Monday, April 29, 2013

Julian

It was a nice Saturday, this weekend

After washing all 4 struggling Bostons (what a workout) and bringing  the youngest to the pool so that "his hair could get blonde faster",
 I saw that my husband was restless and wanted to get out of the house.  
So, we just got in the car and drove!  An hour later, we were up in Beautiful Julian!

We had some GREAT wine tasting, mmm mm mmm!

    
After that, we went up into down town Julian and followed the smokey smell to the local BBQ place....   we had the best smoked tri -tip sandwich!  I ate bread, call the police!

It was such a beautiful day....  there was a nice breeze and all of the green grasses were blowing in the wind.  There were very few people up there, unlike in the Autumn.  We walked around and stopped in to the little candy shop.  We got some local honey, some homemade peanut butter cups, and some Swedish Fish for the boys.  

Then the BEST thing happened...  someone was selling big bunches of LILACS on the corner!  I bought a great big bunch for $5.  The car smelled so good on the way back home.  It was funny, after we bought them, we walked around the corner and saw the tree that the guy had most likely stolen them from.  Oh well, I am just happy to have them!
 Can you smell them?!

They are keeping me in a happy mood!

We stopped at Trader Joes for wine on the way home....  
didn't want to pay $20 for one bottle when we could get 4 for $10!! 

It was a nice day.

The End!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A scary day

I had a scare earlier this week.

I was at work, just minding my own business, sitting at the computer working.  All of a sudden I got a REALLY bad pain in my upper back and it spread to my chest and throat quickly.  It freaked me out, I was not even moving when it happened!  I sat there for a minute, hoping it would go away....  decided to look online for "sudden upper back pain causes" and the first thing that came up was Heart Attack!!  Well, as soon as I saw that, I could feel my heart start to race.  Luckily I have a blood pressure monitor in my desk so I checked it out and it was HIGH.  Higher than it has ever been before!  The pain started to go away, after a few more minutes it was all gone.  But it came back!  A few times!  My coworker came in and immediately knew something was wrong, I started crying and called this little urgent care place next door who said they couldn't help and to go to ER.  So I called my husband to come get me, he was on a walk with our oldest boy, so they ran back to the house (and my husband does NOT run).  He got here in a few minutes luckily and off we went to the ER.  On the way, the pain stopped and I started feeling stupid for getting everyone in an uproar.  We made it pretty quickly even though it was rush hour, and as soon as I checked in, I was called back.  Now I know, if you ever want fast service in the ER, just say the words chest pains and you will be first in line (unless your are bleeding to death,then you will be 2nd).  So over the course of almost 5 hours, I had many tests and x-rays and blood-letting.  And they came up with absolutely nothing!  Which is wonderful, but made me feel even dumber for panicking!  

The 3 worst things about this visit were: 
 A. I was so worried that my kids were worried and had to make their own dinner
B. It was incredibly boring....   
C. Finding out my plan had changed and not only did I have to shell out $150, I was told I would be receiving an additional bill as well!!  Because there were so many tests.  Good thing I refused the IV and didn't have enough pee for the urine test!  That saved a few bucks.

So, no clue what it was.  Possibly a strange deep muscle spasm.  

On a cheerier note, I made some really good ribs last night!  Slow braised with lots of garlic and tiny red onions.  They had been marinading allll day.  I also got to try out my new ricer!  I used it to make mashed cauliflower.  Good stuff!  I made a gravy from all of the drippings from the pork and it came out very well!



Another fun thing that happened is that my car made it to 100000 miles!!!
This may seem "meh" to some people, but it is the first car that I have owned 
from Mile #1 to Mile #100000!

  
I just finished a freebie on my Kindle.  It turned out to be funny and interesting!  It was a little unsettling in regards to the amount of alcohol consumed by college students, though.  And that is something, coming from me!
It was called "Deep Fried and Pickled" by Paisley Ray
It turns out that it is the first in a series...  but the other will have to wait, as I have 5 or more books waiting for me at the library!

Nobody can lay on a bed without doggies jumping up!


The End


Sunday, April 21, 2013

It's been a busy week!

When I first thought of writing a blog, I thought I would write every day. I did not realize that it would be so hard! First of all, I think some of the things I would share are too boring, and secondly is I didn't realize how busy I actually get!
Today I had grand plans to get my tires replaced (hubby set up the appointment and got all of the details taken care of so I only had to walk in with the car and the money), then go to yoga and not die, then run around to a few different ethnic markets for some great ingredients for this week. The car was totally not even started when I went to pick it up, delaying me enough so that I only had time to run into Von's for a few basics and pick up some lunch, since it was late enough to create a problem when I returned home. So no lovely Bul Gogi BBQ meat, no coconut milk for my pudding, no heaps of cheap veggies, now I have no plans for the whole week. Oh well, at least I have lunch ingredients for the boys! (Wow, when I typed the word "ingredients", spell check turned it into Nigerians! Wow)! I guess. am sending my boys to school with Nigerians!

Anyway, somewhat of a change of plans. Then, I get home and see that the lawn needs to be cut, and it is drying out..... Here we go. The start of the incredible high water bill to keep at least the front lawn green! This is what stresses me out from April to November every year.... We do not have real grass, we have weeds that LOOK like real grass when we (I)keep it cut and when it gets dry, it just will not stay green no matter how much water I dump on to it! I like March, it is a nice green month! If we were home owners, you bet I would try to sink in a few bucks to get some real grass!! But, that's life. I am happy to have a yard at all.

So, enough whining! Cooking... I have not done a whole lot of that! Sadly! I mean, I cook, I keep us alive, but nothing exciting or interesting! Some chicken in a Proven├žal sauce, some bacon... (Always!). And not a whole heck of a lot else! What a time to suck at cooking, right when I want to have stuff to talk about!
Books.... Oh, I am reading such a fun series right now!! It is called "the Girl in the Box" series and I am having fun with it! I am on the last one, as far as I know. The main character is just great! She makes me want to go kick the ass of anyone that has ever messed with me!!

Boston's..... Well, they are awesome, except we have had a few altercations this week. Twice. I went to go out the back door, and I usually try to only let myself out, as phoebe likes to pick fights if she is out the at the same time as me. I guess it is a protective thing. But this time, she literally shoved me aside (she is a hefty girl) and made a beeline for poor hector the basset and just tore into him! Unfortunately, 2 other Boston's were out there as well and of course, they jumped on him for fun. I had to turn the hose on them and scream for the boys to come help! We got then untangled and gave hector lots of treats to say sorry. That afternoon, hubby tried to let one dog out and there went evil phoebe, just smashed her way through and jumped poor hector again! We got them separated pretty quickly, but jeez!! What a pain!! I can't even really go into the backyard anymore unless I go out front and go all the way around through the side yard, because the sliding glass door is too heavy and slow to get me through before "radar ears phoebe" hears and races over. This is gonna make it hard to garden this, a bit.

We have too many dogs. Anyone want one???





Saturday, April 13, 2013

Week-end? No, Work-end.

Even though it is Saturday, I had to work today.  The old main work computer was out to rest and a new young computer was brought in.  However, it was a big pain in the butt.....  It didn't play nice with the other computers and took hours of  trial and error to get it right....  Most of the way.  The two other computers do not want to talk to the printer... Kinda important!  Oh we'll, I will go in extra early Monday and do some more trouble shooting.  I don't like misbehaving computers!  I sway between kicking them or crying!

This afternoon I brought Jinx in to get his shots at Petco.  He was a really good boy and didn't attack anyone's ankles!   He smelled several doggie butts too.  I bought him a nice big bag of doggie cookies.  I love that they have bulk grain free treats there!

So now I am home sitting down finally, with a little vodka and seltzer.  I am going to read my kindle book....I started a series by Robert J Crane....  "The girl in the Box" series.   I initially read the first one because it was free on kindle.  I was hooked!  I bought the second 2 and I think there are 1 or 2 more.  It is sci fi....  All about "meta-humans".  Humans with super powers, basically.  This is not the normal type of book that I read, but I really got into it and I like the characters a lot!

Here is some amazing garlic teriyaki chicken! It was yummy!




Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I'm back....

It has been more than a few days since I was here.

I am feeling much better now!

Now my husband is sick....  I would rather be sick than have him be sick.  
It would be easier!   I am not a fan of waiting on someone.  Especially a cranky someone!  BUT, so far, he is in an okay mood, so I will not complain (yet).

It is beautiful drop dead gorgeous weather today!  Not a cloud in the sky and about 75 degrees...  light breeze.   Outside, there is a little high pitched almost squeaky bird calling.  I looked up in the tree, expecting a little finch or something...  it was a HAWK!  What a wussy little voice it has!  However, it sure scared the crap out of the ravens!

Well, the hawk WAS in this tree!  
He just flew away.  At least you can see how beautiful the weather is!   I looked the hawk up and see he is a Red Shouldered Hawk. 
 I'll shall call him squeakers.



This is Hercules when he was about 2 months old.  He is now a hefty 32 POUNDS!
He is a giant!  I keep thinking he HAS to be mixed with a boxer or some kind of long legged creature, because he just keeps growing and isn't even Boston Terrier shaped anymore.  He is a big ol' gentle giant, when he isn't beating up on his Dad.
 ( He has been a good boy lately. )

I finally ran out of library books, working on some Kindle books for a few days.  I read 3 books in the last 2 days.   Brownie Points (funny), Chattanooga (not bad, a southern 1940's book) and The Hay Fort (possibly the most stupid awful book I have ever read!).  Now I'm reading one called "Alone"...  seems to be a combo of the movie "Hannah" and a super hero girl.  Interesting, but not very well written.  I am not even bothering to name authors on these because they aren't being recommended by me!  I am just filling time waiting for more library books to get here!

The book I CAN'T wait to read is the one my MOM is writing!!!!! 
YES, my MOM is writing a book!!
 I am only getting one chapter at a time, and it is SUPER good!!!  
Mom, write faster!!!!  

Food food food.  I have not made too awfully much lately.  But 2 things that I DID make for the first time are Almond Pancakes and Chia Pudding. 
 Yes, Chia!!
Look up Chia if you want to learn about a superfood that has been around for hundreds of years, but never brought to the attention of modern people until recently.
It improves cholesterol and heart health, it boosts energy levels, improves diabetes symptoms, helps with weight loss (makes you FULL) and reduces inflammation.  I know there is even more, but those are the big ones.  

The pudding I made was simple:  
3/4 cup coconut milk 
2 TBSP Chia Seeds
1 TBSP Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Few drops liquid Stevia
couple shakes of cinnamon
Mix it all up in a bowl and leave in fridge until set (hour or so)
It comes out SO creamy and the seeds swell up, like a tapioca pudding.  The cider vinegar gives it a tangy yogurt-like taste and has lots of health benefits too.



I did NOT take a photo, I ate it too fast.   
I DID take a photo of my almond pancakes, though!  

2 cups almond flour
2 large eggs
1 cup of Almond Milk (or water or milk)
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp of butter to grease the pan
 
Mix well, let sit 5 minutes.  
Pour into med size pancakes (3-4 inches) and cook about 3 or 4 minutes on each side.  
Top with your favorite syrup.
 
 
Mine came out a little flat, so next time I will beat the eggs more and add a tad more baking powder.

Well, that's all for now.  Hopefully something really exciting happens soon!
.... and hopefully I take a picture of it!




 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Homage to My Favorite Store!

Today is all about my Favorite Store in the entire world:
Trader Joes!

(I dedicate this to my mom, Susan.  
She will be very jealous to read this because there are no Trader Joes near her). 
 
Although they are inexpensive, I seem to come out with a completely empty wallet every time!  But with such super bargains!



These are my Top 10 favorites:

I just finished eating a tin of these....  luckily I have a toothbrush handy because they are FISHY!  But just like it says, light smokey flavor and lots of Omega 3's!
 


I just love the 2 Buck Chuck.... even though it is now 2 buck plus 49 cent Chuck.  Still a great deal for some very tasty wine!



 This is what we drink tons of!  Luckily I have been able to wean the family from soda - down to sugar free soda - down to Seltzer!  



The kids love their chocolate, so I try to have these around.  I also use them to break up and make chocolate chunk cookies or muffins.  They melt very well too.


Best place for NUTS!!!  Most are salted with Sea Salt, which is the best kind of salt!


This is great!  I get a few just for emergency "I forgot my lunch" meals at work.  They are fun, you get to unwrap them!  And I am a huge fan of pesto.  Only a few carbs, too!!


These are Dangerous!!  I ate a whole bag without meaning too....  
I am very addicted to salty-sweet combinations!


This may look gross to some, but believe me, it was really good!  Very unique flavor, tangy and sweet.  Unfortunately, I have only seen it around Christmas time.


This is always a Great deal!  Inexpensive and not as harsh as some vodkas are.


Okay... last one!

This is a staple in my kitchen.  Coconut oil has SO many HUGE health benefits!!  I use it every day, to eat and on my face.  It is antibacterial and a great moisturizer, so I don't break out from it.  It reduced puffiness around the eyes, too!

Well, that is all I can think of.... I am sure I am forgetting many things, but these are the top 10!

For some reason, I am in the mood to go shopping now!
 
 

Monday, April 1, 2013

A weekend of decadent food!

It was a great weekend!

Friday, I was in a healthy mood and made super good tostadas...  low carb tortillas baked until crunchy, topped with "taco" meat, black soy beans, avocado, salsa and sour cream.  I will for sure make this again!
 
I took a few bites before I remembered to take a picture!
We fell into the trap of eating badly all weekend since we knew we were going to be bad on Sunday anyway.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself!

It all started on Saturday with everyone being too hungry to wait for me to cook something.  So, Mexican food to go it was!   The place on the corner has the BEST carne Asada Frys anywhere!  Frys with guacamole, sour cream, cheese, salsa and lots of meat.  
Easter morning was an "Almond Ring" danish from Trader Joes....  disappointing.  I thought it would have a lot of almond paste inside, but it only had almonds sprinkled on it.  Oh well, the mimosas made up for it!
I made deviled eggs for a snack while the ham was cooking and found a DOUBLE YOLK EGG!!!  So neat, I think it is good luck.
Double Yolks!
Easter dinner came out very very good.  Every recipe was from Julia Child's cookbook.  I cooked my ham in Madeira wine and lots of veggies and herbs.  It made a very moist tasty ham!   I also made Gratin of Potatoes and braised leeks.  I can't believe how good leeks are cooked this way!  They just melt in your mouth.  I cooked them in a Bechemel sauce.
Gratin of potatoes

My favorite cookbook!
Of course, everything was topped off with Springtime desserts.  Lemon Bars and Strawberry shortcake!    Then we all had to go lay down for a while.   The Bostons were very happy, they got lots of little bits and pieces, and helped me clean a few plates.  Such helpful dogs!

I finished "How to be an American Wife"
It was an EXCELLENT book, 2 thumbs up!!  
I WISH she would write another book!
Seriously good!

NOW I am reading "We bought a Zoo" by Benjamin Mee.

Off to read it now!