Sunday, May 31, 2009

BBQ-ing for Jesus

For Pentecost Sunday we had one big service and a bbq afterwards in our front yard at church as a fundraiser for the summer youth camp. It was also t-shirt Sunday, but I couldn't bring myself to wear a t-shirt at church so it sat in the car.
Eldon and Joe, who sit in front of me at first service, bbq-ing hot dogs and hamburgers. I sing with Eldon's wife, Rose.
The loooong line of salads and desserts. I found a couple of tasty pasta salads and the most wonderful dessert. It was some sort of cherry crunch. Cherry pie filling topped with a crunchy topping made out of crushed pecans (?) and coconut. It was so stinkin' delicious.
There were more people than seats, but it worked out that the first ones to eat were done by the time the end-of-the-liners were coming through. I hung out long enough to watch the last scoop of my salad be taken, then I packed it up and came home.

Mr. A and Chris are tinkering in the garage working on manly engine things. I better put my thinking cap on because I know as soon as the Canadian comes in he'll be hungry. He hasn't eaten since 8:00 am. ramen perhaps?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Working at the car wash, yeah

Today was car wash day up in P-town at noon. I had enough time this morning to make blueberry pancakes and bust over the to farmer's market for any last minute things I couldn't live without. I walked away with a bag of snap peas and a basket of blackberries. When I got up to the Boys and Girls club they were in a car washing lull, but soon cars started pouring back in. I brilliantly left my camera at home, but my co-worker Amy was taking pictures. I did that until 2:00 pm and then I had to boogy to the Pampered Chef party. I bought some replacement spices and three new cookbooks. I showed real restraint because there were lots of new bamboo serving platters that I absolutely loved, but would have had to shell out about $170 for the whole set. Ugh. When I got home at around 3:30, I got a good look at the sweet "tan" I got today at the car wash.
The only other plan I had for the day was to make my broccoli salad for our church potluck tomorrow. I ran over to the dollar tree and picked up a plastic bowl because I've lost too many bowls/platters at potlucks to use my own anymore. The salad is done and in the fridge stewing in all the awesome flavors.
Now we're just enjoying some sweet Lawrence Welk on PBS. A trio of men are playing music and singing in blah light tan suits that exactly match their skin tones and perfectly coifed fluffy hair. Wait a second! This next lady is totally lip synching! Lawrence Welk, have you no shame?! Don't clap for her, audience of idiots, this is a total sham! Must find something else respectable, pronto.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Composting Toilets

Chris and I went to a graywater reuse and composting toilet workshop in Oroville on Thursday at Gold Country Casino. It was fabulous because a.) we got to sleep in since it didn't start until 9:30, b.) they served us lunch, and c.) we got out of the office and got to hang out together all day.
Afterwards we went to dinner at Nash's on Esplanade. I ran in to a co-worker there (the gal who replaced me in sanitation) who I knew had the day off, but had told people at work it was to take her daughter to the doctor in Sacramento. In reality, she's dating the owner of Nash's and it was his birthday so she was there celebrating. Plus, her daughter goes to college in the midwest. Oops!

Today was back to work, but there was only four of us so it was quiet and it went fast. I got my grocery shopping done, too. I picked up a roasted chicken at Safeway, apparently they're only $5 on Fridays, and made enchiladas for dinner. It's a recipe I've used a couple of times out of one of my Pampered Chef cookbooks.
The filling is a mixture of chicken, sour cream, green chilies and shredded cheese. I threw in a little taco seasoning this time, too. Yum, yum, yum, yum.

Speaking of Pampered Chef, I'm going to a party tomorrow at the house of one of the gals who works at the garbage company. I'm going to be up in P-town already for our Relay for Life carwash fundraiser at the Boys and Girls Club on Skyway. If I've got to be outside tomorrow at least it's going to be in the water.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Poke Cake Grandmaster

I made my first Jello poke cake tonight for bible study and it was freaking delicious. If you haven't made one yet what are you waiting for?? Wilson, listen up; you make a white cake mix in a 9x13, let it cool, make a 3 oz box of strawberry jello to the directions (I made it while the cake was baking so it wasn't super boiling hot when I poured it over the cake), poke 6-8 holes along the top of the cake (all the way through) and pour over the jello mix. Stick it in the fridge at least 3-4 hours, or overnight. When completely cool and all liquid absorbed, top with a layer of cool whip. I also cut up a package of strawberries, sprinkled with sugar, and let them stew in their juices overnight to top each slice with. Mamma Mia!!
I ate two pieces it was that good (shhh...don't tell Chris, he doesn't know). Chris was taking refuge at the 'rents during b.s., but now he's back and I'm shoving cake down his face, too.

I actually finished one of my scrapbook projects yesterday. That in itself is a miracle, but it was a gift project so I really didn't have a choice. I was making a cocktail book for Kari's birthday and I've got a little gift basket started that has a bunch of little mini bar size bottles of booze for all the recipes.
Granted, as you can see, it's not the biggest craft project ever but that doesn't seem to stop me from quitting half way through. She'll love it, I'm sure. I printed the recipes on transparency paper at work and then painted the back with vanilla craft paint so you could see the printing over the patterned paper. Most of the recipes are out of a cookbook of mine which we've already road tested and can verify that they are in-fact delicious.

Chris and I have a graywater reuse workshop at Gold County Casino in Oroville tomorrow. It's one of those rare times we get to do work related stuff together. Afterwards we're going out to dinner, too. Either to the new brewery in Oroville at the Depot, or to Nash's on the Esplanade (where we took Mum for Mother's Day brunch). That's about as big a decision as I plan on making tomorrow!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day BBQ

Mum invited us over for a Memorial Day bbq today at their casa. It was a lunch affair so we headed over around 12:30 and got Chris busy on the grill with the meat.
She had plain steaks and some sort of feta and spinach stuffed steaks. She'd also made broccoli salad, fruit salad, potato salad and buttery bread.
Yes, I ate it all and then some.
It was a perfect day for a bbq, only high 70s. After lunch we retired inside and caught up with Mr. A who's been in Oregon for the last week working on his new electric SAAB Sonett. While Mr. A was gone Mum painted some of the living room walls and re-decorated.

No big plans for the rest of the afternoon, just doing some spring cleaning. Wednesday night is my night to host bible study so I need to do a little sweeping and vacuuming. When that's done maybe I'll sit down and spend a little more quality time with my new Gooseberry Patch book, "Ready, Set, Eat!". many delicious new recipes!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Garden Boy

While out running some errands this morning, Chris stopped and picked up some annuals to plant in planters around our new fence. We inherited three wine barrel style planters from Mum, so Chris filled them with a tasty mix of manures and soil and planted a variety of red, orange and yellow flowers.

He also took some flowers and planted them in the planter along the side of the garage. Everything came together nicely because of my excellent supervising skills. That, and having somebody who doesn't mind putting their bare hands in dirt. Ugh.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Look who's 4!

Today was Andrew's fourth birthday party. His birthday isn't until Sunday, and he was the first to let you know it wasn't his birthday. When I showed up he cried "Aunt Susan" and ran across the room to give me a hug. Then he asked me, with the saddest puppy dog eyes, "why didn't Uncle Chris come?". I told him that Uncle Chris had to stay late at work instead of the truth which was that Uncle Chris was at home drinking beer and eating frozen pizza. He seemed to accept that and sulked back to his room. Uncle Chris is coming next year come hell or high water!

This year Andrew wanted a John Deere birthday so Susan made him a special cake and the whole family dressed up in matching shirts.
The letters are made out of foam from an alphabet set C. found at Wal-mart. Dinner was a bbq and they had ribs, chicken, beans, corn and pasta salad. I skipped dinner, but I did make some room for cake and ice cream!
After cake and ice cream came the presents. Susan knew what we got him so she held it back until the end because she said that he wouldn't want to keep opening presents once he got the camera. When he opened it he yelled "A camera! That's what I wanted!". It was priceless.
By the way, Todd's shirt said "Will trade wife for tractor". The tour de force present from Susan and Todd was a new trike which immediately had to be taken outside to break in.
Even Connor got to get in on the trike action with a little help from his Papa Ted (Susan's dad).
Chris tried to call and talk to Andrew on the phone, but it was too late. He was outside riding his trike. Uncle Chris missed out and he has to live with the fact that he broke that little boy's heart. Or he could probably make it up with one gift or visit. I'm sure Andrew is easy like that.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Voting for More Prisons

Tuesday was our special election day. The Canadian, being the communist that he is, is not registered so only my super important voice for heard for the Hartman household. All the measures were about robbing Peter to pay Paul. Based on previous Dancing with the Star results I know that Americans, including Californians, can't be trusted with important issues so of course everything failed but the measure about no raises for legislature when we're in a deficit. I love voting because I get to visit my new favorite care home, Sycamore Glen, right down the street. I took Chris with me this time so he could fall in love with it too. I told him it looks like a cruise ship inside. Then on our way out somebody walked by us and said it looked like a cruise ship without the ship. See?!
Look at my plush luxurious reading chair I shall soon be enjoying when I move in.

Yesterday we went shopping for Andrew's birthday present. We'd decided to get him a digital camera like he asked for after I confirmed with C. that she wasn't getting him one. We went to K-Mart, Target, Big Lots, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart and then ended going back to K-Mart where we started because they had the best prices. I found one on clearance for $25.00 that is actually a nice little camera. It's a 3.1 megapixel big kid camera. No Hannah Montana for Andrew.
We didn't do much tonight. Chris worked in the gay-rage while I whispered sweet nothings to all my new clothes I bought on Monday. When I went out to check on him I found him waxing Tango.
Now Tango is shiny and sexy. Vroom, vroom.

I get to sleep in tomorrow because instead of working in Paradise in the morning I get to go to a 2 hour purchasing conference in Chico in the afternoon instead. I'm meeting Kari for lunch right before hand at a chinese place in the Raley's shopping center at the bottom of the hill. Then tomorrow night, Andrew's b-day party starts at 6:00 pm at the Sunshine House. It's a bbq, but it wasn't enough to entice Uncle Chris into attending. Too many strangers + too many kids = too much noise. Completely understandable.

It's 8:30 pm and 79 degrees inside and 79 degrees outside. I think that deserves a walk around the block. I'm off!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Playing Hooky

I spent my day off today tooling around downtown doing a little birthday shopping...and maybe picking up a thing or two... or six or seven for me.

One of my stops was at Kohl's where I picked up a couple of little goodies:
I know it's summer time, but it was on super clearance for $15 so I couldn't pass it up. I also picked up some new summer kicks:
I also got some new bermuda shorts and found some tank tops at K-Mart:
I did manage to spend a little time at home this afternoon during which I checked on our veggies. The crockneck squash it getting soooo big! And now we have a couple of baby cherry tomatoes and a baby eggplant.

Since it was another hot day today (mid 90s) I decided to make some nice, cool Cobb salads for dinner tonight. They included rows of beets, hard boiled eggs, turkey bacon, chicken, cherry tomatoes and gorgonzola cheese (mine also had avocado). His was topped with blue cheese dressing and mine had fat free ranch. It was quite delicious.
Apparently I'm expected back at work tomorrow. How lame is that?? Who wants to go back to work after a four day weekend? Oh well, I only have to work Tuesday-Thursday because Friday I have a 2-hour purchasing conference in Chico in the afternoon so I don't have to drive up the hill in the morning and then the following Monday is Memorial Day which we both get off. My only goal for the week is to figure out what to get Andrew for his birthday bbq Friday night!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Babysitter's Club

We did it! We managed to take care of two little boys for an hour and a half without any damage to them or the house! Of course it wasn't all fun and games, we did make them earn their keep by providing us with manual labor. We had about three more wheelbarrow loads of dirt to move out of the driveway and to the side of the house so we put them in charge of taking out the big rocks and roots.

After sweating them into an inch of their lives I took mercy and replenished them with push pops. Sponge Bob push pops to be exact.

We spent a little inside time watching toons (Handy "Mandy" and Phineas & Ferb) and playing dice which was literally just throwing the dice and counting the numbers. Fun times!!
Susan dressed up both the boys in plaid so that they would fit in with Uncle Chris.

Connor's favorite toy was the wooden dragon that sits up in the front window. He would point at it and growl and then laugh hysterically.
Susan came back for the munchkins at 11:45 am. Immediately that made Connor say 'good bye', wave and smile at us and head for the door. Too funny.

They were both so well behaved that it was no problem to watch them other than I didn't have a single thing to entertain them with other than push pops and juice boxes. I need to have an emergency supply of little kid board games and books or buy a treadmill for them to play on and wear themselves out with. Eeeeexcellent.

Friday, May 15, 2009

World Bunko Domination

It was Bunko, bible study and praise team (singing) practice this week. I'm sure Chris has just assumed I moved out since he's only seen me for about two minutes all week. Tuesday night was Bunko waaaaay up in the boones of Nimshew (top end of Magalia). The only good part of having it at Lucille's is that she always makes wonderfully delicious snacks and dessert. Her husband is Italian and he always makes fresh focaccia bread and this time he stuffed it pizza fixings. I didn't actually have any, but it sure smelled good. My favorite was a spicy cilantro dip (I know, cilantro is the devil's herb) that I was dipping crackers into. It's a powder mix you stir into sour cream. She got it at some home spice party. Anyway, for the first time in what seems like ages I finally won a bunko prize! I won 'most 5's'. That's rolling 3 of a kind of any number other than the one we're rolling for and it's worth 5 points. A bunko is when you roll 3 of the number you are rolling for.
It was a container of votive candles and a gift card to Coco Amatrice, a specialty chocolate shop in P-town.
Wednesday night was bible study at Joanna's house. She just finished having her kitchen remodeled, but hasn't had a chance to upack all her things out of boxes so she fed us Moongate Chinese for dinner. It was good for vegetarian (we have a wanna-be vegan in the group, ugh).

Thursday night was praise team practice. I was asked to fill in for somebody who will be gone on Sunday. It was fun and nice to meet the other singers. They were all very nice. Even when I started to unknowingly sing the men's part.

I took today and Monday off from work. I have a TON of vacation hours and I need to start whittling them down. Today I just wasted half my day grocery shopping. I had a coupon for a 15 pack of Fuze juice drinks at Costco so I made a special trip out there. Same with Raley's, they had a sale on their frozen soy products so I swung by there special just for those. I was laying tracks all over this town!

I bought some top sirloin steaks yesterday at Holiday for Chris to bbq tonight (hopefully without having to coax a mouse out of the bbq again!). I have some cheesy mashed potatoes and salad to go with them. Store bought lettuce for our salads tonight, but we have been dining on our homemade lettuce. It's pretty tasty. When I went out to the garden to take inventory earlier today I saw that the paddy pan squash is getting big and fatty. As is the crookneck squash. I think we're just going to have to chalk up the red bell pepper as a total failure. It only has two stumpy, chewed up stalks sticking up. Apparently it has better things to do than grow like a respectable pepper.

I think we're having Mum over for dinner tomorrow night. Mr. A. is gone for like another half a week in Orygun. I'm going to make the crockpot lasagna I made for my b.s. group a couple months ago. It was so delicious and unbelievably easy. I mean, it's not as easy as going to her house for dinner, but whatever. I'm not bitter.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Look at our garden grow!

I went out back today to do a welfare check on our little veggie garden. It is growing like gangbusters. Our cherry tomatoes have quadrupled in size and the squash is starting to take over the planter box.
Here are the baby crookneck squash. They're perfect dollhouse size.
There's probably about 10 of them started. In the planter box we've got three paddy pan squash plants going:
We also planted about 5 heads of butter lettuce. One of them looks ready to eat and I think we'll be picking the leaves tonight:
The japanese eggplant is coming along nicely too, but no baby eggplants showing yet. We also have a banana pepper and a red bell pepper growing, but they seem to be taking their sweet time about it. Same with the lemon cucumbers. Oh well, we'll soon have all the fixin's for salad.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mother's Day Marathon

So many moms, so little time....

Trying not to be the worst children in the world we made sure to carve out some time this weekend for both of our moms.

My mom was first with a Friday evening dinner and theater date. Dinner at Johnnie's was followed by Man of la Mancha at Chico City Light Opera.

For Mum, we went out to brunch/lunch with her and Mr. A. today around noon at Nash's (on Esplanade next to Enloe). It was yummy and they enjoyed it.

After lunch we went back to 'rents so Mum could open her presents. We bought her a hummingbird feeder and a Barefoot Contessa cookbook which she ended up already owning. We suspected that might be a possibility so we remembered to keep the receipt.

Now we're settling down for a viewing of Bolt. We got it from Netflix a couple days ago. That is, assuming the Canadian doesn't crash from the cocktail of allergy medicines he's on. He is a festival of snot and sneezes. Not fun. Alright, movie time!