Friday, January 29, 2010

Snow makes her nervous.

This morning I woke up to another snow-covered day.

As soon as my feet hit the floor, Maggie followed them. She followed me to the coffee pot, the frig., the sofa, back to the coffee pot.

She scratched at the back door to go on the porch.

Hubs said,"Okay, Maggie. You won't like it."

He opened the door and Maggie stepped outside. She sniffed the snow drift, licked it, then scratched to come back inside. She's such a sissy. Wonder where she gets it.

Meanwhile, I discovered that there is only so much housework a girl can do to keep busy. I'm nearly done with laundry. I've prepped dinner. I don't even want to attempt to clean floors until the snow is gone, and I have no craft project to work on. A run to Hobby Lobby would be wonderful about now.

One day of being snowed in is fun. Two days of being trapped, I mean snowed in, is getting to me.

It was a while this morning before Maggie finally settled down. She scratched more doors (even the frig.- weird cat,) tried to climb into a 9 x 9 puzzle box (like me trying to squeeze into a size 4 jeans) and then wandered around the house aimlessly.

Once I sat down with the laptop, Maggie curled up in the bend of my knee, saddled alongside me, and relaxed. I think I even heard her let out a little kitty cat sigh. She's a nervous Nellie. Wonder where she gets it.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

It's the kind you read about.

I woke up this morning, looked outside, and realized that the neighbor's house had disappeared!

We're having a winter storm. The kind where the snow blows sideways and it rains all at the same time. The street is covered, our walk is covered, you get the picture.

Our windows on the back porch even have a frame of snow around them from where it blew under the porch.

Before now, I've only seen hardware stores do that for effect with fake snow. (When you've lived in the South most of your life, the only things you see trapped in window screens are mosquitoes and cobwebs.)

I told Daughter that we would have our regularly scheduled tests, but she could have the rest of the day off from homeschool. Hubs isn't even going to work. So, it's official. We have a Snow Day.

Hubs came in a few minutes ago and said, "Who wants bacon and eggs?"

Daughter and I both declined after looking at Hubs with puzzled faces. We don't eat big breakfasts during the week. She has already had her bowl of cereal and I've yet to microwave my Smart Ones breakfast quesadilla.

I have to say, though, the smell of the bacon and eggs is yummy as I type this mediocre post. Maybe I'll grab a plate and run across the street to the neighbor's to eat it. No one will see me.

If I don't return, please send out a search party for me. I'll be the frozen girl covered in snow and ice with the half-eaten bacon and eggs.

Friday, January 22, 2010

When all else fails, post a recipe.

The blog is starting to echo.

I sat down to write something and heard crickets chirping. I told Mama on the phone that in order to blog, you actually have to DO SOMETHING to blog about. Sorry, guys. I'm boring.

Truth is, I've been busy. I just haven't blogged any of the busyness. My in-laws and sweet niece were here for a visit and we had a blast.

While they were here I made a new potato soup recipe that turned out to be a hit. Daughter took a bite and said, "Is this a Paula Deen or a Melanie?"

I had to laugh. She knows me too well.

The recipe did start with a Paula recipe but then I added my own spin. The part I love is that it is made in the crockpot.

Pay no attention to the fat content. LALALALA...

Crockpot Potato Soup

1 32 oz. bag frozen hashbrowns
3-4 stalks celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/3 cup chopped or thinly sliced carrots
3 cans chicken broth (I used leftover homemade stock)
1 can cream of chicken soup
3 TBS. butter (divided)
1 8 oz. block cream cheese, cubed

In saucepan, saute celery, onions and carrots in 1 Tbs. butter or olive oil until celery and onions are soft. Add hashbrowns, celery, onions, carrots, chicken broth, cream of chicken soup, and remaining butter to crock pot. Cook on low for 4-5 hours, until potatoes are tender. Add cream cheese; cook another 30 minutes or until cream cheese is melted and soup is thickened.

I also added some leftover mashed potatoes to the mixture to thicken it. With the homemade chicken stock, I did not need to add salt. If you use canned broth, be sure to salt and pepper to taste.

To make it extra yummy, add one cup of freshly grated mozarella cheese when you add the cream cheese.

Garnish with green onions or parsley.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Random Dozen

What would I do without Linda?

We've had family visiting over the last week and I'm a little behind with blogging. I sat on the sofa to dust off the laptop, and Linda saves the day with this week's Random Dozen.

1. So I was thinking about how Jon Bon Jovi never seems to age much. His hair is smaller nowadays, but he still manages to look like a boy somehow. And then that made me think of the story of Dorian Gray. Question: If you physically lock in one age for yourself, which would you choose and why?

I'd pick 27. My skin, hair and figure all looked their best. Too bad I can't hop in the DeLorean and go back in time.

2. What is the best dish that you cook or bake (your piece de resistance?)

Hubs likes my chicken salad (surprise chicken salad) and my pot roast (he says I hooked him with it!)

Daughter likes my fried chicken.

3. When you feel blue, what is one strategy you use to help yourself back to normal?

I eat sweets. I wouldn't call it a strategy.

I usually feel better after some rest. Catching up on sleep and just recharging is always good for the blues.

4. When was the last time you danced in public?

I can't remember!

5. Do you consider yourself a realist or dreamer?

Painful. Realist.

6. As a parent, what is one thing that you have done well?

Teaching that there is a definite right and wrong.

7. Which is your favorite character on the Andy Griffith show?

Floyd. There was a guy in our church youth group who could do an awesome imitation of Floyd saying, "Ohh... Andy."

I love Floyd's subtle comedy.

8. On a scale of 1-10, how much do you know about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?

Maybe a 6 or 7.

9. Have you never been mellow? Have you never tried … to find a comfort from in side you? (Sorry, Jorge was singing that song just now, and it just seemed to be perfect timing as I was creating this week’s questions.) REAL question: What is your #1 driving pet peeve?

Cell phones. Sometimes I wish I had a bumper sticker that read, "Hang up and drive."

Then again, they'd never read it because they are too busy talking on the phone.

Not that I have an opinion about it.

10. Which color best represents your mood today? Care to elaborate?

Pasty white from the winter blahs.

I could use a nap and some sunshine. I'm ready for Spring!

11. If your spouse were an animal, which would he/she be?

Some kind of monkey or a gorilla. He is goofy and fun but when it comes to taking care of his family, he could be a real silverback. (I love him for that!)

12. What activity takes up the bulk of your time on an average day?

Cleaning something. It's all a big blur.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Hopping Off The Bike

Our group had purchased a bike for Nathan as well as clothes, some games, and other teen guy things. Each were carefully wrapped with pretty ribbons and bows. Even with all our effort, that huge plastic bag could not disguise the bike...

Join me for a cup over at The Internet Cafe today and read the rest of the story.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Random Dozen- Junk foods and junkies

I'm positing this a day late. I don't think Linda will care because we are pretend BFF's.

1. When was the last time you craved a food--what was it, and did you cave?

Last night. It was Peanut Butter. Peter Pan, to be exact.

Yes. I only ate one spoonful, so I did have restraint. We have one jar for Daughter and I to eat out of and another for Hubs to have if he wants peanut butter. I guess he thinks it's gross to get peanut butter from a jar where I've double (and triple) dipped. Whatever.

2. M & M's or Skittles?

M & M's. No contest.

3. Have you ever read the Bible completely through?

No, but I've started and then fizzled out in about March or April.

4. How long does it take you to really wake up in the morning?

Seriously? About 2 hours. I don't lie. The other morning I was making my coffee and I almost put Benefiber in the coffee maker.

It wouldn't have tasted good, but I would have felt wonderful.

5. Have you ever been on a cruise? If not, would you like to?

No, and I'll have to say "no." I have said that if I ever did go on a cruise it would be along the Mediterranean so I could hit all my fav destinations at once- Spain, Italy and Greece. Besides that, I like my feet on land, but where I can dip my toes in water.

6. Who is your favorite actress?

Hmmmm... if I have to pick and I suppose I do because Linda makes up the rules... I'd say Sandra Bullock. She tends to take parts that are mostly decent. At least, to far.

7. ______ is something that I will just never understand.

Only one blank?


8. How much of a technology junkie are you?

Not at all. I think it's cool, but I never would go out and purchase something because it's cool. I do like a cool laptop, though.
I said cool a lot. That is not cool.

9. Do you enjoy selecting greeting cards for people, or is it more of a cultural "have to" for you?

I LOVE buying cards. Sometimes I look for cards just for fun and save them for a birthday that is months later. I am such a nerd.
10. When was the last time you got a new style/haircut?

I try pretty much every time I walk in but somehow I walk out with the exact same haircut.

11. What do you enjoy shopping for most?

I love shopping for gifts. It ranks right up there with picking out a card. Other than that, I love shopping for linens. I am a sucker for the white sale.

12. What's the last thing you think of before you leave the house?
Did I turn off the curling iron?

That totally dated me, didn't it?

See Lid for more posts.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I had a post all prepared for today. It really says nothing. A silly rant dusted with sarcasm. You know, the usual.

But I just can't post it.

I keep thinking of Haiti.

Our Compassion sponsored child lives there. I have no idea of where her little village is in relation to the massive earthquake. She could be perfectly safe, unscathed, unaffected. She could be trapped beneath the weight of a collapsed roof.

Or worse.

I think about her family and her friends and wonder if they are safe. I think about her country and what little resources it has to offer.

I think about my God who is with her right now. Even if her tear-stained face is never seen on FoxNews, He sees it. He holds it in his hands and wipes away the pain.

Today I pray for all the faces of Haiti.

I hope you will, too.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

DIY: Keeping My Sanity 101

January and February are the blah months.

Look out the window and see the weather. Blah.

Look at my pale skin. Blah.

Not much to look forward to after coming off the Thanksgiving/Christmas Holiday High. Blah.

I can tend to get the blues in these months, but I've come up with a way to help. My method is cheaper than therapy and without the side effects of Prozac.

A few years ago we were putting away our Christmas directions and I decided to take the opportunity to organize things. I mean, hey, you've got the boxes. Right? After organizing, I rearranged furniture, changed bedding, rotated table linens, and even found a few new things on sale.

Doing something, having a goal, helps with the blahs and sprucing up the house always cheers me up.

So, that's what we've been doing around here. I've organized closets, Hubs has hung shelves and even organized the garage. (If it were not for my junk drawer, you'd think I'd gone all Martha on y'all.)

I've found a few bargains for the house- some new kitchen towels, a floral arrangement for the fireplace (complete with real peacock feathers.) In all, I haven't spent a lot of money.

If a girl really wants to go all out, now is the time of year to find some great bargains everywhere. January is inventory time and stores are ready to get rid of as much stock as possible. You can find linens, home decor and sometimes furniture on sale.

Okay, so maybe it's not cheaper than therapy.

What about y'all? What do you do to beat the winter blahs?

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Weekend to End All Hope For All Weekends. Plus, the answer to the ringtone quiz.

I just read a few bloggers' recaps of their weekends. Compared to y'all, my life is Snoozeville.

My weekend went something like this.

Friday we stayed home and had leftovers for dinner. The frigid temps prevented me from even wanting to venture out.

On Saturday, we did some projects around the house, I returned a lamp at Hobby Lobby and purchased a green arrangement to put in front of our fireplace (the fake one.) The arrangement is nice on its own, but I wanted to add some oomph. I bought some peacock feathers which I assumed were fake to add to the greenery.


Tonight I mentioned that they were fake and Hubs informed me that they are real. I plucked them from the arrangement, we both inspected them and determined that they are real.

Hubs tried to encourage me by saying that peacocks shed their feathers. I mentioned that these peacock feathers were from China and I'm pretty sure the Chinese don't stand around and wait for the peacock's feathers to fall out.

Oh, the guilt.

Poor little peacock, I'm sorry. I hope you'll accept my apology and please know that I will take good care of your plumage.

I'm not much of an animal activist but there are a few weak spots for me- whales, sea turtles and birds.

Except for pigeons.

Back to the weekend.

Today we went to church, lounged around the house, finished some other projects (we are on a roll!) and watched Maggie sleep. She sleeps a lot these days. I believe she has officially entered retirement. However, she is a cat, so how would you know?

I also went to the grocery store and bought a cart load of groceries. It was very exciting.

That's my weekend.

Congrats to Amy who was the first to guess that my new ringtone is the Seinfeld TV theme song. I am so transparent! And, Amy, you are right. It is a cool ringtone!

Happy Monday!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

It's like a little game show, except without all the cool prizes.

I'm learning all the little tricks with my new phone. Hubs has started to text me so I can text back. I'd like to believe it is just so he can keep in touch and we can grow closer as a couple, but I know he's really doing it so I can practice.

He also told me he would download a cool ringtone for me. He offered to customize the ringtones so I would know who calls. Truth is, there are only about five people who have my cell phone number. Only one or two of them actually call me on my cell. As you can see, customization is really unnecessary.

However, I did want him to customize my rings indicating a call, a text or a voicemail, so he did.

Now on to the contest.

Are you still here?

Throw out a comment and see if you can guess my main ringtone. You should be able to guess if you have read this blog for a while. (The tones for text and voicemail just can't be guessed. Too obscure.)

I'll give you a hint:

Think themes.

I'll throw out more hints if no one guesses correctly.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Best Dishes

I'm sitting here sipping coffee and watching Paula. She is on her second recipe and she has already used nearly five sticks of butter.

She's a woman after my own heart.

Plus, she said she'd love to offer her viewers one of the beaters from her hand mixer.

Maybe it's just one of those days. Or maybe it's the butter. Or Paula. I just had a flashback of a moment in the kitchen with Mama, flour dusting the counter, bits of sugar crunching 'neath the mixing bowl, the smell of the gas oven pre-heating for a cake.

And the taste of cake batter as I lick those beaters clean.


In childhood, you should never skip the butter.

Monday, January 04, 2010

It sure beats looking for gum.

Well, look at that. I haven't written anything since last year.

That sounds so dramatic.

I don't know about y'all, but vacation is over at our house. We've celebrated 'til the cows come home (and around here that could be used in the literal sense) and we've rested nearly into a vegetative state.

So, real world, here we come. We're back and we're dressed (which is a huge change from lounging around in our pajamas.)

Homeschool began for us today. I'd like to stay it started with a bang but I'd be lying. It's more like a poof. But we started and we will get into a good routine this week. It takes a while to remember that a normal day does not begin with corn flakes on the couch and an hour of Spongebob.

Last night I rounded out the vacation with a fun celebration. My friend L just turned 40. She doesn't look a day over 25. I'm not kidding.

It was a surprise party with a small group of ladies who are all a hoot. L was escorted in the restaurant wearing a blinky tiara and a pink feather boa completely with grace and style. Only L could do that.

Happy Birthday L. You make thirty-nine look good. Hold on to that feather boa. I may ask to borrow it in about 11 months.

From your 110 pound friend.

(Last clever line stolen straight from a birthday card. This aging thing is killing my creativity.)