Saturday, October 19, 2013

Fall is here...

Summer has wound down here in the Northwest and the air is getting crisp and cool. The leaves are turning the most brilliant shades of reds, yellows and oranges and every year I think THIS is the year it's been the most beautiful. Hubs says, "Isn't that what you said last year?" "Ohhhh..maybe..but THIS year? This is IT!."

 We had the most glorious summer this year. It lasted long and it was sunny pretty much most of the summer. I remember one summer it was cold and wet nearly the whole time. It's imprinted in my mind so any summer that's not like that one is a good one. But this year? "It was IT!"

The colors out and about are stunning. Fall is my most favorite time of year.


I wish the sun was out here but this is one of the most beautiful roads. When the sun shines it looks as if these trees are on fire.

 We have a beautiful view from our home and at this time of year the sun is setting right behind the mountains and make for the most outstanding sunsets. I marvel at the fact that no sunset has been the same since the beginning of time. Makes me think of my love for God and the everyday miracles He puts around me.  No matter how my day has been, I can always look to Him to finish it with beauty, wonder and awe.






What little miracles has God been putting around you?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Hot Fudge Spoon Cake Crock-pot Style


My little family and I like to go out to eat occasionally (yeah..more than that) and Applebee's  is one of our haunts. For dessert we like to get their triple chocolate meltdown , which is so. good. It's one of our favorite "going out" desserts as it has this melty chocolate saucey stuff  that comes pouring out of the center that each of us try and scoop up before the other. (We share one) It's a molten lava cake and I've never been able to recreate it, at least not as good as the triple chocolate meltdown. It's always too dry or the middle cooks and no yummy goo comes spilling out. No fun at all!

I wanted to make a special dessert for my son's first day in junior high and I found this crock-pot recipe that looked a lot like a triple chocolate meltdown and I thought I would give it a shot. I wasn't disappointed and will be making this again. Sooon!  You need about two hours and a crock-pot. You can probably find most if not all of the ingredients in your pantry. I think it compares to the triple chocolate meltdown eye to eye. Cheaper too.  This is so scrumptiously good that trying not to eat the whole thing was a challenge.

Hot Fudge Crock-pot Spoon Cake
 (you need two medium bowls)
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup  plus 3 Tablespoons baking cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup fat free half and half
2 Tablespoons butter melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cup hot water
1/2 cup chocolate chips

In one of the bowls mix the flour, 1 cup brown sugar, the 1/4 cup baking cocoa, baking powder and salt.
Add the half and half , butter and vanilla. Mix really well. Fold in the chocolate chips. Spray your crock pot with non-stick spray and spread the batter on the bottom. In the other bowl mix 3 Tablespoons of the cocoa and the 1/2 cup of brown sugar and sprinkle it on top. Add the 1 3/4 cup hot water to the top but don't mix it in.
Cover and cook on high for about two hours or until the top inch or so of the cake is cooked.

  (adapted from Gooseberry Patch, Our Best Desserts, Hot Fudge Spoon Cake-Sara Plott)

 There's no eggs in this so no worries making sure it's cooked all the way through. So licking the bowl is over the top encouraged!
I let it sit for about 20 min or so before scooping it out so it would set up a bit. Oh.. and vanilla ice cream tops it beautifully!
This will be a common dessert in our house now and I'll save some bucks making it at home instead of going out. This tastes way better anyway.

  

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Blueberry Scones

I'm always on the hunt for a great scone recipe. I loooooove scones especially when they're loaded with big plump blueberries. Oh man...it makes me drool thinking about that perfect blueberry scone. I want them more on the dense and sweeter side and loaded with buuuuuttter.( Yeah, my arteries and waste line don't love them so much.) Scones tend to be one of my go-to comfort foods and when I'm a bit down, I like to make them. The smell of the warm buttery sconey goodness and then a bite of the crunchy outside and soft inside makes me feel like I'm wrapped in a warm homey hug.




I'm always trying new scone recipes looking for juuuuust the right one. I actually found one that was sooo good! Just like Starbucks, which I love, but I lost it somewhere. I KNOW! You would think, since I love them so much, and find the holy grail of sconey goodness, I would keep that recipe by my side at all times. Welll that would be waaaay out of character for me so...*shoulder shrug* I'm on the hunt again. I'm hoping I run across it.. If anyone has a really good recipe, let me know. I found this recipe at the Food Network site. I changed a few things...more butter, less salt, buttermilk instead of cream and blueberries.

Anyhoo, the boys went to Wild Waves today for a last summer "Hurrah!" and I have a Saturday to myself. I injured my knee somehow and to make good use of my time, I thought I'd make scones. I also thought I would have two or five before the guys got home.

Blueberry Scones

2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
5 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons shortening
3/4 cups buttermilk
1 egg
1 cup frozen blueberries

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in ( or use a food processor ) the shortening and butter. After combining the egg and buttermilk, gentle fold into the dry ingredients. Then gently fold in the blueberries. Use your hands, it works better and you keep your blueberries intact. Your dough will be a little wet, but that's OK. On a floured surface, gently place the dough and use a bit of flour to form a circle about an inch high in the middle. Cut this with a butter knife to divide into 6 equal scones.
Place the individual scones on a baking sheet and bake for 18-23 min or until golden brown on top.

(adapted from Alton Brown's Scone Recipe) 


These were good, but not the best I've had but I'm kinda picky. They were more on the cake side and a little too salty and not enough sweet for me. Don't get me wrong! They were good but I probably won't make them again.

Still on the hunt!


Friday, August 30, 2013

Finally, some rain.

Rain has finally come. I don't think we've had a good rain in a couple months, which is unusual for Western Washington. We nearly broke a record last month for the most consecutive days without rain. I think we were short 2 days, or something like that. As much as I complain in the winter and spring months about all the rain and no sunshine we get around here, I was jumping up and down when I heard the rain coming down and down and down last night. Sigh...so nice. Clean air. Watered plants. Sooo many of the pines on the hill behind our house are dying from lack of water.
My garden did wonderfully despite the rain. I watered faithfully and was rewarded with beautiful blooms throughout the summer, without the rain coming to destroy them. Until last night. I'm OK with it though. I was missing the rain.
I made sure to get several pictures to share before the rain came. I love to garden and I love flowers. There's something so spiritually fulfilling, digging in the dirt and the rich smell of good soil. The hard work pays off with beautiful blooms.
 My yard just exploded with beautiful flowers this year. We've lived here for about 8 years and the soil was just awful when we moved in, so I've been amending it every year at planting time. It's still not the greatest as we have horrible drainage issues but it's finally maturing and getting the look I wanted. I went through many many plants to find the right one that would work best for the conditions of our backyard.
 I have lots of hummingbird and butterfly attractors.

This rose above I brought with me when we moved to our new house. It was my favorite and I wasn't going to leave it. I love this little guy. 
 This rose I purchased for 5 bucks. It had no tag and was a scraggly little thing sitting all by it's little self.  Since I have a thing for outcasts, I grabbed it and it's one of my most favorite roses I've ever had. I still have no idea what it is but it smells and looks beautiful.
Never underestimate and outcast.


I love to collect plants that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. My little garden has been visited by many of these little lovelies this year. I can hear the hummingbirds in my trees making their little noises every morning and evening. They're very territorial, I hear.




I was a little worried about my hydrangeas this year. I'm finally getting some blooms on one. These are one of my most favorite flowers as well.
I hope you enjoyed taking a glimpse of my pretties. 











Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Birthday's and Baking Soda go together like..

 They don't.  This little ditty is about my hubstons birthday yesterday ( he was 53!)  and baking soda. How do those two come into play? Reeeeeead on. 

Yesterday, I could have joined the cast of the worst cooks in America.

  I can bake, like "baked" goods and stuff, but NEVER can I EVER cook, bake, boil, roast-whatever- chicken to save my life. Can't do it. It usually turns out a rubbery, dry something that resembles what used to be a chicken - or - it's still squawking and for some reason I keep trying, and I still can't. get. it. right. So, why cook chicken ever? I don't.  BUT, yesterday was my hubstons birthday and every time in the last 15 years when I ask him what he wants for dinner he tells me..."Chicken cordon blue".  (Now it's kindof a running joke around here.)  I've tried making it for him early in our marriage and -yeeeah- didn't work.  I figured since I've got a little experience under my belt cooking these last 15 years, I'm a gonna give it another shot and surprise my guy. I just completely tossed out the window that chicken and I don't get along. Yesterday, we were going to become friends and I was going to get this right.

I started with this recipe Chicken Cordon Blue. It seemed really easy and something I could do. I mean, I'll just follow the recipe to the letter. How could it go wrong?
I pounded out my chicken.


I put the ham and cheese in the middle and rolled those puppies up...



I forgot to get a picture of them rolled. Silly me. 
I rolled them in the flour and paprika (made a huge mess) and put them in the pan with the butter and wine. It smelled wonderful! and I was so excited it was all coming together and looked like it would work. 
After I let it cook for about 25 min or so...(the recipe said 30, but I knew I would turn them into little chicken hockey pucks if I went that long so 25 min was long enough for me. Yeah--later to realize, too long. There will be NO Salmonella around here, no sir. ) I put them on a plate and went to my soon to be sauce. It's smelled so mouthwatering I was starting to drool a bit. I was pretty proud of myself at this moment but we all know what happens with pride and all. Yup. a big ol fall. 

I had mixed up my "cornstarch" and cream and had slowly poured it into my sauce, that smelled heavenly with all those brown bits and butter and wine. Then I say to myself...."hmmm that's funny... Why is it foaming? I've never seen that before, maybe it's the "cornstarch" and cream mixed with the wine." I just kept stirring and stirring and stirring and it never thickened. I was wonder what the heck I did when suddenly my mind got a picture of the box I had the "cornstarch" in and I thought, feeling much defeated, I think I put in baking soda. I opened the cupboard and grabbed the box and sure enough. Baking Soda. The two boxes look very similar. "CRAP!" I yelled quite loudly. My husband says, "uh oh". I tasted my beautiful wine/brown bits and butter with the baking soda and cream and thought " Neat. The ocean just met my beautiful sauce." It was so salty it couldn't be saved. I had to dump it and be reeeeeal mad. Stupid chicken. I thought "well, I'll just start over!" I dumped some wine and butter in the pan, let it boil, threw some cornstarch and cream in there and sigh. It clumped and separated. I have NO idea what happened and  I gave up and tossed that too. 

No sauce. And!!! it was dry. But my hubston ate it and proudly said "Yum" enough times to make me feel like he didn't hate it as much as his chewing was giving away.  Oh! and the salad dressing on the greens right there? I got that at How Sweet it Is. It's  Parmesan Greek Yogurt Caesar dressing and it's sooooooo good. Her blog is the bomb too.  Am I too old to say that? Anyhoo......She'll make you laugh right out loud and want to lick the PC her pictures are so good. Unlike my food pictures, but hey, we all start somewhere eh?

We finished off the dinner with this little number and me telling myself "Never ever ever" are chicken and I getting back together. Ever. 

Courtesy of Costco. Yum. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Sandwich Generation

 I was talking with a friend some months ago about my struggles with caring for elderly parents and raising a young son. She said  it's called the Sandwich Generation. Your "sandwiched" between taking care of both. 

 My feeling "sandwiched" started a little over three years ago when I got a call from my Dad and he told me he had cancer. I was shocked and scared.. I never thought that would  be something I would hear from anyone in my family.  You think it happens to everyone else until it happens to your family and it was a shock. My Dad had an aggressive form of bladder cancer-stage 4.   I stuck by my Dads side the whole time, through all his surgery's and chemo. Getting him to all his appointments and staying at the hospital during his surgery's. He stayed at my home after one of his surgery's so I could drain his catheter to make sure he was draining enough fluid. Yeah, never thought I would do that.

My son was going on 10.

During this time my Mom started to lose her memory. She was repeating herself all the time and she refused to help with my Dad. I knew something was wrong but my brother and sisters believed she was fine.  I was with her and talked to her all the time so I knew something wasn't right. 

Almost exactly one year from my Dads diagnosis, my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. During her visits to the Dr and surgeon, my Mom wouldn't allow my Dad in most of the appointments.  My Moms treatment was a partial mastectomy but she never followed through with more treatment. Who knows if she still has cancer but my Mom is really prideful and just didn't want to deal with it. I was able to be with her during all this and was there when the doctor told her about her losing her memory. She didn't believe him and it was heartbreaking.  This was probably one of the darkest times of my adult life.

 My son was just turning 11. I was trying to hold it together and be a good mom to my son. It was a really hard time.

Over the next year or so my Moms memory got worse. Until just last year she had been driving but Mom was following my Dad home in her car from a motorcycle shop and took  a wrong turn. This was at 11 am.  We didn't find her until 7:30 pm when a man from a bar by Mt Rainer called to say she was there. She was several hours drive away from her home.  The deputy with her said if she hadn't stopped at that bar she would have gone into the National forest and they don't patrol there but every few days. This was the last stop. She had been driving 8 hours trying to find her way home and never stopped for help. She blames the lack of good signs and I couldn't understand when she passed Seattle and then Tacoma, and didn't stop. She felt she could find her way home. I felt she was in a ditch somewhere. Yet when she talks about that day all she says is she wished she had a camera because Rainer was soooooo beautiful! Oy vey.

Present day, my Dad is still cancer free but my Mom's dementia is a lot worse and I have no idea if her cancer has spread.  My Dad is doing the best he can but he's still in a bit (a lot) of denial. He still believes she can do a lot more than she really can. He wants to believe she's OK. We all want to believe Mom is OK.

Dementia is a nasty beast. Sometimes it's hard to figure out. My Mom will remember dates and things and you think she's fine but then she'll do something that your like...Oh wow.  It's really hard  to communicate with someone who's dementia is progressing. You have to have a lot of patience and don't argue. If she believes something happened, it's OK to let her believe it. It's better than the confusion and anger it causes. At first, she would  remember things wrong. She would get a bit confused and remember an event happening in the wrong order or not remember conversations and  get very argumentative. Now, she remembers things that never happened. Or she tells me things she's been doing when she actually hasn't done that in a long time. I used to think she was telling me these things so I wouldn't worry. Now I know she actually believes she was doing it based off of a memory long ago. It feels to her as if she just did it. Dementia is horrible!   My heart breaks to see my Mom like this but she still believes she has no memory problems. She also believes she can drive and gets upset when someone tells her (me) she can't.

Through this I'm trying to be the best Mom I can be. I try to compartmentalize it so the stress of it doesn't interfere with the care of my son.  My son just turned 13 and he's a pretty great kid.

Are any of you going through this? Are you part of the "Sandwich Generation"? Do you have elderly parents that you want to honor and help them like they helped you? Are they healthy?  Do you have young children as well?  How do you find balance and not let the guilt monster rip your heart out?


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Time for My Ten Things I've Learned this Week.

I've completely forgot about my ten things I've learned this week. I blame it on my short attention span. But, here we are!
                                                               
  1) Trying to "find my voice" when writing is hard. Learning to write like I talk is taking time. I admire writers.
 It's a skill and a talent I don't have yet. I hope too. Do I think I'll become some great writer? Not even for moment and that's not my desire, but I do enjoy it.  I find there's a certain amount of deep honesty you find with yourself when you write. You can't NOT be honest. I think writing comes from such a deep place that you come face to face with yourself and sometimes that's scary. That's probably why I have a thousand journals I've started and stopped. Writing honestly can hurt sometimes because you can't run from yourself. Writing honestly goes deep. Sometimes deeper than I was wanting. Writing makes you face it. At least, that's what I'm finding in my experience. I'm discovering myself.  I find myself becoming more concrete. Does that make sense?

  2) I have issues with zucchini. I keep buying it and have plans for it,  put it in the crisper and forget it's there. They rot and I buy more. I don't get it. I have them sitting on my island in the kitchen now. I WILL make something with them. Zucchini bread is good. Does anyone have a good recipe?

  3) Sand can be the devil. Just when you thought you've gotten rid of it. NO. "He's never gone!!

Love this movie!

4) Mosquito's can suck your blood even through your clothes. No one is safe. No one.

5) There are people in this world, as you all well know, that should never own a pet. I've learned that there are a lot of people out there who are more concerned with their own comforts, pets can be work, than doing the right thing. My animal lover heart is broken.

6) School starts on the 3rd of September. My son will be in junior high and a 7th grader. I'm learning that letting go stings a lot more than I thought it would. I can't imagine what it'll be like when he goes to college. UGH!

7)Marriage can be really really really really...really hard. I'm learning that words have a lot of power and can shred someone to pieces. Of course, that's common sense. But, I've also learned that as you get older and the longer your married, the words that come out of your mouth not only hurt your partner but they hurt you as well. Marriage, to me, is melding two lives together and making yourselves one. So when I hurt my husband I'm hurting myself.  I'm learning I need to shut up because my words can be a terrible weapon.

8) I've learned that calling myself a "collector" instead of a "hoarder" feels better.

9) I've learned that the big "muffins" that you get at Costco are just really cake shaped like a muffin. Since it's a "muffin" I don't feel guilty eating it for breakfast.

10) Gardening makes me really happy. It settles my soul. I've learned that I need to do some type of gardening every day to find rest, peace and completeness in my soul.



Cheers!




Sunday, August 18, 2013

Camp it up!

Ahhhhh. Camping.

 Our four day camping trip to the ocean was this last week. Unfortunately, things didn't go quite as planned and we ended up coming home after 24 hours. The ocean is only 2 1/2 hours away so it's not too big a deal, but still kinda sucked packing up all that stuff for 4 days to come home after 24 hours.
There was a statewide burn ban in effect so spending four days at the ocean where the temps can change drastically in a matter of hours weighed pretty heavily on my mind. I packed about every sweater and warm pants I could find AND threw in my ski jacket for good measure. THIS girl was NOT going to be cold. Crabby maybe, but not cold.  And, we were off!

 We got the camp site ready to go. The weather was beautiful and warm. So far...
The first ocean visit of the camping trip.

 This is the trail we took up to the beach.
  I love the beach. I could never get tired of looking at it.

This is a tradition we've started with this family. Our friend is divorced with six little kiddies and one of the best Dad's I know. We started camping every year in August but this year, we thought we would stay a bit longer. Four days instead of the three. We wanted to have two full days at the beach. We were really bummed that the fire ban was on  but we planned on making the best of it and I promised  not be too big of a grump.
Campsite was set up but come evening, mosquito's the size of my fist, (not really)  proceeded to try and suck every drop of blood from each one of us. Even with bug repellant. I had all open skin covered but the little bastards STILL found a way to poke through my jeans. Nasty little things.

We ended up going to bed early because of the mosquito's. And guess what?  I froze all night. Pft.

The next morning, bright and squirrelly, a chipmunk and a couple crows decided to have a shouting contest right above our tent. I could just imagine what they were saying to each other, "You shut up!..."NO YOU shut up!"  And the peace maker I am, I decided to break up the fight. I zipped out of my tent like a mother that had just about enough and I stomped over to that chipmunk and crow and told them, "NO...YOU shut up!"  The crow took off and proceeded to yell at both of us from a distance and the chipmunk started chattering at me!. By this time everyone was up and telling that little chipmunk to buzz off.

Breakfast got started and all was well. During breakfast, one of the girls came and asked me about a bite she had on her leg. It was by her knee and it looked pretty red and swollen. She told me it didn't itch, it just hurt and I told her to show her Dad and we both agreed we would watch it real close.
The day was a beautiful day and we spent the whole of it down at the beach. I got a nice burn on my face but since I was wearing sunglasses the whole day I looked a bit like Zorro. My little friend's "bite" was getting a bit worse and swelling up a bit more. Her Dad and I  both thought she was possibly bitten by a spider since it hurt but didn't itch and she had been playing in the tall grass. There were spiders pretty much everywhere. We continued to watch it and thought if she came down with a fever we would get her to a hospital.

We had a lot of fun on the beach that day. The kids boogie boarded and body surfed.

They made a sand thingy....


Found lots of sand dollars. This beach was loaded with them.

gratuitous shot of my foot....your welcome. 

 When we got back to the campsite around 5:00 for dinner you could tell my little friend wasn't feeling so hot. We ate and settled in but my little friend was getting worse. She had laid down on the bench by her dad  and when I felt her forehead, she felt cool. Within about 15 minutes of that, she got up and told her dad she felt like she was going to throw up and she had suddenly spiked a fever. Things got moving quickly after that. He loaded her up and he drove around trying to find a fire house and an EMT. Small towns like we were camping by, run a lot different then big towns. Everyone goes home at 5:00. The ranger station didn't have anyone there and he couldn't find a fire house. My friend found a guy at a clinic on his way out and he told him we needed go into the bigger town to get her help, about 15 miles out.  Our friend came back to the camp site and decided he needed to pack up and head home so he could get her to a hospital if need be. At this time, she seemed to be feeling a bit better so he got some water down her and they started packing up. We didn't want to stay by ourselves with no fire and mosquito's the size of a house, so we packed up as well. It was about 8 PM at this time and we rolled out at 8:30. Got home at around 11Pm.

My little friend's fever had broken by the time we all got home and she slept through the night. Her Dad took her to the Dr. the next day and they said she had a bacterial infection and put her on antibiotics. They said she must have gotten poked or scratched in that area and it got infected. No spider bite and she's back to normal.
Even though we were only there a few hours, we had a good time. *whispers* Don't tell anyone, but I wasn't too upset about coming home cause this is how I feel about it......



 Hope you had a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Baking Soda and World Domination

                                                                    Baking Soda. Who. Knew.

Let me start at the beginning, shall I? World Domination always has a beginning. Well, World- Domination- in- my- home for the afternoon does and I shall tell you. Yes, I shall.
It started with a future camping trip.
When I say future, I mean this next week.
I'm not a camper. I don't like camping. I don't like being cold, wet, out of my environment, out of control- blah blah blah. 
Too make matters worse there's a burn ban in effect for the Washington state area and we're camping at the beach. UGH! Can it get any worse? Fire! must have FIRE! That's my thing man! I love making it, stoking it, feeding it. I get a little weird about it too. Controlling weird. Like, "Yeah...that's not going to burn right there" and " yeah..don't touch my fire". They all know that the fire keeps me from getting freaky in other areas so they all leave me alone with it. 
As they should.
Cause it's fire...............and me.
Well, since there's not going to be anything to occupy me --sorry peeps!--you're going to be counting down the hours until you get to go home. My weirdness shall be evident to all.
Nuff said about that.
ANYHOOTS!!!  On to World Domination.
 I'm having a gal come stay at my house while we're gone. She'll be taking care of my pets. 
And, what does any woman do when another woman is coming to stay at her home?         
Clean.
Ya'll do it too!!!! (well, most I talk to)
I mean the deep clean. Like the crap in the corner I'm too lazy to bend down and get when I swiffer. Well, when I swiffer. Or the crumbs that get stuck in between the oven and the granite. The dust that has accumulated to the point of trying to remember what your furniture looks like. Alright, I'm not quite that bad. I have my moments and for some reason we as women need to empress other woman with our home skills. It's so dumb. 
Enter Baking Soda.
I was trying to get the grubby finger prints off my cabinets because when the sun shines on it just right? Ew. I tried all the cleaners I had and nothing worked. Today, I thought I would try a little Baking Soda. I know it's been around forever and people have been cleaning with it for about that long. I just haven't tried it.
But holy sunballs and applesauce! It freaking worked! So good, that I cleaned everything with it. My cabinets, my sink, my faucet. It's all sparkly. I just put a little in a bowl, added some water and rubbed it on the grubby's and they came off! Those grubby marks were stubborn and refused to budge. Until today. The conquering joy I felt after showing those grubby's who's boss. To master those grubby's with authority. To command those grubby's to "Be gone!"

Kinda felt like being this guy for the afternoon.
" I am Loki, of Asgard and I am burdened with glorious purpose."

" I am MOM! fifth house down on the left and I have been burdened with glorious purpose!
Baking Soda and I will dominate my little world between these four walls! The things I shall do with this!!!"
 Yeah, I exaggerated the whole "World Domination" but hey? Baking Soda can be a powerful weapon against grubby's.
Yeah, I know. I need to get out more.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Superpowers



Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have superpowers? I've always had a love for Superheros since I was a kid. All the greats like Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man.
I couldn't WAIT for the new Superman movie 'Man of Steel' to come out and I wasn't disappointed. 
It was awesome.
Henry Cavill doesn't hurt the eyes either. At all. Not a bit. Holy Moses he's perty. Anyway!
Back to wanting  a superpower. What would you want? Laser eyes like Superman or the ability to fly? Climb walls? Be able to go to Antarctica, put your fist down and create an earth quake that shakes the earth to the core?
Dress like a bat and drive a car that can do just about anything but make you a sandwich?
How bout fly around Metropolis fighting the bad guy and causing so much carnage on buildings and streets that the city would go bankrupt trying to fix it? 
The world was saved though.

How the man of Steel Should have Ended.  (this is hilarious!)

 "I'm rich Batman!"


Or perhaps you'd be a villain. Come on now! Let's be honest! Not everyone wants to save the world.
Cause, if we're honest here, wouldn't it be awesome to be this guy for just an afternoon?


                                                                    

Bad Ass

                                                         Seriously now.                                                     


 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Time for my Ten

       Time for the Ten Things I've learned this week.

1) No matter how much I yell, jump up and down saying "NO NO NO!" my dog will continue to try and eat bees.


2) I'm a Twit-ter er. I did it. I jumped into the tweety pool.   

3) There are Christmas decorations out at the craft store. I kid you not.  Proof right here...
 We're still in July...right?  Yipes! I learned it's getting earlier and earlier every year until one day, they just won't ever take it down. Christmas is my favorite holiday. But ,come on!! I should stick blow up Santa out in the yard since we're starting the season so early.


4) These are really really good if I don't feel like being the domestic goddess/ Betty Crocker I usually am (eh hem..not) and don't feel like making them. It's Trader Joes Extra Chip chocolate chip cookies.
I ate one or three or half the bowl. Whatever. 
soooo good!


5) Trying to pick out house paint colors with my husband can really bring out the beast in me. Am I really that snarky and impossible to deal with? "No, I do not want my house to look like a flag." "Well, don't paint the door red" he says. I say.."I want a red door." You know I want a red door, I've talked about it for weeks. You don't want a red door, that's it right there. *gasp* You don't like red doors!" *pause* "You don't love me?" Because somehow a red door and his love for me are related. Who. knew.


6) I've been playing around with resin and I think I like it! Not a big learning curve to it and it can make some neato stuff. I'll be posting some of that soon.


7) If you know better, you do better. If you do better you'll be better. 
Or, know butter be butter do butter be butter. 
Say that 5 times real fast! 



8) I need to let go of my son. It's time for him to start being totally responsible and face consequences, but geez! that's hard.  I've been teaching him action- reaction and cause and effect. Those two concepts can change your life if you can get grip on them. Simple stuff but how many people do the same thing over and over again expecting a different result? Albert Einstein's definition of insanity. Learn grasshopper..learn.



9) I love reality shows. Have you seen the new ones out? I've discovered these two and I'm lovin it!
And this one. Seriously, can't stop watching.
I've learned nothing from them but I sure as hell won't be caught naked on some island with a stranger, I won't eat worms and I would not get out alive. So, I guess I learned three things.
Super entertaining! Love Bear!



10) Sometimes, when your with family, you need to eat the cold weenie.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Are you a Good Listener?


Has there ever been a time you were talking with someone and they get this vacant stare and you know they're not listening?  How about speaking with someone and they talk over you or change the subject in the middle of the conversation. Maybe your talking about something that means a lot to you but the person your speaking with doesn't seem to be interested or they have something more important to say.

I can relate to both.
I've been in both of those situations. 

 Since I'm wanting better and more meaningful relationships in my life, one thing I've been thinking about lately is my listening skills. I've always believed I was a good listener but since I've been paying more attention to this skill I've realized...I'm not so good at it.    

Here's a few things I'll be putting into practice so I can become a better listener which will also make better relationships.
1)Stop talking. I need to stop talking. I need to shut the trap and listen. This will be a challenge for me as I always have something to say or to add to the conversation. Always. I think if I take the time to really listen to what's being said instead of  blabbering away, the person I'm in the conversation with will know what they have to say is important, instead of feeling they're competing with what I have to say. I shall bite thy tongue.

2) Just listen for the sake of listening. I want to really listen to what someone has to say instead of trying to add to the conversation. Just 'sit on my hands' so to speak and focus on what's being said. I want the person I'm conversing with to know I care about what they're saying more than what I can add to the conversation.

3) Repeat what I've heard. Say back what I've heard them say. It always feels good to know that you're being heard. I know I feel valued, cared about, significant and just plain worthy. I know sometimes when I don't feel heard, I  feel what I have to say has no value and is worth nothing. I want people to feel what they have to say is of great value and they're of great worth.

How about you? Do you feel you're a good listener? What things do you do in a conversation to make you a good listener?  Do you have areas you need to work on when it comes to listening? What are they? 

Here's to becoming a good listener!

Cheers!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Time for Ten things I've learned this week..

Ten Things I've learned this week....

1) As much as I complain about the heat, well, whine about the heat...I love the sunshine and being warm. I'm seriously considering moving someplace with more sun and heat. Seriously. Well, not really, but a girl can dream. I need to stop whining and just accept it. Embrace this new me! The one that always hated the heat. Yeah...whatever.

2) My learning curve when it comes to blogging is steep. STEEP! I tell ya.

3) I love to read. But, if the book doesn't have a good flow to the sentences, no matter how good it is, I'll drop it like a hot rock. It's too time consuming to keep going back, rereading, trying to figure out what the person is trying to get across. I find it mostly when the character in the book has poor grammar and the book is full of the character's thoughts and interactions. Although, I understand trying to give the character life, it's just too hard to get a flow. Before, I would struggle to finish it. Now? Too many good books out there and I don't feel guilty at all letting one go for the sake of the pleasure to read. This happened this week. Kinda disappointing.

4) This is my new favorite cake. Forever and ever..amen.  Strawberry JELL-O Poke Cake  Made this for the 4th of July and oh. my. word. Pure Pleasure. The whipped topping makes it...oh! and the sprinkles. Love me some sprinkles. Making it again tonight for my son's third Birthday party this week. Hey, he's 13!  Three's a good number.

5) Caffeine withdrawal S.U.C.K.S.  UGH!

6)Telling my son to go read a book, makes him NOT want to go read a book. Don't get it. Summers I loved to read! Maybe someday he will too. Hopefully. If x box falls off the face of the earth.

7) I'm learning to "Eat to live, not live to Eat" this week. It's hard for me because I'm an emotional eater and have dealt with eating disorders since I was around 13. Sometimes I hate food. It's not the food's fault though. Food is not the problem. Food is good! I love to cook and bake! It's not about the food. *sigh* This has always been a private thing that I've struggled with. I hope to be more open about it in the future as I've always believed that some secrets can destroy you. If you shed light on it, it's power is lost. The grip loosens. Someday.

8) Getting to know my camera is actually pretty fun! I still haven't figured out how to take a picture and make the edges blurry. App for that? I don't know, but I'll figure it out. I hope.

9) I got my hair cut short a couple of weeks ago and I LOVE IT! I love short hair and can't understand for the life of me why I try and grow it out. My hubs loves it too!

10) The big thing I'm learning this week is to love myself. Accept myself. Quirks and all.  I'm trying to stop (this is all my own doing) forming to whatever people want me to be so they'll like me. I constantly compromise myself. My son asked me the other day, "Why does your voice change when you talk to people? Your voice gets higher pitched and sweet like." Why DO I do that? It's like I'm trying to hide who I really am.  I'm quirky and odd, horribly insecure and I say really dumb things but I need that to be OK. For me.
I've also learned in loving or just liking myself that it takes more courage to be nice and kind to someone in the midst of hostility and rudeness than to be nasty back. Being nasty is easy. Eye for an eye and all. But, being kind in place of acting rude and hostile takes courage, bravery and forgiveness. That's who I want to be....kind, courageous, brave and forgiving.  So...I'm consciously putting those things out there. At least, I'm trying too. I am human after all and an eyeroll at the moron who drives like a freak, doesn't hurt anyone. I don't think.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Birthday Boy!


My son was 13 yesterday.
How did that happen and where did the time go.
I'm so proud of the young man he is becoming.
And I'm honored to be his Mom.
Love you, my baby.
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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Yummy Blueberry Breakfast Cake

I love Blueberries. They're so good for you! About 80 calories a cup and virtually no fat. They contain natural polyphenols which are an anti inflammatory and an antioxidant and they're full of vitamin C.  I love blueberries so much, that every time I go to either the grocery store or Costco (always at Costco) if they have a good price, I pick up some. The minute I get home I stick them in the freezer. They freeze wonderfully! 
When it's time to use them I take out what I need, put them in a strainer to rinse in hot water and they're plump and delicious as the day I bought them.
One of my most favorite fruits.
Yesterday, at Costco, while getting my blueberries I ran across a great cook book. I have a system at Costco.  Left side, right side, produce, frozens and.....books. Love looking at the books and
It's a good cookbook so far. I tried one of the recipes this morning but I changed a bunch of things on it and thought I would post my version. I cut out half the butter, used yogurt and added an extra egg. Here ya go..

Yummy Blueberry Breakfast Cake
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/3 cup plain yogurt
2 cups blueberries
Tablespoon of  flour
8 by 8 glass or metal pan

Heat your oven to 350 degrees for a metal pan, 325 for glass. Spray your pan with non-stick spray.
In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Rinse and drain your berries.
Using a mixer,  mix together the sugar and butter until well blended. Add your vanilla. Mix in each egg until very well blended. Mix it up good! Then add your yogurt, mix together.
Take your dry ingredients and your cup of milk and mix gradually together with the wet ingredients in the mixer. Try not to over mix but make sure it's blended well.
Put your blueberries in a small bowl and add about a Tablespoon of flour to the blueberries. You want your blueberries lightly covered with flour, so use a little more or less if you have to. This will keep your blueberries from sinking to the bottom.
Pour half the batter into the pan, take half of the blueberries and spread them around then take the rest of the batter and pour that on top. 
Then cover that with the rest of blueberries.
Bake for approximately 45-48 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean.



It's really really good! Not too sweet and I was able to cut down on some of the fat. The yogurt makes it really moist. I don't feel guilty at all having this for breakfast.
Hope you try it and let me know how it works out! 
Eat your blueberries!!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

I wish everyone in the States a Happy and Safe 4th of July.


How bout some random 4th of July tidbits that you probably never wanted to know but 
seeing how I like to get up all in your face like...here they are.

1) Did you know that Benjamin Franklin wanted our nations bird to be the Turkey but John Adams and Thomas Jefferson said.."Pft! Wha..what?..We want the Eagle instead." 
Yeah, I don't know if they actually said it that way but in my mind, they were cool
like that.
2) About 150 million hot dogs are eaten on this day.
uhhh. That's a lot. 
3) Both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on July 4th 1826.
4) Uncle Sam was a real person.
Seriously? 
5) The 4th of July is the biggest beer selling day. 
Drink up friends!! 
6) 111 million bucks are spent on Popsicle's and charcoal.
(ya know...you could make your own popsicle's and save a ton of cash.)
7) last but not least and since I'll get outa your face
Over 74 Million people will BBQ today.

Enjoy your 4th!! and be mindful of your pets.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Reusable produce bag

It's going to be a scorcher today and for those us not used to these temps...me... I melt. I wanted to get some crafting in since I'll be hanging out inside most of the day.
I had some stash laying around I wanted to use up and really needed some reusable produce sacks.  I really try my best to cut down on my plastic use and reuse and recycle when I can. This bag was easy to make and will suit its purpose.
I cut a 16 1/2" ×13 piece of tulle. The 13" on the fold. I used the tulle that's a bit more stiff with larger holes. Sewed up both sides twice with a smaller stitch so it'll be strong. But first, I sewed up one side then added the binding to the top and tucked the black nylon cord from an old sleeping bag through the binding then sewed up the other side to make a little bag. I now have a produce bag. Not a thing of beauty but will serve it's purpose and super cheap to make. Quick too. I most definitely will be making more of these for myself and family and friends.  Anyone wanting a more detailed tute I will surely write one up. Now...off to the couch with a popsicle and a movie.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Kayaking...

We went Kayaking today...(after "I need Jesus" time..(church))
 It was gorgeous out and H.O.T.
 Pretending I'm in the deep Amazon paddling down the river...the Canadian Goose next to me would beg to differ.


 Yup...I need a pedicure.

That's a Watermelon Shark photo bomb...

Hope your having a great weekend!

Sparkling Baubles

Purchased some sparkly things yesterday at Hobby Lobby for cheap! Got some plans for these so stay tuned. Love me some sunny sparkles.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Flowers for the weekend

We're having beautiful warm weather this weekend and my flowers are doing so well. This year has been really good for them. Not as much rain drowning them so it's been a good year so far. Thought I would show some of them.
This is one of my favorite roses. I wish I could remember the name of it but the cabbage type of flower I just love.
I tried to plant a lot of flowers to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. I wish I could get a picture of the hummingbird visits but they're fast little buggers.
Have a great weekend!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Wookie Cookies

My son made an intergalactic, found only in the deep reaches of space cookie today. Well, the deep reaches of  the internets space.  They're Wookie Cookies to be exact and the recipe is found here..Wookie Cookies

He LOVES Star Wars and found a recipe for Wookie Cookies and wanted to make them...all by himself. No help from me and he did a great job!  Chewbacca approves! My baby's growing up.