Friday, May 16, 2014

Cucumber Bites-Low Carb Snack!

I just ran across this on facebook, I wanted a way to pin this recipe so it wouldn't get lost.  Simply clicking share on facebook, "saves" it to your wall but gets lost fast.  This way I can easily find it.

Cucumber Bites-Low Carb Snack!

1 - 8oz package of cream cheese softened
1 tbsp finely chopped bell pepper
1 tbsp finely chopped onion
1 tbsp finely chopped chives
1 tsp dill weed
2 cucumbers
In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, pepper, chives, dill weed and onions. Mix well and set aside.
Cut the cucumbers lengthwise. Remove the seeds. Fill each cucumber half with your mixture. Then cut again in 1" chunks. Serve and enjoy!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Christmas Decorations are either done or in the works..

I have't fully decided yet if I'm actually finished decorating the house or not.  I got a late start to decorating this year because I was wiped out the day after Thanksgiving and, well, I needed a new tree and I was waiting to see if I had won a tree in a contest I entered.  I didn't win and so I ran out and picked up a new pre-lit tree on Wednesday.  I found a nice one at Walmart for $98, full price.  It's a bit smaller than my old tree but it has lights on it, which is important.  That means 3 hours of not stringing lights on the tree.  So since I got such a late start and since I have a lot of baking to do, I rushed through decorating Thursday and Friday afternoon.

I do want to decorate the railing since I'm having friends over on the 28th for a cookie exchange.  But I don't know how much energy I'll actually have for it.  The plus side to being so busy this year, is that I'm not doing lights for Christmas eve services since they fall the weekend my regular team is up, and there will be 2 days of services and there will be 6 services, between the two days, I think. Plus I'm baking cookies for church and the day they're due,there's a singles Christmas party that I'm thinking of going to.  Like, unless I forget or am too tired, I'm going to.

With that said, some pictures of the tree....

My mom's snowman family, all set to greet visitors when they enter the house.

My new wreath, I had been wanting to make a new one for awhile now but didn't know what I wanted to do.  I'll take better pictures one day when it's light out, and I don't use the flash.  I don't like the way the flash washes it out. 

My pretty vintage angel that had been tucked away in a shoe box for years, waiting for new lights. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Baking Experiment, Well Sort Of

Last week I was watching tv, it was a night I had time while I was waiting for a show or movie to start.  So I looked on on demand, for something to watch.  I mostly watch cooking shows and home improvement shows (when I'm not watching my regular shows that is).  So I was happy to find the Deen Brother's Thanksgiving special on Cooking Channel.  My mom and I enjoyed the show but one thing they made grabbed us, the sweet potato souffle.  Not only was it super easy to make but it sounded really good.  So we decided to make it.  In talking to my sister another day, we mentioned that we're going to make it, as a test this weekend and possibly make it for Thanksgiving. She said she made it before but it's not as sweet as the ones I make.

With that in mind, I decided to give the recipe a try.  I made a mental note of the ingredients but of course forgot something.  I happened to get the Paula Deen's Aunt Peggy's sweet potato souffle recipe in her newsletter last week.  I pinned both recipes when I first saw them and pulled them both up yesterday when I was getting ready to make the souffle.  I found there were slight differences between the two recipes, and I decided to split the difference between the two and give it a try.  Next time I make this, I'm going to add a 1/2 cup brown sugar in the souffle and maybe cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg.

Sweet Potato Souffle

2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, baked and still warm
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup milk
1/4 light brown sugar
3 large eggs
pinch of salt

 3/4 cup light brown sugar
 1/2 cup chopped pecans
 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
sprinkling of cinnamon and allspice on top

Directions Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Peel the sweet potatoes and add the flesh to a bowl. Beat in the butter using a hand mixer or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment until well combined. Beat in the milk, brown sugar and eggs, adding one at a time. Taste and add salt as necessary. For the topping: Mix together the brown sugar, pecans, flour and  butter  in a separate bowl until it looks crumbly. Add the mixture to a deep-dish pie plate and bake until puffed and golden, 30 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving (the souffle will fall slightly).

Friday, June 7, 2013

Being 40 and Still Single...

In this day and age where the divorce rate among Christians is 50%, I'm one of those people that never got married.  It's not because I never wanted to, but because I was that girl that stayed home on Friday and Saturday nights, while everyone went out on dates with their latest boyfriend.  It wasn't until I was 18, that I finally went on my first date, and even then it was a blind date with a guy from a friend's high school, because she knew I didn't want my prom to be my first date.  The date wasn't bad but the guy was pining over a cheerleader at his school and so it was just that, a date.  My prom rolled around and not one guy asked me out.  Since I didn't want to go to prom alone, in an act of desperation, I asked a guy I worked with, to go with me.  It was a double date with my friend and her boyfriend and it was a nice night.  Still my date was just that, a date.  We "dated" for about a month but in reality, he was hitting on my best friend in high school, the entire time.  A fact that I found out after he dumped me, the day after she told us she broke up with her boyfriend.  I think I was more confused than anything else as to why he broke up with me out of the blue. 

In my 20s, there were a series of a handful of dates, here and there, all totalling five, before I met my ex when I was 26.  One of the reasons I looked to singles groups was for the friendships that I knew I wasn't going to get at a liberal arts college.  It's hard finding Christian friendships among people that talk about going over to their friends houses and getting stoned.  Or going to parties and drinking, not that I find anything wrong with drinking.  I'm one of those Christians that feels it's ok for Christians to drink, as long as they don't do it to get drunk.  I've never seen the appeal of getting buzzed, much less drunk, I've always been a social drinker myself, having one drink when I'd go out, when I drank that is. 

But I digress, this isn't about drinking or the reasons I was in Christian singles groups in the past, it's about being 40 and still single and my interactions with married people, or people that were married but are now single for whatever reason. 

I'm single, I am not a child.

Just because I'm single does not give people the right to treat me like I'm a child.  Especially if they have children my age.  That is the most condescending thing they can do to any single person!  Then there's the fact that, by treating a single person that way, it's also rude and disrespectful.  I want to be married, that is something I've wanted for many years, but for whatever reason that God alone knows, I'm still single.  Maybe he's working on me, maybe he's working on my future husband, regardless, I know one thing, I am meant to be married, not single.  I have a desire to be married and God knows this.  He would not plant this desire in me if it wasn't what He wanted for me.  I've often said being single sucks and it's lonely.  That doesn't mean I'm looking for marriage to rescue me, nor does it mean I'm looking for a husband to entertain me.  Every time I say something along the lines of how much I hate being single and/or it's lonely, I get bombarded by so called expert married people who clearly don't know a single thing about me.  They go on to tell me "you can be lonely in a marriage too".  Um if you are lonely or miserable in your marriage, then that is your problem, not mine!  It also means you need to work on your marriage to fix what's broken in it.  Oh look, the perpetual single person knows a thing or two about marriage.  Imagine that.

There's more to marriage than a piece of paper, and sex.  There's companionship, something you don't get being single.  Sure there are pets, but they can't hold your hand when you are out walking around when you're out and about, or wrap their arms around you when you are having a bad day and need a hug.  They can not give you a tender kiss on your forehead, or a romantic, or even a passionate kiss that reminds you how much they love you.  They can't give you presents for your birthday, the holidays, or just because. They can't send flowers to brighten your day, or because they are traveling for work and they know you miss them, or they miss you.  You can't even get those things in singles groups.  What you get in singles groups are people to hang out with.  Friends to go to movies with, have dinner with, do other social activities with.  However if you are part of a group that is an hour away from your house, you are only doing things in that area.  Which means you are not going to places you want to go to close to your house.  You can try to plan things closer to home, but the people in the singles group an hour away, won't drive up to hang out with you, because it's "too far".  But apparently it's not too far for you to drive down to them every weekend.  It's much like the selfishness of my ex boyfriend.  He lived an hour away yet I was the one that drove to his place every weekend.  I can literally count the number of times he came up to me, on one hand.  Bottom line is, you get things in a marriage that you can't get with a bunch of single friends.  And that is something that I, and other single people want and desire.  Our feelings should not be brushed off by married people. 

Being single you have more time to serve

I want to scream and at times, reach through my computer and smack people whenever they say that.  Talk about condescending.  If singles have more time to serve, then why is it, I have always served with married people at my church?  Where are all the single people?  Are they not following God's commandment to serve then?  Of course not!  However married people can and should serve too.  But you wouldn't know that because married people are quick to tell single people that they have more time to serve, yet those same married people most likely don't even serve themselves, at their churches (or anywhere else).  But they're the first people to tell single people that they have more time to serve.  Being single doesn't mean I don't have bills or a job.  I've been paying my own way since I was 16, even though I still live at home.  I still have a car loan that needs to be paid.  I still have a phone bill that needs to be paid.  Just like the gas for my car, car insurance and cable all need to be paid.  Those are coming out of my pocket, and my pocket alone.  And with gas prices on the rise, and my pay remaining low, that means I have to look to a second job to make extra money to help pay the bills and save money for the future.  Besides, I have a family too, I am not an only child, and my parents are still alive.  Which means I do have family obligations from time to time.  Then there's the fact that I need to rest from time to time.  Crazy as that may sound, it's true!  So how am I supposed to serve more if I have a life as a single person?

I want to be married

I have helped two people plan their weddings, I've made things for another one or two people, I've gone shopping with two brides for their wedding dresses.  I've gone to over 20 weddings, stood up in two and as I get older I can't help but wonder, when will it be my turn?  I watch the bridal shows on TLC on Friday nights, I don't know why really, other than to torture myself.  I watch Say Yes to the Dress and fantasize about going shopping for my wedding dress.  I wasn't one of those girls who grew up dreaming about getting married.  It was probably due to the unhealthy family that I grew up in.  I knew there was a lot of bad there, from an early age.  It's hard to miss that when your parents fight daily.  Or when you are being mentally abused and controlled.  It wasn't until I was in my 20s that I finally got in the right head space to want to get married.  I thought my ex was the one, but obviously he wasn't.  My ex was nothing more than a learning experience for me.  I was a rebound relationship for him which wasn't fair to me.  I haven't been on a date since my ex, not because I don't want to, but because I don't date married men. 

For years I didn't even know my church had a singles group, so I turned that side of my life off, the part of me that wanted to date and be married.  I had given up on the idea of it because I wasn't around any single men.  I was never a big fan of bars or clubs, and dating men that I met in bars or clubs never appealed to me.  So that left church.  Well when you are serving with married men, it makes it kind of hard to meet single men.  I never looked to work to meet single men, again I was surrounded by married men.  If there were single men there, they didn't look at me and think about dating me, they just saw me as a woman in the office, and that was it.  They never invited me out for drinks after work, or to hang out or anything.  They didn't even sit with me at lunch or talk to me.  I was just there, at work, and they had their own lives.  So again, where was I supposed to met single men?  At school?  I quit college when I was 26.  Through my family?  Yeah right.  My siblings and most of my cousins are all older than me.  None of them knew any single guys my age.  Not that I would have looked to my family to find someone to date anyway.  My neighborhood?  That's not even an option.  I live in the suburbs, in a family neighborhood.  I'm probably the only single adult in my subdivision.  So where is a single Christian women supposed to meet single adult Christian men?  At church.  Again, when you are surrounded by married people, that is impossible.  So what's the solution? 

I tried a dating site once, but being out of work I didn't have money for a paid account.  So I couldn't do anything really, other than set up a profile and read messages sent to me.  I quickly closed that account.  The fact that guys didn't approach me made the decision to close it a no brainer.  One day one of the few single friends that I had left, told me about a Christian dating site.  I looked into it, attended one of their events at my church (which was held at a different campus than the one I attend and serve at) and that was pretty much it.  I didn't do anything with the site because, at the time, I was out of work.  You see, over the span of four years, I only worked for a little over one year, at a few different places.  So paying for a dating site was not even an option, when I had more important things to spend my unemployment checks on, like bills. Then one day I was invited to try the site out for a free two week trial.  I did, and because I was working six days a week at the time, I had forgotten about it.  During the time I had the account on that site, I occasionally looked and only saw one guy that appealed to me on a small level.  The big red flags to me were two things, he had no problems with premarital sex, and he had a baby.  After two months of being a member of that site, I closed my account.  I honestly didn't see a point in having the account in the first place.  Just like the first dating site, I sat there with a very good picture of myself, a good write up, and....  nothing happened.  Not one guy approached me to talk to me.  Working six days a week left me with no time or energy to even think about looking through the site for another match. 

About a year after I closed my account, the site had another event at my church.  Once again I was out of work but this time I had been on unemployment for much longer and wasn't getting much money from unemployment.  My checks were reduced with each extension, which made it harder and harder to pay bills.  I talked to the gals that ran the site and I put my name on their volunteer list.  Since it was at my church (a different campus though) I ran tech for that event, and I ran it with a guy from my church (also from a different campus than that one, and mine).  I did the speed dating that night, but as usual, I left empty handed.  That is the story of my life.  A month later I went to my church's singles group's, fall kickoff.  I know this was all in God's timing, that I went to the singles group when I did.  However here I sit, nearly two years later.  I'm no longer a leader in the group nor am I a part of the group.  I had to step down from leadership and walk away from the group for my own mental health.  That group was the epitome of why church singles groups fail and are failing. 

I still haven't been on a date since my ex dumped me, but that part of me that wants to date and is optimistic about meeting someone and eventually getting married, has been turned back on, so to speak.  Still, being back on my own, being around married men and now, working with mostly women, and three married men, I once again have no options for dates.  Yet I sit there on Friday nights watching the bridal shows and feel an ache inside.  That desire to want to be engaged, to have a pretty engagement ring, to plan my wedding, to go shopping for my wedding dress.  To ask my friends to stand up in my wedding and to pick out their dresses and go shopping with them for their dresses, as they went shopping with me for mine.  Married people don't get it.  Even the single people that have been married, but for whatever reason, are no longer married.  They had all of that.  They know what it's like to have someone that loves them so much that they married.  They had their wedding, they had all the things I've never had.  It's a desire they will never understand, and ache they will never feel.  Only a select few of them will have a heart for singles, the kind of heart that finally understands what those of us that have never been married, feel.  But that understanding has come from God, and it came after their marriages ended.   

It's not that I feel like half of a person, or even part of a person.  It's that there is something that I have wanted for my life for years, but have never gotten.  To put it in terms that married people will understand, it's like the infertile couple.  They have struggled with infertility for years, yet they've always had a desire and ache at wanting children.  A desire that women have to take a pregnancy test and see a positive sign for the first time.  That is what being 40 and never married feels like. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Internet Humor, Mammogram Jokes

At least one of these date back to the last 90s.  Some laughs about getting squished.

My First Mammogram

After a lengthy battle with my nerves after hearing horror stories from my friends, I actually kept my mammogram appointment. I had never had one, and at 35 everyone was saying I just had to do it, so I went.
I was met with, "Hi! I'm Belinda!" This perky clipboard carrier smiled from ear to ear, tilted her head to one side and crooned, "All I need you to do is step into this room right here, strip to the waist, then slip on this gown. Everything clear?"
I'm thinking, "Belinda, try decaf. This ain't rocket science."
But before I could say a word, Belinda skipped away to prepare the torture chamber. With the right side finished, Belinda flipped me (literally) to the left and said, "Hmmmm. Can you stand on your tippy toes and lean in a tad so we can get everything?"
"Fine," I answered. I was freezing, bruised, and out of air, so why not use the remaining circulation in my legs and neck and finish me off? My body was in a holding pattern that defied gravity (with my other boob wedged between those two 4 inch pieces of square glass) when we heard, then felt, a zap! -- complete darkness and the power went off!
"Oh, maintenance is working. Bet they hit a snag." Belinda headed for the door.
"Excuse me! You're not leaving me in this vise alone are you?" I shouted.
Belinda kept going and said, "Oh, don't be silly," the perky bimbo practically sang. "The door's wide open so you'll have the emergency hall lights. I'll be right back."
Before I could shout "NOOOO!" she disappeared. And that's exactly how Bubba and Earl, maintenance men extraordinaire, found me, half-naked and part of me dangling from the Jaws of Life and the other part smashed between glass!
After exchanging polite "Hi, how's it going" type greetings, Bubba (or possibly Earl) asked, to my utter disbelief, if I knew the power was off.
Trying to disguise my hysteria, I replied with as much calm as possible "Uh, yes, yes I did thanks."
"You bet, take care" Bubba replied and waved goodbye as though I'd been standing in the line at the grocery store.
Two hours later, Belinda breezes in wearing a sheepish grin and, making no attempt to suppress her amusement, she said, "Oh I am sooo sorry!" The power came back on and I totally forgot about you! And silly me, I went to lunch. Are we upset?"
And that, Your Honor, is exactly how her head ended up between the clamps....


The first mammogram is always the worst. Especially when the machine catches on fire. That's what happened to me. The technician, Gail, positioned me exactly as she wanted me (think a really complicated game of Twister -- right hand on the blue, left shoulder on the yellow, right breast as far away as humanly possible from the rest of your body). Then she clamped the machine down so tight, I think my breast actually turned inside out. I'm pretty sure Victoria's secret doesn't have a bra for that.
Suddenly, there was a loud popping noise. I looked down at my right breast to make sure it hadn't exploded. Nope, it was still flat as a pancake and still attached to my body. "Oh no!" Gail said loudly. These are, perhaps, the words you least want to hear from any health professional. Suddenly, she came flying past me, her lab coat whipping behind her, on her way out the door. She yelled over her shoulder, "The machine's on fire, I'm going to get help!"
Okay, I was wrong, "The machine's on fire," are the worst words you can hear from a health professional. Especially if you're all alone and semi-permanently attached to A MACHINE and don't know if it's THE MACHINE in question.
I struggled for a few seconds trying to get free, but even Houdini couldn't have escaped. I decided to go to plan B: yelling at the top of my lung (the one that was still working). I hadn't seen anything on fire, so my panic hadn't quite reached epic proportions. But then I started to smell smoke coming from behind the partition. This is ridiculous, I thought. I can't die like this. What would they put in my obituary? Cause of death: Breast entrapment? I may have inhaled some fumes because I started to hallucinate. An imaginary fireman rushed in with a fire hose and a hatchet.
"Howdy ma'am," he said. "What happened here?" he asked, averting his eyes. "My breasts were too hot for the machine," I quipped, as my imaginary fireman ran out of the room again. "This is gonna take the Jaws of Life!" In reality, Gail returned with a fire extinguisher and put out the fire. She gave me a big smile and released me from the machine, "Sorry! That's the first time that's ever happened. Why don't you take a few minutes to relax before we finish up?"
I think that's what she said. I was running across the parking lot in my backless paper gown at the time. After I relax for a few years, I figure I might go back. But I'm to bring my own firefighter.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The CW's new Beauty and the Beast, my thoughts...

Last night I wandered over to comcast to log into my email account just to check the spam folder.  I had a few emails out but had gotten far less responses than I had expected.  I didn't know if anything got trapped in the spam folder or not.  So I chekced my spam folder; while on comcast I glanced at their featured headlines.  The name Beauty and the Beast caught my eye.  I looked at it again to see what it was, and found it to be a new show staring Kristin Kreuk.  I clicked through the link and spent the next hour watching the show.

I'm sure people won't be happy to hear this but I find Kristin Kreuk a mediocre actress at best.  I don't buy her as a "tough as nails" cop.  Her fight scene on the subway platform was barely believable.  Not to mention her decision to meet on a subway platform to exchange and talk about evidence is beyond stupid!  Kristin Kreuk comes across as someone that's more of window dressing for the what looks to be the real star of the show, the Beast, Jay Ryan.  Before I got any further, I need to point something out (because I can hear the rabid fans yelling "why are you watching it then?"), I tuned it to see if it was a remake of the late '80s tv show staring the far more talented Linda Hamilton and Ron Pearlman. 

This update is a poor man's comic book for the small screen.  The "beast" is a result of a military experiment to create some sort of super soldier.  Where have I seen that before?  Oh yeah, Captain America, and last NCIS last season, the port to port killer storyline.  I'm sure there are others that have done that but those are the only two that come to mind right now. 

The pilot had so many plot stupidities that left me not just scratching my head but wondering what the writers were smoking when they thought them up.  Why in the world would the two women stand there in an empty parking lot letting two random strangers gun them down?  Then for Cat to make the same stupid move however many years later when she's supposedly this "tough as nails" NY detective.  Kristin Kreuk wouldn't last two seconds on Chicago's south side, much less on the streets of NY as a cop.  She's just not the cop type.  Mariska Hagrity is far better at playing a tough as nails cop, than Kristin Kreuk will ever be.  It's crap like this (CW as a whole) that make me glad there are actual good shows on tv, like NCIS, NCIS LA, Burn Notice, White Collar, Psych, Hawaii Five-0, Covert Affairs, and the old shows that I still love and watch like the A-Team. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fun Popcorn

I know it's been ages since I updated, and probably will take me as long before I do it again.  shush!  ;-P

Anyway, a couple weeks ago my friends went out of town and asked me to watch their place, bring the mail in, etc.  I said yes (as always) and took care of things while they were gone.  Well they always give me something as a thank you for being such a good friend and watching their house.  This time it was popcorn on the cob, odd but cool.  It was so funny when they gave it to me too, because I went over there last Wednesday to have him look at my laptop, I couldn't get the top cover off to look inside to fix my monitor, so I asked if he'd take a look at it.  So while we were all sitting behind the table on their deck, she excitedly had me open my gift.  I knew there was a reason she was so eager to have me open it, so I went into the house and brought it out. 

It was a vacuum packed popcorn on the cob.  When she was telling me how cool it was and thought I'd like it, I said "Let me guess, you got one too".  She laughed and said yes.  Now I knew why she was so eager for me to make it first, she wanted me to be the guinea pig.  lol   Well I went home with a CRT and my laptop, after a couple hours, along with the popcorn on a cob, and showed it to my mom.  Of course miss addicted to popcorn wanted me to make it that night.  So I did.  I did it according to directions, but since we're still getting used to the new microwave, I made the mistake of taking it out at 2 minutes, which caused half of them to burn.  :(  Oh well, what didn't burn was still good.  I would definitely get that for a friend as a fun little gift. 

A few pictures, sorry about the quality, I couldn't find my digital camera so I had to use my cell phone.


This bag came with the cob, I thought it was just instructions, until I opened it up.

Toss cob in bag

cob and all.  I know, mostly burnt but still a fun thing to do.  If I ever do this again, I might not use a bag, but instead a bowl, so I can watch them pop.  :) 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Can you help?

could you guys help my friend out? She's been entrusted to take care of a newborn and a little boy, brother and sister. She set up a fund raiser to help get her and her husband to NJ to pick up the kids and help them out with anything else that might come up in the short term. If you could spread the word about this too, that would be great. I'm going to blog about it later

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Great Household Cleaning Tip

A few weeks ago I bought a dry erase board for the open house my friend and I had.  It's a great size and price and was perfect for what I used it for that day!  (as you can see in the picture)

Well as much as I erased the writing I noticed it didn't come off fully, there was still a slight ghost image left that you could see from an angle.  The first thing I thought when I noticed this was that I don't remember that happening with older dry erase boards.  I could simply be remembering wrong (which is very possible since we had chalk boards when I was in school through college #2 at least!).  So anyway, I just sat down with my lotto tickets and write the numbers up on the board to check (only got 1! number *sigh*) but I noticed that either I didn't press hard enough while erasing or something because there was a light black smear left on the board.  Well that reminded me that I wanted to look online for homemade cleaning solutions, figuring there had to be something out there to save me some money.  So a quick google came up with results, the first of which was an ehow write up.  There were a few ideas, two of which were a water/vinegar solution (which I don't have a spray bottle handy to make) and the other was hand sanitizer (both using a soft cloth). 

I tried the latter and it worked like a charm!  BUUUUUT I only have sanitizer with moisturizer at home so that left a film on the board.  No big deal, I simply grabbed another soft cloth (both of which were clean socks with holes in them that I had tossed in my bedroom's garbage can, but am going to keep to use for this) and dampened it then gave it a rub down.  That took care of it perfectly, I even tested it out with a marker and it was fine!  Since I'm using this for pictionary at a NYE party Saturday night, I gave that a sanitizer cleaning too to make sure it's all nice and clean before hand.

So there you go, a cheap and easy home remedy to cleaning dry erase boards.