Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Twenty-four years ago tonight I was in labor. My Harley Stud and I were anxiously awaiting the birth of our first child. We were rewarded the next day with a beautiful, pink bundle of joy. She has continued to provide us with wonder and joy for twenty-four (WOW, can we possibly be old enough to have a child that is twenty-four!) years. Happy Birthday, D1. We love you!
And to everyone else: Happy New Year! May it be the best yet!
Happy Birthday to Thistle too. Yippee for New Year's babies!
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
My head is still spinning from Christmas. I'm trying to get ready for D1's birthday which is New Year's Day and can't seem to put one foot in front of the other without putting forth major effort. I'm feeling a bit guilty that while most of my bloggy friends took time off for Christmas, they are back at it and I've got ………….nothing. I've discovered when the creative juices fail me, a recipe post is in order. I feel a little embarrassed to even call this a recipe because it's so simple, I think the dog could do it if she didn't lack the required opposable thumbs to open the jars.
Every year since we moved to our current home, we have hosted an open house Christmas Eve celebration for our friends and family. Each year I've made this recipe for meatballs and it's become a tradition that everyone demands expects. While the menu varies each year, there is always beer, there is always wine and there are always meatballs. D2 has a friend that is also a neighbor. When she arrived home from college on Christmas break this year the first thing she said to D2 was, "Your mom's making meatballs, right?" One year they were in a little tiff and this friend actually made nice just in time to be welcomed back into the fold just for the meatballs. Personally, I like them but really don't see what all the fuss is about. All I know is that if you choose to make them ….say….for New Years Eve….be prepared to make them again next year.
1 Large package of frozen meatballs (I've used homemade meatballs before and MHS prefers them but at this time of year, the frozen variety fit more into my schedule.)
1 Large jar of Ragu traditional spaghetti sauce (any brand will do but this is the one I use)
1 Large jar of grape jelly (I've also used a combo of red and black currant jelly)
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Combine all ingredients in a crockpot on high and heat thoroughly. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to low.
Happy New Year, everyone!
Friday, December 19, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
It's that time of year again. Last week I started sending text messages to D2 and our friends, Miss Lolly and CinDEErella.
"The mouse is in the house."
Miss Lolly replied:
"At first I thought you had a rodent problem at your house. I get it now. I'm so excited!"
My next message read:
"There's pixie dust in the air."
Later I sent:
"…with visions of all day suckers dancing in our wee little heads."
"Your messages are making me very excited! I can't wait!
"What's with the weird messages?"
Please understand the poor dear was right in the middle of exams as I'm sending these messages. Her mind was elsewhere. Rightfully so.
This will be our third annual trip to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party at Walt Disney World with our friends, Miss Lolly and CinDEErella. Miss Lolly and CinDEErella LOVE CHRISTMAS just as much as we do. The thing I love most about Miss Lolly is how she can work the words of a Christmas carol into a conversation without even trying. She says things like, "I think we need a little Christmas, right this very minute!" I think it has something to do with the fact that she was born on Christmas Eve. I just love her!
We were hoping that D1 would be able to join us this year but she will still be in NC on the last day of the Party. She'll be driving home the next day with The Officer and a Gentleman.
Last year, we were there for the taping of the 2007 Disney Christmas Day Parade. We were heart-broken to find out that the parade is actually taped in advance and not on Christmas day but we perked right up when we were invited to attend. We donned matching Christmas outfits so that we would be able to spot ourselves on TV Christmas morning. The cameras were right there on us several times. Mr. DeMille, we are ready for our close-ups! Alas, we ended up in a tangled mess on the cutting room floor. But we still believe in the magic of Disney, pixie-dust and all! And found that if you dress alike, people will think you are celebrities, Disney entertainers or just very big dorks. Ding, Ding, Ding! And the prize goes to …….VERY BIG DORKS! Guess what? We're doing it again this year and we aren't even going for the parade taping.
Here's a few of the pictures from last year's adventure to the Mouse House. Did I mention it snows on Main Street at Christmas time in Disney World. Yessirree, it DO!
This is what we found on our bed when we arrived. If you look closely, you can see the characters from The Little Mermaid on the bedspread.
This was in the hallway of our hotel.
This carousel was in the lobby of our hotel. It is made almost completely from gingerbread. The smell when you walked in was unbelievable and so inviting.
Even this plaque with the ingredients listed was made from chocolate and icing.
D2 and I are big Dancing with the Stars fans. We were thrilled to find that the part of the parade we were scheduled to tape was the DWTS performance. If you look closely, you will see Julieanne and Derek Hough, Kim and that is Joey Fatone's back beside Kim. Tony is up there in charge of the choreography and that is Helio Castroneves in the gold pants. Mark and Sabrina were there too.
The castle was covered in icicle lights that change colors to the music. The fireworks display is the best I've ever seen and synchronized to Christmas carols.
As I've been writing this, I've been up and down getting batches of cinnamon pecans out of the oven. I'm done. Finally! I think. *sigh*
Sunday, December 14, 2008
I've been coming across several alphabet memes over the last week or so. First Yankee Chick challenged readers to take a shot at getting their own alphabet. I was in the middle of my Christmas melt-down and didn't feel up to the task so I passed. Then Stepping Through beckoned to us to give it a whirl. Again I passed as I had the next several posts planned with recipes. Now Midlife Slices is playing and with my recipes posted, I thought this might be just the quick post to rattle of so I can finish my shopping a lot of fun. I posted a comment on her blog and was assigned the letter "K". MLS is a good friend of mine and I think she is yanking my chain because "K" is a really hard letter to play with" saved this fabulous letter for me because she loves me so much.
"K", hmmmmmmmmm? Let me think. OK, I think I've got it.
Ten Things That I Love That Start With "K":
- Kids, Mine and all the rest
- Kevin! The line in Home Alone. We have a Kevin in our life and I can't say his name at this time of year without wanting to say it like she does in the movie. And sometimes I do.
- Kris Kringle. I never call the BIG GUY this but MLS gave me K and there you go….
- Kings, the three of them. They give great gifts like gold, frankincense and myrrh.
- Kettles, tea. I love tea kettles! Even more than tea, I think.
- Knocks on the door, when they are followed by a treasured friend or family member entering our home.
- Ketel One ads. I've never actually had Ketel One that I recall but I love their magazine ads because they are so clever.
- Kris Kristofferson and his very sexy voice.
- Kayaks. We took a trip down the Chattahoochee River with The Rocket Scientist and The Trophy Wife and had so much fun. OK, it was really Kanoes, not Kayaks.
Leave a comment if you want to play and I will assign you a letter. If you don't want to play, you can still leave a comment. *wink*
Now I've got to get back to making this:
And decorating this:
And shopping for these:
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everybody!
With love from Smart Mouth Broad!
Friday, December 12, 2008
***Note to family members***
You may want to walk away right now and come back later. If you choose to stay, get a box of tissues and settle in. Don't say I didn't warn you.***
Recently I spoke of Thistle's challenge to us all to remember to give back, lend a helping hand this holiday season. I loved this idea. While every year I have good intentions of doing something special, the reality is that I usually get so bogged down with my Christmas to do list caught
up in the excitement that I never seem to find the time to accomplish that particular goal.
It's been almost five years now since my beloved mother, Lucy, passed. I miss her more everyday and even after five years will find myself in a puddle at the most inopportune times because of something said that brings back a cherished memory or just a thought that goes through my befuddled head. This tends to leave grocery cashiers, business colleagues, even family members staring at me with the bewilderment and a "What did I do?" look on their face. My Harley Stud has become accustomed to these episodes. While he still initially gets that dear in the headlights look worried that he's in trouble for something again, after a second the lightbulb goes on in his head and he just nods and gives me a hug. This sometimes results in tears in his eyes too. (But don't ever tell him that I told you that because I'll just lie and say I didn't.)
There are so many things I want to say but let's face it, neither you nor I have a lot of extra time right now and the last thing we all want to see is a really long, rambling blog post. Sorry, just sayin'…….. So, I will try to keep this brief. I have been putting off writing this post because even now as I write, the tears are flowing. But today is my birthday. And I can think of no better way to celebrate the anniversary of my birth than to honor the woman who made it all possible. Well, I'm pretty sure Daddy had something to do with it too. *wink*
Lucy died from colon cancer. It was a long battle. But that's not what I want to talk about today. Or any day. There came a time when Lucy's pain became so unbearable it was not possible to manage her care at home. She had the good fortune to be admitted to the Hospice Care Center in North Florida. The care given at this facility was so far and away above anything I have come to expect in the medical field that it would be impossible for me to convey just how much I think of this facility and its staff. Let it suffice to say for now that the people who choose to work for Hospice are a special kind of people and they are the cream of the crop. It is not an easy job that they do and yet they perform their duties in the most efficient, professional and compassionate way imaginable.
I have wanted to find a way to express my gratitude to Hospice since we lost Lucy. The problem has been that I just didn't think I could follow through without falling apart. And since the idea is to give back to them and not to have them comforting me in my puddle, I just keep letting it go. So when Thistle put her challenge out to bloggersville showing that together we can make a difference on a much larger scale, I knew just what I wanted to do.
The plan has two parts:
The first part is pretty easy. I feel confident that I can accomplish this task with little or dare I be optimistic and say no tears. I've been posting recipes of my traditional Christmas treats that I give out every year. I am going to make and take trays of treats to the local Hospice Care Center for the staff to enjoy. Our local center is not the one where Lucy stayed but they do great work there. And I have a plan in the works to visit the center in North Florida during the coming year as well.
The second part could prove to be a LOT little more difficult emotionally. I plan to inquire if there are any patients or patient family members residing in the center who do not receive visitors. And then go visit. I may offer to read to them, just sit and visit, or I could bring my toy microphone and sing Christmas carols. (I kid, I kid, I know that no one wants to hear me sing.) D2 has offered to go with me. That should make things a little easier. D1 won't be home yet at the time we are planning to go.
This particular part of the project is very close to my heart. During the time that Lucy was in the Hospice Care Center, Daddy and I became residents there too. We ate, slept, showered and I worked there (at my job remotely-not for Hospice)from Oct 31st of that year until late January of the next year. I can't begin to tell you how important visitors were to our sanity. And we were so very blessed to have visitors EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. Without them, I would probably still require medication five years later. I mean there is only so much Animal Planet (Lucy's preference for tv watching during that time) you can watch. My parents had neighbors and friends from church and around the lake that would come every day. We had relatives fly in from all over the country. My entire office including my boss came at different times. My in-laws drove four hours to visit with us. I had friends who made the long drive up just to let us know how much we were loved. It is a testament to how great a person Lucy was that so many made it a priority to take the time to be there with us when we needed them so badly. We laughed and carried on like you wouldn't believe. We were embraced with a love that is so big that it is still so hard to put into words.
I know that not every patient and patient family is as fortunate to have the type of support that we had during that very difficult time. For whatever the reason many are left alone for this journey. Daddy has since remarried a wonderful lady who I call Daisy here in my blog. Oddly enough, Daisy was going through the same battle with her husband's colon cancer at the same time just a few miles away from us. Daisy had the support of Hospice care givers but did not have the support system that we were blessed with. It is Daisy's story and the idea that there are many others that haunts me. It is a very small gesture but if I can make even a small difference to one or two or three, it would mean the world to me. And of course more importantly, it will hopefully make a difference to them. I mean who wouldn't want a visit from a Smart Mouth Broad, right? I'm blogging about it because if there is a reader out there who reads this and feels so inclined to join me in my mission or create a mission of your own, I want to encourage you to do so.
These contributions are small, I know. But I hope to be able to continue throughout the year and not just during this Christmas season. I would love to hear about it if you are doing something to give back to your community or globally. Some people prefer to keep their contributions confidential and I respect that. Me, I'm a bit of a blabber mouth but hope that maybe I might be an inspiration to others to do something that is meaningful to them.
Together we can GO MAD. Make A Difference!
I know I said I was going to try to keep this brief. Once I got started, I just couldn't shut up. (Big SURPRISE!) Sorry. And thanks for taking the time to read this self-indulging therapy session.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Before I share my recipe for Peppermint Bark, I thought I would share a little of my world with you.
I had to run an errand in the middle of my work day today. My office is in a medical building on a hospital campus. As I drove around the perimeter of the hospital to get to the road access, I came upon this new sign:
Now doesn't that just make you want to fall off a ladder so you can check out the new emergency wing of the hospital? Is it just me? Because that is just so WRONG!
The easiest one yet:
1 package of vanilla candy coating (Can you tell I really like this stuff?)
1 package of chocolate candy coating (You can use semi-sweet morsels for this too but I'm not sure how much because it's been awhile since I did it that way)
1/3 tsp peppermint extract
½ package of candy canes (crushed)
Unwrap ½ of the candy canes in a package. (A good job for little ones if you have elves to help you) Put them inside two large plastic bags and go to town with a rubber mallet or a rolling pin. They will probably still come thru the bags. You can make them as fine or coarse as you desire. I like them a little coarse myself. If you want them fine, you can put them into a food processor and let it do its thing.
Melt chocolate coating in a double boiler (or a stainless steel bowl on top of a pot of water). Add peppermint extract. Once melted spread evenly into a jelly roll pan lined with wax paper in a thin layer. Refrigerate to speed up the setting process. Melt vanilla coating in a clean bowl. By the time this is smooth, your chocolate should be set. Spread over chocolate mixture quickly in an even layer. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes and press in carefully. Back in fridge to set.
Once the entire pan is set and hardened, lift out by the wax paper and gently remove the wax paper. Place onto cutting board. You can cut with a chef's knife or break apart with your hands. I like to use the knife but cut it unevenly so it looks like it was broken apart by hand. Store pieces in an air-tight container. This is really pretty given in tins or in those little baggies that I like so much.
This recipe was concocted while I was trying to follow Paula Deen's recipe for peppermint bark. I think that I've mentioned that I have trouble following recipes exactly. I came upon an ad for Williams and Sonoma's peppermint bark which has a chocolate bottom (and quite yummy if you prefer to buy it instead) and figured it never hurts to add chocolate, right? And so the Smart Mouth version of this recipe was born.
Merry Christmas and Season's Greetings.
Smart Mouth Broad
Monday, December 8, 2008
I haven't forgotten about Thistle's Helping Hand's Project. The treats that I'm posting about play a small part in my plan. I'm having some difficulty writing about it but know that there is a plan in place and I'm working on telling you all about it.
I've got another recipe for you today. But before I get to that, let me tell you about my trip to the mall during my lunch hour today. I.AM.GETTIN'.MY.CHRISTMAS.ON! I've got the Christmas tunes playing in the car. I'm practicing random acts of kindness by not cutting off any cars or stealing any parking spaces. (Because I'm so pure of heart and all)
I found a parking space right away, right up front. Shhhhh, don't tell MHS! He insists I park in the next county because he thinks I need the exercise so as to avoid door dings. At least I didn't take advantage of the valet parking that they offer at the mall. Can you believe that! Well, believe it, because we have valet parking at the mall. MHS would have really had a fit if I had done that. He's very particular about our vehicles but you'd never know it right now because my car is puritty dirty.
Once in the mall, I'm on a mission. I have a goal and I accomplish it quickly. I can't mention what said goal was as there are family lurkers here and the surprise would be ruined. With my main purpose already in the bag (pun intended), I had some time to kill so I decided to look around and see if I could get any ideas. Both my daughters are fashionistas. (Remember the scarves for shooting trap?) I wandered my way over to a store that I don't want to mention here because they aggravated me so badly; I don't want to promote them in any way. If you are familiar with the chain, the store has a front porch. In the mall! Normally I love me a front porch as I love porch sittin'. Not here though. Not this place. The music blasting out of the store was so loud that I didn't get five feet from the entrance and I was done. Not feelin' it! But I did a quick once through against my better judgment. It was so loud that I could see the salesperson's lips moving but I couldn't hear what she was saying. So I ignored her and moved on out the door.
I know I'm old. I have a birthday coming up really quick that proves it. But shouldn't these stores realize that at this time of year, it's the parents laying down the cash and make it more enjoyable for us to shop there? Just an idea. You know…..if I ran the world. Anyway, I moved on. Next I came uponColdwater Creek. Lovely store. They played nice music that was relaxing and made me want to browse thru every area of this beautifully arranged store. Yeah, yeah, I know. It's a store for the old broads. Duh, that's me.
Do you think I can convince D1 and D2 to start dressing like old ladies?
Here it is, another Smart Mouth favorite treat. This one is tops on MHS's list.
½ cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
1 egg white (beaten til frothy)
3 cups pecan halves
(I usually double or triple this recipe for one batch) and then make 3-4 more batches.
Preheat oven to 325 f. Combine sugar, cinnamon and salt in small bowl. In a large bowl, whisk egg white til frothy. Add pecans and toss to coat evenly. Add sugar mixture and toss again to coat evenly. Spray cooking spray on jelly roll pans and spread pecans in a single layer. Bake until toasted and crisp, about 20 minutes. I have a gas oven and I find it takes 15-18 minutes for mine.
Use a spatula to immediately loosen pecans right out of oven.
Cool. Store in air-tight container.
I give these in those same Christmas decorated plastic bags with a ribbon like the white trash.
If you like pecans, you will love these! Or my name's not Smart Mouth Broad. Well, actually my name isn't Smart Mouth Broad. But you're gonna love 'em!
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Several years ago I had two friends that do not know each other both give me almost the same Christmas treat. You may remember my friends the Halfbacks, Happy Halfback called her version White Christmas Mix. You may also remember my porch sittin' friend, the Redneck Girl. She called her concoction White Trash. They were both delicious and a big hit with my family.
I took both recipes and made them my own with a few little tiny changes. Since that year, I've been making batches and batches of the stuff every holiday season and giving it along with other treats to neighbors, friends and teachers as gifts.
Every year I have to make more. The kids have always taken it to their teachers but each year they had to take it to new teachers but still gave to the old ones who would start asking for it once December rolled around. This year I don't even have kids in school here but D2 plans to take goody bags to hers and D1's favorites when she gets home from school next week. I figure it's the least I can do to say thank you for not only educating my children but inspiring them to be educators themselves.
In the interest of time, of which I have none extra to create an interesting and entertaining blog post, I will give you my Christmas treats (one at a time) that have become a tradition in my house.
I really enjoy creating yummy and sometimes complicated recipes for my family. But to be honest, when it comes to the holidays and providing food or treats for large quantities of people, I prefer to keep it simple and enjoy the time I get to spend with family and friends rather than slaving away over a hot stove. So believe me when I say that these recipes will be simple and very easy to make. But don't be surprised if once you've given away one of these treats, you'll be expected to do it year after year. (And that feels pretty good.)
#1 Across the board hit: White Trash (If you know me at all, is it any wonder which name I decided to stick with?)
2 ½ cups of rice chex
2 ½ cups of wheat chex
2 ½ cups of cheerios
2 ½ cups of stick pretzels (I've used the waffle ones before and some from Sams Club that were shaped like Christmas trees)
Plain m&ms (I like using minis when I can get them and I also prefer the Christmas colors)
1 package of vanilla flavored candy coating (I like Eagle brand but this year I used something from Walmart that worked just fine)
Break apart the candy coating and melt it in a double-boiler. (I don't have a double boiler and so I put some water in a pan and put a stainless steel bowl on top of the pan. This works just fine)
Mix all the cereals and pretzels together in a large bowl. Once candy is melted and there are no lumps, pour over cereal mix and toss to coat thoroughly.
Line jelly roll pans with wax paper and spread mixture into pans in a shallow layer. Sprinkle with m&ms and then stir around gently just to get the m&ms slightly coated so that they stick to the cereal.
Let it sit until the candy sets. Gently break apart into clumps.
I like to give it in little Christmas bags with a ribbon gathered at the top.
Enjoy but be warned. It's addicting!
Friday, December 5, 2008
It's December! News flash, I know. And today is the day. Every December there comes a day when it hits me: I've got 90 days worth of tasks to accomplish and 19 days in which to accomplish said tasks. OK, it's official. I'm FREAKING OUT!
Not that you care. Not that you don't most likely feel the same. Not that you need to hear it here from me. But AIGHHHHHHHH! I think I'm having chest pains. I can't breathe. My head feels like it might explode. There are so many thoughts swimming around in my normally vacant brain that there just isn't enough room and something is about to blow!
What's a girl to do? And then it hits me…………
Ahhhhhh, that's much better.
Queue the Christmas carolers
Let the shopping begin (Somebody's got to get this economy moving in the right direction and I just might be the woman to do it)
Start melting the white chocolate
Roll out the wrapping paper
String up the lights
Trim the tree
Light the candles
Don't forget to give back
Just keep the Peppermint mochas flowing and nobody gets hurt!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
The Christmas season is truly my favorite time of the year. I used to think that everyone felt the same. I've since discovered that not everyone shares my enthusiasm for celebrating the birth of Christ, the lights, the decorations, the treats, the shopping, the gift giving and general good cheer. This can be a truly sad, depressing and dark time for many people. I'm not trying to kill anyone's joy or anything just making a very real observation.
Each Christmas season I try to make some sort of contribution to make a difference in the life or lives of those that are less fortunate than I am. In years past I am always left feeling like I should have done more. I usually get too busy and end up never doing as much as I planned to do. I'm a true believer in the old statement, "Charity begins at home." I much prefer to look around and give where I can see the need and see my gift at work. Maybe that is a little selfish of me but I enjoy the gratification of seeing my contribution making a difference.
In the true spirit of the season, Thistle over at Of Thistles and Maple Leaves is throwing down a challenge to bloggersville to give back. I have copied the following directly from her blog (Thanks, Thistle) I would like to invite you to join me in finding new ways to give this year if you are so inclined. It can be as big or as small as you want it to be.
Please stop over to visit Thistle to see the original post.
1. Choose some way to give back. Here's a few ideas….
- donate to the foodbank
- donate coats and blankets to a homeless shelter
- support a craft or bake sale that is in support of your local arts program or senior's centre
- give a bag of cat litter or dog food to you favourite animal shelter
- donate blood
- throw your change in the Christmas Kettle as you're going past
- volunteer to man the Christmas kettle
- make a new year's resolution to volunteer some time next year to coach a kid's T-ball team or a Special Olympics sport
- have a toy drive at school
- get a re-usable shopping bag
I'm sure you're full of ideas of your own. Maybe make it a family commitment, It's never too early or too late for kids to learn community involvement or the spirit of giving.
Now here's the award…
…or this one…
2. Tell us all about it, post it on your blog. Then come back and pick up your award. Choose one badge or the other, or both if you're really in the spirit. And don't forget to link back here so we can follow what everyone is doing. And if you're already doing one or all of the above, pick up your badge right this minute!
3. Challenge all visitors to your site to do the same. Link back to the blog where you received the idea. And let's see where this can go.
And if you are in need of some inspiration as to what you can do….this post
at Only A Movie should provide it. Erin is way ahead of the rest of us and we should all follow her lead.
Psuedo over at Psuedononymous High School Teacher has an interesting and relevant Huffington Post link that addresses this topic of giving back to our community…check it out….
I'm not claiming this badge for my blog yet. I have decided that my contribution will be directed toward Hospice as this is an organization that does amazing work and has touched my life in a very personal and meaningful way. I'm not sure what exactly I'm going to do but when I figure it out, I'll post it right here. Just give me a few days.
If you are a reader here and do not have a blog of your own, feel free to leave a comment and I will post your ideas or contributions. Sharing your ideas and contributions can be inspiring to others and the more of us that give, the bigger difference we can make. If you feel like giving but aren't comfortable sharing the information, that's cool too. It's important to remember that it doesn't have to be a big gesture to matter. If your contribution helps just one person, it matters to that ONE person and that's what counts.
(Make A Difference)
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
You should know something about me. I am loyal to a fault. If I care about you, I've got your back. You lie, I'll swear by it. Your friends are my friends. Your enemies are my enemies.
Now I don't know why but for some reason my family started a war on Friday after Thanksgiving. I'm not sure what the enemy did to bring this on themselves but it must have been BAAAADDD! We drove a truckload full of guns and ammo up to North Carolina to wage war on this public nuisance. It was ugly. It was frightening. It was…………………………FUN!
PUBLIC ENEMY #1
Here she is getting some last minute tips from Uncle Brainbuckets while Uncle Hammerhead waits patiently. He does look patient, doesn't he?
Oh and she is using my daddy's really old shotgun. Cool, huh?
Monday, December 1, 2008
It's so manly, I'm about to swoon! But seriously, folks, having this very masculine award bestowed upon me is quite an honor. That GF thinks my blog measures up is quite flattering. But giving this tall, dark and handsome award to me with that macho measuring tape just makes me want to go out in the garage and fix something, drink beer, smoke a cigar and spew obscenities. Hmm, that sounds just like when I bake?
Like any award worth it's salt, this one comes with rules and they are as follows:
1. Say one nice thing to a man in your life. I told My Harley Stud he has a cute butt. (And he does.)
2. List at least six ways that you measure success in your life (or for your blog).
- Living within your means
- Working at something that gives you pleasure and a sense of accomplishment.
- Finding contentment
- Losing the desire to keep up with the Jones'. (whoever they are)
- Giving back in a way that's meaningful to you
- Owning a vehicle that has multiple cup holders.
3. Assign this award to six other blogs and leave them a comment telling the blogger that you’ve assigned them this award.
- After the Dust Settles
- Anecdotes, Antidotes and Anodes
- Bear Naked
- Highway Hags
- My Life Interrupted
- Nana Diaries
- Nanny Goats in Panties
- Nothing Fancy
- Slap Happy Musings
- The Blue Ridge Gal
- The Chicago Blogger
- The Daily Rant
4. Link back to the blog that you received this award from. check
I would like to thank Goodfather for awarding me with this most pretigious bling for my blog. GF is truly a favorite of mine and that he would include me in this very talented group of people touches my heart and my ego. GF, you ROCK!
I would like to be the first to congratulate the above listed blogs to whom I am passing this honor. Wear this badge with pride and keep on doing what you do.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Mother always said it would happen.
I didn't listen.
I was young.
I was carefree.
She would repeat it often.
Oh, how I wish I would have heeded her advice!
Because now it's too late.
It's already happened!
Mother always said if you keep making that face, it's going to freeze that way.
Today I woke up with a wrinkle in the middle of my forehead that can only come from spending way too much of my life with that "What the …….?" look on my face!
Do they have botox for this?
Hurry, people, I need help!
Monday, November 24, 2008
Awhile back, Midlife Slices posted a recipe for this:
A day or two later I received the same recipe from my cousin, QTPie. I'm a pretty good cook if I say so myself but baking is not my thing. It's the measuring. Well, that and the fact that I can't seem to follow directions exactly to save my soul. Nevertheless I was inspired by this very seasonal recipe and just had to give it a shot. Alas, even after several text messages burning up the airwaves between here and Texas, this is what I came up with:
I call it Blob-O-Bread
This is the result of my second attempt:
It was still a little gooey in the middle but came out much better. If you attempt this recipe, it's a very tricky making sure that it's done. The cheesecake filling is supposed to be gooey so it's hard to test with a toothpick. I have no advice but wish you better luck than I had. The best part was that both the Blob-O-Bread and the pretty ones were delicious.
And I felt so much better when MLS posted this picture a few days later:
(Does that make me a bad person?)
Sunday, November 23, 2008
We didn't have a real itinerary or reservations for any over-night stay. Our plan was to ride like the wind and be free like birds. By the seat of our pants, if you will. We rode into a campground near the Badlands which rented cabins sometime late that same afternoon. They had no vacancy. I was trying hard not to panic. I quickly went from the free spirit, biker chick that I was trying to be to the actual mid-life pampered princess that I really am. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all. Free bird, schmee bird! I mean, planning is a critical part of any vacation, right?
The people at the campground were kind enough to recommend a nearby motel that included a cafe that was famous around them there parts. What is it about the west that makes me think I should talk like I'm in an old western movie? So, anyway, we made a call and two rooms were available. We thanked our new pardners at the OK Corral and rode off into the sunset. OK, the sun wasn't really setting but you get the idea.
We arrived at the Circle 10 Motel having nothing on our minds other than cooling off in any way possible. The Circle 10 at first sight is nothing to get excited about but it was everything we needed and more. It was clean, it was cool, there was a pool and there is a little cafe there that was definitely a diamond in the rough. The motel is run by a very friendly couple. Mr. C10 runs the motel and Mrs. C10 runs the cafe. We arrived there late afternoon. Upon check-in, Mr. C10 told us about the cafe. We barely listened as we were obscessed with cooling off our over-heated body parts.
We hit the pool immediately after unloading our STUFF into the rooms. Once we had a chance to cool off, our brains started working again. Mr. C10 walked through the pool area and we asked about the dinner menu? He said he didn't know if Mrs. C10 had decided yet. What? It was after 4pm and the cafe would be opening soon. It was hard to have any great expectations about the meal awaiting us but we were seriously in the middle of nowhere and didn't possess the energy to go foraging for food.
I'm so glad we stayed. I don't know how she did it. When you think that at 4pm there was no plan and at 6pm we were offered very impressive choices in a simply charming setting. I'm sorry to say that I didn't write it down (I wish I had been blogging then) and can't remember exactly now what the choices were. *sigh* I do however remember that I had a crisp salad and tilapia with rice sauted in a delicious lemon butter sauce. And.there.was.beer!
After dinner, we changed into some light riding gear sans helmets and took a short drive into the Badlands. It is quite breath-taking. I'm sure my pictures will not do it justice but here are a sampling of shots that I took along the way that evening and the next morning. Some are taken from the bike as we are crusing.
If you are interested in learning more about the Badlands and how they were formed, click here.
The trip got even better after this. Stay tuned for the next episode where we visit Mount Rushmore.