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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Eating Well

Interviewer: "If you were to have a motto in life, what would it be?

Tessa Kiros: "I really think...if you are going to do something, do it well"

---

LENTILS, RICE & RED ONION SALAD
by Tessa Kiros

2 RED ONIONS, chopped
2 teaspoons SALT
5 tablespoons OLIVE OIL
2 large GARLIC CLOVES (1 chopped, the other left whole)
1 large RIPE TOMATO, peeled and chopped
2 2/3 cups BROWN LENTILS
3 3/4 cups LONG-GRAIN RICE
JUICE OF 1 1/2 LEMONS
1 SMALL RED CHILLI, seeded and finely chopped
5 1/2 oz PLAIN GREEK YOGHURT

This is more or less what they make in Peru: I have just added the yoghurt. The red onion salad gives the lentils such a lift and is also very good served with grilled (broiled) foods. I love this after it has been marinating for a few hours, even overnight, and has taken on a special fuchsia tone.

Rinse the onions and drain in a fine sieve. Keep about a quarter on one side and put the rest in a bowl. Cover with cold water, sprinkle with the salt and leave for 30 minutes or so.

Heat 3 tablespoon of the oil in a saucepan. Add the handful of onion and the chopped garlic and saute until golden. Add the tomato and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook for 5-10 minutes until the tomato has melted and the water evaporated and you can see the oil actually frying. Remove from the heat and keep aside.

Rinse the lentils and pick out any hard odd bits. Put the lentils in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over high heat. Drain, then return to the saucepan. Add about 6 cups hot water and season with salt. Bring back to the boil, then lower the heat slightly and cook, uncovered, for about 20 minutes. Add the tomato mixture and cook for another 10 minutes or so, until the lentils are soft but not mushy and there is not much liquid left. Stir occasionally to make sure they don't stick to the pan. If it seems like the lentils are drying out, add a little more water.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a saucepan and add the whole clove of garlic. Add the rice, season with salt, mix through and cook for a minute. Add enough water to come about about an inch above the top of the rice and bring to the boil, stirring once. Cook uncovered for 3-4 minutes, until a lot of the water seems to have evaporated and there are some holes on the surface. Drizzle with a tablespoon of oil, cover the pan and lower the heat to a minimum. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until the rice is dry and steaming, then fluff it up with a fork to make sure it hasn't stuck to the pan. Remove from the heat and leave the lid on if you are not eatin immediately.

Drain and rinse the soaked onion in a fine sieve. Mix with the lemon juice and chilli and a splash of olive oil and season with salt and a little pepper. Arrange a pile of lentils, a pile of rice, a small pile of onion salad and a dollop of yoghurt on each plate- some people will eat them separately while other like to stir it all together on the plate.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

It's official. I'm a rescuer. Maybe this isn't news to some of you, but it's news to me. I mean, I know I'm a rescuer of kittens and dogs and those types, but I didn't know I was a rescuer of all kinds. It hit me about an hour ago.

It sucks really. Things that need rescuing are usually not in a good place and the rescuing business is never very easy.

Why the heck did I have to turn out morally good and aware? Why?? I don't want to be. I want to be like so many other people who can sit idly by and just let things happen and grimace when things crash.

The unfortunate thing is, I will likey have to do that. We're not talking kittens here.

However, for the rescuing type, sitting idly by is very hard.....they want so badly to rescue. It causes a wide range of emotion....from guilt to anger and then to depression. You can't stop thinking about it. You wake up and it's there....on the tip of your brain.

It was like that with the kittens both times. It got so bad that I had to rescue them to bring peace to my days and know they were safe. I knew if I did nothing, I would never have peace. And if they died, I would have felt the weight of their death of my shoulders because I had the power to do something....but didn't.

Sound dramatic?

It does, I know.

But I can't help it. Like I said, I wish I could let it go. I wish I could....especially now. I have zero control so I must sit and watch things crash....and I'll take very little comfort in knowing I couldn't do anything about it.

---

Nobody said it would be easy
Nobody said it would be this hard

-The Scientist, Coldplay

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

the rush is over

I must say, Christmas came and went in a flash this year. I hardly feel like I experienced it. I can't really say why....I guess the holidays just move really fast when you're and adult. When I was a kid.....goodness, Christmas Eve seemed like it would never happen.

But I must have been a good girl this year....got very nice gifts.

I spent a good part of Christmas Day and yesterday watching season 1 of Veronica Mars. It's filmed here in San Diego and they filmed part of an episode outside my office building, so I watched the night it was on just to see the office building in the background. Woo. But anyway, truns out it was kind of interesting so I watched it again....and again....and now I'm hooked. So I had to get season 1 and season 2 to chatch up on what happened in the past.

I'm not ashamed to say I watch a teenager show. To be honest, I think I am vicariously reliving my teenage years thru Veronica. Mine (early teen years) were so damn pathetic and hers are really interesting. So I'm only 39 in years....not spirit.

Well, back to work now. The campus is supposed to be on closed (except for my department, of course) and still there are 20 things to do :(

Monday, December 25, 2006

merriest of christmases to all





Originally uploaded by photo kitten.

we went to the beach on christmas eve and this sand art is a collaboration between greg and myself ;-)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Recipe File

Even if you don't think you like eggnog, try these. They are delicious!
I eat them plain, but they are just as good with syrup.

Spiced Eggnog Pancakes

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups eggnog
1/4 cup oil

1. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients.
2. In a second bowl, combine wet ingredients.
3. Stir eggnog mixture into the flour mixture until slightly lumpy.
4. Heat a greased skillet over medium heat.
5. Pour 1/4 cup batter onto skillet. Flip when tops are bubbly and edges are slightly dry (1-2 minutes per side).

I eat them plain, but they are just as good with syrup.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Weekend Report

Chargers 12-2!

Man. Could they be going to the Super Bowl? I try not to let myself think about that. They have not been Super Bowl ready in a looong time and I just hate to have my hopes crushed. But it's hard when everyone on TV is saying they are good enough to go. I'm trying to just it one game at a time. But they are 12-2. And the two they lost were both last minute and they actually played well in those games. I wonder if it could happen for them......I wonder.

Baked cookies Saturday night and Laura Jr. assisted. Tho she didn't eat any....not sure why. The chocolate chips were kinda old, so perhaps she had the crazy notion she'd fall over dead if she ate them. *shrugs*

Sunday I slept almost all day except during the game. Feels good to have those days now and then.....long cat naps on the sofa. It was pretty cold all day, so Suzie snuggled with me most of the day.

Mailed my Christmas cards.

Took a few pictures.

That was it pretty much.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Scared of Santa

You have to check out these pictures of kids with Santa. Too funny.

Click on Kids scared of Santa! on the right side of the page and click through each picture.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Merry Christmas!


I love her face
Originally uploaded by photo kitten.
You have to click on the photo and look at what I added to to it :)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Things That Bug Me

I considered not posting about this because it makes me sound like an intolerant crabby old woman. But then I realized, I am an intolerant crabby old woman, so I might as well post! *chuckles*

Okay, so the slurping by my cubemate has never ceased....errrr. See my entry dated July 18, 2006 for the history on this. I have big issues with people who chomp, crunch, slrup their food loudly. This is my Dad's fault. I've turned into him. He would not tolerate this sort of thing from his kids so none of us eat loudly.....or at least I don't. He also had a thing about dripping faucets....so now I have that, too. A dripping faucet makes me crazy.

Happy and helpful store employees. I can hardly stand to go into Victoria's Secret anymore. Those sales girls are on you in a flash asking if they can help you. Now, maybe it's just me, but when I shop for the things Victoria's Secret sells, I don't want any help. I can pick out my own bra and panties, thank you. And I don't care to be measured to make sure I'm buying the correct size.....in front of the whole store!

side note.....cubemate just opened another piece of candy and the slurping continues.

People who get too close to you. I was in line at the bookstore the other day and I could feel the girl standing behind me. She was so dang close to me that her elbow knocked me when she was riffling throuh her purse.

Oh Lord.....I think someone in here just passed gas!! Gas and slurping!!!

Alright, back to the woman standing too close. The first time she knocked me, I just let it go. We all accidently bump people. The second time....the intolerant crabby old woman in me was in full force. I can give a look that can kill, and she got that look. I didn't even need to say a word....the look did it. She backed off....for about a minute. When she finally found her cell phone, she called someone and started making dinner plans.....about 10 inches from the back of my head. Errr.

People who plow down a residential street at top speed with the engine roaring so loud I can't hear the TV. Intolerant crabby old woman activates instantly when this happens. One of these days, they are going to run over a kid or a dog. Of all the things, this one gets to me the most because it boils down to pure stupidity.

I'll leave it at that. Gotta get some fresh air.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Weekend Report

AFC WESTERN DIVISION CHAMPS!

You had to know it was coming :) And LaDainian Tomlinson....a true Super Charger. Not only is he an amazing player, but an amazing person as well. These quotes from the linked article above:

"I had the chills there almost before the play, waiting around," quarterback Philip Rivers said. "It was that special looking at the stadium. There wasn't one person sitting down. It was just that magical feeling out there in the huddle. The linemen were excited. I tried to get L.T. to show some emotion but you know him, he wouldn't."

"He came into the huddle and said, 'I want all of you guys to join me in the end zone when I get it,' " right tackle Shane Olivea said.

"He is a king and he should be treated like one," left guard Kris Dielman said. "That is what a king gets."

Said fullback Lorenzo Neal: "I think he will go down in history as the best."

"I believe he is the finest running back to ever wear an NFL uniform." - Coach Marty Schottenheimer


---

Other than watching the Charger game, I took a few pictures this weekend:

pretty or ugly?



For some reason I have not had my camera out very much lately. If the weather holds up, I'm going to try for a sunset picture this weekend.

Also worked on my Christmas cards and should have them finished tonight. Oh, and wrapped gifts!

All in all, a great weekend.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Monday, December 04, 2006

Full Moon Fortune

I got a fortune cookie at lunch that says "Luck will find you on the next full moon"

Today happens to be a full moon. So does this mean today is my good luck day or does this appy to the next time there's a full moon? Because so far I am not feeling that lucky. Plus, the day if half gone....

Weekend Report

Chargers are 10-2! Woo!

Friday we got a Christmas tree. It's fake, but I'm just happy we have one. Greg had said no tree this year because he's sure Abby will knock it over and destroy all our ornaments. But for whatever reason, he changed his mind and we got one. It's really tall...the top branch is just about an inch from the ceiling. I'll take pictures of it at some point. No ornaments yet...we're waiting for Abby to get all her investigating done before the ornaments are on. But are cats ever really done investigating? Humm.

Saturday we didn't really do much. Strung lights on the tree and then sat in the dark with just the tree lit eating Greg's homemade chili. Then we watched 40 Year Old Virgin. Pretty funny movie.

Sunday I had to go to a baby shower for my boss. I was less than thrilled to go....as you can imagine. I don't know why I do things I don't want to do. The two other ladies I work with also RSVP'ed that they were going and never showed up. I should have just said I had other plans, but no....I was polite and made an apperance. Had it been during the Charger game, I would have had to pass....priorities, you know :->

Oh, a side note on the phrase "I'll pass". Last night we were watching the Sunday night football game and John Madden and Al Michaels call the Sunday night games now. I just love them. So they are showing some of the stadium food you can get at Mile High stadium...some of which is fried rattle snake. John and Al were talking about this. John said something like: "There isn't too much I won't eat, but I'm going to have to Pasadena on the fried rattle snake".

Get it? Pasadena rather than just pass. I was laughing.....maybe I'm easy to entertain, but I thought that was funny! I really like John Madden. I know some people get annoyed at his tendency to state the obvious, but I just see it as part of his overall appeal. And no one can say those fools on Monday night are better than John and Al....with the exception of Joe Theismann...he's the only worthy one of the three.

Okay, I think that's it for my weekend report!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Yikes!!

This happened two blocks from my house :-(

---

SAN DIEGO – A 20-year-old woman was assaulted and knocked unconscious Tuesday night by a man who held a gun to her head and robbed her, police said.

The woman had just returned from shopping and was unloading her car at her home when a man came up behind her and ordered her to give him her purse, San Diego police said.

She handed it over and he shoved her against the car, where she hit her head. She fell on the ground, hitting her head again, and was knocked out, police said.

She suffered injuries to her head and her hip and was taken to the hospital.

The woman told police her assailant was wearing a shiny black jacket and black and white shoes. No further description of the robber was released.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Christmas and Sibera

I'm sorry in advance if this is hard to follow or isn't interesting.
chuckles

One of my all time favorite Christmas songs is by The Trans-Siberian Orchestra and it's called "Chirstmas Canon". If you have never heard it, you must download it.

So I'm listening to this song on my iPod. I'm thinking about The Trans-Siberian Orchestra and suddenly remember a girl I met a year ago who was from Sibera. It was weird. You never think you'll meet someone from Sibera. She was 19 and was going to college here. We talked for a short time and I didn't really have time to pepper her with all the questions I had...one of which was, where the heck is Sibera? So I looked it up on the internet later and, boy did I find out a lot about Sibera!

Siberia is a HUGE part of Russia. It extends from the Ural Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, and from the Arctic Ocean to the borders of Mongolia and China. All but the very south western end of Siberia is in Russia. It makes up about 60% of Russia.

It's horrible climate limits development and population. It has a large amount of natural resources, like minerals, oil fields, forests, and in some parts the fields are good for farming. However, the winters are long. They have ice and snow for six months of the year. Temperatures drop to -90° below freezing! Most of the shorelines, lakes, and rivers are frozen for most of the year. Their summers last for one month. One month. Can you imagine? I cannot imagine.

The population is three people per 1 acre. Most Siberians are Russian but there are some Slavic, Mongolian and Turkish people there. I have no idea what they do for a living. What can they do if winter if six months long and it's -90° below? Well, unless you're a member of The Trans-Siberian Orchestra. No wonder they are always touring...

Okay, so there you have it. More than you ever wanted to know about Sibera :)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Do Unto Others

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"

That's a simple thing.....but such a big thing.

For the past two weeks or so I have been watching something unfolding around my office. I am totally uninvolved but it is going on right in front of me.

I'll start by saying I'm always amazed at how people who are self absorbed think they deserve to be treated with any kind of respect. We are living in a world where more and more people think there are no consequences for their actions.

For example, when you tell someone you will do something or will take care of something or whatever, you are then expected to do it. If you don't do it, this reflects on you as a person. If you do it a lot, you loose respect and eventually loose friendships and relationships. It's that simple. There isn't a gray area here.

So let's just say someone said they would give you a ride to work. Late the night before they call and ask if you have anyone else who could give you a ride....but you already know there isn't. Besides, who would you call at 10pm to ask for a ride to work the very next morning?

Or let's say they are late picking you up because they were too self absorbed to get their ass out of bed or they took a long shower or....whatever. They say they are sorry, but you know when they say that, it's just empty words. Whatever it was that made them late was to their benefit and the fact they are there at all to pick you up should suffice. If you continue to be upset about this, they will give you the classic "Chill out, dude! It's only 25 minutes....sheesh". They have effectively diverted all this onto you by saying that. It's your issue now and if you don't just let them off the hook, you are being a prick. After all, when someone issues an apology, we are supposed to forgive them......albeit an empty apology.

You see where I'm going with this? People who only care about themselves usually make all these social and personal blunders and expect that there is no repercussion. They will suck out every drop of tolerance you have for them until you've finally had enough. Sadly, most of us seem to grow tolerance when we shouldn't and these people continue to annoy us for far too long.

I had to write all this down because it's hard to not say something.....so I'm saying it here. I don't want to get involved. My work life has mellowed out to a level that I can deal with. So I will just watch and wonder when the zero tolerance will finally happen.

And I will leave you the way I started out.....with words to live by.

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"

Monday, November 27, 2006

Weekend Report

Chargers won again. Phew....almost didn't. And a loss to those Raiders would have been the worst! 9-2 baby!

Thanksgiving was nice. The bird truned out pretty good. I was pleased and everyone said it was good. The pies turned out less good....well one of them was okay. The pecan pie was over cooked....which is confusing since I followed the recipe exactly. The corn strup turned to the "hard ball" stage and so it was kinda crunchy and stuck to your teeth like carmel. Not good. The only thing I can think of is, the corn syrup was about a year old. I only use it once a year. So maybe that had something to do with it? No idea. Last year the pecan pie also truned out bad. It was under cooked! It was a different recipe. Maybe I'm picking bad pecan pie recipes. The pumpkin pie truned out fine :) And the stuffing was good, too.

The Thanksgiving gathering was also nice. We played a game and I think that made a difference. We always seem to clean up and then just sit around which leads to dull times. But the game was fun. My Mom called me the next day and said she thinks it was one of the best Thanksgivings we've had! I didn't have the heart to tell her we won't be there next year. I think I will have to wait a while to tell her that.

Friday my husband got me out of bed at the crack of dawn. I am not kidding....it was the crack of dawn. He wanted to go to all the black friday sales. It wasn't too bad, tho Mervyn's was pretty packed. We got some gifts and then headed home for turkey sandwiches and a nap.

Saturday we did a little more shopping and took a break from turkey and had mexican food.

Sunday we had turkey salad sandwiches and then had turkey soup for dinner.

That's it for the turkey. Had enough.

Today is Cyber Monday. If you still need to buy some gifts, head to your favorite online stores and see what kind of deals they have. I only have 3 people left to buy for!

Okay, that's it for my Thanksgiving weekend report!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving

The history of Thanksgiving is a pretty long story....dates back to 1621. I've gone into that before, so let's talk about Thanksgiving today. The way it is now. Things are a lot different than they were back in 1621. While it's nice to be nostalgic, but this time we'll talk about the way we celebrate today.

Maybe you are yearning for more tradition? I think I am. Thanksgiving has, sadly, become a day to just "do" and get it over with rather than look forward to and enjoy. But it will never get better if I don't try and change it (tho seems I am the only one trying). It can be hard to change things so I will start out slow. This year I'm going to try do something small to make Thanksgiving a little more....interesting. Don't ask me how....I have not figured that out yet. It will come to me.

Sandra Magsamen, author of "Living Artfully" says that Thanksgiving is a day to acknowledge and express how grateful we are for all that we have. And of course we all know that's what it's about. I tell Greg I am most thankful for him each Thanksgiving (as well as many other things). However, this might not make the Thanksgiving "event" any easier. So, she suggests a guest book.

A guest book?!

It's a cool idea actually. Each person has a guest book with their name on it. I'd just get a nice note pad for each person. Pass each of the "books" around throughout the night so each guest can write at least one reason they appreciate the person whose name is on the cover. Chances are everyone will roll their eyes and think this is corney. But Sandra says when her family did it, and I quote: "As if by magic, each small volume became filled with heartfelt messages. When the evening was over, every person left with a keepsake that recorded the many ways he or she was indeed special."

Now that sounds nice. I'm not sure I'll do that with my family, but it does sound like a way to truly celebrate "Thanks-giving".

--

P.S. Happy Birthday Bob!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Maya Angelou's Banana Pudding

Oprah says this is one of the best things she has ever eaten. Whenever someone says that, I take note because that statement only comes out when something is really yummy. If I ever create a cook book, it will be called "the best thing I have ever eaten" and it will be filled with not only my favorite things, but the favorite things of everyone I know. Has to be a winner, right?

Okay, here is the recipe:

Banana Pudding

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
Pinch of salt
3 cups milk
8 eggs, separated
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups vanilla wafers
4 ripe bananas, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large saucepan, combine 1/3 cup sugar, cornstarch and salt; stir until blended. Mix in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened and boiling. Boil 1 minute, then remove from heat.

In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks, then whisk in about 1/2 cup of hot custard until blended. Pour yolk mixture back into saucepan of custard; cook over medium heat, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in butter and vanilla until blended.

Place vanilla wafers on bottom of a shallow 2-quart casserole dish. Top with layers of banana slices and custard. Repeat layering, ending with custard.

In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites and 1/4 cup sugar at low speed until frothy. Add cream of tartar; increase speed to medium and gradually beat in remaining sugar. Beat until egg whites hold stiff peaks.

Spoon meringue over hot custard immediately, making sure that meringue touches baking dish on all sides (this prevents it from shrinking). Transfer to oven and bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Remove pudding from oven and cool 1 hour. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Weekend Report

The Chargers won again!! So very happy about this.

I have to admit that I didn't watch the second half of the game....well, except for the end of it. I just was starting to get down because I could feel Denver taking charge. I know the Chargers had come from behind in last weekends game, but there was the whole thing about the Chargers not winning for how-ever-long in Denver and how LT hasn't done well there...blah, blah, blah. I just hate to listen to that and since they were getting behind, I figured they'd be harping on that for the rest of the game and I didn't want to hear it. It's been a long time since people, other than fans, have been for the Chargers....so talking sh** about them as soon as they start to loose is something I've been listening to for years.

However, this might be changing. Frist thing this morning, and I mean first thing right out of bed, I sat down at the computer and went to ESPN.com and lookie there.....the headline wasn't that the Cowboy's blew the Colts undefeated winning streak. It was the Chargers win! I was so proud of them. And it was a nice story. None of that "will it last" or "lady luck is on their side" crap. It was all about how good they play and how the team works well together. That's what I like to read. Maybe times are changing. It would be nice.

Okay, enough of that.

Went to the grand opening of Bloomingdale's in Fashion Valley on Saturday. Really nice store. With really big price tags. We saw a purse that was $900. And it wasn't even a cute purse....in my opinion. Greg started to make a comment that my little Juicy purse didn't fit in there...but then thought better of it ;) We walked out with a $16 ornament and that was it.

I got some kitchen twine at Williams-Sonoma so I can truss my turkey. Does that sound bad? Truss my turkey...humm. Anyway, also got some pumpkin butter. Has a recipe for pumpkin pie, so that's one of the pies I'll be making. Let's hope it's good.

Started working on my Chirstmas cards. I have several stamp sets to pick from this year. It was hard to pick which one I want to use. But it came down to a sort of a nontraditional set. I hope they turn out good. I'm excited to work on them. I've reignited my card making spark. It feels good to be creative again.....to feel good in general.

Okay, that's it for the weekend report!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

All Hail The Potato!

This time of year no one gives much of a thought to anything but that big ole bird we call turkey. So I'm here to point out a sidekick that gets overshadowed and maybe is a little too "everyday" to us.

Mashed potatoes.

I don't think I have ever met a person who does not like mashed potatoes. And I think they are universal.....potatoes are eaten everywhere as far as I know, tho perhaps not mashed. Anyway, mashed potatoes are one of my very favorite things so I thought I'd share some recipes with you. Maybe you will use them this Thanksgiving and give the bird a run for it's money :)

Chantilly Mashed Potatoes

6 servings mashed potatoes
1 cup diced ham
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 450°.
Spread mashed potatoes in a 2 quart casserole.
Cover with ham.
Whip cream until stiff; fold in cheese.
Spread mixture over ham.
Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

--

Potato Dumplings

1 1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups instant potatoes
1 1/2 cups biscuit mix
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg lightly beaten
5 cups simmering salted water or
use beef or chicken broth

In large mixing bowl combine water, salt, milk and butter.
Stir in potatoes just to moisten; let sit for 1 minute.
In a separate bowl mix together biscuit mix, baking powder and egg.
Add to potato mixture; blend well.
Roll into walnut size balls.
Drop into 5 cups of simmering salted water.
When batter floats cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

--

Philly Mashed Potatoes

4 potatoes, chopped
1 8oz package cream cheese, softened
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 6oz can French-fried onions, crushed

Preheat oven to 300°.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes.
Drain and mash.
In a large mixing bowl combine mashed potatoes, cream cheese, onion, eggs, flour, salt and pepper.
Using an electric mixer, beat on medium speed for several minutes.
Spoon mixture into a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish and top with crushed fried onions.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes.


Enjoy!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Songs On TV

"lollipop, lollipop, oh lolli-lolli-pop, lollipop.."

If you watch CSI, you know what that is all about. It was the song playing in the opening scene of last weeks episode. It has been stuck in my head ever since. I will be walking along and find myself singing it....making me a little crazy at this point.

Then there is the commercial they play at every break during football....the one for Chevy and John Mellencamp is singing "Our Country". Good thing I like the song and the commercial itself isn't bad. I like the idea of it and it's well done. So that's another song I have stuck in my head Sunday thru Monday nights :-)

I can stand beside
Things I think are right
And I can stand beside
The idea of stand and fight
And I do believe
There’s a dream for everyone
This is our country
From the east coast
To the west coast
Down the Dixie Highway
Back home
This is our country

There's room enough here
For science to live
And there's room enough here
For religion to forgive
And try to understand
The other people of this world
This is our country
From the east coast
To the west coast
Down the Dixie Highway
Back home
This is our country

That poverty could be
Just another ugly thing
And bigotry could be
Seen only as obscene
And the ones that run this land
Will help the poor and common man
This is our country
From the east coast
To the west coast
Down the Dixie Highway
Back home
This is our country

The dream will never leave
And some day it will come true
And it’s up to me and you
To do the best that we can do
And let the voice of freedom
Sing out through this land
This is our country
From the east coast
To the west coast
Down the Dixie Highway
Back home
This is our country

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Fish Sandwich Experience

I had been hungry since 10am. Too early for lunch and I don't eat snacks because most snacks are evil.....the snacks that are not evil are not worth eating.

It's finally lunchtime and I have no idea what I want.....I just want something. So I head to the cafeteria. I look around and none of the specials look all that tempting. So I go to the special order counter and I see a fish sandwich on the menu. I figured I'd give it a try. I stand around for a while and they finally call my number. I walk up and the two young cafeteria guys give me a strange look and I wonder if it wasn't my number they called.

me: "number 23?" I ask
cafeteria guy #1: "yeah..."

I nod and start to reach for the plate.

cafeteria guy #1: "don't you want that cut in half?"
me: "uh..."
cafeteria guy #2: "no, she something, something, something, something..." he says to cafeteria #1

Cafeteria guy #2 took my order, so I figure he is telling him something relevant to my order but I didn't hear a word after "she" because it was so noisy in there. So I figure he will clear up any questions cafeteria guy #1 has.

Except not.

They both just look at me when he finishes what he was saying.

me: "is this a fish sandwich?"

cafeteria guy #1: "huh?"

I look at cafeteria #2 for assistance.

cafeteria guy #2: "you want it cut in half?"

It's right about then that I start to get annoyed. What is all this crap about cutting it in half? And why are they asking me now? It's all wrapped up in that white sandwich paper stuff already.

I shake my head saying no to whatever it is they are asking me and pick the plate up and turn quickly and head to the cash register.

I'm really curious what the heck kind of sandwich I have.

I stop at the soda machine outside to get something to drink and it won't take any of my quarters. I stuff a $1 bill in. Does not want that either.

Whatever.

I look at the other beverage machine and nothing looks all that interesting. It's all juice drinks and that does not sound good with a fish sandwich....or whatever it is I'm holding. But I have to drink something so I put my dollar in and look at the buttons.....strawberry passion or fruit punch...humm. Just as I pressed the strawberry passion button, a guy walks up and starts to drop his quarters into the soda machine. I was about to tell him it wasn't working when he pushed a button and a soda poped out!

Huh!?!

I sit down with my strawberry passion and unwrap my sandwich. I lift the bun...fish sandwich. It was nothing to write home about. And I'm pretty sure it would not have been any better had it been cut in half.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Hormone Hostage

This came to me in email and I thought I'd share it.

The Hormone Hostage knows that there are days in the month when all a man has to do is open his mouth and he takes his life in his own hands. This is a handy guide on what to say and what not to say. It should be as common as a driver's license in the wallet of every husband, boyfriend, co-worker or significant other.

DANGEROUS: What's for dinner?
SAFER: Can I help you with dinner?
SAFEST: Where would you like to go for dinner?
ULTRA SAFE: Here, have some wine.

--

DANGEROUS: Are you wearing that?
SAFER: Wow, you sure look good in brown!
SAFEST: Baby, you're smokin' hot in those sweat pants!!
ULTRA SAFE: Here, have some wine

--

DANGEROUS: What are you so worked up about?
SAFER: Could we be overreacting?
SAFEST: Here's my paycheck.
ULTRA SAFE: Here, have some wine.

--

DANGEROUS: Should you be eating that?
SAFER: You know, apples are a delicious snack.
SAFEST: Can I get you a piece of chocolate with that?
ULTRA SAFE: Here, have some wine.

--

DANGEROUS: What did you DO all day?
SAFER: I hope you didn't over-do it today.
SAFEST: I've always loved you in that robe!
ULTRA SAFE: Here, have some more wine.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

On CNN the breaking news header says:

"Britney Spears files for divorce from her husband Kevin Federline, citing irreconcilable differences"

Is this what we have come to? CNN thinks that is worthy of a breaking news headline??

*shakes head and sighs*
Voting
by Bernard Howe

Voting is our given right,
which men have died to keep.
Voting shows our peoples might,
so our country won't get into deep.

But there are those who never vote,
and constantly seem to complain.
Patriotism they don't promote,
and their rights they choose to abstain.

Every vote does really count,
to let our officials know.
For their actions they must account,
or their ratings will never grow.

So come next election time,
go cast your vote with pride.
Voting doesn't cost a dime,
plus the out come you help decide.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Weekend Report

The weekend was neither fast or short....it was just....a few days. Didn't do anything special.

The Chargers won again! That was good....happy about that. I kinda wanna go to a game this year. I'll have to look at the schedule. Maybe I'd get some good pictures. That Philip Rivers knows what he's doing out there. Isn't bad looking either....*grins*. And LaDainian Tomlinson....he's just magic. The Chargers have a lot of magic actually. Yeah, I should go to a game.

Anyway, speaking of pictures, I got some good ones of Calvin and Abby. Henry and Suzie were not in the mood for a portrait, as usual.

turning in



These are the kind of pictures I get when I try to take pictures of Henry.

Between pictures, I hunted around the internet for Thanksgiving recipes. We got the turkey and I'll only be making one. I don't have room for two. So it has to be good. I watched a few videos on how to truss a turkey....because everyone says you should truss your turkey. Seems easy enough....we'll see. Then there is the roasting. This is where everyone, including me, gets all uneasy about things. I think I've read enough to get it to come out ok....but again, we'll see. If it flops, oh well. Greg and I already have plans for next Thanksgiving so I don't need to worry about not getting the job again. We're going on another cruise. This one is to Hawaii. I've never been, but Greg was there when he was in the Navy. It was either there or to Mexico. They both sound equal to me. It's another 14 day cruise....mostly because this one takes 4 days to get there and come back. That's fine. There is always a bunch of stuff to do on the boat....and fruity drinks with umbrellas in them. And fresh fruit delivered to our room daily...pineapple is my all time favorite fruit and you just know they will have that since we're going to Hawaii! And fresh flowers, too....they (Celebrity) always have flowers in the room. And I'll be with my honey. Can't ask for more than that. But mostly, it will mean is I won't be at work, so I don't really care what we're doing as long as I am not working. Course that is a year away. Something to look forward to.

Anyway, that's the weekend report.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Stuff

Greg and I went to an outlet mall last weekend and I finally got a peacoat....it's charcoal gray wool and fits great. I have been wanting one for years. For one reason or another I never got one. Most of the time they were really expensive and didn't fit well thru the shoulders. But this one fits good and is really cute. Just waiting for a cold day now. It's been in the low 60's in the morning, but by lunch it's too warm to wear it. So I am waiting....

---

Martha Stewart has a cool site to print pictures and make them into cards. I like the idea and she has nice simple patterns and colors. Not too busy and over done. Check it out if you were thinking of sending out holiday cards this year.

If for some reason the link above does not work, go to www.marthastewart.com and click on the Kodak Easy Share Gallery at the bottom of the page.

---

In other news, we didn't have many trick or treaters on Halloween....maybe 20? But someone I work with had over 200 kids and went thru 10 bags of candy! I am just amazed at that. She says it's like that every year in her area so they know to buy lots of candy and plan on sitting by the door most of the night.

I remember when I was a kid....the streets were packed with kids and my Mom sat on the porch with a bowl of candy. I thought those days were gone, but it seems it depends on the area you live in.

I'll leave you with a photo of Abby in her Halloween sweater :)

Abby's Halloween costume

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Emily The Strange, I presume.

I dressed up :)

Laura.....uh....the one who does not like to be called senior, dressed up too. She was a 1950's babe. We ate lunch together and saw a few other people dressed up. One guy was Mr. Clean. He really looked like him! Then we saw a firefigher woman and she had a little dog with her that had a white t-shirt on with big black dots on it....like he was her dalmatian....it was *so* cute. The dog made her costume.

Hope you all have a spooky day!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Here we are....Halloween Eve....and I have no costume.

This isn't normal.

I usually plan my costumes out months in advance, but this year I just could not get in the mood. I had thought of being a fairy, but nothing ever came of it. I had then planned on being Emily The Strange, but I am less and less interested in that, too. No one at work is dressing up, so I don't see much of a point. Last year I wore a wig and cat ears and when I walked thru the parking lot, everyone looked at me like I was crazy. No one dresses up anymore. Pretty sad. And I work at a university and the young people don't even dress up. I have to say.....creative spirit in 2006 is dead....or dying at least.

Are any of you dressing up?

--

Off topic....this is cool :) It's worth watching.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Apple Pickin' Season

Greg and I went to the mountains on Saturday and passed an apple orchard that was packed with people picking apples. No doubt there are lots of pies and tarts being made.

Given the season, I thought I'd post an apple recipe. I might even make it this weekend :)

Applesauce Cake

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 large eggs
2 cups *chunky* applesauce

1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom. Set aside.

2. In another bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, and honey until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture; beat just until combined. Beat in applesauce.

3. Generously coat a nonstick 9-inch tube pan with cooking spray. Spoon batter into pan; smooth top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (but slightly wet), 50 to 60 minutes.

4. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes. Turn out of pan onto a cutting board or baking sheet; invert cake onto rack, top side up. Cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Cooking

I've always liked cooking. And I like to be creative so I tend to try different things. This isn't always a good idea. A recipe might sound really interesting and yummy, but they don't always don't always turn out that way. I don't think test kitchens do a lot of testing.....or if they do, I'm doing something wrong a lot of the time. Uinque recipes just don't seem to be a hit like I think they will be. I should stick with the old faithful recipes.

I'm saying all this because my Mom asked me to make the turkey for Thanksgiving this year. I was amazed she asked me to do it. Usually I get to bring corn or green beans or something like that. But this year I am making the turkey, the stuffing and two pies! Goodness....my mind is going wild with all the options.

But I have to remember that this would not be a good time to go with a bunch of new recipes. Old faithfuls. Go with that.

Except I saw a recipe for maple-glazed turkey!

I really want to make that. But what if it's horrible? I will never be asked to make the turkey again. Everyone will remember the turkey that tasted like turkey breakfast sausage and I'll once again be corn and green beans girl.

*sighs*

Then there is the stuffing. I really have to go old faithful with that. Can't mess with the stuffing....uh....right? No one will want chestnut and apple stuffing?

And let's not forget the pies. Oh boy....this is where things get really tough. I want to make beautiful pies and taste divine. But I have don't have a good track record with pies because of the unique factor. The really interesting sounding ones always turn out to be....well....not very interesting. Sometimes even bad. So the pies have have to come from the old faithful file. Or maybe I could make 3 pies? Two old faithfuls and one interesting?

No, no....old faithfuls. That's best. Go with that. Right?

Monday, October 23, 2006

It Girl

So.....guess who's a "Juicy It Girl"?

Me!!

You may or may not recall my Juicy post back on 10/12. I had seen a Juicy brand purse at the mall and had not been able to forget about it. My post about the purse wasn't a hint that I wished Mr. KittenAtPlay would buy it for me....it was just what was on my mind at the time.

Skip forward to my birthday on 10/20 and see picture below.

MY Juicy Couture Equestrian "It Girl" Bag :)
IMG_7654

Seems my sweet husband has been reading my blog and went and got me that purse. Half of me was delighted and half of me could not get over the price tag.....but not enough to want to take it back. *chuckles*

He said he knew I'd never buy I'd never buy it for myself, so he got it for me. I just love him :)

So turning 39 wasn't all bad.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Declaration Of Love

Greg,

How do I start?

How do I tell you how lucky I am to have you in my life?

I'm lucky to have met you that night...October 22nd, 1988.
I'm lucky you picked me to be your wife.
I'm lucky you love me and no other.
I'm....lucky.

You’re my best friend.
You're the only one I want to see every day.
You rocked my yesterdays and are my promise for tomorrow.

Happy 15th Anniversary, my love.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Star-Spangled Banner

It's my favorite song.....for all time. I have it on my iTunes list. LeAnn Rimes can really belt it out. Whenever I hear it, I get chills. Corney? No. Patriotic? Yes.

Do you know what it means? What the lyrics are about? Yeah, it's about our flag, that's obvious. I mean do you know where it came from? What event it commemorates? Do you know what a rampart is?

I do.

“The Star-Spangled Banner” lyrics were written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key. He wrote it after witnessing the attack of Fort McHenry by British ships in Chesapeake Bay during the War of 1812. Officialy it was used by the Navy in 1889 and then by the White House in 1916. It was made the national anthem by a Congressional resolution on 3 March 1931. Although the song has four stanzas, only the first is sung today.

O say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen thro’ the mist of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep.
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream
’Tis the star-spangled banner. Oh! long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation,
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n-rescued land
Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto—“In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.


Next time you hear it, really listen it to. Maybe you'll get a chill, too.

Oh, and a rampart. It's a wall.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

RED

I watched an episode of Oprah last night that really touced me. She has been doing a lot of work in Africa and some of her shows are about what she has done to make life better for the people there and to make us aware of the problems they face. Most of those shows are hard to watch. It's heartbreaking really. In the year 2006, people are starving and have no where to go to get medical treatment. That's pretty sad.

So the episode I watched last night was about a new program called (PROJECT) RED. It was created by Bono and Bobby Shriver to empower us to shop and do good at the same time. A portion of profits (50%) from the sale of (RED) branded products goes to The Global Fund to help women and children affected by HIV, tuberculosis and malaria in Africa. Also providing access to food, education, counseling and the much needed medical services.

I know it's kind of hard to understand if you didn't see the show, but I think this will be catching on like wildfire. If you go to the GAP, you will see the t-shirts. The Apple Store has a new iPod that is just for this. You can see all of it at (RED) website.

Buy RED.

And check out the (RED) timeline at the bottom of that page....to see what they have been doing.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Weekend Review

It was a good weekend. Saturday we went o Laura Senior's for a yummy beef stroganoff dinner and cards. Greg beat us both rounds. Thinks he's hot stuff in the card world.

Sunday I was on a quest for a green felt pen.....Army green. I need special pens, so it was hard to find...but I finally found one. Then it was off to the grocery store. I had my camera with me, so I did some picture takin'. Got some very strange looks when I was taking the pictures of the coffee beans. People just don't understand artistic photography.

coffee beans

orange bell peppers

Then, on Sunday, there was a funeral service for a co-workers Mom. I sent her a huge bouquet of yellow roses last week and she said they still look as pretty as the day they arrived...the first bouquet she got. I was glad I sent them since I didn't go to the service. But she knew I was thinking of her yesterday....and I really was. This is the online conversation I had with her about the service:

Janice: It was beautiful. The church was full to capacity. I think there were over 500 people in attendance. Mama looked so beautiful in all her pink and flowers were everywhere. I have a bookmarker for you that I had made with her picture on it.
Me: Goodness! 500 people....wow.
Janice: People were everywhere! They had to seat people in the choir stand and put up extra chairs in the aisle. I even got up and sang one last time for my Mama. No one knew I was going to sing because I didn't put my name on the program...just in case I didn't feel that I could do it, but I did and I'm glad I did.
Me: Oh dear....I would have cried my eyes out the minute you started to sing. What song did you sing?
Janice: I sung "Soon I Will Be Done With the Troubles of the World". Mahalia Jackson used to sing it. She sang this in the movie 'Imitation of Life". Did you ever see that? Everyone said that they have never heard me sing like I sang on Saturday.
Me: I'm sure you went really deep inside for that one.
Janice: I did.
Me: I'm sorry I missed it :( I was thinking about you.....I was there in spirit.
Janice: I know you were, my friend.

I try not to cry at work.....crying at work is a bad policy. But I lost it when I read that last line. Janice and I have had an interesting friendship. And by interesting, I mean not always the best. But in the depths of our hearts, there is always room for compassion and goodwill.

Okay, enough sap. I'll leave you with the lyrics to one of my new favorite songs :)

Nothing Left to Lose ~ Mat Kearney

Something’s in the air tonight
the sky's alive with a burning light
you can mark my words something's about to break

and i found myself in a bitter fight
while i've held your hand through the darkest night
don't know where your coming from but your coming soon

to a kid from oregon by way of california
all of this is more than i've ever known or seen

come on and we'll sing, like we were free
push the pedal down watch the world around fly by us
come on and we'll try, one last time
i'm off of the floor one more time to find you

and here we go there's nothing left to choose
and here we go there's nothing left to lose

so i packed my car and headed east
where i felt your fire and a sweet release
there's a fire in these hills thats coming down

and i don't know much but i found you here
and i can not wait another year
don't know where your coming from but you coming soon

to a kid from oregon by way of california
all of this is more than i’ve ever known or seen

come on and we'll sing, like we were free
push the pedal down watch the world around fly by us
come on and we'll try, one last time
i'm off of the floor one more time to find you

and here we go there's nothing left to choose
and here we go there's nothing left to lose

i can still hear the trains out my window
from hobart street to here in nashville
i can still smell the pomegranates grow
and i don't know how hard this wind will blow
or where we'll go

come on and we'll sing, like we were free
push the pedal down watch the world around fly by us
come on and we'll try, one last time
i'm off of the floor one more time to find you

and here we go there's nothing left to choose
and here we go there's nothing left to lose

Saturday, October 14, 2006

owie


burn
Originally uploaded by photo kitten.
This is what 180 degree water will do to your skin.

Greg got burned by boling water just above the waist band of his pants (water from a counter top). He had to get a tetanus shot and is taking antibiotics 4 times a day :(

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Juicy

I've got some seriously expensive taste in purses. Seriously.

I have a feeling everyone reading this blog will think these purses are ugly, but I am just in love with them. The first one is my favorite by far. SOOOO CUTE! Oh....plaid is my thing. Always has been. I bought a car because it had plaid seats. Didn't have a raido, but it had plaid seats so I had to have it. That must sound really weird....a car with plaid seats. I guess you had to see it to understand how cool it was. Anyway, back to the purse....not only is it really cute and plaid, it's also $350 bucks. So...I'll just be dreaming of it. The second one....that one is $650. It's suede, so that's where the extra $300 comes in.

*sighs*

I wanna be an "it girl".

Juicy Couture Equestrian "It Girl" Bag
juicy2

Juicy Couture 'It Girl' Multi Suede Frame Handbag
juicy1

Thursday, October 05, 2006

1986 vs. 2006

High waist jeans were in style....now those are considered "Mom jeans".

Guys who listened to Tears For Fears and wore pink Izod polo shirts were not instantly thought of as being gay.

A VCR was all the rage and expensive. Now people sell them for $20 at garage sales.

Back in 1986, you could only buy Guess jeans at Bullocks or the Guess store in Beverly Hills.

Big puffy permed hair drenced in Paul Mitchell hair products was the only way to go back then.

Girls smelled of Poision (perfume) and guys smelled of Drakkar. Both of which can be found in discount bins now.

"Dynasty" was a dynasty.

MTV was just that....music television.

Cell phones? They were the size of bricks.

Movie ticktes were $5 bucks.

In 1986, leg warmers were not just worn by ballerinas....unfortunately.

Miami Vice and Magnum PI were were hit TV shows and made the girls swoon.

Michael Jackson wasn't a weirdo.....or if he was, we didn't know yet.

Those are the only ones I can think of.....add yours in the comments :)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Start your shopping early

If you have never looked at the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog, you have to check it out. Click on the pages and it will take you to a clear description of what it is and the price tag for this stuff. Just wait until you get to page 92...

Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog

Friday, September 29, 2006

Friday Humor

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WofFb_eOxxA&eurl=

my little munchkin


little munchkin
Originally uploaded by photo kitten.
Happy Furry Friday! Have a good weekend, everyone!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

I've been blogged

My strawberry photo caught somones eye. In the comments (towards the bottom) you will see a comment from borealnz and there is a link to the blog there.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Hi Everyone....been away for a few days. Been busy at work. Some of you have been curious how things are going. On one hand, things are better but then on the other, things are not so good.

The new techy woman they hired is a nice person. So that's a good thing. I think a lot of people expected me to just hate her and not be nice to her because of the whole situation, but I had no plans of doing that. She came into this without any knowledge of what was going on and it would be unfair to blame her. I never intended on treating her poorly. That's not who/how I am. So you could say we've sort of become friends. We work in close quarters so we talk and are nice to each other.

But she's started asking questions.

Stuff like why would she have been asked in her interview if she has ever trained people. Of course I know the answer to that, but I just shrugged and acted like I didn't know. Then some advanced tasks came in and my boss usually takes care of, but they trained her to process them. She was confused why she was being trained and not me.

So I told her...just came out with it....."You're the one they are training to fill in when our boss is out on maternity leave".

This was the first she'd heard of it, but she seems up for the challenge. She did ask why I wasn't the one who would be filling in, and all I could really say was I'm not as technically advanced as she is.

It was hard to say that, but it's the truth. And it still hurts that they are training her and leaving me out of things. I know she can see it, but I try hard not to say very much about how I feel because it might make her feel guilty...and of course that isn't fair to her. So I just try and deal with it privately. It's hard sometimes....like today. No real reason, some days it gets into my head more than other days. I try to tell myself the work I do is important and even tho I'm not the one moving up the ladder, I'm still important and valued. Thing is, I need to believe that. Still having some trouble with that part.

Maybe someday.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Birthday Pictures

For Greg & Laura's birthday, we went to Shogun for dinner. We had 10 people so it was a tight fit at the table, but it was fun. I took pictures, but every single one of them is blury because it was so dark. I don't like to use a flash up close because while it lights everything up, it also badly over exposes everything...can't win.

Here are a few of the pictures.

Our chef at work.
Our Shogun chef at work

Teriyaki beef on the grill. So yummy.


Laura and Greg with their Shogun birthday hats...a must have.
IMG_2032_2

Some kind of banana dessert we shared. Really yummy!
IMG_2034

Friday, September 22, 2006

People Are Funny

I work with department network managers day in and day out. Some of them are really really smart and just amaze me. I was just telling my friend Laura that I think being smart is better than being pretty. I don't mean to make it sound like I'm in the pretty women ranks, it's just a general statement. I'm just saying if I had to pick, I'd pick to be smart. Oh wait.....better yet, I would pick to be pretty smart. Get it....."pretty smart".....*I crack myself up!*

Okay, okay, anyway, today I was dealing with a request from one of these smart department network managers and it's obvious he's been having "one of those days". Under his name at the end of the email, this is what he wrote:

"You know, some days even my lucky rocketship underpants don't help."

I almost died laughing. If I were a man, I'd put that as my signature line.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Dreams and eBay

No, not dreaming of eBay....yet.

Over the Labor Day weekend I looked on eBay for a special stamp set I wanted that was no longer available from the distributor. Someone told me eBay was the best way to find it. Sure enough, someone was selling the exact stamp set I wanted. I was thrilled, but also intimidated. I'd never used eBay before so I wasn't really sure what to do or if I could trust the seller....but I went for it. It went well ~ I got my stamp set. The following Sunday I was sitting at my desk and my fingers typed ebay.com again. I bid on another stamp set and won.

The eBay bug had bitten.

Now I am forcing myself not to go looking at things. I can see how people get into trouble with this! My friend Joel was drunk one night and ended up surfing eBay and bought a $75 stick shift knob for his Ferio. Now eBay is off limits to him when he's drinking.

I saw a commercial for the new eBay Express. Greg looked over at me and told me not to get any ideas!

--

Now onto the dreaming thing. I dream every night. The other night I had a dream that is reoccurring. I get in an elevator and somehow I get stuck going to the 100th floor and can't stop it. I get up there and I end up outside or in a room with windows all the way around and port holes in the floor so you can see all 100 floors down. I'm terrified. I ususally end up getting stuck up on the 100th floor having to deal with my fear of heights for an hour or something because it takes so dang long for the elevator to come back up and get me.

The other reoccurring dream I have is I am on the freeway and I end up in a lane that gets off onto a bridge and there is no way to turn back. I have to drive really fast in loop-d-loops so that gravity (or whatever it is) will keep my car from falling out of the loop when I'm driving thru them. Then, if I get past that part, I have to drive a narrow little road over the ocean and my car is always just a little too wide for the road so my tries are half gripping the road and half not. One wrong move and I'm toast.

Very stressful dreaming sometimes. These two dreams seem to come around a lot....like once every few months. What do you think they mean? Can't be good....

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

a little of this and a little of that

My washing machine finally bit the dust. Came at a really bad time....but I should have expected that. I had a company meeting coming up the next day, so I had to do a load of laundry to wash my good pants and my unmentionables. It wasn't a very big load, so I went back and looked for more stuff to wash. Came back with just about every good thing I have to wear and tossed it all in with a cup of liquid soap and started her up. I was filling the cup of fabric softener when I felt my feet getting wet. Look down and....the washer is leaking. Fantastic.

The moral of this story is, never wash all your good clothes at once.

Went to Lowes the next night and got a Whirlpool duet washer and dryer.

*swoons*

When you are older, these are the kind of things that make you swoon.

I love them. And they are pretty. Had them delivered and installed and was washing clothes 5 minutes after the delivery people left. I continued to do laundry for the next day and a half.....washing anything I could find. Now everything is clean so I just stand and eye them for a few minutes each day. I have a little pile of clothes forming....it won't be long now before they are ready for washin' :)

--

We also got a new printer. So I'm looking forward to printing some of my photos and maybe making them into cards. We'll see. The guy at the Apple store said you have to use the paper that goes with the printer for pictures to really turn out. I had been printing on glossy card stock and they looked awful. I'm sure the paper is going to cost a forture.

--

As you know, if you read my blog, Greg's brithday was Monday. I made him a cake.....but no ordinary cake. It was a boob cake.

*chuckles*

I made it in a bowl and frosted it with "flesh" colored icing and added a chocolate kiss on top. He didn't know I was going to do that. When he walked in and looked at it, he didn't comment until I asked him what it looked like. Of course he guessed correctly :) I know, I know....it's tacky but it was funny.

Here is a picture of it:
IMG_7521

Okay, that's it for now! :)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

What would our world be like without our friends?

When life isn't going the way we want it to we always have our best friend to turn to for support. Thankfully we have their love and appreciation and know they are there for us.

This blog entry is dedicated to my best friend Laura. Happiest of birthday's to you!

xxoo

Monday, September 11, 2006

Happy 39th Birthday!

Today is Greg's birthday! He's off playing around. Later we're going to get take out and watch the Charger game. Perhaps they will get the win ~ that would end his day nicely!

Update: Chargers dominate Raiders 27-0 !!

First you forget names; then you forget faces; then you forget to zip up your fly; and then you forget to unzip your fly. ~Branch Rickey

Saturday, September 09, 2006

tid bits about me

* Loves Panda Express
* Loves her camera
* Hates lizards
* Hates 90+ degree weather
* Tulips are my favorite flowers
* Roses are nice, too
* I think I'm a good listener
* I think I'm a good person
* Wears perfume everyday
* Dreams every night
* Has a crush on Alton Brown
* Has a bigger cush on Dylan McDermott
* Makes really good spaghetti
* Makes good cakes, too
* Asks lots of questions...
* ...Because I'm a very curious person
* Halloween is my favorite "holiday"
* Wants to be a fairy this year
* When I was 18, Bad Luck was my middle name
* Isn't big on hugging
* Isn't an iced tea drinker
* Does like lemon in her Diet Pepsi & Root Beer
* Does not like lemon chicken ~ ick
* I mix my corn into my mashed potatoes
* I like my toast very dark, but not burned
* I'm the only one who can make toast the way I like it
* I'm kind of a perfectionist, but kind of not
* Pineapple is my favorite fruit
* Listens to a wide range of music ~ The Platters to Pearl Jam
* Is a romantic
* Is lazy
* Loves to nap
* Loves to daydream

That's enough about me. Now let's hear from you!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Kennedy Curse

This information is from Wikipedia.

The Kennedy Curse refers to a series of unfortunate events that have happened to the Kennedy family. Critics of the Curse theory argue that given the sheer size of the family the number of unfortunate events is not unusual. The "curse" may be seen less as a supernatural phenomenon than simply as an operation of the laws of probability. Such tragic events happen to a lesser or greater extent in all families but they just make headline news when they happen to a family so famous. It could also be argued that the Kennedy family due to their relative wealth have a lifestyle that is quite different from how most people live (for example, piloting a plane) and consequently they are more often in greater physical danger.

Believers in the "curse" generally cite the following core events as evidence of the family's misfortunes:

1941 - Rosemary Kennedy was believed to be mentally retarded but in fact suffered from mental illness due to the intense pressure of living in a competitive family. It is generally assumed that her intelligence was lower than average but that she was certainly not mentally retarded. She was a disappointment to her father and sent to live with a family aide. Thus isolated, she became increasingly violent and suffered severe mood swings. Subsequently, she underwent an experimental surgery with the intention of controlling her outbursts. The results of the lobotomy were disastrous, and she remained in an institution until her death in 2005. Due to this tragedy, several of the Kennedy family have been involved in advocacy on behalf of developmentally disabled people (founded Special Olympics and other organizations) and mental illness.
1944 - Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., the eldest son of the Kennedy patriarch Joseph Kennedy, is killed over the English Channel while flying a mission during World War II.
1948 - Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington, dies in a plane crash in France.
1955 - Jacqueline Kennedy suffers a miscarriage.
1956 - Jacqueline Kennedy gives birth to a stillborn daughter. (Although the daughter was unnamed and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery next to her parents with a marker reading "Daughter", later reports indicated that the Kennedys had intended to call her "Arabella Kennedy".)
December 19, 1961 - Joseph P. Kennedy, the family patriarch, suffers a greatly disabling stroke which makes movement and communication extremely difficult and limited until his death.
August 7, 1963 - Patrick Bouvier Kennedy , the second son of John and Jacqueline Kennedy, dies two days after his birth, nearly six weeks premature.
November 22, 1963 - President John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, Texas.
1964 - Ted Kennedy is in a plane crash in which one of his aides and the pilot were killed. He was pulled from the wreckage by fellow senator Birch E. Bayh II and spent weeks in a hospital recovering from a severe back injury, a punctured lung, broken ribs, and internal bleeding.
June 5, 1968 - Robert F. Kennedy, brother to both John and Ted, is shot multiple times in Los Angeles, immediately following his victory in the California Democratic presidential primary. He died the next day. To say that he was assassinated on June 5, or June 6, 1968, is incorrect, for he lived slightly more than a day after he was shot.
1969 - "Chappaquiddick Incident" - A car driven by Ted Kennedy goes off a bridge. Mary Jo Kopechne, a former aide to Robert Kennedy, dies in the accident.
1973 - Edward Kennedy, Jr. At the age of twelve loses his right leg due to bone cancer.
1973 - Joseph P. Kennedy II, son of Robert and Ethel, is the driver in a Cape Cod car accident that leaves one passenger permanently paralyzed.
1973 - Alexander Onassis, stepson of Jacqueline Kennedy, dies in a plane crash.
1984 - David A. Kennedy, a son of Robert, dies from a Demerol and cocaine overdose in a Palm Beach, Florida hotel room.
1994 - Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis dies after a brief battle with cancer.
1997 - Michael Kennedy, another son of Robert, dies in a skiing accident in Aspen, Colorado.
1999 - John F. Kennedy Jr.; his wife, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy; and Carolyn's sister Lauren Bessette died when the private plane Kennedy was piloting crashes into the Atlantic Ocean on a hazy evening en route from Essex County Airport in Fairfield, New Jersey to Martha's Vineyard.


Secondary events

Despite being in the news, these events are not considered to be part of the "curse" by all believers.

1983 - Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is arrested in South Dakota for heroin possession.
1986 - Patrick J. Kennedy, a son of Senator Ted Kennedy, begins treatment for cocaine addiction.
1988 - Christina Onassis, stepdaughter of Jacqueline Kennedy, dies of drug abuse-related heart failure.
1991 - William Kennedy Smith, son of Jean Kennedy, is accused of raping a woman in Palm Beach, Florida. He is tried and acquitted.
1997 - Michael Kennedy, son of Robert, becomes embroiled in an adultery scandal involving allegations of statutory rape.
2002 - Michael Skakel, a nephew of Ethel Skakel Kennedy, is convicted in the 1975 murder of a neighbor when he was a teenager.
2006 - Patrick J. Kennedy is involved in a single-car accident in Washington DC on 4 May. He plans to enter treatment for addiction to prescription pain medication.
2006 - Ted Kennedy was aboard a plane which was struck by lightning and had to be diverted to New Haven, Conn. Senator Kennedy had just delivered the commencement address at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams and was on his way to his Cape Cod home when the plane was struck.


Refutations of The "Cursed"

Some skeptics follow the belief that the Kennedy curse is to some extent a self-fulfilling prophecy where the actions of the family members enhance their risk for tragic events. A few refutations of the "cursed" events:

1941 - Rosemary Kennedy underwent a surgery that was non-standard and still in its experimental stages.
1944 - Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. volunteered for a special mission piloting a plane loaded with explosives.
1948 - Kathleen Kennedy Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington, flew in weather that initially caused the pilot to refuse to fly.
1961 - Joseph P. Kennedy was 73 years old; not an uncommon age for a stroke, especially in 1961.
1969 - "Chappaquiddick Incident" - Ted Kennedy may have been driving drunk.
1983 - Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. had illegal drugs in his car, and thus brought about his own arrest.
1984 - David A. Kennedy was a recreational narcotics user, and thus brought about his own death.
1986 - Patrick J. Kennedy was a recreational narcotics user, and thus brought about his own addiction.
1988 - Christina Onassis was a recreational narcotics user, and thus brought about her own death.
1997 - Michael Kennedy was playing ski football without proper safety equipment.
1999 - John F. Kennedy, Jr. was described by experts as a relatively inexperienced pilot, taking his plane into a situation with poor visibility.
2002 - Michael Skakel isn't a Kennedy by blood or law.
2006 - Patrick J. Kennedy suffered no physical injuries after the crash and was able to put the incident in a positive light, affirming publicly his resolve to get help for his substance abuse problems.
Well, I had written a whole post and was reviewing it for spelling when Blogger crashed. Great. Lost the whole post.

So that means you are getting a bunch of pictures and not the fabulous post I had worked on for the last half hour because I don't feel like typing it all over again :-/

almost asleep next to my laptop



isn't she....pretty in pink....



nap time for cat and man

Winter in San Diego

one of Disneyland's most wanted

roasted and salted pumpkin seeds

Greg's cotton candy and grape bubble gum ice cream

Calvin's Eye

YAWN...

sunflower series 2

a warm heart

chocolate chunk shortbread cookies

Ocean Beach Pier





Friday, September 01, 2006

Europe Took My Breath Away!

Greg and I went on a dream vacation this time last year. It's hard to imagine it has been a year already. I was worried when we got back that I'd forget everything because I don't seem to have a very big memory bank. But I still remember all of it. And oddly, I remember the way some things smelled, the way things tasted.....I even remember what I had on in almost every port!

Visit my travel blog and see my new entry and newly added pictures :)

Kitten & Pup On Vacation!

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away!"

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Everyone should read The Jill Carroll Story. She was held hostage in Iraq for 82 days ~ it's a powerful story.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

people and their issues

I deal with email all day long and occasionally there is one or two that just make me shake my head. More often than not, these emails are from people with a stupid problem or they are complaining. Just so happens I have two that fit into each of those categories.

First, the stupid one.

A woman gives her email address to a, quote unquote, "very scary person who was asking me questions about where I was going to school and such".

Now she wants to change her email address.

What ever happened to giving out fake information? Or better yet, don't talk to "very scary" individuals!

*rolls eyes*

Now the complaint. This one is even better, I think.

We have to give out passwords for various things. I'd say 95% of the passwords are computer generated. They are made to make no sense so they are not easily guessable. A typical password might be something like: gih5aduyw. See, makes no sense. This is a form of security. Sometimes we get a computer generated password that is a little funny....some kind of play on words. Much like some license plates you see. The computer has no idea it's generated something funny...slang isn't in it's vocabulary and it has no sense of humor....trust me on this. So if we get one that seems off color and could be taken badly, we generate a new one.

Ok, so a password is given to a user some months ago. The user has been stewing about this password all this time and finally could not stand it anymore and had to write to us telling us how offended they are and that we are extremely unprofessional. The user will be unable to request any further assistance because they are aware they are not quick with computer issues as most other people are, but they will not stand for being harrassed in this fashion.

The password given was: mieswineir

I would have never noticed this had she not pointed it out.....mostly because I'm too busy and it isn't really one of those passwords that stands out like some of the others I've seen. But, this person asks a lot of questions and when they got this password, they thought it had been created specially for them. I guess they think we sit around laughing at them and take time to create "special" passwords for everyone.

What? Are we in high school?

*rolls eyes...again*

And that folks, concludes this enrty of people and their issues. Perhaps it will become a regular thing.

Monday, August 28, 2006

How Am I?

I've been asked that a lot since my posts on 8/13-14.

Things are okay. Not wonderful or splended or great, but also not horrible or deplorable. Obnoxious...at times, yes. But one day I sat down with myself and we had a talk. Yes, I had a talk with myself. I figured something out. It isn't always easy to see the bright side of things....you have to sort of force yourself to see that side of things. Mostly because being pissed off is easier than letting unwanted change into your life...my life. Staying pissed off really only ends up making things worse and I don't need that.

So one of the things I talked with myself about was being hurt that I wasn't given the advancement. I had to think of why they would do that to me. Did they think I'm not good enough? Did they think I could not learn it all quick enough? Do they think I'm slow and stupid? Why?? I had a chat with my boss because I needed her to know I was mad. This was part of my process of letting it all go....I was "giving" it to her. During our little meeting about it, I realized something important.

She thinks of no one but herself.

So my "why" question was answered. It had nothing to do with me really. She was totally confused at why I'd be mad about this. I told her over and over being passed over for the advancement was a slap in the face. She would wrinkle her brow at me in confusion. Then she'd start in on how this has nothing to do with my chances for advancement. They have every intention of reclassing me and all that crap....so what am I so mad about? See, she totally didn't get it. She never once sat down and thought about how I would feel when I saw an email saying someone had been hired to stand in for her and was hired in a class above me. She never considered how after 9 years of working here and working hard and putting up with all her shit (tho she thinks she does not dish out any shit) I would be mad that they just hired someone above me. I didn't even get the news in person....I read it in an email.....because she didn't think it was a big deal.

She never thinks of anyone else....just about what she wants. And she wanted a geek techy person who can roll right in knowing more advanced technical stuff. And so that's what she hired.

So it has nothing to do with me. All my questions about am I stupid, am I not smart enough....blah, blah, mean nothing. I AM smart enough and I AM very good at my job. The problem is, my boss is an ignoramus. Pure and simple.

The new geek techy person starts today. And geek techy person will have to learn a lot of things before any of her geek techy skills will be useful. Her geek techy skills will make her learning process easier, but she still needs to learn it all....and trust me, there is a lot to learn. There is also the question of the quality of training she will get. Let's just say training around here isn't the best. I had worked here for 7 years when I moved into the job I have now so I didn't need a lot of training. But the training I did get was a little on the weak side. Thankfully I'm smart and catch on fast....otherwise it would have been kinda hard to keep up with the work load. We'll see if that changes. Point I'm trying to make is, hiring someone with more advanced technical training does not guarantee prime results.

As always, I could be wrong ~ things could just all fall into place at an amazing and impressive rate, but I don't think so. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.