Rambling (ThTh)

"It was once said that a black man would be President 'when pigs fly' indeed 100 days into Obama's presidency. . . Swine flu"
-Joyce Carlson

I hope that doesn't offend anyone, I just found the play on words hilarious.

Anyway - LOML has already found a problem with our little garden that requires us to replant the tomatoes. Darn it!! I was afraid of this, but we apparently did not allow enough room for the roots. Each needs to be in its own container. AND, we have to get a cage of some sort. I was under the impression that we were growing veggies, not hamsters. Aw well, I'm keeping my hands out of it the best I can so they stay green and not dead.

In other news, I made an alfredo sauce the other night that was TO DIE FOR!! I had no idea it was so easy. I've only ever used the jarred stuff, and it's alright. But, the homemade stuff had me licking my plate. Here's the recipe I used:
1/4 cup butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups fresh grated parmesean cheese
1 garlic clove (crushed)
fresh ground pepper
Directions: Melt the butter in a saucepan then add the cream and simmer for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cheese and whisk quickly until all the cheese melts. Add pepper to taste. The original recipe also included some fresh parsley, but I didn't feel that was needed.

OH, and to top it - I marinated some sliced sirloin in a little white wine, chopped garlic, salt, and pepper in a zippered bag for 15 minutes. Then I threw it in a pan with some onion and sliced baby portabello mushrooms and cooked until done. OMG - so good!!!

While it wasn't the most frugal meal, it was delicious.
Now, it's "Thrifty Thursday" and we had plain ole spaghetti for dinner. Here's some other thrifty-ish hoopla for ya:
Sorry for the lack of pictures today. I was rushing to get this post together and it's late. Maybe tomorrow.

Catching Up (WWWW)

I've been busy, but yet so very lazy!!
I started a whole Earth Day post last Wednesday, but got so busy at work that I couldn't finish it. Everytime I've been motivated enough to write a post this past week, I've been way too busy to actually get to it. When I have had time, I've been super lazy and just didn't feel like bothering. Plus, there were a few pictures I wanted to share - and I had to take them first. Aggghhh! In any case, I'm here now and ready to go.

First, I have been able to fit some crafting in my busy-ish schedule. Check these out-

They're the backside of some pendants I'm working on. It's a project I started some time ago, but was having some complications. So, I took a break. I pulled the 'fronts' out of the "to-finish" pile and got to work. Now, they just need some soldering. Oh, I'll share the rest later.

Plus! LOML and I finally went out and got some things to start a container vegetable garden. Since I'm not so good with green things, we started small - some tomatoes, jalapenoes, and a yellow bell pepper. We got some really fun and vibrant pots for them. We figure if we do kill the veggies, at least we still have these great pots.

Alright, on with business. Here's some "Wild, Wild Web Wednesday" for you.
  • This has been going around the crafty crowd a bit already, but if you don't travel the internet in those circles, check out the make something cool everyday set on flickr.
  • If that didn't float your boat, how about this puzzle art using 40 different puzzles (w/in same brand) to make these really cool landscapes.
  • I love bacon more than the next guy, but squeeze bacon? For real!!
  • Firecrackers jump rope team at the US Naval Academy. AMAZING!! It's a little long, so if you are short on time, start at about the 4:15 mark for some of the more intense tricks. I had no idea you could do some of those things with a jump rope.
  • Here's name picker (for those having a hard time coming up with a name for your offspring, cat, dog, turtle) This tool lets you pick the traits you want in a name/little one and suggests a name for you. I wasn't overly excited about the names it came up with, but it was fun to play with. It's nice to dream.
So? How was that? I'm out for now. Have a great hump day.

Chinese Confusion (TRT)

Lunch today was . . . interesting. . . entertaining. . .something else for sure.

LOML and I decided to just go to the Chinese Buffet.
To start off with, the music choice for today was hilarious. It was not the usual Chinese/ Japanese classical, slow, stringed instrument variety. OH NO!! This was of the "Three Stooges in the Old West" variety. LOML and I were sneaking grins at one another over the sneeze guard, waiting for a pie to get flung in our faces.
As we were so keen on listening to the music, we quickly noticed when the tune changed to "Happy Birthday." Not so weird, except that over the music was a man talking in, I dunno, Chinese perhaps. He did NOT sound like he was wishing a happy birthday. I immediately decided we were being brainwashed. It was just THAT eerie-sounding. When the man's voice stopped, the volume of "Happy Birthday" increased significantly. The song was then sung in both the other language and in english, as well as a few choruses that were just the music. It must have repeted this loop about two dozen times. Seriously! That was the LONGEST version of "Happy Birthday" I've ever heard.
Finally, our fortune cookies arrived. Some time ago, LOML and I resorted to calling them statement cookies because the ones we've gotten tended to just be good, solid advice rather than a fortune. For example, here's the one I got today. It's a standard statement cookie.LOML's was a bit more mysterious. It's more of an incomplete sentence cookie.Any ideas? Me neither.

Yes, I know a report on my lunch adventures is very random - perfect for "Totally Random Tuesday"
  • 12 guilty pleasures of geeks (some of them I completely get - some I just don't understand.) How big of a geek are you? Do you get all these?
  • Camels in car (totally WTF!!) But funny!!!
  • Guess how old these people are. I'm usually really bad at something like this but did really good my first couple tries here, then it went downhill. Of course, I love to have my age guessed (I usually get about 25 - awesome!!)
  • Check out these celebrity recipes.
So, that's it for now. I didn't get much done in the craft room yesterday and am knocking off a bit early today to try again. We'll see how it goes.

Wicked Awesome (MMSM)

Oh Dear!! Wicked was so much more than I expected. I knew I was going to like it, but just how much - I had NO IDEA!! The soundtrack has been running constantly through my head since Saturday. And, I don't mind. If the show is coming anywhere NEAR you, I am not kidding in telling you that you need to go NOW and get you some tickets. For your pleasure and mine - here is my favorite scene. This was done at the Tony's, so it's the Broadway actresses, and not the ones I saw. But, still so good!!!

I liked it so much, I'm even attempting to read the book again.

Now, that just leaves me with a big grin - just in time for "Made Me Smile Monday"
  • Heineken has the best commercials

  • Little House on the Prairie outtakes
  • QUOTE: "People are more violently opposed to fur than leather because it's safer to harass rich women than motorcycle gangs." - Anonymous
So, that's all for now. Dinner's in the oven for a little while longer - so I'm off to the craft room. Wish me luck!!

Quick, Before the Weekend Starts (FGF)

It's almost the end of the work day, and I don't want to fall behind on posting before the weekend. So, here's a quick post and update.

Tonight, I'm heading to Mobile for a friend's birthday dinner at a Mexican restaurant (still can have margaritas!!!) After that, I'll spend the night at my mom's house. In the morning (EARLY) we'll head to Birmingham for a matinee showing of WICKED!!! This is my mom's gift to the nieces for their birthdays (both are next week.) And, she included me! We're so excited!

Sunday, hopefully, I'll have time to recover.

For now, it's "Feel Good Friday"Alright, back to the grind for a little whiel longer. Have a great weekend!!

Raspberry Breakfast Parfait (TRT)

See that, up there? That's what I had for breakfast. Wanna hear something else? I MADE it. Lastly, it was gah-ood!!!
You want the recipe? First, I have to give credit to Nigella Lawson. It's her recipe. Her show, Nigella Feasts is the only cooking-related show I have programmed to record. I love the style of it and how super easy she makes everything look. I did not write down all the ingredients exactly, so here's my estimate and how I made the lovely, dessert-looking breakfast. Let me go ahead and say that Nigella used smaller cups and came up with about 5 or 6 servings. I came out with two servings. So, whatever. Here it is:
2 Cups frozen raspberries (do not thaw)
3-4 Tbs powdered sugar
6oz vanilla yogurt
3 oatmeal cookies
Blend the frozen berries until they are crumbly then add the sugar. Blend again until creamy.
Place the cookies in a plastic zip bag and crush them.
Using small glasses/cups/shot glasses/martini glasses - whatever, layer in this manner: raspberries, yogurt, cookie crumbles - repeat until glass is full. Devour!!

LOML loved it!! It's definitely one of those recipes that we'll use again. Just as soon as I get a new blender. The two I have are cheap ones that I've been overusing for years. In fact, one went to college with me (loads of rum runner daquiris.) Those blenders are just wore slap out. LOML is tired of my complaining about them and LOVES the stuff I make in them, so he told me to just pick one out. He's even okay with me picking out the one that can blend a cell phone. We'll see.

If that was random enough for you, here's some "Totally Random Tuesday"
  • Check out this cool bike light that shines a bike lane around you.
  • Lately, I've really been into making and looking up soup recipes. Hopefully, by this winter I'll be all ready with some great ideas. For now, here's some tips for better soup.
  • We all know someone with one of those names that make us wonder what their parents were thinking. Here are some of the most unfortunate names in the UK (make sure to read the comments - some are pretty funny)
  • It's Prom season and I don't know if you've ever heard about the duct tape prom contest, but Mental Floss covers it here.
I may not post tomorrow as I will be spending the day with the nieces at the Exploreum. In fact, I'm gonna spend the night with them and my mom tonight to ensure we get an early start on the day. I can't decide whether or not to take over a craft project for them. They were asking about some soaps I had made. I'm considering taking those supplies over as I hardly ever use them myself. Hmmmm.... hot soap, little girls - we'll see.

Full Weekend (MMSM)

I'm so excited to be posting today from my new computer - I waited all day to do it so I could play with some photos I took over the weekend. As such, this post is a bit picture heavy.

Let's start with a short weekend review.
Friday was a typical Margarita Friday except on the way out the door I decided to try my hand at the claw game. I was aiming for some sort of blue teddy bear, and instead ended up with this.
LOML immediately claimed it as his own as he's a Taurus. He was just as excited as a five-year-old about the dang thing. I thought it was hilarious. (Oh, pardon the mess in the picture - he's keeping it in his office and it's not quite clean in there yet.)

Saturday was a fun afternoon with friends at the Gulf. We took a boat ride, hung out at the beach house they rented for Spring Break, and grilled some burgers before heading home.

Sunday was Easter, of course. While my mom cooked dinner, the nieces and I explored outside and I played with the new (several weeks old) camera. They got into the honeysuckle and I got a few good shots.I got to hide the Easter eggs for the kids at my mom's. It's my favorite part of the day. It makes me feel special to be able to do that for them. I was even a little stingy about letting anyone else do it. I think that comes from not having kids of my own. Getting the opportunity to participate in special holiday activities makes me feel more a part of their lives and the holiday. And, in true Hope-fashion, I sustained an egg-hiding injury. I dropped and egg and bent down to pick it up without noticing the bamboo shoot sticking up. I leaned right into it and just about took out my eye on it. There was no serious damage just several scrapes on my eyelid and below my eye. Leave it to me to get hurt while hiding eggs.

During all the running around we did, LOML and I were relieved that we had a clean house and yard to come home to. Instead of feeling like we were running away or escaping from some kind of responsibility, we were able to actually enjoy ourselves with a clean conscience. Take a look at what we were dealing with outside before.And after - what a relief.And now, for your "Made Me Smile Monday" pleasure:

Can you tell which pictures were from the new (good) camera and which ones were from the older point and shoot?

I hope your weekend went well also (minus egg injuries)!

Back at It and Feelin' Good About It (FGF)

So I'm done with most of the installation on the new laptop. I just need to get Photoshop installed, and that disc is at home. It won't take long. It's just a bummer since I have some pictures for y'all today and don't want to upload them until I can re-size and edit them a bit first.

Again, I'm sorry for the absence - it's been hard on me too.

Let's make this short and sweet instead of a long, drawn-out reunion. It is "Feel Good Friday" so I am going to first list what's making me feel good right now.
  • Obviously, the new laptop
  • The fact that it is Friday at long last (thus margaritas and the weekend are soon to follow)
  • Getting in some crafting and thrifting this week and looking forward to more over the weekend
  • Making it through the week (mostly) without a laptop (read: internet)
  • Being able to keep the house in order, so I come home to a clean house today
  • Getting to hook up the new laptop to the new scanner/printer/copier we got last week
  • Not haing to fret about the awfulness (word?) that is my yard - we had a lawn-care company come and take care of the yard, flowerbeds, and most importantly - the WEEDS!!
  • The weekend is a holiday, which means a yummy family dinner.
So, if your week has not been as good, here's some "Feel Good Friday" for you:
  • Map of the top 50 craft brewers in America. My favorite beer is #30 and I don't understand how it's beat out by some I've never even heard of. Whatever. In any case, craft beers rock!!
  • How to fake a clean house. This is apparently good to have if you have company coming over unexpectedly. I don't have that problem, I never have company. But, it seems like a good list to have in any case.
  • 10 ways to get fit while blogging (exercises that can be done at work/ at your desk). I've printed out this list and have been using it all week (in spurts, but using it nonetheless.)
I'm happy to finally get a blog post up this week (oh, oh - that's another feel good for me.) Anyway, you guys have a great weekend whether you are celebrating Easter, Passover, or just the weekend. Make the most of it!!

Me? Spoiled?

And. . .a big sigh of hurray! I got a new laptop last night. I am really pleased with it and excited to have my OWN. Every other computer I've had has been a hand-me-down, and this one was bought specifically for ME!! It makes me happy. It's not a Mac or anything, but it's a nice HP. I really like that the keyboard includes a numeric keypad. It's one of the main reasons I picked this one. I really am too spoiled. Hopefully, I'll get to a real post later today, I need to finish loading everything on here while at work. (I'm hoping the tech has a little time for me to get Office and Virus Protection installed.) In any case - it's time to get moving, get dressed, and get out of here.

Oh, and if I don't get back with you today. Have a great Friday!!

Laptop Problems, Granola, April Fool's Day (WWWW)

This is no April Fool's joke (and if it is, it's really cruel)- my laptop is messed up - AGAIN.
Right now, everything is PINK.
No one can figure out why. The tech at work believes it is may be a hardware malfunction of the display or something, but is trying to explore all options.
I took some pics yesterday to share with you, but don't want to upload them until I am more secure on the state of my computer. Darn it!!

If I don't blog for a bit - don't worry. It's probably just the dang computer's fault.

The pictures I had taken were just of some food I made - our dinner and homemade granola. The dinner was alright, just pretty. And, the granola is AWESOME!! I've been wanting to make some for ages and finally did. Here's the recipe (if I'm remembering correctly) of how I made it:
4 cups rolled oats
2 cups nuts and seeds
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup honey

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix the oats, nuts and seeds, brown sugar, and salt then add the other ingredients and stir well. Oil a cookie sheet and spread out the mixture evenly on the sheet. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool.
[as far as nuts and seeds go, I put in sunflower seeds, chopped walnuts, almond slivers, and a few chocolate chips. I wanted to also use some sweetened coconut, but was out of it.]

If I missed any ingredients here, I'll make sure to update you later. It was so easy to mix and make this and I already had almost everything (except the honey) in the pantry. As well, there are so many other combinations of ways to make this, it won't get boring. You could also add dried fruit and tons of other varieties of nuts as well as wheat germ. I also adjusted the recipe to my own preferences by using 1/4 C of honey and maple syrup each. The real recipe calls for 1/2C of syrup. I'm sure you could just use the honey if you wanted.

All in all, I think it was a success (so does LOML.) We ate a ton of it last night, I had some for breakfast, and there is still loads and loads left. Hurray!

Anyway - enough of that. It's "Wild Wild Web Wednesday." So, let's get to it.
  • Try is XHalloweenX Easter hangman - make sure your volume is up for this - too funny!!
  • If you are a sitcom junkie like me, you will appreciate this USA sitcom map.
  • Since it's wild, wild web Wednesday I thought you might like to check out the Where the Wild Things Are trailer.
Have a great April Fool's Day. Don't be mean about it and try not to be Fooled!!

Winding down the 100DayProject

I awoke the other day with many thoughts about the 100 Day project and decided to jot them down here to share with you. Some of the bits I g...