Friday, October 31, 2008

For Fun Friday October 31

For Fun Halloween Links

Tons of Pumpkin Carving Patterns

Great Halloween Recipes

Online Halloween Games

Ideas for Halloween Costumes

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Forget The Dancing Queen. I Am The BLOGGING Queen.

Life is FULL of little coincidences, isn't it? Strange and funny and sometimes wonderful. I put up my post yesterday which, out of all the HUNDREDS of posts I have written, specifically mentioned one.

Not an hour later, I got an email telling me that post had won a contest.And I get a $300 beauty package. Can you think of ANYONE who would like a $300 beauty package more than me? I didn't think so.

Check out my prize-winning post.

I am wearing my crown as I type.

OK. Not really. But I totally COULD.

Check out my Herald-Leader post today: The Vowel Family

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Grass Is Always Greener

My daughter, Lizzybee decided to have some family portraits made a few days ago and my lovely and talented niece, who is working on becoming a professional photographer, (and, in my opinion, already IS) took the pictures for them. They turned out quite wonderful. Every picture is an absolute gem.

However. There is one candid shot that is quite, quite fabulous. It is so fabulous that I have decided to share it with the world because this is one photograph that needs A CAPTION. And it is up to you to come up with that caption. Just tell me what you think it should be in the comments and I will look them over on Saturday morning when I roll out of bed (God, don't ya love weekends) and choose a winner. Oh, and a prize? Why, yes, I have a prize for you.

Bloggers have been talking about Etsy for so long, I finally decided to give it a look. My thought was that I would beg someone to provide me with a photo frame to give away for the photo contest. See how I did that? Photo? Photo FRAME? You can see why my writing is world-renowned. Or it will be some day. Possibly.

Anyway. Since I was aware that October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month and had a little scare myself a while back, when I saw Danielle's Etsy store with this Breast Cancer Awareness photo frame, I was instantly intrigued. Not only are these frames truly lovely, she is donating all her profits from any sales to the Susan G. Komen For The Cure. Who just happened to be one of my sorority sisters. Yes. Life is full of coincidences, isn't it?

I contacted Danielle to see if she would possibly consider donating a frame to give away and she replied instantly. Of course she would. So, if you don't win, maybe you could click over to her shop and buy another frame. Maybe one of those Breast Cancer Awareness frames. Or maybe a couple of frames. Thanks. I appreciate it. And thanks, Danielle.

Now the picture. I think my grandson was a little distracted. What do you think? Send me your caption. And thanks for participating.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Try It Tuesday: Honey Maid Delight Bars

If you are a shopper and want to participate in Try It Tuesday, just read the guidelines and then sign Mr. Linky!

I am always looking for little cookies or candies that are low in calories but also delicious. This combination is difficult to find, but I managed when I stumbled on these Honey Maid Delight Bars at the grocery the other day.

They come in Cheesecake and Chocolate and I really thought I would prefer the chocolate because..well...who doesn't? But the chocolate was not really that flavorful. The cheesecake is definitely the better of the two. The cheesecake was creamy and really tasted like cheesecake. The chocolate just could not compare. Each bar is individually wrapped and is only 100 calories, so if you can eat just one, that's not bad. If you eat more than that, it's not so good. So eat only one.

Now. What have you tried lately? Write a post about it and link it below. Thanks for participating!

Check out my Herald-Leader post today: Ooh Ooh That Smell!

Monday, October 27, 2008

I May Need To Join A Wedding Recovery Program

I just got up. I went to bed at 11. That means I slept approximately 12 hours. Although I really went to bed at only 8 California time! But, as my niece Jennifer says, you can't have it both ways. You are either on California time or you are on Kentucky time.


I guess I slept 12 hours.

In my defense, I was TOTALLY scrunched between two guys on our flight from LA to Houston and, even though they were very pleasant, I spent the entire flight with my hands in my lap and my shoulders smushed together. I didn't think I was every going to be able to spread my arms wide again. And this could be very important, especially if I ever have to conduct an orchestra.

It could happen.

Then, on the flight from Houston to Louisville, I sat down and nobody seemed to be assigned the seat beside me. YES. I could stretch out, I could get comfortable, I could relax...then this guy came up from the back of the plane and asked if I was waiting for a companion, gesturing to the empty seat beside me.

Oh, if only I had moved over into that seat as I had contemplated. If only I could think faster. If only I was a better liar. Instead I said "Uh. No." And he sat down, saying something about getting away from the laughing, shrieking girls in the back of the plane. Since that is probably PRECISELY what people thought of me, my niece and my sister-in-law on the trip down, I couldn't argue. So he sat. In a rather fragrant wave of unwashed clothes and old cigarette smoke. At least it wasn't body odor. Could have been worse.

So I don't know if it was the smell of my companion, who spent most of the trip hunched forward with his hood over his head or the pollen that hovers over Kentucky in the fall which was apparently just waiting to be sucked into the plane's ventilation system, but I suddenly had an extremely runny nose. Luckily, the stewardess handed over several napkins because trying to find my kleenex in my bag which was stowed under the seat in front of me would have required a better contortionist than me. Although I did manage to dig out the Junior Mints. A girl has priorities, after all.

So I stumbled in the house, took some allergy medicine and fell into bed. And slept like the proverbial log. But we are already planning our next trip to California. To visit the Grand Canyon.

And NOT decorate the entire place with ivy and twinkly lights. Although I may have to fight my sister-in-law on that.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Wedding Is At 4:00. Uh. I Mean 4:15. Or Maybe 4:30.

The wedding day dawned bright and clear and warm but who cares about that - we needed to get to IHOP to pick up our breakfast order. My family has their priorities in order. And food is number one. We started making plans for this breakfast while we were still eating our first breakfast at IHOP the day before because, to a Southerner, the planning of the next meal is vitally important. So we instantly came up with our orders and mine was chocolate chip pancakes. Because Hello? Chocolate AND pancakes? Could life BE any better? I didn't think so. We were ready. My sister's life partner and her friends had a little difficulty with the concept of getting excited about a meal that is not actually taking place for 24 hours. This is simply not a problem for us.We like to plan ahead. That is why, in Kentucky, when you attend a wedding, you arrive on time. Actually, you arrive a few minutes before the correct time so you will be sure to get a seat before the wedding begins.

Apparently, this is not quite di rigeur in California. At 4:00 when the wedding was to begin, there were five people standing around and chatting. We were expecting 50. This was not good. I went back to reassure the brides that there were a few people here, the others will be here soon, even though I was not remotely sure that would happen. I didn't want them to worry. I was sure people would arrive soon. SURELY. And they finally did. Sauntered in at 4:15 and 4:30 and finally we had everyone in my seats, thanks to my niece Jennifer who was elected to the wedding planner position by a unanimous vote and did an absolutely bang-up job. Three type-A women could not All be in charge. Although we tried. But we were a great team.

But well before this, the decorations were finished, tables were covered with clean white tablecloths and burgundy toppers then decorated with sand and seashells in various, lovely containers. Ivy and twinkly white lights covered every conceivable surface. The DJ arrived, the caterer began bringing in pans of heavenly smelling food, we were all fabulously dressed in our sparkly dresses and strappy shoes and then. Then. No cake. Someone was picking it up. It's on the way. Be here soon. And we needed to start the wedding. With no cake. We had the ceremony and I cried, it was so lovely and the cake finally appeared. With directions on how to put it together. Luckily, our caterer was obligingly enough to help us put it together although that is when we found out we had put it together upsidedown.

Looked fine to me. Tasted fine too.

The rest of the wedding was quite fabulous. There was dancing and drinking and laughing and hugging and more dancing. And nobody really cared that the cake was late. They were much more concerned that we not run out of white wine. And we didn't.

So a very good time was had by all. Then we had to take down all the ivy and twinkly lights. And maybe Nancy is ready to say we should have used less ivy now that we had to take it all down.

But maybe not. She was pretty happy with her ivy and lights. Even tearing them all down didn't dampen her enthusiasm. Actually, it would take a LOT to dampen Nancy's enthusiasm.

And now back to Kentucky.

Maybe we will see someone famous at the airport. That could TOTALLY happen. We will keep you updated.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Late Night Report From The West Coast

1. Never, ever assign three opinionated, type-A personality women to decorate for your wedding.

2. If you are one of those woman, just STEP BACK, y'all, STEP BACK and let the others put up as much ivy and twinkly white lights as they want.

3. Contrary to my niece and sister-in-law's opinions, it is, indeed, theoretically possible to have too much ivy and twinkly white lights. I might possibly have had to wrest the box of ivy out of their hands before they started decorating the house next door.

4. No matter how much people tell you to FORGET what time it is back in Kentucky because you are in California now, you can't help thinking that even though it's only 9 at night, it's actually MIDNIGHT in Kentucky and you are EXHAUSTED.

5. IHOP has these new fruit crepes that are TO DIE FOR. Try the black cherry. Seriously. These things are the food OF THE GODS. We had a late breakfast, so we availed ourselves of the Continental breakfast at the hotel ealier. Then we had some snacks during the wedding preparations and then went to a huge and quite fabulous Italian dinner with gelato for dessert. But then we realized on the way back to the hotel that we had never actually eaten lunch today. Score! We will probably lose all kind of weight this weekend.

6. I think we are going to actually find it difficult to eat all the snack food we purchased for our rooms. We might just possibly have gotten a teeny,tiny bit carried away at 7-11. Although if for some unforseen reason, our plane is delayed on the runway for hours, which has TOTALLY happened, we will be in high cotton. We can eat for days. And barter for important items like foot rubs with the rest of our food.

7. So we are ready for the wedding. The tables and chairs are set up, the dance floor is put together, the lights and ivy are draping the altar and it looks quite, quite lovely. We are smugly proud of ourselves.

And I would like to write a little more about the happy couple who appear to be honestly in love and their friends and family who have come enjoy this wonderful time in their life with them.

But I can't keep my eyeyeyeyeyeyeyes open because I am so sleeeeeeep....what was I saying? Oh,yeah, I wanted to say how much I love my family and appreciate them. They are fun and generous and kind and absolutely the salt of the earth. I am so very LUCKY to have them.

Even though they desperately want to hang that last box of ivy I hid in the closet.

Man. I hope I don't forget to light the pool candles. It's my only job. Wish me luck.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Early Morning Report From the West Coast

I just got out of bed. Yes, I realize it is 11:00 in the morning. But, contrary to your expectations that I am A TRIFLE lazy, it is technically only 8:00 in the morning California time and because I went to bed at 8:00 here, I actually only slept about 12 hours. No. You shut up.

It's amazing how exhausting travel can be. Basically, I SAT in an airport, SAT on a plane, SAT in another airport, SAT in a Chili's (which had surprisingly good potato soup - must remember to order that when we get home), SAT in another plane, SAT in a car, SAT at my sister's house while we all laughed, reminisced and heard all about my niece Jennifer's trip to Guatemala to visit her sweet baby girl, then went back to the hotel and went to bed. Now, just HOW HARD could that be?

Pretty hard apparently.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that I insisted over much whining and complaining and rolling of eyes (I am looking at you, John) that we stop and get some drinks and snacks for our hotel rooms. We were basically starving like a pack of ravening wolverines so we bought chips and cookies and candies and Diet Mountain Dew (because that TOTALLY saves on the calories) and then we fell on them while riding in the van as my sister assured us she had ham and cheese and crackers and spaghetti cooking on the stove at her house. But once she saw the pack mentality that had taken over as we stuffed in Pringles and chugged Diet Mountain Dew, she stepped back. She was not ABOUT to lose a finger.

Hey. It was a long trip. And we NEEDED those Pringles. And this morning when I filled my glass with ice in the hotel room and took a Diet Mountain Dew out of my little fridge (I think it should be a LAW that every hotel room have a little fridge. Preferably stocked with Diet Mountain Dew.), I was totally vindicated in my demand to stop for snack food.

Although John had told me the night before that I was TOTALLY RIGHT. But I think he was just trying to pacify me.

But who is laughing now, BABY BROTHER? Bet you are GLAD you have those Diet Mountain Dews in YOUR fridge, aren't you? Huh? Huh?


I guess I could walk across the hall and ask him.

Check back for more live blogging from the West Coast. All weekend. Don't expect any updates on forest fires or earthquakes.

But I will TOTALLY keep you apprised of the Diet Mountain Dew situation. Which is HARD TO FIND around here. And is considered a SOUTHERN drink. Who knew?

Oh, and the wedding. I might mention that too.

For Fun Friday October 24, 2008

Another typing test. RATHER stressful.

Things I have learned from children.

And somebody had WAY too much time on their hands. And some alcohol may have been involved.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Gilmore Girls. AGAIN.

You might possibly remember when I was deeply immersed in my passionate love for "Gilmore Girls" and completely wasted my time and had some serious withdrawal when I finished watching them. Good times.

And now I get to experience them again. Because...and you are not going to BELIEVE this...Tom and I are watching them together. Truly a DVD viewing miracle.

It all started when we began watching "Everwood" on DVD from Netflix. Netflix had suggested this series after it saw what we were watching and because what Netflix commands, we must do, I ordered the first season. My reaction was basically "Meh" but Tom LOVED the show. LOVED IT. So we watched. And the more we watched, the more I though, huh. Everwood is a lot like Star's Hollow. And this show is a WHOLE LOT like "Gilmore Girls" in many, many ways. The small town. The interpersonal relationships. The love stories. The friendships. Hey. I wonder if Tom might actually like..."Gilmore Girls".

So he agreed to give it a try. And we ordered the first season. And we put on the first episode and I sat back in my chair and waited to see his reaction. The first time he laughed out loud, I knew I was in. I was going to get to watch one of my favorite shows again. And even though I already know what happens with all the characters?

I'm going to enjoy it just as much the second time.

Check out my Herald-Leader post today at: Happy Early Halloween!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"We Love Because It's The Only True Adventure"

-Nikki Giovanni

I leave for the wedding tomorrow. It's in California and I have planned and packed and accessorized until every single detail has been accounted for and put on a list. And checked off. and rechecked. Not that I am anal or anything.

I have talked at length about shopping for what I am wearing to the wedding, but I haven't really talked much about the wedding. It will be a lovely wedding. It will be in the cool of a California late afternoon, in a gorgeous backyard, with music and food and love and laughter. Oh. And two brides. Did I forget to mention that? That it is a gay wedding? That my sister is gay? I think I did forget to mention that. Because I forget. She is my sister. She is my gay sister. And I don't really care about the gay part because she is funny and sweet and generous and loving and the gay part is really just one small part of her life.

I didn't really know my sister until I was an adult. She is 8 years older than me and left home when I was very young. It was a different time back then. You weren't gay and on well-loved TV shows and able to legally marry in three states and accepted as perfectly normal by a large percentage of the population. The word homosexual was whispered behind closed doors, never discussed in families and California was the most open-minded place in the United States. So she went there. And stayed there. For years.

Finally, letters were written, phone calls were put through, overtures were made and she came to visit. And we became friends. 8 years became nothing. We were just alike in so many, many ways. We could crack each other up. Laugh until we cried. She and her daughter were in my wedding. We vacationed together. We spent holidays together. We shared everything. We still do.

And now she has found her soul mate and they will marry and live happily ever after. And I will be there. I will always be there. Just like she will be there for me. And she may tell her love as they stand in front of the crowd that she will be there until "death do us part" and I told my husband that too and we meant it.

But I will be there for my sister too. Until death do us part.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Try It Tuesday: Scrubbing Bubbles Gel Toilet Cleaner

Welcome to Try It Tuesday! Do you like to shop? Have you bought something fabulous lately you would like to share? Write a post and link below directly to your post. Here are the guidelines.

I hate to clean my bathroom. Especially the toilet. I would much rather be reading a book or taking a cruise or taking out the trash. Pretty much anything else. But I like a clean bathroom. I like to take a hot bubble bath and just luxuriate in there, looking around at my sparkling clean bathroom. Seriously. I feel the same way about the rest of my house. I like to just look at it all clean and nice. But getting it that way is a real pain. So I have discovered something that helps with the toilet cleaning. This little gem.
I had seen an advertisement for this stuff in one of my magazines so, when I saw it at the grocery store, I decided to give it a try. It's basically this gel stuff that you squirt out of the syringe thingie and it pops onto the inside of your toilet like this.

So I stamped it on. It smells really fresh and clean and it has smelled that way for a whole week now. The toilet seems cleaner but the smell is really the nicest thing about this stuff. You should try it. Only. Be careful that you have the syringe thingie turned the right way or you could accidentally end up with a gel toilet stamp in your palm. Not that it happened to me. I'm just saying.

If you go to the web site, you can get a $1 coupon.

Now sign Mr. Linky. Thanks for participating!

Check out my Herald-Leader blog post today at: Let's Do Lunch at The Melting Pot

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fall Into Flavor With German Potato Soup

Try It Tuesday is tomorrow. Have you written your post yet?

It is finally turning into Fall around here at last and I have been able to pile my sweaters into neat rows on my closet shelf, carefully arranged by color. Why, yes. I am a tad anal. What's your point?

Cooler weather calls for homemade soup and I have JUST the soup for you. This recipe is from my friend Vicki who brought it to school one day and, without even tasting it, I could tell from the delicious-looking cheesiness of it, that I wanted the recipe. And because she is a good and generous friend, she shared the recipe. And made me and all of my family addicts of this soup. Which can be a bad thing because there is a great deal of chopping involved. But it is SO worth it. No butter, but a pound of Velveeta. Which, really? All gourmet chefs use.

German Potato Soup

5 Cups chopped potatoes
1 Cup each, carrots, celery, onion
1 lb. Velveeta
4 chicken bouillon cubes
2 cans cream of chicken soup
5 Cups water

Dissolve the bouillon cubes in the water. Add the carrots, celery, and onion. Cook 20 minutes at a simmer. Add potatoes. Cook 20 more minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add soup and mix well. Add the Velveeta (in chunks) and cook until cheese is melted. Serve with crumbled bacon on top.

Do NOT put all the ingredients together and cook this soup. You have to go by the recipe or the Velveeta will stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. Not that I have EVER done that. I'm just saying.

Let me know what you think.

Now, check out 2nd Cup of Coffee for other great Fall recipes.

Stumble It!

Friday, October 17, 2008

For Fun Friday October 17, 2008

Keep the red balls from hitting the blue ball. Hiding in the corner does not help. Believe me.

Super stress reliever.

These guys have WAY too much time on their hands.

CRAZY pictures.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I May Have Been A TRIFLE Obsessed

OK. I might POSSIBLY have been writing a lot about my ensemble for the upcoming nuptials such as an entire blog post about my dress and one about my shoes and, oh yeah, YET ANOTHER ONE ABOUT MY DRESS. But I am finished now. Truly. Completely finished. Except.

I do need a watch.

No, you shut up.

I do. All my watches are casual and I need a dressy, little silver watch that is not too expensive, fits my wrist and has a face I can actually read. Is that too much to ask? Apparently so. I just spent the whole day at the mall and part of it was spent looking for a watch.

But then I got home and had an email about this site called ShopWiki that will actually do your online shopping for you. (That link is for car seats, but you can shop for anything.) Apparently, you just tell it what you want and, presto!, it looks through all the online stores to find EXACTLY that item. At the best price. So I decided to set it on a quest for the perfect watch for the wedding ensemble.

I typed in "Silver+watches" and let it shop for me. It popped up with a lot of options and then gave me the choice to narrow it down my price, brand and color. So, first I narrowed the price to $20 - $50. Hey. I just spent $62 on a pair of Spanx so my tummy would be flat in my black dress. Uh. Tom. Forget you just read that. Then I thought about it and realized I would really love a silver Timex indiglo watch because I LOVE those and I am basically pretty cheap and, in reality? My Timex watches have lasted just as long as the expensive ones. So I chose Timex for the brand. And, seriously? Look how perfect this is. It is slightly dressy and I can actually read the time.

Not only is it perfect, they have it at TARGET. I can go buy it TOMORROW.

And look? A pink one too! Not what I need at all, but it is so cute, I might buy it anyway.

So, check out ShopWiki. In case you need a silver watch too. Or anything else. Let me know what you find.

This is a sponsored post but I will only write about products I truly think you might like.

Update On MY HAIR! News At 11!

OK, so the ongoing saga of my hair. It's growing. And my stylist comes up with a new hairstyle every time she trims it.

The latest 'do. Apparently, the bang sweep is on the cutting edge of hair fashion. Yes, that was a pun. Sorry.

Unfortunately, as soon as I walked in, Tom announced he did not care for the bang sweep. Although he just said bangs. Because he knows nothing about hair fashion. But I have to agree with him because the bang sweep has a tendency to sweep down into my eyes and is a little annoying. But it looked good for a few hours anyway. This is problem for me. Duplicating the hairstyle the stylist manages to concoct. Mine never looks quite as good. I went immediately and bought the same hairbrush she used. I'm sure that will make an INCREDIBLE difference.

I guess the biggest hair news is that I decided, what with the bottom falling out of the stock market and all, that one way I could economize is by coloring my own hair. I had a recommendation for L'Oreal Excellence Creme Hair Color, so I decided I would give it a try on the Saturday before I got my hair cut. That way, if it turned fuchsia, I could have my stylist fix it for me. But it turned out FABULOUS! Whenever I have had my hair professionally colored, my scalp always burned and it itched for a couple of days. I thought that was just normal. But now that I have done it myself and no burning, no itching, soft hair with FABULOUS color, I will never pay to have this done again. If you look very closely at the picture above, you might be able to tell that I missed a little gray on the sides, but that was my only mistake.

So. Big changes. Possibly not as news-worthy as the stock market fiasco, but I do strive to entertain you.

Now. You need to go to that L'Oreal site because there is a French guy there who will tell you exactly how to color your hair. And even if you don't want to color your hair? You should go anyway. Because he is cute. And seriously rather sexy.

Check out my Herald-Leader blog post today: How Come?

Stumble It!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Did You Know There Are A Lot Of Black Shoes?

Still working on the shoe project for the wedding. Black. Strappy. Beaded. And, until you are looking for a pair of black sandals? You may not realize how many there are in the world. And many are...quite awful. Like these.

Unless you live in Hollywood. Then those are PERFECTLY FINE.

You might require a pimp if you wear these.

These are kind of cute. I like the t-strap. But no. I want sandals that are strappy.

These are cute but straps were hard and hurt my feet. I will suffer for fashion but if they hurt for two minutes in the store, you are in for a night of agony. That's a little too much suffering.

Ooooh, fluffy! Completely inappropriate. But cute anyway.

LOVE the bow on the toe. But I have a pair that are very similar to these...

And. These are black and strappy. If only those rhinestones were BEADS instead.

OMG, these are SO DARLING. But completely wrong for the occasion AND the dress.

And, at this point, I got completely distracted by the sale shoes and a DARLING pair of pink sandals. Time to go home. Maybe one of those three pairs of black sandals I already have at home would work after all...

Stumble It!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Try It Tuesday: Tuesday Morning

Welcome to Try It Tuesday! If you have shopped and tried something fabulous lately, write a post about it and sign Mr. Linky below. Thanks for sharing!

Tuesday Morning is a store which purchases first quality, close out merchandise and then sells it on an event basis, which usually begin on...wait for it...Tuesday morning. You can get on their mailing list and get flyers about what they will have for sale. Some of the stores stay open most of the time; some open only for the events.

It had been years since I had been to Tuesday Morning but, when my sister was in town a couple of months ago, she wanted to pay a visit so I tagged along. And I found some of the CUTEST things. I totally need to visit that store more often.

Look at my new welcome mat! With my shadow in the photograph because I was so excited to take the photograph. I didn't want to wait until the sun was on the other side of the house. I am SUCH a professional.

But this is my favorite thing I bought. Look how cute! Polka dots!

And it looks even better with snacks on it for a party.

I also found books and toys for my grandson at ridiculously low prices. The snack dish above was marked $9.99 but was actually $1.99 because it was on sale. Great prices! If you have a Tuesday Morning near you, check it out. And let me know what you find!

Now, sign Mr. Linky and let us know what wonderful things you have purchased lately.

Check out my Herald-Leader blog post today at: All Restaurant Reviews, All The Time

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fall Into Flavor With Hash Brown Casserole

Don't forget about Try It Tuesday tomorrow. Have you written your post yet?

Last week, my recipe had one stick of butter. This week, it has two. Next week, we are eating butter. Just a whole stick of butter. OK, not really.

We are finally getting some cooler Fall weather around here, so it is the perfect time to make this hearty potato casserole. I have my sister-in-law, Nancy, to thank for this recipe. She is a great Southern cook who could make a kazillion dollars with her fried chicken and she was the first to bring this casserole to one of our family gatherings. And, let me just tell you, if you have been making a hash brown casserole and it is not this one? Throw away your recipe. Especially if it is one of those with the cereal on top. THROW IT AWAY. And make this one. You will be SO glad you did.

Hash Brown Casserole

1 bag frozen hash browns
1 stick butter
2 C. grated cheddar cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 T. diced onion, or to taste
1 container of sour cream

Thaw the potatoes. Melt the butter and add the sour cream and soup and the diced onion to the potatoes in a large bowl.

Now take another stick of butter, melt it in a frying pan and add a sleeve of crushed Ritz cracker and stir until they are hot. Sprinkle this mixture on top of the casserole.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

This is a large casserole, so I have started dividing it in two since there are just two of us here most of the time, and freezing the second casserole. It freezes great.

Now, go over to 2nd Cup of Coffee and see just how much butter you can consume. Then go take a walk. A long one.

Friday, October 10, 2008

For Fun Friday October 10, 2008

Do NOT start this game unless you have a lot of time to kill. I am serious.

How does it KNOW your number?

You may not want to vote for Obama, but everyone likes babies! This college kid is gonna make a million.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I Am Going To Wear A Little Black Dress Every Day For The Rest Of My Life

I was a little concerned a few days ago that the blog post idea well was running dry. This happens to me all the time. I get down to just a few drafts and I start to get nervous - what if I can't think of anything else to write about?? What if I have NO MORE IDEAS? THE WELL IS DRY? You get the idea.

And then I realized. It might help if I would get OUT OF THE HOUSE. This requires removing my sleeping pants, showering and applying make-up but, for you, my faithful readers, I will do it. Besides, I needed to go the mall anyway. I was still without a dress for the wedding. So. If I was going out, I was going to make the most of it. I scheduled a massage appointment. I planned to get my nails done. I would have a nice lunch all by myself. I would shop until I dropped and I would not come back home until dinner time. And I had an absolutely FABULOUS day.

It is always entertaining to go to the mall. I am always EXTREMELY entertained by the unfortunate fashion choices others have made. I think I'm going to start a dos and don'ts regular post if I can just figure out how to use my camera phone to surreptitiously take pictures of the other shoppers without them thinking I am some sort of mad stalker. Really? You not only tried on and BOUGHT that skirt, you are now wearing it to the mall? How unfortunate for you. You CHOSE that hair color all by yourself? How unfortunate for you. Those shoes with those pants? Really? How UNFORTUNATE for you.

So, after spending some time pampering myself and enjoying myself extensively at the expense of others, I finally starting looking for the perfect little black dress to wear to the wedding. I don't wear little black dresses very much. I much prefer pretty, bright colors and it has been my experience whenever I go to a fancy party that, with the lights dimmed, all those black dresses kind of look alike. But I found some cute dresses. And I tried them on.

And. OMG. This is the very first time in the history of shopping that I have had several items in the dressing room which ALL looked great, and ALL were on on sale. I had the option of making a choice about which dress looked the MOST FABULOUS. Who knew little black dresses were so cute and flattering? I totally wanted to buy all three I narrowed it down to but I was strong and only bought one that is unsurpassed in it's fabulousness. We are talking a halter neck with beading and an empire waist that makes me look like I wear about a size 2. Which, needless to say? I do not.

Now. I need shoes.

Of course, I have one two OK three pairs of black sandals but none of them are quite right. Quite PERFECT. I need black. I need strappy. I need beads.

I'll keep you updated.

Check out my Herald-Leader post today: Let's Play A Game!

Stumble It!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I NEED Purses To Match My Shoes, Don't I?

So, there is a contest over at handbag planet. It's a new website which will be opening on October 15. To celebrate the grand opening, they are giving away a purse every hour for 24 hours. At first, I thought you were automatically entered and would have to take the purse they gave you, but NO. You get to pick the purse you want to win. But then. A quandary. Which purse? Because, obviously, I am going to win. Even though I very rarely win anything. I have a feeling. Or maybe it's just gas. No. I'm sure it's a psychic feeling. So. Which purse?

First, I thought about this brown one. Cute, but rather traditional.

And then I thought, hey! PURPLE! That one is DARLING.

And then I saw this giraffe print. How kitschy! How different. How perfect with my brown ballet flats!

But then. Then I saw this one. The pinkness! The bow! This is it. This is the one. Oh, the fabulousness.

So, enter the contest if you want. But don't EVEN try to win my pink purse. It is mine. MINE, I tell you.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Try It Tuesday: Smart Ones Breakfast Sandwiches

Welcome to "Try It Tuesday"! You might want to read the guidelines here before you sign Mr. Linky. Now, have you been shopping? Have you found something fabulous? Write your post, sign Mr. Linky and make sure you link to your blog post, not your blog. Thanks for participating!

I'm always looking for something new to eat for breakfast. I've already written about Granola and Pancakes and now I want to talk to you about breakfast sandwiches. I am all about the quick and easy breakfast and one that I can actually hold in my hand and gnaw on as I drive to school in the morning? Perfection. But most are way too high in fat and calories. And, even though I may be sprawled on the couch reading a book while Tom is running and sweating and getting into an annoyingly healthy condition, I do occasionally think about the fat and calories in the food I consume. As I am consuming it, usually.

But I read about these Smart Ones breakfast sandwich and decided to give them a chance.

And they were well worth it. They are moist, delicious and can be held in one hand as you drive a car. The TRIO of perfection when it comes to breakfast food. Try them. Let me know what you think.

Now sign Mr. Linky. Please. I mean please sign Mr. Linky.

Check out my Herald-Leader post today: Let's Do Lunch at Flag Fork Herb Farm

Fall Into Flavor With Derby Pie

Linda over at 2nd Cup of Coffee asked us to share our "comfort food" recipes for which, apparently, the definition is "a lot of butter". The more butter, the better. Luckily, I can oblige. Or perhaps I should say, unfortunately, I can oblige. Because butter is not exactly the healthiest ingredient you can use in a recipe. But man. Is it good. So, you might possibly want to have a salad for dinner if you are going to make this pie. Because it has a whole stick of butter in it.

Before I moved to Kentucky, I had never heard of Derby Pie. I HAD heard of the Derby but just vaguely knew that it was some horse race. I can now say that I have been to the Derby and I have eaten Derby Pie. Quite a bit of the latter, actually. There is some controversy about where Derby Pie was invented, but most agree that it was developed at The Brown Hotel in Louisville. It is now, however, patented by Kern's Kitchen, a restaurant in Prospect, Kentucky. Wherever it came from and whoever invented it - we should be forever grateful. Because it is that good. My mother-in-law served this pie to me for the first time years and years ago and I immediately asked for the recipe. And now I am sharing it with you. Although I guess I should call it something besides "Derby Pie" since that is a trademark. So, call it whatever you want. Chocolate Pecan Pie. Whatever. Just enjoy it.

Derby Pie (or whatever)

2 eggs

1/2 C. butter

1 C. sugar

1/2 C. flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 6 oz. package of chocolate chips

1 C. chopped pecans

Cream the butter and sugar together. Beat in the eggs and flour. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts. Pour in an unbaked pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Let it cool before you slice it. Remember to be nice and share.

Friday, October 3, 2008

For Fun Friday October 3

Listen to the sounds of nature or other sounds to relax. Although why anyone would want to listen to a flushing toilet is beyond me.

Get the egg in the basket. It only took me approximately 2 skillion tries. What about you?

It doesn't take much to amuse this baby. Our little grandson had a similar hilarious experience with crumpled plastic bags.

Pirate laws.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I THINK I Already Did That

Jack Frost is starting to nip our noses around here and everywhere you go, you see trees that have one section of crimson or gold leaves which have turned that color virtually overnight. I thought about taking a walk and getting some photographs but then I thought.

Hey. I think I did that exact same thing last year.

And I did. So you can just go and look at those pictures. Because really? There is not a whole lot of change from one fall to the next. It's basically the same leaves going from green to yellow or red. And then they all fall off. Not much excitement there. Except I get to wear nice leather boots soon. There IS that.

So I decided to take pictures of my fall decorations instead. Because that way I could stay in my sleeping pants all day. And that's pretty much the criteria for deciding what to do on the weekend around here. I love decorating for the seasons because, frankly, I get bored with my house and, since Tom won't let me buy all new furniture every month or so, this is our compromise.

So, come on in, y'all! Here's the fall arrangement I made for my front hall.

And here's my electric Jack'O'Lantern because nothing says Halloween like a pumpkin you plug into the wall.

Come on in the family room. Here's my fall cushions on the couch.

And my coffee table.

The fireplace.

And lest we forget? The bathroom. Because everyone knows that your bathroom must be seasonal as well. We are JUST LIKE Martha Stewart around here. Without the jail time.

So there you have it. My fall decorations. Do you have yours up yet?

Stumble It!

Check out my Herald-Leader post today: A Pekingese And A Moose Walk Into A Bar

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Official Bitch Day

banner1GUESS what day it is? Oh. Wait. You saw the button over there. OK, then. It's Official Bitch Day. I signed up last week with Denise and I was all excited because I could have a day to let it all out, to really bitch about something, to...only one problem.

I can't think of anything to bitch about.

Nobody has really annoyed me lately. I haven't seen anyone wearing their pajamas in Wal-Mart lately or even wearing a jumpsuit. Nothing.

Maybe I need to get out more.

We haven't done much lately except lay around and watch Netflix or DVR and order food to be delivered, although we did go out to Olive Garden the other night.

And now I've got it!! I just realized I do, indeed, have something to bitch about. My meal at Olive Garden. Not that it wasn't completely fabulous because it was. Chicken and Shrimp Carbonara. Chicken and shrimp with bucatini pasta in a pancetta bacon and parmesan cream sauce, baked and topped with seasoned breadcrumbs. Yeah. Gooooood. And not that the service was not impeccable, because it was. Although the waiter did try to make me believe they have not had chocolate lasagna for a dessert for over three years which is impossible because I have ordered it during that time. I think. Possibly. Maybe not. Anyway. Here's what I have to bitch about. My shrimp, although delicious in every way, still had the tails on them.

Now, I don't mind tails on shrimp when they are boiled and you have to peel them yourself - you expect tails then. But when they are mixed into a creamy sauce on top of pasta? And you have to pick them out, lick your fingers wipe your fingers on the napkin and THEN eat the shrimp? Well, that's just not right.

So, this is what I have to bitch about. In a world with a perfect family, perfect friends, a great job, a trip to California in a couple of weeks, great shows on the DVR and on Netflix, good books to read and new shoes in my room STILL IN THE BOX. My only bitch item is tails on my shrimp.

I'm a little embarrassed.