Wednesday, May 31, 2006

This is Mike. He is the former owner of the loathed sofa, the inadequate desk and the fairly nice dresser that we now own. I like Mike, which is a good thing because I would otherwise be cursing his name everytime I sat down on the sofa or at the desk. As it is, I often mumble unpleasantries about the person who accepted Mike's offer of the sofa & the desk....DH. Mike is one of his oldest friends & I actually met Mike months before I met DH. He'd been our roommate off & on in our early years in Virginia, but was living in his own place (with his own furniture) when he relocated to California.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

This is my computer area. We have an L shaped family room. The computer is in the far corner of the short end of the L. The TV is in the corner where the 2 sides meet and our chairs, bookcase & the loathed sofa are in the long end of the L. The long end also has a sliding glass window on one side & a wood stove in the left top corner. If you go straight out the bottom of the L, you enter the kitchen.

There is a gate around the area to keep the toddlers out. Drake calls it "Mommy's office" though DH occasionally sets his laptop up on the dresser. Everything in the area is 'temporary' and 'will do for now'. Including the desk. The desk belonged to the same friend who gave us the sofa & my feelings for the desk are similar to my feelings for the sofa. It is inadequate to the task. The desk is from the late 1940's when people and chairs apparently were much narrower than they are today. No chair with arms, currently in existence, will fit in that tiny opening area. Meaning I can either have a chair that gives me arm support or I can have a chair that gets in close enough for me to type comfortably, but not both. The shelving next to the desk is a walmart special. I like the shelving, but something a little less 'garage storage' and a bit more 'family room' looking would be nice. I have a lot of peripherals - printer, scanner, wacom, wireless router & big surge protecting multi plug, plus the CPU itself. So the shelves are a real necessity. I like to have everything handy. There is a little stack of rigged up shelving between the walmart special shelves and the dresser (also a gift from the owner of the sofa. I like it & as soon as I can figure out how to paint or otherwise resurface it, I will love the dresser.) The rigged shelving is made of a night stand, a serving tray and a couple wire cabinet shelves. It holds all my notes, my bills, the lessons & tutorials I have printed out & all the CDs & DVDs. The dresser holds little used, but needs to stay out of small hands, stuff.

I like having the PC in the family room. I can scrap & keep an eye on the boys, or chat with DH. We like having everyone in the same area, even if they are doing different things. DH says he is going to build me an L shaped desk to fit in that corner & that it will have built in shelves on each side going over the top of the desk. He is going to use the existing desk as a base. It'll be interesting to see how that turns out.

Monday, May 29, 2006

The weekend was ok. We went up to the mountains to some property some friends of ours own along a river. It's a very shallow river where they are, up to my waist at most 90% of the time, so it's great for the kids. It was their DD's 3rd b-day and they were having a weekend long camping party. We went up Saturday morning & came back Sunday night. The males camped out, I stayed in a Holiday Inn about 20 minutes away. DH owed me a night alone from when he went camping a month ago & I'm not much on camping, so it worked out well. The little boys had a blast. Drake's first question was "when can we get in the river?' and spend the rest of the time in the river, complaining that he had to get out, & asking when he could get back in. He also went fishing with DH & caught a fish, though he didn't seem to realize this was a big deal. It was hot, though the water was chilly. It was fun hanging out with our friends but I didn't have much to say & just lounged a lot. The 2 women are yoga instructors (different types of yoga) and talked about classes & things that I had nothing to add to. But it was nice to just be quiet & sit in the woods. They both teach prenatal yoga & one is working on getting a kids' yoga or mommy & baby yoga class together. That got me thinking about a book I got called "Baby Buddahs" which is about teaching meditation to toddlers. I got it because I think Drake could do with learning to relax & focus. He gets so wound up sometimes, gritting his teeth intensely - not with anger, just with energy. So I decided to finish reading it this weekend when I got home & use some of Drake's quiet time to teach him about meditating. The kids all played & shrieked together & had a great time & we talked about how we do this group camping thing every year & wondered about what the kids will remember of it as they get older.

It was a long & tiring ride home Sunday night. I had both boys in the car because I was dumb enough to ask who they wanted ride with (DH & I each drove, they slept in his truck bed & I had to drive to the hotel. Dumb, but DH *hates* pitching a tent.) They were asleep within 15 minutes of leaving the campsite. It's a 2.5 hour drive home. Derek woke up about 25 minutes from home & cried the rest of the ride because he couldn't find his sippy cup & it was dark, on a windy 2 lane road with no place really safe for me to pull over & try & find it. Drake slept through it. Derek then would not settle to sleep at home. It was almost 10pm when Dh & i got in bed & started watching TV. Derek cries for water, cries for company, ends up in our bed by 10:50. He won't settle down & irritates DH so much he gets up & goes to bed in the playroom. I eventually convince Derek to go to his bed about midnight, doesn't last. He's back in bed with me by 12:30 & finally drops off at 1am, sideways across our bed. I wake up around 6am, with Derek curled next me , his head on my feet & his body at an angle hogging as much of a queen size bed as a 30 inch child can. I sent Drake, who came in the room, to get Daddy (who got at least 90 minutes more sleep than me) and went back to sleep. Derek was up about 8am.

I had a good weekend, but I am a bit worn out. Physically I didn't do much but I just feel mentally drained & i don't know why. I was finally able to find Digital Scrapbooking 5 & look forward to reading through it tonight.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Is creating "beautiful art" more important than the process of creating.
For me it is the process. Most of my hobbies are about the process, though I enjoy getting a beautiful result. I would not cross stitch, crochet or quilt otherwise. I love the process of them. The planning, the cutting, the stitching, watching something whole & formed grow out of scattered pieces. I feel the same way about digi scrapping. The process of making all the parts into a whole is what fascinates me. Sure I love it when the results are admired by others. But if I didn't find the process more important, the odds are I wouldn't do it.

We're going up to WV to celebrate a the birthday of a friend's DD. They are having a weekend long camping party at some property they own in the mountains, along a river. Dh & the boys will be camping. I will be not camping. I have a room at a hotel about 20 minutes away. I don't like camping. But the hotel is mostly because DH owes me a night alone & this is a convenient way for me to get it. He went camping with his buddies a month ago & we agreed I get a night in a hotel in exchange.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

morning thoughts

When I woke up, or when I got up? These are 2 different times separated by about 2.5 hours. Derek woke me up at shortly after 5am when he came in our room& climbed in our bed. My thought at the time was "Please God let him go back to sleep.", which is what I think every morning that he comes into our room before 6am. And as usual he did not go back to sleep. After about 30 minutes of him tossing around & playing & occasionally snuggling up to me, I told him to go watch TV and he did. So i went back to drowse while DH got up at 6 & got Derek breakfast. I actually got out of bed at 7:30am, when DH leaves for work. My first thought then was "I am going to the gym today & I mean it." I haven't been all week because of Drake's recent separation anxiety. Its been growing on him slowly for a month or more but he's been downright hysterical about it this week. He tells me he is afraid he will miss me. So we have spent the last few days doing other things. But I like going to the gym & try to get there 3 days a week. He's gone through these periods before & periods where he gets upset when we *don't* go to the gym. When we talked about it last night he seemed to be getting upset just to see what my reaction would be, not because he was really upset. So I was determined to go this morning & if he pitched a real fit when we got there I'd deal then.

Never made it to the gym. Never made it 500 yards from my driveway. Flat tire. Turned around & came back to the house, tried to change it, couldn't get the bolts off. I used to be able to do that. I've changed every one of my flat tires & that is about 10, in my life. This is my second flat in 5 weeks. I had to get help changing that one from a guy who was willing to actually *help* as opposed to offering me his cell phone. Dude, if I had someone to call I would have done it before I jacked the car up. ::rolls eyes:: Don't know what has happened to my upper body strength. I even work out specifically on that. So DH is going to get an air tank from the repair place at lunch & coming home to inflate the tire so it can be driven in & they can fix it. I think he thinks I am going to do that..... The boys will be napping when he gets here. By the time they wake up & we get there, it will be 3pm & there is no point at all in arriving there at 3pm because they will never actually get to me & what the heck am I supposed to do with 2 toddlers In a gas station repair waiting room the size of the inside of my car?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

How do you handle good byes?

I don't enjoy them but there have been few final good byes in my life. Apart from my mother in law, the people that I have lost to death, went when I was not there to say good bye. Saying good bye to MIL was very hard for me. I cried a lot.

A few people have moved out of my life to a new job or a new place, but even then, it was a physical goodbye, we could still keep in touch & while I was sad they wouldn't be there to hang out with, knowing we can still chat on email made it easier.

I try to remain upbeat about good byes, even the final ones, because while a door is closing for me, it is opening for someone else. And when I am the one moving on to a new job or a new location, the door is opening for me & new beginnings are a good thing.


An update on the chocolate bars. I left out the ECLIPSE dark chocolate bar, 87% cacao & entirely too bitter for my taste, though DH loves it. I think chopped fine, melted & mixed with milk & a tiny bit of sugar it would make a great cup of hot chocolate. But as an eating chocolate, it is just too bitter.


I've started typing these entries in my Life Journal program first & then copying them to blogger. I've been doing it the other way around & I get lazy & am now 3 months behind on copying things into Life Journal. It is some really incredible journal software. I've had for 4 years now. I go through periods where I never use it & periods where I record everything in it. It has topics & keywords to highlight parts of your entries so you can search later for things. Iit lets you specialize your entries so you can keep your spiritual journal entries separate from your exercise log or your daily entries It helps you enter you life history, your personal time line, has a daily pulse (energy, happiness, stress plus customizable options, I track my weight), plus a graph so you can track how your pulse categories are doing. It gives you prompts & quotes to write from. Apparently they now have specialized versions of the software as well. If you are into journaling or just want to keep your blogging somewhere you can back up, this is a good way to do it.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

some pricy chocolate

I love Dagoba Organic dark chocolate bars. They are kinda pricy $3-4 a 2oz bar but they are so good & they are slow eating chocolate. They are not Hershey's that you can just eat without really thinking. The dark chocolate bars *demand* you sit & pay attention to them & 2 small pieces is really all you need at a sitting. They come in an assortment of flavors but I have to go out of my way to find them just in general, & I have not come across all the flavors yet. These are my favorites

New Moon 75% cacao
and Lavender,which is not available individually on their website for some reason. It's a lavender essence with blueberries in it. Sounds weird but tastes good.

I have not encountered the XOCOLATL, which has chilis, the MON CHERI or the LIME flavored ones. The plain DARK is ok, but I prefer a Hershey's Special Dark.

I amnot fond of their milk chocolate flavors. I've tried the LATTE and the CHAI & was disappointed both times. Too sweet & bland & the spicing was too strong. I have not tried the HAZELNUT, BRASILIA or PURE MILK because I have not seen them yet.

So if you are looing for some good, bittersweet chocolate bars, the kind you indulge in when you have 10 minutes to slowly nibble your way uninterrupted through a couple of pieces, try the Dagoba bars. They are worth the price.

I got this link from Bethy's blog. I've never heard of the artist but I like that I would 'inspire an enchanting portrait"

Who Should Paint You: Gustav Klimt

Sensual and gorgeous, you would inspire an enchanting portrait..
With just enough classic appeal to be hung in any museum!


We had a few pets when I was growing up. They all arrived in the house when I was between 6-10 and I don't really recall which arrived first or if there was overlap.. We had a couple hamsters. Mine was named Princess. I can't remember what my brother named his. Princess had some babies at one point but they didn't live. We had a fish tank. We had that for a while. Lots of different fish in it at various points. I only remember Mr Cat, the catfish, though. We also had a dog. A minature schnauzer. Her name was Puppet. I was 7 or 8 when we got her. She was supposed to be the family dog, but she was really my mom's dog. That dog worshipped my mom. I remember dressing the dog up in baby doll clothes sometimes. Puppet died when I was in college.

The first pet I ever had as an adult were hamsters again. I had them for a couple of years in college because even 'no pets' apartments would take hamsters (and they were cheaper than fish tanks).

Monday, May 22, 2006


The smell that reminds me most of childhood is a mix of the perfume Chanel No5 & this perfumed talc powder(but I don't know what the name of it was) . My mom wore it all the time. So did both my grandmothers. When I smell it now I can picture thier bedrooms in the mid-70's, the colors, the furniture, even all the bottles & brushes they had laid out on their dressing tables. They had dressing tables....They sat down at them & did their hair & make up every day. I cannot imagine doing that now. I do everythign standing the bathroom, usually in a rush.

My parents are visiting this weekend & brought me a stack of photos from the 60's & 70's of them & me. Some of the photos smell like this mixture.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Childhood play

When I was little I loved playing with dolls or playing with Weebles or the lego people. I loved creating stories about them & acting those stories out, making them talk & walk around & do things. I would get together with a couple of friends & we would either play with dolls in someone's basement or we'd go outside with the Weebles & lego people and build a fort, house, boats, etc for them out of sand, rocks, dirt, legos & lincoln logs, then have a great adventure with them. I remember I had the Weeble treehouse & the Weeble cowboy set & my friend Alexis had a Weeble pirate island and some one else had a RV type set & we'd set them all up and have Weeble village. These were different Weebles than what they sell now, these were egg shaped, weighted on the bottom and had a piece of paper wrapped around them under a piece of clear plastic. The paper had their face & costume printed on it & if you got the Weebles wet, water would seep in and the pictures would run. I had a tape recorder, one of those 70's era black rectangular things with the huge buttons on one end you see in period cop shows during interregation scenes. We'd use it to record us playing with the Weebles.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

favorite words

I wasn't sure which way to go with this - meaningful, fun, by sound...I love a lot of words for different reasons. But here are the 5 I came up with & why.

1. LUNCH - my philosophy of life revolves around lunch. It is the thing I miss most as a SAHM (apart from soft smooth hands). Douglas Adams, in "Life, the Universe & Everything " wrote about a group called The Holy Lunching Friars on Vondoon - The Holy Lunching Friars of Voondon claim that just as lunch is at the centre of a man's temporal day, and man's temporal day can be seen as an analogy for his spiritual life, so Lunch should (a) be seen as the centre of a man's spiritual life, and (b) be held in jolly nice restaurants This is what I believe as well.

2. NAPTIME - because that is when LUNCH is going to occur if I get one at all (but no jolly nice restaurant)

3. DEFENESTRATION - it means to throw someone out of the window & it has always struck me as funny (In both sense of the word) that this word exists. It's existance means that people were being thrown out of windows often enough that they needed a word for it. This is the part that strikes me as bizzar. However, for some reason I don't understand, this word reminds me of Monty Python's Flying Circus, which is why it makes me laugh

4. MOMMY - I never thought anyone would say it to me and I love to hear it. Though perhaps without the annoying whine as in "I want some juice please MMOOOOMMMMMYYYYY." a dozen times in a row because they were too busy whining to hear me when I said "ok" after the first time.

5. MILK - I just like the way it sounds. It sort of just rolls off the tongue

favorite words

I wasn't sure which way to go with this - meaningful, fun, by sound...I love a lot of words for different reasons. But here are the 5 I came up with & why.

1. LUNCH - my philosophy of life revolves around lunch. It is the thing I miss most as a SAHM (apart from soft smooth hands). Douglas Adams, in "Life, the Universe & Everything " wrote about a group called The Holy Lunching Friars on Vondoon - The Holy Lunching Friars of Voondon claim that just as lunch is at the centre of a man's temporal day, and man's temporal day can be seen as an analogy for his spiritual life, so Lunch should (a) be seen as the centre of a man's spiritual life, and (b) be held in jolly nice restaurants This is what I believe as well.

2. NAPTIME - because that is when LUNCH is going to occur if I get one at all (but no jolly nice restaurant)

3. DEFENESTRATION - it means to throw someone out of the window & it has always struck me as funny (In both sense of the word) that this word exists. It's existance means that people were being thrown out of windows often enough that they needed a word for it. This is the part that strikes me as bizzar. However, for some reason I don't understand, this word reminds me of Monty Python's Flying Circus, which is why it makes me laugh

4. MOMMY - I never thought anyone would say it to me and I love to hear it. Though perhaps without the annoying whine as in "I want some juice please MMOOOOMMMMMYYYYY." a dozen times in a row because they were too busy whining to hear me when I said "ok" after the first time.

5. MILK - I just like the way it sounds. It sort of just rolls off the tongue

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

comfort foods

Homemade cookies or muffins. Meatloaf. Fried egg & bacon sandwiches. When I eat for comfort I reach for high fat food because there is no comfort in broccoli.

I am eating one of my faves right now. Homemade chocolate chip cookies spread with a strawberry cream cheese & yogurt dip. It has yogurt in it therefore it is healthy right? It's a great dip for apple & pear slices, pineapple chunks (fresh) and strawberries. Drake is eating it with apples at the moment. I am hoping that I can start a patternt hat fruit is comfort for him

Drake is covered in poison ivy. The spots started appearly slowly Sunday & we were not sure if they were just bites. Then more Monday, started hydrocortison cream, yesterday he was one big rash. His arms, his face, his neck, his stomach, the backs of his legs, his private parts. He just healed up from it on his butt. The doc gave us some oral steriods to clear it up plus I have to put hydrocortison on it & anti-itch stuff. Poor kid, no wonder he has been so whiny lately.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

bad habits

I shout too much at the kids & I take DH for granted. I try to work on these things - keeping my voice calm, imagining I have a studio audience watching my deal with my kids, telling DH thank you often, commenting that I appreciate that he did whatever it was. But then after a few days I am back to shouting in irritation & ignoring DH's efforts.

I live with 3 people who are absolutely incapable of cleaning up after themselves or finding a darn thing by themselves. Granted two of them 3 and 2 years old but when the shoe is right in front of him I should not have to come in from the kitchen, where I am attempting to cut veggies for dinner, pick it up and hand the shoe to the 2 year old who apparently cannot look down. This happens all day and is why I end up shouting & am not really appreciative that DH made cookies (because of the mess left behind him).

But I am working on it. I resolve every morning that I won't raise my voice to my children in any form that I would not wish to hear addressed to myself and that I will thank my husband when he does things (He thanks me all the time) Many days I manage to do this. Some days I've failed by 9am. Most days I have about a 70-80% success rate.

eta - Heather, bunco is a dice game, played with 3 dice at 3 tables of 4 people. You roll for certain numbers every round & you get points for various combinations. And at the end of every round points are added up & people move around to different tables. Everyone pays in $5 and at teh end of 15 rounds points are totalled and the money dividedup among winners in different categories. It's a lot of fun. I play it monthly with some women from my MOPS (mothers of toddlers/preschoolers) group

Monday, May 15, 2006

Menu for the next 2 weeks

in no particular order:

broiled salmon
salmon patties (with leftovers)
deep dish pizza or calzone (toppings dependant on leftovers)
hamburgers on the grill (Saturday)
chicken with rice
london broil
pork loin crock pot
grilled chicken
veggie soup & sandwiches
baked ziti
steak & spinich salad (leftover london broil)

I think we will have the pasta tonight, since it is too late to start the pork. Tomorrow night is bunco at my house, so Brad & the boys will go out to eat. I'll make a sandwich. I'm going to have veggies & dip, guacamole & chips and the Cafe's spinich & artichoke dip with bread, plus cookies, for bunco. My folks will be here Friday & we'll probably get Chinese take out. Saturday we'll do the burgers and one day the weekend after that I am owed a Mother's Day dinner. So technically I should have more plans than actual meals. we'll see.

my weekend

Saturday I spread out the gravel for the pool area while Brad was off on the tractor buying a backhoe attachment from a guy a mile or so away. Drake was in ecstacy when Brad came back with the backhoe on the tractor. We hadn't told him about it so he was really surprised. "My backhoe tractor!!! My backhoe tractor!! You got me my backhoe tractor that i've always wanted!! Fank you Daddy Fank you!!!!" Then it rained before Brad was able to do more than make a couple test digs with Drake on his lap. But it was enough. Later we went to a cookout that was hosted by the preschool Drake will be attending in the fall. Drake is in a shy & fearful phase right now, make worse by the fact that he has always been a bit shy & reluctant to try new things. So he stuck by us most of the time & wouldn't not go on any of the rides, but he did pet the animals & watched the (very LOUD) puppet show. The food was ok.

Sunday I slept in until 9am. That was it for my Mother's Day celebration. We did some work around the yard in the morning, not much though since it rained all day. I had my bi-monthly meeting in the afternoon & then Brad had to go interview someone who apparently could only meet him at 6pm on Mother's Day. ::Rollseyes:: He got home just in time for storytime. I loaded "Kitchen Confidential" by Anthony Bourdaine on my iPod & went to bed.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

These are some of my recent layouts. I've got my layout spreadsheet almost completed. I have the 60 individual layouts I have done this year in it. I need to add the mini albums still., but then I will be caught up & just keep a print out on my desk with space to write the new ones in as I create them. For some reason doing all this is easier for me than just creating a new text layer in PSP. I think my problem with that method is I have to oepn the file, in PSP, to see the info each time & really prefer my information in one central location, all printed out in nice rows & columns on a spreadsheet. I'm wierd like that

Mission Possible at DSP

Mission Possible at DSP

Book of Me challenge at DSP

K for the Scrapmommies ABC challenge

J for the ScrapMommies ABC Challenge

Saturday, May 13, 2006

New minis

I finished my redo of my sweet baby girl & sweet baby boy mini albums. The originals are 6x6 and these new ones a 5x7. The 6x6 are available at 1hourscraps now and the 5x7's will be available there in a week or so. I am now working on a 12 page "baby's First year' brag book that will coordinate with this one but be in a more varied assortment of soft pastel & neutral colors.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Super power?

I'd have a super memory. I'd be able to recall with clarity & detail what I wanted to recall (Drake's first smile, the first time Derek said Mommy) and not recall very well the things I don't want to (the flame war I started over Mother's Day on an elist, the car accident on our way to FL).

I have a very good memory, but a rather vague & fuzzy one as well. I don't trust myself to recall details well of some things (like some incidents on message boards, dates of the kings of France, people's birthdays, grocery lists) but I remember lots of other things (other incidents on message boards, dates of the kings of England, how much my first job paid me [$1.20 an hour], what I ordered at restaurants I visited in another state 5 years ago) There is no real rhyme or reason to what I remember. I have periods of having a great memory & periods of having a really bad memory & I never know which I am in until it's too late.

So a super memory, with an edit feature would be awesome.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

My project for 1 hourscrap this month is a baby mini brag book. I want to do 12 pages plus a title/journal page so people can use it as "First Year" book if they want or use the pages to divide months up in a photo album. It will be 5x7 because it scales down better than 4x6 scales up with graphic quality. I am also redoing my Sweet Baby Boy/Girl mini albums from 6x6 to 5x7 as well. They are solid blue or solid pink & only 8 pages. To make this easy on myself I am going to use the basic layout of the 8 pages but with different papers & elements for the Brag book. So I am turning out almost 50 5x7 plopper pages this month. But only doing the work of about 15.

If I had the day off tomorrow....

I'd sleep in. Then I would go to IHOP for breakfast - alone. Then I would go to the bookstore & browse as long as my heart desired. After that I would go try on pants, skirts & bras in a variety of stores (I really need bras). Followed by lunch, at Quiznos. Then I would come home to a preferably empty house (I'd have to travel at least 45 minutes to do any of the shopping & eating I mentioned) and digi scrap for a bit or maybe work on my cross stitch. I'd make myself some dinner without having to consider the likes & dislikes of the other 3 people in my life - cream of mushroom soup with toast covered in mushroom boloagnese sauce and a spring salad with goat cheese. (DH hates mushrooms & goat cheese. The toddlers only like breaded chicken strips or spinich salad.) Last I'd have a nice long soak (in a tub somebody else cleaned while I was out) and climb into bed to read a good book before falling asleep.

Now, if DH had the day off tomorrow I'd like for us to take the kids up to the National Zoo & spend the day there. His idea of a day off though would probably involve sleeping in & then doing things with power tools or the tractor.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A tasty recipie

One of my favorite meals is a chicken & potato salad combo I've been making for a few years now. It is loosely based on a recipie in "Cooking for Two" by Suzi Smith (1996) called "Grilled Chicken Salad with sour cream dressing". I'll give the book version at the end, but first some commentary.

1. The original recipie has you mix the chicken, avocados, bacon & tomatoes together with the dressing & serve on a bed of spinich with potatoes on the side. I mix all of it together with the dressing at once.

2. I prefer to use sweet potatoes rather than white ones. They taste better. They add a nice flavor that you don't get with white potatoes. They are also more nutritious. It's still good with white potatoes but its better with sweet ones. Try the sweet potatoes. They are not just for pie & marshmellowy Thanksgiving side dishes. Really, they are wonderful in savory dishes.

3. Steam the potatoes, whichever you use, if at all possible. The flavor is much better than boiled.

4. If you are serving this chilled, mix the chicken & potatoes with half the dressing & let chill, then add the other ingredients & the rest of the dressing before serving. It is also very good warm

5. The easiest way to make this is to use planned leftovers. Grill some extra chicken for it when you make grilled chicken for dinner. Or if you are roasting a chicken, roast a slightly larger one than you normally would. Leftover turkey is also delicious in this. White & dark meat both work well.

6. The base recipie serves 2-3 people & it scales up easily. This is a great dish for pot lucks & picnics.

Some other things I change from the original when I make it:
I leave out the tomatoes because I don't like raw tomatoes.
I've used Miracle Whip when I haven't had any sour cream. It adds a nice zip. Regular mayo is not as good IMO
I experiment with the vinegar, my favorite is garlic wine, tarragon is second.
I often leave out the garlic clove in the dressing & marinate the chicken in garlic & olive oil before grilling.
I prefer prosciutto to bacon when I remember to get it.
I've left the spinich out many times & don't miss it a bit

Recipie: - serves 3
12oz chicken - cooked & cut into bite sized pieces
equal weight in potatoes (white or sweet) cooked & cut into bite sized pieces
3 slice cookd bacon crumbled
2 small tomatoes - diced
1 ripe avocado - diced
5ozs spinich or arugula

Dressing: (coats 3 servings)
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon Dijon
1 clove garlic
salt & fresh ground peppper to taste


My favorite color is purple - big surprise I am sure :). My blog is mostly purple, I am wearing something purple in my avis, 95% of the pages I do about me involve purple. I just really like purple. For some never adequately explained reason, this bothered the heck out of my family when I was a child. "Oh of course you chose the purple shirt." "Purple again?" "How about some other color than purple?". It's not like my wardrobe was all purple. I don't really recall have much of anything that was purple clothing-wise, because they always stopped me from getting it. My room was pink or peach (I never really had a say in what color it was) & I don't remember having many purple toys. So I am not certain where this idea of theirs came from. And I often wonder if they would have said it if my favorite color was pink or green?

This "Oh why not choose something other than purple, you have so much purple already." mentality stuck with me until I was 37. I would shy away from buying things that were purple because I had 'so much' purple stuff anyway. Then when I was pregnant with DS2, so soon after DS1, I went through my clothes & packed a bunch up & gave loads away. And I noticed something.... 90% of my wardrobe was green, black or blue - the colors I prefered when I wanted something other than purple. 3 out of 5 rooms in my house are green. One is blue & the other a pinkish grey (and they were painted those colors by the previous owners). There are some small purplish flowers in a wallpaper border in my kitchen, which is green & white. My folks commented "I see you got your purple in there." huh? So where had this myth that everything I own is purple come from and what do my parents have against purple? I never have gotten a straight answer from them. The fact that I liked wearing a particular purple dress when I was 3 seems an insuffient explanation for 35 more years of anti-purpleness on their part.

So I started buying things that were purple & telling that part of my mind that warned me against it to shut up already. I am not going to wait until I am an old woman to wear purple. I am going to do it NOW. (though I probably will not wear a red hat with it)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

feeling optomistic

I'm feeling good about a number of things.

Brad has the frame for the playset canopy built & it just needs to be bolted permanently together & installed on the playset. As it is taking up our entire 'yard' area I am feeling optomisitic that he will finish this task by this weekend. He can hardly move it out of the way to begin something else.

The part that got broken on the tractor 2 weeks ago has been replaced & I am feeling optomisitc that I might actually be able to keep the place mowed this summer & we now have a weed trimmer too.

I have come up with a way to keep track of kits/designers/fonts used on my layouts. I've been reading about people putting a hidden text layer in the layout itself so you can read it when you open it up in PSP/PS. Tried that. Doesn't work for me. For a while I was really good about putting everything in PSP's 'image information' area but again, I don't keep up with it. It came to me today how to keep track of all this data, because I actually thought the word 'data' and not 'kit' or 'information'. The best place to keep track of data is in a database! Or failing that - a SPREADSHEET. Well, duh! And I am a spreadsheet person. I put everything in to Excel spreadsheets, don't know why it took me 6 months to think of it. I even havea column of little 100x100 thumbnails of the layouts so I can print it out & know at a glance - date, title, filename, kit, designer, font, challenge/reason, gallery posted to adn 'other info'. So I am feeling optomistic about finally keep accurate track of what kit I used in what layout.

Monday, May 08, 2006


What music do I like? I admit to a partiality for 80's music - pop, metal, hair bands, alternative, but I was 13 in 1980 and 80's music is *my* music so I dont' apologize (though several friends thing I should :)) I also love Celtic music (clannad, gaelic storm) and medieval inspired music (Blackmore's Night & Loreena McKennit). I am not a fan of country music but everyone around here is. I have not kept up with mainstream music. I hear random songs that i like (on a radio station called SAM I pick up in the car) but I have no idea what Brittany Spears sings or Emminem's latest is called or who Puff Daddy is. I goto iTunes every so often & only ever recognize maybe one of the names on that are on the main page. I don't really care, eventually the boys will start listening to it & then I will too.

I listen to my iPod at the gym, though mostly audiobooks because listening to a good murder mystery motivates me to stay on the elliptical machine more than Duran Duran or the Scorpions do. I like to have music playing sometimes when I am making dinner, cleaning or scrapping. I put the 'modern rock alternative' Sirrus station on the TV (comes with DISH), but now I have DirecTV & need to figure out what XM stations to listen too. I've been listening to less music since the boys were born because I now appreciate silence in a way I never used to before. :)

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Sofa Photos

the horrid sofa with the old sofa cover I just replaced. There are a gagillion pillows on the sofa because the back & arms are basically just 2x4's covered with a thin padding & very uncomfortable.

the horrid sofa with the new sofa cover & additional padding. I liek the cover & I like the sofa with all the padding. But, the padding consists of 2 old body pillows, a crib bumper, a half a dzoen old sheets, some quilt batting and some old table cloths. They are not going to stay in place & even 2 days into it have had to be reshifted back where they belong more times than I can count. But when they are in place they are comfy. This is the more or less what i want in a sofa, only with the padding stitched & attached into place. If it had a fold out bed that would be good too.


The prompt for the weekend is post your favorite joke & tell why it is your favorite.

I LOVE puns! I love wordplay. I love something that makes you have to pause for a second & think. I love that they make you groan and giggle at the same time. These are a few of my current favorite puns

A botanist was trying to research some details about a particular kind of fern, so he sent a request to all his collegues, asking them to send him any information they had about it.

Unfortunately, he didn't word his request very well, and all the botanists he'd contacted thought he was looking for details about any ferns, rather than just the one species. So within just a few hours of sending it out, his fax machine was buzzing with piles of useless documents about all kinds of ferns - there were tree ferns and wood ferns, ostrich ferns and cinnamon ferns... but very few about the particular type he wanted.

So he sent another message to everyone:

If it ain't bracken, don't fax it.

An enterprising journalist decided to get the scoop of the day by photographing the fearsome phantom that lived in the spooky old mansion house at the edge of town.

When he entered the house, armed with only his camera, the ghost decended upon him, moaning and wailing and clanking chains.

"I mean no harm; I just want your photograph," the journalist said bravely.

Pleased at this chance to make headlines, the ghost posed for a number of shots, and the happy journalist rushed back to his darkroom and began developing the photos.

Unfortunately, they turned out to be so underexposed that nothing could be seen in them.

He was distraught, and went to a local pub to drown his sorrows. Meeting his friends there, they asked what was wrong. Not wanting to tell the whole story, he simply explained with a single sentence: ......

"The spirit was willing, but the flash was weak."

A debt collector knocked on the door of a country family, that made their living weaving cloth.
"Is Jack home?" he asked the woman who answered the door.
"Im sorry," the woman replied. "Jack's gone for cotton."

A few weeks later the collector tried again. "Is Jack here today?"
Once again the answer was "No, sir, I'm afraid he has gone for cotton."

When he returned for the third time and Jack was still nowhere to be seen, he complained, "I suppose Jack is gone for cotton again?"
"No," the woman answered solemnly, "Jack died yesterday."

Suspicious that he was being avoided, the collector decided to wait a week and investigate the cemetery himself. But sure enough, there was poor Jack's tombstone, with this inscription: ...

"Gone, But Not for Cotton."

Several years ago, Andy was sentenced to prison. During his stay, he got along well with the guards and all his fellow inmates. The warden knew that, deep down, Andy was a good person. So, the warden made arrangements for the inmate to learn a trade while doing his time.

Some three years later, Andy was recognized as one of the best carpenters in the local area. Often, he would be given a weekend pass to do odd jobs for citizens of the community. And he always reported back to prison by early Sunday evening. Andy was a model inmate.

One day, the warden considered remodeling his kitchen, though he lacked the skills to build a set of kitchen cupboards and a large counter top. So he called Andy into his office and asked him to do the job for him.

To the warden's surprise, Andy simply refused to help.

"But you're an expert, Andy, and I really need your help," said the warden.

"Gosh, warden, I'd really like to help you, but counter fitting is what got me into prison in the first place."

Friday, May 05, 2006


There haven't been many lately for me. But I am not really trying to accomplish anything much at the moment either.

I finally mopped the kitchen floor last night. Even used Pine Sol instead of baking soad & soap so it smells clean too.

I got some decent work in on my cross stitch project.

I remembered to cancel DISH before they billed us for another year of service. Direct TV is coming today to install.

I didn't lose my temper with the boys while they were running like little demons all around the stores when I was shopping yesterday.

I did manage to get to the gym today.

I have root canal part 2 in about 2 hours and I have managed to not freak out so far this week about it. Which has me worried. I spent the better part of 10 days stressed out & terrified about part 1 and it didn't hurt a bit, except for the shot. what if the pain you feel is inversly proportional to the fear you experience & because I am calm about it now I will be in agony during it? Logically I know that is rediculous but that idea has always had a small part in my thought process when dealing with things I am afraid of - if I am afraid *enough* then it won't be so scary

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Really. I loathe the thing. Always have. We got it 3rd hand, for free. from a friend who was moving out of town 6 years ago. We'd been talking about needing a new sofa beacuse the one we had was falling apart & DH comes home & says "Sofa problem is solved! Mike is giving us his!" I so wanted to kill Mike right then. I didn't like the sofa when it was his. I really detest it now that it is mine & with every passing year I detest it more (if that is possible). It isn't comfortable. It is ugly. The staples from the recovering that was doen to it before Mike got it are coming loose.

It is on my mind at the moment because I just bought my 3rd sofa cover for it today. It has a flat top & skinny flat arms. No sofa cover in the universe is made for this shape sofa. They all are made for sofas with high backs & puffy arms, so I end up tucking in yards of fabric (that never stays tucked) or suffing old pillows and blankets in the spaces to make it puff some & they never stay in place either. We have pieces of plywood under the seat cushions because it has lost it's firmness.

Given my rather strong opinions on this sofa you may be asking yourself "Why has she been suffering with this sofa for 6 years if she despises it so much?" And well you might ask!! The horrid thing is still in our living room because DH cannot see spending $800-1000 to replace what he calls "A perfectly good sofa." He managed to justify spending $500 on another chainsaw when we already have what I would call "A perfectly good chainsaw." So now we have 2 chainsaws, but he just doesn't see my point about the sofa.

So I think one of these days there may be an accident involving one of these chainsaws and the sofa, which will then no longer be "perfectly good."

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Where do I want to go?

There are 2 places I want to go that I am likely to actually go to:

1. Walt Disney World - and stay on Disney property, in a suite, with a jacuzzi.

2. LasVegas - and stay at the Venetian, Luxor or Excaliber, in a suite, with a jacuzzi.

I also want to travel around Europe for a couple of months, touring and staying in nice hotels, with suites & jacuzzis wherever possible. :)

The hotel is a good part of the experience for me. I don't enjoy trips as much if I am spending my nights at the local Bates motel.

Where I am actually going this month - camping in WV - no suites, no jacuzzis, no plumbing whatsoever. I don't like camping. It doesn't fit my 'suites with jacuzzis' vacation ideals.

I must admit however, that I have only very rarely actually stayed in suites or had a jacuzzi in a hotel room. Aside from getting lucky on a few business trips, I have only twice actually paid for such a room. But i would dearly love to do it more often. "Standard room, non smoking 2 queens" a the Comfort Inn is my usual room.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

At last, I scrapped!

My first layout in over 2 weeks! It is a scraplift of 'Muches' by Lisa Swift from the CK top 10 new faces. It uses Amy Blesser's Daddy's Ties papers and I did it for the DET Boot Camp challenge. I've had it in mind to do this layout for awhile I just hadn't found the right photo.

Tuesday's prompt is...

Right now you should be doing ______ instead of being on the computer.

My answer: NOTHING! For once I am on the computer during my regularly scheduled computer time. There are things that need doing, but now is not the time for doing them. The boys are napping & that means this is *my* time. No cleaning gets done during my time unless the Spirit moves me - it rarely does.:)

Monday, May 01, 2006

common ground

I don't think I really had any hobbies or interests I shared with my mom while I was growing up. We both read a lot, but that is about it. The main 'thing' I remember my mom being really into doing when I was a kid was puzzles. She still is. She puts together those 2 sided 1000 piece puzzles with no photo to go by. I've never been that into jigsaw puzzles. I don't remember her doing any 'crafty' hobbies. She didn't sew unless it was to hem something, never crocheted or knitted or cross stitched. She cooked because she had to, not because she particularly enjoyed it. She played bridge with the neighborhood women & she now plays tennis. Mom was always busy with things. She belonged to various organizations & was usually the treasurer or committee chairman. I think that was like a hobby to her. Ihave no interest in that.

I learned to sew & crochet & cross stitch from my grandmothers. I learned to cook on my own. I hope to share my interest in cooking with the boys. I'm going to teach them to sew too.