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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Deer Down

I almost forgot!   I shot a buck with my bow last night.  It's the second one I've shot, but the first one I've found.  It's not the monster I had seen back in October, but I haven't shot enough deer to be overly picky.  He's good practice for the next time I see the monster.  Check it out!

4-H Shirt

I haven't been posting all of my disturbing dreams lately, because I don't want people to think I'm metally sick.  And I don't want people to know when I have dreams about them getting killed.  But, I had one last night that was pretty peculiar and I'll share the little of it that I can remember.

In my dream, my dad was some other man, not my real life dad.  And Kayla K., an old Chi O president, was my older sister.  Neither one of my real sisters was in the dream.  So, what happened was that my dad killed some man and then ran away.  All the evidence was on this old, ratty 4-H shirt.  The police questioned me and I felt like I had to turn over the shirt.  I went home and turned the options over and over in my mind.  If I didn't hand over the shirt, my dad could go free.  If I did give them the shirt, though, my dad would be justly punished for his crime. 

As I was weighing the consquences of each, I heard a knock on the door and I sprinted into my room, grabbed the old shirt and frantically searched for a place to hide it.  I finally wadded it up and stuck it behind the shoe rack in my closet.  I ran back to the door and opened it for the police.  They entered and began to question me more and search the house. 

They found the shirt and, after trial, sentenced my dad to death after five years in prison.  I was guilt-stricken, but I couldn't say my dad didn't deserve it.  Kayla K. came over to my mother and me after the verdict was handed down and handed us both fans of money.  For some reason we were getting compensated for this tragic fiasco. 

Kayla K. looked at me with stern eyes and said, "You remember why you are getting this money.  I hope you are happy."  Gulp.  I woke up shortly after this part.  I'm still slightly disturbed by this dream.  The good thing is, it wasn't my real dad in the dream, or my sisters.  I think Kayla K. was in the dream because I was just thinking yesterday about how she dropped off the face of the earth after she left ECU.  I'm sure the correlation of the dream and my dad has to do with the present state of our relationship.  Anyway, that's that.  I hope I stop with all these murder dreams -- and soon!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Apple Tart

This is a very quick, easy and yummy dessert.  I was wanting to stray away from the normal cookies that I make nearly every night after dinner.  I was really wanting something fruity, but couldn't desert dessert.  I love sweets.  So, I found this recipe, modified it a little and then indulged in this apple-y goodness. 

The recipe calls for:
2 pastry sheets
4 apples
1 c. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt

I used:
1 pastry sheet
2 apples
1/2 c. brown sugar
pinch of salt

I still had a lot of apples left over, so it's probably smart to only use one apple unless you want to make both sheets of the pastry.  You can find the pastry sheets, by the way, in the freezer section next to the pies.

You need to lay the pastry sheet out on a pan for about 20 minutes to let it thaw before you unfold it.  It's folded in thirds, so you can either cut it down the middle for more on the sides (like my picture) or cut it into three sections for less puff (I'll probably do that next time).

Preheat the oven to 415 degrees.  While the pastry is thawing, begin slicing the apples.  Slice them as thinly as you can without cutting your fingers.  When you do cut your finger, call your husband in the kitchen to finish.  Or just don't cut your finger.  Once all the apples are sliced, throw them in a bowl.  You can squirt lemon juice on them if you want.  I didn't.  Then add the brown sugar and salt and mix it all around gently.  Let the apple mixture sit for a few minutes to let the ingredients become friendly with each other.  Next, unfold the pastry and cut in halves or thirds.  Layer the apples in a straight line, overlapping as you go.  Pop the pan in the oven and cook for 18 to 20 minutes. 

Remove the pastries from the pan immediately and find a creative way to "style" them.  I just added sifted powdered sugar.  I think I'll mix it up tonight and top it with caramel and pecans.  The simplicity of it was so good and the apples were just perfectly tart.  The extra puff around the edges was a little too flaky for my liking, which is why I'll cut it into thirds next time. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Three Cheese (No Bake) Ziti

I ran across this recipe yesterday while trying to find inspiration for dinner.  As soon as I read it and saw the picture, I immediately started craving it.  I'm not a tomato fan, but the acidity and tartness was definitely appealing to me.  So, on my way home I stopped by the trusty old Apple Market and picked up a few things I needed to make the ziti. 

I would have taken a picture, but the pasta disappeared as soon as it came out of the oven.  Here's the picture from the person who posted the original recipe.  I have to say, though, that my pasta actually did look better than it does in this picture.

Ingredients:
3 Garlic Cloves
3 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 can Crushed Tomatoes
1 can Whole Tomatoes
Basil
1 lb. Ziti (I used Rigatoni)
2 tbsp. Butter
2 tbsp. Flour
1 c. Milk
1 c. Half-and-Half
1 pinch Nutmeg
1/2 c. Shredded Asiago Cheese
1/2 c. Shredded Parmesan Cheese
1 c. Sliced Fresh Mozzarella
Salt and Pepper

Instructions:
Put pasta water on to boil in a large pot.  In a sauce pan over medium heat, saute finely chopped garlic in olive oil.  Add crushed and whole tomatoes (break apart with your hands before adding to pan).  Add salt, pepper and basil to taste.  The recipe called for 1/2 cup of fresh basil, but I used dried basil and just sprinkled it in the tomato sauce until it looked right.  Simmer over low heat for at least 10 minutes (the longer the better). 

Add salt and pasta to boiling water and cook 8 minutes.  You want the pasta to be a tad undercooked.  While the pasta cooks, melt butter in a small pot over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute.  Add the milk and half-and-half, or just milk if that's all you have, to create a bechamel sauce.  Add salt, pepper and nutmeg to the sauce.  Whisk until bechamel sauce thickens.  Take sauce off the heat and whisk in the asiago and parmesan cheeses. 

Drain pasta and pour the tomato-basil sauce on top.  Toss until pasta is evenly coated with sauce.  Then, pour the pasta into a greased 13x9 casserole dish.  Pour the bechamel sauce over the top of the pasta.  Top the dish off with the sliced mozzarella.  Broil the dish for 3 to 5 minutes until the cheese is brown and bubbly. 

No lie, this is the best pasta I have ever had.  That includes restaurants, too.  I didn't think anything could top my lasagna, but this is a definite contender.  Serve it up with some garlic bread and treat your taste buds to a fabulous meal.  Enjoy!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Just Call Me 'Wendy the Hog Slayer'

I'm not really a hog hunter.  I'm a deer hunter that hates hogs.  They petrify me.  When I have to get out the stand and walk by myself to the truck at night, the mere thought that there may be hogs in the woods surrounding me makes me shake.  It makes me want my daddy.  I start to walk faster and faster using my iPhone as a flashlight, turning it from side to side to ward off any unwanted creatures.  The smallest noise (usually an armadillo) will make me dart off in a run until I reach a clearing.  Then I act all cool like nothing scares me.  My shaking knees tell on me, though. 



When I'm tall in an oak tree, however, nothing can touch me -- except those pesky jet-like buzzards, but that's another time and place.  Hogs can't touch me, at least.  I have all the power in my hands.  I'm sitting up high and being all sneaky so no animal sees or hears me.  When I see a deer, I'm extra careful to move slowly and not let any of my instruments clank against each other. I feel very powerful when I'm in a tall tree.  So, when a herd of hogs (is it a herd or pack or pride or gang or what?) came strolling into my corn in front of my tree, I pulled out "deer mode" and executed my motions ever so diligently. 

Again, I really hate hogs.  I wanted to take everyone of them out so I didn't have to worry about them snooping around in my "neck of the woods" anymore.  I pulled back my bow and nailed the largest hog in the bunch.  I knew I stuck it hard.  So hard, actually, that it went all the way through the hog.  I watched as it zigged and zagged through the woods and out of my sight. 

I tried to tell Tate I had gotten it so he could help me look for it.  I was not getting out of that tree and looking for a wounded and angry hog.  No sir-ee.  Tate had dropped his phone out of the stand and came to get me after he checked the message.  We had no real flashlights, so I used the flashlight app on my iPhone and Tate had a little dinky one that had been thrown in his truck.  Of course, Tate was frustrated that I hadn't already found the hog before it got dark. Again, I was not looking for a wounded hog in the thick of the woods by myself.  Not happening. 

Tate, like his dad, doubles as a blood hound.  Seriously, it's amazing.  He can spot the tiniest drop of blood on the underside of a leaf like no one else can.  It's why I love him.  I followed a foot behind Tate as he crawled on all-fours spotting blood and calling it out.  After a time, we came to an impass.  Tate couldn't find anymore blood and I was charged to sit there and keep an eye on the last blood that he spotted.  He finally walked off to find anymore traces of blood.  As we traipsed across the crispy leaf-covered ground, I shined my flashlight behind where he had been standing.  I just chuckled and said, "There it is."

"More blood?" he asked. 

"The hog," I smiled.  He just laughed and said that he felt like an idiot for standing there for so long and never looking behind him.  To his credit, it was up against a tree in a thorny vine patch. 

Tate gutted the hog on the spot.  That was DISGUSTING.  Not only were the inerds pretty disturbing, the smell was awful.  Hellacious.  That was the first animal I have ever been forced to watch be gutted.  I was forced because I had to hold the legs.  Gag. 

That's the hog story.  I hope the next story is about the monster buck I let go.

Easiest Ever Peanut Butter Cookies

This past week was Fall Break and I spended some much needed time at home cleaning and lounging around and not doing a whole lot of anything.  Come Friday afternoon, I was starting to get the baking bug.  Tate has been on a diet and refused to let me bake or even cook a normal meal.  All we have eaten the past three weeks is talapia and grilled chicken salad.  Anyway, I decided was going to make some sugar cookies, but didn't have enough flour or sugar.  What has happened to me that I didn't even stock up?  I always have an abundance of all kinds of flour and sugar!  I scoured my cookbooks looking for a tasty recipe that didn't call for anymore than two cups of flour or one cup of sugar.  Finally, I came across this recipe for peanut butter cookies.  Peanut butter cookies were always my favorite growing up, but they got pushed aside when I discovered snickerdoodles and oatmeal crispies.  This recipe, unlike any other I had ever tried, only called for three ingredients.  THREE INGREDIENTS!  I must admit, I was skeptical.  The recipe didn't even call for flour.  So, of course I had to try it out.  Prepare to have your socks blown off.



Ingredients:
1 egg
1 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter

*** The recipe called for creamy peanut butter, but I used crunchy.  It's the rebel in me.  And the fact that I don't own creamy peanut butter. 

Basically, you dump all the ingredients in a big bowl and mix 'em up.  Use a spoon or cookie scoop to drop them on the baking sheet and then do the signature fork thingy to press them down. Pop them in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 18 minutes.

Warning: these cookies are addicting.  They are not chewy, but instead ultra crumbly and melt-in-your-mouth lip lickin' good.  If you are lucky like me, your husband doesn't care for peanut butter cookies and you get to have most of them all to yourself.  That's until your mother comes over and sneaks the rest of them.  But, that's another story. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Breakfast Pizza

As you'll recall from my BBQ Chicken Pizza recipe, the dough makes two crusts.  I'm always trying to come up with new pizza recipes to try out.  So a week or two ago I made some dough and started to pick my brain for an idea.  I looked in the fridge and found some Blue & Gold sausage and some Real Bacon Bits for salad.  I covered the pizza dough with a small amount of pizza sauce and a lot of fresh mozzarella.  I browned up the sausage and piled it on the pizza.  I mean piled.  I'm not even a huge fan of sausage, but I held nothing back.  Then I sprinkled on the bacon.  Mind you, these are not normal crusty bacon bits, these are real pieces of bacon just like you would fry up and cut.  I popped the very heaviliy ornamented pizza in the oven for about 12 minutes until it was absolutely perfect.  When I took the pizza out, I sprinkled on some parsley and ground parmesan and then served it up.  The first bite was pure delight, as was each bite after.  This was by far my favorite pizza.  Tate named it breakfast pizza.  I tried it for breakfast the next day.  It was still delicious. 

The next night I made a normal pepperoni pizza.  It was pretty good, but not as fun.  I'm still looking for new pizza ideas, so if you have any, let me know!

Bill Clinton Thinks I'm Cute

It's been a while since I've had a dream significant enough to write about.  And by significant I mean a dream that I can really remember.  This morning I was driving the work when I suddenly remembered my dream from last night.  I started laughing and trying to remember as much as I could about this dream.

The dream starts out at our football field where there is a big rally of sorts hosted by the "big wigs" of my university.  I was sitting in the stands with a bunch of freshman and I didn't want to disclose my age.  I was afraid they would rat me out for sitting in the student section.  My whole family was at the rally, as well, but for some reason I opted out of sitting with them.  This includes Tate.  He was hanging out with my dad, as usual. 

The rally included a stint from former President Bill Clinton himself.  Just after Clinton gave his remarks and before the rally ended, I started to exit the stands to find the restroom.  While on my way down, three different 18-year-old boys asked me on a date.  Instead of telling them that I was a faculty member or I was married, I just told them I was too busy.  I really didn't want them to know I was that much older than them.  Upon stepping into the foyer, I passed V.P. of Student Development Bronson Warren hob-knobbing with Clinton.  Bronson pulled me over and introduced me to Clinton as a member of his staff.  I shook his hand and then he pinched my cheeks and said, "You are just the cutest little thing I have ever seen in a professional position."  Wierd?  Only if it wasn't a dream.  I then ran into my family and told them that I was cool with the Pres. and I'd take them over to meet him.  My parents and husband, as well as my sister's husband, decided to go wait in the car while my two older sisters and I went to talk to him. 

By now there was quite a waiting line for fans wanting to see him.  So, we waited and waited.  Star finally got sick of standing and said she was going back to the stands and to call her when we get close.  Finally we reached the front of the line and we watched and laughed as Clinton struck funny poses with the people taking pictures with him.  We tried to call Star over and over, but couldn't reach her.  While we were on the phone, people kept cutting us in line and I started to get frustrated -- and pushy.  As our turn approached for picture time with Clinton, we still couldn't get ahold of Star, so Sheena and I tried to stall by gabbing with the president.  Out of the distance Star came running up and we were able to get the picture we were hoping for.  Then we left.  And I woke up.

I think I have an idea of where some of these components of the dream came from.  I think the rally was in the dream because there was a small rally of students on campus yesterday in support of a student in trouble.  The rally being held at the football stadium was probably because I was there for the Homecoming game this past weekend and I haven't been to a game all year.  Also, the comment about me being cute probably came about because while at that Homecoming game on Saturday, a male friend of mine pulled a real creepy moment of telling me how beautiful I am.  The pinched cheeks and trying to conceal my age certainly have something to do with how young I look.  I have never been ashamed that I look years younger than I am.  In fact, I've always been proud because I know that when I'm 40 and I only look 32 that I will look better than everyone who makes fun of me now.  However, with my job, it does get frustrating when I'm constantly being asked by students and parents what year I am in  college or comment that I'm really knowledgeable about the university for a freshmen.  Yes, I've heard that more than once. 

Also,  after the Homecoming game, a group of us went to the LaFragua reunion where we were the only people there under 47.  After we left, we went to a friend's house where there was supposed to be no one there under 21, but after walking in the house, we discovered hoards of underagers and students from the PLC class that I work with.  Worse than that, there were high school students that I had tried to recruit the week before.  I high-tailed it out of there before I could get caught, and as I made my way out, I lowered my head and tried to look really young so no one would oust me. 

Oh, and the whole Bill Clinton component of the dream -- it came from a post card I read on Post Secret.  If you've never been on that site, you should definitely check it out at http://www.postsecret.com/.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Hunting Trip #3

After what happened Friday afternoon with the whole tea incident, I decided to dehydrate myself before going into the deer woods.  Smart, right?  Although I was aching for water when I got home each trip, I didn't have anymore panic attacks.  Haha. 

So, I hadn't seen much deer activity until last night (Sunday).  I had almost opted out of going hunting after waking up from a groggy nap.  Looking back now, I'm not sure what I should have done.  The story goes like this:  I sat there in that gosh forsaken tree that pokes into my back and causes me to sit crooked in a concave seat for hours.  Dusk started to set in when I heard deer coming from the south.  I could tell it was more than one, thinking it was probably a couple of doe looking for corn. Then I saw a buck circling around behind me.  Then I saw a second buck.  And then a third.  I lost sight of the first buck and bent over to catch a glimpse of the second.  As I did, I laid my eyes on the first buck, standing directly under my tree limb -- the most gorgeous buck I'd ever seen alive and not on tv.  My heart started pounding almost seemingly out of chest and my hands started sweating.  I slowly leaned back and watched.  The first buck ran at the second, must smaller, buck to run him off of the corn.  As he did, I attempted to draw back my bow.

Here's the back story on that.  A couple of nights ago Tate tightened my bow and I had only practiced pulling the extra five or so pounds back a couple of times.  So, you can imagine that it was a little difficult.  Then factor in that I was sitting down.  That makes it a little harder to pull back steadily.  Now, if you've never been hunting, there is one thing you have to know so I don't sound like a total wuss.  The second you lay eyes on a buck your muscles forget how to work.  The bigger the buck the worse.  You don't shake and shiver, your muscles just turn to Jell-O.  It's very frustrating.

So, I made my first attempt at drawing back the bow.  Failure.  When I let the string back, the arrow fell through the rest, making a clinking noise.  Then I had to push it back through, which caused another clink.  The deer didn't like that, obviously.  But, they allowed me to try to pull the bow back another three times, with clinking at all, before they walked away.  And, I must tell you, that buck was giving me the most beautiful broadside shot.  He probably knew I was too weak to shoot him.  As he walked away I hung my head in shame.  Then, about one minute later I heard him coming back, alone this time.  Dang it if he didn't traipse right back in that perfect profile position not 15 yards away.  Again, I drew back my bow, or tried.  Didn't happen.  It clinked.  I began to draw back again when he turned his head up to the tree and stared me in the eyes.  Gulp.  I'm done.  He's seen me and I'll never see him again.  I let the bow down and he turned, nonchalantly, and walked into the woods.  I made a final attempt at pulling the bow back, and wouldn't you know it, I got it all the way back and was steady as could be.  The problem?  His rear-end was the only thing in sight and fading fast.  I lost him.  I was, and am disgusted with myself. 

Shooting light passed and began climbing out of the tree.  I was thinking on the way down (before I hooked my leg on the tree step) that I shouldn't even tell Tate, but I knew we had the entire encounter on the trail camera and he would see what happened.  Sure enough, there was this grandious buck looking straight at me like I was the world largest loser.  And then Tate looked at me like I was the world's largest loser.  And I feel it, too. 

Of course, I got the lecture about how I should have been pulling the bow back.  Then he made fun of me the rest of the night.  And he threatened to take over that hunting spot so he could get the buck.  Tate, in case you don't know, doesn't make mistakes like that.  He doesn't screw up in hunting and nothing embarrassing has happened to him.  I threatened that if I found out he was in that stand or he shot that deer there would be major problems. 

I don't think I scare him. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Bow Season Opener

Today was the opening day of bow season.  All week I was so excited, I could hardly wait for today.  Today the weather was absolutely gorgeous and, although I was bogged down in heaps of tasks at work, I was in a super mood.  I even took off work a couple hours early to come home, get all camo-ed up and get my gear together.

Tate had been scouting out an area for me to hunt.  He set up a camera and put a tree stand high up in the biggest tree.  He has a pretty wonderful buck on camera that kept coming back each day, mostly in the morning.  To be honest, I'm really suprised he was so unselfish to let me in that stand knowing what I could potentially shoot.  It makes me question his faith in my shooting ability.  I can confidently say that I have improved drastically since I shot the a/c.  And I don't shoot without my contacts anymore. 

So, we grabbed some teas at the local store and around 5:15p.m. I made the climb to the stand.  By the way, I hate climbing trees.  I abhore climbing trees.  I always make Tate stay there until I get up so he can catch me if I fall.  And to tie my bow to the rope and send it up.  The trunk of the tree was sticking straight into my back and made for a very uncomfortable evening, but I was determined to as still and quiet as possible so I could shoot that buck.  The swarming, blood-sucking mosquitos made that quite difficult, but I  tried my hardest.  I waited.  And waited.  I waited even more and did not see a thing.  Once I heard something behind me in the woods that sounded like an animal falling, but I never heard anything afterwards. 

Then the medium half-sweet tea I drank on the way to the deer woods started to kick in.  When it got to flowing through me, it went full steam.  I started squirming and trying to think of anything but my bladder.  It just got worse as I tried to sit back, then sit forward, then move my feet.  Nothing was helping ad I didn't know how much longer I could stand it.  I really wanted to make it til dark, but the tea was closing in. 

All in one instant panic set in and I HAD to get out of that stand.  I started feverishly attempting to get my quiver hooked back onto my bow, but I was shaking and freaking out and couldn't get the job done.  Finally, I just halfway hooked the quiver to the bow, tied the bow to the rope and let it drop.  I stuffed the release in my pocket and shimmied down the tree.  I have never gotten out of a tree so fast, especially without Tate's help.  At that point the only thing I could think was, "Well, if  I fall I'll at least get to pee."  I didn't fall.  I grabbed my bow, quiver and my camera at the base of the tree and took off for the clearing.  Although I desperately had to relieve myself, I didn't want to do it near my hunting station.  I got into the clearing found a cluster of trees and went to squatting.  What sweet relief. 

This is just not very mannerly of me at all, is it? 

Anyway, I finished my business and felt much better.  I pulled up my drawers and as I turned around to grab my bow I saw three does staring at me.  What a sight I must of been.  Defeat was written all over my face.  The first doe started blowing and I just shrugged my shoulders and took a seat until Tate came to get me.  That gave me enough time to wallow in my shame and get my story together to explain to Tate exactly why I had to scram out of that tree.

Lesson learned?  Absolutely, positvely no tea before hunting.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Six Months

Today is Tate's and mine six month anniversary, and wouldn't you know it, he isn't here.  And I can't even call him to remind him.  Six months doesn't sound very long does it?  It seems much longer, but not in a bad way.  It just feels like we were meant to be married, and not in a cheesy-lovey kind of way.  It's just natural for us.  We argue, we solve, we move on, we laugh, we play, we learn.  These first six months have been nothing if not interesting.  I wouldn't do a thing different and I can't wait to see how the next six months (and more) are spent.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Grown Baby

I had a really wierd dream last night.  But, what's new?  I don't remember much of it, but I do remember that it had to do with a baby that was like a little man.  I know what this stemmed from; yesterday at work Ashton showed me pictures of her friend's baby and it looked like a little old grandpa. 

So, I dreamt that someone, and I don't know who, had this baby that was baby-sized and all, but that had a mustache and muscles and a very bad potty mouth.  I was babysitting the baby-man and he wasn't really mobile yet, but he kept yelling at me to do things and threatening to hit me and using foul language.  It was very wierd.  I think the mustache part of the baby was from Jason, a kid who I went to high school with who had a mustache since we were in elementary.  No joke.  The baby's face really looked like Jason.  Well, the mustache and freckles, anyway.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Nugent vs. Precious

This past Sunday I bought Tate an Australian Shepherd puppy.  He's a red merle with one green eye and one blue eye and he is absolutely adorable and so loveable!  I picked him up and went to my in-law's house, where Boog, their Jack Russel also resides.  Of course, Boog had to check out the puppy, who I cleverly named Nugent (yes, after Ted), but Nugent wasn't so happy about it.  This fluffy nine-week-old puppy started snarling and growling and snapping at Boog.  I could not believe this little furball was so fiesty!  But, that was only the beggining.

I finally got Nugent home that evening and took him in the backyard to play and potty.  This is the same backyard that Precious, the devilish calf lives.  Well, Nugent got all defensive when he saw the black monster moving towards him and started the same mantra as with Boog.  Precious didn't back down, though, at all.  She started closing in on the pup and the pup started getting nastier.  I got them apart and ran Precious off and all was okay, for the moment.

Now, when Nugent goes outside he strays away from the calf, but she hunts him down.  I'll try to sneak him outside and rush him around to go potty, but every time, I'll see her ugly little head ducked down as she creeps around the corner of the house.  When Precious spots Nugent she starts galloping towards him, turning to kick at him.  I've tried running her off by flapping my arms at her, shooing her and even hitting her over the head with a heavy-duty flashlight, but it's not working.  Each time I try to protect Nugent from the demon-cow she turns on me and starts kicking at me. 

This is not flying with me.  I want her slaughtered.  She's a good-for-nothing pooping machine that fertilizes my backyard and terrorizes Nugent.  I pleaded with my dad last night to come pick her up and make her a guard-cow for his shop.  He thought it was funnier than I did.  I think I may "accidentally" leave the gate open so she'll go play on the highway.  That would only work, though, if it didn't put people in danger.  I'd hate for someone to actually hit her.  I just want her to run away.  Far, far away. 

I won't actually let Precious of of the backyard or slaughter her, I'll just wish I could.  And continue to complain about her.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Melatonin

I travel for my job.  I go to colleges and high schools all over the state recruiting students to come to my university.  Some weeks I'm on the road five or six days.  I like getting out of the office and meeting all kinds of new people, but there's one small, well actually rather large, problem.  I fall asleep while I'm driving.  No one can figure out why.  It only happens between about 10a.m. and 6p.m.  All other hours I'm completely fine to drive.  The other wierd thing is, if I start to nod off while I'm driving and pull over or switch drivers, I'm completely alert.  It's like when moms take their babies on car rides to get them to go to sleep.  Driving does that to me.  So, understandably, you could see where I wig out a little bit about my chosen career (even though if I really had an option at this point, I would not have chosen this as my career). 

Because my traveling season is in full swing and I've already had a couple of dozing off incidents, I visited a doctor to try to find a solution.  She told me to start taking melatonin.  Because my crazy dreams often keep me from getting a good night's rest, melatonin should help me sleep deeper.  If you aren't familiar with melatonin, it's a chemical formed in your body that helps you sleep better.  You can get melatonin over the counter at Wal-Mart or Walgreens or anywhere like that.  We crossed our fingers and hoped it would help.

The first night, I took it about 30 minutes before I went to bed.  I was so drowsy that I could barely think straight or hold a coherent conversation.  As I slept, I had a very horrible dream.  It really upset me and I immediately tried to forget the violence that unfolded in my unconscious state.  The next night I was on the road and stayed in a hotel about two hours away from home.  I took the melatonin again and had the worst dream of all time.  Let me rephrase that:  the worst NIGHTMARE of all time.  It was an unspeakable sequence of events that made me sick in the morning when the memory of it crept up on me.  I never uttered a word of it to anyone and I never, ever will.  It was disgusting and violent and malicious and disturbing.  I decided right then it was the melatonin talking.  I was swearing it off.  It wasn't helping me sleep, it was making the dreams exponentially worse. 

A couple nights later, though, I decided to give melatonin another shot.  Just one more chance.  I have taken it about five nights since then and it's working like a dream.  Or, rather, not a dream at all.  I'm falling asleep faster, sleeping more peacefully, and waking up more alert.  I'm not doing any crazy hallucinating like some meds make you do, or sleeping so deeply that normal things don't wake me up.  So, I'm pretty happy with it now.  I'm still having dreams, but they aren't scary or crazy.  They are still wierd, don't get me wrong, but not like they have been.  I'm not really remembering them anymore, either.  I can remember having dreams and maybe one small thing like where I was or who was in it.  It's definitely been great to have such peaceful sleep of late, though.  I haven't been on the road extensively since this last round with the melatonin, so I don't know how effective it is at keeping me awake during the day, but I'm really praying it does the trick.

If you have trouble getting your best night's sleep, I'd definitely recommend getting you some melatonin.  I've also heard that drinking cherry juice helps, too. Cherry juice may contain lots of melatonin.  I'm going to look into that.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Pregnant Pandemic

In case you don't catch on to a theme, I have a lot dreams about pregnancy and miscarriages and babies dying.  It's sick, I know, and I don't know what the root of the problem is.  But, last night I had yet another pregnancy dream and it was not full of happiness.

The dream started out on campus with several pregnant women getting very sick. After many doctor visits and test, it was determined that these women had a new disease never before discovered and it was catching on rapidly with other pregnant women.  There were so many women out spreading the disease, unknowingly, that they all  had to be quarantined in the fine arts building on campus.  This was turning into a pandemic.  Our Health Services nurse, along with the students in the Nursing Department, spent day and night in the fine arts building caring for these ladies.  Not even their spouses or other family could come visit them in the make-shift hospital. 

I did go over to check the scene out and, while there, I spoke with a woman lying on a gurney who grabbed my hand and pleaded, "You have to help us.  If you don't, no one will."  There were not enough skilled physicians helping the victims and no one else was doing anything productive, so I took it upon myself to do something about the rapidly spreading disease. 

In my office, I picked up the phone and started calling every doctor's office in the country.  "We need some good Christian nurses to take care of these women.  We need God in that place to lift the spirits and nurses and doctors to physically heal them."  After receiving turndown after turndown, I started pleading that they could send any nurses or doctors, they didn't have to be Christians.  I'd find Christian non-nurses to take care of the spiritual healing that needed to be done. 

That's about the point my alarm went off.  Alarming right?  That dream was definitely a doozy and much too realistic.  I don't ever want to have that type of dream again.  Ever.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ski Slope

The strangest thing has happened since I started this blog; I have stopped having cohesive dreams.  Before, they were very story-like, theatrical and dramatic.  Now, I am still dreaming, but only in short bursts and I can only remember little bits.  While this is kind of a plus because they aren't freaking me out so much, I have less things to write about. 

Last night's dream was a lot more in depth, just like the old days. In this dream, I was traveling to Durant to go check out their brand new indoor ski slope.  In reality, there is no ski slope in Durant.  Not even close.  But, in my dream there was and I was going to see what it was all about.

My coworker, Joe, desperately wanted to go, but I didn't want anything to do with him (remember him from "Getting Remarried?"), so I was trying to be real sketchy and secretive about the whole thing. I went to Durant by myself, got all dressed in my insulated white ski jacket, rented my skis and headed to the slope.  I stood at the top of the extremely large hill and gazed at the path before me.  It was not at all what I expected.  It was covered in moguls and dips and turns and was going to be a difficult feat.  I took a deep breath, preparing to go on this ride.  Just then, Joe showed up.  He pulled up right beside me and just grinned his really creepy grin.  I immediately took off, hoping to lose him for good.  I swerved through the moguls, swung around the curves and dipped and ducked with all my might, but Joe still caught up with me.  I started digging my poles into the ground and praying for more speed.  His little beady eyes and disturbing smirk were really beginning to give me the willies. 

Just as he was about to be neck-and-neck with me, Tate came out of nowhere and, upon catching up with Joe,  threw down his poles and shoved Joe with all his might.  The shove sent Joe tumbling ski over head down the slope.  It was a complete yardsale.  Tate and I reached the bottom of the slope and stood over Joe.  I could tell what would happen next was not going to be pretty.  So, I woke up.

I'm sure the part about Joe and Tate stemmed from a conversation Tate and I had at dinner last night.  The ski slope in Durant, though, totally came out of nowhere.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Oatmeal Crispy Cookies

I'm absolutely addicted to these cookies.  Seriously.  It's bad.  All my weight gain will definitely stem from these little oatmeal crispy cookies.  I grew up making oatmeal cookies and they were always pretty good.  I discovered this recipe and threw my old one out.  They are super easy to make and I actually keep some dough in the freezer so I don't use it all at once.  The recipe makes around 55 cookies or so, so you may want to put half the dough up for later use, too. 

Okay, they aren't the prettiest cookies.  But, who cares when they are complete and total bliss in your mouth?

Ingredients 
1 cup Shortening (Crisco)
1 cup Packed Brown Sugar
1 cup Sugar
2 whole Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1-½ cup All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
3 cups Oats
½ cups Chopped Pecans

Preparation Instructions
In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening with both sugars until well combined.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs together. Add vanilla and stir to combine. Add to the shortening/sugar mixture and mix well.
In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt and baking soda. Mix carefully into the egg/shortening mixture until well combined. Now add the oats and mix well again. Finally, add the pecans and mix well to combine.

Divide the dough in half and place each half of the dough onto a sheet of waxed paper. Roll the dough into a log, about 1-1/2" in diameter, and then wrap it tightly in the waxed paper. Now you can either chill or freeze the dough until later or you can go ahead and slice the dough evenly into cookie rounds.

When you are ready to bake them, place them on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes until they are golden brown.  If they are frozen, don't worry about thawing them out first, just bake them and extra minute or two. 


BBQ Chicken Pizza

For the last couple of days, all I could think about was how much I wanted homeade pizza.  I'd never made it before, but I wanted it and I was determined to find an awesome recipe to make into my own.  I found a recipe for BBQ Chicken Pizza and it was a definite success!  Here you go:



Crust Ingredients
1 teaspoon Instant Or Active Dry Yeast
1-½ cup Warm Water
4 cups All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
⅓ cups Olive Oil


 Toppings
2 Chicken Breasts
BBQ sauce
Fresh Mozzarella
Shredded Parmesan
Parsley (dried or fresh)



Preparation Instructions
Sprinkle yeast over 1 1/2 cups warm (not lukewarm) water. Let stand for a few minutes.
In a mixer, combine flour and salt. With the mixer running on low speed (with paddle attachment), drizzle in olive oil until combined with flour. Next, pour in yeast/water mixture and mix until just combined, and the dough comes together in a sticky mass.

Coat a separate mixing bowl with a light drizzle of olive oil, and form the dough into a ball. Toss to coat dough in olive oil, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set it aside for 1 to 2 hours, or store in the fridge until you need it.

Note: it’s best to make the dough at least 24 hours in advance, and 3 or 4 days is even better.

When you are ready to make the pizza, grab HALF the pizza dough (recipe makes 2 crusts) and squeeze the dough toward the bottom to form a nice, tight, pulled ball. You can roll out the pizza with a rolling pin if you’d like, but sometimes it’s just as easy to throw it around and pull and stretch till it feels right. And when the crust is nice and thin, lay it on an oiled baking sheet or pizza pan. Drizzle a little olive oil on the dough and spread it with your fingers. Very lightly sprinkle some salt on the crust.

While this is going on, coat the chicken in BBQ sauce and put in the oven for approximately 25 minutes.  When done, chop into small pieces. 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Top crust with BBQ sauce, mozzarella slices (can use shredded) and then the BBQ chicken.  Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and toppings are bubbly.  After removing the pizza from the oven, finish it off with parsley and parmesan.  Yum. 

I still have half the crust dough left and Tate is begging me to make Buffalo Chicken Pizza.  It doesn't sound very good to me, but if that's what he wants, that's what he gets . . . on half the pizza.  I'm going to make the other half a regular cheese pizza.  I'll let you know how it turns out!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Shot the A/C

Well, if you know me at all, you know I have terrible eye sight. Absolutely awful.  On top of this, my right eye has some kind of allergy that is prohibiting me from wearing contacts or seeing well at all, so I've been stuck wearing my glasses, which doesn't exactly thrill me. 

A couple of nights ago, I decided I was going to shoot my bow using Tate's handy-dandy indoor shooting range.  Tate had spent several days cutting arrows down for my bow and fletching them with purple veins, and I was excited to try them out.  Tate was still working on something in the living room, so he didn't hover over me while I was preparing to shoot.  I thought that I would be able to see just as well with my glasses on as with my contacts, but I was so wrong.  When I tried to focus on the pin and the target, I was having a very hard time making sense of what was what  through all the blurriness.  I focused on what I thought was the middle of the target and let the arrow fly.  Instead of hearing the normal dull thud of the arrow hitting the target, I heard a much louder, sharper ping.  I slowly lowered the bow and looked to the target for my arrow, still hoping, maybe, it was there. 

When I realized that my arrow was not at all on the target -- anywhere -- I let out an exasperated, "Oh, no."  At this point, Tate still didn't know what was going on, so I quietly laid my bow and remaining arrows on the washing machine and tip-toed into the mother-in-law room where the target was located.  I looked around the room for the black-and-white striped arrow and found the purple veins sticking out of the window unit.  Now, before you scoff too much, the target was white and overlapping the window unit, and, interestingly enough, the window unit is not in the window at all, it's mounted in the lower bottom of the wall.  So, for someone who can't see at all, it's easy to get confused.  Luckily, the sawed-off arrow went through the very bottom of the a/c and didn't hurt it. 
Now, I had to tell Tate.  I jerked the arrow out of the a/c frame and shook my head as I saw the split wood.  The tip had been shoved far into the arrow.  I very slowly started to trudge back to the living room.  With my head hanging low and my eyes barely lifting up, I handed Tate the arrow and explained what happened.  Contrary to my prior judgement, he didn't get mad or yell or chastise.  He simply asked, "Are you going to put this on Facebook?"  Of course I didn't put it on Facebook!  Everyone reads Facebook!  I'm sharing it with you, though, because not many read my blog and you get a deeper look into my life, anyway. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Blonde Brownies

A couple of nights ago after Tate and I had finished dinner, he asked me to make some dessert.  I was running a little low on groceries, so I scrounged my cookbooks to find something I could make with the ingredients I had on hand.  In the box of recipes my mother-in-law had given me I found a card for Blonde Brownies.  I thought they would definitely be perfect, and they were.  After they came out of the oven, Tate and I inhaled them.  So, be warned, you can't have just one!  Here's the recipe:

Ingredients
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup margarine
2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 & grease a 13"x9" pan (If I'd been smart, I would have used my "perfect brownie" pan.  If you don't have one, definitely look into that investment.).  Combine flour, baking powder & salt.  Melt butter, remove from heat.  Stir in sugar, eggs & vanilla.  Mix in dry ingredients & nuts.  Spread into pan & bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My Dear Tate

So I've been married, what, nearly five months now. I'm still discovering new things about Tate everyday and he never ceases to amaze me. Everything new he does makes me laugh. A friend once told us if we had a reality show he'd watch it. Tate would be the only amusing thing on the show. I just want to share some of the humorous things he does.
He moved a calf into our backyard. We have seven acres of pasture that this black monster could roam around freely on, but Tate insists she's little enough to get out of the pipe fencing. So, Precious (named by Tate's grandma) rules the backyard, cohabitating the space with Boomer, our lab/pit mix (and no, he ain't pretty) and terrorizing Rumor, my toy poodle, each time she goes out to potty/play. Another thing Precious does? She stands right outside my window at night and moos. Yep. She hasn't been too bad about it since she's settled in, but it still drives me nuts every time.

One night I hopped in the shower after dinner so I could relax the rest of the night and just chill on the couch with my man. --Oh, this story has nothing to do with Precious, by the way.--As I began to lather up my hair with my favorite shampoo I started to smell bleach. I thought surely I was mistaken, but it started to grow stronger. I jumped out of the shower and started yelling for Tate. He ran into the bathroom and I told him that the water smelled like bleach.

Tate smiled a little devilish smile and said, "Huh. So you can smell that?" He had poured bleach into the well to clean it out, but didn't think he had put enough in there to do anything, definitely not smell it, so he didn't bother with telling me. So, I had to finish washing my hair with bleach water.

After I took my bleach shower, I laid on the couch and let Tate administer an ear candle. Now, if you have never done this there are some things you need to know for this story to really be of any use. You stick the candle through a paper plate to catch the ashes and then you lay on your side, light the sucker on fire and let it take off crackling. Someone needs to be there to watch the progress because you can't see what's going on. I mean, it's stuck in your ear.

So, Tate was assigned to watching the candle. I made the mistake of allowing him to watch the Outdoor Channel while I was under his watch. He gets entirely way too into watching someone else shoot a deer. After a little bit I started to feel the heat. I tugged on Tate's shirt and told him my ear was getting really hot. As he turned around, his eyes got huge and he started to move very quickly.

"Get it out! It's on fire!" He scrambled to get the plate away from my hair, which I could see was basically engulfed in flames. And yes, it did get all the way to my hair. Had it not been for my hair still being damp from the bleach shower a little while earlier, all of my hair would have been gone, as well as my scalp. Ouch. After it was over Tate had a good laugh about it. He is no longer allowed to supervise ear candeling or anything to do with fire and me. He did once hold my face over the fire. I wasn't happy about it, but I would have probably left him if I was left with no eyebrows. And by the way, if you've never used an ear candle but are thinking about it, and I definitely suggest it under the right supervision, be sure to cut it open at the end. It's super gross, but you can see all the good work the candle did with extracting your ear wax.

Well, Tate hasn't done anything overly interesting since then, although he is always up to something. He has been getting up at 4:00 a.m. to go to work for a couple of weeks, so he normally beats me home in the afternoons. When I got home around 5:30 yesterday evening, I couldn't find Tate on the couch fletching arrows, so I went to look for him. I found him in the laundry room with bow in hand. He had constructed an indoor (bow) shooting range that stretched from the laundry room, through the "Man Cave" and into the mother-in-law room. Through the maze of doors sat the target, blocked off from sunlight, as Tate had covered all the windows with blankets and perfectly arranged each part.

People keep telling me I should put my foot down, but I think Tate is too cute. Besides, I may take advantage of the setup to get me a chance at this big daddy that we snapped pics of last yar. And, you know, if this is what makes him happy, then I am more than willing oblige. Each moment with Tate is a true adventure and I can't wait to see where each day takes us.

15 Weeks Pregnant

Don't be too schocked or excited, I'm not really 15 weeks pregnant.  I'm not pregnant at all, actually, in real life.  In my dream last night, though, I was indeed 15 weeks with child. 

It all started when I began to have really bad stomache pains and it wasn't anything I had ever experienced before.  Along with some other strange symptoms, the pains were beginning to make me worry about what was going on in my strange little body.   So, I decided to go see my doctor.  Dr. Berty was my physician at the time.  This is funny if you know me because Dr. Berty was the Vice President of my department and just finished her last day at our university on Friday before moving on to a new job.  So, while she is in fact an academic doctor, she is by no means a medical doctor -- in real life, but she was in my dream.  Confusing you yet? 

Anywho .  .  .  I went to visit Dr. Berty at her clinic which was decorated in a hunting lodge theme.  I was later to learn that she shared the clinic with several male doctors who also doubled as hunters.  That's completely irrelevant, but it's something I vividly remember.  So, Dr. Berty ran many tests on me and when she re-entered the room she smiled and said, "Congratulations, you are 15 weeks pregnant."

My jaw dropped to the floor and I was utterly speechless.  I just stared at her in shock and disbelief.  I wanted kids, but not now.  Not this soon.  I looked down at my stomache, and noticed for the first time that my protruding pudge was actually a baby bump.  All this time I had just chalked my slight weight gain to my good cooking.  I was dumbfounded.

Dr. Berty continued, "Now there is a slight problem, which is causing all the stomache pain.  The baby is not sitting right.  I'm going to give you some medicine and some therapy to try.  But, if we can't get that baby to move positions, we are going to have to take it early.  Very early.  If we don't, both you and the baby are at a very high risk of death."  The only thing that I was able to respond with were questions about her qualifications and if I could go back to Dr. Gross because he's the only doctor I trust. 

After she assured me that she could handle the stituation, but she had my blessing if I felt more comfortable with my previous doctor, I continued to stare in sheer incredulity.  I became terrified.  Tears were welling up.  She suggested I call Tate right away to come into the office so she could speak with him, as well.  Now, Tate was with my parents, who were on their way to get me so we could go to a family outing.  So, when they arrived, Tate ran in the office while my parents waited in the car.  Poor Tate had no idea what was going on, so when he heard the news, like me, he stood there in shock.  His bright green eyes nearly tripled in size and his jaw hung open.  He limply slid into the seat beside me and listened intently to Dr. Berty's instructions. 

We slowly exited the doctor's office when the discussion was finished and gathered ourselves into my dad's Chevy pickup.  We were in the clinic so long that my inquisitive parents had to ask what was going on, if everything was okay.  As badly as I wanted to hide the truth from them, I had to come clean.  I recounted the situation just as I had experienced it.  Again, silence overtook the vehicle.  Joy was being experienced, but mixed together with fear, it's hard to do anything but stare blankly at the road ahead.  The news was passed on to my sisters and brother-in-law when we arrived at our destination.  Not much was said, as everyone could sense how distraut Tate and I both were. 

After we left the gathering, Tate and I were dropped off at his parents' house.  There, we discussed the situation, yet again, with his parents, his brother and his wife.  Hugs were being given all around and tears were beginning to be shed.  For the first time that day, I had let the reality of what was happening sink in and my emotions were pass the point of controllable.  I simply looked down at my baby belly and prayed that everything would turn out okay.

That's when I woke up.  I immediately grabbed my stomache and thanked Jesus that the only kind of baby in my belly was a food baby from the awesome comfort meal I had cooked that evening.  And, now my baby fever has surely passed by .  .  . for now, anyway.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Back to School

For the first time since I was four years old, I did not have my week long dreams about going back to school.  School started today for the 5,000 undergraduate and some 1,000 graduate students.  I am among the graduate students, but it's just not the same as being a full time undergrad.  I'm only taking one measley on-line course, which hardly compares to the 16+/- hours I took every other semester. 

I am watching students, mostly freshmen, scurrying across campus, searching for their classrooms and visiting the Howdy Fair.  I miss being an undergrad so much!!  I just keep sitting at my computer looking back on all of my first days of class.  I loved meeting the new students and catching up with old friends in my classes, as well as getting together with familiar and not-so-familiar instructors.  I really miss some of those instructors.  And those students.  If I had it my way, I'd be a professional student.  Forget an eight-to-five job.  Just pay me to go to class all day!  That would make me very happy.  I love class, but not when I'm working 40+ hours a week.  Just send me back to the good old days when I went to class, went to my wonderful, laid-back student worker job and then on to my organizational activities in the evenings. 

Speaking of organizations, I really miss being so involved in Chi Omega and the Academy of Communication Arts (ACA).  They kept me so busy, but it was always fun and educational in one way or another.  There is a plethera of other activities I was involved in, but those were the most substantial and they made me feel important.  Haha.  I always need someone to need me. I'm needy like that. 

Those are just my thoughts for today.  I actually miss my yearly dreams.  I'd also like to say "Good luck!" to everyone going back to school.  Go to class and make the best out of each day!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Chi O vs. Zeta

Although I am a Chi Omega alum and no longer and active member, I still like to be involved in major productions, like Rush Week.  This week I heard a lot of things that were going on, including some banter between our chapter and the Zeta Tau Alphas.  Normally, we get along swimmingly, but Rush Week is completely set apart from the other 51 weeks.  Claws come out and competition is heated.  I actually have several very good friends that are Zetas and I treat them just like any other friends I have.  So, I was kind of shocked to have this dream last night, but I kind of understand where it came from.

The dream started at my parents house, which is the venue of many of my war dreams.  Sure enough, this turned into a war.  We were all armed with rifles of varying calibers, all ultimately deadly.  Suited in our respective Chi O and Zeta shirts, we were at a standoff with each other.  Some girls were staked out in the train car that sits in my parents' yard, while others were sneaking around the old chicken pens; and yet others were stationed on the balconies and roof.  A fire shot and all heck broke loose.  Mintutes of the fighting seemed like hours.  The Zetas were getting absolutely obliterated by our honed sniper skills.  Seriously, I think there are very few Chi Os who have ever even held a gun in real life, but probably more than the Zetas, still.  Anyway, Zetas were dropping like little primped flies all over the property.  After several minutes of conflict, the gunsmoke cleared and both sides retreated to their camps.

I was distraut about the situation since, in essence, we were all Greek and all aimed for the same goal.  And, afterall, it was completely unfair that we were so much better than they were.  So, I decided to form an agreement between the two organizations. 

I gathered together the Chi O president, Bekah, and Dare, a Zeta alum who was one of my very good friends, as well as the Zeta president. The Alpha Gamma Delta president was also present to run interference.  We all sat together at a round walnut table to discuss the issue.  We mulled over the situation for hours and finally agreed that it was best to lay aside all conflicts, set down our firearms and become neutral on the issue so that one person did not get special preference from any outside party.  We all signed the binding contract, shook hands and once again became friendly Greek members working towards the common good.  

Wow, what elaboration on the actual Rush Week events!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Jealousy

I've never claimed to be a jealous person when it comes to my man.  In fact, I'm pretty laid back when it comes to Tate hanging out with anyone.  Basically, I trust him and I have nothing to worry about except . . .

In my dream last night the jealous side of me came out.  There is a girl, who I'll call Marie, that Tate had been friends with far before I came along.  Now, there was a very big age difference in the two and that alone creeped me out.  But they were always fishing and hunting together and all the things that we do together now.  And, they were more than just friends.  They never actually dated, but there was some heavy flirting, talking and some smooching.  This wouldn't bother me if he had just up and forgotten she ever existed when I came in the picture, but they continued to be friends and that little tinge of jealousy would come up and bite me every time I heard her name or saw her perfect little juvenile face.  Fortunately, he didn't even ask to invite her to the wedding, so I know he is forgetting about her.  I mean, I know he loves me very much and he would never ever ever ever do anything wrong.  But, I am a woman, after all, and we all have this feeling towards someone.

Anyway, in my dream last night I had been waiting and waiting on Tate to come home for dinner (which really did happen last night, but he was with my dad -- nothing to worry about there!).  It was getting really late and I called and called, but he never answered.  Finally, I called his parents' house and his mother answered.

Dear, sweet Lori said, "Honey, Tate left his phone here when he came by this afternoon."  I didn't even know he had gone to Wewoka, so I was a little shocked.  I asked her if she knew where he was now and she responded, "Well, Wendy, he went to Marie's a while ago.  I haven't heard from him since."  And for some reason all I remember that happened next was something about an apple pie.  That sounds good, though. 

Random, sorry.  So after the flash of an apple pie I laid on my bed sobbing hysterically late into the hours of the night.  I didn't expect him to come home at all, so when I heard someone fiddling with the door outside, I grabbed the pistol by the bed and hunkered down in the floor on the opposite side of the bed.  I hurriedly loaded the gun and waited for the perpetrator to approach.  As I heard the footsteps nearing, my heart started beating faster and faster.  I slowly turned and raised slowly so I could peek over the bed with pistol in tow.  I saw the shadow coming closer.  Then I realized it was Tate.  No, I didn't shoot him.

I laid the gun down and started crying.  He explained that he had to go pull Marie out of the ditch and then her family invited him over for dinner and he couldn't say no.  He just stayed there with the family and hung out.  That made me feel better, but I would have rather had him at home with me than with that little wannabe man stealer.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Meatball Sandwiches

If Tate read my blog, I would not be posting this story and/or recipe.  However, because he doesn't feel the need to know everything about my life, I absolutely have to share this. 

A few weeks ago I made meatball sandwiches, and oh my gosh were they good!  I made more meatballs than I could cook at once, though, so I threw the extras in the freezer for a later date.  Now, since then, these meatballs have come up in conversation more than once, and each time I mentioned that they were uncooked.  So, a couple of nights ago I went to dinner with some friends and didn't make it home to cook for Tate, but I told him the meatballs were in the fridge and they needed to be cooked. 

When I got home Tate asked, "Why didn't you tell me the meatballs were raw?"  Are you catching on to how poorly he listens, yet?  I went on to say that I had in fact told him multiple times that they still needed to be cooked, but it's not that hard to fry them up. 

Here's where the story gets really hilarious.  Tate proceeds to explain that he made himself this awesome meatball sandwich with all the trimmings and it was not until he bit into it that he realized the meat was raw.  Can anyone say "Goooooo!"  Common sense, which I'm discovering is not so common, would have told me as soon as I saw the meatballs which were not brown or smellin' all fatty and good, that they were still raw.  It would not have taken me biting into them to get that.  Everytime I think of biting into raw meat I cringe, and gag a little.  Poor Tate, what would he ever do without my cooking?  I'm sure he'll stick to cans of chili when I'm not around from now on. 

In light of this story, I'm going to share this awesome recipe.  When actually cooked, this has become a household favorite and is super easy.  The meatball recipe is actually my mother-in-law's (I think grammatically correct it should be mother's-in-law, but who cares?), and they are awesome even eaten alone! 

Ingredients

1-1/2 pouds ground beef
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup cracker or bread crumbs
1/2 tsp garlic salt
2 eggs, beaten
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 jar (large) Marinara Sauce
optional spices -- I use parsely, basil and thyme
1 pkg. hamburger buns (you can use rolls for mini "slider" sandwiches)
Sliced Provolone Cheese

Preparation Instructions

Mix meat with beaten eggs, bread crumbs, garlic, salt, pepper and milk. Form into 2" balls and fry slowly in a skillet with olive oil. 
Once cooked thoroughly, pour in jar of marinara and add selected spices; shake pan gently to mix. Put on lid and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.

When ready to serve, place a slice of Provolone on the bottom of each roll. Spoon about three meatballs with the sauce onto the bottom bun; top with the top bun.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Swing

I just wanted to share one of my fundamentally favorite paintings.  It is by Jean-Honore Fragonard in the Rococo period, I believe.  It's titled "The Swing" and was requested by the Baron. 

I absolutely love the soft colors and swirls of the foliage framing the picture.  The tone alone creates a very romantic and dramatic setting. 

Now, the reason I do not own a copy of this is because of the conotations and story behind it.  I just can't get on board with the scandulous nature behind it.  So, in case you were curious, here's the scoop.

Like I mentioned earlier, this painting was commissioned by the Baron.  The young lady on the swing was to represent his mistress and the man pushing her was a bishop.  The bishop was later replaced with the woman's husband, who is unknowing of the Baron himself sneaking a peek up the woman's dress.  The shoe flying off her foot represents loosing her innocence as she permits the Baron to gaze at her womanhood. The cherub in the garden has a finger placed over his lips as to reference the secret affair taking place.  There are more hidden conotations that I will not explain for the blushing that has already overtaken my face.