Monday, December 20, 2010

Cookies - Part Deux

So yesterday was day two of cookie making and there are already enough cookies for a couple of armies!!   On the menu were Chocolate Chip Cookies, Polvorones (a type of Mexican Wedding Cookies), and more Ginger Snaps (The recipe I used Saturday was so awesome I decided to make more!). 

The Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe came from Allrecipes (again!!).  It can be found here.  Of course, after reading the comments, I couldn't resist tweaking the recipe a bit.  Instead of three cups of flour, I added two cups of flour and one cup of ground oatmeal ( I grounded it using my blender).  Also, instead of salt, I added 1/2 tsp cream of tartar.  Everything else stayed the same and here's how they turned out....

And yes, they taste as good as they look!!  Probably the best chocolate cookie recipe I have ever made. 

Today, I will be making more of these.....

Polvorones!!  And also Sugar Cookies and Peanut Butter Cookies!  There's a little story about my Polvorone making adventure that involves the Pioneer Woman.  But that's a story for tomorrow. 

For now I am off again to make a total mess of kitchen!!  My husband will be so happy.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


So I've been a cookie making fool lately....which I usually always am this time of the year.  The only difference is that I have much more time for baking. Yay! 

Last weekend I made a whole bunch of cookies for a party and this weekend I picking it up again.  This time the baking is going to be for gifts for family and friends.  On the schedule for today?? 

Raspberry and Almond Thumbprint Cookies.  The recipe can be found here at  I made these for the first time this year and, wow!  They were yummy!  Usually I will make changes to recipe a bit to suit my liking but this one....well, I wouldn't change a thing.  The only complaint I have is that these things are dangerous!  I truly think I could eat the whole batch!  Not at all good for my girlish figure ;-)

I think I'm going to take a stab at making Granny's Ginger Snaps also from  I've made ginger snaps in the past but they never really turn out like I'd like them to.  But these look pretty good so I'm going to give them a try. 

Well, I've got some cookie baking to get to.  So, Later Gator.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Charlie Brown Christmas????

So on Saturday we set up our new Christmas tree and once it was up we were a little....ummmm.....depressed.   You see, last year our tree looked like this......

It was very pretty.  Nine feet tall and very full.  The thing is.....pulling this thing out to set up was a major undertaking.  We both got a pretty good workout pulling it out of the garage and setting it up.  And for a person just a sneeze over 5 feet tall, decorating it was quite the challenge.

So after last I decided.....ENOUGH!!  It was on it's last legs anyways.  Lights were going out and besides, I was tired of practically scaling it in order to put the topper on.  It was time to downsize and this was the result....

Ummmm....yeah.....quite a difference.  And this picture really does it justice.  In person, this tree is really wimpy!!   All I could think of was the Charlie Brown Christmas tree. 

Well I guess I've been a very spoiled girl.  I think I'll look on the bright should be a snap to take down :-D

Monday, December 6, 2010


This morning on the TODAY show, they are having a segment that addresses the high caloric value in those foo-foo coffee drinks.  So in honor of those good folks at the TODAY show, I decided to whip up a little treat.......(or, rather, my husband did!).......

Coffee with a little Baileys and a big glob of whipped cream (I'm retired....don't judge!).  YUM!!!  And I enjoyed every single calorie of it.  Cheers!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

And So It Begins.......

The most wonderful time of the year!!!  Yes it is!  I know, there are many people who might disagree with me but I so love the Christmas season and this year I will love it more.  Why you ask?  Because I will actually have time to decorate, shop, and bake.....and to just enjoy the season as it should be enjoyed.....without stress! 

Of course, the season really begins at Thanksgiving.  And it was a very good one. 

We began the day with a hike. was cold!!!!  Colder than these old Arizona bones are used to!!  As we made our way up the canyon, the wind was blowing in our face.  My face was frozen, my eyes were watering, and my nose was snotting up (How's that for graphic????).  But when we got to the other side, we were treated to this beautiful view of downtown Phoenix.

I know, it may not seem like much but around these parts it is a big deal to have a clear view of the city without a big brown cloud.  The wind just blew it all away......

Luckily it warmed up (well, somewhat) and we were able to comfortably enjoy the rest of our hike. 

Judging from my husband's attire, you probably wouldn't think it was very cold....but it was.  And I was the one more appropriately attired for the weather :-)

Our five mile hike (and the additional five miles I put in around the kitchen) entitled us to our fair share of turkey, mashed potatoes, and pie.  I was extremely thankful to have both my children home for Thanksgiving.  I was NOT thankful for the fact that my SD card in my camera ended up with a so called "fatal error" meaning I was only able to upload a handful of photos from the Thanksgiving feast.....and they weren't the best photos :-(   Here is probably the best of them.....

Yes, the best one was with me looking like I'd been on my feet for the past five hours.  Marvelous!!!! 

And after spending all that time making Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, I celebrated the day after in a most fitting manner....

I spent 45 minutes in line to purchase a Christmas Tree at Kohl's.  Yes, I am just a little short of crazy (or maybe just full blown, who knows....) but it was a 7 footer with 800 lights and it was only $70.  Oh, and I got the last one.  Hee hee.....many people coveted that baby but it was all mine!! 

Yes,  and I am enjoying the season just as it should be enjoyed!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Scrumpdelicious! (Is This Even A Word????)

Last week as I was perusing Facebook (something new!) I noticed that my daughter was spending a day baking......One of my most favorite things to do!!  According to one of her status updates, she was making chocolate chip pumpkin cookies and pineapple banana bread.   Ooooooo.....pineapple banana bread!!!!  Just the very idea of pineapple and banana together was enticing.  So, out I went, into internet surfdom to find such a recipe.  I supposed I could have asked for her recipe.....but who am I kidding....I'm way too impatient to wait!!!  I had to have it NOW!! 

So I went to one of my favorite recipes sites and found this recipe.  Now I did make a couple of changes because I am one of those annoying people who likes to tweak every recipe I see.  So, instead of two cups granulated sugar, I split it up and used one cup brown sugar and one cup granulated sugar.  I added some extra sugar (no exact measurement just threw some more in!). 

And Voila!  This is what I ended up with......

Looks good......and how did it taste??  Yummy!!!  It was the best banana bread I have ever made.  The pineapple really added so much to the flavor and the texture.  Loved it!!  Thank You Amanda! :-)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

How Much Is That Doggie In the Window

Heehee.....Actually he is not for sale but I couldn't think of another title to introduce a newly groomed doggie.  Here is the before photo of Nash.....

This was actually taken a couple of weeks ago but you get the idea.  He was pretty scruffy.  I am amazed that dog could see anything through all that hair!! 

Now here is the after picture.....

Wow!! He does have eyes!!  I always wonder how they feel after being groomed.  I know they don't really like going to the groomer but I've got to think the world looks so much better without all that hair in their eyes.  Hmmmm.....who knows what a dog thinks. 

Next month it's Khalil's turn for a new do.  

And then, maybe, in January, I'll get my turn :-)   (Yeah, I rate just behind the dogs!)

Well, that's all for now!!  Toodles....

Monday, November 1, 2010

I Follow Orders Well

The request was simple.  He wanted his own blanket. 
One in manly colors with no holes!
That meant no granny squares.  :-(
I acquiesed.....slowly. 
It seems I'm rather taken with crocheting in circles.
Eh....maybe it's because I'm a dizzy blonde
and am genetically predisposed to dizzying routines.

So, the son got what he wanted. 
A blanket with no holes.
Which required crocheting back and forth (yawn).
I did add ripples to keep me awake.
And I did finally finish......TA DA!!!!!

So there it is.....the finished product!!
It turned out to be a lot wider than I thought.
I didn't realize this until I tried to photograph it. 
Hence the reason that it took so long!

So now that is it done, kid.....
You can come and get all......

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Because When It Comes to Embarrassing My Children.......

I am an equal opportunity parent!!  So, today, on his 24th birthday, it is my son's turn.  After all, exactly twelve days ago, his sister had to endure this humiliation so why should he be left out of the fun. 

He is getting a warning though.  After I posted his sister's baby picture on Facebook, he informed me that he would hack my account if I did the same to him.  Son....that is against the law....DON'T EVEN TRY IT!!  Your sister took it like a man.....and you should too!! ;-)

So, without further is the adorable little guy. 

Yes.....all decked out in his Ninja Turtle t-shirt and spiky hair!  Oh, and the cheesy smile.  There is a story behind that smile.  He was not a big fan of smiling for the camera so I had to bribe him.  I can't remember exactly what I bribed him with but it must have been good because if my memory serves me correctly, the cheesy smile was plastered on his face from the moment we walked through the doors at Olan Mills until we walked out.  Hmmmm.....that kid had a way of working it even back then!!!

Anyways, this kid entered our world 24 years ago today and it was pretty calm and uneventful.  No interesting drama stories on the day of his birth......sorry, Amanda.  But alas, my dear daughter, this should make you feel better.....when I was pregnant with you, I never felt (or looked) better.  My hair was beautiful and silky, shiny; my skin was so soft and free of blemishes, and, from behind, you couldn't tell I was pregnant.  Now when I was pregnant with your ass was as big as Russia, my ankles swelled to the size of torpedoes, and I had the worse case acne known to mankind!!! (Note: No complaints, just reality!) I was so certain I was having a boy I didn't even bother picking out a girls name. 

Of course, your father (and he probably doesn't remember this) had a momentary freak out the night before Ryne's birth.   He had a sudden thought that it might be a girl and.....yikes! we didn't have a name picked out.  I believe that one of his co-workers suggested the name Lindsay and I remember thinking, "okay, sounds good to me".  So there you go.....if he'd have shocked me and came out a girl, Ryne would have most likely have been Lindsay instead.  A little piece of information he didn't know (or perhaps, didn't need to know!).

So.....on that rather freaky note...... 

Happy Birthday, Ryno!!!!   You are my favorite son!  (Yes, you even rate ahead of Khalil and Nash :-D)    Oh....and the blanket is done so anytime you want to come and get it.........

P.S. : I know that both of my children are embarrassed by my stories (and my complete willingness to share them).  But the truth is, they have brought great joy to my life (Note: they are both now gagging!) and I hope they know that when I write these stories it is with love that I do so.  It is the stories, even the funny and embarrassing ones, that keep the common thread of our family so alive.  And I have a feeling there are going to be a lot more to come. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

On This Date 29 Years Ago: Arkansas beat Texas

Actually....they spanked Texas. It was brutal.  How do I know this?  I lived in Arkansas at the time.  The state went absolutely nutso.  Now if I wasn't a football fan I would have thought they were going crazy over something far more momentous.....something super spectacular....something just off the charts. 

On this date, 29 years ago, I became a mother.  I became a mother to this cute and cuddling little creature.


Who grew up to be this dazzling creature.........

Yes, I truly think she was worth all the fuss.

Of course, 29 years ago, my doctor probably thought she was a selfish little annoying snot even before she took her first breath.  Which takes me back to Arkansas and Texas.  You see, after a long time of laboring, it was determined that she was not eager to enter the world by the conventional means. No, she wanted to make sure she was beautiful the very minute she made her entrance (hence the future obsessions with beauty magazines and staying out of the sun).  It was determined that there would be a C-Section.  The problem was this little ole football game which was important to all Arkansans, near and far.  Including, yes you guessed it, THE DOCTOR.'am, would you mind waiting until half time.  I can't remember my exact response at the time but I think that, in light of the pain I was in, it was something along the lines of "ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME?!?!?!?"  Because I have learned that laboring women (or at least this laboring woman) do like to cuss.....alot. 

Needless to say, we did not wait for halftime to be wheeled into the operating room and get that lovely spinal anesthetia (sp?).  Yes, my girl made me proud that day.  She inherited her momma's determination and she stood her ground....even on when she was coming in the world.  

I cannot imagine my life without her. 

Happy Birthday, Manda Panda Bear.  I Love You!!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Criminal of the Week!

Here in the Phoenix area there is a morning talk show host who has a segment of his programs dedicated to the criminal of the day.  He tells the story of one of the many stupid criminals there are.  Well here at Casa de "Z" we had our own little criminal.  Or so my husband says.  Here is how things went down Tuesday night. 

At approximately 8 p.m., he informed me that we had just been the victims of criminal activity.  The crimes?  Criminal damage and theft.  I then got a tour of the crime scene. 

The first area was the cat box.  Roughly three-quarters of the kitty litter was out on the floor.  We quickly surmised that the culprit was a purveyor of scooby snacks.  I know......gross, huh?  Which is why there will be no photo.  This would be the criminal damage.

The second are was my craft room where I had been working on a halloweeny type decoration.  Well this is what it looked like after the perp got a hold of it.....

I called this a criminal damage.  Mr. Z insisted that it was a theft.  A theft of candy corn.  Hmmmm......

The criminal in question??????

This scruffy (note: badly in need of a grooming) little urchin.  Momma left the gate open and he went for a stroll around the house.  What gave him away?  Could have been the proud as a peacock prance after he thought he got away with it!!  No...he didn't.  He was just promptly placed back behind bars (fitting) where he could be chastised and monitored for a candy corn overdose. 

So there he is......our criminal of the week.  Just hope this does not become a weekly event!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A New Post.....Finally

The truth is I've been busy. 
Well....kind of. 
In the past few months I have watched the entire LOST series while working on
little projects like this.....

And this.....

So far I am totally enjoying this retirement thing.
It's nice waking up in the morning with thoughts of....
"Hmmmm.....what am I going to do today."  

Of course, because nothing is perfect, there have been
not so good days....and at least one very tragic day. 
But, for the most part, I really can't complain. 

The truth is....I have debated as to whether I wanted to
continue to blog.  Really....seriously.....who wants to
hear what I have to say.  But then I decided that, if for nothing else,
I need to continue it for myself. 
Yes, despite the fact that I have no job to clutter my mind
I still forget stuff. 
So, what better way to remember it than to blog it. 

So, I'm back....hopefully to stay. 
With a new title and a little bit of a new look. 
I think I need to continue to work on the latter!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Circles!!! Squares!!!

So with all this new found free time I have there is plenty of time to start working on all those projects I have lying around the house.  The problem is that there are so many projects that I have had a hard time deciding where to start.....this is where having Adult A.D.D. becomes a huge problem.   Hence, the reason for so many unfinished projects!  Yes, I suck. 

So I am trying (and I use that term loosely) to focus on just one project at a time.  I'll need plenty of focus for this. will be quite a challenge.  So what am I working on now??  Circles.  Lots of them. 

And from these cute little circles they expand into grown up squares and join all the other circles!

There are a few more squares I need to add in order to fit this baby on the full bed in the spare bedroom.  The one currently occupied by my son.  He asked me about the blanket the other day and I told him it was for the room.  I don't know if he was too happy that I was already planning the decor for the room once he vacants it. Considering how long it takes me to finish this stuff....I don't think he has to worry any time soon.....

Monday, July 19, 2010

This is Hell.....

This is what the temperature gauge in my car said at precisely 2:52 p.m.

Of course, it is a miracle anyone can read it through all that dust!!!

Anyways, it is another lovely summer day in Arizona. 
So, lovely that my husband is, at this very moment, on the golf course.  Golfing.  Uh....yeah....Some people just love torture. 
Me???  I am hibernating in the house and debating if a margarita will make me feel better about the heat. 
Oh, what the heck, a margarita makes me always feel better on a summer day in hell!!! 
Oh....but it is a dry heat......

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Vacation Flashback: Sam Adams----The Brewery

We couldn't leave the Boston area without visiting the Sam Adams Brewery.  After all, we did make those visits to Coors and Anheuser Busch.  We didn't want Sam to feel left out ;)  Of course, I was still feeling pretty yucky and was hoping that, perhaps, a little Boston Lager would be the cure.  Yeah, it helped out for a couple of hours.....

Anyways, when we got there we learned they were not doing full tours that day due to a commercial shoot.  So we got the abbreviated tour and then straight to the beer.  I'd say we were very disappoint but who are we kidding....we were really just there for the beer!!  And we did indulge in a bit of the brew with some documented evidence :)

Well I guess this is actually evidence that Russell partook since I was the only one taking pictures that day and I guess that Russell no longer needed to document proof that I was actually drinking beer. 
While we were visiting Boston, I was drinking the Summer Ale....but after the tasting I decided the Boston Lager was much better.  We also got to taste some test brew.....a little something they were working on.  Didn't care for that so much.

Now if I could just find a place to taste test margaritas......hmmmmm....

Monday, July 5, 2010

Be It Ever so Humble......

I'm sure everyone knows the rest....Yes, I am home and it feels so good to be here.   Although I will admit that after experiencing a couple of 114 degree days here in AZ, I am now itching for a beach day!!  Oh well, I guess I will just have to suck it up for a while. 

We have been home about a week and a half, and besides arriving just in time for hell in the desert, we were also greeted by some other things.  Some good and some, mmmmm, not so good.  Starting with the good......Our garden took off, or actually, I should say our tomatoes took off.  We came home to lots of these.....

I do believe I have more tomatoes than I'll be able to eat.  But I am going to try :)
We also found these two guys waiting for us. 

I tried to get them to pose together but Khalil didn't want to comply.  Khalil obviously
was not happy about having his picture taken while Nash, on the other hand, was very happy to pose and smile!! 
I was soooo happy to see them.  I was certain that the dog sitter was not going to relinquish them to me.

On the not so good side (pictures not included) we encountered the following:
  • Weeds that were three feet high
  • Air conditioning problems (A $700 fix!)
  • The garage refrigerator was turned off and was growing mold (Yikes!!)
No matter what it is good to be home.  We have started getting back into a routine. 
We've been watching the World Cup and the Tour de France. 
We've also started this again......

Yes, I am back to cursing Mr. Horton.  Oh how I have missed him so....NOT!!  
I'm gonna say taking seven weeks off is not a good idea primarily because I can barely move.  
And I've been ready for bed by 8 o'clock...which reminds me, it's past my bedtime now
so that's all for now!! 

Till next time.....

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Happiness is Myrtle Beach in my Rear View Mirror

In the past six weeks, there is no place I have wanted to leave faster than Myrtle Beach.  And we had a week booked there in our time share.  Yikes!!  Where do I begin??  Shall I start with the fact that the timeshare - a Gold Star resort - had no internet access!!  So it wasn't like I could spend time catching up on my blog.  I did spend a couple of hours at Starbucks (the one bright spot!! Well actually there were two bright spots....there was also a Margaritaville!) taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi. 

The other thing was that our hotel was right on the beach, however, in was also on the main drag for all the kiddies to cruise and walk the streets at all hours of night.  All we could hear until three in the morning was screaming, horns honking, and engines revving!!  Until three in the morning!  This was the view from our room every night. 

Bumper to bumper traffic!!

The next thing was the weather.  It was 95 degrees and, like, 70 percent humidity.  Not good for people who are normally desert dwellers.  Also, not good when you are trying to shake a cold as Russell was (It was the one gift I gave him on our vacation!).  Every day, the weather forecast included the temperature and the heat index.  Meaning....the temperature is 95 but it really feels like 105.  I am so looking forward to the fact that 110 degrees IS 110 degrees!  

The beach was okay but its really difficult to sit out on the beach when sweat is pouring from every crevice of your body :-(  Sorry I know that sounds a little graphic but I don't know how else to describe it!  Also, I had visions of ordering drinks with little umbrellas from beach bars.  Hmmm.....there were no beach bars!!!  At one point I was sitting on the beach finding myself longing for a week in Hawaii instead of a road trip vacation.  It's bad when, near the end of such a vacation, you find yourself wondering if the whole thing was worth it and your thought process is just based upon where you are at that moment. 

So, now we are on our way home.  We were planning on heading down to Georgia and Louisiana but our "beach" week made us homesick.  I do have a lot to catch up on.   In between Boston and Myrtle Beach there has been many good moments in places like New York, Baltimore, Washington DC, and Williamsburg.  So as we head west I will continue to catch up and share photos.... 

Friday, June 18, 2010


Or for those of us from the west coast and any place outside of New England...Concord. 

We stayed in Concord for a few days rather than right in Boston for one big reason....driving in Boston.  The last time we were there we remembered what a nightmare it was....and I just didn't want to see Russell head explode!! 

Anyways, if it wasn't for the fact that I know how cold it gets there....I could probably live in Concord.  Very historic, very quaint, and very pretty.  And just a train ride away from Boston! 

There were a few places I wanted to visit in Concord.  One of them I feared I would have to literally drag Russell to but he came with me without I fight.....and I think he kind of enjoyed it. 

The first place we went was the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery and Author's Row.  This is where many famous authors are buried.  Let's see if you can recognize any of these names. 

Next, we went to the North Bridge.  The last time we visited Concord we made it only as far as the bridge.  This time we took a walk through the park and went to the visitor's center.  I get so much more our of a national monument when I actually go to the visitor's center and listen to the park rangers' talks! 
I did get much better photos at the bridge since we were there early and there weren't as many people there :)

The last sight we visited in Concord was the one I thought I would have to drag Russell to:  Orchard House.  Or for the non-literary...Louisa May Alcott's home.  We took the tour which was quite interesting.  The tour guide was excellent.  Of course, it was mostly girls visiting so Russell was in a minority group!!!  This was one tour that we took where most of the structure was original (not a re-creation). 

Made me want to read Little Women again!!!

Awesome Maine....

While we were staying in Boston we took a little day trip to Maine.  Wow!!  If I'd know how beautiful it would be I'd have booked a week there!  It was Memorial Day weekend and quite crowded.  But the weather was beautiful and so were the sights.  Our first stop along the way was in York.  We found probably one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen.  I wish I had brought my suit but unfortunately when I think of Maine I don't think of sun bathing.  But then what do I know!!!  This was as far as we were able to get into the water. 

After York, we drove up the coast through the various towns like Olgunquit and Kennebunk.  We finally stopped in Freeport.  There was a very special reason I wanted to stop in Freeport.  Can anyone guess??  Here I'll give you a hint.....

The LL Bean outlet store.  Very cool!!  Only picked up a couple of tank tops there but I had to see it.  I did get a very cute pair of shoes at the nearby Clark's outlet (there is a story behind that one....for another time).  Oh, and Russell threatened to buy a kayak.  Yeah, I would have liked to see how he got that bad boy back to Arizona.....

The next stop was lunch.  And keeping with our goal of sticking with the local cuisine we went looking for the nearest lobster shack.  And we found this place in Freeport.....

Where I got to meet this guy....

Before he was dropped into a pan of boiling water and became my lunch.

It was somewhat disturbing.  I've come to the conclusion that I never again want to see my food alive just moments before I'm going to eat it. 

As for the cuisine....well, I tried it but my opinion about lobster didn't change.  Still don't like it much.  And it didn't help that 1) Russell and I looked like dorks trying to crack the shell (we totally looked like we didn't know what we were doing)... 2) Seeing the guts of the lobster just was not appetizing at all and 3) Beer was not served!!  Not much of a beer drinker but maybe it would have eased the pain of thinking about what the poor little guy had to go through  :(

Well that was up Concord!