Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Productive Week

I love vacation. Vacation is the only time I feel like I’m able to have some fun. When we are in school I am so exhausted at the end of the day I don’t have any drive to accomplish a whole lot of anything. And then getting up at 5:30 in the morning…forget about it.

We had this past week off for Fall break. It was lovely. I had a very relaxing break but it was also very productive. I think the reason it was productive is because I am a night person. When I’m working I have to be a morning person which I hate with every fiber of my being. Instead, on vacation, I can sleep in until I decide to get out of bed, get my jobs done for the day, and still stay up late for some fun.

There were a lot of things going on this week…dinner with friends,

blog 011doctors appts, working in my classroom, cleaning my closet, game night, movies, and two Thanksgivings. In addition, my cute little coffee maker arrived so I had time to experiment.
blog 014 blog 019
Even though I kept busy, I still had some time to myself. More than anything, when I’m home, I love to play in my art room. However I don’t like to work on my art when I only have an hour or two. I like to be in there when I have 6 or 7 hours just to experiment and create. During vacation I’m able to do that. This week I worked in my art journal and got to work on my holiday cards.
The crazy puppy also enjoyed that I was home spending time with her this week. Each day we went to the dog park AND on a walk which definitely helps with the craziness.
blog 017
Rigby is pure 9-month-old trouble, but we had some time to work on her manners this week.

All in all it was such a nice vacation. But it’s back to work this week. Setting the alarm was brutal. I’m getting through the let down of going back to work by thinking about winter vacation…starting in three weeks.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Number 2

It’s awfully nice to attend Thanksgiving at someone else’s house. There is less stress not being the hostess (or host) of the event. It is much, much easier to arrive with a side dish than it is to plan and coordinate the meal. I should have been happy to visit with family and friends without having to worry about them all in my home. However, there was something missing…leftovers!

To me, the best part of the Thanksgiving meal is the turkey sandwich for lunch the next day. Leftovers are a hit or miss when eating elsewhere and it was a risk I wasn’t willing to take. That’s why I hosted my own Thanksgiving meal last night…Thanksaturday if you will.

I had never made a turkey before, but I like to cook and I’m pretty good at it. So how hard could it really be, right? Well, it was hard! To start, the wrapping on the turkey said the icky parts of the turkey were packaged in two bags and shoved into the cavity. I only found one! I had my hand shoved in that turkey’s butt for a good 5 minutes trying to find bag #2. I couldn’t, which worried me, but I felt the first bag that included the neck and it felt like the other parts were also inside so I figured I was good to go. The turkey was prepped and put in the oven to cook for the directed 3 and a half hours.
blog 007
The 3 and a half hours turned into about 5 hours. In the mean time, prepping the side dishes so they were all finished at the same time as the turkey and each other was quite the task. Especially when the turkey took forever to cook. Once it finally did, it looked beautiful!

blog 008
This was also the first time I carved a turkey. It went pretty well until I got through one side and located the 2nd bag of “goodies”. They were still securely sealed inside the baggie but I truly think they crawled inside the turkey after I put it in the oven because I had checked it inside and out for that 2nd bag.

Without further ado, the meal was finally prepared! We had turkey (of course), smashed potatoes, gravy, lemon roasted asparagus, and cranberry sauce. blog 009
It was an uncomplicated meal, but it sure tasted good. Plus, we all finished the evening with our own set of leftovers to make sandwiches with this week.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Peeing in the Kitchen – A Thanksgiving Story

I have a very small family.  Other than my mom, I have an aunt and a couple of cousins and that’s it.  Our holiday get togethers are kind of a random mixture of friends and family and no longer really tradition oriented.  So this story really could have happened on a regular day and it still would have been funny.  However, since it happened on Thanksgiving, it’s even funnier.

A few years back my cousin Diane had Thanksgiving at her house.  There were about 15 people there that day and we had quite a nice dinner.  After the dinner was over some guests were resting on the couch while others helped clean up the mess.  When most of the cleaning was finished all that remained in the kitchen were my cousin Diane and my aunt (Diane’s mom).  They dried dishes and put them away.

Let me give you some pertinent background information about my cousin and my aunt.  They pee when they laugh too hard.  That’s right.  If they get to laughing a lot, they have an “accident”.  As far back as I can remember, combined they have probably peed their pants about 8 times.  Which, to me, is a lot to pee your pants as an adult.

While Diane and my Aunt Kathy were doing the dishes, Diane bent down to one of the cupboards below the counter to put something away.  While down there, my aunt accidentally whacked her in the head with a pot.  The sound of the pot hitting her head made a “Bonnnggg” sound.  Diane was ok in the sense that she wasn’t hurt, but she sat down on the kitchen floor and burst into laughter.  The rest of us who heard the ringing also started laughing once we realized she was ok.  That made Diane laugh harder, and that made Diane pee right there on the kitchen floor.  If that weren’t bad enough, Diane peeing on the kitchen floor made the rest of laugh, including her mom, my Aunt Kathy.  Who then peed on the kitchen floor as well. 

Those of witnessing all this peeing were quite surprised.  We had seen this behavior from each of them individually, but never as a duo.  Everyone moved out of the kitchen area quite quickly so we didn’t have to be involved in the clean up.  We were thankful that we had already had dinner as none of us would have wanted to eat a Thanksgiving dinner after there had been pee on the kitchen floor.  Surprisingly enough, we haven’t had Thanksgiving at Diane’s house since then.

Happy Turkey Day everyone! 


Monday, November 22, 2010

Listen…I Think That’s the Sound of the Earth Dying

Did you know earlier this year that Sun Chips introduced a new 100% compostable bag? Made of plant material, this bag is super good for the environment because it decomposes over time rather than sitting in a landfill for years and years.

I’m only an occasional Sun Chip consumer so I only knew about the new bag from some friends. They joked however about how noisy the new bag was. Here’s an example…

It is pretty noisy, but none of my friends stopped buying it because of the noise. In fact, one bought it just for that reason.

As I mentioned, I don’t eat a lot of Sun Chips, so I didn’t think too much about it after except that it was a great concept. I think all companies who package food should do so in compostable packages. Then this past week, while watching Real Time With Bill Maher, I learned that due to customer complaints about the noise, Frito Lay is returning to it’s original Earth-killing bag for 5 of their 6 flavors.

What could possibly be that annoying about the bag? All chip bags are noisy. Eating chips is noisy. Perhaps this bag is noisier than it’s predecessor. Maybe it wouldn’t be a bag you’d take with you to the movies, but really, if I were a loyal Sun Chip eater, this bag wouldn’t stop me from staying that way. Even if it did bother me, I’d handle a little bit of noise to help the environment. If it bothered me a lot, I might even put in a little extra effort and put them in a bowl.

To the people who would stop buying an Earth-friendly product because of the sound of the bag I have this message for you…
A noisy Sun Chip bag is a small inconvenience compared the sound of the Earth dying.

And a message to Frito Lay…
Shame on you for caving to a warped public opinion. An opinion of people who clearly can’t sacrifice anything (not even the sound of their chip bag) to help the environment.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Now Maybe I’ll Be a Coffee Drink(er)

About once a week I drink coffee…if you can call it that. Coffee connoisseurs and hard core black coffee drinkers would laugh at my coffee consumption. Instead of choking down this

coffee2I happily sip sweet and caramel-y coffee drinks like this
coffee Mmmmm!
Since these coffee drinks are so expensive I have tried to make my own by adding fancy creamers to regular coffee. However, I can’t make a pot of coffee to save my life. It ends up just tasting like coffee water so I continue to spend $4-$5 a pop on these yummy cups of heaven. Just not very often since I can’t afford it too often. That is until recently…

A few weeks back I was in one of the best kitchen stores in the world, Sur La Table. They happen to be demonstrating a new single serve coffee machine made by Krupps and Nescafe. It was so easy and the coffee was so tasty! Plus there isn’t any measuring coffee or water and no coffee filters. Instead, you just stick one of the premeasured “pods” inside the machine and it does everything including steaming the milk! That put a bug in my ear about single serve coffee makers.

I did some research but kept coming back to the Krupps because it is so darn cute AND it is red!
red_main_img I know, right!?!?!

This week I finally broke down and purchased the Dolce Gusto Creativa machine. I got the email today that it had been shipped and was on it’s way! So yay!

Now here’s hoping that my new machine will pay for itself in the near future because I won’t be spending all that money for one drink. I think it will be so much fun to use that I might even try black coffee one of these days.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Maybe I Am A Little Bit Cool

I’ve been on a blog hiatus recently. Wanting to spend more time creating art than writing my blog. There just isn’t enough time in the day to do both, so I’ve let it slide. I will do my best to keep up with the writing. Still reading and enjoying your blogs.

I went shoe shopping this weekend. I love shoes; can’t get enough of them. We were in DSW for about 1 minute when I spotted these little gems…


I tried them on and they were so comfortable, plus they looked really cute with the jeans I wore. SOLD!

After wandering around rows and rows of shoes looking for a pair of brown flats I gave up (I can’t ever find cute brown flats) and got into line.

The checkout girl was probably about 20 and very bubbly. She opened the box and gasped, “Oh my god! These are so cute!” I agreed. “Not a lot of people have bought these,” she added, “It takes a special kind of person for these shoes.” I nodded and laughed politely all the while thinking, “What the hell does that mean?” But actually said, “Really? I just thought they were cute.” “NO! You’re really cool to pull off shoes like these. I couldn’t do it.” More polite nodding.

I’m so the opposite of cool, so as I left the store I wondered if this girl had just made some underhanded compliments at my expense. But as the evening went on, I decided to just be cool knowing that not every Tom, Dick and Harry bought these shoes. Now let’s see if I’m cool enough to pull them off.