Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I've been tagged!!!!

Oh.... Ok, Bardouble, this is for you.... This'll be a hard one..... 6 wierd facts about me.....


1) I'm very tactile.... Nubby textures, sticky surfaces, anything that feels "off" to my fingers winds up being picked at (fuzzies on sweaters or couch arms), washed off (grimy surfaces on the books at work), or *cringe* squeezed. (Sorry, I'm a zit picker. I must admit it.)

2) I LOVE kid's books. I spend more time READING the children's books at work than I do checking them in. Maybe that isn't TOTALLY odd, but I think so. Just something about the stories, the pictures, the innocence. I get in trouble for it, occasionally.

3) I was incredibly shy in school. To the point where I'd get sick to my stomach & almost pass out when I had to do oral reports. I couldn't talk to people that I didn't know, I just couldn't. I've made myself be considerably more outgoing than I am naturally. But sometimes that shyness still sneaks up inside me and makes it hard for me to stand up & speak when I know I should.

4) Like Bardouble, I carry on conversations with myself. I've tried to cut it out a bit at work, as I've gotten comments about how strange I look, talking to myself. *sigh* In fact, the hubby of one of my coworkers asked my coworker if I who I was talking to, as I'm going about my business, as there's nobody else about. (Evidently my lips are moving but no sound is coming out.) I told her to tell him that I'm singing to myself. *grin* It's true, at times. But I swear, some of my best thinking goes on in my internal conversations with myself. And I too crank up the radio & belt out the songs along with the radio, as I'm driving about. I guess it's not that wierd, if a lot of people do it. *wink*

5) Back to the thing about books..... I've got bookshelves of books, loads of books, mountains of books. And a lot of them I haven't read. Oh, a lot of them I have, and have to keep because I love them, but a lot of them I haven't. And I'm forever bringing home MORE books. A lot of them, these days, borrowed from work. But also a lot of them bought. DH tells me I've got to cut it out, as we're running out of room for them in the house.... Oh, I'll find room. I'll get rid of other things if I must. *grin* And there are Oooh so many books that I DON'T bring home. I want to. I really do, and I plan to. The library is filled with books that I want to borrow & read, and even when I don't borrow them & bring them home, I'll write the titles & call numbers on slips of paper, to bring home to remind me what to check out "next time". But rarely do I actually remember to check those books out, which means I have a growing number of slips of paper with a book title or two, a call number or two, written on it and left on top of my dresser. I really must organize myself better by keeping a tab in a note-book as to books that I want to read/check-out, crossing them off as I go. One of these days. *wink*

6) I can only have 2 cups of coffee a week, otherwise I spend the rest of the week jittery as hell. And the coffee I drink is VERY weak. I mean.... Using my favorite mug I pour in about 2 Tbsp of hazelnut syrup (or, give or take, 1/3 cup creamer), fill up to about 1/2 way (I know EXACTLY when to stop pouring) with milk (or half&half), then top it off with coffee. Which means my mug is maybe only half-filled with coffee, the rest is milk & creamer or syrup. So, really light on the actual coffee (which I do make regular strength). And STILL I get jittery if I drink more than 2 mug-fulls a week. So, I limit my coffee drinking to the weekends. The rest of the week mornings I drink chai or my ACV & Honey "tea".

Ok, I think that'll do.


To answer Em's question about lack of sunlight in the winter.... Yes, we really do get only about 3 hours of sunshine on the winter Solstice. The sun rises about 11:30 in the morning, and it'll go down about 2:30 in the afternoon. You remember the whole thing in school about using an ornge that's slightly tilted & turning it around the imaginary "sun" (a table lamp, or something) to illustrate the reasoning for the seasons & the longer & shorter days in summer & winter???? Well, that's just it, but in OUR winter (the northern hemisphere, I mean) the further north one gets, the shorter the days get. In Barrow (the farthest north town in the USA), between about Nov. 15 and Jan. 15 (not sure of the exact dates, but these are close enough for our purposes), they don't get ANY sunrise at all. Literally, the sun does not even come above the horizon during this time. BUT, in the summer, we have "eternal" days. During the summer solstice the sun only just touches the horizon between about 11 pm and 1 am. And in Barrow, the sun would not set at all for approx. 2 months.

In the summer this means that we have a lot of chances to get outside & enjoy the fishing & gardening & great outdoors. Things that need a lot of sunshine, but have a somewhat short maturation season (cabbage, pumpkins, lettuces, greens) do VERY well here in the summer. On the other hand, in the winter a LOT of people deal with some major darkness-induced depression issues. The body naturally needs sunshine to function, and when a person is inside during the hours when there IS sunshine, our bodies can't produce the chemicals (seratonin, I think it is) that help moderate mood swings. So a lot of people get rather depressed during the winter. A smart person will make sure to take a 10 or 15 minute break that allows them to get outside & walk around while the sun's up. But, when the temp is hitting -20 and colder, that becomes dangerous because of the cold, so a lot of people don't do it.

Anyway, I hope my long response to your question answers any questions, Em.


Have a Blessed Day!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

We are the Champions, my friends.....

Well, DD had another game last night. Against our arch-rival team. As you might guess, from the title, the outcome was decidedly in our favor. Yep..... final score: 5-4, the girls won. And poor little Brat actually lost a game to a bunch of "loser girls". Ahhhh, the irony. He did get two shots through on DD, but she saved countless more shots that he made. One particularly nice "deke" this kid tried to make on DD, she pulled right out of the air, snapped it in her glove and then dropped it on the ice in front of him after the whistle was blown.

And DH said (because I was unfortunately at work and didn't get to see the game) that as soon as the game was over, the kids lined up to shake hands & congratulate each other on a good game played. Well, the brat threw a very public temper tantrum, on ice. Threw his helmet, gloves & stick across the ice and stomped off without lining up to shake hands. DH said that quite honestly, that sort of behavior SHOULD land a player in the penalty box for 2 minutes at the start of their next game, for bad sportsmanship. I just reminded DH that quite honestly, the worst of it, for the little boy, will be when the rest of the parents on the team, and their kids, make this kid's life miserable because of his behavior. EVERYBODY saw his tantrum last night, and his lack of sportsman-like behavior. And it won't be quickly forgotten.

So, our girls were thrilled, of course. DH said the entire locker-room ROCKED with them haphazardly singing "We are the champions", missing half the words, off key and out of sync, but rockin' none the less. Ahhh, success.


In other news, the temp here the last couple of days has been getting into the high 20's, and this morning, before the sun even came up, the temp was 30 deg. F. Yes, ALMOST freezing. And there's report of rain in the hills. Which is going to make the drive to town a real b*tch. Ahh well, can't win 'em all, I suppose. But, it makes being outside nice. It's also nice that it's 9:04 and the sun is rising. I can just see pink clouds on the horizon, and through the clouds (light ones, at this point) I can see robin's blue sky. I LOVE it when the sun returns. We spend TOO much time in the winter, without real sunshine. Or, not enough to really get to see, if you work inside at all. Well, it's the end of Jan. and we're seeing sunrises IN THE MORNING, instead of at noon. We're seeing sunset after 5, instead of 3 in the afternoon. It's sunshine, and even if it's not REALLY warm yet, it's still sunshine. Loving it!!!!!!!!

Ok, I think that's it for today.

Hope YOU have a Blessed Day!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Beef Stuffed Sopaipillas

Ok, this one is for Uncle A. who's already asked about a recipe on that list. LOL Dang, thought I'd have at least a day before anybody asked. ;)

This is a family favorite, from Taste of Home Mag. One of my more intensive recipes.

Beef Stuffed Sopaipillas
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup evap. milk
1-1/2 tsp vegetable oil
additional oil for frying

1 lb ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder (I usually use pressed garlic, instead of garlic powder)
1/4 tsp pepper

1 (10 oz) can condensed cream o' chicken soup, undiluted
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 cups (8oz) shredded cheddar cheese

In a bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Stir in water, milk and oil with a fork until a ball forms. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough gently for 2-3 minutes. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Divide into four portions; roll each into 6-1/2 in. circle.

In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 375 deg. F. Fry circles, on at a time, for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

In a skillet, cook beef & onion until meat is no longer pink, drain. Stir in salt, garlic powder and pepper. In a saucepan, combine soup, broth, chilies and onion powder; cook for 10 minutes or until heated through. Cut a slit on one side of each sopaipilla; fill with 1/2 cup of meat mixture. Top with cheese. Serve with sauce. Yield: 4 servings.


Ok, well, that's how the recipe calls for them to be served. We do it a BIT differently around here, just because I found out precisely HOW messy this was, when served the way I was directed. In our house, we slice open the sopaipilla (should be kinda like a pita, but instead of chopping it in half, you slice it open along one edge & stuff like a deep pocket), then we mix together an amount of the beef, with an amount of the sauce (just enough to get the beef somewhat moist) before stuffing it into the bread-pocket. Place on plate & top with shredded cheese, then microwave it till the cheese melts a bit. (The heat of the filling is not quite enough to properly melt the cheese on top. Trust me on this one.) Eat like a sloppy joe, keeping rescue fork (and knife?) and towels ready. *wink*

As I said, DH, DD & I all love this. It's a "mexican" twist on sloppy joes. Though, I'm guessing these sopaipillas are not authentically "mexican".


Saturday, January 27, 2007

Recipe Lists....

So, somebody asked if I'd type this out, a couple of weeks ago when I posted that I was doing this. I think it was Sammy_Bunny. I'm sorry to say that I don't think there is a SINGLE vegetarian meal on this entire list. DH is a "meat & potatoes" kinda guy who has a hard time believing something is a complete meal if it doesn't have some sort of meat in it. *smile* But, maybe it'll give somebody some ideas. If there are any questions about specific meal, let me know & I'll _TRY_ to post a recipe for it. Oh, and I'm NOT marking which are "weekend" meals, which are "Hubby's special" meals, and which are just "any average work-day" type meals. LOL Figure that out for yourself.

*Fried Rice
*linguine with clam sauce
*clam chowder (home-made, of course)
*roast beef/pork
*roast chicken
*mac&cheese & hotdogs
*dirty rice
*grilled cheese & tomato soup (ok, this one IS vegetarian, but not vegan)
*bratwurst (or cheddarwurst, or reindeer sausages)
*pizza & salad
*spaghetti & garlic bread
*SOS (Dad's old recipe, *hit on shingles, ground beef & gravy over toast/rice/noodles)
*chicken breast w/ mushroom-soup-gravy over rice
* barbeque beef/pork/chicken sandwiches
*meatloaf & mashed potatoes
*steak & stuffing
*15 bean soup
*corned beef & cabbage
*Swedish Meatballs & buttered noodles
*lasagna (dh's favorite meal, actually made THIS weekend for my "weekend" meal)
*Chicken tortilla bake
*chicken piccata
*easy Cajun/garlic shrimp & rice
*chicken chili lasagna
*creamy white chili
*chicken stir fry
*baked Parmesan chicken breasts
*split pea soup
*Summer Sausage (or Kielbasa) Reuben Sandwiches (featured on Rachael Ray's 30 minute meals)
*Chicken Club Ring
*Paprika-Dijon chicken
*French Dip Sandwiches
*Kalops (a Swedish recipe that I haven't actually tried yet)
*Bruschetta Chicken
*Fried Fish
*Rouladens (a family favorite from my dad)
*Sweet & Sour Venison (may be beef, if DH & FIL don't get a moose or caribou)
*Potluck Chicken Casserole
*Slow Cooker Enchiladas
*Stuffed Shells
*No Fuss Chicken
*Glorified Hash Browns
*Scotch Broth
*Slow Cooker Chicken & Stuffing
*Shanghai Noodles w/ Spicy Beef Sauce
*Chicken & Garlic Potatoes
*Mexican Chicken Manicotti
*Fake Steak
*Chicken Stroganoff
*Fish & Chips
*Hamburger Helper
*Sloppy Joes
*Bangers & Mash
*Chicken Noodle Soup (known elsewhere as chicken & dumplings, but this is Dh's grandma's recipe)
*Chef Salad
*Dirty Shrimp in Butter Beer Sauce
*Mongolian Beef
*Grilled Chicken breast sandwiches
*slow-cooked chicken thighs w/ Russian/apricot sauce
*Swiss Chard (I only put this title in, as there's only ONE way we prefer it cooked/served)

Anyway, there is my list. I didn't add sides for some of the dishes because whether we have boiled potatoes or rice or buttered noodles with "that meal" may change from night to night. Other meals there are specific preferences for. I also didn't put in veggies because that often depends on what we've got available and what we're in the mood for. I hope to add more recipes, now and again. Simply to try new things. If I may suggest, EVERYBODY should subscribe to Taste of Home Mag. and someday you may also have an extensive list of favorite recipes such as this. For that matter, there are SOOOOO many more recipes in my over-stuffed recipe box that came from that mag. (and "Quick Cooking" and "Healthy Cooking" mags, by the same company), that I haven't had a chance to try them all. And I stopped subbing a couple of years ago. LOL

Ok, off to quickly scan my "neighbourhood of blogs" before heading to bed.

Have a Blessed Day!

Long time, no post....

Ok, so maybe not TOO long. But, it's been a few days. Thanks for all the lovely birthday wishes & thoughts. I really appreciate it.

Well, let's see.... I caught a nasty little head cold on Wed. that's been making my life miserable. I got home Wed. night & found out that Puck had chewed up the handles of my GOOD sewing scissors. Dumb dog! Also got home & found that DD had gotten her first DR (detention). Turns out that on Monday, she "accidentally" hit a kindergardener. One story (the teacher's, from what another student told her) is that this little boy was waving his hands in the air & getting in DD's face. That she got annoyed & she swatted his arm out of her way. DD's story is that yeah, the kid had his arms in the air, but she was uncrossing her arms & that her hand connected. That story is as believable as the other, as far as I'm concerned. It wouldn't have been an issue, had she not connected physically with one of her best friends a couple of days later. She & her friend were sitting around in a circle playing or something, and somehow DD managed to inadvertently hit the friend. Enough that the friend was crying, but everybody (friend, the other best friend, other kids) vows that it WAS an accident. But the fact was that 2 times in 3 days she'd been overly physical & connected with other children. It got her a DR (disciplinary report) which resulted in her being sent to the Principal's office. The principal said that if DD had just come down & calmly accepted the semi-scolding (because they all say they adore DD, they're just not sure WHAT has gotten into her), she could have gone on her way with just that. But, she got belligerent & started yelling & screaming & wound up with detention for it.

Then, Thursday, right off the bat DD got belligerent with her teacher over DD's inability to read some notes that DD'd written just a couple of weeks before. Then she shoved this 100$ piece of typing equipment (they're learning to type & the activity was teaching them to read notes & type them up) across the desk from her, almost dropping it on the floor. So, the teacher gave her a DR & told her to head to the Principal's office. Well, ironically the principal was in the same corridor, and heard DD screaming & crying as DD was sent from the class-room. DD was so disruptive & loud that a couple of other teachers popped their heads from their class & asked if the principal needed assistance with DD. *sigh* The Principal said she was absolutely stunned to see this kind of attitude from DD two days in a row, and that she was trying to calm DD down & get her to the office before DD wound up embarrassing herself in front of all her friends.

So, I went in early on Friday to talk to the Principal (again, finding this out because of the pink DR slip sent home with about 2 sentences about the occurrences) about what's going on. Turned out that in the second case, there was never an option of DD getting of lightly on that one (though, here at home DD insisted she didn't do ANYTHING wrong, of course), seeing as how she got belligerent & disruptive from the get-go. In the first case, not having met the reporting teacher (and having had a past experience with an adult lying about DD's actions to cover their own inconsistencies, and DD getting a bum rap for it), I wanted to find out all sides as to what had gone on. And again, if DD had calmly accepted the scolding for being physically careless, she wouldn't have gotten a DR in that case. But freaking out & throwing temper tantrums (esp. at 9) is NOT tolerated. *sigh* Anyway...... Well, THAT was fun.

Still don't know WHAT prompted the freak-outs, seeing as how DD generally doesn't do that in public (though it's certainly somewhat common here at home). We're going to try to get her to talk to the school counselor. Possibly she'll talk to him. And he's a nice guy with a couple of little girls of his own, about the same age as DD. The Principal brought up the *shudder* possibility of DD having early-pubescent hormone swings. She's started getting acne (only a little bit) and having BO, though none of the other signs of puberty as of yet. So, it's a possibility. Not that hormone swings EXCUSE this behavior, but it may help explain it. And she's not too terribly much younger than I was. About a grade younger, but only about 6 months younger than I, when I started hitting puberty.

Which leads me to the OTHER big thing for me...... (Guys may want to stop reading now.)


I went & bought 3 new bras today. I HATE these things!!!!! I've spent most of my "adult" life (anything after puberty, for these purposes) NOT wearing them. (I've had them, and I've refused to wear them ANY longer than necessary, even escaping to the bathroom on my way out of interviews just to remove the dreaded things & stuff them in my purse for the next unfortunate occasion.) I've yet to find a bra that's so comfortable I can wear it without having to rearrange SOMETHING, SOMEWHERE on a fairly regular basis. And, at MY size now (bigger than I WANT to be, though a lot of people say I don't look as big as I am), most manufacturers don't make these things without underwires. Which, I REFUSE to wear. I mean, I'm not an animal to be caged, I'm certainly not going to strap wires around my body just to maintain an illusion of unnatural body shape. On the other hand, the "girls" were starting to sag enough that it wasn't comfortable, and they're getting in my way a little too often (and a couple of times I've caught "them" in places that leave me hating that I have them at all). So, I figured it was time to bow to pressure a little bit, and get a couple of NON-wired bras that fit. HOWEVER, I had stringent requirements before I purchased them. I found that Fruit of the Loom makes bras (not just sports-bras, either) for plus-sized women that don't have wires (or tags, the tag info is printed on the inside just like those new fruit of the loom shirts). I picked 2 to take with me into the dressing room. The last size I recall purchasing, and the next size up. Turns out it was the next size up that fit. Well, once I figured out which one could be strapped on without cutting off air-flow, I sat down. I knelt. I crawled. I leaned forward. I leaned backwards. I reached one arm over my head, the other, both. Up, down, side to side. Slouched. Sat "like a lady". It fit. It didn't dig in, in the areas most frequently dug into. It's still not totally comfortable. The band under my "girls" still flips up a bit, but not as badly as some. The arm straps still have that uncomfortable adjustment ring, but these bras (I bought 3, one pink, one white with pink rose-buds, and one beige, they didn't have any "plain white" in my size) aren't quite as bad as ALL the others I've worn. I think I can handle this. I'm wearing one right now just to get accustomed to it. I'm not happy with it, but I think I'll manage. And my "girls" aren't getting in my way as I'm sitting here, typing this, so in that respect they're doing what they're supposed to. Maybe now my more fitted shirts will hang properly. I'm sure I'll still have days where I REFUSE to put one of these things on, but.... Hopefully I'll stick to wearing them most of the time, as I DO know they make things drape better. Make my nice clothes look like they're supposed to. And besides, wearing pink rosebuds DOES make a girl feel just a bit girly. Even if the undergarment itself looks more like something you don't want to see from Mom's closet, than something you'd see in Victoria's *ecret. Can't win 'em all, I suppose. Besides, only ONE man will be seeing this garment, and he's seen me in (and out of) worse. *wink*


Ummm, let's see..... DD had another game today. This time against our favorite of our local two co-ed squirt teams (the team "the brat" is NOT on). We tied 2-2. It was a good game. Our girls were incredible (heck, the other team was great too, but I'm braggin' on "my" girls) and played their positions extremely well, esp for having 2 team-mates out sick, and one girl very late to the game. DD made some incredible saves. A couple of them that SHE didn't even realize had actually saved the puck, until the ref pulled the puck out from her leg-pads. LOL A couple of times we thought for SURE that puck had gone in, only to see DD stand up & drop the puck in front of herself. Just..... WOW!!!! And what's really amazing is that a lot of the kids from the opposing team come up to her and compliment her. They root for her when they're not playing her. They're parents are very complimentary. The other coaches are very complimentary. And not just the usual "good game" but more specific, and often awed, compliments that show a person actually thinks a lot of one's performance. So, 2-2. Not bad. Not bad at all.

And another of the little girls on our team (the smallest, as a matter of fact, though not the youngest) was the team-mate who scored OUR two goals. Not the teammate who has a fantastic break-away, but another little one (who's only real drawback is that she's got a hard time stopping). And a third of our little girls (the youngest on the team, at 7 years old) has finally found her courage to get in there & get after that puck. She's yet to score in a counted game, but she's finally found that core of strength that allows her to go after the puck & not just let the "boys" skate past her with it. If she can improve her puck-handling skills a bit more, she'll have a killer break-away as well. I'm just so amazed to see these little girls who were bashful at the beginning of the season really finding their strength & seeing their (greatly, in some cases) improved skills. It's incredible. Maybe Saturday morning practices (or games) aren't as funny as they were when the kids couldn't stand upright on two feet more than 3 or 4 steps (better than watching Saturday morning cartoons, then!), but it's fun in a whole new way. Because you get to see a lot of kids get out there on the ice & test their skills against others who are (hopefully) similarly skilled. You get to see them push their limits and learn. You get to see them fall on occasion, and get back up and go for it again. And you get to see them ROCK that ice!!!!! Our kids or "their" kids, it's incredible watching ALL of these kids grow. Maybe it's best when you recall that little boy at 2 years old, in diapers climbing on the slide in the nursery, and be able to compare it to his growth now. But even those you haven't had the joy of watching grow..... It's just fantastic.

Those are the kinds of moments parents really should have more of. Less of the temper tantrums. More of the times where you can see exactly how much your child, or children that you've known & loved, has grown. And more times where you see that despite the tantrums that happen on occasion, these are mostly great kids. Kids who can root for each other, when they're not playing against each other. And even when they HAVE been playing against one another, they can still give an honest "great save" and "awesome shot" to their opponent. It's really special.


Ok, I suppose that's it for this post. Though I do want to turn around & post my recipe list, as requested by a couple of people a few posts back. So, I'll be back. *wink*

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I didn't have to wait too long....

DH pulled his head out fairly quickly this time.

DD had a hockey practice last night from 6:45 to 7:45, but they didn't get home till about 8:45. I was starting to wonder where they were, when they walked in carrying a hockey bag & what looked like a grocery sack with a couple of birthday cards, and they skedaddled into the bedroom to sign the cards......

And 10 minutes later here they come carrying not only 2 birthday cards, but also a precariously carried cake featuring a couple of those number candles, arranged backwards and only one of them lit. LOL DH couldn't get the other candle to stay lit as he carried it into the kitchen. And a gift bag with a birthday present inside. They even sang happy birthday, which is kinda funny because DH can't carry a tune.

So, I DID get my birthday cake & present after all. He even apologised for it being a day late, but said he had a hell of a time coming up with anything, after Dad and I messed up the first option of the leather jacket. I just reminded him that I'm NOT all that hard to buy for. I don't need expensive gifts.... I just need him to show that he puts a little thought into what I might like. He commented "Well, you know ME, it's gotta be perfect." And I reminded him that it's not HIS birthday. It's mine. And what's perfect for me isn't always perfect for him. And that's fine. This is who _I_ am.

Anyway, he found a glass dragonfly-on-lily figurine, and a little box with a diamond-cut dragonfly on the top. So, those were my birthday gifts from him & DD. And the cake was a VERY yummy chocolate with raspberry mousse and chocolate & white chocolate ganashe frosting. VERY yummy!

Evidently I better start thinking, NOW about some ideas for him for next year. I reminded him that it'd help if he'd start looking BEFORE my actual birthday.

And maybe that's what bugs me most..... It's not as if I don't drop hints. I'm very obvious, marking things that I like in catalogs; coming right out & saying I'd love this or that.... I kinda figure that if you love somebody & want to make them happy, you put a little thought & time into finding something for them. Maybe it doesn't have to be perfect, but it should show that you've thought of them. The birthday girl hates pink, don't buy pink. She loves dragonflies, then don't get ladybugs & assume they're just as good. And don't get NOTHING just because you haven't sat down & thought about this loved one & their likes & dislikes. I mean, it really comes down to being the thought that counts. Not "well I thought to go & grab something to the grocery store shelf", but "well, I thought about you & I remembered you like dragonflies, so I went & got this." THAT is the kinda thought that counts. The fact that he (finally) actually took the time to think about ME & what _I_ like, instead of waiting for the perfect gift to throw itself off the shelf & knock him on his head. Or, not getting ANYTHING at all because it wasn't what he would buy for himself.

So, he was a day late. At least it didn't take him a week to pull his head out, like it did on my 26th birthday. And at least he didn't spend BIG bucks to go & buy me something I won't use or wouldn't appreciate.

Have a Blessed Day!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Well, so much for a....

Happy Birthday.

A little background, first. A couple of weeks ago I noticed that the leather at the wrist-cuffs of my favorite winter jacket was starting to wear through. This is a nice suede jacket Mom & Dad got me for Christmas when I was 15. I loved that thing. I finally decided it was time to replace it, if it's getting so worn that the leather was developing holes.

So, I told DH that this is what he could get me for my birthday. He starts searching around town, starting with the big W, moving on to Freddy's, then S*ars, before finally finding a leather jacket that he thought I'd like. But, it wasn't a bomber jacket, like my old one, so he was waiting till I'd had a chance to look at it, before buying it. In the mean time, we'd found one online at Cabela's that I DID like, and we decided that if we couldn't find one here in town, we'd order this one from Cabelas instead. So, the plan was to go to S*ars on Saturday, before heading to see "Night at the Museum" a the theater. First, though, DD and I were going over to Dad's house to go through pictures, and pick up some stuff Dad had set aside for me to look through, to see if I wanted any of it. (He's cleaning out the house in hopes of moving out of state this coming summer.)

Well, Dad's known that I told DH I wanted a new bomber jacket for my birthday. Dad was even asking for daily updates as to our search for one. I'd even told him that there was a jacket at S*ars that DH wanted me to look at. So, wouldn't you know it.... I get over to Dad's, and he tells me to go ahead and take this bomber jacket of his. I can have it. I, of course, told Dad that DH was looking for one for me still, and besides Dad would need that jacket this winter. As winter's hardly near over, yet. Dad starts guilt tripping me, going on about how he's got a second one, this is the older one, that he's got a good half-dozen warm winter coats that he's got to get rid of before he leaves. If I don't take this one off his hands he'll probably wind up selling it for just a couple of dollars at a garage sale, and he'd rather see me have it, since my old one is worn through..... And on and on. So, fine. I'll take it. DH can get me some jewelry or something, or we can spend the money on dinner out at a nice resteraunt (with my escargot & creme brulee).

I get home with the new jacket, and DH gets into a snit about WHY did I take this old jacket of my dad's (that's in perfectly good shape, mind you) when DH was going to get me a new one of my own. Never mind that he wanted me to get this other one from S*ars that ISN'T a bomber jacket like I specifically asked for, of course. Nope, all snitty because now DH doesn't have a CLUE what to get me for my birthday. I tell him that maybe we can just go out to dinner instead, reminding him that I've been wanting escargot & creme brulee (hell, I don't even care what comes in between those other two items, as long as I get those two). DH starts commenting about how we don't have enough money for dinner out. Oh, but we had 200 to drop on a new leather jacket. *shaking head*

Fast forward 1-1/2 days to yesterday. DH said he's going to bring shimp home and I tell him Ok, grab a couple of lemons & some garlic as well, so I can make my favorite shrimp recipe.

Instead, he decides HE doesn't want MY favorite shrimp recipe (see yesterday's entry for details), he wants BOILED shrimp with this McCormick shrimp-boil seasoning. Which is what he brought home. Now, I'm wondering.... WHO's birthday was it?!?!? I thought it was mine & that I got to have some say in what I wanted for dinner.

So, we ended up having. And the seasoning tasted like crap. He didn't bother to get me a cake or anything. And he said that after I went and accepted that coat from my dad, he wasn't even going to bother getting me a present. And none of the cards he looked through were "good enough for him". Then he starts going on about how if I'll just give this perfectly good coat away, he'll be plenty happy to drop $200 on that NEW one from Sears. Again, forget the fact that it's a longer dressier style coat, and not the bomber jacket that I wanted.

So, not only did I NOT get my dinner out, or even my yummy Cajun shrimp. I didn't get any cake. And I don't get a present.

I'm going to give him a week to get over his little snit and get me something, or I'm heading to the jewelry store to get myself something rather decadent and he can kiss my fat white ass. And I'll tell EVERYBODY that I had to buy it for myself, too!

I mean, for crying out loud.... He's 32, he needs to stop being such a big ol' freaking baby. I didn't have a problem with him getting that taneau cover for his truck, from DD & I for HIS birthday this summer. DD & I gave him an X-box a couple of years ago, as his birthday present. Why he gets snitty over one freaking jacket. And here I thought it was MY birthday. Nope. I was wrong. He gets what HE wants, and I get diddly. And I'm not entirely happy with my Dad pulling that stunt, either. The guy is seriously passive agressive, and I wish that he'd have waited till AFTER my birthday to offer me the jacket, if we couldn't find one here in town. Instead of guilt-tripping me into taking it a couple of days before my birthday, and before DH & I had really completed our search for one here in town.

Right now.... I'm not totally happy with EITHER of these two men.

Oh, and my MIL and Great-Grandma both forgot to call & wish me a happy birthday, much less any birthday cards.

*sigh* Next year, I'm treating myself to lunch, and I'll buy my own damn gift and tell DD & DH not to bother worrying their spoiled little heads over me. I'm sick & tired of waiting around for them to do something nice for me on my birthday. It never happens. DD forgets or seems to think that it's not important to me, the way her b-day is to her. (Ok, I'll give her that she's 9 and most 9 year olds are self-centered). DH evidently just doesn't give enough of a rat-ass to bother.

Days like that make me want to run away and let them muddle through without me. Certainly don't feel like they either need or want me here anyway. Yes, I'm somewhat depressed and definitely teary.


Have a Blessed Day!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Happy Birthday to.....

ME!!!!! Yep. As of today, I need to change my darn profile. I'm 28 now. It hasn't been a crappy day. Hasn't been terribly exciting, either, of course.

I went & spent an hour & a half at the DMV this morning getting my driver's liscense renewed. Then Dad took me to lunch at this new Mexican place in town, Gallo's. Good!!!!! I had chicken fajitas, and they were VERY yummy!!!

After lunch with Dad, I headed next door to the "mall" & did a little bit of splurging. I bought myself a tiara (barely see it in this pick, thanks to the flash). I figure I'm going on 30, I need to start treating myself right, NOW. Instead of waiting till I'm 40, or 50 and giving myself the things I've always wanted.... I've always kinda wanted my own princess tiara, so I went & bought myself one. I also bought a few books at Waldenbooks. They're going out of business (the last day for our local store is Friday), so all their items are marked down considerably. The bargain books were 75% off, the regular merchandise was 40% off. I got myself a copy (finally) of _Secret Life of Bees_ by Sue Monk Kidd. If you haven't read this book yet, DO!!! It's fantastic!!!! I also got a bargain book: _Historic Britain from the Air_. I haven't had a chance to look through it very well, yet, though. And got DH a scrabble dictionary. Got DD a couple of American Girl books. Then on to "The Flickering Wick", a candle store in this same mall. There, I purchased a YUMMY smelling "Angel Amaretto" scented candle, and a vial of Lavender oil. Then I came home. LOL

Now I get to go pick DD up from school. DH said he's going to pick up some shrimp for dinner tonight (I need to remind him to get a lemon, too), since we don't quite have the $$$ to go OUT to eat. (At least, not enough $$$ to go out to a resteraunt that's nice enough to have escargot & creme brulee on their menu. *wink*) So, shrimp it is. I'm thinking my simple shrimp recipe.... Couple of cloves of garlic, pressed into a skillet with a couple of TBSP of olive oil. Saute for just a minute before tossing in a tsp of cajun seasoning and the peeled shrimp, saute until just barely done, then pour in the fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Simmer for a moment more. Remove from heat & serve over rice. Simple, but Ooohhhhh so Yummy!

Mom, I DID get the birthday card from you today! Lovely pic!!!!! And, though we did have sunny skies today, and it wasn't too horribly cold (about -10, I believe)..... I was still wishing I was in the scene on the front of that card, instead of here. LOL

Well, must dash. Gotta go get the kiddo from school.

Have a Blessed Day!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

My Mom's blog.....

Well, if anybody would love to see regularly posted pics of nice Hawaiian sunsets, check out my Mom's blog, here: She's got some seriously yummy pics to look at, for those of us in colder climes.

Have a Blessed Day!

Friday, January 19, 2007

What's for Dinner????

What are YOU having tonight????

Our menu for this evening includes the "Fix-it & Forget-it Recipes for entertaining" recipe for:

No Fuss Sauerkraut

3 lb pork roast (I'm using a bone-in pork tenderloin)
3 (2-lb) pkg sauerkraut (drain juice from 1 pkg)
2 apples, peeled & sliced
1/2 c brown sugar
1 c apple juice

(I also added 1 whole onion, sliced into half-rounds, and 3 celery stalks, sliced into in 1 inch pieces.)

Place Meat in large slow cooker. Place Sauerkraut on top of meat. Add apples & brown sugar. Add juice. Cover. Cook on high 4 to 5 hours. Serve with mashed potatoes.

I'll be serving with boiled baby white potatoes, instead. Oh, and I layered the sauerkraut on the bottom, lay the meat on top of that, then the apples & onions, brown sugar & juice.

So, that's our meal for this evening.


On a similar note, I recently read a book that prompted me to consider menus for dinners in our house. I really didn't like the book much, so I'm not going to say much else positive about it, except for the part where it pointed out that a person wastes a lot of time (and generally money) when dinner is not planned for, ahead of time. While the author of this book was all for rotating about 7 or 8 different dinners over & over.... I need more variety. So, I sat down today (while watching ID4, for the umpteenth time) and wrote down every last dinner I could think of that I've ever made and we've liked. (Well, those that had easily obtainable ingredients, since there's no point in putting shark on my menu plan if it's a rare treat. Same goes for things like ham, turkey, halibut, and moose & caribou at this point.)

I have roughly 60 main dish ideas written down. I'm going to have DH & DD go over it when DH gets home from work, and see if they can't come up with more things to add. Then I'm going to get busy, portioning out the meal ideas into 7 day segments. Each week will have (hopefully) one "fancy" meal. Something that takes me a good deal of planning & cooking to take care of, ya know. And 6 less-time-intensive meals. Mondays will generally need to be something with very little trouble involved, as that is the day, most often, that DH must cook. So, we'll save burgers, bratwursts, mac&cheese&hot-dogs, and grilled-cheese&tomato-soup, and things like that for nights when DH has to cook. Then that leaves me things like spaghetti & garlic bread, SOS (ground beef & gravy over toast/rice/noodles), steaks & stuffing and BLT's for the other 5 nights where I'm likely to be cooking, or DH & I can cook together.

Hopefully, portioning these meal ideas out into 7 day segments will make planning & purchasing easier, and I won't wind up here at home at 6:45, wondering what the hell I'm going to make for dinner. Or worse, at the grocery store spending big bucks for quick-to-prepare dishes that I could do easier on my own, if I'd just planned ahead. And, unfortunately, DH doesn't get home very much earlier than I do, so he can't start things. Or, he doesn't quite have the skill to know where to start, if he does beat me home with enough time.

I hope this makes making dinner a little less tedious for me. And besides, if I've got 60+ recipes, that means I'm not going to be making the same dish, 3 weeks in a row. So hopefully I'll find eatting a little more appetizing if I can look forward to at least a couple dozen different meals before I repeat one. We've all been getting burned out on having the "same-old, same-old" for dinner, over & over again, it seems.

And I really need to start using my slow-cooker more. I've got a rather nice (if rather large) slow-cooker that has pre-set times & temps on it. It's got 4 and 6 hours on High, 8 & 10 hours on low, and warm. Really, it should be very easy to me to plan ahead the night before, to take the ingredients out (or have them from the grocery store, in the case of veggies & dairy) and simply prep & toss them into the slow-cooker before I head out the door for work. It doesn't actually work as well as one would think. I've been told that for being a very predictable & steady type person, I'm rather scatter-brained sometimes. And making dinner is one of those times. LOL


Wanted to say thanks again for all the comments on the last couple of posts. DD got quite a kick out of seeing the kudos on her last game, and everybody telling her to get out there & "kick the brat's butt", so to speak. Of course, she knows that the best way to beat him would be by getting a shut-out against him. And she's trying. Hopefully before the end of the season (mid-march) we'll stomp that team once.

And she was quite embarassed to see that I took a pic of her asleep & posted it. *grin* Ahhh, but isn't it a parent's priviledge to embarass they're youngster?!?!?! LOL

Have a Blessed Day!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A girl & her dog....

Just had to share.... Taken just about a half hour ago. Puck really does like sleeping with DD, to the point where he hogs a great deal of the bed. Hope you get as much of a kick out of this pic as DH & I did.

Have a Blessed Day!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

It's good enough for Red Green!

What do I mean by that??? The duct tape, of course!!!! Between Jenny & Puck, the down comforter on DD's bed has developed some large tears that were leaking down, which was finding it's way all over the house. Quite annoying. So, rather than take the comforter off her bed, or try to patch it with the only kind of patch I've got in the house (a denim one for DH's jeans), I decided to Red-Green it. *grin* If you don't know who Red Green is, I strongly suggest you check your local public television station listings, as he's on PBS. Really rather funny, if you like sarcastic red-neck types. And this red-neck is from Canada, no less. A real hoot!!!! Check him out. Suffice it to say, Duct-tape is the only tool ever REALLY needed in Red Green's world. And it worked just fine for this little repair. *wink*


In other news, DD's game yesterday went rather well. We played against the squirt team with the brat (the one who likes to throw temper tantrums on ice, but who has a rather nice break-away). We've never beat them. Still haven't. But yesterday..... WE TIED!!!!! Final score was 4 to 4. As usual they had a LOT more shots on net than we did, but I don't know exactly how many, unfortunately. The brat in particular was in a rather pissy mood, as Dad told him to play defense, instead of Brat's favorite position of Offense. Not that the brat listened, of course. He wound up hounding DD for goals. He got 1 goal on her (2 other kids had the other 3), but DANG was he gunning for her. And the kid's going to get knocked out by her if he's not careful. He had some really nice shots on Dd's goal, but she had a hell of a lot nicer saves. Unfortunately, a couple of times when she was down on top of the puck after he shot, he'd slap her with his hockey stick. And the refs weren't picking up on it. Other times he'd get into her face (and in her box) yelling at her & calling her names. We told her that if he's in her face, not only is she allowed to talk trash (encouraged, in this case) right back, but if he gets physical, she's to take him down. (Not to beat the crap out of him, though I'd be strongly tempted, but to knock him on his ass.) And he's smaller than she is, which is a bonus. But DANG does that boy hate DD. And DD certainly isn't fond of the Brat, either. Ironically, in this situation it makes her a better goalie. She's so adamant that his shots won't get past her, because she can't stand him, that she gives it her all if he's got control of the puck.

Anyway, the game ended in a tie, which made all of the rest of us pretty happy. That's the best our team has done against this squirt team, yet. And their team finally had a really good "fight" against us in yesterday's game. Before it always seemed as if they could come on ice knowing they'd win. This time they had to fight for their goals & their saves.

Following the game, the brat was in tears over how he didn't beat this team of "loser girls". Dad/Coach was at least polite enough to shake hands & tell our team what a good game they played, but the brat refused to acknowledge our team or shake hands, after the game ended. One of our coaches made a point of going up to the brat, shaking his hand (gloves off, hand out, unrefusable without appearing totally rude) and telling the child how important it is to display good sports-man-ship, whether winning, losing or tying. This little brat has been known to come off ice after beating our team loudly proclaiming what a loser team of girls we are. Well, we may be girls, but certainly we're not losers. And one of these days that little brat is going to eat his words.

The other team's goalie for yesterday's game was a long-time friend of DD's. "A" and DD were in the church nursery together at 2. A's mom & I used to discuss potty-training issues with each other, as both kids were going through the same thing at about the same time. They used to play "king of the hill" on the little plastic slide in the nursery. They were always trying to best the other in how good they could slide down that slide on their feet, or jump off. LOL And now they were both goalies, tied against against each other. They're still competative, but it's funny because they enjoy it. And they get along great, when they see each other. And one of these days, A's mom & I are going to have a blast embarassing the two of them, reminiscing about the potty-training days. *wink* LOL


The weather is considerably warmer here, with the last few days being above 0, even up into the positive 20's. It's been nice, and comparatively balmy.

Unfortunately I know a lot of you in the states (and Canada) are getting a beating by Mama Nature, and I hope you & yours are staying safe, and warm. My thoughts & prayers go out to those of you dealing with nasty storms & extreme temps & such.

Have a Blessed Day!

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Well, as predicted, it DID warm up, though not quite as quickly as the weather-folks were predicting.

Got up yesterday to -30. By mid afternoon (2 pm or so) it was up to -20. By the time we went to bed last night at 11, it was -5. This morning it's still hovering about -8, thus far, but it's supposed to get warmer.

While I HOPE that was the only cold snap we'll get this winter, I highly doubt it. We've still got to get through the other half of January, and February, before we see any real warming in March. *sigh* I just keep reminding myself, I DO love him!!!! (The DH, that is. He's the reason I stay in this frigid place, even though the rest of my family is smart enough to see warmer climates.)


Some hockey related news, we found out last night that DD has a hockey tournament coming up in Anchorage from March 1st through the 4th. I get to go into work today & ask for those two days off (since the second & third of March are a Friday & Saturday and I would have them off anyway). So, we get to go on a road trip!!!!!!!!! YEAH!!!!!!! I cannot tell you HOW freaking happy this makes me. It's been over 7 years since I've been out of town. (Well, out of town for something more than camping in the sticks.) I can't wait. DH now has my full approval for working overtime between now & then, as we'll need the spending cash for 4 days in a different town. *glee* I can't wait!

Now, on the other hand, DD is somewhat nervous, after losing all 4 of the games from the last tournament to the other teams. But, she's also nervous about her game this Sat. against one of the local squirt teams. They're going to need to rebuild their self-confidence, as a team & individually, over their skills.


Other than that, not a whole lot going on. Still dealing with this head cold. Still have 2 cabin-fever-ish dogs who are driving each other & everyone else nuts with needing an outlet for their energy (and yet being unwilling to spend more than a couple of minutes outside). And the usual sink-ful of dishes & baskets of clothes all to be washed. Good thing I'm off for the weekend after today. It's amazing how things just seem to keep piling up.

Have a Blessed Day!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

January in Fairbanks SUCKS!

May I strongly recommend that NOBODY ever make plans to visit Fairbanks in January. I woke up to temps of -43 here at the house this morning (yes, that's 43 degrees BELOW Zero, Fahrenheit). Anything colder than about -30 means ice fog, air so cold your nose, ears & fingers go numb very quickly, cars that won't heat up (or won't start), and buildings that are never quite warm enough for most of us. Among other things.

My car started on the first try this morning, though it was quite the grump. And it took another 10 minutes driving before I wasn't hearing a "thump, thump, thump" every time my tires turned. Oh, not a flat at all, unless you mean that they were frozen flat where they touched the ground all night. In that case, yeah, all four of them were flat. ;p With my power-everything car, it also means that I have a hard time pulling my seat far enough forward that I can reach gas & brakes, which makes for some very jerky driving that first few minutes while the electronics in the car warm up as I start driving it. (For some reason, the electronics in the car won't warm up until I'm driving, even though I DO let the car warm up for 10 or 15 minutes before I leave.)

And that ice fog.... GODS I hate driving in that schtuff!!!!! Nasty. It's zero-visibility because it's so cold that ANY moisture FREEZES in the air. And yet, it feels incredibly dry, and one's skin is incredibly dry this time of year because there ISN'T much moisture.

All in all, January (and often February) in Fairbanks SUCKS. Again, I strongly suggest that any plans to visit Fairbanks and surrounding area be put on hold until at least April. May would be better.

And while, yes, I did get more sleep last night than the previous night (Thanks Meander & Whim!), with temps this cold, all one wants to do is curl up in a ball & sleep, anyway. Doesn't mean we get to, but we sure want to. And it was absolutely DEAD at the library today, because anybody with sense stayed home. Or went home as soon as they could. Hell, I came home as soon as I could. LOL Of course DH is working OT tonight, again. *sigh* Whether he wants to or not, they're going to make a workaholic out of him at this job. And at this point, he doesn't have a problem with that. *big sigh*

Ok, well there's my little update & warning for the day. Hope all my blog-buddies had a nice warm day, whereever you are!

Hope YOU Have A Blessed Day, Tomorrow!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Just a change of subject....

Because Dirk was insisting he got the munchies every time he visits. LOL

Why does it seem that when one is already sleep deprived the universe takes it upon themselves to keep that person up?????

DH, DD & I have all had colds that we're dealing with. I've forstalled mine from becoming any worse than a stuffy head, but it's enough to require cold medicine to get any sleep. Well, I was feeling so good last night by the time I went to bed, that I forgot to actually take the meds. Which means that by 3 am, I was up getting a dose. Ok, except that obviously DH also forgot, and he's not only stuffy & snoring like a freight-train, he's also coughing up storm. So, even if I COULD have slept, he was being so loud that sleep wasn't an option. (I'm fairly religious about DD's meds, and she's got a humidifier which helps things, for her.)

Then, as soon as I lay back down to try to get back to sleep, I hear this pop, pop-pop-pop, pop. A few minutes later, more of the same. Not sure if it was gun-fire, if it was fireworks, or what. Doesn't really matter to Puck, who started moving about the house very agitatedly. *sigh* And it'd stop for a bit then start up again. *BIG sigh* Well, finally got DH to roll over (so at least he was facing away from me, which SOMEWHAT muted the snoring) and dozed back off again.

Wouldn't you know it, 6:45 AM, Alaska time, and the phone rings. WTF?!?!?!? I answer it, too bleary-eyed to really look at the caller-ID, and find myself listening to a voice recording asking that I please hold for the next available operator to speak to me. Suffice it to say, I hung up promptly with some VERY not-nice language for the computer-system who decided I needed to listen to a telemarketer at 6:45 in the morning.

15 minutes later, DH's alarm clock goes off and he's up and getting dressed & letting Jenny out to do her business. Because the front door of our house sticks in extremely cold weather (did I mention it's about -30 F. this morning?), it took two hard slams for DH to get the door shut all the way.

Back to sleep, except for Jenny sticking her nose in my face to ask when I was going to get up, till my alarm clock went off at 9 am. *sigh* I'm more tired NOW than I was when I went to bed last night. And Monday's are my long day at work. I work from 12:15 to 9:15 tonight. Then it's the half-hour drive home, a quick bite to eat (assuming DH already has it ready when I get here), my shower, then bed. *sigh* I'm exausted just thinking about it.

The first thing I did this morning, upon getting online, was find the website for the telecom company that called me at 6:45 this morning and sent their legal dept. a letter requiring that they place DH & I on their DO NOT CALL list, and requesting that they adjust their computer systems to NOT dial Alaska numbers before 8 am, ALASKA time. What's REALLY bad is getting one of these rediculous calls at 6 am on a SATURDAY morning and listening to the chipper voice of some person on the east coast who INSISTS that it's not too early, as it's 10 AM their time. *sigh* Maybe not early for THEM, but Alaskans are 4 hours BEHIND!!! *grumble*

Ok, I figure I've got the clam-chowder pics far enough down now that Dirk probably won't see them next time he visits. *Waves at Dirk_Star*

Thanks to the others who've visited. It's nice to see new faces. Next time I make clam chowder, I'll be sure to make extra so y'all can have a bowl. ;)

Have a Blessed Day!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Clam Chowder!!!

Ok, pics looks like they're all out of order again. Sorry about that. I try uploading them in the order in which they're supposed to happen, and then this blogger rearranges them all wonky on me. *sigh* Maybe one day I'll have time to play around with it. Not now though.

So, here's my Clam Chowder recipe.

Dice then fry up 1 pound of bacon in large dutch oven. Remove bacon and most of the drippings, leaving about 1/4 cup drippings still in the pot. Dice up 1 onion and 1/2 celery heart, lightly salt (though I forgot this step last night) and saute till translucent. Dice up (bite-size chunks) 3 scrubbed but unpeeled potatoes & toss into pot with onion & celery. Drain 2 cans of chopped clams, reserving the juice. Pour clam juice over the potatoes, and then top with enough chicken stock (I use the good quality store-bought stuff) to cover the potatoes. Cover with lid & simmer about 20 minutes, or till potatoes are tender, but not mushy. If needs be, take the top off the pot & simmer some of the broth down (you want room in the pot for the half&half). At the last minute you're going to want to add in at least 1 pint of half&half (or cream, if you REALLY wanna heart-attack) and the clams. Give it a stir to heat the clams & half&half, but don't boil (or clams will become rubbery). Ladle into bowls, top with a handful of crumbled bacon, and enjoy!

I go really light on seasoning, usually just a dash of salt & pepper to taste. The bacon & onions & clams have soooo much flavor you really don't want to do too much, or you'll take away from the simplicity. And this makes a big ol' dutch oven full of soup, enough for about 6 servings or so (depending on how much you put in each bowl). As you can see, it's not a terribly thick & creamy soup, it's got half & half, but it's not extremely heavy. It's just perfect. And it really is best right off the stove-top. It's good the second day, but it's best fresh.

To store, stir in any remaining bacon, & refridgerate. Reheat carefully & slowly.

Oh, and in case anybody looks at those pictures and thinks "That looks like a heck of a lot more than 1 pound of bacon" or onions, or celery, etc.... That's because I doubled the batch so DH could share some with his best buddy. *grin*


Well, gotta go get ready to go out. DH decided that in celebration of his new job (he's warehouseman for a local chemical company), we're going out to one of our favorite resteraunts for dinner. They've got incredible nachos that'll feed a family, for VERY reasonable prices. I mean, they fry up the tortilla shells when the nachos are ordered, top with your chosen toppings (chicken, beef, or no-meat, cheese, fresh tomatoes, onions, olives, jalapeno slices, sour cream, guacamole), stack another tortilla shell & more toppings, then cut into wedges. Last time we were up the 3 of us ate & were full (ok, we did have desert, also) for 11.95 for this huge platter of nachos. For the 3 of us to eat well, and enjoy the meal (and a drink each, including DD's "Shirley Temple") we spent just under 30 dollars with a 5 dollar tip. Anyway, it's been over a year, so we're going up tonight for nachos at Ivory Jacks. YUM!

See ya!!!!

Have a Blessed Day!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Well, we didn't win....

Ok, here's the run-down on our tournament, for Dirk_Star and anybody else who wants to know.....

The tournament outcome was not so grand. We played against 2 teams that we've played against previously, and 2 new teams from out of town.

The first game was against a previously-played team. I don't think we've ever beat them. One little boy on that team has a really nice breakaway/deke and has a tendency to get most of the goals. Of course he's also a spoiled little piss-ant who's daddy is coach for that team. He gets away with a LOT of crap because of this little fact. Like throwing temper tantrums on-ice when he gets called on something, or when he goes "off sides", or when the goalie stops one of his goals. (He esp. hates DD because she's a girl, and she's got a really good save ratio.) At one point this week he was given a penalty for out-right shoving a player on the opposite team, which should have landed him in the penalty box for 2 minutes for pushing. (It wasn't a cross-check, it was a face-on shove.) After only about 30 seconds in the penalty box, Daddy-coach said something to the ref. which resulted in the penalty being dropped & Jr. sat out the last 2 minutes of that period. Daddy-coach put him back in the line up immediately after the break between periods, and Jr. played out the rest of the game without even a penalty for his bad behavior. Even the parents on his OWN team were outraged!

Anyway, we lost to this team 7-3.

Second game was against a team from Delta. And they were a good team, played really cleanly. There's one thing that some of us were somewhat upset about, however. All the children playing in this league are supposed to be 10 and under. There was one little boy on the Delta team that stood 5'6" tall. At 10, supposedly. The league & tournament coordinators said they were going to check into this & ask to see the kid's birth certificate. Not only was he incredibly tall, for 10, but he played at a skill level WAY beyond any 10 year old anybody else had seen. Even the 10's on the comp (traveling) teams from here in town aren't as skilled on ice as this kid was. Which means, 10 or not, this kid should have been in the next league. His inclusion on THIS league means that our kids were at a disadvantage. It was like pitting a Junior A. hockey player (early 20's semi-pro's) with a team of 10 year olds against another team of 10 year olds without the same advantage. Just not fair to ANY of the kids.

We lost that one 13-0. Everybody else lost by similar ratios as well. It wasn't a fair "fight" by any means.

Third game was by the second local mixed (ie: boys & girls) team. We've played them before with mixed success. Sometimes we've tied, sometimes we've won. This is the first time we'd ever lost. They're a good team, though, and play a clean game (or, at least when they DO get penalties, they do spend their time in the penalty box).

We lost this one 7-1.

Fourth game was against a team from Healy. A good game here as well. Nice team, clean players. The one penalty they had against us was spent with good grace in the penalty box (and we still didn't get a goal on that power play). I've heard good things about this team as well, that they love having teams from Fairbanks come down to play them on home ice, that the usually have 2 games a day, and that they always throw a big potluck for the visiting team's benefit. In fact, one lady (hockey mom from team 3) told me that she's never been to a church potluck that's as good as Healy's potlucks are. More food, tastier food, than she's ever seen. *grin* She strongly recommended taking them up on their offer for a road trip game, if invited. LOL

We lost 10-3 against Healy.

Now, DD's shots-on-net/save ratios were pretty good. Of 1st, 2nd & 3rd games, the shots on net were 25, 44, and 25. That means she saved 18 of 25 shots in the first game, 31 of 44 shots in the second game, and 18 of 25 shots in the third game. I didn't get to see the score sheets for the fourth game. But that's still a really good ratio. We were all a bit bummed that we didn't do better, but it's a learning experience, for sure.

We need to remember to "pressure the puck" better. (Ie: The girls need to remember that the kids on the other team will not just HAND them the puck, we need to get in there & go after that puck, if we want it.) We need to remember to "play our positions" better. (Ie: the girls who are defense need to focus on keeping the other team AWAY from DD, and yet don't block her from seeing what's going on, so that she doesn't see the puck to stop it.) And we need to remember to pick up the pace. (Pretty much what it means, skate your heart out & keep up the pace, slow doesn't win the game in hockey.) And DD needs to figure out how best to block a deke. At least 3 of the kids on the other teams had really nice dekes (watch the first Mighty Ducks movie, for what I mean by a "deke"), and they were the players that got most of the goals on DD. If she can figure out how to block a deke effectively, she'll dramatically improve her shots/saves ratio.

Now, here's hoping the 2 coaches (that were able to make it to the games) take what we've learned from these 4 games & apply them to coaching our girls (because DD plays on an all-girls team) to greater heights.


Now, I've gotta head to the grocery store & pick up some necessities. Among which will be onions, celery, bacon, half&half, and canned clams for tonight's clam chowder. DH really wasn't kidding when he said he wanted me to make clam chowder every other weekend. LOL Only, this time he's asked that I double the batch so he can take some to his buddy at work, who's wife hates clams & refuses to try making home-made clam chowder. If I can get a decent shot, I'll take a pic to share. Taking my camera to the kitchen RIGHT NOW, so I don't forget later. *wink*

Have a Blessed Day.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Wish us luck!!!!

DD's got a hockey tournament over the next 2, possibly 3, days. Her team is about mid to upper range in skill level in age group (7, 8, 9 and 10). And this is the second year practicing/playing together for about half of them (13 girls total), so they're starting to really get the hang of how to play well together.

DD is, of course, goalie. She's excited, and nervous. Understandable.

And it's going to be a very long day. Two days, actually. I took off till work today till 6, so I can haul DD around for the games. There are 2 each day, with the play-off on Thursday if her team makes it that far. So, we start out at noon today with our first game. Should be over by about 1:15. Then to bum around town for a couple of hours, find something to eat, waste time. Then back to the rink for the second game, at 4:45 I believe. I've got to leave by 5:30 (by which point DH should be there from work) to head to work myself. Fortunately my library is just down the road from the rink, so it's a quick drive. Unfortunately it means I won't get dinner till I get off work at 9:15 tonight & get home. DH already knows he's making Sloppy Joes for dinner, so that's taken care of.

Then tomorrow I've taken off the whole day (as I'd work from only Noon to 6, anyway), for the tournament. We'll know by the end of the second game, tomorrow, if DD's team makes it to the play-offs.

I'm kinda (I know, Bad Mommy!) hoping she doesn't. I mean, it's not that I don't want them to do well. I do. And I know how thrilled they'd all be if they DO make it to the play-offs. But I can't take off that last day this week. I haven't put in for Thursday off, and I have already got soooo much time off this month already, between this tournament, and taking my birthday off. *sigh* Of course the play-off game actually starts at 5:45 on Thursday, if they do make it, and runs till 7, so DH & I wouldn't be able to start out the game with DD, but at least we could watch the last of it. I don't know. We'll see.


DH was feeling queezy & woozy all day yesterday. Was planning on having the Sloppy Joes then, but he decided he wasn't up to much more than a bowl of ramen noodles. DD wasn't home from the best friend's house yet, so I had a salad. DH & I DID finally get to finish The DaVinci Code. Though not without several long pauses, arguing with DD as to coming home & spending time with her family. She's like 9 going on 16, she'd rather be with her best friend doing ANYTHING than spend time with her Dad & I. *sigh*

I don't know if I really liked "The DaVinci Code" all that much. I mean, it was ok. But there were a few things wrong with it. And not the bad-guy's self-mutilation that really got to DH, either.

First off, Sophie was portrayed as little more than a pretty face. In the book she did quite a bit of the puzzle solving herself. It was almost like Langdon's character, in the movie, was walking her through remembering first that her grandpa had a thing for puzzles, then solving them himself. As I said, in the book she was quite a bit more involved, from what I recall.

Sooooo many little tidbits & ideas that were presented in the book didn't make it into the movie. Like the importance and symbolism of the pentacle and the rose. And they never touched on the Merovingian kings of France & the possible blood ties between them & Jesus. It was never explained, except in a couple of fuzzy "memory" shots, the voilence that Silas grew up with, that contributed to his angry soul. And except for one confusing shot of a "Pagan" ceremony, Heiros Gamos was never touched upon, even when Sophie was trying to explain her seperation from her grandfather.

I felt like I had to explain everything to DH, like if he hadn't read the book then how could he really understand what was going on in the movie. And that WAS the case in the first self mutilation scene with Silas. I had to explain to DH about a celice, about the whip, and the purpose behind them. I really wish there had been considerable more explanation given for so many different things. It's a movie, I know, and they've got to keep it to a decent length, but I really felt like the movie didn't quite do the book justice.

Though I did get rather a chuckle out of the scene in which Sophie & Langdon are pulling back from Sophie's apartment, and behind them is an opera poster of Les Miserables, and Fache turnes around & sees the car pull off and starts yelling to follow them. A nice little insider joke there, for those who've read Les Mis. about the intensity with which Fache tracks Langdon & Sophie in respect to Inspector Javert in Les Mis who relentlessly hunts the prime character, Jean Valjean. I did appreciate that little tidbit, that obviously wasn't in the book. (At least not in the form it appears in the movie, though I don't recall if it was referenced in the book. I don't believe it was.)

So, there is my rather bummed review of "The DaVinci Code".


Well, I must get going, get something to eat for breakfast & wake up DD.

Have a Blessed Day!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Wow!!!! Is it REALLY 2007?!?!

I can't believe that it's a new year. 2006 seemed to pass soooo quickly, and yet the last couple of months have meant some rather interesting times.

I hope y'all had a GREAT New Year's Eve, and that none of my friends are hurting as badly as my hubby is right now. (More on that later.)

I also want to say THANK YOU for all the lovely comments the last few days!

Well, Saturday was another interesting one.... After finding out that the wedding would NOT be happening at all, I spent most of the day vegging, either on the computer or in front of the TV (finally watching my New & Improved DVD version of "The Little Mermaid"). DD & her best friend were playing in DD's room (both on their new Nintendo DS's) for most of that time, before they headed over to BF's house, then finally (about 6 pm) over BF's grandma's house to spend the night. DH brought home "The DaVinci Code" for me & him to watch. Well, about 8 pm, just after we'd settled ourselves down to start the movie (we were less 20 minutes into it), my Mom calls, asking if she & Middle Sis can stop by to say goodbye to DD, as they'd both be leaving on Sunday. Ok..... Except that DD was over at her BF's grandma's, spending the night.

So, DH gets dressed again (we were both in our pj's, chillin' & not figuring on going out again for the night) & runs over & grabs DD & BF from BF's grandma's. Mom & Middle Sis got here & we spent 2 hours just sitting around chatting & hanging out with them. They left, and DH took the girls back, at about 10 pm. Then, DH got back, popped a bag of popcorn, and we sat back down to return to our movie.

So, wouldn't you know it, not even another 20 minutes into the movie (we did skip the scene's we'd already seen) when the phone rings again. It's now 10:45. Caller ID says that it's BF's grandma's house. I answer & BF is there saying that DD has cut herself on a mirror, and could we please come get her. Ok..... Now DH & I are BOTH getting dressed again (well, actually, it was the first time all day I'd actually BEEN dressed in something other than pjs) and running over to get DD.

Turns out, some how, DD has brushed/bumped her arm against a mirror that was hanging/leaning (not entirely sure) against the wall in BF's cousin's room at the Grandma's house. And sliced it. Looked something like a torn-open blister, with the flap of skin folded up under itself. But, it was bleeding pretty good. So.... BF's grandma tells us to take her over to the Fire Dept (where BF's dad works) and have them take a look at DD's arm. We did. They said that as shallow as it is, there's nothing to stitch, so they cleaned it up, bandaged it, and sent us back on our way. DD got dropped BACK at BF's grandma's house (DD stopped crying once she realized she wouldn't need stitches), and DH & I came on home.

It was just after 11 pm by this point, and since I had to work yesterday (Sunday) I decided that I wasn't going to tempt fate by trying to get through that movie again for the night. I headed in for a shower then bed. And of course spent the next few hours tossing & turning something horrid because my shoulder was killing me. (Long story short, after years & years of carrying heavy school bags, heavy diaper bags, heavy purses, and now heavy totes, I believe the cartilage in my left shoulder has worn away. It hurts. Quite badly. After having surgery this summer we're not quite in a position for me to see a Dr, yet, about this new issue. So, I'm biding my time. Sometimes it helps when DH gives me a good long shoulder rub, but not always.) So, I popped a percaset leftover from DH's ulcer problem this summer (having had percaset earlier this summer myself, I knew I could safely take it) and finally got some sleep. Dh, though, hearing that I had to rely on a percaset to get ANY sleep, has decided that it's time for me to call insurance and see what they'll cover as far as chiropractor visits, and to get myself in for a looksee at my shoulder.


Yesterday, I worked my regular Sunday schedual, then came home to meet up with DH & DD before going over to the Inlaws for New Years. DD called & asked if she could continue hanging out with BF for New Years, that they'd be back over at BF's house, instead of the Grandma's. Ok. I suppose so..... So, DH & I went over to the Inlaws by ourselves, and joined SIL and her Ex (the father of her two sons) and both of the little boys, and MIL & FIL for some Shimp-Pasta salad, a shrimp cocktail platter, and OMG Yummy Alaska King Crab with melted butter. DANG! I ate a little more than I should have, but oooooh well. FIL kept dishing it out, I kept eatting. *wink*

We left there at about 10:45 as MIL had to be to work this morning. (She's an in-home care assistant to this 102 (or 103) year old lady. So she doesn't get all the holidays off, necessarily.) DH & I decided to stop over at the BF's house & wish the Parents & all their guests (Grandparents, aunts & uncles, GiGi -great-grandma-, and cousins) and DD a Happy New Year. Before we knew it, we were being served custom-mixed drinks, a little heavier on the alcohol than I like 'em. I stopped after the first because I knew SOMEBODY had to get the truck home. (BF's house is on the same strip of land as ours, but around the next street & two houses down. So, it's not like a LONG drive home.) DH kept drinking, and DANG is he feeling it this morning.

Fireworks were shot off. More alcohol was drunk (I was sticking to sparkling apple cider after that first drink). An Engagement ring was produced by the best man from OUR wedding for HIS girlfriend. DH was asked to officiate at THAT wedding. Hugs and congratulations all around. Little boy excitedly told his soon-to-be Mommy that he couldn't wait till she married him & his daddy. (As a matter of fact, this little 4 year old was the one that presented the VERY big diamond to his soon-to-be mommy.) Drunk guests were laughingly slinging barbs & snotty comments back & forth. Kids were tiredly chilling on the couch. Dogs were freaking. Shy people were being considerably LESS shy due to the amount of alcohol being drunk & were saying things I don't think would NORMALLY come out of their mouth.

And at about 1:30 this morning I decided it was time for me to come home. DH said he'd make it home under his own steam, by walking the well-trodden path between our house & BF's house, behind our next-door-neighbour's house. So, I took the keys (which DH had given me about 2 hours before) and proceeded to go figure out how to adjust the seat so that I could reach gas & break pedals (in the dark, mind you, as I don't know where the interior light switch is in DH's new truck), put on my seat belt, and just as I was getting ready to pull forward & past BF's house, another guest pulls in right in front of me. So now I had the additional challenge of BACKING UP (fortunately NOBODY was parked behind me), to pull around this new vehical.

I wasn't drunk, but was incredibly tired, which has a similar effect on me to being drunk. So, I was being awfully careful. But DANG is that truck sensative. The slightest tap on the gas, and it jumped forward or backward (because I WAS backing out, first). The slightest tap on the brakes, and it'd slam to a halt. Considering how close I had to pull the seat in order to reach the pedals, it's a good thing I didn't give myself a concussion. And I was praying the entire way back around the block that no cop did their rounds through our subdivision, because drunk or not, I'd have been pulled over. And 2 house & one corner away, or not, I would have probably have been in trouble for trying to drive the truck home. Luck was in my corner, though, because I made it without issue, and DH's truck is actually even pulled into his parking spot next to my car.

So, I came in, surveyed the damage Puck did to the carpet (the dog absolutely flips out over fireworks). Jenny was in her cage, so she didn't do any damage, but Puck pulled the carpeting up from the flooring in front of DD's bedroom door. So, more carpet padding to replace, hopefully we won't have to replace the carpetting itself. Because it's one BIG swath of carpet from the bedroom doors through the living room, to the master bedroom door. After getting both dogs outside for potty breaks, and back into the house, I sat down to watch TV until DH came home. Good thing I did, too.

He didn't make it home under his own steam. After I left BF's house (at which point DH was pretty well sloshed), he had another 2 or 3 drinks which landed his ass in a chair, unable to get out. Unable to put on his own shoes, barely able to walk out the door. Another sober guest (and family friend) gave DH a run home & up to the door. I had to help him out of his jeans & socks as he was almost passed out on the bed. He, suprisingly, didn't puke (though it would probably have been better for him if he had, as he's still rather drunk this morning, after 9 hours of sleep). And off to the land of Nod. For both of us.


Now, here we are on Monday morning. Jan. 1 2007. I feel pretty good (except I need to get something to eat), and DH has been sipping a glass of water & slowly eatting crackers, trying to soak up the rest of the alcohol in his system. DD is still over at BF's house, hopefully still sleeping, as I'm sure they didn't get to sleep till VERY late this morning. And I'm hoping that nobody else out there is feeling as poorly as my DH is. (As he stumbled from the bedroom at 11:30 & planted his ass on the couch to watch football, I brought him 2 tylenol & a glass of water. But he's turned down coffee and is slowly munching on crackers. At least for now.) And fortunately neither of us had to work today. LOL

So, I'm going to spend the first day of 2007 vegging & reading blogs, and hopefully finally watching The DaVinci Code. How about you????

Hope you didn't party too hard last night.

Have a Blessed Day!