Wednesday, March 29, 2023

What's Up Wednesday, March 2023 Edition


Guess what I've been doing this month? If you said: Bitching about the weather; you obviously read here! Thanks for that. Seriously, though...the weather....

Anyhoodle, despite Mother Nature ignoring the fact that it is now the end of March (a solid NINE DAYS past the official first day of spring, might I add), it is, indeed, the end of March. And, what does one do on this here blog at the end of each month? What's Up Wednesday, naturally! So, thank you to Sheaffer and Shay for the link-up and on we go.

What I'm Eating

In an effort to balance my carb consumption with something resembling a leafy green; I tried this Mediterranean-inspired salad from the local brew pub. It was delicious. And, nutritious, so score one for me.

Then, immediately subtract points for the cinnamon bread and lemon scones that I baked and ate with wild abandon.

Then, split the difference with the drunken noodles that I ordered from the new neighborhood Thai truck because, while it racked up the carbs, it also featured veggies.

I'm not sure if corned beef and cabbage raised or lowered my score, especially since they were accompanied by freshly-baked Irish soda bread, so, we'll just pretend that it did and call it good. Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Which, I did not eat, but, now that I think about it; that sounds delicious. And, I digress.

What I'm Reminiscing About

My cousin's children recently reached out to request that friends and family members send cards to celebrate their parent's upcoming 50th wedding anniversary as a surprise. My cousin and her husband didn't want a celebration or any type of party, so their kids thought this would be a good way to recognize the achievement, while respecting their wishes. I think it is really sweet of them, and, since I was the flower girl in that particular wedding, I was quick to purchase a card.

I also went back into my photo archives and found pictures from the wedding that I had scanned from our family albums. Behold! Yours truly as a flower girl! 

Behold, also, some truly iconic 1970's photographic wizardry...

What I most remember about this wedding were the cream cheese mints that were served with the wedding cake (addictive!) and the tiny locket that my cousin gave me to wear with the dress. I also remember that my shoes were new, and tight, and that my toes were scrunched up and uncomfortable. The flower wreath on my head was made of carnations, and I still recall the spicy scent. 

The wedding was held in a Catholic church, and while I don't remember if there was a full mass, I do remember that the day was long. This last picture clearly indicates just how over the entire thing I  apparently was. 

The blond cutie next to me is my cousin Gayleen, who had ring bearer honors, and, the handsome fella on whose lap I am sitting is my cousin's (now ex) husband, Charlie, who was patiently teaching me the Here's the Church, Here's the Steeple game to distract me from my boredom and what I can only assume was some classic kid-sized crankiness. Bless his heart.

What I'm Loving

I came across a recipe for dog biscuits and, since I am doing a lot of baking recently, I figured why not add dog treats to the menu? Boomer Dog is definitely a fan, and, I am a fan of the Boomer Dog, so it's a win-win.

What I've Been Up To

Since the weather has been absolute crap this month, I have spent a great deal of time inside, catching up on organizational chores and baking like my fat cells depend on it (spoiler: they most certainly do not). I've also been making a valiant effort to catch up on the kids' scrapbooks; I'm on Queen B's Junior year in High School, currently. This feels like an accomplishment until I remind myself that the child will have her ten-year High School reunion next summer. Then? Not so much.

What I'm Working On

Not So New Day Job is hosting the 3rd annual Run to Defeat Child Abuse Virtual 5K in April and we have been working hard on the promotional video for the event. Kristi loaned us her awesome acting talents again this year and we had a lot of fun filming her "running through the four seasons of spring in Colorado". Totally apropos considering the weather we have been experiencing lately.

What I'm Dreading

The crappy economy has hit the hardware store pretty hard and there are Decisions to be made. The capitalization of Decisions indicates the importance of said Decisions and none of us are looking forward to making them.

What I'm Excited About

Queen B is the Maid-of-Honor in Miss Mia's upcoming wedding and I am helping her plan a bridal shower the month before the wedding. It's been a hot minute since I planned an event unrelated to work, and I am really excited about it. Mia is a pretty simple gal, but she has expressed a desire to go super-girly for the shower, which we immediately interpreted as BOUGIE AS HELL. Think: fancy mimosa bar, delicious brunch, rose wine fountain, individually boxed cupcakes as a party favor, and tons of flowers and crystal everywhere. It's going to be epic!

What I'm Watching

I watched each installment of Daisy Jones and the Six as they dropped and then re-watched the entire series in one sitting. I loved this adaptation of the book, which is saying a lot because I loved, loved, loved the book. I thought Sam Claflin and Riley Keough did an amazing job in their roles, and the wardrobe people need an award, immediately!

I also binge watched The Class of 2007, at Queen B's recommendation. It was funny, cute, and easy to watch, which is rapidly becoming my favorite three qualities in a series.

What I'm Reading

I've done more reading the past few weeks than I have done for quite a while, which makes my inner book nerd very, very happy. I have been taking this book along with me when I sit in the infrared sauna; I find it very interesting and can usually get through two chapters in the thirty minutes that I am sweating the toxins from my body.

I'm also three books into the Wagons West series that I purchased a while back; only twenty-two more to go! When I'm not reading for pleasure, I am reading for work. I am collaborating with a local service group to bring the author of this book to Hooterville for a community presentation later this summer, so I needed to properly vet the book.

While the books I have been reading lately have all been of the paperback variety, I did recently purchase a new Kindle Paperwhite. I had no choice; my original Kindle Fire is no longer supported (I've had it since the Man-Cub was in Middle School), so I couldn't access the Amazon Store for downloads to the device. I figured it had lived a good, long life and deserved to be retired from service. I also ordered a pretty case.

What I'm Listening To

At the moment, I am listening to the hum of the space heater under my desk, because, in case I haven't bitched about it enough already; it is cold here. 

What I'm Wearing

I'd love to say that I am wearing all of my Spring wardrobe, but that would be a lie; with the weather being as unpredictable as it has been, I've been reluctant to bust out my white jeans and espadrilles just yet. I have, however, been buying tops in Spring shades, specifically the classic green, crystal rose (which is an orchid shade), summer song, and beetroot purple shades from the 2023 Pantone palette. I don't have pictures of the tops, so you'll have to trust me.

Doing This Weekend

Mom is coming over on Saturday so we can decorate the Easter cookies that I baked this past weekend. We are also going to practice using my Russian piping tips, so I will be proficient with them when I decorate the cupcakes for the bridal shower (see above: BOUGIE AS HELL).

Looking Forward to Next Month

Easter! I am planning to serve brunch this year, which means crepes and mimosas and a ham and egg casserole that is to die for. Oh, and the Easter Bunny will be hopping by with treats for everyone. I haven'y quite figured out what exactly those treats will be, but I have no doubt they will be ah-may-zing!

Favorite Amazon Find This Month

Earlier, I mentioned that Queen B and I are hosting Miss Mia's bridal shower later this summer; one of the things that we envisioned for the party was a flower wall, in front of which we could have guests take pictures with the bride. I searched all of greater Hooterville-and a span beyond-for a flower wall that I could rent, and, had no luck. So, I bit the bullet and I bought one. It was a little pricey, but I figure I can either re-sell it when I'm done with it, or rent it out until I recoup my investment. Either way, we now have a flower wall for the shower. I wasn't kidding when I said this party was going to be epic.

Monday, March 27, 2023

In Which the Easter Bunny Gets an Assist From the US Postal Service

Despite what the weather would have us believe, it truly is spring. What comes with spring? Easter! And what comes with Easter? A care package to one of my children, naturally.

Queen B received her latest package this past weekend, so it's time to chat about what was in the box. Drumroll, please......

In the Box

-Two bunches of the now-iconic (to us) Martha Stewart faux tulips

-A classic two-tiered stack of Bento Boxes

-A bottle of Goli ashwagandha gummy supplements

-Two boxes of Girl Scouts Thin Mints

-A package of large Robbin Eggs

-A carton of mini Robbin Eggs

-A memo pad fit for a Queen B

-The Pioneer Woman Super Easy! cookbook

-A stack of Easter-themed kitchen towels 

We will miss having Queen B home for the holiday, but now I can rest assured that she knows that the Easter Bunny will never forget her. 

As if.

Dearest Mother Nature (cc Old Man Winter)


Why did I wake up to a new layer of freshly fallen snow?

It is the end of March, Mother Nature; the first day of spring was a week ago. It's time for sunshine and warmth and the budding of the fruit trees. Tulips are pushing their way towards the heavens, Mother Nature, and you blanket them with snow.


Did you lose some sort of bet to Old Man Winter? Is that it? Have you been gambling with my mental health in such a reckless manner?

I'm over it, Mother Nature.




Monday, March 20, 2023

It's the First Day of Spring!

So, why the fuck is there snow in the forecast?

Nevermind that, let's focus on more pleasant things, including the fact that Queen B got to check one off her Texas bucket list recently; a trip to the Texas Tulip Farm. Tulips are Queen B's favorite flower and she was super excited about seeing an entire pick-your-own field of them. I don't know which is prettier; the flowers or the girl. I'm kind of partial to the girl.

Meanwhile, back on the ranch, I have been baking away my winter blues. Speaking of blues; check out these gorgeous ceramic mixing bowls that I bought at the culinary store in Hooterville. Did I need another set of mixing bowls?  I most certainly did not. Do I regret the purchase? I most certainly do not.

While I've been out shopping, I've been picking up items for Queen B's spring care package, which has also brightened my mood. Full description of the box once it is in Queen B's hands, but here is a teaser.

I  busted out my Easter decorations clear back the end of February, and, at some point I will get around to posting pictures of them all (spoiler: my husband seems to think I have too many bunnies...I fear he is correct). In the meantime, here is a picture of one of my favorites.

Lastly, it wouldn't be spring without a St. Patrick's Day celebration, which we accomplished in the usual way; with a traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner, accompanied by a fresh loaf of Irish soda bread (totally gratuitous photo of one of those gorgeous mixing bowls in action!).

Now, I'm off to work, where I will probably have to shovel snow at some point in the day. Or, not. It is Colorado after all; anything could happen.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Life Lately

Not a lot going on in these here parts, as evidenced by the paltry number of posts on the blog so far this month. I've basically been hibernating since this never ending winter refuses to give way to spring, and hibernation does not exactly produce great blogging content. Shocker, I know.

On the rare occasion that I leave the house for something other than work, you can bet that it has involved food, because; even bears leave the cave for sustenance (I think. I mean, I'm no wildlife expert or anything).

Recently, one of the breweries in Hooterville started serving house-made salads. I was intrigued by The Zeus, which is basically a Mediterranean-styled salad, complete with olives and feta. It was quite good. I washed it down with a non-fat Italian soda made with sugar free coconut and vanilla syrups, which, might just be my go-to drink for the summer.

The salad was the first decently green meal that I had eaten in a while; I tend to crave less healthy fare in cold weather (again, I'm pretty sure that's what bears do) so I've been remiss in the vegetable department. Once I realized that, I started making more of an effort to include more roughage into my diet, including sprouts, which I like tucked into sandwiches and sprinkled over salads.

Sprouts have gotten expensive in the markets around here, so I'm glad I invested in sprouting jars a while back. Sprouting seeds are also expensive, but you get a hell of a lot more sprouts out of them and can have a fresh crop grown in less than a week. Currently, I am using broccoli and mung bean seeds for my sprouts.

When I'm not being mindful of what I'm shoving into my gaping maw, I tend to gravitate towards the least healthy carbs available, which, right now, consist of breads. Cinnamon loaf is one of my favorite comfort breads, so I baked two large loaves of it last weekend. I also made lemon scones to take to work for one of our partners who happens to love lemon scones and who is British. The fact that he said my scones were the best he'd ever eaten is most certainly a lie; Brits are polite like that. 

During hibernation, I also seem to be more interested in planning my summer garden; I suppose that is true for a lot of people. I've been ordering seed catalogs, seeds, and other gardening items and I cannot wait for the weather to get nice enough to clean out my raised beds. I am also determined to clear the space for a greenhouse this spring, and, want to have one installed before the end of summer so that I can start seeds during the winter next year, rather than sitting in my house wishing I could.

Since I am naturally inclined to look on the bright side of things, I can report that being forced to spend weekends inside the house has opened up plenty of opportunity for me to organize my spaces. I finally got around to clearing out my office, including the massive amount of scrapbooking paraphernalia that I collected over the course of my children's lifetimes.

I weeded out the items that I know I no longer need and organized the items that I still want to use. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Past Me had done a remarkably good job of organizing photos by date/event/milestone, etc. This includes the paper, stickers, die cuts, etc., that I had planned layouts around. 

Since everything was together, I decided to jump back in and get caught up. Queen B's scrapbooks ended at the beginning of her sophomore year of high school, while the Man-Cub's were stuck in the middle of eighth grade, so I have my work cut out for me (ha! Scrapbooking humor!). I spent most of the day this past Saturday, working on Queen B's book and managed to complete about ten pages, despite being constantly interrupted by the fur babies, who demanded constant attention.

While I was working on the scrapbooks, and, since I've been reading more for pleasure (book reviews coming soon! Maybe!); I have noticed that my eyesight bueno. I mean, I've known that for awhile now, but, the past few weeks have been even worse than usual. Luckily, I scheduled an eye appointment with a new clinic a while back and this was the week that I finally saw the doctor.

I liked him, very much. I especially liked the part where he said that my astigmatism isn't as bad as it used to be, according to his tests vs. my records from the old practice that I used to patronize (and which I tried to get into for an appointment but was immediately put off by the attitude of the receptionist who took my call; life is too short to deal with rudeness, so I moved along). So, either my eyes have gotten better with age (unlikely), or, the old practice had my prescription wrong.

 Anyhoodle, the exam went well; my eyes are healthy and I have a prescription for new glasses. I'm planning to use my old frames, in which they will install new lenses, saving me a boatload of money. This is another reason that I love this new practice and am happy I made the switch; the old practice went in hard on the upsell.

One last thing before I call it a day; a new Thai food truck opened in Hooterville and I was super excited to try the drunken noodles. They were not as good as the Thai truck that used to be in Hooterville, but I'm not going to complain because they were still delicious. Plus, the day I tried them just happened to be the first day in ages and ages that we had sunshine, mild temperatures, and no precipitation, which meant that I got to walk from Not So New Job to the Hooterville Town Square for lunch alfresco.

Of course, it snowed later that night, but I'm taking my wins where I can get them.