Friday, December 30, 2011

“Chicago ain't no sissy town.” - Hinky Dink Kenna

Today was our day for trying new restaurants!

For lunch we tried Humdinger's. It is grilled fish and piri-piri chicken. Piri-Piri is Swahili for pepper-pepper. They have a wide variety of menu items.

I ordered the three taco meal. I had a shrimp, piri-piri chicken, and tilapia taco. I chose the grilled zucchini as my side. YUM! I did NOT eat all of this. I did eat all the zucchini. I didn't eat any of the tortillas and only a few bites of the stuffing. I brought most of it home, after I scraped off the coleslaw (Elmer doesn't like coleslaw.) We had a coupon for buy one entree, get one free!
 Blaine ordered the fish and chips. It was very good!
 We also had a coupon for a free order of Humdinger shrimp. It reminded us of Bang-Bang Shrimp from Bonefish. Very good!
 For dinner we met our friend Char and Larry for dinner at Jimmy's. They do Chicago style dogs and pizza. I love the sign they have on their door. I think people who sag should just opt not to wear pants at all, as long as they're wearing undies!
 We ordered the 9" deep dish pizza. It had Italian sausage, onions, and mushrooms. You have to order it an hour before you want it. It takes that long for it to cook. 9" was more than enough for the two of us.
 Blaine wasn't really impressed with it, but I'm loving it. It's a mess, but yummy.
 We also ordered an Italian Beef sandwich, wet. I think that means they dipped it in the au jus before we got it. I got the hot Giardiniera pepper relish. I want a whole jar of this relish stuff. I'm going to look for it at Kroger tomorrow! The reason we ordered so much food is because we had a $25 gift certificate that was a use it or lose it.
We had a great time visiting with Char and Larry. They need to move closer!


Thursday, December 29, 2011

“Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job.” Franklin P. Jones

Do you know what it's like to itch?

Do you know what it's like to itch and nothing relieves it?

Last night my back was hurting. It's been hurting for a while, but last night was almost unbearable. I couldn't get comfortable. Nothing was helping, I felt whiny and weepy.

I finally had had enough. I took a pain pill left over from when I had ankle surgery 2 1/2 years ago. That should say something for me. I don't take them often and it had to be hurting pretty bad for me to take it. (I had the same reaction to this medicine before when I took it!)

I took something called Oxycontin (I think that's the name.) Oh My Heavens! My back quit hurting. But in exchange, I was wide awake and trying to pull my skin off my body. I believe I drank 1/2 a bottle of diphenhydramine trying to get the itching to stop. I think I got about 4 hours of sleep.

Today, when we went shopping at Sam's, I started getting hot and the itching got worse. My sweet Blaine helped scratch my back.

I'm sure a few poor, unfortunate people were blinded by a flash of my frog belly white skin. Every where clothing touched, I itched. My belly and bra area seemed to be the worst.

Thank goodness the medicine is finally starting to wear off. I still don't know if the itching was worse than the pain. I would probably take it again!

I'm seriously considering a visit to a chiropractor or a massage therapist. I thought that with losing weight that my back wouldn't hurt as much. It seems to have gotten worse. Thank goodness for my heated recliner, it provides some relief!

I'm still a little itchy. I hope my back does better when I go to bed tonight.

I'm a bit of a hypochondriac, I know. I had Blaine check my spine for knots and tumors.

Any suggestions?


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I wanna Know!

I wanna know when I grew up?

When did I become the responsible adult?

When did I get more excited about the prospect of paying off my mortgage and not what I was doing on the weekend?

When did I become the person that makes sure that everybody has been fed and isn't hungry?

When did I start cooking for potlucks instead of being the soda and chips person?

When did I start paying all my bills before going out to eat and to the movies?

When did I start clipping coupons and getting a thrill from cooking?

When did I start saying  "I can't, it's a school night, I have to get to bed?"

When did having a seven year old car, and being proud of it, surpass wanting a new car?

Am I going to start cleaning my house on a daily basis? Keeping the dishes and the laundry done? Will I start dusting? What's left before I become a full-fledged grown-up?

I think I'll go downstairs and knit a hat for somebody's 2012 Christmas present.

Gah! My bones ache and I'm cranky.

Getting old isn't as fun, but I'm glad to be alive!

Put in your order for what color hat you want, because whether you like it or not you're either getting a hat or a project from Pinterest.

I'm crafty like that!


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Gimme a Break, Christmas Break!

My Great-nephew, Mr. Cutie Pie

My Dad with all the great-grandkids.

Dad and Coco with the grandkids

Dad and Coco with the grandkids and their spouses.

Peanut unwrapping a Kiss with oven mitts???

Dad and Coco with the kids and spouse

Me and my handsome hunk :D

Dad, Coco, and the kids

I had a very merry Christmas. Lots of good family time. Blaine and I have been doing lots of running around and I just haven't been blogging.

Here's what we've been doing!

*Had dinner with my brother and his family
*Christmas with my side of the family at my sister's
*Went to services at my dad's church
*Christmas at my aunt's house
*Doctor's appt. I still have rosacea and always will, keep using the creams!
*Made four more cheese balls
*played trivia
*Dinner with Blaine's parents and aunt
*Christmas with Blaine's side of the family
*Lunch with Blaine's parents
*OMG I'm sick :(
*Woohoo I'm better!
*Watched Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol - kinda liked it!
*Played trivia
*read, read, read!
*finally got the kitchen cleaned!

I do have to share one present I got:
Neck Firming cream

What's your favorite gift?


Friday, December 23, 2011

Is it me...or do buffalo wings taste like chicken?

How do you know when you're beginning a tradition?

I'd like tonight to become a tradition for us.

We took Blaine's parents and Aunt out to dinner.

We ate at Larry's Pizza and I had a piece of Buffalo Chicken pizza! Very interesting.

When we were finished we went for a ride around town looking at Christmas lights. I had fun!

After we took them home, we headed to Marion.

There is this awesome house there. They have tons of lights and they flash to the beat of the music. I know there are tons of houses out there like this, but not around here!

I love this house!

I took video, I just can't get it to upload :(

Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun

Despite the smile on my face, I am happy with neither McDonald's nor LivingSocial. I sent both of them emails and have yet to hear a response.

Spaghetti Warehouse and Papa John's were both on the ball about responding to my complaint.

I asked Blaine to boycott McDonald's until I get a response. Poor guy, had to go to Burger King, the #3 burger chain.

On a happier note, the last load of laundry is in the washer!
Almost all the presents are wrapped.
The cheese balls are mixed.
I made a green bean casserole, just for the heck of it, today.
The couch is cleaned off.
I found the utility bill and plan on paying it tomorrow!
Most of the kitchen table is cleaned off.
I put new bulbs in the bedroom light today and didn't fall off the bed!

I want to be productive during Christmas Vacation, but I also have this intense desire to sleep late, read, eat, and sleep.

The house is not clean, nowhere close, but baby steps. I'm getting there!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I deserve a break today.

 Dear Blog Readers,

I promise I don't have unreasonable expectations for the service industry. At least I don't think I do. Do you think I do?

Here's the letter I just submitted to McDonald's:

I'm usually pretty understanding with our McDonald's. I don't get crazy when they give me Peppermint Mocha, not the Peppermint Hot Chocolate I ordered (twice). I stay calm when I ask for Sweet Tea and get Unsweet or funky tea (too many times to count.) I realize the kids are doing their best and just trying to be as fast as possible.

Many of these kids are former students, I am patient. I may complain to my friends and husband, but I don't want to get anybody in trouble.

But, tonight took the prize.

At approximately 9:45pm, I went inside the Missouri Street McDonald's and attempted to use my Big Mac and Large Fries coupons that I purchased from LivingSocial. The deal where I paid $13 and got coupons for five Big Macs and five Large Fries. The woman who checked me out (she had a name tag with the word MANAGER on it) told me that she couldn't get the coupons to work and that I would have to pay $4.20. I'm sorry, What?

How is it that somebody with the title "Manager" couldn't fix this? I remained calm and just asked for my coupons back. She kept trying to get it to go through and nothing was working. Once again, I asked for my coupons back, she finally returned them.

I know things happen, there are misunderstandings. But wasn't this a nationwide offer? Shouldn't there have been some kind of training or a printout to help run these coupons through the register? Shouldn't the manager be able to override the register and just give me the food?

Please help me understand.

FYI Blog Readers here's the fine print from the back of the coupons:

Fine Print: Voucher booklet contains ten (10) separate tear-away vouchers. Individual tear-away vouchers do not expire • Limit one per purchaser • Voucher booklet will be sent via first-class mail and should be expected to arrive within two weeks after purchase • Purchaser agrees and acknowledges that the mailing address confirmed at the point of purchase will be provided to a third party vendor for fulfillment only and will not be used for any other purpose • May be used over multiple visits • Limit one Big Mac voucher and one Large Fries voucher per store visit per customer (all visits to same restaurant within two-hour period constitute single visit) • Vouchers valid at any participating US location • Be sure to mention your LivingSocial voucher before placing your order 

 Doesn't this make you think that you are allowed a Big Mac AND a Large Fries voucher at the same time?

Tell me what you think!


Mini Chicken Pot Pies

8 ramekins
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can homestyle veg-all drained
1 large can chunk chicken with juice
2 unrolled pie crusts
2 can crescent rolls

Line ramekins with pie crust.
Poke with a fork all over and bake in a 400 degree oven for 10-12 minutes on a cookie sheet. Just enough to dry them out but not brown them.

While they are baking mix the three cans together.

Fill ramekins and then bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven. Drape TWO crescent rolls over the top and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

These are Blaine tested and approved!

They are kinda small, each held about 1/2 cup of mixture. Blaine had to eat two. One was enough for me. He also suggested using ONE crescent roll, he thought two was too much.

Good eating!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Cold, Hard Truth Part II

Almost twelve months when I began writing this blog, on a regular basis, it was for all the right reasons. I wanted to document my journey after lap-band surgery.

Somewhere along the way I lost my way. I got obsessed with how many people had clicked on my ads. I wanted people to visit and click. I didn't care if they read the blog or liked it. I just wanted the clicks.

Last week, I got an email from Adsense saying they were terminating my account because (in my words) their program didn't like when and where my clicks were generated.

I felt devastated. I was depressed. I then realized I was doing it for all the wrong reasons. This blog is for me, it's for anybody who wants to be a participant in my journey to a healthier me.

I'm sorry for losing my way. I took a few days off from blogging and realized that I missed it. AdSense or no, I want to blog. It has been an excellent way for me to keep track of what's going on in my life and how I'm feeling. It's an excellent way to vent and get things off of my chest. It's like a journal, that I let everybody read!

I've never kept a journal and here I've done it for almost a solid year. I enjoy reading your comments. Really! Being able to ask for opinions and information has been helpful.

Here are my New Year's Resolutions (so far):

To blog because I want to and for all the right reasons
To exercise at least twice a week (baby steps)
To decrease my sweet tea consumption
To increase my water consumption
To continue to lose weight

This time last year I was about 334 pounds. Today I weighed in at 266. That's 68 pounds! I would love to be less than 200 pounds this time next year. But that's a goal I'm not willing to set, yet. Let's see how things go!

Here I am in my new Batman shirt! Why don't they have a Robin?

Show some bloggy love!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

100 more

Today I noticed that there are 100 more mornings left until summer vacation begins!

This is the beginning of the double digit days! I know, I know we have Christmas first. But 100 is a significant number.

But 95 is our official half way mark. Our contract is for 190 days.

2011 was a great year for me. Lapband surgery, blogging on an almost daily basis, going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, playing trivia, staying at the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas, and just being around so many people that I love.

I'm looking forward to most of 2012. I'm a little leery of the end of the world in December. Do you think it will be an asteroid, solar flares, or some other cataclysmic event?

I have several goals already. Some financial, some weight loss related, others are random. I plan on listing them in January for "the record."

What are you looking forward to about 2012?

Show the bloggy love!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

iPad blogging

Thanks to my friend,Sara, I now have the blogger app on my iPad!

It may take me a few posts to figure it out, but please be patient!

Today was a better day! I promise to get back into my regular blogging groove soon!

Three more mornings until Christmas break begins!

I loved the comments yesterday. I do believe that writing this blog has made me a happier person. I will do my best to stay upbeat and concentrate on the happy things and be thankful!

Show some bloggy love!


Monday, December 12, 2011

Up on the housetop

Today has been a day of up and downs.

Right now I'm on a down swing and I don't feel like typing much.

Here are a couple of pictures from houses near me:
My niece, Kayla, needs this for her house!

This is a HUGE Santa in front of a TWO-STORY house!!!!
Show some bloggy love! I love reading your comments here on this blog. They make me realize I'm not just typing to myself. Thanks for making me feel like I matter.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

O, Christmas Tree

Blaine accepted the daunting task of assembling the Christmas tree.

I was cleaning the kitchen and snapping pictures while he worked.

View from our sidewalk.

Our first Christmas together 2006

From when I used to be a 'teacher'. Now I'm just a librarian. We don't get presents :)

One of our Zoo ornaments. We try to buy 1-2 every year. I usually get them on clearance and I make sure to use our discount for being members!

This section of my tree is dedicated to my sister and the movie Christmas Story.

A Christmas ornament we purchased on one of our vacations.

I made this ornament when we lived in North Little Rock. I was 5, I think. The spatula was a gift from my friend Jami last year. I thought it looked cute on the tree!

Our latest zoo ornament addition.

The last wedding gift we received. It was from my friend Denise W.G. Better late than never and it looks adorable on the tree.

I made this ornament. I took a frosted ornament and put purple and white acrylic paint on the inside. I swirled it around until all the surfaces were covered. Then I place it upside down so all the excess paint could drip out and replaced the gold topper.

My friend Sharon G. made this. LOVE!

This was a present from Don Tyler W. I still remember, it's a beautiful ornament and one of my favorites.

The roadrunners ears broke off, but I keep it because it's still cute.

This was a gift from my first college roommate Leslie Gibbs McKay.

A little ornament that said "Elaine" I closed in the E with some white out and made it BLAINE!

Elvis M&M ornament from Las Vegas.

This was given to me during my student teaching in Sixth Grade in Walnut Ridge.

Blaine did an excellent job!!!

Merry Christmas!


p.s. I love having mismatched ornaments. Most of them have a story and I enjoy the memories! If you ever want to buy me a gift and have no idea what to get. Make or buy me a Christmas ornament. I will forever treasure it!