Friday, May 30, 2014

Five Minute Friday - We know nothing!

Linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday!  Today's word is...*drum roll*..."nothing."

Well, the very first thing that came to my head with this was the recent video put out by Bill O'Reilly that has me utterly convinced that my generation knows absolutely nothing.

They don't know history.  They don't know geography (the Civil War was between the South and the...Northeast?  What about the northwest?).  And, they don't know how to dress.

I'm okay with a bikini that gives decent coverage.  String bikinis are for home pools and honeymoons.  But I don't have a problem with a cute halter and skirt bikini or something similar.  However, there is a girl on this video that I shall link to that is wearing a thong bikini!  Don't care how good you  And the fact that you could not answer any of the questions that Watters asked doesn't make the bikini look better.

Okay, rant over; I'd just never seen anyone in real life - if FoxNews is real life - wearing one before.  In case you're nervous to watch, it's only a couple quick glimpses; besides, I'm assuming it's only women reading this, and let's be honest ladies: she doesn't have anything we haven't seen before!

Seriously, though.  These are simple questions being asked.  Do people really not know this, or where they just playing dumb to get attention?  What do you think?  Is it some new kind of flirting that I'm unaware of at the decrepit age of 25?

Question for all of you well-educated and well-informed people out in the web: did you get all of these questions right, or did you miss any?  If so, which ones?

Please answer!  I'm so curious!  And I won't laugh too hard if you missed any...hahaha.

Check it out; it's pretty funny.  My poor, poor generation, what has befallen you?!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

{p,h,f,r} Small joys!

Linking up with Like Mother, Like Daughter for a little more down home contentment!


This is only the second dandelion I've seen.  Maybe Texas just doesn't have as many, but dandelions always heralded summer to me.  We used to have tons, and even though I know they are weeds, I really like them.  They're so joyful!


This makes me so happy because look at all that sand!  I have been going to this beach since I was two, and my parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents have been going there before me.  For the last few years, the sand decided to depart, so it was rocky as all get out.  Really, underneath that sand are rocks.  Lots of rocks.  While it was nice, it wasn't running at 100%, and I think the toddler-toting crowd felt the lack of sand worse than the rest of us.  

So, despite all the hippy libs that said we killed the beach (they blamed it on a storm wall kind of thing that is keeping a house from falling into the ocean people!), as all the wise old ladies have said for years, it's cyclical.  Sand comes, sand goes.  It always comes back.  And right they were, as this picture is less than a week old.  Is it vacation yet?!!  


Not really appropriate, but I ran across this silly picture earlier today and it just struck my funny bone!  God bless the animals for their trusting nature, because oh baby do we abuse it!  Can I have a dog now?


The dishwasher isn't working, so all those nicely loaded dishes....are dirty.  I'm about to attempt to make dinner without washing anything so that I can do it all while dinner cooks.  One fell swoop sort of thing.  I like to bring in my groceries in the least number of trips, wash my dishes once a day, and otherwise attempt time-saving activities that do not actually save time.  Real me, whatdayaknow!

Time to return to my unspoiled days and go wash dishes by hand.  First world problems - yep!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Responsibility of Marriage

Do you ever think about what marriage means?  I do.  We were discussing this in the Women of Grace group I've been going to the past couple months and I thought it would be interesting to throw out there to the blogosphere.  Oh, and if you're looking for a Catholic women's study group program for church or just some friends, check out WoG.  It's really good!

One of the ladies mentioned that her future son-in-law had attended a wedding in which the priest gave a wonderful sermon about what marriage really was.  The part that stuck out to her son-in-law was when the priest told the man getting married that it was his duty to return his wife to God at the end of her life, pure and chaste, just like she was when God gave her to him.

Isn't that beautiful?!  Not only is it a reminder that spouses are supposed to bring each other to heaven, but also a reminder about the beauty of purity within married love!  I thought it was lovely.  Simply lovely.  Shall I find a reason to say "love" one more time?  No?  Okay.

The red jacket was a joke on me; he actually wore a very nice brown suit.
That's my mom's wedding dress, altered and fitted to yours truly *awwww*
Wouldn't it be amazing if more people knew that?  Knew that when they married, they were promising to love their spouse?  Not like them, but truly love them as Christ loves the church, as self-giving as possible, always seeking the good instead of the quick 'n easy.

What a different world we'd be in!  Bet there wouldn't be half as many divorces, and I also bet there wouldn't be as many "marriages made in haste!"  Not that I can talk - 15 months got us from "Hi" to "I do" but we covered just about every topic we could think of in those months, and I'd run out of marriage prep questions before we were engaged (I googled them as skype conversation topics haha! Worked great!).

If you could define the responsibility of marriage in a sentence or two, how would you do it?  What key point stands out to you?

Also, if your marriage was ever on rocky ground, what helped you either discern God's hand leading you out of it, or His hand helping you to fix it?  A friend of mine (not me, geesh, stop reading into everything!  women!) is in pretty bad straits with her marriage and at the rate it's going, I'll be surprised if it lasts the year.  Any words of wisdom or prayers for them would be most appreciated, as it makes my heart just ache to watch.

(Linking up with the Catholic Blogger Network for some good old Catholic fun!)
2014 Catholic Bloggers Link-Up Blitz

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


I hope everyone had a nice day off!  In honor of all those who served and are serving in the military, I am only going to write about the holiday aspects of Memorial Day, because I was appalled at how the government (coughobamacough) handled the memorial part.  So, rather than preach to the choir and bore you all with my political opinions, we're going to talk holiday.  You're welcome!

Oh, one note sort of on politics.  The Husband's work car still has Sirius radio and it is soooo nice!!!  We got to listen to all sorts of interesting news about the VA scandals, live coverage of the Memorial Day events at Arlington National, and lots of other good things.  If I were looking for a splurge, and I drove a lot, Sirius radio would be it.  Hands down.  It is so great!  (And no, no one paid me to promo this - it's pure radio fangirl.)

Isn't this beautiful?  I wish I'd had a panoramic lens to use because the sky Sunday evening was absolutely beautiful.  When you hear the words, "Oh beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain," this is it.  The plains of the western USA produce stunning skies.  Stunning thunderstorms too, as I learned - it sounded like the thunder was right in the attic and I was rather concerned for my in-laws house lest it (and us) get fried.  Anyway, we survived.  But just look at that sky, and the pump jack too.  Americana.

We spent Sunday evening celebrating Memorial Day and my in-laws 30th anniversary by going redneck and barbequing on the back porch.  My dear sweet husband was marching around with the grilling tongs in one hand, a loose grey tank top, sports shorts, and cowboy boots.  He then topped the ensemble off by putting his earmuffs (mother in law attempting to shoot a rabbit that keeps procreating enthusiastically in their backyard and allowing her multiple offspring to eat what little green there is!  Poor rabbit, haha!)...what was I saying?  Oh yes, he had his earmuffs on but was wearing them above his ears since there was not much shooting actually happening.  Between the wifebeater shirt, the shorts and boots combo, and the 'muffs, he looked like someone Uncle Si might approve of very much.  Quite a sight!

And what's worse than the outfit...get ready for this...I've truly fallen into redneck territory here...I thought he looked darn good wearing said outfit.  Gotta love it.  

The other item of note from the weekend was that we saw Godzilla.  Don't laugh, I didn't pick it!  Considering that I walked in expecting it to be somewhere along the lines of painfully awful, it wasn't bad at all.  Quite politically correct, but actually halfway decent!  If anyone has teen or preteen boys and is looking for a good action flick, boys would love it.  Good monster fight scenes, and a happy ending.  Definitely PG13 violence and some language, although I don't remember too much potty mouthing.  In all fairness, however, I often don't notice it anymore because a member of my house has a bit of a mouth so I've gotten quite adept at doing the good ol' mental bleep :)  He more than makes up for it in good qualities.  So if language really bothers you, check a review or something before taking my word 100%.

Has anyone seen X-Men?  I really want to...contemplating the drive-in later this week, but we'll see.  

Well, somehow the afternoon has slipped by again and it's time to make dinner.  Already.  Toodles kids :)

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Happy memorial day weekend!

Have a fun long weekend!  We're at the in-laws (hence the lack of posting).  

My family doesn't really have any good Memorial Day traditions; do you? I'd love to hear about them!

Random pretty beach picture I took last year. Can't wait to go back!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

This and that, and my outdoor nemisis

Today is an exciting day.  It's the first Wednesday in, oh gosh, at least a month (I think?) where I haven't had to rush to clean up breakfast, rush to shower, rush to get an hours' work done, rush to my Women of Grace meeting (church thing), and then rush home and work for as many hours as it takes to get five total for the day.  Not including making dinner or anything else; we might have had a few Panda Express runs, but that's just a rumor.  Ask not, and thee shall not be asked.

The reason for all the rushing was because something was happening on Friday or Monday of all those other weeks, so my five hours of Friday/Monday work got bumped to Wednesday.  I know, first world problems, right?  

So now, with nothing to hamper me from working both tomorrow and Friday, I have an afternoon free!  Yippeekyayay!  What I ought to be doing is reading My Antonia so I can start grading the papers for it, but unfortunately, classic or not, I'm not a fan.  Antonia drives me crazy.  She's a strong persevering figure, braving the olden days of the Out West wild, but really she and I just don't hit it off.  I kind of want to smack her one.  Gently, ya know?  Just a, "wake up girl and get your act together" kind of smack.  Anyway, that's what I ought to be doing.  

Instead, I decided to be super uber productive and mow the lawn now that we have grass for the mower.  It wouldn't start.  I braced myself and pulled that danged cord as hard as I could, many times, and had absolutely zero luck.  It made sort of a little whirring sound, but not the real sound that tells listeners it that the mower might be about to start.  

And, what does any self-respecting girl do when the boring chorsey plans fail?  Hit the dessert section of the cookbook while munching raisins and peanutbutter.  Healthy, right?  I know, I know...  I can fast for the Lord, but simply reining in my own cravings all by myself is a lot harder!  But at least it wasn't bread and honeybutter.  Back on topic, rather than make the chocolate cake that looked sooooooooooo good, I made tapioca pudding.  It's that minute tapioca so you don't have to let it soak for forever, and it actually came out quite tasty!

Now, while my weeds reach for the heavens in happy ignorance of the perils in store for them when the Husband arrives home and starts the mower for me, I am off to start dinner. It has to simmer for an hour and a half.  And, while it simmers, I shall work on organizing my sewing room/office/future guest room.  

Can't you just hear those dang weeds laughing?

P.S. Look what just came!!  My wedding pictures (half of them, anyway)!  There's something special about seeing the pictures for real, instead of the digital versions.  Can't beat good solid paper.  Dinner can wait - time to peruse prints (wink)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Never-fail Popovers: The easiest side-dish ever! (sort of)

Microwaving frozen veggies might be easier, but that's boring.  Even my husband, who announces to me, "I like peas," every. time. I. make. them. got a little tired of frozen veggies (isn't he cute?!).  So, when you're having something that, perhaps, already has a serving of veggies in it, or maybe you just aren't in a veggie mood, try these. 

These are especially good with honey butter, and served as a side to a warm and comforting soup.  Another plus to these ridiculously easy little muffin-cousins is that they don't have that much starch in them, relatively speaking anyway.  And, I'm sure that anyone even semi-creative could turn them paleo without a problem.  If I had any paleo flour I'd give it a try, but honestly...I'm a happy carb consumer.

If you come up with a paleo version, please post it in the comments - I'd love to hear how it worked!  It'd be great for those fat days where you want carbs soooo badly but know you ought to lay off for a while.

This recipe is beyond easy, and makes about seven generous popovers. We usually go through six. Don't judge; they're mostly protien...ish. 

So here's what ya do. Get a mid-sized mixing bowl. Crack into said bowl two eggs. 

Dump in a cup of flour. 

You can estimate. Exact proportions don't seem to be necessary. 

Add into your bowl a cup of milk, and half a teaspoon of salt. 

Mix it all up, but don't go too crazy. A few lumps are okay. 

Pour into greased muffin tins and place into a cold oven. Turn the oven to 400 degrees for 25 minutes (or 350 for 30, or 450 for 20...depends on how your oven cooks. Just watch them. If they're brown, they're done.)  I add water to the empty tins but I don't know if you have mom always does so I do too. 

When you first take them out, they're big and puffy and delightful!  They'll settle a bit in a few minutes. They'll also last for at least a few days in the fridge.  You're on your own for after that; mine don't last more than a day!

Happy eating! Yum yum! 

For the quick version:
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients and pour into greased muffin tins. Put in a cold oven, and bake at 400 for about 25 minutes til puffed and lightly browned. 

Serve warm with honey butter and enjoy! 

Monday, May 19, 2014

I could be blogging but...

The Husband and I are watching Doc Martin on Netflix. If you haven't seen it, and you like BBC older style Tv shows with lots of funny personality, do yourself a favor and watch. 

It's my new TV addiction. 

Have fun!

PS. Any other, more man-friendly, tv show ideas? 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} Blessings and Coupons, or Daily Life

Joining in for some {phfr} fun at Like Mother, Like Daughter and double-whammying with the Catholic Blogger's Blitz!  


I posted this the other day, but I'm still looking at it and it's still making me happy.  Some of the recently discovered money (noted below!) will likely go to buying plants.  There is something so inherently uplifting about flowers and living greenery in and around one's home.  My grandmother is amazing with this; I am not, but figure it can't hurt to work on building new skills.

It's been said that carnations are funeral flowers, but I happen to love them.  They are simple and pretty, and epitomize what life ought to be - unencumbered by other's opinions, living out our vocation and life to the best of our ability. After all, we can't all be roses; some of us have to be carnations or the garden of life would be boring!  A bit deep for a single flower, but with all that embedded in it, how could it not be pretty?

Photo shamelessly snitched from one of my best friends, Anne, who takes far
better pictures than I do, and because my pictures were lost when my
laptop was stolen.  Thank you Anne!
We are going to Rome in the fall!!!!  I've been once, when I did a study abroad semester, and it was AMAZING!  The Husband has wanted to go for ages, and has never been, so off we're going!  

It's actually been quite challenging finding a time that fits work schedules, won't cause me to give birth in Italy should the Lord decide to so bless us in the near future, and is affordable.  For a while I didn't think it would work, but I prayed about it anyway asking for God to make it clear when we should go.  We were looking at dates last night, and they were all over $3k, which was just too much for one week. Then, all of a sudden, we pop in a date range and BOOM!  Flights plus hotel for $500 cheaper than the best deal we'd found yet.  And the timing is good for everything, including the Husband's work meetings.  Thank you God!


There is a kid that gets bitten by a dog in this, so that part isn't funny, but the cat is.  The kid is okay, by the way, and will probably be on the Today Show with his family, hence why I think this can qualify as funny.   

This is super-cat, and he means business!  Dogs that bite kids - ain't nobody got time for that!  (Haha, oh Americana)


Real women get deals.  Don't ask how I got that big of an order on pictures; suffice it to say that I did. That's the trouble with having a great wedding simply cannot whittle down those amazing pictures to 10.  Doesn't work.  So, instead, I made all the photobooks I wanted, and then waited until I had enough coupons to make the order semi-reasonable.  I love coupons, although I hate couponing. But this?  This made my morning!

Now, I am trying to think of what I could possibly do with three loaves of unrisen sourdough.  Something is very wrong with my bread, and everyone is stumped.  It works at my parent's house, just not here.  Any recipe ideas for unrisen dough?  And, thanks, but I don't need to eat three loaves worth of cinnamon buns.  But thanks.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

My blender does not like me

Just a few quick things for today, as dinner turned into a bit more of a production than I intended!

Here's the pretty carnation that the Knights of Columbus were giving out to the mothers after mass.  Mom gave me hers (she was down visiting - much needed and so great!), so I have it in my cute little Ikea pitcher.  The pitcher is not included in the picture because it looks so gloomy and I don't have time to edit it.  But you can enjoy the flower.  You're welcome!

Since I spent two weeks worth of grocery money last week, partially because I bought $21 of honey, I decided to try to stretch what I had in the cupboard through this week to make up for it.  Oh, the honey was an accident.  It said $8.95 and it was a BIG container, AND it was local!  Turns out it was $8.95......per pound.  Yeeahhh.  

So, what do I do when I am stretching food?  I go Mexican.  Mexican food is cheap and easy.  Enchiladas was on the menu with leftover pot roast meat, but unfortunately I had no enchilada sauce.  Lucky me, I found a recipe, and was just about to blend the sauce together into a delicious smoothness, when...

This was only a corner.  It expanded much further than you can see here, and looked disturbingly like I had projectile you-know-whated all over.  Lovely and appetizing.  Sorry...bathroom humor genes!  

Ouch.  Hard to see there, but that pink spot is a burn from the nasty blender.  Ignore the little hairs - I was cold since I had to take my sweater off since it too was covered in enchilada sauce.

Old Faithful to the rescue.  Love my little Hamilton Beach :)  Easy, quick, and clean!

Time to go microwave some peas for the veggie.  Judge away; at least the microwave is reliable and won't explode on me.

Feel free to share blender stories below and join the club of fun!  And happy belated mothers day to any moms reading!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Five Minute Friday: Grateful (for life)

Linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday!  (This might have taken more than five minutes because I got a phone call in the middle, but we'll just say it's five minutes and call it good, ok?)

I was talking with some women from church the other day, and one of them was telling us about a conference she'd been to where one of the speakers asked the audience to do a quick exercise for him.

"Write down ten things you're grateful for," he said.  "You have two minutes."  So, she told us, everyone started writing, and then when the two minutes were up, be began speaking.  He asked everyone who had five or more things on their list to raise their hands, then he said he only wanted to see the hands of people who had six or more things.  Then just those who met the full ten, then any who had more than ten.

Once that settled down, the speaker said that he figured most people were thankful for their families, children, jobs, etc, and there were lots of nodding heads.  However, he next asked who wrote that they were grateful for being alive.  For the air they were breathing.  For the ground they stood upon.  That idea launched the rest of his talk about being thankful for everything, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I got to thinking - what kinds of things am I grateful for that didn't seem like blessings at first?  Well, lots, actually.

I'm grateful that my horse, which I was sooooooo excited to have, turned into a monster that bit and kicked everyone, forcing me to sell him after a year (I think he had a personality disorder or something; I've worked with a ton of horses since and never had a problem.  Ah well.).  Turns out, we had to move just a few months after his sale, but the picture of me riding him that happened to be in our adoption portfolio was a leading reason why my brother's birthmother chose our family.  She had always lived in the city, but she wanted her son to get to experience a country life with mountains, animals, and horses.  So, if I hadn't had that beloved awful animal for those eleven months, I might not have a brother, and we might not have been able to move to Virginia.

This is about a year after selling Chance, but suffice it to say that the "horse bug" has 
yet to be squashed; it's just on hold at the moment!

I'm grateful that I got cancer right out of college.  It kept me home, and caused me to take a different job than my original offer, which launched me on a career path that ended up putting me in exactly the spot I needed to be in order to meet my husband.  It also taught me to trust God, to remember that He's in control no matter what, and it made me grow up.  Trudging through hospital halls and getting needles stuck in one's neck (with all the resulting bills), is a very maturing experience :)  Plus, when I had my last surgery a week after our wedding, it was bigger than anticipated and I got to come back to my parent's house with a drain hanging out of my neck.  Really classy.  But my wonderful Husband didn't even bat an eye when he visited for the weekend.  What a trooper, because I know deep down he was probably rather grossed out!  And now, I'm healthy exactly when I need to be for us to start a family.  Divine timing, eh?

There are lots of random things to be grateful for, including the air we breath, the life we live, the sky we see, and the breeze we feel.  And while we shouldn't ever forget those things, I think it's equally important to think about the things in life we hated, and try to find the blessings hidden in them.  If you look deep enough, you'll always find something.  I guarantee it!


Also tying in with Catholic Bloggers Blitz - check 'em out!

2014 Catholic Bloggers Link-Up Blitz

Thursday, May 8, 2014

{pretty, happy, funny, real} Rain, rain, please keep raining!

Linking up again with Like Mother Like Daughter for Thursday's fun.


See what these are?  No, not the weeds.  They're raindrops!  We actually had a whole day full of drizzles all the way to full rain (not Virginia rain, but pretty good for what I've seen here so far).  Very exciting.  My weeds will be thrilled, and maybe my grass will turn green!  We needed the water, so this was a good thing.  And, really, there's just something special about the sounds and smells of a spring rain.  They are so refreshing and absolving, in a way.  They are definitely one of my favorite smells.

I love my cookbook!

If only they maintained this look of perfection out of the oven...


What could be happier than cookies?!  I had some leftover egg whites from earlier in the week which I had the foresight to put in a jar and keep, so last night, we had a lovely dozen or so meringue kisses!  So good.  Technically, you're supposed to bake them at a very low heat and then leave them in the oven for something like five hours until they cool, but since I didn't even get started until 4:30, that wasn't going to happen.  I baked them at a high heat, took them out, baked my biscuits, and then put the cookies back in the turned-off oven to sit while we ate dinner.  Not quite what the recipe called for, and probably the cause of the deflation, but you know what?  They were great!  Crispy on the outside and like marshmallows on the inside.  I actually like them crispier, but the Husband said that if they were just a bit gooier they'd be perfect.  So, accident or not, I guess it was a good thing they came out like they did!  He ate half the batch...I demolished the other half.  There were two left over.  By breakfast they were not left over anymore; after all, it's just egg whites ;)


This, people, is a miracle.  Don't you see how organized all my salad ingredients are?  Quite a miracle, so much so that I thought it was rather entertaining, and filed it here under "funny."

The funny thing was, after I put together this absolutely restaurant-worthy barbecue salad (perfectly arranged salad, all pretty, with fried chicken tossed in bbq sauce on top), my husband sits down to dinner and looks at it quizzically.  Now, being that he is a born and bred Texan, I kind of assumed that nothing barbecue would be foreign.  Well, wrongo because he poked at the ensemble and said, "What's this? *pause* Am I supposed to eat the chicken with it?"

I thought he was joking, and told him that duh, it's a bbq salad, like at Chilis or any other restaurant in the country.  His head was shaking nooooooooo, and the look said that he considered this to be one of my "exotic" dishes.  I don't cook exotic; no one has ever, ever, accused me of that.  But to him, my cooking is downright exotic.  So, I told him to stop arguing, eat his veggies, and say thank you.  And then I showed him a thing or two by pulling up a google images page full of barbecue salads.  So there - HA!

Why I thought the man would have ventured into restaurant salad menus, however, I'm not sure.


This is my project.  It's been a project for a while.  At some point in the future, it will be a guestroom/sewing room/office.  Mainly a sewing room/office until we have a baby and need the back bedroom, at which point the guest bed will move out here.  Good thing I'm not pregnant yet, because this project is moving slower than molasses in Alaska.  But despite that, it's good to have ongoing projects.  Soothes the soul, in a strange way.

Speaking of the guest bed, my mom is coming to visit us tomorrow, and I still haven't made the bed.  I did, however, clean the bathroom and if we're being honest, that's what counts the most!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Organizing my life...

I was never an organizer as a kid, except for school. I hated anything even remotely toward the "unschooling" side. Give me a list of what I needed to do, let me do it, and then let me be done. Mom researched all these great crafty ways to make school fun, etc, etc, and nope! Just a note card with a list of subjects, books, assignments, and I'd be happy. Boring, but it worked.

As I've gotten older, and thanks to a couple very messy roommates, I've learned the value of organization and cleanliness. Not OCD cleanliness - I'll admit to looking at a dust bunny for two days before picking it up - but reasonable cleanliness. As Auntie Leila would call it, a "reasonably clean house." I'll let you read her take rather than attempt my own. Hers is better.

I'm going to spew my opinions about organization, because, as singles, marrieds, married-with-kids, whatevers you may be, having organization in your life can really make you feel a lot better!

Sticky notes are my friend, but sometimes all I manage is a mental list of what has to be done.  Then, once the list is in my head, I can work it all out.  Like, attempt to have be all ready to start working by 8, work til 1, blog for 20 minutes (who are we kidding - half of that is definitely not blog related...I know), make a grocery list, buy said groceries, have them all put away and cleaned by 4, start dinner.  That's the basic.  But seriously, write it down somewhere if you have trouble, or if you have kids.  Kind of the same thing.

Put them somewhere you won't forget!

Then, squeeze in the little stuff.  Laundry can be fit into work hours, as it only takes a minute to change the loads.  If the Husband comes home for lunch, I can throw a soup on the stove and grab some cornbread from the freezer (never make mini batches for this very reason).  That also only takes a minutes and I can work while I do it.  Laundry can get folded after dinner and when things settle down.  Lunch cleanup can get skipped because it's just going to get done again right when I get back from the store; no need to double duty for a few crum-filled plates.

See what I mean?  Not so bad.  And for anyone who has kids, please don't worry about the little stuff.  No childless perfectly organized dressed and cleaned and showered women like me are looking down on you like I know you think we are :)  We're not.  We're in awe that you get even half your list done, because, let's face it.  I can't even make it though half of mine sometimes....and I only have me to worry about!

And do take them down when they aren't relevant.  
My mother's birthday was weeks ago.  Ah well.  Life goes on.

So make the list, and then when you accomplish something, scratch it out.  This way, when you get to the end of the day and think, "Did I do anything today at all?" you can remind yourself that yes, you did.  And you did it a pretty darn good job of it.  And (last one), if the laundry isn't done because you forgot when Kid 1 spilled milk all over the kitchen, or because something in work came up, just bump it to tomorrow's list.  It'll be okay.  As long as everyone has clothing for the next day, life will move on just fine.  Besides, kids and husbands don't always care if they wear the same clothes...

Well...that's all I have.  My life is only semi-organized, as proved by the length of this post.  But you know what, I like it and my husband likes it, and it's not causing anyone to sin, so why worry?  C'est la vie!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Phone tag...shoot me now!

I'm going to admit to something here.  I'm one of those weird people that hates making phone calls.  If it qualifies as a no big deal call (ie. I reallllllly need whatever I'm calling about, or it's a close friend/family) then I don't mind at all.  But everything else?  Hate it.

Photo courtesy of:

So guess what.  I told our property manager that the heat wasn't working, and got a voicemail from the HVAC people.  This was Thursday.  I called them back, and they said they'd be out Friday morning.  Come Friday afternoon, I call (sigh) and ask when they were planning on arriving know...I kind of had other stuff to do.

- "Oh! Well, we don't go out until we've spoken with the tenant so you're not on the schedule yet.  Let's see where we can fit you in here."
- sigh.  I told them Monday would be fine; after all, it's Texas and being cold isn't a problem likely to last long.
- "Okay, we have you scheduled in for Monday!" And we checked and double checked my name and address.

Drum roll...

I was right; the cold vanished and the weather was 95 degrees yesterday.  So, my poor overheated husband goes to switch on the AC before bed and yep.  You guessed it.  No AC.  No fan.  I think our little control board thingy is broken.

Are you seeing a pattern?  Monday is here.  Definitely here.  Noon has come and gone.  No HVAC van.  80 degrees inside, which feels heavenly to me, but will not feel heavenly to my other half.  So, poor me mustered up all my nerve, thought through three different ways to ask what their schedule was for today (aka - Where the heck are you?!) know...I kind of have other stuff to do.


And the worst part?  I am going to have to keep calling them!  With a husband who works in sales and calls people all day, he has no qualms about calling at regular intervals until he gets a response.  Nor does he see a reason why I should have a problem with that, because, let's be honest, I shouldn't.  But I do.  And now I'm dreading having to keep calling these silly people.

First world problems, right?  But hey, it's a good growing experience, and I'd take being hot over being cold any day!

Edited to add - he's here!  Praise the Lord!  I didn't have to call again.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Enjoying life like a kid, and thrifting clothes

I saw these sneaky little things swimming along in the river today and you know, I don't think I've ever seen so many turtles all together before!  Certainly not in the wild (if the middle of the city even counts as wild). It was so neat! They were all along the river, just doing their thing and not in the least concerned about all the foot traffic going back and forth.

I think the Husband thought I was silly for taking the pictures but life is exciting! Nature is exciting! There's just so much to see, and adults tend to forget about that. When we're little, we can stare in awe at the worm in the ground or the birds flying, but how often do we remember to stop and smell the roses? Or take in all the amazing beauty around us? This is a very important part of having a happy life, so if you don't take a deep breath of fresh air and appreciate all the little smells and sounds around you while you're breathing deeply, start. It really does make a difference! 

I saw this guy too. See him down there, hiding?  Hopefully he didn't lose a leg or something to the turtles...

On a completely different topic, I need to find a good thrift shop. I hear about all these other women who get amazing deals at the thrift store but aside from thredup, which doesn't exactly count, I don't have much luck. Plato's Closet sometimes had decent things, but it requires dedicated picking through the piles of teenybopper clothes...bleh. Indiana over at Adored Austin mentioned a grownup version of Plato's Closet, but unfortunately there aren't any here.  Maybe later on some enterprising individual will start one, because I'd sure love to check it out.

So, I am going to try to come up with some good places and tips for finding quality items amogst the vast and daunting thrift store racks. If you have tips to share, I'd be most grateful! 

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Fascinating video

This is so interesting, I had to pass it along. Watching this makes me realize how vital a strong and faithful family unit is to kids as they grow up, and also how important it is that we accept gay people. Love the sinner, hate the sin.  Anyway, interesting video...i wish more things like this would come out so we can start trying to help people heal instead of just telling them they're wrong (which, if they're striving for truth and goodness, they probably know already).

Blackstone Films: The Third Way

Not that this needs to be said, but let's keep any and all comments kind. Not that I expect any since it's a beautiful day and everyone should be outside and enjoying it, not reading blogs like me haha.

This is the mourning dove that sings outside my window.  So cute!

Happy Saturday-ing!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday fun!

What is better than fresh bread and the start of the weekend? Not much!

Trying a new recipe here that is supposed to be just like that brown bread at the Cheesecake Factory...I've made so many substitutions, however, I'm not sure if this quite qualifies any more. Regardless, it's hard to make anything that's filled with wheat, honey, and yeast go too wrong! 

I'm going to try to make one of the loaves round to serve with fondue for dinner. Yummmmmmm

See my poor little sourdough starter in the back?  It has staunchly refused to provide me with any kind of decent loaf for months. Works at my parent's house, but not mine. No idea why.  Mom is coming next week to scrutinize my sourdough bread making to see if I'm inadvertently killing my loaves. The Husband and I are very hopeful because we both agree that her sourdough is THE BEST everyday bread. Ever. (So is mine when i make it at her house! Just not here...). Mysteries mysteries. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

{pretty, happy, funny, real} - Life chugging along...

Linking up with Like Mother, Like Daughter for a {phfr} day!

There isn't much happening today, except that it's nearly summer in Texas and I'm cold.  Imagine that!  The one day when we'd like some heat, the heater isn't working and our property manager is (typically) MIA.  But, on the flipside, we slept amazingly last night all bundled up and cozy in the cooler air.  It was great!


I realize this is a weed, but for some reason, I have an affinity for flowering weeds.  They are so perky and so determined in their perkiness that it's hard not to like them.  Not being a great gardener in any sense of the word, weeds and I are never in competition which allows us to have a pleasantly platonic relationship.  Dandelions are one of my favorites, but we don't seem to have as many here in Texas as when I was growing up in the far north of just-south-of-the-Mason-Dixon-line.  Isn't this just the cutest little thing?  It's only as big as a pencil eraser.


My grandmother gave this cookbook to my mom when she got married and moved away, and my mom did the same for me.  I love looking back at the recipes that have notes, dated, from both of them.  Some are comments about the recipe, but most are little snippets about what was happening in their day when they were cooking.  I've added some of my own.  Here, the note in red is my mom's, and is dated in February 1989.  I was four months old.  The note in black is mine from just last week.
This also happens to be a delightfully addictive peanut butter cookie recipe, especially if you add a bag of chocolate chips to it.  Heavenly.  Thank you Fanny Farmer!


Why is a bad picture of half-eaten brownies funny?  Well, it was suggested at my last doctor appointment that I change my diet.  (I am still contemplating this idea...while eating brownies.)  She recommended that I cut out refined sugar, as much as possible.  That's all well and good, but I'm still craving chocolaty goodness in a way that only we women can understand, if you know what I mean, so I decided to make "healthy" brownies.  I subbed out the 1.5 cups of sugar with a few tbs of brown sugar, a cup of molasses, and a cup of flour.  Probably could have skipped the flour as these were cakey instead of fudgy, but whatever.  They were also overcooked, a chronic bad habit of mine.  

I discovered, however, that molasses in large quantities - don't ask how large, I refuse to tell! - can have the side-effect shall we say...relieving any possible stopped-up-ness one might have had.  Yes, your thoughts right now are correct.  I'm not sure if the Husband noticed or not, so maybe it was just me; hope so, since he's out on calls all day!  Haha

Word to the wise: just eat the sugar...


See that weed?  The one that's nearly as tall as a large toddler?  I've been staring at it and planning to weed-whack it for weeks now, but unfortunately our hand-me-down lawnmower refuses to turn on for me.  The weed-whacker feels the same and also will not start.  I'm biding my time until the Husband is home to beat them into submission, at which point mankind will triumph over the weeds that are attempting to take over my corner of the world!  

That's all for today; dinner needs to be made so that work can be done.  My articles to edit came in yesterday, so I'm going to attempt to finish them before the weekend.  Fingers crossed :)


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