the money just flows out of my pocket…but where is the money tree to replace it?

Friday, July 31, 2009

Kind of a long title, huh?  But totally appropriate, since I spent about $400 JUST TODAY.  Details to follow…

Ahh…my first day off.   Just so you know, I have a big smile on my face 🙂

But when I first woke up, about 3 pm, I was Ms. Cranky Pants.  I don’t know why.  I just started feeling overwhelmed with everything.  Kimm had been researching dehumidifiers while I slept and determined that we really should purchase one due to the EXCESSIVE moisture and dampness in our basement.  Now, we had been talking about this, but then to think about having to fork over so much money (those things are not cheap!) is a whole different story.  Plus I was hungry.  And it takes me a while to wake up.  And I was still thinking about what a horrible night I had at work.  Combine all those factors, and maybe you can understand why I was CRA.A.A.N.KY.

Since I was so hungry, we had a quick meal…burritos.  We had them last night for dinner as well.  They are so good and I fully plan on posting the incredibly simple recipe coming up.

Then we were off!  We had to drop some books at the library and pick up some new ones.  I love free books!

Then we stopped at Rocky’s to pick up the aforementioned dehumidifier.  We had called to see if they carried any because even with all the research Kimm did online, there were very few that she saw that would be available in the stores she was looking at.  So once we walked in and I saw the dehumidifier that they carried, I said, “Let’s get it.”  It was a hefty $205.  Yikes!

Then off to Target.  That’s where we ran into trouble 🙂  Meaning, we spent more than we had planned on.  In addition to the mundane cleaning supplies and personal hygiene items, we found these cute storage ottomans.  They work perfectly (in OUR opinion) in the living room, picking up the teal of the curtains and the cream of the rug.  They are great for additional seating since right now we only have seating for about four people, maybe six if they are skinny 🙂  The cats loved them immediately.

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The Queen… (look at those freaky eyes!)

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Mr. Man…

And my favorite item of the trip…Kimm bought a cool hat. She said she’ll use it when she mows the lawn and weeds.  I LOVE it!

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Here’s her tough look…

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I coaxed a smile…

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She STILL hasn’t taken it off…hard at work on her blog…read her latest RANT here

Published in: on July 31, 2009 at 11:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Stove Top Popcorn

Thursday, July 30, 2009

OMG.  I will NEVER go back to microwave popcorn again.

When we finished off the last of our microwave popcorn I had told Kimm that I wanted to try to make our own, homemade popcorn.  For several reasons.  First, cost.  It’s expensive to buy those individual popcorn bags.  Second, taste.  The microwave popcorn leaves a coated feeling on your tongue which is nasty.

So last night, when the urge for a snack hit us, we finally made some popcorn on the stove top.  Not only did it taste delicious, but it was fun and easy to make.

Stove Top Popcorn

Serves two

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 cup popcorn kernels

2 tablespoons butter, melted

Salt to taste

To make:

Place the three tablespoons vegetable oil in a large pot (use a 5 quart pot at least as this makes 4 quarts of popcorn).  Then add the popcorn kernels.  Mix to coat all the kernels with the oil.  Place on a medium heat.  Cover with a lid that is tilted slightly so as to allow the steam to escape, but not the popcorn as it starts to pop!  And now just wait.  In a few minutes, the kernels will begin to pop.  It’s crazy fun.  Keep the pot over the heat until you don’t hear the popcorn popping anymore or until you start to smell that the popcorn is burning!  Take off the heat and pour into a large bowl.  Pour the melted butter over and sprinkle with salt.  Stir.  Then eat.

We only had about 5 kernels that got too done.  They were easy to pick out.  And unlike microwave popcorn, there were hardly any kernels that remained unpopped.

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It was finger lickin’ good.

I’m already looking forward to this weekend when I know we’ll be having more.

I know I always say this, but I’m not looking forward to work tonight.  But after tonight I will have FOUR nights off!!  Happy face.  I have to make a list of everything I want to do, because I know that even though four days seems like a lot, it will go  by way too fast.

A piece of good news:  the humidity is slowly coming down.  Thank goodness.

Published in: on July 30, 2009 at 3:11 pm  Comments (1)  

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I have posted this recipe on the blog before.  A few times.  It’s just so good.  When I made the meal plan for this week, Kimm was super psyched that I was planning on making this.  It’s one of her favorite meals.

But I don’t know what possessed me to turn the oven on when we are having temps in the 80s with 93% humidity!!!  Needless to say, the kitchen felt like a sauna.  But the final result, our DELICIOUS dinner, made up for it.

So, here is the recipe one more time 🙂

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

*Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker’s Big Red Cookbook–my adaptations in (parentheses)

Serves 4 very hungry people–large servings…probably 8 smaller servings

Ingredients:

2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (I use a whole box–16 oz of the large pasta shells–I think they hold the cheese sauce better!)

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground mustard (I use closer to 1/2 teaspoon and could use even more…love that mustard flavor)

1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (again I use about 1/2 teaspoon and sometimes more…gives it a bit of a bite!)

2 cups milk

2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

To make:

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook pasta as directed on package (I do mine for 10 minutes).

While pasta is cooking, melt butter in a large pan over low heat.  Stir in flour, salt, pepper, mustard and Worcestershire sauce.  Cook over low heat–it will form a paste pretty quickly.  Add in milk and heat to boiling stirring constantly.  Once boiling, boil for one minute–the sauce should be really thick by this point.  Then remove from heat and stir in the cheese.  The heat from the flour/milk sauce will melt the cheese.  Oh, so good.

Drain the pasta and pour into the large pot with the cheese sauce.  Stir until pasta is coated evenly.

Pour mixture into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.  Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes and then serve.

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This is an old picture…I was too lazy to take a picture tonight!  And I had used different noodles that time.  But it still takes the same.  I’m so happy we have leftovers for tomorrow!

This recipe is definitely a keeper!

I hear it’s only going to be the same weather tomorrow…more hot and humid.  Not looking forward to that.  What I do look forward to is the air conditioning in my bedroom tonight 🙂

Published in: on July 29, 2009 at 9:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Those lazy, hazy days…

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

It’s HOT out. 87 degrees.

I’m not a big fan of hot weather.

Kimm and I just came in from picking some green beans for dinner and I’m sweating like a pig 🙂

Fortunately, we had a nice, cool night of sleeping with the air conditioner.  Unfortunately, the darn thing is making a lot of noise.  I think it needs to be replaced.  But we are not going to do that because this next month we will be having a few people come out and do quotes for replacing the furnace, getting heat on the second floor, and central air.  So, I don’t want to spend money on a new air conditioner that we won’t need next year.  We’ll deal.

I can’t believe it is already almost 4 pm.  This is why I don’t like just having one day off at a time.  There is no time to really enjoy it 😦

And my schedule this month was really crappy.  I work one night tonight, then one night off, then another night on.  I’m a firm believer in scheduling people’s days on and days off together.  Especially when you are working 3rd shift.  Otherwise it’s incredibly difficult for your body to adjust.

Okay, enough complaining about work.  It too shall pass.

Back to the weather…

It truly is one of those warm, summer days where you feel like doing absolutely nothing.  And I think it’s perfectly okay to veg out when it’s this hot.  Good for the soul.  I just wish I had more time to relax.  But in too short of time I will be getting ready for work.

I think I may try for a short nap or possibly catching up on the over 200 blog posts that I still need to read!

Published in: on July 28, 2009 at 3:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

Seven Year Anniversary!

Monday, July 27, 2009

That’s right, Kimm and I have been together for SEVEN years.  Wow!  Where does the time go?  I still remember when I first met her at our old place of employment.

Unfortunately I slept for a good portion of the day because I had worked last night.  But I got up at 3 pm and then we started our special day.

The first part of the day was spent getting the air conditioner into the bedroom window since it is SO hot and humid.  It was 83 degrees in the bedroom, even with the fan on.  The air conditioner fits even better here at the house than at the old apartment.  There we had to use old socks to seal up all parts of the window 🙂  The only bad thing is that because there are only two windows in the bedroom, now with the air conditioner, we can only have one window open for air ventilation and that window is in the closet!   The temp decreased into the 70s within a few hours!  Much better.  I can’t wait to sleep in a room with no humidity tonight.

My sweetie gave me the sweetest card.  It completely describes how both of us feel about our relationship!

On Our Anniversary

Today I’m remembering when we first got together and all those happy times we’ve shared together since.

Today I’m appreciating you for all the happiness you’ve brought me through the years–for the strengths I knew you had from the beginning and the ones I didn’t recognize until daily life made them clear to me.

Today I’m celebrating all the good things about our relationship…the things that never seem to change, even with life’s ups and downs.

Today I look to the future with such happy hopes and dreams for both of us…because I still think fate brought us together for a reason, and I’m still glad you’re the one I’m on this beautiful journey with.

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I’m so lucky!

Isn’t that life the PERFECT card?  I loved it.  I didn’t get her a card because I’ve been stuck at work for the last three days!  But that’s okay.  We don’t need any card to tell us that we are doing just fine 🙂

So.  We had been planning on going to The Olive Garden for the longest time for our anniversary dinner.  We LOVE that place.  The food is so good.  It’s actually been quite a while since we have gone out anywhere for a meal, mostly because we’re poor.  So needless to say, we were both looking forward to it a lot.

And even though the food was amazing (as usual!)–[we had the bread sticks with Alfredo dipping sauce, salad with Italian dressing, five cheese penne, and two different desserts, chocolate raspberry cheesecake and a lemon cake, AND a bottle of a wonderful wine]–overall we had an AWFUL time.

Why?

Because people are just rude.

We were seated in an area where there were about 5-7 other tables.  One was occupied by a couple who were very quiet.  We liked them!  But then about five minutes after we were seated another couple of women were seated directly behind us, within about 2 feet.  And they were LOUD.  They were talking so loud I couldn’t even believe how loud they were.  And then the one woman’s cell phone rang (out loud, no vibrate here baby) and she answered it and proceeded to have at least a five minute conversation AT HER TABLE.  HOW RUDE.  I mean, please, take it out to the lobby at least.  Have some consideration for your fellow dining companions.  And if that wasn’t bad enough, then there was this other family that was seated way across the way from us…at least 10-15 feet.  But the husband immediately whipped out his cell phone and proceeded to make a business call.  We could hear every word of the conversation from where we were seated.  I was getting SO annoyed.  And then, to cap it all off, towards the end of our meal a family with two young kids (probably about 2 and 3 years old) were seated next to us.  Ugh.  I mean, I don’t have anything against kids.  Heck, I even want to have kids in the future.  But please, do not take them to a fancy sit-down restaurant!  They were screaming out and banging their toys on the table.  It was grating on the nerves. At that point we pretty much were so annoyed that we decided to get our desserts to go and stopped eating.

All we wanted was a nice, quiet meal out to celebrate our anniversary.  But we didn’t get it.

I know I say this a lot, but I honestly don’t understand why people have to be so loud and disrespectful.  Common courtesy is all I’m looking for.  I mean, we were both quiet.  But I don’t think people care about others anymore.

Once we left the restaurant we both breathed a sigh of relief!

What a disappointment.

But at least we could laugh about it later.  We decided that if we ever go there again, we will sit at the bar area.  It seemed to be quiet there.  I don’t think kids are allowed in that area!

We had a lot of our bottle of wine left over.  The bottle serves 8 glasses 🙂  It was wonderful.  Crisp and sweet and easy on the palette.  The name of it was Principato Rosato.  We had a glass tonight while blogging!

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It’s pink!

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With my card…

After coming home, we decided to spend the remainder of the night at one of our favorite places, Barnes and Noble.  It was very relaxing.

Now we are home, both of us are blogging, and we are planning on watching some of Season One of The Apprentice after, along with some leftovers!

I wonder what changes will have occurred one year from now?  I love how you just don’t know the exact future…but it’s fun to plan and wonder 🙂

Published in: on July 27, 2009 at 11:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

Two Down…

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Another work day done and now only one more remaining.

I’m really looking forward to Monday because Kimm and I will be going out to eat for our anniversary.

Today so far seems hot and humid and foggy and muggy.  A good day to sleep.

Off I go to bed so my burning eyes can rest.

Published in: on July 26, 2009 at 8:40 am  Leave a Comment  

One Down…

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I am approaching this three day weekend of work just one day at a time.  And so far, I’m 1/3 of the way done!

Last night actually was not as bad as I thought it might be.  Don’t get me wrong.  I was BUSY.  In fact, I had an admission (of course the only person to get an admission), and the woman, sweet as she was, was such a talker.  I was in her room for an hour doing the admission assessment.  Here she is telling me that everyone is asking her the same questions and that she’s tired, but she gives long-winded answers to yes/no questions!!

But it’s done and I’m home.

Although, I must ask, why does the time go by so fast here at home when I am reading blogs and unwinding??

Seems so unfair. But I guess that is life, huh?

So now, since my eyelids are pretty much burning because they are so tired, I shall retire to my bed, where I sure as heck HOPE to be able to sleep better today!

Published in: on July 25, 2009 at 8:57 am  Leave a Comment  

Dreading the Weekend…

Friday, July 24, 2009

I know most people look forward to the weekend, but I can only do that twice a month.  I really wish I had a job where I didn’t have to work every other weekend.

It doesn’t help much that I had the most MISERABLE night of sleep last night.  I got to bed at a decent hour and was set to go to sleep by a little after 1 am.  But then I COULD NOT get to sleep.

I kept rolling over and looking at the clock and the time would just keep passing, minute by minute.  And for each minute that passed, I would get more and more frustrated.

It was humid.  There was a strange noise coming from the fan.  I was thinking too much.

Not a good combination for sleep.

But somehow I didn’t wake up until 11 am and when I last looked at the clock it was 4 am.  So I guess I managed to toss and turn for 7 hours.

When I came downstairs, Kimm was on the couch.  She’d been up since 6:30 am.  So she didn’t get much sleep either.

I just don’t like going to work without a satisfying rest.

We had to go grocery shopping today because we were pretty much out of everything.  We did pretty good too–only $109.  Goal was a$100.  Fairly close.  Good enough for me 🙂

Okay, so now I will start getting ready for work.  My only hope is that this weekend is not that tough.  I’m not in the mood.

Published in: on July 24, 2009 at 4:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

Tweet, tweet…

Thursday, July 23, 2009

That’s right.  I’m on twitter now!

I’ve known about twitter for a long time.  But just never thought it was for me.  But you know what?  I LIKE to make comments about what I am doing at different times of the day.  Even if NO ONE is following me 🙂

But if you are interested in knowing what I am doing or what I am thinking, feel free to follow me.  My twitter username is okaykaye.

I find twitter to be highly addictive!

I did not accomplish much today.  Woke up very late (11:30 am!).  But in my defense, I was in bed at 3 am.  Then had some coffee and read blogs, per my usual morning routine.  Talked to my parents who were on vacation in Door County for a while.  Made two good meals.  Made a grocery list but then decided not to go yet because there are some better sales starting tomorrow.  Listened to the rain.  Yep…it’s been raining pretty much all day long.

Now I am going to try to balance my checkbook and then do some filing.  Wow, what an exciting night.

Published in: on July 23, 2009 at 9:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

10 Minute Nachos

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tonight Kimm and I were old fogies and took a drive around town.  It’s so relaxing to just drive with no destination, looking at the houses and scenery.

We even happened to run into her dad who had just finished mowing the lawn.  We had a nice little chat.

Before coming home we stopped at the packie to pick up some drinks.  We’ve been out for quite a while.  Got some Bud Light Lime beer for Kimm, Smirnoff Ice for me, and some Twisted Tea Original for the both of us.  When we walked up to the store, our favorite woman who works there was on break, having a cigarette.  When she saw us coming she said, “Oh there you ladies are!  I hadn’t seen you in quite a while!”  It was so nice for her to welcome us.  After buying what we needed, we stayed and chatted with her for a few minutes–apparently she had some bats in her house a while back and we told her how we also had a bat in our old apartment.  Small world. Maybe next time we go there we’ll invite her out for a drink.  She’s super friendly.

When we got home, we were STARVIN’ MARVIN’.  Thanks to me, we had a wonderful simple snack.  I was thinking of what we could have the entire time we were driving 🙂  We are running low on food and will go grocery shopping tomorrow.  But what I came up with was some simple nachos.

10 Minute Nachos

Serves two hungry people!

Ingredients:

Approximately 1/3 bag tortilla chips

Approximately 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 can diced tomatoes (the flavored kind–garlic, basil and oregano), drained

A sprinkle of cumin powder

To Make:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Spread a piece of tinfoil on a cookie sheet (believe me, this is great–no cleanup!).  Then sprinkle the cheese on the chips.  You can adjust this recipe however you like–more chips, more or less cheese, etc–it is completely how YOU like it.  Then in a small bowl, mix the drained diced tomatoes with a sprinkle of cumin (to taste–this creates kind of a taco seasoning taste).  Then spread the tomatoes on top of the chips.  Bake in oven until cheese melted–for me this was only seven minutes.  Perfecto!

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These were so good.  I felt like I was at a bar, with my drink in one hand, and a gooey, savory, salty treat in the other!

Now we are relaxing, watching our good ol’ HGTV.  I love my days off 🙂

Published in: on July 22, 2009 at 11:05 pm  Leave a Comment