Friday, February 27, 2009


Act One: A Central Texas university parking garage booth. Dad is paying the parking garage fee.

Cashier (a good looking guy, catching L's eye): "Hey"
L: "Hey"
Dad: "HEY!"

* * *

Act Two: Driving away...

L: "I really like this school!"

(New) Moon over Lockhart

From the Kreutz' parking lot. . .

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Chocolate Bliss Bites

This recipe is from the Prevention "Desserts" magazine booklet, on page 57.
The cookies turned out yummy, but I had difficulty folding the cocoa into the beaten egg whites without deflating. Was it too much dry stuff (3/4 cup with the cocoa and sugar)? It was hard to get it all mixed so the cookies were a little streaky. Good, but not picture perfect. And very chocolatey. My grade: B I think there are better and easier chocolate meringue recipes out there.

Netflix Stars - Nights in Rodanthe and The Pink Panther

We are switching back to 3 at a time instead of 4 until summer again. Not only will the extra money stay in our pocket, but with the March madness and spring activities, there's just not enough time. And with dogs like these, no time to waste. L's classmates nicknamed "Nights in Rodanthe" the "menopause movie" but they loved it. Go figure. It wasn't that bad, but just didn't live up to the hype for us. We give it a 2.5. The "Pink Panther" was just dumb. We let it ride for almost 45 minutes before we tossed it back, too. And that mustache on Steve Martin was just creepy - shudder!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New addition to the family!

An early birthday present. And yes, I got it "vaccinated" right away with Norton! It's on sale on their website and I found a 20% off coupon code that worked - 20offNIS09. Definitely worth every penny. It was the first thing I did once I got it set up. I bought the Mini at ...and as an extra bonus you get 2 year warranty and free concierge tech support! LOVE it! It's cute and zippy. (And bug free!). The battery lasts longer than its larger siblings - almost 3 hours! The Wi-Fi dowser browser is powerful strong. Imagine my surprise when I turned it on and it found not the usual 3 but 8 signals near my house. It scoots and loads pages quickly. And so far has taken everything I've loaded on it - Norton, Picasa, iTunes...and they all run great. T keeps calling it a "Kindle" I think it is one Hello Kitty decal shy of being a Sanrio product!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Upcoming Jo-Ann's Pattern Sales

McCall's $1.99 - February 27/March 1
Vogue $3.99 - February 27/March 1
(and 50% off Olfa)
Butterick $1.99 - March 5/7

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Cancer Diva

Cancer Diva, Terry Hayes, passed away Sunday, February 15 at the age of 42. Click here to read more. I started following her blog when I saw her interviewed on TV. What an interesting person and what a loss. . .

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Beg, Borrow...

Oh, my computer is still so sick. To quote my IT friend, "it's really messed up!" When they admit that, you are really in trouble. Until its return, I'm here, but with limited computer access either via the library or sharing the remaining home one with two other people. Well, I grew up in a one bathroom house and we only had one car - Horrors! Traumatic! Unfathomable! We can schedule the computer the same way as back in the day. . .

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Love is a Rose

Earlier this week, I went to Costco and bought a 2-pack of Jackson & Perkins roses for only $9.88; which I thought was an outstanding deal to begin with....and lo and behold this morning, the Houston Chronicle's Star section features the same roses! I got the "Cinco de Mayo" and "Pink Promise" two pack. The third 2009 All-American Rose Selection Winner, "Carefree Spirit" is also at Costco, but you'll get two of them instead of two different ones. I had no idea these were winners, I just got them because I liked the colors. An added bonus, a portion of the "Pink Promise" sales will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Betty Crocker's Oatmeal Brownies

From Betty Crocker's Whole Grains - Easy Everyday Recipes
ISBN 978-0-470-08060-3 (2007)
An interesting combination - but while you are adding whole grains (oatmeal), you are also adding brown sugar and butter! Hmmm. Sort of healthy, but very yummy. And a little piece goes a long way so you are less likely to overindulge. These can only be positive trade offs, right? Instead of making a 9 x 13 panful, I cut the oatmeal ingredients in half and used one package of Costco's Ghiradelli brownie mix, following the mix directions, not BC's.

Done and Done

Finally, five months after Hurricane Ike! The inspector came out yesterday to verify and report back to the mortgage company that yes, we did complete all the repairs to the house - duh! Now begins the fun once again of overnight mail, faxes and phone calls trying to get the remaining 15% of our insurance money they held back. I'll spare you the final repair photos of the repaired sheetrock over the water heater in the garage and the painted baseboards..and the upgraded ($2.38/two pack at Lowes) brushed nickel-finished doorstops. Sweet!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Warily. . .

I'm still looking at the computer with suspicion, but most of the nasties are gone. The fake Google page still pops up, but I can "Texas Two-Step" around it and get to the real one with a few extra maneuvers.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Today only - Ground Chuck at Super Target only 89 cents

At my local Super Target, the one-pound ground chuck (80/20) packages are only 89 cents today! Probably because the Sell-By Date is February 9. That still leaves you time to repackage and freeze, cook some burgers or brown and freeze for upcoming meals. Moooo-ve quickly to grab this deal!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Go Red for Women

Today is National Wear Red Day (click here for more information about the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women campaign)

I found these Yankee Candle Macintosh-scented "car jar" cards at Bed, Bath and Beyond - love the apple smell. They have a bunch of neat "red" scented items, including cherry, strawberry, watermelon and cranberry.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Slow-Cooked Baked Sweet Potatoes

I got this idea from the Fall issue of Prevention's Slow Cooker Recipe Book-let on page 7. Which I couldn't find last night, trying to clear the areas for painting yesterday. But I found it this morning. So instead of combining canola oil (1T), trans-free margarine (1T melted), honey (1T), water (3T), cinnamon (1t) and nutmeg (1/4 t) to coat the potatoes (4), I just rubbed a little shortening on the skins, pierced with a fork and wrapped in foil. Cook on Low 4 hours if small, longer if larger. I liked how they turned out. An easy way to enjoy sweet potatoes. They had two good suggestions what to do with the crocked potatoes -- Puree 2-3 peeled potatoes with 2 cups milk or broth in blender until smooth and microwave for a quick, easy soup. You can also sprinkle sliced potatoes with brown sugar or honey and cinnamon, dot with trans-free margarine and bake for 15-20 minutes at 350. Though my potatoes were a little too mushy to slice, scoopable-yes; I bet the mushies would still work.

Final Stage

Can it possibly be true that almost five months after Hurricane Ike all my repairs will be complete?! They are painting ceilings, baseboards and sheetrock-ing this week. Thus begins the "fun" next week of trying to get the rest of my MY MY money back from the mortgage company. Sort of like the stimulus plan of the hurricane type (if you listen to talk radio). . . Not that I do all the time, I really enjoy Dennis Miller's show and then the station before and afterwards has the crazies on in the interim.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Money Monday - Egg-stra Cheep!

I buy two kinds of eggs - the healthier (and pricier) kind and the cheap ones. I'll use the Eggland or Omega 3 ones from Costco when I need a whole egg or the yolk, and the cheepies for the egg white recipes.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Who are these people and what are they doing here?!

As you can obviously tell, I have a rather eclectic group of friends and fellow bloggers in the right alley. I thought each week on Sunday I would randomly showcase one from the list and why they are there. I love to discover new blogs, and I think you will enjoy the introduction for new places to visit in Bloggy Land.

This week - Thimble A fun blog with a little bit of everything - crafts, sewing, recipes and great links to other creatives.

Floors - Before and After. . .

Last stop - ceilings and painting!

Git'cher Grout On!

Feeling woozy from the grout sealant! This from a girl who used to love the smell of mimeograph test sheets back in elementary school. Hoo-eey!

Time to go wipe off and do the last section. Hit me again!

Netflix Stars - Burn After Reading

1/5 - I usually love the Coen brothers' movies but we all hated this one, yet we kept watching thinking it would get better. Despite a great cast and their potential, this movie was just odd and tasteless, even by Coen standards. The F-bomb is uttered 60 times. Not that I counted, lost track actually, but it appeared as trivia on another website. I only gave this a one because of Clooney/Pitt/McDormand. Malkovich seems typecast for his role. . .

It's Puppy Bowl V!

Need a break from the Super Bowl? Then watch the real (water) bowl - Puppy Bowl V! Check out this year's line up, looks like lots of contenders for MVP - Most Valuable Puppy. Unfortunately there aren't any bulldogs this year. Word is also out that the Kitty Half-Time Show has cleaned up its act!