Sunday, November 23, 2014

Talking Turkey

1. Are you celebrating Thanksgiving at home or elsewhere this year? With whom will you spend Thanksgiving Day?  Holidays are at home.  Lucky for me my son's football team won the last two play off games so instead of spending the holiday with his dad in Iowa, he gets to be here with me!  He gets to go to football practice every single day (except Thursday) of his week off from school and they play another game on Saturday, but it is always a blessing to have my babies with me on the holidays!  So, it'll be the five of us, my parents and a family from Josh's baseball team that relocated to Keller from Abilene last year.  I love having new friends to celebrate the holidays with!

2. What do you have for breakfast on Thanksgiving?  Thanksgiving breakfast is always a casserole that has been made in the crock pot overnight so I don't have to cook.  Want to know one of my favorites?  It's this one from Eat At Home Cooks  I mix it up because I change out the cheeses, the meat, add in green onions, etc. but this is a great place to start!

3. Do you go to a Thanksgiving parade or watch one on TV?  I love to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade at home.  It makes me happy.  I DVR it so I can fast forward through the commercials.  I hate commercials... and most commentary.

4. Do you serve appetizers, lunch, or snacks during the day?  Yes.  

Ha!  I almost just left "yes" there as my only answer.  

We eat Thanksgiving "dinner" at noon, so after breakfast, we really have no appetite for snacks.  Everyone just waits until the meal is served.  I generally have the appetizers leftover from lunch and they're out for people to snack on for supper, too.  I actually call "supper" dinner, but since I used the term dinner when referring to lunch, I decided to mix it up.  Does anyone really say "supper"?  I'm curious.  For me it is usually breakfast, lunch and then dinner... but since the Thanksgiving meal is called "Thanksgiving dinner" it screws everything up.

5. What do you wear on Thanksgiving?  Nothing fancy... jeans, shirt... though I do think it would be cool to request everyone to dress in their "Pilgrim" best.  Although, you know, if you know your history, you would know that this actually wasn't their traditional dress.  Just like any other Puritan, they just wore simple clothing... not necessarily the black/white as depicted in all the children's books.  Trivial information to help you embrace your inner Cliff Claven.

6. What's your Thanksgiving table like -- do you use special plates/silver/glasses, etc? Do you have a centerpiece? A color scheme? Candles?  Funny thing, I have china, but I never use it.  I decided I'm really NOT a "china" person.  Some years we've used really big sectioned disposable plates to eat lunch from and other years, we use our regular everyday dinnerwear (Fiestaware).  I don't have two plates that are even the same color.  Not a fan of the whole idea of matchy-matchy.

I use no "special" anything other than this old enamelware serving dish that was given to me by my grandmother.  She taught me how to cook and it was what she used every Thanksgiving so I use it, too.  I have no centerpiece, no candles, no color scheme.  No pomp and circumstance, just friends, food and fellowship.  I'm about the company and the food... not the superficial.  In fact, I actually already have my Christmas crap out!  I got antsy today and didn't want to wait!

7. Do you serve buffet-style or family-style? What do you have to drink?  Buffet style is a must because we generally have more people than space at the table so we just gather wherever and dig in!  Drinks are sweet tea, water, wine, coffee and usually some type of punch for the kids.

8. Once you're at the table, do you say grace or a toast or does everyone go around and say what they're thankful for?  Before anyone digs into anything to make a plate, everyone gathers in the kitchen and grace is said.  We've done the shin dig where everyone says what they're thankful for... but I really hated being put on the spot as a kid so I tend to not make anyone do that now.  I've done the "thankful" tree.  

9. Do you have dessert right after the main meal or later on?  Dessert is available immediately afterwards.  Most guests aren't spending hours at my house so they eat... talk... eat dessert... talk.... leave.  And this... this beautiful thing... is always on my plate!  Calories be damned!

Photo source

10. What do you do with your leftovers?  I LOVE leftovers!  I make all kinds of things with leftovers.  We always have ham and turkey leftover so I'm making tons of leftover dishes with those!  I'll be sharing those on my blog next week!

Come join in the theivery at Sunday Stealing!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Main Event

Welcome to Saturday: 9. What we've committed to our readers is that we will post 9 questions every Saturday. Sometimes the post will have a theme, and at other times the questions will be totally unrelated. Those weeks we do "random questions," so-to-speak. We encourage you to visit other participants posts and leave a comment. Because we don't have any rules, it is your choice. We hate rules. We love memes, however, and here is today's meme!

Saturday 9: The Main Event (1979)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) This is the theme from a romantic comedy set against the backdrop of boxing. Sam admits she's not crazy about boxing. What about you? Do you enjoy boxing, martial arts or wrestling?  I'm not real crazy about anything that is based around one human trying to pummel another.  Boxing... makes me sad.  Tyson ruined that for everyone because... ya know... if you're getting beaten, just bite an ear!  MMA is just beastly.  Wrestling... you're kidding, right?  You see, I grew up in the era of the VonErich clan.  And I know THAT was real (insert eye roll).  Even the non-cheese-laden wrestling bores me, however.  
Photo source
2) If you went to a dance club on a Saturday night in 1979 or 1980, you might well have danced to this. What are your plans for this Saturday night?  Sleep.  I'm truly exciting.

3) Gilda Radner was one of the original Saturday Night Live performers and in 1979, she parlayed her TV popularity into her own one-woman show on Broadway. Who is your alltime favorite SNL cast member?  Yee gads I hate choosing favorites!  I'm from an era of FANTASTIC actors on SNL.  The crap they come up with now -- I can't even watch. You can't put Steve Martin, Jane Curtin, Gilda Radner, Eddie Murphy, Chevy Chase, Martin Short, Billy Crystal, Bill Murray, Al Franken.... I mean.... they're comedy GOLD.  I will admit that I love Jimmy Fallon.  I love Will Ferrell in Elf.  Chris Rock and Chris Farley... David Spade... Mike Meyers and Dana Carvey were okay... but I just love the SNL cast of yonder year.  I don't even know any of the cast members now so they don't count.

Photo Source

And who couldn't laugh at this?  Source
4) Sally Little and Nancy Lopez were at the top of the LPGA in 1979. Do you golf?  I'll drive a cart but no, I find no enjoyment in taking a long narrow stick and trying to accuratly whack a ball the size a jumbo Gobstopper into a hole 10,000 miles away and being excited about that... in any way shape or form whatsoever.

5) The movie The Main Event co-starred Ryan O'Neal. He is better known for Love Story, and saying the line, "Love means never having to say you're sorry." When did you last apologize?  I apologized to Benji tonight for not having a washcloth ready for him to blot his eyes as I poured water upon his head so that I could wash the shampoo out.  Such a bad mom.  

6) O'Neal got his big break on the nighttime soap opera, Peyton Place. He played Rodney Harrington, the handsome golden boy that all the girls dreamed of dating. Tell us about your big high school crush.  My big high school crush turned into my big high school boyfriend.  I say "big" because the dude was like over 6'3"tall.  I'm a mere 5'2" with shoes on.  He ultimately met his future bride after we broke up and they're happily together after all these years!  It's so cool to see things play out that way.

7) In researching this week's Saturday 9, Sam discovered that The Main Event is a popular name for sports bars all across the country. Do you enjoy sitting at the bar or do you look for a booth or table?  I would prefer sitting at the bar where you can engage in conversation with people.  I feel more shut off sitting at a booth.

8) The Mane Event was the salon Sam went to for years. She switched when it got too hard to get Saturday appointments. As a consumer, what's more important to you -- convenience or price?  Yes.  I'll definitely pay more for convenience, but there is a price threshold that I"m not willing to level up.

9) More than 50 years after her first million-selling album, Streisand recently had a #1 hit with her current CD, Partners. What's the last song you bought/downloaded?  I downloaded a song by Blake Shelton called Doin' What She Likes.

Friday, November 21, 2014

When I Grow Up...

Welcome back to another edition of the November Blogathon.  Today's topic:  What did you want to be when you grew up?  How did that pan out?  Do you still have those dreams?

When I was in 1st grade my teacher, Mrs. Adams, had all of us lay on crisp white butcher paper and using a permanent marker, she traced around us.  From there, we were to cut out our giant paper doll of US and draw a "uniform" (and ultimately a self portrait) of what we wanted to be when we grew up.  That 2D version of us was sitting in our chair for Open House that year.  

I drew a police officer.  You see, both of my parents were in law enforcement.  For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a cop -- just like them!  When you're a pie-eyed naive youth who hasn't had their mind warped that cops are racist power-hungry savages out to put everyone in jail and raise your insurance rates with speeding ticket quotas, you believe they are brave heroes, saviors and, much like Superman, they fight for truth and justice.

As an innocent first-grader, that was my aspiration -- to be a police officer (or Marie Osmond, but ya know... I'll just go with my initial response and paper doll personification.)

That was, however, until I got old enough and, more importantly, smart enough, to realize what an ass whip of a job that really and truly was!  I have no idea how someone would want to do that for a living, but I'm so thankful that there ARE people who want to deal with the dregs of society on a daily basis.

So... flash forward to the early 90s.  I moved to Colorado Springs and worked in the Child Support Enforcement Unit of the District Attorney's office as a liaison with the IV-D (welfare) office.  After a while in that environment, I became completely burned out and jaded by dealing with the welfare moms who kept popping out babies like Pez dispensers, not knowing who the names of their babies' fathers.  One mom had 8 kids from newborn to age 8... by 8 different dads.  I had a dad pull up in his Jaguar, wearing some fancy-schmancy suit complete with a blinged out Rolex watch walk his mortified 16 year old daughter inside with her newborn.  Why were they there?  He wanted to put her on the welfare system for food stamps and WIC because he didn't feel it was his responsibility to care for her "bastard son."  

Therefore, when the opportunity presented itself to interview for an open position in the Communication Center at the Sheriff's Office (conveniently just as my section of the DA's office was being privatized), I jumped at the chance!  While I wasn't involved in "law enforcement," I was involved in law enforcement SUPPORT which was much better for me!  

Our commander was big on teamwork and we were actually asked to go do ride-alongs with deputies from our shift every few weeks.  This gave us an opportunity to see first-hand what they did day-in and day-out which, in turn, enabled us in the Comm Center to do a better job of supporting them.  Because of this experience, my eyes were opened to a whole new world of... well... the intensity of the job.  It was one I would never EVER want to do.

One of the major take-aways from that whole experience was that they (officers) were there for the greater good even when they typically only saw people at their worst.  And, that it wasn't anything I would ever want to do.  Ever.  Never.

I was able to witness domestic violence, drunks, gang bangers, strung-out druggies, violated children, homeless, racism, pursuits, fights, and horrific car accidents involving dismemberment and more.  I have had to help remove a passed out, drugged up heroin addict from a bathroom stall where she still had the needle in her arm.  Not her finest moment... and that's why it's always important to heed your mother's advice to always wear clean underwear.  You just never know!

Working in the Comm Center wasn't all fun and games either because although we weren't present, we often SPOKE with people when they were at their worst as they dealt with major trauma and/or life-changing events.  It was all part of the job, you see.

I've talked suicidal callers down off the ledge, assist in coordinating rescues for horses who have fallen down a ravine, helped deliver a baby over the phone, helped coordinate the rescue of a man who was starting to descend into a diabetic coma -- while driving, spoke with a woman who had just shot her husband (thanks again to CSPD for transferring THAT one 3 minutes before my shift ended!), lightning strikes, cougar attacks, vehicle repos that turned into shooting matches, meteorites, choking infants, child abuse, crazy people who had the interior of their homes covered in aluminum foil because they thought aliens were sending satellite beams into their home, officers in distress, shots fired, house fires, wolf attacks... and the random caller who misdialed and thought he was ordering a pizza from Pizza Hut.  

The best calls were always when tourists coming down Ute Pass (Hwy. 24) would call 911 because a herd of elk were blocking the road.  When you have to explain to morons that that wasn't an emergency.  We had to remain professional, but don't think I didn't pop a mute button to sarcastically ask someone if he politely asked them to move.  

This job, too, led me to become a bit more jaded in that I have always had zero tolerance for bullshit... and dealing with WHINEY ASS WOMEN complaining their ex boyfriend (whom they have a retraining order against) wouldn't leave their house... after they invited them over... and welcomed him into her home... (insert eyeroll here).  "Well, my love, you violated your own restraining order, so we will send a deputy to bring you both to jail.  Sound like a plan?  I thought so.   Buh bye."

Between the two, I would take the Comm Center job again in a heartbeat but there is NO WAY I would EVER want to be on the streets in any capacity.  My hats off to those who do, however!  

My mom was employed at the Irving Police Department for almost 30 years.  My dad was a lieutenant at Dallas Police Department and retired after 32 years.  I have no idea how they did it... but so thankful that they did.  They'll always be heroes in my eyes but neither of them think of themselves as such.  It's just part of the job.

But, I have to admit, it would have been reallllllllly cool to be Marie Osmond, cause I'm a little bit country.  Yes, I had these!  Donny was such a heartthrob with his purple socks.

Photo Source

Come link up and join us at the MRS. & the MOMMA every day this month with the #NovemberBlogathon 

Shiny Silver - hack that works!

You know those "life hack" memes you see all over Pinterest and Facebook?  Yeah, well, I saved one of them before I became a complete Pinterest whore.  

Have I ever mentioned how much I love Pinterest?!  Because I have... and I do!  I LOVE LOVE LOOOOVE Pinterest! 

Anyway, yesterday, in my "free time" (complete and utter sarcasm) I came across a life hack that I had actually BOOKMARKED on my computer.  How did I find such a creature?  Well, in my quest for complete and total organization (read that as "I am a complete OCD organization freak"), I spend about 15 minutes a day every few days decluttering bookmarks and digital files on my computer.  When I stumbled upon a bookmark, it was a broken link that I promptly deleted but I was able to ascertain what it was by the html address so... I started to Google the concept of what I had saved.  This led me to a science-based report that had evidentiary links which led to further theory-based proof experiments and yes -- my 15 minutes turned into a complete and total tangent that let me to this...

A photo posted by AprilD (@ardriggs) on
It is seriously the most amazing thing.  I don't put a lot of stock into many of those life hacks but this folks, is the real deal!

I have some jewelry that came in those BEEEEEEEEEUTIFUL turquoise boxes tied with white satin ribbons.  You know the ones I'm talkin' about!?!  

 photo b7e9f50d-8f28-4369-8e11-eeb8dda7089f.jpg

Tiffany & Co. jewelry is just the epitome of wonderfulness oozing with amazing and covered with special!  I'm not a girlie girl, but I luffs me some Tiffany & Co.  However, without proper and frequent polishing, like any silver, it tarnishes.  No one wants to wear Tiffany silver that looks like it's been dredged in suet from your fireplace.  Seriously, does this not look like your mom's cookie sheet?  Sad panda, ya'll.  It's been like this for several years.

 photo image17.jpg

But this simple process took it from bad to BEAUTIFUL!
 photo image11.jpg

So, you want to do it too?  Let me tell ya just how simple this is!

First you take some type of plastic basin.  I used an empty Rubbermaid container.  I lined the bottom with aluminium foil.  Shiny side up!  I got my trusty tablespoon and added two tablespoons of both salt and baking soda.  

I'm telling ya, this is really complicated! 

Here's the hard part.

Add your silver jewelry right on top...

 photo image14.jpg

...and then cover it all with boiling water... 

 photo image13.jpg

... and wait five minutes.  Oh... to be noted -- this part stinks.  Not the waiting... just the whole soda, salt and the idea that you're creating a chemical reaction to release the sulfur and oxidized film on the surface of your silver means that it literally STINKS!  

I rolled my foil so that it had little "handles" so that I could pull it out of the water bath, I transferred it to a bowl that had warm water in it (to rinse) it off... and then used a soft towel to wipe each off.

And look how it SHINES now!?!

 photo 557ea911-474b-4b37-bf0b-9f0ed00f023d.jpg

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Today's prompt is to write a letter of forgiveness to some one you've held a grudge against...leaving names out of course.

I'll be completely honest here... I don't hold grudges.  I've been wronged in the worst way to be wronged by people whom I was supposed to be able to count on.  I've been let down totally and had my inner circle turn their back on me.  I've had lies.  I've had betrayal.  I've had distrust.  I've had hate.  I've had jealousy.  I've had all KINDS of "bad" happen with people who were supposed to be there for me and... then they weren't.

However, I decided many years ago that holding onto a grudge isn't worth the energy.  The only person I have control over is me.  The only action or response to an action that I can control... is mine.  Hate and negativity are energy zappers.  The fastest way to have joy sucked from your life, is to give someone else power and control over your emotions. Harboring hate because of a grudge is giving someone else control over your peace.  Don't do it!

Come link up and join us at the MRS. & the MOMMA every day this month with the #NovemberBlogathon 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Snob Central

The topic du jour is to tell about your city/hometown...what to do there, little gems, best restaurants, etc.

My home town isn't far from the city where I currently reside.  I grew up in Irving, Texas and currently reside in Keller. The demographics for each are on such polar opposite ends of the spectrum that it's not even fair to mention them collectively in the same sentence. 

Truth be told, however, it's been sad for me to see the city of my youth turn into a low-income, illegal immigrant haven full of crime-ridden sub-par apartment complexes, gangs and instant payday loan outlets.  If you aren't bi-lingual, don't even think about getting a job anywhere on the south side of town because you won't be able to communicate with a good chunk of your clientele.  The neighborhoods where I roamed simply aren't the same anymore.  It's scary.  My high school had a shooting in the hallway a few years after I graduated.  There is a heightened gang activity throughout the city.  It's just sad.  I don't even like to be there anymore.  The city has taken strides to rid itself of the abandoned and condemned complexes.  I believe they are actively trying to change the face of Irving and the stigma for what it has become the last twenty years or so, but I know that it will never be the place where I felt safe to roam the streets from dawn 'til dusk on my bicycle with my best friends, Shannon and Lori.  

Where I currently live is just a stone's throw to what plenty of my south side friends have deemed "snob central."  I say that because I live in a "nice" neighborhood... I live near "nice" schools... people drive "nice" cars... not many people go without... lots and lots of excess.  I live in Keller, but I'm bordering Southlake.  This "area"... is the Botox Barbie headquarters!  Seriously... it simply has to be the plastic surgery capital of Texas!  

So what is there to do here?  Plenty, I suppose.  I mean, there are LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of chain... EVERYTHING around here.  I have a 4 year old and two boys active in scouts and sports which means if I have a free evening, I'm generally in my pajamas reading.  I'm not a crowd person... people make me a little crazy.  Drunks annoy me.  

Keller is nice and quaint... 

Southlake is... posh...  

Don't get me wrong.  

Like I said, both cities have lots to offer.... 

...plenty of shopping (which I don't like doing)

... plenty of eateries (I love my own cooking and with Crohn's it's really not fun eating out much because... well... it just isn't)

... lots of nightlife opportunities (And ya know, I'm not much of a night life person--though I've been told there are some great bars around here.  I don't drink... but even I know where the cougar bar of Southlake is as well as the swingers bar too--GROSS  (You people should be ashamed of yourselves!  Yes.... I know who you are!))

... plenty of outdoor opportunities... hiking, bike trails, equestrian facilities and face it -- we are located smack dab in the middle of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex so WHATEVER you want to do... it's around here!

As far as specific recommendations... yeah, I'm not your best bet.  I can find it for you but I prefer to hang with my peeps... keep my social situation on the down low.  It's not my thing to get glammed up in uncomfortable shoes, being around a bunch of people who are drinking far too much and shouldn't be behind the wheel of a car or who spend more time getting ready in one night than I do in an entire week.  I can't pull off fake no matter how hard I try!  Opportunities with friends... I'm game... but with three busy boys, those are few and far between and I have to be choosy!  Typically, fuzzy pajamas, a cup of Earl grey and my kindle win.  Books never let me down!  

Come link up and join us at the MRS. & the MOMMA every day this month with the #NovemberBlogathon 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

All About That Bass

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) This song is body positive. In that spirit: What physical feature would you never change, no matter what?  My eyes.  I do like my eyes.
  photo 041112155420.jpg

2) The lyrics mention how often the media uses Photoshop to present a more ideal female form. Is Photoshop on your computer? If so, do you know how to use it?  I utilize Photoshop Elements to enhance my photographs.  Therefore, I HAVE Photoshopped images before but it's never been more than to desaturate colors, remove a blemish or change tinting.  I have never utilized them to alter a person's appearance... say, like...this... this COULDN'T be Photoshopped, right?  
 photo KimK.jpg
Photo Source
3) She also sings about Mattel's Barbie doll. According to Toys R Us, this year's best-selling doll is not Barbie but Disney's Elsa. Have you seen Frozen?  Funny story.  I hadn't seen a single frame of Frozen before this weekend.  Yes, I even went to DISNEYWORLD without having been exposed to the Frozen frenzy.  However, Benji spent Friday night with his Mimi and he saw it and professed that he must have it so I picked him up on Saturday and we made our way to Target... and bought Frozen.  It has probably been played at the house 4-5 times already.  So, have I seen the ENTIRE movie Frozen? Nope.  I have, however, seen about 5 minutes worth.  And I'm ready to sucker punch a bitch if I hear that Let It Go song one more time.  

4) In the video, Meghan dances merrily around her twin bed with its pink head/footboard. Describe your bed to us.  I sleep in a king sized four poster bed with a a somewhat elaborately carved 5' tall headboard and hand carved bed posts.  I like that the posts that are attached to the footboard are able to be changed out so that they're either really tall (like the ones near the headboard) or much shorter.  It seems when the tall ones are affixed, the boys think they're to climb on.  Nothing good can come of that.

5) Ms. Trainor began writing songs when she was 11. Would you find it easier to write lyrics or music?  Lyrics... most definitely.

6) Meghan recently performed "All About that Bass" on the CMAs with country star Miranda Lambert. Who is your favorite country singer?  Ya know.... I don't play favorites.  I love country music... Dierks Bentley, Don Williams, Billy Currington, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Dwight Yokum... I could go on for hours, but you get the point.  I will have to say, however, they don't call him "King George" for nothing!  Still drool worthy....
 photo Kinggeorge.jpg
Photo Source
7) In September, Meghan had to cancel several concerts because of throat trouble. Are you battling a cold, cough or sore throat this morning?  Nope.  It's JUST "cold."

8) Meghan was born in Nantucket, MA. "Nantucket" is an Algonquian name that means, "faraway island." How did your town get its name/what does it mean?  I live in Keller which, I was told, is German and means "cellerman."  I frankly don't care enough to look it up to determine the validity of what I was told so that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

9) According to the National Weather Service, between rain and snow, winter brings Nantucket the most precipitation it sees all year. How is the weather where you are today?  It's 37 degrees in Keller.  It snowed last night.  This is odd for November.  It wasn't three weeks ago we were in the mid 80s.  Can't handle 50 degree temperate fluctuations in such a short time span and expect people to acclimate.  

Want to join in next Saturday?  Hop on over to Saturday 9.  They'll post 9 questions every Saturday. Sometimes the post will have a theme, and at other times the questions will be totally unrelated. They hate rules. They love memes, however, link up to Saturday 9!