Monday, July 14, 2014

BnB '14 the Summer Edition

Let's lighten things up, shall we?  Many fun things have happened that I haven't shared.  Let me recap one very fun week I had in June.  It was Booze & Beads 2014 (minus the beads, but we thought about them)!  It was time for T2's yearly visit. 

We started our week together by opening a box her mom had sent the prior week with instructions to wait to open.  She knew what was inside.  It was an awesome box of lovely handmade items including this quilt!  We also got an assortment of beautiful kitchen towels.

If you can't tell, this is a BACON themed quilt



We had an entire week planned with shopping and gardening, eating and drinking.  We had rain every other day with at least one good old fashioned thunderstorm with some pretty amazing lightning.  Overall, it was an incredible week.  

We started the week by shopping locally and had wild success at finding way too many ridiculously cute clothes.  That rarely happens for both of us, so that was even more amazing.  We never made it to the waterpark with the world's tallest slide, but that's OK.  It hadn't opened yet anyway and there's always next year.  I wonder if we will have the guts to do it... 


Here's what we ate for breakfast:


Puffy Pancake!
Breakfast sammich


Here's what we ate for lunch:



Naan pizza (pretty self explanatory on this dish)

We had lunch at Blanc Bottles & Burgers, like we have had a few times in the past.  Except this year, when we arrived to our destination, we realized... it's closed.  They moved.  That should have been our clue to change it up, but we sought them out.

I took a great picture of my burger:


At least it LOOKED good
Overall we were disappointed in this place.  Why?
  1. I make a better Pickle Martini according to pickle-martini-aficionado Tullybird.  
  2. My burger had very little bottom bun which meant that by the time I was half way through eating my burger, the other half I was trying to hold onto went to mush and disintegrated in my hand so I ended up eating it upside down like an open faced sandwich.  
  3. Cold/old onion rings (which happen to be photogenic).  At least the sweet potato fries were fresh because they initially brought me the WRONG fries.  (Uhhh, no, I don't like your truffle oil-bomb fries.)
  4. The waiter was clueless about the coupon I had.  
  5. It was BLOODY HOT in there.  
  6. No martini/drink menu--WTF?  
Time to find a new place--which I happen to have picked out already!


Here's what we ate for dinner:

We had steaks, tomato/basil/mozzarella salad, smashed taters, and asparagus from the garden. 

Mmmmm, beef


Mexican Lasagna
Mix all of your favorite burrito ingredients together such as:
  • Seasoned ground meat
  • Refried beans
  • Corn
  • Green chili's
  • Black olives
  • Grilled onions
Mix it all together and layer it between tortilla shells (flour or corn) with taco/enchilada sauce and cheese, then repeat the layers like a lasagna.  Cook until heated through (350 for 30-40 min).  

Enjoy with your favorite tasty beverage, such as a cream soda and chocolate vodka.  Or not, like if you enjoyed one too many Bahama Mama's the night before (not judging).


Tasty to the 10th degree

We had magical stuffed burgers.  This BBQ sauce smothered burger was hugging a hot juicy load of blue cheese and grilled onions: 


I highly recommend stuffing your burgers with blue cheese
I would have taken a picture of the middle of my burger, but my hands were kind of messy with oozing cheese and grease.  You'll just have to make one for yourself.

We also had this for dinner:

RRRRrrrrribs!!!  Very tasty ribs

Tullybird cooked us dinner!  She found a fabulous recipe which I've already made again (with grilled onions and blue cheese), it was that good.



Put on a burrito with scrambled egg for breakfast the next day and enjoy the leftovers

Tullybird said that she wanted to play pinball, so we had a few pinball players over.  I knew if we didn't have a night designated for it, we would probably never venture to the basement.  Fortunately, my evil plan worked.  We played pinball for several fun hours.

We served pulled pork, coleslaw, baked beans, and Rotel/Velveeta cheesy dip.  It was yummy.  Someone decided to eat it all together.  I have to admit, it was pretty (but I'm a boundaries kind of eater).
Garbage sink nachos, anyone?



Pinball night!



And then there was this with the pulled pork:
Chimichangas and guacamole

Here's what we drank.

Most importantly, here are some of the tastiest beverages consumed that week.  I know you've been waiting for this list.

We had Bahama Mama's. I may have loved them a little too much.  You can find a boatload of recipes on Pinterest. 


Warning:  these might be too tasty

While building electronic kits for Todd, we had Pickle Martinis which I had planned for months....

Pickle Martinis
  • Pickle Vodka* 
  • Pickle juice
  • Spicy pickle relish
Place in a shaker with crushed ice and do a little jig.  Strain into a martini glass, garnish with a pickle, and sip.     

*2 months prior to indulging, cover drained spicy pickles with vodka in a mason jar.  Screw on the lid and place in the fridge.  Wait patiently.

Personally, I choked.  I couldn't handle the spice.  So that left more for her.  I'm a giver like that.

I'm really glad SHE liked them!

Adult Strawberry Lemonade
  • 3 parts Moscato wine (white or pink)
  • 3 parts Lemonade
  • 1 part Strawberry rum (or Dragon Berry which is a combination of strawberry and dragon berries, whatever those are)
I'm not a white or pink wine fan, but let me just tell you how stinkin' good this combination is!





Try it, and then come back and thank me.


Orange You Happy
  • Orange Float Malibu Rum (seriously, if you've never had this and even remotely like orange, you must try this stuff)
  • White Moscato wine
  • Ginger ale
  • Pineapple OJ
  • Apricot nectar
I don't remember ratios, but you can basically go by the relation of the container sizes in the picture.  Mix some, try it, adjust to your liking.  I liked it juuuust fine!

 
Didn't even have this one planned!


And now for the most whacky experiment of the week...

Cucumber Jalapeno Margaritas
  • 1 Frozen cucumber (cubed)
  • A small chunk of frozen chipotle in adobo sauce (drained before freezing)
  • Tequila (3 parts)
  • Triple Sec (1 part)
  • Squeeze of fresh lime
  • Ice
Mix it all in a blender and enjoy the burn!


Grape Margaritas
  • A bunch of frozen red grapes
  • Tequila (3 parts)
  • Triple Sec (1 part)
  • Chambord (or raspberry liquor) (1 part)
  • Squeeze of fresh lime
  • Ice
Mix it all in a blender and blend, blend, blend.  Keep blending so all the grape skins are pulverized.  This could entice you to put that fancy shmancy super-expensive blender on your Christmas list next holiday season.  Cause you know you wouldn't have to blend this long...  Sip and enjoy the sweetness!

Cucumber Jalapeno Margaritas and Grape Margaritas (guess which one was mine?)
I would have to say the margarita experiment was a success.  She loved hers.  I loved mine.  She's savory, I'm sweet.  Just means I get to experiment more! 


At the end of the week, we were tired from having so much fun...


Jessie

Keystone

Joey
I can't wait for next year.  But who knows, maybe she will be back for BaconFest this September!


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Heaven Has A New Angel

We will forever hold our Aunt Judy in our hearts and think of her with much love and fond memories.


I am so lucky to have known her.  She was a strong woman who I admired.  She was talented with many skills including painting (pictures), gardening (beautiful plants), and knitting.  I have hand made treasures from her which are even more valuable now.  

I am so lucky to have been loved by her.

Rest In Peace Angel Judy, we will always love you.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

RIP Dear Lucky

Monday, April 7th, we lost a dear part of our family.  Rest in peace Lucky, you will always be remembered, loved, and missed.  I know my parents are heart broken.


We babysat little Lucky in November, 2004
One of my favorite pics of baby Lucky
He tried so hard to stay awake so he wouldn't miss any fun (one eye closed)
He learned from our big kids (Keystone in front, Amber in back)
He was the cutest little puppy

About a month later, we got to see Lucky again in Oklahoma to celebrate Christmas.  He had grown just a little and remembered all that we taught him.


Lucky really liked Abbytail


Lucky learned all about opening toys


The whole furry gang, December 2004
Several years later...


Amber (left), Lucky and Abbytail (center), Keystone (right)

He might have been slightly spoiled with his own pool.  My dad had been known to put a table with umbrella in the pool so that he can get out of the sun without getting out of the pool.  And why not?  He was the one who used the pool the most!



He enjoyed swimming


He loved chasing a ball (especially a soccer ball)
March, 2014


Jessie had a crush on Lucky


So glad Lucky had lots of fun playing Frisbee
He loved running
Front to back: Joey, Bud, Lucky, Keystone, Jessie






Our angels



















Thursday, April 17, 2014

Not Even Ice Cream

Today was not a good day.

It started by my leaving a little later than I would have liked.  Maybe if I had been semi-on-time, my day would have been better?!

Yea, maybe.

I left our driveway and started to drive down the road we live on.  And then I had to stop and just stare.  A posse of dogs was meandering around the side of the road.

There, lying on the side of the road was the little-shit-weasle-barky-dog who had obviously been hit by a car.  It looked stiff.  I felt so sad and it shook me to my core.  

It was in front of our neighbor's house.  Their truck was home so I pulled in.  I rang the door bell and hoped they may have seen who did it.  How could someone just kill a dog and drive off?  Maybe my neighbor knows the asshats behind us who own the dog and could at least call and tell them.  You know, presuming they would care.  My neighbors weren't home.  It broke my heart to see all the 'hood dogs staring in disbelief wondering what happened.  I started crying watching Nyla sniff his body.

So I called my hubby who started calling neighbors we know.  I went on to work.  Fortunately, the wife of a guy we know waaaaaaay over yonder could get in touch with them.  After an hour or so, I got a text that a car was up there and they were dealing with it.

It makes me So. Stinking. Mad. that those despicable and irresponsible people can own a dog.  They got this little barky guy to keep their German Shepherd company.  But he is so little, he just runs through the fence and they are so STUPID they just let it wander.  Now that damn little dog paid the ultimate price.  It's not fair.  It deserved GOOD owners who gave a shit.

I've always disliked that dog because it barked, but I never wanted to see it harmed.  They will probably get ANOTHER dog to be a "playmate" for their completely neglected, ignored, and lonely shepherd.  Don't they know that you can't isolate a German Shepherd?  It's probably slightly demented from having been chained up before they so "lovingly" put up a prison fence.

I hope I never meet those horrible people in person, because I have a feeling my true opinion of what I think of them will come spewing forth.

Ice cream isn't even enough to save this day.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Glad That's Over

I DID IT!  I ran my first Half Marathon.  That's 13.1 miles.  Although my run tracker said it was 13.3 miles.  It was an experience.

We had to wake up very early, so for that, I thank my adoring fans.  Todd had to awaken the pups to get up and go.  It was a dark and quiet drive there.  Often throughout the morning I thought to myself how only crazy people wake up this early to go RUN.  

It was a great, flat, well-organized race.  They had heats for runners to start in based on expected finishing time so that everyone wasn't in one huge gaggle of flailing arms and twitching legs.  That's always nice.

My first mile was not the easiest.  I kept thinking my shins kind of smart because I didn't stretch enough.  But then after the first mile, I didn't give my shins a second thought.  I had warmed up.  I actually ran fast for the first 3 or 4 miles.  I thought I had better slow down because I couldn't keep a 10.5 minute mile up for much longer.

We had great cheerleaders along the course.  I saw some hysterical signs.  People really put some thought into their messages.  Here are the most memorable signs that I saw:
  • Worst Parade Ever
  • Run Faster, I Farted
  • If Brittany Spears Can Survive 2007, You Can Survive This Race!
  • Faster Faster Faster
  • That's what she said (of course this one was right next to the one above)
I took some pics along the way.
Iconic fountain at the round-about
Ran past a beautiful park.
Picturesque Loose Park
The rose garden on the other side of Loose Park, which was the way we "turned around" on the course.



I had not visited these iconic landmarks since we've been back, so I was happy to run past them.  I actually took pics, because I wanted to remember this race.  It may be the only time I run it.


I was very impressed with how well organized the race was.  There were Gatorade / water stations and port-a-potties almost every other mile, it felt like.  And around mile 6, there was a "Gu station" where they handed out opened packets of energy-gu!  I LOVED THEM FOR THAT!  I brought my own energy beans which I used, but I loved trying a new brand.  Another group of cheerleaders had bowls of gummy bears.  Another lady was handing out ropes of licorice.

Somehow I got a burst of energy at mile 11 and again at mile 12.  About a half mile before the end, I had the strangest sensation that I HAD to pee and I seriously didn't know if my muscles were going to allow me to hold it or not.  I mean, every muscle in my body was focused on finishing.  Finishing this dang thing so it could be over.

About 10 seconds before the finish line, Todd was there cheering me on and got a few pics.  I was never so happy in all my life to stop moving.

Right before I finished my first Half Marathon!
Once I crossed the finish line, I heard them announce my name because they called out the names of everyone as they crossed the finish.  I got my medal and a bottle of water, and they cut my timing chip off my shoe.  Then I headed straight for the port-a-potty to take care of my most urgent need.  Let me tell you, compression tights + running for 2.5 hours + going in a confined space = NOT a fun experience.  

My second most urgent need was to drink that blessed water.  Everything in my body was telling me that I Needed. To. Drink. That. Water!!!  But as I struggled to get myself redressed (and try to use my phone with sweaty fingers), I reached up to get that brand new bottle of unopened water only to hear it... plop.  The damn thing slid off the top of the slanted toilet paper holder and dove straight down into the blue abyss of the potty.  I looked down and I swear it was right on top, right there in all the muck mocking me.  O.M.G. Noooo!

I come out of the stall dazed and light headed and desperate for water.  Todd luckily found me. Did I mention my sweaty fingers couldn't type on my phone while I was in the john to tell him where I was?  And I had tried calling him but there was NO SOUND.  So.  Frustrating.

So I tell him I have to have water now.  We start walking towards all the food booths, and I see some friends we know.  Todd was in front of me and he didn't see them, but I did.  I was in a panic, almost in tears I was so desperate for water, I run up to them and say to my fellow runner "can I have your water?", to which he immediately gave it to me.  His wife was instantly worried and asked if I wanted to sit down or go to the ER people.  Nope, I just needed some water.  THAT was sort of a panic-stricken feeling that I never want to experience again.

Thankfully, after I drank the entire bottle, I felt better.  We saw a few people we knew were there, walked around and got a little food to snack on, then left.  As we walked the eternity back to the car, I realized what really hurt on my body were my shoulders.  I had woken up that morning with a stiff neck that wouldn't turn to the left but with a warm shower I had loosened it up enough to know I was going to be OK.  I purposefully shook my hands out at least every mile and tried to keep my arms down.  I guess I didn't do that often enough.  That was unexpected.

Also unexpected was my time.  You see, I had experienced 2 sinus infections and stressed my Achilles tendon, all within the past 2 months.  I had to adjust my training plan so many times, I abandoned it.  I had no expectations to make the original time I really wanted, of 2 hrs 30 minutes.  But guess what?  I came in at 2:35:13.9!  I am AMAZED that I finished in only 5 minutes more than my original goal.  I hardly had any time to work on speed training.

So there you have it.  I did a half marathon.  I can check that one off my list.  Now, I'm ready to stick with 10K's.  I can run a blazing fast 6.2 miles now.



 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I WILL Do It!

Howdy!  I know it's been awhile since I've blogged steadily.  However I still have ideas and thoughts to share.  I think of ideas mostly when I run.  You know, when it's most inconvenient to start typing.

I'm spending a fair amount of free time training for an upcoming 1/2 marathon.  It's my first ever.  I decided last September to start training for it, well, just to see if I could.  And I can.  I knew once I hit the 8-mile-threshold, that I will make it.  I can do this.  I got it!

The hardest threshold for me was to run 5 miles several times a week, and then to up that to 6 miles.  I never thought I'd be able to walk again after going this far just a couple times a week.  My feet hurt so bad and my ankle was not a happy camper.  I stuck with it though, and now 5 or 6 miles just feels GOOD.  It's a great distance for me.

I went 9.5 miles last weekend, and I'll go 10.5 the weekend after next.  I know I can do it, and that makes me happy.  I keep breaking personal record distances, and it's an amazing feeling.

I did not always like running.  But what changed my mind was the day I realized one simple fact.  The first mile ALWAYS SUCKSThere is no way around it.  Warming up and loosening up is not fun.  Walking, then jogging and getting into a pace just plain sucks until about mile 1.  Once I realized this fact, accepted this fact, and expected this fact, I started enjoying running.

I run on a treadmill, and I like it.  Most people think I'm nuts.  I don't care to run outside.  I hate the wind, loathe the sun, and value my ankles more than uneven pavement.  I always know what the climate will be.  My chances of skin cancer are reduced.  There are no mosquitoes.  There are nothing but positives to me for running on a treadmill.  I don't get bored because I have my tunes and my thoughts.  I am my best company.

But I will be at a disadvantage when it comes to race day because I haven't been running outside.  But I'm OK with that.  I don't have lofty goals.  I don't want to run fast.  I just want to finish.

And I know I can.