Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oh the Turkey

When I was little and my grandma lived within yelling distance, we would always eat Thanksgiving dinner at her house.  And all day long, while cooking this delicious turkey (it really was amazing), she would call it "turkey lurkey".

I swear, it's been in my head all freakin' week.  "Turkey Lurkey".  I think it has something to do with the chick who claimed the sky was falling.  (I'm not joking, it was this tiny little "I Can Read" book from my childhood about a chick baking bread and the sky falling)

Anyways, there I was about a week ago facing the prospect of cooking a turkey.  A 12 lbs turkey that my husband received from his previous employer for free.  A turkey that would have to travel 1 1/2 hours to it's final destination before being consumed by 4 strapping young men, a growing 9 year old (also boy), and 3 girls who could have starved wilst we were eaten out of the house.

I was nervous.

So I looked online and found an amazing recipe.

And then I prepped.  I bought the turkey (for $0.68).  I bought the supplies.  I figured out a way to get him into the fridge to wait its fate for 6 days.  Saturday rolled around and I even brined the turkey.  I had difficulties finding all the parts that I was supposed to pull out (never did find those giblets.  I don't think I even want to know what "giblets" are!).  I miraculously fit the turkey into a stock pot with the brine.  That never fit in my fridge.  Thankfully it was cold outside, so poor old turkey slept in the garage while drowning in brine.

And then Sunday came along (I ate thanksgiving twice.  Sunday was my day with my brothers and mom).  I got up, I reviewed the recipe.  I pulled the turkey out of the brine and cleaned it up.  I proceeded to force myself NOT to cry when I noticed I had broken the poor thing's wing.  I scratched my head about where those stupid giblets were.  I texted my mom.  I called my mom.  I gave up.  I chopped vegetables and stuffed the turkey in ways that'll give me nightmares.  I again forced myself NOT to cry at the mere thought.  I placed the turkey in the pan and shoved it in the oven.  At this point I have drowned the bird, tortured the bird, attempted to give it hypothermia (hyper?  hypo?), and then shoved it into a burning hell.  I drank a glass of wine.  At 10:30 am.

The veggies inside burned.  I don't know why.  I had to keep shoveling them out because they were black and I didn't want my turkey tasting like burnt.  I'm worried at this point.

At 3/4 the way through cooking I flip it over.  Do you know how to flip a 12 lbs dead bird that's too hot to touch in a PAN that's too hot to touch?  Neither do I.  But I had those turkey turner thingies.  So I did my best and eventually succeeded. 

And then 4 hours into cooking, we should have left 30 minutes ago, and this damn bird is still not done.  I really want to cry.  What the hell, bird?  I'm calling my mom.  I'm stewing and scratching and pacing.  I realize "Oh... I should have put it in a bag.  Maybe the one I bought specifically for this occasion."  Oh well.  I cover it with foil. 

And finally it finishes.  That popper thingy pops out.  I do a happy dance.  I'm still worried, though, because before we wrap it to leave I pull out MORE burnt vegetables.

But no turning back at this point- 1 1/2 hours to drive and we're running very late.  Off we go.

We were starving, and driving for 1 1/2 hours with a cooked turkey is absolute torture.  TORTURE.

Finally we get there, and my brother takes another 30 minutes to arrive, and eventually we can eat.  My brother goes to carve the turkey.  And finds the giblets (in a bag, thankfully).  Good grief.  I looked everywhere in that damn bird, and he finds them in minutes.  Who puts them in the neck????

So we eat.  And it tastes delicious!!!!  I wanted to dance it was so good.  In your face, father! (No, he wasn't there, but he's always said I couldn't cook... I would love to shove my turkey in his face and then rub in some salt with "didn't your wife burn her sweet potatoes this year???")  I'm so mean.

What a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We really had a great time.  We played games and Mike had fun with Dallas, and Romeo was as happy as a clam (my brother snuck him turkey).  It really was something to treasure.

And then we came home to dishes.  A pile so high we didn't even have clean silverware.  It was bad.

But in all the mess, while washing the turkey turner thingies, I noticed... One had lost it's rubber prong cover.  Hmmm.... It was there when I turned the turkey... I sure hope no one ate it!!!!!

And THAT my friends, is how you cook a turkey.  Can't wait to do it again next year.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Menu Monday- Again??

It seems like Monday happens a lot around here, don't ya think?

It's always so easy to do my Menu Monday, though, because freezer cooking really is the shit. Plus I spent less than $15 at the store this week.  BOOYAH

Thanksgiving was divine, by the way.  I hope yours was just as swell.  I made a turkey.  I'll try to write a post on that tomorrow.  It really is a story.

So without further ado, here's the menu!

Monday- Beef Stroganoff
Tuesday- More beef stroganoff (maybe... or leftovers from Thanksgiving.)
Wednesday- Mike's birthday!  Chicken and dumplings with ice cream cake
Thursday- More chicken and dumplings
Friday- Chicken sandwiches
Saturday breakfast- waffles and smoothies
Saturday dinner- maybe a date night?  Only if Mike's off work.
Sunday breakfast- Cinnamon rolls, please!
Sunday dinner- Probably more chicken sandwiches (we love our leftovers)

It looks like a boring menu, I know, but sunday is a cooking day for next month, and we have leftovers, and we love chicken.  Actually my whole week is the same color- I must not have thought this through very well.  And I miss spaghetti.

Enjoy, and I'm linking up here.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Traveling for the Holidays- Dealing with the TSA

So have you seen all the hype about the TSA and this new back scatter machine?

They're mad scary, to me.

I am thankful this year that I don't have to fly anywhere.  I usually don't have to, to be honest (most of our family is within driving distance).  But I like to fly, and I tend to fly on occasion.  Once a year is pretty standard.  Sometimes more. 

I won't be flying for a long long time, though.  These back scatter machines are over the line, and while I understand the TSA has the authority to say "do it or don't fly" I also understand my right to say "no thanks.  I guess the airline can go bankrupt because I'm not going through that thing nor will I be groped in public."  Notice here, that I do not feel it is appropriate to try to gum up the works or be deliberately rude.  I do, however, love the idea of a boycott.

Please hear me out- here are my reasons.

First, there is the story behind the notorious bomber who created this security mess.  The infamous Underwear Bomber.  #1- Did you know that the back scatter machine wouldn't have caught him?  That's right, folks.  Experts have agreed on that point.  #2- Did you know that the security system ALREADY IN PLACE failed to catch him?  Here's a quote from National Counterterrorism Center Director Michael Leiter "Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab should not have stepped onto a plane on Christmas Day," he declared.  "The counterterrorism system collectively failed and I along with Director [of National Intelligence Dennis] Blair and Secretary [of Homeland Security Janet] Napolitano and others want to tell you and the American people the same thing we told the president, that we have to do better."  He should never have been on the plane.  Period.  The rules that were already established SHOULD have caught him.

#3- And this is a smaller point to be made, but still one to consider.  Medically, the machine could be hazardous to your health.  The levels of radiation used aren't horrible (although we could have a whole debate on whether or not radiation at all is ok).  BUT there are still concerns over how it will affect the skin, especially for frequent flyers.  What about pregnant women? Plus anomallies- machinery fails, ya know.  And if something goes wrong with these machines, you could get a lot more radiation than ever healthy.  I just don't like the idea of frying my body (even if it's for a minimal amount) for convenience.

#4- and my biggest point.  I think we have crossed a line.  We've been getting closer and closer to that point over the years, but this has actually crossed the line.  Where does it stop?  The most extreme and horrible atrocities on this planet started out like this.  Not so harmful things that you normally wouldn't be ok with, but it's for the right reasons, right?  Do you think the holocaust started off with Auschwitz and deathcamps and gas chambers?  Of course not.  They started off with registering all the Jewish citizens, making them paint symbols on their homes and wear patches on their clothes.  Doesn't seem so horrible right?  Or another more useful example (some might say the holocaust is going too far here).  The Japanese internment camps in 1942.  After the attack on Pearl Harbor around 110,000 Japanese-Americans were "relocated" to these camps.  They were seen as a possible security threat.

Now, my question was where does it stop?  Most will say, well that's what it takes to feel safe.  But eventually someone will come along and find a way around the scanner.  Where there's a will there's a way.  What will be next?  How far will you let it go?

Well, you don't have a right to fly.  So they can impose this regulation, right?  Ok.  So what about the movies or the mall?  Or how about an ice skating rink in central Park?  or the subway in DC?  What if someone decides to blow up one of those, and now all of a sudden you gotta be groped or scanned to go see a movie or shop?  What if this holiday season you have to be pat down in all your crevices to go ice skating?  Would you be ok with that?

And then finally #5- I just find it on principle wrong.  Doctors can't share your health records unless medically necessary (ie one doc to another doc).  They can't even give your medical records to your spouse without permission (and I like these rules).  So why is it ok for a security agent to get to see your whole body OR if you refuse to get to play touchy feely?

There are so many issues I have here, and it's mainly because it seems like there is no end.  We have established a bill of rights and a Constitution because of things like this.  We set up rules at the beginning stating "this is wrong."  They were established to prevent things going over the top, because in fear people can lose their better judgment.  It's like teaching safe sex.  You're taught to have a plan.  Set your boundaries BEFORE you start dating someone.  That way when the time comes you aren't making decisions with impaired judgment (be it from alcohol or teenage hormones or peer pressure or whatever).  Isn't this the same thing?  We have a right to privacy.  Don't give up your rights out of fear (otherwise known as impaired judgment).

AND end rant.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

This year I am thankful for...

1.  Family- I have the most wonderful support system I've ever seen!  A lot of people think we're a little weird, though.  We have a lot of different relationships.  Oh, and the hubs.  He's just amazing.  Of course the pets count too.  This list is too big to go into detail, but there's my mom, my two brothers, my husband, the cat and dog, my 4 uncles and 4 aunts, my 5 grandmothers, my 7 cousins... I don't believe any of them have ever NOT been there for me.  Also, for the sake of keeping you sane and because technical titles never matter anyways, I simplified several titles.  Oh, and this isn't even counting all the in-laws.  There are tons, and they are just as special.

2.  Friends- My phone was ringing off the hook with all the love.  Although there were a few interesting tweets as well "I'm supposed to do WHAT to the turkey???"

3.  My house- I had abundant room for house guests, and while not all ended up staying, we were very comfortable.  We had ample space for cooking (kind of) with nice new appliances (pretty new at least).  The house isn't always as warm as we'd like, but it'll do.  And it's full of our lives- our things with our memories.

4.  My car- you know, the one that had a water bottle get crushed under the back seat, and this morning had a HUGE WATER PUDDLE all across the back?  Yeah.  That car.

5.  My job (and Mike's)- Even though we both had to work today (he's still there) I will say we are rather lucky to have our jobs.  And I did get to leave early, after all.

6.  My new school!  I am so thankful that I got into grad school (and I got the loans needed as well!).  I just hope I can be registered for classes ASAP.  I've already emailed the advisor AND financial aid AND put myself on a few waitlists.

7.  The food we ate- it was delicious.  My mashed potatoes are by far one of my favorites.  And mom's dumplings.  yum!  And turkey, of course.  Too bad there weren't any leftovers (of the turkey).  We devoured a 23 lbs turkey.  Can you believe it?

8.  My health- I managed well yesterday, and I still feel healthy.  I didn't overeat, and I want to exercise.  I see way too many people who just don't care, and it's sad.

9.  My ambidexterity- I think it's a big help with my knitting.  This means I can make some pretty awesome gifts for some pretty awesome people!

10. My time- I'm considering doing some volunteer work this winter, but I haven't decided where.  Gotta do some research!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.  I hope yours was as amazing as mine!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Menu Monday- On a Tuesday

It occured to me that I do this a lot- write a post a day late, ya know?

It also occured to me that I don't think I've blogged much lately besides our menu.  I will work on that.

Today's budget sucked.  I went over for Thanksgiving, but there were things I hadn't predicted like a roasting pan for the turkey I didn't know I was cooking.  Oh what's that?  Why yes, I am actually cooking my first turkey.  Ever.  I also needed wine for my turkey and myself.  (who doesn't, right?)

Ok, so the menu:

Monday- we had leftover pot roast!
Tuesday- Maple Glazed Chicken with rice and veggies
Wednesday- Chicken Alfredo
Thursday- Thanksgiving will be at my aunt's house with the usual turkey, spoonbread, green beans, dumplings, sweet potatoes, green stuff, jello salad, rolls, and of course pumpkin pie.  I will be making the mashed potatoes and the apple dumplings (a delicious dessert).
Friday- Leftovers, anyone?
Saturday breakfast- Waffles and smoothies!!!!
Saturday dinner- Probably more leftovers.  But if not, we have stuff to make chicken sandwiches.
Sunday breakfast- Biscuits, bacon, eggs, and fruit
Sunday dinner- Thanksgiving again!  Dinner with my brothers, where I will be making the turkey.

Happy Thanksgiving, folks!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Big Decisions- Big Plans

So maybe I hadn't mentioned it on here, but at one point Mike and I had everything pretty much figured out.  We were gonna have a baby.  Then in a year I'd go back to school.  And it would just continue from there.

But then mother nature got in the way.  And put a wrench in our finances.  A major wrench, unfortunately.  So we took a few months to recoup emotionally, and to take another look at our finances to think of a new plan.

We have finally made (and acted on) that decision.  I am going back to school effective immediately (or as soon as I'm accepted).  The baby will be added to the picture once we are more financially stable (again... good grief).  This will be when Mike gets a full time job.  As of right now he has 1 part time job.  We would be doing well if he got a second, but then we'd be back to him never being home.  Sucky, right?  So we're waiting for a full time job.

NOT that it would be required.  But given our financial situation, it would be.

Anyways, off my tangent- back to topic- I'm going back to school!!!!!

I have applied at Kent State University to obtain my masters in Library and Information Sciences.  That's right, folks.  I want to be a librarian.  My career path was a hard choice for me.  I've stewed for ages and ages.  But I finally made the decision based on the fact that I can really get exactly what I want out of life in that specific career.  I want to run a children's library.  I would be around kids.  I would be helping people (and working for a non-profit, which is really what I want).  I can use my Spanish.  And I'm sure, seeing as how a library is so family oriented, it would be a great place to work while having a family. (I must note that I have had the same career plan for 6 months now.  WOOHOO!  That's probably a record for me!)

I'm very excited about going back to school.  I've missed it.  I've missed having a lot to do and places to go and things to study.  And I'll be working towards a career that I'm sure I'll love.  AND I will be able to use my bachelor's degree, which has yet to really be done.  Oh, and did I mention my cousin has been attending the same program for a year now?  We'll be career-buddies!!!!  :)

Yes, I'm very excited.  And I feel the loans I'll need to accomplish this are going to be well worth it in the end.  I can't wait!!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Menu Monday- Freezer Cooking Round 2

And couponing round 1.

So, in recap, the freezer cooking worked SWELL!  So I thought I'd give it a go again, only this time for 3 weeks (to close out the month).

So, step 1- I decided to try couponing as well.

It was a miserable failure.  For various reasons-
#1- I don't have newspapers.  Only the circulars they deliver every now and then.
#2- I dropped a few of my coupons in store... Oops.
#3- My printer decided to turn satanic and spew out 200 pages of coupons, wasing tons of ink and paper.  Along with time and dignity... How does that look when I tell husband I'm trying to save money?  Oh and the coupons... They were repeats.  A lot of them.
#4- I gotta learn my grocery stores.

Step 2- buy groceries.  MISERABLE FAILURE

I went to 4 stores.  FOUR.  That is like... way too many, people.  I first went to Aldi.  I've heard raves.  I was disappointed.  I think it might just be my aldi, though, so I'll probably research and try again.  They barely had anything.  I spent $14.  I then went to Meijer.  Again, raves on prices.  And cheap chicken.  I was actually able to buy most of the items I needed.  And in truth, I think I saved money merely because of Meijer.  But either I don't know the store well (I don't) or they just suck sometimes because they didn't have some certain items I needed.  Like egg whites.  Or Bob Evans Mac N Cheese.  And Green Peppers (who sells produce without green peppers?  Maybe I missed them somewhere).  So the remaining 2 stores (walmart and kroger) were my solution to the missing items.

It was a frustrating day, but I will improve.  And if I had more than 3 coupons I probably would have saved more.  In the end I was still over budget, but by way less than normal.

So step 3- Prepare.  I passed this with flying colors.

I made a list of all the food that needed to be made.  I marked off items that had to be made fresh the day of.  I then made 4 lists of what needed to be done- prep work, cooking (stove top), baking (oven), and assembly.  In each one I numbered them in a reasonable order.  Then, I took my 4 lists, and combined them into 1 big list in a numbered order.  I tried to guestimate how much time each would take and lay out a plan that wouldn't overwhelm me at some points but leave me waiting on a timer at others.

Step 4- execute.  And execute I did.  It was smooth, easy, and QUICK!  3 hours for 3 weeks (not counting thanksgiving!).

Monday- Maple Glazed Chicken with rice, carrots, and green beans
Tuesday- Spaghetti with rolls, corn, and peas
Wednesday- Leftover spaghetti
Thursday- Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, and Green beans with a mushroom gravy
Friday- Leftover pork chops
Saturday breakfast- Cinnamon Rolls, Eggs, Fruit smoothies
Saturday- Leftover pork chops (we love this meal.  It's our fave).
Sunday breakfast- Biscuits, eggs, sausage (or bacon)
Sunday dinner- Pot Roast, Potatoes, Carrots

AND I'm linking up here.  Sorry this post is so long!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Food in a Box becomes a Healthy Meal

So remember my awesome menu a few weeks back?

I said I was making Chicken Alfredo.

Yum yum. 

BUT I slightly didn't tell the truth- it's from a box.

This box, actually.

Yeah.  We eat processed food in our house.  Not often.  But we do.  It's easy.  It's cheap (IT'S CHEAP- THIS IS THE BIG ARGUMENT FOR IT'S CASE).  But you know, it gets kind of bland sometimes.

So I took a few extra ingredients. 

See?  Yes- they are cans, jars, bags, and boxes.  We use jarred mushrooms and canned veggies a lot.  Although, frozen veggies aren't really that bad.  So sometimes we use them too.

Would you believe it?  It was amazing.  A-MAY-ZING!

Don't believe me?  Check it out yourself.

See?  Oh me oh my was it scrumptious!  And balanced.  It had lots of color and all kinds of flavor.

Wanna know what I did?  I sauteed some mushrooms while cooking up my chicken (I use boneless skinless chicken breasts, if you were curious).  I then strained the chicken and combined it with the mushrooms, then the water and milk and packet of spices, and then the noodles.  I then microwaved a bag of steamfresh broccoli.  I took the left over peas from the chicken pot pie, and a can of carrots (I only used about 1/2 the can.  Maybe a little more).  I added the peas and carrots, and then about half of the bag of broccoli to the sauce mix.  Finish out the directions on the box and voile!

Oh how delicious it was, and it has given me an inspiration to repeat with other things as well.  Eventually.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wedded Wednesday- Stay at home dads???

Disclaimer- we have no children, in case you are new.  This is mostly hypothetical.

So Mike is officially back to working only 1 part time job.  He wants to get a second one asap, but I'd prefer he doesn't.  I didn't get to see him at all, and to be honest we can survive a little while without it.  Not to make things difficult for us, but sometimes time is worth more than money, ya know?

So on that note, somewhere down the lines I had been discussing the options of having a baby with a few people, and I was absolutely shocked when they ALL made it very clear that the dad HAS TO have a full time job.  Period.

Now, to be honest, I kind of agree KIND OF.  I would prefer to be a stay at home mom some day.  Or work from home.  Or have a small part time job.  Whatever it takes so that I'm the one at home with the kids.  However, I'm very realistic, and I don't see that happening.  I honestly see both Mike and I working full time while raising our kids.  And I'm not opposed to daycare at all- in fact, if you find the right one, it can be the best thing you do for your child.  A lot of them help teach kids the social graces of life.  And they get a jump start on their education, which I'm all about.  Not that I couldn't do that on my own, but a girl's got a lot to do already, you know?

The one option that's more realistic at the moment, however, is Mike staying at home and keeping his part time job.  IF and this is a BIG IF we were to get pregnant now, it might even be more beneficial for Mike to NOT get a full time job.  He works third shift.  I sleep while he's working.  He sleeps while I'm working.  We're both home in the evenings.  With a little adjusting, we could actually raise a child without daycare this way.  It would work well, especially since I carry the health insurance and I have disability leave, etc etc. 

Why is it, though, that this idea just absolutely HORRIFIED these women?  I mean, the answer was very much, unabashedly, big fat in your face NO WAY IN HADES.  I was really shocked.  I thought in today's world that more people would be more open minded.  And the reasons were pretty vague.  Maybe they just didn't want to work?  I just don't get it. 

Now true, I will say that I would have issues with the lack of cleaning, the lack of organization, and the lack of probably a lot of things that I would be doing if I were the one at home.  But financially, it's a very viable option.  Too viable to not even consider it.

Now, of course, if Mike is discovered and then strikes it rich, we will be singing a different tune and I'll be able to have my dream home with my dream kitchen full of freezer meals a beautiful baby and NO JOB.  But hey... He's gotta be discovered and strike it rich first.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Menu Monday- Adjusting to freezer cooking

Last week we decided to try out the "freezer cooking" method.  We made a menu for a month, made a grocery list covering 2 weeks worth of that month (it's a trial, remember), and then went out and spent a ton of money at three different stores.

The idea was that we'll (eventually) make a menu for a month at a time.  We'd go to Sam's Club at the beginning of the month for the bulky items.  Then every other week we'll head to Walmart for the items we don't need in bulk.  Then once a week we'll head to Kroger for the fresh items (like fruits.  We love us some fresh fruit).

So far, we're way over budget.  But to be honest, it's mostly because a) we bought enough toilet paper (and other items) to last us forever.  b) I bought cookie dough (and other unneccessary items).  c) This is a trial, and I seriously think we will survive a long time with what we have.

This week I was supposed to only need to go to Kroger.  However, I had to go to both walmart and kroger because I hadn't realized we'd run out of certain things when we did.  Like face whipes.

Other than that, we are as we predicted.  There's a ton of food still at our house.  I imagine we will probably survive a total of 3 weeks on what I cooked versus the planned 2.  With that, here's this week's menu:

Breakfast for the week includes a muffin, a banana, egg whites, and turkey bacon.  And coffee, of course.

Lunch is soup and sandwiches again.  It's plain but pretty healthy.  And cheap.

Monday- Spaghetti with peas, corn, and rolls.
Tuesday- Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo
Wednesday- Leftover fettuccini alfredo
Thursday- Pineapple pork chops with rice and broccoli
Friday- Taco Salad
Saturday breakfast- Biscuits, eggs, bacon/sausage
Saturday dinner- Maple glazed chicken
Sunday breakfast- Waffles and fruit smoothies
Sunday dinner- BBQ Meatloaf

I'm super excited to see how this week goes, because I can already tell I've left at least 2 meals off of the menu that are already cooked.  I also have lots of leftover pork chops that I have yet to use, along with lots of left over veggies.  I'm predicting that the spaghetti will last 2 days, the alfredo might last 3, and the meatloaf will probably have leftovers as well.  We'll just have to wait and see!

AND I'm linking up here.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy Friday!

Fridays are my favorite and least favorite days of the week.

Favorite- it's pay day.  it's also "new line on the budget" day (meaning I have spending money again, or at least we hope).  it's also the start to the weekend (which is actually my favorite time of the week).

Least Favorite- It's pay day.  And in accounting that means that anyone who's check is off by a penny blames me.  I get a lot of complaints. 

But it's Friday!  :)  I can endure the complaints as long as I get my weekend.  And Mike is officially done with his second job today.  :)  This makes me extremely happy.  Poor?  yes.  Happy?  Extremely.

So what's the plan for the weekend?

I'm going to be running tonight after work.  And then doing a "minor" workout (I think it's a major workout, but Shorty SWEARS it's hardly anything at all...) So afterwards I plan on reheating a freezer meal (Beef stroganoff, anyone?  or maybe spaghetti?).

The weekend will definitely include:
Walking Romeo (probably both Sat and Sun)
Cleaning (bathroom and kitchen.  Ew, gross)

The weekend SHOULD include at least something from this list:
Washing the car
Sorting through the garage
Re-arranging furniture
Organizing/Editing pictures
Organizing recipes
Creating an Address book
Raking leaves
Cleaning gutters
Date night
Mapping out Christmas and Thanksgiving
Writing (thank you notes, journal entry, blog post, something)

The weekend will MOST LIKELY include:

So my wish for this weekend?  Relaxation.  Last weekend was just way too busy.  I apologize for not having a blog post.  It was too busy for pictures, and we lost the football game.  And our halloween costumes didn't turn out as well as we hoped.  Oh well, we'll do better next time!

Have a happy weekend!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Oops... Now I feel Naked.

I forgot my purse today.

Not horrible- it has my wallet, but I bring my lunch to work, so I don't need money.  And if I get pulled over or have an accident, whatever I have my license number memorized (it's supposed to be a good trick).  It has my ipod, but I carpooled today, so we chatted instead of listened to music.  It has lots of other things that sometimes are important, but to be honest, there was only one thing that really really is upsetting me.

I forgot my dayplanner.

I'm a creature of habit.  And I'm an accountant.  I NEED MY DAYPLANNER!  It has due dates.  It has my checklist of things I need to get done.  IT IS VERY CRUCIAL TO MY SUCCESS AT WORK!

THANKFULLY I'm an accountant.  This means most of my job repeats from week to week, so... it's mostly memorized and I can do something with my time other than twiddle my thumbs.

But I still feel naked.  Like I'm forgetting something.  Like I'm going to freak out tomorrow when I have to remember what I did today and check things off my list.

It sucks.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wedded Wednesday- Voting

Since yesterday was election day, I think it's appropriate to discuss politics just this once (ok... I'll probably discuss politics a lot in the future, but I try not to).

I'm very opinionated, and when it comes to politics, I'm extremely opinionated.  That being said I lean one way with politics.  Not because I was told to, but because I am very informed, and I've found that I line up almost exactly with one specific side of things.  From reading my blog, you might even be able to take a gander at which way I lean, but if not, I refuse to tell you because quite frankly it's not relevant.  Just know I do have a very specific leaning.

My husband does not.  He hates politics.  He's very apathetic.  I'm pretty sure he only votes because I make him.  ;) No, I don't make him vote my way.  He does, though.  For his own reasons.  We even argued last night over one of his votes (we disagreed, but his reasoning was because the ad was done so well (in film-speak).  I WILL argue with you if you vote for stupid reasons, such as filmography).

A lot of people believe that it's not polite to discuss politics.  Indeed, I have learned that politics is a bad subject in group setting.  I don't discuss politics with my friends unless I know which way they lean and that we agree.  It's just nicer to have a conversation when you agree, ya know?  I respect their opinions if we don't, but I also put in the effort to avoid a disagreement.  This means that politics are (mostly) a no-no with some specific people, including an aunt and uncle, my cousin, and 2 of my closest friends (yes I have bi-lateral relations).  Also almost everyone I work with.

However, in a relationship?  We discuss politics, but rarely.  Mike doesn't care, really, and I try not to push my opinions on him.

But what if Mike and I didn't agree?

I personally find politics to be one of the BIG RELATIONSHIP TOPICS to discuss prior to marriage (right up there with "how many kids, if any").  If we don't agree, or we automatically start fighting over politics, it won't work out (obviously, it worked out fine with Mike.  This is a what-if).  I've been there and I hated it.  I can respect your opinion, but I don't have to live with it, and I won't.  For myself, politics in a relationship need to be on the same page.  This is definitely something I was wary of when I was dating, and I'm, quite frankly, very happy with the outcome.  It has nothing to do with different opinions.  Mike and I are very different in several areas of life.  It has everything to do with how I relate politics with your character and how you live your life.  As a friend, you have your own thing and I don't judge.  As a boyfriend/fiance/husband, your life and mine are intertwined too much.  And in practicality, to be very honest I never found someone from the opposite party that was really appealing to me as anything more than a friend.  I'm not sure if that's pure coincidence or what the reasoning may be, but it is what it is.

I am very curious about YOUR opinions on the matter, though.  Are you in a relationship with someone of a different political affiliation?  How do you handle politics in your house (whether you agree or disagree)?  Also, what do you teach your kids regarding politics (we don't have them yet, and I'm curious)?

Please do me a favor, though.  I don't want a comment battle or anything, so leave out party affiliations as much as possible.  KThanxBai

Monday, November 1, 2010

Menu Monday- Freezer meals!

Has it seriously been a week since I blogged???  And where are those pictures I promised you?

I have a few posts written, and pictures on my camera.  I swear.  I just need to upload them so I can post them!  I will I will I will I swear.

Just a preview- I was really really ecstatic about the way a certain meal came out last week.  Also, I should have some Halloween pics if anyone else took them I was bad... I didn't.  Maybe some homecoming pics? And this week I hopefully will be... dum-du-du-dum! RUNNING!  I'm terrified, but hey... it'll be worth it, right?

So the menu, right.  Just a quick pre-note: We are trying something different in our house.  We keep trying to take baby steps towards saving money and time.  So this week we planned out the whole MONTH of meals (that's gonna help a lot).  THEN we went shopping for 2 weeks worth of meals at 3 stores.  We are trying to do the whole "freezer cooking" idea.  Eventually I will shop for a month at a time (at Sam's) and have one big cooking day where I freeze just about everything I can for a whole month of meals.  But since this is our first time, we only did 2 weeks worth because I honestly think it'll last a lot longer than 2 weeks.

But it was SO EXPENSIVE!!!!  Ok, it probably wouldn't have been $300 but we needed a lot of other things like laundry detergent and toilet paper and cat food.  We bought those at Sam's too, and seriously.  If they don't last a whole year, I'll be shocked (ok... 3 months).  We won't need things like that every month, so to me, we didn't do so bad.  Oh, and we had to renew that membership too.

So this week, I have already cooked everything!  Here's the menu-

Breakfast- egg whites, turkey bacon, and chocolate chip-banana muffins
Lunch- Rich and Meaty Chili, cornbread, and applesauce

Monday- Maple Glazed Chicken, rice, and veggies
Tuesday- Beef Stroganoff, rolls, and veggies
Wednesday- Chicken Pot Pie
Thursday- Chicken Pot Pie (there's a lot of it)
Friday- Spaghetti, Rolls, and veggies
Saturday breakfast- Waffles, eggs and fruit smoothies
Saturday dinner- Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings and veggies
Sunday breakfast- Cinnamon Rolls, Sausage, and Peaches
Sunday- Taco Salad (not made yet due to needing fresh veggies)

You'll see a lot of repeat foods in our house, because we love our favorites, and it's hard for me to find new things that I'll like.  I'm kind of picky.  Plus, obviously with freezing meals, we'll probably have more left overs than I anticipate.

Oh, and here's the link up.