Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people"
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Autumn 2013

Here in Georgia we did not have much of a summer, we had weekly rain showers, that brought forth bugs of increasing size, plants that grew inches in a day, and tomatoes overflowing.  However last few weeks finally brought summer, it has been hot and steamy, so I am thrilled that autumn has arrived. I can finally get my hay bale out along with all my fall decorations that will take us through to Thanksgiving.

What amazes me is how the plants and trees know it is fall, just a couple of days with cool mornings and the leaves are changing and dropping.  Only two hummingbirds are still around, all the others have gone south.  Happy Fall!

Make sure you stop by Doreen McGettigan blog today, I snagged her picture of the Harvest Moons, I just couldn't resist!


LOVE IT!!!!


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

"I have six locks on my door all in a row.  When I go out, I lock every other one.  I figure no matter how long somebody stands there picking the locks, they are always locking three."
~ Elayne Boosler

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

"What is a committee? A group of the unwilling, picked from the unfit, to do the unnecessary."
~ Mark Twain

Monday, September 2, 2013

Dragon Con 2013

Dragon Con is the worlds largest sci-fi / fantasy convention held here in Atlanta over Labor Day weekend.  Each weekend they have a parade that thousands of people flock to downtown to watch.  This year, Doodle and I attended and we were not disappointed.  How do you explain Dragon Con... I have thought about this for the past two days, for a fan of sci-fi and fantasy, it is a place to loose yourself in a character, meet authors, actors, and other like-minded fans. It is a feast for the eyes, unique, creative, original, eccentric, AWESOME!

The crowd in the parking deck behind us:
 
Start of the parade:
Aliens:
Go Speed Racer...
Lord of the Rings:
Judge Dredd:
Cardboard Superheros:
Tomorrow, more parade!
 


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Schools In

Wow, the summer flew by, I know I say that every year, in fact, the older I get, the faster it seems time is going.  I have been at my new job for almost two months and to be honest, I love it!  Yes, some of the students drive me nuts!  Yes, some of the faculty are challenging! But, really, this was the best move for my sanity, I needed a change to a new department, with new faces, new challenges, and new accomplishments.  And, guess what...

I won Staff Employee of the Year for 2013!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have to say that again, I won Staff Employee of the Year!!!!!!!

I was absolutely thrilled, speechless and humbled.  It was nice to finally be recognized for working so hard the past 5 years to ensure everyone else has a positive experience.

On a completely separate note, I am taking a class in Leadership and would you believe we had 8 chapters to read the first week and this is only for a certificate, the instructor certainly means business!  The reading was in my opinion relatively dull but I managed to get it read and my writings turned in before the deadline... in fact, I really should be working on that now.  Signing off... Have a grand weekend everyone! 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

"Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music."
~ Ronald Reagan

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

"Do not take life too seriously.  You will never get out of it alive."
~ Elbert Hubbard

Saturday, August 3, 2013

One Month

I have been in my new position for a month now.  While I hate to admit that I thought it may have been a mistake taking the job, I am really starting to like it.  I am learning new software, meeting tons of people and so far, I think they like me.  At least, I hope they do, cause I certainly need the income! 

A couple of weeks ago, Doodle and I went on an adventure to...

Goodness, that place is huge!  We wore ourselves out walking around looking at all the stuff they have.  They have stuff you never knew you needed.  While it was an experience and an adventure, I cannot say that I would shop there or have any desire to return. 

That same day, we decided to visit the Dekalb International Farmers Market, we were on the hunt for crawfish for the boil that Doodle was making that night.  When I lived in Atlanta, I spent many a happy weekend wandering the aisles of the Farmers Market marveling at the items from across the globe.  I love this place, the fruit and veggies are so fresh and reasonably priced.  They have spices in bulk at prices that cannot be beat, a great selection of meats, seafood, cheese, a bakery, and lunch line.  I think that Doodle was a bit overwhelmed, to be honest, it is crowded and even more so on a Saturday afternoon.  If you ever visit Atlanta, this is a place not to be missed.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

"People often say that motivation doesn't last.  Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily."
~ Zig Ziglar
""“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”
Read more at http://www.rightwingnews.com/quotes/100-great-quotes-about-life-and-living-2nd-edition/#6idJQdpmQy0Jxpgo.99

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

"What if 'the hokey pokey' is REALLY what it's all about?"
~ Curtis Spencer
What if “the hokey pokey” is REALLY what it’s all about?
 – Curtis Spencer - See more at: http://www.oneweekjob.com/blog/2010/11/09/the-50-best-work-and-passion-quotes-of-all-time/#sthash.XvwHlesU.dpuf

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Working is Over-rated!

We've gone four days without rain!  I never thought I would be excited to say that but there you have it.  We have had more rain in the last six months than we had all of last year.  Our tomato and okra plants are growing something fierce, we had a bunch of tomatoes that we ate last night.  I think the key was the new soil that Doodle mixed in because our peppers are not doing well at all and their soil was old.  Live in learn in the garden!

Last week was my first week working a full five days in over a year.  I had been on a compressed work week working four ten hour days with Wednesday's off.  Let me tell you, five day work weeks are over-rated!  I was exhausted by Friday afternoon and felt like I put in over 40 hours.  There is such a huge learning curve in my new department, I call us the three blind mice (and I am not joking) I hope they continue to have faith in me.

Doodle must have known that I was struggling because I came home on Thursday to a surprise bouquet of flowers, they are just beautiful.  We also got the plant stand that we bought at the estate sale back from being sandblasted, we were able to get the primer coat of paint on it and plan on getting the top coat done today.  Once it is finished, I will share some photos.   

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

"You can't look back - you just have to put the past behind you, and find something better in your future"
~ Jodi Picoult, Salem Falls

Friday, July 5, 2013

Happy Independence Day

Happy 4th of July!  The weather rained out all activities here in Georgia.  As I sit here, it is once again pouring... we have had 4 inches of rain in the past three days, with the majority of it arriving on Wednesday.

Doodle and I tried watching the fireworks on TV last night and the weather even played havoc with the satellite reception.  Instead, I had to get my fill of fireworks via pictures this afternoon.  Here is my favorite from Washington DC.
Photo Credit
Another favorite from the fireworks at Balboa Island, my old stomping ground.
Photo Credit

I told Doodle that we have to add fireworks in New York and Washington DC to our bucket list.  They certainly put on a show!  I hope everyone had a fun filled, safe 4th and that no one came close to eating 69 hot dogs yesterday.  *Smiles*


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Things are a changin'

Okay, so trying blog more often seems to be an epic failure but things certainly have been a changing!  I start with a new department on Monday and am quite excited to be doing something different after five years of the same thing.  What is really amazing is the number of people that called or emailed me to tell me I could not leave my current position, that I matter to them, that what I did for five years mattered, how whoever they hire has big shoes to fill.  Just imagine how good people would feel if we told them they matter more often?  I bet there would be more happiness out there in the world. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

"The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra".
~ Jimmy Johnson

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Blogging Break

I never understood why people would blog that they are taking a blogging break.  I mean life happens; people get busy, sick, depressed... they may not be able to blog or have no desire to.  That is what happened with me.  I was just tired, depressed, stressed, and life overtook any desire I had to come up with something to talk about on a blog that no one reads. Trying to find something to talk about, feeling I had to be witty when I was just not happy.  But, the desire to write about stuff is back, so here I am.

It is hard to believe that three months have passed since I sat at the computer and typed out something.  Oh, I tried to come up with my usual Wednesday Words of Wisdom (which I will continue)! But, overall blogging has been an epic failure.  It has been three months filled with adventures, stress, laughter, tears, and happiness.

Doodle and I still laugh daily, I firmly believe that is in the top five requirements of marriage, the ability to laugh.  Sometimes, I laugh at Doodle and sometimes he laughs at me but most of the time, we laugh together.  So many people have asked me what the secret is, why are Doodle and I still so happy after 11 years.  I tell them, marry your best friend. There is no one in the world that I would rather be with.

So anyway, I am going to try and be better about blogging, it may only be once a week, but watch out world... I'm Back!
 




Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

If you look good, you feel good.  If you feel good, you play good.  If you play good, they pay good.

~ Deion Sanders

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out alive.
~Elbert Hubbard

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Top Hat Cheese Soufflé


Last night Doodle and I made a cheese soufflé.  Mom recently mailed me the soufflé dish that grandma had given her and the best cheese cookbook... ever!  This Kraft cookbook dates to 1971 and there is not a bad recipe in it... apparently I have tried them all over the years.  You can always tell when a cookbook is good, this one is taped together and the pages are splattered with food.  The sign of a great book.

This is one of those dishes that takes me back to my childhood.  I love this recipe, it reminds me of a time when life was not so complicated. When families ate dinner together without cell phones interrupting.  Try it, I promise everyone will enjoy it, after all, who does not love cheese?

  

1/3 cup margarine
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
dash of cayeene
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
6 eggs separated

PREHEAT oven to 300°F. Melt butter in medium saucepan on medium-low heat. Stir in flour and seasonings. Gradually add milk, stirring until well blended. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Add cheese; cook until melted, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Beat egg yolks lightly. Gradually add to cheese mixture, stirring until well blended. Cool slightly. 

BEAT egg whites in small bowl with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Add to cheese mixture; stir gently until well blended. Pour into 2-quart souffle dish or casserole dish. With tip of spoon, make slight indentation or "track" around top of souffle 1 inch from edge to form "top hat." 
 
BAKE 1 hour and 15 min. or until center is set and top is lightly browned. Serve immediately.




Friday, March 1, 2013

The Mole

I do not work on Wednesdays.  Okay, clarification, I am suppose to be off on Wednesdays since I work four 10 hour days the rest of the week.  Most weeks, I end up working a couple of hours ensuring that the customers are not freaking out when they do not an immediate response.  (No, I am not bitter!) 

This past Wednesday the weather was nice enough in the afternoon to warrant having the door open to the deck so Mo could freely move about without me continually opening and closing the door.  Oh the trouble she caused!

I was in the kitchen emptying the dishwasher, enjoying that the sun was actually shining and I hear this horrendous meowing.  My heart jumped into me throat, Mo somehow got out front and she was hurt!  I start calling her while moving into the hallway.

Imagine my surprise when Mo comes around the corner with a small brown fuzzy something in her mouth.  I admit it, I screamed like a girl.  She had a mouse!  Mo proudly drops said mouse on the floor and looks at me like 'see what I brought you'.  At this point, I realize the mouse is a mole.  The mole starts running down the hallway toward me, over my foot.  I scream like a girl again and head the other direction.

Mo must have decided that I really liked the present because she made a beeline back out the door and I realized I have a mole somewhere in the house.  What does one do when there is a small, fuzzy, blind mole loose in the house... why... call the husband!

Me: "Doodle, we have a mole in the house!"

DB: "What"

Me: "There is a mole in the house and I do not know where it is"

DB: "IS IT IN THE BEDROOM?"

Me: "Not really sure!"

Me: "Got to go, Love you"

I am not sure what Doodle said at the end, nor am I sure I want to know what was said!

I started looking for the mole and found the poor scared creature huddled behind the bleach container in the laundry room.  It was the cutest little thing, I think it was rather young or it was actually a shrew or a vole, as it did not have the big front feet that moles are suppose to have.  It looked like brown velvet and I manage to control my urge to pet it.  I scooped it up with a towel and hurried downstairs into the yard.

Guess what was waiting for me... MO!  She was sitting right by the hole the mole must have come up from.  I scolded her and dropped the mole back into the hole.  Success!  

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.
~Swami Vivekananda

Monday, February 25, 2013

Plumbing Lesson

Yesterday I had a lesson in plumbing...  that it takes twice as long and is twice as difficult as I think it should be.  My sink was not draining, you know how that is, all the gunk that we use on a daily basis eventually clogs the sink.  Doodle offered to help, but I insisted that I could clean it, after all, it is my gunk!

All was going well, I had removed the trap, water was draining into the bucket, the pipes were getting cleaned, I had successfully avoided throwing up AND THEN

I broke the pipe!  Who knew I had such super human strength!

When pulling a towel through the pipes to get the last of the buildup I did not pull down but rather toward me and the pipe broke.  I just looked at Doodle and said "OOPS".  That meant that Doodle had to load into the car, drive to our local big box home store to purchase items for replacing the drain assembly.  Two hours later, I had my sink back.

The moral of the story... let Doodle clean the drains!  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
~Winston Churchill

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

5k

Is Doodle running in his jammies????
Utterly spent, just wanting to finish!





















We did it!  Doodle and I "ran" - I use that term loosely our first 5k on Saturday.  We have been working our way toward a marathon later this year or early next year and we accomplished our first goal.

Saturday dawned cold and grey, in fact, they were calling for snow flurries.  We put on our new long sleeve shirts that we got when we signed up for the race, long johns, sweats, grabbed a quick bit to eat, downed a cup of coffee, and were out the door!  We arrived a bit early; since we had no idea what to expect and watched the "real" runners warm up. Talk about intimidation, these people were serious!

Soon it was time to line up, gun goes off and wait we are not moving, the waves of people before us were to great!  Finally, we were off.  Doodle pulled ahead and remained there the entire 3.2 miles.  The first mile or so was all down hill and we sped along at a great clip, of course, that means the last mile or so was uphill, needless to say, I walked some.  As we got closer to the park, you could hear people cheering and to be honest, I put on a burst of energy, rounded the corner and looked at the time clock - 29:33

OMG - I am under 30 minutes, I am doing great!

Then, I realize you have to lap the park before you cross the finish line, goodness, another .5 miles to go, DEFLATION!

Doodle finished in 33:12 and my goal was to finish in under 40 minutes, my time was 35:18 = success.

10k here we come.


 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day


I don't understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine's Day.  When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, chubby toddler coming at me with a weapon.
~ Unknown

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

I predict future happiness for Americans, if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
~ Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Resolutions

Do you make resolutions?  I do not, I do not see the point in setting yourself up for failure.  I do however, believe in setting goals.  For the past 4 weeks or so, Doodle and I have been running... well more accurately attempting to run!  One of my bucket list items is to run a marathon (yes, I am insane)!

I had downloaded the C25K (couch to 5K) app, oh a few months ago and just never got around to beginning it.  Now I know why.  This crazy app tells you to run or walk at regular intervals that is suppose to allow you to run a 5K in 8 weeks.  I have my doubts, especially since I am winded by the 15 minute mark and then struggle to make it back to the house. 

The first couple of weeks, I swear the app was saying "Run Fat Woman, Faster, Faster" when it spoke to me.  Of course, it could have been related to the fact I was generally wheezing by the time we hit the top of our hill and did not stop for the next 30 minutes.

There have been days that I just cannot finish the last run part, I am done and end up walking back to the house. So, this week, we are trying something different, instead of running in our neighborhood with the plethora of hills, we are headed to a local park where it is flat. I am hoping the flat will allow me to build up my endurance without the hills slowing me down.  According to the app, we should be ready for our 5K at the end of this month... that is not a lot of time to get me ready.

Photo Credit
The goal, run the Disney Marathon which is taking place this week.  Next year, I know I can be there!
 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Pancetta-Wrapped Beef Tenderloin

Continuing the odyssey of great meals that we had over the holidays, we made Pancetta-Wrapped Beef Tenderloin from Southern Living.  It was excellent and oh, so easy!  Below is the link and instructions.  This is worthy of a date night or dinner party.     

Pancetta-Wrapped Beef Tenderloin

Ingredients

  • 1 (5- to 6-lb.) beef tenderloin, trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 14 very thin pancetta slices
  • Wax paper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • Kitchen string

Preparation

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 425°. Sprinkle tenderloin with salt and pepper. Cook tenderloin in 2 Tbsp. hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Let cool 5 minutes.
  2. 2. Meanwhile, arrange pancetta slices in 2 rows on a large piece of wax paper, overlapping to form a rectangle the same length and width of tenderloin.
  3. 3. Sprinkle garlic and rosemary over tenderloin. Place tenderloin on edge of 1 long side of pancetta. Tightly roll up tenderloin with pancetta, using wax paper as a guide. Discard wax paper. Tie tenderloin with kitchen string, securing at 1-inch intervals. Transfer to an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet, and brush with remaining 1 Tbsp. oil.
  4. 4. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes or until pancetta is crispy and a meat thermometer inserted into center of tenderloin registers 120° (rare). Let stand 10 minutes. Discard kitchen string before slicing. Serve with Whipped Horseradish Cream.
  5. Note: For medium-rare, cook tenderloin to 135°, or to 150° for medium.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Best Cookie in the World

I trust everyone had a great holiday and a safe and happy new year?  Doodle and I certainly did.  We cooked, baked, cooked, and baked some more while mom and her husband were here. Interspersed with all the cooking and baking was lots of love and laughter and just a bit of shopping. 

I plan on sharing some of the outstanding recipes that we tried and wanted to start with my favorite from the past couple of weeks: Nutella Stuffed Brown Butter + Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies {The Best Cookies in The World}from Ambitious Kitchen.

A friend from work turned me onto these cookies and let me just say the are truly the best cookies in the world.  They are time consuming and messy but oh so worth it.  Below is the recipe from Monique and the link; she has some amazing recipes on her website that are worth a try.  

ENJOY!


Nutella Stuffed Brown Butter + Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients
  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon plain greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 jar of Nutella, chilled in refrigerator
  • Coarse sea salt for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. The butter will begin to foam. Make sure you whisk consistently during this process. After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to brown on the bottom of the saucepan; continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma. Immediately transfer the butter to a bowl to prevent burning. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
  2. With an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, vanilla, and yogurt until combined. Add the dry ingredients slowly and beat on low-speed just until combined. Gently fold in all of the chocolate chips.
  3. Chill your dough for 2 hours in the refrigerator, or place in freezer for 30 minutes if you are super eager, although I cannot promise the same results if you do this.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Once dough is chilled measure about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. Flatten the dough ball very thinly into the palm of your hand. Place 1 teaspoon of chilled nutella in the middle and fold dough around it; gently roll into a ball — it doesn’t have to be perfectly rolled! Make sure that the nutella is not seeping out of the dough. Add more dough if necessary. Place dough balls on cookie sheet, 2 inches apart and flatten with your hand VERY gently. (Really only the tops need to be flattened a bit!)
  5. Bake the cookies 9-11 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown. They will look a bit underdone in the middle, but will continue to cook once out of the oven. Cool the cookies on the sheets at least 2 minutes. Sprinkle with a little sea salt. Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets after a few minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Let our New Year's resolution be this: we will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word.
~ Göran Persson

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art - write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.
~ Neil Gaiman