Thursday, July 24, 2008

Yay, Me!!

So I survived my birthday. I'm 39, no big whoop. Thanks to everyone who stopped by and reassured me things would be okay. Of course, they are. PMS and birthdays probably aren't the best combination. Even though I was kind of dreading this birthday, I have to say I'm actually looking forward to my 40th. I'm going to have a good old 80's spodie. I figure if I start telling Joji now, it will sink in and might actually happen.
Something else I have decided to do for my 40th is a triathlon. My friend Holly has totally inspired me to try it. This Saturday she is doing a triathlon rely. She is doing the swimming leg. Tonight she called to see if I wanted to swim. Sure, why not. I haven't really swam, swam in a lake in a while. Sure we puttered around Lake Washington a couple of weeks ago, but this distance swimming (a half of mile or so). Holly has been training for a while now and I wasn't sure I would be able to keep up. But I did and it feel really great. This was definitely a boost to the old ego and a jump start to get back into the "healthier me" thing (again)
Yes, I watched Oprah the other day about aging. I figured this was a good time to kick it into gear. My goal is to move the big "cachunk" on the dr.'s scale two clicks to the left (I hope that makes sense) by next summer. I will never be a skinny minnie. I just want to look better. So that is my "yay, me" for today.
Thanks for letting me share :0)

Monday, July 21, 2008

30's Farewell Tour

Today kicks off the final year of my thirties.
I'm not sure how I feel about it.
Joji turns 40 in 3 months.(That makes me feel better)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Joji survives and some fabu finds

Joji is on his way home from man camp. He called to say he survived (as did his eyebrows) and that he had a good time. I can't wait to hear all about it and as a bonus, I have been promised pictures. When he called on Saturday, I asked how the stuffed jalapenos were and he said HOT. (well, duh, they're jalapenos) He said that they were going to try and figure out a way to "mellow them out". I guess the next time I make them I will need to precook the peppers some how. I think a good par boil might do the trick. Will keep you posted on that one.

On Saturday there were a bunch of garage sales around here. My mom, Akiko and I were very excited. There were a couple of big neighborhood sales that in years past have been full of great deals. Unfortunately the sales that we were excited about turned out to be real duds. I'm so glad my friend Jessica didn't drive down from Lynnwood to go to these stinkers. That being said we found a couple of real gems and got the best deals. Don't you just love when you are at a sale and the person holding it in total "just get it out of here" mode??

Here are a few of my finds:

5 frames for $7.
Three were these wooden white ones and two were little Mary Englebriet ones. I probably would of tried to haggle her down to $5, but her craiglist ad was entitled "Suddenly Single Sale" and she was trying to wrangle 4 rowdy kids during the sale as well. She looked tired, so no haggling.

Apothecary Jar for $2 (don't hate me)

I don't know if you can tell by the picture, but it is really big. I'm not sure what to put in it yet, but for $2 I HAD to buy it. At the same sale I picked up a set of salt and pepper mills (I forgot to get a pic of them) They are your basic wood ones, but I have plans to transform them. Somewhere on some random blog I saw a pic of pepper mills painted the sweetest baby blue with small white polka dots. I found the price tag of almost $50 a bit steep, so when I saw this set for a buck I snatched them up. Now I just need a little paint and I will be all set.

I think my best find of the day came at one of our last stops. The lady running the sale had 3 pieces of pierced work porcelain on a table. There was a footed compote/cake stand, an oval platter and a tall teapot. I asked how much the compote and platter would be. She said $10 for all three. I told her I didn't want all three and she said it was a set. (It really wasn't a real set, they were different makers and styles, but whatever). I told her I didn't want all three and would she take $5 for the compote and platter. She then told me how I would be able to display the "set" and she just couldn't understand why I didn't want all three pieces. I told her those were great ideas, but I just wanted the two pieces and would she take $5. She then huffed, rolled her eyes and then said in a really rude tone, "Gimme your five dollars". If the pieces weren't really good, I would have walked off, but $2.50 a piece for these babies, I'll take a little grumpiness.

So now it is a very quiet Sunday afternoon around here. The M's are losing to the Tribe. I miss the days of decent M's teams. (How sad is that?? Seattle fans are reduced to hope for and be happy with mediocre) Anyway, it is a gorgeous day and I'm off for a little cat nap before dinner.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Man Camp

Joji returned from a week in NC only to rush out the door one and half hours later for a weekend of MAN CAMP. Joji is heading up to our cabin to spend the next two days doing manly things, like chopping wood, eating, sleeping, eating and partaking in a white wine spritzer or two. I'm very proud of Joji for going since he didn't know most of the guys who were going to be there. Hopefully Joji will have a good time and return with both eyebrows.

For some reason I really enjoy making "manly food". I do not like to eat it, but it is fun to make and the guys usually really appreciate it. So for this weekend I made the stuffed jalapenos. I have never worked with them before I must say I was a little scared. I have seen enough Food Network to know that one wrong move and you will be covered in welts and writhing in pain. I took no chances and donned my latex gloves. Ben asked if I would like the face shield Joji uses with his lathe, but I declined. I will say that those suckers are a lot of work to clean out and it reminded me of opening an orange the way the seeds would kind of spew everywhere. After 2 hours I had prepared 3 Costco salad container full of stuffed peppers. I really they hold together on the grill. (Just a quick side note on the salad containers... they are the best!! They alone make my Costco membership worthwhile. I put everything in them, they hold a lot and they stand up to numerous trips to the dishwasher. Seriously, start saving these babies, totally worth it)
As I mentioned in my last post I was on the look out for a really good PB recipe. I googled "the best" and "killer" peanut butter cookies and this recipe kept coming up. I made them and I think the only thing I would change would be adding a dash of vanilla. It felt very odd for me not to put vanilla in, but I wanted to follow the recipe. I really missed that little hit of sweet. When the cookies were "taste tested" they got good remarks. Joji thought they were "good" (that is about a excited as he gets) Matt gave them a very enthusiastic thumbs up.

Here is the recipe:

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
(I would consider a 1/2 t vanilla)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
(I added 2 cups of peanut butter chips for a little extra umph)
Cream together the shortening, peanut butter and sugars. Beat in egg. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; gradually stir into the peanut butter mixture. Cover and refrigerate dough for at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Make small balls of dough. Flatten with fork dipped in flour to form cross-wise pattern.
Bake for 10-12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until just set. Remove from baking sheets to cool on wire racks.

A quick note on cookies.
I like a nice chewy cookie. This requires that the cookies are not cooked too long. I take my cookies out of the oven before they are browned on the edges. The time to take them out is just as the cookie looks "set". While the cookies are cooling on the sheets (a very important step) they will continue to cook. Below is a photo of a properly browned cookie and one that is a little more "Cajun" (aka "blackened") It isn't totally burned, but just a lot darker than it should be for a chewy cookie. If you like a crispier cookie, then that would be the desired doneness.

As we were rushing around getting all of the last minute items packed, Joji was getting down his tent when Matt asked him if it would hold 2 queens?
Here is a pic of Matt and Joji before they left. Suddenly I'm a little worried :0)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

While the cat is away...

We have been very busy little mice around here. Joji has been in Charlotte since Sunday and he won't get home until Friday at which time he is immediately off for a little "mans weekend" camping trip. I'm trying to think of goodies to send with him. I know for sure I'm making bacon wrapped stuffed jalapenos.
I was watching Semi-homemade with Sandra Lee the other day and she made them. (A quick not on Sandra Lee...I used to read a foodie BB in which she was constantly referred to as "Boozie McBoobs". How awful is that?? But I gotta give it to that girl, she looks great and clearly likes her cocktails.
Anyway, I wasn't totally sold on the stuffed jalapenos, until I was reading Pioneer Woman Cooks and the recipe that was featured that day was, yup, stuffed jalapenos. I'm taking it as a sign. I will probably make some cookies as well, however I feel like I am in a cookie rut. Maybe I will make some PB cookies. The recipe I have is good, but I want something a little bit more. I would love to put PB chips in the dough, but I wonder how that would work with the fork smooshing part of the process. Hmmmmm, I guess I will have to do a little googling.
I love google, don't you. It is great for someone like me who has no patience whatsoever. I type what I want and ,poof, there it is. I saw an interview with the dudes who came up with Google. As long as I live I will NEVER understand "code" (that secret language people use to make computers do what they want) When my brother Paul was 10 he got a computer. It was a Texas Instrument something or other and we would spend HOURS typing a bunch of gobbledygook only to find that somewhere we had typed a front slash vs a back slash and therefore our game would not run. I remember we spent all day typing in some program just to watch the tv screen flash different colors. Too bad we had the computer hooked up to our old black and white TV. I don't think kids today would think a flashing TV was all that cool, but we did. It really is mind blowing how far technology has come. Sammie has only known a tv where you can pause it while you go to the bathroom, not to mention watch almost anything you want whenever you want.
Anyway, enough rambling. We are off today to good old Lynnwood to hang out with the Zimmermans. I haven't gotten to hang out with Jessica for a while since the DND guys have not been to our house in a while. I so miss hanging out with her. She is one of those good "girl talk" girlfriends, plus Sam and her boys get along great. I'm sure they will be spending a lot of time on this. Jessica's hubby Bob designed and built it. It was a huge hit at their 4th of July party. Ben will also be making the trek and he is less than thrilled. Poor Ben, all our friends have little kids, so it looks like the DS will be making the trip as well. He is a good sport most of the time, so letting him plug in and tune out is okay every now and then.
Well I better get going. I've got kids to feed and bathe and the van could use a cleanin' before we head out. The sun is shining and it is looking like another day in the 70's. Seriously, W. WA in the 70's is summer at it's best.
Happy Wednesday Everyone!! :0)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sunday in the Sun

I now officially have boat envy.
Yesterday we went out with the Browns on their boat in Lake Washington and it was fantastic. The weather could not have been more beautiful and the lake was warm. It was as picturesque as W. WA gets. The eye candy was not limited to just the lake, oh no, the houses and the boats were to die for as well. In fact here is a little place that would the perfect place to kick back and watch the hydro races. I just need to come up with a little cash :0)

The kids spent the entire day in the water. It was no surprise when Sam didn't even make it out of the parking lot. As soon as the car was in reverse, she was out. We capped off the day with a little BBQing at the Brown's and it was delicious.
Good friends, good food, good times. What a day.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Summertime and the living is lazy

Wow, a whole week since my last post. I would feel worse, but it seems I'm not the only one who has been away from the computer. I hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend. We did. We drove up to our friends house for their annual Fourth of July Bash and had a great time. The weather was a little overcast, but it made for a very pleasant day.

Today was spent with Jenny P and the kids at the pool. I wish Jenny lived closer. I'm trying to convince her to start up a blog. Hopefully she will. She doesn't think she has anything to write about and I told her I felt the same way, but it is amazing the connections you end up making writing about laundry and what to have for dinner :0)

The pool today was a zoo. This was by far the busiest day we have had yet. There were 3 guards on duty which is pretty rare. The manager, who was around in Jenny's and mine old guarding days told us if it got busier she was going to put us on duty. That would have been a sight to see, Jenny and I climbing up into the guard chairs (scary yet, climbing down) One of the reasons that the pool was so busy was soccer camp from BP was having a swim party. It was nice to see some moms from school and do the 30 second catch up. The best part though, was when one of the boys showed up with his little sister. She was in Sammie's class and it instantly freed me from the "when are you getting in the pool to play with me" pestering. I was able to chat away and soak up the sun. I finally feel I'm returning to my natural color (it has been in hiding for the past couple of years) If the sun isn't good for you, but why do you look so much better with a tan?? It is just cruel.
Hope everyone is enjoying some sun, we sure are.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Well, it is now July and I feel like summer is half way over (we have only been out of school for 2 weeks) The good news the sun is out and the heat has been a bit more manageable. Today's to-do list includes haircuts for the kids and going to the pool. Joj is off until Monday so he is going to putter. I'm hoping that when I return from the pool I will have new steps out the backdoor. We currently have a combination of actual steps and milk crates.
I took a couple of pics this morning and I have realized that almost every flower in my garden is pink. Hmmmmm, I'm not really a pink girl, but there is something about pink flowers.

I got this rose bush last year for my birthday and I was sure I had killed it. Apparently not, but I'm not sure how to deal with the massive clumps, I mean "sprays" of flowers. The look a little cramped to me. Last night I cut a couple off and put them in my little creamer. I love the look of creamers and have a few, but never use them. I just need to remind myself to use them for vases.

When we moved in there was not a lot in the backyard, that at is with the exception of our own fire hydrant. Isn't she a beaut?? The previous owners had a dog and I guess they thought it was kitschy. I think it is awful. This spring I planted a clematis that I had gotten last year, never planted and thought I had killed (hmmmmm, I noticing a pattern here) I was hoping it would take off and cover the hydrant, but it hasn't really done anything yet. It has grown a little bit, but not like what I had hoped.

The only thing THRIVING in my garden is some random vine that is EVERYWHERE. We have a rental behind us and I'm convinced that is where it came from. It grows a good 3 feet a day and wraps around everything. I'm constantly trying to free my poor little plants from strangulation. I've tried to embrace it and when there was nothing in the garden at least it was something, but now I want it to go away!!
If you know what it is and how to get rid of it PLEASE let me know. I am begging!!
Well, that's what happening in my neck of the woods. Very exciting I know.
Happy Wednesday everyone :0)