Friday, December 24, 2010

Sending you a Christmas card.....

so while writing our Christmas letter and printing the labels, I realized that many of the people I have the most interaction with are not those I am sending cards to. Many of the people I really should be wishing the best of the holiday season are those on Twitter or Facebook....or even Foursquare. I spend time with them every day....but don't have addresses or even phone numbers in most cases!

in 2010, I made countless new wonderful friends, learned so many things, and have had a blast thanks to people I may never met! so if you are one of those people.....and you KNOW who you are.....please accept this as my Christmas card to you.....and imagine that everyone in the family hand signed it....cuz we did!

oh....and if you are thinking "but I AM one of those people that Susan sends a Christmas card to every year" then have no is on its way! I mailed them on the 22nd. so you might want to print out the one above and put in with your other cards until the real one arrives!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, November 13, 2010


I lost a lot when LM closed it's virtual doors and message board! one of the biggest losses was regular daily ongoing contact with people such as Cecilie. she lived in Denmark at the time and we had actually gotten to meet IRL twice when she came to the States.

I follow her blog. as it is mostly in Danish (and I have yet to totally master the language) I have done a crummy job of keeping in contact. In fact, I was thinking just that last night. I miss chatting with her. she has such a grounded view of life.

what a coincidence that I should wake up to find a post on my Google Reader (which I don't think is very conducive to POSTING on people's blogs, but does make it a lot easier to READ them) a new post from Cecilie! this one is written in Danish and then English!! (cuz she really does care about us!) oh, and it is a contest for participation......

so I would recommend taking a moment to head over to visit Cecilie's Blog and check out her contest, especially if you are a scrapbooker. even if you are not, she offers a great peek into the wonderful world outside of the United States and is a FANTASTIC photographer! her nature shots are amazing!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Truth: Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for

I should have looked to see what others said (not the point, I know) before answering this because all I can think of would be my kids. And even having said that I need to qualify it. I am not, I repeat NOT one of those women who drops everything for her children! I work really hard to still have my own life. I still spend oodles of time driving them around in circles, helping with class projects, etc, and I still put their needs before my own. I said needs there, not wants! Sometimes my needs eclipse their wants. My job as a parent is to help them understand the difference!

Somehow I think the title should have been "Someone who has made your life worth living" because the only person you should live FOR is yourself!

The end.......
Sent from my Blackberry!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do

I thought this one was really easy.....but it was made quite a bit more difficult when a friend reminded me that you just shouldn't mention certain things. 'nuff said about that!

another friend stated that she never wanted to involuntarily lose her house. 2 years ago I think I would have agreed with her. but through my own unemployment (thankfully short and sweet) and J's waytoolong unemployment, I had to face the thought that this might come to pass. and since (gosh, you might just know this about me already) I am a total control freak, I started planning for the worst. yes, we had Plan A and Plan B. heck, I even had Plan C.....but that might make the Top 10 list of things I hope never to have to do! Plan B involved losing the house. and while at one point in time this would have resulted in a serious acting up of my IBS and many sleepless nights and trips to the chiropractor, I have determined two things: it would not be the end of the world, and home ownership is overrated! lol!

so back to the about eating some nasty disgusting food like they have on the Amazing Race because that is all you have to eat?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life

this is an easy one! I really shouldn't be freaked out trying to answer it or have procrastinated so long. but, hey, this is ME we are talking about, right?? yeah well....

somehow along the way, I got it into my mind that this was some deep question about what I wanted to do WITH my life! MUCH harder question to deal with..... the way it was originally written, not so much!

with long awaited answer! lol!!

it really is no secret that I would really love to own/rent/borrow/steal an RV and spend a summer driving around the United States with all my boys! I would love to take them back east to see all the historical buildings, etc, and really understand US history in person instead of from a school book. I would love to stop by and see/meet many of the friends I have made from scrapbooking and/or the internet. I want to take them to the world's largest ball of twine (apparently being disputed between Cawker City Kansas and Darwin Minnesota), etc. we would attempt to see a baseball game in every major league park (and several minor league parks). I wouldn't even mind doing some Boy Scout historical walks! we would have a blast!!

J would end up doing most of the driving (he always does) but if we don't win the lottery soon, R will be old enough to help him. as for me? well, we have already talked about creating a magnetic table top so that I can scrapbook our trip album while we are on our trip! just bring along our Espon PictureMate and/or PhotoPrinter to print the previous days' pictures and away I go!

so this isn't some crazy dream without thought. just things have gotten in the way (so far). bummer!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

yeah, I know!

not doing such a good job on those 30 Truths! hey, I warned you it wouldn't be 30 days in a row. I started the blog post (well, wrote the title) I am just having content issues. I think I am taking the title a bit too esoteric and need to just chill and answer it.

anyway, still alive and still thinking about it!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

UPDATE: Truth Day 03

In the midst of writing Day 4 I realized my Day 3 Truth!!

It really isn't something I am excited about except that it seemed wrong to be so carefree as to not have something I needed to forgive myself for.

Anyway, I need to stop beating myself up for breaking up with my first fiance. Looking back I don't think we would have ever gotten married and lived happily ever after, but he did something bad and I kicked him to the curb. Had I been more mature I might have been a bit more understanding and we might have worked through it. Taking it way too extreme in a whole "Sliding Doors" fashion.....maybe if I hadn't thrown his ring at him and slammed the door, maybe he wouldn't have been in the place he was when he was killed. (No gang war or drugs or anything sinister......just wrong place wrong time)

I am not losing sleep over this. I realize the events leading to his demise had NOTHING to do with our break up. It comes down to this: The world was a better place with him in it. If some little change in any event could have resulted in him still being here, I wish it had.

But like I have been saying, this isn't some dark shadow across my psyche.....just a "what if"....
Sent from my Blackberry!

Yet Another Test

I just signed up for Twitterfeed (thank you Cheree) and want to make sure it is working.

Back to your regularly scheduled whatevering!
Sent from my Blackberry!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Truth Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for

Today I can make up for yesterday's lack of an answer. (You know, maybe yesterday should have been "Something someone else needs to forgive you for"? I might have had more of an answer for that. (Don't I sound like a cold beyotch??)

1- my brother. I need to forgive him for lying, for taking advantage of his family and friends, and for believing through it all that he was doing nothing wrong. Still angry, can you tell?

1.5 - I should comment here how thankful I am that I had that last discussion/disagreement with my mother just before she passed. Otherwise she would be #2. Granted I said nothing I hadn't already said but it felt good because she sounded like she actually finally understood!

(And here while thinking about the other person I need to forgive I remember what I need to forgive myself for. I'll be back in a minute!)

2. I once had a friend who was a bad, bad person. She did something evil. She did it purely because she could and because she knew it would hurt someone. The fact that it hurt a friend had no impact on her decision to do it. I have already forgiven her. She isn't worth my mental energy. I only mention her here because I would still trip her into a muddy puddle if I had the chance! So maube I haven't COMPLETELY forgiven her? Lol!!

Golly.....isn't this fun?
Sent from my Blackberry!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Truth Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for.

Alrighty......maybe I do not have enough depth of life experience or maybe it is that I no conscience....but I can't really think of anything I need to forgive myself for. I have thought really hard about it too! I started this post this morning so I could really think about the question.

Sure I should have kept on that exercise/weight loss program. Sure I should call my Dad more often. Sure I should get up early and make my kids lunch every day. Whatever! But something so heinous that I need to FORGIVE myself for it? No.
Sent from my Blackberry!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Truth Day 2: Something You Love About Yourself

Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to be critical of yourself than to be complimentary?

What do I love about myself? People say I am creative. That is something worth loving. People say I am generous and friendly. Those are both good qualities, right? But I don't think I am abnormally creative and I am no more friendly or generous than anyone else. So what do I love about myself? I love my love of reading!

Why would this be something worthy of being THE thing I choose for this honor? Well, because it has given me knowledge and understanding. I have learned about people and cultures I may never meet. Because reading has made me think and become more thoughtful. Reading has broadened my horizons and exposed me to ideas I might otherwise be ignorant of. Because reading has made me independent. I feel no shame in going somewhere alone. I am not lonely because I always have a book full of entertaining companions with me. But most of all because I have been able to pass this love on to my children. How awesome is it that one of their favorite presents/prizes is a trip to the book store? I love being able to chat with the boys about the books they are reading for school or we have both read. I love those afternoons/evenings where we are all hanging around a quiet house reading our various books!
So......I love being a reader and raising my kids to be readers! A family that reads together succeeds together! Lol!!

What do YOU love about yourself (Miranda)????
Sent from my Blackberry!

Let's see here...

New phone. Does it still work with blogger? Of it does I could probably answer that second truth while waiting in line at Starbucks!
Sent from my Blackberry!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Truth Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself.

in case you joined us late (ha!)......I am trying out 30 Posts of Truth! and NO, I will not place bets on how long I follow through! thanks for even THINKING that!

Something you hate about yourself
I would love to say how much I hate my thin hair or my total QE1 hairline, but that would be rather superficial. (I still do hate them.) what I really hate is my lack of style. I have NO fashion sense! whether it is due to my lack of heighth or my overly curvy figure (ha!) or whatever, I can not seem to find clothing that is "me." the classic tailored look makes me look like a dumpy old lady. boho makes me look like a homeless person who scored a shower. get the point. the closest I can come to feeling like "me" is shorts, Keds, and a sweatshirt. somehow that doesn't work for an office environment and really isn't the most attractive look for me in any environment. when it comes down to it, I blame my shortness. I think I could pull off clothes a lot easier with a couple extra inches on me. even when I have lost weight I have still suffered from fashion stupidity. I don't want to be some perfect model. I just want to look like I knew what I was doing that morning! (and, for the record....yes I realize worrying about my lacking fashionista skills is superficial too.....)

30 POSTS of Truth!

so this was originally called "30 DAYS of Truth," but seriously've seen my track record with regular blog postings! For the record, I am stealing this idea from The Verbosery who stole the idea from The Croxford Files. (the later of which is now a private blog but both are awesome women who I am thankful to have "met" through Twitter!).

Here are the rules:
every day for 30 days, you post a truth about yourself. I'm warning you, some of these are NASTY SCARY things to think about! and, I am telling you now, there are a few I am just going to post vague comments about. I will not post anything that would hurt anyone if they read my blog. that isn't the point of this exercise!
If you decide to try this yourself (cough, cough.....PEGGY) let me know so I can see what you say!

Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself.
Day 02 → Something you love about yourself.
Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for.
Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life.
Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do.
Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13 → A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14 → A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 → Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 → Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 → (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 → Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23 → Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 → Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25 → The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26 → Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 → What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 → What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 → Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 → A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself

so............... here we go! (yippee!)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sunday's something I like (a review)

I have been using the Neutrogena UltraSheer Liquid Sunblock for a few days. I was surprised by how light it is! It feels like my regular facial lotion. And with only the initial application in the morning, my face didn't get burned with an afternoon in the sun. Sadly, I can't say the same thing for my arms and legs! I'm sold! If you want to try it, you can grab a $2 off coupon here:

Monday, June 28, 2010

Pace's Picante Chicken Enchiladas

I posted about this on Facebook in May but needed the recipe while grocery shopping today. I can access my blog on my phone much easier than wading through everything on FB, so I figured I would move this over here (with my comments) for myself! If it helps you, then BONUS! lol!!

This recipe is GREAT for any kind of leftover chicken! So if you find whole chickens on sale but don't like certain parts, save them for this recipe!

As in the past, my comments will be italics and following the recipe! And again, sorry about the funky font thing. It is probably because I did a bunch of cutting and pasting!

Picante Chicken Enchiladas
From: Campbell's Kitchen
Prep: 10 minutes
Bake: 40 minutes
Serves: 6

1 jar (16 ounces) Pace® Picante Sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
(leftover chicken & I shredded it)
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
(I used whatever shredded cheese I had on hand!)
6 flour tortillas (8-inch), warmed
(why warm them? I didn't!)
1 green onion, thinly sliced (about 2 tablespoons)
(I skipped)

Stir 3/4 cup picante sauce, sour cream and chili powder in a medium bowl.

Stir the picante sauce mixture, chicken and cheese in a large bowl.

Spoon about 1/3 cup chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla. Roll up the tortillas and place seam-side up in a lightly greased 11 x 8-inch shallow baking dish. Pour the remaining picante sauce over the filled tortillas. Cover the baking dish.

Bake at 350°F. for 40 minutes or until the enchiladas are hot and bubbling. Top with the onion.

My comments:

  • I made about 1.5 times the recipe so that there were 2 enchiladas per person.

  • I didn't HAVE any Pace, so I used up leftovers of 3 different salsas we had. a couple of them were spicier so I skipped the chili powder.

  • a couple of the salsas had corn in them and that was nice. SO, if you use the Pace, maybe add a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of cooked corn?

  • I also think adding sliced black olives would be tasty. but really, aren't olives always tasty?
  • I don't like cleaning dishes so I mixed everything in the same bowl, just added the chicken and cheese after mixing the other stuff.

  • I used toothpicks to hold the enchiladas together while they cooked.

  • when the time was up, I took off the tin foil and sprinkled about 1/2 cup of shredded cheese on top and then placed it back in the oven while I made the salad. maybe if you want to make it fancier looking, add a sliced black olive to the top of each one?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Slow-Cook Sausage Corn Chowder for lazy people like me!

I do really enjoy cooking...when I have plenty of time and plenty of money and can have the windows open for those lovely Delta Breezes to keep me and the house cool! That is why I tend to do a lot of cooking in the late Fall. Soups and sauces to stock up the freezer with. I really love it!

But with it almost hitting 100F yesterday, why oh why I was craving a thick soup instead of a fruit salad is beyond me! But I was! And thankfully the recipe I really wanted to make cooks in a crockpot! Silly me, I decided if I was going to make this, I might as well make a double batch and have some to put in the freezer. I know it is a little early to get started on that Fall stockpile, but this was my mood and I went with it!

The recipe came from a murder mystery by Susan Wittig Albert titled Holly Blues. I love murder mysteries and all the books in the China Bayles series have herb influenced names and make me want to grow an herb garden. (I have tried several times and it never works...but doesn't mean I don't think about having all those lovely fresh herbs at the ready.) Like I said earlier, I doubled the recipe. Below is the recipe as it was originally written with my personalized comments in italics. Doubling it changed a few of the proportions and also meant that I ended up using BOTH my crockpots because I couldn't fit it all in my largest one! So here's a hint: don't make a double batch until you see how much it makes!

1 lb ready to eat smoked sausage, cut in half lengthwise and into 1/2 “ slices
3 cups cubed potatoes
½ medium onion
2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
¼ cup red bell pepper
1 bay leaf(I used 3 for my double batch)
1 15-16 oz can cream-style corn(I could only find 14 oz cans so I used 3 for my double batch - like my math?)
1 can mushroom soup(cream of mushroom)
2 cups chicken broth(I always prefer the low salt broth if I don't have homemade.)
2 cups milk
1 tsp dried thyme(I used 3 tsp for my double batch)
1 tsp dried savory (I used 3 tsp for my double batch - J put this in and used the leaves instead of ground. they worked out fine!)
sour cream
snipped fresh chives or parsley

Place sausage, potatoes, onion, carrots, bell pepper, and bay leaf in slow cooker. Combine corn, soup, and broth, and add to the cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 6 to 7 hours. Fifteen minutes before serving, remove bay leaf, stir chowder, and add milk and herbs. Cover and cook on high for 15 minutes. Ladle into bowls and top with dollops of sour cream and sprinkles of snipped chives or parsley.

My additional comments:
  • Because I was starting late in the day, I combined the canned items in the crockpot and got them started while I did all my chopping.
  • I also chopped my veggies smaller than I would normally. I suggest 3/4" ish. 1" always seems too big!
  • I added some ground pepper - 3 or 4 grinds for the entire double batch. I debated garlic. It is hard for me to cook without garlic, but it doesn't need it.
  • Since I doubled the recipe, I used 2 different smoked sausages. One was a beef sausage and the other was polska kielbasa. While I normally prefer the kielbasa, I think the beef sausage is better in this dish.
  • At the end, I felt the chowder was too soupy. I decided this was probably due to the extra can of creamed corn. Next time I will go with my first thought and just add more corn! Leftover (ha! we never have leftovers) grilled corn would be terrific in this!
  • I didn't help matters by using fat free milk instead of whole milk. We use fat free and unless a recipe specifically calls for whole milk, I use what I have. In the future I will probably go for the whole milk.
  • To try and combat the soupy-ness, I kept the lids off the crockpots for those last 15 minutes of cooking (which I stretched out to about 30 minutes) to try and cook some liquid off. It helped.
  • What really helped was the sour cream. After bowling up the soup, I added a dollop of sour cream and some more black pepper. It was delicious!
Did I miss anything in my commentary?? Oh yes! The results of that double batch: about 3 meals for the family as long as you serve biscuits or something else with it. Maybe 2 with a lunch for someone depending on whether the boys are "growing" or not! lol!!

Thanks for stopping by! Let me know if you make the soup and what you think....or if you read a China Bayles book. I really enjoy them!

(and I am sorry....I can NOT figure out how or why the font size and type changes throughout this post. It has been awhile and my blogging skills are rusty!)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

okay so it hasn't been FIVE months....

since I last blogged! still pretty pathetic! does it count that I have THOUGHT about blogging? I have even thought about specific things to blog ABOUT....but I just haven't quite made it far enough to post. I think I might be back a bit more because I miss the longer thinking process that I used to put into posts over at LifetimeMoments. afterall, there is only so much you can put into a Tweet or Facebook update!

so if anyone is actually still seeing if I am alive around here.....there might be something worth reading once in awhile!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

of mice and men.....and boys and books.....

so as a "good mom" I try to keep up with what is happening in school so I can help the boys out with their homework. J is a great dad and very helpful, but R passed him in math skills in 5th grade or so. I will even admit to having R call Auntie Misty earlier this year. we can still handle D's math, thank goodness! science is completely beyond me. I won't tell you what I did to pass science in high school.

but when it comes to english and history, I am spot on! and as R has started reading what I would consider "classics" I have read along with, or ahead of, him so that we can discuss the points of the stories. I have read most, if not all, of them before, but it has been a couple of years (ha!) and some of the more minor details have escaped me. I am sure I will have to read them again in 2 years to go through the same thing with D. I like talking about books with the boys, especially books like "Of Mice and Men" and this year's earlier assignment "To Kill A Mockingbird."

so my purpose for blogging about this: I am glad that the schools haven't been so beaten by political correctness that they don't teach our kids the mistakes of the past so that they can grow up to not repeat them. I realize these books are fiction, but within them are the kernels of society. I want the boys to know that things weren't always fair and that people don't all live and feel like we do. I hope it will make them grow up to be open minded, thoughtful, and appreciative. all the things we want from an education!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I am a reader not a writer.........

Yeah, been awhile...

In fact, I think that is how I started the last post I made!

Anyway, I realized that I would much prefer to read what other people write than write myself. I like seeing people's updates on FB, receiving their Tweets, and checking their blogs instead of doing my own. I do a decent job of updating FB but that is quick and easy through Twitter and my phone. Heck, if I remember correctly, this will post to FB for me.

I guess I have always been like this. But, if only for myself, I think I might try to do a better job at those! Afterall, what a better resource for if/when I get back to scrapbooking?