Sunday, August 31, 2008

Garden Bounty

Finally! We're seeing some progress on our garden. We have ONE tomato that is trying so hard to turn orange. That's one orange and three green tomatoes total on our cherry tomato plant. So many tomatoes, so little time...
Anybody have any good recipes for one cherry tomato?

Chris and I made a run to ARC this morning and donated 95% of the stuff from our storage unit. We had to be out by today so we went by the unit this morning and picked up that last couple of items, swept and dropped off our keys. I had spent yesterday going through the boxes in the extra bedroom labeling them and taking out any "keepers". I only ended up holding onto my Christmas decorations and two pieces of my pampered chef stoneware.

Susan, Todd and the boys stopped by this afternoon on their way to Home Depot. Andrew was all happy to see his Uncle Chris and gave him hugs, but not so wild about his Aunt Susan. What's up with that?

Now we're just watching racing until dinner time with the 'rents tonight. We're bbq-ing at their house. They're heading back up to Medford Wednesday or Thursday so we wanted to get together before they go.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

My Little Helper

Yesterday afternoon my sister, brother-in-law and nephew came over for a little visit. They just got into town from Washington to attend a weekend wedding. I'd been saving Jessica's birthday presents until she was here so I was able to foist them off on her when she got here. Tyler apparently didn't think a gift bag counted as wrapping so he wanted to help me wrap all the presents inside the bag. I ended up cutting him a piece of wrapping paper and giving him a picture frame to wrap while I stood by and gave him pieces of tape on his command. I think he's got a knack for it and should look for a seasonal Christmas wrapping job.

Is five bows enough or too much?? Keep in mind the picture frame is small and about the size of one green bow.

We had plans with the 'rents this morning. Chris went over and helped Mr. A. paint the inside of the garage while I took Mum to the farmer's market. When Mum's basket got so full that she couldn't carry anymore we called it a day. I got a mixed bag of squash, cucumbers and some peaches. Mum bought a bouquet of flowers, but only could fit half of them in her vase so we ended up with a lovely bunch of flowers, too.

Mum made us lunch before we left around 12:30. We ran home dropped off our farmer's market loot and went over to Barnes and Noble where we ran in to my mom as she was leaving. We enjoyed some magazines and iced coffee for a while before heading back home. I have to leave here around 5:30 for a shindig in Paradise this evening. My karaoke group is singing at a college scholarship fundraiser tonight. Rehearsal is at 6:00 pm, the program starts at 7:00 pm and unfortunately we don't perform until towards the end. I was hoping for a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am kind of evening. So much for having an evening off this week....

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Abba Zabbas

Phew! Am I glad to be almost done with this week. I've had extracurricular activities every night this week. I had union negotiations Monday night, singing practice Tuesday night, a retirement party last night and an Emergency Operations Center meeting tonight at work. I think Chris feels like I left him for dead.

I bet you didn't know that I am part of a rock karaoke band named the Abba Zabbas. That's the singing practice I had Tuesday night. We were rehearsing for our co-worker, Cathy's, retirement party last night. I'm one of the front-(wo)men. Our song was "Dancing Queen" by Abba (hence our band name). Usually we go by the name "The Barricades" and we sing at Town Christmas functions. We're too cool to be believed. Check it out:

That's me on the left in the blue dress and mini fro.
"Cause you are the dancing queen...."
"young and sweet, only seventeen...."

Move over Miley Cyrus, here comes Abba Zabba! We already got booked for a second engagement this coming Saturday night at a fundraiser for college scholarships. Don't be jealous, not everyone can pull off a look like that!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Mean or Funny?

Tomorrow is birthday Tuesday at work. We used to do a birthday day every month at work where we would bring goodies to share (unless your birthday was that month, then you were exempt). Over time it just dwindled down to a core group of about 5 ladies who would diligently bring goodies every month even though everybody else was more than happy to still eat it. Out of frustration we quit doing birthday days and just take the birthday person out to lunch (if it's someone we even like). Last week was the birthday of one of our worst birthday violators who would NEVER bring anything, but would eat everything in sight and then even take stuff home if there was still stuff around when he left work! Even though he didn't bring it!! He is also our office double dipper. Seriously. He's in his 70's, but doesn't have the courtesy to not double dip. Unbelievable. So anyways, last week was his birthday and as luck would have it he's actually gone on vacation until next week. So my brainchild was for everyone to bring food, put up the birthday banner and take pictures to leave on his desk. Let him know that we thought about him on his birthday and even celebrated for him. All without having to share a lick with him! As I would tell people the plan they would first looked shocked and say how mean that is and then once they thought about it for a moment they think it's brilliant and hilarious. So here's my contribution to tomorrow's bounty:

They're supposed to be butterscotch chews, but it's actually a mix of butterscotch and chocolate. They've got chow mein noodles, peanuts, mini marshmallows and shredded coconut. Mmmm...

I had a meeting at work this afternoon that actually lasted until after 5:00 pm so I wasn't able to run around and remind everyone about food tomorrow, but they've all know since last week and they're big kids who should be able to remember this for themselves. Yeah right. We'll see in the morning who remembers.

This Wednesday is a retirement party for one of my co-workers which is after work at a sports bar and is 70's disco themed. I kind of forgot about the "disco" part so during lunch today I went to Hospice in town and found a glorious purple polyester long sleeve shirt with a big sash that tied around the neck. I was going to wear it with my plaid skirt and knee high boots, but it's too 70's work looking so my co-worker is bringing me a purple and silver sparkly dress to wear with silver heels. She was going to wear it, but she got a gold lame dress from her daughter instead. Normally my 70's work attire would be fine, but I'm going to be in a group of ladies singing ABBA karaoke and I need to look the part. I know, don't be jealous. If your lucky there'll be pictures...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Too much fun to handle

We had a pretty low key weekend. Went a saw Batman yesterday. Enjoyed it, but by the last half an hour I was super fidget magee because my butt can't sit in those seats for that long. Then that evening we just hung out at home and watched some Olympics. We ended up going to the gym to go swimming last night instead of Friday since we were at the 'rents Friday night visiting.

This morning I slept in till 9:00 am and yes, it was glorious. Sunday is my run around and get stuff done day. I did a little baking this morning (more zucchini bread), did laundry, cleaned my bathroom, ironed and ran some errands (scrapbook store and book store). In the afternoon Chris and I went to Target to check out some of their sale items. They had a Singer sewing machine on sale that I was interested in (for a birthday gift from Chris) and a sleeper couch and a floor fan. We ended up liking a different sewing machine better once we could see them in person and since it wasn't on sale there was no rush to get it. The sleeper couch had some punk kids on it so I couldn't try it out, but we ended up getting a fan which I'm currently enjoying. We ran over to Big Lots, too, to check out their sleeper couches, but they didn't have anything good. I did score a bunko gift there though. I host in October so it's never to early to start scoping out the gifts.

We had the 'rents over for dinner tonight. We were already scheduled to have fish so I just ran over to S&S and bought some more. We made some more of the delicious cajun catfish and some teryaki mahi mahi. I made some garlic shell pasta and sauteed squash with it, too. Yum.

It only got in the mid eighties today so we were able to go for a walk tonight after dinner. Instead of swimming we just went and did some weights. We got back in time to catch the start of the women's individual aparatus gymnastics. All the better enjoyed once I go get a popcicle....

Friday, August 15, 2008

Hot like hellfire damnation

New flash; it's frickin' hot! Since it's Friday I'm home early soaking up the surface of the sun rays. Ahhh...fabulous. Granted, it hasn't got into triple digits at our house (97.7 right now), but it's hot enough. Ugh.

On my way home today I stopped at the scrapbook store and picked up my pre-ordered calendar series kit. This year they're doing three, 4 month kits. I didn't get the first four months, but the May - August set was too cute to pass up. The kits are $40 each, but I had a full stamped card discount, so it only cost me $30. Woo hoo! May is family themed, June is camping (for all that crazy camping we do every year!), July is All American Summer (baseball, bbq, swimming), and August is travel (and my favorite).

You do realize, this is the third kit I've bought from the scrapbook store and I've yet to do any of them. Hmmm....

It's official: I'm addicted to the Olympics. In fact I'm watching the gymnastics we dvr'd from last night. I already know who wins, but I still wanted to watch it. We've both been up every night until midnight watching Michael Phelps, the gymnists, women's beach volleyball, and some other yeah-who's. We even stayed up for the opening ceremony. Sorry, I just got distracted by some Michael Phelps story on TV, but I'm back now. See what I mean?

Wednesday night was Bunko up in booney-ville Magalia (higher than I used to live). I was one game shy of winning "most wins" which would have been a beautiful turquoise blue glass bowl. Oh well, better luck next month.

Thursday night was our first bible study since our summer hiatis. We had it here. Since it was a bagillion degrees Chris and I made a yummy salad for dinner. We mixed lettuce, halved orange, yellow and red cherry tomatoes, avocado, hard boiled egg, blue cheese & feta crumbles, and cut up soy "chicken" buffalo (spicy) style nuggets. With it we had some sliced sourdough with butter. Everyone loved it. For dessert I had made a lemon fluff cake the night before. I mixed 1/2 cup lemon juice, 1 can of ff sweetened condensed milk, and an 8 oz container of ff cool whip and then dumped it all in a premade reduced fat graham cracker crust. It came out really good. Not too tart, not too sweet. I did notice today though that there was a little liquid seepage from the crust of the leftovers. I bet it's the lemon juice seperating.

Somebody's birthday (who might possibly be related to me) is next week and I might have shipped her presents today. Maybe. Assuming I had a sister turning 20 whom I even liked enough to do such a thing. I guess she'll have to wait and see.

Ahhhh sweet Jesus, now it's 98.1! That's it, I'm going to go crawl in an ice bath. Oh wait, it's only 80.1 inside where I'm at, I guess I'm okay. Alright I've got to go, the girls are about to start the uneven bars....

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Baking up a storm

While I was looking through one of my millions of cooking magazines I found this awesome recipe for 3 different mini bread loaves all utilizing the same base mix, just with different add-ins. The left loaf is zucchini, the middle loaf is blueberry and the right loaf is cinnamon sugar. yummy.
I just had a slice of zucchini and it was delicious and I'm forcing a piece of blueberry on Chris.

Our main plan for the day was to start getting stuff out of the storage building. We pay $102 a month for the privilege of keeping our crap in a large metal building so we finally put in our notice for vacancy. So far we've only made plans to move the boxes from the storage building to our spare bedroom. After a year or two of hanging out in there maybe we'll get around to opening them and throwing some stuff out. Maybe. If anyone is looking for picnic set apparently I have two?!

We just finished watching a little Nascar and are now going to head over to Barnes and Noble for a little magazine surfing and coffee guzzling. Important stuff. Maybe go check out the beer selection at World Market. Phew, sounds like a busy afternoon!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Farmer Hartman

To avoid having to run errands and doing yard work in the heat I set my alarm this morning so I was up by 7:15 am. Ugh. We had some quick breakfast and went to OSH and the farmers market. Bought way too many bags of garden soil and manure at OSH and found some very nice starter plants at the farmers market. We picked lemon cucumbers, regular cucumbers, crookneck squash, zucchini and cherry tomatoes. Mmmmm.....
When we got home we got started on the jungle in the backyard. I had the job of taking the shovel head and jabbing it in the ground to break the ivy roots. That stuff takes over like crazy. While I did that Chris followed with the rake-thingy pulling up all the ivy trailers. Once we got a spot cleared we shoveled up the top couple of inches of dirt, lifting out the plastic liner that had been laid down by the previous owners. We positioned our less then level planter frame and started filling it with the magical bagged soil. Everything should be ripe in a week, right??
Unfortunately today's shopping excursion is going to take about 3 different trips to different stores. I already went to CholoMaxx this morning, but I still have to go to Trader Jose's and Safeway. The good news is that it's already 12:45 pm, but only 78 degrees. I think I can make it.

Friday, August 8, 2008

U-S-A, U-S-A

Now that it's not so muggy we were able to enjoy some time outside tonight. Chris brought home some wood planks from work for us to fashion a homemade planter box out of. Granted, the wood is really faded and warped, but it was free.

We've got big plans for the weekend to get an area in the backyard prepped for our little garden and for the purchase of some plants. Better late then never, right?

Fridays are my short work days. I got home around 12:30 and did some laundry, birthday card mailing, dinner prep and food shopping planning. A waste of a perfectly good afternoon.

We had chinese chicken salad for dinner, watched the final of the Jeopardy Tournament of Champions (I know, we're nerds), and now we're checking out the opening ceremony of the Olympics. It's the march of nations right now. We're waiting for the undoubtedly silly American outfits. One word, "ascot". Not good. At some point we're still going to the gym before bed. We already did our walk earlier since it's already down to 81 degrees outside.

Got to get a good night's sleep tonight, lots of shopping and yard work (I can't believe I just said that) tomorrow. Woo hoo!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Back in Business!!

Our computer is back in action officially today!! No more sneaking home Chris' work laptop and using it for nefarious porn surfing. Sporting a new hard drive and Windows (instead of it's evil step child, Vista) it's ready to rock this blog!
Okay, I just figured out the most annoying part of this whole using-the-old-computer scenario; none of the buttons (page up, delete, etc) are in the same place as the work laptop so I keep hitting the "home" button instead of "page down". Arg!

Tonight I met up with my b.s. (bible study) girls for dinner and new book shopping. We've been on hiatus during the summer so it was time to pick a new book. We went to T. for dinner, a tea shop that also serves rice bowls/wraps. It's over in the shopping center where Morning Thunder is (corner of Vallombrosa and Mangrove). I got a bowl and the process is; pick a meat (bbq salmon [my pick], grilled tofu, chili chicken, tri trip), pick a base (seasoned white rice [my pick], brown rice, organic baby greens, romaine, or a mix of lettuce and rice), and pick a sauce (I picked creamy teryaki). Each bowl/wrap comes with shredded carrot, sprouts, cucumbers, and avocado all of which I had to skip since they're raw. It was soooo good. The drinks are a bunch of complicated blends of teas, but they did have a frozen chocolate chai blend. It was like a chocolate chai frosty. Mmmmm....

It's already down to 84 degrees at 8:26 pm so I forsee an evening walk for ye olde Hartmans. Walk off some of this salmon rice deliciousness.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Bored out of my gourd

This was just about the most boring weekend ever. I had no scrapbook projects to work on, no laundry to do, no outings planned with the Mr. and no movie plans. I ended up watching hours and hours of television, ironed some of Chris's work shirts and did some birthday gift shopping for my sisters. We went swimming last night at the gym, though I don't know if it was enough to combat my hours of sluggishness during the day. Instead of swimming again tonight we went for a walk around 7:30 pm since it was so cool today. When we got back we needed to refresh ourselves with our brand of power aide:

Yes, that's Boone's. Fuzzy Navel to be exact. Don't act like you were drinking it at the wedding reception and loving it! Now we're just watching some travel shows about China waiting to go another walk before bed.

Wow, I'm bored just reading about it. Man, I hope some more races or craft nights or neighborhood looting happens again soon or I'm going to lose my reading audience of 4!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Lake House Friday

Mmmm...Swedish Fridays! For dinner last night we had some meatballs and sauce we bought at IKEA when we where there last month. They have a little cafe there that serves the most delicious meatballs, boiled potatoes and creamy sauce ever which of course you can purchase frozen to take home. We don't do the boiled potatoes though, we eat everything over mashed potatoes. I used the last package of cream sauce last night so I guess we'll have to go back to get more...

We finally decided to use the 'rent's offer to go hang out at their "lake house" while they're gone. Their new condo backs right up to one of the larger ponds at California Park off Bruce Road. So after dinner last night, we took a thermos of iced coffee and some slices of mocha caramel cake (from Safeway - as if I'd cook something so fancy) and went to the 'rents to enjoy a nice evening on their back porch watching the ducks on the lake and going for a walk around the subdivision.

So we also might have raided their fridge while we were got a problem with that?? After cake and a walk we relaxed inside for a while watching bad music videos on MTV. Chris said to leave our dirty dishes in the sink, but I tried to be a little classier than that. Next thing we knew it was after 10:30 pm and I was fading fast. After we stole the coupons from their mail that we wanted (I know, we're horrible) we boogied home.

View of the "lake house" towards the kitchen pass through window and short hall wall towards the front door.
From the kitchen looking out over the living room/dining room/office. They have a couch setup like ours (big sectional split apart).