Thursday, July 31, 2008

Viewer Mail!

Carla said...
how do you freeze melons?
July 27, 2008 8:11 PM

I say:
I scrub them clean, then peel them, then cut I cut each one in half and scoop out the seeds. Then I cut each half in half and then cut each quarter into slices. Then I put them on a rimmed baking pan (formerly known as a cookie sheet to me) in one and 1/2 layers and stick them in the freezer until they are hard (usually overnight or two). When the are frozen I take the pans out and set them on the counter to thaw for a bit so it's easier to separate them. After they have thawed enough so that my hands don't stick to the pans, I take them off the trays and put them into 1-gallon freezer bags and store them in the freezer for use over the next year.

gone gone gone I've been gone so long

Name that song and artist and I'll send you a prize.

I just got back this afternoon from a trip to Houston, thus the lack of posts since Sunday. Too bad too since I was on a roll on posts, wasn't I? Oh well.
I'll give details about the trip in other posts; I really just wanted to let you know that I'm back and the posts will start coming again.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunday Seven

Sunday 7 #24
Seven things that I am thankful for the week ending 7/26/08

1 - That the people at the church we tried out were VERY nice and welcoming.
2 - That Giselle got to do another study at the UT Children's Research Lab.
3 - That I exercised great control and didn't purchase any Doctor Who action figures when I saw them in the store. I mean really, what do I need a Martha Jones doll for?
4 - That Hurricane Dolly lost it's power once it hit land.
5 - That Marie called from Sweden and I was available to talk with her.
6 - That I got a case of melons to freeze up for eating in the winter.
7 - That our friends who've been on vacation for the last 6 weeks will be back NEXT SUNDAY!

Of course, thankful for the spouse of 2o years (next month) and the 2 great kids! And my many friends!
Not thankful that I forgot to use my 10% owner appreciation coupon when I shopped at Wheatsville on Monday.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Kid Pics Carnival #1

It's the inaugural edition of Kid Pics Carnival! I'm a day late but just back off!

Two from Giselle

And two from Paul

Are you inspired? Then join in by posting your kid's pictures on your blog then post your name and the link to your carnival ride (post) HERE <- this is a link to the main carnival page for this week and it's where all the participants are listed.


This week we went for a hike in the front 25. Paul didn't listen to me when I told him that he needed to wear socks with his cowboy boots so he got blisters. The socks are to protect from blisters and the boots are to protect from snakes. I wore my rain boots since my Ropers still aren't broken in all the way - they're ONLY 15 years old. We had fun, except for the blisters, and the plants that we picked are still alive in water.
Yesterday we went on another hike, this time at the park. It was just a short one to check if the creek had retained any water from the Dolly rain. It hadn't. The rocks were wet on the bottom but the tops were already dried out and flaky with dried mud. It was so much fun last year playing in the flooded creek each week that we really wish it could be full again.

I gotta unpack the produce from The Market and take care of this case of Costa Rican Indian melon. Gayla brought me her last pound of ground pork so now I can make another batch of meatballs - Giselle is delighted since she LOVES my meatballs.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Scary statistic!

According to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies:
Almost 4 BILLION prescriptions are filled each year.
More than 50 MILLION medication errors are made each year.
More than 1.5 MILLION injuries happen each year due to those medication errors.
More than 7 THOUSAND deaths each year are caused by those prescription errors.

Make sure your doctor is writing your prescription correctly and make sure that your pharmacist is filling it correctly.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


OH NO! Here's another post that didn't get published when it was supposed to. This one is from January 27, 2008 at 3:36 pm. I'm sure to find some more since I've never before thought to look at my list of posts to check that they published instead of just saving to draft.

The kid's grandparents left on Tuesday and all of us at Casa De Galletti just want to say to them again:

Thanks for visiting us! We had a lot of fun and we want to do it again SOON! We love you both very much and we all really enjoyed getting to play and hang out with y'all. We started missing y'all the moment that you drove away from our house on Monday night! We're looking forward to your next visit, whenever it may be.

We love you!

Joe, Natalie, Giselle & Paul

Palm Centro

I just came across this post that never got posted back on May 2, 2008 at 12:01 pm so I'm posting it now.

I returned my Palm Centro (in a most beautiful shade of pink) to the Sprint store yesterday. It just wasn't the phone that best serves my needs. In order to use the miniature full qwerty keypad I needed to keep my fingernails long and that's just plain hazardous when you've got small kids around. Since it's a non-flip phone it was more complicated to end a call one handed. I really felt that it was a kid unfriendly phone since there were so many buttons that could be accidently touched when they were using it. And while the keypad lock is pretty easy to undo, that just makes it easier for it to get undone while in my purse. I REALLY liked the ringtone options but that's not enough of a reason to keep a phone. The Sprint store didn't have the replacement phone that I wanted (a pink Sanyo flip phone) so I just got my old phone re-activated until I can get ahold of the new pink Sanyo I want.

I said "Hello Dolly!"

These are from earlier today. SOOC and all that, well, I did shrink the size of some of them but other than that...

Up until yesterday and today we haven't had many clouds this summer so seeing this up in the sky was a sure sign of Hurricane Dolly on the way.

Oh, and don't worry for us. We are WAY too far inland for hurricanes to do anything other than give us a little rain.

Well Hello Dolly!

10:49 am CDT Wed Jul 23 2008

This hazardous weather outlook is for south central texas.

Day and tonight.
Hurricane dolly will make landfall this afternoon near and just north of Brownsville. Dolly is then forecast to move west northwest across the lower Rio Grande valley this afternoon and evening...and to northeast Mexico

Tonight and Thursday.
Showers and thunderstorms will increase this afternoon and tonight as the outer bands of dolly move westward across the area. Locally heavy rainfall and gusty winds around 30 to 35 mph can be expected mainly along and to the south of a line from Giddings and Schulenburg to near new Braunfels and san Antonio...then west to near Uvalde and Del Rio. This thunderstorm activity could move further north to the Austin area and parts of the hill country later this afternoon and during the evening hours today. Rainfall amounts of 1 to 3 inches are possible today. Rain that is heavy at times could cause some flooding on low lying streets and roads or at low water crossings that are easily subject to flooding.

In addition...a tornado watch has been issued through 7 pm CDT today for Lavaca...Dewitt...Gonzales...Karnes... and Wilson counties. As thunderstorms on some of the stronger outer bands of dolly sweep across these counties...isolated tornadoes...hail to one half of an inch in diameter and strong...damaging winds are possible.

I love a good book

So, after Joe went to bed at 1 I continued to stay up. Silly me decided to pick up the book that Giselle was reading - the diary of a girl captured by Lenape Indians in 1763. I finished the book shortly before 4 am. 8 am seemed to come awfully quickly today so I stayed in bed until 9. Giselle finished the book this morning before school.

If you have a little girl that is about 7 to 12 years old then y'all should get ahold of these books. Actually, there are some about boys too so your son would enjoy them too I think. They are published by Scholastic Books and the series is called Dear America. These books will really help bring history to life for Giselle, similar to Story Of The World.

Blueberry Pancakes

So the other day I got an email newsletter from Cook's Illustrated and it had a video recipe for blueberry pancakes listed. I watched it with the kids and they immediately decided that we'd (I) would be making them for breakfast the next day. So Monday morning I made the BEST blueberry pancakes that I've ever made. We ate them naked for breakfast and lunch (the pancakes, not us). The next time that I make them, which will be soon, I'll add some cinnamon into the batter and maybe a touch more sugar.

Oh, and if you ever need to make substitute buttermilk because you don't have any on hand and choose to make it using 1 TBS of lemon juice in 2 cups of milk. Well, don't use lime juice instead if you don't have any lemon juice. Trust me on this, I know. The milk didn't thicken like it was supposed to so the cooked pancakes were a little thinner than the should have been. I bought plenty of pure lemon juice when I was at Wheatsville on Monday so this won't be happening ever again. I'm sure you're thinking "Why can't you just get one of those big green bottles from HEB?" Well, HEB doesn't carry the Santa Cruz Organic Lemon Juice that I use. They don't even carry another brand of organic lemon juice and I had used up all of mine during the liver cleanse that I did last month. But it's all OK now!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Forgot One

and one more book - it was in my purse to read to them while we ate dinner out on the way home that same night - The Railway Children by E. Nesbit.

And Giselle is already half-way through the book of the diary of the girl taken captive by Indians in 1763. I see lots of trips to the library in our future!

Half-Price Books

We finally made the trek to North-Central Austin to check out the giant-sized Half-Price Books Monday afternoon. Here is what we walked out of there with:

Roald Dahl & Quentin Blake - Roald Dahl's Even More Revolting Recipes.
Ruyard Kipling - The Jungle Book - this edition is annotated so we'll be using this for school.
The American Girls Collection - Kirsten's Craft Book - crafts from 1854.
Predators Sticker-Pedia - includes a CD-ROM with over 224 clip art images!
Dover Game and Puzzle Activity Books - Knock Knock Jokes.
Decide Your Destiny Series - Doctor Who - The Spaceship Graveyard.
Patricia MacLachlan - Sarah, Plain and Simple.
Patricia MacLachlan - Skylark - the sequal to the above book.
John R Erickson - Hank the Cowdog.
John R Erickson - The Further Adventures of Hank the Cowdog.
Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Animals.
Laura Lee Hope - The Bobbsey Twins In Volcano Land.
Uncle John's Wild & Woolly Bathroom Reader for Kids Only - wacky facts about amazing animals!
Gertrude Chandler Warner - The Boxcar Children.
Gertrude Chandler Warner - The Boxcar Children Surprise Island.
Gertrude Chandler Warner - The Boxcar Children The Yellow House Mystery.
Scholastic - Li'l Book O' Big Laughs.
Frances Hodgson Burnett - The Secret Garden.
Joy Adamson - Living Free - I'll try to get Born Free before we get around to reading this.
Walter Farley - The Black Stallion and the Girl.
JM Barrie - Peter Pan: The Original Story.
Roger Lea MacBride - Little House on Rocky Ridge - the continuation of the stories that Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote.
Roger Lea MacBride - Little Farm in the Ozarks - #2 of the above.
Roger Lea MacBride - In the Land of the Big Red Apple - #3 of above.
Roger Lea MacBride - On the Other Side of the Hill - #4 of above.
Scholastic Series Dear America - The Captive Diary of Catharine Cary Logan 1763.
Scholastic Series Dear America - The Oregon Trail Diary of Hattie Campbell 1847.
Scholastic Series Dear America - The Diary of Teresa Angelino Viscardi 1883.
Scholastic Series Dear America - The Diary of Libby West 1868.
Scholastic Series Dear America - The Great Depression Diary of Minnie Swift 1932.

I have no idea where we're starting with these books although most of them are for Giselle to read by herself in the mornings before school.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sunday School

So, what do YOU look for in a good Sunday School for your kids?

I'm unhappy with the program that my kids are attending at our regular church so we're on a quest to find a better one. I gotta get back to school right now but I'll expand on this later.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday Seven #23

Sunday Seven
Seven Things That I am Thankful for this past week ending 7/19/08

1 - That our head colds were going away by the time I had to lead the West meetings.
2 - That our food and service at Maudie's Milagro was just right.
3 - That the starter in my car died while it was in my driveway in the morning, not while in a parking lot in the middle of the day.
4 - 3 other friends showing up for Park Day.
5 - Summer School continuing to go well.
6 - Pokemon action figures being such a well received reward.
7 - Having so many churches nearby for us to choose from since I'm not satisfied with the Sunday School at our current church.

And family and kids and friends, of course.

Leave a link to your Sunday Seven in the comments!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Photography Fun

Karen at Life in the Crazy Lane is starting a Toddler Photo thing and I'm going to join in. Any others of you that let your kids get a hold of the camera every once in a while, feel free to join in on her Carnival that she's starting This Coming Friday Night. It's guaranteed to be fun viewing!

Paul's perspective of leftover pizza

A 50 year-old German stacking toy

A flower arrangement of Giselle's

The Sun-Moon-and Stars in our bedroom. The stars glow. And yes, that IS an Elvis doll up on that top shelf.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Pork and Pipian

I made the pork shoulder/pipian squash thing for dinner again and I remembered to take some pictures while I cooked it. I'll post them after dinner or tomorrow. I haven't cooked the onions yet and I'm sure that the kids will revolt if I don't make them so I better get back to cooking.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dinner Calendar - January 2008

Wow, I'm totally on a roll on these!
Thomas moved out this month so dinner was back down to usually being for just the kids, somewhat for me and occasionally for Joe. Actually, he went back on Adkins with the new year so he started eating chicken breasts at home for dinner more often. But we switched chicken, previously I always cooked up fajita-seasoned chicken breasts to order in the cast-iron skillet. Now, with the microwave oven installed, I was buying the pre-cooked breasts and Joe waves them himself whenever he wants them. With Thomas not being here regularly, Big Dinners started to include both him and his best friend/house-mate Bobby and they both have a big liking for the Tamaleo tamales so that's what we usually have for the Big Dinners.

So here is the dinner calendar for January 2008:

1 - Salmon, tortellini, black-eyed peas, rice
2 - Black-eyed peas & rice w/ turkey gravy, tortellini & ravioli w/ sauce
3 - Ate out at Satellite Cafe
4 - Hot dogs w/ buns, broccoli
5 - Tortellini, seaweed salad
6 - Spaghetti w/ sauce, broccoli, Joe had salmon & brisket
7 - Ravioli w/ meatballs & sauce
8 - Hot dogs w/ chili
9 - Macaroni & Cheese w/ mixed veggies & ground beef mixed in
10 - Leftover Mac & Cheese, spaghetti & ravioli
11 - Pizza bites
12 - Ravioli w/ sauce
13 - Ate out at Trudy's
14 - Baked potato soup (doctored a fresh-ingredient kit from HEB)
15 - Ate out at The Cheesecake Factory
16 - Homemade veal dumplings (the Asian kind not the Bisquick kind), smoked oysters
17 - Smoked sausage, cheese
18 - Asian noodle soup, veal dumplings
19 - Pigeon peas w/ rice
20 - Big Dinner - King Ranch casserole (see my archives for the recipe) and Bumbleberry Blossoms (berry tarts from Costco)
21 - Ate out at Satellite Cafe
22 - Leftover King Ranch Casserole for Paul, Vegetable broth for Giselle
23 - Chili w/ hot dogs, mixed veggies
24 - Ham & cheese sandwich - Giselle, yogurt w/ bananas - Paul, homemade cinnamon sugar cookies
25 - oops, forgot to write it down
26 - Ate out-in - Domino's Pizza
27 - Meatfest on the Grill 2008 - cube steak, fajita-seasoned chicken breasts & thighs, pork shoulder steak, okra & tomatoes, pasta & pesto, mixed veggies, smores (I told you that it's charcoal grill weather year-round here)
28 - Spaghetti w/ meatballs & sauce
29 - Lo Mien w/ veggies and veal dumpling insides
30 - Tortellini & ravioli w/ sauce
31 - Ham & cheese tortilla roll-ups

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dinner Calendar - December 2007

I'm on a bit of a roll with these, mainly because I wanted to get 2007 over and done with so I could file the calendar away. Thomas was still with us so he was joining in on meals whenever he was home at dinner time. Joe ate out most nights, and I continued with my 'grazing through dinner' meal plan. So, this is really a list of what the KIDS ate every night for dinner, unless there were veggies involved or soup because THOSE I join in on. I love me some soup! Just last week (July '08) I made some FANTASTIC chicken noodle soup; Joe even loved it and he usually only likes soup if he's sick.

'Mixed Veggies' means either a half or full 16 oz bag of frozen Central Market Organic brand mixed peas, carrots, corn and green beans. 'Big Dinner' means that we had more than just our family of 4 eating the meal, anywhere from one more person up to 4 more people.

So, without further delay, here is the dinner calendar for December 2007:
1 - Ate out-in from Burger King, leftover black-eyed peas thing
2 - Fresh meatballs (ground pork & ground Jersey bull) w/ homemade sauce, mushroom ravioli
3 - Big Dinner - Salmon, scallops, pizza bites
4 - Pasta (foot-long ziti) w/ white bean sauce (maybe from Everyday Food?)
5 - Macaroni & Cheese w/ mixed veggies, grilled hot dogs, smores (we must have just gotten the charcoal grill 2 days before - it was end of the season clearance. I know you're saying "End of season clearance? But it's December! I think the grilling season ended a while ago." But see, in December we still regularly have daily highs in the 70's (80's in the sun) so grilling out is really a year-round thing here)
6 - Big Dinner (Lisa was in town) - Tamales, broccoli, guacamole & chips, still-in-season-at-the-farmers-market bell peppers & dip, pepper & tomato soup w/ rice
7 - Macaroni & Cheese w/ ground beef and veggies mixed in
8 - Oops, forgot to write it down
9 - Pasta (star shaped) w/ sauce
10 - Pizza bites
11 - Big Dinner - Salmon, scallops, home-made Lo Mien
12 - Hot dogs w/ chili & rice
13 - Tortellini w/ sauce & meatballs, green beans
14 - Ate out-in - Summer Sausage & cheese from North Carolina (thanks Cea & Charlie), Domino's pizza (our standard order is double black olives, double mushrooms on a hand-tossed crust, Joe's is green pepper, onion, pepperoni on thin crust)
15 - Ate out at a dinner/Christmas party at a friend's house
16 - Tortellini w/ mixed veggies
17 - Hot dogs w/ chili & rice
18 - Ate out at Kerby Lane Cafe
19 - Ravioli w/ edamame
20 - Tamales
21 - Macaroni & Cheese w/ ground beef & mixed veggies mixed in
22 - Tortellini w/ meatballs and sauce
23 - Ravioli w/ meatballs and sauce
24 - Home-made black olive pizza, tortellini w/ fresh meatballs & sauce
25 - Christmas - Big Dinner - Wild turkey (the poultry not the bourbon), mashed potatoes, sauteed green beans, steamed carrots, dressing, King Hawaiian rolls, gravy, chocolate cherry cheesecake (from Aunt Nita at the Farmers Market)
26 - Leftovers from last night except we had brisket (thank you Christian) instead of turkey
27 - Leftovers from last night minus the beans and the rolls
28 - Ate out at Dynasty Buffet
29 - Tortellini & ravioli w/ meatballs and sauce
30 - Macaroni & Cheese w/ mixed veggies and ground beef
31 - Ate out-in - Domino's Pizza

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

November '07 Dinner Calendar

Thomas was still with us in November so he was at most meals. Joe, as usual, ate most dinners out with contractors and friends. And I continued to eat a little of what the kids were having and the rest of my meals were leftovers or grazing in the fridge & freezer.

November 2007 - what we ate for dinner each night:
1 - Tortellini w/ broccoli & pesto
2 - Hot dogs w/ chili
3 - Asian noodle soup
4 - Spaghetti w/ meatballs, fresh green beans
5 - Leftover spaghetti, green beans
6 - Ate out at Marie's house
7 - Big Dinner - Salmon, mahi mahi, mixed veggies
8 - Ate out-in - Taco Bell (our standard order is a Seven-Layer Burrito for each of us and the kids also each get an order of Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes)
9 - Tortellini w/ hot dogs
10 - Ate out at a friend's house for their son's birthday party
11 - Tamales
12 - Big Dinner - Seafood Fettuccine (recipe from
13 - Macaroni & Cheese w/ mixed veggies and ground beef mixed in
14 - oops, forgot to write it down and already forgot what we had 24 hours later
15 - Ate out - Paul and I at Taco Bell and Giselle & Joe at Abuelo's
16 - Leftover Macaroni & Cheese
17 - Pork steak, rice, mixed veggies
18 - No Dinner - the kids were sick
19 - Asian noodle soup
20 - Ate out-in - Sonic (Grilled Cheese) and made steamed clams
21 - Pasta (skinny lasagna noodles) w/ fresh home-canned sauce and meatballs
22 - Thanksgiving - Turkey, dressing, steamed carrots, chunky mashed potatoes (w/ garlic and cream cheese mixed in), fresh green beans, cranberry sauce, ayote squash, pie (didn't write down what kind of pie but it was probably from Aunt Nita at the Farmers Market)
23 - Leftovers from last night
24 - Hot dogs w/ chili
25 - Pork pot roast (onions, potatoes, carrots)
26 - Mixed veggies, green beans, mashed potatoes, dressing, Thomas had salmon
27 - Ate Out at Satellite Cafe
28 - Black-eyed peas, rice, stewed tomatoes, mixed veggies
29 - Tamales, fresh broccoli
30 - Hot dogs w/ chili & rice, leftover black-eyed peas mixed w/ stewed toms & veggies & rice

Monday, July 14, 2008

October '07 Dinner Calendar

A chronological listing of what I made for dinner for the kids (and sometimes me) each night in the month of October 2007. When Joe eats dinner at home it's usually chicken breasts or salmon fillets. I sometimes have a little of whatever the kids are having, other times I'll have some of my green juice or leftovers from the previous night. In October Thomas was still living with us so he joined us for dinner most nights and he ate what the little kids ate.

1 - Big Dinner - Shrimp, salmon, crab cakes, tuna, mixed veggies
2 - Tamales, fresh broccoli
3 - Tater tot casserole (NOT your standard version - I refuse to use cream of *anything* soup)
4 - Leftover tater tot casserole, tortellini
5 - Chicken Fajitas
6 - Ate out at Chick-fil-A as part of a birthday party at the mall
7 - Hot dogs w/ chili
8 - Black-eyed peas w/ okra served over rice
9 - Ate out at Chuy's Tex-Mex Comida Delux
10 - Ate out at Marie's house - hot dogs and tortellini
11 - Big Dinner - Salmon, shrimp, tamales
12 - Hot dogs, pizza rolls (I know, I went through a phase here for 2 months where I served the kids 'normal' food. Then I kicked the pre-packaged habit and got healthy again.)
13 - Pizza rolls, mixed veggies, tortellini
14 - Macaroni & Cheese
15 - Beef Stroganoff, 3 bean salad
16 - Yogurt & granola
17 - Big Dinner - Salmon, tuna, mixed veggies
18 - Ate out (didn't write down where)
19 - macaroni & Cheese, chocolate cake
20 - Tamales, eggplant w/ okra over rice
21 - Tortellini w/ meat sauce made from the Jersey bull that got Edgar
22 - Big Dinner - Salmon, perch, shrimp, mixed veggies
23 - Chicken Alfredo
24 - Ate out at Buffet Palace
25 - Leftover tortellini
26 - Leftover chicken Alfredo
27 - Macaroni & Cheese w/ mixed veggies mixed in
28 - Asian noodle soup
29 - Big Dinner - Salmon, mahi-mahi, shrimp, mixed veggies
30 - Leftover mac, veggies & cheese w/ ground beef added in, leftover Asian noodle soup
31 - Tortellini and a BOATLOAD of candy

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Since my post a few months ago, what-happened-to-1988, I've had several people come to my blog because they too are having trouble remembering or finding the year 1988. Strange.

What can I remember from 1988?
Right around the 4th of July, a group of us went to King's Dominion in Richmond, VA for the day. One of us was on crutches due to an on-the-job accident (he was a bicycle courier) so ALL of us got to go to the front of EVERY line and ride on the coaster or whatever for as many times as we wanted!
The Bon Jovi album called New Jersey came out.
Holly and I saw a whole lot of concerts. I was going to say that we saw The Cult with Metallica at the Capitol Center but that was in 1989.
I was still working at Kemp Mill Records in Georgetown.
Def Leppard was still on tour for Hysteria.
Ronald Reagan was still president so there was still a Rock Against Reagan concert on The Mall before the 4th of July.
The Iran-Contra thing and all that mess was going on.
The Last Emperor was STILL playing in the movie theaters - gosh that was a LONG movie!
Andy Gibb died - I used to have his poster hanging on my ceiling when I was a pre-teen.
The girl from the movie Poltergeist died.
Chet Baker died. There was a cool documentary about him 'cause he was a famous jazz trumpeter.
The guy from The Red Hot Chili Peppers died - I saw them both before he died and after he died. "True men don't kill coyotes."
Roy Orbison died just before the Traveling Wilburys went on tour.

Oh, and it's the year that I met my husband, Joe. Which kind of overshadows everything else that happened that year.

Sunday Seven #22

I haven't done a Sunday Seven since the Fall, it's about time to get back into the groove.

Sunday Seven is where every Sunday you post 7 things on your blog that you are thankful for (or whatever) from the previous week. If it's near a holiday, you could post 7 things that make that holiday meaningful for you. If it's near a birthday, you could post 7 things about that person that makes them special to you. The possibilities are endless.
The official Sunday Seven site is a bit dormant recently but that doesn't mean that you can't still share your thankfulness. Feel free to leave a link to your Sunday Seven in the comments.

Sunday Seven #22
Seven Things That I Am Thankful For This Week Ending July 12, 2008
1 - My kids being able to go to more than one church's Vacation Bible School every summer.
2 - Vitamin C being the cure-all for every ailment.
3 - Joe letting me stay in bed all day last Sunday.
4 - The love of music that my kids have learned.
5 - A never-ending supply of Pokemon products on eBay.
6 - Diane taking my kids to VBS every morning.
7 - My new blender because it's working great.
*as always, I'm thankful for my family and friends but I like to acknowledge them anyway.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

good drink

Wow! 12 ounces unfiltered apple juice, 2 oz Brugal Anejo Rum, 12 oz can of Blue Sky Organic Ginger Ale, 12 oz crushed ice. Shake it all together and leisurely ENJOY!

not for us

The kids now know that not all packages addressed to Joe are really FOR Joe - sometimes they are for me/them. And we've gotten so many packages lately that they automatically think that it's for them when when it's addressed to Joe.
So there were 2 packages laying on the front porch when we got home from The Market and when they saw that one was for Joe they got ALL excited, "Mama, there's a package for us! It says 'Joe' but I just know it's for us!" The other one was for our friend Chris but that just confused them. Unfortunately for the kids, I haven't bid on or won any auctions in the last week so I knew it wasn't for us. "Sweetie, I haven't won anything so it's not full of Pokemon cards or action figures or Playmobil. It really IS for Daddy." They had the saddest looks on their faces after that.
They don't realize how much Pokemon stuff I have stashed away.

Friday, July 11, 2008

no go on the park but yes on tea

Both kids vetoed the park after lunch. So I made a BIG pot of tea (chamomile, mint, cold remedy, decaf green plus some loose hibiscus and fresh mint) and they drank that all afternoon as iced tea and one more big glass warm for dessert after dinner.
I might be in for a flood in the bed for the second night in a row.
Time to disburse the Pokemon cards for the night and put the kids to bed.
See ya!

Don't feel like it

I don't feel like posting today. Wait, I'm posting this so that doesn't mean anything.
The kids are feeling a bit ill from VBS this last week and aren't sure if they want to go to the park. WHAT!? I don't want to miss 2 weeks in a row!
They HAVE to get out of the house and into an UNSTRUCTURED atmosphere SOON! Forget what they want, after lunch we are going no matter what they say or whine about!
I'm off to make a ham & cheese sandwich for Giselle and fruit-milk for Paul (probably a quesadilla too).

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


We sure do love us some biscuits 'round here, Biscuit Brothers that is!

We had the 2 boys over for dinner tonight - tamales and pork loin as usual and a repeat of the seafood scampi pasta. I think I'm gonna have some of the leftover Costa Rican melon right now!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

long day

I mowed the lawn while the kids were at VBS
I put away all of Joe's laundry (don't ask about mine)
I watched a movie
I vacuumed the house
I made breakfast, lunch and dinner
I got signatures from the neighbors for an important letter
I spent 4 hours at city hall fighting to preserve the integrity of our neighborhood for the next 25 years.
And now I'm going to bed

Monday, July 07, 2008

Pictures of the Kitchen

As promised, here are pictures of the kitchen as it currently looks.

Here is the new, black and brushed stainless steel, happy couple: Mr Krups and Mrs Oster secluded in their corner by the sink.

Here is the kids' white stove with their white mixer and play food and my old pots.

The white Samsung refrigerator with the broken switch in the LED readout.

The Kenmore white ceramic-top, 5 burner (two of them multi-sized) stove and 7-cubic-foot oven with a viewing window. Note the white ceramic storage canisters between the stove and fridge.

And the Maytag white dish washer located below the white Sunbeam mixer. Can you see the adorable white butter keeper hiding behind the mixer? It's too hot in my kitchen for me to use it during the summertime but I LOVE having it around in the fall and winter.

Some day, all of those small appliances will be covered by matching white (?) covers. Some day.

More Pictures - food

Here is a shot of the chicken casserole after it was all assembled.

Here's a closeup showing the mini-lasagna noodles, peas, carrots and chuncks of fajita chicken.

Always remember to write instructions on the outside of the package so they know how to reheat it. And a list of ingredients is helpful in case of food issues.

Here's the finished lasagna. Sliced mozzarella on top.

And the directions for reheating it. Since I put a layer of plastic wrap on top of the lasagna so the tomato sauce wouldn't eat through the aluminum foil, I was sure to put a reminder about THAT on the foil - "Remove plastic wrap BEFORE reheating in the oven!"


Here is most of our Best of the West family: Geronimo, Josie West, Janice West and Jane West. Princess Wilflower was asleep in the bedroom with her horse at the time of the picture.

On windy days we prefer to fly our own parachute! Actually it's our parasail and Joe just sold it. It's one of those ones that you pull with a boat and since we don't have a boat anymore it's kind of silly for us to keep it.

Words of wisdom

The kids started another week of VBS today and once again I reminded Giselle of one of the most important rules of life:
The best way to make a friend is to BE a friend!

Day Off

I had the day off yesterday (first time in 7 years) so I just layed around in bed and did not much of anything except sleep. I didn't check other blogs and didn't post to this one. I went back to work at 8:30 pm after the kids went to bed so that I could finish up the laundry that I started on Saturday.
And I ate the rest of the blueberry grunt.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

quotes I like right now

"I am thankful for the mess to clean after a party because it means I have been surrounded by friends." — Nancie J. Carmody

"Every day may not be good, but there's something good in every day." — Anonymous

"What flatterers say, try to make true." — German Proverb

"At every party there are two kinds of people — those who want to go home and those who don’t. The trouble is, they are usually married to each other." — Ann Landers

"The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet." — James Oppenheim

"Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials." — Lin Yutang

"Forgo your anger for a moment and save yourself a hundred days of trouble." — Chinese proverb

"You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving." — Anonymous

"If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?" — Dogen

"One half of knowing what you want is knowing what you must give up before you get it." — Sidney Howard

"When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves." — Victor Frankl

"Patience is something you admire in the driver behind you and scorn in the one ahead." — Mac McCleary

"The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live." — Flora Whittemore

"Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit." — Aristotle

"To love abundantly is to live abundantly, and to love forever is to live forever." — Henry Drummond

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." — Henry David Thoreau

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Independence Day

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. ....
... that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
John Hancock
New Hampshire:Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
Massachusetts:John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Connecticut:Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
New York:William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
New Jersey:Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
Pennsylvania:Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Delaware:Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
Maryland:Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia:George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
North Carolina:William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
South Carolina:Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
Georgia:Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Now go out and find a copy of 1776 and watch it, because you should do that every year on this day! "The eagle inside belongs to us!"

Thursday, July 03, 2008

food delivery

I made a lasagna casserole and a chicken casserole. I took after pictures but no during, one of these days I'm going to remember to take the during pictures. I also brought them some frozen tortellini and ravioli, 2 jars of my homemade pasta sauce from Nov 2007, some orange and red bell peppers and some cucumbers from the market, and a half pint of the blueberries.

On the way home we stopped and bought some fireworks - sparklers and snakes and chickens. Giselle had a good point that tomorrow night they'll be worn out from the park and the pool and watching the City fireworks so we should do some of ours tonight. We did a package of snakes when we got home. I guess that we'll do one of the chickens tonight before bed.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

food update

Yesterday I took the half case of ugly heirloom tomatoes (pink brandywine, Kellogg's breakfast, pineapple and yellow brandywine) that Edgar gave me at the market and finally made sauce with them. Actually, I made paste with them. Canning that was a new adventure. It was thicker than the usual sauce I can so the air bubbles rose differently in the jars and they all didn't make a seal on the first go around. Then I took a quarter cup out of each jar, making it 7 1-pint jars instead of 6, and tried again with success. Well, success with all but one that refused to hold a seal, even when I stuck it into the fridge to cool. So that's the one that Paul ate half of for lunch today and we used the rest of it at dinner on top of our mushroom ravioli.

Well the kids had ravioli, I had 3 cucumbers and a serving of our dessert - fresh organic strawberries and blueberries with fresh whisked cream. I got the strawberries and blueberries at HEB this afternoon - the blueberries were on sale for $2.99 for a half pint (Organic from Cleveland, TX) so I bought 18 of them. I think I'm going to make the Blueberry Grunt recipe that I saw in my latest issue of Cook's Country with some of them for the Forth of July.

Oh, while the tomatoes were cooking down yesterday the kids and I made meringues. Wow, were they ever easy and they sure disappeared FAST! We were all amazed that just 2 egg whites, some cream of tarter, some vanilla and some mint and 1/2 cup of sugar could make 24 cookies. Once I got the whites all whisked up it looked much more substantial and the kids said that I could do all the whisking from now on. We really liked the touch of mint that I added; they tasted like roasted mint marshmallows. I'm sure that I'll be whisking those up again real soon!

And the wine DID come from HEB and I got 6 more bottles of it today - it'll be my gift wine to take to other people's houses for the summer.

And I got the rest of the fixins to make two casseroles for my friend with the newborn baby (#3) so I'll be making those tomorrow. And then I get to go SEE THE NEW BABY while I deliver the food!

And the new blender worked GREAT yesterday; I'm pleased with it so far.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Good Wine!!

I'm finishing off a bottle of wine that we opened last week at the Big Dinner and, WOW!, it's a good wine! It's a 2006 Vouvray from Barton & Guestier made from Chenin Blanc grapes in France. See, in France a wine is referred to primarily by where it's grown, not primarily by the grapes used to make the wine. Yep, the French are like that.
I got this for $7.99 at HEB a few weeks ago or else at Sam's Club, I don't really recall which but I'm going to look through my receipts and find out because I want MORE of this. It's an excellent summer wine. The back of the bottle says "A lovely wine with floral notes, peach and pear flavors and a refreshing finish. As an aperitif or with cheeses and light desserts." But honestly, it was good with the scampi pasta last week and it's good with my raw orange bell peppers and dip.

So, be advised that this is a good wine and try to find some for yourself.