Santa stop here

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday: These shoes were made for walking...

My friend, Annette, over at Spirit Mommy posts a Top Ten Tuesday theme each week.  I thought it was a cute idea, so I decided to join her this week.  If blog and addiction go hand in hand for you, then you'll love her post.  Mine is nowhere near as entertaining, but her goes...

10. You beat the heat. Even in Texas walking is bearable early in the morning when you can still catch a “cool” (I use that term very loosely) breeze as you walk

9. My mom bought me a pair of the Sketchers Shape-Ups for graduation, and I certainly don’t want them sitting around collecting dust

8. Walking offers a 30-60 minute reprieve from dishes, laundry, hungry children, etc.

7. Weight-bearing exercise: important for bone health especially for those of us over 40

6. Gives me something to say other than, “Does running behind the kids and chasing the dog count?” when the doc asks about my exercise regimen at my annual exam.

5. It’s an opportunity to explore my neighborhood and really look at some of the houses I’m accustomed to whizzing past in my trusty mom-mobile as I shuttle kids from one place to another.

4. I can easily consume 32 of the 64 ounces of water I’m supposed to drink each day during the walk

3. I can catch the rainbows from my neighbors’ sprinklers which have to be turned off by 10 a.m. (city-wide ban: watering prohibited between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.)

2. I can sing loudly and freely without bothering anybody…well, maybe except for those dogs that try to join the fun with their barking (I said barking not howling…I’m not that bad!)

1. It’s my quiet time with God: “And He walks with me and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own!”

That was fun, folks, now I'm done.  Until next time...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Smile, it's Sunday!

Good morning afternoon, friends.  My day is sneaking away so fast.  I thought I'd join Mama Hen and Little Chick for Smile Sunday today because despite all of the chaos of the past week, I've had several reasons to smile.  When I worked the concession stand at the BallPark last week, a handsome young man (I'd say about college age) called me "sweetheart" when I handed him his order.  Do you know how long it's been since anyone called me "sweetheart"?  Okay, so he probably called everyone sweetheart since we don't have nametags, or it might've had more to do with the fact that he had a half-empty cup of beer in his hand.  Either way, I was flattered just the same.  Another patron stopped by in search of jalapeno peppers for his nachos which he had purchased elsewhere.  I gladly offered him a cupful of peppers.  He asked how much, and I told him "just your gratitude."  (People aren't used to getting anything for free at the ballpark!)  He was overjoyed and thanked me profusely.  I couldn't help but smile.  Then, my Hubby just cracks himself up sometimes and emits this crazy belly laugh at his own jokes.  That cracks me up and makes me smile, too.  My son's high school football team (which I might add is also my alma mater) won their first football game of the season 49-48 in overtime Friday night.  I might have done a little more than smile at that one.  Woo-hoo!  I'm sure there's more to write about, but in the interest of time, I will share a recipe that is sure to make you smile:

Sunrise Scones
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold butter or margarine
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp grated orange peel (optional)
Additional sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl whisk together milk and sour cream; set aside.  In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Using a pastry blender or 2 butter knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in raisins and milk mixture.  Turn dough onto lightly floured surface, roll out to 1/4 inch thickness.  Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter or cookie cutter, cut out desire shapes; place on greased baking sheet.  Sprinkle with additional sugar.  Bake 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned.  Serve warm.  Yields: 12 tender, slightly sweet scones.
**Eastlyn's tips:
I always type the recipe as I found it then add my own 2 cents...I poured about 1/2 cup hot water over the raisins before I started and let them soak to "plump" back up.  Then, I drained them, patted them dry and chopped them (My daughter doesn't like raisins, so I thought if they were fine enough, maybe she'd at least be willing to try them--no such luck, even after all the extra work!)
The dough was a little sticky when I first turned it out of the bowl so I sprinkled some extra flour on top of it before I started to knead/pat it on the floured counter.  If you're using a dark pan, you may wish to lower the temp by 25 degrees (my scones browned a little on the bottom).  How do you call something "sunrise" and not have a hint of citrus flavor in it?  I added some grated orange peel to the milk/sour cream mixture, and it added just the right touch of "sunrise" flavor.  You could probably substitute lemon zest.  Instead of using a biscuit or cookie cutter, I used my pizza cutter to cut the dough into squares & then on the diagonal to make triangles.  I sprinkled some of the scones with cinnamon sugar prior to baking and some with powdered sugar after they came out of the oven. A powdered sugar & milk glaze would probably have worked well, too.
Bon apetit and Happy Smile Sunday to you all.  Until next time...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Five Question Friday

Believe it or not, it's Friday again already!  That means it's time to link up with Mama M at "My Little Life" or at least click on the button to the right for more information (and to copy and paste the questionss to your blog).  Let's go...: 
1. How many pets do you have?

One rotten dog names Missy (short for Mischievous), two fish

2. If you could switch places with anyone in the world for one day, who would it be?
Wow, this is a tough one, but Oprah Winfrey was the first person who came to mind, so I'll stick with her.  It'd be nice to experience a day in her life: getting to meet famous people (or make not-so-famous people famous) and give away lots of stuff that makes people happy and go home to a beautiful home complete with dogs and a personal chef, weight trainer, etc. 

3. What is your favorite money saving tip?
Tip #1 Use your noodle!  Does it really "save" money if you drive 10 miles out of your way to get gas for 3 cents cheaper per gallon than the five stations you passed on the way?  My tank holds about 15 gallons of gas which would mean about 45 cents savings when I've probably burned up an extra gallon of gas going out of my way and back home.  Tip #2 If you can't afford it, don't buy it.  That's a difficult one for many people, but it's pretty easy for me since I don't like shopping anyway.  My husband sometimes loses his mind gets carried away and wants to take the kids on some spur of the moment trip and then come home and work exrra hours to make up the expenses.  Do you see anything wrong with this picture?  I sure do.  Why not let's work that overtime first and set the money aside and then take the kids somewhere?  Not quite as fun and spontaneous, but I'd hate to have to grit my teeth and glare at him the entire time we're "having fun" spending money earmarked for the housenote or electric bill!  We haven't been anywhere yet because we depend on any overtime going toward living expenses for the time being.
4. What do you want your kids to be when they grow up?
Oh, this is a great question, but I really don't know.  My daughter is very quiet, artistic and introverted.  I could totally see her as a writer and mom.  She just turned twelve and she has already named my three grandchildren-to-be (that's kind of scary, huh?).  When my son was about four years old, a vacuum salesman stopped by to "clean our carpet for free" as a way to peddle his wares.  He asked my son what he wanted to be when he grew up, and my son's reply shocked me...He said he wanted to be a priest!  That was fine by me; we need more good and decent priests.  To this day, my son remembers saying that, but he no longer wants to be a priest.  His passion is with cars.  He wants to get an MBA and own/operate an automotive shop.  I guess I can see him doing that IF he decides not to pursue the priesthood.

5. What is your favorite quote?
"I am only one, but still I am one.  I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.  And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something I can do."  I often use this when I'm talking to parishioners about joining a ministry at my church.  It sums up the philosophy of ants: teamwork makes everyone's job a little easier.  A lot of people doing a little beats a few people doing a lot, in my humble opinion. 

Well, that was fun, and now I'm done!  Have a great weekend...until next time.

Thanksgiving Thursday 8/26/10

Well, friends, it is almost two o'clock on Thursday afternoon.  I cannot believe I haven't blogged since Sunday.  So much has happened since then: first day of school, volunteering at the hot dog stand at the BallPark, a visit with my father in law, a pep rally, but alas, I'll have to catch up a little later.  I sat down some four plus hours ago to blog about things I'm thankful for and got wrapped up in reading everyone elses updates.  One link led to another and so on and so forth, but here I am.  I think I'm going to abandon my nursing aspirations and just look for a job that pays top dollar for reading blogs!  I'd be rich in a matter of months.  Just kidding...let me get on with this before my kids trickle in from school and I have to get busy with dinner and open house!
(1) I am thankful I am able.  My FIL celebrated his 84th birthday last week, and he is on dialysis three days a week for End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD aka chronic renal failure).  My SIL called to see if my Hubby could take his dad to dialysis yesterday, and I was able to do it instead because Hubby had to work.  It was good spending time with my FIL whom I rarely see even though he's less than an hour away.  Later that evening I was able to volunteer at the BallPark to raise funds for the band booster club.  It was quite the long day, but I'm really thankful for my health and strength.
(2) I am thankful for space.  The fact that every little bit of it in my house is cluttered is beside the point.  If' I'm complaining about clutter then that means I have lots of space (to get cluttered) and lots of stuff to clutter it up.  I am thankful for both because I realize so many people are less fortunate although they could gladly have some of my clutter if they really wanted it, which I doubt they do!
(3) I am thankful for my family and friends, especially those who are helping to make me accountable and offering encouragement with this job search business.
(4) I am thankful for a quiet house.  The only sound I hear right now is the ticking of the clock on my office wall.  I'm about to crawl in my bed because I have one hour and a couple of minutes before school out and the peace and quiet will be replaced with the rattle of dishes as after school snacks and dinner are prepared, chatter about how everyone's day went, television (maybe not since they're supposed to get on homework first!)--not that any of the sounds are negative; just better tolerated by a well-rested mom!
(5) Last but not least, I am thankful for overtime and a husband who willingly works it.  I think we are both looking forward to my income so Hubby can just work his regular shift and come on home for a change instead of working "from can to can't."

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sunday Stealing-22 August 10

Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it?  Actually, it is one of these "get to know you better" question-filled posts from Sunday Stealing blog.  Thought I'd give it a try even though I have no idea what a "meme" is:

1. Are you happier now than you were five months ago?

Yes and no.  Yes, because 5 months ago I was finishing up nursing school, and life was hectic as I prepared for graduation and tried to fulfill my family's needs as well.  No, because now I have no focus and am having a difficult time finding a job.

2. Have you ever slept in the same bed with anyone that you shouldn't have?  Sure, sure.

3. Can you sleep in total darkness?
I desire to sleep in total  darkness.  Hubby likes having the TV on or music.  I prefer dark and quiet and sometimes have to accomplish this with one of the those satin masks and ear plugs.
4. Your phone is ringing. It’s the person you fell hardest for, the one who got away, what do you say?
She's not available; may I take a message?  Anyone I fell for that hard and didn't marry I wouldn't care to hear from ever again!
5. What do you think about the weather this summer?
I live in Texas.  It's still hot, hot, hot!
6. How many people do you trust with everything?
None.  Not even Hubby.  Not even my girlfriends.  Not even my mother.
7. What was the last thing you drank?
Water with a slice of lemon.  Boring, I know, but water is usually going to be the answer to that one.
8. Is there anyone you want to come see you?
Yes, those people from Clean Sweep.  My house could use a de-clutter makeover!
9. Name one thing you love about winter?
Comfort food.
10. Have you ever dated a Goth?
No. (Not 100% sure what a Goth is)
11. What are you looking forward to tomorrow?
Tomorrow is my kids' first day at new schools.  I'm looking forward to it even if they are not.

12. Name something you dislike about the day you’re having?
Way too much to do to get the kids ready for school and get my house in order to relax and enjoy my Sunday.
13. What's the longest that you have committed to one person and one person only?
14 years 8 months 3 days ago I married my Hubby.  That's by far the longest commitment to one person I can claim.

14. What’s the first thing you did when you opened your eyes today?
Peeped my clock to make sure I wasn't oversleeping.
15. Has anyone ever told you they never want to ever lose you?
My daughter in a roundabout way.

16. Is there anybody that you wish you could fix your relationship with?
Yes, God.  I feel like He gets the short end of the stick in our relationship.  He's always there for me, but I'm not always there for Him.  I know I let him down sometimes.
17. Could you go out in public, looking like you do now?
Yep!  I went to my friend's graduation party tonight and haven't changed out of my dress and heels.

18. Do you think things will change in the next 3 months? How?
Lord knows I hope things will change.  I will have a job.  Unpaid bills won't be stacked to the ceiling on my dining room table.  My kids will be back in the routine of going to bed and getting up at reasonable hours.  My dining room table will be free of clutter so we can sit down as a family and actually be able to see one another.  Oh yes I think and hope things will change in the next three months!
19. Do you believe that you never know what you got until you lose it?
Definitely.  Once upon a time ago when I lived in Honduras as a Peace Corps Volunteer, a main pipe in my community broke and we didn't have running water for several days.  I had to walk to the river to collect water and boil it to drink and cook with, etc.  It seemed like everything I decided to do required water: washing laundry, washing dishes, cooking, bathing, washing my hands, etc. I really missed it and appreciated it all the more once that pipe was repaired.
20. Do you have a friend of the opposite sex you can talk to?
Yes.  Unfortunately, any of my friends of the opposite sex also happen to be friends of my Hubby; so I couldn't talk freely about everything.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Five Question Friday August 20, 2010

Here we go again, friends.  Time for Five Question Friday.  For more information and/or to copy the list of questions, click on the link to the right or click here on My Little Life.  This is a fun way to learn about other bloggers and maybe rediscover some things about yourself in the process!  Let's begin...

1. Do you have any nicknames and if so how did it come about?
With a name like "Eastlyn" I always wanted a nickname because no one could remember or pronounce my name correctly.  It's just Ees'-lin; long "e", silent "t" for the most part.  My cousins called me "Ees-tuh-lin"  (this, my friends, is why phonics warns against teaching the "t" sound as "tuh").  Telemarketers often ask for "Es-tuh-lene"  (short e). I'm often referred to as Evelyn and once was called Caitlyn.  I guess "lyn" was all they remembered.  Anyway, the question asks about nicknames, so here are some names I have been called over the years: Easi (pronounced "E-C") was given to me from a friend in Junior High.  My sister and a couple of friends call me "Eastchurn" (your guess is as good as mine on this one);  a college buddy coined the name "Eastwood"  (as in "go ahead...make my day").  When my siblings had kids I became "Auntie" (On-T) and "Aunt (pronounced "ant" in the true southern tradition) Eastlyn, and my favorite plain, old "E."  When I taught at Parent's Day Out where my nephew attended, he would call me Auntie out of habit, and his classmates would call me "Miss Auntie."  I thought that was the cutest thing!  To answer the question succinctly, no I do not have a "Hi, my name is Michael, but everyone calls me 'Mike'" sort of nickname.  Not really.

2. What is your birth order amongst your siblings?
I am the middle child: one older brother and a younger brother and sister who are twins.  I think we all fit the typical birth order descriptions.  I'm not the outgoing, all-star first born or the doted on baby of the family, just the quiet one tucked safely in the middle of the family not rocking the boat, minding my own business.

3. In a movie of your life who would play your significant other?
I know you're not supposed to answer a question with a question, but is this a wistful thinking kind of movie of my life or am I supposed to choose someone who is like the significant other I already have?  Hmmm, let's the "real life" version I'd have to say Kevin James (chose this image b/c of the facial hair)-big guy, funny and oh so lovable or Ice Cube (sans the "bad boy" reputation and with a few extra pounds).  My daughter just added Cedric the Entertainer, and come to think of it she may be closer to the mark than any of my choices.  In my wistful thinking movie of my life I'd probably choose Lenny Kravitz or Boris Kodjoe. ::fans self::

4. What is currently your favorite song?
::tempted to bite nails and pace the floor:: This question totally feels like a pop quiz!  If only I listened to more music!  It's probably a bad thing to not know your own favorite song, huh?  I'm a little weird in that I rarely watch television or listen to the radio, but I sing all of the time-just not about anything in particular.  I'm either on my computer or listening to a book on CD as I go about my day.  I think I'd better just come clean and confess that I don't have a favorite song.  I could ramble on and on about my favorite kind of music or my favorite Christmas carol or church hymn or something, but that is not what the question is asking, so I shall spare you all of that.

5. Are you saving your money for anything right now? Big or small purchase?
No, but as soon as I get a job I will be saving money to throw a big bash for my parents' 50th anniversary in November 2012.  I don't want nachos and meatballs in bbq sauce at my sister's house.  I don't want pulled pork and potato salad at my brother's house.  (Don't get me wrong, folks.  Those types of get togethers have their place.)  I want a fancy hotel and real linens and china and glass water goblets and appetizers and good food that I won't have to prepare and a beautiful tiered cake that I won't have to decorate.  I want to be able to sit down and dine with our guests and soak up the moment with my parents and family and friends not be hustling all night long to ensure that everyone else is taken care of.  Should my parents decide they don't want that, I'll send them on a trip for two somewhere.  Lord knows they deserve it!

That was fun.  Now, I'm done.  Good night, fellow bloggers.  Until next time...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I am Thankful

I started not to participate in this week's Thanksgiving Thursday.  I just didn't feel up to it.  Then, I thought better of it and figured the very time you're feeling the least thankful or the most down is the time counting your blessings may just uplift you from your blue funk.  So, I'm going to keep this short and sweet (I think).
(1) I am thankful for my friends, especially Francesca whose birthday is today.  Happy Birthday, girlfriend!  I know I owe you some cookies.  I haven't forgotten you (although for the life of me I can't remember which recipe you liked the most).
(2) I am thankful for the institution of marriage for the stability it offers much of society.  Congratulations to my sister and brother-in-law on their 11th anniversary tomorrow and my BIL's parents who celebrated 40 years earlier this week.
(3) Words alone cannot express how thankful and grateful I am for teachers everywhere who are working to prepare their classrooms and themselves for a new group of students arriving next week in my neck of the woods.  I baked an Almond Cream Cheese pound cake for the teachers' at my daughter's school "Welcome Back" luncheon tomorrow.  I need to go flip it out of the pan so it can finish cooling.  Okay, done!  I love, love, love my new Wilton Bundt pan (Thanks SIL!)
(4) I am so very thankful for my family who keep me afloat amidst life's storms.
(5) I am thankful for the small bonus check my Hubby brought home; unexpected income is always a blessing!  I believe this is God's way of telling me to quit sweating the financial difficulties.  He meant it when he said he would provide for us all that we need.
(6) Oh, and one more while I'm at it.  I am thankful for kind neighbors.  In particular my neighbor who edged my whole yard for me b/c Hubby has been working lots of hours and hasn't had a chance to do it.

And now, because I have mentioned Almond Cream Cheese Pound Cake in two different blogs, I thought I'd include the recipe. It's quick and easy and tastes divine.  Best of all, it starts with a mix!
Almond Cream Cheese Pound Cake

1 pkg (18.5 ounces) butter recipe golden cake mix

1(8-oz)  pkg cream cheese, softened (room temperature)

4 large eggs

½ cup water

½ cup sugar

½ cup vegetable oil

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp pure almond extract

Place rack in the center oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly mist a 10-inch tube pan with vegetable oil spray, then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set the pan aside.

Place the cake mix, cream cheese, eggs, water, sugar, oil, vanilla and almond extract in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping the sides down again if needed. The batter should look well-blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing it out with the rubber spatula. Place the pan in the oven.

Bake the cake until it is golden brown and springs back when lightly pressed with your finger, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Run a long sharp knife around the edge of the cake, invert it onto a rack, then invert it onto a serving platter so that it is right side up.

Slice the cake while it is still a little warm.  It's great with fresh berries and whipped cream, too.

*Store this cake, covered in plastic wrap or under a glass cake dome at room temperature for up to one week. Or, freeze it wrapped in foil for up to six months. Thaw the cake overnight on the counter before serving.

Eastlyn’s tips:

I used 1/3 less fat cream cheese and it turned out fine; I also used “imitation” vanilla and almond extracts because that’s what I had on hand, and they worked well.
I used the nonstick Bundt pan and only sprayed it with plain cooking spray with no flour. I also reduced my cooking temp to 325 because my pan is dark. The cake fell right out of the pan. I think it did take the full 40 minutes for the cake to test done. I tried dusting with powdered sugar after the cake was completely cooled, but the powdered sugar just soaked into the cake within minutes.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Time for a change

Howdy, folks! I've been visiting blogs all day long and am inspired by the beautiful blog designs out there. I really liked the blue background I had before but found it difficult to read, so I went in search of something a little "lighter" (and hence easier on the old peepers) but still "summery." Well, this is what I came up with but to me the green splotchy background is almost just as difficult to read from as the other was. I'm tired of sitting at this computer and my kids will be hollering for dinner soon, so I must skedaddle for now. I'm still working on the makeover, so don't be surprised if you see something different tomorrow. I'm usually from the train of thought, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" but I felt like either my old background was broke or my eyes were, and I'd rather go with the former explanation.
This attitude has presented a certain dilemma in my job search, too. Some of the "inventories" or assessments I've been doing online so that prospective employers can "get to know me" (Ha-I sure do miss the "old-fashioned," meet face to face, hand over a resume, shake hands and have a seat conversations/interviews) have posed statements similar to this: I prefer things to stay the same in the workplace. Answer options are: strongly disagree, disagree, not sure, agree, strongly agree. I felt stuck. I am a creature of habit and like for things to stay the same, but I didn't want a prospective employer to deem me inflexible because I'm not THAT much a creature of habit that I can't change and adapt to a changing environment or new ideas. What is one to do when you can only click on one answer and offer no explanation?! Sheesh.
I do like to change my blog background from time to time, usually to match the season or a special occasion. I'm not that technologically inclined, but I've at least learned to "install" the different backgrounds. Because I am unemployed and have no money I have to go with the freebies for now. I have visited,, and hot bliggety blog (always have to google them b/c I usually get an error message). If anyone knows of fun free blog backgrounds that are easy to install and designed for "mature" eyes like mine, let me know! Thanks for your help. Until next time...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Licking the beaters

"A friendly look, a kindly smile, one kind act, and life's worthwhile." -Author unknown

Today, I'm joining Mama Hen for Smile Sunday. It all started when I found a new blog I'm now following earlier in the week, Falling off a high-heeled life, one woman's incredible journey to restored health after a debilitating accident. (You can click on the "Falling..." link to check out her blog.) She posted a scrumptious recipe for chocolate frosting and made me smile thinking about memories of my own mom baking us treats. Growing up with four kids, when mom baked a cake, two of us got beaters, one got the mixing spoon, and the luckiest one got "the bowl"! We all survived the raw eggs and refined sugar, too. Nowadays, when I bake a cake, my two kids get the beaters and I get the bowl and the spoon! Now, if I were a really organized mom like some of you out there, I would insert a picture of my toddler daughter with a mouth rimmed in white buttercream frosting licking one of said beaters with a huge smile plastered on her sweet, sticky face, or my nephew with chocolate lips doing the same. I know these pictures exist, only they were taken before I had my first digital camera, so Lord only knows where they are. I'm racking my poor little brain trying to remember if I've actually scrapped the pictures and if so which pizza box the unbound pages are stored in, and it's just too much! I give you permission to insert your own favorite memory of licking the beaters and hope it brings a smile to your day. Until next time....

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Five Question Friday-13Aug10

Well, folks, it's that time of the week once again. I just love these theme days that make it so easy to blog! Just click on the Five Question Friday button to visit Mama M. and get the questions and rules for joining the fun. You can also link your blog with her linky and visit others who are participating in 5QF.

1. Have you ever visited another country?

I have been on a couple of cruises, but since the other countries were just ports of call I don't really consider that "visiting." I have been to Mexico, Jamaica, Grenada (Eastern Caribbean). I lived in Honduras, Central America for 2+ years as a Peace Corps Volunteer working a rural health education assignment. I also had the good fortune to visit Costa Rica (by way of El Salvador and Nicaragua) after I completed my service.

2. Where is the strangest place you have ever been?

I think the strangest place I've ever been would have to be the Bay Islands off of the northern coast of Honduras. It was primitive in a candles and outhouses sort of way, and I thought the native people were speaking another language. It turned out they were descendants of some Dutch culture and they were speaking English with a very strange lilt to it. I had to pay close attention to understand what they were saying!

I have to tell you a little story about this question and why it cracks me up. *WARNING: Crude humor to follow; skip to question #3 if you feel you may be offended.* Anybody remember The Newlywed Game? It was a game show back in the 70's and 80's where host Bob Eubanks brought three newlywed couples on the set. They had to answer questions separately and then come together and compare answers. The winner was the couple whose answers matched the closest. Making whoopee was the euphemism for you-know-what. Anyway...on one episode the host asked, "Where is the strangest place you've ever made whoopee?" (see the similarity to this question?). The one husband answered, "I'd have to say, 'up the butt, Bob'!" My Peace Corps buddies and I got a lot of laughs from that silly phrase. I think the contestant might have misunderstood the question. Then again, maybe not. LOL!

3. What is your favorite season?

I love spring and all of its signs of new life-rain, baby animals, budding trees, blooming flowers. It is such a welcome change from the cooped up, cold days of winter. Okay, okay, so I live in Texas and we sometimes don't have a "real" winter per se, but I'm sure those of you in colder climates might be able to relate to my love of spring. Don't hate!

4. What song will always cheer you up?

Time for confessions of a closet country music lover. I love "Keep on the Sunny Side" from the soundtrack to Oh Brother Where Art Thou? I don't know if it's considered blue grass or country music or what, but I love wailing right along with the CD in my finest Texas twang (much to my kids' and cousin's chagrin). Most people would never have guessed that I listen to that let alone know every word.

5. What disney character do you resemble most?

Although Tatiana from the latest Princess and the Frog movie might be the "obvious" answer since she's the only African-American Disney princess, I don't think I have as much spunk, vision and gumption as she does. Furthermore, Lord knows I don't consider myself a princess. I think I'd have to be Jiminy Cricket because he was always hopping around trying to get Pinocchio to follow the rules and do the right thing.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Thanksgiving Thursday 8/12/10

Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you'll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you'll find that you have more of it. -Ralph Marston

Welcome back for Thanksgiving Thursday. Each time Thursday rolls around, I remember an exercise from junior high school P.E. class. We had to divide a sheet of notebook paper into two columns and write down things we like about ourselves on one side and things we didn't like on the other side. Naturally, being self-conscious, teenage girls, it took about 1 minute to fill the "negatives" side and several minutes to think about the positives and come up with two or three things. I think life is often like that--we are tempted to focus on all of the negatives that surround us and miss the positives unless we purposefully turn our attention to all of the blessings in our lives for which we should be thankful. All of that is to say, I am thankful for this opportunity each week to reflect on my many blessings and say "thank you."

(1) Thank you to my husband for making me laugh and helping me (read: forcing me) to lighten up and not take life so seriously when I'm about to lose my mind over something I have no control over anyway.

(2) I am thankful for the little silver cross my mother gave to me for my birthday several years ago that is a physical reminder of Jesus' love for me and the perfect sacrifice he made on my behalf.

(3) I am thankful for my son who has blessed our family with his sense of humor, laughter, hugs, positive attitude, willingness to try new things and kisses to pay for his dad's haircuts for 14 years. Where has the time gone?! Hubby asks me to cut his hair and then tells Aaron to "pay your mama for my haircut." Aaron brings me his upturned, dimpled cheeks to smother with kisses as payment for the haircut. Iused to tell him I had to get as many sugars as I could before he turned into a crusty "old" boy. Just for the record, this has not happened to date. His sugars are still sweet, and he's not too big to share them with his mama. I'm thankful for that in and of itself.

(4) I am thankful I didn't get the job at Baylor Dallas because I really didn't want to have to make that commute anyway. I know there is something just around the corner.

(5) I am thankful for support and encouragement from friends and family (especially my blog buddies) who stop by or call just to ask how I'm doing. Thanks, y'all!

That's all for now. Until next time....

Monday, August 9, 2010

Share the Love

Hey, fellow blog buddies. I just stopped by Megan C.'s "Infertile Myrtle" blog and she is doing a product review for an awesome all-clad baking sheet and a giveaway for a sexy apron. Rest assured that this is no June Cleaver apron, I'm telling you! I'm encouraging you to hop on over and see for yourself by clicking on this link: Infertile Myrtle or Megan's badge to the right. I think the apron would make a nice gift even if you're not the apron type. Hope your week is off to a great start! Until next time...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Smile Sunday-Happy Birthday, PaPa!

Here are 5 smiles for you: Baby sis, Big Bro, Dad, me, Baby Bro
See what I mean about being the "shorty" in the family? Yesterday was my dad's birthday, and we all headed to my Baby Bro's house for a cookout. Baby Bro and Baby Sis (both wearing dark on either end of the group) are the twins. Baby Bro is all about grilling and smoking meat these days so we let him have at it. We had ribs, brisket, pulled pork, chicken, potato salad, tossed salad, cole slaw, baked beans, jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese & little smokies, wrapped with bacon and smoked along with the meat. I baked a coconut cake (Dad's request) and an almond cream cheese pound cake (my son's request for his birthday which is coming up this Tuesday), and vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting. My SIL made more of those absolutely deliciosos key lime cupcakes. Sorry for all of you who are vegetarian or on a diet. I am very easily overwhelmed by such large quantities of food. As much as I'd love to sample a bite of everything, it's just too much for me, but I managed to sample most of it, and it was good! I brought home a doggy bag, and that's what he had for lunch after church this afternoon.
Although pulling all of the arrangements together at the last minute can be a royal pain in the behind at times, spending time with my family makes me smile.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Five Question Friday-August 6, 2010

Is it really Friday again so soon? Click on the Five Question Friday button to the right to join in on the fun or for more details. OR you could always join the blog hop sponsored by simplystacie and my wee view by clicking on the Fun Follow Friday button. Here goes...

1. Are you a neat sleeper or a messy sleeper? It totally depends. I think I'm a pretty neat sleeper. Sometimes it seems as if I haven't moved at all throughout the night. Other nights I know I toss and turn a lot but not to the degree that the covers are on the floor and the pillows are at the foot of the bed or anything like that. I sleep with covers, Hubby sleeps without so sometimes the sheets get a little tangled and twisted.

2. Fill in the blank: I wish I was more _____
Picture Ursula the Sea Witch from The Little Mermaid clasping her hands and saying, "Oh this is just too easy. She's fallen in love with a Prince!" Now picture me saying, "Oh this is just too easy! I wish I was more organized!" I can think of some other words to finish that statement, but "organization" wins hands down.

3. What is something you wish you had been warned about?
Umm ... err...uhh. Let me just spit it out already: marital "expectations." Let me preface that by saying sex education in my parents' household consisted of 6 words: don't do IT until you're married. Well, we did have access to the Life Cycle Library, too, which was a collection of about 3 or 4 volumes that was probably published before I was ever born. They mainly talked about puberty and "petting" (archaic word for making out). Sometimes demands of married life and parenthood are overwhelming--a little warning would have been nice.

4. What was the best thing you ever found at a garage sale/flea market? Just for the record, I don't really shop much, not even garage sales and flea markets. I can remember being dragged from garage sale to garage sale with my grandmother one summer. She bought me and my sister purses made with a cool whip tub for a bottom with holes punched around the top and a drawstring top crocheted to the cool whip tub. Maybe not the greatest find, but definitely unique and "memorable." More recently I bought a bike rack for the back of my van from my next door neighbor (which I have yet to use--best laid plans, right?!).

(5) If you could have any meal brought to you right now, what would it be? Ahhhh, food, my favorite subject! This is probably the most difficult question of all because it's after 4 a.m. and I'm hungry, so really a bowl of cereal would probably do. As long as I'm dreaming though, let's make the most of it. I'd start with a chilled fruit soup-like they often serve on cruise ships. My SIL thinks this sounds totally gross, but a few spoonfuls served in a beautiful piece of crystal or china would be a nice start in my opinion. Next, I'd have a lobster tail along with a filet of fish with more seafood -crab, shrimp, spinach, wine & butter-piled on top (I'm thinking Pappadeaux's Seafood Kitchen here) with a house salad and onion rings on the side. As if that's not a recipe for gastrointestinal distress in and of itself, I'd have some yumscrumptious variety of cheesecake for dessert with a splash of decaf coffee to wash it down.

Well, folks, that was fun and now I'm done. Until next time...

Thanksgiving Thursday 8/5/10

Well, it's been quite a week in the Wilborn-White household. Way too much to elaborate on here. It's officially Friday morning, but I'm still up so it still seems like Thursday to me. I'm going to go ahead and post my Thanksgiving Thursday. This week I am thankful for...
(1) A job prospect. Everyone seems to think that nurses are in demand everywhere. Let me just correct your thinking. Apparently, experienced nurses are what's in demand. I'm steady looking for graduate nurse positions where I can hone my skills and gain that experience everyone is looking for. I found and applied for one such residency at a hospital not far from my house (about a 30-minute commute is all). My fingers are crossed, but it doesn't begin until February 2011.
(2) Pharmaceutical reps. Strange, huh? These are the well-dressed, briefcase on wheels pulling individuals we usually don't think too highly of when our little ones are running fever, in pain from an ear infection, and waiting to get in to see the doctor (or worse yet perfectly healthy and only in the office for shots with other kids who are sick). They walk up to the nurse at the window, schmooze a bit, pass out some cool freebies, and go right back. We stare at their backs, mumble under our breath and throw a nasty look at the nurse behind that glass window because we know it's going to be a little while longer before our child gets seen. Well, I'm thankful for my friend, Randy, who is one of the said legal drug pushers. He has lots of connections with hospitals and doctors' offices in the area and is passing out my resume everywhere he goes.
(3) Forgiveness. Last night my kids and I were walking around the neighborhood. My daughter is a little heavier than she should be, and I've been trying to encourage her to move more, mainly since the "eat less" approach just doesn't seem to appeal to her. I'm actually at a loss as to how to deal with her weight. She is self-conscious about it. Her feelings get hurt whenever my mother tells her outright that she needs to lose weight and she has stretch marks because she eats too much. (Way to preserve that self-esteem, Grandma! I just told the girl she grew so fast her skin couldn't keep up, which is true) Well, she was tired and didn't want to keep walking after about 15 minutes. She was getting an attitude and talking back. I finally asked her who she thought needed the exercise more. She zipped it and we walked around the block one more time. Later, I was in the kitchen washing dishes when she came in with puffy eyes. I knew she had been crying, and it was because of what I had said to her--bad mommy :-/ I apologized and got on the step stool so I could kiss her tear-streaked face (well, maybe that's a slight exaggeration, but only slight--the girl is tall!). And she forgave me.
(4) Cake mix. My dad's birthday is Saturday and he requested a coconut cake. So, I made the coconut frosting, shoved it in the fridge and grabbed yellow a cake mix from the cupboard. I got real fancy and substituted coconut milk for the water in the recipe because I was out of coconut extract. Then, I proceeded to ruin my cakes. It's a long story that involves putting the cakes in the oven, plans to zip to my mom's house to pick up kids and come right back, getting way-laid by my neighbor who just needed someone to talk to because he got fired from his job after 11 years (trust me when I say I heard ALL of the details of the circumstances surrounding his "wrongful" termination) and a husband who fell asleep. I was so disappointed when I came home and found two buckled down, humped up, shriveled cakes sitting in their pans on the stove, but I am thankful I had the ingredients to make another cake from scratch. The house note is due and there will be no trips to the grocery store for more cake mix! I guess I ought to be thankful my house didn't burn down, too!
(5) I am thankful for my family and friends whom I love and who love me in return (even when I'm a bit less than deserving of it). This week I'm especially thankful for my Comadre (my daughter's Godmother) who made my daughter's day when she sent a card inviting Alisa to spend the day with her and do some shopping next Friday.
BONUS: I am thankful for Cassiopeia at for creating my personalized button. Didn't she do an awesome job?! Thanks again.
Good night. Until next time...