Saturday, January 2, 2010

Day 128: January 2, 2010

Quote of the Day:
Ye flowers that drop, forsaken by the spring,

Ye birds that, left by summer, cease to sing,
Ye trees that fade, when Autumn heats remove,
Say, is not absence death to those who love?
~Alexander Pope

Another day of cooking, but this time I am really, really frustrated with it. All I did from noon until about 5:30 was chop vegetables for the lasagna, because I love vegetable lasagna. But, having never made lasagna before I figured it would be the best kind to start with... veggies and meat. YUM!  Don't those veggies look delicious? They sure do make for a pretty watery lasagna, though, as I found out the hard way.  I'll be making regular, plain old lasagna from now on. If I'm even brave enough to try again, after it taking this darn long.  The recipe I used as a guide even said to add water and V-8 to the lasagna, which I figured would make it watery and left out. So I ended up having two pans of lasagna that I can freeze, but at the price of 9 hours worth of time.  Since I finally got them cooked and finished at nine.  I don't think that it's worth it to do the veggies, but at least now I know for next time.  Like I said, though, if there IS a next time.

Hey, it's that time of year again, when HGTV is taking entries for their Dream Home giveaway.  This year it's in New Mexico... not that fond of that particular state and its grouchy inhabitants (or so we always run into every time we drive through). But I went ahead and put us in for it anyways.  It's a really nice home, VERY well done, and I could probably handle dealing with grouchy people all day if I had someplace that spectacular to come home to at night. And as long as Ron's there, I can be happy anywhere. So bring it on!  If you want to see the house they are giving away this year, you can go to their website and view all the pictures.  It has a spectacular view from every single side of the house! Wow! Just go to and check it out... You have to admit, they do these homes in style!

Not a lot got done today, unfortunately. I have a living room full of denim fuzz again from washing that blanket the second time. I'll have to vacuum that up tomorrow. The sad thing is, washing it didnt' help to stretch the fleece out any, so if I can't get it to behave by doing the yarn tacking, it's a lost cause.  At least it'll be nice and cozy still, right? With other blankets under it, of course.  I'm still not impressed with it as far as warmth goes.  It was really hot when I had it on my lap cutting the edges to fray, but I guess it must have been the fact that it was bunched up on me. I'm not sure.  But it's a blanket, and it's one we did not have before. So I won't complain.

Tomorrow I will concentrate on cleaning, and then work on my quilt. No more cooking for me tomorrow, I am all cooked out for a while. I can't stand the thought of chopping another vegetable!  Which is fine, because since I'm getting sick anyways, I may as well rest and try to get over it.  Heaven knows that standing all day in the kitchen was not fun by any means of the word.  Long live comfy mattresses and warm blankets! Going to get to bed now so that I can start all over again in the morning.

This is the veggie-only (no-meat) lasagna I got stuck making when I ran out of meat sauce and didn't feel like thawing and browning more meat.

Here's part of what will be going into the freezer in the morning once it is cooled enough to go in. I don't want to put it in there hot, because I have no clue what would happen but am pretty sure it would end badly.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Day 127: January 1, 2010

Quote of the Day: "The goal of an effective leader is to recondition your team to be solution focused rather than problem focused." - Jim Rohn

Today was a really good day of cooking.  I cut veggies from noon until five.... then was FINALLY able to start cooking the chowder. YUM!!!!! I ended up feeding four kids tonight, PLUS me, and still have 45 cups of it left over to freeze. YAY!  And I tried the bread bowl recipe, too. It was really tasty, but my yeast expired in September, so the bread did not rise quite like it should have.  As a result, the bowls were a little small, and would only hold about a cup of chowder, but they held up just fine enough to pour in a second helping of chowder once the first one was eaten.  I'll make them again with NON-expired yeast before I decide whether to change the recipe to allow for less, but larger, bowls.

I did absolutely no exercise today whatsoever, and only drank one glass of water, so I will probably be up in weight tomorrow morning.  Oh, well.... I can handle that. Eating at 9pm tonight will also not help me with the weight loss department.  But it sure was worth it!!!!  And if I'm really lucky, there's going to be some left when Ron gets home so that he can have some too.  It is really, really great for these cold days. And just in time, too, because now I'm starting to get the runny nose... here comes my Christmas cold I get every single year.  At least I wasn't sick ON Christmas this year.  Or for New Year's.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Day 126: December 31, 2009

Quote of the Day:
"The real secret of patience is to find something to do in the meantime." -author unknown

In honor of my "quote of the day", I have found something else to do in the meantime.  Tonight, I cooked up a LOT of spaghetti, and after feeding the garbage-disposal -er, Cody, I put the rest into some containers to freeze, so that I hopefully won't hear "But there's NOTHING to eat!" when I have a whole freezer full of meats and veggies waiting to be cooked.  You would think I was torturing them by telling them to cook something.  If it's not corn dogs, sandwiches, or microwave-ready, they aren't interested.  Tomorrow's job:  cooking up a bunch of corn chowder and lasagna.  And Ron, you'll be happy to know that I have tried THREE TIMES to cook spaghetti like you, and after tonight's attempt, it is still deemed "not as good as Dad's is."  PLEASE hurry home and cook this child some spaghetti! (And me... I really DO suck at spaghetti!)

I had to work out super early this morning, which kind of got my day off to an early start, which worked out.  I looked up some more recipes while waiting for Ron to come online, cleaned the kitchen up, went to Wichita Falls to pick up my gas cards from the Workforce Commission for my travel to and from school,  then hit up WalMart to see what I could find to store food in.  I could NOT believe how many people were there! It's like all of Wichita county decided that today is the day to get out and about, and they all decided to go to WalMart.  There was no parking. You could barely walk in the store without SOMEBODY either standing in front of what you are trying to look at, or stopping right in front of you and you having to stand there and wait for them forever.  Sigh.  We all know how I am with crowds, I get really really grouchy.  And I'm dieting... that's like a double whammy! Add in PMS, and I was a goner before I even parked.  The checkout lines were so long that I had to stand there for twenty minutes.  And there was even a line in the women's restroom, which NEVER happens.  Do I know how to pick my days to go shopping, or what? I thought I had entered a time warp and it was Black Friday, which I avoid like the plague!!!

I didn't have a lot of choices for storage containers, so I ended up getting a variety of different sizes that all seem to be a little too big for my tastes, but we'll see. With all the variety of foods I intend to cook up, it may be a good idea to have the extra space.  After that I went and picked up Cody at Nathan's, we went grocery shopping at United, which was every bit as packed with people as WalMart had been.  It was quicker in the checkout line, though.  And it's been cooking and cleaning up the kitchen ever since. Yay. I'm not sure why it is that at the end of the day it feels like I have run a marathon, and then I come on here to type up the blog and it's like I've done nothing all day long.  That really irks me. 

But the good news is that my long stretch of bad weight days is over, and although it took me five days to do it I FINALLY weigh something besides 132.6 -  I weighed in at 132.0 this morning! Yay me!  And all it took was for me to get mad and threaten my body that if it did not either gain or lose weight overnight I would go buy a box of CheezIts and a bag of Chex Mix and eat them both in their entirety while sitting in front of the television. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Day 125: December 30, 2009

Quote of the Day: "As a leader you should always start with where people are before you try to take them to where you want them to go."  - Jim Rohn


Today was pretty good. I went to the gym and worked out with Sherrie, and even though I could only use the stairstepper because of the treadmill hogs, I got in a really good workout. 70 floors! Woohoo! I needed it, because I have weighed in at exactly the same amount for the last four days straight, and am starting to worry that I have reached my minimum weight.  I really hope not, because I still feel as if I would like to be at the halfway point of my recommended weight range. But if so, then I suppose it's time to start toning.  I'm giving it until the 11th, and if I haven't lost any by then I'm going to give up. I've got better things to do than worry about trying to lose weight that just doesn't want to come off. 

Like studying for my HESI exam next semester. We're going to be starting the studying for that as soon as New Years is over with.  That way, when school starts up again, we'll be still in the "learning" mindset.  Our goal is to pass the test on the first try so that we don't have so much stress coming up to the end of our degrees.  It would be horrible to make it this far and not be able to graduate because of some stupid test. So we're going to do everything we can to make sure that doesn't happen.  And speaking of school, I really can't wait to get it in motion again... we are SO CLOSE to the end!  It's going to be hard to stay focused on learning and not on graduating.  Or so I think, anyways.  We do have a really good crew that keeps each other in line on study days.

I worked on the quilt a little while today and made myself an apron out of an old denim romper that I no longer wear. I kept it because I liked the stitching around the neckline, and with just a little bit of improvising I'm satisfied with the results. Still going to make a "real" one, but this one was a good practice one.  And I am really enjoying being able to do some creative things.... haven't really had the chance to in a long time.  I'm really out of practice!   Here's a picture of the apron I made... but don't look at me IN the apron... I am exHAUSTED!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Day 124: December 29, 2009

Quote of the Day: "Love is not a matter of counting the years, it’s making the years count." – William Smith

The quilt is now backed, but let me tell ya... sewing is NOT something I will ever claim to be good at. I don't know how my mother and grandmother did it, because as far as I am concerned, there are other times besides when driving that a lead foot is a bad thing. And sewing is one of them!  Not to mention, fleece is VERY difficult to sew with. It stretches. It changes shape. And it has turned my quilt into something entirely different than what I wanted.  But that's okay, I can handle that.  It's just a camping and travel blanket anyways, right? Or to be used for my own bed? I promise, I will NEVER subject company to this quilt! HAHAHA  I guess I need a LOT more practice before I try for one of the nicer quilts. As in, YEARS worth of practice.   Which I will have, once I am out of school. I'll even have money to be able to do some new hobbies! Sounds good already!

Things have gone really slow today. I went to Sherrie's this afternoon and we did the Biggest Loser workout, so I'll probably be sore in the morning.  The funny thing is, it started snowing again when I was getting into my car to go over there, and it has snowed all day long, but it never did stick.  Or, at least, it hadn't the last time I looked out the window.  Maybe it has, and I've just been avoiding the thought like the plague.  Who knows?  It was really funny, though.... I drove past a guy that was shoveling snow out by his driveway, and it was like he just all of a sudden realized that it was snowing again because he kind of threw down his shovel and held his hands up to the sky and shook his head.  I could practically hear him yelling "AGAIN???"  Probably had just gotten it to where he could get his car out of the driveway. Hard to tell.

Tomorrow will be more of the same, just like today. I've got laundry to do, I need to do some more cleaning so that I can stay on top of it, and I have to work out again.  But that's pretty much all that I have planned so far. We'll see what else comes to mind in the morning. It's sure to be a lot of busywork, mostly, but that's okay.  As long as I'm moving around it can't be all that bad.  There are a lot worse things I can do besides spend my entire Christmas break here at the house.  It's been kind of nice not having the threat of tests and homework hanging over my head.  I really have been enjoying it.  And maybe I'll find the time to finish the painting I started before Ron left.  I'd LOVE to get that done just to get the canvas off the floor in my office.  It'd be nice to have room in there again by the time school starts up and it is study time again.  Even if it will be only three and a half months worth of school!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Day 123: December 28, 2009

Quote of the Day: "Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies." -Aristotle

I did something a little different today. It was housecleaning time, and as I was right in the middle of vacuuming all that fuzz off the living room carpet, I thought to myself that it was completely crazy that I was planning out my entire day cleaning the house by myself when I had two boys sitting in a bedroom playing video games.  So I sat down at the table with two index cards. At the top I wrote down each of their names.  Then, underneath that, I proceeded to write a list of chores for them to do.  I walked into the room, handed them each their cards, and said "These are the things you need to get done by the end of the day."

I guess I must have shocked them speechless or something. It was a miracle. No complaints, no arguments, no nothing.... they actually turned OFF the video games and got right up and got to work.  And I just kind of stood there flabbergasted. What the heck just happened? Did my children get abducted by aliens? Did they visit Spooky Island before Scooby Doo and Mystery Inc came and took care of that situation?  Wow.  I haven't seen them that complacent unless they want something big.  It was kind of nice. And to put the icing on the cake, they actually completed about 80% of the things on their lists. Damien had prior plans with his friend and I let him go without being finished just because of that, and because he had worked hard on his list.  And Cody, well... he worked hard too, and I couldn't find it in me to force him to stay and finish all of his after I let the other go.  Plus, I think maybe I was too stunned at their good behavior to put up a fight.  My house is clean, and I didn't have to do all of it by myself.  Wow. I repeat, for the third time, Wow.

I forgot to tell everyone about Cody's snowman situation yesterday. When I left for Sherrie's house to make our signs Cody was out in the yard happily starting a snowman.  About halfway through with the letters he texted me to ask when I was coming home so that I could see his snowman.  I texted back in a few minutes, that we were not done yet.  And then, when I finally pulled into the driveway, there was his snowman.  The first thing I noticed was that it was wearing a wig, and my scarf and gloves.  "That's really cute," I thought, "I'd better run and get the camera and take a picture for Ron." So I came into the house, put down my things, and headed out to snap a picture of his masterpiece.  When I got to the edge of the road I turned around to take the picture, and was instantly  mortified and embarassed beyond belief. Right there in my front yard for God and all the neighbors and passers-by to see was his creation. He had added boobs to the snowman!  And not only that, my inventive and creative child decided that a carrot nose wasn't good enough for HIS snowman... he grabbed BRUSSELS SPROUTS and gave the boobs nipples!!!!!!  I could not believe it!  I refused to take a picture of it, and made him take the boobs off.  This morning, after talking with Ron and deciding that I should take a picture of it now that Cody had fixed it, I went out with the camera to find that sometime this morning someone came into our yard and obliterated the snowman.  Sigh.  Another opportunity gone.  You'd think I'd learn my lesson.  But I was just too embarassed to think straight.  Oh, well. At least it makes a great story... who'd have thought of brussels sprouts anyways? Only my 13 year old.

And now, the weather channel website is saying that tomorrow we have a 70% chance of snow up to an inch in the afternoon, and another 70% chance of snow up to an inch overnight.  What the heck is going on around here? Oh, well. Maybe it'll put down some fresh snow for him to make another snowman with. Our snow has certainly not melted much at all, and it's been 5 days now including the "blizzard day", so what's a little more going to matter? We'll see what tomorrow brings, I guess.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Day 122: December 27th, 2009

Quote of the Day:
Goodbyes are not forever.
Goodbyes are not the end.
They simply mean I'll miss you
Until we meet again!
~Author Unknown

Okay, since Cody was unable to be here for Christmas day we decided to have our Christmas dinner yesterday.  Not really a big hardship, because we had to eat anyways, and it's always better to eat as a family for holidays whenever it's possible.  The boys both decided to stay in bed until 1pm once we finally got home and to bed, but I woke up at 9 so I went ahead and did some cleaning and worked on my quilt for a little bit.  I kept thinking I'd put the ham in the oven right around noon and it would be nice and warm and the entire meal ready when they woke up.  However, the fates or whoever else is in charge thought it would be the perfect opportunity to teach me a lesson. I was not amused.
You see, back when I was buying the food to prepare our Thanksgiving meal I bought enough to make sure that I had Christmas dinner taken care of as well. So the thought never crossed my mind that I had bought for just us, and that I'd had to make extra at Thanksgiving due to having two surprise guests. I went to grab the ham and put it in the oven to warm up, thinking I had bought a pre-cooked ham. WRONG! Turns out that the ham wasn't precooked, and would take FOREVER to cook!  Okay, no big deal. I just cut it into smaller portions to cook individually. It would cook faster that way, and I wouldn't have to cook the whole entire thing in one day.  So I got that started, and then moved on to the other things. 
Like the mashed potatoes... had to get the potatoes boiling so that they could cook.  It was then that I realized that SOMEONE had used the last of the butter and not said anything to me... we were completely out! So we would have no butter for the mashed potatoes, and none for the stuffing. Okay, no big deal. I decided we'd have mozzarella topped baked potatoes instead, and just make the stuffing without butter.  Then it came to the green been casserole, which is when I figured out what had happened. I had bought the french fried onions and the cream of mushroom soup last time, so I went to grab them out of the cupboard only to find them gone, and that was when it hit me. I had cooked it all on Thanksgiving. (Keep in mind, I had just gotten back  from braving the ice and sliding all over the place to buy the brown sugar I needed to do the candied yams. I had run out of that too!)
So I decided to try and improvise with the green beans a little with what I had on hand. Let me just tell you right now.... VELVEETA AND GREEN BEANS WITH BACON sounded good at the time, but the reality was really not worth the effort. It was DISGUSTING! So next time we'll just completely leave the green beans off the menu if we have to. None of us would eat it. Probably not even the dogs, but I was feeling too nice at that point in time to give them that kind of belly ache.  I just chalk it up to this one little nugget of wisdom: NEVER try to improvise with food on four hours of sleep... it does not work. It never will work. Just give it up and move on.  So we ate our butterless stuffing, our ham, and the candied yams, and the baked potatoes. The green beans? In the trash. The bargain bread rolls? Hard as rocks with no butter. None of us enjoyed them.  Next year? WILL CHECK THE CUPBOARDS BEFORE CHRISTMAS EVE. NO exceptions.
Today was a little better, except that my internal clock must have been thrown off by staying up so long, because I woke up at 3:30 this morning and was about as wide awake as I could ever be.  I laid there for a while trying to force myself to fall back to sleep, but it didn't work until about 5 or so.  Then I was up at 7am just like normal.  So once again, I've spent the day completely tired.  But that's okay, I went over to Sherrie's house this afternoon and we made our Noel signs for next Christmas, which was really fun.  And after I got back from there I worked on the quilt again.  It is currently in the dryer, and hopefully when it comes out it will be all ready for its backing and then I'll be done with it.  Tomorrow's plan? To vacuum up all the various little quarter-inch threads that are literally covering every square inch of the living room floor from shaking the blanket out before the wash.  To finish the backing.  And maybe do a little more cleaning.  And who KNOWS what else. I guess it depends on if I get enough sleep or not, I may just say the heck with it.  I may just spend the entire day finding new recipes online.  I did some of that yesterday, and was very, very hungry by the time I called it a night.  Too bad I'm dieting... I found a couple of recipes that would taste just AMAZING!