Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Unexpected

This morning started out a tiny bit stinky.  Mike had to work which was stinky.  I needed to go for a seven mile run which was also kind of stinky, but doable.  But the biggest stinky part of today was that we had an appointment with a plumber.  An appointment that Mike couldn't be here for *sigh* 

The reason we had an appointment with the plumber is that our sewer has been acting up again for like the 7,493rd time.  Last fall we replaced a large portion of our sewer line.  The way our house is situated on our lot, we have about 140 feet of sewer line with two 90 degree turns.  We also have two trees.  We had a tree root clog which had things backed up so that the shower wouldn't drain.  We had to call a different plumber than we usually use & this new guy has a bit of a different method (of course).  He started looking at our line where it goes into the street.  This area hasn't been examined before.  The clean out that he uncovered seems to be full of dirt.  In other words, somehow or other it appears that the sewer line has either been crushed or come apart & then clogged with dirt.  This would allow our sewer to drain but it would be very slow because it would have to seep through the dirt.  This could explain why our washer takes such a long time to drain.  *sigh*

So...that was some unexpected news.  And it's going to be another unexpected project with a decent sized extra bill.  I have been reminded once again that though these things are unexpected to Mike & me, it's not a surprise for the Lord.  He's prepared & He has helped prepare us.  We won't have to be selling a car or eating ramen for a month to pay our plumber's bill; the Lord has been good to provide a lot of overtime for Mike.  It's been tough to have him working so much, but now we can see a reason for it. 

Hopefully by this time Tuesday we will have another section of this sewer thing dealt with.  Little by little we are going to get there!  And by God's grace I'll be able to control my urge to pack up & move away when things go awry *grin*

Friday, April 29, 2011

Our Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday started early for us - just like it does for a lot of church-going folk.  Our sunrise service started at 7:30, then we had a breakfast, short choir practice, Sunday School, & then the Morning Service.  What a blessing it was to be in the Lord's House concentrating on the real meaning behind Easter - the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Savior.  I hope your Easter Sunday morning was a lot like ours - full of worship & gratitude. 
After church, we started the rounds of family getting togethers.  Lunch was spent with Mike's family where we enjoyed way too much good food & I took a nap on the couch.  It was bliss.

After that, we headed out towards the country to the G's.  I was really hoping that the weather would hold because we usually get to play outside all together - passing the football, hiding eggs, playing's a great time to play like a kid.  Alas, it poured down rain the whole time.  I stood by the window & actually said out loud, "I wish it would quit raining; I wanna go outside!"  I felt like a kid again *grin*

It was no less than 75 degrees in their house.  Even my cold-blooded self was ready to melt down - I finally gave in and rolled my jeans up capri length! 
And you know what all that warmth does to a room full of tired people. 
We all got sleepy.
This does NOT look like a wild party, does it?  Never fear, G-ma was cooking up some ideas for entertainment.  She is definitely the hostess with the mostess.
I love this lady.
While we were all sitting there in the living room in a big disjointed circle, she made us sing.  That's what G-ma has always done.  Even with her blindness & being half-deaf she still enjoys music, trying to learn new songs & singing with anyone who will join her.  She made us all stand up.  Then she made us all come up with our own verse of "If You're Happy & You Know It."  Extreme hilarity ensued.  I only wish I had a video.  I did go grab a notebook so that I could record everyone's verse.  It is just too funny to be forgotten.

G-ma:  If you're saved & you know it, say "Amen!"  Amen!
Brennan: If you're tired & you know it, go to sleep!  Snore!
Madison: If you're hungry & you know it, eat some pie!  Chomp!  Chomp!
PharmGirl: If you're fat & you know it, go jogging!  Run!  Run!
Mike: If you got some gas & you know it, give a burp!  Burp! Burp!
Beth: If you're dirty & you know it, take a shower!  Scrub!  Scrub!
G-pa: If you're hungry & you know it, eat a sloppy joe!  Yum!  Yum!
Uncle Alan: If you're hungry & you know it, eat a snickerdoodle!  Just one!
Dad: If you have a sore foot, learn to limp!  Crip!  Crip!
Mom: If you have a sore hip, take a seat!  Plop!  Plop!
Caleb: If you're fat & you know it, don't buy donuts!  Just say no!
Aunt Ruth: If you're achy & you know it, take a pill!  Gulp!  Gulp!

No one on earth will think this is as funny as it was in the moment.  I love my family.  They are ALWAYS good for a laugh.  I'm sure you can tell (if you actually read through it) that each one of us had something particular in mind.  My mom has had some real health problems lately relating to her hip.  Caleb has grown up with his grandpa buying donuts for everyone.  Sloppy joes & snickerdoodles were part of our fabulous meal that night & my Aunt Ruth really isn't a druggie.  She just has some chronic pain problems from a serious car accident.  We were all cracking up when we finished.  It was just too funny.

Then because things just had to settle down a bit or somebody was going to call the cops for all of our laughing noise, we pulled out some board games. 

Don't you just love Jenga?  It's almost as fun to watch as to play.

Caleb was a fearless & bold player.

Maddie agonized over every move.  And I don't know why there was cash on the table in front of her.  If they were playing for money I should have gotten in on that action!

Down she goes!

It was such a great day - from start to finish! 
I hope you enjoyed a similar fun, meaningful day surrounded by loved ones!

Thursday, April 28, 2011


I'm not sure why, but this week I have been really tired.
I don't know why.  I'm sure it's because I just can be.  Don't be like me.
This week has also involved lots of driving for work.
If you haven't seen the weather lately, you might not know that we have had torrential downpours of rain.  No major storms (thank you, Lord!) but lots of rain. 
Rain makes driving look like this:
Gray & boring.  In this situation I quickly go from being a bright-eyed, energetic employee to one who looks like this:
And then I rapidly descend from just looking bored to looking like I'm going to crash into a deep sleep.
Don't I look tired?  Don't you feel sorry for me?
Don't feel sorry for me!  I travel prepared!
I pulled out my handy-dandy package of Orbit Strawberry flavored gum.  Mike doesn't like the way fruity gum smells so work hours are the prime time to give it a chew.  I have a really bad habit with this stuff.  I tend to piggy back it.  One piece goes in my mouth.  A few minutes later in goes another piece.  A few minutes get the picture.  The end result: a huge wad of gum.  What is a huge wad of gum useful for?  NO, not for smashing into someone else's hair!  Yep, that happened to me once.  Mean old Chad & Nick at the 8th grade Fun Club at school.  I will never forget how the teacher on duty said, "Don't worry about it now.  Wait until you get home.  You're tall; no one will even see it up there on top of your head."
True Story.  I'm scarred for life.
Anyway...we don't need to ride that blast from the past any further.
Back to what is a huge wad of gum good for?
 Blowing bubbles!
 And blowing bubbles is good for keeping me awake while driving!
 And staying awake while driving is good for keeping me from wrecking into a ditch full of rainwater!
 See what huge bubbles a huge wad of gum can make?
And then it popped. 


At least it didn't stick to my nose.

Get out there & blow some bubbles today!

You'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It's A Bumper Crop Year!

Every year about this time lots of people that I know get a kind of crazy sparkle in their eye.
It's mushroom hunting time.
I like to hunt for mushrooms.
But I've only done it about 4 times in my life.
I've only found about 4 mushrooms.
Once I found one in the flower bed at my parent's house.  Total fluke.
I didn't count that experience in the above statistics.

After work yesterday Mike headed over to mow the grass for his parents.  Soon after he left I got a message from him on my phone.  The pics that he sent had me gaping, open-mouthed with surprise.

 He was just mowing along, not paying a lot of attention, when he saw these!  Look at all those morels! 
The reason I was so surprised is that his parents live right smack dab in the middle of town.  I never would have thought they would have a ripe harvest field of morels in their backyard! 
I'd say it is definitely a bumper crop year!
And I can make that assessment because I'm such an
experienced expert in the field of mushroom hunting...

This one is the granddaddy of the lot.  He's a big 'un.

Mike's daddy was squealing with delight.  He knows he's in for some good eatin'!

Anybody else been 'shroom hunting?  Any great big finds?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

This song is a favorite with Mike &me. The words are written from Peter's perspective. It never fails to remind me of the wonder of that first Easter morning when they discovered that Jesus was indeed alive!

I hope you enjoy a wonderful Easter Sunday with many quiet moments to reflect on the wonderful truth that Jesus is risen.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Take A Walk Through My Garden...

Ha ha!  I wish!
The fact that my dad is an extremely talented landscaper just cracks me up.  That a black thumb such as I could be his daughter just proves that the Lord has a sense of humor.
Last summer I killed hostas & ferns.  That's how bad it is.
Since I have already confessed that our yard is a ten point disaster, I took some pics at my parents house the other day.  My dad doesn't spend as much time as he would like on their yard (he's too busy working!) but he does have some flowering beauties that have dazzled this spring.
Like this lilac bush, which by they way, is sheltering a cardinal couple & their nest.  This is the second year in a row that a cardinal couple has built in this lilac.  I hope I can get some pics this year!
 Does anything on earth smell as good as a lilac bloom? 
 These lavender beauties make me smile.
 And here is the heart shaped tulip bed.  Can you spot the two purple leftovers from last year? *grin*
 Hello, beautiful!
 This cheerful group greets everyone who comes up to the door.
And this little beauty is a plum cistena bloom.  They are dainty - a little smaller than a nickle & they are sweet smelling - love 'em!

For behold, the winter is past;

the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
is heard in our land.
The fig tree ripens its figs,
and the vines are in blossom;
they give forth fragrance.
Song of Solomon 2:11-13a

I hope things are blooming beautifully in your neck of the woods!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

This morning I was surprised a little bit when I overheard one of my coworkers say, "I'll go ask MaryAnn.  She seems to know what the story is with stuff."  Then he came to me and said, "What is all this Good Friday stuff about?  Is it a holiday?"
I was a bit dumbfounded.  I know that I shouldn't have been; I haven't really been under the impression that this man was a Christian.  I just hoped he knew more about the Gospel than it seems he actually does.  What followed was a far too brief conversation wherein I tried to describe for him what Good Friday is about.  And what Resurrection Sunday is about.  Then he wanted to know if Catholics were Christians & how Catholics are different from other churches.  That's the point where I feel like the wheels fell off the bus & our conversation got derailed.

When situations like this come up & I have the opportunity to share some of the important aspects of my faith I always feel like I wish I could have said more...I feel like I wish they had understood more...I feel very inadequate.  But for some reason the Lord gives me these opportunities & I will keep praying for His help & maybe someday, sometime it will really click for someone.

The whole conversation got me thinking - how many others know nothing of the significance of Good Friday?  I decided that I would explain it just a bit in this post today since it is Good Friday!  I tend to get a little lost in the details of things but hopefully I can tell you about this important part of Christ's life without causing you any confusion.

Christ was the perfect Son of God.  He came to earth & lived a sinless life.  He came to earth with one objective - to save us from our sin.  While He was here He worked miracle after miracle - turning water to wine, calming stormy seas, countless healings, incredible provision for many from very little - He was man but He was God.  All of the aspects of His ministry - the miracles & the teaching - culminated in one event, His crucifixion on the cross of Calvary.  He was betrayed by one of his own friends to a group of enemies who forced Him through an unfair trial that eventually led to His sentence of death - crucifixion.  The evil plans of man fell parallel to the perfect plan of God to save a world fallen into sin.  Good Friday is the day that we remember this perfect, selfless sacrifice of the Son of God to save us all from our sin. 

Hundreds of years before Christ walked this earth, the prophet Isaiah wrote about His death on the cross:

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed. 
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all
Isaiah 53:4-6

It is humbling to recognize the depth of love that God has for us - that He would sacrifice His own Son to buy us back from our sin. 

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin,
so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
II Corinthians 5:21

Today my heart is filled with gratitude that Christ would be willing to be my Savior.  Knowing that I have a home in heaven & the Holy Spirit within to help me live this life gives me hope, joy & peace for each day.  I hope you have that, too.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Pressure Is On!

I got my Indy Mini race confirmation in the mail recently. 
If you look closely you will see that I am slated to begin the race in Corral E.
This is big stuff for a girl like me.
The first time I ran the Mini I started in Corral U.
Yeehaw - that's some progress!
Maybe I should start taking my training a bit more seriously...

Now the pressure is on & I'm feeling more ready to run!
Only 16 days 'til race day!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Did You Have A Meeting With Officer Wood?

The Birthday Girl & Her Momma - she's an 8 year old now!
Saturday night the family converged upon Beth & Brennan's house in the country.  We had a yummy pitch in dinner to celebrate Madison's 8th birthday.  I brought the baked macaroni (just like my mother-in-law makes it); I was the most popular kid at the party.  Just teasing...kinda.

Anyway, we had a great time eating & celebrating Maddie.  She was so excited she could hardly be still enough to snap a pic.  I'm sure all the sugar in the cake & ice cream didn't help matters much.

Since it was Saturday night & we all needed to be up early for church the party broke up around 9 p.m.  Beth & Brennan's driveway looked like a parking lot & we were at the end of one of the lines so we were one of the first to leave.  Mike had been fielding some calls & texts from his brother during the last hour or so we were there.  He had a virus on his laptop & he needed some help dealing with it so Mike was trying to assist him.  As we were leaving the highway & exiting to the bypass Mike was just putting his phone down & we saw the flashing lights in our rear view.  Ought-o.

A state police officer came to the window & Mike started confessing almost before the officer said a word.  "I'm sorry...I was probably going too fast...I was just hanging up the phone..."  I almost laughed right out loud.  Mike is so honest; when he gets caught doing something wrong he has to clear his conscience immediately.  The officer asked us where we had been & we answered that we were coming home from our niece's birthday party.  He asked if we had been drinking & for Mike's license & the car's registration.  I started digging in the glove box & handed him the first registration I found - it was expired & didn't even have my married name on it.  He said that it was ok because he would just run the plate anyway.  Note to self - clean out the glove box!

The officer went back to his car & I was kind of cracking up because I figured that all of our family that was heading home right after us was going to see us pulled over & we were never going to hear the end of the teasing.  The officer was very gracious & just gave Mike a warning.  He asked us to please be careful, not to speed or talk on the phone while we were driving.  We sat up straight all the way home thanking God that Mike had avoided a ticket.

A few minutes after we got home my cell phone rang.  It was my mom.  "So, did you guys have a meeting with Officer Wood on the way home?" 
I thought, Huh?  How does she know the officer's name?
"Umm...yeah.  Mike got pulled over.  Why?  How did you know the officer's name?"
"Because he pulled your dad over!"  *crazy laughter*
Evidently my dad got pulled over for not making a complete stop when he exited the bypass.  After Officer Wood reviewed my dad's license & registration he went back to my parents & asked them if by any chance they were related to Mike.  My dad was flabbergasted.  He said yes that Mike was his son-in-law.  Then the officer told my parents that he had pulled Mike over, too.  He figured it out when we both said we were coming home from a birthday party & he matched my dad's last name & my maiden name from the expired registration I had given him.  Pretty smart guy, huh?  And gracious because he gave Dad a warning, too. 
We all got a good laugh from what could have been a stinky, expensive situation!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

There's Nothing Like A Good Story...

Quite a while ago I told you that one of my goals for 2011 was to read the entire collection of The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.  I was able to borrow a book from my aunt that had all seven stories in it:
The Magician's Nephew
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
The Horse and His Boy
Prince Caspian
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Silver Chair
The Last Battle

I enjoyed every word & every line & every page.  And there were lots of pages - something like 746 if I remember correctly.  And that makes for a very big book.  It was almost hard to read in bed (one of my favorite nighttime activities).  If I got too drowsy holding the book it would flop around & hit me in the face or hit the floor with a loud smack.  Mike got lots of laughs out of me trying to read this book in bed.

I have to confess that once I got into the last story I almost intentionally didn't pick up the book to read as often because I knew I was getting close to the end & I just didn't want the story to end.

Why yes, I often suffer from denial; don't you? *grin*

Anyway, now I don't have any books that I'm in the process of reading.  I should follow a fiction book with something nonfiction; I try to rotate them like that so that hopefully I'm challenging myself & learning something every once in a while.

Have any of you read something good lately?  Any recommendations for me?  Thanks!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bambi Kisses

The Bambi Kiss
I work in a unique workplace.  Not everybody gets to handle radioactive medicines on a daily basis.  It's interesting & some days it's even fun.

Our staff goes to work early.  I go in at 7:00 a.m. & I'm the last one there.  The pharmacist gets going on stuff between 2:30 a.m. & 3:00.  Our other technician comes in at 3:00 & the drivers report at 3:30.  Usually they have all of the doses for our first run ready to go between 4:00 & 5:00 a.m.  That means our guys are out there on the road in the wee hours of the morning, driving in the dark.  And we are in the Midwest.  You know what that means - deer, & lots of them.  At this point I have lost track of how many times we have had a driver hit a deer in the past 9 1/2 years. 

Bob hit a deer this last Friday.  His car is in the picture above.  It wasn't really too bad of a hit, thank God.  It has been a good reminder for me that I need to be praying for our drivers.  Usually in the wintertime when there is snow & ice I get in a solid habit of praying for them when I first wake up.  Driving in that junk is no fun - especially when you have a 120-160 mile round trip to complete.  This time of year it doesn't seem like that big of a deal to be out traveling.  But at the risk of sounding like my dad (who is Mr. Cautious/Mr. Warning), there is an element of danger out there anytime you are on the road.  So I'm going to keep working to establish a habit of prayer for our drivers.

Whatever we are doing to day & wherever we may be going, I hope we don't take our safety for granted.  And my dad would want me to tell you, "Wet pavement is slick pavement!"

Sunday, April 17, 2011

From the Mouth of Madison

Maddie & Me
First of all, I gotta say that I have some fabulous nephews & nieces.  They seriously make my heart squeeze.  I'm blessed to spend a lot of time with Caleb & Madison because they live here in town.  I miss Whitney, Aidan, Caydance, & Canton every day & try to squeeze as much out of every visit as I possibly can.

Poor Madison though.  Lately people are forever telling her that she is just like me.  Her dad has called her a "Mini MeeMee" from almost day one.  She has brown hair & dark eyes (like me).  She has a lot to say most of the time (like me).  She laughs kind of loud & loves to make others laugh (like me).  She can be a bit dramatic & tears come easy (like me).  There is never a dull moment when Mad is around.

When we had our little sleep over last week she told me something that just cracked me up.  She looks at her Uncle Mike with starry eyes, if you know what I mean.  I totally understand because I have a major crush on him, too.  Last Thursday she did something that she thought was embarrassing in front of him.  When we were leaving the house to pick up our breadstick/pizza supper she said, "Aunt MeeMee, my hiney has been so tingly since I got embarrassed in front of Uncle Mike!  I thought my bottom was going to fall off!"

I've heard of  'hiney tingles' before.  The Pioneer Woman talks about them on her blog in her "Black Heels to Tractor Wheels" posts.  I think she is talking about something entirely different.

I've never heard of 'hiney tingles' in association with embarassment.  And I'm sure Mad hasn't read the Pioneer Woman's blog.

She mentioned it again the next day saying, "My hiney tingled all night last night!"

She cracks me up.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Springtime Saturday

Those white blossoms are slowly & steadily
being replaced by new spring green leaves!
I've been reminding myself that April showers bring May flowers.

I'm personally of the opinion that you can't have too many flowers.

So I guess I would have to say bring on the rain!

For the next 14 days.  And then it must be all bright sunshine!

I've gotta do thirteen miles this morning so I'm super hopeful that the rain (and especially any thunder & lightning) will stay away. 

Have I mentioned that I scream like a little girl when I'm outside & there happens to be some thunder & lightning?

Never read magazine articles about people getting struck by lightning.

And that's all the wisdom I have for you on this wonderful Spring Saturday...have a great day!

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Great Sleepover!

Last week I told you all that our nephew & niece, Caleb & Madison, would be having their first sleepover at our house.  I was super excited.  I think they were happy about it too.
I'll admit that I was a little worried they would be bored.  I have been the impromptu baby sitter on several occasions & after the homework was done I was at a total loss for activities.  It has become glaringly obvious that we need more games & G rated movies.
Beth dropped the kids off & we decided what would be good for dinner.  I decided to try to be as much of a 'yes' auntie as possible.  I'm not sure why, but my inclination is to say 'no' a lot.  As we discussed dinner my 'yes' mentality was tested right away.  The kids (& their uncle, too) confessed that although they loved stuffed crust pizza from The Hut, they all preferred breadsticks from Little Caesar's.  What to do, what to do?  Well there was only one thing to do - call The Hut & order pizza.  Load up in the car with Maddie leaving the guys to watch sports stuff & play video games.  Go get breadsticks from Caesar & then pick up the pizza from The Hut.  Easier than cooking?  I'm not sure, but it was good!

After dinner we left Mike home (nursing his confounded sinuses) & went to DQ for a little dessert.  Very close to the DQ is a fabulous city park.  Beth & I joke about how our parents took us to DQ when we were kids & then we would drive through the park.  Not once did we get out & play & burn any DQ calories.  After Cal & Mad & I had our treats in hand we headed to the park to play.  And play we did.  I was running around the playground in my flip flops playing tag.  It was so fun.  And I didn't feel too stupid playing as an adult because there were a bunch of teenagers there doing the same thing.  Interestingly enough, we all ran around together & no one got in anyone's way & several groups of crazies were playing tag at the same time with no problems.  That has to be a playground miracle. 

 After we tired ourselves out running around playing tag, Cal & Mad had to show me a new corner of the park they had explored with Beth earlier in the week.  We had to cross this little concrete bridge over a creek.  My flip flopped feet got all wet but it was worth it. 

So far, so good.  We were all having a great time.  Then I made a couple of Rookie Mistakes.

Have any of you heard of the movie "Hachi"?  It's about a man & his dog.  I knew it was sad.  I warned the kids.  But Grandma had said it was a good movie & they wanted to watch it - Rookie Mistake #1.  So we got the couch bed all pulled out, made it up, put on our jammies, brushed our teeth, & camped out for the movie.  About halfway into the movie Mad elbows me & tells me that she has hives all over her arms & they are making her crazy.  Mad can be a bit dramatic so I make a phone call to Beth.  Evidently Mad gets hives intermittently in the spring; it's allergy related.  All she needs is some Benedryl gel.  Rookie Mistake #2 - we have practically no OTC meds of any kind.  Therefore, no Benedryl gel on hand.  I decide to go to a nearby grocery store & pick some up.  Mike is already asleep because he had to work the next day.  Mad insists she needs to go with me so I will know the right stuff to get.  Cal doesn't want to leave the movie although we all have some anxiety because we know the sad part is coming.
Rookie Mistake #3 - Mad & I go to the grocery store & leave Cal watching the movie.  We get back no more than 20 minutes later & Cal is visibly upset.  The movie has taken that sad turn & he is just overwrought.  I turn the movie off, give many hugs & cuddles good night & we all turn in.

I am happy to report that the next day I did not commit any Rookie Mistakes.  And Cal is not scarred for life.
 We spent a leisurely morning packing their stuff up (Cal is a creative packer, sticking most of his stuff inside his pillowcase - smart kid!) & getting some breakfast.  Then we headed back to their house to pick Beth & Coco up to do a little local hiking.
 It was such good times.  It was a lovely day - sunny, warm, a little breezy, & birdsong filled.  We had a great hike through the woods telling stories, finding little flowers, & even spotting a few butterflies. 
And we found this fabulous snake tree.  Isn't it curious?  It has definitely learned to adapt to get the sunlight it needs!

We all ate lunch together & ended the sleep over on a high note.  I'm thinking that in spite of the Rookie Mistakes future sleep overs will definitely be in the plans.  I gotta start scheming on how we can work out a similar deal for our out-of-town nephews & nieces.  It could be tricky because once the grandparents have them, they don't want to let go!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Correct Way To Make Dirt Pudding

Before you begin any cooking adventure, you must set the mood.  This requires music.  I have been on a Celtic Thunder kick lately.  I am not ashamed.
Select the appropriate attire.  I may or may not have had my pajamas on underneath this fabulous apron.  Thursday, if you're reading - I love my apron!
This Dirt Pudding recipe is rich & wonderful.  It requires crushed Oreo cookies.  I didn't have any anger to vent so I used my food processor.  It pulverized those things!  If you like a grittier texture, load the cookies into a ziplock & whammo with a rolling pin.
 If a cookie should happen to flip out of the package & into the sink, you must eat it.  That's what I had to do, ten second rule & all.  You know, the rule that states if food gets dropped it must be eaten within ten seconds so that it doesn't get yucky?  That's not really how the ten second rule works?  Whaddayouknow...
 Put your cream cheese & butter in a bowl to soften.  Stick it in the microwave if you are impatient like me.
 Measure out some milk & vanilla pudding mix. 
Grab your whipped topping (it's a disturbing food isn't it?  I mean what is really whipped to make that topping...).  It should be thawed.  It's hard for even a Kitchenaid to mix up frozen whipped topping.  No, I haven't tried that; why do you ask?
 Get some powdered sugar because this isn't sweet enough already *grin*
 Mix it all up (except the Oreos, obviously).  It's a big bowl of wonderful deliciousness.
I layered this lovely concoction in my trifle bowl.  It was a wedding gift & this was the first time I got to parade it out of the china cabinet.  Looks pretty, doncha think?

After you have it all dished up, put the dirt in your freezer.  I don't think ours got frozen all the way through but it stayed wonderfully cold even after traveling to our friend's house about 30 minutes away.  Delish.

Here's the breakdown on how much you need of what:

1 package Oreo cookies, crushed
1 1/2 small boxes of vanilla pudding mix
2 cups milk
8 oz. whipped topping
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 stick butter

This is actually half of the recipe.  The whole recipe is enough to get an army on a sugar high.  If you are super observant you will realize that there is an entire stick of butter in the photo above.  That's what happens when your name is PharmGirl & you try to half the recipe in your head on a Saturday morning when your brain is not yet quite in gear.  Don't be like me.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

His & Her Power Tools

Saturday morning dawned cloudy & rumbly with a nice thunderstorm in the works.  Mike wasn't feeling well (doggone asthma & allergies!) so while he rested I decided to get busy on my To Do list, very carefully skipping over the "Run 5 Miles" section.  Ahem.
I went straight to the kitchen & got some coffee going.  I needed to finish some applesauce that I had started the night before in the crock pot & I also needed to whip up some Dirt Pudding to take to dinner at a friend's home that evening.  I got to work.
As I wrapped up my projects I realized that I had used just about every electronic kitchen gadget that I own.  I joked with my sister in a text that I was using all of my 'power tools'.  It made me giggle to think how my power tools compare to Mike's.  So here is a photo essay of His & Her's Power Tools!

The Essential Tool
Can't Live Without It

The Crock Pot
Life Saver

The Blender
Apple Sauce Smoother
Milk Shake Maker

The Food Processor
Crumbler of Oreos,
Shredder of Many Vegetables
The KitchenAid
The Mightiest Whipper
in the Land
Mitre Saw
I think...
Drill Press
Mike's Christmas Present 2010

Belt Sander
Maker of Much Dust

The Other Part of
Mike's Christmas Present 2010

Scroll Saw
Mike's Christmas Present 2009

I'm not sure if you noticed the trend, but I seem to have no other inspiration for Christmas gifts other than tools. So far Mike hasn't complained!