Thursday, January 31, 2013

falling down

This week was not meant to be normal.

There's the weather. All the snow melted and we reached upwards of fifty degrees. Now it has returned in full force. It's hard to say, but I think we have a fresh six inches of snow that has fallen today.

Tuesday morning, I was awakened by thunder and lightning. But it wasn't a thunder snow (as Bill and probably others call it). It was just the rain that washed away the snow.

It caused a power outage at the church. Which I didn't know about until after the fact. After the emails had been sent saying the church was closed. After the emails had been sent saying the power was back on and after the emails were sent saying there was no internet.

How do you work in today's world without internet?

Well, you either go to a coffee shop (or stay home) and work from there, or you use your cell phone (because the land lines were also down) and do what you can on your computer that doesn't require internet.

It is not easy.

I had to use a phone book to look up a phone number.

Most of the staff chose to work at home or at a coffee shop. I stayed because there were things I needed to print and thankfully we were still able to do that.

That meant that yesterday, Wednesday or blog day, was spent finishing up work that I wasn't able to get done on Tuesday.

That didn't really happen and I ended up finishing a few things today.

Since I fell behind on my weekly blogging, I thought I'd try to share a little today. Yet, there's still more to share.

And wouldn't you know, there are pictures on my camera that I also want to share. Maybe tomorrow...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Blog days on Wednesdays

I knew this would happen. I have been remiss in writing posts at any kind of regular intervals.

I have thought of several things to write, but just never wrote them.

I declare that I will make Wednesdays Blog days.

And it won't just be for writing here on my blog. It will also be to keep up with the blogs I follow, which I have also been forgetting to do.

First, it has snowed in West Michigan. We are in a vicious cycle of lake effect snow. I shoveled four times in the last two days.

Of course this doesn't bother me. As I told my neighbor, it's my exercise. I am more than happy to go out and shovel. There are just a few things worth noting.

I did all that shoveling and was not sore.
At least not until this morning when I realized I slept wrong. The good news is I'm not sore from shoveling. The bad news is I can't turn my neck.

I need long underwear.
The temperature has dipped into the single digits which means with the wind chill it's in the negative numbers. My legs are not warm enough when I'm out shoveling. To compensate, I tried pulling my leg warmers up as high as I could. Surprisingly, they reach mid-thigh! But I don't want to stretch them out, so I'm going to have to find a warmer alternative. Long underwear seems to be a good solution.

Sub-zero temperatures means our pipes freeze.
Sure enough, last night when Bill got home, he went into the powder room to wash his hands only to find that when he turned the faucets on, nothing came out. We are trying to heat the house to thaw the pipes. But since the pipes are in the basement and heat rises, this has been to no avail. In fact, it doesn't even feel like seventy degrees in here.

That had nothing to do with shoveling snow.

Neither does this; I finally made French Onion soup.

Where have you been all my life?

I enjoy cooked onions (it's raw onions that upset my tummy). And I'm very much on a soup kick right now.

If you are like me and have never tried French Onion soup, but like onions, give this a try! Here's the recipe I used. It's in her new cookbook, the one Chandra, Jason and Addison gave me for my birthday.

I used three medium onions and kept the rest of the amounts the same. Oops, except the beef broth. I used what I had left which was three cups. I don't think it ruined the soup.

It is slightly time consuming, but definitely worth the wait. And Gruyere is definitely worth it. Unless you cut your finger using the cheese slicer.

Okay, the Gruyere is still worth it.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have other blogs to go read.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Chew on this

I have an additional goal for the year. This is not meant to be gross, but I'm warning you in case you find things like this gross.

I am trying to chew my food more thoroughly.

After my food poisoning incident, or rather during, I realized how quickly I eat. I eat too quickly because I have poor chewing habits.

It's probably healthier to chew your food rather than chomp twice and swallow.

So I'm working on that. It is not easy. Mostly, when I'm home by myself, I remember to chew. When I'm out with friends, or eating dinner with Bill, I get side tracked and don't pay as close attention as I need to.

Hopefully this will become natural over time.

There's one more thing I wanted to share today.

I just wiped off the tops of my cabinet doors.


There was enough grease and dust that I was literally scraping it off.

Perhaps I need to clean up there more often.

I wipe off the drawers quite often. Every time I bake; just because flour and sugar and various other ingredients fall onto the tops of the drawers. But not the tops of the cabinets. You have to stand on a chair to reach up there.

This is another reason why flush cabinet doors are a good idea and are on my dream kitchen list.

At least they are clean again for another six years!

Monday, January 14, 2013

our chicken paprikash

I don't know where I found the recipe. When I went to cook dinner tonight, I had to look it up on Food Network. Here's the recipe that I used from their website.

It was really yummy. And very easy. I recommend it if you've never tried it before.

I decided to look it up and find the origins. It's traditionally Hungarian.

I searched for other recipes and found this one.

If you combine the two recipes, that is what we actually ate.

I used egg noodles, no green pepper (I used pepper flakes to give it some flavor), if I had any pepper I would have used a red -it's what we prefer, I diced my onions (next time I'll try the slices), and yes. It was so good we may have drank the sauce.

And sopped it up with bread.

Next time I'll try making it with tomato. I think it needed just a touch.

I was going to make French onion soup but that takes too long. We will be having that soup soon, so stay tuned for that post...

Saturday, January 12, 2013

the second pair

I remember seeing a pair of shoes (they were actually flip flops), back when I was in high school, that I really liked. I did not buy them. A few days (maybe a week or two) later, I realized I really wanted this pair of flip flops so I went back to the store to purchase them.

They were no longer there.

This was before there was internet and online shopping.

That was the first pair of shoes that got away.

The second pair was more recently.

When Bill and I were visiting his parents in Vegas, the girls went to the mall. It was the outlet mall. We started at one end and worked our way to the other. I was looking for jeans and found them for a good price.

One of the last stores we went to was Ann Taylor. I found a top on clearance plus 50% off. It was a great deal.

Peggy (Bill's sister) was scouring the shoes. She tried on a couple of pairs before settling on a pair of super cute, knee-high boots. They were half off the original price and were $90. Then it was half off that price. For $45 she couldn't turn them down.

I should have paid closer attention to the shoes.

Only as she was boxing them back up did I realize how cute they were. And for that price, a fantastic deal.

But I didn't need boots.

Now that I'm back home, far from the last pair of boots, far from the amazing price; I am really wishing I had spotted them and bought them.

So with the invention of the internet, I have been looking for that pair. They don't exist. And anything close to them are three times as much money. On sale.

What made these boots so irresistible?

For one thing, I am a woman and I love shoes.

The second and really only other reason is the style. They have a zipper all the way up and they fit through the ankles.

I have two pair of boots that I wear that would be replaced by these (if I could ever find them). My one pair is old and worn. Both souls are cracked and the insides are well past worn. But I continue to wear them because I haven't replaced them and like them so much.

The other pair of boots were purchased for my Halloween costume last year. They are cute and didn't cost a lot of money, but they do not have any support in the ankle. They do not zip at all. They were made as one-size-fits-all cankles. My apologies to any of you with cankles. These boots are cute right until you get to the bulky ankle bulge.

I have now entered a search for a pair of boots similar to the ones that Peggy bought. Unless Peggy decides she doesn't want them anymore, in which case, please send them to me!

Monday, January 7, 2013

2013 goals

I have made three goals for myself this year.

I did not make resolutions because those are made to be broken.

I have found that I keep up with goals that I set for myself. (You may remember that goal I set for myself to be able to run one mile and now I'm up to three?)

Here are my 2013 goals in no particular order:

  • light a candle every day to remember that Jesus is the light (I also said I would do this last year and once the 90 degree days hit, failed to keep up with it, but we received a fake candle as a Christmas present from Aunt Melissa and Uncle Tom, so I plan on using that when a real flame is not possible)

  • visit Meijer Gardens once a month

  • to say "I'm sorry" only when I mean it

That last one is a tough one.

I had food poisoning on Friday night (don't worry, I'm perfectly fine now) and was supposed to help out at the Old House Expo on Saturday. I didn't have Rhonda's phone number to let her know I wasn't going to make it. I wrote that email seven times before I had finally written it without an, "I'm sorry". I didn't need to apologize, I was just trying to let her know that I couldn't make it and the reason why.

We apologize too much. It's become similar to the word, "like". We say it too much. And "fiscal cliff". Can we all forget that phrase?


What are your goals or resolutions?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Christmas 2012

Here are the pictures from Christmas!

First, Christmas with Bill and Emily. It was a quiet "Christmas" day the Sunday before. We had our Big Breakfast and then we opened presents and our stockings.

We had a small exchange, mostly clothes.

Bill got season 15 of "The Simpson's" on dvd!

Next, Christmas Eve with Cyndi, Jerry, Skylar and Spencer at Mom and Dad's (and Bailey).

Spencer is really good at ripping the paper.

Skylar is really good at being goofy.

Bailey is really good at being in the middle of everything.

Skylar and Aunt Em pose for a Christmas Eve picture.

Skylar is excited about her Nutella from Aunt Em and Uncle Bill.

Uncle Bill and Spencer are good at playing.

Bill opens a gift from mom and dad.

We hope your Christmas was as joyous as ours!