What Did You Do? Wednesdays

Calling all fall fanatics, adventurous organizers, exercise procrastinators, perfectionists unable to make a move unless they're certain it will turn out with ultimate precision, messy Marvins, and any other category you put yourself in ~ stop by each Wednesday and share what you did that week. Big things, little things, adventurous things, nothin' much things, somethin' special things....doesn't matter.

Share your just one thing on What Did You Do? Wednesdays!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Garbage Bag Witch

Yesterday I had Lasik surgery, so I am laying low yet today.  Meanwhile, here's a re-post from last year.  I had fun making this smart gal.  Maybe you'll be tempted after your own leaf-raking this weekend......

Last week my husband raked leaves and mowed the lawn for the final time this year. He bagged the clippings and prepared them for the next garbage pick-up. I walked by the bags as I took my daughter to the bus stop, and when I met her upon arrival home from school. I walked by the bags on my way to and from the mailbox. Something tugged at me each time. As if a spell had come over me, I felt compelled to create! I'm sure the possibilities are endless, but here's what transpired.

Boring bag of clippings/leaves

Roll of white paper and double-wide construction paper

Introducing Ms. Witch!

I didn't use any patterns...just drew on the construction paper freehand. And everything you see is from construction paper except the witch's hat that I got on clearance two years ago for $.19.


The Girl Creative

Texas Monkey


504 Main

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What Did You Do? Wednesdays - No Purchase Necessary

I like stuff.  I like stuff a LOT.  No, I actually think I love stuff.  They say "things" can't make you happy.  But I believe I would beg to differ.  Shopping for the stuff has actually made me VERY, VERY happy.  It's one of the few things I'm quite good at.  Ahhhhh, shopping.  And it's not just going to a store and laying out bookoo bucks for something.  For me, it's the bargain searching, the clearance finds, the garage sale treasures, the discovering the last one left, the thrill of the hunt....you get my drift?  I'd never feel good about an expensive purchase on, say, a pair of boots.  What I would feel pleased as punch about is the excellent sale plus coupon plus rewards I used to get a zillion dollars off that pair of boots.  Do you do the same thing at all?  I think many of you bloggers do.  We're a thrifty bunch with some seriously shrewd spending habits.

But here's where it got me in trouble.  That stuff I love has, over time, brought me down to the point of being really kind of miserable.  I'm not a serial shopper.  I'm not out there every day shopping and only shopping.  It's actually not even that often that I go, but like I said, when I go......I'm goooood.  And it's hard for me to turn down a good garage sale, or go to Super T A R G E T and come away with things I really only needed.  I mean, come on ~ the other day they were changing out aisles of merchandise.  We're talkin' shiny, new STUFF here folks!  THAT'S exciting!

However, after looking closely at my basement.....and closer and closer still, I sheepishly admit that I am embarrassed.  I can laugh about it, and I can get rid of it, but I truly do know that I have an addiction.  I'm also not one to waste, so many items I think I can fix or do up pretty like so many on the blog-o-sphere can.  Truth is, some of it I could put a snazzy touch on, and other things I couldn't.  I guess because I don't have the space, the time or the talent.

My goal, in the next year, is to comb through my belongings with a fine tooth comb, so to speak, and be wary of all things I purchase and where the money actually goes.  My mom had a great idea for me:  keep a list of all the things I didn't buy, and keep that money separate in a special fund.  What a motivator to know how much I would have spent on stuff crap I just. didn't. NEED!

I think it might be a little hard considering we're approaching the biggest sale season of the year, but staying out of stores in general, sticking to my list of necessary items when I do go, and keeping track of the money I saved when I didn't buy all seem like a good plan.  See?  Money in my pocket for vacations or all new flooring or a kitchen remodel....no purchase necessary.

What do you think?  Anybody with me on this one?

**This post brought to you by a bin of 20 childrens', clearance Valentine's boxes.  (For the record, I have 2 children, not 20.)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What Did You Do? Wednesdays - Back In The Saddle

Well folks, I think I'm getting back on track with some things after a full and fun summer, and after the start of the school year (one started preschool, the other started in a new school district). I've had my nose in my Google reading list regularly, and had a ton of posts swirling around in my head. But by the time I actually had time to focus for more than 3 minutes to write for my own blog, I was way too tired. (Again, thank you CFS...always at my side, aren't you?)

Anyway, I've missed you and I see from the ol' blog site posts that yesterday was my one year anniversary. Go figure. Just 6 short months of that, I'd have told you that I had zero interest in writing a blog. However, THAT was before I knew about "all ya' all".  So, in one word....WOW to you, and you, and you, and you, and......    such creativeness.  I just swoon over it.

Also, I'm personally hoping to keep things rolling here on a more regular schedule.  My biggest problem is overcoming the perfection I want to achieve in each and every post.  Do you experience that too?  I want it to be the funniest, the most thought provoking, the most helpful, the most interesting, the wittiest, the most photogenically awesome.....and the list goes on.  Instead, the reality is that sometimes it won't be any of those, and my pictures will most likely stink.  (I am seriously trying to improve those....might mean a new camera, which probably means that it'll be awhile on the awe-inspiring photos.)  But I'm thinking you can always rely on honesty, humor and desire to improve.  I wholeheartedly thank each one of you who have chosen to read along!  I'm honored to have you share my journey with me.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Egg Cups

I probably shouldn't label posts like these as recipes.  Recipes are exact, measurement-by-measurement, precise instructions.  However, the label "recipes" is a lot shorter than "I made this up and threw in a bunch of ingredients about 10 minutes before I knew people in this house were REALLY going to want to start gnawing on some type of food unit and going to get super grumpy".  So, off we go with easy egg cups.

It's kind of WYSWYG...what you see is what you get, but I made them kind of Tex-Mex, so I'll fill you in a bit.  First I put a piece of roast beef (Healthy Ones brand at Super Target doesn't have any nitrates ~ hooray.) in some of the muffin cups. And let me tell you, after having cooked some without such a base, DO NOT DO THAT in metal. Without the meat "crust", it ate my muffin tin in a way that I could not have imagined egg would be capable of doing. So, Mr. Egg obviously needs some sort of security blanket, or he gets very angry and does naughty things.

So back to the roast beef base, or ham or whatever you want....even a rolled out English muffin works...   In a bowl I combined some black beans (canned), along with fresh diced tomatoes, cilantro, cumin, black pepper (or cayenne pepper), garlic powder, and a dash of sea salt.  I added that next to the muffin cups.  Finally, I just cracked an egg on the top of each one and sprinkled shredded cheese to finish it off.

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, serve with a veggie and some yummy, crusty bread if you like and you have, once again, fed the troops.

See? Egg eyes and avocado nose and mouth. Yeah, I know. I'm easily amused.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Last Hurrah of The Birthdays




We have 4 birthdays almost back-to-back in our small family. My oldest daughter's always marks the end of our "birthday season". Seven is an exciting age to me. I remember seven, and I really liked it. As my friend Kim said, at this age they're not even little kids anymore. They're just kids. I can see where growing up really begins to occur around this time. It's bittersweet.

Seven years ago you changed my entire life in a way that I could have never, ever imagined. You were the missing piece to my puzzle of life.  You are one of the most unique, resourceful, witty and all-around fun people I have ever met.  May you always be as passionate and determined as you are now, for it will take you as far as you choose to go in life.  Although, you're already at the top in my book.

Happy Birthday, kiddo.  I love ya'!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Thank You For Being A Friend

See this beautiful lady?

This is my mom, and today was her birthday.

I recently read a parenting book that made the point, during one chapter, that parents should not be their childrens' friends. I guess I understood the logic behind it as the author laid out his argument. But I've got to tell you, I don't really believe it. My mom is my best friend, and she has been for as long as I can remember.

I'd have been lost time and time again had it not been for you, Mom. You've provided me with everything I could have ever needed...physically, emotionally and mentally.  I look up to you....always have.  I admire your class, enjoy your humor, appreciate your love, marvel at your abilities, cherish your advice and value our times together.  I'm just so very proud to be your daughter, and I love you more than I'll ever really be able to tell you.

So, today especially, Mom, my hat is off, won't you stand up and take a bow.  Thank you for being a friend!!  (click for cute tribute)  Here's to a year of easy sailing, great times and good health!!

Makes my heart smile.....

Monday, August 9, 2010

Citrus Pasta with Ham and Shrimp

I haven't posted a recipe in awhile, so here's a very simple dish for a busy August night.

Citrus Pasta with Ham and Shrimp

(Keep in mind I don't measure....you don't need to either. You know how you'd like it to taste. Just flavor accordingly.)

Deveined shrimp
Ham pieces
Halved grape or cherry tomatoes
3 small zucchini
Linguine or any sort of pasta
Olive Oil (1-2 Tbs)
Butter (1 Tbs)
Sea Salt
Ground Pepper
White Wine
Lemon Juice (1-2 Tbs)
Lime Juice (1 Tbs)
Parsley (1 Tbs)

Saute zucchini, shrimp and ham pieces in olive oil, butter, and remaining ingredients. After a couple of minutes, add tomatoes until fully heated.

Add to cooked and drained pasta.

Shred parmigiano reggiano on top of each serving.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What Did You Do? Wednesdays - Avoiding Aging

I've been coasting into a certain age I do not want to be for some time now. I hate everything there is to hate about aging.  I always have.  Even my name, Julie, means youthful.  Now, before I give you the wrong impression, I want you to know that I appreciate life in general and the life I that lead.  Just because I dislike aging does not mean that I am not grateful for all that I have.  My list is extensive when it comes to the privileges I enjoy on a regular basis, and I'm well aware of how awesome those things are.

I loved turning 30.  Thirty meant leaving the 20s behind, and that alone was a nice feeling.  A decade later, approaching the "F" age, I'm not feeling the same way.

Maybe every milestone is challenging, and I'm just now realizing that.  My 30s were almost as altering as that first year of a baby's life, just different.  I traveled around the east coast a bit, flew to various places such as Monterey, CA and Saskatchewan in Canada for work.  I got married and my husband and I moved cross-country (again), but this time it involved buying a house.  I got a sample of one of the coolest jobs I've ever had.  I got pregnant, had a (big) baby via emergency c-section.  I wigged out with fear and insane cautiousness over that new, precious bundle and thought for sure my marriage wouldn't last because of it.  We joyously moved back to Madison, sold and then, once again, bought another house, all the while living out-of-state (again).  I suffered through the loss of my dad to pancreatic cancer.  I took on a new job that allowed me to (finally) run my own business and be my own boss.  I birthed baby girl #2 after 52 (no lie) hours of labor with the use of a forceps (instead of the c-section I was supposed to have, and which, 3 years later will require 2 types of surgery for me this fall), which damaged me in several ways, for life.  And, also, in my 30s, I realized that I had fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Although, in hindsight, it started in my 20s, the fibro/CFS has gotten progressively worse.  I don't know if it's turning the age after 39, or the fact that I feel like I've got one foot in the grave most days that makes me want to go back to true youth.  (18 anyone?  Well, at least knowing what I know now anyway.)  I suppose that it's a mix of both.  Overall, I'm not unhappy, and I'm certainly very appreciative of all the wonderful things in my life, but it's hard to feel 100% great when your body fails you and you already feel about 50 years older than you are many days.

I do what I can to combat this demon, but knowing that age is creeping in, makes it, well, just plain upsetting.

But maybe, just maybe, this next decade will be the one to settle me.  Maybe I'll get to figure out what I really want to be when I grow up, maybe we'll be able to move into a house that I absolutely love, maybe I'll find some time for myself when the girls are both in school, maybe there will be more solutions in helping my body feel better.

Although I've got the brakes on....(hard)....right now, hoping to slow down the whole getting older thing, I'm still hopeful about the upcoming decade.  I've got 2 beautiful girls to raise, a super-duper husband to share them with, and a mom/partner in crime to enjoy more time with as she semi-retires this year.

....but honestly, I'll still be hoping someone invents a time machine.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Happy Birthday, Big Girl

Even though, just last week, I consoled M. during a collapsed-to-the-floor, head-in-her-hands cry that it must be hard to be almost three ("Yes!  It IS hard!" she replied.), today was an easy breezy day, a super fun day, an exceptionally great day to TURN three.

Here are a few shots that sum up her enjoyment of this July 26th.

Ooooo!  I just love you SOOO much!!!  I can't imagine life without you.  Such a sweetie girl.  What an absolute joy you are.   Happy Birthday, babe.

Monday, July 12, 2010


At 1pm today my closest girlfriend began her 3rd round of chemo since she was first diagnosed 5.5 years ago.  I remember the day she called to tell me about her initial diagnosis.  She had just given birth to her 2nd child two months prior.  The hormones from the pregnancy catapulted the cancer's spread in her body, and it was already metastasized, stage 4.  Originally breast cancer, straight into bone cancer, and now liver cancer.  I HATE that word.....cancer.

I was 18 years old for less than 3 weeks when I originally met Kim.  She was my first-year college roommate.  She had arrived first, with her family, to begin the set-up of our dorm room living quarters.  Although we had talked a couple of times on the phone, move-in day was our initial face-to-face encounter.  She was warm and welcoming, polite and full of manners, outgoing and a bundle of self-assured energy, offering a hearty, sincere laugh.
I had my pants on inside out.  Yeah, you read it right.  I had my pants on inside out.  That was me.  I had my own style, my own unusual, marching to my own beat, I'll do and say what I want style. (Trust me.  With the way the flowered pattern on the outside shown through on the inside, those pants looked SO much cooler inside out.)

Kim never cared that my pants were inside out, and I could tell.  Was it something she would have done?  Well, who would have is the question?  But nonetheless, I just knew she was a non-judgmental, solid and secure soul.  And so it was, my first, mostly awful year of college.  But with Kim, through that year we laughed.  Oh! How! We! Laughed!  And as I recall, most of that laughing commenced past the hour of 10pm, sometimes into the wee morning hours.  From one 9-month period of living with her, I have memories that will stay with me to the end of my time.

There were a few years post college that we didn't keep in touch a ton, but as our first-born children arrived into each of our lives, our calls to each other picked up again.  And how eternally happy I am that they did.  She was THE ONE friend who was there for me when my dad was dying and had passed.  She was the first person I told, besides my husband, when he he died.  She always knew the right thing to say.  Always.  I'll never forget her arrival at his visitation.  She drove over an hour in the cold, Wisconsin wintery weather, by herself to support my mom and me.  Her hair was very short and curly, having just grown to that point after her first round of chemo finished.  She was one of the first people to arrive, and about the last to leave.  She escaped with my daughter to the tv room to sit with her and watch a video so my little (at the time) 2.5 year old could escape the confusion of all that was going on around her.

Her presence there was about the best thing I could have ever asked for. I remember when I laid my eyes on her in that receiving line.  So much about that night was a blur, but I remember Kim was wearing a soft pink sweater.  I liked that.  I really liked that.  I love color, and I hate death.  I hate the dark colors that go with death.  Her pink sweater, her meaningful hug, and even the fact that we laughed a little.....my dad would have loved it too.  He was a particular fan of hers, and this latest health news, especially, would have really gripped him.

Life is unfair, and Kim's battle is just another proof of that.  I can only hope she knows that I am there for her, in whatever way she needs, as she was and continues to be for me.  Because oh, the laughing we have yet to do!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Scaredy Frog

It is VERY humid here.  It's the kind of humidity that feels like you walked into a steam room when you step outdoors.  Wanting to stay inside, we took a trip to the library in the morning.  Then it was on to the mall this afternoon for the Tuesday craft at the toy store.

We were in there awhile when M. (almost 3) was suddenly extremely frightened and crying for me (I knew where she was, but she didn't see me) like a mad woman.  She was terrified, yelling "Mommy" and physically shaking.  I hurried over to her, calling her name so she'd see me behind her.  She RAN to me, clung to my legs, stomped her feet with her arms up like I HAD to pick her up or the most evil monster in the universe might rip her apart.

"FIGTHER!! FIGHTER!!"  She screamed and stuffed her face in my neck like she just wanted to disappear into me.  "Where's there a spider?" I asked her.  "It was probably just a toy.  Do you want to show me?"  "NOOO!!! I WANT TO GO HOME!!!"  More sobbing, more shaking and more pointing to the entrance.

It didn't me more than a beat or two to figure it out.  Ooooohhh, there were these little African dwarf frogs in clear containers for sale.  Not wanting to traumatize my bug....and now frog phobic babe any further, we exited the store quickly.

Aren't people's personalities, likes, dislikes, talents, idiosyncrasies, interests and fears just so interesting??  This is the child who, just the other day, I found perched on the top of the couch preparing to leap onto the cushions with her own little dare devil froggy jump.  This is the child who, even when I raised my voiced to tell her "no", eyed me up and jumped anyway.

Hopefully, in the future, she'll find her prince right away and won't have to kiss any frogs!

Photo acknowledgment:  www.sodahead.com

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday - Jiminy Cricket

If Jiminy Cricket is a cricket, then why is he green?  Crickets are black.  Grasshoppers are green.  Did he change his name to misrepresent his roots, his upbringing, his family history?  Was he ashamed of his heritage?  I want to know, I want to know.

Ah, patience, young grasshopper.....

Monday, June 28, 2010

Flowers From A Friend

I have a dear friend whom I have known for 13 years now.  She is a few years older than my mom, with children of her own right around my age.  Her kids and her grandkids, however, live in other states than where we reside.  Although she and her husband travel a lot, WI is their home base.

I feel very fortunate to have her in my life.  She is thoughtful, kind, fun, reliable, classy and just a neat lady to know.  And one more perk ~ she provides us with much appreciated produce from her garden, including bushels upon bushels of apples from her trees in the fall.

Last night she brought a lovely basket of Swiss chard, lettuce, raspberries and this bouquet of flowers.  Little did she know that a few days before I refrained from buying a bunch of flowers at a farmer's market because I didn't want to spend the money, even though I knew how pretty they'd look on our kitchen table and how much the girls seem to like them.

I hope you all have a friend, a 2nd Mom, a Grandmother figure or other kind soul in your lives to bring you flowers unexpectedly like I do.  If not, consider these yours. Thank you for reading along. I appreciate having you!

And thank you, Barb!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mother Nature's After Party

We've been having a lot of rain lately, coupled with a number of thunderstorms.  I've always liked storms.  No one wants a tornado, so I'm not talking about anything that's potentially life threatening.  I just mean a good summer rain with an incredible lightening show and the rumbling thunder to boot.  As long as everyone's inside and safe and cozy, I think the storms are pretty neat.

Not only could I see a full rainbow (good luck), but there was a double rainbow (extra good luck!) as well. Can you spy it?


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday - Toast Preference

How do you like your toast cut? Oh come on now. Don't look at me like that. You know you prefer it cut in a certain way or shape.

How about eating it? Do you eat the soft part first or are you a crust biter?

Me? I like it cut at an angle so there are 2 triangles. And if I really want to hearken back to the days of my childhood, I cut it in 4 triangles. That's how my mom did it for me, and that's how I do it for my girls.  Oh, and I eat the pointy part first.  Hey, we all go some time.  It's either now or later.

How about you? Do tell.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What Did You Do? Wednesdays - Camp Momma

Last summer I cut myself a massive break.  I had fun.  Really.  It was quite a let-down when the summer ended.  The unassuming beginnings of Camp Momma began accidentally two years ago when my husband went to Sydney, Australia for work.  One really great day at the zoo lead to a surprise stop for ice cream another day, which lead to an extended afternoon out and then dinner at a restaurant.  During the weeks he was gone, I simply let a few things go that I wouldn't typically allow to be out of my control.  And you know what?  The law enforcement never came to charge me with endangerment and reckless abandon.  The decorating police never came.  The cleaning police never came.  Neither did the ironing task force or the organizing crime squad.

At the beginning of last summer, I'm sure I had forgotten the few carefree moments I allowed myself to have with the girls, but I started out with a bang anyway.  A "Hey, let's go to the......" turned into a memory flood of how much fun a beautiful summer season can be when the pressure is turned off.  I live for our summers, and now I live for the days of Camp Momma with which to fill them.

It's hard when my husband travels, and it's dually hard for me with the utter exhaustion I experience all the time.  Even on days when I think I can simply not function one more second, I have kind of learned to almost remove myself from my body and just focus on the girls and what I want for them.  What I want for them is to remember Mom giving special pushes on the swings....oh no, no ~ not your standard under ducks, but "under kitties" and "under cows", complete with sound effects.  I want them to remember the awesome mess we made making a craft, or baking muffins.  And I want to remember squeals of "This is FUN!!!" as they roll down hill together and land in a dizzy pile at the bottom.

Summer is just such an awesome opportunity to cram all kinds of great stuff into three short months.  I know I don't have forever with the girls when they are little like this, so I want to make the most of it.  Now if only I could get a little relief on the fibro front.  I'd feel like we could fly to the moon.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What Did You Do? Wednesdays - Garage Sale Glory

You know, once I actually got started with my garage sale prep, I've kind of been in my glory.  I have truly enjoyed the organizing, the pricing, the sorting, the straightening, the WhereAreWeGoingToPutAllThisStuff decisions.  The colors make me happy too.  All the bright colors of the toys, the little girl pinks and purples, the sea of book covers....I feel pleased when I look around.

I'm content with the memories I have with each item as well.  Most of the items were more well used by our oldest daughter.  It's different with the second, isn't it?  They go right into whatever the older ones like/have.  So, maybe I remember what my oldest and I played in the time she fit into a certain outfit, or where we went, and what we did.  I recall the vast amounts of time spent doting on her in a tiny, little house far away from any family or friends, while we played with many of the toys we're now selling.  It's bittersweet, you know?

It's like Where's Waldo....could you find me in any of these pictures? No? Of course not.  I'm buried under all the other stuff I didn't post shots of. Oh,trust me. There's A LOT.  I've overflowed from the garage significantly.  If it rains, we're in big trouble.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

S'more Gifts & S'more Gifts

This is the time of the year when all of us Moms are wondering where another school year has gone.  On Friday, I'll be getting my new 2nd grader off the bus as she finishes her 1st grade year.  Someone once told me that as soon as children enter kindergarten, it seems like the next time you turn around, they're graduating from high school.

We'll be attending a new school and a new school district next year, so as a good-bye gift to A's teachers and instructors, principal and office staff, we packaged the makings for s'mores.

Even if summer break has already started for you, these are fun gifts for camp counselors, babysitters, daycare providers as your child moves into preschool in the fall, swim instructors, etc.  They also make a nifty favor for your summer get togethers or parties.

The clear, plastic bags can be found in the cake decorating or wedding supply section of any craft store.

We included 4 full graham crackers, 8 large marshmallows, and the equivalent of 1 full size candy bar in each one. No need for a campfire; they work just fine in the microwave!

Mmmmm! Gimme "S'more"!

Linked here:

Making The World Cuter Mondays @ Making The World Cuter
Market Yourself Monday @ Sumo's Sweet Stuff
Just Something I Whipped Up @ The Girl Creative

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday - Dogs

Have you ever noticed that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him for a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?

I had the nerve to show my face here:

Mama's Losin' It

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What Did You Do? Wednesdays - Garage Sale Prep

Who:   My mom (that dear, dear woman), the 6.5 year old (who, surprisingly enough, ended up being an excellent box hauler) and me

What:   The Godzilla Garage Sale

Where:   My overflowing garage

Why:  Because we should have had one about a year ago  2 years ago  5 years ago before we moved back to WI

When:  Officially June 11-12. Unofficially, until it's mostly gone (every weekend until July???)

How:  You mean like "How did we end up with so much stuff for 2 small humans?"  I can only respond with the following:

There ought to be a law.
I should have my head examined.
Money should be withheld from me.
How did all that fit in our basement?
What was I thinking?
It's ok to say "no thank you" if someone wants to give you something.
They'll make more.  (i.e.  You don't need to buy every good deal you come across.)
Girl stuff is sooooo cute.

Unfortunately, there's more where that came from.  We're prepared for Christmases, birthdays, Easters, St. Nicholas Days, and pretty much any Sunday-Saturday "I'm bored" days for the next, oh, let's just say 3 years.

Surely there's a support group for that, but I'd probably skip out on the meetings like Lindsay Lohan.

You know what's sick?  I'm still going to "T H E" garage sale to end all garage sales that I look forward to each June.  This year I won't let my husband take off of work, though, so I can spent 4.5 hours digging through other people's junk stuff.  I'm planning on hurrying through like the devil was on my tail.....or at least a block or so behind me.  Look at it this way, it's a good test of my restraint.

Alright, alright.  Just strap the ankle bracelet on me now.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Remembrance

"A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself." -Joseph Campbell

Photo:  http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net

Friday, May 28, 2010

Blog Hops

Most of the time I have so many tabs open in my browser that I figure my computer is going to blow up (one time Mr. P.S. counted 30).  I can't help it though.  So many blogs, so little time.  My goal is to keep only the amount of tabs open that I can actually see on the screen.  Well, so much for that........


Aww, come on!  YOU can have a ton of tabs open too.  Can you beat 30?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pork Loin a New Way

-Want a super tender pork loin? Want to turn your oven up as high as it will go? Yea? Yea! Do it, do it!! Live on the edge! (Can you tell how exciting my life is?) I tried it, I liked it, I'm stickin' with it.

This nifty cooking method isn't anything I'm going to take credit for. I simply found it on-line. Here's what I'll call your Cook-It-Hot Pork Tenderloin link: http://www.recipezaar.com/recipe/Perfect-Pork-Tenderloin-63828

I'll note a couple of things in addition to what the recipe offers.  Really get your oven up to 550 if you can. You might even want to cut the loin in half or thirds if it's really big and thick. I also feel most comfortable with the internal temperature at that 170 degree mark. I have made larger cuts of meat like this and at the end, just cooked them at 350 to push the temperature back up, making sure it's safe to eat.

I can't find a small enough roasting tray that will fit in most of my cookware, so I simply roll up some tinfoil and place it on the bottom.  That way the meat doesn't sit in the fat that drips down.

Peel away or cut off as much of the fat as possible and then rub with seasonings. I used sea salt, rosemary, thyme and onion powder this time.

Tender! Will this be your new way of cooking tenderloin too?

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