Monday, July 31, 2006

menu for the next 2 weeks

It's been awhile since I posted one. This focuses on both a main meal and then a leftover meal (sounds appetizing doesn't it - 'leftover meal'? I need to come up with something a bit more tasty....'reinventions' perhaps?) These are in no particular order. We had Kraft Mac & Cheese for dinner tonight (like Mom used to make:) ) which is not on the menu, so so far, menu 0 laziness 1.

Main Meals
Broiled Salmon w/sesame glaze
Steak & Spinich Salad
Chicken with beans & artichokes
Pork Loin w/teriyaki noodles
Burgers on the grill (DH is cooking)

Reinvented Meals
Pizza with steak & artichokes
Salmon cakes
Spaghetti with ragu of pork sauce
Chicken with coucous
Casserole to be determined.... (sounds like a threat to me)

That is 11 meals over 14 days (assuming the casserole needs made), plus we have had mac & cheese and we won't actully be home 3 of those days so technically I am one meal over what is required. This menu was designed to use my pantry. All I need from the grocery store for it is steak, pork loin & spinich. We're still absorbing the $780 in auto repairs from a couple weeks ago & I need new tires, so the grocery bill needs to be as small as possible this month. The pantry include 4 more boxes of Mac & Cheese, as well as fish sticks & taquitos, so I can be lazy at no additional expense :)


What leaves me speechless? Generally, anger and shock that someone could actually *SAY* that (whatever that may be). There was the guy at the garage who told me they rotated my studded tires, rather than changing them out with the ones in my trunk, as i had asked, because I had told him to rotate them & it's not his problem if women have no clue what they are asking for. I have to admit the main reason I was speechless was because I was telling myself not to kick him in the nuts. When I had convinced myself not to give him teh crack he deserved I pointed out that he had been too busy oggling another woman's breasts to have the slightest clue what I may or may not have told them and anyone with half a brain would know better than to put studded tires on the front of a rear wheel drive, IN MAY! After making an incredible fuss, one I am both proud of & embarassed by, they fixed the tires free, I filed a complaint with the BBB & never went back to that shop.

Dh occasionally overexaggerates things when we have an arguement. I am usually so infuriated by these that I simply cannot say anything for fear I will get really nasty in my reply.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

internet again

I cannot upload files after 7pm-ish. This is a regular thing. DH says it is because someone on the same tower, with a higher error rate, is online doing something & it's distracting the signal box. Sorta like having several people say "Hey look at this! Hey look at this! Hey look at this!" all at once, over & over, only one of them keeps dropping the thing, so they have to pester even more, making it hard for the others to get the attention. And one of the others is clumsy as well, only not as clumsy. It's annoying on the one hand. On the other it's good to know *I* don't have the highest error rate. :) I'm sure my online presence in the afternoon is annoying the daylights out of someone else for the same reason. So I suppose it is just fair.

Friday, July 28, 2006

advice to the younger me

Manage your money better!!!! Save more, spend less. You don't need 4 different versions of the same pair of shoes, 14 purses and 60+ tarot deck. You'll never use them all. Think harder about what you are buying & why you are buying it. She who dies with the most stuff does *NOT* win. Put that money in the bank, you'll need it down the road. Establish better spending habits now so the older you doesn't have to struggle so hard to overcome the entrenched bad ones.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


I was tagged by a couple of friends with this.

1. Have you ever been searched by the cops?
yes but so was everyone else in the apartment. They busted a neighbor for dealing drugs and searched all 4 apartments in the quad because they were not certain it was just the one neighbor. Not my apartment, but I was visiting when the bust happened.

2. Do you close your eyes on a roller coaster?
I used to often but not all the time, when I wore contacts. I haven't been on a coster since I had LASIK though. I think I would keep them open now

3. When's the last time you've been sledding?
A couple years ago

4. Would you rather sleep with someone else, or alone?
Alone, that way I get all the blankets

5. Do you believe in ghosts?

6. Do you consider yourself creative?

7. Do you think O.J. killed his wife?
I don't know. I lean toward yes but I don't know enough about the situation.

8. Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie? (silly, I know ... but very "now")
Doing what? This is another thing where I don't know enough about the situation to really make a choice

9. Can you honestly say you know ANYTHING about politics?
Yes, I do actually know a lot about this. DH is a 'gun nut' & active on a very political message board. he keeps me informed.

10. Do you know how to play poker?
Straight poker yes, texas hold em & the variations not so much

11. Have you ever been awake for 48 hours straight?
Sadly, yes, on more than one occasion. Once was a drive from WV to FL. I don't sleep in cars well. And a few times while DS1 was a newborn. He had some serious sleep issues the first month of his life, only sleeping in 20 minute bursts & screaming inconsolibly in between. There were a couple times when DH's work schedule left me alone with DS1 for 2 nights in a row & there was just no sleep for me until he came home. Turns out the kid was hungry & I was not producing enough milk.

12. What's your favorite commercial?
I like the Pizza Hut commercial where the guy says he likes to share a pizza with his girlfriend because while she thinks its sweet he wants to be with her instead of his buddies, actually she just eats less than they do.

13. Who was your first love?
Harrison Ford - 1977, still going strong nearly 30 years later

14. If you're driving in the middle of the night, and no one is around you, do you run a red light?
depends. On a country lane yes I might. On a more trafficed road I wouldn't

15. Do you have a secret that no one knows but you?

16. Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees?
um, is this a baseball question?

17. Have you ever been Ice Skating?
yes, lots when I was a kid but not at all since college

18. How often do you remember your dreams?
every soft often. Some stick with me better than others

19. What's the one thing on your mind?

20. Do you always wear your seat belt?

21. What talent do you wish you had?

22. Do you like Sushi?

23. What do you wear to bed?

24. Do you truly hate anyone?
no, there are people I don't like & there are people I avoid because I really don't like them, but I don't actually hate anyone.

25. If you could sleep with one famous person, who would it be?
Pierce Brosnan

26. Do you know anyone in jail?
not currently

27. What food do you find disgusting?
brains, liver, kidneys...that sort of thing

28. Have you ever made fun of your friends behind their back?
when I was a teenager

29. Have you ever been punched in the face?
yes, each of the boys at one point in the first two years of their lives has whacked me good in the face

30. Do you believe in angels and demons?

I PMd this to Meg & suggested it as a blog prompt for today so I guess youc an say I tag all the bloggers on DSP. :)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

a recipe

Now that I have gotten the family meal memories out of my system I've got a recipe for you. This one is an original by me, inspired by a couple different dip/dishes that I have had at other's homes on bunco nights. (bunco is a dice game played by 12 people at 3 tables). I combined a few ingredients of different dishes and added one of my own. As with all my recipes you get a rambling explanation of why I use the ingredients I do, variations that I have tried and only vague proportions to work with. But I hope if you do give it a try, you like it. This is a variation on 7 layer dip, it's meant to be served with tortilla chips along side the guacamole & salsa, but I'll admit right now I have served with a spinach salad and called it dinner.

1 pound of ground beef or a bit more.
1 or 2 avocados, depends on how much you like avocados. I really like them so I use 2. The little dark green ones, not the big light green ones. One of those would probably be sufficient. You want them to be just a tiny bit past ripe, not too soft but with a nice 'give' if you squeeze them gently.
1 or 2 tomatoes for the same reason as the avocados. I'm not big on tomatoes so I use one small one. DH claims this is a skimpy amount of tomatoes & has me put 2 in if its for a party.
Sour cream, the 16oz container size, though I generally use only about 12ozs of it.
One bag of shredded 'Mexican mix' cheese or you can shred up some cheddar, pepper jack & monteray jack cheese as a nice blend as well.
Packet of taco seasoning. I like Ortega mild but choose per your personal preference. Manwich sauce works well also. I'd originally intended to use Manwich when I thought up this dish but the Wal-Mart was remodeling & had moved the cans of Manwich to who knows where (not that I knew where they were before this. I'd never bought Manwich sauce before but it was used in one of the inspiration dishes) and I decided on taco seasoning instead. I found the Manwich stuff at safeway & tried that version. It's more liquidy than taco seasoning but works well.
Lettuce, if not serving with a separate salad. Iceberg is best with this, or really crisp romaine. I use about half a head of Iceberg

Cook the ground beef according to the taco seasoning/Manwich instructions. Let it cool a bit. While it is doing that, chop up the avocados & tomatoes, shred the cheese if needed and chop up the lettuce if using. You want a small dice on the avocados & tomatoes & bite sized on the lettuce.

Get one 9x13 non-metal pan. Layer in the beef on the bottom, then spread a layer of sour cream on that. I think the whole 16ozs is a bit too much sour cream, so I only use about 12ozs now. Then sprinkle the avocados & then the tomatoes over the sour cream. Top them with the lettuce, if using, and finish with the whole bag of shredded cheese. Serve with big sturdy tortilla chips.

family recipe

The prompt today is to write about a favorite family recipe and to do a layout of it for the CIJ Holiday recipe challenge on DSP. I don't know if I'll get a layout done & here is the reason - we don't have recipes in my family, unless you consider opening a jar or can or box to be a recipe. I always joke that my spaghetti sauce is my Mom's secret one can open a jar of Ragu like Mom can! :) Mom doesn't really like to cook. She had a husband & 2 kids to feed so she cooked, but I think easy & efficient were the main points she was going for in her meals. Nutrition too I suppose - though I don't think boiled to death canned green beans or boil in a bag cauliflower with cheese sauce are really brimming over with nutrients, but then I am still working to overcome my dislike of veggies & I blame those things for causing it, so I don't have much good to say about them. I don't blame mom & I am not knocking mom for serving them. I genuinely *enjoy* cooking but being expected to produce dinner for 3 other people nearly every night does take some of the enjoyment out of it. I use frozen veggies myself, only they don't come smothered in cheese sauce (frozen cheese sauce is evil).

I don't remember most meals my mom made except meatloaf & something referred to as 'chili' that would send chili lovers screaming from the house in horror. (ground beef, tomato paste, can of kidney beans and a dash of garlic powder. I have no idea why it was called chili, but nearly every mom in the neighborhood made it) Dinner was a piece of cooked meat, potatoes of some sort (mashed or boiled usually, occasionally she got out the slicer & we would have baked french fries), a veggie of the canned or frozen variety, reheated and sometimes a salad. Nothing wrong with these meals, but none of them were really family recipes if you know what I mean. I tend to think of baked goods when I think of recipes. Or stews, lasagna, that sort of thing. Things with more than one ingredient.

I don't know for sure, but I think my grandmothers felt the same way as my mom dd about cooking. I don't remember either of them enjoying cooking. It was just something you had to do - and usually involved putting a ham in the oven & walking away until it was time to mash the potatoes & heat up the canned green beans. At both grandmothers' homes. They all served canned green beans, even when they had fresh in the garden (those had to be saved for canning). I cannot now eat green beans in any form. That was the standard holiday meal. I serve rib roast and carrots to may family on holidays. So I'm not really doing anything different, just using different stuff. I am experiementing with sides, hoping to come up with something that will become traditional in time. We rarely made Christmas cookies, though apparently they were a big deal in DH's family. I am trying to do cookies with the boys & get them involved in the regular cooking as well.

I may have to hunt up a photo of a can of green beans and do a layout about it. The recipe is simple- open can, pour in small pot, bring to a boil, leave simmering a good half hour or so to heat thoroughly. Serve.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Are you pleased with what you look like? If you could change any part of yourself what would it be?

For the most part I am happy with what i look like. There is one part that I would like to change but am not having much luck with. Its the barrel that has taken the place of my abs. Not that I ever had the rock hard 6 pack or anything. i always had a bit of bulge below my navel but it was not this thick barrel that extends from chest to crotch. The muscles under it are firm after all teh ab work I have done, but the thick layer of fat disguises that. It started out as baby weight. 2 kids in 2 years and non-stop breastfeeding munchies kept me 20lbs over my pre TTC weight. I lost 10 of it & firmed up all those muscles. But the remaining 10 lbs is keeping the barrel roll look in place. I'd love to claim it as baby weight but I am too honest with myself to do that. The baby is 2.5 years old. This is cookie weight. Exeercise I can manage. Diets ain't my thing, but I suppose I really need to just indulge less and make some better choices. Or the roll will never go away

Friday, July 21, 2006


The only sort of advice I remember people actually giving me is straightforward things like - "Dump the jerk", "don't mix beer & liquor when drinking", and "don't sit too close to the tv, you'll ruin your eyes". All useful, but not really profound. These are 3 other pieces of advice I have picked up along the way. Mostly from stuff I read.

"this too shall pass" - good, bad or indifferent, nothing lasts forever. Cherish the good, endure the bad & let the indifferent happen.

"treat others as you would like to be treated" - which is challenging when you are feeling very testy because the stupid phone system has hung upon you twice and you have been on hold for a total of over 40 minutes in an attempt to convince your satellite provider the receiver they gave you is a piece of crap. You end up muttering it like a mantra while having evil thoughts.

"don't slam the door on your way out" - you never know when you might have to go in & face everyone again later.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

the proposal

Let me preface this by saying - waking me up out of a sound sleep, unless the house is on fire, is never a good idea.

DH & I had been dating for 4 years and living together for 3 when he proposed. We'd talked about it before & hadn't wanted to get married. We didn't want kids so there was no real reason to get married (apart from the 'what will the neighbors think' issue my mother had, but we were living 5 hours away from her neighbors & didn't really care what they thought). So we are going along with life, perfectly happy with the status quo and one night, out of the blue, DH wakes me up and says "Let's get married." I said "Are you nuts? What time is it?" he said "No really, let's get married." I replied "If you are serious, ask me again in the morning."

Sounds callous on my part I know, but this was the situation. He was awake because he was studying for finals. He'd just started looking for professional work. He'd recently given up smoking. The Cheers series finale had been on earlier that night. I figured the stress had gotten to him.

My alarm went off at 7am and as I was getting out of bed he rolled over and said "I do still want to marry you." and I said "ok".

Not the stuff of romance, but it is a good story. I'd never really considered the proposal, but I never rally considered the wedding either when I was growing up. everyone else had their weddings planned down to the table linen by the time they were 8. I just figured the right guy would ask me to marry him & then there would be a party of some sort. The whole thing would be casual & fun. That is what I got too.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

my voice

I don't really have my own voice. I have Douglas Adams'. The majority of my sayings tend to come from his books. I read the repeatedly at an early age and they are just a part of me. Lately I have been getting a lot of "Why are they buildign that Mommy?" questions from DS1. Constuction is booming in this area, we can't go anywhere without running into an excavator or dumptruck or shell of a building. There are only so many good factual answers to his question and after a bit just respond. "It's a Target. You've got to build Targets" which is from Hitchhiker's Guide "Its a bypass. You've got to build bypasses" I've also been known to stop an endless flood of questions by saying "42". The boys now realize Mommy has give them the Ultimate Answer & no more questions are necessary. I'll make comments about "having the sort of day that would make St Francis of Asissi kick babies.", refer to broken items as "the alleged *item*", answer complicated math questions with "A suffusion of yellow" and mention that "people are a problem".

I also quote old movies, like Clue - "So he says, but does he know?" and "but look what happened to the cook."

It's really amazing how often the opportunity to use things like that come up IRL. Not so much online. But one of the 'requirements' of my coven is that you have read everything by Douglas Adams or at the very least have watched lots of Monty Python. Not for religious reasons but so you can keep up with us when we start tossing around one liners & quoting things.

My own personal voice includes the work 'freaking' which is said in place of the less appropriate F word. I use a lot of contractions, drop final 'g's and have an accent in certain vowel sounds.

I don't tidy up my voice when I am writing very often. Usually just for clarity. Journaling is more thought than spoken word & there is a difference for me in those 2. I have a much larger mental vocabulary than spoken one and mentally my grammar is better. However my though process tends to ramble, whereas I am much more concise verbally. So often when I am journaling for a layout I will lean more toward my spoken voice than my mental voice. When I am journaling here I tend to stick with my mental voice - which should be obvious from the rambling nature of this post.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The favorite room in my house is my bedroom. Not because of the decor, it's painted a rather flat matte grey green, (nice color, but DULL) or all the natural wood furnitue. Certainly not because of the big metal gun safe in the corner :rollseyes:. But because of the bed. It's a very NICE bed. We bought a Tempur Pedic mattress last year. It is soooo comfy. Add to that my mass of pillows and a big poofy comforter & it's a great place to curl up with a book (as long as the males in the house are out of the house or the door is locked). It is quiet & peaceful, a wonderful retreat when "I have had enough!" as I tend to announce to the males. I'd take a photo of it right now but the males are all napping in there & I don't want to risk my lovely peace & quiet in the living room by accidentally waking them up.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

take a stand

This isn't something I do very often. I can see both sides of too many issues to have firm hard opinions on things - not the sort that I am going to go to any great length to defend. I have strong opinions about things, I just prefer not to discuss them most of the time. I'm talking about the larger issues - abortion, immigration, the environment, etc. There are plenty of smaller issues for which I will draw a line in the sand - vodka or gin martini? Hunts or Heinz ketchup? whether you should return your shopping cart to the corral or not. But I think I will tackle today a very important issue.


Brownies, cake, cookies -all are irrepairably harmed by the addition of nuts. It spoils the texture. You have this nice soft, chewy brownie you are nibbleing at then WHAM your teeth sink into a small rocklike object. Totally ruins the experience, throws you off your brownie eating stride. Cookies are worse because the nuts are the same color as the cookie dough so you can't even pick them out. Brownies at least have a color contrast to work with. They add nothing to the taste of the cookie or browning, in fact, they add a totally foreign element. It is one thing if you are eating pecan pie, nuts are obviously the objective. But chocolate chip cookies are just that - chocolate chip cookies. Not chocolate chip and bits of walnut cookies.

Fortunately I am married to a man who agrees with me on this (and it would have been a deal breaker) so I never have to worry about what my lurking in the baked goods.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The boys have a book called "A Wocket in my Pocket" about a boy who lives with a bunch of creatures in his house including - a Bofa on the sofa, some Nuboards in the cupboards, Yeps on the steps and a Yottle in a bottle. I've decided I want a couple than are not mentioned in the book. I would like some Nishes, to do the dishes and Bondry, to do my laundry.

A cat that didn't consider the whole house his litterbox would be nice as well.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


If I found $100 today, sadly I'd use it for grocery shopping or to ransom our TV from the repair shop. DH's truck just cost us $780 last week in repairs, and a lighting storm messed up the TV the same week. It is $125 to repair (but totally worth it). Unfortunately these expenses caught us in the same pay period the mortgage & auto insurance are due, so we are in the red at the moment & $100 would be nice.

What I would like to do with $100 is buy an iStation for my iPod mini. It's a set of speakers. I'd like to have it so I can listen to audiobooks while cooking or listen to music in the bedroom. It was going to be my birthday present this month, but I am getting a repaired TV instead.
iStation at Circuit City

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

inside out?

Does your outside reflect your inside? For the most part, these days, I'd say yes. at least the outside parts I have control of. Wrinkles happen and while I feel younger than I look, I am not the type to put any real effort into wrinkle reducers. So my outsides do and don't reflect me at the same time. :)

I've stopped denying the less admirable parts of myself & am working with them instead. So they show up more outside than they used to. I have less problem sharing negative things than I used to. The desire to constantly please, to be liked by everyone, to avoid conflict, led me to agreeing to things I didn't want to do (like camping or organizing a party) and not do things I wanted to do (because they were not 'cool') I'm much better at saying no or going my own way these days.

I feel comfortable with myself inside most of the time, even with the uncomfortable parts, and I think I reflect that on the outside. Most of the time.

Monday, July 10, 2006

summer words

The words that caught my eye initially were - hot, sticky, sweltering - which describes the weather around here most of the summer. Then the words - inscects, bugs, camping - the first 2 explain why I dislike the third (so do the previous three actually). That was followed by - carnivals & fetivals - which are some of my favorite ways to spend summer evenings.

Where does the time go? I had really intended to do more scrapping this month. I did get 2 challenges at ScrapMommies done(using the same layout) adn I did finish a mini album I have been working on, using a mini album by Stacey Stahl. I have also created the wallet sized mini album for the freebie for next week and one quick page set. So it isn't as if I haven't done anything. But I just thouht I would have more challenges done. There are lots of them & I had no intention of completing them all but I'd sorta thought I would have done a few

At DSP I'm interested in the Daily Life, AAM, Boot Camp, IOTW, White Space(ends today) and Scraplift the Spotlight. Most of those end by Saturday or the next day. Plus I like Mission Possible & am interested in Staceys new chat.

At ScrapMommies I was hoping to at least do the Sketch, ABC, Scrap Therapy, Quote & AAM. I did get the Wedding & Alter ones done.

The weekend just flew by. Saturday was when I did both of the mini things, while laying in my room. Sunday I had coven & then we almost immediately went to a movie & then dinner. Dh & I are taking turns reading "Scream Free Parenting", & I read a couple more chapters last night, so he could read them tonight. And then it was bedtime. My parents are coming for a visit Thursday and staying until Sunday. I want to check out the galleries and everyone's blogs. I need to schedule my time better. Scrap during the day & do teh forums etc at night. I can sit on the sofa with the laptop that way.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

comuter habits

Write about your computer habits and space: When during the day you like to sit at the computer/email/scrap etc. Do you have snacks or coffee nearby? What about a pic of your computer space? (optional)What do you have on your desk, walls.

I am at my computer in the morning, while drinking my coffee & eating breakfast. I check my email & a couple of chat boards then. I get back on in the early afternoon, during 'quiet' time. ::eyeroll:: (like my kids are ever quiet). I visit DSP then & do any scrapping that I feel like. I often get on in the evening after dinner when it's Daddy Time. I'll check email & the boards/galleries and scrap. I try to attend chats in the evening but if the kids are at all a challenge to get to sleep I usually just collapse on the sofa & read.

I change my desktop photo every month. I use PSP to add a monthly calendar to whatever photo I choose. I have stacked monitors. I was not about to give up my 19 inch flat screen when I got the laptop to I arrange it so the flat screen is the top of the desktop & the laptop is the bottom. I can keep more windows open that way.

I may have a pic around here somewhere of my new set up. I'll upload it later if I can find it. Right now i am in my bedroom 'laying down' because I have a sore throat & generally don't feel up to rambunctious little boys.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

something memorable

All the males napped today. I had more than 2 solid hours all to myself. Mayhem as usual took a bit to go down but Havoc & Daddy went out just fine.

Unfortunately later no one wanted to sleep. Havoc's cough kept him up. Mayhem was dropping off at 6:30 at Chili's and then could barely stay awake for story time, but as soon as we laid him in bed it was as if he'd just drank a pot of coffee. He bounced all over the place, collapsing to sleep in our bed at 9:30. I put him in his own bed and he turned up in our room at 3:15. DH went to sleep in the playroom and Mayhem laid there playing for over 2 hours. He's been doing this lately & it is really getting on our nerves.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Independance means...

There is rather a lot of ground to cover in this. I'm taking the personal path. I'm not good at talking politics, so aside from mentioning I am a registered Independant who has not voted for a majority party Presidential candidate ever in her life & regularly votes 3rd party whenever possible in other elections, just because they are 3rd party, I'm going to leave politics out of this.

Personally independance to me means being able to choose to do things, or not do things. I have chosen to be financially dependant on my husband currently. I have chosen to live rurally, with my nearest neighbor a mile away and a stranger to me rather than live in a subdivision with people only yards away, there if you need them. I have chosen, reluctantly, to live away from my family, because I chose to work in a field that had few jobs in the area my family lives. I have not decided if I will homeschool or not.

Independance also means responsibility. You are free to choose but you also have to step up take responsibilty for the results of your choices. The fact that I have no babysitter is the direct result of where I choose to live & the price of my independance from nosy neighbors & interfering relatives. I can't blame anyone for that but myself. When you are young & your think about being an independant adult you mostly think about the power, I can stay out all night, I can eat whatever I want, watch whatever I want, wear whatever I want, etc. But you don't think about the responsiblity that goes with it - you have to get up & go to work at 8am after staying out until 5am. And if you are late for work then there won't be any money for the food, the clothes & the movies. And while you are free to choose your food & clothes, eating nothing but sweets will make you sick and so will wearing shorts & a tank top out in 30 degree weather. Yes, you can do whatever you want, but you will also reap the consequences of those choices. It's not all fun & games being independant. Lots of people fail to notice that until it is too late & then they go looking for others to blame rather than accept the responsibility of their choices.

You can't have one without the other.