Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Matthew's Birthday

I am really late in posting this.

Another birthday has come and gone for Matthew. Birthdays are a big deal to me so I always try to make Matthew's birthday a big deal. This year was just not a good birthday. It was a hard birthday. We had dinner at Carrabbas and even got in an argument at dinner.

So I tried to have a do-over on Saturday. I got out of bed and made blueberry pancakes, sausage, and eggs for breakfast. Matthew was planning to have a relaxing and fun day. Soon afterward, there was a knock at the door. Matthew had offered a couple of weeks prior to help a neighbor poor concrete at his house. He sent his son over that Saturday morning to let Matthew know the concrete truck was currently in front of his house. So Matthew got dressed and spent the next 4 1/2 hours helping our neighbor pour concrete.

This is the first year I didn't make Matthew a cake on his birthday. Time just got away from me during the week. Rather than making the cake on Thursday, I made it on Saturday to take to our first small group meeting. This cake turned out the best of the 5 I think I have made (it was moist and fluffy), but it looked terrible. The 3 layers were not all the same shape and leaned a bit once they were stacked and iced. Oh well. It tasted good!


I was approaching last weekend with a long list of things I wanted to get done – both housework and fun stuff. Friday night my team had a year end celebration of snacks and drinks in Boulder. By the time I got home, it was around 8 pm. And I was tired. So I didn’t do anything that night.

Saturday morning I woke up with a headache. I actually woke up around 1 am with it but assumed it would go away after I went back to sleep. I took drugs during the day, but nothing helped. I stayed in bed for part of the day, but realized the show must go on and that I didn’t want to be in bed all day Saturday. We had plans to have a couple from church over for dinner so I sucked it up and hoped it would go away since my mind would be somewhere else. No such luck. An emergency came up with some friends of ours so we ended up keeping their golden retriever overnight. I don’t think any of us slept well. There were new noises and poor Trigger probably had no idea why he was at our house. Max is seriously the sweetest dog ever. He really wanted to play the whole time Trigger was there, but Trigger is more of a people dog than a dog-dog. He was not really interested in playing with Max. Trigger would lay down to chew on one of Max’s bones and Max would run around in circles and stand over Trigger in hopes he would get up to play. As sweet as he is, we also saw evidence of a bit of annoying behavior from Max. Any time Trigger would go outside, Max would be at his side. He couldn’t even go to the bathroom without Max being almost on top of him. It was funny to us but not to Trigger.

Sunday morning I woke up again with the headache. A large part of me wanted to stay home in bed in hopes it would go away since I didn’t sleep especially well Saturday night. This was the celebration of the reformation at our church though which is celebrated with bag pipes. That was not the only reason I wanted to be there, but it only comes around one time of year and I did not want to miss it. So I went to church. After a quick lunch, I decided to take a nap. I felt fine when I woke up, but as soon as I sat up I realized I still had my headache. I went to bed early in hopes again of getting a good night’s sleep to make it go away.

Alas, I woke up Monday morning with the headache. This is my busy week at work so I couldn’t just stay home. But the longer I had to look at my computer screen, the worse I felt. So I went home around noon and stayed in bed until Matthew got home. I didn’t necessarily sleep that whole time, but the only way to keep my head from hurting was to put pressure on it by laying on it. I went to bed early again last night, and I think I have finally kicked the headache. It wasn’t a migraine, and I’ve definitely had worse headaches, but it was enough to make me feel sick to my stomach and medicine was not helping.

Yuck! SO…as I survey my list of things I hoped to accomplish this weekend, I didn’t get a single thing done. Here’s hoping this next weekend will be more productive!

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Big Game

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that my parents were in town last weekend. It was a cold weekend and we mostly stayed inside. We watched several baseball games and the big UT-OU game and played some dominoes and cards.

Growing up, I considered myself an OU fan. My parents are from Oklahoma and when we traveled there to visit family (all my parents’ brothers, sisters, and parents lived in Oklahoma) during the holidays, we always watched OU football games. Out of all my relatives there, I can’t remember anyone not being a fan of OU. THEN I moved to Colorado. I do not know if it is like this in the other 48 states, but people in Colorado think Texans are the MOST obnoxious people. They don’t even give you a chance if you are from Texas. When we first moved here, I was entirely annoyed by this. Over the years, however, I have adopted a new outlook on this silly expectation. Now my aim is to become that obnoxious Texan. (Am I proving their point?) Matthew graduated from UT so I have now jumped on that bandwagon. In fact, I think I’m a bigger fan than he is. So half the people in my house on Saturday were rooting for OU and the other half were rooting for UT. I would like to claim that Max was rooting for UT as well, but frankly he doesn’t care about football unless he is involved in the playing. Either way, someone was not going to be pleased with the outcome of this game. Fortunately for Matthew and me, it was my parents and not us. I can’t say I would have liked to have been at the game, but I would have liked to have a Fletcher’s corny dog from the state fair. That is the best corn dog I have ever had. YUM!

Sunday our pastor started a series on Genesis. He was really energetic and excited about his sermon on Genesis 1. I cannot tell you how many times I have read Genesis 1. I hate to admit that sometimes I wonder if I will get anything out of a sermon about a scripture I have read umpteen times. (That is terrible for many reasons, but especially because the Word of God is living. God can always use a scripture I have heard over and over and teach me something new, minister to me in a new way, or give me understanding that I didn’t have before. It is something that I should expect when I come to the Word.) I think the neatest thing the pastor said was the following (this is my paraphrase). Genesis 1 teaches us that there was an order and purpose to God’s creation. While we may not have all the details, we have enough to know that God purposefully created all that exists. This also teaches that as with all His other creation, God purposefully created ME. Because God created me, I have worth. Isn’t that wonderful? I am pretty sure that I have never thought of myself when reading about the creation of the universe. The pastor made sure to point out, on the other hand, the big bang theory which teaches everything is here by accident also teaches us that we are here by accident.

Sunday after church and lunch, we headed up to the outlet mall as Matthew has needed new work clothes for seriously 3 or 4 years. We hit a HUGE sale which was fun. And then we had dinner at a local place that was one of our favorites when we lived in this particular city. I ordered the creamy jalapeno soup which is YUMMY!
All in all it was a fun and relaxing weekend. And I was thankful to be inside during the cold weather. And one funny thing happened…my mom got locked in the bathroom at our house. The casing that holds the part of the door that goes into the door jam to close the door came out of the door into the door jam. Matthew had to pass a screwdriver under the door so she could pry her way out. Hopefully, he will take care of that soon so it doesn’t happen again. Until then, I’m going to be wary of closing that bathroom door.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sweet Max

I don't have a picture for this post, but I'll have to take one soon.

I think Max has settled down some since turning one. Don't get me wrong, he still VERY much wants to play any time anyone is willing. However, he is not so excited about getting up in the morning lately. In fact, over the weekend I slept in a bit. And Max just stayed in bed with me. Each time I woke up, I would make sure he knew he could leave the room and go play with everyone else who was awake (Matthew and my parents). But he just stayed with me. It was very sweet.

Yesterday, I left the television on all day for him. I don't know why I did this, but I wondered if he would like having some kind of noise in the house. Generally when we get home from work, Max is laying on our bed and acts like we have just woken him up from a really long nap. Matthew said when he got home from work yesterday, Max was laying on the couch. He wondered aloud whether Max had been watching tv all day. We swear that he does watch the tv with us.

I love gum!

I know that's weird, but I do indeed love gum. Almost exclusively, I have been chewing the many flavors of Extra gum over at least the past 13 years. Recently, I found a flavor of Orbit that peaked my interest so I bought it. Maui Melon Mint may be my new favorite flavor. It is delicious!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Quilt Update

As my dear friend Mel B (not of Spice Girls fame) moved across the country a couple of years ago, she brought me her grandmother's sewing machine as she came through town. It has been a treasure to learn and practice sewing without having to make an investment in a sewing machine. After all, I wasn't sure if I would even like sewing. This is a Sears Kenmore sewing machine in a cabinet. I have no idea how old it is, but it is made almost entirely of metal. Unfortunately, they don't make machines like this anymore. I consider this machine to be on loan to me. Anytime Mel wants this back, it is hers. We'll just have to figure out how to get it from one place to another.

While working on this quilt, I have had some frustrating issues...probably from my inexperience, but I like to blame it on the machine. Because of these issues, I didn't work on this for several days. I just couldn't talk myself into it. I think that I have found a way around the issues I was having though and have come to enjoy working on it again. This is going to take me a long time!

This is all I have finished so far. This is not a traditional quilt. When I hear the word "quilt", I think of patchwork quilts. The pieces of this quilt are appliqued to the base of brown material. They are appliqued using a zig-zag stitch. I have read that many quilters feel the imperfections are what makes a quilt so unique and fun. If that is the case, this may be the most unique and fun quilt ever. I'm not sure if it is me or the machine, but the zig-zag stitches have not been consistent. Even though I have not changed the settings, the stitching on the different blocks looks different. I realize these are not very good pictures, but I couldn't figure out the best way to get a picture. This quilt, if completed to its current size, will just barely cover the top of a queen size bed. I have so much farther to go.

So far, it has been a mostly fun process. It is just a bit overwhelming at times.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen

by Trisha Yearwood

I think I read about this cookbook in a magazine article. In high school, I became a fan of Trisha Yearwood's music. And I enjoyed the article so I thought I would give the cookbook a try.

This is definitely a southern cooking cookbook (as I'm sure you figured out from the title). There are several recipes that I think I will try...Lizzie's Chicken and Dumplings, Breakfast Sausage Casserole, Black Bean Lasagna, Garlic Grits Casserole, Sweet Potato Souffle, Pecan-Pie Muffins, Sour Cream Coffee Cake, German Chocolate Cake with Coconut Frosting (to name half the book), but as you can tell these are recipes for comfort food. Every once in a while Matthew will request homemade fried chicken at home, but that is about the only thing I fry in this house.

I enjoyed how the book was written and enjoyed the stories about the history of certain recipes. I agree that there are certain foods that bring back memories of childhood or certain relatives. Most of these recipes do not look like something to try for a quick dinner, but I'll let you know if I try anything. I imagine it will be pretty tasty (see comfort food note above).

The New American Plate Cookbook

Recipes for a Healthy Weight and a Healthy Life
from the American Institute for Cancer Research

This cookbook was highly recommended to me by a family friend. She raved about how great it is and how many people had purchased it because of her. I enjoy reading cookbooks so in July I ordered it from Amazon without even looking at it first. The basic premise of the book is that "your plate should hold two-thirds (or more) vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans and one-third (of less) animal protein." This sounds reasonable to me (although we don't eat this way) so I was on board with trying some of the recipes.

I have only tried a few of the recipes so far...southwestern black bean salad with barley (which I really enjoyed); green peppers stuffed with rice, beans, and feta (which again I enjoyed); kasha pilaf with squash and chicken (this tasted like health food); and apple-spice bread (which we both really enjoyed). Matthew wasn't really a fan of the meals without meat. He thought the kasha dish tasted like tree bark. So out of everything I have tried so far, the bread was the only hit for both of us.

I am not giving up on the book though. There are many recipes that seem more suited to fall and winter that I am excited to try...cider-glazed sweet potatoes with cranberries; honey-roasted parsnips with sweet potatoes and apples; brussel sprouts with balsamic glaze; carrot-raisin bread; cranberry-pumpkin bread with flaxseed; gingerbread; and many others. I am getting hungry just looking through the book again. I think for the time being, I may just stay away from the grains.

October 2008

We have a lot to be thankful for and celebrate during the month of October.

  • 1st Mom's birthday

  • 10th friend Wade's birthday

  • 15th friend Worley's birthday

  • 16th Matthew's birthday

  • 22nd Carolyn's birthday

A couple of these days will be hard this year, but they are still days worth celebrating.