Friday, November 30, 2007

Is it lunchtime?

You know, food is a hobby to me, much like scrapbooking is. I love to eat it, to cook it, to smell it, you name it. I’ve decided that my dream job is to be to work in one of those test kitchens that they have at the magazines. You know to just test out recipes all day to see which ones work and which ones don’t. That would be cool. Of course, I would probably be three sizes bigger than I am now, but I’d still love it.

So it was no surprise that I got suckered in, er, I mean I volunteered to head up the food at our office Christmas party. I actually have no problem with this. Well, with the exception of two people who want to bring the same salad. And when I suggested to one to get together with the other one to avoid duplication, she just said “well, her salad might be too small”. So There! Sigh! Well, I can only do so much; you guys are on your own. I’m not about to get into a salad war.

But what I didn’t realize is that I’d get roped into the Toys for Tots drive as well. Again, no problem, really. They are a great organization, one that does so much the community. They deserve all the help they can get. But I hate the being the “badgering” one, because people just don’t want to do the right thing. Really, how hard is it to pick up a cheap toy at Wal-Mart and put it under the tree? You don’t even have to wrap the darn thing. And no, I don’t want your used piece of crap from your grandkid. Seriously, stop being cheap!!

So, now I have to figure out what I’m bringing where, to all these parties. Jules says I’m bringing dessert to our Stocking party. Okay, that’s easy enough I guess. I’m thinking Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Everyone likes that, right? The office party I do my usual stand-by, Spinach Dip. Everyone loves that. Especially my special recipe. :P Drunco Party is on the 8th... Dh is already making his dip (nicknamed Shit Dip, because well, you figure it out!), so maybe something else dessert-y. I found an Almond Pie recipe in Paula’s mag, that will be good.

Then, there’s Christmas. Ah, yes, the in-laws. (Actually step-grand-in-laws. Yeah, don’t ask!) Maybe more dip (The stuff lasts forever, frozen, when you make double batches. Love Sam’s Club!) Something else snack-y, like a bruschetta. Oh, then DH tells me he wants to order a deep-fried turkey from Honeybaked Ham. Okay. But then, you gotta have sides: mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, corn, probably some broccoli casserole or something similar, sweet potatoes.

Yeah, thanks DH! Nah, I don’t mind really. I’d like to do the taters myself, but we decided to go with the big Publix container, (probably will do the same with the sweet potatoes.) But I cannot do gravy. It’s just not my forte. Plus, how do you gravy, when the turkey is deep fried? Wouldn’t all the drippings go into the fryer? Ah well! Oh, and I AM making Grandma’s stuffing. I love Grandma’s stuffing. It’s very simple, just bread and celery and onions and butter, and about half a container of poultry seasoning. But so, so yummy!

Which leads me to a story (Okay, what doesn’t lead me to a story). Last year, Rachel Ray had a contest to find the best stuffing. So, I read one of the winners. Bread, check. Celery, check. Onions, check. Hey, wait a second! This is Grandma’s recipe!!! Now, the printed recipe called for mushrooms as well. My theory is no one in our family ever ate mushrooms and so she probably left them out, say, oh, 60 years ago. But it’s the identical recipe! Well, heck, maybe I should have entered that darn contest. Hmph!

Anyway, now you are probably hungry and thinking When’s Lunch? Well, I’m on my way to Panera Bread for lunch today, so only an hour away. So, think yummy! J

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

What's New...

Hey there! Dropped the baby off this morning. She was so good. I’m sure she’ll be fine, DH will pick her up this afternoon when she’s finished. Her brother on the other hand, uggg!!! Miles decided to play “escape artist” when I walking out to load her in the car. Miles and Ginger both have been doing this all week. It was hell trying to get all the Christmas stuff out.

I spent the early part of the day on Saturday at Miss Linda’s. It’s good to see everybody and just hang out with the girls. I made onion dip, and played with Boo-Boo and Sasha. (Yes, Michele, Boo-Boo loves ME!!! ME!!! Hahahahaha!)

By request, here is my recipe:

2 medium sweet onions, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
1 pkg. (6 oz.) KRAFT Hickory Smoked Pasteurized Process Swiss and Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1/2 cup KRAFT Mayo Real Mayonnaise
1/4 cup OSCAR MAYER Real Bacon Bits
1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce (optional)
1/4 cup KRAFT 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese
WHEAT THINS Snack Crackers
PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Mix onion, process cheese, mayo, bacon bits and hot pepper sauce until well blended.
SPOON into lightly greased 1-quart baking dish or 9-inch pie plate. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
BAKE 15 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly. Serve as a hot dip with crackers.

Well, that’s the official Kraft recipe, anyway... A few things to note: I can almost NEVER fine the Kraft Hickory Smoked cheese in the stores down here, so I take a hunk of cheddar, a hunk of swiss, and shred about 6 oz of EACH. (I’m a big believer in the more cheese the better. I am a true cheese-a-holic!!!) I also almost always leave the bacon bits out, since I know Miss Elle can’t have them.

And some big news! I know we all love Luxe designs, well they are coming out with some groovy Christmas kits starting on Dec. 3rd (The day before my birthday, if anyone is so inclined. :P ) Here’s the link:

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hi Gang!

Did everyone have a good Turkey day? I know I did! Had lots of feasts. And brought home plenty of leftovers. Which I didn’t really eat. Not sure why, I guess I just wasn’t feeling the love on the leftovers. I didn’t have a craving for them. As a matter of fact, I really didn’t eat that much over the weekend, a turkey sandwich on Friday, some Onion Dip on Saturday, Quiznos on Sunday. I did have a snack attack yesterday, and had doughnuts and pizza. Now that’s real healthy, now isn’t it?

Well, now for the big news. My little Melody has a tumor in her mammary. They did a needle biopsy yesterday, and it did show cancerous cells. That’s the bad news. The good news is, it has not spread, her x-rays were clear, and they are going to remove the tumor tomorrow. At that point, they will send it off to pathology who will determine if it’s something that could come back and we have to watch out for, or something that’s gone for good. The docs said it was extremely rare to see breast cancer in a spayed female, and they hardly ever see it, so it will be studied “academically” they told me. I did read up on it on Google (of course), and it says that having cats spayed BEFORE their first heat reduces the incidences, well, she was already in heat when we found her, so that was the first strike. And for some unknown reason, Siamese breeds seem to have higher incidences as well, so being a Siamese mix is strike two. Then the third strike is her age (we estimate between 10-12). But she is healthy and Dr. Keene (love that man!) said if it had spread, she would show symptoms (lethargy, not eating, losing weight) and she has none! She’s also having her teeth cleaned, as well, and I told DH, she will probably come home with a cone-head, so she’s going to love us, I just know it. Sigh, poor baby. Well, her dignity will come back, I am sure.

I have to tell you of the coup I pulled off at Michael’s on Sunday. Diana bought one of those Memory Makers carousels with her coupon on Saturday. They are really cool looking, just like something you’d pay $80 for at Pottery Barn. So, 9am, Sunday morning, I head over to Mike’s and go right for the end cap. They had 5 left. 4 of the 5 had busted corners. On the 5th one, one of the little dividers had broken off, but it was something that could easily be fixed with some wood glue.

Well, as luck would have it, the district manager was there, and I showed him my dilemma. He knew, and he was sorry, and offered to give it to me at the coupon price. I said, I’ll tell you what, I already have one coupon, but if you give me another one, I’ll be happy. He said sure, just use the one you have twice. I was cool with this, since I wanted to buy the PaperTrends holiday book, as well.

Well, I think the cashier misunderstood him, (or maybe I did, who knows). She rang it up with the 40% off, which brought it to $23.99. Then she took ANOTHER 40% off of that price, so the grand total for my tool carousel (normally priced $40?)...$14.39. Woo-hoo!

I have more shopping tales, and tales from the weekend, but I’ll leave that for the rest of the week. My time flies, when you are having fun!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Mr. Fix-It?!?!?!?

Men!! Ackk! They just don’t know how to say no, or when to admit the job is too big, can they?

Let me preface this by saying DH is NOT a handy man. He’s just not made that way. My refrigerator is leaking. It started about Thursday or Friday. On Sunday, we moved the fridge out to see what was leaking. DH determines that it is the filter, but let’s tighten it up in the meantime. So, we get a new filter at Lowe’s. Come home to a flooded kitchen. Great. Okay, put the new filter on, but it’s not the filter leaking, it’s the tubing. Go to Home Depot and get new copper tubing. Fine, that’s fixed. A little while later, it’s STILL leaking.

The fitting for the faucet won’t go on right. The copper is flimsier than the original tubing we take off. We borrow pipe cutters from the neighbors to make a new fitting. It’s still not working. Now we need another kind of tubing. And now, a few minute fix has taken over 24 hours. Did I mention DH is not a handy man? Yeah, I thought so.

So, when does he admit defeat and call a professional? Your guess is as good as mine? We also had shower issues as well. A leaky faucet which does appear to be fixed, but a clogged drain which appears not to be. Yeah, we’ll check on that one later as well. Men!

Melody has a lump on her belly as well. She seems fine, it’s just under the skin and it’s not bothering her. As a matter of fact, the lump seems smaller today then it did on Saturday. But she will be visiting Dr. Bonneville next week just to make sure. Poor baby. But like I said, she’s totally normal, eating, drinking, playing, doing her business. She even had a stare-down with Miles Saturday night, which leads me to think it can’t be too serious. Let’s hope so.

One positive thing, we hit Sam’s Club yesterday, and $250 later (Egads!) we made a good dent in the Christmas shopping. We got some pretty things, and some little things for the girls. I, like Linda, also left with a magazine (Taste of Home Christmas, I think) and the new Rachel book. And a few other stock up things (Velveeta, since we make huge batches of dip this time of year, a new broom, other little odds and ends.) So, that’s some pressure off there. DH says “We should do this every year”. Uh, yeah I try too, but you’re the one who won’t get your butt out of bed. Sigh! Men! Does it end?

Now, what the heck am I making for Thanksgiving? I’m tired of Pumpkin Roll, and it seems to get lost in the desert shuffle anyway. DH said Spinach dip, but that’s boring, and Pam usually makes Artichoke dip anyway. I thought about Onion dip, but that’s too close to Artichoke dip, but I may make some anyway for the McCoy’s house. It’s actually Josh’s favorite, but he won’t be with us this year, he’ll be back in Birmingham with his in-laws, I’m sure. (Or maybe I can be bribed to bring to Linda’s on Saturday? Any takers?) Decisions, Decisions? If you have a suggestion, send it along. I’m open to everything.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Black Friday? Are you ready?

Well, thanks to, I have started to map out my shopping for next Friday. Looks like the same as last year, with few exceptions.

First stop, Macy’s, they open at 6 AM! They typically have their Xmas shop 50% off from 6-8, and that’s always the first place I hit. I’ll hit a few of the doorbusters in housewares, as well, for family gifts.

If I have time, I may hit a few more stores, specifically Children’s Place, they usually do a big 40% off sale that day too. But I got to watch my time? Why? Because next stop is....

RUBAN ROUGE! 50, I said 50!!!! Percent off between 8 and 10 am! YES I AM SHOUTING, THAT IS WAY EXCITING!!!! Also, if you spend $100, FREE QUICKUTS!!!! I don’t even have any Quickcuts, but if I get there on time, I may start now!!! WHOOOPEEEEEE!!!!! Can you believe that? Okay, I’m hyperventilating now...

I’m sure I’ll meet up with some of you girls and then, on to the next few stores. Probably Target and Kohl’s, depending on the ads. Target is an annual stop, always gotta get their toy deals. This is the first year for Kohl’s. I’ll be looking for clothes mostly for the kids and for me, and maybe a few holiday things.

And that will round out my shopping day! I’m usually done by noon. Yeah, really, noon. Ask DH! The rest of the day will consist of eating leftovers, napping, and then setting up the Xmas tree and opening up all the ornament boxes.

I will list a few places I will NOT touch with a ten-foot pole. Wal-Mart! Those women are crazy and the stuff they push is crap. Best Buy! Unless it’s something DH really, really wants, that line is wayyyy too long. Forgettaboutit!!!! Toys R US! Same as Wal-Mart, I can’t see them having anything I can’t get on a normal day at Target or Wal-Mart.

Pathetic, I know. But I live for this. Why? Who knows? An obsession, I guess. If you know me, you know I almost never pay full price for ANYTHING!!! Big Ticket, Small Ticket, doesn’t matter, the thrill is in the hunt.

It takes a good attitude, comfortable shoes and a lot of caffeine, but Black Friday CAN be DONE!! :)

Monday, November 12, 2007

How was your weekend?

Ah, it’s Monday again. Where did the weekend go? Heck, where did this month go? Less than 2 weeks before Thanksgiving, AKKK!!!

Friday nite was Drunco at Dawn’s house. That was fun. We had those bucket o’ Margaritas. Those were really good. I’m sad, though, my pal Monica might be moving to Atlanta, because of work issues. We’ll probably know in a few weeks. That’s a bummer.

This was also a power shopping weekend. Saturday was the monthly Wal-Mart stock-up trip. The place was a zoo. And it was all DH’s fault, LOL! I waited for him to get up to see if he was going to with me or not. By the time he did, it was 11am, and the place was a freakin’ madhouse!!! I would have much wanted to get there by 8 and avoid the crowd, but that was not to be. So, $120 later, and what the heck did I buy? Food, of course, stocked up for the next week or so, anyway. Cleaning stuff, Swiffer pads, a few magazines always seem to end up in the cart. The Vanilla Spice eggnog is back too!!! That stuff is liquid crack, let me tell ya. I wish it were out all year round. Land O’Lakes makes it and the last few years, I’ve only been able to find it at Wal-Mart.

Then BE was on QVC and they had the TSV. Did you get all that? Hahaha! I bought the Today’s Special Value (which was on Easy-Pay, darn them!), with all new colors, the foundation primer (also on Easy-Pay) and a new eyeshadow compact. More on-line shopping, as I got an email from NY&CO with a 60% clearance sale, and I found a $30 off coupon code on-line. Hopefully most of it fits, but I’ve had good luck with them in the past. They sell bigger sizes and in Petite, which helps, since I have such short legs.

Sunday I went to the new Michael’s grand opening. Nice store, seems smaller than the New Tampa store, though. Nothing to write home about, but I did manage to do some damage with the 25% coupon. Got some “doorbusters” (tea lights 99 cents a bag, photo boxes 4 for $5, foam brushes 20 for a buck). Got some of the new K& Co stuff that’s out, too. Pretty. A few Christmas thingies. Fun, fun.

Next stop, RR. For being there about an hour, I sure did some major damage. Mostly new Making Memories, and Queen & Co. Some Christmas stuff. Some secret pal stuff, oh, wouldn’t like to know what. But I’m not tellin’! Nope, not me. Brought home lunch from Q’s pizza and chilled the rest of the day (with a little ironing here and there).

Might run by Bed Bath and Beyond tonite. I’m attempting to make over my pantry, and wanted to pick up a few little gadgets, but I might wait until payday Friday, I’m in no rush.

Well, hope this is a good week for everyone. See ya soon!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

thought I'd share a few pics

Elvis has not left the building!!! Unfortunately, he left his sideburns at home. Not exactly sure what DH was trying to be. Something like a pimp, I think. "Elvis" thought it was a cowboy hat. LOL! I'll have to scan the portrait I got in the full regalia.

And a few witches (without hats, hey isn't that a band?) with their ill-gotten booty. Or is it their ill-booten gotty? No matter...

Seems one witch has decided she doesn't like the camera. I thought I'd have a few more years, before dealing with this? Parents, what do you do with uncooperatives like this one?

Ah, well! Yes, I'm still sniffling, btw. GRRRR! Wish it would just go away. Just counting down until the weekend, YAY!! Might go to RR this weekend, DH has been craving pizza from the Q. Give me a chance to do some more secret pal shopping! Weeeee! I never did get my gift card from the big sale? Think they'll still give it to me? Won't hurt to ask, right?

By the way, I'm doing a Pampered Chef Catalog Show, with Jules's lovely daughter Kristin. So, if you need any stuff, let me know, and I'll order it for you. Here is her website:

We haven't played a round of "what's on my IPod lately", so let's just do a random and see what comes up..."Yahweh" by U2, from their last album "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb." This is a good album, they tried to recapture some of their early days and got away from the Techno thing they were doing in the mid-late 90's. And that's your musical nugget for today! :)

Monday, November 5, 2007

I knew it, I knew it

I knew I was getting sick. I’ve had a sinus headache for four days now, with no end in sight. I’m so drained. Has to be the weather. Every time the weather changes, I come down with it. So, I’m muscling through that right now.

Worked around the house this weekend. Finished laundry, mopped the floors, you know, fun stuff like that. Didn’t even watch any good movies, either. Well, that’s not true, I did watch The Maltese Falcon for the 1000th time. You can never watch the classics too many times, I say. “It’s the stuff that dreams are made of”. Okay, enough with my bad Bogie imitation.

Got caught up on all my other shows, except for Private Practice, which I’ll watch this evening. I think I’m done with CSI, by the way. The storylines are just wayyyyy too out there, and unrealistic. Okay, yes, I know, CSI has never been one for realism, but they have just gone way over the top for me.

What the heck happened to the Bulls? Were they just a flash in the pan? A fluke? Too bad. But on to the Gators, who won their Homecoming Game, rather convincingly. There’s hope yet, especially is Tennessee looses. And the Bucs are 5-4, that’s good too.

I’m with Kip, I don’t dig the time change. I’d rather it be Daylight Savings Time all year. I like being out in the sun. Don’t dig driving home in the dark at all, and I’ll have to that tonite, since I have a project to finish and have to stop at the mall (which I’ve put off all weekend.)

I've been thinking about Christmas cards. Okay, haven't done anything, but that's a step in the right direction, don't ya think? Well, I'm gonna start putting my ideas together and get a move on that. I usually end up with about 100 cards. I decided not to do drunco cards this year. Out of 20 cards, I think I got one back. So, that will save me.

All right, back to work now. I'm getting ready for my year end, always a busy time. Fun, fun!