Monday, March 31, 2008

Martinsville

Elliott Sadler did not take home the coveted Grandfather clock in Martinsville yesterday. As a matter of fact, it was questionable whether he would be able to even participate in the race in his home state of Virginia. He injured his back earlier last week and was in a lot of pain. He went ahead and started the race but kept Dennis Setzer on standby, just in case he couldn't finish. Setzer won the truck race a day before and to be honest, I was kind of, sort of, maybe, wishing, hoping, thinking, wondering if Setzer took over if he could pull off a top 5 for the number 19 car. But Elliott took a few Tylenol and felt fine during the race, so Setzer left after lap 60. He finished 15th in the race which moved him up to 19th in the standings.

Denny Hamlin gets the win (and the clock), Dave Blaney gets the Red Lantern (and no clock), and we're in Texas next Sunday (where the winner gets custom-carved wooden boots with real spurs).

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Friday, March 28, 2008

For Plug

A note from Gramma Deb: Plug was found Tuesday. His spirit has crossed the rainbow bridge. He was a star till the end.


Rest in peace, Plug.


Kissing A Horse by Robert Wrigley

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Baked Pork Chops

Here you go, meat eaters. A big ol' plate of pork chops. No fancy smancy recipe this week. No squeezing or whisking or drizzling here. Just your basic, run of the mill, everyday pork chop.

It's also the most mouthwatering, delectable, tasty pork chop I've ever eaten. And with only 2 ingredients, this is very easy dish to make. So go make it! Right now! Chop chop!

center cut bone in pork chops (I only prepare 3 chops since Big pup doesn't eat them)
1 box Lipton dry soup mix (I like the beefy onion flavor)

Cover both sides of pork chops with the dry soup mix. Wrap pork chops in foil and place on a baking sheet. You might want to spray the foil with a nonstick cooking spray. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Awards Assembly



video


After the last awards assembly, Big pup came home from school wondering why I wasn't there to watch him get his awards. I felt awful that he thought I didn't care but honestly, I didn't know it was that big of a deal. I remember the awards assemblies we had in school and it wasn't the type of thing that parents attended. Apparently, times have changed. So I promised him that I would go to the next one. Which happened to be last Wednesday.

As his class filed into the room, I watched him scan the crowd of parents and then he spotted me. It was very cute. Every time he made eye contact with me he would look away and scrunch up his mouth trying so hard not to smile. He whispered to his teacher that his mommy was there and pointed me out to a couple of his friends. I don't know who was more proud--him or me. In the video he is sitting on the bottom row wearing overalls. He got 2 awards--one for honor roll and another for good citizenship.

(Please pardon the shakey video. I had a very antsy 3 year old on my hip.)

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter 2008

Awwwww.....look how cute my boys are. And Big pup is actually letting me take his picture! Just this once, because it's Easter, he said.


You know, it never fails, we are always thisclose to being late for church. I've tried getting everyone up extra early but we still get there right at the buzzer. I've even tried pretending that church starts 15 minutes early but that doesn't help either. I thought this past Sunday was going to be different. Everyone finished their breakfast quickly. Everyone got dressed on time. I thought we might actually be early for a change.


But then Big pup fell in the potty.


While I was combing Little pup's hair in the bathroom, Big pup came in to show me his new truck that he got for Easter. He sat down on the toilet but the lid and seat were up and he fell in. Needless to say, his pants and underwear were soaked. As WD put new underwear on him, I dried his pants with the hairdryer.
Then I took a quick picture of them out in the front yard with their Easter baskets and we raced to church. And, as usual, we made it just in time.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Day Off

Nascar took a break for the holiday yesterday so I'm taking a break today. After all, it is Spring Break--yay!


Easter pictures coming tomorrow, a video of Big pup's awards assembly on Wednesday, a recipe for Thursday, and a poem, as usual, for Poetry Friday.


Next Sunday's race is in Martinsville.

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

Keep your eyes on Jesus,
our leader and instructor.
He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross
because of the joy he knew would be his afterwards;
and now he sits in the place of honor
by the throne of God.
If you want to keep
from becoming fainthearted and weary,
think about his patience
as sinful men did such terrible things to him.


After all,
you have never yet struggled against sin and temptation
until you sweat
great
drops
of
blood.


--Hebrews 12:2-4

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

National Chocolate Week

Why didn't anyone tell me that it's National Chocolate Week? I could've been celebrating all week. I would've started out with a Hershey bar on Monday, then maybe a Dove bar on Tuesday, and Wednesday...well, don't get me started on Wednesday. It seems that yesterday was National Chocolate Caramel Day and since I had no idea I didn't get to do my civic duty and eat a whole box of turtles. I guess I'll just have to wait until December 16th for National Chocolate Covered Anything Day.

Oh, well, I still have a couple of days left to celebrate but next year I will certainly be more prepared.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The 2008 Iditarod: The Finish Line

The 2008 Iditarod is finally over! The last musher crossed the finish line Monday night with 78 (out of 96) mushers completing the race.

Karen Ramstead finished 56th with 12 dogs. She came in at 12 days, 6 hours, 52 minutes, and 58 seconds. Not only is it a personal best for her but it is the third fastest time for an all-Siberian team in Iditarod history.

Also making history was Blake Freking, the musher of the other all-Sibe team in this years race. He posted the fastest run ever for a team of pure bred Siberian Huskies. He finished 51st in 11 days and 21 hours.


Lance Mackey gets the win, rookie Deborah Bicknell gets the real Red Lantern award, and the excitement of the Iditarod begins again March 7, 2009.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Reuben Casserole

Nothing says Ireland like potatoes, corned beef, and cabbage. I fixed a Reuben Casserole yesterday for our St. Patrick's day dinner and it turned out great. Well, maybe it was a little runny because I might not have let the potatoes absorb all the liquid and maybe I didn't squeeze out the sauerkraut as much as I was supposed to but as far as you know, internet, it turned out great. As a matter of fact, everyone ate 2 helpings, put away their own dishes, gave me flowers and chocolate, and picked up their shoes from the living room. As far you know.



3 cups hot water
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1 TBS mustard
1 box roasted garlic mashed potatoes
6 oz. sliced corned beef, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 can (14.5 oz) sauerkraut, rinsed well and drained (next time I might use more)
2 cups (8 oz) shredded swiss cheese ( I used sliced)
1 TBS caraway seed, optional (I didn't use any)


Heat hot water, milk, and butter to a rapid boil in saucepan; remove from heat. Stir in mustard. Stir in 2 pouches of potatoes just until moistened. Let stand about 1 minute or until liquid is absorbed. Whip with a fork until smooth.


Spread 1 1/2 cups of potatoes in a greased square baking dish ( I used a lasagna dish). Top with corned beef. Spread sauerkraut over corned beef. Spoon remaining potatoes over top; spread gently. Top with cheese and caraway seed.


Bake uncovered about 20 minutes or until cheese is golden brown. I bet this would be delicious with warm, buttered rye bread.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Bristol

I managed to watch only about an hour of the race yesterday, then I lost the tv to the Arkansas vs. Georgia game. And then I fell asleep. It was a much needed nap. We spent part of the weekend in Pine Bluff, attending a baby shower for Kristina and baby Alexis (due in May). We all had a great time but I ate entirely way too much cake. And pizza. And burgers. And cheese dip. And cookies. I told WD we will be eating vegetables all week to make up for this past weekend.



I also told WD that Elliott Sadler finished nineteenth in Tennessee yesterday. He thought I said ninth so he was disappointed when I corrected him. However, after last weeks last place finish, I was thrilled that he came in nineteenth. He's still at 20th in the standings.

Jeff Burton gets the win, Jamie McMurray gets the Red Lantern, Dale Jarrett finished 37th in his last race, and next week is Easter--no Nascar.

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Stands With A Fist

Remember a couple of weeks ago when Lexie killed a cat? It was pretty early in the morning so I pulled on my boots and threw a coat on over my pajamas and went out to dispose of the cat. As I made my way down the road, shovel in hand, hair looking very much like Mary McDonnell in Dances With Wolves, I have to wonder what WD would have thought if he had caught a glimpse of me through the window.


Windchime by Tony Hoagland

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

The 2008 Iditarod: The Winner!

And the winner is...Lance Mackey! This is his second year in a row to win. After 9 days, 11 hours, 46 minutes, and 48 seconds he crossed the finish line in Nome. Lance and eleven of his dogs--including lead dogs Handsome and Larry--took first place early yesterday morning bringing home $69,000 in prize money.

Karen Ramstead's all Siberian team is still on the trail in 46th place.


And to commemorate my 35th birthday this past Sunday, Gramma Judy gave me this lovely Iditarod travel mug. Thanks, Judy!

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Let's Do Brunch

Ooooooh, look what I found! It's a plate. A salad plate. A Mikasa Duplex Brunch salad plate designed by Ben Seibel circa 1971. Jealous? Anyone? No?


There's a flea market a few miles away from our house. The last time I was in there was about 6 years ago and all I remember was that all they had was a bunch of junk. A couple of Saturdays ago, WD and I stopped by there on a whim and I'm so glad that we did. There was still a ton of junk we had to make our way through, but as I neared the exit, I saw this plate and had to have it. It was $3.50. I'd say that's a bargain considering that there's only minor imperfections--bleeding/fading colors. There's no chips or breaks, thankfully. I know that with the internet these days you can find anything and everything but there's something about that perfect flea market find that's irreplaceable.


Oh, and if anyone is looking for 247 Kevin Nash (of WCW fame) magnets, I know just the place that has them.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Southwestern Smothered Fries

What is it about watching sporting events on tv that makes you crave food covered in cheese and sour cream? For Sunday's race I dug out a recipe that I had ripped out of an All You magazine last summer. It's called Southwestern Smothered Fries and it is delicious. And so much easier than fixing potato skins, too. Plus, the health benefits from the black beans completely cancel out the fat and calories from the cheese and sour cream. Yep, that's right.


1 (24 oz) bag frozen steak fries
1 tsp vegetable oil (I used canola)
1 tsp chopped garlic (I used minced)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 (15 oz) can black beans
1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican style cheese blend
sour cream
salsa
green onions


Bake fries according to pkg directions. In a saucepan, warm oil over medium heat. Add garlic, cumin, and chili powder and "cook" for 30 seconds. Add beans with their liquid. Simmer until liquid is thickened and reduced by about half.


Transfer baked fries to a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Top with beans and cheese. Return to oven and bake until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.


Top smothered fries with salsa, sour cream, and green onions.

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Atlanta

Dear Rodney Childers,

Please get a pen and paper and write, 325 times: Elliott Sadler can not drive a loose race car.

Love,
Ali the Lazy Dog



I don't know how many times Elliott told his crew chief yesterday that his car needed to be tightened, but they were never able to get a handle on it. They tried changes in air pressure, track bar and shock adjustments, but nothing worked. He spun out on lap 221, then again on lap 232, and then for a third time on lap 262, at which point he said, "I think we're finally done guys." I should say so.


Tony Stewart had a rant about Goodyear tires yesterday. So maybe the tires had something to do with it, maybe it didn't. After all, only 12 cars finished on the lead lap. Elliott had his first DNF of the season and fell to 20th in the standings. Remember, we need him in the top 12 to make the Chase.


Kyle Busch (and Toyota) gets the win, and...uh...gulp...Elliott Sadler gets the Red Lantern, and we're in Bristol next week.

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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Happy 6th Birthday Big Pup!

Six years ago today, after 14 and a half hours of labor, 2 hours of pushing, a 3rd degree episiotomy, and with the assistance of forceps and an epidural, I gave birth to my first son. 8 lbs and 4 oz of perfection.


And my bladder has never been the same. Happy birthday, Big pup!

Big pup: I'm going to be six!
Me: Noooo, I don't want you to be six.
Big pup: Why not?
Me: Are you still going to let me kiss you when you're six?
Big pup: (laughing) Yes.
Me: Okay, you can be six.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

No Cats Allowed

The Siberian Husky Club of America ( SHCA ) states:


Predatory instincts in the Siberian Husky are strong. While the Siberian is normally gentle and friendly with people and other dogs, owners MUST be aware that small animals in and around the home, such as CATS, are potential victims of their strong predatory instinct.


Ummm....yeah. I second that. Last Saturday morning, a cat had gotten into our fenced in backyard, encountered 2 small prey lovin' dogs, and couldn't figure a way back out. I couldn't, safely, break up the dog and cat fight so I just had to stand back and watch.


Lexie killed it. It was over quickly. I don't blame her but I wish it had been a squirrel, possum, or another raccoon. Anything but a cat.


You know, we are having a cat themed birthday party here this Saturday for Big pup. Isn't that ironic? Or a coincidence? Or a bummer? Or something?

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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

It's Official!

I now pronounce Little pup officially potty trained! It took a little while longer with him than it did with his brother but I'm not complaining. Nope. I'm not going to say anything negative that may jinx this wonderfully glorious moment. And while I am still in charge of wiping bottoms around this place, it's safe to say that my 6 year stint as diaper changer is over!

P.S. It's been snowing all night and it's a winter wonderland here. Awaiting word on whether or not school is cancelled. I want to go back to bed!

P.P.S. School's open. Bah humbug.

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Monday, March 3, 2008

Las Vegas

The Fox affiliate in northwest Arkansas doesn't like sports fans. Back in January it only aired the last half of the Super Bowl and yesterday it did not air the UAW Dodge 400 in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, I had cancelled Directv Hotpass a few weeks ago. Fortunately, I have Trackpass on the computer so we were able to listen to team audio as well as the radio broadcast online.

Go ahead and guess who gave the command to start. Wayne Newton? Nope. Siegfried and Roy? Not even close. Celine Dion? Oh, how I wish. John Byers, the co-director of the UAW Chrysler National Training Center? Of course!

Elliott Sadler started 10th but quickly went downhill. On lap 57 he was caught speeding on pit road and had to make a pass through penalty. That set him back. The first half of the race he complained that it felt like he was driving on ice. He had no grip and even told his crew chief to make sure and write down the codes so they'll never use that set-up again.

As the race went on they made some changes that worked for them and on lap 224 (of 267) he was the lucky dog (a free pass to get back on the lead lap). That was a big break. He made his way up to 12th place when the checkered flag was waved. Sadler is now ranked 9th in the standings (top 12 makes the Chase). And here at the home of the lazy dog, we let out a big sigh of relief. And then promptly sent an angry email to Fox affiliate KFTA.

Carl Edwards gets the win, Tony Stewart (!) gets the Red Lantern, and we're in Atlanta next Sunday.

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