Sunday, July 28, 2013

Mystery gift

On Wednesday a mystery package showed up at home addressed to me. Since I was at work at the time, I asked the Canadian to open it because I didn't recognize the sender. This is what he found;
Only the most awesome spoon rest ever compliments of my little minion, Wilson. It's another piece for my apparent Lionel Ritchie collection and a match to my mug;
It's definitely more respectable than collecting Marie Osmond dolls or Beanie babies.

Random story - I ran into my elementary school principal this morning while leaving church. Looked like he was heading in for second service. He lives in P-town and goes to the Paradise Methodist Church so I can only guess he was down the hill visiting us to hear our guest speaker who is involved with a group that works closely with the Paradise UMC. I went up and introduced myself, told him how I knew him, and was grateful he didn't necessarily recognize me since I only had to visit his office once for talking too much in Mr. Ray's fourth grade class. Unless you're some kind of athletic or academic prodigy, it's a good thing for the principal not to know you. He was so sweet, grateful I took the time to say 'hi', and looked just like I remembered him even though it was 25 yrs later. That's the difference between what "old" looks like to an 11 yr old versus a 36 yr old!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Day on the lake

My friend, and co-worker, Dina has a boat that she keeps on Lake Oroville and she was kind enough to put together a girls day with some of our mutual friends. We all met at work on Friday at 10:30 am to carpool together down to the lake with all of our goodies - drinks and appetizers to share.

There's not a better way to spend a 102 degree day then out on the lake with some girlfriends, wine coolers and licorice!

New cookbook

Even though I love my e-reader, every once in a while I still enjoy a real book. With one of my Barnes & Noble coupons I splurged on a new cookbook full of grain-free recipes.
New cookbook means new recipes to try;
A super yummy Pad Thai using julienned zucchinis as the noodles. So good, we've had it twice already.
For breakfast last weekend I made a smoked salmon hash with red potatoes and asparagus covered in a creamy dill dressing that was to die for. And I can't forget about dessert;
Double chocolate espresso cookies - how can you go wrong?!? We've got two more recipes this week we're trying out - a chili cheese chili that is made with ground beef and hot dogs and covered in chili dog toppings and also some chicken Thai meatballs that are coated in a spicy peach glaze. I love it when a new cookbook doesn't disappoint!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Beer and birthdays

This last week was painfully busy at work - punishment for only having a 3-day week the week before, I'm sure. I finished the week by celebrating a co-worker's 60th birthday;
And going with Chris to our home brew club meeting at Feather Falls Casino in Oroville since Sierra Nevada was booked for another event;
Since we love their restaurant, we made sure to have a late snack so that we could eat dinner afterwards.
Shrimp tacos and fish & chips?!? How could you go wrong. And don't get me started on the (surprisingly) best clam chowder ever!

After work on Friday I had another 6 week check up with my doctor for my thyroid levels. He was very happy with my T-3 and T-4 levels this time and went ahead and gave me enough prescriptions to keep me happily drugged up until next spring. The pig hormones are definitely working better for me than the synthetic, but I can still tell I'm struggling.

While I was at the doctor's office I missed a call from Susan C. who is back in P-town for the next four months to have baby (boy) number 3! We have a hot date to get together next Tuesday night while Chris is out of town for work. That way I don't have to rush to get back to work (like during lunch) or home. I also told her that her tenant was supposed to be coming by my house that afternoon to drop off her rent in cash since her check bounced (again). We sat around all day waiting and waiting, and of course the 40 minutes we were gone at the gym from 8:30 to 9:10 pm is when she stopped by! Never fails. But....she did drop off a treat basket from her garden which almost made up for the whole debacle.
Basil up the ying-yang, tomatoes, baby eggplant, cucumbers, oregano, and parsley. Chris used some of the basil to make a honey basil mead this morning which I'm sure will be delicious.

So far, today has involved me glued to the kitchen table cranking away on monthly and quarterly reports for the church, the absolute bane of my existence. I only took a break long enough to run to CVS to pick up my new prescription and get something to drink;
What?? My orange juice isn't going to flavor itself!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Cuz we're proud to be North Americans

With both Canada Day and 4th of July in the same week there was plenty of celebrating going on at the Hartman house. Though, to be fair, I did completely forget his special day and made him wait until our glorious 4-day weekend to celebrate. And by "celebrate" I mean go to Grocery Outlet for some pretty trashy treats;
Seriously. When we ran out of pretzels we just started eating it by the spoonful. How can you say 'no' to mocha hazelnut spread when it was only 89 cents? And to wash it all down;
We bought all three flavors of White Zin Strawberry, Blackberry Merlot, and Crisp Pear Pinot Grigio. You just throw the bags in the freezer for 5 hours and then squeeze out the contents into a pint glass and enjoy!

Besides loading ourselves up on gloried chocolate frosting and frozen wine coolers, I finally managed to make it over to the new olive oil tasting room by the Safeway on East Ave. Just like the oil place Wilson took me to in Old Pasedena, they have tasting bottles of all of their oils and vinegars to sample. It didn't take me long to choose two oils and two vinegars to buy.
A white balsamic vinegar of cara-cara oranges and vanilla (great for homemade salad dressings), a dark balsamic of cinnamon pear (fabulous over fresh tomatoes and cucumbers), basil olive oil, and garlic olive oil. The only complaint I have is that the lids are corks so it takes a little bit of muscle to pry them off which can be a recipe for disaster should I not have a great hold on the bottle.

Today was the first day in a week that we've been able to open the windows in the morning because it was finally cooler outside than in. Two days ago it was still 88 degrees at 6:45 am. We even set our alarm this morning so that we could get up and take an early walk and vacuum out my car before it got too hot.
Once it warmed up outside we settled in and watched our second Redboxed movie, Gangster Squad (Josh Brolin & Ryan Gosling). It was okay, I'm glad we didn't go to the theater for it. Last night we watched Flight (Denzel Washington). Again, just okay, nothing great. What was great was The Heat (Sandra Bullock) that I went with a co-worker to see Thursday afternoon. Hilarious! The boy was absolutely uninterested and declined to join us. His loss because I, and all the blue-hairs, laughed the entire time. Apparently old people love Sandra Bullock and tons of gratuitous cursing. Who knew?