Monday, July 21, 2014

Healthy Blender Ice Cream

My family loves ice cream!  Hubby and I were craving something sweet last night.  I tried this recipe from and it did not disappoint.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.  The recipe says it serves 2-4.  For my family, it barely served 2.  I doubled the recipe and we ate it all without guilt.  We will be making this again very soon.  We decided we loved the banana but will substitute with peaches next time.

Banana-rama Ice Cream

2 bananas frozen in chunks
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 Tbsp Vanilla protein powder
1 Tbsp Honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond butter

Mix in blender or food processor until smooth and creamy.  Serve immediately or freeze.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

What happened to Thanksgiving?

I've noticed this year that we have gone straight from Halloween to Christmas! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I think it deserves a little more attention! : )

I work downtown and on my way to work the Monday after Halloween, I saw Christmas trees in store windows and couldn't believe it. I was disappointed again the following week when several neighbors had Christmas lights and trees up. The home owners association gives us a certain date that the lights have to be taken down but can't they be put up too early?

This year I saw no turkeys, no pilgrim hats or feathers. Jack-o-lanterns turned into Christmas trees. I absolutely love Christmas but my family will continue the tradition of putting the Christmas tree and decorations up the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Friday, March 1, 2013

How to irritate a vegetarian

I am soooo tired of hearing it. "How do you get protein?" "Where is your protein?" "Don't you need protein?"

The sources are so many. Just off the top of my head I can name these: whole grain bread, brown rice, all beans, lentils, peas, nuts, seeds, nut butters, soy, meat substitutes, veggie burgers, protein powder and the every versatile tofu.

I would love to walk up to those same people while they are eating a big mac and fries and ask them, "Where's the vegetables and fruit?" My husband would be quick to reply that fries are potatoes and potatoes are a vegetable. But that still leaves the fruit! : )

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Quick & Easy Hummus

I've have several people ask me for this recipe. It doesn't get much easier than this!

2 cloves garlic
15 oz garbanzo beans, drained
2T tahini
3T lemon juice
1/2 t tamari
1/4 t coriander
1/4 cup water
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t cayenne

Toss it all in food processor until desired consistency.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Smells like Grandma's house

This week I've hit every antique store in the metro area.  I am on the hunt for retro drinking glasses.  Our dishes are from the Pottery Barn Great White Collection so I don't want clear glasses.  That would be too blah.

We have seen a few that we like here and here but I think I might want to have a blast from the past and get something retro or vintage.  I can find them everywhere on-line. I have been tempted but as we all know, the hunt is part of the fun.

While browsing the antique stores I found myself feeling so many emotions.  I saw a doll and cradle that I had as a toddler and it made me smile.  I saw some things that reminded me of Daddy and I caught myself reaching out to touch them as if I was trying to connect with him.  So many things reminded me of my Granny's house.  All of which made me smile. A few of the spaces even had that musty, old smell like Granny's house.

My other Gram had bought eight antique custard bowls for me when I was 16 to put in my hope chest.  Last week I was so excited to find a set of matching bowls.  Again, I could find them on-line but the thrill of finding them staring right at you and then losing your breath with excitement is worth the hunt.

It occurred to me this week that I not only like antiques because of their age, uniqueness and quality but also because they remind me of a time passed that can only be relived in my memory.  Having these antiques help keep our loved ones and the past alive.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Is love blind (and deaf)?

Living in Las Vegas I became used to seeing homeless people. They have an area off of highway 15 north that we call Tent City. You can see the small tents that they live in. I got used to seeing dirty people on the corner of a busy intersection holding their sympathy signs about how hungry or stranded they were. I used to look the other way and roll up my windows, I'd even lock the door. It became such an everyday occurrence that I became desensitized to it and was able to look them right in the eye with my window rolled down and tell them "no". Then one August day, in walked Mr. & Mrs. Hurt.

I was at work when a couple walked in. I greeted her but she didn't respond in any way. I brushed it off and waited for the man with her to come in the door. She stood quietly and patiently until he came in and walked up to my desk. He took out his pen and paper and told me that he was deaf and obviously couldn't speak. In a series of quick notes back and forth I learned that he and his wife were displaced from hurricane Rita. They drew social security but were currently homeless. The police picked them up the night before at a Waffle House and put them up in a motel for a night. As kind as that was, they had the same problem at check-out time, back on the streets.

My place of business has nothing to do with providing help to homeless or any kind of aide. My best uneducated guess was to call the Salvation Army. They had room for the couple! I was proud to tell Mr. Hurt that I had been able to help them. He shook his head and then wrote that his wife was deaf and blind. They had been married for 25 years and he would not go to a shelter unless they could be together because she could not communicate and they didn't want to be apart. I could feel the tears well up but I held them off so I could make more calls. After an hour and a half, someone finally suggested that I call the First United Methodist Church. The associate Pastor there was able to help but he didn't have a vehicle available to come get the couple. I volunteered to take them to meet the Pastor at the motel near his church. I took all of our notes and put them in an envelope to help the Pastor make sense of what was going on. A co-worker and myself helped them to my car and we took them a mile away to the motel.

In between my phone calls to churches and charities and and my notes to Mr. Hurt, I saw him communicate with his wife in such a loving way. It was just sign language but I could tell that he loved her so much. Without a single word, this couple, Mr. & Mrs. Hurt, managed to touch me in a way that I will never forget. I will continue to keep them in my prayers.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Mother - Daughter Bonding...At Court

Yesterday was that special bonding time between a mother and daughter when the mother must accompany the daughter to traffic court!  Brooke got her first speeding ticket a few weeks ago.

The Excuse

It was a Friday night.  Her curfew is midnight, she got home at 12:03 with this wild look about her which I know realize was fear.  "Mom! I got a speeding ticket!" Then she waited for my reaction which was of course laughter.  I told her she lasted a year longer than I did. She said she was scared to tell me but I think I may have ticked her off by laughing.

She was going 53 mph in a 40.  The police officer pulled her over and said, "I caught ya didn't I?".  She said he was funny and nice but not nice enough to let her go.

She told him she was speeding because she didn't want to be late for her curfew.  I'm sure that was a feeble attempt to gain sympathy but the seasoned cop didn't bite.

Yes, her curfew is midnight but we always give her a 10 minute window just because things happen and honestly, with Brooke, the less strict you are the better she is.  She has been driving for a year and a half and this is maybe the 2nd time she has been late.  I guess we beat her so severely last time that she was scared to be late again.  JOKING!

We explained to her that if she didn't get pulled over for speeding, she wouldn't have been even 3 minutes late.  At 11:50 when she got pulled over, she was only 3 miles from home.

Fear of the Unknown

For 4 weeks she worried a lot about the cost of the ticket, what the judge would ask her or say, would she have to do community service, and would she have to take a defensive driving class.

When we explained to her that her insurance was going to increase for 3 years, she got mad. For the past month we have given her the typical parent speech about how speeding costs you for 3 years, could injure or kill someone and it just isn't worth it.


Since Brooke is under 18 and it was her first ticket, a parent had to be present.  Court was scheduled to start at 5:30.  We got there early because we had no idea what we were in for.  We stood in a hot hallway for 30 minutes with a huge crowd of people. 

Brooke and I always find something to cut up about.  We were people watching and trying to guess their charge.  I motioned to one stoner guy and told her he was probably driving under the influence.  Later we heard him tell his story.  I looked at Brooke and said "Nailed it"  We both cracked up. 

It didn't take us long to learn the bathroom was air conditioned. Ah! Relief from the heat!  We hung out there for a little while to cool off.  It was so hot in the hallway that people were sweating just standing still. Sweat was rolling off of everyone.

Finally, the court clerk came out and announced that you were allowed in the courtroom if your last name began with A-L.  Crap!  Then she announced that she knew it was hot and they could go as fast as possible but if we needed to cool down we could step outside.  Brooke and I looked at each other in disbelief and then started laughing.  What a ridiculous statement. It was 5:45 and at least 103 degrees outside. After the hall cleared of the A-L's and the smokers who were more than happy to go outside to smoke, we cooled down quite a bit.

At 7:00 pm they finally called in the M-Z people.  As a mom, I of course instructed my daughter to say "Yes your Honor", look her in the eye and be truthful.  She was fidgety and scared to death.

The first guy called up was with his dad.  He was only 15 and had received 3 tickets.  We couldn't hear what they were all for but we did hear that he was 15 and took his daddy's truck to go see a girl. The judge smiled a little and the bailiff put his hand over his mouth while he chuckled.

I figured most of us M-L's were traffic violations until the Judge called a name and a woman in her late 30's walked up to the bench and said "yeah?"  It was no surprise that her charge was A&B which I found out was Assault and Battery.

Another woman was charged with failure to stop at a stop sign.  She argued with the judge stating that she 'rolled through'. 

The Verdict

We went before the judge and Brooke plead guilty to speeding.  She would have to take defensive driving, pay court costs of $80 and be on probation for 6 months.  We go back in 6 months.  if she has now new tickets, her record will be clean. Yeah!

We were both pretty happy with the verdict.  We were both expecting to pay a fine in addition to the other stuff and we weren't expecting her to have a clean record. We went on the way home to eat at Ginghis Grill and finally got home at 8:00 pm.

With a little luck and a lighter foot, we won't be back any time soon.  Although she had a fairly easy time of it, I think it was a lesson learning experience for her.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Gangland to Graceland


Brooke and I set out for Graceland at 2. We didn’t leave town until 3:30! We had to finish packing, and then we had to get our eyebrows waxed then get lunch at subway.

We were finally east bound and down. We were going to put the top down on the Jeep but decided against it because it was so windy. I was fighting the wind for the first hour then when we turned to go east, we had a tail wind : )

My thoughtful husband bought me a new stereo for a road trip present.

We listened to our ‘Road Trip’ play list & Pandora, we had some girl talk and laughed a lot. It was fairly uneventful until we got to Memphis. It was 9:00 pm and I took a wrong turn on a highway. And as luck would have it, we were low on gas. We were still on the main highway so I found a place that was well lit and we got off the highway.

As we pulled up, I realized why the place was so well needed to be. We got some relief knowing I was packin my 9 : ) but when we saw a police car parked at the front of the store. I pulled up to the gas pump, put in my card and got an error. Just as I was about to try again, some homeless drunk guy comes up and asks us if we needed help. I told him “no”. When I swiped the card again, I realized it said I had to prepay. I looked at Brooke who was standing beside me because she was too scared to wait in the Jeep, and told her to get in, we’ll pull forward by the cop and both go in to pay. The drunk was leaning on my spare tire that is on my tailgate. I’m assuming he needed it for balance. I pulled up and he left.

The store was filthy and we were in such a bad neighborhood that the guy working at the store was encased in a bullet proof cage inside the store. It looked like something out of a movie. Luckily, I was able to ask the cop for directions. Unfortunately, he was useless. I decided to go the way we came and look for a better neighborhood to ask for directions.

We made it a few miles when we saw a grocery store that was open and a security guard out front. I pulled up and saw he was an armed security guard. I thought well crap, we aren’t out of the bad area yet.

I showed him my GPS. He told me that we weren’t far and he lived near there so he could give us good directions. He prefaced his directions by saying we were going to have to drive 4 miles through gang land and be sure to not stop. URGH! I asked about stop lights and stop signs. He told me there would be cops at the intersections and once I got past a certain street, we would be in the clear. I got back in the Jeep and had to put on my “mommy face” and act like everything was just fine.

We lucked out and only had to stop at one light for just a sec. We were so thankful to get out of the bad area and so glad that we didn’t put the top down earlier. We both wondered how long it would take before we could look back and laugh on this one. We were laughing about it later that night.

We got checked in and got ready for bed. We stayed up too late watching TV and planning our Graceland tour the next day at 9.

We drove right to Graceland. Memphis looks a lot different in the day time. We had passes to see everything so we were prepared for this to be an all day event and it was. It was surreal seeing those gates and driving up to the house. It was much smaller than I expected. We had headphones for a self guided tour so we could go at our own speed.

After the house we got lunch at the Chrome Grille. I am a vegetarian who dabbles in the vegan food but I could not go to Memphis and not get BBQ! I had that stuff all over my face. Brooke was laughing at me; I told her that I was never washing it off. Of course, it was an impulse buy and it made me sick afterwards.

We went into several of the gift shops on our way to see his airplanes. We bought t-shirts and all the typical souvenirs.

View our Graceland Pictures Here

Elvis released a total of 771 songs in his career. Of all of those songs, when we were checking out at the souvenir shop we heard Never Been to Spain. We both just stood there in silence. Those that know us, know why.

The planes were interesting. He put them to good use. They said that Lisa Marie had never seen snow so he gassed up the plane and took her to the snow. She was little. She played for 30 minutes or so then they flew home. Awesome.

We left Graceland at about 3. Since we were so close, we drove a few minutes south into Olive Branch, Mississippi, got a pop and headed back to take a drive around the good part of Memphis. We put the top down on the Jeep and cruised for a few hours on the main streets. We passed a group of Democrats with signs that said “Honk if you love Obama” or something like that. I turned around so we could flip them off but chickened out. The most I could muster was to give them a loud boooo and a thumbs down.

We went to eat at PF Changs and then made a run to Target to get snacks and pop. We went back to the hotel and just lay around watching movies, talking and painting our toenails. We headed home Sunday at noon or so.

We had such a great time; we decided to make it an annual event. There is so much more that we wanted to see but didn’t make time for. I am so thankful for my beautiful, hilarious and fun daughter.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Two Mac's & Bad Karma in Nashville

Mac daddy and I headed out to Nashville for an audio competition a few weeks ago. We left at 2 and it was so dang hot. We were driving his 1986 Chevy pickup that has a kick ass stereo/ speaker set up but has no Air Conditioning! We got about 30 minutes down the turnpike and he realized that he forgot his tools. We called our daughter to meet us right off the turnpike with the tool box. By the time we got back to where we had turned around, we had to stop again to top off with gas. His truck “Bad Karma” only gets 11 mpg. Yeah, it just kept getting better.

We were cool as long as we were moving. We were headed south for awhile and the sun was beaming down on me. The windows are tinted so I tried rolling it up but then I got hot. When I get hot, I get pissed. We were almost to the Arkansas line and I guess he knew I was getting irritable. He put on our song and sang to me. It made me cry. Then he was on a roll. He sang and sang until we were laughing and dancing in the truck. From then on, it was smooth sailing.

For some reason 1-40 was shut down for several miles. We took an hour and half detour through some little towns just before Little Rock. We stopped again for gas and were told to ‘just follow the trucks back to l-40’. We were happy to get on the road again. So far, we were 2 hours behind schedule.

We drove by Woolly Holler park, which was just a few miles down the road from Toad Suck, Arkansas. For entertainment, I wrote down vanity plates. I saw the boring TAYLAR, COLEMAN, TIF, the funny KNEEKAP, GADGETS, GOOD, NUTS, CHIKEN and the obscure RINZLER CHESSIE, ROGASE3.

We stopped at Burger King someplace in Tennessee at 10 for a quick bite. Friday night and the lobbies were closed at 3 different fast food places. We had been in the truck all day but we had no choice but to go to the drive thru. We parked and ate while standing outside the truck, using the hood for our table. Yeah, it was a romantic white trash moment but we had a good laugh. We finally arrived at 2 something in the morning. We had a nice hotel and it was just a few miles from the event.

Event check in was at 9. We got up early, had breakfast at the hotel and then headed out. At the stereo competitions there is usually a car show too. We saw all kinds of hooptys Apparently, the newest thing is called a donk. You’ve seen them. An old impala or caprice on tall tires. There were several neat cars in all kinds of bright colors.

It started sprinkling on us just a bit. As luck would have it we were backed up against a garage where a few girls were practicing roller derby. They let us put our chairs just inside the doors so we were protected from the rain and they had fans! For the life of me, I still don’t know how you practice roller derby. Would it be Suzie telling Nancy “ok, now you knock me up against the wall then I’ll do you”? We wanted to go to their show that night but didn’t make it. They were rough and took frequent smoke breaks to compare tattoos.

While waiting for the judges we met several people and had a great time. Finally, the judge made it to Bad Karma. Robert was very nervous and fidgety. In a sick way, I kind of enjoyed it. Haha. After the judge left, we had to wait for results. I guess it was at 3 when they handed out awards. Bad Karma won first and got another trophy. Yeah!

We headed out to Lebanon, Tennessee for the next show on Sunday. We again ran into a detour. 65S through Nashville was closed. We managed to find our way and keep moving thus, keeping cool.

We were able to park right in front so Robert was able to tune things and be better from tomorrow. He knew there would be more competition there. I stayed in the room watching TV and reading on my iPad. (A total lifesaver all weekend). At 8:45 my phone rang. It was a strange number. I answered and it was our son who was house sitting. “Uh, Mom?” I don’t know how so many thoughts ran through my mind in such a little time. He was at our neighbor’s house using their phone. When his pizza was delivered he grabbed his wallet and closed the door because of the dogs. Well, guess what? It was locked. I called his sister who got off work at 9. She went home to let him in. He was sitting on his car eating pizza when she rescued him.

We had to be at the Sunday event at 8:30. We again got up early, packed up, ate breakfast and headed out a few miles to the fairgrounds after stopping at walmart and getting more Gatorade, water and snacks. As luck would have it, we were in a covered area with open sides. We were blocked from the sun and that was nice. We met up with some of the people we met from the previous day. I played mom again, making sure all the kids knew we had drinks in the cooler and snacks in the truck.

Robert is active on the forums so he and a few guys planned to meet up. All were very nice and most were local to Nashville. Robert was talking with Matt and John. John explained that his wife couldn’t make it because they had a newborn. He talked about being up with the baby the night before. Matt who is about 30, bald, tattoos and a long goatee said something that made me wanna bust out laughing. He asked John “have you tried using any of the Lavendar baby lotion?” They discussed this for some time. It was so sweet but struck me as so funny.

Today Bad Karma had to be judged by 3 judges. They have several classes. Robert is in the Sound Quality Extreme Modified class. It is the most modified and it that class is always judged last. They work their way up from Street class. Each judge sat in each vehicle for about 20 min. Our plan was to be out of there at 2, have one of Roberts’ team members mail his trophy if he won, and we’d be home by 2am so get ready for work on Monday. Yeah, that didn’t happen. We sat around all day and he was finally judged the 3rd time at 6pm. Of course, I realized at 2 that we wouldn’t be home in time for us to go to work the next day. I was so stressed because I knew that it was my ‘payroll Monday’ We have an online family calendar. Robert has car shows on it, Brooke has her work schedule and I have ‘Payroll Monday’. So I sent a text to my boss, to our son, to our daughter, and my payroll partners in crime in 3 different states to let them know I would be in as soon as possible.

Awards time finally came. Our new friends all did very well. Bad Karma won 3rd. It is the first 3rd place trophy but still a win! Robert got some great advice and learned a lot from the judges, team members and new friends.

We stopped in Murphreesboro, TN at a vegetarian’s favorite place. Logan’s Roadhouse. I had a salad.

We took a detour because of the aforementioned construction thru Nashville. We were laughing because we had just passed thru Possum Holler, TN and were now in Sawdust, TN. We were on a dark, winding road and Robert had on his bright lights. Ok, I did tell him “your lights are so dim. If you put on your bright lights, no one will even know because they are still dim”. My bad. My heart skipped a beat when I saw ‘berries and cherries’ in my side mirror. We were being pulled over in Sawdust, TN where you could hear more banjoes that see teeth.

I have so much respect for police officers. Can you imagine pulling over an older out of state truck on a dark secluded road? I’m sure the officer was relieved to see a middle aged couple. Robert had his license and insurance ready to hand over. He asked where we were headed and then he told us that he pulled us over because our bright lights were on. Crap! The officer asked a few questions and then looked at his license. Turned out his wife was from some Podunk town south of us. They chewed the fat a little and then we were on our way.

We stopped in Forest City, AR to spend the night. We were so tired. We had been the heat all day, driving all night. We crashed at 2:45, woke up at 7 and got home at 11. We both high tailed it in to work where I stayed until 7pm playing catch up. Robert was lucky; he only had to go in for a few hours. The older we get, the more time it takes us to catch up on sleep. The next few nights, we slept pretty darn good.

Even though we stayed hot and sweaty, we met a lot of friends, had a great time and can’t wait to go back next year.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Baked Spinach & Ricotta Stuffed Pasta Shells

This was one of my first vegetarian meals and it was awesome!

Whole foods says this...
This pasta dish will soon become a family favorite. In a hurry? Use a cup of thawed spinach instead of fresh; just be sure to squeeze it well to remove any excess water. Serve with garlic bread and a fresh salad for a complete meal.

Ingredients are simple:
16 jumbo pasta shells
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pound baby spinach
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 pound part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 pound part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated
1 egg
1 Tablespoon chopped basil
1 1/2 cups marinara sauce

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta shells and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes.

Drain well then toss with oil in a large bowl; set aside

Preheat oven to 375. Put spinach into a large skillet and drizzle with a tablespoon or two of water.

Cover and cook over medium low heat, tossing occasionally, until just wilted; drain well. When cool enough to handle, squeeze to remove any excess water. Chop spinach and transfer to a large bowl. Add garlic, ricotta, mozzarella, egg and basil to make the filing.

Spread a few spoonfuls of marinara sauce in the bottom of a shallow baking dish large enough to hold the shells in a single layer. Fill each shell with spinach mixture and arrange in the dish. Pour remaining sauce over and around the stuffed shells and top with Mozzarella cheese.

Cover with foil and bake until hot throughout, 20-30 minutes, then remove foil and back until golden brown, about 10 minutes more.

What I would have done differently.
I would have added less marinara sauce and baked a little longer with the foil. I think mushrooms would have been really good also.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

My experience with a $9,000 fish

We went to the lake this past weekend with my brother and some friends. We spent most of the day Saturday just enjoying the peace and quiet, the smell of the lake and the admiring the fresh buds on the trees. We enjoyed some grilled chicken for supper and just relaxed all evening while watching DVD's.

Sunday we took the boat out so our friend Roger could could snag some Spoonbill. I had no idea what snagging meant or even what a Spoonbill was. I was in for a crash course! After watching the guys try to install the fish finder most of the afternoon, they decided it was defecting and packed it up to return it to Bass Pro. They were convinced that they would need the device in order to find the Spoonbill. We girls had decided that we were going to go out on the lake whether they fished or not. The guys decided to take a shot in the dark and go where they had caught a Spoonbill before.

Now this snagging is a lot of work. Roger was the only one fishing because you have to have a special license to snag Spoonbill. My brother drove while Roger sat on the back seat of the boat. He pulled out a very long, thick fishing rod with line on it the size of clothes line wire. Maybe just a bit thinner but this is a fishing story after all. I asked him how long it took to snag one as if he could get one anytime he wanted. He told me that his quickest time was 2 hours. I could not believe anyone could continue doing that for a minimum of 2 hours but he assured me it was worth the wait.

As luck would have it, we didn't have to wait very long. After only 25 minutes of snagging I watched the fishing rod bend as if it would break. Roger starting reeling in it and Sammy cut the engine. After a small battle, Roger had the Spoonbill on the deck of the boat. I now understood the meaning of 'snagging'. The fish don't actually bite the huge hook. In this case, he snagged it's back. I'm new to fishing and I had never seen anything like this Spoonbill before. It was rubber feeling and very interesting looking. Of course by the time I got up the courage to touch it, the guys made some loud noise and it scared me so much that I screamed. "City girl" I believe is what they called me, but whatever. ewww! I also got a little freaked out when someone pointed out that I had a spot of fish blood on my leg. There was a lot more blood than I would expect.


Roger got out a rope and fed it through the fish's mouth and out the gill for a make shift stringer. After tying one end to the boat, he dropped it back over the side so the fish would stay alive. We then had to call the Fishery and report the catch.

Making the stringer

Apparently the Spoonbill eggs are a hot commodity. They are sold overseas for the going rate of $750 per pound! A person cannot keep the eggs to sell themselves, it is a felony if caught. They guys had a friend that had no prior record but got caught selling the eggs and went to prison for 3 years.

So we had to tag the fish, just like you would a dear. Roger fed a wire through the mouth of the fish with his tag attached. The Spoonbill eggs have such a demand that the fishery has research stations set up where you turn over your catch of the day, limit one per day, and they clean them, fillet them and shrink wrap them for you free of charge. The only catch, (no pun intended) they get to keep the eggs. Seems like a fair trade to me!

There were tables set up out front where the workers would clip the bottom lip of the fish in 3 places with wire cutters. They would then slide out a bone looking thing and discard it. They tagged each fish and then put them on a meat hook that took them inside a trailer. We asked permission for me to go inside so I could see the process. It was a small trailer with work stations. There were 6 guys working and each had a specific job. When the fish came in, one guy would make a slit down the center, the next guy would remove the gross intestinal stuff. The next guy would pull the eggs out. When I first saw this, I had no idea what was going on. It looked as if the fish had been packed with that dark gray Styrofoam. I didn't realize what it was until the a guy put them into a stainless steel bowl and brought them to a scale near me. I got an up-close view of Spoonbill caviar. The eggs looked like millions of little BB's. This particular female fish weighed 56 lbs and had 12 lbs of eggs. I was in shock! This fish was worth $9,000!! After the eggs were extracted another guy cut the fillets. The fillets were then turned over to a guy who had something that looked like an electric potato peeler that took the skin off in a few seconds. They rinsed the huge fillets and then sealed them in a bag all the while keeping each label with each fish so you knew you were getting your actual fish. Spoonbill only have one small bone right down the center of their back. When they were done, there was a Spoonbill head and spine hanging from this meat hook. Again, just let me say, ewww! When they finished with our fish, I stepped outside and waited for them to deliver the fillets. One of the workers inside the trailer told me that the day before on Saturday, they had 16 workers and when they have a full house like that, it only takes 2.5 minutes from beginning to end. I was excited at the thought of seeing how many eggs our fish had. It was 25lbs with no eggs, it was male. Of course, the guys already knew this. The fish egg excavator guy told me that the males have little bumps on the back.


So we got our fillets, stopped at the store for some Bay seasoning and headed home to have supper. There were two huge fillets and each one would have fed maybe 6-8 people. In our case, one fillet fed 4 people and a Blue Healer. Sammy and Roger cut the fish into 4 pieces and placed each piece in foil, topped with butter, Bay's Seasoning and red onion. In about 15 minutes the 1" thick fish fillets were done and they were delicious.


Like I said, I am new to fishing so to a lot of you, this is no big deal but it was awesome to see a fish caught at 4:55 and be eating it at 8. I probably won't be snagging anytime soon but I can't wait to go fishing and I think I may have found a new hobby.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Gotta pee?

I just found the best site ever! How many times have you been at the movies with your bladder about to burst because you didn't want to miss the good part? This has happened to me and my pea sized bladder countless times. tells you the best time to go, how long you'll have and even gives you a cue so you don't have to watch the clock. We went to see a movie this weekend and I tested it and it was correct! And get this....there's even an app for it, complete with a countdown clock! But please, please, look it up before the movie starts or sit on the back row. There is nothing more irritating that the glow of an iPhone in the theater.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Long live the tube queen!

This year we had the typical Memorial Day. We went to the lake, cooked out with family and neighbors and then went to the cemetery on Sunday.

Saturday hubby and I hit the lake with my parents, my son and daughter-in-law. The lake was crowded and a bit rough. We managed to find a sweet spot so we tossed the tube in the lake with Christie and told her to hang on! She did really well. We were laughing so hard that my cheeks hurt. Her expressions were priceless.

My son Justin was next. He too was so funny. He got a rougher ride than Christie and did very well. He made us laugh as always, doing his trick riding and funny gestures. He got his tubing skills from me! He wiped out a few times and finally said “get me off this thing”.

Next it was my turn. My parents were telling the kids to pay attention because I was the ‘tube queen’ back in the day. Back in my day, we used an inner tube from a truck or tractor. The rope was about 100 ft long so you really got whipped around. When you took off, the tube would elongate so you really had to hold on until the boat got enough speed and you skimmed on top of the water. I can remember from a very young age my parents yelling at me while I was in the water “make sure the stem is down” and “don’t hold on to the rope”. Well, this was a different kind of tube. This thing was named Big Bertha. It had handles and it was so thick, it wasn’t at all what I was used to.

I got thrown off a few times and got the breath knocked out of me once but that just makes it fun. If you just sat in it, it was kind of boring. I ended up lying on the tube and wrapping my arms around like the old days. It was harder to hold on because of the tube being so thick. But I rode until I was tired, which wasn’t long.

It has been 3 days and I am still so sore but it was totally worth it and I’m going to go again, but I’ll be kicking it old school and won’t be riding Big Bertha. It was not as fun as the old days. The kids today have it too easy with their handles and stemless tubes. Wimps.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Throwing in the towel

My hair is thick, naturally curly and holds a lot of water.
Like most women, when I get out of the shower I have always used a towel for drying off and one for my hair.

I recently heard a naturally curly hairdresser say that most curly girls give more care to a silk blouse than their hair. That statement hit home. I feel that my curly hair is my best feature and I was neglecting it.

Throwing in the towel
Curly hair 101 is do not rub your hair with a towel. The rough texture of the material, typically terry cloth, dulls your hair and increases the frizz (the f word to curly girls) by disrupting the natural flow of the curls.

I traded my towel for a turbin
I found an awesome turbin to wrap my hair up after a shower. It is very light and is a waffle pattern made of Polyester/nylon. It is gentle on my curls and absorbs just enough water that by the time I apply my make up and start the coffee pot, I am ready to style my hair. I hang it up to dry and it is ready the next morning. It is machine washable.

This hair turbin is the best $7.99 investment that this curly girl has ever made!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Mother - Daughter road trip

Last month I thought it would be fun to organize a road trip with my 17 year old daughter. We wanted to go some place not too far away but far enough where we felt like we were on a road trip.

We decided to go to Memphis. We have both always wanted to see Graceland. The distance/ drive time was just about perfect.

First task after the destination was decided? SHOPPING!
We are only going to be gone fro 3 days but that somehow justified buying a weeks worth of clothes, shoes and make up.

Second task? PLANNING!
I made a list of tourist websites to check out and printed a Memphis guide. I believe that you need to plan in advance so that you can see everything you want. There is nothing worse that being someplace and upon your return home, realizing that the worlds largest frying pan was only 2 miles from your hotel. My travel mantra is plan, plan, plan. My daughter, not so much. She has more of a free spirited personality which is great but it interferes with my planning! Yes there is a lot to be said for spontaneity but there is plenty of time to be spontaneous during our 'free time' on Saturday between 4-6pm. : )

Third thing on the list? GRACELAND TICKETS
The first two tour times we wanted were already booked. Luckily, our third choice for 9:30 am was available. Another fine example of why planning ahead is necessary. People come from all over the world to visit Graceland. If we didn't by tickets in advance, maybe we wouldn't get in at all! Learned this one the hard way with hubby. He always makes fun of me for being a planner and making lists for everything. A few years ago he took me to my favorite place, San Francisco for my birthday. BUT, I wasn't allowed to plan anything. As a result, we missed the boat to Alcatraz. We could have caught the next one...3 days later.

Next task? HOTEL!
Having been through Memphis a few times, I knew where I did NOT want to stay. After extensive research I went to Priceline and named my own price for a hotel. I LOVE this site. It has saved us hundreds of dollars of the years. We got a 4 star hotel in the area I wanted for $70 a night. Awesome!

The only thing left to do is make a packing list : )

Monday, March 19, 2012

Cigars & Smoke Detectors

I made the mistake a few years ago of telling my husband that I think he is so cute when he smokes a cigar. I quit smoking last year and hate the smell of cigarettes but I just can't help but love it when he smokes a cigar, I just love it. 

He is supposed to be smoking them outside but tonight he was standing in the living room and lit one up while giving me that "I'm so sexy" look.  I started laughing as usual.  We were enjoying a hardy laugh when the smoke detector went off.  The dumb ass was standing right under it.  LOL

Cigar on the boat

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fun & Frustration With Ants

Let me start off by saying, I keep an extremely clean house and have never seen any bugs in the house, not even flies.

Last night I saw an ant in the pantry, the little bitty ones. My husband and I gathered boxes and laundry baskets and cleaned all the food and small appliances out of our enormous pantry. I mixed up a solution of vinegar, borax, a little dish soap and water to clean the pantry shelves and floor. I had been meaning to do that for about a month now anyway. I did find lots of crumbs and some cereal on the back of shelves, my bad.

After I cleaned all the shelves and small appliances we put it all back and I was happy! As a precaution, I placed a paper towel soaked in the cleaning solution on each shelf and a small container of vinegar on a lower shelf.

This morning, I saw another ant and I went nuts! I cleared the pantry out again but before I put the food back, I got on line to see what kind of ‘ant cure’ I could find that was all natural and safe for the dogs. While searching, I even found people who LOVE ants and won’t even give advice on how to get rid of them. I didn’t ask but I looked around and was thinking about it when I saw a post that said ‘don’t even ask’. What a kook!

I saw an ant on the counter so I tested with cinnamon, I think he ate it. I tested with borax and he ran. So I trapped him in a 3″ diameter circle. He was running in circles for 10 minutes! If he went another 10 minutes, I was going to break out the video camera! Well, he finally crossed the line and died. I found another victim but he was stronger and kept crossing the line. So I made the borax barrier taller, didn’t help. I buried him in borax but he kept climbing out and running. I finally got him with my finger. lol I wish I had a magnifying glass.

I am getting obsessed and frustrated. I cannot find out where they are coming in and it is pissing me off. There aren’t a lot of them that I see at once, just 5 or 6. We had put banana peels and apple cores in the trash this morning so I put that in the garage and everything in the pantry is sealed so will they just go away if they can’t get to anything? Any suggestions would be appreciated!! Until then, the bottom of the pantry is sprinkled (heavily) with borax. Smells good though.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A vegetarian is born

My initial post

The first of July while watching a UFC fight, I saw an ad on a guy’s shorts that read It was a site by PETA encouraging readers to become Vegetarian and Vegans. Their tag line was ‘the site the meet companies don’t want you to see”.

I’m going to give it a whirl. No big deal you say? Meat is a big deal here in cattle country! We have meat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and I’m pretty sure I’ve had some kind of desert made with meat.

I can remember being very little when my grandpa had cows. I was so scared of them, Mom or Daddy had to put me on the tractor so I would stop crying. As I got older we had cows at home. By then I wasn’t scared of course but after feeding them and watching them grow up, I couldn’t eat them. Same with my FFA pig in school. We planned on butchering Louie at the end of my senior year but just couldn’t do it. He had become a family pet.

My weirdness didn’t stop at beef and pork. I remember the first time my mom cooked one of our chickens. I was thinking how small it was and that it was kind of tough. Eating that chicken made me wonder what the poultry farms do to the chickens to make them so big and tasty. Our chicken was home grown, hand fed and as natural as they come but barely palatable.

During the past several years I’ve tried to limit my beef but being an Okie, it is hard to resist a big ole steak. I decided to take the ’30 day Veg pledge’ as a challenge to myself. I really don’t think it will be a problem but we’ll see.

My post after watching the video...
I have always thought PETA was an acronym for People Eating Tasty Animals. I watched this video on the PETA website and knew that I would never eat meat again.

I have always assumed that PETA members were crazy liberal hippies with too much time on their hands, and to some extent I still agree. I don't see myself standing outside of Macy's throwing red paint on fur coats or believing that everyone should be vegetarian just because I am. In fact, I had my husband and 16 year old daughter watch the video. They both looked at each other and said they wanted a steak.

I'm not making some hippie statement, I don't have an agenda. It is simply a choice that I have made and plan to keep the promise to myself.

More soon...