Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy! Happy!

Today is the Captain's birthday so we are incognito for the rest of the holiday.

In the spirit of Christmas and the fact that my love is a huge geek and lover of all things Star Wars this one is for him.

Have a wonderful holiday and here's hoping it is all shiny and bright.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Let's get this holiday started!

We are on the countdown to the weekend.  I am so excited about Christmas.  I don't know if you guys can tell it or not, but I am just a little bit into the holidays.  I love them.  It's not about the presents.  Okay, okay, it's not all about the presents. 

For me the best part of the holiday season truly is giving.  I love the look on some one's face when you have picked out that perfect gift just with them in mind.  My Gram was a big believer in this season.  Not that I got everything I wanted.  We lived on a fixed income, but she always made Christmas really special and for that I feel truly blessed.

She always said when it comes to the holidays there are a few simple rules. 

1.  Always wrap your gifts.  No gift bags in our house.  To her they screamed LAZY and I have to admit that while I didn't agree with everything she said while I was growing up...okay, wait.  Who am I kidding with that?  I didn't agree with anything she said while I was growing up.  Part of my charm.  (When I look back on it I don't know how she didn't kill me?)  It seems some of her life lessons did indeed rub off on my.  I would like to say I practice this to this day, but I don't.  Sometimes I just run out of time and gift bags are easy.  But I do agree that any package wrapped and decked out in bows is way prettier than something just plopped into a gift bag.

2.  If you take the time to wrap it, accessorize it.  We always put ribbon on the presents in my house.  I don't think my Gram would have considered herself crafty, but she was.  She would use big ribbons to make her own bows.  And she dressed every box as if it were going to the Academy Awards.  There weren't a lot of presents under the tree but the ones that were there always looked fabulous.  Kind of made us not want to open them.  But we pushed through that.  Yeah, sometimes that was hard.

3.  And her final rule.  If you think you cooked enough; cook more.  My Gram always cooked for the holidays as if we were entertaining my entire high school.  We had enough food to feed a third world country.  We dined on leftovers for days.  I know I get my love of cooking from her and feel pretty blessed by that, and I also know that when I am in the kitchen cooking this holiday season I will feel her presence, but not in a scary-ghost-haunting way.  More like a you're-doing-a-good-job kind of way.  At least until I put the cornbread in my dressing.  We had very different opinions on what constituted a good dressing.

So from me to you....Happy Holidays. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

My new dirty word.

I am on a diet moratorium until January 1.


Because telling myself I am on a diet has been sabotaging my efforts to continue my weight loss.  I am sure it is that and not the fact I am on in full on make-the-candy mode and have to try everything I make.

In case you didn't know this about me, I take decking the halls very seriously this time of year.  I put lights everywhere.  Inside and out.  I have up four Christmas trees and I'm only counting the ones over three feet.  So, yes- there really are more.

I estimated it and we have about 35 strands of lights up around the house.  I have lights on top of the entertainment center, around the doors, in the trees and even above the cabinets in kitchen.  But we were talking about my weight loss remember?

At the beginning of this month I was still keeping off the fifteen pounds I had shed and was feeling pretty optimistic.  Then the gifts started arriving from friends and neighbors.  I am really big on homemade gifts.  I love them.  To me they say love like no other gift can and I am normally on the receiving end of a lot of home baked gifts.

Last year I made the mistake of announcing I love a particular hazelnut chocolate.  No lie, I think I have received twenty packages of them.  If I didn't like them so much I might have thought to re-gift those, but no such luck guys because these are my favorites.  So I have been sneaking chocolates every chance I get and avoiding the scale at all costs.

In all fairness I don't think my weight has crept up that much maybe a pound or two, because I am keeping tracking of how my clothes feel, but no way are you guys getting any of my hazelnut chocolates.  Sorry.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Terri.

Remember when I told you at the beginning of the month I had a lot of friends and family members with birthday's this month?

Well, here's another one.

Sending out a great big Happy B-Day to my sister-in-law, Terri.

Hope 42 treats you as great as it's treating me!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Book Hungry: Life as we knew it.

Our selection for this month's read was Life as we knew it  by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Description as borrowed from Amazon:

It's almost the end of Miranda's sophomore year in high school, and her journal reflects the busy life of a typical teenager: conversations with friends, fights with mom, and fervent hopes for a driver's license. When Miranda first begins hearing the reports of a meteor on a collision course with the moon, it hardly seems worth a mention in her diary. But after the meteor hits, pushing the moon off its axis and causing worldwide earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes, all the things Miranda used to take for granted begin to disappear. Food and gas shortages, along with extreme weather changes, come to her small Pennsylvania town; and Miranda's voice is by turns petulant, angry, and finally resigned, as her family is forced to make tough choices while they consider their increasingly limited options. Yet even as suspicious neighbors stockpile food in anticipation of a looming winter without heat or electricity, Miranda knows that that her future is still hers to decide even if life as she knew it is over.

This month Abby posed a good question in the form of a book.

What if this happened to us?

I wish I could say I loved reading this book.  I didn't.

I wish I could say this one didn't give me nightmares.  I can't.

I wish I could say this one ended with some ray of hope.  It didn't.

This was a tough read for me.  As I told the ladies during our Tuesday night discussion, I had to put it down every few chapters and go get my holiday back on with some Fa-la-la-la Lifetime. 

This book was well written.  It was compelling.  And I know, I know it won't be leaving me any time soon.  Pfeffer did a great job with the voices of each characters.  The mom sounds just like you would expect her to sound in the face of such doom.  Her determination in taking care of her family at the cost of all else struck a cord in me.  The older and younger brothers are equally as well rounded and you really feel for this family as they are forced to face bleaker and bleaker conditions.

The scenes are believable and even gut wrenching at times.  There were moments when I felt as if I were sitting with Miranda or even walking in her shoes.  Through the first chapters, after this catastrophic event has happened, her age shines through with her naievete' in believing things will get back to normal.  This is a coming of age story that showcases hard choices and even harder outcomes. 

While this isn't in my 'I love it' category, I need to be fair here and admit it has more to do with the subject matter than how the book was written.  This was definitely a page turner and even when I didn't want to be riveted, I was.  When I finished this story my heart hurt.  Literally, it hurt.  There were a few moments of suspended disbelief, especially toward the end, but overall this is a solid story that will leaving you asking the question: what if this really did happen to us?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My November Reading List.

We had a meeting of the minds last night.  The Book Hungry Club got together for our monthly read and greet and during which time I was reminded that I have not done an update read list since...well...October.

I am so ashamed.

So I thought this would be a good time to update you guys and give you my reading goals for next year. 

I am shooting for twenty books a month next year.  I know I can do it, and I will.  For me the summer months are always bigger months because we spend so much time on the water.  Anyway, here is my list for November:

This month I read two cook books back to back.  I love cook books and can't get enough of them.  In fact I have three on my Christmas list this year.

Michael Symon's Live to Cook: This was a great book with a lot of info for beginning cooks plus I really liked the resources he included.  There were some recipes using cuts of meat I don't think I ever want to try, but it's nice knowing I have recipes if I ever get a hankering for pig's ears.

Cook Like a Rock Star: 125 Recipes, Lessons and Culinary Secrets by Anne Burrell.  I really liked the way this cook book was laid out.  How she does the prep ahead of time.  I have always cooked that way but it was nice to know I was reading a cook book where the chef encourages that completely.

Must Love Mistletoe by Christie Ridgway.  This was a re-read for me.  Since it's Xmas time and all.  I loved it the first time and wasn't disappointed with my second go around.  Mainly I downloaded this one because I found it for free on Amazon.  Thank you Amazon!

Not Another New Years' by Christie Ridgway.  I don't know how I missed this one the first time around, but was glad I snagged it when I did.  Another cheap one from Amazon and I really enjoyed it.

Heat Wave by Richard Castle:  This was a bookhungry selection and I even picked it.  At the end of the day I wasn't overly impressed.

Head Over Heels by Jill Shalvis:  The final in her Lucky Harbor Trilogy.  Or at least the final in her first Lucky Harbor Trilogy.  I have to admit I loved the male lead in this story way more than the female lead.  He was just all male.

Freedom from PCOS by Katie Humprey: If this doesn't show you how diverse my reading goes, nothing will.  If you don't know what PCOS is you wouldn't be interested in the book.

Against the Odds: Kathryn Shay is another must read author for me.  All of her books from her back list are making their way to Kindle and I couldn't be happier.  This is one of my favorites.  I can't tell you why except Nathan, her hero is one I fall in love with each time I read it.

I have downloaded about 200 books onto my kindle to read.  Some of them were free, okay, a lot of them were free and I am hoping to find some great authors in the mix.  Every once in a while I get lucky.  I will give you my December read as we closer to the end of the month.  But tell me, what are you reading?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Light it up!

What a great weekend!

Not only did I get a new pair of smoking hot shoes...I also finished the wrapping of all the presents. 

But the best is the video we finally got of the house.  Check it out.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Giving Thanks!

TGIF and what I am thankful for today.
Christmas Tree in the Living Room 1 of 4

1.  Of course, it's Friday.
2.  I have two great books to read this weekend. (I have to be ready for Book Hungry and the other one I have been waiting for.  Guess which one I am starting with?)
3.  I am going Christmas shopping this weekend to hang with some besties and the best part...all of my shopping is all done. (Insert evil laugh.)
4.  Crisp mornings so I can drink hot tea.
5.  Cool evenings which gives me just one more reason to snuggle with the Captain.
6.  Bacon. (Do I even need to say anymore?)
7.  All the cheesy Christmas shows on Hallmark and Lifetime this weekend.
8.  Wrapped gifts.
9.  Get to make the fudge this weekend.
10.  And last but not's Friday!  (Okay so I used that one twice, but I am sooooo grateful for it that it seemed appropriate.)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Something to belive in

Normally I am disappointed with the offerings in the way of movies.  Last week if you had asked the last good movie I had seen I would have had to think about it.  And it wouldn't have been a romantic comedy.

This week all of that changed.  I got three good ones in a row.  Okay, they weren't all romcom's, but close.

So just in case your looking for something good to watch here are my recommendations.

1.  Crazy Stupid Love
2.  Friends with Benefits
3.  Super 8

Crazy Stupid Love reminded me of movies of yesteryear.  It has a twist at the end I didn't see coming and I appreciated that.  Friends with Benefits totally showcases Justin Timberlake and his comedic talent.  Mila Kunis wasn't too bad either.  Easily one of my newest favorite RomCom's.  Finally Super 8.  I had no interest in watching this movie, but the Captain convinced me.  Was I glad I did.  The story was fresh, the cast great and there were some one liners in this movie that I snorted over.  That's right, I snorted. 

So if your looking for something great to watch this weekend, here you go.  Have you seen them? Did you like them? 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Happy Birthday Kiddo!

Update:  This was scheduled to post Friday.  I think I am blogger challenged.  Either that or I am really stupid.  So I am going with challenged.  

Today my niece Kylie turns three.  Wow, how time flies.  Of course her mom doesn't think so.  She is worn out by this kid.  But she amuses me tremendously.

On Wednesday she went to see Santa.  Here she is with Santa and her daddy.  She refused to sit on Santa's lap for the pic.  Guess she doesn't quite trust the old dude in red.  Yet.  But, she did agree to take the pic as long as her dad came over so she could sit on his lap.

While she was sat on her Dad's lap Santa asked what she wanted for Christmas.  She gave him  her list which I understand took some time.  This kid wants a lot of stuff.

After she was done Santa asked, "Well, have you been naughty or nice this year?" 

Kylie leaned back into her dad and replied, "I have been nice!"

Santa questioned her, "Are you sure?"

Kylie, from the mouth of a three year old, "Uh huh, cause if I'm naughty Mommy will smack my ass."

And my sister in law couldn't understand where that came from. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

It's beginning to feel somewhat like Christmas

Today is December 1.  Can you believe it?  Yeah, me either.

We have a lot going on this month and not just Christmas.  Although it would be nice if we could just concentrate on the holiday, we can't.  There are a ton of birthday's this month we have to celebrate including the Captain's.  Two sister-in-law's, one sister, one niece, three friends and of course the big Kahunas, which falls on the 23rd of the month.

Most of my decorating is done in the  house.  I know, I know, I am an over achiever.  This year I limited myself to four Christmas trees.  In my defense...oh, who am I kidding.  I have no defense other than to say that I love this time of year and this holiday. 

We aren't going to visit any family this year.  The Captain and I are going to go it alone.  But not really.  We will be spending Christmas Day having dinner with some of our friends here. 

Last year when we were making the trek to Michigan to visit with my husbands little brothers we had a stop over in Indiana.  I don't remember the name of the place only that the lady at the restaurant where we stopped pointed out the John Mellencamp was from there.  While were there I found a blue Christmas tree.  It's artificial (I guess the fact that it's blue kind of gave that away, right?) and I have waited a whole year to put it up.  

You can see it here.  It makes me smile in joy just to look at it.  Maybe I should have put some sort of sappy warning on this post, just to give you guys a heads up.  Isn't she a beauty?  Today the Christmas music goes on and tomorrow we put the lights up outside and I promise to share some video with you guys on how that turns out. 

In the meantime...have a great day!  Let's get this holiday season kicked off right.  This song always gets me into the Christmas spirit.  Hey!  Don't judge. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Our Family is Expanding

Oh no, don't worry it's not me.

We got a call last night from one of my husbands brothers and they wanted to skype with us.  I should tell you, I wasn't in the mood.  I am feeling pretty cranky and grumpy this week.  Hint. Hint.  Anyway, since we haven't seen the nephew since last Christmas we did it. 

We talked to my husbands little brother for a while and then his wife An, came in with Ryan.  They sat down and Ryan started to bounce on his mom's lap.  They had written across the front of his onsie "Future big brother!" 

It wasn't a shock that they are expanding their family.  They have become great parents and while I know they both think a girl would be a nice addition, I'm hoping they have another boy.  We already have three girls in the family and someone needs to even the odds for Ry.

So come the summer we will be adding to our family.  I am pretty excited about it.  I'm the awesome Aunt that gets them the loudest, funnest toys we can find.  Their parents always love me for that. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

When scratching just isn't enough

My husband is the funniest guy I know.  But his humor is very understated and sometimes dry.  To know his is to love him.

The Captain had his yearly check up the other day.   He has a new family practitioner because his long time doc retired.  This new doctor is young and so far, so good.  But he doesn't seem to appreciate the Captains humor as much as the last doctor did.

While in the middle of his exam he asked, "Are you doing self scrotum checks?"

My husband rubbed his chin and with a twinkle in his eye replied, "Well every once in a while I have a scratch.  Does that count?"

Doc didn't even crack a smile.  Me.  I rolled out of my chair laughing.

Maybe you just had to be there.

Monday, November 28, 2011

They Do Exist!

I had a wonderful holiday weekend and found myself suddenly thrust into the Christmas spirit.  It may have had something to do with the continuous play of cheesy christmas shows on Hallmark, ABC Family and Lifetime or it may have been the adorably cute commercials they only roll out this time of year.  

For me, my favorite holiday commercial is this one. 

Unfortunately I don't see to many commercials with the invent of the DVR, but this one I found myself stopping and watching quite a few times this weekend.  And it made smile.  Every time!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Our menu is simple but filling

I am so looking forward to Thursday.  Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday.  I get to spend it with friends and family sharing memories of Thanksgivings past and wonderful food.

The Captain and I enjoy tradition.  We like to sorround ourselves with good food and good friends.  Our offerings have changed over the years but sentiment remains the same today as it did twenty one years ago when we started.

Our dinner will consist of fried turkey, which the Captain has mastered.  (I am so smart.  Not only do I not have to use valuable oven real estate to cook a turkey, I don't have to cook the turkey at all.  Plus, once you have a fried turkey you can't go back to the dried oven variety.) 

I make a home made southern cornbread and biscuit dressing.  This is a recipe that I developed after moving to the south and being exposed to all of these wonderful southern cooks.  This recipe has stood the test of time at my table for more than fifteen years now. 

We also offer up mashed potatoes, green bean casserole (this is made with the condensed soup, onions in a can and fresh green beans.  I draw the line at canned.  If I could convince everyone that the homemade variation is better I would make that instead, but sometimes you have to let tradition stand, just because my culinary skills have improved doesn't mean they really want the menu to change.  And if I'm honest here, I like this version of the casserole myself.)  Rolls, gravy, and the prerequisite berried cranberry sauce.  Now, I must confess.  Normally I make this from scratch too.  But this year I had a special request for the stuff from a can.  I could have made both, but decided there really wasn't any point.  Homemade cranberry sauce is super simple, but sometimes you got to give the guest what they crave and this is particularly true when the requester is your significant other.

Pumpkin pie and coffee round out our dinner. 

So tell me, what are the must have's for you and yours on Turkey day?

Monday, November 21, 2011

My trip to the grocery store

On Sunday a good friend of mine and I went to the grocery store to stock up on our supplies for Thanksgiving.  While we were there, I overhead a conversation that took me back.  To that first Thanksgiving I hosted with the Captain who had yet to become my husband. 

These two young ladies were standing in front of the selection of boxed potatoes when I passed them.  Their buggy overflowing.  Stove-top stuffing, canned corn and green beans.  A frozen pie along with cans of cranberry sauce and a frozen bird.  It was quite obvious they were doing their shopping for Turkey day as well.

The shorter of the two was standing post behind the buggy handle while the other one braved the wilds of senior's to forage through the box potatoes.  As she was perusing them it was obvious she was getting more and more confused as she mumbled to herself.  Finally, a break in the stream of shoppers, she turned holding up two boxes.  Looking at her friend she asked, "Which one should I get.  And what the heck is Yukon?  Is that where the potatoes are grown?"

Her friend responding with nothing more than a shrug had the young lady grimacing as she turned back facing the wall of boxed potatoes once again.  "I just don't understand the difference."

Feeling her pain, because lets face it, we have all been there. Maybe not the box potato isle in the grocery store.  But at one time or another we have all been faced with making that special dinner.  If your smart you pull a Holly Hunter in Always and buy it pre-made passing it off as your own.  If your not so smart, like me, you choose a holiday to make your dinner party debut and cook the turkey with the neck and giblets still encased in the plastic inside the bird.  To this day I maintain that it made the turkey that much moister, the Captain maintains I tried to poison our guests.

Hiding a smile, I stepped up next to her and asked, "Are you looking for something particular?"

Turning, gratitude ringing her smile, she wilted a little in relief. nodding.  "Yes ma'am."  (She called me ma'am, but I decided to let it go.)  "We're making Thanksgiving dinner and I am trying to decide which potatoes to go with?"  Holding up the boxes so I could read the fronts she continued, "What's the difference and what does Yukon mean?  Is that where they grow them."

Smiling, because I couldn't outright laugh at her, she was so earnest, I gently explained that Yukon was a type and pointed to the sack of potatoes in my buggy.  She was baffled.  I then recommended that she just pick the box that held the most appealing flavor.  Her friend piped up, "Can't we get both of them?"

I thought that sounded like a plan and it seemed they both agreed.  If not they probably would have spent another couple of hours debating the merits of bacon and cheddar vs. sour cream and onion.  (I shudder to think this will be served at Thanksgiving dinner, but then I remember they were about twelve so their guests will be close in age and probably think it's delicious.)

As she placed the boxes in the buggy she thanked me and then asked, "Does it look like we have everything?"

That time I did laugh as I looked over their stock and took note of the prideful gleam in their eyes.  They were excited about the day, which prompted me to take it serious.  "Are you making your gravy from scratch?"

Panic erupted from her in horrified waves, "Gravy?"  Eyes wild, she turned to her friend and said, "I don't know how to make gravy."

Feeling everyone one of my forty some years and closer to my Grandmother than I ever have before I pointed her in the direction of the canned gravy and made a suggestion regarding crescent rolls.  She thanked me profusely and as they turned away I heard her say, "This is going to be the best Thanksgiving ever!"

My friend and I delighted in this story all the way home.  But mainly it reminded me of being that young and on my own in the world for the very first time.  How excited I was by the prospect of that Thanksgiving.  It reminded me that even though I had a major turkey blunder that first year, we still have great memories from that day.  It also reminded me of how much I am looking forward to it this year as well and that hasn't dimmed over time.  The faces around our table have changed over the years but the sentiment always remains the same.

My advice: check the bird really well before you put it in the oven.  Sometimes those turkey people get sneaky and shove a bag in the both ends.

Happy Turkey Day!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Heat Wave: One more reason to dislike them.

This months Book Hungry read saw me come up to bat for the selection. 

During our last "meeting" Karla made a comment that she enjoyed a good mystery.  It got me thinking that I hadn't read a good-or any-mystery in quite a while.  I decided to search out one for us to read for November's selection. 

Since I am a huge Castle fan...okay, Nathan Fillion fan.  Sue me.  He is totally hot and I can see myself enjoying a nice heat wave and black-out with him.  Based on my love of the characters and the show I thought this would be a great continuation.

It wasn't.

Not that the book was bad.  Okay, it wasn't that bad.

But when I sit down to read a book I want to be whisked away.  In all honesty, because I am a big fan of the show I was able to picture Castle and Becket as Rook and Heat but that was where it stopped for me.  There were some great one liners in the book, but I can get that from the show. 

The mystery itself didn't do anything for me since I knew from the minute he was introduced who our bad guy was.  Overall I was disappointed with Heat Wave because I had such high hopes for Mr. Castle.  I think it kind of took something away from my passion for this wonderful character I love.  They make such a big deal about how great of a writer he is (which he isn't, and thank god it's Richard Castle's name on the book and not Nathan Fillion's) and how he is included into the inner circle of some of the greatest crime writers of today (which I believe if they read this book that would no longer be the case.)  It was more like reading a script for the TV show then an in depth crime novel.   

And if your a fan of the show and expected nothing more than that type of entertainment you won't be disappointed.  As it was, I think I will just stick to watching Castle in stead of reading Castle.   I get way more eye candy from my TV than I do from the words, or at least from these written words. 

Did I mention that Nathan Fillion is a big bite of yummy?  Well, he is!

But I am not to be deterred.  I am going to find us a good crime novel for one of these reads if it is the last thing I ever do.

Have you read it?  What did you think?


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

If this doesn't excite you...nothing will

In case you somehow missed it.  The story that started it all for our little book club.

To say I am excited is such an understatement.  I absolutely cannot wait for this to come out.  I will be making the trek to an actual theater to watch this one.  Too bad I can't plan to see it with the rest of the Book Hungry Ladies.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Yes...he lights up my life

Are you guys starting to feel the spirit of the holidays yet?

I don't know if I mentioned this before or not but I love everything about the holidays.  In fact starting in October I like to think how we are going to decorate and light up the house for Halloween..  Starting November 1 I'm turning my attention to Thanksgiving and then Christmas.   

Last night the Captain advised me he wants to set the lights on the house to music this year.   When we first started talking I thought this was a great idea.  I had already found a pattern for nutcrackers that he agreed to cut out of plywood for me to paint and a couple of candy canes to cross over near the front door.

Then he showed me this video.  Now I am officially scared.  Especially since he said we need to start working on it this weekend.  What did I get myself into? 

Did you see the part where it called for 42,000, yes you read that right, 42,000 LED light?.  I can't even imagine what 42,000 LED lights look like.

Yes (big sigh) I will keep you guys posted.  Promise.

Get those juices flowing

This weekend was jammed packed. 

But the best part is what is happening today.

The Captain has jury duty.  Yep, you heard me.  Or, you read me.  To say that I am happy about this is such an understatement.  I  have had jury duty and served six times.  He has done it once.  And he wasn't even selected.  So, forgive me if I am enjoying this.  Even just a little.

In other news I did something I have wanted to do for a long time this weekend.  I test drove a mini cooper.  We are looking at getting a new car and this is the one I want.  The Captain isn't convinced, but since the new car will be mine, he doesn't get too much of a say.  Actually, I really did want his input, but he kept insisting that since it would be my car it didn't overly matter much to him. 

After test driving, I am thinking about building one from scratch.  This way I can get everything in the car that I want including the color.  The only problem is they have a new coupe and while I was pretty sure I wanted this one...

I am no longer certain.  After seeing this one I am a little conflicted. 

To be honest I have been driving a company vehicle for so long, I didn't care what it was.  But now with the idea of adding to our stable plus me getting to choose has encouraged me to look around and see what is out there.  I have had my eye on the mini for a while and think I would really love it. 

What about you guys?  What's your dream car and what do you think the car you currently drive says about you.  I'm thinking I would look pretty hot zipping around town in this little two-seater.  Swear to god, just looking at this picture is getting my blood pressure up.  Who knew a car could be such a turn on.  And sexy to boot!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Bringing a man to his knees

Giving you something to smile about as you head into the weekend. 

Men really are the weaker sex. 

Just saying.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The first of the "F" stories

I've told you guys before how the Captain is a true weekend warrior. 

When we built our house in 2000 we were both anxious to get in and push up our sleeves and make our mark on this house.  And we did a lot.  There is not one inch of wall space that doesn't have paint on it.  My formal dining room was converted to a book room and bookshelves and doors were added because who needs two dining rooms? 

We hung blinds and drapes.  Beefed up baseboards and door frames.  Went searching for thrift store finds and reinvented them with sanding and paint to give them a new look for our home.

We've added tile, and installed our own hardwood floors.  (That was a job you can read about here, Boys Comparing the size of their wood.  That title alone got me 46 hits and I was only two months into blogging.  Oh, the power of sexual innuendo.)  We built a fence and landscaped the grounds completely.  And it only took seven years.

But one thing that has stayed true through each and every home project is this.  Every single time we do something the Captain inevitably draws blood upon himself.  Now, for the sake of full disclosure, I should tell you he is not a clumsy man.  He is very careful and particular.  But it doesn't seem to matter.  When he is working at home, well let's just say, I have an emergency kit specifically for home improvement projects.

One of my greatest finds is a futon I have in my bookroom. (I don't know why we don't call it a library.  I guess bookroom was what I called it when we  moved in and it sort of stuck.  Now that's what everyone calls it.)  When we were moving from the last house the support 2X4 was broken in the back.  (Okay, that's not how it happened.  We had a party and a friend needed to crash because she had too much to drink and when we tried to pull out the futon we learned rather quickly that you don't use that bar as a foot rest to leverage the futon to fold out. But I like the other version better.)

For about three months the Captain told me he would replace it.  But there was a lot of stuff getting done around the house and this little project seemed to keep getting pushed back further and further on the list.  Until July 4th of the same year.  We were having a BBQ.  Burgers and beer and mixed drinks.  Which meant that some of our friends would be crashing for the evening.  (Kelly's rule: If you drink at my house you don't drive home from my house.  Everyone has to have a designated driver.  No exceptions.)  Suffice it to say we had a lot of friends crashing regularly.  Hey, these are all ex-Navy peeps.  Have you ever partied with Navy peeps? 

That morning he decided to tackle the job at the last minute before the BBQ started at noon just in case we needed some extra sleeping arrangements.    He had to drill (I still cringe when I type that word) holes into the wood.  He laid everything out and was working in the garage while I was getting the last minute kitchen duties done.

About twenty minutes later he came in with a paper towel wrapped around his hand.  At first I didn't think anything of it, because we hadn't fully learned of his propensity to hurt himself during projects yet.  We had only been in the house since April and this was July.  The biggest projects we had done so far was putting together all of our furniture and setting up the house. 

"Do we have any band aids?"  There was a whiteness around his mouth that I didn't attribute to pain for another ten minutes. 

"Sure, honey.  In the bathroom."  Setting aside the pasta salad I was working on, I washed my hands and went to our bathroom to retrieve them.  When I came out he was laying on the floor at the bottom of the bed holding his arm straight up. 

Laughing, I asked, "What are you doing?"

Breathing deep he countered with, "Can you put peroxide on this and wrap it for me?"  Things finally started to click together in my head.

"Wrap it?"  The white paper towel is taking on the color of pink cotton candy and I can see a dribble of blood racing down the arm he is holding up in the air.  Looking at the little mermaid band aids, I suddenly had no idea what to do with them.  (By the way did I mention that I have a blood phobia.  At the site of it I feel queasy and have been known to pass out.) 

Sitting down on the bed I could feel those tell tale butterfly's take flight in my stomach and started swallowing in an effort to stave off the urge to hurl.

"Honey?"  He lifted his head to see what was taking so long.  Catching site of the band aid box he informed me, "we're going to need something a little bigger than that."  He smiled in an attempt to smooth over the situation.  I hadn't been successful in my attempt to hide my phobia from him.  "Maybe some gauze and bandages."

"Gauze and bandages?"  I sounded like a whispering parrot who was being stalked by something big and ugly.

"Yeah, I hit my hand with the drill.  It's pretty deep.  I need for you to clean it and wrap it."

"Is it bleeding?"

He looked at me as if I had sprouted a new head.  "Is it bleeding?"  Yes, that was disbelief you heard in his voice.  "Duh!  Yes, it's bleeding."

"Oh no," I moaned and fell backward on the bed as visions of a bloody hand danced in my head.  "I feel queasy."

"You feel queasy?"  Now he had moved to outrage.  "You cannot pass out on me now!"

Trying to breathe through it so I didn't, I leverage myself up and tried to be strong for him.  "Just breathe, just breathe, just breathe," became my new mantra.  "Okay, let me see."  I was proud of how strong my voice sounded.  All he heard was the panic.

"Maybe this isn't such a good idea."

"You think?"  It's good to know I could still be sarcastic when necessary.

Unwrapping the paper towel all I saw was mangled flesh and blood.  And that was enough.  Later he would tell me that I went ghost white even as my eyes rolled back in my head.  Thank goodness I was already sitting on the bed, my fall was soft and cushioned.

Of course he was stuck sitting on the floor, bleeding profusely with no one to help him, wondering if he could in fact bleed to death from the hole he drilled into his hand.  He did make it to the bathroom and was able to clean it out.  Unfortunately, I came around to the sound of his cursing and screeching.  Since we didn't have any gauze bandages we had to improvise and use something that he would not like me sharing here on the blog.  But it worked. 

So now I have shared my embarrassing failure as a wife.  Thank goodness we never had children.  Could you imagine?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bringing you some good cheer

The middle of the week finds me slammed at work and at home.  I am currently trying to tackle three beta reads, updating and tweaking my finished WIP for submission and settling in for winter and the holidays.

Last night I had to go to the local discount office store.  On the way I passed a house that is already decked out for Christmas.

This bothered me.  It seems every year we are in such a hurry to get there.  The stores put out the decorations earlier and earlier.  Next year they will probably be up before Summer ends.  Hey, I know, why not just leave them up all year?

Of course I bitched and moaned to the Captain about this later in the evening and he, always the smart one, pointed out that maybe I was looking at this all wrong.  Maybe they had put their Christmas decorations up early, not because they were trying to rush it along, but because they were trying to capture the feeling that seems to envelop people during this special time of the year.

Let's face it, right now we could all use a little good cheer.

Now you see why my heart still shimmers for this man after all these years.  He is too darn smart for his own good. 

And if I hadn't had my own head up, well let's just say somewhere it should have been, I would have seen that particular lining myself.  But thank goodness he's around to nudge me back to the straight and narrow when I stray on to bitch lane.  What would I do without him?

Who keeps you on the straight and narrow?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sweet Heath, oh how I love thee.

I missed Friday.

How did I do that?  I had a posting all written up and scheduled and then on Friday, nothing.  Did blogger eat it?  Because quite suddenly it's gone.  As in no longer there.  Pisses me off.  Mainly because I didn't save a copy of it on my hard drive and this one had humor.  Oh, I know, all of them have humor.  Okay, in my mind, all of them have humor.  But I'm pretty sure this one knocked it out of the park. 

It was the futon story. 

Now I have to start all over again.  From scratch.

Do you have any idea how hard it it is going to be to recreate it now? 

Yes, I am going to try.  But I don't have  high hopes.

In other news I didn't check my weight and measurements this week.  Not because I think I didn't lose anything, because I know I didn't lose anything.  Instead of being a good girl last week I chomped down on the left over candy.  Maybe the idea of buying what you don't like wasn't so bad after all.  Maybe, I will try that one next year.  And maybe, just maybe, pigs will fly out of my derriere. 

I seem to have misplaced my will power when it comes to Heath and Snickers.  Yeah, yeah, and let's not forget the Butterfingers.  Why didn't I think to borrow some (will power) from someone else?  Yeah, I dunno either.

Why is it that will power is always around when I don't have any candy?  Another great example of things that make you go hmm.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Going the Distance

You guys are still wondering about the fence and the futon stories right?

Okay, I did promise to tell you.  And I like to always keep my promise.

First off, there are a few things you need to know about the Captain and  his projects.

          1.  He always finishes what he starts.  (Good news for me)
          2.  He is a tad obsessive about it being right.  (Can you say Mr. Perfect?)

About two years after we built our house I decided I wanted to put a tile backs plash behind the stove.  It was just drywall and the grease was getting more and more difficult to remove.  I did my research.  Picked my tiles, got the supplies and set up ready to start my project. 

You should know that when I first started he was in the garage working on something else.  But before long curiosity got the best of him.  (Calling him curious is my way of being nice here.  Just so you know.) 

I moved the stove out, set down my drop cloth, marked my pattern and mixed the compound to adhere the tiles to the wall.  I had only placed the first tile.  The first one.  When he came in and started to explain to me what I was doing wrong.  Honestly, he just can't help himself.  He looks at a project as another chance at perfection and for me I just see something creative I did myself.  If it isn't perfect, I can live with that.  I like the marks of a weekend warrior being visible in my house.  It's what makes it mine.

But I had been married for just about ten years at this point and had already learned that it wasn't worth the fight we were sure to have if I dug in my  heels.  So I surrendered my trowel and relinquished my spot behind the stove and he eagerly moved in and took over.  As he spent the next hour explaining to me the proper way to indeed install the tiles and give it an artistic flair I sat on one of the kitchen stools reading a magazine.  I was a good wife and hm-um'ed every once in a while. 

When he was done it did look good and I will admit I would have been frustrated with the problems he had with the grouting process.  But overall he did it better than I would have and worked harder on the tile placement. 

Almost as if I had planned it that way, right?  Nope.  I really did want to do that project.  So when I decided to carry the theme of tiles behind the sink I made sure he wasn't around when I did that one and didn't even mention that I was planning on doing it until it was a done deal.  Of course he had to come home and re-work the grout for me-there were some imperfections that only he could see-which was truly appreciated.  (Insert eye roll here.)

Overall, we do work well together, but in marriage there is give and take and for whatever reason he likes to be in charge of household projects.  I'm okay with letting him have that.  His heart is in the right place and like I said earlier, he is a perfectionist.

I really am a lucky girl.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

An Awe Moment

My favorite trick-or-treat moment this year.

If you read my post yesterday, you know I dressed as the Grim Reaper on Monday.

While I was handing out candy, I had a lovely encounter with an adorable little boy.  He was trick-or-treating with his dad and I watched how his dad halted at the end of the drive to let the little boy make his way to my door for candy by himself.  One of those poignant moments in live. 

It was still early yet.  More twilight than dark, when this towheaded young man came racing up my walk.  I had positioned myself in a chair between two Halloween Trees, waiting for unsuspecting youths to do exactly that. 

As I raised my head and he saw my make-up he skid to a sudden halt.  "Who're you supposed to be" he demanded?   In the background I caught his father grin and shake his head, clearly proud.

I didn't have to smile as it was painted on, but I couldn't help myself.  His voice was one part terror, three parts morbid curiosity.  In as deep a voice I could muster I announced, "I'm the Grim Reaper!"

Cocking his head to the side, clearly not frightened he demanded, "What's the Grim Reaper?"

Thinking quickly I responded, "I eat little boys."

Straightening up suddenly, but not willing to rush off without his candy, he pushed his bag forward and squeaked, "Trick-or-treat."

After dropping a few pieces in his bag he turned and raced down the drive to his dad.  As they walked down the street I heard him ask in an excited voice, "Dad!  Did you see, that was the Grim Reaper?"

I watched as his father put a hand to his sons head in that universal dad sign and say, "I did, son.  You were lucky to make it out alive."

Delighted, that moment carried me the rest of the evening.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My Halloween Hangover

Me:  The Grimm Reaper
The Witch
Last night was so exciting.  There were ghosts and goblins.  Phantoms and train conductors.  Ghouls and ware wolves.  We got a prince and a frog, football players and cheerleaders, Yoda and even a garden gnome.  (Him I wanted to keep!)  When the night finally ended I had given away a bunch of candy and was so ready for bed I couldn't keep my eyes open.  My Halloween was a total success. 

The Graveyard
Everyone forgets how much I love this holiday.  I guess sometimes, even I do too.  I can't tell you why this time of year is so special.  I guess because there is magic in the costumes, community in the trick-or-treating and just all out plain fun in trying to scare the kids.  For whatever reason this brings me much joy. 

It's a White Wedding
The Captain didn't make it home in time to partake last night.  He said he was working late.  Okay, so this one time I am going to let it slide.  Actually, he was pretty bummed that he missed most of it.  His favorite part is talking with the kids and handing out the candy.  He isn't up for scaring the kids the way I am, but hey I never said he was perfect.

Let me out!
We got lots of compliments and my front yard became photo central, which I appreciated.  To know that in a couple of years kids will look back on these photos and remember the Grimm Reaper with the tricked out house tickles my funny bone.  I posed, they posed, they played around the tombstones and then they got to go home and pig out on the candy.  Over all it was a huge success. 

Serious Sid

Now what can I do next year????

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

It was a late one last night, putting the finishing touches on our Halloween decorations and I am still not done.  The tombstones turned out great and I am still tweaking the lighting on the witch and cats. 

I promise to post the full photos tomorrow, but today I need to finish it up.

If I never have to make another tombstone again it won't be too soon and my great IT guy has been sending me scary sounds because the Captain and I rigged up some sound outside.

Should be Spooktacular.

If your close by, come on by tonight and say hello.  We'd love to see ya!

Happy Halloween Everyone.  Be Safe!

Friday, October 28, 2011

The "F" Story??

Wednesday's posting was about my learning a new skill.  Yay me!  And of course the jigsaw. 

Does anyone have anything that needs to be sawed?  Seriously I can do it for you.  I even got my own saw.  Well, sorta, it’s not really mine.  Belongs to the hubs, and he said I could use it.  Sometimes.  But I know where he keeps it, so it’s all good.  If you need something cut; call me. 

Anyway, where was I?  Oh, right.  I mentioned my posting topic to the hubs at dinner last night and he got a little panicky. 

On a side note:  What did we have you ask?  Well I made an awesome low carb ham in the oven.  I will get leftovers from that baby for the rest of the week.  The sides were just as spectacular.  Roasted broccoli and an amazing cauliflower dish that should not be considered good for me with all of the great stuff in it. 

But I digress.

After my initial surprise that he actually does listen when I speak of blogging and writing, I wondered out loud why he would be nervous.  He gave me his fake laugh.  You know the one that says he is uncomfortable, but doesn’t want to admit it?  Yeah, that one.  So I pushed.  Come to find out, he was a little worried that I had told you guys the “f” story. 

The “f” story?  I was flummoxed.

He clarified at the same time a light bulb went off in my head and we both said at the same time

Me:  “Oh you mean the fence story?”

Him: “I mean the futon story.”

The futon story?  Nope, not going there.

Of course I assured him that I would never do that.  Between me and you, I would never tell the futon story because I don’t come out looking so good in that one, but I would definitely tell the fence story.   Once he was properly reassured (thank God he doesn’t read my blog; and I can’t even believe I am happy about that) I started plotting how I could share these with you guys. 

Don’t worry I am going to tell both of the stories, but you have to come back for those.  

So here’s my question for the day.  Does your significant other have a phony laugh that only you recognize?  Do you?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ass and Elbows

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. 

Oh, who am I kidding, I never met a holiday I didn’t like.

 But Halloween is in the tops because it is the one time of year me and the hubs are allowed to act as childlike as we want and totally get away with it.  We do this up big.  I know, I know I said this before.  But see, this time I got proof!

So anyway, I was thinking about how big we are going this year and it got me pondering past Halloweens and reminiscing on some funny things that have happened over the years. 

When the Captain and I purchased our first home we were very excited to partake of this tradition of passing out candy.  For me this rates right up there with giving my nieces and nephews the loudest and noisiest toys I can find for Christmas.  That’s right, they don’t live with me. 

When we were overseas we lived off base and Halloween wasn't celebrated.  Coming back to the states meant we would be able to spook out the house and give out the candy.  It is important to note that the Breakey’s don’t give out crappy candy.  It’s chocolate all the way, baby.  I know the “experts” (Martha Stewart, Clinton Kelley) tell you to buy what you don’t like and give that away instead, but really, where is the fun in that and what's the point?

So we're a favorite stop.  Over the years the amount of kids has decreased, but I still purchase the same amount because you just never know.  Besides, it’s not like it won’t get eaten.  Hello, do you know me?  I love chocolate.  So does the Captain.

One year at our last house the kid stream was pretty intense and we were living on a cul-de-sac.  A house down the street was being rented by some Navy guys.  (We are located pretty near a Naval Air Station.)  They were harmless but fun and the second year they rented they decided to give out candy.  (The egg was hard to get off their muscle cars that first year.)  There was one little caveat.  One of them was going to dress up like Freddy Krueger.  He looked really good too.  Had the sweater, the hat and the hands.  Instead of a mask they did make-up and it was spot on!  We thought he looked pretty realistic.  He found many ways to jump out and scare the kids and we kept seeing them running by screeching and laughing, but not overly scared. 

Toward the end of the evening we had these older kids about twelve and thirteen come by.  They had dressed out so they got candy.  We gave them a warning that they needed to be careful down on the dark part of the street.  One of them that was dressed all in blue (for the life of me I can’t remember what he was) assured us, as only a cocky thirteen old can, that there was  no way he would be scared.   I don’t think it was ten minutes later we heard what amounted to girlish shrieks.  (I recognize these as I am a card carrying girl and can shriek with the best of them.)  Suddenly this blaze of blue went whizzing by, pillow case (don't all kids use pillow cases to carry their candy?) goes flying in the air, candy spilling out in all directions and all you could see was ass and elbows.  Nothing could entice that kid back down our street to retrieve his candy.

Yeah, I think the Navy guys won that round.

To this day, that is still one of my favorite Halloween memories.  Tell me one of yours.