Monday, June 29, 2009


At least it is still under $3/gallon

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Photo 83/365

I wanted to try a new recipe and needed two 9-inch cake pans, but didn't have any. But wait! I reached back deep into my memory and into my cupboard and pulled out two still-in-shrinkwrap pans. Woo hoo! They've been sitting back there for almost twenty years. 'Bout time I put them to use, eh?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Photo 82/365 It's a wrap

Every once in a while, I make a huge batch of wonton to eat and freeze. Unfortunately, since it is only once a year or so that I do this, I always forget which are the good brands. Actually, I don't know what the good brands are; I only know which brands I don't like. The package with the cute panda? Forget it! Too thin, weird color, and not very tasty. The Wei Chuan wrappers were much easier to use.

In case you were wondering how to cook wontons, here's how. If the wonton are frozen, don't defrost them. Just use the same instructions.
1. Bring a big pot of water to boil.
2. Add several wonton. Depending on the size of your pot, this could be anywhere from 10 to 20. The wonton need room to move and expand so don't overcrowd the pot. Stir the bottom of the pot if any of the wonton have fallen to the bottom and gotten stuck.
3. When the water comes back to a boil, add a rice bowl full of water.
4. When the water comes back to a boil again, add another rice bowl full of water.
5. Wait until the water boils a third time.
6. The wonton are cooked when they float to the top of the pot. Remove using a slotted spoon. Add to your soup if you are going to be serving them immediately. Otherwise, put them in a bowl temporarily. If you put them in the soup, they may absorb too much of the broth.

Photo 81/365 First harvest

My first harvest. Its been such a slooooow start this year. And this wasn't even something I planted. It must have sprouted from last year's seeds. Who knew a volunteer would do so well?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Photo 80/365 Cruising

I actually left work early to have some fun! A friend rented a Duffy boat and we took a little evening "cruise." Of course, I was majorly stressed and actually embarrassed to be leaving work early for something as frivolous as fun. Obviously, I'm not very good about balancing work and life.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Our TV saga

Bad news: TV signals are going digital.
Bad news: We have an alalog TV and don't have cable, dish, or some other system that converts digital signals.
Good news: The government is offering coupons to offset the cost of a converter box.
Bad news: Now I need to use two remotes to watch TV, one for the TV and one for the converter box.
Good news: Mr. Fix-it found a huge (well, bigger than our 19-inch) flat-screen TV he wants (which is bad news to me, lol).
Bad news: He can't find it for the price he wants (which is good news to me).
Good news: A newer version of the TV was released (more bad news for me).
Good news: I only need one remote to watch TV (yes, he bought the TV).

Monday, June 22, 2009

Blue dress, green dress

Yesterday, I was watching the kids play, kids being my five year old nephew-G, the twins (just over 2 years old), and their cousin, an 18-month old toddler. I had to keep glancing at G, who constantly shouted LOOK AT ME! And stop the toddler from going down the stairs (hey, everyone else was going up and down, why couldn't he??). And try to decipher what the twins wanted (unlike the five year old, lol). I'm not really used to three, much less four. The twins like to climb onto everything (just like their brother), but sometimes have a bit of trouble on the way up or down. One was on her hobby horse, wailing and the other jumping on the couch, squealing with joy (since she's not supposed to be jumping, but I hadn't gotten around to stopping her) when their Mom came upstairs. "What's all the shouting about???" Her son explained, "Blue dress wants off her horse, green dress is jumping on the couch." Now I don't feel so bad about not being able to tell the twins apart.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Photo 79/365

This is the card Mr. Fix-it picked out for his dad. I thought it had a nice scrapbook quality to it.

Romesco sauce

At our department potluck earlier this year, a coworker signed up to bring grilled meat and vegetables with Spanish sauce. What the heck is Spanish sauce? It turns out it was Romesco sauce. Yum!!! As I understand it, there are different types of Romesco sauce for different types of food, but this is the version she makes. I made it to bring to Father's Day dinner; Mr. Fix-it grilled the veggies. It was a hit!

Romesco Sauce
for grilled vegetables, meat, and seafood

1 TBS olive oil (I used 2 teaspoons and thought that was enough)
1 large slice white bread, 1/2-inch thick (some online recipes I read said to remove the crust; I just removed the driest parts)
1/2 cup toasted whole almonds, okay to use blanched (I used slivered almonds)
1/4 tsp hot red pepper flakes
1 large clove garlic, coarsely chopped
4 oz whole roasted red bell peppers or pimentos from a jar, fire-roasted preferred, cut up (I used a mix of both since that's what I had on hand and I did not cut up the bell pepper)
1/2 pound ripe tomatoes, chopped coarse
1/4 tsp paprika or pimenton dulce from Spain
1/4 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup red wine vinegar (my friend uses sherry vinegar, but I could only find red wine vinegar when I was shopping)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat and fry bread in it until golden on both sides. Watch carefully because the bread will turn from golden to burnt in a flash (ask me how I know).

2. Grind almonds fine in food processor, then add torn up bread, pepper flakes, and garlic, then grind some more.

3. Add red peppers/pimentos, tomatoes, paprika, salt, and pepper, then puree to form a smooth paste.

4. Add vinegar and puree a bit more.

5. With motor running, add oil slowly in a thin stream.

6. Adjust seasoning as needed.

Best made a day ahead, stored in the refrigerator, and served at room temperature.

I like the sauce with bread and my friend suggests using it as a pasta sauce also.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Rain, rain

don't go away! I was so happy to see that it was sprinkling this morning and then that turned into full-fledged rain...for about a half hour. Now it is barely sprinkling and humid as heck. If I'm gonna see gray skies, I want rain! My garden is barely damp and where the foliage is heavy, the ground is dry. Grrrrr. I was hoping to skip my mid week watering this week, but this tease of rain won't allow that.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Photo 78/365 Fly away

I was finally able to get my hands on the ever popular Martha Stewart butterfly punch. Yes, perhaps I'm a little behind the times since it seems like everyone is using it, but I still like it. I think I'll get a lot of use out of it.

It was quite an ordeal to purchase it though. I wanted to use a 50% percent off coupon and the cashier had trouble getting the register to accept discount. First she had to cancel the transaction, then she had to reverse the discount on the $1.00 item (the register automatically did that). I think the registers are still programmed to not discount MS stuff, even though MS was not excluded on the coupon. After several tries, I finally got the discount. I saved $5.00, woo hoo!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Photo 77/365

We can finally get lychee on a regular basis here. I was going to take a picture of the fruit, but I thought the shells were more interesting.


Been that price for a week. Will it go up or down next?

Post-crop countdown

It was a great weekend away with my scrapping buddies. Three days of scrapping (spread out over 4 days), 2,000 calorie breakfasts, fresh cookies every afternoon, chatting, laughing, and not much sleep. Wish I could join them more often. Most of them are within driving distance; only a few of us fly in, but of course, that adds to the expense. Otherwise, it is a pretty cheap weekend, especially when we don't make a trip to the SB store, lol.

Lots happened during and after the crop and here's a quick rundown:

Over 100 games of Flood-it. A couple people had the game on their iPhones and it looked intriguing. I looked the game up when I came home and now I'm addicted!

49.5 pounds. That's how much my big scrapbook tote weighed. Nothing like cutting it close (the airline weight limit is 50 pounds).

8 5.5x8.5 layouts, a new size for a gift album I'm making.

7 12x12 pages (3 single page and 2 double-page layouts), a record high for me! I was a page/day person, then I sped up to two pages/day.

7, how many days I was sick. I started getting sick on Sunday and it just got worse during the week. I've still got a little cough, but I'm much better now.

I gained 6 pounds in 4 days. I didn't know that was physically possible! I'm still trying to lose 2 of them.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

I'm packing for a crop and losing my mind

Arrrgh! Just spend an hour off and on looking for my journaling spots that I carefully packed into a plastic box so I'd be able to find them when I got around to finishing some scrapbook pages. Yeah right. So much for my attempt at organized. I finally found the box behind a stack of paper (imagine that!).

And once again, I have the problem of carefully balancing my bags because you know how much paper weighs. Thank goodness Southwest still allows two bags for free. The problem with flying this time of the year (compared to winter), is I don't have a lot of clothes to use for padding. Guess I could just bring extras for the weekend.

Right now, my big tote is 48 pounds, according to my scale. Of course, I have a couple of small, relatively heavy things on top so I can quickly remove them if needed. My duffle weighs less, just because it is a duffle bag, rather than a reinforced crop tote. And of course, I have my carry-on. Thus far, it looks like less then 10 pounds of clothes/toiletries and around 75 pounds of scrap supplies. And I'm not done packing.

Off to print some more pictures...nothing like waiting until the last minute.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

ISO Paper Pockets

I just discovered that my favorite paper holders, Paper Pockets made by Retrospect by Smead, part number 76415, have been discontinued. I like them better than folders because nothing falls out the sides. I don't like the plastic holders with the expanding bottoms/sides. I need to organize my paper in smaller batches than those.

I've called several online stores and even if they show the item on their site, they are out of stock on the product. (Don't want anyone to waste time googling this since I already did.) Amazon is still carrying them, but they want almost three times the (former) retail price for them. I'm not paying that much, even if they are my favorites.

Does anyone have any suggestions for other products? Perhaps the best idea would be I get rid of a lot of my paper so I didn't have so much to organize. But I don't think that's going to happen any time soon.


That's how many e-mails I currently have at work. How much do you wanna bet that the total is over 10,000 before the end of the day? My goal was to keep the e-mails under 10,000, but that was impossible since I am cc'd (or am supposed to be cc'd) on every project in the department. Yes, it is a bookkeeping nightmare. Yes, I really do read all of my e-mails...eventually. This is a case where clear subject lines are helpful.

Update: By the end of the day, I managed to delete several dozen more e-mails. Yahoo!