Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Of Brownies and Birds

Two weeks ago I bought some cream cheese. Yesterday I decided to make Warm Cream Cheese Brownies from this cookbook. I have made them before, and although the recipe makes an enormous batch, I decided to make them again.

The recipe calls for two batters: the brownie bottom, and the cream cheese top. Unfortunately I didn't realize that I had forgotten to put the butter in the brownie mix until it was already in the oven. Rats!

I also had to make another batch of brownies because the other three brownie eaters in this house are "purists", requiring that nothing get in the way of the chocolate brownie experience. Translation? They hate it when I "mess up" the brownies by adding cream cheese (or nuts, or peppermint patties, etc.). It was to their advantage that I already had 6 tsp of butter cut up, just waiting to be made into brownie goodness.

I remembered to put it in the second, non-cheesy, batch. 

I did manage to use the 5 very ripe bananas sitting on my counter (and making my house smell like a den of gorillas), and made two loaves of banana bread. My parents have company rolling into town today so I will take some of my bread and botched brownies to them.  The brownies are good.  I think the Cream cheese top saved them.

On to other things...

Here is a bird update: She is still there, even though I open the door 1000 times a day to let the dog out. When I grill (3-4 times a week) I try to be very quiet. And you cannot know the restraint I have held, since I am dying to try to get closer to see her eggs.  But I have heeded the warning of a couple of you bird-lovin' readers, and have done a pretty good job at leaving her alone to tend to her eggs!

La Vida Dulce!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Everybody's Doing It, You Should Too

This morning I found this meme here and here. So I thought I would jump on the band wagon too!

Where is your cell phone? Laying on the kitchen table.

Your significant other?  Is a saint.  He married me almost 13 year ago, and I am certain he had no idea what he was getting into...still he loves me lavishly. Oh, and he’s a hunk

Your hair?  Has roots.  Need to call stylist immediately.

Your mother?  Has amazing inner strength. More than she knows.

Your father?  Is a fabulous cook. He’s also likes to celebrate, which is so important in life.

Your favorite thing?  Coffee in the early morning.

Your dream last night?  Don’t remember, but I had one last week that is still very vivid. I was taking my family to get a portrait when i stopped by a little decorative waterfall and saw a water moccasin. I decided it would be cool to have a poisonous snake in the portrait, so I picked it up and it bit me. Then i decided it wasn’t such a good idea and needed to get rid of it. Two blond girls approached me and said they had something I could put it in, so we walked to the trunk of their car. On the way, i was hoping I wouldn’t die from a snake bite before I could take the family portrait.  In the trunk of the car was an old fashioned make up case. in the case were two hand bags they were going to give away. Holding the snake with one hand I was admiring the hand bags and asked if I could keep them.  They said ‘yes’.  I put the snake in the make-up case and threw it into a lake.  

Your favorite drink?  Coffee...of course.

Your dream/goal?   To live to a ripe old age with The Mister. To bounce grand babies on my knee. To spoil those babies with sugar and send them back to the parents. To teach bible study more often to small intimate groups. To know Jesus more.

The room you a€re in?  The kitchen/slash breakfast area.

Your ex?  Don’t have one. I dated in high school, but never exclusively. The Mister was my first, and only, serious relationship.

Your fear?  Leaving my children before they are grown.

Where do you want to be in 6 years?  Settled. Not thinking about were we will have to move to next.  And I assume looking into college for The Boy!  YIKES!

Where were you last night?  Co-leading bible study with Mrs. Moofish.  

What you a€re not?  I am not as content as I would like to be.  I am not a shmoozer. As an old friend used to say, Kellie is “what you see is what you get.”  At the time I wasn’t certain I liked that. But today, I would totally take it as a compliment.

Muffins?  If they are homemade. I don’t like pre-packaged muffins.

One of your wish list items?  Just one!?  Ok...A Cuisinart Food Processor

Where you grew up?  Right here in southeren AZ.

The last thing you did?  Ran on the treadmill.

What are you wearing?  A black work out tank and light blue running shorts.

Your TV?  Is very dusty.
Your pets?   Is the biggest factor for the excessive dust.  Her name is Kona and, although I love her, she is completely neurotic, which drives me insane.

Your computer?  Takes up so much time. Its a love/hate relationship!

Your life?  Is amazing. It’s full. Occasionally hard. Often humorous. But very, very good.

Your mood? Happy. Right now i have happy little exercise endorphins.

Missing someone?  I miss my girlfriends that are all over the country. You know who you are. 

Your car?  Needs to go to the shop. It squeaks really bad when running, but it isn’t the brakes. 

Something you are not wearing?  Make up.

Favorite store?  That depends on what we are buying: shoes, clothes, groceries. But I think right now my favorite store for fun frilly-girl things is Anthropology.

Your summer?  Will be pool side.  The kids are on swim team with practice every morning and meets twice a week!

Like someone?  To what? To clean my house? Absolutely!

Your favorite color? Pink, (and red, and cobalt blue, and...)

When is the last time you laughed?  Last night, after bible study Mrs. Moofish and I went to the grocery store. We were in a cupboard crises at my house, having run out of 2% milk and chunk peanut butter (which is a post all it’s own). I was doing an happy dance in the dairy isle, because, y’all, 2% milk was one sale for $2.00 a gallon!!!!! When we walked to the car Mrs Moofish suggested that we put the milk jugs in the back seat,and I jokingly told her to be sure they were very secure, because milk at that price was like gold!  When I looked into the back seat she had buckled both jugs in the seat belt.  And we laughed so hard at her cleverness! Although with her and I, the laughing never really stops.

Last time you cried? I can’t remember the last time I have had a real good sob. But I get teary nearly every day, over things both joyful and heartbreaking.

Who will repost this?  I am thinking maybe Desert Diva.

If you are reading this and haven’t already done it, consider yourself tagged. Let me know if you decided to play!

Monday, April 28, 2008

A La Vida Lunch Break (interrupted)

It was supposed to be a quick post.

The soup was ready. The sourdough toast, toasted. The iced Passion tea? Perfectly brewed.

But everything else went wrong.

It's because I am in a hurry. Which has never gone well in my life. Even my 2nd grade report card will tell you: Kellie is a smart girl who is respectful and kind, but she has trouble with rushing. If she would take her time than she wouldn't make so many simple mistakes.

I have the report card. I would scan it for you, but I'm kind of in a hurry.

Anyway, tonight is the second to last night for the bible study that Mrs. Moofish and I are leading. Tonight we are studying Mary Magdalene.  Oh her story is so good!  I get excited just thinking about it.

I try to keep things on the down-low during the day of bible study night. Because I get anxious when my day is jammed packed and I know I have to teach in the evening. Teaching with anxiety is nearly impossible.  

So today was about studying, and folding laundry. I wasn't going to blog, but I was dying to to be a Bragger Bragorino, and show you the place-mats and napkins I made for an auction/charity dinner next week.  

I was thinking about how pretty the soup and toast and tea would look sitting on a new place setting. Just for the sake of a quick picture. Of course my camera was running out of battery and the lighting was bad, so I tried to rest the camera in the dock while fixing the light. I plugged the camera dock in a plug that sits right over the dog's water dish. Evidently the weight of the plug was too much for the socket, because it just fell out of the wall and into the full bowl of water.

I quickly retrieved it and prayed that the Arizona heat will dry it out.

Meanwhile I had to get a picture, with a camera that will only stay on for a total of ten seconds. Then i had to trick it into staying on long enough to get it loaded into the computer.  Then Blogger was taking it sweet time to upload. 

AUUGGGGHHHH!!!!! This was supposed to be quick.

This what I get for  trying to post when I shouldn't be; and for being a self-seeking seamstress.

So there you have it. A very ill-lighted bowl of veggie soup, and a piece of toast with a bite taken out. 

I should probably spell check,  but have I mentioned I'm in a hurry?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Meeting Darcie

It has been almost three years since I started this blog.

Back then I had no idea how this little "hobby", meant to keep up with good friends, would lend itself to meeting others.

Nor would I ever experience the 'small world' phenomena in such amazing ways.

A couple weeks ago a gal named Darcie had stumbled on my blog, and realizing we shared a birthdate, decided to say hello.

Of course, I clicked over to her blog, Such the Spot, to be greeted by a picture of her sweet pixie face. After reading for a few minutes I came across this post. I laughed out loud, and thought, "I gotta bookmark this gal!" Little did I know that we would be meeting within the next ten days!

She blogged about a lettuce incident at her local store, and through a series of emails, and blog posts, we realized we lived in the same town. What's even more amazing, is that we live within miles of one another!  I practically started singing "It's a small world after-all" when I realized that we shop at the same grocery store where the lettuce caper took place!

Yesterday we met with our kiddos at the park. 

I was a little nervous. I am a people person, but to meet someone IRL (in real life) after reading their blog is kind of a funny thing.  

First of all, I am great at acting like the gal who is full of confidence and calm, but I am probably the most insecure individual that walks the planet. What should I wear? What should my kids wear? Should I put on full make-up (which I never do)? What if we can't find a thing to talk about?

Secondly, there is that whole "I am meeting someone in the park I met on the internet" thing. That in itself is a little strange. Especially when you are driving your kids to the park with you while telling them they shouldn't ever, EVER!, meet someone from the internet ANYWHERE! But I digress...

After much worry about what to wear and what to say, I decided to be myself and not worry about making an impression. We were meeting at the park, in 90 degree weather, with our kids in tow. This visit would likely involve sweating, and nothing says "keeping it real" than hoping your deodorant works.

Of course, all this worry was for not, because meeting Darcie was great! She is so easy to talk with, and very laid back. I am looking forward to getting together again sometime soon!

Jo-Lynne, you told me that Darcie was "delightful", and you were absolutely right!

La Vida Dulce!

And The Winner Is...

Thanks to all who participated in the Bloggy Giveaway.

It is so fun to visit your blogs (those of you who have one)!

The winner of my apron goes to:

She said:
What a beautiful apron! I can so use one as I'm cooking more than ever right now. Great giveaway!Have fun this week with your giveaway. Don't forget to head on over to my blog and enter mine!

Congrats Kim!  

Your apron should arrive this week!

La Vida Dulce!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Fried Food is not my Friend

I took the kids to the County Fair yesterday afternoon. 

I am still tired.

It could be because The Girl made me go with her on rides that should be illegal for 35 year old housewife.  I mean really, what in the world possessed me to go onto a ride that requires you to lay on your stomach and then spin around in a circle for three minutes.  

Y'all, I can't even ride the Merry-Go-Round without getting queasy, but there I was, riding face down, willing myself to keep from ralphing. Not because I hate to throw-up more than going to the dentist (because I do), but throwing up while already in a completely unattractive position would have been humiliating. I could feel gravity pulling the wrinkles on my face as I was spinning.  

But The Girl is a lover of the scary rides and The Mister wasn't with us to be the scary ride chaperone. Paw (my Dad) was there, but he was only there to do that thing that grandparents do: fill 'em up with sugar, love on them, and leave.  No, no, he actually walked and visited the animals with us and had some lunch. He even held my bag and took some pictures while I tried my darndest to act as if I was a young hip mom who loves to ride coasters all while looking great. Like when I ....

... went on the water log ride and managed to get my backside completely soaked.  Try looking hip when your rear is all wet. However, on an arid, 7% humidity day like yesterday, it took precisely three minutes and 42 seconds to be completely dry, including my chonies. 

Anyway, today I am reaping the consequences of eating a corn dog, cotton candy, and funnel cake. Oh! And there was also a bite of a fried Twinkie in the mix, which brings me to my next subject...

A couple years ago, back in the day when we had cable, The Boy and I were die hard Unwrapped fans. One afternoon there was an entire episode dedicated to Fair Foods. It was during this time of mother/son bonding that The Boy made up his mind that he would someday find a fried Twinkie and eat it. All. By. Himself.

Now, I was curious about the fried Twinkie myself, only because I had heard people rave about it over the years. Honestly, last year I intentionally skipped the area where the fried cookies and candies were sold because I was still weighing out the caloric options.  I don't even like Twinkies. Would it be worth all those calories?

(For those of you who would rather not know the nutritional data of the fried Twinkie, don't click this link.)

Yesterday, with The Boy being ten years old and all, I decided this would be the year for his dream to come true.  Also, I could have a small bite and taste, first hand, if the Big Broo-haha over the fried Twinkie was everything Fair Food Foodies say it is.  Whew! Now that was a sentence!

Please don't hate me, but the fried Twinkie? Not so much.

The Boy on the other hand thought he was in food heaven, but he is, of course, a ten year old boy.  He's like a goat. A busy, growing, tween-age, goat.  He'll eat anything if it is fried, sugar-filled and horrible for you, and he'll be hungry again before you can say Gravitron.  

On the other hand it was fun to give him his childhood dream for $3.75.  I have a feeling that in a few years his hopes and dreams are going to get more expensive. But i digress...

Let's talk about what I would totally, and completely, spend my hard earned calories on:

Well first there is this.  Then maybe that. And of course there is this.

How about you? Are you a Fried, Fair Food, Fanatic? 

No? Then what is your substitute? Please don't tell me carrot juice.  I'm trying to digest yesterdays corn dog.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Work(s) in Progress...Sort of!

I should be cleaning up the kitchen, but why clean up after breakfast when I can blog?

I have several projects that are in the works. Actually, I have more than several, but these are the ones that have deadlines that must be met!

This is fabric that The Girl has been looking at for months. Last weekend it was 50% off so we finally bought a couple yards and I am doing my best to make the skirt she has designed in her head.  We shall see.  My only problem is that the top layer of tulle has massive amounts of glitter on it, that comes off whenever  you touch it. Being a lover of all things sparkly myself, I bought the fabric without any thought that the glitter would get everywhere, including in my machine. My sewing area looks like a glitter factory exploded. I am trying, unsuccessfully, to keep the sparkly-mess to my sewing area. It's getting tracked everywhere, causing issues throughout the house. The Mister doesn't think glitter on his uniform is within the military dress code. I'm thinking it adds a nice touch.  I, however, am not liking the glitter mess it is making my otherwise clean tile floor.  So the sooner this is finished the better.

Moving on...

This is a stack of material for baby blankets I am trying to get finished and mailed off before these precious babies graduate from college. Two of my friends have had their sweet boy and girl within a week of each other. It's always so much fun to make these blankets. Mostly because a soft, warm, blanket is on the Top Ten List of things I love the most.

This is a stack of material my mom gave me several months ago. Each piece is only 1/4 of a yard (she bought them to make a quilt), so I have been trying to think of what I could do with so many little pieces of fabric. I decided that I would start making doll outfits for our American Girl dolls.  I'd like to get this project done just so I can stop looking at the pile of fabric.  I love to have fabric, but I also hate having piles of stuff hanging around (the "clean counter queen" starts to rear her ugly head. Have I mentioned I despise clutter?)

Lastly (although not really), this fabric is soon to be a four-piece table setting set, with napkins.  In 10 short day this has to be packaged and ready to be auctioned at a charity dinner my parents are hosting. 

Yikes, what in the world am I sitting at my computer for?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Avoiding "The Wedge"

I mentioned several weeks ago that Mrs. Moofish and I have been co-leading a weekly bible study together. Last night I taught on the Faith of the Canaanite Women.

This was a study I put together years ago, as part of a class on how to study the bible for the purpose of teaching. 

This is the third time I have had the opportunity to teach it. What amazes me is that each time I study this little, seven verse, story, I learn something completely new.

I was also amazed at God's timing. 'Cuz out of the 12 gals who showed up last night, no one needed this lesson more than I.

If you are not familiar with this story, you can find it here

To write out the complete lesson would take up way too much time, so I will start with my opening statement: 

How do we keep our life circumstances from placing a wedge between who we are (God's children) and what we need (Christ and His healing)?

This faithful women is a Canaanite, despised by the Jews. Coming from a society that loves all the wrong things. She has a daughter who is sick beyond any illness or disease we can imagine. She is demon possessed. This child's mother knows that all these things work against her, but she also knows the only hope she and her daughter have is Christ, the King of the Jews. 

She knows Whom she is seeking. She has watched Him be compassionate with everyone else. She has seen (or heard) of Him healing the sick, curing their diseases, giving sight to the blind, and raising the dead (Matthew 8-10). She knows He is compassionate. That he cares deeply for those who come to Him.  He is compassionate to those who seek Him.  He loves His people.

So she seeks Him. She asks Him to heal her demon possessed child.

The first time she asks Christ is silent. The second time she asks, He tells her she isn't His own. By this time the disciples are starting to resent her pestering. The third time His response seems a tad bit insulting. Ok - it feels down-right insulting. Still, she persists

It may seem by His response that He is being grouchy and impatient, but what we know of His character, we can assume this isn't true. What's more, The Canaanite didn't allow His response to hinder her what she knew to be true: that He was (and is) a compassionate and loving God. 

Here is a female, Gentile, from the wrong side of town, who has got some serious issues. If that weren't enough she has asked, three times, for something she is desperate to receive, and has been (seemingly) rejected. Rejected in front of others, and yet, in her faith, she will not concede. She will not give up on her only Hope. 

She knows He is the Messiah and she professes her faith in Him. She knows He is the answer to her daughters life, but more importantly we can see that Christ is not only interested in the physical life of the daughter, but in the spiritual life of this mom as well.

I can't help but put myself in the shoes of this women. If it had me I would likely have given up after the silent answer. Certainly after the second 'no', especially if the disciples started to complain about me. I would have allowed my pain in the moment to color my entire perception of Christ; exchanging what I know to be true about Him for what I perceived to be true in the moment.

The Lord has really been speaking to me on this subject this week. The Mister and I have had a big prayer concern over the last several months. We have prayed unceasingly for God's favor; His timing; His will...and just when we thought we had all things figured out, our prayers would be answered in ways that would lead to more prayer.  We have been in a pattern that we like to call "Wait and Pray."   Although we don't much like being in the middle of it.

It seems that we are slow learners, because God puts us in this position time and time again. 

This week as I was preparing to teach,  I was talking to God about all that has transpired in the last few months (and years, really).   I was asking Him to give me something fresh to give to the bible study gals. I was asking about The Wedge: What is it in life that keeps us from drawing nearer to Him? Obviously, in this little group of gals, we don't have the odds stacked against us as the Canaanite woman did in her time and culture.

This is what I heard Him say to me:

He said, "First, Kellie, let's talk about you. When you pray, and I am silent, does that mean I am not there? When you ask me for things in life you want specific answers to, and my answer feels like rejection to you, does that change who I am? Kellie, do what the Canaanite did, and remember the truth. Seek me still. I am the same yesterday, today and forever. I will never leave you or forsake you. I will not change."

God is using this ancient story to change my heart; to admit that I allow wedges to be placed (by my own doing) between Him and me.  Just as he draws out the faith of the Canaanite woman, He is drawing out my faith as we pray through an uncertain time.  The Lord, in His compassion, reminded me that I must remember truth; I must seek Him still. Even when things aren't done in my timing, or in my way.

And then I had to teach this study, as if I had any authority in which to do so! ;)

I love spending time studying scripture with other women. But today I am just as grateful to be at home "waiting and praying."

La Vida Dulce!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Bloggy Giveaway Time! *comments closed*

Hooray! It's here! The Bloggy giveaway hosted by Bloggy Giveaway.

I am giving this handmade pink and white apron:

It's made from bar towels but has the look of chenille.

Leave a comment and then go check out what others are giving away and sign up there too! I will use a random number generator on the morning of Saturday, March 25th to pick the winner.

The Good News? You don't have to be a blogger to participate! But you do have to have a valid email address.

The Bad News? I'm sorry, but I can only mail to addresses in the US and Canada.

La Vida Dulce!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Weekend Recap

I haven't posted in several days. There is a reason for this.

I went on the 2nd grade field trip to the zoo on Friday.  

I shopped most of the day with The Girl yesterday, and then came home and had the best power nap a girl could ask for!

The highlight of the zoo trip was getting to feed the Giraffes. My favorite animal is the Giraffe. They are so graceful and their faces (and eyes) have such a sweet, docile look to them.

This morning I am able to blog a bit because we aren't going to service at our church. We are going to celebrate mass with some friends of ours. Our neighbor, and The Girl's friend, is celebrating her First Communion this afternoon, and we have been given an invitation to celebrate with her family.  

This morning I am going to work on a couple sewing projects and also decide what I will be giving away for Quarterly Giveaway tomorrow.  I am thinking it will be an apron, because that's what I have!

OK, the coffee buzz has kicked in and I need to stop sitting and get moving! 

La Vida Dulce!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Whatta-ya think?

I want to post a question to all you Inter-netty people out there.

If you have been reading for awhile you will now that I am a big water drinker. I posted about it here.

Perhaps you have heard, or have been keeping up with, news regarding the making of baby bottles with BPA (Bisphenol A). If not here is an article that gives the general concern with out too much science speak.

However, this quote is my main concern:

Shelby says while they largely agreed with the expert panel, which was convened by the Center for the Evaluation of Risk to Human Reproduction, they broadened the areas they felt could be of "some" concern, including effects on the mammary gland, prostate gland, and acceleration of puberty in females.

Both groups agreed that there already was some concern that exposure to the chemical could cause neural and behavioral effects in fetuses, infants, and children

When this finding hit the news a few weeks ago I wasn't very concerned. Mostly, because I my bottle days are over.

But the truth is, there not. I drink from a water "bottle" everyday.

This isn't just a concern for our babies, but for our children, and for people like me who drink 98% of my liquid from a Recycle #7 bottle (these are the plastics made from PBA.) 

The Mister and I were talking last night and then we decided to look at our water dispenser bottles. 

Yup, #7's. 

In a moment of drama I asked him,  "Should we switch to glass? Should we throw away all PBA plastics? Should i not allow the kids to drink from water bottles? What about Nalgene, should I go replace everything with those? Why does it feels like nearly everything we eat or drink or touch or experience has always got some element of danger to it? From Puffed Wheat to Water Bottles, is it all poison?"

This is when he sighed, and looked at me lovingly, and calmly said,

"Yup, you can't leave this earth alive."

Oh the voice of reason...

So I will you ask you. Will you let your kids drink from Recycle #7's? Would you switch to glass?

Inquiring water drinkers want to know...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Grocery Store Rebel or the Story of Two

I totally broke all the rules today.

Man, did it feel good.

This morning, I woke up feeling kind of sludgy.  You know that feeling when it seems like you
are walking in Jell-O all day, and no matter how much you try to perk up (regardless of your caffeine intake) your "get up and go" never gets going? Well, that's how I felt today. 

I couldn't even imagine driving to the gym this morning.  It wasn't the workout I dreaded, but the getting there seemed painful, and hard, so instead I worked out here at the house, in an attempt to rev up the brain. It worked for a bit, but didn't last. 

I decided that what I needed to do was to just get showered and ready. Yesterday I got all caught up on laundry. On Monday I went postal over the dust in my house and cleaned all. day. long.  (The desert? It is beautiful, but oh! is it dusty.)  

I hadn't yet had the opportunity to enjoy my clean home (although the dust was once again living on my counter tops and shelves early this morning), so I thought today might be the day to rest and enjoy the fruit of my labor. Since I was feeling sludgy and all.

I sat down to read a bit when it occurred to me that I could not remember the last time I had been to the grocery store.  

A quick look through the cupboards told me that it had been a pretty long time.

So I grabbed my bag and headed out the door. 

This is where my first Rule of Grocery Shopping had been blatantly broken:

I was hungry.  

It wasn't until I got to the store that I realized I was really being a rebel, because not only was I hungry, but was obstinately breaking the second Rule of the Grocery...

Shopping without a list.

Yes, I know. I know!

What will you think of me now?

There are two reasons I shop with a full stomach and a list:

1. I won't buy every single thing that sounds good.

2. I will buy everything I need, and won't have to go back for at least a week.

So, having to pay for the consequences of my actions, I came home from the store with two impulse buys:

OK, so the plain Popsicles aren't really impulse (except I don't usually buy TWO jumbo boxes). They are a pretty much a summer-time staple around her. After-all, I do live in the desert and I must stay hydrated.

The Creamsicles? Total impulse.  I actually bought two of those as well, but I was too lazy to get the other one out of the freezer. 

I have to say I confused myself with the purchase of cream cheese. It was on sale, and when I passed by and saw it there on the shelf, I grabbed (of course) two packages. 

This was quite possibly the most impulsive part of the trip, because I am not all that crazy about cream cheese. Now, don't get me wrong, occasionally I like a little Philly Goodness on a bagel, or when it's part of a cheesecake, but it's not on my list of weekly items.

To make this post just that much more weird. I also bought 2 gigantic Russet Potatoes, because for some reason, while shopping, all I could think about is Potato Soup, and how much I wanted that for lunch. Because potato soup is what someone craves when it is 90 degrees outside.

In spite of my huge deviance (read with sarcasm) I managed to spend $20 less than I usually do when I visit the store. 

Which probably means I will have to go back before the weekend. 

When I got home and got all the stuff put away (and obsessively wiped the dust on my counter that had settled while shopping) I promptly made a turkey sandwich, completely forgetting my craving for potato soup.

The good news is that if you are feeling sludgy and tired, and are craving potato soup, being a Grocery Store Rebel is the cure.

Oh, and Creamsicles help too.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Shower Each Day Makes Me Crazy, OK?

This is my bathroom. It's a happy place with it's milk chocolate color and fluffy cream colored towels.  But it holds a secret that I can no longer keep to myself....


Actually, a week ago, I was lamenting. 

Well, some might call it complaining, but I like lamenting. Anyway, I had posted on the burden we females must carry regarding the removal of hair on the legs.

I had mentioned that one reason this is so difficult (for me) is that I have the worlds smallest shower. Which requires me to undertake the shaving of legs as an event, instead of another daily routine, such as brushing ones teeth.

 Let me submit to you Picture A:

I will admit that the Master Bath was (at first) what sold me on this house. It has a big-ole tub and lots of room. When I am in there drying my hair, and putting on my make-up, I feel like I am in nice hotel. Which I really enjoy. It is spacious. The perfect spot for a woman like me who spends almost an hour making her self look "natural."

However, the people who designed this floor plan must have not seen any need for better planning regarding the shower. I mean they didn't even take in consideration the long-legged woman who needs space to wield her razor properly. 

My parents own an RV, and I am pretty sure that the shower in that rig is bigger. 

Not that I am complaining or anything. 

Well, actually, I might be...just a little.

OK, back to the Picture A...I took my handy-dandy tape measure out, and the measurement from my right hand to the left is exactly 30 inches.  A mere 2 and a half feet.

The good news is that from the wall at my back to the glass door (when it is closed) is a whopping 32 inches.

I want you to know that those extra five centimeters make all the difference in the world.

The shower head is set exactly at 70 inches (5'8"). Which means that The Mister and I are lucky to only be 5'7" (him) and 5'6" (me) tall, because a couple inches taller and we would have to hunch to wash our hair.  And that would really be annoying. 

I hate to say this, because I am no man basher, but the shower was obviously designed by a small, unmarried, man, with no sisters. Cuz a man who was 5'8 or taller, and has lived with a woman for any length of time, would have put some bigger dimensions on that baby.

I'm just sayin'.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

In the"Birdie" Way

Last Friday I opened the back door to let the dog out and something yellow caught my eye up on the beams of the patio. I had been watching two little birds hang out in our yard recently, but it never occurred to me that they were checking out the specs for a brand new home.

They have been hard at work the last few days. 

I think it is so sweet that they are using flowers in their decorating scheme. It's so classic, not to mention very soothing.  The perfect environment for new born birds.

They also combined some man made articles that they found. A nest is not a home without some white string to offset the green and yellow color palette.

Yesterday afternoon I checked on the darling duo, and they had been hard at work all day long. Now there firm, flowered, foundation was being feathered with soft desert grass.
This morning I tried really hard to get a picture of the birds in their nest (there aren't any eggs in it yet, they are still adding the final touches), but whenever I try they fly away.  However, instead of just sticking my camera out the back door, I actually walked out in to the back yard and they did not like that!  They flew around in the tree and on the block wall, chirping and squawking, and carrying on. It was obvious that I was too close for their sweet little birdie comfort. I caught a shot of one of them on the wall. 

Like any expectant Mother she seemed very intent for me to leave her area so that she could get on with her work.

Hopefully I can catch a shot of the Mama on her nest soon!

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Puppy Chow for Children and Other Random Weirdness

Howdy Bloggy People~

This week has been a whirlwind of activity and general craziness. 

I have no idea how to transition into the first topic so....

One of the fun things about having a blog is having the Sitemeter that takes a roll call of all the visitors. I love to see where people come from. For instance, about once a week someone searches from Australia to look at the ballet skirt tutorial I did last year. 

As a side note, in my senior year of high school I had a serious obsession with Australia and really, really wanted to go there (I still hope to someday!). That is why when I see see a blog visitor from Australia I am so amazed!  

I know. I am easily entertained.

Anyway, one of the features of this site meter is that it will tell me what searches have brought about people to my site.  Here are some of the crazy ones:

  • Post bagel sleepiness
  • Can't. Stop. itching.
  • Sugar Hangovers.
  • I got ya where I want ya, now I am gonna eat ya
  • homemade puppy chow for kids

And my favorite (since dance skirt tutorials are are 90 % of the searches to my blog):

  • Tutu Cancan Boutique Skirt

Cuz you know me, I am all about that CanCan Boutique Tutu. I should have posted that for the Fashion Fiesta that went on this week (that unfortunately I did have a chance to participate in!)

Oh the world wide web legacy I am leaving....

Anyway, thank you to those who commented this week. The kids made it through another year of standardized testing, and lived to tell about it. As you can tell, I did to.  Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers! 

Now I am going to share a little secret with you.  But first I have to explain...

The short list of this weeks craziness includes stressful job stuff for The Mister; stressed kids; big work projects; friends turning 40; preparing for bible study; basket ball ending; the opening of swimming team season; and helping The Mister prepare for a big inservice he teaches next month (whew!)

This is the secret to ending a very full week. It works wonders. So much better than 800 milligrams of Ibuprofen and a Diet Coke (my old standby for everything that ails me).

I crawled into bed at 3 o'clock this afternoon, with a handful of Pringles and the fiction novel I am currently reading. Not only did I disregard any care about crumbs getting in the bed, but I stayed there, under the covers, for almost an hour.

And you know what?

It was awesome!

Now we are headed to one of the best things about being in town with family: celebrations! In about 30 minutes we will be heading out to the MooFish house for birthday dinner for my nephews.  It will be a long and arduous trek across the street to her house (have I mentioned she lives across the street?) so I needed that one hour "power rest."

I can think of nothing better than ending this great (and busy!) week with some good celebratin'. 

I hope y'all have a great Saturday evening!

La Vida Dulce!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Lunch Break

I am working from home today, trying to get a big project done for my Mom.

Since it was lunchtime and all, I thought I would come say hello while eating a nice bowl of veggie soup and sourdough toast.

It's actually a chilly day here. Currently it is 63 degrees out side. All my friends in the north just rolled there eyes at me. But when you have been living in the 80's for over a month a twenty degree drop feels drastic!

Anyway, I was looking through some old photos of the kids and I found these three pictures. These were taken almost 5 years ago and they are still some of my favorites.

The Boy hated having his picture taken. The Girl loved it. Only that particular week she wore those glasses everywhere. I had forgotten that in her first four years of life she had naturally curly hair!

Picture taking with small was never easy. But OH! the memories.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Y'all, it is on weeks like this that I would seriously consider homeschooling. But then again maybe homeschooler's have to do standardized testing too.  I am not sure.

I have exactly 20 minutes to blog before I head out the door to go to the school cafeteria. This morning I had to bribe The Girl, with a promise to meet her for lunch, because she has been freaked out by the completely out-of-control chaos that is public school Standardized Testing week.

I am so irritated about how ridiculous the whole situation is. So much so that I probably shouldn't be writing about it, lest I say something unkind, and regrettable.  Which I try really hard not to do here.

The pressure started building last week. The Boy spent two days at home with anxiety and major stomach trouble.  Yesterday The Girl (who wasn't yet testing; her tests started today) came home because she felt like she was going to throw up.  

They aren't sick, they're worried.

This morning at the gym one mom complained that her little girl was complaining of the same symptoms and another mom said that her son had nightmares all night.

When we walked into the school this morning, the assistant principle was walking around telling the kids, "All you have to do is focus. Just keep focused!"

No pressure there.

Uh Hello?  How about "Good Morning! It's going to be a great day!"

And you know, the teachers are all freaked out too , but if the administrators are riding them even half as hard as they are riding our kids then it's no wonder they all look like they might explode! Everyone wants a school that is rated in an excellent category. But you know what? These teachers?  They are stressed beyond what is rational, and it is reflecting and showing itself in outstanding ways in our children.  

It just makes me wonder if this testing is all worth it.  This week I feel like my kids aren't "kids", but simply a means to get a good school rating. This isn't building up our children, it's stressing them out.  

And there is precious little I can do about it. I have told the kids that they don't need to worry because they know what's on the test (they are both good students), but it doesn't matter because the teachers are required to nag the kids on everything from what they should be eating for optimum brain power to test test taking strategy. Bombarding them with so much test taking info that the kids are literally sick.

I love our school. It truly is one of the best. My kids both have excellent teachers. But something is going to have to change, or our kiddos (and teachers!) are going to be burnt out before junior high.

Time to lunch! Thanks for letting me vent!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

A Hairy Tale

Last week held a lot of TMI here on the blog. We started with some personal issues, moved our way through stomach ailments, ending with the purchasing of undergarments.

This week we might as well extend the theme and talk about something high ranking on the TMI category: leg hair.

I really should be called HairyGal, instead of CoffeeGal, but since I am all about putting your best foot forward, and emphasizing the positives, I went with the obvious. If you were to hang around me in Real Life, then you would almost always see me with a large mug of coffee in my hand, but hopefully you wouldn't ever see my lack of shaving, plucking or waxing.

There are some amazing perks about coming from both a Latino and Native American heritage: lovely (year round) skin color, prominent cheek bones, and the ability to sniff out a good tortilla in any town we live in (and that is a gift y'all).

However, not everything is Sweetness and Light.  

I have wild eyebrows that must be tamed, and a mustache that would make a pubescent boy jealous.

And then there is leg hair.

Almost 10 days ago I was at the salon and I talked to my aesthetician about Waxing of the Legs. I have never done this before, but the summers here are all about bathing suits and summer shorts.  I am tired of shaving my legs, especially in my teeny-tiny shower (post to come). 

I decided to go for it. I would grow my leg hair and get it waxed. How hard could it be?

Well, my salon lady told me that I would have to grow my hair for 4- 6 weeks. She explained that the hair must be one-half to three-quarters inch long.  She said this was average time to grow adequate hair. 

I can proudly tell you that I am not average, but way, way above average.  Have you ever heard of Locks of Love?  If they could take leg hair, I would be their poster girl.

On Saturday I went, with my parents, to a charity soccer game in the park. It was windy and I was wearing capri's, in hopes that nobody would notice that I had more leg hair than my Dad. It had only been 8 days since I had taken a razor to my legs.

Anyway, I kept feeling this weird sensation on my legs. Y'all, the hair on my legs was blowing in the breeze and brushing the skin!  

My Dad took one look at my legs and said "What is that?"

On Sunday we had family in from out of town. Including a cousin I hadn't seen in 20 years.  It was too hot for jeans, and I was too hairy for shorts, so I caved...

And I shaved.

I still have an appointment scheduled four weeks from now. I will most likely cancel it. I just don't think I can handle the growing out process. 

This week on the agenda: must by shorts.  Now that I can go out in public again.

La Vida Dulce!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Wild Friday Night

The Mister will not be home for dinner tonight.

While I will miss him, I also look forward to preparing a complete, three step, gourmet meal. I will be preparing an amazing dinner that is saved for those nights when my hard working husband isn't home (although every once in a blue moon this dish will find it's way to our table.)

It's a secret, ancient, recipe. But I am going to share it with y'all. Because I like you. But it's just between you and me, and the World Wide Web.

Tonight I look forward to:

Cereal Night.

I'll even do something I wouldn't normally do: I will make different entree's for each individual. Just like it's a restaurant.  The Boy will, no doubt, want Rice Chex.  The Girl? She enjoys Grape Nuts.  

Personally, I don't stray far from my childhood roots. Cheerios are perfect for me. I might just really go hog wild, and slice up a banana and throw it in the bowl.

This is my kind of dinner.  Two ingredients, two minutes of time (three if you count the banana), and clean up is "rinse and rack" (to the dishwasher).  

What's not to love?

After that amazing culinary experience The Girl and I are going to watch an old Mary Kate and Ashley movie called Passport to Paris.  She is obsessed with Paris right now.  Not as in 'Hilton', but as in the city in France.  

The Boy will humor us by watching a silly 'girl' movie, since his Dad won't be home to play video games with him, but I am sure that they will make up for lost time later in the weekend!

That's what I am doing for my wild Friday Night. What about yours?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Woof. Woof.

Today has been a great day.

This morning I went shopping for a bra, with my mother, for the first time since the 6th grade. It wasn't all that different.  Back then we shopped in the training bra section at K-mart. Today I shopped in the training bra section of a Designer Lingerie Boutique.  

The owner of this boutique is my cousin, Katrina. It was neat to see her store because she started talking about wanting to open a boutique years ago. She has worked hard and her efforts have not been for nothing. The boutique has a very clean, but warm, spa like feel to it.We had a great time.

Anyway, while we were in the boutique I ran into an old friend! I had forgotten how much I missed her. It was so great to see her and I look forward to catching up with her soon over lunch.

Before we arrived at the boutique, I really wanted to run into Anthropologie.

I don't remember if I mentioned that I broke my favorite coffee cup a few months ago and needed wanted a new one. You see, I have several coffee cups that go with my everyday flatware. But they only hold about 6 oz. of liquid goodness. 

I am not sure I have ever mentioned this on the old blog before but, The CoffeeGal is not a delicate coffee drinker. I need a mug with a little depth. Something big, but not ridiculous, if you know what I mean. 

I have had my eye on the 'K' cup in recent weeks, but Anthropologie is a 45 minute drive in town. I couldn't justify spending 10 dollars on gasoline to buy a six dollar mug.  Anyway, I can't wait to have coffee in the morning!

My Mom was in desperate need for new shoes. Literally. I am not talking "desperate need" that I live in from day-to-day. I am talking, she needed shoes, in a way that the word need is meant to be used.  She is weeks away from walking on her own two feet again. She ruptured her achilles tendon 5 months ago, so shoe shopping hasn't really been on her list of priorities. She needed some good supportive shoes. Pronto! So we found our way to the shoe store.

A lady named Jane helped us with our shoe "needs". She was a hilarious british women who had me laughing within seconds of walking in the door.  

Jane mentioned that she was the manager, and had sold shoes for the last 20 years, with the exception of a few years back when she quit for about two weeks, to sell bras. She said that she could handle working with peoples feet, but that when she had to sell bra's by  "being forced to go into the cubicle, with the client, and then asking them to 'bend over and shake'", she just couldn't cope. 

We laughed, and told Jane that we understood, since we had just been bra shopping. 

Only, I felt a little gipped, cause Katrina hadn't asked me to do that.  

Anyway, Jane went back to the shoe business. We're glad she did. She said something profound. I knew I had to tell y'all...

She said, "Once a shoe dog, Always a shoe dog."  

Isn't that beautiful? I totally get that! It's so very, very true....

While Jane was assisting my Mom I looked around and found these.

They were calling to me like a lost child. I couldn't leave without them. So I didn't.

To add to my List of Awesome Things That Happened Today:

  • Getting a phone call from a loved one informing me that that medical "lump" they found wasn't anything to worry over! Amen! and AMEN!!!
  • Finding Tyler Coffee. It's rumored to be the best coffee around, and was even in the VIP gift bags for the Golden Globe and Oscar Awards. 
  • Spending some time with my mom. Even though she got to shake, and I didn't.
La Vida Dulce!