Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Random Tuesday Time

Here we are trucking through another week.  Today it's Random Tuesday Thoughts.  Not sure how much random I can  find, but here goes:
  • Last day of March.  One whole quarter of 2015 is over now.  Exactly how did that happen? Really, it seems that the last couple months went terribly slowly, but still I feel like I blinked and missed most of it.
  • Turbo was quite happy telling me that he had 10 weeks of school left this year. 10 weeks.  Gah, it's going by so fast!
  • I often feel this way in the morning:
  • Turbo is this way too.  Nick and Reece are much slower to actually wake up, but once up they are pretty bright and happy about it.
  • Love, Wine and Chocolate, that's everything right?
  • And on the wine subject:
Have a good week and may it include wine, cause wine makes everything better!

Join up for the Randomness with Stacy.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Hey, Hey, Monday

Yeah, so it's Monday, again.  And here we are right back at the old grind.  It could be worse.  It could be snowing.  Today we have sunshine here.  I'll take it.
Our weekend was kind of quiet.  We hung out at home, I ascended Mt. Laundry--almost summited, but had to turn back and wait for better conditions. Or, I will be doing the towels and sheets tonight.  I got all the clothes done, folded and put away, so that counts, right?!
Anyway, we did go to the nearby State Park and go for a hike yesterday.  A good 2.5-3 miles.  Not bad for the fam. We hope to make this sort of outing a semi regular thing.
Sorry no pictures, although it was beautiful.  Kind of left all cameras/phones in the truck.

So, shall we move on to MMMM? Sure, why not?
This week is all aobut music from when you were sweet sixteen.  Here goes:
Martika with Toy Soldiers:

Billy Joel with We Didn't Start the Fire:

Alannah Myles with Black Velvet:

These were songs I listened to and enjoyed in High school. Oh to be 16 again...

Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday Friday

Whoop it up, it's Friday!
Yep.  I am ready for going home time.  Now let's hope the day flies by. Then it's wine time!
So shall we pass some time with a confession or two?
  • I get to summit Mt Laundry this weekend.
  • Do hope the ascent is painless.
  • I also have a hot date with the vacuum.
  • Yeah, my weekend is looking like an exciting endeavor.
  • You all want to be me, am I right?
  • Oh, Oh, last night we were catching an old Saturday Night Live on TV adn there was a clip with Billy Crystal and Hulk Hogan and Mr. T. It was hilarious.
  • Ok, here it is, but it a pretty bad recording, but it still made me laugh out loud:
  • So there a smile for Friday.
  •  There was a Spider in the shower a couple days ago it went kind of like this:
  • So are you ready for the weekend?  After the week I had I am:
So go enjoy the weekend once you reach going home time in your neck of the woods!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Hodgepodge For Wednesday


1. This coming weekend is Palm Sunday, which marks the beginning of Holy Week. Do you celebrate Easter in your home? What was your favorite Easter tradition as a child? Not really.  Oh, we dye eggs and do baskets for the boys, but that's about it. Well we have family over and have a nice brunchish type do.  And then after that it's a pretty normal day for us.  Since it's usually cold--or snowing--we don't do much outside.

Easter as a child was about a trip to church after ransacking Easter baskets. then home for a ham dinner and maybe movies as a family.  Fairly traditional all together.

2. George Weinberg is quoted as saying, 'Hope never abandons you, you abandon it.' Agree or disagree? Share your own thoughts on the word hope. Hope is what keeps people going--hope for something better, hope for something kinder, hope.  However, you get by on hope alone. You do have to work for waht you want.  Hoping is like wishing.  Nothing happens until you do it yourself.

3. Weigh in with a yay or nay on the traditional Easter candies. A solid milk chocolate bunny? Cadbury Creme Eggs? Peeps? Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs? Jellybeans? Coconut Cream Eggs? Of the candies listed, which one would you most like to find in your Easter basket? So not a fan of Cadbury Creme eggs.  Just too sweet.  Give me a good dark chocolate bunny, peanut butter egg, Jelly Bellys, or Malted milk eggs--Robin's Eggs.  I also have never found the appeal of Peeps. Too much pure sugar, not enough flavor for me.  Although roasting them over a fire might make them tastier...

4. When did you last feel 'like a kid in a candy store'? The last time I spent time in a bookstore.  Or maybe it was the last Library book sale.  All those books, so much possibility.

For Nick it was last week when he went archery bow shopping.  He had such fun.  It would have been fun to watch him, but also would have driven me up the wall trying to occupy two cranky kids.

5. What's something you know you do differently than most people? Does that bother you? Does it bother other people?  I do my dishes under running water.  I can't bring myself to wash dishes in a sink full of water.  Doesn't bother me that I do them differently from most.  Oh, I put lots in the dish washer, but there are things I just can't bring myself to run through the dishwasher.  Namely knives, wooden spoons, pot and pans, certain things I use more frequently than I run the dishwasher.

6. Palm Springs CA, Palm Beach FL, or the PALMetto State...of the three mentioned, which sunny spot would you most like to visit right now? Which have you visited at one time or another? I think right now it would have to be Palm Beach FL.  It would be warm and have  beach, something I could really use about now as it is currently snowing here. Can't say I have actully visited ant of them, to my knowledge.

7. If you could change the length of a day would you lengthen it or shorten it? Tell us why.
I would shorten the length of an hour so we would have more in the day.  Then it might be easier to delegate hours to certain activities.  Maybe.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
We took the boys to Denver last week and Bruiser got to experience his first 3D IMAX show.  He was excited, but got bored after about 20 minutes. He did look cute in the glasses though.

Turbo really like the show and now has ambitions to be a deep sea explorer. We shall see how long that lasts.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spring Break Random

We spring breaked last week.  Or is it spring broke? Either way, Spring break happened. 
The first part of the week was pretty quiet but Wednesday afternoon we headed to Denver and I let Nick go to the archery store so he could buy a new recurve bow.  The kids and I stayed at the hotel and enjoyed the upgraded suite we got and the fun of having a pool to swim in.
Thrusday dawned cloudy and rainy and chilly, so it was indoor activities.  The Aquarium and the Natural History Museum called our names:

Friday was a beautiful day so we headed to the zoo before heading home.  We caught the seal show and the elephant show.

Over all, it was a pretty great day and a wonderful Spring Break.
In random news:
  • I still don't feel caught up on my sleep from the time change.  Or maybe that's just in general not caught up on my sleep.
  • Little boy have entirely too much energy and if put in the same space for too long together will find dozens of ways to annoy each other and their parents.
  • Spring colds are the worst.  Nick has been kicking around something resembling a cold for the last few days.  Not quite sick enough to be down and out, but not well enough to be called healthy.
So how's things where you are?
Join up for the Randomness with Stacy.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Back to Monday

Our Spring Break flash trip was fabulous.  It was great to get out of town and when a free upgrade happens at the hotel, well the trip gets even better.
Yep, the hotel we picked to stay at had over booked on the standard room we wanted, so they upgraded us to a two room suite.  Not gonna lie, it was fantastic. There was tons more that happened but I'm saving that for later.
We did get a chance to hang out with friends and have the first backyard grill and such on Saturday.  Drinks, ribs, and friends.  Nothing makes for a better Saturday night.

And now for MMMM:

Freebie week so lets see:
Miranda Lambert with Little Red Wagon:

Kasey Musgraves with Biscuits:

Luke Bryan with Spring Breakdown:
Have a good week!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Questions? Yes, Please:

1. Share a favorite song, book, or movie title containing the word green? I have to go with a classic:

Yep, It's Not Easy Being Green by Kermit the Frog.

2. Ralph Waldo Emerson is quoted as saying, 'Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.' Would you agree? Are you a believer in luck? Cause and Effect are powerful, but there is always an element of luck at play.  I really am a believer in luck--even if ours seems to tend toward bad luck.

3. Spring water, Hot Springs, handspring, spring fling, spring break, spring fever, offspring...which 'spring' word best applies to something in your day, week, or life right now? Oh Spring Break definitely.  We are in the middle of ours and we are taking the boys to the big city and hitting the zoo and aquarium.

4. What's something you do to make yourself look or feel more confident? Wear clothes that fit.  AND getting new (to me, as they are often second hand) clothes always helps with the feeling confident.

5.  It's National Celery Month...are you a fan? If so, what's a snack or dish you enjoy that calls for celery? I can take or leave celery.  It's not bad as a peanut butter delivery system and I like to have it for soups, but I don't really miss it if it's absent.

6. What's one thing you wish you'd learned sooner? That participating in discussions is a good thing. I tend toward the shyer end of the spectrum, but I did end up figuring out that actually speaking up in discussions is a good thing while in college.  I just wish I'd figured it out sooner.

7. Would you like to own a second home? If so where would you want that home to be? If I ever had a second home it would be on a beach somewhere.  However, we sort of have a second home--we have a pop-up camper that we can take anywhere and set up and hey, presto, a cabin in the woods.
8.  Insert your own random thought here. Here's to things that can shake up the routine.  Getting out of town and enjoying a road trip, visiting something new, or just mixing up the routine.  May the travel season be a good one this year!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Random Leprechaun Tuesday

So, Happy St. Patrick's Day! The day when everyone is just a little bit Irish.

Now on to the random:
  • We are running off to Denver this week.  We plan on getting a little bit of sightseeing in (the zoo and possibly the aquarium) and some swimming and lounging and such.  Of course this will all be packed into two fun filled days. Yes, we are ambitious.
  • But I am really close to this:
  • So a quick jaunt out of town it is.
  • We are kicking around the idea of visiting Yellowstone and Grand Teton this summer. The boys have never been and Nick and I would like to take a bit more time to explore both parks.
  • I think I need more wine.
  • I'm really hoping that the quick trip we are taking out of town helps with the lack of motivation I have had for the last couple weeks.  But I have started walking, sort of.  On Mondays, with a friend. It's nice to do when the weather cooperates.
  • Any one need a leprechaun name:
  • Greetings from Vibrant O'Whacky.  From other leprechaun namers today I am also Mickey O'Toodles and Stumpy McWhiskey. Not the best combinations, but I'll go with it.
  • Housework is a never ending battle.  It just goes on and on and there are days when I wish this would work:
May you all have a fabulous St. Pat's Day!
Join up for the Randomness with Stacy.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Monday--Spring Breaking It

Yep, that's right it's all Spring Breakish around here--we even have good weather to go with it. This last weekend was a relatively quiet one--good weather and a fantastic archery shoot for Nick--they had over 140 participants.  Nick was pretty jazzed.
The crowd lined up to shoot the indoor targets.

Turbo aiming for a target.
I managed the laundry.  And we got to cook out on the grill--first time this year.  Food just tastes better when cooked outdoors.

Now for MMMM. Funny songs are up this week.
Big & Rich with Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy:

Mindy McCready with Guys Do It All The Time:

Jaron and the Long Road to Love with I Pray For You:

Have a smile this Monday!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday Confessions

Definitely time to confess a few things:
  • I have to haul out the vacuum this weekend.  
  • The dust dinosaurs are charging the kids.
  • I also have to tackle Mount Laundry.
  • Our Spring Break is next week.
  • Nick and I have to figure out something for the kiddos to do until later in the week when we are taking a bit of vacation and heading to Demver.
  • Bruiser gets to go to the zoo.
  • Nick is probably going to get a new bow.
  • The kids get to swim.
  • We get out of town.
  • It'll be fun.
  • The time change has kicked my butt this year.
  • Maybe after this weekend I'll feel back in the swing of things.
So got any good confessions?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Hodgepodging Wednesday--Spring

1. What's the first image that comes to mind when you hear the word 'spring'? Which phrase best describes the season of spring where you live right now (today)-sprung! almost there, or still waiting? The first image that comes to mind are flowers.  Tulips, daffodils, crocuses, early spring flowers.  Ours don't usually show until late April/early May, but they do eventually show.  So, yeah, we are still waiting on spring around here.

2. Bed, couch, stapler, garage door, computer mouse, recliner, flashlight, door knob...which household item containing springs most needs replacing in your home? Speaking of springs...did you ever own a Slinky? Our back strm door--which has the emergency spring catch on it, needs to be replaced.  We will be doing that this summer, along with weather stripping and weather proofing.  It needs updating around windows and doors.

I did have a Slinky--several in fact.  They are fun and cheap, so we've been through lots of them.

3. March is Women's History Month. Share a favorite quote by a woman.

4. What's a question that looms large in your mind right now? Why do we have daylight "savings" time?  I really haven't found a good reason, or a good explanation for this ridiculous changing of the time.

5. Are you a sugar freak? By that I mean how much do you love sugar? With all the bad press sugar gets these days, have you made any efforts to reduce the amount of sugar you consume? I'm not a huge sugar freak.  I like a bit of sweet every now and then, but I'm more the savory type--especially in my snacking.

The biggest thing I have done to cut back the sugar I consume was to eliminate soda from my diet.  I have some on occasion, but it's not my go to drink.

6. Would you rather have less work to do or more work you enjoy doing?  If the work were reading something interesting, that I could do all day.  Otherwise, I'd take the less work so I'd have more reading time.  A little bit one track, yes, but I love to read.

7. Ever been to Texas? Of the top ten Texas tourist attractions which would you most like to see-The Alamo, The San Antonio River Walk, The State Capital, Dallas World Aquarium, Padre Island National Seashore, Houston Space Center, Schlitterbahn Waterpark in New Braunfels, Six Flags Fiesta Texas,  Moody Gardens, or Galveston Island?  I have been to Texas.  San Antonio to be exact--twice.  I've seen the ALamo, Seaworld, Been down to Corpus Cristi to go deep sea fishing, and spent a couple of fantastic nights wandering the San Antonio River Walk. There will be other visit to Texas, I'm sure.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.  It's never a good thing when insomnia and the time change hit at the same time.  I'm definitely aiming for a nap this weekend.  Maybe next week will be better.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Hi Tuesday

OK, so still not quite with the time change.  The rest of the fam got up easier today, but I really wanted to go back to sleep. Why does the time have  to change at the beginning of March--it used to be the beginning of April. Definitely not a fan.
On to the random:
  • We are going to try got the zoo next week.  It's our Spring Break and Bruiser has not been to the zoo. Here's hoping the weather will cooperate. March in our neck of the woods tends more toward winter than spring.
  • I got a smile out of this:
  • Of course if I got a maid, I'd have to clean before she came to clean my house. What would be even cooler is a house cleaning robot--one that would do dishes, laundry and clean the bathrooms. A girl can dream...
  • Then there's those people:
  •  If we had money to put in a treehouse, I use it to buy a beach house instead. Then we could visit the beach and still live close to the mountains.
Well, my random is short and sweet today.   Hope you have a great week!
Join up for the Randomness with Stacy.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Time Shift Monday

This Monday is even worse than a usual Monday in that the time shifted this weekend.  I absolutely loath daylight savings time.  There is no "savings" really. THe days are going to get longer no matter what--that;s what the sunlight does until June 21, get longer for our half of the world. Doesn't matter what the clock says. But right now, so many people are saying we now have a longer day cause the time change happened.  Yuck.
Yeah, Not a bright and happy camper this morning.  I got to drag protesting little boys out of bed, be looked at by confused dogs (what are you doing up now?) and try to be chipper through it all. We were doing so well last week.  We had a routine and it was working. Now it's all shot to heck.
OK, moving on.  We have had some nicer weather.  All the really cold seems to have moved off for the time being. Yesterday, Bruiser got some scooter time in, Nick cranked up the Four Wheeler and got to go for a little cruise around.  I got a nap.
Saturday we made a flashing trip to Cheyenne and got a new waffle maker and a new toilet.  Nick and I have been cursing the old toilet for about two years now.  The guts died and were next to impossible to replace effectively.  The toilet ran when  the handle would stick and it would stick two to three times a week. Really hit you in the old pocketbook on the water bill.  So shiny new toilet!  that works so wonderfully!
Sad when you get all excited about a toilet. In other news, Nick brewed another batch of beer and got to have a jam session with a buddy about guitars.  He learned a couple of useful tips and is still highly motivated to learn the guitar.

And now for MMMM.  It's a freebie week so lets see...
For some fun songs:
Miranda Lambert with Mama's Broken Heart

Kasey Musgraves with Follow Your Arrow:

Carrie Underwood with All American Girl

Thursday, March 5, 2015

It All Came Together--Spin Cycle

Nick and I have had many moments when it all came together--having Turbo--we were a family.  Having Bruiser, we became complete.  Yeah, it's a bit sappy, but things truly do come together when you have kids.
On another note, I do love to experiment in the kitchen.  For the longest time, I had to have exactly what the recipe called for if I was making something new. I have gotten much better at substitutions.  I have also gotten more experimental in the kitchen.
There was a dish at Appelbees, years ago, the Nick loved.  It was a Cajun shrimp and sausage pasta dish. It was Nick's go to when we went there.  Then they changed the menu and this dish was gone.  Well, we have been making more Cajun type dishes, I have a jambalaya dish that is oh, so good, so I thought I would give the Cajun pasta a shot. 
My first forays into trying this were to look online to see if I could find a recipe that looked good.  There wasn't much out there that didn't look insanely complicated. I wanted to make a good dish, but not spend hours in the kitchen to accomplish it.
My next thoughts were about the ingredients and flavors that I wanted in the dish. A creamy tomato sauce, shrimp, smoked sausage and penne pasta. The most complicated was the creamy tomato sauce.  So I went looking for a simple creamy tomato sauce that I could add a Cajun twist to. I ended up cobbling together a sauce from a few different recipes, but it ends up tasting wonderful.  Add in the sausage, shrimp and pasta and hey presto, Cajun Shrimp and Pasta at home and ready on a weeknight.

Cajun Shrimp and Pasta:
8 oz. Penne Pasta (cooked according to package directions)
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 oz. Smoked sausage sliced into bite sized pieces.
1 14 oz. can petite diced tomatoes (low salt if possible)
 1/2 c Half and Half
1 tsp Cajun seasoning or Old Bay seasoning
1/2 c diced onion
2 cloves garlic diced
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

Add olive oil to saute pan and saute onions until translucent, and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.  Then add tomatoes and saute until bubbly. Add Cajun or Old Bay to sauce and simmer for 4-5 minutes.  Next add half and half and allow to simmer until reduced (you want this to thicken slightly) Add in the sausage and return to a simmer. Then add shrimp and cook for another 5-6 minutes.  Then after draining pasta, add the sauce to the pasta and mix well.  You are now ready to serve.

This usually makes enough for our family of four with a serving or so left over. The flavors come together pretty well, you just need to be careful of the salt level.  I got over enthusiastic with the salt the first time I made it and had to add potatoes to tone down the salt.  Now I'm much more careful about adding salt.  Taste the sauce before adding the sausage and see what you think, but be cautious, the sausage will add it's own salt to the sauce too.You can also pump up the spiciness by adding some cayenne pepper to the sauce.  With kiddos eating it I keep it pretty mild.
I was very pleased when this recipe came together. I've made a few times since and it is generally a hit.  Bruiser isn't a fan of the shrimp or the sausage, but he will eat the pasta. 
What have you had that has come together recently?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Hodgepodge It Up!

It is a very chilly, OK, down right cold, Wednesday around these parts.  Since it's way easier to answer some questions rather than be brilliant and witty all on my own here we go:

1. 'In like a lion, out like a lamb'...does the first part of this saying describing March weather ring true  where you live? Most definitely.  We have had snow practically daily since the end of last week.  We aren't accumulating much, but it has been cold and snowy. With any luck the end of the month will be better.
2. March 4th is National Grammar Day. What common grammatical error bothers you the most?  The whole your\you're and there\their\they're misuse. texting has had a detrimental effect on grammar use.  and it's spilling over into so many other areas.
This made me smile:
3. William Arthur Ward says- 'The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.' Which one are you? I aim for optimism, achieve realism, but I have my pessimistic moments. 
4. What's something you need to 'march forth and conquer' this month? House cleaning.  It's time to spring clean, or at least make a stab at it.  I don't think I'll get to windows until April--it won't be warm enough until then.

5. An ongoing debate around here...do you dust first, then vacuum or vacuum first, then dust? Of the two routine household chores, which do you dislike the least? How's that for wording?  I hate dusting.  Vacuuming is routine, but dusting is annoying.
6. According to thrilllist.com, the ten most photographed sites in the U.S.A. are- Cinderella's Castle in Orlando, Southernmost House in Key West Florida, The Space Needle in Seattle, The Site of the Boston Massacre in Boston, The Bellagio Lake/fountains in Las Vegas, The Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, Coit Tower in San Fransisco, The Art Institute of Chicago, Niagara Falls, and snagging the number one spot-The Guggenheim Museum in New York City. 

How many on this list have you photographed? Which on the list would you most like to visit and photograph?
  I have photoed Cinderella's castle in Orlando, Niagara Falls, and the Guggenheim. I would love to visit the Florida Keys, the Space Needle in Seattle, and Coit Tower in San Francisco.
7. Fifty years ago Monday (March 2, 1965) The Sound of Music premiered at the Rivoli Theatre in NYC. Have you seen the film? Do you own a copy? On a scale of 1-10 how much do you love it (or not)? Ten=best movie ever. If you're a fan, what's your favorite scene or song from the movie?  I loved watching The Sound Of Music as a kid on TV.  I was rather surprised when I finally watched the entire, not edited for running time and content, movie. It had a far more condeming view of the Nazis than I was aware of.  I had a fascination with WWII history and only fell more in love with the movie then.  I would have to put myself at about a 8-9 on the scale of fandom.  I have several favorite songs: How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria; Sixteen Going on Seventeen; So Long, Farewell; and Edelweiss.  I can sing along with almost every song in the movie, but it has been a few years since I watched it last.  I might have to decree a musical weekend soon...

8. Insert your own random thought here.  Like I said, it's cold here.  Things are supposed to warm up this weekend.  If you call 40 degree temps warm...
We will take what we can get.  Spring is always our shortest season and takes a long time to get here. Our summers, on the other hand are usually nice and temperate.  It's a trade off and one I can live with.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Random Tuesday Musings

And we arrive at yet another Tuesday.  Ours comes with snow.  And approaching cold temps. Like below zero tonight.  But things should warm up this weekend.  Now on to the Random:
  • I have boys.  I was happy about this. I thought I had avoided the worst of the clothing battles.  Then Turbo hit junior high.  And wants to wear the same sweatshirt every single day. We have been going around and around on this.  I in no way want him to be that kid who wears the same thing every day. Argh. Tweens.
  • Bruiser has a front tooth that is so very loose.  I don't expect it will last the week. He's looking forward to the Tooth Fairy visiting again.
  • This:

  • Yep.  I could definitely do with some beach time.  Cute cabana boys are a bonus.
  • Insomnia came to visit last night.  Totally overstayed it's welcome. Would not take the hint ot just go already.
  • I need this:
  • And then there are times like this:

So have a great week and join up for the Randomness with Stacy.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Monday Too Soon

It became Monday far too soon for my liking.  I blinked and missed the entire weekend.  Or at least it seems that way.
I spent Saturday doing laundry and grocery shopping and such.  Bruiser had a play date and Turbo stayed in the attic playing video games and doing tween stuff.
Sunday I did manage to get out with some friends and go cross country skiing.  The snow was awesome and we skied for about 1.5 hours.  Then we went and got some food and a drink.  Over all it was a great time.
Nick took the boys to the archery range and had them shoot for about an hour, so they weren't in the attic the entire weekend, although they tried.
It snowed off and on all weekend.  Winter is still hanging around these parts and will for the next couple months most likely. It's normal.  Even if it does cause some jealousy when other areas have gardens going and flowers and green stuff and we are still getting snow.

In the theme of thinking about warmer places, MMMM is all about Caribbean music.  Lets see what we can find:
Harry Belefonte with the Banana Boat song:

The Beach Boys with Kokomo:

Kenny Chesney with No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems:
Have a good week!


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