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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Happy Oatmeal Cookie Day

Today is National Oatmeal Cookie Day. This calls for a recipe! I didn't want to give you the same old oatmeal cookie recipe, so after some searching I found the perfect thing! Enjoy!!

Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes

1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 ounces, 1/4 cup, chopped walnuts
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 really ripe bananas, mashed up
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup, melted, plus additional for buttering skillet)
Maple syrup or honey, for drizzling

Here's a great tip: if you cannot find really ripe bananas, just nuke them in the microwave for about 15 seconds and they will become super soft for mashing.

Mix dry ingredients, the first 7, in a bowl. In a another bowl, mix the wet ingredients, the next 4. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined, then fold in the mashed up bananas and the raisins. Stir in the melted butter.

Heat a griddle over medium heat and brush with additional melted butter. Cook pancakes, each about 1/3 cup, until bubbles form on the top, then turn. Cakes will cook in about 2 minutes on each side. Keep pancakes tented with foil as they come off the griddle to keep them hot. Serve with drizzled honey or maple syrup over the top.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Good Karma

Greg called me this morning and said he was kind of sad. I asked why and he said he'd tried to save a little bird that got caught in some kind of trap....I didn't exactly understand what kind of trap it was. He got it out, but the little thing died in his hand. It is sad indeed. But he did a good thing in trying to rescue it and good karma will be his in return. He can take comfort knowing the bird isn't suffering or in pain now and it was better for it to die in his gentle hands and not the trap.

This reminds me of another story someone told me recently.....at that crave your own rubber stamp party I went to. A woman there was telling us about these neighbors she had who had a cat that was mean and unfriendly. It would come to her yard and she has an orange tree in her yard so when the cat would come over, she'd pick the rotten oranges off the ground and try to nail him with them.

**side note: Now.....would you be sweet and friendly if someone was trying to hit you with rotten fruit? Just sayin'...

Okay, anyway. The neighbors move and left the cat behind. Didn't care. Didn't want him.

**Another side note: So you think he had a good home where he was loved and taken care of? Just sayin'...

One day she was in her backyard and could see the cat trying to jump the fence from "his yard" to another yard. However, he was unable to get the strength to make it over. He gave up and laid down in shade. No one had moved into the house, so he had been alone over there for some time. She became concerned that he might not be eating or drinking enough....

**Uh.....ya think!??! Rolls eyes.

She got some food and water and took it over and he gratefully ate and drank. Eventually she let him call her garage his new home, tho it didn't sound like she ever considered him adopted or "her cat"....more like a cat that she let sleep in her garage and she fed it. Ok, so one day she has a BBQ and there are people mingling about....as is the cat. By the way, she named him Nasty.....I'm not even going to say anything about that. Alright, so a friend sees Nasty and walks over to pet him and pick him up. Just as she was picking him up, the woman blurts out a warning that the cat isn't friendly, blah, blah, blah. Except she cuts her warning short because the cat and woman are being all lovey-dovey....and the cat is purring up a storm. She said she has never been so shocked....this horrible cat was actually being nice to this woman. I asked her if the woman had adopted him....and sadly, she had not. He lived his life in her garage until the day he died of old age. She said mean cats live the longest. As far as luck goes, Nasty was lucky she took pity on him and gave him what she did. He could have been homeless and died of starvation or some other horrible death, so what he had was good.

HOWEVER, it was very hard for me not to point out a few things to her (people quite often do not appreciate my honest views on things). I wanted to ask her if she had ever tried to be nice to this cat....like pet it or something. It was good of her to feed and house him, I'm totally giving her that, but had she tried to be affectionate? I think we all know the answer....I mean, she named him Nasty. A part of me feels bad that the cat probably didn't have much in the way of affection in his life, but much more of me is happy that she did what she did and made his life comfortable. I just think that if she had taken that extra step with him, both she and the cat would have gained so much more from their "relationship".

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Here is the "life calendar" according to Martha Stewart's team of doctors. Find your age and then you'll see what you should have and then, of course, you should have also had everything prior to that, too. I have had all but 5 of the 17 things listed for 40 and younger. I think that's pretty good....but hopefully one of those 5 things isn't all out of whack!

Ok, yesterday I told the lost debit card story and mentioned that I was there to pick-up some photos and that I would elaborate on that later. So now is later....er....now is the later I said I'd tell you....oh never mind ~ here's the story.

I am submitting photos for the San Diego Fair, aka the Del Mar fair, again. I didn't think I would, but I let a year pass and that was enough time to get over the unfortuneateness of not even having my photos displayed. If you are curious about what photos I entered before, you can read my post about it here.

So these are the ones I am submitting this year:

black, white and red all over

Happy 2008!

Abby brought me good luck with the SPCA calendar, so I am hoping she will do it again. The sunset is just one of the best I think I have ever taken because the glow of the sun runs right up to the edge of the tide.

Both are very risky to enter because they get thousands of sunsets and thousands of pet photos and yours better be pretty good to edge out everyone else. But they are both good from a technical stand point, which is the most important element. The ones I entered last time both had issues and I should not have entered either of them. I really wanted the one of Laura and I to get in, but the color balance was a problem from the minute I downloaded them. I just turned a blind eye to it over and over again. So that's what I learned from the whole experience.....be honest with myself about what is wrong with the photo and don't enter one that isn't technically "on". They will boot you out of the running the minute they see a technical flaw and won't think twice about it.

One thing I am doing this time is mounting the photos myself. Last time I paid someone and it was expensive!! I got some good advice from the guy at the art store and also read some stuff online, so we will see how I do. One shot to get it on straight.....so no pressure on myself or anything. *sighs*

Monday, April 27, 2009

Saturday was one of those days.

Greg was in Vegas playing softball and I had some errands to run. I got up early and headed out around 10am. I had to go downtown to Nelson Photo pick up some prints (more on that in another post). There was a street fair going on and by the time I got down there, they were only just setting up their booths. Parking, however, was already bad. Nelson Photo is smack in the middle of one of the streets they had closed off so I ended up parking about 5 blocks away. I loaded the parking meter with 1 hours worth of change and headed off. I got my photos and got back to my car with 23 minutes left. I was pretty pleased with myself for getting in and out of there so fast. Traffic was picking up and as soon as people noticed I was leaving, I became very popular. Now I was on my way to the grocery store. Pull in and park and I remember telling myself "I'm so glad I got those photos out of the way....". Then I went in a did my grocery shopping. I ended up standing the longest check out lane....but so what, I was just going home when I was done and I didn't have anywhere to be. The checker gets to me and I pull out my wallet to get my discount card thing and....my debit card wasn't there.

"WAIT!" I told the checker before she scanned anything else.

She stood there looking at me while I franticly looked everywhere possible for my debit card. I told her I had to go to my car and they unscanned the 3 items and put everything back in my cart and told me they would hold it for me. I ran to my car and looked all over, but it wasn't there. AMAZINGLY, I had my cell phone and it was charged. I usually never have it, and if I do, it's never changed. So I called Nelson's and am just beside myself thinking there is some person running around the street fair buying bratwurst and beer with my debit card (I saw 2 bratwurst vendors). I ask the person who answered if they had my card and they said they would check. Seemed like forever waiting and I figured they didn't have it since....you'd think they would know if they had a debit card there that someone left. Turns out they did have it......thank goodness!!!! But now came the realization I had to go back there. It was 1pm and it was going to be a mad house. There was no way I would get a parking space. And I used all the change I had for the meter when I was down there earlier. So I had to go home and get a bucket of change since I would undoubtedly have to park 100 miles away. When I got home, I rounded up all the change I could find and then just sat on my bed for like....10 minutes. It was just going to be such a pain in the ass with the traffic and all to walk in and walk back out. And I had zero interest in the street fair. So I called Nelson's again and asked for advice on where to park. Downtown is horrible because it is mostly all one way streets and, of course, there is no free parking. So the woman who rang me up at the register got on the phone with me when she found out I was calling. She said she felt bad for not giving me my card back and said if I could somehow pullover on the block that was 2 streets up from them and call her, she would run up on foot and find me and give me my debit card. Honestly, I told her I loved her. That was sooo nice of her to do. After much stop and go traffic, I finally go back over there and pulled over at the first red curb I saw when I was within 2 street radius she told me to be in. I called and told her where I was and waited hoping one of many policemen they had directing traffic would not ticket me. The story has a happy ending....and I got my debit card back safe and sound with no ticket. An hour later I was back in the checkout lane at the grocery store. They had put all my stuff back assuming I wasn't coming back, but that was ok.....I wasn't even sure I was going back. But we needed toilet paper....so....you know.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Why do people pick their noses right where you can see them doing it? Like.....right in front of you. I don't understand.

And, some people are just loud. They walk loud (you can hear them clomping a mile away), talk loud, slam and bang things...just loud over all. Do they not care or do they just not know? I don't understand how they cannot know they are loud. Maybe I am loud and don't know it...? Except, I know I don't clomp because I can walk up to people and they don't know I'm behind them. And when I order food, they never can hear me...

And smelly people. Come on....you can't smell that you....smell?

Anyway.

Now I give you....Maple Bacon Cupcakes! I know, I know.....who, what and why the heck. But if you try them, let me know how they are.

Maple Bacon Cupcakes

10 thick strips of uncooked bacon (drippings will be used; you want a
half cup minced)
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 TB plus 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 TB bacon drippings (from the above)
1/2 cup plus 1 TB (a little over one stick) butter
1/2 cup plus 2 TB brown sugar (this is just under 2/3 cup)
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Fry up the bacon. Put 1 TB of the drippings (try to get the little
brown bits) in the fridge (if you plan ahead) or the freezer for ~7
minutes (if you don't). If you want a nice garnish, make about 18
1/4"-1/3" slices from the ends of the fried up bacon and save for
later. Chop the remaining bacon into ~1/4 inch square pieces until
you have half a cup. You can chop some more finely for a garnish if
you are making mini cupcakes. Also I reserve an 1/2 or 3/4 tsp of
bacon for sprinkling in when I scrape down the mixing bowl at the end
so the last cupcake has a good amount of bacon. Munch any additional
bacon, or set aside to dip in leftover frosting later. Mmm, maple
bacon candy.

Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set
aside. (if you substitute regular flour, sift it into the bowl)

Beat the solidified bacon fat with the butter on high, scraping the
sides of the bowl as needed, until the mixture is fluffy and almost
white in color.

Add the eggs and beat at medium-high speed until combined.

Add the maple syrup and the brown sugar and beat well (when this
sits, it may look slightly separated due to the acidity of the maple
syrup). Be very careful if you decide to increase the maple syrup, as
it may break the batter.

With the mixer on its lowest speed, add 1/3 of the flour, half of the
milk, 1/3 of the flour, the other half of the milk, and the last
third of the flour, mixing just to combine.

Fill cupcakes ~3/4 full. If you set aside a little extra chopped
bacon, add that back when you do the final scrape of the bowl so that
the last cupcake is not lacking in tasty bacon goodness. Bake at 350
for 9 minutes, rotate the pan, and bake for an additional 9-12
minutes (18-21 minutes), until a toothpick comes out pretty clean.

*** Let cool for at least an hour before frosting. ***


For Frosting:
-------------
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 cups powdered sugar
demerara sugar (optional but strongly recommended; you could use
turbinado
if you don't think it tastes like the northbound end of a southbound
yak)
coarse sea salt (optional but strongly recommended)
small slice of bacon or a few sprinkles chopped bacon per cupcake
(optional)

Beat the sugar and maple syrup on high until well combined. With the
mixer on a lowish setting, add the powdered sugar. Once it is all in
the bowl, turn the mixer to high and beat for 4-5 minutes, until
light and fluffy.

Apply frosting to cupcakes (a little goes a long way as it is quite
sweet), sprinkle on demerara sugar (optional) , sprinkle on coarse
sea salt (optional), and top with a bacon slice or a sprinkling of
finely chopped bacon (optional).

Sunday, April 19, 2009

This post is dedicated to BFF Laura.....pictures AND content!

Last night I went to a "birthday party/craft circle" for my old boss. Every year for like....the last 20 years, she has had a huge birthday party at a park and everyone she knows goes to it. It's become an annual party people expect and at least 100 people, sometimes more, show up. It was fun for her for a long time, but she grew tired of it because of all the prep. Plus, sometimes she wanted to do something else, but people had become so used to going every year and she got some flack when it came out she wasn't doing it anymore.

Breaking News: This has nothing to do with what I am posting about, but as I was typing, the lizard hunter (Calvin) got a lizard and was trotting around the house with it.......I swear, bain of my existence.

Anyway, back to the birthday party. She got sick one year and wasn't able to have the party....and people could not fault her for that. The next year she laid low and made out of town plans. This year she wanted to stay in town and just have a very small party and do what she wanted to do. And that was have a craft circle. She invited about 10 people and the craft she had for people to try was carving their own rubber stamps. I was a little....ummm.....not so interested in this because it is tedious and I have a short fuse for mistakes. The other part of this is, there's a woman who has been doing this for a while and she was there. She's of the opinion that using manufactured rubber stamps is stealing other people's work. I could go on and on about how much this annoys me, but I won't. I'll just say she and I do not see eye to eye on the subject. I also don't brag like she does. *rolls eyes*

So I carved my very first stamps! Think "home spun" ;)

These are the 3 stamps I made.



Ignore the terrible photo....I took it inside on my desk with my horrible little desk lamp. But there you can see all 3 stamped with green ink. The square one has weird little squiggles on it and that's because the rubber was embossed with the manufactures logo on it....so that isn't part of the design. Remember.....home spun.

If I ever become a famous, I can eBay them for a small fortune!

There you go, Laura. A story, breaking news flash about a lizard and pictures....er....picture!

Friday, April 17, 2009

If you watch Survivor, you have to read this....it's hilarious!

Jeff's Blog

Monday, April 13, 2009

Abby


Abby's impersonation of a lamb
Originally uploaded by photo kitten.

This is an old picture of Abby that just kills me. I think she looks like a cross between a lamb and a nun with one of those old style nun's habit.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

unscheduled

I've learned something about myself ~ I enjoy being unscheduled. I have to be at work at a scheduled time....leave at a scheduled time, have meetings at scheduled times and have things done at scheduled times. My week is pretty darn scheduled. My weekends.....fairly unscheduled. I usually don't have plans on the weekends and I like it like that. If I want to go to the bookstore, I'll go. If I want to work on my cards....I will. I like being able to choose what I am doing and change my mind depending on how I feel. I got to thinking about this because on the 18th I have two scheduled "events", one in the afternoon and one at night.....I am not looking forward to the 18th. I guess it does not help that I am not really very interested in participating in either event, but, as Greg is always telling me, sometimes you have to do things you don't want to do. Ugh, I hate it when he tells me that.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Simple Things

I work in a building that sits about 350 yards from the La Jolla coast. At lunch today I went out and sat on the wall and just looked out at the stunning blue ocean. "I should never get used to seeing this" I told myself. The scent of the ocean is....I don't know....I want to say beautiful, but that's not the right word. I hope I never get used to that lovely salty scent. It just made me start thinking about some of the things I hope I never get used to...

* The lush green color of grass
* Seeing a harvest moon
* The soft fur coat of my pets
* The sound of rain
* The perfect blue color of Greg's eyes
* The feeling of your feet sinking in the sand when the tide rolls in
* A hot shower on a cold day
* The voice of someone I love

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Wennibago Haircut

Yesterday I had to run an errand at lunch. I was sitting at a stop light and I glanced over to the parking lot next to me and there was a guy standing outside a Wennibago and I thought he was combing his hair....but it turned out he was cutting his hair. It looked like he was running a comb up through his hair....rather than in a normal downward fashion. But then I noticed large clumps of hair dropping onto the back of his tee-shirt. He had scissors and was running them up the back of his head and then chopping off whatever got between the blades. He was doing this one handed. And fast.....chopchopchopchop. I was like.....uh.....this is the kind of thing that usually ends badly. Just standing there....one hand on his hip and the other chopping wildly. And there was no mirror so he had no idea what he was doing. I had to look away because I was scared the cutting of the scalp would happen and blood would go squirting all over. Or worse, he'd stab himself in the back of the head with the scissors. I looked straight ahead....but I could see him out of the corner of my eye....I could not resist....I had to look back. Folks, he was running the blade right up the back of his head! *Shudders*

I got distracted, thankfully, when I noticed the condition of the Wennibago....it was circa 1970something. Horrible condition. I'm pretty sure it was white at one time, but now it was a dingy mustard color with that signature brown stripe and the W. On the side there were two vents that were being held in place with copious amounts of duct tape. The inventor of duct tape has to be stinkin' rich. I mean, who has not heard of duct tape? Everyone knows what that is. You never hear someone say "Ummm, duct tape? what's that?" Just does not happen. Anyway, the light turned green and I was on my way. It's just not something you see everyday....one handed Wennibago haircut while at a stop light.