Monday: Hot dogs & tater tots.
Tuesday: Stuffed Shells, salad and garlic bread.
Wednesday: Hamburger Helper & a salad.
Thursday: Fish sandwiches and a noodle side dish.
Friday: Going out for some Chinese.
Saturday: Leftovers/WDW (depending on the weather).
Sunday: Roast chicken, mashed potatoes & gravy, and steamed zucchini.
Notes from last week's menu: we ended up doing a couple of swap-arounds. Wednesday & Thursday flip-flopped. And steak sandwiches got nudged to Sunday when we decided to check out the pig fest on something of a whim.
The logo at the top will link you to more menu plans!
Monday, January 31, 2011
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Sometimes I have words on his birthday. They flow from my memory bank, out through my fingertips, effortlessly. Sometimes a snippet of song lyric plays in my mind as it captures just an essence of who he was. And sometimes, like this time, I just flip through the photos, recalling his booming laugh, the contrast of his giant presence and quiet demeanor, his mannerisms. My mind skips along happy memories and I feel blessed, on the anniversary of his birth, that I was blessed with the gift of my Gramp.
And I smile.
Outside my window... squirrels chase each other around the tree in a frenzy, fighting over a peanut. Never mind that there are a half dozen more laying on the ground.
I am thinking... about my Gramp today. It would have been his birthday.
I am thankful for... always having enough food, to the point that the weekly menu often requires a "leftovers" day to prevent waste.
From the kitchen... there will be steak & cheese sandwiches this evening. We needed something that *wouldn't* create more leftovers, and these are easy. Plus, it uses up something that was hanging out in the freezer long enough.
I am wearing... yoga pants and a Red Sox t-shirt. It's my anytime-I'm-just-hanging-out-at-home uniform. This time it's a classic Red Sox tee: navy with Red Sox in an arch across the front.
I am creating...a newly revised To Do List system for 2011. 2010's needed a little tweaking. January is a great time for evaluation & adjustment, with a brand new planner for a fresh clean slate.
I am going... to get the laundry from the dryer in four minutes. I will not miss schlepping to the laundry room, come the day I no longer need to. Having your own laundry facility is highly underrated.
I am reading... a little of this, a little of that.
I am hoping... for the best, in many many situations, most of which aren't my own.
I am hearing... squirrel claws scampering around the tree outside my window, a car starting and the daughter of a neighbor playing some childhood game of pretend. I can't figure out if someone else is out there with her as well or if she is caught up in her game & talking to herself.
Around the house... are some things that need my attention. I am pretending I don't see them right now but they're going to win. They keep staring at me.
One of my favorite things... is pausing to take in the scenery.
I don't understand... the humor in most episodes of The Office or Seinfeld.
I wish... the NFL could find a way to make the Pro Bowl less lame. It always is & I bet tonight's will be no different. MLB really does a great job with theirs. I'm not even sure what they could do to improve football's but I know it needs it, badly.
A few plans for the rest of the week... stay on top of my To Do List, file my taxes, decorate for February (some snowmen come down to make room for a bit of pink & red to brighten the place up), and considering a trip to Animal Kingdom while the weather is still cool & the animals are more active, as long as it doesn't rain.
A picture to share...
Yesterday, we decided to head over to a Pig Fest on the other side of town. I don't know why I didn't think to grab my camera, but I didn't. Until I started seeing all kinds of fun opportunities. So I was left with just my crappy little cell phone camera. Rather than call it a loss, I decided to collage it instead. There were delicious eats (pulled pork sandwich, strawberry shortcake), amusing signs all over the place advertising all the different barbecue booths, entertaining sights (fried gator tail?!) and the glorious sight of a baseball field getting prepared for Spring Training! Someone really needs to remind me that I always wind up kicking myself when I don't bring along my camera. It's easy enough to just leave it in the case if nothing catches my eye, but I cannot make it materialize if I leave it at home.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
1. If you could bottle something in nature and sell it, what would you choose?
The scent of orange blossoms. Sure, there are lots of products that *try* to capture it--and some even come close--but there is none that I have found have managed to truly capture it to perfection. My second choice would be somehow bottling the unique silence of a snow-covered world.
2. What are you drinking?
Water. Pretty much my answer 98% of the time.
3. How old were you when you stopped believing in Santa Claus?
You assume that I stopped believing. What I did was learn the true identity and meaning of Santa Claus. That made it even more magical for me.
4. What's something that gets better when the newness wears off?
Jeans, when they are broken in just right. And friendship.
5. If you could go on a road trip with any person (dead or alive) who would you go with and where would you go?
I would love to go on a road trip with my Gram & Gramp. Each Autumn, they would load up their car and take a month-long cross-country road trip to California, Texas and Florida, stopping to see relatives and the sights. I would love for them to show me the places they would talk about long after returning, sharing the memories that came back as familiar landmarks came into view.
6. What first got you started blogging?
I can't recall how I found it, whether she shared a link or if I merely discovered it one way or another, but I saw Chele's blog and was immediately intrigued.
7. What room in your home is the most cluttered?
My living room. It's where the bulk of the "living" happens.
8. How cold does it have to get for you to turn on the heat?
Whatever the temperature outside, the inside would have to dip below 70 before I would spend the dollars (and put up with the smell of dust burning off) to run the heat. I have to run my air conditioner from May through October. I staunchly refuse to run my heat unless absolutely necessary. I live in *Florida*.
9. How warm does it have to get for you to turn on the air conditioning?
Probably mid-80s? I set the air to 80 when I'm at home, to 88 when I'm not so it doesn't run all day. I try to hold off as long as I can, with fans & open windows, because I know once air-conditioning season starts, it sticks around for a good long time.
10. If you were suddenly told you had to change to your career choice from age ten, what would you be doing right now?
Teaching elementary school.
11. What would you like to whine about today?
Not a thing. The weather is perfect. I'm smack in the middle of the weekend. And when the stupid laundry room washer ate one of my favorite socks, T hopped right online & replaced it for me and then some.
12. What is your favorite board game?
Hmmm... I've loved Monopoly since probably the second or third grade. And I always had fun playing clue. Does Scattergories count as a board game?
13. What kitchen gadget do you use the most?
While the Slap Chop gets used the most, it is rarely me who uses it. (Someone else finds it great fun & has put an unofficial regulation on the use of it. LOL!) I think I will have to go with... my citrus trumpet.
14. What kitchen gadget would you most like to acquire?
The list is not short. Heh. But the most? If I had the funds and the actual kitchen space, it would be a KitchenAid Stand Mixer. In Candy Apple Red. With a glass mixing bowl.
15. How many bottles of wine are in your home right now?
Four. Two small bottle of white. One small bottle of red. And a bottle of cooking sherry. To be fair, they are all here for the purpose of cooking. I don't drink much wine at home, mostly because I can't finish a whole bottle by myself.
16. What color do you look great in?
I know it isn't yellow! I get the most compliments when I wear a deep red, chocolate brown or a pumpkin orange.
17. How far in advance of traveling do you usually pack your luggage?
Most of it, a couple of days in advance. The items I use right up until the morning I leave have to stay out until I am done using them. What I do is make a packing list for myself & it is all in my luggage by the time I head out.
18. What have you lost recently?
One of my favorite Red Sox socks. =( Just this afternoon in fact.
19. What was for breakfast?
A glass of juice (a blend of unsweetened cranberry and pineapple). Wasn't hungry for more before I had to leave for my hair appointment.
20. Would you rather drive or be the passenger?
I would always prefer to be the passenger. Being in the car doesn't bother me, but I only drive out of necessity.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
We've finally counted down to those final few weeks before baseball players make their annual Grapefruit-or-Cactus-League-direction trek to begin the process of stretching out those sleepy Winter muscles and dusting off of leather & maple equipment that was tucked away a long three months ago.
Everyone else reflected on the past season in the days & weeks immediately following its abrupt close. I took a different approach, opting instead to digest the 2010 season quietly. And now that we're almost to the starting line of a fresh new season, I am ready to lay my thoughts to rest as a baseball warm-up of my own.
Last season, as a Red Sox fan, was an exercise in extremes. For every incredible high, there was a counter-balancing low. No moment of wonder was allowed to sit for too long without a crushing blow to follow in its wake. It was a season of "almost" and "if only" and yet I loved it as much as every other season. Every frustrating, fearful, fantastic play of it, from the team taking the field for the first time on Opening Day, full of fire & anticipation, to the final war-weary limp off grass and clay in early October, spent & disappointed, but still loving the game with every fiber.
Injuries have healed. Old friends have moved along to the next phase of their stories. An off-season with new names & dramatic unveilings around every corner had fans on their toes, speculating, curious & filled with excitement. I've passed the days watching football, episodes of new television programs and movies, but I am so ready for the comfort of my familiar evening companion: the sights & sounds of Red Sox baseball.
Periodically over the next 18 days, I intend to wax poetic about the 2010 highs, weigh in on the lows, capture my reactions to the Hot Stove acquisitions and record my wishes for 2011. And by the time I have crossed each item off my list, Tek's catcher's mask will be perched atop his head, Jon Lester will be rolling his shoulders in preparation for a game of catch, Pedey will arrive early to get a head start on heckling his teammates and Papelbon will be practicing his "Face of Intimidation" in the mirror.
Two and a half weeks are all that remain between me & my favorite
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
**Right now, I have a desk that is glass and metal. It works just fine. It's not totally my "style" but it has certainly served its purpose & will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Someday, when I have a beautiful wooden desk, I Want a clear glass desk blotter to protect its surface. I am fascinated by the idea of being able to personalize my desk just by changing out what lies beneath the blotter. Pretty *and* functional!
**I Want to smell this lotion. I need to know if it smells like sunscreen & the beach.
**I'm thinking I don't need to explain why I Want this bag, huh?
Monday, January 24, 2011
Monday: Brats and oven fries.
Wednesday: Roast pork, roasted potatoes and green beans.
Thursday: Grilled chicken with a veggie & frozen SteamFresh side dish.
Friday: Spaghetti with Sausage and Goat Cheese.
Saturday: Steak sandwiches with mozzarella sticks. (Cleaning out the freezer this week. Can you tell?)
Notes from last week's menu: The new recipe for Chicken and Dumplings was an absolute keeper. Perfect comfort food and the dumplings were not pasty or dense, just perfect warm fluffy goodness.
The logo at the top will link you to more menu plans!
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Outside my window... it is sunny & cool. Pretty much the perfect sort of day in my book.
I am thinking... about watching the Law & Order:SVU that is on the DVR, except I think I need to save it for Tuesday night during the State of the Union Address. I know that's not very mature of me, but I have zero interest in hearing any of it & it's pre-empting all my other tv options.
I am thankful for... awesome doctors, even more awesome friends and the time & space to make decisions that are right for me.
From the kitchen... will come a brand new recipe tonight & just the right sort of meal for a chilly day. Perfect timing!
I am wearing... yoga pants & a Red Sox t-shirt. It's kind of my uniform when I'm just hanging out at home.
I am creating... my "February lists." I can't believe January is nearly over!
I am going... to root for the NFC in the Super Bowl.
I am reading... the latest issue of Bon Appetit magazine.
I am hoping... my last W-2 arrives soon. I want to get my taxes filed.
I am hearing... some sports chatter playing quietly on the television & the ceiling fan which apparently is slightly off balance.
Around the house... the carpets are wonderfully clean after their bath last weekend. It makes *such* a difference.
One of my favorite things... watching squirrels chase each other over one nut when there are another dozen or so on the ground.
I don't understand... why people are so averse to just leaving a voice mail.
I wish... I knew the right thing to say to people when the circumstances call for the "right thing" to be said.
A few plans for the rest of the week: filing my taxes, conquering the To Do List and getting my hair trimmed on Saturday.
A picture to share... a blast from the past this week, back to January 2007, because nothing I took this week escaped my ruthless deleting.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
1. Soup or sandwich?
I would really prefer that they come as a pair, but if you're making me choose, I guess it will have to be sandwich. Unless the soup of the day is clam chowdah.
2. How many cookbooks do you own?
Six. Seven, if you count my recipe blog, which is an ever-evolving collection, part of which you can see (the recipes I've tried & will make again) and part of which you can't (my drafts are jam-packed with recipes I have found online, in magazines, on packaging, from friends, you get the idea, that will eventually be tried & either deleted or published). The six "traditional" cookbooks I have are: The Pioneer Woman Cooks. Rachael Ray's 30-Minute Get Real Meals and 2, 4, 6, 8: Get Real Meals for Couples or Crowds. The classic Betty Crocker's New Cookbook, as well as Betty Crocker's Good & Easy Cookbook. And a compilationstyle cookbook that was part of a fund raiser.
3. What operating system do you have on your computer?
I am a Windows girl. My desktop has Windows XP and my laptop has Windows Vista. At work, I have Windows XP Pro.
4. What is one place you haven't yet been that you'd be ridiculously bummed to never travel to in your lifetime?
Hawaii, maybe? So many places I haven't been. And so many places I've been that I want to revisit.
5. If you could pick an age to be on your next birthday, which age would you pick and why?
I'd choose to be 35. I've done all the earlier ones but I'm in no hurry to rush forward either. ;-)
6. Why did you choose your blog name?
When I first created my blog, I was in an..."interesting" place in my life. My gut knew that something wasn't quite right but I was in no way ready to admit that to myself...or all that came with such an admission. I heard the Rascal Flatt's Song "Bless the Broken Road" one day & it just fit, in some resonating internal way. I knew, deep down, that I hadn't reached my destination yet; I was still traveling that broken road. My life has taken some twists & turns since the day this blog was born. And yet the title still fits. The road through this life is always broken in places, because this is a flawed world we navigate through. But bumps & potholes are more spaced out now, the road itself has become considerably smoother. It has emerged from the "Dark & Twisty" shadows that hid the stumbling places, and now it winds gently through patches of sunlight & shade. This road may be broken but it is beautiful even in its imperfection.
7. What three foods remind you most of your childhood?
Apple pie. Boiled potatoes with butter & salt. Sugar cookie Christmas trees.
8. What part of your day-to-day life requires the most patience?
Tolerating the other commuters on the road. I'm actually ok with this. There was a time when they were the least of my problems.
9. How seriously do you take gift-wrapping when you wrap gifts?
I love to take my time & make a gift look lovely. Sometimes having to ship said package kind of sucks the fun out of it though. Pretty packages rarely survive the journey.
10. What is the first book that you can remember reading by yourself as a child?
'Twas the Night Before Christmas.
11. Which is worse when you're trying to sleep: being too hot or too cold?
Being too hot. I can always grab another blanket to snuggle under. When I'm too hot, there's really only so much that can be done. And the more annoyed I get at being too warm *and* being awake, the warmer I get.
12. What is your favorite cheese?
Mmmmm... cheese. So many different options! It really depends on the day & the purpose of the cheese. Maybe Colby Jack? It's pretty versatile.
13. What is your favorite curse word?
Rats. What can I say? I don't really curse.
14. Does weather affect your mood?
Only in the following situations: It is preventing my flight from taking off or landing or being non-turbulent. It is preventing me from doing something I was really looking forward to doing. It is scaring me with its ferocity. It has interrupted my electricity. I am soaked to the skin from being forced to walk from Point A to Point B in the rain.
15. When was the last time you put gas in your car?
Last Sunday. I almost always top off my tank on Sundays while I run my errands after church. Needed a whopping five gallons this week.
16. What is on your bed right now?
Sheets, a comforter & a bunch of pillows.
17. What is the last sporting event that you watched?
Ugh. The AFC Divisional Playoff game between the Patriots & Jets. Thank you for the reminder.
18. Have your ever built a snowman?
Not in years & years, but plenty of times as a kid.
19. What is your favorite kind of soup?
Ha! Clam chowdah. Absolutely not a contest in any way, shape or form.
20. What do you do with all those photographs you keep taking?
I look at them & smile. Some I share on my blog or on Facebook. They all get uploaded to my Web Albums & copied onto my external drive. My goal is to eventually get them all into printed form in books for my bookshelf.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Monday: Burgers and mac & cheese.
Tuesday: Spaghetti & meatballs, and a salad.
Wednesday: BBQ-glazed chicken, some sort of quick noodle side dish and a salad.
Thursday: Shepherd's Pie.
Friday: Pork steak on the grill, boiled potatoes and steamed baby sweet peas.
Saturday: Scallops with Mushrooms and Spinach.
Sunday: (new recipe!) Chicken & dumplings.
Notes from last week's menu: The Crab Cakes were very tasty, really good flavor. However, they were very crumbly, so we (and by "we," I mean "Troy") did a little poking around online & found that many crab cake recipes call for an egg (this one didn't), so next time we'll give that a try.
The logo at the top will link you to more menu plans!
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
**I Want this pillow. Really really want. It's sold out right now, but they claim it will return in September 2011.
**I may be a little late to the party on this one too, being a seasonal flavor & all, but oh how I Want to indulge my recent chocolate-peppermint cravings with Dark Peppermint Lindor Truffles by Lindt. They're no See's but they will definitely do in the absence of See's! I recently finished off the last of a bag of Stracciatella Chocolate Lindor Truffles that were a ball of cookies-and-cream heaven.
**And now we come from behind to jumping the gun. The NFL playoffs are still going (and my Patriots are still alive!) and yet I cannot help thinking about baseball. We're 33 days from pitchers & catchers reporting to Fort Myers and I miss the
frantic pacing soothing sounds of baseball filling my living room in the evenings. My inbox is starting to fill with emails enticing me with the newest version of Red Sox wear. (Yes, I need more. I feel about Red Sox tops the way most normal women feel about shoes, apparently.) Most of what I own is either red or navy blue. After some light window shopping, I have determined that I Want this grey one and this white one. You know, for a change of pace.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Monday: Pot roast with carrots & potatoes in the crock pot and rolls.
Tuesday: Grilled ham & cheese sandwiches.
Wednesday: Brown Sugar Glazed Pork, wild rice & asparagus.
Thursday: Fettuccine Alfredo with chicken and broccoli, garlic bread & salad.
Friday: (new recipe!) Crab cakes, mashed potatoes & corn.
Saturday: Subs from the Publix Deli.
Sunday: An easy frozen skillet meal with a salad.
Notes from last week's menu: One adjustment, the zucchini became yellow Summer squash (didn't like the looks of the zucchini). The stir-fry will be a keeper, with a tweak or two to personal taste, but it was best fresh so in the future, we'll halve the recipe. The new garlic-butter sauce recipe turned out to be more of a cream sauce, which was tasty but not what we had in mind. We'll be trying another recipe next time around.
The logo at the top will link you to more menu plans!
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Outside my window... it can't decide if it wants to be grey & dreary or sunny.
I am thinking... about the families affected by the shootings in Tuscon.
I am thankful for... the fact that shooter was stopped before he could take more lives.
From the kitchen... will come the smell of garlic later as dinner cooks.
I am wearing... yoga pants & a Sox t-shirt.
I am creating... a To-Do list of varying levels.
I am going... to nap soon if this football game doesn't get a little more exciting.
I am reading... my Twitter feed.
I am hoping... that my W-2s arrive before the January 31 mailing deadline. I like to file early.
I am hearing... the wind rustling the leaves & the chatter of the football announcers.
Around the house... it is empty without the Christmas tree.
One of my favorite things: the snowflakes & snowmen that brighten my home when Christmas is put to bed for another year.
I don't understand... the phenomenon wherein the second you need a red light for some reason, every single one you approach turns green.
I wish... we would spend less time finding ways to make each other & ourselves miserable. "We" being of the collective variety.
A few plans for the rest of the week... have a nice quiet uneventful week, maybe give the carpets a good thorough cleaning on Saturday & watch some NFL playoffs.
A picture to share...
The happy I got in the mail from K this week. =)
Monday, January 3, 2011
Monday: Cheeseburgers & some tater tots.
Tuesday: Parmesan chicken tenders, mozzarella sticks & broccoli.
Thursday: Fish on the grill in foil packets, wild rice & zucchini.
Friday: (new recipe!) Beef & veggie stir fry over rice.
Saturday: Kielbasa, sauerkraut & pierogies.
Sunday: (new recipe!) Linguine with chicken in a garlic-butter sauce.
Notes from last week's menu: We stayed right on track other than getting to Sunday & deciding to just clean up the collection of leftovers we still had on hand.
The logo at the top will link you to more menu plans!
Sunday, January 2, 2011
Outside my window... sits my poinsettia plant, getting a little sunshine.
I am thinking... that a cocktail that contains bubbles & raspberry was pretty much made for me.
I am thankful for... an approved MRI. Finally.
From the kitchen... came leftovers. Some people don't care for them. I welcome it as a break from needing to actually cook.
I am wearing... yoga pants & my Patriots t-shirt.
I am creating... a list goals I want to tackle in 2011. Just one per month though.
I am going... to have a hard time working five whole days this week, I think. Heh.
I am reading... an old issue of Real Simple magazine.
I am hoping... to bake some cookies later this week to feed my recent chocolate-mint cravings.
I am hearing... the Patriots on my tv! I love when I get to see them play.
Around the house... is a bunch of old paperwork I need to shred. I feel like I work for Enron, I've already shredded so much, and it seems as though I've hardly made a dent.
One of my favorite things... crossing items off my To Do List.
I don't understand... how Alex Trebek is seventy years old. Have you watched Jeopardy recently? I would have never guessed over mid-fifties.
I wish... it were possible for me to type 'stir' without first typing 'stor' every.single.time.
A few plans for the rest of the week... baking those cookies, walking when I get home from work, taking down my tree over the weekend and watching some NFL playoffs.
A picture to share...
Christmas decorations at the Contemporary (WDW).
Saturday, January 1, 2011
A photo of me:
1) Candle scents this month:
Apple Butter. Autumn Fields. Cranberry. Mulling Spices. Hollyberry. Cinnamon Roll. Amber Glow. Spiced Pumpkin. Autumn Gold. Spiced Apple. Apple Cider. Gingerbread. Balsam & Cedar. Autumn Woods. Applewood Orchard.
2) What I am reading this month:
3) Top three songs I was drawn to:
"A Baby Changes Everything," Faith Hill. "Song for a Winter's Night," Sarah McLachlan. "Let It Be Christmas," Alan Jackson.
4) Movies I saw:
Elf. The Polar Express. Toy Story. Jack Frost. The Santa Clause. Toy Story 2. It's a Wonderful Life. Home Alone. True Grit. Plus a bunch of Christmas specials: A Charlie Brown Christmas, Prep & Landing, Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Shrek the Halls & Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.
5) Favorite tv moments of the month:
There weren't many new episodes of tv shows this month, between Christmas specials & college football bowl games. I was particularly struck by Olivia's vulnerability on Fringe: Marionette. I also really enjoyed Hop a Frieghter and The Big One, the final two episodes of Dexter, Season 5.
6) Something yummy I made:
Soft Molasses Cookies.
7) Restaurants where I ate:
Bonefish Grill on New Years Eve. The one & only time we went out to eat in December.
8) Something that made me cry:
Every time I heard the song "A Baby Changes Everything." I kept thinking about the movie "The Nativity Story," which I saw for the first time a couple of years ago, and for the first time, changed Mary & Joseph in my mind from the crayon-drawn pictures of my youth into a young woman & a man, *real* people, who had a whole host of emotions & very human reactions to the task set before them. Something about the words of that song really strike the same chord deep within me & make me reflect on the Christmas story in a whole new way.
Bonus 8) Something that made me laugh:
Both my parents got me the exact same Christmas card this year, and since they've been divorced for many years now, there is no way they could have known. There was either a shortage of Christmas cards for daughters in the state of Connecticut this year or they have grown more alike over time.
9) A goal I had for this month:
To get Christmas prep finished by December 17th. Mission accomplished.
10) This month I looked forward to:
All my favorite Christmas shows & movies and the Christmas Eve Candlelight service.
11) Something I want to remember about this month:
We had record-breaking cold this month. The only time I complained was when it was 50 degrees in the office. Justifies my whining about the humidity in August, no?
12) A photo I took this month:
Two trees at Disney's Wilderness Lodge--my very favorite WDW resort hotel.