Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Only Prescription is More Cowbell!

I stumbled across my favorite Will Ferrell SNL skit online tonight.
If you've never seen this you have to watch it!
And if you've seen it 100 times, it's still funny!

"I've gotta have more cowbell, Baby"

'Ferrell

Hostas

Know anyone that needs hostas? And someone that can show me how to split mine???

A lot of mine are starting to look overgrown.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Cleaning Out the Pantry - An Attempt to Organize


Our pantry is a mess. Mostly just a lot of stuff in it, but yet I always seem to be going to the grocery store to buy stuff. I think this weekend I need to inventory it. And then once I'm going to do that I'm going to try and incorporate one thing from the pantry into each meal. Whether it's using up a box of pasta in a made-up hotdish, or having canned peaches in my lunch. We're coming up on the 1 year anniversary of moving into our house, so now I want to think about what I've acquired and why I'm holding on to it!!!

P.S. That's not my pantry in the picture... But not far from it!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Never enough time

Today I was going to clean windows, but then I decided my time was better spent mowing the lawn, and cleaning up the kitchen. However, now I have to figure out when to wash windows.

I also measured our landscaping for how much mulch we will need, because we have some really bare spots. It's a LOT! So now I have to get that organized, as well as find someone to seal our deck and seal our driveway... House maintenance can be so overwhelming some time!

Butterscotch Cashew Scotchies

I made this recipe yesterday. We were going to a party, so I thought it'd be fun to make something to take, and these turned out to be extremely easy to make and very yummy!! This is from my "The Cake Mix Doctor" cookbook.

Butterscotch Cashew Scotchies

Makes 24 bars.
Preparation Time - 10 minutes
Baking Time - 27-29 minutes


1 package (18.25 oz) plain yellow cake mix
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) melted butter
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped lightly salted cashews
1 cup butterscotch chips

1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350. Set aside an ungreased 13x9" baking pan

2. Place the cake mix, brown sugar, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the bowl with a rubber spatula. Blend again on low speed for 1 minute. Transfer the batter to the pan, smoothing it out with the rubber spatula so that it reaches all sides. Sprinkle the cashew pieces and butterscotch chips over the batter. Place the pan in the oven.

3. Bake the cake until it is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 27 to 29 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes.

4. Cut the cake into 24 bars. Remove the bars from the pan with a metal spatula, and serve.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Happenings Coupon Trade

So today I was perusing Craigslist again! I always go look at Wanted and Trade, just in case somebody wants some of my junk, that I haven't thought of to get rid of!! :)

Today I found someone posting to trade coupons from their Happenings book. We don't use that many of them, but the ones we do we would always love to have more. So I had almost all of them left for this person that wanted to trade, so hopefully I can get some good ones from them!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Craiglist - Something For Everyone!

Every time I do something with Craigslist, either posted or bought, but mostly posted, I've had success. It is unbelievable! Last night I posted my drapes that I took down in the living room. They are custom to our house, but just don't match or our stuff or really my taste, BUT they are somebodies, because in the last 12 hours, I have gotten 28 responses from people who want them! It's crazy! Guess I should have asked for money for them! Oh well. Hindsight!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Lousy Luck

A couple of weeks ago, I bought a tank of gas, and shortly after, my check engine light came on. I called the Toyota Dealer to make an appointment to bring it in, as it is very much so under warranty. However, the service guy told me that it may be that I didn't have the gas cap on tight and that if I brought it in and it was the gas cap it would cost me $800 for that diagnosis, as it was my fault and not covered by the warranty. What?? $800?? but whatever, if it was the gas cap, then I'm all for trying that and not dealing with bringing it in. And he told me it may take several trips for it to reset itself... OK. give it a week of driving.

So a few times later the MAINT REQD light comes on. Chad reads in the manual that it means the oil needs to be changed. I was a bit curious to know how it figured my oil needed to be changed, because it didn't. So then I just thought it was related to the check engine light.

Which brings me to this morning! I'm driving into work and I know I don't have much gas, but the gas light isn't on, so I know it's enough to get me to work, at least. Well on my way, it comes on. So I stop at the truck stop by work to fuel up. I fill my car and was only slightly annoyed when the Pay at the Pump told me to go inside for a receipt. But then I was very annoyed, when my car didn't start again!!! It turned over, but didn't start. So I pull out my cell phone to call Chad to see if he has the roadside assistance number, because I hadn't put it in my purse yet. (New service our insurance JUST started offering!) Low and behold, my cell phone doesn't work! I can't dial a number, and I can't access my phone book. So now I'm sitting in my car at a gas pump, my car won't start and my cell phone won't work (even when I turn it on and off!) So I head into the truck stop, luckily it's a truck stop and there are phones, but no phone book!! I sit down at one, and call Chad. He doesn't answer, because he doesn't recognize the number. I then call the number on my insurance card to get the roadside assistance number and call them. Again he tells me to check the gas cap. So I go back out and check it. It's on tight. Car still doesn't start.

I come back. I then pull out my calling card (which apparently I keep for occasions like this) but it has ZERO minutes on it! So I reload my card, which takes 10 minutes and meanwhile a trucker is talking to me about what's wrong with my car... I'm not really caring. I get more minutes on my card and then call my mom, because I need to find out the phone number for work, so I can call my boss, because now I'm also late for work. So after flubbering to my mom and explaining what I need, she finds the number for me. I call my boss, who is very understanding. I then call the Roadside Assistance back and they call a tow truck for me, but it'll be about 45 min to an hour. And I don't have a phone number to give them, because mine doesn't work! Although right after I get off the phone, mine makes a weird beep and starts working again, and I have a message from Chad.

I go back out to my car, and sit and wait. I decide to read the manuel while I'm waiting, because I have nothing else to do. That's when I find out that there is a mechanism that needs to be reset when the oil needs to be changed. It then triggers the MAINT REQD light after 4500 miles. And eventually, will lock your car from being started! I have never heard of this. And apparently Sears did not do this when I took it in last time. SOOOO I reset this oil changer tracker thing, and shazam, my car starts!

Now I have to go back inside, because my phone still doesn't work and cancel the tow truck. While I'm on hold, my trucker friend asks me what it was, and tells me that these new cars are too fancy, and that's why he sticks with the older cars.

So I made it to work about an hour and a half late. Not a good start to my day!!! AND I still need to figure out what is up with my check engine light. The guys at work suggested having Chad call or take it in, because it shouldn't cost that much, and think that maybe a guy would get better service! AND I still don't know what was up with my phone.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Take Home Chef

My new show I found on TLC. I like cooking and I enjoy funny attractive Australian men who can also cook... so naturally this show works for me.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Short, But Sweet

I had a short and busy weekend! I flew home from California on Friday night, expecting to land around 5:40 and getting laundry and things in order before heading up north for Drew's birthday celebration. Unfortunately the weather had other things in mind. My flight back from the OC was bumpy and turbulent, so much so that when we got to Minnesota and couldn't land, because of bad weather we had to fly to Duluth to re-fuel, as we didn't have enough fuel to circle over the Twin Cities. So I didn't make it home until after 8. So I didn't get laundry done as I had to bake Drew's birthday cake and make a trip to the grocery store because Chad's dad and brother were coming here for Father's Day.

Saturday morning, we were up early to drive up to Aikin. We made good time and were there around 10 am. I finished decorating the cake. It was pretty easy, as Melanie had gotten Frog candles (the party theme was frogs) and so I made a pond and put in some grass around it. Drew added some lilypads too. And instructed me to write only "Happy Birthday". The rain set in shortly after the cake was decorated, so we had lunch inside, before heading next door to Grandpa and Grandma Larson's where we spent the rest of the day inside enjoying birthday festivities, including opening presents, playing with presents (specifically Movin Monkey's and Clue Jr), a reptile hunt (Drew hid the little creatures for the rest of us), and a birthday dinner complete with Lemon Birthday Cake with frog candles.

Sunday we woke up to a much nicer day. Chad headed back early to spend the day with his Dad, but I stayed and rode home later with my parents. After church, we put our swim suits on. I played in the lake with Drew and Kate for a little bit, before we went out on the pontoon. We also took the tube out, so several of us took turns riding. My mom and Kate went first. Kate loves it, and was disappointed that her ride was over so fast. Drew and I were next, although Drew was reluctant once it came time to get in the tube, we convinced him to try it, and he seemed to enjoy the short ride. Kate eagerly climbed in again with me, so I could have a longer ride. After our ride we had lunch and opened Father's Day presents, and then I headed back with my parents.

It was a great weekend, and always fun spending time with the whole family and Melanie's family too.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Fear Factor - Reality Stars

How pathetic is it that I'm watching Fear Factor with Reality Stars and I know 10 of the 10 contestants? Trishelle and Mike from the Real World, Craig and Tana from the Apprentice, Carmen and Anthony from American Idol, Victoria and Jonathon from The Amazing Race, and Twila and Johnny from Survivor.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Baby

Yesterday Chad's brother called with news. Chad and I are expecting yet another niece/nephew in January. So one on my side in September, and one on Chad's side in January!! Pitter Patter!

A Wedding In December

Today on the plane, I finished reading A Wedding In December, by Anita Shreve. It was a good book. We're reading it for our June book club. I liked it. Anita Shreve has a definitive style in writing. I feel like her characters are always these literary dark deep (somewhat tortured) people with some tragedy in their past. And there is nothing wrong with that. And I like her books, I just can't read them one right after another. If you like Anita Shreve, you'll like this book...

Movies

Saturday night, Anne and I went to see Kinky Boots. I hadn't heard of it until she suggested it. It was cute. Probably most definitely a chick flick. Chad was glad that he doesn't have to sit through it. :) And it was fun to see and spend time with Anne!

Last night, after Chad got back from Madison, we went to The Break-Up. I really enjoyed it. I think Chad did too, although he doesn't know if he'll ever want to watch it again. I told him it was an object lesson, and I don't think he liked that. But I think why it was so funny was that I know so many couples that have the same arguments they had in the movie. Like, "I want you to want to do the dishes". Very funny!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Happy Birthday to Drew!!


Drew is 6 today!! Hard to believe that it's been 6 years since that Sunday night when my brother called to see what I was doing, and when I asked him the same, he said "Having a Baby!" We're celebrating next weekend, so watch for the cake pictures!

Calm House

My house is relaxing again! I got it cleaned up and my summer/winter clothes rotated to the right closets. The bathrooms are all clean, the floors are mopped, carpets vacuumed, dishes in the cupboards. I'm feeling caught up and ready for my week! Even though I won't be home to enjoy home, I know that unless Chad creates huge messes, it will be nice to come home to this house next Friday!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Get Out The Birkenstocks

Today, after a very restful sleep, I got up and went to the Farmers Market. It was the first Saturday they were open in Burnsville and there didn't seem to be a whole lot of vendors there, but enough to get some strawberries and lettuce. I also tried some yummy bread from Harvest Bread Company, and there was a pork vendor there, so I will probably get some brats next week when I know I'm going to be home to enjoy them!

I also went to the Valley Natural Food store in Burnsville. I needed some thyme, and wanted to find a place where I could buy spices in bulk. It's a very nice store. I'm really interested in the cleaning products and love that you can buy so much in bulk, including pasta, so that I buy what I need, and buying in bulk helps cut down on packaging which I love!

Friday, June 09, 2006

9-1-1

I called 911 last night. We shut off our AC last night and opened up the windows. I woke up around 2:30 am. Not sure if something was blowing in the house or if I heard noises from outside, but then I got up to go to the bathroom, and as our bedroom windows look out over the cul-de-sac and I had the window open, I noticed a car sitting out there. In the middle of the road, right in front of our house. And a guy leaning up against the trunk. The lights were off. So I woke up Chad and he walked around inside the house. And I called 911, because it was so suspicous. They promised to come out and check it out. Pretty much right after I called, the guy got back in the car (on the passenger side, so he wasn't by himself) and they took off. The lights weren't on, and I didn't hear the car start. A short time later a couple police cars drove through with a spotlight, but they were gone. We figure it was probably some kids parking doing something illegal or immoral, because all the landscaping in the center of the cul-de-sac is in full bloom right now, so it's a good hiding spot for a two door black car at night. So, we'll be leaving our outside lights on a little later. Makes me really glad we have a security system too! And a police force that comes to scope out calls like that! This weekend I'm going to go and talk to the neighbors to let them know what I saw too.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Gratitude

Today, I started a gratitude journal/blog. Yesterday I took the afternoon off to kind of settle myself down. Being home this week has been kind of an adjustment, and I'm feeling unsettled because there is SOOO much to do. I feel like the house is a mess, and I want to get back into a routine, and it's tough knowing that there is more time away coming up later this summer.

And I can get really stressed out over stuff like that, even if it's simple stuff like not having time to wash windows... but I am trying to remind myself that I am really very blessed, so I started this online journal/blog (http://being-thankful.blogspot.com/) to remind myself (and others) that I (and most of us) don't have it that bad and I can't sweat all the bad stuff all the time when I really have a lot to be thankful for.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Home Sweet Home

Besides my brief Love/Hate blogging on Saturday, I apparently avoided the computer as much as I could. I was enjoying being home!

Friday night, I was able to catch an earlier flight home from Milwaukee, and the flight also landed early, so I got in well over an hour earlier than I expected to. Chad and I went out for dinner. As much as I was sick of eating out, we didn't have anything in the house to eat either. (which makes me wonder what Chad ate all week while I was gone) We tried a place in Savage called Spice. It is a Thai restaurant that we first noticed when we were looking for a house, and we finally tried it. After a very yummy dinner, we walked around Sunset Pond. It is about 1.75 miles around the pond, and a nice way to burn off our dinner.

Saturday, Chad got up early for golf, and I got up (not as early) for a hair appointment and grocery shopping. I went to a baby shower for our friend Kim in the afternoon, while Chad met up with Aaron and the guys for Aaron's "Baby Bachelor Party".

Sunday, I coerced Chad to go to early church. We then both came home and took naps! I also did some cooking, including getting some stuff in the freezer as even that is bare. I made Turkey Chimichanga's, Jerk Chicken, and Marinated Cucumbers. So not much experimenting with anything new. But it still felt good to be in the kitchen!!!

Today I'm at work. Strange, but nice. My gym bag is in the car so I will go to the Gym after. I have some catching up to do! The scale was NOT my friend on Saturday. 7 weeks of restaurant food will do that to you!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Love & Hate - Take 1

Borrowing this format from Love Is Blonde -

LOVE - Being Home. Driving My Own Car, my TiVo, and clean laundry.

HATE - That my husband went golfing and now is out with the guys on my first day home in 2 weeks! And also the housework/chores that need to be done, because we've both been gone.

LOVE - Chad's friends' significant others, baby showers, and Jenny T. who included me on the evite for a party, so I didn't hear about it the day before.

HATE - Hate being surprised by news I should have heard from Chad weeks ago... (i.e. Molly and Rod, but mostly Molly, are pregnant)

LOVE - My new haircut and highlights.

HATE - the amount of "product" my stylist uses.

LOVE - These gorgeous warm June days!

HATE - My flowers withered up while I was gone.

LOVE - I will be home for awhile to hopefully revive them!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Results

I beat 207 people in the race on Saturday. Results.