Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

I helped decorate my parents house last night (until 10:30) and went home and made three trays of mini cinnamon buns (about 80 - 90... I didn't count), and then came to work this morning.  We decided that the few of us that were here would all bring in Christmasy foods today since we had to be here all morning (and no one else is here).  The other cinnamon buns went to Jared to take to his company Christmas breakfast. 
I was just informed, by text message, that I bought Jared three ties for Christmas.  Really?  I bet I have good taste and have picked out ties that are perfect for Jared.  ha ha. 
I am pretty sure that after Christmas I am not going to want to bake anything or see sweet things for a long time.  I am really craving some fresh veggies and fruits!!  Come on summer!!  My favorite season comes after Summer.  YAY, Autumn! 
Oh, Jared bought me an early Christmas present.  He bought me a little 3 foot tree for my kitchen table.  I have really been wanting one.  It is so adorable.  I was going to decorate it all cute and pretty with little ornaments, but Jared got to it first and has decked it out with all sorts of random ornaments that aren't good enough for our real tree.  hmmm.  It is ugly cute.  Anyhow, it adds cheer to my kitchen and that is what I wanted (not that trays and trays of christmas cookies and chocolate covered pretzels don't add any cheer). 
Merry Christmas!! 

Monday, December 20, 2010

I'm dreaming...

... of a white Christmas!! 

Thursday, December 16, 2010


It is snowing.  That makes me happy. 
I will see Michelle tomorrow.  That makes me happy too. 
It is almost Christmastime!!  This also makes me happy.
*insert picture of snow*
Please, use your imagination.  :)
Oh, and my darling husband put the turkey in the oven for me yesterday and so it was finished by the time I came home from work.  I picked the whole turkey clean and taught Jared how to make gravy.  He is really a big help in the kitchen.  Then we had open face turkey sandwiches for dinner.  yum yum yum.  Guess what I am having for lunch today? 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I finished one of my quilting projects last night!!  Yay!!  While Jared was at the library and choir I quilted the whole thing, trimmed it, and started the binding.  I finished about half the binding last night.  I will finish it tonight right after I go grocery shopping.  We are out of milk.  This is the largest amount of fabric that I have ever quilted before.  It was a beast to quilt, especially in the middle.  I never think of the sewing machine as being little until I try to quilt; when I quilt there is never enough room, even for small jobs.  There was only one minor flaw that I had to seam rip out (twice).  This one area on the back wanted to keep scrunching up even though I pinned it many times. Seam ripping in a quilt takes forever because of the amount of stitches that are laid down.  I hope to take a picture soon and post it, but I have said that before and failed.  It is so hard to upload photos when your labtop is broken.   I don't think SU wants me loading pictures on to their computers... Whenever I have kids I am going to need to purchase a laptop (or desktop) simply for photos. 
Last night I made pizza again.  Tonight we are having Turkey (thanks to Harvard/Labinal/Safron/Labinal Salisbury).  I am trying to decide on the sides... sweet potatoes and green beans and maybe biscuits and/or stuffing too.  I really want to have open face hot turkey sandwiches.  YUM!!  Those remind me of my Dad.  He and I would eat them together with the leftovers.  I don't think the others in my house like them.  I need to make some bread.
Do you have any ideas what I should bring to my office Christmas party?  I have been asked to bring chili again by some people, but I really want to make something else.  What else is one pot and easy to keep warm?   I was really thinking of making rolls or cookies this year.  But if you have any suggestions... I might change my mind. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

This weekend I opened up one of my birthday presents that I have been hoarding since June.  It was just as delicious and incredible as I dreamed it would be.  Anna gave me two jars of Grotto's pasta/pizza sauce and I have not wanted to open them (because then they would be gone).  I finally convinced myself to open a jar telling myself that I still would have one jar left to look forward to.  The sauce was supposed to make it on to the pizza, which it did, but I was also eating the sauce out of the jar with a spoon last night while I waited for Jared to come home from the library. Is that bad? Even though Grotto Pizza doesn't use mozzarella cheese, I was dunking chunks of that into the sauce as well.  I love that everything on the ingredient list is something that I recognize.  I love the flavor.  It is wonderful.  I just need to figure out their pizza crust flavor and I will be set for life (well, maybe a pizza oven and a few other things would be helpful...). 
I am planning on making spaghetti with the extra sauce this weekend (if I don't eat it all with a spoon before then). We are having pizza again tonight.  :)   Yay! 
I might try to make my deep dish pizza again soon because it turned out incredible last time.  I loved the crunchy, crispy edges. 
Today during lunch I ran/drove over to Hancock Fabric (were the grumpy people work) and bought needles for my sewing machine.  After fighting with it for a long time last night, I read the instruction manual because I had tried everything I could think of and my machine was still skipping stitches. This was taking place at 10:30 last night.  It reminded me of life.  For the most part I try to solve problems on my own, but if I just look at the instructions it would be so much easier.  :)  God knows how to solve every problem and has blessed us with his word to read.  I just have to do it.   In the end, I think I figured out the problem (thank you frequently asked questions).  I read the whole instructions book last night.  I have never done that before.  I learned a lot.  Tonight my sewing machine will be taken care of in ways that it has not been ever taken care of.  It is going to be oiled, shined, and cleaned out.  I do clean it out, but tonight I am going to really clean it out.   How am I expecting it to keep working if I don't take good care of it?  Again, just like life, I need to take care of my relationship to God or life doesn't go as smoothly.  My thread will keep skipping spots.  :)   In case you are curious, I was using the wrong size needle for quilting (hopefully).  I will find out tonight when I give it another go.
Do you ever learn lessons from little things like a sewing machine? 

Friday, December 10, 2010

I signed up for all my new health benefits today.  I am pretty excited because I will be visiting my eye doctor this year.  :)  YAY!  You don't understand how happy this makes me, yes, I have perfect vision right now (thanks to my parents paying for lasik), but my eye doctor is the sweetest person on the planet.  I am also hoping she can write me a prescription for glasses to wear some of the day while I stare at this dumb computer.  It has been giving me dull headaches recently.  Grr.  I have frames that I really like.  I bought them two years ago when all I could wear was glasses (because my eyes reacted to contacts). 
This weekend I am hoping to do a lot of resting.  I feel like I have been running a marathon for the last two weeks.  It will be so nice to relax.  Jared and I made chocolate covered pretzels last night (for the second time this year).  I made checkerboard cookies Tuesday night (as a trial run for this Saturday for the Christmas shop) and took them to work.  They were amazing!! Last weekend I made over 400 gingerbread cookies and 7 dozen gingersnaps.  Also, Anna came over and cooked for us last Friday and we watched a Christmas movie!!  YAY!! 
I really want to make a jelly roll.  That is one my list of next things to make from my 1930s cookbook.  I love that cookbook.  I spend most of Wednesday night while Jared was at school reading through it cover to cover yet again!!  There are some really great recipes in there for basic things (I mean, there are over 1400 pages to the book -- how can there not be some goodness in there?).  There are also some really disgusting things, such as, squirrel and possum, and a sandwich loaf smothered in cream cheese (made to look like a cake, I am assured that it looks extremely elegant).  Egg salad, bread, chicken salad, all pressed together and spread over by cream cheese does not sound good!!
P.S. Spell check is wonderful.
Do you have any exciting plans this weekend?  I hope to head over to my parents house this weekend for some good food. Otherwise, it is all about resting this weekend. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Did you grow up in the country?

Today I was wandering around my job helping people out in manufacturing.  I was correcting sheets with my red pen and stamping them with my approval.  While helping this one group of women they asked me, "did you grow up in the country?"
To which I replied, "Do you mean the United States?"
"No," they replied, "we mean like the country or the city."
"I grew up in Salisbury. Does that count as city or country?"
They said they would call that the city.
"Well, then I grew up in the city."
"Well, we were discussing you and we think you have a 'country feel' about you.  You are cheerful."
"ummm... thanks."
P.S.  I did not have my hair in braids today.  Come to think of it, I haven't worn my hair in braids for over two weeks... hmm.
This reminds me of Jared's Target co-workers that told him that I reminded them of a Hippie.  Apparently wearing no make-up and my hair in braids occasionally means that I am an uncivilized bumpkin.  ha ha.  I should tell them that I can my own veggies and fruits, bake my own bread, and sew quilts. 
This was going to be a post about how great Jared is (because he washes the dead turkey and chickens off for me and puts them in the pan), but I found this story rather amusing.   I have a turkey sitting in brine at home waiting to be cooked tomorrow.  It is going to be pretty incredible (hopefully)!!  It is in there will all sorts of yummy spices, apples juice, and orange peels.  Also, it is spiced cidar time and that makes me super happy.  I have had a mug or two each night for four days now.  I keep using my silver travel mug that Hayley gave me many years ago.  It is my favorite because it keeps it warm for so long.  Jared is using our Christmas/snowmen dishes to drink his. 
Has anyone told you something about yourself that you stop and think, "hmmm?? I wonder what they mean by that", about?  Ha ha. 
And a bonus question, Does your husband do anything for you because he knows you hate it? 
Jared rinses my raw whole chickens off for me and he cleans the bathroom!!  YAY!  I love him.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Thanksgiving is only a day away!!
Question of the day/week: What are you thankful for?

1. For the saving grace and mercy of God, which accomplished and keeps my salvation without depending on any contribution from me.

2. Jared (We have the most rediculous amount of fun. I never thought I would spend so many hours of married life laughing and being silly.  He brightens every day.  He is my best friend, my comic relief, my greatest helper, and the sweetest husband.  He unloads the dishwasher some mornings for me or loads it while I am in the shower (as a surprise).  He helps me fold my clothes and irons his clothes.  He prays and reads the Bible and Surgeon with me each morning.  He reads to me for hours and hours and hours while I cook and sew.  Each moment spent with him is absolutely delightful.  I never dreamed that marriage would be so much fun.  I had this idea that it was going to be all work and no fun.  Boy, I sure am glad that I was wrong.  Marriage is wonderful.  It is the most satisfying job in the entire world to make Jared laugh after a long day at work when he is tired and discouraged.  I love cooking for him and taking care of him.  It is the best! )  I LOVE you, Jared.  You are amazing. 
3. My family.  I can't talk about each of these in detail.  But I have the best family in the world.  :)   You will just have to take my word for it. 
4. My husband's family.  I love Jared's parents like I never thought I could love any other set of parents.  Mrs. Shelton shares so much of her fabric with me and is such an encouragement. 
5. My job.  I am glad to have a place that pays me so that I can pay my bills. 
6. My church. I am thankful that they faithfully preach the Word of God each week.
7.  Cooler weather!  I love the fall.
8. My sewing machine (thanks, Mrs. Bailey).  I love to create on it.
9.  igrace music.   I love listening to the words of old hymns.  It makes me days brighter.
10.  G.T. and the Halo Express.  It also makes my days brighter. 
11. NPR.  A Prairie Home Companion.  Car Talk.  Fresh Air.  BBC World News.  Etc... It is nice to listen to radio that makes me think and expands my knowledge.  I have heard several book reviews and musical reviews and gone out and read or listened to them afterwards and loved them.  :) 
12. My second job at SU.  I LOVE teaching!! 
13. For Jared and my health.  YAY!! 
14.  For camping trips and a husband who is a trooper to spend the entire first night of camping in a downpour that dropped 5" of rain.  Thank you, Jared.  And thanks to my father for lending us all the useful camping things.  Warm oatmeal on the stove each morning was so nice. 
15. Bike riding which I don't do enough of.
16.  For Books. 
17. For learning.
18. For the Grandi Howards at 9501. 
19.  For homemade bread and rolls and cinnamon buns... Yum yum yum!!!
20. For all the Delicious foods I make and eat. 
21.  For lots of counter space in my kitchen.  It makes life so much easier.  I am so thankful for counter space.
22.  For my kitchenaid mixer (thanks Sheltons), my electric tea kettle, and my non-stick frying pans (thanks Anna).  Also, for my BIG cutting board (Hope).  I used it last night and it make life so much easier.
23. For colors and the way each season has its own sets of colors and smells.
24. For fall smelling candles (apple pie and pumpkin spice I am thinking about you!!).
25. For beautiful fabrics and a nice little stash of MODA fabrics.  I love you, fabrics. 
26.  For a mother-in-law who gives me all sorts of sewing knick knacks and fabrics and threads and inspiration! 
27. London.  West End. The Globe. Trains.  Oxford.
28. Germany.  I would love to go back to beautiful, wonderful, delicious Germany. 
29. The Sperows who let us stay with them and toted us all around Germany to places they had probably been tons of times.  Thank you. 
30.  cream, chocolate, butter, eggs, milk, flour, and all things that can be cooked into special treats.
31. the YMCA.
32. Two cars that are still running.
33. For our house not being broken into yet even though a lot of neighbors have been.
34. lasik!!  I love being able to see.  Thanks Dad and Mom!!
35.  My college degrees.  I am glad I was able to learn about so many interesting things. 
36.  my pr!vo (clark) shoes and my bass clogs.  Thank you for making my feet comfortable at work.
37. Jared's voice. Is it weird to be thankful for this?  I love listening to him sing. 
38.  My house.  I like its littleness.  I don't have to clean as much.
39.  A husband who cleans the bathrooms.  :)
40.  Betty Crocker, my southern cookbook, my German cookbook, the frugal girl's bread recipes, southern living cookbook, and especially my three ring binder cookbook from everyone at my bridal shower.  Love love love love love it!!  I use it all the time.  It is the greatest idea for a wedding shower gift ever!!  I love all of you creative people. 
41. Indoor plumbing. 
42. My HUGE oven and a setting to turn on whenever I tell it too...
43. Comfy sweatshirts to hang around the house in during the winter. 
44. clearance sales
45. flannel sheets
46. Sherlock Holmes.
47. Michelle Sohl who comes to visit me all the time and does all the driving.
48. My Aunt Suzanne and Uncle Bill.
49. Everyone that helped with my wedding and made it the most perfect day ever.
50. For a family to laugh.  :) 
I am going home tonight to make stuffing, rolls, and a sweet potato pie.  I made the cornbread and biscuits last night to add to the stuffing.  YAY!! 

Friday, November 19, 2010

This weekend I am going to finish a Christmas present that I have been working on (it has turned out better than I thought and it is a good thing that it started out as a Christmas present from the start or I would consider keeping it), start sewing another Christmas present or two or three that I need to make, visit my niece and nephews and make gingerbread cookies with them (and mama Cindy), celebrate my father and sister's birthday (happy birthday to you...), maybe do some more Christmas shopping, go to the gym with Jared, and cook a few things. I am especially looking forward to visiting my niece and nephews!! They are a lot of fun and I miss babysitting them.

What am I eating for lunch today? This chicken, rice, Mexican recipe... I made a cross between two recipes that I have been meaning to try and added a few things of my own to it. ha. That is what cooking is all about anyhow. The original recipe came from Mrs. Bailey (for a Mexican chicken pot pie of sorts, I made it minus the crust). Yesterday at work I was looking at a similar recipe (that called for yogurt instead of sour cream) which inspired me to go home and cook it for dinner. The ingredients are listed below. I mixed various amounts of them together until I liked the taste. While I mixed everything together and preheated the oven I cooked the rice. I try to always have shredded chicken in my freezer so that can whip up dinners pretty fast. Then I sprinkled cheese on top of it and bake in for 25 minutes at 350 degrees F and on broil for a while until the top became a little crunchy. I served it over spinach with some corn chips crunched up on top. Pretty tasty. I'll make this again.
* brown rice (cooked for 35 minutes)
* shredded chicken (for freezer)
* yogurt
* a little sour cream (I ran out of yogurt)
* green peppers (I had some already chopped up that needed to be used)
* a can of green chilies
* garlic (recipe didn't call for any seasonings, but it was bland without it)
* cumin (added)
* oregano (added)
* salsa (doubled or tripled what the recipe called for)
* can of black beans (could use more... I am a big bean fan)
* corn (I added extra corn too)
* carrots (I had some cut up that I needed to use up... they are still crunchy... I wish I hadn't added them).

Happy birthday to the little babies of the family.
I love you both. See you this weekend!

Question: Do you have any exciting weekend plans?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A sweet potato recipe for my Mother (and a zoo report).
I made this last night. It is so simple, but delicious!!

Directions: Peel as many sweet potatoes as you are going to cook. Rinse. Cut them up in cubes (I sliced them into 0.5 - 0.75 inch rounds and then cut into 6 or 8 pieces). Place the cubes on a cookie sheet (one with a rim is better). Sprinkle with salt and a little olive oil. Toss them around until they are lightly coated. Put under a broiler until they turn a little brown on a couple sides.

I cooked mine on low for about 30 minutes, but you could definitely cut down on this time by putting in on high a couple times. Make sure to stir a few times during the cooking. I was sewing so I would set the timer for 10 minutes and let them sit under the low heat, stir, and go back to sewing.

I am eating them room temperature for a snack today. I can't resist. They taste so sweet you would think they had sugar on them. Yum!!

Oh, and the fat little prairie dogs were out at the zoo yesterday eating their lunch. I am going to visit them and my cotton topped monkey friends today again at lunch.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Last night I came home from work and straightened the house.  I threw a ton of paper away. It is amazing how quickly it piles up (and we don't have a working printer or computer).  It was mostly mail.  Amazing.  Before I started straightening I threw a pot of southwest tortilla soup (tomatoes, onions, chili powder, beans, chicken broth, corn... etc) on the stove and some cornbread in the oven.  I love cornbread.  They were both finished by the time Jared came home from the dentist and perfect for a cold night at home.  Jared helped me put away the clothes and make the bed.  I seem to fail at making beds look neat.  My side of the bed comes up-tucked and is never as smooth as Jared's side.  My flannel sheets were amazing last night.  I didn't wake up once.  It was so cozy.  Winter is my favorite season for sleeping. 
Today I brought my soup in a mason jar just because I could.  :)  Actually, my containers were all in the dishwasher.  It worked out pretty well.  A wide mouth jar would have done the trick a little better.  Oh course I brought some corn bread for lunch too.  Yum yum yum.  There is just something about corn bread that is so good.  Do you know what is also really good?!?  I have this stuffing recipe (I think it is from my Christmas taste of home cookbook - Thanks Hannah) that is make from cornbread and biscuits.  It is the most amazing stuffing I have ever had.  Although, the pork, apple, and raisin stuffing that my German cookbook has in it, does rival it... You can't really compare the two.  I eat them both out of the pan and usually burn my mouth. 
Thanksgiving is coming soon!!!  It is just two weeks from today.  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  Food and family can't really be wrong.  I wonder what Mom wants me to make for thanksgiving.  She should text me and let me know.  :) 
Question: Where are you spending thanksgiving?  What is your favorite dish to make or eat?
We are spending thanksgiving with my parents, but we might run over and visit Jared's parents as well (my niece and nephews will be there and I want to see them).  This year I am really looking forward to pecan pie and pumpkin (or sweet potato) pie.  Mom, don't feel pressured to make either of those, if you weren't planning on it.   Do you want me to make a sweet potato pie?  I am game for that.  They should put sweet potatoes on sale soon at walmart.  I have been waiting for those and celery to go on sale.  They were super marked down last year the day before thanksgiving.  I didn't have a job last year so I guess that is why I was wandering around walmart on the day before thanksgiving.  I bought so many sweet potatoes last year and canned them and froze them.  I would like to do that again this year.  A kitchen tip before I run: Buy lots of celery and cut it all up at once and freeze it.  When a recipe calls for chopped celery just take the bag out and dump out the amount you need and put the rest back in the freezer.  It doesn't spoil on you and you save time and work.  I need a chest freezer, which requires room for a chest freezer.  It would save so much time and I could freeze so many more blueberries.  Jared is steady going through my blueberries in his oatmeal.  I wish I had picked more. 
Happy two weeks to thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Just a question today: Do you have any favorite articles of clothing that make you look forward to pulling out in the winter? 
Scarves!!  Scarves!!  Scarves!! I have two cashmere scarves that Jared bought me in blue and purple plaids.  They are lovely and soft.  I worked in a different part of the office last winter (where it was colder because it was near the server) and wore them all day long.  Now I work in a small area crammed full of 12 people, 12 desks, 12 computers, and a copier.  The heat is a little oppressive at times.  I am wearing a short sleeved polo and dressy jeans today and it is warm.  I drink a lot of cold water most days.  My scarves last for the first two hours of the day around my neck, but then I have to take them off.   I also love my light blue pea coat and my wool dress pants.  Winter clothes are so much cozier than summer clothes for me.  I look forward to bundling up in the winters!!  I love love love it. 
And speaking of clothing/shoes, I bought a pair of Privo (Clark Brand) shoes to walk around work in because my feet were hurting just wearing flats.  They are incredible!  My feet haven't hurt since I started wearing them; I adore them.  I wear them 3 or 4 days a week and my old lady clogs the other 2 days.  My feet are happy; I am happy.  Thank you to the Clark outlet for selling shoes at half price for the little people.  These shoes make me want to throw away all my other shoes and invest in well made expensive shoes.  My plan is to slowly build up a good rotation of comfortable shoes to wear over the years.  I also practically stole a brown pair of Clark clogs for $15 on the discount rack.  If they had had these Privos any cheaper I would have bought several pairs.  ha.  I am really waiting for their Unstructured shoes to go on sale and to the outlets.  Those are my favorite shoes that I tried on at VP. 
Okay, another Question:  Do you use flannel sheets?
My alarm went off this morning and I immediately realized that I way touching one of my quilt and not my sheets (we have three quilts on our bed right now -- so cozy).  I looked over and Jared was all twisted up in the sheet.  It was all untucked and unkempt.  It was a good think though because it reminded me that I have been wanting to put on my flannel sheets.  YAY!!  So tonight I am going to go home (after the gym and dinner and before a little quilting and putting away clothes) and make my bed with flannel sheets.  While Jared is off studying at the library (if that is what he is doing tonight) I am going to curl up in my newly made bed and read a good book.  Books are golden.  I also "use" flannel sheets that I buy on sale after the holidays for quilting.  :) 

Monday, November 08, 2010

Was anyone else a little disappointed in Moriarty? Ummm, yeah. He was a bummer of a bad guy (it was so bad he was comical and annoying). Moriarty would not be like that. Evil crime lords should be older/ look older than 18!! I am thinking he should be at least late 30s or 40s to make him at all believable. He was a terrible disappointment. It is the first problem that I have had with the Series (and it is a major problem seeing that the writers like to work Moriarty in ever episode. In the books he isn't mentioned all that often). Boo hiss!!

That whole last scene was so out of character for the books and the show. It really annoyed me. Otherwise, I loved the references to the 5 Orange Pips and the Purloined Papers. The flash drive was a clever twist. I liked it. I enjoy seeing how they are basing it on the books, but an updated version. If it hadn't been for the last scene I would have been completely positive about Sherlock. Putting the last scene aside (it was terrible), I would still recommend this show and I am planning on watching it again. I have already watched the second one twice. I think that is my favorite of the three. I hope they make more so they have a chance to redeem themselves from this dreadful ending.

In other news, I made Minestrone yesterday. It is the perfect soup for a cold evening (or two or three). I brought some to work today for lunch. Sprinkle a little Parmesan on the top and it is amazing. It was inspired by a little date lunch we had to Olive Garden two weeks ago (thank you to anyone that gave us Olive Garden gift cards or any restaurant gift cards - so fun). I also am eating an apple and peanut butter (love) and some grapes. I really wish a Trader Joes would decide to come to Salisbury. After Chipotle it was the store I missed the most from College Park (now, with the addition of Chipotle to the bury, TJ has moved to the top spot for most wanted store).

Question: Is there any stores you would like to see in Salisbury?
Food: Trader Joe's!!! I would love some trail mix or tomato basil soup or cornbread right now. YUMMY! Maybe an Aldi. I have heard great things about them too (mainly lower prices).

Clothing (not that I have even gone clothing shopping since being married - ha, but I like to admire beauty): Banana Republic and Anthropologie.

Question 2: Have you ever been disappointed in a TV series ending? Which one and why?
I don't really watch that much TV and the shows I do watch are usually BBC shows or miniseries. I haven't been disappointed in any of them. The one TV show I started watching and gave up on was LOST. I quit watching after the second season, but I did watch the last season and the ending. It was a complete cop out and devoid of any creativity. If Jared hadn't been at school those nights I wouldn't have wasted my time watching the last season. It was pretty worthless.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

I made peppermint patties today!  They are even better than the original. Yum!

Recipe for Hannah Nanner:  (p.s. it is SUPER easy... well, except the chocolate coating part... it is a bit messy). 

I found the recipe here.  I love "The Kitchn".  It is one of my favorite food blogs.


2 cups powdered sugar
1.5 tbsp softened butter
2 tsp peppermint extract
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp cream
8 ounces (about 1-1/3 cup) dark chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp vegetable shortening

Line a cookie sheet with wax paper or a silpat. In a blender, cream together the sugar, butter, extracts, and cream on low speed. After the ingredients are combined, raise the speed to medium-high and beat for an additional 1-2 minutes until mixture holds together very well and is creamy, not powdery.

Using a teaspoon, roll the candy into small balls and flatten them on the wax paper or silpat with the palm of your hand into patty shapes. When done, put them in the refrigerator to chill for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the chopped chocolate and the shortening in the microwave or over a double boiler.

Using dipping tools or two dinner forks, dip the patties into the chocolate one by one. Drag them across the lip of the bowl to remove any excess chocolate. Return them to the wax paper or silpat, and place back in the refrigerator to set the candies. They should be ready to eat in a few hours.

And that's it! Due to the dairy ingredient, these need to be kept in the refrigerator. Layer the patties between sheets of parchment in an airtight container. They'll last for a month.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Some days, on Fridays when the day is going slowly, the older people around me in engineering open up around their childhood and I hear really fascinating stories of the way things used to be in Salisbury, Berlin, Seaford, and the surrounding area.  Those are the days that I love my job (but really it is the people's stories that I love). It makes being here more entertaining.   I think people should write books about their lives in the  50s, 60s, and 70s.  It sounds so much more interesting then today.  I know my Dad's stories of growing up on a farm are so much more interesting than the stories I can tell my kids some day.  I would read a book about my Dad's childhood.  People got away with doing a lot of things that we would say were dangerous today, but they are all still alive.  I think we worry too much about things these days and in worrying, we miss out on some fun.  Granted, some of those worries are probably justified.   We also spend WAY too much time in front of TV, the computer, and our phones!!  So, go out and ask someone about their life and enjoy life at a little bit of a slower pace.

I like hearing about milk being delivered on doorsteps and various other delivery people that came around and visited.  People seemed to have more time to simply visit with each other and enjoy life.  Life is too busy these days (and I don't even have a family of my own yet).  I want more time to sit back and relax and talk to people (especially people who are older than me and can tell me stories of their lives).  I like every day (what they would probably think of as boring) stories.  Today I heard a whole lot about working at an ice plant.  Let's just say that after working fast food and seeing their ice (bleh) and now hearing about the ice plant (double bleh), I am really glad that I like my water room temperature. 

So, invite me over (or invite yourself over) and tell me some stories about where you grew up and what you did when you were younger.  I'll sit and listen (and probably really enjoy it).  Maybe I should take notes and write a book. 

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

I had a cavity filled yesterday.  Afterwards I decided that having a cavity filled is really not that traumatic and is actually less painful than having your braces adjusted.  Before you protest, let me explain.  When work was done on my braces, tightening wires or putting tight fitting metal rims around the molars, my mouth was never numbed.  Sometimes it felt like they were yanking my teeth out of my head or pounding on it with a small hammer (which I think he was actually doing at times).   In other news, I have also decided that upper cavities are the easier of cavities because my lips don't feel numb and those don't get bitten while I eat dinner afterwards.  :)

Oh, I found a new TV show that I absolutely LOVE!!  We went to turn on election results, after choir last night, but they weren't on yet.  However, on PBS playing was Masterpiece Theatre Mystery's new show, Sherlock!   I love BBC productions.  They should just be all of TV.  At first I thought that a modern retelling of Sherlock Holmes might be a little bit goofy (kooky), but the more I watched the show, the more enchanted I became with it.  British accents make the show even greater. J  If anyone knows me they should know that I ADORE all things Sherlock Holmes.  He is my favorite fictional character of all time.  This was very true to Sherlock Holmes character, unlike that awful movie that recently came out with Jude Law and that guy from Iron Man.  I haven't seen it, but the previews and reviews I read sounded nothing like Sherlock Holmes.  This felt very true to his character in the books.  Anyhow, I am trying to find a way to watch all the ones that I have missed.  I love love love loved this show.  If it is out on DVD it would make a marvelous Christmas gift for me.  *hint hint*  

Oh, and an interesting fact, the guy who plays Watson is slated to be Bilbo in the Hobbit.  He is great.  I am really looking forward to seeing his performance in the Hobbit, if they ever start making it.  The man who plays Sherlock is also perfect.  His movements and the way he talks, they are completely Sherlock Holmes.  I thought at times that if Sherlock Holmes had a great great grandson, this is probably how he would behave.  I loved the show, the one episode that I saw, and would recommend it.  I hope the rest of them are as good.   I was highly impressed.  I usually don't like TV shows at all, but this was classic and it was British.  Love love love it. 

And since I can't go a whole day without talking about food… I had a homemade whole wheat English muffin with butter and honey on it this morning for breakfast.  Delicious!  I have been so amazed by how easy and tasty English muffins are to make.  Maybe I'll post a recipe sometime.  

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

How can you not love homemade food, especially when it involves cream, butter, egg yolks, and homemade chicken broth?  Oh yes, that is what I have for lunch today.  A cozy little dish with a sauce made from those yummy ingredients and some shredded chicken over brown rice.  It reminds me of Turkey Di'van, but a WHOLE lot more amazing.  It is so creamy and wonderful.  It is a perfect little winter food.  I will be making it again.  I think I may even make this sauce and substitute it for all recipes calling for "cream of X soups".  Thanks to my German cookbook for this treasure.  It is putting me in the mood for biscuits and gravy.
Hmmm, I might have to buy some sausage at the store for this weekend... Saturday breakfast?  Never mind, that is the Reformation breakfast.  I guess it will have to be the next weekend.  In other news, I am in the mood to make some gingerbread cookies, but I don't want to eat them... I wonder if I could sell them somewhere.  In case you hadn't picked up on this fact, my dream is to someday own a bakery and/or small cafe.  That way I could bake gingerbread, cinnamon buns, sugar cookies, pies, and German chocolate cake all day lot and not have to eat it.  :) Maybe my dream is more to be the baker at a small cafe or bakery... owning it would probably be a lot more work.  One of my goals in the next few years is to take a few classes in the Wor-Wic food department, starting with Pastry!!!  I wonder if they are teaching that next fall?  Since I am not teaching next semester I might be able to fit it in...
On a side note (or maybe it is going back to the first point of this blog today), I love the possibilities afforded with home cooking.  It is so creative and tasty.  A little fact you all might think is funny, since you should know that I don't like tomatoes, is that they are one of my favorite foods to cook and throw in recipes (homemade salsa and spaghetti sauce).  I also love that good foods can be so cheap to make at home!  That makes me especially happy.  I love looking at what a frozen lasagna costs, adding up what I spent, tasting the incredible difference, and smiling because I know that better tasting food is cheaper.   Oh, and did I mention that I love real cream.  I have started cooking with it and making whipped cream with it.  As long as I can I will be making my own whipped cream.   There is something very satisfying about hand whipping cream until it becomes thick.  It is the similar feeling I have when kneading my own bread.  I love it. I love cooking.  I wish I was paid to cook.  Does anyone want to hire me to plan your meals, shop for you (I enjoy grocery shopping, is that weird?  It is a big treasure hunt for me), and cook all your food? 
It seems I am back to blogging, for a while, but only to talk about food. 
Question: Do you have any favorite meals or food items to cook?  What makes you especially happy about cooking?
I definitely have to say that breads are one of the most satisfying food items to cook. I love kneading them and watching them rise.  I love how they smell when they rise and when they bake.  They are so pretty when they come out of the oven golden brown.  AND they are especially delicious warm with butter and homemade jam.  :)  I am pretty sure bread is my absolute favorite food to create.

Monday, November 01, 2010

I think these are absolutely adorable and wonderful.  I already love Mason jars and put all sorts of things in them.  This is just adding to the obsession. 
P.S.  This site, is quickly becoming one of my favorite food blogs to read.  I am looking forward to what they post for Christmas.  There are tons of fun ideas and recipes on their site.  It is my daily inspiration. 

cough drops

When I was younger I did not like cough drops nor saw the point of them.  Over the last year or so I have really come to depend on them.  My throat seems to often be dry and itchy.  I blame the recirculated air at work and a recent discovery of allergies to almost everything (mainly perfumes, and fake flowery scents in lotions and candles and the like).
This weekend was nice and relaxing.  I found a bunch of bone-in chicken breasts on sale at Food Lion and spend Saturday afternoon boiling them (with various root veggies) to make broth.  Saturday evening I picked the chicken off.  I love boiling chicken for a long time because the chicken meat usually just falls off the bones. It is super easy.  I also like boiling the bone-in chicken because it makes for better broth and it is cheaper than boneless.  From the chicken I froze two Tupperware containers and made chicken & rice soup and a German dish from my German cookbook (it has a sauce made from flour, chicken broth, egg yolks, and cream - oh yum).  I am looking forward to heating that up tonight over some Brown rice for dinner before dashing off to teach my chemistry labs.  Which reminds me, I will be very sad when they end.  I hope they ask me back next fall.  :)   The soup was especially delicious today for lunch because I woke up with a soreish throat.  
Friday night we went to a costume party at the Townsends.  Jared dressed up as Wolverine.  I forgot to take pictures.  Saturday was the Reformation Children's party.  I helped set up around 1:30 - 4:30.  I came home and changed in to some warm clothes before heading back to church with Jared for a bonfire.  I felt so tired.  This sleep schedule with Jared working some nights but not other nights is getting to me. I am extremely thankful that he doesn't always work nights and that his job is mostly day work (this is the first time he has ever worked nights in 6 years at his job).  Hooray.  Sunday I cooked up some German food (I love my German cookbook): Schnitzel and croquettes.  They turned out pretty well. Not nearly as good as real German food.  Thanks to Sarah for taking me over to Germany. I'll never forget it.  German food is one of the bests.  I'll probably bring the leftovers to work tomorrow with my favorite condiment, Ketchup (ever since starting to listen to A Prairie Home Companion, I hear the Ketchup song in my head when I type that word - ha ha). 
I have so many sewing projects to complete (or start) and Jared working nights has put them all on hold.  They are sitting in piles in my spare bedroom waiting for me.  I am going to buy some new charms at Mrs. Shelton's shop on Thursday, hopefully.  I am going to try to use that a a jump start back in the sewing. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A little housekeeping:  I thought I could use a little updated look, but I haven't made the formatting all right.  My header is way too big, but I don't have it saved on my computer right now. 

I went and had my teeth cleaned today!!  Yay.  They feel so ... clean. 

My two labs that I am teaching are going really well.  I love being a university lab instructor.  If I could only break into the professor world.  I will continue to try to climb in any doors that they open to me.  :)

Tonight I am going home to make stuffed shells for dinner.  They are going to be delicious!  And I really wish the weather would make up its mind to stay cold because I REALLY REALLY want to make soup.  I love soups, stews, and chowders.  I rebelled and made some chicken and rice soup last week because Jared had a cold.  Thankfully, I didn't catch his cold.  I am so grateful for that.  I am craving some good potato and ham or simple potato chowder.   Soup also calls for a batch of rolls.  I love Autumn.  Speaking of weather, it is way too hot!

Last night Jared and I spend the evening watching the end of Martin Chuzzlewitt.  What a great movie.  I didn't enjoy it the first time I watched it.  I thought it was rather weird and the main character, Jared's favorite character, Pecksniff ANNOYS me.  But the movie has grown on me.  I enjoyed it greatly this time around.  The book is going to be on my reading list soon.  Maybe after Jared and I finish reading Harry Truman we can jump into this book.  Here are the books on my reading list right now (but first I have to buy them... NOTE: Christmas presents - Mom and Mrs. Shelton you should talk to each other before buying any of these - ha).  I have been eyeing these beautiful books for a while.  I have read a lot of review about them and can't wait to read them.  Which reminds me, I am so glad that we don't have internet.  I don't have time for it.  

Okay, here are the books:
* The Case for Working With Your Hands: or Why Office Work is Bad for Us and Fixing Things Feels Good. By Matthew Crawford
* Made By Hand: Searching For Meaning in a Throwaway World. By Mark Frauenfelder.
* The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains. By Nicholas Carr.
* Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy. By Eamon Javers

Friday, October 22, 2010


Yesterday I turned 8888 days old.  I celebrated by going to La Tolteca for lunch (for two of my co-workers birthday).  We haven't been out for anyone's birthday since my birthday (in June).  We don't go out much... After lunch I went to pick out apples with my Dad.  Tonight Jared and I are making applesauce with the parents!  I love making applesauce (oh, and eating it warm).  Love love love. 
I made gingerbread (or as Jared calls it, "gingerbread cake") and real whipped cream Wednesday night.  It is so much fun to whip cream into whipped cream.  Plus, it tastes fantastic.  I love autumn!  One of these days I might post pictures of all the delicious food that I am making.   Saturday I am making rolls for the women's luncheon at church.  Sunday I am making chocolate mini cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.  Next weekend I will be making an apple crisp.  I might have to make a batch of gingerbread cookies soon.  I need to find a source for cheap bulk molassas.  Does anyone know if Sams carries it?
My new snack to nibble on before lunch is apples and peanut butter.  And I am still on my sesame stick kick.  I bought another bag at T.S. Smith yesterday when we went to pick up apples.  Dad bought me some apple doughnuts too.  <3  Thanks, Dad!!  I also made chex mix last week and this week and Jared made some Shelton mix.
Last night Jared went to school to study and write his research paper outline.  I turned Les Miserable up really high and sang loudly to it while mending the holes in the knees of his pants.  Patching jeans is a lot harder than I thought because you have to patch them by hand.  Pushing a needle through two of three layers of jeans is rather difficult.  But they are finished now and he has another pair of pants back in the work rotation.  I still have one more pair to finish (and start).  ha ha.  Isn't it incredible how we can listen to almost any song that we want to, at any time.   I think that is really amazing and I am very thankful for it.  Music makes me happy.  I am thinking about borrowing some books on tape from the library and listening to them while I sew (and Jared isn't around to read to me).  We are 2/3rds of the way through this Harry Truman book.  It is fascinating!!!  I have really enjoyed it.  I stopped reading my Oppenheimer biography for a while to read my Bonhoeffer biography (anyone see a pattern here... time wise... all of our books recently have been placed in the early to mid part of the 20th century or written in the early to mid part of the century). 
My car is still in the shop (we had to return it to get some things fixed that were supposedly fixed the first time).   It is kind of annoying to have to leave the house, drop Jared off, come back to the house, wait around my phone for a call from Jared, go pick Jared up, and drive back home.  I mean, it isn't really that far, but it is just the fact that I have to stop in the middle of things and I become all distracted.  Also, it isn't as if Jared has a fun car to drive.  If he had a little zippy car that was easy to climb into and fun to drive, I wouldn't mind driving all over the place.  But his car is HUGE.  The doors are super heavy and they never shut right.  It sits so low to the ground that I have repeatedly told him that when I we are expected a baby, I refuse to climb in and out.  I have enough trouble as it is now (mostly because my side of the car is parked next to the curb and it I am almost sitting at curb level when we pull up).  Anyhow, I am thankful that we have a running car, even though it is tough of my legs (I'll think of it as gym squat time). 
It has been so nice to have Michelle, Jamie, Dasha, and Anna come over the past two weekends.  It is really fun to have people in your house.  The older I become the more I just enjoy sitting around and talking.  Sitting down and talking to someone face to face beats the phone, the Internet, or all the other ways of communication that we have. 
Well, hope all is going well in blogger land.  Once I get to a computer with unrestricted Internet access (and have a decent chunk of time) I am going to start narrowing down my facebook friends.  That will probably be in another 6 months.  ha.  Maybe I will post pictures too.  :) Just maybe...

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

This weekend Jared and I finally found a cedar chest that was in our price range.  Here was our Saturday:

* 6:15 - wake up, eat a snack, and get ready for the gym.
* 7:00 - wait for gym to open, find out that it is not, and head home.
* 7:30 - get dressed and head to the park and flea and farmers market
* 8:30 - head up to bargain bills, amish market, and other laurel stores
* 9:15 - stop in various antique stores
* 9:45 - head to goose on the roof and find the chest!!!  YAY! 

This thing was painted the most gross brown.  We could tell that there was a tealish layer below that and finally an orange layer at the bottom.  But I was up to the challenge (and since it was 1/2 to 1/3 the price of normal cedar chests that are beat up in antique stores, I thought it was a great deal). 

* 10:30 - we took the thing home
* 11:00 - I went grocery shopping to pick up food for my mother for Sarah's goodbye dinner.
* 12:00 - we went to pick up my brother's truck to tote every box that Jared has received from everything in his house, since he moved in.  There were a lot of boxes in the shed!
* 1:00 - we went to Lowes and picked up paint stripper, sandpaper, and fencing.
* 2:00  - we headed home and unloaded everything and started loaded the boxes up into the truck. 
* 3:00 - I started stripping paint off the chest. 
* 6:30 - I let Jared take over after he got back from dropping the boxes off at the dump and my brother's truck back to the house. 
* 7:30 - we went inside to read a little Harry Truman.
* 8:30 - I fell asleep.

On Monday, we sanded that box for three hours until almost ever flake of orange paint was taken off.  Wasn't it a beautiful morning?!?  This whole weekend was lovely.  We then took showers, at lunch, and just hung around the house doing nothing.  It was lovely!!  I did a little cooking, a little sewing, a little planning of a baby quilt for a good friend of mine, and a little sitting next to Jared and hold his hand without having to worry about going anywhere.

Now I am off  to a chemisty department meeting.  Love to all my family!  It was great to see you this weekend.  I love vacations!  We will go camping soon and it will be marvelous!!!!  I love Jared. :D

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Two blog entries in two days...

Just in case you didn't realize… Chipotle opens today!!! 

And if that wasn't great enough, I also, probably, will be able to pick up my car today, complete with its new doors!  Why is my car having two new doors installed?  On Sunday, August 1, our alarm didn't go off.  Jared had to be at church 15 minutes from the time I woke up and looked at the clock to practice a song and for praise team practice.  So he jumped out of bed and quickly left for church.  I assured him I could just drive myself (this was only the second time since we have been married that we had planned to drive separately, I say planed because I never ended up driving).   Jared left, I took my shower, boiled water, pealed peaches, sliced up peaches for a pie, packed a change of clothes to decorate for VBS, and various other things. 

Around 9:10 I walked outside, leaned over and picked up the paper (we receive the paper on Sundays for Fwwwweeeeee because Jared is a student), opened the back door behind the passenger door, threw in the paper, and then noticed glass all over the back seat and the window shattered, with a four or five inch hole in it.   I walked around and saw the driver's door handle was dented in about an inch (not a lot) and there were several dents in the door behind the driver's.  I called Jared.  I called Mom.  I called Dad.  I called Jared again.  I sat on the front steps and cried.  Everyone I knew and loved was at church or on their way there; no one would be checking their phones for two or three hours.  I was all alone.  I sent Jared a text; I figured he might miss me once church started and check his phone.  I called Anna.  I called Luke. I called Sarah.  Sarah picked up around 9:25!!! 

To shorten this story, Jared came home, I gave him a huge hug, we called the police, they came by and said my car was vandalized (but nothing on the inside was touched, so I don't really know why they would break the window or hit it), and we made it to Sunday school.  Yay.  It took until Wednesday to have the insurance come out and look at it.  Wednesday?  I mean, that is four whole days.  That is silly.  The insurance tried to tell us that we would have to pick up our rental in Lexington Park, Md.  For those of you that don't know where that is, google it, it is directly across the bay and south of us.   By car it takes 3 hours and 10 minutes to reach there.  The insurance said it was  the closest place.  Thankfully, after spending two hours arguing with them and them promising to even come pick us up (they weren't understanding the whole three hour trip thing), they let us rent a car at the airport.  YES!  

So I have been driving this little go-cart of a car for the last 2 weeks.  It is great on gas and I love parking it!  It is so nice to fit easily in parking spaces.  I will miss that.  However, I miss my car.  I miss not having to worry about it picking up dents and dings in the work parking lot.  I miss the comfortable seats.   I miss normal.   I miss being able to find my car.  Ha.  This car is too small and I forget what it looks like.  Thankfully it has New York plates and I have been able to locate it that way.   

So hooray, for Chipotle!  And hooray for my car!  And hooray for being married and spending the evening with your husband doing nothing.  Last night was the first night in forever that we were free to go to the gym and then come home and do nothing.  NOTHING!!  I love it.  We read a little Harry Truman, cleaned the kitchen, folded clothes, and sat around and talked.  I don't think we have sat on our church in at least 4 weeks.  It was lovely.  Oh, and hooray for a husband who cleans (I mean completely cleans and wipes down) the entire kitchen and vacuums the house will you go grocery shopping on Saturday and have been too sick and tired to clean.  Hooray Hooray Hooray! 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Why are you so surprised? Ask and you shall receive.

Why are you so surprised?  Ask and you shall receive.
(A quick praise during my afternoon break - ignore any spelling errors or missing words, just focus on how great God is)


Over the past few months I have had a real problem at work concentrating because the woman I work next to is constantly calling her family (and friends) and talking (loudly) on the telephone (in her language).   While she does this she plays minesweeper (or some game which requires constant clicking of the mouse).  It drives me crazy and headphones don't seem to block it out.  Grrr. 


Anyhow, today I started off the day by praying about this specifically instead of letting it bother me.  God cares about the small things too, right?  All morning she left her desk and visited her friends around the plant (jnstead of talking on the phone).  When she was at her desk she just surfed the internet and played computer game, but didn't talk on the phone.  This was so unlike her and I knew it wouldn't last.  I said a quick thanks to God for the temporary relief a few times during the morning and let Him know how much I loved the peace and quiet.  After lunch, I just KNEW she was going to talk on the phone because she ALWAYS does for the last two hours or so of her day.  She made two phone calls and each time I prayed they wouldn't be long.  Ha.  She was off in less than five minutes, probably closer to 2 minutes.  She has called several people this afternoon and they haven't been home!!!  YES!!  That practically never happens.  This is so great.


Hooray.  Hooray.  Hooray for a God who cares about the little things in life.  It has been nice to have a day without the constant drone of her voice on the phone.  What a great day!  Praise God.  I am still amazed that she is not on the phone.  She'll be leaving work in half an hour!  I have made it almost a whole day without hearing a few hour long phone conversation.   I love it!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Reasons I love summer!

Grilling – it keeps the house cool and it tastes amazing.  Plus, I can grill all sorts of favorites that I thought could only be done in the oven, like pizza and feta chicken.  I am working up my nerve to try some desserty things on the grill.  I really think it would work.

Porches- my dream is to have a house one day that has a nice big porch on the front and I can watch people and the sun or just the wind in the trees.  Sigh.

watching sunsets (or sunrises) – I need to take time to watch more.  They are each a work of art.  God is marvelous.


it being dark later and light earlier – it makes climbing out of bed easier (so does being married and knowing if I get out of bed I will be rewarded with a hug)

fireflies – has anyone noticed more of them this year?  YAY!!  I was just thinking I hadn't seen them in a while and then I notice them this summer.  Maybe I just wasn't looking the past few summers.

fresh fruit and veggies – I love not eating starches with dinner and lunch.  I feel so much better.


tubing – it is kind of scary, but it scares the laughing right out of you.  Mainly, I like spending time with family and friends!

sudden thunderstorms (or any thunderstorms) – I like them.  They are fun to watch.


The  smell of rain coming soon – so refreshing

fresh peaches – enough said


gold paint still on my hands – from painting for VBS last night.  I love VBS and reformation party.  Those are two of my favorite times of year.  I love creating!!  I love working with young people and seeing them serve others.  It is very refreshing.  I'm glad the youth group is helping to decorate.  That is great.


the smell of fresh cut grass – YAY!

wildflowers along the roadside

grass between toes/fresh tilled dirt between my toes

grilled corn/steamed corn/any kind of fresh corn


fresh salsa – it is such a refreshing snack

skirts!!!!!!! – one of the best things about summer is wearing happy, crisp white skirts and cheerful, bright colored skirts.  They are so light and airy.  <3 <3 <3


fresh blueberries – I eat them by the bucket.

shorts, especially soccer shorts – so comfortable

antique shopping outside with Jared, anything with Jared – ha ha

picnics – if the weather would cool down, I might go on a few.  I eat my lunch outside under a tree out front of Harvard if it drops belong 80 degrees.

traveling, especially when it involves seeing something new or visiting friends/family.  Oh Germany, I want to visit you again someday.  And oh how I wish I could have gone camping with my family this last week, but at least work has been busy and has gone pretty quickly. 


Driving with the windows down – okay so I have to do this because my ac in my car broke.  Ha. 


Air conditioning – in the house, in my car, at work, and other places I go.   It hasn't been working at work or in my car.  It makes me thankful for the other places. 


Fresh food and skirts would probably be my top two things.   I figured I would mention again how awesome fresh food is.  My mouth has been so happy recently.  YAY, for summer! 



In other news, Jared and I finally made it through Lord of the Rings.  What a great book (or books)!  It has been so much fun having Jared read to me while I cook, bake, and sew.  Marriage is so much fun.  I love being married.  We are going to visit the Grandis this weekend and going to see a play.  That should be a blast.  I miss living with them.  Work is as amusing as always.  I am very thankful for my job.  Happy July 22, everyone.  Happy 3 years and 1 day anniversary to Linnea.  How exciting!!!