Sunday, April 23, 2006

Earth Day (Weekend)

I decided that for Earth Day I need to make food at home all day, and now I decided to carry that over to Earth Weekend. We did go out & get Subway on Friday, so I guess I am only counting Saturday & Sunday.

Yesterday for Breakfast I made these Sticky Cinnamon Nut Rolls and Bacon, Mushroom, & Onion Souffle (still not sure how bacon will sit with me, so I used Turkey Bacon and that was fine). The Sticky Buns were absolutly fantastic, but now I understand why people buy them, because they are time-consuming to make (at least this recipe was a bit.) I got both these recipes from the James McNair Breakfast's. I only changed the rolls recipe slightly (different nuts) and I did change stuff in the soufflle recipe. Andy thought breakfast was really good but asked me, "Do you think there is ever a recipe that you won't change?" My response was that a few years ago I didn't change much, but now I don't think so. Honestly, I like to change the recipes and see how it turns out - it could be even better. Usually I change things to make them healthier and I would much rather have healthier and take the time to change things.
Well, actually breakfast was more of a there was no lunch.....but for dinner Andy's brother Tony was over (helping work on the project car) and I made a nice salad, and made pork steaks with potatoes and sauer kraut in the crockpot, and then later for dessert we had angel food cake with strawberry sauce (bought 4 lbs of strawberries the other day) and whipped cream. Yummy.

Right now I have Andy's Scones cooking in the oven. I had to alter it a bit, as I didn't have any craisins, so I used fresh strawberries, but otherwise it is basically the same recipe. Someday I will try altering it and use WW flour to make it a little healthier (& maybe get rid of the white choclate chips.) Mmmmm....I'm eating one right now, fresh from the oven with a cup of Costa Rican Coffee that I bought for Andy for his b-day (since we couldn't get there this year due to inability to fly because I am with child, we both decided to acquire some of our favorites from there for each other's birthdays.) I think I like it better with the fresh strawberries.
And not sure what else I will make today. I was thinking of a Red Lentil Soup for lunch and for supper it will be something with chicken (I got chicken out of the freezer.) I'll have to let you know what I decide on.

The other part of my Earth Day Weekend was to do something in the garden. So, yesterday I transplanted strawberries in my starwberry patch (from my neighbor's garden, they are tearing out the veggie garden and putting in a flower garden) and hopefully I'll be able to transplant some rhubarb from their garden as well (have to wait & see what the other neighbor says and she got first dibs on that and I'm not sure how much of it she is taking.) And I worked on the first layer of my Lasagna Garden. Today I want to get the some more stuff for my layers, possibly buy some bushes (lilac) and a tree (we want to plant a tree for the baby, that way someday we can say "we planted that tree for you when you were born". We're thinking of a red maple of some sorts, as we would like the different colored leaves for the fall than waht we already have.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Ahhhh! How Cute! They Are Touching.

Here are the two rascals. They NEVER sleep touching, actually it's rare that you see them sleeping even in the same room. But here they are, in the nursery. They have both taken a liking to the toy box my parents made for the baby & the placement of it in the room. They love sleeping by windows. We had to cover the pillow top with a towel since they decided to claim it and we didn't want it all full of cat hair before the baby is here. The pillow top is cute, it has Seasame Street characters on it and is these fun colors. I don't mind them sleeping there (or the rocking chair in the room, which Lucy claims from time to time as her own) as they always move peacefully when we need them too. They haven't had any interest in the crib, so that I am happy about. I think it's just because it would be too hard to get into and out of.

No Classes to Teach in the Fall

For the past 4 years I have taught classes at the local community college; one of the classes I have taught for the last 3 years.

Well, I noticed last night that someone was teaching MY class in the fall and I was quite upset by it. I called the dean I work under and left her a message asking to clear things up for me (like was this person a FT person & I got bumped or what.)

Well, turns out that the college had to cut out classes for the fall because of low enrollment numbers and with cutting out those classes it means that FT faculty (who pick first) can bump out people, then there are the PT people, and finally the adjunct faculty (which is where I fall). Within each of these groups there are seniority lists and the higher up you are the more choices you have. So, FT people are bumping lower seniority FT, PT & adjunct, PT are bumping lower seniority PT and adjunct, and higher seniority adjunct are bumping lower seniority adjunct.

So, somewhere in this domino effect I ended up getting bumped from my class. If enrollment goes up and they add more classes, things could shift again, or maybe someone won't want to teach it in the spring. Guess we'll see in at the end of September when final spring assignments are made.

I'm kinda bummed because I really liked teaching my night classes, although the time for my night class was moved up and we were uncertain how daycare would play out. I am also bummed because the money I earned from teaching went to pay for any vacations we took. So, now we have to look at everything (including the extra added expenses of having a baby) in our budget and we might not really be traveling too much at all, which makes me sad. Not that we travel a whole ton (we would have liked to have done more than we have), but traveling out of the country, like to Costa Rica, might not be as feasible next year for spring break.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Happy Easter Weekend.

No work on Friday, so I went to the Meditation Center, then the Co-op, and then Target. Then I cleaned the 3-season porch and we put up curtain rods and curtains in there (looks nice.) Then we ordered pizza for delivery (so nice to have a place to finally deliver to our little town) and sat on the porch eating pizza, "good" chocolate from the Co-op (not Hershey's, just can't eat Hershey's much anymore after you start indulging in really good stuff) and Andy having beers & me having Diet Sierra Mist & chatting & listening to music....for 3 was so nice (the weather & the company!)

Saturday we did more stuff around the house.....I was doing stuff in the garden (previous post)....Andy worked on spring tune-up to the lawnmower & began thatching and bagging.....then we went to pick up some fresh Mexican food from La Tapatia and ate that with the guacamole I made and some fresh salsa...and sat on the porch again.....I made fresh starwberry daquiri's (mine was NA) with fresh strawberries (yummy!).....

Yesterday was Easter lunch @ Andy's parents.....

That's about it.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Gardening Things I Learned Today

I was out today getting rid of the dead leaves and stems from a variety of flowers I have planted in our flower beds, strawberry patch, herb garden. Actually, I think the only place I didn't touch was the vegetable garden.

But I learned a few things today.

Oregano is a perennial herb. I didn't know that. So, in my herb garden right now I have chives & oregano. I bought some sage & rosemary seeds (other herbs that are perennials & I think I will pick up some thyme seeds as well, and make my herb garden a little more self-sustaining. Now, if I could only get my vegetable garden to be self-seeding (although last year the beans that grew came from plants that re-seeded them selves, and I had a couple tomato plants that did the same thing.) I think the only herb I will plant in my herb garden that I really would like to have fresh in the garden is cilantro.

Strawberries & Rhubarb should be transplanted in April or September. The neighbor behind us saw me outside cleaning up my strawberry patch (just as I was thinking I wanted to get a few more plants as some plants didn't come back this year - planted them last year, I think they were squuezed out my my pumpkins & squash vines taking over the strawberry patch.) Anyways, she came out & told me that they are not doing a vegetable garden and are pulling out the strawberries & rhubarb and I was welcome to what I wanted. Yeah! I don't have to go buy strawberry plants anymore. I am happy about the rhubarb as well, because the stuff I planted in my garden is green rhubarb and they have red rhubarb and it will be nice to have both varieties, especially if she is getting rid of hers and I wouldn't be able to grab some of theirs. Although, I don't think she realizes that rhubarb is pretty hard to completly get rid of, the roots go pretty deep. I had to look up the transplanting times online.

Hummingbirds arrive in Minnesota in May. The same neighbors put out all their bird feeders and filled them, including the hummingbird feeders. I had out hummingbird feeders last year and got several hummingbirds, which was nice. But I have never seen hummingbirds this early, but I didn't know if that was because they aren't here yet or I just never got my feeders out until later. Well, after a search on the internet I found out that they don't arrive in Minnesota until May. A good rule of thumb of when to put your hummingbird feeders out is the same time you would plant your vegetable garden in MN.

Rabbits like tulips. Bah! They never bother the ones by the house near the carport, but the ones i have planted in that area I landscaped area are being eaten. In my vegetable garden I just put up a chicken wire fench to keep out the rabbits (& dog) and planted marigolds around the perimeter, but it's too early right now for marigolds. So, I looked up some other stuff I could do. I don't want to kill them or trap & release. I wanted a humane way to deter them that I can do in April. I could plant garlic or onion bulbs near them. Apparently they hate the smell of them. Or I can spread human hair around, which I don't have access to enough, or use hote pepper spray on the leaves (which I do have - but I read this awful post about someone who watched a squirrel who touched the leaves then their face and was basically tortured by the hot pepper in the eyes, so I don't think I want to do that) or spread bloodmeal around the plant (don't have that) or make a spray out of garlic & oil & spray the leaves (again, the hate the smell and will go away.) I think I will try the garlic thing.

Andy is thatching right now and then we are going to toss that on the garden to mulch & probably try to get the compost out of my compost bin and throw that on the garden too, & spread out the grass clippings from last fall that we threw on the garden. I want to try that Lasagna Gardening I wrote about in a post this winter, but we need to start getting the layers going. We'll start with the clippings & compost, and we're going to add ash from the firepit (good way to empty some of that) and I'll also go buy a couple straw bales from the feedmill & we'll get some peat moss & maybe some manure to out on the garden next week. We'll the layers a good soaking so that they start to decompose together and then by time it's time to plant we'll have our lasagna garden ready. I'll let you know how it turns out....this type of gardening is supposed to be very easy to maintain and doesn't require weeding, digging (you just pull back the layers and insert plants and seeds) or any year I just throw some more layers on (but I probably won't have to go buy anything since the base will already by started).

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The 30th Birthday Surprise Geekfest

This was really the highlight of last weekend, as I had been planning it for so long. Here is a pictuer of the guest of honor. He was pretty surprised. I betcha he didn't realize his wife was so sneaky. I think he had a great time. I think all the guys had a good time. It was Andy & 10 other guys that played their war-type games and shot each other in the head.

Andy is wearing a t-shirt that I had made with his screen name and image that a co-worker drew of his screen name.

Here is a picture of one of the guys. I'm not posting pictures of all of them. This is one of the rooms they were playing in. They split into 2 teams and are in separate rooms. Here is Brandon in the "fancy" room. We set up 2 banquet tables in this room. I think they end up with having moer room to spread out with this set up.

Here are Jared & Alex in the "fancy room". As you can see, one of the benefits to playing in this room is that they can grab one of the wingback chairs to sit in. Talk about getting comfortable. Don't the guys look like they are pretty into their games.

And here is Dave & Jason. They are in the other room, the dinig room. We have a rather large dining room table (to fit in our rather large house) and then we throw a card table on the end. Dave doesn't look like he wanted his picture taken.

Those not pictured include Chris, Raoul, Wade, Kyle, & John.

I was very happy with how cooperative the guys were with getting there on time to set up. I am even more pleased with how everything turned out. And I am sure they were all happy to come & drink beer, play video games, and eat all the food I provided. I'm really not sure if there will be any more geekfests to be had at our house. I think this may have been the 5th one (could have been the 4th), but they have all been at our house. But with the baby coming, I am just not sure if we will want to do it anymore. Maybe someone else will have to step up and do one, or maybe the guys won't be able to get together and shoot each other in the head. I guess time will tell.

Feline Herpes

So, Larry has had feline herpes ever since he was a kitten. Feline herpes is not passed to humans at all and it is something that they will have for the rest of their lives. Like in most cats with FH they have this black stuff that coats their eyelids and pools this crusty black stuff in the corner of their eyes.

We had these eye drops for him before that had steriods in them that we got from one vet, but then we swtiched vets and the information never got over there. So, when he got it again we just used the old stuff we had left over as they wanted us to bring him back in (which is a very painful ride, he hates riding in cars) because they didn't have any documentation of the diagnosis and I really didn't to pay for a vet visit for them to tell me what I already knew and they could have found out fromthe other vet (across the street) if the information would ever get there. When I had to take him in for his annual shots he was fine and there was nothing to show and they told me I could just rinse his eyes out with saline solution and that would help clear it up because the tear ducts were not working properly to flush them out because they were crudded up with that stuff.

So, anyways, I did some research online about the saline thing and also found out that many vet optamologists recommend the saline flush and l-lysine (amino acid supplement that you can buy in the human section of vitamins and crush up) put into their food.

So, for the past couple days Larry has been getting a 500mg crushed tablet of L-lysine split into 2 servings of tuna. He has certainly been enjoying getting tuna twice a day and I notice that his eye seems to be clearing up. We are also doing the saline flushes. So, hopefully this will continue to work and help the big guy. If not, I guess I'll just have to bring him in and get the diagnosis & get the drops, or get that other vet to get that info to the other one.

Monday, April 10, 2006

April Redbox Codes

Free night's rental!!!

4/9-4/13 : DICK
4/16-4/20: IRISH
4/23-4/27: POINT

Have fun movie-watching!

The Weekend

Oh! What a fun weekend! Seriously.

My mom, sisters, & BIL Jason came in on Friday night and we had dinner, talked & went to bed. Saturday was going to be a big day.

Saturday came & I made us a nice big breakfast and then the wait came......waiting for the game to begin. I had been planning this Surprise 30th B-day Party for Andy for 6 months. Well, I started planning it 6 months ago. It was a surprise Geekfest, which you probably have read about on previous blogs. I got 10 of Andy's friends to come over while his brother Chris helped me get him out of the house by lying to him. As soon as he was gone, we starting setting up. He had no clue. It was great. He was very happy, very surprised, & very appreciative. They played until about midnight. I bought & made all the food & beverages. A good time was had by all.

That day was also my baby shower, which you can read about on the baby blog. (Once I write about it, that is.)

Sunday I made another big breakfast, I showed Andy all the gifts, he played with the toys. Did some clean in & out of the house and then that evening drove to HOM for the service & a soup supper they were doing. It was a pretty good time. They have such a community feeling and we really like going there. We really appreciate that they remember us from 5 years ago. It just feels good to go there. We actually listen to the sermons, which I don't even remember a sermon ever, except the one from our wedding (but that was a different minister & wasn't Catholic.) And then we came home and watched the Tivo'ed Sopranos.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Lack of Comments

People are reading this blog and the baby blog. They are just not commenting......I wonder what people think.....I like comments......Where have they gone?

Monday, April 03, 2006

Spring Break Re-Cap

Well, for me it was spring break last week. Although, it wasn’t really the spring break I would have wanted. I was 1 (ONE!) week too far along in my pregnancy to be able to fly. So, that meant I was staying home. Bah!


I did get together with some people. Had lunch & took the dogs for a walk with Carrie. Went out to breakfast w/ Rebecca & her kids. Went out to lunch w/ Kate. Yup, I think that was it for me being social. In a previous post I told you about getting those moles frozen & they are starting to heal nicely. We had a couple people come out to look at giving us quotes on putting in ductless (mini-splits) A/C and also a quote on remodeling the master bath (we want to make it a tub & shower & possibly put laundry in the closet right next to it.) So, those people came over, but we are still waiting to receive the quotes. We decided on our daycare provider and signed that paperwork and then Andy called the others we had interviewed and told them we made our decision. I basically did a lot of cooking, cleaning, laundry, tv watching, & internet surfing over the course of the week.


Sunday I went to the Meditation Center and then to the Co-op, came home, sat around, took a nap, then we went to HOM for their service. They invited us to come for a New Comers Soup Supper next week, which was very nice and appreciated. The minister that gave us the invite told us it was nice to have us back again and wanted to invites us to is and that they are so impressed that we are willing to drive to far to come to the service. So, we plan on going to that next Sunday. After the service this week, Andy & I went out to eat at Da Afghan (I blogged about that about a year ago.) Great food. I highly recommend going to that place. It’s in Bloomington.


So, nothing really exciting to report on. This Friday, my mom, 2 sisters, & 1 BIL come to visit. It’s my baby shower on Saturday. We’re doing a dessert buffet thing. Mmmmmm! Dessert! So, between them visiting, the shower, & going to the HOM service & soup supper we’ll be pretty booked this coming weekend. And then the following weekend is Easter & we will go to my in-laws on Easter Sunday. I just realized today that I have off of work next Friday for Easter Break. That’s excellent. That really put a smile on my face.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

My Husband is the Sweetest

See that bottle to the right. It is just not any bottle of hot sauce. It is just the most fantastic hot sauce, well, at least in my opinion.

So, where can you buy it? Not here in the US. You need to go to Costa Rica. We have brought some of this back with us both times we went. And I always run out before we can get back there. Honestly, it's worth the trip to Costa Rica for us to just go there to eat the food (& buy some to bring home) and drink their coffee (which we have run out of too, but that is easier to get here in the US.)

Anyways - about a month ago I ran out of this delectable hot sauce.

My wonderul husband had been looking online for places to buy since before xmas, but it was always being shipping from Costa Rica and the shipping was awful. For the price of shipping a few bottle you may as well have bought a plane ticket and bought it yourself. And we would have went to Costa Rica this year for vacation if it were not that our spring break for the school district happened ONE WEEK TOO LATE for me to fly with my being pregnant. Damn it!

So, what does this smart man do? He put an ad on Craigslist asking for someone's help -- if they are going to Costa Rica, would they mind picking up some for us.

So, yesterday he sends me an email (after I asked about dinner) asking me to make some Pinto de Gallo (I more or less make this recipe, but on a smaller scale, and top it with my Chilero) because he was craving it. Well, I had been too and had just bought cilantro so that I could make it, but it would have been the first tie I have eaten it without my hot sauce and I am not sure I would like it as well (I emailed him that.) He was just eating it up, because some chilero was dropped off by people to him at work that day. So, he said I could not have had a more perfect response. He was so excited about his surprise.

Then he gets home and I tell him a package came in the mail for him. He tells me it's the rest of my b-day present and I should open it. And what's inside but two bottles (1 large, 1 small) of Chilero and 2 bottles of Banquete Salsa de Tomato Ketchup (Andy loves this stuff, it's ketchup, but with just the right amount of kick, it's actually made by Heinz, but they only make & sell it in Costa Rica.) Anyways, I was just giddy and said, "Oh, so this is why you wanted the pinto de gallo, WAIT! I didn't tell you before you got home that you got a package, how did you know?" Then he walk into the kitchen and come back wth a bag with 4 small bottles of Chilero (one guy bought 3 and another bought him 1) and said they were dropped off today and my response over email was perfect.

So, now I have 1 L bottle and 5 S bottles of Chilero. I am having pinto de gallo all the time. I also love it on eggs. I might even try it on other things. I always had to ration it before so that I didn't run out before we got back to Costa Rica, so I only at it on my scrambled eggs and my pinto de gallo (or any other Costa Rican dish I made.) I might even allow other to try it. And Andy has his salsa ketchup now (I like it too, but it was a favorite of his.)

I did happen to notice that the expiration date on these items was the month I get spring break next year. Maybe we'll have to take the baby to Costa Rica. Momma needs her Chilero!