Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Z is for Zero

Zero...as in zero more of these blogs too write. I'll be writing my "reflections" blog to post on May 3, but I have to tell you I'm happy to have the month be over. I don't like writing by the alphabet. I like to be spontaneous in my blog topics and have found constricted with this alphabet thing. I miss doing my Friday Fragments and only did the Wednesday Hodgepodge once in the month. So I'll be getting back to my randomness beginning May 1.

I'm sure everyone will be happy with that.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Y is for Yo-Yo

I remember as a kid being fascinated by yo-yos. A talented person could make it do tricks. I tried and tried but I could barely make it go up and done a couple of times. Forget about tricks. I would wrap the string around and wham it wouldn't even stay wrapped.

You know life can be like a yo-yo. It can feel like we have a string attached to us and as soon as we get going, the string yanks us back to the place we were getting away from. How do we stop that from happening? Well we can sort of do like I did when I couldn't make the yo-yo work when younger. Don't wrap the string so tightly around us, don't let someone have control over us, don't accept that we don't have control.

You can break the yo-yo cycle.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

X is for X Words

I knew this was going to be the hardest entry to write so I've thought about it since I signed up. I decided to look up words that start with X and figure it out from there. Did you know there is a website that lists unusual words that start with each letter of the alphabet? How helpful is that.

I found out that I'm neither xanthochroic or xanthocomic (yellow skinned or yellow haired). How often you figure I'll pull these words out again?

How about a xeme? It is a bird.

I do have xenodocheionology which is a love of hotels. Well the love is of nice hotels, not just any kind of hotel.

Oklahoma suffers from xeransis or drying up. Yes a few years of drought will make us look like the Dust Bowl.

Do you know anyone who does xyloglyphy? It is wood-carving.

And I certainly don't want to run into anyone has carries a xyster. It is a surgeon's instrument for scraping bones. Yikes that is scary.

So there you go...a little walk down the X section of the dictionary. Feel free to use any of these words in Words for Friends. You can always use a little boost when you get the X.

Friday, April 26, 2013

W is for Whitney

How could I do a whole alphabet and not do W for Whitney. I think she would be very disappointed if I didn't.

So here's my brag post about my daughter. I love her too pieces. She is the light of my life. She makes me so proud to be her mother. The last two years at college she has grown up so much and become an adult. Wow amazing how that happens isn't it?

Her greatest strength is her generosity. She gives so much of herself unselfishly. She is a giver people. If I were her age, I'd want to be her friend.

She does have only child syndrome with independence, self-entertainment and leadership.

She'll be home for the summer and working on an internship with a local marketing firm while taking one course at a community college. I'm sure we will spend lots of quality time in the kitchen making healthy food.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

V is for Very

Very. That's a word that we use often to describe something. Very pretty. Very nice. Very sad.

I'm VERY sorry about yesterday's umbrella post. I didn't have my U post written and then I went to a conference for a couple of days and wham, it was time for the U post. Yikes. And I couldn't figure out how to add anything to it since I was using my ipad.

I'm VERY happy that it has been raining this month. The water levels are up in the lake that supplies are city with water. Maybe if it keeps raining we will get back to normal.

I'm VERY excited that the A-Z challenge is coming to a close. This last week is full of hard letters.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

U is for Umbrella

As we continue to get rain and make up for our drought, I often wonder how umbrellas were invented. I get the whole something over your head, but where did the idea for pushing up a stick to make some fabric come out.

Of course this is just one of the many things I wonder how it was made or invented. What makes you go hmmm?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T is for Tracy!

Lucky me, T is my letter. So today's post is all about me.

I was born in Moline, Illinois. That's part of the Quad Cities, where the Mississippi River goes East-West not North-South. I moved around quite a bit as a child and spent time in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Watertown, Wisconsin; Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin; Orlando, Florida and Houston, Texas. The Wisconsin years were by far the best or maybe I just remember them that way because I was young. Anyway I moved to Oklahoma to go to college and have never left.

I've been married for almost 25 years to Dan who I met in college. We have one daughter, Whitney, who is at college herself. Not too far away, but far away enough that she has her own life. Which is probably the best of both worlds.

I work for the university I graduated from (not once but twice...guess I liked school that much) with weather people. So I'm always asked about the weather. That comes in handy some days like last week when we had severe weather and I could tell from the people here where they were worried about. I manage a large research unit's financial/administrative side which I've been doing for 11 years. Since the university is the only place I've ever worked, I'll be able to retire in about 6 years. WOOHOO!

One of my favorite things to do is to go to wine tastings because you get into some pretty interesting conversations. I like to cook and have started to experiment with trying new foods. Some things I like and some things I don't but at least I'm trying.

So there's just a bit about me.

Monday, April 22, 2013

S is for Sea Lime

Today's story is about the most amazingly funny thing I've ever said. Well I found it to be the funniest thing. In fact I literally laughed for two hours crying because it was so funny. And Dan and Whitney just kept staring at me. To this day I laugh when I think about it. And it has been years since I came up with it.

The story starts when we went on a vacation to Vancouver Island several years ago. Whitney was still in high school and we had free plane tickets from a previous trip when we got bumped from the flight. We picked the farthest we could fly away from here where it might be cool in the summer. Canada here we came.

So we were out on Vancouver Island in a little town called Ucluelet. A very quaint little town if anyone wants to visit. We rented a three story condo that was the best place I think we've stayed in for a vacation. One day we went down to the beach and took a hike. They had pamphlets about the different sea life. One of the things they talked about was sea lemons.

Well I got going on word associations and wondered out loud well that seemed just wrong that they were singling out the sea lemons. What about the sea limes? And at that point I just lost it. I laughed and laughed and laughed. Cried until my sides hurt. And just when you thought I would stop, I would start all up again. Every day of that vacation I would laugh about the sea limes.

Now there is no such thing as a sea lime. I made it up. But I think that is just wrong. There should be sea limes. So of course I googled it and the closest I could come was the sea lime house in Grand Cayman.

But it just isn't the same thing. 

So if anyone asks you about sea lemons, you must ask about sea limes. And if you do, tell me. I'll get the giggles about it.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

R is for Roasted Cauliflower

Just a simple side dish but delicious. I've really embraced vegetables this year and want to do more things with them.

Roasted Cauliflower

One head cauliflower cut into florets
Olive oil - about two Tablespoons
Garlic minced - to taste about one to two cloves
Salt and pepper

Toss cauliflower in oil then garlic, salt and pepper. Put on a foil lined baking sheet and cook at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Turn the cauliflower with tongs then cook another 15 minutes.

That's it.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Q is for Qingdao

In June I am going to Qingdao, China for a work trip. How perfect is that to find a letter Q without even having to try! So here's a few facts about Qingdao.

Qingdao is a major seaport southeast of Beijing. It was named China’s most livable city in 2011 and is home to the famous Tsingtao Brewery. There are 8 million residents. During the 2008 Olympics, all sailing events took place along the Qingdao shoreline. There is a strong German influence to much of the architecture because of the German interest in the area in the late 1800s-early 1900s. Due to its proximity to the sea, fresh seafood is in most restaurants.

Do you know how long it will take me to get there? It will take three flights and about 24 hours. You lose a day flying there and when you fly back, you gain it back. So the 24 hours it takes to get back looks like you are gone only about 12 hours. I had better learn how to sleep on a plane because one of the flights is 14-16 hours long. Yikes.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

P is for Pluto

Growing up Pluto was one of the nine planets in our solar system. Then a few years ago astronomers decided that it wasn't one. I don't think they quite understand that chaos that created. How was a parent supposed to help their kid on homework making the solar system without that ninth planet. Eight is just unbalanced. And then they added some "unnamed" planet. This is just wrong.

And so I pledge to continue calling Pluto a planet.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Hodgepodge - I Just Can't Skip It

So today you get a bonus posting because I didn't want to skip Joyce's Hodgepodge questions. If you are looking for the A-Z post, please go to the next post.

1. April 15th is the deadline for Americans to file their state and federal income tax returns. What's a job you do on a regular basis that could be described as 'taxing'?
How about paying sales tax every month. I always seem to put it off until the last minutes. Like this month. It is due the 20th and I haven't started. Guess I should do that tonight.

2. I'm participating in the April A-Z blog challenge, and the Hodgepodge happens to fall on Day O this week. In keeping with that theme...olives, onions, oysters, okra...of the foods mentioned, what's your favorite O food?
None of the above. How about an "Open Faced Sandwich". Best part about a turkey dinner is the sandwich next day with a piece of bread, mashed potatoes, turkey and gravy. Give me a fork and knife and I'm set.

3. What is something memorable you experienced as a child that your own children (or future children/nieces/nephews) will not get to experience?
TV channels actually ending for the night. They played the National Anthem and the flag was flying and then nothing but static for a few hours. Now everything is 24 hours a day and we get infomercials. I'm not sure if that is better than static.

4. Term limits for our elected officials...your thoughts?
Yes term limits have their purpose. Our state has them for state house/senate and I haven't noticed a great detriment to the legislative process. Probably would be helpful for the national house/senate too.

5. On April 18th, 1775, Paul Revere made his famous 'midnight ride'...when did you last make a midnight ride? Perhaps the fate of a nation wasn't hanging in the balance, but tell us where you were headed anyway.
I thought it was my flight back from Alaska last July but then we had to make an ER run when Dan fell and cut his chin and broke teeth. Thank goodness this doesn't happen very often.

6. What would freak you out more...a mouse running across your floor or a big fat hairy spider?
Mouse for sure. I usually can kill a spider or it doesn't move too fast and I can get Dan to kill it. A mouse moves fast and then hides.

7. I love it when people ask me________________________?
how old I am and then say no way. That makes me feel good.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I'm over the blog block from yesterday when I came up with Nothing for my N word. I've got the rest of the week's posts already written and scheduled. Some of them are really good so come back each day to read them.

O is for Oklahoma

Back to an easy letter for me. Well easy if you live in the state of Oklahoma and today's letter is O!

I've lived here for 30 years (wow that seems so long now that I type it out). I came here to go to college and never left. So here's some interesting facts about Oklahoma.

Oklahoma is the 46th state joining the United States in 1907. You would have thought that someplace in the middle of the country would have been a state a lot earlier than that but it was Indian Territory. The Oklahoma land run was April 22, 1889. This was when they opened up the territory for homestead claims. But some people jumped the gun and became "Sooners". Hence the state nickname.

The capital is in Oklahoma City and has a working oil rig on it. Yes oil and gas are king in the state.

The name Oklahoma is from the Choctaw language combining two words meaning "red people". If you saw our soil, you might think it means red dirt.

Oklahoma has the highest number of man-made lakes for any state. They say we have more miles of water lined property than anywhere else. Of course that was before the drought.

Oklahoma is the only state that has a state song from a Broadway musical. And I bet a lot of you can sing it even if you've never been here.

We have a state bird (Scissor-tail Flycatcher), reptile (Collared Lizard), amphibian (Bullfrog), mammal (American Bison), fish (Sand Bass), insect (Honeybee) like most states. But does your state have a state fossil (Saurophaganax maximus) or butterfly (Black Swallowtail)? How about having mistletoe be your state floral emblem but flower is the Oklahoma Rose and wildflower is Indian Blanket. Do you have a state gospel song (Swing Low, Sweet Chariot) or waltz (Oklahoma Wind)? How many states have milk as the official state beverage (yes we are in the Bible belt)?

So I end today with a quote from the state song:

Your doin' fine Oklahoma! Oklahoma, O.K.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

N is for Nothing

Yup...nothing. No big words. No insightful thoughts. No commentary on life. I got nothing.

Normally when I hit the blog wall I take a couple days off and then I get kickstarted. With the A-Z Challenge I am not afforded that luxury. But I am able to come up with a word that starts with the letter of the day, N. Nothing, nada, no thoughts.

So there you have it. The shortest post you will get from me all month. Courtesy of Nothing.

Monday, April 15, 2013

M is for Muppets

As I write these posts I continually think about what could I come up with that was different from what I normally write. Well today I'm all about nostalgia with the Muppets.

In case you don't know, the Muppets were created by Jim Henson and include Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and Fozzie Bear.

I remember watching the Muppet Show on television growing up. It was great fun with weekly guest stars. For those of you too young to know, they had a syndicated thirty minute variety show. And it was awesome.
Just a glimpse at the cuteness from the theme song.

Fast forward a few years to when I had a child and the Muppets were making a comeback. Well I never felt they were gone, but you know what I mean. When Whitney was around 5 we got a computer (the old days of dialup modems) and I won a computer game that had the Muppets in it. It was for a little older age group than her, but she enjoyed watching them do silly stuff.

Our all time best Muppet moment is Fozzie Bear. Whitney loved Fozzie so much that was the game she wanted to try and do. As you know, Fozzie isn't the best comedian. Loveable but not necessarily funny. So the game you tried to throw tomatoes at him. Whitney put together a saying whenever she would attempt to tell a joke. She ended every one of them with "waka waka...throw some tomatoes". To this day I can't think of Fozzie without the tomatoes.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

L is for Lasik

I have had bad eyesight since I was very young. At ten I got my first pair of glasses. I can still remember right after I got them my mother telling me to put them in my lunchbox for the walk home so I wouldn't break them or lose them. I'm not sure why she told me that because I needed them to see distances and walking home I figured I would have needed them.

About the time I finished college, I decided to move on to contacts. I was getting married and didn't want to wear glasses in my wedding photos. It took awhile to get used to them, but there is a difference in how clear things are. I took very good care of my contacts and didn't have any problems. Then about ten years ago I started to have more issues with them. I would have to go to the eye doctor more frequently because they would tear and just not work right.

So I decided to bite the bullet and get Lasik. Just the thought of the surgery gave me the willies. I mean lets face it, they are shooting a laser at your eyeball and you are awake for it. Not something a sane person really does. And what happens if something went wrong? You only have one set of eyes. But I was tired of dealing with contacts.

When I went for my consultation I was told I needed to wear glasses for two weeks before the surgery so my eyes would reshape themselves. It had been so long since I had worn glasses (remember no contact problems) that the pair I had was about three prescriptions too old. So I had to go buy a pair of glasses for two weeks. I found the cheapest pair I could possibly get and I didn't care what they looked like.

Day of surgery I went to the clinic. Dan dropped me off and went to run errands. They numb your eyes and give you a valium. Soon its is time and they walk you into the room where they mark your eyes and then walk you to another room to do the surgery. It takes about 1 minutes for the whole thing. Then you close your eyes for about 30 minutes and you are ready to leave. They give you funky glasses to wear at home so you don't roll onto your eyes when sleeping.

In less than 6 hours I was reading the crawl at the bottom of the tv. I had never been able to do that without contacts and even with them it was hard sometimes. I can't believe how much better my distance viewing is after the surgery.

They warn you that it only corrects distance and you probably will need reading glasses eventually. And sure enough two years after the surgery I needed to get reading glasses. But I don't have to use them all time and I can get those cheap at the store.

All in all, I'm quite happy that I bit the bullet and got Lasik.

Friday, April 12, 2013

K is for Karma Chameleon

It is time for the cheesy portion of A-Z Blog Challenge because I couldn't come up with anything else for K. I got this song stuck in my mind and the only way to get it out is to blog about it and pass it along.

In the 80's (yes some of us will admit to living them) I was quite the fan of bad music. It was exciting to have moved past the 8track and onto cassette tapes. Yes there was good music (anyone saying that Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson were bad should be shot) but there were quite a few clunkers that were possible. Which leads me to Culture Club and Karma Chameleon.

For some reason I liked them. I have no idea why. I look back at that and go blech and can't even stand to listen to any of their songs when they come on the radio for 80's weekend. But this one has a story. You see when Dan and I got married in 1988 he went through my cassettes and said he couldn't marry me if I still owned Culture Club. It was just that bad. Of course he said it jokingly (he would have still married me). So before we got married, I threw it out. Yup, I caved into the pressure of marriage and got rid of that tape. And I've never regretted it. :)

So thanks Dan for helping me rid myself of junk. Now just step back from the ABC.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

J is for JourneyChurch

I thought today I would write about my church, JourneyChurch. I've been going there for about four years and I love going every week. I remember when I was younger, going to church seemed like a chore. I would rather sleep in than go to church. Well ever since I've been going here I never feel like that.

I love the fact that it is casual but if you dressed up you wouldn't feel out of place. People are friendly even though we have 1200 people at the service that I usher at. You can take your drinks into the auditorium. They provide free coffee, soda, water and you can purchase donuts which you can take in with you. Every week you get a guide with a handout that you can take notes from the message.

The pastor founded the church about 11 years ago and it is one of the fastest growing in the country. In fact it is the largest in our town. This week we are doing baptism and they use a big pool from Walmart. Nothing fancy but you don't have to be fancy.

They have so many different programs for children, high school, college, young adult, women. You name it, they probably have it.

But the most important part about the church is what I get out of every week's message. A feeling of peace and love and the knowledge that God loves me and wants me to succeed.

The church's motto is Ephesians 3:20 "God can go anything you know. He does it not by pushing us around, but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us."

How can you go wrong with that every week?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I is for the I version of Hodgepodge

I'm combining the I blog with this week's hodgepodge because I wasn't feeling the letter I. But fear not, all answers will start with the letter I.

For those of you joining me from the A-Z challenge, Wednesday Hodgepodge is brought to us weekly by Joyce at From This Side of the Pond.

1. Share one fun thing you did last week, while the Hodgepodge was on 'spring break'.

I did my first week of the A-Z blog challenge and successfully wrote all my week's worth of posts by day one. I even got a few of the other letters done too.

2. April 10th is National Sibling Day...do you have siblings, and if so are you close? Share a favorite story featuring one or all of your siblings. If you don't have siblings, did you ever wish you did?

I have one younger brother and I also had an older brother who passed away before I was born. My brother has extremely curly hair and I have very straight hair. My grandmother would always tell me to eat my peas to make my hair curly like my brothers. Guess what...it didn't work.

3. Is it important to you to 'buy American'? Why or why not? How much of an effort do you make to 'buy American'? If you're not American, insert your own country in the blank.

I hate to say this but I don't even look at labels. I guess that's bad on my part but just the way it is.

4. Besides The Bible, what book has impacted your spirituality in some way?

I can't think of any books. Most of the books I read are trashy novels or true crime and I don't think either of those would be considered spiritual.

5. April showers bring May flowers or so the saying goes. Do you find rainy days calming or depressing? When were you last caught in a rainstorm? What's blooming in your neck of the woods today?

I like rainy days especially if I'm at work because it is one of the few days I can open my blind. My office is right on an entrance to the building and if I open my blinds I feel like I'm on display. When it is raining people are rushing around with umbrellas so I know they aren't looking in at me. Right now we have tulips in full bloom. The bradford pear trees have already bloomed but the redbud trees are looking pretty.

6. What's your favorite yellow food?

I would say yellow cake.

7. April is National Poetry Month...what's a poem that holds special meaning for you, and why is it special?

I don't read poems mostly because I never understand them.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I did it! All my answers started with I! Ha, take that you letter.

Join me tomorrow for J, which I promise will be more in depth than I.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

H is for Home Improvement

In the never ending quest to improve the house, I have made a three page long list of projects around the house. Some are small (like get the carpets cleaned) while some are huge (new countertops for kitchen and bath). Some we can do quickly (paint the vents in the bedroom) and some we won't do for awhile (plant shrubs outside...we are in a drought and they would die).

This year we have replaced the back door (see D is for Door post) and just last week we got our new stove delivered. This time we only had one delay (the range hood was backordered). It was supposed to be delivered between 8-12 and at 11:15 I got a call saying they would be there shortly. Good thing Dan was home that day and I wasn't sitting around the house waiting for the guy to get there. Dan sent me all sorts of pictures of what it looked like under the old stove when it was pulled out. He had the cleaning supplies waiting so it would be spic and span.

Now I just have to get used to a convection oven, super powerful gas burners and adjustable racks in the oven. I'm almost afraid to use it and mess it up but of course I'll be cooking on it this weekend.

Monday, April 8, 2013

G is for Grand Cayman Islands

Oh the Grand Cayman Islands...how I would love to see you. You see, we've tried twice now and haven't been successful either time.

First time was our first cruise out of Galveston. On the day the cruise normally stopped at the Caymans, it was Christmas. And darned if the whole dock closed for Christmas. So instead we spent the day in Mexico on a little beach that really was nice.

Second time we tried was another cruise. This one was scheduled for the Caymans. I had our excursion all laid out. We were going to swimming with the stingrays (which is what most people seem to do when there). Instead the seas were rough and only two ships got to dock. It was too rocky to do tender boats. So we saw the island from a distance and the beautiful clear waters around the beach were all we saw. We spent the day lazily sailing to Mexico for our next stop.
This should have been my view

So now I would really like to go there. But I'm afraid that if I try for a third time something horrible will happen. I may just have to admit my defeat and go to other islands.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

F is for Foodie Love

As I get older, I find myself more adventurous with food. Maybe it is because of all the cooking shows, but I'm more willing to try new things. So on my recent trip to Washington DC, I made it my mission to seek out good food.

My hotel was in Chinatown which has so many good restaurants. Two blocks of walking and there I was with unlimited choices.

First stop was Red Velvet Cupcakery. This was a spur of the moment decision as I was trying to get my bearings as to which was the correct entrance into the National Portrait Museum and it was just staring at me. I had a devil's food cupcake with a deep chocolate ganache frosting with gold flakes on it. I thought the cupcake was dry and the frosting was thick and chocolatey. I wouldn't get another cupcake here.

That night we went to dinner at Graffiato. I'm a huge Top Chef fan and this is owned by Mike Isabella, who came in 2nd place during the All Stars show season. I knew I had to try the flatbread with pepperoni sauce, since Gail Simmons raved about it on the show. Let me tell you, I was not disappointed. The flatbread was seasoned so well and the sauce, well let's just say there were three of us and we were fighting over the sauce. They had three specials that night so we got all of them. This is a tapas type restaurant which I had never eaten at before. I was a little worried about the specials, but I shouldn't have been. Goat was featured in two of them. First was mousaka with goat. Let me tell you, if goat tastes like this all the time, I need to buy me a farm. WOW!!! My two colleagues were gracious enough to let me finish this one. If it hadn't been served in a cast iron skillet that was blazing hot I may have licked the bowl. It was that good. We also had crispy goat which was good. The third special was pasta with calamari. It was well done but the mousaka just wowed me. We decided to just get a pizza after all the specials and it was very nice. I would highly recommend this restaurant. We started in the bar and then moved upstairs. They were having a wine dinner with a vintner from Italy. That would have been fun to go to too.

We stopped two nights at Zengo, which is located right off the metro stop's escalator in Chinatown. It was happy hour and we had a couple of rounds of drinks. I sticked with mojitos were satisfying after a long day of meetings. It was quite busy the night of the Capitals game but the next night was a Wizards game and it wasn't crowded at all.

Night two was dinner at Legal Seafoods. This is a chain on the East Coast and I know several people who eat here regularly while we are at our meetings. Well they had my favorite wine so I bought a bottle for the table (Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio). I decided to get a combination platter of crab cake, grilled shrimp skewer and grilled scallop skewer. The crab cake was delicious but the shrimp and scallops were a little too grilled for my liking. I probably should have sent them back but it was after 8 when we were eating and I didn't want the other people to have to wait. One of the women got a huge lobster and she demolished it.

Night three was dinner at Zaytinya, the number four restaurant in DC according to Trip Advisor. It is owned by award winning chef Jose Andres. Another tapas style restaurant featuring Greek, Turkish and Lebanese food. Not something we get a lot of in Oklahoma. We each picked out different things to order and share. I understand the concept of tapas as small plates but I thought these plates were ridiculously small. The food was extremely tasty there just wasn't much of it. The first dish was a butternut squash hummus with pumpkin seeds which I neglected to tell my colleagues I was allergic to until it arrived. So I didn't eat any of it. Next we had spanokopita which was the size of an eggroll and there was just one of them. For $9 I expected more. We also had seared halloumi cheese which I've often seen on cooking shows. It is grilled and doesn't melt. Delicious but ONE piece of cheese with some dates/figs around it. For meat/seafood we had a scallop dish and a pork sausage dish. You guessed it...one sausage link that was sliced up and two scallops. The scallops were cooked perfectly but once again so small you only got one bite. By the time I left the restaurant I was still hungry but it was 9pm and seemed silly to stop at McDonald's.

Last place I had to go was Good Stuff Eatery near the Capital. This is owned by another Top Chef alum Spike Mendolhson. It is a burger joint. I got lost getting there (having made one wrong turn) but arrived before the lunch rush. I ordered a cheeseburger, snack fries and drink for $11. In DC that is a good price. The cheeseburger was medium rare, cooked perfectly, juicy with a good bun. The fries had sea salt and fresh thyme on them. I thought they were a tad greasy and not crispy. But I was able to people watch and was very full (quite a difference from the night before). I would recommend this restaurant.

All in all a successful eating adventure (along with my work meetings...the true reason for going). I can't wait for my next trip to continue my quest to eat DC!

Friday, April 5, 2013

E is for Eggs (Scrambled)

Somehow I have become the maker of scrambled eggs in the house. Dan says I have the magic touch. I'm not sure what I do, but they are definitely fluffy and delicious when I make them.

Scrambled Eggs

6 eggs
1/4 milk (can use heavy cream or 1/2 and 1/2)
salt and pepper to taste

Beat eggs with milk. Add salt and pepper. Heat non-stick frying pan with about 1/2 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. When butter is melted, add eggs. Use a spatula to scrape the sides when the curds start to form. Gently and slowly stir to the eggs to break up the curds in larger chunks. Remove from heat before the eggs are done. There is carryover temperature to those eggs and if you don't do that you will overcook them.

These eggs are super fluffy and delicious.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

D is for Door

It finally happened! I got my new door installed.

My back door has been replaced once already. Our house settles and then we have rain runoff that makes the wood rot. And for the last year I've had a gap at the bottom that you could see through and feel the breeze. In the winter I would put a towel at the bottom to try and keep the snow from coming in when we would get it. Finally we decided enough was enough and went to Lowe's to buy the door.
We picked out a door that had the blind built into the window so it wouldn't bang around when we open and close the door. And since we were already upgrading that, we chose to get it painted and stained the way we wanted. So this was not a cheap fix.

It took five tries to get the door installed. Why you ask? Because we had to reschedule it that many times. Between having meetings come up or the installer being late to our house that we had to leave to it raining for five minutes when he was supposed to be at the house it was a never ending cycle of rescheduling. Finally we had a sunny day and yes I did end up taking off work 3 hours (because he was an hour an half late to install the door) but it is in.

Look at that big hole in the wall.

And there it is. We got new doorknob/locks but unfortunately we didn't buy the kind that easily rekeys with the new lock we got for the front door. So now we have two different keys. Guess I could call a locksmith to come over and take care of that problem. I'll add it to my huge list of house projects.

Of course less than a week after it was installed it started to warm up and the door sticks. We will have to have the installer come back out and readjust it.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

C is for Craft

While Whitney was home for spring break, we had to make a craft. It has to be easy to make and not cost too much. I had seen this one on The Chew on Clinton's Craft Corner and it looked just like what we could handle.

All of the supplies could be found at a hobby store and the home improvement store.

Ink Dye Coasters

You need this to make them

White tiles (88 cents each)
Rubbing alcohol (in my bathroom so free)
Alcohol ink ($9.99 for three colors)
Sealant spray ($6.00)
Felt circles ($2.99)

Clean the surface of tile with rubbing alcohol on a paper towel. Do not remove all the alcohol, you need it for the next step.

Drip the ink on the tile in random fashion. You can overlap colors. The amount of alcohol you have on the tile will determine the amount of spread your ink will have.

Let the ink dry completely. Then spray with sealant if you want. Put felt circles on the bottom so the tiles won't scrape furniture when being used.

That's it. Each coaster will be different which makes this a neat craft. You can paint the sides of the coaster to cover up runs and the white part of the tile. I would recommend this because ours look a little sloppy.

This was a fun craft to make. We hardly used any ink so we will be able to make lots of these. I see Christmas presents in the future.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

B is for Basketball

Whitney won tickets to see the OKC Thunder play during spring break and she took me! Neither of us had been to their games and they are always sold out so this was a treat.

We had really nice seats in Loud City.

The Thunder lost to the Denver Nuggets but we had a good time.