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.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pinterest Part 2...projects for the weekend...

This weekend I am going to go on another Pinterest Test run.  I have a few more pins that I would like to try out.  Some of them already look a little sketchy, but we'll see.  Here's what's going to be on the agenda:

Chicken wire picture frame to either hold jewelry or photos.  http://www.thewilsonfamilyblog.com/2011/06/dorm-ideas.html

Letter art.  http://little-inspirations.blogspot.com/2012/04/letter-art.html

Another kind of letter art...this one uses scrap book paper.

18 Wooden Letter Customized to your colors -- Choose a letter

This next one might be a bit trickier and more labor intensive.  I would like to try this with either a wine bottle or smaller sauce jars.  http://www.designmom.com/2010/11/diy-bottles-full-of-light/

bottle christmas lights twinkle DIY

Not sure if I will get to all of these, but that's the plan.  I also need to get all of my boutique bound headbands done and tagged for purchase.  Nothing like leaving things to the last minute, but yes, that is how I roll.  Stay tuned for my version of these projects.  

And something to do with waffles.  I have been craving waffles for about a week now.  Maybe for dinner...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

After the rain....

One of the best things about rain, is the wonderful smell that comes after.  I told Husband that I liked the smell of the wet earth and he immediately came back with, "You like the smell of mud?"  He is a funny one and I think I will keep him.  However, that wasn't quite what I was thinking about.  Maybe I should have said damp earth, but I'm sure he would have had something to say about that too.  The air always seems to be a lot cleaner and clearer too.  The sky looks bluer and the magical time right before sunrise just looks more spectacular than ever.

After the rain

Today, I tried another crock pot recipe that I saw online.  I'm hoping that it tastes as good as it looked when I left the house.  I made a Crock Pot Meatloaf.

2 pounds of ground beef (not too lean)
1/2 envelope of au jus mix
1/2 envelope of Italian Seasoning salad dressing mix
1 envelope of onion soup mix

Mash all this together and form a loaf in the crock pot.  Cut potatoes (I used baby reds) and place them around the loaf.  Cook on low for 6-7 hours.

**Next time I will add bread crumbs or cracker crumbs, a little milk or egg, and some bbq sauce into the meat.

Here is the before picture:

I wasn't going to put the ketchup on the top of the meatloaf, but then decided that it would add a nice flavor to it.  I meant to drizzle it in an artistic way, but this is how it ended up...

with ketchup!

Husband and I will taste test this when we get home before we go see the Fish play volleyball.  Not sure if there will be any left over for her.  Maybe she didn't notice that there was something in the crock pot when she left this morning.  Wait a minute...Fish not notice food?  Ha ha ha!!!  She is so much like her mother.  He he he.

Meatloaf update:  It was delicious.  Next time, I would mix some bread or cracker crumbs and bbq sauce into the meat before cooking.  The meat tasted good, but it was a little dry and had a crumbly texture.  I think that the crumbs paired with the sauce might hold more moisture in.  We'll try an updated version next week.  The potatoes were really good, but I think they absorbed most of the liquid, therefore drying out the meat a bit.  Tomorrow night, I might try a cream of broccoli soup.  Depends on how adventurous I get.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Raining and Running! The Weekend Update!

Despite what the title might suggest, I am not running in the rain.  I would love to be though.  I woke up this morning to the most delightful sound I've heard in a long time.  The sound of raindrops, actual drops, hitting the deck!  Music to my ears.  I went so far as to post on Facebook that if I heard anyone complain about the rain, I would punch them in the neck.  I would too.  I guess when you a) live in the country and your water supply depends on rainfall, you learn that rain is not something to complain about, as it rarely happens here in the "desert" and b) I'm tired of all the brown plants in my yard and running water nearly non-stop when I'm hone to try to revive them for the 150th time!  So, anyway, just try to complain to me about the fact that it is raining.  Granted, I would much rather be at home, on the couch, crocheting headbands and watching crime!  Later, I guess.  On to the part about running...

Running.  Well, I did it!!  I ran the Susan G. Komen 5K Race for the Cure this weekend with my sister-in-law Holly (who is 5+ months preggers) and Fishie.  Scored myself a super nice little sports backpack, some pink eye black stickers, a t-shirt that is actually pretty cute, the annual Ford Warriors in Pink scarf,  some fruit, some cinnamon apple almonds (bleah!), a coupon for yogurt, and the satisfaction knowing that I ran 3.3 (the course was wrong) miles and didn't pass away.  I confess I walked for about 1/8 of a mile, but then the lady running in front of me couldn't seem to pick up her feet while running, so I passed her and kept going.  Boom!

Pre race smiles!
Here we are after the race, rocking the scarves from the Ford booth:

A little red, a little sweaty, but done!

The best part about running Saturday, Could be the fact that we went out to breakfast afterwards and gorged ourselves on delicious Red Caboose breakfast food.  Biscuits and gravy are always good motivators!  I'm pretty sure I would have to run at least a full marathon to cancel out the calories that are shown on the plate below.  The glass of chocolate milk with whipped cream on top isn't shown.  Does that mean it has no calories?  Ha ha!!

There was a to-go box involved here.

Other than the running, the weekend was pretty low key.  The boys all went hunting both mornings and returned each afternoon with an assortment of ducks.  Of course, no hunting trip is without its share of drama and/or humor.  This trip was apparently no different.  The boy got a ride into the refuge where they hunt with a friend of ours, as Husband's pass was full.  Husband and brother-in-law took the boat in and were going to pick up the boy at parking lot 5.  As soon as they got a few feet from the boat launch, the boat started filling up with smoke.  In the pitch blackness, the following could be heard, "What's on fire?!"  Followed by several other comments and I'm sure a bit of profanity.  It seems the new headlight wiring got too hot and melted.  I wish I could have witnessed this little scene.  I guess both of them moved with haste not usually exhibited by either.  Once they got the melted wires under control, they got to parking lot 5 to get the boy.  All he had to do was step into the boat, which Husband had pulled up onto the shore.  Instead, the boy decided to wade out into the slough, get his foot caught under a log, trip, and submerge his body up to his neck in the nasty slough water.  For the remainder of the hunting trip, he got to hunt in his underwear and a jacket.  Bahahahahaha!  That must've been a sight!  It was and I have photographic evidence, but being the kind mother that I am, I promised him I would not share it.  Okay, he threatened to unfriend me on Facebook and never speak to me again if I made the photo public.  Aside form those two inicdents, the hunting trip was a success, as was Sunday's outing.

Husband with his haul for Saturday morning!

While the boys were away and later napping, the girls hung out, shopped, and ate.  Fishie wanted to find some clothes at work and put them on lay-away, so we did that, along with several other errands.  Found some fabulous shoes for myself.  Now I just have to find a fabulous outfit to go with them.  That's not wrong, is it?  Ha ha!!

Tomorrow I will address another fabulous Pinterest find and be crockin' something tasty!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pins that work!!!

I am a Pinterest-aholic.  There, I said it.  Ha ha...as if those of you who know me don't already know that.  It's a fun way to relax and get ideas.  I hesitate to say "good" ideas.  Nothing is more annoying or frustrating than finding a great idea on Pinterest and then when you click on it, it doesn't go to an actual website or have instructions that you can actually follow.  Some stuff is just visual and I can figure it out or get inspiration all on my own.  Well, there is one thing more annoying.  The pins that proclaim, "BEST RECIPE EVER!" and then when you make it, it tastes like death.  I recall a certain breakfast in a mug recipe that was supposed to yield delicious fluffy oatmeal and eggs.  I followed the directions to a "T" and the stuff was like a tasteless brick.  Had to throw the mug away too.  Egh!  So, in light of that, this post is dedicated to pins that actually work!

Yesterday, I got into a cleaning frenzy.  At one point, Husband, who was getting himself ready to go duck hunting Saturday, and who usually asks me to help him find various things, came into the kitchen and said, "I don't know what's wrong with you, but I'm going to leave you alone."  Ha!!

So, I started with the kitchen.  My initial thought was to wash the dishes and wipe down the counters and be done with it.  What ended up happening was far more involved.  I had pinned the name of a product that claimed to have miraculous cleaning benefits.  being a somewhat skeptical person, I went to the hardware store and bought this miracle product in both forms available.  Oh, what is it?  The most amazing cleaner on the planet.

My kitchen sink is old.  It has seen many pots and pans and because we have well water, the mineral stains get pretty bad.  I have tried Comet and Clorox Clean Up with Bleach.  I have tried ridiculous amounts of product and elbow grease with no luck.  Here is my sink, pre-Bar Keeper's Friend:

Here is after:

Amazing difference!  Even the drain area got super clean.  I am a fan.  I also attacked the bathroom sink, which also looks new-ish!  Fifty year old sink and it looks like we just put it in.  No photos though......I was on a roll!  So, what else did Bar Keeper's Friend take care of?  

Gross grease stains and baked on stuff!

Soaking with Bar Keeper's Friend

After a little scrubbing and a new set of burner rings:

Like new!!

And my last project is without photos, but I took a bowl of vinegar and put it in the microwave.  I microwaved it on high for 4 minutes (beware the smell is ferocious) and then let it sit for 2 or 3 minutes.  Then I took a paper towel and wiped (!!!!!) the inside of the microwave clean!!  It has never been so clean!  Oh I'm such a happy camper!  After all this cleaning and several glasses of wine and I was done for the evening.  Well, at least with cleaning.  I did manage to do another load of laundry and cut out Husband's laminated test answer sheets, all 78 of them, (that was unpleasant).  I have another sink tonight and a smelly garbage can to clean.  Laundry...egh.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bad news?  I'm hungry and lunch is over an hour away.  Good news?  I have delicious leftover chicken noodle soup for lunch!  That was probably one of the best meals me and my crock pot have made thus far. (I know, I know, grammar!!)  Here is the recipe:

8 cups chicken broth (I used bullion cubes to make it)
4 stalks of celery, sliced
1/4 of a large onion, diced
4 medium carrots, sliced
the meat off of a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, shredded
a shake or two of dried oregano
a few shakes of Italian seasoning

I dumped all of this in the crock pot yesterday morning and let it cook on low for 7 hours.  When we got home, I cooked some noodles and added those in.  Deeeee-licious!!  

Husband was a little annoyed that it was so hot and he had to wait a few minutes to eat it.  He has a small vat of it for lunch today too.  I forgot (again!!!!!!!!) to take a picture of it while it was still in either the crock pot or a nice looking dish, but here it is in a Tupperware bowl.  

Better than Chunky!

For today's dinner, I did the following:

one 3 pound bottom round roast
1 can beef broth
1 can cream of mushroon soup
1/2 packet of ranch seasoning mix
1/2 packet of au jus mix
1/2 pound of sliced mushrooms (they shrink when crocked, so I use a lot)

Again, I dumped all of this into the crock pot, set it on low and left for work.  Seven hours later, I should have a delicious dinner waiting for me.  I think I will just serve with bread or pasta tonight.  
Ugh!  Hungry still!!!

This is pre-cooking!

I guess I could have done a 31 days of crock pottery!  Ha!!  Well, I am only on day 2 of this journey and if my past cooking history is any indication, I won't be cooking for 31 days in a row.  I did, however, Pin and save a bunch of yummy looking crock pot recipes.  All of them look amazing.  I tried to stay away from ones that seemed like a bad idea.  Fish, pasta, most eggy things don't seem to fare well in the crock pot, although there are some that say you can crock almost anything.  I have my doubts.  I even found a site where someone did a pedicure in their crock pot.  That to me, is going too far.  Feet in a crock pot???  Gross.

I will post pictures of the latest creation later!

Horrible picture, but soooo good!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

 I feel good...na na na na na na na...

That was silly, but I do feel good today.  I ran/walked two miles at lunch yesterday and ate ridiculously healthy.  My calorie intake was somewhere between 500 and 1,000 calories, which may seem like starvation to some.  It really isn't.  I had deli ham, pretzels, and assorted veggies for lunch.  Then I went home and made the most amazing egg white omelet ever!!  Three egg whites, one egg yolk, chopped ham, onion, cilantro, shredded cheese, salsa, and peppers.  Yummo!!  Then I had a smidge of leftover Velveeta Shells & Cheese, because one can never walk by an unattended pot of those and not take a bite or two.  I had a little cottage cheese and salsa and more water!

Last night I also prepped the ingredients for homemade chicken noodle soup.  I looked like quite the sous chef, chopping onion, celery, and carrots ( I used my fancy crinkle cutter for that!).  I made some chicken stock from bullion cubes I had.  This morning I literally tossed all the ingredients in the crock pot with a package of pre-cooked chicken that was in the freezer, turned it on low and left to go to work.  Looking forward to getting home to delicious smells wafting from the house.  I just need to cook some noodles and boom...dinner!!  I'll post after photos when I get home.

Duck season starts this Saturday and Husband is like a little kid anxiously waiting for Christmas.  Brother-in-law, Ken, and pregnant Holly are coming down.   Holly and I are going to run/walk the Komen Race for the Cure (although "Sleeping in for the Cure" is a viable option too) and then gorge ourselves on biscuits and gravy!  I'm looking forward to food adventures with Holly!  We have Chipotle and Freebirds on the menu as well.  He he he...not so healthy eating is on my weekend horizon.  Glad I didn't sign up for the sleeping in option.

Projects this week have been put on the back burner, except for the headbands.  It is headband time at my house.  My little way of raising money for Fish's volleyball endeavors!  I've branched out into beanies as well, although those are more labor intensive.  I actually have to count stitches and remember what row I'm on, which is hard!!!!  This is the first one I made:

My Giants' version!
Below are a few samples of the headbands I make.  I have an Etsy store under mrsholc4x4, but haven't put any on there yet.  That will be up and running by the end of the week.  I've been a crazy crocheting woman getting ready for a holiday boutique and some for our school carnival, which is Friday.  I'm going to most likely have carpal tunnel by Christmas.

camo...my fave
school colors
cafe latter

with bling!

So these and more can be found on my Facebook Page Headbands & More!  The link to it is below:

Headbands & More!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday Part 2 The Scale!!!!!

So, um yeah.  I decided to get on the scale this morning and to my horror, chagrin, astonishment, I was up to 149 pounds! Unacceptable!!  I shouldn't be in the least bit surprised as I have been eating like a hippo for the last two weeks, without so much as a thought to what I have been putting in my mouth.  Oh, it's been delicious.  Sushi last night, Freebirds' burrito and nachos the day before, homemade red velvet cupcakes and pasta while Husband was away, bacon and eggs for breakfast, and the list goes painfully on.

Today, I reverted back to summer eating.  Coffee for the morning (with cream, of course), deli ham, pretzels, cucumber, and celery for lunch.  A nice little dinner planned and a ton (!!!!!!!) of water throughout the day.  I also decided to walk at lunch, which of course, turned in to a run/walk.  I feel guilty just sauntering along, so I make myself run at least halfway.  two miles in 26 minutes.  Not too shabby for a person who hasn't run since sometime in July.  5K on Saturday and my pregnant sister-in-law might come run too.  I've got some training to do!!!  By the way, this is my favorite workout song at the moment...

Missing! Me!

I have been missing from my blog for several days now.  Mostly because things have gotten a little hectic on the work front.  Nothing out of the ordinary, but just enough stuff to make blogging take a back seat.  I know I'm days behind my 31 days of running, so in a nutshell, here it is.  I haven't run since then, I am planning on running a 5k this weekend though.  Prep for that?  Eh...maybe, but not likely.  Done.  No more days of anything!

This past week I got quite creative!  Husband was in New York.  His grandma died and he flew back Tuesday for the funeral.  That gave me some time to get some organizing and some crating done.  I mostly worked on headbands.  My headbands will be in a boutique the first weekend of November, so I wanted to get a good sampling of colors to put in it.  This weekend, I did get to finish a couple of projects!

I bought this little birdhouse at a yard sale a few months back and have been wanting to do something with it.  I took my inspiration for this from an actual barn not far from our house.  So, from this:

To this:

And here is the inspiration:

Duck hunting season is only a week away, which means that I will get to do more projects!!  Yay!!  One of my big projects is to get the spare room (formerly known as the Nina/Tyler/closet/Luke/etc. room) ready for guests and make it look less like a closet.  I bought a cute table at a yard sale and started painting it a couple of weekends ago.  I finished it as well as some of the other accessories.


Lamp and a new mail/letter holder for the kitchen.

Lots of frames...ready for all the pictures.
Also , in the back is a frame with
chicken wire to hang baubles from.

So, all of that was done.  Wait, there's more!!!!  I also had a school project.  Our school carnival is this week on Friday.  Each classroom was given a plastic pumpkin to decorate to be auctioned off.  This is what I came up with:

Kitchy and cute-ish.  Hope it sells for a million!
I get half of the money!!   lol
There will be many more projects to be done soon, but for now I have to do the work thing.  After school time is dedicated to volleyball and headbands.  Ah, the life of a busy mommy.  I'm going to miss some of it some day.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Monday again...day 5

Ooooh, it's Monday.  And Day 5.  Oh, what happened to Day 4, you ask?  Well, I really don't know.  The day just sort of got away from me.  We were at the Delta so that Husband could do some early goose hunting.  Unfortunately, he would have done better if he'd stayed home and hunted the local holding ponds.  The geese in those ponds just taunt us mercilessly by flying from the pond over my school yard over to the large fields where Husband's school is.  Ridiculous!  If it were legal, he'd be hunting there.  Lack of geese aside, the boys had a nice morning out on the boat, drinking blackberry brandy and cruising the slough.  They did do a little fishing and Husband caught this guy:

That is definitely NOT a goose.  
The weekend was not a total loss, as we had a great time with our friends.  So hard to leave that place though.  Love the weather up there.  Even in the summer.  Who cares if it is 90 degrees?  Just jump in the water!!  Get in the boat, take a cruise, go have lunch in your swimwear at the biker bar!  Ha ha!!  Actually, this weekend, we wore real clothes to the biker bar, but unfortunately, some folks didn't get the memo that summer has passed.  Ewie!!!

View from the back deck...
Anyway, I did not run this weekend as we were out of town.  I know, I know, places out of town also have sidewalks and roads to run on, but this was a little mini vacation.  I didn't write about it before since I am not one to make public the fact that I'm not home and my house and all its contents are sitting available for robbery.  I know, Mom, you wouldn't go pilfer through my house, but on the off chance that my humble blog goes viral.  Ha ha ha, I crack myself up.  Okay, so Day 5 here and still no running.  I must get motivated.  Maybe I will run in place later.  That counts, right?????

Or, maybe I won't.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Day 3

The husband is out hunting geese and I slept in! The weather is beautiful and maybe some running will happen, but doubtful. I did dream about running...that counts, right?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Day 2 of 31 Days of...

Well, it's day 2 and I should write something prolific about running.  I've got nothing!  Ha ha.  I would love to go for a run today as the weather has cooperated and is making me happy.  It is currently 75 degrees and the real feel is 79 degrees.  It is overcast and positively delightful!  I'm happy to say that I won't be dripping sweat from all my pores today while coaching volleyball and I might actually leave my pants on!  Okay, I do not go out in public pantsless, however, I change into shorts to coach.  Aaah, I'll probably put the shorts on.

Oh, running, yes.  A quick list of things I like (tolerate) about running:

1.  I like the way I feel after I run.  Sort of happy & energized.
2.  I like the way my backside looks after a few weeks of running.
3.  People think you are a "runner".
4.  You get cool t-shirts for your efforts.
5.  People think you're cool when you walk into Starbucks after a race.
6.  You get lots of "likes" on your Facebook page when you post you've been running!
7.  And a lot of encouragement.
8.  You can eat a little more on the days that you run.  Not crazy eating, but a little more.
9.  You can buy clothes (running clothes, of course), but you have an excuse.
10. You get to run in fun races, because you can!
11. And...

Stay tuned for Day 3...should be epic!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

31 Days of...

Okay, so I'm not usually one to jump on someone else's bandwagon, but I saw this post called 31 Days to a Better You and another titled 31 Days to a Cleaner House and felt compelled to do a 31 Days to something series.

31 Days to a Better Me?  No, that's been overdone and besides, I kind of think that I'm okay right now.  Not perfect.  I've gained a few pounds over the last couple of weeks, but nothing drastic.  Still within a couple of pounds of my goal weight.

31 Days to a Cleaner House?  Who are they trying to kid here??  That will probably never happen in the small house I live in with three not-so-tidy people.   I included myself in that count, by the way.  I should clarify.  My house is not dirty, just not tidy.  Okay, the small balls of dog hair cruising up and down the hallway could make an argument for uncleanliness, but for the most part, the house is clean.

So, what could I write about for 31 days?  Food, yes.  Crafty stuff?  Maybe, if I wasn't working everyday.  Work?  Hell no!  Fashion?  Perhaps, although today I feel frumpy.  Running?  That sounds much more productive than some of the other choices.  Running it is then!

Day 1:  I am not currently running, but should be resuming running shortly.  Great start, eh?  I made a pact with myself that I would run on the first day that the temperature did not exceed 90 degrees.  I'm afraid I'm going to have to make myself into a liar, as tomorrow is the first predicted day under 90 degrees.  So, why can't I run?  Well, I have to go to work, do crosswalk duty (always fun), teach, take team volleyball pictures at lunch, participate in a rally after lunch, coach my little vballers, and then get the Husband ready for a weekend of goose hunting.  Monday seems like a great day to start running again, although I might surprise myself.  We'll see.  Oh, that puts me at Day 5 of this 31 Days thing.  Oh well.  Good intentions, right?  I do need to start getting myself out there again soon though.  I am going to try to do the Susan Komen 5K race on October 20th with the Fish.

Speaking of the Fish, we took this picture the other day while waiting for her to see the doctor.  I feel this way right now.  Boo!

Seriously, is it Friday yet???

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Several reasons to like this day.  One is that it means there are only two more days until Friday.  In a teacher's world, this is a grand occasion!  That means two days off and if we are lucky, we sometimes get a Monday off as well.

Another reason I like this day is that it is Early Release day, which means that the students go home about 20 minutes after lunch.  Most Wednesdays are relatively free in the afternoon, so it's a great time to get things done in the classroom.  I have a couple of decorating projects to get done in here.  I've been really lax about putting anything up on my walls on all the cutesy zebra bordered bulletin boards I put up in August.  Time to get something up there!

Another good thing about Wednesdays?    No coaching!!  I really don't mind coaching sports, but when the temperature has been nothing less than 99 or 100, standing out on the blacktop, throwing/serving volleyballs at children for an hour is less than pleasant.  In fact, it usually makes me sweaty and then the car is super hot (I have leather seats) and then I realize I left my water in the classroom, and.......  Oh I could go on, but I won't.

Today is definitely a good Wednesday.  Seems that today will be the last day of stupid hot.  It's supposed to be 100 today, but then dropping to low 90s tomorrow.  By next week, we might even see a 79.  Fingers crossed!  My poor yard looks so thirsty and no matter how much water I run to the plants, they always seem to want more.  In fact, we have several dead trees.  The lack of a wet winter last year and the dry, hot summer have not helped them at all.  My motto for the yard is now, "Save what's alive, and cut down the rest."  I'm pretty sure some of the roses are going t become casualties of this as well.  Sad, but not too much I can do.  We all know how my vegetable garden fared this summer. :(  Even the vegetables I planted in the wine barrels didn't do well.  Not sure why not.  I put good planting soil, fertilizer, and gave them lots of water.  The peppers have done nothing, although Husband still waters them.  He yelled at them at one point, and if you know Husband, you can imagine that did nothing for their self-esteem.  The tomatoes produced one very puny fruit.  I'll have to see if it's still there and take a picture.  It's really pretty comical.  They were sprouted in late February, spent most of the late winter/early spring in a greenhouse, planted outside in larger containers in late spring, and transplanted to the barrels in June.  Too early?  Did I baby them too much?  WTH??!!  I have no idea.  Wow, that turned out much more prolific than planned, didn't it?  Ha ha.

One sad little tomato...

So tonight is clean up night.  Not the house, but me.  Nails are a shambles.  Toes are okay, but I'm tired of the color.  Hair is needing a good batch of color.  Eyebrows are getting wild and wooly.  Hopefully it'll be a nice quiet tv night, so those things can get done.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

101 today.  102 tomorrow.  I'm sure I'm being punished for making jokes about going to Hell when I die.  Ugh.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday has arrived.  I'm not sure how I feel about it right now.  It started off fairly well, however certain events are starting to make me feel a bit grumpy towards the whole day.

Started out by paying bills.  Something I do every month at the beginning of the month.  I have it basically down to a science.  I have a certain order, I have all my sites bookmarked.  I can usually get the whole thing done in less than 15 minutes.  The only thing that ever gets in the way is if there is an internet server issue or something (someone) interrupts me.  So, today, I started on my list.  The first is our truck payment.  The modus operandi for paying for that beast has been the same for the last few years.  Today, it is different.  I have always used my debit card to pay this one.  Today they are telling me the only way I can pay is by entering all the numbers off of my personal check that is linked to that account.  Oh really now.  First of all, I don't have any checks, as checks are seriously becoming a thing of the past. Second of all, I don't want to enter all this silly information when they already have my account information on file.  Ugh!!  I am currently on speaker phone with the customer service department.  I want to talk to a human.  Not looking too good so far.  I'm holding for the next available agent, listening to what could be the worst rendition of Barry Manilow music ever.  Oh...I have a human!

Twenty minutes later, I am thinking seriously about going home and making a drink.  What is it with these customer service people??  I was greeted in "Mexenglish" by Felipe.  "Ell-o. My name is Felipe. How ken I asseeeest you today?"   I asked where my information was and was told, "Dese people, dey have deleted oll de data for paying dese accounts."  Hmmmm......who are "dese people" where did my information go?  Somewhere into cyberspace?  "I don' know.  Sorry ma'am."  Then Felipe told me that I would just have to re-enter my information.  Fabulous.  I asked why we were not informed about this situation taking place.  Felipe said, "Yes, ma'am, dese people that do dese tings don't have time to call people and tell dem that dey are changing tings."   Why then, does GM Financial have my email address?  A mass email seems like the modern way to handle this.  They email me almost every week with some sort of promotion or other nonsense that I MUST take advantage of!   But wait, there's more!  He then informed me that it will now be $10 a month extra to use the on-line service. What???   I thought we were in the 2000s where the internet was truly king.  He indicated that in order to avoid a "possessing" fee (as he called it), I should go back to the old school way of writing a check and mailing it.  Seems like an instant payment directly from my bank account would be the best way to get their greedy hands on my monthly payment, without danger of payment getting lost or not clearing.  Almost every other creditor accepts payments this way without incurring extra fees...in fact, several of our creditors bribe you to pay online by NOT charging fees.  WTH??!!!  I feel as though I have a better chance of winning the lottery than getting this bank information painlessly.  Bah!

Also on my plate of grievances for the day, is the umpteenth day of hot weather!  My phone says that it is 93 degrees at 1:18 p.m.but the "real feel" is 99.  Should be outstanding later this afternoon when the hottest part of the day rears its ugly head and I'm out on the blacktop coaching volleyball.

On a positive note.  Yes, there's  a positive note today!  I did not get to my two cleaning projects yesterday, because something did come up.  It was a good/fun thing.  Some good friends came to visit and we had a nice breakfast down at The Red Caboose.  Biscuits and gravy...yummo!!  Then in my bloated, food catatonic state, I went to Orchard Supply Hardware (OSH) and found the miracle product "Barkeeper's Friend" that is supposed to (according to Pinterest) make my porcelain look brand new again.  We'll see.  I didn't have time to try it yet.  I also picked up my free pint of Benjamin Moore paint (coupon in Country Living magazine-score!!) that is just enough paint for my project pieces,  I also went to Target and got tan colored sponges (the color of my microfiber couch) and a white bristled scrubby brush for the couch cleaning project.  So, back to why I didn't try the magical cleaning Pins yet.  We got invited to go shooting and have a bbq with more good friends of ours.  Definitely sounded better than cleaning.  It was.  So, a good little weekend as far as friends go.  Not super productive, but still a good weekend.  Wondering why Monday can't take direction from the weekend and be wonderful as well.

Hoping that what I put in the crock pot this morning will yield wonderful results like the last time.  I put frozen chicken breasts, a can of cream of chicken soup (mixed with  a can and a half of water), half a packet of ranch seasoning mix, and a half packet of garlic & herb salad dressing mix.  I'll try not to eat it all before I can take a photo.

Crockin' again!  
There it is...the finished product.  The rice kind of takes over the plate, but the chicken was delicious!