Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas 2011


Friday, December 9, 2011

Military Ball


Friday, November 11, 2011

Elevens on 11-11-11

I loved this post on Scrapbookladypages.com and decided to post my elevens. The items listed are not in order of importance and sometimes there are really more than eleven.

11 things I like to eat:

1. Mashed potatoes
2. Chocolate cake
3. Fried chicken
4. Warm bread and butter
5. Fettuccine Alfredo with chicken
6. Homemade macaroni and cheese
7. Turkey sandwiches with Miracle Whip
8. Chicken and sausage gumbo
9. Reese's Cups
10.Chocolate chip cookies
11.Roast Beef PoBoy

11 things I don’t like to eat:

1. Pretty much most vegetables (except carrot cake or something
drowned in cheese sauce)
2. Fish
3. Black licorice
4. Gummy candies
5. Beans
6. Sushi
7. Eggs over easy or runny eggs in general
8. Liver
9. Jelly filled donuts
10.Rare or medium rare steak
11.Bananas

11 cool places I’ve visited:

1. New York City
2. Juneau, Alaska
3. Banff, Canada
4. Venice Italy
5. Yellowstone National Park
6. Santa Fe, New Mexico
7. Zermatt, Switzerland
8. Niagara Falls
9. Vienna, Austria
10.St. Thomas, VI
11.Las Vegas, Nevada

11 things that make me crazy:

1. Hot flashes!
2. People who try to cut into traffic when lanes merge
3. Lies
4. Shopping for clothes for myself
5. Kids that leave messes in their wake
6. Things written in English and Spanish
7. The cat eating too much, throwing it up and then eating again
8. Emails that start with Fw.fw.fw.
9. Having to explain over and over why "no" is the answer (I have
teenagers)
10.Parents who expect you to parent their kids because they
are busy doing something else.
11.People who don't think you aren't driving fast enough even
though you are driving 5 miles over the speed limit.

11 things that make me happy:

1. The sound of my girls laughing
2. No drama or crisis or deal with
3. Access to medicinal chocolate when needed
4. A clean house
5. A purring cat
6. Skittles (she always makes me smile)
7. Hanging out with Phillip
8. Hanging out with friends
9. Piddling around on the computer
10. Knitting
11. Digital scrapbooking

11 movies I love:

1. The Princess Bride
2. When Harry Met Sally
3. The Lord of the Rings series
4. Some Like It Hot
5. The Quiet Man
6. Michael
7. Romancing the Stone
8. All of the Harry Potter movies
9. Beauty and the Beast
10.Napoleon Dynamite
11.Star Wars movies 4, 5, and 6

11 favorite books:

1. Stephanie Plum series- Janet Evanovich
2. The Lord of the Rings series- JRR Tolkien
3. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
4. The Bible (still working my way through it)
5. The Outlander series- Diana Gabaldon
6. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
7. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
8. The Last Lecture- Randy Pausch
9. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
10.Catch-22- Joseph Heller
11.Joy Luck Club- Amy Tan

11 favorite songs:

1. "Everything She Does is Magic" by the Police
2 "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
3. "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen
4. "Today for You Tomorrow for Me" from RENT
5. "Sweet Transvestite" from Rocky Horror Picture Show
6. "Don't Stop" by Fleetwood Mac
7. "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong
8. "Somebody to Love" by Queen
9. "If I Had $1,000,000" by the Barenaked Ladies
10."Fields of Gold" by Sting
11."Your Song" by Elton John

11 facts about me:

1. I have lived in Texas, New Mexico, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
2. The longest I have lived in one place is the place where I am
living now.
3. I have a slight cleft in my chin.
4. I hated moving so much as a child, but as an adult I can see how
much I grew from it.
5. I love my dogs, but I am a cat person at heart.
6. I love to bake.
7. Sometimes I get caught up in the "principle of the thing".
8. I don't like to wear a watch.
9. The first concert I went to was to see Boz Scaggs in Hattiesburg,
MS.
10.I love to watch baseball.
11.I would love to take pottery lessons again. I loved throwing on
the wheel.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Life Is Giving Us Lemons


The lemon tree is producing lemons like crazy. I amazed that there were so many on the tree. At least 100 I would say. I wish we had planted a lemon tree sooner. This is fun.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Chocolate Overload? I Think Not!

The other day I was looking at stuff on Pinterest and saw this recipe. When Cara heard my exclamation of joy, she rushed over to see what I was looking at and immediately stated that she was making these. Emma was spending the night and it was a prefect project for them to do.


Neither of the girls had made cookies from scratch and loved the process of seeing it come together. Next came the Oreos.


And last but not least...the brownie mix...

I know you will believe me when I say I didn't get time to take pictures before this was gone. Well, there was time, but I was eating and all...


Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie n’ Oreo Fudge Brownie Bar from Kevin and Amanda

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups (12 ounces) milk chocolate chips
1 pkg Double Stuffed Oreos
1 Family Size (9×13) Brownie mix
1/4 cup hot fudge topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream the butter and both sugars in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed for 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well to thoroughly combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt, then slowly incorporate into the mixer until the flour is just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread the cookie dough in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish that’s been lined with wax paper and sprayed with cooking spray. Top with a layer of Oreos. Mix together brownie mix, adding an optional 1/4 cup of hot fudge topping to the mix. Pour the brownie batter over the cookie dough and Oreos. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45-55 minutes. (Ours was 55-60 minutes)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Homecoming with "My Girls"


Cara had been planning what she and her friends were going to do for the Homecoming Dance for a couple of weeks. All I could get out of her was "I am going with my girls." There were a lot of texts and phone calls among the girls detailing the planning of said event. Last night was the dance and it was a success from the pieces I could gather. Meagan, Caitlyn, and Joy met at our house to take pictures before the dance. Then they met Sydney, Gavin, and EJ at Macaroni Grill for dinner. Macaroni Grill had to be THE place last night based on what I saw last night. It looked like the place was filled with kids going to homecoming inside and out.


When they were finished eating, I drove them all to the dance and picked them up at the end. They were a bit hoarse from singing, tired from dancing, and happy all around.  A success.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Funniest Thing I Heard All Week


Phillip and I were in Vegas and the girls were home. I bought a ton of food before we left and we also left them money in case they wanted to eat out. We called home several times a day and sometimes they answered the phone and sometimes not. We had a much better response rate with texts. Here is one of the texts...

Me: Dad wants to know what you had for dinner.

Cara: Despair. As in, nothing.

She never ceases to crack me up.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

My Birthday with Elton

One of the things I have on my bucket list is to see Elton John in concert.  I listened to a lot of Elton during my teenage years and have a ton of memories tied to his songs.  Phillip was checking out who was playing in different places in the US and noticed that Elton John would be playing in Vegas on my birthday.  He asked if I was interested.  Oh yes.  I was!  Phillip loves him too and since Vegas is his happy place, this would be a great vacation for us.  I was excited about bringing my computer along and working on my scrapbook pages as I am not a gambler.  I would be very content to have uninterrupted time to work on my pages.  We stayed at Bally's, which was close to several casinos including Caesar's Palace where Elton was playing.


Phillip spent time playing poker and betting in the sports books of several casinos and I did my thing.  It worked out for both of us perfectly as we did what made us happy and met up to eat and talk about what we had done with our day.


The concert was wonderful. We had great seats and I spend the whole concert singing, clapping and dancing in my seat. He played mostly old favorites with a couple of more contemporary ones. I had great time. It was my best birthday present ever.

" The Bitch is Back"


"Rocket Man"


"Goodbye Yellow Brick Road"


"Philadelphia Freedom"


"Don't Let the Sum Go Down on Me"


"Crocodile Rock"


"Circle of Life"


Greeting the fans after the show

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Scrapfest


I used to be an avid scrapper. I loved putting my photos into albums and really enjoyed the process of working with the paper and all of the extras. Then for some reason, it didn't thrill me anymore. I don't know if it was the mess I created when I scrapped or if I just didn't feel the creative scrapping mojo. I turned to beading and creating jewelry and I loved the creative outlet it gave me. Then I kinda lost focus with beading (although I still love it and do some occasionally). Knitting moved to the forefront and has stayed there. I haven't lost the need to knit. When I would scrap in the past, I often did so with two friends, Cindy and Angie. They were patient with me when we would get together to scrap and I would bring my beads instead. They would continue to invite me over to scrap even though I was "dating" another craft. Angie moved and our group stopped getting together. Cindy and I kept in touch and she invited me to another local crop, but I was not feeling the scrapping love and kinda felt goofy going there with my beads or knitting. Cindy told me a year ago that Angie had gotten into digital scrapbooking. Now, this intrigued me. Digital...interesting.  I love working on the computer and it wouldn't make the mess that traditional scrapbooking made. But would I like it as much when I would not have the true 3D effects traditional scrapbooking gave? I kept that in the back of my mind. Angie moved back this summer and I was anxious to hear more about digital scrapbooking. I looked at the books she had created and was hooked. I can do this anywhere I can take a computer. Ladies, I am back in the game!


Scrapfest was this past couple of days. Angie took Cindy and me by the hand and gave us a few quick sessions on how to scrap digitally. I loved just bringing one bag with my scrapping stuff to the crop. In the past, I would be hauling in several loads of stuff for the 3 day event. I would have stuff all over and would be constantly invading my neighbor's space. Now compare the picture below to the picture above. The picture above is one Angie took of the event looking out over the room. See all of the stuff we scrappers bring to a crop? To plan for a 3 day event, means you have A LOT of stuff. The picture below is of our table. See? It is just our computers and a couple of other things. Not much. Heaven...


Of the 8 of us, 4 of us only worked digitally the whole 3 days and 6 of us were digital much of the time. We received quite a lot of interest from the other scrappers around us. We didn't have all of the usual stuff and we were scrapping. I felt like a digital cheerleader most of the weekend when people stopped to ask what we were doing. Others would bring their computers, but they used them mostly to journal and them print it for their pages. Two of Angie's friends from Orlando flew in for the crop. Alyson and Joan were a lot of fun and I enjoyed meeting them.


As usual, Cindy, the "Mom" of the group decorated our table and left us goodies at out seat. I gave everyone a goody bag and because it was so cold in the Castine Center, everyone got fingerless mitts. At the end of the evening, all I had to carry out was my one bag. I still had a free hand. That is huge compared to how I used to attend these events.


I worked on creating an Alaska album and although I didn't get as many pages done as I might have in the past (because I was still learning the process and I was talking to others about scrapping digitally), I love the way they look and can't wait to get the album in the mail.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

I saw this recipe on Pinterest and had to give it a try. Pinterest is sparking my need to bake. I have always preferred baking over cooking, if that makes sense. They turned out pretty good, but were probably more work than I am willing to do on a regular basis.


You can find the recipe here-  My Baking Addiction. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hey Nineteen


Nineteen years. When did it pass so quickly? I love you.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

It's Roller Derby Time Again

We had such a great time last year when we went to a roller derby match last year that we knew we had to do it again this year.  Cara invited two friends and Kat came along this time for the ride.  We met the Myers' there and enjoyed the show.  I don't know if the Rolling Elvi are there every time, but they were in attendance like they were at the match from last year.  This year in addition to the candy, they were throwing cups with the team match dates imprinted on them.  Just like at a Mardi Gras parade, we were all clamoring for the cups.  We scored a couple and all were happy.  It always amazes me how we get so excited over some plastic, but of course that doesn't stop me from joining in on the excitement. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Rolo Cookies

I continue to go crazy for Pinterest.  I love finding new and interesting things to pin.  My favorite board is "Sorry People The Chocolate Is Mine".  That is where I keep all of the yummy chocolate recipes I find.  I saw this one and knew it was a keeper.  They are wonderfully chocolately and then you have the treat of the Rolo candy inside.  I will be making these again.


Rolo Cookies from Yellow Mums

2 1/2 cups flour
1 t. baking soda
3/4 c. cocoa
1 c. white sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. butter
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla
48 Rolos (a bag has about 56)

Combine flour, cocoa, soda. Set aside. Beat sugar and butter until blended. Add eggs and vanilla. Add dry ingredients. Shape into small balls. Press rolos into center of ball and cover with dough. Bake on a greased cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees. Makes 4 dozen.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Funniest Thing I Heard All Week


I am getting ready to make some hot dogs for lunch and I ask Cara if she wanted some.  Her response..."No, we don't have any hot dog buns.  What good is a hot dog without a throne?"  Next time I went to the store, "thrones" were on the grocery list.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Bingo at the Napoleon Room

A couple of weeks ago, Kirk and Lisa asked us if we wanted to go play Bingo with them at the Napoleon Room.  I was still too wiped out from the Alaska trip to go then, but I was open to a time later on.  Tonight was the night.  I don't remember if I had ever played Bingo outside of school or at a kid's party.  It was interesting to say the least.


When we arrived at the Napoleon Room, I had to crack up at the sign.  Where else but in New Orleans would you find a picture of Napoleon with a Bingo card?  We sat in the parking lot and waited for Kirk and Lisa.  We watched some of the other players entering the building and wondered if we would be the youngest ones there by several decades.  It turns out that we weren't.  It was just that the early ones got the best picks of seats and we were all about that too.  I felt like such a noob.  All around us were players with multiple colored Bingo dobbers, special buckets for keeping their Bingo paraphernalia organized, and some even had computers that looked like calculators.  I was out of my element.  I am glad I didn't pull out my stash of pennies to use as markers.  That would have outed me for sure.  Kirk and Lisa had played a couple of times before and were happy to fill us in on the way of the game. The guys went to the counter and bought us all a 10 game pack, a couple of bonus game sheets and a dobber. I looked around and saw the regulars marking spots on their sheets before the games had started. I knew about the free square, but these were being marked in lots of other places too. I knew then I needed to pay attention. Before the games started, people walked around the room selling pull tab games. Kirk bought a bunch and Lisa and I started pulling off the tops looking for a winner. Lisa found a lot that were winners of some sort. I found only one. It was a portent of things to come.


As you can see I wasn't a winner at Bingo this night.  It was a lot of fun though and I never knew there were so many different versions of the game.  Some games were traditional Bingo, some were Bingos where you had to make an X on the card, some were Bingos where all of the numbers around the edges had to be marked. There were several other versions too.  It dawned on me what the regulars players were doing by marking their cards before the games.   They looked at the Bingo game sheet that listed what games were played in what order and then they marked their boards to black out those squares that were not played in the non-traditional games.  That way they could follow a lot of cards at once more effectively.  Genius.  We had to ask a little old lady a couple of times what were there rules of a game or two, but for the most part Phillip and I were able to keep up.  Next time we go back I will need to find a special Bingo outfit, because I was definitely was under dressed by some measures...


Friday, August 12, 2011

The Funniest Thing I Heard All Week


Cara has a wicked sense of humor. She has a wonderful take on things that often has us laughing. I have started writing some of these gems down and will post them here, because I will forget and that would be a shame. Some of them are priceless.

She is taking JROTC this year and is loving it so far. The girls have the option of wearing pants or a skirt as part of their uniform. She comes home today and tells me that she finally decided which way to go...pants or skirt. "I have decided to get the skirt because that way I look more like a business woman." Ok, business woman it is then.

Monday, August 8, 2011

First Day of High School

My baby starts high school today.  Where did the time go?  I must have blinked and there she was...ready to start high school.  I need to stop blinking.





Thursday, July 21, 2011

Home

We had a 8:30 pm flight to Houston and we arrived around 6:15 am. Cara and Robyn were both stopped going through screening. Robyn forgot she bought a pocket knife on the trip and left it in her purse and Cara had a half finished Sierra Mist in her purse. I wish I could say I slept on the fight, but I didn't. I did knit a lot though. We were all pooped when we arrived at Nana's house and we all took a nap. The girls and I left for home around 1:00. Robyn and I had just enough sleep to safely drive home. Phillip and the puppy girls were thrilled to see us. The kitty girls didn't seem to notice we had been gone. It was a great trip and I am so thankful Nana took us.


What I learned about Alaska

1. Alaska is the most beautiful place I have ever been. On my favorite places in the world list, it is 1b. 1a is New York City (I don't know if anywhere can move NYC off of that spot).

2. The people are wonderful. They are very friendly and open.

3. It is a great place to visit in the summer, especially when the heat index at home is hovering around 110.

4. Bring plenty of money. Things cost more here due to inability to get goods to all places. You can only get to Juneau by boat or plane. Other places have only plane or boat.

5. In the summer, the days are way long. Sunset sometimes was 11:15 pm and sunrise the next day was 4:15. I don't know how I would like the winters with the little sunlight.

6. Alaska is very casual. The perfect place for me. I like to be comfortable AND casual.

7. Going on a cruise is a great way to see Alaska. We were able to see some great towns that we would have otherwise not been able to see.

8. Humpback whales are pretty amazing. I had not thought much about whales before this trip. Now I love them.

9. I took a ton of pictures and video and it still was not enough. I wish I had more.

10. I want to go back.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Anchorage

Again we had the morning free and much of the afternoon before leaving Talkeetna. We hung around in the hotel lobby enjoying the wonderful views of Denali and enjoying the fire in the nearby fireplace. At 4:00 we boarded the bus to catch the train down to Anchorage. The train cars had glass tops so you could see in any direction. The scenery was gorgeous and the trip on the train was very relaxing.



We ate dinner in the dining area below where we sat. Dinner was good. Cathy and I had Stuffed Chicken, Robyn had fettuccine alfredo, and Cara was thrilled to have chicken strips. She is a chicken strip expert and it was only her second chance on the whole trip to have them. For dessert, Cara had a brownie sundae and Robyn had the black and white espresso cake. Both dessert plates were licked clean. Nana stayed upstairs and didn't come down for dinner.



We arrived in Anchorage around 8:00 and went straight to the Marriott, where we would be staying for the night. We said our goodbyes to Bill, the bus driver, and Brian, our tour guide. Cara surprised us all by giving Brian a huge hug and lifting him off of the ground. I am a bit sad that this is the last night of our trip, but I will be glad to see home.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Talkeetna

We had the morning free and did not leave Denali until noon.  Many of our fellow tour members went back into town.  We decided to take it leisurely at the hotel.  Today the weather was gorgeous and we were able to see Denali (Mt. McKinley) very clearly.  What a treat.  It is humongous.  Everyone was taking tons of pictures.


Our hotel in Talkeetna was the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge. It had the best view of the mountain yet. It was right out of our window, front and center! Very cool.


Talkeetna is very quaint. Supposedly the TV show Northern Exposure was based somewhat on the town. I could see that. We took the shuttle into town and ate dinner at the Talkeetna Roadhouse. It is more known for its breakfast. The menu items were listed as breakfast and not breakfast. It was ok. I am guessing breakfast is much better.


On the way back to the shuttle we walked past this cool art sculpture thing.


When I got a little closer, I saw that is was a totem where passers by were to add tokens about themselves to it. Pretty cool.


When we got back in our room, I hooked the video recorder up to the TV and we watch some of the trip video. I seem to have a lot of footage of things like shoes, the side of the binoculars and other things when I thought the camera was off and it wasn't. I guess I will be working on my editing skills when I get home. The beds here were hard, but the cell phone reception and internet service was good.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Denali National Park Tour

We were up bright and early for our Denali park tour.  Nana and Cathy had done this tour before and had seen lots of animals in the park.    The weather is drizzly and pretty much made it messy outside.  We entered the park and a ranger came on the bus to tell us a little about the park.  Some of the road into the park is paved and some is gravel.  Once it turned into gravel, the sides and windows on the bus were muddy.  When we stopped at rest areas, the bus drivers would get out and wash down the windows.  Unfortunately it was not long before the mud was back.  It was a very messy job that day.


As we drove higher up, snow flurries began to fall.  It was a light snow, but hey any snow counts.  Yea snow!  You can only travel about halfway into the park on the tour.  At this point we had seen some elk and a few Dall sheep on the mountain sides.  I was really glad I brought the binoculars.  I would not have seen much without them since the animals were pretty far away.  On the way down we stopped for some hot chocolate or coffee.  The thermometer read 46 at that point and it had finally stopped drizzling.  It was too overcast to see Mt. McKinley or Denali as the natives call the mountain.  The tour guide said only about 30% of visitors get to see the mountain because of overcast conditions.   It reminded me of when we went up to see the Matterhorn.  It was overcast and the guide basically pointed to the fog and said "There is it."


On the way down we were finally able to see two Grizzly bears.  I was lucky enough to be on the right side of the bus and was able to get a good view of one of them.  He was digging a hole and it was fun to watch. Now for some professional quality bear video.  We all sound like a bunch of ninnies watching this bear.

video


We took the shuttle into town for dinner and tried one of the restaurants Brian suggested, Prospector's Pizza and Ale House.  It was the best food of the whole trip.  Absolutely wonderful.  On the way back to the hotel, we saw a mom moose and her two babies on the side of the road.  They were adorable and the perfect ending to this day.  We were able to see all of the animals I wanted to see and I was a happy girl.