Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Kinda Cheesy. HA HA HA HAHAHAH

You Are a Brownie Cheesecake

A little chunky and a little gooey, you pretty much run on sugar!
You take hedonism to the extreme.. And people love you for it.

I Have No One to Blame But Myself

Exotic Dancer Name Is...


VirusHead Made Me Do It

You Are a Liberal for Life

You've got a bleeding heart - and you're proud of it.
For you, liberal means being compassionate, pro-government, and anti-business.
You believe in equality for every person, and you consider yourself universally empathetic.
Helping others is not just political for you ... it's very personal too.

Why is this so funny?

It shouldn't be, but it is!

Me, Shelley, and Patrick... Elf Style!

Elfin' it Up!

Try it yourself at

Friday, November 16, 2007

What's Your Game?

We dropped Amanda off at the CSP academy for her course Sunday morning. It's about 40 minutes from our house to Golden; it didn't seem worth the drive back home only to turn around in four hours to pick her up.

In Golden, on a Sunday morning when you aren't (find a delicate way to say this, Christy....) inclined to attend services at a house of worship? There isn't a lot to do.

What to do.. what to do.... As we meandered the road led, as many in that part of town do, towards the mountains, towards.... Black Hawk and Central City. There might be something to do there on a Sunday morning, just maybe. Up the hill we went.

Beautiful Sunday morning drive; through a deep canyon, rushing water just below, mountain goats and big horn sheep above, through four tunnels shooting straight through the mountain and into these tiny towns located side by side.

Keep in mind, Cowboy and I are not big gamblers, which is to say, we don't. The last time I gambled was probably 1998, when I put $5.00 into a nickel slot machine in Vegas and made that five last three days. When I finally cashed it out, on our way home, it was $8.00 and I counted myself pretty darn lucky. Unlike the miners of old, we weren't going up the hill to strike it rich.

There are lots of places to park up there; most major hotels have big parking garages. We cruised both tiny towns, seeing the sights. It's sad but fairly obvious that the big outfits have put the little guy out of business: we saw a ton of empty store fronts. I'm sure it's hard to make it in that sort of town.

We were starting, so we found a spot in one of the mammoth structures and walked through the Mardi Gras casino in search of food. Good things about casinos: generally you can find food that won't cost you an arm and a leg. We found a huge breakfast for $3.99, coffee included! So huge was the breakfast, though, that we had to walk.

Eventually, we found ourselves at Colorado Central Station where we decided it was time to gamble. We weren't feeling as reckless as when in Vegas (besides, Central Station doesn't have nickel slots), so opted to conserve our resources by playing penny slots. The good thing about slots: they're sort of like video games: pretty colors and fun music. Bad thing: they're sort of like video games: they take your money. Correction here: they took Cowboy's money.

We played two hours. I lost $0.22, Cowboy lost $30.00. Completely satisfied for another nine years, we were back in Golden in time to grab lunch and the girl.

I really don't see myself taking the trip up that road again for a while. I'm already taking enough chances: I have three teenagers!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


I am cooking more; I got away from it over the summer when the kitchen was hot and I was working a lot of overtime. I tend to cook for an army so if I make two full meals a week, they generally last the family four dinners plus a lunch or two for me. It's good for me to be in the kitchen; I feel like a better provider, a better mom. It's also better for my weight-state-of-mind.

Besides dinners, I'm making a pot of soup each week. Soup helps me pack a full serving of veggies and often fiber into a yummy, home cooked meal which travels easily. The soup is made just for me, with stuff I like and nothing left out because others don't. I eat it three or four days out of the week; taking it with me for lunch at least twice. Other family members are welcome to a bowl as long as there's no complaining about the contents. It's called Mom Soup for a reason.

I usually start the soup in the morning, figuring to have it ready by evening.

Last week's soup was sausage and bean. So thick it was nearly a stew; I first rinsed a package of 15 bean soup mix available at WalMart or your local grocery. After the beans soaked overnight, I started bringing them to a boil in water twice a deep as the beans in a 14 quart stock pot. I sauteed diced onions, garlic and smoked sausage in a skillet, then deglazed it with red wine.

Onions, garlic, sausage all went into the stock pot along with a can of beef broth and a can of diced tomatoes. Salt, pepper, herbs of choice (mine are red pepper, basil, thyme and bay leaf) and long long hours simmering on medium low are the finishing touches.

This week's soup is turkey and rice. Thanksgiving may be next week, but turkey is a good option for a big family any time so we make it several times a year. Besides, Cowboy's parents are hosting at their house and making the bird on T-Day; they aren't likely to send home the carcass for my soup making pleasure. Turkey last Sunday won't spoil our appetites for it next Thursday.

I make sure not to pick the bones too clean on my bird, leaving lots of meat to fall off in the soup pot. For good measure, I cook the neck in the same session. This time, we stuck a quartered onion in the cavity during roasting. All went into the pot with water covering the bones completely. A good grinding of salt, a bay leaf, chopped parsley and sprinkling of thyme, then the whole was brought to a slow, rolling boil in my trusty stock pot this morning.

This afternoon, I carefully strained the bones from the broth and added diced celery and carrots along with sauteed onions and garlic. Most of the water's boiled off by this time, so I added a few cups more and 3/4 cup uncooked rice, then turned down the heat to simmer.

I just checked; I have a pot of glorious broth swimming with veggies, meat and rice. Tomorrow's going to be so yummy. I think I'll pack extra for work.

By the way, soup is also good way to win friends and influence people.

Give someone a bowl of homemade soup; warm a tummy, make a friend.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

It is Beginning...

I am up, showered, coiffed and coffeed. Why? Against my will, I tell you!

The terror begins today. The knot in my stomach tells the tale, I don't want to do this. It's too soon. I'm not ready. I may never be ready.

I've put it off, made my excuses but still the inevitable marched closer and closer.

It all began so innocently, blinking it's big blue eyes at me. Of course, I had to take it home, nearly 16 years ago; it was helpless.

But now the day is coming nearer. The day...

My oldest child starts driving.

Amanda is enrolled in the Driver's Education course Alive at 25 Once completed, she's on to the dreaded Learner's Permit. We're just over a year shy of her Driver's License.

There is no hope; if you must wish anything for me, wish that it's over with quickly.