Friday, February 27, 2009

Finally Friday!

It has been a cRazY, wicked busy week at work. It seems to come in waves; all at once or nothing at all. At least our evenings this week have been fairly quite so I could recuperate at home and get ready to do it again the next day!

Here's what those crazy Hartman's have been up to:

Sunday: I went and tried a new church (to me). It's the Chico Calvary Baptist Church in the old Movies 10 building behind the mall. I've heard many a good thing about it so I thought I'd give it a try. They've turned the concessions area into a coffee house and all the obnoxious neon colors are still there inside. They have their service in the biggest of the movie rooms where you sit in the old purple movie chairs. Kind of weird. Then down at the base of the screen they have a little stage where the band is and the preacher hangs out. Good music, good preacher, a little weird to be sitting so close to people (I had strangers on both sides of me). I think I'll go again this Sunday. Other than that, all it did was rain.

Monday: I made salmon stuffed with crab and other creamy goodness from Trader Joe's. I served them on top of beds of a mushroom rice and a side of yellow and green beans. Yummy!

Tuesday: Chris was in town Monday during the afternoon so he stopped at the used book store and picked up some new reading material. He found a copy of a Nelson DeMille book that I don't have so I'm reading that one first while he reads about Nut-zis.
Wednesday: I made shopping list and watched the second half of Biggest Loser. Yep, that's it. And we had potstickers and eggrolls for dinner. We're out of control!

Thursday: It was b.s. night at Lulu's who just lives down on the other half of Ceres (convenient, huh?). Lulu's husband, Bill, had called me the night before and invited Chris out to dinner with him and Kari's husband, Steve, to Tres Hombres. Much to my surprise the Canadian accepted the offer, so he came with me Thursday night to Lulu's to meet up with the other spouses for their "boy's night". We had a delicious chicken and avocado salad and the boys got back just in time for the homemade berry pie dessert. Lulu cut, I plated, and Chris served. For our efforts, Lulu sent us home with an extra slice and some extra berry filling to put over ice cream. Score! The other big event for the day was that we each picked up our glasses. Chris swung by during lunch and got his and I came by later in the afternoon, during my lunch and picked up mine. We're hawt! That's how hot we are. I think my IQ just automatically jumped into the double digits as soon as I put them on. Please keep in mind the photo does not do them justice. A: I don't take great photos, and B: I had a drunk Canadian holding the camera.

Today: Damn you City Cash Coupons, damn you for tricking me into coming back to New York and Company to spend you!!! I had coupons for $45 off of $90 so how could I not?! Thankfully, a lot of the stuff I would have bought (in addition to what I did buy) was out of my size so I had to settle for 5 new shirts and a new pair of slacks. Yes, that's what I call settling. I think my new glasses give me the perception that I look so good in all these clothes that I just have to have them. Yes, it's the glasses fault.

Coming Attractions: We're going to the 'rents tomorrow night under the pretenses of "red meat". At least that's what they promised the Canadian. Whatever it is I'm sure it will be good seeing as how I didn't have to cook it or clean up after it. We're also eyeballing Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist from the Red Box. Stay tuned. I've also somehow conned Chris into agreeing to sign up for the Bidwell Classic with me next Saturday morning. It's a whole slew of different races, but we're signing up for the 5K (3.1 miles). I've already done a couple of those so I know I won't keel over and die (at least not in the first 5 minutes). A co-worker asked me to do it with her and while I was telling (secretly encouraging Chris to join) about it he thought it sounded like a good idea. It's a bike path race over by one mile. I say "race", but it's not like I plan to actually beat anybody unless they're crippled or under the age of 2. I do it to remind myself how much I hate running. And because nobody else I know does it so it gives me certain bragging rights. I figure a 3 mile run right after waking up will warrant us a big steaming hot breakfast at the Golden Waffle afterwards. Mmm...I can taste the waffles now...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Crockpot Lasagna

I have beautiful nails once again!! Thank you, Jesus. It's only one layer of clear gel, but I go back next week to have the second layer put on and the french tips (just like I've worn for years). I was wearing a colored tan gel which has to be drilled completely off before I can go back to clear hence why I was sporting crazy natural nails for a couple weeks. While I was getting my nails done my lady told me she was having a candlelite party this weekend so of course I had to put in an order for a couple of candles. I love that brand for tealights.

By the time I got home yesterday from nails and had lunch it was fast approaching 3 pm which is not a good time to try and get across town to go to CholoMaxx. Instead I went to Trader Joe's and just winged it. No list, just grabbed what looked good for dinners this coming week. Found some california sushi rolls, frozen salmon rounds stuffed with crab, black bean and cheese taquitos, some little pasta purses filled with prosciutto and chicken potstickers (Chris makes some crazy, wicked good sauce to dip them in). Not too bad. We went to B&N last night so afterwards I dragged Chris with me to CholoMaxx to pick up a couple of staples (the normal stuff you can't get at Traders) and finished up at Safeway this morning.

Yesterday Chris made plans with his friend, Justin, who is building a new house downtown to go out to Chris' work in Orland and cut some scrap metal they had for Justin to use at his new house. Since this was happening in the morning Chris had to get up before me and fend for himself for breakfast (never mind that I'd bought him a soyrizo breakfast burrito at Traders that he just had to microwave). I spent most of the morning home by myself, playing on the computer, doing laundry and running to Safeway. Right when I got home I was surprised with a visit from my twin, C. She had a bible study right down the street and decided to stop by on her way back up the hill. We had good talks and it was good to see her. Even though she's now living in town I still haven't made over to see her as often as I thought or hoped I would. I'm a sucky friend, but I think she's figured that out during the last 25 years (gasp!) and has chosen to forgive me.
Chris got home right as she was leaving so I made him take the pic of us for my Saturday picture. She's not really that much taller than me, the ground is sloped right there. Honest!

So after all that wordiness, the whole point of this post is to pass on my crockpot lasagna recipe to Wilson, but I thought Jessica might like it also. This recipe was out of one of Mum's crockpot cookbooks, but I think there's a very similar one, if not identical one in the 2009 crockpot calendar that Jessica and I have. Here it is:


1 lb ground beef, browned
4-5 cups spaghetti sauce
24 oz cottage cheese
1 egg
8-10 lasagna noodles, uncooked
2-3 cups mozzarella cheese

1. Combine the cooked ground beef and spaghetti sauce.
2. In a separate bowl combine the egg and cottage cheese.
3. In the crockpot layer half of the ground beef mixture, the dry noodles, the cottage cheese mixture and the mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers.
4. Cover. Cook on hight 4-5 hours or on low 6-8 hours.

It is so stupid easy and delicious. I made for one of my b.s. nights and they loved it. Stop reading this and go make it immediately!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Emergency Operation Training

Three and a half day work weeks go really fast. I should do this more often!

Here's my photo diary for the last couple of days:

Tuesday: Um, not a lot going on. Literally worked, watched fat camp, ate some no pudge brownies and went to the gym. I meant to take a photo in my workout outfit, but completely forgot and had to settle for this gem of a photo:

Wednesday: I got my craft on. I have a new co-worker (who I actually used to work with at Butte College) who's birthday is this weekend so I crafted up a lovely little birthday card:

Tonight (Thursday): I had to stay late at work for an evening Emergency Operation Center training from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. After the fires in the summer we recruited a bunch of volunteers and tonight we swore in 41 of them and gave them the opportunity to learn about the different departments in the EOC and pick where they wanted to volunteer. As the call center supervisor I had to be there to give speeches to rotating groups of people and try to convince them to join my party posse. I seemed to have tricked quite a few of them into signing up. I got to wear a super trendy EOC vest that said Public Information on the back. Sweet. We also had to wear our badges around our necks that have our photos with our height and weight listed right next to it. Good look. If you look closely I'm in the rear right of the photo in a pink shirt and blue vest:
Since I worked extra hours I get to come in late tomorrow (around 9:30 am). I love sleeping in when Chris has to wake up early for work. Mwhahahaha!!!!

Tomorrow I have a rescheduled nail appointment. I'm au naturale right now and it is not a good look. I've got some poorly applied beige nail polish in varying thicknesses. I'm out of pratice having to paint my own nails, what can I say. Then it's off to do our grocery shopping as per usual. Maybe there'll be a sale on Boones!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Rainy Holiday

I love holidays. I didn't get up this morning until 10:15 am. It was glorious. I had a couple of errands I wanted to get done today and I realized right before noon that the rain was apparently never going to let up so I just sucked it up and got my paddles ready. When I got home I had just started my lunch when I heard the rumbles of the great white beast, Chris' truck. All of the phones or computers were on the fritz at his work so he got sent home. Sent home to crash my holiday party! Not to be outdone I put the party crasher to work:

Since we were both home for the afternoon I had the brilliant idea for us to go to the eye doctor's office and pick out some frames for Chris so that we could get our new glasses ordered. But my plans were foiled by the doctor's office being closed for the holiday. What?!? Are they a government agency or something??

I made a magically delicious homemade eggplant parmesan for dinner. It was soooo good. Layers of baked, breaded eggplant with fat free mozzarella and spaghetti sauce. Yum, yum, yum. Followed up with homemade brownies and ice cream (not homemade).

Since we couldn't get our eyeglass fiasco sorted out today we're going to go back tomorrow right after work since they're supposedly open on Tuesdays until 6:00 pm.

We're watching our favorite British car show, Top Gear, right now on BBC. Afterwards I have to talk myself into going out in to the never ending rain to go put my time in at the gym. If I just watch people working out on TV that counts, right?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Identity Theft

I can't think of a single time in my whole life when I've ever introduced myself as Susie. Ever. Nonetheless, people seem intent on using it as some sort of cutsie nickname for me. A lot of my bosses at work call me Susie. So much in fact that when they call me Susan I worry I'm in trouble. But when I'm buying something I expect to get to choose my name. Case in point:

Come on!!!! Is it that hard??!? I don't know who 'Suzie' is, but she'd better not screw up my over 800 credit score.

It rained today. And rained and rained and rained. I was not inspired to leave our compound to play in puddles and have special hair. No matter how out of hazelnut coffee syrup I am.

Instead we both stayed home and watched tv. The first real NASCAR race of the season was on today so that sucked up at least 6 hours of our lives. Once that was over our crockpot dinner was almost done. We made a broccoli and ham casserole. It had broccoli (duh), cubes of turkey ham, instant rice, a little celery (or a lot if you let Chris decide), some onion, shredded fat free cheese all covered in a sauce of milk and cream of mushroom soup. Very delicious. Wilson was also shamed into coming over to drop off a drill she borrowed from Chris back when Jesus was a Corporal (a Mr. A. term denoting an event that happened a long time ago). I made her take my 'Sunday' photo with me for my project 365. However, now I realize the brilliance in grubbing all over your sister who has some sort of cooties. Oy!

I can see her cooties jumping out of her head and into mine. Ahhhhhh!!!!! Upon closer inspection of this picture it looks like those papparazzi pictures of stars caught without makeup. I mean, it's no Gary Busey mugshot, but it's not my best look.

I have tomorrow off for President's Day. Chris has to work because his company hates America and it's great presidents. If I can't find some neighbor kid to clean my house I suppose that's what I'll be doing tomorrow. You're all welcome to join me if you'd like. I'll provide the coffee.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Four Day Weekends

Happy Valentine's Day!! We're celebrating by arguing about how to cook green beans and watching Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. You know, normal Valentine's Day stuff.

Busy week this week. Both bunko and bible study. Throw those in with normal gym nights and that's a lot of late nights.

Tuesday: Bunko was at the new gal, Sherri's, house. She lives on Sawmill between Pearson and Nunneley so at least it was at the south end of town. It was freezing cold that night and actually snowing/slushing when I arrived. Since bunko didn't start until 6:30 I stopped at my friend, Rhonda's, house. Rhonda used to be in our bible study, but is currently undergoing chemo for her recently diagnosed breast cancer. She looks good (bald), but tired. It was good to see her. At bunko I won 'most bunkos' with three and won a leaf stepping stone with a hide a key frog on it. Don't be jealous, trust me.

Wednesday: We had a stay at home night so we could enjoy our Netflix movie that came that day in the mail. We watched Pride & Glory. It was a cop movie that came out last year with Colin Farrell and Edward Norton. It was good but a little violent in parts. Ok, a lot violent in parts.

Thursday: Since it was our last work day of the week, Kari and I wore our awesome holiday shirts. We have shirts for Valentine's, St. Patrick's, 4th of July, Halloween and Christmas. We're that cool. We didn't forget to wear our heart earrings, too. Bible study was at Kari's this week. Her husband made a delicious chicken taco soup in the crock pot which really just looked like diced tomatoes and chunks of chicken, but it was soooo flavorful. To go with it Kari made a taco salad. Good, but Little Man's taco salad (with the 1000 island dressing) will always be my favorite. Her dessert though was to die for. Homemade rice pudding with Kahlua. Oh my God it was so good. She'd also mixed in "gourmet" raisins. They were HUGE. More like figs. I must get the recipe.

Friday: We'd both taken the day off because it was supposed to be the first day of the race season, but we'd already decided earlier in the week to skip it. Chris would be rushed to get the car ready in time and it was being forecast with a 100% chance of rain that day. Since we stayed home it of course rained before we woke up and then didn't start again until late afternoon. Typical. But it was bitterly cold, even in Chico. Instead we did some grocery shopping at CholoMaxx, picked up "W." at a redbox and got some photos printed at Walmart.

Today we went and saw "The International" with Clive Owen. It was good. Since it was opening weekend there were a lot of people though. After the movies we went over to LensCrafters in the mall to check out their frames. They always advertise these great $100 deals, but those are only for cash only transactions. You don't get any discounts or sales if you try to use your eye insurance. That made them just as expensive as our doctor's office, so we're just going to go through them. Apparently they work late (until 6pm) on Tuesdays so we're going to try to swing over there and pick out some frames for him and get both pairs ordered. We made a special Valentine's dinner at home. I baked a stuffed pork chop (yes, I still dislike pork chops in general, but I did have a small piece) from S&S, green beans with bacon and mash potatoes with gravy. We washed it all down with some wine. Cab for him, White Zin for me. Then I get to run it all off later at the gym. Good times.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday, again. Ugh.

This weekend went by entirely too fast. Now we're back to the wild party life that is our work. I didn't do much this weekend. Saturday we went to Barnes and Noble where we were lucky enough to sit next to a couple who were obviously on a date. They were probably early twenties and middle eastern so they talked in their crazy talk. Loudly. He would talk, a lot, and then she would giggle, a lot. This was followed by me exchanging rolled eyes with other neighboring table occupants, a lot. The B&N cafe is supposed to be treated like a library, as in, shut the hell up the rest of us don't want to listen to your stupid conversation because we're here to read magazines or work on homework. Oy, kids!

I also finished scrapbooking the first week of my Project 365. It came out pretty good and wasn't that terribly difficult, though if given the opportunity I would buy the kit in a heartbeat.

Chris is spending the evening working in the garage trying to do a last minute engine swap since his new, larger engine just froze up yesterday while he was running it. Friday's the big day so we'll see. Right now rain is predicted for Friday which should be a riot!

Nothing says classy like wine, plaid flannel and a torn apart race car.

I stole a Sunset magazine from the break room today from last April. It has an awesome travel article about San Miguel, Mexico. It looks like a wonderful place to visit since it's inland and full of gardens and old churches, buildings and roads. I'd actually consider going back to the land of burros to visit there. I shoved it in Chris' face for about two seconds and got him to agree that the photos make it look right up our alley. Not that we're going anywhere anytime soon, but I can dream and plan, right?

Friday, February 6, 2009

San Francisco Trip

This week went pretty quick for me. Probably because I did a two day trip right in the middle of the week to San Francisco for a PG&E Workshop (I know, cRazY, wicked exciting). So here's the highlight clip from this last week:

Sunday: Of course we planted ourselves down for the Superbowl. While I said I'd be happy with whoever won, I was definitely rooting for the Cardinals by the end of the game. Better luck next year, little gippers. For our football viewing enjoyment we made our own homemade superbowl munchies. I made hot, spinach artichoke dip with pita chips and we each made our own batch of spicy buffalo wings (aka buffalo chunks since they were really cut up boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins). Mine were in a Fiber One crumb coating slathered in Frank's Hot Sauce while Chris had pre-marinated his in a special blend of magical sauces and then coated them in crushed bbq chips.

Monday: Nothing but a bunch of work and a quick trip over to Coffee's On in the morning for a cup of drinkable coffee as opposed to the pig swill they brew through a dirty gym sock in the coffee room.

Tuesday: Kari and I left work after lunch for our PG&E workshop in S.F. I drove the initial stretch as far as Vacaville where we stopped for dinner at BJ's Brewhouse. We think it's just a chain restaurant as opposed to an actually brewery. It had delicous, extemely naughty food. After dinner we continued on, just past S.F. to Burlingame, where's Kari's parents have a house. We stayed there since it was free and only about 30 minutes from where we needed to be in the morning. The best part of the evening of course being watching the silver team on fat camp get voted off.

Wednesday: Our workshop was fabulous and very helpful. I won't get into it, but it has to do with automated tracking of your building's energy usage. To make sure we didn't get back to work before they closed for the day we took an extra long potty break in Vacaville at the outlets. It's possible that a super cute red trenchcoat from the Gap outlet followed me home.

Thursday: Unfortunately I had to go back to work. Ugh. But I got to hear glorious stories about Wednesday when everybody and their gay uncle called in sick to work. There was nobody to work the building or sanitation counters and the department heads completely got their panties in a bunch. Mwhahahahahaaaaa!!! The downside of course is that now they never want to let Kari and I go to another conference together again because apparently the whole government process comes to a screeching halt when we're not there. The mentality of department heads hurts me deep down. Thursday night was my turn to host bible study. We had the kickin' chicken soup Jesscia gave me for Christmas. I served it with a side salad (lettuce, feta, strawberries, glazed walnuts and balsamic viniagrette) and bread rolls. It all came out fabulous. Mainly thanks to Chris who got home before me and had the soup started by the time I got home (which was late because there was an accident on the freeway). For dessert I made kind of like a sponge cake topped with berries and a scoop of ice cream.

Friday: We had a joint appointment at a new (to us) eye doctor in Chico during our lunch hour. I had never heard of this doctor before I called and made the appointment, but I think I chose the hottest eye doctor ever. I'm definitely going back for all my follow up appointments! In the end Chris is going to get a tick stronger glasses and the distance portion of my bifocals will be less strong which will actually be clearer for me. I found some ridiculously cute glasses, but since this is my "lenses only" year I have to pay the frames out of pocket if I choose that pair. Plus progressive lenses always cost over the maximum allowance for lenses. We're both eyeballing dark frames this time. I'll look east coast chic while Chris will be handsomely trendy, but not gay trendy. Or so we hope.
Chris had to go back to work after lunch, but I'm just hanging out at home. I had my eyes dilated so every white car is blinding me, making it impossible for me to go grocery shopping right now. That and the fact that I haven't made a shopping list yet.

No big plans for the weekend that I know of. I think Chris will be doing some last minute tuning on the race car since next Friday is our first race and I might send some photos for printing and do a little scrapbooking. You know, the usge.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl Countdown

I had much success yesterday during my venture to New York and Company. They have lots of cute tops in this season plus a couple nice pairs of pants. When I was done shopping I came home and finished my scrapbook page of Wilson's tattoo.

I used a bunch of the Basic Grey paper from the dinosaur line. It came out cute, but masculine enough for the subject.

Last night we went to Italian Cottage with the 'rents for dinner. I was able to find their partial menu online so I could get an idea of what looked edible before we went. I ordered the Thai chicken salad which was actually pretty tasty. A little spicier than I normally eat, but tasty. My only complaint was that it could have used either more lettuce or cabbage to qualify as a salad. The main ingredient were those mini little crunchy chow mein noodles. And while they were delicious, I doubt they were that healthy. Chris enjoyed it too, sharing it with me since salads don't keep for leftovers.
That's one of my new shirts and sweaters from NY&Co. And I'm sure you've noticed that Chris is not wearing a new shirt, but rather the same one from the day before. Ahhh....boys.

We are shopped and set for Super Bowl Sunday. Our menu includes; homemade buffalo wings (we're each making our own batches to our own specifications), frozen pepperoni pizza and homemade spinach and artichoke dip with pita chips. It's going to be glorious!! As soon as Chris wakes up that it. He took some Tylenol PM last night so that he could actually get to sleep and he is still conked out at 10:00 am. Oh well, that's just more for meeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!