Friday, January 31, 2014

High Five for Friday!

Happy Friday! Here are the five highlights I can remember from my week... So much happens in a week, it's kind of hard to remember!

1. I survived having the Stern German home for two days this week.
He had two days of vacation to use before the end of January...
This was his "I'm Fun to be Around" face...
2. I met up with another Minnesota blogger for margaritas and nachos.
Brittany is a cute, young blogger that goes to college 30 minutes from me. It was nice to meet up. with her. I'd met her on two other occasions of Minnesota Blogger get-togethers.
(Forgot to take a picture... oops.)
3. I made Bay Scallop Risotto and Yukgaejang (a Korean soup) for supper this week.
Wine was served with each meal... and, yes, probably some whine was served with each meal, too.

4. Along with the weekend comes another chance at some Forced Family Fun!
I'm not a quitter... even though... you know what they say about insanity, right?
Options? Either a game or a movie or a tv show...  Not sure the Angsty Teen and the Stern German will be on board... but...

Any suggestions on what we could do?
5. This guy will be here to play for the morning! 
Last week was Pajama Day at his daycare... so he was comfy when he came to my house.
We made chocolate chip cookies.
He loved using a knife...
Well, that's all for now. Hope you have a great weekend.

Later today I'm planning on making salsa with my Salsa-Making Friend... yay! Should be a great time.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Dressing Like a Girl

The Angsty Teen likes... well... she likes comfort. I mean, I think we all do; however, the Angsy Teen wears sweatpants or yoga pants to school all the time.

When I say "all the time" I mean ALL THE TIME. She might choose to wear jeans to school one day out of ten.

Over half of the times when she wears sweats/yogas,  she wears printed t-shirts and comfy sweatshirts. This girl does not dress to impress. She dresses for comfort. She's pretty confident just being herself.

There are times, like yesterday, when she looks like she actually tried to look like a girl. Yes, she had on yoga pants but she also wore a cute t-shirt, a nice scarf,  and her warm, cute UGGS.

She looked adorable.

I know from Intro to Psych that correlation doesn't necessarily prove causation... but...

Prom is coming. Well, not until the end of April... but, the asking has begun.

As a sophomore, the Angsty Teen could go to prom if she was invited by a junior or senior guy... or girl, probably... but I don't think that's where we're at... Even though it's only January, the asking has begun in earnest.

The Angsty Teen would, apparently, like to go to prom. A couple of her friends are going and there are a few groups that would be a blast with which to go to prom. (Look... didn't end that sentence with a preposition!)

Yesterday after school she commented to me, "If I was serious about wanting to go to prom I probably should've started dressing like a girl a lot sooner... that way someone could've seen I had potential as a cute prom date."

She might be right... but that girl's no quitter.

Today she actually wore cute skinny jeans and a cute girl shirt. She also kicked it up a notch by wearing mascara.

As she left for school I said, "Go out there and get yourself a prom date." and I gave her a hug.

That's when I noticed that even though she dressed like a girl and wore makeup like a girl... it was still all about comfort for that girl.

Really? Child, you didn't even wear a real bra.

Good luck, Angsty Teen. How do you expect to get a prom date wearing a boob-smashing sports bra?

But then again... I'd like to think there is a guy out there who thinks the Angsty Teen would be a great prom date just because of who she is... a person who would likes to be comfortable, is fun-loving, and hilarious.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Germany's Senior Citizens

Bahahaha... This picture made me laugh out loud.

Apparently a bunch of residents at a "nursing home" (which, based on how vibrant these people look must be more like an assisted living facility than what I would call a nursing home..) in Germany recreated some famous movie scenes.

Pretty funny.

Some of the movies they used? Rocky, The Blues Brothers, The Seven Year Itch (that one's pretty good), Saturday Night Fever, Dirty Dancing, and there's also a picture of someone being James Bond.

I didn't know any Germans had that much of a sense of humor. Just kidding. Sometimes the Stern German is hilarious... in his own mind, at least.

Click on this: Recreated movie scenes to watch the slide show of all their shots.

Looks like these are some spunky folks.

Which one is your favorite? I'm not sure I could choose one favorite. There are a lot of good ones!

Friday, January 24, 2014

High Five for Friday

Here it is... Friday, once again.

The week has been kind of odd with having school canceled yesterday due to the cold weather. But it's still time for me to give you the five highlights of my week... So, here goes!

Here are the five greatest things I made this week...

1. I made... it to my cooking class... and home again safely!
We made teriyaki drummies, Garlic Prosciutto Dip, and Mini-Beef Wellingtons.
Going to this class is the highlight of my month. There are great people... great recipes to make... great food to share... and a little bit of tasty wine. It's perfect.

2. I made... it through (another) day of no school due to the cold weather.
Didn't take long to chill this baby!
3. I made... a delicious lunch for myself yesterday.
Sun-dried tomato turkey, Muenster cheese, spinach,
scallions, red peppers, hummus, and a little wine,

4. I made... fun of the Stern German for being the smart phone expert at the Angsty Teen's volleyball tournament!

5. I made... The Grand Boys play with corn starch and shaving cream...
Fun to watch them squish and squash the stuff!
And here's a bonus item:

6. I made... a great play in Words With Friends!

So, that's my week in a short summary. It was pretty good... Hope you had a good week, too!

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Apparently, #Minnearctica has been trending on Twitter for a few weeks now. And after seeing that this was the forecast for last night... I think they might be on to something!

I made it to my cooking class... had a wonderful time... and made it safely home again. The roads were just fine. But somewhere in there our district canceled school for today.

I hear the Angsty Teen stirring upstairs... soon she will be down. And while I have visions of us baking cookies, making chicken pot pie, watching Psych together? She will have visions of sitting in the basement alone watching One Tree Hill or The Suite Life of Zach and Cody (yes, I know... two totally different shows!).

While I dream of a calm, peaceful day... she will come down and want to talk to me... dramatically... about how many layers of clothing she has on... about how cold the house is.... and/or about how tired/hungry she is feeling. The volume and level of angst increasing exponentially with each topic.

There probably won't be any mother/daughter bonding again today... Maybe she will have fond memories of me letting her do what she wants today... along with fond memories of me not making her bake cookies but just letting her eat cookies.

Well, here she comes...
... might be time to add a little something special to my cup of coffee.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Probably a Dumb Move

Tonight is my cooking class!
This is Andrea, another Minnesota Blogger.
Her mom leads the class and has it at her house.
I have to drive nearly two hours to get there... and it is a cold, blowy, snowy, windy day. Well, it's not snowing.... but it is blowing the snow we already have around and around.

Not sure coming up here was a bright idea... This is the forecast for tonight:

Dang. That's cold.

But... I'm already around the metro area... Sitting at a restaurant... sipping something delicious... waiting to head another 15 minutes north to my class. It doesn't start for an hour.

Someone back home asked me what we were making tonight.

Um... Don't know. Don't care.

It really doesn't matter.

I've come up to this class nine or ten times out of the past year. These women who have been getting together for nearly five years and who are either related to each other or have been friends forever... have been extremely welcoming.

We always make something delicious. We always drink a glass or two of delicious wine. We always have fun.

And this is the highlight of my month... really. So. much. fun.

I'd like to think it's cheaper than therapy... but with the price of gas these days, it probably isnt.

Oh, well. This is my mini-vacation. And by "mini" I mean mini.... small, miniscule. Priceline wouldn't cooperate with my cheap, cheap bids... so I'll head back home tonight.

But for now, I will enjoy every minute of my evening... and pray that I get back home safely.

Let the cooking begin!

Monday, January 20, 2014


Go, Peyton!
I spent all... and I mean ALL of Sunday at a volleyball tournament with the Stern German watching the Angsty Teen play and ref matches.

We left town before 7 am and returned home just before 6 pm.

It was a long day. It was a very long day.

Did I mention it was a very, very long day?

I didn't go to church.

I didn't eat lunch with my parents (but we ate with them yesterday... so that's all good...).

I didn't do anything productive or spectacular on Sunday.

I didn't watch any football... just a lot of volleyball.

But... even though I didn't watch any football... I kept coming across the word "Omaha" throughout the evening. Saw mention of it on Facebook and on news pages.

I like Omaha... a lot.

Why? Well, that's where Kati lives... I like Kati... a lot!

And it's where Warren Buffet lives (not to be confused with Jimmy)... but I've never met either one of them.

And, I like Kati's life.

She lives in a pretty great apartment complex.

She has a great job.

She drives a wondrous car.

She has good friends.

She gets good prices on milk and yogurt. Not even sure how she does that.

Back to the topic at hand... Apparently, Peyton Manning said the word "Omaha" over 40 times during his playoff win over the San Diego Chargers.

A Sports Illustrated article said that a group of eight Omaha companies pooled their money to give him $800 for his charity for at-risk youth. You can click on the link in the previous sentence to read the entire article.

So I guess I missed all of that... but I did get to watch over 30 volleyball games... but the only time Omaha was mentioned was when someone asked me what Kati was doing these days.

And, much to my disappointment, no one paid me any money for saying "Omaha"... so that's too bad.

Friday, January 17, 2014

High Five for Friday!

Friday is here again... already. Time to tell you about the five highlights of my week.

1. I had a little break from my life... because I kind of lost track of the geriatric, bariatric, diabetic guy when he was on his workout machine... 

I had a 40 minute break from my life!
2. The Stern German has been kind of hilarious lately... but not according to the Angsty Teen...
He's trying to blend into the wall...just like... the Pink Panther movie. Do you remember that scene?

3. I made everyone participate in a little Forced Family Fun... clearly that went well.

4. The Grand Boys had fun painting. 
I let them use brushes, feathers, corks, and hands to paint... The Stern German was stressed out by this!

5.  Today I get to spend a few hours with this guy. He cracks me up.
Hope your week has been good. Yesterday we had an early school closure because of crappy weather... so all of the Angsty Teen's after-school activities were canceled... We had a nice, quiet evening at home.

And, I didn't make anyone play any games...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Thanks, Target

I have a confession to make: I don't love Target stores as much as the rest of you love Target stores.
Why don't I love Target?

The Target store closest to me has a lousy grocery section, even though they just remodeled the store in the past couple of years. No fruits or vegetables to speak of... and just about half of the items from the grocery ad are not carried in the store.

Another thing that's keeping me from loving Target is that the stores are always crowded when I go there... (that would be because of the rest of you that are shopping there...) and it is always a deal to park and get through the store.

But the main reason why Target doesn't really "wow" me is that I never find the end cap deals like everyone else always talks about. No 90% markdown on bedding... or silverware... or art work. I'm starting to think people that say they find these deals are just dirty, rotten liars...

So, even before the whole credit card information scandal that is going on, I wasn't in love with Target.

Enter said credit card information scandal... and now? Now, I've started to really dislike Target.

After hearing about the whole deal I decided to be proactive and cancel the one credit card that I knew I had used there in December.

Card cancelled... still no new cards have arrived. So, that's kind of a problem.

I have to contact Netflix and a variety of other places that use this account to charge monthly fees. But, I can't contact any of these places until my new card actually arrives with my new account number on it.

Yesterday I had to make a payment for this credit card. I went online to make the payment... but because the account is closed... it shows a zero balance... and I couldn't access any information about the new account and the balance there.  So I had to call the credit card company.

Calling a credit card company and trying to get to talk to an actual person is such a hassle. Plus, in order to make a payment on the balance that was transferred to the new account,  I needed to tell them the new credit card number (that I don't have yet) so they could link my old account to my online information. What a pain...

So, this is starting to be kind of a hassle. It's a bit frustrating.

And now, today I received an email from Target telling me that my personal information was probably stolen also... name, address, phone number. And they warned me not to give out any personal financial information to anyone over the phone or via email.

Really, Target? What's the worse thing that could happen? Thieving folks would have my credit card information and personal data? Oh, wait. They already do. So, thanks for that.

I'm really starting to hate Target.
Obviously MARvelous

55 Alive

My mom signed up to take the "55 Alive" safe driving class through AARP. By taking this class she will save $100 on her car insurance over the next year.

That sounds like a great plan. But there are a couple of problems with this plan.

Problem one? Well, she no longer drives. She hasn't driven her car in over two years.

So... in order for her to take the safe driving class... I'll have to:
  • drive over to her place
  • warm up her car in the 18 degree windy weather
  • go inside and get her
  • make sure she has her hearing aid
  • make sure she brought an extra hearing aid battery
  • make sure she packed an extra pee pad
  • see that she brought her Trac phone
  • help her with her coat
  • pull the car up to the door
  • get her in the warm car
  • load up her walker
  • drive her to the class
  • find a place to park
  • unload the walker
  • unload my mother
  • walk her inside the building
  • find the classroom
  • take her coat for her
  • get her registration papers
  • help her find a seat
  • tell the dumb guy leading the class, several times, that I'm not a participant
And then do most of that in reverse order four hours later... except then it will be colder than 10 degrees. Brrr.

Also? My dad can't really be alone for four hours... that's a long time for the diabetic, bariatric, geriatric, blind guy to be by himself. So after I get my mom to the class... which is across the street from my house... I don't get to go home.

I will go back to my parents' place to spend a couple of hours with my dad and get him supper.

Problem two? I was hoping to go to my cooking class in the Twin Cities the night of the class. Instead, I will go to my cooking class next week on Wednesday... which is okay... except for the fact that I had planned a ton of errands to do while I was up there.

Next Wednesday I can't leave town early to run the errands before class because my mom has a dental appointment here in town in the late afternoon.. and... remember? She doesn't drive... except me... crazy... So I guess she does drive...

In order to run the errands I need to get done, I'm thinking of getting a cheapish Priceline hotel room so that I can run the errands the next day... Otherwise I'd have to try to get back up to the metro area another day to get my stuff done. That's tricky to do.

Yep, glad you are taking a safe driving class, Mom... this is going to be a money saver, for sure.

Let's do the math...

      For  my mom:
          Savings on car insurance: $100
          Cost of the class                - $25
          Net savings:                        $75

Sounds like a good return on my mom's investment.

How do the numbers look for me?

Well... let's look...

Hours spent with my dad:                       2.5
Hours spent chauffeuring my mother:  +1.0
Total hours involved:                              3.5

I'd like to think my time is more valuable than a minimum wage income... but even if that's all my time is worth... The time alone will cost me $25.

Cost of cheap hotel room: $55 with all the taxes/fees (I love paying for the Minnesota Vikings' new stadium...)

Cost of a box of wine that I am definitely going to be needing by the time I get home? $13

So... while my mom saves $75 this night will end up costing me... at the very least... $93.

Dang. Maybe I should've just offered to give her $75... It would have been cheaper for me.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A New Sheriff in Town

Not a lovely looking meal at all...
On Sundays... we eat dinner with my parents at their assisted living place.. 99.7% of the time.

My mother is sure she's doing me a huge favor since I don't have to make dinner on Sundays. And, it is kind of her to want to buy us dinner on Sundays... but the food on Sundays has left something to be desired... since... forever.

Even during the week when they had an "Executive Chef" in the kitchen, the food wasn't always great.

If a meal was delicious... hearing the chef slam pots, pans, dishes, and silverware around the kitchen because she was mad about something made your food taste less than delicious.

That reminds me of a Bible verse I've heard throughout the years... different Bible translations word it differently...  I love the way The Message Bible says it:

Better a bread crust shared in love than a slab of prime rib served in hate.

You know that's right. (Psych reference. You caught that, right?) But, I digress...

Now the weekday cook and the weekend cook have both quit... So back to the Sunday dinner story...

The Stern German will more oft than not do his fair share to encourage conversation at the Sunday table. Bless his heart. This earns him lots of bonus points... and to be clear... he can use all the bonus points he can get.

Last Sunday the Stern German was talking about the meals that have been served there lately... and he says, "I hear there's a new sheriff in town... and it sounds like the food has been a lot better ever since."

The diabetic, geriatric, bariatric, blind guy doesn't respond.

My mother... who forgot to wear her hearing aid to lunch doesn't respond either. Pretty sure she didn't hear much of what the Stern German said.

So, the Stern German tried again, "I hear there's a new sheriff in town and Sally says the food has been really, really good since you've gotten the new cooks."

There is a moment of silence and then my mom hollers out says loudly, "The new cook's husband is the sheriff???"

What??? Noooooooo. Not even close, Mom.

"No," the Stern German responds patiently, "I hear the food's been better here lately."

"Well, who is the new sheriff?" my mom says.

Then my mom tries again, "The new cook was the sheriff?"

And, FYI, the retired sheriff actually lives with my parents where my parents live... he's in his upper 90s and his hearing is worse than my mother's... so I guess I should be grateful she can hear as well as she does...

By now lots of people in the dining room were looking from the retired sheriff to the kitchen to our table and back again in bewilderment. The Angsty Teen looking like she was going to die from laughter... and the Stern German was looking like he needed a drink.

Since I was sitting closer to my mom than the Stern German was, I thought I'd give it a try.

"No, he's just talking about the new cook and how the food is better than before," I said slowly with deliberate articulation.

My mom looked at me, thought for a second or two, and then asked in all sincerity, "When is the sheriff going to cook here? I don't think he could do better than the new cooks. The food has been so much better lately."

This, my friends, is why I drink.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Could This Happen to Me?

There was a news story from a few weeks ago that made me reevaluate my life. Did you hear about it?

Well, apparently this lady went into a hospital, told the staff she was pregnant, and said she was having difficulties with the pregnancy.

The doctors couldn't find a heartbeat for the baby so they decided to perform an emergency C-section.

The problem? Well... here's the headline:

These were the questions that immediately came to my mind:
  • How is that even possible? 
  • Was she just really chubby?
And... most importantly...
  • Could this happen to me?????
Well... apparently the doctors believed she was pregnant because... and I quote....  "she had the symptoms associated with pregnancy like an enlarged abdomen and nausea."

I guess I could kind of see how that happened... I mean, she'd convinced herself she was pregnant... and she had a belly on her...

You could read the whole article here.

Even though I would never try to convince myself I was pregnant... at age 51, that's just not what I'd like to be doing with my life for real or pretend... but... I'm slightly concerned that this could happen to me...

I mean, what if I fell down a flight of stairs, was badly injured, and unconscious?? Would the paramedics take one look at me an say, "She looks pregnant."

Then the doctors wouldn't be able to find a heartbeat on the baby and they'd perform a C-Section????

I doubt, at that point, that they'd even think that in order to prevent me from suing them they should do a little Lypo...

Dang... this sounds like a terrible situation...

I'm gonna quit writing this post... set down my glass of wine... and get to the gym.

Not really joking.

Friday, January 10, 2014

High Five for Friday!

Hey... guess what!!! I took time to blog... and I remembered that it's time for a HF4F post! Yay, me.

Now I just have to think of the five highlights of my week...

Well... here goes:

1. We survived the "Polar Vortex"...
School was closed for two days because of super cold temps. This picture was taken when it had warmed up to -16 degrees... with a windchill of -43 degrees!

2. The Angsty Teen started winter volleyball.
It's been over 11 months since her concussedness... just hoping she doesn't use her head like that again...
Too much togetherness?
3. The Angsty Teen found her &%$#  retainers...
She hadn't used them since she had her wisdom teeth out... at first, because she couldn't... but... apparently she hadn't used them the past couple of weeks because she couldn't find them.

"Where were they?" you ask???

They were in a bowl of animal crackers... which was on the floor... by her bed... I guess this was her last crunchy snack before the surgery... Great place to keep them...

4. We had some good food and delicious drinks...

5. Everyone is pretty much healthy!
We survived three different dental appointments... so that's all good.

Hope your new year is shaping up to be stellar. It's been crazy around here and I feel like I'm always way behind. So... blogging hasn't been a priority.

Maybe I'll get back to this!