Sunday, July 25, 2010

Food saver, life saver

My mother-in-law came to visit this week and gave us a wonderful gift...a food saver! This thing is amazing. We filled the freezer with shrimp, broccoli, chicken and hamburger.

Amazing as the food saver is, it does take a little work. We decided to try a new type of hamburger today, and froze the browned hamburger so that it would be ready to go when we are ready for it!

First, we mixed fresh sausage (ground pork), ground turkey and ground hamburger.

The reason we do this is because ground turkey tastes yucky all on it's own and needs a little help and also both turkey and pork have a much lower fat content, so mixing all three together brings the overall fat content down.

Since we are also trying to incorporate more vegetables in our diet, we also pureed and mixed in some onion, garlic and green pepper.

Next, since we are trying to eat more vegetables and incorporate them into our diet, we pureed green peppers, onions and garlic and mixed that into the meat as well. Then I browned it, divided it up into 1 lb. packages and sealed it up, ready to freeze!

By the way, food processors are amazing!

The finished product! This is only one of many bags. We will be set for life!
Have you tried the Food Saver? Totally worth it, in my opinion!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Having a day

I've been in a little bit of a funk lately. Both in blogging and in real life, I just haven't felt like doing much of anything.

You know the saying, "shit runs downhill"? Well, it does. I was "spoken to" twice this week at my babysitting job. It wasn't terrible, and the circumstances that caused it were simply kids being kids, but nonetheless it upset me.

Compounded with that, we took in a foster kitty, Clarabelle, while she recovers from a chest cold. Clarabelle is a sad little kitty who lost half her fur from the stress of her family losing their home and her giving birth to a litter of kittens. No one glances at her to consider adopting, especially since we have kittens almost all the time now. Clarabelle is a love-bug but she's 6 and not particularly attractive. Though I don't think we can keep her, I also hate to send her back to the shelter or Petco because I know that will only stress her out more.

Hermione couldn't be more unhappy with me. She's growling, sulking, hiding and pouting. I absolutely hate being on the receiving end of that. It doesn't help that we have company this week, and she hates new people. She will only come out and socialize (so far) when Clarabelle is away in her bathroom. Clarabelle hates the bathroom and wants to wander. I feel like a terrible kitty mom.

I know it's not, but life and finding a permanent job just seem so hopeless at the moment. Not to mention that my babysitting hours were recently cut in half, and though she's attempting to make it up to me and add hours, it may soon not be worth it at all for me to come for an hour or two in the middle of my day. It certainly prevents me from taking on any other part time job.

In an attempt to feel better about myself and my frustrations, I find myself turning to the kitchen again. Tonight we are having meatloaf and these delicious-looking (I haven't tasted them yet!) Italian Cheese Twists from The Frugal Girl.
I'm hoping that getting my hands dirty in some dough will help lift my spirits a bit.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Getting to know you!

Life has been so busy and crazy around here lately that I haven't had the time or the inclination to blog. Partially just the craziness of life, partially because I'm so darn tired all the time all of a sudden!
When I saw this on my Google Reader I thought it would be a great way to post without having to think about what to talk about!

1. If you had to choose a country to live in besides USA (or the country you live in), which would it be?
I have always ALWAYS (since second grade) wanted to visit Australia, so I think I'd like to live there. But I have to say, it would be very hard for me to be half a world away from any family...unless I could take them all with me!

2. Which would be worse, wearing flip flops in the snow or wearing gloves in the summer?
Gloves in the summer. For some reason I don't mind being cold, but I absolutely hate being hot. I feel so much dirtier when I'm hot than when I'm cold!

3. Fried or Bake and why?
Fried tastes so good!! But when I'm cooking it's always baked.

4. If you were an entertainment reporter, which celeb would you love to interview and why?

Harrison Ford. I just love the guy.

5. What was your favorite book as a preteen/teenager?

Say Goodnight Gracie. I have read and reread that book so many times.

6. List your top 3 guilty pleasure television shows.

I didn't know I was pregnant, 19 Kids and Counting and Hoarders.

7. What bumper sticker slogan best describes you/your attitude/your life?

You know...I have no idea.

8. If you were to join a circus - what performer would you be?

The trick horse rider. I LOVE riding horses, always have, but I can't afford the lessons!

Now it's your turn! Hop on over to MannLand5 to answer your own questions!

Saturday, July 10, 2010


When I was a kid we had a park within walking distance from my house where, throughout the summer there would periodically be concerts, magicians and other fun things for families. The summer before I entered 6th grade my mom worked nights and I was left home with my sister for a couple hours in the afternoon before my dad came home. Often, we would walk down to Memorial Park and see what was going on. To me, this was summer.

Last night Geoff and I got a little taste of summer. It was warm, but not too warm, and there was a nice breeze. We saw this street band performing (we actually know the guitarist wearing the hat) and stopped to listen.
I wasn't 10 anymore, but that was alright. It was summer, and I loved it.

We sat in plastic lawn chairs and listened to the blues, while a little girl listened to her daddy play. Kids danced, adults danced, and most people just sat back and enjoyed the music. That's what we did.

It was a small gig, and the band was paid a little money, but that wasn't the point. One of the things I liked the most about this little concert was how much every musician enjoyed playing. You could tell that it was a passion for them, and it made me enjoy the music all the more because they were.

Ahh, to be a little kid again...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Exciting things

There have been a couple really exciting things going on these days in my life. Some of which I feel comfortable sharing right now, others may have to wait. Patience! It will come :)

The first exciting thing is that I am now selling Mary Kay! Yes, this is a shameless plug for her products. However, they are AMAZING, I can't even tell you. There is just so much that you can do to your face and not even realize it, and so much aging that starts at such a young age (16!) I feel like I've spent the past 10 years ignoring my skin and it's time to pamper it. So, I decided to sell Mary Kay because a. it's cheaper for me, b. I believe in the stuff, c. I want to meet new people and d. I want to pay off some debts. I know I can do all those things I want to do...and more!

Enough of that. Speaking of paying off debts, my husband and I decided to pay off my car recently. This was a HUGE decision and I was positively thrilled to get my title in the mail today. Though we are not rich by any means, we had the opportunity and chance to do this, and we took it. What a weight off my shoulders, and a year and a half early, too!

The other big and exciting thing happening is actually coming in about a mother-in-law! She's coming to hang out with us for a week and go to a Seattle/Red Sox game. My sister-in-law and her husband are coming up from Oregon to go to it too, so it should be a really fun time. I'm thrilled to be seeing my team away from home, even if I am in the minority.

Our garden continues to grow, I think I've killed our tomatoes, it's finally, finally sunny out so I'm getting some sun while babysitting. The kids I sit for are all of Hispanic descent, (with the exception of the blue eyed, blonde-haired baby) so they tan right up in the sun. Not so much the case for me. Though I am getting a nice base tan and more freckles, I need to stay in the shade more than them to keep from burning. Every time I think I'm getting tan I just have to look at them to realize just how white I am! Oh well, it's a fact I've come to accept long ago!

So, that's what's new in my about yours?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


I have a confession. I had no idea what these plants were. I knew they were some kind of squash, and I knew what seeds I had planted, but I had no idea what type of plant this particular one was because, quite frankly, I just lost track when I planted.
But good news! I now know!

It looks like some time in the near future (I have no idea how fast these things grow) we will have a zucchini in our garden!
Since it's been so unusually wet and cloudy here our plants are a little stunted. All except the sugar snap peas, of course, which like wet weather. They're going crazy.

I'm just fascinated with the little vines that this plant puts out. They will grab onto just about anything, even each other! Teamwork at its finest.

Anyway, there is a reason that I'm posting yet ANOTHER garden update. First, because I am proud of our garden, but second because, to be perfectly honest, life has gotten away from me lately.

I've been babysitting more, which is nice (more hours are always welcome), decided I'm going to start selling Mary Kay while I continue to look for a job, volunteering at Purrfect Pals, a cat shelter out here, getting discouraged by the lack of jobs available (nevermind the rejection letters) and making huge, life-changing decisions.
For all these reasons, I've been quiet, and decided that some pictures of our quickly growing plants was necessary.

Don't you agree?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

4th of July

The Fourth has never really been a big deal to me. I have always enjoyed cookouts, parades and, of course, fireworks, but it has never been something I look forward to every year. Last year I had to work on the Fourth, this year Geoff does. But that's OK.

Yesterday we went to a movie, and though today we will go to church and then head our separate ways for the day, it is OK with me since tomorrow will be a day for US! I guess we will celebrate the 5th of July instead.

This afternoon I will spend a couple hours volunteering at the local Petco, helping adopt out kitties. I work with an organization called Purrfect Pals, and since it's kitten season we have a lot of kittens who are spayed, given shots and ready for their new home! Today we have 7 where we normally have 4!! Most of them are kittens, however, so they will likely not last the weekend.

So what are you doing for this Fourth of July?
I leave you with a picture of what I found on the sidewalk yesterday, after the movie.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What the hay?

My compost hasn't been doing very well lately. I've been finding a lot of flies (not necessarily bad, just annoying if you can avoid them), mold and, recently, mushrooms in my compost. Now, flies and mold are part of the decomposition process, but not necessarily what you want in your compost. Mushrooms are definitely not welcome there.
I was able to determine through my internet researching that my compost was too wet. This is an issue, since I live in the Pacific Northwest and, well, it's wet here. So I covered the top of the bin with a plastic bag, hoping that would keep the water down a little bit. When that didn't exactly work, I decided I needed worms.
Turns out Petco sells the red wigglers I needed! (Note, when going to buy worms, do not buy meal worms, and, whatever you do, don't LOOK at them!! They are disgusting). So I sent Geoff out to get worms, and he came back with this.

Yes, that is a bale of straw, not hay (What the Straw? didn't sound as good as a blog title). And yes, it is hanging out the back of his car. When I told my sister, she said: "I didn't realize you guys were that
rural." Me either!

But apparently we live close enough to the country to be able to buy bales of straw in the local feed supply store. Who knew?
So, between the worms eating the stuff and the straw keeping it dry, I think our compost is on its way to recovery!

Meanwhile, I was able to harvest a little compost and spread it around some of our plants. (That's what the blobs of damp, well, compost, are in that picture) I didn't take a picture of the plants that got compost last week, but I swear they are bigger!

Our sugar snap peas don't need compost. They're huge all on their own. I ate about a dozen yesterday, and there are plenty more where they came from!

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