Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
On Christmas day, after all of Santa's gifts were opened, we loaded the boys into the van and made the 2 1/2 hour drive to Pine Bluff (Arkansas) to visit with WD's family. I think it is safe to say that finally, after 11 years of marriage, WD and I have nothing more to talk about.
We have exhausted topics relating to religion, politics, and extraterrestrial life. And I have patiently listened to WD wax poetic on his love for taco trucks. But I think we are done. Aside from his accusation that I ate all the cashews from his Christmas can of nuts, all we could muster was a 30 minute discussion on the common cold. His argument was that the worst part of a cold was the congestion. While I agree that not being able to breathe is frustrating, I think the worst part of a cold is a sore throat. So help us get over this conversation hump. What is the worst part of a cold?
Monday, December 29, 2008
Wow, that was some holiday, huh? A good time was had by all and I've sent the boys to their grandparent's house for the rest of the year so I can clean up. AND so I can enjoy Reese's Peanut Butter Trees all by myself. I picked them up after Christmas while searching for my favorite peppermint hot chocolate. The hot chocolate had already sold out so I had to settle for Reese's. I know. Poor me.
So...who wears it better?
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Caesar Augustus, the Roman Emperor, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the nation. Everyone was required to return to his ancestral home for this registration. And because Joseph was a member of the royal line, he had to go to Bethlehem, King David's ancient home--journeying there from the Galilean village of Nazareth. He took with him Mary, his fiancee, who was pregnant by this time. And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born; and she gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the village inn.
That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly an angel appeared among them, and the landscape shone bright with the glory of the Lord. They were badly frightened, but the angel reassured them. "Don't be afraid!" he said. "I bring you the most joyful news ever announced, and it is for everyone! The Saviour--a baby wrapped in a blanket, lying in a manger--has been born tonight in Bethlehem!"
Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others--the armies of heaven--praising God: "Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth!"
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Did you know that if you google 'real christmas tree vs. fake christmas tree' you get a list of 298,000 websites? Well, make that 298,001 after I hit publish on this post. I had no idea it was such an issue. Pro-real tree people make the argument that by buying a real tree, you are giving your money to local tree farmers instead of manufacturers in China. Pro-artificial tree people argue that fake trees can last for 15 years while real ones last only for a short amount of time before it's thrown into a landfill.
When I bought my artificial, pre-lit Christmas tree 8 years ago, I promise I wasn't taking a stance. I was just being lazy, that's all. Drudging from farm to farm trying to find the perfect tree, stringing lights, watering it, vacuuming up pine needles, it's just too much for me. But what about you? Is your Christmas tree real or fake?
Christmas Tree Lots by Chris Green
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Okay, hold on to your Santa hats, I have a confession.
I don't like egg nog. I don't know why because cream AND sugar? Together? What's not to like about that? Maybe it's the texture. It's like a milkshake that's been left out for awhile. Or maybe the idea of drinking raw eggs gives me the willies. I just don't like it.
My husband, WD, on the other hand, LOVES it. So I knew just what kind of cake to fix for his birthday earlier this week. An Egg Nog Pound Cake. The whole family enjoyed this cake. Even my 6 year old, the pickiest eater in the world. WD thought that the cake itself didn't have a very strong egg nog flavor so I made an egg nog glaze to pour over it. And the birthday boy was happy. Despite the 'Over the Hill' candle I put on top of the cake.
Egg Nog Pound Cake
1 box yellow cake mix
1 small package instant vanilla pudding mix
3/4 cup egg nog
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup powdered sugar (for glaze)
1/4-1/2 cup egg nog (for glaze)
Combine first 4 ingredients; mix on low speed in mixer until moistened. Add eggs and nutmeg. Beat for 4 minutes on high speed. Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan or tube pan. Bake at 350 F. for 40 to 45 minutes until a toothpick insterted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely and sprinkle with powdered sugar or drizzle with an egg nog glaze.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Yesterday, I was so caught up in talking about my poor, pitiful, suffering finger I forgot to mention that it was WD's birthday. So today I'd like to honor his 32nd birthday by sharing a story about, well, me. And my poor, pitiful, suffering mental health.
One day last week, I had just started to prepare dinner when WD came home from work. And on his way into to bedroom he walked by the kitchen and asked, "What's for dinner?" Now, on the surface, that question sounds innocent enough but in plain view the carrots, rice and wheat rolls were all sitting out on the counter along with a package of chicken breasts by the sink.
CLEARLY, he's trying to drive me insane.
Monday, December 15, 2008
You know how when it's 7:40 a.m. and you're struggling to get the kids in the van and it's cold and you were supposed to have left the house 10 minutes ago and you're trying to hurry to make it to school by 8 but it's freezing outside and you quickly get your 4 year old buckled into his carseat so you think, finally, you can get in where it's warm and get on the road but not so fast, your 6 year old is wearing a bulky coat and needs help with his seat belt so instead of standing outside the van to buckle him in you climb in and hastily pull the door shut behind you, slamming it right on your hand?
I HATE it when that happens.
Friday, December 12, 2008
There's a youth group here in the county where I live called Goats Gone Wild. It's a part of the 4-H club. The kids spray painted their goats red, white and blue for the Veteran's Day Parade last month. I didn't go to the parade but I did see pictures from the event. I believe there was stenciling involved.
I just wanted to let you know.
Here's Lost in the Forest by Amy Gerstler. It's another Grimm fairy tale inspired poem for Poetry Friday.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Diana from Diana's Daily Ramblings tagged me for a photo meme recently. It's fun and easy. Right up my alley. The rules are simple. Pick the 4th photo in the 4th folder and post it.
This picture is from a folder labeled Atlanta '06. WD went to a NASCAR race in Atlanta and stopped off at the Talladega Superspeedway. This car was at the museum there and was driven by Hermie Sadler in the early '90's.
I didn't make the trip that year. I stayed home tending to the young'uns, darning socks and churning butter. Wait...2006? Oh, okay, that was the year we were living with my parents while our dream home was under construction. Yeah, forget about that whole darning socks and churning butter thing. More likely, I was on the couch looking through home design magazines and gaining 10 pounds while my parents chased after their grandchildren.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Isn't that such a pretty Bookworm Award? It came from LeAnn and Chris but it comes with some rules: Open the closest book to you, not your favorite or most intellectual book, but the closest book to you at the moment and turn to page 56. Write the 5th sentence, as well as 2-5 sentences following that.
Oh, LeAnn and Chris, you have no idea what you have asked me to do. Can't I mosey on over to my bookshelf and grab The Complete Works of Shakespeare instead? Or maybe Lives of the Saints? How about one of Lillian Jackson Braun's The Cat Who blah, blah, blah books? No? Okay. Grab a cup of coffee. You'll need caffeine for this.
"To prevent flareout of the wire during cutting, place a piece of masking tape around the hose cutoff point; then cut the hose squarely. Figure 1-39 shows the socket, sleeve, and nipple assembly that make up the end fitting for Teflon hose assemblies. To assemble these, place the two sockets in a vise skirt-to-skirt as shown on figure 1-40. Then, work the hose through the sockets with a pushing, twisting motion. Using the 'neck down' end (fig. 1-41) will make installation easier."
Nope. That's not Danielle Steele. That's from WD's Aircraft Hydraulic Systems Journeyman course textbook that he left sitting on the desk.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Do you know how many traffic lights I encounter on a daily basis? Zero. I can take Big pup to school, stop in at the post office, fill up at the gas station, take the huskies to the vet and grab a gallon of milk at the Dollar General store and never have to deal with traffic lights. On the days when I need more than just milk I head to Walmart--passing through only 2 lights.
Yesterday, I traveled to Little Rock to see my sister and OH MY WORD do you know how many traffic lights there are in Little Rock? One million. I'm not even kidding.
This weeks Poetry Friday selection is How to Enter a Big City by Thomas James Merton
Thursday, December 4, 2008
3 Italian sausage links
3 large potatoes, scrubbed and cut into bite size pieces
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cans chicken broth
4 cups water
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 TBS salt
3 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 cups kale
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Remove casings from sausage and brown in skillet. Add onion, potatoes, broth, water, garlic and salt to a large pot. Cook until potatoes are tender. Add sausage, bacon, kale and cream. Heat through and serve.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
See that boy in the middle? That's my dad back in the early 1950's. If you would've told him that he would grow up to be a teacher, it probably wouldn't have surprised him. If you told him back then that he would spend over 30 years teaching high school, I'm sure he would have been impressed. If you told him that upon retirement, he would drive the bus for that same school, he would've nodded his head. No shock there.
But if you would've told his 1952 self that not only would he drive 75 kids on a field trip to watch a movie about a vampire, but also have to sit through that movie with lovesick teenagers oooohing and ahhhhing and sighing every couple of minutes, he would've told you that you're crazy. Nope. No way. Never gonna happen.
Except it did. Last week.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Several weeks ago when Janet gave me the 'I'm Lovin' Your Blog' award, I was supposed to have posted 5 things that I love. But I didn't. Because I'm a rebellious rule breaker, remember? Oh, and I'm lazy. That may have had something to do with it too. So without further ado, here is a list of 5 things that I love.
I don't drink much soda but when I do it's a Dr. Pepper. But make it caffeine free please otherwise I will be up until 2 a.m.
When I'm not reading novels set in Afghanistan or China or Forks, WA (yes, I've hopped on the Twilight bandwagon), I love reading a good bodice ripper.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
The Smile Award is from Lori at I'm No Super Mom But I'm Loving It! Lori recently posted a picture of her son sitting in the dishwasher when he was a baby. Is this a boy thing? I've got a few pictures like that.
Friday, November 21, 2008
I realize that I already posted a picture of the moon recently but not this moon. This moon was seen overhead last week and is called The Full Beaver Moon or The Frosty Moon. Back in the old days, when you saw this moon in the sky in November you knew it was time to set the beaver traps before the swamps froze. And then you would have enough warm furs to last through winter. Heads up, The Full Cold Moon will make its appearance in 3 weeks on December 12th.
I also realize that I've spent way too many Poetry Fridays on Adelaide Crapsey. I can't help it! I love her short, little, serious, tragic poems.
Niagara by Adelaide Crapsey
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Sometimes when I watch Rachael Ray's show 30 Minute Meals, I think, "You've got to be kidding me." I mean, is she running out of ideas, or what? Really, who thinks of combining macaroni and cheese, beer, chopped up hot dogs, ketchup and mustard? That's a miss. A big disgusting miss.
But to be fair, she has some hits too. Like this recipe for Shepherd's Pie. I happened to catch it on her show last month and I've already made it 3 times. Add a side of green beans or corn and some bread and it's great family dinner. And even though I've made it 3 times, I still have yet to get it under 30 minutes!
Rachael Ray's Steakhouse Shepherd's Pie (original recipe is here, my version is below)
2 TBS butter
2 TBS flour
1 1/2 cups beef broth
2 TBS steak sauce
2 lbs ground sirloin
8 oz container mushrooms, sliced
1/2 onion, chopped
3 large baking potatoes
3 TBS sour cream
3 TBS chives
4 slices bacon
Bring peeled, cut up potatoes to a boil in salted water.
Add sirloin, mushrooms, and onion to a skillet and salt to taste. Cook until meat is browned and liquid is gone.
In a small sauce pan over medium heat melt butter, whisk the flour into butter, cook 2 minutes then whisk beef broth into flour, add steak sauce and pepper, to taste. Thicken 6 to 7 minutes. Pour gravy over meat mixture, then pour into a baking dish.
Drain cooked potatoes and add sour cream and chives. Add a splash of milk so it will be easier to spread. Mash and then spread over the meat mixture. Top with nuked, crumbled bacon.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Well, this morning it's 30 degrees and the temperature may get up to 53 today, so unless you're a polar bear, I'd say swimming is out of the question.
Monday, November 17, 2008
After having a couple of busy weekends lately, this past one was pretty uneventful. The only productive thing I did was get rid of the jack o'lantern that was on the front porch. The above is a before picture and trust me, you do not want to see the after picture of a carved pumpkin that's been out in the elements for a month.
Let's see, what else was going on this weekend...Oh, I know, the last race of the NASCAR season! I guess it's no surprise that Jimmie Johnson won the championship. That's 3 championships in a row for him. I've accepted that Elliott Sadler will never win the Cup, all I want is one race. That's it. To see him win just one race will make me happy. He was having some brake issues yesterday and ended up finishing 28th. That puts him in 24th position in the season's final standings. Oh, well, better luck next year.
Carl Edwards gets the win for yesterday's race, Jimmie Johnson wins the championship, Kurt Busch gets the red lantern, and the Daytona 500 is February 15, 2009.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Wonder why I'm illustrating this post about Moby-Dick with one of WD's Civil War reenactment pictures?
Here it goes: Way back on this day in 1851, Moby-Dick was published in the United States, but it didn't go over very well back then, it was a little too tragic for people's tastes, but really, what did you expect when Herman Melville started palling around with that Nathaniel Hawthorne, so anyway, the book was a dud, but Melville kept writing, and he didn't just write novels, he wrote poetry too, and having lived during the Civil War, he wrote a few poems concerning that time in history, one of those poems is about the battle at Shiloh, and although I don't have a picture of WD at Shiloh, I do have one of him at the battle at Chickamauga, not the real one, the fake one, the one where you can ditch the hardtack, hop into a Ford truck and drive 80 miles per hour back to Arkansas eating White Castle hamburgers all the way.
Whew! That was a long sentence. But thankfully not as long as Moby-Dick. Here's Shiloh: A Requiem (April, 1862) by Herman Melville.
Skimming lightly, wheeling still,
The swallows fly low
Over the field in clouded days,
The forest-field of Shiloh—
Over the field where April rain
Solaced the parched ones stretched in pain
Through the pause of night
That followed the Sunday fight
Around the church of Shiloh—
The church so lone, the log-built one,
That echoed to many a parting groan
And natural prayer
Of dying foemen mingled there—
Foemen at morn, but friends at eve—
Fame or country least their care:
(What like a bullet can undeceive!)
But now they lie low,
While over them the swallows skim,
And all is hushed at Shiloh.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
So yesterday I posted a picture of my messy, unorganized cookbook. It's full of recipes I've torn out of newspapers, ripped out of magazines, and jotted down on envelopes. I've got dozens of recipes that are just waiting to be made. Recently, I decided to go through them to see if I could thin out my collection a bit and I ran across a recipe for Pumpkin Soup. I had torn it out of a newspaper (Irene Wassell's food column in the AR Democrat-Gazette) way back in December of 2005. And since soup weather has now arrived, I decided to give it a try.
And...it's a keeper! It's thin but creamy and delicious with buttered french bread. The flavor combination of pumpkin and onion is wonderful and the spices aren't overpowering like I worried that they might be. I can't wait for the weather to get even colder so I can make this soup again.
Let's see, that's one clipping down, 1185 to go.
1/2 cup minced onion
2 TBS cooking oil
1 TBS all-purpose flour
1 tsp curry powder, or to taste (I used 1/2 tsp)
1 (16-oz) can pumpkin
1 TBS brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning, or to taste
2 cups half-and-half
In a large saucepan, saute onion in oil until translucent. Add flour and curry; stir until well mixed with the oil.
Stir in pumpkin, brown sugar and nutmeg. Add broth and creole seasoning and whisk until smooth.
Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add half-and-half and heat until hot. Do not boil. Serve immediately.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Before we headed to Texas a couple of weeks ago, I decided I needed a new cowboy hat. And a new pair of jeans, and a new Elliott Sadler t-shirt, and some new Nikes. Unfortunately, I only had enough money for the hat. But isn't it pretty? It's from Toby Keith's line of hats.
If you're unfamiliar with Toby Keith, he's a country music artist whose hits include An American Soldier and Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue. He sings--and speaks--openly about patriotism, supporting America, and having faith in the United States. He's probably most famous for feuding with Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks. Natalie said Toby's Angry American song was ignorant and Toby implied that Natalie was a commie heathen. He really, really likes America.
As a matter of fact, I could've bought his Toyo Outback Hat, a camouflage hat with the USA flag on the side. It's described as "patriotism, pure and simple." I instead went with the Seagrass Western, "good-looking, all-American, and a whole lotta fun." Yep. That Toby Keith, he's all about Amer--hey, what's this?
Monday, November 10, 2008
We had another busy weekend of traveling. We went down to Pine Bluff (AR) for WD's family Thanksgiving dinner. And from now on, whenever I go out of town, I would like to impose a no-blogging rule. Man, you guys are prolific. I guess laundry today will just have to wait. Darn.
I was able to watch most of yesterday's Nascar race before we had to head home. As an Elliott Sadler fan, I knew I wasn't going to miss much. Someone got into him early in the race and he dropped to last place. He was able to work his way up and finish in 30th place. Jimmie Johnson continues to lead the Chase and needs to finish 36th or better next week in order to clinch the championship title.
There were a couple of red flags--one was for rain (!) and the other was for the #38 car landing on top of the #83 car (!)--that made the race last longer than expected. So at 7:30 pm everyone was instructed to turn the channel over to ESPN2 to finish watching the race. Apparently, you do not want to mess with all of the Extreme Home Makeover fans out there.
Jimmie Johnson gets the win, Martin Truex Jr. gets the red lantern and we are at Homestead next Sunday for the final (!) race of the season.
Edited to add: Ooops, it wasn't Extreme Home Makeover that ABC cut to, it was actually America's Funniest Home Videos. But isn't that worse?!
Friday, November 7, 2008
Quick! What did Adelaide Crapsey invent in the early 1900's? If you said the modern toilet, that's very funny but very wrong. It's the cinquain poem! Remember when I tried writing one of those things? Hmmm....feels like it was years ago. And yet, it was only last week. Man, a lot has happened in one week. Halloween, last soccer game, road trip to Texas, election day and the change in the weather. Last weekend the temps were in the 80's and this weekend they're in the 60's. With the leaves constantly falling now it's really looking like November. And if you listen closely, you may just be able to hear them fall.
November Night by Adelaide Crapsey
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I've had dogs for 10 years now and throughout that time I've made several homemade treats for them. Carrot cakes, oatmeal cookies, cheese puffs, but my absolute favorite is the Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits. They're easy, healthy, natural, crunchy and taste great. As a matter of fact, when LP and I made them for Lexie's birthday a few weeks ago, we ate 4 of them drizzled with a little honey!
Peanut Butter Dog Biscuit (original recipe from Sacramento & Co.)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup natural peanut butter
1 cup skim milk (I used 2%)
Mix dry ingredients. Mix milk and peanut butter, separately. Combine. Roll out to 1/4" thickness and cut shapes. Prepare cookie sheets with non-stick spray. Bake at 385 degrees for about 20 minutes. Cool and store airtight in the refrigerator. Best if allowed to come to room temp first.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Hey, look, it's me and WD (clap, clap, clap, clap) deep in the heart of Texas. Well, maybe not (clap, clap, clap, clap) deep in the heart of Texas but certainly the outer layer of the pericardium of Texas. We traveled to Texas Motor Speedway this past weekend for the NASCAR race.
Before we left home, I made sure to clear some room on my camera and charge the batteries. While in the motel room I played around with the settings, getting it ready for fast action shots, and then...I forgot to take it to the track. (The above pic was taken by WD's dad.) I guess the good thing about that is that it was one less thing I had to keep up with.
We had a great time even though Elliott Sadler came in 35th. Jimmie Johnson leads the Chase with only 2 more races to go.
Carl Edwards gets the win, Juan Montoya gets the red lantern, and we're in Phoenix next Sunday.