Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Good Week

     Today is a good day. My book bomb was a huge success. Thanks to all who participated.
     Now to fly to Cali to bring my daughter here to live near us. What a week this has turned out to be. Thanks again to all of you who helped make my day. :)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Where's my Shovel

     I have so much on my plate today I need a shovel. My book is out and after today, maybe I'll be able to get a little sleep. Then again, maybe not. Releasing a book is a lot like having a newborn you want everyone to love him and after nine month and the pain and agony of giving birth you still don't get a good nights sleep.
     I'm flying down to Cali tomorrow to drive back with my daughter, her husband and their baby. They are moving here and I can't tell you how excited I am about that. What I'm not excited about is the flight. I am a white knuckle flier. I know you're thinking, "there's nothing to flying." It's not the flying, it's the crashing I worry about. So I have to prepare myself for that.
     And even though I'm only going to be gone for basically 36 hours I have to get everything ready on this end. That means food and cleaning and planning and nagging, at least at my house.
     I have the window washers coming today and it's my night to go and write with a friend. So if you see me today and I look stressed, well, I am.
     Now where is my shovel?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Laundry Pay Day

     I was doing laundry yesterday and I found a penny in the dryer. A lousy penny. I remember way back when, before we had ten kids, my husband used to leave wads of cash in his pants pocket for me. I always figured it was my pay for doing the laundry.
     You can't imagine how fun it was to open the dryer and see twenty dollar bills, all clean and warm just waiting for me to spend them. Those days are long gone.
     Now we have kids and no money. I do laundry now and I get a lousy penny?!
     And to add insult to injury the little jar I keep in the laundry room for spare change, has been discovered by my boys, who raid it every now and then. So much for their college fund.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Creamy Garlic Pasta

     I am always looking for new recipes because lets face it, after 32 years of marriage I get sick of my own stuff. Even if I've only cooked dinner 300 days out of 365 days a year that's 9,600 meals and that's just dinner. 
     Last night I tried a new Garlic Cream Sauce that I found on Pinterest and it was yummy. Its not thick like alfredo sauce. It's runnier but oh so delish. Here's the recipe and I have to say it was really easy and everyone loved it. Did you catch that EVERYONE loved it. That never happens here. I did cook the pasta separately and then ladled the sauce on top. I also sprinkled in dried parsley. I like to change things up. The sauce had a lot of flavor. Feel free to raid my Yumm board on Pinterest if you want to see the picture. 
Creamy Garlic Pasta
2 tsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp butter
¼  tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
3 cups chicken stock
½ lb spaghetti or angel hair pasta
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
¾ cup heavy cream
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
In a pot, bring the olive oil to medium-low heat. Add the garlic and stir, allowing it to cook for 1-2 minutes. Mix in the butter until melted. Add the salt, pepper and chicken stock. Raise the heat to high and let it come to a boil. 
Once it is at a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook for as long as the box’s directions indicate. Reduce the stove to medium heat and mix in the parmesan until completely melted. Turn off the heat and stir in the cream and parsley. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

If Only...

     Do you ever stop and think If only? I love those words, they open up so many possibilities.
     If only I could eat whatever I wanted and still be healthy.
     If only I could tell my kids to do something once and they would do it.
     If only there was always money in the bank, no matter how much you spent.
     If only cars and appliances never broke down.
     If only no one you loved ever passed away.
     If only I could learn from the mistakes I seem to make over and over.
     If only people would try harder to get along.
     If only everyone taught their children to respect others.
     If only we took our stewardship of the earth more seriously.
     If only there were more Oreo's in a pack.
     If only, if only, if only.
     What is your favorite if only?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sad Piano

     I was listening to a YouTube video yesterday. It was a beautiful piece of piano music and I was really enjoying it when my son said, "What the heck are you listening to. It's so sad it's making me depressed."
     I just laughed. Then he said, "Are you depressed or something. Why are you listening to that? Turn that off it's making me sad."
     I laughed some more and listened to the end after saying because, "it makes you sad so I can't listen to it?"
     He laughed and said, "Yes."
     The reason I kept laughing was because the piece was called Sad Piano.
      It's strange how music can affect your mood. There are certain songs that, when I hear them my mood will change instantly. Some songs you just can't help but sing along to. Some songs do make you sad. One of the saddest pieces of music I've ever heard is A Whiter Shade of Pale. It's an old piece but the instrumental version makes me want to cry.
    When I played that on YouTube my other son said, "Only people with seven cats would listen to that."
    I'm not quite sure what the seven cats has to do with it but it was a funny day.

Friday, July 20, 2012

High School Nightmares

    I was talking to the hubs this morning and he was telling me about a dream he had last night. He was back at his old high school and they wanted him to coach the school's baseball program. If you know my husband you know he lives and dies basketball, so he was stressed at the thought of  doing baseball.
     In his dream his old coach, who passed away years ago, was there and trying to teach him how to teach pitching and one of his old basketball players was there to help him. We both got a good laugh out of it.
     I too have been a victim of the, "returning to high school" dreams or should I say nightmares. Mine usually go something like this. I am at school and it's the last day and I have to turn in my books. I haven't been to my locker all year and I can't remember where it is let alone the combination. In the back of my mind I am wondering how I did all my work if I can't even remember where my locker is? Somehow I push that thought away and keep searching for my locker. I guess school work wasn't my top priority.
      If and when I find my locker and try to turn in my books, I show up naked. I hate to think of what this all means and if you are a dream interrupter don't tell me. I'm sure this means I'm secretly crazy or something.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

On Communicating

     I got a new iphone a while back and I'm still trying to figure out how to use it, I'm embarrassed to say. However, I can say one thing for sure. I hate the auto correct feature that goes with texting. I may not be the worlds best speller but I'm pretty sure I know how to spell home and some. Auto correct likes to tell me that what I really mean is he and so.
     There are times when I have to go back and correct auto correct several times before it will let me fix my sentence so it is even legible. I hate that. It almost makes me want to just call the person and tell them what I'm trying to tell them. Almost.
     Cell phones and texting have changed our lives. I no longer have to go downstairs and tell my kids dinner is ready, I can call or text them. It is a lazy persons dream. 
     That's the best thing about texting, we as people, don't have to actually interact with other human beings unless we want to. Although there is a strong need for a sarcasm font and a joking font. It would save a lot of misunderstanding when communicating without voice inflection to tell you these things.
     Between e-mails, Facebook, and texting, we can spend almost our whole lives in serious non-communicative communication with the rest of the world. Who would have thought that possible twenty years ago.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

This is My Life

     There are certain things in life that are inevitable, such as desperately needing Chapstick and suddenly all four tubes that you keep in your purse at all times, just for lip emergencies, are suddenly gone, never to be seen or heard from again.
     Or when you are craving a bowl of cookie dough to eat and you are almost there and realize you are out of eggs. NOOOOOO!!!
     Or you are in the middle of printing something life-alteringly important and the printer starts flashing the, Ink Low, warning.
      I have actually gone to Krispy Kreme and they were out of doughnuts. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT? How can they be out of doughnuts? The same way KFC can be out of chicken. What? How can that happen you ask? I don't know, but it does. And it's seems it always happens too me.
     You would think that with all this experience I would get used to being disappointed on a regular basis, but not so. I still have high hopes that life will work out and in the end a chapstick will magically appear in the bottom of my purse. I have to think like this or I will cry like a baby on the floor at Krispy Kreme.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Dont' Worry, Be Happy

     We had a great talk in church on Sunday. It was about being happy. One of the points the speaker made that really got me to thinking was, "We owe it to our spouse and our family to be as happy as we can be."
     It got me to thinking about a few people I've met in my live that thrive on being miserable. They just aren't happy unless they are unhappy. This isn't just an attitude problem. These people actively made choices in their lives to sabotage themselves so they could complain and be bitter about the way their lives were going. As if life itself isn't hard enough.
     Both of these people are divorced and happily miserable.
     I couldn't imagine the energy it would take to live with someone with a permanent bad attitude. Talk about sucking the life force out of you.
     I have always thought of myself as a positive person, of course I've had my moments, but over all I tend to be a glass half full kind of person. It makes life so much richer and easier if you recognize the blessings and good things in your life for what they are.
    We owe it to our families and ourselves to find the joy in life. And if there truly is no joy in your life maybe a few changes are in order.
     I hope you have a great day. I know I will.

Monday, July 16, 2012

My New Chicken Marinate Recipe.

     I made up a new recipe yesterday and I thought I would share it with you. It met all of my criteria. Which is, it was easy, it tasted good, it doesn't take expensive ingredients, and it was easy.
     I like to buy big family packs of chicken parts when they are on sale. You know like thighs, legs and breasts. The breasts are so versatile you can do just about anything with chicken breasts. Legs can be fun, but there isn't a whole lot of meat on them so I have to cook two family packs and that kind of kills the savings.
      I don't waste my time on wings. There just isn't enough good stuff on them to make it worth my time. Even when I do hot wings I do them with legs. I'm lazy I guess, I don't want to have to work that hard to get full.
     Thighs are one of my favs. The meat is tender and juicy and I love biting into the meaty part.
     So yesterday morning I had a family pack of thighs defrosted that I had to use. I decided I wanted to marinate them in something so I went into the kitchen and started pulling stuff out of my fridge. Here's what I used. All amounts are approximates since I didn't measure.
     I put the thighs meaty side down in a 9X13 glass pan.
      Soy sauce, about 1 1/2 cups.
      Teriyaki Sauce, 3/4 of a cup.
     Worchestershire sauce, 1/2 cup, we have a few Worchestershirer haters here so I didn't over do it.           
     Onion powder and garlic powder, sprinkled on top.I didn't even mix them together just dumped it all on top.
     Enough to go about 1/3 of the way up the chicken. Then I left for church.
     I had my daughter turn the chicken meaty side up and pop it all into a 350 degree oven for about 1 1/2 hours. I was going to drain the liquid but it got put in with it and was fine. It wasn't covered with foil and the skin was nice and crispy. It was delicious. Everyone loved it. That never happens here. If you try it let me know what you think. I would love your feedback.

Friday, July 13, 2012

My Night of Terror and Worry!

     Last night the hubby, my son, my son-in-law and my daughter went hiking. I stayed home to make sure no one stole our couch.  I can report that the couch is safe.
      I expected them home around nine to nine-fifteen, so when they didn't come home and they hadn't called to say they were on their way, I started to get worried.
    At ten, here's what went through my head. I wonder what the heck is taking them so long? Oh my gosh! I hope they're not lost up in the canyon somewhere! Am I going to have to call the Ogden police and have them go find them? Does one call the police for this or is there a Ranger station up there where worried wives call when their husbands and kids don't come home? Am I going to have to try to look this up on the internet? What does one google when your family gets lost in the mountains? What if Kaelyn walked off of a cliff in the dark and she's dead and the hubby just doesn't have the guts to call me? What if they were all tied together like mountain climbers and they all went over the cliff and they're all dead and they don't have the nerve to call me. What now?! I'm a widow with three less kids! What on earth will I do?! All these awful scenarios went flying through my head.
      It was about this time I decided to call the hubby's cell phone. When he answered, I said, "Please tell me you are on your way home," I didn't add and not dead at the base of a cliff because I don't want him to know how truly neurotic I really am and since he answered he obviously wasn't dead. 
     He replied, "I'm almost home. I had to stop and get some gas."
     Well, I'm glad that worked out.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Beef! It's What's For Dinner.

      Do you love bar-b-qued steak? We do. And I'm going to let you all in on a secret, a delicious secret. Smith's has their petite sirloin steaks on sale this week for $2.99. Why is this special you ask? I'll tell you. I buy the extra lean hamberger at Walmart for things like spaghetti, tacos and casseroles. I pay around $3.98 a pound. So $2.99 is a deal for sirloin. I would much rather eat steak than hamburger.
      I don't know if you all are keeping up on the expected inflation rates for beef, but they are saying that beef prices are going to go up due to the severe drought all over the country.
     I like to watch for these things because, well, we really like to eat around here. A lot. So, anything that threatens our bar-b-queing scares me. The last time these were on sale I bought over one hundred dollars worth of steaks.  For most of you that may be a years supply, but when your feeding over twenty people steaks a couple of times a month, they don't last long. So I'm hoping to stock up again.
     Now, if you go over to Smith's and start stocking up your freezers, remember that I haven't gotten there yet and leave me some. I think we may have steak for dinner. Yumm!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What? Macaroni Salad For Dinner?!

     I'm in the middle of a dilemma. Is it morally and ethically okay to serve macaroni salad as a main dish? I want to say yes. After all it has ham, cheese and hard-boiled eggs in it. Those are all proteins, olives and celery serve as vegetables. The pasta is a carbohydrate and the mayo is an oil. It has every thing you need in one bowl.
     What do you think? I'm toying with the idea of making some this morning and serving it for dinner to night, but the hubby will be home tonight and I can already hear his reaction. (Thirty-two years of marriage does that to you, you know. You don't need to waste time in actual arguing because, as a wife, you can have a whole imaginary fight in your head. It's way more convenient because you always win and they are always wrong.)
     He going to say. "What? You can't just eat macaroni salad for dinner. You need meat. I know, lets bar-b-que some steaks to go with it. And we could have a salad and maybe some corn on the cob."
      This defeats the whole purpose of making macaroni salad early so you don't heat up the house and keeping it simple on a HOT summer night. He'll never get that though. He needs a "complete meal."
      I still may make macaroni salad, but I think I'll have a few extra's up my sleeve for the inevitable storm that even suggesting eating it as a main dish is going to cause.  I can hear the thunder now. :) 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Gotta Love the A/C!

     This is my least favorite time of the year. The fourth of July is over and the heat is on. I may have mentioned that I don't like the heat. I like to be able to snuggle down under the covers at night to stay warm. That's why we sleep with the windows open even in January.
     The heat wave is not only uncomfortable it's expensive. I don't want to see my electric bill for next month. I may have to take out a small loan to pay for this summer's heat wave.
     I think we should get some kind of discount when the heat gets out of control like this. After all, it's not our fault the temperature is above normal.
     I don't know how the pioneers did it. How did they cook dinner is an un-airconditioned house and survive? How did they sleep at night? How did pregnant women and the elderly endure the heat? They must have been very hardy people. Hat's off to them. I couldn't do it.
     I love my A/C and wouldn't give it up for anything. If I can make it until September without melting I'll be thankful.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Our Weekend Away

     I spent the weekend in SLC with the hubby to celebrate 32 years of marriage. It was so much fun. The hotel was nice and had fresh baked cookies in the lobby. The air conditioner worked great. The beds were comfy and there were no kids around. We even took a dip in the pool and spa.
      We ate at Texas Roadhouse, one of our favorite places. Did I mention that we didn't take the kids?
      We snacked on all kinds of yummy and really bad for you goodies and watched the Andy Griffith marathon on TV. I could get used to living like that. I didn't want to come home and face reality.
       If only real life could be like a weekend away it would be so much more pleasant. I would never make my bed. Maids would clean my house. I could eat out for every meal and never have to do the dishes again.
      Yet, I come home to five people asking me, "What are you going to make us for dinner?" I mean really?
      All I have to say to that is where is my fresh baked cookie?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Our Anniversary Weekend Away

     The hubby and I are going away for our anniversary today. When we were first married we would try to go away for my birthday, his birthday and our anniversary. That meant we had a weekend away three times a year. Our celebrations were spread out, so it worked out great.
    Here we are, 32 years later and it's harder to get away than when our kids were little. How can that be?
    I'm looking forward to a few days of peace and quiet. Not that I didn't get peace and quiet last weekend on my writing retreat but that was a working weekend. this weekend will be about having fun.
     I hope to take in a movie. And if our hotel is hosting a convention for the blind, I may even go swimming. That's a BIG if. Of course we are going to eat well. We always eat well. Hence the need to only swim with blind people.
     I'm taking my Kindle so I can to some reading and I hope to sleep in and take naps. We'll see how that goes. Have a great weekend everyone and try to stay cool.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

My Kinking No Kink Hose!

     I went to home depot the other day to buy a new hose for our front yard. I hate, absolutely, hate the one we have because it kinks all the time and it is too short. Two years ago I bought the best hose ever, it never kinks, and I wanted another one just like it.
     Guess what? They don't sell those anymore. So I carefully considered the hoses available and picked one that was 75 feet long and said, "No Kinks" right on the label.
     I was so excited to surprise my hubby. Now we could water the pots in front of the garage without filling up a bucket.
     I had to get a crescent wrench to unhook the hose. I finally got it off and hooked on the other one and guess what? THEY LIED!
     The stupid hose had a kink before I even finished tightening it. I bought the second most expensive hose Home Depot had and it kinks. I had to straighten out three kinks just to water my pots. What is up with that?
    How can you put No Kinks right on your label when it kinks? Now we have to go to the trouble of taking it off draining the water and hauling it back. What a pain. Where is their pride in workmanship? Doesn't anyone test these things and say, "hey, we can't say No Kinks because it kinks." I guess no one has the guts to tell the boss.
     So to the No Kink hose manufactures, "You suck."

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Birthday America!

     Dear USA, I had to drop you this note on your birthday to tell you how much you mean to me. We have been best friends since I was born and you mean the world to me. I appreciate all the opportunities you give to people who, anywhere else in the world, would never have had a chance at the dream.
    I love all the freedoms you allow us. I love that we can disagree with the powers that be and we don't have to be afraid of being taken away in the middle of the night. I love that we can worship how we please and don't have to worry about it being forbidden.
    I have a large spot in my heart for the beauty that surrounds me everyday. I love the mountains that tower to the sky, the thousands of miles of pristine land, the oceans on our coast lines, the acres of wheat and corn fields that keep us fed. You are as beautiful physically as you are in your beliefs in liberty and justice for all.
     I love you United States of America. I had to let you know that.
     I hope you have a great birthday and I hope your flag will still stand for the home of the free long after I am gone.
      Love you lots, All of us.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

My Jon Bon Jovi Job Interview

     I had a job interview with Jon Bon Jovi last night. He was pretty amazed that any sane person would have ten kids. While I was sitting in front of his desk chatting with him another job applicant walked in and without hardly a word took something off of his desk and walked out. Well, the look on Jon's face told me that guy had no chance of getting hired and Jon confirmed it. I laughed and said I knew that was what he was thinking. The point is we were very simpatico. I would have made a great personal assistant, if I was willing to travel all over at a moments notice. Yikes, I've never been much of a traveler and the fact that I'm married may be a problem. I don't want to just leave the hubs for weeks on end. Then there are the three kids still under eighteen, who need a  mom around. What was I thinking going for a job like that?
    That's the trouble with dreams once you wake up, you have to ask yourself where the heck did that come from? I have never even been a big Jon Bon Jovi Fan. I never had his poster hanging in my bedroom or played his music over and over.  So how did he sneak into my head last night? I may never know.
    So if any of you know Jon Bon Jovi, let him know I can't be his person assistant. I already have a gig. Thanks.

Monday, July 2, 2012

July- The Heat is On

     What are you all doing to keep cool this summer? Staying indoors with the A/C blasting? Going to the pool? Or shudder, getting out and enjoying it?
     With these high temps, I feel like going into hibernation and not coming out until the end of September. Awe, September, with it's warm days and cool nights. I love September.
     I looked at the weather records for Utah and July is the hottest month of the year. August only cools down a couple of degrees, but September is the turning point for the heat. The days get shorter and the air gets cooler.
     I do love the 4th of July fireworks and the patriotic music. I love to belt out Lee Greenwood's, God Bless the USA, and no one can stop me. They can cover their ears, but they can't stop me. See I'm trying to enjoy the moment. I should get some points for that right?