Thursday, March 31, 2011

Crunchy Love


Well, this beautiful box of Almond Buttercrunch is all packed and ready to go out to Gayla's friend!  I'm so, so happy that y'all thought the whole thing was a good idea, and I hope the recipient enjoys the gift and the warm thoughts it conveys.

Thanks again to all of you who shouted out someone who might need a little pick-me-up.

As promised, you can make your own Almond Buttercrunch for yourself or for someone else - it might just be one of the easiest recipes you've ever seen.



1.  First, grease and flour a 9x9x2 baking pan.  You could also use a 8x8x2. Preheat oven to 350.

2.  Sift together 3/4 plus 2 T. flour, 1/4 t. baking soda, 1/8t. salt, and 1/4 t. freshly grated nutmeg


*** All photos here show me making a double recipe - that's why it looks like a little more ingredients than what is called for in the recipe.

3.  Next, melt 1 stick unsalted butter (or, if you just have salted butter, you might want to eliminate a tiny bit of the salt).

Remember, I'm doubling here...

4.  Whisk together the melted butter, 3/4 c. firmly packed light brown sugar, and 1/4 c. granulated sugar.



5.  Add 1 large egg, 1 t. vanilla, and 1/2 t. almond extract.


*I don't always do all my food prep so close to the edge of the counter, nor do I typically stir with my left hand - I was trying to get as close to the windows as possible for the light - it was a dreary day...


6.  Stir in the sifted mixture. Use a spoon.  Do not be me and try to use your whisk - the batter is thick.

7.  Now the good stuff.  Add 4 oz. of Heath Milk Chocolate English Toffee Bits, 3/4 c. chopped, toasted almonds, and 3/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips (or I just chopped up some baking chocolate squares).


Do you like my big, dark bowl as much as I do?



8.  Now, spread the batter in the prepared pan and cook for about 20-25 minutes.  Just until the whole top is nice and light brown.  Don't overcook.  We want gooey lusciousness.




9.  It won't be easy, and I've never succeeded, but wait until they are completely cool before cutting  into small bars.

Eat 12.

OK maybe 2.  Or 3 tops.

For now.


Now say it.  You were right, Lu.  That was easy.


Over and out.

Lu

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Donkey I Left Behind

I think I may have mentioned yesterday, or I may have even lamented about it for a good paragraph or two, that I didn't sleep much AT ALL the night before last.

It is highly possible that I may have lamented.

Anyhoo, I'd like to report that I did sleep considerably better last night, which I know is SUCH a huge relief to all of you.

However, after spending all day yesterday in Round Top and Warrenton (aka THE ANTIQUE/JUNK SALE OF NEVERENDINGNESS), I can also report that I still kind of feel like I was run over by some large piece of road construction machinery.

I feel a little better when I look upon these though,




These are my two new official marked #111 Texas Ware Bowls.  And I am so excited to introduce them today to their new home and all their cabinet mates.

They will be happy here.


I do still have to name them.  Perhaps this calls for a contest of some sort.



That reminds me!  I have already contacted Gayla and asked her to send me the mailing address for her friend she suggested that we mail our first baked goods gift to.  I drew her number this morning! The recipe for Almond Buttercrunch Bars will be posted tomorrow, and our first gift will be sent.
I hope that we can do this on a regular basis.

Thanks to everyone who sent in a suggestion.



I should also remind you that you can STILL ENTER the giveaway for your very own Texas Ware bowl.  Just put a comment at the end of this post, (or you can go back to the Monday March 28 post) and tell us what your favorite bar cookie is!  How simple is that?

Here's a preview of what you might win:


This one is a #118, the medium size, and is in almost mint condition.  I think it would be a fine start to your collection.

I have loved it well.


Now I should go and make some Almond Buttercrunch Bars, go to the grocery store to stock up on essentials (before The Chief is forced to make some kind of ANNOUNCEMENT), and clean out my underpants drawer.



But I feel sure I will spend most of the day mourning the fact that because of my HORRIBLE TENDENCY TO INDECISION, I came home from Round Top without this little piece of scrap metal preciousness:



Please do not judge my level of yard art SOPHISTICATION.

The emotional turmoil of my indecisiveness is punishment enough.

Lu

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Jive Talkin'

It's O'dark thirty and I apparently decided not to sleep last night.

Unless, of course you count the three minutes during which I had a horrible nightmare and woke up screaming. Or I think it was more of a moan.  Let me ask The Chief.

Yes, he said it was something like a creepy "you might have been Linda Blair" kind of moan.

Or, I suppose you could count the few minutes I was unconscious after I rolled off and hit my head on the wood floor.

But no restful sleep.  None.

Aren't I simply a BUNDLE OF DELIGHT this morning?



Let's just pretend.


First.  Today is the last day to suggest someone for our baked goods gift.  Thanks to Cindy, Gayla, Sara and Carol so far!  Go back to last Thursday's  post to read about the whole she-bang.


Second.  For Heavens Sake, don't forget to scroll back down to yesterday's post and enter the giveaway for the Texas Ware Bowl.  All you have to do is leave a comment telling us what your favorite bar cookie is!

It's easy.



Third.  Let's review last night's Dancing with the Stars.  I mean it needs to be done.

And I'll call your attention to the disclaimer I included in my last DWTS post.  I am no expert.  It's even possible I am hovering right around certifiably crazy.  So please accept my comments accordingly.


1.  Sugar Ray Leonard/Anna - Although I thought he did pretty good, he did have a couple of missteps and looked a bit stiff in his jive.  The judges seemed to come down especially hard on him, and Len certainly didn't have to say he thought he might go home this week.  I mean there are just all kinds of other ways to constructively criticize.  Len was on the cranky side last night.

2.  Kendra Wilkinson/Louis- The footage they showed of her practices last week noted her struggles with trying to look and act like a "lady" for her quick step.  She kept referring to herself as a Tomboy.  I'm doubting that anyone has ever confused her gender.  Anyhoo, she looked a tad nervous and very stressed in the shoulders and neck. I kind of think she may have missed a step or two near the end.  Overall it was OK, although the reviews were mediocre from the judges.

3.  Chelsea Kane/Mark - Personally, I loved it.  Funky, innovative, and so very much Mark!  He takes some big risks, though, with this kind of out-of-the-box choreography (especially when it comes to Len) however, you've got to appreciate his creativity.  Chelsea was cute and musical and her youth affords her lots of energy for a fast dance like this jive.  Her scores were all over the place, with Len coming in at a low 5.  I hate to see her score this low as she is super-talented.  And am I the only one that noticed that her bottom eyelashes curled up?

4.  Chris Jericho/Cheryl - I have to admit that last week I was not a fan.  But he really stepped it up this week, and looked much more natural and less pose-y.  His footwork was sharp and light, and as a wrestler he has the advantage of a strong central body core which translates to good control.  With such a strong partner in Cheryl, he has to be able to appear to lead.  I liked it, and so did the judges.

5.  Petra Nemcova/Dimitri - Well, the girl does have some long legs, doesn't she?  Honestly, I think she looked lost through much of the dance.  I'm not sure what else to say.  It was kind of odd that the judges didn't have anything too negative to say, although their scores reflected otherwise.  It's as if they can't bring themselves to say anything critical to her. They're going to have to buck up and criticize if they continue to give her low scores. I wonder how much of a fan base she has?

6.  Kirstie Alley/Maks - Kistie's quick step was good.  I think she found the pace a bit much to handle, but she survived in one piece.  If she keeps this up she may surpass her goal of losing 40 pounds!  She really seems to be a natural dancer, and has great musicality.  Her scores were lower than last week, but this was a cardiovascular workout!  I look for her to improve each week.

7.  Mike Catherwood/Lacey - Now I'm just telling you right now that I may go have a costume made for myself JUST LIKE LACEY'S.  A bikini with buttock ruffles.  I would be a sight.  OH A SIGHT I WOULD BE.
Mike did much better this week.  Not good, but better.  He is slightly pigeon-toed, and this is really noticeable when he dances.  He did at least appear to enjoy himself at times during this jive.  But the Marching! In! Place! has to go.  Again, bless his heart.

8.  Romeo/Chelsea - Very nice, sir! Bruno (or maybe Len, I don't remember) tagged him as "the one to watch". The judges liked it.  I liked it.  I worry a teensy bit about his desire to always appear "cool".  And just some advice- removing your shirt for practice will only get you 10 or 12 more votes.  Of course, some of the other contestants might garner a few more than 10 or 12  if they tried this tactic! And have I mentioned how HAPPY I am that he is not his father?

9.  Wendy Williams/Tony - I thought her quick step was a HUGE improvement from last week.  The 5 from Len was just wrong.  She really needs to work on her posture, but she's improving people!  Give her a break.  Like I said, Len = Cranky.  I think she deserved higher scores AND some encouragement! BY GOLLY.

10.  Ralph Macchio/Karina - He's just good.  His jive was fun and energetic, but according to the judges, too wild and "over-exaggerated".  Frankly, he has the skills to win it all.  He just seems more comfortable out there than anyone else, no?  I think he'll really wow us in the weeks to come. I googled him to see what he's been doing in the last few years, and was surprised that it was just a bit part or commercial here and there.  Perhaps he should try musical theater.  But I suppose I have no idea if he can even sing, which always helps with the "musical" part.  Nevermind.

11.  Hines Ward/Kym - What a cutie.  His quick step was a joy to watch.  He had a great frame and posture, and his footwork is almost impeccable.  Not to mention his killer smile.  Lot's of control and quickness.  I suppose that is kind of a requirement as a wide receiver.  He and I share the same birthday too!  Not the same year, of course.  He's a favorite.


Might be voted off tonight: Mike maybe?  Or Petra (depending on her fan base)?

Most Improved: Chris

In the Early Season Lead:  Ralph, Kirstie

So there you go.  Tonight we'll see who goes home.  I always cry for the first one voted off.

Of course, I'm a crier.  Yes, a crier.

And evidently an insomniac.



What did you think about last night's performances?



Lu

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Reminder, An Observation (or 2), and An Announcement

 Hey There, Hi, and Hello!

I'm feeling all efficient and such today.  And as The Chief says, if I want to be efficient, I probably shouldn't, you know, say a lot.

I suppose it's because I tend to want to share all kinds of things like how frustrating it is to never, ever, once, ever, be able to type the word because without it first coming out becasue.  Ever.

And how I'm simply devastated that my NCAA Basketball Tourney bracket WENT UP IN FLAMES over the weekend.  UMMM.....  A shout-out to the #1 and #2 seeds in the mix: WHAT UP MY FRIENDS?



So. For the sake of efficiency, I present the following, uh, groupings, yes GROUPINGS of thought!

So much better than a list, don't you think?




The Reminder!


Don't forget to send in your suggestions for who should receive this week's baked goods surprise. So far we have suggestions from Cindy, Gayla, and Sara.  To suggest someone yourself, simply give us a shout out on the comments here on this post (not on FB please) and make sure you don't include any identifying information about the person you are suggesting.  I'll pick the recipient on Wednesday and post the recipe and ship the gift on Thursday!




The Observation

Sunday's Houston Chronicle featured an article about SONIC ICE.

Well, more specifically, "nugget ice".  This year celebrates the 30th anniversary of this ICY WONDER.

Thank you Scotsman Ice Systems!  We (mankind) are truly indebted.

And Bless Their Hearts, they have also created a digital community, Luvthenug.com, a site where fans can locate their nearest chewable ice purveyor by ZIP CODE.
And please do not get me started on the nugget ice paraphernalia that is available, or the fact that THE NUG TRUCK WILL TOUR THE COUNTRY LATER THIS YEAR.

It is simply too much to fathom all in one day.




The Announcement 

Because it's Round Top Week!
Because my great neighbor JoBeth brought us some delicious Burnt Sugar Cake!
Because The Weege's leg seems a Little better!
Because I spilled BACON GREASE all over my kitchen floor last night!
Because NEITHER THE CHIEF NOR I FELL OFF THE BED LAST NIGHT!

I'm giving away another one of my beloved bowls.

Yes.  It's true.

This could be yours.


I KNOW!

And perhaps this whole giveaway thing IS simply an attempt on my part to justify my plan to buy two or three more at Round Top this week...

So Be It.

You might win a bowl because of my schemes!



I just love it when my schemes are productive all the way around.



So, if you'd like to be the proud owner of this #118 Official Marked Texas Ware bowl, do the following:

In the comment section  please tell us about your favorite "bar type" cookie.  And I don't mean like "alcohol" bar, Kevin.

*And FB friends, you are more than welcome to continue with your delightful!! comments on the FB, but for the gift suggestions and the bowl giveaway- please shout out here!



Has anyone noticed that I discovered the colored font button?


I'll pick a winner on Friday!

Here's another look!  We're legit around here, I tell you.


Happy Monday!

Lu







Friday, March 25, 2011

I Simply Cannot Help Myself

So here's the deal.

I may or may not have an unhealthy addiction to Dancing With the Stars.

Tuesday night was the premiere of Season 12 (in case you have been held captive under a rock somewhere), or I suppose it's INHERENTLY POSSIBLE that you may have other more important things in your life.  I shall not judge. But I tell you it is just the thing to take my mind off the things that make me worry and stress.

For an hour or two I can simply concentrate on the music and the dances, and most importantly contemplate the overriding societal consequences of Maks' ego issues, Lacey's hair indecisiveness , and Mark Ballas' hip gyrations.

Tuesday's show had all the regulars with Tom and Brooke as the co-hosts, and Carrie Ann, Len and Bruno as the judges.  And in my humble opinion, Tom and the judges make the show what it is.

Brooke is OK (and absolutely gorgeous and all) , but I think they keep her on because FRANKLY who else could they get to wear a dress with A LARGE SATELLITE DISH ATTACHED AT THE LEFT HIP?
And yes, you might be right.  I could simply be jealous of her.  My hips are large enough all on their own to pick up signals from space, I do not require the aid of a receiver of any sort.

Now I thought what I would do here is kind of sum up my take on the performances of each star from the first night.

*And it is my sincere hope that the rest of you DWTS fans will weigh-in with your opinions as well!

And mercy sakes, please note the following disclaimer:

Although I was a High School Dance/Drill Team Director for a lot of years, and have judged many,many Dance/Drill Team Competitions I am in no way a professional or even a semi-professional.  It is also highly probable that I have absolutely no clue at all what I am talking about.

Thank you.


1.  Chelsea Kane and Mark - As a non-Disney channel watcher, I had no idea who Chelsea was.  I find her young and fresh, and simply delightful.  To be the first competitor on the floor I thought she did a knock-out job..  Her height and long lines make her just look like a dancer, and she was adorable in that hip and happen' white dress.  It helped that the music selection for her foxtrot was one of my favorites, and I believe she is in the top 3 of the contestants as far as potential is concerned.  Also in her favor, her partner, Mark is young, and uber-talented as both a dancer and choreographer.

2.  Wendy Williams and Tony - Well Bless her Heart, I don't think she's what you'd call a "born dancer." She seemed hesitant and careful, and made one of her worst mistakes (again in my opinion) when she mouthed the words to the song while she was performing.  A definite no-no.  But you could tell that she was trying her hardest, and for me that's one of the most endearing aspects of the show - when a non-dancer continues to try and eventually makes breakthroughs week after week. And her expression when she finished her first performance was one of pure joy, and I believe, relief... and I was happy that she made it through.  I think I cried a little for her.

3.  Hines Ward and Kym - Football players have a pretty good record as contestants on the show.  Look at Emmott Smith and Kurt Warner.  This Super Bowl MVP looks to be another winner.  His cha-cha was high energy and the judges labeled it "sparkly" (which simply may have been the light reflecting off the 3 carat studs he was sporting in each ear).  His smile alone can light up the floor, and he has a great partner in Kym who has consistently transformed some pretty challenging partners into real dancers.
 AND OH MY SWEET MERCY WAS KYM ROCKIN' THAT AWESOME COSTUME OR WHAT?

4.  Petra Nemcova and Dimitri - This supermodel, who to me could be a sister to Brooke Shields, or the daughter of Jane Seymour, is as you would expect, tall, thin and elegant.  Although a little stiff from  injuries in the 2004 tsunami, she is controlled and steady.  She seemed a little hesitant at first, but her long, graceful lines were perfect for this foxtrot.  I loved the music and that gorgeous dress almost made me like purple (or actually lilac). And it is nice to see Dimitri back...I did not mind looking at him.

5.  Romeo and Chelsea - I'll be honest and just say right off the bat that I have a hard time forgetting the fact that Romeo's father (Master P from DWTS Season 2) GOT ON MY VERY LAST NERVE.  The older Rapper's attitude was about too much for me to take.  I was happy to see that Lil' Romeo appeared to be more willing to do what it takes to succeed on the show.  Although I thought the music was awful and monotonous, he was not too bad.  With some improvement in posture, footwork, and technique I think he will be around a while,  And Chelsea is a fan favorite and an awesome choreographer.

6.  Sugar Ray Leonard and Anna - I thought his first dance, the foxtrot, was pretty good.  The judges noted his moments of "Ben Vereen-ness" which is a good sign because, well, Mr. Vereen was nobody's fool on the dance floor.  He still has a boxer's stooped posture and some definite flat- footedness, but his energy level was high and you could tell he worked hard in practice.  One bad issue, though, is that Anna (although I like her!) is not one of the best choreographers on the show. I wish him well.

7.  Kendra Wilkinson and Louie - A well thought-out pairing by the show's producers, no?  Um, I'm not really sure what to say except that you could see that Kendra has some "dance" experience in her
past, and I suppose as a "reality TV star" she is accustomed to the cameras being on her.  AHEM.  But, let's see,  she had GREAT! ENERGY! for this cha-cha!  Yes, she did.  I do think she needs to work a bit on her posture.  Louie is the show's best choreographer, and that's a plus.  I will be interested to see how she does in one of the Ballroom dances like the waltz...

8.  Ralph Macchio and Karina - Apparently they found a 12 year old who looks just like Ralph Macchio did a hundred years ago when he played the karate kid and are pretending he is 49.  I thought he was great.  Sometimes a little wild, and he must work on extending all of his movements, but WOW he was a surprise!  I think one of his greatest challenges may be working with Master Sargent Karina.

9.  Chris Jericho and Cheryl - Now I'm just guessing, but I don't think Chris is Cheryl's ticket to another Mirror Ball Trophy.  A wrestler, Mr. Jericho reminded me of Buzz Lightyear.  Did you catch his smile?  It was Buzz all the way.  Hesitant, unsure, and kind of awkward?  I think he'll do great when it comes time to incorporate some lifts into the routines, because, you know, WRESTLING.  But I think it's possible he might not be around long enough to see him get his chance.

10.  Mike Catherwood and Lacey - Another unknown to me (but of course, I rarely get out) Mike is as cute as a bug and his honesty about his lack of dancing talent is refreshing.  Lacey is a firecracker and comes up with some unique and yet VERY CHALLENGING choreography, and I'm not sure how much Mike can handle.  He just wasn't very, you know, good.  I hear that Lacey has already been warned to "tone down the sensual-type moves" and I just say Good Luck on that one.  And please just pardon me while I say this:  "Lacey.  Girlfriend.  MAKE A HAIR DECISION. You can't have it both ways."

11.  Kirstie Alley and Maks - Strategically positioned as the very last contestant to perform, MS. ALLEY, SHE DID NOT DISAPPOINT.  I was perched precariously on the edge of the couch so I could conveniently hop up, throw my hands over my eyes,  and go hide around the corner if it was one of those "I really cannot look at this train wreck anymore" kind of moments.  But she can dance y'all!  Really.  She has the moves. This 60 year old has some moves!  I was SO happy for her I cried.  And not just a little.  About all I can suggest is that she do something about her hair. Quick.
And I must mention THE LARGER THAN LIFE EGO sometimes referred to as Maks.  Honestly, I think , as much as he irks me, EVEN I MIGHT BE ABLE TO DANCE WITH MAKS.  I mean have you seen the man, you know, MOVE?



So.  There's what I thought.

Now you can go live your life in relative peace and harmony.

But don't forget to let us know what YOU THINK.

Lu

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Really. I've Had an Idea.

Necessity is the Mother of Invention.

Or is it

Your Mother Invented Necessity?

I can never remember.



But anyway, to move this along, I have an announcement:  I've Had an Idea.

Now, that's not to say I've never had one before.  I have.  Some better than others.  The Chief keeps a list, I believe, of some of the most memorable ones.  But I'd appreciate it if no one asked him about it, because for some reason he only puts certain ones on there, and they're usually not my favorites.

AHEM.

I just know though, that y'all are going to like this one.

I can feel it.

Several times I've mentioned that The Chief sometimes very politely accuses me of trying to kill him with cookies and cakes and OTHERSUCHSTUFF.

And well, I can understand.  Not the attempting to do him bodily harm part, just the concern about the health effects of the two of us being responsible for NOT WASTING the baked goods I make in order to showcase the recipe here on the blog.

So I was wondering... (and I've seen something similar on another website) how it might work if all of you thought about people you know who might be just as pleased as punch to receive a little baked goods surprise in the mail.

For example, maybe you know someone who has had a recent bout of illness, or the extended illness of a family member.  Or perhaps a friend who has lost their job or has been on a job hunt LIKE FOREVER.  Or maybe your neighbor who has just been down in the dumps and needs to know that someone out there is thinking about them.

I would let y'all "nominate" people for several days and then I'll choose one and pack and ship a box of cookies or brownies or whatever I was making for the blog recipe. Of course I would have to limit the shipped items to things that wouldn't melt or be destroyed.

I would include a little note in the box to let them know who suggested them, and why they were receiving the gift. Probably just something like "Quixote was thinking of you and thought you might like this treat...Enjoy!"  You know, something short and sweet and not embarrassing or anything. 

I would be proud and honored to pay the shipping costs for these "gifts."  All that to say, I hope all of the people you nominate aren't in Antarctica.(Insert smiley face)

I hope you understand that even though I certainly don't have to know you personally for you to nominate someone, I can't take nominations from "Anonymous" readers.  Because of this, in order to nominate someone, please put a Non-anonymous comment in the comments section right after this post.  Please tell us a little bit about the person you think would appreciate the gift (without mentioning any names or other identifying information).

Something like this:  

I have a friend who, as a single Mom, is having a really difficult time making ends meet.  She's exhausted both mentally and physically.  I think a little surprise like this in the mail would really lift her spirits!

or

My neighbor recently spent two weeks in the hospital but is home now.  She's still unable to do a lot around the house and I know her family would appreciate something that didn't come from a fast food restaurant! 


After I choose a recipient (by drawing a number or I may get fan-cee and use the random choice computer thingie), I'll announce that on the blog and then ask that whoever suggested that person send me the information necessary to send the gift on it's way!

 So.

Let's at least try it.  I'll plan to do a recipe post next Thursday ( March 30).  You can start suggesting people today!

I may post some type of recipe later this week, but it won't be one that will ship well. So our first gift will go out at the end of next week.


Don't you just LOVE making someone smile?

Have I ever mentioned how many times all of you have made me smile?.


Thanks y'all,
Lu





Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Of Course Mine Will Be Better Than Hers

Yo.

The Weegester here.

Last week Mom wrote a Springtime Alphabet.  Several of you suggested that I might want to do the same.


Well, fine.

The things I do for you people.

But look, mine will not be seasonally limited.  That's just not how I roll.


A is for Anterior Cruciate Ligament (or ACL) - one of the important ligaments of the knee.  One of mine is torn. But NEVERYOUMINDTHAT.   How's yours?

B is for Blueberry - I love me a blueberry.  Or 16.

C is for Chicken, Cheese, and Cow - Make sure y'all keep these in the right order.



D is for Drivers License - Mom's expired on her birthday a couple of weeks ago, and she hasn't gone to renew it.  I think she's concerned about the picture - she wants to keep the one taken like 8 years ago.  Pitiful.


E is for E.G. - My given name, and also a West African country where The Chief has spent a lot of time.

F is for Flea - Mom saw one on me last week and Freaked (also appropriate here at F).  I have had a bath and been given a flea prevention pill.  I am now Fluffy and Flea-free .  I ROCK! at this alphabet thing.

G is for Gimpy - this is what The Chief has been calling me lately.  And really, I'm OK with it.  But only because it's The Chief.  Anyone else?  No.

H is for Hi-Ho-Hippity - I believe Mom already made this clear.

I is for Intelligent, Ingenious, Instigator, Innovator -  All me.

J is for juxtaposition - A nifty word I'm trying to remember to use more in everyday conversation.

K is for Kirstie Alley - Look, I know she's had her issues, but I can't tell you how pleasantly surprised I was to see that THE GIRL,  SHE CAN DANCE.

L is for leisure - NUFF SAID.



M is for Mule - But you already  KNEW THAT, didn't you?

YEAH  BABY.



N is for Nap



O is for Opossum-  Have you people seen the teeth on these things?  SHEESH... Scary.

P is for Petunia - Oh my gosh.  Mom has planted them all over the backyard.  And now she tells me that I need to watch where I step (and other things), and I'm telling you it's a PAIN .  And there I go again with a P.  Amazing, simply amazing.

Q is for Quixote - A nice name.  I wouldn't mind if you called me Quixote Weege.

R is for Raccoon - They're kinda cute until they do the whole back "hunchy" thing, and then just... CREEPY.

S is for Squeaky Toy - I have two.  One orange. One Green.


When you get them from the store they have horns and ridiculous little feet.  I chew those suckers off in no time flat.  They have the most wonderful loud squeak.  Well, the orange one does.  The green one somehow lost all it's squeaky.  Mom prefers it when I play with that one.  But I always choose the orange one.  It's more irritating.


T is for Temperature - it's getting hot my friends.  Welcome to just North of Houston.

U is for Underbelly - I'm what my homeboys refer to as a "low-rider".

V is for Velveeta - The SIMPLY DELIGHTFUL processed cheese product that Mom wraps around my Anti-Inflammatory pills.  Oh, the smooth mouthfeel...

W is for Weegie, Weegester, Weegeums, and The Weegie Mister.

X is for Xylophone -The Miss America Talent Contest instrument of choice.

Y is for Yo - As in Yo, the Weege here.

Z is for Zippy - You can call me this if you wish.


Peace Out.

The Weege

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring Sprang Sprung

I know it must be Spring because I was working out in the yard yesterday and sneezed one hundred and forty two times.

I don't even have allergies.  At least not to blooming things.

The Chief claims I have allergies to home improvement-type things like laying tile and digging trenches for sprinkler systems.  And oh yes, I do have to take the occasional medication when it comes to my SEVERE ALLERGIC REACTION TO PAINTING, but that's about it for me in the things that typically make me break out in hives.

So evidently, the pollen right now?  Lots of it.

I wanted to show you some pictures of the pots that me and the fire ants ( the fire ants and I?... whatever) have been battling over for the last few days.

Here's one.  Now keep in mind that they've just been planted so there's no, you know, lushness yet.





And a close-up or two






And while we're at it, I know it's been difficult for you to sleep not knowing the current status of my Rosemary





and a SHOUT OUT  from the parsley and new basil




And the freshly planted cilantro and German thyme



And Oh of course, there's this:


He has recently burrowed out a nice little place that just fits his buttocks, and I have no intention of trying to plant anything near there.

I know you are relieved.



Anyway I should probably confess that not everything in my yard looks quite as alive and vibrantly blooming as in most of these photos.

Don't think for one minute that I'm above cropping out the old dead stuff and just posting the good stuff.


I'm not.

And I did.


I want to know... How does your garden grow?

Lu

Monday, March 21, 2011

Now I Can Only Appreciate the Sonic-esque Ice

Oh nothing much happened on the way to the farm on Friday except that I was LITERALLY TRAUMATIZED in the bathroom at Buc-ee's.

I should have known something would go wrong.

It was just weird, you know.

The Chief vehemently dislikes Buc-ee's.

The people.  The cars.

The fact that people consider it a vacation spot.

The Beaver... So it was just strange that he decided to stop.

But I was so delighted at the prospect of THE ICE and THE BATHROOMS and perhaps some BEAVER NUGGETS, that I disregarded the warning signals flashing at warp speed from my brain.

This is NOT SURPRISINGLY the first time I have successfully ignored them.

The Chief and I went in, and I headed straight to the bathroom.  Now, I'm sorry, but one of the best things about Buc-ee's is the bathroom.  It's clean, there are lots of individual stalls so you never have to wait, and EACH STALL HAS A FULL-LENGTH DOOR WITH A LOCK THAT EVEN HAS A LITTLE GREEN (VACANT) AND RED (OCCUPIED) INDICATOR.

If you've ever been in a typical convenience store restroom you know why a person appreciates these things.  There's no huge open space at the bottom of the door through which the toddler in the adjacent stall with his Mom can climb and join you.  There's no dangling pieces of a long-missing lock, there is no three inch gap in the door that you have to try to shield with your purse.

So as you would expect, I was anticipating another good bathroom experience.

I looked down the row until I found the first CLEARLY GREEN AND VACANT STALL.  I turned the VERY UNLOCKED DOOR HANDLE.

And then quite frankly I nearly wet myself which, of course, would just eliminate the need for the whole visit to this house of horror in the first place.

It was occupied.  By  a girl.  I'm guessing a mid-teen.  And I had opened the door at a bad time.  And that's just all I'm gonna say about it.

And while slamming the door closed, and muttering about being "SO, SO SORRY", and how "THE DOOR SAID VACANT!" and "I PROMISE IT WAS GREEN!" and stammering all over myself, I ducked as quickly as my almost paralyzed limbs would shuffle me to the next VACANT STALL where I collapsed into a heap and vowed to never again be tempted by the beaver.

And just a minute or so later, I hear the occupant of the other stall leave and go toward the sinks and such, and THEN I HEAR THIS... "Mom, you won't believe!  Some creepy lady actually opened the door on me when I was using the bathroom!!"

And I think I died.

Yes.  It's possible that I may have simply quit breathing when Mom replied "Well Honey, I've told you there are some weird people in this world and you have to be very careful".

And I wanted to scream at the VERY TOP OF MY LUNGS "But the door was Green!  And Unlocked!'

But mostly I wanted to shout "I AM SO NOT CREEPY!!".

And can I just tell you that my very first plan was just to stay there in that stall on the floor in the fetal position forever.  Or at least until Buc-ee's closed for the day and some kind of sanitation worker called the police when they found me there.

But then I decided, that knowing Buc-ee, he never closes.


The Chief would have eventually gotten tired of waiting for me and just gone on, I'm sure.  It wouldn't have been the first time he simply forgot that I was with him and left without me. It would be the third or fourth time.

So honestly, I stayed in there LIKE FOREVER and was absolutely sure when I came out there would be police and wanted posters and all featuring my face.

And when I finally made the decision that those people were probably gone, and that I probably needed to be hooked up to an IV of some sort, I dragged my still-shaken self out of that stall, made eye contact with ABSOLUTELY NO ONE, and went straight to our vehicle.

Seriously, I kept my head down the whole time I stopped at the cash register to buy this:


Because, well, when one is TRAUMATIZED, one needs CHOCOLATE.

And then I couldn't discuss the whole awful incident with The Chief because his Dad was with us and I didn't want to traumatize him TOO with all the talk of  'bathrooms' and 'creepy' and stuff.
That would have just been too weird.

It is so much easier just to share the incident with the entire INTERNET and all...


So I just decided to hang on to my chocolate purchase until such time that I voluntarily checked myself into some type of NATIONALLY RENOWNED CENTER FOR EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL HEALING.

Or at least until I told y'all.


Thanks for listening.


I hope you don't think I'm creepy.

Lu

Friday, March 18, 2011

I Know. It's Almost too Exciting to Believe.

So.

It's Friday.

Some of you are winding down a Big Spring Break Week. To others it's just the beginning of another humdinger of a weekend.

Here's the scoop around here.

1.  The mattress inspector is coming next week.  Beside the fact that I am delighted that I have progressed this far through the process (it's like being in a pageant or something, and we've made it to the semi-finals) I'm a little creeped out that someone is coming here specifically to inspect my bed.  I mean, I'm sorry, but what kind of person has that job?  Going into peoples homes and using a ruler and magnifying glass to substantiate the claims of mattress sagging and deflation... I don't care to think about it.  And I'm already feeling paranoid.  I have to make sure the cushions on the couch and all the chairs are nice and fluffed-up so he doesn't try to weave some kind of story about general and broad-sweeping deflatedness in our home.

2.  I've mentioned that I'm having Fire Ant issues.  I have several big pots in my backyard that I am planting with beautiful, colorful blooms.  When I set out to do the planting, I discovered that the ants had taken up residence in 4 of the 6 pots.  Of course, if I was smart I would have figured this out a long time ago.  The pansies that were planted in those 4 pots for winter were significantly less profuse and beautiful than the non-ant pots.
Anyhoo.
Getting the ants out of the pots has been A PROBLEM.  I have all but one pot planted.  The ant poison (sorry my organic friends) that I used is apparently more of an "Ant Relocator".  They don't die.  They just move over a bit. Which at this point is fine.  I just want to be able to plant my flowers without needing Emergency Room care immediately thereafter.

3.  The Weege has a pre-surgery visit today.  I'm getting really nervous about having to keep him "still and quiet" for several weeks after the surgery.  Weegie doesn't do still very well.  I know that I always post pictures of the little guy sleeping, but he's quite active sometimes.  Especially if a water hose, a cow, or chicken in any form is involved.

4.  We go to the farm this afternoon.  The warm weather lately is just what usually draws the scorpions out.  I'll be sure to send a report when we get back.  I don't even have anything else to say about it.  The scorpion cycle. It defies words.

5.  Some of you know that I'm playing the ESPN Tournament Challenge with a bunch of other bloggers.  After the second round games I'm still doing OK, but there are apparently a few flaws in my "any team with a mascot that has fur will beat any other team with a mascot that has feathers" method of prediction.

Apparently now I have to factor in the footwear of the coaches.

SWEET MERCY.  This is all so technical and complex.


6.  I'm posting a new recipe next week.  I don't care what The Chief says.  Well, I do.  But not about this.  Because.  REALLY.  I'm not trying to kill him with all the sweets.

The Chief does not have to feel solely responsible for eating what I make.

I'll give them away.

To the neighbors.

The mailman.

THE ANTS.

The Mattress Guy!


Although I suppose that could be considered bribery, and HEAVEN KNOWS we don't want that.




Let me know if you've been craving anything special - cookies, pie, cheesecake????




Now please enjoy an  ANT AND SCORPION-FREE weekend.


Lu

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Some Springtime ABC's

Well.

Looky there.  It's almost Spring.  Let's get things in order.



A is for Asparagus- a Springy vegetable if there ever was one.  Broiled to al dente' perfection with just a little olive oil, salt and pepper.  Good eatin'.

B is for Bracket - OH YES MA'AM.  Don't think for a minute mine isn't filled out and ready to win.

C is for Cotton - The Fabric of our Lives, and just about the only thing I can wear between now and November that doesn't make me itch and sweat.

D is for Dogwood - One of my favorite things to do is try to spot all the Dogwoods in bloom between here and the farm.  I try to announce and point out each and every tree to The Chief as we drive north on I-45.  I cannot tell you the pleasure he gets from this.  Really.

E is for Eggs - Deviled eggs to be exact (and I suppose this could have appeared at D, but I didn't feel right usurping the ubiquitous Dogwood)  I do love me a Deviled Egg in the Spring.

F is for Fire Ant - Now I'm not gonna yammer on and on here about my current intense disdain for these creatures.  But you should know that I'm about ready to call in an Exorcist for my backyard.  All of my neighbors have their yards chemically treated, thus making our yard Official Fire Ant Safe Haven.
Me and the fire ants.  We are on the outs.

G is for Green - I just love watching all the green budding out.  Green grass.  Green trees.  Green is Good.

H is for Hi-Ho-Hippity - It just is.

I is for Impatiens - I just planted a bunch, and of course since some of them weren't blooming at the time, and the crazy nursery evidently has a colorblind person labeling them, instead of fuschia, white, fuschia, white...I have fuschia, fuschia, fuschia, fuschia, white, fuschia, white, white, fuschia, white, white, white.
Please don't judge.

J is for Jackrabbit - I don't know why.  I've just been thinking how much fun it would be to see a Jackrabbit.  I used to see them when The Chief's family had a place in The Hill Country.  But it's been a long time.  Does someone have a Jackrabbit I could look at?

K is for Kangaroo - Look, cut me some slack here.  Or maybe Knowledge.  Yes, that sounds better.  K is for Knowledge.  Let's get some.

L is for Lepidoptera - I've been seeing quite a few beautiful butterflies lately.  Did you know I absolutely love insects?  I still have my very favorite Entomology text from college.  I look at it all the time.  Does that make L stand for Loser?

M is for Mint - I planted most of my herbs the other day.  I hesitated to buy a mint plant.  If you've ever introduced Mint into your garden you know why.  It's invasive, prolific, and obnoxious.  But you know how I am with smells.  A good scent makes me forgive a lot of transgressions.  I have decided.  I will buy a tiny little mint plant today. (And then schedule the Garden Exorcist for a return visit in July.)

N is for Noxzema- period.

O is for Opossum - I'm seeing them run across the fence every night, sending Weegie into some type of conniption fit.  And while we're discussing the Opossum, I feel like we owe it to ourselves to find out why someone, somewhere simply decided to drop the pronunciation of the "O" at the beginning of their name.  How would you feel if people just decided the first letter or so of your name was unimportant.  You wouldn't like it, that's what.

P is for Prints, Plaids, and Paisley - I wear solids.  Pretty much all the time. I'm just not a prints, plaid, and paisley girl.  I know.  I'm in a rut.  I try the other on and it just looks wrong.  I want to be bold and buy out of my comfort zone.  Perhaps there is medication for this?

Q is for Quince - I see them in the store, but never buy them.  Supposedly, the taste is somewhere between a pear and an apple.  And I just looked them up.  Evidently they should be on my "Autumn ABC List" instead of Spring.  But what the hey - they filled the Q spot.

R is for Reading - I've been reading a lot lately, and it's just such a delight to be able to actually do so without squinting.  I do love my glasses, and how I can, you know, SEE.

S is for Sandal - I bought some new ones this week (Oh,  and by the way, I ended up returning the cute ones I showed you a few weeks ago...I felt a little unstable when I put them on.  And I'm all about stablility.  And not breaking my ankle.) and one pair of the new ones has the cutest and kickiest flower on them.  S is also for Stylin'.

T is for Turbinado Raw Cane Sugar - I had a temporary lapse in judgment recently and bought a HUGE bag.  I'm going to have to make a large quantity of SOMETHING pretty soon and sprinkle it with Turbinado sugar.  If I don't, The Chief will eventually spot the Big Bag, and politely ask me what it's for and why it's so, you know, BIG.  And I will have nothing logical to say.  The End.

U is for Utilitarian - I just like the word.

V is for Veni, Vedi,  Vici - That's 3 V's!  I came. I saw. I conquered.  This played a part in a book I just finished.  I need to make this my motto in The Laundry Room.

W is for Weegie - :)

X is for Xylem - Not phloem. Oh no.  Xylem.  And all my science teacher friends said Amen.

Y is for Yogurt - The Greek kind.  I think I have a problem.  I think about Greek Yogurt a lot.  Greek Yogurt with a teaspoon of honey or strawberry preserves.  Is this wrong?  I try not to think about it.  But I can't stop.

Z is for Zumba - All the rage.  I have never been to a Zumba class, but I think I may need to get a DVD or something because, well I could use some Zumbization? Zumbizing? Zumbification?

Yes.  Zumbification.

I could use some.





Now go have yourself a good day.  I mean it.

Lu

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Up Close with The Weege


Weegie decided at long last to answer a few of the hundreds of questions sent in by his fans...


Q:  Weegie, what's your favorite leisure- time activity?

A:  Well if I could do anything in the world it would be riding in the Mule with The Chief.  I mean if Mom has to come along, fine.  But she takes up a lot of the room in the seat beside The Chief.


Q:  Where do you sleep?  In a dog house?

A:  You mean like in an outside dog house?  Like in the night time out-of- doors?  Uh, no.  I sleep on a tempurpedic-type dog bed in The Laundry Room.  But if Mom is out of town, The Chief lets me sleep anywhere I want, which is usually the leather chair in the sun room.  Or on the floor right beside The Chief's side of the bed.  Mom says that I make too many noises, wander around too much in the night, and  keep her awake.

I say Prima Donna.



Q:  What's your favorite food?

A:  Uh, Chicken.  Followed closely by blueberries and cheese (especially the Cougar Gold variety from the Washington State University Creamery.  Go online.  Order yourself some.  And get me some while you're at it.  We're out.). 

And every Saturday morning I enjoy a Homemade- From -Scratch-Buttermilk Pancake.  Or if I play my cards right, two.


Q:  What type of music do you like to listen to?

A:  I am really liking Maroon 5 and Adele these days.  And I always enjoy a little Jack Johnson.


Q:  Who do you like in the NCAA Basketball Tournament?

A:  I'm picking Kansas to take the Championship, but I think Duke will do all they can to keep that from happening. I believe Penn State will make a fine showing, and I say that Texas A&M will at least make the Sweet Sixteen.  I kindly give Texas a Second Round win over Oakland, but will enjoy an Arizona trouncing of the Longhorns in the Third Round.  And watch Georgetown make it to the Elite Eight.

Mom is all involved in some ESPN Bracket Challenge with a bunch of other lady bloggers, and she strategically made all her choices based on 1) Mascot  2) School Colors  3) Coach Sideline Demeanor  and 4) Whether or not she could name the state that the school was in.

Surprisingly, The Chief and I liked some of her picks.  Go figure.


Q:  I hear you've been having some problems with a torn ACL.  What's the prognosis?

A:  I've been taking some anti-inflammatory medication which helps with the discomfort.  I see the Vet again on Friday to discuss surgical options.  Mom has assured me that she would see to my every need during the recovery time.  I guess I'm OK with the plan to proceed.

Mom is pretty adept at pity-giving.


Q:  Weege, what adjectives would you use to describe yourself?

A:  Oh wow.  I'd say approachable, entertaining, funny, introspective, and loyal.
Mom says I should add manipulative and spoiled. 
I say No and No.
It's clearly her jealousy talking.


Q:  Any big travel plans in the near future?

A:  Well, Mom, The Chief and I will be taking the travel trailer on some big adventure soon.  Maybe over to Big Bend.  We'll eat and hike and have all kinds of fun.  Mom says I have to get my leg in working order before then, though.  The hikes.  They are Long and Hard. 

And The Chief flatly refuses to let Mom push me around in a baby stroller.  Not that I'd want to, of course.  I mean you see the Poodles and other Prissy Dogs and such in strollers sometimes and it's just kind of embarrassing.

However, who am I to argue if my leg is still gimpy, and well, the sun shade and all...?

But I can see The Chief's point.

Not gonna happen.



That's all for today, folks.  But please continue to send in your questions - Weegie likes to ponder them.


As always,

Peace Out!

Monday, March 14, 2011

And to Think, This is All Free.

Good Morning, Good Monday, and may I add Good Grief.

It happens to me every time.  Every 'spring forward' for me is like a horrible case of jet lag.

I do so much love the extended hours of daylight in the evenings, but OH SWEET MERCY I feel like I was hit by a bus.


A very large bus.


But you're not here for this "woe is me" stuff, now are you?  You're here for encouragement, for excitement, for a taste of the Big Time, and I DO NOT PLAN TO DISAPPOINT.

I know  there are very few places you can go to experience first hand the 'Living Large' that you get around here, and I am proud to be your guide.

Proud.




Right off the bat let me apologize.  I am so, so, sorry.

I have cheated all of you out of the possibility of ever seeing me dressed in these:



I KNOW! 

 It took all the restraint I could muster not to snatch them up from one of the vendors at the Houston Livestock Show.

I'll just say it for all of us.

"I would have been nothing short of a sight to behold wearing those ruffled, lacy, pink pantaloons."

A SIGHT I tell you.

And with the addition of the kicky lime green boots?
I think Fashion Forward would be an understatement, no?

But it's The Chief's fault.  I mean he would never actually give me a 'yay' or 'nay' when I asked his opinion...
Now that I think about it, he wouldn't even acknowledge me at all.

He just wandered off over toward all the farm equipment and tried to look terribly interested in buying a new cattle squeeze shoot.  I can't imagine why he didn't want to be over at the booth with me when I tried them on.

His loss, I suppose.



I somehow avoided eating a fried candy bar or anything fried while I was there.  But I tell you there was no shortage of opportunity.


The temptation was there



But I think it may have been The Chief's warning look, or maybe when I spotted the handicap sign between the Snickers and the Twinkies that I decided on a Large Diet Coke instead.

Just call me a chicken.



We did have a great time, and especially got a kick out of seeing the "Rodeo and Western" fashion choices of all those people who are not what you'd call 'natural farmers and ranchers'.

But, Bless their Hearts, they were having fun and just a BIG TIME, and who am I to judge?

Amen?



And of course we loved looking at all the beefed up livestock, and occasionally could not tell the difference between the cattle and the pigs, but that's what it's all about- The Biggest and The Best.


The cows at the farm would not even recognize these robust specimens as some of their own.



It was Llama and Alpaca day.


These two were waiting to have their hair curled on those pink spongy rollers or maybe orange juice cans...


I decided that I think the Llamas look a little haughty and snobbish, while the alpacas could not be cuter...


As a matter of fact, Darn It if The Chief didn't stop me from picking the lock on the pen of this one...


I was planning on bringing it home for Weegie.

I mean, please.  Can you imagine the cuteness of the two of them together?

But Mr. Burst my Bubble and Shoot Me Down reminded me that we had driven my car and not his truck, AND OF COURSE that the little 10 year old girl who owned said alpaca was watching me and dragging her very large father over to the pen.

Foiled again.

So I've decided.

Next time I go I must leave The Chief at home.

Because, really, just think about it.

If I had been alone, I would have come home wearing those great pantaloons and boots, holding a fried Twinkie in one hand, and a fried Snickers in the other while leading that precious Alpaca back here to The Weegester.

I mean that picture alone would be enough for you to keep clicking over here every day for the rest of your natural life.



Yee Haw.

(Oh, and Happy Pi Day!)

Lu

Friday, March 11, 2011

These Things. They Bug Me.

Edited to add:  I wrote this post before hearing about the tragic earthquake and subsequent tsunami that has devastated parts of Japan and Hawaii.  Please know that my trivial yammerings are just that, trivial.
Nothing seems very important at all when you hear of suffering and lives lost.

I plan to keep all of those affected by the tragedy in my prayers and hope you will too.

I'm posting this in hopes that it brings a smile to someone's face today.

Lu

*****************************************************************************

Well.

I've been quiet on this subject for a long, long, time.  But something needs to be said.

My hips.

They have gone rogue.

Along with their running buddies, the buttocks and thighs.  And pray tell, you DO know that I don't mean 'running' in the healthy, exercise-type way.  No, I mean running in the same "Hey let's hang-out together and get all big and flabby together' way.

I wish I was lying, but something has to be done.  And fast.

And why yes, I did go shopping yesterday and try-on clothes.

WHY DO YOU ASK?



So that's been bugging me.




And The Sunlight.

That is bugging me too.

Specifically the sunlight that, because of the time of the year, finds it's way into my family room/breakfast area now every morning at about 7:15.

IT. IS. AWFUL.

In a dust-revealing way.

And a Weegie-Hair revealing way.

Oh yes it is.

And a streaks on the huge windows revealing way.

Arrgghh...

But miraculously if I can just hold out for around 30 minutes or so it all kind of disappears.

I suppose in a "you only see what you want to" kind of way.


And then.


The Chief has apparently bought himself another house to remodel, and this bugs me.

The man.  He is a WORKER.

And his WORK-LADEN projects reveal what a slacker I am.

A horrible slacker.



So today The Chief and I are going to the Livestock Show.

My main goal is to eat a Fried Candy Bar of some sort and maybe a BBQ sandwich which comes with an order of something else fried.

And I feel sure in my own delusional way that this will cure me.

Of everything.

Please feel free to join me (if just for today) in the Wonderful World of Denial.

I welcome you.

Lu

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Salad CPR

There's nothing worse than a bad salad.

Have you ever planned to serve a salad to your family or guests and then discovered much too late that your salad fixin's were, well, slim to none?

There's a simple way, I believe, to save almost any bad salad.

Homemade croutons, my friends.

I never, ever buy croutons in a bag or box and if we're gonna stay friends, you shouldn't either.

(I'm just kidding - I like you just the way you are.)  Well, except for when you buy margarine instead of butter and try to tell me it's the same thing, because, well it's SO not..., and that time you used cake frosting from a can.

But really, there's just no need I tell you.  You can make your own in just a few minutes and they put the bagged or boxed croutons to shame.


CROUTON SHAME.


Here's all you have to do:


Find some bread







This is french bread that's two or three days old.  You can use almost anything. Pre-sliced white or wheat bread, breakfast-type breads like cranberry nut bread or English Muffins, you can even make delicious croutons with hamburger or hotdog buns, hoagie rolls, or leftover dinner rolls.

Even cornbread.  I tell you the possibilities are limitless, so really you have NO excuse.

None.

Cut the bread into small cubes (or large - whatever floats your crouton boat.)


Mix up some kind of seasoning blend.  I used about a third cup of grated Parmesan, a teaspoon of Lowry's seasoned salt, about 1/4 tsp. garlic powder, some finely chopped fresh rosemary, and a little pepper.
(Oh, and I threw in a few dried parsley flakes because I was trying to get rid of the dregs left in the bottom of the container.)


But, I'm telling you, you can be as creative or conservative as you like.  Sometimes I use crumbled bleu cheese, or feta, and I've even used regular grated cheddar - but just be aware that when you use a moist cheese you get lots of melting and "stick together-age" and you might end up with a large crouton-like  lump, but I'm sure it will still beat the ones in a bag by a mile.


Melt some butter.  I have a problem with self-control around butter, so this time I tried to show some restraint lest you all think me EXCESSIVE or something.  I melted about 1/4 stick and poured it over the bread cubes, stirring them around to make sure the butter was evenly distributed.

(But honestly, if you all hadn't been watching me like a hawk I would have used a half stick)

I's just who I am.


Sprinkle your seasoning mix over the bread and toss to coat.  Pour them onto a sheet pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.


(You can see that I once again thought I would dazzle, yes DAZZLE you with one of my fan-cee sheet pans.  Please don't judge.)

Bake at 400 degrees until  nice and golden brown.  About 10-15 minutes.  If your oven is nicely preheated you shouldn't even have to stir them around or anything.


I'm telling you the salad actually ends up being optional.  These are a food group unto themselves.


Sadly, sometimes I have to slap The Chief's hand or he will eat them all before I can get them on the salad.

I certainly don't condone kitchen violence, but sometimes, the man, he is out of control crouton-wise.


But really, put some away for the salad.

You'll like me for it.


Lu

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

You Might Want to Pack a Snack

I feel it's only proper, yes, the polite thing to do,  to warn you that I have absolutely no plan for this post.

Unlike the, uh... two times that I did start out a post with something definitive in mind, I mean.

A lot of what I've done lately just doesn't seem to lend itself to any type of lighthearted, upbeat banter.

The only pictures I've taken in the last little while are of Weegie trying to drink my leftover and diluted Diet Coke from a 32 oz. styrofoam cup.



So you can see I'm really struggling to find something to work with here, because there's just not a lot of meat to that whole story.

But, sadly, now that I think about it, I've written more posts than I want to admit with less interesting topics as a jumping off point, now haven't I?

THE LAMENESS.  IT IS RAMPANT.

So I suppose if I spend a few minutes waxing poetic about my current obsession with the newfangled Greek Yogurt you might not be

A. surprised
or
B. even remotely interested

but I've got to go with my gut.

First, I guess, newfangled might not be the best description.  I mean, The Greeks.  They have been around a while, I suppose.

What with all their ANCIENT-NESS and WHATHAVEYOU.

And my guess is, it's possible, that BEING LIKE A CIVILIZATION AND ALL, there's a good chance that they've been cranking out yogurt for years.

Maybe we, as mainstream/Non-Greek society are just now catching on to the TASTINESS.

I for one delight in it's tangy bite, and thick, almost sour cream-like texture.  And TELL ME who doesn't enjoy a big tub of sour cream in the morning?

One of the more popular ways to enjoy The Greek Yogurt is to mix in just a little honey (which by the way, has quite an interesting history of it's own - but OH SWEET MERCY YES, I shall save that for another day).

It's all just TASTY MEDITERRANEAN HEALTHFULNESS, that's what it is.


So there she is.

A post about Greek Yogurt.

I'm not sure how this happens.

It's clearly a gift.  The ability to transport the ALREADY MUNDANE to yet new heights of BORING.


I do apologize.



Stick with me though.  I'm simply bound to stumble upon INTERESTING! AND RIVETING! someday.



Please go about your day like you never met me.


Glad to be Back Lu

Monday, March 7, 2011

Home Again

Hey There, Hi, and Hello.

It's Monday y'all, and I'm at home.

I've spent the last week at my parents, taking care of my Mom who suffered a nasty fall about 10 days ago.  I am pleased to report that she is much improved (still not 100%, though, so a continued prayer for her here and there would certainly be appreciated) and so The Chief and The Weege brought me home yesterday.

And while it was a privilege and honor to help take care of her and my Dad for a few days, I am still, of course, simply DE-LIGHTED to be back home.

The week consisted of:

* Emergency Rooms
* Prayers
* worrying
* relief
* a trip to the Optometrist
* a visit with a Hearing Aid specialist
* very little sleep
* Prayers
* missing The Chief
* Sonic
* Wal-Mart
* Pharmacies
* wearing the same clothes for several days in a row (please don't judge me)
* walkers
* missing Weegie
* cows
* hay
* cold, windy weather
* Prayers
* driving a 1978 Toyota Chinook backwards while being pulled by the Big Tractor
* The Chief questioning my "backing skills"
* My 29th Anniversary!

and Missing all of you...

Thanks so much for the prayers sent up for my Mom and for me, and for all of the sweet, timely messages and notes several of you sent.  They were special.

And now, I probably need to go wash (or maybe burn) that set of clothes, check out the damage done to my house while I was away, and go tell Weegums for the 400th time how much his Momma missed him, rub his tummy, and feed him Velveeta.

And maybe boil a chicken or two...

I'll see y'all in the morning!

Lu

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hellooooooo.... I'm still here.

Last night I clicked on my blog stats page. I was delighted and humbled, and honored to see that even in my recent absence some of you are still clicking over here daily to see if I have anything typically useless to say! How sweet. It made me cry a little bit.

My Mom had a nasty fall last Friday, and I am staying with her for awhile until she can get around a little better.

When I get home, and near a computer( I cannot begin to tell you how hard it is to post from an I-phone!) I will jump right back into my daily postings - I just know that then your lives will once again be complete.

But first I'll probably hug The Chief and Weegie and then maybe sleep for six straight days.

But right after that.

I promise.

Thanks for checking in!

It makes my heart happy.

Lu

PS. I miss you.