At a Loss…

On a recent trip to the glass factory outlet store, J tipped off my husband that I had been ogling this mini pedestal cake stand/dome for quite a while. It was not at all an expensive item, but I never could bring myself to buy it. Why?

Because what on earth would I do with it? It’s not very practical for storing food, because I would be lucky to squeeze two cupcakes into it. When have I ever made just two cupcakes? I was sure there is some creative, decorative use for these things, but also knew I am not cool enough to come up with any ideas.

Because he is the sweetest, my husband snatched up not one, but two of these things.

Which begs the question…

What the heck do I do with them now?

Irresistible

The computer in our house reminds me of something….

Something from my adolescent days of living in the middle of cotton fields, with no neighbors around, and wildlife constantly invading.

Yep, the family computer is my equivalent of the old bug-zapping florescent light that we used to keep by the back door. Instead of bee-lining it into our house, bugs were drawn to its’ florescent glow, only to meet their demise with a resounding “ZAP.”

While the computer may not zap them, it still draws these boys in with its’ mesmerizing light.

Maybe I should stick a joke-buzzer on the mouse just to see what would happen….

I Need a Shower, a Cocktail and a Bucket of Icy-Hot Please.

Wooooo boy.

I have been unintentionally MIA recently, mostly because my workload tripled this week. This means I have been not only sick, but stressed, snarly, coughy and not fit for public consumption. I’ve even gone so far as to take a couple of vacation days next week, because my house is starting to look dirtier than the Haunted Mansion.

And that’s WITH Granny coming by and secretly doing my laundry. Sad, I know.

Despite running fever and coughing up my left lung on occasion, I still slapped on my gardening gloves and spent the weekend catching up on our various projects. We had plants that needed planting, and waiting another week was probably not a good idea. After all, when a heathen has actually gone through the trouble of planting some seeds, the least we can do as parents is plant the seedlings before they outgrow their pots:

I continue on my quest to overcome my green-thumb-of-death, but admit that it’s too soon to tell if I’ve improved on my total stupidity on all things plant-like. We had a truckload of dirt delivered to fill the remainder of our raised beds, but the closest the load could be dropped was our driveway. My poor husband has been shoveling and pushing the wheelbarrow so much that he probably needs muscle transplants; meanwhile, our driveway is still piled high with more dirt than we could ever need. Poor planning on my part, I guess. We got most of our plants in the ground, including our tomatoes:

Peppers:

Eggplant:

And herbs:

I also planted zinnias around the tomato bed, because I think I heard somewhere that they are supposed to help…help do what I have no idea….or maybe it was marigolds….oh well.

I also planted another flat and a half of various flowers, but was too tired to get the camera and walk around the yard.

So, that’s what my weekend looked like…now I just have dinner to cook, dishes to do, sheets to wash…

Or I could just fix a drink and hide in the bathtub.

Decisions, decisions……

Having a Love/Hate Relationship

Spring is here! As you can see, my dogwood tree is blooming. So are the wisteria, which I love, and the dreaded oak trees, which I hate. My car and porch are coated in greenish-yellow pollen, and as a family afflicted by seasonal allergies, our home is not the happiest place on Earth right now. Given the high cost of even over-the-counter allergy medication, we may go broke trying to keep our entire family from sniffling to death. Kleenex and ear phones are our saving grace.

The weather is gorgeous, and we are trying to make the best of it despite the fact that we all sound like someone took a blow torch to our vocal cords. On a recent trip to our local home improvement store, our kids decided that they wanted to plant something…not just anything, mind you. Ohhhh, nooooo. They wanted to plant a marigold…and only a marigold. I kid you not, you would think those heathens were angling for a puppy with the way they hounded us through the store. Given that a $1.50 marigold is a heck of a lot cheaper than a puppy (and it doesn’t poop), that was an easy request to give in to, even if I was shaking my head at two boys who seemed inordinately attached to a potted plant.

Thank goodness Venus fly traps are not indigenous to our area. Otherwise, we’d be in big trouble.

 

Sneaky Mom Tricks Family, Overeats and Laments Margarita Shortage

In my supremely naïve effort to sneak ANY moderately healthy food into my family, I decided to try a new, yet bizarre recipe that I found on Southern Living’s website. This Hearty Tex-Mex casserole contains many ingredients that my husband actually likes, such as chicken, cheese, sour cream, salsa and tortillas. However, the recipe also sneaks in a substantial portion of squash and spinach, which I have to say, was pretty well concealed in the final product. While Mr. “I-have-X-Ray-Vision” spotted the healthy stuff right off, he eventually gave this casserole a fair try (after much melodramatic protest), and lo and behold, he liked it! The heathens ate a decent amount of this as well, and frankly, I thought it was dang tasty.

Hearty Tex-Mex Casserole

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Ingredients

  • 1  (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 3  medium-size yellow squash, thinly sliced
  • 1  large red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1  yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2  tablespoons  peanut oil
  • 3  cups  shredded cooked chicken or turkey
  • 12  (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1  (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of celery soup, undiluted
  • 1  (8-ounce) container sour cream
  • 1  (8-ounce) jar picante sauce or salsa
  • 1  (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, undrained
  • 1  (1.4-ounce) envelope fajita seasoning
  • 2  cups  (8 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided

Preparation

Drain chopped spinach well, pressing between paper towels to remove excess moisture.

Sauté squash, bell pepper, and onion in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 6 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat. Stir in spinach, chicken, next 6 ingredients, and 1 1/2 cups cheese. Spoon into a lightly greased 13- x9-inch baking dish. At this point, I worried I screwed it up, because the mixture was VERY thick. However, as it cooked, it loosened up and the consistency was right on.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/2 cup cheese, and bake 5 more minutes.

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While making this recipe, I also stumbled onto something awesome. I am not a fan of most store-bought salsas. They always seem to taste too sour, vinegary or overall weird. While at the Wally-world, I grabbed a jar of this stuff to use in my casserole prep:

Hands down, this was perhaps the best store-bought salsa I’ve ever had. I liked it so much, I ate the other half of the jar yesterday with a handful to tortilla chips…although I DID let my mom have a bite or two, so quit looking at me like that. All that was missing was a margarita, but I had enough wine to make up for it.

So, if you’re brave enough to sneak your own vegetables-of-doom into your family, give this recipe a try.

But if your husband has X-Ray vision too, you’re on your own, sister.

Project Completion!

In the chaos of last week, I finally completed a set of embroidered towels that I have been working on for longer than I am willing to admit.

These were a gift for my mother-in-law, and I had originally planned to finish them by Christmas…………..Riiiiiiiiigggghhhhttt.

Despite my embarrassingly long time-table, I am still pretty happy with the end result:

This one is my favorite:

Even though I am a total embroidery novice, these towels were far easier than I thought they would be. The actual needlework did not take very much time at all; I just wasn’t as consistent with working on them as I could have been. Chalk it up to project-ADD, I guess.

Or the heathens, because they make good scapegoats.

Regardless of the tardiness, I can bask in the glow of actually having at least one of my works-in-progress completed.

Woo-Hoo!