Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Fragments - Another Month is History

Linking up with Mrs. 4444 for this week's version of fragments.

Mommy's Idea

I'm happy to report that my work crisis is over and I prevailed! Yesterday an email was sent apologizing for their confusion and I was totally right in what I was asking. So it looks like my department's million dollars is safe and I am on the road to a happy weekend.

Whitney is coming home tomorrow for the weekend. She has all of the time planned with shopping, shopping and shopping. Maybe a little cooking and some homework dropped in too. But mostly shopping. Oh and watching College Gameday with Dan. That's their traditional Saturday morning. Last year was tough on him since she wasn't here. It just isn't the same talking to me about the sappy story or the cliched coach stories.

Did you know the federal government (or at least the DOC) is giving all employees two hours off today as an extra for the Labor Day holiday? Doesn't that seem excessive since the holiday isn't until Monday and everyone already gets that day off? It seems like it is an awful waste of millions of dollars in salary for people to get off two hours early. I understand if it is Christmas Eve and people are trying to get places but this is just ridiculous.

I'm trying to convince myself to get a manicure. My nails have gotten really long and I know they need to be shaped. I really hate cutting them myself because I never get them to look right and I end up with different lengths.

I printed off three government handouts to study for my certification test. 200 pages worth of legalese. Hopefully I don't fall asleep on page one.

Today I leave you with a picture of a cute puppy. Because really how can you not be happy when you see a cute puppy and I want you all to be happy.

Sammy Courtesy of the Daily Puppy website

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thursday Means Friday is Almost Here

This has been a really hard week at work. I've been in panic mode all week which I don't do. The crisis isn't over, although I'm hoping the solution will be found today. It is very frustrating when one person decides to interpret a rule in one way that NO ONE ELSE in the country interprets that way. Let's just say lawyers are now involved and on initial view, they are on my side. There's a lot of money at stake so I'm hoping that their ruling will be the right one.

So in light of this mess, I'm going to try and reflect on lovely things today. Like this new blog hop I'm doing. Mingle with Us by Happy-Go-Lucky. I like that name so I'm going with it.

Happy Go Lucky

Or how about my review of So You Think You Can Dance last night. Dan asked me if the talent this year wasn't as good (which tells me he is paying attention) and I think he's right. He asked if I would pay to see any of the dancers and I said Alex Wong. He said how about the competitors. I said no. I did list a bunch of dancers but they were all male so he wondered about females. I said I had watched girls dance for 14 years so I'm onto the boys now. LOL.

Here's one of my favorite routines from years past. And it has a girl in it too (just for you honey).

I almost forgot the review. I think Eliana is the best girl dancer and she should win. Boys is a little trickier. There isn't a stand out great dancer but there is a personality. I don't like that they seem to hide Cyrus' lack of dance and don't call him out on it like they do the really trained dancers. This deep in the competition, you'd better be dancing your heart out.

The big high school rival football game is tonight in the university stadium. Now that Whitney is in college, I don't go. But I still want the Tigers to win.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cover Girl/Oil of Olay Foundation/Powder Review

I signed up to be a BzzAgent last year and this is the first time I've gotten a product to review. They have a variety of different campaigns. Basically you fill out lots of surveys and if you are the demographic that they want to sample, you can get an invite to try the product and then review it. Having a blog, facebook and twitter accounts definitely helps you out here.

The product I received was Cover Girl/Oil of Olay Tone Rehab 2 in 1 Foundation and Pressed Powder. We had three choices of colors so I picked the lightest one since I'm really fair skinned. I waited and waited for it to come. Finally it came last week.

First of all, they gave us full size samples. So if you liked it, boy were you in luck. The shade of my foundation was one darker than I normally get. So I had to work through that issue. I finally figured out if I used less I would be ok.

Pros - You use A LOT LESS of this than normal foundation. Trust me on this. Normally I use about four squirts of my normal Cover Girl foundation and this one I didn't even use a full squirt. It goes on and makes your skin feel very soft. There isn't a heavy feeling with this foundation. You don't feel like you are wearing something on your face.

Cons - Unfortunately for me there were cons. First of all my lines showed up WORSE with this makeup than normal. It is supposed to help fill in the lines but I don't know how that happens because when I add the powder it just looks cakey and made up. Not natural at all. The foundation itself isn't causing the problem...its the powder. I've read lots of reviews that love the powder. Maybe I'm not doing it right. I don't normally use pressed powder so maybe the application pad is putting it on wrong. Either way, I'm not happy about that. Second there is a lot of makeup that comes off on cell phones and kleenix. I don't like that I have to clean my phone every time I use it.

They sent me 20 $2 coupons to give out. Perhaps you are someone who this makeup will work for. If so I'm happy to mail you all of them. Just let me know.

Full Disclosure - I was provided with this product to review. Obviously the company isn't telling me what to say since it isn't all positive.

Want to be a BzzAgent? Check out their website.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Lazy nights

So now that Whitney is back in school, this is our excitement.

Dan and Abby cuddling on the floor.

Life is simple.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Fragments are Goofy Things

Joining up with Mrs. 4444 on Friday Fragments. I'm happy to say there are lots of people emptying their minds just like I am.

Mommy's Idea

Walking up the stairs at work today my mind wondered why I always have to start on the same foot to go either up or down the stairs. Am I afraid that I'll forget how to climb the stairs or just a habit? The things that go through your mind sometimes are just strange.

My blog post on Wednesday with the guy who swallowed a fork generated more comments per reader than anything else I've ever written. I guess that means I just need to talk about odd medical issues.

On that note did you see that TLC is going to have a tv show on conjoined twins. At least I think that's what I would call them. Although they look like they just have two heads but only two arms and legs. I'm sorry but it just creeps me out that they are being exploited this way. I can't imagine how hard life is for them and their family.

My meteorology friends can be such cards. Someone was asked where Hurricane Issac was going to make landfall. His answer is classic "On Land". Ah weather humor, you never get tired of it.

Sunday there will be a carnival at church. I'm not going because a) I don't have children at home (although there is a zipline) and b) it's my birthday and I don't want to be there!

An update on the bunny story from a few weeks ago. The town has now seen the light and will let the girl keep her bunny inside the city limits without having 2 acres of land. Sanity and bad publicity will do that to you.

Enjoy the day and realize that the weekend is just a few short hours away!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Two Minute Mug Brownie

My sweet tooth got the best of me last night so I tried one of those microwave cake recipes that are going around. This one was for a brownie. The two minutes refers to all the time it takes to make.

I found the recipe on Babble.

1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
2T unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
2T oil
2T milk, water or coffee

In heatproof mug or ramekin stir dry ingredients together until no lumps. Stir in liquids until you have a paste.

Microwave 1 minute checking after 30 seconds. It depends on your microwave strength for time. Brownie should be spongy on top but gooey inside.

I think I cooked mine a few second too long because I didn't have gooey. This is super rich and I could only eat half of it. I will definitely do this again just with a different recipe. Super easy.

Dry ingredients in my cute Beagle mug

The finished product.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hodgepodge - Spider Killer

Here's this weeks hodgepodge questions via Joyce.

1. Aloha! On August 21, 1959 Hawaii officially became a US state. Have you ever been? Upon arrival would you prefer an orchid or a hibiscus to tuck behind your ear?
I've never been but I would love to go. Hawaii and Delaware are the two US states that I've never been to (thanks to our summer trip Alaska is off the list). I think I would like an orchid please and a flower lea. I'm hoping that a work meeting will take me to Hawaii next year. Can you say free vacation?

2. Since we're talking tropical...what's your favorite food or beverage made with pineapple?
Watergate salad. If you've never had it it is simple. Cool Whip, Pistachio pudding mix, mini-marshmallow, crushed pineapple. Yum, yum, yum.

3. Do you believe in soul mates? Explain.
No I don't believe in soul mates. Nice thought but I don't think it works.

4. Share a memory about the house you grew up in.
Here's one about my grandmother's house. I just visited but still a good one. She had a back door that had louvers on it. I loved opening and closing them. We used to play ice cream stop and thought it helped with the setting. I'm not sure why now that I think about it, but it was fun.

5. Are you comfortable with silence?
Of course I am. Silence can be golden.

6. You spot a giant spider on your bedroom wall...what's your next move? (all spiders are giant, right?)
If Dan was around, I would tell him so he could kill it. He is much better at that than I am. If it was on a wall, I would be better than if it is on the carpet. For some reason I just can't get the force right when I push down on the carpet and it always scampers away.

7. My idea of fun does NOT include ______________.
Sweating. All those people who think they are doing fun outside activities while sweating are just crazy.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I read a story about a British man who had a 9 inch fork stuck in him for 10 years. He forgot about it and only realized it when the doctor xrayed him after he was coughing up blood. The original doctor 10 years ago told him it would pass naturally. My questions are how do you swallow a fork and what kind of doctor tells you it is going to pass? And then how do you forget about it when it never does?

A knife but you get the idea what a fork would look like

Things that make you go hmmmm.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Kung Pao Chicken - First Try

This always seems to happen. Whitney goes off to college and there is a meat sale and the freezer is full immediately. This time I was not the instigator...Dan was at the grocery store and chicken breasts were on sale. He bought four packages of them. So into the freezer they went. Now to come up with recipes to use them.

We love Asian food but have a hard time making it at home. It used to be you could never find the ingredients but now they are much more accessible. At first I was looking through my Food and Wine cookbook but Dan said lets try and find something more authentic. So of course I went to (because nothing says authentic but that). I found a Kung Pao Chicken recipe that had hundreds of comments and 4 1/2 stars so I figured it would be good.

Kung Pao Chicken
courtesy of

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into chunks
2 T white wine
2 T soy sauce
2 T sesame oil
2 T cornstarch dissolved in 2 T water
1 ounce hot chile paste
1 tsp white vinegar
2 tsp brown sugar
4 green onions, chopped
1 T chopped garlic
1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts
4 ounces chopped peanuts

1. Make marinade for chicken - Combine 1 T wine, 1 T soy sauce, 1 T oil, 1 T cornstarch/1T water and mix together. Put chicken pieces into a ziploc bag and add marinade. Put in fridge for 30 minutes.

2. Make sauce - In small bowl combine 1 T wine, 1 T soy sauce, 1 T oil, 1 T cornstarch/water mixture, chile paste, vinegar and sugar. Mix together and add green onion, garlic, water chestnuts and peanuts. In medium skillet heat sauce slowly until aromatic.

3. Remove chicken from marinade and saute in a large skillet until meat is white and juices run clear. When sauce is aromatic, add sauteed chicken to it and let simmer together until sauce thickens.

That sounds easy doesn't it. Well there are a few problems here. First of all the chicken ended up bland (even with chile paste). You need to salt the chicken to start and you need to add salt in the sauce.

The sauce is thick to start with so you need to probably double everything. Cut back on the peanuts by at least half. Make sure and cut your water chestnuts in half or fourths (even the sliced ones are too big).

We served this over rice vermicilli which I loved. I've always wanted to try it and this worked well.

So we will continue our quest for good Asian recipes. We aren't afraid of spicy so go ahead and send them to me.

Blog Button - I Did It

I decided that I needed a blog button. Hey everybody else has one. So then I had to decide how to make it catchy in a tiny space. Let me know what you think.

I'm so proud, I figured out how to get it on the side. Now I can be famous! Well famous in my own mind.

Don't you love the internet?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Spaghetti with Onions

So what can you make with just four ingredients that tastes fantastic? Why this recipe, spaghetti with onions.

Yes that is ll the ingredients. This comes from the one Italian cookbook that we own, Sicilian American Pasta. It takes some time but you will be very pleased with the cost and flavor.

Spaghetti with Onions
Recipe by Sicilian American Pasta

3 lb yellow onions, sliced (we prefer sweet onions)
2/3 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 lb spaghetti

Sauté the sliced onions in the olive oil with the crushed red pepper over high heat ten minutes, stirring constantly. The onions should start to become transparent.

Cover tightly, lower the heat and cook thirty minutes, letting the onion smelt down. Stir occasionally to keep them from burning. Some of the onion will become glazed and develop a deep caramel color. If there is not enough liquid, you. Ay add a tablespoon or two of the pasta water during the cooking.

Undercook the spaghetti slightly and mix with the onion sauce, tossing in the pot over a warm range.

Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

We halved the recipe nd had enough for leftovers for the two of us.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

We love rain

Today it rained! Why am I so happy about this? Because we are in the drought part of the country. It has been so bad that Dan has not had to mow since we got back from vacation. That's six weeks. The grass is so dry that you have to wear shoes to walk on it because it feels like slivers going into your feet.

You also know its been a long time because I took pictures of it while stopped at a stoplight.

It rained so hard I decided I really didn't need to go shopping so I drove back home.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Fragments

Mommy's Idea

Joining up with Mrs. 4444 for fragment time.

I think I've decided to bite the bullet and try to pass the Certified Research Administrator test this December. I don't remember how to study. This is going to be hard. 250 questions. I mean I know the answers instinctively to many of them but when you ask me what circular or federal notice is in force, I've got no clue. I just know how to do my job.

I also decided to go to the national meeting in November. I was trying to avoid it since it is in Washington DC on election day. Do I really want to be in DC on election day? Now I have to figure out how to vote early before I leave.

University classes start Monday which means all the students are back. That usually adds 5-10 minutes to any travel time around town.

Our church is expecting 1,000 new/returning students/people this weekend and next. Let me tell you ushering is going to be challenging on Sunday.

We went out to dinner for Dan's birthday and had the best carrot cake ever. The frosting wasn't overly sweet which happens a lot. And the cake didn't have the chunky texture that a lot of them do.

I started looking through recipes for things to make that I know Whitney doesn't like. This week was risotto. Next week will be some kind of Asian stir fry.

Have a great weekend everyone! It isn't going to be triple digits anymore here!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Joining up with this week's hodgepodge questions from Joyce.

1. Joyce included this quote (attributed to William H. Danforth) in my blog post yesterday... "The best cure for a sluggish mind is to disturb it's routine." When was the last time you 'disturbed your routine' and how'd you do it?

We are all creatures of habit. Maybe trying new foods? We went out to an Italian restaurant for Dan's birthday and he like what I ordered and I like both his and mine. So we switched. First time I've had ricotta salada. It was tasty.

2. What's your favorite fried food indulgence?

Fried foods and I do not agree. The closest I get to them is the occassional french fry from McDonald's which is very rare.

3. Did you have an allowance as a kid? What did you do with it? Do you give your own kids an allowance?

I don't remember having an allowance (although my mother could correct this now that she is on the computer and reads my blog). We always gave Whitney an allowance. It was never tied to chores because those were expected. It started small when she was little like a quarter a week (which seems like a lot of money). By the time she was in high school, it was $10/week. We paid for gas for the car and necessary clothes but she was responsible for her own expenses (i.e. homecoming tshirt, the pair of shoes she just had to have). She also had a summer job but most of that went to savings for college. I think it taught her the value of money and the fact that you can't get everything you want all the time because you can't afford it.

4. What's something you wish you knew more about?

Tough question. I know during the Olympics I wondered about a lot of the different sports. What the terms they were saying meant (repacharge anyone). I wondered how the scoring system worked. And I wondered how they can keep shaving off tenths of seconds speed wise in track and swimming. Shouldn't the human body stop getting faster at a certain point?

5. Is there anything you feel too old to do anymore? If so, what?

There are things I think OTHER people are too old for but I keep my mouth shut about that.

6. What's a song you think has a great first line?

Today I don't feel like doing anything - The Lazy Song by Bruno Mars

Lazy people of the world - UNITE!

7. Who are you writing to/for when you create a blog post? In other you write, who is the audience in your head?

I actually am just writing for me when I write a blog post. I'm happy that other people are reading it; I love comments, but I'm writing for me.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Whitney called Sunday morning saying her car wouldn't start. Trying to diagnose a car in person is hard enough; over the phone is impossible. Dan went up Tuesday and it needed a new battery. Hoping that fixes everything. Of course her car was just at the dealership for an oil change and a checkup. Couldn't they have found the battery lacking then?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Closing ceremony thoughts

First of all...COLLEGE music. Madness and PetShop Boys, george michael, Annie Lennox. Wow is all I can say.

What's up with the newspaper and orange origami hats?

One Direction - you should learn how to lip sync better.

Ryan Seacrest - heat miser/tastee freeze man wants their hair back

Why can't NBC spotlight the athletes who won medals that weren't shown on the nightly segments? I want the archery/bicycle/rowing people on. We already saw the swimmers and gymnasts.

What's up with the berets? I don't understand that look USA. Or is it a newsboy cap?

Don't understand the spice girls at all.

Nor do I understand Monty python humor.

Bad NBC to make me wait an extra hour to see the Who. Guess the DVr will be busy tonight.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Fragments - Last Olympics Edition

Joining up with Mrs. 4444 for Friday Fragments. Come on in...anyone can play.
Mommy's Idea
Cool Olympic Jobs
1. Line checker for long jump. You sit there and watch where the foot lands on the board and put up either a red or white flag.
2. Starter for bicycle time trials. Stand with your hand out and count down the start with your fingers. Move hand when time starts.

Have you seen team rhythmic gymnastics? Its like synchronized swimming with apparatus. Five girls had five balls and it was just wild. Now they have three ribbons and two rings.

What about solo synchronized swimming? Doesn't synchronized mean you are doing it with a partner?

Marathon swimming and triathalon? BMX bicycle riding on a track? So many unusual choices.

Shark week is next week on Discovery Channel. I always love saying SHARK week. Just ask Dan and Whitney.

Just saw a story about a girl who the city says she can't have her bunny because they don't have two acres of land. Since when does it take two acres to have one bunny? Do they take up more space than I know of? I saw it and it isn't that big.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

HodgePodge Wednesday - WooHoo

Joining up with Joyce on this week's hodgepodge questions.

1. In an effort to combat obesity, the mayor of NYC has plans to ban the sale of large sugary drinks (anything over 16 oz.), initially in restaurants, movie theatres, and street carts. Corner stores would also be affected if they are defined as food service establishments. You can read more here. Your thoughts?

I used to respect this man and now he is a joke. You can't legislate healthy eating. That sort of sounds like a communist country to me. He also has come up with a plan to make women breast feed newborns in the hospital. Read about it here. What happened to freedom? I thought America was sort of founded on that.

2. Art festival, music festival, food festival...which would you most like to attend?
I've been to all three and the one I liked best was art followed by food.

3. What are you irrational about?
Irrational? I'm never irrational. (LOL)

4. Do you feel confident you'll have a comfortable retirement?
I think we will. I've worked for the same university my entire life. And on September 1 I'll have 25 years here which mean I'm eligible for their retirement. I won't because I need the state teacher's retirement which I can access in about 6 more years. Our university is very generous in the plans. Last year I met with one of the reps from Fidelity on my choices and when I showed him everything he was very impressed and said we would be set. The house is almost paid for and we don't have big debts.

5. What's been your favorite Olympic moment so far?
(Not ever, just in the 2012 Summer games)
This can change every day. I've so enjoyed the little known sports. You know the ones that don't get on the nighttime show. Archery was fabulous as I talked about last week. But last night's high bar routines have to take the cake for outrageousness. Did you see the guy from the Netherlands? Wowser.

6. What would you label as the messiest room in your house?
I conveniently left this question until after Whitney moved out. The utility room is the messiest. We always put the stuff we don't want seen or don't know what to do with out there. It is always a pit.

7. Do you follow your heart or your head?
My head. I'm way to logical to follow my heart.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

The move went well yesterday. Her bedroom is bigger there than at home.

Dan got the tv set up. Turns out they do have all the cable stations (except the movies) so she can watch HD channels.

They have so much storage space in their kitchen area too.

The walls had a lot of chips missing so hopefully they can come in and paint them. I'm not sure why that didn't happen over the summer. The furniture was in good shape which is better than the room next to theirs which had duct tape on the couch. I'm sure that will get replaced.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Crazy Cooking Challenge - No Bake Oreo Cheesecake


After taking a couple of months off from the challenge, I had to rejoin when I heard the recipe of the month was cheesecake. I love cheesecake even if it doesn't love me. Who can resist all that creaminess and so many different toppings/flavors? All you have to do is look at the cheesecake menu at The Cheesecake Factory and you know what I mean.

Of course with it being the hottest part of the year (100+ temperatures...yuck) and a baked cheesecake takes at least an hour to cook, I decided to make a no-bake one. I would so love to try my hand at baking one again. My last attempt didn't turn out at all like the picture in the recipe (Pumpkin Cheesecake) but it was still tasty. But I wanted no-bake. After consulting with my dessert expert (Whitney) we decided we wanted an oreo cookie cheesecake. If I'm going to eat all those calories, by golly I'm going with something that has chocolate in it. And who can pass up an Oreo? It is after all the 100th anniversary of that cookie.

I searched all over the place for a recipe. I did find one that looked delicious but my goodness the amount of steps and stovetop cooking needed to make it just made me look elsewhere. Since the rules changed last month about being able to use a recipe from anywhere, I went to the Kraft website. (I know I took the easy way, but I'm serious about not turning my oven on for 2 months). There I found a recipe that looked easy and delicious. So I made it.

No Bake Oreo Cheesecake
(recipe from Kraft Foods)

9 OREO Cookies, divided
1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP LITE Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup vanilla low-fat yogurt
1 OREO Pie Crust (6 oz.)

HALVE 4 of the cookies; reserve for garnish. Finely chop remaining cookies; set aside. Remove 1 cup of the whipped topping; store in tightly covered container in refrigerator to use as a garnish.

BEAT Neufchatel and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add yogurt; mix well. Gently stir in the remaining whipped topping and the chopped cookies. Spoon into crust.
REFRIGERATE 3 hours or until firm. Top with the reserved whipped topping and cookie halves just before serving. Store leftover pie in refrigerator.

So the changes I made to the recipe was I used a chocolate pie crust. I couldn't find a oreo one. (I think the oreo one would have added something so if you have one, use it). I also put all of the cool whip into the cream cheese mixture and didn't keep any out. I think it helped make the filling a little lighter. We also used the reduced fat oreos. I had no idea they made so many different types of cookie now.

I figured out the calories of one slice (1/8 of the pie) was 375. Which for a cheesecake isn't too bad.
Our overall impression was that it was tasty but we missed a real cheesecake's density and flavor. It had a tang to it but not as pronounced as when you use real cream cheese. I did appreciate that it was cold and didn't heat my house up to make.

Let's go see what other delights people came up this month!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Cake Batter Puppy Chow

Whitney wanted to take her friends at work a treat her last day so she tried a new recipe. She loves to make puppy chow since it just microwaves but one of the girls is allergic to peanut butter. So she tried this new recipe. Super easy and delicious.

Cake Batter Puppy Chow
Courtesy of

5 cups Chex cereal (she used rice)
10 ounces vanilla flavored almond bark
1 1/2 cups yellow cake mix
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Melt almond bark according to package. Add shortening if it needs thinning. We added about a teaspoon.
Pour the cereal, cake mix, powdered sugar into a paper Bangor container with lid.
Drizzle melted almond bark over cereal and fold top of paper bag or put lid on.
Shake bag or container until cereal is evenly coated.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

How to make a Seat Cushion

Whitney needed a seat cushion for her desk at school. We looked for something that would match her bedspread or at least would look cute, and nothing worked or it was way too expensive. So I decided to make one.

Now my sewing skills are adequate but I don't usually do anything without a pattern. But I figured how hard could this be. It's a square with ties. So off we went to buy fabric and a cushion.

The fabric she chose was super cute with the added benefit of having a somewhat line for me to follow to cut a straight line. So I measured what I thought I would need, given that I would need to slide the cushion in.

First I sewed the ties and turned them inside out. I used to make scrunchies for Whitney when she was little so I knew how to do that part. The hardest part is turning them inside out. Thanks to a skewer I got them turned out.

Then I needed to sew the sides with the ties attached. I had been smart and cut a big rectangle instead of two squares so I only had to fold it over and sew two sides. My first attempt to sew the ties had me put them on the wrong side. So I had to take out all the stitches and start over. But within no time I had all the ties stitched in and both sides done.

Last step was to put the pre bought cushion (conviently a square shape) and sew the last edge by hand. I folded it like I was wrapping a package and sewed the cushion in. I sewed it twice to make sure it would stay.

The finished project was comfortable, will tie to the chair and looks good. Not too bad for $6 and a couple of hours of my time.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday Fragments - Olympics Edition

Joining with Mrs. 4444 to put together a bunch of stuff for those of us too lazy to come up with a blog topic. (OK, that's my definition not hers)

Mommy's Idea

The Olympics is on constantly thanks to streaming online. Now I'm not mad when someone posts who won what simply because I already watched it. But don't worry, I'm not telling anyone else so I'm not that spoiler person.

Yesterday was the gold medal match in women's archery. I've sort of become an archery fanatic. For those of you who don't know, each archer gets 3 arrows a set. If you score more you get two points. First person to six points wins. After five sets you go to a tie-breaker. The girl from Mexico was down to her last point and came back to tie it after five sets. The crowd was so supportive of her because she was the underdog. Then came the tie-breaker. ONE ARROW! Can you imagine it all coming down to one arrow? The girl from Korea won.

Did you know the top Korean archer is legally blind? Sort of makes you wonder how he can aim but he can see vague colors/shapes. So he aims for the yellow. He set a world record the first day.

Today's unusual sport to watch is trampoline. Bet you didn't know that was an Olympic sport. This is not your backyard trampoline and they certainly are doing tricks that if one of your kids do you would have a heart attack.

Track and Field starts today. I need to check and see where they put the Olympic torch since it was sort of installed in the middle of the field portion of the stadium. I don't think they are throwing javelins around it.

For non-Olympic news, Whitney has an MRI scheduled for Monday for her foot. She hurt it somehow earlier this summer, wore a boot for a few weeks and it just hasn't recovered. The MRI will determine if she has a slight stress fracture or inflammation. We see the doctor Tuesday morning for the results then get on the road to move her back into the dorms. Thank goodness that she has covered parking under the dorm so we don't have to be out in the sun in 100+ temperatures moving her stuff. I don't think I could do that.

We almost got the alltime record high temperature yesterday. We were one degree short. Frankly if we are going to get that hot, I want something to show for it. Mandatory water rationing went into effect yesterday. I could tell water pressure was going down so I hope people heed the warnings. Water is something you just don't want to run out of. You sort of need it to live.

Yesterday was post 500 for my blog. What started out as my own blog because I had taken over Dan's has turned into a creative writing outlet that I didn't know I needed. Sometimes it is stupid stuff, sometimes important, but it is a way for me to show a side of me that not many people know.

For all of you who read this blog, thank you. I hereby award you a gold medal (courtesy of the Olympics of course)!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Rio Grande CountryRibs

In my quest to not use the oven for the hottest two months of the year, I needed to find some new recipes since we tend to eat the same things over and over. I pulled out our crockpot cookbook and found a couple of rib recipes and then ribs went on sale so I knew it was to be. I thought that these would be good since they combined Mexican flavors and pork.

Rio Grande Country Ribs
Courtesy of Crockery Cookery

2 1/2 - 3 lbs. country-style pork ribs
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 (7oz) can green chile salsa
1/4 dry white wine
3 T brown sugar
1T Worcestershire sauce
1tsp prepared mustard
1/2 tsp chili powder
2T cornstarch
3T water

Combine ribs and onion in crockpot. In a medium bowl, combine salsa, wine, brown sugar, worcestshire sauce, mustard and chili powder. Pour mixture over meat. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours or until tender. Remove ribs. Combine corn starch and water in small bowl. Stir into crackpot. Cook on high for 15 minutes. Spoon sauce over ribs.

We served this on a tortilla with sour cream.

Dan and I liked it, especially the sauce. I thought it had a cinnamon flavor, maybe from the green salsa? Whitney wasn't fond of it, which just left more for us. I would definitely make sure to not overlook the ribs because they have a tendency to get dry when overcooked.

I'm always looking for recipes that use country ribs because they usually have good sales on them. So it's a good thing to have different ways to prepare them.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hodgepodge - Truly hodgepodgy

Joining up with Joyce for this week's questions. Note question one refers to HER daughter and not MINE. Whitney doesn't blog.

1. I'm (Joyce) joining my daughter1 (Shannon) in the 101 in 1001 challenge. Essentially you create a list of 101 things you hope to do or accomplish in the next 1001 days. What's one thing you'd put on your list?
I've read Shannon's list and it is full of fun things, some accomplished easily and some she has to work at. I at one point had a list of a few things I wanted to do before I turned 40 and I only got one of them off the list. So I don't do too well with those things. But for these purposes I would say in the next 1001 days I would like to finish my kitchen remodel. I still need new counters and a new stove would round out the newness.

2. How many remote controls do you have in your house? What's one item in your home you wish could be operated by remote control?
I think there is six of them. Four for the living room devices (although we have everything programmed into a universal remote) and then two in the bedroom. I wish I could have a remote for the temperature control. The height it is at and the angle of the screen means I always have to get a chair or stepladder to try and read the little letters that say heat/cool. There are four settings so when i switch it I can't tell where it is. 

3. What does having it all mean to you? Is it attainable?
I think it means having everything to make you happy. So that is attainable. I don't think it refers to money or things.

4. What's your favorite movie soundtrack?
This is a tough question. I'm not a movie person but I know I sing along with songs all the time. So I'm going to pick A Chorus Line. Yes it was a musical first and the movie really wasn't that great. But I love the songs so much. I've had them memorized since the 70's when my cousin played it for me for the first time and taught me a little dance. My favorite is What I Did for Love. While not the movie version (totally choppy) here is the lovely Idina Menzel singing it with the composer Marvin Hamlisch.

5. Describe the best view you've seen from a rooftop.
I'm going to say the view of Paris from the Eiffel Tower at night.

6. What's your least favorite thing about summer?
Easy question...heat. Moving on.

7. Our weekly Hodgepodge falls on the first day of August. In ten words or less sum up your July.
Vacation awesome. Heat sucks. Whitney leaves in seven days :(.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Cool Olympic sports...archery (love the sound of whooooosh, thunk). Skeet shooting (2 golds for USA). White water kayak (scary but fun). Synchronized diving (how do they stay together).