September 29, 2015

A recipe post from a woman who doesn't cook

A couple of weekends ago we went to the local Greek festival and because I'm me, I didn't get ANY pictures, but we had a great time.  We enjoyed the dancing (the littles were SO cute and the others were AMAZING!) and we had to check out the food.

Man-Child was all about the desserts, I can't even remember all of the goodies that we brought home.  But the one thing that was intriguing to me was the Spanakopita (spinach pie).  That was the one item I couldn't wait to try.

Now, before we go further there is something you need to know about me.  Spinach and I have a love/hate relationship.

As in I simply CANNOT stand spinach if it is steamed (or whatever) and slopped on a plate.  Oh sure, I'll eat it but I won't enjoy it.  BUT, if that very same vegetable is chopped and placed into something else, well then?  Then it becomes AMAZING.

In fact, the Spinach Artichoke souffle that Panera's offers is something I could eat every single day, no lie.

And, as per usual, once I got my hands on the Spanakopita I was in heaven.  So much so that I had to source a recipe and figure out how to make this heavenly delight.  Many long time readers know, I don't cook.  Yeah, I'll bake on occasion but cook?  Food?  For people to consume?  SOOOO not my thing.  In fact, I've actually been asked NOT to cook for my family, true story (Although, now that I think about it, technically this could be considered baking but since it involves chopping, sauteeing AND a vegetable, I'm calling it cooking).

I followed this recipe - minus the parsley because we didn't have any on hand.  Although, I almost added cilantro by mistake (which proves my point about why I don't cook); which almost certainly would have ruined the recipe.

Now, as a non-cook I can say this is a pretty easy dish...IF you think it through enough to thaw the frozen spinach beforehand (which pretty much tells you I did not).  Yes, I found myself spending an inordinate amount of time running cold water over the spinach.  But, in the end, it was all worth it because it was DELICIOUS!

And how do I know (other than my own tastebuds singing after trying it)?  Because The Husband aka The Chef raved about it when he tried it.  AND?  He ate it cold and still enjoyed it.

I'm going to have to watch myself.  God knows, I don't want to become known as a cook.

Yeah, I know...not the best picture.  But believe me, it was delicious!

September 23, 2015

10,000 Q-Tips....

A couple of weekends ago, I found myself in Target (a place I often find myself at least once on any given weekend) when I remembered I needed Q-Tips.

Not a huge deal.  But, as I was pondering the many Q-Tip offerings I realized...that somewhere at home; packed away in the myriad of boxes that I navigate on a daily basis since our recent home-buying debacle, is a fairly new box of Q-Tips.  The myriad of boxes I have refused to unpack in the hopes that the perfect home would miraculously land in our laps.

At the time, I pondered my options.  I COULD buy the smallest box of Q-Tips to get myself through...OR I could dig through the boxes (meticulously labeled, of course.  Those first few boxes that are packed are ALWAYS meticulously's those later boxes that end up biting you in the butt; those are the ones that end up un-labeled and containing all kinds of random stuff.  Kitchenware thrown in with pairs of shoes and whatnot).  At the time I did NOT want to dig through boxes so I ended up buying the smallest box...which, in case you are wondering, was about 300 Q-Tips....(really?? That's the smallest offering you have when it comes to Q-Tips?)

No, it wasn't a lot of money, but you know how long it will take me to go through 300 Q-Tips?

At least a year.

Fast forward to today.  The day that I have decided that I must unpack a good portion of these boxes (because seriously??  I honestly don't think we are going to find anything worth buying before next spring at this point AND I'm thoroughly sick of having my home decor scream "A HOARDER lives here!!").  Where I then realized that the last time I bought Q-Tips (prior to the above mentioned trip to Target) I bought the largest box available at the time...thinking that if I did so, I wouldn't have to buy Q-Tips for a good, long time.

Ha-ha.  The joke's on me.

I'm about to have more Q-Tips than I can possibly need for the next 20 years.

And, yes, we are still in limbo...hoping for that perfect house to pop up.  Or the perfect lot and the Husband's desire to build to surge to the forefront.  Yes, I still think that is the best way to go.  And no, he's still not there yet.

In the meantime, do I unpack these boxes or do I just send the ones I haven't been digging through for the past three plus months to Goodwill?  Because honestly?  If I haven't needed anything from them in over three months, odds are good I don't need it.  But on second thought, the last move resulted in lots of "missing" items.  Items which were probably shipped off to Goodwill during a manic "If I haven't used it in X amount of months, I don't need it" phase.  Which CAN be a good thing until you realize that you've gotten rid of your very favorite pan on which to bake cookies at Christmas time.

I need a house y'all...this limbo is killing me, the boxes are killing me, and the 10,000 Q-Tips are silently mocking me.'s all come down to a post about Q-Tips.  *sigh*

September 9, 2015

Beach bound

Currently, I have THREE posts in my drafts folder (not counting this one) which, for whatever reason, I just cannot seem to push the PUBLISH button on...something must be wrong with me...

Which is why I am happy to declare that as of tomorrow, Man-Child and I are headed to the beach for a long weekend.  And?  This is something I SO desperately need.  Life has been insane, disheartening and pretty much lopsided for a while now.  Between the house hunt (seriously? SERIOUSLY?!  If you would have told me TEN MONTHS ago that we would STILL be looking, I would have thought you were crazy), the whole "transition" thing (which, honestly?  I KNEW would be hard but didn't think it would be THIS hard), which at this point I seriously believe it will be at LEAST two years before everything shakes out and we know what is what; and everything else that life has thrown at us lately....well, let's just say that I NEED this time to contemplate the waves and relish in the one on one time with my boy. that one paragraph, I was able to sum up those other three drafts.  Maybe I should just delete them and have one less thing hanging over my head?

MC and I have tried hard over the years to spend some one on one time together every year.  Since he's been in college that has been kind of hard as he tries to work over the summer to rack up as much cash as he can.  This past summer found him interning (unpaid) for one of the local college football teams (which we whole-heartedly encouraged him to do.  Since his major is in Physical Education this will look SO good on his resume) AND working as many hours as he could for the company that hired him last year. And then he went scurrying back to his school home early, because he had landed a job up there.

Finally, I put my foot down and said "ENOUGH!"  We need to take this time.  He needs a break and I definitely need a break.

So tomorrow, after he skips his last class (not my idea, by the way) and he makes his way home, we will be headed off to the beach for two...maybe three, days of pure relaxation. We will eat FAR too much, because this boy of mine demands meals every three to four hours (who else eats this way, other than growing boys?). we will laugh, at times we will argue (we always do), we will play miniature golf and most of all, we will spend time with each other.

Something I think we both could use right about now.

And...I'm hitting PUBLISH before I think too much about it. *dusts hands* One less thing to think about.

August 24, 2015

Obsessive much? Yes, but....POCKETS!

I don't know about you, but I am ALL about pockets...especially on the weekends.

Why?  Because on the weekends I carry a teeny, tiny so teeny tiny that it basically only holds my wallet.  As opposed to the gigantic one I carry during the work week that will hold everything I MIGHT need and then some.

Now, in summers of old I usually wore t-shirts and shorts all summer, every weekend.  And shorts usually come with pockets.  This summer, however, I have shunned the shorts and t-shirt look for several reasons.  One being that I felt frumpy in them.  And the other being that trying to find a pair of shorts that are age appropriate AND flattering has become damn near impossible...have you SEEN the hoochie shorts that are currently being sold?!  So this summer I have switched to summer dresses and skirts.  The result?  I feel better and look more pulled together.  But, the downside is that not many dresses and skirts have pockets.  How have I arrived at this conclusion?  By a VERY scientific study...I have five casual, summer dresses (only one skirt and it has pockets) and of the five only ONE has I said - very scientific study.

Once I acquired the one dress with pockets, I was obsessed.  I began hunting every store I could think of looking for dresses or skirts with pockets.  There were none to be had.

And then one day, my denim dress (which the Husband HATES with a passion) came up with a noticeable bleach spot on it...yes, I AM giving the Husband the side-eye here...he claims he's innocent but I cannot remember the last time I've dealt with bleach enough for it to splash onto my clothing..and an idea bloomed...

"Surely, it can't be THAT hard to add pockets...right??"  Yes, I guess I am an optimist in that I am always convinced that "it can't be THAT hard to do (insert your project here - add a pocket, knock out a wall, install a roof, replace a transmission....)!"

So I did what every other self-respecting American would do.  I Googled it.

I came across several links (here, here and here) which told me that it was easy-peasy to add side pockets to your garments.  Armed with this knowledge, I began to rip the seams in that bleach stained dress (because I had to toss it anyway, I figured it could be my dry run).

Here's what those links didn't tell me.  If you are not a seamstress and you don't know your way around the sewing machine that is currently collecting dust in your closet; this is NOT so easy-peasy after all.

But, I was determined.

After putting in, and ripping out, pockets at least five times, the denim dress was completely ruined...BUT I thought I had the fundamentals down.

So I pulled out one of my least favorite dresses and prayed.

And I think I got it.  Currently, this dress has one pocket.  By next weekend it may have another.  But I wouldn't want anyone to get an up close look at my work (hence, no pictures).  BUT, I have a place to put my keys and my phone.  I call that a win.

Am I ready to start ripping stitches out of my favorites?  Not yet.  I need some more practice.

In the meantime, I think I might start calling alteration places to see how much it would cost to have them put in - considering how "easy-peasy" this is - to a seamstress - I think it might be doable.

And?  Kudos to those sites linked above.  You gave me the courage to rip apart my clothes.

As for you?  Yes, you CAN do it...even if you are as sewing-challenged as I am - but, like me, you need to practice, practice, practice.

August 11, 2015

Morons in the News....

I simply HAD to share this.  I heard the audio the other day while listening to a podcast of the Bob and Sheri show (LOVE them) and then when I saw the video, I was rolling on the floor.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did....

And one of my very favorite lines?

"You WILL be recognized and the people that know you, don't really like ya anyway..."

And to the offender?  "Son, they WILL find you..."

August 9, 2015

Go Set A Watchman - a review (spoilers ahead...kinda)

If the truth be told, I have been trying to craft this post for almost FOUR weeks now - I've even re-read the book nearly two more times, in an effort to figure out what I wanted to say and HOW I wanted to say it.  I wanted it to be deep and thoughtful...I wanted to explain what I was feeling on some kind of cosmic level.  With words that would speak to people.  And then I realized, I can only write the way I write and you will either get it or you won't.  So here it is - in all it's un-deepness.  I hope you know what I am trying to say.


As I told you in a previous post, I don't do book reviews for stories that I don't love.  So....

Yes, I loved it.

Did I love the fact that the hero of To Kill A Mockingbird had clay feet?  No.  If the truth be told, it broke my heart.  BUT, as DJan (and here, because she has it together enough to not only have TWO blogs, but posts regularly to both...unlike someone else I know....yes, me) so sagely pointed out in her comment on that post, he was a man of his time.

It hurts to discover that your hero - be he a real person or a beloved character - is human; with failings like any other human.

The story barely touched on the subject of the case that was central to the story in To Kill A Mockingbird - just enough to explain that Atticus Finch was a man of law - the color of a man's skin mattered not - he adhered to the letter of the law and fought for the defendant as needed.

In To Kill A Mockingbird, which is narrated by the adult Scout, the story is told from a child's recollection.  In the beginning of that book Scout was about 6 - the age when most little girls still believe that their father is a hero.  An age when they have not realized that people they love and admire are, sadly, only human and open to all the frailties of character and morality.

Go Set A Watchman, is a look back at how life was - and how far we've come.  It also serves as a reminder that no one is perfect - even if they are only a character in a book - we are all flawed in some way.

Yes, it was supposedly printed "as-is."  A rough draft, if you will.  But even so, the story is compelling; the story rips at your heart as you realize that the ONE hero you thought was above reproach is, after all, only human.  And your heart breaks a bit for Scout to only now (this much later in life than most of us), discover that her father isn't the hero that she'd always thought; but yet even so, he is a good man...a man with flaws.

The story leaves you with the impression that Scout, despite her disappointment, will forever try to make her father see the errors of his thinking.  And if she fails?  She will love him anyway.

If you can set aside the initial distaste of discovering that Atticus Finch is a mere mortal, then I would strongly suggest that you read this book.

August 7, 2015

God knows that posting here has been few and far between but....when post-worthy things happen, they happen BIG

Yesterday was a normal day, post-transition (translation?  I'm sitting on my hands waiting for others to do their magic, so I can do mine), when, by some miraculous turn of events, I actually had something to DO.  Something PRESSING!

And, of course, that is when my phone rang.  It was The Husband telling me I needed to call Man-Child and calm him down.

Apparently, last Saturday, MC offered to help his friend's parents begin renovation on their house.  (What a good, thoughtful boy).  And, in the process, he punctured his hand on a rusty nail (of COURSE he did).  They poured some peroxide over it and called it done.

Here is where I can only assume what happened in the following days....

Someone must have mentioned tetanus shots and lock-jaw to him. 

The next thing I know, MC called The Husband to inform him that he punctured his hand with a rusty nail, neglected to go to the doctor and now he is all achy (particularly in the jaw) and worried.  In an attempt to alleviate his worry he went to the Minute Clinic (since school is not in session yet, he couldn't go to the campus clinic) and was told that they don't administer tetanus shots.  From there he went to the hospital where he was told more than 72 hours after the fact is too late to get the shot.

From all this I can only surmise that MC had consulted WebMD (he had) and didn't want to call me for fear that I would freak out.  So he called his dad - who, while trying to be calming, was definitely freaking out on the inside and, apparently not doing a good job at hiding it...hence why I was called.

So I texted MC and told him to call me.  When he did I could hear the worry in his voice.  I was calm as I explained to him that, more than likely, he is fine.  That if I remembered correctly (I hoped!) he had a shot not too long ago.  And that (again, if I remembered correctly) they were good for about ten years.  In an effort to teach him to think on his feet and deal with life, I told him I was in the middle of something (I WAS) that he should call our doctor's office first and find out when his last shot was and see what they had to say.  He said he would and that he'd call me back.

After two hours had passed, I texted him to find out what was going on.  When he called he told me that they had said they would have a Physician's Assistant call him - BUT that he had a tetanus shot in 2010 and was probably fine, and even though they DO last for ten years (who knew THAT was the kind of information my brain would actually hold on to?) it would probably be a good idea to get another one anyway.

And then, him being him, he missed the PA's call and by the time he called her back it was after hours and he couldn't reach her because....he has NEVER set up his voicemail ("Because, seriously Mom, who even USES voicemail anymore?) and she had no way of leaving him a message ("Now do you see WHY you need to set up your voicemail, Son?!).  *sigh*

I told him to use Advil for the "achy-ness" and to keep his hand clean and disinfected.  When I texted the next day he was feeling MUCH better.  I told him to stay away from WebMD and that I'd see him on Saturday (it is coincidental that I had already planned to be up there this weekend anyway, but it will be nice to see for myself what is what).

I think the boy has learned a few valuable lessons from this experience...

1.  If you puncture yourself with a rusty anything; immediately get a tetanus shot.
2.  Every ten years, get a tetanus shot - whether you need it or not.
3.  Stay away from WebMD - particularly about tetanus...apparently, it's pretty gruesome stuff.