life’s little irritations #4

It’s more than a little irritating when you wake up at 3:30 am from a nice “snuggling with the kitty” kind of sleep because said kitty has just forcefully thrown himself off the bed and has begun horking up something on your bedroom carpet.

Then when you come back with paper towels to clean it up, you first, step in the hork dribbles in the hall, second, realize there’s no way you can clean it properly in the middle of the night and third, you cannot possibly go back to bed with the hork remnants 2 feet away. Gag.

Not only do you have to go in search of a new place to sleep but now so does dh after you’ve awakened him, blinded him with the light, and made him aware of the smell. Heh. I just can’t suffer alone now can I?

So should I be grateful to dear George that he didn’t puke on the bed, or annoyed at him for eating mice and grass and all those things that make him vomitous in the first place? Both I think.

But could you stay mad at this face?

stuffed mushrooms

Well, I’ve gardening so much lately that my time for cooking has been very limited and my meal creativity has been sorely lacking. One day last week I was wandering the grocery aisles looking for inspiration and found some very nice large white mushrooms and in the meat department there was some fresh chicken breakfast sausage on sale. Hmmm. Any idea where I’m going with this?

I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to put it all together, but when I got home I remembered I had a package of cream cheese and some garlicy/cheesy dip mix from tastefully simple (but any flavor dip mix would work!) I mixed up the dry dip mix with the cream cheese (room temp for ease in mixing) in a large bowl, and stuck it in the fridge to meld the flavors.

Preheat your oven to about 325.

Next, wash and dry the mushrooms well. I usually fill a bowl with cold water and a good splash of vinegar and let them soak for a minute to get all the dirt off. When they’re dry, you can snap off the stems and set them aside for soup or something. Sometimes, not enough snaps off so I just take a knife or a small spoon and scrape out a little more. You want lots of room for the filling. If any of the mushrooms crack a bit – no worries – use them anyway!

Line a cookie sheet with foil and put your mushrooms on hole side up. Bake for 10-15 minutes. When you pull them out of the oven you will notice they are full of water. You need to get rid of all the liquid. I just use a paper towel and dip them in each individually until the liquid is soaked up. You can do your initial cooking with the mushrooms upside down so they drain better, but then you’ll have to flip them when they’re super hot and delicate (and slippery!) – and that’s not so easy!

While the mushrooms are baking you can start the sausage.

The sausage was the loose kind without the casings, but it you only have the kind with the casings just strip the meat out and throw the casing away before you cook them. I just throw the sausage in a frying pan and drain off the fat when it’s done. Make sure you break up the meat pretty fine while you’re cooking. You don’t want huge chunks.

Take your dip out of the fridge and dump the hot (drained) sausage into it and mix all together. The heat from the sausage will make it really easy to work with.

Now you just need to put a heap of stuffing in the mushrooms! I also put a bit of provolone on the very top of each one for a nice bit of melty goodness.

Stick the pan back in the oven for another 10 minutes or so – use your judgement – if the cheese is nicely melted and maybe even a little browned on top – they’re ready. Honestly, there’s no rules on this one – just whenever it seems hot enough.

These mushrooms were super yummy, made a nice meal, and it gave me lots of ideas on variations:

If I were to use hot italian sausage I would probably use plain cream cheese (no extra seasonings.)

If I used sundried tomato and basil chicken sausage (my favorite!) I would add some italian seasonings to the cream cheese.

Any good melting cheese on the top would work – mozzarella, white american, whatever, I just happened to have provolone on hand. Also, using sliced cheese is easier than shredded on this – it won’t fall off the top.

If I made this for company I might use the smaller button mushrooms for bite size portions, and I would put a bit of parsley, rosemary or basil leaf etc. on top for a pretty effect. By the way, neither dh or the boy would try this one – but that meant more for me!

Ingredient list:

That’s it! So easy!

the airman

Everyone, I’d like to introduce my nephew Nate, a newly graduated Airman in the Air Force! I’d post one of his super freaking cute baby pictures but he probably learned how to kill with his pinky finger, or something like that, while he was in basic, and I’m just not willing to risk it. No really, it’s because I don’t have any of him that don’t also include me and there’s NO WAY I’m posting evidence of my big 80’s 90’s hair. (Okay, I still have big hair, but whatever.)

Anyway, he just moved to Pensacola but doesn’t have off base privileges yet and so he’s been bored all week, waiting for his next round of classes to start. He’s so bored he’s shopping online on his cellphone because he doesn’t even have his computer yet. Yesterday his ennui was soooo bad I risked my secret identity and sent him my blog to read. Heh. You just know a 20 year old man (dang – just saying that makes me feel really old) is just going love reading about his auntie’s life of motherhood and gardening. I haven’t heard from him since this message last night: “LOL your blog lolol.” I’m pretty sure he’s laughing at me not with me, eh Nate? Hmm, I may have sent him into a glassy eyed stupor with my writing.

So now, everyone wave hi, and leave a comment for Nate! I’ll make sure he comes back to read them!!!

edited to add: well darn it, none of the comments came over when I moved my blog!

just an update

I have a great day today! I neglected everything all day in order for my boy and I to have a playdate with my sister and her boy! I just love days like that, unplanned and just perfect. (Thank you dear, for coming to visit us!) Not only that, but she brought me plants! And helped me plant them! What could be better 😉

I’ve spent this evening working on my other website, the one for work. Meh. It’s hard. I want it to be perfect and I want to fuss with it, but, because of the platform it’s on there are a number of things I don’t know how to do myself. It’s a bit frustrating. DH, aka my own personal technogeek, will have time this weekend to work on it, but in the meantime, dang….I just want to get it done!! Sorry honey! Mostly it’s because I’m excited about it, and I think it’s really starting to come together the way I envisioned. It promise to reveal it here first just as soon as it’s ready to launch!

ps. I finished a book last night! I won’t, however, tell you what it was, cause I’m embarrassed, but I did finish it! Now I’ll start on something a little more worthy. heh. (if you believe that….)

only bad thing about spring

Can you guess what it is?! It’s shopping for summer clothes of course! I just spent almost the entire day trudging driving from one store to another, dragging my poor kid along for the very hot drive. First, let me just what happened to SPRING? We went from snow storms to 80 degrees in 2 weeks!!

Anyway, have you seen the crap they call clothes in the stores right now? I’m sorry but I didn’t look good in maternity clothes when I was pregnant! Why the heck would I want to wear them now? Stupid empire waists. They don’t even look good on the mannequins! Hello, anyone listening??

Really, it’s no wonder I’m stuck in a rut of t-shirts and jeans, and apparently I won’t be changing that anytime soon…blech.

books, books, and eh

I just tried to write a post about why I don’t read as many books as I used to. The basic premise was that I just don’t have the same attention span since I’ve been a mother as I did when I was younger. Problem is, I got bored writing it. See? Lack of focus! <Sigh.> Anyway. I’ve really been trying hard to read more books. (As opposed to all the other brainless crap I do.) I’ve got a stack waiting for me to dive it. Let’s just see if I can unplug more often so I can.

Maybe that’ll be my Earth Day pledge. Turn off the TV, put the computer to sleep, and pick up a novel.

wherein I momentarily reveal myself

I am honored to be tagged by Schmutzie for the “7 random weird things about me meme” that’s been going around the blogosphere in a few different forms. Most everyone did it looong before I even had a blog and in my stalking surfing I’ve giggled at many of them, but frankly Schmutzie’s post really was the weirdest! I’m not sure I can live up to that but I’ll give it a try…

7 Random/Weird Things About Me

1. Whenever I let my kid watch Power Rangers, I always watch it with him, under the pretense that, you know, you should monitor your kid’s view habits. But secretly, I love those shows. I actually get into the story lines, and if an episode doesn’t record for some reason, I search it out on you tube so we can catch up. For the record, Dinothunder is the best season.

2. I am completely addicted to salmon cream cheese. No, not like good lox and bagels kind of thing. But the salmon flavored philly brand stuff. The fake stuff. I’ll eat it on bagels, crackers, as a dip for chips, you name it. Lucky for my arteries there is only one store within decent driving distance that sells it, and I only let myself go there once a month or so or I would want it every. single. day. I know, ewww.

3. I read trashy romance novels, a lot. I just can’t help it. I go through phases with other genres, but I keep going back to romance. Once in awhile I read an O book club book, just so if someone asks me what I’ve been reading I have something decent to say. It’s not like I’m gonna tell anyone I own almost every Nora Roberts book ever written. Except I just did didn’t I?

4. I hate hate hate the Birthday Song. I hate singing it, and I hate having it sung to me. I always have. I’ve very rarely ever told anyone that, and I’ve never done so in front of my son. For the last three out of his only five little years he’s begged me me not to let anyone sing it to him. I now hate that I’ve somehow passed this on to my kid.

5. I have a terrible blog crush on Wil Wheaton. Yes, that Wil Wheaton. Which leads me to admit my love for scifi. I grew up on all things Star Trek, Star Wars, Tolkien, etc. My book scifi love is and always will be Raymond Feist, (long live Pug!) My tv scifi love is forever reserved for Stargate SG1, (and Daniel Jackson baby!) and I am embarrassingly sad at it’s demise.

6. I am hopelessly in love with the internet. You couldn’t tell could you? It’s my down time after the boy goes to bed, and where I go for my break in the middle of the day. You already know I blog surf, but you don’t really know the extent of it – can we say about 50 rss feeds? You also don’t know I am obsessed with keeping up with Twitter, though I rarely post cause I don’t know what to say. I constantly refresh my Facebook scrabulous page to see if it’s my turn on any of my games. I feel completely inadequate on Linkedin cause apparently only a few of my friends actually know what that is. I go to Rachel Ray’s website regularly to sign up for giveaways – cause I just know I’m gonna win something one of these days! I haven’t read a real newspaper in ages cause I get all my news online. Every little thing I do for work is done on the www, so there I have no choice, but frankly, I have more fun doing my job than anyone really should. The list could go one, but I’m sure you already stopped reading…

7. I swore to myself if I ever started a blog I would never do a meme. But it was actually more flattering to be tagged than you might think. So here I am. And having more fun than I expected!

So reading back through these, it occurs to me that I’m not so much weird, as I am a dork. I’ve actually known that ever since I was on the math team in high school (#8?) but seeing all this in writing – it’s a little painful!

I’m supposed to tag like 5 people or something, but I don’t really know 5 bloggers well enough to do that, (I’m a little shy that way) so I tag SouthernGirlinNH because I adore her, and I would tag the awesome Kristen but I know she’s done this one before, (but you can do it again if you want to!) and I tag any of my real life friends who want to get on board and start a blog (so I can read as much about you as you read about me!)

Hey, at least get on Facebook, would you? So I can beat you at scrabble!

randomness

I don’t have coherent thoughts today. So I’ll ramble instead. It’ll be like you’re having a real life conversation with me, cause you know I ramble…not to mention monopolize the conversation. Damn, this really is the perfect medium for me. <lots of heads nodding out there>

I have a pain in my neck. Right down at the base, between my shoulder blades. Too much raking yesterday. I was working on cleaning out the flower beds, getting them ready to transplant some of my seedlings soon. Guess it won’t be planting them for at least a couple of days now. Guess I can’t clean either…well, I don’t do that anyway.

I drove past my local nursery a couple of days ago. I almost drooled at the pansies they had out. Not that I particularly love pansies, but because, omg, the color! I might have to go pick up a few to brighten things up a bit while I wait for my perennials to bloom. I had to stop myself from buying some at at home improvement big box when I was there for other things. I’d rather give my money to the small local nursery but oh I so wanted immediate gratification! I know I’m a dork, it’s okay if you’re thinking that…

Pause while I get some coffee, k? Go look at some freaking cute kitties, but you have to come right back cause I have more to say.

Well I’m back. Did you like that? It’s the boy’s favorite blog. So, while I was making coffee I had to stop and unload and reload the dishwasher. The dishwasher that someone in this house led me to believe was already unloaded and instead only unloaded the silverware basket. That helps me…not at all.

I neglected things here yesterday because I was working on my other website design. I need a work related site and I need it soon. I don’t know if I’ll ever link to it from here though. I’m still conflicted about the whole secret identity thing. (hee hee secret identity – am I a superhero or what?) At least half of you reading are all: secret, huh? But I know who you are….well yes, but I only told a select few friends, and only one of my many siblings. There are other people coming here that I don’t know at all, and that’s great, but, well, you know.

Anyway, that’s all really a conversation for another day. Back to my other website. I’m a photo editor, so it has to actually have photos in the design. I’d like to just pick a pre-made design cause I don’t, we don’t, DH doesn’t have time to redo the whole thing. I thought that was one of the perks of having a technogeek for a husband, but, uh, guess not. (He has his own website to work on – and it’s in worse shape than mine!) Well, the pre-made designs aren’t all that. I think I’ve chosen the best possible, and it should work with the b/w images I want to use on it. In any case, that’s what I’m working on in my free time. Cause I have so much of it. (Well, I do if I skip blog surfing!)

The reason I want my work website ready is because I can’t get my business cards made until I do, and I can’t start marketing myself until I have both. Right now I only have one client that I work for, and even though I love them and they keep me very busy, I still have this nagging doubt that the jobs will continue to be there. The two people who hire me the most may someday suddenly not work there anymore, and if they left would their replacements call on me or some other freelancer they like more? I just don’t know. So, I need to be prepared to get new clients in a hurry. Sigh. One of the very few drawbacks to doing contract work instead of being a real employee.

In other news, we’ve signed the boy up to play t-ball this spring. He did really well with soccer in the fall but we thought we’d try something different. I had to go to a sports store yesterday to pick up a few supplies since his first practice is this weekend. So I go him a new tee, a good one this time instead of plastic wallyworld crap (like the one that broke.) Luckily a friend of dh’s gave him a cute little bat and I had a glove that I picked up last summer. Well two gloves, a righty and a lefty. He can’t seem to decide what he is. I think it’s going to be lefty though. He writes with his left and eats with his right. Weird. I digress, again. So the only other piece of equipment he needed? A cup. Heh. I know nothing. So of course we had to ask for help. I’m still getting over it.

The best part about t-ball? And the most shocking development in the history of my marriage? DH volunteered to be the assistant coach! Yay! I’m off the hook! Yes, I was thinking of volunteering. I loved, loved, playing softball and I want my kid to love baseball. However, I am overly bossy and overly competitive. No, really. You didn’t know that? And it’s only freaking t-ball. So really, its better if I keep my big mouth shut, and luckily DH knows that without saying it, and hopefully his calmness will prevail on the field. Plus, it’s gonna be really cute! (Hey, if you’re still reading then you’re as much of a dork as me so get over it.)

Okay, that might be all I have for rambling this morning. Maybe. Probably not. But I need to send some emails now…

ps. Did anyone else see the Biggest Loser finale? Woohooo! I won’t spoil it for you if you didn’t see it…but seriously woohoo! We can do spoilers in the comments…

hens and chicks!

I have hens and chicks, or at least the hens! I hope to have the chicks late summer or next year.

No, I’m not a farmer, and they’re not animals. They’re plants, and they survived the winter! Yay!

This is a hen:

isn’t it pretty!? The chicks are the offspring they’ll have as they start to spread. If the hens bloom this year, and I hope so, the main plant may die off but the babies will bloom sometime in the next few years. After they’re established I should get some blooms every year. I just planted these last spring, out of my mother’s garden.

It was an experiment in this spot – that’s why I’m excited they survived the winter. I put the hen and chicks along with some stonecrop and 2 kinds of sedum (all succulents) down by the mailbox. If the rest of my property feels like a rainforest, the area near the road feels like a desert. Lots of sun, no shade, and tons of sand from the winter storms have built up to create an inhospitable environment. So I put in desert plants of course! I was afraid they didn’t make it, but on Saturday I raked away a couple inches of leaves from last fall (left there to protect them) and at least an inch or more of new sand from this winter, and there they were! Now I can invest in some more succulents knowing I’m not wasting my money.

I spent a couple hours yesterday transplanting the lilies that were hidden behind the forsythia. Finally! I moved those to the treeline near the road as well. They’ll get the sun they want but shouldn’t get burned up being near the trees. They never bloomed when they were in the back woods – of course they never got any sun – so I have no idea what color they’ll be. I have many different daylilies here, mostly variegated orange/maroon and some yellow. I don’t think I’ve seen a plain orange one yet. I’m very curious and I’ll be sure to post pictures as soon as they bloom. Cause you’re just dying to find out too, right, right? hello?

Anyway.

This is my rock wall:

This is my rock wall sliding down a hill. <sigh>

These are very heavy rocks. I tried to lift one and well, I’m a strong woman, but forget it.

My choices are to convince dh to rebuild it for me, uh huh, or to use what’s there as the base and get more rocks to build up. I think I’m gonna have to go with option 2.

Oh, see the little bit of green in the photo. That’s not moss. That’s the rest of my daylilies! I love them here amongst the rocks!

fill a cup, the sequel

Looky Looky! I got very first bloggy badge!

I love it 🙂

My free rice post was mentioned on the Houston Chronicle blog Good Mom/Bad Mom this morning! Thanks Min and Jenny! If you’ve never read either of them, you must go now. Especially if you need a good laugh – but go pee first, cause damn they’re funny.

Yes, if you’re counting, this is my third post for today. But I’m not obsessed or anything.

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