Am I Crazy?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I MUST BE.  Because I agreed to work an extra 8 hour shift tonight from 11 pm to 7 am.

I told myself yesterday when I went in for work that if I was asked to work Tuesday into Wednesday, I would.  And I thought I made it.  I had already given report.  I was waiting for my team member finish giving report and then I would have been out of there.  But…as luck would have it, the clinical coordinator saw me and asked me if I wanted to come in.  I won’t lie.  There was a moment where I was like, “you don’t have to do this.”  But then the thought of the extra money in my paycheck, along with the fact it is ONLY 8 hours, and I’ll still have two days off after this took over, and I agreed and said, “yes.”

You should have seen the look on the clinical coordinator’s face.  I have said “no” so many times that I think she was just expecting me to say it again.  So when I said “yes” she did a double take and said “really?”  When I confirmed that she had indeed heard the right answer, she said, “you must have just had a bill come in.”  Ha Ha.

I have plenty of debt to still pay off even though it is MUCH less than it was last year at this time.

I have to say that changing my career to a nurse has helped TREMENDOUSLY with reducing my debt.

So whenever I complain about it, I try to remember that.

I’m not looking forward to going in tonight because it has been raining ALL DAY LONG.  Hopefully my feet won’t get soaked before I get to work 🙂

So I’ve relaxed since I got up at 4 pm.  I spent time on my computer catching up with blogs, downloading more apps for my iphone, and now Kimm is going to make banana milkshakes before I leave.  I’ve already showered, so I still have about 1/2 hour of free time.  Whippee!!

So now I am REALLY looking forward to my next two nights off.

Published in: on July 21, 2009 at 9:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

Snickerdoodle Blondies

Monday, July 20, 2009

The alternate name for these bars of goodness would be “crack blondies.”  They are so addicting.

I found the recipe for them through a blog I have been following named Lick the Bowl Good.  She makes tons of delicious looking treats!  She got the recipe from Dozen Flours, another blog, who said these bars are all around blogsphere!  Well, when something is good, word about it travels.  When I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it because I had all the ingredients on hand and it is a pretty inexpensive dessert which is very good when you are trying to save money like me 🙂

I cut the recipe in half because I only had one stick of butter on hand.   But I think I would make them exactly the same next time because then you get more edge pieces which are the yummiest.  It made 12 good sized bars.  We only have two left!  I also did not use the cinnamon chips because we didn’t have any.  But honestly, I didn’t even miss them.

Here’s the recipe…

Snickerdoodle Blondies

Makes 12 bars

Ingredients:

One and 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

One teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

One cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup butter (one stick), room temperature

One egg, room temperature

1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

One tablespoon white sugar (for topping)

One teaspoon cinnamon (for topping)

To make:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease an 8 x 8 inch glass pan with the butter wrapper that the butter you will be using is in.

In large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.  Set aside.

In a smaller bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar (I do this by hand…so rewarding and easy when it is at room temperature!).  Add the egg and vanilla and mix until smooth.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well blended.  The dough will be thick.  Spread into greased pan.

In a small bowl, mix the white sugar and cinnamon until blended and then sprinkle evenly over the dough.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until it springs back lightly when pressed.  Cool.  (Note:  I cooked mine for 25 minutes and they were slightly underdone, but I LOVED them this way).  Cut into bars.  Eat and enjoy.  Hopefully they will last more than a few days.  I already have plans to make more this week!

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Brown sugar goodness…chewy, sweet, crackly on top…I could have eaten SEVERAL at a time 🙂

And in case you are interested in knowing what snickerdoodle means, here you go.

Now I must try to take a small nap before my shower, dinner and work.

In other news, Kimm is mowing the lawn because we are due for 10 days of rain starting tomorrow 😦

Published in: on July 20, 2009 at 3:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

First Meal from the Garden!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Well, not a WHOLE meal, but a portion of the meal 🙂

But, let me start at the beginning.  Today was a day of wonderful eats.  I just have to repeat–I love my days off because I feel I have more time to create our meals.

So, first up…Breakfast.

I decided to make blueberry pancakes.  Just a box mix.  But with a whole bunch of blueberries–about 1/2 a pint.  We each had two pancakes with some real maple syrup–there is nothing like the taste of real maple syrup.

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I love how the blueberries pop with juice when you bite into them!

Then, next up…Lunch.

This is where our first produce from the garden made its appearance.  We have green beans!  Now I am not even that much of a fan of green beans, but these were good.  Maybe because it was knowing that I had actually grown these.  And I went through a lot to pick them.  There were at least four bees out there buzzing around.  If you know me at all, you know I have a phobia of bees.  But I had on sweatpants and a long sleeved shirt to pick the beans so I just kept going and got a bowl worth.  I just boiled them for 4 minutes so they were still nice and crispy, then covered with a pat of butter and sea salt.  Again, SO. GOOD.

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Look at how FRESH they look!

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Paired perfectly with homemade mashed potatoes and a noodle dish

Last, but certainly not least…Dinner.

We made mini pizzas.  Covered them with tomoatoes, green and red peppers, and onions, and of course lots of mozzarella cheese.  The tomatoes were so juicy and flavorful.  Really wonderful meal.

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I absolutely love pizza and could eat it for every meal…

I felt so satisfied with everything I ate tonight.

We had a productive and relaxing day.  Kimm and I both got a bunch of cleaning/filing/organizing done in the office.  And then we watched a lot of HGTV tonight.  All of the shows were NOT repeats for once!

Tomorrow is already Monday and I am back to work.  But only for one day and then THREE more days off.  I can’t wait.

Today Charlie was the one who was all relaxed…

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He is just TOO cute!

Published in: on July 19, 2009 at 11:57 pm  Comments (2)  

Oven Toasted Zucchini Grinders

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I only have 13 minutes to try to post this before it becomes July 19th 🙂

Sometimes I am such a dork.  I like my posts to post on the day that they occurred!

So, this is what I am doing now…

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Some wine (we opened the bottle from Peter, our realtor–very tasty) and my computer

Today I accomplished a bit more than yesterday–which is a good thing.  First, I helped Kimm go through about 2/3 of the stuff of hers that was in boxes and bags in the basement.  She threw out a HUGE black plastic bag of stuff.  I just love it when we get rid of stuff.  Less stuff to store.  She’s been meaning to go through that stuff for quite a while, but today she had the momentum to do it.

Then, I cooked three different things!  Two meals, and one dessert.  I will showcase them in the next couple of days.

Today I will give the recipe for some really yummy grinders.  Simple and satisfying.  We were both starving after being in the basement for almost two hours!

Oven Toasted Zucchini Grinders

Serves two

Ingredients:

Two zucchini, cut into chunks, with skin still on

1 tablespoon butter

Salt and pepper

1 cup spaghetti sauce

Two grinder rolls

Approximately 1/2 cup of mozzerella cheese

To make:

First cut up the zucchini.

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Then add the butter to a large skillet.  Add the zucchini and then salt and pepper to taste.  Cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionaly, until the zucchini is softened, and slightly browned.

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Add the spaghetti sauce and stir until warm.

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At this point, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Place each grinder roll on a sheet of tin foil.  Then spoon half of the zucchini mixture into each roll.  Top generously with cheese.

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Create little packets with the tin foil by bringing the edges up over the roll and crimping together.  Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes (less if you like a less crispy roll, more if you like a really toasty roll like me!).  Remove from oven and let sit about 5 minutes before eating.

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Oh yeah, baby…

And after, for dessert, I had to have some yogurt, granola, and honey mixed together.  I’m OBSESSED.  SO. GOOD.

I wish I could have done this all day.

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The life of leisure…

It was hot and humid out today so we made an executive decision to go to Barnes and Noble tonight to sit in the air conditioning.  It was nice.  Of course we had to treat ourselves to a Mint Mocha Chip Frappacino.  Those things are dangerously addicting.  Thankfully I made it out without buying anything else.  But I used my iphone to take a bunch of pictures of books I want to look for at the local library.

Now after my blog is posted, I will relax by catching up with my google reader with the blogs I follow.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

p.s.  I didn’t get to post this for today since it’s 12:09.  DARN.

Published in: on July 19, 2009 at 12:09 am  Leave a Comment  

One Thing…

Friday, July 17, 2009

This morning, when I came home from work, I made up a “to do” list.  It filled one whole side of a piece of notebook paper.  And tonight, by 8:45 pm, I only have ONE THING crossed off 😦

Why are “to do” lists so difficult to complete!?

So the one thing that I got done was going grocery shopping at BJs, the bulk grocery store that we go to about once a month.  Surprisingly we only spent about $50.  Pretty good for us.  We only got a few things–four packs of water, toilet paper, Tylenol, and Q-tips.  An odd assortment for sure!

I really will need to get a jump start on the “to do” list tomorrow.  Hopefully then I will have more ENERGY.  I am seriously lacking it now.  Probably because I only got 5 hours of sleep.  I’m already looking forward to bed!

Tonight the plan is to watch Annie.  We got it from Netflix.  I LOVED that movie as a kid.  Ever since I heard that we got it in the mail today I’ve been singing snatches of the songs I remember…”The Sun’ll Come Out Tomorrow” and “It’s a Hard Knock Life for Us.”

Published in: on July 17, 2009 at 8:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

Halfway…

Thursday, July 16, 2009

It’s hard to believe that this month of July is halfway over!

And I’m halfway done with work before three days off (I had to work two days and one of them is done!)

Actually, speaking of work, it was a fairly GOOD night.  I was all caught up fairly early.  No major issues.  I was a little nervous because as I was walking into work, a black cat crossed my path.  It was the strangest thing!  I was walking towards the hospital from the parking lot and I saw a black cat about 50 feet away in front of me.  It looked at me, and then all of a sudden darted in front of me and ran down the side street.  Thankfully it wasn’t a bad premonition 🙂

I know that I am NOT halfway through my “to do” list.  I think that is because I have been just keeping the list in my head, whereas I REALLY need to write it down so that I can physically cross things off.   I think I will have a better chance of getting things done that way.  So tonight at work I will begin to compose my “to do” list for my three days off.

Now I’m off to bed!

Published in: on July 16, 2009 at 9:01 am  Leave a Comment  

Small Red Bean Chili

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Even though it is summertime, I still love me a good chili.  In fact, I can eat chili all year long.  Usually I don’t have a completely specific recipe for chili, but last night when I made this for dinner, I thought it came out super, so I’ll post this as the basic recipe.  But you can add extras if you want (green peppers, different types of beans, more spices, veggie ground “meat”).  We just had the leftovers for lunch today and all I could say was “yum!”

Small Red Bean Chili

Serves 4

Ingredients:

about a tablespoon of olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced

1 can (large, 28 oz) diced tomatoes

1 can (small, 10 oz) small red beans (I use Goya–you can also use kidney beans if you can’t find small red beans–but the small red beans are AWESOME!)

2 cups water

2 veggie bouillon cubes

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

2 teaspoons sugar

about a cup of egg noodles

To prepare:

In a large pot, place the olive oil over medium heat while you chop the onion.  Add the onion to the pot.  After about five minutes add the garlic to the pot–be careful not to burn the garlic.  Stir for about 30 seconds.  Then add the diced tomates (with juices) to the pot.  Rinse the small red beans off with water and add to pot.  Microwave 2 cups of water for about 2 minutes until hot, then add the veggie bouillon cubes–stir until dissolved and then add to the pot.  Next add seasonings–chili powder, cumin, and sugar.  Stir well and cook on medium heat for about 1/2 hour for the juices to reduce.  If needed, add a bit more water if it is getting too thick.  Next add the noodles, and stir well so that they are under the juices.  Let simmer for another 15 minutes.  That’s it.  Ready to eat.

The long cooking time really gives the broth a chance to get really flavorful.  I love this meal.  Can’t say that enough.

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Serve with soft, warm Italian bread from you local bakery, slathered with butter.  Seriously good.

Where did my two days off go?  It seems like I was just working.  I need to become independently wealthy 🙂  Off to take a nap before work.

Published in: on July 15, 2009 at 1:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

I LOVE my days off!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I really look forward to my days off.   Probably because when I am working, I am at work for about 13 hours (arrive at 6:30 pm and usually leave at 7:30 am, but sometimes, unfortunately later).  But that doesn’t take into account my getting ready time.  If I’ve worked the night before, I’ll get up from sleeping at 4:30 pm, take a shower, then eat by about 5:10 pm while watching either HGTV or a Reba episode (or whatever we are currently watching on DVD), then brush my teeth and get dressed, and then out the door by 6:10 pm.  I have it down to a science.  So there is MINIMAL time on the days I’m working to do anything relaxing or fun.

Therefore, when I have my days off, I like to enjoy them to the max.  Usually this means sleeping in, having some coffee and catching up on my blogs, reading, trying new recipes, doing the dishes and laundry (most of the time I don’t mind doing the dishes or laundry…I like to see things getting clean!), watching TV or a movie, grocery shopping, and just hanging out with Kimm.

The past two days have been nice.  Last night we finally watched Marley and Me.  Good movie.  Extremely sad at the end (we knew it would be, but it still doesn’t fully prepare you…we both looked like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer before going to bed!).  Watch the preview here.

Today I made some chili (the whole house smelled divine…I will post the recipe soon, it’s that good!) and then we went to Barnes and Noble to check out the books…one of our most favorite activities 🙂

A nap may have also been in the picture.

I still have half a day tomorrow to enjoy before working two nights.  The good thing is that after that I will have three nights off, then one on, then another three off!  Pretty sweet!  I have a lot I want to accomplish on my next stretch of days off so I think I will need to make a LIST!

Published in: on July 14, 2009 at 11:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cheapest Grocery Store Item Yet!

Monday, July 13, 2009

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Yep…a small piece of ginger for only SIX cents!! I’ll be using this during the week on a recipe I’ll be posting…

This is going to be a super short post for two reasons.  One, I barely have any battery left and I’m too lazy to go and get the cord.  Two, my eyes are so sleepy I can barely type!

Anyways, this is my first day off and that’s why I’m so tired.  Got up at about 2 pm (crawled into bed by 9 am after reading a bunch of blogs…I’m so addicted!)

Kimm and I went grocery shopping.  We spent about $115 at two different places–at Geissler’s on a bunch of produce and then our regular shopping at Stop and Shop.  I think we are doing pretty good so far this month.  It’s almost half over and we’ve spent about $230 thus far.  The goal was $400 so I think we can make it 🙂  It’s actually a little bit fun to try to determine how to cut your grocery bill down.  But I still think it would be more fun to be able to grocery shop and get anything you wanted without having to worry about how much it cost!

Now I am off for a nappy nap!

What is the cheapest item you have ever paid for at the grocery store?

Published in: on July 13, 2009 at 8:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

Another one bites the dust…

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Another day done of working.  Only one more before two days off.  Thank goodness.

Last night was not as frustrating as some nights at work can be, but really, I think patients forget that they are at a hospital.  I think some think they are at a restaurant (ringing bells at midnight and later…”can I have a sandwich?…chicken salad because that is my favorite…).   I kidded a fellow co-worker and said that I should ask for a waitress pad in my Christmas stocking.  I especially love it when someone says they have 10/10 pain and feel nauseous but then in the next breath, as I’m getting ready to leave the room to get the pain and anti-nausea medications, you hear “can I get a Jello when you come back?”  WHAT???  You say you are nauseous, and have the most excruciating pain ever, but a Jello would be nice????  This is what drives me crazy in my job.  Well, only a small fraction of what drives me crazy.  But I can only focus on this today.

This is why I simply think of my job as a job.  There are the rare times that I feel like I’m making a difference, but they don’t occur that often.

So I say again, another day of work done…and I try to leave all the bad stuff out of my mind when I come home.  If I thought about it too much, I could go crazy!

fyi:  tomorrow we will be going grocery shopping–we actually made it 10 days on our first trip!

Published in: on July 12, 2009 at 8:55 am  Leave a Comment