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Monday, May 23, 2011

Just a quick note

Just a quick note because it's Monday. It was a great weekend! Patio sitting with friends on a Friday evening with some great Sangria wine. A BEAUTIFUL wedding on Saturday evening. They are sooo cute and one of my favorite couples! So happy for them! I caught the bouquet. Don't hold your breath. This has happened before, and it's still just me and Newt. Sunday was full of rest and recuperation and inventing. I threw together a quick supper. Invited another great couple over and we dined on Sam's Crazy Chicken "Enchilada" Adventure (I don't know if this will see a round two), Sam's Delish Black Beans, and Sam's Shrimp Pico on tosdadas. The later two, as demonstrated by their names, are also Sam Inventions. They also have been lucky enough to make the recipes to repeat list. For now, I'll leave you with the "How To" on the Black Beans.
For now, let's call them Sam's Delish Black Beans.

What you will need:
1 can chicken broth (use the low sodium/sodium free, just do it)
1 Tbsp or so of chopped onion (more or less if it blows your skirt up)
1 can black beans
1 can Rotel (tomatoes and green chilies, I'm not necessarily a name brand kind of gal)
Salt
Pepper

Put onion in a medium sauce pan with just a little chicken broth and cook them til tender. Drain and rinse the beans (that "juice" that comes in the can with them, no thanks, rinse it off!!). Add the beans to the onion. Drain and add the Rotel. Pour in some chicken broth. Enough to come just to the top of the beans. Toss in a little salt and a shake or two of pepper. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer. Cook until it has thickened some. It's yummy this way, or if you're living on the edge, serve topped with shredded cheddar and/or jack cheese.


Have a blessed Monday! Cheers to a great week. I have a weekend get-away planned and know that it will be nothing short of greatness (I hope).

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Great Skunk Caper

Last night I spent some time outside...unloading a giant cooler of BEEF, replanting and salvaging the bovine caused destruction from last week, Miracle Growing my "garden", rearranging pots, and endangering my own health and well being by standing on a 3 step step-stool in the carport with no supervision and no one to call 9-1-1. It was a beautiful evening. My carport is one coat of paint away from being a fantastic summer lounge, minus the optional Japanese lanterns. Oh yeah, and I need to get rid of the swallows nest. Damn birds. I'm afraid to knock it down...stuff will fly down on me. Yes, I can take whatever comes out of a cow, but not a birds nest. I'm okay with that. I did, however, spray it with wasp spray while I was spraying wasps in the rafters of the carport. I really would like a BB gun to shoot them (the wasps, not the birds). That's taking it a little far...that's me turning into the crazy old lady. I'm well on my way, I've also purchased a giant sun hat complete with floppy brim! I plan to wear it on my green thumb adventures, and maybe to work on days that we are pregnancy checking cows in the Texas summer sun. Anyway, back to the birds...hanging a large fake owl from the rafters was one of the instances I shouldn't have been climbing high, but I did anyway. I have a fierce independent spirit.

After I had put my gardening toys away and showered off the soil and grime, I set out to cook one of the new steaks that I had just brought home. I love that...trying out a new steak. It was just a ribeye, but it was new to me and my freezer. (For where the steak comes from on the critter, click on the word ribeye above, for nutritional information and cooking tips go to http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/meatcase.aspx). It was late, I was tired, so I fixed some sweet potato fries and steam-in-bag sugar snap peas with it. Not very fancy, but very good. I used some spray butter, a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese, and a shake of garlic salt on the peas...very good. As always, I seasoned my steak with only Cavender's Greek Seasoning.Sometimes, I'll use coarse ground pepper with the Greek seasoning, but not last night. I grilled the steak outside to perfect medium rare.

Here's where the Skunk Caper begins...and ends quickly. I had stepped out to turn the steak (once...put the steak on and turn it only once), and I had stepped outside of the carport to take a look around, check out the clouds (hoping for rain) when I saw him...the skunk. There was a fluffy lil skunk not 30 yards from where I was standing, just beyond my far yard fence. I ordered Newt (my trusty blue heeler dog and sidekick) into the house. Once in the house I ran around frantically looking for the gun. Yes, I own a gun (3 in fact). Dad gave me a .22 rifle for my birthday this spring. It's been very windy when I've had time for practice, and I haven't fired it yet. The 410 shotgun needs cleaned. All of that mess left me with a .22 pistol. I found it, where it always is, and could not find the ammo. I don't have kids, I can keep the gun with the bullets...really, I can. Apparently, I don't. I grabbed the gun and the ammo and off I went, leaving Newt inside. Please understand that I'm a crappy shot, so the odds that I was actually going to shoot this varmint and have to figure out how to haul it off were very, very slim. I didn't have a clean shot from the front of the carport. The fence, the tree swing, maybe the tree were all possible obstacles. I could have went around the front of the house on foot, but what if he chased me??! I jumped in the pick up and drove around the front of the house. This is where it is re-affirmed...I couldn't sneak up on a corpse. The skunk is running away, I'm fumbling to load the gun, and I'm thinking about how my steak may end up over done all to do with this damn skunk that I'll never get shot because I'm more like Elmer (Elmira) Fudd than Annie Oakley!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Hello Thursday...



This is what I woke up to this morning.

Maybe before I explain, I should set the stage. Saturday, I went on a trip to the nursery, to Walmart, etc. Sunday, I worked in the yard...planting the results of Saturday's trip, painting lawn chairs, raking out the carport, and so on. I placed 2 large identical pots in either corner of my front yard. There is a pipe fence around my house with a top rail that is hip high on me and another rail about 2 feet below that. Surrounding my house and it's little fence is a pasture and the rest of ranch headquarters where cows "free range". I had set the pots in from the corners to prevent bovine snacking; however, as you can see by the bottom photo, not far enough.

As I was making coffee this morning, I looked out the window to see it all go down. Out the back door I ran to assess the carnage and attempt to salvage what was left and/or save the matching pot. The top photo is of the mate in the opposite corner of the yard that survived the morning unscathed. The bottom photos is of the carnage I ran out to find in PJ's, bed head, and flip flops. Be thankful you are not my neighbor.

**I apologize for the non-matching filters from Instagram. I couldn't retain the name long enough in my busy little memory.**

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Good Afternoon


Newt and I spent the day in the yard on Sunday, even though there were temps greater than 95. This happens to be his hurry up and let me in the A/C pose.

More to come on what we've been up to.
Testing, testing

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Let this be my "Comeback"

Let this be my "comeback"....call me the come back kid...

I've been contemplating what to do for a comeback for awhilenow. I've given the blog a face lift. I've tried new recipes. I've taken photos. I've made lists.

For now, since I'm in the barn, on my iPhone, waiting on embryos to be recovered from a donor cow so that we may transfer them to recip mothers (surrogates), let me make a list.

1) Sometimes we shouldn't see it as failure, but see things as God saying, "Excuse me, you're headed in the wrong direction."

2) It's all part of His plan.

3) I praise God everyday for my parents who taught me strength and hope and kindness and independence. Although these are also some of my weakest points, somedays, they keep me going and are my strongest.

4) Homemade tomato soup is labor intensive and mily overrated. Campbell's is just fine. At least til I find a better recipe.

5) I need a catering van.


6) I'm a severe over committer.

7) The iPhone has changed my life.

8) I've started back to Weight Watchers for like the 8th time...it's going well. I've revamped old recipes, and found some new ones.

9) I miss my students.

10) Although I'd love a charmed life, I'm thankful for the one I have.