Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Still alive...and well-ish

I have been lax about this blogging thing lately.  I'd like to chalk it up to being terribly busy trying new Pinterest things, busily crafting away, or being sooooo busy at work, but none of the above are true.

I have been sick, if that counts for anything.  I think it should.  I had my birthday on Friday, and it was a great day!  I, of course, am a huge fan of the Birthday Month.  It has been a good one!

At the beginning of the month, Mom and Dad got me my very first "i" product!  They got me an iPad!!  Love it!!!!  It was between that and a laptop, but I think the iPad is a much better fit for our family.  Then the Monday before my birthday, Fish and Husband were overly excited about me opening my birthday present. I told them I had to wait because it wasn't my birthday yet.  They begged me to open it I did.  It was nicely wrapped with camo paper...of course.  It was also wrapped like one of those Russian nesting dolls.  As I got to the smaller packages, I got a little more excited.  Nice things often come in small packages.  I didn't get too excited though until I saw the little white box.  Here's what was inside:

Instant love!!!  I jumped up and down in the kitchen for at least 17 minutes, hugging both of them an absurd number of times.  I had originally wanted the diamond band for our anniversary, but things just sort of got away from us in August, as they always seem to do.  I had put this on my wish list on and had completely forgotten about it.  Luckily, my little Fishie had not.  :)

So, then it was birthday dinner Wednesday night at Tokyo Steakhouse, which is my favorite teppan yaki restaurant.  Birthday month, shaping up nicely!  Friday was the actual day and I had to work.  The kids made my day pretty special with gifts and cards.  Kids just LOVE to make cards.  My staff party was that night, and we went to that.  It was a fun time and my friend arranged a Red Velvet cake for me.  How could my month get any better?  Well...

Saturday was supposed to be a day filled with the Jingle Bell 5K Run and another holiday party with friends. It didn't strat out so well.  I woke up Saturday morning feeling like I was 129 years old!  I had obviously pulled something in my back and was completely unable to get out of bed.  REALLY??????  What gives??  Husband and his little brother were out duck hunting, with little success.  I managed to crawl (literally) out of bed, take one of Husband's pain pills and sit quietly on the couch.  I let my friend know I wasn't going to be able to  When the hunters got home, I ate some food, took another pain pill, and took a nap.  After waking up a few hours later, my back pain was much better, but the stomach cramps were setting in.  WTH???!!!  After a few hours of those, Husband and brother-in-law left to go to the other party and I had a close relationship with the toilet.  It was back muscles hurting from who knows what and my stomach muscles hurting from all the throwing up.  Finally, I gave up on Saturday, and went to bed.  I slept what felt like a million hours and felt a little better Sunday.  In-laws wanted to take me out to breakfast, and I, being the fat kid that I am, said, sure, why not??!!  Breakfast went down nicely, stayed put, and the rest of the day was spent lounging and recuperating.

Determined to have a better day Monday, I went to bed early again, only to wake up early Monday morning with a sore throat!  Good grief Charlie Brown!!!!   Is this a test of some sort?  If so, not liking it at all.  Also, if this is getting old, I'm out!  This sucks!  Yesterday, I powered through the school day with sore throat, chills, fever, and congestion.  Husband and I went to the store last night to get dinner makings, and I purchased a bottle of that vile Nyquil cherry stuff.  I should write a strongly worded letter to that company regarding their interpretation of "cherry flavored".  Never in my life, have I encountered a cherry that tastes as nasty as that stuff.  However, taste buds aside, I consumed the recommended dose and slept like cray last night.  Woke up today feeling much better, with hopes that all the sickness will be leaving my body shortly.  After all, vacation starts at 4 pm-ish tomorrow!!  No time to be sick!  That being said, time to get to work at work and get things in order for the new year.  Don't want to come in Monday, January 7th, and wonder what the heck I'll be doing that week.  :)  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


So, Husband went duck hunting all weekend, which meant that I had project time!!!!!!  I made a ridiculously long list to accomplish, but didn't get even halfway through.  No worries though.  I got enough done to make me happy!

My first and foremost concern was to get the spare room all prettied up and decorated.  I had plans to paint the walls and to hang decorations, etc.  Ha ha ha!!  That didn't even come close to fruition!  Instead, I got distracted by a room I am in more than not.  The living room walls were screaming for some love and a makeover!  The decor in there looked like my first apartment.  Hurriedly thrown together and not well organized.

First, was the fireplace wall.  I hate that wall.  The main offender of that wall is the brick fireplace.  Why, oh why, did someone think it was a good idea to paint it the same color as the walls???  I hate that.  It wasn't even done well.  Oh well, that's not a project I want to tackle, so I did what I could.  Those candle sconces have followed me throughout my bleak decorating life and it is time they find their way to Goodwill.  I wasn't sure where I was going to go with the decorating, but I did have a can of "oil rubbed bronze" spray paint.  My solution for all things boring.  Spray paint!!  I had purchased an ugly faux gold leaf oval mirror at a yard sale for $2.00.  Spray paint, engage!  So here is the before photo of that wall:


...and after.

Since painting really wasn't an option, I decided to move some things around.  The mirror got a coat of bronze, the "H" I made got redesigned and placed above the fireplace, and the photos on the right got merged with the smaller frames that were lost on another wall.

Next wall was the sliver of wall separating the kitchen entry and the dining (no one has EVER dined in there) room.  

Our labbie wall.

I also redid the wall to the right of the couch.  I don't have a before picture, since most of that wall is window.  Oh, now as I check, I didn't even take a picture of the finished wall either.  Suffice it to say, it looks way better than it did before.  The entry area/ dining area was a bit of a mish mash of decorating thought.  After finding a super cute piece of Americana with matching frames for a whopping $1.50 at a yard sale, I decided to make this area an America area.  Pictures below:

Yeah, I really had only those two tiny candle sconces on that big wall.

The wall still looks big, but these are much cuter!
I decided that we need to have some photos of family up on the walls as well, and less of them on tables.  They are dust catchers there and I don't dust much.  Mostly because I hate to move the picture frames!  I took all the empty frames I could find (I have a lot!) and started getting pictures to fill them.  I managed to find a ton of good photos that aren't doing too much good in drawers and closets.  My plan was to hang them, but I didn't get around to it yet.  Maybe this weekend, but I think I might have house guests.  

Not sure what the upcoming weekend will bring, but if we have guests, I might resort to another round of testing Pins from Pinterest!  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

iPadius Glorious!

Happy early birthmas to me!!! My parents got me an iPad for aforementioned event.  I love it!!!!  Did I mention I love it?  I do.  I just love it!!  It's my first "i" product and I love it.

This weekend was busy, but fun in some ways.  I did another Holiday Boutique Saturday.  This one benefited the Clovis East Band and Color Guard.  I made a metric f-ton of headbands and sold quite a few.  Not as many as the last boutique I did.  I think the location had something to do with it.  After the boutique, I did a little household shopping.  I saw something onPinterest (shocking, I know!) and want to try it.  It's a floor cleaning recipe that uses Arm & Hammer Washing Soda.  Honestly, I had never heard of the stuff, but I found it at Walmart!  I'm going to give it a try this week.  According to Pinterest, it's the "BEST"!! We'll see...

Hung out Saturday night with Husband and good friends after Husband's rugby game.  It was the annual Over/Under game.  This year Husband chose to play for the overs and they won!  Yay!  Bigger yay?  Husband came home injury free!  :)

Sunday was a day of Christmas shopping.  More like attempted Christmas shopping.  I remember why I prefer to shop online.  Other than the fact that we couldn't get everything we set out to find, the day was fun. I got to spend time with my Fishie.

Looking forward to next weekend.  Husband is going to go duck hunting for the weekend, which equals PROJECT TIME for me!!!  On deck?  Spare bedroom, headboard for our room, and  a couple of Pinterest cleaning projects!

Did I mention I love my new iPad????

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Before and After

So, as promised, I looked for photos of our bedroom before and I took a picture of the headboard area after.  I didn't take a picture of the other walls after, because they are all blank.  Ha!

Before-really liked the flag, but the other stuff looks lost.

After...but boring
Bird dog's new bed!

The plan now is to come up with some headboard ideas.  If anyone besides my mother read this (and she NEVER comments), I would ask for suggestions, however, it would be a while before I got any ideas.  I'm going to post a few things that I think might be cool to do.  Have to find them among my 9,000 Pinterest pins...

Here are some more before photos:

Yes, it's messy.  

The clock that is right two times a day.  It is so loud, so batteries out!

Once this room is complete, it's on to the next.  I have big plans for the spare room, but might have to wait until brother-in-law goes back to Alaska.  That room is basically the dumping ground for all the stuff that doesn't have a home, laundry that doesn't want to be put away, crafts that aren't being crafty, fishing storage, hunting storage, well, you get the idea.  

Fishing & laundry

 Off to fond headboard ideas and then it's off to Fish's volleyball awards.  She'll be getting her Varsity letter tonight.  The jacket has been ordered!  Merry Christmas to her!!  More later!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Post Thanksgiving Conundrums

I have been away from my blog for over a week.  Got a little busy and lazy over my week off from work.  Yes, a whole week off.  Four more weeks of work, and I get another two weeks off!  One of the perks of being a teacher!!  I do NOT complain about that ever!

The beginning of the week seems so long ago, but Husband went duck hunting for that first weekend and I got myself super busy!  I finally got to paint our bedroom.  I've had the paint for over 6 months, but never got more than a day to get it done.  The Fish helped me by moving all the furniture into the center of the room and taking everything off of the walls before I got home.  She was a bit concerned as the safe is wicked heavy and she couldn't move that.  We just didn't paint behind there.  Oh well, when we move, we'll touch up back there.  She was a bog help and between the two of us wielding paint rollers, we managed to get the painting done in less than two hours.  The color I chose is called Hemp, but it matches the dried grass color in Max-4, which is what our bedding is.  Room painted, check.  Furniture cleaned, check.  Dust doggies (ew!) cleaned, check!  The only thing I haven't done is put anything back on the walls.  I want to make/get a headboard, but want something that fits in.  Fish suggested duck blind material, but that might be going a bit overboard on the theme.  Once I get that idea in place, I'll put the stuff back on the walls.  I've got an idea for the plates.  We have 5 duck plates that were hung really stupidly on the wall (I'm guilty).  They have bugged us since I first hung them up, but we haven't bothered to take them down until now.  I'm going to have to find a picture of them.  They looked really bad.  Actually, all the walls looked really bad.  We just sort of hung things up haphazardly.  I'll post some before and after pics, if I can find the before pics.

Here is one.  This one shows the retarded placement of the plates.  What was I thinking?  Or drinking?

Plates akimbo!  

In the midst of all the painting, cleaning, and other fun, I had my headbands to sell at a Christmas boutique.  I have never participated in those prior to this year.  The last one I did got me about $30, so I was skeptical about this one as well.  I ended up walking out with $200, plus another $100 in orders.  Not too bad for four hours of standing around being pleasant.  I have another this Saturday and am hoping to do about the same there.

Husband got lots of hunting in this week, which meant that I got lots of projects done.  :)  I cleaned out the dressers in the bedroom, refolded all of Husband's t-shirts (I swear he has a hundred of them), refolded all of my t-shirts, sweats, and sweatshirts, cleaned out the underbed storage boxes, and did every liece of laundry that I found.  Thank you Jetta for putting so many pairs of socks and other assorted clothing under the bed.  Speaking of Jetta, she got a new bed for the bedroom floor.  Her old one was flat as a pancake and she preferred sleeping on our cloud.  I went to Tractor Supply and found her a new one.  She is in love with this new bed!  Max-4, of course.  This is just what I accomplished in the bedroom!  I had more plans, of course, but between Thanksgiving and lack of motivation on pretty days outside, I only got as far as getting the hall closet cleaned out and semi-organized.  I say semi, because I refolded and washed all the towels, sheets, rags, etc. and organized them, but didn't get to the mass of crafty stuff piled on the bottom two shelves.  That is a project day all on it's own.  And it entails the spare room, which I am fighting doing.  I just need to get in there and go, but every time I get in there, I get annoyed with the piles of randomness and go to a room with a tv.  Ha ha!!

Thanksgiving was nice this year.  By nice, I mean low stress and very low key.  Tyler had to work the day before and the day after Thanksgiving (stupid retail), so he couldn't come down to Clovis.  So, we headed up to the Rosa.  Since the rest of the fam was visiting Luke in Alaska (jealous), we stayed at their house.  So nice to cook in a regular size kitchen!  I felt so inspired!!!!  Husband made a crock pot duck stew, which was delicious.  I made cornbread, green bean casserole (what would a holiday be without that??!!), a chocolate cream pie, and I warmed up some King's Hawaiian rolls!  Yum!!  Popped open a bottle of cab to go with and happy tummies were to be had.  Okay, so I was the only one drinking the cab.  Shocking!  The rest had mint chocolate milk.  Also delish!

Thanksgiving dinner was eaten early, so that Fish, Husband, and I could drive down to the Delta, so Husband could do some hunting Friday morning.  I DO NOT do Black Friday, so this was fine with me.  The drive there was beautiful.  We took the Lakeville Highway to Hwy. 37.  I would love to live anywhere along the Lakeville Highway.  OMG, that is a pretty place.  I picked out several houses to live in.  Now to get those folks to sell...ha ha ha!!

The Delta was beautiful as always.  I would much rather wake up to this view, than go Black Friday shopping:

So, that's what I did.  After the Delta, we headed home and while Husband did a little more duck hunting, I did a few more cleaning projects.  I also made a metric f-ton of headbands for this weekend's boutique.  

Today is Monday, and I had to go back to work.  Not complaining.  Just hard to get up at 5:15 and be energized to work.  I am, however, energized to start eating better and doing more exercise.  Holy cow (emphasis on "cow")!!!!  I stepped on the scale and did not like what it said.  I weigh 151.4  YIKES!!!  I didn't think I was eating that poorly, but then I tallied up the number of Taco Bell, Jack, and Sal's trips we have made lately.  Oy.  Not good.  So, back to counting calories and working out.  I got up too late to do anything productive this morning, which made me grumpy.  I even steam cleaned the carpet, so I wouldn't be totally grossed out doing planks etc. down there.  So, it's running after wrestling practice today.  At least the weather is nice!  

Light run, light dinner, more water, less wine, okay, no wine.  Reduced calories.  Not the same craziness I did over summer, but close.  I should be in good shape by Christmas.  

Okay, off to run, go home and order Christmas presents (it's Cyber Monday!  My kind of shopping!), make mas headbands, color the Fish's hair, oooooohhhh, getting tired just typing this!  Tomorrow I'll post the bedroom pics and give a sample food plan for the day!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Don't Crowd the Mushrooms

"Don't crowd the mushrooms."  Uttered by one of my idols, the great Julia Child.  I took this to heart last night when I cooked dinner.  I saw a recipe for Chicken with White Wine Garlic and Mushroom Sauce and decided to make it my own.  Here is my version: (which by the way means, quicker and with far less weird ingredients-actually, I had everything but the mushrooms on hand.)

This took about 30 minutes and served 4.

4 half chicken breasts (I used the ice glazed frozen ones, for lack of better planning)
garlic powder
rosemary and oregano
1 tub sliced white mushrooms
1 tub sliced baby bellas
4 cloves garlic
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup white wine (I used a white blend I had in the wine rack)
1/2 cup fat free chicken broth
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour, divided
your choice of noodles ( I used fettuccine, because that's what I had on hand)

Place the chicken breasts in a shallow glass baking pan that you drizzled olive oil in.  Season the breasts with garlic powder, a pinch or two of rosemary and oregano.  I don't give exact measurements as I know how much seasoning my family likes. Adjust for yours.  Place in the oven at 325 for 25-30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.  Since I used the ice glazed chicken, I put it in the pan frozen. ** A note about ice glazed chicken:  I used to be a chicken snob, only buying fresh chicken. One day, Vons had a big bag of chicken for some ridiculous price of $7.99 or something, so I bought some.  Thought it would be good for crocking.  It was/is, but I have found that baking this chicken yields some of the juiciest chicken I have ever made.  Never disappoints.**

While the chicken is cooking, start the mushrooms and the cloves of garlic smashed through a press, in a deep pan with about a tablespoon of olive oil.

Not crowding those mushrooms!
I cook mine on medium heat.  High heat just murders them and makes the garlic crispy.  Ew.  After the mushrooms have turned dark, add the wine and let them cook for about 5 minutes.  Then add the chicken broth.  After about 5 minutes, add one tablespoon of flour and stir constantly to thicken the mixture up a bit.  Add the second tablespoon and stir to thicken if it needs it.  I found that with the wheat flour, the second tablespoon was necessary.  Let this mixture simmer on very low heat until the chicken is done.  While that is simmering, cook your pasta.

I use a very large pasta pot, so that my pasta cooks evenly and quickly.

When the chicken is done, place it in the pan with the mushrooms and let it sit until ready to serve.  The chicken will absorb some of the sauce in the pan and will stay nice and juicy.  

Once the pasta is done, toss with a little bit of olive oil and top with freshly grated parmesan cheese. 

I put everything separately on my plate, while Husband layered pasta, chicken and then the mushroom sauce on top.  I added a delicious glass of Cabernet and my meal was complete.  

I really need to use a better camera, as the food really didn't look gray at all.  Guess it's time to get that monster Nikon out of the closet!  

Anyway, thanks to Julia, my dinner was a success, unlike the train wreck I made the other night.  Also successful?  The fact that I got to take the leftovers to school for lunch!  Boom!  

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Yard Sale Rules & Observations

Finally, a day to sit down and actually write my blog.  I hope I come up with something profound to say.  If not profound, at least something funny or useful.

This weekend was productive, yet relaxing.  Saturday, my friend and I braved the chilliness of the season, and went yard sale-ing.  We managed to hit quite a few between getting coffee and delicious pastries!  I love going to yard sales.  I do not love having them, except for the money part.  Sometimes, I feel like I should do a class on effective yard sales.  Some people just don't get it.  Ah, I feel a profound "How to Have an Effective Yard Sale" post brewing...

Rules according to me, followed my observations that only cement the "rules".

How to Have an Effective Yard Sale

1.  Advertise:  There are many ways to advertise for a yard sale.  The old school way was to place an ad in the local newspaper.  This method has pretty much gone the way of the dinosaurs.  Our local newspaper charges a ridiculous amount to have a small ad in the paper, so most people don't do that anymore.  There are other good places to advertise.  Craigslist has been my advertising venue of choice.  I look every Friday night to see where and when the best yard sales for the stuff I'm looking for are.  Here are a few tips on placing a craigslist ad.  Most of these seem so obvious, but as you can see, people tend to leave things out, making their yard sale less effective.  Which, sucks for them.
*  Give the actual date of the yard sale.  Some folks just say "this weekend", but post 2 weeks early. Then your sale ad gets lost in the shuffle.
*  The TIME for Pete's sake!  I like to plan my venture according to location and time.  If you don't tell me what time your sale starts, I might drive by your house while you are still sleeping.  Or, you might have the best stuff ever, and I might have bought it all for a premium price, but I got there 3 hours after you started and am now disappointed.
* I need to continue?  I'm floored how many people advertise, give the time, post lovely pictures of stuff, yet never give an address or even a set of cross streets.  How, pray tell, am I to find your "Huge Yard Sale!"??  A few people post, "please text, call, or email for the address".  Seriously?  Too much work. And frankly, I really don't want you, perfect stranger, to have my phone number or email address.  Below is an ad that has none of the above.  Huh, I know it is in Clovis, but WHERE???!!!

yard sale items must go (clovis ca)

Date: 2012-11-11, 4:50PM PST[Errors when replying to ads?]

we are having a yard sale 2 families downsizing. great stuff
  • Location: clovis ca
  • it's ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

*  Signs.  This could be one of the most crucial things about advertising your sale.  Yes, I check craigslist, but sometimes the only address given are cross streets, which without signs, can be super vague.  Bottom line is, if you have good signs, I'll find your sale and if they are awesome signs, I'm more inclined to spend my money.  This sign does not interest me, but at least it was specific.  Ha ha!!

Do you get to choose sex and color? 

2.  Okay, so I'm at your sale...
*  Display.  The way you display your stuff is kind of important.  If everything is strewn about your grass (which is wet), still in large moving boxes (God only knows what I might touch reaching in there), or you have everything piled in a giant heap on the ground, there's a good chance, I won't even stop.  I HATE looking in boxes.  That might be the biggest pet peeve of all.  I'm not saying you have to have displays worthy of Bloomingdale's at Christmas, but some order is nice.  If you don't have time to hang your clothes, at least lay them out on a tarp or a table.  That shows you actually care about your stuff and I will look at it.  

*Condition.  If your stuff is broken, it should be labeled or put in the trash.  If it is damaged, know what the damage is and be honest.  I can fix some stuff, don't care about other stuff if it is damaged, but dislike when people lie.  Don't put out dirty, moldy clothes, one shoe (doubt that one legged person is coming by), or things that look like they were taken from an episode of Hoarders.   It's a yard sale and you are trying to get rid of stuff.  I get it.  And I want some of it.  If I ask if it works, don't tell me, "Of course."  Ask me if you can plug it in for me.  I have passed up many an electrical item because I was told it worked, but no effort was made to prove it.  I bought this item at a sale a couple of months ago for $17.  This is a $200 appliance and when I asked if it worked, the lady immediately got an extension cord and turned it on.  SOLD!!  

Best invention...EVER!!
*  Original Cost.  No one cares how much you paid for it when you bought it new.  Great information, but I know how much a Coach purse costs new.  If you are selling it at a yard sale for $20, I don't need to know that you paid $380 at Macy*s.  It doesn't change what I am willing to pay for it.  I might not want to pay $20 for it, even though I know it is well worth it, because I don't have $20 left in my wallet!  I love the people that got something as a gift, try to sell it at a yard sale and say, "But this costs $200 new at Lowe's."  Right, and you paid nothing.  Anything I give you is more than you paid for it.  Don't get me wrong, I will pay "top dollar" for something that I think is worth it, however, it's a yard sale.  

*  Brand name.  This kind of goes along with the last entry.  I know my brand names.  This weekend, we were at a yard sale in a fairly fancy part of town.  That's why we went there.  The woman had racks of beautiful designer clothes.  All clothing items were $2 and well worth it.  I found a few things and was happy to pay that amount.    Most of the items still had tags attached.  She was one of those, though, that had to constantly remind everyone there that her clothes were designer clothes and were originally quite expensive.  Irrelevant information when you are selling them at a yard sale.  No one cares that you spent $300 on a blouse that you are selling for $2.00.  And you should not be offended when someone offers you less because there is a stain on it.  If you want more money, take it to a consignment shop, sell on eBay, or don't put it in a yard sale.

*  Offers.  If I offer you something below what you want, don't dismiss me as being cheap (okay, I am a little), trashy, or uneducated.  I might only have a certain amount in my wallet and I'm trying hard to stretch those dollars.  Yard sale-ing is fun for me and I like to find lots of bargains.  Sometimes, I think what you're asking is ridiculous.  Sometimes, I know what you have and know you don't want to put it back in your garage.  Sometimes, it's just fun to bargain.  If I don't like your price, I'll either walk away or suck it up and pay it, because I know I'm getting a great deal.  Like the Keurig!  Although she wanted $20 and I offered $15.  I would have paid $50, but it was our first stop of the day.

*  Change.  Have change.  I promise that I, as a seasoned shopper, will not come to your yard sale and present a $20 bill (or larger) for a .25 item.  That is just wrong!  However, if I have a .25 item and I hand you a dollar, you should have change.  Or you could very sweetly try to sell me something else for the dollar price.   I've been known to come home with 4 books instead of just one.  I'm pretty reasonable as far as that  goes. 

Whew, that was a lot!  As far as rules for shoppers at yard sales.  Remember, it is their stuff and they can ask whatever price they want.  You don't have to buy it.  There have been many times that I have walked away a little disappointed that I couldn't get a certain item, because I wasn't willing to pay the price requested, or talk them down.  

Yard sales are a great place to find project pieces and things I've seen to create on a Pinterest board.  I have    a few projects on deck for this upcoming weekend.  I'll post before and after photos when I get them finished.  I'll leave you with a favorite:

$2 table  

Monday, November 12, 2012

Busy, busy, busy...

This is what I have been doing.  I think that I have carpal tunnel.   My eyes are crossing. My neck and shoulders hurt.   Only about 50 more to go!  I am in a holiday boutique this weekend and another in two weeks! 

$10 each, or buy 3 or more, then they are $8 each!

Okay, that is all.  Back to work!

Black & turquoise

gray & purple

Green Bay Packers or A's

Gray & burgundy

Black & silver Raiders

Black & gold 

Black & orange

black fleck & dark pink


white & yellow

latte & chocolate

navy & gold

denim tweed

scarlet & gold 49ers

red & navy

chocolate & turquoise

navy & red

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Husband Can Cook!

Well, I already knew this, but Husband is a keeper.  That man can cook!  We got home from work at different times last night and it was Husband's turn to cook.  I know there were a variety of things in the fridge that he could cook, but wasn't sure which he'd choose.  Fish had stayed home from school, feigning illness.  I think she was over the whole drama filled volleyball season and needed to regroup.  Hope she realizes that unless death is imminent, she is going to school every day for the next few months.

Back to dinner.  I washed the car, as mentioned in my last post, cleaned dishes (dishwasher is still kaput), took care of some laundry (that entailed throwing the stuff that was in the dryer onto the bed in the spare room), cleaned the coffee table of, and finally sat down to catch up some dvr'd Say Yes to the Dress (LOVE those shows!).  I had a few headbands to make as well and did that too,  Terribly busy and productive...ha ha.  Husband got home and started making dinner.  He made Chicken Broccoli Fettuccine!  It was delicious.

He cut up 4 chicken breasts and cooked them in some olive oil and garlic powder.  Then he steamed the broccoli florets and cooked the fettuccine noodles.  When everything was cooked, he got one of my giant vintage burnt orange Pyrex bowls (what would I ever do without those!) and dumped it all in.  Quick toss and dinner was served!

The idea has been to take turns cooking and making enough for leftovers.  Either we were all ridiculously hungry last night, or nothing.  I think we were just shy of ravenous.  There was a little left and Husband took it to work today.  

My turn to cook tonight and as usual, I've got the crock pot doing my work.  BBQ Pork Sliders!

1 large pork loin roast-still frozen
1 bottle sweet & tangy bbq sauce
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 small can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped

That's it!  Threw it all in the crock pot, turned it on low and dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m.!!  I believe some Opolo Mountain Zin will be served along with that.  I can hardly wait!  The verdict when I get home.

Dear God, I think I tried to kill my family!  Or at least give them a serious case of heartburn.  Oy!  The chipotle peppers made it like eating fire.  The taste was good, but, oh, the burn.......  We ended up slathering blue cheese dressing and in my case, ranch.  Made it tolerable.  On a positive note, my sinuses are really clear.  I have the Tums ready to go.  I have a feeling we'll be needing them.  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Election Post?

I was going to write a blasting post regarding the election and the fact that the electoral college is a ridiculous method of electing a president, but instead I'll share a positive moment of Election Day.

The Electoral College concept is, by far, the most antiquated and confusing concept in the whole election process.  I decided to show my students how this electoral voting compares with the idea of the popular vote. They were unaware that electing a president was so much more complicated than their student council elections.  They had a lot of questions.

I showed them this link, which proved to be super cool!  The kids loved it and so did their teacher!  :)

We did a "what if" scenario where we tallied votes for each candidate making it that Romney won by popular vote.  Then we tallied the electoral votes and the winner by more than the required 270 electoral votes was Obama. Even a room full of 12 year olds saw the flaw in this method.  I was proud of my little Americans!  We spent about 45 minutes going through the whole site.  The website also has games, trivia, and a pretty basic overview of the whole election process.

(I had originally had three more paragraphs with various thoughts, gripes, and other commentary, but decided that I would just keep it positive.  There's enough election negativity out there.)

Today was my day off from running and I feel fat and icky.  Oops...that was negative, wasn't it?  Ugh!!  I was home early and I decided to wash my filthy (!!!!) car.  We didn't have any car wash soap, so being the inventive person that I am,  I discovered that spraying my wheels with 409 prior to washing and then washing the car with Dawn was the key to painless car washing!  Yippee!!!!  I also discovered that washing your own car is a tiring endeavor.  But well worth the results.  Not to mention, I'm pretty sure I have now guaranteed rain in our forecast.  Bring it on StormWarn 30!!

Off to the kitchen to help Husband.  It's his turn to cook dinner and I need to assist.  By that I mean, sit in the kitchen with a delicious glass of wine and offer encouraging comments.  Chicken Broccoli Fettucine is on our menu.  Can't wait!  Recipe to follow tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Running Success and a Crockin' Dinner!

Yay me!!  Two big wins for the title today!

Yesterday, after school and wrestling practice (I do not wrestle or coach it-I merely supervise those that can), I went for a two mile run.  I decided that since the weather is still desperately trying to hang on to the summer, I might as well run outside.  It doesn't get completely dark until after 5 p.m., so I headed over to Husband's school to get some jogging in.  I figured I'd run a little, walk a little, but peer pressure go the best of me.  Ha ha!  I ran to the corner of the big block, as it's called, and there was a parent/ex-coworker getting out of her car for soccer practice.  Hmmmm....better keep running.  I did.  Then I got to the school I used to work at and there were a multitude of parents waiting for their kids to come out of sports practices.  Better keep running.  I did.  Then one of the teachers was doing his bus duty out front at the other end of the school.  Better keep running.  I did.  Got back to the high school and was about to walk, when I saw a bunch of kids waiting for the bus.  Yep, I kept running.  The only reason I finally stopped (I was almost done anyway), was because I got hit in the back of the leg with a football.  Of course, I stopped and threw it back.  I'm such a stud..ha ha ha!!!

So, the crockin' part.  I made Cilantro Lime Chicken tonight.  The before photo is below:

Here are the directions:
In a large Ziploc bag, combine the juice of 2 limes, 4 to 6 chicken breasts, diced onion, a small can or small frozen bag of corn, 2 to 3 garlic cloves (chopped), and a small bunch of cilantro (chopped).  Place in fridge overnight.  In the morning, dump it all in the crockpot.  Add a can of drained and rinsed black beans.  Crock on low for 4 to 6 hours.  I crocked for 8, since we weren't home all day, but I think that less time would have been better.  Things were good, but the corn was a bit over done.  I served it on tortillas with all the regular soft taco fixin's.  Delicious!!  Stay tuned for Thursday's meal.  BBQ Pork Sliders!

Oh, and by the way, walked 1 1/2 miles after school today.  Yay me!

Monday, November 5, 2012


Oh my goodness.  It's Monday again.  Really didn't start out a typical Monday.  I felt rested when I woke up this morning (thank you Daylight Savings!) and although I had nothing actually planned for school today, I got things going.  Then I actually saw people and that's when it got stupid.  Ha!  Bombarded with 20 questions and concerns by various well meaning adults.  Well, I think most of them are well meaning.  I think that some people actually take their job home with them and obsess over it on their days off.  I do not and this makes some people annoyed with me.  The feeling becomes mutual, as I become annoyed with the people that do/think about/stress about work when they are not here.  Ugh.  That's why they are called "days off" people!!  Learn about it!

I went duck hunting with Husband yesterday.  Okay, it was more like bird watching, as the ducks didn't feel it prudent to come within any sort of range.  One flight came right over our heads, but we weren't paying attention...oops!

The slough in the afternoon...

That rant being said, I am looking forward to next weekend, which happens to be 3 glorious days off!  I will not be taking any work home, as for the most part, it simply takes a ride in the car.  Dumb.  I will also be ready for some stress free time as the last week and a half, I crocheted headbands like crazy (sold a whopping 4 at a boutique this weekend-it's too f'n warm for people to seriously consider buying something to keep their ears from getting cold) and dealt with a crazy schedule this weekend.  Fun, but crazy.  This coming weekend sounds like a much more relaxing time, but we'll see.

I feel as though I have neglected my faithful reader (mom) by not posting anything for a week.  Sad to say, I have been too angry and busy to have written anything that wasn't filled with hate and anti-school sentiments.  Today, this changes.  I feel like there isn't enough wrinkle cream or alcohol, for that matter, to make it worth being a hater much longer.

Today, after being angry for a few minutes this morning (I so am not perfect!), decided that I need to take this getting back in shape thing really seriously.  Hanging out with my pregnant sister-in-law two weekends lately hasn't helped.  Yes, she ran/walked a half marathon this weekend and ran a 5K with me two weeks ago, but she can eat whenever and whatever she wants.  I also can do that, but with much more dire consequences.  Which brings me to the angry moment this morning.  I got on the scale.  Ouch!!  I had set a limit of 150 pounds.  By that I promised myself to never go over that again.  Pretty sure if I eat one pretzel or drink an ounce of water today, I will go over.  Grrrrrrrrrr!!!!  So, eating well and exercising begins again (!!!!!) today.  I brought some leftover tri-tip for lunch and have been drinking what feels like a gallon and a half of water today.  After wrestling practice, I am going to run two miles.  Then hopefully a healthy dinner.

Speaking of dinner, Husband and I have decided (it was his idea) to have a cooking schedule.  He is going to cook Mondays and Wednesdays and I get to cook Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Fish gets to help and maybe eventually cook on Fridays.  She needs to learn to cook something other than mac and cheese and tuna melts.  Man, she's going to put on more than the Freshman Fifteen when she gets to college!  Ha ha!!  Right now, Fridays will be a sharing day (it is caring!) and the weekend will be a game time decision sort of thing.  The only rule is that there needs to be enough to take for lunch the next day.  I heard rumor of something with chicken tonight and Italian sausage for Wednesday.  I haven't made my decision yet, but will be soon!  We are going to the grocery store after practices and workouts.  Yay for food!  

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Furloughiday and more!

Ah, today is Tuesday, although it feels like Monday.  The kids at school had a four day weekend, as Friday was Parent Teacher Conference day and Monday was a furlough day, or as I call it a "furloughiday".  Parent Teacher Conference Day is someone's brilliant idea to allow time for the teacher to chat with every student's parental units.  What someone didn't take into account, is the fact that I have currently 37 students in my class and am expected to conference with all of them in one day.  My day is technically from 8:00 a.m. to 2:55 p.m. So approximately 7 hours (minus an hour for lunch) to talk to all these people.  Let's do the math.  Seven hours translates to 420 minutes.  Divide that by 37 students (barring any bathroom time, providing all parents show up on time, and have no questions or concerns), that leaves us with 11.35 minutes for each parent.  Huh.  Then factor in the crazy idea that many of these people work for a living and cannot leave their job for a 11.35 minute conference.  Yeah, Friday was not a very conference friendly day at all.  I did most of mine before school during the week (6:45 a.m. to 7:45 a.m.) and after school.  One day staying until nearly 5 p.m.  I have more today and tomorrow as well.  Bleah!

Saturday was a day spent doing chores around the house and starting some projects.  I had lofty ideas of doing four Pinterest projects, but got as far as two.  Here is what I did manage to do:

Chicken wire earring or photo holder

The other project didn't turn out the same as the original pin, but I still like it.  I might try other finishes later.

Putting the glue on the letter...

Glue dried and painted...I might try another coat
of paint in another color to give it some depth.

Saturday afternoon, I went with the Fish and two of her friends to the Civil War Reenactment at Kearney Park.  Husband was out hunting and the boy was home visiting with friends.  I had only been to the Camp Dinner in the past, so I wasn't sure what to expect from the actual events.  Fish and her friends had to go for extra credit for their AP US History class.  Their mission was to write about their experience there (including how they got there-hope they leave out some of the colorful language uttered by me on the freeway there) and take some photos with one or more of the actors.  Turns out one of the actors was one of the girls' science teachers their freshman year.  Some of the photos are below:

Very realistic cannon fire!


These soldiers were very happy to pose with the girls.

Representing Union & Confederate

Honest Abe.  Number 16!!!!!

The girls had a really good time and so did I.  Definitely going back next year with Husband in tow.  I want up close seats though.  They have an announcer so you know exactly what is going on.

Sunday, after the boys went hunting in Mendota, we drove up to the Delta.  It was a loooooong slow trip to get there.  Apparently a tractor trailer overturned at 7:30 a.m. and blocked all four lanes of the highway for the entire day.  We didn't foresee this, so we ended up trapped on the highway, going 6 miles in one hour.  Saw the boy as he was on his way back to Santa Rosa.  We had told him to take the scenic route home along Highway 12.  There are so many ducks and geese along that highway.  Husband loves going that way.  I drive of course, or we would end up in one of those ponds.  Unfortunately, the accident ended up lengthening his trip by a few hours and he reached the scenic part when it was already dark.  After being taken off of the highway, being put back on and finally getting to just drive, we finally got to the Delta around 7 p.m.  Father-in-law arrived shortly after.

Monday was a glorious day spent at the Delta.  Husband hunted ducks with his dad and I worked on headbands.  Many, many, many headbands.  I am selling them at one of those holiday boutique things.  Hopefully there will be a mad rush on the things and I'll make millions of dollars.  Oh, I may have gotten a little ahead of things there.  Hopefully I sell a lot and get a lot of orders.  Kids are expensive!  Ha ha!!

Headband central-assembly area

So, back to it being Tuesday.  It feels like a Monday and a Tuesday all rolled into one.  Too much!  Fish has a game tonight and I plan on finishing up more headbands.  Sleeping hard tonight I hope and then start all over again tomorrow!  Crocking something delicious tomorrow, so stay tuned for a recipe and pictures.