Strange Creatures

It wasn't long ago that Cam posted about her mom's cat's irresponsible napping places around the house. Any where from hiding in the cabinets to just about falling off of window sills, you name it and he's napped there. I recalled this fond story last week when I discovered my pets doing strange things...

I found the cat in her cave....





She looks quite comfy in there doesn't she??

The next day I was sitting on the love seat reading a book, watching some TV. I got up to go use the bathroom and upon returning found the dog napping...with a friend.





Yes, he's napping with a stuffed Bijou from the cartoon Hamtaro.

I don't think I've ever owned a "normal" pet.

Hooked on Fridays

Today I'm hooked on...

Savannah, Georgia!

The state, not the country... y'all!



Who wouldn't love to live at the end of this avenue of beautiful trees draped in Spanish moss??




I can't wait to have some good ol' Georgia peaches!

We are currently trying to plan our summer vacation and while we know for sure we are going to visit my family in the great state of Florida, I'm trying to convince my hubby that stopping by a few places in Georgia on the way home wouldn't kill us! Plus, we've got some friends who are really, really, really wanting to move to Georgia and I need to brush up on my knowledge of the state.



The very first place I want to visit in Savannah is Bonaventure Cemetery.





Who doesn't want to eat at the Lady and Sons?!?!? I love Paula Deen and I'd probably wait in line for two or three days to eat at her restaurant. In addition to these lovely places, I'd also like to just walk through the history that is Savannah. All the 20 something fountains, the old houses... I can't wait!!

Being so close to the ocean of course we'd have to visit places like Tybee Island and Jekyll Island. Telfair Museum would have to be a stop in our stay as well.

And last, but not least.....

the Okefenokee Swamp!

OK, so it's not exactly in Savannah, but you CAN NOT go to southern Georgia without taking a ride in a swamp buggy! Am I right, folks?!

Today I'm hooked on Georgia, what are you hooked on? Take a trip over to Hooked on Houses to see what other people are hooked on and take part in the Hooked on Fridays blog P-A-R--T-A-Y!! Oooo - oooo!

P.S. ~ Most of the images link to articles so check those out too...if you're interested that is!

Recipe of the Week

Who doesn't like potatoes? Who doesn't like garlic? If you don't like these two things, there is something fundamentally wrong with you. Or just mentally wrong... Either way, try this out and see if it changes your mind.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes ( I stole this idea from the Queen Bee because she said she was cooking these and I've wanted some ever since)

  • 2 and a quarter lb. russet or Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 whole garlic bulb
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp. (1/4 stick) butter
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • fresh chives
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Peel potatoes and cut into even-size pieces. Place in a large pot of lightly salted water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until cooked through, about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, separate garlic cloves, but do not peel them. Place in a bowl, add olive oil and toss to coat. Place on a baking sheet and roast in oven until softened, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
  3. Drain potatoes and return to pot. Mash slightly. Add sour cream and butter. Quickly squeeze pulp from garlic gloves into pot. Add salt and black pepper.
  4. Mash potatoes until combined and smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl. Cut chives into small pieces. Sprinkle over mashed potatoes in bowl; serve.
I usually forget to put in the chives and I hardly ever move them to a "serving bowl". We kind of fend for ourselves around here! Since we are a family of four this recipe is geared toward a 4 family serving.

Marvelous Monday

Since my friend Cam and I had to fore go (is that supposed to be one word? is it a word at all?) our "Fun Friday" last week, we opted for a "Marvelous Monday" instead.

It did not start as marvelous as I would have liked. I woke up, went to the bathroom, and before I could even sit down... I noticed it. The windows in my bathroom have a sort of frost to them so you can't see in or out, but still... I noticed it. There was a kind of whiteness to the windows. Sure enough....



It's not much, but it's all we've got. I also discovered that apparently the county road crews weren't prepared for any amount of snowfall. Now I know I do live in the boonies and the majority of the time our roads don't get salted as soon as the main roads do. I think what made it so dangerous was that there were some patches that were clear and some that were not. I made my way, slowly, almost all the way to the Queen Bee's house before any kind of catastrophe presented itself. Luckily, I kept my cool, which is not like me whatsoever, and I kept my car out of a ditch, but I did a little pirouette with my car. I can't say she was my favorite partner.

The day did get better with a little help from the barista at Starbucks and the donut I had for breakfast.



Cam had the same thing she always gets... chai tea. Trying for a stealth photo...



After venturing to a second hand store, we decided to head to the mall to just wander here and there. Just for the fun of it we decided to ride the escalators...

Not the most flattering picture of either of us, but who cares! We were goofing off!



OK, so the second photo is better... wait a minute... is that a dis-torsoed mannequin in panties behind my head?!?!?



We both wanted to go eat lunch somewhere that we hadn't eaten before, but we couldn't agree on a place so we opted for an Auntie Anne's pretzels. Cam decided that this was an appropriate photo to take. We don't like to share.



A brief stop at the candy kiosk yielded gum and "pocket candy".



But wait there was one last thing to do before vacating the mall...



I didn't like the single light fixtures that I found at Lowes so a trip to the Home Depot was in order. What's this?? Fresh fruit for sale at the Home Depot?? Who knew??





Of these three fixtures, ironically, I like the $15 one best.

Your mission, should you choose to accept, is to tell me which one you prefer.

And that faithful readers was my Monday, during the day at least... Monday evening was full of numbers, calculators, and Girl Scout cookies.

Why You Shouldn't Do This

I was duped by Stamps.com. In their defense I guess I should mention that I wasn't aware there was fine print. Always read the fine print.

I was trying to save myself a trip to the Post Office. I had Christmas cards to mail and I was trying to find a service where I could print the postage directly on the envelopes and send them on their way. I signed up for this Stamps.com. Little did I know there was a monthly charge. I never actually used the service because I couldn't print on the envelopes and I had no labels to print on. So I deleted the software from the computer, drove to the Post Office, bought regular stamps and sent those cards sailing down whatever it is they sail down.

Friday morning, while inspecting the meager funds available in the checking account, I spy a $15.99 charge from Stamps.com. What is this? I say. I don't really have $15.99 to be spending on a service that I DO NOT USE. So I had to go to the website, re-download the software (because I didn't use it and had deleted it), log into that software and find out that indeed there is a monthly fee. There are two "plans": one is $15.99 and the other is $24.99. Well, thank goodness they didn't sign me up for the $24.99 plan. I would have been even more upset.

I go back to the website. I find a link that explains to me how to get the postage money back, but no information about anything else of concern. I click the "Contact Us" link. I contact them in regards to canceling the account due to the fact that I haven't/won't ever/ don't need it. I get an immediate response in the form of... We are sorry. You can not cancel your account via online or email. You must call our office at 1-800-this is going to take forever. Our hours are in the Pacific Time Zone so you will have to wait for the next four years to be able to call us as you are in the Central Time Zone. Have a nice bleeping day.

Great.

After finally getting through to an actual person, it was a fairly painless process. The poor guy on the other end tried fruitlessly to get me to continue my service, but alas after telling him 4 times that I just wanted to discontinue the service, he finally did just that.

Did you know that they offer residential rates that start at only $9.99 a month? I never pretended to be anything but just your regular everyday person.... well, do I look like a business??? Did I check the little box under my address that said "This is a business address."??? No, I did not. So why were they charging me at a business rate????

This whole thing is going to be the great mystery of 2009 I do believe.

Inauguration Day



It's Inauguration Day. It's a historical day in America. I honestly wish that my kids weren't at school today. I would like to experience this with them. I'm sure it will be a day they will remember and talk about when they are all grown up. I know it's a probably a bad reference, but I can remember my mom telling me about learning of President Kennedy's assassination and how it was one of those events that you just won't forget.

For me, as a child, I can't really remember anything as big as when the space shuttle Challenger blew up. Carrying the teacher, Christa McAuliffe. I'll probably not ever forget her name. We were watching it on the TV in our classroom. I was 7.

The next major event happened on Sept. 11th, 2001. I got out of bed just in time to see that second plane. I remember thinking that I'd never see another plane flying through the sky.

My hope is that my kids will watch this inauguration and once again be proud of the country they are from. I hope that their experiences are hopeful ones and not tragic ones like my generation and generations before mine have had to experience.

A Birthday



Today is not only Martin Luther King, Jr. Day...

It's also my dad's BIRTHDAY!


Some of you may recall how my friend Cam's birthday also fell on a national holiday, but unlike Cam's day, Dad's day usually doesn't fall on a holiday.

This just makes this birthday extra special so...

Happy Birthday Dad!

Blog Party!

What are you hooked on?

Today is Friday and over at Hooked on Houses, it's a party!!

Today I'm hooked on....

COFFEE!!!

Folgers Hazelnut to be exact. It's very, very cold here and a normal Friday would mean "Fun Friday" with my bestest friend, Cam. Today is not normal though because it's so cold that the car's radiator decided to freeze up and we have no transport.... so I'm just going to sit around my house, browse the internets and drink mass quantities of coffee!

With a peppermint stick, three spoonfuls of sugar, and a dollop of whipped cream in each cup!

Check out what others are hooked on over at Hooked on Houses!

Recipe of the Week

Usually I post recipes from my various cookbooks. Don't worry cookbook people, I always either link to where people can buy your cookbook and/or I tell what cookbook it came from so as not to mess with all your copyrightedness. Look Ma, I made up a word! Just call me George.

Anyway, this week I am going to post what is ever popular in my house. Mama's Lasagna.

Baby, it's cold outside and we all need to be using our ovens for the extra heat they can provide and the yummy lasagna that may or may not yield you some leftovers.

Here we go...

Shiny's Lasagna via Mama's Recipe

  • 1 box lasagna noodles
  • 6 cloves of garlic (peeled & diced) or 3 Tb garlic powder
  • 2 Tb oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fennel
  • 1 lb. mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cans mushrooms
  • 1 lg. onion
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage
  • 2 jars spaghetti sauce
  • 2 Tb basil
  • 1 lg. container ricotta or cottage cheese
  • 3 lb. ground beef
  • 2 cups Parmesan cheese
Of course, you can always adjust ingredients to your flavor liking.

Noodles - Cook as directed, drain in cold water and lay individually on paper or cloth towels. Let cool.

Meat - Brown in skillet, drain.

Italian sausage - Peel off skin and brown in skillet, drain.

Sauce - Put in large pan on medium heat. Add garlic, onion, mushrooms (if using fresh mushrooms, saute them first in butter), then add oregano, basil, fennel, and meat. Let sauce simmer for 1 hour, turn off let cool.

  1. Cover bottom of pan with thin layer of sauce.
  2. Place single layer of noodles down.
  3. Spread 1 and a half cups sauce over noodles.
  4. Spread 3/4 cup ricotta or cottage cheese over sauce.
  5. Spread 3/4 cup of mozzarella cheese over that.
  6. Sprinkle 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese over mozzarella.
  7. Repeat steps 2-6.
  8. End with 1/2 to 3/4 cups sauce spattered over all. Then sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 1 and a half hours. Let cool for 30 minutes before cutting.

Enjoy!


By the way, it's 3 degrees outside. Just so ya know....

Brrrrr............

It is so freakin' cold. I guess I shouldn't complain. I could live in International Falls, Minnesota. Where it's -25 degrees. Yes, that's the temperature there. With the wind chill, it's -40. And the high today, -8. What?!?!? That is insane. Do people who live there actually go outside at all when the temperature is that low? Do they have a "Cold Day" as opposed to a "Snow Day"?

Currently we are looking at these temperatures...



Ok, current as of 7:09AM. With the wind chill, it's 4. What did I say yesterday????

Yay, 4 degrees. Yay.

Just to make matters seem even less appealing...



All of my family lives here...minus one member... It's 57 degrees here with a high of 68.

Yay, 4 degrees. Yay.

A Wonderful Day in the Neighborhood

The day started with me rolling off the air mattress. Rolling off because I couldn't actually sit up. I had no idea just how old my body was actually feeling until I slept on that damn air mattress last night. You see, I did finally get the blasted fire going in the fireplace. After Chris got home, he tried, to no avail, to get the thing going himself. After about 30 minutes of cussing, throwing sticks, twigs, and other stuff, he gave up. He pretty much had it started for me, but I just snuck right in there and got a nice little fire going in about 15 minutes. It was nice and warm. Cozy, almost. Except for having to continually make trips to "poke it". The decision was made to sleep in the den so we I wouldn't have to get up out of bed and go to the den to "poke" the fire. Boy was that ever dumb.

Anyway...

Finally I am up. Finally the kids are up. They are dressed, fed, and I am just getting ready to walk out the door to warm up the car. (Updated seven day forecast to come later....) The phone rings. It's an "unknown caller". I hate those, but I answer it any way because it's like 6:30 in the morning. It's the hubby. The car has broken down. In the middle of the road. In Bowling Green. At a busy, busy intersection. Did I mention it was in the middle of the road? Well, he managed to get it to the curb at that busy intersection. Go ahead and take the kids to the bus, he says. Ok, I say. So off we go...

As I am pulling away from the bus stop, I see that I have NO GAS!! Why thank you dear for taking the car with a full tank and leaving me with the one with less than a quarter of a tank... You are special. I get to town. I get gas. I get to said intersection. What do I see????




That's right. Blue lights. Because out of all the 80,000 people who live in Bowling Green, do you think any of them stopped to see if that broken down car needed any help in the 20 degree weather? Why, hell no they didn't. I would like to take this opportunity to say... kiss it Bowling Green. I pull up and the cop is like, I can call a tow truck for you. Yes, let's not. Last time we had to call a tow truck it cost us $100. No thanks. Two more of these....



...pull up. Great. Could it be more embarrassing? Why yes it could be. Officer #1 blocks three lanes of traffic on 68-80 then the female officer who showed up is not only the officer who used to work for Russellville PD (and has given my husband a ride in her backseat & not that kind of "ride" either)... she drives her car over and blocks three lanes of traffic on Campbell Lane so the other officer and my husband can push the car with me steering it (no power steering by the way because it won't start) across all those lanes of traffic so we can move it to Hardee's.

After all that....

All it needed was a jump start.

Again I say, kiss it Bowling Green citizens for making my day the most wonderful hump day...ever!!!

Updated forecast...



Yes, that's right folks. 4 degrees. Yay.

Please Start...

Do you have any idea how hard it is to get a fire started in a fireplace? I do. I sat in front of the stinking fireplace for about 2 hours today. I swear it was laughing at me.

Whaa ha ha ha... keep trying to get me going, I'm not going to start!

We haven't been using that fireplace this year. It's kind of a pain to have to stoke it all the time, but as some of you already know, we got a whopping $420 electric bill this month. Thank you TVA for raising your rates without notice to your customers. That electric bill is only $20 shy of taking my husbands entire paycheck for one week. Again, thank you TVA.

So yea... I used half a plastic grocery bag full of dryer lint and still no fire in the damn fireplace. I figured that now was the time to finally start burning some wood since the lows will be in the teens these next couple of days.

Here's our 7 day forecast...


Yes, that looks like a "holy shit it's cold" forecast to me.

Anyone got any good idea on getting a fire started or maintaining said fire??? Anyone??? And don't say invest in gas logs because then I'd have to kill you....

Ideas are Brewing

My mind is exploding with new ideas for what to do with the new (not so new) house. Today is going to be kitchen idea day.

The house is basically just all white walls, it was when we lived there 2 years ago anyway... so I want color. I've never been brave enough for real color on the walls so I'm going for it this time around.

I want this color...



... and maybe the dining room too. Is that going to far? That color in both rooms?

I found this great photo depicting the



that I want to paint. Of course, the cabinets aren't that awesome, but new cabinets aren't on the list this year. Neither is a new counter top, but that one is super nice as well.

Friday, Cam was nice enough to go with me to get a few paint samples. I had no idea there were so many different shades of red. It was bordering on insane. I picked out a few...





Of course this isn't really a good representation of what the colors actually look like because I scanned them. The light the scanner uses tends to be a bit harsh. But you get my dilemma. I don't want it to be too dark, but I don't want it to be too, what's the word... red. Ha ha ha... I don't know what I'm trying to say here, but I hope you understand.



I found these nice cabinet handles. They weren't my first choice, but my first choice was $5.97 a piece. There are 22 cabinets and/or drawers. So that was a no. These are only $1.97 a piece.

I would love to have this backsplash.



Originally, I just wanted to use these for behind the stove/oven. They are easy to wipe off. But after using Cam ...



I think I may try to use it around the counter as well.


Recipe of the Week



  • five 2-ounce mars bars
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 & one half cups crispy rice cereal
  • 7 ounces milk chocolate, melted
*************************************
  1. Line a 12-hole standard muffin pan with paper baking cups.
  2. Chop four mars bars coarsely; cut remaining bar into slices.
  3. Place chopped bars in medium pot with butter; stir over low heat until smooth. Stir in rice cereal.
  4. Press mixture into baking cups, spread with chocolate; top with sliced mars bar. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until set.


Recipe & photo from "Cupcakes". Pg. 99.

I'm Pretty Random This Week

As you can see I've changed the blog layout again. I just can't seem to keep one. I get bored with what ever one I've chosen. I guess I just get tired of using it after a while. I get bored with lots of things pretty easily, hence the title of my blog. It doesn't take much to distract with from whatever mission I may be on. I try to fight it, but it does no good.

Did I mention that it's rather soggy around these parts as of late? My yard is like a swamp. A bog. *Without the cranberries* I know you will get tired of hearing me say this eventually, but I really can't wait to move! I lose sleep at night going over things in my head about where I'm going to place furniture and what color should I paint that room. Friday I hope to narrow down some of these options. I'm going to take the trusty camera and the trusty best friend and head to the Home Depot. I need paint swatches. I like that word "swatches". What does it mean really? Let's look it up .......................
  1. A sample strip cut from a piece of material.
  2. A representative portion; a sample: quoted swatches of the speech in his article.
  3. A strip or swath of land: "I . . . drove through this hilly swatch of field and forest that wraps around the east and north of town" (Jean Anderson).
Oh... well, ok then. Now that I understand what that means.....

What do you think about painting a brick fireplace? I usually have a problem with painting over a perfectly good red brick fireplace, but now I am questioning the procedure. Let me see if I can find an old photo of said fireplace...... give me a moment......

Ok, so this photo is from December of '06, but you get the idea. It's big, it's red, it's not exactly centered on the wall. So what'd'ya think? To paint or not to paint....that is the question.

Have A Question

In light of the rather soggy day we are having I thought I'd share a few questions I received as an email. A little pick-me-up as it were.

*Why isn't the number 11 pronounced onety-one?

*If 4 out of 5 people suffer from diarrhea, does that mean the 1 out of 5 enjoys it?

*Why do croutons come in airtight packages? Aren't they just stale bread to begin with?

*If people from Poland are called Poles, why aren't people from Holland called Holes?

*If a pig loses it's voice, is it disgruntled?

*Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist, but a person who drives a racecar not called a racist?

*If it's true we are here to help others, what are the others here for?

*If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, then doesn't it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners depressed?

*If FedEx and UPS were to merge, would they call it Fed UP?

*Do Lipton Tea employees take "coffee breaks"?

*What hair color do they put on drivers' licenses of bald men?

*I thought about how mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons and forks, so I wondered what do Chinese women use. Toothpicks?

*Why do they put pictures of criminals up in Post Offices? What are we supposed to do, write to them? Why don't they just put their pictures on the postage stamps so the mail men can look for them while they deliver the mail?

*Is it true that you never really learn to swear until you learn to drive?

*If a cow laughed, would milk come out of her nose?

*What ever happened to Preparations A through G?

*As income tax time approaches, did you ever notice when you put the two words "The" and "IRS" together it spells "THEIRS"?

Enjoy your day!!!

It's On...

...Like Donkey Kong!



I love this commercial!

Paranoia & How To Get Rid of It

I'm starting to get excited about our impending move. I say impending because we are in the perilous spot of waiting for someone else to move out of the house we want to move in to. We actually lived there before, but moved out due to a little confusion. I hadn't ever planned on moving back to my "hometown". Ever. I didn't like it then and I don't care for it much now. I mean it's a great place to visit I suppose, but I don't want to live here. My husband and I have changed quite a lot since previously living here and I've always had an aversion to running into the "old gang". That's what we'll call them. I think just a little of Cam's paranoia has rubbed off on me. I always catch myself looking in all directions for someone I may know, but don't actually want to see.




Now that the opportunity has come up for us to move back to the place we'll call the "Unnamed Land", I'm getting that nice relaxing feeling back. There I don't have to worry about running into people I know. There I won't have to worry about people looking at me a certain way because of who I am because they don't know me. It's a wonderful feeling. Not having to stress.

But....


Again, I state that we have to wait for the current occupant to vacate before we can move in. And we have to be moved out of our current abode by at least the middle or end of February. So that lends itself a certain amount of worry.

I am a worrier though. I'm good at it. I worry about everything. Even things that don't need to be worried about. Maybe it runs in my family. My grandmother had her first heart attack when she was just 33 years old. She did already have 5 kids by that time though.... I'm thinking that may have had something to do with it...

I've started compiling a list of things I'd like to do at the new place. For example different paint samples, light fixtures... etc. It helps to keep my mind off how much longer we have to wait.

*************************************************

Completely unrelated.... should I continue to post recipes every week? Let me know.

So It's a New Year

New Years' Eve was pleasantly uneventful. Much better than last year, I must say. We all fell asleep in the living room watching tv and I just happen to wake up to the sounds of people counting down... 5.... 4.... 3.... 2.... 1... tada!! New Year! Great... so I picked up Neil, wished him a happy new year, then tucked him in his own comfy bed. Covered up Kaia, wished her a happy new year, and turned off the light. I did nothing for the hubby who looked like he might wake up with a broken neck. I figured he was a grown man and could fend for himself. It's nice to have a holiday were it is acceptable to eat cheese, crackers, and summer sausage for dinner. Made my night that much easier....

So here's the first post of the year! Can't wait to see what is going to happen out there in bloggerland in the coming year... I hope everyone arrived safely to their destinations and has a headache free day!