Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The times you wish you had a camera

JP has been doing something for a couple of weeks now thats silly of itself. He stands and bends over at the waist and puts his head on the ground. I'm determined to one day get a picture of this as its so cute. He did it today with a twist that left Joe and I shaking our heads. For some reason he took the bottom portion of a container for snacks and put it on his butt as he did this. So there he is being a human letter "A" with a bright yellow container on his butt like a saucy little beret, lol. There was just no way to get the camera in time for a pic, lol.

Ahhhh the honeymoon is over, lol

I knew it was too good to be true. My pretty car just couldn't work perfectly with a simple heater core repair. She's gone about 500miles and the battery light came on. With my usual luck this means the altenator needs to be replaced. However let's face it.. 15 months non-activity was bound to have some repercussions. It was scheduled to go to the shop tomorrow. For a change Joe did the right thing and was going to have it checked out. I went to turn into our road and had to stop. Had almost no power when I pressed ont he gas. Just barely got the mile in to the house. Now of course Joe is pitching a fit.. but what are you going to do. The odds of NOTHING else having an issue after sitting for 15 months is slim. I expected something to happen. SO it's the altenator. heck I should know how to replace these things now, I've had them go enough, lol. Joe's friend is coming up and should be here when Joe gets back with the part.


update: fixed and ready to go. Had a couple of glitches, some sort of ground connection and a lost screw thats still MIA, but all is done and my car is running once again.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Weekly Meals 7/29 - 8/2

Sunday - Swedish Meatballs over buttered noodles - tossed salad
Monday - Boo's Apricot Chicken
Tuesday - Indonesian Satay
Wednesday - pizza bagels
Thursday - Crepes with turkey and swiss filling
Friday -homemade chicken nuggets
Saturday - Moo shu beef? chicken? with spring rolls

Boo's Apricot Chicken:

4 chicken breast fillets
french onion soup mix
14oz can of apricot nectar.
frozen stir fry veggies
2cups cooked rice

cover chicken in flour. Mix soup mix and nectar together.
spray oven dish with oil
place chicken, veggies and rice in dish and cover with nectar soup mix. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40min or until chicken is cooked thru.

I ended up serving the rice on the side as I wanted to get this cooking in the oven. All I can say is you have to try this recipe! If you're worried about it tasting too fruity, it's not. In fact you don't really taste any fruit, Just a delicious sauce. I almost wish I had doubled the sauce. Mental note for next time. Thanks for the idea and recipe Boo!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Went to a movie at the park tonight...

I drive by a park thats been advertising a movie outside on a big screen this week. Same park that we went Letterboxing in actually. We got there about 7:30 and they had a big inflatable screen all set up. 2 guys were playing guitar and singing until it got dark enough for the main event, Evan Almighty. It was such a great night for this. The weather was perfect.. they had a big turn out and it was mostly families. JP was extremely overtired, but did finally fall asleep... in the car on the way home. It was a different way to watch a movie but it was so much fun. They are doing this at 4 other parks over the next 8 weeks and we're going to try and go to two more of them.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Our first Letterboxing adventure!

I heard about Letterboxing from someone on another site I go to. It looks like a fun hobby so I decided to take JP on our first adventure today. There are 2 boxes in a park only 5-10 minutes from our house.

Let's go find that box Mom!

This is the lake at Winding Hills park, Joe and I were married in another section of this park.

The starting point!

Part of the trail

We had to cross this stream bed. I was glad for my sneakers that it was dry, lol

This is so much fun! Mom is working hard!

Whew! being wheeled in this stroller makes a baby thirsty!


I found my first Letterbox!

I'm beat, it's time for nap!

These are just some random shots that I thought came out well

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My money saving tip of the day.....

I've learned a wonderful money saving trick for your kitchen/pantry. I will no longer buy my herbs at a store in a pre-packaged bottle. I buy them at the health food store near us for a lot less money. They are fresher... organic.. and amazingly cheap! In general I pay less than $1 to fill a regular tall spice jar. Bay leaves cost me $.15... fresh nutmeg? about the same. Today was a real surprise though... I needed vanilla which I hate buying because it's so darn expensive. I didn't feel like going to the regular store so I decided to see what they charge. Now I don't know about where you live, but here a 1oz bottle of real vanilla costs me about $7 at the grocery store. At the health food store it was $5.25 for 2oz of organic real vanilla! Yup.. that went into my cart really quick. I thought for sure it would cost $9 or more.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Weekly Meals 7/21 - 7/28

Sunday - Stuffed shells with tossed salad or broccoli rabe and mushrooms and homemade cherry pie
Monday - grilled chicken and nectarine salad - going to make this one up as I go, lol
Tuesday - raw chili - fruit slices drizzled with agave nectar and cinnamon
Wednesday - chicken salad wraps with cucumber/onion salad
Thursday - spaghetti and meatballs with tossed salad - homemade italian bread - try #3, lol
Friday - malaysian bbq chicken with spring rolls and ginger dipping sauce
Saturday - take out or leftovers

I'm also doing something different this time. I'm doing all the heavy cooking today so the oven is run once. I'm tired of overheating the house, lol.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The great radiator cap test

I'm fairly clueless about cars. I know enough for basics, but as far as deeper- inner workings go.. I'm clueless. None the less Joe and I have a running joke. For some reason I'm able to accurately diagnose an issue with some clarity. I may not have the words correct, but the problem is. I've been right an oddly high amount of times. Now to my latest venture.My car (prior to the extend break down time) had a problem in high weather. The engine would run hot and when shut off you would hear a boiling sound. Joe never heard it so he attributed it to my imagination. Yeah.. he should learn to stop doing that. Then we had a problem with our Taurus last year (have I mentioned we have bad luck with cars from time to time? lol) and now it also tends to run hot in hot weather and also has the boiling sound. Again it's my imagination as I was the only one hearing it. FINALLY it happened. Joe drove to work and heard the boiling sound. Sigh. Now of course he's trying to fix it. I decide to finally look it up online. Why I hadn't already is beyond me). I posted a bit about this in one of my other car repair posts. I found out that this could happen from a faulty radiator cap. Yep.. a radiator cap. Inexpensive little devils. I tell Joe this and it makes perfect sense to us. The cap keeps pressure on the coolant so that it boils at a higher temperature. I got my car back on Wednesday night. Perfect timing as we're in a heat wave of mod 90's and high humidity. It ran well on the way home, but that was in the evening. Yesterday I went out at the worst part of the day and the temp ran slightly above mid line for the entire trip. I still bought the cap plus one for Joe's car. Joe grudgingly put mine on last night as he was in one of his moods. Then says he's going to put the old cap in the trunk. I caught him dead on when I said "what.. in case I'm wrong?" he answered yes before he thought about it then tried to change the subject. Today was just as miserable as yesterday and my car actually ran a bit cooler. For the most part the temp was slightly under the mid line. Not much proof, but it also didn't run hot while in standing traffic. However it was enough to convince Joe to try it since his car was running hot after getting stuck in traffic. Seriously though - why not try a $7.00 radiator cap. If it doesn't help then it's only $7.00. Tomorrow morning he'll change it before work. Let's see if it makes a difference.

Today is the full moon and boy can you tell.

Aside from a horrendous week of which the full moon was part of. today has been weird to say the least. I went out to lunch and rolled the windows down. Went to put them back up (power windows) and it got stuck with about 4 inches to go. Not an urgent issue, no rain forecast for today. So I sent a text message to Joe that the window is stuck. He sent me a mssg back....

"what happened"

uhmmmmmm.. I rolled the window down... I rolled it up and it got stuck. I 'thought' that was pretty succinct. Should I have added in details of inches down or timing? Then he calls me. Really.. I'm not stressed about this. The poor car is bound to have some issues for sitting for so long. There is no isolated rain cloud sitting over my car. It's a hot sunny day. the window can stay down.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

All done

Joe got everything done, but ran about 30min late. So JP got picked up late again. Ugh. I was upset with him about that. I'd have waited to drive my car home to get JP picked up on time... except Joe also wanted to get adjusted so he still came to the office. It was so nice to drive my car again with the sunroof open. I had to laugh at myself though at some things, lol...

"Oh! I forgot the clock display doesn't work"
"Oh yeah - the dash lights are red!"
"Oops - that turn signal was higher then expected"

I did manage to test my stereo system very well though, lol

Oh and I'll tell you a silly story about my license plates that made both Joe and I a little sad yesterday. Apparently we both registered a car around the same time when NYS changed their plate designs years ago, this was before we met. Our license plates both started with 'AFZ' and we liked that they sort of matched. It was a silly little thing with us. Well because my plates were unregistered they apparently expire for some reason. So Joe had to get me new plates. He actually explained the plate story to the lady at DMV. Her advice was to report the plates stolen, but we;d have had to wait longer for them. Since getting my car on the road was a bigger deal he went with new plates :( . I'm impressed that he remembered why I wouldn't want new plates and tried to keep them somehow. I'm going to call DMV and see if I HAVE to return them if they've expired. Then I can keep one. It's one of those silly things that means something only to us, lol.

Oh and I forgot something important! it wasn't just the heater core that was gone. One of the brake lines was as well! I never noticed any difference but it was either shot at that time.. or about to be.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

DMV- ugh!

DMV and I have never had a good relationship. They always ask for more than I have.. and I feel as if I can never give enough. It is pretty much routine for me to have to go to DMV more then once for anything. If allowed to stay in the building, then I'm going thru the line more than once. There is an office locally that is gracious beyond belief. In the past they have allowed me the use of their fax machine for the 7 times that my insurance company incorrectly filled out my insurance cards which were then faxed. I offered to pay some rent at that office that day. Well today is no different, except that Joe is doing all the running. My car is ready to be picked up. We need to register it first. I filled out the forms and he picked the forms, the insurance cards (perfectly completed) and my drivers license. Off to DMV he went. Luckily he went to the one in the town I work in and not the one previously mentioned. However it seems I forgot one thing...in my defense I have good reason. This car is not new to me, I've owned her for 3 years. I forgot to clip the title to the forms. The title that resides in a lock box in our closet at home... 30 minutes in the opposite direction. Since we are just renewing a car we already own I didn't think much of it. However this leads us into another problem that would have occurred. I have left a lot of things in my married name as I am lazy. Turns out my insurance was one of them. I never caught it when I get my forms or paperwork in the mail. I called them this morning and they were actually extremely easy to work with in regards to that. I thought I'd need a copy of my marriage certificate. Nope. Just the info and they got the new cards out to me asap. What I still failed to realize is that I was not married when we last registered the car. So I needed to complete another section of the forms AND have to pay $50.00 for a new title (used to be $10 -grrrrrr). So Joe is theoretically on his way to pick up the new forms.. and to get the title. Which I'm now praying is in the lockbox as I have a vague memory of 1 of our titles being missing. I don't think it's this one though. He has 4 hours to complete his mission today and get home in time to pick JP up from school..... let the countdown begin.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bubbles! bubbles, bubbles, bubbles!!!

check out my fearless protector... afraid of bubbles, lol

Whoooo hoooo it's FIXED!!!

i get my baby back tomorrow! My pretty Grand Am is driving home!! It may not be a new and exciting shiny new car, but I love my grand Am and have missed it terrible. It's so comfy for me and I love my sunroof.. or moonroof I think it's called in this case. JP was 6 weeks old when the heater core broke :(.

now we can cruise with custom made CD's again.. although something tells me it will be music for him .. more than my usual, lol

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Ugh - time to refocus

From mid - June to now I have been stressed more than usual. As a result I stopped focusing on what I needed to do for myself. This primarily refers to continuing with my weight loss success. I have been feeling particularly 'fluffier' today and for some time was attributing it to my denim shorts coming out of a hot water wash and high heat dry. No such luck. I just stepped on the scale. I've gained 10lbs back of what I lost. I hate that self destructive habit. I need to find a way to break that cycle. I have plenty of my Take Shape For Life products on hand... and we're scheduled to take JP to Sesame Place mid - August. My minimum goal is to drop 15lbs by then. My biggest goal, and this is feasible, is to drop as close to 30lbs that I can before we go.

here we go again.. CHI - does not always finish in HUAHUA!

Yep.. got ANOTHER brilliant phone call over my ad for chinchillas. Now I do understand excitement on thinking you can get something you want for a ridiculously low price. However take the 2 seconds to read properly. second do NOT give the seller a hard time when you are convinced its a dog and you keep ignoring whats said!

C: uhmmm hi.. yes I'm calling about the Chihuahua's - what ages are they?
-for the record this is in the ad so I was annoyed off the bat
M: they are chinchillas...
C: (interrupting me)..yes the dogs! how old are they?
M: they are NOT dogs, they are chinchillas.
C: oh you have chinchillas too?
M: thank you for calling, good bye

I've had a few weird calls including a 'petting zoo' that admitted to me they've lost rabbits to the heat and they have no air conditioned area for animals.. and they 'mist' when it gets too hot. Yeah.. fast way to kill a chinchilla. Why not invest $$ in an ac system instead of new animals. Luckily I've had 2 good calls. One looking for a pet for her 19 month old who was very happy with the info I gave her on chins not being a good pet for that age.. and a woman whom I'm delivering 2 chinchillas to this evening. sigh.. 7 more to go.

Weekly Meals 7/13 - 7/20

Since I've gone back to menu planning I've started getting back into baking and experimenting. Earlier this week I made pretzels that were yummy. Today's adventure is homemade Italian bread.

Sunday - Spaghetti and meatballs/tossed salad/homemade italian bread/ cinnamon walnut ice cream for desert - also homemade.
Monday - Moo Shu chicken - Joe worked a double so we never had this Saturday and I froze it
Tuesday - Hot dogs and corn salad
Wednesday - quick and easy mac and cheese (frozen mac and cheese - with a few extras to beef it up)
Thursday - Rawtatouille - this is a raw version of ratatouille- so much more flavorful and colorful
Friday - herbed chicken breasts over tossed salad with italian dressing and fresh rolls
Saturday - meatloaf/green peas and carrots/mashed potatoes

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Ahhh Peanut. My lovely, spirited, strong minded Pembroke Welsh Corgi. I had a type of screen curtain across our front door today with a gate in front. When I went outside to check something I didn't put the gate up. 20 min later I realize that Peanut made a break for it. I just walked all over the property looking for her. Problem is the high high grass on most of the back area. If you know corgi's... you know they are vertically challenged. I turn back to the house and who do I see? yep.. miss Princess Peanut with the guiltiest look on her face. what a brat dog, lol

Friday, July 11, 2008

It's a chinchilla.. not a chihuahua

I listed several of our chinchillas for sale this week. I got my first call this evening....

caller: "Hi, I'm calling about the chihuahua"
Me: "I'm sorry but it's not a chihuahua.. it's chinchillas"
C: "Oh, so it's sold already"
M: "no, it's not a dog"
C: "oh its a puppy?!"
M: "no it's a small rodent from the Andes mountain region"
C: "oh..uhmmmmm...can you tell me what breed it is and where it originates from"
M: "it's a small furry rodent from the Andes mountain region of south america"
C: "oh, uhmmm thank you very much"

I don't think they still grasp that it's not a dog.

Chihuahua - thanks Mexxi and Boo for the pic :)


Thursday, July 10, 2008

ah ohv u

I was trying to sleep a bit later this morning because I was tired, lol. JP wanted to start the day bright and early. As I'm lying next to him faking sleeping - while watching him out of the slit of an eye opening- he looks at me and says:

"ah ohv u"

probably a coincidence that that could be his actual first phrase, lol. How lucky could I be to have his first phrase be I love you? However I'm going with it, lol

Sunday, July 6, 2008

weekly meals 7/6 - 7/12

So last week I was lazy and didn't plan .. or at least adhere to my menu plan. I'm back this week to write it down.

Sunday: homemade pizza's. 1- pepperoni and mushroom 1- onion and pepper
Monday: spaghetti and meatballs - recipe below
Tuesday: Pierogi casserole see review below
Wenesday: malayasian fried chicken - recipe below
Thursday: arepas with an italian shredded beef and cheddar filling
Friday: taco bake
Saturday: Moo shu chicken

Meatball recipe:
1.5lbs ground beef
1cup breadcrumbs
1Tbsp Parmesan cheese
1Tbsp dried parsley
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 egg

mix well with hands, form into desired size meatball and bake. I usually make them slightly larger then golf balls and bake for 20-30mins.

Malaysian Fried Chicken
3lbs chicken - we use bnls chicken breasts
4Tbsp Oyster sauce
2Tbsp curry powder
6 cloves garlic -minced

mix oyster sauce, curry powder and minced garlic, place in dish with chicken and marinate for 30 min minimum. Saute, broil or grill till done.

Peirogi Casserole - I was hoping for a different vegetarian type dish for a change. Granted it's not figure friendly and I knew that, but I was in the mood for something different. I just did not care for this that much. It basically seems like a mashed potato deluxe type thing... with some pasta thrown in. Next time I'll just make the pierogi.

Friday, July 4, 2008

2 for 1 special

I've had a bad cough for 2.5 weeks... JP has had similar for about 2 weeks. Today he woke up coughing terribly and I decided not to wait till next week for an appointment with a pediatrician. We went to urgent care although I felt foolish for going with just a cold, but they assured me the length of the colds was more than enough to be a concern. We are now both on antibiotics. Me for the upper respitory infection that won't clear.. and JP for the same as well as a precaution as his eardrums are red, although not bulging. JP was a terror in the office and the doctor said 2 things which made me laugh. First was that while both of us held him down for the ear examination he commented on how strong JP was. My little iron man of the future maybe? Second, at the end of the appointment he asked if this was JP's normal 'spirited' temperment... in a way that said he thought it was. I laughed and said no, thats another reason that I knew something was wrong. JP is a happy, even tempered kid normally. The tasmanian devil I was dealing with was NOT my usual baby. He's had his first dose and I think he would have sucked the syringe down if it had tasted the same. Silly me thought he would hate the medicine (this is his first experience with antibiotics). At least I know it will be fairly easy to give him his meds. And can someone explain to me how you give a baby 3 doses a day ...8 hours apart.. without having to wake them once? I can't figure out the timing. JP sleeps from about 8:30 pm - 7am.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Looks like I have a little water bug on my hands, lol....

Stop burning the bratwurst!

This is JP telling Uncle Matt to not burn the bratwurst on the grill, lol. He's looking out of a section of the door on the porch and only went over there when Matt was working on the grill. Boy did he bark out some orders, lol...

the headless corgi....

Peanut is a silly dog. She and JP have one funny similar thing. they don't like to sleep unless their eyes are covered. JP's become more adaptable. Peanut not so much. She wanted to sleep the other night when I was reading a book. So she got up, shot me a look.. and resettled herself with her head under the edge of the dust ruffle. Now she had the equvalent of doggie night shade on her eyes. Silly girl.