Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Joy of Socks

Project #10-

In the fourth drawer down, in my dresser we own
You’ll find socks, undies, slips and such’s.
But I’m pretty darn sure that the orphany socks
Have been breeding like rabbits in hutches.
So we sorted a while, made a huge discard pile
And only full matches got saved.
So remember the way, on this hallowed day,
How into the sock drawer I braved!

Project #11-

My Chase card needed activation.
What I got was total frustration.
Don’t make me nervous
About not buying your service-
Guess I’ll just ask for prompt cancellation!
(In your face, New Delhi mumbler!)

(It took me about 2 weeks to just make the call to activate my new card simply because I can NEVER understand a solitary soul who works for Chase Mastercard. It gets so awkward...)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Gold Medal in Freezer Cleanout Relay!!!!

Project #9-

My freezers are packed, organization they lack
and time on my projects is tickin'!

So I threw out the mess, kept all the rest
and, Surprise! I found three packs of chicken!

(As well as 6 types of cookies, some brownies, an extra loaf of bread, peppermint truffles, a giant tub of peanut brittle, 9 empty ziploc bags, 2 large salmon planks, 8 klondike bars and 9 individually wrapped portions of mystery meat that I didn't know I had. Definitely most excited about that meat. Who wants to join us for dinner next week, anyone?)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The writing on the wall

Project #8-
One of these pictures fell off the wall.
I’m sure it was bumped or hit with a ball.
For over 4 months my “6 Be’s” were 5,
And my stock as a Mom took quite a dive.
But now it’s all fixed! See Cindy’s expression?
My glue gun has cured her apparent depression :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

When the lights go out and the trucks stop rolling

Project #7-
One day, and hopefully soon,
I will have a dedicated “Food Storage” room.
But for now this is it,
Can it possibly fit?
Time to bust out my magician’s costume!

6 boxes of low-fat granola,
Flour, sugar and extra Mazola,
Canned veggies and fruit,
And cake mix to boot!
Though, a few cans just might have Ebola…
I'm sure we all know which ones I am talking about :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

If only leaves were worth money...

Project #6-

The front of my house is looking all junky.
The weeds and the leaves just make it look funky.
I rolled up my sleeves and it took me two hours
and now my front walkway is ready for flowers!

(which is a project I am sure you might just see on this here blog :)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Quick, gimme a meal!

Project #5-
Sometimes my brain just totally freezes.
It's like the Beach of Ideas without any breezes.
So I've made this list, to help me remember
some meals I've not eaten at least since September.

Now when it's time to whip up a meal
I won't just serve Pop-tarts and feel like a heel.
No, I'll look at this list and jolt the ol' brain
and serve food far superior to any restaurant chain.

There are 72 meal ideas there, which pretty much leaves me no excuse not to cook up a great dinner. Dangit!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Nice Sticker!

Project #4
I don’t think I know, why it’s so hard
To just put a sticker on the back of your car.
Rocket looks better with this little addition
And if you want to salute him, I give you permission.

Getting that on there right after soccer season just ended. Way to go, me!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Bring it on, cobbler!

Project 3
I told my Mom I could use
an oven mat to catch cooking ooze.
She gladly obliged,
got me just the right size-
Now I'll go and cook something that spews!

I got this for Christmas and am just now putting it in. Seriously, how lame can I get?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

It's Screen-o-riffic!

Project #2
I don’t have a key to my own front door
So this screen has been out here, flat on the floor.
It’s covered with leaves and is looking quite thin, though
It came off quite nice when I hopped thru the window!

Luke, my unofficial handyman's apprentice, gives me the big thumbs-up for putting the screen back in place :)

P.S. I have a feeling these poems are just gonna get worse as the days go by. I can't wait!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Desperately Seeking Motivation

Sad to admit, but I am now officially a procrastinator. Especially with projects around my house. They just never seem to get done. I wasn't always like this, though. I mean, in High School, when I had deadlines and the threat of a bad grade looming over me, I was very efficient. I couldn't stand doing homework or writing paper on the night before it was due. I liked to have a good two-day buffer. As a Mom, however, there aren't any real consequences for procrastination most of the time. I mean, if I forget to fold the laundry in the dryer for a few days or never get around to putting a new handle on the shed door, what's the worst that can happen? My kids are wrinkly and a homeless man may be living in my backyard. Big deal. And besides, what are they gonna do? Fire me? Anyway, as I came to the realization that having completed 30 New Experiences in 12 months made my life not only fun, but incredibly productive, I have decided on a new challange to share with all of you. It is simply called "30 Projects in 30 Days". I have compiled a list of all those little annoying house tasks that need to be done around my home. I have actually come up with more than 30, but for the next 30 days, I am going to pick out 30 and complete them. I will of course show you my handy work, but I will be posting the write-up in poem form each day, with the added promise of a ridiculous visual now and then, just to keep things interesting (which is actually the part I am most excited about). I am allowed to do more than one project per day or skip a week entirely if I want, just as long as I get 30 done in 30 days. On your mark, get set, read number 1....

Project #1- Clean off my kitchen counter

This ledge was a catch all for clutter.
When I saw it, I heard myself mutter
"Oh, woe is me! The counter I can't see!"
Ahhh, now it's clean and my heart's all a flutter :)

(pay no attention to the table and ironing board in the background. I am choosing my battles wisely for now....)

Monday, February 15, 2010

To Tri or Not to Tri?

Okay, the answer to that is not to Tri. After much consideration, mostly about the Ice Age-like weather that Florida is experiencing as of late and about the current temperature of non-heated pools, I have decided to not do the Triathlon in Bartow next month. $60 is a lot of money to pay for a miserable experience. I mean, I can have that for free just by helping Cindy with her writing homework or trying to potty train Luke. So goodbye sidebar countdown clock. I will see you soon.

Anyway, I'm still scouting around for more local 5k races and other triathlons I can do later this summer. One step at a time :) On a side note, I am quite the prognosticator! If you will kindly draw your attention to the "most interesting" thing I posted for my last run (over there to the left somewhere), it was the fact that I was running a 5k this past Saturday and to stay tuned for pictures of my friend, Michelle, winning a medal. Well, here ya go:

I wasn't whistling dixie, people! She is awesome. I didn't medal, hard to do with speed demons like Michelle in my age group now, but I did run a good time of 26:20. Which, I will accept graciously because I had to run in mid-40 degree temps, in yoga PANTS, a JACKET, and GLOVES- which is some sort of crime against humanity in Florida. Seriously, if I still lived in Utah I would weigh 400 pounds because there is just no way of exercising when it is cold. I am shivering at the mere memory of that race. Brrrrrr.....

P.S. Happy Valentine's Day! Jacob and I don't celebrate this Holiday (I could knock you over with a feather right now, right?) but I at least made the kids some heart pancakes this morning. ♥ Luke is a fan.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Iron Chef February

I eluded previously to the fact that the secret ingredient for my Iron Chef February recipe would be very 'appropriate'. So without further ado....

Iron Chef February

Secret Ingredient: Hearts of Palm

Recipe: Hearts of Palm Fritters with Avacado Dipping Sauce

Get it? "Hearts" of Palm? For Valentine's? Yup, always thinking. That's me.

Well, what the heck are Palm Hearts you may ask? I will tell you! I have no earthly idea. I put in "hearts" into and that's when I realized there even was such a thing. But through the magic of the Internet I can tell you that Hearts of Palm is a vegetable harvested from the inner core and growing bud of certain palm trees (also known as "swamp cabbage"). Living in Florida all these years and I never knew! And I had absolutely no trouble finding this at my local Publix. They even sell three different varieties of this stuff!

Anyway, the hearts look like long tubular water chestnuts and they taste kinda like artichokes, maybe? This recipe is an Emeril Lagasse original, so it wasn't without its prep time. Egg white whipping, folding, sauce making, frying- it had it all. But I was looking for new and different and I found it!

Plus, I don't think I have ever made an actual "fritter" before. I think the key to a good one is folding in egg whites. Makes them light and fluffy. Wouldn't you agree, Jacob?

I have to admit that, for me, the taste of palm hearts got kinda lost in the fritter, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I just tasted more of a fried doughyness with peppery undertones than the taste of the swamp cabbage. But the dipping sauce was pretty good. I love all things avocado, you know :) Overall I would give the recipe 3 out of 5 stars.

Next Month: It will be either some sort of exotic meat or a dessert. Hmmmm, now that I think about it, I'm not sure that exotic meat really has a fighting chance on this one...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Devil or Angel?

My parents have the most interesting cat I think I have ever happened upon. Her name is Diavo (pronounced Dee-ah-bo or Bob-o if you are Luke). My parents inherited her and another cat, an orange male tabby named Tiger, from my brother Dave when his family moved to Utah and couldn't take them along. Anyway, after a few weeks at their new home, Tiger disappeared and Diavo has been with my parents ever since. And this cat is the most ruthless, baby-faced killer I have ever met. You wouldn't suspect her would you?

It started probably last Thanksgiving when my parents began to find the usual dead lizards, lizard tails, lizard parts, etc. that were littering the front walk of their house. No big deal, right? Then it escalated to finding mice bodies. Then it turned into live mice that got dragged in and were let loose all over the house. Then it became many, many mice being dragged into the house. Then it turned into rats- giant rats- dead and alive. Headless rats. Snakes. Perfectly clean and separated rodent entrails. Birds, godzilla-sized moths, baby squirrels, and the latest carcass was that of a dead mole. (And FYI, moles really do look just like they do in the movies or cartoons. See "Speckles" in the movie G-Force for reference.)

Now if cats bring in all the dead vermin as gifts to their masters, well then my parents must be the bestest darn cat masters this side of the Mississippi, because that cat is a killing machine! Her killing sprees ocurr roughly every 2 days or so. In fact, I have decided to put a new widget on my blog, that of "Diavo's Carnage Tracker"- it will have a small picture used to keep us all updated on the latest vermin she killed or brought into my parent's house.

It is actually urban legend among my family that the orange tabby she came with, Tiger, didn't just run away, but rather Diavo killed him for looking at her the wrong way. And after seeing the results of her killing escapades, I am starting to believe it. I think she works for the CIA as some sort of mercenary in her spare time.

Ironically, however, she is also the nicest cat when it comes to humans. My own cat, Yoshi, has scratched my kids numerous times when they get to close or get on her nerves. But Diavo has never even taken a swipe at them. She is very affectionate and playful. Cindy and Luke love to get out string or her special kitty treats and play with her when they visit at Grandma's. But maybe the reason she is able to catch and kill all these critters is because of her ability to make instantaneous appearances. My dad has nicknamed her "Kramer" (of Seinfeld fame) because she just magically shows up. Right beside you on the couch, next to you on the computer- she just materializes out of thin air. One minute you are alone, the next she is two inches from your face. Which you can only imagine how fun that is when it happens to my jittery mom :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

50 Things I Love

In honor of February and all things lovey-dovey, I give you: 50 Things I Love

1. Scalding hot showers when it is really cold in my house
2. Crockpot liner bags
3. Lightly salted potato chips
4. Daydreaming about landscaping my backyard
5. Video of kittens wrestling
6. When my kids laugh hysterically at each other in the back seat of the car
7. The episode of Spongebob where he utters the line "Squidward's such a jerk..."
8. McGriddles
9. Using my KitchenAid Stand Mixer to mix egg whites
10. How Rosa looks when she yawns- HILARIOUS!
11. Having someone else rake the leaves in my yard
12. Chapstick
13. Any story about Diavo (my parent's cat)
14. All the impersonations done by Rush Limbaugh (of Barack Obama, Barney Frank, Bill Clinton, Andrea Mitchell,....)
15. Sitting down to dinner on Fast Sunday
16. Getting to leave the doors and windows open on a nice, cool day
17. Sunless tanning lotion
18. Going to the fabric store
19. Take 5 candy bars
20. Reading in bed
21. Movie music
23. Watching my mom get scared at the sound of everything (doorbell, ringtone, car horn, sneeze, doorbell, pin dropping, etc.)
24. Using a coupon with a gift card
25. Accidently taking a nap
26. Staying up late to blog after everyone else has gone to bed
27. Being done with exercising by 8am
28. When Luke says, "Hey, no fair!"
29. Being married to Jacob
30. The lines in the grass when you mow your yard
31. Pita chips
32. My leaf blower
33. Driving on a full tank of gas
34. When my giant cowlick works for me and not against
35. Those few hours when all the laundry in the entire house is completely done
36. Getting a compliment from a complete stranger
37. Getting a compliment from your husband :)
38. Buying LARGE eggs for 99 cents a dozen at Walgreens (such a good deal!)
39. Checking out children's books from the Library
40. Sitting in front of someone at church who sings really good alto (so you can harmonize)
41. When the humidity is so low you can straighten your hair and it stays that way (even at the roots)
42. Going to a restaurant and realizing that you just beat a huge rush of people
43. Kenneth the NBC Page on '30 Rock'
44. Ordering from Scholastic Book Club
45. The fruit stand on South Florida Ave.
46. New Special K Granola cereal- OH! So yummy :)
47. Word/letter games
48. Going to the beach and never getting in the water
49. My current pillow
50. Having a church calling in Young Women's

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Potpourri for $400, Alex

Observations, backblogging, pictures I need to share, whatever....

1. Several weeks ago it was my niece's Baptism. And out of all the tons of people in the whole wide world she could have asked to speak at her baptism, she chose ME! I was simultaneously stunned and honored :) I adore Sadie. She is a wonderful girl who is bright, responsible, kind and fun. And now she is the big 8! Time is flying by...

2. It was also my new nephew Wyatt's blessing the following day. (He is actually Sadie and sister Ana's new little brother) He is too cute! The little outlaw, as we lovingly refer to him.

3. My banana palms all bit the dust with the hard freeze we had in Florida a month ago. Sniffle, sniffle..... I'll be digging those out this week!

4. Normally Luke freaks out when he gets a haircut. But his last haircut he was doing his best to hold it together when the hair was falling on his shoulders. Bless his hairy little heart!

5. A few weeks ago I learned from my friend Karin that the "e" in the title of our local e-library, stands for express, not electronic. I have been three times since learning that. Thanks to Karin for enlightening me :)

6. This was a picture the kids took with their cousins back when it was Uncle Brian's homecoming talk at church. I love that Luke finally got in on the silly-faced action.

7. Back at the annual white elephant gift Christmas party I went to in December, this is what happened...

I took this:
7 pounds of pork and beans.

I ended up with THIS:

Buddha-Frog. Brought to the party OWN PARENTS! I can't believe I picked their gift. That makes two years in a row!!

8. A Cindy Quickie...

The other night Cindy was up way late. She said her stomach hurt, but I was skeptical. She was still awake when I went to bed at about 11. Before I went to bed, she begged me to give her a banana because she was starving- perhaps the real source of her stomachache. I conceded and gave it her and went to bed. Fast forward to the next morning: While she was at school, I went in her room and in her bed I see this disgusting stuff in the middle of her sheets. I knew she said her stomach was hurting but if she actually did throw up or something I would have felt really bad. Anyway, I washed the sheets and went on with my day. I went to pick her up from school and when she got in the car I asked her about the nasty stuff in her bed. She said, "Ohhhhh, that was from when I fell asleep eating my banana last night. I was soo tired and when I woke up later it was all nasty everywhere."

9. I got out the cheese the other night while making meatloaf. I will give you one guess as to who was the culprit concerning this:

Why can't Jacob just use a knife? Kidding! It was my cheese-loving daughter who has no business using a knife, so I guess in her mind she was just being beacon of safety.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Wise Observations of Cindy Sweeney

The other night Cindy and I were reading the book "Just Me and My Puppy" by Mercer Mayer. We have about 12 books in this Little Critter series and Cindy loves all of them. She especially loves this book because it is all about the adventures of owning a puppy; something she will never get to experience firsthand in her childhood. Anyway, towards the end of this book we got to this page:

The best part about these books is that the writing is very tongue-in-cheek. Critter describes everything in the most positive way, yet the pictures tell the real story. I loved Cindy's deduction about this picture. She said, "Ha, ha, that dog is running away because Critter is being too immodest in the bathtub." I guess she has been listening to me from time to time :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The best permission slip you'll ever sign

So now that my birthday has passed and my "30 Experiences" have been completed, I was reflecting on the past year and if this little experiment really made a difference. The whole point of it was to make turning 30 bearable and fun, rather than a horrible, midlife-crisis-inducing nightmare. And I have to say it worked! Boy, did it work! As I made the list for my previous post and remembered all the things I did over the past year, I couldn't help but be truly proud that I finally did some things I always wanted to do. And I had a great time doing it! The best part is that the blog gave me total permission to do all these things. Any other time in life when you woke up and decided you just really needed to drive a riding lawn mower or go fire a semi-automatic weapon you would question whether or not it was important or necessary. I mean, if I didn't have the blog, the conversation would go something like this:

Me: I need to go to the Grand Canyon.
Jacob: Why?
Me: I just really want to see it.
Jacob: No.

But the blog almost sort of demanded that things get done. There was accountability. I could explain why I was doing things. So the conversation instead went something like this:

Me: I need to go to the Grand Canyon.
Jacob: Why?
Me: It's for the blog.
Jacob: We'll leave on Thursday. *Sigh.....

Honestly, it was liberating to have total permission and support. Not only from Jacob (who did actually run a 5k with me!!!! and I will be forever proud) but from my family, friends, and pretty much anyone else I recruited or took advantage of to accomplish my purposes. (Like my parents- oh, my parents!, assorted church members, YouTube, those guys from the Lawn Bowling center.....)

So now that it's over, I have decided I just can't let it go. I can't! I already have a list of experiences I still need to do, so looks like another year of torture for all my blog readers! Whoo-hoo! Can't wait to get started with Experience #1: Finally blog my dissertation on the History of Southern Finland, 1815-1890. It's a real nail biter!

Monday, February 1, 2010

My Best Year Ever! The 30 Experiences That Made it So

One year ago on my 30th Birthday (January 31st) I decided that I was going to do 30 things in the coming year that I had never done before, but things that I had always wanted to try. And I did it! Here is the complete list of everything I did and the links to the corresponding blog post about each one. My favorite? Honestly, I loved all of them, but I would have to say #19 holds a special place in my heart. That night was just so meant to be.

1. Sew Something Without a Pattern
2. Volunteer at My Child’s School
3. Make French Toast that Doesn’t Suck
4. Place in a 5K
5. Go Lawn Bowling
6. Eat at a true "Waffle house"
7. Hear the Star Wars Theme Song Live
8. Wear Matching Clothes with Cindy
9. Watch Casablanca
10. Run a 5k with Jacob
11. Make a Souffle
12. Learn a Song on the Piano
13. Visit The Grand Canyon
14. Grocery Shop with Canvas Bags
15. Attend a Political Rally
16. Shoot a Gun
17. Attend a Midnight Movie Premiere
18. Listen to War of the Worlds
19. Pull Off an Amazing Prank
20. Wear Toe Socks
21. Go to a Horse Race
22. Eat at Mike's Restaurant
23. Knit Something
24. Go to Ikea
25. Learn the Aviator’s Alphabet
26. Get a Facial
27. Read a Harry Potter book
28. Drive 100 mph
29. Drive a Riding Lawn Mower
30. Celebrate my Golden Birthday