Saturday, February 28, 2009

I'm a steak and potatoes girl!

My family has reached Delaware and is enjoying time with Grandma and Grandpa. Tonight they are attending a concert...some sort of marching band performance. I am settling in for a night of TV. But I had to visit my favorite restaurant first:

I order the same thing every time: Victoria Filet with mashed potatoes and Caesar salad, with the dressing on the side. 1 glass of Beringer's White Zinfindel to sip along with the meal. And a side of 5 grilled shrimp on the barbie. But...oh, heavens! They have changed the menu (read: raised the prices) and...they no long have the grilled shrimp as an add-on! NOOOOOOOO!!!!!! The waitress, a very nice girl named Monique, managed to get me some shrimp anyway. Such a sweet thing...

Anyway, it was a terrific meal! A nice way to begin my evening alone...with 2 dogs and a cat. :)

Friday, February 27, 2009

A little quiet time

My family is headed to Delaware tomorrow afternoon to visit Eric's parents. Since we don't have anywhere for the dogs to go for an impromptu weekend, I'm staying home alone to care for them. I will miss all the activity here at home, but I must admit, the quiet will be lovely!

Here is a favorite picture of the beach at Camp Henlopen National Seashore, which is the beach we visit when we go to Grandma and Grandpa's:

Love this gull...looks like he's looking for some supper!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Oh, For Pete's Sake!

Today is For Pete's Sake Day. Gotta love these fun holiday sites! Here's my "For Pete's Sake" picture:

Last fall a squirrel got into one of the pumpkins decorating our front porch. He had obviously been at this a while before I caught him and got the camera. He was actually climbing into the pumpkin!

And here he is with his booty. If I'd known he was hungry, I'd have put out some nuts, for Pete's sake!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Happy Rudy Day!

One of the forums I frequent is Magical Holiday Home, which is dedicated to all holiday lovers, but especially Christmas lovers! Today is the 25th of the month, and that means it's Rudolph Day, or Rudy Day. (The anniversary of Christmas, get it?) On Rudy Day we are supposed to do something Christmas-related to make our Christmas season relaxed and not hurried, by doing preparations throughout the year. Today I plan to update my Christmas card list.

And in the spirit of the season, here's a picture I took in December 2007 of the National Christmas Tree at the Capitol. (I just love living near Washington!)

Happy Rudy Day to all and here's to making next Christmas a little less stressful!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

It's Girl Scout Cookie Time!

These are my favorite Girl Scout cookies, Tagalongs.

What's not to love...cookie...creamy peanut butter...chocolate...(Sigh)

I received this box at last night's Boy Scout meeting. (I bought from the sister of a fellow Boy Scout...just to make it clear that the BOY Scouts are NOT selling GIRL Scout cookies! LOL) Here's the box this morning...

Ah, Girl Scout cookies...Breakfast of Champions!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Well, blow me down!

It was pretty blustery today...25-30 MPH winds. I got a couple of fun pictures of Kiki "chasing" leaves blowing in the wind...chasing from the comfort of our semi-warm basement!

She's got her leaf in sight...
And there it goes...
As you can see, there are plenty more by the door!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Here's to you, Mr. Washington!

Happy Birthday today to George Washington, our first President. Here are a couple of pictures from the beautiful capital city that bears his name:

Here's the Capitol...such an impressive building. And they have tours again!

The Washington Monument...with then-4th grade Nick and Flat Stanley, who was sent back to a friend in Texas

This is Mount Vernon, in suburban Virginia, Washington's home. Our Scout troop took a bike trip there in November, and they had a great time. Beautiful scenery, although I'm sure Washington never saw the planes taking off from National Airport from his front yard!
(No cherry trees were harmed in the taking of these pictures!)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake!

Nick and I visited another Cub Scout Blue and Gold Banquet today--our troop received 4 Cub Scouts into our Boy Scout troop. As always, the highlight is the Father-Son Cake Contest. Here are a few memorable selections:

We'll start with the Washington Monument, since that is where we are located. It's the Leaning Washington Monument, but cool nonetheless.

Next we'll move on to the main course of the Banquet: Spaghetti and Meatballs

How about a side order of pizza?

Here's dessert: a little Roadkill!
And after that great meal, it's time to relieve yourself with a trip to the litter box. :)
Yes, they're all cakes, and yes, they're all edible!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Be a Love, Love a Pet!

From my fun list of odd days to celebrate in the month of February:

February 20th is Love Your Pet Day. In honor of that, here are some pictures of my pets:

My ever-loyal Bingo

Too-cute-for-words Muffin

The lady of the house, Kiki

I don't know what I'd do without them!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


The kids had their biannual dentist appointment this afternoon. Clean bill of health for both, although JJ needs a sealant replaced. However, the technician pulled this from JJ's mouth:

What is this, you may ask? Is it some stringy piece of food? Is it just a string? No, folks, that is a roughly 1/2 piece of wire that was almost completely embedded in JJ's inner gumline in the top of his mouth. Who knows how long it had been in there: the orthodontist didn't catch it 2 weeks ago at the last appointment. Neither JJ nor the technician could believe it when she pulled that out. JJ is a little sore, but OK. I, however, am a bit horrified! Ew!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dogs and Fleece...What a Combination!

I just love this picture of our dogs, Muffin and Bingo. They are such sweet dogs! This picture was taken about a year ago on our old couch that has since gone on to its greater reward (it was worn in so many places we lost count!).

The blanket they are laying on is a fleece blanket I made Nick for Christmas a few years ago. Fleece blankets have become my go-to gift; they are easy to make, and seem to be very much appreciated. And if you can catch fleece on sale, a nice bargain to boot! For the average sized adult, I buy 2 1/2 yards of patterned fleece in something I think the recipient will like (Nick likes orange) and the same measure of a coordinating backing fleece. Lay them wrong sides together and trim all the way around so that all sides are even. Then I cut 4 square inches off each of the four corners, and then make 4-inch cuts all the way around the blanket--through both layers at once. Take one set of fleece strips (1 pattern and the underlying backing) and tie in a double overhand knot. Do this all the way around and in about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, you'll have a fleece blanket to keep you warm on the coldest winter night! (As will sleeping with dogs!)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Home Ec Lives!

Today I got to sub in Family and Consumer Sciences. That's just a fancy way of saying Home Ec. :) I like subbing in there because I enjoy sewing and helping others learn what could be a dying art form. Here are a couple of projects I've made over the last couple of months:

This is a baby grab ball...the baby grabs onto the ball and can hold it, toss it, chew on it. The friend I gave this to actually lays her baby across it and rolls him around on it. Fun, fun, fun!

I crocheted this baby blanket for a teacher at the middle school whose wife had a baby earlier this month. It's hard to tell from the picture, but it's one huge granny square; alternating rounds of baby variegated yarn with rounds of soft pink (they had a little girl).

Now go create something!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Hot Stuff, Baby!

My friend Stacie passed along a great white chicken chili recipe to me last week. She brought it to a middle school potluck lunch that I was lucky enough to be able to partake of since I was subbing that day. Her chili was to die for! So good! She brought me a recipe card and I made it tonight for supper. Let's just say that 1 substitution really DOES make a difference! You'll see as we go along...

To make this chili, you'll need:
White Chicken Chipotle Chili
1 tablespoon oil (I used olive, but you can use whatever you want)
1 large onion, chopped
4 boneless chicken breasts (I used the thin-sliced ones)
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
3 cans cannelini beans, drained
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 jar chipotle chili
Here's where my substitution comes in. I could not find chipotle chili at my grocery store, so I bought chipotle peppers. My dear, dear husband said that chipotles are not hot, so it didn't matter. HA!

First, heat oil over low heat, then add the chopped onion, and cook for 4 minutes.

Push onion to one side and add the chicken to the pot. Sprinkle with chili powder, cumin, and salt and pepper as desired and cook for 5 minutes.

Increase the heat to medium high and add 2 cans of drained cannelini beans, 1 1/4 cups of chicken broth, and the chipotle chili, and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine remaining can of cannelini beans and 3/4 cup chicken broth in food processor. I used a blender...same difference. Puree until smooth. Add puree and half-and-half to pot.

Simmer for a few minutes and serve. Enjoy!

Looks innocent enough, doesn't it? It was SO SPICY I could not eat it. It was tasty at first, but then my tongue caught on fire and I had to drink 3 glasses of milk to put it out. I hope Eric likes the chili, because he's the only one who will be eating it. And next time, I will remember--no substitutions!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009 cake!

Today started a string of appearances by our Boy Scout troop at Cub Scout Blue and Gold Banquets. The banquets are a celebration of the birthday of Scouting, usually held sometime during February, at which the Cub Scouts receive awards and the 5th grade Cub Scouts "cross over" into Boy Scouting. The Pack we visited today had 1 boy crossing over into our troop, but he wasn't in attendance, so we just volunteered our services by cleaning up trash and, my favorite, judging the Father/Son Cake Contest. The cakes are "supposed" to be made solely by the Scout and his dad/male guardian, but we know that doesn't always happen. JJ took this picture on his cell phone:

Yes, this is a cake! It's a Tiger Scout with a fondant hat by his side. It was VERY detailed, with the entire tiger covered with the flower tip attached to a decorating bag, and a neckerchief made out of fondant with the Scout rank written in icing on the back. We had to give this one Judges' Choice, since it was the coolest cake there. But made by the Scout and his father? You decide!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day to you all! I got to sleep in a little this morning, so when I got up I had the energy to make muffins for breakfast. I used my heart-shaped muffin pans that I only use once a year.

These muffins are delicious and a long-time family favorite. I originally got the recipe from my mother-in-law, who I believe got this from a magazine in the 1990s. As my Valentine's Day gift, here's the recipe; enjoy!

Chocolate Chip-Orange Muffins

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 12 oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips--these are amazing with Trader Joe's chips!
  • grated peel of 1 medium orange

Combine milk, oil, egg, and vanilla. Add and mix in flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Fold in chips and orange peel. Scoop batter in greased or sprayed muffin tins and bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, depending on your oven temperature (mine takes 23 minutes). Let sit in pans for 5 minutes before serving.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Oh, the horror!

In honor of Friday the 13th today, I was looking through some of my old pictures for something a little scary. I didn't come up with a whole lot. :) But here are a couple...

This is a beehive that we discovered in the top of our play yard last spring. Yes, that's a beehive! It was ENORMOUS! It took 2 cans of wasp spray and a lot of running before it was inactive and we could knock it down. Now THAT was scary!

And for you horror fans...

From Halloween 2007, here is Nick as a hobo and Eric in a hockey mask. Jason, look out!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Birthday, Abe!

Today is Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday. My husband Eric had to work at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington today and took these pictures of the memorial and the lovely flowers left there in memory of our 16th President:

In this one he looks a little forbidding:

I know he was a big man, but sheesh!

Happy Birthday, Mr. Lincoln!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Crazy driver!

Once a month I attend a Boy Scout leader Roundtable about 35 miles from home. I take the long way, which is 55 miles from home, because the short way has me driving over a very high and scary bridge, and I don't do those if I can help it. Taking the long way also allows me to chuckle at this diner every month:

I've never eaten at Bert's 50's Diner, but I understand the food's not half bad. I just wonder how fast that car was driving to end up on the roof!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ah, happiness!

Today was just a nice day. Subbing at school went well, JJ found out his braces are coming off in 8 weeks, I ate Applebee's for supper. :) But there was just nothing special for me to have a picture of today. So I did a little searching on the World Wide Web to see if February 10th was any kind of a special day. I found out that today is School Day, but I don't have a good picture of either the middle school or the high school my kids attend. (It's also Umbrella Day, but I don't have a picture of my umbrella, either.) Then the wonder that is Wikipedia provided me with a quote of the day:

"It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness." – Charles Spurgeon

This picture brings me great happiness:

This is sunrise over the Blue Ridge Mountains in north Georgia. I took this last March when we were visiting Georgia over Spring Break. This was taken a split second before the sun came over the mountain. I liked this picture so much I made it my background for my desktop on the computer. I'm at peace here.

Monday, February 9, 2009

South River beauty, as seen from the road

We took a little drive to Annapolis today to see an old friend from my college days. We had a nice visit and saw some lovely scenery on the way home. The pictures don't do the view justice.

As taken by 14 year old Nick...I of course was driving:

Sunset over the South River, as seen from the small bridge passing over the river. The clouds are starting to roll in, as we are due for rain the next day or two.

Then we turned around and took a picture the other way, heading out to the Chesapeake Bay. There were a lot of yachts out there, but I guess it was getting too dark to see. Pretty water, though!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Happy Birthday, Boy Scouting!

Today is the 99th birthday of Boy Scouting. Our church held a Scout Sunday Mass to recognize all Scouts...Boy, Cub, and Girl, as is the norm at churches all across the country during the month of February. We had nearly 40 Scouts and leaders in attendance in uniform. I was the coordinator for our church, and after Mass I was in the center taking attendance so the Scouts could get their patches when they come in, therefore I wasn't able to get a good picture of my boys in their Scout uniforms. So I'll share with you a few of my old favorites:

This is Nick, me, and JJ in February 2002 at a Blue and Gold Banquet in Plano, Texas. I was then JJ's den leader of 4th grade Webelos Scouts and Nick was a Tiger Scout. Shortly after this picture was taken we moved to Maryland and I started all over again in Scouting and became Nick's den leader of 2nd grade Wolf Scouts.

These next 2 pictures are of one of my favorite Cub Scouting events, the Pinewood Derby, circa 2003.

This is JJ and his car. It's designed like a block of Swiss cheese with part of a plastic knife secured to the "car". He painted on a license plate that read "CTTHCHZ" (Cut the Cheese). Such a sense of humor my elder son has! This was his last Pinewood Derby, as he became a Boy Scout the next month.

This is Nick's car. It's his favorite Pokemon character, Pikachu. His uncle helped him carve it out and Nick did all the painting himself. He was so proud of that car!

Happy Birthday, Boy Scouting! Here's to many, many more!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Praise God and Pass the Basketball

My 14 year old son, Nick, plays in a basketball league sponsored by Upward Bound, a religious sporting organization that specializes in praising God through sports. As an 8th grader, this will be his last year eligible to play. Today's game was a blowout...for the other team. Unfortunately. Our team has a lot of heart and what they lack in skill they make up for in good sportsmanship. All my action shots have other teammates in the shot, and I don't know how to blur their faces. So I'll just post a pic of my basketball superstar, Nick:

We'll get 'em next week!

Friday, February 6, 2009

You've Come a Long Way, Baby!

We got our GMC Acadia in June 2007. It's a great car...drives well in snow, can hold lots of campers and equipment, is sort of purple :)

We've had this car less than 2 years and it's taken us to Orlando, Georgia, Delaware, Atlantic City, Niagara Falls--yes, it's been to Canada!--and Pittsburgh, in addition to all over the metropolitan Washington, DC and Baltimore areas. Here's the milestone for our hard-working car as of this afternoon:

When we used to lease cars, we were only allowed 12,000 miles per year. Thank goodness we own this one! And yes, it was a balmy 42 degrees this afternoon, after a high of 26 here yesterday. And yes, I'm almost out of gas. :)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Order in the Court!

My 16 year old son, JJ, is in a very cool club at his school. The Mock Trial Club tries court cases in competition with other area high schools, and it gives them great experience in being attorneys and witnesses, and they learn a great deal about the legal system. JJ has been in this club for 3 years and is always a witness (ham, anyone?). The club's first "trial" of the year was tonight and was held at our county courthouse.As you can see from the sign out front, I had to leave my cell phone in the car. And, honest Abe that I am, placed my camera in the basket as I went through security and had it confiscated at the door. So no fun courtroom pictures!

The memorial in front of the courthouse is really nice; it's in memory of those county residents who lost their lives in World War I.

Our school lost the court was a tough one; defamation of character (that was JJ--the plaintiff). However, our school won the competition and JJ was singled out along with 2 others from our school for superior presentation and he received a perfect 5 out of 5 for his score!

Here is the plaintiff in all his finery:

Johnny Cash, look out! There's a new Man in Black in town!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Weird day, weather-wise...

This Maryland weather is freaky. Sunday we were in short sleeves and 64; yesterday it was barely at freezing and snowing. Today we got more unexpected snow, but only a light dusting. This afternoon Nicky and I went to the dump and saw this snow shower coming toward us:
Here was the leading edge of it with the sun still out:

But alas, we only got a couple of snowflakes; the big snow shower went south of us. Oh, well.

For those of you complaining that I don't have a profile photo attached, FINE! I added one. :) Don't say I didn't warn you...