Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I'd Like My Epidural Now, Please

I hear they are lovely, and I want to find out.  No, I'm not in labor.  I blew my back out today and since about 12:30 PM Eastern Standard Time, I've been wishing I was in labor.

Oh, if only I were kidding.

I have had back issues in the past.  But this?  Seriously?  There are no words.  And honestly, even if there were - I would be physically unable to utter them when the spasming really gets going.

I went to the chiropractor and he thinks I tore something.  After several, "does this hurt?"s and "what about this?"s, he is convinced that it isn't a disc issue.  Praise God for that.

Speaking of praising God, and I truly am, how about this for divine appointments?  My husband has been going to the office every Tuesday and Thursday for approximately ever.  This week, he was needed on Monday, so he didn't go today.  Despite the fact that he has what appears to be the flu, he was downstairs when I put Chloe in her crib, the last combination lift/bend I will be doing for the foreseeable future.  When I, in slow motion, made my way to the floor, while howling at the moon, he came running.  Praise God.  Not that there was really anything that he could do to help me, but had he not been there?  Yeah.  I don't even want to think about that scenario.

And now, I will sit quietly and reflect on what God can teach me through this ordeal.  There's always a lesson, people.  You just gotta be watching for it.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Permission to Break The Rules...

I've struggled with grammar rules since I first started blogging.  I majored in Language Arts, but you wouldn't know it from talking to me.  I sometimes talk like an idiot in an effort to make people laugh.  I don't know if they laugh because they think I'm an idiot, or if they know me and therefore are well aware that I'm hilarious.

Either way, grammar makes me very nervous when it comes to blogging.  Look, just because I learned all the grammar rules and have multiple books about them in my basement right now, doesn't mean I know them.  Or use them.

I promise I'm really smart, though.

Then there's the whole double standard thing.  When I read a blog and someone makes a grammatical error and I think, hmmm... Knowing full well, that I'm the pot and they're the kettle and we are all indeed black.

Imagine my joy when I found this article entitled Three Grammar Rules You Can (and Should) Break.  Oh, thank you thank you thank you.  

So from here on out, I will not be bending over backwards in an effort to avoid ending a sentence with a preposition.  And I will not feel unintelligent when I begin a sentence with the word and, either.  

I've often wondered if any of these archaic rules have been abandoned.   So, thank you Michelle Pierce.  A weight has been lifted. And a standard has been lowered.  

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Crock Pot Minestrone

Is it just me or is the crock pot one of the best inventions of all time?  I heart my Rival Crock Pot. With Fall here, it's time to start getting lots of delicious soup back in the rotation, and I found a winner that will be on the menu  a lot this winter.  I am actually quite excited to report that most of the new recipes I've been trying lately have been delicious!  It sure makes cooking more fun when you can try new things and when they are as delicious as the old stand by recipes, even better!

So here it is.  Slow Cooked Two Bean Minestrone from The Slow Cooker Cookbook by Pillsbury.  I picked up a few of those little grocery store check out lane cookbooks at a garage sale and can I just say? Jack pot!

I'm calling it...

Crock Pot Minestrone

2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
1 medium stalk celery, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove minced
2 - 14oz. cans broth 
1 19 oz. can cannellini bean, drained and rinsed (19 oz?  I used 15 oz.  I can't say I've seen 19 oz. cans...)
1 15 oz. can kidney beans drained and rinsed
1 14.5 oz Italian -seasoned stewed tomatoes, undrained and cut up
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 cup frozen spinach, thawed
3 oz. spaghetti, broken into thirds 3/4 cup  (I used ditalini, the little thimble pasta.   Small shells would work too.)

In 31/2 to 4 quart slow cooker, combine all ingredients except spinach and spaghetti.  Mix well.

Cover and cook on low setting for 7-9 hours.

About 20 minutes before serving, stir thawed spinach and spaghetti into soup.  Increase heat setting to high.  Cover and cook an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until spaghetti is tender.

This soup was fantastic.  We all loved it, including Chloe, who has been bit of a picky pants these days.

A few suggestions...  I made a double batch.  It was enough for a meal for 4.  well, 3.5.  I also froze one serving and had one extra bowl.  All that to say, I highly recommend at least doubling.I used extra broth, as I had a 32 oz. box rather than cans.  I used the whole thing.  I didn't have two cans of kidney beans, so I only used one.  I prefer cannellini beans anyway, so it was fine.  DON'T be tempted to add frozen spinach.  It will cool down the whole pot and mess everything up right at dinner time.  If you forget to thaw your spinach, just pop it in the microwave for 5 minutes right before adding it to the soup.  Also - you could use plain tomatoes, but I would not recommend it.  There is really no other seasoning, side from salt and pepper and the basil and such in the italian style tomatoes really flavors the soup.

So there you have it.  Crock pot Minestrone works for me!  Check out more helpful tips at We Are THAT Family.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

And Then I Fell Off The Face Of The Earth. Again.

I really want to be a real blogger.  One who writes every day.  One who has lots of people that read and comment.  Heck, if someone wanted to pay me?  That would be awesome.

But as it is, I think my record, from just a couple of weeks ago, is 10 posts in a row.  Oh, well.  I will keep trying, if you will keep reading. 

Are you there?  



The good news is that I have been busy!  How about that?  I'm slowly returning to my old self. The one that used to leave the house.  

Every day.

Fall is my favorite time of year, and this fall is lining up to be one of the best!  Our MOPS group kicked off a couple of weeks ago, and I have joined the steering committee.  I'm so looking forward to collaborating with a great group of women, to serve another great group of women!

There are several things going on at our church and I'm really looking forward to plugging in.  We started attending the church when Chloe was 4 months old, and that was just the worst time to try to get connected.  So we didn't.  And we aren't.  But all of that is about to change.  I recently volunteered to work with The Baby Closet, which is a ministry that helps to provide families in need of baby and children's clothes and equipment.  I was blown away by the sheer volume of stuff that had been donated and was therefore going to be available to those in need. I definitely plan on being involved in this ministry long term.  What an amazing blessing.

Did I already mention that I joined a Community Bible Study group?  I'm really excited about it.  I've never really done a formal Bible study.  The ladies that I've been grouped with are phenomenal and I just know that we are all going to grow and learn so much!  

I was always a chronic over volunteerer.  When Chloe was born, I made a conscious effort to stay home, focus on her and learning to be a mommy.  I did that for a long time.  One day, I just woke up ready to get back in the game.  

It feels good.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Just So You Know

I think The Trysting Place could be back on the upswing.  Apparently, my spiritual standstill is over.  At least that's what it's looking like.

Praise God.

I've been trying to blog here every day, but I definitely don't have time to do both.  I will continue to try to post every day, but sometimes it will be here and sometimes it will be there.

In case you care.

And in keeping with the random...  We had our first BLTs of the season today.  And since I don't eat pork and we didn't have lettuce, mine was really more of a T.  But it was still pretty tasty.

The End.

Friday, September 11, 2009


What does a cow say?


What does a duck say?

Noise that sounds like a 1st grader during a phonics lesson practicing the sound that K makes.

What does a sheep say?


That is one obnoxious sheep.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Breaking News

At least it was this morning.


On American Idol?

I don't know what to think about this new development.

I'm not even gonna lie, despite all of the teasing I did here, here and here, I'm not sure American Idol is going to be American Idol with out Pauler.  I was actually sad, when I first heard she may not be staying with the show, and very surprised when it turned out to NOT be a publicity stunt. (Or if it was, it appears to have backfired.)

If I got to pick my very own personal perfect replacement, I don't have a clue who that would be.  What I know, is it most certainly wouldn't have been Ellen.  Not because I don't love Ellen, because I do.  I think she is truly a delight.  I just never would have pictured her at that table.

I'm not saying I think it's a bad choice, just a highly unlikely and rather peculiar one.  I hope she surprises me and makes it better than it's ever been.

I don't see that happening, but I've been wrong before.

One thing is for sure, she will fill Paula's shoes when it comes to the dancing at the judging table. Let's just hope she doesn't try to straddle it like she does her little coffee table.  That would be way over the top.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Calling All Cooks

I mentioned in this post that I make a lot of the same stuff over and over.  It's easy, and I don't mind keeping some things in life predictable.  It's easy to keep the pantry stocked and I always know dinner will turn out like I'm expecting it to.

But I'm getting bored, ya'll.  I need to mix it up.  

I like making casseroles.  I wish I could afford (and had the time) to make Grilled Ribeye With Onion-Blue Cheese Sauce with a side of salad, roasted garlic mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus.   I mean, that would be super fantastic.  But let's be real, I have a hard enough time getting the one pot of slop to the table over Chloe's over zealous not to mention loud encouragement.  (Glass half full people, glass half full.)

So, I'm open to suggestions.  Do you have a delicious dinner you would recommend.    It doesn't have to be a casserole, but casseroles welcomed!  I love the crock pot and will be kicking that puppy into high gear in the coming weeks.  I can't face eating soup right now, but as soon as the temps start dropping, will be eating soups at least once a week.  The only other stipulation is it has to be reasonably affordable.  If it calls for gouda or saffron, I probably won't be making it. If it calls for beans and rice?  Well, then I'm there.

I really miss the days when I paid other people to feed me.  I wish I could claim to have had a personal chef, though that's certainly not the case.  Come to think of it, had we saved what we had spent at The Clarkston Union (home of the most amazing macaroni and cheese known to mankind) Miyako (a Japanese steakhouse) and Mesquite Creek (killer fajitas.  seriously.  the bomb.) we probably could have afforded a personal chef.

So bring it on, do share your favorite recipes.  Pull me out of this rut before we all starve to death.

And in totally unrelated news...  GLEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!  I can't wait!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Little of This and Lot of That

The husband and I had us a little relaxing get away this weekend.  It was heavenly...  Until we got home Sunday night, and Chloe, who can apparently smell relaxation, woke up and refused to go back to bed until 4:30 AM.  

Sometimes, I think I should have named her Murphy.

We enjoyed peace and quiet, golfing and shopping.  I'll give you one guess who golfed and who shopped.  I do not chase the little white ball.  I have scads of better ways to waste my time...

We had dinner in Acme.  Not to be confused with Acne.  I did not see the cartoon weaponry and munitions plant, but it has to be there somewhere.

We also drove to (almost) the top of the Leelenau Peninsula and watched the sun set.  It was pretty cool.  My husband is full of useless trivia regarding all things astronomy so I learned why the sun looks orange and why the sun appears to move more quickly once it's close to the horizon.  I promptly forgot, so don't ask.

The park where we watched, was named after Mr. Peterson.  Who was buried there.  I found that a little peculiar, but peculiar can pretty much be counted on when you're that far from civilization.

And now the laundry beckons, so I release you from the cruel and unusual punishment that is reading this pointless blog post.

My apologies...

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Labor of Love

In honor of the Labor Day, I thought I'd participate in Shannon's MeMe.  It's about...well, labor. And not the kind you get a day off from, either.

How long was your labor? 

Approximately 30 hours.   Fun, right?

How did you know you were in labor? 

I was in excruciating pain whenever I would lay down.  It was impossible to sleep.  Oh, the foreshadowing...

Where did you deliver?

In my bedroom.  Yes, we planned it that way.


Unless Gatorade has a very dirty secret, no.



Who delivered?

I did.  To the waiting arms of two amazing midwives.  The third midwife was dispensing gatorade and rubbing me.  A lot.  

If you want to play along with this meme, just cut and paste the questions into your own blog, and leave a comment so I can read yours! 

And, Happy Labor Day - I hope you aren't laboring like this today.  Or if your 10 months pregnant and really want to be?  Then I hope you are.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Are You Ready For Some Pizza Dip?

Oh, how we love the pizza dip. We were introduced to it by our friends at the Pampered Chef, but I have tweaked it and made it my own.


1 8 oz. block cream cheese (You're welcome, Boomama)
1 15 oz (ish) can of pizza sauce, or your own homemade
1 8 oz. bag mozzarella cheese (Or more. Less is more doesn't apply to cheese.)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 Tbs. finely chopped rosemary
1 Tbs. finely chopped thyme
1 Tbs. finely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley

Regarding the herbs - Use fresh. If you can't use fresh, do it anyway. If you really can't, 1 tbs of Italian seasoning would be a very sub-par substitution, but I will not guarantee your results using dried. Trust me on this one... Also - I suppose you can roughly chop your herbs, if you prefer, but don't hold me responsible for large green things in your teeth. I don't want to have to chew my herbs, I just want the flavor. But by all means, do what you feel is best with the herbs. I'm no herbologist.

Now. If you are fancy and need to peddle kitchen gadgets while making this dip, you will mix the herbs, parm and cream cheese and spread that in the bottom of a pie pan or similar sized casserole dish or whathaveyou, then pour the pizza sauce over that, then top with cheese. This method dirties a lot of said gadgets, though don't be fooled I own two or seven of all of them. What I've been doing, is dumping everything in my small crock pot and letting that gadget do the work for me. It only needs to heat through, so you don't have to leave it in there all day. Keep a close eye on it, even on low it might burn if left too long.

This dip can be served with fresh crusty bread, or bagel crisps. I get mine at Sam's and I think they are New York Bagel brand. I used to use Nonni brand, but that must have been when I was a Costco girl, because I can't seem to find those anymore. Honestly, you could just go ahead and eat it with a spoon, but then it might not qualify for the DipTacular... So spread it on something and enjoy!

If you need more artery clogging goodness, click on over to Boomama for the Diptactular.

Baby Steps Out Of The House

Yesterday, I managed to get myself, Chloe and Uncle Matt all out the door before 7 AM.

Impressive, right?  Don't mind me while I pat myself on the back.

It's so much easier when I can do it fresh out of bed, and it doesn't hurt that I didn't have a choice in the matter, either.  Taking Uncle Matt to work has it's advantages.

So we ran errands like nobody's business today.  We were gone for 4 hours.  We both needed a nap by the time we got home, and I needed a chiropractor for all the lugging in and out of my precious cargo...

Starting next week, Chloe and I will be attending Community Bible Study once a week.  We'll be driving through approximately 27 communities, likely passing several other studies, to get to a community 1 hour from here, in order to be with great friends.  We will have to be up and out of here bright and early and will be gone all morning.  I'm really looking forward to being with friends, being out and being in God's Word.  I know Chloe will love being with other children and having a chance to play with someone other than me. 

Thursdays may end up being our favorite day.  Or they may be a reality show in the making. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

It's Thursday and I'm Thankful Again

Today I am thankful:

  •  that unconditional love lives at my house.
  • for peanut butter cookies.
  • my massage lady can squeeze me in this week.  Praise God and Hallelujah.
  • that hubs and I are getting away for some good old fashion (extinct around these parts) quiet time this weekend.  (Cue Angels for the doxology.) 

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Real Best Part Of Waking Up

Scratch that whole last post...  The REAL best part of waking up, is reading whatever hilarity Boomama is currently sharing.



The Best Part Of Waking UP

Hmmm, I guess if I'm being honest, I'd have to say the best part of waking up would be not having to.  The second best thing would be coffee, except that I can't drink coffee.

Yes, you read that correctly.  

I can't drink coffee.

It's not just coffee, either.  Ever since I gave up caffeine whilst pregnant, I really can't take even a little bit of it.  It's hard to know for sure what the real problem is, since I always consume my coffee with a Holy Heaping Mother Load of sugar on top.   I have to wonder if it isn't the whole 1 cup of coffee to 6 tablespoons of sugar that creates the wicked combination that my poor body just refuses to tolerate.

There is a boring back story.  Wanna hear it?

Once upon a time in a land far far away, I had a job.  A real one.  Where you have to get up, try to look cute and then go there.  It was a tough life.  One of the ladies I worked with brewed Starbuck's coffee in her cubicle, and let me just tell you, I'm pretty sure there is crack in that coffee.

I was hooked.  I had to have my Starbuck's.  No other coffee would do.

I come from a long line of addicts, so once I realized I was one of them, I needed to do something about it.  So I kicked my crack habit, and returned to the occasional Latte for a treat. No more morning crack for me.

Well, apparently this short period of addiction reprogrammed my DNA.  Each time I would have my occasional Latte, or Macchiato, the strangest things would happen to me.  I'd get shaky, my tummy would hurt (I could go into greater detail with that one, but we'll leave it alone), but the most disturbing symptom was the paranoia.  Seriously, I was like Harrison Ford in the Fugitive.  Always looking over my shoulder.  Expecting oncoming vehicles to hit me head on.  Worried that all my eyelashes would fall out and never grow back.

Let's just say it was more than a little peculiar.

When I finally figured out what was going on, I started ordering decaf Latte's.  Obviously.  That seemed to help.  Once in a while I would forget, since this really only was an occasional treat, and I would quickly be reminded of my, ahem, condition.

Fast forward to pregnancy, I quit all things caffeine related, EXCEPT CHOCOLATE, because hello?  I was pregnant.  I continued to avoid the caffeine while nursing and even had to give up the blessed chocolate when Chloe was about 4 months old.  (What's that sound?  Oh, a trumpet.  Taps....)  

Fast forward to the movie theater a few months ago when I got the full sized Coke Icee and drank the whole ding dang darn thing.  Big mistake.  Again though, with the sugar...  Is it the caffeine or the sugar?  Or the lethal, cracky combination? I still haven't eaten chocolate, but I'm terrified that it will cause similar issues when I do...

So the best part of waking up?  I guess I'll go with Sanity for 500, Alex.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

If you didn't see the right Friends episode, than just pretend this post has a different title.


Today was the very best hammock weather.  I got back from dumping Uncle Matt off at work, if you call working for two hours and then going fishing with your boss work, that is...  Anywho, I drove up the driveway, took one look at the beautiful blue sky and planned to jump in the hammock as soon as Chloe went down for her nap.  That's exactly what I did.  And it was glorious.

I love fall.  It's my absolute favoritist.  I love wearing jeans and a t shirt.  Maybe a sweatshirt.  I love the cool crisp mornings.  And soup.  I love me some soup in the fall.  Oh and tea.  Hot tea. 


I've been reading like mad lately.  I have read three of the best books ever in the month or so.

The Secret Life of Bees By Sue Monk Kidd

Same Kind of Different As me By Ron Hall and Denver Moore

The Help By Kathryn Stockett

I highly recommend all three, but The Help?  I don't know how to put into words how much I loved this book.  I've been sad when I've finished books before.  The whole missing the characters, wondering what they are up to, etc...  But this book....  When I would tear myself away to do something else, like laundry or eating...  All I could think about was the book.  Out for dinner with my husband, I say - "I can't quit thinking about this book."  I finished last night and I just want to now what happens next.

Nothing.  Because the people aren't real.  It's just a story.  I can't convince myself of these facts.
Read it.  Then email me.  I'd love to chat about it...

Princess Consuela, signing off.