Thursday, April 29, 2010
It is amazing what kind of getaway you can plan with hotel rewards points and airline mileage.
Tim chose our location and we are headed down to the Santa Ynez Valley to start and will make our way back through Paso Robles before returning home on Sunday. We plan to see lots of horses, taste wine and just hang out. I am most excited for the photo opportunities since I want to give my new camera a good workout.
Have a great weekend!
Kentucky Derby is this weekend - my vote is for Sidney's Candy with jockey Joe Talamo!
Monday, April 26, 2010
Right after my Mom sent me a photo of the house with the "For Sale" sign today, The House That Built Me by Miranda Lambert was on the radio - I had never heard it before and what timing! I was ok with the photo and the sign in front of the house (I suppose), but this song...really? Too much on a Monday morning. I had to do some math in my head to make the tears stop so I could get into my office and work (a little something I learned along the way through life).
Mom and Em, if you watch this, grab a tissue or maybe not - I am a softee.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Yes, I am old school. I don't have a washer or dryer, I do have a spinner and a bucket though and it works great and makes vintage linens last a long time. I like cleaning things the old way, it really works!
PS - got this tablecloth at the Alameda Flea Market in the $5 French linen bin, life doesn't get much better!
Pineapple Upside-Down Cupcakes
1/3 C. Butter* Melted
1/3 C. Brown Sugar
1 20 oz Can Pineapple Chunks
1 C. Flour
3/4 C. Sugar
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 C. Butter* at room temp.
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 C. Pineapple Juice (reserved from can)
Preheat oven to 350.
Grease or spray regular size muffin tin (do not use liners).
Drain can of pineapple and reserve juice for later. I drained my pineapple and then spread it on a floursack towel to make sure it was not too soggy.
In a small bowl mix melted butter and brown sugar together and spoon evenly into each muffin cup. Arrange pinepple chunks on top of brown sugar and butter.
In a large bowl mix togehter flour, sugar and baking powder. Add butter, vanilla, pineapple juice and mix well, add egg, mix again until well incoporated. You can use a mixer for this if you need too - if your butter is at room temp, you should be able to do it by hand. I am from the school of, make less dishes to wash, so I try to do what I can by hand.
Spoon cake batter mixture over fruit in each cup, until about 3/4 full.
Bake aprox. 30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean from each little cake.
Let cool on rack for 5 minutes, then turn out onto rack and let cool completely. I turned mine out onto a parchment sheet over the rack because the caramel the sugar and butter creates is very sticky.
* - I list butter and eggs, however, I use egg beaters and earth balance most of the time, just easier to list butter and eggs.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
My sleepy kitty (who never goes unnoticed)
A full tank of gas in my Jeep
What a wonderful way to start a Monday, these three things make me happy!
All photos taken with my iphone.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Here is a quick run down of my highlights from the week so far:
Monday - worked all day, went to CostCo to get fruit salad and mixed green salad fixins (found organic stuff which made me happy) for dinner the next night at the Maltese Club.
Tuesday - worked all day, went to Maltese Club (I was hosting dinner with two other ladies) - we served Quiche, Green Salad, Fruit Salad and Rolls. It was really good and fun too!
Wednesday - worked all day, got my personal laptop repaired (yeah!), went home and made dinner and relaxed.
Thursday - working....so far so good.
PS - got a zoom lens for my new camera on Monday and have not even been able to play with it yet!
PSS - bathroom is still in a shambles - landlord came and broke through the wall in my shower to discover more damage than he had thought and is now re-grouting the tile. We will see, last time he said he was re-grouting, he just sealed the tile without cleaning first and any mold that was there got sealed in!
Hey - did anyone notice my dashed line under my posts? Took me a while to get it set up (not knowing how to speak html, but am slowly learning).
Monday, April 12, 2010
Friday, April 09, 2010
Here are some of my favorites (as of this moment)...
Thank you Maira for showing me yourself in my local library and adding so much color to what could have been a gray day in deed.
Thursday, April 08, 2010
I got to my Jeep this morning to go to work and the entire contents of my glove box and center console (CD's) were spread over the seats of my car. I rolled my eyes and got in, put my bag down and realized it felt pretty breezy in there and then realized that my car window had been completely smashed in and the glass was ALL OVER the car. Crap! At first I wanted to cry, but I didn't, I went to another place and sprung into action. I called my insurance and within 15 minutes was on my way to a glass replacement place to get my window replaced. All of it was done by 10 AM, but I decided I would take the rest of the day off since I wasn't too sure how long it was going to take and I knew there was no one in my corner of the office today. The only thing is, my landlord is at my place fixing my ever present broken, leaky sink and is also checking out my caving in bathroom wall (water damage from the outside, I assume). So, I am at the library making this post and filing a police report online. My home computer is broken, the screen won't light up so I have to call Dell and see what they can do if anything.
I don't know what has come over me recently, but these things I would have lost it over in the past, don't seem to phase me anymore, I just get em fixed, taken care of, etc. and forget about them. I realized in the grand scheme of life, these are tiny little bumps and could by much worse; PLUS getting the things repaired is a lot less painless when you don't stress over it.
The only thing that really bothers me....the person who broke into my Stella Blue (Jeep) was a smoker and left a HUGE ash in my center console, I noticed it when I was putting my CD's back and yes, I did mention that on the police report I filed online.
Hope you all have a good day and realize that sometimes these bumps in the road are tests from a higher power to see how you deal with things. I think I did OK today.
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Monday, April 05, 2010
Over the past week I have really started thinking about men (or those who want to be considered men) and their manners towards women. I was fortunate to grow up with a Dad who opened doors, let the ladies go first and if he was home, he would help us unload groceries from the car (or at least ask if we needed help). My Dad also instilled in my brother these same lessons and taught all of us kids to help others out even if not asked. Unfortunately, all of that stopped when I moved out from underneath my parents roof. Not sure if it is because I am out of the MidWest and men are different out here or what it is. I have been here in CA for 14 years now and it seems like ever since I got here the manners of men have gone downhill (sorry guys, but you all need to take my seminar called "how to be a man in a modern world").
I thought this may just be an isolated situation (at my house only), but over the last week I have experienced the dissolution of chivalry as we know it on a couple of occasions.
Here are some examples:
Wednesday - Call the house, "hey, it is pouring rain and I have groceries and we need gas and I know you wanted to go to the gym so I am going to just park in the driveway and you can get gas on your way to the gym".
"oh, forget it, I am not going to go, weather is bad, you can just park" I hang up. We do not have parking so you know what this means? I have to circle, while the empty gas light is staring at me and look for parking and then try and maneuver my umbrella, purse and bags of groceries to the house and unlock the front door with what hand that's free? I can't put the bags down in the rain, they are paper. Ugh! On top of walking in the rain with my stuff, I am also going to have to get gas in the morning. Can I please mention, I was sick last week and missed 2 days of work, this happened on my first day back in the real world.
I park a half block away from my house (thank God). I call the house, "can you unlock the door, I have a lot to carry"
"Yeah, be right there"
I am in the car thinking MAYBE he will come out and help me, but instead I see the door open, his head pops out and he looks right at me in the car and the door closes. Seriously?
I get out of the car, put up my umbrella, put my purse across my body, open the trunk and try to figure out how I am going to do this...good thing the brown paper bags have handles on them, but the are HEAVY. I line them up on my arms because I need to be able to hold my keys and turn the door knob when I get to the door. I get in and am mad. I explain why to no response.
Now, ladies, I know I should be more clear about what I need as guys are not mind readers and should have said, "can you come out and help me?" or even better "I need help" however, I have a unique species on my hands and he will ask before agreeing to help, "what do you have to carry in?" or "why do you need help?" etc. etc. and won't just say "yes!" and help me because he wants to; so it ends up making me more mad having to explain why I need help. At my house, I am not allowed to leave a "honey do" list (he thinks it is childish), he will not respond to it and will become more resistant to helping at all. He tells me he will help when he sees something needs to get done. So, I go on strike, I pitch the same fit about being overwhelmed and feel like I have to do everything and get the same old response "that is within you, you shouldn't feel like you have to do everything". Really? So instead of talking in circles I have realized that I have sort of become the man in my own life. Don't get me wrong, I love my husband, but have been married long enough (almost 12 years) that I feel I can complain once in a while and to be honest, I am tired of being the man around the house and might I just add, I should not have to ASK every time I need help!
Friday - I went on a site visit to a place we are having a quarterly meeting at work. Again, it was pouring rain. I checked out the space and the guy (I won't call him a man) showing me the place mentions another building and asks if I want to see it for future events. I agree and he tells me, it is about 1/4 mile down the road and to follow him up the road. I follow him and park in front where he tells me and walk to meet him under the awning of the place, as I take the corner my feet come clear out from underneath me and the next thing I know I am on my ass on the wet ground. I move pretty fast and was up just about as fast as I went down, but had to pick up my bag and some stuff that I dropped that is now getting rained on. He didn't offer to help me up, didn't help me gather my things or anything. Just looked at me and embarrassingly asked if I was ok while not making eye contact. Honestly, this made the entire situation more humiliating. Then while showing me the place and the meeting rooms, he would open the door and enter and not hold the door for me!
I don't think it is asking too much for a little chivalry to be present in this modern day world. I know women fought for equal rights, but that does not excuse men from treating women like ladies. Sad when I notice that my lesbian friends are more chivalrous than most of the men I know! On the other side, if there are men reading this, you can complain about the lack of femininity if you want, but it might return sooner if you would be more chivalrous.
Here are some free tips from my seminar (seriously thinking about teaching this) for guys who strive to be men:
- Take initiative, don't wait to be asked, if you think something needs to be done, it probably does! This applies to most aspects of life.
- Allow ladies to go first unless they decline (sometimes it is safety issue and they want you to go first).
- Help without being asked, you will be amazed at the return.
I mentioned this post to my husband and all he said was "Welcome to California" really?
Saturday, April 03, 2010
Want to make them yourself? Here is my recipe.
Hot Cross Buns
1 Cup Milk* (Scalded)
1/2 Cup Butter*
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 pk. Active Dry Yeast
4 Cups All Purpose Flour
1/4 tsp. Salt
3/4 Cup Raisins
1/4 Cup Currants
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
1/4 tsp. Allspice
1 Tbls Orange Zest
1. Pour scalded milk over butter and sugar, stir to dissolve sugar and melt butter and cool until luke warm.
2. Add yeast and egg - mix well
3. Slowly add flour and salt (reserve 1 Tbls. flour to dust fruit)
4. Add spices and fruit to mixture
5. Knead until dough comes together and is smooth and elastic
6. Turn dough into buttered bowl, cover and rise approx. 1 hour (until doubled)
7. Punch down dough (my Mom's favorite part)
8. Turn dough out onto floured board
9. Shape into 15 even sized buns and place into a buttered 9" x 13" pan
10. Cover and rise for 30 minutes until puffy and all buns are touching each other
11. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes then lower heat to 350 degrees and bake 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
12. Remove from oven and cool.
1 1/3 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 1/2 tsp. Lemon Zest
1/2 tsp. Lemon Extract
1-2 tsp. Milk*
Mix until smooth and pipe or spoon over buns in a cross shape.
* - you can use rice or soy milk (I used rice), butter alternatives (I do use real organic butter) and egg replacer (egg beaters, not powdered egg replacer - I used a local organic egg).