Thursday, January 31, 2008

...oh and by the way? I lost half of a pound.

I'm not super excited though cuz I'm not even sure that is completely accurate. My scale has been behaving VERY innappropriately--spitting out like four different weights in a time span of two minutes--so I don't know if I really did lose a half of pound. Although I'd like to THINK so.

I registered for a totally awesome scale but then again, that means I won't get it till May...so not sure what I'm going to do.

And Crystal is begging me to go to Weight Watchers with her (starting next week) and I had originally told her yes, but now I don't know. First of all,I really can't afford to do it...not with paying for this wedding. Plus, I've been doing ok on my own, ya know? But then again I know I'll lose more/quicker if I do WW.

I'm torn...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

What a good day! I took the day off from work to go over and visit/help out my friend Crystal who had her peanut last Tuesday by C-section. I'm going to post a couple of pics--yes, I know somet people are thinking "if you've seen one itty-bitty baby, you've seen them all!"--but she is so tiny and stinkin' adorable that I just can't resist.

Gabriella (Gabby for short) is between six and seven pounds...you probably can't notice her size in the pictures where she is swaddled up like a pink burrito, but when she was half-nakey, I
couldn't believe what a peanut she is!

Wearing the hat from the hospital...the only one that really fits her teeny head.


Me, practicing. Heh heh....


Caught Gabby in the midst of a gassy "smile".


Check out her Alfalfa-sprout! LOL


Someone is not diggin' bath time! That's what you get for peeing all over yourself, girl!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My Big D is cute.

Last night I got a cavity filled (yuck with a capital "Y"!!) and the dentist had to give me two shots of Novocaine (cuz after the first shot I still felt her poking and prodding painfully into my tooth with her drill. *SHUDDER*)

After the second shot I started to feel a little funny, a little bit light-headed as I stared up at the ceiling, but I attributed it to anxiety. I get WICKED stressed out when I have dental procedures done. Not sure why. Probably the visual of this HUGE Novocaine needle spear-heading right towards my face? Perhaps.

Anyway, as I was writing out the check for my co-pay after the dentist had finished, I suddenly realized my hands were shaking so bad I could not read my own hand-writing!

I held up my right hand--which was shaking like an old lady on crack in the middle of a blizzard--and casually asked, "Excuse me, is this shaking normal?" Even though inside I was slightly freaking out. I've never seen ANY part of my body shake like that before. It was weird! Thankfully, it was just a funky side effect of the Novocaine.

I continued on my merry way home and immediately showed D how I had the shakes. At this point I thought it was kinda cool and mesmerizing to watch. (Which also momentarily made me forget that the lower left side of my face and mouth was completely numb and sagging open. At least I distracted D before he could tease me about it.)

"Oh my God! Are you okay?" He quickly asked. I explained how it's supposedly a side effect. But I kept catching him sneaking nervous, furtive glances in my direction on the couch where I huddled under my blanket, shaking away like crazy. I don't know if he expected me flop off the couch like a fish out of water, or what.

"I don't like to see you like that." D said, frowning.

And being as how I have babies on the brain nonstop, my first thought was, "Wait till you see me going through LABOR, honey." LOL I have a ton of friends with children and have heard enough stories now (as well as I was my aunt's labor coach all through her labor and delivery of my cousin, AJ...WONDERFUL experience!) so I feel like I have an idea of what to expect. But poor D, I am not so sure he knows too many specifics. Maybe it's better that way. LOL I know I can laugh about it now, but I'm afraid my Big D will pass out when that day comes. For one thing, he gets the dry-heaves over certain sights...so I wonder how he'll do with blood and other bodily secretions. (secretions...don't you just love that word?).

But my main concern is that he won't be able to handle seeing me in pain. D is very sensitive and empathetic to my pain or discomfort. I think out of any part of it, that will bother him the most. But then again, he might totally surprise me. Mmmmm....babies....Crapola...this post started out about D and morphed into 100% baby-thoughts! How the hell did that happen? I think he and I are passing the baby fever back and forth like a beach ball lately! LOL
Thoughts, opinions????

(CARSA, IF YOU ARE READING THIS please AVERT YOUR EYES...MOVE IT ALONG, MOVE IT ALONG and don't read this post as it pertains to bridesmaid gifts! LOL)...





....anyway, I'm thinking about the bridal party gifts. The sands of the wedding-hourglass just seems to be SPEEDILY falling. This stresses me out. So far, I got each girl a pair of chocolate brown flip flops from Old Navy (to match the dresses) so that way if their feet hurt at the reception they can slip these babies on.



I got myself a COOL gold-ish colored pair that I'm very excited about. (they'll be perfect at the reception when MY feet get tired of heels...as well as on the beaches of Florida, that's for sure!). Did I ever mention that I'm a flip flop-whore? I can never have ENOUGH pairs, in ENOUGH colors. I have lost count of how many I have. Although I do have to retire some this year...they're getting VERY worn. But with how cheap they are at Old Navy, I can re-stock. And since I pretty much LIVE in them all summer, it's money well-spent.

But I digress....


...My other thought was to maybe get the girls a pair of earrings to wear on the wedding day (BUT making sure that they are earrings that they can also wear after the wedding as well). My friend Sarah got her girls (I was one of them) really pretty red danglers to wear in her wedding and I love, love, love them...I wear them often and get many compliments on them. They are made by a company called 1928 Jewelry. I love their style...kind of funky, vintage-y...TOTALLY me! I checked with all the girls (trying to be sneaky of course so they didn't know WHY I was asking) to be sure they all had pierced ears, cuz I know my MOH, April, does not. She will occasionally wear clip-ons. So now I want some opinions...I don't want anything too flashy/glitzy cuz I want them to be able to wear these earrings AGAIN someday.

For my MOH, I'm thinking these...the color will match PERFECTLY the shade of blue that I want the flowers to be (doing blue, chocolate brown and cream colored flowers. Keri and Michele so graciously offered to help me make them and I'm very excited and thankful!!) not only are they clip-ons, but I don't mind getting her pair slightly different, cuz her dress is the same as the bridesmaids, and there is really no other way she stands out as the MOH.



For the rest of the girls, I'm still trying to figure out which I like the best. One of my choices are these little beauties to the left, cuz I think they would tie in both the brown AND the blue color scheme I'm going for.







However, I also like these dangling earrings below...they are all blue and a slightly different shade than the MOH's but oh-so-pretty in my opinion! I am so not sure. Oh! And here's another (below to the right) pair that has both the blue and the brown in them....I'm so confused! LOL










Any opinions are appreciated. And does this sound okay? Earrings and the sandals? I'm not really able to afford much more--I really wish I could. And now I have no idea what we should dor for the groomsmen. I keep asking D what he thinks and he is offering NOTHING, LOL. What's a good gift for a groomsman?????

Monday, January 28, 2008

What does everyone spend--approximately--on groceries each month? (and how many in your family?)

I'm currently trying to get onto some type of budget when it comes to grocery shopping. I feel like Big D and I are not so good in that department and we often times will buy stuff that we don't need/eat on a regular basis OR we'll shop on empty tummies with NO list in hand. Not good.

Now I'm not looking to be super rigid with my grocery shopping but it would be nice to have an approximation of how much we spend monthly. Going along with menu-planning which I Just started last week, this seemed like the next logical step. Especially considering that after the wedding, we want to start working on our savings account. After I have a baby, I don't plan on working full time anymore (but I will still have to work part time) so we really need to reign in the spending where we can.

Last week's shopping (Thursday) totaled about $120. I'm curious to see how long that lasts. Granted I bought a lot of ingredients that I needed to try out some new recipes...so it was not necessarily all staples. And being that up until 2 weeks ago, we ate out/had take out about 3-4 times a week, I don't have a lot of basics in the house so I'm trying to build up on that (example: boxed rice, frozen veggies etc).

So, now I'm looking for input. How much do you spend monthly for groceries? (and how many people is this feeding) And what are some suggstions you have? Do you find it useful to buy in bulk? Or not? Do you make multiple portions and freeze it? Do you freeze meats? I just want to see how everyone else is doing it these days. D and I are big on freezing meats. We got a vacuum sealer thingy for Christmas so we have been using it everytime we shop. We also have an extra freezer in the basement that we do utilize when we shop at BJ's (warehouse store).

Any input is greatly appreciated!

Sunday, January 27, 2008




Here I am, a Menu Plan Monday-Virgin. I decided last week that I wanted to start getting more organized when it comes to meal-planning (and eating!) in our house so I tried it on my own last week. It was definitely a success becuz not only did I grocery shop more efficiently (and less expensively!) but I also managed to lose a pound, cuz I wasn't eating tons of take-out or "easy dinners" which are usually super fattening. Then I found the OrgJunkie's Menu Plan Monday and realized that participating will totally expand upon my recipe box...and I'm hooked! To see what it's all about go here and check it out!

And without further adieu, here is my first week's plan:


MONDAY:
I have dentist appt. at 7:00pm so we need quick and easy for dinner! Plus soft to chew since I'll probably still be numb LOL I'm thinking some soup and/or grilled cheese sandwiches.

TUESDAY:
Easy Garlic Chicken
w/steamed peas/carrots mix and lemon herb rice

WEDNESDAY:
Shepard's Pie with Pillsbury Reduced Fat Dinner biscuits


THURSDAY:

Pizza Night

FRIDAY:
Cheeseburgers (no buns) with curly fries


SATURDAY:

Apple Butter Pork Loin (made this before and it's delicious!)
w/ baked sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli

SUNDAY:
Super Bowl Sunday...we have company coming over so I'll be putting together some appetizers. Maybe a veggie plate with dip and some chicken wings. And plenty of beer. :-)
I'm moody today.

It's still the weekend so that is completely unacceptable. I think it's partly cuz D and I were so lazy yesterday...ugh. Other than when I got up to bake cookies, Snickerdoodles, for him and my friend, April (Mini Me), who was over, we both never got our asses up off the couch.

Oh wait, I did get up to make dinner...Ham, Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Calzones. They were pretty yummy but in the future I'd change a few things. I think I'll post the recipe on my food blog next, with the changes I'd make.

Anyway, i's now Sunday morning, I could not really sleep late and I'm waiting impatiently to see if we get any snow like predicted. I also told D we gotta clean up the house today. We're having a Super Bowl party at our house next weekend and I really don't want to overwhelm myself next Saturday with cleaning. SO I figure we'll do half of it today. D is clanking about in the kitchen right now making us homemade blueberry pancakes for breakfast. He's a good egg. :-)

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Friday, January 25, 2008

My hands smell like garlic today. Does it make me a freak becuz I don't mind? Mmmmm....garic. LOL

(And no it's not some new Eu De Garlique Perfume I'm trying out---although I DO think garlic is coming out of my pores right now---I made homemade pizza last night with onions, peppers and fresh garlic! Yummo!)
Great news for me when I hopped on the scale this morning.

I LOST A POUND!!!!


I have now lost a total of three pounds and this has been over, approximately, 4 weeks. I know that's not a substantial loss or anything but if it's CONSISTENT...I'll take it!

For me to average out at a loss of approximately .75 of a pound each week is fabulous. I'm a slow-loser by nature but to lose slow means I'll most likely have a better chance of keeping it off!

I think one thing that has been helpful to me at least this past week was my meal plan. With everything planned out, I had less of a tendency to stray and start nibbling stuff I didn't need. (Except for yesterday's peanut butter cup and handful of m-n-m's. But come on people! I'm PMS'ing over here! Throw me a freakin' bone!). I plan on keeping up with a meal plan every week...I didn't specifically plan out lunches but I had leftovers a couple of times a week which was helpful. When I cook from now on, I only want enough for one portion for me, one portion for Daryl, and one extra portion for leftovers. Anymore than that just goes to waste and since I'm tightening up the wallet with the wedding spending lately, I'm looking for any way to NOT blow unnecessary money.

So...YAY ME! I'm giving myself a pat on the back this morning. :-)


Oh, and speaking of Daryl, I hopped on his blog this morning to leave him a comment on his latest post, and I was annoyed to discover that someone had FLAGGED him to Blogger as having questionable/inappropriate content! Give me a f&^%ing break! I'll admit, yes, my honey has a potty mouth but (no offense to you who do cuz I LOVE reading you girls! LOL) a lot of the blogs I frequent do LOTS more truck-driver cussin'!!! And if it's becuz he killed a mouse in our bathroom...again...GIVE ME A F&^$ING BREAK!!! Report us to freakin' PETA then for Christ sakes! It was three in the morning and Daryl spent twenty minutes chasing a teeny, tiny field mouse around in a bathroom the size of a small closet. You do what you have to do. To each his own. If you don't like it, THEN DON'T READ HIS GOD DAMNED BLOG!!! He's not drowning puppy dogs, or beating his wife, or robbing banks...he's a sweet, gentle kind-hearted man who loves people and animals alike so GET OVER IT!

Side note: I'm totally just venting here...I know none of you peeps are the ones who reported his blog. It just freakin' irritates me. I wish other people would take the TREE-SIZED sticks out of their uptight asses! There, report me. I have potty mouth too.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

You know, some days the stars just align and a little unexpected spot of GOODNESS can brighten up your morning/afternoon...



...yes, I found a Reese's Peanut Butter cup in my desk drawer.



Aaaahhhhh....Heaven.
Okay this is pretty much ME in a nutshell. Or, er...wait...this is me in a donut hole...there, that's better...

You Are a Caramel Crunch Donut

You're a complex creature, and you're guilty of complicating things for fun.
You've been known to sit around pondering the meaning of life...
Or at times, pondering the meaning of your doughnut.
To frost or not to frost? To fill or not to fill? These are your eternal questions.

This morning I played "Mommy".


My friend, Crystal, just had her baby by C-section this week...Tuesday at 12:56pm! A beautiful baby girl, named Gabriella Catherine, who weighed 6.11 lbs and is 18 1/2 inches long.



Knowing ahead of time when she was going to have the baby, Crystal asked me last week if I would PLEASE, PLEASE do her a huge favor. She has two other kids at home: her eight year old daughter, Madison and her nine year old step-son Jacob. Her hubby has to leave for work at 6:30am every morning and Crystal's mom was already taking care of the kids the other days while Crystal is in the hospital (she comes home Saturday) but absolutely could NOT do today. SO she asked me if I would. Being the good friend I am, I agreed. :-)

I had to get up early (5:00am UGH!) so that I'd have enough time to get ready myself since I have to be in work for 9:15am. I stopped at Dunkin Donuts for a coffee and a bagel and showed up on their doorstep around 6:10am. Crys's hubby left at 6:30am and I had about fifteen blissful minutes of peaceful reading before I had to start getting the kids up.

It was hilarious cuz Crystal left me a list and one of the top things it said was that Madison had to be woken up at 6:45am (even though Jacob not till 7am) because she takes SO LONG to get up and start getting ready. She dilly-dallies! Big time! I had to feed them, have them make beds, get dressed and ready (had to do Madison's ponytail for her) and have them read for 20 minutes. They were actually VERY good and only had to be steered back on course once or twice. I know the disruption in their schedules is probably a pain in the hiney...but all in all it went well.

Now I'm ready for a nap! That coffee did NOTHING to wake me up! I feel like the day should be at least half over...and it's only ten of ten in the morning. lol

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Who you gonna call? MOUSE-BUSTERS!!

Okay...I know Daryl already blogged about this but I can't resist. For his full PERSONAL account, read it here. Otherwise, here is my witness-version.

At three a.m. I woke up when I heard Big D go into the bathroom...I think I drifted off again but when he quietly crawled back into bed, I thought, Hmmmm, I could pee too...

So off I go to the bathroom.

"What are you doing?" Daryl asked.

"Uh, I gotta pee." I said, thinking DUH, what else would I be doing at three in the morning?

"Whatever you do, don't lift up that book."

I walked into the bathroom and saw Daryl's huge 700-page Refrigeration & A/C book (his stimulating bathroom reading material) laying flat on the floor in front of a tall wooden stand that I keep jewelry, vitamins etc. in...and the rug in front of the tub thrown back.

"Why not?" I asked.

"Because there is a mouse in there...a little field mouse, trapped under that stand. I'm going to take care of it in the morning. I just sprayed it with Lysol."

While trying to puzzle that one out (did he plan on lulling the mouse into a Lemon-scented submission?) I squeaked out, "What? A real live mouse?" And then quickly stepped back into the hallway, off the bathroom floor.

"Yeah, you'd think your stupid cats would have taken care of it! What good are three cats if NONE of them catch a stupid little mouse?"

I had to pee regardless, so I quickly did my business, keeping my eyes on the book, waiting to see if Mighty Mouse managed to move the book at all and make his grand entrance. Nothing.

Back in bed, we continued our discussion of the uselessness of our felines in the mouse-catching department.

"Do you think it will escape?" I asked uncertainly.

"I can't go back to sleep anyway. I'll go catch it now."

The following is my account, as a listening bystander, on the other side of the bathroom/bedroom wall:

"I'm going in!" And the click of the bathroom door behind Daryl. (FYI: My bathroom is teeny-tiny.)

Shuffle, Shuffle.

"Come on out, Mousey-Mousey."

SHHHHHHHHHHHHTTTTTTTTTT (that must have been the spray of more Lysol to flush him out).

"You little mother-f*&%#! This thing moves fast!"

Crash, Bang.


"No! Get over here you son-of-a---"

Shuffle, shuffle.

"Ok, I tried to be nice but that's not working. How about some reading, a heavy refrigeration book?"

CRASH!


Silence.

"HA!"

The bathroom door opened and Daryl hustled by, carrying a bunch of rolled up towel in his hands. I heard the front door open, then close. Then Daryl was back in the bathroom.

"Please," I begged, "Don't forget to wash your hands!" I was picturing disgusting mouse germs.

Suddenly, Daryl jumped in the doorway, still dressed only in his black boxer-briefs, black work gloves and a smile and he sang loudly,

"When there's something strange, in your battttthhhhhrroooooooom...who ya gonna call? MOUSE-BUSTERS!"

Yep. He's my Hero.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Okay the time has come....25 more random (useless?) facts about yours truly:


26. I need to lick the cheese/coating off of my Doritos before eating them. I lick the salt off of potato chips and bite each individual speck of salt off of pretzels before eating the whole piece. I'm....special that way.

27. On my first date with Daryl I was talking about how flexible I was from 12+ years of dance lessons to which he told me to "Prove it". I put my foot behind my head, in the passenger seat of his truck. "TA-DA!" I cried. His eyes widened and he told me later that his first thought to himself was, I think I'm in love.

28. I remember the first time that it really dawned on me that I had boobies. Fifth grade. The a male classmate asked me to pull my shirt down tight against my chest, with no explanation. Like a naive little knucklehead, I did it. And then on recess, if you were wearing white shirts, they chased you around with cups of water to throw over your head. I had my "A-ha!" moment when my white shirt got wet. LOL

29. When I was 19 or 20, I walked in on my parents having sex. I was immediately scarred for life.

30. I love to wear the color brown. I think I'm a neutral girl...earthy colors look best on me. Then again, I can pull off a nice jewel blue tone or red as well!

31. I love boots. Always being a tall girl, I never wore heels growing up cuz it sucked to be taller than the boys. This insecurity stuck with me into adulthood. But when my love for boots began quite a few years back, I stopped caring about towering over men and started flaunting my stuff!

32. I do not remember my first time having sex! Crazy, huh? I do, however, vividly remember the time I almost had sex for the first time---and chickened out!

33. I am a PACK RAT. I can't part with anything...pictures, mementos...I have every note exchanged throughout my years of high school kept for safe keeping in a binder or two. A stuffed animal I got as a five year old. I save messages on my answering machine of my mom, Daryl's mom, our grandparents...just to save their voices forever. I have a hard time seeing "garbage" in things and often want to keep items that should have been thrown away years ago. Daryl has been great about trying to help me break this habit. He told me that if i haven't used something in six months, chuck it. Great motto...I can't abide by it for EVERYTHING of course...even throwing away things like old lotions and makeup? Difficult for me to do!

34. I might have said this before but...I LOVE TO BAKE. Sometimes I can bake 3-4 times during the weekend...and not get tired of it! I love to bake and then feed my delectable treasures to Daryl, his coworkers, my coworkers, whoever wants to eat them. This is NOT a helpful thing when I'm trying to diet/get in shape. *SIGH*

35. I keep a little notebook in my purse that I write down potential baby names in. Daryl and I have already decided on a boy's name we love (and I'm not even preggo yet! LOL) but we're still stumped on girls names.

36. CLINIQUE'S Tenderheart lipstick is my all time favorite lipstick. EVER. I'll be wearing it when my boobs hang down to my knees and my face is a mass of wrinkles.

37. I wish I was better at photography. Sometimes I take the shittiest photos! I either manage to chop off heads (or other valuable body parts) or it's blurry or too dark or too light...

38. I have to have at least ONE piece of furniture (minimum!) in my home kitty-cornered against two walls. Why? I don't know. Blame my mother. The Queen of Kitty-Cornering furniture.

39. Growing up, my favorite summer time lunch was fresh tomatoes from our family garden sprinkled with salt, followed by ice cream sandwiches. I always thought my mom was the coolest for letting us eat "fun" meals like this some times. To this day, biting into a garden-fresh tomato makes me relive childhood.

40. I constantly crack my knuckles. And my toes. And by back. And my neck. And my elbows. I'm a cracking-machine.

41. I can still put my foot behind my head. :-)

42. I am extremely patriotic. I love July 4th and wearing red, white and blue, and thinking of all the men & women in the armed forces who protect and serve our country! Hearing people "Pledge Allegiance to the Flag" or hearing our national anthem usually causes me to well up. I always cry during EVERY/ANY war movie I watch. I'm proud of my father and both grandfathers for serving their country!!

43. I can't sleep when it's sunny out...which means I'm unable to nap. I've been so exhausted sometimes that I feel like dropping (especially if I was home sick from work) and still, my body fights off sleep. It's a curse!

44. I have a monstrous appetite for books. I've always been a voracious reader but there are certain times in my life when I slacked off. Thankfully I'm back in reading mode. I've probably read 5 books in the past month, two months tops. I can't stop!

45. I worry often about dying young, and/or getting cancer. (despite the fact that I always have a clean bill of health at the doctors)

46. Growing up, my mom always let me and my brother Sean lick the mixer whisks or mixing spoons when she made cookies, brownies, cupcakes...and now I find myself constantly trying to get Daryl to lick the spoons after I bake something. It's almost an obsession. LOl

47. I have had ONE one-night-stand right before I met my D. I hated it and the anonymity of this person not knowing my favorite color, or favorite food or favorite position, for god sakes--not knowing ME. It was totally and completely awkward and early in the morning, I whispered that I was leaving and slunk out of this guy's condo, feeling like a slug.

48. I'm not a very religious person. I don't go to church or pray. But I do believe in God--maybe not on the same level as other people. And yet on some of the most beautiful days when I'm quiet and contemplative and peaceful, I thank Him for my life.

49. I used to have a masturbating cockatiel (I feel horrible now typing this right after my post about God! LOL). Her name was Cinnamon. She would rub her--ahem--lower half on the rope toy she sat on and make THE MOST hilarious sounds I've ever heard a bird make before. Kind of breathy chirps...And like voyeur's, my mom and I would watch, listen and giggle. Cinnamon didn't seem to mind.

50. I am a walking-accident. I constantly trip, fall, scratch, cut, bruise or somehow injure myself on a regular basis. I used to have nice legs. I say "used to" becuz now they are covered with cuts, scars, bruises, you name it. Daryl has gotten so used to me walking into walls, stubbing my toe (I do this at least once every weekend), banging my shin etc. that he often times forgets to ask now, "Are you okay?"

Unfortunately, Frosty suffered a serious head injury...he will be out of commission---oh, say, for about ten months??---for some time...(anyone know how to get dried candle wax off a velvety-feeling shower curtain?? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?)

Monday, January 21, 2008

I have to start having a meal plan each week so that I don't have to rely on (1) pasta every night or (2) take out every night. Obviously neither will help me lose weight! (although my pasta is at least wheat pasta! LOL)

Do you guys do any type of meal plan? If so, do you find it helpful? Does it change often? Meaning, if you plan do you definitely stick with that plan...or do you sometimes stray depending on a mood you are in? I hate that I work till 6pm and don't get home till 6:30pm cuz often times I'm just to tired to cook anything elaborate. I know crock pot meals are a god-send for some but I honestly don't see myself doing them maybe more than once or a twice a week (on the weekend, yes...but all that prep cutting into my regular weekday morning routine would mean I'd have to get up earlier. Ugh!)

So, I'm on the hunt now for "easy" (i.e. less time consuming but still tasty and healthy) recipes to try out.

For this week I think I will do:

Monday: wheat pasta with tomato sauce and steamed broccoli, reduced fat Pillsbury biscuits

Tuesday: Meatloaf with mashed potatoes and corn (There is a delicious Cooking Light recipe out there, but with meat loaf I always just wing it.)

Wednesday: Might turn out to be Pizza Night

Thursday: Chicken Breasts stuffed with Pesto Butter (I found the recipe on a blog...when I remember WHERE I will link it!)

Friday: Homemade Nachos (made with 99% fat free turkey chili, reduced fat refried beans, scallions, and 2% cheddar...with a dollop of Daisy Light Sour Cream on top...I love this when I'm craving "bad" but don't want to cross completely over to the dark side! LOL And Friday's are kind of like fun-food days in my house.)

Saturday: Crock Pot dish...still trying to figure out what though...I'll keep you posted!

Sunday: Ham, Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Calzones, hope it tastes as good as it sounds! This one is from Cookinglight.com
What a crazy weekend!

Friday night was blessedly quiet...I made Shepard's pie for D and I for dinner and we watched a movie while relaxing. D was starting to come down with a cold and just wasn't feeling up to par. Saturday morning, he woke up with a full-blown nasty cold and to make matters worse, he was heading to work early. I felt guilty as I got to stay in bed, cuddled up to the doggies, when he left. During the day I made my favorite Death by Chocolate (fyi: I substitued crushed up peanut butter cups and butterfinger instead of heath bar and it was the BOMB!), to bring over to his friend Jason's that night where we were going to watch the UFC fights. We left Jason's somewhere between midnight and one and headed home on Route 4, which brought us through Farmington. As we were driving along this busy road, a car started to enter onto the road from a side road and we thought at first he was gonna cut us off and Daryl said, "This guy better not pull out in front of us!", but then the driver seemed to come to his senses and slammed on his brakes. We continued on, and I sleepily gazed out the window.

Suddenly, Daryl said loudly, "Whoa! This guy behind us must be cocked! He just rode completely up onto the curb and then back into the road!"

"Just stay far ahead of him, if you can." I begged. "I hate sharing the road with drunk people!" About a minute or two later, after hearing Daryl swear, I looked in my passenger rear view mirror and see headlights speeding up on us.

"What the hell is this guy doing?" Daryl asked angrily. "He's riding my ass!" So Daryl tapped his brakes and behind us, the crazy driver AGAIN slammed on his brakes to keep from hitting us, he was that close.

"What a f*$#ing asshole!" Next thing I know, the crazy driver in the blue Passat puts on a huge burst of speed and crosses the double line to pass us, with oncoming traffic right up ahead.

"He's gonna kill someone!" I cried and threw up my hands whether to block the vision from my sight, or to brace myself who knows, I was acting on instinct. Finally, Daryl had to swerve the car to the right, cuz it was literally only about a breathe away and D would be DAMNED if this jerk was going to hit us. The oncoming traffic, two cars, also swerved out of the way and then kept going.

And this is when it starts to go from bad to worse.

The kid in the blue Passat purposefully slammed his brakes on in front of us, causing Daryl to do the same so as not to hit him. I won't repeat the choice words coming out of D's mouth but I knew it was going to be bad. He was like a bull in a blind rage.

The kid jumped out of his Passat, throwing up his hands and in his probably toughest sounding voice shouted out, "What?! What?! You wanna go???"...and if I had not been so hopped up on adrenaline--shaking like a leaf from the near accident and the drama that might possibly enfold if I didn't stop it--I would have laughed. This kid, no doubt not much older than a high schooler, looked like someone who'd stepped out of Abercrombie and Fitch, and probably weighed all of about 160 lbs. soaking wet. My D, on the other hand, at 5'10 and weighing over two hundred pounds, with muscles in his arms bigger than this kid's head, was going to kill him.

D swung his door open, as the kid got closer, and they were shouting at each other and I knew I needed to get D to simmer down and not step out of that vehicle.

Later, Daryl told me I had grabbed a fistful of his coat, trying to hold him back but honestly I don't remember. I just looked at him and practically begged him in what I hoped was a calming voice, "Honey, please don't get out of this car. You will regret it. Think about things. You have too much to lose to get out and beat the shit out of this punk! If anything, please listen, do it FOR ME!!" Simultaneously while I was talking, I was already dialing 911 on my cell phone.

"Get the f*%$# away from our vehicle you little asshole!" I screamed and held up the cell. "I"m calling the cops!" The kid's face dropped and in an almost childlike voice he asked, "What? You really called the cops? Shit!" And before we could even blink, his little Abercrombie-ass was back in the Passat and speeding away in a tiny blur of tail lights. Daryl slammed his door shut and we started driving again. I gave the 911 operator all the information including license plate and make and model of the punk's car, and told him in what probably sounded like a spazzed voice (I was still shaking like a leaf, it was crazy!) "That kid is going to kill someone! He really is!" As I ended the call, we spotted a flash of blue lights up ahead and Daryl said, "Oh my God!I think they caught him already!"

Sure enough, we drove by that stupid little Passat as one, then two cops had pulled up a third was arriving. Finally! Cops are there when you need them!! By the time we got home, poor D was feeling so sick from his cold, and still wired, that he couldn't go to sleep. He thanked me also, for trying to keep him calm and not letting him get out of the vehicle, cuz he said if it wasn't for me doing that, he would have beaten the crap out of that kid.

Sunday, poor sick D had to go work on a friend's mother's furnace and I figured I do something to cheer him up, so I decided to make Chocolate Chip Oatmeal cookies. I spent most of the morning baking in my bathrobe, totally enjoying the peace and quiet when suddenly I thought to myself, "I should put some clothes on. What if someone were to knock on the door?" Ten minutes after sliding into my sweat pants and tee shirt, there is a quick knock on the door. Creepy, right? LOL

I opened the door to my neighbor (who lives behind us) B, who is a state cop. He had on his track pants and a teeshirt with NO COAT which I thought was weird, considering how cold it was outside, and he had no vehicle parked nearby. A little backround on B...he is dating A, who is a local town cop (not my town) and who lives wiht him. Since meeting them both, about two years ago, they have broken up (including breaking an engagement) at least 2 or 3 times. About a month ago, B told us that it was over and for good this time but that A had no money to move out. So he offered to front her $3,000 to get out...if you knew them and the situation, you'd understand that him essentially "paying" her to move out, was necessary. She is crazy.

So, two months go by and A is still living there. B is at his wit's end and told us he might have to legally evict her because she won't leave. He was trying to avoid any public way of doing it since they are both police officers and who knows how it would affect their jobs. Meanwhile, A was making B's life hell, screaming at him 24 hours a day and not letting anything just GO.

Now here it was Sunday, and B showed up on my door and said that A had taken his coat (which had his wallet in it) and his keys and he could not drive away. She did this everytimne they fought and he wanted to leave. Sometimes she would even physically try to restrain him. Thankfully that hadn't happened on Sunday. I told B he could borrow the truck, and I got him a sweatshirt of Daryl's to wear. In the meantime he called A, and I could hear her shrilly screaming into the phone telling him to come back over to "talk" and not to tell me or D ANYTHING. Talk about nutty! After B left with my truck, my cell rang and I quickly answered it thinking it might be Daryl. It was A!

"Where's Brian?" She demanded.

"He's not here. I just let him borrow the truck."

"You shouldn't have done that. He's an asshole."

"Um, well, A, I felt bad cuz it's cold out and he didn't have a coat on."

"He's a f$@#ing jerk who always runs instead of staying to talk....blah, blah, blah..." She snapped.

"Well, I think he'll be back soon?" I volunteered, knowing it was not true.

"No he's not, he told me he wasn't coming back. What did he tell you? What do you know?! Is Daryl home?" She demanded.

"Uh, not much, A." I stuttered. "just that you guys are fighting and he had to leave. I didn't ask any questions. Daryl is not home, he is cleaning out a furnace." Meanwhile in my head, I have this crazy visual in my head of her storming into my house, long hair flying erraticaly about her head and a murderous gleam in her eye, brandishing a butcher knife or something. My imagination has a tendency to run wild sometimes. I managed to get off the phone with her, double checked the lock on the doors and called Daryl to tell him about Crazy-A, as I now refer to her. After D came home, and B brought back the truck, he asked if I could bring him to his Dad's house and he asked us if we could please keep an eye on th ehouse cuz if A left, he needed to try to get in to retrieve his work clothes and guns (again just a reminder...he is a cop, not some crazy gun-wielding ex-BF. LOL).

About four or five p.m. Daryl realized that Crazy-A had left hte house so dressed only his boxers, a teeshirt and some work boots he'd slid into, he hopped our back fence, while calling B from the cell, and went to see if A left the door unlocked so B could get in. B told Daryl to go in the house and wait for him, he was on the way, but Daryl--picturing Crazy-A coming home and pistol-whipping him with the butt of her revolver--decided to wait outside. I brought him some jeans and a coat, so neighbors wouldn't see a half-naked man peering guiltily into the cops house. Like thieves, they quickly stole into the house, quickly gathered up B's clothes and stuff, and left. Mind you, this is B's house! But now he will have to work on evicting Crazy-A (if she still won't leave) and in the meantime he is not staying at his own home.

What a weekend, people! Anyway, we ended off Sunday on a good (quiet!) note watching lots 'o football in our pj's, D medicating himself with Dayquil, cough drops and a plethora of tissues, and me making us dinner in the crock pot. I tried a new yummy recipe, Slow Cooker Tex-Mex Chicken which is posted on my food blog if you want to try it, and I served it over Rice a Roni Whole Grain Spanish rice, with homemade cornbread on the side. Delish! And perfect, somewhat healthy, comfort food!

Friday, January 18, 2008

So I'm kind of bummed out by the fact that one of my uncles is not going to be going to my wedding cuz he had already planned a vacation w/his future wife.

Before you think that I am assuming my wedding is as important to everyone else as it is to me--let me explain that I realize people have lives outside of the wedding. ;-) That is understandable. But let me explain why I'm so down. (sorry, long post of memories to follow)

I am not close with my father's side of the family. This started a little bit before my father passed away. My grandmother (Dad's mom) died when I was thirteen and since then my father and his siblings (two sisters and two brothers) took care of my grandfather, Pop-Pop. My Pop-Pop had never really cooked for himself or wrote the checks out for bills or grocery shopped or any of that...my grandmother did it all. So to suddenly not have her in his life was extremely difficult...it was more than just the emotional blow of losing his wife (which was hard enough). So the kids had to take care of Pop-Pop. The oldest sibling of my Dad's, my Aunt Karen, and my father were both in charge of Pop-Pop's finances. But they didn't always see eye-to-eye. My father never liked to "rock the boat" though so he would often times not tell her what he felt about my grandfather's finances and care. So my mom became more involved in that aspect. My mother had always been closer to my Dad's parents than her own. They treated her like one of their own daughters and not a daughter-in-law. When we'd go over for a visit, without fail Pop-Pop would jump up and put the tea kettle on and make my mom a cup of tea. It was his ritual. And my mom would often call him at home to check up on him and chat, or she would go with my Dad to visit Pop-Pop. But then about a year before my father died, things started to go bad. Long story short, some of Pop-Pop's children (my Dad included) felt it was time to move my grandfather into an apartment closer to one of his children becuz the neighborhood he lived in (that his children grew up in) was no longer a nice place to live. And the families that were renting out the other half of the second family house were getting worse and worse. Pop-Pop agreed that it was for the best to move.

Then came the dream. He had a dream that my grandmother, my Nana, came to him and cried that he could not leave the house they'd lived their whole marriage in, the house they'd raised their children in. After that, he was adamant he did not want to move. Problem was, the process was already in motion. Stress built, words were exchanged and taken out of context, and next thing you know, my aunt Karen is putting all the blame on my mother--that they never would have tried to move him if she hadn't pushed it. This is NOT how it all went down but regardless, my grandfather started to resent his most favorite daughter-in-law.

Then my father died in 2001. I did not like the way the rest of his family was treating my mother, so I didn't go out of my way to see them...EXCEPT for my Pop-Pop. He was not a healthy man, I knew he didn't have long to live. And besides, he was my only link to my Dad. He looked like him, hugging him felt a lot like hugging my father, it just felt right. ANd being an adult, I had come to appreciate my grandparents more than I did as a child. I regretted not having more time to spend with my two deceased grandparents and I vowed to make the time I had left with Pop-Pop, memorable. I showed up evenings or Saturday mornings and brought him coffee and cookies. I listend to his tales (that I'd heard so many times before but never really listened)of his time spent in the army, his fishing trips, his poetry. I bonded in a way with Pop-Pop, in his last year of life, that I will always appreciated. As he progressively got worst health-wise, my aunts moved a hospital bed into the living room and propped up in that bed, he watched his favorite Jeapardy and Wheel of Fortune, listened to his classical music, all while hooked up to his oxygen tank. I came over one night to "babysit" so that my other aunt who lived there could get out for a bit. Pop-Pop was a smoker. And as his health worsened he would puff on his cigs and then quickly put them out and hide the half-smoked butts unders the living room couch. My aunt was always quick to yell at him. But she finally relented and said, "He's dying anyway. WHy should I take away one of his only pleasures?" So when the oxygen tanks came in, she would wheel him out to the back door where he would take a couple, wheezy puffs on his cig before being put back to bed. SO the night I took care of him, it came time for his cigarette. As I lifted Pop-Pop's frail, skin-and-bones body (much taller than my own but so much lighter) from the bed and into the wheelchair, he swore not in anger but sorrow.

"God damn it, I never thought my grandchild would have to take care of me this way. I feel like an invalid."

"Don't worry about it, Pop-Pop. I do it because I love you." I told him. And then the night before he died, I was there...at this point he was no longer able to speak, he was no longer able to sit up in bed, or pretty much do anything but fade in and out. Thankfully while I was there, he was awake at one point. I remember holding his hand, squeezing it to show that even though he couldn't squeeze back, I knew that he knew I was there. I gazed so deep into his brown eyes, and I told him, "I love you, Pop-Pop." Have you ever had anyone tell you, with their eyes alone, that they loved you back? He blinked and just stared back at me, in that moment I knew he was aware and I knew he heard me and that he loved me too. I cried for him, for his life ending, for the similairty of first watching my father die and then my grandfather wihtin a yera later. But on a deeper level, I cried becuase I knew that when my grandfather died, it was as if my father's whole family died along with him. I felt like that flame was forever extinguished.

Pop-Pop passed away the next day.

When a family member dies, often times the worst seems to come out of the remaining family members. Like a vulture, my Aunt Karen swooped in and immediately started to take, take, take. And when the house was sold and the money was being divided up, the portion that would have been my fathers's had he been alive---the portion that my grandfather had stated long ago that if something happened to his child, then his grandchildren would receive---well that portion of money never came to me or my brother. It's not about the money. It wasn't even a lot of money. IT was the fact that, to me, it felt like my father's family excluded us, as if my Dad had not existed, had not married the woman he so deeply loved, had not fathered two children he held dear--had not created an addition to their family! MY family was cut out and cast aside like yesterday's dirty laundry. I had nothing physcial (other than my own pictures) to remember my father's parents by. No mementos, no fishing trophies, no coffee mugs, no photos of his time spent in the army, NOTHING. I felt like it was all gone forever. The Smith family flame puffed out in one final breathe.

Years have passed. My anger and bitterness have definitely faded away a bit. I talk to my Aunt Kathy (not the vulture) about once every 3-4 months. I don't see her much becuz she is an alcoholic and when she is drunk and talking to me, she immediatley starts in on the past and mistakes she feels my mother (and father) have made. I love her, but I will not tolerate anyone speaking ill of my parents. I think unconciously she has become aware of that and her rants have died off. Now we're planning a wedding and she asked me about a year ago, "I hope you are going to invite us all."

I have to admit, at first, I was not going to. I still felt betrayed. But it dawned on me that this family, they were a link to a part of my father's life that I could learn from.

Cut to the present...teh day before yesterday, when I find out my Dad's youngest brother, my Uncle Kenny, will not be coming to the wedding cuz of his vacation. I acted like it was no big deal but yesterday it festered. I was hurt. Why? I haven't seen or spoken to this man in years? Why does it hurt so badly that he won't be there? I know one reason, one super silly reason...I had once before told Daryl that my Uncle Kenny's voice sounded a lot like my father's. I think I wanted Daryl to hear that voice, and kind of take away a little piece of my father. And my father's family. I would have loved for Daryl to meet my Dad. I would have loved for my Daddy to meet Daryl. I know they would have gotten along so perfectly; they are like two peas in a pod, in so many ways. I guess I need to not let this bother me so much. I can still let my father live on through me...I can still let Daryl learn about him, through me.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ugh. Note to self: NEVER, EVER, EVER again take the recommended dose (2 pills) of Sudafed Sinus PM.

Unless I WANT to be in a drug-induced haze for the next 24 hours. (And I'm not lying. It's so bad that I can't seem to properly formulate my thoughts today...and I have trouble spitting out specific words. Last night about a half hour or so after taking it, my mouth was slack, hanging open, and I felt like a full-blown zombie. Today I'm still 50% zombie.)

I want my bed.
Can someone PLEASE tell me why all Dunkin Donuts employees are so stupid/ignorant/rude (feel free to insert any other adjective here!) no matter where I go?

Me ordering (in a slow, clear voice) at the drive thru: "Hi I'd like a large tea with skim milk and one splenda, please."

DD Dumbass: "That's a large coffee with milk and splenda?"

Me, rolling my eyes: "No, I said...LARGE TEA...with skim milk and one splenda."

DD Dumbass:
"Oh sorry. Drive up."

Me, thinking in agitation:
Why do they have a sign asking to please be courteous and have your money ready if they never tell you the damn total?

Me, at the drive thru window seeing the confused looking employee try to hand me a medium:
"No, that is supposed to be a LARGE TEA w/ skim milk and one splenda."

(At this point in time I vaguely hear voices in my head--yes, I hear voices: "I'd like a liter of cola." "Sir, we don't have a liter of cola." LOL God, I love that movie.)

SO anyway, the kid, looking decidedly irritated with me (why? HE is the one who screwed up my order to begin with!) turns his back on me and blocks my view into the window but I was pretty sure he dumps my medium into a large and add more water.

Gee, thanks.

I take my tea and politely say, using the manners my father taught me long, long ago:
"Thank you so much."

DD Dumbass: "Yeah." And he starts to turn away.

"And thank you, I will have a great day!" I retort sarcastically and drive off.

All for the love of caffeine. *SIGH*

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Shoot! I just realized I forgot to post a recipe I promised I'd post. Sorry, Melissa, and to anyone else who wanted it!

Weight Watchers Chicken Pot Pie*
*with my changes/additions listed through out the recipe

Ingredients:

1 ½ lbs. chicken, cooked and cut into cubes

1 package frozen peas, thawed
1 package frozen corn, thawed
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup low fat sour cream
1 box of Chicken Flavor Stove Top STuffing
*I also added in some red potatoes, personal preference. Yum!

Directions:

Boil one and half pounds chicken; when cooked, cut into one inch cubes.

While boiling chicken, defrost one package frozen peas and corn. Also peel and chop two carrots. Boil red potatoes (leaving skin on) until tender.

Mix chicken with one can condensed cream of chicken soup and one cup low fat sour cream. *For future reference, I am going to play around with this amount and possibly add in more soup and/or sour cream...I felt it could have been...mushier...for lack of a good cooking term. Throw in vegetables. Mix. *Also, next time I will add in more seasonings...I only did salt and pepper and I felt it could have used a little more bang.
Put mixture in 13x9 pan.

Prepare Stove Top Stuffing and then put on top of casserole.

Bake at 400 degrees for thirty minutes. Enjoy!

All in all, I felt this was a great base-recipe. Play around with it to suit you and your family's needs. Yummy! (Next time I might try putting a reduced fat Bisquick topping over the top of the casserole as a crust, instead of stuffing. Although the stuffing was darn tasty. LOL)


I have nothing exciting--or even remotely interesting--to blog about today.

I am bored out of my skull. Wishing I was home doing the insane mountain of dirty laundry on my basement floor. OR even those gross crusty dirty dishes leftover from dinner last night. Or even better, vacuuming my brand new carpet for like the 3rd or 4th time this week.

So, instead of all that, I'll post a picture I took with my cell on Monday morning, from my living room window. Aaaaaahhhhhh....snow. I wish it had made more of an impression. A couple of inches is just NOT enough (whoa--do I sound like a SIZE QUEEN or what???)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I just can't stand it anymore. I am Queen of the Headaches...and I'm tired of it.

I have had lots 'o headaches for quite a few months now (possibly 6+??) and I'm still trying to get to the bottom of it.

Possible causes:
1. I'm a teeth grinder/smasher/clencher in my sleep. I can't seem to stop doing it...I don't know if it's stress related or what? I can't really afford the mouth piece from a dentist and I won't even bother spending my money on an over the counter piece becuz I obviously don't like things in my mouth while I sleep. When I used to wear a retainer, that sucker never stayed in my mouth long. As soon as I fell asleep, I think I pitched it across the room. I'd find it halfway in the hallways or buried in dust bunnies under the bed. I have a dentist appointment this week so I'll broach the subject with them. Again.
2. Vision problems. I'm having more and more problems lately with seeing stuff far away. The first thing I noticed was while driving on the highway, I can't see signs (unless they are right up on top of me). And when I'm standing at the deli counter, I gotta get up REALLY close in order to see the lunch meat labels. It's frustrating! My mom is far-sighted and my dad was near-sighted, so I guess it was only a matter of time before this became an issue for me. I have an appointment with an eye doctor next month so we will see how that goes!
3. Dryness in my house. I have NO IDEA if this can cause headaches but it's wicked dry in my home and I wake up every morning with what feels like a mouth full of cotton and a dry/sore throat. I usually have to guzzle a gallon of water to feel "normal" again. I already told D we need to get a humidifier. STAT.
4. Caffeine. I really don't consume much caffeine but I would say maybe a cup a day (tea or coffee or hot chocolate). It never used to give me a head ache before, but who knows if my body has changed? But I refuse to completely give it up.

So that is my tale of whoa. I know everyone around me is tired of hearing me whine about it. And I'm sure ADVIL has most likely burned a hole in my stomach by now. I should have bought STOCK in the stuff.

I just want to throw on an eye mask, turn off all the lights, and curl up under a blanket till it goes away. Since I'm at work, that obviously is not an option. Maybe I can huddle under my desk????

Monday, January 14, 2008

I had a wedding dream/nightmare last night.

It wasn't the first; I'm sure it won't be the last either. I call it a nightmare becuz of the intense anxiety I feel upon waking from these dreams until I realize, "Duh, it's just a dream." I'm not anal-retentive or a bridezilla at ALL when it comes to planning this wedding, but obviously all the still-needs-to-be-done items on my list are feeling like they are weighing me down both in the sleepy world AND the wakey world!

Last night's dream was vague...the only thing I remember is #1 feeling MAJOR anxiety. And #2 I had no one to do my hair (this seems to be a theme in my wedding nightmares) so I ended up doing it myself. Somehow I ended up with long, almost Annie-like curls that were so tightly sprung around my head that I CRIED when I saw them. LOL Oh, and we were crammed in this tiny little hotel room/effieciency apartment to get ready and there was another random bridal party there getting ready as well. I remember this other bride was hogging the one lone mirror and I was ready to kick her ass, wedding dresses be damned!

The other wedding dream I had a few months back was hilarious (well it's hilarious to me now, but while I was livin' the dream it was stressful.) In this one, I woke up the morning of my wedding and realized that not only had I NEVER booked a DJ, but we had no where to have the ceremony or reception. It ended up being in some field or something. Then the hairdressers (there were like five in this dream, it was crazy!) told me that we showed up late so they didn't have time to do our hair. I had to beg and plead with them to at least do MINE, since I was the bride. So the hairstylist finally agreed and did it, and I hated it. Then a crazed thought entered my head, "Oh my God! I never bought shoes or a bra to wear under my dress!). So dressed IN my wedding dress, I jumped into my New Balance sneaks, pulled my Red Sox cap down low over my 'do, and took off running for the store. (Guess I had no car in this dream?) By the time I got to the store, I was sweating, and loose bits of hair were poking out in every which direction from under my baseball cap. I was running down endless aisles of shoes and bras while freaking out (the store ONLY had wedding shoes and bras, go figure) and just randomly pulled the first pair of shoes down that were in my size. Then I said, "F*&% it! I don't need a bra!" and off I raced back to the field with my newly purchased shoes. The rest of the dream ended up no longer being stressful in the least..I remember that despite all the craziness of the day, the most vivid part of the dream was standing up in front of the JP, staring into Daryl's eyes as we said our vows, and being so thankful that I was marrying him. :-)
Eek! I've been tagged by Melissa to do a meme! I've never been tagged before. Damn you Melissa for making me use my brain on a Monday morning (ok, ok, technically it's Monday afternoon BUT I just got in! LOL).

And I'm just teasing. This should be fun.

Archive Meme Instructions: Go back through your archives and post the links to your five favorite blog posts that you’ve written. But there is a catch:

Link 1 must be about family.
Link 2 must be about friends.
Link 3 must be about yourself, who you are… what you’re all about.
Link 4 must be about something you love.
Link 5 can be anything you choose.

Oh boy, this could be interesting. Do I even have that many blog posts to fall back on? I have not been on here for a long time. But I am going to try my hardest! Damn, this is hard...I don't really have many enlightening posts! Okay, I mildly cheated. These are not my FAVORITE blog posts but they meet the meme-criteria of being about family, etc.

Okay here goes...

1. Here is my family.
2. Um, I apologize to all my friends.I really need to work on this one. The posts that involve my friends (up to this point) are pretty boring!
3. I AM a superfreak. And a dog.
4. I love Starbucks Gingerbread Lattes. Seriously. I must have at least four posts about them. But the thing I love more than lattes, is obviously DARYL. Here is one of my favorite posts about him.
5. Here is one of my favorites...the story of when my little Daisy ran away and then I got her back!. And this one is quick and simple, but a happy day that i like to remember! And this one just happened recently so I'm sure you all remember. It makes me giggle every time I read it!

NOW IT'S MY TURN! I'm tagging YOU:
1. Are you Kidding me?!?!
2. Driving with the Breaks On
3. Melek's Mundane Musings

Go to it, Ladies!! And if I didn't tag you, PLEASE feel free to participate anyway! I'd love to read 'em all!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Blah.

I'm feeling blah today.

Which considering it's a Saturday, a normally NOT-blah day, is strange. It could be the fact that I have been in my pajamas all day. Perhaps? But I did just finish my latest Dean Koontz book, The Darkest Night of the Year. It was good, but a little different I thought, than Dean's usual fare. (We're on a first name basis, me and Dean, didn't you know?) But the more I think about the fact that it's a bit different than some of his other stuff, the more I like that. It shows an author's versatility! (and the fact that one of the main character's is a golden retriever certainly didn't hurt either! Love the pups!)

Anyway, I haven't done much of anything else productive today other than wash a gigantic sink full of dishes. We had company for dinner last night and I made Black Bean Enchiladas,
a recipe that I stole--uh borrowed--from a blog I like to peruse for yummy ideas, Sprinkles and Twinkles. I must admit, I did vary the recipe a tad....I substituted KIDNEY beans for the white (a personal preference for me) and I also added some sauteed chicken. I had to use the chicken that I had thawed the night before. I served the enchiladas with salsa and low fat sour cream on the side, and also a nice big green salad. It was all very delish! And relatively low-fat for those of you, like me, that are looking to cinch in the belt buckle a bit. Speaking of recipes, I also tried out another one on Thursday night (I know, can you believe it? I made dinner TWO NIGHTS IN A ROW! Dinner that did not consist of throwing a frozen pizza in the oven, or boiling up some cheese raviolis! Craziness.). A friend shared a recipe with me--for a Weight Watchers Chicken Pot Pie.

It was, in my opinion, not TRULY a pot pie (no crust at all) but it was certainly yummy and I highly recommend it! I don't have the recipe here (it's on my work computer) but I promise to post it Monday for anyone who is interested. Isn't it pretty colorful? A great way to get in lots of veggies!

Anyway, they are predicting a Nor'Easter for Sunday night into Monday. I'm keeping my fingers crossed (but not holding my breath...come on, this is New England. The weather report changes on a DIME.) that we get some good, fluffy WHITE stuff. I would love to have a paid day off from work on Monday, too, but I'm sure that's asking for too much. We shall see!!

Friday, January 11, 2008

I am so freakin' IRRITATED.

I love my cute little house, and my immediate neighbors on all sides of me. However, I DO NOT LIKE MY NEIGHBORHOOD OR LIVING NEAR THE LOW-INCOME HOUSING AREA.

I try not to be judgemental. I know that not everyone that lives in low-income housing is a criminal or a punk (my mother is actually looking into low-income housing in the town she lives in) BUT when you wake up on a rainy, crappy Friday morning to find the window smashed out of your husband's work van and our PERSONAL GPS stolen? Then it makes me want to run down through that neighborhood wielding a bat, and mean case of vigilante-justice.

Yes, I know, I have no proof that anyone on that street is the culprit, however, two years ago (about a year after buying my house) my house was broken into by a punk (i.e. teenager) that lived in the lower income housing on the street nearby. The police ended up catching his thieving little ass AFTER he broke into fourteen houses on my street (my next door neighbor included). Thankfully for me, I had a house alarm on and it scared him away before he had a chance to steal anything from my house but I remember when I came home, the immediate sense of VIOLATION that I felt, that some UNWANTED STRANGER was in my home, well it really got to me. Never mind the fact that the mother-f*&^er left my back kitchen window open and my indoor KITTIES (who have never ever been outside) could have gotten loose! That freaked me out more than the thought of anything being stolen. My possessions could be replaced, my fur-babies NOT.

Then you have this morning, watching Daryl clean up broken glass out of the (soaked) interior of his van in the pouring rain, and I started to slowly fester and grow angrier and angrier. I could see that god damn neighborhood from my front living room window. And to add insult to injury, when D called the police and asked them to come out to write up a report? This is the kicker--they told him they don't come out for that, and that they'd take the information over the phone and do up a report and he could come pick it up.

WHAT THE F*&% do we have police FOR if they don't even take the time to come out? I know that millions of people's vehicles are broken into at any time, but how about make your police presence KNOWN at least so these neighborhood bastards see and KNOW that they are around? I am in no way blaming the police for the theft; I know we choose to live in this neighborhood (choose? I guess that's not the operative word. This is the neighborhood we can afford to live in.)

I'm sorry for the vent, but I'm just really god damn mad that there are so many honest people who work for a living and BUY what we want, just to have it then stolen by these bastards who DON'T. And Big D's company most likely won't reimburse us for the GPS (that was our personal unit) so it's like we flushed three hundred bucks down the freakin' toilet. Lovely.

It just makes me MAD. Plain and simple.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Ok, here it is.

ONE more mushy post about Big D...and that's becuz yesterday was the 2-year anniversary of our fabulous first date. :-)

I think it was after we finally said the big "L" word that I decided to convey my feelings for him in a poem. I'm not a huge poem writer...I do them, but my first love is short stories (and some day I'll actually finish one of my LONG stories! LOL).

So, yes, here is my incredibly cheese-ball poem but it encapsulates two of my most favorite things in the world...flowers and DARYL!


Summer's Flower

I touch the soft hairs along the nape of his neck,
velvet beneath my gentle, exploring fingertips.

I feel the smooth, sweet fullness of his lips pressed to mine
and I can taste his love for me—sweet like the fruits of summer—
ripening slowly, carefully under the warm existence
of my tender gaze upon him.

He is a beautiful and cherished flower
that I nourish daily with teasing smiles, sensitive hands,
kind words and showers of appreciation,
all in return for the spreading mass of joy
that he’s blossomed in my life.

His arms encircle me in a petal-smooth embrace,
and I bury my face into his neck,
warmed by the sun’s enriching golden rays,
and smelling faintly of his heady summer-scented musk,
and I feel peaceful, at long last.

I will continue to watch over this blooming flower,
this man that I love,
as he too faithfully cherishes me in return,
for all the summers of our lives.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Parents (or anyone who is a big kid at heart!)--I would like some input please!

For the wedding, I'm thinking of making the kids their own little goody bags. There will only be six kids total at the wedding (two, possibly three, of which are in the wedding party). I just got an LTD catalog in the mail yesterday and they have Valentine's stuff advertised and some of it is cute. Between that, and hitting the dollar stores, I was thinking of maybe getting the following items for each goody bag:

1. Candy jewelry in the shape of necklaces and bracelets (all but ONE of the kids are girls, so I'll just give something different to the one boy)

2. Little 60-page notepads with hearts on the front (I figure they can doodle in them)

3. Red and white swirled heart-shaped lollipops

What else? Anything else? Maybe a small coloring book with a 6-pack of crayons? Any other ideas for what the kids would like and maybe utilize if they get bored during the reception? Thanks everyone!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Some of the many reasons why I love Daryl...

1. One month into dating Daryl, I had to do the prep, on Super Bowl Sunday no less, for a colonoscopy. Daryl offered to stay and take care of me. "Don't worry about it. Go to a Super Bowl party and have fun!" I told him the day before. But he insisted he wanted to stay with me. Those of you who have had to prep for one of these babies know how incredibly painful, embarrassing and horrible they are! I immediately thought, "Oh my god, my boyfriend of a MONTH is going to hear me crap my ever-lovin' brains out! Not sexy!" The day came and Daryl made me my special breakfast (I could only eat plain toast, no butter, and poached eggs) and then he took me to the store to load up on broth, jello, ginger ale and water since I could eat nothing but liquids all day. Fun. At five p.m., I began to drink the yuckiest stuff (mixed with ginger ale) that I've ever had before. And immediately started gagging. Then from that moment until seven a.m. the next morning when I left for the hospital, I spent running in and out of the bathroom, ridding every drop that resided in my bowels. At first I ran the water in the bathroom faucet so he wouldn't hear anything but after the first few trips I was in so much pain, I said "Screw it!" and then he heard it all. Me sitting on the toilet seat, moaning and crying, or running like crazy from the couch where we were laying. And through-out the whole night through out the game, he had me lay my head in his lap and he stroked my hair while I laid in stomach pain. As crazy as it sounds, I DEFINITELY knew at that point he was a keeper.

2. I think I might have mentioned this other lovely story before. Again it involves crap. TWO months into dating, I called Daryl to tell him that the basin my washing machine sat in was completely filled with murky, yellow-ish water. I had had about an inch or two of water in my basement for days and just assumed it was from the torrential downpours we'd been having (I have a wet basement AND a sump pump). Anyway, even though he was on call all night for his HVAC job in East Hampton (and it was the middle of winter AND I live a good 30 minutes away in Meriden) and knowing he could possibly get a call and that it would DOUBLE his drive time, he told me he'd be right over with another pump. Time: approximately 10:00 p.m. So Daryl sucked all the water out of the basement and ran it into the main sump pump and since he was there, figured he'd check out a problem I was having with water temp. in the shower.

"Go turn the shower on." He said and I obliged. About a minute later, I heard,
"Shut it off! Shut it off!" I went running down into the basement to see Daryl standing with both his bare hands over a gushing pipe, while sewage water spewed into my basement and at his feet. AND he was dry heaving, repeatedly. Torn between giggling and tears, I cried, "Take your hands off it!" He desperately shook his head and said, "Get me something! Anything!" I grabbed a dirty towel and slapped it over thetop and Daryl told me to back away so the disgusting city sewer water wouldn't get on me. Then I ran upstairs to pull out a phone book to try to find a plumber at 11pm on a Friday night. With twenty dollars to my name until payday a week from then.

"Oh my God, Michele," I started to cry to Michele who was my roomie at the time. "My new boyfriend is in the basement with his hands over a shit pipe!"

"Well, just think, he must really like you then!" Michele insisted and it made me laugh. Then I started to cry again and Daryl came up at that moment. "Why are you crying? We'll get it fixed, don't worry!" He insisted. I explained how I had twenty bucks in my checking account and without hesitation Daryl said, "I'll lend you the money." So not only did he put his hands over a shit pipe for me, he paid the $200 bill, AND he helped the plumber out so that I woudn't have to stay down in the stinky basement. Is that love, or what?

3. I know he will make a fantastic father. He's a fun, love-able teddy bear and he has already told me he wants to give his children the best childhood they can have, the childhood he never had. Knowing his tumultuous past and the hell he has been through growing up, it brought tears to my eyes to hear this big, gruff man say how he never wants his children to experience what he went through. He wants them to feel loved.

4. He calls MY mom, "Mom". It makes me smile every time. And I know my mother loves it.

5. We have been honest and forthright with each other from the beginning of our relationship and it always helps to keep the lines of communication open--and I appreciate that from him more than mere words can describe.

6. I love how Daryl teases me--like we're a bunch of big kids--and we constantly have tickle fights.

7. He has the best smile I've ever seen. It lights up the room. And his laugh? I can't help but laugh back, no matter if I'm cranky or having a bad day. It's just so contagious.

8. Daryl makes me feel loved and wanted, all the time. I've never had any doubts or insecurities while with him.

9. He is a fabulous cook! We would starve (or live on take-out) if it wasn't for Daryl's yummy cooking skills. Sometimes I think he should have stuck with his passion, and gone to cooking school.

10. Daryl loves me without makeup. He actually begs me to go without it more often, but I refuse. I don't want to scare people. If I twist my hair up into a ponytail, throw on a big bulky sweatshirt and skip the makeup...he loves it!

11. He is a senstive man. He would never admit this to other people, but he has been known to cry during sad movies. Quietly, of course.

12. He buys me flowers. I know some girls are not into getting flowers from their man...but I'm not one of them. If I got flowers every single day of the week, I'd never complain. Now, it's been quite a while since Daryl has sent me flowers (or brought some home to me) but we are flat-broke and I understand. But someday soon...

There are many more but I really need to get back to work right now...I'll add to the list another day....

Sunday, January 06, 2008


Guess who installed carpet for the first time EVER and did a FANTASTIC job (and also said he'd never, ever do it again)???? Why, BIG D, of course!

As we begin our magic carpet ride, you can no doubt see why opted to go on this journey at all...the (what was formerly blue) dingy, gross and
stained carpet that came with the house ......(and the previous house owner proudly informed me at that time, "This carpet is five years old and has been through dogs, cats and children. It's berber! Doesn't it look great??" "Uh, yeah, superb, lady."
Jump ahead three years later (and add in some more dog urine--not my dog's believe it or not!--cat puke, red wine, coffee, Coke--the soda of course and that shit doesn't come out of ANYTHING--and who knows what else) and even after steam cleaning said carpet four times in a row, alas--*SIGH*--nothing had changed. Daryl and I were so ready to see it go.

Who knew there was such pretty, dark hardwood underneath those horrid carpets? (well let me rephrase--we knew there was hardwood floor underneath, but who knew it was in such decent condition???) Daryl took a moment to admire the pretty floor and take pictures for prosperity (and for future home buyers perusal, of course). Despite both of our love for hardwood floors (we have it in both bedrooms as well) we still needed to cover it up with new carpet for two reasons. The first and foremost being when D replaced our entire gas furnace and put in new duct work all throughout the house, it left two large gaping square shaped holes in the floor (one in front of the kitchen leading into the living room and the other by the bedrooms) open to the basement below. That is where the previous vents were...both old fashioned furnaces hung from the ceiling in the basement and pumped up directly through these large grates in the floor. Grates that got very freakin' hot for poor naked feet. At least the dogs and cats had enough common sense to step over or around the grates, but it was the humans who constantly burnt their piggies. And talk about inefficient and COLD? Just ask Michele...when she was my roomie and we shut our bedroom doors at night, we got NO HEAT IN OUR BEDROOMS. None. We relied on space heaters all night which of course is SO not safe. Brrrrr!!! Anyway, D ended up buying some wood from Lowe's and filling in the holes which left it--not so pretty. That was reason number 1; reason number 2 which is plain and simple? We both love to sit/lay on the floor and it's a whole helluva lot more comfy on a decent carpet pad underneath some nice soft carpet.

The next step in Daryl's process was the (pain-in-the-ass as he described it) carpet padding. We bought the more expensive top-of-the-line padding that was water proof as well to protect the hardwood floor beneath...perfect for pets...and future babies.

After the padding was down, began the actual process of laying down the carpet in the living room and hallway. And it was also break-time for a tired and frustrated D. Here are some pictures mid-way through...before carpet was secured down.
And here is the finished product! I'm in love! Both with Daryl AND our new carpet!
(That's the small hallway above, please excuse the kitty litter box at the bottom of the stairs!)

And last but not least, a very important picture. This is a penny that Daryl found in the tiny crack between wall and floor, after he pulled up the old carpet and pad. We know this is a Penny from Heaven...Dad's way of showing us he likes our carpet choice. :-) Thanks, Dad!