Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Sheepherder's Breakfast

I made this for breakfast the last day that Ana, Brian, & Andres stayed with us. I had never made it before and it was fan-freaking-tastic. Brian wanted the recipe and I thought I would just post it here. You really should try it. This is the way I made it, which is altered. I rarely make a recipe just the way it says. I like to spruce it up a little.

Sheepherder's Breakfast

1/2 pound sliced bacon, crumbled
1/2 pound ham, diced
1 med. onion, diced
16 Oz. frozen shredded hashbrown potatoes, thawed
7-10 eggs
Minced fresh chives
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a 12 or 14 inch skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Let bacon cool and then crumble it and set aside. Cook diced onion in bacon drippings until translucent. Add ham, hashbrowns, & chives and cook until the hashbrowns start turning brown (about 10 minutes). Stir in crumbled bacon. Using a spoon, make 7-10 "wells" evenly spaced in the hashbrowns. Break an egg into each well. Sprinkle salt & pepper to taste. Sprinkle cheese on top. Cover and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, until the eggs are set. Serve immediately. Yield 7-10 servings.

Enjoy your breakfast!

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Just a thought......

People often ask me (because of my profession) if I think kids' behaviors are getting worse with times or if there is something else going on. And as I was talking to Andy today, I thought about how people say that your own kids will be 10 times worse than yourself. So, if every generation is 10 times worse than the one before, I guess it is inevitable that the behaviors are getting worse and it doesn't really matter what caused it because they will continue to get worse if we keep reproducing. So, I think that when any kids I am working with now reproduce and I get their kids in my room, it will be time to retire. I'll let the next generation take care of the them. Don't you think?

I want to go back to Costa Rica.

Andy & I went to Costa Rica on our honeymoon almost 2 1/2 years ago and we LOVED it. We talk about once we win the lottery we will keep our home here as a summer home and live in Costa Rica. I guess as a US citizen you can own property in Costa Rica but you are required to leave for 48 hours every 3 months.

The other day at a party at Jessi's house I talked with a friend of hers that had also went to Costa Rica & loved it. It brought back all those good memories. I could almost taste the fresh fruit, the coffee, the pastries, etc. I could see the iguanas, the beautiful birds, and those crabs that had to keep rebuilding their home everytime the waves washed over them.

And then a few days ago I went to a book store in the outlet mall to get some books for a present for my nephew (he speaks mainly Spanish and I bought him books in English to encourage him to learn more English). Anyways, while I was there I came across a book on Monteverde, a rain cloud forest area in Costa Rica. We had not visited there when we traveled there before and now after reading it I am very interested. I am only about halfway trough the book and have learned a lot about how many different species of birds, insects, trees, and bats there are. After reading about the bats last night I would like to get a tour with someone who knows about bats and actually get to hold one. The book addresses the common misconception regarding bats and I admit I have those same beliefs and I think I may still have them until I actually talk to someone who is familiar with bats and I can touch one.

I bought a book on Georgia O'Keefe as well (thought I would get to know more about her since one of her prints is a conversation piece in our formal living room) and also a book about Battered Women. And I picked up some fiction book form a free box at a rummage sale this weekend (I generally don't read much fiction, mainly just non-fiction).

I'll probably read the books laying in the hammock in the 3-season porch with a Bloody Mary by my side and pretend I am in Costa Rica. I'd like to go there this coming winter, we have break at the end of March (I wish it was earlier, but I will take what they give me), but we'll have to see how much it will cost.

So, if I can't get there I will have to continue dreaming about it, keep settling for less than superior fruit from the supermarket, and buy our costa rican coffee beans from Caribou Coffee.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Who Does the Grocery Shopping at Your House?

Well, I do. Did you ever stop to think about all our grocery shopping needs and where we do them?

Well, yesterday I had some grocery shopping to do and had to just figure out where I was going. Now, I know some people are very dedicated to one particular grocery store and shop nowhere else -- but that's not me. I have my favorites, but I am fairly flexible.

So, here is my dilemma. I live in this small town that is flanked by 2 larger towns. In my small town we have a small convenience store inside a gas station that is about a half mile away. This is the place you go when you need cool whip and forgot to buy it on your real shopping trip and don't have time to run somewhere else and get it. So, my next closest option again is a gas station with convenience store, but it doesn't have as big of selection. It's more a gas station than a mini mart (which the former is). But they do have great prices on bananas, apples, oranges, potatoes, onions, bread, buns, and milk in a bag. I'm talking 29 cents a pound for bananas all the time.

Now, I don't do much grocery shopping at gas stations, so I got to be going somewhere else. In the town south of us there is 3 grocery stores and a Co-Op. The one grocery store has an excellent natural foods section, gives you something free every week with a $25 purchase, and decent prices on everything. The 2nd one is a Super Wal-Mart where you get good prices, but have the hassle of long lines at Wal-Mart and a congested parking lot (those 2 things put together make it not really worth it, but if I have to go to Wal-Mart anyways I will do some grocery shopping). And the 3rd option is on the opposite side of town, has decent sale prices but the regular prices tend to be a bit higher, and there is one in the town to the north of us. And then you have the Co-Op, which you get the best price for natural eggs and can buy more natural foods in bulk, but the prepackage stuff tends to cost more.

Now, the town to the North has 2 grocery stores and a natural foods store. The 1st store is the same as my 3rd store in the southern town. The 2nd store usually offers 2 things with an additional $10 purchase, as well as a couple of deeper discounts if you spend $10 (but not free), there prices are decent on regular price, and their natural foods section is pretty much non-existent. And the natural foods store there is a lot higher priced and doesn't have a good selection, so it's better to shop the natural foods section at the 1st southern store.

Now - if I wanted to shop bigger chain store I would have to travel 20-45 minutes to get to one and they really don't have any better prices or much more a selection (they generally just have more of the same products).

So - where did I shop yesterday and where do I normally shop?

Yesterday, I chose the 2nd northern store. I did this because I was going shopping with Ana @ the little mall there anyways. Normally, I shop the 1st southern store, the gas station with good prices on bananas, and the Co-Op for eggs. And why southern rather than northern, well, I work southern and am in that town more and it is the most convenient. Really, that is what it comes down to -- convenience. I want a place that has good prices on the things I want that is convenient to whatever else it is that I am doing.

When we lived in the big city there wasn't as much difference because the stores were all these big chains (Cub, Byerly's & Rainbow) and they were all over the place and generally had the same price and selection. And so there I would clip coupons to help out, but in my small area here, I don't really need to clip coupons because their brand of stuff is usually the same in quality but cheaper in price and I don't to fuss with a coupon. Although I miss the convenience of the big natural foods stores the city had to offer.

So, where do you grocery shop?

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Does ALL Cell Phone Customer Service Suck?

So, I noticed that my cell phone company was not giving me my free nights and called to talk about it, and it seemed it was my fault and apparently "I" did not order the free nights as a part of my package, although it IS a part of the package. They made me find my order form (which the company sent me) and there it was - UNLIMITED NIGHTS & WEEKENDS. And all the customer service f*ckwad had to say was -- you need to take that order form into a dealer and have them fax the order form to us. ARGH!

So - I go into the dealer and they are nice and help me and take care of everything. But apparetnly everyone who works for their customer service department is a f*ckwad. Because I come home and log into my account and I still have NO unlimited nights, but I do have twice as many anytime minutes.

Now - I will have to back into the dealer and get it taken care of because if they have me down for twice as many minutes now I am sure I am paying a higher price -- and I WANT MY FREE NIGHTS not twice as many anytime minutes!

Now - bad customer service with this company did not just start today. It started when some dipsh*t could not enter in the right account information on both of our phones so that our phone #'s could be ported. Andy's was ported on May 24th and mine finally ported on June 11th. I had to call and go through the process 3 times until someone finally got it right.

And they are not the only cell phone company with bad customer service.....we were previously going to go with a different cell phone company, but after they sent us a BAD phone and charged us for a "free" phone and then Andy spent over 3 hours collectively trying to get a new working phone and one that was the price they said it was going to be - free! Needless to say -- THEY SUCK! and we decided to try someone else.

And so (I am sure) my saga of bad cell phone customer service will continue........

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Life is Change

I just found out yesterday that my job will be transferred over to the high school. It does give me some transition time with the junior high kids I work with since we still have summer program yet, but not as much as I would have had I been told for sure a lot earlier. Oh well! Nothing I can do about that now; I just needed to adapt and keep going.

But isn't that what life is always about - changing. I think if things stayed the same I would get really bored very quickly. We would have no new children in to the world if we didn't allow things to change, and my mother-in-law would probably get very upset at the prospect of no more grandbabies. Don't misinterppret what I just wrote, I am not trying to tell you that I am pregnant. Someday we will be, but not today.

And quite often the change is a good thing, or at least we choose to have the attitude to look at it favorably (I think the key is in the attitude we choose). I was talking to my sister Steph last night for a long time (neither of us works during the summer and have those unlimited night/weekend minutes). I am thankful that I changed. She was telling me about how mean I was to her, as a younger sibling. I really didn't remember being that mean and am very apologetic now. But as we were talking we each got out our old journals and would read excerpts from them. It's funny to read some of the things we wrote down and how now when you look back you realize how naive you were and are glad you changed and grew up. One thing we foung particularly humorous about our journals is how we sometimes we would even lie to our journals about something because either we wanted it to be true or were trying to convince ourselves that it could be true. I am not saying we were a bunch of liars in our journals, just that occasionally when we read about some of these things you know you didn't really feel that way about something. It's just funny, that's all.

Although some things don't change much. As I looked in my journal I realized that I was a list maker. I would make lists of everything, things I wanted, my Christmas list (some of those would make you laugh because of the frosted jeans and L.A. Gear shoes on there in early junior high - teehee! even makes me laugh), my friends, boys I liked, boys that liked me, goals, etc. I still make lists today. I currently have a list of to-do's for the summer, a list of those dreaded New Years's resolutions (actually from a couple years back - my last resolution was to to not make resolutions anymore - ironic!), improvements I would like to make in the house, etc. I guess at least the content of the lists have changed, even though the action itself has not. I am sure thankful the content changed because I think I could do without the frosted jeans and L.A. Gears (you remember those - they had the twisted leather on them to reveal another color - gosh! even my grandma had a pair at the time).

But as far as change goes - I think I should go take a shower and change into some new clothes. I don't have to get up all that early in the summer and tend to lounge in my pj's as long as possible.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Rain, rain go away!

I don't know about any of you, but I am about sick of the rain. Friday night, the sirens went off for a tornado warning because one was spotted in the next county, and that was followed by extreme rain. Last night we got some marble size hail and some more rain, starting around 7pm. Luckily though, all yesterday was beautiful until then.

My plants need the sunshine. I see a few things popping up in my garden. What I have growing are: tomatoes, peppers, cantloupe (which all 3 were planted from pots), zucchini, acorn squash, pumpkin, cucumber, green beans, radishes, lettuce, turnips (all of which have started to sprout from seed) & lima beans & spinach (which I have not see yet).

Right now it is sunny and warm with a slight breeze, but we are supposed to get thunderstorms again today. When will it ever end?

Thursday, June 10, 2004

From the Beginning

So, I have to admit that doing this was not an original idea. My brother-in-law Brian started keeping one rather than having to send out email updates frequently. So, I thought, why not. Sometimes I have a story to tell and this might be the right venue to do it. It also might be a way to help keep people updated on things in my life. I am not sure how often I may post on here. If I were starting this during the school year, rather than during the summer I might have more exciting stories. But I do have some adventures planned for the summer, which include Chris & Lisa's wedding, Janell's wedding, Andy's grandma's cabin, camping, summer program, and trying to keep my garden a float (literally, I think anything I planted is just going to drift off).