Thursday, December 30, 2010

I'll Be Alone For Christmas

This year was the very, very first time that Randy and I were alone for Christmas.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Bonus Saturday at WalMart

Way before we moved from North Texas, Randy and I made a deal never to step foot in a WalMart to get groceries - or anything - if we didn't have to.  Lucky us, a fancy new Kroger was built right down the street from us.  Even though WalMart was closer and WalMart was cheaper, Randy and I took a blood oath not to shop there.  

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Nothing Says Christmas Like ...

... A lopsided inflatable bear on an artfully lit and decorated R-Can-Sauce mudder.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Enough is Enough

It is right about now that I am officially tired of Christmas music.  Since Thanksgiving Day, I have heard every Christmas song, in every rendition, sung by every artist known to man and some not, at least three times.  I have been waking up every singe morning the past week with 'Baby, It's Cold Out There' stuck in my head.

And it is.  Cold out there.

Anyway ~

There are certain recordings of certain versions of certain Christmas music that no one should ever be subjected to listening to ever again.  Because of this I declare:

When I Take Over My World, The Following Christmas Music Will Never Be On Any Playlist:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Boo Part Too

Last week, Randy and I participated in the Ghost Tour at the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs.

This is our wonderful Ghost Tour guide, Keith.  Keith is a wealth of knowledge about the history of the hotel, the ghosts and the Eureka Springs area in general.  He even laughed at a couple of my jokes.

I adore anybody who laughs at my jokes.  Thank you, Keith!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Wild and Crazy Eureka Springs Arkansas

Last week, Randy and I took Roxy on her first overnight excursion to Eureka Springs.

Eureka Springs is eclectic little town, full of cute, quaint and artsy shops.  Most of which were closed for the winter.  It was really, really, really cold.  Our first stop was to check into the hotel.  The second stop was lunch.  We decided on Geradi's for lunch since it was close to where we parked the car with my precious dog in it.  We did find out later that it is unlawful to leave your animal in your vehicle unattended.


Friday, December 17, 2010


Randy, Roxy and I went on an adventure on Wednesday this past week.  We traveled a little bit north and about 100 miles west to Eureka Springs and spent the night at The Crescent Hotel.  

The Crescent Hotel is 124 years-old and is haunted.  

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

O Heavens to Christmas Cookies

I took the plunge this week and decided to make me some sugar cookies.  

I read the recipe carefully and all the way through.

I assembled all my ingredients.

I tasted the dough to be certain of it's flavorfulness.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Date Night

I love dates.  Dates are delicious.  When I was a kid, one of the cookies that mom would make for the holidays was a date-filled cookie.  It's not a festive looking Christmas cookie, it was just a cookie with date filling plopped on it and a piece of cookie dough placed on top.  Sometimes, mom filled them with a raisin filling, those were yummy, but the date ones were my favorite.

It was a cookie, and y'all know how I feel about cookies.

Dates are the fruit of the date palm, and are a staple food of the Middle East.  An un-ripe date can be anywhere from red to yellow.  Date palms are easy to grow and I am tempted to try to grow a couple.  You need a male tree and a female tree and takes a whopping four to seven years for the female tree to bear fruit.

I guess I am going to stick to getting my dates the easy way - buying them at the store.

If you like dates and you like bacon (who doesn't like bacon?), here is a tasty appetizer to try for the holidays:

Cut slices of bacon so they will wrap just once around a whole date.  Wrap the bacon around the date and secure with a toothpick.  Broil, turning once, until the bacon is crispy.  Delicious.  Remember - it is very, very important to use pitted  dates!

As you can see, I am lacking a key ingredient to the above recipe.

On to another kind of date ...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Not Entirely Happy

I didn't have much for high hopes yesterday.  My day started off with my coffee filter folding over in it's little confined space.  Not all the coffee grounds were drenched evenly with the water, and I ended up with a pot of coffee that I could see through.

This would never do.

Since a portion of the coffee grounds were still dry, I debated using them again, but decided against it.  This was the deciding point of the day.  This is where I make the decision for the day to go either really badly or really well.

I am not sure that the last sentence is good English.

Anyway ~

I started out with fresh water, fresh coffee grounds and a fresh filter.

When I make the choice that my day is not going to be determined by a silly pot of coffee, I go all the way.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

O Heavens to Cookies

It's the holiday season and y'all know what that means ...

... Cookies

Yep.  Cookies, cookies, cookies are everywhere.

I love cookies.  I would do most anything for a cookie.

I said most anything.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Gobble Gobble

A thousand years ago, when I was attempting my first Thanksgiving dinner, Debbie spent time writing down, by hand, on college-ruled notebook paper, step by step how to cook a turkey with stuffing.

Al Gore had yet to invent the internet and so email was not available to instantly receive turkey cooking instructions from your older sister.

Or communications from Ethiopia to tell me that I have won the Ethiopian lottery.  Which I haven't played.  But have still won.  Go figure.

Anyway ~

I used those instructions for many a year.  Even when I felt fairly confident on what to do, I still referred to my trusty instructions, carefully written out by my sister.

Those papers are yellowed, creased and torn but are still stashed in my Betty Crocker cookbook, the one Mom & Dad got for me Christmas in 1978.

These days we no longer roast our stuffed turkey in the oven.  These days we brine our turkey and Grandpa and Sammy cook it in the garage using the Big Easy.

This year we used cranberry juice and salt as the brine.   While the turkey was a festive pink color after it came out of the brine and was very moist after it was cooked, the cranberry juice didn't add much for flavor.  I think we will be going back to our tested and approved Taste of Home brine recipe.

Early this week, Randy and I officially declared ourselves tired of Thanksgiving leftovers and ordered a pizza.

Have the BEST day ever!
~ Dorothy

Apple Brined Turkey
  • 2 quarts unsweetened apple juice
  • 2 -1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 4 ounces fresh ginger root, peeled & thinly sliced
  • 15 whole cloves (not 14, not 16)
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 bay leaves

Combine the above ingredients in a large sauce pan.  Bring to a boil; stir and cook until the salt and sugar are dissolved.  Remove from heat.
  • 3 medium oranges, quartered
  • 3 quarts cold water

Stir in oranges (I give them a little squeeze first.) Add the cold water to cool to room temperature.
  • 1 12 - 14 # turkey

Place turkey in a five gallon plastic bucket with a lid.  Pour the apple juice mixture over the turkey.  Cover and refrigerate for 18 - 24 hours.  
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Rinse turkey with cold water.  Rub with oil.  The turkey - rub the turkey with oil.  Cook like you want to.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tired With A Capital 'T'

But it's a good tired.

Oh, my!  What a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.  I am one tired puppy.  So is Randy.  So is Roxy.  We all could hardly muster the energy to get our arses off the couch yesterday morning.  Even after sleeping in until 7:30am and then filling up on our morning caffeine.

Coffee for the lady, Mountain Dew for the gentlemen.

In a wise move, nothing but water for the canine.  Roxy occasionally gets a tiny drink of Mountain Dew or coffee, but we are very selective as to when she gets that treat.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

In A Nutshell

... It took Shaun, Cristy, Will and Sammy roughly eight hours to get here on Wednesday.

... I took 633 pictures.  25 minutes and 53 seconds in download time.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanks Giving

This Thanksgiving is a very special Thanksgiving.  

Shaun, Cristy, Will and Sammy are making the trek from Plano to be our first visitors in our newly furnished apartment.  The apartment has been furnished in Martha's new line:

'Economical Yet Functional'

Or, was it called:

'Shabby Cheap'

Or maybe:

'Nothing Matches, But We Hope It Is Reasonably Comfortable So You Will Come Back Soon'

I refuse to call anybody who comes to stay with us 'guests'.  Y'all can be visitors until Roxy jumps up on you and gives you a big kiss.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I Am Drawing The Line

I am, and by default Randy is, too, a fan of reality TV shows.  Some of them - not all of them.  I am very picky about which ones I will watch.

I have watched Survivor from the very beginning and I am a huge fan.  Survivor should be a two hour show on every day of the week.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Where Is Dinner?

Over the weekend, it wasn't: "What's for dinner?", it was "Where is dinner?"

Randy spent one day smoking baby back ribs.

The rib tips always get done before the 'real' ribs.

Roxy's upstairs.

Randy takes the rib tips off the smoker, puts them on the kitchen counter, and then comes downstairs where I was doing something important.

Roxy's upstairs.

A couple minutes later, I hear Roxy squeaking.

I go upstairs to take her for a walk, she is laying at the top of the stairs.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Fright of My Life

I am a very scary person.  I can jump and scream at the slightest movement or noise.  There is a huge list of incidents of me screaming for no good reason.  It got to be that most of my co-workers were so used to it that they wouldn't even miss a beat if a scream from me reverberated through the office.

The good thing is that since my reflexes are such that I would punch the nearest person when I was startled, not many people scared me on purpose for a second time.  

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Customer Service That Sucks

Customer service is a dying art form.  I positively dread having to call any company these days to check on an order, verify a price or for any question in general.  It is not because I fear that the someone on the other end will be from a foreign country.  It is because I always have the feeling, that no matter what I am told, good or bad, if I were to call nine more times, I would end up with an entirely different answer each time, or at the very least have to call again because the last customer service person, or personal shopper as they call them at Sears, didn't do what they were going to do.  Of course, there would be no knowledge or record of the call(s) that came before and the story would have to start all over again.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Under The Weather

Aren't we all?  Look up.  Isn't that weather there up over head?

The phrase 'Under the Weather' is actually a maritime phrase.  In the olden days, when a sailor was seasick, he was sent under the deck and away from the weather.  The correct phrase is 'under the weather bow', the weather bow being the side of the ship that the bad weather is blowing onto.

Jon would know that from being in the ... wait for it ...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Closet Organization 101

Something to organize

Something to put together

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sugar Monsters

The Sugar Monsters have been after me this week.  I am on day four of my new resolve to limit candy, sweets and to, once and for all, break up with Ben and Jerry.  Or at least not invite them over every night.

The monsters have been putting me to the test and I have not been at the top of my game at all.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Today's Exercise

If only to stop the endless barrage of political campaign advertisements on the radio and on TV ...

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Oktoberfest is a humungous event in Munich, Germany to celebrate pumpkins and beer.  The original festival was actually a public celebration of Crown Prince Ludwig's marriage in 1810 to Princess Therese of Hildburghausen and was centered around, not pumpkins and beer, but a horse race.  These days, over 5 million people attend Oktober Fest the world's largest fair.

That's a whole lotta beer and lederhosen.

Like June, Oktober is full of birthday celebrations.

Katie, Deb and Mike's oldest is 24 now and has three kids of her own.  Twenty four?Mother of three kids - really five 'cause you have to count Caleb and Justin.  Impossible.  It was just the other day that she was tottering around our house.  Now she has kids of her own that are tottering around.  Impossible.

Our friend, Tom has a birthday on the tenth.  I am not sure just how old Tom is.  He's older than me, but younger than Randy.  That would make Tom somewhere in the mid-40's.  Seriously impossible.  But I don't want to embarrass myself by attempting to figure out his age and be wrong.

This is Tom trying to teach me how to smoke a cigar.  There is not enough wine - either boxed or bottled - in this world for me to try that stunt again.  About the monkeys - don't ask, don't tell.

My girlfriend, Nina's son turned twenty on the 24th.  Again, impossible.  It was yesterday when I got the call from Ed to let me know Eddie was born.  It was in the morning, I was standing in the kitchen of the Milton house.  Yesterday, I tell you.  Twenty years and six houses ago.

Will is twelve now.  Next year, he will be a 'teen'.  Next year!  Will got Call of Duty for his birthday.  That should simply not be allowed - he should still be watching Veggie Tale movies.

Sammy turned ten.  Ten!  She is now grown up enough to get her ears pierced.  Prom dresses and high heels are just around the corner.

How can my beloved grandkids be growing up so fast?   That's it!  I refuse to blink anymore.  When I blink, time goes at warp speed.

Debbie is twenty nine today.  My big sister is now somehow younger than me.  I don't even know how that phenomenon even happened.

Happy Birthday to the BEST Sister in the World!

I love you!

Have the BEST day ever!
~ Dorothy

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dinner At Our House

The other night, I decided to make chicken pot pie for dinner.  The good kind, from my well used Betty Crocker cookbook.  The good kind, the kind my mom used to make.  With celery seed crust, although I didn't use celery seeds, I used poppy seeds.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Many Choices of Titles

White Women Don't Bounce

No, That Wasn't an Earthquake


Roxy loves for me to chase her.
I have no athletic prowess.
Our driveway is gravel.
And slightly sloped.
Flip Flops. 

All these add up to potential injury for me.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Three Sides

I recently had the opportunity to reconnect with some long lost friends and family.  Friends and family that Randy and I left behind in Washington State long before we moved to Texas.

I put a lot of thought and prayer into whether or not I wanted to, needed to or should do this.  It’s scary to open yourself back up to the old aches and pains of a lost relationship.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Don't Forget To Look Up

I have not used an alarm clock in many, many years.  Since Randy started working from home, I think.  I was never one for sleeping in and never having a problem waking up when I needed to.

Now and then I have even slept until - yeee gosh - 7 am.

Then we got Roxy.

Roxy the Alarm Clock goes off faithfully every morning right around 6am.

One little squeak

Another bigger squeak.

Then two little squeaks put together.

I usually wake up at the first squeak and hope I was just dreaming.

At the second squeak I know that morning has broken.  I break out in song ‘cause if I’m getting up, the whole house is getting up.

Kidding.  I try not to wake the bear.  He is not a morning bear.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Roxy's Celebration

Roxy went to the vet on Monday morning to have the stitches taken out from having her dewclaws removed.  For some unknown reason, she was a bit hesitant to get into the truck.

For the better part of two weeks it has been a constant fight to get her to leave the bandages alone.  I spent one day early on in this ordeal going around Mountain Home looking for Bitter  Apple spray, thinking that would stop the licking and the chewing.  We really didn't want to have to use that horrible cone.  I couldn't find Bitter Apple, but ended up getting Bitter Cherry.

Didn't phase her.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

In Three Hours

In three hours I could watch two movies and have time for a popcorn and bathroom break.

In three hours I could be about one third of the way back to Plano to see Will and Sammy.

In three hours I can order seven window blinds from Lowe’s.  

That is twenty five minutes per blind.  And two of the blinds were the same size.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Quite By Accident

I am very positive that I have mentioned many times that I am married to the most wonderful man in the world.

He is smart

He is funny
  But not as funny as me.  As I?

He is handsome

He can figure anything out
  Including me

He doesn’t get mad when I leave the gardening tools out - despite every effort I make to put them away, there is always one that remains.

It’s a conspiracy.

He bravely and politely endures me when cooking creativity born from necessity comes over me.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Be Penny-like Today

Penny is a friend of mine that I have had for far too many years to count.  Okay, about 43 years.    When I was in 2nd grade, she was my Sunday school teacher and taught me Sunday school and Vacation Bible School until 6th grade ended.  6th grade was, at the time, the last of Sunday school at our church.

King of Kings Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, Renton Washington

Penny was and is a wonderful model for living a Christian life.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Yellville Turkey Trot Festival

Our big adventure over the weekend was attending the 65th annual Yellville Turkey Trot Festival.  Yellville is about twenty miles to the northeast of Mountain Home.  It took us over an hour and a half to get there on Saturday.  And not because of the traffic from people trying to get to Yellville to enter in the Miss Drumstick competition.  

Friday, October 8, 2010

Crisis Averted

The October weather has been beyond beautiful here.  It has been cooling down in the evening, but still sunny and mid-80’s during the day.  Since an Indian Summer is nice, warm weather after the first frost, what we are having here is summer blurring the lines into fall.  I know that this weather won’t last, so I almost hate to waste it being inside.  Randy laughs and shakes his head at me trundling outside with my bag full of electronics and lip gloss.

The lack of Texas wind blowing dust all over has allowed Randy to spend more time cooking outdoors.   Randy loves to barbecue and use his smoker.  He is his own worst critic, but in my opinion, he cooks divinely.  And the best part?  He is way more organized than I am in the kitchen and he cleans up as he cooks.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Roxy, the Poor Dog

The past couple of days have been not good ones for Roxy.  Early Monday morning, I dropped her off with the kind people at the Animal Health Center in Mountain Home.  Doctor Jim and Roxy had an very early morning date for an Ovariohysterctomy.  

In normal people language, to be spayed.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Mountain Home Berry Farm

Last weekend, Randy and I visited the Mountain Home Berry Farm that is in - wait for it -  Mountain Home.  (Arkansas, not Idaho.)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Morning Stroll

After using moving as an excuse and taking the summer off from much of any exercise, I have started taking my morning walk again.  I have had no luck in removing sugary goodness from my life (thank you, Crystel), so I figure that a 20 - 30 minute walk may compensate for my steady diet of candy, monkey bread (thank you again, Crystel) and ice cream.

Who doesn't appreciate the thin line between a dream and denial?

Anyway ~

Monday, September 27, 2010

Random Picture Monday

People take different roads ...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Backsplash Thursday

Or...  SNC Enterprises Chapter Vier and Chapter Fünf

Ten weeks after starting The Kitchen Project with SNC and three weeks after ordering the tile for the backsplash, Chuck called me on Tuesday to arrange for the backsplash to be done on Thursday.  

Even though I knew deep down that it didn’t matter, I asked what time I could expect the nice young men, the tile, the grout and everything else it takes to stick a fork in this project and call it done.  

“Oh, about 9 am.  Well, between 9 and 11 am.  Probably more towards 9 am, but it could be closer to 11 am.”

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Elitists of Baxter County

While walking through the commercial building at the (somewhat small) Baxter County Fair last Thursday, I was stopped by a pair of friendly women working at a booth.  Now, I never looked to see what they were selling or offering at the booth.  The women had seen my camera as I walked by and asked me if I liked to take pictures.

One could say that about me.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I Should Have Started This Yesterday, or...

...This is gonna be TASTY.

Those closest to me know that I like monkeys.  Not the pooh throwing monkeys.  I like the cute monkeys like Bobby Jack, Sock Monkeys and Paul Frank.  

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Baxter County Fair

Last week, Randy and I ventured out into the big city of Mountain Home and attended the Baxter County Fair.  We knew that it would be a very small fair, and there is no way that it can be compared to the Puyallup Fair or to the Big Tex.

I emailed Sammy and told her we were going to the fair, she emailed me back and said, “that is so cool, we don’t have fairs here”.

I have to be honest here.  Yes, little girl, you do.  I know that your family is busy, but I do hope one of these days you and Will can go to the Texas State Fair.

Fairs Are Fun.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Men Are ... Well, Men

The Mountain Home house has two closets.

Yes, that is right.





Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Don't Ever Stand Between a Canine and Her Fungi

Yesterday morning, pre-coffee, Roxy and I battled over a mushroom.  And I am ashamed to admit that she won.  Her and I were off on our first trip outside.  It was raining out, which was a surprise to me.  I realized that I had left the windows open in the truck when Roxy and I went to class on Monday afternoon.  I dashed back to the house for the keys, came back out and saw that she was eating a huge mushroom.

Now, she had gotten sick the night before.  Probably from a combination of too many treats at obedience training and from loosing a tooth.  The last thing I wanted was a sick dog high on a hallucinogenic mushroom.

This is not the mushroom, this is Roxy's tooth