2008 is Gone...

It's finally here. The end of another year. I'm not really sure where the rest of this year went, but it's gone anyway so might as well look forward to the coming year. With that said... here's wishing everyone a wonderful new year!

Have a happy New Years'!

And Speaking Of...

Sunday was my birthday. My 30th birthday.

I can't help but look back and ask myself.... where the hell did all that time go? Three decades of time just poof... where'd it all go? I demand that someone please tell me what the hell happened.

The hubby took me shopping on Saturday to pick out some birthday presents. He didn't actually know that he was taking me shopping until I decided we were all going to go to town with him. Since I was already with him he just told me what he was wanting to get me. I said that was a great idea and off we went...

To get me...

A new Favre jersey! I was extremely excited about this! Next year, however, I guess I will have to purchase a Rodgers jersey because once again "they" say Brett is going to retire...

To go with my green/white jersey...

Green shoes!! I spotted these at TJ Maxx about a week ago and I really wanted to buy them, but decided not to...

And finally, since TJ Maxx is right next to Barnes & Noble, I got...

A new journal & the next book in the Wicked series!

My hubby is so nice to me! On my birthday he even cooked me my very own birthday cake! With green icing that he colored himself! I know you're jealous... it's ok.

The Big Day!

We made sure to keep the kids up as late as we possibly could so they would sleep in on Christmas morning... They slept until about 7AM. We should be thankful that they slept that long, but I was hoping for at least an 8AM day. They sat and waited patiently for me to get the coffee going and get the camera ready.

I won't inundate you with millions of pictures of kids opening presents. I'll just give you a few...

Apparently the Girl Scout people feel that girls who wear a small in their pants are very, very tall girls. See below...

I must add that I have the greatest hubby in the world. He bought me Kate Beckinsale and food for Christmas. I love him.

I bought the kids some wooden mind bending puzzles. Neil immediately took them all apart. With no regard for how to reassemble them... the result was at least an hour of all the adults trying to put them all together again...

Kaia's happiness came in a small pink package...

She wouldn't put it down. In fact, she still hasn't put it down.

So that was our Christmas in a nutshell. We also had my mom and step-dad over for dinner, but I forgot to take pictures. Can you believe that? I forgot to take pictures... I never forget my camera... It must be the old age setting in....

And speaking of old age...

Working Up To the Big Day

I thought I would be a little crafty this year and instead of making the regular peanut butter cookies I usually make, I made gingerbread cookies. I've never done gingerbread before so I was hoping everything would turn out ok.

We had gingerbread boys & gingerbread girls. Although the girls just looked like boys with baggy pants on... I didn't picture them here. I was proud of my awesome icing skills though...

Kaia helped me out and she insisted that we use all of the Christmas-y cookie cutters. This resulted in lots of candy canes and stockings. We also had "Frosty's" as she called them.

I do think they turned out well. They tasted great, but I thought they would be a darker color. I don't really care what they look like as long as they taste good.

Remember me telling you about the hair coloring??? While it does look better, it's really dark. I think I like it, but I'm just not sure yet. During the in-law's Christmas dinner last Saturday, I kept hearing how it was just sooooo much better than the pink. I happen to like the pink. I know that the last go around didn't turn out so well, but for the most part I didn't think it was that bad! But I guess it was because I kept hearing it that it was... here is the new me.

*bowing*... Thank you...Thank you... yes, it's lovely...

Jeep Chick
rang me up and said, "Help!" So I said, "Ok!" Last minute X-mas shopping is a bitch when you have to take your children with you so I got to keep watch over Barbie Jeep and Wrangler for a little while so she could brave the insaneness that is holiday shopping. Kaia took over my very own DS game that Jeep Chick got for me and she wasn't handing it over...

I took the opportunity to snap a few pictures while they were here. I then took the opportunity to add stickers and make the already cutie patooie Barbie Jeep that much more FABULOUS!

As soon as she is old enough to pick up something heavy... she will kill me for this!


My dad is going to be here for a few more days so I'm going to leave you for the day. I'll try to get some pictures posted of Christmas day ASAP. I hope everyone had a great day!

Oh.. and no recipe this week... it's too busy to actually cook right now anyway! Just pick up some of that leftover ham and nuke it in the microwave!

Last Weekend or Van Seats & Family

Last Friday & Saturday were a blur. Friday night was a sleepover with about 30 Girl Scouts. This number includes parents, girls, and other siblings. I have to tell you that I wasn't much looking forward to sleeping on the floor of a fellowship hall in a church with a bunch of 7-8 year old girls. It did, however, prove to be a pretty good evening. I had planned to post a few pictures, but since I didn't ask permission from the parents to post their child's image on my blog, I will refrain. I am going to post one picture though. I did crop out as many girls as possible and the one who I couldn't crop got the black bar censorship over her eyes.

Ok, do you see the picture? Do you see what that is in the picture? That's right folks... that's a van seat. Literally taken right out of a parent's van and placed smack dab in the middle of the room. The poor Eagle Scout who had to pack the thing in looked like he was going to die. Those seats are fairly heavy for those of you who haven't had the pleasure of moving one. This particular mom decided like right at bedtime that she couldn't sleep in the floor. Too hard. So she wanted the seat out of her van..... I swear to you I am not making this up, ask Jeep Chick.

I did get Jeep Chick on video singing a fair bit of karoke, but I will not bless you with her rendition of some country song that I have no idea of the name of. She would kill me, hack me to little pieces, and spread my parts from here to everywhere. I'd like to live a little longer thank you.

The evening was filled with hoops and hollars, Twister and Hullabaloo, karoke, pizza, and S'mores. For the most part, it went well. No one cried (well, one did, but we fixed it), no one lost a limb, and there was no blood so.... yea, things went well. I think we should be proud.

Next morning, I had to get up, get ready, and get out of there as fast as I could because we had to be at the in-laws for their Christmas dinner by noon. I still had to go home and have my oh-so-sweet husband color my hair before we could go. Yep, that's right... he does hair. And he does a pretty good job too! Better than when I try to do it myself, which is why he had to color it for me... because I had previously done it myself and it didn't turn out so well. When you are putting a color like this----------> on your hair you need to be more accurate than I was. This is not what my hair looked like last week... this is an old picture from like... uh July... this picture looks better than what I did to my poor hair... anyhooooo...

Got home, colored hair, showered...., had to return a 2-pc pajama set that only had one piece in it to Target, then go to the mall and get a gift certificate for the foster sister-in-law. And might I add that the people at the Customer Service desk at the mall were especially nice. The gift card came with a cute little bag AND tissue paper. Seriously?, you ask. Seriously, I say. After all that mess, we finally get to the in-laws and guess what? I remembered that I was supposed to bring the veggie tray.... I completely forgot. Which is so unlike me right???? Right?????? Oh who am I kidding... you all know I can't remember anything.

What The Fetch?

So last week as I was browsing my Google Reader, I came across a post in a blog that sent my head spinning. I had to click the link to read the full story. I'll give you a moment to read it yourself....

Ok, now that you have stopped gasping at the computer screen and asking yourself, "What the frick?"... Are those people for real??? Can you believe this made the front page news of that newspapers SUNDAY edition??? I would like to take this opportunity to say that I agree with the decision of the ShopRite store to NOT make the cake. I agree because I feel by making it they would have been perpetuating a hate group. Before I forget, I'd like for you to go back to that article and inspect the first picture of Daddy Dearest with the young Aryan Nation Campbell. Ooops, looks like someone forgot to move their little wooden statue of a hand flipping the bird. Way to go Bruce Winter (the photographer). Next time pay more attention to what's going on in the background. **Me's thinks this is way worse than not realizing that Cam had horns from the barn star in the family Christmas picture!**

I understand that we have the right to free speech. I am glad that we have this right. I'm glad that we have the right to name our children whatever we want to, but seriously. Seriously. Adolf Hitler Campbell, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell, and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell. Really, you felt the need to do that to your children? Unfortunately they, the kids, will grow up in this household assuming that there is nothing wrong with their parents behaviour. To each their own. People name their children Malcolm, Lee, John, Jeffery, Jim... but they don't go as far as to name their children Malcolm X, Lee Harvey, John Wilkes, Jeffery Lionel, or James Warren *Campbell*. Adolf or Aryan would have been sufficient. I don't even know what "Honszlynn Hinler" refers to. I guess I'm out of the loop on that one. A related article found after a Google search said it could be in reference Heinrich Himmler. Who knows. I just think this is a very unfortunate outcome.

How is little 3 year old Adolf going to feel when he begins studying World History in school and they begin discussing the Holocaust? For that matter, what about the other two children?

I... I... I'm just really flabbergasted that in 2008 they named their kids after and insane murderer and his followers. They weren't even alive when that all took place.

I've never been able to understand hatred for a certain type of people. Why dislike someone just because of what they believe or the color of their skin? I'd like to credit my parents with this confusion. I can distinctly remember my mom telling me when I was a child that there was no difference between white and black people except the color on the outside. She said if you cut your arm, you bleed red. If a *insert your favorite color here* persons arm is cut, they bleed red. We are all the same on the inside and that's what really matters. I guess I've just put that to religious beliefs as well. When it comes down to the real nitty gritty of it, everyone thinks they are going to go to some type of Heaven or a better place then we are in right now. Some just take a different route to get there. It basically boils down to your basic "do unto others" scenario. Karmic balance and all that jazz.

So the moral of the story is....

can you believe those idiots named their children Adolf Hitler and Aryan Nation??? Seriously?


Update: Now it's even being covered in my local news.... as of 12-17-08.
Here is the USAToday article as well.

Look I am not one to judge other people, but the father is now saying that he named his son Adolf Hitler because "no one else would have that same name". Really? I mean, duh... there is a reason no one else has that name.....

I shake my head....

Hickory Smoked Pork Loin

Only 5 more days until... "The Big Day". Are you ready? Are you prepared? Do you have any idea what to make for lunch or supper on said "Big Day"?? Here's a great idea that is a little different from a normal holiday entree.

Make sure you have your grill ready! That's right, your grill! This is the perfect time to grill out. I know it doesn't seem like it, but when it's cold outside and your staring at a foot of snow (or lack there of here in KY) it's nice to have that juicy, hot, right off the grill entree on your table. So get your charcoal or gas grill prepared and..... GRILL!!

Hickory-Smoked Pork Loin

1 3-lb. boneless pork top loin roast (double loin, tied)
3 Tbls. packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. finely shredded orange peel
1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 cups hickory or oak wood chips

  1. Trim fat from meat. Place meat in a shallow dish. For rub, in a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, orange peel, coriander, paprika, salt, ginger, and pepper. Sprinkle rub evenly onto all sides of meat; rub in with your fingers. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to 4 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, at least 1 hour before grilling, soak wood chips in enough water to cover.
  3. Drain wood chips. In a grill with a cover, arrange medium-hot coals around a drip pan Test for medium heat above pan. Insert an oven-going meat thermometer into center of roast. Sprinkle some of the drained wood chips over the coals. Place roast on grill rack over pan. Cover and grill for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until thermometer registers 155 degrees F. Add more coals and remaining wood chips as needed.
  4. Remove meat from grill; cover with foil and let stand for 15 minutes before slicing. (The temperature of the meat will rise about 5 degrees F during standing) Makes 8 - 10 servings.

Add some green beans and mashed potatoes and you have a meal.

Her Majesty's Secret Service...

...is in some serious trouble.

007 was previously retired by Shilo the WonderCat. On Monday, 006 was captured, interrogated, tortured, and then apparently died of natural causes in the interrogation room...

Our deepest sympathies to 006's family, friends, and co-workers, but we would like to take this opportunity to announce our intentions to annihilate their entire work force. Retire while you still can Agents 001 thru 005...

We'll be watching you.....

What is that?

Do you know what I find annoying about television today?

Those advertisements at the bottom or corner or both of your TV that block half of the screen!!

Are they too cheap to buy real commercial time? But then you run into those annoying commercials as well.

You know those hour long breaks in the program to brainwash you into buying "Mighty Putty" because Billy Mays said so. Just in case you missed it the first time, they play that same commercial 12 minutes later when it's time for the next hour long break in your program or maybe not. Maybe it's "Hercules Hooks". Or "OxiClean", "Kaboom", or "Orange Glo". Who the hell is this guy anyway?!?!?! Why is he the authority on what we should buy?!?! What makes him so darned speee-shul? Anyone??? ........... I couldn't come up with anything either.

Back to the original annoyance. Those "in-show" pop up ads. I found an article written in the NY Times about just this subject. In this article I found the perfect example of what I am talking about.

A third of the screen is covered by an obvious ad for a movie during an episode of "Heroes". I am trying to watch a show. I am not trying to be distracted by ads right in the middle of that show. No wonder more and more people are being diagnosed with ADD or ADHD. You can't even sit through a 30 minute TV show without being bombarded with endless advertising.

Stop already. I do not go out and buy your product just because Billy Mays is screaming at me to hang 150lbs of whatever on a "Hercules Hook". I am not going to watch that other TV show just because you have covered up HALF OF THE SHOW I do want to watch with an ad for it. In fact, that makes me not want to watch it or buy that product.

Maybe these executives should take all the money they are spending on product placement and advertising and give it to charity. There are many organizations that could benefit from the millions and millions that are being spent for no good reason...

...other than to ANNOY PEOPLE.

OMG! It's really "New"!

My husband, Chris, and I have been together for quite some time now. Like many young couples, we didn't have much when we were getting started. In all our years together, since 1994, we've never purchased our own furniture. Wait, let me explain this a little further.

We have actually purchased furniture. Never "new" furniture though.

Our first sofa and chair was a hand-me-down one from one of his Aunts. I don't have any pictures of it (Thank God) and I couldn't find any photos on the internet that showed just how old school-icious it really was. I'm sure you all remember the wood frame couches right? The ones with the 1970's striped pattern linen cushions that were basically just squares of foam only about 4 inches thick. Yeah, that's the one. We had a matching chair too! I can see your jealously.

Next up, we had a friend who was buying all new furniture for his living room and we got to buy his old one. The sofa, love seat, coffee table, and two end tables! All for only $150! Wow.... yea, not so much, but it was better than sitting on those 4 inch thick pieces of foam that were passing for cushions. Here's a picture of that one.

Please hold your applause... But isn't that a cute photo of the kids! Anyhow....

Our next sofa was given to us by our neighbors daughter. She got a bed frame, we got a sofa and love seat. It was big. It was heavy. I liked it. But... the back cushions were just over-sized pillows so they NEVER stayed in place. The best picture I could find is below.

Who is that cute baby in the picture you ask? Why, that's little Kaia watching Daddy open her Christmas present for her because she was taking too long. Eventually this sofa went through many a slip cover. Not a single one of them ever stayed in place. Ever.

Our next sofa was a hide-a-bed hand over from my grandmother. It has flowers. Big poofy magnolia-esqe pinkish flowers. But it's a hide-a-bed. It also went through a few covers, but guess what... they didn't stay put either. I almost forgot this one and I had to go back and add it in the correct order of things. This sofa we still have. It is hiding out in the storage room for now.

Here we have said flowery sofa covered in a nice maroon slip cover. Notice the horrid flowery pillow. Yes, the entire sofa is done in this fabric, hence - the slip cover. Might I add that the handsome man in this photo is rocking his shades that the Easter bunny brought him...

Today we have the most awesome-est of hand-me-down furniture. I actually don't want to part with it because I love all the gadgets, but I wish it was a different color. We got this gem from my husbands mother and step-dad. They had it for like 7 years before we purchased it from them and now we've had it for 2 years. I must say that it is still in excellent working order and will no doubt make the next family happy. The recliner obviously reclines, but it also has heat and vibration. The love seat reclines on both ends. The sofa has a pull down area in the middle with cup holders. It too has heated seats with vibration. I know, I know... OOOooooo, AAAhhhhh... yes, this sofa has kept me warm many nights. But again, the color is just too dark.

Recently, a new furniture place opened. They have those loud get your attention commercials on at all hours of the day. I have now memorized their phone number. Not that I wanted too, but the guy on the commercial is so boisterous about it... PHONE 3 9 3 9 3 3 3!!! What really caught my attention was the claim of a free layaway plan.

Last week, on Fun Friday, Cam and I went to look at all they had to offer, ask about that free layaway, and all that other stuff they don't tell you in the commercial. Turns out it's a 2 year layaway plan, no interest for 6 months, and they don't charge to store it. They do charge to deliver it once you paid for it, but it's a small fee. I think we felt every sofa or love seat or chaise in the entire warehouse. I decided on the ones that I liked the best. Took photos and then basically had to run out the door to keep the salesman from accosting us to buy it right then and there.

So after Chris got off work on Saturday, we dropped the kids to spend the night with his mom and step-dad and headed to the furniture warehouse. He agreed with my choice and we did it. We purchased our very first furniture. Well, at least the very first brand new furniture that is!

And it comes with those pillows too!!

....I'm such a geek...

Recipe of the Week

This week I thought I'd do a little something for the upcoming holiday. Everyone loves cookies and everyone loves Paula Deen....with the exception of Cam, who can't watch her cook on TV because the lady never washes her hands and licks her fingers a lot... BUT she uses lots and lots of butter so I see no problem with the lack of hand washing... I know this makes no sense to you, but butter + the "south" = It must be good. So, ok... here is Miss Deen's recipe for Gingerbread Boys & Girls taken from her Christmas with Paula Deen book.

Let's get started...

Cookie Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 molasses
  • 3 & 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting work surface
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 & a half teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Icing Ingredients:
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Food coloring as desired
  1. Using an electric mixer at low speed, cream the sugar and butter until thoroughly combined. Add the eggs and molasses and mix until combined. Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and combine with a spoon or spatula. Remove the dough from the bowl and wrap in plastic wrap; place in the refrigerator until firm, about 1 hour.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Allow the dough to sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes, until pliable. Take about 1/2 cup of dough at a time and roll onto a floured work surface until about 1/8 inch think. Cut out with gingerbread boy and girl cookie cutters. You can re-roll the scraps.
  3. Using a spatula, transfer the cookies from the work surface to the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 10 minutes, until just beginning to brown at the edges. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
  4. To make the icing: Combine the confectioners' sugar and milk. Divide the mixture into thirds; leave one third white, color one third green, and color the final third red. Decorate by piping eyes, mouths, buttons, and bow ties.
Makes 18 to 24 cookies, depending on the size of your cookie cutters.

Christmas with Paula Deen pg. 72 -73

The Downhill Slide

It's almost the end of the week and wonder of all wonders.... nothing exciting is happening. Tuesday it rained. It rained all day long. This is disappointing because it is DECEMBER. Kentucky weather is never the same two days in a row. The high today is somewhere right about 60 degrees. A few days ago it was so cold that I had to let my car run for more than 15 minutes to get the frost off the windows so I could see to drive anywhere. Tuesday...it's 60. But it wasn't a nice day out... it was RAINING. All day. Wednesday, guess what? 38 degrees.


I don't know if you've heard or not... maybe you just aren't as cool as I am... maybe you are anyway... but it's almost time for GIRL SCOUT COOKIES!! Yes, that's right folks... start planning your diets now. I am excited about eating them, but I'm not as enthusiastic about selling them. I hope that it will grow on me. Jeep Chick and I are taking this on. It's like our mission should we choose to except it and we might self destruct instead of the message self destructing... (anybody watch Mission: Impossible the TV show NOT the movies?) Anyway... I think so far, so good. We just got our paperwork and information on Monday so things aren't looking too bad just yet. Nothing has confused me yet, but Jeep Chick took most of the paper work home with her so I haven't had the chance to confuse myself yet. Have no fear though, I'm eventually gonna mess something up.

I've done this stuff before.... about 20 years ago. I was a wee little Brownie myself. Back in those days, it wasn't as easy to sell them as it seems to be now. I practically had to beg people to buy them. Neither of my parents worked in a factory so there wasn't the opportunity to hit up lots of people. I was also a painfully, painfully shy kid. Even now, I have no problem standing in front of a lot of people and talking, but my face will get as red as a stinkin' stop sign. I know it gets that way because I can feel it. Luckily, my daughter is far from shy when it comes to talking. She will talk to anyone, any where, any time. She doesn't care as long as you are listening to her. I think I will take her door-to-door selling... she will "cute" them into buying cookies....

...the prizes, they will be mine!!! oh yes, they will be mine... oh, I mean hers! They will be hers!!

Family Time

I underestimated just how boring it was going to be for the kids to make their own Christmas ornaments. Last week (maybe the week before) Hobby Lobby was having a 40% off sale on their Christmas crafts. The Martha Stewart in me decided that getting the family to sit around the table and make some of our own ornaments would be a fabulous idea. Not so much. I picked up a kit that came with styrofoam balls of various sizes, pins, beads, and three colors of sequins! Wow! All that for less than $10!! Oh.My.God. Every tiny little pin had to be put through a single tiny little bead that then had to be put through a single sequin. Sounds fun, right???

Here are the boys...

while Kaia was...

not to poke herself with the pins....

After what seemed like hours and hours, I finally had...

At least, there was one finished project... Neil didn't finish his (I did)...Kaia was done in another few days...and Chris was done with his first one after I had finished my second one...

That night we finally lit...

After lighting the tree and admiring our handiwork, we decided to play some "SORRY". This is where the kids discovered their own version of...

I'd say we make one seriously abstract family...

P.S. I may possibly have spelled googly wrong in the googly eyes, but...oh well....

ATTN: Death of Super Secret Agent...

I'm sorry to announce the death of our dear friend, Agent 007 AKA "Mouse, James Mouse" AKA "The Big Cheese" AKA "The Phantom Turd Dropper" AKA "That Damn Mouse". Yes folks, the cat has finally earned her right to live in my fiefdom. (I may or may not have spelled that right....)

Friday morning I awoke to the strange sounds of the cat running amok through the den area or it may have been the kitchen/dining room area, I can't be certain. I dragged my half dead butt out of bed to see her staring at the wall behind our cedar chest. I immediately knew what was going on. It was obvious from the fact that she completely ignored me when I asked her what the hell she was doing staring at a wall... I walked over and moved the chest a little. There it was. As soon as he/she realized that they were no longer under the cover of darkness, he/she bolted. Quickly followed by the cat and my yelling, "Get That Mouse!!!"

I'm uncertain exactly how long she had been torturing the poor thing, but eventually after losing it and then retrieving it from under the couch, it gave up. I'm not sure if it died of natural causes or just was scared to death. Literally. But he/she was just laying there under the end table. The cat was beside herself. She kept nudging it. Nothing happened. Then she looked up at me and said, "Meee-ooowww?" Yes, there was a question mark there. I heard it. This was met with my son screaming, "She killed it Mom!! SHE DID IT!!" And that was followed up by my daughter saying, "Ooooo....where is it? Can I see it? Can we TOUCH it?" Yuck, gross, no... then I gently reached down, patted the cat on the head and told her what a good job she had done, picked up Agent 007 by his/her tail, had a moment of silence, then flushed his/her butt down the toilet.

I immediately set upon the task of debriefing the cat on her next secret mission of hiding in the laundry room on a permanent stakeout....

Sadly, she is not for hire Jeep Chick, but I will see if she has any good connections.

It's a Holiday!

I know we are supposed to be remembering all the fallen soldiers and civilians that died on that fateful day in 1941... Moment of silence ............................................................. but I am talking about the fact that it's Cam's BIRTHDAY!!

So happy 29th birthday Cam! We are the same age for the next 3 weeks. Three weeks exactly this year! I don't know if that means a diddily shit, but hey for 3 weeks.... we're twins! It's early this morning and I really don't know what I am writing here. I'll probably go back and look at this post as a WTF post, but again.. hey, who cares right? 'Cause it's yo birfffday!!!!

happy birthday Pictures, Images and Photos

Recipe of the Week

Spiced Chili


1-1/2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (16 ounces each) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans (15 ounces each) tomato sauce
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) stewed tomatoes, cut up
1 cup water
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried majoram
Shredded cheddar cheese, optional

1) Ina large skillet, cook the beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.

2) Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker. Stri in the beans, tomato sauce, tomatoes, water and seasonings.

3) Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours. Discard bay leaves. Garnish with cheese if desired.

Yield: 12 servings (about 3 quarts).

NUTRITION FACTS: 1 cup equals 236 calories, 7 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 38 mg cholesteron, 1,240 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 18 g protein.

--Stovetop Spiced Chili: If you like to make the chili on the stovetop, use a Dutch oven instead of a skillet to cook the beef, onion and garlic. Add the beans, tomato sauce, tomatoes, water and seasonings to the Dtch oven. Bring to aboil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Discard bay leaves.

Lisa Ling + Marijuana + National Geographic = Wake Up America

Marijuana Nation

We Survived...

Black Friday!!!

Our weekly trip to Hobby Lobby was fairly uneventful. I found this excellent feather boa that matched my shirt...

We went to several other places, but there were SO MANY PEOPLE that, after a little begging from me, we headed to the mostly empty Dillard's to try on dresses.

I have no idea what my face is doing in the next picture, but this was my favorite dress of all of them...and no, my butt is not that big...it's the dress... really.

And last, but not least...we stopped by TJ Maxx on our way to Barnes & Noble and Cam found this awesome... uh... thing?

In summary, we survived Black Friday because we 1) didn't get up too early, 2)had no real plan of action, 3)stopped at Starbuck's first, 4)didn't buy anything unnecessary... Ah..well, better luck next year.

Our Turkey Day

Started with getting up late, which meant getting the turkey in the oven late too...but we managed to get it all together... I've never cooked Thanksgiving dinner before so I am using that as my excuse... But sometime around 11AM, boredom began to set in...

After everyone arrived, we mingled, we watched football, we did some other stuff... until finally we got...

Cam and her fam brought with them...

Everyone stuffed themselves silly with all the other stuff I didn't take pictures of like au gratin potatoes(that I made with a pound of cheese and a whole stick of butter! Yes, Paula Deen was happy with me!), the ever popular green bean casserole, and of course deviled eggs, just to name a few...

We needed to work off all those calories so we headed outside for what else?? Football!! Where the boys got too hot and had to hang up their shirts...

This is also about the time that...

This is where I caught Kaia...

...sunning ourselves to keep warm...

Before Cam and her fam left for the evening, she had to do a little...

...and that was pretty much the extent of our day... hope that everyone's day went just as well...

Recipe of the Week-LEFTOVERS!

Here's some guidelines on storing those leftovers.

Any perishable food should not stand at room temperature for longer than 2 hours. So within 2 hours of roasting, the poultry meat should be removed from the carcass and put away in the refrigerator or freezer. If desired, slice, cube or cut the meat into strips. Leftover poultry parts or pieces can be packaged without being cut up. Meat and leftover poultry casseroles can be refrigerated for 3 to 4 days, stuffing for up to 3 days and gravy for 2 days. Stuffing can be frozen for 1 to 2 months, and meat and casseroles for up to 6 months. Homemade gravy does not freeze well.

What to do with all that leftover turkey!! Here's a little something different.

Curried Turkey


2 cups milk
2 chicken bouillon cubes
2 cups diced peeled apples
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 cups diced cooked turkey
Hot cooked rice

1) In a small saucepan, heat the milk and bouillon, stirring until bouillon is dissolved. Set aside.

2) In a large saucepan, saute apples and onion in oil until tender. Stir in the flour, curry powder, salt and pepper until blended. Gradually add milk mixture and lemon juice. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add turkey; heat through. Serve over rice.

Yield: 6 servings.

NUTRITION FACTS: 1 cup (calculated without rice) equals 338 calories, 17 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 82 mg cholesterol, 675 mg sodium, 15 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 31 g protein.

What are You Thankful For?

Of course, you know that I am not sitting in front of my computer this morning typing out a blog. I wrote this days and days ago. I hope everyone is having a great Thanksgiving. If you are reading this instead of sitting in the living room watching your family members swear at the referees of the NFL football game on the TV or listening to them snore after eating too much turkey... shame on you! Get off the damn computer! Come back tomorrow and tell me what your reasons for being thankful are ... Here are mine...

One of the things I am thankful for is a friend who is WAY more organized than me. She, Cam, came up with writing out a weeks worth of posts prior to the week they are to be posted. A genius idea. For a while I was just posting everyday about things that were going on. Then nothing happened and I didn't know what to do. I was lost in blogger limbo. I am also thankful for just having her in my life for so many other reasons that I don't even know where to begin.

Cam is not the only friend who I am thankful for. I am thankful to still have Jeep Chick in my life. We "lost" each other for a few years. Yes, I said years. She was living her life, I was living my life. Then our lives came together again. She might say it's saa-weet. I would agree. She helped me through some stuff and she was always there when I needed her. I hope I can be there for her.

I am also thankful for my family. My husband is the greatest man, like ever. He works so hard to take care of his family. The kids are there to test every ounce of patience that I have, but I am so very glad they are in my life.

Additionally, I am thankful for the things people usually overlook. Sunlight, moonlight, stars, the wind, the Earth, clean water, trees, dirt, freedom of speech, the right to bear arms, the right to choose, democracy, waking up this morning...

Thankfulness also comes in odd places... like toe socks, Milk Duds, Starbucks' Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha, Ramen noodles, flannel sheets and stuff like that...

Whatever you are doing today, take a moment to be...