Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Time to Take a Deep Breath

Last night, Bulldog Man and I were having a conversation, when our son came into the room and nonchalantly stated; “Has any one by chance seen my class ring?”  Both Bulldog Man and I looked at each other, as smoke started to billow out of my ears. I questioned our son, “What do you mean have we seen your class ring?”   
Flash back to October 2011, when our son’s high school sent all the students home with paperwork on ordering school rings and graduation material (i.e.: cap, gown, tassel).  Since I never really had the opportunity to have class ring when growing up, our son showed extreme interest in having one.  Bulldog Man and I scrounged around for extra cash (money being saved for items needed around the house like a Berkey filter) to purchase our son a ring to remember his high school and technical talent (welding).  The ring was delivered by mail to our son one week before Christmas.  Oh what a beautiful ring.  One side of the ring displayed the logo for welding and the other the United States American flag.  The top of the ring displayed a garnet stone with the school initials and our son’s name was displayed on both sides of the ring above each of the logos.  Bulldog Man and I explained to our son that he needs to take care of this ring.  When you are not wearing it to make sure and place it in safe place.  Don’t take the ring off and forget about it or lose it.  The ring has insurance for fixing and resizing, but if you lose it you’re screwed stuck.
Now back to the question “Has anyone by chance seen my class ring?” 
Yes, smoke was coming out of my ears.  I was so livid because our son had the nonchalant attitude as if money grows on trees.    When asked, when was the last time you seen the ring; his response was, “I haven’t worn the ring in a couple of weeks.  I took it off to do some work in the house and now I can’t find it”.    What type of work were you doing in the house?  Response; “I don’t know”.  We were hoping to narrow down the type of work to determine a possible location of the ring.    
Last night, our son was searching his room (aka: tornado alley) high and low. We asked him to check his clothes, search through the pockets, check the trash, call his girlfriend and see if he left the ring at her parent’s house.  Check at the high and technical schools lost and found this morning and check your toolbox.   The response from our son, I know what to do………….I  know it’s in the house somewhere……….I know…………I know………I know……..
My question, can I strangle him now?   Gosh, I or We truly hate that phrase “I Know”.  What is it about the phrase “I KNOW” or another pet peeve, the word “LIKE” used as an expression?
The moral of this post, money doesn’t grow on trees and one must take responsibility for his/her own actions.  But my nonchalant question, “Can I strangle him yet?”

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I Need Warmth

We woke up to 29 degrees this morning with a wind chill, making it feel as if it were 19 degrees outside. I told myself as soon as I opened the back door at 5:30AM; this is going to be a soup day.  We need something that’s going to stick to our bones and make us feel warm and cozy.  So the soup is on!  We are having homemade vegetable beef soup.  For your convenience, I have attached the recipe.
Vegetable Beef Soup (Crock Pot)


Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil for browning the meat
½ to 1 pound of stew beef cut into small pieces
½ onion 1 potato cut up in small pieces  ** (see additional options)
2 celery sticks cut up small pieces
2 carrots cut up small pieces
1 ear of corn, (cut corn off cob, if you don’t have fresh use a can)
A handful of broccoli pieces cut or 1 handful of fresh green beans cut
1 can 14.5 oz diced tomatoes
1 can beef broth
1 teaspoon salt (1/2 for browning meat and ½ for crock pot)
1 ½ teaspoon parsley (1/2 when browning meat and 1 teaspoon for crock pot)
1 teaspoon pepper (1/2 when browning meat and ½ for crock pot)
4 cups of water

Directions
In frying pan heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, add onions and beef. Stir beef until meat is brown on all sides.  Add ½ teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon parsley and ½ teaspoon of pepper to meat while browning.  Once meat is totally brown, remove from the burner and place meat mixture into crock pot.  Chop vegetables up into bite size pieces for soup and place in crock pot.  Add remaining spices (salt, pepper and parsley).  Add 1 can of beef broth and 4 cups of water to crock pot.  Turn crock pot on high and leave to cook for approximately 4 hours.  ** Options: instead of potato, add pasta or rice.  Compliment your soup with bread, rolls or crackers.

Today is also one of those days you just want to stay inside and remain warm.  This gives me a chance to finish up the inside chores; stripping down the beds, washing blankets, clothes and towels.  I also plan on Washing out the new storage containers received on Friday.  May even consider finishing up this book I am reading by Nicholas Evans, “The Loop”.   Have a great Sunday, and stay warm my friends.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Excitement, ‘Twas the Night

‘Twas the night before our son’s Birthday, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. There was nothing hung by the chimney with care in hopes that REM sleep would soon be here.  Our son was nestled, all snug in his bed while an auto theft suspect hooked on meth decided to drop her stolen vehicle in our yard for a long winters’ nap.  All of a sudden a noise made such a clatter (door bell rang).  We sprang out of bed to see what was the matter.  Away to the window we flew like a flash, peaking through the blind we threw up the sash (curtain).  Okay….Okay, I will get to the rest of the story.  We looked through the window and realized the person standing on our porch was a police officer.  We opened the door to find out what was going on.  The officer asked us if the vehicles parked off to the side of the house were ours.  Our response, yes the trucks are ours.  He looked at us funny and stated how about the car.  Mr. Bulldog and I looked at the officer with a confused look and stated no, just the trucks.  He asked us to come outside the house and check out this car.    Our response no problem officer!  So we dashed outside, looked at the vehicle, we were both shocked to see a car in our yard.  The car was parked behind Bulldog’s truck, barely missing it.  She parked the vehicle there because it was dark and a convenient place to hide. The front tires of this car were dug deep down into the moist grass/earth.  The car was damaged and the inside was destroyed.  The officer informed us that the vehicle was stolen, and they arrested the woman (she was on drugs). The officer had the stolen vehicle towed off of our property and impounded.  He apologized for disturbing us and went on his merry way.  Now, dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!  Based on conversation with the officer, this unknown female suspect has a history of doing things like this and apparently has a past.  After all of this excitement, do you think we could go back to bed?  NOT. We ended up staying up until we had to go to work and school.

Happy Birthday Dakota!!!!  Tonight we are celebrating our son’s 19th Birthday.  He loves brownies. I made a large pan of brownies for the boy.  Totally decadent!!!!!   The brownies were made with nuts and chocolate marshmallow frosting.    Heck, we may even splurge for a nice steak and potato dinner for the boy! J

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Consider This

The Beretta PX4 Storm Type F Subcompact (SC) 9MM Automatic

Wow, talk about a beautiful gun!  I rented this gun at our local gun range, to get a feel on how this gun handles when fired.  Talk about smooth, the PX4 Storm Subcompact had very little recoil.  The gun itself never once malfunctioned.  The trigger pull is easy on the finger.  You have both the single and double action ability.  I put 200 rounds through it and the gun never experienced a problem.  I was able to hit the target dead on with great accuracy.  This gun comes with interchangeable back straps to fit perfect with any hand size.  There is a manual safety lever on both sides making it easy for the ambidextrous.     The clip can hold 10 – 13 rounds.   
The Beretta PX4 Storm SC is a gun that can be easily disassembled for cleaning. 
If you’re looking for a gun for self defense and conceal carry, I would highly recommend that you consider this:   Beretta PX4 Storm SC.   
If you’re a woman considering buying a gun, do as I have done.  Go to your local gun range, talk to the gun dealer and ask to rent the gun (try it out first).  A wise man once said, “Never Buy a Gun until You Have a Chance to Handle It”.
Until next time, remember to always stay focused and aware of your surroundings. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Another Day

Before I start today’s entry, I have decided to make a few changes on my blog.  The blog will look slightly different so don’t panic, it is not your computer screen causing your eyes to strain, lol….  It is good old me making changes.
Today, Bulldog Man and I had a nice breakfast together, and then took a ride down to the lake.  The lake pictures below give you an idea what our winter has been like, real dry.  I can’t say the weather was great today.  The winds are approximately 15 – 20 mph, the temperature peaked to 60 degrees and the sun kept hiding behind the clouds.  Yes, you heard right clouds.  We’re expecting rain later today.  The weatherman states 80% rain this evening through tomorrow late morning.  

 


Once we returned home after visiting the lake, Bulldog Man decided since we’re expecting rain, it was a great opportunity to fertilize the yard.  The last couple of weeks we have been preparing the property for the up-coming spring.  Since there has been no snow,  we started cutting back unwanted branches, raking up leaves, and small debris.  Picking up stuff crap garbage that conveniently finds its way in the yard from the wind.     

Dinner tonight was excellent.  I tried this recipe created by a cooking enthusiast and member of  Tasty Kitchen "missamy" via The Pioneer Woman” blog by Ree Drummond with a few of my own personal modifications (** modifications to recipe listed below).


Cheeseburger Frittata
 (Servings 8)  -- Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time 30 minutes

  • 1 pound Ground Beef
  • ¼ teaspoons Plus Two Dashes Of Salt, Divided
  • ¼ teaspoons Plus Two Dashes Of Pepper, Divided
  • ¼ teaspoons Plus Two Dashes Of Garlic Powder, Divided
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 whole Medium-large Onion, Chopped
  • 10 whole Large Eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons Milk
  • 4 ounces, weight Cheddar Cheese, Shredded, Divided
  • Optional Additions: Bacon, Sautéed Mushroom, Sliced/diced Tomatoes
Preheat oven to 400 F.
I used a 10″ pie pan for this recipe, but a 9″ deep dish should work as well. Grease it with some butter or spray it with cooking spray.
Brown the beef in a skillet over medium heat with a dash of salt, pepper and garlic powder.
In another skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté onion with a dash of salt and pepper. Saute until onions are translucent.
Beat together eggs, milk, 1/2 of the shredded cheddar cheese and 1/4 teaspoon of salt pepper and garlic powder.
Evenly distribute the browned hamburger on the bottom of the pie pan then top it with the sautéed onions.
Pour the egg mixture over the top of the hamburger and onion. Top that with the remaining cheese.
Bake at 400 F for 15-20 minutes until set. (I used a 10″ pie pan, so adjust cooking time accordingly for a different size of pan
**Modifications to recipe:
Used ¼ to ½ teaspoon of Garlic Salt to taste, instead of the salt and garlic powder.  Also used ½ of the onion, instead of 1 whole onion.  I did not add any of the opitional additions.  I did however, add 1 can of “Hatch” green chiles. 



Monday, January 23, 2012

Canister Recommendation


For some time now, I have been trying to buy larger pantry items for baking.  With this in mind, I went surfing on the internet to find large canisters that could hold my staples.  I found the perfect canisters from Snapware.  The canisters hold 42 cups of staples, the lids have a snap lock, each canister has a handle, and they’re refrigerator and freezer safe, BPA free polypropylene container and lid, made in the USA and have a lifetime warranty.   The price per canister $7.79 (on sale).    I ended up ordering 8 canisters, the shipment came within days.  I just love these canisters, and plan on ordering 8 more. 
This product makes me totally excited because:
1.       It’s made in the USA.
2.       It is BPA free.
3.       It has a lifetime warranty.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Where Did Sunday Go????

I'm writing my post at 7:46PM because my brain was not functioning this morning when I first got up. 

5:30 AM came around just too darn fast this morning.  When the clock went off it scared the crap out of me.  Ever have one of those mornings where you wake up to a sound you can't makeout and it sends your heart racing? 

Rise and shine my Blogger Friends!!!

While the coffee brews it's time to clear the cobwebs out of my eyes and shake the brain by turning on the local news.  I don't know why I torture myself with listening to the news so early in the morning. The only thing that really interested me in the news this morning was a recipe on Pineapple-Chicken Kabob Packets.  Let's just forget about the crime, violence, politics, sports and weather.  Bring me FOOD!!!!

Talk about food, nothing better than bisquits and gravy with green chiles and coffee for breakfast.........OMG, I'm in heaven.  Okay, now I can officially start my Sunday. 

Since Bulldog was working today, Dakota (our son) and I went to church and had a wonderful lunch after church.  Then we proceeded to Walmart to pickup a food thermometer.  Why the need for a thermometer?  Did you read yesterday's post?  I"ll  give you a clue, it's starts with B_ _ _ D (can you fill in the blank)?  BREAD, yes thats it.  I purchased this thermometer to make sure my sugar water is the correct temperature before adding the yeast.  Lord knows, I don't want to create long hockey pucks again.  As soon as I got home, I created bread.  Yes my Blogger Friends, I have 3 beautiful loaves of brown bread and it tastes fabulous. 



The garden was also on my mind today.  I created a template on how I would like the garden to be setup.  Now remember this is template #1, other templates will follow for later plantings.  We will be starting the parameter fencing for the garden next month along with my critter cam.  Our planting will officially start the 1st week of March.  Hopefully this year the weather will cooperate (last year too hot).  I'm just totally excited about getting this garden started.  It's just so relaxing to be in the middle, weeding, watering, feeding and harvesting.  Here's to a healthy and full garden to all my friends' plantings this year!!!


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Bread Gone South

Today was the day I made bread by hand instead of using the old fall back, the bread machine.  I heated some water, dissolved the sugar and added the yeast to a bowl and let it stand for 10 minutes.  Added the remaining ingredients as directed, mixed all the ingredients together by hand and kneaded the dough for 10 minutes.  After the kneading process, I coated the bowl with a little oil, placed the ball of dough in the bowl and coated the top of the dough with oil.  Set the bowl of dough in my oven to rise (oven was warm).  Formed 3 loafs and baked each.  Lord behold, the dough, after baking, turned into 3 long hockey pucks!  My error, I heated the water and didn't use a thermometer to test the temperature of the water.  I've learned from my error and will try again.  In the meantime, setup the goals and get your hockey sticks ready!!!!!!


There is one appliance I can't leave without, the Food Saver.  I've always wanted this appliance but at the time the price was not right.  Then one night, actually the Monday after Thanksgiving I was reading one of my favorite coupon blogs, "Frugal Coupon Living" and came across an advertisement for a brand new Food Saver at half the original price.  I turned around and looked at Mr. Bulldog and told him what I found.  His immediate response, “let's buy it”.  Of course, he knew I was keeping my eye out for a good deal and I don't ask for much.  Within a week, I had my Food Saver and Momma was happy :-)  : -)
I use this Food Saver every time I freeze meat, vegetables, seeds for my garden (to prevent freezer burn and keep life span), important documents (prevent water damage), camping items (so I won't lose small items, also to prevent water and sun damage) and old books (preserve). 


Wrong Button - - Repost


Good morning!  I'm going to try to post this segment on "Herb de Provence" once again.  Last night, I typed out what I wanted to post and hit the wrong button and lost everything.  So now, I am attempting to repost.....that is if I can get enough coffee in my system to wake my brain up this morning.  

Herbs de Provence

Have you ever cooked using the seasoning Herb de Provence?  If you haven't, you should try.  There is nothing better on food than this natural seasoning/spice (recipe below).  This particular seasoning/spice can be used on chicken, beef, vegetables or whatever tickles you’re fancy.  Last night, I used Herbs de Provence on chicken.  First I coated my chicken with a little olive oil, salt, pepper then Herbs de Provence. 



As a compliment to my chicken, I served it with wild rice and fresh broccoli.  Yum, I love fresh baked chicken! 

Herbs de Provence can be made from scratch using dried herbs or you can pick a bottle up at your local grocery store.  As promised, I have attached the Herb de Provence recipe.

Herb de Provence

1 Teaspoon Dried Rosemary
1 Teaspoon Dried Basil
1 Teaspoon Dried Sage
2 Tablespoons Dried Crushed Lavender
2 Tablespoons Dried Thyme
2 Tablespoons Dried Savory
2 Tablespoons Dried Oregano

Place all spices in a small bowl, mix together.  Once mixed, season is ready for use.  Store in air tight bag or container for future use.

In closing, I posted several pictures of some of our visiting pups over the Christmas holiday.   The first picture captures Beans (our Chihuahua) playing with Tikka (our sons teacup Chihuahua pup).  Yes, the picture is real.  We did not crop Tikka into the picture. 

Two days after Tikka went back home to Texas, our daughter brought her little pup Oscar (aka: energizer bunny).



Beans loved playing with both puppies. At the end of the holiday, our Beans was so exhausted he didn't want to be bothered.......he just wanted to sleep.

Sleeping Beauty


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Coupon Time - Prep For Groceries

Another Way Of Being Frugal


Once again it's that time of the month to buy the necessary items (food, paper products, eggs, deodorant) needed to survive and donate  to the food pantries for the next 2 to 4 weeks.  Prep began with buying newspapers and receiving donated coupons from our friends at the church.





Clip out the coupons; forget about using scissors for cutting out the coupons.  I use a paper cutter by Friskers. Slide the coupons under the arm and slide the trimmer blade across the coupons.  It's that simple!  

Make a menu plan for 2 to 4 weeks time frame and create your grocery list off of the menu.
Only buy items posted to your grocery list, DO NOT DEVIATE FROM THE LIST!!!!!

A Beautiful Sunrise

Good Morning Oklahoma!



This was the sunrise we woke up to this morning.  Temperatures varied, 26 degrees in the early morning hours.  Then peaked to 57 degrees this evening. 

There is nothing better than getting up early in the morning and seeing your son off to school.  Husband (aka: Bulldog) catching another hour or so before heading in to work on his new schedule.  Then of course you can't forget Beans, snoring and hoping you don't disturb him.


Good Morning Beans!!!!