Friday, January 30, 2009

FRUGAL FRIDAY #4

I wanted to mention that very soon I will be moving to my dot com website. I have had this site for 6 months but have not been able to do what I wanted with it. I ran into Lex at Indelible Creations and she is fixing me up. Once I launch my new site I will have giveaways to celebrate. So check back and watch for it.

Here is her link. Go check her out.




When I was a single parent of two that did not receive any child support times were very hard for us. It wasn't a matter of being frugal because there wasn't much to go around. Every dime I earned had to go a long long way. There were no frivolous purchases. Our "eating out" consisted of going to Taco Bell's drive thru and purchasing the least expensive items on the menu. We did not buy drinks. The three of us could get what we wanted and spend under $3.00 with taxes. Of course prices have increased now and that would not be possible.

With growing children and my need for a professional looking wardrobe buying clothes was a big challenge. I was fortunate to live in a small town on the Eastern Shore across the bay from Mobile. There were many wealthy people in my area that often donated items to Goodwill. I could get a new to me dress for $2.99. Clothes for the kids were inexpensive as well.

While working on a temporary assignment I met a wonderful woman named Kathleen who was from New York. She took me under her wing and taught me all about shopping at yard sales. Most Saturdays we went "shopping". It was a lot of fun and I was able to purchase items I needed for my home, for the children and my self.

One of my most favorite purchases was a long sleeved, cowl neck sweater made from chenille. I paid 25 cents for that sweater and wore it for years until it started getting threadbare. I also purchased a blender for $1.00 and I used it for probably 8 years.

I also learned to shop clearance racks. It may take longer to find the right items you need but if you shop well you can end up with clothing of good quality. I found that if I shopped stores such as Dillards, Macys and other higher end department stores I could get quality clothing for less than I could buy them at low end stores such as WalMart and KMart. During this time there weren't any Ross or TJ Max around.

I don't know if it is the Scottish in me or my wanting to get the most for my money, I suspect it is both, but I can't stand the thought of paying full price for anything. If you are patient and watch for sales you can generally purchase your needed items for much less than full price.

Recently I needed a cord to upload my video from the camcorder to my computer. I told my daughter what I needed and she went to Radio Shack and purchased it. When she told me how much it was I almost fainted. I had her take it back. It cost $40.00. I went online and purchased the same item for $3.99 with shipping. It still blows my mind at the difference.

I purchase my husband's cologne online as well. It cost me less, including shipping, than going to Dillards to purchase it. I don't purchase mine online. I wait until the holidays and get the bonuses which stretch my purchase even more. Yes they are still expensive but with my sensitive nose I cannot tolerate cheap perfumes. They send my sinuses into orbit. And I do love to smell good.

When grocery shopping I like to get to the store early. This allows me to take advantage of marked down meats that are reaching their "use by" date in the next couple of days. You get a substantial savings when purchasing this way. You need to cook the meat right away or freeze them for later use. When I get home with the meat I immediately break it into the portions I want to cook and freeze them.

During different holidays and special events the stores usually will feature specific items at a discounted price. This is when you can really save. Sometimes if you wait until just after, such as Thanksgiving, you can get an even better value. Turkey doesn't have to be just for thanksgiving. Seasonal specific items really get marked low, usually 50-75 %, after the holidays. After Halloween, Valentines, Easter and Christmas you will find great deals on candies. Some people purchase the candy and freeze them and use them later for cookies and other deserts.

There are many ways to shop and save. I tend to purchase items that I know I will need later and buy in multiples if they are a good purchase. My hubby says that I am not saving money by doing this. What I can't make him understand is that when I do need these items, and I know I will, they will not be on sale. He has grumped and griped about many of my purchases but when he breaks down and uses them he is appreciative. Especially if I got a great deal on them.

I can never get out of the bargain hunter mode. Even when shopping home improvement stores I always find the marked down items aisles and look at the discounted paint that someone didn't like the color of. I purchased a gallon of tinted Venetian Plaster for $5.00. I wanted to paint a small chest of drawers I got at Goodwill and found a color I liked for 50 cents. If I hadn't purchased a reject that same can would have cost me over $8.00.

So ..... Happy Shopping... and eat more Chocolate.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

WRITERS WORKSHOP

From http://mamakatslosinit.blogspot.com/ If someone could tell me how to put these buttons on a post and have the link work I would be very appreciative.... I am such a tard and can't figure it out.



Your Assignment...Should You Choose To Accept
Directions:For you newbies it's never to late to jump in!! Here is what you must do. Choose a prompt that inspires you most. Write. Come back Thursday and paste your blog URL into the Mister Linky that will be up...this way anyone can click on your name and head over to your place to see what you wrote.Feel free to write on more than one prompt if you so desire. I do it all the time (ok not really but I INTEND to). But it's my game...and I don't know how to shut-up...so it should be expected. And remember the more comment love you give, the more comment love you get so comment comment away.The Prompts:


1.) Tell us about a stray animal you took in.
2.) Write a poem for your favorite teacher of all time.
3.) Describe someone in your life you wish you saw more of.
4.) Write a letter to someone who bothered you this week.


So I am going with #4.

Dear Adult Family Members who are living under the same roof with me:

While I am a kind, caring and intelligent person, that does not make me the official mediator of the household. I do not want to be in the middle of childish squabbles, listen to constant griping and be asked constantly what someone else is going to do. I would appreciate it very much if you would all learn to give each other the common courtesy you would a total stranger. If you want to know what someone else is going to do, where they went, when they will be back, ask them yourself. If they are not here call their cell and ask.

It you purchase a food or snack item yourself and you do not want others to eat it then do not put it in a common area such as the kitchen. I do not want to hear "I am not buying anything else because everyone is eating it". I do not say "I am not making lasagna, pot roast, etc., anymore because every one else is eating it".

My personal belongings are just that. When I get into the shower I do not want to have to get out again to find my buff puff. It is mine. Do not use it. Do not use my razor. You each have your own so leave mine alone. Please.

Your mother does not live here. Well she actually does for two of you but those days are GONE. You can help by cooking dinner at least once a week. Help clean up after dinner. I don't want to hear "No one likes the things that I cook". If I only cooked what I liked we would have a lot of salmon and roasted asparagus and grilled chicken salads. I try to cook things that everyone can eat. That means kid friendly.

Please get up and take care of your responsibilities. You are exempt if you worked the night before. I love the kids very much. I want to enjoy them, not raise them. Sometimes I would like to sleep in a little.

That being said I love you all..... and I am Screaming for some CHOCOLATE.....

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

DAY DREAMING

Since I really can't think of anything I want to blog about I thought I would post a few more pics from my trip last year to Florida. No...I can't stop thinking about it. I want to go there. Now...and not come back. This dreary weather bums me out. I know I shouldn't complain when so many others are iced and snowed in and have temps below zero. My high of 63 is quite balmy......












Tuesday, January 27, 2009

NEW MALE SECRETARY

Since things have been a little on the boring side lately I thought I might get some help in the office to liven things up a bit. So this handsome young man decided to come to work for me.


He had no problems at all handling the fax machine.

He even flirted with me while making a call.
He laughed at my corny jokes.

Since we were working late he decided to take a shower.


The next morning he didn't feel so good because of a nasty cold but was still dedicated enough to show up for work even if he was still in his pajamas.
I will let him slide this one time....cause he has really good sugar.
Quote of the Day "The great man is he who does not lose his childlike heart." – Mencius
About Mencius
The ancient Chinese sage Mencius is seen as a philosophical heir to Confucius. He lived in China during 4 B.C. He believed that people are born good but are influenced by society to be otherwise and that our goal in life should be to return to that innate moral sense. The Book of Mencius, his account of conversations with Chinese rulers, has become one of the central works of Confucian thought.

Monday, January 26, 2009

DRAGON

I am so tired today that my tail is dragging (dragon) Har har... I know, too funny. So enjoy some pics on the Florida Keys...... and dream

Sunday, January 25, 2009

DEATH

This weekend my grandsons great grandfather was buried. He was 83. Since he had served in the military and was in several wars he had the 21 Gun Salute which is now 5 men and three shots fired. They also played Taps. It was so eerie because he was off at a distance and you couldn't see him. It brought tears to my eyes.

While there I noticed all the old headstones and their lovely patina's of age. I didn't take my camera and kicked myself for it. My grandson wanted to spend another night since his father and little sister were there. So today we went back to get him and I had my camera ready. You should be able to click on the individual photos and enlarge it.










And my baby boy was wore out.......

Saturday, January 24, 2009

HOT CHOCOLATE

I love hot chocolate in the winter time. I looked all over the internet for a recipes for hot chocolate mix. Every one I found had powdered coffee creamer in it. I suppose that may make it creamy but I don't like the stuff.

I found this recipe on Nestle's web site.


Ingredients:
6 cups
NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Instant Nonfat Dry Milk
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons
NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Baking Cocoa
1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows, (optional)

Directions:COMBINE dry milk, sugar, cocoa and marshmallows in large bowl. Pour into 2-quart jar or tall container. Seal with lid and decorate with fabric and ribbon.

RECIPE TO ATTACH: Measure 1/2 cup cocoa mix into mug. Stir in 1 cup hot water or milk. Makes 12 servings.

VARIATION USING PINT JAR:1 1/2 cups NESTLÉ CARNATION Nonfat Dry Milk1/3 cup granulated sugar1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE Baking Cocoa1/2 cup miniature marshmallows (optional)RECIPE TO ATTACH: Measure 1/2 cup cocoa mix into mug. Stir in 1 cup hot water or milk. Makes 4 servings.



I like the fact that this one doesn't really have that much sugar compared to some and is a relatively low fat recipe considering that the nonfat dry milk is, well, nonfat. I also changed up the chocolate. I made it half dark chocolate and actually added more than what it called for. You can never have too much chocolate. I don't need to use as much as it calls for to make a cup of hot chocolate since I added the extra powdered dark chocolate. I typically use 3 heaping tablespoons.


Enjoy.......

Friday, January 23, 2009

FRUGAL FRIDAY #3

Angel Food Ministries Link and a Quick and Easy Recipe below:


There is an organization called Angel Food Ministries. They offer packages/boxes of food once a month at a greatly reduced rate. Each month there are different items. You can go to http://www.angelfoodministries.com/ to find one close to you. This is a great way to stretch your food dollar. I have never used them before but I will start doing so next month. Here is what the one close to me will offer for February:

REGULAR BOX

Balanced nutrition and variety with enough food to feed a family of four for a week.
1.5 lb. Sirloin Strip Steaks(4 x 6 oz.)
2 lb. Tray Pack Chicken Breast
1 lb. Boneless Pork Chops
2 lb. Breaded Chicken Nuggets
28 oz. Salisbury Steak Entrée
12 oz. Sliced Bacon
1 lb. All-Meat Hot Dog
1 lb. Stir Fry (Broccoli, Red Peppers & Onions)
1 lb. Carrots
10 oz. Peanut Butter
32 oz. 2% Shelf Stable Milk
35 oz. Crinkle-Cut Fries
7.25 oz. Mac ‘n Cheese
1 lb. Rice
1 lb. Bean Soup Mix
Dozen Eggs Dessert
$30.00


This is a lot of food for the price. You can get additional packages such as fruit and veggies, more meat packages, etc. I am going to get the 20 pounds of tangerines for 15.00. If anyone has any special recipes or ideas for using these up please let me know.



I saw this today on Quick Fix Meals with Robin Miller. I thought it was an awesome idea. I normally make my pizza dough in my bread machine. I like that it has wheat flower and honey in it. When I saw this being made I thought there was a lot of potential for using leftovers and other things you keep in your pantry. You could easily substitute the sausage with leftover ham, ground beef, chicken, etc.


When I get into my cooking mode I make a lot of whatever I am making. I feel that it is more efficient. It may take me a little longer to make 4 meat loaves than 1 but not much longer. I am not wasting the energy used for my oven and I will have plenty for future meals. So when you are making spaghetti why not cook a little extra and save it for another dish such as this pizza.


Instead of having to work your pizza dough and get it spread out properly in your pan you simply mix the ingredients for this and pour it over your "toppings". I thought this was awesome.


UPSIDE DOWN SAUSAGE MUSHROOM PIZZA
Ingredients
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound sweet or hot turkey sausage, casing removed
1 cup onion, sliced
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 cup
pasta sauce
1 cup pizza sauce
1/2 cup black olives, sliced
16 ounces mozzarella
cheese, shredded
2 eggs
1 cup
milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and cook for 3 minutes, or until browned and cooked through, breaking up the meat as it cooks with a wooden spoon. Add onion and mushrooms and cook 2 minutes, until soft. Add pasta sauce, pizza sauce and olives and bring to a simmer, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer sauce to the bottom of a 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Top with mozzarella cheese.


In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and oil until blended. Whisk in flour and salt until well blended. Pour mixture over sauce in pan. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

FORGET THE RED HAT CLUB

When I grow old, well older, I want to die my hair a bunch of different shades of purple. Ha ha. This young lady is a friend of my nieces. She is very creative, paints, does photography and loves to change her hair color. Check it out.....




BLIND DATE

Over at Mama's losin it http://mamakatslosinit.blogspot.com/ she does a creative writing challenge weekly. This posting is about that challenge. We have to write about 4 different subjects and I chose to write about a memorable blind date. Unfortunately, I have a few of them.



I had one blind date when I was a teenager. I had many more after I got a divorce and before I met my current husband. During that time I tried going out to clubs but it wasn't so great. I had very friend girlfriends. There was only one that would go out with me but that didn't work out so well. My friend is a very creative person that teaches, writes music and songs and records and produces her music, plays, etc.



Well K and I went out once. She is not a lesbian and never will be. However, she had on a thick flannel jacket, her hair is super short, white socks and black penny loafers. And she likes to get right in your face to talk to you. Of course the volume of music had something to do with that but still... Anyway, we literally looked like a couple. So no meeting anyone.



Going out alone sucked and made me feel like a ho looking to pick up someone. I decided to try this type of dating service that was in the Mobile paper. I called it voice mail dating. People could run free adds, leave a message for people to hear and call and leave messages for others. Where it got expensive was listening to the messages you received. Needless to say I did a lot of fast deleting to cut the cost.



So every date was basically a blind date. You may have talked on the phone but you had never met before. I had a date with an engineer and he told me he looked like a local anchorperson on television who used to be a football hero. Fact: Any time they tell you they are good looking...they aren't.



I meet this guy at a club on the old highway between Mobile and the other side of the bay area called Eastern Shore. It is built on pilings because there is a lot of potential for flooding being on the bay. I meet him and we have a drink. He is a nice guy but not my type. He was too much older than me and not my cup of tea in the looks department.



Next thing you know he is asking me what it would take to get me to love him. OMG. WTF. So as soon as I can I go to the restroom. I am a very nice person and don't want to just disappear. I come back out and don't see him. I do a quick look around...don't see him and head for the door...as fast as I can.



Whew...make it to the ground, as there were a lot of stairs to this place, and get in the parking area near my car. I parked a long way from the actual building because they were slammed. I hear screaming. I looked over my shoulder to see my date standing on the deck so I just kept on going and didn't look back again. I felt like I was far enough away to get away with "I didn't see you".



I get a phone call at 3 in the morning. It is him. When I turned back to look and saw him on the upper deck he then dashed down the stairs to chase after me. He went down them faster than he intended. He has just gotten out of the emergency room because he fell on the stairs and broke his leg.



Needless to say I felt so guilty that I went on another date with him. Snooze.



I had quite a few blind dates during this period and almost all of them were a one time thing. Most of the guys were very nice but didn't want to allow time to develop a friendship. They wanted to go straight for the kill. That just didn't fly with me.



But I did meet my hubby this very same way. We talked for weeks before we ever met. When we finally met I thought he was one of the nicest guys I had ever met even if he did scare the hell out of me because he looked as big as a house. He was very pumped up from working out and walking a lot. Oh, and when asked about his looks he said that other people told him he was attractive but he didn't think he was. That was a plus sign right off the bat.



And that is the end of this fairy tale and time to eat.....CHOCOLATE....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

ANDREW WYETH

I am so not keeping up with current news lately. I just found out that Andrew Wyeth passed away on January 16th, 2009. He is best known for his painting Christina's World. Christina was a neighbor that was paralyzed from the waist down. In this painting she looks very young but she was actually 55 when he painted it.







In 1986 240 paintings in a series called "The Helga Series" were bought by a private collector who allowed t hem to be exhibited for several years. No one knew he was working on these paintings. They were painted over a 15 year period. Neither his wife nor the Helga's husband knew she modeled for these paintings. Andrew Wyeth was 91.


It is really odd that I just noticed this news today. Earlier today I was thinking about the time I met Frank Benson's granddaughter in Fairhope, Alabama. She had a portrait of her mother, I believe it was Eleanor, that Frank Benson had painted. I stared at that painting as long as I could. It was fascinating to see how he used colors in shadows on the skin. It helped in my perspective of really seeing what I was looking at.


I do love art. One of my most favorite painters is Georgia O'Keefe. I also love Monet. Absolutely marvelous darling....



Tuesday, January 20, 2009

SPARKLE WOW

I got my first award/button/recognition. I am so pleased and so amazed. Vintage Kitten gave it to me. Thank you so much. You should check her out at http://thevintagekitten.blogspot.com/ She is a trip. She has all these glamorous vintage pics on her site. You should really read/see her post about her Christmas and all the goodies she made. http://thevintagekitten.blogspot.com/2009/01/kittens-christmas-activity-scene.html You will be amazed.





Now I am going to send this same award to people I think have a fab blog. When they receive their award they are supposed to link it back to me. Forgive me if I am screwing this all up. I am a babe in the woods with this.


Please visit these lovely ladies:


http://www.thebigpieceofcake.com/

http://www.squawkfox.com/

http://stopcallingmethat.blogspot.com/

http://smittenkitchen.com/

http://queenofshakeshake.com/

You are all FAB......

And if anyone can tell me how to get that award from up there to the side bar I would be thrilled to receive directions.... such a tard. Where is my chocolate.......

Saturday, January 17, 2009

MISC MADNESS, FUNNIES, FACTS

I thought I would write this post about miscellaneous things. There have been a lot of silly, crazy, insane, small things going on.

Take work. Please take it. Yesterday my client from hell started her crap again. I have been dealing with this woman since May 2005. She grinds my nerves to pieces and I cringe at the thought of talking to her. She doesn't intimidate me. She is the type that will go on and on and argue and mainly lie to you over and over again. I talked to her 4 times yesterday and each time her story changed. She has a voice that sounds like she has false teeth and smokes 20 packs a day.

It all started with her wanting us to take a company check. We don't do that. She knows that. An exception was made a year or so ago and it bounced. It took us three months to get our money. Yesterday she would not let up. I finally quit taking her calls until she tortured the people in the Dallas office so much that I took pity on them and started accepting her calls again.

When we hear her name you can almost hear a universal groan go through the atmosphere. She is not ugly to us, she doesn't curse us...she is just relentless and argues and argues and never shuts up. She wants what she wants and she won't stop until you finally have to get rude and say this is it and I am hanging up now. Shame. Sad.

This one is funny. I instant message people at work, my boss, a couple of co-workers and a few clients. Well my boss, I love him, but he is young and he is too liberal for my tastes. He doesn't like to reprimand people for being late or other things that would get people fired at a different business. He is the one that called me a machine and Hitler or Nazi. Can't really remember which. I have a different work ethic. Do your work...don't surf and play online when you are getting paid to work.....

He may work 20 hours a week. Maybe. Comes in late, leaves early, has a hangover most of the time. You get the picture. So the Friday after New Years around 2:30 my time he decides to start IM'ing me and asking me questions. I had been IM'ing someone else in the office and I said...."Now he wants to work when everyone is trying to get out of the office early". Big mistake. I IM'd him instead of the other person. He said "eh?" I was mortified. If I were quick on my feet I could have said "just being sarcastic let's go home". Nope. I just said "just a minute I am on the phone". Nothing else was ever said. Me...I couldn't stop laughing.

Good thing for me he is so Liberal. Hope he doesn't read my blog. Sorry Dude.

Lets talk about Big Girl. She is very pretty and very outgoing. She also gets whiplash every other day looking at "hot" guys. She does love to look and play the field. Every now and then she will actually date someone. That is usually over within a week or two. Why? Cause they say something like "I miss you" and other things that indicate they are in a "relationship", "exclusive", "boyfriend & girlfriend". That is the kiss of death.

I think that she is actually "talking" to 3 or 4 right now. She bar tends part time until she gets her Cosmetology License and builds up her clientele. While at work she got a text from one of the guys and it says "I miss you". They have never been on a date. He did come over one night and watched a movie with her. When she read the text she was all "Oh No". The owner asked her what was wrong. She showed him the text and said I could understand that if we had been dating for months or something but we aren't even really dating. He looked at her and said "You are such a dude". She is.

You know what? I am proud of the fact that she doesn't feel the need to be smothered with attention, doesn't sit at home and wait for a phone call. I like that she doesn't "need" a man to fill a void in her life. She has lots of girl and guy friends and she dearly loves hanging out with them. She is not one to dump her friends over a guy.

Well I have probably bored you enough today. Gotta find some chocolate.......

Friday, January 16, 2009

FRUGAL FRIDAY #2

I know everyone is ready for the weekend. I have a few recipes to share that are for mixes. Instead of buying prepared mixes at the grocery store you can save money and make your own.



BisQwick Baking Mix
You can make tons of recipes, including Parmesan Biscuits, Chocolate Chip Cookies, and muffins with this simple baking mix, saving you time and money.



8 cups flour
1-1/4 cups nonfat dry milk powder
1/4 cup baking powder
1 Tbsp. salt
2 cups solid vegetable shortening


In a large bowl, combine flour, milk, baking powder, and salt. With a pastry blender or your food processor, cut in shortening until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal and the shortening is evenly distributed. Store in tightly closed covered container in a dark, cool place. Use in place of 'Bisquick' in any recipe. From About.com

FOR PANCAKES ;........2 CUPS BISQUICK TO 1 CUP OF MILK AND 1 EGG....MIX AND COOK MAKES 14 PANCAKES

FOR BISCUITS ;......2-1/4 CUPS BISQUICK AND 2/3 CUPS MILK
FOR WAFFLES ;......2 CUPS BISQUICK AND 1-1/3 CUPS OF MILK 2 TBSP OIL AND 1 EGG MIX AND POUR

Lite Cream Soup Mix



This is a low fat, low-cost recipe for creamed condensed soup. It contains almost no fat and is lower in sodium. Keep the mix on hand for convenience.



2 cups instant nonfat dry milk

1 cup cornstarch

3 Tbsp low-sodium instant chicken bouillon granules

2 Tbsp dried minced onion

½ tsp thyme leaves, crushed (optional)

¼ tsp pepper



Yield: 3 ½ cups.Slim Cream Soup



To reconstitute this mix to equal one can of condensed cream soup:



1/3 cup Slim Cream Soup Mix to 1 ¼ cups water



Combine soup mix and water in small pan. Bring to a boil and stir until thick.For a casserole or cream soup:Combine soup mix and water in small pan, then boil to thicken before adding to your casserole. Yield: 1 ¼ cups (Equal to 1 10 ¾ oz. can of condensed soup.)



Variations:

Cream of Mushroom Soup: Add 1 4 oz. can of mushrooms drained or 1/2 C cooked fresh.

Cream of Vegetable Soup: Add ½ cup diced and cooked vegetables.

Cream of Chicken Soup: Add ½ cup cooked and diced chicken.

Cream of Celery Soup: Add 1/2 C minced sauteed celery

Cream of Potato Soup: Add 1 C diced or mashed cooked potatoes,

Cream of Broccoli Soup: Add 1 C chopped cooked broccoli,

Cream of Asparagus Soup: Add 1 C chopped cooked asparagus



Depending on how creamy you want it you can put the soup and veggies in the food processor or use a stick blender. You can definitely experiement with different flavors and add garlic, onions and other seasonings.



When I cook brown rice I cook enough so that I can use the leftovers for a casserole of broccoli, brown rice, Italian cheese blend and cream of celery soup. Season to taste.



Quote of the Day "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." – Mark Twain


Thursday, January 15, 2009

BEING COOL

Kids are so funny. This morning when the older two were getting ready for school I noticed they were both in the bathroom and were in there for a long time. Last time this happened she had half a bottle of detangler in her hair and was very greasy.

As I neared the door I could smell hubby's cologne. Uh oh. What are you two doing? Suddenly toothbrushes and hair brushes were being utilized. I told them to hurry up because they were going to be late for school.

I mentioned this to Big Girl and she said "I know what that is about". Apparently my grandson wants a girl to like him. So granddaughter has been giving him advise and helping him at school with her. Big Girl overheard her telling him that he needed to wear deodorant and cologne so he would smell nice and the girl would like him. She told him he had to learn to be cool. She said look at Aunt Kiki (Big Girl). See her jeans with the holes in them? She is cool.

Good grief. Kids trip me out sometimes. Grandson has been a flirt since he was able to walk. I have taken him to restaurants and he would flirt with the women. When he was 18 months old he told me that he had a girlfriend. I said you do, what is her name? He said her name is MeMe. This is what my grand kids call me. I said "You are such a schmoozer".

Later that day when his mother came to pick him up I told her to listen to this. I asked him if he had a girlfriend and what is her name? He said her name is Mama.....Meme.....Mama and MeMe. Wasn't even two years old and already he was very diplomatic. See. Told you he was a schmoozer.

He thinks his MeMe is cool. I can play computer games with him and get him through the rough spots. However, he probably out plays me now. He has been playing around on computers since he was very tiny. Once I went into my office and kept hearing music play. I couldn't figure out where it was coming from. I finally discovered it was from Yahoo IM. I turned it off. He came in about that time and said "MeMe, I was listening to some songs".

Every time he sees a website on a billboard, TV ad or on the back of a kids food product he goes to that site. He has been surfing the web for years. His favorites are the Cartoon Network and Nick. He is very smart.

Anyway.... here is to being a cool kid.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

KIDS ON CRACK

The kids around here were all on crack last night. Not actually crack but the kid version of crack .... sugar. I don't know how your children react to sugar but these punks seem to have no tolerance for it. And I don't have much tolerance for them on it.

Big Girl took all three last night to eat at Texas Steak House with her flavor of the week fella. The older two received coupons for free dinners from school if they read three books. Well they got very busy reading yesterday. What a treat...hubby and I had quiet for a few minutes anyway.

When they arrived home it was another story. As soon as they walked in it was obvious they were on crack (sugar). Grandson #2 was wild. He was smiling from ear to ear and running in circles. The evidence was on his face. He still had residue of brownies around his mouth. His cheeks were pink and he was shrieking. In a good way. Fortunately it was bed time and they all disappeared...after 20 minutes of trying to make them disappear.

Good time for a cocktail. I found these recipes on one of my yahoo groups. I thought you might want to try your hand at it. I know that Vintage Kitten likes Advocaat. I had never heard of it until I read about it on her blog. Enjoy.

Advocaat

Once you start nipping at this sweet nectar, you cannot resist the temptation to have more. The Dutch prefer their Advocaat thicker than you may be used to. So thick, in fact, that you eat it with a spoon. This Advocaat can be enjoyed as is, or over ice-cream, in desserts, pastries and cakes. Cheers, or as the Dutch say, Proost.

Ingredients:
•10 egg yolks
•1/2 tsp salt
•1 1/3 cups sugar (250 g)
•1 1/2 cups brandy, or cognac (350 ml)
•2 tsp vanilla extract

Preparation:
Beat the egg yolks, salt and sugar until thickened. Slowly trickle in the brandy, while still beating. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and warm over a low heat, continuously whisking. It is important to be patient here. If it boils, the alcohol will evaporate. The Advocaat is ready when it coats the back of a spoon. Now remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk through the vanilla extract. Serve Advocaat in a wide brimmed cocktail glass, with whipped cream and dust with cocoa powder.

TIPS: Fold some whipped cream through the Advocaat to create a decadent dessert called Tokkelroom.

Bailey's Irish Cream
1 can Eagle sweetened condensed milk
1 cup Southern Comfort whiskey
2 tablespoons Hershey's syrup
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups half & half
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules

Directions:Mix and bottle.

Quote of the Day "We taste and feel and see the truth. We do not reason ourselves into it." – William Butler Yeats

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

SHE DOES RUN ON........

I have got to pull myself out of my funk. I know it is the season and people have a let down after Christmas but that is not it. I have quite a few reasons to be in this deep pit of despair.

For now I will try to think about the good things, reasons to be thankful. I know that so many other people in this world have a very hard life and a many more reasons to be depressed than I do. I really do have a lot to be thankful for.

However, this uneasiness makes it difficult for me to write. Not that I am a very prolific person. I used to be. I had a professor tell me that I should seriously consider writing as a career. You wouldn't know it by my posts. I think part of that is my business side. I am not saying that this is a business. I am saying that in my line of work I am slammed with emails and send them constantly. I have had to learn to be very professional and to the point.

I have had a few people take offense to my emails. So much so that they felt the need to defend themselves. This usually happens when that person is insecure and/or they know they did not do their job or they feel guilty about something. It is a very fine line that I have to walk sometimes.

It is the same with phone conversations with clients who want to yell and think that if they keep saying the same thing over and over again that it will become true. They are bullies. I don't do well with bullies. I dig in my heels and get stronger. You do not bully me into giving you what you want. If you are nice I may make concessions and exceptions. If you are an ass you will get nothing. If you are a total ass and you are abusive to my account managers then you are gone. History. Out of there.

It doesn't bother me so much when they try to get abusive with me. I can handle it. I have tough skin when it comes to this type of situation. I don't take it personally. They are wrong and I am not. So I let them blow off steam and calm down. Sometimes I yell back. But not in a ugly confrontational way. I yell to be heard, to shut them up, to get them to listen. If that doesn't work I simply say this conversation is getting us nowhere. I advise them that I am going to hang up. Sometimes I tell them when they can talk to me in a proper manner then call back.

Actually, the worst one ever was a woman. She kept screaming and cursing. I told her I had enough. She wanted to know my name. I gave her my first name. She wanted my last. My name is uncommon and it would be very rare for more than one person to have that name. She wanted to report me. I told her please do so. She did. But before that I let her talk to the VP. He ran screaming into the closet. Not really. But close. He was very frustrated by it. She called the president of the company and left him a vmail. She called everyone she could think of.

Guess what.....I canceled her. Yep. Canceled her insurance certificates and she couldn't get a permit. She even called me from the permit office and she could not help herself... she started cursing again...in front of them. Sometimes it feels good to cancel a jackass. I don't expect a client to bow down and praise me like I am the best thing on earth. I expect some modicum of decency. Sometimes it is just a matter of being civil. Some people are so ignorant.

And then you go eat a lot of chocolate.......

Thank you Saucey and Linda for your kind words.......

Monday, January 12, 2009

MISERY

Last Thursday I started getting sick. At first my throat started burning. As the day went on my head started hurting. By the afternoon my eyes were watering and my head was spinning. I was so dizzy it was very hard to sit at my desk.

I am slowly getting better. I did find a 12 hour decongestant that allowed me to breath better. Thursday night I got very little sleep because I couldn't breath through my nose. I would still LOVE to lounge around all day but that isn't possible. We have a new client that is putting on a new branch with us. I was told this last Tuesday or Wednesday and I still haven't received employee apps. Fun stuff ahead.

The weekend really sucked. Hubby overdosed on football all weekend to the point that I wanted to scream. I am so sick of football. He keeps telling me it is almost over with. Hello... I am not stupid. After football there will be something else.

So I sat at my computer a lot this weekend reading blogs. Lots of blogs. I kept thinking I should write a few posts. Nope. Couldn't manage that. When my head is all crappy with a cold I can barely manage to do the necessities.

So unfortunately, this is my crappy post....sorry folks.

Friday, January 9, 2009

FRUGAL FRIDAY

For many of us purchasing food items got to where it contained more convenience foods that it should have. Due to busy schedules, activities and not having enough time I would purchase rotisserie chickens at Wal-Mart. They were very convenient. I would use them in my salads, soups or just as the main meat course.

Recently, these chickens have gotten so small that they look like a large Cornish hen. That is not very frugal or convenient. I can see where a family or 4 or 5 with a large appetite would not be able to feed their family on one of these.

I wish I could remember where I read this tip so I could give that person credit. I now buy a large roasting chicken at the grocery store and cook it myself. I used to do two at a time in my oven. The tip is to put them in your crock pot and cook them. You need to put balls of foil, or as I did potatoes wrapped in foil in the bottom of the crock pot. Season your chicken as you like it and place it on the foil/potatoes and cook. Do not add any liquids.

I did learn that any seasonings you put on your chicken will be much more intense than roasting in the oven. I normally make a mixture of olive oil, chopped fine garlic, lemon and lime zest and other seasonings. I put this mixture under the skin the best I can and the leftovers go on the skin. I then take the lemons and limes left from zesting and stuff them in the chicken's cavity. You might want to go light on your seasonings until you have the right mixture. I believe mine cooked around 5 hours on high. My chickens have a pop-up gage on them to let you know when they are done. Mine cost $6.51 (1.24 per lb) at Wal-Mart but I got more than twice as much chicken than their rotisserie chickens. You can probably find them on sale and get a better price. I like knowing what ingredients are going into it.

For busy people on the go I think putting your chicken in first thing in the morning and putting it on low will be perfect. Or if your crock pot has the feature put it on auto where it cooks on high for 4 hours and then low for 4 more. When you get home you will have a perfectly cooked chicken rotisserie style and baked potatoes or other veggies you wrap in foil.

Quote of the Day "It is necessary to try to surpass oneself always; this occupation ought to last as long as life." – Queen Christina

Thursday, January 8, 2009

THURSDAY YUKS

Today didn't start out too bad. I actually slept a normal nights sleep. That was awesome. I rarely get enough sleep.

The kids were getting ready for school while I was sitting at my computer. I kept hearing spzzt, spzzt, spzzt. It took a little while before that sunk into my consciousness. Someone was spraying something. I went into the bathroom and granddaughter was spraying detangler in her hair. I told her to stop. She proceeded to tell me that it gets out the tangles. I told her that is what brushes are for. Needless to say she went to school with very greasy looking hair. You just hope that the teachers have kids too and know that the crazy things kids do are no way a reflection on the parents. I hope so anyway.

I went outside this morning and there were these structures they had built yesterday. Sticks and rakes and brooms all stacked and standing somehow. Also, the sand in a box around a tree was now all over the concrete slab where the basketball goal is. Quite a bit of it. They did this despite the fact that just days earlier I told them to quit digging holes in the yard. They said they were building a worm farm.

The big kids are just as bad. In my office there was a can of deodorant that someone (baby girl) left on my desk. The half empty bottle of Mountain Dew on the floor near my other desk (baby girl again). A hair brush in my floor. I don't know who that belongs to but I suspect baby girl again. I can walk behind her and collect 7 or 8 glasses and/or soda cans. She is the worlds worst. She is the person that goes into a room and turns on the lights, looks around and walks out leaving the lights on. She will open a drawer and it will stay open. The same with cabinet doors. She is my piglet.

Big girl isn't much better. Recently all her clean laundry was piled in a six by six foot area in her bedroom floor. And she is complaining that she can't find her clothes. Go figure. Her solution....go buy more. I keep telling her to purge. Get rid of the things she no longer wears so she will have room for what she does. One time I picked up all her clothes and hung them up by color and put them in drawers. She didn't like that because she couldn't find anything. I hyperventilate every time I see that pile. She did get it up recently but I noticed the piles are starting to overtake other areas of her room.

I love them all. I just wonder when they will grow up........

Quote of the Day "Striving for perfection is the greatest stopper there is.… It's your excuse to yourself for not doing anything. Instead, strive for excellence, doing your best."– Sir Laurence Olivier

Monday, January 5, 2009

WHAT DAY IS IT?

Oh right. Monday. Blah... I did not want to work today. Right before going to bed last night I decided to check my computer to see if I had any awesome emails other than the normal "extend your penis" "become rock hard" or "someone has sent you a $1000 gift card". As if.

I heard chewy, grandson #2's current nickname. I listened to him for quite a while until #1 got woke up and went to the bathroom. So I went and got the little chunky butt out of bed. I took him into the kitchen and gave him goldfish and milk. He had a second round of goldfish. You see where I am going here right? Feed him and get him sleepy. Didn't work.

So I let him play in the den for a short period. #1 had glow sticks that were given to him at his party yesterday. And of course they were in the floor, where else would he put them. Next thing I know chunky chewy's shirt was glowing and I was freaking out. I was chasing him all over the den try to get into his mouth to see if he glowed. He didn't. The floor and his shirt did. I found all of them that I could and tossed them in the garbage. That was around midnight.

I finally got him in the bed again. He kept calling for his brother and acting like he was going to start howling. I turned on the light, showed him his brother asleep and under the blankets and tossed him in the bed. He wanted to get up but I kept telling him to lay down and go to sleep like brother. He did... I died.

I get up this morning and low and behold.... I started. I know you don't want all the gory details but it had been two months since my last one and I was so hoping this was it the big Men O Pause..... but it wasn't. I knew that I hadn't been having any hot flashes that I have heard others talk about. Everyone is different though. Damn it.

So one of my account managers called in sick today. That just pissed me off even more. If you can't handle your damn booze well enough to not miss work then don't drink. Then everyone decided they needed to tromp through my office area talking and arguing and crunching potato chips. That was it. The head started spinning, the mouth opened and out came loud..very loud...vulgarities, and threats and more of the same.

I am better now. I will probably have to go to the hospital soon. I think I am about to overdose on sugar. I was so good today..again... and then stress, and period and work got to me. I ...ate...cupcakes. Now I think I am sick. blah........ Oh what the hell. I gotta get them out of the house and right now I tell you. I may crawl into the kitchen and get more. I don't got no chocolate. What do you expect. I am on my period and no chocolate in the house....that is a sin.

Look below....this is how I started this blog this morning telling you how to eat a delicious low carb, low fat breakfast.... I had good intentions....but then isn't that what the road to hell is paved with?


This morning I had a delicious omelet. However, when calculating the numbers the sodium content blew my mind. The culprit is canned asparagus and those tiny three olives... the bastards. I love them. Why can't they be low sodium?

The Ingredients:

1/4 C Egg Beaters
1/4 C Asparagus tips/pieces - You can certainly use fresh but I didn't have any
1/3 C Italian Blend Cheeses
3 Olives of choice - I used Kalamata which are my favorite

Nutritional Value:

Calories 145
Fat 8.5 g
Sat Fat 3.5 g
Sodium 760 mg
Carbs 4.5 g
Protein 14 g
Sugar 1 g
Potassium 90 g

And you can cut this in half and share and serve with a whole grain toast for added fiber.




Quote of the Day "You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result."– Mahatma Gandhi




Sunday, January 4, 2009

THE PARTY IS OVER...

Everyone had a great time at the party. I survived. Mostly because Chewbaca decided to stay home and take a nap. The theme was Pirates of the Carribbean. Big Girl ordered cup cakes instead of cake which meant serving was so much easier and the kids liked it better.

Granddaughter wants to be a spy or detective. Here she was trying on her disguises she got out of the machine. Pretty good huh? Big Girl decided to try her hand at it.








Grandson had a great time playing with old friends. Some he had not seen in a couple of years. Some were new.




I was glad when it was all over. The pizza was lousy but I am picky. They didn't have much selection until after I suffered through a pepperoni slice. I wanted spinach and they finally put that out. I didn't eat any at that point. I was already dreaming about starting my diet. So much so that I dragged out my Low Carb bible and pulled some ideas off them. I rarely use a recipe 100%. I typically change them to my tastes. I had a great idea for a chicken artichoke pasta salad. I was a good girl. I used whole wheat pasta.


Here is the recipe:


CHICKEN ARTICHOKE WHOLE WHEAT PASTA SALAD


1 14oz box whole wheat pasta of choice - I usedPenne - cooked to your taste


I can of quartered artichokes


2 cups diced rotisserie chicken breasts


1/4 -1/2 Cup of Roasted Garlic Oil - the one I used was made with Canola and Olive oils


2 Tbsp of Pesto of choice


1 pkg of sundried tomatoes - You could use fresh


Garnish with fresh Cilantro - optional


I tried to calculate the calories and other nutritional information based on the serving amounts. This is for 10 servings. Don't hold me to the values, I am new at this. Ps...I didn't hijack this photo. I took it myself which you can probably tell.





CALORIES 150 TOTAL FAT 5g
SAT FAT 1g
TRANS FAT 0g
POLY FAT 0.5g
MON FAT 1g
CHOLESTEROL 50 mg
SODIUM 41.6
CARBS 0
DIETARY FIBER 0
SUGAR 0
PROTEIN 17.36
SERVINGS 10


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