Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What Time is it?

I'll tell you what time it is...


Pittsburgh Steelers Time...

Pittsburgh Steelers Time...

Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Steelers, 
Pittsburgh Steelers & a baseball bat.

Now, you may be asking yourself, "Is she going to write this entire post in alternating BLACK and GOLD?

The answer would be "no".  
But don't think for a minute that means that I don't want to.  

Farrior, Harrison, Foote... Oh defense, how I love thee!
Don't worry, Handsome knows how I feel about the entire defensive line.
Someone once posed the question,
"If [I] was asked to (artificially, of course) have Troy Polomalu's baby, would [I]?"
Handsome answered for me, "Heck yes she would!" 

Break the Fast

It is time, dear peoples of the world, to break the monotony of breakfast.

For ever and always, we've been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  I know, personally, I love breakfast.  Sometimes, and I'm talking rarely here, I'll opt for just a Hot Coffolate, but usually I try and eat some real food.

Breakfast is a wonderful time to eat healthily, for one of two reasons:  (1) People claim that eating a healthy breakfast sets you up for an entire day of healthy eating.  (2) It gets the "healthy" out of the way and allows you to treat yourself for the remaining 4 meals (you know, lunch, snack, dinner, evening treat) since you did so well on the first one.  I hold with the #2 people, here, but that's just me.  And that's only when I eat healthily.  Often, I start out the day treating myself for being awesome, and, well, it just goes from there.

This is the picture from
This is the recipe I used (more or less).
I did not add nectarines.
Maybe I should.

This week, H & I are eating baked oatmeal for breakfast.  Every. Single. Day.  Why, you ask?  Do we just love baked oatmeal?  Why no, no we do not just love baked oatmeal.  Handsome is less of a fan than I thought when I chose to make it, and I am only a fringe member of the oatmeal camp.  However, Little Miss Mathy over here (that'd be me) didn't really consider the implications of making a breakfast dish that serves 12.    Don't get me wrong, its very delicious.  But... I mean, twelve servings...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Etsy Fashion

I've been back on

It was like coming home.

Except not really, because my home looks like this right now:

So maybe it was more like coming home after a fairy cleaned up and some trolls made me some stuff.

Whatever.  That part is not important.  What is important is that etsy is super cool, and also affords a person (although the term affords is relative... ha ha, punny) the chance to buy things direct from the artisan who created them, thus fulfilling my dream and living more like Laura Ingalls.  That homesteader life, it speaks to me.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Call me? Call you?

I've never been a phancy phone type of gal.

Them peoples at Vee-rizon, they don't love it when they see me coming.  They don't get excited and there are no fist pumps.  I walk into the store, pull my number, and then wait patiently.  Because I'm a sweet heart like that.  Then the smiling sales person comes up to me, and ask how they can help me.  Then in this dance we do, I tell them exactly what I'm looking for, and wait for them to provide it.  I'm a little demanding, so they're not always able to accommodate me.

Here's what I ask for:

  • Something that makes calls, and maybe texts.  
  • Pictures are okay, but not necessary.  
  • Free is best.
This has been my modus operandi for the past... 5, 6 years?  Something like that.  And its worked for me.  They're not phancy phones, which is good since it takes me, on average, 27 hours from purchase to first time dropped on pavement.  The phones I end up with generally last for the entire 2-year contract time (although sometimes I get a wild hair and renew my contract early!).  

The phone before the previous phone.
Its small.
Mine had less buttons that this.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Changing & Stirring

Something is stirring inside of me.

No, not the amount of queso I ate for dinner.  My stomach can totally handle that by now.

I'm talking in my heart.  My true innards.  Way down deep.

You all know this already, if you've been here for any amount of time.  It all started with a little bit of a soul dump here, and then moved on to something more defined here, rounding out with some reflection here.  Its been a process, to say the least.

Maybe I'm like a caterpillar.
I'm not really sure in what capacity.  Actually, I'm making all of that up.
I just wanted to show you this cool picture.
The cool thing about the way God is working in me right now is that its... subterranean.  I don't even know the actual definition of that word.  But what I mean it to mean is that its below the surface; not obvious, not loud, not even always identifiable.  But its there, and its constant.  God is working a change in my heart.  I say that here, written in black and white (beige?) because naming it gives it substance.  There is a part of me that so badly wants to give it complete form, to work out the ending to see where it is taking me, but this is not my job.

Make no mistake about it, God does not answer to me.  I don't know His plan, or even His reasons a lot of the time, but it doesn't matter.  I say, "God, I don't know where you're taking me!  I don't understand!" and God looks at me with love and compassion and shouts from heaven, "NUNYA."  As in, Nun'ya beeswax (code for: none of your business).

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Four Square Summer Memories

The list of Things I Love about South Carolina just seems to keep growing.  I love the dirt track races.  I love the Magnolia trees.  I love the phrase “Bless him out” as a euphemism for “Cuss him out”.  There’s more things, but it’s a certain characteristic about this place that I’ve grown to love, right down to my core.

In the summer, it feels like church camp.

It does!  It has felt like summer camp for the past two months, and I expect it to go at least one, if not two, more.  From the time I was 7 until… I don’t know, 15?  16?  I went to church camp every summer.  From 7-12, I was a camper, from 13-16 (15?) I was a teen helper, and then years later I came back as a coordinator of sorts.  So believe me when I say, I know church camp.  And this summer weather down here, well, it feels just like it.

In the morning, when the air is so heavy with humidity and its already 82*, I forget myself for a moment and imagine that I’m coming out of my bunk house and have a big day of swimming and chapel and four square ahead of me.  I think, “Maybe I’ll go swing for a while before breakfast, perhaps catch a game of tether ball before they ring the bell.”

These kids, they're not even playing Four Square.
I could so skool them.
They're playing ABCD-square.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Formatting Shmormatting

Well, I've gotten to this place.  I wish I knew how to take screen shots, so I could show you all the million different templates I tried out before settling here.

And I still don't love this.

But I like it better.

I think I've gotten to the place in a hunt where people decide to say "Forget this!" and build themselves a house instead of trying to buy one.  Or in my case, a website.  But I'm not ready to go there yet, to the place where I pay for the privilege of doing this sharing thing.

I'm sorry, it has nothing to do with you.  Its me.


I'm not in love with this new design.

So its okay if you're not, too.

But my picture wasn't showing up correctly on my computer, and I thought to myself, "Self, what if that's happening on other people's computers?  Then it just looks dumb, not awesome.  You might have to move away from the picture background."

So I'm trying out new ones.  I'm looking eventually for something with polka dots, I believe.

Any suggestions?
Transitioning out the ying yang,

Listing Aside

I'm listing today.  Not really to one side or another, but just writing things with bullet points and numbers in front of them.  Its a good day, I believe, as it started out with these lovely cinnamon buns.  Yes, yes, its good.  Its also different.

I've had my first graduate class as a PhD student in Industrial Engineering. 

I've eaten 3 cinnamon rolls, one of them larger than the ones shown in the picture.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Serious Gardening ROI

Everyone loves a good return on investment (ROI).  Myself especially.  Well, probably not "especially," just "as much as the next guy" more than likely.  I don't really think that I've got the market on wanting a good return.  Actually, I've got a kind of "easy come, easy go" type of mentality, so maybe I'm really not at all near the "especially" range.

Anyhow, I can appreciate when I get a lot of stuff for very minimal effort.  Like swag.  I love going to career fairs, because I just pick up all the stuff with names printed on it.  Chic-fil-A reusable shopping bag, sure!  BMW  pen/USB drive, thanks a bunch!  How does this tie in?  More in a moment.

This will most likely be the last post I write about gardening, because we seem to have come to the end of the garden.  It's going in a natural way, nothing abrupt or traumatic.  I came home from the North, and found that my tomato worms had developed a taste for sweet peppers.  Little *#&?@!, I don't like them at all, and I killed 2 the size of my thumb this morning.

The worms left my plants all nubby and forlorn.
Or wait, maybe I'm the forlorn one...
I've come to accept that this is the end of the road.  My lettuce has gone to seed, I've somehow managed to kill the zucchini plants, and the onions never really got off the ground anyhow.  We've had a good run, this garden and I.  School is starting, and its just the natural course of things that our Summer romance would come to an end.

The tomato plants are officially too big for their britches.
If you replace "britches" with "cages", that is.
There's a few fruits left, but I think its an over-abundance of N_2 that's killing our production here.
In case you wondered.

Menu Challenge 4 Me!

We're back.



We're back down here in the loverly South, and I'm more than a little conflicted about that.  Most likely due, in no small way, to the fact that there's no food in my house to eat.  At least, not breakfast food.  I've heard about these places, called Su-pear Mar-Keats, places where there is food for the buying, but I'm not sure about them, so I'm going to stay home and starve.

Actually, I'm headed out to do the food shopping here in just a little bit, but first I had to make a list of what we're going to eat this week.  Menu planning, you know.  The fun stuff!  Handsome has been asking me to make him healthy meals lately.  And I have been, but I haven't really been paying a ton of attention to it, and I definitely have not been keeping track of how many WW points each serving is.

I mean, thats hard.  And not something that I want, so it was easy to ignore.

Notice the past tense, there.  WAS easy to ignore.

During our trip home, Handsome experienced some new found freedom, with regards to his face.

That's right.  This is 8 days growth.  He didn't shave, not a once.

Let me just say, I'm not a fan of the bearded man.  Not mine, anyhow.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Going Home

I’m going home.  And then, when our trip is over, I’m coming back home. 

How can a person have two homes?  I do not know the answer to that question; I know only that I do, in fact, have both.

The first two three years or so that we lived down here, I wouldn’t get real excited on our trip home until we saw the first Sheetz.  Now, I still feel that excitement, but I feel the same excitement on the way back down when I see the first CookOut, the first offer of Meat & 3.  That’s how I know I have two homes.

I’m so thrilled about this trip.  I’m going to meet my new nephew (I love you little Izzy!!), I’m going to hangout out with friends and family, and I’m going to cool off a little bit (its never quite as warm up there).  We’re going home for no very good reason, which is, to me, the best of reasons.  It seems that we’ve fallen into a pattern of a trip home in May, a trip home in August, and a trip around Christmas time.  While its hardly enough, we try to make the most out of it, so this time we’ll be up in ole’ Pennsyltuckey for an entire week.

Really, I’m ‘bout to burst, I’m so excited.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Other ways to use a T-shirt

I'm not a Large girl.

I'm not as small as I used to be, but that's not exactly what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about t-shirt size.

I'm just not a large girl.  And I don't really like to wear bigger shirts than necessary, not even for sleeping or working or stuff like that.

If anything, I tend to go too small, convincing myself that no one is looking and so, this one last time, I can wear my favorite shirt from 10th grade.  HA!

Jockey Lot

Saturday, I had some time to myself.  Handsome had an appointment with the bottom of the lake, and so I found myself without any plans.  So I decided it was time to take the next step out into the water, moving towards total Southern Submersion.  I went to the Jockey Lot *duhn duh dunnnn*.

The Jockey Lot is a large … collection of people selling things.  Up north, we call them flea markets.  Down here, its called the Jockey Lot.  From the moment I got out of my car until I wearily unloaded my purchases back into it, it was an experience of pure perfection.  Rarely do events turn out to be everything you imagine that they should, but this was one of the exceptions. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Outdoor Movies

These last two weekends have been wonderful and more wonderful, thanks in no small part to the fact that Handsome has been off for two days!  Last weekend was his Sat/Sun combo, which is always nice.  It’s also sort of rare, as it won’t happen again until December.

This weekend was a Fri/Sat combo, and although I had to work Friday while he was home, we still managed to salvage it.  We went out for pizza, which we ate on a covered porch while the sky drizzled.  We laughed and picked and teased, and just had a lot of fun, the two of us.  It was such a carefree mood, which seems a little out of place with all that has been going on in our lives, but it was uber enjoyable, nevertheless. 

After dinner, I remembered what our plans were for the evening.  It was going to be a big, BIG night.  My only complaint about the loverly South Carolina was about to be rectified – we were going to watch a movie, OUTSIDE. 

Be still my heart, there are few things I love more than sitting out on a blanket, eating crappy concession food, collecting dew, and watching a movie under the stars.  Glory Hallelujah, it is summer at its perfection. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Coot- Scoot-Boogie

I just wanted to update you on our good ole’friend Coot.  While not quite up to boogie-ing, he is doing quite well, up and around, and ornery as ever.

His sweet wife just sighs and laughs and calls him aggravatin’.  Because that's love.  

I took Coot this tomato, once it got a little more ripe.
Its the first Brandywine tomato out of my garden.
Coot accused me of getting it from Bi-Lo.
I wanted to throw it at him.
Because we're friends like that.
They’re getting through the days, (mostly) following doctor’s orders, and visiting with friends.  We went out recently and were some of those friends.  It was a great evening, full of getting-to-know-you’s and cookout food, with a little Country Gold thrown in for good measure.

Please continue to keep this lovely family in your prayers, as the next 2-3 months still loom out ahead of them.

Loving the Ornery like its my calling, 

My Muse

I was speaking with Handsome on Friday, and I told him that I was dissatisfied with this blog-business here, this whole thing.

I might have been in a bit of a mood.

Then Handsome hauls off and tells me that its probably because I used to write because I wanted to, and now [he thinks] I write just to get hits and visits and followers. 

This is what happens with a zoom lens and not enough space.
Its also Handsome talking to me, while trying to block my shot of the lake.
Because he's darling like that.
So I stopped talking to him.

And then I rolled the idea around in my mind, and I thought on it, and waited a bit for any of the truth in his statement to stand up and make itself known.  I didn’t find exactly what he said, but I did find that I was forcing the issue, some.  Writing even when I didn’t feel like it, just to get a post up.  He was at least partially right: I used to write because I wanted to.

Silly, I know, that in these short 6 months since February (which is when I think I really started writing in full force) that I could get to this point, whatever “this point” is.  But I wasn’t writing just because I wanted to, and I wasn’t writing what I wanted and what I meant to be writing.

So I stopped writing. 

I didn’t even worry about it at all.  I still photographed things and thought to myself, “Maybe I’ll write about this some day,” but that’s as far as I got.  It was nice, the break.  The reprieve.  I mean, it only lasted about 4 days, but it was 4 days that I needed.  I think I’m back, although I may just take some breaks here and there.  I don’t exactly have a plan, and I’m not sure what I’m going to do, save for one thing.

In the immortal words of my husband (can you say that about someone while they’re still alive?),

I do what I want.

And so I will.

Now, this may mean that what I write has even less bearing on your life than my normal, everyday drivel, but it’s a chance I’m willing to take.  I’ve got to; else I’ll end up writing to please others, and not sharing any of my own self. 

Sharing nothing that’s not me,

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Comfort Food

Well folks, it was touch and go for a while, but we're nearly there.  

One might say, we've arrived.

Tomorrow is my last Friday at work.


I'm pretty pumped.  I'm also pretty tired, so if these words seem a little flat, its because they are.  But I'm excited, deep down inside.  I'm also planning on going to bed around 9, so don't worry about me, I'll be right as rain tomorrow.

I still have a "Last Monday," "Last Tuesday," "Last Wednesday," and "Last Day".  But I'm all about celebrating things.

To celebrate, I'm going all comfort food on myself tonight.  And to me, that means one thing.  

The shapes taste best.
Spirals are gross.
Elbows are okay
This box (albeit with different/no characters) really takes me back, as all good comfort food should.  And so I'll share two of these stories with you.  Mostly to have them written down for posterity.  Both of these stories happened when I was about 7.

I was homeschooled (yes, that might explain some things) for 3rd, 4th, and 6th grade.  5th grade was rough.  I nearly failed math.  I don't like to talk about it.  ANYhow, for 3rd & 4th grade, mostly, I was a pretty good worker and could get most of my self-instruction work finished by 11AM.  I had a strong motivation, to get it finished by that particular time, because, at 11AM on channel 8, my all-time favorite show would come on.  And if I were finished and my sister was not, then I got to pick the television show to watch during lunch.

What show?  Well, obviously what any red-blooded 7-year-old would pick, duh.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Firehouse Remedies

It has been over a year now that Handsome has been employed as a full-time firefighter.  

And that means a lot of things.

It means that he's officially off of probation, and will likely not get fired if makes a tiny mistake.  We thought, for the first year, that this was a possibility, and his employment there seemed like such a ... fragile, precious thing.  Turns out, he probably would not have been fired for a tiny mistake either way, but ... meh.  Definitely not now though.  

It means that he's not the new guy on the shift anymore.  It means that he's got a nice camaraderie going with the guys he works with.  It means that I've got every third day marked on my calendar from now until after Christmas so we can keep up with his shed-dule.   It means that his mastery of the English language has deteriorated some.  Now guys, don't take this the wrong way, but you all get a little... creative when it comes to noises that make up real words, and noises that don't.  Also, it means that when Handsome comes home after a shift or two, he sounds like he grew up eating fried okra, drinking sweet tea, and his first cuss word was dad'gum.  

There's a lot of things that go on at the fire department that carry over into home life.  There's the southern drawl, of course.  And Handsome is a better cleaner, thanks to the mandatory daily upkeep of the station.  He's also a more reluctant cleaner at home, since he does it every day at work, but, you take the good with the bad.  And if you had asked me, I would have guessed that these traits, as well as the others above would eventually come to pass.  

Let me tell you something I didn't expect: Firehouse Remedies.

Nope, wouldn't have guessed it.  Got a problem growing your tomatoes?  There's a firehouse home remedy for that - watered down dishsoap in a spray bottle, once a week.  Got an issue with your dog not eating his food?  2 Tablespoons of Canola oil on his chow every day, he'll gobble it right up.  And, most recently, my reigning favorite...

Having foot problems?  Of any type whatsoever?  Oh, we've got this covered:

If you think that bottle says: AntNeptic Moth Rink
Well, you're wrong.
But hey, the glare gets the best of all of us once in a while.

Monday, August 1, 2011

My Weekend Escape

This weekend was the best of times.  If you're waiting for me to say it was also the worst of times, you might want to pop a squat, 'cause I ain't gonna.  Handsome had Saturday AND Sunday off (I know, stifle your shouts of disbelief please, don't all yell at once.), and yes, I called the presses, it'll be in the mid-week edition.  So we took advantage of our time and made it a weekend to remember.  

I feel it is only right, at this juncture, to state that my initial posting was incorrect, and we do not always miss each other's schedules.  So when the day comes up again where we do miss each other's off times, please direct me back here and remind me of the glorious weekend escape we had.  Oh July, you surely went out with a bang.  
ASIDE: July came in with a bang, too.  Because of the fireworks and all.  That's cool.
I'll never take a better fireworks picture.
I've come to grips with the reality of it.
Anyway, who would want to??

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