Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cream of the Crop

Dear Match.com,

I would like to thank you for sending me some quality individuals over the last few days with your "people you match" tool. I am pretty sure I asked to be matched with people under the age of 27, but that 62 year old you sent me sure was a dish. Today's match has to be the cream of the crop and I am so flattered that you thought of me. Highlights of this individual's profile include a really compelling argument of why I should date him, "because i have a alot trouble finding somebody to go out with me. i never date no body yet," and things that we both could enjoy, "i do go out shopping at big super walmart." I am so excited to see where this budding relationship is going to go, but if it doesn't work out, keep sending me these supreme matches, okay? Thanks so much for your help!

With all my love and gratitude,

Friday, October 23, 2009

Adventures in Elder Care

Elderly Male Patient: You look just like my brother.
Me: Your brother??
EMP: Yeah. Don't worry, he was very pretty.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Buddies From the Beginning

Before and After

We have several large trees in our front yard...maples and oaks. We had one large oak that was hanging over the corner of the house and cement pad in front of the garage; it was constantly dropping limbs and painful little acorns, and slowly wrecking the roof of the house. Mom and Dad finally decided to have the sucker removed, so last week, on Tuesday, I headed home to help them clean up after it was cut down. It was quite a show!

The Before Pics:

Getting Started:

Almost Finished:

All Done and Cleaned Up:

These guys were quick! They took down the whole tree and chipped the branches in about an hour. We spent the next hour or two raking up the residual leaves and carting away the mess। Dad is excited about all the wood he will get out of the trunk (shown in the background of the above photo). Mom had 3 yards of black dirt brought in this weekend to fill in the hole; the yard wasn't too marred up and by next summer, you won't even be able to tell there was a giant tree standing there!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Think You're Having a Bad Day?

I bet his is worse....

I have had a horrible headache all afternoon, so I decided to take a bubble bath to see if I could relax a little bit. I was reading my book and watching Indy bat at the mounds of bubbles; he was so cute...scooping up bubbles on his paw and then shaking them off. He shook a little too hard on the last scoop, and managed to throw his balance off and throw himself into the tub. He's clean, but he's not happy about it.

No Sven...Cheesy Potato Soup, A Purse and Some Whiskers Instead.

I went to the spa for my massage this afternoon....GLORIOUS! I love it. There was no hunky Swedish man named Sven, but there was a lovely woman named Shapel who did wonders for my sore muscles. She is a massage therapist and very good at her job...I left feeling like my limbs were ten feet longer than usual and was ready for a nap.

Before I went to the spa, Dad came over for lunch. I made chicken salad sandwiches and cheesy potato soup....Holy flippin yummy.

Cheesy Tater Soup
1 bag frozen, southern style diced potatoes
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cans chicken broth
1/2 cup sour cream
Velveta Cheese

Place potatoes in crockpot and pour in broth. Add milk until potaoes are covered. Add soup and sour cream, mixing well. Add diced onion to own liking (i like lots, 1/4 to 1/2 cup). Turn crockpot to high and let simmer until hot....add small pieces of Velveta, again to own liking, and stir until melted. Top with crumbled bacon and green onions and serve hot.

After lunch, I got a call from my apartment manager....Indy won "cutest pet" in our complex's pet photo contest! Woo! $25 off my next month's rent....Here's the winning shot:

This evening, Mom and I headed into town for a little bonding...ie shopping. We headed to Kohl's where we found a perfect rug for my front door...needed something bigger now that wet shoe weather has arrived.

 I also FINALLY found a new purse....I love it!

It's a great raspberry color with LOTS of space. Indy gave it his stamp of approval.

Finally, I noticed tonight how prominent Indy's Sensei whiskers have become...

"If you can take the tuna-flavored cat treat from my paw...."

Thursday, October 08, 2009

"To Do" List of Today

1. Clean apartment
2. Make cheesy potato soup (recipe to come later)
3. Lunch with Dad
4, 5, 6. (big job...been a while) Shave my legs so as to not scare away my masseuse
7. Swedish Massage (hope it is a hunky man named Sven and not a hunky woman named Ulga)
8. Home
9. Mother/Daughter Date downtown

Busy day.....lots to look forward to!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Someone Has Been Drinking the Liquid Paper Again.....

As stated in a Match.com profile of what this male is looking for in a mate....

"also like to have a good time rather than a work alcoholic."

I don't like a heavy drinker either....could this be a match made in heaven?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

You Really Should Get a Pair of Wooly Boot Socks. Trust Me.

It's been raining. All. Day. Long. I'm not upset by this...not at all. I really enjoy the gray rainy days here cuddled up with Indy. I wore my pajamas all afternoon, sipped hot tea, watched Disney movies and roamed my apartment in my wooly boot socks.

I also baked pumpkin seeds this afternoon.

Rolled them in a little olive oil, covered them in seasoning salt and baked them at 400 degrees until crunchy and golden brown. Yummy, yummy.

Yesterday, I went home in the afternoon to help Mom by doing some yard work. I started by weeding and planting her daffodil bed. I finished, and nearly killed my sorry self, by weeding and raking her shrub border as a surprise for when she arrived home. It didn't look that big at the beginning, but caught in a picker bush 4 feet from where I started, made it seem miles long. However, I kept at it and finished before she arrived. She was so happy she thanked me by giving me a gift card for a local spa here in town.
I have been going back and forth about whether I wanted a full mani/pedi, or a Swedish massage. After more waffling and the advice that I can't rub my own back, I chose the massage. Woo! I made an appointment for Thursday afternoon; it will be my first massage. I'm nervous, but I'm so sore from the lawn work and the hard workout I did yesterday evening that I am really looking forward to it too.

Because I can do my own mani/pedi, that's how I spent the last couple hours. I removed the peeling, eight layer thick red polish from my toes and soaked them in a hot foot bath with Avon foot soak.

It felt sooooo good. I also soaked my hands in warm water and then did cuticle treatments and filing on both my fingers and toes. I finally did coats of polish: shell pink for my toes and clear for my fingers. They look and feel so much better!

I would just like to say, I probably wouldn't have had the problem of keeping my cat out of my foot bath at the spa, but I am still glad I chose the massage.

Covert Kitty

Sweets and Treats

Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins...I love pumpkins! Mom and I went to a fall festival on Saturday....the rain held, the place was packed, and there were pumpkins everywhere! We checked out all the vendors, bought some goodies and just enjoyed the fall party atmosphere. Before we left, I bought a couple smaller sized pumpkins to experiment with later.

After we left the festival, we headed back to my apartment for lunch. I had made chicken salad the night before and put it in the fridge so the flavors would blend. I cut thick slices of Italian bread and toasted them under the broiler of the oven. When they were golden brown, I removed them and filled them with the salad and a crunchy piece of romaine lettuce. Holy yummy....and with Mom's homemade applesauce on the side...DIVINE. I meant to take a picture, but we were hungry, the sandwiches smelled delish and I just plain forgot. I can't help you with Mama's applesauce, but here is the chicken salad recipe...

Chicken Salad:
3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
3/4 cup light Miracle Whip
3/4 cup sour cream
2 tbs very finely diced sweet onion
3/4 cup red seedless grapes, cut in halves
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Mix all ingredients and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour, preferably over-night.

After lunch, we headed out to see a movie...Love Happens. It was cute...I hard a hard time seperating the male lead from his previous role as Two-Face from the new Batman movie, but all in all, I really liked it. Mom drove me back to my apartment and she headed home. It was a lovely mother-daughter bonding day!
Later that night, I went into super-baker mode....I cut the two pumpkins I bought earlier into quarters after I removed all the goop from inside. I placed them on cookie sheets and roasted them in the oven. After they cooked completely through, I removed the pieces from the sheets, cut the meat from the skin, and pureed the meat in the blender....viola! Fresh pumpkin puree! I used the fresh pumpkin to make pumpkin walnut raisin bread...lots of it. I made two loaves and a large bundt cake of the bread; I took a loaf to Mom and Dad, one to Grandma and Grandpa, and left the bundt cake at home. It's so good and I love knowing I made it all from scratch.

Pumpkin Walnut Raisin Bread
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 cup olive oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup raisins

Mix flour, salt, sugar, soda. In separate bowl, combine all other ingredients, except walnuts and raisins. Slowly pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients, stirring continually. Mix well. Add raisins and walnuts. Pour into greased pans and bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes. Knife will come out clean from the center of the bread when done.
While waiting for the bread to bake, I also made sugar and spice pecans...they are very similar to the spiced almonds that you can get at ballgames. They are super easy to make and soooo addictive!

Sugar and Spice Pecans
1 large bag whole pecans
1 egg white
1 tbs water
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tbs cinnamon
1/2 tbs nutmeg
1/2 tbs cloves

Mix egg white and water. Pour over pecans and mix until all are moistened. Mix sugar and spices. Pour over pecans and mix well. Pour onto a cookie sheet and bake for thirty minutes at 300 degrees. Turn pecans every 10 minutes to crisp all sides.

I'm loving all these fall recipes and experimenting in my kitchen...unfortunately, I'm up to my eyeballs in sweets and treats. I can't eat all this stuff...my waistline is begging me not to. I could just stop making so much food, but where's the fun in that? Sweets and treats for everyone...get it outta my house!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Happy Fall!

Today was another crafty crap day...it didn't start that way, but it sure ended that way.

This morning I got up and went to have my second follow-up TB check...still no TB. I then picked up Greg and we headed to lunch at a local bar. The bar is famous for their burgers, but I had a pesto chicken sandwich...holy yummy. After lunch, I dropped Greg off at his office to catch up on a couple things, and then I drove to the coffee shop a few minutes away. I settled in with my hot tea and a crossword; Greg met me a little later and we worked on the puzzle together for a while. At two o'clock, he had to head out for his kickball game, and I had to go restock on my crafty stuff. I really just wanted to wander in JoAnn Fabrics for an hour, but I did also needed some paint.

I did my wandering, restocked, and headed home to get to work. I planned on making more cards, but I got started putting lace patterns on cardstock and things sort of just snowballed from there. I did make a couple more cards, but I also had an idea to paint and pattern a picture frame. I started with a small, basic silver frame that I have had for a while.

I panted the entire frame with a deep, metalic, bronze-colored paint.

After the first coat dried, I gave the frame a second, textured coat by tapping the paint onto the frame with the tips of the bristles.

While that coat dried, I placed a piece of lace onto a paper plate and covered it in a lighter, champagne-colored metalic paint.

I then draped the paint-laden lace over the frame and pressed down evenly across the entire surface.

When the frame completely dried, I cleaned the glass and added one of my favorite pictures from my trip to New York City. Viola! The frame looks like a mix of lace and snakeskin....muuuuuch better than the plain original.

After I finished this frame, I had the idea to do a set of frames for my living room. I had one blank wall.....very large....veeeeeeeeeery blank. Last year, I used a set of 4 plain, thin, silver frames in my old apartment; I had been keeping them in storage, unsure of what I wanted to do with them.

To begin, I did the same paint process as earlier...first a dark coat, then a texture coat, and finally a lighter lace coat.
While the frames dried, I used a cut a piece of lace and covered it in dark metalic brown paint.

I layed this lace over dark khaki-colored cardstock and pressed the lace evenly across the paper with napkins. I removed the lace and cut the cardstock to fit in the frames.

I then picked four of the leaves that I had dried previously; the leaves were similar in size, shape and color. I applied tacky glue evenly to the back of each leaf and pressed one on to each cardstock background.
I then placed the backgrounds and glass back into the frames and hung them on the wall. Viola...again!

After I cleaned up the mess from the painting projects, I found that I still had a LOT of dried leaves left. The colors were so beautiful, it seemed a shame not to display them in some way. I remembered that I also had decorative fish bowl in storage, so I dug it out and cleaned it. I placed some amber-colored glass beads in the bottom, and poured in the leaves.

I let them fall, haphazardly, so they were visible from all sides of the bowl. I love, love, love fall, so I really enjoy having a little of the beauty of the season inside.

Mom is coming to hang out with me tomorrow...we are going to a pumpkin patch festival and I am making lunch...can't wait!

Happy Fall Everybody!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Because It's Clean and Momentarily Free of Cat Hair. Everybody Ooo and Ahh.

I realized I never posted any pictures of my apartment after I moved in...this realization may or may not have come from heavy suggestion from the madre, but either way, I cleaned today (on my hands and knees with a scrub brush, no less) so here they are:

The view from the front door...living room to the left...kitchen and then dining room on the right....at the end of the hall, bedroom is on the left...bathroom is on the right.

In my kitchen....finally found a place for my little signs.

Standing in front of my windows....

Standing next to my windows, by my patio door.

Living room...

Free TV (woo!) and pictures of Indy....

Dining room with the chairs and table that Mom completely recovered and refinished....my photographs on the walls...

Pass-through window from dining room to the kitchen....so handy!

Up-close view of frames hanging above my sink...shadow box frames filled with small glass bottles found on our property.

Nice sized linen closet across from my dining room was easily coverted to a pantry by adding this shelving unit....can't tell you how many times Indy has accidently been shut in this closet....he looooooves it....hence his presence in the lower corner.

View from bedroom door...

Left half of my bedroom...

Right half of my bedroom....

Glorious walk-in closet (cue angels' singing and harp music)..

And yes, there is a bathroom.....it's beach themed and sparkly clean, but you will just have to take my word for it; my burst of cleaning energy today also led me to do the four loads of laundry that had accumulated in my glorious closet, so the bathroom is full of clothes hanging to dry and nobody cares to see that.