Wednesday, February 23, 2011

More Interesting

Every now and then I tell you about a web site that I like or find really interesting.  So in the ten minutes I have between now and when I have to leave for the dentist, I thought I'd share one. 

Its called stumbleupon.  Of course, I found it through my kids, which is where I find most of my interesting stuff and good music.  When you sign on, you get your choice of what you would like to be shown.  Today, I clicked on "self improvement" because lets face it, we all need some of that.  Here's what it showed me:

   Marc and Angel Hack Life - which has 25 beautifully illustrated thought questions.  Or in other words, 25 questions that make you think, with a really nifty picture as a background.  And honestly, they do make you think.  Some of the answers to the questions surprised me and really made me think.  Check it out. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Gettin' Fancy

Remember when I tried to teach you how to make bread?  If you need a review, class, you can check it out here.  Remember how I said that I would talk about adding stuff to the bread recipe to make it fancy and whatnot?  Well grab your rolling pins because today's that day!  I'll wait while you whoop and holler. 

Ok.  So the other other day I decided to make some bread.  And here I must interrupt myself to say that my bread making this year has drastically decreased from last year.  Maybe those psych meds are starting to work.  Anywho, due to the fact that I was a little weird about growing all that basil last year, I have gobs of it in my freezer (in the form of pesto) and decided to make some Pesto Parmesan bread. 

The only change to the original bread recipe is at the point where you put it in the bread pans.  So if you really care to make this, follow along until that point.  Which is right here:

At this point, I took out one of my containers of pesto, which is about 3 Tablespoons worth, and painted it on the bread.  Then, because everything is better with parmesan cheese, I sprinkled some of that on too.  And no, it wasn't the real stuff because I didn't have any.  Now, some people freeze their pesto with the cheese already in it but I saw some conflicting advice about that and decided I could add the cheese later.  After rolling up the dough and sticking it in the pan, I let it rise for about an hour or so. And then, of course, I baked it.   When cut, the bread has a swirl of pesto parmesan goodness thats even better with melty butter on it. 

Did you know that you can add pesto to soups and stews too?  Yup.  You can.  And can I say something else here?  I'm not really on psych meds. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I'm in wait mode for the contractor's bid on the bathroom. I'm guessing he won't be offering discounts based on pity either, although there should be some sort of discount for having existed with this monstrosity for as long as we have.  I was rather proud of myself though, for answering his questions fairly confidently.  I said "I want" a lot, rather than "could we?"   As in, "I want a white vanity, and something in the 62-64 inch range."  Oh, and also "I want new baseboards and white bead board paneling half way up the wall."  Really, who puts old baseboards and trim back in a newly remodeled bathroom?    The oooonly thing I had some trouble verbalizing (maybe because I'm just not sure) was whether to replace the double sinks or go with one.  I opted for two.  Basically, the bathroom will be gutted.  Amen, and amen. 

And now, prepare your eyes.  This is the before series of pictures. 

              First, the 70's wallpaper. 

And then the really dark vanity. 

I know, I know.  This doesn't look all that bad  But what you can't see is the hole in the tub thats been patched with some sort of brownish goo.  Or the fact that the drain in the tub doesn't work so you can't take a bath there.  It also doesn't show the gray floor where hairspray has accumulated and does not come off, even with scrubbing.  Or the closet doors that also have hairspray grunge all over them.  But get a load of this next picture:

Why yes, that is a Scooby Doo beach towel covering the window, thank you very much.  Its probably even better that its hanging UPSIDE DOWN! Are your retinas burning from that swag light?  It makes me sad that this was once in style.  I think the 70's was generally a time of great despair as far as decorating was concerned.  Are you wondering why the light bulbs are bare?  I'll tell you why.  Because whenever we put the glass bowl over the bulb, the bulb ceases to function.  I don't know why.  I just decided to stop fighting it and left the stupid things off.  Yes, my bathroom is like the website.  Its hideous but you can't look away.  You're just glad you don't have to live with that in your house! 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


We're just hanging around the house today, my daughter and I, because she's sick, and my employer didn't need me.  How Serendipitous.  She was almost ready to leave the house when she casually mentioned that her stomach hurt.  My poor kids.  When they mention an illness, I go into nurse mode which I did this morning.  I made her lay down (or is it lie down?  never good with that sort of thing) so I could check out her stomach for signs of appendicitis and wouldn't you know?  She has some of those signs.  So we're hanging around today waiting to see if it gets better, or gets worse. 

This bonus day off has given me an opportunity to visit some of those websites I've saved in my "favorites" list.  Maybe you'll like some of them too.

I found this one called jellotime on the list and had to click on it just to see what it was.  I was expecting a jello recipe, I guess.  I see no useful purpose in this website, but apparently my son enjoys it.  (make sure you click on the jello.)

And then, of course, there's the Sleep Talkin' Man.  Always good for a laugh.

But the best one is damn you auto correct

I'm sure I could find something more productive to do with my time. 


Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday Menus

My friend over at An Oregon Cottage lists her menu every week, like hundreds of other bloggers do on Menu Plan Monday.  So I'm giving it a shot too.  This was one of those weeks where I forced myself to go through the many recipes I've been saving to try them out and either save them or get rid of them.  In addition, I used my mom's cookbook to fill out the rest of the week.  (actually, I work 2 weeks at a time so it fills out the rest of the 14 days. ) So there's a lot of familiar comfort food. 

Monday - Vegetable Beef Barley Soup

Tuesday - Rice & Hamburger Casserole (this was my very favorite food growing up.  I think it has something to do with the potato chip topping. )

Wednesday - Creamed Chicken & Gnocchi, and Caramel apple salad

Thursday - Shepherd's Pie & Strawberry Angel Food Jello

Friday - BBQ Chicken and baked potatoes

Saturday - Beer cheese soup

Sunday - My sister's famous  Chicken & Rice, and green bean casserole

We'll see how close I come to actually following this plan.  I already know that Friday or Saturday's meal will be different because as she was leaving to go back to college, my daughter requested Steak sometime this weekend when she comes home again. Its funny what your kids request when they haven't been home in a while. 


I have an idea!  Lets yet again discuss my bathroom, its ugliness, and the need for remodeling.  Because I just love to talk a subject to death.  Actually, its going to finally happen, and not because I'm ready, because quite frankly, I've been ready for a new bathroom for a loooooong time.  Instead, we HAVE to get this bathroom done due to a toilet overflowing debacle.  Love that word, debacle.  It covers a great many events, I think.  Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, the toilet (which is on the second floor, keep in mind) overflowed for several hours during the night until it was discovered by my son who was sleeping in the basement.  Do you get the gravity of that situation?  He heard water dripping into the living room in the basement, went to the main floor to investigate where the water was coming from, and discovered water dripping from ceiling.  So he went all the way upstairs and saw that the toilet had somehow become a fountain and was spewing water all over the place.  Nice.

So today, a contractor will be coming to give us an estimate on redoing the whole thing, as insurance will pay for new floor and subfloor.  Now comes the part I dread.  Even more than paying for it, I dread picking out what I want.  Do I want dark cabinets?  Light cabinets?  Medium cabinets?  Do I want to replace the double sink with another double sink?  or a single one?  Do I replace the 72 in. vanity with a smaller size?  or go ahead and put another 72 in. vanity there? 

What kind of lights do I want?  And what colors?  I'm horrible at making decisions.  I always second guess myself and then drive myself crazy thinking about what I should have done instead. Is my incessant whining bothering you?  Because its bothering me.  I think I'm going to talk my sister into helping me with this because she has a gift for decorating.  She can look at a space and form a picture in her mind of what it should look like.  If she wasn't a nurse, she could easily have been a decorator. 

I'll post pictures of my hideous bathroom soon.  Now that its going to change, I can reveal the ghastliness that is my bathroom.  I really think this bathroom could win an award for the ugliest bathroom in America.  I am not even exaggerating. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

OK, so they were right

For once, the meteorologists were correct.  We got about 2 ft of snow last night which closed every single school in the County, plus the County building itself.  I only remember that happening one other time in my life so it must have been bad.  But God love those snow plow drivers... they had the main roads plowed by the time I had to go to work so I had no trouble at all.  The biggest problem was my own road. 

I got out of work early, because many of the patients that were scheduled for procedures today cancelled due to the weather.  So I came home and got out my knitting.  Remember that red mitten I was going to finish?  Well I ripped it all out and started a vest.  I have craft ADD.  Even as I'm knitting it, I'm not thrilled with how it looks so it'll probably be ripped out before too long too. 

The groundhog did NOT see his shadow so that means we will have an early Spring.  And to quote one of my favorite movies:

 "This is one time where television really fails to capture the true excitement of a large squirrel predicting the weather."

Happy Rest Of the Winter to you!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snowmageddon, snowzaster, whatever.

Once again, the local weather people are predicting the end of the world  a large blizzard sure to paralyze the entire midwest.  Its getting so that every storm that comes across the plains is hyped so much that I tend to tune out any predictions of dire weather.  Maybe we'll get that foot or two of snow they're predicting, but really, these meteorologists are rarely correct.  The last time they predicted a storm of this size, schools all over the area were cancelling for the next day before the storm EVER hit.  And then the next day, snow totals were minimal.  I'm looking out my front window right now and there are just a few flakes falling.  According to the radar, its been snowing here for the past two hours.  Sure.  Whatever.

Anyway, this time of year is always good for doing crafty type stuff.  Since I just finished my scarf, I'm starting a new project.  Although, goodness knows, there are plenty of unfinished projects that have been abandoned and maybe I should just go ahead and finish those. 

Here are just a few:  a scarf, a mitten (you can just see the cuff there in blue), two drawstring bags that just need the drawstrings, and a panel to a sweater I started 3 years ago. 

And here's the beginnings of another mitten.  

This is actually mitten #2.  Mitten #1 taught me a very important lesson about reading directions.  If you're a knitter, you know that every single pattern includes the words  "always check your gauge".  Turns out, those are very important words.  The mitten I knitted would have fit a giant.  I ended up giving it to my friend to fill with greenery and use as a centerpiece for a Christmas dinner.  It was really pretty though.  So I guess I'll knit this up now.  I really wanted to start a baby project for my niece using this yarn:

but I can't find the right sized circular needles.  According to the weather people, I shouldn't run to the store anytime soon so I'll guess this yarn will have to wait.

Its been a busy week so far; lots of working and extra stuff after work.  And while most of the extra stuff has been lots of fun (spending the weekend at a cabin with my coworkers, spending another evening with some high school friends), its nice to be home once in a while and do nothing. I actually kind of like the feeling of being confined to my house by a blizzard, especially when I can stay home.  But alas, I have to work tomorrow and we don't have snow days at the hospital.  Word has it that if you call in because of snow, they come and get you anyway, so there's no point in trying that excuse.  : )

One of my resolutions was to do more card-making this year and I've done a little bit of that.  This was part of a kit that made a total of 6 cards, two of each design.  Some of these cards can get really, really detailed and can take quite a bit of time to make. 

My exercise resolutions are also on track, and I'm doing pretty well with that.  I'm not thrilled that it involves getting up at 5 a.m. to do that but...

Uh oh.  My kids are now performing their snow dance.  I'm afraid this may involve sacrificing a pig or something.  I hope for their sake that this storm really hits us and they can have their snow day.