Thursday, April 30, 2009

Homemade Salsa...




I thought I would try to post something useful for a change. I saw this Recipe Swap at Life as Mom and thought that would be the perfect way to post something useful - and yummy. (She also does a Frugal Friday series which I have enjoyed.) Today's recipe theme is Mexican - Yum!

When we moved to AZ 10 years ago I was bummed to be leaving my beloved mid-atlantic seafood restaraunts with their soft shell crabs & hush puppies. I figured some great Mexican restaraunts would take their place. Boy was I wrong. The Mexican food is OK but nothing great and really doesn't compare to the Mexican restaraunt in my small North Carolina college town (who'd have thought?)

My friend made this wonderful salsa for my husband's 40th birthday party in October and since she has taught me to make it I haven't bought salsa at the store. It is quick, easy and delicious. Guests will be asking you for the recipe. And it's easy to adjust to personal tastes.

3-4 fresh tomotoes
1/2- 1 medium onion (yellow or white - I, of course, buy what's on sale!)
handful of fresh cilantro (to taste)
1/2 cup or so of banana peppers (from a jar - mild or hot-your choice)
salt to taste

Chop the ingredients, sprinkle with salt & Enjoy! And it's easy to add more onion, cilantro or peppers if you like extra.

Visit Life as Mom for more yummy Mexican recipes.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Idol Recap - Top 5...




Last night was 'Rat Pack' night. Jamie Foxx was the 'mentor'. I have to say that all the performances were very good. This group is very talented. My take on the whole thing (in order of their performances):


Kris- Excellent job tonight. No guitar, just the voice and the band. Sang "The way you look tonight". Judges liked it very much.


Allison-Very well done. She sang "Someone to watch over me". Simon was a bit critical saying he wasn't sure if she wanted to win. Give her some slack, she's 17. The other judges seemed to enjoy it.


Matt- "My funny valentine". Good job. Judges seemed to like it. Simon swooned over him which he hasn't done before.


Danny- Great performance. In my opinion, his best yet. I was starting to get bored with him but he was great last night. Judges agreed, some of them indicating they would see him in the finals.


Adam- He did his thing - again. Enough said.


Who will go-I think this is the best top 5 ever. Anyone can go home tonight. Anyone. My opinion is that Matt or Allison will leave.
(I never did mention that Lil & Anoop went home last week. But I know those who care already knew this.)
Update on Little Misses Art grade: I asked a couple of friends yesterday if they would contact the teacher if their child was involved and they both said yes. So I emailed the Art teacher asking if there was a situation I was unaware of & why Little Miss lost the points. Apparently, some in the class were misbehaving and when that happens the entire class loses the participation points. Mrs. S said that she knows Little Miss was not one of the misbehaving kids as she is always good in class and she adjusted her grade accordingly. I have a little issue with all the kids losing the points when all were not involved but I guess it is easier for the teacher and easier to explain it to the kids that way. I really did not contact Mrs. S to get the grade changed. I just wanted to be able to take care of any negative situation before it got out of hand. I wonder if any other parents contacted her?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Very observant...

This conversation took place on the way to the mall with Little Miss:

Little Miss: "Mom, it look like you have some grey hair on the side of your head."

Me: "Yes, I know. I need to color it again."

LM: "Maybe you should get some hair dye at Walmart."

Me: "I have some at home."

LM: "You should probably get two boxes."

Alrighty then.

I did feel better when the cashier at Walmart CARDED ME when I was buying my bottle of wine. I think they are supposed to card you if you look like you're under 40. Works for me.

My husband called a bit ago and asked what I was doing.

Me: "Getting ready to email the Art teacher to find out why Little Miss got a 92 in Art."

Husband: "Okay, psycho mom."

So, I ask you: Am I a psycho mom for emailing her? Little Miss does not remember not turning something in or not participating. I thought I would ask the teacher to find out if something was going on that I was unaware of. I mean, unless you don't do your work or misbehave shouldn't you get a 100 in Art in the first grade?

And in the news today. Tell me, who would think this was okay? People just don't think, do they?

My husband would really think I was a psycho mom if he knew that I was 'this close' to talking to LM's teacher today about what precautions, if any, would be taken to keep the kids' hands clean today in the wake of the swine flu situation. I didn't say anything since I did think it might be a little alarmist. But we are only 3 hours from Mexico and people come and go all the time. Lots of folks here drive down to get meds there and shop. LM's teacher is good about having them wash their hands before lunch. For whatever reason, lots of kids are still sick here - winter colds and such - so there's all the sneezing and coughing still. So far we have no cases of the swine flu in Arizona. Hopefully it will end up not being an epidemic.

Well, I am off to do some scrapbooking. After I wash my hands...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Happy Homemaker Monday...

On My Bedside Table: 'Firefly Lane' by Kristin Hannah (still...)

On My TV: Nothing, yet. Later I want to watch "Town Hall for Hope" w/ Dave Ramsey, which I Tivo'd last week.

On the Menu for tonight: Pizza Hut (using my Daughter's 'book it' coupons. My husband has a business dinner and Little Miss & I are having a 'girls' night.)

On My to Do List: Laundry
Changing Sheets

New Recipe I tried last week: None

In the Craft Basket: Mother's Day gifts

Looking forward to: Girls night tonight w/ Little Miss, which includes a trip to our newly opened Michael's, Walmart (ugh) and Pizza Hut.

Homemaking tip for this week: Write down a daily chore list. You (meaning 'me') are more likely to do it and it always feels great to cross a completed task off the list.

Favorite Blog Post of the week: I got a great laugh from this post last week. We have all been here at sometime. Getting a ticket stinks no matter what!

Favorite Photo of the week:
Yes, it's that time again for us. Little Miss (AKA Little Eskimo) is already enjoying the pool. Me, not so much. It's only 73 and I like it a tad warmer (85 suits me just fine.)
Lesson learned from the last few days: No matter how (seemingly) hard things get, someone is always worse off than you.
On my prayer list: Friends and family, our government & world leaders
Devotional, Scripture reading, key verse:
"The quieter you become, the more you can hear."
~Baba Ram Dass
Join Sandra @ Diary of a SAHM for Happy Homemaker Monday.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Are you ready to go yet?



So, we leave in a little while for an out of town hockey tournament. Little Miss is thrilled beyond belief that she gets to leave school early (1pm instead of 2:30).

When we travel I usually do the packing for all three of us. And I usually forget something. And it's usually something for my husband (like we are going to Yuma in July and I forget to pack a sweatshirt - yeah, we'll need to bundle up if it dips blow 115 - so it's usually not something TERRIBLY important). So a few trips ago I decided I would pack the underwear, socks and jeans/shorts (usually both - you never know what you'll need) & he could pack the rest. So far it's worked out well.

I still pack his toiletry items because I am nice like that. I called him this morning @ work about 8'ish to see if he would need his shaving stuff. And he says, 'gosh, I haven't even thought about it, do you need to know now?' Ummm, yeah, I pretty much do as you want to leave by 1. Apparently, Debra just sits around all day and by sheer magic the following gets done: hockey gear in car, cooler packed, 2 suitcases (belonging to me and Little Miss) in car, gas in car, hotel & rink info printed out, phone chargers packed...well, you get the picture. It's magical around here.

It's usually a little stressful getting ready for a trip but we always have fun when we get there. Speaking of getting ready, I had better continue. The magic seems to have worn off and above said items are not taking care of themselves...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Beach Bucket Giveaway...

Go visit Tahoe Girl and enter her beach bucket giveaway. Aren't these too cute?
I have to run and see if I order one for Little Misses friend and have it arrive in time for her birthday party next Sat...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Idol Recap-Top 7, Part 2

Yep, it's that time again. Last night was Disco/70's night. What could have been a disaster turned out to be a pretty good night. Of course, there were a few standouts:
Adam - Yes, he was amazing again. No more can be said.
Kris- Fabulous again. He sang, get this, "She works hard for the money" originally sung by Donna Summer. She has never been a favorite of mine. I even said to my husband, "I hope no one tries to do Donna Summer." Well, Kris did a great job with it. It was like a totally different song, thankfully.
Danny- he did his thing again. Sounds and looks great.
A few were good:
Allison- She also sang a Donna Summer song, 'Hot Stuff'. It was not so hot for me but okay. And I think she will still be around for a few more weeks. She can sing, for sure.
Matt- I loved his rendition of 'Stayin' Alive'. It was good. Judges seemed to like it too for the most part.
Anoop-Another Donna Summer song. Remember "Dim all the lights"? He put a new spin on it. Not bad. Another one who can sing.
And then there was:
Lil- I am bummed she didn't do better since I love her. I want her to do well. The judges all agreed that this was not her best performance. Simon even said it might be her last week. Ugh.
Who will go? I think the bottom 3 will be Lil, Matt and Anoop. Lil & Anoop will leave this week. But, like always, ANYTHING can happen. It just depends on who called to vote. It all comes down to that. And the judges can't do anything about it this week...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Lots to say...

None of it important.

First off, I have a weather update: Yesterday ended up being 101. Today is supposed to be 103 & tomorrow, 105. Cool down is coming on Thursday - 99. Tonight Little Miss has hockey - can you imagine putting all that gear on in this heat? Luckily, the kids are more tolerant of it than the adults.


Well, who didn't see this coming? I just heard on Fox News Radio that Gavin Newsom, mayor of San Francisco, announced his candidacy for Governor of California. Yippee. No offense to anyone, but what a scoundrel. Glad I don't live in California. And just wait, if he is successful (which is not out of the realm of possibilities) he will likely try to make the next step to the White House. You heard it here first! At least all his dirty laundry is public knowledge. I hope so anyway.

I believe I have mentioned in the past how much I love my car. Anytime a tire needs air a little light comes on and lets me know. It's like magic. The light came on over the weekend so I took the car in on Monday to have the tire looked at. I knew it was something since the tires are only one month old. Sure enough, my husband ran over a screw. Well, I said it was him; he thinks it was me. hmmmm. It's all fixed now just in time for our out of town hockey tournament this weekend. It still needs an oil change before we leave.

It's Turn off your TV week again. I have a theory on this (of course). While I appreciate the need for most folks to cut back on watching TV, I am not sure how far one week will take us. If we Tivo everything this week only to watch it next, what are we gaining? Do people just forget about it until next April? I know that for me everyday is a struggle to watch less. Plus, if we all turned off our TV's forever, think of the effect that would have on the economy. So many people make their living in the television industry. Like anything else it's our responsibility to use TV in moderation.

Little Miss had a 'kick-off' assembly at school yesterday and the kids were asked to sign a pledge saying they would not watch TV all week. Most of the kids in her class signed it but a few didn't. Little Miss did sign it and I believe she is taking it seriously. Last night we played Chutes & Ladders and then sat in our bedroom (where there is no TV) and read and talked. This morning she went in her playroom when she got up and turned on the radio. I have to say that I am really proud of her. My husband is a different story. It is, after all, NHL playoff season.

My microwave is being fixed as we speak. The part had to be ordered which is why it took so long. I never realized how much I used the microwave until I couldn't use it for a week. But we have all survived. Even without microwave popcorn, which may have been the culprit. Long story about the workings of the microwave and the effects popcorn has on it. Who knew?

I have been reading Monica's blog for a while and am really interested in her "Restoring Order" series. I will be trying to restore some order around here during this series & hope to keep it going. Take a look - it's kind of a spring cleaning type of thing. Definitely something I can do around here...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hot...


No, not like this.
More like it's going to be 101 degrees on Tuesday, hot. And 95 today. 99 tomorrow.
Really?
It's April for Pete's sake.
It's going to be a long summer, I can tell.
Have already taken out the bins of summer clothes since we will need them, pronto.
The big question is how much of my summer stuff will fit? Could be scary...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Stayin' Alive...

... or the Idol update. The judges used the 'save' on Matt the other night. He and Lil were in the bottom 2, Matt having the lowest number of votes. But the judges came to the rescue and gave him another week.


That's the good news. The bad news is that next week is going to be Disco/70's night. This will be when the cream (Adam) really rises to the top. If they can nail this one it should be a good week. But it could also be a train wreck. Stay tuned.




I am helping my sister do a remodel in her rental condo she has here in town. You could say I am the general contractor. So far, so good. The kitchen has been demo'd - it's down to the walls. New cabinets, countertops, tile, fixtures & paint have been picked out and purchased. The kitchen tile is gone and the carpet should be gone by this weekend. I am going over tomorrow and test the paint colors. Before we buy oodles of gallons of specially mixed paint I want to test it out to make sure it's okay since the entire condo will be that color (Cotswold Breeches by Ralph Lauren). The painter will be in next week to do his thing. Tile should be delivered next week as well and installed the next. I will post some pictures next week of the 'before'. The after should be really nice. The condo was built in the 80's and not much updating has been done. It's long overdue.

While we are in no hurry to get this complete, I think I watch too much HGTV because in talking with everyone I have in the back of my head, 'you can't come out right this second to give me a bid?' 'How will I have this done in time for the open house in 3 days?' Oh, wait, this is not 'Designed to Sell' or 'Get it Sold'.

I will probably bring Little Miss over on Sat while I do the painting - she will likely watch Cable while I paint. For some reason she is beyond thrilled to watch TV over there. We have Directv here at home but she just thinks cable is the coolest thing - I am not sure she really gets that Playhouse Disney on cable is the same and Playhouse Disney on Directv. It's the little things, I guess...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Idol Recap - Top 7



I thought I would post my Idol recap tonight instead of tomorrow because:

~ I am not sure if I can post tomorrow - busy day. I have a little project I am working on for my sister. Details later.

~I know you are dying to see my opinion on this show!

Tonight was songs from movies night. In my head I had this as 'show tunes'. So I was thinking we would hear things like 'Oklahoma' & 'Grease'. No, that's not what they meant. All in all I think everyone was pretty good. But we are down to the top 7 so they had better be good. And they'd better bring it as 'good' isn't going to cut it much longer. Here's my take on the whole thing(in no particular order):

Allison: She sang "I don't want to miss a thing." The song from "Armageddon". Really great job. One of her best performances, in my opinion. Great reviews from the judges.

Anoop: Again, one of his best performances. It was a Bryan Adams song. Judges liked it, too.

Adam: Once again, he owned the stage (and the song) with 'Born to be Wild'. Stop the competition, we've found our winner.

Kris: I really liked this one. He just sang this week - no guitar. Kara said it was one of his best performances. Randy wasn't so wowed.

Danny: Good, solid performance. He sang "Endless Love". Remember that movie? Judges enjoyed it. I really like Danny but he's getting a bit boring - everything kind of sounds the same.

Lil: Oh Lil. I fear her days are numbered. It was good, not great. Judges said about the same thing.

Matt: Good performance. Not his best but he was behind the piano which is always nice. Judges thought he may have over done it a bit.

Who should go? I am guessing that the bottom 2 will be Lil and Matt, with Lil going home. But when it gets to this point it's always any one's guess.

I have been reluctant to really mention who my favorite is (can you guess?) for fear of jinxing him or her (silly, I know). I'll let you know when they either win or get the boot...

Today I woke up looking like this...

No red & no bow but my hair looked like this when I got up this morning. I washed my hair last night and went to bed while it was still wet. What was I thinking? It took forever to 'flatten' it down this morning. Of course, when I wanted 'big' hair, back in the day do you think I could get it? Why, of course not.

I just heard on the news that Al Franken has been declared the winner of the Minnesota senate race. Yikes. I am sorry, people of MN. Maybe Gary Coleman will get another shot at Gov of CA, too. Of course, Franken may do a good job - you never know with politicians these days.

As I was preparing Easter brunch on Sunday morning, my microwave went out. Lovely. So brunch ended up being a little more like lunch. The repair man comes today between 11 & 2 to look at it. Thankfully, it is still under warranty & I have the receipt. ( I didn't register it so I need the receipt. I don't register much since nothing ever breaks. Lesson learned.)

Tomorrow night is one of my husband's last hockey games. Actually it might be the last if they don't win. I never go to the games since they are on a school night and Little Miss is in bed by 7:30. One of my friends, whose husband also plays on the hockey team, is going to watch it with me and then we are headed out with the guys for a drink. We have babysitters lined up and everything...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Assembly Required...



As a general rule, Debra doesn't assemble things. So when I bought my new vacuum the other day and it was in a short box I knew I was in trouble. I brought the vacuum home and opened it up, hoping I would just need to 'click' the top to the bottom. No, it couldn't be that easy. It was in several pieces and I actually considered returning it when I saw the bag of screws.

Take a deep breath, I said. Look at the instructions; can it be that bad? After reading the instructions I decided to attempt it. Just then my husband called to say the countertop guy was coming over to put the countertop on our kitchen desk. PERFECT, I thought, if I really mess this up I am sure the countertop guy will help me.

It actually only took about 15 minutes and - get this - it worked when I went to use it! This is quite the accomplishment for me. And I love my new vac! (For the record, my husband would have put it together when he got home but I wanted, no, needed to vacuum before then.)

Idol Update

Scott went home. The judges were torn as to whether or not to use the 'save' - Two for using it & two against. Simon finally made the decision to not use it, sending Scott home. I am sad to see him go. I really like him and he was such an inspiration. (If you don't watch, Scott is legally blind and plays the piano and guitar.)

I have heard more than one person say that we should just stop the show now and crown Adam as the new idol. Maybe so, but then what would I talk about? I know you are wishing that I was still boycotting the show...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Idol Recap - Top 8...

Last night the contestants sang songs from the year they were born. I could have lived without watching this as all but one contestant was born in the 80's. The 80's, in my opinion, had some of the worst music ever (with the exception of Rick Springfield, but did anyone sing "Jessie's Girl"? No they did not.) So I wasn't really thrilled with any of the performances but they all did fairly well considering what they had to work with.

Adam - the last performance but clearly head and shoulders above the rest. Another FAB performance.

Danny - Another stellar performance.

Kris- Another good one for him.

Matt - Good performance, too.

Anoop - He brought his 'A' game this week - great job.

Allison - She also brought it this week and was back on top.

Scott - Not his best performance but I enjoyed it. Judges weren't wowed. Who knew he could play the guitar?

Lil - Not her best performance. Judges agreed. I was disappointed because I really like her.

Who should go? My feeling is that, sadly, Scott will be going home. But remember that this is the week last year that America sent Michael Johns home so anything could happen. The judge's 'save' is still in play though but I really think they would only save Adam, Kris or Danny. Tune in tonight to find out!

Now, back to real life. Laurie commented on yesterday's post about my fundraising woes. She asked what the funds are being raised for. The hockey league is a non-profit that is partnered with our city. The city gave the land on which the rink is built and the hockey league paid (or is paying for) the 'structure'. A local concrete company poured the concrete for the floor and the league still owes them $13,000. So that is what the $$ will be used for. Although I don't think they can really make us all pay $200 if we don't sell all the raffle tickets I think they want us to feel that way. Several families have 3 kids in the program so that would be $600 they would be on the hook for - not the best way to keep kids in the program.

Little Miss is headed to the radio station today after school with the Tiger Cubs. Yes, she will be the only girl with all the boys. My friend's son is the the Tiger Cub troop and asked if Little Miss would like to join them. She jumped at the chance. And that gives me an extra hour alone this afternoon...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Here we go again...

So, my husband comes home from his hockey board meeting last night & I ask how it went. "OK" , he says.

"Did you get anything accomplished?" I ask

"Well, we are doing another fundraiser." He says.

Of course they are - it's only been 4 months since the last one they did! Yippee. And that long since I have complained about it (well, maybe I have complained more recently.) They are raffling off a 50" plasma tv. Tickets are $10 and each child 'has' to sell 20 tickets. Yippee. Did I already say that? The really cool (sarcasm) thing is that all but one of the kids on my daughter's team go to the same school and most of the parents are friends outside of hockey & have many of the same other friends.

Today Little Miss was supposed to have school pictures taken - again - we do fall and spring pics. Not surprisingly, the spring photos are a fundraiser for the school - of course. We get to school after much attention was paid to her hair only to hear the teacher say 'pictures are cancelled until next week.' Nice to mention that to the parents the morning of the supposed picture day. I really have a beef with the communication or lack of it we have at school. They send out a newsletter every Friday but it doesn't always have all the (or much) news in it. (I think the cancellation of pictures was a last minute thing so it wouldn't have made it in the newsletter.)

On to other things: Does anyone watch "House"? What a shocker last night when Kutner committed suicide. I guess they are going to stretch out the 'why' he did it for the rest of the season. I watch this with my husband since he likes it but I am more of a sitcom type of person since they generally don't kill off the characters.

I have bought about half of the candy I need for Easter baskets so far. I will hit K-mart tomorrow to finish it up. I do one for my husband and, of course, Little Miss. Am I the only one who thinks that Easter is getting to be another gift giving holiday, like Christmas? It seems like they are showing more and more Easter themed toys to put in baskets and advertising DVDs & video games. Back in the day, we got a little candy, maybe a stuffed animal and possibly a toothbrush in our baskets. Oh, and we were thrilled with that! I am trying to resist this advertising and going back to the basics of the basket. But just like everything else, it's hard to do. Just put some blinders on me as I enter the store. Because we all know that Little Miss does not NEED anything else.

I am expecting school to be a ghost town on Friday and Monday as we don't have either day off for Easter. Many people have mentioned to me that they thought school was out on Friday and had made plans to leave town that day. Nope, school's in session. I have often wondered why spring break is not scheduled around Easter time. I am sure there is some logical reason. Or maybe not...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Happy Homemaker Monday...

On my bedside table: Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

On my TV: nothing, tonight the NCAA men's final basketball game. Go Tarheels!

On the menu for tonight: bratwurst, baked beans, salad

On my to do list: start spring cleaning, vacuum, mop

New recipe I tried last week: Nothing

In the craft basket: Nothing

Looking forward to: my stamp club today, sister's visit this weekend.

Homemaking tip of the week: If you have any food scraps that will smell up the garbage (like shrimp tails, crab shells, etc) put them in a zip lok bag in the freezer until garbage day. They won't stink up the house or your big 'outside' trash can yet they will be out of the way until the garbage man comes.

Favorite Blog post of the week: none that I can remember.

Favorite photo of the week:

Spring is here and Easter is on it's way!
Lesson learned the last few days: Don't try to pack too much into your days - especially when little ones are involved.
On my prayer list: My sister to travel safely. Our troops and government.
Devotional, Scripture reading, key verse:

If they obey and serve Him,
They shall spend their days in prosperity.
And their years in pleasures.
Job 36:11

Join Sandra @ Diary of a SAHM for Happy Homemaker Monday.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Paint...

I painted my dining room wall (just one) yesterday. It used to be a sage green (no before photo, sorry). I wanted to paint it a pale blue to match the kitchen since the kitchen & dining area are basically one room. It actually looks a tad darker in real life than in this photo. And it looks really good - hard to tell here.
Now, almost every wall in the house has been painted since we moved in 10 years ago. The above wall has been painted twice. The funny thing about this wall is that my husband still hasn't noticed it! I can move his recliner 2 inches and he spots it right away but paint a wall and he's none the wiser. I even mentioned it to him today but he hasn't noticed it since he's been home. You can't see it when you walk in the door - actually you can't see it unless you walk into the kitchen/dining room. But still...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Set your DVR...

to American Idol tonight. David Cook will be on and I think we will see some of his new music video. Should be good...
I watched last night's Idol with my husband. I was not totally thrilled with the show since the contestants could pick any song on itunes (or something like that - but the choice of songs was huge) & I expected to really see what these people would do if they were to make an album. I didn't get that from any of them except Scott (he sang 'Just the way you are') & Kris ('Ain't no sunshine'). The rest of them were decent performances just not really defining.

Adam, the front runner, sang 'Play that Funky Music'. He put a new twist on it which was neat but it's just not my style. That being said, I appreciate the talent it takes to do what he did & it was enjoyable to watch - just not something I would buy.

So, who should go tonight? Since you asked: Please let Megan go home and put us all out of our misery. She has been told time and again that her song choices are not great yet she continues to pick wierd songs. All she says when the judges say it was a poor song choice is "I had fun. I hope my fans liked it. Vote for me." Although I think she should go, I believe her looks will keep her going for a couple more weeks. And you thought this was a singing competition.

So there you have it - my humble opinion (in a nut shell) on last night's show...