Thursday, March 31, 2011


For a while now I have said I don't think Prince William actually wants to get married.  It's been speculation.  It's been just a feeling.

                                                                              UNTIL NOW

Now I have proof (at least I think it is proof).  Now I have the evidence to show that while he may love Kate Middleton (who am I to say otherwise ... and just as a question ... is Kate changing her last name??) he didn't want to get married.

What could possibly make me so confident.  This article I read today that said "Prince William Won't Wear a Wedding Ring."

No ring?  And before you say maybe this is custom .... the article notes that Prince Charles wears a wedding band.

So why won't he wear a ring? And not only is he not wearing a ring, they aren't even making one. 

Is this wishful thinking? I honestly don't think so. I truly believe now what I only suspected before ... that Prince William does not actually want to get married.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Officially taking that next step...

A little while ago I mentioned how I was going to switch "lady" doctors.  I realized that by the time I was due for my yearly exam, I hoped to be pregnant.  Since my current gyno didn't do OB (and I wasn't her biggest fan), I figured now was the perfect time to switch.

My paternal grandmother, father and siblings (and myself) were all born at the same local hospital (even though the hospital has changed even since I was born)!  So naturally I went to their website to find the doctor's who have privileges at that hospital.

Then I started looking.  I knew I wanted a female.  And I didn't want a solo practitioner.  It was a quick and easy choice.  Dr. F just felt like the right choice.

It was a bit tricky getting a convenient appointment but her secretary was quite accommodating.  And yesterday was the appointment.  And that made it real.

Dr. F seems really nice.  My sister says she's heard amazing things about the practice and couldn't get an appointment (not sure why that is but regardless...).  The very end of the appointment ... a surprise shall we say?  Women will probably know what I am talking about.  Dr. F joked saying sorry it was a surprise but I said I think I prefer it that way!  Next time ... no surprise :(  I'll be expecting it.

And although nothing is set and there is no "requirement" that we actually start "trying" at the end of the year, this does make it more official.  I am still taking my pills and still not trying to get pregnant.  But ...

It's more real.  And I'm excited.  But also scared.  But excited scared.  I've wanted to be a mom my entire life.  Truly.  I've always wanted to be a mom.  And it feels like I've taken one step closer to that actually happening.

My birthday is in November (November 3rd for those who are keeping track ;)) If all goes to "plan" (I know ... we plan and G-d laughs) this will be my last birthday not as a mommy.

So my question to mommies and daddies: what do you wish you had known/done before you got pregnant??

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Coming Soon...

Exciting giveaway coming up in the next few weeks!  So excited :)

I'll give you a hint ... blue is my favorite color ;)

Stay tuned...

We Are To Blame

I've seen the news articles talking about girls developing eating disorders and vilifying magazines, television and celebrities.  While there may be some truth, I think these articles are missing the point.  I think the true cause of girls having eating disorders is boys (and probably other girls).

Allow me to explain.

Yesterday was my sister's surprise birthday party.  Before hand, D and I went out to dinner with my brother (S) and a group of his friends.  We then came back to my brother's house where it was D, myself, S and three other guys.  (Disclaimer: D was not participating in this conversation.)  The topic of my sister's bridemaids came up seeing as how she is getting married in November and my brother is a groomsman.  A few weeks ago my brother found out he was walking down the aisle with bridemaid #7 (yes, there are seven bridesmaids plus me ... wow).  And he flipped out.  He is not in support (I won't elaborate in case one day my siblings do learn of this blog, which I am sure they will, and get upset that I aired our families dirty laundry).  Suffice it to say, S is not happy.  And is not shy in explaining why.

So we're back to S's house where the guys, plus me, are discussing this situation.  S mentioned the girl he would like to up the aisle with (we are walking down alone) and J, the only guy whose met this girl, agrees.  I've met her too and she's lovely so it has my support.

Then somehow going dress shopping came up and the guys were going back and forth discussing these two girls and having been at the dress shop, I let them know they were actually the same size.  Now to put it in perspective, these girls are a size 4.  FOUR!  And they had the nerve to say that they were surprised by this because one of the girls is a little "thicker" (direct quote) than the other girl.

THICKER?!?! Nope.  Sorry.  I'm calling a foul.  A girl who fits into a size 4 at a bridal dress shop can be called many things but "thicker" cannot be one of them.

I lost it.  For many reasons.  They were also talking about two other bridesmaids and going on and on about how "large" they are.  Now these girls are not thin ... but they are smaller than me.  Making me feel like absolute crap when my brother is gesturing with WIDE arms and using exaggerated tones/language to describe how big they are.

Somehow the conversation then comes back to the two girls (you remember .... with one who is thicker than the other) and how the "less thick" of the two used to be really tone but isn't anymore.  OMFG.  Seriously?  I was in the dressing room with that girl.  She had like 0% body fat (of course when this was mentioned to her by my sister this girl said she had tons of fat ... case in point how her thinking has bee warped).

Perhaps we are all to blame for our warped views of beauty.  But I remember seeing these two skinny girls dressed up staring at themselves in the mirror pointing out their body areas that they want to fix ... and the other encouraging it.  There was nothing wrong with their bodies.  Sincerely.  Truly.  Nothing.

Suffice it to say, I had to remove myself from the conversation between my brother and the other guys.  And no surprise I felt like absolute crap about myself all night.

Maybe we are all partially to blame.  But before the media, models, celebrities and entertainment are made responsible, we need to look more locally.  Because when four guys think it is ok to talk about one girl being "thicker" than another, something is wrong.

Ok ... stepping off the soap box.  PSA done.

Friday, March 25, 2011

And the drumroll please

So for those of you who read my post yesterday, first let me say thanks!  (Especially to those who commented.  I love comments and it also made me feel less foolish for what I did!  If you didn't read yesterday, I would recommend reading this post first.)

As I am sure you can imagine, all today I have been thinking about my camera.  Hoping, wishing, praying in the goodness of people.  I had a meeting out of the office but needed to swing by the hotdog stand before I left at 1pm.  As is often the case with days when I need to leave early, I was swamped.  I didn't leave until 15 minutes after I wanted to, and even that was by no small miracle.

I drive the 7 minutes to the court house, turn the corner ... and she's there!  But I'm on a one way and can't park.

So I circle back around.  I'm stopped at a light on the corner where she is located.  But still, I'm not allowed to park.  Then, the car in front of me puts on his hazards.  I decide, it's now or never.  So I turn off my car, grab my keys (it is the city), though I did leave my purse, put on my hazards, and rush over to her.  She has at least 6 people in line.  I'm patiently waiting, but keep looking to make sure my car isn't ticketed/towed!! The guy who had stopped in front of me rolls down his window and lets me know he'll keep an eye out.

I have her ransom money in my hand (on more than one occasion I realize that since we are in the city this could be mistaken for a drug deal ... that would be my luck!)

As I'm waiting, I'm looking around the cart.  I see no camera.  My heart is dropping ... but I have to at least ask.

Finally there is a break in the line (or rather I just speak up).  "Ma'am ... do you have my camera?"  She looks at me and it is the moment of truth.  She says...

                                    "Of course I do.  I had to leave yesterday but I kept it."

All my faith in humanity has been restored!  She then lifts up the drawer from the cash box and pulls out my camera.  My beautiful camera.  I then hand her the roll of money.  (D gave me a $5 last night to add to the $4 I had and the $2 E lent me ... ps. E if you're reading this, I'll pay you back!!!)  She then says "no that's too much" which is a far cry from yesterday!  I say it's ok, it's only 11 dollars (I had put the $5 on the outside of the roll so it did look a bit more impressive.)  I then run to my car and call D as I drive away to my meeting.

Another coworker texted me later telling me that I "have proven that people are fundamentally good."  I feel great.  And I have my camera!

(Confession ... when I got in the car I did turn it on to make sure the battery/memory card was still there ... even I have to draw the naivete at some point!)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

What Would You Have Done?

So today I was faced with a very difficult situation.  How would you have handled it?

For work I had to go to court.  Had to.  I've never had to go to court for my job before, but today it HAD to happen.  So I am going with my colleague and we get to the court house.  On the way, my heel starts hurting making walking difficult.  Regardless, we inch our way through security.  The guard is looking through my purse when he asks me where am I going.  I say the court room number.  "Sorry, you can't bring a camera in here."  I honestly didn't remember I had a camera.  So now what?  I told E to go ahead.  I had to figure something out.

I asked the guard what should I do.  His response?  That's not my concern.  Nice.  Really nice.  I hope Karma doesn't hit you too much in the a** some day.

However, I had to do something.  Walking back to the garage wasn't an option seeing as it was (a) 4 blocks away, (b) the hearing was starting and (c) I had to be there.

So I walked outside the courthouse and looked around.  And found ....

                                                               The Hotdog Vendor

Did I mention I had to be in court?  So I went up to her and asked her ever so nicely would she pretty please watch my camera.  I said when I came out I would buy a coke to which she replied "you can just pay me since I don't own this cart."  (Should have been my first warning.)  When I hand her the camera she comments that it is cute to which I reply it's old. (Second warning.)  I asked her for her name and whatever she said, I've never heard it before.  To the point that I could never report her. (Third warning.)  I forgot to ask what time she left but asked the guard who said 4pm. (Fourth warning.)

But in I go again having to stand in line.  I wind up getting to the court room and actually having an important role.  Important enough that after the hearing the judge called me up to the bench and thanked me for speaking up!!!!

Then it was time to go get my camera.  Guess the ending?  The hotdog vendor was GONE.

Gone. Goodbye.  No camera to be found.  Granted it was 3:30pm so maybe she had closed up.

I am going back tomorrow before a meeting.  Here's hoping she is there AND honest about returning my camera.

What would you have done????

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What I'm Listening to Now

I am a country music fan.  As D calls it ... I like country pop.  Call it what you will.  I love Sugarland, Miranda Lambert, Kenny Chesney, Toby get the idea.

I rebelled against country music for two decades!  And then caved.  Hard.  Now it's my preference.  My car has 6 preset radio buttons and 5 are for country (that's only because there isn't a sixth within my radio range.)

What do I like most about country music?  I love how it affects me.  Perhaps it's sick, but I really like a country song that makes me cry.  Like really.  So what am I listening to now?

Justin Moore, If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away.  It just makes me cry.  It makes me miss my grandparents.  It makes me sad about those people who have passed away.

It kills me.  And I love it!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Some People

Tonight a friend of D's invited us to go English Country Dancing (think Pride and Prejudice).  It was held at a local Anglican church near where D and I live.  There were probably about 40 people there and 34 of them were 45+.  Moving on.

Having never been English Country Dancing, or line dancing for that matter, I was 100% unfamiliar with the dance moves.  But they start each dance by "teaching" you the steps.  You also switch partners every dance and the "newbies" (that'd be us) might as well have had big scarlet N's on our clothes we were so easy to spot.

So the experts paired up with us and we were off.  My first few dances went really well!  I am far from a "dancer" but I have a fair amount of rhythm.  Generally speaking, if you teach me dance moves, or show me, I can learn them.  How well I did on a dance really rested on who my teacher was!

Case in point: the fourth or fifth dance this woman P offered to be my partner.  Now usually there is a male and female partner and the male leads.  Since I am new, she would be the male (no surprise that the number of women was greater than the number of men so many women had to be men!).  She warned me she wasn't great at being the guy but would try.  She was a dear but could NEVER get the steps correct herself, let alone lead me.  At the end, I figured out part of it because other people guided me.

After the break, it was time for another dance.  This time I was paired with a tall woman whose hair looks similar to D (look at pics on the side panel).  She didn't really help me learn anything but before we started it for real she looked at me and says, "got it?".  I said yes but then made a face.  OBVIOUSLY I didn't get it!  I had no idea.  But I tried.  And the woman (who looked like a stereotypical gym teacher) couldn't have been meaner.

Seriously.  This is a 50+ year old woman who was treating me like a high school kid.  Ok.  Now I may be "young" compared to her.  But I am by no means a child!

Now for most of the dances, you need to swap places with your partner and wind up dancing with another partner.  When it was time for her to switch and go with someone else for a second I actually heard this woman (D and I nicknamed her "gym teacher") say "she doesn't know the moves."  About me?!!?!?

Tons of people all night kept telling me how good I was doing.  And you are going to gossip about me like I am beneath you in high school?  REALLY? Really?  Grow up!

Then after we were done she kept saying "this is a more intuitive dance and not as easy as some of the straight forward ones." Um yea .... bull! This was a very technical dance and you needed to pay attention to learn the steps and she wouldn't shut her trap.  Mind you, without her help, I did manage to master it in the end.

The best part? We were in groups of four for parts of the dance and the other couple kept changing.  At one point, D and his partner were the couple.  Now for all of D's great qualities, an inner rhythm is not one of them.  That is NOT to say he is a bad dancer.  He's just not a natural.  So why would she want him to be her partner?  Lord only knows.

All in all we had a great time and would love to go again.  2.5 hours of dancing = guilt-free cookie consumption.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Today I left the house naked!

I left the house today naked. Stark naked.  Unfortunately I didn't realize it until I was in the car driving to work.

Ok so not technically naked.  But I had forgotten my engagement and wedding rings.  It makes me feel naked!  I've worn the wedding band for almost a year and the engagement ring for almost 2 years!  They've become a part of me.

They also hold special powers.  Well for me at least.

Before their existence, I couldn't eat in public alone (except the airport ... because lots of people are alone in airports) without feeling pathetic.  Without feeling like people were staring at me thinking, "oh that poor girl."

And then D proposed (will write about that another time).  And suddenly I have this protective shield.  Suddenly, I don't care about being in public alone.  Because obviously, someone cares about me.  I'm not the pathetic girl anymore, I'm just the chick eating alone with the gorgeous, sparkly ring (D really did do a good job...all on his own!).

It's my shield.  It's my strength.  Is it vain?  Perhaps.  But really it's a source of comfort.  And if it is something that doesn't harm you but gives me comfort ... where's the harm.

Although I will say that some of the power might be seeping into the "real" me.  Because today I walked to my meeting (realllllly pretty and only ~5 blocks away) without the ring.  And I still felt good.  Not as good had I had the ring on ... but good!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It's a New World

I've said to just about anyone who would listen that elections are going to change in 20 years.  With the new population taking picture upon picture of them doing tons of things they shouldn't be doing, elections are going to be different.  Do you think it would have been different for Obama to say he used some cocaine if we had a PICTURE of him doing?  What about a photo of George W. Bush wasted and acting the fool??  Either we will stop caring (and instead care about the person they are) or it will be even harder to get elected.

Which brings me to this.  The sheer dress is infamous.  That is the dress that Kate wore that allegedly made Prince William see her in a new light.  Does anyone else find it ... interesting...that we have a photo of the future QUEEN dressed that way?  Maybe I am being over sensitive.  And I understand a Queen is not the same thing as being elected to political office.

But it does make me wonder.  What other photos will appear?  And how will society (and the electorate) respond?

I Prefer Honey

D was headed to a conference today and wanted my help packing last night.  My help packing I should mention, at midnight last night.  So we didn't get to sleep until about 1am.  Oh did I mention we had to get up at 5:03 (I hit snooze a few times and my snooze is 9 minutes ... so maybe technically I was up at 5:30, I still count 5:03!)??? Because he needed to be at the airport by 7.  Needless to say I was EXHAUSTED all day.  I did get to work an hour early ... but was so busy I couldn't bring myself to leave early!

My coworker J's wife and son Jr. J stopped by.  He is ADORABLE.  Just over 5 months.  We kept smiling at each other.  If this cough weren't STILL hovering around, I would have scooped him up.  J and wife noticed that I didn't hold him (when he was a baby I did ask to hold him).  The few people who were around started saying "you're next."  Yea ... we'll see.  "Plans" may have changed on that.

By now you're probably thinking the tiredness has gone to her head.  What on EARTH does honey have to do with anything??

Well, as I mentioned, today was a crazy busy day.  Toward the end of the day I was assigned a new client and needed to follow up with someone at another agency.  Now this other agency has TONS of employees who I work with regularly to various degrees of success.

But never. NEVER. have I had to deal with such an attitude.  Seriously.  Either be nice or get a new job! (Hers is a job that requires LOTS of interacting with people.)  I firmly believe in the "get more bees with honey than vinegar" mindset.  Why be nasty??  Why.  Yes, there are some times where you need to be upset.  There are times when raising your voice is 100% appropriate.  And then there are times where it isn't.

When a colleague, even one you've never worked with before contacts you, be nice.  Prior to that conversation she had the benefit of the doubt.  No more!

Be nice to people!  They will remember it!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Need Ideas!

I am normally great at giving gifts.  Especially to D.  I usually think of something months in advance and figure out all the details.

Our anniversary is a few months away.  D just bought my gift and keeps going on and on about how great a gift it is.  How sweet it is.  How romantic it is.  (Now mind you this is the same guy who thought buying me an oversized, made with recyclable material Welcome mat was a romantic Valentine's gift ... he's lucky he also wrote me a love note that time!!).

And I'm stuck. Honestly, I'm tapped out.  Can I blame work?  Work is great lately, really great.  But busy.  Really busy!  So I will say work is responsible for my creativity drying up.

But that's probably not true.  Maybe I already used up my creativity?  So now is where I need your help!

What did you get your husband for your first anniversary?  I need to buy something soon if for no other reason than to shut D up!!!


I am always looking for new blogs to follow and ways to support other blogs.  Any blog I like I'll follow.  And if you follow me, you are all but guaranteed a follow back!
(I can't figure out how to post a button w/ a link yet .... so click here for here to join welcome Wednesday! --and make sure to let me know how to insert a button with a link!!!)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I Should Be Ashamed

Tonight I did something I swore I would never do again.  Something I told D I never wanted to experience again.  Something that D and I have discussed our kids would never experience ...

                                                         A CHINESE BUFFET

We had a coupon.  My parents had gone this weekend and loved it.  So we figured, why not.  It included sushi and hibachi.  What could it hurt?

Oh it could hurt a lot.  (Weird coincidence: ran into someone there who recognized me ... but I only partially recognized her.  D held out his hand for her to shake and she ignored .... weird.)

It has literally been years since I've been to a Chinese buffet.  Years.  And for so many reasons I never wanted to return.  But tonight we did.  The food made us sick.  Even the veggies were gross.  The Hershey's ice cream (as D said ... you can't mess up Hershey's ice cream) tasted off (note: I don't think it was Hershey's fault, I fully blame the restaurant!!!)

Lesson learned?  Hopefully.  The only positive was compared to when I was younger, I couldn't eat as much as I used to.  And sadly, that was the only positive.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Sleep Where Are You??

So Saturday night was day light savings.  I don't know if I usually have trouble with it but good LORD did I have trouble yesterday!  D and I went to sleep around 1am (aka midnight).  I tossed and turned until 2pm.  I had a really big meeting this morning (though somewhat informal) and had meant to write up a list of things to discuss.  Because work was so crazy, I never got around to it.  So by 2am I realized it was time for me to write up a "to be discussed list."  I figured this would allow me to fall asleep.

Boy was I wrong.  I finally managed to get to sleep after 4 am.  FOUR AM??  I cannot, for the life of me, remember the last time I was up that late.

I told D that I was not allowed to take a nap today!  Here's hoping I am able to fall asleep easier!!

How did Daylight Saving's affect you??

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Day in the Life

As a newlywed (and obviously a mommy!) there really is no "typical" day.  Today was no exception.  For weeks I have been putting off getting an oil change.  Finally I scheduled on for 10am today.  But really, 9am thanks to Daylight Savings Time.  Plus our guests didn't leave until late last night and of course we didn't immediately go to sleep (there were tweets to send after all!). 

So this morning starts with a headache that I can sense is going to turn into a migraine.  I immediately thought of Excedrin Migraine (which I LOVE LOVE LOVE) but of course was running late for the oil change and forgot to take the pills. When I get to the mechanic, the guy flirts with me a bit ... so naturally I flirt back!  He asks if I have a coupon and I said "I don't think so" but he gives me the sale price anyway.  Score!  I've come prepared and have my book to read while I wait.  After about 30 minutes, Mr. Flirty comes out and tells me everything is good except do I know a headlight is out (actually I thought one might be out but completely forgot to investigate) and my fuel line is dirty.  The headline would be $29 and the fuel line would be $109. I shake my head to both.  I then try calling my dad to see if $29 is a good idea (seems high to me) but he doesn't pick up.  Shortly thereafter my car is ready.

I have about 90 minutes until the viewing so I went to my parents house.  Took some generic pain medicine (didn't quite do the trick), hung out with my parents for a few minutes and my dad called around for headlights.  Found another place where it would be about $26.  Not a great deal but I was going to be nearby for the viewing so it was convenient.

Then it was time for the viewing for K.  (Tomorrow is the funeral but I have a meeting planned that I can't change.)  Now I understand every culture/religion has their own customs.  For instance, Jewish funerals are always closed casket.  Always.  So for me, an open casket is very strange.  I guess I get the point...but it still makes me uncomfortable.  D was at home working so I went alone.  When you walk in, there he is up at the front.  I know it is tradition to go up and spend a few moments with the casket, I couldn't do that.  I made a few glances toward it but that was all I could muster.  Seeing L was amazing.  First, she looks great after her own surgery.  She could finally move her neck somewhat.  Amazing.  Second, she just seemed at peace.  It makes sense in a lot of ways, K was sick for a long time.  He did look peaceful.  I didn't stay very long but made sure L knew I was there, that I cared and that I would do anything she needed.

Next it was off to mechanic #2.  He tells me it will be ~$28 and 30 minutes.  Fine.  After about 20 minutes, again reading my book, he comes in an asks if I have the code for my alarm.  At first I had zero idea what he was talking about.  Apparently, in order to change the headlight they would need to take out the battery and w/o the code, I would have no working radio.  He said sometimes the manufacturers put it somewhere in the car, but he'd looked.  I suggested the manual so he went to go look ... nothing.  Now I vaguely remembered having to use this code before and being fairly certain it would still be in the glove box.  But here is where being a female in a car place makes me feel weak.  I didn't feel comfortable (ugh...should I even admit this??) says "well let me take a look" figuring that it wouldn't be there and the mechanics would all roll their eyes and think "typical female."  So instead I just asked to purchase the headlight.

Got home, searched the glove box and within 30 seconds, found the card with the code on it.  Went inside and finally got to take the Excedrin migraine and decided to take a nap.  But not before calling mechanic #1 back to find out how much it would cost to install the bulb.  Nope, they can't install other people's merchandise.  Really?  What if I flirt?  Ok fine.  D suggests lets just have them do it and then return the bulb.  A wise thought, but I am not normally in that area of town to return the bulb.  My father is as well ... enter favor from dad!  Call mechanic #1 back to see if they have openings later today and yay ... they do.  So now I get to lay down for a few and finally kick the migraine.

Wake up and feel 100% better.  Now off to mechanic #1 to get bulb installed.  Eagerly presented the radio code.  About 30 minutes later (seriously spent way too much time with mechanics today!!!) car was ready.  And they didn't need to disconnect the battery.  Seriously?  Grrr.

Then a run to the dollar store and dinner at my parents.

Now home ... and exhausted!  How was your Sunday?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

My First...

Tonight was my first experience intentionally cooking a gluten-free meal.  A childhood friend, H, of D lives very close by.  She and her boyfriend, C,  were coming over for dinner tonight (see my previous post where I discuss my trick for ensuring a clean house!!).  H cannot eat gluten.  I knew this when I invited her over for dinner this time.  I always love looking up new recipes.  I usually start planning holiday meals WEEKS in advance while I start finding the new recipes I want to try.  When planning this menu I not only wanted to make sure 100% was gluten free I also wanted to capitalize on the fact that D will now eat free-range chicken (!!!!).  I was looking around and decided to make things a bit easier on myself and find a gluten-free, chicken, crockpot recipe.  I have had the crockpot for over a year and never used it.  It was time!

I did some searching and found two chicken recipes that looked interesting.  This one and this one.  I decided to send both options to H to make sure they were possible.  She recommended the brown sugar recipe.  Although I don't have gluten-free soy sauce, she said since there are only 2T of soy sauce in this recipe, it should be ok.

I figured out how long it would take (4-5 hours on high) and worked backwards.  They are arriving at 7 so I'll put it up around 2:30.  Perfect!  Until I get to the brown sugar.  Our brown sugar had been exposed to air and was HARD AS A ROCK.  I looked at the side of the package and it told me how to loosen it: place two damp paper towels over it and wrap with plastic wrap and place it in the microwave for 30 seconds.  It should have worked immediately but I had to do lots of scraping and do it three times.  But at least it finally worked.  Once the chicken was up it was time for the rice.  Believe it or not, people who are allergic to gluten can eat rice (this may not be all people so double check before serving rice!!).

The meal worked out perfectly, I was all ready the minute C and H arrived!  I mean to take a picture but we were all too hungry!!  I will say that for me the sauce did not need to be thickened as there wasn't much of it.  However, this is probably because the chicken was done before I served it.  Since I had cooked it on high and my crockpot doesn't have a "warm" option, I turned it down to low probably about 30-60 minutes before they arrived so a lot of the sauce cooked out.  If you don't cook it as long as I did there will probably be more liquid.  I served it directly over the rice and it was amazingly yummy!

We had asked C and H to bring dessert: fruit cobbler and soy ice cream.  Honestly their vanilla ice cream tastes JUST like original.  It is absolutely yummy.

All in all a great night.  And the house is still clean!

My Trick for Ensuring a Clean House

So this is going to be short (sorry but we've got a house to clean!).

Have I mentioned before that D and I are not what you'd call neat freaks?  I want to be.  And I realize that once we have kids it is just going to get worse (which my mother reminds me about almost weekly!).  Constantly I come up with "mini to-do" chore lists.  For instance, I'll say, "sweetie, today we are putting away the laundry." And then without fail, something else will come up.  Or nothing will come up and we're both just wiped from a long work day and it won't happen. "Ok, we'll do it tomorrow." Don't think I am ruining the ending if I say, tomorrow almost never comes!

But there is one time when we do buckle down and clean: if we are having company!  My home has been less than inviting to company lately.  So we invited friends of D over and now we have to clean!  No that isn't the only reason we invited company over, but a clean home is a HUGE benefit!

What tricks/tips do you use to keep your home clean??

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hold Your Horses!

(Wonder where on Earth that expression came from!)

I volunteer with a Jewish youth group and my girls have a fundraiser tonight followed by an executive board meeting.  I then to go pick up the hubby from the Greyhound station.  He went to meet with his advisor today to lives the next big city over so Greyhound seemed the smartest travel option.  Then hopefully home by 10:30pm.  Not sure if I a "real" blog is going to go up tonight or not...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Benefits to Being Married

15. When the house is a mess there is someone else to blame!
14. Someone to hang out with on your day off!
13. There is always someone to give you a hug!
12. Someone to make you feel better after fighting with your sister.
11. Someone to tell you it's time to say good night to twitter and go to sleep!
10. Having someone to make you smile when you are sad.
9. Getting to make your hubby feel better when he's feeling sick.
8. Know that "anti-slip" liner you can put into the bottom of the shower?  When you lift it up from the shower floor it makes a large noise.  My hubby heard it and came running to the bathroom door to check on me!
7. When I forgot something in the car, D will volunteer to go get it!  (And actually get it!!)
6. To have someone who supports you starting a blog to the point that they apologize when they click on your post as it will mess up your stats total!
5. I can say "D ... are you going to eat dessert tonight" and he knows that is code to get me ice cream from the freezer!
4. Having a guaranteed Valentine!
3. Someone to buy you flowers on Valentine's Day!
2. Having someone to buy a Valentine's gift for!
1. Someone to get you dessert when you are comfy on the sofa!

A New Doctor (TMI?)

D and I don't have kids.  Yet.  I'm also not pregnant and don't intend to be in the immediate future.

You see, my sister (who I don't think I've blogged about...yet) is getting married in November.  After she gets married, D and I have discussed trying to get pregnant.  It's strange to think that this time next year I could be pregnant.

(Here comes TMI so please feel free to stop reading!)

A few weeks ago I got a reminder from my gyno that it is time for my annual visit.  (I literally have three different doctors I need to schedule visits with ... ugh!).  I called today to schedule (especially since my birth control is going to run out in a month!) but they had already left for the day.

Then I started thinking.  My doctor does not do obstetrics.  I am planning to be pregnant before my next annual visit would be required.  Doesn't it make sense then for me to find an ob/gyn and go to her (I cannot imagine going to a guy ... yech!) for my annual?  Best case scenario, I love her and when we start trying/get pregnant, I already have a doctor.  Worst case? I hate her and realize I need to find another doctor.  Win/win!

I live in the same city that my father and his mother were born.  My grandmother was born in 1912 literally two weeks after getting off the ship (in case you are wondering how I am only in my 20s, my grandma was 40 when she had my dad).  My grandma, my dad and I were all born in the same hospital (as were cousins/uncles/siblings).  With that in mind, I would like to try having my baby at that hospital too.  I am a big believer in traditions and it just so happens that hospital is the closest to my home.  Perfect!

So I went online and found out who has privileges at that hospital and saw a whole practice not too far from my home.  Now there are some male doctors in the practice, I'll just have to cross that bridge when I come to it!  So now I think I know who I want for my doctor and now I can call and schedule an annual exam.

When I came home from work I discussed this with D.  He didn't completely freak out.  He didn't stop breathing.  He remained calm and politely smiled.  And agreed I should switch doctors.

We're both excited about starting the new stage of our lives ... but also scared.  Excited scared.

Ps. For all the mommies out there ... any tips on picking an ob/gyn??  What do you wish you had asked? What made you realize this was/was not going to be your doctor???

My Royal Wedding Obsession

So I may have finally come to terms with the fact that I am never going to marry Prince William ... but let's not dwell on that shall we?

In my continuing obsession with all things royal wedding, I have mentioned what I think about the talk surrounding "training" Kate and how it may take years.  I still don't understand how learning proper etiquette and how to do charity work could take years.  But then again, I am not royal so maybe there are elements to her responsibilities I don't yet understand.  And then I saw this.  There was a surprise trip to Ireland where Kate looked pretty ... smiled ... and flipped pancakes.

PLEASE tell me this is not what is going to take years to teach her??  Please tell me there is something else that is necessary for her to learn.  Because if smiling for pictures and flipping pancakes pretty much sums up her responsibilities ... I think she's got it down.

Dinner Time

I have been on the lookout for easy vegetable side dish recipes.  My coworker, S, asked when was the last time I had collared greens.  Um ... never.  Sorry!  She told me how to cook them so tonight I did.  I think I need to cook them longer.  While good, D and I both finished them, they were a bit tough.  I probably should have let it wilt a bit more and thrown some water in the wok to use as steam.  Oh well ... we still ate it!

Dinner: collared greens (stem cut out and cut into strips, cooked in the wok with some EVOO and garlic), mac and cheese and lemon pepper fish (microwaveable).  D said dinner looked like comfort food.  You tell me...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

On A Serious Note...

Before I left for work this morning I checked my email to see if there had been any update on K.  Nothing in the inbox.  As I arrived at the office, I asked the secretary if there had been any news.  She shook her head and I knew ... he didn't make it.  Turns out, he didn't even make it through the night.  In fact, when I posted my blog last night, he'd already passed. 

K is gone.  He died surrounded by his family and loved ones.  The tubes are out.  He's at peace.

To some degree, we each have our own idea of faith, religion and the afterlife.  I am Jewish but my opinions/beliefs are not 100% clear.  I know what I want to believe.  I want to believe there is a G-d (I was taught never to write out G-d's name so it couldn't be destroyed ... hence the hyphen) and that He has a greater purpose.  That all things do happen for a reason.  That the only reason K would have died so young is because G-d needed him up in Heaven.  That there is a Heaven.  That we are surrounded by our loved ones (including of the canine variety) who passed away before us.  I want to believe all of this.  And when someone as young and innocent as K dies, there is a part of me, of all of us probably, that needs to believe this.  I need to believe that G-d had bigger plans for K than being here on Earth.  I need to believe that whatever Heaven really is, K is up there now looking down on us.  Maybe K is now L's guardian angel, protecting her and looking over her during her recovery.

I need to believe that.

Is it the truth?  I don't know.  But it is what I choose to believe.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Death is Never Easy

D says I take death harder than most.  Maybe this is true.  I've lost all my grandparents.  Two of our family dogs have been put to sleep.  I lost a friend when I was in elementary school after getting struck by a hit-and-run drunk driver.  I lost another friend who was studying abroad when he went on a hike and slipped.  I remember these deaths.  I remember the anniversary of the deaths.  These days will always be days that have significance in my life.

Losing B (elementary school) and losing M (college) were really hard.  Really hard.  They were both young and died from tragic accidents.  B's could have and should have been avoided.  But they were both accidents.

As I mentioned on twitter, my coworkers son went into cardiac arrest and they are just waiting until he passes.  My coworker L is in her 40s, her son, K, not yet 20.  L and K both have a disease called Von Hippel-Lindau.  You can read more about it by clicking the link.  Basically, it is a rare genetic disease that causes benign tumors to grow in your body.  Although benign, the tumors have to be removed.  About a year ago, K had a number of tumors in his brain that needed to be removed.  The surgery went well but the next day all hell broke loose.  He had significant complications from the surgery, had problems with his blood pressure, had to learn to walk and swallow again, etc.  It was bad.  K came into the office a few months ago and L was so proud to take him around so everyone could see how well he was doing.

And then they discovered more tumors.  In his brain.  Because of the complications with the last surgery, another surgery was not an option.  So 5 weeks of radiation were scheduled.  It was going really well ... until it wasn't.  Suddenly K couldn't breath and had to have a feeding and breathing tube inserted.  His spirits were still up and they were planning for his transfer to the rehab hospital.  Oh ... did I mention that L has a tumor at the tip of her spine (meaning she can't move her head) that she kept putting off surgery for so she could tend to her son?  Once K was settled, L's doctors convinced her she couldn't wait any longer.  It seemed perfect because they'd both be in the hospital together.

Then this weekend K went into cardiac arrest.  Now his organs are failing and it is only a matter of hours ... possibly days.  I wish I could go and be with her but because of the lovely cough, that is not a possibility. 

I am not a mom ... yet.  One day.  But reading that email from my supervisor('s supervisor) that K was not going to make it ... made me cry.  I cannot imagine knowing your son is going to die and just having to sit around and wait.  L has one other child who fortunately does not have VHL, T. T has to sit and watch her brother die.  Die.  K is just a kid.  He graduated high school but doesn't get to go on.  He doesn't get to go to college, get married, have kids of his own.  He doesn't get to live, experience life.

I was telling a coworker today that it is days like this that make me wish the world stopped.  I've wished this before when people in my life have passed.  It's selfish but I want the world to stop.  I want everyone to recognize what is happening and take a moment.

But the world does go on.  And we wait.  We wait for K to die. 

No parent should have to say good bye to their kid. 


When D and I were out on Saturday, we ran into someone I had known over a decade ago (oy that makes me feel old!).  For the first time, I had to introduce myself twice.  I had to introduce myself as Sara (maiden) who was now Sara (married).

This is the first time I've had to do a "reintruduction."  The first time I've had to tell someone two names for them to remember me.  It was weird.  Really weird! For the first 20-some years of my life I was a person.  A specific person.  With experiences, friends, emotions, memories.  And a name.

And now I am someone else.  Yes, I am still technically the same person, but not by name.  Perhaps a name doesn't matter.  Maybe one day I won't think twice to introduce myself as Sara (maiden) and Sara (married).  My kids will likely refer to me both ways when coming upon someone who may have known the "earlier" me.  The pre-mom me.  The me they cannot fathom.

But now, and forever more, I am someone else.  I am Sara Part II.

It's strange.  And I know it was my choice.  And I think it was the right choice.  For me.  I fully respect people who remain themselves their entire lives.  I'll be myself forever.  But called by another name.

As far as reintroductions go, having to say two names is hardly the worst case scenario.  But it is a new first.  They come up with less regularity the further I get from the wedding date.  But they will keep coming up.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Night Out

D and I had a great night out last night!  First, D found an amazing deal on Living Social for two movie tickets for $9.  I mean amazing!  Especially considering where we live you can't get one ticket for that price!  Now I tried to find a coupon for the concession stand but no luck.  So we did pay full price for our med popcorn/soda. Last night we went to the movies to see King's Speech.  Great movie.  Although we haven't seen any (save one) of the other movies nominated for Best Picture, I will say it was an Oscar worthy movie.  Colin Firth gave a great performance.  I am not a movie reviewer so I won't really try.  But I would strongly recommend it!  (If you have any specific questions feel free to comment/message me!)

Apparently a lot of people wanted to see the movie because it was a packed house.  We were 20 minutes early and already most seats were taken.  So I scoured looking for two seats together and found them in the last row of the theater.  Right next to a couple.  That was looking way to close for a movie.  They were smooching and giggling with each other.  Did I mention they were at a minimum 50 years old?  Now please don't misinterpret.  I have no problem with people of any age dating and being in love.  That's great.  I hope everyone finds someone.  However, I would hope that by the time you reach your twenties, you realize what is appropriate public interaction.  And smooching in public is not appropriate unless you are 15 and don't know any better.  Add to this that both of them had trouble hearing/understanding part of the dialogue (probably the accents) and at one point the guy mirrored the scene on the movie and raised his right arm in a heil Hitler (which was showing on the screen).  Weird!

After dinner we went to dinner next door to the theater.  On the way, we ran into the Cantor who did my Bat Mitzvah.  She left the synagogue soon after my Bat Mitzvah.  It was so strange seeing her.  And the amazing thing is after all these years, she recognized me!  It's really an amazing thing because since I was 1.5 years old I have looked exactly the same.  I mean literally.  Obviously I am bigger and my hair is darker, but I look the same.  Any "baby photo" games I have to bring in infant photos or it is immediately obvious which picture is me.  True.

Then during dinner we ran into a cousin of mine.  Unbelievable!  I know too many people!

But dinner itself was a coupon ... would definitely recommend it!  We saved $25 on our small feat.  D had blackened mahi mahi with a wasabi vinaigrette (he really didn't want to share!) and I had salmon marinated in soy/ginger.  Oh just thinking about it now makes my mouth water!
All in all, for us an expensive but amazing date night.  Lately we've been going out with friends on our "date night" and we decided that though we love our friends ... we needed some "us" time.  Definitely a good idea!

Yummy Brunch

So as usually happens on the weekends, when I wake up, it's time for me to decide what to make for lunch (I don't have kids and love sleep so I often sleep in on the weekends and D usually gets up earlier than me).  Sunday is food shopping today so the supplies are a bit depleted.  After looking I decided we would have spinach and feta omelets with toasted flat bread (better for you than regular bread).  Now usually when I make omelets they are burnt, they don't stay together, something goes wrong.  Today I started by tearing most of the stems off the spinach and putting all of it into a small fry pan (no oil) over med-high heat.  After a few minutes of turning, it was reduced in size and I put it in a bowl to wait.  Then I mixed two eggs in another bowl, and sprayed the same small pan with Pam so it wouldn't stick.  There was some spinach stuck to the bottom  from wilting so I kind of figured it was going to be a mess.  Instead of using a spatula to move the eggs back as they got cooked (and allow the runny part to go onto the heat) I used a scraper.  I then used a spatula for the actual flipping of the omelet.  They both turned out perfectly!  D helped me by making coffee (yum!!!!) and getting the flat breads out of the toaster (I am definitely the cook in this house!).  Then I put 1/2 the spinach on each omelet and some feta cheese on each, flipped it over and viola ... brunch time!

[I did take pictures but my camera is acting funny ... D is trying to fix this!]

Songs Remind Me of Stages of Life

I'm probably not unique in that I have specific songs that remind me of times in my life. Songs that no matter where I am or who I am with, I start remembering specific times.  I am sure if I thought about it longer I could come up with more but here's my list that immediately comes to mind:

I don't know if the first one technically counts as a song, it's more of a prayer.  Though we do "sing/chant" it.  Regardless, I am counting it.  When I was young, my mother used to sing the Shema to us every night before sleep.  (FYI--the Shema is a Jewish prayer ... click on the link if you want to learn more. I now find myself saying it when I see an emergency vehicle with their siren going.)  Thinking of that song reminds me of being young and spending that special time with my mother.

The next two songs were a part of my life practically from birth until age 15: My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean and A Bushel and a Peck.  Both were songs my grandmother (mom's mom) and I used to sing. Over and over again.  Constantly. Just thinking of them now make me sad.  I say this song was in my life until age 15 because that was my age when my grandmother passed away.

From Elementary school time period there is one song (though really one band) that is reminiscent of that time period.  That would be the same band for probably all girls my age ... The Right Stuff by The New Kids on the Block.  A few girls in my neighborhood would get together and choreograph dances to go with the songs.  Our parents used to videotape us moving and shaking along with the song.  There is probably a videotape still in existence ... but here's hoping it stays hidden!  I also remember when my younger sister would sleep in my room on the floor and we'd listen to the cassette tape of NKOTB and talk about when I was old enough, I'd drive us to their concert.  Funny how they disappeared but now that I am a decade + being able to drive they have resurfaced!

For middle school it would have to be Mmmbop.  Without out a doubt.  I was a HUGE Hanson fan.  I was convinced I would marry Taylor.  It was also the first CD I believe I ever purchased.  I had their posters all on my wall.  I would sometimes buy two copies of a magazine if there were pictures on both sides of a page that I wanted to put up on my wall.  (This lasted for a while until my entire wall was covered....not the entire room but one whole wall.  One day however, I walked into my room and looked at the wall, said "you're a freak" and took them all down.  And gave them to my sister.)

When it was time for me to go to high school, I would up going to a magnet school.  As a result, I had two distinct groups of friends: my old middle school friends and my new high school friends.  My best friend from middle school, B, and I used to try to get together frequently.  We would often watch music videos (remember when people were still really excited about them??).  The song that for some reason reminds me most of that time is How Bizarre by OMC.  Now the reason this surprises me is because I hated this song.  First of all, the video sucked!  Two girls and a guy in a convertible?  Pass.  Plus, I always thought they were saying "help is on" instead of "how bizarre."  Regardless, that song always reminds me of my time with B.  With my new high school friends, my best friend was K.  She was a HUGE country fan.  I had rebelled against country and refused to listen to it ... she forced me to.  With her the first country song I liked was BBQ Stain by Tim McGraw.  Though this did not make me an instant country fan ... it laid the seeds!

There are two songs, very different from the rest of the songs included in this blog, that remind me of college.  They are Sorry Ms. Jackson by Outkast and What Would You Do by City High.  The people I was friends who in college were huge fans of these songs and would often have them playing when we drove around.  As a result, I naturally became a fan myself.  These songs remind me of a time when I had no real responsibilities except school.  Where I lived in a dorm, hung out with friends, etc.  Although I did work, and worked a lot during school in different capacities, not in the same way I do now.

Toward the end of college I became friends with someone, let's call him E, who [claimed he] was in the military (I don't even know if I will ever write a blog about E ...).  I don't know if you've ever looked, but the only patriotic songs seem to be country songs.  Naturally, I started listening to country songs.  The first patriotic song I fell in love with was Letters from Home by John Michael Montgomery.  With this starting my enjoyment of country music, when I was home on a break I had the country station on and the video came on for He Didn't Have to Be.  I loved it.  And thus cemented my love of country.

There is no song that comes to mind during grad school ... probably too busy working!  

When D and I were dating, we had discussed marriage often enough to know it was coming.  Whenever I would hear Taylor Swift's Love Story I would get all tingly when the guy proposes to her in the story.  I knew D was close-ish to proposing so it would make me excited for when it happened for me.  Now when I hear it I remember feeling that way before D proposed.

For our wedding one of the traditions I wanted to do was having all the "committed" couples dance and have the DJ slowly ask couples to sit down as the length of together-ness got longer and longer.  (We didn't wind up doing this.  D's grandparents wound up not being able to come to the wedding and they would have "won."  Since they weren't going to make it, my aunt and uncle would have been married the longest so they would have won.  But my aunt somewhat suddenly passed away in December of 2009 and we got married in May 2010.  I thought it would be too difficult for my uncle so we skipped the dance.  We still played the song.)  The song is Then by Brad Paisley.  If you are married or in a long term relationship I strongly recommend you listen to it.  It's sweet but not overly sappy.  Perfect love story.  D even started recognizing it when it would be playing on the radio!

So that brings us to the present.  What song reminds me of married life?  To be honest, there isn't one "special" song.  But if I had to ... I would say jazz reminds me of married life.  D loves jazz music.  Loves.  Obsessed is probably more appropriate.  He is always looking for an excuse to blast the music.  I go into the shower, I can hear it playing.  I go out to get the mail, it's on.  You get the hint...

What songs remind you of moments in your life?

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Day at the Doctor's Office

So one would think I went to the doctor today because I have been sick (still fighting this cold/cough D bestowed upon me).  Logical guess but sadly you'd be wrong.  Today was my all-too-regular visit with my allergist.

To back up: all through life I sniffled.  I used to joke that I had a cold year-round.  It wasn't until grad school when a friend of mine said, "Are you sure you don't have allergies?"  I'll be honest, the thought had NEVER crossed my mind.  And why would it.  No one else in my family has allergies.  But once it was there, I decided I had to get it checked out.  So I scheduled an appointment with an ENT (I cannot remember if that was recommended to me or if I just didn't know that there was such a thing as an allergist).  I remember that I was 5 minutes late to the ENT and that there was a LONG line at reception.  Of course, being a new patient, I then had to fill out tons of paperwork.  When I finally got called back it was 30 minutes past my appointment time.

I strongly remember the nurse who was going to administer the allergy test basically telling me that she was none-too-pleased she'd had to wait for me.  I'll grant her the 5 minutes.  That was on me.  But the other 25??  I tried to mention something about the long wait and she was having none of it.  It was her lunch time and I was the barrier to lunch.  She briskly rolled up my sleeve, brought over a tray and started stabbing me! (Ok ... the stabbing part was really her pricking the skin).  She then left me for 30 (I think?) minutes for everything to react.

And oh it did!  When she came back in and saw my arm lit up like a Valentine's Day light display (image: lots of red bumps!) she seemed...happy and surprised.  I guess she thought I was just some girl who was wasting her time before.  But when she saw my arm, her whole attitude changed.  Glad to oblige her!  Turns out I am allergic to ... life.  Not literally ... but close enough!  I am not allergic to cockroaches (but with my love of bugs, this does not really help me) or mold.  I am also not allergic to food (that I know of) or medicine.  Everything else ... yes.  Dust? Check. Pets? Check. Trees? Check. Grass? Check.  Apparently re: pets, I am more allergic to cats than dogs (as a dog lover and future dog owner, I knew this already!) and some breeds more than others (though tests for specific breeds don't yet exist).  The ENT recommended some nasal sprays which I tried to a bit of success.

And then I discovered my allergist.  Maybe I like him because he was born in the same down as D.  Maybe I like him because he has the same first name and initials as D.  Or perhaps because he is a nice doctor?  Who knows.  But I like him.  Even though I am maxed out on drugs.  I take TWO pills every day and TWO nasal sprays TWICE day.  I am maxed out ... legally.  He actually had to fight with my insurance company to approve the second nasal spray dosage!  Today was just a regular visit.  Since my allergies are consistent I now only have to go ever 9-12 months for a visit!  For a while I was going every 3 months.  While I like my doctor, I don't like the co-pays so I am thrilled with the reduced frequency visits.

Alas my allergies persist ... but at least I have a doctor I like!  Now to find a new ENT (not going back to that one with the scary nurse!!!) to see whether I should have my deviated septum fixed.  Oh the life...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Spiders Are Now in Cars??

So we all know that I hate bugs.  Hate.  Despise.  Yuck. (That said ... last night I found the tiniest little spider on our ceiling ... I did have D kill it but it was quite cute!)  I have trouble killing them.  Once a bug has been spotted in a certain area of my house I always look at that spot to see if there is another one.  Once I found a spider web in my car ... almost daily I look at that spot to make sure nothing has regrown.  So today I'm reading online.  Minding my own business.  Ignoring the ads for the expose on stink bugs and how bad they will be this summer (last summer was like one of the 10 plagues!) when I stumble upon this: Mazda recalls cars because of spiders.  Spiders!  That shouldn't be allowed.  I shouldn't have to worry about spiders INSIDE of my car.

Is there no place safe from bugs.  I know the answer but I still try asking the question!

What's for Dinner?

So we continue on our culinary journey.  Over the weekend we were watching a Rachael Ray episode and saw a recipe for Chinese spaghetti and meatballs.  That recipe required too many recipes so I decided just a regular spaghetti and meatballs were for us.  Since D will now eat chicken (yay!!) I made chicken meatballs.  I looked for a recipe online and found this one for chicken meatballs.  I added about a T of garlic salt.  My other big recommendation?  Make sure you spray the baking sheet before using!  Served with spaghetti and sauce.  It was so yummy!  Very much recommended.  D keeps saying how delicious they were and even snuck another one while putting them away.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What's for dinner?

A few weeks ago we went to G and P's house for dinner (close friends).  They fed us a yummy dish that I decided to replicate tonight.  Now our version is not nearly as healthy as the recipe states.  But then again, it's probably a lot healthier than what you would get in a restaurant!  Spinach and Feta Calzone.  Instead of making the dough I used Pillsbury thin pizza crust.  When G and P made us dinner they used Pillsbury regular crust.  The thin crust doesn't cook up just right ... definitely go with the regular crust!  I also add some pine nuts (~3T worth) and put in a full cup of feta cheese.  Split the pizza dough in half, put 1/2 the filling in the dough and roll it up like a calzone.  Cook it using the directions on the dough container.  Sadly no pictures.  But it was super yummy!

A Book in Review

 (Sorry for the very long delay since my last real blog!  Not feeling 100% but glad to be back!)

The House at Riverton is the story of a girl born around the turn of the 20th century.  Told in flashbacks, the narrator is Grace, who is now 98.  During the 1910's, Grace worked as a lady's maid for a rich local family in England.  Kate Morton sets up the tale as a love story gone horribly wrong (isn't that often the case) with the now 98 year old Grace the sole surviving witness to an infamous death at the famous Riverton estate.  A film is being made about the death and Grace is relieved to discover they don't know the truth of what happened.

I won't spoil the end for the reader.  I am usually someone who can guess an ending before it happens.  (D hates going to the movies with me for this very reason!)  The ending of this book is somewhat surprising and the reader should get to enjoy it.

For the most part I did enjoy Ms. Morton's writing and her ability to mix past and present seamlessly.  However, the story is at times too cumbersome and unrealistic.  There is one large secret about Grace that the reader (if anything at all like me) figures out more than a hundred pages before Ms. Morton intends it to be revealed.  The flips back and forth between past and present leave the reader wishing we were spending more time in the past.  Ms. Morton hints at Grace's life after being a lady's maid but doesn't elaborate enough to really make the reference useful.  The sheer number of characters that the reader has to keep track of is also overwhelming at times.  When speaking with T (my coworker) about this book I recommended her  book club draw up a chart/family tree to keep track of everyone!

All in all a good book but not exactly a light read. I'd recommend reading when you have time to devote to Ms. Morton's stories. 

A Book in Review Grade: B+

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

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