Tuesday, July 19, 2011


So the other day we were looking for my chainmail armor for the Dance With Dragons midnight release (which we didn't find :( ), and in doing so realized that our closet was a huge mess. There was basically nowhere to put your feet without stepping on stuff. We dragged everything out, went through boxes we haven't gone through literally since we got married and moved here. Even found wedding gifts we'd forgotten about.

Naturally, we figured that since we were renting a steam cleaner to clean the closet, we should also take the opportunity to clean the bedroom floor (only other carpet in the house).

Currently the bathrooms are full of dresser drawers, most of the parts to the bed are in the kitchen, and the dressers are in the living room. The bedroom floor is still wet, so putting that stuff away is going to have to wait until we get back from PC.

I do feel accomplished though. We just finished putting everything back in the closet after going through and discarding/donating most of it, and every container is labeled. We can actually walk inside and go through our overflow books without breaking bones crawling over boxes!

The s'more cookies are all eaten... by me. Oh well, at least I didn't eat them all in one day. =P

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Scary Sickness is Scary

So, we spent the weekend with my parents for Father's Day. Hung out with them and the in-laws quite a bit. Thankfully, I think everyone enjoyed the s'more cookies. They were awesome, imo. =P I have a couple dozen leftover cookies in the freezer. It was nice getting to hang out and eat cookies with the family.

My little brother just got back from a Boy Scout thing in south Florida, and joy of joys, two of the Boy Scouts got sick while there. Naturally, David comes back home, only to discover that he probably has the same thing the two other boys did. MRSA. Yep, the acronym of scary documentary/news story fame, the bane of hospitals (not this time, they don't know where it came from but none of them have been near a hospital). O_O

Mom (a doc) doesn't seem to think it is a big deal, and he is already getting treated for it, but it is still enough to scare a person a little bit.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Microwave Brownie in a Mug

Oh my gosh, I had heard of similar recipes before (cake in a mug, etc.), but never actually tried one. Then I came across this recipe a few weeks back, and have had it several times a week since then. It's completely addicting. I don't use the coffee (because I hate coffee), and I replace unsweetened cocoa powder with dark cocoa powder. I've added milk chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, peanut butter, nutella, etc. All were good.

But I just found one add in that was GREAT. I'm baking s'more cookies for Father's Day, but that means that we have leftover graham crackers and mini marshmallows. I replaced a little bit of the flour in my microwave brownie with crushed graham crackers and added marshmallows. *swoon*

Monday, May 30, 2011

I Like the Lot... A Lot ;)

There is a 10 acre, if I remember correctly, that is, plot of land that my grandmother bought way way way back in the day, intending originally to build a home on it. They ended up traveling the world instead of building a house, so "the lot" ended up as a cool play area for my dad and his sisters.

It is still undeveloped (though not for lack of trying on the part of wannabe-buyers/developers!), and is covered with trees and underbrush. There is a path leading down to a large clearing with a gigantic old oak tree in the middle. There used to be a path down to the Lake Jackson, but it is badly overgrown. Dad goes out every 6-12 months and clears the path and clearing, but it is a TON of work and he lives two hours away.

Late last year the dogs were attacked by a swarm of hornets at the lot. I think Indy ran a little too close to a hidden nest while fetching tennis balls, because there were one or two buzzing around and them BAM A HUNDRED HORNETS FLYING STRAIGHT AT THEM. We had to pull the hornets out of their fur, because they tangled themselves deep in their fur (especially on Diocese). Diocese, being Diocese, almost immediately set to pulling hornets out of his and Indy's fur with his teeth. Every time he grabbed one off of Indy, Indy would be like "what the heck, you too? I'm already under attack by these weird things, and now you are biting me?" and bite D. Looking back, it was somewhat funny, but at the time (and for the next few, itchy days) it was scary.

Anyway, we hadn't been out to the lot with the dogs since then, because we haven't been able to find the hornet's nest to destroy. Dad cleared some, but he has been awfully busy fixing/replacing appliances for his mom lately (her dishwasher, stove, and oven all died within a few months of each other). Still, we decided to give it a shot and brought towels and bug spray, just in case.

The dogs had a blast going out there again. They really need to be able to just flat out run sometimes. Especially Indy. We can throw the ball in the back yard, but the back yard is really small for a good run.

I have to mention, it was very hard convincing Kevin to go out to the lot (and I don't like going by myself).

So, we finally got back out to the lot.

And when we got back in the car to go, my Jeep wouldn't crank. The battery was dead. Had to call my grandmother to come give us a jump.

Since it wasn't hard enough getting Kevin to come out before having that lovely mental association. Oh, and we are still picking ticks off of ourselves several days later.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Burn, Baby, Burn...

When I was growing up, family dinners tended to be eating Chik-fil-a at the dinner table. Occasionally Mom made lasagna, or Dad made spaghetti, but for the most part, we didn't really eat stuff cooked at home (outside of frozen meals). I don't blame my parents, they both worked very long hours at jobs that did not end outside of the 9-5 day (Mom is an OBGYN and Dad was a chaplain). As such, I never really learned how to cook.

Certainly, Mom tried to teach me to cook, but I was not at all interested. =P When Kevin and I married, the only things I knew how to cook were spaghetti and scrambled eggs (and I didn't do them well, to be honest). Kevin wasn't all that great at cooking either.

Thankfully, we both got sick of ramen in a styrofoam cup quickly and decided to learn to cook together. It has been awfully fun most of the time... and just awful other times (like when my marshmallow syrup boiled over and it took MONTHS to get the stove completely clean). We try new recipes several times a month (though we don't really cook with recipes except brand new stuff) and enjoy some Food Network shows (Good Eats is such good geeky fun I never would have expected from a food show). I wouldn't go so far as to say that we are great cooks by any stretch of the imagination, but I'd like to think we are at least "decent".

We try to observe safety rules in the kitchen, but we both do still get burned on a semi-regular basis. Often it is either from steam, splattering fat (which is why we cook bacon in the oven), or handling our cast iron pans. A month or so ago I was lifting my baby (the cast iron frying pan) out of the oven and discovered that oven mitts without silicone are not good for handling super hot pans. Left a nice welt across my palm because I didn't feel the burning until I had been holding the pan for a few seconds, and you don't just drop a cast iron pan. By the way, we donated all of our oven mitts sans silicone to Goodwill, figured we didn't need to have to consider when an oven mitt is good enough when food needs to come out of the oven.

Well, last night Kevin pulled the cast iron grill pan out of the oven and I immediately leaned forward to chuck another dish into the oven. Apparently he didn't turn the handle all the way and I was intent on the food I was carrying, because when I leaned forward I hit my face on the handle of the grill pan. Which was definitely still close to 400 degrees.


The handle left a nice, fat, sizzling burn right next to my lips, so it hurts to smile. Actually, it just plain hurts.

On occasions like this, it is really nice to have a doctor for a mom. I knew how to handle a burn (like I said, I've gotten my fair share), but it is pretty nasty. I gave Mom a call and she contacted a plastic surgeon friend who handles a lot of burn cases. He had me send him a close-up picture and then gave me a call. And to think I was considering spending the money to go to the walk-in clinic here in town.

I feel much better after talking to him. The doctor said to slather it in Neosporin and sun block, and stay out of the sun, period. Most of the burn is just a simple first degree burn, but the worst of it (about the size of the tip of my finger) is a nasty second degree burn. He said if it does scar, it shouldn't be bad, and he has "lasers and such" that can take care of it. Well, lasers make everything better, so I'm not as nervous anymore.

I'm just glad that I didn't manage to burn my eyes or lips or catch my hair on fire or something. And I'm going to be much more careful about hot pans (especially our cast iron) in the future.

Did I mention that this coming Saturday is church directory pictures? And that Mom and Dad tend to get their favorite family picture blown up to hang in the dining room? Time to break out the concealer. =P

Friday, April 1, 2011



This picture of mine made it onto the Consumerist! I just joined their Flickr pool for fun the other day and submitted a few photos. Then to my surprise, one of them actually showed up in a post. Too cool!

Maybe that isn't all that special, but it is a pretty nice thing for me. :) Almost all of my photos (including that one) are taken with my Droid Incredible phone, not with a camera, so it is really cool for me to see one of mine recognized.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Doggy Cake!


It is a little late, but we baked Diocese and Endymion's cake today! It was like a regular cake but without sugar, and with added shredded carrots and chicken baby food. The "frosting" is yogurt, and those are pieces of bacon on top. It may not be very pretty, but I don't think they minded. :)

Diocese devoured his slices basically whole. Endymion was more delicate, as per usual, and licked off all the frosting then bit off a piece and ate it on our bed. We didn't discover this until the cake almost gone. Argh! Oh well. :P

Friday, March 18, 2011

Doggy Time

It has been and is going to continue to be, a very dog-focused couple of weeks around here. The 15th was Diocese's Birthday (yes, he born on the ides of March!), and Endymion's Gotcha Day is the 21st. I'm going to make them a dog cake sometime next week and just celebrate both together. Diocese is 5, and I think Indy will be 2.

My grandmother adopted a 4-6 year old Cocker Spaniel a couple weeks ago, and I'm getting his neuter handled for her. So, yesterday I took him in for his pre-neuter exam, and dropped him off this morning to be cut. His name is Barkley, and he is about as adorable as a Spaniel can be (he's buff, with cute little white feet and a white chest). He is super laid back, especially for an older intact dog, and we mostly enjoyed having him spend a couple days here.

We did make a couple of not-so-hot discoveries though. Barkley is horrible with cats, and will chase one as soon as he sees it. I suppose this is normal for many dogs, but generally we don't allow dogs that haven't been tested with cats in our home. Don't want to make life too difficult for our 2 senior cats (at least kitten doesn't care). The other, bigger problem is that Barkley has some aggression issues. When he gets really, really riled (like from chasing a cat, or trying to attack the rat cage, or being crowded too much by Indy the bully), he turns into another dog completely and just shakes and growls.

The first time it happened I thought he was growling at the other dogs, but the second time it happened I was pretty sure, and the third time confirmed it. He was growling at ME, staring me right in the eyes, unmoving except for his shaking, telling me very plainly if I didn't back off he would bite me. As much as I am used to aggression, having dealt with D's reactivity, D has never so much as raised a lip at me. I get the feeling Barkley's self-control is horrible, and that he walked all over his last owners. I can't imagine allowing a dog to treat you that way.

All said, I don't think these revelations will affect him staying with my grandmother. She hates cats, and doesn't have another dog. She is already in love with Barkley, and I honestly don't believe she would ever put him in a situation where this will come up. He'll spend his days laying around her house getting his belly rubbed or following her around while she gardens. Still, I think I will recommend that she not have anyone pet-sit him unless they have no other pets.

On top of everything, we are transporting another rescue dog from Tifton to Ocala tomorrow. At least my midterms are almost over!

Monday, February 21, 2011


I was experimenting with one of those everything-in-your-pantry/leftover soups for dinner today. Yuck. Next time I will only put in foods that we already like, instead of foods we already like, plus one we had never tried before (pearled barley). We discovered that neither of us like barley, we burned some barley on the bottom of the pot (so the house stinks), and it ruined the huge pot of soup (at least a week's worth of leftovers). :(

I know it is a very small frustration comparatively, but who likes basically throwing away food? Bah, I hate it when experiments go awry.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I've been having a really hard time lately. Like I said before, I've been sick since a few days before school started, and never have figured out why. The walk-in clinic doc had me get some bloodwork done, but still no answers. I AM feeling better, in that I am actually eating real food again, and I only get dizzy every now and then. Also, I've had a horrible lump in my throat off and on (like nasty excessive mucus, and I know that was TMI :P).

What has been hard is the panic attacks. I've NEVER had a panic attack before in my life until I got sick. I've had 5 or 6 since a few days after I got sick (so, about a month ago, I think). What's more, they aren't short attacks. They last for several hours. I can feel them coming on as I get more and more panicked. They happen mostly at night, to the point where I don't want to go to bed or wind things down at night, because I'm afraid I'll have one. Thankfully, I have an appointment with a therapist from the anxiety clinic at my school, so hopefully that will help. I just don't know what to do about them, having no history to fall back on. :(

Sunday, January 16, 2011


(Picture courtesy of National Geographic)

On Tuesday and Thursday my husband has a couple classes immediately after my morning class ends, so there is not time to drop me off at home before he goes to the other college campus. I don't mind, because I end up just hanging out in the turned off car reading a book for a couple hours during his classes.

If we didn't do it this way, I'd end up driving around for two hours before my morning class to find a parking spot (no exaggeration, it once took me 3 1/2 hours to find a spot and I ended up parking illegally) so I figure it saves gas and effort.

I was sitting in the car last Thursday with the windows partly down, in a parking lot that borders the woods, when a fox came out of the trees. I don't think he realized I was in the car, because he walked right by the car to sniff something. This gorgeous fox was so close that if I had gotten out of the car, I was close enough to touch him. I didn't get out of the car, of course. Didn't manage to get a decent picture of him either, probably because I was so excited that I forgot about trying until he was walking away. My Droid Incredible is a great phone/camera, but the digital zoom is awful.

I used to volunteer at the local zoo, and one of my jobs was feeding the foxes. They stayed pretty far away, but I caught glimpses of them every now and then. They looked like babies next to this wild fox. He really was much bigger than any fox I've ever seen before. And he looked fluffy. If I didn't know better, I'd have tried to cuddle him.

Some other woman who was also just hanging out in her car did get out of the car to take a picture and scared him off. He ran back to the treeline and when she tried to follow again, he disappeared. *Scowl*

This may not be an amazing experience for you country folk, but unfortunately for me, we live in the city (a small city, but a city nonetheless). I've never seen a fox in the wild so close up before.

Also, I'm still sick. Drinking Ensures like they are going out of style because I still am not really eating. Blech. :(

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Finally Following

I finally got around to following a bunch of the blogs I've been reading for a while through my Google Reader. Love that things, even if it usually says I have 1,000+ posts unread. =P

Now, I'm procrastinating. The spring semester started last week, and naturally, I've been really sick all week. Some kind of stomach bug that has been going around. It usually lasts 48 hours, but for me it has lasted for over a week. Because of this bug I haven't been able to make it to classes (except the first day to avoid getting dropped, and even then I had to tell the instructor I was sick so I didn't have to stay the whole time), so I really need to catch up.

Still a bit dizzy when I walk, but I'm feeling much better today!

This is actually my last semester of college, I'll be graduating with my Bachelor's in the fall. Over the summer I'm hoping to intern somewhere that isn't too far away, even if the internship is less sexy than others might be (e.g. FBI internships are all in DC). It will be awfully nice to finally be done with school. Though I may not be completely done with school, I've been considering getting a Masters in Law, but that would be from an online school, not a brick-and-mortar one.

Then I get out into the real world, and play the waiting game for Kevin to get his degree also (he's about 2-3 years behind me). Then we'll see what happens. We have talked about moving once we both graduate.

Whatever is to come, I need to go study if I'm to pass this last semester! ;)