Exceedingly Mundane

tidbits of random nothingness

Jan-30-14

End of January, already?

posted by Stace

How on earth can it be the end of January already? Wow, the first year of the month has really flown by.

Let’s see… I’ve been sick the last few days. I got a sore throat and it just went downhill from there. I felt like I was gargling glass when I tried to swallow, and then I lost my voice. While Tim thoroughly enjoyed that time, I did not :) I had several days of OTC medicine and lots of hot tea with honey, and now I’m getting better. Good thing too! We’ve had another round of really cold weather. We had a dusting of snow yesterday (and I didn’t take a SINGLE photo, horror!) but it barely covered the deck. I miss Beau when it snows though, that dog was fascinated with snow! It was SO COLD. The highs the last couple of days have been in the 20’s, with the lows at night in the low teens. Yikes, we’re having a cold winter!

I didn’t cook a whole lot over the weekend, since I was sick. We ate out some junk food, and just had easy stuff like cereal and popcorn :) I finally cooked us some decent food this week. I made a chicken noodle soup on Monday, Tuesday I made a panko baked cod, stuffed zucchini and salad. Wednesday was a Tim favorite, eggs, bacon, grits and homemade buttermilk biscuits. Today, I’ve got a tomato basil soup going in the crockpot and if I get industrious enough, I’ll make chicken crescents to go with it and maybe a salad. I’m not planning on date night for tomorrow (since we picked up a lot of food last weekend while I was sick), so I’m hoping to make sloppy joes and roast a head of cauliflower I have languishing in the produce drawer :D

The Super Bowl is this weekend and I’m not all that excited about it. When our Saints got eliminated from the playoffs, we sort of lost interest in football. It’s harder to get excited since we don’t have parties any more. It’s just so hard for friends and family to come over late on Sundays, with having to drive back home late. It definitely makes it more fun to watch the game, but it is a lot more work, so it’s sort of a toss up on how much I enjoy having a big party versus getting to just watch the game without all the extra work. For the record, I’m rooting for the Broncos. I’ve always liked Peyton Manning (except the year he and the Colts played my Saints, that was a no brainer, but otherwise I root for him) and I’d like to see him win one more before his career is over. Tim and I DESPISE the Seahawks, it’s an NFC thing. Blech.

I am not doing well on my reading so far this year… I had hoped to be further along this far into January. I sort of struggled through a recent book, one I purchased at a reduced rate on Kindle called “Sherlock Holmes and the Needle’s Eye”. Maybe it was the writing or the subject matter, or maybe I was just not in the mood for that type of book. I moved onto a more enjoyable one after Sherlock, the second Jane Austen Takes the South book by Mary Jane Hathaway. Apparently there are only two of these, but I thoroughly enjoyed both, very very Southern :) I just started Sycamore Row, by John Grisham. My sister Suzanne read it first, and recommended it. I went ahead and splurged and bought it around Black Friday when I found it reduced for Kindle. Now, I see my library has it for free in the Kindle version, oh well. This way, Tim might be able to read it sometime on my iPad. I normally enjoy Grisham so I have high hopes for this one.

Watched Jack Reacher again last night on Amazon Prime streaming. We saw it at the theater and really liked it, so it was good to watch again. I think a lot of our shows will be tapering off soon, with the Olympics starting up soon. We’ll have to see how our TV watching changes, which translates to, will I be able to get Tim to watch Olympics coverage with me! I like it a lot more than he does.

Tim is still enjoying P90X. Me, not so much. We’ve moved into phase 3, and he’s tickled pink. Me, I’d like to chuck the dvd’s and throw a sledgehammer at ole Tony’s face on the TV. Ugh. Tim did it last winter and lost over 30 pounds. Me doing it this winter, I *might* be down 2-3 pounds, but I think that’s from more eating healthy than anything. Obviously, I’m getting out of it exactly what I put into it!

Hope everyone is having a great day!

Jan-19-14

Weekend Babbling

posted by Stace

We’ve had a busy weekend! Gail and Don came down on Friday and had supper with us, then we all went to see Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. Tim and I both loved it, good movie! If you don’t see it at the theater, be sure to rent it :) I have several I want to rent (or in my case, probably request from the library) or watch on our Amazon Prime. We watched Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol the other night and enjoyed it all over again :)

Gail and Don spent the night, then headed out Saturday morning. We went by and picked up my dad and then headed to a get-together at my in-law’s house. We normally go to big get-togethers at Linda’s family, but this one was for Mitchell’s family. They are really good about waiting till after the holidays, we always get together in January for that side of the family. It’s nice that the hectic holidays have passed and we can get together and visit. We had a good time! And as always, lots of good food :) We took a smoked pork loin and some brownies and had tons of other good stuff to eat. We missed seeing Terry and Zack though (they went to sign his letter of intent to play golf at a junior college southwest of here), and also Mark, Amanda and their kids (Mark had the flu). So thankful that neither of us have gotten sick this winter, although Tim has been fighting a sore throat and cough for a few days. And I’m even more thankful that my dad has stayed relatively healthy in the assisted living place. He kept getting sick late last winter, so I’m really glad he’s doing better right now. It’s hard to believe that he fell almost a year ago and we moved him up here. Time is flying by!

Enjoyed church this morning, great music as always and a good message. Current series: Reclaiming Life. We went to Corner Bakery again this Sunday after church for brunch (again, we went last Sunday too, always sad when our Saints are no longer playing football). Last week, I had more lunch-type food, a cup of clam chowder and half of an uptown turkey sandwich. This week, I was colder and wanted coffee, so I went with second breakfast (a hobbit thing!). I tried their power panini thin with avocado and spinach. While it tasted good, that was the smallest, tiniest, narrowest imitation of a panini I have ever seen! I got a small cup of steel cut oats on the side, and it did fill me up, but boy, it was a small serving!

I went to Kroger after lunch and got groceries, and after I got home, Tim and I looked at houses all afternoon. I wanted to come home and fix supper, but was overruled by Mr Pizza himself, who wanted to stop at Little Caesars and pick up pizza. Good news - we have tons of pizza leftover for Tim to have for lunch all week! I think I’m going to take it easy this week on the cooking front - I’m planning a lot of salads, some sandwiches, maybe one soup thrown in, and Tim has a boatload of pizza leftover :)

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Jan-15-14

I won a food Giveaway… but!

posted by Stace

I shared the photo above on Facebook the day my prize came in… I was so excited! I enter giveaways at random online (I used to do a lot more, just a few here and there now) and rarely win any more. So, when I won the Pacific Foods giveaway at the Appetite for Health website, I was SO excited! When it came in, I was even more excited! I got two of each, of 12 different items, so a total of 24 products from Pacific Foods. I had to work to find a place to store them!

Then…

I started using the products. To be fair, I had bought one Pacific product in the past, and loved it! I have been buying their low sodium tomato soup for years. I decided quite a while back to stop using almost all canned soup. I started making my own dry cream soup mix and I gave up the Campbell’s tomato soup. It’s just so easy some winter nights to open up a red and white can, and throw together a grilled cheese sandwich for supper :)

Anyway, I have always loved the tomato soup that I’ve bought in the past, so I had high hopes for all of my giveaway products. To be fair, I have tried two, and while neither have been very good, I have opened them up, warmed them up and served them. I think they will be a lot better on the second one of those, as I will spice them up or jazz them up some. I tried one package of the pork and beans when Tim smoked some ribs. I normally open a can of pork and beans and then add a ton of stuff to it, so when I just opened the paper package of Pacific pork and beans and didn’t touch them at all, Tim was not happy with them. Next time, I’ll know to jazz them up like I do a normal can of beans.

The second thing I tried was a container of the butternut squash bisque. I had even higher hopes for it, as I love butternut squash anything. It just wasn’t what I was expecting and the flavors were a bit lacking. So, again, next time (since I have two containers of each product), I will add more seasoning and stuff.

I am excited to get all of this stuff though and look forward to trying more of the products. I feel like the broths (I got chicken and vegetable) and the milks (I got 2 almond and 2 hemp) are going to be great and I’ll go through those easily.

Jan-8-14

Book #1 and a TV show

posted by Stace

2013 was a record-setting year for me, book wise. I not only read the Bible through (which I now plan to do yearly), but I also read more books than I ever have in the past (110 total !!!) I’m leaving my GoodReads widget up for a couple of weeks longer, just so I can see it and be motivated to get back into a good reading groove.

I didn’t read many books at all from about Thanksgiving till New Years Eve. We got busy with Thanksgiving, Tim’s birthday (the day after), decorating and shopping for Christmas, wrapping, etc. Then about the time we got all of that done and I felt like I could relax, snuggle up with a good book, watch a Christmas movie, then Tim took off vacation! And while I loved every minute he was off and we could spend together, we were spending it all together :) And one thing Tim is not into is a) reading a book and b) watching a girlie Christmas movie! So, I only read a couple of books and got to watch zero of my favorite Christmas movies. I had even added a couple to the Amazon Prime queue to stream (more on that in another post to come soon). But, I need to go delete them now, since I didn’t get to watch them. Oh well, there’s always next year.

I’m on to a new year of reading, with new goals. I tend to set a low goal at GoodReads, then adjust it throughout the year. I started out with a book I got from the Kindle Prime program, one of their “First” books. Apparently, they pick out a few books each month from new authors and offer them to read for free. I picked the one that sounded the best to me, “Soy Sauce for Beginners” by Kirstin Chen. I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed it! I normally read almost exclusively Christian fiction, because I don’t like the language and explicit stuff in most mainstream books these days. But this one was surprisingly clean, and had nothing “bad” in it, at least according to my standards. The story was good, and I liked the characters, so it was a nice, fun, quick read to start off the year. Now, book #2 is the last in a trilogy I am reading by Lisa T. Bergren. I got the first two in the “Grand Tour” series free for Kindle, and purchased the last one “Glittering Promises” for 2.99, to finish up the trilogy. So far, I’m liking the first two that I got free more, but I hope this one gets better :)

We watched a new TV show last night, one we both really liked. “Intelligence” with Josh Holloway, who played Sawyer on Lost. He’s a super soldier who has had a computer chip implanted in his brain, which gives him instant access to anything cyber related. It had an interesting concept, we like all the characters/actors, and I hope this one makes it. We picked up a new show last fall that we both love, “The Blacklist” and it’s a big hit, so hopefully this one will make it too.

Lastly, our Saints won their first EVER road playoff game! They went to Philadelphia last weekend in this cold “polar vortex” we’ve been having and WON! We were so excited. Now, onto an even harder road game in Seattle this weekend. They might not make it, but we’re going to hope they keep going through the playoffs :D

Have a good day, everyone!

Jan-6-14

A Shiny New Year Ahead

posted by Stace

Well, another three months have come and gone and no blogging from me :) What else is new?!

It’s January 6, 2014. It will take me a while to get used to writing 2014, I had just gotten used to 2013 and now it’s in the books.

My favorite time of the year has come and gone, seemingly in the blink of an eye. My birthday in October (Tim took me shopping all day the day after and bought me every piece of clothing I could find that I liked, so half a new wardrobe!), Halloween (mostly rained out, but Gail was here, and Kathryn and the kids came), Thanksgiving (Gail and clan were at Disney, so Tim, Fred and I went to Mount Olive at Aunt Becky’s), and then our 3 Christmases have all come and gone. The regular football season is over (Saints were 11-5 in regular season and have won the first wildcard playoff game, Seattle is next) and that is always so sad for me. Football season is hands down, my most favorite time of the year. Christmas is packed and put away, all the lights from the tree, my garland and my Snow Village are gone and I’m just about over missing them.

Let’s see, I accomplished my goal for 2013 (I never set goals!), which was to read through the entire Bible. I’d tried in the past and never made it through the early parts of the Old Testament. In 2013, I used the YouVersion Bible app on my ipad and read through the One Year Bible, which uses the format of a section from the OT, a section from Psalms, a section from Proverbs, and a section from the New Testament. It was very doable for me, and I was able to accomplish my goal, yippee! Now, I’m going to make that a goal every year, and try to read through it yearly. I need to spend more time reading Scripture and less time watching tv and playing computer games :) I bought the MacArthur Study Bible and a chronological one called Reading God’s Story, and I’ve decided to do the MacArthur one this year.

Let’s see… we’re currently having quite a cold snap, so I’m happy to stay inside and enjoy winter! Today’s high was supposed to hit 26, not sure if it made it. Tonight should set a record, 12 degrees. As Siri says on our iphones, Brrr! Needless to say, we’re not walking. It’s harder for me to get out and walk without Beau, and convincing Tim to go, so when it’s cold, we just don’t go.

Tim has now successfully figured out a way for me to wish for spring and golf season to get here faster (whether he realizes it or not!). Normally, I enjoy winter and having him home more (which I still do), and being able to spend more time together. However, he’s making me do P90X with him, and now every day that we do that, I secretly wish for winter to be over, so he can go to the golf course and I do NOT have to do that stupid exercise program. I don’t like anything about it. He did it last winter and lost 30 or 35 pounds. Me, I’ve been doing it since October and maybe I’ve lost 2 pounds. Sigh.

Last year was all about my dad, since he fell in mid-February and we moved him here shortly after. We lost Beau in March, and I’ve missed him every day since. I’m hoping this year is going to be more focused on us. We have some plans for this year (including a dog, hopefully), that I hope will come to fruition.

I don’t know if I’ll get back into blogging or not, but I’m going to try a bit. I’m not cooking much (so no new recipes to share and no food photos) and I don’t have Beau (so no cute Beau photos or videos). I’m not posting much on Facebook because of those things, and because Tim doesn’t like me to post when we go places (movies, out to eat, etc). Sigh. Hard to come up with things to blog about :D

Ok, not much of a catch-up post, but a start. I always want to look back on my blog and see what we are doing, that’s hard to do with these 2-4 month gaps I’ve been having, LOL!

Oct-3-13

A Little of This and a Lot of That

posted by Stace

Let’s see, time to do another little catch-up post…

September, thankfully, has now come and gone, and it’s October! One of my most favorite months of the year, if not THE favorite. I’m ready for fall! It’s supposed to cool off a bit this weekend and one night is predicted to be in the low 50’s. I’m ready!

Last weekend was fairly busy. We went to see Katelyn and Sam (and their cousins) play soccer. We picked up my dad about 8:30 AM and drove out to Clinton to their soccer fields. Katelyn played first, followed by her twin cousins, Keaton and Logan, and then Sam played at 11. Well, Sam’s game was not really full blown soccer, but they were out there having fun and trying to kick the ball and score. Sam seems to enjoy the sidelines, drinking his Gatorade and spitting on the field the most! Like most 5 year old boys, I assume. I took a bunch of pictures of all the soccer players, but haven’t transferred them yet, hopefully soon! Afterwards, we all packed up (about 20 or more of us) and went to the Blue Rooster for burgers. Tim and I have been wanting to go to the Blue Rooster in Flora, not realizing they had one out in Clinton. It was really good. Gail and Don tried the vegetarian burgers and said they were good, I might get that next time. I had a good old fashioned beef burger, built my own, with sauteed mushrooms and swiss cheese. After lunch, we took my dad back to his assisted living place, and after we swung back by the house, Tim and Don left to go play golf at Lake Caroline. Gail and I decided to go shopping. We went to Target for a while (I got a new fall purse, burgundy or claret, whatever they call the color these days), and some things for Halloween. We also went by Sam’s Club for a few things. After playing, the guys wanted to meet at Dickies for supper. Neither Gail nor I were very hungry, so we mostly entertained the guys while they ate ribs.

Sunday was equally busy. We went to church (really good service, we’re in the Exponential series, a study of Ephesians) and then home to change. We picked up my dad again and headed to Tim’s parents house. The kitchen is almost completely done (everything but the oven), and it looks fantastic! Linda cooked a great lunch (pork roast, rice and gravy, sweet potatoes, green beans, rolls and banana pudding for dessert) and we got to eat at the new kitchen table. I should have taken pictures, but didn’t. After lunch, we visited a few hours before heading home. After dropping off my dad, Tim and I went home to eat leftovers (Mr. Chen’s from Friday night, a full weekend of overeating!) and watch Sunday night football.

Monday, Tim was ready to start back with P90X. He’s doing his best to talk me into doing it with him. I’m not much into exercise, especially of the extreme variety. But, he said he’d start back walking some with me, so I agreed to give it a shot. I won’t be able to do it every day like he will, as this week was fairly free, but next week I get back to having to take my dad somewhere at least once a week. I am not overdoing it, in fact, I can barely do a lot of the exercises. Day 1 was an hour of pushups, pullups and situps. For the push-ups, I did 1 or 2, where the fanatics and Tim did 25 or 30. But, I am trying and that’s better than sitting my butt on the couch. I need to be better with my portions, the eating and snacking are what really help me pack on the pounds, I think.

Speaking of… I’ve been doing a lot of cooking this week, LOL! I’ve pulled out my crockpot for the week. Monday night, the Saints played the Dolphins (both undefeated going into the game, and we’re now 4-0!!!), and so I made a french dip all day in the crockpot, along with homemade buns, roasted broccoli and oven sweet potato fries. Tuesday, I made Tim biscuits and we had breakfast food. Wednesday, I made red beans and rice in the crockpot. Today, I’m going to try a new recipe I pinned on Pinterest for a crockpot beef and broccoli. I had also planned to make a pizza, but that may get pushed back a few days. The fridge is full of leftovers, plus food I bought at Kroger yesterday. I was pleasantly surprised to find that several items in the bulk bins at Kroger were marked half off. I certainly hope they are not getting rid of them, or phasing them out. Our Whole Foods across town has not opened yet, not sure how many months before it will be open, not to mention, it’s more than 10 miles down there. Anyway, I didn’t need a lot from the bulk bins, but since walnuts, dried cherries, steel cut oats and roasted pumpkin seeds were marked 50% off, I loaded up! :)

Most all of our TV shows are back on now, which is great. Tim cut our cable package the other day. We were in a promotion that gave us all of the premium movie channels and it expired on October 1. So he cut those and cut back on our tier. Not going to save us a lot of money, but every little bit helps. Plus, with football and all the new shows back on, we definitely don’t need the movie channels. We can stream movies from Amazon or Apple TV, or I can get most new releases at the library (just have to request and wait for them, most of the time). We still have several movies on the DVR that I recorded from the pay channels while we had them, that we still have not watched. I’m mostly about football these days, along with NCIS, Person of Interest, Elementary, Blue Bloods, and a couple of new ones, especially The Blacklist. Tim loves that one :)

I’m not reading nearly as much as I was earlier in the year. I’m reading my Bible and Jesus Calling Devotional every day, and plugging along with books. Current book I’m reading is one I actually bought, Double Cross by James David Jordan (read the first one, Forsaken, and loved it, so I knew that if I found the second one free or discounted, I would get it. Paid 2.99 and it’s worth every penny so far!). I will go over 100 in the next few weeks, well surpassing the goal I set. I might even beat my previous high goal of 104, if I can keep it up :D

OK, nothing exciting, but I guess that mostly catches me up, LOL!

Sep-22-13

Hooray for Fall and New TV!

posted by Stace

I’m SO glad that fall is here, even though we’ll still have plenty of hot days. At least maybe the nights will start cooling off a bit, and my early morning walks will be less sweaty and stinky :)

We got one or two new tv shows last week, but this week, it really starts cranking up. Some new favorites are returning and we’re going to try a few new shows.

Here’s some of the new ones we are going to give a test drive too and see how we like them…

* Sleepy Hollow - this one started on Fox last week and we both liked it! It reminds me a lot of Grimm, which Tim loves and watches by himself. I’ll give this one a try for a while, until the creatures and monsters and stuff start to get to me :)

* Hostages (CBS) and The Blacklist (NBC) - both start Monday night at 9 PM here. Not sure about either one, but they have some decent actors and a decent sounding plot. We’ll give them a try.

* Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD - Tuesday night on ABC, and I cannot wait! I love all the Marvel movies and loved the Avengers movie. I hope this one is great, and it’s even better because although Colson died in the last movie, he lives in this tv show! :D

* Ironside starts in early October, I think on NBC. I remember Blair Underwood from a show a LONG time ago, I think it was LA Law. Boy, I’m getting old :)

And then we’ve got a lot of favorites coming back, including both NCIS shows, Person of Interest, Elementary, Blue Bloods and several others. I have a new season of Top Chef to look forward to, and a new Dancing (which started last week). I’m really on the fence about The Voice. I loved,loved,loved it last season with Shakira and Usher, and now they are gone and the two I dislike intensely (CeeLo and Christina) are back. Bleh. I will give it a limited shot, mostly because I enjoy Adam and Blake.

As far as fall goes, I’m ready for more. Cooler temps, more comfort foods, holidays, birthdays and of course, the football that I’m already enjoying. Our college team is not doing well (again, hard after a streak of 17 winning seasons), but the Saints… oh, my Saints! They are 3-0 and we have such high hopes and happy expectations every Sunday. I love this time of year! Bring on some cool temps, let me pull out jeans and my favorite long sleeve shirts and sweatshirts, light a good smelling candle, and I’m a happy camper :D

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Sep-12-13

I got.. Nothing

posted by Stace

I haven’t been blogging, because I can’t seem to come up with anything to blog about! Football season has started, thankfully, but other than that, things are pretty much the same. Same ole, same ole, my mom used to say :)

Football started off ok on the first week - the Saints beat the Falcons, our USM team lost their second game (sigh) and I lost my fantasy football matchup. Bigger Sigh.

I am not reading as much, and I’m not cooking as much. I *am* trying to walk more, which is good. So that fills a bit of my mornings. Will be glad for cooler weather :) I’m not quite sure what I’m doing with the rest of my time, it just seems to go by and I don’t have a lot to show for it. I am fairly unproductive lately. Bummer.

Tim, on the other hand, is happy playing golf all the time. He plays about 5 days a week, and has finally broken par. He shot 71 the other day and was tickled pink, purple and blue :) He ordered a new putter, and a new shaft for his driver, so he’s a very happy camper!

OK, end of the Nothing Post :D

Sep-1-13

September!

posted by Stace

Hooray! Made it through the two hardest months of the year for me, July and August. Today is September 1 and while it’s hot, and I’m sick, I’m grateful that the last four months of the year (my most favorite time of the year) have arrived.

Had a busy week. Had to take my dad to the dentist one day, to a new lawyer another day (and THAT opened up a whole Pandora’s box of problems, issues, decisions, etc), and then I had a dentist appointment another day. Tim got sick on Tuesday, maybe even Monday late. Sinus, we think. Now, I have it and it’s not fun. It’s not as bad as I’ve had before, so I am very grateful that I’m not feeling worse than I am. I’ve had bad sinus infections before, and almost always at this time of year (Sept 1-15 is notoriously when I get these) and so far (KNOCK ON WOOD), I’m not nearly bad enough that I need to go to the doctor and get a shot and some antibiotics. So very grateful :)

It’s gotten hot again, July hot, just in time for Labor Day. We’re not going to do a thing this year, for the holiday. In years past, we would have Labor Day parties here. But this year, most of my side of the family is out of town, Linda is just now starting to get her kitchen back, Terry has the store open, so we’re just not going to have anyone here or go anywhere. My dad is not very happy with me, but he’ll probably get over it by Halloween :)

As I saw posted today on Facebook, today is the last Sunday until February without football. Yippee!
Our fantasy draft is tomorrow morning, so we’ll have that to play with as well. USM played their first game last night, it was not on tv, so we listened to some on the radio. Once they had turned the ball over 4 times, Tim decided to turn it off and go back to watching golf (they lost, sigh, just like last year, when they were winless). Oh, and we watched a decent movie last night that I had recorded, Trouble with the Curve, a Clint Eastwood movie.

I’ve been reading a couple of secular books lately, and I’m sorely reminded of why I prefer Christian fiction. I was on the wait list at the library for a hardback copy of The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (pen name for J.K. Rowling) and while it was ok, it was not what I prefer to read. I just don’t like the language. I know she can write good books without all those f-bombs, I’ve read the Potter books! Such a shame. And then, as I was finishing that one up, my name finally came up for the digital download of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I’ve been on the wait list for months, I think when I got on the list, I was number 23. It took months, and was bad timing to come available as I was finishing up the Cuckoo one. This one is better, the language is bad (but not AS bad) and the plot is better. After this one though, I’m going back to clean Christian fiction.

OK, well, just a quick post, glad September is here, not feeling great, sinus and stuff. And I have a bit of my summer doldrums left over, just don’t want to do much of anything other than play games, read, watch tv and be lazy. I’m not even motivated to cook these days :(

As Scarlett said, After all, tomorrow is another day! :D

Aug-27-13

Daily Slice - Aug 27

posted by Stace

Well, here it is two weeks since I’ve posted, and I’ve once again neglected my blog. I’m so grateful my little blog is so faithful, always sitting here patiently waiting on me to return :)

Let’s see, nothing exciting or earth-shattering to blog about. Just skipping on along, trying to get through August. The end is in sight though, LOL! Yippee! :D

* The last couple of weekends have been busy, which is the way that Tim likes it :) Two weekends ago, we went over on Saturday to his mom’s house, to help with more of the kitchen renovation. Her cabinets were in (most of them) and a couple of the appliances. They moved the dishwasher back in, put down moulding on the floor, laid new flooring and got it looking a lot better. She’s waiting on granite countertops and an issue with the cabinets and wall oven. It’s going to look awesome in there, it already does!

* This past weekend, we went to Indianola for the day on Saturday. Tim played in a charity golf tournament with Don at his club. Gail took me out to eat lunch at The Crown, since I had never been. I had the Catfish Allison and Gail had a chicken salad plate. We both had some dessert, big splurge, and it was all really good! Left at nearly dark, which means we always have to stop half way, coming out of the Delta, and go through a car wash. Those bugs up there are killer! We can’t see out of the windshield and so we have to stop and clean it all off.

* Did I blog before that Tim shot par? He’s shot 72 one time so far at his home course, which is a par 72. He’s up and down, but has shot it once and is very fired up! He’s been playing 5 days a week all summer, so his game has really improved. Now, he wants to break par! He’s ordered a new putter, a new shaft for his driver, and something else.

* He also ordered me two happies, I think he felt bad about getting so much golf stuff for him :) I got a new Timex indiglo watch with a maroon cloth band, I really like it. And today, a package was delivered for me, a bluetooth outdoor speaker. Now, once the weather cools and it is fall, I can sit outside on the deck or out back by Beau’s grave and listen to my music streaming from either my iphone or my ipad.

* Speaking of my iPad, I am running down the battery every day on the thing. I have a new addiction, thanks to Linda and her sisters, they’ve gotten me playing HayDay. Very similar to Farmville that I used to play all the time on Facebook, except this one is done on a phone or tablet. And the crops never ruin, it just sits and waits on you to come back and play, which is really nice. And, I am still playing Cafe World in Facebook. Over 2 or 3 years, I have a consecutive day streak going, somewhere in the 1075 day range. Yikes. Bad addictions :)

* Ready for football! USM opens this Saturday with a home game at The Rock. The Saints play their last preseason game this week, then a Sunday off before the regular season starts. Can’t wait!

* Been busy with my Dad the last few days. We took him with us on Sunday to Magee, to celebrate Linda’s birthday with a big family lunch at a local restaurant, Berry’s Seafood. I think there must have been 35-40 of us! Imagine the hostess when the first one comes in and says “Table for 40″!!! We had a good time and got to visit with everyone, and my dad had a blast. Yesterday (Monday), I took him to the dentist. Tomorrow is a trip to a new lawyer, to update his will. And then Thursday morning I have to go to the dentist.

* Have tried a couple of new recipes lately, and also gotten a couple of “real” books from the library, I’ll have to post about those later :)

Aug-13-13

Daily Slice

posted by Stace

Let’s see… today is Tuesday August 13. Maybe, just maybe, I might make it through August after all! Seeing light at the end of the tunnel!

* 18 days till kick off at The Rock, which is the beginning of college football season for us! Hoping for a better season than last year (0 wins, truly deplorable, and the worst in 18 seasons).

* Preseason football has started. The Saints won their opener (yes, I know it’s preseason and it doesn’t count). This just means one thing - real football is just around the corner!

* Quiet weekend for me - Tim played in the Whisper Lake club championship this past weekend and was gone almost all day Saturday and Sunday. He was so disappointed - he didn’t putt well and came in fourth in his flight (the top three win prizes!). He was still so upset about it on Monday that he didn’t go to play golf! Bonus for me, he stayed home, grilled out chicken and veggies for me. And then we rented a movie from Amazon Prime, the remake of Red Dawn. Turned out to be a pretty spectacular Monday for me :)

* Last Friday, we got to see Tim’s old Air Force friend Beth and her husband. They came through town, driving a US Army 18 wheeler, transporting stuff to Fort Polk. We went to Cock of the Walk to eat and visit, then back here for a bit before they had to get back on the road. I had never met Beth or her husband Mike, so that was great :)

* Going to be a busy week this week - haircut for me tomorrow, got some errands to run. Then taking my dad to his retina doctor appointment on Thursday. Friday I’ll probably grocery shop and might go to Sam’s. Saturday we’re tentatively scheduled to go over to my in-laws, for Tim to help more on the kitchen renovation. Depends on what they get done this week. Cabinets should be in, and Tim is needed to help with flooring and mouldings.

* Since Tim was gone most all weekend, I didn’t have to cook a lot. We ordered pizza one night (cashed in my Papa Johns points, so the pizza was free!), and I make homemade ice cream another night:

New recipe for snickerdoodle. We both liked it, very cinnamon-y. Mine, of course, was better with chocolate syrup poured on it. Tim did say that the last new one I tried (hot cocoa ice cream) was better than this one though, so file that away for next summer!

* Current Kindle book I’m reading: Heart of Stone by Jill Marie Landis. Just finished two I really enjoyed - “The Deposit Slip” by Todd M. Johnson (legal thriller, sort of like a Grisham) and “Paid in Blood” by Mel Odom (NCIS book, very similar to the series, but obviously a different team, good characters though). I’m currently ahead of where my goal shows I should be, on track to read at least 100 books this year. I’m hoping to top my all-time record, which was 104 a couple of years back.

* Currently watching: still enjoying summer shows. Looking forward to football and new fall shows. Recording several movies off pay channels. Rented Red Dawn last night from Amazon Video (love the new apps on our Samsung Smart TV!). I’ve been re-watching all the Harry Potters in order. On my third or fourth time through, currently about to start Order of the Phoenix.

* Current weather - finally got hot in August. Did have a nice rain last Friday. Most of my flowers are nearly dead, and I’m good with that :) Hopefully will rain today and/or tomorrow - 60 % chance both days.

* Current want - I still want to get a dog. Tim is not ready. Sigh. I’ve found two on Petfinder and have tried to get him to go to the shelter and check them out. Now, they’ve both been adopted. While I’m glad they’ve found good homes, I want a dog. I miss my Beau, horribly, every day, and want a new puppy to love. Tim doesn’t seem to understand, he’s busy with golf and not really wanting a dog these days. Sniff sniff.

* Current time waster - Pinterest. Man, can I lose a lot of time just going through pins and reading blogs and stuff. Ugh.

Aug-5-13

Monday Catch-Up

posted by Stace

Catching up on a few things we’ve been doing lately. It’s gotten HOT, after a fairly mild summer. It’s now hitting the mid 90’s every day with heat indexes in the 100-105 range every day. That does not deter Tim from playing golf, however!

Let’s see, last week turned out to be fairly busy. Gail came Tuesday evening, so she could spend the whole day with Katelyn and Sam on Wednesday. Tim and I went over to Elizabeth’s on Wednesday during lunch. We brought her lunch and Tim took the battery charger, since she had called to say her car wouldn’t crank. We thought we had her fixed, and headed back. Gail spent all day with the kids, and decided to stay Wednesday night too. Thursday, we ran some errands, had lunch, and went to visit Fred. We went to Corner Bakery, one of our favorites, to have lunch. I like their trio (you can pick from 3 of their side salad options or soup), and I had spring asparagus soup, caesar salad and mixed fruit. Yummy! We stopped at Freshway Produce on the way back from visiting Fred, and picked up some produce. I also found some metal door hangers like I have been wanting. Instead of opting for the letter ‘H’, I ended up buying a beautiful multi-colored cross.

Gail and I got home and tried to hang the cross, and realized it wouldn’t work on the metal door hanger I had for our front door. So, I realized I needed to go get a big suction hook. So, when Gail left heading home, I went to Walmart (should have gone to Michaels, thought about it, but decided to pick up a few other things at Walmart). I found a set in the crafts section, but when I tried one at home, it wasn’t strong enough to hold the metal cross. So, Tim and I headed out Friday night, and we stopped at Michaels and got a much bigger and stronger one. We also went to Mr. Chens for supper. We splurged and got an appetizer (crab rangoon), then 3 entrees to split (to be fair, I like to get vegetables, so that always adds an additional dish). We got the mixed veggies, sesame chicken for Tim and rice noodles with shrimp to split. We had a lot of leftovers to bring home, which is always nice! We also went to the grocery in the back, since I wanted to get a new wok:

I haven’t even taken it out of the wrapping yet! I like the look and feel of it, but I’m a little hesitant to use it. I’ve always, only, ever had a nonstick wok. This one is going to take some getting used to, I think, especially on my new smooth top stove. I’m still struggling with a few things on the new burners. Anyway, I can always go back and get a nonstick one if I don’t like this one. I hope to try it in the next week or two, so an update soon :)

After supper, we walked down to Northern Tool to look for a new grill brush for Tim, but they were closing. So, we got in the car and were heading to Academy to look for the brush, when we came up towards Bops. Tim offered ice cream for dessert, so I was bad and took him up on his offer! We were good and just got frozen yogurt with one topping each (Tim got Snickers, I got butterfinger). Mine was in a waffle bowl, so mine was more better :D

At Academy, we got the grill brush and also looked at patio furniture on clearance. I found something I liked but I don’t think Tim liked it as much. I guess we’ll wait till next year to spend money on that. Ours is 12 years old and all but one of the chairs has a torn seat (the fabric has just given out and rotted, out in the sun). I think the grill is enough to tide us over and get us through football season. We don’t tend to spend much time on the deck this time of year, or during football season. We just grill out, then hurry back in the AC to eat :)

Saturday, Tim had an early tee time, and got home around lunch. I made hummus (still have to work on the recipe, my seasoning needs to be better) and had that with pita bread and fruit for lunch. Tim picked him up Chick-Fil-A on the way in. After we ate, he had a long nap, and we watched a little TV, we decided to go to Ace Hardware and get Fred another grabber stick. He had mentioned to me and Gail on Thursday that he wanted another one for his front door, to get his paper he had just started getting delivered. We got that, then went to visit Fred, who promptly informed me he didn’t want another grabber stick, he already had two! But, he took it, and we visited awhile. We moved furniture twice for him, he is not happy with the way his unit is laid out. I see furniture shopping in his future, from the way he was talking! After we left there, we went to Lowe’s to pick up a few things, then swung through Tony’s Tamales for the first time, for Tim to try their food. I opted to go home and eat more pita bread, hummus and fruit. He got the tamale dinner with chili and cheese and really enjoyed. I tasted it and would be ok with it. Next time he wants to try plain, traditional tamales.

Sunday was busy with church, swinging through Fresh Market, then Tim going to play golf. Elizabeth had more battery trouble, so Tim went to jump her off, then she came over here later Sunday to hang out, eat dinner and spend the night with us. She is busy at school, getting her room ready and getting ready to begin her new teaching career. She’s very excited, and we’re so happy and excited for her :)

OK, that mostly wraps up our mundane weekend. :D

Aug-1-13

Summer Doldrums

posted by Stace

Today is August 1. So, I’m officially in the middle of my yearly summer doldrums. I really, really, *REALLY* struggle through late summer, usually the months of July and August. Both long months, 31 days, usually scorchingly hot down here (although this summer the temps have been refreshingly mild). There’s not much going on in these two months, so not much to look forward to. We do have a couple of birthdays in these months, and this year, I’m staying busy taking my dad to the doctor and doing things for him. Still, I dislike these two months and they go by at a snail’s pace.

Once I can make it through August, it turns into my favorite time of the year. Once football season starts, and Labor Day kicks off a series of my favorite holidays, I’m much better. September through the Super Bowl in early February is my most favorite time of the year. Football, both of our birthdays, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc, just make it a lot better. We should establish a major holiday in either July or August (and yes, I know there’s July 4th, but that’s early and we only ever go to Tim’s mom’s family reunion every year, so same thing every year).

This July has been fairly typical for me. I don’t really want to do a lot of cooking. I am tired of watering the flowers and grass and stuff in our yard. I want to stay inside and read (in the AC), but I’m tired of reading and want to find something to grab my attention. So, I just sit in front of the tv and mindlessly watch tv and movies. Typical for me :)

Come on September, hurry up! I want August to go by quickly. Please. Pretty please :D

Jul-31-13

More on Food…

posted by Stace

Well, since we no longer have my sweet baby Beau, I find that lately about the only thing I have to take photos of, is food. If you look through my phone’s camera roll or my Instagram, it’s mostly food related photos these days. So very boring :)

Believe it or not, I tried two new recipes yesterday, but didn’t take a single photo of either one! I also made another recipe that I’d tried once before, and failed to take a photo of it. I’ll have to make them again, because I like to include photos when I post recipes that I make over at our website (recipes on Hambones here).

Yesterday at lunch, I decided to make a smoothie (very out of the ordinary for me!) I got industrious last week and froze some fresh fruit (blueberries, strawberries and chunks of banana). I also bought two bags of frozen fruit at Kroger. So, yesterday I did a quick one with blueberries, mango, greek yogurt and almond milk. My almond milk is unsweetened, so I had to add some agave. I halved the recipe, thinking Tim wouldn’t want any, but then he wanted to try it. Note to self, next time, make the whole thing! Need to experiment with more flavors and combinations. Anyone got a favorite they make?

Yesterday afternoon, I was watching one of my favorite shows, The Chew. They had on guest host Curtis Stone, who made a nectarine chutney (but his used mustard seed, which I don’t have on hand). So, since I had some overripe nectarines, I got online and found a similar recipe. I’ve never tried to make a chutney before, but it was easy, and quite good! :) Tim grilled himself some pork chops on his new grill, and I made this fruit chutney to go along with the pork. I didn’t eat any meat, tried to be good and ate a spinach salad, some of the chutney and some of this couscous. I also *might* have had a bite of his mashed potatoes, but no meat!

So, I’m not really back into much of a cooking groove, but I am trying to try a few new things here and there. I keep pinning things to Pinterest and never trying them, so it’s good to finally move a couple of pins to the Success or Fail board :D

Jul-29-13

Grocery Run

posted by Stace

*Disclaimer: Another catch-up post from over on Tumblr, getting it migrated to the blog now that we are back up and running*

Made a big grocery run this past Friday (July 26). Tim had gotten the grill put together and wanted to try out his new searing burner on a steak. So I pushed up my normal grocery shopping till Friday afternoon, so I could get him a ribeye and me a large salmon filet from the seafood department.

Also in this trip, along with some prices:

* Cherries! On sale this week for 1.99 a pound. I only splurge a few times a year, this is my second batch of cherries. (Pictured, from my Instagram feed)

* Found a gallon of milk marked down on manager’s special for 2.00. Bought it instead of the regular 3.69 a gallon price. Got my beloved store brand juice (Kroger lite) for 2.89

* Bought yet another one of these:

Had an e-coupon loaded on my Kroger card for 55 cents off. Normally, I buy the light mocha one, but they were completely out of the light one. Ugh. More calories, which is why I have gained all the weight back that I lost earlier in the year.

* Bought some fresh veggies - asparagus to grill Friday night, some spinach (going to TRY and be good and eat some spinach salads), onions, sweet potatoes, broccoli, green onions, and fruit (cherries and grapes)

* Bought my first container of tofu. Got the organic store brand in firm. No idea what I’m going to do with it, but I want to try. Had some recipes pinned or ideas saved, I think, now I have to go find them and get motivated to try them. Will have to work that into the menu when there’s leftovers for Tim, as I doubt he’ll touch a stir fry or soup with tofu in it :)

* Got two items for free, Colgate toothpaste and Orville popcrunch, as part of Kroger’s Free Friday Download. Had downloaded a coupon to my shopper card to get them free. I love free :D

Gas is going up around here, I think it’s around 3.39 at my Kroger. We’ll get some off that, since we use the Kroger card to earn fuel points. I think I have 40 or 50 cents built up on the card, which will help a lot when it comes to filling up the gas-guzzling vehicles we own!