Monday, August 25, 2008

Who Woulda Thought...

I really never saw the resemblence...but you be the judge.

August 21, 1963

August 14, 2008
Maybe it's just me, cause I know these two. I mean REALLY know these two. I never saw it, maybe I wasn't really looking for it. But here it is, and I TOTALLY see it. Do you, or am I crazy? I doubt that "cool dude", circa 1963, standing in front of his first car could ever imagine the love he would feel or the relationship he would have with the other "cool dude" circa 2008.
Luckily, circa 2008 guy doesn't know a life without circa 1963 guy. I have to say that they are the peanut butter to each other's jelly, the peas to each other carrots, you know what I mean? If you aren't getting it, if you have ever seen these 2 together, you would totally be getting it.
It's weird for me to think that my little boy may have another cool guy circa "I can't count that high" that he will put before himself and love like he doesn't even know is possible. I only hope I am around to see it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Doritos for Dinner

It's been a couple of days since my last post. Have you missed me? It's sure been an adjustment getting back to a schedule. It's hard to believe I wrote a couple of weeks ago about how I was ready. I always forget how difficult it is to adjust. I wonder how I have time to go to work? It certainly does interfere with all the other things I need to do and those that I just want to do. Somehow it always works itself out. So until then....AAAAGGGG!
So, the poll that I put up told me that you would like for me to share recipes. I have been thinking of which ones to start with. I was talking at lunch with a friend and she told me she made a Mexican Chicken casserole. It reminded me of this one. It's different because it uses cheese flavored tortilla chips instead of plain. Now anything that gives me an excuse to eat Nacho Cheese Doritos is a winner in my book! Even more so if I can actually call it dinner. So here it is...
Jalapeno Chicken Casserole
10 oz. pkg frozen chopped spinach
2 T butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 oz. sour cream
1 t ground cumin
12 oz. pkg. Nacho Cheese Doritos
6 cups of chopped cooked chicken, chopped
8 oz. pkg. shredded cheddar
Drain the spinach well. THIS IS IMPORTANT. When I use frozen spinach I let it thaw and really sqeeze it out, usually with a tea towel.
Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the chopped onions and the jalapeno. Saute until tender. Remove from heat and stir in the spinach, soup, sour cream, and cumin.
Layer half of each: chips, chicken, spinach mixture, and cheese into a greased 9X13 dish. Repeat the layers.
Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Just watch for the cheese to get all melty and bubbly.
Don't be afraid of the jalapenos kids. If you don't like hot food, just be sure to get all the seeds and the white ribs out of the pepper. That's where all the hot stuff lives. If you remove it, you just get the good pepper flavor. Remember, there is a difference between hot food, and spicy food. Another note here is that I have made this using a rotisserie chicken or even canned chicken in a pinch. I don't really like canned chicken all that much so I try not to use it ever except in my easy chicken pot pie... ooooo I will save that one for another day.
MMMM that sounds yummy! I can't wait to make this one again. I have so many recipes in my file that I forget about them sometimes. Of course, something will always jog my memory. Thanks Kimmy, you reminded me of this oldie but goodie.
Be sure to let me know if you try it and how you liked it.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Day One Down

So today was the first day of school. The kids were actually really good, I kept waiting for them to wake up! School bell rings early and when you are used to sleeping in, it's rough. I am not one to sleep in really, I like getting up early. The kicker is, once I am up, I prefer to not GO anywhere just yet. Coffee, e-mail, Regis and get the idea huh?
You know the saying "you learn something new everyday?" Let me share with you what I learned today. I guess people get "First Day of School" presents. This all started innocently enough. My neighbor teacher had some flowers and a balloon bouquet that her parents sent to her. She is their "baby", mind you she has been teaching for going on 30 years now! So I am thinking how sweet that is that she got this stuff for going back to school. So, we are walking to lunch and I comment on another partner teacher's cute shoes. She proceeds to tell me that these were HER first day of school present. WHAT???? Have I missed out on 14 years of first day of school presents? She said "I felt like Cinderella, when I got out of the shower, there were my shoes." These were some great shoes and the story goes on...I won't bore you but let's just say her hubby went to some work to make sure she didn't get the shoes for herself before he could give them to her on this day. So, I ask my remaining partner and guess what??? Since her husband is also in education, they BOTH get a back to school present. I am really not believing I knew nothing of this until today.
Guess what? I think I may be getting a "2nd Day of School" present.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Bowling Bash

Me and the Birthday Boy

Who thought of these, really?
Billy's party was a lot of fun. We went to Riverlanes, where they have done an area called the VIP room, and really why would WE not bowl there? We are total VIP's, that's just how we roll! PARDON THE PUN. No really, it was a neat area that has some nice sofas, some big screen tv's etc... I know that am not a good bowler, knew it going in. However, I had an all time low score of 20. I mean, how is that really even possible? You know how it's possible...they're called gutter balls. I was the queen of gutters all night.

Back at Deb and Tony's we had a great time. Played a fun dice game and just hung out. It was fun to see some of the people we don't get to see often and of course we had fun with the folks we see all the time too. When I talked to Deb about how late we thought the party would go, we figured it would all be over by midnight. I usually turn into a pumpkin by then anyway. Well the old adage, time flies when you're having fun applied because before we knew it it was 2 in the AM. Once I saw that, I was running inside to help straighten up and I couldn't get out of there fast enough. No one could believe how late it had gotten. Guess that means we were all having a great time, but still...SORRY DEB! Hope we didn't wear out our welcome.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Simple Tastes


If you know me, you know I like to cook. Tonight we are getting together with some friends to celebrate Bill's birthday. We are going bowling then back to our friend's house. They were so sweet to offer their house since they have a pool. We could all come back to my house, but without the pool, it wouldn't be nearly as fun. I wanted to get some food together to take to their house so it would be there after we bowl. I got a sandwich tray from Sam's, made some yummy corn dip, and put together some Jezebel Sauce to serve with cream cheese and crackers. I asked Bill if there was anything else he would like to have since he really didn't get much input as to what I was serving. So he thinks for a minute and do you know what he said??? "LITTLE SMOKIES!" I give the man a choice of anything he wanted me to make and this is what he comes up with. See how easy he is to please? Thanks for being EASY honey! Funny to think if he said that same thing to me it would take on a whole new meaning, huh?

I can spend a really long time preparing a great meal and my kids will complain about it for some reason. I can open a box of Hamburger Helper and they think I hung the moon. Bill will eat just about anything, as my dad says: "He makes a cook feel good." I will keep trying to sophisticate their palates, simply because I enjoy the cooking, not because I care if they like it or not!

And in case you were wondering about the Jezebel Sauce...
Jezebel Sauce
1 18 oz jar Apple Jelly
1 18 oz jar Apricot/Pineapple Jam
(They actually do make this and it's Sam's Choice brand)
1 5 oz jar Horseradish
(you find this in the refrigerator section)
1 T black pepper
3 T dry mustard
Combine all ingredients and pour over a brick of cream cheese. Serve with assorted crackers. I like it with Wheat Thins or Triscuits.

This makes a big batch and it keeps in the fridge for quite awhile. Save your jelly jars and store what you don't use in them.

This sounds strange, I know. Try it, and I promise you people will love it. They will bug you all night about that ingredient they just can't put their finger's the horseradish. Tell them, or not, it's your recipe now!
Also, don't forget to take the poll at the right of the page. It's up to you if I include more recipes.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Starting Fresh

The new school year is upon us. This time of year always brings about mixed feelings for me. When my kids were smaller it was really hard to think about going back to work and doing all the things to get ready. I know there are people who believe that teachers walk out of their classrooms on the last day of school and then walk back in on the first day and start anew. These people are what you call ignorant. I am not calling them idiots or any other ugly names, to be ignorant just means YOU REALLY DON'T KNOW. But, now that I am telling you, you will no longer be able to claim ignorance, therefore I can call you ugly names the next time. The start of a new school year is a time of lots of planning, preparation, organizing, furniture moving, money spending...I think you get the idea. So, anyway, I really used to HATE this time of year when my kids were small. Truth be told, it would stress me out beyond belief! Of course, every year gets easier. The kids grow up, I have more experience in preparing, a little more time on my own to devote to the task at hand.

I am a lucky girl to be working with the people that I get to work with everyday. I have an unbelievable team, a boss that respects our differences (encourages them), a beautiful building to work in I can tell you that I have worked in different schools in "better parts" of town and I would get a knot in my stomach just walking in the door. It just wasn't a place that I felt connected to at all. I got out of there the first chance I could and haven't looked back. Lots of folks think I am crazy, as they live in that "better part" of town and they know the area that I moved to. They just can't imagine why in the world I would want to do that. I will tell you why. The people that you spend day in and day out with can really make or break your day. If you are in an oppressive place, you can become part of the problem yourself. When I walk into my building you can just "feel" it's a happy place. People genuinely want to be there. We enjoy each other, even spending time together outside of work or simply sharing our personal lives with each other.

I guess I am at a point in my life that a new school year isn't going to send me over the edge because I have to leave my babies and go to work. Heck, they have left me home alone all summer! They have much better things to do than to hang with mom...unless of course they want something. It's a time of getting back to a schedule, which believe it or not is usually a welcome change. It's a time of reconnection with friends at work. It's new crayons, freshly sharpened pencils (with brand new erasers!), notebooks that have yet to be written in. It's funny that all of those things never get old to me.

Don't misunderstand me here, I will be grouchy, tired and stressed out. It only lasts long enough to adjust to the change.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Now these are cute...

...I don't care who you are. Family joke, if you are laughing, that was meant for you. If you aren't well then, I wasn't talkin' to you ok? I got this for my birthday. What is "this", you ask? It is a personalized stamp made by a company called Three Designing Women. You should totally check their stuff out, let me make it easy for you:

I have had my eye on one of these for ummm, years I think. I ran across them in a gift shop once and it struck my fancy. Well, I will just say these stamps aren't cheap...and I am ok? This item falls into the category of Things I Want, but Would Never Buy for Myself. Hey, I should just start keeping a list of things that fall into that category cause there are lots. Don't you hate when you want something really bad and then someone says "What do you want for Christmas?", or "Your birthday is coming up, what do you want?" Cause everytime someone asks me that I can't think of anything that is in my above mentioned category. Ok, sorry...back to my stamp. My dad and I were in Ardmore, OK (don't ask!) and we went to this little shop called The Cloverleaf Now THAT was a store. Their motto is "spirited shopping"...and it was! So it was close to my birthday and as we were shopping I saw these stamps. My dad said, if I wanted one he would go ahead and order it and it would be here in time for my birthday. So we did and HERE IT IS. Now many of you, including my mom and dad, are wondering, why do you want this? And my answer to you is...I DON'T KNOW! I just knew I wanted one from the first moment I saw them. I had to wait mind you, but now I have it and I am very happy.

Well I have had it about a month now and have stamped random things CAUSE I CAN, but nothing really useful. The stamp looks really cute on the seal of an envelope and it makes me happy when I use it so, look for it if you get mail from me. But then I had a, I didn't eat the worm out of a tequila bottle...this was a creative vision. And if you know me at all, I would be more likely to actually eat the worm, than be creative in a crafty kind of way. I didn't inherit that crafty gene from my mother. I inherited the impatience gene from my father instead. What that means is that I have enough of her in me to think of really cute stuff that would probably make me rich, but more of him in me that won't allow to actually execute my plan because I end up tearing the thing up because I am mad that it isn't easy to do. UNTIL YESTERDAY, I had a vision, I bought the stuff and I made those cute note cards.
Please don't ask me why my pictures are sideways, as I am asking myself that right now. Rememer that gene I inherited from my dad...well this post just about didn't make it cause I have been trying to figure out why in the *&%$#&! when I go to upload my photos, they are going the right way but when I click DONE, this is what they look like. I am also saying a few choice words, a gene I also inherited from my dad. SO...thanks to my dad I am impatient, have a potty mouth AND I have the stamp I have always wanted!

Update: Did you notice my pictures are going the right way? If you were reading that part and couldn't figure out what I was talking about, well then you read this post AFTER my dad fixed it for me.
Also, while I was at my dad's house I had him give me a few pictures of our shopping spree at The Cloverleaf. See for yourself the "Spirited Shopping"!

You really do have to see it for yourself!


I am sure you were on the edge of your seats waiting for my blog posts from Destin. Well, my new laptop proved to be pretty useless to me while we were gone. Our place (which was AWESOME, by the way) had no wireless access. Plus, when we went down the street to the place our friends were staying to use their wireless, I never could make anything work. Note to self: don't wait til the last minute to get a new fangled gadget! I am more comfortable with my old desktop computer that won't even turn on half the time. I will get better with my new Dell Studio and will come to love it even more than this dinosaur I am sure. But...give me a little bit to play and learn.

So, back to the trip. If you have never been to Destin, all I can say is GO...GO NOW! It was beautiful, and tons of fun. The kids had a great time and there was something for everyone. Drew and Hallie parasailed and I didn't get one picture. Can you believe that? We went out in the water on this banana boat thing that a guy pulled by a Sea Doo. I have experience with Sea Doos and should have had him put my camera in the storage compartment until we got out to the boat. I didn't think of this until we were back on dry land and my babies were on the ground safe and sound. I think I must have been a little nervous about sending them up. They had fun and it was neat to watch. Truth be told, Hallie enjoyed it more than Drew did. He looked a little green when they came down, but he won't admit it!

Everyday was filled with sand, sun, and SEAFOOD. I ate seafood every chance I got and even got it fried most times. Fried seafood here in Tulsa is a HEAVY coat of batter with a small piece of fish in it. I never order it because of that. Now in Destin, it was fresh fish, big pieces, with a LIGHT coating of crispy batter. I could have eaten it until I was sick...wait, I think I did. One night I got a crab leg feast and I was picking those damn things forever. Everyone was done with their dinner and I was still picking away. I think they were grossed out (kind of like when my Mam-Ma would suck on a chicken bone) but I didn't care in the least.

It was great to be there with friends. We met my friend Caron and her family there. Caron and I have been friends since we were 5. I can't believe I can say that I have been her friend for 32 years. We have been through the best of times to together...and some of the worst. This qualifies as one of the best.

Anyhoo...I won't bore you with the details. I'll post pics. You know the old cliche', a picture speaks a thousand words! That'll save me some typing.