move scrapbooking supplies - 30 minutes 2 hours
Watch movie I bought before Christmas - 2 hours 3 hours with pauses for breaks to do other things
Make dinner early - I think I better skip straight to this step or we'll be eating dinner at 10:00 tonight!

And there it goes again...mmm hmmm. Do you see that ambition sneaking up and whispering in my ear? Shame on it for tantalizing a poor sick woman like that. I'm going to be happy with getting my bread made.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

sick day

And a sick day was had by Daisy today...why, oh why couldn't I be sick when I was on break when I could actually stay in bed all day? No, I had to get sick after I went back to work. All the girls in the house are sick. Yukky.

I wanted to bake my bread today, but I figured no one would eat it anyway. The ones who are sick have no appetite, and the ones who aren't sick, don't want to be! I did pretty much nothing at all. Tomorrow will be a better day, God willing and the crick don't rise.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Dance Wars

Well, I got to watch part of Dance Wars last night. It was okay. I missed the first part of it because I FORGOT about it! I remembered a couple hours before, but then I got busy and the time just flew. I don't think I was having THAT much fun.

Well, the show moved much more quickly than American Idol. We went through auditions, eliminations, and semifinal team formation all in one night. I actually like that! It's only a six-week series, so they have to move fast. There was one guy who got cut near the end--he was a fantastic dancer. I'm still not sure why they cut him, unless his singing wasn't consistent. That would be a tough call.

So I'm looking forward to next week...Monday, Tuesday AND Wednesday all have something for me to watch. Usually I avoid the TV because the noise just irritates me. It's mostly blah, blah, and more blah. And now the writer's strike...well, dare I say that sometimes I like the content more? Most shows are so inane. They try to get laughs by making people look stupid.

Monday, January 7, 2008

hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go

Today was my first day back to work, and although it wasn't a strenuous day, I'm sooo tired. Just checkin' in to say hello, and I hope your Monday was happy.

Today is Baby Del's momma's birthday--happy birthday, honey. Thanks for coming out and sharing your birthday with us.

I have nothing interesting to say at all. Nothing whatsoever. I know that funny things happened today because I remember laughing, but right now my brain is already laying out on my comfy bed, fast asleep. G'nite!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

homemade bread in five minutes a day

Am I the only person who has not heard of this book? I happened to see it at Barnes & Noble when I was there yesterday, and I was so intrigued when I read (skimmed) through it. I've been looking for a recipe for artisan bread because we have this great bakery in town that makes yummy artisan bread, but I don't always have the four plus bucks to shell out for a loaf of bread.

I did a search online to find out more about it, and apparently people were trying to find it everywhere before Christmas. It was sold out everywhere. Everyone wanted it. Well, there were stacks of them last night. They must have caught up with the demand. I can't believe I never heard of it!

I like to bake bread. Or I used to, before I started working full time. Then I kind of gave it up because it takes too long. But this book is called Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

Five minutes. I can do five minutes!

Here is a little video that tells about how to do it. No kneading, no raising for hours and hours, just mix with a spoon, let sit a couple of hours, shape, and bake. Keep it in an ice cream bucket and make a loaf a day. You can keep the dough in the fridge for a couple of weeks if you make a big batch...I have to try it! Today!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

sneak attack

I have my cats on a diet. They are not one bit happy about it, either. They were both getting so BIG...I don't think it was very healthy for them. I keep their food up on the dryer so that the dog doesn't devour it. I swear, if there is food involved, Augie Doggie will go bowling for cats. He just puts his head down and plows through them to get to any food. But anyway, Tucker was getting to the point where he couldn't jump up that high. So I cut back on the food portions a little.

So now, they are slowly getting skinnier. But at night when the house gets quiet, and I get to read and blog a bit (an understatement), the cats are jumping up on the counter and the stove to see if they can find a bit of food left somewhere. Sometimes I'm so engrossed that I don't hear them (although they are very sneaky), but when I do hear them, I attack.

I keep my trusty squirt bottle on the table nearby so I don't have to jump up and chase them down all the time. That way, I just turn around and take aim, and ssssst, sssst, sssttttt! They're gone. Funny how they don't like getting squirted by water. They rush off and sit down, with their dignity all ruffled up. After a minute, they'll turn their heads around and give me the crustiest look.

But they never remember, though, that this will happen to them again if they get up on the counter again. It's like 50 First Dates, only it ought to be called 50 Great Plates. "Oooh! Somethin' smells good up on that counter. Is that leftover chicken I smell? Oh, WHY did she DO that?!"

The squirt bottle works on the dog, too. If he is getting into something and the baby is sleeping, all I have to do is silently brandish the bottle and he instantly changes his mind. He crouches down, puts his ears back, and slinks away with his tail between his legs. That is the extent of "discipline" that my animals get. The spoiled things.

Friday, January 4, 2008

all good things come to an end

Two weeks of not working have gone by, and nothing significant has been accomplished. Can you believe that? When I'm at work, I always think that if only I didn't have to sit at work all day, I could get SO many things done at home. Well, I've come to the conclusion that it only works if you are at home ALONE!

If I am home during the day and there are other people in the house, it is a sure fire guarantee that I will become distracted and get NOTHING done that I want done. Do I sound like I'm whining? I probably am.

Let me think about what got done...maybe I can cheer myself up a little.

Christmas Eve dinner got done...that and shopping took up about three days. Grocery shopping, cooking meals, having my honey's family all over one day--prep for that took a couple of days. Oh! Playing with little X-man and baby Del. That was FUN. I put the Christmas decorations away tonight.

I'm going to scrapbook this weekend. Cooking is going to be limited to crockpot recipes or something that my honey cooks. I have some grand ideas for a Christmas book. I have to make good use of my Cricut, and of the Christmas pack of paper I bought. If I get any pages finished that I really like, I'll post a snapshot. I'm too much of a perfectionist. It takes me FOREVER to get anything in a book.

Perfectionism and procrastination. WHAT a combination!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

shy guy

Little X-man is a shy guy who barely makes a peep, UNTIL you put a mic in his hand. Watch when the keyboard times out--he knows exactly what to do. My li'l grandsweetie! (I borrowed that from daisymarie because it fits so perfectly)

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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

it's almost time again--wheeeee!!

Oh, I'm almost beside myself with delight when I think of it. GUESS WHAT'S ALMOST HERE AGAIN! I'm going to be unbearable and monopolize the TV two nights a week. Do you know what time it almost is? AMERICAN IDOL time!!

I'm a geek, but I'm hooked. And, AND, DWTS (Dancing With the Stars) is doing that spin off show in January as well. What's that Bruno (I was thinking Nigel) vs. what-the-heck-was-her-name dancing and singing contest show? Oh, fiddle, I heard her name every week when DTWS was on. They always said her first and last name...oh, I don't know. Carrie Ann something. See how you get when you get old? See what you have to look forward to?

Gee tells me that I just need to exercise my brain more and I'll be fine. That's easy for HER to say. She's never been like me. I've always been like me--scatterbrained. She even has a DS (handheld) game called Brain Age that gives you different kinds of memory and thinking games to exercise your brain.

It must be nice to be eighteen and be so smart. Hope she gets her education and gets a good job before she forgets everything she knows! Ha!

I think I just want to remember what nights I need to go straight home so I don't miss my show. I'm too tired to play elaborate brain games. It's enough brain exercise to get everything on the grocery list that I need for two weeks worth of meals, and to remember to balance my checkbook after I go grocery shopping. I don't have to buy little go-go-gadgets for that.

Dance War. That's what it is--the Carrie Ann and Bruno thing. I had to look it up online. January 7th! Mark your calendars, people! That's only FIVE days away!!! Hyperventilating now.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year Wishes

Happy New Year! It's 2008--time to celebrate! I finished the work for all my classes. They were due last night at midnight...and as per usual, I turned the last of my work in at 10:57 pm. Why oh why do I do that to myself? I've had since the middle of September! Oh, well! It's DONE! HURRAY!

This is a good time of year for reflection and dreaming. I'm continuing this theme from my last post. I am borrowing Becky K's post, but of course, I don't do it the way I am supposed to either. But here I go.

I will come up with two wish lists-one that is materialistic and one that is spiritual. Here are the rules:

1. Each player starts with 5 gifts that they would want for the New Year.
2. People who are “CARDED” need to write their own Blog about their 5 things & post these rules.
3. At the end of your Blog, you need to choose 5 people to get “CARDED” and list their names.
4. Don’t forget to leave them a COMMENT telling them they’re “CARDED”, and to read your Blog.
5. You can abide by any of these rules you wish. I wish to break almost all the rules. I'm only making a list.

Materialistic Wish List--This year I want:

1. It's hard to think of things for just me. Most of the stuff I can think of would be for the house. Maybe some new work clothes would be nice.

2. To go to Deeper Still in Las Vegas this year

3. To get my living room finished and get my desk put together in there

4. New curtains all around--guess who's probably going to be sewing those.

5. To go on more scrapbooking retreats

Spiritual List--In 2008, I want:

1. To depend on the Lord for direction every day

2. To be a good ambassador for Jesus

3. For my desire to seek His face and spend time with Him to increase all year long

4. To find acceptance, gratitude and joy in my daily life

5. To read through the entire Bible this year--I'm following along with Engage the Journey

Okay, there it is. You can lift this if you like...leave me a comment so I can come read!

Oh, and one more thing! I used my Cricut again with some cardstock this time ... and ... IT WORKED! And I got to use my little handy-dandy tools to get the letters off Tacky Sheet. What fun.

Then I bought a new alphabet cartridge with my gift cards, AND a clearance Christmas Mat Stack. You know, one of those huge 12 x 12 stacks of paper, cardstock, cutouts and stickers all in one pad? Yeah, they only had a couple of them left. I'm going to have some more fun with my Cricut before I have to go back to work.

And did I tell you? I'm done with my classes!! Oh, yeah, I did. Well, it was worth saying again. Lots of yippee, there!