Monday, August 30, 2010

Weekly Feature?

Well.  Despite all of my great and heartfelt resolve to spend more time blogging, I have been failing miserably.  However, there has been no lack of brainstorming on my part and I feel that that should count for something!  I believe I might have finally come up with a weekly feature to keep me coming back here, at least once a week.

Saturday, when I was supposed to be reading chapters 1 and 8 in my Global Perspectives textbook, after I actually fell asleep on page 9 out of sheer boredom, I picked up my newest cookbook.  Well, new to me, anyway.  It's the 1975 edition of Rival Crock-Pot Cooking.  Yup, I said 1975.  I got it from my brother, who got it from my mom.  (There, the trail runs cold, although I could always just ask my mom where she got it, if I was curious enough...)  Since I recently decided to start doing much more slow-cooker cooking, I've been eagerly searching out good slow-cooker recipes.  (***Tangential trail-- can I just call it a crock pot?  It's technically not one, my small one is a "Proctor Silex slow cooker," and the bigger one is a "Hamilton Beach slow cooker."  But really, everyone just calls them all crock pots.***)  I have class in the evenings on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and I don't want to come home every evening and eat junk just because I wasn't home to cook supper.  Also, I hate for Hubby and the kids to have to resort to junk because I wasn't home to cook supper.  But I also don't like the idea of eating soups and stews several nights a week.  So I was very excited to come to possess this book, with its 300+ recipes-- only a handful of which are some sort of soup or stew.

First, it's a little entertaining to read.  Some of the recipes call for things like MSG, and one recipe even listed an ingredient I've never heard of.  (I'm currently flipping furiously through the book to see if I can remember what it was, but no luck so far.)  Some of the recipes made me actually laugh out loud, like the Emergency Shelf Casserole which calls for, I kid you not, baked beans, vienna sausages, and spam. (1/4 lb of diced dry salami is optional.)  It's safe to say that that particular casserole will not see the light of day in my house.  I'm not a fan at all of vienna sausages and spam.

Anyway, as I was reading, I decided that it would be fun to blog about my crock pot adventures.  Why not?  It would be like Julie & Julia, only so much more my style!  So, welcome to (da-da-DA!) Crock Pot Mondays!  (Even though it's not an actual Crock Pot.  Yours might be, right?)  Today's meal isn't actually coming from the cookbook.  I know, weird, since I just spent so much time telling you about it.  The cookbook inspired the idea.  But I'm between grocery trips this week, so it's going to have to be something I can make with what's on hand.  And what's on hand is chicken.  And while there are more than 20 chicken recipes in my cookbook, each one calls for something I don't have.  Important somethings.  Not oh-I'll-just-omit-that somethings.  So....

Today's recipe will be chicken and rice.  Ted LOVES the rice you get with you get with your combo meal at any Mexican restaurant, and I'm aiming for it to be something like that.  I've never made rice in a crock pot before, but according to the cookbook, it's doable.  I guess I'll just have to keep an eye on it to see if I've got enough liquid, but once I leave the house, it's on its own.  So, this will be a "fingers crossed" recipe.  If it comes out yummy, the recipe will follow.

Monday, August 23, 2010

New And Exciting Happenings

I'm in love. Such sweet, sweet love!  Who is this new object of my affections? (Hint: the key word here is "object.")

It's name is hp Pavillion dv7, and if you were to say, "If you love it, why don't you marry it?" I would quite fervently reply, "Why that seems like a perfectly reasonable idea, and were I not already married to, you know, an ACTUAL MAN, I totally would!"

After years and years of hand me down computers, I finally have a brand new one of my very own. I'm STOKED!! And a little bummed that I'm leaving it here when I go to school this evening!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Pumpkin Update

Oh my gosh, two blog posts in one day?!  Stick your head outside and check for horsemen, because I think it just might be a sign of the apocalypse!!

I just wanted to offer an update on the pumpkins we planted last month. Last year, they never made it past this point, so I'm crossing my fingers that we get some actual pumpkins this fall!!

There are two of them (of the 5-6 seeds we planted... hoping that's not a bad sign!) just like this one, but the picture I took of both of them was all fuzzy thanks to all of the humidity fogging up my camera lens yesterday evening.

My Life Right Now

Ugh. Ok, so I got an email back from the financial aid office, and basically it said that I should have read my award letter in the first place because it SAYS that financial aid amounts (for pell grants) are based on whether you're full-time or part-time. Which, fine, that makes sense, and I've been a student almost a decade, and I KNEW this. But apparently their letter is worded differently than Faulkner's was. Because instead of saying something like "potential award amount, based on number of hours" or however I'm used to seeing it, it listed it as "total award." That's it. No extra qualifiers, so I assumed that that was my total award, based on how many hours I was taking. And I thought, wow, that's AWESOME, I never got that much when I was at Faulkner, this is wonderful! My life is happy and beautiful and stress free, and was that a prancing unicorn I just saw? So when it showed loan amounts I was eligible for I said "Oh no, I don't need those, I actually have enough for not only tuition and books, but even a new laptop, and thank goodness for that because THIS ONE is knocking on death's door and I'll be lucky to squeeze a full semester out of it!" So I merrily clicked "decline." And went on my happy way. :-/ .... I'd forgotten how much it sucks to start at a new school and get everything together. :-/

(The above will look very familiar to any facebook friends who have moseyed on over this way. That was a comment I left, offering further explanation of a status update.)

This is my life right now. After coasting along for nearly four years in a community college, I have finally done all I can there toward a degree (without taking a bunch of PE classes and such. Because really, at what place in my resume will it be a plus to say I aced a PE class? Who cares? I was an English Major!).  After deciding I wanted to get a degree in foreign language (I will be focusing on Spanish), I chose the University of South Alabama.  Well, "chose" may not be the right word.  It was more like, they were the closest college offering that major.  If it was up to me, I would have chosen someplace in Pensacola.  Because I just have serious issues with Mobile.  I avoid the city at all costs. Because there's nothing there that isn't also in Pensacola.  And for that matter, better in Pensacola.  I just don't like Mobile.  No offense to any Mobilians.  But the city just isn't navigator-friendly.  I rarely make it in and out of Mobile without getting lost at least once.  But I digress.  I was talking about transferring to another school.  USA has the program I needed, so that's where I'm going.

I had forgotten how much is entailed in starting college anew!!  Like I said, I had been at the same community college for nearly four years.  All of the processes for financial aid, registration, etc were a habit after the first two semesters.  I could handle all that stuff blindfolded in my sleep!  So now I have to get used to an all new system and good grief, it's taking a toll on me!!!!  Combined with the fact that I've discovered that a whole new higher level of organization is required for getting my son through 2nd grade in one ready-for-3rd-grade piece (more on my lackadaisical organizational skills in a later post, I'm sure!), and I am just one big ball of could-explode-at-any-moment!

I'm going to be taking LOTS of deep breaths in the days to come.....