Sunday, December 30, 2007

Deep Fried Butter Balls

I kill me. I cannot believe that people are actually rating the fried butter balls. I knew they were the topic of several blogs, but this is too much!

My heartfelt thanks go out to the person who posted on 12/28/07. Thanks for pointing out the (to me) glaringly obvious. :),1973,FOOD_9919_34925,00.html

Here is a link to how it all happened...

A Year in Review

While I could list everything significant that happened to me this year, instead I'm going to give the Reader's Digest condensed version.

I've had some shake-you-to-the-core things happen this year. Mostly by my own doing. I refuse to look at these events as something bad. Everything happens for a reason, right? I believe this is where faith comes in. Instead, I'm going to look at them as lessons I needed to learn. And I'm not going to pass up the opportunity to learn from them.

I don't believe in New Year's resolutions. I feel they are lofty goals that are set at the begining of the year that most people fail in achieving. However, I do believe in resolutions when they impart change. And my resolve to make changes for my life is absolute.

I no longer wish to be the person I have become. I don't want to make a resolution to change and hope that I can make it last. I am going to make a lifestyle change and make it last. Quite frankly, I believe that I'm stubborn enough to do it.

Even if I'm not, I'm am surrounded by more than my fair share of family and friends who truly love me and will not let me fail (no matter how hard I try).

Considering all that is bad in the world, I'm one of the most blessed people drawing breath.

I have a job.

I have a roof over my head.

I have a daughter that is a constant source of joy.

I have family and friends who love me.

I'm healthy.

What on Earth could I possibly have to complain about? While I don't have a huge house or inflated bank account, I am truly rich in its most humble definition.

I wish everyone who reads this to have a healthy, safe and prosperous 2008.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

My Angel

I have my very own Christmas angel. My daughter. She puts so much thought into what she gets people for Christmas. Nothing over the top, just something she heard they might like or need.

I've had the same watch for 10 years. It was a gift from my dad. I told him that I wanted a simple watch with a leather strap. Dad got me a Tigger watch with a leather strap. I have no idea why. Maybe I remind him of Tigger...who knows.

Anyway, the strap on my watch was starting to show some wear and I mentioned that maybe I'd go to Wal-Mart and get a new one after Christmas. I don't wear jewlery very often and I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a new watch. I'm not kind to watches and sunglasses. They don't last long with this chick. And, I've never been a slave to fashion. I just don't feel the need. I've never really followed fads or got caught up in building my wardrobe from just one store. Don't get me wrong, I like to look nice and appreciate "pretty" things as much as the next girl. So, really as long as it didn't have a cartoon character on the face or was the size of a Volkswagen, I was good.

My baby girl got me a watch for Christmas. A very simple silver watch. I squealed when I opened it and said, "It's a big girls watch!" (my mom always had a simple silver watch on her wrist. I always thought how grown up and feminine she looked wearing that watch. I guess that's where that statement came from).

It's beautiful and I love it. And, I promise to take care of it forever. It's not so much the watch that made this gift so special to me. But, the thought and care my daughter put in selecting it. She's beautiful and I love her, too.

Merry Christmas, baby.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Hallelujah! Holy Shit! Where's the Tylenol?

Regardless of personal beliefs about Christmas, religon or Santa Claus, this is the season of perpetual hope and kindness. So, along that vein I challenge everyone who reads my blog to help. Whether you donate your time and money to a charity, secretly slip someone some money, feed someone who is hungry or just give someone you love that overdue hug and tell them how happy you are that they're in your life....just help. We're all in this together. Don't help because you're looking for something in return. Just help because you can.

Also, I hope you enjoyed reading my blog and it made you smile and laugh. If it didn't, watch Christmas Vacation, Elf or Love Actually. I promise you'll at least grimace. :-)

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness

It warms my heart to read stories like this. I hope the random strangers who read this blog are inspired to join in this conspiracy of love...

Secret Santa rides again in Kansas City
By MARIA SUDEKUM FISHER, Associated Press Writer 4 minutes ago

Susan Dahl had spent four months homeless in Colorado and just been on a harrowing 10-hour bus trip through sleet and snow. Hungry and broke, all she wanted to do was get back to family in Minnesota.

That's when a tall man in a red coat and red hat sat next to her at the downtown bus station, talked to her quietly and then slipped her $100 on that recent December afternoon.

The man was doing the work of Larry Stewart, Kansas City's original Secret Santa who anonymously wandered city streets doling out $100 bills to anyone who looked like they needed it. Stewart died of cancer at age 58 earlier this year, but his legacy lives on.

"He said `Here's a $100 bill ... and this is in memory of Larry Stewart,'" said Dahl, 56.

During about a quarter century, Stewart quietly gave out more than $1.3 million to people in laundromats, diners, bus stations, shelters and thrift stores, saying it was his way of giving back at Christmas for all the wealth and generosity he had received in his lifetime.

For years, Stewart did not want his name known or want thanks or applause, but last December he acknowledged who he was and used his last few months while battling cancer to press his message of kindness toward others. He even trained some friends in the ways of Secret Santa.
This Christmas, a friend who told Stewart in the hospital that he would carry on for him is out on the streets, handing out $100 bills, each one stamped with "Larry Stewart, Secret Santa."
Between Kansas City and several other cities this Christmas, the new Secret Santa will give away $75,000 of his own money, mostly in $100 bills.

"I didn't want to be a Secret Santa," said the man, a business consultant who lives in the Kansas City area. "I wanted to give Larry money. But last year, he said I had to hand it out myself. So I did, and I got hooked."

This new Secret Santa talks about Larry Stewart to just about everyone he encounters. "Have you ever heard of a man named Larry Stewart?" he asks before handing out $100 or more.
Depending on who he's talking to, the new Secret Santa might say Stewart was a man who believed in making people happy by giving them money they didn't have to ask for, apply for or wait in line for.

"There was this fella named Larry Stewart," he tells a man in the bus station. "He was an old friend of mine. He was called Secret Santa, and every year he would find a few people who might need a little money and he would ask that you pass on the kindness."
People respond differently to the gesture. Some cry. Some scream. A rare few even say "No thanks."

Others take the money and offer their own gifts. like Robert Young, who was homeless and had only 20 cents in his pocket. When Secret Santa gave him $200, Young, 50, took out an old notebook and ripped out a song he had written.

"It's yours now," he told Secret Santa, who thanked Young, and carefully tucked the pages into his pocket.

The new Secret Santa has also started a Web site, and is trying to recruit other Secret Santas across the country. "Larry's dream was for a Secret Santa in every city," Kansas City's Santa said.

There are now a couple apprentices, with more candidates turning up all the time. But, he says, you don't have to be willing to hand out money to be a Secret Santa.

"Anyone can be a Secret Santa," he says. "You don't have to give away $100. You can give away kindnes. Help someone."
On the Net:

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Spirit of Santa Claus

He’s seen in the smiles the whole world is sharing…

He’s found where there is friendship and loving and caring…

He’s felt in warm handshakes when people are meeting…

He’s heard in the cheer of a Christmas greeting…

He’s the spirit behind all the gifts we receive…

He’s everywhere, always…

To those who…


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Paula Deen Groupies

Apparently there are some Paula Deen groupies in Scottsdale. I never thought I would ever see/meet someone that loves butter as much as Paula does. OH, how wrong I was.

I was driving home the other night and noticed that the SUV in front of me had a personalized license plate. This is not something uncommon in Scottsdale. Since moving here four years ago, I have seen more personalized plates than should be allowed. Seriously, it's completely out of control. But, whatever. Apparetnly, Scottsdale needs the money. How else do you explain all the photo radar cameras?

Anyway...I didn't have my camera with me and had to take the picture with my phone. And it sucked. So, I'll just tell you...the license plate read, "BUTTRR".

Cute, right? I bet these people TiVO each episode of Paula's show and try to work in "Y'all" or "Best Dishes" into their daily vernacular.

I thought this was the end of seeing some funky butter lovin'. But, no. I was wrong...AGAIN!

Two days later I was behind yet another SUV. This time the license plate read, "BTRNUT" (butter nut).

Then I got to wondering....

Do Paula Deen groupies each have their own nickname? (ButterNut, Butter Ball, etc.)

Is there a secret handshake?

Is Scottsdale, Arizona thier headquarters?

Do they worship the Land O Lakes?

I'd be kind of afraid if I had groupies. They'd most likely be all hopped up on goofballs or something.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Rachael Ray Book Signing at Kierland

I gave my daughter one of her Christmas presents early. A friend of mine told me that Rachael Ray would be at Kierland for a book signing in December. Yippee!

A few years ago, my daughter went through the RR cookbook I have and picked out what she wanted me to make for her birthday dinner. I've made it for her birthday every year since.

I picked her up from school yesterday and we headed over to Kierland. We stood in line for three hours before the book signing was even scheudled to start. Thank God ~ the line had already started to form.

My friend Nicole showed up, made a Starbucks run and waited in line with us.

When my daughter gave Rachael her book she said, "You're my biggest inspiration for cooking. I made my first meal when I was 7."

Rachael told my daughter that she had her beat by four years, she had made her first meal at 11.

Then my daughter told Rachael that she was 14 and Rachael Ray nearly had a fit. She thought my "baby" looked 18. That coupled with the fact that she just met Miss Rachael made my daughters day.

I so have the Mommy of the Year award wrapped up!
* side note: I met a lady in line who didn't have a ticket. oops! However, the store told me that I could bring as many people as I wanted on my one ticket. This sounded fishy, so I asked about it. Twice. And got the same answer both times. So, anyway, I let this lady come in with us. It is, after all, Christmastime, the Season of Perpetual Hope. Turns out she works for McCormick spices. Guess who will be getting some free spices....YAY ME!

Rachael Ray signing my books.

Rachael Ray signing my daughters book.

Thanks, Rachael. You were so gracious and sweet to my daughter. I wish you success in all your future endeavors and hope you have a lovely holiday!

Slow day...let's see what's on Yahoo! News....Uh-Oh!

25-lb turkey flies through man's window
Mon Dec 10, 5:51 PM ET

The noise that Chuck Ritter heard while sitting in his living room was a turkey that crashed through a third-story bedroom window (wait…isn’t the turkey a flightless bird? How the sam hill?...). Ritter, 83 (that old man is lucky he didn’t have a damn heart attack!), was relaxing Saturday when the uninvited guest arrived (I hate it when that happens. Especially when I’m out of Chex mix and beer).

Ritter called Joe Battaglia, the on-call maintenance worker at his Traverse City apartment, and they tried to corral the 25-pound bird as it flapped around on the carpet amid blood and shards of glass. (I can just hear the "Mission Impossible" music now. Gee, do you think he’ll get his deposit back?)

After about 30 minutes of trying to ease the turkey toward the window with a broomstick and a fishing pole (wait..let me get a mental picture of this…), Ritter cornered the bird, grabbed it by the neck and threw it out the window (did he scream like a girl, too?)

Ritter said after the ordeal that the turkey would make a nice dinner (especially from the crunch of the extra glass and asphalt embedded in the meat!), and he was looking for a needy family to give it to. (I’m sure they’ll appreciate the cut up, bloody, flattened carcass).

Monday, December 10, 2007


My Monday didn't start well. As I was putting mousse in my hair I heard glass shatter in the kitchen. I ran in there to see what had broke (picture it ~ me in my bathrobe with white stuff all over my head. I probably looked like my hair had rabies). I found my daughter standing in front of the fridge. Milk in one hand, bottle of beer all over the floor. She was frozen in place ~ kind of like a deer in headlights. I cleaned up the mess and then went to clean up the mess that was my hair. My hair was as sticky as the kitchen floor. ick.

Around 10:00 my friend found me in the hallway to let me know that my daughter's school was under lockdown. Someone had brought a gun to school. My heart sank and I couldn't make it back to my desk fast enough. I immediately checked my cell phone.

My daughter had sent me a text message to let me know she was okay and safe in her classroom. This is the third time she's been in school during a lock down. The first was 9/11.

All I wanted to do was rush to the school and take her home with me. However, in the interest of safety for the entire student body, no one was being let out or let in. I waited impatiently for an update. Constantly checking the schools website and watching the news. Finally, an hour later my daughter called. Everything was over. No gun was found and the police were going to remain on campus. She was safe and would be home at the regular time. Her little voice never sounded so sweet.

I bought baby gates, outlet caps, knee pads...all the things parents do to protect their children. But, how do you protect them from this? Some people would say, "That's why I homeschool!" That's all well and good, but eventually they will go out into the world. Last week's mall shooting proves that keeping children at home instead of sending them to a public school isn't going to keep them any safer. Last year there were two guys driving around Phoenix randomly shooting people because they were bored.

A kid brought a gun to my school when I was a sophomore in high school. It was a Wednesday and I was in third period and the bell didn't ring when the class was over. Ten minutes passed before someone came into the class to tell my teacher to keep us inside and to lock the door. Unfortunately, there was nothing we could do about the wall of windows that faced the other building. That's where this kid was. Holding his French class hostage. He even played Russian roulette with some of the kids in the class. Eventually, he surrendered to the SWAT team. He said in his statement that he was mad because no one had come to his party the night before. He's still in prison last I heard.

So, what's the purpose of this post? My purpose is this: Do all that you can to not only protect your children, but to prepare them for where ever life may take them. Give them to tools and skills to ensure their own safety and well-being. Don't ever miss a chance to hug them and kiss them no matter how much they may struggle (especially the teenagers). Tell them you love them. Then tell them again.

Babycakes...Mama and Daddy love you to all our hearts. You are our only need.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

How You Doin'?

I found this while doing my boss' holiday shopping. I'm thinking that it's manufactured by the same company that brought us Nads Hair Removal. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you...Joe's Sticky Stuff...

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Last Minute Gift Ideas!

Wal-Mart is your Chia Headquarters! They have the original Chia pet, the Chia head, the Chia Scooby, even a Shreck Chia! It's a veritable Chia extravaganza!! Give one to someone you loathe! Cha-Cha-Cha-Chia!