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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Thank You

Forgot to thank the shopper who left the coupon on the shelf next to dish soap I needed. So thoughtful to leave it for someone who would use it. Made my day!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Homework Halo

So in an effort to get home at a decent time tonight, I packed up the last of my work to bring home with me. I'm just one of those people who would rather do it tonight than be stressed out tomorrow morning. As it was, I still wasn't home until 6 and after trying another round of testing the individual lasagna recipe, and eating dinner, it was already 8:30. I did manage to get what I could done and feel like I deserve a gold star. When I took Peanut out before bed I saw that the almost full moon had a halo. It was way better than a gold star! Sweet dreams.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Summertime?

BOWL FOR KIDS SAKE UPDATE: BBBS have worked out those kinks on the donation page and all my pretty little donor names are back up where they belong. I'm almost halfway to my goal! Feel free to click that link in the right column to make your donation today. I'm so happy it feels like summer. On the inside. It feels like summer on the inside. Outside it is definitely bitterly cold. I'm planning on doing a lot more hibernating this week. Last night I stayed in and watched my new Netflix movie 500 Days of Summer. I highly recommend picking it up. It is one of those movies that is chronologically out of order. I love those--keeps you on your toes. The other great thing is that it isn't a love story. It is, but it's not. You've just got to check it out. I give it 4 stars (which is pretty much my best, since I don't think I've ever rated anything 5 stars...it just seems wrong).

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Donations Accepted

That little graphic on the side bar looks so sad with $0 towards my goal. Don't be fooled; several donors have helped me reach $115 in donations already! I'm almost halfway to my goal! The BBBS Bowl for Kids Sake website is experiencing some difficulties and my donations are not showing up on my page at this time. They do assure me the donations are safe and sound. If you plan to make a donation online, send me a little note so I can watch to make sure it is processed correctly. Other than that, happy donating! I've thrown out the idea that if I reach some outrageous goal (like $500 in donations) I might have to wear a grass skirt while bowling. Wouldn't that be fancy?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Cookin' Fool

During lunch break seems like an appropriate time to contemplate what I accomplished last weekend, since it was mostly food-related.

On Friday I tried out a new recipe for a ratatouille pizza. I picked up some spices on the way home and decided to pick up a pre-made crust as well even though I've been working on my own for quite some time. As it turned out, I was glad to have it because the prep work for a ratatouille pizza was time consuming. I prepared mushrooms and red peppers while the eggplant salted. I also mixed up a new recipe for pizza sauce. Then I had to saute all the veggies before layering them over the crust and homemade sauce. It was okay. Good enough to eat the leftovers, but it was a little too eggplanty for me.

On Saturday I had a date night by myself. I mixed up a vinaigrette for some salad greens. I prepared an individual lasagna (with leftover pizza sauce), and in lieu of red wine, popped open a bottle of champagne. The lasagna was good, but not quite right with the pizza sauce. You know... it has the same ingredients, but the different proportions make all the difference. I'm definitely going to keep trying on this individual recipe because it will be well worth it.

I did manage to polish off most of the champagne. Hey... it woulda gone flat. What I didn't get drunk (is that right, Dad?), I mixed with my orange juice Sunday morning and sipped on as I prepared my very first beef roast in the crock pot. It was a great recipe, but against my better judgement I didn't pare it down. I'll probably do that and get the individual recipe up in the future. It was delish, delish, delish. (I'm hopped up on my coffee flavored beef leftover lunch). I rounded out my weekend with blueberry pancakes and leftover ratatouille pizza on Sunday. Oh, and threw a pan of brownies in the oven for dessert after the roast. Needless to say, I brought the leftover brownies to work. I'm not sure I'll need to eat for the rest of the week!

Friday, January 22, 2010

I'm Going For A Turkey!

I don't even remember what that means. When I used to be on a bowling league that once I remember talking about poultry. I'm so excited to break out my old bowling ball for Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids Sake this March! A lady at work has organized a team and I jumped at the opportunity to lace up some stinky shoes and shuffle on down the lanes. I haven't bowled in so long I fear I'll have some seriously soar muscles the next day. My ball weighs something in the vicinity of 14 1/2 pounds and I remember it being a little on the heavy side when I bowled every week. Hopefully my pilates weight training serious will get my arms in shape by then. Along with all this fun, comes some serious fundraising too. Since I don't know anybody, I'm counting on each and every one of you to click that link in the upper right-hand column and make a donation to my team today! Remember that you are supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters to provide one-to-one mentoring programs to children who need a positive adult influence or friend in their lives. We all know I'm not that lady, so let's help the little ones find someone who can help them! All of the money raised stays in Sangamon County. I know that isn't so exciting for any of my Wisconsin supporters, but remember that you're helping me support my community. My little pledge sheet says that children matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister are less likely to use drugs and alcohol, skip a day of school (we all know I have some karma to make up here) , or engage in violent behavior, and are more likely to improve their academic performance, become more self-confident, and develop better relationships with their families and peers. And isn't that what it is really all about? Thanks for your support!

Yum Yum Bruschetta

After watching the movie Julie & Julia several times last week, I was craving bruschetta like nobody's business. If you've seen the movie, you probably understand why. As Julie comes to the realization that she should cook her way through Julia Child's cookbook and blog about it, she is preparing and eating the most delicious looking bruschetta you've ever seen. I knew I had a recipe somewhere for bruschetta, so I picked up some french bread on the way home last night. I searched high and low and finally found the recipe only to be disappointed by it. I figured, what is there to bruschetta? Tomatoes and stuff, right? I'll just make my own. I used ingredients I had in the house, but thought I would like the addition of yellow or orange peppers. I also ended up picking up a small loaf of french bread that was already cut into thin slices, so I used 4 toasts, but with normal french bread the bruschetta may top more like 2 or 3 pieces. Anyhow, point being, that lacking the Julie & Julia recipe I think I made a pretty delish bruschetta. The fresh garlic really packs a punch! I may make more this weekend after I try my Ratatouille Pizza with Chicken. Check out my recipe in the column on the right.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Pondering

So I had the unfortunately all too common panic attack the other day that I will live well into my eighties. It started by thinking about my grandparents and thinking about all the good they have done in their lifetimes. Then of course I started imagining me at eighty. Alone in a room somewhere. I wouldn't be able to hear (cause I already have hearing problems), but that doesn't worry me so much because there would be nobody left to talk to me anyhow. I would probably talk to my dog, so at least I'd have company. What is it that you have to do to have people in your life that would care whether you're sitting alone in a room somewhere at eighty? I suppose that is why a lot of people have children, but I'm not willing to go that far. Seems excessive...like lighting a candle with a blow torch. Anyhow, point being...if nobody cares that I'm sitting alone in a room now, what hope do I have for when I'm eighty? I feel like I'm on the verge of discovering some great truth and yet I'm not smart enough to figure it out yet.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Miserable, Miserable, Miserable

I feel miserable! I keep thinking, when do all the allergens die off? I can't sleep at night because I can't breath. I sneeze all morning. My eyes are so watery I can't see anything. For the love of for crying out loud! Why do I keep getting more allergies? And why are they getting worse? I'm not going to make it. Speaking of which, I ordered Chinese take out from my local China store around the block last night. I always order Crab Rangoon, so I didn't even stop to think about it. That was until I had already eaten them and I was getting this constricting feeling in my throat. I know, right? I JUST blogged about this new shellfish allergy problem and here I am, days later, stuffing crab down my throat. I'll get the hang of this, I swear. In the meantime, my throat feels fine and I'm still alive and kicking. Just try, little Rangoon. Just try to kill me off. I'll show you who's the boss. Tony Danza? I don't think so!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Holiday Hoopla

Our holiday party began quietly in a tiny little room at Indigo that felt like a hallway. There were two long tables to seat almost 60 people and there was about 10 square feet of open space for the 60 of us to stand around enjoying our cocktails. With my recent discovery of a possible shell fish allergy, I was super excited to see cocktail shrimp, crab cakes, and calamari on the appetizer table. I chose the beef tenderloin as an appetizer for my filet mignon. As it turns out, it was a wise decision. We thought we would be able to order our steak to the doneness of our preference, but that was not the case. When I asked for my steak well done, I was told "It will probably come out medium and you'll have to send it back." Great. That means everyone will be done eating before I get my steak back. I didn't have to worry too much about that, because when I got it back it mooed at me and I decided not to eat it anyhow. I was also disappointed that they didn't even serve a vegetable. They served some weed salad before dinner, but that was it. Phooey. I definitely would not recommend the restaurant. After that the hardy drinkers boarded the "drunk bus" and headed to our first stop—a bowling alley bar with karaoke. After that, the stops get more hazy. Enjoy the pictures. They pretty much say it all.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I'm A Sharpie

I feel like a pretty sharp gal. Two days ago I decided to make two of my famous individual Italian Turkey Meat loaf. Today was the perfect day for leftovers!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Holiday Party Day

I had a productive day. I managed to figure out how to replace my license plate light, cleaned, and did laundry. I think I deserve a holiday party tonight! Yay!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Happy Holidays Again

I've put in my vote for entree at the holiday party this weekend: Filet Mignon. Oh how I'm looking forward to it! I recently confirmed plans with Blondy for her birthday to visit The Freighthouse in La Crosse and I have been thinking about their Filet Teriyaki about 98% of the time since then. Hopefully the filet at Indigo will tide me over until my WI trip in February. In the meantime, I'm still working through those crepes I made last weekend. I don't know why I didn't try them a long time ago. They are so delish. In proper Lonely Girl fashion, I've paired down the recipe at the right to make it a little more reasonable for a singular sensation. And the good thing is that they do freeze. Try it out for yourself. You will be pleased!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Winter Fest

I was super productive decorating last weekend. I didn't get the cleaning done, but unnecessary winter decorating? Heck yes!
The cardinals stayed on the mantel, but I swapped out the greenery for a white feather boa. It works. I also had to add doilies for that snowflake effect. Yeah, I went there. I finally got the ribbon sewn on my living room curtains. I absolutely love it! Why do I put things off?
The quilt my grandmother made me got onto the guest bed downstairs. Looks like it goes.
I decided to hang a family-made doily bedspread as my bedroom curtain. It looks like snow flakes!
I know, I'm way too excited about decorating. It's just what I do.

Winter Revival

I opened my Outlook tasks last night to the horror of a really long, overdue list of things to do around the house. I quickly checked off the regulars like vacuuming, laundry, cleaning bathroom. Then I came across the dreaded "Clean out filing cabinet" and "Clean out pantry." Yikes! I figure since I just did some serious filing in early December, that counts, right? How much damage could I possible have done in less than a year in Springfield? Heck, I wasn't even filing for most of the time! I did wipe down my cabinets and got rid of some riff-raff. I also look forward to tackling the chrome polishing over the weekend. Exciting, right? I just love the way it shines. (Check out the whole list in the right-hand column). I can feel change in the air. I'm so excited! Just yesterday morning heading to my car I felt the difference and when 5 o'clock rolled around and I was heading out into the rose-colored glow of the sunset, I knew it was true. The longer days have already affected my mood and I'm feeling much lighter. Yay!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ooh La La

I tried my cooking skills on crepes this morning. Thanks Mom & Dad for the new omlet pan. I couldn't have done that with my old one. They were delish to boot!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Xmas 2009 Pictoral Guide

Peanut enjoyed napping with the new couch pillows.
I enjoyed my Xmas Eve steak.
I made Italian steak with polenta this year. Yummy!
In Trempealeau, the girls enjoyed some cousin time in Lemon's chair.
I purchased some gifts in Springfield to support the Old State Capital and the kids seemed to like them too! Dad is always in the way when I'm trying to take a picture. Serves him right for all those pictures he's taken of other people bending over to pick up gifts from under the tree over the years.
This was the littlest one's first Christmas! She looks cool with it.
My brother's family.
I regret not getting pictures at the fantastic Trempealeau Hotel dinner night. It was really a high-light of my Xmas break in WI. Overall, I had a pretty low-key holiday. It was loverly.
I'm looking forward to my next trip, but am content to snugga down in my Illinois town until that day comes.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

An Epic Tale Of Keys

So, after an uneventful drive back from Wisconsin on Tuesday, the bottom fell out. I pulled into my driveway and grabbed my purse and a few bags from the front seat to take into the house. I entered through my back door, set my bags down, and then unlocked the front door to go get Peanut out of the car.

Empty-handed, I figured I should take a few bags in with me while wrangling Peanut. I grabbed about four. I still had my keys in my hand. I was standing between the open back door and the back seat and was trying to unleash Peanut AND hold all those bags. That is when I heard the keys drop and hit something metal. I was carrying a bag with my percolator, so I figured they must have fallen into that bag.

As I got Peanut out of the car and shut the door, I second guessed whether I should lock the car without really knowing where my keys landed. Peanut dragged me down the driveway for a potty break in the neighbor’s front yard as I toted the bags along. Then up the stairs we climbed into the front porch where I threw the heavy load of bags down and began turning them upside down, dumping the contents all over the porch floor looking for my keys. Nothing.

I looked in every nook and cranny—inside the boots, in the arms of the coat, between the layers of quilt and crocheted items, under the boxes of food—and still there were no keys. I had a spare set, but moments earlier I had safely locked them in my now impenetrable house. After spending a little frustrated effort trying to break down my door, I easily broke into my house and unlocked the door from the inside.

Peanut was way past his dinner time and was more than happy to gobble his food down while I grabbed my spare keys and headed back out into the cold, cold night. I figured those keys must have fallen onto the floor of my back seat and hit the metal water dish I had sitting there, so that was my first attempt. Nothing.

I headed back inside for a flash light to check the ground and the interior of the car. Still nothing. I took a warm inside break and then one more attempt searching the driveway on my hands and knees, kicking snow aside, and rechecking the car. I went in with cold, dry hands, but they were empty.

As I curled up on the couch with Peanut by my side and a beer in my hand, I hoped nobody else had found my house and car keys. I checked several times to make sure my car was, in fact, still in the driveway. The next morning’s search in the grey light of the early morning proved fruitless as well. It wasn’t until I came home for lunch that I had any luck. The temperature was up to about 20 degrees and it felt like a heat wave. The sky was blue and the sun was shining down on me as I raked through the snow next to where my car had been parked. I was about to give up before taking one last pass over the grass with the rake when low and behold, my keys popped out of the snow, glistening in the sun. Those puppies must have gotten stepped on to embed that deeply in the cold, crunchy snow. I vowed right then and there to buy the biggest key chain I could find.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Moving Forward

I'm happy to see The La Crosse Community Theatre moving forward in a positive direction.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Heading Home

It doesn't seem right I should be heading home tomorrow. I don't think Mom and I got nearly enough of our word game in. However, my WI vacay has come to an end.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Food, Food, & More Food

Pizza, meat balls, turkey, ham, chili, lobster, steak, pancakes, wings, and let's not forget cake, ice cream, and cookies. I definitely need pilates tomorrow!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Excellent Christmas

What an excellent Christmas! Opened presents this morning, ate all day, and am now basking in the glow of my Tremp Hotel tenderloin and lobster...and red wine!

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