Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What a fabulous weekend I had. Sunday morning I got up and caught a plane out to Midland, TX and then drove about 45 minutes to Big Spring for a Saint Andrews’ celebration at a friend’s church. The big draw for me was the presence of Randy Wothke, EJ Jones, and Richard Kean at the celebration. This is the second year that I’ve gone to Big Spring for the celebration. It’s nice to be able to have a little time with them without huge crowds, and in a setting other than faire, a festival, or a pub. Since I woke up at 4:21 Sunday morning and didn’t get back to bed until around 11:30, it was a very long day for me, and the alarm going off at 5 Monday morning so I could catch my 7:30 flight back to Dallas did not make for a restful night, that’s for sure! Tomorrow I head for a tiny little town in west TX to spend Thanksgiving with Darla, Rick and the boys. I have the car packed, save for the ice chest, which I won’t pack until in the morning, when I’ll fill it with the stuff I’ve prepared for us to eat over the next few days. I try to ensure that I don’t create any extra work or expense for them while I am there, so I’ve pre-cooked a couple of turkey breasts and several turkey legs (our traditional holiday eats, because it’s easier not to have to deal with the whole turkey and carcass), a couple of pans of potato casserole, a couple of meat loaves, a big batch of soup, and another casserole, that are all frozen and ready to be heated. It is probably more than we will eat while I am there, but whatever is left can stay in the freezer and will be there sometime when Darla comes home from a 15 hour day at work and doesn’t want to think about dinner. It’s a 6 hour drive from southwest Fort Worth, according to the mapping programs, so from work it’s about 7 hours. The good news is, I’m stopping for lunch in FW, so I can spend a few minutes with a special someone before we can't see each other for a week. That will give me a short break before I am back on the road for awhile. The only drawback to the weekend is that Darla’s sister and niece are coming out as well. Nobody invited them, they just decided that they were coming. We do ok, with small doses of them, but prefer those doses to be less than 24 hours. L is just an annoying, know-it-all, pushy, bossy, I-have-class-but-none-of-you-even-know-what-it-is, well, BITCH. K, the niece, is about 7 or 8, I think, and VERY bright, however she’s a spoiled heathen brat. She LOVES to start shit with Nathan and when he tries to defend himself, she cries that he started it or hurt her. She truly believes that the sun rises and sets on her, and her mother lets her do pretty much whatever the hell she wants to do. She is allergic to more things than I can begin to remember or name, including dogs (there are 2 that live INSIDE Darla’s house). They tend to come with 2 air purifiers just for the tiny room she sleeps in, food that nobody is allowed to touch because it’s prepared specifically with her allergies in mind, and in general, a “we are the princesses, you will bow to us and let us have our way” attitude. Now, last week, L called Darla and said “I have a 12 lb turkey that I’m bringing.” Darla told her that we don’t cook a whole turkey, we do the boneless, skinless breasts and a couple of legs for Rick & Nathan, and that I have that covered already, as well as the potato casserole and a few other things. Now, they were there for Christmas last year, so L is experienced with the potato casserole, and knows what it is, and ate plenty of it herself, thankyouverymuch. Well, she called Darla yesterday and announced that not only is she bringing the fucking turkey, she’s bringing mashed potatos, stuffing and god knows what else. HELLO???!!!! What part of WE DON’T DO A WHOLE TURKEY was she not clear on? What part of potato casserole was she not clear on???? The good news is that Darla & Rick have 2 deep freezers, in addition to the freezer that’s on top of the fridge, so there’s plenty of space to put the leftovers. It is my plan to stay pretty well pickled as long as she’s around, because I deal much better with her when I’m drunk and just don’t give a damn! Yep, there’s 2 boxes of booze in the car, and if things were different, I would be there before she was and could have a good buzz going before she arrives, but alas, I can’t leave until 10, and she’ll be long gone by then, I’m sure, so I’ll just have to take a good strong shot of something when I pull up in the driveway!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I tried

I try to be a good friend. I try to help people in need, especially my friends. It's sort of an inborn thing, I think a combination of being 1. a big sister, 2. a Libra, 3. a middle child. I've been taking care of people in one way or another since I was about 4 years old. I try not to let myself be taken advantage of, but on occasion, well, it happens. Several months ago, I loaned a friend money to repair her car as she was on her way back to Texas, with the understanding that once she was here, and working, she would repay the money I loaned her. She's received paychecks for 13 weeks now, tomorrow will be her 14th check. Despite the fact that she has not been asked, nor has she offered to contribute to the rent or utilities, and even though she has had about $700 or so in car expenses in order to keep it running and get her title and tags transferred back to TX, she has NO savings, nor has she paid much of the car repair, not to mention the fact that as a favor, (I know, I'm already doing too many favors for her) I added her to my car insurance, for which she also agreed to pay. So this evening, I wrote her a letter, because I'm better at writing than I am talking sometimes, especially something like this. I told her that while I don't expect or want her to give me what she has agreed to pay all at once, but some effort would be appreciated, even $25/paycheck. I also told her that my bigger concern is not the money she owes me, but rather the fact that she seems to have no plan for building savings for emergencies or establishing her own home. I have offered to sit down with her and help her figure out a workable budget that will allow her to live within her means AND put some money away for emergencies. Yeah, well, last night, she came in, went directly to her room, found the letter, and didn't come out except to go to the bathroom. As near as I can tell, she didn't eat dinner and didn't go through her normal 'get everything ready for work tomorrow routine'. She didn't close the door until she turned out her light to go to sleep, but she didn't come talk to me. When I went to the bathroom, I came out and went to her door to see how work was, and she pointed to a note on her dresser stating "I wrote that this morning, before I went to work". The note lists dates for today and the next 3 Fridays, as well as a dollar amount that she's planning to give me to cover what she owes me. It will leave her totally broke for a few weeks, so I'm going to tell her to cut some off of it, partly because I WANT her to be able to build a little savings, and partly because if she gives me that amount for 4 weeks, she will overpay. She pouted most of the evening, and that's fine, but I choose not to see her as the victim here. She has been a victim all of her life, and I want for her to learn that she doesn't HAVE to be one.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Well, another weekend has flown by. Apparently, I’ve gotten myself way too busy, because now, not only have I totally missed my youngest nephew’s birthday (Oh, I have a card for him, and I HAD a gift card for him, which has now grown legs, so I’ve got to replace it) by 3 weeks, my only niece had one yesterday that totally got past me, as did the surprise party for my sister on Saturday night. Yeah, I suck, I know. I used to be REALLY GOOD at remembering birthdays, anniversaries, whatever, but here lately, I think my brain's gone on strike or something. Saturday morning, it seems that my sweet, precious, yellow-bellied, lily-livered boycat decided to channel his bitchy, recently departed sister. I didn’t actually see it happen, but when my roomie came outside with a band-aid on her hand and said “Leo BIT ME”, well, I got pulled into it, obviously. Now, Rhonda, rest her soul, was ALWAYS testy about who got to pet her, as well as when and for how long. Upon introducing her to anyone, I always included a warning that she looks all sweet and innocent with those different colored-eyes, and sure she’s all purry, but when she’s DONE, she is DONE, AT THAT INSTANT, with no warning. Literally, one second she’s all happy to have you scratching her head, and before you know it, she’s furious that you dared to touch her, and is trying to draw blood either with her claw or teeth, whichever is handier (or both). Most people believed me, though one or two didn’t, and either went home with a fresh scratch, or narrowly missed having one. At any rate, for the last couple of weeks, Leo has been awfully vocal about needing attention. I don’t know what’s going on, but there it is, he wants attention, constantly, and if you don’t give it to him, he’s going to whine and yowl until he gets it. So, roomie is in the house, and he hollers at her, and comes up alongside her and rubs against her leg, so she reaches down to scratch him on the head and talk to him, until suddenly he just turns and chomps on her hand! WTF??? He never bites people. I still have no idea what happened, I tried talking to him, but he just looked around as if totally innocent! He got a stern lecture about not being allowed to channel Queen Bitch, not being allowed to bite people, and about behaving himself properly. He was also grounded from roomie’s bedroom for the day. Yesterday, my sister and I went to the Dallas Museum of Art for the Tut exhibit. WOW! The intricacy of some of the works is amazing, especially considering that they were created without the tools that are available some 3000 years later. My sister said she’d heard or read about people bitching because the artifacts exhibited do not include the sarcophagus that his mummy was found in. Umm, yeah, like Egypt is going to let a treasure like that out of the country, seriously people, what are you thinking?? One of the coolest things there was a model of his skull that was made using the CT scans done a few years ago, which is not in a case, and touching it is encouraged. I guess from the years of seeing the pictures of the sarcophagus, and images of him with the big headdress on, combined with the diadem that was part of the exhibit, I expected his head to be a little bigger than it was. I suppose perhaps he had some SERIOUSLY thick hair or something, because that diadem looked like it would fit ME, and I KNOW my skull is bigger than the one that was exhibited. You know, they will make a bobblehead out of anything, including the boy king! And somehow, it’s just WRONG to pull tissues out the nose of a pharaoh! Those were the most amusing items I saw in the gift shop. My mother would have LOVED the exhibit, as she was very taken with Egyptology. Am working on getting everything together to take down to the sticks to see Darla & crew for Thanksgiving. I think I’ve gathered it all, now it’s just a matter of assembly and cooking/freezing. My kitchen’s gonna be a mess for several days, methinks! Turkey breasts, drumsticks, potato casserole, cookies, meatloaf, meat & mac casserole, & 8 can soup! First order of biz is get the meatloaves made & into the freezer, and the ground meat cooked for the meat & mac and the soup. Hopefully tonite will have that done. Tuesday will be turkey night, and m&m. Thursday is cookies. Friday will be potatoes, and Saturday, soup, and I’m all done except for packing the cooler Wednesday morning with all the frozen goodies.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Peanut butter cup cookies

Ok, so a couple of weeks ago, I was at Sprouts market, a cool little farmer's market sorta place. It's not hugely different from Central Market, but it's much smaller, and doesn't have quite the variety of stuff. At any rate, I'm wandering through, and I found these TINY little peanut butter cups. Now I am NOT talking about the mini size ones that you can buy in the bags at Wallyworld. I'm talking these are, oh, maybe twice the size of a standard chocolate chip, but they look just like a peanut butter cup, and taste like them too! Well, someone pretty special to me LOVES peanut butter & chocolate, so I got some out of the bulk bin they were in, and then set off on a quest for peanut butter cup cookies. It took me a little bit of searching, and winding up with mostly those sorta thumbprint cookies that have a mini cup on them. Finally, on Allrecipes, I hit paydirt.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
SUBMITTED BY: Dan K. "I thought this up totally by scratch! If you like peanut butter cups, you'll like this cookie."
PREP TIME 20 Min COOK TIME 10 Min READY IN 30 Min Original recipe yield 3 dozen
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup peanut butter chips
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped peanut butter cups
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Grease cookie sheets.
Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In the microwave or in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and peanut butter chips, stirring occasionally until smooth. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, white sugar and brown sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time then stir in the vanilla. Stir in the melted chips until well blended then stir in the sifted dry ingredients. Finally, fold in the chopped peanut butter cups.
Drop by tablespoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven.
Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Now, a couple of notes from me:
*I used about 2 cups of the tiny pb cups instead of chopping up regulars or minis
* I used a regular tablespoon to drop the cookies, they were not uniform, they wound up being, oh, about 2 inches across, and I had 42 cookies.
* I'm thinking that if I'd used my cookie scoop, it may have been closer to 4.5 dozen or so.

That reminds me, I gotta put Sprouts on my list for tomorrow

Craziness coming

I just looked at my calendar again, and holy cow, the next couple of weeks are CRAZINESS! Sunday my sister & I are going to the Tut exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art. I missed the last time there was a Tut exhibit in Dallas. It’s one of those things that we would have done with Mom, if she was still with us, she was a HUGE Egyptology fan. Next Sunday, I’m flying out to Midland to celebrate Saint Andrew’s Day at a friend’s church. Why, you ask would I fly to Midland for that??? Because the ever fabulous EJ Jones, & Richard Kean will be piping, with the awesome Randy Wothke drumming. Yeah, I’ll fly to Midland for my Rogues fix! Even if they aren’t all Rogues anymore. I’ll fly out Sunday morning and then fly home on Monday morning before I go to work. Fortunately, work is close to the airport, so I can be to work by like 9:30. Between now and then I have a ton of food prep to do. I’m taking a handful of turkey legs, a couple of boneless, skinless turkey breasts, some meatloaf, a batch of soup and a couple of casseroles. Fortunately, much of it can be prepared in advance and frozen until we are ready to actually cook it, and with disposable foil pans, cleanup will be easy too!!! I’ll head out to the sticks on Wednesday, hopefully around 11 a.m. I’ll be on the road, which should get me there by about 6 p.m. Hopefully, the other company that’s coming in from this area will be a little later than I am, so we can get situated before there are too many people in the house. And have a conference or two with the Captain. Come December, I’ll be heading to Galveston for Dickens’ on the Strand. Yep, Galveston is still in recovery from Ike, and the Strand may not be as pretty as it has been in former years, but hopefully there will be an outstanding turnout for the celebration. I know that several of the acts are performing at no cost to the festival, which is awesome of them to do, so if you’re headed that way, be sure to leave something in the tip jar for them, k? I think that’s about it for tonite.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I could probably use therapy

I'm pretty sure, actually that it would do me a great deal of good to find a therapist, but honestly, that's just not on my list of things to do these days. Blogging will just have to do for now. Not that I do a very regular job of that either... It's been kind of a crazy year for me, ups and downs, fortunately, more ups, I think, for the most part. Right now's rough, however because I once again let my heart rule my head. You would think I would have learned by now. I haven't, and this time it's hurting more than I could possibly have imagined that it would. As a Libra, I admit that sometimes I am in love with the idea of being in love. I like being part of a couple. I don't mind, most of the time, being single. Sure there are moments when I'm somewhere with a bunch of my 'couple' friends that it sorta niggles at me, but mostly I'm ok with it. Over the summer, I developed a bit of an infatuation with a friend. This has never happened to me before. Oh, I've had situations where I was infatuated, but THEN decided that friends worked better, but it's never gone the other direction. I declared my interest, was told, very nicely and honestly that at this point, friendship is all he has to offer anybody. OK. I'm cool with that, I can be patient. The problem arose when words and actions were not matching, and was exacerbated by the fact that OTHER PEOPLE were interpreting actions the same way that I was, and were beginning to think of us as a couple. Hey, it works for me, right? Yeah, somewhere along the way, I lost my heart to him. I honestly don't know if he has any idea just how hard I fell. Sure, he knows tht there is an interest, and he knows that I miss him when I don't see him when I'm accustomed to seeing him, or talk to him according to our usual habits, but I don't think that he really has a clue about how far gone I am. Subtle doesn't work. Banging him over the head doesn't work. I just don't know what else to do, other than just give up and hope that he figures it out. I've let go. Sort of. I've taken our picture off my various profiles where I was using it as my avatar. I've randomized contact lists so he's not the #1 every time someone looks at my lists. He's not the default photo on my phone anymore. Our photo is no longer hanging on my computer monitor or from my keychain. I am trying to be mature about it and not have a kicking screaming fit. Yesterday I completely melted down and even mentioned to a couple of people that I was contemplating sticking my head in the oven. NEVER in my life have I even joked about suicide, simply because I've been left behind, and would not dream of doing the same thing to my friends. Never has a the loss of a relationship caused me to want to die. Yeah, it's bad this time around. And now all I can do is wait

Monday, November 3, 2008

Can you believe

We are 8 weeks away from 2009?? WOW has this year flown by! Went to a Halloween bash at the home of some friends Friday night, which didn't turn out at all the way I had anticipated and hoped, and therefore sulked much of the next day. Sunday was a little better because I was shopping at First Monday Trade Days in Canton, so I was occupied pretty well for the day. This morning my world seems to have begun to right itself again, so all in all, it's a pretty good Monday I suppose!