Monday, February 28, 2011

Menu Monday- Feb 28

I haven't blogged in a while, though I check out other blogs nearly daily.  I guess it's hard to blog when you don't have much goin' on!  Maybe I should work on that.

I also haven't read for my 11k in 2011 goal.  I'm falling WAY behind.  Gotta get on that too!

So let's start this week off right- here's a menu!  I haven't done one in forever, because I felt it was sort of redundant.  But the less I did them, the less I actually wrote out a menu, and then I just stopped having one, which is SO BAD!!!!

So I took the time to write the menu this week.  It's based entirely on what's left from freezer cooking, so there are a few items that will show up more than once.  Oh well.

Monday- Maple Glazed Chicken with rice and peas
Tuesday- Chili with cornbread
Wednesday- Shake & Bake (homemade style) chicken with corn on the cob!
Thursday- Pork Chops with green beans and mashed potatoes
Friday- Maple Glazed Chicken (or maybe grilled chicken cob salad)
Saturday- Chili and Cornbread
Sunday- Baked Potato Soup or various leftovers

Have I shared my homemade chili recipe yet?  I know winter is almost over (woohoo!) but maybe you might still want it?  It's quite yummy.  We have around 4 bags of it left in the freezer actually.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The rights of a blogger

Do me a favor.  Go research the whole "teacher blogger gets suspended for her blog" thing going on and then let me know what you think.

I personally agree that the education system is majorly screwed up.  Why do you think I dropped the idea of being a teacher?  I love kids.  I can't do teaching.

I agree with her message, and her right to blog.  I don't think a company should be able to control what we do outside of work AS LONG AS IT DOES NOT INVOLVE WORK.  I don't even feel that bloggers should be completely censored regarding work.  I don't mind discussing it sometimes, and sometimes it could be a positive thing for company and employee alike.  But I follow rules.  I would never blast my company or the people I work with.  Not because I don't want to (we all want to at some point, whether we are right or wrong for it), but because I know there are consequences for what we say.  ESPECIALLY what we say online.  I think we all need a lesson in taking responsibility for what we say.  If a parent had overheard her say the things she did in her blog, and thus complain, she would be held accountable.  It wouldn't be a nationwide scandal, but she would be held accountable.  The difference here is that a LOT of parents "overheard" her comments.

So I'm curious to see what your take on the whole thing is, as bloggers.  How do you feel?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Marley and Me

Why did it take me so long to finish this?

Oh, because I got to the end where he's old and dying and I didn't want to finish it... That's right.

*sigh* I'm now behind on my 11,000 page challenge.  I'll catch up though.

The back of the book:

"The heartwarming and unforgettable story of a family in the making and the wondrously neurotic dog who taught them what really matters in life."

The bibliography:

Grogan, John.  Marley and Me.  HarperCollins Publishers, 2005.

You can find it here or at your local library (support the libraries!)

Total pages for this book:  289

Total pages for the year: 1136
Remaining pages to read: 9,864

Wee Bit Wednesday 2/16

{one} what is your favorite breakfast food?
I don't normally like breakfast.  But I love almost all breakfast foods.  My favorite is normally french toast.

{two} how many pairs of shoes do you currently own?
Maybe 12.

{three} city or country?

{four} what is your favorite part of your job?
I work with my mom!

{five} what is your favorite junk food to snack on?
I don't normally snack on junk food.

{six} have you ever been mentioned in the newspaper?
For honor roll, honors society, bowling (high school varsity), music

{seven} do you use post-it notes?
All the time. 

{eight} do you have freckles?

{nine} is it okay for men to wear pink?
I think it definitely looks good on some.  Not on others.

{ten} when was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper?
Probably March of 2008

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wee Bit Wednesday 2/9/11

Linky Link
Since my computer is being dumb and I can't get the picture uploaded
{one} ice: crushed or cubed?
Cubed.  But I actually prefer those plastic balls with the frozen water in them- I hate when my drink is watered out.

{two} what is your worst traffic pet peeve?
People who tailgate.  I am that driver who will hit my brakes and eventually slow down.  In the fast lane.  Yup.

{three} what room in your house best represents your personality?
I'm thinking the living room.  It may look plain, but it's full of books and while the table is a mess- it's an organized mess.

{four} do you save old birthday cards?
I try to every now and then.  I still have the last one my grandpa gave me before he died, along with the last one my uncle gave me before he died.

{five} when was the last time you went on a picnic?
I remember a small "mac n cheese" type of picnic with Mike SEVERAL years ago (like... 4 maybe)

{six} do you regularly check your horoscope?

{seven} when you’re home, what do you wear on your feet?
Socks in the winter.  Nothin' in the summer.

{eight} what’s your favorite gambling game?
Slots.  I like the ones with games on them.

{nine} have you ever written (or started writing) a book?
No.  I'm interested though.

{ten} what is your favorite musical?
The Phantom of the Opera, for sure.  Although to be fair I haven't seen West Side Story in a while, and Mike refuses to let me watch Rent (something about his roomates watching it all the time and now he hates it?)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

As requested- My Freezer List

An easy post today is in response to the questions from the last post- What do I freeze?

My answer is- just about everything.

Cookie dough- although the cookies came out dry... So I'm thinking I'm going to test baking the cookies and then freezing them.  I'm told this will work.

Spaghetti- I make everything except the noodles and freeze it.  You can freeze the noodles if you want, but they break that way, and I like my noodles twirly.

Beef Stroganoff- We make ours with Sour Cream.  If you make yours with sour cream I recommend making it all withOUT the sour cream and freezing it.  When you reheat it add the sour cream.  It tastes fine if you freeze it with Sour cream, but it comes out looking kinda gross.

Chili- freeze it all.  Warning- reheating makes it a little spicier.

Potato Soup- freeze it all.

Vegetable Stew- freeze it all.

That delicious Maple Chicken- I make it without the glaze and freeze it.

Pork chops- I freeze them uncooked because they seem to dry out too much to freeze cooked.

Pot pie- I freeze the whole thing minus the topping.  I'm told I can probably freeze the topping, but... eh.

Lasagna- Freezes nicely, but sometimes it comes out messy...

If I'm not sure about freezing something (like my chicken alfredo) I tend to do what I can, like freezing the cooked chicken portion.  It might not seem like it, but even having just some of the process finished makes getting it prepared a TON easier.

I haven't tried it, but I'm also told you can freeze most fresh veggies- some need to be cooked first, though.  We also tend to freeze some fruit for smoothies.

Some other quick notes- While I love freezing food, there are small issues- I had to learn how (use freezer bags, lay them as flat as possible and clearly mark what they are).  This helps organizing, but also it makes it quicker to thaw.

Another thing I prefer is to thaw the food in the fridge for a couple of days before cooking.  This means it takes less time to cook when it comes time to eat, which is a big thing in our house.

I also tend to make a few adjustments once things thaw- they are a little dryer.  Adding water almost always works.  For the beef stroganoff, adding the sour cream works.  For spaghetti I tend to add more sauce.  Some things are just perfect- like the pot pie.  :)  Yum. 


Monday, February 7, 2011

Freezer Cooking

Freezer cooking- I'm having some issues.

My freezer is full (organized full.  Neat little piles of labeled bags lying flat full).  It's so full that I actually had to eat some of the meals sooner than planned because I couldn't freeze them.

I also had to do some cooking later on- like instead of eating a delicious formerly frozen tuna casserole, we'll be eating a fresh one.

This means I'm going to be cooking after work.  After working out.  I hate cooking after work after working out. 

Ugh.  I need a chest freezer... Too bad Mike's car had to go to the shop.  It's a Monday.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Putting the Happy in Fridays

Lately my Fridays have been rather drab.  While I'm perfectly happy with that, it hasn't been much to write about.  BUT!  ALAS!  today is the day I bring back the Happy Fridays.

Here is why today is a Happy Friday-

1- Mike quit his second job last week, which means I've seen him 7 nights in a row!!!!! 
2- Our bedroom is painted!  We'll be moving back in tomorrow (hopefully.  Sans curtains, though) (Pictures to come, I promise)
3- I have finally been ousted, and it's no longer a secret- I was recently hired by Procter and Gamble.  :)  I have 7 more weeks at my current job and then I will be training!  I'm rather excited.
4- Friday is always pay day
5- We have a date night planned tomorrow.  And it will hopefully be free (thanks to a giftcard)  :)  YAY!!!!!

So this weekend will consist of rebuilding the bedroom, buying lamps and some sort of darkening shades, a date night, and majorly cleaning my poor neglected house.  :)  I'm excited. 

And reading.  So much reading.  I'm currently in the middle of Marley and Me (which is tons better than the movie).  I want to finish it this weekend.  I'm slightly behind on the reading challenge (as of Friday I was only 1 page behind).

So what are your plans lookin' like?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wee Bit of Me Wednesday- Feb 2

{one} what was your favorite sitcom growing up?
Full House

{two} what song always makes you happy when you hear it?
Anything John Mayer

{three} do you still have your wisdom teeth?
No I don't have my widom teeth, and no, I've never had them removed.  I was born missing 7 teeth- 4 of which were of the wisdom type.  Lucky?  I like to think so.

{four} what is your go to way to relax?
A book.  A nap.  Leaving the house.

{five} do you play any instruments?
Piano, Flute (Piccolo) and Bass guitar

{six} nude beaches: yes or no?
No.  They are gross in reality- a bunch of older and bigger people that just aren't as attractive as what you see on tv (when is life ever like tv?)

{seven} do you chew your pens/pencils?
I chew on my pen caps.  But that's about it.

{eight} can you change the oil in your car?
I have been known to work under the hood once in a while.  I haven't changed the oil on my current car, but I did on the mustang and cavalier, so... yeah

{nine} can you curl your tongue?

{ten} can you knit or crochet?
I knit.  I like to knit.  I still have a Christmas present to finish, though.  Better get on that.  LoL 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

One Hell of a Ride

So there I was- it's 2 in the morning and I'm just getting in from babysitting.  Mike had left for work about an hour ago, so the house was for me and the pets.  I get in.  I get ready for bed.  I plop down.

It's important to note our mattress is currently on the floor of the spare room while we paint the master.

I lean over and feel the air vent, just to see how hard it pumps in that room. 

And I feel cold air.

WTF, people?

The pilot light is out.  In both the heater and hot water heater.  Yuck.  I've never relit them, and Mike is at work.  I call him up, and he proceeds to fail at giving me instructions.  By the end of the call I'm in tears (I'm tired, and cold.  Don't judge.) and still without heat.

After a few minutes talking to my uncle, I somehow miraculously make a lighter heat the whole house.  Woohoo!  heat again.  Back to bed with the promise to my uncle that I will call the energy company on Monday.

Monday- I call Duke.  Duke Energy.  They promise to be out within 3 hours to check the pressure on our line.  That was 1 pm.  I tell Mike to be ready.

I get home at 5:30.  No Duke.  At 6:40- still no Duke.  I leave for the gym.  Mike and my mom are at the house.

He shows up around 7 ish.  It's important to note that up to the point of his arriving, there had not been a single instance of "I smell gas".  NONE.  So he comes, and checks, and turns the gas on in the garage for a teensy bit of time to check it.  He can't find a problem.  He leaves.

I come home at around 8:40.  I open the garage door and WOOF!  Huge huge huge smell of gas attacks me!  So I turn the car off (duh) and run in the house freakin' out like.  No, no.  Everyone tells me it must not have aired out from when the tech was there.

So we leave it.  And then around 9:15 I take Romeo out.  The garage has been open since I got home.  The smell of gas is more evident.  It has floated into the yard.  It's still strong in the garage.  I tell Mike, who goes out and confirms "I hear a hissing sound".

BAD BAD BAD, right?

(This is where I resist the urge to say "to be continued" because you probably are dying to know the rest).

I call Duke (don't call Duke.  Call 911.  I've learned my lesson.)  And they say to leave the house, but not the premises (it's 20 degrees outside).  They'll be there in no more than an hour.  The tech can't call us when he gets there, so we have to be outside waiting for an hour???  Really???  I have small pets.  I'm cold myself.  No.

So we went to my aunt's, and after 30 min I call to check the status.  They say that all they can tell is that it's been reported and the tech will be out within the hour.  They don't know where he is or when he'll be there.  Lovely.  There was a little screaming and yelling at them, and I asked for the manager "I can have them call you back".  Fine.  Hang up and head back to the house to sit in a running car during a gas leak.  That the tech caused (he turned it on to check it, but didn't turn it all the way off).

We get back to the house, and no one's there.  So I call again.  "Our records show he was there at 10:02 and couldn't find any problem."  LIAR!  It is now 10:22.  So you are telling me, that the tiny amount of gas let out at 7 was able to waft and get stronger from 7 to 9:15, but then miraculously disappear by 10?  We went up to check.

The hissing had stopped, the smell was almost completely gone- the guy flat out lied.  He showed up, realized a mistake was made earlier and that no one was around, fixed it, and left saying nothing was wrong. 

And that supervisor?  Never called me back.  Nope.  Nuh-uh.

I hate our energy company.  They lie.  They have no customer service.  The "plan" to follow for a gas leak contradicts itself.  Their technicians are too incompetent to know to turn the gas all the way off after checking it.  I could have exploded when I opened the door or, ya know, parked my car in a GAS FILLED GARAGE.

Guess who will be getting an angry letter from me.