Sunday, February 24, 2008

Prize!

One of my few blogging friends that I have never actually met, Midlife Mom at Home on the Range, is having a drawing in celebration of her 250th post! You should check out her blog and enter to win one of her two prizes! How fun is that?

I stumbled across her blog while looking at the comments on a blog that I found through the comments on someone else's blog! She lives in Maine and has all kinds of four-legged friends with whom she shares her piece of land. Reading her blog makes me want to visit Maine and the rest of New England...but maybe we will do that in the summer, because if you know me, you know how much I hate cold weather!

Online Etiquette?

I happened upon the Miss Manners section on msn the other day, and found this article about online etiquette and whether or not it is okay to post pictures of people on the internet without their permission. From the sounds of this article, the lady may not have liked anything her step-daughter did, or she may have been drunk in the pictures and doing unsavory things. I don't know. But, it made me think about the repercussions of having your picture on the internet. First of all, I would never post a picture of someone that I really thought showed them in a bad light, because I do realize that it's not nice and lots of people could see the picture. Also, I would hope that if I did post a picture of someone that they did not want posted, that they would tell me and ask me not to post any more pictures of them, or to remove that particular picture.

So, anyway, I was just kind of curious what you all thought about that. Does it make you mad when someone posts a picture of you on their website or blog? If you thought that a picture or story about you that someone posted on their blog might show you in a negative way or hurt your chances of getting a job in the future, would you simply ask that person to remove it? Or, would you just complain to all of your friends that they did that and never mention it to the blogger? I am just curious.

After saying all of this, please note that if I ever post a picture that you do not want to be on my blog or if you think that something I say on my blog is inappropriate, whether it is about you or not, PLEASE tell me! I do not want to say something that could scar children or in anyway reflect negatively on anyone.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Happy 100th Post!

This is my 100th post! Wow! Now what? I have been blogging for less than a year and already I have done 100 posts. Does that mean that I am spending too much time blogging? Possibly.

So, what to talk about? Did I tell y'all that I finally finished our "engagement scrapbook"? Yep, it's done. The only thing we didn't have any pictures of for me to scrapbook was Scott's bachelor party. I don't think anyone took pictures, unless Johnny did. I have asked Scott to email him. So, I may end up adding another page if he does. That was a lot of fun. But, I'm glad it's done. I found a bunch of pictures the other day that I failed to put in our wedding album...and I used up some of that paper that I had bought especially for that, so now I am on the lookout for that particular paper to be on sale. They had it at Michael's the other day for $0.59 per page. Whatever!


Anyway, I have moved on to scrapbooking about other things. I have so many ideas for pages. I have been working on this page for a couple of weeks now, as time permitted. It has taken me quite a while as it was very labor intensive. But, I am happy with how it turned out. What do you think?












Scott has really been enjoying his Wii, too. He completely finished Super Mario Galaxy and has now moved on to a game he borrowed from a guy at work called Meteoroid, or something like that. It seems very boring to me, but Scott seems to like it. Scott was watching a GT basketball game today. He said that they lost. I can't remember the last time he told me they won. Hmmm...that's not good, is it? What a bummer.

We did a little work out in our garden yesterday! I pruned our shrubs and monkey grass and Scott cleaned up the area under our front bird feeder and pulled up the dead Lantana that was around the air conditioner that I should have pulled up months ago. Next weekend we are going to prune our Crepe Myrtles. Working at Pike does have its advantages. Our VP of Learning, Wayne, has started doing lunch and learns about gardening and the first one was about pruning. I felt very empowered after having the class. In the three years that we have lived in this house, I had never pruned our shrubs. We have pruned the Crepe Myrtle before, but I have an article from Southern Living called "Crepe Murder". I thought it was very helpful. If you want to prune your plants, the time is now. Anything that flowers in the summer (May, June, etc.) should be pruned now. Anything that flowers in the spring (February, March, and I think April) should be pruned after it flowers (like azaleas). Some plants grow off of new wood and some (like hydrangeas) grow off of old wood. Wayne gave us some handouts, so if you want me to scan them and email them to you, just let me know. I'll post some before and after pictures of our pruning. Oh! While we were cleaning up the yard, I pulled the dead stems and leaves off of my Stella De Oro lilies from last season and found the tips of the new growth peeking up at me! How exciting! It is also time to prune your monkey grass. I have liriope, so I gave it a crew cut (like, to the ground). If you have mondo grass, you should just leave it alone. After you prune, you should feed your plants so that their first growth spurt in the Summer is huge. And, while you are at it, you should put out Preen, too for weed prevention. I just mixed fertilizer and Preen together and used my hand-spreader to do it all at once. I love my hand spreader, it has a wrist support and everything. I think it is made by Scott's. It was well worth the extra $5 for the wrist support!







Before pictures.





Here are the after pictures. You know, it's kind of hard to tell the difference. But, I filled up an entire garbage can with clippings. (Do you see the cats in the window, they watched us the whole time.)





Here's the De Oro lilies before and after. I can't wait until they start blooming!









This is what my spreader looks like. I really like it.







I LOVE my Southern Living subscription. I may be revealing what a nerd I am, but this is what I do when I find a good article or a recipe I want to try: I pull them out and put them in a book. For the recipes, I have a manila folder I leave them in until we try them. If we don't like it, we throw it away. If we like it, we put it in a three ring binder down in page protectors. I have a separate three ring binder with gardening articles in page protectors. I have referred back to these articles many times. That's how I learned how to divide lilies and hostas, which has proved very useful!

So, that's it for now. Have a great week!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Time For Ice

I think that I have posted before about how smart and talented our cats are. They know so many words, I think they are above average for the feline persuasion! Maxwell loves ice and he knows that word. I actually think that they both know that word, but Sampson just doesn't get as excited about it. Here is a video of what happens most of the time when we toss Maxwell a piece of ice. (Please excuse our messy kitchen!)


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Another Cat Video

A while back, I posted a really cute video of Sampson and said that I would post one of both of our cats watching birds later. Well, it's later. Here it is. Super funny. Super cute.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Millie's Spinach Rollups


Millie's Spinach Rollups


Source: Alice Perrins (wife of a former co-worker)


10 oz. pkg frozen chopped spinach (thawed and well drained)
1 c. mayonnaise
8 oz. sour cream (reduced fat is fine)
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 pkg ranch dressing mix
3 oz. bacon bits
9 10-in. flour tortillas
salsa


Combine first 6 ingredients and spread thin layer of mixture on tortillas. Roll up tortillas and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Chill 4-6 hours before serving. Serve with salsa.


NOTE> I have made these a couple of times and I have always put a strip of the mixture in the middle and then rolled it up, but I realized this last time that the directions actually call for you to literally spread it out so that when you wrap it up, the mixture is between all the layers. You may have picked up on this, but my picture is showing it the way I actually prepared it instead of how I think it should actually be. I also think that it looks pretty with the thing of salsa in the middle, but no one really eats it with the salsa...so you could leave that part out. Also, I never use an entire bunch of green onions. I only use about 4.

Mint Brownies


Mint Brownies

Source: Beth Thompson (one of my former co-workers)


Brownies:

Prepare a brownie mix (the fudgy ones and the chocolate chip ones are best!), following package instructions (I made a 9x9 batch). Allow to cool.

For mint layer:

1 1/2 c. (approximately) powdered sugar
1/3 c. margarine
2 ½ tbsp Crème de Menthe (get the green kind, or buy some food coloring)

Melt butter and mix all 3 ingredients together (I suggest that you add the butter a little at a time because I usually don’t end up using it all). The mint mixture should be thick, but pourable. Spread it over the top of the brownies and put in the fridge to let it stiffen while you prepare chocolate layer on top. You can taste it and make sure it is minty enough before you spread it on there.

Chocolate topping:

1 cup chocolate chips
6 tablespoons of margarine

Melt together in a double boiler. Let it cool for a couple of minutes (keep stirring it). Spread over top of mint layer.

Refrigerate until chocolate topping is stiff (not runny) and cut later.

As you all know I have difficulty following a recipe if I feel that I can improve it. I do not think that the mint layer is enough to fully taste the minty fresh flavor of the Crème de Menthe. So, I usually double the mint layer. Also, when I say, "add the butter a little at a time," I mean it because it usually does not take it all. If you want to make it a thicker mint layer, I would use 3 cups of powdered sugar and start with 2 1/2 Tbsp. of Crème de Menthe and then add more to taste. I am pretty sure that the other day I used about 4 1/2 Tbsp. I think that I do stick with the 1 cup of chocolate chips part, but I may "accidentally" let my cup runneth over.
Another note that I will make is to buy the smallest bottle you can get of the Crème de Menthe because it gets more alcoholic and less minty as time goes by. I would also suggest storing it in your freezer if you have space.
One more note: they will turn out much prettier if you turn them out of the pan and then cut them. I just run a butter knife around the edge and flip them onto aluminum foil and them use another piece of aluminum foil to flip them right side up. Use a sharp knife to cut them.



In case the above picture was not enough to convince you that you want to try these brownies, here is a close-up. Click on the picture to make it full screen.
Have mercy.....

Super Bowl Sunday

Last Sunday was the Super Bowl. The Giants played the Patriots. As most of you know, I have very few opinions on sports, unless you are giving me a choice to watch them or not. However, Scott was rooting for the Patriots because he wanted them to have a perfect season. We go to our friends' Rob and Cheryl's house each year for their annual Super Bowl party. Cheryl and some of the other ladies wanted the Giants to win because 1) they were tired of hearing all about the Patriots and how great they were and 2) they are the underdog champions. So, I couldn't really hear a lot of the commercials because it was kind of loud, so I plan to watch them on the internet some time soon. But, mainly I like going to be social and to have an excuse to eat lots of different foods. Every year so far, I have made my mint brownies and last year I started also making spinach rollups as well. I am about to post the recipes to both of those. Mmmm.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

I've Been Tagged At Least 4 Times

Okay, so you all know about this game that is going around on people's blogs and on myspace where you write random things about yourself (sometimes 7, sometimes 10, and, according to Jennifer, sometimes 100!), then you have to "tag" other people to do this but you can't tag someone that has already been tagged. Well, I feel that I should tell you who has tagged me. First, my friend Arlene, who I have known since elementary school tagged me back in December, or before. (Sorry I am such a slacker Arlene). Then, my sister tagged me and my dad tagged me (which I think it illegal in this game, but whatever). Then, Jennifer tagged me. I say "at least 4 times" because Callie did it and said that Jennifer picked everyone that she would have picked, so I think that she counts as 5. SO, I am going with 10 random things about me because that's the most I have been asked for. By the way, my sister tagged me because she said that she knew I was be "exasperated" but that I would put it on my blog anyway. She's right. But, at least it gives me something to blog about and it's not a list of 1,000 senseless questions that I have to answer and email to everyone I know or something like that (which I rarely do).

Here goes:

1. I have the lids to paper boxes under my desk at work - one on each side of the "L" - so that I can put my feet up on them since my legs are so short that they dangle unless I let my chair down so far that I am afraid I'll get carpal tunnel syndrome if I continue because my keyboard is too high. I have a rubbermaid container under my desk at home for this same reason. Sad, I know. It's okay if you make fun of me for being short, everyone else does.

2. I like to wear my hair up in a pony tail but I always regret it when I look in the mirror. I think my face looks weird.

3. I do not like the dark at all. I am okay with walking from my bed to the bathroom and from the door to our room to the bed, because I know that path, but besides that, I don't like it. At all. I am just so afraid I'll step on something or run into something. The worst part is that I never realized I had this issue until my mom died because she was afraid of the dark and therefore our house was never dark. (Hmmmm...I know that Stephanie is analyzing this right now...check one for some sort of mental issue, I am sure.)

4. I like to drive fast when it is daylight and not raining. I know what you are thinking, I am SUCH a rebel! (Go ahead, Stephanie, check number two for mental issues...)

5. One of my favorite things to eat is Luigi's Italian Ices, lemon flavor. I haven't had them in forever and then the other day I was craving them and got some. Super Yum-O!

6. I always crave chocolate and then a lot of times when I eat it, it isn't as good as I wanted it to be. Then, I am bummed because not only was it not as good as I wanted it to be, I wasted calories on it.

7. I like to doodle. I have always wished I was a talented artist. I am not.

8. I do not like to play sports. I have bad aim and I don't like things flying at my face. I am sure this is part of the reason I hate the dark...I wouldn't know is I was about to get smacked in the face by some strange thing dangling around 5 feet above the ground.

9. I have the MOST adorable cats alive. Ever.

10. I think that I have really sensitive senses. I am very sensitive to loud noises - especially in my left ear, I smell everything and can almost always identify what I am smelling, I think that I am such a picky eater because I taste things so well (or maybe I am just picky, I don't know). I guess the only sense I have that isn't great is my vision...and it is pretty dang perfect now that I have had lasik.

Okay! I am done. Mine are much longer than Jennifer's and Callie's, but I am never as concise as they are. Now I must tag 8 people and why I picked them according to the one my sister sent me on myspace. Which is getting difficult, by the way...but here goes:

1. Lauren Watson - I know you don't have a blog, but you aren't getting out of this. You can post it in a comment. I am super interested to see what you have to say.

2. Sarah Dickinson - I really want to make sure you are still alive.

3. Bethany Freeman - I think yours will be really cute, because you are so cute!

4. Allison Stroud - because you seem to like doing these things!

5. Robyn Denson - I can't remember if Arlene tagged you, but you are really good at this kind of thing. Plus, it is tax season and maybe this will be good therapy for you.

6. Tommie Richardson - Because I haven't talked to you in forever so it will be a good way to see what you are up to.

7. Lindsay Samples - I am interested to see if you do it since you are a busy new mom and what your 10 things are now that you are a mom!

Drum roll please...

8. Mandy Moltz - Because I can and I think you will actually do it!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Maggie's Shower

In January, Lauren, Shana, Maggie's mom Vena, Maggie's friend Adrienne, and I threw Maggie and Eli a baby shower at Vena's house. We had a full nacho bar and of course my margarita punch (nonalcoholic, in case you were wondering). I really enjoyed it. I know you will all be surprised, but I took a ton of pictures. Maggie was a very gracious gift receiver and it was so much fun to watch her open all her gifts. Andrew was there and behaved really well, as always. It was a lot of fun to finally meet some of the people that Maggie is the closest to that we didn't already know. I am including some of my favorite pictures from the night.






Andrew spent a lot of the night upstairs watching a movie. The movie sounded very exciting. Andrew is always ready to smile for the camera though!









Here is Maggie showing off the cool burp cloths Shana gave her. I just thought that this was a really good picture of Maggie!






This was my most sought-after picture all night. Jennifer was trying to avoid me so that I would not take her picture. She would "suddenly" need to refill her drink or something every time I would try to take a picture of the group she was standing around. I had visions of tackling her, but luckily, Lauren held her still for me. Look at those beautiful smiles!




Here's the star of the show! Isn't Eli so cute!











I think that these pictures speak for themselves. They are just really good pictures of some beautiful ladies that I love a lot! (And Eli, too.)


Lauren had to take several pictures before this one turned out like it did. I kept blinking every time my camera flashed! Also, I thought I was holding Eli up so that you could see him better, but most of the pictures turned out looking like I was letting him hang like a rag doll. I promise that he was securely in my arms, Maggie!

This picture was of the "big" gift and Maggie's reaction to it - do you see her clapping? Her mom and dad (and I think Aunt Nellie was in on this, too) gave her this super cool high chair.

This is a disclaimer that I have no idea why this post looks like it does. I tried to fit more pictures into a smaller space, but I don't think it worked out for me. I'll try to do better some other time.