Thursday, December 28, 2006

Struck a Deal

The contractor called last night and made another offer that we accepted. They're here today for about four hours, they'll be here tomorrow all day, and then they'll finish up on Tuesday. I don't think I'll have anything else done for awhile. All that's left to do is new carpet for the bedrooms and new countertops in the kitchen. Those things will have to wait awhile. I want to get our taxes done and see where we stand before spending anymore money.

One of my resolutions for next year is to cut down on spending. I kinda went nuts this year. Not beyond our means, mind you, but still a lot more than I normally spend. Internet shopping is way too fun and easy. I think that's where I got off track. I'm going to set myself a monthly "allowance" starting January 1. Now I just have to figure out how much that's going to be.

Another resolution is to not have any sugar for the month of January. It would be ridiculous to try and not have any for a whole year, but I think I can handle 31 days. After that, I'll see how I feel and how much weight comes off just from that, and make a decision on what to do next. I know I can do it because I did it a few years ago when Barnaby and I both went on Marilu Henner's program. We went cold turkey on sugar, dairy, and meat other than fish, and did great on that for months and both lost weight. I'm not so much trying to lose weight as trying to get healthier by eating better.

Gotta go. Later.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

And Then There Were Three

I've freaked myself out, and I can't pick one!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas (I know. Very Original)

Christmas is over with family. Boon Pappy is coming over in the morning at 7am to have our Christmas. Barnaby and me will have our Christmas then too. I guess we'll just laze around the rest of the day and maybe watch the Cowboy game. Nothing will be open, and I'm sure nothing good will be on TV, so it should be a pretty boring day. I remember working on Christmas day last year because I was so bored. Even if I want to work tomorrow, I don't have any. I'm going to try and stretch a few magazines that I haven't read so they'll last through tomorrow night. Sometimes we go to IHOP on Christmas night really late and eat. It's about the only thing open on Christmas day/night, and it's kind of a fun tradition.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas. I hope you're happy and healthy and everything goes your way. Much love all around.

Pam

End Results

Ignore Devil Dog in the Lower Right


We're very pleased with the results. It did not come off without a hitch, however.
I was just telling Barnaby Wednesday night that it looked like we were going to have no problems for the first time when dealing with a contractor. I should have known. On Thursday, I noticed that they hadn't painted the other half of the front room (which is actually a separate room, but we use them both as one. There's barely a divider there. You can see it in the pictures if you look real hard. Except you don't have to look real hard now because the paint suddenly stops and half the room is stark white. I ask you...WHY WOULD ANYONE LEAVE ONE ROOM WHITE WHEN THE REST OF THE HOUSE IS A BROWN SHADE??? Answer: THEY WOULDN'T.
I won't go into the whole story, but suffice it to say, I had a wall-eyed fit after hearing that the contractor wanted to charge me $1490 to do that one room! I'm ticked off, but I will paint that room PURPLE myself before I pay him that much money to do one tiny room. It has screwed up the whole flow of the house, but whatever. We'll figure something out.
I'm in a hurry now to get ready for the Christmas get-together with family. I need a shower in the worst way, and make-up, and nails, and ...

Friday, December 22, 2006

More Progress

Here are the pictures of everything with just the base coat. Today they will be putting a faux finish (tea stain) on all the walls. Go look HERE for an example of tea stained walls. You may have to try and open that page twice. For some reason, it never opens the first time for me.


The color in the kitchen and breakfast room is exactly the same as what's in our living room. I had no idea it was that much the same. It should look much darker with the tea stain.

I really like this gold color in the bedroom. They are painting the entire room that color, and only tea-staining the wall behind the bed. Hopefully, they will be finished today. He told me yesterday that he thought they would be done by the end of the day today. I have things I need to do. Not to mention the fact that I'm just sick of them being here.
It's stressful having people in your house all day. Things are in disarray, and I have to actually be fully-dressed all day -- bra and everything! I hate that. I never wear shoes or a bra unless someone is coming over. I usually have one some kind of lounge pants too. Heh, that sounded dumb..."lounge pants." What I mean is pajama pants or sweats or something like that. I can't truly relax with real clothes on.
I want to bake a couple of things for Christmas Eve. We're having appetizers and desserts over at my sister's house with the whole family, except my sister in San Diego who isn't here for Christmas this year :(.
More later.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

He's So Cute, It Hurts!

OMG, ya'll! Is that the cutest thing you've ever seen??? I'm considering being his mommie. I know! I'm crazy dog lady! When I know more, so will you.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Progress





I'm still hiding in my office. I think I'm going to move to the bedroom and watch TV. More pics and stuff tomorrow.

Chicken Soup

Rainy Day
I'm cooped up in my office for the next three days with the dogs and Kitty because the painters are here. I packed a cooler with water and iced coffee, and I have the toaster, some bread, and some peanut butter in here with me so I don't starve to death. I'm sure those guys will be overjoyed when I start taking their picture. Hee. I'll probably be updating here several times a day due to bordom.
"Homemade" Chicken Soup

I got the basic recipe for this soup out of a cookbook and changed it up a little. It took me 10 minutes, tops, to put this together, and it was so good. The pesto makes a great-tasting broth. It's definitely a keeper recipe. It would be perfect to throw together when you have a cold or aren't feeling well enough to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Don't leave out the sprinkle of parmesan on top. That makes it really good.
Chicken Noodle Soup

3 (14-oz) cans of chicken broth, divided use
1/2 can of water (1/2-3/4 cup)
1 (12.5-oz) can of chunk white chicken
1/2 bag of frozen chopped broccoli
1 small can sliced carrots
1 1/2 cups uncooked medium egg noodles
Black pepper to taste
3 tbsp store-bought pesto (I used basil pesto)
Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tbsp)
Parmesan cheese
Bring 2 cans of broth and the water to a boil in a large saucepan. (Reserve the 3rd can of broth for reheating leftovers) Stir in chicken, broccoli, and carrots and return to a boil. Stir in egg noodles and cook 7-8 minutes until noodles are done. Stir in pesto and lemon juice; simmer one minute more. Serve in a bowl with parmesan sprinkled on top.

This was great and even better leftover the next day. I had to add another can of broth before warming it up because the noodles had soaked most of it up.

********************************************************

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Miss Pissy Britches

Did I sound like Miss Pissy Britches yesterday? I didn't mean to. I don't want to be one of those people whose journal/blog/whatever is nothing but a bitchfest and a downer. I read a few like that are like that more often than not, and I don't want to be one of them. I guess everybody has those kinds of days, and if you're going to keep it real here you have to include those. It just doesn't need to be every day. Moving on...

It's my favorite kind of day again: overcast and dark, chilly, rain, and I have lamps on all over the house. I just love lamps. I could have ten in every room. Clocks that tick are one of my favorite things too. I'm going to get a coo-coo clock one of these days. Maybe next year for mine and Barnaby's 15th anniversary. We bought one for our 4th, and I still love it.

I've been taking my camera whenever I leave the house. I've been hoping to get a fun picture to share. No such luck. My world is being boring. I guess when you only leave the house to run to the grocery store or drugstore, there's not going to be much exciting or interesting to share. Who knew?

I've had a box of hair color sitting on my bathroom counter for several days now. I decided on a dark auburn color. I miss my strawberry blond hair, but I don't want to go that light anymore. I had no idea my hair was this dark now. And mousy, ashy, and boring. When I get around to putting it on my hair, I'll take a picture of that. How pathetic is that? Will you be checking back every five minutes to see if I've posted it yet? I'm so sure.

BP? Where are you? We keep missing each other on the phone. I miss talking to you.

Monday, December 18, 2006

A-Hole

I'm so proud of myself for cancelling a job with a new client who turned out to be a pain in the ass. Normally, I would have just taken it when I really didn't want to. I used to have a hard time telling anybody no, even complete strangers I've never met in my life. Well, I've gotten over that, and it gets easier every time. He kept asking me a million questions and wanted assurances, wanted me to guarantee the work of Kinko's printers (what?), and was just a general pain in the ass. I just decided I didn't want to deal with him after speaking with him again this morning, so I called him and cancelled. It's not like I started the job and then bailed on him. We were still discussing the details. He still wasn't sure exactly what he wanted and hadn't gotten any of the materials to me to start. He got mad and hung up on me, and then called back twice wanting to know why, why, why??? He hung up on me both of those times too. I was super nice to him and called him "Sir" and everything, even after he had hung up on me twice. He thought he was going to bully me into taking the job, but I said, "Absolutely not. I am not taking this job, and I don't want to discuss it any further with you. I'm sorry if I've wasted your time, blah, blah, blah. I just don't think I'm the person you need for this job." He hung up on me for the third time. Whatever, Dude. You should have kept your mouth shut and stopped trying to micro-manage me.

I went to Ulta on Saturday. I had the best time for the first 15 minutes, and then Barnaby came in and was up my ass for the whole rest of the time. I didn't expect him to like shopping in a beauty store, but damn. He was supposed to be at Best Buy while I was at Ulta, but he only stayed about 15 minutes and then came to bug me. I told him to leave because I wasn't NEARLY finished looking, but alas, he stayed and bugged the crap out of me until I finally decided to leave and a midget girl checked me out.

It was weird because she was about 3-feet tall and teeny tiny, but she didn't look like a midget -- or dwarf or little person or whatever is politically correct now. Her head and arms and legs were in proportion to her body, and she was pretty. As we approached the counter, Barnaby said, "Is that girl sitting down on something?" I said, "Shhh! No, she's not sitting down!"

It doesn't feel like Christmas around here at all. Not one little bit. It's been around 80 degrees for a week, and we have the air conditioner on. I'll just be glad when it's over. I'm not sure why, but I absolutely hate Christmas. Bah Humbug.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I'm Rambling


I'm trying to keep Phoebe entertained while I work so she won't get bored and lick her leg off. Good Lord. Next thing you know, I'll be taking her to doggie daycare just to keep her from getting "bored." I just took their toy box out of the closet (yes, my dogs have a toy box, shuddup) and left it open. You should have seen them all three standing there with their heads in the box pulling out as many toys as they could. I've never done that before, but they sure liked it. Now there are stuffed toys and squeaky things laying all over the house.

I just cut the holy crap out of my finger trying to open a window. It slammed back down on my finger and cut a big gash in it. Worker's Comp! Social Security Disability! I can't type and make a living because my finger is hanging by a thread of skin! Okay, it's not that bad. But still.
I was opening windows because it's absolutely beautiful outside. It's a perfect temperature, sunny, and there's just the right amount of breeze. It makes me want to bake a pie and put it in the window to cool. Okay, that's a lie. I've never done that in my life. But still.
I woke up this morning with a Jim Croce song in my head and it won't go away. I keep catching myself singing it. You know what I think it is? I swear that our brains can receive radio waves and we can subconsciously hear it even though the radio is not on. I think that song was on the radio when I woke up.
No, you're stupid.

Operator, well, can you help me make this call?
See, the number on the matchbook is old and faded.
She's living in L.A. with my best old ex-friend, Ray,
a guy she said she knew well and sometimes hated.

Isn't that the way they say it goes?
Well, let's forget all that.
And give me the number if you can find it
so I can call just to tell 'em I’m fine
and to show I've overcome the blow,
I’ve learned to take it well.
I only wish my words could just convince myself
that it just wasn't real, but that's not the way it feels.

Operator, could you help me place this call?
Well, I can't read the number that you just gave me.
There's something in my eyes.
You know it happens every time
I think about a love that I thought would save me.

Operator, let's forget about this call.
You see there's no one there I really wanted to talk to.
Thank you for your time.
You've been so much more than kind.
And you can keep the dime.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Um, No

That's not dirt. I tried to wash it off, but it's permanently discolored.

Here's something new: My dog, Phoebe, is licking her foot incessantly. It's driving me bonkers. There's nothing wrong with it, she's just licking for whatever reason. Apparently this is common in dogs. This is what I read on the innernets:

WHY DO DOGS LICK THEMSELVES RAW?

This type of foot-chewing may be compared to nail-biting in people. We chew our nails when we are bored or worried, out of habit, or even as an obsessive/compulsive behavior. Often, we find similar motivations in these foot-chewing dogs. Frequently, there has been a change at home such as:

*Lengthy confinement
*Addition of a new pet or human house-guest to the family
*Death or loss of a companion pet
*Loss of owner or absence of a family member
*Moving to a new home
*Boredom

(None of those are true for her except maybe boredom.)

For many dogs, treating the skin lesion is not enough; the dog must be palliated psychologically as well. Extra attention to the pet on a reliable basis may be all that is needed; however, some dogs actually require psychoactive drugs.

AMITRIPTYLINE - helpful in only 30% of dogs but considerably cheaper than the others. It takes 4 weeks on medication to determine if there will be an effect. If the medication is found helpful, the pet continues on it.

Approx. cost for 1 month of treatment for a 75 lb dog = $15.00

PROZAC - helpful for 50% of dogs that lick. The medication is given for 4 weeks. If no response is seen, the dose is doubled for another 4 weeks. Medication is discontinued if a good response is seen.

Approx. cost for 1 month of treatment for a 75 lb dog = $135.00

NALTREXONE - helpful in 50-60% of cases. The pet takes the medication for only one month. If licking stops, it usually is stopped for weeks to months. Should licking resume, another course of medication may be instituted.

Approx. cost for 1 month of treatment for a 50 lb dog = $210.00

Um, no. My dog is not taking Prozac or anything like it. She already takes meds for her arthritis. I'm going to wrap it with an Ace bandage and see what happens. She hasn't licked it raw yet, but she will soon. Right now it's just dark and discolored where she licks it all the time. Oh, and I'm bat-shit crazy listening to that incessant licking! Lick, lick, lick, lick. Gah! Stop it before I chop your leg off!!!! I'm the one who needs Prozac. Again, um, no.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Hi, Mates!


Is this the coolest Christmas tree topper you've ever seen? Love it! We got it free in the Pirates of the Caribbean DVD. It's actually a pin for your shirt or hat, but I thought it would look great on top of our little tree, and I was right. Merry Christmas, Scallywags. Arrrr!

As you can see, I drug out what few Christmas decorations we have. It's plenty. I'm not a big fan of Christmas and all the hoopla. Barnaby is even a bigger Scrooge than me. We really are perfect for each other. *Le Sigh*


I don't know why, but I couldn't find any pictures bigger than these of Pepe Le Pew. I'm sure there's a way, but I don't know what it is without making them all blurry-looking. It's funnier if you can see the expressions on their faces clearer.

And while we're on the subject, Pepe La Pew was nothing more than a stalker and rapist. If you think about it, it really is inappropriate. I don't think they'd make a cartoon like that these days. Or do they? Do they still make new Pepe Le Pew cartoons? I say that with tongue in cheek. I don't really care, but I always think that when I see his picture. Way to go, Pam. Make something nasty out of a silly cartoon and ruin it for everybody.

New subject...

I'm pissed about my eye job. I'm going to the doctor and tell him I'm not happy. I still look like I need an eye job. He was WAY too conservative and I still have my upper eye lids resting on my eye lashes. My right eye is worse than it was before surgery as far as getting a black spot of mascara that rubs off my eye lashes and onto my upper lid. That's just not right to still have that happen after paying money for an eye job. I don't see how he can argue with me once he looks at it himself. It's obvious that I still need something done. I'll let you know what he says. I'm not sure if I'll go before Christmas or wait until the beginning of January. Probably the sooner I go the better.

I'm off to read some mags before bedtime. See ya.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Alive and Well

My, my, time has gotten away from me and I haven't updated in a few days. Sorry about that. I wish I could tell you've I've been doing fun and exciting things, but no. I made some Christmas cookies on Saturday and decorated them. It was the first time I'd ever done that in my life...AND PROBABLY THE LAST. It took forever and made a huge mess. The cookies weren't very pretty either. I have trouble drawing a stick figure, so I should have known how it would turn out. I really wanted to take a picture of them, but I let my son take my digital camera to a wedding he went to that night.

He asked me to babysit his puppy, Mick, while they were gone. We kept him from about 3:30 until 12:30. I just don't know how we're going to do it when we get another dog some day. Puppies have so much energy! It was crazy around here with our three dogs, the cat, and Mick. I remember when our dogs were little thinking that I'd never get to sleep for a few hours straight ever again. They just take up so much time and attention, and you have to watch them every second or they'll chew on something, or shit, or piss, or vomit. I was worn out by the time he left. It made me really appreciate my dogs though.

I have a list here of things I need to do today, like doing Christmas cards for a few clients, wrap presents, go to the post office and mail some, groceries, bank, laundry, and the list goes on. Guess I better get to it.

I don't wanna. I have to. Bye.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Breaking News

Well, guess what? It didn't snow or ice or sleet or anything! Okay, it did thunderstorm and rain, but no freezing stuff. Arctic Blast, my ass. That's what they were calling it, Arctic Blast, with the dramatic music, special graphics and all. I'm probably going to get killed by a giant snowball or something some day because they cried wolf again and I didn't listen. Heh, death by snowball. At least it would make a good news story...

"Friends and family told Fox News they don't know why she didn't listen to all the warnings. We found her lifeless body outside under a giant snowball, dressed in shorts, a halter top, and flip-flops."

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Run For Your Lives!

She's telling you how clean and fresh she is. Yes, I bathed her AND went to the grocery store. The other two are hiding for fear they are next.
I felt like I had to go to the store because we have a Blue Norther comin' in tonight: thunderstorms, freezing precipitation, snow, sleet, ice, bowling balls, cats & dogs, (don't step in a poodle) etc. You'd think the world was coming to an end with all the drama on the news. Every 15 minutes they break into TV programming with this dramatic, Phantom of the Opera, we're-all-going-to-die music, and give the weather report. This is what we've been hearing all day:
"It's freezing in Wichita Falls! The temperature dropped 30 degrees in five seconds! Now it's really cold and raining west of us! You Fort Worth people batten down the hatches, locate your children, and seal yourselves in your houses! Stock up on groceries, batteries, bottles of water, and first aid kits! No, it's not a terrorist attack. It's going to snow! Maybe."
People just plain panic around here when they think it might snow. Then they get in their cars and drive like maniacs and wonder why they are sitting in a ditch with their hair and a tooth stuck in the windshield. If I can thaw myself out and chip myself out of the ice that is going to take over the earth tonight, I'll talk at ya tomorrow.

Granny's Fresh Banana Cake

Fresh Banana Cake

Why don't I just call this a food blog and get it over with? I post more food pictures and recipes. I didn't mean for things to be this way, but whatevah. You get what you get.

This is my first attempt at making my Granny's famous banana cake. At first I didn't think I got the icing right, but it's starting to firm up and crystalize like it's supposed to. We'll see when I have a piece later this evening.

If I get really ambitious, I may enter this cake in the Texas State Fair next year. I always forget that you have to do that sometime in the summer, even though the fair isn't until September. Please stand by whilst I go look on their website for the date I have to do that and put it in my calendar. If I don't do it now, I'll forget.

Okay, I'm back. I have to check back in June for the information. I've got it on my calendar now so I won't forget. I printed out last year's rules and info just so I'd have an idea what to expect. The rules can't change that much from year to year.

What else is going on? Hmmm. Well, I've had two contractors come and bid on the painting job. Actually, I have one bid, and the other guy is coming back in the morning with his. I thought that faux painting jobs would be really expensive, but it's not too bad. It's definitely worth it to not have to buy all the stuff and break my back. Looks like it will be done before Christmas, whoever I go with.

I haven't had any work since the Monday before Thanksgiving. I'm loving it and luxuriating in all this free time. Then I have moments where I get paranoid and freak out thinking I've pissed all my regular people off and they all hate me, and that's why they're not calling. I get over those moments pretty quickly though. Being paranoid is hard work.

I think I'm going to go now and give Phoebe a bath. If I have any energy left when I'm done, I'll do one of the other dogs too. I've already baked a cake, had a meeting with a contractor, cleaned out my refrigerator AND my closet, and it's only 2:45! There's no sense in getting all crazy. Maybe I'll just go lay down.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Grits To Die For

Cheesy Grits
Store Brand Grits

Oh my Gee-od, these are good, y'all! You've got to try them. I got this recipe out of a recent issue of Southern Living Magazine. They're even better than I thought they'd be.
Cheesy Baked Grits
4 BIG servings

½ cup uncooked quick grits
8oz Velveeta, cubed
¼ cup butter
3 large eggs
2 tbsp milk
¼ tsp salt

Prepare ½ cup grits according to package directions; remove from heat and stir in cheese & butter until blended.

Whisk together eggs, milk, and salt. Gradually whisk about ¼ of hot grits mixture into egg mixture; add to the remaining hot grits mixture, whisking constantly. Spoon mixture into a small casserole dish sprayed with Pam. Bake at 350 degrees 30-40 minutes or until set. Test with a knife. If it comes out clean, grits are ready.

This is half of the original recipe. You can double it easily to serve 8 people, use a 13 x 9 pan and bake 40-50 minutes. The recipe in the magazine said it reheats well. Leftovers, yum.

THIS SO GOOD!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Product Review: Eucerin Facial

I finally found a daily moisturizer for under my make-up that I really like. It's not greasy at all, and it has SPF 30. I paid about $8 at the drugstore. I had trouble finding this particular product. I got worried when they didn't have it at Target or Wal-Mart. Nearly everybody carried several different kinds of Eucerin lotions but not this one specifically for your face. I finally found it at Walgreen's Drugstore. When I find something I like, they usually stop making it. I guess I should go back and buy them all up. Nah. I'm such a product Ho, I'll probably find another one I want to try and fall in love with. Yes, I'm a product Ho. You've probably all figured that out by now.

I'm going shopping with my Mom today after lunch. She has a couple of specific things she's looking for that are on sale, plus, we have coupons for even more off. Did you know that Bed, Bath & Beyond will take those 20% off coupons they send out all the time even after they expire? They also will take up to 5 at a time, and will take their competitor's coupons too (Linens & Things is their competitor around here). Last time I was there, the lady that checked us out told me all of this. I wish I'd known sooner! I could have saved bunches on all those damn curtains.

Later.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Wall Colors

I've been staring at these color pallets for two days trying to make up my mind about which color and technique to use in the "parlor" pictured below. I absolutely hate white walls. Most of the other walls in my house are a brown tone of one shade or another. These one won't be much different. We're rarely ever in this room, but it's the first thing you see when you walk in and look to the left so it's got to be purdy. Wall color is the one thing you can change that makes a dramatic difference in the look and feel of a room.
See that blue rocking chair in the far corner? That is the "Death Chair." It was named so because I have a great, great Aunt Essie who died in that chair. Sorry if you think that's gross or irreverent or inappropriate to name her chair that, but I don't. I'm going to have it reupolstered soon -- you guessed it -- in a brown print of some kind. The telephone hanging on the wall belonged to my grandfather. That was the phone they actually used way back when. My mom had it in her house for a long time, and then she gave it to me when Barnaby and I got married. There's normally lots of other stuff on those walls, but since I'm fixin' to paint, I'm not hanging anything back up. Oh, and those curtains will be hemmed and on a tension rod inside the window. They're not finished yet.
View from the opposite side of the room. These walls need color! Wait until you see the difference it makes. Stay tuned.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving Food

Turkey & Dressing Roll-Ups
Cranberries, Jellied & Fresh
Candied Sweet Taters

7 lbs of Mashed Potatoes
Mom got in the way
I can't believe I forgot to take pictures of the dessert. Oh well. Not pictured are the Deviled Eggs, Autumn Apple Salad, Pea Salad, Pumpkin Pies, Pecan Pie, Blueberry Dessert & a Pumpkin Roll. Also not pictured are the people. Not everyone wants to be an Internet star.

Thanksgiving 2006

Be Thankful
I had to steal this picture because I really like it. Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving with your family and friends.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Box Hos & Monkeys

I’m an empty box hoarder. I’m sitting here looking at two that I got in the mail this week. Any time I have an empty box, I CANNOT just throw it away. My thinking is that the box will be perfect to mail something in. People, I rarely ever mail a box of anything – maybe once or twice a year, if that. Barnaby always makes fun of me for saving so many boxes. He just convinced me not long ago to throw out a bunch that were stacked in the hall closet, in the extra bedroom closet, and in our master bedroom closet. There must have been 20 boxes just sitting there, the perfect size, perfect shape, perfect color, perfect perfect perfect! Now the process has started all over again, and I’m sure by the end of December I’ll have 12 more he’ll have to pry out of my possession and throw away. I’m afraid I’ll need to mail something and won’t have a box to put it in. Panic! Pandemonium! Where shall I ever find a cardboard box??? Gah! I’m stressed just thinking about it, even though I know it’s silly.
The Monkey Tattoo
Simple...I like it.
Speaking of simple...
Some things are so simple. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this on my own. I was reading one of the many magazines I read a few months back and came to a page that had tips from different readers about various things like house cleaning, organizing, et cetera. One of the tips someone submitted was to keep an empty laundry basket in the back seat or trunk of your car. When you go to the grocery store or wherever, throw all of your bags in the basket. When you get home, throw your purse in the basket and carry the whole thing in. Genius! See how simple that is? I went to the Dollar Store and bought a cheap basket and immediately started using it to carry everything in. I can’t believe how much I’ve appreciated that basket since keeping it in the car. After I empty it, I just sit it by the garage door and take it out the next time I leave. The other day I was waiting in line at the drive-through at Starbucks and started throwing all the trash into that empty basket in the back seat. Then I cleaned out my purse of all the trash, and even cleaned out the glove compartment. When I got home, I just grabbed the basket and emptied it into the trash. Try it! You’ll like it.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Enough With the Candy

Peanut Butter Crunch Candy

I made the candy and, indeed, it has the taste and texture of a Butterfinger candy bar. It was really easy. I didn't have any molasses, so I used 2 tbsp of brown sugar. It didn't seem to mess anything up. Credit goes to: Cookie Madness. Here's the recipe:

Peanut Butter Crunch Candy

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 teaspoons molasses
12 ounces of milk chocolate (or dark, your choice)
1 cup creamy peanut butter

Butter an 8 inch pan or line it with parchment paper.

In a small saucepan, stir together the sugar, water, corn syrup and molasses. Turn heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes or until the sugar dissolves. Place your deep fry thermometer in the pan. Cook the sugar mixture over medium heat until it reaches 310 degrees F. Do not stir.

While mixture cooks, place your peanut butter in a microwave-safe mixing bowl. Microwave peanut butter on high for 30 seconds and stir so that peanut butter is soft.

When sugar mixture hits 310 degrees (no sooner), pour the sugar mixture into the peanut butter mixture and stir until blended. Quickly pour into lined pan and spread out to edges. Let cool for about a minute, then score (do not cut all the way through) the candy into 1-inch or larger squares. Let cool completely. Melt chocolate in microwave and drizzle on top. Let dry and remove from pan to break apart.

A few pictures:

My Buddy, L.B.

A Rose (Well, Duh)
Baby Rose & Momma Rose in Our Yard

My Butt Dangler, L.B.
Spider House

The big dogs would not sit still for a good picture. Maybe I can get them another day.

There is No Title

What Thanksgiving Should Look Like

I'm going to get crackin' on my part of the Thanksgiving baking today. I'm going to make two pumpkin pies, jello salad and some peanut butter crunch candy. Supposedly this candy taste just like Butterfinger candy bars. I'll let you know if it's true and snap a photo or two. I'll make the turkey & dressing rolls tomorrow, and the candied sweet potatoes on Thanksgiving morning.

Work is slow this week so far -- thank goodness. I'm looking forward to four days off starting Thursday. Barnaby and I are planning to go play poker next Tuesday whether I have work or not. I'm looking forward to that too.

We're going to be in the high 70s the rest of the week. Seems like it's always warm on Thanksgiving around here. How are we supposed to get in a festive holiday mood when it's nearly 80 outside? I hate that.

I'm off to bake and take pictures to entertain you. That's right. I'm such a giver.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

It's Over

Jimmie Johnson
2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup Champion

There's no one who would be a better Champion and representative of NASCAR. Now what am I gonna do on Sunday's until the end of February?? Guess I'll have to be productive now.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Goodies for Soldiers





My sister, Beanie, and my mom came over this morning and we made candy all morning and half the afternoon. My mom had already spent yesterday baking nine dozen cookies. We packed it all up and Beanie is shipping it to her friend, Lonnie, over in Iraq. He plans to share it, so we packed each type of candy and cookie in a separate snack-size baggie. There was three boxes of goodies! Here's what we sent:

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chewy Toffee Cookies
Almond Cookies
Chocolate Fudge
Chocolate Frosted Toffee
Puppy Chow Candy
Pecan Pralines
Peppermint Bark

It was great fun making all the candy. After my mom and Beanie left, I made some Skillet Fudge for Barnaby and me. He was all boo-boo lipped when he found out none of the candy we had made was staying here, so I made him some of his very own. I'm sure he'll end up taking whatever is left after the weekend to work. We'll be sick of it by then.

I have a monster headache right now, so I'm going to go nurse it with an ice pack and some Goody's Powder (Yuck!). I bet it was all that sugar. Ya think? I had to make sure it was fit to give!