Thursday, January 31, 2013

Lost In A Field Of Poppies

Well, this has been quite a week.  I seem to be on a perpetual treadmill at school and can't catch my  breath and the week is over before I know it. 

I had a physical and outstanding blood work and my blood pressure it totally back to normal.  Whoo hoo. 

I finally have my Dell back and in working order and with the Office Suite that I so desperately need. 

This week, I had the quintessential middle school class with 2 girls sobbing hysterically for the entire period and two other kids who were so defiant they had to be removed.  In one class!! 

Friday's looking really good.  Maybe I can catch my breath this weekend.

Then, this really made my week.  I checked some blogs before I left this morning and lo and behold Poppy, over at Funny or Snot mentioned me!  She wants to have a threesome with me!  Go see!

Ok, she doesn't want to have a threesome.  It's a foursome, really, that she wants.
She chose 3 bloggers who she would want to be on her team in the Amazing Race, if she were so inclined to do the Amazing Race.  This is really spectacular for several reasons.
1)  for ages, I wanted to do the Amazing Race.  I thought I'd be really good at it.  I speak French and enough Spanish to get me in trouble and enough German to read street signs.  I know how to read a map.  I've been to Europe and kind of "get" European cities.  I'd have to wing it elsewhere, but I thought it wouldn't be so hard.
Then I got to thinking about my incessant need to be hydrated which leads to, you guessed it, the need to pee every 34 seconds.  Somehow, telling my teammates that I have to pee AGAIN and I'll catch up to them in a minute would get really old.
Also, I don't function well when I'm hungry and tired and something tells  me race participants are hungry and tired often.  I'm curious about the accommodations they actually stay in each night and I suspect they are far better than we are led to believe but I'm not sure I can handle that kind of fatigue and still be civil.  And we've seem some pretty uncivil behavior on the Race over the years, amiright?
Finally, the Amazing Race is not for me because of all the flying.  I am a good flier but I don't love it.  I don't like the pressure I get from flying and the headachy sensation I always feel when I fly.  And I especially hate flying in 2000+ because there's no room on the plane and everyone's grouchy.  I don't know how they get off a plane and immediately jump right into a task.  I'd have to go to the bathroom, get a drink, have a snack and THEN maybe look at the next task.
2)  another reason it's really cool that Poppy chose me is that it was completely unexpected.  I always enter contests and post things hither and yon without so much as a mention.  What a shock it was to see her blurb about me today, with no previous envy that I could be cool enough to  be with Poppy in a threesome.  Foursome.
3)  finally, did you see what she wrote about me?  I'm can't stop rolling all over the floor because of her description of me.  She opens with "she is not a priss".  K-ster is still trying to show me how the dictionary actually has my picture next to the definition of priss. 
I'm sure this outfit gave her that impression.

If  I'm willing to show my bloggers my butt, what else will I show them???
She goes on to say how  I'm really practical and resourceful.  I think it's really funny that this comes out in my writing.  I think people who know me in real life would agree with both of those descriptions but I think it's really funny that she could detect it in posts like these.  I also think resourceful and practical translates to tells it like it is.
And, I wouldn't be me if I didn't love her last line "I totally think we could kick ass…If I just shut up and did what she said.".  ANYONE who knows me is now rolling on the floor because no one EVER shuts up and does what I say, but they all know that's all I ever want. 
How on earth that message comes across in my blog, I'll never know.  Oh, maybe it's something like this that gave her that impression.
As I told her this morning, if only my students believed they should shut up and do I as I say!
Well, Poppy, I'm not sure what this all means.  I guess it all boils down to me being Miss Practical and Sensible who won't take any crap.  In high school, I would not have enjoyed that honor. 
Today, I'm ok with being the go to person when it comes to believing I can see the big picture and I might know the way out of this mess. 
I'm actually  ok with knowing I leave practical comments on blogs.  I just hope they are practical and amusing.  Cuz nobody wants a lot of eyerolling, why didn't I think of that comments.  Those stink from a mile away.
And finally,   I tell it like it is because I don't know any other way to tell it.  And I think I have to keep on telling it that way because that's who I am.
Now go see Poppy and read her work.  She's really funny. 
Do it now, while I go pee and link up here and here and here.  
Because I said so!  

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Mediterranean Chicken My Way

First and foremost, I am not a chef or a cooking expert.  I have lots of tried and true dishes that I make and then there are some that I wing.  The less I have to actually measure, the better it is.  This dish requires little measuring.  I made something like it from a recipe once but I think I've adapted it to my own tastes.  I mean our own tastes.  K-ster hates olives and that, my friends, is a tragedy.

But, at least he likes mushrooms, or I'm afraid it would be the end of the world.

Second and not foremost, there are mushrooms and chickpeas in this dish.  If you don't like either of those, you can eliminate them, but I can't tell you how it will change things.

Third and last, on with the show.

Mediterranean Chicken My Way:


chicken- whatever quantity you want.  I used breast cutlets.
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
juice of 1 lemon
mushrooms- I used about half of the mushroom containers that come in the produce section
big handful of baby spinach
feta cheese- maybe a cup?
olive oil
one clove of garlic
olives- I wasn't allowed to use these but some really strong tasting kalamata olives would be outstanding in this dish
sundried tomatoes-  I hate these with every ounce of my soul, but it seems anything Mediterranean includes these, so have at it
spices if you so desire- I used a little bit of Italian herbs that I have
ground pepper is a must

This is not Top Chef.  Anything goes.  Add.  Delete. 

Just don't blame it on me.

Cut the chicken into whatever size pieces you want.  Put some oil in the pan and cook up the chicken.  Add mushrooms, lemon juice, garbanzo beans, garlic and let it cook a little.  Add spinach and let it cook down. 

Meanwhile, make whatever starch you want to serve.  I made linguini. 

Rice would be nice.  Israeli couscous too.  This dish is pretty good, so I suppose you could go without starch.  If you like that kind of thing.

I also made another vegetable because there wasn't much spinach in the dish.

When the rice/linguini/couscous is ready, put the feta on the chicken dish and serve.

If you're lucky, you'll have some left over for lunch.  And if you hit the jackpot, you'll have TWO lunches left over. 

Maybe I should get some kalamata olives and throw them in for my lunches...

Linking here and here and here and here and here and here and here and  here

Friday, January 25, 2013

Back In the Saddle Again

Well, call me shocked.  Dell fixed and returned my computer in just over a week, instead of the 2-3 weeks they claimed it would take.  And even better, after the fools at Best Buy told me that the new hard drive would be empty and I'd need to call Dell for backup discs, I picked it up today and it was not empty and I didn't have to wait for the Geek Squad to reinstall my operating system.

Thank you, last week's Geek Squad imbecile that made me call Dell and spend almost an hour on the phone trying to get the backup disc.  The guy on the phone kept assuring me that this was a "small problem" and I "should not worry".  I was missing my computer.  This is not a "small problem".

Meanwhile, whatever sweat shop he was working in seemed to be having a "small problem" because I kept hearing YELLING in the background.  And it was taking him forever to process my request.

What he also failed to tell me was that my backup disc would be overnight expressed to me.  So, his "not to worry" was meant to be "you'll have your computer back tomorrow".

When I took the backup discs to Best Buy, planning to leave it for an hour or two as I was advised, the guy said it was actually all set.  And had I had to leave it to reinstall, it would have taken A WHOLE DAY.

So now, the swearing isn't because I'm missing a computer.  It's because I have to reset everything to the way I had it before.  This computer knows nothing.

It doesn't know it's supposed to have a pink background.

It has no idea what it should have pinned to the task bar. 

It has a blue screen without any pictures, icons or sticky notes all over it.

And right now, it's unaware that I don't need a new window to pop open every time I do something on my blog.


But, it's back, which means I should be back in business.  And I should stop complaining because I don't have any excuses.

Except that I have to reload all of my music into my itunes.

That'll be good for a couple of hours worth of swearing.

Linking up here

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Mother Nature Has Lost Her Mind

I knew when I posted this the other day that we were going to have a change in weather.  I was expecting snow and a snow day.  We got snow, but sadly for my tired brain, no snow day.

Remember when you were a kid and you heard that it might snow and you kept yourself half awake all night hoping you wouldn't have school?  You'd check every time you got up to go to the bathroom?  No?  It was just me?

Well, I do it even worse as an adult.  We get an automated call in the wee hours if there is a delay or no school.  Unless it is forecast for such awful weather that they decide to call the night before.  We have had a few snow days in the past few years that have actually produced no snow, but they had predicted such storms that they cancelled school by 9pm the night before.

We knew we were getting snow on Monday and try as I might, I could not avoid looking at the predictions and the forecast inches of snow.  So all Monday evening, I waited for the call.  Even at 11pm, I checked just once more to see if the radio stations had been called.

They hadn't.

I woke up around 4am and could not go back to sleep.  It had stopped snowing!  But there was snow.  Would there be enough to cause a delay?  Even 2 hours would be great. In fact, a 2 hour delay is the best because we don't have to make up that time in June.  We have to make up snow days but delays of 2 hours or less are not considered days off.  We already have 2 snow days to make up because of Sandy.

Sadly, no snow days for me this week.  And I had to drag my tired self to school Tuesday.

For a couple of weeks, the weathermen have been crying wolf about the "arctic air" that should be headed our way.  Instead, we got the glorious 50 degree weather over the weekend.

And then.

Then Mother Nature let loose. 

That's right.  5 degrees on the little blue line.  5 degrees.  3 days ago, it was 50 degrees.  I'm no math wizard, but that's 10 times warmer than it was this morning!!
We had a roaring high of 20 today.

Now, I don't want to hear from you Minnesotans and you Alaskans and God forbid, you Canadians, about how that's nothing.  How 5 degrees above zero is a heat wave where you come from.
Where I come from, winter is 30 degrees, not 5.
I can't say I like this weather very much.  It's freezing up my creativity.  My blog is suffering.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

K-ster Hits the Mark Again

Sent to me by the man who makes me go through the trash to pull out what he "forgets" to recycle. 
And when I say "makes" let's be clear.  He isn't standing over me making sure I pull out the recyclables.  More like he's in the other room telling me it will be ok to let the bottle stay in there JUST THIS ONCE.
He doesn't know.  It WON'T be ok. 
Linking up here

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Beauty Of January

I don't know many people who love winter, mainly because wherever you live, it's colder, darker and drearier than any other time of the year.  For those of us in northern climates, it's just gross and loathesome. 

For me, it's not the cold that bothers me as much as the darkness and super short days.  There are days in December and January that actually come to a close by 4:00pm.  If it's not a bright sunny day, I can kiss daylight good-bye as I'm leaving school at 4pm.

Once mid-January comes and I can see a glimmer of light after 4:45pm, I start to get excited.  I love coming home from school with a few hours of daylight in the late spring. I laugh when I think that at 8pm in June, I'm still outside in daylight and by 4pm in January, it's just about dark!

Sadly, I don't laugh for long because then it's dark and I just want to be inside, sitting around.

It's no wonder we get sluggish in the winter.

The only bonus to winter around these parts is that when it's sunny, it's very, very sunny.  Ridiculous, in fact.   Like Mother Nature can't get ahold of herself and she just has to be the sunniest she can possibly be in one day.

A week ago, it was below 20 degrees when I got up. 

Today, it's in the 50s and as sunny as sunny can be. 

We're supposed to get a 2 day snow storm after today.

With the weather being so bi-polar, is it any wonder so many people are?

K-ster and I went for a walk today and took these pictures.

Looks like we're in the desert, right?  Or maybe the prairie?  Or savannah?

Guess again!  This is the beach that you can drive on, which k-ster loves and I'm not crazy about.  As I explained here. We didn't drive out today but walked for a while instead.
We saw a seal sunning itself but there were too many people to bother taking a picture. Plus, you'd never believe it was alive and then you'd probably call PETA and I'd be shut down.  In the winter, those slick black or grey seals that you see in aquariums grow a thick fur coat that's whiteish and when they come out on the beach, they look like dirty blobs of snow.  They just lay there, looking so dead and when you get close, they still ignore you and don't move a muscle. 
So, we have a few months until this looks refreshing enough to jump in, and we'll have many days of nasty before then, so I try to LOVE everything about this weather in January that I can.
Especially since tomorrow, I'll probably be up to my eyeballs in snow.
Linking up here
Oh, and k-ster took the pictures with his amazing phone.  That thing never takes a bad picture.  Well, there was one bad picture of me in mid sentence, wearing green and red and looking like a Christmas tree, so I deleted it.  Probably not the phone's fault, right?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

There's A WHOLE Lot of Swearing Going On Around Here

I did it again.  I ruined another laptop.

I killed my first one after just under 2 years.  It just completely croaked, as in, would not turn on ever again,with no warning.  Thankfully, I know a woman who is magical and she harvested my hard drive for me for a reasonable fee and we kissed the old laptop goodbye.  We, that is k-ster, the woman and myself(only 2 of us really know anything about computers-  I leave that for you to determine) think I fried the processor.

I believe that Windows was invented for not so secretly ADD folks who need to have at least 3 but sometimes 8 windows open at once to simultaneously manage the world.  I believe that a very modern computer circa 2010 should have been capable of allowing me to blog, check my email, watch Downton Abbey, wait for someone to chat with me on skype and sync my itunes all at one time.

Why else would there be Windows?

I don't need the capability to open 4 windows only to realize that I really can do only one thing at one time.  I don't believe computers in this century are that slow.

Clearly I was wrong.

The first death happened back in June.  It was right around the time I went to see my sister and had the distinct pleasure of using my mother's iPAD and not loving it because it's not a laptop and it constantly reminded me of this. 

When I got back, I hemmed and hawed and decided to abandon HP and I got a Dell.  "Dude, you got a Dell."  K-ster suggested that maybe and Intel Processor wasn't for me since I burned up the last one, so we went with umm, maybe it's AMD?  AMC?  Some acronym that I can't remember and it's not here so you'll have to trust me.  It's supposed to be a better processor.  I did my research and found a Dell laptop for a price I was willing to pay for what it would do for me.

What I didn't expect was that after 6 months, it would also blow up.  Based on the click, click, click that happened every time I tried to turn it on this week, k-ster and the Geek Squad girl (that's where you take DEll Products under warranty) concurred that it's the hard drive.  It shit the bed, as we'd say in this classy place.

AND, while I had this problem for a while and didn't want to send it away because it wasn't bothering me, I told the Geek Squad girl that the screen is missing pixels too.  Soon, I will have no screen, I guess.

So, she happily took it and told me they will send it away for 2-3 weeks to get the hard drive replaced and a new screen.

Seriously?  You're telling me it's cheaper to do all of that than to hand me a brand new computer?  One that isn't a touch screen and doesn't have Windows 8?  C'mon.  They are practically giving those things away and you're telling me that they will replace the parts on mine?

No way.

Since I knew this death was approaching, I was smart this time and put just about everything in India the cloud.  How did I know this was happening? It was doing the click thing for about a week and I found that if you bang on the hard drive area, it finds it and comes to life.  I know that is not a permanent solution, so I did it long enough to save everything so I wouldn't have to worry.

When I took it to the Geek Squad, she made me sign papers that I did not need backup.  At no point did she share that if I did need backup, it would be $100.  If it turns out that they can't find my hard drive to get the data, they will "only" charge me $30.   I signed away, certain I had everything important tucked away in Jaipur.

Guess what I realized this morning?  I didn't back up itunes.

This is where the swearing began and it hasn't stopped.  Since I use my ipod to teach at the gym, I need itunes.  I have music on my ipod now, so this isn't really an issue.  But it is such a royal pain in the ass to reload all of that music into itunes.

How do I know this?  Because I did it when I first won the old laptop and transferred from my desktop to the laptop.  Then I did it again in July when that laptop croaked and my friend found my stuff for me.  I have all of that still sitting on the external drive, so when I get my computer back, I can just get it off of there. Unless, of course, it has been corrupted.

But what I'm really mad about is that I just bought music!  I rarely do and I just bought the Les Mis(the broadway version) soundtrack and some other stuff.   Now, I swear that I've tried finding old stuff I bought on itunes and I never can.  The Geek Squad guy I talked to today said I will be able to go to purchased when I log in to itunes and it will all be there.   Do any of you know if this is true?

The swearing continues because I have to use either a computer at school or k-ster's desktop which isn't very new.  And it's not comfortable to use.  And I can't really do personal stuff like blogging at school.  It always surprises me when I realize just what I use computers for.  Yes, for email and blogging. But I use it every single day for school stuff, sometimes at home and school and often both.  I use it for my lia sophia orders of which I have two which is awesome but not so awesome when I can't use my own computer to place them.

And the swearing just got louder when I tried using an iPAD that I'm borrowing from school and it's not letting me use gmail.

Every time I think I've found a way to deal with my absent laptop, something gets in the way!

So, now I have to go searching for a comfortable computer to use that will be fast enough to get what I need to get done so I can do it and go home.  It's like sleeping at someone's house.  It's just no fun. 

Or I can get stuck using k-ster's and have him make faces at me because he needs to check facebook.

What a world we live in.

Sharing my misery here

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Chicken "Pie"

I said chicken "pie".  Notice there's no pot in it. I've never understood why anyone would call it chicken pot pie.

I'm not much for pie crusts, so chicken pie doesn't do much for me.  And I really dislike the store made chicken pies because they have too much crust and the chicken is usually too chunky.  Oh and the peas.  I like peas but not in my chicken pie.

Oh right, I just said I don't like chicken pie.

But I do like chicken "pie".  Maybe because it's faster than making a real crust.  Maybe because it tastes nothing like pie crust.  Or maybe because when I make it I am so stinking ravenous that I'd eat just about anything.

Probably it's just that it's so good, it should be outlawed in 47 states.

Today at lunch, someone was talking about making something similar, but she used phyllo dough instead of a crust or my biscuit manuever.  I don't love phyllo dough all that much either.  But she did talk about how she made the "gravy" and I'd never thought about adding some flour to thicken it.

Stand back.  The flour might have been the key  I was missing to pulling it all together.    It's delightlful when the filling gels just so.

Here's the ultra precise version of what I did.  I am sorry that I can't be more precise but I was hungry and well, I don't measure or count much when it's time to feed me.

A couple of carrots.  Mine were about the diameter of my thigh, so I think I used 3.
Celery- probably 5 stalks.  They were kind of short.
A whole yellow onion.

Saute those in some EVOO until they are somewhat soft.  Or until they smell good.  That's usually my tester.

Mix about a cup of low sodium chicken broth with about 2 tablespoons of flour and mix it well.  Pour it into the veggie mix.  Add some cooked chicken breast, probably what's left from a crockpot chicken.  I did one half of a breast of a small chicken. 

Let it cook for a few minutes.  I let it cook as I was chopping the chicken.  It kept thickening, so I kept adding broth.  So it was almost 2 cups of broth by the time I was ready to move on.  You could probably just turn down the heat or move it off the heat and not have to keep adding broth.  Or better yet, you could chop the chicken before it's time to add it so you don't have to keep adding broth or move it off the heat.

Whatever works.

Pour that into a 13x9 pan.  I wanted something deep but I didn't have anything deeper. 

Mix 1 T butter, 1 cup milk, 2 cups flour, 1 T baking powder.  It should be runny, so add more milk until it looks like this.

Pour the biscuit batter over the filling.

The recipe for the biscuits said 450 degrees for 12 minutes but it was more like 16 minutes.  Keep an eye on it after 15 minutes because you don't want it to burn but you want it cooked.

I will warn you, it's not neat and tidy like a pie when I put it on a plate.  But, I've never been one to care about presentation! 
I especially love it when the filling sneaks into the crust like this.

One of my favorite parts of an apple pie or a peach cobbler is when the crust gets a little bit like this, so of course I love it when the biscuit top gets like this too!
I was on my way home from the gym when I decided to make this.  I was starving and almost stopped to get a burrito from my favorite place, but I thought maybe this wouldn't take too long and it would be so much better for me.
I was right.  It took less than an hour for me to make it and eat it.
I can't vouch for the healthiness of this.  I used raw vegetables that were in the refrigerator, a box of low sodium chicken broth and chicken breast from a chicken that I cooked.  The biscuit has a lot less butter than suggested and I didn't put any salt in this.  Sounds pretty healthy, doesn't it?
If you can remember, you might add an herb or two but I forgot.  Plus, I usually add rosemary and I don't like rosemary and then I regret it, so this was probably a good thing to forget.  For everyone's sake.
I try to use very little salt when I cook.  K-ster is so used to it, he doesn't say much.  Once in a great while, I will add a little salt to my plate after I cook but most of the time I don't.  So, if you come to my house for supper, you might want to bring your salt shaker!
Linking up here and here and here and here and here and here

Sunday, January 13, 2013

It Must Have Been Love, But It's Over Now

When I first brought you home, I was madly in love. 

Everything went so smoothly with your delivery.

I knew I had a deal that money just could not buy.

No longer would we have to feel the bare bones of the old couch, k-ster and I.  No, now we would know the luxury of a couch with many pieces.  Pieces that could be arranged in whatever configuration we so chose.  We so chose this one  because it fit the room best:

I remember so foolishly thinking we would move the ottoman back to that special corner every morning so the room would look neat and tidy.  We couldn't leave it like this all the time because we can't get by the ottoman to get to the bedroom.  It's on wheels, so I thought it would be no big deal to wheel it around every day.


Little did I know that in two years's time, you'd be such a mess.  You're a catch all.  No one really moves the ottoman, so it's really just in the way all the time.  And the ottoman is the biggest catchall of all.  At any given time there is yarn, a project underway, knitting needles and/or crochet hooks, magazines, you name it.
You're a wrinkly, sagging mess.  Your pillows are losing their shape and are more like blobs on the couch.


Where you used to fit together so nicely, you're a fat, ugly mess.  Look, you can't even get your feet together, your thighs are so fat.
Look at that bulge. You should be ashamed, just sticking your foam all out like that, where once, there was a sleek, smooth line.

And now, we've had to resort to "enhancements".  You can't even get the job done yourownself.  In order to make ourselves comfortable, we have to use pillows salvaged from the couch that will forever remain known as "the best couch ever."
Basically?  You suck and I can't wait until I can throw you out and start over.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Smuggy McSmuggerson Has Returned

That would be Lady Grantham from Downton Abbey, of course.  Maggie Smith plays a crotchety, amazing sharp tongued matriarch and this season (check out some of these best lines from seasons past), I swear they have ramped up her outrageous lines to the max. 

I haven't really ever been a PBS watcher.  My memories of PBS are in my grandparents living room.  They watched PBS a lot but their tv was kind of small.  The quality of programming in the 80s was not great so it was always hard to hear and kind of gray and dark.  My grandfather loved the British comedies like Fawlty Towers and Are You Being Served, but I could have done without.  Ok, I did enjoy Fawlty Towers, even back then.

Masterpiece Theater, wait it was probably spelled Theatre back then, was on at 9pm and definitely not something I would have chosen to watch.  The shows were always very dramatic and not my thing, really.  I remember the name "Upstairs, Downstairs" listed in the tv guide and I could not imagine what the heck went on in that show.  Today, I'm told that it was the original Downton Abbey.

I can't tell you what first drew me to watching Downton Abbey 3 years ago.  It might have been simply that the lighting was slightly better than the old PBS shows and it sounded like it might have intrigue.  And, I don't like to watch shows that took place before electricity (I'm such a snob) and this was right on the cusp of it, so it was ok, in my mind.

I was hooked right away and watched every Sunday night.   K-ster watched with me, even as that first season was painfully slow.  Season 2, I watched online and it was much better paced.

Here we are at season 3 and I've just watched the first episode.  They added Shirly McLane as Lady Grantham's American nemesis and I think it is the wittiest thing I've seen in ages.

Now, without spoiling the episode for those who haven't had a chance to see it yet(the first one is almost 2 hours this year!) can you share your favorite Lady Grantham line in this episode?  It's hard because there were so very many.

And here are some wonderfully made paper dolls for your lunchtime entertainment.  Cut them out and play with them with your friends at lunch.  You'll be the coolest kid at school!

Linking up here

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Who Do I Think I Am, Dr. Phil?

I am NOT a New Year's Resolutions maker.  It's not because  I'm afraid I can't stick to them.  Or that I'm afraid I will have to make too many changes.

It's because throughout the year, I make decisions and actually follow through with them.  Maybe I should start calling them resolutions.  Like some random day in March, I'll decide that from now on, I will plant peas in the greenhouse in March to put in the ground as soon as they are tall enough to look healthy. 

And then, sit down for this one, I'll do it because I said I would! 

This is not a major resolution, but it's a decision I make and without fanfare, I accomplish it.

These crazy people who have to spout their resolutions all over the place just make me gag.  Especially when they then have to cry all about how it's January 2 and they've already broken their resolutions.

It's called willpower and I have some but I don't save it all for January 1.  I guess that's the difference.  You have to choose to do something that you can actually accomplish within reason.  Something you know you will do and see it through.  And you can't save them all up for one day. 

Especially when it's usually a night known as a  drunkfest for many and they'll resolve to do anything because it all sounds like a good idea at the time. 

For example, I thought it would be a good idea to vacuum the living room every single night.  I thought it would cut down on the mess and it wouldn't be such a big deal, right?  So, for a week, I did it.  And it made no difference.  Every night was the same amount of crap sucked up in the cannister and no one cared.  So I stopped. 

I didn't fail at a resolution, I made a decision, didn't see the point, and stopped doing it.  I didn't lament the fact that I FAILED at vacuuming every night.  I didn't call the presses and cry about how I might as well just dump trash on the floor because I have no willpower!   I didn't throw away every vacuum in sight because my own house looked sandy. 

I decided to go back to vacuuming whenever the mood strikes.

So, my point was to share that I decided, that before I go to bed, I don't care how tired I am or how big the mess is, I will leave the sink and stove like this.

That's right.  Clean as a whistle.  I'm even going so far as to spray my vinegar/ammonia cleaner all over the sink and leaving it all night to sparkle and shine. 
And since I have this thing called willpower, and I made a decision, I've been doing it for over a week and it's completely amazing.
There is nothing like getting up to make oatmeal and lunches and find the sink completely clear of dishes.  Nothing on the stove but the pan to heat water.  And this is one decision I will absolutely stick with because it's making my life better.  Why didn't I think of this years ago????
So, if you made wild ass resolutions like you're going to run a marathon this year, when you've never run down the street, think about what you're setting yourself up for.  Make a decision to do something smaller.  Like by the spring, I'll be able to run a mile or two or three.  And then when you get there, make another one like by July, I'll do a 5K or a 10K.  And then when you get there, decide you'll do a marathon.
Rather than state that you're going to lose those 50 pounds, break it down.  Decide to work on losing 10 in a reasonable amount of time.  Decide that like it or not, you have to change what you eat and how active you are.  When you lose 10, make another goal, etc. 
It just doesn't make sense to make giant promises that you know as you say them, you can't possibly keep.  Or that you will make everyone so miserable in the process, it won't really be an accomplishment.
Ok, I have no idea who just typed this post because I am not one to philosophize online.  I must have been channeling Dr. Phil. 
Sorry, I'm sure I'll have a picture of my butt up here really soon.  That's not a promise or a resolution.
It's a threat.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Roll With It

I can't get enough of my super amazing bread machine.  It's ranked up there as one of the best presents ever. 

I pretty much perfected the bread for sandwiches from the recipes that came with the machine.  I've done white, wheat, milk bread and even a banana bread that wasn't so great because it wasn't banana bread like you're thinking.  It  was more like banana flavored bread so it wasn't anything to write home about.  Like, if I ate toast every day, maybe I'd like it.  But otherwise, it was useless.

I am not a fan of sandwiches anymore.  I'm not sure what happened.  It doesn't even matter the kind of bread.  About 3 years ago, I just got repulsed by the flavor of a sandwich and I can only eat about half nowadays.  I love bread and I love the bread as a piece  of bread, but the sandwich has lost its appeal.

Rolls for Christmas were my next adventure.  They were pretty amazing the first time but then I had a little issue when it came to actually make them for Christmas.

My sister, the bread genius, told me how she made hamburger rolls.  It got me thinking and now, I can make rolls for sandwiches my very own self.  This was the first time I tried wheat rolls. I am not a fan of wheat bread but k-ster is, so I tried these.  I just do the recipe for the dough like it says in the book for whatever type I am making.  When the dough is ready, I take it out and form 6 fairly flat rolls.

Then I put them on my nice warm radiator with a towel over them to let them rise again for about 40 minutes. 
Then I bake them at 400 for about 15 minutes.

Cut them in half and you've got yourself a sandwich roll and you controlled the ingredients!

I've been thinking that if I shaped them longer, I could make sub sized sandwiches.  The possibilities are endless!
Linking here and here and here and here and here

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Does This Smell Funny To You?

If you're eating, stop. It might gross you out a little to read this post and eat at the same time.  Or drink, for that matter.

It's been a while since I've written a post where you were cringing for me and disgusted by me and peeing your pants at the same time, so I figure it's about time.

The other night, I had taken my shower and was in my pajamas, watching tv.  I was exceptionally tired and just enjoying drooling while I was watching Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy.  K-ster hadn't come home yet and I was in a trance like state, but I was pretty sure I hadn't fallen asleep at all.

I went to the bathroom and happened to look at my underwear.  You do it too, right?  Unless you're browsing through a catalog or reading graffiti on the girls' bathroom wall, there isn't much else do but look at your underwear, right?  How else would you discover things like this or this?

So, there I was, all clean from my shower and I looked down and saw this.    It's kind of blurry, but I don't think we need it to be crystal clear to know what we're seeing.

But, here's the thing.  I had been out of the shower for less than 30 minutes.  I was just sitting on the couch, not doing anything. 

And then I started to panic.  OMG did I fall alseep and go to the bathroom right on the couch? 

I started to think back to what I had been doing.  I was pretty sure I saw all of Wheel of Fortune.  And didn't nod off during the commercials.  I was pretty sure I hadn't gone to the bathroom anywhere, but especially not on the couch. 

And I still felt pretty clean.  That just out of the shower kind of clean.

Was I having an out of body experience?  And if so, was the REALLY the experience I should be having?  Really?  In the bathroom, of all places???  The universe really has it in for me.

So, I did the only thing I could.  The only reasonable action that someone in my position could do.

I smelled it.

And you know what?

It was soap!  I had taken a bath after my shower and my soap was down to little bits like this.

Some of those bits were on the floor of the tub.  And one of them was stuck to my butt!  Still, even as I was investigating!
I cannot explain the depth of the relief that I felt upon discovering that it was just a hunk of soap.  I was imagining having to go to the doctor to explain that I was having bowel issues and didn't even know it, while I was fully awake and aware!
K-ster didn't find my story very amusing.  Because the other day, he thought that particular piece of soap was a giant cockroach in the shower.
Linking up here and also with this lady!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Spoiled Brats Today Know Nothing of the Torture of Jeans

Remember when jeans had just graduated from dungarees to jeans?  And they were really stiff and tight?  Ok, I don't remember this because by the time I came on the scene, jeans were not just something Uncle Fester wore to feed the hogs.  But I have seen old pictures of jeans before the hippies got ahold of them and they sure look like they were stiff and tight.  Jeans, not hippies.

You must remember the commercials for some brand where the women were laying on their beds, jamming their bodies into jeans?  Jumping up and down trying desperately to get into their Calvins.  Oh I guess it must have been Calvin Klein.  Was there a phrase- nobody gets between me and my Calvins?  Did I just combine 3 slogans and make my own?

Of course back then, jeans went up to the collarbone.  I know because I wore them.  All the time.  And because I was short (and I still am) they sometimes touched my earlobes.  Remember the zippers?  They were like 10 inches long!

But they were jeans and I always knew what I was getting into when I put them on.  They were stiff.   They were tight.  Especially if they had just come out of the dryer.  It was a wonder that zipper could even move.

Once you were in, you were in for the long haul.  It was the 1980s and 1990s version of the corset.  Except you didn't need ladies in waiting to put you into them.  And I don't think anyone fainted while wearing them because they were so restricting.

Then you had to do the deep knee bends and squats to "stretch them out" and by about noon, they were perfect.  By supper time, they were the best things you'd ever put on your body.  And that's why we kept wearing them.

We wore them acid washed.

We wore them ripped.  Hey wait, we're doing that again.

I am proud to say that I earned these holes, I didn't buy them already shredded.  I'm wearing these babies until there is one thread left.

We thankfully did not wear them bellbottomed- phew I just missed that one.

And then we started wearing them lower.  And lower.  And lower.  And I did handsprings because I could actually enjoy them below my belly button.  Then they got so low it was obscene so I drew the line about 1/2 inche below my belly button.   I do have some dignity.  You just don't see a lot of it on my blog.

And then they started adding stretch to jeans.  Not just to plus size jeans or mom jeans.  But everyone's jeans. 

And then it happened.  Jeggings entered stage right 

And the dreaded pajama jeans.

And then jeans lost their structure all together.  They stretch this way and that.  No one has to lay on their bed to zip them up.  No one holds their breath anymore.  There's no longer the internal debate about whether or not you really want to go through all that effort just to get dressed.

And I'm a little sad.

I have one pair of real jeans left.  All of my replacement jeans have some give.  They are forgiving.  They don't leave the creases in my thighs that the real jeans used to.

Today's girls have no idea.  They think they can just jump  around, dance, do high kicks while they are wearing jeans, just like they were wearing tights.  Because really, that's all they are.  Just jazzed up tights with some pockets and some rivets that don't really do anything that rivets are meant to do.  These pockets are real.  They have long internal pockets for storing things.  And those rivets actually hold the pockets to the jeans.  See all that structure in those jeans?

I take people seriously in real jeans.  If you show up to do physical work, I expect you to wear jeans that can take a licking.  I don't expect that if you walk by a thorny bush you'll get a run in your jeans.  I would never take a man seriously if his jeans were like women's jeans are today. 

Maybe we can blame this on figure skaters.  When men wear "jeans" to do a figure skating competition, they still have to be able to do crazy leg things, so they need stretch.  I bet that's where they all originated.

I still want my plumber wearing manly jeans, not figure skating body huggers.   When I wear jeans to do something manly, I expect them to last like manly jeans.  And I expect yours to last too.

And I'm a little jealous of these girls.  They don't know a moment of discomfort.  As much as I loved my old jeans, if you sat just the right way, they weren't very comfortable.

They have never had that jeans dried on the line washboard experience.  They will never know the horror of  OMG these jeans MUST have shrunk in the dryer because I can't get them past my knees.

And they will be inclined to just break out into positions like this, just because they can.  There will be no decency left for these girls.

Because back in my day, this was as far as those puppies would let us go.  And that was pushing it. 

Given the tattered state of these jeans, I'm actually quite surprised they didn't just burst apart as I did this.

And I did not wet my pants.  I have no idea why it's darker at the zipper.  In real life, it is not, I'm wearing them now and I just checked.

I have no choice but to join the comfortable jeans movement, unless I want to go to mens' jeans.  They are still pretty tight and structured but I did that for a while and didn't like the results.

Just don't make me wear jeggings or pajama jeans and I'll be able to handle it.

And a moment's notice, I'll be able to squat or lunge or put my legs behind my head or.....

Linking here and here before I hurt myself.