Monday, December 28, 2009

Cheese and diamonds!





What do these two things have in common???





They are both gifts I received from Hubby for Christmas! LOL! I absolutely LOVE Horseradish White Cheddar Cheese. Kroger carries Boar's Head brand for $8.99/lb. See why I don't buy it for myself?!

But Hubby went to Target and got me 2 POUNDS of their brand for the amazing price of $5.99/lb. I would not buy it myself even at that price, but it made a great Christmas gift! Oh, and a round of Brie cheese, which I will rarely buy for myself as well.

And he surprised me with a lovely diamond bracelet that I have not taken a picture of yet. I got some other things, like perfume, a cutting board and a kitchen stool I asked for, but the cheese and diamonds were a total surprise!!

I got other lovely gifts, but another really great one was from my SIL. 2 new cases of jelly jars! WooHoo! I would have taken empty old ones, but jars are jars and I was excited!

The best gifts, of course, were getting to spend time with my 3 kids and 3 grandsons. I will put up some pictures when I get a chance. (I realized too late that I didn't get any of us together!. Oops!)

Hope everyone had a wonderful, wonderful Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

We are ready for Christmas!


The stockings were hung by the chimney with care.....

Oh, wait, that is tomorrow night's story!

We are ready for Christmas! My jam making marathon is over. I don't even know how many jars I made, but the assortment is delicious!

I also baked 16 loaves and one bundt of Cranberry Almond bread and they are all nestled in the freezer. I will take them out tomorrow afternoon to thaw, label them Christmas morning and put them in gift bags with the jam.

This year, we have gone really green and instead of buying paper gift bags to be thrown away (although most of our family saves them to reuse), we bought reusable grocery bags to use in their stead. So, the bag is a gift as well!

Hubby and I only bought gifts for our grandsons and our great nieces and those will be bagged up tomorrow...in Christmas bags, as I didn't think toddlers and babies cared about being green. LOL! We didn't bags up gifts yet, as I was afraid our cats would have to play in them and would ruin the tissue. LOL!

Christmas cards have been made for the kids to insert $$ in.

Oh, I do have to make devilled eggs and green bean casserole tomorrow for Christmas dinner at MIL's, but I only have to work 1/2 day, so have plenty of time.

I am ready for Christmas!!



Merry Christmas to all my bloggy friends!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The joys of apartment living.

I know that "at our age" Hubby and I are supposed to want to own a house. Well, it would be nice to have a yard, as Hubby is an excellent gardener. But, other than that, we just have not felt the need to invest in one.

This week, the advantages were obvious. We have a really nice washer...heavy duty, extra capacity. It WAS really nice and did a great job on our laundry....until this week. Hubby was washing a load and notice water coming OUT FROM UNDER it during the spin cycle. He turned it off and cleaned up all the water and called me at work to tell me about it. Well, I am a little more mechanically inclined than he, so I looked at it when I got home. I took off the front and checked everywhere, but could not find a clogged line. And I am NOT handy enough to tell if the pump went out or whatever. I COULD tell that it desparately needed a new belt, but it looked like changing that was way beyond my abilities.

We thought about calling a repair man, but since I bought the washer in '93 or '94, I decided that it had done its duty and should be allowed to die in peace. LOL!

So we called our apartment office. Our apartments provide washers and dryers in every unit, but since we had our own when we moved here, they pulled theirs out of our unit. Since they have not had to provide us with either (or a refrigerator, since we have our own) for 6 years, they were more than happy to send us a washer.

The maintenance guy actually offered to check ours out before just trashing it, but he couldn't find the problem, so pulled ours out and a little while later brought us a BRAND NEW, in the box washing machine. WooHoo!

If we lived in a house, we would have had to take care of the old washer, go to the store, buy a new one and wait for delivery. Sure, we can afford to buy a new one, but we didn't have to.

Yeah for apartment living!!

My hubby is just a big kid!

Hubby went to the library last week to take a test to apply to be a census taker. He is ready to get back into the workforce, since his foot finally healed from the last surgery. I told him he doesn't need to work, since we are doing fine, but he wants to make some money. He has been a substitute teacher for years and was going to go back to that, but when he went to re-sign up, the admin department had lost his transcript and said he had to get another one before he can work for them. Stupid district! He subbed for them for over 15 years. You would think that they know he is qualified. Oh, and you would think that they would have the transcript filed electronically. This ticked him off just enough that he probably will not go back there, even though getting another copy of the transcript would not be a big deal.

Well, back to the story. LOL! He was at the library and during a break he called me and asked me to bring his camera to him. Okay....I was only 5 minutes away, so being the good wife that I am, I ran it over to him.

He wanted it because Santa Claus was at the library! LOL! So my big ol' hubby got his picture taken with Santa Claus! Isn't he cute!!! First he was snooping in Santa's bag of toys.

Then he pouted bacause Santa won't give him a pony. LOL!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

More jam!

I made more jam today and thought I would share the results. Okay...pics of the results. LOL!



17 jars of Strawberry Jam:
8 jars of Strawberry Fig Jam:

5 jars of Strawberry Jelly (I make jelly for our son, Chance, who does not care for jam, but loves jelly.) It looks darker in the pic than it really is: I am feeling SO Martha, today!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

I've been jammin'...

for two days. That is what Hubby has been saying during this weekend's jam making. Well, not the entire weekend.

After having a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with Hubby and the in-laws, I had a relaxing couple of days. Friday, I did nothing! It was wonderful! Saturday I ran errands, including the grocery store, where I only planned to get bread, milk and eggs. I found some deals and ended up spending $49!! Well, it was still well within my budget. (I only have one in my mind. LOL!)

Sunday I made 22 jars of Peach jam (I made 3 batches from peaches bought at different times. so they don't all look the same.) But it all tastes delish!
Then today, after going out to lunchwith Hubby, I came home and made 13 jars of Blackberry and 15 jars of Fig. Yummy! I take Mondays off in December, so I have 3 day weekends all month. (Except for 12/21, this year, when I have been scheduled for a training class. Bummer.) So next weekend, I will be jammin' again. I still have Strawberry, Strawberry/Fig, Cherry and Blueberry to go.

I'm feeling very Martha today and it's a good thing. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Today I got to live every woman's fantasy!

Yes, that, SonyaAnn!

I got to sit in my comfy chair and watch Hubby vacuum....in his boxer shorts! WooHoo! Now that is what I call a sexy man!

Jealous, anyone???

Friday, November 13, 2009

Win a Kindle!


Go here to register to win a Kindle. Wouldn't it be great to get this a an early Christmas gift for yourself?!
NOTE: The above link is a referral link. All it gets me is an additional entry, for anyone that enters the contest using it.
Good luck to all who enter!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

SonyaAnn is back!!!

She inadvertantly deleted her blog!!! But she found her way back and now she is all brand new.

You will need to go follower her again, 'cause she lost all her followers!

Go here....NOW!

Free Martha Stewart Thanksgiving Cookbook


Who doesn't need a little more Martha in their lives???

Go here to download your free Martha Stewart Thanksgiving Cookbook, with recipes from her and other famous chefs.

If my link doesn't get you to the download, you can go to http://www.sirius.com/thanksgiving and you will find the link to the download there.

Enjoy!!

Today I am thankful...

to all those that have worked, and continue to work, to protect our freedoms. Thank you to all Veterans and current military personnel. You are in my prayers.


And I am so proud of my baby boy, Chance!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

20 Pounds of Pork Chops

Yes, I DID buy 20 pounds of pork chops! Kroger had them on sale for $.99/lb and that is CHEAP for any kind of meat lately. Well, except for chicken, but all of us with hubbies know that chicken is not REAL meat. LOL! They were sold in value packs and I ended up getting 4 packs of about 5 lbs each.

I separated the large packs into smaller packs of 2 chops each and have 14 meals of chops in the freezer now. We ate 2 pork chops on Sunday, so we got 15 meals of meat for $20. I was pretty pleased!

I can't find any more deals, as our freezer is jam packed. Oh, wait, if I take out some of the fruit...and make jam....it won't be as packed. LOL!

Remembering the fallen at Fort Hood, TX

Part of a memorial at Fort Hood, Texas to the 13 who lost their lives on November 5, 2009.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Please pray for all who were affected by the tragedy at Fort Hood, Texas, yesterday.

My son and his family and my best friend's son and family are stationed at Fort Hood. We had a scarey few hours, yesterday, until we heard that they were all okay.

In case your news didn't report it, there was a mass shooting yesterday resulting in 13 dead and 30 wounded. Here is a link if you want to read more: Fort Hood shootings

Yesterday was my birthday and my very best gift was hearing that my child was okay.

The soldiers and families of those killed and wounded will be in my prayers.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I trying to READ!!

I ride the bus to work....every day. I do this to save money and wear and tear on my car and on my nerves. Today, I did not get to avoid the wear and tear on my nerves. Why? Because of this:

The woman that sat in the empty seat in front of me and was SURE that I wanted to hear here talking on her cell phone all the way to work. For the entire 20 minute trip!!

For all those people who MUST talk on their phones while commuting, please keep in mind that YOU are the only one who cares what you are talking about.

Thank you.

Rant over.

2 FREE issues of Family Circle Magazine

I received a great offer in my email today. Go here and sign up to receive 2 free issues of Family Circle magazine.
I subscribe to Family Circle and really enjoy it. And you can't beat free!
I already received the above issue. How cool is that jack-o-lantern?!
Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Help me win!

Classy Mommy is giving away a digital camcorder and I want it!! Go here to vote for me. I am Frances Perkins.

And if you decide to enter, come back and let me know and I will go vote for you. Though I would really, really like to win.

Thanks!

HAVING MOM OVER FOR DINNER

Brian invited his mother over for dinner. During the course of the meal, Brian's mother couldn't help but notice how beautiful Brian's roommate, Jennifer, was. Brian's Mom had long been suspicious of the platonic relationship between Brian and Jennifer, and this had only made her more curious.

Over the course of the evening, while watching the two interact, she started to wonder if there was more between Brian and Jennifer than met the eye. Reading his mom's thoughts, Brian volunteered, 'I know what you must be thinking, but I assure you Jennifer and I are just roommates.'

About a week later, Jennifer came to Brian saying, 'Ever since your mother came to dinner, I've been unable to find the beautiful silver gravy ladle. You don't suppose she took it, do you?'

Brian said, 'Well, I doubt it, but I'll send her an e-mail just to be sure. So he sat down and wrote:

Dear Mom, I'm not saying that you 'did' take the gravy ladle from the house, I'm not saying that you 'did not' take the gravy ladle. But the fact remains that one has been missing ever since you were here for dinner. Love, Brian

Several days later, Brian received an email back from his mother that read:

Dear Son, I'm not saying that you 'do' sleep with Jennifer, I'm not saying that you 'do not' sleep with Jennifer. But the fact remains that if Jennifer is sleeping in her own bed, she would have found the gravy ladle by now. Love, Mom

LESSON OF THE DAY -NEVER LIE TO YOUR MOTHER

Monday, October 26, 2009

Shopping for magazines?

I just thought I would let my bloggy friends in on my favorite place to order magazine subscriptions.

You can find it here QSP . First, let me say that I do not work for them and am in no way affiliated. I was just shopping to renew my subscription to All You Magazine, found the best price here and thought I would share.

This is the company that does school fundraisers and if you have a kid selling magazines for school, you can sign up here instead of ordering on paper, invite your friends to order from here, etc. I have no kids in school, (except for college) so signed up for my orders to support the high school band that my daughter WAS a member of. You can shop without supporting anyone, I think. But if you don't have kids in school, just designate a neighborhood school. Or not. LOL!

All You Magazine offered me a "special deal" to renew of only $19.97/year. Apparently, everyone is special, as that is the price I found at several sites on-line. LOL! But I just ordered it from QSP for $20....for 2 years. A whole extra year for only 3 cents! A much better deal! (And 40% of the price goes to the band. I wonder if they wonder if I am some weirdo, no kids in band, stalker or something. LOL!)

I have ordered multiple subscriptions, both new and renewals and have never had an issue with the charges or with magazines not coming. (I used to order subscriptions on ebay, until I had one never come and I had to fight for months for my refund.)

So, if anyone needs a subscription, be sure and check here to see if they have a better price for you.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wild hair

Okay, I have debated about blogging about this, but I KNOW someone besides me has this issue.

Have you ever been sitting at work, or at home, or anywhere for that matter, and suddenly your rear end starts itching? Like something is tickling you like crazy? You can't scratch, since someone might see and you would be embarrassed. And digging in your pants can be considered unsanitary.

So, you run to the bathroom, rip down your pants and find a foot and a half long hair lodged in the crack of your rear. How did THAT get there???

My sister has really long hair and says she had a problem getting it caught when she goes to the bathroom, but mine is not that long. It is only to the middle of my shoulder blades. All I can think is that sometimes a hair falls out and is stuck on the back of my shirt until it works it's way down to my pants.

LOL! Yes, I have odd problems with my hair. (Oh, the above is NOT a pic of my hair. I only wish it were.) Surely I cannot be the only one that this happens to?!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Mmmmmmm......chocolate!!!


Photobucket

This is what I did for Samantha's 21st birthday last year, at her request. It is a birthday cake made from Pumpkin Muffins. Yes, those delicious looking "cupcakes" are actually almost fat free and quite delish. I found the recipe years ago and it quickly become Samantha's favorite. (and the rest of the family's as well.)

I thought I would share this recipe for a low fat delicious goody. (And an easy way to get veggies into your kids!) Around Thanksgiving it the perfect time to stock up on canned pumpkin on sale.

You can frost them, but then they are not quite so low fat. LOL!

Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients:
1 cake mix, any flavor. (Chocolate is the best. Spice is good, too.)
1 can of pumpkin puree
2/3 cup water

Mix all ingredients together and put into sprayed muffin tins. Batter is thick, so I use an ice cream scoop. DO NOT use liners as these muffins will stick to them. (Don’t ask me how I know.)

Bake at 350ยบ for 25 – 30 minutes. Baking time varies by oven. Muffins are done when you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean. Allow them to cool in the pan for a few minutes.

These muffins are really low fat as no oil or eggs are used. I have not figured out nutrition information, as it will vary depending on the cake mix you use. I have also made this as a cake....for another of Sam's birthdays.

HINT: you must let these cool a bit before you take them out of the pan. If you take one out warm and happen to drop it, it splats and becomes a little pile of yumminess. Yes, okay, I have dropped one or two. Fortunately, I dropped them on a plate, so they were not lost. (You don't have to drop one far for it to splat. They are SUPER moist.)

Enjoy!

Friday, October 9, 2009

I should not have complained about our weather!

Look what is coming:
See that little dot labeled "Houston"? Well right now, I am smack dab in the middle of downtown. We have a front coming in and the temps will be dropping into the 70s this afternoon and the upper 60s tonight. WooHoo! I am ready for cooler temps, but really glad I am inside for the storms that will be here any minute.

This weekend, I will be baking Cranberry Almond Bread. Hubby has begged long enough, so I have to bake a batch or two so he can see if I remember how to do it. LOL! (I posted my recipe here if you would like to check it out.)

Then I may start my jam-making on Sunday. I have a lot to make and it will take many weekends.

So what is everyone else up to???

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It is supposed to be Fall!!

And this is our weather forecast for today...

____________________
Daytime 10/06 Tue

93° Humid with the temperature near the record of 94
with clouds and sun;
an afternoon shower or thunderstorm

Feels Like: 107° Winds: 12mph S
____________________

107!!!! It is going to feel like 107 today!! OMG! I am staying inside.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

HOT, HOT, HOT!!!

My latest batch of salsa!The last two batches were not very hot, though they were delish. Hubby likes his salsa HOT, so I used LOTS more jalapenos this time. He says it has a great flavor and is spicy enough. Unfortunately, it is so hot, I can't eat it. LOL! I tasted it and my mouth was on FIRE.

So, I get the rest of the previous batch of mild salsa and all the above jars are just for him. It should last him a little while. LOL!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I'm doing it again....

not THAT, SonyaAnn!!

I decided that since Summer is over...well not really over for us here in Texas...I would need to make some more salsa, if I wanted to be able to afford to make it. Out of my last batch of 12 jars, that I made a couple of months ago, we have 5 left, so we will be needing more before I know it. This is what we have right now.

Another 12 jars won't make it until Spring, but that is all I plan to make tomorrow. Then we will just have to buy some, since it will be way cheaper to buy it in the Winter. LOL!. Homemade sals has become our favorite. It makes me wish we lived in a house so that I could grow a salsa garden. But who knows, maybe next Spring we will make some room in Hubby's garden and grow some of the ingredients on our balcony.


Think he can make room?
We went to a local farm today and bougth lots of tomatoes, onions and peppers. We got other stuff as well, but it was not for the salsa. I spent several hours today seeding and chopping peppers and tomorrow I will make and can the salsa. I will feel so Martha!!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I won an award!!

I have been given the "One Lovely Blog Award" by Denise over at Together We Save. Thanks so much Denise. I love awards! I accept.

The rules of the "One Lovely Blog Award" are:

*Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.

*Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Denise thought 15 was a lot and 15 does seem a big number to me too, but I will do my best.


SonyaAnn @ A Mom, Money, and More


Helene @ Granny Spice




Queenie Jeannie @ Jeannie's Happy World



Queen of Fifty Cents @ Queen of Fifty Cents

The Frugal Millionairess @ The Frugal Millionairess

Shopping Golightly @ The Thrifty Chicks


I did it!! 15 lovely blogs I love to check as often as possible. Check them out and enjoy!

Friday, September 25, 2009

I am so tired of being sick!!


I have looked like this most of the week. Well, not exactly. My hair isn't brown and my nose is not that big. Oh, and I don't have a pink robe and slippers.

But I have felt lousy!



Last week, we started making plans for Hubby's birthday, which was on Monday, September 21. He has been begging for lasagna....well, not begging, but he had asked a couple of times....so I told him I would make it for his birthday. I asked if he wanted to invite Samantha to "celebrate" with him, since she is our only kid in town. He thought that was a good idea and invited her and her bf, John, to come over on Sunday for dinner. He also thought it would be fun for the four of us to go see "Inglourious Basterds" Sunday morning. I thought this was a great idea, as we have some movie passes, so the movie would be free and dinner would be cheap. Cheap birthday celebration for Hubby and a free movie and dinner for the kids. A great idea all around!

Saturday, I felt great. I ran my errands and decided to put the lasagna together so I would only have to throw it in the oven the next day. So, I did. I did not take a pic of the lasagna, but it was BIG and it was beautiful. LOL! (I do not know how to make small lasagna. Thank the Lord for freezer space.)
Sunday I woke up with a bit of a cough and an irritated throat and fell a little yucky, so I decided not to go to the movies. I insisted that Hubby and the kids went to the movie without me and I relaxed at home. I put the lasagne in about an hour before I expected them to be home, and made a large salad out of lettuce, onion, yellow peppers and cherry tomatoes.

On Saturday, I had also baked a cake...a PINK cake. Hubby requested Strawberry cake and Strawberry frosting, so that is what I made. Samantha and John decorated it after the movie and it was beautiful. Here they are decorating it... (Please note: our dining table is not normally that messy. LOL!)
I didn't feel any worse toward the end of the day, but no better either. Oh, and I was not hungry ALL DAY. I ate nothing until we had lasagna at around 6. We had a nice visit, as always, even though I didn't feel so hot. Oh, and here is Hubbygetting ready to blow out his candles:
Monday, I woke up and thought I was going to DIE! Head congestion, chest congestion and a raspy cough just made me miserable, so I called in sick...something I never do. I actually had to go to the pharmacy, as I had NO cold medicine, except for Zicam and I needed more drugs.

I then sat in a chair at home for 2 days and did nothing....and didn't feel a bit guilty. That is how sick I was. Wednesday, I felt marginally better, and started feeling guilty for missing work, so went in. It was a good thing, too, since I had a ton of work waiting. I gauge how sick I really am by how much guilt I would feel for missing work. LOL!

I feel better today, but still am not well. I don't know if what I have is contagious, but I have been staying away from everyone and making sure to cough into tissues. No one else at work has gotten sick and Hubby didn't either and that is a good thing.

So there...I am done whining. And I still don't feel any better. LOL! Well, except that it is the weekend. Yeah!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Giveaway Winners!!

Well, can anyone guess the winners of my Success Rice coupon giveaway??

I was giving away 5 coupons and only 4 people commented, so it should be really easy to guess. LOL!

So CONGRATULATIONS to:

Annie Jones

A.Marie

SonyaAnn

Amanda

Helene

Send me your mailing info through the email link in my profile and I will get your coupon sent out.

Thanks for playing!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Success Rice Giveaway!

We love rice at my house and eat a LOT of it! It does not matter what kind it is, we love rice. Recently I received a coupon for a free box of Success Rice, so even I had never purchased Success Rice before, I decided to give it a try.

We were very happy with Success Rice! The best thing about Success Rice is that it is quick and easy. No measuring rice then water and standing over the stove or turning on a rice cooker. Just drop a bag in boiling water and it is ready in about 8-10 minutes. And it is really tasty!

Check out the Success Rice website. There is a great section on the called "Feed 4 for $10" with very tasty sounding recipes.

Success Rice has offered to give away one coupon for a FREE Success Rice product to 5 of my readers! Entries will be taken through Wednesday, Sept. 16th. I will put the names of all commenters in a bowl, or some such recepticle, and have Hubby draw 5 winners. I’ll announce the winners on my blog and all you have to do is email me your mailing information. All you have to do is leave a comment! Yes, it is just that easy!

Since I don’t have a ton of followers, your odds of winning are a lot better than blogs that have hundreds of followers. LOL! Anonymous entries must leave email addy on your comment so I can let you know if you win.

Good luck!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Colonoscopy, anyone?


Hubby decided that since he is “over 50” he needed to do the over 50 medical stuff. He already has had most of it done. He has been tested, poked and prodded a LOT over the last few years. I can LOL, ‘cause it was not me that was getting poked and prodded.

One test Hubby has not had was a colonoscopy, so he decided he should get that done. So, we spent Labor Day with Hubby on his liquid diet preparing for the test on Tuesday. He didn’t think it was too bad….the stuff he had to drink wasn’t as bad as he was expecting, there was just a lot of it.

I on the other hand, was STARVING all day! I didn’t want to cook anything that smelled delicious, as I didn’t want Hubby to suffer by smelling something he couldn’t eat. So, I nibbled on COLD stuff all day and was starving.

Yesterday, the test went well and when we got home, I made a cake! LOL! It was the best tasting cake I ever had! It was marble with chocolate frosting. Yummy!

Oh, and despite the fact that I am over 50 and “they” say I should have a colonoscopy, I do not plan to.

So there!

Oh, yeah. I now have a set of full color pictures of my Hubby's colon. I am living the dream!

Monday, August 31, 2009

How I spent my Summer vacation...

I was on vacation last week and it was great t be away from work for A WHOLE WEEK!!

I started out with a relaxing weekend, then Monday morning, my best friend, Rhonda, and I headed to Louisiana to the Coushatta Casino and Resort. WooHoo! Now, lest anyone worry that I might gamble away the rent money, rest assured, that has never happened.

Several years ago, Rhonda or I could not think of what to get the other for Christmas. I don't remember which of us it was, but we came up with the great idea of not exchanging Christmas or birthday gifts and just going on a little "jaunt" once a year. Since...before I got married....we had gone to Las Vegas and LOVED it, we decided a casino was a good place, so we started going to the Coushatta.

It is a 3 hour drive and since we have players cards, we almost always manage to get a free room and most of our food free. Yeah for free!! We each only take as much money as we are willing to give to the casino, so neither of us ever come back freaked out over losing too much money.

I spend my time here:I just LOVE slot machines! This year my biggest jackpot was $171.xx on a PENNY machine. LOL! How about that for excitement! Last year I had a $1440.00 jackpot, but never want to do that again, as it gets reported and I had to pay income tax on it. Ugh.

Rhonda plays Black Jack and Poker, so when we get to the casino, we head our separate ways and meet up when one of us is hungry or heading back to the room.

We had a ball! Then it was back home to reality and Hubby having surgery on Thursday. But it was minor and he is doing fine. Thursday I had a couple of doctor appointments, then got to relax for a couple of days before heading back to work.

Vacations are a GOOD thing!

Baked Spaghetti

Hubby had minor foot surgery last Thursday. (Thanks Hubby for needing surgery during my vacation!) So, I got to do the cooking for a few days. Friday night, I made spaghetti. Mmmmm....yummy and easy! Especially since I used Ragu sauce. I did hobo it up, as we say at our house. That is the addition of secret hobo spices, according to Hubby, but we use the term for pretty much any alteration of a recipe. We had steamed veggies and garlic bread to round out the meal.

Thinking ahead, I made WAY more pasta and heated an whole jar of sauce, then put together Baked Spaghetti. I just found this pic online, since I didn't take a pic of my spaghetti. But it looks exactly these same, except that we don't have plain white plates.

This is one of the easiest recipes and does NOT taste like leftovers if you eat it a few days later.

I mixed together the leftover cooked spaghetti, about 1/2 jar of sauce, 2 cups of shredded mozarella cheese and a can of sliced mushrooms. Dumped it in a casserole dish, covered it and stuck it in the fridge. I have also frozen it in the past. A few nights later, I pulled it out, baked at 350 for about an hour, then added more shredded mozarella....yes, more....to the top. Stuck it back in the overn until it was nice and melty.

It was delish!!

If you want a specific recipe, there are a ton on line. But I like to just add what I have available. I have, in the past, added cottage cheese to the mixture an it kinda had a lasagna taste to it. Yummy!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cherry Enchiladas

Lori, over at 3 Cherries and a Coke posted the most delicious sounding recipe for Cherry Enchiladas! I plan to make these soon! You must go NOW and check out this recipe. I am still drooling......

Lori has a lot of delish recipes on her blog, but this one just makes me want to go home and cook.

Monday, August 17, 2009

What a great weekend!

I had the best weekend! It was productive and relaxing. Friday I got off work at 3 and went into weekend mode as soon as I got home, just relaxing. Hubby cooked dinner and then we watched a movie. We are such the married couple! Friday night and we are at home in our comfy clothes watching a movie. LOL! Note: the above is not really us. LOL! There was not a photographer there. Oh yeah, and we were were not that dressed.

We watched Brokeback Mountain, which we had seen in the theater when it was there. That movie is so sad! (Please note, I am not into watching gay men have sex. But the love story was really sad.) Hubby was a little flabbergasted when I told him that I thought Jake Gyllenhaal was better looking than Heath Ledger. I don't know why he acted so shocked. LOL!
Saturday I went and got a haircut. I absolutely adore my hair, and love it long, but it was so long...middle of my back....that it was too heavy to hold a curl so looked a little boring. I told my hairdresser that I was thinking at least 4 inches off and he agreed, cut in some layers and it hold the curl so well it looks like I have a new perm!! Yeah!

After the hairdresser, I headed to Kroger for Super Doubles. Texas and Louisiana Krogers were doubling up to, and including, $1! The ad said only one like coupon per transaction, so though I later heard that others were able to double multiples, I just worked with one each. I had spent a couple of hours Friday night putting my coupons together and had 2 lists.

I went to the first store, getting there at 9:15 and they were pretty well stocked, so I got most of what I went for. Most of the lanes were open and I was only in line for 10 minutes or so before checking out. No different than a regular trip for me. I later read on HotCouponWorld that some people waited in line for hours. BUT there were also a lot of people that were at their stores at 10 pm Friday ready to check out right after midnight. I was NOT tempted to do that. LOL!

I brought everything home from the first store and Hubby helped me to unload and he put everything away while I "rested". LOL! It was not that shopping was that tiring, but it was so HOT outside that going to and from the car and to and from our apartment were just draining.

Then I headed to another store to use a second batch of coupons and also did my regular shopping trip. That store was more crowded and I waited in line about 20 minutes before checking out. It was out of more things that the first store, but I still got most of what I went for. And a couple of splurges. Hubby called me while I was there and said he was in the mood for some fish, so I went to the seafood counter and got a pound of lovely Orange Roughy. I paid almost $6 for that fish, but it was delicious!!!

I got about $218 in groceries for around $86....a savings of about 60% I was really pleased, as I got more than just the items that were free after coupon and I usually spend around $50 on a regular trip. It was a great day! I thought about going again last night, but we are out of freezer and pantry space as we were already totally stocked. I did not take pictures of my hauls. Hubby got everything put away too quickly and I am not complaining. I hope Kroger doesn't wait another 10 years to do this!

Sunday, we went to see District 9. It was okay, but I think the hype had me expecting something more. We went home and spent another day relaxing. Well, I relaxed while sewing some patches on to a shirt for Hubby. He got an Astros jersey and wanted some additional patches sewn on it. I spent 3 hours hand stitching those babies on. I didn't want to use my machine and chance messing it up and I can do pretty meticulous hand stitching. Hubby was happy with the result.

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The most amazing thing I have ever tasted!

Last week was our middle child, Samantha's, 22nd birthday. Hubby and I took her and her boyfriend out to dinner on Friday and she thought Chili's sounded good. I thought it sounded good, too, as we had a $50 giftcard that we had not used. Yeah!

So, Hubby and I decided to get the 2 for $20, that is an appetizer, 2 entrees and a dessert. I won't elaborate on all that we ate, since I want to get to the BEST part. The dessert! We decided to try something we had not had before......WHITE CHOCOLATE MOLTEN CAKE
Warm white chocolate cake with a white chocolate filling and berry sauce. Topped with vanilla ice cream under a crunchy white chocolate shell.

OH..........MY..........GOD!!!!!!! This is the most amazing thing I can remember having ever eaten! Hubby, Samantha and her boyfriend also thought it was amazing. At one point, Hubby wondered what it cost when not doing the 2/$20 deal and I told him it did not matter what it cost....it is worth it. He almost passed out. I never say that about anything. LOL!

Anyway, I am going to try to recreate this at home. But until then, we will be heading back to Chili's just for dessert.

Oh, and don't look up the nutrition details. It is FATTENING. BUT, it was more than enough dessert for the 4 of us! And, well, it was worth the calories.

Mmmmmmm....I want one now. If you have Chilis near you.....go there!!

Does someone have your money?

From a Vanguard newsletter: $32.8 billion to be claimed. Is any yours?

$32.8 billion to be claimed. Is any yours?

Have you seen the new reality TV show where people are given money they are owed? In one episode a man was given more than $1 million.

Well, you don't have to wait for a film crew to appear on your doorstep to see if you have money coming.

It's easy—and free—to search online databases to find out if you are due any unclaimed funds.
It's usually as simple as typing your name into the database and clicking "search."
Where the money comes from
The money comes from a variety of sources, including:
  • Dividend checks that are never cashed.
  • Insurance payouts that go unclaimed.
  • Deposits on rental property owed to tenants who have moved.
  • CDs that mature but are never cashed.
  • Trust distributions owed to relatives who can’t be found.
  • Contents of safe deposit boxes abandoned by their owners.

Businesses are required to turn over such money and property to their state treasurer. It can really add up.

State treasurers and other agencies recently had $32.877 billion owed on 117 million accounts, according to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators.

In Louisiana, one woman was owed $237,000 from an inheritance that she never knew about.
A newspaper columnist in Las Vegas claimed $741.09 after he plugged his name into the database. The money was from checks he’d never cashed and a credit union checking account that he’d forgotten about.

Sometimes no owner turns up and the state can take the property after a period of years. No one claimed the sterling silverware left in a Philadelphia safe deposit box. It sold for $65,000 on eBay.

How to search for free
You can search unclaimed property registries here.* The site shows a map of the United States. Click the state whose unclaimed property registry you wish to search.

It usually takes just a second or two to see if you’re owed money. If you do find a match in your name, file a claim. Just follow the directions on the site to fill out the required information.
Make a copy of this paperwork for your files until you receive the money you’re owed. It may take a few weeks to arrive.

If you don’t get a match for your name, don’t give up. Try searching the registries of states where you lived in the past. Or you could search under your spouse’s name or your maiden name.

Suggest to your spouse or other family members that they search too. If they’re not likely to do so, you can search for them. If you find a match for an uncle, aunt, or parent, give them a call to let them know they have money owed to them. They should be happy to hear the news.
You don’t have to pay to make a claim

Several businesses search unclaimed property databases and notify owners that they have property waiting for them. They offer to assist them in claiming that property for a percentage of the money recovered.

If such a business contacts you, there’s a good chance they’ve used public records to find money in your name. Rather than pay them a recovery fee, you can search the unclaimed property database yourself. It only takes a minute of your time.

And who knows. There may be money waiting for you.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sourdough Bread...Yummy!

After reading on SonyaAnn's blog about making Amish Bread, I promised to post my sourdough bread recipe (and recipe for starter), so here it is:
There are as many ways to make starter as there are cooks, but the recipe I use was found in The Tightwad Gazette III: The Final Edition. I do not have permission to quote it, but this is pretty close to exactly how it is written there.

Sourdough Starter

You will need:
1 tablespoon yeast
2 cups chlorine free water (allow your tap water to "air out" in a jug for a couple of days)
2 cups white flour

Combine the above indredients in a glass, plastic, or earthware container - not a metal one. (I use a quart sized mason type jar.) Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow this mixture to sit at room temperature for at least 48 hours, until it foams and develops a pleasantly sour smell. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. (My jar has a plastic cap that we drilled a hole in. I don’t know if you need to do this, but the instructions made me think I should not seal it air tight.)

You can also get starter from a friend who makes sourdough. (The sourdough books warn that if the starter turns orange, pink, or any other strange color, you should throw it out.)

Notes on using the starter:
~Each time you remove some starter, you must "feed" it. Just add back 1 1/2 cups water and 1 1/2 cups flour, stir, cover loosely, and return starter to the refrigerator.
~You can use your starter, fresh from the fridge, for weeks at a time. Eventually the loaves may start to rise a bit more slowly. Whenever this happens, just leave the jar of starter out at room temperature overnight to speed its fermentation.
~If you are an infrequent baker, you'll need to drain off some starter and feed it at least once every two weeks to keep it alive. (I never drain any off. When I haven’t baked in a while, I just feed it ½ cup flour and ½ cup water and let sit overnight.)
~The starter separates in the refrigerator. This is normal. Always stir it well before using, and stir it well again when feeding.

Sourdough Bread (To make two loaves of bread)

Also from The Tightwad Gazette III: The Final Edition:

5 1/2 cups flour (you can substitute whole wheat flour for 1 or 2 cups)
2 cups starter
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup water

Dissolve the salt in the water in a mixing bowl. (Some sourdough books say you should not use a metal bowl.) Add the starter, and then the flour. Stir, then knead into a ball. (I just throw the ingredients into my Kitchen Aid mixer, yes with the metal bowl, and mix it up. Then form it into a ball and put back into the bowl.) Cover with a damp towel and let rise overnight at room temperature.

The next morning, punch down risen dough and divide in half. Shape each half into a round loaf, make an X-shaped slash on each top, and place the two loaves on a greased baking sheet. Cover with a damp towel and allow to rise at room temperature for about four more hours. Place a pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Bake for 35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

This bread has a really crispy crust, which my family loves. I don’t know if that is because of the pan of water used while baking or it is just how it turns out. I have found that if I put it in a Ziploc bag while it is still warm, it is not as crispy when eaten later.

Since the kids all moved out, I generally freeze one loaf for later. Just pop it in a Ziploc and into the freezer. I have also made this in loaf pans with good results. We just like the round loaves.

I tried to make sourdough buns once. It did not work for me. LOL!

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Six Million Dollar Car…

Well, okay, not really six million dollars, but it is sure better than it used to be. Hubby drives a 2000 Honda Accord that we bought used in 2004. It was in perfect condition when we bought it and remains in perfect condition. At least it looks perfect.

Last week, Hubby said he thought his brakes were making a noise, so we made an appointment at Brake Check for Sunday (yesterday). For those of you that have Brake Check near you, you can book an appointment on line and get a discount on the work. The discount is on the labor, but every bit helps. We booked 4 days in advance which gets 20% off on the brakes and 15% off on anything else that you schedule. Since we did not know anything else might be wrong, we just booked for the brakes.

I was ready for it to cost a fortune, as we have never had any major work done on the Accord, just routine maintenance stuff. We dropped the car off at our appointed time, then I dropped Hubby at home and headed to the grocery store. 30 minutes after we dropped it off, I got the call….We needed new rotors, new pads, the rear drums resurfaced (I think that is what they did…I don’t have the receipt in front of me.) and the brakes bled. I was expecting it to cost a LOT and was pleasantly surprised when all that needed to be done would only cost around $550. (Oh, and that included an oil change that we asked for when we dropped it off.)

I was pleased at the low amount and told them if they had time to check it over and found anything else to let me know, since we had never had any work done on the car. Wrong thing to say. LOL! They called back a little while later and said we needed new struts. I was NOT surprised, as they were the original struts and had 90,000 miles on those babies. I got the price and approved replacement. I also told them to go ahead and clean the fuel injection system as that had not been done in a few years. Oh, yeah and a front end alignment.

We ended up spending $1400 for everything. (They also installed wiper blades, a new air filter and balanced the tires at no charge.) Normally, you only get the discount on the services you schedule on line, but we have been going to them for years, so the manager gave us the discount on everything.

So, for $1400 Hubby got a like new car that he already knew that he loved. LOL! He said he could tell the difference, which made me happy. I hate spending a ton of money for work to a car, then you can’t tell any difference! Well, I hate spending a ton of money for work on a car anyway, but it is better than making car payments!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Ready for the weekend!

This is how I felt this morning when I got to work. I didn't look like this, as I am not a brunette man. But I felt this way.

After being here a few hours and ingesting my Pepsi One, I have enough caffeine in me to actually be awake at my desk. I am sure my boss would be pleased...IF he realized that there was an alternative to my being awake and productive at my desk. I don't think he realizes that.

This will be me at 3pm today.... Except that I am blonde, not skinny and not in a suit today. LOL! But this is how I will feel when I leave. Our management has bestowed on us the privilege of observing "Summer Hours," which means that we can leave at 3, IF we AND our immediate boss feel that there is no pressing reason to stay. No meetings can be scheduled at 3 or later and almost everyone winds down and leave before 3. I am on the marketing floor, so often, a lot of people don't even show up on Fridays. LOL!

My boss would prefer that I work continuously, around the clock, but I prefer to leave at 3. I have worked for him for 10 1/2 years and I pretty much get my way on stuff like this. LOL!

So, I am counting down until time to start my weekend!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ten pints of blueberries!

I didn't take a picture of my pints, but this picture is pretty!

Kroger had blueberries on sale for $1.77/pint. This is the cheapest I have seen them and I needed to buy blueberries this year, since we did not get to go pick them. My blueberry jam stash is running low and it is on my gift list.

So, I went to Kroger on Sunday, ready to buy and I looked at EVERY SINGLE pint that was on display and each and every one of them had at least one berry with MOLD on it! Ugh! I know some people will buy berries and just throw the moldy one away, but I can taste the mold if I do that, so if there is one moldy berry, I don't get them.

I went home with no blueberries that day. Why did I not get a raincheck, you ask, or ask if they had more berries in the back. Well, I don't even know! LOL!

Yesterday morning, I was thinking about it while at work and decided to call Kroger and ask if they had NEW berries, figuring if they did not, I would go get a raincheck. The produce person assured me that they had GOOD berries in.

After work...and working out....I went to Kroger and, sure enough, they had new berries. I got my 10 pints and was happy as a clam. Last night, I put them in ziploc bags and into the freezer they went. They will live there with my other fruit until I am in the mood for jam making. (Or Christmas is getting close, so I HAVE to make it. LOL!)

This weekend, I may get some peaches.

I sure wish I had a yard with fruit trees!

Monday, July 27, 2009

I'm jumping in to the Pay it Forward Challenge.

Annie Jones, over at Real Life Living, is participating in the Pay It Forward Meme and posted an offer to send a specialized homemade gift to the first three people who responded to her post and asked for one.

I, of course, posted as soon as I saw this. I LOVE handmade things! I love free things! And I especially love surprises!! I will be getting my gift within the next 3 months, so don’t know what it will be.

Now it's my turn to Pay It Forward!
Here's How It Works:
The first three people to comment on this post (and this post only) will receive a handmade, or home made, item from me within three months, completely free of charge. I have some great readers and this is a great way for me to reward some of them. You don't get a set date, but just know that some day within the next three months, you'll receive a little surprise from me.
The Catch (of course there's a catch):
You agree to Pay It Forward yourself after you receive your gift from me. Or even before you receive it. Send a gift to the first three people who respond to your post. The gifts should be handmade, by you, and somehow personalized for that person. (I may not live up to the personalized challenge, but I will be sending something I make.)
Anyone up to the challenge??

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I feel so special!

This new award is from Ace at if you think round is funny…. Thanks Ace!


Rules:This award is bestowed on to blogs that are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to six bloggers who must choose six more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.
I will pass this award to some of my bloggy friends that I find exceedingly charming...
Thanks for your very enjoyable blogs!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Veggie transformation...

On Saturday, Hubby and I went to a local farm to buy some fresh veggies. This farm has been around for as long as I can remember. More than 60 years, I think. Mom used to take us there as kids to pick strawberries. Yummy! As well as strawberries, they have tons of locally grown produce and occasionally some shipped in from other places, when they can't get enough local produce.

Hubby and I had a ball, though it was really hot and we didn't want to hang out there long. The farm does have a big building, so you are not in the hot sun, but it is cooled by fans and we were wanting some AC!

We loaded up a cart with corn on the cob, green beans, new potatoes, tomatoes, onions, various pepper, apples, plums, one banana (LOL! It was the only one slightly green and I don't buy really ripe ones.), celery, and lettuce. I think that was it. We filled 2 of my really big reusable tote bags and it only cost $26. Hubby was impressed as always. The produce there is so fresh and almost always cheaper than any stores.
I didn't take pics of everything we got, but I did take of pic of these veggies we bought so I could try my hand at making and canning salsa!
Yesterday, I pulled out my trusty food processor and got to work. I used tomatoes, banana peppers, onions, jalapenos, red cherry pepper and some bell peppers that are not in this pic. I won't go into the minute details of making the salsa, since I didn't take picks, but it entailed peeling, seeding, chopping and dumping in my stew pot. Then simmering.

After is was all mixed together and simmering, Hubby came in for a taste and declared it "restaurant quality". LOL! It really did turn out delish!

After simmering for a while, I put in canning jars and processed in a water bath. Something I had never done before. I make jam, but use the inversion method, so had not used water bath processing. It was totally easy!
Here is the final product:

I am so proud! Clearly I made a small batch. I didn't want to make a ton of it and then find out that we wouldn't eat it. Now that I know I can do it, I will be making more. The only thing that would make it better is if we could get the veggies for free. Alas, apartment dwelling does not lend itself to planting a large veggie garden.

Here is the recipe for my salsa. I took a recipe I found and modified to suit us.

Zesty Salsa

5 cups chopped, peeled Tomatoes (about 6 lbs.)
1 1/2 cups seeded and diced banana peppers (about 1/2 lb.)
1 cup seeded and diced bell peppers (2 large peppers)
2 1/2 cups diced yellow onion (1 large)
1 cup seeded and chopped jalapenos (about 1/2 lb.)
¼ cup seeded and chopped red cherry peppers (6 golf ball sized peppers)
1 TBS minced garlic
1 TBS Salt
½ cup + 1/8 cup cider Vinegar
Hot Pepper Sauce (optional, to taste)

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepot. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Ladle hot salsa into 5, hot, pint jars; leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust caps. Process 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner.

There you go!

Babies on the balcony

Not people babies......

These babies...

Aren't they the sweetest! This mama dove made a nest in Hubby's Norfolk Pine that lives on our balcony. This is her 3rd or 4th set of babies in this nest.

For a couple of years she had a nest in one of the hanging baskets. (We assume it is the same one that came back. It could just be a look alike.) But one week, our the outside of our apartments was being painted and Hubby had to bring in his hanging plants while the painters worked around our balcony. This mama dove had some newly hatched babies in the one of the plants and was not happy when she came back with food and found her babies on the other side of our glass patio doors! Hubby said she pitched quite a fit for a while, so he got those babies right back outside when the painters moved on.

We think that Mama Dove decided that this tree would not be so easy to move inside. She is right....it is at least 6 feet tall and in a HUGE pot. She and her babies are safe here. Well, except from out prying eyes! You can tell she is used to us being around, though, as it does not bother her a bit for us to take pics of her and her babies. She, on the other hand, drives our cats crazy. LOL!

Friday, July 17, 2009

I received a new Award!




Happy Friday! To start the day off right, I got this Over the Top! award from A.Marie over at My Money Mission Online. She was one of the first people I met here in blogland and I love her to death. A.Marie, Thank you for the lovely award! (I love the idea of being over the top!!)

Here’s how it works: USE ONLY ONE WORD!
It’s not as easy as you might think. Copy and change the answers to suit you and pass it on. It’s really hard to use only one-word answers.
1. Where is your cell phone? purse
2. Your hair? blonde
3. Your mother? loving
4. Your father? brilliant
5. Your favorite food? mexican
6. Your dream last night? none
7. Your favorite drink? tea
8. Your dream/goal? happiness
9. What room are you in? cube
10. Your hobby? reading
11. Your fear? drowing
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? here
13. Where were you last night? home
14. Something that you aren’t? spiteful
15. Muffins? banana
16. Wish list item? laptop
17. Where did you grow up? Texas
18. Last thing you did? worked
19. What are you wearing? clothes
20. Your TV? fine
21. Your pets? cats
22. Friends? many
23. Your life? wonderful
24. Your mood? content
25. Missing someone? sisters
26. Vehicle? CRV
27. Something you’re not wearing? pajamas
28. Your favorite store? Kroger
29. Your favorite color? Red
30. When was the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? forget
32. Your best friend? Hubby
33. One place that I go to over and over? Curves
34. One person who emails me regularly? Sister
35. Favorite place to eat? home

I love all my bloggy friends so am passing this on to:
Erin @ Jane4Girls $800 Annual Budget (She's the reason I travelled into blogworld!)
SonyaAnn @ A Mom, Money and More (I know A.Marie gave this to SonyaAnn, too, but I just LOVE her!)

A. Marie passed this award on to 5 bloggers, so I am passing it to that many as well. If you aren't listed, that doesn't mean that I don't love you! I had to leave some blogs for other people to award!