Monday, June 29, 2009

I'm 43, and I Can Now Boil Eggs

I can also make Deviled Eggs.

That's why I can now boil eggs.

Not that I haven't boiled eggs before, but you know, they're a little tricky.

And please, please don't make me feel really stupid and tell me how easy you always found it.

Do you start with cold water, put the eggs in, then when they have boiled for five minutes they are done?

Do you boil the water first and then boil for five minutes?

Do you have to put them in cold water when you're done? Do they keep cooking if you don't?

Well, thanks to the Deviled Egg recipe I found from Jill over at Controlling My Chaos, I not only know how to make Deviled Eggs for Hubby, I know how to boil a perfect egg.

I mean, what more could you ask for.

Boil water, carefully place eggs in the boiling water with a slotted spoon, boil for 15 minutes, remove the eggs with the slotted spoon to an ice bath, and you're done.

Jill is very creative. She has a pretty recipe card you can print out with the Deviled Egg recipe on it. She also used her Pampered Chef decorator to fill her eggs. I have the Pampered Chef decorator, but I was way too lazy to get it out. My eggs don't look so pretty, but when Hubby realized I was making them, he was very excited and didn't really care what they looked like.

Because see, I said I'd never make Deviled Eggs since I don't eat them. This is the first time I've made them. Do you know he stood in the kitchen, watched me slice eggs, smoosh yolks and add ingredients, and I was all the way to stirring the stuff and getting it ready to go back into the egg halves when he realized what I was doing. That's how much he thought I'd never make Deviled Eggs for him, so he was very excited. Shocked, too.

Personally, I was a little excited to see how the boiled egg experiment worked out. I like a good boiled egg now and then, as do a couple of the kids, but the yolks are never just right and the eggs never peel well. The way these were boiled for this recipe was perfect.

So I'd highly recommend this method of boiling eggs. Using them to make Deviled Eggs is completely optional.

Menu Plan Monday — June 29th

We finally have a grill!!! I am very excited about that, because it means a lot less cooking indoors for a few months.

The tricky thing...we have a lot of food in our refrigerator right now, including a lot of hamburger, hot dogs, and brats, which means that I don't get to plan any chicken right away. See:

All that fruit and veggies, cheese cubes, potato salad, and homemade baked beans. Yummy stuff, but we will be eating on these things for several days. Our church had 'take a family home for dinner night' Sunday night, we had two families, and I fixed way too much food. Good for leftovers, but I think we'll be sick of some of them.

Monday — Stuff from the fridge.

Tuesday — Stuff from the fridge.

Wednesday — Stuff from the fridge.

ThursdayBasil Grilled Chicken. I got this recipe on one of those free recipe cards that came in the mail years ago. It is very good, and of course I haven't made it for a while since we haven't had a grill since we left Virginia. I double it to have enough for my family.

FridayGrilled Southwestern Pork Chops. The marinade for this I guess it what makes it so yummy and flavorful. All four of my kids love this, too. It's also a nice change from beef and chicken.

Saturday — I have the ingredients and some frozen cubed chicken in the freezer for Chicken Spaghetti if I need something. Otherwise we'll eat up what's in the fridge and pantry if we don't.

Sunday — We are having a dinner at church following the service in celebration of the 4th of July, so we're eating out since we ate in all week, just a little differently than usual.

I didn't menu plan last week because I knew I wouldn't stick to it even though it was one of those times I really needed it. Between the end of ball season, getting ready for the garage sale, the actual garage sale, cleaning up from it, and then preparing for people to come over Sunday night, it was quite a week. I am so glad this week will slow down.

To see what other people have planned, go visit The Organizing Junkie.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Blue Skies

Blue skies
Smiling at me
Nothing but blue skies
Do I see

Singing a song
Nothing but bluebirds
All day long

Never saw the sun shining so bright
Never saw things going so right
Noticing the days hurrying by
When you're in love, my how they fly

Blue days
All of them gone
Nothing but blue skies
From now on

All these pictures were taken from my driveway today during the very slow garage sale. At least the sky was beautiful and the breeze was nice.

You know, when my friend Stacey was here a couple of weeks ago, the first thing I said to her was, "Didn't I tell you the skies were bluer here than anywhere else?" She agreed and talked about how nice the climate was, and how friendly the people were, and how crazy the drivers were.

I told her that was pretty much it in a nutshell.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My Middle Name is Resourceful

Well, it should be. I don't really like my middle name anyway.

We're having our garage sale this week. Here in our area, you start them on Thursday. If you don't, you miss out, because apparently that's the big day. And since we are having a subdivision-wide yard/garage sale, I'm having it on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 9 until 4. I don't think I've ever had one past 2:00 in the afternoon, and I usually close up at noon. I'm breaking out of my shell.

I'm also having a garage sale with four tables. How do you have a garage sale with four tables? You get really resourceful, hence the new middle name.

29 large U-Haul boxes later, I have makeshift tables lining the entire fringe of my garage. To make them look a little nicer, I put tablecloths on them, then when I ran out I used a couple of flat sheets.

Mulitiple uses? Maybe I should let U-Haul know.

Here we are Wednesday evening just prior to the subdivision pre-sale.

Of course the last couple of days are when it's finally warmed up and felt like summer. But I don't care too much — it's no worse than anywhere else we've been, it's short-lived, and I know I'll have a lot less stuff in my garage when this is done.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Paper Shredding is Stress Relief when Done in Moderation

Remember, this is how we started.

Seven overheated paper shredder pauses later...

I had just over three full bags of shredded paper recycling to go to the trash on Monday.

Now next to my computer area I get to look at this...

which makes me look like this.

It's better for the quick onset wrinkles happening at my place too.

It took me most of Saturday to finish. I'd shred, then go do other stuff while the shredder cooled off, then go back and shred, and repeat the process. Way too many times. I like to shred a little, not a lot. Kind of like exercise, or cooking.

Okay, maybe not exercise. I don't like to do that at all.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Musical Instruments and Tanzanite

Twenty-four years of marriage equals musical instruments and tanzanite. I looked it up this year for fun even though I don't think we've ever purchased a gift from the traditional or modern gift charts.

I mean really, "Oh, I think I'd like a harp for my anniversary this year."

Or maybe a flute.

Or bongo drums.

Next year might be a good year to start though, being the silver anniversary and all. Boy, does that make us sound old!

This is one of my favorite photos from our wedding. We don't have many, but this one from us leaving the church is special. I can actually see a lot of my family in it, specifically my grandpa (the second man on the left — the first one is my father-in-law), and the lady throwing the rice in the burgundy dress. That is my great-aunt Ola. She was married to my Uncle Bill, my grandma's brother, and I used to spend time with him on his farm. They always gave me fresh cow milk (ick!). She was in the earlier stages of alzheimer's, but Uncle Bill brought her unexpectedly. It was really neat that she was in this picture and I can see the smile and joy in her eyes. My grandma's sister and husband are behind us on the right. There's more, but I'll stop.

My mom made my dress for me also.

Happy anniversary, Hubby! Hasn't it been the best 24 years of your life?!

I hope so, because he's going to be really mad at me for putting a picture up of him with this hair.

Love you!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Also known at our house as "Lou Brock Bobblehead Day."

In 2004, Hubby had just recently returned from Kuwait. We had tickets for the St. Louis Cardinals game on Father's Day, which also happened to be the day they were giving away Lou Brock Bobbleheads to the first however many thousand people through the gates. Of course our intent was to be some of the first people at one of the gates, Lou Brock being one of Hubby's favorite retired players.

Hubby was still in bed, and I had all the kids gathered up and told them to go tell their dad Happy Father's Day. Caboose, in his four-year-old infinite wisdom, told me, "Mom, it's not Father's Day. It's Lou Brock Bobblehead Day."

He started early in life.

Since we don't have a photo of Lou Brock from that day, here's Hubby with his wonderful kiddos. The girls were ten and Buddy was seven. Hubby was 38.

Lou Brock is top right on Caboose's shelf.

Happy Father's Day, Babe! We love you!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

When I Was...

Caboose: "When I was playing crochet..."

Everyone else in the vehicle simultaneously: "You mean croquet?"

Caboose: "Whatever!"

A few minutes later...

Caboose: "Sydney stinks at crochet."

Everyone else: "Croquet!"

Caboose: "Whatever! What's crochet again anyway?"

Friday, June 19, 2009

Do You See What I See?

I explained to the Home Depot guy how big I thought our yard was, front, back and sides included.

I bought the bag of Scott's Weed & Feed, and he said I'd even have some left over.

I must not have done a very good job explaining how big our yard was, because I ran out.

Can you see the rectangle smack in the middle of the back yard? It actually goes clear across to the other side. We saw it driving out of our driveway today.

One good thing is that I now know our money wasn't wasted when we bought it, because it's nice and green where it was put down and the weeds are curled up and dying.

It's also going to make it a whole lot easier now to know where to put it when I go get another bag.

I think it's called learning by trial and error.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My Little Secret

I really don't like to dust.

And I let my shredding pile up.

If you can believe it, I've even shredded in the six months since I've moved into my new house. I filled up about three of those really large dark trash bags. Packed full.

This pile indicates one thing though — that I've gone through my four-drawer file cabinet and weeded out lots of things that don't need to be kept! That's a good thing, right?!

The first shredding adventure was from the box I had to move here from Virginia. I had a place in the 'pantry', which was actually the closet where the hot water heater and furnace was located. It had a concrete floor and vent holes to the outside. That probably explained how the squirrel that got in there got out. But I digress again. I kept canned goods in there, and I also had a plastic Sterilite box that I piled my shredding in. Since I didn't get to it before I moved, it came here to Michigan with me. The U-Haul box was labeled, "Shred Pile." Original, I know.

This pile is bigger. So how many bags do you think this will take me? I also wonder how many times I'm going to overheat the shredder and have to stop to let it cool down. Update to come...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Menu Plan Monday — June 15th

I made several wonderful new things last week. My favorite hands-down was the Strawberry Topping I made to go with the Pancakes. Good grief, that stuff was good. I doubled the recipe and had just enough for everyone who wanted some. Next time I'll probably triple it and just refrigerate any leftovers. I actually made some more the next night to go with some of the leftover pancakes for Chatty, and I used some of it as a 'strawberry dip' for leftover crunchy taco shells I had from a couple of nights earlier. Excellent!

I also used the recipe for Blueberry Muffins and used strawberries instead. Hubby, Sparky, Chatty and I liked them. I would definitely recommend using paper muffin cups with these, because if the strawberries happen to be on the bottom, the muffin kind of falls apart. The leftovers are okay, but the strawberries get a little mushy in a not-just-cooked way. Maybe if they were refrigerated they would keep better. I might try that next time and see. Still good though.

I didn't get many of the things on my dinner menu made last week, so I have lots of carry-overs. We have baseball/softball Monday through Thursday plus church on Wednesday, so we'll be busy this week. Dinner plans will be very important.

MondayFettucine Alfredo.

Tuesday — Baked Potatoes, plus other fresh vegetables.

WednesdayChicken Spaghetti.

ThursdayMeat Loaf.

Friday — Leftovers.

Saturday — I'm going to try a new Taste of Home recipe for Sloppy Joes. It's actually called 'Sloppy Joes for 8 Dozen' and makes 96 servings. Now I don't make that much, but we are hosting people from church at our house on Sunday evening, June 28. Not 8 dozen though, so I'm going to cut the recipe down by one-fourth and try it for our family. I need something easy to make ahead. If it works out, I'll give you the recipe next week.

Sunday — Father's Day! Eat out somewhere special...Hubby's choice! We also have our first small group at our house Sunday evening, and I have to fix a light snack. Hmmm...

Check out The Organizing Junkie for more great menu ideas and recipes.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Young at Heart

Today I got to see one of my very dearest, very sweetest friends from Illinois. She was traveling with the church youth choir from our old church and they've been doing work in Ypsilanti, Michigan, about an hour from where we live north of Detroit. They had the day off before they sing at a church tonight and they were going to the Henry Ford Museum. We hadn't been there yet either, so Hubby took a day off and our entire family went to see the group. There were people all of us knew well, especially me, Hubby, and the girls.

Well, Stacey and I decided to let out our inner rock stars today. Believe it or not, we didn't even embarrass our kids.

Here we are in one of our finer, more reserved moments.

Stacey is one of my favorite people in the world and I was so happy to see her. I wish she was a Michigander like me. Then we could be Michigeese.

How was that, Reese?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

WFMW — Cleaning Soap Scum from my Glass Shower (Ick!)

Before I even tell you what I did, if you decide to try this, please, please, please try it on a small inconspicuous area first. I did. I don't want to get an ugly note that you scratched something when you tried it at your house. I don't like people to be mad at me.

Most of my crazy resourceful ideas come out of my wandering thinking, which happens a little too frequently, if I do say so myself. The other day I was thinking about my glass shower and the awful soap scum build-up that it continues to get no matter what I do, that I can never seem to completely clean off. And this shower is only six months old.

And because you might be wondering, the glass was not my choice. Or Hubby's. It just came that way.

Somewhere along the way my mind wandered to our pinball machine. I know, I can't really tell you how it got there, but it did.

No, we didn't buy it. I got it when my mom and stepdad were downsizing. My sister and I had it when we were growing up. I was the good sister and got it. But since her husband said they weren't taking it, there wasn't a fight, but I'm still sticking with the good sister story.

The military moves weren't kind to this antique, and when we were in Virginia we had to have a guy that works on old pinball machines and arcade games come fix it and make it work again. He even cleaned out the inside and did a fantastic job, and made me clean the outside at the same time. Not that I was doing a bad housekeeping job with it, but he had me really clean it. He told me to get an SOS or Brillo pad, get it a little damp, and scrub the wooden sides of the pinball machine with the grain of the wood. It didn't scrub off the paint and cleaned it nicely. The scratches you see in the picture were already there.

In the meantime, I have not used an SOS pad on any other piece of wood and don't intend to, and I don't really recommend it unless you want to scratch it up. Because I'm thinking that in most instances that's what's going to happen.

So as my mind is on my glass shower and my pinball machine, it goes to the memory that diamonds are the only thing that cut glass, so maybe the steel wool in the SOS pads under my kitchen sink won't scratch my shower glass (which is some kind of tempered glass, by the way).

I also remember the home warranty guy telling me on our walk-through that normal glass cleaners would destroy the finish on the silver finish (aluminum? stainless?) that surrounds the glass. So I'm thinking that the SOS pads might also clean that just like they clean my stainless steel sink without scratching it.

I tried a little corner of the glass and silver area where it wouldn't show much in case it scratched. This is the corner where I started, although when I took this picture I had done the whole area.

Here's how it looks from a couple of different angles, but I was too embarassed to take before pictures, because the further down the glass you got the worse it got.

I worked small areas at a time, and I used an old sock and a glass filled with water to wipe down the areas before I started on another one. I still need to go back and touch it up, especially around the edges and on some of the silver parts, now that it dried.

I also need to get some of that stuff you spray on your shower glass to keep the water from leaving water spots, because even though the soap scum is gone, it will still leave water spots. I hope that will help keep the soap scum at bay longer also.

Well, that's what worked for me. And remember, please, please, PLEASE try a small area before you go hog wild with this.

For more great Works-For-Me Wednesday tips and ideas, visit We Are THAT Family.

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