Friday, October 31, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I'm watching the Obama infomercial and I'm thinking that this may be a bit over the top.
The music and the production... mmmmkay.
When do we text our vote to see who is given immunity and who takes the walk of shame away from the White House?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Early Gift

I just received my Christmas present from my mom.
Early, yes... but that is because she knows that I will use it for my Christmas cards. I already have so many ideas for projects around the house, and Brownies, and scrapbooking, etc. My mother has had a cricut for over a year (I bought it for her birthday), and E1 used it when we were there visiting. I'm sure that E1 will be jazzing up her school projects as well.
One good thing, I was forced to clean, really clean my office/sewing room/craft room to create a designated space for the thing.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Holiday Ham

With the holiday season fast approaching, I thought this was the perfect time to repost this recipe. The ham is bargain-priced, but tastes like you waited in line at the ham store and paid 5 times more.
During the holidays, many stores have specials on spiral-sliced hams. Buy two, this recipe is enough to glaze two. Do NOT use the glaze that is often included in the package, use this recipe instead.

1 fully cooked shank half ham, bone in (pre-sliced)
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/4 teaspoon paprika
dash ground ginger
dash ground allspice

Mix the sugar and spices in a small bowl. Place the ham flat side down onto a large baking sheet. Rub the sugar/spice mixture all over the outside of the ham. Use a blowtorch… yes, a blowtorch, on medium flame, to caramelize the sugar on the outside of the ham. You can use the small little torches that are sold in kitchen supply stores for crème brule, or, you can go to the garage and borrow your husband’s blowtorch.
Carefully wave the flame back and forth over the ham so that the sugar bubbles and browns, but does not burn. Turn the baking sheet around so that the entire outside of the ham is glazed. Rub additional sugar/spice mixture onto the ham and continue with the caramelizing process. Repeat until the entire ham is covered with glaze.
Reheat the ham in the oven as stated on the ham package.
I usually bring one ham to share at a gathering and keep one at home for the family because there are never any leftovers to bring home.
I originally found this recipe on a website some years ago and it is requested by family every holiday.

You can see other delicious recipes at Gayle’s Grocery Cart Challenge

If you can

From the Sky Terrace Fire Victim Relief Website:

The Marek Fire Devastated This Neighborhood
Early Monday morning, October 13th, the Marek Fire stormed through the Sky Terrace Mobile Home Park. Residents were given only minutes to evacuate. Fortunately, all residents were evacuated safely.

Unfortunately, the fire, aided by gusts of Santa Ana winds up to 60 miles per hour, destroyed 40 of the 58 mobile homes in the Park. 40 families lost their homes lost and everything they owned.

Firefighters Did Their Best
Please support these families to rebuild their lives.

Please donate to the Sky Terrace Fire Victim Relief Fund.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Plan B

In a comment on my last post, Buck asked for photos.
The camera battery was D.E.A.D., but we did catch a couple on the camera phone.
I was not able to ride my bike. As we were loading it, I noticed the front tire was low. It was fine a month ago when I rode down the street just to see if it started. The valve stem is crap and won't hold air. So, there goes my spontaneous trip riding.
We salvaged the day with a fun 4x4 drive around Hungry Valley. The new truck is awesome off-road. The kids had a blast and the weather was perfect. The day reminded me of the many times Stuntman and I drove all over SoCal off-road, except this time we had three kids squealing and laughing in the back seat.

looking down on the valley... see the tiny trucks down there?
Stuntman and the kids tossing rocks down the giant hill that we had just conquered.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Going Riding!

I can't wait!!
My bike has been lonely!
Off to grab my gear, See Ya!

Friday, October 17, 2008

the crappy spa

One day this week, I sat in a room full of other women. Many of us were wearing matching robes, reading magazines, and drinking tea. It was very similar to my visits to Burke Williams … except… we weren’t waiting in the quiet room for someone to call us for our massage or facial. We were waiting for our mammograms. Otherwise known to me as a b@@b panini.
It was my first time, so I was a little nervous, but the thought of it being a low-grade spa kept my mind entertained. It wasn’t bad, and not painful… uncomfortable, but not painful.
I needed to stick around for additional tests after the initial mammogram, but I was finally told that there was “nothing of concern”.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Can't blink

The relative humidity is up today from the last few days... up to 12%.
I need to buy a new humidifier.

It was so dry last night that in order to sleep, I hung damp towels all over the bedroom. It looked like some odd voodoo practice or something. Stuntman didn't even notice.

damn Santa Ana Winds

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

This bugs me

I've heard similar statements on several newscasts...
"Thankfully, only one home was lost in the fire, blah, blah, blah,... 40 mobile homes were destroyed in the blaze, blah, blah.."

Hey! a mobile home is a mobile HOME! It is still a HOME. Families still live there, all of there possessions, and pets are still there.
Quit writing them off.

Mistaken Identity

We went to WalMart a few days ago. Somehow (I think I became distracted), we were separated. Stuntman and E1 were looking for me, E2 and E3. E1 ran up to a woman saying “here’s Mom!” but it wasn’t… luckily, I was only an aisle over and they found us:

Stuntman: “E1 ran up to someone else, mistaking her for you”
Me: “awwww, poor girl… who was it?”
Stuntman: “the lady in the next aisle”
Me: (I peek into the next aisle and whisper back to him) “ the 50-something lady with the big rear?”
Stuntman: “wha???” as he looks into the next aisle, then keeps looking into other aisles. “No, the one two aisles over now”

Well, I now realize that I must look like a bleach blonde with giant b@@bs, but she did have a tiny rear, and was obviously younger than 40 ☺

I think E1 may need glasses.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Wind and smoke

As you may have heard, there is a nasty fire in my area. The wind is horrendous. We had pomegranates, branches and small animals hitting the side of the house all night.
The Marek Fire that was barely smoking by the end of yesterday, flared up overnight.
I have a friend that lives right in the area that has been evacuated. It has been reported that homes have been destroyed in that area as well. I have not been able to reach her since yesterday. If you pray, please keep her, her family and all of those affected in your prayers. Thank you.
Thankfully, we have the best firefighters in the world here in Los Angeles County..

*the photo is from my front yard

my friend and her family are doing amazingly well. She is very involved in a parenting group around here so everyone has really stepped up to help. Thanks for all of your thoughts and prayers, they will make it through this. The most difficult thing for them is lost photos, and their lost cats.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Not my turn

My badger-dog, Emma is obsessed with this little house we have in the back corner of our yard. It's a little brick house that currently contains old lawn equipment. The previous owners used it as a chicken coop. That could explain the blood splatters on the roof of the laundry room when we moved in, right?
This little house is notorious for rat infestations. We have trapped, poisoned, and shot the little suckers, but they keep returning. Emma has been barking at it, circling it, and then barking some more. Yesterday, something must have moved in there, and Emma jumped back 10 feet, then began barking some more.
I hope Stuntman can find a solution this weekend.
That's part of the trade-off with marriage, I do the dishes, and he deals with rodents.
Sounds fair to me.

Friday, October 10, 2008


This is my family's favorite recipe for chicken. I try to make at least 2 at a time so that I can have leftovers for chicken salad or sandwiches. Great when whole chickens are on sale!

Tasty Roast Chicken

Wash and dry 2 whole chickens.
Rub chicken inside and out with whatever seasoning you prefer. I use lemon pepper seasoning mixed with onion and garlic powder.
Place in large baggies, and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
Place chickens in roasting pan, stuff half of an onion in each chicken cavity.
Roast at 250 degrees F for 5 hours, uncovered. (chicken should be at an internal temp of at least 180)
Let stand 10 minutes prior to carving.

See more delicious recipes here.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A good one

I saw this Saturday night, and the video hasn't been available on their site the last few days.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

This is cool

I may need to work a little extra to buy this for Christmas.
I just don't know if I should wrap it for the kids, or Stuntman.

Monday, October 6, 2008

This and that

I just finished mowing the lawn. I actually enjoy mowing the lawn, except for the occasional rock in the yard. We have rocks everywhere around here. You should see the size of the granite boulders dug out when we had the pool built!
It was worse when Sparky was still around, she carried rocks all over the place and would leave them scattered throughout the grass.
When Stuntman was deployed, I hired a gardener. It was difficult to justify a gardener now that we are fully-staffed at home, so we let him go. Just because the majority of my neighbors don't mow their own lawn, doesn't mean that we can't.

I've revived my thriftyness as of late. I've always been relatively frugal, but the key term here is relative... compared to most people that I know. The deployment and the subsequent pay issues on re-deployment have whittled down our liquid assets. We're not in actual financial trouble like many are right now, so I'm not complaining... OK, our so-called house value dropped $200k, but does that really affect me day-to-day? No. I'm just taking this as a wake-up call.
I remember when I was in college and lived on $5 spending money a month. This broke down to one candy bar (peanut butter Twix) and nine 50 cent beers. OK, not the best financial plan, but it worked.

One of the easiest places to trim our budget has been our food bill. We were never really big on eating out, maybe 2 or 3 times a month, but that has changed to one or zero. I'm planning our meals better, and doing the majority of my shopping at my new favorite store. The produce is ultra-cheap, and fresh. It's a bit of an adventure the first time, but you just need to realize that some people have different definitions of personal space, or courtesy.
I have found a great site, via a comment on Spousebuzz, Gayle, at the Grocery Cart Challenge, has great posts regarding her family's food budget. I have found fresh ideas from the site as well as from those who comment at her site. Plus, I'm always up for new recipes and she has tasty ones each Friday in a recipe Swap.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Though his eyes

I don't think that E3 remembers rain.
I don't remember the last time that he saw rain.
It rained once on our vacation, but he was asleep at the time, so he missed it.

Today, I looked at the rain through his eyes.
He asked to go outside in the rain. I obliged. He got his jacket and hat, and actually wore shoes.

It's not as if I was going to melt or anything. We played in the sandbox, got soaked, but had fun.

Friday, October 3, 2008

To whom it may concern:

If you drop your son off at my house for the day, and leave me with a few Pull-ups, please ensure that he has one ON before you leave him here.
I don't tend to check those things right away, especially if the kid is old enough to tell me if his diaper is dirty.
I had asked him if he was wearing a Pull-up, or if he went in the potty now. He thought he was wearing a Pull-up, can't blame the kid for going commando and not noticing.

I shampoo my carpets enough the way it is. I don't need extra work to do.

Also, Pull-ups are a scam by the diaper companies to prolong the need to purchase their product. OK, I have no actual proof on that, but I've devised the theory from observation.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


For her birthday, E1 received $20 from her uncle.
In the past, she's be known to take this money to the store and buy something for herself.
This time, she decided to stretch her dollar a bit and did her shopping on ebay.