Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Busy Busy Week

My gosh there are so many things to do this week.

I have been trying to deliver Christmas baskets in addition to preparing to fly home for the holidays.

I can't wait to get home, but I am REALLY dreading the whole airport deal. Last Christmas the Denver airport was a complete mess- I'm hoping history does not repeat itself. I've never flown during the holiday rush before. I hope I don't regret it. But until we come up with another method of travel, this is how it has to be.

The other challenge we face this week is eating everything that might rot while we are gone. This has created some unconventional dinners this week. Maybe this will teach me a lesson about leftover planning and refrigerator packing- but I doubt it.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Well deserved at the end of a long week...


IMG_0673, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi.

Dev and I met Tonya and Shane for dinner tonight at the Pizza Den. It's been a pretty long week and we were ready for some R&R.
Dev took his last exam this morning, so he is a free man (at least until next semester).
It's hard to believe in one week we will be leaving for GA. We will have to dig out our summer clothes before we leave- considering the fact that the low here tonight will be -10, and the highs in Savannah have been in the mid 80's............

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Harleez Steakhouse- A Review

Everyone I know in Alamosa has been excited about the prospect of a new restaurant opening here. Especially because this restaurant was not strictly Mexican cuisine. Everyone waited while the old Valley Courier building began the slow tranformation from a newspaper office to a dining establishment.

The day finally arrived, and Harleez Steakhouse has opened for business.

Let me take this opportunity to say that the steakhouse scene in this town is bleak. I mean bleak. I suppose the steaks are ok at the two other steakhouses- but the side items are dismal at best. I'm talking canned corn here. And don't even get me started on the decor. Ancient, torn up carpeting, dark shadowy corners and early 70's formica abound.

Given the state of things, I couldn't wait for the new place to open. I didn't have lofty expectations. I just wanted it to be better than what we already had. I wasn't expecting Ruth Chris or The Famous.

I guess I should also say that the place has been open less than 3 days. I'm sure there are kinks to be worked out and issues with which to be dealt.

With that said- here is my first blush opinion of Harleez.

Upon entering the establishment, the decor is pleasant- nice warm colors, festive Christmas tree, impressive tv's over the bar. We are immediately greeted by the hostess and seated with the rest of our party (Tonya and Shane). The table linens are nice and crisp (a lovely burgundy).

Our waiter approaches the table to take our drink orders. Tonya has gone the Bailey's and coffee route, Shane and I have Corona's and Dev orders water. It takes 3 trips to get the drinks there, then another to actually take our orders- not a good sign. The bread that came to the table was respectable. It was a mixed basket of rolls. I chose the ciabatta roll, Dev's was a whole wheat roll and I think Shane's may have been sourdough, but I'm not sure.

Our orders were as follows: Tonya had the 1/2 roasted chicken and a salad. Shane ordered the buffalo burger and shrimp/corn chowder, Dev ordered the lamb chops and a salad and I ordered the 8oz prime rib with French Onion Soup. Our waiter then disappears.
Fast forward about 20 minutes. The 2 salads and my soup appear. 2 minutes later the entrees arrive. I hate that. I really do. That was way too long to wait. Plus- give me time to eat the appetizer it took 20 minutes to get before you park 4 huge plates on the table. And to make it worse- my french onion soup was terrible. I would almost bet it was granulated beef boullion. There was no cheese broiled on the top- and it had 3 anemic croutons floating in it.

On the positive side, my prime rib was absolutely perfect. I ate every single molecule of it. It came with mashed potatoes and gravy and some steamed veggies. The veggies were frozen, but still ok. The potatoes were pretty good and the gravy was acceptable. Dev's lamb chops were excellent as well. Tonya and Shane seemed pleased with their orders.
Here are my soup and prime rib:

Please note the aforementioned pathetic croutons and LACK OF CHEESE...
The less than adequate service issue reared itself again when I had to ask a different server to please find our waiter and ask him to come fill water glasses.

Now- with all these snarky things said....I suppose these are grand opening kinks that can be worked out. And I do plan to wait a month or two and give them another try. After all, my entree was very good...and it met my original expectation (low as it was) in that it was exponentially better than the other 2 steakhouses here in town.

Is it too much to ask to have a mind-blowing dining experience in Alamosa???

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sunset on 12th Street


IMG_0656, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi.

Today was a relatively calm day. No crisis, no problems. Dev cooked ribs for dinner.
Right now I'm making pancakes for breakfast in the morning. I am not a morning person, so all I can manage is nuking them when I get up at 6am. At least they are home-made.....

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Playing in the Snow


IMG_0653, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi.

This is how we spent the last part of our snow day. Check out the flickr page for some more shots of our afternoon walk.

What I Have Done So Far on my Snow Day


I made soup, of course!!
And I've been playing with my camera. Dev is at school, taking his Colorado history exam. When he gets home we are going outside to play in the snow!!! Maybe I'll have some fun pics to post this evening.....


SNOW DAY!!!!


IMG_0624, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi.

My first ever official snow day with the Alamosa School District.....I will check back in later with my list of exploits for the day!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Christmas Season continues....


Here is a pic of Dev with his boy scout troup. Last night was the boy scout Christmas party/awards ceremony. A grand time was had by all.
Sitting with his troup reminded me of my days teaching middle school. It always amazed me when I taught, how the boys were constant sources of jokes- none of which made any sense, but that did not matter. The punchlines were always greeted with gales of laughter from the comedian's peers. Last night we heard several jokes about skeletons- skeletons walking into bars, skeletons knocking on doors, skeletons ordering ribs in restaurants, etc. We had to laugh, if only because of the energetic set up and delivery.
Anyway- it was a lovely party and I'm glad I got to be part of it.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007


DSC00940, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi.

Well...Turkey Day is under our belts, and we are careening wildly towards Christmas.
Dev and I went to his parents' house for Thanksgiving this year. We had a huge meal at his Uncle George and Aunt Lou's. I got to meet Dev's cousin Scott and his fiancee Kelly.
And Friday morning, we woke up to about 3.5 inches of snow! The first real snow fall of the year. It made it seem more like the holidays for everything to be under a blanket of white.
You can see more of my turkey day pics on my flickr page.
I'll write more later when I'm not tired......

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Playing Catch-Up

I only worked 2 days this week, but it seems like a lot more. The kids were at their creative best.

All the classes in our building have been doing units on Native Americans. One of the little girls in my morning class brought in some artifacts collected by her grandfather. She stood up in front of the class and this is what she said (I swear I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried...)
"These are Indian rocks. I got them from my grandpa's trailer because Indians used to live in there."

Later the same day, I'm at my duty station on the playground during lunch, when a little boy calls me over to the sandbox. He tells me that his leg hurts. I ask him why. He answers "Because I have to go to the bathroom." I asked him what that had to do with him having to go to the bathroom. He said he didn't know- it just did. I told him to go use the bathroom. Ten minutes later, he comes to find me on the playground and tells me his leg doesn't hurt anymore.

We leave in the morning to go to Dev's parents' house in Montrose for Thanksgiving. I am looking forward to getting away for a little while....PLUS I am planning to buy my new camera whilst there. I hope to soon be the proud owner of a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT. I'm not sure if the pics on my blog will get any better, but there's always hope.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Beautiful Day for a Cook-Out


DSC00911, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi.

Dev and I went to a cook out this afternoon. His boy scout troop was learning to build fires, then cook.
We feasted on bratwursts, chips, hot chocolate and smores.

And I must say, the weather was perfect- cold enough for a fire, but not cold enough for my feet to go numb!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Movies, Movies, Movies

Dev and I were given a gift subscription to Netflix for Christmas (thanks, Chris!). So we went to www.netflix.com to fill our list with thoughtful, provocative films we had never seen before and would probably NEVER see around here. Unfortunately, this downgraded quickly into an exercise in futility. You really don't know a person until you try to make a netflix list with them. I kept suggesting film title, and he kept saying "That's fine," or "whatever you want." I want discourse....I want discussion....I want a list that reflects BOTH our tastes. Ugh.

We only managed to get 2 movies on our list, both of which have been shipped and watched. The first was "Mrs. Brown," with Judy Dench (one of my alltime faves) and Billy Connolly. I really liked the movie. It was one of those sweeping period pieces with the big costumes and accents and all that stuff. It was kinda long, and took a while to get wound up, but overall I thought it was really good.

"The Big Night" was our other selection. It starred Tony Shalhoub and Stanley Tucci as Italian immigrant brothers who come to America to start an Italian restaurant. The movie had such great potential!!! I like the actors and the subject matter....but, alas, it sucked. It was slow and the ending was completely unfulfilling. The food looked really good, but it wasn't enough to save the movie.

So it's back to the drawing board. I went to netflix and added "The Devil Wears Prada" to our list, along with some other movie I don't remember right now. I think in the future, filling our list may have to be an activity done apart rather than together. That way, it will truly reflect our individual tastes. I'll let you know what happens.....

Housecleaning

I've been doing a bit of re-organizing this weekend, which has led to 2 different projects.

The first project has been to list all the books I've read (in recent memory, of course) on a database called http://www.librarything.com/. I think this is cool because you can share book lists with people, and do searches based on similar characteristics of books, and so on. You can write reviews of books and make recommendations. In other words, it's a great way to spend a weekend. I went through my book shelf and pulled the books I read from there, and also made a list of books I've read with my book club that I either borrowed or checked out from the library. I'm nowhere near finished, but it's been great remembering some of the great books I've read.

The second project sprang from the simple act of picking up a Penzey's Spices catalogue. I have made a list of all the spices I wish I had in my pantry (and would buy if I could afford them). Here's the list so far:
Tuscan Sunset Spice Blend
Adobo Seasoning
Apple Pie Spice
Cajun Style Seasoning
Cassia Cinnamon
Dutch Process Cocoa Powder
Whole Sarawak White Peppercorns
Northwoods Seasoning
Spanish Saffron
Green Goddess dressing mix
French Grey Sea Salt
Lemon Grass
Real Wasabi Powder
Seafood Soup Base
Mexican Vanilla Beans

I'm still not finished going through the whole catalogue, but this is a pretty good start.

I also started a new book this weekend- "The Sex Lives of Cannibals- Adrift in the Equitorial Pacific." I think it will be fairly entertaining....I'll let you know!

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Blender of Love.....


The Blender of Love....., originally uploaded by All Things Mimi.

Here is my dream blender, given to me for my birthday by my most wonderfulest boyfriend.
I also got a package from my parents. My mom had sent me a set of beautiful earrings and a necklace, made by a local artist in Savannah.
Earlier tonight, Tonya and Shane joined Dev and I for dinner at St. Ives (a little dive bar on Main Street). I think they have the best hand cut french fries in Alamosa. Tonya brought a cake along to celebrate my birthday. We had a great time talking and dreaming of places we'd like to live. When the conversation turned to celebrity butt-plugs and plain brown paper packages, we decided to leave before we offended everyone in the place.
Happy Birthday memories......all I need now is my tiara.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Halloween Party Favors


DSC00853, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi.

My morning class has their Halloween Party tomorrow, because they will not have school on Halloween Day. So- I sat down tonight to make some Nutter Butter Snakes to take to the party. They turned out pretty cute.
I am now working on my costume. I am going as a ghost. I purchased a $2.50 white twin sheet from Walmart and am presently trying to figure out how to cut the eye holes in such a way that I can still see to walk.
Tomorrow should be fairly interesting.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Random Thoughts


DSC00847, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi.

The kids have been doing Halloween art projects all week. I stopped to take pics of a few of them, so mosey over to my flickr page and check them out.
I have been cooking this weekend (as I enjoy doing most weekends). However, this weekend I spent some time cooking a deliverable dinner for a friend of mine who is having her gall bladder removed Monday morning. I figured the last thing she'd want to worry about when she gets home is cooking dinner. So I did what any self-respecting southern girl would do- I made her a chicken casserole and an apple crisp. I hope it makes things a little easier for her during her recovery.
See the food blog for more on the weekend's other culinary projects!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thoughts

I'm lying on the couch, watching the second game of the World Series. The first game was an absolute disaster. The Red Sox are leading this game 2-1, but I'll take that over last night's massacre.

I really need to be reading, or doing something productive...but NO- I am glued to the TV watching the game. So sad.

I'm still waiting to hear the results of the last round of tests done at the doctor. Maybe we'll find something and it will save me having to have a CT scan. I really don't relish the thought of it. But- I most definitely want the doctor to figure out what's wrong with me. I don't want another 3 days of excruciating abdominal pain.

That's about all I have to say tonight. I hope we win this game....

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Snowy Day

I'm sitting in the bedroom, staring out the window. It has been snowing on and off all morning. Nothing is sticking, but it's still neat to see the first snowfall of the season.

Dev has gone to the library to do some work on a paper he has due sometime this week, so I have the apartment to myself. I am taking the opportunity to do some organizing.

Rural Philanthropy Days is over (for the most part), and now I'm trying to gather up all the stuff I accumulated during this process to archive what is necessary and throw out the rest.

I am not, by nature, an organized person. So this is not going smoothly. I will give myself another hour of torture then go do something I like doing, like reading blogs or blogging about all the cooking I've done this weekend.

My thoughts are also preoccupied with my friend Angela and her family. Her brother was seriously injured in an accident over the weekend, and she can't get home to be with him. I know this feeling (at least as far as being separated from your family) and it sucks. I sincerely hope everything works out and I hope somehow Angela finds a way to either get there, or she can maintain enough communication to make her feel like she's in the loop.

Maybe I'll get another post in late this afternoon. And maybe there might be some snow accumulation I can take pics of and pass on!

Happy Winter everyone!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My Mom Is A Genius

I was talking to my mom yesterday. I was pretty tired, and exasperated by the fact that I had horrible heart burn (in spite of only having eaten 2 bites of tofu, 1 piece of steamed broccoli and maybe 3 spoonfuls of steamed rice ALL DAY).

I told her I didn't want to take Tums or Rolaids because I had an ultrasound this morning (I get the results tomorrow- stay tuned) and I didn't want anything to interfere with the test. Besides, I've taken those things in the past and they really aren't that effective for me.

Without skipping a beat, my mother says to put about a half spoonful of baking soda in a small glass and add maybe half a cup of water to it. Down it- and you'll feel better.

So after we hung up I did just that.....and in less than 10 minutes I felt better than I have in about 3 weeks. It could be a coincidence, but I choose not to believe that.

As a result of this epiphany, I have experienced a slight improvement in my appetite. And that's good- because the soup of the day at Milagro's Coffee House today was "Creamy Brie and Mushroom." OMG- I only ate about half a cup but it was DIVINE!!! After my lunch, I had a chaser of baking soda and water and presto! No nasty heartburn or stomach pain. The improvement continued after I got home. I was actually able to cook a big pot of my all time favorite risotto milanese for dinner. Again- I only ate about 2/3 of a cup, but it was so good, and my chaser of baking soda chased away the heartburn monster! Go over the the food blog for the risotto recipe.

I'll blog more tomorrow after my visit to the doctor for a diagnosis/next step appointment.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Sigh....

I haven't blogged since last Wednesday.

I haven't blogged since last Wednesday because some sort of black plague has been delivered upon me.

The same exact black plague that visited me last November, again this last July, and then this last weekend.

What's the difference, you might ask?

In July, I had no insurance, therefore the fine folks over at the emergency room and the clinic were not willing to run any tests. They wanted to adopt a "wait and see attitude." Right. They weren't the ones who couldn't stand up straight because they were in so much pain.

Today, I had insurance....and a real doctor. Quite a combination indeed. I had a much different experience this time around. 2 tests were run before I left the doctor's office today, with a 3rd scheduled for Wednesday, AND a follow up appointment scheduled for Thursday. And as bonus- the doctor even has a plausible theory about what's wrong with me. She seems to think I have stones in my bladder. And they only flare up when they try to move. So she x-rayed and took blood and ordered an ultrasound.

Now the way I got to this doctor is also a story. When I began calling internal medicine doctors around Alamosa, I found out NONE OF THEM WERE ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS. I am serious- none of them. The last person I called started giving me phone numbers of some doctor in Conejos County. Needless to say, I don't live in Conejos.
So, I called my friend Cathy (who just so happens to work at the San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center as their chief grant writer). I really didn't call thinking she could do anything for me. I called to bitch. Like I called to bitch with her in July when this happened and I couldn't get any tests run because I didn't have insurance. So she said that yes, she knew that the hospital was short an internist, and it wasn't surprising to her that I hadn't found anyone. But she also mentioned that her doctor was part of a family practice, and maybe I would have some luck there. So she gave me the number and wished me luck.
I called the number and was promptly told by the receptionist that they were not accepting any new patients. That's when my breakdown began. I began babbling uncontrollably about how I was sick and couldn't find a doctor, and my friend Cathy Morin was a patient there and highly recommended the doctor there....you get the picture. The receptionist interrupted me and asked again who referred me, so I told her. She put me on hold, and 5 minutes later she comes back with an appointment....October 23, but at least I had my foot in the door. I thanked her profusely and made promises of chocolate deliveries and bid her farewell. She called me back 20 minutes later with a last minute cancellation.

What would have happened in this story had I not known Cathy? Shouldn't I be able to get a doctor's appointment when I have severe abdominal pain even if I don't know anyone at the place? I was lucky, but it really makes me think about the state of healthcare in Colorado, even in the US as a whole. It seems to me that the whole mess is a profit driven- good ole boy network- even if some of them are girls.

Anyway- I'm off my soapbox for now. Oh- and I lost 6 pounds...yay! Of course, I haven't eaten anything in the last week, but it still counts!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

New Reader

I got an email from a new reader last night. Apparently, the mom of the one of the students in my morning class reads Tonya's blog, and found the link to my blog there.

So- WELCOME JAMIE'S MOM! He's a great kid and we have a lot of fun learning new kindergarten stuff together!

Please don't be offended when I refer to kids as "little crappers." Really- it's a term of endearment... :)

Also, welcome to my little corner of the universe. If you are interested in cooking- check out my other cooking blog here.

Fixin' Stuff

You know...

I've lived here for nearly a year. You would think my body would be adjusted to the dry climate by now. Apparently, it isn't.

I have so many issues going on right now, I've decided to tackle one a week until I look human again.

This week is skin week. I look like a 16 year old the night before the prom. My complexion looks horrible. I realize that stress plays a large role in this, as well as my diet, but I'm taking steps to rectify the situation.

Firstly, I'm drinking more water than I ever have. Secondly, I'm trying to get more sleep (those that know me will realize this probably won't happen). Thirdly, well...I can't think of a third thing- but if anyone has any suggestions, I'm wide open.

Next week- Hair 101.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

DSC00821


DSC00821, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi.

Happy Birthday Dad!!!! We had a great time helping you celebrate your 70th....

Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Quick Trip to Del Norte

Saturday, Dev and I drove to Del Norte to go to the Rio Grande County Museum. Dev is working on a Colorado History paper, and he went to see if there was anything or anyone at the museum to help him out.





Whilst in Del Norte, we decided to have lunch. This is where we stopped:


That's right. Boogie's Restaurant. I'd love to tell you this was a wonderful little find. But it really wasn't. Dev and I both had burgers, which were ok, but we were also semi-sick for the rest of the day. It could be a coincidence...

On the way home, we stopped by the beginning of the Old Spanish Trail. I took a few shots and loaded them on my flickr page.

Friday, September 28, 2007

PayDay!!!!!!

Today was my first official payday at my new job. I ran down to my mailbox and found my paystub sitting there, smiling at me. About 30 minutes later, there is an announcement over the loudspeaker....something about some problems with direct deposit...funds won't actually be available until tomorrow...
It was a good thing I wasn't flat broke!
Monday is the beginning of October...AND my insurance goes into effect....YAY!!!! I haven't had insurance since I left GA. It will be nice not to have to panic everytime I feel sick. Luckily, I haven't been sick much lately.
I bought my plane tickets to fly home for Christmas. Flying during the holidays is ridiculously expensive. I could have put a downpayment on a car for what I paid for those tickets. Oh well, it will be worth it to go home and see my family and friends. BUT- I'll be broke!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Mental Floss



So there are a few odds and ends I need to blog about.




I mentioned in my last post that I bought Dev a Cuisinart coffeemaker for his birhday. Here is a pic of it.....




Nice, huh? I think so. It has some nifty features- like you can set the timer, and it will grind the beans and pour them in the hopper and brew the coffee. The only bad thing about it is the caraffe. You would think that after putting so much thought into the design of the bean grinder and coffee brewer, they'd put a mack daddy caraffe on it. Well they didn't. It doesn't pour properly. In fact, it really doesn't pour at all. The inside lip is too wide, so the coffee just kind of tumbles over the lip in the general direction of your cup. But, even considering that, it's a nice coffee maker. AND- it's the back up on my snooze alarm.


In other news.....tonight is Dev's first Cub Scout meeting. Here's a pic of him in his uniform shirt....
He is so cute!!!!!
So this morning in class we worked with clay for the first time. After doing some warm up activities, we began free-sculpting. I considered my options carefully, and decided to create a snowman. It was a beautiful snowman, indeed. I don't think clay is going to be my strong suit. I'm much better with the duplos.
We also had our lesson on hand washing today. Everyone should take a refresher course on hand washing. I learned a lot. For instance, it should take you the same amount of time to sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" as it does for you to wash your hands. That's longer than you might think- especially if you have to stop and think about what the words are.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Endings and New Beginnings!!!

Rural Philanthropy Days is over. It was a ton of work, but it was so worth it.

Now I can begin to enjoy my new job and reap some of the benefits of a much simpler schedule. I still have things to do to wrap up RPD, but nothing like the pressure I've been under for the last month.

Devin's birthday has come and gone, and I feel guilty because I didn't make as big a deal of it as I wanted to. His parents came to visit, so that was good, but I had planned to celebrate more. I just kept getting RPD calls (because the event began Sunday). I did manage to get his gift ordered, and it even came before his birthday! I bought him a Cuisinart coffee maker.

I am looking forward to having more time to blog and take pictures. I am considering upgrading cameras, but don't want to spend the money. My friend Tonya has offered her camera while I try to make up my mind. She is upgrading as well, and her old camera is way better than what I have now. Whichever way it goes, hopefully I will be writing and posting more often.

I have to go now. I have a weekend post to do for the food blog...

Friday, September 7, 2007

I Survived!!

Holy Cow what a week!!

I think I am really going to enjoy my job with the little crappers. I end the day dead tired, but everyday I see or hear something that makes me laugh, and that's a good thing.

It seems like I have lived the last 6 months of my life waiting for this thing or that thing to be over before I can be happy. To my credit, I have made some decisions and acted on them to improve things, but as usual, I find myself wishing for RPD to be over so I just have one job. It's not that I don't like the people I'm working with for RPD. It's more like I don't have the energy to do both things well. Luckily, RPD happens next weekend, so the end is in sight. There is another smaller event in October, but nothing like what we've pulled off so far.

To briefly recap my first week in little crapper land, I will offer the following advice and/or commentary:

1- NEVER drink out of a water fountain in an elementary school. I have watched 100's of little kids french kiss the entire metal part of the fountain and suck the water out of the thing.

2- If a little kid comes running up to you and tells you to close your eyes and hold out your hand- DON'T DO IT! You should just drag the kid to the office and get it over with. I can almost guarantee you whatever is in his grubby little hand will be alive and it will jump on you.

3- School lunch is just as awful as you remember it being. Do not be tempted to be nostalgic and give the "beefaroni" a try. You will regret it- for several hours.

4- Old people are not designed to get in and out of kindergartener-sized chairs (gracefully).

5- Do not engage a 5 year old in a culinary debate about the nutritional value of green goldfish crackers. He doesn't care.

6- "Wubbleyou" is, in fact, a letter in the kindergarten alphabet.

7- Never underestimate the value of Spongebob dixie cups on the kindergarten black market.

8- Don't be the mom who sends cream cheese stuffed celery to school when it's your turn to provide snack. Not only is it a complete waste of time and money, but your child will be ostracized for the rest of his/her natural life. AND your kid will get beat up by the kid whose mom brought Little Debbie Cakes.

That about sums up the first week. Dev and I are headed to Pueblo tomorrow so I can buy some school clothes, so I'll write more Sunday afternoon- if I don't sleep all day.... :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Zzzzzzzz

Too tired to blog.....the little crappers are killing me. If I live long enough, I'll catch up this weekend.

Monday, September 3, 2007

On the Verge of a Grand New Adventure...

So today was my last full day at the Chamber. Although I will still be the coordinator for Rural Philanthropy Days, I will not be the Convention manager. This is a good thing for me. It was making me into a nervous wreck.

To celebrate, I came home and made......a frozen pizza.

Tomorrow I begin my new life as a kindergarten paraprofessional. I think the blog is going to benefit greatly from this career change.....

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Busy Weekend

It's Labor Day Weekend, and there is a bunch of stuff going on in the Valley.

Saturday morning, Dev and I had breakfsast (the french toast challenge from Di at my other blog) and took our bikes out for a spin. First, we headed to the Valley Farmers Market....







Then we headed to the Quasi-Grand Opening of the San Luis Valley Museum. It was pretty cool. I never saw it in it's original building, but I heard pretty crappy comments about it from several people. The new building is nice. The displays were nice, and most of them even had something to do with the Valley. Some didn't, and had no information that might help a person figure out why they (the displays) were there.


The big event of the day was the Early Iron Festival. This is one of the bigger deals in the Valley. Hundreds of car enthusiasts converge in Cole Park to oooooo and ahhhhhhhh over lots of beautifully restored antique cars. I took a few pics.....



Pretty full, huh? I took this from the footbridge leading into the park from the river.
I took some other pics, which you can see on my flickr page.
We decided after eating our brats from the Gosar booth that perhaps we should ride for a while on the bike path by the river. We got about a mile down the path when we heard mariachi music coming from one of the athletic fields on ASC's campus. Then we remembered that they were having Hispanic Day. So we turned around and rode over to check it out.
There were lots of people there. They had a food booth, face painting, folk dancing, cars, just about everything. We didn't stay too long- mostly because it was hot and I was getting bicycle butt from riding so much.
We rode home and began hatching our plan for dinner, which you can read about here.























Tuesday, August 28, 2007

1700 Miles of Sorrow

My friend Di sent me a message today to let me know her pet cat, Scout, had died. I left a message on her cell phone, but something told me she probably wasn't ready to talk about it. Right now the only thing I want to do is be there with her. I know there's nothing I could do or say, but at least I could do for her what she's done for me so many times- just be there to pick up the pieces.
I love you, Di, and I'm so sorry.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Dukes of Hazzard, Twenty Something Years Later...

This weekend I caught several episodes of the Dukes of Hazzard on CMT.

When I was a kid, I NEVER missed an episode. I think it came on Friday nights.

I noticed some things while I re-visited my obsession this weekend.

First- Tom Wopat really wasn't all that. Luke Duke was my favorite, mostly because my sister liked Bo, and I couldn't like the same one she liked! The same thing happened with the Hardy Boys....she liked Shaun Cassidy, so by default I liked Parker Stevenson.

Second- Did you ever notice that when the Duke boys were sliding in the windows of the General Lee, the engine consistently roared to life before they were all the way in the car? Impressive.

Third- The General Lee spent more time airborne than it did rolling on the dirt roads.

Fourth- The people who guest starred as good guys or bad guys on this show were there same ones who you would see again Saturday night on the "Love Boat" or "Fantasy Island."

And another disconcerting thing...The mechanic (I think his name on the show might have been Cooter) is now a member of the House of Representatives representing a portion of north Georgia. Then again, Sonny Bono did that.

Ok- I think I'm done now.

Post-Breakfast Glow...

Go over to my other blog and read about my past 2 breakfasts......

So I'm sitting here, basking in the post-breakfast sugar buzz. I am reading the comments that have been left on my last post.

Another thing you can always count on friends doing is helping you keep your priorities straight. I realize that I have a pretty great life. I have a wonderful boyfriend who loves me, I have amazing friends both in Savannah and Atlanta and here in Alamosa, and I am embarking on a career switch that will greatly decrease my stress level.

Although I don't get to see or talk to my east coast friends as much as I used to, they are still a huge part of my life. One of the things I'm looking forward to when my free time increases a litte, is having more time to email and call them more often. Not to mention being able to spend more time at home during Christmas break.

So....that's what's on my mind at the moment.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

A Little Peace of Mind...

Peace of mind is something I haven't had very much of lately. After grappling with my job change opportunity, and then acting on it, I have emerged from a state of total self-absorption. And I'm noticing that lots of people are making big decisions. On the FRED list, for example, several of my friends are contemplating changes (Toni and the Colorado move, Jen and the situation with her daughter and school testing, Melessa and her job situation, the list could go on and on). I have been hesitant to chime in on these situations, honestly, because I have been so ridiculously wrapped up in my little pity party. But one of the things that's great about friends is running things past them to see what they think. And because they are your friends, you can depend them to tell you what they really think.

One of the changes I am planning to institute along with my career path change, is to be more responsive and open on the FRED list. I can't begin to tell you how amazing this group of females is. They accepted me into their group unconditionally and I am forever grateful for it. But I haven't really been an active participant on the FRED list since our weekend retreat. But that will change, and soon!

I think I am most looking forward to having more time to do the things I enjoy after changing jobs. I won't have anymore late board meetings or last minute overnight trips to Denver. I can get back into cooking and blogging and practicing my newest foray into the craft world- punchneedle. I have a wonderful friend who is expecting her first baby in January, and if I get on it right now, I might have something resembling a hand made gift to welcome her new family member into the world. I like the idea of that.

It will be a while before the free time kicks in, because I will be working 2 jobs until the middle of October, but I will take full advantage of it when I get the chance.
Oh- and my house is so quiet right now......I have a loaf of wheat bread in the oven (which is such a wonderful smell!) and Devin is napping in the bedroom. So I am taking a few minutes to brain dump and try to preserve what little sanity I have left. :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

New Job...

I know I have not been blogging much lately. I have been wrestling with a big decision, and sometimes my thoughts get so tangled, not even blogging through them helps.

I have decided to leave my job at the Chamber of Commerce. I have been the Convention and Group Tour Manager there since March. I feel like I did a good job, but there were lots of skills necessary that are not in my bag of tricks. It can at times be very stressful. I realize that stress is everywhere, but if you have a high level of responsibility and stress, I believe you should be doing something you truly love.

I have accepted a position at Polston Primary School as a kindergarten paraprofessional. This should be interesting...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Business or Pleasure?

So this Thursday, my boss and I left Alamosa for 2 days of meetings. Which wouldn't be so bad, except for the fact that they were in Denver. I really don't enjoy Denver. I don't like the traffic or the smog.
Anyway- we went to our meetings in downtown Denver Thursday, then drove to Castle Rock to stay the night and go to more meetings today. But today, we got to go shopping at the Castle Rock outlets afterwards.
Now that was fun. And we didn't get to half of the stores. I bought some stuff for camping, including a folding table and an egg carrier. Plus some other stuff, but I don't want to say before Dev sees it.
It's getting late, and I need to get to bed.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Monday, Monday, Monday



(It was raining on the way out of the Pizza Den)
Needless to say, I didn't cook tonight. We had no groceries in the house.

I think I'm going to start planning weekly menus again. We eat much better when I do that. I simply can't wait til I get home from work to figure out what to make for dinner. That's how Pizza Den happens. I have nothing against Pizza Den- they have wonderful pizza. I just think there's no reason why I can't make equally wonderful things at home.

Anyway, that's what I'm going to try to do. I will probably post them on my food blog. Maybe that way I'll stay with it. Stay tuned......

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Oh Yeah...

One more thing about the camping trip. I have another golden quote from Dev (right up there with the "desperate" incident).

We are holed up in the tent Saturday afternoon as the rain is pouring down. There is a great thunderstorm bouncing around. When the rain started, we managed to grab a bag of potato chips, a piece of chocolate and a bottle of wine. As we are lying there, listening to the sound of the rain hitting the top of the tent (which, to me, is very romantical), Dev says.....

"Drink some more- you're not easy enough."

Blog Pics

I have made an executive decision. I am no longer going to fight with this site about placing blog photos. I finally figured out how to do it, but it's just such a big pain in the ass, I don't feel like it. So from now on, I am going to upload all my photos to flickr and link to it.

If any of my new-found techie friends would like to enlighten me on how to make the blog photo thing less painful, then please leave a comment and help me!!

Camping 101



I just returned from my first camping trip in, oh....say... 10 years?

The last time I went camping, I was with Diane, and we ate well, but spent both nights sleeping in a jeep because the first night it rained and we had a tent full of water, and the second night because we had left food in the tent and it was full of ants.
To see the rest of the pics from this trip, go here.

Dev and I left Alamosa around 5:30 Friday afternoon, anticipating the fun that awaited us in South Fork. We had decided to go to a forest service campground between South Fork and Creede. I believe the name of it is Palisades.
So much cheaper than a hotel.....$16 per site per night! And it was so beautiful. For apartment dwellers, it was a much needed respite from the loud music of our daily lives. Had it not been for the sound of the generator powering the HUGE HULKING HOLIDAY INN ON WHEELS next to us, all we could hear was the rushing of the mighty Rio Grande River. Thank god they didn't run in all the time.
It began raining just as we drove into South Fork. We found the campground, staked out our spot right next to the river, and sat in the truck, waiting for the rain to stop. 6 games of Uno later, it was getting dark and the rain was still coming down. Dev decided we couldn't wait any longer, so we got out and pitched our little tent by the river....

We were both starving, so we lit the gas lantern and made sandwiches out of the cooler while sitting under a huge tree, which proved to be our only refuge from the rain. After dinner, we retired to the tent to listen to the storm. To me, that's one of my favorite things about this trip...lying in the tent, listening to the thunder and the rain drops hitting the top of the tent. For some reason, even the voices in my head are more peaceful when I'm out in the woods. And I'm glad to say that our new tent from REI is waterproof. It would have been an ugly trip if the tent had leaked

Saturday morning we got up bright and early. I thought it was a bit strange that there were no birds singing. I expected to hear quite a cacophany of wildlife. Apparently in Colorado, the wildlife likes to sleep in on the weekends as well.
We were both starving, so I pulled out the home-made buttermilk pancake batter I made before we left Alamosa and Dev lit the campstove for me. I burned the bejesus out of the first couple, but the rest came out ok.

Dev also put some water on to heat up so we could wash our faces. I had forgotten about that part. Somehow I was thinking there would be a bath house.....but there wasn't. It did have a restroom, if you consider a hut built over a huge plastic pan of waste and chemicals a restroom. Next time I'll take pics so you can judge for yourself.

While we were eating breakfast, I noticed this huge blue bird (which I correctly identified as a bluejay) sitting in the tree right near our table. This bird was really big. I named him "Fatbird." He hung out at the site the whole time we were there. I was able to identify him because in the girls' "restroom," there was a poster of all different kinds of wild birds in the area. Dev told me the boys' had pics of animals. I didn't look, though. Our campsite was also frequented by a cute little chipmunk. He didn't get a name. I got a pretty good look at him with the binoculars, but no pic. Maybe next time.

Our spot was really nice. It was right along the river (Dev got 3 chances to fish), and it had 2 big, beautiful trees. Next time we are going to bring a hammock! There are lots of things we will bring next time that we didn't have this time- warmer clothes and better food, chief among them.

I had a great time on this camping trip. I can't wait til we get to go out again, especially since I will be better prepared. Oh- and I'll take more pics as well!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Camping....

Dev and I are headed out for a camping trip this weekend- my first in a long, long time. We have the tents and sleeping bags packed, as well as lanterns and cook stoves and all that other camping stuff.
I have quite a few things to blog about, I just haven't had time. I was out of the office on Monday, and it seems like I've played catch up ever since. I suppose it would be defeating the purpose of camping if there was wifi out in the woods.....

Monday, August 6, 2007

Have you done FRED yet??

I have. And I totally enjoyed myself.

This weekend I had a very unique experience. I was invited to attend a FRED. What's a FRED, you ask?

A FRED is like a girlfriend getaway mashed together with summer camp mashed together with a college dorm.

I met 8 brand new friends this weekend. Prior to Friday afternoon, I had no idea any of them existed.

A few months ago, Tonya asked me if I wanted to go on a girls' vacation with a friend of hers (Toni) and some other ladies. They were getting away to a cabin up near Salida, CO. Naturally, I said I would love to.

Fast forward a few months, and T and I are climbing in her mini-van, bound for Salida! I wasn't sure what to expect, since T was the only person I would know out of the group- plus Toni was the only person T knew. All my concerns were put by the way-side very soon after arriving at the cabin. Within minutes we were all laughing and talking and letting our hair down. The other ladies there were members of a mom's group. They were all there without their spouses and children. I can honestly say I thought I would feel out of place being the only childless person, but I really wasn't. I enjoyed listening to their stories and watching them share pictures. Not to mention the fact that watching them all shed the "mommy" skin and become carefree, silly girls again was IMMENSELY entertaining... :) There was abundant laughter, abundant food, abundant story-telling- and abundant rain. It rained more in that one weekend than I've ever seen since I moved here. But it did not dampen our fun.

I did not take my camera, since Dev was going camping with his parents and I figured I'd be with T, who takes way better pics than I do anyway. As soon as she posts her pics to flickr, I'll link to it.

I'd like to talk more about the FRED, but I'm at a loss right now for what to say. It was an incredible experience, and I feel so honored that these wonderful women let me into their circle of friends. Memories of this weekend will be making me smile for years to come.

I can't wait for FRED 2008!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Why wait?

Here's the commercial I found on YouTube....

Anticipation....

Do you remember that ketchup commercial from when we were kids? I don't remember the brand (it was probably Heinz) but I remember the song. It's going through my mind right now.
I found an updated version of it on youtube, but I can't get it pasted in here. I put in "anticipation ketchup commercial" as my search term. Anyway, I did figure out how to get YouTube to post it here for me, so hopefully that will work.
Why am I thinking about this song? Because I can't wait to get out of here and start my girls' weekend! I am looking forward to lots of laughing and talking- lots of sitting on the deck looking at the sky.
But I will miss Dev.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Thursday...

So I made ricotta gnocchi for dinner tonight. Go over to my other blog to see it if you want.
I am headed to Salida tomorrow with Tonya, for a girls' get away weekend. I will be back Monday to post some pics and tattle on all the crazy stuff Tonya does. :)

Is it Friday Yet????

I am falling asleep. I was so busy this morning, I didn't think I'd ever get everything done. Well, I did. So now I'm sitting here, BORED. I have left phone messages all over the universe, and until someone calls me back, I have nothing left to do.
I've been surfing around on the internet, and I found another entertaining site, very much like the icanhascheezburger site. It's www.laughoutlouddogs.com. Tonya sent it to me, so technically, me sitting here goofing off is her fault. Come to think of it, my sleepiness is her fault, too, because she DRAGGED me to lunch at Back In Thyme and MADE me eat lunch and a big fat piece of Bailey's Irish Cream Chocolate cake. I strenuously objected, but she wouldn't listen... :)

A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words...



This pic was posted on one of my favorite websites, www.icanhascheezburger.com

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Ancient History

Dev gets much enjoyment out of telling the people we meet about how "aloof" I was the first time he messaged me through Yahoo Personals.
I know there are 2 sides to every story, but honestly, Dev has it all wrong. He claims that I "let" him talk to me and that my reply to his first message was snobbish. In reality, my reply to his first message was something like this:
"If you would like to talk to me, my screen name is *******, next time you are on the internet, you can message me."
See? nothing aloof, nothing snobby. I think Dev read into it what he wanted to believe.

So tonight we are driving home from our weekly bowling date with Tonya, Shane, Sarah, Phil and Marni, when this subject rears it's ugly head again. I decided to turn the tables, so I asked him why he decided to try to message me again, if I had been so snobbish during our first exchange.

You will NEVER believe what he said. Not in a million years.

He said......DESPERATION.

Those of you who know Dev, please feel free to email him and tell him what a freak he is.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Weird Day

Today was one of those weird days.
Work wasn't bad. I actually got quite a bit done. We have 2 rather large conventions headed our way between now and Thanksgiving, and there are lots of little details to get nailed down. I got a good headstart on several things today.
From a friend perspective, it was a mixed bag. On the one hand, my friend Di got good news about employment for the fall, which is a relief of monumental proportions.
On the other hand, my friend Tonya was dealing with a very difficult first summer camp situation with her daughter. Although it did not directly involve me, I felt really awful for both of them and it occupied my thoughts for the majority of the day.
On an unrelated note, my nephew's 17th birthday is coming up Wednesday. I feel very old. Dev tries to convince me that other people's aging shouldn't affect my perception of my own, but when you remember CLEARLY the BIRTH of someone, you can't help but feel old when they are no longer a child.
Hopefully this weekend I can relax and put some things in perspective. Tonya and I are headed up to Salida for a weekend retreat. Dev, faced with the daunting option of eating ramen noodles for 3 days, has opted to go visit his parents while I'm gone. I kinda feel better knowing he'll have stuff to do and won't be sitting at home, bored. I imagine there will be at least one 4 wheeler excursion, and possibly some fishing. As for Tonya and myself, I'm expecting a little adventure (possibly some rafting) but mostly good company and long uninterrupted spans of time for talking...or just being quiet.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Another Lovely Sunday Picnic...

Dev's parents have been visiting us this weekend, so tonight we all took a picnic supper to Cole Park. The entertainment was provided by Katie Moffatt and Rosie Florez. They were a quite energetic duo from Texas. Here's a pic of Dev and his parents at our picnic...
And here's a pick of Rosie Florez entertaining the kids in the audience with a honky tonk song about hot dogs...


Oh- and here's what Dev and his dad were doing while his mom and I were making the picnic....

Monday, July 23, 2007

Santa Fe

So this weekend, Dev and I took off for Santa Fe. We were meeting Tonya and Shane for brunch and a day of shopping and playing tourist. Tonya has posted her photos of the weekend here. I posted mine here.
I'm also going to post some of them on this blog.
Here we are as we loaded up the truck and headed out on the open road....


Dev seems to get a little irritated when I pull out the camera to take a pic. So here's the way he tries to discourage me from doing this....




But he's so cute...it won't work.
So we drove in and met Tonya, Shane and Sarah at Harry's Roadhouse for brunch. Here's what it looks like:

I can't begin to tell you how outrageously good the food was here. And it was pretty inexpensive as well. All 5 of us ate brunch for about $50.00. I wish I had thought to take a pic of my food, but I didn't. I had chilaquiles with fried eggs. Dev had shrimp and grits. Both of us were very happy with our food.
After brunch we headed to Jackelope, which is, according to Tonya, like Pier One, only better and mostly outside. It had all kinds of southwestern furniture and knicknacks. It even has a live glass blowing demonstration. The best thing about it to me, however, was the prairie dog colony that lives in the middle of the place. Here is my favorite pic, but there are more on my flickr page.

After checking in to the hotel, we headed down to the plaza for some shopping. You can check out the flickr page for those pics. Most of them are Dev hiding from the camera again.
I'd love to go back when we have more time to run around- and when I remember to take pics of the outrageous food.






Wednesday, July 18, 2007

No Bowling.... :(

We didn't go bowling tonight. I think everyone had a hectic day. I know I sat in meetings ALL DAY LONG. My first one started at 9:30am and ended around noon, then the next one started at 1:15pm and lasted til 4:30pm. That's a long time to be sittin' and listenin'. I feel pretty brain dead.
Dev is studying for his Statistics final. Tomorrow is the last day of his summer class. So I can't even bug him. I'm bored.
We might be going to Santa Fe this weekend. That would be fun. Tonya and Shane used to live there, and they are going, so we would have built in tour guides. I know there is a Trader Joe's there. I think that's a must see.
I'll give a full report, no matter what happens. I'll also report on my trip to Denver Friday- not going to be too exciting cuz I'm going for a meeting.
I guess I'll go watch foodtv for a while.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Being Outside...

Is nice. Especially when it is hot inside. Dev and I are sitting at our little table out on the balcony, watching the sunlight change colors as it shines on the wall of the Valley Health and Fitness Center. Not exactly idyllic, but it will have to do for now.
I just got finished blogging about my dinner over at the new blog, so you should go check it out. I'm gonna have to seriously think about how to divide my stuff up between my two blogs. So much of what I do is food related, but I don't want to stop posting to this site. I'm sure it will work itself out.
Tomorrow is bowling night, so there will be no food to blog about. Perhaps I will remember to take the camera, so I can blog about bowling.
Then there's always Thursday.....

Monday, July 16, 2007

It's Alive......

The new cooking blog has been launched! We haven't fancied up the place yet, but there are a few posts to read (I'm working on another right now)....
So go read it!

The name of the blog is 1700milesofcooking and it's sure to be a very interesting read.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Movie Night

After the chicken parm was safely out of the oven, Dev and I headed over to Tonya and Shane's for our first Movie Night.


We ate a lovely dinner, then decided to go play in the park to make room for dessert. After watching Sarah play with the other kids on the merry go round, we decided to wander over to the tennis courts. Dev agreed to hit the ball around with Sarah for a while. I know Tonya took several pics of this match up. I only took one.

This is a Marla Hooch shot of Dev. We all had a good time standing around talking and chasing tennis balls everywhere.

We returned to the house to eat chocolate cake and watch a movie. Tonya had selected "Farmer Astronaut" (or is it "Astronaut Farmer?"). Anyway, whichever it is, the movie was pretty good. I mean some of it was unbelievable, not only from a technical standpoint (not that I'm a science person- but I'd think freefalling through the earth's atmosphere with only a little parachute and landing on the solid ground- not in the water- would bang a person up a little more), but also from an emotional standpoint. If my husband built a rocket in the garage, fine, but when he pulls the kids out of school for 5 weeks to be his FLIGHT CREW, I think I might speak up and call the padded room police. Not to mention spending our life savings on rocket fuel.....

But it was just a movie, and overall very entertaining. Bruce Willis didn't even crawl all over my last nerve, and that's saying something. And it did have a pretty decent message about refusing to give up on your dreams. AND if you pay attention in pre-algebra class, you can, at 15, know everything you need to be able to launch a rocket into the earth's atmosphere- who knew?


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Waiting....

Man, it smells good in here. The tomatoes and onions and garlic are roasting away in the oven, waiting to be whizzed around in the food processor with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
I also went ahead and pounded those chicken breasts flat (very very therapeutic- I might do that to all cuts of meat just to relieve some stress). As soon as the tomatoes are done I will pan fry the cutlets and begin the assembly of my chicken parmesan. If this doesn't turn out I will be highly upset.
50 minutes is a long time to wait. Especially when it smells like it does right now. I must be strong......

Playing Around

I'm playing around with my blog while Devin makes his roasted tomato sauce for my parmesan tonight. I am not allowed to watch the process. Dev says it is one of his "wooing" recipes. Maybe one day soon I'll post a list of these recipes. I've tried to tell him I didn't move 2000 miles away from home because of his recipes, but he doesn't seem convinced.


Anyway, I've decided to play with the picture upload features on blogger. I can't seem to figure out how to get the pics to appear within the post, instead of at the top of the post. Let me experiment with something....
Okay, hey maybe I figured it out. Great looking kabobs, huh? I actually posted these a while back. I just needed a pic to see if I was on the right track, and it looks like I am!!! Yay me!

Cleaning out the Camera

I promised in a previous post to put the pics from the last houseparty at Tonya and Shane's on my flickr page. I finally managed to do so. Feel free to mozey on over and check them out.
It was a bittersweet event to be sure, but I think overall the pros outweighed the cons when it came to moving into town.

More Saturday Fun!

Here is the progress Dev is making on the cheese for my chicken parmesan.
One pic is of a bag of fresh ricotta hanging from my kitchen ceiling...
The other is the mozzarella curding in the pot, waiting to be squeezed and dried.

Not bad, huh?

Saturday, Lovely Saturday

Our morning started with french toast. Any morning that starts with french toast can't be bad. After a quick shower, it was time for our weekly bike ride to the farmers market.
This week's purchases included fresh peaches and some really odd looking round zucchini. The peaches are bound for the grill, then a topping of vanilla ice cream. The zucchini will probably end up in a stir fry of sweet corn and fresh tomato.
Dev has been standing out on the balcony with binoculars, watching the planes do stunts at the Alamosa Fly In. We can see pretty well from our apartment.
He has also been busy making home made ricotta and mozzarella(sp) cheeses for my chicken parmesan recipe. We are taking it over to Tonya and Shane's for movie night. I hope it turns out as good as it sounds like it will. My goal is my version of the ultimate chicken parmesan. I'm planning to pound the chicken breasts out like cutlets, bread them in panko, pan fry them to crisp them up, layer them with fresh basil leaves, coat them with fresh ricotta mixed with lemon zest and black pepper, then slather them in home made roasted tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella cheese- then dump the whole thing over angel hair pasta. Wish me luck! I'll post the pics of the steps and the final result here tomorrow!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

New Hairdo





So I went and had my hair cut today. I haven't had a real hair cut in probably more than 10 years.


I went in thinking I wanted it cut, but not necessarily drastic. The stylist and I talked for about 10 minutes about what I really wanted. Then she said if I really wanted to make a change, why not really make it count. She told me if I cut 10" off the length of my hair, it could be donated to Locks of Love. Then it would be used to make wigs for kids who have cancer. So I agreed. 10 seconds later I had no hair.


I suppose it isn't horrible. But it will take a while to get used to. I will probably like it after it grows out a bit.


Plus- it looks bad in these pics because I had to walk through 2 construction zones to get back to work, and our building isn't air conditioned, so I sat at my desk and sweated for an hour and a half before quittin' time.


Well, anyway, it's done and there's nothing I can do about it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Good Day

I have had a very good day.

Work was productive. I got my entire desk and cube re-organized. I made sales calls and even got positive feedback from a potential group tour!

Now I'm sitting in the living room, propped on the couch, feeling the nice cool breeze coming in the window after having eaten the kick-ass turkey burgers Dev fixed for dinner, and listening to "White Lines" by Duran Duran (turned way up on the headphones). Not bad for a Tuesday.

I'm feeling so blissed out I might paint my toenails.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Zzzzzzzzzzzz

Zzzzzzzzzzzz.....

After suffering another bout of insomnia last night, I am now sleeping sitting up at my desk. I am so freakin' tired! I feel like I just ate a giant bowl of mashed potatoes and gravy, only I didn't. I had Pad Thai (with tofu) for lunch, and didn't even eat a fourth of it. Drinking lots of cold water hasn't perked me up, neither did the white chocolate macadamia nut cookie my co-worker Phil offered me earlier. The sad thing is, once I get home and decide it's bedtime, I won't be sleepy anymore. WHY DOES MY BODY HATE ME???

What I Do When I'm Not Sleeping...

Well, on this particular evening while I'm not sleeping I'm geeking out. I did a complete overhaul on my blog. I changed the template, color scheme- the whole enchilada. I even added a hidden counter so I can see how many people don't read this stuff.
I got an email from my friend Diane today, proposing a new blog project. She would like to launch a tag-team type food blog. We are both amateur foodies, and we've spent many long summer days cooking up some not so shabby food. Now that we are 2,000 miles apart, the only way we can still cook together is over the wonderful world wide web.
I think we should do it. It's in very preliminary stages right now- we haven't got a title, much less an actual game plan. Not that those kind of things have stopped us in the past. If it happens, I'll be sure to link it here. I've been thinking of trying to install a blog roll anyway. I have several friends with great blogs and I'd like to link them to mine.
I'll let you know what happens....

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Picnicking(sp) and Blogging

I just got back from the Sundays at Six concert at Cole Park. Dev and I had a pretty good time, in spite of the rain. I have just submitted a piece on it to the Alamosa blog, so hopefully pretty soon you can read the details. I also submitted a piece on the opening of the Farmers Market. My Sunday has been disgustingly productive.

My Weekend

My weekend was quite the mixed bag of experiences. I'm not back to 100% after my brush with gastro-intestinal meltdown. So I had some really good moments and some not so good moments.
The not so good moments were usually when my tummy didn't feel so good and I needed to lay down. This happened roughly twice a day. I feel so much better than I did before, but I am looking forward to a time when I don't have weird crampy feelings going on in the background all the time.

Luckily the good moments outnumbered the bad stuff by a landslide.

Friday, Dev and I went to visit Tonya and Shane at their new house. We were mightily impressed. We were most taken by the back yard, which actually is big enough to plant a garden. We already know where we'd put everything! I can't wait to see what Tonya and Shane do with it. We hung out with them til around 9pm, then came home to vegitate on the couch for the remainder of the evening.

Saturday was the first occurence of the Farmers' Market. Dev and I got up, ate breakfast and rode our bikes down to the corner of State and Main Streets. After stopping into Milagros for a cup of coffee, we headed out to the market. There was not a lot of produce there yet, because our growing season is just kicking into high gear. But I did manage to buy 2 beautiful purple onions that still had the tops on them from the field, and several big red tomatoes.

After the market, we ran out to WalMart while it was still early enough to avoid the Darwinian Stew that always invades WalMart on Saturdays. We were in search of camping gear (thinking we might head out to Hooper to try out the tent). All we managed to find was a camp chair for Dev. We are still looking for a folding camp table and a decent camp lantern.

Lunch was left over pizza from Friday night.

Dev felt inspired and dug out his telescope. We fiddled with that for a little while- lots of dials and gizmos to deal with on that thing. It will be cool to take it with us when we do get to go camping.

Dev decided after that he'd like to to take a look at Fort Garland. So we drove out and crawled around for an hour or two. I really like Fort Garland. You get a real feel for what it would be like to live there. Lots of neat things happened there. I recommend a trip out there. But make sure you have enough time to go slowly and read the material with the exhibits. You will learn an awful lot about Colorado history.

So I had these 2 poblano peppers in my refrigerator that I really needed to use. When I think of poblanos, I think of stuffed peppers, so I decided that was going to be dinner. But I also decided that I was not going to look up a recipe and have to go to the store again. My goal was to come up with a totally original stuffing recipe, designed to use up the leftovers in my fridge. So here's what I came up with......

I had one piece of rotisserie chicken left, so I finely minced the meat and threw it in a bowl. After that, Dev sauteed half an onion and a clove of garlic and threw that in with the chicken. I had a little bowl of whole wheat couscous left over from something, so that went in as well. A handful of frozen corn suffered the same fate. I added half a can of petite diced tomatoes, a handful of feta cheese and about 1/2 cup of grated cheddar. Then I mixed it up and added a little of the leftover tomato juice to make it moist enough to bind together. Dev halved the poblanos, scooped out the seeds and trimmed the veins inside. I packed the stuffing in the peppers and sprinkled on a little extra cheddar. They baked on a parchment paper lined baking sheet for 1/2 hour. The whole point of this exercise (other than using up leftovers) was to see if you could stuff the peppers without going through the roasting/skinning process- cuz that's just no fun. I am happy to report that this was a delicious. The peppers themselves were soft on the inside, but because the skin was still intact, it had some texture. I will definitely do this again, and I will also probably never roast/skin the peppers first.

Sundays are always lazy days around our house. Right now, we are watching Nigella Lawson on Foodtv (a Sunday tradition). We had a great breakfast of ham/cheddar rosti. I had never tried it before, but I've seen recipes in magazines quite frequently for the past few months. It's basically a hybrid of an omelet and a potato pancake. I consider it a technique more than a recipe, because once you know how it all fits together, you can use anything you want in it. The only necessary ingredients are eggs, frozen hashbrowns and cheese. I started with one beaten egg in the bottom of a large bowl. I added about a cup (I rarely measure stuff- but I probably should) of shredded ham (I used lunchmeat ham from my crisper drawer), diced purple onion (about a quarter of it- the recipe called for shallot, but so what?), about a teaspoon of chopped fresh rosemary, a dash of salt and pepper, and a little shredded cheddar. I mixed that all up and added about 3 handfuls of frozen shredded hashbrowns. I heated up a tablespoon of olive oil in a nonstick skillet and patted the potato egg mixture all over the bottom. I left it alone over medium heat for 6 minutes. After that, I put a plate over the skillet and inverted the pancake onto the plate (ok I admit I had Dev do this part). I wiped out the pan, added a little more oil and slid the pancake back in. After another 6 minutes of leaving it alone, I slid it onto a plate and that was it! I served it with thick slices of farmers' market tomato. It was a perfect breakfast! The cool thing is you can add anything to this. I would like to do a veggie version with green peppers or you could use asparagus. Anything you can chop up will work.

This afternoon we are headed to the park for a summer concert. I am taking some cheese fondue with the customary dippers (bread pieces, cooked potato, summer sausage, pears) and a tomato basil filo tart. I can't wait to kick back in the park, listening to mariachi music and gnoshing on yummie finger food. It really doesn't get much better than good music, good food and good friends.

Here's to ending the weekend on a high note!!

Friday, July 6, 2007

What a Week!

So much to write about....so much I'd like never to experience again!

So my last post was on the eve of the last campfire at Tonya and Shane's house at Zapata. It turned out to be quite lovely, in spite of Tonya's continuing battle with allergies. I have a few pics and as soon as I remember to take them off the camera, I will post them. Tonya also has pics posted on her Flickr page.

Sunday was fairly non-descript. Dev and I puttered around the house most of the day, then went to the park and practiced putting up our tent.

Monday was the beginning of the end....

I woke up not feeling great, but not feeling bad enough to stay home from work. As the day progressed, my stomach was hurting- really burning more than hurting. I figured I'd have a sandwich for lunch and it would go away. Unfortunately, it didn't. By the time I left work Monday, I was in a good deal of pain. I took some ibuprofen when I got home and hit the couch. By 10:30 the pain had changed into something much sharper and all over my belly. At 11pm I had had enough and asked Dev to drive me to the emergency room. After being poked and prodded and examined, it was determined I had no sign of infection, and nothing "seemed" life threatening. I was told by the doctor I had 2 choices: 1- go home and if things get worse come back to the ER or go to a doctor or 2- have blood work and a CT scan, but because you don't have insurance, it would be pricey. Needless to say, I went home.
The next morning I woke up in a good amount of pain. So I chose to call the clinic and set up an appointment with a doctor. They could not see me until 2:15, so I took the appointment and curled up on the couch to wait it out. At the clinic, again I was poked and prodded, and again told that nothing seemed life threatening, but if I wanted to continue with tests, I'd have to talk to their financial person before anything would be scheduled. However, the PA I saw said he felt that this was some sort of gastro-intestinal thing and I should take the prescriptions for Nexium and Tylenol 3 with Codeine, then swig Maalox 4 times a day to see if that made things better.
Tuesday night and all day Wednesday are a blur, because although the Tylenol 3 does a bang up job on pain, it also knocks me out- oh, and completely obliterates my appetite.
Thursday morning I attempted to come back to work and gave up at noon. It seems that when you don't eat anything, it's impossible to feel better. After coming home Thursday afternoon, Devin forced me to eat some lunch, and I took the advice of my friend Diane and started making myself eat some yogurt. I even got up off the couch and took a short walk before dinner. Miraculously, I began feeling much better! I even cooked some piddly little dinner last night for the first time all week.
So now it's Friday, I'm back at work, and I feel almost 100 percent myself!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

A Good Saturday So Far....

Today has been a great day so far.

Dev and I slept in til about 8:30, then I made french toast for breakfast. We got ready to go and went to Monte Vista to look around downtown.

We found a really cool little bead store called "Jeanne's Beads." They were teaching a class on stringing beads while we were there. Classes are offered on Friday evenings and weekends, so I might just go back and learn something new for Christmas gift season...

Then we went to the Alco store. It reminds me a bit of Big Lots. Anyway, we were looking in their gardening section and found the cutest little table and chairs for our stoop- very small, but much classier than plastic lawn furniture. We asked about it because it wasn't marked. It turns out that because the table top had a slight crack, it was more than 50% off. SOLD!! Now it is sitting on our front stoop with a lovely pot of ivy atop it.

We stopped by the grocery store on the way home to get a few things to make spinach dip and guacamole for the bonfire at Tonya's tonight.

I have a feeling this day is only going to get better.......

I'll post pics of the table and the party tomorrow!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Tent


Here it is....our beautiful new tent. Looks kinda funny in our living room, but we just couldn't wait to see it!

New Toys!

As of 7:53pm this evening, Dev and I are the proud owners of 1 REI Taj 3 tent and 2 Big Agnes sleeping bags! Dev is blowing up the sleeping bag pads in the living room right now.

Maybe we'll take them and camp out in Tonya and Shane's front yard.... :)

Phil suggested that we all get our tents and hit the trail sometime soon. I think he's right!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Missing Old Friends

I just read my friend Diane's blog. It made me sad. She was bemoaning her loneliness and lack of projects during her summer vacation. It used to be that I had summers off as well and we would embark on the "Calvalcade of Fun." This usually meant we did a lot of really good cooking, laid around on the couch and watched a lot of tennis, went to Sand Gnats games (minor league baseball) and drank lots of beer. It's easier to do nothing when you have a good friend to help you be lazy. I miss that. I miss her. Sometimes I wish she would move here and meet my new friends and we could all be together and happy.

Busy, Productive Days

Today was a very busy day. Our office manager is on vacation, so even though we have someone coming in to answer the phones, it still means I'm busier than usual.

I'm so glad tomorrow is Friday! I probably won't escape early like I usually do on Fridays (because the deadline for parade entries is tomorrow at 5pm, and I'm expecting a steady stream of them right up until then). But I have a very pleasant weekend planned, so I don't mind.

REI called today and our tent will be arriving much earlier than planned. Yay!

Saturday we are going to a farewell firepit party at Tonya and Shane's. Looking forward to the social opportunity, but I know it will be kinda hard for Tonya. My plan is to drive her crazy and be on her doorstep constantly after she moves in town. She won't have time to miss her other place!

I made a yummie dinner tonight- Greek Orzo Shrimp Salad. I forgot to take pics, but it sure was beautiful and tasted great. Maybe I'll whip up another batch to take to the party Saturday. Hmmmmm.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Wednesday

Today was a pretty good day, in spite of an overall lack of sleep last night.

Work went well, and after work, we went and bowled a game. Usually Wednesdays are the unofficial Ethos Media Bowling League nights. Tonya and Shane couldn't make it this week, so Phil, Dev and I went for a little while.

I actually got the article written about the Chamber FAM tour. It turned out to be quite long. Tonya suggested we run it as a series on the Alamosa blog. So check there soon to read the installments.

I think I'm falling asleep, so I am going to lay down before it wears off...

Eyeglasses


Still can't sleep. So I went and got the camera and took a quick pic of myself wearing my new glasses and listening to Depeche Mode on my pandora list. Looking very Lisa Loeb-ey I do say. :)

Insomnia (again)

I really hate it when I can't sleep.......

So I'm sitting here using the stereo headphones to listen to my pandora.com radio station. I wanted to listen to my imeem playlist, but it seems most of the music I chose for my lists has reverted to 30 second bits, and I hate that. I wonder why that happens? Maybe because I haven't listened in quite a while....who knows.

I'm also thinking of things I need to do for work. I always do that when I can't sleep. For instance, I'm thinking I need to make sure I re-work the Excel spreadsheet for RPD to reflect new Steering Committee members. I also need to send the Master Funders List to the Steering Committee. I need to make sales calls for my group tour leads. I need to make sure I don't need to do anything else as far as traffic control for the Independence Day Parade. I need to call more tent rental places to get prices for a concert coming up in September. I need to touch base with 2 different people on group tours/conventions coming to Alamosa between now and the end of September. Geez....Oh yeah- and there's the newsletter articles to write about the Chamber FAM Tour and the 100 Years of SLV Reservoirs and the Independence Day Parade.

One bright spot- I got my new glasses today. I got a pair of normal glasses as well as my first ever pair of prescription sunglasses. Pretty groovy if I do say so myself. For the past few weeks (since I made the decision to give my eyes a break from contact lenses for a while) I have been wearing my sunglasses over the top of my regular glasses. Not a fashionable choice, I can assure you.

My pandora station is playing Arcadia's "Election Day." I am such a child of the 80's. I love this stuff.

So we ordered a cool tent from REI today. Hopefully it will be here by Tuesday, so we can sneak off somewhere next weekend (after the freakin' Independence Day Parade) and camp. I would like to go somewhere between South Fork and Creede along the Rio Grande River. We checked out campsites there a few weeks ago and found some right along the river. How cool would it be to fall asleep listening to the river gurgling right outside your tent?

I think this weekend we are going to our friends Tonya and Shane for the last fire pit at their house at the Zapata Ranch. They are moving in town to make things better for their kids and more convenient for their work schedule. I don't think Tonya's really happy about it because she doesn't like suburban neighborhoods. I'm pretty stoked about it because it means we will see them more often.

And tomorrow is Wednesday, which means BOWLING!!!! The unofficial Ethos Media Bowling Team will be at it again. This time we will add POOL to the list of festivities. So far the list is bowling, much deserved beer drinking, and pool. I'd say that's a pretty impressive Wednesday evening.

Now it's Fine Young Cannibals. I love them, too.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Field Trips!



Today was a fun day. Barb, Joe and I went on a tour of the north side of the Valley. We were joined by Rick from the Alamosa Bus Company. The idea was to go play tourist, so when the real tourists come in the Visitors Center asking questions about these places, we can answer them.

I am not going to go into serious detail about the trip, because I am writing a piece for the Alamosa Blog about it, but when I'm done with it, I'll link to it here so you all can read it.


However, I will post a few pics here so you will get the idea....

Monday, June 18, 2007

Weekend Trip

This weekend, Dev and took off for Colorado Springs. It was a really good trip, allergies not withstanding...

We left Saturday morning after a breakfast of home-made buttermilk pancakes. We got to our destination around 12:30ish. After driving around for a little while, we decided to stop for lunch at Tomo Sushi on Academy Boulevard. I hadn't had real sushi in a long time (like since I left Savannah), so it was incredible! I had salmon and unagi nigiri, one tempura roll with avacado, crab cream cheese and a roll with crab and asparagus. Dev had some kind of bento box.

After lunch we wandered around town and went to the REI store (where I purchased my first Nalgene water bottle), Barnes and Noble, Borders, Whole Foods (where I purchased Spanish chocolate, parmesan/rosemary crackers, mushroom brie, real maple syrup and some Thai mixes), Target (where I purchased allergy medicine), the Citadel Mall (where I purchased some Clarins powder), Sam's Club (where I purchased 2 pairs of eye glasses), and Jared Jewelers.

We had dinner at a place called the Phantom Canyon Brewing Company. I have to say it was one of the best dinners out I've ever had, and that's saying something. For starters, Dev and I split a bowl of smoked gouda/ale soup. It was so creamy and cheesy! Dev ordered the special, which was flank steak with some sort of fruit barbecue sauce, garlic mashed potatoes with bleu cheese and perfectly cooked fresh green beans. I ordered the wild mushroom vegetable pot pie. It was perfect! There were tons of mushrooms in it- very few peas, carrots and potatoes. The sauce had a hint of wine and was the perfect consistency...and the crust was a wonderful multi-grain pie crust (double crust I might add). Dinner was so good we forgot to save room for dessert!

The next morning we got up and tracked down some breakfast, then drove out to the Garden of the Gods. It was really beautiful, but I have to say I was disappointed that we were able to drive through it. It takes something away from the natural beauty of the place when you are looking at it from inside a car, in a line of bumper to bumper traffic. The best way to see the place would be to dress and pack for hiking and leave the car in the visitors center parking lot.

After that we went to a place called Rock Ledge Ranch. It is a living history center. I know I'd get it wrong if I tried to accurately describe what it represents. But it is a great place to visit, with lots of hands on stuff, and plenty of knowledgeable staff around to answer questions.

I have posted a few pics here, but the rest are on my flickr page.
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