Saturday, June 4, 2011

Operation Grandma Garden: Part Deux

So I finally got around to taking photos of the rest of the flowers that I planted. The original photos showed some of the Coleus and Zinnias and I've filled in the blanks with white Impatiens. My mother used to plant this shade-loving plant in the darkest corners of our property, but I was surprised to see that they actually don't mind partial sun (like, less than four hours). When I purchased them, they were half-dead and had barely any blooms, but in the containers, they've really taken off! They've also  complimented the primary Zinnias really nicely, and they're full of buds and new blooms. Yay! The Coleus seem to be filling out the containers crazy-well, and I've even had to prune back in order for the Zinnias to share in the sunlight! Coleus are so hardy and provide such a wonderful result without a lot of fuss, that it's no wonder that there were so many different kinds at the conservatory when Dana and I visited.

One of my favorite Zinnias has to be this bloom that probably has some kind of disease, but I love how unique it looks! Just like any feel-good movie, I'm accepting its differences and learning to love.

I don't really remember Gram planting many Impatiens in her gardens, but I've kind of made the realization that it's not necessarily about planting what she planted, but rather just planting at all. I know that she'd be happy with my choices because I liked them. I'm keeping the Snapdragons around, too, although they seem to be a little fussier than last year. Gram always knew when to make a fuss!

When she passed away, my parents and my gram's niece took her cats. Since then, all have passed away, with the last one unexpectedly departing the day before yesterday. It's kind of a sad chapter to be completed in our lives, but I'm sure that they're happily reunited somewhere in the cosmos. Best Blogger Tips

Friday, June 3, 2011

Yays and Nays

I recently participated in a swap that talked about how blogs wrap-up their weeks with lots of yays (+) and nays (-). You can find it here. It's hosted by the lovely evey who also writes the blog for4days. The swap basically allowed for the swappers to write some bullets about their week: both good and bad. Then, you write those bullets on a postcard and send it to your designated swapper. I hope Bonnie in NC likes mine! Here's what I wrote to her:

- I broke all of my nails unpacking candle shipment today. :(
+ It was a lovely day today with perfectly lovely weather! :)
- I miss my husband, but he'll be home soon.
+"Sunglasses At Night" came on the mall muzak. Yessss...
+Hazelnut Coffee for breakfast!
- Working All Weekend.
+Simpsons marathon tonight.
+Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bar.

Here are some additional bullets that sum up the week pretty nicely.

- I officially noticed how short the nights are, as I exited the mall at 9:20pm.
+ I turned on the air conditioner at the beginning of the week, but I got to turn it off at the end!
+ Agatha Christie before I go to sleep.
- Messy Cats.
+ Hot Date with Gina.
- I wish I was better (and more patient) with knitting.
+I finally found a wedding outfit!
- I'm kind of nervous about wearing the wedding outfit and being labeled a whack-a-doo.

The goal for to try, in the coming weeks, to make more plusses!

Here's a song that I heard today and it almost makes me cry.

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Holy Smokes!

I haven't posted anything in two days! When I started this blog, I swore that I would do my best to post everyday. Dang it!

Anyway, here's my favorite commercial of all time.

A real post to follow...eventually.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Breakin' the fast...Breakin' the fast.

It's 10:30pm, and I'm making breakfast.

Since it's hot as hades with those little wavy heat lines that make me feel like my heart is going to explode, I've put the oven on a hiatus (much to its chagrin), and I've employed the slow-cooker. My fancy slow-cooker was won in a wonderful game of grab bag during my time at my cubicle job. I already had a thrift-store "Crock-a-Dial," that was (and still is) a lovely orange plaid, but this fancy automated jobby has a shut-off and a warmer. Also, I swiped this one from this bitch of a coworker that I used to have, and she was really mad. It's a win-win!

I love breakfast foods, especially casserole style, and making the Crockpot Breakfast Casserole allows me to have a bunch of meals with one round of cooking. It's not a fancy recipe by any means, but I'm finding that I grow fonder of this style of "peasant cuisine," (or whatever). This is also one of Dustin's favorite meals, and making it makes me think of him (when he reads this, he'll be jealous. Sorry Mr. Dustin). I've altered this recipe a bit from the original, but no matter what kind of ingredients you add or subtract, it's delicious! 

Crockpot Breakfast Casserole
1 lb. Frozen Tator Tots (don't scoff, they're nothing more than potatoes with a delicious outer covering)
1/2 lb. Diced Canadian Bacon
2 Onions, chopped
1 1/2 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
6 eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
2 Tablespoons flour
Salt and Pepper to taste
Optional: 2 Tablespoons Brown Mustard and/or Tabasco Sauce

In a 4-5 qt. crockpot (I spray mine with a liberal layer of Pam), layer ingredients in order: one third tots, bacon, onions and then cheeses. Repeat two more times. Combine eggs, milk, flour and spices and pour over layers. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Usually, I wait too long to take it out of the cooker and the edges get nice and crispy, which is pretty sweet.

When I wake up tomorrow morning, the house will smell like breakfast. A breakfast that magically made itself overnight. Ahhh technology!Best Blogger Tips

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sweaty Betty

So, it's goddamned disgusting outside.

My bubbling anticipation for spring that could barely be contained has now bubbled over into sweaty hatred for this most disgusting of seasons: an early and sweltering summer. What is it about Western Pennsylvania that it  manages to have only two seasons: dirty  snow and hot urine? The enthusiasm for outdoor activities like hiking and gardening are already losing momentum, and I'm finding it difficult to stay the course and not turn on the air conditioners. An image of my lungs filling up with mold spores has helped, but sleeping is rough and I constantly feel like I've just stepped out of the shower.

My Dad always gets super sassy in the winter, as do many people that suffer from Seasonal Effective Disorder (SAD)...which is everyone, but I'm finding that I'm the opposite.

Wikipedia: a mood disorder with which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms in the winter or summer,[1] spring or autumn, repeatedly, year after year. In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), SAD is not a unique mood disorder, but is "a specifier of major depression".[2]
Once regarded skeptically by the experts,[who?] seasonal affective disorder is now well established. Epidemiological studies estimate that its prevalence in the adult population of the US ranges from 1.4 percent (Florida) to 9.7 percent (New Hampshire).[3]
The US National Library of Medicine notes that "some people experience a serious mood change when the seasons change. They may sleep too much, have little energy, and may also feel depressed. Though symptoms can be severe, they usually clear up."[4] The condition in the summer is often referred to as reverse seasonal affective disorder, and can also include heightened anxiety.[5]

Why does it have to be that when the someone hates the summer and it depresses them, that you have the "reverse" of what everyone else has? I'm offended by that notion that just because I don't like sweating, the smell of hot decomposition on the side of the road, and looking at prostit-tots wearing shorty shorts and glittery Justice tops with awesome peace signs, that I'm somehow the opposite of what is a "normal" mental disorder.  I knew that I wasn't alone, and I found this awesome article by Rachel Shukert, "Why I Hate Summer." My favorite paragraph:

The word on the street is that people like summer. They welcome the chance to relax, to consume alarming amounts of melon and engage in casual sex acts beneath a starry sky. I can appreciate this on an intellectual level, but the inability to enjoy these kinds of simple pleasures has persisted throughout my life, and something about the summer months throws my general malaise into painful relief. The constant burden of forced merriment -- the sense that you should be out somewhere, anywhere, taking advantage of it all, like Gidget or the Kennedys, weighs heavily on me. Like New Year's Eve, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day and Halloween, the pressure to do something significant, meaningful and -- most of all -- fun paralyzes me with anxiety. I obsess about all the places I could be and the people I might have been, with just a slightly better combination of genetics and fate. I could have been a bronzed surfer girl on the beaches of Malibu, someone tanned and toned and easygoing. I could be the owner of a seaside taverna on the Adriatic or Aegean coast, one of those rocky sun-kissed shores where nobody seems to work and joy is abundant.

Today starts the day that I watch winter-themed movies and pretend that it's snowing outside until I can cool my internal temperature to a reasonable degree. Cold showers and lots of popsicles are sure to follow.

Fuck You, Summer. Take your bathing suits, chlorine smell, your festive margarita glasses, barbeque grills, and white pants and get the hell off my lawn...I'm waiting for the first snowfall.Best Blogger Tips

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Say Whaaat?

I was reading through the list of sold items that were featured on regretsy, and I came across a listing for a "goddess pad" that was sewn with vampire fabric. At first, it didn't exactly register what this term even meant, partly because the funny part was supposed to be this ridiculous fabric with a beefcake vampire with what looked in a hybrid of a vampire and Chippendale's costume. Check it out here.

So, I delved further into this notion of the goddess pad. Apparently, a goddess pad is a fabric reuseable pad that is designed specifically for the needs of postpartum mothers (not gonna lie, I'm not exactly sure what those needs are, nor do I care to really expound upon that limited knowledge). Not only does the goddess pad exist, but also a complete line of washable menstrual pads (including this one that features all kinds of classic horror monsters. Maybe I'll get this one for my good friend Jammie for her birthday. She really enjoys horror films...although, perhaps not that much).

My first reaction to such a product was another regretsy product.

After a "say whaaat?" and a little thought, I guess the goddess isn't exactly the worst idea that's ever occurred to an etsy artisan and is probably a welcome addition to every Earth Mother's organic wheat wardrobe.

I regularly struggle with the price of progress and the implications that it has on the environment, but this is probably exactly where I'm going to have to draw the line, for a lot of reasons. First, I don't have a personal washer and dryer, so I have to either go to a laundromat or take the laundry to my parents and use theirs: because I'm a dried-up college student, I guess. In this specific instance, I feel like it's probably appropriate not to bring used, but washable, menstrual devices to be laundered in communal machines. Ew. I hope that if I have that kind of decorum, that others will at least share in that worldview (in fact, I have to stop thinking about it now, or I will never sleep again). Second, well...I think it's kind of gross. As much as I fancy myself a Whoa-Man of the future, I can't help but get extremely shy (in person) about a monthly visitor that makes me feel like hell and never leaves a thank you card for a free-loading week-long visit. Some things are private for a reason, and buying cloth pads in zodiac fabric from a total stranger that's successfully sold these items to over four-hundred people is not my idea of lady-like and demure behavior.

Not that I'm straight out of a Jane Austen novel, but I find it really appalling that there is a website entitled, "Vaj Pads." It's practically a pearl-clutcher.

When did the essence of women's rights encompass such crude behavior, and why would you want a maxi-pad with a geisha on it?Best Blogger Tips