Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday Fragments - Panic is Setting In

So Unknown Mami is hosting Friday Fragments for the summer while Mrs. 4444 is on vacation. Thank you for stepping up to host this exciting part of my week.

Unknown Mami

This time tomorrow I'll be jetting my way to China. Panic is setting in. I haven't made any lists of what to pack. I need to figure that out before I pack I guess. I did go and buy some things I'll need (including snacks) so I don't think I need to go to the store today. Except for foundation. I thought I would have enough last night and when I used it this morning and I don't think so. 

I also need to take my car into the dealership and leave it for them to fix a few things. I've taken it in a few times to have them look at the remote key lock/unlock feature. Of course it always works for them. I have it narrowed down that when the temperature gets either really hot or really cold it stops working. Since it will be in the 90's they can leave the car outside all day and they try the keys. And they can keep it multiple days until it doesn't work. I want this thing fixed.

I got everything done that I could for Mom's move here. I need to write a note to put with all the documents for her since she arrives while I'm gone but that shouldn't take too long.

I think I've killed one of my basil plants. I thought I had overwatered it but Dan thinks a bug got to it and ate all the leaves. All that is left is the stalk.

I also may have trimmed my day lily plant wrong. I've never had one before and I'm afraid I've screwed it up.

I got my hair colored and cut yesterday and went and got my nails done. So at least I can look beautiful when I'm gone. My stress level should go down once I get on the plane because I won't be able to do anything and any problems with the symposium will not be mine. I'm tired of people cancelling on me.

And that's it folks. I'm not sure if I'll be able to blog while in China. Well I can blog I don't know if I can post. So I may have a bunch of posts waiting to upload when I get home. There are a lot of website that get blocked by the government.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What Day Is Today?

It is one of those weeks and it is only Tuesday. Gee whiz. My stress level is high. My patience is thin. If I had time to get my blood pressure checked it would probably be high. And my time is short. In five days I'll be on a plane to go to China. I'd better get my act together.

Things that have made me smile -

A saw a father with his son teaching him how to hold a fishing pole on my drive to work. The boy was concentrating on everything the dad was saying.

I haven't killed my lilies yet. Even with all the rain and my tendency to over water everything.

An email from a former employee who heard I will be in China and wants to have lunch. I barely spoke to her when she was here but she was a sweetheart. How nice that she wants to see me.

The fact that I was right about something and I really wanted to be smug about it to the person who was wrong but I held back and was just nice and pleasant in my email.

So I'm ending with another cute puppy photo because it is a good way to de-stress.

Image from

Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday Fragments

Well I'm not sure who/where we link up to but I'm going to write these and hope I figure it out.

Stupid criminal this week is really dumb. A guy was under house arrest for 11 months. He called the police with about one month left and said please take me to jail for the remainder of the sentence. His reason...he ran our of Xbox games to play. I leave it to your imagination as to how stupid he is.

I had to check out the cost of international calling/texting while in China. Calling is prohibitively expensive but the texting plan seems like it is reasonable. And I was told that all incoming texts just count against my current plan so since I have unlimited texting I should be able to receive all that get sent to me for free.

So You Think You Can Dance announces top 20 next week. Anyone else excited about that? Whitney will have to hold the shows I'm missing on the dvr for me so I can catch up when I get home.

They announced another benefit concert for tornado relief. It has more big name country artists but will be at the football the afternoon. Geez, how many heat related illnesses will come from that. Only saving grace is that they can't serve beer there since it is on OU property. Needless to say, I won't be going.

I used some of my fresh rosemary to make roasted red potatoes. Dan said they were dangerously good. As in he liked them too much (he isn't supposed to eat a lot of potatoes). Guess I'll have to try that one again. :)

I found the link with Unknown Mami now.
Unknown Mami

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hodgepodge - Father Reflections

Time for another round of questions from Joyce. I don't know how she does this every week.

1. What do you think makes a good dad?
These apply to also being a good mom.
Stay active in a child's life. Keep trying to find out about a child's life even when they go through the stage of not wanting anything to do with you. Unconditional love.

2. What's something you learned from your own father?
My dad died when I was 21 so I've now lived more than half my life without him. So sometimes it is hard to remember him and what I may have learned from him. I have rose-colored glasses on when I do think of him. But the most important thing is that I remember how much he loved me. So I don't know if that was something I learned but it is what I remember.

3. It's your birthday-what kind of cake will we be having?
When I was young, it would have been German Chocolate. When I was in my 20's it would have been anything decadently chocolate. I haven't baked a cake in years now. I think if I would choose a cake it would be carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.

4. When you're faced with a big decision are you more of a go with your gut type of person, or are you someone who reasons it all out, weighing the pros and cons?
I do both. Most of the time my gut reaction is the same as when I weigh the pros and cons.

5. June is National Dairy Month. What's your favorite dairy item? Most often purchased dairy item?
Oh how I love dairy products. How do you choose a favorite? You've got so many kinds of cheese and milk. Oh my. I guess I would go with my Braum's lowfat milk as favorite and most purchased. Although I do buy a lot of shredded monterrey jack/colby mix.

6. Explorer Jacques Cousteau was born on June 11, 1910....what's something you've recently discovered or something you'd like to explore?
I'm discovering new vegetables and ways to cook them. I definitely need to keep going on that.

7. Are you typical of your generation?
When I was younger I would say not. But now I probably am typical of people in their 40's.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I'm enjoying going to the gym to walk on the treadmill. I thought I would but it gives me time to decompress and not think about anything.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Weekend in Review

Well that was a pleasant and fast weekend. What a nice change over the last few of them.

Friday night we went to dinner on a gift card my boss gave me for Christmas. Yes I hadn't even touched it yet. So dinner was free and all we needed to do was pay for the tip.

Saturday Whitney and I spent two hours grocery shopping at three different stores. But I needed to go to three stores to get the sales and the best of each store.

Dan was busy on Saturday and Sunday installing the new bathroom hardware for the main bath. We had bought them last weekend and it was on the list of things to do around the house. He thought he was going to have to patch the hole in the wall from the towel rack (it kept falling down) but the way the new hardware worked it went vertically instead of horizontally so we didn't have to fix the hole. We also didn't have to paint because the new hardware covered up the spots. Double win for us.

Then I made a delicious caprese salad panini for dinner. I made up the recipe (although really it is only a few ingredients) and we all declared it delicious.

We tried to watch a movie, The Iron Lady, but it was horrible. Meryl Streep was fantastic but the story was not what we thought it would be. So we stopped after about 15 minutes.

Sunday our church was having a big thank you party for volunteers who helped with the tornado. They made 4,000 tshirts to hand out and had so many bouncy houses, a rock climbing wall and lots of free food. Whitney and I went to it after church. When we got to church the normal people who handle getting the ushers wasn't there and no one seemed to be in charge. So I stepped up and lined up enough people to do offering, even getting Whitney to help me out. We were hosting the church from Joplin that had helped us so much so it was important to put together a good impression. We even had to put out extra chairs. What's funny is that the far side of the church is the last to fill up so I thought we were overflowing. When I went to take the offering to the counting room, I found all sorts of empty seats on the near side. Oh well, at least everyone had a seat.

Then Whitney and I went shopping at Kohl's. She had been home for a month and we hadn't shopped at all. That is just crazy. We ended up trying on so many things. I got a pair of shorts and a pair of exercise shorts. She got shorts, jeans that were marked as capris but on her they are full length pants (yes she is very petite) and a top. With my discount and the sales, we ended up saving almost 50% of the retail cost. And I got some Kohl's cash to use this week.

While at Kohl's I had to call my boss and talk about some China plans. He has already started the trip to get there because he had to go to Africa for another research project while on the way. He was in Germany and about to go to a country where he can't take in his cell phone. There were several questions that had been raised in an email I received on Saturday and I thought I knew the answers but wanted to check while I still could. And it was nice to know that I did have the right answers after talking to him.

Then we ended the evening watching the Tony Awards. The opening number was pretty fantastic which always seems to be the case when Neal Patrick Harris hosts. I can't wait to see what he does with the Emmys. And I love how they finished pretty close to on time. You should check that out Oscar telecast.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Caprese Salad Panini

Sometimes the simple things are the most delicious. When we bought some basil plants last weekend I immediately wanted to make Caprese Salad. And then why not put it on bread. And then I went further and said panini. And thus this sandwich was born. Super easy, super delicious.

Caprese Salad Panini

Mozzarella Cheese, sliced
Tomato, sliced
Basil leaves, thinly sliced
Extra virgin olive oil, use the good stuff
Ciabatta bread

Sliced your ciabatta bread in half. Drizzle the oil over each slice, not too much on each side. Place cheese slices, then basil, then to,ago on the bottom. Put top piece on. Brush the outside of the bread lightly with regular olive oil. Place on a heated panini press (we use a George Foreman grill). Grill until the cheese is melty.

Cut sandwich in half and enjoy.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Fridays are Fragilicious

OK. So I make up words. Doesn't everybody? I'm joining up with Mrs. 4444 for this week's Fragments edition. Then she is taking a summer vacation and someone else will be hosting it.

Half-Past Kissin' Time

Stupid Criminal of the week was a man from Florida who decided to propose to his lady. Well unfortunately he decided that he needed to be naked to do this. And he didn't have her address right. Imagine the homeowners looking out to see a naked man proclaiming his love to them. The police were called. He resisted arrest and was tasered. Do you think alcohol may have been involved?

In two weeks I'll be packing up and getting ready for my 24 hour flight adventure. Three planes (one flight is 13 1/2 hours) and I'll be halfway around the world in China. Let me tell you trying to get stuff set up when it is night there when it is day here is difficult. But I have finalized the agenda, the hotel reservations and am close to finishing up local transportation. I still need to make sure my vacation part of the trip is done but I'm confident that all will be set.

In preparation for the trip I got a tetanus booster shot. I had always been told I was allergic to it but I decided better to have an allergic reaction to it here in the States than in China. Low and behold I wasn't allergic to this one. So now I'm set for ten years. Woohoo.

My mom is moving here at the end of the month. Last week the senior apartment complex let us know that they had an apartment that she was interested in open. I looked at it and it was in a good location. So in addition to the trip planning, I've got to get her bank account, electric service and the lease all done before I leave. Thank goodness she had the foresight to get me power of attorney. I'm hoping that the moving people show up after I get back from my trip so Dan doesn't have to deal with their arrival.

Whitney's summer class got postponed a week because of last week's tornadoes. The community college that she is going to had some major damage so they needed a week to get the roof fixed and clean up the flooding. So the eight week course will be crammed into seven. For some that might not be bad but she is taking statistics. I'm just glad they didn't cancel completely.

Our church is hosting a fun event for families affected by the tornadoes along with the volunteers and responders. There is a chance of rain but no major storms. I think we've had enough of those.

As many of you may have seen, there were some storm chasers killed in last Friday's tornado here. I work with people who knew them. They were very cautious and didn't take chances. I hope that the lesson learned is that tornadoes are dangerous even for "experts" and that you should not try and outrun them in a car. A car is the worst place to be. Please put as many walls between you and the tornado, get in a safe room either above or below ground, and cover up with blankets, helmets, pillows anything to protect your head.

So after that serious note, let's end with a picture of a puppy. Because really, what could be cuter than a puppy.
Image from Cute Dogs/Pets

Monday, June 3, 2013

Quite the Weekend Wrapup

Well what a weekend that was.

Friday was another weather adventure. We had been warned that between 4-7pm we would have storms that would be tornadic and they were. While the tornadoes were not as strong as the one last week, everyone was in a panic about them. So much misinformation about what to do...when to leave...when to stay. The interstates became parking lots with people trying to flee the tornadoes. Listen, a car is the worst place to be in a tornado. We left our house quite a bit before anything would hit Norman and went to my office...aka the safest building I know.
While it looks like we are waiting for class, it actually is a classroom that is below ground and could hold 600 people if needed. We got there in time for seats and before it even started to rain. The tornado sirens went off as we were walking into the building. We did not have a tornado here but we did have straight line winds at the building of 60-80 mph. A little farther north at my church, they had almost 100 mph because the 20,000 square foot tent that had been set up to hold all the donations collapsed in the wind.
The preliminary report from the NWS is that we had five tornadoes but that number could go up. It is hard to determine some places right now if it was straight line winds or a tornado. Unfortunately several people lost their life, most of them in their cars. There are also several people who are missing after taking shelter in drainage ditches which then flooded with the 7-10 inches of rain that came down in a matter of a couple of hours. I have never seen parts of the metro flood like this. We had almost 3 inches of rain here. We are officially out of the drought.

Saturday we went to help clean up the tent. Basically the tent had to be cut apart and then we had to rebox all the boxes that had gotten wet. Which is mostly everything. They have moved everything to warehouses or it is sitting on pallets in the parking lot while they try and find another warehouse. I forgot to put on sunscreen so now I'm sunburned after just a couple of hours outside.

The weather Saturday and Sunday was absolutely gorgeous. It was almost like Mother Nature was telling us it will be ok.

Sunday after church we headed to Lowe's to buy some plants. I just hadn't had time in May and then with the weather I've been afraid to plant. We bought some lilies and herbs. And then we got some new towel racks for Whitney's bathroom. The one in her room has fallen down so many times that we are going to have a major patch up job to do before installing a new one because the wall has a pretty big hole in it now.

Basil, Rosemary and Lilies
The mailbox has lilies in it this year

With all that going on I didn't do laundry or clean the house. Guess I'll need to do that along with getting back to the gym this week.